Tuesday, August 31, 2010

PLEASE KEEP UP THE PRAYERS

Just a quick update on what is going on with us and our extended family.

I got back home today after spending a few days with my Cousin Beth and her family. My oldest daughter was with me for about half the time. Obviously, we are still reeling and coming to grips with her husband's incarceration. He is such a good, good man and is loved greatly by so many...especially his family and wife. He is already deeply missed and we all pray that this prison time gets shortened either thru an appeal where the sentence is overturned or thru early parole.

Please continue to pray for all of them as they walk out this extremely difficult chapter of their lives. They are trusting and leaning on God. They know that He can bring good out of even a terrible situation. They know that this is not the end of the story and that in the end, truth will triumph. But it still hurts.

Thanks and if you know Beth and her family, I know they'd love to hear from you.


Monday, August 30, 2010

SIXTEEN THINGS AND MY SIXTEEN YEAR OLD

My oldest daughter is sixteen. We've entered a new phase of our relationship, and to be honest, I enjoy her more and more as time goes on. I've always loved her, of course, but now she is one of my favorite people to just hang out with...whether we are roadtripping to New Orleans or watching a dvd. Life is better with her in it!

Awwwwww-w-w-w-w

My brain is pretty mush right now and I need to be getting to bed, but before I do, I wanted to make a list of sixteen things my daughter and I agree on. Because sometimes in the teenage years, it is easy to focus on the differences, but the more we're together, the more we find common ground. And you know what? Sometimes even our differences make for fun things to happen. She certainly can make me laugh with some of her uppity attitudes...when they're not directed towards me, of course. Okay, to be honest, sometimes even some of those make me laugh.

ANYWAY.....

Sixteen things we agree on:

1. The Jonas Brothers are really cute.

2. We like Prince Caspian with a beard in VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER. (She, always Miss Literal, corrected me to add that he is actually KING Caspian in VOTDT.)


3. New Orleans is one of our very favorite places to visit. We love the atmosphere, architecture, Cafe DuMonde beignets, Central Grocery muffalettas, and accents. They were described in a recent SOUTHERN LIVING article as "Brooklyn on gumbo".

4. CRIMINAL MINDS...but I only like the non-creepy episodes. We both like Morgan and Garcia!

5. Dark chocolate. 'Nuff Said.

6. Colby Calliat...especially the FALLING FOR YOU video!

7. Strawberry Limeades at Sonic. Especially during Happy Hour.

8. SWAZILAND!!!!!!!!!!!

9. Jane Austen...the books, the movies, the leading men. I'm married to a Mr. Darcy all the way. She is partial to Captain Wentworth. But we can appreciate the merits of both.

10. We both severely DISLIKE Edward Cullens and are NOT Twi-Hards. We are definitely more of Anti-Twi's.

11. BUT...we LOVE Stephenie Meyers' THE HOST and will most likely be at the opening night showing.

12. BLACK!!! Our favorite color to wear.

13. I am married to a strong, hunky man and she wants to one day marry a strong, hunky man. No wimps for us!

14. We do NOT roll down the windows as we drive down the road.

15. BOOKS!!!! We love 'em! We need 'em! Books are our food!!!! Okay...so we also like real food, too, but you get the idea. We really, really, really like books . But sometimes we like the movie version better than a book version, as in the case with LORD OF THE RINGS. Love, love, LOVE the LOTR movies!!!!!!!

16. Kittens are better than dogs. And as my very astute and articulate daughter is apt to point out, "licky dogs are the worst".

Well there you have it! Sixteen things off the top of my head. Though to be honest, there are many more things we have in common. And I really do have to add the most important one. Punkie loves Jesus. And I do, too. And for that reason, I know I'm only going to keep on enjoying her more and more.

Aww--w-w-w.


Sunday, August 29, 2010

A JOYFUL NOISE

Make a joyful noise unto the LORD, all the earth:

make a loud noise, and rejoice, and sing praise.

Psalm 98:4

****

Photos taken by Amanda Larsen in Swaziland during an AIM Real Life trip.



