Saturday, June 09, 2018


Well hello there!

Long time no see.

When we moved to Swaziland 4.5 years ago, I had every intention of faithfully chronicling our new life and all the stages we were going to go through as a new missionary family.  Well, it didn't happen.  We didn't have Wi-Fi at home for the first few months and then when we finally got it, I had it in my mind that I needed to go back and blog about EVERYTHING that had happened and that just overwhelmed me.  So......

I didn't blog for years.

And a year ago when we moved to another place in Swaziland we didn't have Wi-Fi AGAIN.  In fact, we didn't have it til a couple of weeks ago.

Y'all, the last years have been good and bad and fun and hard.  Living on the mission field overseas is in many ways like living back in America.  It is also very different.  This last year or so has been a hard season for our family for too many reasons to go into right now.  Just take my word for it.  Last month, I was in America for a couple of weeks ago and did a lot of crying and whining and verbally processing.  One of my dear college friends, Janet, encouraged me to start blogging again.  And then the other day, I was talking to my grown daughter Anna ---- who, by the way, now lives with us in Swaziland --- and she also encouraged me to take it up again.

So here I am.

I probably won't ever get to share all the things I wish I could share with you about the first years of living here BUT, I can just start again.  So many times, we don't do what we'd love to do or need to do because we think we have to do it perfectly.  Well, that's just not reality for most of us in most situations.  Sometimes, we just gotta start with where we're at.  Sometimes we gotta do like that  sports company slogan counsels and "just do it".

Okay, I'm just doing it.

I don't think I'll ever be back to blogging every single day like I did back in the day.  I do hope, though, that I'll do it regularly enough to help me feel a bit more connected with the outside world, have a place where our family happenings are recorded so our loved ones far away can keep up with us better, help me work through what's going on in this life, and maybe bless and encourage a few readers in the process.

And hopefully, all this will be done with a big ole heaping helping of grace...grace dumped on y'all and grace dumped on me.

Because really, in this world of filters and pins, we all need to be reminded sometime that life is a gift even if it is messy and crazy and always imperfect.  We need to do the things that make our hearts sing and our spirits swell even though we probably won't do it as well as we'd like.

And that's my corny, cliche'ish, yet true Musing from Graceland for today.

Friday, December 27, 2013


Let me let you in on a secret. The date for this blog post says I am writing this in December of 2013 but that isn't really true. It is actually August of 2014 and I'm playing catch-up big-time.

When I first started blogging years ago, I blogged daily. In fact, I blogged daily for years, rarely missing a day. I might have to take a temporary hiatus due to a vacation or mission trip. For a season, I blogged erratically after our house fire when we didn't have internet access. Then I moved to live at We Will Go and our life cranked up exponentially. Some days were just too busy to blog and some days I was just too tired at the end of the day to try to put words together in any semblance of order or interest or humor.

And then the move month happened.

All of a sudden the craziness increased even more. On top of all the regular ministry and mommy responsibilities was added all the activities related to moving our family to another continent. Our days were crammed with packing and going-away parties and seeing friends "one last time" and shopping and taking care of banking issues and on and on and on. Oh...and I mustn't fail to mention that it was also Christmas so we were also buying gifts and attending holiday functions and making Christmas yummies and...

Well, you get the point.

It was insane.

And then we moved to Swaziland.

We didn't have internet at home for nearly 4 months so grabbed bits and pieces of internet time at restaurants and friend's houses as we could. There was never time to blog as I was using that precious time to try to answer emails, send pictures to folks back home, communicate with our university daughters, and go through days and days' worth of Facebook notifications.

So now we have internet and I've put off updating my blog for 8 months now because I'm just awesome that way. Did I mention that I also broke my finger back in June so that also put a crimp in my typing abilities.

ANYWAY....that is a very long way of saying that this procrastinating, easily-overwhelmed, slightly OCD-about-my-blog-posts girl is now committed to blogging again. I don't know if I will ever be able to blog again every day, but I can do better than once every several months.

So what's my plan? I am going to go back and post summaries of the past season of our life beginning with the last few weeks in America and working my way up to the present. I will date them and write them as though I posted as it was happening. Hopefully once I break thru this mental hurdle, I will not feel like a little ant trying to eat an entire Thanksgiving meal and can easily post updates on a more regular basis.

Rev your engines readers, we're about to race through 8 months.

