mitch & char

mitch & char

Friday, December 27

2013 to 2014 with Mitch and Char in Africa (+playlist)



I know, it is so easy to just pass over and not read-especially something this lengthy…we get that, but may we ask a favor?  Please can you read this and see what your prayers and support are equipping?-we think you will be encouraged!  5 minutes of your time (includes the video)…

Hello and Nearly HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Hooray for new beginnings!!... so glad we have a new beginning in Christ every minute of every day! (2 Corinthians 5:17 / Ephesians 2:12-13)

Here is a video we shot to share a little with you about 2013 and as we look to 2014:  as well as some “meat” for you to swallow below.

We want you to understand what you are helping us in doing in ministry and the clarity of focus the Lord has given to us (hence the detail), as well as how you can be involved! (it is year end, and if you need to blow some dough for tax purposes, we are happy to put it to work .)

As missionaries in Southern Africa, we desire to encourage and strengthen the body of Christ in love. To make Him known in all ways.

Here are the 5 points of focus we are pressing forward with to accomplish that:
Ministry house- safe and comfortable place for regional missionaries to recharge, for new missionaries to transition and short term teams and groups that come to serve (Hebrews 13:1-3  “Let love for your fellow believers continue AND be a fixed practice with you “entertain strangers””)
How can you help?
- Pray for these people – rest, strength, comfort, etc
Children/youth “kingdom centers” in partnership with local churches- in community by community. Equipping children and widows to know about their loving father, receive meals, biblical teaching, skills exposure, clubs, business industry introductions and educational support/tutoring.  Providing a way for people in community to have Godly dignity (take ownership and pride in a program they help create) in their lives. (Prov 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it”)
How can you help?
- we need first few years of operating funds.  (Buildings to be built, staff to hire, infrastructure, gardens prepared, etc)A gradual step down of finances after a season as the community takes each project over and we become overseers.  Upfront capital resulting in decreasing need for long-term foreign aid.
Young adult and pastoral training-equipping youth leaders and pastors with solid biblical teaching and applications through schools of ministry and discipleship at our home/compound and regionally in poverty stricken townships. (Jeremiah 3:15 “I will give you shepherds after my own heart, who will feed you with knowledge and understanding”)
How can you help?
-Pray that we reach those that HE wants us to reach, that they are receptive to the true messages of the Gospel
-Pastors and leader training center to be built; infrastructure, equipment, $45,000. This will build a 7 day a week multipurpose facility for scheduled training for all partner churches-sustainable after construction by each partner church monthly donation.
-sponsor a 2014 pastor or youth leader for a year of schooling.  One intensive night each week for a year(100 teachings).  $100 per student per year. (covers tuition, expenses in travel, scholarship, handouts, materials, etc). 2014 will yield 98 discipleship leaders ready to duplicate themselves in their community in 2015;
-58 pastors in Nhlazatshe,(Partnership with Emoyeni SA)
-25 youth in Mahushu,
-15 Afrikaaners in Nelspruit.(Partnership with Emoyeni SA)
Compassion ministries-food and goods delivered to widows and orphans in townships-opening door for prayer and expression of a fathers love and connection with local church and pastors for ongoing support. Identifying competent individuals and connecting to micro finance projects to care for selves financially.(James 1:27 “…visit orphans and widows in their affliction”)
How can you help?
-Pray for these precious people- their circumstances are beyond our imagination.
-Sponsor a food basket parcel.  Staple foods and household items $50 each family -one time gift (corn meal, beans, oil, soaps, etc)
Love EVERY person we have contact with ( John 4:16-“…God is love, and the one who resides in love resides in God, and God resides in him”)
How can you help?
-Pray that the Lord will give us the grace to show His face to all we come in contact with, that we would always and only respond in love.

We are a bit idealistic and continue to believe that exposing people at our home to orphans and widows, working with the local church, feeding and educating children and caring for widows will result in growing self-equipping and self-sustaining individuals and communities.  By discipling them with understanding and relevant saving knowledge and understanding of grace and love of the Father, that they will be Kingdom focused communities, that in turn will change their neighboring communities in years ahead- thereby duplicating our efforts and decreasing the need of our involvement.  Freeing us up to start the models over again and again in varying communities.  Spark to flame!

Bless you, thank you for praying for and sending us.

Mitch and Char

P.S. -  Supporting our ministry is easy!  The fastest way is to donate online:  www.WorldOutreach.org/donations -- and select Mitch & Charlotte Hildebrant from the list.  You can also set up automatic monthly Gifts with your credit card if you choose the "Monthly" option.  Or simply mail your check to: World OutreachMinistries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Mitch & Charlotte Hildebrant #280.(if you elect to designate your giving, just send us a FB message or email on how you desire your gift to be utilized in the above ways)-We assure you 100% accountability and that your gift(regardless of designation) will be used to fulfill the needs as we see in the above vision.

Monday, December 23

A new year reminder about our tongues

Ever wonder why you have conflict with and just can't groove with some people?  Family squabbles, friendships divided, churches attacking each other?


I pray your Christmas has NO conflict, but I know that often times; familiarity breeds contempt (1cor 11) (even amongst card carrying bible believing Christians)…I know that I have been prone to frustration with people close to me from time to time, and have all too often expressed it verbally and outwardly.


We have to have the mindset of Christ (and this is where I fail miserably every day).  I read Philippians 2:1-11…slowly and prayerfully…"others better than you..not your interests…Christ's equality with God…humble…humble…exalted"  (notice how humility and humbleness have to come before there is any exalting?)


It's hard eh(the Canadian in me is coming out)?  Truly taking this on…I mean, we all want to see ourselves at the top, see our flags flown, compare ourselves to others, redefine true success, and place our identity in things other than Christ, after all, that IS what the world is telling us and showing us right?


In 1 Corinthians, Paul jumps to the point and addresses quarrels on "who" people say they belong to.


I am learning that the "issues", "frustrations" and "disappointments" I have in others are 100% fleshly. We are SO good at creating division. ..Especially in the "kingdom of brothers and sisters" we have on this earth.  I wonder, just wonder IF we looked at EVERY situation and interaction through Kingdom(true Kingdom) eyes, and filtered out our "fleshly responses and attitudes" how blissful it would be, and how free the Holy Spirit would be to flow and do what he does?  Unity, Goal, Purpose, Passion.


As you prepare to enter 2014, (what so many consider a clean slate, a fresh beginning) may you take to heart 1 Cor 13:13…"There are three things that will endure-faith, hope, and love-and the greatest of these is love."  (and KNOW that on January 2, if you blow it- Christ gives you this same fresh start each and every minute you don't have to wait until January 1 2015 to "try" again)


Strive to keep the peace with all around you, before you jump on the negative bandwagon.(and I am guilty of this all to often-it's so easy to join the "against "that" camp")…


Remember, if you are on the giving end of chastisement, judgment, and condemnation…Proverbs 21:23 "Watch your words and hold your tongue; save yourself grief"


and if you by chance are on the receiving end of someone else's rant, frustration, or gossip…Proverbs 19:11 "It is to your glory to overlook offense"

Value those around you, show them, love them…TELL them.  God bless you as you face a new season.

