mitch & char

mitch & char

Monday, December 21

Devotional with thoughts

My wife is so incredible…though she may seem quiet, when it comes to affirming those around her she is the first to step up. Her Devotional (Word for You Today) that she shared with me is below.  WOW-there is so much to dig into here, I barely know where to start.  Perhaps I will just keep it simple.  What is your dream?  What do you believe God is telling you to do or abandon?  Are you willing to abandon it knowing that some of those closest to you will not only not understand, they will want you to stick to memory lane…if you do this-are YOU missing out on His destiny for you.  Will you follow Him with reckless abandon?  He has promised us that He will not leave or forsake us.  What are you afraid of?  If He is for us, who can be against us?

I was taken aback by my friend Rick when I shared the news with him that we were moving to Africa.  His reaction was one of excited surprise!  He really “got it” and in just a few simple words “Wow, I hate to lose you, but I am SO excited for you.  After all, all of this (points around him) is temporal anyway”  WOW- that is THE reaction of someone that knows that ministry can not be caged and has no bounds.  He is someone that did not try to convince us otherwise, just jumped on board with immediate support by his affirmation.  That is the response I desire to have to those around me that do something that “I” don’t understand…to trust that they know the Lord and are doing what “He” understands. (thanks Rick)

Here is the Devo:

Don’t let others hold you back…

Joseph’s brothers resented his dream so they sold him into slavery.  David’s family didn’t consider him worthy of being king.  The people who knew Jesus during His first thirty years said:  “Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works?  Is this not the carpenter’s son…So they were offended at Him”  You must realize that some of the people who knew you “way back when” didn’t know you now, because they’ve “slotted you.”  What should you do?  Do what Jesus did; He moved on.  What else could he do?  He refused to allow others to keep Him stuck at a stage in His life that was past and gone, and you have go to do the same.  If you allow others to keep taking you down memory lane, you’ll eventually set up house, stay longer than you should and miss your God-given destiny. It’s wonderful to have people in your life who know where you’ve been and can relate to where you’re going.  But if you have to choose between then and now, sacrifice then for it can’t be rewritten, only replayed over and over.  Stop rehearsing your beginnings and write the rest of your story.  The future is yours – seize it while you can.. the story’s told of a hacker on a golf course who kept swinging at the ball and missing, repeatedly hitting an ant hill.  Finally one ant took charge and said, “Follow me.”  Another ant yelled, “But where are we going?”  He pointed to the ball sitting in front of them.  “There.  If we don’t get on the ball, we’re going to die!”

Good stuff eh?  Now- I challenge you to do what it is that He has been telling you to do for sooooooo long!---if you don’t, who will?

Monday, December 14

Do Everything without Complaining!

(this was today’s devotional from The Word for You Today…sure stepped on my toes-how about yours?)


“Stop Complaining and Start Gaining!”  Php 2:14


You say, “ but isn’t it possible my complaint might be legitimate?”  Yes.  Injustice, abuse, betrayal, robbery, gossip, libel, prejudice, physical harm against you or your family, etc. are legitimate causes. “And if I don’t do something about these, wouldn’t I be failing in my responsibility?”  Right again!  You are called to be salt and light in this world, resolving problems that arise by practicing spiritual principles in your daily life.  To do nothing at such times makes you irresponsible and disobedient to God.  But complaining about it is not DOING something, not by God’s definition.  You say, “All right; since God is against complaining, how do I handle legitimate complaints?”

1-DO NOTHING TILL YOU’VE FIRST TALKED WITH GOD.  You’ll make the right moves if you take time to gt the right counsel.  Prayer clarifies your options and adjusts your perspectives.  It defuses your anger, restoring you to objectivity and rational thinking.  Your second move is more likely to succeed if your first move is to seek God for Wisdom (see Jas 1:5)

2-BEFORE YOU SAY OR DO ANYTHING< DO AN ATTITUDE CHECK.  Stop and ask yourself, “what’s my real agenda here? Is it to show them that I’m right and they’re wrong? Is it to come away looking good while I make them look bad? Is it to win a personal victory or to solve the problem in a way that glorifies God?”  Before you speak, check what’s in your heart, “For the mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart” (mt 12:34). When your heart attitude pleases God, you’re ready to handle any legitimate complaint


Wednesday, December 2

First of all- THANK YOU for your prayers and support.  We are truly humbled by the responses we have been seeing this past month since we first announced that we were going into the mission field.  We are honored and blessed by you…more importantly, we believe that Christ is honored and blessed by you!


