Friday, July 31, 2009


"Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, 'I've been praying for years that the communist government in China will collapse, so that Christians can live in freedom.' This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead we have learned that God is in control of both our lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, ' The government will be on his shoulders.' Isaiah 9:6

God has used China's government for his own purposes, molding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers on any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.

Do not pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn't pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure. Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his power and love.

This is true freedom!"

-from "The Heavenly Man" by Brother Yun, pp.286-287

Thursday, July 30, 2009


One of A's teammates, Ani, has put together a video of still shots and video footage taken on their recent trip to Swaziland. Enjoy and pray!

And thanks to all of you who supported them in so many needed ways.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009


It's been heavy and overcast this morning with storms just to our north. And it's nice to see the sunshine now pouring down on us. But despite that, I surely wouldn't mind watching a Swazi sunset right about now or the moon rising over a homestead dappled valley.

Africa by Emily Dibb

When you’ve acquired a taste for dust,
The scent of our first rain,
You’re hooked for life on Africa
And you’ll not be right again
Till you can watch the setting moon
And hear the jackals bark
And know that they’re around you,
Waiting in the dark.

When you long to see the Elephants,
Or to hear the coucal’s song,
When the moonrise sets your blood on fire,
You’ve been away too long.
It’s time to cut the traces loose
And let you’re heart go free
Beyond that far horizon,
Where your spirit yearns to be.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009


Pastor Gift, a member of the Adventures in Missions team in Swaziland, recently posted this:

The Nsoko community once again is facing a challenge within a challenge. Most people in this area depend on Government food grants to survive. What I do not understand is why it takes so long for Goverment to replenish the food supply to these people?

Yesterday I was sitting in my house doing administrative work when I heard a timid knock at the door. At first I thought it was my puppy now becoming big dog Max. I heard the gentle but desperate knock on the accompanied by murmuring sounds. I reluctantly stood up and went to check this unusual knock out. Guess what I found out there? God. Yes, I saw God. But this time it is not as I expected to see God. He was represented by this old lady. This lady was so frail and skiny you could have thought she was dead. I enquired, "how can I help you gogo". She shyly gave a response, "I am hungry my son, help I am dying." I immediately thought of what we had at the kitchen. I wish Isabel was writing this blog as a third person because it is difficult to say this. We had no food too except some bread that I was serving for my daughter when she comes from school.

The Spirit within me said I you going to spare food for your daughter and not give God right at your door. Joy came upon my spirit right then and I went to the kitchen and began to make juice and took all the slices of bread put it on a tray and went to give the old lady outside. Her eyes immediatetly brightened at the sight of food. I watched her eat as if she had not eaten in days. When she was done I cannot remember how many times she said "God bless you my son", "Thank you so much" with that shaking timid voice. I watched her as she stoop up to leave her body telling a story of shame as she moved. As she disappeared she left me with a picture of a miserable face that does not remember any joy. Here is someone that has lived a life of shame most of her life.

She is just one out of so many. Scott Borg has been to Nsoko this month with an Adult Team that happened to have teenagers too. On Tuesday and Thursday we visited homes for ministry. This team had bought basic food parcels to give out to the homes we visited. I went with a team to a home that I know is a youth headed family. Father and mother are dead only the children survive them. The World Racers would remember Mfan'thini. This is his family. They have absolutely no means. This young girl, hard as it is to admit, has to sometimes prostitute herself to feed the to young sisters, younger brother and her own small child. On the secong visit we went to this gogo's home.She is trying her best to raise her grandchildren that were left behind by her dead children. The only surviving daughter destroyed her house and left never to come back.

I must say, the people of Nsoko are still full of hope. They hope in life, they hope in hope, and above all they have hope in God.How people survive hear sometimes I do not know. But the fact is they do survive. They hope against hope. As I write in my car there is an envelope full if HIV results. The Luke Commission worker tells me that almost all of the people who got tested, they tested positive. She mentioned a special case of a fifteen year old who is in a critical position because her CD4 count is very low. HIV and poverty somehow do assist one another. They are cousins. These people are poor and they are also the most infected. In Swaziland the infection rate is at 42%. Nsoko has a 49% infection rate. People are dying and in numbers. Businesses are being affected.

