Monday, April 29, 2013

It was hard to leave Africa all over again...

Yesterday, we had our "Africa Sunday" at Life's Hope.  The whole service was devoted to sharing about Africa.  We each got to share stories about what impacted us.  I have been rather composed talking about Lesotho, until yesterday!!  Once I started thinking of the faces of the people and their stories and struggles, I lost it!

In front of our church, tears started to flow as I talking about Intumeling, the 11 yr old with the abscesses or Swanello, the 4 year old who just wanted shoes and a blanket!  I told how the sangoma in training wanted us to pray for her because of her fear to leave that life.  All the stories took me right back to those mountains.

I know I will never be the same and the stories will impacted everything I do.  I told Bobby today is going to be very hard as I take our boys to the dentist to have their 6 month cleaning while there is an 11 year old in the mountains of Lesotho who will have to wait almost a year to have her teeth looked at and possible receive help for the tremendous pain she is in.  I told someone in our church that people are going to think I'm crazy as I sit in the waiting room with tears at the thought of Intumeling just waiting, desiring, needing to see a dentist!

We compiled our videos and pictures into two different slide shows.  I invite you to sit back and watch the places we went and people we met and see their beautiful land and people.

Please pray for these people!  Pray the truth will continue to be spread, pray their hearts will be open, pray for their safety as they begin the winter, pray....just pray!!




Tuesday, April 23, 2013

You can't not believe in God when you've been to Lesotho...


WOW!  What an amazing trip we had in Lesotho.  The family that we went to work with, the Floras, are AMAZING!  They love God and the Basotho people with all their heart and you can see it in their ministry.  We were only able to go and share God's word with the people because of God's work that they have facilitated there and for that we thank them from the bottom of our hearts!!  

We can't begin to describe the beauty of the mountains in Lesotho.  The formations and undeveloped beauty is truly amazing!  It is by far the most beautiful place I've ever seen in my life.  In those mountains you feel so close to God, so connected, yet so small.  The magnitude of God's creation hits you like a tons of bricks when you stand on the top of a mountain and see all He has created.  You can't help but think how we have destroyed his creation with our greediness and need to develop every piece of land that is green!  You will see from the pictures that it is beautiful and grand!  I hope after you see the pictures you will feel even a sliver of what we feel for those mountains!  

The people....oh the people!!  The people were so loving, so open, so longing to hear what we had to say.  We were able to share in 8 places with 2 of those being schools and one village twice.  We were in Ha Rapoeea on Monday.  Bobby shared his testimony and Brandon taught on the Case for Christ.  We played with the children (which you will see in the pictures).  It was wonderful to start off with a warm welcome from the village and to see all the children playing and having fun.  It's important to know that each village has a chief and we have to take gifts to them for allowing us to come. There are also Sangomas which are witch doctors everywhere.  This particular village we saw a sangoma in training.  She came to us as we were leaving and expressed interest in leaving the training.  She was scared and feared all that would come to her if she left.  Our translator told us that she would most likely be kicked out of the village and they are taught that the ancestors (spirits) will do bad things to her.  We were told that there were things that can be odd and have no explanation, evil at times.  This sangoma asked us to pray with her about leaving the lifestyle of a witch doctor.  We prayed and when something about the devil was mentioned the wind became so strong that you couldn’t hear the prayer and it drowned out everything and then after the prayer was done the wind was completely gone.  That is something that I would have thought people were crazy if they told me that before I experienced it.  In this country we take for granted the “Christian nation” we live in and forget that evil is lurking waiting for an entry.  These people are taught something very different than what we have available to us.  Majority have never heard about Jesus and have no clue what is in the Bible.  Even the sangoma uses the Bible for her witch craft.  They long for the truth! 