Sunday, December 22

What do you want for Christmas this year?

Revelation 4 shares briefly a glimpse of heaven. A human account and attempt to explain an inexplicable glimpse of a heaven that can not be comprehended by our minds. It's what we all want...eventually.

In my 40 years, I have ran from attempted Tamil attack in Sri Lanka
Ate dimsum in Hong Kong, walked the streets of Belgium and drank overpriced water in Frankfurt, been to all states in the union,(except Connecticut), drove my first tractor at age 7, was president of a company, drank the best fresh ground coffee in Ethiopia and squished mud through my toes in Kenya. Been Coast to coast in Honduras, entered Haiti and ate Pizza Hut in Dominican Republic. Road the Zambezi, saw wild elephants in Zambia, pet a lion in Zimbabwe. Saw Niagara and Victoria falls-truly a wonder of the world.
Lived in the last monarchy in Africa(Swaziland), Sweat in Senegal and Sudan. Preached in Mexico and Jamaica, snorkeled in the Bahamas. Almost met Jesus due to disease in Africa. Swam in both sides of the Indian Ocean, bounced in a jumping castle in South Africa. Climbed a Mayan ruin. Held a dying baby in Swaziland. Married a beautiful woman. Saw people meet Jesus for the first time and recommit for the 70th time. Rejoiced at baptisms and the significance of the decision. Held my newborn healthy niece, ate crocodile and alligator, danced in New Orleans, took in the summer solstice in Alaska and walked on black sand beaches in Hawaii.

But nothing on this earth compares to what waits for us. Oh heaven come. What a gift.

There are many that don't understand who Jesus is or What His hope for their lives is... I pray they will listen to the small voice that is calling them and experience a life of eternity that is beyond our imagination. Beyond any earthly adventure, sight or experience.

This is what I want for Christmas. I want more people to experience the hope and joy I have. To have inexplicable peace in life that can only come from one source. To have their names written in a book of life. Now THAT would be a great Christmas Gift. And I believe we can give it to others this year. If you and I listen and obey to whatever it is that God is asking of us; Maybe it's that quiet neighbor you haven't met, or that weirdo from the office. Perhaps the lady in front of you at walmart? Have you shared eternity with them?

This Christmas we pray you are blessed and you experience His joy and peace like never before. This Christmas we pray you will share that gift with everyone He brings into your path.

You don't have to be a "missionary" to have a "mission field". You ARE a missionary and your fields are ripe. Let's get to it this Christmas. Give away the best Gift!

Merry Christmas dear friends.

Wednesday, December 11

12 ways to celebrate

Merry Christmas! (English)

Khisimusi lomuhle! (Kiss-ee-moose-ee Low-Moo-Schlay)(SiSwati)

Gese├źnde Kersfees! ((clear throat)-es-ean-duh cass-fears)(Afrikaans)


Sing with us!!


On the twelfth day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.

12 elephants trampling

11 kids a singing

10 churches praising

9 Kudu Prancing

8 faces painted

7 babies cuddled

6 orphans loved on


5 zebra stripes (bah duhm duhm)


4 silly shirts

3 street lions

2 African bros

And a God who loves us un-con-dit-ional------ly


Merry Christmas dear friends!

Friday, December 6

Good company promotes good morals

The bible says: 1 Corinthians 15:33 Do not be deceived: "Bad company ruins good morals." 
- So Good company must promote good morals!!...There are those in life that make us better...

Feeling pretty blessed indeed!  If you know me you know i don't celebrate my birthday (actually, i just don't like the attention).  So i try to keep it a normal and typical business as usual kind of day

A few months ago i had a conversation with a young Ugandan man.  Brilliant guy, very intelligent, great english and more.  He was "Good Company".  He landed in South Africa through a series of unfortunate events and broken promises.  Ready to give up on his ministry dream and try to get back to Uganda.

We spoke briefly that day and the next he gave me a drawing with a story on the creation of the world(void space, dove, waters) and a personal testimony and note on the bottom.  It brought me to tears.  a few items written :  "Mitch, You motivated me with your words and i felt something new that day, a word of God for me- from above through you, it increased my faith,i want to do that for others if god can show me how, for it is my vision"

I have saved this paper for months and look at it every so often.  It is good to have reminders in ministry.  

It disappeared 2 weeks ago...i  was sad/concerned as this scrap piece of paper was truly a treasure to me.  It showed back up today...matted and framed.  That amazing wife of mine knew and took action-and now has presented me with my 40th birthday gift.  Now safely preserved and proudly hanging on my wall as a testimony of God's goodness in a young mans life.  

Here we are months later, and this young man has now planted a church and is caring for 150 underprivileged children.  Gideon, I am SO proud of you, I believe that God has a brilliant future for you, I am SO blessed to get to do ministry with you. You didn't know it, but your gifts meaning is deeper than the paper, mat and frame.  As I turn 40- my HEART is full.  THANK YOU.


Thursday, December 5

Sins distance

Psalm 103:12 He has removed our sins as far from us
    as the east is from the west.

We love the blend and passion of people we are privileged to do life with here in Africa.  All unique personalities performing their part of the Body(without all it's parts, it does not function).  

Dear friends came over from Swaziland for Thanksgiving.  In that mix was our buddy Mark, wife Kay and Baby(mitch) Jadon.  (ok, i only call him mitch, cuz i am on a mission to get someone to name their child "Mitch".. lol, and i was CLOSE with baby jadon)  Mark is brilliant at small group discipleship and leads a large leadership and discipleship academy in Swaziland.

We were sitting around visiting and (i LOVE the way this guy thinks), we were talking about Sin (cuz that's what missionaries do- all conversations involve biblical basics... (if you believe this, you have WAY too high of an opinion of us). Anyway, Mark got a little twinkle in his eye and said.  (paraphrased) "I love in Psalms where it talks about God's removal of our sin and it illustrates east to west.  It doesn't say North to South... look at a globe.. you can only go so far north and you round the top and head south again.. but east and west have NO end.  go west from africa- hit the usa-west from there-hit asia-west again-europe/africa-west again- usa.. it just keeps going-NO END.  God could have chosen to cast our sins north to south, but HE chose to completely and permanently removed us from our Sin.  How cool is that!

Mark- what a fantastic illustration, and one that i can not wait to put a whole study around.  Definately a message that EVERYONE should hear this CHRISTmas!