The other day I was called upon to rescue a young man of about 22 years. He was from hospital to collect his ARV's. He had just enough money for transport and nothing for food. He fell next to the gate because he could not walk any longer. We have hope though. We hope against hope. The Real Life team is rounding up its ministry in Nsoko. Having these vibrant young people minister to their counterparts does give a ray of hope. It makes me think: God does care about Nsoko.

Do you?

To read more about Pastor Gift's ministry, visit his blog at:

Monday, July 27, 2009


I read this book last week and I'm too tired too do it justice in a review right now. But let me just say, this is a profound story of power, grace, mercy, and that I'm still thinking of and learning from. Thanks, Rhonda, for the recommendation.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

...and all those little ones that are loved so much by
folks like me who are too far away.
A man is not where he lives, but where he loves. ~Latin Proverb

Friday, July 24, 2009

...and loving it, too! Lisa Samson has crafted an amazing story with THE PASSION OF MARY-MARGARET. And I especially love the parts pertaining to Swaziland. Because in case you haven't noticed, I'm rather fond of that country.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Today my hunky hubby turned 44. We had fun celebrating his life and what he means to us. Even though it was just us, with 7 kids, it was quite the party! We began with a good, ole country breakfast complete with ham, red eye gravy (the first time I'd fixed it or eaten it), grits, and biscuits. When he came home at the end of the day, the celebration started back up again. The 2 big girls and even little 3 year old hobbit baby got in on the cooking and we fixed Rachael Ray salsa verde burgers, corn-on-the-cob, tortilla chips with guacamole, and chocolate mocha pudding cake. YUM-O! Then it was on to gifts, acting goofy, taking lots of pics, and watching The Monkees.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm sorry that I've not posted more details or photos from A's trip to Swaziland. We've been super busy over the last few days plus just trying to spend extra family time catching up on news. But here's a quick peek into their trip and I promise...more will be coming!!!

Monday, July 20, 2009

The Ambassador team made it safe and sound back home over the weekend. It is SO good to hear all the stories and know that God did such amazingly beautiful things through them and in them. Lots more details and photos to follow. In the meantime, thank you so much for your prayers over the last several weeks. God moved mightily!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Today A's AIM team leaves Africa to return home. I'm sure they are full to overflowing with mixed emotions...sadness at leaving behind those that are dear to them in Swaziland as well as saying goodbye to their teammates but at the same time excited about seeing their loved ones back here in the States.
Please pray for them.
Pray for safety as they travel today and tomorrow.
Pray for their hearts and minds as they deal with all the emotions and thoughts that are bombarding them during this transition time.
Pray that they will never lose the things that God wants them to keep from their month.
Pray for them and their families and other loved ones as they adjust to life after Africa.
Thanks in advance,

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I received this from Deb Gangemi and wanted to post it here at Graceland:

Nearly 7 months ago, we accepted the opportunity to become sponsorship coordinators for the 102 children of the Beveni Carepoint. At the time, 14 kids were sponsored. Since then, God has written a most remarkable story of redemption with details of beauty from ashes.

He has accomplished so much for the precious children and caregivers of that community by drawing a faith community together in prayer and commitment to them. The details have been shared through this group, emails and our family blog and include how He blessed what we called the Beveni Challenge.

And the story continues to this day! Let me describe a scene taken from our family’s daily routine , kind of a sneak peek into life in the Gangemi home.

When we became coordinators for this carepoint, Children’ HopeChest sent us hard copies of the profiles of 102 kids. We spread them out over our dining room table or coffee table, and began praying for them. At first, they were precious faces without names, but as we prayed for them and talked over them, admiring a smile, having our hearts touched by a look in a set of eyes, these kids became “ours”. Yup, now we are a family of 106: 4 Gangemi’s and 102 kids with names we cannot pronounce! Isn’t God incredible?

As children became sponsored, we moved their profiles to a separate pile and kept praying. We felt so blessed as the “unsponsored”pile grew smaller and smaller………and stunned in the last 10 days as the pile was reduced to just four faces: beautiful 15 year old Sesabile, sweet 14 year old Ncobile, handsome 14 year old Thabo and cute little 9 year old Senzo. They are identified in the video at this link:

These kids are not just faces to us anymore. They are precious children of our Papa, dearly loved, deeply cherished. They are made in His image and have something of Him to show each of us. There isn’t one of us who wouldn’t be blessed to know them!

I am sending this to you today to ask you to commit yourself to praying for these four children, and for those who would become their sponsors. I believe with every ounce of my being that the reason 98 of the children have sponsors is because they have been prayed for, and because His big kids have responded.