Saturday, August 28, 2010

EVERYTHING CHANGES



Thank You, God, that when YOU show up, everything changes.

Friday, August 27, 2010

GOD'S STRENGTH IS SO GOOD

Well, the sentence came down hard for my cousin Beth's husband. But praise God, my cousin, her husband, and their kids are really doing well considering the horrific circumstances. Please continue to pray for them as they walk out this very difficult season. Pray that thru it all God will be glorified and they will be made more like Jesus. And pray, please, that the appeal will go thru and he will be released.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

EXTREMELY URGENT REQUEST!!!!!

Some of you will remember that over the last few years, I have asked for prayers for my cousin Beth's family. Her husband was the owner of a business and was falsely accused of some illegal and unethical practices. It has been a horrible and unfair situation from day one.

Several months ago at the end of his trial, to the shock of all his family and his attorneys, he was pronounced guilty.

Tomorrow is the sentencing. The judge has broadly hinted that she wants the prison term to be long. Our hearts are breaking for this family while at the same time we are righteously angry that an innocent man is facing this.

Please pray for this situation. We are still praying for a miracle and that this judge's heart will be changed. Pray for his family...especially his wife (my cousin who is like a sister to me) and children. I will be with her tomorrow at the hearing and will be with her afterwards. Pray that God will use me to comfort her if a miracle doesn't happen.

Thanks in advance,
Elysa

**********************************************

CRUCIAL UPDATE:

I just rec'd a message from Beth that the sentence is going to be TODAY!!!! This makes an already upsetting situation even worse. Many friends and family members who would have been there to support them will not be able to attend. And for my cousin and her kids who thought they had one more day with their husband and dad --- well, it is just devastating.

Please continue to pray for a miracle. We are still praying for justice but we really, really need peace and tangible evidence of God's provision and care right now. Would you pray for God to show Himself in a very real, real way today?

Thanks.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010


MY HOBBIT BABY TURNS FIVE TODAY!



Happy birthday to my sweet, sweet girl! Mommy loves you SO-O-O-OOOO much!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

FOUR WEEKS FROM TODAY....

...we will be starting a week of Vacation Bible School activities (though it isn't vacation time for them) with our Beveni Carepoint kids. In the morning, we'll have the ones who aren't in school and in the afternoons, the school kids will come for activities geared towards their age group.

Will you please pray for us as we prepare for this time? Pray that we'll have direction as we choose scripture verses, Bible stories, songs, and other activities. We want this to be all about what God wants for this unique set of children in the Kingdom of Swaziland.

Below, I've posted a video about the carepoint ministry in Swaziland that we will be a part of. Kriek and Jumbo Gerber are South Africans who have moved to Swaziland to pour their lives out for God and the precious children that God has called Adventures in Missions and Children's HopeChest to care for day in and day out.

Jumbo & Kriek Swaziland 2009 from Jumbo on Vimeo.

You can read more about their missions adventure at http://jumbogerber.myadventures.org/ .

Monday, August 23, 2010

FOUR WEEKS FROM TODAY



Four weeks from today we will be in Swaziland!!!! WOW! I really appreciate all y'all's encouragement, support, and prayers during this journey. Wanted to share some news with y'all:



*Please pray for my mom. She will be staying in our house with the kids while we are gone. She has been fighting a bad sinus infection and needs to be healed up!

*All money is raised for our trip. Some folks are still wanting to help out so if you feel led this way, you can either donate items for us to use in our ministry there (school supplies, soccer balls, etc.) or donate money to buy supplies and gifts for the children and caregivers.

*Insurance money has provided us a new video camera....a digital one at that! This means that we'll easily be able to post online videos from our trip. :)

*We are still working out the details for our itinerary once the team leaves Swaziland and Jim and I are on our own exploring ministry options for moving over there. Pray for us as we work out the plans.

Gotta get for now! Unpacked boxes are calling my name.

As the Swazis say....Salani Kahle (Stay well),
Elysa Mac


Photos from this post are compliments of Adam Wilson. To read about his Swaziland ministry adventures, visit his blog: http://wearebound.wordpress.com/

Sunday, August 22, 2010


WE'VE COME A LONG WAY, BABY!!!