Tuesday, December 3

How quickly we forget our trials and return to old ways

1 Thes 3:3 (TEB) ... None of you should turn back because of these persecutions. You yourselves know that such persecutions are part of God's will for us.

hmm.. doesn't sound too cool does it?  God wants us to have persecutions and trials?  Yup, sure does.  (the "Gold star explanation"-so we experience His grace and goodness all the more-but only a few people "get that") I speak on some authority on the subject, but have to confess to you... after the trial, it is SO easy to return to old ways.  I don't know about you, but just 1 year later (short of my physical scars and bulging belly)-one might never know what 2012 brought into our lives.  My memory of the entire event is skewed.  I know i was crazy sick, and it took 13 surgeries to fix me, and lost a year of "life", was in a coma, almost died a few times, etc...  Much of what happened, i don't even remember-as that is the side effects of the narcotics they had me on.  That which i do remember was contrived in my mind whilst in a coma(and that is the scary and dark stuff that i really want to forget).  Yet, today is just another day, i have gone back to my old ways of life.  
So many people think that missionaries are these amazing examples of Christ in the modern day.  Let me burst your bubble RIGHT NOW- THAT is SOOOO not true.  We simply followed the path He had for us, just like we pray you are doing now.  Neither is easier or harder than the other.  Ok, bubble popped?  Yup, we are pretty normal and human, we watch movies(sometimes they have bad language), we are frustrated, sad, and get angry.  (sound like you?).  OK, enough rabbit trailing.  I am writing about returning to our old ways.

Christ talks about "the new self" in colossians and ephesians, and for me, that is always a struggle.  My "New" selves(yes i made that plural) are always short lived it seems.  Something happens in life around me, to me, with me- and it brings about change... but old habits .. OLD habits creep back up so swiftly.  I do not want to be one that dwells on the hardship, but truly want to be one that relishes in the newness and keeps it new.  I DON'T have the answer to that.

Was fumbling through DVD's last night, and found a white, blank labeled disc.  hmm, what is this?  put it in and it was my dear lovely friend Pastor Ron from our home church in South Dakota, Elva Frye(musician and missionary), and my mom and dad... it was the video from a benefit concert that i did not know existed(barely recall the news of the concert).  As the emotion blasted me like a jack hammer, i could do nothing but weep.  And not the cheesy little bit of tears.. the UGLY cry kind of weep where you contort your face and a lump so large is in your throat you can't swallow.  How quickly we forget what we have been through and return to "life as normal".  I thank God for this nugget of reminder through video as a Joshua 4 moment- a STONE of remembrance... perhaps that is what it is all about.. as we get back to our old ways- look back at the stones and remember God's AMAZING faithfulness.  I find myself SO loving my dear friends and family back home...this doused with a touch of homesickness makes for a bit of an emotional fella (and now pushing 220 lbs(i need to lose some weight)-this is quite a thing to see).  I wish the stones of remembrance were in front of us instead of behind us- so we are forced to keep that on the forefront of our minds

I have not told you lately- I LOVE YOU, I AM SO GLAD GOD BROUGHT YOU INTO OUR LIVES, WE ARE BETTER BECAUSE OF YOU!  Please forgive us for forgetting that from time to time.

Thanks for being in this Journey with us, we are grateful to be in yours.

Monday, December 2

Amazed? oh yah- must be a God thing

Ever have those moments where you go... Huh?  What?  What just happened here?  The vastness of God should allow fur us to NEVER be surprised, but yet the diminutive size of our intellect always makes for an exciting reaction.

As we look to transition from Children's Cup towards a more hands on and deeper ministry effort here in Africa, we find ourselves praying that God would give us HIS vision for what is to be accomplished.  We believe that deep discipleship is the major focus of this effort(hence the schools of ministry we have started).  Along with that, we see a vast need for "In community By community" care of widows and orphans.  We don't exactly know what that will look like, but are excited to see what He ordains.  We are still VERY busy covering and tending to all details Children's Cup until the new leadership can arrive in country(prayerfully by mid February, as we gave 6 month notice and will transition 31 march), then we will devote every effort into transferring all with excellence, THEN we can focus on our community projects(though we are already doing site visits and exploring where God would have those efforts start).  
The schools just could not wait- These people are HUNGRY for the living God, and how can one possibly say- "Yes, i know, but i'm just too busy"?  (BUSY= Being Under Satans Yoke). 

So in our quiet and prayer time, we have been asking the Lord to reveal what that would look like.   We stand in AWE!.   We had NO expectation of having a team of people to work with that feel the same way about ministry as we do... lets fly the flag of Christ, nothing more, nothing less!... so, check this out.(deliberately being a big vague on names, as we and they all know-it is more about Who we follow than who we are)

As we formulate a way forward for maximizing resources and impact, God brought together this week:

D & J -South Africans who lived in the USA ( their ministry is a siswati word for "In the Spirit")- teaching pastors and working together with School of Ministries. and Young adult and youth 3-4 day intensive "camps". There is NO ONE i have ever met that exudes grace and love like these two.   Along with them come Zimbabwean T & V, pastor and wife.  He loves working with young adults and she is brilliant with children.

J & K -Americans with a Swazi ministry(remember, the people we serve here are all siswati, even though we are in South Africa)- "K" is incredibly gifted at women's rural ministries and connecting in a heart level.  "J" is great with young boys (former scout master)

D & B -Americans with a ministry about being hands and feet.  "D" is a highly competent multi tasker with great vision and the ability to tend to detail.  "B" is brilliant at children's education programs.

CT-she and her husband, as local South Africans, are very connected and part of the reason we believe God planted deep within us a vision to have community and country care for itself.  She is a fantastic educator in the premier school of this province.  We are better people having her and her generous husband in our lives(they showed us that South Africa Can!)

B & S -Zimbabweans who LOVE the Lord and are incredbily connected.  They understand ministry that must self sustain after a season, and have been around the block a few times(20+ years of ministry in this part of the world).  "B" is all about accountability, and "S" tends to the detail.  Powerful couple. 

Then, there is us... M & C.  Other than being smoking hot, "C" is amazing with children, music, coordination, and supporting "M".  I believe that i am a detailed visionary, the Lord shows me what He wants, and has equipped me to carry it out by involving others.  We don't "own" a thing (including people) and just want Christ Glorified.  We just want to Love people well, and train them up to care for those around them.

Of course, as we look to transition away from Children's Cup, we will maintain our relationships with Pastor Richard and Gideon, Pastors Jele, Mnisi, Daniel, Joyce, Fikile, Selby, Chris and Maxwell, David, Thuli and Many others.

We are thrilled to see where the Lord leads, but in awe of the "team" He is putting together and the timing of it.  Now we just need someone experienced in micro finance businesses and gardening, and we KNOW He is going to provide that in due season.

Next step- Teams!- INVOLVING YOU!!.. please would you talk to your church about sending a small team(or combining churches, friends, groups) and come serve with us?  No matter what your gifting and talent, we have learned that ALL are valuable on the mission field.. that includes YOU!

Friday, November 22

1000 pair!

(image too small?  click to enlarge)
Newsletter out early (to avoid getting caught up in the black Friday sales fliers) J

Sunday, November 3

perceptions are others realities - a cultural lesson

wow, was blown away this week at the "perceptions" of the local black people(sorry if you are offended by that term, no offense intended...here in Africa, there are whites, blacks and coloreds (mixed, indian, other)).

