Archives For Mission Trip 2015

Could I have about 7 minutes of your time today? I want to tell you about some friends of mine, who just happen to live on the other side of the world.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe.

One of the sweetest girls on the planet, my friend, Siphiwe. This moment when she put her arm around me: Priceless.

There’s about 150 kids who are not only my friends, but I am their friend. I genuinely believe they know the Browers and hundreds of others in North America as their friends. We’ve laughed, danced, ate & cried together. (If that doesn’t define friendship, I don’t know what does.) Isn’t friendship built on a common bond of interest in each other’s lives, trust and concern for each other’s well-being? Yes. I love the kind of friend you can call in the middle of a crisis and you KNOW they’ve got your back, no questions asked. We all need people like this in our lives, that show up saying ‘I am pulling for you! Your joy is my joy! Your pain is my pain! WE are gonna get through this.”

This is the kind of friendship that has formed long-distance between our connect community of sponsors through Children’s HopeChest and the children of the Bheveni community in Swaziland, Africa. A partnership. It truly isn’t one-sided. And we truly aren’t the heroes. Ask any member of one of the teams my husband & I have led… the kids & their caregivers are the heroes of their own lives. We’re the loud, obnoxious, over-zealous cheerleaders.

The B-Team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

The B-Team & discipleship team worked tirelessly to paint the playground! The children LOVE it!

 

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

The children help tend the garden everyday. We were blessed to help a little while we were there.

 

There are several ways we maintain this long-distance partnership:

Sponsorship impacts everyone's lives!

Sponsorship impacts everyone’s lives!

1. Sponsorship – through sponsorship a child in the Bheveni community is guaranteed a hot, healthy meal, clean water, discipleship & life skills training. Through sponsorship, they know they have a friend in North America who knows them by name, prays for them, and wants them to have a successful, fruitful life both here & into eternity. It’s $38 a month per kid, but all the money is pooled for the entire community so no child is left without their needs met, even if they don’t have a sponsor. We often say as a Children’s HopeChest sponsor, we get to mentor a child, but sponsor an entire community of children to band together & lift themselves out of poverty. It’s brilliant & God-inspired because it works – we see the fruit of sponsorship and it’s a beautiful thing, y’all! We currently have 30 new kids who have started coming to the carepoint who need a sponsor.

2. Dreaming Together – And we Dream BIG! Our online community of sponsors, advocates & supporters listen very closely to the vision the Bheveni community members have and do what we can to assist. We don’t do it for them, but assist and simply provide opportunity; whether that be through paying school fees (they have to pay to go to school! I still shake my head at this one. If they don’t have parents and barely have food, how are they to pay for tuition? ugh.) or giving a little bit extra during the holidays so they can build a new, safe community center and finally get electricity, it’s a complete joy to watch their dreams blossom & their futures brighten!

The Dream Building is going up!

The Dream Building made possible by GIVERS like you!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

This multi-purpose building will be complete soon and will have electricity!

3. Visits – We’ve been to visit our friends in Swaziland four times since 2010. We’ve watched them grow up. We’ve led 4 incredible teams. I mean, I can’t even describe to you how amazing our team members are… they are just ready for it all & love the kids as if they were their own. It’s beautiful each & every trip to see the bonds of friendship forged and deepened.

This year, 2015, we are not able to send a team to physically be with the kids, or to physically pray & laugh & dance with the bomake who cook for hundreds of rambunctious kids everyday over an open flame. And it’s sorta crushed us to know a team trip isn’t happening. I pray that the children of Bheveni understand, but I have to put that in the Lord’s hands because otherwise it breaks my heart a little to think they may think we don’t care anymore. One blessing in this? We no longer have to put our time & resources towards funding a trip, but now we can JUST focus on supporting their dreams! Hallelujah for that! It would’ve cost the team a minimum of $20,000 to fly there for 10 days. Let’s imagine this money instead going into the long-term development of the children in a variety of other ways. And it can happen easier than you think.

Even though we aren’t having a team trip, we can & are still being a support to the Bheveni Community… and that’s where you come in.

Today, besides sponsorships, the one way my readers can help is…. drum roll, please…

Buy A T-shirt.

Really.

When you buy a Create Hope T-shirt, the extra funds will be invested into the kids’ lives. And the shirts are rad. Really. One of our 3-time team members designed it and she did a great job! So you’ll get a fashionable Tee and DO GOOD IN THE WORLD at the same time.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

A rainbow of gorgeous, tangible hope.

Your T-shirt will help ensure the kids stay in school, have the necessary school supplies & uniforms, have medical attention when they need it, and who knows, we may even surprise them by having the staff bring a meal with meat in it!

There’s a meal called ‘Chicken Dust’ – it doesn’t sound good but it makes my mouth water just thinking about it . Because meat is expensive, the kids only get this meal when our team comes. Once a year. And if we’re not coming… we gotta get them their Chicken Dust somehow, y’all! The hype around Chicken Dust rivals that of Chick-Fil-A. Now you get me. For all the kids to have a meal with MEAT, it costs appx. $600 US.

And if we raise another $400 beyond that, we can have the staff show up with a 30-day supply of food to the local homesteads. Often these are child-led or grandparent-led homes that are struggling the most. Two years ago we took one of these 30-day supply bags to Grandma Dlamini raising 5 grandkids (because all their parents had died). She burst into tears and said just that morning she begged God for a miracle. They had run out of food that morning. THAT morning… and THAT evening God sent some clueless Americas to show her His faithfulness.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

The faith of a grandmother is a powerful thing.

Buy a Create Hope Tee, y’all. 

It’s $30 total shipped to your door. There’s even kid sizes. If you don’t want another Tee but wanna help the Bheveni kids out, click my paypal button on the top right column, and your donation will go towards providing some of life’s most basic needs (like food & education) for my friends.

