Friday, October 31, 2008


Praise the Lord they do not celebrate Halloween here. There is enough witch craft that they do not need anything else to bring that into this country. But when it come to Christmas they are putting up the decorations and the stores already have extra toys and things set out for the children to start making their wish list. Some things are the same but others are not. It is so hard to see those toys knowing that many children will get nothing. Many would be happy with a hot meal.

We are enjoying a lazy foggy, drizzling rainy day. Later this morning we will go to see some soccer, net ball, & volley ball that will be played between the 3 Nazarene institutions here. College of Nursing, Teachers College and the Theological College. The Nazarene Church is working on putting these 3 Colleges together and make a University out of them. That will be great. Both the College of Nursing and the Teachers College are here on the Mission station where we live. The Theological College is in Siteki which is about 40 miles from Manzini.

Have a Blessed Day in the Lord! Sending our hugs to all. Grace & Peace in the Lord.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Back Up & Running, I Hope.

Still having computer problems but we were finally able to get on line with the computer that BFC let us use. It was so frustrating when we were working with a company that fixes computers as they speak English but they talk fast and somewhat broken English so we really have to listen closely. Our own PC is gone. The mother board or whatever is not working. The computer is still under warranty so we will try to send it back to Bethany, OK. with Dr. Terry Hall when he comes in December and then give the responsibility to our daughter Cheryl to try to get us a new one. After three times in to be fixed I think we should get a new one from the company. Anyway we are now back on line. Enough of that complaining.

For you that like to mow the grass or you that are glad the fall is in the air....let us share how the Swazi's mow the grass. The area where we live has about 4 acres of area to mow. The grass is spotty but of course the weeds come up. We have not seen anyone use a mower here. They burn off the fields or they use a weed eater to cut the grass. They have a mask that they wear and then they just take their time cutting the weeds and grass with the weed eater.

Continue to pray for our friend Carol Fillmore. She has been diagnosed with cancer of the abdomen. Pray for wisdom for the Doctors as they prepare a plan of treatment.

We love you and miss being able to communicate by e-mail so will be trying to follow up on all the replies.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Week of travel

This past week we traveled from Manzini, the center of the country (which is about the size of the state of New Jersey) to the East, North, South and back to Manzini each night.

We visited the District Assemblies which was spoken in both Swazi and English. What a joy to hear the Pastor's reports and share their joys. They shared about the new converts that are being discipled for baptism. Many shared that they had been able to get hooked into electricity this past year. Many shared the need for water to their communities. All the Districts are growing in number but 2 are struggling financially as there is just not enough work for so many people. Rev. Collin Elliott, the Africa South Field Strategy Coordinator, repesented the General Supt, Dr Jerry Porter. A General Supt. comes only every other year due to the number of assemblies that need to be chaired in Africa.

On Saturday we attended the funeral of our friend Valerie Young's Sister. It was held in the Church and very simular to a Christian funeral in the states. The difference was that everyone goes to the graveside and stays until the casket is fully covered with dirt. Then they all gather for tea and cake. The burial was at a family cemetery. After that part of the funeral was over the family all went to Valerie's home for a BIG meal. We live right next to her so we were part of the family. We could not believe the amout of food that was fixed and consumed. Boy was it good food. We may have eaten enough to share with you also. The Swazi's know how to celebrate and the home going of a Christian is a good time to celebrate.

Our computer is still down so will write again when we get a chance. In the meantime continue to remember us in prayer.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Computer Down

Our Computer is down so just want to let you know we are doing fine and staying busy. It is raining right now of which we are very thankful. Please pray that we can get our computer back up working soon so we can receive e-mails and do our blogs.
Thanks for your patience and prayers.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Familiar Place

Does this place look familiar to you?

Since coming to Swaziland this is the only place to eat that is in the US. The food is not quite the same but it is good. We have eaten at the one in Mbabane but not here in Manzini. When we have to make the trip to the government offices to work on Visa and etc. then we go to KFC for lunch. We are not sorry that there is no McDonald's, but I could use a Sonic drink once in a while.

