mitch & char

mitch & char

Monday, October 29

update and amazing story:

Thanks so much for allowing us to be part of the below story(picture attached-story from our missionary nurse- Jessie(she is amazing by the way)).


We are back in the USA for a short season(as I type this, Hurricane sandy is dumping a lot of rain on us in Pennsylvania).  We are attending a missionary “Critical Care” 2 week course here-believing it will help us process the things that have occurred this year, help us with anger and resentment focused towards the surgeon, and further equip us to be more effective in ministry with staff and new missionaries that come to the field under our direction.  God is GOOD and He Does GOOD!


For the privacy and protection of this child we have changed her name to Lulu.


Lulu is a 15-year old girl who has faced a lifetime of sorrow in her young life. Lulu’s mom died when she was only 3 years old from AIDS leaving her with the same life threatening virus that is taking over the small country of Swaziland.


Surrounded by family, Lulu was lovingly cared for by her father and step mom. At times she would also stay with her mother’s side of the family. Lulu could feel a divide between the two sides of the families and it began to take its toll on her. When she was cared for by her stepmom she had access to a Children’s Cup carepoint that provided a daily meal, Bible club, and transport every month to get her HIV medications. She grew strong and found support at home to take her medicine properly. When she went to stay with her mother’s side of the family, they said that her and her mom where bewitched.


No disease, no virus…

but that her mother died from being bewitched

and no amount of medical care would save her from death.

She too was bewitched like her mom.


Lulu lost hope, and stopped taking her life sustaining medication.


She became very sick and lost lots of weight.

She was so thin and weak she had to be admitted to the hospital to be given special medicine and food to try to save her life. Three American pastors on a Children’s Cup trip accompanied the medical team to visit her in the hospital one cold Saturday afternoon.


Lulu, a skeleton with skin on, sat alone on the side of the bed with a spoonful of rice in her hands. Face gaunt and sunken in, you could see every bone in her body. When she saw us enter her ward, she began to wail.


With tears streaming down her sunken cheeks, a cry rose from deep within her soul,


For our fifteen minute visit this is all she would say, Jesus. She called out to Jesus.


Distraught, we sat at her side, rubbing her back, wiping her tears, and trying to comfort her.

A lady in the bed next to her said only one other person had visited that day.


Unable to comfort her, we turned to the Great Comforter.

We prayed over her for God’s peace, presence, and healing to be known to her.

We left with our hearts heavy and burdened with what we had just seen.


I can say, with all honesty, that those of us there were wrecked and laid awake at night praying for this girl who called out to Jesus. Unsure if she was going to make the weekend, we returned a few days later to the hospital ward.


Laying in bed was Lulu with fuller cheeks, clear eyes, and a smile on her lips.

Carrying a full conversation in English, her second language, she expressed how good it was to see us again. Sitting on the side of the bed with more strength, she remembered our visit on that life-altering Saturday.


Hope was reignited in her eyes.


In the following days we watched the Lord burden and direct people in the care of Lulu.

With her family, doctors from the hospital, Children’s Cup medical team, and teachers at the care point, Lulu’s future is filled with love, support, and hope.

We continue to walk forward watching God orchestrate her care.

In her hopelessness Lulu heart’s cry was Jesus.

Jesus answered her cry and made His Presence known.


“From the bottom of the pit,


I cried out to You,

And when I begged You to listen to my cry,

You heard.

You answered me and told me not to be afraid.

“You came to my rescue, Lord, and saved my life.”

Lamentations 3:55-58 GNT



God Bless you, we hope to see you soon!


Thursday, October 11

The voice of God and a dad that gives gifts

(tj and me-I am the one with the name tag)


If you ever read what I write, you know that I wear my heart on my sleeve and show my deepest of deep thoughts (vulnerable).  Am I afraid of getting hurt-Sure, who isn’t.  But maybe, just maybe in some of my words, someone will relate and draw closer to God.  To HIM be all the glory!  This may just be the New Testament church of Social Media :-)


I remember when I was young(and even to this day), my father loved to buy us things.  The atrocious Blue and Black Nike sneakers I just had to have, McDonalds when he went away for a board meeting(we lived an hour from the closest fast food restaurant), and extravagant gifts at Christmas.  Dad shows love through his generous heart and giving. 


