mitch & char

mitch & char

Thursday, December 30

Christmas At The CarePoints 2010 Recap

Your gifts and prayers made this possible. Comfort and joy to thousands of kids in Swaziland Africa. ENOJOY!

Tuesday, December 28

2 worlds

Official Swaziland attire as seen daily here in Africa…note the club/stick in one hand… and Cell phone in the other!


Last week(Christmas Eve Day)was Incwala (in “click” walla)…the short explanation- celebration of first fruits . It involves thousands coming together, worshipping and praying to ancestors.  For us-this is a spiritually dark season, we knew that ancestral worship was common, but did not realize (and still do not fully) the detail in which this is engrained in a society.  So…what can we do?  We can pray and ask you to do the same.  This strengthens our resolve at church, CarePoint, and meetings to give the uncompromised message of Christ.  Yes, there is American Culture, there is Swazi Culture…but there IS Jesus Culture-and THAT can be our common ground.

Tuesday, December 21

Christmas post card and highlight of Christmas celebrations

(image too small? click it to enlarge)

Merry Christmas to ALL!!! We mailed a big pile of Christmas cards out from Swaziland 2 weeks when you go to your mailbox in march and get it-just be surprised. It looks like this!

What an incredible season. 18 “Christmas at the CarePoint” celebrations around the country. Children learning all about comfort and joy! (and having fun, a big meal, and more)…SO many stories to tell, but the best was a little girl that commented on her favorite part of the celebration. Not the jumping castle, not the play, not the bbq chicken, not the cake and party, not the singing and dancing, not even the movie….her response “I heard about Jesus”.

We are in awe of what God is allowing us to be part of here in Swaziland…thanks to YOU!

Bless you, thank you, and Merry Christmas!

Sunday, December 19

New Podcast! ALL songs! Teachers and staff, Children, Youth

Last week, all of the Swaziland Cup staff and Missionaries came together, the first song is the result. 2nd song-preschool group from Maphiveni, and the rest- courtesy of Missionary Mark B who recorded several youth groups at the CarePoints. click here to listen: ALL songs! Teachers and staff, Children, Youth (or search itunes for "Children's Cup")

Friday, December 17

Leverage...a video we need your help sharing!

Will you help us by sharing this video to businesses, organizations and churches? With the end of the year quickly approaching, we know that many might be looking for something to give to that will make an eternal difference...

Sunday, December 12

What do you see on that mountain?

I had a friend share this.. seems quite relevant to all we chase after in Life…(thanks Lacy)

The mountain top experience is a great experience, a great encouragement, and how when we are on the mountain top we can see and look towards the next mountain. But how nothing grows on top of a mountain. All the (Growth) plants, etc are growing on the side of the mountain (the steepest part of the climb when climbing a mountain) and in the valley and wilderness in between the mountains, comparing it to our spiritual walk and journeys in life. When the wilderness gets thick and you are having a hard time seeing the trail, know that you are there for a reason and you will reach the next mountain and make it to the top!

I wonder if it is really about being on the next mountain top. Being from Colorado(or at least most recently), I have learned that once you summit one peak-the thing you really see are other peaks-you tend to lose the focus on the small steps, the ones that got you there. Perhaps more reflection on the journey is in order to remember and see what HE has done in our lives to get us where we are now…and then on to see what summit is next…more importantly- what valley and wilderness.

God loved to use mountains. Mt. Sinai, Mt. Caramel, Mt. of Olives, etc--

Deut 33:15 referenced to thank HIM for the chief things of the ancient Mountains....

Saturday, December 4

Swaziland Christmas at the CarePoints 1

December newsletter and update from Swaziland

click image to enlarge:

Hard to believe December is already upon us!  No snow here in Africa, but the spirit of the season is the same!  Just finished the first round of Christmas Celebrations at the CarePoints.


Bless you, thank you so much for all of your prayers and support.  We are SO blessed and grateful!


PS-quick update:  Christina-health is ok / Car-is still in a “shop”-it should be able to be repaired, but will be some time yet. / Girl rescued from abusive grandpa now has a smile the size of TEXAS!!!!


Wednesday, December 1

WHY? - and we were complaining?

“us”- Meetings, coordinating, sorting, electrical outages, water outages, storms, meetings, currency issues, cultural issues…

“She” - 5 years old and was raped this week by a man in the community…


No other words.



Monday, November 29

Youth discovers the power of prayer!

Kudos to Missionary Mark B. for capturing this story;

Nonsikilelo (aka Ziggy) is a 14 year old girl. Her father has died, leaving
her and her seven siblings orphaned. Her mother was without a job. Her main
source of food was found at the CarePoint.
Ziggy has always attended children's church on Sundays, but it never
impacted her. She was coming to the CarePoint for her daily food, but she
was neglecting basic responsibilities. She was misbehaving both at the
CarePoint and at her home, not doing her chores, coming home late, and
disobeying the teachers and her mom.
Since Ziggy started coming to the CarePoint youth group, she's been
changing. She learned about prayer. She then taught that teaching on
prayer to her siblings. Then they all prayed for their mother to get a job.
And God answered their prayers by providing a job for their mother.
Ziggy is now an active member at youth group, often teaching her family and
her peers the lessons that she is learning from youth group and putting them
into practice. She is obedient, willing to serve, and happy all the time
We asked the teacher what was the main reason for Ziggy's change. Her
reply, "She has received Jesus, the real Jesus, because Jesus is the only
One who changes the person. It's not us."
Praise God! Please pray that Jesus would continue to change a whole
generation of youth here in Swaziland, one person at a time.

