mitch & char

mitch & char

Monday, November 28

You saw the pictures, now walk with me through a Christmas at the Carepoint Celebration

So far nearly 1000 children in Swaziland have experienced a Christmas Celebration at their neighborhood CarePoint.  We still have over 5000 more children to bring a celebration to. Each CarePoint is taking on its own flavor, and they are all OH so sweet. 


Walk with me through a Christmas Celebration.


I got there at 9am, I wanted to be early and I did not want to stay at my house.  I don’t like being at my house.  There was a group of people all wearing the same shirts.  They had music playing.  They were dancing and were so happy.  They ran between the multiple colored giant jumping castles, across the lot and passed the tents to hug me and walk me up to the tarps spread across the ground.  There are two tents in the yard this year, and a big waterslide with soapy suds.  The interns, teachers and missionaries invited me to sit down and put a colored yarn on my wrist.  This yarn was the same as all of my other friends.  We are all 9 years old.


They put on a really neat skit about the shepherds and what they saw when Jesus was born, and how they felt happy to know that God was with them.  Then it was like a real movie-the PUPPETS came out and performed for us!  We broke up into our groups and started with the fish pond.  I got a homemade lollipop when I fished.  They told me I had become a fisher of men!  Right beside me my friends were getting their faces painted so I asked Karen to make me a lion because Daniel and the Lion are my favorite story.


A bell rang and we rushed to the next station.  DANCING!  Xolile taught us how to dance together and we all did the same moves.  My little sister stayed in the preschool area and played the whole time.  I saw her when I walked through the classroom to the craft area.  Zama had such a big smile, she was there and gave me markers to color a small circle with a picture of Jesus, and his mom and dad.  It said “GOD IS WITH ME”.  I used red, green, yellow and blue and walked over to Charlotte.  She took my drawing and put it in some machine.  I was SO surprised, out came a button with my drawing in it!  She pinned it on my shirt.  I have never made a button before.  I am so excited to take it home.


On my way to the jumping castle, I looked across the field and saw my cousin.  He is 14 and was with his friends under another tent.  They were playing games and learning about God being with them.  The missionary said they were playing “Minute to win it” games-whatever that means.  I know he is excited; they gave him a bible.  It is his first bible; I know his family will be happy.


My friends and I got in the castle and jumped so high.  Philani told us to think about Jesus and his trip up to heaven.  I closed my eyes and imagined going there.  As I finished and put my shoes on, I smelt something cooking.  Zinty and Alice were by the cooking structure with the bomake(women).  They had lunch ready for me.  They gave me 3 big pieces of fish and a small loaf of bread.  I remember hearing about how Jesus fed a lot of people with fish and bread.  I don’t get fish very often, it was so good!


My tummy was full, so I ran over to the water slide.  We were all so excited, I have never had so much fun.  Sandra told me that Jesus walked on water and that He was there when Peter started to walk on water too.


Then Nelly gathered all of us together.  Danny said there were over 400 of us at my CarePoint.  We sat down and Mduduzi and Stephen shot off fireworks!  I have never seen fireworks before.  They scared me at first, but they were so pretty.  I looked to the other side of the tent and auntie Grace was carrying out a HUGE birthday cake and we all sang happy birthday to Jesus.  It didn’t have candles it had these bright sticks that Njabulo said were called sparklers.  They made me happy.  We all ate cake together and it had frosting too.  It was so good and sweet. 


I thought the day was over, but then Sizwe lined us up.  Teacher Zanele and the missionaries handed me and my friends a balloon that said “God is with ME”, and then they gave me a gift too.  I got a facecloth, a bar of soap and a pretty necklace. 


I know that after today, no matter what happens to me, no matter what my uncle does to me, no matter what happens to my grandma, no matter what, that GOD is with me.  He loves me and I love him.


“She” is Phindile, “She” is Bulelo, “She” is lindiwe, “She” is every child in Africa. “She” knows that there is a God that loves her and is always with her.  “She” knows this because someone gave her the gift of a Christmas at her CarePoint.  “She” experienced hope in the midst of her hurt.  “She” was surrounded by people that loved her for who she is.  “She” experienced the joy that only God can bring.  “She” represents the hope that is found when a message is planted deep into a heart of a child. “She” will one day be a world changer because YOU gave.  The catalyst for change…was “YOU”.  Your help, your prayers, your support, your gift equips us to give her hope. 

We still have thousands of children to bring Christmas to here in Africa.  Will you help us show one more girl that she is valued and “God is with her”, show one more boy that he has a purpose and “God is with Him”  Will you be the one that helps us write the next story?

Saturday, November 26

Christmas At The CarePoints is HERE!

In the next 3 weeks, over 6000 children will hear and understand the message
that GOD IS WITH THEM!!! It all started today with 2 simultaneous parties
at New Village and Lagoba!

Sunday, November 20

Merry Christmas!

Just seemed like time to say it. Though we miss the snow, family and
friends, we take GREAT comfort in knowing that the SEASON is the same. We
all will get to stop, pause, and reflect on the birth of ONE thing we have
in common: The Birth of a Savior.