Click the attached JPG document for the December newsletter and update!


Blessings to you!



Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa
Learn more and keep up with us here:
contact us via Skype: search for  user name: mitchchar

If you would like to partner with us in ministry, you may donate online at:  

If you wish to no longer receive our ministry updates, please reply to this email with “remove” in the subject line.


Thursday, November 19

Adrian Plass has one of those amazing and soothing accents when he speaks. On City of Gold years ago, he read this in his British accent with wonderful dramatic pauses:

“When I’m in heaven, tell me their will be kites to fly. The kind they say you can control, although, I never did for long. The kind that spin and spin and spin and spin then sulk and dive and die and rise again and spin again and dive and die and rise up yet again… I love those kites. When I’m in heaven, tell me their will be seasons when the colors fly, poppies splashing flame through dying yellow, living green, and autumns burning sadness that has always made me cry for things that have to end, for winter fires that blaze like captive suns, but look so cold when morning comes. I do love the way the seasons change. When I’m in heaven, tell me there will be peace at last. That in some meadow filled with sunshine, filled with buttercups, and filled with friends. You will… chew a straw and fill us in on how things really are. And if there is some harm in laying earthly hope at heavens door, or in this saying so... well… have mercy on my foolishness, dear Lord. I love this world you made-it’s all I know…”

I don’t know if you have ever questioned or feared about the “next chapter” in your life. I actually take comfort in the upcoming chapters in mine, and one day-OH one day to be in heaven with Jesus. The simplicity and whimsical human nature meeting with the divine creator…sure gives me chills to think about it.

Have you ever wrestled with change in your life? I sure have. I wonder what goes through a baby’s mind as they leave the comfort of the womb, into a world filled with new senses. Usually they come in to the world screaming-so maybe there is some fear involved :-). But look at what God has created for that little baby- a WHOLE new world, full of all sorts of new things to experience… after this “life” experience-would you want to be back in a dark womb-smelling nothing, feeling nothing? God made change to thrill us, fill our minds with hope, and allow us to experience a whole new set of “things”. Even if we do not know what will happen after that change-for ourselves or those around us-it should be EXCITING.

It seems all too often, that we don’t accept or like change-but ponder on this; if nothing changes-how can you best serve your Father? If nothing changes-what is your purpose? If nothing changes-can you be who He designed you to be? I understand-and all too often get caught up in resisting change…and find myself saying…” have mercy on my foolishness, dear Lord. I love this world you made-it’s all I know…”

This same hope can be breathed into all of those around us. How you handle change can determine how those around you handle that change and other changes in their life.

Are you stagnating? Is it time for a change in your life? I will say this- sometimes it is VERY hard, but God knows how to refine you, knows how to humble us and build us back up to be even BETTER…for Him and His service… EMBRACE it if you can-and look forward to the other side…just wait till you can say-I NEVER want to go back to____________(and you fill in the blank)

Our change is coming, and God has started “refining”… it is tough, but HE is SOOOO good, and has a new “us” to reveal as He prepares us to serve Him in Africa.

Psalm 55:19 (Amplified Bible)

19God will hear and humble them, even He Who abides of old--Selah [pause, and calmly think of that]!--because in them there has been no change [of heart], and they do not fear, revere, and worship God.

Friday, November 13

Catch the vision- be part of a solution! We can't do it alone- we need your help!

(CocaCola got a hat, jacket, blanket and her first pair of shoes)

Her name is pronounced Kokeysiphothu, but we just called her Coca Cola. She is 15 and we met her in Swaziland in August. Her mother has passed away, her father is ill and Coca Cola has HIV, and will quite possibly not make it another 2 years. We chose not to look at her circumstances, and simply saw a beautiful little girl who desperately wanted to play and be loved. She came up to us boldly, and said IN ENGLISH: "I need you to find me a tutor" and "I want to learn better English to teach teachers of English". We were in awe! Her english was fair despite not having income to go to school-she has been studying. She recognized that if more people spoke English(the language of business and trade) they would have opportunity to change their circumstances. She has more wisdom than we do. Most importantly-she has HOPE for the future and a desire to change her world.