Beautiful shell - pictures can be deceiving

As we look around Swaziland, everything is green and lush.  Panoramic views abound in all directions.  It truly is a “beautiful” country and quite pleasing to the eye.  As with most things, this wide angle looks better.  As we dig into that landscape we see some of the most abject poverty we have witnessed.  Children with distended tummies and skinny arms due to malnutrition, mud huts with no water or electricity, a generation missing, death, lack of opportunities … hopelessness?.  How can there be such a contrast?  Can people (as defined by their circumstances) see this beauty? Or are they too focused on where/when/if the next meal will be?

Here is the hard pill to swallow for us; people here are generally happy-despite their surroundings.  They are not rushed, not in a hurry, wave and smile, are prayerful of if/when they will have income or food.  Death hurts many here as deeply as it hurts us-perhaps some have been so accustomed to it that they are numb and emotionless-it has been a way of “life” for too long. Given the right “opportunity” (not handout), some here have found great success.  Some would rather not try(just like America-but we have a social system that this country does not).  Many like GiGi, have received great educations, gone on to great employment, and are starting to return the favor to others in their community(she runs a CarePoint on her own, with her own money and cares for 100+ children every day). 

If we think WE can change Swaziland by what WE do here, we are mistaken…if we can help our local friends and partners change Swaziland with opportunities created around them-we will have success…in time.  Perhaps one day-all will see the beauty of this place, duplicate the efforts of those who desire to make change, put an end to HIV, love one another, and have vision beyond their own understanding.   Bheki Themba has that-he is passionate about making sure that there is always a replacement in his career-so that when he moves on, ministry continues and starts to grow itself…true discipleship. Truly seeing the beauty amidst the ashes.

Saturday, November 20

There and Back again - with Thanks

No, it is not from JRR Tolkien.  Our physical journey these past two weeks have taken us around the country of Swaziland, across to Mozambique and over to South Africa.  Our spiritual journey seems to have as many miles and bumps in it too.  Perhaps our lowest low two weeks ago, followed by hundreds of notes and emails of encouragement leading to multiple crests of highs.  Through it all, we see that He is teaching us, showing us, and molding us.  We have come to realize that regardless of circumstance-He has a plan.  We so often doubt and question that plan, and see that if He revealed it all upfront that we could not handle it.  We are seeing piece by piece-and relying on His grace in a new and more profound way than ever.  He is truly involved in all of the details, and does all things well!

We are preparing for Thanksgiving in Africa..our first.  We even found turkey today(a rare and precious commodity here).  30+ friends(who are now all family) will get together, not watch sports, and not go Christmas tree hunting…BUT we will celebrate! 

There is much to be thankful for.  God’s journey for each of our lives will always take us there and back again…and at the end of that- we can always be thankful.

(picture-little guy in Mozambique at Pastor Isaac Williams CarePoint and HPC Moz.  When I question “why me”  I can look to these kids and see how blessed I am-no matter what happens to me)

We know that through the ups and downs, we are not alone, and not the first to experience it.  Psalm 21:1-2-David is rejoicing and saying how great God is.. Psalm 22:1-2-David is questioning why God has left him.   The great news is that God will NEVER forsake us and  NEVER leave us

Tuesday, November 9

Car can be repaired-people can not be replaced.

We have felt SO encouraged these past few days.  Yes, circumstances can certainly appear overwhelming-but does ANY of it surprise God?  NO WAY.  Knowing that and coming to an understanding of actually Believing that is a process.  We see where God’s hand was even in the accident last week.  6inches potentially separated us from being among the living.  The impact point was absorbed mainly by the front left tire,assembly,axel,etc.. (the left side/doors, windows, panels, shocks, will all have to be repaired replaced)—yes, REPAIRED.  We will not have to purchase a new vehicle, and for ¼ the cost of a new car here-we can get this one fixed.  (hoping for a sweet multi-colored car :-))

Cars can be replaced/repaired.. people can not be.  For this we are grateful(although-if Jesus decided to take us both at the same time-AWESOME!!)

From this circumstance we are developing a DEEPER relationship with each other, and more importantly- a profound deepness with the Lord.

We are alive, the location of the accident was yards away from a hospital- doctors were on scene immediately, the lady in the other car has now been released from the hospital, and we are sorting out with them (we have 3rd party insurance-similar to liability in the USA)how to proceed and stay out of court.  The police department(multiple filings, fines, locations) have issued a summons for a court hearing, but we believe it will be canceled.

We are doing well, not just from the accident, but from ALL of the “stuff” that has been going on.  There is a large challenge that we are in-and continues ahead of us.  We will not give the enemy any credit, so will simply say- “God does all things well!” 

We received 100s of emails and notes of encouragement, scripture, and more.  We are SO blessed by SO many.  THANK YOU for your prayer and emotional support in what was a very dark time for us.  The ups and downs of international missions are extreme, and we are encouraged!


Friday, November 5

Praising so the Devil can hear

We are cranking the praise and worship music.  We WILL NOT let the devil win this, we stand strong on Christ, on HIS promises.  He is greater, and HE has a plan! 

SO grateful for friends around the globe offering up their prayers, their friends, their intercessors.  We are really going to TICK off the devil now! 

Tomorrow’s mercies will be new!

pray for us please.

Faith is fading, desperate for your prayers.


Earlier today, we asked for prayers for Christina-she is doing better, but now we ask for ourselves.

Today(we are ok physically-Mitch has a large bump on his head, Char has a stiff back) our car (a 12 year old Toyota Rav4) was totaled here in Swaziland(we have just had it 6 weeks and spent nearly $8000 for it-supply and demand dictates prices here). 