If, when you are praying for these four kids, you feel a tug to do something more, please do so. Share this message and the link to the video with people you know. Don’t be afraid to let others know! You may be in this story only as a message bearer to someone who needs to know one of these children; what a blessing you will be to that person who needs one of these kids in their own lives as much or more than the child needs them!

Anyone is welcome to contact me via FB message board or email: bevenicarepoint "at" comcast "dot" net . It is my absolute joy to speak to people about caring for orphans, especially these orphans!

We are so grateful to all who have come alongside us as a faith community, the Beveni carepoint sponsorship community. We pray for each of you, that He would bless you with His brand of peace and joy even as your commitment to these children bring them hope.

In Him, with faith in His bigness!

Deb Gangemi

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Just received this news from A's Swaziland team leaders:

Hello All-

We just moved back to Manzini, where we will be until tomorrow when we head to South Africa.

This is probably the last blog post we will be able to write while in Africa. We are entering into the first stages of debriefing our time here. This will include a lot of reflection on our time here, opportunities to praise God for the work He has done in us and through us, and practical thinking about returning back home. We will be interspersing this with exciting activities where we will be staying in South Africa.

We would greatly appreciate your prayers for our safe travels and that God would really be ministering to us in this time. We cannot believe our time in Africa is so quickly coming to an end, and while we are very sad to leave, we're excited to share our experiences here with you.

Thanks for all of your support, encouragement, and prayers. We appreciate all the prayers we have as we're traveling back, and we look forward to seeing everyone again. Praise God for all of His provision, blessings, and faithfulness thus far!!!

~Swazi Leaders

Monday, July 13, 2009

When we visited Swaziland last year, we were blessed to visit two Children's Cup carepoints and meet many of the wonderful CC staff as well as spend time playing and loving on the carepoint children. Today I received this prayer request and wanted to share it with you:

Ben just called from Swaziland with an urgent call for prayer. He, his family, and dozens of the Children's Cup staff have been stricken by some kind of flu that just doesn't go away. Ben has fought it for eight weeks now. The doctors do not think it is swine flu because the fevers are not quite as high, but it is serious.

Our God is a Healing God and can stop this attack of the enemy.

Thank you for standing with us.

Dave & Jean and the 'Cup Team

For more information on the work of Children's Cup in Swaziland, visit these websites:

Sunday, July 12, 2009

I just finished reading CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY by Alan Paton a few days ago. What a story! Whether you're fascinated by Southern Africa, interested in race relations, or just love a good read, this book is for you. I'd heard about it for years. Don't know why I never wanted to read it before. Somewhere, somehow I'd heard something that left me uninterested. But then just a bit ago I came across it and it peaked my interest. I decided to give it a try not really sure I'd even like it. And obviously, I was pleasantly, pleasantly surprised.

CRY, THE BELOVED COUNTRY is a book about fear and love, consequences and mercy, tearing apart and building up, grief and healing, suffering and forgiveness. It is a story of the human journey that we can all relate to ...whether we are in the mountains of South Africa or the small towns of America. We all face fears. We all face pain. We all have the choice of how we will respond and what we will do to shape our future and those around us.

"For it is the dawn that has come, as it has come for a thousand centuries,
never failing. But when that dawn will come, of our emancipation, from the fear
of bondage and the bondage of fear, why, that is a secret."

Alan Paton

Saturday, July 11, 2009


I love the internet. One of the main reasons is that it makes it so much easier to keep in touch with friends and find out news quickly. When I lived in Swaziland during the dark ages...okay, just the 80's...we had regular phones, NOT cell phones, and the calls from The States were a $1 a minute. The internet, email, and facebook were something most of us never even imagined so to communicate with folks across the ocean, it was mostly thru old fashioned letters which often took 2 to 3 weeks to arrive.

Now thru the wonder of internet, I can not only read blog posts about my girl and her team in Swaziland, I can have live chats via facebook instant messaging about my girl!

Yesterday, I was able to have such a conversation with Thulile Mamba. We met Thulile last year on our trip to Swaziland. Since then she has married Adventures in Missions staffer Dennis Brock. When we met her, she was on the D-Team that went around to the various carepoints discipling the children. Now she's working with the Timbali Crafts helping impoverished women make money to support their families through the making of beautiful purses, table runners, and other items.