To my amazingly beautiful Cousin Beth on her 44th birthday:

I'm so glad that God in His wisdom knew that I was going to need a cousin like you. We had our ups-and-downs...okay, a lot more downs than ups... during our younger years but by the time those pre-teen years rolled around, God gave me the good sense to see just how fun you were and the rest was history.



It is hard to believe I ever thought I would have preferred not having you as a cousin...like the time you tricked me into picking all the flowers off of Grandpa Harvey's fruit tree...but now I can't even imagine life without you!

I love you, Sweetie, and God loves you. I can't always be there for you when I want to be but He will never, ever, ever let you down. As fabulous as I think you are, He loves you and adores you even infinitely more.

You can count on that.

Saturday, August 21, 2010

TO BE OBEYED



"The Great Commission1 is not an option to be considered; it is a command to be obeyed"

Hudson Taylor

Friday, August 20, 2010

WHAT WE TRULY NEED

Erin Wilson traveled with us to Swaziland back in 2008 and, like us, she returned unwilling to go back to life as she had lived it pre-Africa. She's been making changes, some of them small, some of them radical. But all with the perspective of living the life that God truly created her for. Here's what she had to say at her blog concerning this journey:

Somewhere along the line, we learned what it takes to make a successful life. We learn that we need to marry and have children. We need a well-paying, secure job. Preferably with benefits and a pension. We need a beautiful house. A green lawn. Two cars in the driveway. We need beautiful things. Particularly if we're Christians. We need to have lots of beautiful things to show the world that God is good, and that He loves us. We need to make more to give more. Even in our churches, we need to have beautiful buildings, a slate full of programs, and professional staff to show the world that God is good and that He loves us. In fact, our lives fill up with the busyness it takes to achieve this.

Somewhere along the line we were convinced that a successful life looked one way.

I saw the film King Corn a few weeks ago. One part of the film has stayed close. The film makers describe standing in the middle of corn fields in Iowa. Inedible field corn, grown for manufacturing, grew as far as the eye could see in every direction. The film makers were taken with the irony: they stood in the very heart of farmer's fields and could not find anything to eat, nothing to nourish humanity.

Many of our lives look like this.
Our lives are full.
Maximized for high production and high yield.
But there is nothing to nourish our humanity.
Or we fit that which might nourish into tiny slivers of life we neglected to program.

Most of us weren't created to tend massive swaths of "field corn".
And we don't have to.
We have so many choices and we don't even realize it.

A little while back I woke up to the fact that I have choice.

To read more of Erin's writings, visit her blog at http://biscotti_brain.blogspot.com/
.
WHY, WHY, WHY???

Why am I obsessed about Swaziland? Why do I count down the days til I go there next month? Why do I want to spend the rest of my life there?

In the words of Steven Curtis Chapman, "it's all about love, love, love, love, love".

Because God loves me so much I am able to love others so much. And for His eternity-perspective reasons, He has put a special love for Swaziland and it's children in my heart.

Here's a video made by a team from Westwood Baptist Church outside of B'ham, Alabama, that ministered to a carepoint in Swaziland. It is for little ones like this that I am compelled to abandon it all for the sake of His call.

video

BTW, a little on the backstory of this video. Steve McAdams, who is moving to Swaziland to minister with his family, told me that the child in pink is indeed a boy who appears to have Down's Syndrome, though, of course, he has not been diagnosed due to lack of access to proper medical care. Even though he can't walk, he managed to get his way all the way from the back of the other kids to the front of "the bus". That little kid is a survivor. And he needs people like me --- and you --- to give him the chance he needs to have a life of hope despite the circumstances.

