mitch & char

mitch & char

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.