Restoration Church's women's ministry Christmas party.

Going away party we threw at We Will Go and had friends from many different parts of our life including my Troubadour little sister from my MUW days.

Restoration Church's going-away party.
Laura, Merry, and Travis participated in the church Christmas service.  Travis had a solo.
Saying goodbye at We Will Go
Merry and Amy Lancaster at the WWG Christmas Party
Extra time with our "other son".
More packing.
Shipping day.
Final night of GAs and RAs at 1st Baptist Jackson.
Moved into a WWG bunkhouse for the last days.
Lunch out with my bestie.
More goodbyes.
And last times of visiting with neighbors at the ministry.
Hobbit movie then milkshakes at Sonic while visiting on the Gulf  Coast.
Special Christmas service at my growing-up church, 1st Baptist Gautier, and the Swazi flag used in their Lottie Moon campaign every year.
And that's it for now. The last month in America to be continued because I've already been working on this one for a few hours and the kids are begging for the computer. Ugh. This catching up might take a really long time.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013


YIKES! Friday the Thirteenth has never held so much significance for me as this one will. On this day, just 72 hours from now, a big ole shipping container will be brought to our house and strangers will begin to load up beds, photo albums, books, toys, and family heirlooms to begin their long and perilous journey to our new home in Manzini, Swaziland.

Packing for the Africa move and reminding myself that Jesus and His little ones are worth it. #packingforafrica #jesusisworthit #journeytolivinginswaziland #lifeatwewillgo #savethechildren

In the meantime, we still have packing to do. A lot of packing.

I'm gonna be real here, I am feeling anxious about this. Ask me to throw a party for a hundred folks or organize a ministry event requiring scores of volunteers and I'm fine. Ask me to pack up a house and I want to just curl up in a ball with my dark chocolate and iPhone.

We need your help.

If you live locally and come help, it would be so amazing. I will do a jig, ply you with good food, and name my first Swazi cat after you. Even one hour would be such a big help. I need folks who can take the stuff that we're deciding we're keeping and wrap in bubble wrap or just fit in the shipping bins in an efficient way. It is as easy as that but it just all takes a lot of time. We have been working on it for months but we are down to packing up last big chunk of stuff. We've got kids who still need mama to do stuff and neighbors who knock on the door and still need sweet, not-crazed ministers to give them a meal, drive them to AA on a rainy night, or just pray for them. Again, even an hour or two of donated time would be such a help.

But if you aren't local but if you are and your schedule just won't allow you to come help, then please pray. Seriously. Pray.

Pray for folks who can help to come and help and pray that I won't get overwhelmed, lonely, stressed out, and start feeling sorry for myself. Pray for all of us that we'll just keep our eyes on God as our provider and not turn on each other. It is easy during times like this to start snapping and stressing and yelling and blaming. Pray that we'll trust in the Lord and seek ways to feed our spirit and keep the joy alive. Pray that I won't get all poor-me-this-is-lonely-and-doesn't-feel-like-Christmas. I mean it. Happy Pollyanna Elysa is hard to find during tasks like this. It has gotta be HIS Spirit because mine is just ready for this to be over.

Enough of the raining on your Christmas parade.

Love to you all and praying that you'll also find the joy and provision of the season and not just the stress and tiredness.

Monday, December 09, 2013


Happy 15th birthday, dear Patrick!
I pray that this coming year is your best ever.  I know that moving to Africa  is not without potential stress and there are some aspects that seem less than ideal to you, but I'm praying that this year will be the first year of an amazing adventure and that God begin showing you the unique giftings and passions He has put in your life as you start to get a glimpse of how He wants to use you to impact the places He sends you.
He has put into your life so much and as your mama, I'm blessed to be seeing how those things are starting to come to life.  When you sat up all night just a couple of weeks ago with that cold neighbor, that was truly being Jesus to that man.  I was blown away by your compassionate heart.  I can't even begin to imagine whatever acts of love and sacrifice you will do in the days, months, and years to come.

Don't settle for less, Patrick.  Live your life to the fullest as He has planned.  People are going to be in awe by what God does in and through your life.

I love you!

Sunday, December 08, 2013


So what does the next bit of our life look like as we prepare for moving to Swaziland?

