Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Off We Go...

Flying out Thursday morning...Swaziland here we come.

Son Dan, along with Earl Rentz (an HPC staff member and also the husband of my good friend, Karen) are flying with us.

(All this flying, I wonder if our arms will get tired.)

From our front door in Prairieville to our front door in Mbabane it is usually about 27 hours. Talk about a tired bottom...

It will be so awesome to have Dan on the field with us again. He's never been to Swaziland.

He's been to Zimbabwe...and was raised in the Philippines and Belgium, as well as serving on a missions trip to Thailand (I think it was there. Somewhere in the far east, anyway.) He definately has missions in his blood. (Read his blog. He's been on a Keith Green/Missions thing for quite sometime now. Well worth the read.

Dan's sister, Susan Rodgers, is looking forward to his being there. In fact, more than merely "looking forward" to it, she's crazy excited he's coming!

Keep us in your prayers. We need lots of that!

Will post again after we get to our destination.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

ARC Church Planters' Conference part 3

Just a few more photos to share form the conference...

Jay Miller, awesome pastor of Family Church in Lafayette. One of his church members, Aaron Broussard, is in Swaziland right now, serving with 'Cup.

Charlene Hornsby (the lady who keeps The Man looking good), Gail Bennett (the lady who makes the ARC a smooth running machine), and Moi (the oldest granny-blogger in town).

I could have taken a picture of the HPC'ers serving coffee and food and clearing tables and moving chairs. Here is a job no one would notice unless it wasn't done...and Brad Duplechain is simply tearing down a display. He's just one among the many at HPC with real servant's hearts. And we have asked God to give him (and Nichole and Brie) to 'Cup...we'll just wait and see what God does.

ARC Church Planters' Conference part 2

More photos of cool church-planters...

Linda and Tony Weatherly

Todd and Lisa Schumacher, who have a heart for Lake Charles

Randy and Patricia LeJeune called to Orlando

Kristy Alonzo with a gift to bring healing to broken marriages. Working with the LeJeunes.

Jamie (can't remember his last name. aargh) and Debbie Poore. Both are from Alabama...Birmingham and Montgomery, I think. They have huge hearts for missions and AIDS orphans. (and they are in love...but I don't think I am supposed to announce this...) With all this other important information, how could I be expected to recall the name of the town where they want to plant a church?

Friday, September 15, 2006

ARC Church Planters' Conference

Dave with ARC leader Billy Hornsby, and our beloved pastor Dino Rizzo

Hosted by Healing Place Church (wow, the food was out of this world cajun tasty!) the hearts of servants were evident everywhere we turned. I hope it was okay to be proud of my church, because my buttons were popping off...or maybe it was from the jambalaya. It's times like this that I am so happy and honored to belong to the HPC family.

What a great time we've had the last two days intermingling with people who have a heart to plant and grow new churches. You know that has to be a God-thing. Planting means starting from scratch. Not easy.

Here're some of the folks we met. One day you'll read about some of them being used by God all over their community and with some of their people serving with Children's Cup somewhere overseas.

This is Ben Forsberg. We met his brother Joel (worked for JMM in India) in Rwanda when we attended Joyce Meyer's meeting there. Ben and Joel are starting a new work in Minneapolis area.

Here we are with Troy Shaw, who pastors a growing church just east of Atlanta. Troy and his family are planning on a trip to Swaziland very soon, just to check us out and bless our staff!

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

ReCap of Summer

It’s nearly time for us to return to Swaziland.

Although the time in the USA has been short, it’s been awesome to visit so many of our sponsoring churches with their dedicated pastors, and some of our individual donors too. Some we’d never met eye-to-eye before.

We had wanted to visit some other areas of the country also, but since we have to be back in Swaziland for some meetings the end of September, we have had to postpone the rest of our plans.

We’ll be back in the USA after Easter. Then we’ll schedule some more visits with our donors and churches, Lord willing.

Following are some pics of the people we were privileged to spend some time with. I won't get them all on this post...I'll have to break 'em up into several different posts.

Barb Conti and her mom joined us for lunch one day to talk about Patrick, their son and grandson, who is working with 'Cup in Swaziland. We had a great visit. Good people.

Bill and Betty King and Dave. We had lunch with these folks too.

Bill and Ruth Barton, Dave and me. Lunch again. (Eating is an old habit with us.) Getting to know Bill and Ruth a bit better was sure a treat!

Monday, September 11, 2006

9/11 Five Years Later

I am in my hometown of Des Moines, Iowa. I'm here to visit my dad and other family members before we return once again to Swaziland.

Last night after church my brother and his wife drove me through an awesome display commemorating that horrific attack on America.

It was on an insurance company grounds...and in the midst of a fall rainshower I saw flags. Hundreds and hundreds of Old Glory flying in the spot lights. As we drove through the acres of display, with the wind blowing those flags in the weather...I noticed that on each flag pole there was a yellow ribbon. On the streamer of the ribbons there is a name written.

Bud told me that there is a flag for each person who died that day. A name on each flag. And the sky seemed to be crying on them.

It was extrememly emotional to say the least.

I snapped a few photos from the car in the rain.

