Monday, August 31, 2009


Children's Cup requests that you please pray for their USA office staff on this day:

God has blessed us with a small, but effective and amazing USA staff. The mundane daily tasks couldn’t be done without them. We just ask our Heavenly Father to bless their lives, meet their needs and shower them with your gracious kindness.

“With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow. Don’t ever think that you are wise enough, but respect the LORD and stay away from evil.” - Prov 3:5-7 (CEV)

To read the entire prayer post and watch an accompanying prayer video, go to:

Sunday, August 30, 2009


Here's today's prayer focus for Children's Cup's "Forty Days of Praying with the Children":

From receptionist Fikile’s desk at the front door to Africa Director Ben Rodgers’ office in the back, we are asking God to fill the Children’s Cup office in Swaziland with his presence, to give the workers unity, wisdom, peace, and to be effective in every aspect of their responsibilities.

“Getting wisdom is the wisest thing you can do! And whatever else you do, develop good judgment.” -Proverbs 4:7 (NLT)

For the complete post including an accompanying prayer video, click on:

Saturday, August 29, 2009


Here's the prayer focus for today's "Forty Days of Praying with the Children":

Our truck drivers in Africa face serious road hazards every time they are on the highways delivering food to the CarePoints. Although the vehicles are kept in excellent condition, risks like wandering cattle (that have the right-of-way!), overanxious speeders, careless pedestrians, and poorly kept roads, present dangers that require God’s special protection.

“You can be sure that the LORD will protect you from harm.” - Proverbs 3:26 (CEV)

To read the full post, go to:

Friday, August 28, 2009


Today's prayer focus from Children's Cup:

No ministry can function properly without the undergirding of prayer. God has blessed Children’s Cup with an army of prayer warriors that fight a serious fight on our behalf. On this very day, we are asking the Lord to meet the personal needs of each pray-er and to give them blessings without end.

“Again I say unto you, That if two of you shall agree on earth as touching any thing that they shall ask, it shall be done for them of my Father which is in heaven.” - Matthew 18:19 (KJV)

Dear Lord, in the name of Jesus, I lift up all the intercessors who cry out for your mercy and abundance upon the children of Swaziland, not only the children being ministered to by Children’s Cup CarePoints and the diligent workers you have provided but also for the children…and adults…who have NOT been reached yet! Father, at times I am overwhelmed, as I’m sure others are, by the NEEDS of so many over there but I pray you will bless all Children’s Cup intercessors, beyond anything they could think or imagine! Encourage others to join the team of intercessors that your work there would be increased and the reports would ring out of the goodness of God and the answers to our prayers! We thank you for hearing our cries and ministering right now to every intercessor…right where they are. You know their every need. Thank you for supplying every need! In the mighty name of Jesus! Amen!

Angela (Angie) Wrucke
To read the full post, including a video of African children singing and dancing, go to:

Thursday, August 27, 2009


Here's the prayer focus for Day 27 of the "FORTY DAYS OF PRAYER WITH THE CHILDREN":

How we thank God for our supporting churches in the USA. We are asking God to use every one of these places of worship to be strong examples of the love of Jesus in everything that is said and done. May they be oases of life in their own communities, bringing precious souls to Christ.

“Don’t get tired of helping others. You will be rewarded when the time is right, if you don’t give up.” - Gal 6:9 (CEV)

To read the full post and see the accompanying video, go to:

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Here's today's prayer focus:
Children’s Cup has land at Mbekelweni [Manzini, Swaziland] on which we are developing two great soccer fields for CarePoint intramurals as well as sharing with a nearby school for their sports program. Pray that our field and sports will become an effective ministry tool to win others to Jesus and a tool for teaching teamwork.

“So, my son, throw yourself into this work for Christ. Pass on what you heard from me…to reliable leaders who are competent to teach others. When the going gets rough, take it on the chin with the rest of us, the way Jesus did. A soldier on duty doesn’t get caught up in making deals at the marketplace. He concentrates on carrying out orders. An athlete who refuses to play by the rules will never get anywhere. It’s the diligent farmer who gets the produce. Think it over. God will make it all plain.” - 2 Timothy 2:1-7 (MSG)

To see a videos of Children's Cup children in Swaziland and a prayer for the ministry, visit:

Tuesday, August 25, 2009


Children's Cup asks us today to please pray for the DREAM CENTER that is being built in Swaziland:

Mbekelweni is located at the foot of the mountain in a lovely green valley just outside of Manzini. On this land which was donated to us by the king, we will build our Dream Center. Dormitories, church, dining hall, classrooms, sports grounds (including two soccer fields), and a CarePoint already up and running.

“But I will sing about your strength, my God, and I will celebrate because of your love. You are my fortress, my place of protection in times of trouble.” - Psalm 59:16 (CEV)

To read the full post and view the accompanying prayer video, please go to:


...and here she is showing her birthday card from Aunt Cathi (Jim's mom's sister) to her baby doll Mimi. She was so excited to get the card in the mail...especially when she saw the $10 bill enclosed! She wants to use it to buy more clothes for her babies.

Tonight we had her birthday party but it's too late to go into details. I'll share more later but suffice to say that a rip-roaring good time was had by all...even the baby dolls.

Happy Birthday Little Miss M! Your mommy, daddy, and all the siblings surely do love you! You are a true blessing to us and we thank God for you.

Monday, August 24, 2009


Today, Children's Cup is asking that you please pray for their CarePoints in Africa:

A CarePoint is not just a building where people meet. It is a oasis of safety. A feeding place. A meeting place. A learning place. A place to receive medical care. A CarePoint is just that: a place to receive care. But it is also a place to receive love and hope and stickers and friends. The best friend is Jesus.

“I will rejoice and be glad because of your mercy. You have seen my misery. You have known the troubles in my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy. You have set my feet in a place where I can move freely.” - Psalm 31:7-8 (GWT)

These photos were taken on our trip last year at a Children's Cup CarePoint in Manzini, Swaziland.

To read the full post and watch the video about Children's Cup carepoints, go to:

Sunday, August 23, 2009


From Children's Cup and their "Forty Days of Praying WITH the Children":

If given opportunity to attend school, the children really embrace it. They are hungry to learn. We want to make schooling available to every child. Pray with us for the funds to educate all of our kids.