We have been here 2 months, and never felt attacked so much.  Our emotions are spent.  Upon arrival we discover that Children’s Cup has faced the loss of a major donor and multiple CarePoints will have to be closed, and many of the local Swazi staff will have to be let go.  At the same time-we are trying to locate children who have moved due to the governments schooling system-creating issues for the other major organization that funds what Cup does on the ground.  Monumental tasks to say the least.  We are strangers in a strange land, where the culture is so counter to that in the USA-it is indescribable.  3 weeks ago the founder passed away shortly after landing in Johannesburg(was bringing a team with him to Swaziland).  The Africa Director (son in law and daughter to the founder) was forced into high speed to clear everything, arrange for transport of “Pops” and get the family back to the United States.  (pray for them too) This put Mitch in charge of Swaziland, and us absent “soul mate” friends (the Rodgers). 


Systems, procedures, politics, and more that are truly unchartered-along with initial culture shock, and all that went with it.  Lightning storms, power outages, water outages, telecommunication problems, driving on the other side of the road, speaking a different language. To say the least-we felt alone, ignorant, and defeated. 


We know that this is what the enemy is wanting us to feel and see.  We so desperately want to go home, but deep down inside know that we are supposed to be here.  Faith is fading, we hold on by a string.  We know that the only answer is prayer- we need you to pray for us.  Please, we do not understand all that is happening and going on, but we do see that the devil is throwing in a lot of distractions.  We know that he does not want this ministry to continue, to impact children and transform this country.  We are filled with doubt (this we know is not of God), but are being fully transparent with you. 

THIS is YOUR ministry- your prayers and support got us here-YOUR prayers will help keep us here and get us through this storm.  The only thing in our head right now is a song from a card that arrived just yesterday (one of those digital cards) from Mom Bobbi in the USA.  Casting Crowns “Praise you in this storm”.  We so want to praise Him, we are struggling just to utter the words.


Tomorrow we fill out police reports, pay fines, and start looking for transportation (or see if what we have can be repaired…I do not know if/how that could be).  Please do not misunderstand; we are not asking for pity, we are recognizing that we are not able to do this alone.  We are under attack, and do not use those words lightly.  We have no power left within us-it MUST come from our Father.  Please pray.




Wednesday, November 3

Get 10 to give $10 - Christmas for Orphans

"The perfect gift for that someone that has everything!!! Christmas to a child who has nothing!"

Saturday, October 30

You pay how many cattle for a wife? Labolla payments for your wife.

You pay how many cattle for a wife? Labolla payments for your wife. A "SwaziPod" podcast from Swaziland Africa. Karl explains the process of working with a family to gain a wife. Search podcasts in Itunes for "Children's Cup" and subscribe, or subscribe in the above link.

Oct/Nov newsletter from Mitch & Char

Image too small?  Click it to enlarge.  (ps-would love to hear from you-we LONG to have news from the USA-especially about you and your family)


Friday, October 29

Mitch and Char - what Children's Cup is doing in Swaziland

Just a short video update from Swaziland! Newsletter and Podcast coming soon.. ready to learn about Labolla? (how the "dowry" system works here).. gather your cows and get ready-it's coming on this weeks Podcast!

Saturday, October 23

a Social Experiment - Highs and Lows

Despite the desperate situations we see around us, GOD is doing some incredible things.  The local church is growing-and more importantly-getting involved.  Servolution projects coming out of the church and back into the neighborhoods.  Last week, Mitch covered preaching at Healing Place Church Swaziland.  He spoke on "Talents"... and discussed the parable.  At the end of the sermon, a challeng was offered to  both services (around 400 people) to give us their name and i will give them 10 Rand(a small amount of money to us-just under $2, but to many in the church-this would be 2 hours wages)... 86 families signed up to match the $$ with their ability/talent and do something for others.  This week we had someone call each of those families and see what they had done with the money... incredible stories from buying a grandmother bread to helping a neighborhood orphan.  We are(and we pray HE was) proud of many of these people...yes, there are many that would have taken it and put it in their pocket, but there are a few that did something with it.  We believe that there are sparks of fire all around us in Swaziland, and once the wind picks up-there will be a raging fire for Christ.   

On the flip side, this week a 10 year old boy that Children’s cup has been caring for passed away.  At the time of mourning at his homestead house, the grandmother came in and his baby sister had passed.  Yesterday, we rescued a girl from sexual abuse from her “grandfather”.  A perverted old man with HIV… now this girls blood counts are lower-and it is expected that she will also be +. 

The Highs are Higher…and the lows are lower.  The one consistent thing- Jesus.  He is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.  We have that that we can hold on to.  



Monday, October 18

What can we do?

A 14 year old girl was taken in by this elderly couple(not giving name or photo-to keep her protected), because her mom re-married and the new dad was beating her.  One would think-“AHHH, finally someone in Swaziland cares enough to reach out to a young lady, cares enough to show what safety and LOVE look like”…then this utter violation-she was molested by the grandfather figure.  Our hearts break, her trusting nature is destroyed, and a child is left blaming herself.  We are grateful that the truth has now come out, and we are working on getting her into a loving environment, away from those who would harm her.  But-so much damage has been done.  Her innocence stolen.  It may be years of seeing true love, the love of Jesus before she may be able to trust again.  All of the missionaries here are willing to show her that love, and give her the time and attention.  What the enemy intends to use to kill and destroy, we hold on to the promise that GOD intends to turn it for good.  We believe she has a bright future, and one day may be a great leader-and maybe even help others who have experienced what she has had to endure.

This “heaviness” combined with constantly having to watch over your shoulder, taking every precaution to keep a heightened awareness about ourselves, combined with hundreds of stories like above(just happened late last week), with major changes in the leadership of the ministry(the circumstances of “Pops” Dave Ohlerking passing), with still trying to understand a culture and language that confounds us…well, I believe that God has given us more than we can handle….let that sink in a second…yes, I believe HE is giving us more than we can handle.  Otherwise, we might think we could do it ourselves..that that little girl could do it herself...that the ministry could do it itself.  We are forced to rely more heavily on Him than ever before.  It is not easy.  But then again, He did not say it would be easy, He just said GO.