I am recalling where I was when this all took place five years ago.

I was in Zimbabwe with Ben and Susan. Dave was in the USA, planning to come in a couple of weeks. Ben called Susan and me (we were shopping in an open air market), and after he told Susan, she handed me the phone and he reported the event--stating that there were a couple of other planes they were concerned about.

We hurried back to the house and turned on the TV, watching CNN International in horror as they re-ran the video of the towers in New York.

The thing that impressed me the most in the days following was the respect and love extended to me as we went out in the public. Complete strangers would stop me on the street and say, "You're an American...I want you to know that I am so, so sorry about what happened."

The TV this morning is commemorating the fifth anniversary of the terror attack on America. The memories all come rushing back. Even though I was half-way around the world at the time, I felt vulnerable and personally attacked.

Do you recall where you were at the time? What your immediate feelings were? Did you lose someone?

One good thing came out of this: America stood together like glue. We helped each other recover. We flew the flag with pride and with a face to the enemy that showed our unity and strength.

God Bless America.

Friday, September 08, 2006

Day Forty of Forty

The CupBearers

We praise you Lord, for our CupBearers!

Thank you for sending us partners who help us accomplish the task of our assignment from you. Thank you for giving them a love for the hurting children. Thank you for causing them to spend hours of their lives working to invest it into the lives of children whom they may never meet.

Thank you for their prayers.

Bless these wonderful, caring people, Lord. Meet their needs. Fill their own cupboards with food. Make their own beds more comfortable. Make their vehicles last longer. Help them find ways to make their dollars go farther. Give them health. And happiness. Joy. Contentment. Peace.

Bless their own loved ones. Save their children and grandchildren. Heal their mothers and fathers. Save their neighbors and kin. Protect their sons and daughters who are in the military. Give their home church heavenly rain!

Grant them the desires of their hearts.

Thank you for every person who prayed with us on this Forty Days of Prayer.

In Jesus' name, Amen

This is Dave with Pastor Matt Anzivino of Family Tabernacle in North Carolina. Matt's entire church joined us in this 40 days of prayer. (Thanks, Family Tab folks!)

For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Day Thirty-Nine of Forty

Lord, AIDS is a horrible plague.

It is sometimes the result of a sinful lifestyle. Sometimes it has been the result of receiving a life-saving blood transfusion that was inadvertently contaminated with HIV.

For our little ones in Africa, it is often the result of just being there. Being born into a family with AIDS. Being raped by a person hoping to be “delivered” from the disease because the witch doctor told him it would work.

Father, when you sent Jesus to die for us on the cross, your Word says that he took beatings, “stripes on his back,” for our healing. You have also told us, in your Word, that we are to ask you for anything we need. To ask and receive.

All we need to do is ask. Believe. Receive. And to not forget to thank you for the answers.

Today we are asking you to heal AIDS.

To heal our little children who are hurting. Not just to heal them of AIDS, but to heal their little hearts and spirits from the memory of the terrors accompanying the torment they received while being infected.

Heal mothers and fathers. Heal sisters and brothers. Heal their bodies. Heal their souls.

Heal this beautiful, yet horribly stricken continent of Africa.

Send revival.

Save, deliver, heal, for Jesus' sake.

For your glory alone.

We praise you for hearing and answering prayer.

In Jesus' name, Amen

For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Day Thirty-Eight of Forty

Churches in CarePoints

Lord, you have blessed us with the tools and partners to accomplish the many jobs you have set before us in order to bring hope to the hurting little ones around the world. We are so honored that you have entrusted them to our care...

Childrens' lives are being changed daily!

But because of "traditions" and "customs" and just plain old sin, our children aren't always safe at night. There are plenty of predators and other evil persons seeking to fulfill their own selfish and devilish desires by using and harming innocent and helpless children. Even the little ones who come to our CarePoints to eat and find Jesus as their Lord and Savior are not safe from these wicked ones.

The answer is simple: We must win the community to the Lord.

One of the best ways we know is to have a community church built right there with the CarePoint. A church with a pastor whose only goal is to serve Jesus and others.

Lord, we need churches in the USA to partnership with these CarePoint churches...prayerfully and financially. From the ground-breaking and foundation-laying to the Sunday morning praise & worship and teaching of God's Word.

Make our CarePoints to be Light in such a dark world.

God, we also need more missionaries to help us with the tasks at hand. There are so many souls to be rescued from the darkness and filth of sin. And we can see that time is getting so short. We want to win all we can in the time that is left.

Send us laborers. Give us souls. Heal the sick. Deliver those in bondage.

Give us Revival in Swaziland!

In Jesus' name,


For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Monday, September 04, 2006

Day Thirty-Seven of Forty

These are some of the graves in the cemetary across from the CarePoint.

Mangwaneni Mbabane

As i recall the location of this CarePoint, Lord, in my mind's eye I see the steep hillside, the dirt road, and the huge cemetary across from it.

This is not a wealthy area by any means--it is very poor. Nothing earthly to be desired is found here.