“Train me in good common sense; I’m thoroughly committed to living your way. Before I learned to answer you, I wandered all over the place, but now I’m in step with your Word. You are good, and the source of good; train me in your goodness.” - Psalm 119:66-68 (MSG)

To read the full post and view the accompanying prayer video, visit:

Saturday, August 22, 2009


Join Children's Cup on Day 22 if "Forty Days of Praying with the Children" in praying for the "I AM NOT FORGOTTEN" homes:

For some of the children, nighttime is not only lonely and cold, but can be quite dangerous. Our temporary shelters with a “mom” and safe, warm, dry place to sleep offers a semblance of normal living. Good meals, clean clothing, and school are theirs as well.
“I will rescue you from those you fear so much. 18 Because you trusted me, I will preserve your life and keep you safe. I, the LORD, have spoken!” - Jeremiah 39:17-18 (NLT)
To see the complete post including an accompanying prayer video, go to:

Friday, August 21, 2009


Please join Children's Cup in their "40 Days of Praying with the Children". Here is today's focus:

Internship on the missionfield is a practical and viable program for preparing people for their future ministries. Whether the interns choose to go into full time missions work or to go back home and pastor a church of missions-minded people or even serve as a layperson who supports missions, this training is invaluable.

“Teach me to follow you, and I will obey your truth. Always keep me faithful.” - Psalm 86:11 (CEV)

To read the full post and view the accompanying prayer video, go to:

Thursday, August 20, 2009


On Day 20 of the Children's Cup "40 Days of Praying with the Children", please pray for the medical staff:

The doctors and nurses that administer ARV’s to our HIV+ kids are overworked and under equipped. The hospitals are understaffed. If we pray for the needs of the hospital and medical staff to be met, they can better care for our little patients.

“He spoke, and they were healed – snatched from the door of death.” -Psalm 107:20 (NLT)

To read the entire post and view the accompanying prayer video, go to:

Wednesday, August 19, 2009


Today's "40 Days of Praying with the Children" focus is on the Bible clubs that are held for the children at carepoints:

David & Goliath, Daniel in the Lion’s Den, Joshua and the Battle of jericho - all are thrillers from the Bible that we learned when we were little kids. Twice weekly at every CarePoint, Children’s Cup conducts Bible Clubs. Kids learn these old stories and how they relate to them personally.

“Your word is a lamp for my feet and a light for my path.” - Psalm 119:105 (NLT)

To see the entire post and watch the accompanying prayer video, visit:

Tuesday, August 18, 2009


Here's is today's prayer focus for Children's Cup and their "Forty Days of Praying with the Children":

Cup gathers up the kids by age group and takes them for the time of their lives at Camp. It’s a place where kids can experience a more intimate relationship with God, where they can grow spiritually and learn from the Word. Since it’s camp, they also get to play sports, build crafts, and eat and sing and play.

“Plow your fields, scatter seeds of justice, and harvest faithfulness. Worship me, the Lord, and I will send my saving power down like rain.” - Hosea 10:12 (CEV)

To see the complete post, visit the website:

Monday, August 17, 2009

On Day 17, please join with me in praying for new churches planted in Africa. Here's the prayer focus from Children's Cup and their "Forty Days of Praying WITH the Children":

There are fairly new churches in Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe which have unique outreaches because the DNA of Highland Road Healing Place Church in Baton Rouge & Celebration Church Jacksonville is embedded deeply. As the congregations come to know Jesus, they learn how to serve others and are experiencing a new and fresh move of God in their lives.

“…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless.” - Ephesians 5:26-27 (NIV)

Father – You have opened the door for HPC and Celebration Church to plant these new churches. Thank you for their faithfulness and willingness to invest in the lives of your people. I pray today for you to bless these churches and let them see your supplies are unending. In the midst of economic struggles, here in America, you are still the provider. May these churches be blessed with even greater abundance, so that they can continue to bless the world. Send a great harvest to those who sow so freely, may it be a sign of the faithfulness of God to their people and their cities.

For the churches in Swaziland, Mozambique and Zimbabwe – In the midst of their physical hunger there is also a spiritual hunger, a desire to know you. Thank you for churches planted there to be beacons of hope. Thank you for a place of sanctuary where they can meet to hear your word, be strengthened, encouraged and challenged to live the life. I ask you to send a mighty move of your Spirit to touch and empower these people. May they rise up quickly and become servants to their own land. Help them to understand that in you, they are complete, lacking nothing. Give them leaders who recognize and serve you. I bind the hand of the enemy who has come to rob their self worth, steal their identity and destroy their lives. May godly fathers arise and take their rightful place in the family. Restore and heal their families. With the blood of Jesus we draw a line in the sand and say no more epidemics. May they follow your promises and lay hands on the sick and see them healed. You promised to confirm your Word with signs and wonders, Holy Spirit show up and fulfill that promise in and through them!

I ask that you help all of the Cup Staff to have divine wisdom to reach these people with your love. Open doors for them to minister freely, give them favor with the government, kings, and rulers. I pray for supernatural strength and health for their bodies. May you place a hedge of protection around their families, offices, homes, cars and trucks. Help every mechanical part to function beyond its normal life expectancy. Help the gas supply to be available and inexpensive. Help the food supplies to be abundant. Give Cup new donors, people with great hearts and great funding. May the Cup Staff look back after this time, and see the mighty hand of God at work, supplying every need. Then they will say with joy-filled hearts, “Through it all, we’ve learned to trust in you”.

…Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansed her by the washing with water through the word, and to present to himself a radiant church, without stain or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. (Eph. 5:27) Continue to process us Lord. Remove our stains, heal our blemishes and use us to fulfill your commission of making disciples of every nation. We work until the day you say “Its time”. We long to hear your voice saying, “Well done my servant, welcome home”.


To see the full post, visit:

Sunday, August 16, 2009


On Day 16 of PRAYING WITH THE CHILDREN, please join Children's Cup in asking God to do the miraculous:
“I am the Lord, the God of all flesh. Is there anything too hard for me?” (Jeremiah 32:27). “I am the Lord that heals you.” (Exodus 15:26b). Heavenly Father, stun the world with your awesome and glorious power by healing our little innocent ones of the dreadful disease called AIDS.

