Sunday, July 12, 2009

South Africa time before Team Arrives

Hello All,

Wendi and I are safe in South Africa right now. After spending a few days in Swaziland making partnerships with various organizations, and traveling a lot, we are fairly settled in Piet Retief, SA. We are taking this time to relax/prepare before the team comes. The team is leaving Fresno in a couple of hours, and our prayers are with them. Both Wendi’s and my bag finally arrived. I hugged my bag – cause after five days I was pretty sure it was officially in outer space. For now I have forgiven the airline people – let’s see how long that lasts. :)

We are currently staying at the lovely home of Arnau and Wilma Van Wyngaard. They have opened their home to us, and have taken us in. They showed us around post-apartheid South African townships. We are learning so much. We have spent many hours at the dinner table talking about missions, ministry, politics, finances, and Swaziland. They have spent many years caring for the people of Swaziland. Wendi and I are drinking a lot of Rooibos tea and learning about South African traditions.

As many of you know, I miss Mexican food A LOT when I leave the US. So, today at Spur Restaurant, we tried the nachos and the fajitas. It was definitely not the same as home, but anything with guacamole was enough to satisfy for now.

The Van Wyngaard’s teenage daughter Este told me how much she loves the movie the Parent Trap (the new version). This brought up the subject of Oreos and peanut butter and how she has always wanted to try that combo. (You will have to see the movie). But, that’s all I needed to hear. I grabbed my crunchy Skippy pb and we went to the store to get some Oreos. Amazingness. I always travel with peanut butter.

Back to the Swazi people – We love every one of them that we meet. They always have a warm welcome for us. Today, Wendi and I joined the Van Wyngaards at their church in Swaziland (yep, we keep crossing the border – with Arnau I do not fear border crossing, they know him pretty well). I love African church. We prayed together, sang praises together about jumping to heaven with the Lord, and read scripture together. Church with the Swazi people makes me smile. I will leave you with the verses that Wendi shared at church today. This is our prayer for the Swazi people and for us:
“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen.” – Ephesians 3:16-21
We will be in Swaziland on Tuesday for the rest of our time here. In Swaziland, email and facebook will be harder to get to. However, texts and this blog are the best way to get a hold of us. Love you all. Please continue to pray for Wendi and me as we prepare for the team to arrive. Pray that we can stand in the knowledge of what God has called us to do, and to walk in power, love, and grace. Also, please pray for the team as they leave the US shortly. Back to my Rooibos tea… And Este just knocked on the door I promised her more Oreos and a viewing of the Parent Trap tonight…got to go.



  1. can't wait to be there with all of you! What is this tea? Anything like chai? Just hoping! See you soon!

  2. Sounds like you are having a wonderful blessed experience. You and the Team are in my prayers throughout the days. May God bless you and keep you in His loving care providing rich successes through the caregivers with whom you will be working. Love to all. Barbara H

  3. Thank you for keeping us informed and updated! Sounds like all is well and you are learning alot! We are praying for you all!

  4. Sounds like things are going well, I hope the rest of the team has made it there safe. Miss you guys, thinking of you often :)

  5. Enjoyed reading all your messages, Pastor's too. It is very apparent that God is blessing the Team as you go about sharing Gods love with every child and adult you make contact with. Praying for your your strength to endure. Really missing you. Anxious to see and hear more about all the people you have worked with and how you have learned to serve more effectively.
    In HIS LOVE, Barbara