Was delivering food and firewood this past week and training a new delivery driver to take over that task.  (he is a brilliant young man who LOVES the Lord).  Along the way we picked up another man.  The vehicle is a 2 seater pickup(we call them Bakkie's), so i crawled in the back end with the food.  The men were very uncomfortable with this (they are both black...i'm color blind, so i didnt notice)

Up and down the highways and dirt trails we went.  The wind in my face(and on a 100* day-that felt pretty good), working on my tan and waving at onlookers.  I couldn't understand why people were laughing, pointing and shouting at others to look.

I asked my two friends at the end of the day "Why were people so shocked".  

(here is where my heart hurt...whether true or not-this IS the perception here-and therefore their reality)-They said "White people do not ride in the back.  They drive, if they have a pet dog-it sits in the passenger seat and the blacks ride in the back...we are not good enough to sit where the dog sits"

Apartheid (racial division) is "official" over here, but a remnant remains.  

I was told that what i did was shocking to people(in a good way) and was a sermon without any words...hmmm, isn't it true that some of the best sermons we have all "heard" used no words.

I LOVE these people, and i am so glad to be here and serve with them, we really believe that part of our call to be here is to bridge a gap between color, and involve people in each other's lives... Lord may it be!  


Thursday, October 31

Fwd: Seasons of Change

(pics below) and Newsletter attached too!

The explanation: 


Wanted to take a minute and say THANK YOU for all you have done and continue to do for us, we see great things happening through Christ in now our 4th year here in Africa-and we could not do it without you. 


The MOST important thing you can do for us now and always is Prayer.  Prayer changes things, and we are SO grateful to be included in your conversations with the Father!


Our role with Children's Cup as they grow wider, has been primarily administrative.  We feel the Lord is leading us a slightly different direction to narrow our focus to go deeper with a smaller number of children. We believe that Children's Cup will grow to hundreds of projects.  We hear the Lord asking us to re-focus our efforts and days on select numbers in a deeper way in lieu of dynamic expansion management.  We are changing our focus to go deeper with smaller groups of children(2-3 groups of 100 to start) to create self-sustainable community based projects, equip them, hand them back to community(with oversight and accountability going forward) and then start additional projects.  


We are also passionate about equipping and training  pastors and leaders-and this has birthed our school of ministry and discipleship(now underway). We are trying to better duplicate ourselves to stand the test of time. 


This means that we will no longer be affiliated with Children's Cup and their ministries.  


Over the upcoming months, we will be assisting the new leadership of Children's Cup in a smooth and effective transition to ensure that the ministries continue and grow. (we are heavily invested in seeing this great work continue) 


This is opening a door for us to change the way our friends and family give financially.  If you support us financially, may we impose yet again on you?  We would be blessed to continue our partnership with you, and if you would, will you please prayerfully consider continuing or adding us by contacting Children's Cup at info@childrenscup.org and cease your giving there and then go to https://www.worldoutreach.org/ (select donate and our names) and set it up afresh?   (if you don't financially support the ministry efforts we undertake, would you prayerfully consider it at www.worldoutreach.org ?)


So sorry to burden you with extra tasks, we assure you that it will not be in vain.  By making this change, it equips us to be more proactive with the people we identify, and to build a strong long lasting network for change.  We are still serving the very same people group(the Swazi and Zulu poverty stricken), but now with a clearer focus on what the Lord is asking of us.


Thanks so much for your friendship, love and support.  We SO appreciate you and never want you to feel that we are taking advantage.


Thanks again, love you, miss you- and HOPE you will consider coming to Africa to serve alongside us!

 

M n C


P.S. -  Supporting our ministry is easy!  The fastest way is to donate online:  www.WorldOutreach.org/donations -- and select Mitch & Charlotte Hildebrant from the list.  You can also set up automatic monthly Gifts with your credit card if you choose the "Monthly" option.  Or simply mail your check to: World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Mitch & Charlotte Hildebrant #280.


(praying with an ill man, kids eating lunch, youth leaders event(pizza, bibles and a movie), new donated used tires for daycare kids to play on, Tent crusade, )

   





Tuesday, October 15

No longer a prostitute

Wanted to share this with you! (a full update on ministry will come soon :-))

We have just finished 2 weeks of nightly tent crusade in Mganduzweni.  This community is hungry for a church that loves people regardless of their backgrounds or current sins.  This past Sunday was the first Sunday of "launching" the church.  We anticipated that by the end of the crusade we might see 50 adults coming...we were amazed to see over 100 adults and 150 children by night 5.

We had powerful times of prayer, messages, worship and ministry.  

On night 9...SHE came.  She came forward in the service and publicly repented.  She had had a client each night previous to this night.  She said she wanted to leave that lifestyle behind, focus on her children and trust God to take care of her. (NOT an easy decision when you have NO other income source).  She said "I am NO LONGER A PROSTITUTE!"

Pastor Richard is fathering her now. (she is maybe 25 years old, and has 2 children that we know of). Followup is critical in cases like this, and the church is committed to make sure she has what she needs.

This is the fruit of your prayers and support.  THIS is one more reason we are where we are.  She needed Jesus to break off some seriously big chains and like a strand of thread-he snapped them off for her.  We love it when people have an encounter with the relational and loving Jesus-the meet-er of all our needs.

One more mother to now love and guide her children!  Success.

We are believing that this is just the start for this community.  Witch Doctors, Ancestral worshipers, blood cleansers and more WILL be coming to Christ soon as the church reaches out to the lost and hurting.

 thanks so much for letting us be part of this.

M n C

Tuesday, October 8

in awe of His awesome drawing power

We met a man some time ago when we purchased the pickup truck here in South Africa.  He spoke about his creator and how he loved people-and really sounded like a "christian that GOT IT".  He truly lives that way too.  He was gifted at customer service and followthrough, and every promise he made, he kept.  This is a concept that is NOT common in this part of the world, so we spoke with the dealership owner and said how pleased we were with him and that 100% because of him is why we bought from that dealership.  The owner was amazed as it is equally not common for great service to be recognized. 

We have seen our "friend" multiple times sense, and everytime greeted with a smile and offer of coffee and time spent.  

Today we were negotiating on a newer deliver truck for the ministry as we continue to grow and employ a full time driver- of course, we went back to our friend.  He said that our speaking with the manager and staying with the dealership and now coming back again for another vehicle has assisted with prompted the manger to give him a promotion to run the entire front end of the dealership. As they want to duplicate him in the rest of the staff.  He said "i have some leave coming up and would LOVE to take a few days with you and go out and see and be part of all you are doing.  You have loved me as a christian...EVEN THOUGH I AM MUSLIM". And i want to understand why you are different from my past experiences and why you do what you are doing to help leaders and children.

Blown away at the Holy Spirit's drawing power to reach the least and lost.  We are now on our knees praising ABBA for what HE is about to do- we are believing that this man will find freedom in Christ soon!  Pray with us wont you?

