“Call” tends to be one of those cheesy Christian words that people use. “Are you called? Has Jesus called you to Himself?” As much as we have culturalized it, calling is biblical. God has called each of us.
Today was packed with activities that showed us Jesus’ calling to us. This morning we headed out to Section 19, one of the poorest communities in the entire Kingdom of Swaziland. After attending kids’ bible church, we were able to share playtime with the children with stickers, bubbles, soccer and beach balls! We had a blast!
We then traveled to some of our missionary friends’ properties to have another children’s church. While there we were able to hear their story and of their plans for a medical clinic. We know they will be touching the lives of many in Tshaneni. We also prayer walked their property, praying for wisdom and love over them. After wearing ourselves down with more play, we went back, rested up, and went to Vuvulane for revival. What a sweet time! God is moving in Vuvulane! In Swaziland!
- Church tomorrow. All three northern churches will be coming together for service, and we pray for a sweet time with our friends!
- Bittersweetness. Tomorrow our friends, the Allens and the Poes will be leaving us behind. Pray for their safety as they embark on their own travels, and for their last sweet moments in Swaziland.
- Rest. We are exhausted. As we go to Kruger, pray for us to rest and to connote to grow as a team!
“Then Jesus told his disciples, ‘If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take us his cross and follow me!’” (Matthew 16:25, ESV)
We ARE called. We are called to leave it behind for Jesus. We are called to pick up our cross. We are called to leave behind comfort. Family. Friends. Relationships. Ambition. Success. Country. Citizenship.
Jesus is worth it.
Going to the Well,
The Swaziland Partnership
“When somethings burns you, you remember it.” The fire of revival is burning in Swaziland. What a testament to God’s grace! We’re getting to witness it firsthand, and we are so thankful.
Tonight we went to church! After a arduous drive to Tshaneni (the northern area of Swaziland), we spent the afternoon on the small game park where we are staying and resting as a team. After a quick dinner, we headed off to Vuvulane for church!
The Lord MOVED tonight and we saw four souls get saved! Praise God! Brother Jarred brought the word of the Lord to the room, speaking on revival of the flame of our hearts. He challenged us all in many ways, but a few stick out.
`If you feed your flesh, you will starve the fires of God.” He challenged us to sacrifice everything we have to fan the flame of the Gospel in ourselves. With the spirit moving, he asked us just to consider, “We have to stop playing church. We have to go out on the highways and byways and preach the Good News of the Lord.”
We felt called to pass that challenge onto you tonight. We pray that you feed the fire of God in your own heart. Fan the flame of the Gospel. Ignite your heart for Jesus. Ask yourself, “are you walking with God? Are you sacrificing everything for him?”
We pray over each of you to know the Lord. We pray that you would know the fire of God, and that it would reignite. We want to bring home the fire of Swaziland to America. We want to stand in awe of the revival that we see here right at home. Help us fan the flame. Help us bring the spirit of revival to your neighbors, coworkers, family, and friends.
- Revival. Pray for the revival of Swaziland. Pray that each soul tonight saved would go out and share with others the Good News of Jesus.
- Swaziland. Pray for this country. Pray fervently that every soul would know Him. Pray that revival would burn here.
- America. Pray that the fire would ignite in our own country. We want to watch America burn with the Gospel.
We are so thankful for you. Your prayers moved the Lord to bring revival tonight to Vuvulane. We beg you to continue to pray for us and Swaziland, that the coals would become an open flame, and that our hearts would burn for this country, for this land.
Igniting the Night,
The Swaziland Partnership
“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit in you….” (Ezekiel 36:26-27, NIV)
What a Gospel message: When we come to know the Lord, we are given a heart of flesh. We are given His spirit, and he descends upon us. In this process, however, the heart of flesh becomes pulpy, and raw Our fleshy hearts are rubbed raw with wounds of sin, scars of pain, and burns of heartbreak.
Our hearts have been rubbed raw by Swaziland. We fight to believe they are not goodbyes, but rather they are “see you soon.” As we finished up homestead visits in the central part of the country today, and said goodbye to our translators, we are reminded of this fleshy heart.
