mitch & char

mitch & char

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)