Thulile instant messaged that A and her team had helped out on Thursday with the purses at Timbali Crafts. She said that they had a lot of fun and "is good". Thulile said that the family's homestead they are staying in does not have running water but there is a big holding tank. They buy water to fill it up so the team has access to clean drinking water. The family they are staying with lives close to the carepoint.

Not earth shattering news I know, but to this mama who is far, far away from her first born, I love hearing that she's doing good and picturing better her surroundings.

Please join with me in praying for her team as they finish up their last few days of ministry and then travel back to the U.S.A.

If you are interested in finding out how you can purchase a Timbali craft or just to learn more about this ministry and the incredible women involved, go to:

Thursday, July 09, 2009


For the remainder of A's time in Swaziland, her team will be staying and ministering at Timbutini Carepoint and Church. This video was made a couple of years ago and features Tom Davis of Children's HopeChest explaining the role that a carepoint plays in the lives of HIV/AIDS orphans and other extremely impoverished children in Swaziland. The carepoint and church featured in this video are the ones at Timbutini.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009


One of A's AIM Ambassador teammates sent this message to her parents on the 4th of July:

Hi - okay, I'm sitting in an internet cafe in Manzini, Swaziland and i am really frustrated with this computer (i have spent half an hour trying to fix it). grrrr. Anyway, now i can finally have contact with America! I am currently living in a round hut with the 15 other girls on my team. It has been so much fun. But pray, pray, pray, pray, pray...i honestly cannot write that enough - there is so much spiritual warfare here. Here's something you'll find amusing - my team regards me as just about the most practical one on our team! Oh, mom (i know, i'm using your facebook, love you and daddy and peter so much!), Amy showed me the southern cross last night - it's actually not too big. I can't believe i'm already half way through. Is my horsey happy? I miss you all bunches, especially now, and i hope you check your facebook sometime today.

Okay, now for the second part. I've been to a care point, and have some precious friends (Lindokuhle, Masithulele, Nonhlanhla, and Bongiwe), although i had to say goodbye to them on Wed. I've been to the Hope House, sort of like a hospice, and the Manzini Hospital, that was pretty hard. My team is such an amazing group of people. Please, please pray. I cannot stress enough how important that is. Today we're takinga day off, yay!! and going to a Fourth of July party with the Western group:-). I don't think i've ever prayed this much in my whole life, but it is so amazing. I love you all. I am so excited to be here - it is so crazy cool! Well, next time you hear from me, I should be home.

Love you so so much!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009


This was posted by the Swaziland Ambassador team leader, Amy Sutherland, yesterday:

Hello All-

Just a quick update! We had a safe and relaxing 4th of July and enjoyed the opportunity to celebrate our nationality in a very beautiful part of Swaziland. We went to church yesterday and spent the afternoon getting adjusted to our new homestead and running (yes...literally running) through the hills telling people about revival services that will be going on in Timbutini church this week.

Today we got started working at care points in the area and will continue to do that for the rest of the week in addition to some ministry in Manzini.

If you could be praying that we would just be putting everything we have into serving God through our ministries here that would be great! We're really focusing on giving it everything we've got (safely and in good health of course!) because this is our last full week of ministry. With your prayerful support and encouragement we really want to make it count!

And, as always, your prayers for good health, team unity, and a love of Jesus Christ that grows every day are greatly appreciated!

~Swazi Leaders

This photo of a Bible study taking place inside the Timbutini Church was taken during a recent trip by Warren Baptist Church. located in Georgia, to minister in Swaziland. For more about their time there, go to their website:

Monday, July 06, 2009


This past Saturday, A's team had their first opportunity to contact their family and friends back home. I've been able to contact with several of the parents (and one grandparent) thru facebook. They were generous enough to share their kids' messages so we could all piece together the individual perspectives to get a better picture of what they are going through and how God is using them. Thought some of you might be interested in what they had to say. I've already posted my daughter's short but to the point message but I'll repeat it again followed by the other messages.


From "A":

I have literally 5 minutes so I just wanted to say "hi" to everyone. This trip is more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. I love my team (which is a big thank you God) & I wanted to warn y'all that I've changed SO much! Hope that's ok with y'all! Well even if it isn't, it's all been thru God so yeah *shrugs* Gotta go! Bye!