One particular story stands out today: during a homestead visit, we were able to “cold call”, one of our Swazi friends was paralyzed, most likely from a stroke. After presenting her with a BGR bucket, she wanted to put the socks on her feet, but did not want to until her feet were clean. Sweet Elijah, only 15 years old, knelt down and lovingly washed the feet of this sweet Swazi woman. Not a dry eye, as you can imagine. She was blessed by his sweet testimony, and we were blessed by his Gospel heart.
- Illness. Most of the team is fighting some kind of illness, both internal and external. Pray for our health as we finish out the trip.
- Travel. We will be moving locations tomorrow in country. We are so excited, but want to stay safe during out travels!
- Revival. Tomorrow we will be hosting a revival in the North. Pray for God to move during this time, and for team member Jarred as he brings the word of God!
It’s getting bittersweet here but your encouragement and prayer continues to give us the strength and hope of the Lord. We are so thankful for each of you!
We Burn for Jesus,
The Swaziland Partnership
Heartbreak and Jesus go hand in hand. As we fall more in love with Jesus, our hearts tend to break harder and harder for those who don’t know Him. As we traversed Swaziland today, our entire team broke for this nation, broke for these precious, precious people.
After a morning breakfast, we traveled to Lesibovu for homestead visits and Bible Study. The morning was spent introducing the team and encouraging the members and pastor of Lesibovu. As it always happens in Swaziland, they encouraged us more than we encouraged them! Their hearts were so good to us, and we left humbled by their words.
Homestead visits were both heartbreaking and joyful. We saw a few decisions for Christ, praise God! It is a joy to see new souls won the Kingdom, knowing that we will see our new friends in Ezulwini (siSwati for Heaven)! Bible study was also a huge success for the men and women who stayed, and some of the youth played with some local children!
“I left my heart in Swaziland, and I had to come back and get it.” Swaziland just has a way of doing that, doesn’t it? If you’ve traveled here, you know that firsthand. If you haven’t, ask God if He is calling your heart here. As our hearts are breaking for this nation, we pray that your join us in prayer to the Father, that God would bring the whole Kingdom of Swaziland to the Kingdom of God.
- New Converts. Pray for the souls who have made decisions for Christ this week. Pray for their spiritual nourishment, as they are infants in their walk. Pray they become strongly rooted in God’s word!
- Physical Needs. Pray for the physical needs of the people of Swaziland. They are so very prevalent, and the communities we are working in are often the poorest of the poor. Pray that God would continue to meet the physical needs of the people here.
- The team. Tomorrow is our last full day as a team, as some will be breaking off to visits their friends in Swaziland. (those who have lived here previously.) Pray that we would relish the friendships we have formed, and not take these last precious moments for granted.
We’re so thankful for your continued prayers, encouragements, Facebook and Instagram comments, and love. We are so encouraged by those of you who are in the States praying fervently for us. Continue to pray for us, and we’ll see you soon!
Letting the peace of Christ rule our hearts,
The Swaziland Partnership
As the sun sets over the mountains of Mbabane, we are thankful for another restful, thoughtfully designed day in Swaziland. Today was filled with both emotion and joy, as the team split apart to set out on two very different missions.
This morning was spent in devotion with a local police station, which was a huge success. After sharing both testimony and the Word of God, we were invited into the station commander’s office, where we were able to pray over him and present him with a Bible! He then gave us a tour of the facility, and had tea and biscuits waiting for us! What an honor and treat!
After a lovely morning, the majority of the team spent today resting, visiting both the candle factory and some local markets for souvenirs! This brought rest and relaxation to our team, which has been nonstop since we landed in Swaziland. Swaziland has both beautiful crafts and gifts, and we look forward to bringing them home.
The rest of the team traveled south to Nhlangano, the southern most city of Swaziland. Although different groups from different churches travel to Swaziland over the course of a calendar year, we often don’t get to visit every single person and friend we love in Swaziland. We were able to visit some of our friends in Nhlangano, those who have translated and loved our ministry for many, many years. Although this was a treat, it was also bittersweet for all who went. Many tears were shed, both happy and sad, and words of encouragement and hope were shared. These kinds of discipleship moments are key for our ministry in Swaziland, and we hope to bring peace and love to all who we visited.
The theologian Charles Spurgeon often spoke of “stirring affections for Jesus.” For many of us today, our affections were stirred for the Lord. Sharing with our Swazi friends is a gift, each and every time. We pray that you are all encouraged and that your affections are stirred by our stories and thoughts from Swaziland!