On Tuesday, we went to a village that is fairly new to visits from mission teams.  We actually visited this village twice.  The first time we have 25-30 people and the second time we had 65 or so!  This is also a village with the “most powerful” witch doctor.  Supposedly, people have seen her walk on water.  These people were so open to hearing what we had to say!  Bobby taught on the supremacy of Christ and I gave my testimony.  We played with TONS of children for a long time while people gathered for the teaching.  The wind was incredibly bad this day.  You can see tons of pictures from this village, the kids LOVED the camera!!  They wanted to see themselves, this was the first time many had ever seen what they look like.  Now, we hear that this village wants the sangoma gone!  Amazing news and praises to God for the open ears and hearts of this village!! 

On Wednesday we went to two villages.  The first was quite a hike to get there.  It was beautiful!  We didn’t have a lot of people there for this teaching but there were very in-depth questions that came from a group of young men.  There was one girl who asked about ancestor worship and who is more important to listen to.  It is amazing to see God’s work and how he has opened and changed the hearts of these people.  All they know is ancestor worship and hanging things around a baby’s neck to protect them and yet God has opened their eyes to the differences we are teaching and they long for the truth and for answers.  The Floras shared with us that since we were there, there was a young man saved in this village.  We also went to another village where the first lady that became a Christian when the Floras got there lives.  We sat in front of a lady’s home and taught.  In both of these villages, Bobby taught the parable of the sower.  Something these people know very well.  They seemed to understand it very well.  We played with the children before having to head back, it looked like a bad rain was coming…and it did for most of the night. 

Thursday we started off at one of the schools.  This was the nicer of the two schools but trust me, it was by far worse than ANY school in America!  Yes, I have complete confidence saying that.  We handed out toothbrushes to the younger grades and taught the upper grades health and English.  I was so surprised at what the children didn’t know.  Even a teacher kept saying that something was a noun that was an adjective.  We watched as the children were so happy that they had boiled fish heads for lunch.  This was a treat and many were taking it home to their families.  We assembled all the children for singing and a lesson on God’s love.  Where in America can a group of “church people” come in and take the whole school and do an assembly about God?  The children listened very well and were so delighted that we came to see them.  After the school, we went to the same village from Tuesday and had many more people.  This time we watched a lady walk for what seemed like forever coming the study on crutches taking about 3 steps a minute.  It’s amazing what people will do to come hear about Jesus and yet many can’t seem to get up on a Sunday and drive to an air conditioned building to set for an hour! 

Friday we went to “the poor school”.  It was beyond sad.  It would break your heart to see these children, see how they come to school to keep from getting beat at home and to get one decent meal a day, just to be beat for being late or not having the right answer to a question.  We went in and out of rooms with dirt floors and broken desks giving toothbrushes, hats and gloves.  They were so excited to have their own toothbrush and not one that is shared by the family.  Bobby taught animal science to the children and we watched as they stared in amazement that a blowfish really exist or a lizard that can change colors.  Even the teacher was socked and didn’t know they were real.  I taught English and was supposed to teach the parts of speech from Bible verses but I had to go back to basics and teach what a noun was, to 6th grade none the less.  They were scared to answer and knew none of it.  We saw boxes and boxes of materials the government had given the school but the principle didn’t think the students deserved it yet.  They wrote on cardboard pieces that they find on the ground because if they don’t bring something they get beat.  Our children will likely never experience anything remotely close to that!  We had an assembly and taught the same lesson on God’s love.  These beautiful children taught me so much about being thankful and how blessed I am! 

On Saturday, we went to two villages that the Floras always go to.  Everyone went and our pastor taught.  We played with the children and sang songs.  It was amazing how much people want and desire the Floras to come teach them the truth!  We handed out socks and toothbrushes in both of these villages.  Even the sangoma came running for a pair of socks! 

Every day was something new, somehow more saddening than the day before.  We learned more than can ever be written down and more than we could ever explain.  God is truly at work in the mountains of Lesotho and we are SO thankful that he called us to go and share with those beautiful people!  The people are so loving and open to us…why can’t we be more like that?  This trip taught me so much about our call to share the Gospel, to show His love.  We ALL need to be more willing to love, help, share, do, go.  Like a song says:

But if we are the body
Why aren't His arms reaching?
Why aren't His hands healing?
Why aren't His words teaching?
And if we are the body
Why aren't His feet going?
Why is His love not showing them there is a way?
There is a way

Jesus paid much too high a price
For us to pick and choose who should come
And we are the body of Christ


I want to thank all of you for the support and prayers that we received that allowed us to do God’s work.  Without you this would not have been possible.  We look forward to talking with people about our trip and sharing even more! 


