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,
Another hot one in Swaziland today! We were able to do 8 homestead visits today as well as Bible study and revival. Exhausting but so good! Today’s story isn’t nearly as heart wrenching as the last two but such a sweet memory for me. Each night we have a revival at Zikhoteni, and there’s a large tent they are held under. I sit near the back of the tent and each night this week, two dogs run up! They are just looking for love and probably snacks! I always make sure to pet them and love on them! Tonight they were so happy they chased each other through the grass and wrestled a bit! This has been such a small restful moment for me, and I’m so thankful for our little friends! Jesus loves even the least of these, including our puppy friends!
– It’s been very interesting being here as white woman. Many of the Swazi children are scared of me! When we give out dresses, sometimes they run away and cry!
– We’ve driven up and down some of the main roads so many times that I can tell you how long it takes to get to places and where we are!
– According to my Swazi friends, I’ve perfected the Siswati greeting and I can’t wait to show you all!
– God is continuing to allow us to keep pushing through exhaustion! If it was by our own strength, we would have quit, but Jesus has been faithful to us!
– We’ve now fit 11 people into our van! No breaks and no issue! We’ve been able to transport our translators and our friends to and from revival which is a great encouragement to them!
– As our time in the south winds down, pray for our precious time left with our friends. Pray for us to encourage them, and give them all we have left.
– Pray for our hearts as we prepare to leave, pray for a spirit of joy not a spirit of sadness!
– Pray for those visited in homesteads today, that they may come to know Jesus!
As I write this email, all I can think is, “my head is burning with an ache, my skin is fried, and I’m getting car sick typing, and yet the Lord is good.” Even in the midst of our exhaustion and pain, Jesus is giving us sweet rest. “Come to me, all you who are heavy laden and burdened and you will find rest.” If you are heavy laden today, pick us Jesus’ yoke; his burden is light!
Peace to you,
Today was the prettiest day in Swaziland! The sky was bright blue, the sun was out and shining and it was just gorgeous! Today’s story is another homestead visit – this afternoon while standing around one the churches, Gogo Sibantu suggested we do a BGR visit down the road. So Wayne, Scott, Gogo, Ana Twal, and I loaded up for a “short drive.” Nearly 10km later down a Swaziland “road” we arrive at a soil path, worse than the usual dirt paths of Swaziland. The car won’t make it —-it’s just not going to happen. So we get out and walk, again just a “short ways. ” A MILE LATER in 90 degree Africa sun, we arrive at a small homestead with two elderly people and a young child. We read scripture, present a Bible and a bucket, and their reactions are such joy! The woman has cataracts and is nearly blind, while the man is suffering from kidney failure. The whole situation is bleak. Yet the Lord is good! We left and then walked back a mile only to find we are parked next to a school that is letting out! The children are yelling at me, “shoot me! Shoot me!” After disregarding my confusion, I lifted my camera and got the most ADORABLE smiling faces on video!! What a special moment!
– The sun is HOT. Sweltering, unimaginably hot. We finally experienced it today and Scott and I are both sunburnt!
– These people are SERIOUS about their revivals. We went for TWO AND A HALF HOURS tonight! I’m so tired but it’s so encouraging!
– Per instructions from a very helpful lady (thank you Donna J.!) I brought a big back of hard candy with me! This has been a hit with both the children and the translators! They now ask me daily, “you have sweets today?”
– The revival service was overflowing full today! Praise God!
– We had a leak in our tire today and we only paid 15 rand to fix it! (About $1.50) we all lost no time because there was no wait!
– The van got stuck in a ditch today and it’s still alive! It’s taken a beating, but it’s still running!
– Pray for safe travels, no more flat tires, ditches or scary roads! This is a serous request here!
– Pray for our translators and their abilities! We are thankful for them and do not want to take them for granted!
– Pray for the families we visited today, for their health and their understanding of the gospel!
Everyone on the team wants to send their love and their thankfulness in these emails! I’m the talking head, but I get input from all of them! We love you all and miss you! We’ll be home soon!
Today was another fantastic day in Swaziland! As we move through this week, I’m going to focus on more specific stories since we have settled into a routine here (homestead visits in the morning, Bible study in the afternoon, and revivals in the evening.) Our first home visit this morning made a huge impact. After walking (well, hiking) nearly half a mile, we arrived at a traditional homestead, a single room. We visited three elderly people, one blind man and two women. After singing, reading some Scripture and presenting the BGR bucket of supplies, one of the women began to speak about how thankful she was for our gift. At this point, all of our translators were crying, and I (not speaking Siswati) was very confused when one of our Gogos (the name for grandmother here) stepped over to translate for me. She spoke of their story: after having spent years and years sleeping outside, another group of missionaries came and built their homestead so they would have a place to sleep. After this, the man went blind. Even after this, the family continued to follow God and believed that the Lord loved them and then we came and presented them with these supplies to encourage and strengthen them. After this, we were able to present a Siswati Bible to the family. Everyone was crying at this point. What a special moment of God’s faithfulness and grace. SOMEONE CALL POP AND TELL HIM I PICKED UP MY ROCK. He will know what this means!
– The stars here are magical. I’ve never seen so much of the Milky Way in my life! It’s like they are just countless!
– The police officers here are very interested in me. I have been asked for my number twice, and if they can come to the US with me.
– We fit 10 people in our van today, along with 500lbs of food. It’s a 8 passenger van for the record!
– The BGR buckets are going so well!! We’re thankful for each of the visits!