*****************************************

Steve McAdams , his wife Amy, and their children will be moving soon to live and serve God and the people He is calling them to. Read more about their missions adventures @ http://themcadams.myadventures.org/

Thursday, August 19, 2010

MAKE YOURSELF AT HOME

From the heart of my sweet, Five-in-a-Row friend Paige---

For the past couple of years, my life has felt unsettled, as if I am just waiting around for something new to happen. The first 18 months following the death of my marriage, I mourned and grieved and literally focused on taking one breath at a time as I tried to figure out how to live again. Then, one day, I realized that I had entered a new phase. Joy and peace had returned to my life once again. And there was something new ... hope. I hadn't felt hope in a long time, but there is was and I was so happy to discover that glimmering friend again.



Hope brought an interesting response from me. As I began to hope, I began to dream again. And as I dreamed big dreams for my future, I began to feel as if I were waiting ... waiting on those dreams to become reality. It doesn't so much matter what the dreams are, for there are several dreams for my future that I hold dear to my heart. What does matter is that I put myself in a holding pattern while I was waiting, instead of embracing what my life is right now.



I will be the first to admit that waiting can be a good thing. After all, when we wait for something that we really desire, it is all the more precious to us when it finally is ours because of the wait that we endured. But waiting can also cause us to become inactive participants in life. Such was the case with me.



This past Saturday morning I had a big ole self-pity party going on before I ever even crawled out of bed. I was fighting off a lot of negative emotions, one of which was a feeling of being unsettled in my life. I cannot fully describe all of the ways that I feel unsettled .... there is my job and the sporadic childcare that I've had since I moved last summer. But perhaps one of the biggest reason for the unsettled feeling is the lack of close friends in the area that I am living currently. This is odd to me, for as a former military spouse I moved frequently. I have friends from every military installation where my ex-husband was stationed. I never had a problem finding friends, and have many close friends from those places. I cherish those friends who live in Virginia, Michigan, Washington and Texas. Obviously, though, all of these close friends live a little too far away to call up for a spur of the moment lunch invitation.



I've lived on both coasts and quite a few states in between, and yet by far the move I made last summer from my hometown to my current home in Jena (a mere 30 miles apart) has been the hardest move I've ever made out of 16 moves in my adult life. It's been 15 months since I unpacked the boxes in my new home, and I still cannot seem to find my legs here. I have no doubt about the fact that God wanted me to move to Jena. It's very clear that I was called to come live in this place for this season of my life. Truly, there is so much that I enjoy about life here. I love my little house. I go to a wonderful church. My kids attend a great school. I think Jena is a sweet and safe town. And I have many wonderful acquaintances that I've grown to love ... yet I do not have a single close friendship in this place, and as a result, I feel unsettled and a little lonely.



So Saturday morning, I complained to God about the lack of friends and the loneliness and the unsettled feeling I have about living here. And do you know how He responded? He said:



"Paige, I do not think people who have yet to hang up curtains should complain about feeling unsettled."



Me: "What do curtains have to do with me feeling unsettled?"



God: "You've lived in your home well over a year now. You haven't hung up any curtains. Are you planning to stay? Generally, when people plan to stay, they hang up curtains."



Me: "Well ... I'm not planning to go."



God: "That's not what I asked. I asked if you were planning to stay."



Me: "Okay ... here's the deal. My job isn't here. Child care has been sporadic and undependable. And I don't have any friends here. I keep pushing on doors and pushing on doors and pushing on doors ... but none of them open. And as a result, I don't feel settled. Why should I hang up curtains? What does that have to do with anything anyway?"



God: "The truth is, Paige, that you don't know how much longer you will be here ... it could be 2 days, 2 weeks, 2 months, 2 years or 2 decades. It really doesn't matter. I asked you to come here and live. So live here ... make yourself at home, Paige. Hang a few curtains."



So, I lay there and pondered curtains and why I hadn't yet hung any. There was a good reason. I had never hung curtains before and I wasn't really sure I knew how. I mean, I knew that it couldn't be that hard, but what if I hung them wrong. What if they were crooked and people came over to my house and laughed at my curtains hanging over the windows because they weren't even? I didn't even own a drill, for Pete's sake! How could I hang up curtains without a drill? And finally, what if I went to the store, selected some curtains for my windows, came home and hung them up and then hated the way they looked ... why, it would be a lot of money down the drain! I don't have a lot of money. It is just easier to have bare windows than to risk failure.