“For the Lord God is a sun and shield: the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.” - Psalm 84:11 (KJV)

Saturday, August 15, 2009


On this, day 15 of PRAYING WITH THE CHILDREN, Children's Cup asked us to pray for good health and healing for both the children they minister to and the workers who take care of them. In places such as Swaziland, HIV/AIDS and tuberculosis is rampant. Often, there is little to no modern medical care available. Something as simple as dehydration is a major killer of babies. And because so many of these children are orphans, they don't have parents to ensure they are taking care of themselves physically. Please join me in praying for these needs.

“Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” - 3 John 1:2

To read the full post for today and watch the accompanying prayer video, visit:

Friday, August 14, 2009


On Day 14, Children's Cup is asking us to pray in this way:

The basic reason for Children’s Cup being anywhere is so the lost can come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. The message needs to go forth clearly and full of love as well as in deeds of service. The grace that is so amazing for us is also for every one of them.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” - John 3:16 (KJV)

Dear Jesus – we pray today that your name would be lifted high. You are exalted above all other names! We join with the thousands of people praying all over the world today that all that come in contact with Children’s Cup would come to know your salvation. You came to the earth not to be just a good man but rather a Savior. May all know that you are the one that came to lead captives to a place of healing, restoration, peace and most importantly salvation. For only your sacrifice, Jesus, was perfect and so we trust only in your blood to bring freedom to these children. Bless the workers, bless the supporters and most importantly bless the children of this region. Thank you that your word does not return void – anyone who calls on the name of Jesus, confesses your name as the Son of God and turns from their sins will be saved. Even today Lord may the children turn to you. We believe and trust only in your name – the precious name of Jesus. Thank you for interceding to the Father for us even now. Amen.

To see the entire post, visit:


During our last interview, my daughter...

What did we talk about?

As I was saying, my daughter described what life was like for her team out in a rural Swazi homestead.

Oh, that's right.

Before we move on, Indie, is there anything else you want to say?

The people who lived there [the Swazis] were really hardworking. One morning, after the cows had broken in to our compound, the gogo [grandma] just picked up a cow patty and threw it into the burn pile with her bare hands.

Were the gogos in general pretty willing to do whatever needed to be done?

Yes, they were polite and practical and not squeamish.

Do you want to clarify anything else about your living conditions or your teammates before we move on?

Is it fully established that by this point I'd really gotten to know everyone pretty well and loved everybody and hopefully made some lifelong best friends.

So any wrong first impressions were pretty much dealt with by this time?

Yes, Chris is not a snob and there were no cliques and Ray was not an emo kid. I thought he was going to be an emo kid.

Did anyone or anything else about the team surprise you? I'm guessing that living together 24/7 and working together as you were really stripped away the masks.

Yeah, we learned a lot of stuff about each other and even some things I would have been okay about not knowing.

But through it all y'all just got closer and closer.


Okay, so on to ministry while you were at Timbutini. Obviously, just the daily taking care of each other was ministry.

Ha! Especially cleaning the squattie potties.

And going to the bathroom with each other in the middle of the night?

Yeah, those were experiences. It's funny how people say things in the middle of the night and they don't remember them in the morning. One time I had a whole conversation with Rachel when I was going out with her to the squattie potties and in the morning when I mentioned it, she didn't remember it at all. I wonder if she slept walked.

And you were the favorite squattie escort, right?

Yeah, because if they took me they didn't have to take another person because I wasn't scared of the dark or the animals or anything else and I can be kind of scary looking when I'm mad.

Now that's a unique ministry.

Anna laughs out loud from my bed...


Okay, so anyway. What did you all do with your days when you weren't doing massage trains or cleaning squattie potties or dancing to Michael Jackson or Johnny Cash music?

We went to the carepoint at the Timbutini Church every day. Several nights we went to the revival that was being held at the Timbutini Church. A lot of times we would "ATL" walk around the Timbutini area.

Stop for a sec, for those not in the know, what is ATL and what did you do on an ATL walk?

ATL means "Ask the Lord". What we would do on an ATL is we would pray that God would just lead us how He wanted and we would go in groups of about 5. If we felt an urge to, we'd just go up to someone and talk to them or pray for them. We would also do home visits [on the ATL walks] and those could be interesting. But home visits would usually be a seperate thing that we would set out to do with someone who could intrepret for us.

Can you tell us about a specific time or two that something special happened during the ATLs?

One day the leaders set out a group with just teenagers. It was Chandler [from Mississippi], Megan [also from Mississippi], Kirstyn, Ray, and Chris. They let them go out on an ATL home visit on their own. When we would walk to the carepoint, there would always be these women and kids that would wave and call out to us. So, they decided to go up to that house and talk to them. The women told them that they had been praying that we would go up there and visit them. They kept thanking them for coming to see them. Later on, our driver who drove us from Swaziland to South Africa told us that it was his homestead and his family that had been visited. And he thanked them, too, for going to see them.

You know what, I don't think I'm doing a very good job of doing the interview tonight. We should pick up this stimulating conversation another time.

All the French cajun songs and love songs I've been listening to have killed my brain.

Plus, you've not been feeling very good today.

Yeah, that too, but that's just a little thing.

Okay, we'll end it for now.

Y'all keep praying for Indie as she still needs complete recovery from the infection she brought back with her and also just keep praying for her and the team as they continue to process what they saw and learned.

As she lays on my bed dressed in early-90's grunge with blue ear buds hanging on the OUTSIDE of her ears.

I want you to be able to enjoy the music, too.

That's my girl.

Goodnight all, or as the Swazis would say, lala kahle!

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Today's prayer focus with Children's Cup concerns the orphans and their friends:

For some orphaned children, the only “family” they have are their friends. We are asking the Lord to bless this bond with his love. May they all come to know Jesus as their personal Savior as they hang out together at their local CarePoint. God, keep them honest and pure and be to them the father they don’t have.

