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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:

Swaziland
– 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 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.
Coming up...Vaccinations and immunizations, and a video documentary!

6 comments:

  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.

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  2. Tamara Posthuma9:34 AM

    Derek,

    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!

    Tamara

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  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

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  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

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  5. Anonymous2:41 PM

    Derek,
    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!

    Best,
    Dana

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  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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