Week 2 in Swaziland

Hi friends!  We are all doing well.  The ministry is exhausting, but our God is greater, stronger, and higher! 🙂

I wanted to put up some pictures of our homestead to show you all what daily life has become for us.
We haven’t showered in over a week, we’ve gotten good at washing each other’s hair out of a bucket, and we’ve learned to cook enough for 21 people in a half-sized oven.  haha
It has been a learning experience to be sure. 🙂

From swaziland-hs.adventures.org

From swaziland-hs.adventures.org

Hey everyone…so we’ve been here a week. WOW it feels like so much longer than that.  I got a haircut.
I’ve been eating a lot of oatmeal, PB&J, and pop (cornmeal) and beans.
I have mastered the squatty-potty.
I went on a hospice visit today. We prayed for a lot of sick people and God did a lot of physical and emotional healing. It was absolutely amazing.
I’m craving Chipotle and chocolate ALL THE TIME.
I went to a different care point yesterday and I got to help out in a pre-school class. It was very different from America, to say the least.
Drinking the water has been quite the adventure. We’ve been experimenting with ways to make it taste less like you’re drinking straight up vomit with things floating in it. But don’t worry, it’s sanitary.
I love wearing skirts all the time.
I have been sleeping extremely well at night.
We’ve been sharing our testimonies.
Africa church is one of the coolest things I have ever experienced. It’s so flexible and uplifting and people there are totally comfortable with talking about how amazing God is.  Most of the service is singing which isn’t even in English, but it is still the most beautiful sound I have ever heard.
I love staying in a place where you are living with the bare minimum and living among people who lean on nothing but Jesus. Lindsay was saying last night: God is not materialistic. His heart breaks for people who are far away from him and don’t know how much He loves them. As I’ve been here I have seen so many people who love God and put Him before everything. When I came here I thought the pain of the people of Swaziland was caused by the poverty and disease, but it’s actually caused by the fact that they don’t know how much God loves them. Almost everyone we have ministered to know who Jesus is, but have no concept of His love for them. God is doing so much even though we’ve only been here for a week. I know that our presence in the lives of these kids as well as adults is making a difference in the way they view God’s love. Yay!
I’ve been reading Colossians a lot lately and this has been on my mind…

“If then you have been raised with Christ, seek the things that are above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. For you have died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God.”       -Colossians 3:1-3
Love, Rachel Kreider

Hellllloooooooo America!
To think that it has only been two and a half weeks since we were dropped off at training camp is so strange. It feels like it has been 2 months, but at the same time, it feels like we have only been here for a few days. God is showing up and showing out, that’s for sure! Timbani is doing so great! I haven’t seen him over the past few days, but those who have said he is dancing, playing with the other kids, his drooling has gotten so much better and he is “singing”! It is a lot of gibberish right now, but Jacob and Cait said that he said “Hallelujah” the other day! Well, more of “ahh-ehhh-uhhh-ahhh”. 🙂 I hope and pray that someone got a video. He is a totally different child from when we first met him. Can’t wait to see him tomorrow! Today we went to the Hope House, which is a hospice/long term care for those with HIV/Aids and TB. Once again, God blew us away! After praying for her, a woman was healed from horrible stomach pain and we were there to witness a man suffering from cancer, smile for the first time in a year. Our God is healer! He has been teaching me so much lately….

      “But what we proclaim is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, with ourselves
      as your servants for Jesus’ sake. For God who said, ‘Let your light shine out of       darkness,’ has shown in our hearts to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ. But we have treasure in jars of clay, to show      that the surpassing power belongs to God, and not to us.” – 2 Cor. 4:5-7

Like Rachel said, the water is an adventure and, by the grace of God, I have a love for PB&J, pop/beans, and oranges! Wearing pants is strange and I crave chocolate ALL THE TIME! No worries mom, I haven’t eaten too much. 🙂 I miss all of ya’ll so much and praying for all of those who are back at home. Love and miss ya’ll so much!
– Chandler Robertson

