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Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Meeting the Team!

Hello All!

Last Sunday, we had our first meeting with the basically the entire group (minus a few people) attending the trip. It went perfectly. Lots of questions where answered, and I need to share them with you. We were taught General Culture about the Swazi people, their history, traditions, basic language skills, and their climate/geography. This is 100% neccesary to educate oneself before being entered into their culture. First and foremost, I would like to share with you our itinerary:

– July 2007 Trip Itinerary

Day 1 - July 11th – Depart from USA
Day 2 – July 12th – Arrive in Johannesburg / Overnight
Day 3 – July 13th – Travel to Swaziland /Visit Manzini Community
Day 4 - July 14th – Manzini Community and Church - Work Projects
Day 5 – July 15th – Worship and Dinner with Manzini Families
Day 6 – July 16th - El Shaddai Ministry - Work Projects
Day 7 - July 17th – El Shaddai Ministry - Work Projects
Day 8 – July 18th - Cultural village / Hlane game preserve / Gala Dinner
Day 9 – July 19th - Install fencing and plant vegetable gardens at Kuphunga schools
Day 10 – July 20th – Complete any unfinished work projects
Day 11 – July 21st – Fly out of Johannesburg
Day 12 – July 22nd – Arrive Home

Additions: Time with the Orphans / Prayer Walk / Hospital Visit

The trip has officially been extended one day. We needed more time to accomplish tasks while we where down there.

I need to get something off my mind. I really want everyone to understand my intentions for this trip. I am not seeking my own personal benefits from this mission. I am here to help. I am here to educate. I am here to be a friend to the Swazi people (the orhpans, the children, the widows, the broken families). I am here to show my love through my actions. I don't wish to change the traditions and culture of South Africa, or Swaziland for that matter. Their nation is rich with wonderful traditions. But their has to be a shift. A shift in what they understand.

Here is some food for thought: In remote Swaziland, HIV and the AIDS virus is considered a curse or a form of witchcraft in their nation. The Swazi people beleive that having sexual relations with a virgin is a way to cleanse their body from their ailment. This only spreads the pandemic to disturbing statistics. Swaziland is currently the most HIV-infected country in the world. 46%-49% of its population is carrying the virus. Their culture also teaches Polygamy. A man's status is judged by how many wives he can afford. This mis-education is so unfortunate and it makes my heart ache.

I don't know all the answers to this countries problems. But whatever "it" may be, I want to be a part of it. I AM LOOKING TO HELP THE PEOPLE WHO CAN'T HELP THEMSELVES. We are a rich nation that has been blessed by God. In the end we will be held accountable to God for how we responded to such a crisis and how we used what God has given us. (Matthew 25:31-46) Please continue with your prayer support. This missions trip is as much yours as it is mine. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Here's what I am praying for:

  • Pray that the proper immunizations would be administered and that we would be healthy when they need to be given.
  • Airline tickets and all transportation would be available for all to go and at a good price.
  • Pray that all the details of my trip would be communicated clearly and worked out successfully.
  • That we would trust God to provide the funds needed to go.
  • Pray that God would show me those who He has put in place to contribute to my mission.
  • Praise God for those who've stepped forward to support my trip financially..
  • Pray that God would strengthen and prepare me physically, emotionally, and spiritually for this work.
  • Pray for God’s protection as we travel and during our time in Africa.
  • Pray for God’s protection for our families during our time in Africa.
  • That God would be preparing in advance the work He would have us do.
  • That God would be preparing the people's hearts to receive us.
  • That God would lead us to the books, resources that would prepare our hearts for Africa.
  • That we would pack and bring the appropriate clothes, materials, etc. for the trip.
  • That the roommates we will have in Africa will be God's choice.
  • That we would be willing to do whatever God asks us to with a right attitude; in preparation, while in Africa, and afterwards.
  • That as we see with our own eyes the people and situation would become personal.
  • That God would break our hearts to the point of action that this would just be the beginning of something much more.
  • That the people I will come in contact with in Swaziland would see Jesus in my actions.
  • That I would accomplish all that God has prepared for me to do and that lives would be transformed.
Coming up...Vaccinations and immunizations, and a video documentary!


  1. Anonymous6:58 PM

    Derek,It seems that the more you are learning about the mission of this project the more you are learnig about Gods call to serve. We are blessed to be a blessing and you have made that a focus of your life. I'm confident that you will have Gods blessing. Love ya, Dad.

  2. Tamara Posthuma9:34 AM


    I can't believe that my "favorite little cousin" is all grown up now and making a difference in the world. It is so exciting to hear about what God is doing in your life! I love the blog. I am looking forward to having my mind and heart opened as I learn more about the Swazi people from you. Thanks for sharing with us!


  3. Anonymous5:01 AM

    Derek, We will continue to pray for specific needs, as you have asked. I just know that all will be well! Keep looking up! Love you, Mom

  4. Anonymous2:20 PM

    Derek, I hope your shots didn't hurt; I could feel them as well as you (just like a Mom) How exciting that the TV station is behind you in this endeavor. We are so proud! Keep up the good work! Prayers are bountiful for you. Lots of love, Mom

  5. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Love the blog! I have been sharing it with my fellow co-workers at the convention and visitors bureau what a wonderful way to minister!
    Remember never worry....pray always! Let go and let God!


  6. Hi Derek,

    Thank you for your caring heart and your compassion. You and your group will be held up in prayer. Continue to be a blessing.

    Sandra L. Garth
    One Body One Lifetime


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