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:
Day 1 - July 11th – Depart from Additions: Time with the Orphans / Prayer Walk / Hospital Visit
Day 2 – July 12th – Arrive in
Day 3 – July 13th – Travel to
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
Day 12 – July 22nd – Arrive Home
Additions: Time with the Orphans / Prayer Walk / Hospital Visit
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 there....it 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.