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A jam-packed, very full, so much happening, all good update (and a video)

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates | One Comment

We’ve moved to a pineapple farm! OK, so it is in the process of becoming an ex-pineapple farm, but man, these plants are stubborn and don’t want to leave! Some background… A few months ago, a ministry partner bought a farm here in Swaziland with the intention of letting AIM use the fields for ministry projects and programs. In January, we were asked if we could move to the land the very next month to be the caretakers during the planning and building processes. There’s a nice house on the land where the previous owners lived, and we are staying in a cottage next to it where they used to house guests. Moving here has been a huge change for us- we’re sad the other missionaries are no longer our neighbors, and in fact, our closest neighbors now aren’t even within shouting distance! We are about 30 minutes away from our last home in Manzini, where our office is. (We’re still deeply involved with the office and we’ve only poured more into our jobs and coworkers since our last update, we just have a longer commute now.) It’s usually very quiet at our new home –except for the occasional monkeys playing on our roof. We’ve noticed more geckos, lizards, birds and mosquitoes in the countryside, but thankfully we haven’t seen a snake yet. There’s a bit of a learning curve here as our water is from a well (or as the locals say, a borehole). As the property’s caretakers, it’s…

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Fresh Vision on Our Mission and Life

By | Friends and Family, Life and Faith, News and Updates, Personal Reflections, Swaziland | 2 Comments

This year has been flying by. When we got back from furlough after Christmas, we spent the next few months adjusting to new positions. Brandon is in charge of the new media and marketing department (pictured above) and, of course, IT. Brandon has the challenge of keeping old —sometimes ancient— laptops running and slow internet on. His new media and marketing department makes sure that our ministry stories are heard by our overseas partners so donors can see how their support is making a difference and that we are using our time, talents, and resources wisely. I now head the newly created HR department. I know HR, marketing, and IT are not the first things you think of when you picture a missionary, but good stewardship of employees and resources are essential in any workplace —let alone one that runs on the good faith of donors. The first part of my year was mostly spent creating an employee handbook and writing the annual contracts for our 90 local Swazi staff. About a third of our local staff are shepherds at our CarePoints; they directly engage our 7,500 kids four days a week. Other staff take care of things like sustainability projects, administration, maintenance and food deliveries.

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We have a new normal

By | Life and Faith, News and Updates, Swaziland | 2 Comments

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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