Charlotte and I have been serving with Mission of Mercy for several years now, and are always touched by the hope, that despite desperate times continues to be the one thing people in abject poverty can cling to. They are not looking for a handout; they are looking for an opportunity.

Romans 12:1 reminded us to “offer our body as a living sacrifice-this is our spiritual act of worship.” God is now asking us to be obedient to His call on our lives, and we are responding with a firm YES LORD! We will be selling all of our belongings, and hope to be on the ground in Swaziland Africa by October/November 2010. We are going to join with Children’s Cup ( as missionaries. They are a partner ministry to Mission of Mercy (the child sponsorship organization we have been serving with) and are incredibly passionate about changing the world through this upcoming generation.

While there, we will be overseeing some of the care points (where the children come for meals and classroom time), and will help in discipleship of these children. We will also be working with the local churches and the cook’s ministries at the children’s care points (neighborhood women volunteer to cook for the children each day).

This is not going to be an easy calling, but we KNOW we are to go. The culture there is one where men will come up and quite plainly ask if they can “have” Charlotte, where the Aids virus has ravaged the nation with 43% positive, only 40% of the population have safe drinking water, life expectancy is just 39, and if a child gets through the second grade-they are considered educated. These are all things that can be changed!

Children’s Cup is a wise ministry, they have asked us to secure the majority of our funding prior to going for a minimum of 2 years on the field. We are utilizing our savings and any profits from the selling of our “stuff” to help offset much of the moving expenses as well as a small portion of our monthly needs. This is not going to be enough. We will need your help to fund this ministry. One immediate need upon our arrival will be to secure a reliable vehicle (where lions do actually run wild in the bush, and robbery is a common daily practice-dependability will be key). This alone will be around $8500. We will of course have monthly expenses that need to be met as well. We will put hands and feet to YOUR funding of this ministry.

Your prayers are vitally important. Will you commit to pray for us at least once a week? The enemy will want to throw shadows of doubt on us, and will want to confuse those around us. The devil does not want us to go to serve Christ, but he has NO authority! There will be much preparation in the months ahead. We know there will be trials and hurdles, hiccups and bumps in the road. We embrace those, as they will be a necessary preparation for our hearts as Christ continues to mold us.

If your prayers lead you to put action behind them:

  • Would you help us to connect with your Bible Study/Church group regarding how they can help partner with us?
  • Will you partner with us?
    • One time gift of $1,000, $500 or $200 ?
    • Monthly support of $25, $50, $100 ?

To mail a sponsorship gift:

Children’s Cup

PO Box 400

Prairieville, LA 70769

Please attach a note with our names on it.

To make a tax deductible gift online:

-select our names from dropdown list

God Bless you! Thank you for being part of the journey that led us here, and the journey that defines the next chapter!

Mitch and Charlotte

Wednesday, November 11

Matthew 19:14

"Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these"

-pictures of a few of the kids from our recent trip to Swaziland: our future home.

Nope, not winking- he had some form of eye infection that was not caught in time.. but check out the grin!

Her shirt says it all!

everyone wants to play games with silly americans.

quite possibly her first lollipop.

this little guy was blind, but he taught US how to dance!

Tuesday, November 10



Well, nearly. I just wanted to share with you. This morning we mailed out our first round of support letters(that is so tough for me-I dislike asking anyone for help, but Ben reminded me “you are not asking for yourself, you are asking for God-You are not going on vacation, you are going to be broken and built back up to best serve Him-and you need the prayer and financial support for you to do that”—thanks Ben)

Today was a rough day for me, prayerfully not the first of many. I actually stayed home(first time in 2 years), and have really been down about processing all that is to come—to the point of questioning the call(which we KNOW that God wants us in Africa)-just a shadow of doubt creeping in here and there. The enemy has a stronghold on my “doubts” it seems sometimes, and today-he seemed to be winning

…I started going through our Christmas ornaments to select a few that we will take with us(something I have loved every year since a child- as each family member gives each other an ornament each year, and I can reminisce about 30+ years of memories).. as soon as I opened the first box to sort-the phone rang, and it was my friend up in S.D. with the reassuring news that God loves us. He called just to encourage me today. Then he went on to say that at his company Christmas party- they are going to share about Children’s Cup and the need of the children and ministry- and ask their staff to all make gifts, and that their business is going to support us as part of their business plan of giving with a generous monthly gift starting in January. He has been recruiting others to come on board and pray for us and support us.