“…a loving friend can stick closer than family.” - Proverbs 18:24 (GWV)

I am no longer going to post the accompanying prayer videos because all the videos are causing my blog to really load slowly, but to see the prayer one for today, go to:
.If you've visited my blog very often, you've probably heard me talk about one of my favorite authors, who just happens to also been one of my dearest friends. Claudia Mair Burney and I traveled to Swaziland together last year. But even before we spent days underneath the brutally, beautiful, Swazi, summer sun, I had been getting to know her through phone calls, emails, her blog, and her books. Mair is an amazing story teller with a passionate heart for God and for loving people. She has walked the kind of hard life journey that most of us only see in a made-for-tv movie. Yeah, it's that unbelievable. But the thing is, it's not some fictional work, it's her true life. Unlike most of those movies, though, through out all of it---the good, the bad, and the very ugly---God's grace has been mysteriously woven through it. Sometimes the grace was very hard to see. Sometimes the grace was and is so potent as to be overwhelming. And unlike the ending of those movies, Mair's story continues as she reaches out to embrace all God has for her in this life and beyond.

Today I received word that my friend is in a deep, dark valley. Jesus told us that His followers would have trials in this world and believe me, that's very, very true for Mair and her family right now. Would you please read her message and pray? And if you feel led to do so, give? Mair has blessed so many with her writing and with her life.

“We have all known the long loneliness and we have learned that the only solution is love and that love comes with community.” – Dorothy Day

One of my favorite parts of Dorothy Day’s autobiography, The Long Loneliness is the postscript at the end. She writes, “We were just sitting there talking when…” She goes on say that Peter Maurin came, and lines of people needing bread—and she couldn’t tell them, “Go, be thou filled!” Folks moved in and the walls expanded. “It was as casual as that,” Dorothy writes, “It just came about. It just happened.”

My friend Lisa Samson and I were just sitting there talking when someone brought up human trafficking. I’ve always wanted to do something to relieve this brand of suffering. The needs are astounding, but these victims are so easily forgotten, truly the least of the least of these Jesus talked about. Turns out Lisa always wanted to do something for this needy group of people God loves so much, too. In the wee hours of the morning, a work of mercy and hospitality, The Living Room, was born.

We’re going to get a building in downtown Lexington. People have already offered their expertise to help us get started. In a safe, cozy respite, we’ll quietly offer compassion, coffee, and a comfortable seat to women who come off the street, or find their way to us by other means. We’re going to preach the gospel, but only use words when we absolutely must. If the ladies need more we’ll give them that, too. We’ll make wrap-around services available. God sent me to school, inexplicably, to be a social worker fifteen years ago. Now I know why. Ken and I, and the whole Burney brood were on our way to Lexington on August 3 for our first vision trip. We were so excited.

On July 28th, our car was stolen. Two days later, we got an eviction notice. Most of the time I’m given room to get our rent payments in. Our apartment managers know I’m a writer. My income comes in slowly, but I wasn’t given that wide and generous berth this time. We have ten days to leave. I don’t have the means to fix this. I’ve tried, in the most humbling, pride crushing ways, but I gots nuthin’. I have felt every terror and loneliness a mother with four children and a disabled husband would feel in this awful predicament. But I keep hearing voices—no, not that kind!—but friends urging me to ask my readers and cyber-friends for help. Among those voices is my soul-mother Dorothy Day who said, “the only solution is love, and that love comes with community.”

If I’ve had an intentional community, it’s been here in cyber-space. We have laughed, cried, prayed, and stumbled along on the journey together. Now, I need your help, as I never have before.

Will you join me in love? Could you find it in your heart to be a part of the solution to this difficult set of circumstances? I want you to be part of our mission to love people for Jesus. Will you help my family get to Lexington where opportunity awaits us? We would be so grateful.

If you’d like to help go to The "event" is Claudia Mair Burney Family Relocation. Thanks ever so much!


Wednesday, August 12, 2009


We don't have much time today to continue the Swazi trip interview, but we'll try to squeeze a bit in before I have to go start cooking supper. At the end of the last interview, you were talking about your time in Manzini and getting used to the "living in the now" attitude. At the end of the first week, y'all made a major move. Tell me about that.

We moved from Manzini, which is the industrial capital of Swaziland, to Timbutini which is a rural area about a half hour outside of Manzini. In Manzini, we lived in the "White House", our name for the house AIM owns. It was really big with a lot of bunk beds and really cold all the time because they only had tile on the floor. The house had electricity and running water but our water went out several times and because there were so many of us on my team, and such a small water tank, not all of us would get to shower every day. We would each get to shower every three days. In Timbutini we stayed on a homestead [traditional Swazi farm] that belonged to a Swazi. They just let us stay there in the hut AIM had for us. We used the main house that had a gas stove and a fridge and two light bulbs inside. And a room for the boys. The hut was a big round house made out of concrete with two windows and a big, thick wooden door that had a barred gate that closed on it. The windows had bars on them and really thick curtains. The roof was thatched. Bathrooms were three pieces of tin stuck together on a concrete slab with a tin roof on top and a piece of tin leaning against the front to serve as a door. There would be a tin seat about a foot and a half off the ground with a plastic toilet seat but you couldn't really sit on it because the tin would buckle under your weight. Everything went down into a deep, dark pit hole including a dead goat.

How did you get clean?

Shower facilities would be 4 sides of tin stuck into a concrete slab with a door that would swing open. You could take buckets of water in there with you and take bucket showers. I didn't have one the whole time I was there. The more popular, easy option was to wipe yourself down with wet-wipes. And then for your hair, to just wash it in a bucket or big bowl.

Where did you get the water?

There was a really big, open water tank made, again, out of tin with a little faucet sticking out of it that you would turn on and off for the water. AIM buys the water from a company that delivers it in a truck out to Timbutini.

So, all you girls...that was how many?


All you girls slept in the big round hut together.


That kept you toasty warm, huh.

Very, very warm.

Your meals were cooked in the main house by...?

Usually Amy and Jessica [ the female team leaders] but they started having volunteers help them.

And where, how, and what did y'all eat while at Timbutini?

Where? We ate outside in a circle on plastic chairs.

People would get in line and go into the house. You had to take off your shoes first. And get what you wanted and then go back outside and sit down.

And then what?