Please pray for her, please pray for the Ohlerking family, Rodgers family, and Children’s cup family, and if you would… please pray for us.  We love and miss you.



Friday, October 8

Inquisitive smile

Look at the sparkle in his eyes.. the grin forming on his face... AMAZING
This shot was taken at the Christmas parties last year(we are gearing up
right now for this year's parties). The Children's Cup goal is to get 5000
kids "sponsored" for the Christmas party this year. $10 provides that child
a wild and fun party, puppet shows, face-painting, jumping castles(the
adults seem to like this too), a special meal, birthday cake and song for
Jesus, a showing of the Jesus film in their native language, games, and an
opportunity to be a child!! Through it all, these little ones are told and
showed that they are valued and loved. OH how far that can go in someone's
This year's theme is "Comfort" (comfort and joy) and piggy backs the dynamic
power camps that just finished up for all of the kids. Imagine the peace,
comfort, and joy THEY will have.
Here is a thought; "Give your friend/family that have everything a gift to a
child who has nothing"
(hey, walmart in the USA must have Christmas stuff in the store-figured we
were right on time)
John 15:11 "I have told you this so that my joy may be in you and that your
joy may be complete."
Isaiah 54:13 "And all your spiritual children shall be disciples taught by
the Lord and obedient to His will, and great shall be the peace and
undisturbed composure of your children."

Sunday, October 3

New Podcast - Praise and worship in Siswatti

HPC (healing place church) here in Mbabane Swaziland with Pastor @benrodgers and an amazing praise and worship team.  Click this link: or visit itunes and search “Children’s Cup” in your podcast section.  Praise, Worship and Prayer from our African friends.  Enjoy! And please let us know your thoughts on this, and future episodes!

Thursday, September 23

2 new podcasts

A series of 2 podcasts with 5 amazing young adults sharing.

Subscribe via itunes.  Search podcasts for “Children’s Cup” or use this link:

God is rocking the youth of Africa!



Just a photo update

Just a few candids from KaKaoza (gah-ko-zah) carepoint.. "Gigi's"

Tuesday, September 21

1st day of Junior High

A few folks have asked what life is like here in Africa as Americans. I do not really know how to put to words what I am feeling. Do you remember when you went to school for the first time, or switched schools? Anticipation, fear, excitement, and a sense of not really know where you belong anymore? I guess that is as close of a comparison as we can find. Just like school, you start to make new friends, you start to “re-learn” how to live. Life goes on with your “old friends” back at their old school, and you feel… alone.
We recognize that our passion is not everyone’s, and what we see and experience is not something folks are just waiting on the edge of their seat to hear/see. Yes, of course-we “lean on God” “Seek Him” more.. .but aren’t those the “gold star answers”??- you know- the ones you always gave your Sunday school teacher for approval?
The glamour of “I’m going to save the world in a week” begins to fade. The relationships that were so close just months ago, seem to change (some even changed before we left-we have coped this way when we knew friends were leaving…sometimes people just do not know how to handle separation, and have to distance themselves-we get that) is painful begin to second guess relationships(and THIS is where we see the enemy working), you begin to second guess every statement, every contact, every lack of contact, and every message.
We are told that the first year in the field is really about God “wrecking” you, and revealing in you the junk that distanced you from Him. I think he has several big cranes swinging at once right now. We know it is/will be good, but are wallowing in self pity for the moment, and I do not enjoy showing this “vulnerability”. But so many amazing people (you) have supported us financially and prayerfully. You get to experience all of the ups, and many of the downs with us.(aren’t you glad you signed on for that? :-) )
Unlike a kid in school, I do NOT want to ever get to a point where I forget my old friendships…I want to continue to do this life with them. I recognize it is vital to our success here, and more selfishly- to me personally.
Thanks for listening, for being a friend, and for letting us “puke” a bit. I promise-we will do our best to not throw up on you often.
That is a glimpse of what this Journey is doing today. Tomorrow, we play with kids-that always seems to make it better/distract us from it all…(sorry that this one is all about “us”.. we will share more stories from the kids soon.)

Saturday, September 18

September Newsletter from Mitch and Char

image too small?  Click it! J


Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa

Psalm 82:3-4 MSG “You're here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless….” 


Saturday, September 11

First Podcast "Hope Found" Nelly's story

We just finished our first podcast interview here in Swaziland.  Nelly is living with HIV and has found HOPE in her circumstances.


1)You can subscribe through Itunes FREE (if you use itunes) by going into the itunes srote, selecting podcasts and searching for “Childrens Cup” (then everytime you update your podcasts(refresh) new episodes will auto load for you).


2)You can go to and subscribe a variety of ways on the lower right of the page, or select the episode and listen there, or download it to listen later. (you can also share with social networks from there).


3)Or go to and stream it from the player on the left hand side.


Please spread the word, as we try to “spread the word” about Swaziland.  Email/tell your friends, ask them to share it, subscribe and follow, and get their feed back. 


This is our first episode.. We hope to publish 2-3 per month.  Please let us know what stories YOU would like us to find/elaborate on.

Wednesday, September 8

It is not always black and white

The people of Swaziland are beautiful.  Striking features, skin that seems to glisten, and responses of “Yes” when asked any question.  It is rude to say no here, even if you do not understand the question.    The pace of life is nearly as opposite as the hemisphere we are now living in.  You can not walk into Lowes and get the plumbing parts you need, and the items on the shelves at the grocery store have few if any common names.  (actually stared at a bottle of “AJAX” for a few minutes as it was the only thing we recognized)

As a “white” person in a foreign land, you are looked at differently, thought of differently, and certainly have different expectations. 

