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Friday, August 14, 2015

Further along.....

During a recent graduation of a few of our children off of our program, we asked the mommas that were there if they new of anyone who could also use some help similar to what they had received. One of the ladies told us of someone she knew might need some help and maybe we should visit.

With camp and everything else its taken a little while for us to get there.  This week we sat with a lady in a small wendy house (picture a garden shed).  Its probably 10 feet by 20 feet.  As we entered the house, 2 young men sat on the couch, reading together an experiencing God book.  We greeted and they stepped outside.  We sat in the kitchen/lounge/dinning room.  A curtain divided the house.  they other side lay a mattress on top of some milk crates.  We talked.  I asked the normal questions.  Where are you from.  How long have you lived here, etc, etc.  She had lived here a long time.  There were 7 people total living in this house.  3 of her kids and 3 of her sisters kids.  Her sister had died.  I cant imaging 7 people even sitting in this house yet alone living.  She was HIV+, but her children were negative.  She had a part time job helping someone run a day care out of there house.  The only other money coming into the family was a child grant for 3 of the children which totals R900 ($75) - MONTHLY.  I asked how they did it.  She said it was enough for rent and a little food.  We talked about immediate needs and she said some extra blankets would be nice.  I knew in my mind we had some at the office.  I asked her if she would come by our office and talk with momma some more on Friday.  I want them to come to us before we just start handing out things.  In fact I asked if she would be able to help us one day a week prepare food for the children.   Momma and I both agreed on the spot to invite the children to the after school program.  

The next day 3 of them had come.  Friday, the mother had come and collected the blankets that I had set aside for her, and the three children had come again.  

Momma tells me that a social worker had stopped by our office today to talk about a family that needed help.  Come to find out it was this family.  3 of the children were needing to be re-homed. The oldest child of the deceased mother was pregnant.  She is 17.  Come to find out she had been raped by the ladies brother.  The young man who was in the house having devotionals with a friend when we stopped by.  Oh, and whats worse, he's married.   More than likely there will never even be charges on this man.  So now these three children who although crowded, were in a loving home with family. Now......who knows where they will go.  

Statistically speaking, the pain that hurts the most is usually caused by those closet to us.  So begins what will hopefully be a long road that we will be able to walk with this family.

Never heard of Josh Garrels?  Take 2 mins and give a listen to this song, Further Along.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

It is well with my soul

It is well with my soul

This past year has been a roller coaster of twists and turns, highs and lows and some upside down loops. Anyone who has ridden a coaster knows it's exhilarating but can also cause nausea and if your scared of heights it's definitely no fun.

We stepped into a calling God Had put in our hearts years before we had even stepped onto African soil. In October we became the directors of Children of Promise and we climbed into our roller coaster seats and buckled up. Right away we started a high vertical climb. The end of last year was HARD! I'm sure the enemy had a field day in those first days, he tried to destroy relationships and mess with any ministry we were doing. In His wisdom we came out of our vertical drop and got our breath.

Shelby and I started to take classes in understanding world views (cultural studies) and we learned to lay any rights we thought we had down in order to honor others. This was not always easy but worth it. We learned how to be friends, we learned how to lead in love, we were cruising on some low hills but picking up speed now. 

Children of Promise has seen change this year, we did things a bit different and for people that like to remain peaceable and without conflict that was hard for us. We followed God and felt our stomachs turn over and over on this uncomfortable stretch of track, as He wrote out a new plan, He raised up a new curriculum and He raised up kids for the program and poured Himself into our local leaders. 

I'm so in love with our COP team! They are the greatest people with the biggest hearts. I love seeing what God is doing daily in the lives of our kids and how He is calling leaders out in Masi. 

The emotional and spiritual twists and turns of this last year have been unforgettable and I see Gods hand and His faithfulness and protection. Working with children who come out of generations of false religion keeps a big target on our backs along with the physical tiredness from working long hours. The enemy isn't super happy with what we do and we have felt it. 