Sunday, September 29

Only 3 people had bibles...then I lifted my shirt to show my beautiful scar

What an incredible week. I don't know that I have felt this "alive" in a long time.
This week we started a church plant by way of giant rented tent-revival and crusade style. Nightly devices in an un-reached community. They are so hungry for the truth of the Gospel.
I was introduced as the "preacher" for the night by my dear friend Pastor Richard(who we are planting the church with) from Mganduzweni. He said "you all know that these kind of people don't come this deep into our community, especially late at night"...let me translate that for you to sink in a bit...whites don't come err because it's not safe.
I thanked him and stepped across the dirt floor. It had been quite warm during the day and we haven't seen rain in months. The dust was hanging in the air from the dancing and worship that took place for the hour and a half prior(oh how we love worship here). I greeted them all in my best Siswati and apologized that I could not preach in their language. They were gracious and accommodating (as we have found this amazing culture to be). I said I was here to share a real life story of struggle and triumph and that I am here protected by Psalm 91(hopefully you are looking that up right now...go ahead, I will wait for you)...I saw them reach for their bibles. There were 4 men, 65 women and nearly 100 children in attendance this 4th night of the crusade.
Only 3 people had bibles, and they were a tattered mess. People hungry for the Word and clinging on to every breath a "Pastor" breathes. No wonder we see such abuse from pulpits in Africa-no one is able to connect to The Lord directly through His word.
I spoke about my testimony of the past year. I spoke from the third person, so no one knew I was speaking about myself...just a guy that loved The Lord and had a horrible experience. I spoke showing how God was there every step of the way and His word says He promises to fight on our behalf, that the Victory is ALWAYS His! That whomever we are and whatever we are facing, He will rescue us and draw us closer to Himself through the struggle or trial.
They seemed to cling to every word of the disastrous story, and all of the scriptures of Hope that went with it. I then felt the Holy Spirit ask me to do something that they would never forget...I identified myself as the very man I was speaking about and that one yea ago I could barely walk. I reminded them of Gods faithfulness and needed them to see. I lifted my shirt and showed them my beautiful scars. I explained that I am fortunate, I have a physical reminder every day and every hour of the Lords faithfulness.
It was so silent, jaws were on the floor as a gasp came over them all. A small whisper began as they pointed and nudged their neighbors(I bet this is what Lazarus experienced). I said "look at this. Let this image burn into your head as a reminder of what He can and will do". I then invited them to come forward for prayer in their life-many people came, not with physical illnesses, but with spiritual sickness. They wanted to leave the old behind and press on to His prize at the winning goal.
Praise God for what He is doing, we are so blessed to be a small part of His well orchestrated, amazing plan. And so blessed to have one more week of "crusade" to assist with.
"Mganduzweni for Jesus"

Side note-we prayed against evil, darkness and witch craft/doctors(called sangoma) and the gathered group responded with applause and celebration. I believe many are on the way to experience freedom and fullness in Christ. Soon, Pastor Gideon will have a church to run under Pastor Richards leadership. So blessed to have partners to advance the kingdom with.

May God continue to bless you on your Journey, and please know that the God of the universe leans down to listen to you and dance and celebrate over you. You are so dear and special to Him. Zeph 3:17

Wednesday, September 25

From Timid to Courageous

Can't really explain it any other way.  The kids at Mganduzweni were SO shy the past few months.  We have had limited hands on interaction with them(just dropping off food and greeting the bomake(women)), and their general experiences with "white" people was quite obvious.  They were uncertain and timid. 
There is a big gap here of "black and white", and it has not always been about everyone co-existing and loving each other(both ways). We have experienced it to a smaller degree.  The people we serve assume we will be like those from their previous experiences, (aren't we all guilty of that from time to time- even with somethings like going to church).
BUT-it all comes down to relationship.  We started to get down on our knees, literally and figuratively (praying for and playing with kids) and now.. OH NOW it is so much different.  They come running and shout for their friends to come.  Wanting to tell us all about life (in siswati) and ready to play.  Just to be loved and hugged.  
From a high five raised hand that made them flinch(they were used to being beaten) to arms wide open ready to receive them and the courage it took for them to overcome. 
Isn't that just like the Lord?  No matter what we have done or what we deserve- HE is there to Love us. And He is letting us get a glimpse of what that is like with others.

Thursday, September 19

map and names

So grateful that people would want to pray over the communities we are working in.  Here is a simple map and the names of each community(hooked on phonics anyone?) that might help.  Bless you and thanks for praying for our brothers, sisters and kids in Africa!

(Click on image to enlarge)

Tuesday, September 17

Mitch n Char September update

Prayer requests:  The right workers at the right time, our pastoral partners and their congregations, our kids safety and growth in the Lord, us(we are pretty tired)-Char is recovering swiftly from last week’s surgery(thanks for all the prayers and kind remarks on facebook).

You know, the majority of what we do is government compliance, meetings, and administration(boring.. lol), but here are a few things that YOU equipped to happen this month!:

-Team from USA put in tiered gardens at Mahushu-now able to grow own vegetables to supplement food AND teach the children how to garden.

-Partnership formed with LOCAL South Africans to build the Church building/CarePoint in Mahushu- a $9000 building that (thanks to donations and discounts) cost just $2000 and now seats 150 on sundays!(and up to 200 kids weekdays for bible clubs and meals)

-Water at Mahushu(the city truck kept breaking down resulting in our storage tank running empty and not having water for the gardens or the cooking projects)-YOU gave and brought water to the community.

-Tent Revival(actually more of a church launch) in Mganduzweni.  New feeding site north of Mbombela that is now adding on a life giving church in partnership with the USA-thank you to the generous giver of $200 to rent the 80 person tent and chairs!

-Land aquired in Mshadza.  The chief allocated land for us to add another site for feeding and a future church plant.  100 meters x 100 meters and close to a primary school.  Thank you for the $500 to make it happen.  Now hundreds of children will have a safe place to eat, play and hear about Jesus.

-Add on feeding days at Pastor Jele's(Thubalisha), Pastor Mnisi's(Elukwatini) Pastor FIkilie's(Nkomeni), Pastor Maxwell's(Mooiplaas) and Pastor Daniel's(Nhlazatshe) locations- setting them up for the next step- full funding via child sponsorship.

-New partnership in Clau Clau and Phakane(2 new feeding sites feeding twice a week in partnership with local church

-New partnership with Jerusalem, Phelandaba, Mganduzweni1, Chochocho, and Kabokweni.  An established ministry was assisting and continues to do so, however by partnering together we are able to extend a deeper spiritual and nutritional benefit to the kids.

-Plans for Pastors Conference the first week of November(our heart-to see pastors equipped to love kids and impact their lives)- we are expecting 100+ pastors at the new church in Mahushu

-New South African Missionary planning on coming- a brilliant young lady from Cape Town is answering Gods call to be a missionary here at home and move to Mbombela to serve with us.  She is a children's pastor and will be of GREAT help to teach our facilitators how better to connect with and train up children

-Looking to hire our first employees!  Have been interviewing and have leads on some high caliber people to assist with office/admin work, kids clubs, camps, preschool, tutoring, etc.  

