Saturday, November 29, 2008

Hot Weather

Today has been the hottest day since we arrived here 4 months ago. It was at least 90 degrees in our apartment. We have learned to do without many things but we are not sure about not having AC or aircon as they call it. We started this morning with a meeting with Jim & Colleen Copple and then stopped to pick up some groceries. When we got home it was so hot that we just took it very easy. Guess what, it is still Spring. Summer doesn't arrive until Dec. 21st. How about hot weather for Christmas. It will definitely be different. Pray we can adjust to the weather and tempature. It was hot all week but today has been the worst.

We send you our love and blessings.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Great Meetings

This afternoon we took Harlan & Barbi Moore to the airport to send them back to Bethany, OK. It was hard to see them go and not want to be going with them. We had a very busy but wonderful week together.

Many meetings and lots of travel as we took them to the East District, North District and of course we live on the Central District. So as you can see we have done some traveling this week. We visited 7 clinics this week to evaluate what needs there are. Visited New Hope Center Orphanage, and spent some time with the HIV/AIDS Task Force visiting some of their patients. What a joy to be able to pray with these dear people. Also had meetings with RFM Hospital personnel, with the full Partnership with Swazi leaders. There were also many other smaller meetings with the Copples, Moores, Cosmos Mutowa and Felipe Perdono from South Africa, and Cort Miller from Kansas City. Each meeting gave more insight into the total Partnership program.

Of course with all these meetings there seemed to be an over aboundance of food. Sometimes it is hard to enjoy all the food and frills when so many people are starving. We have brained stormed about many ideas of ways in which many of you can also become involved. For those of you at BFC you will be hearing more about this from Barbi Moore in the near future.

All in all it was a busy exciting week as we see God continuing to work among the people here. We are all working for a common goal to help get rid of the dreaded HIV/AIDS Disease and to bring people to Christ.

We have a couple days of rest and then on Monday Dr. Terry Hall and Joey Colazzi, RN arrive to spend time at RFM and to see some of the clinics. God has been so good to provide us a car that can get to many of these clinics in the bush.

Have a great week-end. We plan to have a great one here.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving

Tonight we met at the home of Bob & Shirley Aldrich for a delicious traditional Thanksgiving meal. There were 12 of us joining from all over the world in giving Thanks for our Heritage. There were those from South Africa, Zimbabwe, Canada, Mexico and the USA. We shared a meal, sang hymns of Praise and Thanksgiving, prayed and fellowshiped in the Love of Jesus. What a great time was had by all. For 2 of them it was the first time they have had the privilege of this celebration. Tomorrow as you gather with family and friends we will be in meetings with the BFC/SNU/Swaziland Partnership Group. We will have a meal together so in some ways we will continue to celebrate.

We have so much to be thankful for. We love you all. Especially the Carley's: Donnie, Cheryl, Seth & Emma, the Stemen's: Aaron, Ruth, Miriam, Josiah, & Gideon, the Wise's, Kenny, Cindy, Kenna, Jaci & Bretyn, the Mund's, Nate, Annette, Lucas & Braden. Have a wonderful day. We are praying for you and miss you all.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Count Your Many Blessings

"Count your many blessings, Name them one by one, Count your many blesssing, See what God hath done. WOW!!! Not only what He has done but what He is continuing to do. We have had a beautiful week-end and it is not over. Harlan and Barbi Moore arrived safely Friday evening and Jim & Colleen Copple arrived Saturday afternoon. We all met along with over 300 Swazi's at Sitsatsaweni for a beautiful Dedication Service of the Nurses house and the water system. The community has come together so much since we started this project in July. It is exciting to see them working together. Matron Anna said that she was about to close this clinic due to no place for the Nurses to live and that it was very hard to find Nurses to go there. Other than Nurse Ndlovu who had been there 4years without his wife and 2 children, no one wanted to come. Now Nurses are begging to come to this location. They have 2 very fine Nurses and Nurse Ndlovu's family will be joining him before Christmas.

We planned on feeding 200 people but we fed 350. God helped to multiply the food so all could eat. We have seen this happen here before. What a mighty God we serve.