Peanut butter and jelly every day. Except for during debrief. Rice and beans A LOT. Oatmeal almost every day. That was mostly it. One night we had take-out pizza.

That wasn't at Timbutini was it?

Yes, we had take-out from the Rustic Tavern.

One time, we had a chicken salad and it had homemade croutons on it that I think Chandler made. They were divine and no one would let me have any of theirs.

Yeah, you've told me that you frequently ate a lot of the other people's leftovers.

No, I ate what was leftover in the pots, etc. Chris ate other people's leftovers.

While speaking in French?

Probably once or twice.

Okay, so what did you do for entertainment during your off-hours at Timbutini?

Anna is snortling over this one.

Chased farm animals and threw things at them. Took pictures and videos of ourselves. Engaged in pointless conversations. Engaged in very deep conversations. Cleaned. Wrote business cards for our cleaning services. Read. Read other people's books. Listened on our ipods. Stole other people's ipods and listened to them. Tanned. Gave each other "massage trains". Rachel was fascinated by my accent so always wanted me to say stuff for her. And at night we would look at stars while engaging in VERY deep conversations. We also would have frequent dance parties. One night we had a talent show.

What kind of animals were at the homestead?

Lots of monstrous chickens. Annoying goats. Some dead goats. And a few times cows broke in. Oh, there were also three disgusting dogs. They were so gross. And they were not allowed to come near us when we were eating but the only people they were scared of were me and leader Amy. So I did a lot of dog scaring. Oh and spiders. I was the spider killer.

What was the best thing about staying in a traditional, rural homestead?
You had a really great view. You didn't feel guilty about where we were staying, about it being too nice. And most of your ministry stuff was easily accessible.

What was the hardest thing?
For me, it was that we had no privacy from other people. Anyone could just wander up on the homestead at anytime. And when you're eating, it could be hard to just sit there and eat in front of little kids while they stared at you. Even if you knew for a fact that they had already eaten and would be eating again soon. It was also really dirty there and one night ants invaded our room and we had ants covering the walls and the floor and in some people's beds and they even bit some of us. So we fed them oatmeal and they died. Mwahaha.

Well you've really done a good job of helping us get a picture of what life was like for you at the homestead. We've got to stop for now because I have to go cook supper, but next time we'll talk about what you did ministry-wise while at Timbutini.


...on Day 12 of Children's Cup PRAYING WITH THE CHILDREN:

Although most of the children we care for are orphans, many have some extended family members who look after them. God strengthen the grandmothers and uncles and brothers and cousins who willingly extend their arms of love to little ones who are sorrowing over the death of parents. Please meet their needs and bless the household with health.

“Give justice to the poor and the orphan; uphold the rights of the oppressed and the destitute. Rescue the poor and helpless; deliver them from the grasp of evil people. ” - Psalm 82:3-4 (NLT)

Name: Jean Ohlerking

Church/Business: Children’s Cup

Position: Co-Founder

Address: PO Box 400, Prairieville, LA 70769

Name of Spouse: married for 50 years to Dave

Name(s) of children: David, Dan, Susan, Josh — plus 13 grand kids



Facebook: Jean Ohlerking

Twitter: @jeanohlerking

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Yesterday, I started interviewing my daughter concerning her recent trip to Swaziland. Today that conversation continues.
Indie, you said that you expected to not get along or like most of the people on your team. I remember you sharing in front of our church before you left that your number 1 prayer request was that you would be okay with being around that many teenagers 24/7 because in your own description, you just "don't like people". In reality, what happened with your team and your reaction toward them?

Well...things started out kind of interesting at training camp. On the first day, I think I only talked to one person, Ray, on my own...oh, and of course, Megan. In fact, on the first day, I expected there to be a clique that I would very much not be a part of and thought the other guy Chris would be a total snob. I started making connections a lot sooner than I thought I would. I think on the 2nd day there, we did the obstacle course and I decided that maybe if I wasn't going to be best friends with everyone, I was okay with everyone. The obstacle course is one of those things that you have to come out of your shell, at least in part. And I really bonded with some people because of all the physically hard stuff we had to do which I really enjoyed.
A lot of people reached out to me at training camp which touched me. They made an effort to know me. The structure AIM set up was really good for building teams and it worked perfectly with ours.
Yes, I remember how happy you sounded at the airport when you called just before leaving Atlanta for Africa. You told me you loved your team. In fact, I think you said you loved everybody. It was such an answer to prayer.

Yeah, I did. And by the end of the first week in Swaziland, I knew everyone well, too.

What was it like traveling over to Africa and arriving as a 2nd time visitor? How was it like your trip last year and how were your impressions and reactions different?
The plane ride was a lot better than last time because I had a really good time getting to know Allie, one of my seatmates and teammates; arguing with Chris; watching The Dark Knight three times; and actually getting to sleep. Because I'd "been there, done that", I slept all the way from South Africa to Swaziland. Every time someone would wake me up to show me something cool, I would growl at them and tell them I'd already seen it. And going thru passport checking was absolutely no big deal to me this time. It was kind of exciting last time. This time is was kind of "blah...just let me get back on the van and sleep".

How did Swaziland seem this time compared to how you remembered it?

A more fully realized country. Last time it was almost like a movie kind of place. This time it was realer. Last time, I also only saw the extremes...poverty and then I stayed in luxury. This time I saw more of the in between ground and got to know Swaziland as a people better.

What did you do your first few days there?

The first three days were mostly relaxing days, decompressing, etc. Though on Saturday we did do a scavenger hunt in Manzini. The purpose of that was to get to know Manzini better and be able to find our way around it. And on Sunday, our team split in half. Half of our group went to the Dabas church and the other half, the group I was in, went to Timbutini. Our service was 4 and a half hours long. But I swear, I thought it was 2 and a half maybe.

Why did it go by so fast?

I guess we were really enjoying it. And didn't have a million "better" things to do once we got out of church to look forward to.
So you were able to really live in the moment and put aside the American "hurry up and do it" list?

I so knew you were going to bring that up because that was something our trip was kind of centered around. For example, we never knew what we were going to eat until it was in front of us. Our activities were kept to a need-to-know basis, meaning we only needed to know them "that morning".

Was this hard for you and your team?