Somehow though, I realized that this really wasn't about curtains. It was about me choosing to LIVE my life, instead of simply BIDING my time.



As a Christian, I know that this world is not my home. My final destination is heaven. I long for heaven and to be with my Saviour. But we can't just sit around waiting for God to take us home. In fact, Jesus warned us about that in the parable about the talents, which is found in Matthew 25. When Christ returns, He wants to find that we have been busy working for His kingdom ... not that we have been sitting around awaiting His return. So as much as I want to go to heaven and live in paradise, while I am on this earth I need to be about the Father's business.



Mercy Me has a new album titled The Generous Mr. Lovewell that I've been enjoying lately. The first song is called This Life, and the lyrics have been haunting me for the past couple of weeks, encouraging me to make the most of my life ... make the most of where I am at right now. Perhaps you'll be encouraged by these words too:



This Life by Mercy Me

This is not my home ... this is not my space

This is not my style ... this is not my place

Can't get comfortable... can't get settled in

Simply dont belong ... can't get used to this

But I'm here right now ... I can hear you say

Make the most of Me ... this won't go to waste

If I'm out of my mind .... yeah it's all for Christ

If I'm making sense ...then get it right

Every moment is a chance to let your light break through

This life (oh oh oh oh)

This life was meant to shine



I don't have to stall ... I don't have to wait

Don't have to bide my time ... till I make my escape

Cuz heaven's in my heart ... I won't settle for less

I will lift your name ... by the life I live

Every moment is a chance to let your light break through

This life (oh oh oh oh)

This life was meant to shine



By the way, I hung some curtains this weekend. I'm feeling more settled already for I'm planning to do more than bide my time ... I'm planning to stay. It may only be for a short while longer or it could be for years and years to come, but let it be said that while I was here I lived, and I didn't just wait.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

GOD IS A GOD OF CRAZY, AMAZING PROVISION...Part II


Just wanted to let all of you know that we are once again blown away by God's goodness.


Someone has donated $2500 for our daughter's Swaziland trip. With the nearly $500 she has rec'd from other sources, this brings her almost completely to her needed amount.


I don't know why we continue to be surprised by God's amazing provision. He just can't be boxed in and when we let OUR human understanding keep us from stepping out and going, then we really limit the opportunities for Him to show up and move big time in our lives and in the world around us.


Our family is learning over and over again that when God leads, God will provide!!!!


To those of you out there that might be feeling His leading to do something...maybe it is to go out on a missions trip or start a ministry in your own city or give something away to someone in need..don't EVER let the fear of funding hold you back!


Sometimes He calls us to work for it and sometimes He just gives it, but whatever way, His pockets are so much deeper than our's.


I am in no way someone who thinks I can just claim a fancy car or a new wardrobe. God doesn't want to give me stuff to just make me more selfish and materialistic. When He gives, it is with eternity in mind. It is with His desire to make us more like Jesus, show us how amazingly loving He is, and to prosper HIS kingdom here on earth.

TRUST HIM!!!!! He is bigger than we can ever imagine.


P.S. I also want to say thanks to ALL of you who have contributed towards Anna's trip. I realize that for some of you, the amount you gave was that widow's mite. It might not have seemed huge in the world's eyes, but it was what you could give. And in some cases, it was all or even more than you could afford. God sees your heart and we see your love and support and appreciate each gift as much as we do the big ones. The $2500 is awesome! But without the other gifts all added together, she still wouldn't have the full amount. It is ALL God's abundant, amazing provision---whether it comes in as one, big sum or whether it comes in a bit at a time. Thank you for being part of the way God is blessing my girl and blessing those precious children, widows, and others that Anna will minister to in Swaziland.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

GOD IS A GOD OF CRAZY, AMAZING PROVISION!

Settle down and let me tell you a story about a girl, her God, and His miraculous way of showing His love for her.



About a year or so ago, a friend of mine felt her heart turning to Africa. She wanted to go there so she could write about it and, using the giftings that God has given her, make a difference. But to be honest, she just felt like it was a pipe dream. Money was tight and the bills kept coming.