Today we worshiped at Sharpe Memorial Church and again were blessed with the Spirit of God in the service. Harlan & Barbi sang which blessed us all.

All we can say is Praise God for His many, many Blessings.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Friends Coming

Tomorrow, in fact about 24 hours, we will be going to the airport to pick up Pastor Harlan and Barbi Moore from BFC. Are we excited? You bet. There is a full week-end of activities planned and they will not have time for jet lag. Then on Saturday Jim & Colleen Copple from the DC area will be arriving just in time for the big celebration of our first project that began the BFC/SNU/Swaziland Partnership. We will be dedicating the Nurses house. As we wrote yesterday, the community is working hard to clean up around the area from the building project and we are trying to get the plumbing finished. It is so exciting to see a community that has almost nothing come together to work on this project with us. It has changed the community in so many ways and we know God has bigger plans for them, than we even know. What a Mighty God we Serve.

Thanks to all who send us encouragement on your comments. We love getting them. Keep them coming.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

What a Day We Have Had

Today started early as we went to get 2 new kitchen electric Stoves for the Nurses House at Sitsatsaweni. Remember we are in Swaziland and the people can be very laid back and slow. We had made arrangements yesterday to pick these tiems up at a certain time. When we got there they had to go to the next town(one of their other stores and would be back in about 15 minutes) to pick up one for us. Three hours later we were finally on the road to deliver them. We had to drive about 60 miles to deliver these so by now it is lunch time. Fortunately we had taken some cheese & crackers with us. There are no Mc D's on every corner. In fact there are none.

When we arrived we were suprised to find about 100 people from young children, Primary and High School young people there raking and cleaning up the grounds. They were working hard at making the grounds nice for the Dedication on Saturday. It was so good to see the community working on the project without us asking or proding them to do it.

Both Nurses were so excited to see the stoves. Nurse Ndlova kept saying I am going to be able to bake some real good food. He was like a child at Christmas.

We talked to the 79 year old Pastor Pato and he was excited about a man that came to Church last Sunday. The man said he had attended this Church as a child and with all that was happening around his community he knew he better get back in Church and right with the Lord. WOW!!! God is really working on this community.

From there we went to the school which is about 1/2 mile from the clinic and some High School student were moving one of the water holding tanks to where it will be and also placing water lines in the ditches that they had dug. Again we saw how the community is really coming together.

By the time we arrived back home we were exhausted from all the excitment. Tomorrow is another day so will close and get some rest.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Happy Birthday

October and November we have 4 or our 10 special grandchildren celebrating birthdays. Miriam Grace, Seth Adam, Jaci Rochelle and Kenna Rae we wish you each another year of happiness, growth and learning. Keep you eyes on Jesus and let Him guide your every steps. We love you and pray for you as you go to school, spend time with your family & friends, run, play in the band and continue with those things that interest you. As you gather together on Thanksgiving day remember we may not be there in person but you are all in our hearts. Have a great day and keep smiling.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sunday Services

Today we worshiped with a group of about 150 Nazarenes in Hlatikhulu. How about that name for a town and a church. The name doesn't matter ----- the people do. We had a great service with wonderful hymns sung in the siSwati language and the Holy Spirit was right there with us. Karis brought greetings from BFC & SNU and Will brought the message through an interputer. We had a time of Praise as one dear lady stepped forward to renew her relationship with Jesus. That is what it is all about. A New Name written down in Glory.

Following the service we had fellowship meal with the Pastor and his family and 2 other families. How good it is to worship in the different churches as God always is there in the mist.

As I am writing this you are probably just getting yourself up and ready for service. It is about 5 pm here and our day is winding down as yours is beginning. (about 9 am in OK) In about an hour we will have a time for singing, devotions and fellowship with some of the people who live near us on the mission station. Sunday evening are also very special to us as we sing and Praise the Lord together.

We pray you have a great day in the Lord.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Thank God for Rain & Bugs

We are to 'give thanks in all circumstances'. I Thess. 5:18 Sometimes we find it hard to give thanks for all things. The rainy season is here and we now have an over abundance of BUGS. Big ones, little ones and all sizes in between. They also come in a lot of colors. I showed Will a very pretty green one this morning. The color was pretty but not the bug.