Pretty merry about her new rolling carry-on that just got delivered.   #preparingforafrica #futurewgirl #odyowl #muwbound #missionarykid #owlstuff #skiphopzoo

We now have 21 days left til Jim and the 5 youngest kids board the plane that will fly us away from Mississippi. Anna and Betsie will have left just 3 days before. They are going over early to help get some things ready for our arrival and also add some time to their trip on the front-end since they'll have to be leaving just a week or so after we arrive to get Betsie back in time for the beginning of her new semester. Anna doesn't start quite so soon but we wanted them to be together on what will most likely be an emotional journey.

How will we spend these last few weeks? Well here goes:

This week we must finish up our packing. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday will be full-on effort as the shipping container comes this Friday. We are packing up some of our furniture, most of our books, some of the kids toys, lots of photos and sentimental stuff, Christmas ornaments, and other things that we want for our new home but can wait the month or two or three or more til it arrives. The things we will need right away, such as clothes and homeschool books, will go into suitcases. If you would like to come help us pack, it would be super, super appreciated. I might be willing to even name my first born African pet after you.

Anna and Betsie are taking finals this coming week and then will come home on Friday or Saturday morning. Just in time to miss all the purging and packing. Aren't they lucky?

Patrick's 15th birthday is Monday so we might give him a slight reprieve for a minute or two. I think we'll have to make it up for him in some way. Maybe no dishwashing that day?

Next Saturday, the 14th, are two going-away parties. The first is from 2 to 4:30 here at We Will Go. If you wanna come, shoot me a comment or find me on Facebook and I will tell you the details. We would love to have as many of our friends and family there as possible. As I said in the last blog post, leaving behind loved ones is definitely the hardest part about moving to Africa. The second party is being thrown by our Restoration Church family. It will be a time set aside to just love on our spiritual family and get loved on by them. They have been so incredibly supportive of us along this journey.

The next week it really gets crazy. Even crazy by our standards.

What we want for Africa but didn't ship will be all in suitcases and taken over to Base 2 at We Will Go where we will be staying in one of the guest houses. Monday through Wednesday, the 16th - 17th, will be spent getting rid of all the stuff that we are not taking. We will be opening the house up and having a giant moving sale. The pots and pans, furniture, school supplies, knick-knacks, house plants, and all the other stuff will be sold or given away to whoever wants it. Spread the word if you know of someone in need or want of what we've got! On that Thursday, some friends are coming to box up and take away all the stuff that is left. And then that afternoon or Friday morning, we'll give the mostly empty house a good cleaning.

On Friday, December 20, we'll be driving to the Gulf Coast where we will spend time with family and more friends. That Sunday, the 22nd, my mom is hosting an Open House for us from 2 to 5:00. If you live down there and want to come, again, shoot me a comment or Facebook message and I'll give you the details. Before that, we'll be lunching with the Harvey side of the family.

Monday, December 23, we'll go up to Hattiesburg to see Jim's sister's family and parents one last time.

Then Christmas Eve, the Macs will be participating in the First Baptist Gautier worship service. We'll also go there the Sunday before. Hope to see many of my sweet FBC friends then. Maybe some old friends will be home for the holidays.

Christmas Day will be spent at my mom's and at my brother's.

Boxing Day we will take Anna and Betsie to the New Orleans airport then drive back to Jackson.

Saturday, December 28 is the annual W-friends get-together at Keifer's. You know the routine by now if you wanna be there.

And our last day, Sunday the 29th, will find us at Restoration for church in the morning, at We Will Go for the first 20 minutes or so of the afternoon service, and then it will be time to fly out. Our plane takes off at 6:30.

We will travel for two days with a layover in London that will allow us some sight-seeing time.

The last day of December will see us landing in Johannesburg, South Africa. We will catch a shuttle (with our 21 suitcases and 18 carryon pieces) to Swaziland where Anna and Betsie will be waiting for us. We will spend New Year's Eve in our new home even if we are eating off of Styrofoam plates and sleeping on air mattresses. Then the very first day of 2014 will find us waking up in our Manzini home.

So that's it! That's what the next few weeks hold for the MacMinions.

We'd love to see you between now and departure date if possible. If you can't make the official functions, we are definitely open to lunch dates and supper invitations.

And you know I'm not going to turn down offers to come help pack.

Saturday, December 07, 2013


Besides the obvious reason --- we've had tons of stuff to do in preparation for moving to Africa --- there is another reason that I went about a month with no new blog posts.

I have really been struggling.