A couple of months ago, my husband and I were discussing our upcoming trip. He had just been out west and had spent a couple of days with our friend and her family.

Now my husband has never been to Sub-Saharan Africa and unlike me, he doesn't make it a habit to go around telling people that they need to go there.

But out of the blue, he said that I needed to text our friend and tell her to go with us.


So I did.

And she texted back saying that though she would love to go, it would take a miracle.


I asked "What miracle?" to which she listed off several things including, first and fore most, the money needed.

After all, this trip is costing around $3,000 a person.


I responded that I understood.

And that was that...or so we thought.


God, on the other hand, had different plans.

Fast forward to two weeks ago. Our team was reaching the deadline for making and we had to have a minimum of six to go. We were still one short. I sat at my computer reading messages about our upcoming trip and thought "Lord, I wish we had more of our insurance money left over. If we did, maybe we could pay for someone to go with us. I just wish I was a millionaire so I could send everyone on missions trips that wanted to go." Our team was praying that God would add whoever needed to go and I was posting trip invitations here and on facebook in the hopes that someone would join in so the team could go.

Then God stepped in. The God who is beyond millionaire status.

On the Saturday morning that we started moving into our newly restored, post-fire house, our oldest son went out to the road to get the mail. He came back saying we had something from our insurance company. It was a check. A totally unexpected check to further reimburse us for the loss of possessions in the fire. We had already received an abundance of financial provision from our company. We had rebuilt our home and though we had not been able to replace everything we lost, we had enough money to cover all our needs and then some.

As soon as my husband showed it to me, I said "we could use this to pay for someone's trip to Swaziland!!!!".

Okay, I didn't say it, I exuberantly proclaimed it.

We hollered for the kids and circled them up to send prayers of thanks up to God. After the amen resounded, my husband looked at me and said, "I know what you want to do without you saying it---you want to pay for 'K' to go to Swaziland with us." And was that man ever right!

I immediately rushed into the RV, called her on my cell phone, and when she answered, I asked her if she believed in miracles. To make a long story short, she said yes...and so did her husband.

The desire God planted in K's heart was not a pipe dream but a God dream. He knew all along that our house would burn, that we'd be blessed immensely financially as a result, and that she would be traveling to Swaziland with us this September.


God is so, so amazing.

I am totally blessed to be the instrument God is using to get her over there. I can't wait to stand back and watch her fall passionately in love with the children of Swaziland.



To follow K's journey to Africa, visit her blog:
http://righteousbuzz.blogspot.com/

Monday, August 16, 2010

SUPER QUICK UPDATE!

I have to make this short but just a couple of things:

*There were no blog postings last week due to electrical issues and no internet access. We have that all straightened out now but we're now experiencing water and a/c issues. Also, please pray as the building inspector comes today. We need to find favor in his eyes so we'll pass!

*I will try to do a catch-up on happenings as soon as I can. So much is going on and trying to get unpacked, buy things we need, etc. is taking up a lot of time and energy.

*We will be in Swaziland in FIVE WEEKS from today!!!!!! I am getting even more excited. I know, that seems impossible, but it is true! I have a lot to share about that area but for now just know that it is BIG TIME GOD STUFF!
He is so very, very good.

*Oh! And keep praying about Swaziland. We have to buy the tickets the beginning of this week and we need good prices. Also, pray for Anna to raise the support she needs.
Thanks in advance.

Blessings and grace to you all!
Elysa

Sunday, August 08, 2010

GLIMPSES OF OUR FIRST WEEKEND BACK HOME


After 5.5 months of living in either hotel rooms or campers, we moved back into our home yesterday. We will be camping out for a few days as we await the building inspector's final okay and then the delivery of our furniture, but despite the stiff backs from sleeping on air mattresses, it is such a blessing.


Here are a few photos from yesterday and today:



Our oldest daughter wrote up this for us. I think we can definitely thank her time with Adventures in Missions for this huge dose of encouragement.