Ke a leboha!!
(that's thank you in Sesotho)


Check Out Our Photos By Clicking Here



If you happen to be in the area we will be sharing at our church this Sunday.  Life’s Hope Baptist in Marietta at 11 AM.  We would love for you to join us!  Let me know if you have questions or need directions.




Wednesday, April 10, 2013

We are home....

Well, we made it back safely.  Bobby and I had an extra day trip to get the boys and then back yesterday.  We made it back safely.  Bobby is back at work today and we are back to "normal", although I'm not sure anything will be back to what we called "normal" before we left.

We just may have a new normal.  We will never forget the faces of the people we talked with, sang with, hugged and taught.  The faces of children who go to school for a meal or to keep from getting beat at home will forever be remembered.  The bare feet of the people who have no shoes and the hands of the hard working will always be in our minds.

There are so many memories!  We are SO blessed in this country and don't even realize it.  Our children will likely never know a fraction of the struggles those children face!

We will post pictures, just right now that isn't a priority for us.  We are trying to recover from lack of sleep and Bobby getting back to work.  We are spending time together as a family!  We are trying to get things going again and take care of things that need to get done.

So, know we have lots of pictures of beautiful faces and amazing mountains and even more memories that we want to share but right now we are focused on our blessings!!  

Sunday, March 31, 2013

We are HERE!!

We are here safely!!  We finally made it all the way to Katse!  It was the most beautiful drive you can imagine!!

We will not be able to update often but know we love you all and are safe and ready to do God's work!!  


Hope you all had a wonderful Easter!! 

LOVE YOU!!!!



Emily, Bobby, Brandon, Kendra, Angela and Bruce

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Please Pray....


We would like to ask you to review our schedule below and pray specifically for these aspects of our trip (we will be 7 hours ahead there.)  We appreciate it so much!  God bless!

Bruce (Pastor), Bobby, Emily, Brandon, Kendra & Angela



Thursday, March 28:  Preparing to leave.  Pray we don’t forget anything.  We are bringing lots of stuff!  Bobby and Emily are driving to NC to drop off their boys with family.

Friday, March 29:  Bobby and Emily fly out of Charlotte at 3:30 and will meet the rest of the group in the Atlanta airport.  Flight departs from Atlanta at 7:05 pm. Pray for safe travel.

Saturday, March 30: Arrive in Johannesburg at 4:35 pm & spend the night.  Pray that we get the rest we need.

Sunday, March 31: Depart in the a.m. and travel to Lesotho (7 hour trip).  Pray for God to prepare us and give us energy for the week ahead.  Pray for Bruce throughout as he will be teaching the pastors and that they will gain a better understanding of God’s Word.  Don't forget to celebrate our risen Savior!!

Monday, April 1: Bruce teaching pastors BTCP.  Goup visiting village of Ha Rapoeea and sharing the gospel.  There are no Christians there.  Pray that we will teach as God wants us to, and the Holy Spirit will reveal the truth of our words to these people.

Tuesday, April 2: Bruce teaching pastors BTCP.  Kendra teaching women how to study and interpret God’s Word.  Group going to the village of Sephareng to teach.  There are also no known Christians in this village, and the people are in bondage to a powerful witch doctor.

Wednesday, April 3: Bruce teaching pastors BTCP.  Kendra teaching women.  Group going to the village of Ha Maphike (which will include a hike).  Last year the women in this village were desperate for answers on what to do when their husband isn’t faithful.  Pray the group can encourage them with God’s Word.

Thursday, April 4: Bruce teaching pastors BTCP.  Kendra teaching women.  Group going back to the village of Sephareng to reinforce the importance of the gospel.  They will also be going to Bokong School to do a program and teach the children about God’s love for them.

