Archives For mission trip

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.


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!



Mighty Whispers

January 11, 2013 — Leave a comment
This summer you are invited to play, help, serve & GO!!!

This summer you are invited to
play, help, serve & GO!!

Perhaps this is the summer you set it all aside and answer that quiet whisper inside you that for years has been urging you to go beyond what you think you can do, to go beyond your world, to walk in the shoes of another…

This is your time. Saying YES opens the door for God to move mightily  in & through you.

Destination: Swaziland, Africa

Dates: July 23rd-August 4th, 2013

Cost: *$1724 land costs. This includes lodging, in-country transportation, food, drinks and travel insurance. It also includes an end-of-the-trip game drive in Johannesburg. *Cost may change slightly depending on the size of the group.

 For with God nothing is ever impossible and no word from God shall be without power or impossible of fulfillment. Luke 1:37 (amp)

Itinerary: The exact itinerary is still coming together. After meeting up with our guide, our first night will be spent in Johannesburg, SA. The following day we will be traveling five hours by van to Manzini, Swaziland, where we will stay for the majority of our trip. Here we will meet the ministry leaders and receive orientation information, before heading to Bheveni Carepoint early the next morning. We will spend the next week working, playing, and loving at the carepoint, as well as walking to remote homesteads and delivering food. The last two days of the trip will include an opportunity to purchase souvenirs, and a game drive in Kruger National Park, before we depart for the US.

Trip Leaders: Mike & Danielle Brower, Sponsorship Coordinators for Bheveni Carepoint

Isaiah 58 - the BIG IF

Isaiah 58 – the BIG IF

Purpose: Our primary goal will be to provide ministry to orphans and vulnerable children suffering through extreme poverty. We will continue to build on the community-to-community model of long-term relationships with the bomake (grandmothers) and children who live in the area surrounding Bheveni Carepoint. We go to serve alongside these amazing people, not to observe or pity them.

Payments & Deadlines:

Application and $50 deposit (made to HopeChest) need to be sent to the trip leader as soon as possible.

April 30th – Deposit of $250.00 is due (10 weeks out)

May 28th – Deposit of $250.00 is due (6 weeks out)

June 25th – Final Payment of Land Cost is due (4 weeks out – minus initial deposits made)

Send all deposit checks to trip leader, but made out to HopeChest. To pay online under the “give” tab and fill out all the information for “trip payment” be sure to use the trip code SZ130704T in the “reference” section, and your name in the Notes field. Please email Trip Leader when you make an online payment.

Flights: Your Trip Leader will book their own ticket first (by appx. March 23rd) You will be told which flight to be on. You will book and purchase your own flight, but you must arrive and depart the same airport at the same time as the trip leader. Appx. cost of airline ticket will range from $1400-$1800.

Accommodations: You will stay in comfortable and safe Guest Homes in Johannesburg and Manzini, where wifi will be accessible so you can keep in contact with your family.

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

Travel Insurance: Included in the land costs is basic travel insurance coverage.

Passport: Be sure that your passport is current and has at least 4 blank pages. You will travel with your passport at all times, leave one copy in your luggage, another with your trip leader, and lastly, another copy of your passport with your emergency contact person in the US during your travels.


Breakfast will usually be at the guest house. Lunch will vary depending on schedule (sometimes sandwiches and sometimes restaurant meals, sometimes rice & beans or pap with the children). Dinner will either be at a restaurant or the guest house.

Contact & Next Steps:

For more information, e-mail Danielle Brower

Go to to find links to applications, vaccination & passport requirements, and pictures of the children we will be privileged to serve.