It's NOT about numbers, but to put a number to all of this- 25 Carepoints feeding from 1-6 days per week and touching 3,168 children by December.  PRAISE GOD!

Thanks so much.  We love you and miss you!

Mitch n Char
www.facebook.com/mitchchar


Thursday, August 29

Wednesday, August 28

Exercise in Faith?

A big focus of what we do here in Africa revolves around the American Churches financial backing.  We could not do what we do without "The Church" (and in our case- "The USA Church").  Often times we(Americans) think that WE are going to change the world and bless a culture by our involvement, but ask any short term team or long term missionary the truth...WE are the ones blessed and changed.

So, how does this impact the USA?  I believe that we (Americans) often rely on our pocketbook to solve issues and problems for us at home.  I believe that many of our African brothers and sisters have no finances to lean back on.  When an American Church helps plant or support an African Church- OH what a blessing- resources to grow and expand and reach people for Christ...sometimes we think that that is all that is going on.. i believe that Partnering with an African church will bring REVIVAL to the American church!  

how?

well, consider what we (as Americans) have to learn- we support a great work oversees, and think we have changed lives(and we have).  BUT, the impact and influence the AFRICAN church can have on us is profound!  i believe that the revival comes when WE(american church) recognizes the faith of our brothers and sisters. They FULLY rely on God to meet their needs.  food, shelter, education...everything.  Imagine if that kind of faith in the Father caught hold in your church(the building you worship in and the group of people you collective gather with)?  WOW- watch out!  Holy spirit would be freed up to impact CRAZY change!

In short, WE(Americans) bless the African church with resources, tools and encouragement... the African church teaches us about real faith- now THAT is something worth investing in... don't you think?

Always a blessing that comes from the Lord when we help others.  His "repayment" is unprecedented!

Wednesday, July 31

South Africa

Hello to YOU!! Oh how we miss you, love you and appreciate you.  Your prayers and support have and continue to mean so much to us.

 

Where is the time going?  Hard to believe August is here.  This past month was a bit busy for us, i(mitch) have been to the bank 15+ times and made as many phone calls and emails to rectify the account(still not open or functional) for operating Children’s Cup in South Africa.  (a VERY small example of differences between usa and Africa…as we say.. TIA (this is Africa). Along with that, we have started several more feeding locations and added on days of feeding at others- all in preparation of future partners and USA churches to come alongside.  We hosted a pastors conference, and have had many Swazi missionary visitors staying with us (we have been alone in our house only 6 night since we moved on March 15)- what a blessing to have a place where others can stay!  I am heading to Mganduzweni tomorrow.  We have been feeding children twice a week there on a neighbors land.  Now that we have built a stove there(and put in 4 other stoves this past month) we need to “secure”(purchase the land)-so negotiations begin tomorrow.  This is a PRIME site for a USA church plant with an African Pastor-right now- just the community kids and a local pastor helping us out(he already has 2 other projects and a full time church)

 

This month brings the NODAK and SODAK team(with a few folks from elsewhere) to stay with us and serve.  We will butcher chickens, host vbs, garden and machete a field down to prepare for future gardens to feed the kids in Mahushu.  We are SO excited to have a team to work with and show the community what passionate people can do.  We also have 8 tons of rice to haul over from Swaziland to feed our kids here through November when our first full 40’ container comes in with a years supply of food for 1700 kids!  We are planning the Christmas parties, back to school campaigns and outreach camps now, and believing for great things to come out of each of those.  Char is having ear surgery here the first week of September-as we believe for great results there as well.  Been connecting with a number of churches locally, and two local families are helping us build a church facility (poles and offcut wood walls) in Mahushu right now. 

 

Have to share this story with you and then we will leave you alone to your other emails and tasks.

I was in Nhlazatshe(en-shlaw-zawt-she) yesterday working with our builder as we finish the last stove for now.  He has 2 jobs lined up after other people have seen his work(hooray!) and will be able to make a business for himself now.  While there(at Pastor Daniels Church) we needed to get firewood-as they are cooking 6 days per week.  So Daniel took us(picture attached) to Babe(bah-bay)(Mr./Sir)Makhane’s place.  (he buys loads of wood, splits and resells as a business).  He was happy for what we are doing and gave us a HUGE discount on 1 ton of wood ($30)-enough to burn for 6 weeks for hundreds of kids 5+days per week.  Pastor Daniel looked at me and said “Mitch, let this be the last load Children’s Cup pays for.  The church(his church) needs to do their part-and they will need to pay for the wood to feed their children.  You have so many others you can help-take your resources to other needy people and start a new work there.  Please keep coming back and bringing bible clubs and tutoring to us, but as for wood- … we got this”  I was so blessed and in awe-this is the first time in 3 years that someone who could have taken advantage of a handout has said- NO-it is our job too.  I am LOVING the partnerships in South Africa- amazing hearts and amazing pastors.

 

We love you and miss you- it really boosts our hearts to hear from you! (hint?)

 

All our best,

M & C

Monday, July 15

just another day

A day(all too normal) in Africa.  (Missionary work unfortunately does not have enough time just holding kids.. lol)
-wake up, devo, pray...
-Visit bank re:bank about the account set up 2 months ago that still can not be used-advised a non existant form from 2009 is required(the SA govt no longer has this form)-account still on hold.
-Contact auto shop re: CV joint going out on vehicle,  drop vehicle and be called 4 hours later "your car is via swaziland and an import from japan(illegal in South Africa)-so no parts are available, but someone can "manufacture" one for you- will just be twice as much..(hey at least they called- THIS was a silver lining)
-receive bills from municipality for electricity- a 30% increase in one month and 9 days double billed (i am no accountant, but luckily saw their error and contacted their accounting offices- manager on leave till next week)
-contact builder (final stove being built in Elukwatini)-only to find out he did not go to work today(somehow "forgot" to tell me")as the building company neglected to deliver supplies ordered in June.  (ahh.. lesson to self that i have learned so many times.. Inspect what i Expect)-noted
-receive early morning text that one Carepoint is out of wood(thank God i cut a tree down this weekend)-and can not cook today unless they get wood.  Drop everything to go see them and bring a load of wood-TEACH them to call minimum of 1 week prior to wood running out...decided to visit a local mill and ask for donations of wood-if we just come collect- because i am "white" they agreed(oh Africa, you break my heart)
-swing by accountant and ask if/when company registration and updates will be finalized so we can hire staff and pay according to Government regulations.. response- "soon" (same response i received in may and june...
...now its 1pm.... the day must go on... See- aren't you glad you can relate to us in a deeper and more profound way now?  LOL.. much love from Mbombela!

Thursday, July 4

Freedom?

As I sat there I felt the Holy Spirit say "you must apologize". My mind and spirit struggled as he owed me an apology! I deserved it! I needed it! I wanted it! But God...

Isn't life full of "but God" moments?

I went to the Mbabane Hospital today. This is the place that sent us on a one year medical journey and nearly sent me home to Jesus. I went to see the surgeon that operated on me. As we made eye contact I nearly froze. I haven't spoken to him since I was ambulanced to South Africa in March 2012. Followed by 11 months of pain, suffering and agony with 13 surgeries and extraordinary expenses.