Many Swazi’s will justify theft based on need (not morally wrong to steal if you have need), punctuality is not of high value, and a 15 passenger Khombi(local transport/van) can often hold 25 persons.

Tribal religions have run into the standard Christian faith.  Though many will say that they will not use witchcraft…many will first follow tribal/witch doctors instructions.  Tummy ache?- just tie a tight rope around the child’s waste.

Children are not often valued, many are kicked from their homes, many are orphaned, yet many are cared for by volunteer women in the community that have amazing hearts to reach the lost.  It is not just Black and White, there are no solid rules.    There is a blend here.  Do we as Americans do everything right? The best way?  To many of us, we may think so.   Despite the differences and the disparities, there are local men/women that will care for many children who are not their own. They themselves have been through horrendous circumstances and want to see these kids in a safe environment and not experience what they have. Similar to the US Foster care system, but different(no hoops, no paperwork, just love and care..Certainly not Black and White). 

At the end of the day, we are all fallen.  None of us meet the standard as set.  If you do not know it is wrong, how can it be wrong?  I remember being a child and LEARNING what was wrong and why(and it took multiple “lessons” to learn these things J--ahh, the taste of a bar of soap is not easily forgotten).   This is the big difference we are seeing here in Swaziland.  It is not just a Black and White (skin color OR clearly drawn) issue.  It is much deeper, and I imagine it will take a lifetime to fully understand. 

The Joy?- Jesus gave us all something that IS Black and White.  His word is clear!  We believe that that Word does change people’s lives. It is universal.  We have seen lives changed in the USA, Latin America, Europe, Asia, and it is changing lives in Africa.  Hope has a name, and He is not concerned with color!




Saturday, September 4

In country 48 hours

A very good morning to you(or super late night).  We have been in Swaziland nearly 48 hours now, and are realizing that this is a marathon-not a sprint.  There is a lot to be done(just like back in the states)-and in God’s perfect timing, it will be!


We are seeing that it is not all “black and white” (new blog coming soon at  Even English words here have a different meaning.  Ie. “Now” does not mean NOW… it means-when I get to it.  “Just Now” means I want it now, but will take it when I can get it.  And “Now Now” means NOW.  They have a product called Hair Mayonaise(which just makes us giggle), and Mitch is taller than most folks here.  People have very limp handshakes, and seldom look you in the eye.


We are picking up the language(siSwati) bit by bit already(“dakshana wena” means “I will whoop you”-more of a joke statement that makes them laugh), have gone to the “grocery”store, been shocked by prices (campells soup truly is 5$ US per canJ), been to one of the carepoints(will visit the other 18 on Monday-as it is a national holiday, and will be an easy day to travel around the country), and today… we get to drive for the first time(pretty nervous about that.. especially right hand turns(remember, they drive on the opposite side/steering wheel on the opposite side/stick shift on the opposite side). 


It is beautiful here.  Quite chilly(wearing jackets and even a stocking cap this morning).  Houses have no heat and where we are, they are made of concrete(cold walls).  Spring is in the air though, and the sun quickly burns off the fog of the morning.  Bullfrogs are singing(if you can call it song-maybe “joyfull noises”?)


We will start recording for the podcasts soon, have already interviewed a few of the young Swazi/Zimbabwean interns, as well as a couple of missionaries.  Learning so much about the culture and the problems the children face.  Will you pray for the kids and their families?  Right now is a tumultuous time.  The King has opened the school system for 1-2 grade free (a good thing), but parents are pulling their children out of the projects, moving all over, and shuffling to get their children a spot(limited #) in the schools.  It is creating a few problems with tracking the children, and making sure we are effective in ministry(HIV drugs/followup, meals, etc).  I am seeing the great need of wonderful partners like Joyce Meyer Ministries, US food programs, Baylor U, and Mission of Mercy.  Because of these friends, WE are able to care for the kids!


We want to thank you- your  prayers and support have enabled this journey.  Together, we have a lot to do!


Be well!

(Hambe Gahle  (hahm buh Gath ey)


Monday, August 30

What an awesome God


I will be brief, Our God is an AMAZING God!  Him working through your prayers and support have gotten us here. THANK YOU so very much!  We fly out bright and early tomorrow morning for Swaziland.  One way should be a scary place to be, but we have never been more comfortable knowing that our future is UNCERTAIN.  At peace, filled with gratefulness and gladness, and ready to see Him in a new and exciting way.


Just a reminder- the below links are great ways to get ahold of us/stay connected(our selfish request to have a bit of “home” to stay in front of us!).  The Children’s Cup image/link will tell you all about our partnering ministry, the facebook and twitter logo’s and links will give you a glimpse into life(good and bad) as we social network with our friends, the blogspot image/link will be a great way for us to share a few pictures and tell a few stories of what YOUR prayers and support ate doing in Africa(also, current time, temp, and audio streams), and the Podcast link is going to prayerfully be a growing way for us to have the locals tell you THEIR stories.  (subscribe via itunes by searching “Childrens Cup”, or use the link below to check back often)


PLEASE keep in touch, we covet your prayers, and truly desire to know what we can pray for for you as well!  It really will be vital to our success to keep the familiarity of friends(you are family) alive-even from a short distance.  Thank God for technology!


Sale Gahle- be well!


Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa

Psalm 82:3-4 MSG “You're here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless….”


Wednesday, August 4

Mixed drinks?