For the last five or six years, I have been dreaming of moving to Swaziland. At times, I have been downright giddy. Okay, a lot of times.

Once God told us over three years ago that we were moving for sure, we've been preparing. After all, last year we sold our farm and got rid of all our pets so we could move here to We Will Go for a time of training and transition.

But all along, the reality of the move seemed so far away.

People would say "wow, what a sacrifice you are making" or "I could never do what you are doing" and I would respond with something like, "this isn't hard for me because it is a dream come true --- I feel like I've won the sweepstakes".

Now don't get me wrong, I am still fully committed to moving to Africa. I have not doubted for even a second that we have heard correctly from God. I just didn't anticipate how hard the actually leaving and going would be. I knew it would be hard to leave my college daughters behind and other friends and family, but until it is actually getting close to the real goodbyes, it just doesn't sink in.

Last month in Swaziland we were faced with a lot of realities. The huge magnitude of what we were doing hit us square in the face. The ministry aspect --- how do we juggle all the demands and focus only on what GOD wants us to be doing --- as well as the everyday life aspect. When I lived in Swaziland in the 80's as a single missionary, it was Disney World compared to this. The Baptist Mission board and missionary family took care of so many of the details for me. I didn't have to choose insurance, sign lease contracts, buy a vehicle, or factor in a family full of children in the equation. It was just little ole me. Now there are a whole lot more people impacted by the decision.

Jim says that he "counted the cost" back when he first heard God calling him to move to Africa. I didn't. I was so focused on the sweet babies, the beautiful girls, the fatherless boys, the struggling widows, and the amazing Swazis serving the Lord faithfully that I didn't think about the cost.

Since our trip last month, I have been counting the cost. I've realized that I will most likely never attend any of Betsie's parent-daughter weekends at MUW. I've realized that many of the people who are a part of my life will never be seen again this side of Heaven. We're not making any plans to move back Stateside. At this point, we are moving for good. Unless God tells us differently somewhere down the road, we will be buried in African soil. That means we don't put stuff in storage for someday. We have to get rid of a lot of stuff. Stuff like Jim's grandmother's bedroom furniture and the dried flowers from a bouquet he sent me as a new bride. We're not going off for a two year Journeyman adventure, we're making a new life. A life all the way across the ocean very far away from our parents, our grown daughters, our friends, our church, our colleges, our hometowns, our American lives.

I have cried a lot these last few weeks.

I have purged and packed.

I have thrown away and bought needed things.

I have cried some more.

And said a lot of goodbyes.

I have also held on tight to God and what He has shown me and taught me.

He is worth it all. He is so worth more than all of it and more.

Everywhere I turn, there are songs, sermons, and quotes that remind me of the real reason that we are doing this.

I read once that if you go be a missionary because of the orphan or the homeless person or the trapped prostitute that in the long run, and when it gets really hard, that they won't be enough to get you through. It has to be because God told you to go and you love Him too much to not go.

Yes, I love those sweet Swazi children.

But I really, really love my own two daughters and so many others here in America.

And I will be brutally honest here, there have been two or three times this past month when I have said "lord, only because of You am I going".

Jim and I both have said that though this is probably the very hardest thing we've ever done, there is no turning back. We know, know, know beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is absolutely God's will for our life. We know that there will be times when our hearts are breaking with missing our kids and other loved ones. We know that there will be times when ministry seems to be failing and the culture seems overwhelming. We know that there will be times that we don't know where the provision is coming from and we're scared and confused. We know there will be times of anger and stress and sadness.

But we cling to the anchor that is Him.

He is the God who has lead and equipped and provided and will continue to lead and provide and equip.

We know that He has spiritual children waiting on us. We know that He has plans that He has designed just for us to walk. We know that His plan and His ways are so much better than ours. We know that the life that He offers is so much more satisfying than the one we have now, even though it will not always be easy.

We know all these things and yet we grieve. This is a season of mourning mixed with celebration.

We are letting go of a wonderful, rich, love-filled life for something new.

We both expect our new life in Swaziland to also be a wonderful, rich, love-filled life but it will be different. It won't be here. And that is both good and hard.

So if you see us this month, don't be surprised if we laugh, cry, rejoice, and lament all in the same conversation. I am so thankful that Jesus walked this earth. He empathizes. He knew on this earth what it costs to follow His Father. That path of obedience led to the cross.

