Swaziland in SLC

Sunday was an amazing morning!

Truly Amazing.

For Crystal and I, leaving Swaziland in 2010, we thought that God was taking us away from Africa and that we would have to find a way to bring our heart for Swazis into the ministry here at K2.  But on Sunday, God proved that we don’t have to manipulate anything at all – that He is the Architect of the story and His good plan!

Man K2 – you really blew us all away!  We sponsored 74% of the children of Ekudzeni on Sunday morning before the servers shut us down!  How cool that the church of K2 responded so fast that the credit card company could only assume that some kind of scam was going down!

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I was so excited about 74% and a great morning that I was surprised by Crystal’s response.  She and her friend Kristi helped on Sunday with registrations, and while they were excited about the kids who were sponsored, they found their hearts filled with concern and eyes filled with tears over the 53 that don’t have sponsors yet.

Isn’t it amazing – a community that most of us didn’t know about 3 days ago has now been knit deeply into the heart of our church?  Can you believe how quickly God has called us to SERVE and love this church and its children?  I praise God for all He is doing, and I look forward to being at 100% sponsorship of this church carepoint for the children of Ekudzeni.

If you haven’t had a chance to sponsor your child yet, please visit our K2 page on the CHC website at http://www.hopechest.org/community/ekudzeni/sponsor/ and bring hope to a child in Swaziland today.

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transfore:mational communities

Ed Stetzer and Thom Rainer’s new book “Transformational Church” is pretty solid at describing the heart and soul of the churches that are making an impact in their place and people.  Here are some statements from their research that define the heart[s] of the church[es] leadership and people that are making a huge difference in their communities:

  • “Our leadership senses a call to our local city or community and not just our church.” [71% strongly/ agree]
  • The activities of our church are designed to relate to the type of people who live in our city or community.” [64% strongly/agree]
  • Our church views itself as existing for the sake of those in our local city or community.” [75% agree]
  • “Our church leadership understands the cultural context surrounding our church.” [77% strongly/agree]
  • Everything we do is in the language and culture of the people we are trying to reach.” [58% strongly/agree]

We need to be intentional to get here, for sure.  It’s all too easy in church to be myopic and consumed in our own programs, assuming that the community will be thrilled to come to us.  We all know this, but only a few really get it.

Let’s seek to freshly get beyond ourselves – no matter how much you already get this.  And maybe we’ll find Jesus as we get out there as we serve.

re:our last CUPDATE

Our 3 months of arriving back in the US from Africa, visiting and sharing with partners, and debriefing has come to a close.  We have thoroughly enjoyed being with you and sharing the things God has done and shown us during our 5 years of ministry in Swaziland.  Along with a few nice days at the beach, we have worked in Haiti, rocked Servolution with Bayside Church in Bradenton, and prepared for the road ahead at a church planting conference during our 7 weeks in Florida.  Thank you for praying for us as we journey into the future!

We have walked this road to Africa together, those of you who have partnered with us in prayer and effort and finances.  Many people have heard and seen the Gospel of Jesus, have tasted the success of seeing their labor produce food, felt the joy of health and a full belly, and come to a deeper faith in Christ.  In the end, we thank you and pray that Jesus is pleased!