We'll be working every day this week on cleaning, moving, and organizing so if you are in the area and want to come help, just let me know. It would be a HUGE blessing and I can promise you sandwiches and chips served with loving gratitude. Oh! And ICE WATER dispensed from our new fridge. :)


Btw, I'll try to add more captions later. It is late and tomorrow is not going to wait til I've had enough sleep.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

PRAISE GOD...TODAY IS THE DAY!!!


Today we start moving into our newly restored home. To say that we are excited is an understatement. God has blessed us so amazingly thru this whole journey.


Would you please support us with your prayers today?


Pray that we'll work efficiently and receive the help we need (anyone have boxes or time on their hands?) and that God will give me the ability to think in an organized way, but most importantly, pray that we work together with the attitude of Jesus. Pray that we won't be selfish, lazy, or short-tempered. Pray that we'll work with joy in our hearts and in the words we speak to each other.


Thanks in advance and come by and see us sometime! We'd love to show you around.


With much excitement,
Elysa Mac

Friday, August 06, 2010

I WAS THE BOSS OF ALL KUNG FU'ers IN THE WORLD!

Yep, I was. What? You didn't know that? Well, according to 6 year old T he said that I was the Boss of all Kung Fu'ers in the world in a dream he had earlier this week. In fact, here's the whole thing:

Well, we got a package and like, it had this bottle, it was like a mini Human Torch. Then [sister L] was curious. And evil. So, she put the bottle on the Human Torch. Then he came to life. And he was like the size of the spider at our dumpster. He could fly like the Human Torch. Well, we all tried to grab him. And if you hold on to him too long it will burn you but it will make him die because the flames will go off of him and he will die. [ Little Sister M] got attacked by the Human Torch. And then Mom, she did one of her Kung Fu moves. And she belly flopped him which burnt her [so] she jumped off.

Well, we went into Mom and Dad's room in the house, before the house was finished, and [sister B ] was there on the mattress with all of us. She tried to catch it because it was flying around. Well, she couldn't. And I was in the RV. Well, when I came outside to go into the house, there was a dog by the front door. I speaked dog language and told it to go eat Human Torch because the mini Human Torch was asleep.

So I opened up the door, and then, I led it to Mom and Dad's room where Human Torch was asleep. Then the dog started eating him.

Well, I went into my big brothers' room. I told [P] that the dog was eating the Human Torch. Well then, [P] looked at the exit to his room and he saw that smoke was at his door and he said "you're right".

And then we went into Mom and Dad's room and the dog looked back and said "ustah". And when he stopped eating to look back to say "ustah", [P] saw that all of Human Torch's body was gone and only his flames were still there. But his flames were red and like a toy flame except hot...as hot as red hot Cheetos.

The End

Thursday, August 05, 2010

PASTOR WALTER, TRUE RELIGION PERSONIFIED

The Bible tells us that pure religion is to care for the widows and orphans. Pastor Walter, in Swaziland, is living this out every day of his life. When Anna, Betsie, and I visited Swaziland 2.5 years ago, we were blessed to attend his church. We worshipped at Timbutini and we sat under his powerful preaching. When Anna returned last summer, her team was assigned to that area. They ministered to carepoint children, made home visits, prayer walked, and participated in revival services at Timbutini.

This video is a powerful testimony to what happens when one man decides to give it all to God out of love for Him and love for the widows and orphans about him.

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



To find out how you can be involved in ministering to Pastor Walter's flock and other children in Swaziland, visit http://www.hopechest.org/ .

Jim and I will be going to Swaziland this September and taking our 16 year old daughter with us. If you would like to financially support her as she goes to practice pure religion in loving His little ones and the widows who care for them, contact me and I'll let you know how to do that.

Thanks in advance and please pray for Pastor Walter and others who are pouring their lives out as a living sacrifice in Swaziland.

Wednesday, August 04, 2010

ONCE WITHOUT HOPE --- NOW WITH NEW LIFE

Here is a beautiful, African girl with a testimony of new life through Jesus. Crippled from a young age, her life was one of hopelessness until Christians got involved, provided her a wheel chair, and led her to the love of God...a love that
brings hope for the future.


