…pray for our mom…

Many of you have been praying already for Mom – thank you.  Florence is 91 [Crystal’s Mom who adopted her at 9 years] and had a serious stoke Wednesday.  She is paralyzed on her left side and almost completely unresponsive since a few hours after being admitted into the hospital.  

Crystal’s October trip to be with Mom has been bumped up to tomorrow, and we are in Joberg to get Crystal out on the flight tomorrow [thanks, Marilyn!]  We’ve spoken to her doctor, and due to her non-responsive condition, he does not expect mom to recover.

Because Florence has always prayed that she would be able to go into Eternity quickly and peacefully, her wishes are for DNR at the hospital [do not resuscitate].  Please pray for God to give the kind comfort and peace to Mom that only He can give.  We trust that God our Healer is able to heal mom here if He chooses, or Heal her eternally and bring her home to Him.

Crystal and Parker are traveling to Halifax and would love to hold her mom’s hand and speak with her one more time, but even more desires for her peace and a wonderful entrance into Life with her Father.  Please pray, also, for wisdom in the next month for Crystal as she takes a more direct role in the care of all her Mom’s affairs.

Thanks Friends, lad


meet Marvelous Hlophe and his mom, Khethiwe.



At Children’s Cup we are “all about the Children.”  Period.

Those of you who have partnered with us and prayed for us for a long time know that in Swaziland we focus our efforts on OVC’s – Orphans and Vulnerable Children.  

The term ‘Orphan’ is easily understandable –  meaning “without parent[s].”  But ‘Vulnerable’ is different – it is culturally and contextually defined.  Who is really Vulnerable?  Most of you from the West would refer to almost all of us in Swaziland as ‘Vulnerable’…

It’s really a question we deal with here on a daily basis.  We always aim to give out generously the hope and love of Christ to anyone, but lines and definitions eventually need to be made.

So in an effort to ‘clarify’, we think the best way to define the word ‘vulnerable’ is by getting to know one of the families we work with daily.

Khethiwe Hlophe is married to the father of all 7 of her children.  Born in 1968, she was the primary bread-winner of her household until a 2003 car accident took her oldest son, her two arms, their family car, and most of their monthly income.  Financially, they have never recovered.

As a hard-working seamstress with her own machine, she used to make school uniforms for children and earned a liveable income.  Her husband has currently worked at the same job for over 10 years at a petrol station, working 12 hours, 6 days a week, for less than $200- per month [a fair and expected salary here in Swaziland].  On this amount of income, the family has enough to barely send the kids to school and eat daily.

Since the accident in 2003, not only has the Hlophe’s income been cut to less than half, but their costs have increased, since they have to employ a woman to do all the washing and cooking, as Khethiwe is incapacitated to all the work herself.

Five of the six living Hlophe children eat each weekday at the local Children’s Cup carepoint in Madonsa.  Two of the children, Marvelous [boy] and Sphimphilo [girl] are sponsored by Childrens’ Cup sponsorship partner, Mission of Mercy.

The sponsors of Marvelous, the Costigan family from the States, decided to send an extra $30- in a letter to help him buy something special for himself.  The whole family was thrilled for Marvelous at the unexpected blessing from God – amounting to 20% of their family’s monthly income!  As you can see, Marvelous couldn’t stop smiling!

So on July 7th we went shopping!  He could have anything – what would he choose?  Shoes for school – $14.87.  School uniform [to replace the second hand threadbare one he wears daily] – $12.37.  And a Blanket – $11.13 [if you did the math, we were able to make up the difference, because after sleeping on the concrete floor for most of your life sharing your big brother’s blanket, nothing could be better!]

No soccer balls.  No squirt guns.  No candy was even considered.  Life necessities are chosen at age 8.  

And that’s a pretty real definition of “vulnerable.” 

But not every family situation is like the Hlophe’s – many are far worse.  So thanks for being part of our team to help kids like Marvelous.  And if you’re not, log on to Children’s Cup and find out how to sponsor achild here in Swaziland – www.childrenscup.org

we miss rebekah!

Crystal’s cousin Rebekah was here in Swaziland for a week of down time after her 2 month ministry in Uganda at her church’s sister church and orphanage.  We loved having you Rebekah and the boys are missing you so much!  She’s back at home in Vancouver now, full swing into life and her nursing job – thanks so much for coming and being with us- we loved it!

bet your kids didn’t talk about this after school!

Our boys go to a little school called Stepping Stones about 1/2km away from our house in Manzini.  It’s a good school for them, and it’s affordable.

Today, a bit after school, we took our cousin Rebecca to the airport after a great week of visiting…  Anyway, Squire pipes up from the back about “life not being fair about something” [your kids probably did talk about that part…]

So I listened in … and Squire was reporting how lucky his brother Wyatt is because every day this week, for the play practice for the school’s play this Thursday, which is held at a location a few kms away from the school, Santi, the King’s daughter in Wyatt’s class, keeps choosing him as one of 2 friends to ride with her in the military escorted BMW X5 to play practice … and Squire has to ride the bus!

Wyatt has no idea about the car he’s in really, and we’re just happy to hear that he actually gets into a car to go where he needs to go!  All that Wyatt had to say was, “Yep, and there’s video games right in the seat of the car I go in!”  

Real life’s weirder than fiction …

40[days] Day#9

About noon today in the States, day #9 of 40[days]ofPrayer with Childrens’ Cup, we were praying with you at Camp!  287 kids, age 8-12, are at camp this weekend having a great time and learning how to “Guard our Hearts” from Proverbs 4.23.  Pray for a generation whose lives flow from God’s “wellspring.”

But todays prayer is for our Partners…and so these 287 kids prayed together that God would bless and take care of all of you who so faithfully feed them, pay their teachers to care for them, provide what is needed for them to be at Camp, and send missionaries [like us] and Cup staff to bless them. 

So we snapped a picture, thinking you might like to see what it’s like to have 287 great Swazi kids praying for you!  May God’s grace and peace be with you deeply and obviously today, lad