[She also posted on fb that they had a Michael Jackson dance party while they were still staying in the big, white house in honor of his passing.]


ok well today is the 4th of july and were stoked to party today lol were taking groups of 8 to the internet cafe' and im in the first group (so is anna) we go to Spar after this. ok as for my trip now:

we lived in Manzini for a week and just moved yesterday so now were in timbutini (however its spelled) i completely love it out here and dont miss america or the things in it at all....i think i found my spiritual home ...its doing me so good to be praying about moving out here within the next ten years (would love to be as soon as i grad from highschool but i need an education *sigh*) it is absolutely beautiful out here and the people are amazing. Bheki and Titi are our Swazi partners and i absolutely ADORE Bheki!!! Titi is awesome too but i dont know her as well. the place were at right now has some sorta tin thingy outhouse for a bathroom and you gotta watch out for spiders when you sit lol oh and the doors are half off so someone needs to hold them its funny lol we dont have showers anymore so we have some form of a tin thingy that were gonna take buckets into for a bucket bath. cant wait for that experience lol fun fun fun :) we DO have beds so yay! :) theres lots of goats ad chickens and such on our homestead. ugh the time is going by too fast its depressing to think that we gotta leave in little over a week and a half i dont wanna at all! be praying that God helps me when it comes time to leave cause i know its gonna leave a void in my spirit until i can come back. i havent been this spiritually emotionally and mentally happy in many years.....well i love all of you and i guess will see you in a couple weeks....tell everyone i said hi and love them and dont forget to forward this to anyone that will want it ks? loves yas!!!

Megan [one of Anna's best friends from here in our area]

To see what a SPAR store is like, visit their website:


And another message from Megan:

i am in love with this place!!!! i dont wanna leave at all and i dont miss america.....i feel bad saying that but its so true! im gonna cry so bad when i gotta leave stay forever if i praying bout moving here in the next 10 yrs please pray for that a well as cont in praying for us here in swazi! i love you all byes!


Hi, I got up this morning to check the update and Chandler was still on the computer so I got to chat with her on IM. I am so illiterate on these I couldn't figure out how to send it. Almost had a heart attack, truly!!! I had to facebook her for instructions :) She said they are in a homestead in Timbutini. ( You may already know this, I just wanted to share incase) Last night was their first night there and that food was scarce. PBJ the last three meals. But she said it was going well and everyone was doing great. She said they were a little spoiled the first week, with food and security guards, but this is a little more organic -my description. They fixed the stove last night (kids :)) and said she thought the food situaiton would get better. She said God was moving in unbelievable ways and that He was strengthening them. Said she was really homesick today but doing great otherwise. This is the first day they have slowed down so its probably the first chance thjey have had to think about it :) I asked how I could pray for them and she said for their ministry and physical and emotional safety. She said it was al little creepy at night there and they had had some spiritual warfare, but that they were overcoming! Feel free to pass this on to the other mom's, I am not quite sure how to send it to multiple people :(
Standing with you!!!

Tanya [Chandler's mom and another Mississippian]


From Ani's mom:

“We got a great email from Ani. She is being stretched on every level and just can't believe all she is seeing and doing. She loves the team, has bonded with them all and has seen God work in incredible ways. Ani was glad to move to a hut after seeing the poverty. She said the AIM house was really nice and she felt guilty staying there. The hut seems to suit their new understanding of life in Swaziland. AIM is so smart to wean them off their luxuries and let them experience real life in SA. Oh to be a fly on the wall and see what our kids are seeing. Ani wrote of holding a malnourished baby boy and looking into his eyes to see the beauty of God.....and of sitting with a woman near death at Hope House and seeing the most amazing woman she had ever met (in parathesis she put besides mom....cute). She has broken down crying and is really letting herself FEEL what she sees. She wants to go back....said that SA has really gotten into her heart. How could it NOT? I am preparing for a changed girl, one ready to be God's woman and do God's work. amazing. God is working in their hearts and minds, using their hands and words as they reach out and touch those who are hurting. WOW I am blown away by all this!!!!!!!!!! Our kids are going to come back messed up in a very good way through all this. God is working and our kids are growing -- and loving so many.”


Today's the only day I get any internet access and I wanted to say hi to u all and give u a quick update on how I'm doing. Swaziland has been GREAT! I’m havin a great time in Africa. I'm closer with Christ that I've ever been and I've seen God work in ways I could never imagine! The children have really just touched my heart and God has showed me his compassion for the sick, poor, and needy. My team is great and life's been good. I miss u all a whole lot though. I love u! HAPPY INDEPENDENCE DAY!