Yah, that is kind of what we feel like.  1 part ecstatic, 1 part sadness, 1 part uncertainty, and ½ measure of joy.  As we leave a ministry we absolutely LOVE (Mission of Mercy and Bethesda Christian Broadcasting), to pursue our dream and His dream…it is just a mix.  Shaken, not stirred.  Every once in a while a different ingredient seems to separate and float to the top. We are comforted by His word and Promise.  He has a plan for us… who are we that HE would have a care and plan for us?  We are His beloved-amazing to think of a God that loves you SO much, and knows you by name.  Feeling blessed, unworthy, and oh so much more…. What a mix! (yes, i talked about Jesus and mixed drinks at the same time.. no offense intended)


Monday, August 2

A bit of fun

As we said goodbye to our friends and co-workers here at Mission of Mercy. We were made to “dress the parts” as “prairie missionaries”. Complete with an offering that weighed in at 40lbs. Everyone brought their spare change and we collected $249.20 along with a sore back. You can not tell, but the shirt is VERY wrinkled, and the glasses are as old as Mark Pluimer!

(pics- us, the team, and char giving a healthy "AMEN/HALLELUIAH" to the offering)

Saturday, July 24

July's update from Mitch and Char

Well, the reality is setting in. We are weeks away from moving to Africa.

A number of folks have asked the following:

1)“When are you coming back?”-the answer; We do not know. God put on our hearts to go, He has not shown us when we are/if we are to return (other than short visits).

2)“What exactly will you do there?”-the answer; We will assist Children’s Cup in a variety of ways-oversee a care-point or two(where children come every day for meals, education and medical aid), we will help with marketing, with volunteer women’s ministries, with discipleship classes at local churches, and as “parents” to children who have none.

3)“where will you live?”-the answer; Great question.. for the first few months- we will bunk in and share space with other gracious missionaries, until we can find a place of our own. It will not be a dirt floored mud hut(as that would not be safe at all)

4)“How much more do you need to raise?”-the answer; the needs will never be met…our basic needs are covered, but we are positioning all fundraising to go towards aid of those around us now. If we see an urgent need, it would be great to know that folks have pledged, or already given and funds are there or coming soon. This will save us going back, mailing/emailing letters and asking for help for an emergency situation and losing time-we would much prefer to have access to the funds to meet the needs immediately.

5)“Why Swaziland, there are needs right here at home in the USA?”-the answer; Why not? Yes, there are needs all around us. The Word talks about Judea, Samaria, AND the ends of the earth. We ALL are missionaries-as you read this…YOU are a missionary-you have opportunity to help people everywhere you go. We feel that God wants us to be in Africa…if we don’t go, who will?

6)”What will you eat?”-the answer; Grubs, bugs, and monkey brains(lol-just seeing if you are reading this)… normal foods, lots of fresh fruit/veggies.. they do import beef from South Africa(beef in Swaziland is a status/financial thing-like a bank account here at home). Lots of chicken(or “bird”), and yes, Impalla, WildaBeast and a few exotic things(well, exotic to Americans)

7)”Is it safe?” –the answer; The safest place to be is in the center of God’s will. We have assurance that He will protect us. Of course we will take precautions.

We have been blogging, and have been blessed by the media to have a few stories published. Please keep up at Also, once we arrive in country, we hope to produce audio and video podcasts(you can subscribe through itunes and a variety of ways).. the links to it all are below.

We could not do this without your prayers and financial support. If you have not already begun to support us, would you prayerfully consider how you could make an impact in the lives of the children of Swaziland? (seriously, we are not good at raising funds for ourselves..but realize that this is NOT for us-it is for the children. He called us to go, and it takes an army of prayer warriors and financial supporters to do His work. We are praying for $500/month in pledges that will come in for supplemental funding-to meet those emergency needs, help put kids through school, and all of the other devastating things that the enemy will throw at these beautiful people. We are reminded that what the devil intends to use for harm and to destroy..our GOD can always turn it to good!)

Bless you, and as always- PLEASE let us know how we can be in prayer for you and your family!

Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa

Psalm 82:3-4 MSG “You're here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless….”

Support financially here: -just select our names in the drop down box, or mail payments to Children’s Cup- PO Box 400- Prairieville, LA 70769

For a monthly pledge form click here:

For an EFT or auto monthly payment form click here: (if Credit card- just put the CC info in lieu of checking info)

Rapid City Journal - July 24

First, Mitch Hildebrant had to get past his ego.

As the 36-year-old president of the Bethesda Christian Broadcasting group, Hildebrant had a great job, a good salary, a nice home and all the power and trappings that come with career success in America.

“My ego got in the way at first,” admitted Hildebrant, talking about grappling with the decision that he and his wife, Charlotte, made to become full-time missionaries to Swaziland.

Hildebrant quickly discovered that his ego was no match for God’s plan for his life, however.

In August, the couple will leave for the small African country that has the sad distinction of having the highest HIV/AIDS rates in the world, with about 43 percent of its population now living with the virus.

While there, they will run the Mbabane “care point” for the faith-based organization Children’s Cup International Relief, which provides meals, health care, job training and Christian education for 300,000 orphans in Mozambique, Zambia and Swaziland. The Mbabane care point feeds and educates 7,000 orphaned children daily.

The country, located in southern Africa between Mozambique and South Africa, is the size of Connecticut with a population of about 1 million. 

“We’ve sold everything we own. We’re down to four suitcases between us and we’ve never felt more free,” Hildebrant said.

Or richer, say the couple who will finally see their dreams of parenthood fulfilled, albeit in a different way than they planned.

Infertility dashed the Hildebrants’ hopes of having their own biological children, and the adoption plans they pursued also fell through. But Mitch believes they will help fulfill the Bible’s command to become “earthly fathers to the fatherless” once he assumes his new duties of youth discipleship, training and marketing for Children’s Cup.

“Now, we’re going to have a whole bunch of kids,” he said.

