November 26, 2020

Happy Thanksgiving!

It’s been a challenging season for us in many ways, but it has also highlighted and helped us appreciate our many blessings. We are grateful for our health, our family unity, this beautiful farm to live on, and people like you who support us in friendship, prayers, and giving. In fact, your faithfulness in giving has helped us work and live in Eswatini for five years now, FIVE YEARS! Thank you!

Thankfully, the pandemic is slowing here in Eswatini- the daily report is usually under 10 new cases out of 200-300 daily tests. Schools start again next year and everything is in line for Zach to start first grade in January! A brand new Montessori school is opening its doors just 10 minutes away from where we live. The school is only taking a dozen or so 6-7 years olds for its inaugural year and we are amazed and grateful that Zach will get to be in the first class and make some new friends.

Isabella is doing well- she is walking, babbling, and a general charmer. We love her nickname “Isa” given by her adoring Swazi friends. She has a strong independence, but loves being with her big brother and you’re never in doubt of how she feels about something- it’s so fun to see her personality develop!

As with the rest of the world, our ministry has had to change to suit the current conditions, but thankfully, we have still been able to continue our leadership program on the farm since we’re fairly isolated here. It helps that we have a lot of space to spread out when we do need to bring in a few visitors.

Now for some big news- we are building a house! As you may remember, we have been able to rent the big farmhouse the last few months since no mission teams have been able to travel. Next year, however, it needs to house visitors and short-term teams again, so we need a place to live.

There are only a few buildings on the farm, so we work at home, host bible studies, staff meetings, house church, trainings, etc… It was so exciting to get to plan out our house with those needs in mind. We are paying for the initial building stages since ultimately, this allows us to cut rent out of our fundraising budget. However, since the home will technically belong to AIM and we can’t recoup any cost by selling the home one day, we will need to do some fundraising. We hope to start an official fundraiser soon. In the meantime, we would really appreciate your prayers- building costs have gone up due to supply shortages, the exchange rate is going out of our favor, and there is a surprising amount of red tape to get building approval. We are trying not to stress about it all, but we definitely have our days where nothing seems to be going right.

It truly helps to be thankful for what we do have because we are reminded of how faithful God has been to us. He’s been so good to us in the past; we have no reason to doubt he will sustain and establish us in the future!

Friends, we hope you are all doing well and having a great holiday. As we remember our many blessings, we’re again grateful for all you’ve done to help us. Please let us know how we can pray or encourage you.

Isabella enjoys watermelon!