Rabia Sayid Story from Children's HopeChest on Vimeo.



If you would like to be involved with bringing hope to other children, visit the Children's HopeChest website at http://www.hopechest.org/ .

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

BUILDING ON A VISION

Here is an open letter from my uh-mazing oldest daughter:

Friends & family,

Hello! I hope this letter finds you well.

As most of you probably know, in January of 2008, my mom, my sister B, and I went on a ten day "vision" trip to Swaziland with Children's Hope Chest where we visited various "carepoints" (places where impoverished and orphaned children and teens can gather and be fed, receive basic medical care, attend Bible classes and just be shown love in other practical ways) and got a basic vision for what the country of Swaziland needs.

Last summer, I returned to Swaziland for a month long missions trip with Adventure in Missions. On that trip I, along with my team of nineteen college and high school students, worked at a couple of the carepoints I had visited on the previous trip as well as visiting nearby hospitals.

That trip changed my life in so many ways. It opened my heart and mind to the lives of others around the world.

Now, if you're like I was, you've heard stories of horror and sorrow from across the globe all your life, and while you may say "that's so sad" when it flashes across the TV screen, it doesn't affect your everyday life and it's not something you spend many thoughts on. So, seeing these stories face-to-face, meeting them and being forced to know that they're all too real, realizing that in a year's time, many of the kids I was feeding, drawing pictures for and teaching english to, would be dead, was a harsh pill to swallow.


I have now been given the opportunity to return for another trip to Swaziland, which begins September 18th. This time I will be going again with Children's Hope Chest for ten days. Though it's hard to say exactly what we'll be doing this time, I do know I'll be making home visits and helping to lead a Vacation Bible School at a Care Point that I've visited before. In fact, my family and my youth group sponsor two girls at that Care Point. Visiting these care points is vital to building a relationship with these orphans and endangered children, to prove to them that they're not just someone we throw money at every month, but someone we care enough about to visit.

In order to go on this trip I need to raise approximately $2,500 and need the first $250 as soon as possible. Swaziland is a country devastated by HIV/AIDS with the highest percentage of any country in the world, nearly 50% of the people have it. Ten percent of the population are orphaned. As you can see, Swaziland is a country desperate for aid, any help you can give will be greatly appreciated, and if you feel you are unable to give financial support now, prayers are needed just as much, if not more.

Sincerely,
Anna MacLellan

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If you would like to send a donation, here are two simple ways---

Donate online at:

https://secure.pursuantgroup.net/pursuant4/hopechest/chcselect/donation.asp

Just be sure to write the trip ID# SZ100902T & my name in the "notes" box.

You can also mail a check to:

Children’s HopeChest
P.O. Box 63842
Colorado Springs, CO 80962-3842

Again, make sure to include the trip ID# SZ100902T & my name on the memo line.

If you do send a donation directly to Children's Hope Chest, please make me aware so I can ensure that it is added to my account.

Monday, August 02, 2010

MY JOY-FILLED GIRL IS FIFTEEN!!!




Happy Birthday, B-Bear! I can't wait to see what God does in your life this upcoming year. Wow! He has begun such a good work in you and I know He will be faithful to complete it.

Sunday, August 01, 2010

MY GOD, I TRUST IN YOU



Lord, You had to leave the security
of home and family, twice.
You left Your Father to be a man with us,
and left Your human family to die for us.
You had to pray to Your Father:
My God, I trust in You.
My God, I trust in You.

Lord, when we leave all and follow You
and it hurts those we love,
help us to know that You have been there , too;
that no one leaves behind father, mother or loved one
but is more than rewarded in the end.
Help us to pray:
My God, I trust in You.
My God, I trust in You.

Lord, when Your cross pierces
our own desire,
and makes us call out,
let our cry be, through our pain:
My God, I trust You.
My God, I trust You.

*****

From CELTIC DAILY PRAYER: PRAYERS AND READINGS FROM THE NORTHUMBRIA COMMUNITY


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Photo taken by Jessie Miller, AIM missionary to Swaziland