- Hope. Seeing old friends for a moment is a bittersweet time. Pray for each of us who went to Nhlangano today, that our hearts would not be troubled, but we would find hope in the Lord tonight.
- Homestead Visits. We will be traveling to Lesibovu tomorrow, and delivering supplies. Pray for the team and the homesteads we will visit, that the Gospel would be preached and hearts would be stirred towards Christ!
- Our leaders. As the week moves on, our adult leaders are beginning to feel the strain of driving 8+ hours days and planning strategically for the whole team. Pray for their rest!
We’re so thankful for another amazing day in Swaziland! We are awestruck by how God is moving. As we sit surrounded by so many of our friends at dinner this evening, we are acutely aware of God’s presence among us and his unfailing love!
Today we traveled to Peace and Ntsintsa Churches, for homestead visits! After splitting into two groups, we traveled to many homesteads, delivering needed food and supplies. We shared the gospel and saw one woman come to Christ! Praise God!
In this particular homestead visit, the team went up and the family got mats out for the team and told them to sit in the chairs while the family sat on the mats. What an honor. While one member started explaining Jesus and the Gospel to the family, and shared scriptures in Romans. After being asked if they knew or had accepted Christ, two had not. We asked them if they wanted to accept Christ, and they said yes! Praise God! One of the ladies said she felt guilty and that God sent our team as messengers today, and once she accepted Christ, she felt relieved. These are the kinds of stories that bring us all to Swaziland, and we are so thankful to see God moving among the people here!
We also visited the hospital today, and got to see our special friend, Nono! What a gift!
On a lighter note, a new game has sprung up among the team, “slap the cow.” If you’ve ever been to Swaziland, you know that cows are a prevalent issue in Swaziland, and often roam the streets completely unattended. The Poe family has created a game, where the person nearest the cow in the road must hang out the window and slap the cow’s behind. If they complete their mission, each person in the car must buy the person a Coke! We had three successes today, Greg, Hannah P., and Maggie all managed to slap cows today! A little dangerous, but also a LOT of fun!
We’re so thankful for your prayers. Please continue to pray for us as we visit and share with these wonderful people. We thank God for them!
- Revival. We are praying for revival among the people here. We want the Kingdom of Swaziland to reflect the Kingdom of God. Pray with us!
- Souls to Christ. We’re praying to see more people come to Christ, and we want you to join us in that! Your prayers are heard, and needed!
- Safety. Many roads here are dangerous for the vans, and we are being careful, but we always need prayers for safety! Thank you!
We miss you all and hope the you all are well! Thank you for your continued prayers, they do not go unnoticed!
With the Hope of Jesus,
The Swaziland Partnership
Sundays in Swaziland are unlike any other. The worship of a Swazi man or woman can change a soul in a heartbeat, and brings joy to all who embrace it.
We spent our morning in three churches: Hawane Baptist, Peace Baptist, and Sincelwini Baptist, a new church! Praise God!
Hawane Baptist was especially sweet for the Allen family, as they spent precious time with their friends at their home Swazi church. Thank you to the children’s choir, the youth choir, and the adult choir of Hawane church for celebrating our arrival!
Sincelwini Baptist was also encouraging to our team, as we see God do a new work in Swaziland! While meeting under an almost full tent, Jimmy delivered a great sermon on our ability to not earn God’s love! We also passed out dresses and hats and scarves!
After meeting in Manzini for a restful lunch, we traveled to a local shop to buy gifts for our friends! It was a special time, and allowed us to rest as a team, and process what God is doing in our time here.
Sundays in Swaziland are a remarkable moment in time. If you’ve never experienced it, ask someone who has. They will give you an amazing depiction of God’s grace, a worship, heartfelt experience, and an outpouring of love.
- Our homestead visits start tomorrow. Pray for the homes we will visit, that God would soften their hearts to the Gospel!
- Pray for our team as homestead visits begin. Pray for us to be bold and courageous in our faith, and that God’s spirit would be among us at all times!
We’re so thankful for your love and prayers. We feel them all the way across the ocean. Please continue to pray for us – we are pleading with God to see Him move in His kingdom. We miss you all!