Hey my friends and family,

I miss you all so much but I am having a great time here in Africa! For the first week we (my team and I were staying in the city of Manzini. We went to a care point there every day last week and played with joyful raggamuffin beautiful street kids that changed my life! The conditions they live in is heart breaking but I know now that i have nothing to complain about. I also visited a hospitable were there were the worst conditions I had ever seen of sickness. The nicest place in the hospital was the malnourished baby ward. I got to hold and pray for them! I also helped pack pills and stuff bibles that were in [siSwati].

Yesterday me and my team moved to the rural area of Timbutini. We are staying at a homestead were chickens and goats run wild. Hehe, I have to sleep in a hut and pee in a hole now. I feel like a real Swazi. I have learned to live with a lot of discomforts like not getting to wash my clothes for a long time, taking cold shows and only getting to bath every three days. Also having to have the same thing to eat everyday... It's stretched me a lot and at times I get a little weary but I have to remember Jesus and what he did for us by being beaten and dying on the cross was much greater.

Today is our day off and we are actually going to get to go see fire works tonight! The people of Swaziland are very warm and friendly and it is not weird to see two men walking down the street holding hands because they are good friends. :)

I love you all so much and thikng about you often. I even dream about some of you back home!

Love and see you in two weeks,


Hey mommy and daddy! I miss you guys so much! I only have 15 minutes to write this email so I've got to hurry. I've got so much to say. I can't wait to tell you all about it!!

So the last week we've lived in Manzini. It was so nice where we were staying. The house was awesome and a lot nicer than we expected. There was even hot showers and decent food! We worked at the local care point everyday, which was awesome and really eye opening. The kids there have so little... some don't even have pants or underwear on, and they all are so dirty. It was amazing just to spend time with them and give them love... that's really all they wanted! They just want to be held, sang to, just someone to make them feel loved. My arms are sore from carrying around kids everyday. (sometimes 2-3 at a time!)

The city in Manzini is so pretty, there are vendors and woman carrying buckets and bags of rice on their heads... just like I imagined! I have even learned some siswati, and a few songs in it to!

Oh and you'll be happy to know that there are clicks in the language... which is a little difficult... hahaha

One of the days we visited the hospital, which was reallly hard and something I'll never forget. The people's conditions there are so bad, people are jammed together, like 3 heaving and coughing kids with teburculosis jammed in with their mothers and relatives in a room half the size of my bedroom back home. We only had time to visit the kids ward and the womans ward, and just prayed for as many people as we could. Everyone wanted prayers and was so thankful.

One woman that really touched me was this very old woman. I don't know what sickness she had, but she couldn't move, she could only blink her eyes, and she couldn't speak. When she breathed you could hear the mucous in her chest soo clearly. She was in so much pain an so lonely... she had noone there for her. I just sat there and held her hand and tried to hold back from bawling. I will never forget the image of her lying there in her bed...

Yesterday we moved to Timbutini, which is a lot more rural than Manzini. We walk everywhere, and there are 3 new carepoints within a mile. The homestead we are staying in is awesome... but definately not as nice as the house we stayed in last week. There are suppper skinny dogs, goats and chickens everywhere! The toliet is a SUPER long scary hole in the ground. I don't think I'm going to shower for the next 2 weeks either, which should be okay though :)

Yesterday we went to a prayer service at the local church at night. They sang songs, and prayed in siswati, and it was one of the most amazing and beautiful things I've ever witnessed! The sunsets here are so gorgeous! Today we are taking the day off to go online, go to the grocery store, and then at 2 we're going to an american fourth of july party! I'm so sad I'm missing everything athome!!!!

I miss you guys so so so so so much I can barely stand it! I have to go but tell everyone I say hi, and you can foward this email to whoever :)

I love you mommy and daddy and will see you July 19th!!!!!!

Allie :)

From Lulu's mom:

"Spoke with LuLu this morning at 4am. She said that she is having a wonderful time. They are living in huts with no running water. They are bathing out of buckets. Her prayer request: she said that it is spiritually dark there and it can be scary. Please pray for the teams safety and health. Pray that the Lord will continue to work in and through the team. Pray that He will be with them where ever they go."


So there you have it! More news than most of you ever care to read but for us parents starving for word from our kids, it was a feast!