Hello family&friends&all of the wonderful people who read this and leave comments!
So. I’m in Swaziland. I’m going to be completely honest. I’ve been blatantly homesick since the very first day we arrived in Atlanta, Georgia- which was weird for me considering I’ve left the continent before with people I didn’t know and didn’t miss my family at all. It was just a frustrating experience and I felt like I’ve been constantly battling my feelings between wanting to be home and wanting to be in Africa. I felt like I couldn’t fully give myself to the people here in Swazi because I was holding onto so much at home. However, to sum things up, God seriously broke my heart on Wednesday. I wanted to go to this carepoint in downtown Manzini but I was chosen to go to Timbutini which is a carepoint not even five minutes away from where we are staying and have been frequently attending. So I started off my day bitter and I was getting frustrated that I wasn’t living out God’s will for this trip and that I’m stuck in the same place- not even being able to share the good news with the nations but God showed me so much. I was sitting in a dirt pile with two girls in my lap and I was thinking about how I couldn’t wait to hug my mom when I got home, and then it hit me. That these girls probably don’t have a mom considering most of the children in this nation don’t have mothers. That the small things I take for granted like a loving family and hot water and food that sustains don’t matter. That these children don’t have clean clothes (in fact most of their clothes have holes in them) and they get maybe one meal a day when they come to these carepoints which feed them the same thing every day and that they are taking off their shoes to have “car races” with them. That something as simple as racing their shoes gave them the greatest pleasure. I’ve always know that only 1 in every 10 children will live to be 30, an age I’ve always thought I’d reach, and then you have 30 kids around you and I realized that only 3 of these kids will be able to be mothers or fathers. That only those 3 kids may get jobs or homes or change their country. But then God showed me so much more- it doesn’t matter about the material things. The food they eat and clothes they wear don’t matter at all, but rather where their hearts are. If all that happens on this trip is one child who understands the love of their Creator, then I know my job was done. All I want to do now is run across this country and let the people know how much Jesus loves them- and that’s all that matters. The material things I’ve been living for are nothing comparison to living for Jesus Christ! It’s something I’ve always said, but it’s different when you’re tested. When you eat oatmeal for breakfast everyday, PB&J for lunch everyday, and beans & pop (or rice) for dinner everyday and you start complaining that you want different food or chocolate (something I’ve been craving like crazy) and the thoughts of food consume you. Why does it matter what you eat as long as you’re fed? As long as Jesus Christ is a living God who is still moving through the nations- then nothing else matters.
I love love love you guys all so much and miss you bunchies! CANNOT wait to tell you everything that has happened to me and my team! AHAHAHHAHHH! Love you guys like crazy.
Miss you,
Kira Willimann(:

Hello everyone!!!! I hope things are great in America! Everything is AMAZING out here. It has been a little bit over a week since we got here and started ministry work. God has moved in so many ways. It is crazy seeing that we pray over EVERYTHING and God just constantly answering our prayers. He is showing us that he is a great healer. Sadly I am only going to be able to tell y’all stories that hit me the most. So, on Tuesday we went to the care points and afterwards we went on house visits. The first house we went to had this twenty-two year old boy who could not walk. A few years ago, he lost his mom and dad and then he lost the ability to walk. When we got to his house he was bathing so we had to wait a few minutes. We finally got into his room and he was on the floor with his sister. The lady who took care of him was his aunt. We all knelt down and prayed for him and just asked the Lord to heal him. Before we left we prayed one more time and then they thanked us. That same day we went to this house where a gogo’s son went missing and she worried herself so much she had a stroke. Now she cannot talk or move and her feet are so full of water that they are swollen. When we touched her to pray for her, she was so skinny I felt like I was going to hurt her. The gogo loved her son SO much she practically worried herself to death. I pray that her son will appear! Yesterday was a hard day; we really got to feel what it felt like to be a missionary. We woke up and it was raining so it was cold and I did not want to go play with kids all day. I wanted to lay in bed and do nothing. We went to the care point and there was Timboni! That was the first day I actually played with him and loved on him. I really fell in love with him. He has special needs and everyday, we are seeing the Lord healing him in many ways! Even though it was very difficult yesterday, I learned a lot. Lastly, today we went to the Hope House. The first house we went into was the house of this young women who was sick and the medicine she was taking took her vision away from her. She appreciated our prayers and that we were there so much. A little after we prayed for her, I saw her outside trying to walk to be with everyone else, but she could not see and kept acting like she was falling. So I went and grabbed her hand and walked with her. She told me she has HIV and TB! That just broke my heart! I just told her we are praying for her and that God is a God who heals. After her room, we went and prayed for this other man who has HIV but he is hopefully leaving the Hope House in a month. With him, was his brother and he encouraged me so much. He asked where we were from and after we told him America, he thanked us for coming out to Swaziland. He told us not to stop coming because we help out so much and he told us not to just go to Swaziland, but go to other countries and keep sharing
 I love you guys and cannot wait to see y’all!
Love y’all
Lindsay Hottendorf/Gill