Today it is very hot and windy. Could stand to have some AC but we must get accustomed to the high temps. We have spent most of the day in front of the fan. Sounds kind of lazy but I guess that is what we are today.

We are asking for prayer again for RAIN. We had fires around us again yesterday. Most of them are started on purpose to burn off the weeds so the grass can grow on the hill sides. Glad they are not starting them today with the high winds.

The question was ask if we had maps or how we found our way around. No maps for most of the dirt roads but an overall map that shows all the paved roads and a few of the major dirt roads. People just find their way by following trees and other land marks. All the places we have gone we had someone with us to get to the destination. Then it is our job to be able to find our way back. If it was up to me, Karis, we would still be out there somewhere wondering around. Will is very good at directions and can find his way around. Now me, I am directionally challenged. Even with a map I have trouble.

Remember you are loved.

Friday, October 10, 2008


In the last blog we showed you the vehicle we drive now you need to see the roads we have traveled. This road is up on the side of the mountain. Praise God for keeping us safe. This is just one example and will probably not show how it really is but it will give you an idea. Pot holes and rough roads in Oklahoma are nothing compared to many of these. Now before you think it is all dirt roads --- well there are nice paved roads also. It is just when you get out of the city and into the Bush area.

Have a Blessed Week-end. We love you and are praying for you.

Pray for our friend Carol Fillmore of Mozambique. She just found out that she had a growth in her abdomen that needs to be removed. They are leaving Oct. 14 to return to the US for up coming surgery. Johnny & Carol are volunteer missionaries and co-ordinate Work & Witness teams in Mozambique.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Praise God For 4 Wheel Drive

1999 Toyota Four Wheel Drive. Thank you to ALL who helped pay for this vehicle. We wish each one of you could come here sometime and see what you purchased for us to use and the BFC/SNU Partnership team to use.

Tuesday & Wednesday we were traveling out in the Bush areas. We traveled on some roads that were only accessible with a 4 wheel drive vehicle. Just 2 weeks ago God allowed us the possibility of purchasing this vehicle and selling the first little Opal that we had purchased. We are so thankful to have the bigger vehicle for the travel needs here in Swaziland.

There are NO roads in the US like some we have encountered here. Once you get off the paved roads it is hard to tell what you will be driving on. A little path to us is a road for some. Many rocks, ruts, holes and whatever is on the road as well as up and down the Mountains.

We were visiting Churches that are way out away from any town. Sometimes we wonder how people can walk as far as they do to go to Church. They do love the Lord. God is good!!! All the time, God is good.

Thanks again for all your prayers and financial help you have given us. We love you.

Monday, October 6, 2008

100 Years Celebration

100 YEARS AND COUNTING! What a beautiful day we had as the Nazarene Church around the world celebrated 100 years as a Church. The Church was to dress in their Native dress. Those pictured are a part of the Praise Team at Living Waters Church of the Nazarene. It is the only fully English speaking Nazarene Church in Manzini. They sang choruses and some songs in their native tongue but when we as a group stood and sang 'Holiness unto the Lord' WOW! It was just another reminder that wherever you are God is there. The Pastor recognized many in the Church that were giving of their time for Missions. We were among those along with our friends Bob & Shirley Aldrich, Val Young, a former Doctor that was there visiting from the US, and a former Ministers wife (whose husband was a former Pastor of the Church.) Following a 3 hour service we continued the fellowship together with a traditional Swazi meal. It was all set up and the plates had been dished up. We just picked up a plate of food that looked good to us and set down to enjoy the bounty. This was all set out, served, and cleaned up but the younger ladies of the Church.

The young man in the blue shirt is the son of Rev. Shongwe, Central Nazarene DS. We wish that you could have heard them sing and dance in the Spirit of the Lord.