Now in no way do I compare my life to the life of Jesus. He left Heaven and its glory for this earth and then gave his life in a brutal death. God asking me to move to the beautiful nation of Swaziland to live and love is no comparison. But what it reminds me if Jesus understands. He knows I'm just a mere mortal. He knows how it is to love and leave behind. He knows the pain of watching his loved ones mourn his departure. He is so sweet and merciful to me. He understands our pain. What a gift that is and just another reason why He is so worthy.

He is worth it. Worth it all.

All the things we are giving up, all the culture we are leaving behind, all the people we'll be apart from, all of this and more ... He is worth it.

I pray that through this season, we will learn to love Him even better. I pray my kids will learn to love Him more than anything. I pray that we will always, always, always be willing to go and do and be whatever He wants because He is so incredibly worth it all.

Thankful to have Pastor Dumasani to lead the way for us.  He truly is walking out His faith. #lovelookslikesomething #siyahamba #walkinginthelightofgod #maliyaduma #swaziland #swazilandtripnovember2012

"Take up thy cross and follow Me," I heard my Master say;
"I gave My life to ransom thee, Surrender your all today."
Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go,
I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.

He drew me closer to His side, I sought His will to know,
And in that will I now abide, Wherever He leads I'll go.
Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go,
I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.

It may be thru' the shadows dim, Or o'er the stormy sea,
I take my cross and follow Him, Wherever He leadeth me.
Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go,
I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.

My heart, my life, my all I bring To Christ who loves me so;
he is my Master, Lord, and King, Wherever He leads I'll go.
Wherever He leads I'll go, Wherever He leads I'll go,
I'll follow my Christ who loves me so, Wherever He leads I'll go.

Friday, December 06, 2013


So we got back from Swaziland about four weeks ago and since then, it as though someone put time on fast forward. It is absolutely insane how fast these weeks have flown and we still have so much to do before we pile into that plane on December 29.

I thought I'd give my faithful readers and friends a quick overview of what's happened since we returned and what's facing us in the days ahead.

We arrived back from Africa on Saturday, November 16 and had our ordination service at Restoration Church the next day. My mom was already here taking care of the kids but my brother and a nephew drove up for the service and Jim's parents came down from Columbus. We also had an abundance of sweet friends there to support us including the majority of the We Will Go missionary family and some of Betsie's Troubadour sisters.

What an honor to be blessed and ordained by this group of servant leaders.  One more big step towards living and living in Swaziland. #ordinationservice #cfn #missionaries #blessed #praying #restorationchurch #journeytolivinginswaziland #sundaymorning

Jim's parents drove down from Columbus and Anna drove up from New Orleans for the big event. #ordinationservice #restorationchurch #sundaymorning #family

So blessed to have my only sibling at the service and his youngest.  Connor said he wishes that Patrick could be his brother. #ordinationservice #sundaymorning #restorationchurch #family  #brothers

It was great having a huge crowd of We Will Go folks come out for the ordination service.  They are family for sure! #ordinationservice #wewillgo #sundaymorning #restorationchurch #lifeatwewillgo #journeytolivinginswaziland #family #friendsareapricelesstr

Karen McGivney has been such a helpful friend over the years, whether babysitting my kids or helping me move into our house at We Will Go.  I am very blessed to have her in my life. #ordinationservice #restorationchurch #sundaymorning #blessed #friendsare

Three of Betsie's Troubadour sisters came down to celebrate the event with us. #ordinationservice #troubadoursisters #wgirls #troubadoursocialclub #blessed #sisters #friendsareapricelesstreasure #sundaymorning #restorationchurch

Wow!   #ordinationservice #restorationchurch #cfn #sundaymorning #journeytolivinginswaziland #missionary #whatanhonor

With the departure date quickly approaching, we've been doing lots of packing and getting rid of stuff. A sweet gal at church put on two rummage sales for our benefit. We provided lots of things to sale and she did most of the work. It was a huge, huge blessing.

Loading up stuff for tomorrow's rummage sale at Restoration Church. #journeytolivinginswaziland #gettingridofstuff #rummagesale #fundraiser

Amidst all the purging, packing, and tying up loose ends, we've taken time to do fun things, such as go to the Doctor Who movie.

At the DOCTOR WHO movie with David Tennant, Tom Baker, and Matt Smith. #doctorwho #davidtennant #tombaker #mattsmith #whovian #drwho #doctorwhomovie #doctorwho50thanniversarycinemaevent

Eat out with friends, like my Troubadour sister Audra.

