re: bird day

So this year we tried something a bit different … instead of eating a bird for Thanksgiving, we gave birth to a bird business…

 

day 1 chicks - 34 more days to the roaster!

 

This year we’ve had the opportunity to help one of our friends here, Lungile Shongwe, to start a business.  She’s a single mom in her young 20’s who wants to work from her rural homestead…rather than live in town.  Not to mention that if she does it right, can easily make double an average town income with half the living expenses…

 

...foundation of the chicken house in August...

 

But all that takes the opportunity to get started … for about $1500.  Not too much to us, but almost a years wages here!  So how many of us have a year’s salary saved up to invest in a business opportunity?  So God used us to help out as a catalyst for a small chicken farm.  And wouldn’t you know it, the day that our 200 chicks were ready was 11.00am Thanksgiving Day [just another day here] … and if you don’t take them, you miss out for another few weeks…

Our day was flexible anyways, so we bought all the stuff and the chicks and made the 1.5 hour drive out to get the chicks settled in the chicken barn we built/finished last month.  Thanksgiving ended up being full of birds for us!  Thanks for praying with us for Lungile to learn a lot and succeed as she seeks to start her business and be a godly young woman working hard to provide for her daughter and family from home.

re: giving thanks …

We LOVE Thanksgiving – don’t You?  As Americans living outside the US, it’s not hard to miss Christmas the way we celebrate it at “home” – because wherever the Gospel of Jesus has gone Christmas is celebrated!  So as crazy as it sounds, Santa has been up in the grocery store here in Swaziland since October!

Thanksgiving, on the other hand, is a distinctly American holiday.  In other words, t’s not easy to find a turkey here in November…  Other cultures do different versions of celebrating their harvests, of course, but there is something very special about celebrating the goodness of God and His provision in your own life and story.

So here in Manzini this year we will be celebrating 5  years of God’s provision for us in Africa through friends like you.  Thank you for your partnership and commitment to seeing the Gospel of Christ made real to many.  God’s given us 2 more boys here in Africa, and given a world of experiences to our family that we could’ve never had before.  In ministry we’ve seen Him move greatly and provide for the gospel and love of Jesus to change the lives of many.

Crystal and I are also thankful for the way God has grown and taught us so many things here in Africa that we did not know before.  He has given us the gifts like – genuine love for those who are hurting, greater compassion, understanding life as a minority [we are here], better value of time and patience,  and so many other good things that we did not have when we arrived in 2004…

So friends we want to say thank you, and thank God, this Thanksgiving as we celebrate.  We rejoice in the Lord in all things, as we come to Him with thanksgiving, and as we trust Him to be faithful to help us in what we ask! Philippians 4.4-6

re: cupdate 11.11.09

November 2009 Cupdate

Graduation time is SO MUCH FUN – no matter what culture you are in!  We are so proud of our kids and teachers who have worked so hard to make it to graduation this year!  This year we dressed in Swazi traditional dress for the occassion – it was great, and the kids and parents love it!

Crystal and I are ‘missionaries’ over 2 Cup CarePoints – Madonsa and Mbekleweni.  We were able to celebrate with the graduating classes and their caregivers as the children completed their first 2 years of schooling.  The children are graduating out of our school into a local primary school.  They usually enter 1st-3rd grade depending on how they score on their entrance exams.  Schools are not yet free here [although the govt is talking about it], so please pray with us for school fees for all of our graduates!

As we look to our conclusion with Cup in January and return to ministry in the States, we celebrate all that God is doing though Children’s Cup to bring transformation of the Gospel to a generation of kids made vulnerable by HIV.