We shook hands and went to his office to speak. And that is when I heard "you must apologize" in my spirit. I looked at him and my compassion increased as I recognized that he had done the best he could with what he had available and I said "Dr. I am So very sorry, im sorry for the bitterness and im sorry for the anger I have had for you and shared with others. Can you forgive me?"

There
Was
A
Long
Pause...

He bit his lip as it quivered and began to twitch a little-adjusting in his seat and looked up with tear filled eyes and said "I am so very humbled and amazed that YOU would apologize to me. Because of your case I have second guessed most of my cases and become a liberal user of CT scans"

I shared that I love him and had God not used this situation that there would be many others that would not have heard the saving gospel message. And shared a few examples of those that had come into our journey.

He sunk in his chair and I could see his heart leap at discovery that something bad was turned to something so very good.

He remarked "I'm not very religious(hey, me neither I joked) but there is no question after all of this that God was in control"

Freedom on a day that my American friends and family celebrate freedom. But this is the freedom we all look for in life; freedom in Christ, and I could be behind bars, beaten and abused and still be the free-est man alive.

We parted hoping to both see each other again, prayed, hugged and said goodbye.

Saturday, June 29

July? What? when did that happen?

Wow, middle of winter here, cooling down into high 30s at night-please pray for the kids and communities we are serving-they do not have the luxuries we have(electricity, blankets, etc) and this is the season where sickness takes hold.

 

It has been an exciting month here in South Africa.  This is what YOU have helped equip us with:

-29 person Missionary retreat at “the compound”

-securing the aforementioned compound! (Praise The Lord)

-Paul joined us from Swaziland(brilliant former intern that does ALL of the Cup Videos-you have seen his great work)-now working with mitch for furthering the awareness messages of our kids

-3 teams from America

-5 stoves being built (giant round pots(pic attached) and clean water to several communities

-2 preschools/daycares starting(thanks to another missionary(Beth Phillips) not attached to Children’s Cup for designing the wall art!!) (we LOVE partnerships)(pic attached)

-2 Afrikaans women and families have joined us in funding a church building for my friend Pastor Richard

-a generous giver helped us build Richard a house and moved him out of his tarpaper home(pic attached)-oh what joy he and his family have!

-Growth in Badplaas, Elukwatini, Tjakastad and Nhlazatshe thanks to our partners at “Emoyeni”.  Darryl(previous pastor in USA) is a South African passionate man that loves the people like we do- such Grace and we could not have a better friend or partner(answer to many prayers!)

-launched Children’s Cup Child sponsorship program- now hundreds of OUR kids are available for americans to connect with (this has been a big undertaking and we are excited about the future and stability it brings to our programs)

 

What’s next?

 

-Get you over here!

-hire teachers

-train staff to love kids deeper(fathers heart/love)

-implement medical programs

-implement tutoring programs

-enhance bible clubs with kids(working with pastors and equipping them better)

-show you around when you arrive (are you getting the hint? )

 

Our community is a challenging one.  A lot of racism still exists here, the White population is generally Afrikaans(dutch), and we are trying to make connections.  Many of the Afrikaans are not fond of “English” speakers, so we are finding international community(a whole bunch of misfits like us) to connect with- quite blessed!

 

We love you- THANK YOU for sending us.  Please keep up with our life on Facebook(pics, stories, etc), I assure you, we stalk you whenever we can :-=)

 

M n C

 

Monday, June 17

Judas and Jesus

hmm.. been reading alot about JC and trying to gain an understanding of the depth of His heart.  He knew (being God in the flesh), from the beginning of time that Judas would betray him, yet-he involved Judas in his life as a trusted disciple...if you read the story up until the point of the betrayal, one would never know that Judas was gonna sell out his Savior.
We have had surprising disappointments with individuals we have discipled here in Africa, yet the positive outcomes far outweigh the negative.  Those negatives catch us off-guard, betrayal, deceit, etc... 
What i see in Christ is that EVEN if you KNOW someone will betray you-to still teach and work with and LOVE them...and not just superficially...perhaps he uses the last minute to have the deceit revealed because He knows that in our flesh we would not invest in those people if we knew what they would do to us at a later time.

Oh to Love like Jesus

Wednesday, May 29

update from mitch n char - June 2013 newsletter

(image too small?  click to enlarge)

Lots going on, and LOTS to be thankful for. Praise God from whom all
blessings flow! Don't forget to respond to our notes with what is happening
in your life, and how we can be praying for you and yours.

M&C

Thursday, May 9

It takes alot to catch me offguard-today was one of those days...

Was truly a special day today-like most here in Africa. We drove to
Mahushu(mah-hoo-shoe)about 45km north of Nelspruit(where we live). We met
the Pastor who is overseeing 3 feeding sites along the way. One site is
close, one in middle and one far(that's how you explain distance in Africa..
lol) we arrived at the close site(Mganduzweny(emgahn-dooz-weh-knee)-a
beautiful open field(for sale(hint hint)) where we are feeding 100-120 kids
twice a week. (first 2 photos) This site will also serve PERFECTLY for a
church plant from the USA (hint hint again)(am I being subtle enough yet?)

Adjacent to the site is something that caught me off guard. Pastor Richard
looked at me and said-"Mitch, have you been to my home?" I said no... he
said "I was too ashamed to show you before, but since you are here...well,
here it is". He has lived her (from Uganda) for 3 years. The lord called
him to plant a church in this area and he has been obedient...for 3 years,
he has humbled himself and put the needs of the community children and
church family first. I have NEVER seen such sacrifice. Wood slatted walls
with tarps on the outside to block the wind and rain. Concrete blocks on
the roof to hold down the well weathered tin. And as you can see- a HUGE
smile on his face. Oh how I love this man.

You see, my heart was bothered by Richard until today- everytime I spoke
with him or saw him-there was another problem that needed attention($$), if
it wasn't wood, it was electricity units(prepay), or additional foods(we
supply rice, mealie meal and beans for now)-and as we have yet to find an
American church to adopt this project-we are VERY limited in funds-we have
been funding it out of our donors very generous giving to Char and
myself(PRAISE GOD FOR YOU!!!)-ok, back to the issue- I saw his real heart
today- and in looking back, I realize- he has NEVER asked me for a penny for
himself(and after seeing his living conditions-he had every right to ask).
He fights and screams for the kids and the community!!! Is that NOT what
Char and I do every time we communicate with you?...as the shame washed off
me(thank you Jesus) I recognized Pastor Richard for what he is- a beautiful
child of God who is standing in the gap screaming for help for those around
him. -Oh Jesus, thank you for this today.