This afternoon we had a bad storm. No damage except the loss of electricity, which happens a lot even without storms. It was a big thunder storm and oh, so much rain. This storm came up fast and then moved on just as fast. Even with the rain we have been having still many places seem dry.

We do want to take time to say thanks to God for the rain he is providing and I guess I can put up with the bugs to have the rain. Each morning we have to sweep up the bugs as they seem to come in the house in the evening, fly around, bother us and then they are all dead on the floor in the morning.

Life in Swaziland. The bugs will not hinder the work of the Lord. His work is still being accomplished.

We love you all and thank God for you as well as for the rain and (ugh!) the bugs.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Up coming Dedication

November 22 will be a very special day in the BFC/SNU Swaziland Partnership. We are planning a big celebration as we dedicate the Nurses house at Sitsatsaweni. It has taken much longer to complete than we would like but we must remember we are working and living on Swazi time. They just do not seem to have an urgency to get anywhere or get anything done at a reasonable time. At least that is how we see things. Anyway if all goes as we have planned the plumbing will be finished. Even if not we have 2 couples from the US that will be here that Saturday and we will have a service to dedicate this home to further the work of the Kingdom.

Jim & Coleen Copple from the DC area and Harlan & Barbi Moore from BFC will be here. Both of these couples are very instrumental to getting this project off the ground and to become a reality.

Continue to pray for the people of this community.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Sunday Services

Yesterday Will preached at a small Church (about 25) outside on Manzini. As we had said before we were not given good directions. After 45 minutes and several phone calls (Thank God for cell phones, everyone has one of those here) we finally connected with the Pastor who was waiting out on the Highway for us. We were not late for service, as remember we are on Swazi time. As soon as we arrived Karis was told she had about 30 minutes to teach Sunday School. WOW! That certainly took her out of her comfort zone. Now Will can get up in front of people and talk for quite a while but that is not what Karis can go. She did manage about 10 minutes talking to those from age 5 to 70.

After service we shared some suckers and stuffed animals with each one and you would have thought it was Christmas for them.

The area of the Church is very poor but then we took the Pastor, his wife and 17 yr. old son home. That was when we really saw poverty. The home was about 15 x 20 ft. There were cement blocks holding down a tin roof. It didntl look like there were any nails in it.

They live about 15 miles from the church and have to take a combi (Bus) to get there. Since the Church only pays about $10 - 15 a week for a family of 7 they can not all go to church each week. There were 13yr old twins and 6 yr old left at home due to the cost of travel. They have a 20 yr old in South Africa going to school. She is a Junior in HS. When we saw their home we wanted to cry. It was a mud home that was about to fall down. (Took pictures but unable to put them on at this point.)

After leaving this dear family committed to serve the Lord, we felt guilty going home to our comfortable flat, and sitting down to a hot meal. We have so much and live high according to so many here.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Activities of Today

Today was a very cool day. In fact we have had several cooler days. It is Spring here so I guess we should expect that. It is just that we had some very hot weather earlier and I guess we are surprised that it has cooled down. We have also had some rain this evening.

We went to see a Botanical Gardens this morning with our friends Bob & Shirley Aldrich. The trees and flowers were beautiful. Then we visited the Swazi candle factory and Karis made a small candle to bring home. From there we went to eat lunch in a area that also has an outside garden resturant but since it was cool we decided to eat inside. They had a fire place burning so we set close and enjoyed the warmth of the fire. After we had eaten way to much good food we drove through one of the Game Reserves close by. We saw many animals. None of the big 5 animals are there because it is a small reserve. It is so interesting to watch the animals as they wonder just beside the road and usually don't think to much about people being around as long as we do not make any loud sounds.

Tomorrow Will is peaching in a Church just outside of Manzini. We have not been there so it will be interesting to see if we can find it on our own. There are not many roads signs like in the USA but we have been given directions to turn at this place....and then go this far....and then look for....and then.....till we get to the Church.