We need to sell at least 100 Tees. As of yesterday, we’ve sold precisely 11. Eleven. So yeah, we’ve got some catching up to do. Shirt sales end July 27th.

I’m gonna choose to have the faith of Grandmother Dlamini. I’m praying the audacious & desperate prayer for our God to show up STRONG on their behalf through broken, yet willing vessels such as ourselves.

Thank you!!!

Shine On!

Danielle 

#createhope2015

“Go then and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the Name of the Father, of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything I have commanded you, and behold I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.” Matt. 28:19-20

Screen Shot 2014-07-16 at 11.07.17 PMAs most of you know, my husband and I volunteer with an incredibly God-centered, orphan-focused, long-term child advocacy ministry called Children’s HopeChest. We have partnered with HopeChest & Swaziland native staff to use the tools God has given to support & disciple a specific community of children. We are committed to building relationships with these 200+ kids through sponsorship, prayer, regular mission trips (Enough involvement for them to know they are not alone… but not so much they fail to recognize their own God-given potential to thrive & succeed apart from assistance.)

In September 2015, a new team is set to visit the children with a new team leader. Kim Caraway, though this is her first official time leading the trip by herself, has been heavily involved in helping us lead three of our past trips. She had the logistical knowledge she needs, but even more important she has a passionate heart that seeks no glory for herself, but only to be a conduit for Jesus’ love. She leads well, friends.

Will you consider joining the Bheveni Team 2015 (B15)? Below are lots of details, but don’t let the details be the determining factor. Let the Lord lead you to know if this is your time to set aside and GO BE the Gospel to the ends of the earth!

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Kim Caraway doing what she does best… Bringing joy & hope to children everywhere!

Swaziland Mission Trip on behalf of Children’s HopeChest 

Dates & Location: September 12-24, 2015 Bheveni Carepoint, Manzini, Swaziland

Cost: *$3500 Estimated Total Air & Land Costs

{$1700 land costs includes lodging, in-country transportation, food, drinks and travel insurance. Land cost may change slightly depending on the size of the group. Airfare costs vary depending on availability & departure city.}

Trip Leader: Kim Caraway, HopeChest Sponsor & Volunteer

Purpose: To be living representatives of Christ’s love. To hand-deliver the Hope of a Father who has not forgotten the children of Swaziland. To assist in empowering the orphan & at-risk children through true encouragement, serving any way we can, and fostering their independence that leads to long-term growth & development.

Who: Adults 18+ years of age. We have people from all over the USA join us, and sponsors and non-sponsors alike are welcome! We firmly believe that people need the opportunity to see and experience the impact of child sponsorship, as well as the opportunity to be the hands-on love of Christ to children who have been marginalized or forgotten by their own society. This year, spend 355 days making a difference in your own town, your own state… and invest 10 days into going completely out of your comfort zone to make life a little bit better for children around the world.

Itinerary: Much of the days are spent simply being with and playing with the kids, and helping the volunteer cooks who daily serve the children. We will also do brief, relevant Bible lessons. In addition, we conduct home visits throughout the week, meet the children’s caregivers, and bring them at least a month’s worth of food & supplies. The days are long, and hard work, but absolutely worth it. Typically the last day is when we see a little more of Swaziland & do some shopping, as most flights leave very late at night. CHECK OUT THE SWEET SLIDESHOW BELOW FROM PAST TRIPS!

Costs: Children’s HopeChest application (given to trip leader) and land cost deposit of $250.00 are due July 6th. To pay online HopeChest’s Website under the “DONATE” tab at the top right, fill out all the information for “trip payment” be sure to use our trip code SZ150901T in the ‘reference’ section & traveler’s name in the ‘notes’ section. Please email Kim Caraway when you make a payment. kim.caraway@yahoo.com

Second payment of $250.00 is due (8 weeks out – July 22nd)            

Final Trip Payment is due (4 weeks out – August 22nd)

Flights: You will book and purchase your own flight (either using our travel agent or book on your own), but you must arrive and depart the same airport at the same time as the trip leader. Tickets will be purchased appx. 6-8 weeks prior to travel.

Accommodations: You will stay in a hotel in Johannesburg and in a safe, clean Guest House in Manzini. At all times you will have a HopeChest staff person (guide &  translator)  with you once your plane lands.

Medical: To have the most benefit, see a health-care provider at least 4-6 weeks before your trip. We follow the Center for Disease Control guidelines for vaccination recommendations.

Passport: Please verify when you apply that your passport is current AND has at least FOUR blank pages.

Need an application? Have questions? Comment here or Contact kim.caraway@yahoo.com 

Shine On! 

Danielle

—>R.L.P.S. {Really Long Post Script} There’s always the question of “Is going worth it? It’s expensive! Wouldn’t it be better for us just to send the money to the people, that we’re going to spend on airfare & hotel?”

The answer is yes, and no. It IS worth it to go. And yes, there ARE times when it is better to send funds. But there are two things that money can not give a child (near or far) – and those things aren’t things at all – tangible hugs & time. The majority of the children we serve have been abandoned or have lost their parents due to the AIDS pandemic. Having adults come to just love & play with & listen to them means the WORLD!

We go as ambassadors of Christ, sharing His love & being His hands to wrap around the kids who desperately need to know they are valued & cared for. Jesus Himself came in the flesh, to the people – to all people – as a missionary of love. We are following in His footsteps, taking the Gospel message of love into all the world, as the Bible describes in Matthew 28:16-20. Throughout the year, we serve & love locally, and once a year we ‘go to the uttermost parts of the earth’! THAT is a cost I’m willing to pay! How about you?”