I sit today just 2 months shy of our year anniversary with COP. We have big God dreams for where COP could be even in one more year. It makes me excited that even though we are tired and feel a bit beat up God has us and this ministry.

Over the last months I have had to wrestle with lies from the enemy. I have felt very alone, forgotten and like the world, friends and loved ones didn't really see us or our ministry. We long for a church family to embrace us and support us out here on the field and pray that there will be a body of believers that feel just as called to supporting us and Children of Promise as we long for them too. 

We lost half of our support this year! My soul hasn't felt super well about that, honestly. In Gods grace, every month, He has provided. Last month I had to ask, in an urgent plea, for funds. We were given enough one time donations to pay rent and for that I was so grateful, but no monthly supporters signed up. This has been a very long and upside down part of the ride. I can also tell you how many times God whispers in my ear in this season. How He provides our daily needs even when I worry about what our kids hearts are experiencing. He is close and even though we have fallen out of many peoples sight my God sees us. 

A way He reminded us He sees us was to have a visitor from the States come and stay with us for almost 2 months. It was like a long hug. I know she came to learn and grow in missions but she gave tons and loved us well! We also had the most amazing group of people come from Scotland and serve at COP's camp and WOW what a huge blessing they were and still continue to be. I love the opportunity to share Children of Promise/Isithembiso with others. 

Extremes have been experienced this year. Gods great favor on our team and ministry is so evident. The fruit that is being seen in our COP kids is evident, they are world changers. It was a hard climb and there were moments I didn't know if our team could make it, our roller coaster rattled hard. God knew and He was present for us. I would say COP is a definite high point and a true God success story, plus God did deep work in us through the process

The lows are mostly provision based and the feeling of being alone. We have had amazing words spoken over us about God providing and opening up a dam of provision and I just hold onto the miracles He performs daily. I trust Gods calling and His ways. We also pray about what we need to do to fundraiser while on the other side of the world. This feeling grates on a whole family and is hard to live out day to day. I can say we have walked well and have seen God but I can also say we are all tired and would welcome financial relief.  

My hope is by the end of September, as this year comes to a close, God works His miracles and shores up our hearts in a way only He can do. He continues to do deep work in each of us, in our family and our team. I love to see how intimate and in love He is with each of us. There could be a few more dips and dives in the next 2 months but I know God is in control. And when my soul threatens to not feel well I hold onto truth and remember whose roller coaster I am on and truth reigns again.

It is well with my soul,


To learn more about Children of promise you can here

To donate to our family you can here 

Monday, June 1, 2015

Our new car

     It was truly amazing how all of the new car details came together. We felt like for the first time in almost 5 years the Lord said yes to us having a second car. We sent out a letter saying just that and we would be purchasing our friends car for about $5000. In less than 6 days we had the majority of the money!!! We were blown away!

     Our friends, that we were buying the car from, decided to keep the car and take it to Zimbabwe with them. It was cheaper in the long run, for them, to keep their car than to purchase another there. So, we started looking and were very patient. We found a green mini van and liked it, but the man wanted more than we wanted to pay. We waited for 2 weeks and went back to him and the car was still available. He lowered the price to what we wanted and took care of all fees for licensing and change of title! It was also owned by an older couple who were only in the country 3 months out of the year, the mileage is so low. It was kept in super good condition.

     The funny thing is we had a green minivan in America with grey leather seats and now we have the same green color and the same grey leather seats in the new minivan. It feels very "home" to all of us. It also fits our entire family and has space in the back and roof racks. God gave us little details that we didnt ask for but He new would bless us.

Introducing the Green Machine 2

     I still can hardly believe I have a car and I'm not loaning it from someone!!! This is so huge for
our family! Thank you to everyone who donated and for all of you that prayed for the funds to come in. We are so thankful for this gift and how God stirred hearts to give.