mitch & char

mitch & char

Wednesday, March 21

As I sit in the Hospital...

What an exciting few days! Admitted to the hospital with a "hot" appendix yesterday(you know it's hot when it has Jlo sunglasses, bling and designer jeans). With the intent for surgery this morning.
Health care in swaziland looks a bit different from back in the states. As I watched a small herd of ants(ok colony, but herd sounds cooler) march in single file across the floor and down the hall. My roomates; 1 snoring like a champ and one rustling on the 2inch foam bed covered in plastic. Nurses continued their rounds and check on us. (the door only closes if you slam it-it may be too big for the frame). My fever has spiked a bit and I have a pretty good soar throat. It is now 6am Thursday-and I should be getting a consult soon on surgery (he can do laptoscopic...but...they don't have tools here in swazi-so it would be the old school "cut em and gut em". Lol)
Odd-very little pain in my abdomen for the first time in many days. Healing? I believe God can if He wants! Here is the real life struggle: He can and He has proven it over and over in written testimony in the Bible...but do we really believe He will? Easy to say yes, but if you know me-you know I don't like the gold star answers from Sunday school. I would rather be real and talk about heart issues. Do I trust that He would do this in my body?
Some amazing things have happened over night-and perhaps this is a small part of why I got to stay at this little hospital.
Radiologist is from Zambia-been here for 9months and knows no one outside of work and does not speak the language. Tried going to church-but hers was in siswatti. (guess who is now going to come to church with us).
Benjamin from Zimbabwe is a nurse and friend here. He has volunteered to help Cup one day a week for the past 8 months to do mobile clinics at the CarePoints-had a good chance to visit with him. And just now I met elizabeth from Nigeria. She is VERY shy and goes to the 7th day Adventist church(but has not been going because she is uncomfortable in crowds and feels like folks stare at her.) She is very sweet, but even after a 20minute conversation-still could not look me in the eyes. She has been here 2 years and goes to work and goes home...that's it. We talked about Gods plan for us to have community and that I am and know alot of other "misfits" here in swaziland-that she is not alone. She says she will come to HPC young adults connect class and stop in to the cup offices to visit and possibly volunteer.
Interesting how God can slow us down for special appointments.
I remain prayerful that shock and awe will flood this place when the doctor says-there is nothing-go home. But I remain at complete peace if surgery is the only option.
I am sad however, chars 45th birthday is tomorrow and we had finally planned a trip to get away for 3 days with good friends. We were blessed with a trip to Victoria Falls in north west Zimbabwe/Zambia. We were really looking forward to getting away for a bit, and I was really wanting to celebrate my awesome wife in that way.
Who knows-we may still get to go. Perhaps the Lord was just asking/reminding us that we must always be willing to surrender and lay anything down. I so often fail at tests like that. I often have a whole lot of "I" "I" "I". And not enough of "Him"

I wait expectantly on the doc, lab results, and the plan. As of last night doc said if swelling goes down we don't need emergency surgery, but will need to schedule surgery.
Will keep you posted. But for now-will you pray for those that He put in my path?
Thanks for all the prayers and support. Love ya like a granny loves her dentures!


Tuesday, March 13

Under the tree-it takes a child

I sat under the tree for some time today.  Remember, this is how most business as it pertains to communities and CarePoints is handled.  Elders, Leaders and Chiefs from the community gather and talk.  Today was another typical day.  Quite stunning with blue skys, distant clouds above the mountains and a cool breeze in the shade of the tree.  A group of people speaking a language that we continue to only learn small pieces of (but thanks to my friend Njabulo-we knew every word). 

This community has a problem reminiscent of the USAs old west family feuds.  One brother and wife no longer get along with the other brother and his wife.  It has created division and they do not speak about rumors of missing food that was provided for the children.  (note-the food is not missing).  So today as I sat in the cool, a child peaking around the edge of the tree at me(has not been a white presence in this area) trying to see if I was like her, we all talked.  I could see her rub her arm and look at mine.  So I picked her up(yup, right in the middle of the meeting) and held her while we all talked.  Eventually the issues surfaced and we were able to clear the air between the community and set a great plan to move forward with construction on their kitchen and covered structure for classes and clubs. 

Amidst the chatter, the little one began to doze off.  She had LOTS of boogers(didn’t expect me to say that did youJ  lol).  So the snoring began.  At first it was just the rhythmic breathing in/out and then it got louder.  To the point that it caught all of our attention and she sounded a bit like a backfiring chainsaw.  As soon as the community leaders saw this-the chuckles began and the one that had the issue softened he said lets start over and any issue from the past is gone, we have a clean slate.  I watched as healing began.  All because a little one was at the center.  The commonality for the community and for me?the kids. 