I don’t think God has ever taught me so much in one week, I am falling in love with these children and the fact that their lives are made more difficult than I will ever know because of the diseases they inherited without a choice is really taking a tole on my mind. Today we did hospice visits and had a mixture of joyous conversations and ones that broke my heart; it really gave me an insight on what life looks like as an adult with an incurable disease or health defect in a third world country. But we serve and love a God of hope and promise. Zephaniah 3:19-20  “‘Behold, at that time I will deal with all your oppressors. And I will save the lame and gather the outcast, and I will change their shame into praise and renown in all the earth. at that time I will bring you in, at the time when I gather you together; for I will make you renowned and praised among all the peoples of the earth, when I restore  your fortunes before your eyes,’ says the Lord.” I am so grateful that I am able to take comfort in a God that will in his time of renewal make right all the things that are wrong here on this earth, and I am blessed to be able to share this hope with the people in this country.
Sala Kathway!

Hannah Priolo

Sani Bonani! (Hello Everyone)!
 So we have 2 weeks left which doesn’t seem right. It seems like we have been here for months but at the same time it feels like we have been here for a few days, its really strange. Yesterday we went to a hospice and prayed over a lot of people and we saw God do amazing things in some of them but I cant accurately describe it on a blog so just ask me about it when I get back. We decided that we are going on to Manzini Marketplace tomorrow so I can get everyone souvenirs there. I am having so much fun and am learning so much. It is weird that my 18th birthday is in 4 days but it seems so small in comparison to what I am doing. To my family, I miss you guys but don’t worry I am fine and safe, the leaders are great at feeding us and keeping us safe. Love you guys! I know I said I wont be able to email but ill try to once a week but don’t freak out if you don’t get anything!
Love, Josh Tedford
p.s.- Mom thanks for forcing me to take my heavier sweatshirt because sometimes there are cold days, so you were right.

I cant believe I’ve only been gone for two weeks because it seriously feels like months and months. And we don’t have a lot of time left. We only have a few more days of ministry left and a couple days off. On Sunday we went to a church down the road and even though you couldn’t understand anything they were saying, their praises were so genuine. On Monday we spent the day at the Timbutini care point and just hung out and loved on some kids. On Tuesday we spent the morning at Timbutini and the afternoon doing home visits. And that was extremely hard. The first house we went to was a 22 year old boy who couldn’t walk. Both of his parents had died and he was living with his Aunt. The second house was an old Gogo (Grandmother) whose son had disappeared and she’s literally worrying herself to death. She was so stressed and scared she had a stroke. It was mind blowing how much a parent can care for their child. The third house was a five year old girl who just sat in a car seat because she couldn’t walk, speak, or barely move. We prayed for them and read bible verses to them. After we left the last house, we had to climb over this mountain to get back to the homestead. and we were walking.. and walking and walking.. Every time we tried to take a different path the translator said Up Up. So we went up up. And when we got to it, it was like wow, the three people we’ve seen today haven’t been able to walk, and I just got to go over this mountain. Thank God. Wednesday was cold and raining and really gross but I spent the day at a pre school. And Thursday I did Hospice visits. The water here is kind of chunky, and has floating stuff in it, and smells like bananas. Its weird and has a gross after taste.       Beans and rice for dinner one night, and rice and beans the next night. Pb&Js for lunch, and oatmeal for breakfast. I miss home a lot, and can’t wait to be back. The Malaria pills   I’m taking are giving me insane dreams. Im really excited to see how God will move in the last two week. Love and Miss you guys a lot, a lot, a lot! 🙂
Jessica Kinsey