Last night we went to Church in a rural area (RVC Mbekelweni) with many from the community, a team from the usa, and the orphans from our I Am Not Forgotten home.  TJ(who has always stolen my heart) was there, and once again came running up, holding my hand and saying Babe (bah-bay, means “dad”) Mitch, come sit with me.  How could I not?  So ½ way through the service we were holding hands and I was thinking about all of the things I could give her and do for her.  Then out of the longing in my heart to adopt her legally, God spoke to me:


“I like to give gifts too, and this longing is natural.  You love this girl because SHE loves back.  You desire her to be yours because she loves well.  You want to give her opportunity and love-just like I want to do for all people(including you mitch). Now you see my heart and feel my burden deeper”


Socked me in the gut as I wiped the tears and hugged TJ one last time until our return in February next year


It is easy to love someone(especially kids) when they love back so freely.  But where I often fail is what about those that don’t love back, does that change God’s view of them?  No way.


I long to have more of both of my father’s Love.  One who knit me together in my mother’s womb and one who has honored my mom for 48 years of marriage. 


The longing is still there to have “children of our own”, and though we reference that all of these kids are ours(thousands of boogery nosed little brown faces), there is something special about all of them, but we are drawn and want to do even more to those that Love us back.  hmmmm-think me and God need to have further discussions.


Mitch  <><


Thursday, October 4

Anger as a Christian - yet another moment of my weakness

Anger as a Christian- Yet another moment of my weakness


(i brag on my weakness-2Corinthians 12:7-10... because of these surpassingly great revelations. Therefore, in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. 8 Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.)


Yup, I have A LOT of flaws, and today- my anger is at an all time high.  (mitch here).  Got a letter from Mbabane Clinic that was as harsh of a collection letter as I have ever seen.  Referencing that they have contacted us previously(which is a lie) and that we are no longer able to receive services from them because of an outstanding $50 bill.  (not that I would ever seek services from them again.  You may recall, that March 21 when I went in for my routine appendectomy-this is where the saga of human error began.  A “tumor” removed from my intestines, laporotomy, and all of the complications that landed me in Hospital in South Africa for 5 months… a “tumor” that was mis-diagnosed.  It was diverticulitis and could have been treated with diet and medicine-NOT a knife!)


So today, I walked in those doors for the first time since march.  Heart pounding, and trying to compress the steam coming from my ears.  Angina/panic bringing pains to my chest as I think about all that has transpired due to human error.  And I shared with them(as gently as I could-as I am still trying to be a kind Christian example)-that we have not received anything from them, and 3 weeks ago my wife came in and verified that we owe nothing.  That there seems to be some conflicting problems with their accounting methods.  (all along, I was praying that I would not see or be seen by the doctor(butcher) that started this process-and THANKFUL that I have not seen him yet).


A flippant apology regarding the billing came and then the news that there are still several outstanding bills that they are waiting on insurance to pay.  I informed them that the insurance will not pay, as it capped out in May due to the South African hospital claims.  So he asked me for my number so he can call me with details as pertaining to outstanding bills-at which point, I politely directed him to HIS document that has my name and number already printed on it.


I admit, I am a sinful human, and I am struggling with some deep anger.  I did not see the Doctor, and walked out of the hospital only to break down into tears as the pain and emotion came flooding back to me.  I am tired of re-living the experience, the daily reminder by the giant gaping wound in my stomach, the urine collection system sticking out of my back and strapped to my leg, the Colostomy pouch glued to my side to collect the waste from my intestines, the Skin graft donor area that has yet to heal and requires 4-5 daily treatments of lotions/cremes.  The morning routine of wound changes and bandaging for showers.  What used to take 5 minutes now takes an hour. 


I know all of the right Christian responses, but I so desperately want to confront and complain.  To share how hurt I am, for them to genuinely apologize, to “hear” me…I know that I have to own my behavior, and am trying to take my thoughts captive, but I am week, and pray that God will give me the strength to process and deal with this. 


I am reminded of the pain and torment our Lord went through when He bought my sin.  What I have gone through and continue to-does nothing to compare with the gift He has given me, the price He paid.  I realize that my struggle first went through His sovereign hands.  He knows, and He understands, and He grieves with me.


May my openness in sharing real life and struggles help someone else that is struggling today.  I know that I have a personal Savior that loves me and gets me, and is ok with me when I get angry.   You do too!


For today and every day- His grace is Sufficient!

Monday, October 1

Update from Africa

Greetings, we pray you are keeping well, and experiencing God moving in your

Image too small? Click to enlarge.

Great verses to ponder, ministry growth opportunity as well as our USA visit
schedule. We will update more frequently during January and February's
surgeries and follow-ups via FaceBook, should you like to stay involved.

Ps-we are looking at assembling a team to come serve with us next year.
Early June or mid/late August- please let us know if you have serious
interest. We have NO details(cost, exact dates, etc), but if the Lord is
calling you, trust us, HE will sort out all of that on your behalf.