Friday, January 22, 2010

We are connected

For multiple reasons, we have not been able to blog but we are now powered and connected. 
We were blessed to have Marcia help check us in at RDU.  As many of you heard, Steve’s Mom had some medical issues. Praise God she is doing well and he was able to join us yesterday (Wednesday), more on that latter.

We arrived Tuesday evening, 5:30 South African time, checked into our hotel by candle and lantern light. The following morning we took care of some unexpected business before visiting a World Orphan Children’s Home, Temba South Africa, north of Jo-burg.

First order of business was to get a larger vehicle to handle the luggage. Thanks to all you provided, we had 12 checked bags.  Ron and Bill went back to the airport and were able to get an 8 person “bus”. They call vans, busses. Second order of business was to get travel documents for me (Ann Marie) to re-enter the US. Thirty minutes before Ron and I left for the airport, Ron was making copies of my new Canadian passport and realized my green card expired 11/09. Monday was a holiday so Ron had to call the Johannesburg US Consulate for the solution.  This morning we downloaded an application then e-mailed it with supporting documents to the Consulate. The plan is to pick up a "re-entry" travel document on the way to the airport. I will update my status ASAP after our return!

Mid-day we were able to make our way to Temba to visit with a World Orphan Children’s Home. One of the purposes of our trip is to learn about different models of care for orphans.  The World Orphan Children’s Home gave a good example of a local Church establisihing "homes" on church property to reach the orphans in their community.

We left Temba to make our way back to the airport to pick up Steve, missed our turn, toured Jo-burg for over an hour. Bill says google maps works as well in Jo-burg as it does in Raleigh.  After several attempts using google maps, we got directions from three people before finding our way to the airport.  (Thanks to Sheem who drove 12 hrs with Steve from Missouri to Atlanta to catch his flight then drove home to Apex.) We are all so glad Steve was able to make it afterall.

One of our blog issues was not having the right adaptor for the step down transformer. Wednesday evening we got powered up. 

Everyone present and accounted for, we made our way to Swaziland this morning (5 hr drive). Met up with, Dennis, our guide for the week and visited four Care Points.

Swaziland does not have orphanages. To support children who are orphaned or vulnerable, Children's Hope Chest and AIM (Adventures in Missions) have partnered to develope Care Points (CPs); Places set up in varrious communities where basic orphan needs can be met (food, water, some medical attention and discipleship). The vision for a Care Point is to grow to include educational opportunties, micro-financing etc. 

CPs are in varrious stages of development and support. Thus far we have seen the two most developed CPs and two lesser developed ones. The goal for our time is to gather information and seek His direction for Hope Chapel involvement. 

We have lots of photos but am running out of battery so need to post. Thank you so much for your prayers. More soon. 


  1. So glad to hear from you all. We're praying for you and know God will give you great vision and discernment.

  2. Thanks for the post and the pictures. It's so cool to be able to share in your experience. I can't wait for the next installment! Blessings as you continue to meet the beautiful, wonderful children of Swaziland and as you determine how God wants us to help them.


  3. Good luck and be safe. I am so proud of you all.

    ~Lisa Borodkin

  4. "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress..." James 1:27
    God is smiling as you pioneer a path for Hope Chapel to be His servant to the orphans. You're doing greatly needed work. We are praying for you.
    Michael and Jackie Tyner

  5. Happy to get the posts and pics. Love being able to see what God is doing through you in Swaziland! Praying for understanding and great wisdom for you all,
    Curtis and Sheila Smith