Wow! It’s crazy to think that two weeks have already past, yet it’s strange to think that it’s only been two weeks. Our team has become so close I feel that we have known each other for years. God has been working nonstop and showing us all His power and allowing us to share it with the people of Swaziland. During our home visits on Tuesday God really broke my heart for the people of Swazi. One of the homes we went to we talked to a young man who had lots both of his parents and had been taken in by his aunt; a few years later he lost all his ability to walk and stand because his bones became weak. The last home we visited we met a six-year-old girl who was born with many mental disorders and couldn’t walk or even feel her feet. She was six and the size of a one-year-old. When we got to the home neither the mom or the Gogo were there to take care of her, she was with her sisters who had her in a car seat in the house and they were outside. It was devastating to see a child so in need of care and love but born in a place where children rarely have either. However these prayer walks were not all sad, our translator was also our guide and took us down these crazy paths and walked at the back of the group saying things like “Up up, go up…. no not that up, (points) that up” and we walked up and up and up until I thought we couldn’t go up anymore and saw the most amazing sunset. I am excited to see what God does in Swazi and in my team over the next two weeks of ministry! God bless.
Emily Culmer

Hey everyone at home!!!!
Hope all is going well for all and that God is showing up as much there as He is here! He has totally been showing me how totally awesome and faithful He is! He has done marvelous works (that I am sure you are all aware of by reading others posts)!!!  Now our team’s job is to bless the people of Africa and to bring His message to them, we have done that, but God hasn’t stopped there. He is working in our team so much and hearts are being healed and pasts are being forgiven!! Teammates are being healed physically, emotionally, and spiritually!! The experiences on the field are life changing and we are stretched daily!!
The only struggle that makes this trip kinda interesting is being extremely constipated and eating PB&J, oatmeal, and rice with beans everyday. But God makes everyday a blessing to me and to the people here.  I have learned so much and God continues to stretch me! I love being here and the culture shock of coming back home and having real toilets will be interesting!!! (well, any running water will be exciting!!!)Many crazy stories to tell! Ya’ll better be pumped!!
Oh, fun note…fourth marriage proposal today. 🙂
Miss you all, but am loving it here!
Love, Hannah Buller
P.S. Shout out to whoever picks me up from the airport in MN…..you better arrive with a steak Chipotle in hand!!!! =)

Hello everyone!! I know God is moving in the states as much as He is here, and I can’t wait to hear all about it! But for now, I assume y’all would like to know what’s going on here in Swazi. 🙂 Well, for the past week, God has done some marvelous things through our team and has blessed us in ways unimaginable! This past Sunday we had our first experience in a Swazi church setting. It was absolutely wonderful. As we walked in, I heard the most beautiful sound I had ever heard. The most brilliant voices were filling up the sanctuary-it was so wonderful. For almost two hours, I just sat in a seat listening to the people of the Timbutini church worship our almighty God. I realized then how powerful Christ is. It was unbelievable. Oh my goodness!!! How great is our God?!?!?!?! So, in all, Sunday was great. This week has been exhausting, but also truly a learning experience. Today (Thursday) was by far my favorite day. Part of our team visited a hospice center called Hope House. It was lovely. We walked around and visited several people and read scripture as well as prayed over them. There was one patient who truly affected me. It was a woman who had fallen down several times and had a lot of trouble walking. She spoke wonderful English, and had the sweetest spirit. She was a wonderful woman of God and was such a joy to talk to and pray over. God revealed so much to me just through her today. Thank you Jesus for Your wondrous power and amazing plans for us! I’m sorry this has been so long, but God is doing such amazing things here!!! I miss y’all so so much and can’t wait to tell you everything else! I love y’all!
In Him,
Kinsey Clearman

God has been teaching me so much in the past few days.  I haven’t felt very well this week, and some of the days I haven’t felt very productive.  But through the week God has really been showing me his plan and purpose in everything.  He has mapped out all my steps and he is working in my life and the lives of those around me, even when I don’t see it.  He’s showing me the importance of holding these kids and pouring love on them.  I also love helping the gogo’s (the African ladies who volunteer at the care points).  These ladies work so hard every day to feed and take care of the children at the care points.  It’s so great to help them and cook and serve food to the kids so the gogo’s can rest and know that all their work doesn’t go unnoticed.  I’m so thankful for everything God has been working on this trip, and I can’t wait to come home and tell y’all everything in person!  Thanks everyone so much for your prayers! 
In Him,
Lizzie Parrish