Crazy faces at my favorite vegetarian restaurant. I was so psyched that Audra agreed to go there with me. #troubadoursisters #wgirls #muwalums #audrasvisit #nachosalad #highnooncafe #happyfoodie #foodiemama #eatingclean #eatyourveggies

Take the kids skating with the homeschool group.

Skater chick. #verylasttime #skatingday #homeschoolers #florencerichlandhomeschoolgroup

Walking on the beach with the big girls.

Anna, Jim, and Betsie. #thedayafterthanksgiving #walkalongthebeach #oceansprings #mississippiautumn #thanksgivingholidays #daddyandhisgirls #walkingofftheturkey #beachatnight

Visiting Delta State with David so Jim could see it for himself.

Planning for the day. #dsubound #dmi #deltamusicinstitute #deltastateuniversity

And continue to enjoy the every day life here at We Will Go, whether that's serving in the clothes ministry or celebrating a birthday.

Just surprised this neighbor with a birthday party.  No longer Little Mario but Manly Mario. :) #surprisebirthdayparty #21stbirthday #lifeatwewillgo  #prayingbigthingsforthisguy

We also spent a few days over the Thanksgiving week with Jim's family up in Columbus and then my family on the Mississippi Gulf Coast.

And now the dessert. #thanksgiving2013 #lastthanksgivinginamerica #macthanksgiving #desserts #pies #aplethoraofpies #pumpkinpie #pecanpie #applepie #kingcake #southerntradition

Lazy Thanksgiving afternoon. #thanksgiving2013 #macthanksgiving #lastthanksgivinginamerica #feelinglazy #desserttime #cousins

The men folks --- Jim, his dad, his sister's husband, and the five grandsons.

Pancake feast at my brother and sister-inlaw's. #saturdayafterthanksgiving #breakfast #breakfastfeast #family #pancakes

Happiness is ... #pancakes #saturdayafterthanksgiving #breakfast #breakfastfeast #hellokitty #happinnessis

Me and my mama. #saturdayafterthanksgiving #breakfastfeast #breakfast #thanksgivingholidays #icraveprotein #foodiemama #christmascups

Three cousins and some cookies. #saturdayafterthanksgiving #mandmcookies #thanksgivingholidays #cousins #family #familytradition

Instagram Queen Mama and her Instagram Princess Niece. #sundaylunch #thanksgivingholidays #sundayafterthanksgiving #auntandniece #igers

And now we're right smack dab in the middle of final preparations for Swaziland while also juggling Christmas activities (obviously pared down) and spending as much time with friends and family as possible.

Our teeny we're-moving-to-Africa-this-month Christmas tree. #christmasseason #christmas #imdreamingofawhitechristmas

Pray for us, PLEASE! We have got so much to do in the next 23 days.  We have to finish packing, make a thousand decisions about things we never even thought about before, move out of our house, visit family and friends, throw a going-away party, and on and on.

I will post more about this in my next post and give y'all some dates. 

This really is the biggest, craziest thing we've ever done. And that's saying a lot for this family.

Thursday, December 05, 2013


And what did we do the rest of the week in Swaziland?

To be honest, it is all a blur as that was about a month ago. Jim and I hit the ground running as our return to the States meant we had about a month and a half til our move date.
To say that it has been crazy since returning would be an understatement, but here are a few photo highlights from the rest of the trip.

We were able to deliver food to a homestead outside of Manzini.

This baby had to weigh almost as much as the girl carrying her. #swazikids #precious #swaziland #swazilandtripnovember2013 #jesuslovesthelittlechildren

We ate out with the Donaldsons.

The small dessert napkins were folded into fans and put on our diminutive forks.  Inge and I enjoyed our cheesecake though it was very different from American style.  It was lighter.  More like a cross between a jello dessert and a cheesecake.   #cheeseca

Got our made-for-rough-and-rugged-African-roads vehicle.

Ta-da!  We are now the owners of a beautiful, God-provided vehicle.  Now we HAVE to come back to Swaziland!  ;D #buyingthenewvehicle #leitestoyota #fortuner #manzini #swaziland #soexcited #firsttimeever #thankyoulord

Jim scrubbed black mold off the ceiling of the Donadson's bathroom.