Full of Heartfelt Worship,
The Swaziland Partnership
Getting into the swing of things can often be a challenge, especially in a new culture and place. After a full meal breakfast, the team headed off to Hawane Baptist for our second day of Youth Leader’s Retreat!
Jimmy gave an incredible talk, followed by a fun time of games and laughing! Hanging out with the Swazis is one of our favorite activities!
After another awesome talk from Jarred, our team split into girls and guys and spent time answering the questions of our fellow Swazis. This was a special time of discussion, as we found we are so relatable to each other!
After lunch and some fun at a local mall, we came back to our guest house for some much needed R&R, and headed back out for another round of Youth Leader’s Retreat! What a time! Singing, dancing, testimonies, preaching, and tears!
We are so thankful for getting to spend this weekend with the generation of Swazis leading the church!
Rest. Our team is still not quite on Swazi time, and combined with 15 hour days, this is becoming quite the challenge. Tomorrow will be our first moment of down time and we are thankful for it!
Church tomorrow. We will be attending three churches tomorrow, one of which is new to the fold! Praise God! Our friends, the Allen family, will also be returning to their home church in Swaziland, Hawane Baptist. Pray for them as they encourage their Swazi friends, and receive love!
Youth Leaders. After watching our friends this weekend, we are so excited for the generation of youth in the kingdom of Swaziland. Pray that their hearts are continually encouraged by the Word, and they will return to their home churches with the message of the gospel!
We’re so thankful for each of your prayers and thoughts and sweet messages! We miss you all!
With peace and tranquility,
The Swaziland Partnership
Coming home is often an indescribable feeling. What was once familiar can seem changed and different. But coming home to Swaziland? An entirely different experience. Pure joy. That’s where it begins.
After spending the evening at BIMS last night (with a multitude of issues, including no water for showers or bathroom, and losing a passport) the team set of this morning to Mbabane.
We’re now in Swaziland, praise God! After checking into our guest house, and FINALLY taking showers (after three days!) we headed off to Hawane Baptist Church for our first evening of Youth Leader’s Retreat. What a gift!
Being welcomed into arms that are known is an immeasurable gift. With love all around, we began our retreat with a time of fellowship, a game, and an amazing message from Greg. We split into groups and discussed our sin struggles, which are really not so different from the Swazis.
The highlight of the night was watching two of our Swazi friends sing and play guitar. Hearing the voices of “How Great is Our God” ring through the tin roof of Hawane Baptist is an incredible experience and one we did not want you to miss, so we’ve include it below!
- Exhaustion. As of posting, it will be close to 1AM in Swaziland, which means exhaustion is at hand. With an early start tomorrow, we will not receive a lot of rest tonight. Pray for our team to rest deeply and well, and to remain patient with one another through the eyes of exhaustion.
- Leader’s Retreat. Pray for our Swazi brothers and sisters who are with us this weekend! Pray for spiritual awakening, healing and rest for our friends. Pray that Gospel changes hearts!
- Our ministry. As various members of our team, teach, preach, share, and meet, pray for God to use our our hands and our hearts to grow the Kingdom in Swaziland!
We miss you all! We thank you for your continual prayers!
The Swaziland Partnership
After 24+ hours of travel, we are all FINALLY in Johannesburg! We’ll be picking up rental cars/vans and be headed to BIMS to stay for the evening. As some of us return to a familiar place, while others of us experience a different culture for the first time, we beseech you to continue to pray for us.
Pray for those of us returning, that as both bittersweet and joyful emotions arise, we would turn to our Lord and King for comfort and hope.
Pray for us that are experiencing African culture for the very first time, that our eyes would be opened to the vastness of the Gospel, and that our hearts would begin to break for the people of southern Africa.
Pray for our unity as a team; we come from all different walks of life, places, ages, and backgrounds. Pray that our team would unite in our hope for glory of the Kingdom of God. Pray for our bonds to begin to form, so that we are more effectively able to share with our Swazi brothers and sisters.
Pray for our friends in Swaziland, as they eagerly anticipate our arrival tomorrow. Pray for their preparations, both physical and spiritual, and that their hearts would be softened towards Jesus.
We miss you all, and cannot wait to begin sharing the amazing things God is doing in Swaziland!
The Swaziland Partnership