Archives For Mission Trip 2010

Bheveni Love.

October 2, 2010 — 5 Comments

Our Bheveni Carepoint Children!

Upon returning from a missions trip such as this, you expect to hear and read about how our lives have forever been altered by what we have seen and heard. Right?

I want to give you that joy.

I’m just not sure how.

My life has forever been altered by Swaziland, and more specifically by the women & children at our Bheveni Carepoint. Yet, somehow words don’t seem to be enough to describe exactly how this happened. I fell in love. And love usually can’t be explained easily.

But I will try.

Notice the GORGEOUS mountains behind the Swaziland Market

I love Swaziland, Africa.

I love the terrain of expansive mountains & flowing valleys.

I love the hot sun.

A leopard casually crossed the road in front of us

I even love the African animals.

My special friend Siphiwe

But mostly, I love the people.


Swaziland’s currency is not money. It is relationships. Think about that for a minute. They don’t want my money. They want my heart. And they freely give theirs.

this young lady wanted me to see her pretty ring too!

Not once did I get the sense that the Swazi children or adults were looking for a hand out. No, they were looking for my hand and my heart. My hand and heart – to come alongside them, to serve with them, to work with them, to sing and dance with them.

I need Swaziland more than Swaziland needs me, if I’m really honest with myself.

I come away from Africa with a sense that I’ve been blessed more than I’ve been a blessing.

In a place that we know there is desperate need, a greater joy resides. We know there is starvation, poverty, lack, death all around, yet the African’s joy remains in their hearts and across their faces. Their heartfelt gratitude for small things was extremely humbling.

My focus has changed. It’s not so much now what I can give them or how I can show them to rightly live. They have taught me how to live above my circumstances in JOY, not with sermons preached, but with their actions.

The children at Bheveni have never flushed a toilet,  never taken a hot shower, most only have one outfit they call their own, and chances are they’ve seen more death in their childhood than you or I will see in our lifetime – yet their joy is FULL. Circumstance does not define them.

Jesus loves the little children

Preschoolers happily wash hands before porridge in the morning

Giggles resound all morning, as 25-35 preschoolers happily play in the dirt under the hot sun, with broken sticks and pipe they’ve found laying around. Soon the Bomakes (pronounced Bo-ma-gay, meaning mothers) and Go-Go’s (as grandmothers are often called) call them to wash their hands & eat their porridge and each child gladly washes their own plate when they’ve eaten all their food. They look for no one to entertain them. They know the go-gos are busy all morning cooking up pap & beans so more than 100 school children can have a meal when they come to the Carepoint after school.

The children heading home before the sun goes down...

The school children love learning and seem to know how meaningful a solid education can be in Swaziland. They come walking down the dirt road towards the Carepoint with big smiles, looking forward to their only meal of the evening and some free, safe play time before their walk home. Some live only a few minutes from the Carepoint, others live an hour’s walk away.

Inside the Beveni Carepoint Gathering Room

During our afternoons at Bheveni, children from ages 3 and up stood for 30-40 minutes shoulder to shoulder, intently listening to Jim, our storyteller. On Friday afternoon, some of the older children put on a drama for us that they had learned at the Carepoint. The drama was the story of Joseph being left for dead by his brothers and how God saved a dying nation through one man’s obedience. The drama was both meaningful & very entertaining. A couple of the boys seemed to enjoy reenacting the ‘fight scene’ where Joseph got beat up!

The young man who played Joseph in the drama

While we took many gifts & provisions for the children, I would venture to guess all my B-Team members would whole-heartedly agree that the Bheveni children blessed us far more than we could have blessed them.

Yes, I definitely fell in love while in Swaziland. I pray that over the course of the next weeks & months I will be able to share more stories with you about the children who come to the Bheveni Carepoint.

May all of us gain a greater insight as to how to pray for them and love them. May you know that every prayer & every letter you’ve sent to your sponsored child has been received with so much appreciation and love. You are making a difference in the lives of these children.

Thanks to everyone who has supported the B-Team through prayers, gifts of time and resources. Before our trip, we said many times that we go not only representing God, but representing more than 500 Carepoint supporters. Now, we return also hoping to rightly represent the children of Bheveni and those who minister to them daily. May our resolve to love and partner with them be even stronger in the coming days!

Keep lovin’

Danielle, Mike & the B-Team

Prayer Request Day #13

September 28, 2010 — 4 Comments

Mike & I have a bit of additional adventure as we’ll be going straight from Atlanta to Colorado rather than home in Minnesota. We are participating in a HopeChest event for the Swaziland/Uganda Carepoint Sponsorship Coordinators on Sept 29 & 30.

  • Please pray for our continued strength and health in these final days of  our travels.

  • Please pray for Children’s HopeChest’s efforts.

  • Please pray for AIM’s efforts and missionaries.

  • Please pray for the other Sponsorship Coordinators.

  • Please pray for divine connections.

  • Please pray for vision and wisdom.

  • Please pray that God’s will would be done in and through each one of us, including yourself.

October 1st

A STRONG FINISH.

This will be our final travel day in returning to Minnesota. Pray that all would go well, that we would be safely reunited with our sons, and that we would be already energized for the next leg in God’s adventure.