The Hildebrants spent five years leading short-term mission teams to various countries all over the world, but it wasn’t until an August 2009 trip to Swaziland that they felt the pull to stay. During that trip, both of them were having the same spiritual response to the ministry work there.

“One night while we were there, Charlotte said to me, ‘It just feels…’ and I said, ‘… like home here.’ We finished each other’s sentence,” Hildebrant said.

Tears still flow freely for the Hildebrants as they recall a specific child who drew them to Swaziland. One day, they urged a mother with a severely ill infant to bring the baby to the Children’s Cup clinic the next day. That night, the baby died. Death is so common — and the struggle to survive so challenging — that the family didn’t openly mourn the baby’s death.

“There were no tears. Nobody cried for the baby. For them, it was almost like a relief,” said Hildebrant, who feels called to care, and to act, so that other babies won’t die.

“Somebody needs to cry for them; somebody needs to cry for these babies,” he said.

Given the reality of the AIDS epidemic, which has devastated whole generations of the population, the Hildebrants know there is no quick fix to Swaziland’s problems. While much of the country professes Christianity, men who are diagnosed with HIV often seek the counsel of indigenous healers, or witch doctors, who sometimes tell them that having sex with a virgin will heal them of the disease, Hildebrant said. That has led to child molestation issues, as well as the spread of the virus. Long term, only education of the youngest children will lead to lasting improvements in AIDS prevention, he said.

“It’s too late to change the behavior of many of the men, but our hope is to educate the younger generations, beginning with the little boys,” he said. “It will take generations to change.”

Swaziland is one of the few remaining monarchies in Africa. Ruled by King Mswati III, the country practices open polygamy in marriage, which contributes to the HIV/AIDS epidemic. The king is often criticized internationally for his politics and policies, but he has been welcoming of Children’s Cup and its ministry, gifting the charity with 15 acres on which it will build its Dream Center — a job training and Christian discipleship facility.

With people in Swaziland expected to live an average of just 30 years, “it is vital to educate the youth for a sustainable future,” Charlotte said.

Her ministry will be among the women of Mbabane. As a 1990 music major at Black Hills State University in Spearfish, Charlotte will put her musical abilities to work and teach English.

In a place where women are second-class citizens, she knows her own life will change dramatically due to safety concerns.  She will have to curtail her activities — never venturing out alone at night — while in Swaziland.

Charlotte grew up in Rapid City and her mother, Linda Rames, still lives here. Rames admits to having “mixed feelings” about her only child moving to Swaziland, but said she wasn’t surprised by their decision.

“Before they left for Swaziland, I said to them, ‘Now, don’t you get any ideas about moving there.’ But I had a feeling, even then,” she said.

Rames knows her daughter and son-in-law are doing the Lord’s work.

“It was meant to be. The Lord wanted them over there,” she said. “They’re so crazy about kids. They’re going where they belong.”



Wednesday, July 21

Rapid City Journal

Mitch Hildebrant, falls to tears while asking the crowd for offerings from the Main Stage during the 2010 Hills Alive Summer Music Festival at Memorial Park in Rapid City on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The Hildebrants have no return date set.

Charlotte Hildebrant, stops to talk with McKayla Schwahn, left, while walking near the games area, Schwahn is a family friend from church.

Mitch Hildebrant, right, and his wife Charlotte, left, watch Thousand Foot Krutch at the Rapid Fire Stage during the 2010 Hills Alive Summer Music Festival at Memorial Park in Rapid City on Sunday, July 18, 2010. The Hildebrants have a one-way plane ticket to Swaziland and plan to fly out on August 30. They have sold all of their belongings and will leave their current employment to work with "Children's Cup International Relief," which provides care for about 30,000 kids. Specifically, the Hildebrants will work with the Dream Center, which helps children receive meals, healthcare, education and Christian spiritual guidance. (Aaron Rosenblatt/Journal staff)

Tuesday, July 20

Endings mean new beginnings

Ok, random thoughts to follow…

Well, we finished up the last real "official" duty for Bethesda Christian Broadcasting…HILLS ALIVE, celebrating 25 years as the biggest FREE family festival.  Crowds over the 3 days were over 65,000!  Hundreds met Jesus for the first time, hundreds of children were sponsored with MofM, and it was powerful to see and watch Him move.

It was an emotional event for us.  We LOVE the radio ministry, we LOVE seeing what KSLT, KLMP and KTPT The Point do in the Black Hills 24 hours per day, and we LOVE how tangible Hills Alive allows us to be as we represent Christ. 

This is an odd transition for us, leaving things we truly love (BCB and Mission of Mercy) to pursue full time Missions in Swaziland… as this chapter closes, we clutch on to His promises.  We know that (albeit unknown to some degree) new beginnings will quickly be shown to us…for now though, we are filled with a fair amount of sadness. 

We have started our first round of goodbyes :-(.  I don't know how else to compare this, so I will just throw this out there…Babies- after 9 months in the womb; warm, comfortable, content and about to have the only world they know changed completely-uncertain of what is to come, about to see, hear and feel differently.  I guess this is a bit of what we are going through-we know there is something amazing waiting, but the sadness of leaving our comfort, friends, family and more is setting in.

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

use the links on the right side of this page for additional fun ways to keep up with what YOUR prayers and gifts are doing in Swaziland.

Thursday, July 1

2 weeks in country-Brandon King

Our dear friend Brandon has been in Swaziland 2 weeks.. this is his accurate and tough account of what he is seeing/feeling. We are so very proud of this young man!