…but amidst the tears and sobbing, I once again felt the inexplicable peace come over me. To that friend-I simply can only say “Thank you” you have NO idea how much you mean to me!

OH how God knows the right timing. I sit in awe of Him, and owe Him my life!

I just had to share this-as we are seeing the hand of God move through His people. Why wouldn’t He?-He promised that He would! Yet I am a doubter-just like Thomas, even after seeing the scars-I still question His promises.

He always proves faithful, He always proves powerful, and He always does it when He knows it needs to be done. Who am I to serve the most high?

God has A LOT to show and teach me-I know that being in Africa will be more about Him working in me the first year, than me “saving” anyone. (seems we all think we can change the world immediately when we go overseas… good intentions indeed, but all too often lack the follow-through)...if anything I need His eyes to feel His pain and hurt to become effective ministering to His people.

More committed than ever to answer His call.

Psalm 9:10- those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord have never forsaken those who seek you.

Psalm 36:5- Your Love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies.

Isaiah 54:10-" Though the mountains be shaken and hills be removed, my unfailing love for you will not be shaken nor my covenant of peace be removed", says the LORD, who has compassion on you.

Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa
Learn more and keep up with us here:
contact us via Skype: search for user name: mitchchar

If you would like to partner with us in ministry, you may donate online at:

Saturday, November 7

This really drills home one more  great reason why we are MOVING to Africa:

…we covet your prayers-thank you so very much!


What an exciting journey he has planned for all of us-YOU are included in that journey!—He has a journey for you too!   You know, we had a friend with a huge tapestry hanging on his wall.  We took that tapestry and hung it backwards-it was ugly, and made no sense- the fabrics and threads weaved to and fro and made no pattern or discernable design at all.  It would be garbage.  I liken that to our life- we see tattered threads as they weave about crossing each other here and there.  It makes no sense sometimes.. but here comes the Joy!.. HE sees the other side- He has orchestrated those threads to make something beautiful-and as you flip that tapestry around- an incredible picture of all the right threads in all the right places to make a stunning image of a giant mountain with an eagle soaring high above.   The picture we see is not the whole picture- but we take comfort in knowing that HE knows the real picture-and where each thread needs to be to accomplish the end goal.


WHAT AN AWESOME GOD we have the pleasure to serve!



Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa
Learn more and keep up with us here:
contact us via Skype: search for  user name: mitchchar


Monday, November 2

We were touched deeply in Africa this year. The short story and result : we will be moving there to further ministry efforts on the ground in Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. We hope to arrive in the fall of 2010 as missionaries partnering with a child development organization “Childrens Cup”

We will write more soon- but thought you should know now!

It has been an incredible journey that has brought us this far, and we will continue serving with Bethesda Broadcasting and Mission of Mercy until we leave for the next chapter. We are still passionate about being involved with KSLT, KLMP, KTPT, WPFF, WNLI and HIlls Alive-and will continue to give guidance, direction and vision for that ministry. As well, Mission of Mercy runs deep in our veins, and we are excited about the opportunities happening here-in and around us for Mission of Mercy's growth in changing THOUSANDS of childrens lives every day.--this does not and will not change- we LOVE these ministries-and actually thought we would retire serving here with them-who knows, maybe God will call us back together in the future.

This is an exciting "out of the boat" leap for us. Giving up all that we know, selling it all should be a scary thing.. but OH do we have an inexplicable peace!

We wrestled with God about finances, impact, numbers of people we can help in our current roles… what we have heard back is “I don’t care about your accounting, I care about your obedience- come serve me here”… our response is now- a resounding YES.

