Monday, June 10, 2013


"On the seventh day they rose early, at the dawn of day, and marched around the city in the same manner seven times.  It was only on that day that they marched around the city seven times."
   -Joshua 6:15 (ESV)

We held our final Swazi Team Meeting yesterday.  A busy time of final preparation before our team leaves in less than 3 weeks.  While pouring over tons of last minute details, we enjoyed a typical sack lunch...similar to one we'll be eating while we work & serve in Swaziland (a sandwich, hard boiled egg, chicken leg, chips, juice box, piece of fruit). Newbies on the team got their first taste of what to expect for lunches...while the taste buds of those of us who've gone before were transported back in time to reflective moments sitting on the ground or a rock, enjoying not just the food but spectacular views from El Shaddai like this one.  


Another part of our meeting was spent learning a few songs from a songbook our music pastor put together for the trip.  While we are familiar with most of the songs, there was one song that we will be singing that is new to most of those on the team.  It is a song that is sung a lot in Swaziland and throughout Africa.  The song is called Siyahamba and in English the song means 'We Are Marching In The Light Of God'. It's one of those songs you'll hear the children singing often.  One of those songs you'll never forget.  Precious.  The drum beat was played by one of our team members on this instrument called a Djembe (pronounced jim-bay) and it was cool to be able to sing along with this African style drum.


We also spent some time at the end our our meeting 'marching' around a couple of long tables, filling bags with supplies that each of us will bring with us to Swaziland.  Here's a pic. of that.


So we're almost ready to go.  The final team meeting finished.  Our commissioning service scheduled for next  Sunday.  Time of departure for this mission right around the corner.  But as I reflect over these past 12 months of preparation, I can see that God has had us 'marching' to his call since the beginning.  And what a blessing that has been. Thank you all for your prayers and support as we together continue marching in the light of God. Blessings!

Friday, May 31, 2013

Number Our Days

"Teach us to number our days that we may get a heart of wisdom." - Psalm 90:12 (ESV)

WOW!  This is the countdown until our team departs for its mission in Swaziland, Africa.  We've been prayerfully preparing for this for over a year.  Lots of hours spent engaging with others regarding the trip, being encouraged by those who've generously come alongside us financially and prayerfully, being prepped by several team training and informational sessions. Yet every step of the way we've found ourselves ultimately trusting God to provide....step by by day.  Amazing.  Our final team meeting is coming up in just over a week. Excitement continues to brew as we realize...we're just under a month from departure.  Just under a month (28 days & counting) from being launched to love on the  precious people of Swaziland.  What a privilege. What a blessing.  Yes Lord, teach us to number our each one counts for You!! 

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Love God - love others

"Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all 
your soul and with all your mind.' This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.' All the Law and 
the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”                                                     -Matthew 22:37-40


Bridging Cultures.  That was the theme of this month's Swazi Team building training session.  During the session we all learned how to work together to build a bridge.  Some were assigned the task of building the base, while others were assigned to building the bridge part.  The trick was that we were separated into two groups and had to build each part in separate locations without seeing what the others were building.  We had one chance where we
could send two representatives from the base group to meet with two representatives from the bridge group in a neutral location and try to communicate what each group was building...with the hope that when we were finished, the entire project would somehow fit together.  

This exercise taught us several things: The importance of working together, the importance of good communication skills and the importance of good teamwork in bridging a gap.

When we get to Swaziland, there will be several gaps that will need to be bridged.  Language, socioeconomic, and cultural differences being just a few.  But as Jesus tells us in this verse in Matthew, what we really need to do is just keep focused on 2 things:  loving God & loving others. When we do that, then He will miraculously bridge those gaps...all to His glory!  

Monday, January 28, 2013

Cold Water

"Like cold water to a thirsty soul, so is good news from a far country."  -Proverbs 25:25 (ESV)

Here we are.  The team that God has assembled for the upcoming mission trip to Swaziland, Africa this June/July.  An awesome group of 26 people who have a heart for others and a spirit that resounds with hope.  It is a privilege to serve along side them.

These past 6 months we've been busy as a group preparing and planning through various team and informational sessions.  Yes those sessions are important, but equally important is how God is preparing our hearts, collectively and individually, for the opportunity to serve the Swazi people.  One of our group is in Swaziland now working tirelessly with our contacts on the ground, preparing the way for the team and the work we will do.  So thankful.

When we finally get to board the plane in June and travel some 8,700 miles (a long way!)  to Swaziland, our prayer is that God will have us ready.  Ready for a life changing experience.  Ready to love on, work along side and build relationships with the Swazi people.  Ready to make a difference. 

Thirsty.  Yes our souls are thirsty for what God is going to do. We can hardly wait!  Please join us in prayer...that the good news of our coming will be like cold water to the thirsty Swazi souls who will welcome us.  Until next time - grace and peace.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Our help comes from the LORD

"I lift up my eyes to the hills.  From where does my help come?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth."  Psalm 121:1-2

This past week has been an extremely difficult one for many.  The senseless murder of 27 people in Connecticut, 20 of them precious little first graders.  The vicious stabbing of 22 elementary school children in China.  The countless others in the world who've been victims of evil crimes.  Our world is a mess. We are grieving and we are searching for answers.  For comfort.  For hope.  For help.  

It is no coincidence that Christmas is less than one week away.  A time to remember that the Sovereign God and Creator of the universe, sent His one and only Son to earth as a baby, to live a perfect life, to be crucified and then raised back to life.  The Redeemer of mankind.  Jesus is His name, and we need Him.

As you prepare to celebrate Christmas, may your 'eyes be lifted up' to see that the LORD Himself is our answer to life.  The LORD Himself is our comfort in the midst of grief.  The LORD Himself is our hope, now and for eternity.  The LORD Himself is our help.  May God bless you all this Christmas season as you lift your eyes and heart toward Him.

Monday, November 19, 2012

A Land I Will Show You

"Now the Lord said to Abram, 'Go from your country and your kindred and your father's house to the land that I will show you.". -Genesis 12:1(esv)

This is the sign we'll see (in 7 short months) as we walk through the border crossing between South Africa & Swaziland.  A moment of excitement but also a moment of realization.  We're there.  After preparing for over a year, after trusting God to provide all the necessary funds & details, we will for the very first time as a team be able to see, set foot and touch the land that God promised He'd show us. The land where we have been called to be the hands and feet of Jesus as we love and serve the people of this precious little country.  A simple sign, but one that will stand as a marker.  Not just to the entrance into Swaziland...but to God's greatness and faithfulness. To this we will walk by faith. Praise Him!

Monday, October 22, 2012

Mountain Glory

"Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable".
                                                                                  ~Psalm 145:3 (ESV)

Sunset over the mountain range separating Swaziland from South Africa to the west.  Beautiful.  This picture was taken at the end of a long group work day at El Shaddai Children's Home up in the Ekufukeni region.  To say we were in awe of God's amazing beauty is an understatement.  However, we had already experienced God's beauty throughout the day as we served and loved on the orphaned children at El Shaddai and the surrounding region.  Sure we were tired, both physically and emotionally.....but nothing could silence our hearts and voices from praising our great God!  Only 8 more months & Lord willing we'll be there again.  Can't wait!