Praying for them and all their loved ones,

Sunday, July 05, 2009


When we traveled to Swaziland last year, we were able to meet Pastor Walter. Now, my daughter A and her team are serving beside him at the Timbutini Carepoint. What a gift to have such a man to learn from. For Pastor Walter is an common man with an uncommon love for God and those around him. Watch this video and be amazed by what God is doing in and through the life of this modern day saint:

The Pastor Walter Story from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.

If you'd like to know how you can be involved in supporting Pastor Walter's work with those he loves so much, visit the Children's HopeChest website:

Saturday, July 04, 2009


We woke up this morning to find a message from our daughter in Swaziland waiting at facebook. Here's what she sent us from a Manzini internet cafe:
"I have literally 5 minutes so I just wanted to say "hi" to everyone. This trip
is more than I could have ever imagined or hoped for. I love my team (which is a
big thank you God) & I wanted to warn y'all that I've changed SO much! Hope
that's ok with y'all! Well even if it isn't, it's all been thru God so yeah
*shrugs* Gotta go! Bye!"
This was our first 4th of July without her and though I missed her, I wouldn't want her anywhere else but exactly where God wants her to be...and for now, that's in beautiful Swaziland.

By the way, A and her team are serving at the Timbutini Carepoint which is between Manzini and Big Bend which you can see on this map. They were supposed to be going to a Swazi-style 4th of July celebration in Ezulweni which is between Mbabane and Manzini.

Friday, July 03, 2009


Just received this update:

Hello All-

We just finished our move to Timbutini, where we will be until the end of the trip. We will be ministering there, but we will also be commuting to Manzini once or twice a week to continue ministry in sites we've been working at this past week.

During this past week, we've been working with the Luke Commission (helping them prepare for weekly clinics they hold), working at a local care point, at the Manzini hospital, at the Hope House, and at many other sites throughout Swaziland. We hearts have been broken by the poverty, suffering, and neglect we've seen, and we're continually casting our burdens on the Lord and trusting in His provision and love for all of His children.

We've been incredibly blessed by this team's heart for ministry. The students constantly give all they have, tiring themselves out on a daily basis because they are so excited to put all of their efforts and energy into ministry. It shows in the way the team conducts itself, in the relationships they team has built, and in all the team has seen and experienced in our short time here.

The team has been working so hard that we've decided to take an "off day" tomorrow and attend a 4th of July celebration in Ezulwini. We are also going to use the first part of the morning as our one communication day, so you might be receiving a call or email very early in the morning tomorrow.

Thank you for your continual prayers--they are a blessing and encouragement to us. We really feel that we are being transformed by the way that God is renewing our minds and spirits here in Swaziland. If you can continually pray for our good health, safety, and a fruitful ministry, we would be most appreciative.

We look forward to sharing about our upcoming ministry in Timbutini!

~Swazi Leaders
Photo taken by Adventures in Missions staffer Christine Chenoweth at Timbutini. To read about her ministry in Swaziland, visit her blog at:

Thursday, July 02, 2009


By Larry Vann, advocate for Swazi orphans

A couple of weeks ago we carried a team of people to the Atlanta International Airport. Their destination? Swaziland. If you have been in any modern airport, I am sure you have noticed the really wide corridors. Especially the ones in and around check-in. As we neared Gate A-7, we noticed a small, soft-spoken security officer trying to direct people down an obscure, narrow hallway. The throngs of people walking through the main corridor continued about their business – very few people listened to the officer and even fewer followed his instruction: “This is a security checkpoint. Trust me. If you do not follow this hallway, you will not be allowed to enter this area.” He kept saying to the people passing by, “Trust me.” We even noticed people stopping to curiously look down the narrow hallway, then look back in the direction they were walking – then continue on their way. Some of the people who didn’t follow the officer’s instructions later came back to where they were told they should go. I still don’t know where all those other people went. According to our new friend, they must have left the airport because they sure weren’t going to be able to access the gate area unless they went down this hallway. Who knows? They may still be aimlessly wandering the wide corridors of the Atlanta airport.

There have been many times when I felt as thought I was aimlessly wandering through life. I walked by a Man who told me that if I wanted to reach my destination that I needed to go down a path less traveled. He told me the route I was taking was very wide and seemingly easy to travel. But He also told me that the wide and easy path would lead to destruction. I believe we all go down the wrong path from time to time. I am so thankful today that God remains faithful to us. He is still standing at the crossroads, ready to lead us down the path that leads to eternal life.