Romans 12:1 has been a solid point of reference for us, and we are filled with anticipation to see Him move.

Sunday, November 1

Your need is God's business; it's not your business. Your business is the work of the Kingdom, and when you put your needs over what you're called to do, you'll never do what you're called to do because your need becomes your idol. ~Dr. Renny McLean




Tuesday, October 6


Peace, peace to those far and near- Isaiah 57:19

Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace-Col 3:15

And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus-Phil 4:7

Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way-2Thes:3:16

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you.  I do not give to you as the world gives.  Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid-John 14:27

I will listen to what God the Lord will say; he promises peace to his people, his saints- Psalm 85:8


Tuesday, September 1


Listening to a great new song from Aaron Crider this morning- titled “Change” 


“in a world of sadness, you have shown me laughter.  Through the tears and madness, you have turned my night to day.  You are the Change that I believe in.  You are the life that I am free in.  You are the grace that heals my soul, You are the only hope I know.  You are the Change that I believe in”…. isn’t that great?


I am going to be a bit more transparent than I normally like to here.  I am really having a struggle with being back in the United States.  I have led a number of teams to “The developing world”,  Sri Lanka, Honduras, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, and more… but Swaziland has touched me to the core.  Perhaps it is the relationships with the missionaries, the connection with the people(as they at least have a rudimentary ability to speak English and communicate with the likes of me(I am ignorant and am only able to effectively communicate in one language)), the sickness and disease that permeates their every fiber-yet they do not see it/recognize it(a generation missing, and 20% or more of the kids we played with have HIV, and will quite possibly not be on this earth in a few years)… I don’t know, but it certainly is a struggle here at home- looking at the junk I have purchased, wondering how much this and that would be worth if sold, and questioning yet again my place and purpose.


I do not desire to make rash decisions while feeling this kind of emotion, I know that He is continuing the refining process in my life, and I have been blessed to share something that I am so passionate about with others to get them involved in world missions-be it through sponsoring a child through Mission of Mercy, they themselves becoming missionaries on the front line, or just heightening awareness here at home of desperate need elsewheres.


I know that many of our recent team to Swaziland are experiencing similar thoughts and feelings.  The challenge to myself and anyone else struggling with this is simply:


1 Peter 1:7 These trials are only to test your faith, to show that it is strong and pure. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold--and your faith is far more precious to God than mere gold. So if your faith remains strong after being tried...


Good words indeed.  For now, I will make no rash decisions, and will truly try better to seek Him in the experience of this life He has given me.  Perhaps I have years left of taking groups overseas and meeting the call here at home through Christian radio-touching the lost in our own backyards… perhaps it is time to “GO”… regardless-I need to cling closer and chase after Christ.  In that will be the answer and timing of anything and everything.

Friday, August 28

Processing Swaziland

This recent trip was a powerful experience. I am once again renewed in heart and spirit for what we at BCB do to further the kingdom globally.  I have been a number of places, and have seen a lot of poverty the past few years, but there was something unique about this trip to Swaziland.  I did not see a child with even clean clothes, much less clothes of the proper size… the majority of children had some form of sickness(A-Lot of runny noses, coughs, rashes, ring-worm, etc).. and the sicknesses we did not see: Tuberculosis and HIV+.  


As I looked into the eyes of the children, the reality is this:  1 out of every 5 children we played with, touched, hugged and loved will potentially die in the next 2-3 years.  Around 50% of these children from our pictures have HIV.  But 100% of those children are loved every bit as much as you and I.  Life has just dealt them a circumstance that is the most extreme. 


We found ourselves asking yet again “Why was I born where I was”  “What makes me so special”… the answer: because to whom much is given, much is expected.  We looked at the sadness of the situation in the tiny country of Swaziland, and the few hundred people we saw.  I wonder how much sadness our Father has when He absorbs the pain and strife of the world?


With great sadness however, can come great joy.  I have found that as people go and have their hearts broken- the joy they experience is so much greater too(almost paralleling the deep level of grief).  Perhaps this is what God feels?  As He aches and hurts for our world, He experiences Joy to a heightened level when we respond the way He would if physically present.