**disclaimer-this is a tough read, please prepare yourself for hard content**

Today I broke. I witnessed something that I will forever remember and it brings a statistic to reality. Today I was asked to travel with the medical team to the care points to assist in medical exams. What I witnessed broke me. . . While at the first care point the nurses treated many typical cases such as ringworm, worms, diarrhea, coughing ect. Then this one child came in I honestly thought it was a little boy. After hearing what the teacher said I knew that it couldn’t be true. The teacher said, “She has sores in her vagina.” (the child was about 5) The nurse brought her to a side room and examined the sores. The nurse came back and said, “It’s hard to tell but there is a possibility she could be getting abused I’ll need to refer her to a hospital for further examinations.” I started asking many questions of course. Little did I know what I would witness at the following care point about 20 min down the road.

We made it to the next care point. There were kids everywhere absolutely everywhere at this care point. They were playing on the playground equipment, watering the plants in the garden, and some were just waiting for food. Then there was a line waiting to come to clinic. The clinic started just as the last one did same ol same ol. Then it was time to examine the last child. The last child was another suspected abuse victim. (this child was about 7 and there was evidence to believe she was) you could see it all over the child I truly believe that she was getting abused. I wasn’t the only one. The child looked like an abuse and scared to death puppy lost, scared, and jumpy. (I’m just trying to show you how she was acting) The staff had already tried to report it and obviously things haven’t changed. So they are going to try again. Before the child left the nurse prayed over her and then the nurse asked me to pray. For the first time in my life I didn’t know how to pray. I didn’t know what to say. God obliviously saw everything this child was going through. So I prayed a quick prayer over her in tears “God what do I say what can I say. This is your child. And I’m speechless. Be her protector and go home with her since we can not.”

I was broken, confused, and speechless. What do you say? What do you pray? On the bus ride home the nurse could tell I wasn’t ok. So we talked about all we just witnessed. I told her what I was thinking. I told her, “That was my first time I didn’t know how to pray. And I don’t know how to express what I feeling at this moment.” She said, “Brandon you’re feeling the way you’re supposed to feel. And the moment you don’t feel there is a problem. When I first got here and witness these very things I broke down. I broke down in the middle of a care point weeping. I wanted to know, “where was God in the middle of this injustice.” And God spoke to me and taught me to trust Him. Brandon you have to trust that God is the Father to the fatherless and He is the Hope to the hopeless weather we see it or not. He is all that He is weather we see it or not.” I believe all she said but I’m still broken and speechless.

Monday, June 28


Well Sarah palin saw Russia from her house. We see Haiti from our hotel. Beautiful, desperate, wonderful, sad. We finished the construction and painting portions of the trip. Tomorrow; KIDSsssss. Whoooohoooooo!!!

Mitch-el-team leader-o

Thursday, June 24

Day 1 on the ground

A small pickup game of baseball, soccer, even basketball as we arrived at the Field of Dreams.  The inside of the building is where we started today, and will continue tomorrow.  Sanding the concrete walls to smooth them out and prep them for paint(sandpaper and stones rubbed on the walls)

The start of an emotional journey for many of our team.  We toured a low income area next to a different Child Development center.  Small homes stacked ontop of each other, stray wires pulled from the local electrical line, raw sewage running down the streets, and smiles on children’s faces as wide as can be.  The children and their families have already made an impact on our team.  Questions of “how do they stay so clean” “why are they so happy-they have nothing” “can I take this one home” J have been popping up all day.

Child sponsorship is making a HUGE difference here in the Dominican Republic.  We have seen these past 4 years, neighborhoods transformed, our church partners growing and seeing record attendances, and children who are no longer malnourished and are now doing well in school.  You may not be able to solve the whole problem, but YOU can make a difference in the life of ONE child.  ONE CHILD MATTERS!!


Mitch –Team Leader- Mission DR2010

Wednesday, June 23

Mission team on the ground

Full of smiles in the Dominican Republic!



Mitch – Team leader

Team in Miami. Ready to head out. 2 folks had flight delays and will catch up tomorrow. One has some motion sickness, but all are well and ready to serve! Dominican republic here we come. Follow along at

Mitch - team leader

Friday, June 18

June update

click image to enlarge

Mitch and Charlotte Hildebrant
Missionaries to Swaziland Africa

Psalm 82:3-4 MSG “You're here to defend the defenseless, to make sure that underdogs get a fair break; Your job is to stand up for the powerless….”

Wednesday, June 16

Kenya and back again- a short recap from Mitch-Team Leader

From Nairobi to Malindi- all for the kids.
With views of Mt. Kilamanjaro, impala, camels, and giraffes abounded. Kenya is truly a magical place. Mud huts, Acacia trees, and of course; Cashew Nut trees- what a diversity! We traveled the country with views of mud huts, zebras, horrendous slums, seas of waste running down the streets, and stunningly beautiful children. Hundreds of them, all with hope for a brighter future.
If you mention the name Barak Obama in Kenya- you are instantly famous, if you mention the name Jesus Christ-a thunderous applause will break out. Powerfully beautiful people in abject circumstances-open and ready to hear a message of mercy, hope and love. As always, we are the ones that benefit from such a trip-Americans come with much-and give some... Kenyans come with little-and gave us all. The receptions(entire villages of hundreds in their best attire come running, hundreds of children in their uniforms/tshirts reciting verses and singing songs), the tribal ceremonies, the countless gifts they poured out on us.. Warm Fanta soda, hand crafted baskets, chairs and of course ceremonial robes.
We had hundreds of pounds of tools that we carried-and needed none. Everything was done with our hands, buckets of water and sand carried on heads, and mud mixed by hand and foot to make the walls of the CDC's(Child Development Centers) Once again we are reminded that ONE CHILD does MATTER! Every child that receives education now has dreams, every child that is sponsored now has love, and every child matters!
The Mzungu's are home.. (white faces in Swahili)
Mitch-Team Leader