Matthew 7: 13-14 “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only few find it.”

Life is like a road. Most of us will travel a road to get somewhere today. There are many streets that you could have taken, but you wouldn't have ended up where your destination is. You had to follow a certain path to get where you are going. If you'd taken a different road, you probably would have ended up somewhere else.

Jesus said that the choices we make in life are like picking which road to take. He describes two roads. One is wide, and flat, and easy with a wide gate at the end. The other is narrow, and rugged, and difficult, with a narrow opening at its end. Most people take the easy road, and few take the narrow one. But Jesus said that the wide and easy road leads to destruction, and the straight and narrow road leads to eternal life.

When we have to make choices in life, we have to base our decisions on more than what is easiest. Often what seems easiest or most appealing is the worst choice we can make. Satan wants us to sin, so he makes sin look good. But we have to know where our decisions will lead us. We have to look at the consequences of our decisions.

We can't take the easy road to get to heaven, we have to follow the narrow road. Some people think they can do both. Is it possible to drive on two different roads at the same time? Is it possible to drive in two different directions? There are times we think we can do wrong and be right. We think they can serve God, but do everything we want to do. Jesus said this is impossible. We have to decide to follow God, and put His will first.

Jesus is standing at the gate saying, “Trust me.” What road will you take today?

To read more of Larry's writing and learn about the Swazi ministries he and his wife Ashley are involved in, visit:

Wednesday, July 01, 2009



This article was written by Dennis Brock, a staff member with Adventures in Missions, who lives in Swaziland and spends the majority of his days helping to care for God's precious "least of these". My daughter A and her team will be ministering at Timbutini and assisting the Luke Commission written about here:

"On Friday May 15th 2009 we @ AIM Swaziland experienced a breakthrough in our ministry. The 15th was the day of our first medical clinic in our new partnership with The Luke Commission (TLC). In case you do not know of the Luke Commission, let me first begin by telling you that they are awesome! They are the real deal here in Swazi! TLC are a mobile medical mission based here in Swaziland, which focuses their efforts in the rural areas. They offer free medical care, free medications, free HIV testing and counseling, free vision care, free eyeglasses, free Bibles and the Hope of the Gospel. In fact everything they do, all the care they provide, is infused with getting out the message Jesus. We are so excited to begin our partnership with them, as they have pledged to regularly run clinics at our care point locations. Please feel free to check out the Luke Commission @ their website. Their web address is:

The location for our first partner clinic was @ the Timbutini Church/Care Point. I was so excited that we were finally able to provide this type of service for the community. Usually, we have to take our children into the city to be seen @ a hospital. It is always a long, difficult, and frustrating process. Most of the poorest people in Swaziland live in the rural areas. They usually do not have the funds to be treated by a doctor, let alone the money to even travel to the city to get to the doctors. What usually happens is that people suffer, and even die from simple treatable ailments. What a blessing it was to have very good doctors and knowledgeable medical staff come into our community to see the people right where they live! For me this was a total dream come true! It felt like "Finally we are rolling here!" It was another step, an improvement in what we (with God's grace and power) are able to provide in terms of care and support to all our orphaned children as well as the larger community. Thank you Lord!

The community clinic started at around 10 am and finished with the last patients at around 9:30 that night. It was a long day for sure, but so worth it! Many people were seen by the doctors – in fact no one is ever turned away by the Luke Commission, as they will stay until the last person is treated. Everyone who saw the doctor was dealt with care and shown the love and compassion of Christ. It was so great to see the TLC staff take time to explain to the people what their medical problem is. Almost always here a doctor will simply give you pills and not explain anything to you about your medical condition. And it is looked down upon for a patient to ask the doctor questions. Crazy right?

For now I am also functioning as the liaison between AIM and TLC helping to coordinate our future clinic days. It's this marriage of the compassion, love, and the hope of Jesus, along with the tangible help of great medical treatment that gets me very excited! This was truly a dream come true, and it's just the beginning! Our goal continues to be partnering w/ the Lord to bring his work of restoration in our communities. Our partnership with TLC is just one more tool in which He is making that happen.

Thanks for taking the time to read this. I am happy to be kicking off my blog again! Hopefully I will be a lot better updating it now...Blessings to you!

To read more about Dennis and his wife Thulile's ministry in Swaziland, visit .