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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Thursday aftre:noon from Amy Rose

When my friends who have been on mission trips before said the only thing to plan is for change, I had no idea the extent of it.  We are in another hotel in Mek’ele and everyone seems pleased with the move and at least on the mend if not 100% yet from illness.  We have not done a lot of the teaching that we hoped to do, but you can see God’s love and spirit working in these men at the Ethiopian Orthodox Church.  I also feel like God is doing a work to open my eyes to the way the rest of the world lives.

We were very excited to get to do a first CHE lesson with the visually impaired group yesterday.  They wanted to learn about dental care.  I got to help since they were down two team members.  They had a good laugh as I brought around the plastic mouth to demonstrate how to brush your teeth.  They probably thought we were crazy and thinking about it in hindsight, if I had never seen one before, I may have laughed at it as well if someone handed me a giant plastic mouth.

If you have never worked with anyone who has a disability, I highly encourage it.  They are amazing in the fact that other abilities are so much more heightened.  We had the opportunity to visit their homes and they led us from the orphanage where we did training to almost a mile away with twists and turns down roads, through a locked gate, all while holding a conversation.  I can barely walk in tennis shoes, knowing and seeing where I am going without falling.  Three girls live in a shack that used to be a toilette and was cemented over.  The three of them sleep on one “mattress” on the floor together.  They are clean and happy and it looks like their accommodations are better than most of the other visually impaired.  They have a strong desire to be taught something that will allow them to support themselves and you can tell just from our short interactions with them, they are very bright and capable of doing something amazing.  I hope next time I come back, we have found a way to teach them so I can buy the things they have been making to support themselves.

Thanks for all your love, support and prayers.  Amy Rose

God is my Re:fuge

so this week at K2 the Church we were in Psalm 46

For the director of music. Of the Sons of Korah. According to alamoth.[a] A song.

1 God is our refuge and strength,
an ever-present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea,
3 though its waters roar and foam
and the mountains quake with their surging.
Selah

4 There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
5 God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.
6 Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall;
he lifts his voice, the earth melts.

7 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

8 Come and see the works of the LORD,
the desolations he has brought on the earth.
9 He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth;
he breaks the bow and shatters the spear,
he burns the shields[b] with fire.
10 “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”

11 The LORD Almighty is with us;
the God of Jacob is our fortress.
Selah

It occurred to to me that many of us assume that God’s Refuge/Fortress protection is supposed to “run to us” wherever we are at … but in real life [at least as real as I can imagine real war conflict from my experience in movies and paintball] we all know that we need to run to the Refuge.  yet all too often we are angry at the Refuge [God] for not protecting us … and all the while we have not really run to Him.

David equates living in God’s perfect words and commands to taking refuge behind His shield  in @ Sam 22.31

31 “As for God, his way is perfect;
the word of the LORD is flawless.
He is a shield
for all who take refuge in him.

So today, who/what are you taking refuge in?  When you get in trouble/ stress/ conflict/ depressed … where do you turn?  Food, TV, shopping, drinking, work, new relationships, exercise, porn, prescription meds?  Why don’t you try turning the the Refuge – One who can shield you and really protect you?

If you want to you can go to www.k2thechurch.com and download the sermon – I taught 10.30.11 in the Red Box.

re:SLC Utah … of all places!!

Well … we’re settled.  Finally 🙂

In Salt Lake City, Utah. of all places.  To be honest, we’ve been here for 6 months now, but only are really getting settled in now.  The boys have been in 2 different schools, but we bought our first house in December [hence, the move to the 2nd school] and are 3 months into that adventure.  We like it and are grateful for God’s place for us to be!

When we left Africa just over a year ago, we had no idea that SLC was where God would bring us!  We simply knew that we wanted to live and serve in a place that didn’t have enough churches telling people about Jesus and the Life He gives!  SLC is the least churched place in the entire US – there are less that 1 Christian churches here for every 15,000 people!  We had no idea!

So God brought us here in May 2010 and we decided by July that this was where God was calling us to move – to either start a church, or pastor a church that was already here.  In that process we met the guys at K2theChurch [www.k2thechurch.com] and we started on staff as a pastor here in August of last year!  We love serving at K2 and the fact that as a church we’re doing such a good job of being focused on Jesus and taking the gift of His grace to the people around us!

So thanks for praying for us as we continue to serve Jesus and tell others about Him wherever He puts us!  And now that we are settled, you can look for my post to be more regular going forward!