Thursday, November 17

Will you bring Christmas to me?

-1/2 of my friends have HIV, but I have hope. Will you bring Christmas to
-My dad left us, and my mom passed away, but I have hope. Will you bring
Christmas to me?
-Christmas would be sweet!
-God is with me and I have comfort. Will you give me a Christmas
-Just to have a safe and fun place to go.will you bring Christmas to me?

$10 at to send an African kid to a Christmas
Celebration they will never forget!

Wednesday, November 16

Missing the USA's DMV

Oh yah, you read it correctly. The hour or two wait at the DMV sounds mighty good right now (laughing as I type)

So, my friend, be thankful-it could always take longer. I know, let me give you an example;

On Monday night you go to the police station to register to put your name on the list for Tuesday.
Tuesday morning you park in a soccer field "just there" from the police station and wait. About an hour or two later a man come out, reminds you that you are in his country-so he will give the directions in siswati. Everyone has a number and then you all(100 other cars with you) shuffle around to park in order of your number. Wait...then get a form to fill out. Wait...2 guys come and verify your form(you must redo it at least once), then they glance at your chassis and engine number-write them down illegibly(it is good to ask for a rewrite now-or later you will have to redo this whole step) hand you the signed form where you then van walk up to the police station for "clearance". As you enter the dark and grimy halls of the station to speak with someone for the clearance-the queu(line) continues to grow. Once you start getting help they tell you that you need a copy of your work permit.
Jump out of line, run home, get the permit info and return to the station. Stand in line and after a while-receive a stamped police clearance. (pay 50 emalengeni)
By now it is getting on in the day- and you will have to do the next steps tomorrow.
Wednesday-a 30 minute drive to Matsapha(town) to go to the CTA(transit authority?) this is where they determine the road worthiness of your vehicle. There is a line(with several big trucks). By asking questions and parking the vehicle in the line-discover you need a form(in duplicate) and 35 emalengeni. Pay the fee fill out the form(after you beg, borrow, steal a pen)(pens seem to be precious commodities here). Sit in queu for a while and pull in to the warehouse. Left blinker, right blinker, tooter(horn)-thumbs up. Park the ca outside and...stand in line for paper to be processed(hand written and stamped clearance). Phew-done!
Oops not yet, go to revenue office (not at the same location)to file the "bluebook"(ownership document). She rifles through the forms and says "where is your tax clearance" (really a good question) my response. "where would you like it to be?". We chuckle and she directs me down the road to the swazi revenue authority. They request my graded tax number(phew-it is on my swazi license-so I don't have to go further than my pocket). And says "you owe 18 emalengeni, go to that window to pay(points "just there" at the window). Another line to wait in, get to window to pay-she collects money and says to go to next window for clearance, line, wait, cleared at next window. Whooohooo. Oops-don't forget to go back to first line and window to get the clearance authorized. (at this point, I have made many new friends-all going through the experience together).
Sent back to revenue office to file. As the thumbs back thru the paperwork I finally get a 1/2 smile from her by making silly jokes. Stamp, stamp and "35 emalengeni" and she hands mr the forms back.

Now the vehicle is approved, worthy, ready, and finalized.

Now you know!(insert smile and a whole lot of laughter) This, along with the current rate of $5.50 unleaded gas make up two minor differences from the USA today.

Thursday, November 10

shocked **caution pg 13+ content**

Something that happens all too often.  I am leaving out details/names but wanted you to see the deep dark secrets and struggles of reaching a generation of youth.


6 yr old girl shows up at a friends house.  He is 8 years old.  She says “lets play house house” (this is a “game” that children play here-they live in confined spaces and see the adults around them having sex-so they imitate this behavior…it breaks our hearts every day).  He says “what is house house” .  The 6 year old explains that they should be naked and lay on each other and move back and forth.


WOW right?  Here is where we were devastated.  They were caught “in the act” and when the 6 yr old girl was asked why she would do this. Her response was “My uncle does this to me every morning and afternoon, he is 9 years old and lives with us”.  She did not think or know that there was anything wrong with it.


This is just 1 of the thousands of stories that go untold here in Swaziland.   We remain shocked.  At the core of all we are doing-we are trying to share with these beautiful kids what God’s plan is in their life.  They do not have to mimic or repeat these behaviors-but even before that-we must show them that they have a purpose, design and plan.  That they are valued and their body is a temple.  Education at such a basic level…a level that I have taken for granted for sure. 


So where is the joy in the above story?-well, we are able to work with a few more kids and teach them about a different way to live, what their purpose is.  This gives us an open door to have our discipleship and medical team speak with and education a family and a community.  We do not take lightly what happens, but are grateful that God allows people in the ministry to speak into lives.  We pray for change and that what we share will “stick”…join us.

Tuesday, November 1

Update and Newsletter from Mitch and Char

Thanks again for all you do for us.  We continue to be amazed at the Lord’s provision and direction for the ministries here in Swaziland and beyond.


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