We went on to Mashadza and then on to Mahushu(where the existing church
is)-you may have seen pictures of poles with tin on top and a rough tarp
covering 1 side..this is his church. 30-40 adults(mostly women) and 40-50
kids come each Sunday...the average Sunday offering is 19-20 rand (about
$2.25)...you see, only 3 of the church goers have jobs...everyone else is
unemployed. (Oh JESUS help them, provide for them, LOVE them more)

Richard lives by faith, and I am a better man for having him in my life. I
have learned so much in what has not been spoken from him. I hope you can
one day meet him and perhaps connect with his church(and future church
plant). Our August missions team will spend several days here-and will be
cleaning the site, doing some gardening and hosting VBS for awesome
chocolate kiddos! PRAISE GOD-we believe that a structure is coming, and
believe that every child will be sponsored...more importantly-we believe
that GOD is at the center of this and is making Himself known in this region
because of people like Pastor Richard.

lil update

Hello!!  As spring hits there, we are in the middle of fall.. it is always odd to watch leaves fall this time of year.  The weather is getting cooler at night(upper 40s) and will continue until frosts come in july.  We pray for those that do not have blankets or funds to pay for electricity to run electronic heaters.

We have been keeping busy here in launching South Africa.  We have registered the ministry with government, have imported foods for our kids(about 1500 now) and are starting to enroll children for our upcoming launch to child sponsorship.  Exciting times indeed.  A lot of meetings and conversations with local pastors, 5 teams coming our way before October, and the saving message of Christ being shared with every meal to every child.

The mahushu community now goes to the church for help, where before they had no where to go.  The local chief was so impressed by what the church is doing there(we want them to see the church, not the white man)-that he is giving land and free water for use.

The reality of what we do is summed up here:
Children's workers training last week with partners at Emoyeni.  Talking about Matthew 18(jesus talks about kids).. one of the workers said, I love my kids and tolerate others, infact-I don't like children very much.. I NEVER knew Jesus loved them so much.  Forgive me, and help me to love them like Christ!  SUCCESS!!!

We love you and miss you!  Thank you so much for sending us!

Mitch and Charlotte

Thursday, April 18

The Lord knows and responds before we understand

Pretty amazed to see God working in the big and little things! We are nearly funded (just $8000 away)for and starting talks now about purchasing a missionary, training and office compound(the one we started renting 30 days ago- and have already hosted 16 missionaries and 1 dog)but today I saw God show His Grace, Love and Mercy in a finite way.

We just returned from Badplaas(bad plus)(warm bath is the meaning-as there are natural hot springs in the region) and meetings with african pastors that are future future partners for american church plants and partnerships. We talked about how caring for children(sweet little people that can't tithe) touches the heart of God and He will grow His church around that. They all were in agreement (praise God!). We discussed why we are doing child sponsorship and how that will assist the church in partnership to fulfill its calling. Along with the timing and planning around the details of that.

We set up May 8 to "enroll" 200+children from Badplaas and Sinathemba/izithandani and capture the children's details and photographs. Everyone is quite excited.

We really want these day to be special, so I shared that we should do a special meal in celebration(not knowing where the funds would come from). Everyone agreed.

My momma called tonight and shared that a dear old neighbor passed away and that she was depositing $100 in Charlie Hardy's honor into our account.

The cost for 25 chickens, mealie meal for pap, and 2 liters of cooking oil...900 rand...$100

Oh what a savior. How He cares for His people in unique and wonderful ways!

Monday, April 1

No Foolin-time to update you on what you have equipped!

(click image to enlarge)
Praying your resurrection celebration was filled with awe and loving family and friends.  We celebrated with 5 strangers(now friends), Beano and Sharon(the lovely couple from Zimbabwe that visited us nearly daily in the hospital 1 year ago-and have helped us launch Cup South Africa) and Sandra(the current Swaziland missionary that is in process of moving over to work with us)…we ate like kings and prayed for those that did not/could not.  It can be challenging to live here and see the disparity.  The city we have relocated in is quite advanced, but just 2 miles from the town is a completely different story…read all about it here.
 

Thursday, March 21

All in a year

It was one year ago today I was diagnosed with appendicitis and spent an overnight at the Mbabane Swaziland Clinic...followed by;

5 months in hospital
13 surgeries
1 international move
1000 new kids fed and told about Jesus in South Africa
14 flights
50 lbs - then +
4 months traveling the USA fundraising and connecting and finalizing surgeries
9 states
15 churches
100's of friends
1000's of prayers

Yet the most amazing number through it all.

1

1 amazing God that shows His love in the most creative and exciting ways. That never leaves us. That fights on our behalf. That supports, comforts, and guides us. That changes lives for all eternity right before our eyes. That still works miracles. That will always have His way-and that way is always better than our way.

Now we are back at it in South Africa. Have settled in to a rental property that is also the offices and a flat that we will sublease to another missionary. We have been visiting each of the 15 sites that we have been feeding children at, and determining the best way forward to ensure discipleship and equipping helps each community. Praying for Church partners in the USA interested in sponsoring children and planting churches or partnering with existing churches - both being run by African pastors and leaders.

Awed, humbled, amazed, blessed, graced, loved.

Thursday, March 14

Feeling mighty blessed

It is good to do what you love, and we are so grateful that you have sent
us! Thank you- truly from the bottom of our hearts- THANK YOU. This week
is a bitter sweet week for us-as we reflect back on past chapters, and move
forward towards the goal. We leave for(move) to South Africa in the
morning-and goodbyes are never easy. We have tears of joy for the
relationships the Lord has allowed us to be part of, and for all He has
accomplished in our 2.5 years here in Swaziland. Believing that He has
prepared us to "launch" a new country from what has been
shown/taught/observed in these past years. Filled with excitement to be
physically healthy again(was even able to load a few ton of Feed My Starving
Children fortified rice and get it over to South African projects. The joy
of the new chapter-we are still working with the Swazi people-same culture,
names and families-just living in a different country. We can relate to
that! The photos you see here are:
-kids eager to help unload nutrient filled food in BadPlaas South Africa
-the view from the NEW kitchen and playground at Motjane Swaziland(one of
the first projects I was blessed to give the green light to-now becoming a
full discipleship CarePoint)
-the hundreds of kids at Motjane-eager to hear more about ABBA who loves
them
-offcut wood pieces-a contact in South Africa at a wood mill is donating to
us all of the uneven cuts of wood from his mill for our cooks to use to
prepare meals for the kids in Mahushu, BadPlaas and Tjakastad South Africa
-the creativity of the youth boys to start a small business building benches
with the best pieces of the wood-and sell to neighbors and community
-the same "energetic" little girl modeling one of the desks those teenagers
created as a small sustaining business

I am thrilled and overcome with Joy to see the Lord working around us, and
to have the opportunity to make new connections and friends. Thrilled that
the Lord allowed for physical healing in my body. Thrilled to sit for 2
hours today reading with 2 nine year old girls about Jesus in English(as
they taught me each word in Siswatti). Thrilled to see 1000 new kids(wow my
college fund is going to have to start growing for these kids) being fed in
South Africa, and thrilled for the USA partners that the Lord is going to
bring this year to equip us to reach those kids with the true Gospel of
Christ.

What a week! What a chapter! What an awesome God!