God has been working in incredible ways. We have seen a boy who couldn’t talk begin to speak. People have joy in their faces. I love holding all the kids. I love playing with them and holding them and hugging them and kissing them. We did home visits that was really hard. We prayed over a man who was only 22 and couldn’t walk because his bones were not firm enough. A Gogo (grandma) who had a stroke from stress because her son went missing years ago and hasn’t come back and her daughter is forced to take care of the family. We prayed over a child who cannot move or speak, People in Africa have to rely on God. It is very different. They have so much physical affliction here where in America it seems more like spiritual affliction where our mind is clouded by possessions. I do not know which is worse… I do know that God loves all of his people though. He doesn’t look at someone being better for having nice things or a big house. He loves everyone the same. I am realizing more and more each day what God’s love really means and how unconditional it is no matter what. He has been opening eyes and my heart in a whole new way. I love it in Swazi the people are beautiful and so is the scenery. I went to the top of a hill and saw the sunset. Swazi is surrounded by hills so it was the most beautiful view. I feel so close to my creator when I am apart of his creation like this. I am learning more and more to let go and let Him take over. I love you all back home. I have a lot to say but this is all for now, I miss you all. I kind of want to come home but honestly I love it here. Being on this team I really learned the importance of being in the now. So I am still in Africa and sorry Mom I do want to see you though hehe 😉 Love all of you. Give Christina a big hug for me.
Love you all and God is the greatest, Jacob Jones

God has been doing some amazing things here in Swaziland.  I have seen my relationship in God just grow in these past couple weeks. God has just opened my eyes to see so many things and be affected in ways that I didn’t think I would be. In these past couple weeks one of the many amazing moments that has happened was when some people in my group prayed over this boy who was 6 years old and could not talk and drooled all over himself. The other kids would not play with him and he was just all alone. Some of the people in my group prayed over him and by the end of the day he had said yebo, which means yes in SiSwati. God is just continuing to heal his body and it is just amazing.  On Tuesday 5 people from my group, my leader, and I had the opportunity to do 3 home visits. It was really hard to see the pain that some of these people were going through, but when we read them the Bible and prayed over them they just had this happiness in their eyes and it was so inspiring to see people who are just helpless, but still have faith in God.
I am so thankful to be a part of this group. Everyone in my group agrees that God has handpicked each and everyone of us to be on this trip for a reason. We are able to all relate to each other and to help each other grow in Christ. My leaders are just absolutely amazing. They have God’s love just pouring out of them. Every time they talk about God or their experiences I learn something new.
I miss you all so much. I love it on Saturdays when we read comments from the blog and I am able to listen to everything that is going on back home. I can’t wait to tell you about Africa and everything I learned. I love you guys sooooooo much!  Tell everyone hi for me!
See you soon,
Makayla Williams

This week was kind of crazy, but what sticks out was what happened yesterday at Ntabish care point. We were playing a game that is called the Flying Dutchmen, it’s like duck, duck, goose, but with partners and a little more rough. And of course while we were playing a little girl fell down and started crying. So I picked her up and went to sit down with her.  It was amazing to just sit with her and having no idea how to make her feel better. Then I remembered what my dad use to do with me when I had fallen. He would take each limb starting with the toes and ask if they hurt in a very joking manner. So that is what I started to do. I took her foot and asked, “Does this hurt?” And at first she said “No” in a very small shaky voice. So then I took her ankle and asked, “ Does this hurt?” and I kind of tickled it. This time she smiled and giggled.  We continued this until she was smiling and we had gone to each finger and nothing hurt.  This was like the first time that I felt like I had truly affected a child on this trip. It made my heart warm to see a little girl who had once crying and now is smiling.
Also this past week I am really hearing God talk to me in his Word. It is amazing to read through Psalm and see and hear God speaking to me. I am also seeing God’s character as I am reading more. I feel like I am growing more and more in my relationship with My Heavenly Daddy. It is wonderful. Love you all.
Megan Stoneman 

Swaziland has been an overwhelmingly beautiful blessing. I can see Christ all around me. I see Him in the faces of the people we meet. I see Him in our team’s laughter and tears, as we grow closer. I can feel Him in my life at work in the strength He continues to give me breath by breath. Our Lord has brought healing to many and continues to make His presence known. Thank you so much for all your prayers keep sending them our way there is a lot of hurt but O ever so much more Love.
Deuteronomy 15:7-8

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