At first it was really hard for me because I like to know my schedule. But, as the trip progressed, I didn't care really. It was a lot harder on some of my teammates.

Why do you think it was a good thing for your team leaders to adopt this "live in the moment" policy while y'all were in Swaziland?

Because we never got disappointed if something that was planned fell through since we didn't know about it in the first place. And, we could relax and chill a lot more since we weren't all focused on the next day or a couple of days ahead.

Yeah, I can see why that would take some getting used to since Americans are so driven by their schedules and lists.

It's weird, but now I hate to plan things.

So once the first weekend was over, what sort of ministry activities did y'all get involved with?

We went to the Manzini carepoint, if not every day, almost every day of the first week.

What did y'all do there?

Everything. One day we helped serve food. Well, some of us helped serve food. The rest of us just played with the kids, loved on them. Camille became such good friends with the junior high and high school kids there that on the last day, they came up with a whole, really long dance routine in her honor because she was always dancing. One time I got roped into teaching a whole Bible club class. Lesson learned, don't volunteer to help in a Bible club class unless you have a Bible story planned in your head. Otherwise, you will blank out and not remember a single one.

You mean they didn't have lesson to give you?

No. I asked the teacher if I could do anything to help thinking I could hand out crayons, etc. And he said, "yeah, you can teach the class. You need to tell them a Bible story. Ask them questions and then do a song".

Wow! That really was putting the responsibility on you to think fast on your feet, huh?

I blanked out on every Bible story I knew except for Noah's Ark and David & Goliath. But then I forgot how many animals went on Noah's Ark so I told David & Goliath....a butchered version of it. But at least I knew Siya Hamba to sing.

For those who don't know about Siya Hamba, can you tell what it is and why you know it?

Siya Hamba is a siSwati song that says in English, "we are walking in the light of God". I know it because Mother Dearest has had me singing it since I can remember.

And aren't you glad now?

Yeah, kind of.

Such gratitude. Hmph.
I'm sorry, I feel sick. Stupid infections from Africa.

And on that pleasant note, we will bid adieu for today.

I rarely talk in French.
Chris talked in French on the trip and it bugged me. He did it just to annoy me.
So as I was saying, on these pleasant noteS, we will close the conversation for today. Hope you'll come back tomorrow for more.
As the Swazis would say, sala kahle! Stay well!

Here's today's prayer focus for Children's Cup and their "40 Day of Praying With the Children":

As you write your checks each month in support of Children’s Cup’s kids, you have no idea what a tremendous help you truly are. As your money represents hours you have worked on your job, you are absolutely spending your life on behalf of needy kids in a foreign land. How we praise God for you. Of course we need many more just like you so we can reach more little kids to give them Hope.

“If you give to others, you will be given a full amount in return. It will be packed down, shaken together, and spilling over into your lap. The way you treat others is the way you will be treated.” - Luke 6:38 (CEV)

Name: Michael Harrison

Church/Business: The Community Fellowship

Address: PO Box 388, 2674 Virginia Ave., Collinsville, VA 24078

Position: Lead Pastor

Name of Spouse: Julie

Name(s) of Children: Rebecca (12), Ruth (11) Ryan (6)



Facebook: Michael Harrison

Twitter: @michaelharrison

Monday, August 10, 2009


On this, Day 10 of the Children's Cup "40 DAYS OF PRAYING WITH THE CHILDREN", will you please pray for the special people who work hard to feed so many little hungry ones?

Close your eyes and imagine the smell of bread baking in the oven. What a delight to your nose! This delight is what our kids experience when the cooks are stirring up lunch. The aroma of pap and beans fills the air. Bless our cooks who come daily to the CarePoint kitchen to cook in big, black cast iron pots on a wood fire. Not easy work, but done from hearts of love.

“The jar of flour never became empty, and the jug always contained olive oil, as the LORD had promised through Elijah. - 1 Kings 17:16 (GWT)

Name: Natalie Spera

Church/Business: Healing Place Church

Address: 19202 Highland Rd Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Position: CUCD: Abstinence Educator



Facebook: Natalie Spera

Twitter: @nataliespera

What you want people to know about you: LOVES JESUS A LOT


As most of you know, my daughter "A" spent a month in Swaziland recently. To say that is was an overwhelming experience is more than a bit of an understatement. And trying to succinctly communicate what all happened has been a daunting task that she has avoided. But as she's now been back three weeks, it really is time to force herself to try and tell her story. In an effort to help her process through the experience and tell all her supportive family and friends about her adventure I, her Swazi-crazed, and ever loving mother, will interview her. So let the conversation begin.

"A", tell us how you came to the decision to spend a month in Swaziland with Adventures In Missions.

You can call me Indie if you want for now. So now to answer the question, I went to Swaziland last year with you and "B" and felt God was telling me to go back again. AIM (Adventures In Missions) fit all the requirements I was looking for in a missions organization and I'd heard really good stuff about it. The choice to go to Africa with them was very right.

But why did you want to go back to Swaziland?

I didn't. Not really. It wasn't me. The idea of missions---especially in Africa---was totally unappealing to me. But at the same time, and this will sound cliche-ish, I had a burning desire to go and serve and do something. So I knew that it must be God and I had to go. I ended up really wanting to also.

What was your expectation of what the trip would be like?

Nothing like how it really was. But I suppose I need to give more than that huh? I expected to work a lot, "do good things", and to hate or at least not be friends with anyone on my team of people going with me. Well, except for Megan. But she's been my best friend forever so she doesn't count.

And in reality what was it really like?....To find out, check tomorrow's blog post.

Ooh. The suspense might kill them.

Sunday, August 09, 2009


On this, the 9th day of Children's Cup 40 DAYS OF PRAYING WITH THE CHILDREN, would you please join with others around the world in praying for government officials?

From the top government leaders down to the very last janitor, we are bestowing God’s blessing. Many of them have their own personal struggles day by day. We want them to sense the love of Jesus in our mission, and because of it, come to know Jesus personally as well. And we are asking God to open the hearts of each one to give Children’s Cup favor so that we can continue to work with the little ones who so desperately need help.

“Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.” - Romans 13:1 (NIV)

Name: Lee Domingue

Church/Business: Wolters Kluwer Financial Services

Address: 18153 East Petroleum Drive

Position: CEO - Indirect Lending

Name of Spouse: Laura



Name: Lee Domingue
Church/Business: Wolters Kluwer Financial Services
Address: 18153 East Petroleum Drive
Position: CEO - Indirect Lending
Name of Spouse: Laura

Saturday, August 08, 2009


On Day 8 of the Children's Cup "40 Days of Praying with the Children", would you please pray for the short-term folks who minister to the children and give support and encouragement to the long-term missionaries and national ministers? Here's the prayer and request from CC:

Visiting teams of folks from America have given a big chunk of their lives to spend time in another land, loving on little kids in ragged shirts and bare feet with runny noses and skinny arms. They paint buildings, read stories, draw pictures, play ball, and pass out treasured stickers. And long after the hugs are over, the memory of a certain child remains in their hearts.

“And how is anyone going to tell them, unless someone is sent to do it? That’s why Scripture exclaims, A sight to take your breath away! Grand processions of people telling all the good things of God! But not everybody is ready for this, ready to see and hear and act. Isaiah asked what we all ask at one time or another: ‘Does anyone care, God? Is anyone listening and believing a word of it?’ The point is, Before you trust, you have to listen. But unless Christ’s Word is preached, there’s nothing to listen to.” - Romans 10:15-17 (MSG)

Name: Dino Rizzo

Church/Business: Healing Place Church

Address: 19202 Highland Rd, Baton Rouge, LA 70809

Position: Lead Pastor

Name of Spouse: DeLynn

Name(s) of children: McCall, Dylan, Isabella


Facebook: Dino Rizzo

Twitter: @dinorizzo

Friday, August 07, 2009


...on Day 7 of the Children's Cup "Forty Days of Prayer WITH the Children:

These are the ones who have committed their lives to service in a land not their own. They have left family, friends, belongings, and homes. All know that earthly treasures hold nothing in comparison to doing God’s work. Lord, please bless our missionaries physically, emotionally, spiritually, relationally, and financially. All for your glory.

“And everyone who has given up houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or children or property, for my sake, will receive a hundred times as much in return and will have eternal life.” - Matthew 19:29 (NLT)

Name: Dixon Changara

Church/Business: Children’s Cup/Celebration Church Zimbabwe

Address: Zimbabwe

Position: Children’s Cup Zimbabwe Directors and Pastors of Celebration Church in Bulawayo

Name of Spouse: Chipo

Name(s) of children: Rudo, Faith, Tinashe Kenneth


What you want people to know: Working with orphaned and vulnerable children, widows and youth

Patrick Conti, one of our Swaziland missionaries, wanted to share this prayer that he received from one of his CarePoint kids:

“May the Lord give you more power to do His will and His work. My prayer is that God may prosper you spiritually and financially. Help the Missionaries to grow spiritually and do your will, perfectly, till the end. Amen!” -Namile Mamba – Age 18 (Junior in High School, Double Orphan, Makholweni, Swaziland)

Thursday, August 06, 2009


Please join the Children's Cup prayer focus for today:

Many are called, few are chosen. Many folks feel the need to “do something” for the hurting little ones, but few are actually chosen to commit their lives to ministry on the foreign field. Laborers are needed to bring in the great harvest of souls. Lord, send us the workers you have called. Provide us with prayer warriors and financial sponsors.

“The harvest is large, but the workers are few. So ask the Lord who gives this harvest to send workers to harvest his crops. Go!” - Luke 10:2-3a (GWT)

For the full post, visit the Children's Cup website at:

Wednesday, August 05, 2009


Would you please join with me and others in praying WITH the children who are being ministered to through the work of Children's Cup during this special forty days of prayer? Here is today's prayer focus:

In order for our children to learn to read, they must be taught. Our teachers must be anointed to serve. They need great compassion along with their God-given teaching skills. Oh Lord, please bless our committed staff of teachers with all of their needs, and provide more teachers as needed.

“Do you remember the day you stood in the Lord’s presence at Mount Sinai? The Lord said, ‘Moses, bring the people of Israel here. I want to speak to them so they will obey me as long as they live, and so they will teach their children to obey me too.’” - Deuteronomy 4:10 (CEV)

Name: Bill Westers

Church/Business: Christian Life Academy

Address: 2037 Quail Dr, Baton Rouge, LA 70808

Position: High School French & World Geography Teacher



Facebook: Bill Westers

Twitter: @billwesters

Other: My heart for missions led me to Oral Roberts University, where I got a degree in French with a secondary major in Missions. I look forward to eventually serving God on the mission field.

Here’s a video of the kids at Lagoba CarePoint in Swaziland Africa praying over their teachers.

Tuesday, August 04, 2009


The last few days have been tremendously busy for us and we've had teenage girl company in and out of the house as they try to cram in a lot of last minute fun and together-time before the new school year starts. As a result, I've not been able to post each day's special prayers and videos for the 40 Days of Prayer WITH the Children through the Children's Cup ministry. I'm worn out from a great but full day but before I throw my tired, middle-aged body in the bed, I wanted to catch up with the prayer needs.

Day 1: Food

Hunger drives me to the refrigerator. Hunger takes orphans to the garbage dump to dig for any morsel of food they can find. Or makes them willing to accept bread from strangers in exchange for “favors.” God promised that he looks out for even the sparrows - how much more for his children!
“I will abundantly bless her provision: I will satisfy her poor with bread. - “Psalm 132:15 (KJV)

Name: Nathie Hlatshwayo
Church/Business: Children’s Cup
Address: Swaziland
Position: Projects Manager
Name of Spouse: Futhie Hlatshwayo
Name(s) of children: Siphokazi, Lihle
Facebook: Nathie …

Day 2: Medicine

A dab of salve from the corner drug store helps heal the wounds of my child. The little ones Children’s Cup cares for also receive that kind of care. But what about the kids who have no one to wash and bandage their cuts and kiss their bruises? They often get infection that leads to loss of limbs and even death.