Friday, April 5: Bruce teaching pastors BTCP.  Kendra teaching women.  Group going to do a program at Ha Rapoeea School and possibly going to the village of Ha Khenene.  Pray for the children at the school programs to see the importance of an exclusive relationship with Jesus Christ.

Saturday, April 6: Entire group and Flora family will be going to two villages for ministry – Makoabateng and Mapaleng.  Pray for our gospel message to be clear and received as truth.

Sunday, April 7: Depart Lesotho and drive to Johannesburg.  Our flight leaves at 8:25 p.m.  Pray for safe travels and God’s protection.

Monday, April 8:  Arrive in Atlanta at 7:20 a.m.  Bobby and Emily will continue on and fly to Charlotte, NC to pick up their boys. Pray that we will quickly adjust back to our time zone and be able to resume our daily schedules.    

Tuesday, April 9: Bobby and Emily will be driving back to Atlanta.  Pray for safe travels and God’s protection.


Pray Colossians 4:3-4 over us while we are there – that “God will open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ” and that we will “proclaim it clearly, as we should.” Also pray for the Flora family, other missionaries that will be serving there with us, and the Basotho people!

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

EEEKKKK!

OH WOW!! Less than a month to go!!

I promise I have not forgot about this blog.  We are SO busy with everything that has to get done before we go.  Here is just a few things to try to give you an idea why I haven't had a lot of time to write:

Mason's birthday is the 20th so I have his party on the 16th, his school party on the 20th and a cake for church on the 20th.

We will be gone for Easter, so we are going to have an Easter lunch the week before, the 24th. So that means, baskets, eggs, lunch...etc.

We have to pack us for Africa but also the boys to stay with grandparents.

We are preparing our lessons and trip details.

PLUS, all my normal duties!!

I've also had visits for my EMG and Nerve Conduction (which were good and it is NOT nerves), we got our shots (ouch!) and now I'm trying to get a second opinion before we set surgery (not sure if this is going to happen, plus it will actually be a third opinion), oh and I have to go have another cortisone shot before we leave (thanks for reminding me, I better schedule)!!

So you see, we have a few things on our plate!

Teresa (one of the missionaries) wanted us to set up a blog so everyone could find out about our trip and make sure we are safe over there, so I will be posting on this blog (if the internet works and we aren't dead tired from ministering all day) to let everyone know we are well and everything is okay!  Please know that it will be for our whole group so you possibly could see a little note to, say Bruce's wife.  Just say "awe" and go with it!

Please pray for my sanity and strength to get this all done!!  Hopefully, my half full notebook of things to do (literally) will get done and the lists will help!  

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

SHHHH! No one say Africa....

I'm so excited and thrilled that Africa is almost here, but every time I start to think about going a different feeling is coming over me...sadness.

I find the thought of stepping into the airport and kissing the boys good bye, heart wrenching!  I'm worrying about everything!  Will they behave, will they be okay, will they get sick while we are gone, have we done everything we can to make sure they will be taken care of if something were to happen....  The thoughts are endless!

The Christian in me says God will take care of everything, the mom in me worries!  I can't help but have tears every time I think about kissing them bye or what it will be like when we pack our bags and they don't. It has taken me months to update our legal documents because every time I try my mind gets in the way and I have to stop.

I can't imagine what it will be like when it actually gets here, maybe I will have an overwhelming peace.  I pray I do.  Until then, I pray for God's help to get on that plane without being a basket case!  I'm sure as soon as I'm in Atlanta I will have recovered from the good byes and back to my excitement.  (We are flying out of CLT to ATL then on to Johannesburg)

Anyway, I just had to get that out there because people may start to think I'm crazy when you ask me about Africa and a few minutes later I cry!  I'm really not crazy and SO excited to go share the gospel with the Besotho people!

Please pray for our final preparations for our trip and for my sanity as I prepare to leave the boys and have to pack 4 people, 2 to go and 2 to stay!