– We’ve gotten to give out a couple of dresses and the girls look adorable!!
– I still haven’t crashed the drone! (Couple of close calls, but the LORD IS GOOD!)
– On a personal note, I’m just finally getting exhausted. Most days I’m carrying at least 25 extra lbs of gear on my back, usually more. Pray for sanity, my exhaustion, and my rest!
– Pray for the family we met today! Pray for assurance of salvation, and for continued faith!
– Pray for each of the pastors who had helped us, translated for us, and have been our guides here! We are so thankful for them and we want to bathe them in prayer!
Love you all! Thankful for each of you and your little graces sent to me. I love hearing from all of you!
We made it through Monday! What an incredible day! This morning we left for Maloma, one of the poorest regions of Swaziland. We were able to purchase about $200 of food, and deliver it 7 members of the Bible study this afternoon. While in Maloma, we spent the morning delivering BGR buckets and Bibles to the elderly and sick. Having packed some similar types of buckets stateside, it was an INCREDIBLE experience to see those same buckets, full of American brands and supplies, delivered to a foreign country and unpacked before my eyes. It was so moving for me, and I can’t wait to deliver more! After noon, the team split, and I attended Bible study with our pastor, Scott. He preached for TWO hours! There was so much excitement, and I was able to get some great footage for our site!! After a crazy afternoon, we traveled back to a closer church for a revival this evening. Y’ALL. I wasn’t prepared! This was the most WILD service I’ve ever been apart of. These people love to praise the Lord! I wish we could bring this kind of spirit back to the US!! Overall, it was an incredible day and I cannot wait until tomorrow!!
– For those who know me well, you know that I LOVE the sun. I just love it! It’s been overcast here at night, so no sunsets, but tonight we got our first AFRICAN SUNSET. THE SUN IS MORE BEAUTIFUL IN AFRICA. I wasn’t prepared!
– The children are adorable here! I’ve been able to pass out sweets to them, and they get so excited when I pass them a piece of candy!
– Although today was exciting and beautiful, it was also hard. Today was the first day where statistics became real life. The AIDS epidemic is real here. TB is real here. These are diseases that people really live with here. I wasn’t really prepared to meet the dying, to engage with them, to pray salvation for them. It was the toughest moment of the trip for me personally so far.
– The rain stopped! The rain stopped!! Praise the lord!
– The revivals have lights! Sometimes they do here, sometimes they don’t. I was praying for lights so I could film!
– We were able to pass out more dresses to little girls today and they loved them! It was such a pleasure to capture their little smiles!
– Pray for the AIDS/HIV epidemic here. There are so many who are sick and dying and in need of the Lord. Pray for both their physical needs and spiritual needs.
– Our whole team’s exhaustion is finally catching up with us. Pray for sweet rest tonight and for soul level peace in the stead of sleep. Pray for patience and humility among us!
– Pray for those we will meet tomorrow, and for our revivals continually!! We want to see many come to know Jesus!
Missing each of you friends! Praying that all is well in the US, and that God is blessing each of you! Stay rooted in his Word!
With much love,
It’s Sunday in Swaziland, which means church! Today we attended two separate churches, and I went with Wayne to a small church in Shinselweni. Church in Swaziland is literally indescribable, but frankly, it’s the most spirit filled I have ever felt in my life. The worship is unending, the prayers are tear inducing, and the testimonies of God’s faithfulness are endless. This is truly not something I want to ever forget! After church, we had a braai, which is Siswati for barbecue. We hosted about 20 people, mostly pastors from local Baptist churches and their wives. I think each of them really enjoyed their time, and while we were hosting, I was able to interview Kuseni and hear his story of coming to Christ. I truly wept at what God has done in his heart! I’m so thankful for him, and his testimony of the Lord’s faithfulness! His parting words on camera, “come to Africa if you want to change lives. Come to Africa if you want to change African lives. Come.” I was so moved, and I know you will all be when you see it!
– The rain! It has been incredibly rainy here, and that means dirt roads are becoming MUD roads. I’ve actually never been so terrified in my life, and that’s honestly saying something. (Mom, remember the boats in the Cayman Islands where I thought I was going to fly off? This was way worse, I think I was the color of a sheet!)
– The speed bumps! They are LITERALLY everywhere, and pretty high, so you really do have to slow down!
– After church, all anyone wanted to do today was take pictures!
– Church was such a blessing this morning! At the other church, there were 7 decisions made this morning to follow Christ! Praise the Lord!
– The braai this afternoon went so smoothly and I believe the pastors and their wives were encouraged by each other!
– We didn’t die in the mud today!
– Tomorrow truly starts the meat of our work. Each morning this week, we will be delivering food, Bibles, and basic necessities (through BGR buckets) in rural communities in Swaziland. Pray for guidance, direction, humility, and grace for our team. Pray for the families we visit and to see many come to know Christ through this ministry!
– The afternoons will be spent in Bible study at various churches in the southern region of Swaziland! Pray for decisions for Christ, as well as Scott as he will be preaching each day!
– The evenings will be spent in revivals. This is an important ministry, and I am especially excited for them! Pray for the Lord to be known here!
– Finally, pray for the rain to STOP! I would really prefer not to die in the mud of Swaziland, and it really does make passage to homesteads much, much more dangerous! We are truly praying for it to dry up!
Your continued prayers are so precious to each of us on the team. We are thankful for your continual encouragement and love! The real work begins now!
With grace and love,