I am grateful to be home, but certainly left a large piece of my heart in Africa.  Upon arrival back into the USA, we discovered that our friend Amy went to be with Jesus.  Cancer took her at 49 years old.  Her husband of 26 years is now alone(no children)… I would challenge you today to hug your family, neighbors, runny nosed kids, and everyone around you a bit more…though we have eternity, after seeing what has happened with Amy and Bennett, as well as the loss of the baby in Swaziland- the time we have here is TOO valuable to miss those opportunities.   My personal challenge(heard it somewhere recently-Suzanne-thank you!) is “Be kinder than necessary, because everyone you meet is fighting their own unique challenge today” –all the more reason to “be a sermon” as opposed to “preaching a sermon”.


Glad to be home, glad to get to serve with you in the next year ahead, and glad that He knows and has known every detail.


Acts 1:8 comes directly from our mission statement… if everything we do points to one aspect of that verse- I can only pray that He is glorified.



Tuesday, August 25

Swaziland mission team back in the USA. Now what will they do with all
they have seen?

Saturday, August 22


WHOO HOOO.. the day wrapped with WPFF BIG VBS!!!   The team had an amazing time, and I think the kids did too. (facepainting, balloons, stories and more)  We had donations before we came in the line of shoes, shirts, hats and quilts- all given to those with the most need.  There is still so much need here, and as you can see by the picture of Fran(guy) and Lucky(his sponsored child)-what an emotional draining day.  We had to say our goodbyes to the children today. 


This journey has only just begun- there will be years of understanding and trying to help in any way possible.  Many of the team have already asked how they can help when we get back to the states.  They are going to talk to their friends and churches and see if we can’t get more children sponsored.


Tomorrow it is off to church- and some fun shopping for trinkets and souvenirs.  Monday-we head home.. will leave here at 10am, drive across the border, catch a 6 pm flight out of Johannesburg South Africa, head 11 hours North to Frankfurt, wait a few hours, then 8 hours west to Chicago.  The team will then divide out- many hopping a 4 hour school bus ride back to Green Bay.


The next chapter of this blog is best told by all those that went… Seek them out,,, show GENUINE interest in what they have done and seen.  The hardest part for first time short term missionaries is having family and friends not show interest in something that has rocked their world and changed their hearts.


God bless you!


Until the next trip or event,


I remain at His service….mitch



Vbs has finished up here in Swaziland Africa. Team is off to eat
lunch and wipe their tears.

Friday, August 21

What an amazing day.  We saw HUGE giraffes in the wild, Rhinos, Hippos, and a python in the bush that was just starting to warm up enough to move.  Friday has just wrapped up here in Swaziland.  We played games, held babies, built a soccer field, moved dirt, played circle games(oh those kids can dance-you take turns going into the circle and dancing, then choose the next person)-over 100 kids in each circle. Held babies.. (oh wait, I said that already J ) and more.  The stark picture that was painted this morning about the baby passing away definitely shocked us all to the core, but the HOPE that remains is contagious.  It took the kids to remind us of that.  They snapped us back into reality of His grace and His love with a game called “First John 4” with more dancing and 1 person grabs one person-dances, then they each grab one-dance, they each grab one, etc, etc…


God is really stretching this team.  They have seen more than most teams that go overseas in such a short amount of time.  I believe there will be months, even years of processing it all.  But the Truth still holds-He is the same today, as He was yesterday-and His mercies are new every morning.


Tomorrow it is VBS (facepainting, crafts, games, songs, stories, all wrapped up in 9 booths, and we are preparing for 600+ children)


The pictures you are seeing above all tell their own story- Please pray for the kids and their families today.



Giraffes rhinos. Now kids.

Gods creation is amazing. The team got up at 4:30 this morning. Drove
into the bush. saw giraffes, rhinos, and hippos. Now-back to the
mercy centers to play with the kiddos and finish project work. The
reality of life just set in. We met a baby yesterday, he was very sick
and malnourished. We have to let the team know in about an hour...he
died last night. That is the severity of life here in Swaziland. But
there is hope for thousands of other children because of sponsors
through mission of mercy. I can not process the loss of life in just
24 hours. Oh how it must pain the Father to see His people sad. But I
am sure He has joy having a beautiful child with him.

