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Compliments

By | Life and Faith, Swaziland | No Comments

“Sawubona.” The cashier quickly double-takes to my face.“Did you just say ‘Sawubona?” “Yebo! One can’t stay in Swaziland more than a year and not learn some siSwati.” As I drive home with my chicken breast and bananas in the front seat, I can’t help but smile. Somehow, it still surprises me when Swazis aren’t expecting me to say hello in their own language- it’s just one word and it seems the base of politeness when living in another country. Their reactions range from silent looks to each other (did she just say that?), to giggles, to plain shock. It makes me think about how easy it can be to just show someone that you care, that you’re trying, that you don’t expect them them be anything but themselves. God did so much more for us by taking on flesh to be a part of our world. He showed us He cares, that he’s trying to have relationship with us. He takes us as we are, my little greeting pales in comparison to that. I know that I have a long way to go in my mindfulness of others, but I’m happy to start with “I see you.” (Sawubona) I pray that this year God keeps working on me so I can love others better. What are you praying for yourself? If you feel comfortable, feel free to reach out to us so we can be praying for you as well. As they say here, “Compliments of the New Year!”

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drought-cow-home

Giving Thanks

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | 5 Comments

We have a swimming pool. Well, our future home here (maybe next week) will have a swimming pool- yes, it is small and currently filled with debris, but it is still a luxury in a country that has spent over a decade in an increasingly dire drought. Needless to say, we will not be filling it with water any time soon. Cows are still dying here and the capital city not too far away only has a 20 day water supply remaining. Swazis have been asked to use chemical toilets when possible and here we are being asked if we’d like to use our pool. The weight of our relative wealth and privilege feels HEAVY. We want to give thanks for all the blessings God has given us, but that’s difficult when we feel guilty of having them in the first place. As we’ve been running around trying to navigate getting a house, electricity, aircon (A/C), a fridge, furniture, we have been mindful of being good stewards of the resources given by our supporters who have made it financially possible for us to be here. We know that we need certain conveniences to allow us time to do our jobs well, but it’s still a challenge shopping for a washing machine and refrigerator when we know so many Swazis here don’t even have electricity. In the states, it’s so much easier because, well, everyone has those things. Here, I feel embarrassed to let a Swazi see where we live, our “new” car, or…

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Sunrise in Manzini

Is It Safe?

By | Life and Faith, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | One Comment

Is it safe? We’ve occasionally been asked this question about our move overseas and yes, thoughts of our baby boy’s safety have entered into our minds. But for us, Brandon and me, we had not given much thought to our personal security. During our two weeks of training before flying to Swaziland, we covered persecution and martyrdom, but it wasn’t until a dear family member hugged us at the airport and tearfully whispered her request for us to be safe that I began to feel a bit of fear. I felt almost a sense of guilt that I was a contributor to possibly putting our family’s safety in jeopardy, had now carelessly flung it away, and it was too late to turn back. But then, God’s peace. I didn’t realize He had given me peace about this until I briefly felt that fear. Seth Barnes, our fearless leader at AIM, wrote this blog the other day, “Is Safety an Idol?” How timely for us. Seth writes, ”No, it’s not safe. Jesus is not safe. Neither does he want those of us who follow him to be safe. He said, ‘the kingdom of God suffers violence and the violent take it by force.’” (Matthew 11:12) There have always been enemies of Peace and Love forcing their own agendas and if we are committed to advancing God’s kingdom, it is inevitable that we are going to meet this opposition at some point, if not at many points. Seth also notes that Jesus…

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