Thursday, February 05, 2009

CAUTION: I.B. may be bad for one's health...

This picture was taken in Bilene, in Mozambique. Over the holidays Aissa and I got to go with LIz and her family to this beautiful beach. It was so much fun. I'll post a pic showing the lagoon where we swam, later...

My dad keeps telling me I should write. Its not that I don't want to...its just that it is kindof overwhelming... :) I don't ever know what to include or what to leave out of blogs. Are they supposed to be deep and meaningful, or can one simply say what they're thinking about that day or what they've been doing?? I seem to include details on all of the above every time I write so I'll just stick to what I know haha.

You know what stinks?? I went to the orthodontist EXCITED because it was THE day I was getting my braces off!! YAY... but NOO, I went to get them off ryte?? And I came back not only WITH them on, but WITH rubber bands as a bonus!! HOw cool is that!? lol. :) He said my bottom teeth need to move 1 more millimetre...(dude...a millimetre??) so I have to wear bands for a month and THEN I can get my braces off... sigh. Oh least they will be off for my birthday...hopefully...

It is now the 3rd week of I.B. (which is a 2 year pre-university course I'm doing) and I can't even believe how much work I have. I should be doing it right now...but I was stressing about what all I was going to say in my blog, so I figured I'd go ahead and do this. Plus...I seem to be really good at procrastinating unfortunately :) So...usually in IB there are a few weird, random, crazy people who come as international students from around the world...but in our class of 120...everyone is AWESOME!! Seriously...we have an amazing group!! I dont know everyones name yet, but I'm getting there. I now have friends from Bermuda, Cayman Islands, Kenya, Zimbabwe, England, Norway, Finland, Italy, Argentina, Afghanistan, India, more from Ethiopia, Mozambique, and many other places. (even some cute guys ;) haha. Everyone is really cool and its been fun getting to know them. There are even two from the USA...which has been nice. We have conversations about how much we miss pop tarts and easy mac and krispy kreme and tootsie rolls and basically math class. Yea its sooo much more fun than doing exponential equations :)

There are even a few Christians, a really cool group from Kenya, who were so happy to find out they weren't alone. We even have become really close with our SRC president (student rep) Vivian, who is in IB 2 and I think is the ONLY Christian in IB 2. Now that there is HEaling Place Church Swaziland...we have somewhere to go for fellowship and just to experience God in such a real way. 412 is kicking off big this new year and God is already doing great things...

Quite a few Waterford students have been coming to HPC on Sundays, there is a bis that brings them to church and back to school, as well as on Friday nights for youth. HPC is all about being real and connecting with other believers...and going though life together...the students at my school love that! Lizette, Seipati, Ziyanda, Tukiya, and I are all youth leaders at HPC and LOVING being a part of 412. I had been leading worship at 412 and playing guitar at church on Sundays, but I haven't lately because I had to take a little break off from leadership. Just to get some things in order.

I got mugged just after New Years...two guys held me and my friend Ntsiki at knife point and stole our phones. That was a big wake up call for me... they took my phone, my soccer cleats, and my Bible...3 of the most important things in my life...they each represent something which so easily can take the place of God in my life. It was scary, but I thank God we didn't get hurt and that God spoke to me through it... I'm still trying to find my way, I'll get there... I kinda find myself wishing I didn't have to grow up, a lot. The more I grow, the more I realize how bad this world really is and how easy it is for me to fail everyone I love...including God. When I was little, life was sweet, easy, and when I messed up it was always easy to fix the mistake...because I learned not to do certain things as they ended in punishment, or pain in some way or the other. Its still the same...the consequenses part anyway...only that the consequences now are soooo much worse and doing the wrong thing is so much easier. Ahhhh life... But hey, we all have to grow up. We all have to see the world for what it really is...a really messed up place, with really messed up people...all in desperate need of salvation, peace, and love from the only One who can clean up our messed up lives...

The past 3 weeks I have been training with the number one team in SD, Muchachas Ladies FC. Theis coach asked me to play with them in the Shosholoza tournament a few months back and I finally got my coach to release me to play with them. The tournament was this past weekend, here in Mbabane. This tournament is HUGE...each year it is hosted by either Mozambique, SA, Angola, or SD (the countries involved). This year there were two teams from here: Kappa ladies (number 2 in the country) and Muchachas. 2 teams from SA : Flamingos, and Nigel. And one from Mozambique: Ajax. Since my team wasn't in the tournament and I really wanted to be a part of it...not just for the soccer but for the experience...I was sooooo excited when my coach released me to play with Muchachas. I trained with them for 3 weeks...and it was the best training I've had in a while. Real, professional training...on a NICE field. It was like being back in the US. I loved it. And I became really close with the girls on the team. I was a bit nervous about the weekend though because we stayed at a hotel called Esibayeni, so that the coach could make sure we all got enough rest, we weren't drinking or smoking (some girls on the team have a problem with these 2 things), we were bonding before the games, and so that he could give us plenty team talks lol. I was nervous because at first I was only really close to Ntsiki...and i though maybe they would only speak Siswati and leave me out... But the lady coach (thats what they call her :) told them to include me and try to speak English sometimes so I could understand. It was funny because sometimes they would be talking in Siswati to me or to each other and then I would answer back in English and they were so surprised that I understood what they were saying. I can pick up a few things, but I cant answer in Siswati. I was shocked too.