“He treated his wounds with olive oil and wine and bandaged them. Then he put him on his own donkey and took him to an inn, where he took care of him.” - Luke 10:34 (CEV)

Name: Steve Harris

Church/Business: The Medicine Shoppe

Address: 1817 South Burnside, Gonzales, LA 70737

Position: Pharmacist

Name(s) of children: Laura, Amanda, Nathan, and Julie


Day 3: Books & School Supplies

The note simply said, “Thank you for the pencils. Our whole class was sharing one pencil and most days I didn’t get to use it. Now we each have our own.” Lord, provide our children with the supplies they need for learning. Knowing how to read eventually enables them to hold a job that pays them well enough to climb out of poverty. Reading the Word of God enables richness in their souls.

“All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be their peace.” - Isaiah 54:13 (TNIV)

Name: Levi Rodgers

Church/Business: Children’s Cup/HPC Swaziland

Address: Swaziland

Position: Missionary Kid

Name(s) of siblings: Kayla (11), Trinity (6)



Other: Son of Ben and Susan Rodgers, Africa Directors for Children’s Cup & Pastors of HPC Swaziland. I like to play the guitar. I love football and especially the Titans and center Kevin Mawae. I like to swim, catch frogs, and ride my bike. I love to visit CarePoints with my family and play tag with the kids.

Day 4: Finances

In these days of financial difficulty, it isn’t easy to find the necessary support needed to carry on the tasks God has assigned. Without proper financing, Children’s Cup can do nothing. But we are trusting that God will speak to the hearts of those with the “loaves and fish” to share that the Lord will bless and multiply for his glory.

“‘There’s a young boy here with five barley loaves and two fish. But what good is that with this huge crowd?’ ‘Tell everyone to sit down,’ Jesus said. So they all sat down on the grassy slopes. (The men alone numbered about 5,000.) Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, ‘Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.’ So they picked up the pieces and filled twelve baskets with scraps left by the people who had eaten from the five barley loaves.” - John 6:9-13 (NLT)

Name: Dave Ohlerking

Church/Business: Children’s Cup

Position: Founder/President

Address: PO Box 400, Prairieville, LA 70769

Name of Spouse: married 50 years to Jean

Name(s) of children: David, Dan, Susan, Josh



Facebook: Dave Ohlerking

Twitter: @daveohlerking

Thank you for taking the time to pray with the children and for the children.

Monday, August 03, 2009


Our church is will be taking it's first ever missions trip to Mexico this coming spring to build a house for a family in dire need of a new home. I want to say "thank you" to all of you who have signed up to go on the trip. It is encouraging to me and Jim to see so many with a heart to reach out beyond the walls of our church and the comfort of our American community to His precious "least of these" in Mexico. When we show love through our actions, we are showing love to Him who layed down His very life for us. What an honor to serve Him in this way!

Yesterday we had a meeting and besides going over some logistical matters, Jim asked the team to set aside the first Tuesday of every month for a special day of prayer and fasting.

For some on the team, fasting may be a brand new thing. If so, you might want to ease into it. Perhaps you just want to fast (don't eat) only one meal. Maybe you'll not eat any food but just do juice. Or juice and crackers. Whatever you feel God is leading you to do is fine with us. With many spiritual disciplines, usually the more often you fast, the easier it becomes over time.

Some of you might want to include more than just fasting from food. You might want to consider fasting from tv or secular radio/music.

Whatever you do, do it with a heart intent on praying boldly, honestly, and humbly. Bold and humble at the same time? YES! Bold in your declaration that God is a mighty God who can and WILL do amazing things as we prepare and then go. Humble in the acknowledgement that we need HIM to make this an effort with eternal impact. And honest in our admission that apart from Him, we can do nothing truly good. Humble in our admission that we are sinful, selfish people who need Him to step in and prepare us as only the Holy Spirit can do.

So pray as you feel led tomorrow, but here are some specific areas you might want to talk to the Lord about:

1. That those who are supposed to be on the team will sign up and that worries about finances, concerns about time off from jobs, etc. will not stop them if GOD wants them to GO!

2. That God will bless our fundraising efforts and will move on the hearts of many to give freely and extravagantly even for the glory of HIS KINGDOM!

3. That Jim, Janine, Angie, and the others involved with making decisions and bringing things together will have Godly wisdom and insight.

4. That our team will begin to be knit together. Some of us are close...even family. Some of us are new to the church. Some of us have been here years but don't really know each other. Pray that we'll get beyond the surface and get to know each other's stories and learn to love each other deeply.

In closing, I want to share a quote I found in an old issue of CHRISTIANITY TODAY. It says:

"When we set our minds on the needs of others, it's impossible for us to be
divided, and even in our churches the wolf and lamb, the calf and the lion, can
lie down together...The kingdom comes in fractions, but it comes. God's will is
done on earth when his people seet their minds on the needs of others. That's
all it takes to provide a meetinghouse of friends." --- Lawrence Wood

And by the way, even if you're reading this and not going on our trip, we still covet your prayers. We will definitely need all the support we can get!

Thanks in advance and looking forward to sharing this adventure with my Restoration family,

Elysa Mac

When we traveled to Swaziland last year, we were able to meet some amazing folks who minister through Children's Cup, a Christian relief organization based in Louisiana. We saw the children whose lives were being transformed through the carepoints as they were fed, taught to read, learned other basic school and life skills, and saw God's love in action. Those children know that God is their Father who cares for them. They experience it every time they go to one of the carepoints and it reaches beyond the carepoints into their homes and the surrounding neighborhoods.
My daughter's AIM Ambassador Team also spent time at a Children's Cup. They loved on the children who live just across the way from the Manzini city dump. Many of these children would be living lives of prostitution and hopelessness if it wasn't for the ministry they receive at the carepoint.
Each year, Children's Cup has a special time set aside to pray for the work they are doing among the pray for the children themselves, to pray for the missionaries, to pray for the Swazi staff, to pray for every need of the ministry and those they touch. It's that time again. Would you please join with me in praying not just for the children, but with the children? I'll be posting the daily prayer reminders, but you can also go to the Children's Cup website and let them know that you are joining with them in this crucial endeavor.
Below is a letter written by a girl named Lydia in Swaziland:

Your prayers impact Lydia's life and so many others. In fact, here is a video of some of those children who you will be partnering together in prayer with:

Thank you!