Jim spent a chunk of yesterday scrubbing black mold off of the bathroom ceiling in our host's home.  This man is GONNA find work to do.  Anyone wanna bring over a gallon of Kilz paint? O-o #hardworking #hunkyhubby #ilovethisman #servantheart #blackmold #n

Purchased insurance for said vehicle.

Getting car insurance. #preparingformovingtoafrica #journeytolivinginswaziland #insurance #swazilandroyalinsurancecorporation #livinginafrica

We surprised a Swazi friend by dropping by her office for an unplanned visit.

Stopped in to surprise this sweet friend while we were just in the neighborhood dealing with the car business.  Can't wait to see her on a regular basis.   #sisterinchrist #swazifriend #swazibeauty #swazilandtripnovember2013

Jim and I lunched at my very-favorite-in-the-whole-wide-world Chinese place for lunch.

A delicious lunch in front of Kowloon's as we wait for the  estate agent's office to open up after lunch. Here, the business lunch hour is from 1 - 2.  We ordered egg fu yung, samosas, and spring rolls.  When the owner found out that I used to eat at Kowl

The Manzini Craft Market was where we bought a few souvenirs for the folks back home.

We always visit Cezar at the Manzini Craft Market.  This Mozambican always has a gentle smile and a warm greeting waiting for us.  He is the one who had sold us many souvenirs over the years including toy machetes, batik cloths, wooden cats, a drum, woode

Time was spent pricing groceries and looking around at what's available.

Yesssss!  Peanut butter made from 100% peanuts. No extra oil.  No sugar. No extras.  Unfortunately it is pretty pricey at a little over $4 a jar.  I am thinking I might need to start making homemade. #organic #cleaneatingpeanutbutter #protein #woolies #wo

For the kids' sake, we checked out the country's only movie theater so we could tell them about prices and offerings once we got back home. Wednesdays are half-price tickets and you can see a movie for around $1.50. Popcorn and a soda together cost less than $5.00.

After we made our orders, Inge and I went walking around a bit.  First stop was the only movie theater in Swaziland but it is a nice one and super cheap by American standards.  Regular admission is less than $3.50 and on Wednesdays it is half-price. You c

And on our way back to the States, we ate very nice food.

Tex Mex for me and lots of meat for Jim at the Spur upon arriving at the Johannesburg airport on Thursday.

The marketing worked on Jim, my favorite warrior. #spurrestaurant #warrior #lotsofmeat #carnivore #lunch #meatlover #rsa #southafrica #swazilandtripnovember2013
Why yes, I AM eating Tex Mex as my last lunch in Africa. #spurrestaurant #texmex #thisisafrica #nachosmexicana #imasuckerforguacamole #lastdayinafrica #thursdayafternoon #tamboairport #swazilandtripnovember2013 #rsa #southafrica

Lovely bakery items for dessert.

Those who know me in real life, are you sitting down?  Yes, me ... the "sugar police" mama ordered all these and ate 3/4 of what you see.  Jim and I both agree that this is probably the most sweet stuff that I have eaten in years, if not ever. #myhappypla

A peaceful and lovely breakfast at the Frankfurt airport on Friday.

Such attention given to lovely details...from the blue water bottle to the chocolate beside the coffee cup. Really charming. #deutsch #germanrestaurant #frankfurtairport #fridaymorning #fridayinfrankfurt #chocolate #coffee #freshsqueezedorangejuice #bluea

And Laughing Cow cheese on the plane ride across the Atlantic.

He's laughing on the inside. #laughingcow #cheese #planefood #flyingfromEurope #swazilandtripnovember2013 #thethingsthismandoestohumorme

We had an overnight layover in Houston on Friday so we stayed with some friends whom I have known since I was a teenager.

What a true blessing this picture represents.  Not only are Jim and I getting to actually sleep in a bed tonight, as opposed to airport chairs or a seat on a plane, but I am getting to spend time with one of my best friends from college.  Laura and I live

And after teary-goodbyes with the Grahams on Saturday morning, it was on to Jackson where, as stated previously, we hit the ground running.

The next post I write will be an update on what's gone on since and what is facing us in the weeks to come.

But before I close, let me say a big THANK YOU to all of you who prayed for us while we were there and supported us in other ways. We couldn't have done it without our friends helping out with banking, folks who looked after our kids, and all the others involved in various ways. This really is a team effort and that team ain't just us Macs. I am so grateful for the people God has put in our lives. We need each of them. We need you.