The weekend was interesting, shocking at times, but SOOO MUCH FUN!! I really became close to them...and we won FIRST PLACE!! KFC sponsored the tournament with like 95000 rand, and they gave us lunch everyday...yummy. :) We got a big trophy, or kept it because Muchachas won last year too...and silver medals. Oh and I got to keep a few things like shirts and bags that say Muchachas...which I was very thankful for because I love that team. There were pictures of us playing in both newspapers Monday and tuesday this week. I wish I could post them but there not on the website, or atleast I cant find them. I am saving the papers though cuz there are some funny pictures of me. I was the only white usual hehe. I love it!!! Oh and Saturday night...we had a big braii with all the teams, with speeches and a talent show and dance was so cool to meet the other teams and just hang out with everyone. Sunday after we won...I cried. I love my team, but the connection I have with them and with the girls on Muchachas is different. Im close to 2 people on my team, the 2 I can talk to because they are the only ones that can speak good English... On Muchachas I feel like Im part of the team and Im close to everyone. Not only that but the way they I wish you could watch. They really play as a team and have such great coaching. They said there is always a place on the team for me and I really hope my parents let me play for them next season so I can improve and play that kindof game again...I really miss it. Its still my dream to play in university so I would love to take this opportunity to get better these last 2 years I'm here. Anyways...I'm probably boring you to death...haha. Sorry. One more thing...sigh...we're playing Muchachas this mom promised my team KFC if we hopefully. Im kind of sad about playing against them... My dad said the only way we will win is if they have a bad day, and we have a really good one. haha. Sounds mean, but its true... Not many people come to training on my team so we don't exactly play as a team. We'll see what happens though...we have beaten Muchachas before u know... :)

What else?? Oh...I got my IGCSE (final high school results) and they were pretty good. I got a distinction.
English Lit A*
English Lang A
History A
Biology A*
PE Studies A*
Spanish A*
Physics A
Chemistry B
Maths B

I was pretty happy about them. I'm really enjoying some of the classes I'm taking in IB now. I'm doing History (higher), Bio (higher), and English (higher). Spanish (standard), Maths (standard), Siswati (standard), and T.O.K. (theory of knowledge)
I love English...the poetry we are doing is sooo cool. I never thought I would appreciate poetry so much. T.O.K. is very challenging at times, we question things like our existance and perception and belief vs. knowledge etc. It leaves me lost at times, but its never boring!!

I have a TON of homework to do so I better go get to work. I know this was basically like a news report on whats been going deep or interesting stuff. Next time :) I could always tell you my latest T.O.K question and then you could help me think of an answer....please??

The latest one is : "We see the world not as it is, but as we are." Comments...

God bless!!!

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Coming back...

This is the title of a song God put in my heart 2 weeks ago. It's funny how the words only began speaking to my heart and situation this week. Or maybe I just wasn't prepared to listen to Him then.

"Coming Back"
I'm tired of walking this dark road
And I can't do it on my own
I'm at the point of desperation
Crying out in my frustration
Why can't I feel you?
Does that mean you are not there?
And if I can't hear your voice-
Does that mean you do not care?

I'm coming back...
I'm coming back...
I'm coming You.

Let Me speak some truth over this situation
Let me speak some truth over this situation
Let me speak some truth

Yes, I can hear you-
And yes I care.
Yes, I am with you...
I've always been there.
I am your Father
I am your Saviour
I'm your Deliverer and Redeemer...
I am I AM.

You know those times where we just completely shut God out of the picture?? Where you know full well He is speaking to you but you choose not to listen or to make dumb "oh he can't be talking to me...or that doesn't apply directly to what's going on" Well...that's been me...for a few months now. I can't go into detail about what's been going on but let's just say it's been a struggle. Don't worry I wasn't on drugs and I haven't accumulated a drinking problem guys!!!....but it was something I never thought I would struggle with. At first I could hear God speaking clearly to me...."come back"..."this isn't right"...but as my heart became harder His voice became weaker and weaker until the point where I think He just gave up trying to speak directly to me. That's when He started speaking through other people. 2 sundays ago at church we were worshipping and the Lord spoke through Brother Ron, a powerful man of God who also goes to HPC. He said "How dare you call me Lord when I am not master in your life?"
You would think I would have gotten the message...I felt my heart stirring but I wasn't ready to deal with the situation, so yet again I ignored Him. I simply quit singing the song.

