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
As we write to you from the seats of SSA 208 at Dulles International in Washington, DC, we are overwhelmed with gratitude for your send off!
We are so thankful for each of our friends who has prayed, send donations (both financial and physical), and joined us on this journey! Thank you! We’re excited to begin our journey to Swaziland!
Our prayer requests for the moment:
- Pray for each of our hearts, that we would spend the next (very long) flight preparing our hearts and minds for the Kingdom of Swaziland. Pray that each of us engages with God in an authentic, genuine way over the next few minutes!
- Pray for our Swazi friends as they prepare for our arrival! Pray for their hearts, that God would be continually softening them towards the Gospel and that their preparations would be complete!
- Pray for God’s Kingdom to be grown in Swaziland. Let us plant seeds, water them, and let God give the growth!
We’ll update you when we land!
In Hopeful Anticipation,
The Swaziland Partnership
The time has come. As I write to you from seat 5A of a South African Air flight towards Johannesburg, my heart is in a million pieces. This morning began with interviewing Wayne about his experiences here. What a pleasure and joy to sit and listen to his heart for these people. I’m so thankful for his genuine spirit and humility! After packing up our things and picking up a few people, we headed to a combined service of three churches in the north. What an experience! To see so many believers worshipping the Lord was such a joy (nearly 100!) During worship, we were privileged to witness 9 believers being baptized!! These images might be the most compelling of any in my time here. After saying goodbye to our sweet friends, we raced (and when I say raced, I LITERALLY MEAN RACED at 140kph) to the airport at Nelspruit. I made my flight with THREE MINUTES TO SPARE!! The Lord is good!
And so, here we are. I’m sure the people in the seat next to me think I’m nuts as they watch the tears pour down my face, but my heart is truly broken. I have been so touched by these people, by their hearts, and by their love. The Swazi people have shown me time and time again what it means to have joy in Christ and Christ alone. They have no riches; they have the Gospel and that brings them far more joy than the luxuries awaiting me in the states. If I am able to capture even an 1/16 of that in my film and images and site, then the Lord will have done a work. I’m so thankful for this incredible moving experience —to each of you who has prayed and thought of us, we do not overlook you. You have bathed us in prayer when we needed it most. The Lord listens to the prayers of his people, and I know he heard you on our behalf. My gratitude extends beyond the skies in which I ride.
To those of you who know how I feel in this very moment, you also know that this will not be the last time we see our friends. We may not know them in this life, but we will rejoice with them in eternity. As I reflect on this trip and all I have seen, experienced, and captured, I hold onto that hope —- the hope of eternity. I may or may not ever get to see my Swazi family in this life, but I do know that I will see them soon. I pray that I have done the Swazi people justice in their joy, and I pray that many come to know Jesus in the kingdom of Swaziland!
With the hope of eternity,
Our time in Swaziland is drawing to a close, but the adventures are not! Today we packed up and headed out to new places! After a great stop in Manzni with the Pages (a missionary family here) and Gogo Sandu, we headed to the north! This afternoon was all about animal hunting! We saw ostriches (which are very funny creatures in case you were wondering) monkeys, impala, and a kudu! Alas, no giraffes. However, we are going out tomorrow morning before breakfast to look again! We were able to host the pastors in this area for dinner this evening as well and I was able to interview Douglas and Simphiwe, which was a great encouragement to me! Their story is so great, and I cannot wait to share it with you all!
– Wayne and Stuart BOTH got speeding tickets today!! They were going 93km in a 60km! In Swaziland, when you get stopped you pay the fine then and there to the officer. The fine was 60 rand and we haven’t let them live it down all day!
– Mugg and Bean really is good y’all! Had some eggs Benedict (my fav!) and what a treat!
– The guest house we are staying in tonight is so cool! It’s a country club and a game reserve with a full restaurant! Very different from our last experience!
– Dinner was encouraging for all of us, and the pastors really enjoyed themselves!
– We saw animals today!!!! In their home country! What a sweet treat!
– Pray for me as I close my time in Swaziland tomorrow. Pray we’re on time to the airport, flights are on schedule, and for everything to run smoothly!