But you know each person living in Mangwaneni, Mbabane, You know their plights, their health issues, their poverty, their sorrows, their cares, the loneliness the widow feels, the horror of the nights that the homeless children know, the hopelessness of the mama sick and dying with AIDS, wondering what will happen to her children when she is gone...

So, Lord, you called Children's Cup to build a CarePoint right in the middle of this darkness. To be the place where life can start anew. Where the hungry can be fed. Where sick children can get medical care. Where hungry minds can learn to read and write and add and subtract. Where kids can learn about the great love of Jesus--and everyone can come to know him personally.

Where Hope can be found.

Anoint our leaders--the missionaries, the caretakers, the cooks, the teachers, and even the gardener. Bless them, meet their needs.

Most of all we are asking for revival in the land. Start right here at Mangwaneni, Mbabane. Across from the cemetary where they are running out of space to bury the dead, because of the AIDS epidemic.

Change it from a place of DEATH, to a place of LIFE.

In Jesus' name,


For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Day Thirty-Six of Forty


For our little ones in this orphanage, we are pleading your protection both physically and spiritually.

For the brave and committed leaders, we are pleading that you give them strength and wisdom.

Make this little place, such a bright spot in the miserable lives of the orphans there, to be a Godly oasis bringing love and cheer and health and happiness.

Give them all courage to stand. Courage to live. Courage to be faithful. To know that they are not forgotten.

Lord, we have no idea how awful life can be for people in some of the other parts of the world. Still we know that with your help, that horrible existance can be changed to Hope.

We are aking you to make this place and it's children a center of Hope for the entire country.

Hope's name is Jesus.

In Christ's name,

For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Day Thirty-Five of Forty

Nkobe CarePoint

Thank you, Lord, for Nkobe.

Thank you for the well. For the water that gives life. As people are drawn to the water for life, we pray that they will also find here the Water of Life, Jesus.

As the staff minister to the little ones at Nkobe, we ask that you give them hearts full of love for the kids, and that the kids find that love so sweet that they accept Jesus as their own Savior.

May this CarePoint be the center of healing and restoration and life for hundreds of folks—children and adults alike.

May Nkobe truly be the site where revival is stirred and hearts and lives are forever changed.

Bless the staff, the volunteers, the new pastors, and the missionaries.

In Jesus' name,


For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Day Thirty-Four of Forty

Children's Cup Stateside Team

How blessed we are to have such a talented, dedicated, and Holy Spirit-energized team in the homebase.

Thank you for placing in their hearts the desire to serve at home. Thank you for giving them a heart for the little ones whom they may never meet. Thank you enabling them to work in the "background" with the all-important details of the home office.

Please bless these dear, dear ones. Bless them when they are going out. Bless them when they are coming in. Bless them when they are standing. Bless them when they are sitting. Bless them from the inside out.

Continue to give them anointed and creative ideas for our publications; for setting up and running the database; for answering phone calls and emails and prayer requests; for praying over the phone with our donors who are themselves hurting. For being the life-line between the donors and the receivers.

Please use them for your glory.

Thank you for our wonderful home staff.

In Jesus' name,

PS Happy Birthday, Vicki.

For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Friday, September 01, 2006

Day Thirty-Three of Forty

Future Team Members

Lord, from the time you first called Dave and me to begin Children's Cup until this day, we have tried to fulfill this mission with the guidance and anointing of the Holy Spirit. Our purpose, our calling, to change the lives of little ones who are devastated, barely making it, living in the hard places of the world. To pull them out of the darkness, to bring them into the Light. To win them to Christ. To teach them to become your servants and thus change the world around them.

It became apparant one day that the job was bigger than the two of us, and you gave us help. People with like-minded spirits, with hearts full of compassion for those little ones who hurt so much.

We thank you, Heavenly Father, from the bottom of our hearts for calling these wonderful other folks to work alongside us. For giving them spirits to match ours. For calling them to serve in the hard places.

As we have already asked for your special blessings upon the current team members during our forty days of prayer, we now turn to ask your blessing on those who are preparing to serve with us soon.

Bless first grade school teacher, Christy, and help her get the budget raised that she needs to work on the field with us. Give her the right people to stand alongside her in prayer and financial support.

And for the young couple planning to pastor our church in Mozambique, prepare their hearts and lives and spirts for this task.

For some who are already praying about it...Julie, David, T.J., Annie, and others.

For the many who have just asked about working with us in Africa, many whose names we don't even know yet, we are asking that you guide them in a plain path so that they know beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are called to work on foreign soil. And please, provide the way for this calling to be fulfilled.

You know who we need to have help us, you know the skills and talents you have blessed them with, you know who will minister uncompromisingly and effectively and fearlessly...

Prepare the hearts of those whom you will be nudging, "Whom shall we send? Who will go for us?" Prepare their hearts to answer confidently, "Here am I, I will go, send me!"

In Jesus' name,

For today's prayer on the forty days of prayer blogsite click here

Brag Time

Just got this really cute photo of our grandkids in Iowa from our son, Josh, a couple days ago.

Vaughn (6) is very proud of his little four-year-old twin sisters, Monroe (on left--I think--well, maybe not) and Monet. The "ladies" adore their big brother.