They saw this and realized that the only hurt that would come of their conflict would be the hurt inflicted on their very own children.  So they move on and work towards mending their relationships for the sake of the one and more importantly; The One.  We prayed together and all departed knowing we were on the same level and page.  God is changing hearts in Africa through the children.  The impact a child has on lives is profound.  Perhaps that is why He said Let the children come to me

Friday, March 2

Pray for Swaziland and Mozambique - Tropical Storm Irina

We just received this message from the US Embassy…Cyclone due to make landfall soon.  3rd one this year-resulting in major flooding.  With the corn harvest fast approaching, this could be devastating to the country.


Tropical Cyclone Irina


This message is to advise you that Tropical Cyclone Irina, currently in the Mozambican Channel, is forecast by several weather models to make landfall in southern Mozambique on Sunday or Monday as a tropical storm.  Although forecasts are not in full agreement at this time, it seems likely that Swaziland, southern Mozambique and parts of South Africa will be receiving a large amount of rain in the coming days.  The storm is expected to be mostly a rain event, but with any tropical storm, strong or even damaging winds may accompany the storm.


You should take appropriate precautions to protect yourself from the storm, including staying away from rivers and other potential flood zones.  You should follow all official government instructions regarding storm preparations.  All U.S. citizens in flood affected areas should safeguard their travel documents (i.e., U.S. passport, birth certificate, picture IDs, etc.) by placing them in a secure, waterproof container (plastic bag) and carrying them at all times.  U.S. citizens are reminded to keep friends and family in the United States apprised of your whereabouts.  We encourage you to monitor weather reports regularly because the projected path of a cyclone may change rapidly.


For information on the cyclone’s current track see the following websites:


UN World Metrological Organization:

Thursday, March 1

A day in the life

(mitch here) Usually I tend to have to spend more time than I like in the Cup offices.  Did you know that missionary life is not just playing with awesome kids? (although, that is a perk from time to time-but there never seems to be enough time).  My normal days are filled with meetings, government paperwork, accounting audits, report filing, counseling, coordinating, covering for absent leadership, driving (physically and pushing the staff to do more and more), cheer leading, making sure we are compliant with the government.. etc etc. (by now-you MUST be asleep).  Why do I do all this yucky American style business stuff?... read on.

But Thursdays are the days I LOVE.  The days that make all of the details and processes of overseeing a business/ministry worth it.

6:30am- up and at it

7:00am-leave the house

8am-devotionals with the leadership team at the office

8:20am-sort out directions for the day, make sure bills paid, staff has questions, etc

9:00am-Go to Mbekelweni for Global Leadership Academy- worship and pray with the interns

10:00am-Teach on personal finance and business from a biblical perspective(these young adults are thirsty for any knowledge they can glean)

11:30am-Visit a CarePoint-meet with bomake(women that volunteer and cook)-bring juice and cookies, meet with teachers(staff that serve our kids every day), talk about ways to do things differently, better.  Needs, wants, etc.  Pray, encourage, and then… a good 30 minutes of rolling in the dirt playing with kids!  Teach the kids a simple lesson.. grab a plant and talk about the vine and the branches, if I pulled it out of the ground when I arrived(which I did) it is already withered.  Simple, practical lesson.

1:30pm-Visit another CarePoint-repeat above, talk about school fees, shoes and assistance. Feed kiddos a big healthy meal, roll in the dirt with kids-sing some songs, play a few games(in the circle)-practice siSwati with the kids- they laugh as the Malungu(white guy) Malume(uncle) tries…then we hug for a good 10 minutes.  Remind them that Jesus loves them, and have them recite a verse by memory.

3:00pm-meet with a government office (have had 8 appointments since November, and conveniently each time they forget to tell me it is canceled…or decide to not come out of their office)

4:00pm-meet with directors of IANF(I am not forgotten) see how our HIV positive orphans are doing, what we need, pray, share success stories, challenges, loss-determine next steps and direction

5:00pm- siSwati lessons(I still can not figure this language out---too many clicks, grunts and spits I guess)

6:00pm- meet a group of awesome missionaries for a special meal (we eat out around once a week)-tonight- it is Chinese(sort of).  Where we get to debrief about ministry, lives and love.

8:00pm-home to shower and plan for Friday, catch up on work missed by being out of the office (lol)

9:30pm-hug a pillow and fall asleep(hopefully, this week Char is in Johannesburg for a worship conference with Jesus Culture)

There you have it- a day in the life.. (my preferred day of the week)