– Tomorrow I will interview Wayne in the morning! Pray that it goes well!
– Pray for our whole team to find rest in the next few days as we close our time on this trip. Going back to the US is hard thing when you have left a piece of heart in the place you have just been. Praying for rest and belief in the Lord’s faithful and perfect timing!
My heart is hurting but in the best way. The bittersweetness only grows. I cannot WAIT to see all of you, I have missed your lovely presences. Yet, I leave a big piece of my heart in Swaziland. I’ll send one more update tomorrow!
In Christ Alone,
Today was the WILDEST day in Swaziland yet! It was just crazy! Today’s story is…..a little ridiculous. During one of our homestead visits today, a man was telling us about how thankful he was for the food we delivered because they have been unable to eat due to the drought in the area. While walking back to the car, I prayed to the Lord for rain, to bring food for the people. During another homestead visit today, an elderly lady asked if she could give us a chicken in return for blessing her with a Bible and a BGR bucket. We left, and then an hour or so later, a LIVE CHICKEN arrived at the church!! This chicken’s back end was wrapped in a plastic shopping bag. I go to get in the front seat of the car (for my carsicknesss) and Thulie HANDS ME THE CHICKEN. We have driven nearly and hour and a half to get to this church, and we are going to drive all that distance home WITH A CHICKEN IN MY LAP. In the distance, we hear rumbles of thunder. We’re 30km off the main road. So, I’m holding this chicken and the HEAVENS OPEN. We’re on a dirt road in the middle of the African bush with marble sized hail, cloud to ground lightning literally FEET away, and IM HOLDING A LIVE CHICKEN IN MY LAP. Then we get to a place where a BRIDGE HAS WASHED OUT (there are no rails) and we have to pass. Luckily we make it through that issue. Then we’re slipping and sliding in the mud, our anti locks are failing, and I’m just holding onto a chicken for dear life because what else do I hold onto? The rain slows, we’re out of the woods!! I look down at my lap. THE CHICKEN HAS PEED ON MY LAP. I HAVE CHICKEN PEE ON MY LAP. And all I can do is laugh. Peals and peals of laughter emanate from the van because here we are, praying for rain and the Lord gives it in a mighty way! Also we have not died! The Lord has showered his love on us! I’ve never been so thankful for a shower in my life, and Thulie took the chicken home! Praise the Lord for good meals and ridiculous stories!
– In light of that crazy story, today was also an emotional day, as we are leaving for the north tomorrow. We have to say goodbye to all of our friends, and remind them of our love for them. Tears were shed, hearts were poured out, and the love of Jesus shone like the sun itself!
– the drone is the CONTINUAL hit here. I don’t know how to explain it, but the Swazis are ensnared with it! I’ve even let a couple of them fly it!
– Much to the chagrin of my compadres, I’ve worn my Chacos everyday in the African bush and a STRONG Chaco tan/farmer tan to boot! The sunburn is turning!
– Praise the Lord for revivals! We have seen at least 11 come to faith in Jesus in our short time here!! The Lord is good!
– In the midst of the storm however, we are thankful for the rain here to subside the drought!
– We survived this CRAZY week of ministry! Scott preached 12 times, Stuart drove hundreds of miles down wild roads and delivered over 30 BRG buckets and nearly 2500 pounds of food, and Wayne was our fearless leader, making sure we were where we needed to be and when (well, abouts) and really encouraged our friends here in the south!
– Tomorrow I’ll be conducting two interviews in Manzini. Pray that I can continue to capture footage that is insightful and full of the Gospel!
– We’ll be driving to Mafacula tomorrow. Pray for safety and a fun journey!
– On a completely personal note, we are staying at Managa guest house which is on a game reserve. This is my ONE chance to see giraffes since I won’t be traveling to Krueger. PRAY FOR THE GIRAFFES Y’ALL.
These are bittersweet moments as we say goodbye to our friends here. In the same breath, I get to visit you all so very soon and share the God stories I’ve seen and captured which brings me so much joy!
Continually thankful for your prayers and your thoughts. Just a few more days friends!
Bittersweetness means God did a work in this place.
In gentle heart,