august-2017-blog-header

We have a new normal

By | Life and Faith, News and Updates, Swaziland | One Comment

These last 6 months in Swaziland have flown by as we’ve increasingly settled into routine. Every week is pretty similar- staff meetings, multimedia, IT, payroll, and going to carepoints for footage and profile photos. It’s hard to write an update we think others would want to read when every day seems so normal. Short term mission teams, interns, and friends of the ministry come and go regularly. We go to the grocery store and buy our room-temperature eggs (which we love, even when they still have feathers sticking to them). We keep a side-eye on that cow in case she decides to cross the highway. Electricity goes out and we don’t bat an eye- we know to keep our fridge pretty empty and where the closest headlight can be found. Normal. Yesterday we ran out of toilet paper and I remembered that our beloved Capital Church team left us some extra rolls they had brought in June. I pulled out a roll triumphantly, only to find it didn’t fit in the holder! I stuffed it in and grabbed a few squares. WHAT IS THIS STUFF MADE OF- FLANNEL?! We both honestly forgot how thin we thought Swazi toilet paper was when we first moved here. It’s amazing just how much you can get used to without realizing it. Author Margaret Feinberg reminds her readers to be “wonderstruck,” even in the every day of life. Have we lost our wonder? You might ask how can living in Africa be routine or even boring?…

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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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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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