Thursday, August 20

Lions, impalas, and kids. Oh my

Today-painted murals, built a soccer field, played with kids. Tonight-
chased by an angry African elephant, watched a big ol daddy lion eat
his freshly caught impala, and we ate wildabeast, impala, and
"unknown" bird for dinner. I would say a pretty productive day.

Tomorrow-look for giraffes, zebras, rhinos, and hippos. Then finish
project work and painting. Then prep for Saturdays big vbs!

Wednesday, August 19

Amazing day

--first of all, sorry about the lack of information- internet has been spotty at best.

Oh my, not much else to say but… WOW. We all met our sponsored children today. A powerful experience indeed. These kids have hope because people cared enough to sponsor them. It really is incredible to see what just $30/month can do. Food, Clothing, Education, and Hope that can only be found in Jesus Christ (and OHHH how they know Jesus!)

You are seeing pictures of the team at a picnic with their sponsored children. We brought them KFC, and I have never seen anyone clean meat from a bone like these kids. Most of us just let them have ours too-they needed it so much more than we did(they wanted to take some home for their families). They always seem to put other before themselves.

One little boy wanted to show us how strong he was, so we were obliged to take his picture. :-)

Most of the children in this neighborhood have to walk down to a filthy creek for water. It is about 1/2 mile away from us, and these fortunate kids had a wheelbarrow. The hard part is coming back up the 10% grade back to the house with full water containers.

Suzanne from WPFF/WNLI got to meet WPFF/WNLI Manager Dave Gordons sponsored child, play games and have an icecream cone with him. Infact, all of the team got to partcipate in that fashion with their kids.

There is a difference that we are seeing between those children that are sponsored, and those that just live in the neighborhoods. It is challenging to explain, but you can see Hope in eyes where there is despair in others. Jesus said that the poor will always be with us, I have to wonder if that means "financially poor" or perhaps(as I am coming to learn) it is WE who are poor-"Relationship poor". These neighborhoods know each other, love each other, and defend each other.... On the other hand, I know 1 of my neighbors, and once the garage door goes down-we seem to lock ourselves away in our homes. The poverty they face here in Swaziland can be reversed, and I believe that OURS can be too.

The kids are BEAUTIFUL, and tomorrow brings painting, dancing and playing. We will not be able to update you tomorrow night, but will try again on Friday evening here (Friday morning back in the USA)

GOD BLESS YOU.. Keep the team in your prayers. The emotions have really started surfacing.

Tuesday, August 18

Arrived in Swaziland

Just over 1 hour ago we arrived at the hotel. (hot showers for everyone)! It took quite a bit to get across the border (South Africa/Swaziland).. just a slower system than the developed world. What a beautiful country, and JUST the right team. From 16 to nearly 70 years old, boys, girls, women, men.. and everyone has begun developing friendships the past 48 hours(when you sit next to someone that has not showered for 2 days- they really do become your friend-because you are both too kind to tell the other just how bad they smell :-) )

Just a few pics attached. We stopped for a late lunch on the South African side (very clean, and modern... but tomorrow the team will see the harsh reality and living conditions they have only heard about). We had a 10 hour layover in Frankfurt-so we took everyone out of the airport for a few hours to see the city.

God is already working in hearts.. The anticipation of meeting the sponsored children tomorrow is so thick, you can nearly see it. One thing that never ceases to amaze me- 35 strangers get along incredibly well when the common purpose is being Christ's hands and feet. AMAZING.

More tomorrow- time to eat and get some sleep. (as long as we can get a few minutes of internet connection- we will do our best to get you some amazing stories and pictures) ..

ps-thursday night- a feast for kings(and the team does not know it yet.. shhhhh:-)--- Impalla (not the Chevy model either) and Wildabeast-- YUM!!

In jburg

Landed safe and sound in j-burg. 4 hour bus ride with 35 tired
missionaries and we will be in Swaziland.

Saturday, August 15

Gogo was her name-o

Gogo with our friend Sandra in Swaziland.  Gogo was more interested in figuring out the camera than smiling.  Sandra is an American missionary that has arranged everything on the ground for the team.  Tomorrow morning we begin the journey!