Friday, October 3, 2008

First Swazi Haircut

Well I, Karis finally was brave enough to go have my haircut. I had heard stories from Rhoda Restrick Missionary in Mozambique. She told of another Missionary who had her hair cut and came out almost bald. Most Swazi women have very short hair and then they wear wigs or add braids to what little hair they have. I was very concerned about what I would look like when I was finished. The only thing I thought was if they cut it all off then I will not have to do anything with it when I wash & dry it. It will be a wash & go cut. Well...... I came out looking like myself and boy was I glad. She did have to cut a lot off as it had been a while but I am not bald. Even if I was you wouldn't know it as you can not see me from there.

I have a new respect for our Son-in-law, Donnie Carley. He has been Will's barber except when we are in Ohio and then either Dave or Craig Wood (2 of my brothers)cuts it. Well, Will would not go anywhere so I finally got brave, bought clippers and did it myself. Not to bad of a job if I do say so. It seemed to take forever and my arms got tired. Now he is about due for another one. Thanks, Donnie, for all your labor of love giving Will all those haircuts. To Dave & Craig, thanks for all the free ones over the many years you have been barbers. When we get back to the states I will be ready for our regular barbers to take over.

Nurse at Sitsatsaweni

Today we visited the site of our 1st GO TEAM project. As we have said before, things move slower here than what we would like, but progress is seen each time we visit. The house for 2 Nurses families is mostly completed on the outside with flowers and shrubs planted. They do not plant grass because this is one of the driest areas in this country. hHey for all of you who love to mow, what would you do without grass. But then for those who are tired of mowing grass, you probably would be all for not planting the grass. They can water the flowers some and hopefully keep them growing. If nothing more than using the used dish water to water them. You know like back in the early days in the US. Now we just turn on the sprinkler or even have a watering system that turns on as scheduled and does the job for us.

This is a picture of one of the Nurses, Khathazo Ndlova, and his wife, Perpetua.
His wife was here visiting and will return to her home and then bring the children back in December if all the paper work can be done. Nurse Loaf, as we have called him, has been working her 3 years while his family lived in Zimbabwe with their two children. Lethubuhle age 7 and Sibonokuhle age 3. Now you try saying those names.

The Nurse graduated from Nursing School in 2002 and then in 2007 received a certificate in Marketing. His dream is to someday work with a Drug company but there are only 2 here in Swaziland. Pray for this precious couple as they work on getting their family together in the same country. We will be planning a special time for them when we can finally give him the keys to his place.

God Bless you all as you serve Him where he has you planted.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

How Did You Do On The Quiz?

Here are the answers. We hope you did well, at least it will help you know some of the things we encounter and deal with.

1. We drive on the Left side. That was scary at least at first.

2. The wind blows from the South when there is a cool front. It is NEVER cold.

3. The sun is always in the Northern sky here in Swaziland. We are located about
25 degree South Latitude.

4. Our Temperature is in Celsius. 35 C degrees = 95 F degrees (35 X 9/5 + 32).

5. Hot winds come from the North.

6. Our weight is in Kg., so 70 equals about 155 lbs. (70 x 2.2). We are an adult or a big kid.

7. All curtains, windows, mirrors, sheets, tablecloths, etc. are measured in Cm.
2 1/2 Cm = approximately 1 inch. Our table cloth is 60 inches x 96 inches.

8. Our gas right now is about $4.50 per gallon. I won't bore you with how to figure this out.

9. We most often pass on the Left because that is the way we drive.

10. There is a number of traditional reasons why we hole our right wrist or arm with our left hand while we shake right hands. One is the other person can see that we have no weapon in our left hand. Also we are to always give and receive gifts and money with our right hand. All this makes us wonder why in America do we do some of the things we do.

11. It is Spring here and the flowers and trees are all blooming.

12. The children go to school year around. Three months of school and then one month off. Then they repeat the cycle.

Well now that you have your answers what do you think of some of the customs here?