Have a great day in the Lord. We love you all and are praying for you.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Progress in action

Yesterday we spent the day in Sitsatsaweni our first GO TEAM Project in this BFC/SNU Partnership. How excited the people are as they see work being done on the original well that has not produced water for 7 years. The water is there but the windmill had be damaged and never fixed. Mostly due to the fact that they have no money in that community and then again who is responsible to fix it. No one wants to take the 'bull by the horns' so to speak and take charge.

We watched as a group of high school young men and their Principalmoved a big holding tank on to the platform where water will be stored. Jimmy and his crew from Agri Pumps where there working on the well. What amazes us is that Jimmy has just trusted us that the money for this system is on the way. He is doing all he can to help us with this project, to see that this community gets the water ASAP.

We also met the new Deputy of the Primary school. She has only been there 2 weeks and seems very impressed with the work that is being done in the community.

Then we talked to Patricia who is the Senior Teacher at the Primary school. This is the one we had worked with before. She could hardly contain her self with excitement. We talked about the schools needing to plant veggie in a garden plot to use for the school and to send the extra home with the children that have no parents living. That is a great percentage of the school. Parents gone due to HIV/AIDS. The High School was already plowing up a plot to plant. We took them a 50 Kg bag of Mealie and some Brown sugar and you think we gave them a million dollars

We learned that there are 4 or 5 new men are now coming to the Church and a new family came the last 2 weeks. PRAISE THE LORD. See what some people willing to give of their time and money to work with a community can do. THANK YOU BFC/SNU 1st GO TEAM and all the teams to follow. Thank you to those who are helping support us and for those whom God is talking to about giving of their time and money to help the dear people of Swaziland.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Memories of our Daughter

42 years ago today we were blessed with a beautiful dark curley headed little girl. Growing up her hair turned blond and stayed that way until in her late teens. As a child Amy felt a call to be a Missionary. That she was in so many ways. She worked at the Allen County Children's Services in Lima, Ohio. As a Social Worker she had many opportunities to go to the Mission field in her work. Her job was to teach families how to take care of their children so they would not have to be put into foster care.

Today would be her birthday but she will always be 28 to us. In 1994 God took her to be with Him after a brave battle of cancer.

Amy today we celebrate again the beautiful brave life and joy that your brought into our lives and those of your siblings. May God use us here as Missionaries and serve just a small way in your place. We will always love you.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Spring Day

Today has been a cool day with a lot of rain and thunderstorms last evening. Today the high was 67 and the low 55degrees. Wow! what a change from Sunday. It was very hot and humid on Sunday. The rain has been much welcomed. You may get tired of hearing about rain but when we see everything so dry and the river beds with very little water in them, it is hard not to get excited about rain. We know that so many people depend on the rivers to get their water.

We are in the process of getting a solar pump up in the community that seems the driest. Bless the dear ones that our funding this project.

We will enjoy the cooler weather because tomorrow is another day and it may be warm again. We do miss the colorful change of leaves that are expecially so bright in the Eastern part of the USA.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Swaziland Prime Minister

Last week the King of Swaziland appointed his new government cabinet. The Prime Minister is Dr. Sibusiso Barnabas Dlamini. He is a member of the Pigg's Peak Church of the Nazarene and we have been told a strong Christian.

This week he has had meetings with the 4 Nazarene District Superintendents and yesterday he met with the faculty at the Nazarene College of Nursing. We are very excited to see what he can do for this country.

Will you pray with us for Dr. Dlamini (Lameeni). Pray that he will be strong in his convictions and lead this country in a new direction.

We have also heard from Dr. Samuel Hynd, (Son of Dr. David Hynd, Nazarene Dr that came to Swaziland in 1925) that the King when appointed only wanted to have 1 wife but he was told you follow our customs by the ruling family members or step down. He was just 19 years old when he became King. He turned 40 this year. He now has 14wives we think. Pray for King Mswati III to stand up to the customs of this country and make changes. Dr. Samuel was 3 years old when his father brought him here. He delivered the King in his clinic and is now in his 80's and still running a busy practice here in Manzini.

Thank you for partnering in prayer with us.