Tuesday, August 11

WPFF & WNLI Mission team to Swaziland

The time has come... the countdown is down to 1 hand (that's 5 days in case you were curious :-)) and the WPFF / WNLI radio team is ready. Painting, digging gardens, building playgrounds, and most importantly-Lovin on kids! We leave Sunday- and by tuesday night, we should have an update here for you.. pictures and all (that is, IF technology cooperates in Swaziland). This radio station believes in Acts 1:8 They are involved in Greenbay, Sturgeon Bay, Appleton (local) they are involved in the U.P. and clear down to Sheboygan(regional) and they are involved 1/2 way around the world. Amazing! Keep tuned here, updates are coming.

WPFF Mission’s team blog

Swaziland here we come.  Feel free to check out below( just some random thoughts from the trip leader, and a few previous trips)  but more importantly:

Check back often starting Tuesday-as we will try to update with pictures and stories from the field!


Monday, August 10

Swaziland this weekend

Where has the time gone? Soon this team will come together and jump the pond to make an impact on children with desperate need. The reality is that these 35 people will have their hearts and minds changed so much, that it may just rock eternity! The proverbial pebble in the pond.

It sure is easy to get comfortable with all of our “stuff” here at home.. for me, it was “oh no, the artwork does not match the sofa”.. as soon as those words left my mouth years ago(after our first mission trip) I realized exactly what I had said. I realized that it was “normal” for me to think that way. I have since adjusted my thinking, but often fall back into those old habits.

This trip will be life changing, as we are working with the Children of Swaziland. The average age there-19, the life expectancy-late 30s. Aids has and continues to take its toll. The media should be broadcasting from there everyday-as there is a generation missing. They have the highest per-capita Aids outbreak of any nation on the planet. Yet we find ourselves enamored with “The Stars”. I appreciated Michael Jacksons music, I watched Farah Fawcet, and loved it when Billy Mays shouted at me to buy his new product, but I am saddened that (I am guilty here, not judging anyone else but myself) we fall at the feet of Hollywood, and my blinders seem to creep in that much more from the peripheral of what is really important and happening all around us. It is so easy for me to sit on the sidelines and watch life go by…do you ever feel this way?

Today is such a precious gift-what if we could change the world? One person at a time? I recently read a great book called “Servolution” what an amazing way to connect with people at home, in our region, and around the world and truly be His hands and feet. As you ponder the injustice in the world, it is easy to become overwhelmed…”there are so many problems, what can I possibly do?”… you CAN change it one person at a time.. maybe the widow down the street that just needs someone to visit with, maybe it’s a handful of teenagers that need a good role model, perhaps it’s breathing life into a community ½ way around the world by sponsoring a child. It doesn’t matter what…it matters that you do. I have heard a lot of great sermons, but only met a few… how about you help me, and I will help you to be a “walking sermon”… and when I fail(and OH YES, I will fail) you can help dust me off and point me back in the right direction, and I will do the same for you!

I have discovered all kinds of poverty. There is “stuff(financial)” poverty, there is “starvation” type poverty, but we suffer from what may be the biggest poverty of all… “Relationship” Poverty. The garage door goes up, the garage door goes down, and we hide in our cocoons until the next day. What will it take to get back to block parties, card parties, neighborhood barbecues, and nurturing relationships right here at home… We have A LOT to learn from “The Third World”… we are NOT rich by any standard.

We leave soon, and will update this blog as regularly as possible with pictures and stories from the huts and homes of Swaziland! Thanks so much for your prayers.

Thursday, July 23

The countdown is on for Swaziland. In 3 weeks our team will all meet up in Chicago go through Frankfurt, to Johannesburg and bus to Manzini.  48 hours later- we will get to see the children.  These kids have hope for tomorrow because of Mission of Mercy and their sponsors.  Many on the team will get to meet their children and families(if they have families).  I am preparing for a very emotional team, as this experience will be life changing!


I am especially looking forward to Vacation Bible School with the kids. The team has coordinated something VERY special for them-I believe they will be talking about it for years!... oh, and face-painting too!

Wednesday, July 1

A picture is worth well over 1000 words.  Rita met her sponsored child in the Dominican Republic… how appropriate that his name is “angel”