Prayer Request Day #11

September 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

Day #11

September 28th

GOD-IDEAS

We are believing that God will “show up” in each day and encounter throughout this trip. As we’ll be nearing the end of the mission, we are hoping for God inspired ideas for how to continue ministry through the carepoint and care-givers, AIM’s efforts, capital projects, and increased awareness. Pray that what begins in these brief days would continue long after we’re gone, and build stronger with each day.

Thank you Prayer Team!

Prayer Request Day #10

September 26, 2010 — Leave a comment

Day #10

September 27th

FAMILIES AT HOME

For several this trip will be the longest time we’ve ever been apart from our children. We are believing that they will be kept safe, healthy, and fully aware of our deep love for them. We are hoping to communicate clearly and often through the many wonderful technologies available to us…but we’ll miss their hugs, laughter, and smiles for a bit longer than we’d like. Pray for wisdom for their caregivers, strength for each day, and constant reminders of Jesus in their lives too!

Thank you Prayer Team!

Prayer Request Day #9

September 25, 2010 — 1 Comment

Day #9

September 26th

EFFECTIVE MINISTRY

We will be conducting a VBS-style ministry with the children of Beveni throughout our mission. We will rely on the care-givers and AIM staff to steer our efforts properly, but we are believing the Holy Spirit’s anointing will be strong upon each of us and that He will know and lead us in exactly what we need to say and do to accomplish His work in the lives of each person we encounter. Thank you Prayer Team!

Prayer Request Day #8

September 24, 2010 — 1 Comment

Day #8

September 25th

ENDURANCE

There is a potential that our endorphins will abandon us at some point in this journey. Pray that our strength would be sustained, that our joy would be full, that our light would shine bright, that we would be utterly spent…but not until we arrive back home safely in the USA.

Thank you Prayer Team!

Prayer Request Day #7

September 23, 2010 — Leave a comment

Day #7

September 24

BEVENI CAREGIVERS

We don’t know how this will happen, but one of our goals is to be a source of strength, encouragement, and blessing to the men & women & teens who are doing the real work in Swaziland. Humbly we pray that we would in no way add to their burden, but rather lighten the load for a short time at least. Please pray that they would be strengthened for their on-going and important mission. Think about what you could do to lighten their load from home.

Thank you Prayer Team!

Prayer Request Day #6

September 22, 2010 — Leave a comment

Day #6

September 23

BEVENI CHILDREN

Our great hope is that somehow through our simple actions the love of Jesus is introduced to those who need, and that His companionship would be evident in their lives. This trip is not about us. We are attempting to be obedient to Jesus…but that’s pretty easy really. The great needs of the children are going to be glaring, and at times overwhelming. Pray that we would simply shine with the love of Jesus toward the people we encounter. Pray that they would be drawn toward Him in all that we say and do.

Thank you Prayer Team!

Pictures and Prayer

September 22, 2010 — 7 Comments

Everyone,

We are having an amazing time with the Bheveni children and Go-Go’s. If you would like to see more pictures,

CLICK HERE TO VIEW FACEBOOK BHEVENI ALBUM

We figured out that they load much quicker to Facebook. Since our time here is precious, please click on the link to see a bunch of new pictures.

Please pray for the team, as the realities of what life is like for the children here is heartbreaking  and sometimes unbearable. Ask the Lord to give us compassion and to use that compassion for His glory, bringing hope to our Bheveni kids and many others.

Today we were able to give the kids some toys such as jump ropes, toy cars, necklaces and bandanas. The bandanas were a hit. Please see how cute all the kids look in the bandanas. They will love them in the hot sun this summer. Thank you to each of you who gave towards toys and bandanas.

Tomorrow we will go visit a different carepoint where most of the women who make Timbali crafts are located. Remember for every comment you leave on this blog, your name is entered into the drawing for a free Timbali purse of your choice. and let me just say… I’m bringing home some AWESOME designs and a new bag style. Yippeeeeee.

Tomorrow afternoon we will then return to Bheveni for a SHOE EXTRAVAGANZA – all the school children will get new black shoes and socks. We will also be giving gifts to the Discipleship Team who care so deeply for our Bheveni kids.

On a personal note, my father is being buried today – Thursday. Please pray for my family and for myself as I know I will miss him. I know that I know that I know I am where I am supposed to be – in Swaziland, Africa, but my heart still aches for my Dad and to be able to comfort my mom and family. So Mike and I covet your prayers for us and for our family back home, as the funeral takes place.

Let me remind you of God’s faithfulness. He will NEVER leave you for FORSAKE you. A song we sang today with the Bheveni kids:

The love of Jesus is so wonderful.

The love of Jesus is so wonderful.

The love of Jesus is so wonderful.

Oh what a wonderful love.

So high – you can’t go over it.

So low – you can’t go under it.

So wide – you can’t go around it.

OHHHH what a wonderful God.

Prayer Request Day #5

September 21, 2010 — Leave a comment

Day #5

September 22

LAUGHTER!

There are many new relationships that are being formed on our team. We all like each other right now. We are believing that this trip will be filled with grace toward us, and toward each other. Pray that we all would be strengthened by the Lord’s joy, that we would bear one another’s burdens, be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger.

Thank you Prayer Team!