I had convinced myself that nothing was wrong even though I knew otherwise in my heart. It is so easy to let our flesh and feelings control how we live and the choices we make...I guess once you are convinced that everything is okay what your heart cries out seems irrelevant because you become "comfortable" in your situation. I am soo thankful that God loves me enough not to give up on me when I totally turn away from Him. I only realized how much He wanted me back when He spoke to a lady I don't really even know...and told her to be praying for me. Finally He showed her why and everything was illuminated. It's actually quite funny...God was tired of me not listening so He decided to fill everyone close to me in on what I was sooo desperately trying to hide. Thanks God!! :)

So this past week has been like a war for me. Every moment of the day I have to choose what to believe and to let Jesus be my master. Sometimes the pain in my heart is so unbearable, I feel like giving up...but then I remind myself...God didn't, hasn't, and WON'T give up on me!! Not ever...and I simply cannot understand that kindof love...but I am so grateful for it. Jesus did speak truth over my situation and continues to do so every day, especially through the amazing people He has put in my life. So I want to thank them for allowing God to use them to speak love and truth into my life: Jacci, Jessie, Zinty, Sarah,Mrs. Susan, Natalie, Jordan, Pat, Busie, Lizette, Angelle, Crystal and parents. Thanks guys for keeping me on track and watchin out for me. Y'all mean the world to me!!

Dang...this year has been a emotional and spiritual roller-coaster so far!! I know satan has been trying to bring me down the whole year but God has held on to me when I refused to hold onto Him. His love overwhelms me...I cannot even begin to explain the way my heart feels each time I think upon it. Even though He has gotten me this's still hard. My heart still hurts and I know it will get better with time...but your prayers would be deeply appreciated. Pray for wisdom, strength, healing, and complete restoration. Please also pray for my friend and sister in Christ, Ntisiki, who is also going through a lot and yearning to be all God has planned for her to be.

Okay now for some happy talk...I got to play and sing the song this past Sunday in church...with Zinty. It was scarry but I think God has really been taking me out of my comfort zone lately, so that's always good I guess. :) I'm taking mock exams now. They finish thursday. Cant wait! BUt then we still have the real ones....17 of them!!! Oh my... Oh and I got my prom/graduation dress in Capetown. It's really pretty. They call it "leavers" here...its kinda like prom and graduation mixed. Its November 15th. Wish you all could come!!

Going to soccer practice now....yay!!!
God bless!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

If God is for us, who can be against us??

The title of my blog is the truth that is keeping me going today. I don't know why...but these last few weeks have been some of the worst of my life. It seems like ever since coming back from the Passion worship conference in Jo-berg, life has been so confusing, relationships have been confusing, I've been struggling with things I never thought possible, I've had to make decisions that have been unbearably painful, and worst of all I haven't been doing my part in the battle...through prayer and getting into the word.

Passion was awesome!! God really touched our lives and afterwards I was sooo on fire and ready for whatever!! But then it was like back to reality and the reality i'm still realizing...that some things needed to be changed. If I want to stay on fire and truly go deeper with Christ...He has to come first in my life, above all the things that I love like soccer, and even some of my relationships with people. So what do you do when you want to be closer to God and know you need to be in order to live a life that is pleasing to Him and worth anything....but the desire isn't there to do what needs to be done. Is it normal to have these dry seasons?? How do you quench the thirst when the only water sources in reach are polluted?? I know there is one available that is ready to fill me to overflowing with love and mercy and peace....His name is Jesus....and I desperately want to get there. I'm on my way!!!

Thursday, July 17, 2008


SO....I have sooo much to write about since I am not a faithful blogger, and by the way my dad is making me update my blog more often, so hopefully you will be hearing a lot more from me in the days to come. :) Life just gets so busy and before you know it there are tons of stories that need to be told, but simply not enough time or space or concentration span (for u guys) to tell them. This is why I need to blog more often huh?? I know, I know.

Most recently....I applied for the IB program at my school ( a 2 years pre university course ), and I found out Monday that I was accepted! SO that's pretty cool. I'm happy and relieved, but not really looking forward to the work-load. I pray that God continues to give me the strength and patience and faith I need to get through it, and still be on fire for Him. I've seen many Christians come into my school and unfortunatelt many of them are no longer Christians by the time they have finished. I pray that doesn't happen to me. I know I can't live with out Christ so I pray I don't become lazy or stupid and give Him the backseat in my life you know?? I finish high school in November after our final exams. Right now school is okay...just a lot of revision because we have a 4 week break coming up in 3 weeks and then when we come back to school we have mock exams (practice exams before the real thing).

My best friend, Angelle, is coming here with HPC next week on a missions trip. I am sooooo beyond excitement I don't even know what to say on this matter. I can't even believe its really happening......God is awesome!!!!!!!! I really want to kidnap her for a few hours so she can meet my friends at school who are DYING to meet her, so we'll see how that works out. DOn't worry I'm not really gonna kidnap her (just in case your parents are reading this, angelle) :). There is going to be a huge youth day next saturday called Streets on Fire. God willing, it will be amazing!! There is going to be a 3v3 basketball tournament, DJ's, music, dances, food, etc... Please keep that in your prayers. Jordan and the guys have been going around to different schools advertising it.

As most of you probably have heard by parents no longer work with Children's Cup. It sounds sad at first, and it kind of is because even though we aren't leaving feels like we're somehow being separated from our 'Cup family. But God is in control and He has plans for my parents' ministry here as well as for I will fear not!! :) I just pray that through this separation from Children's Cup, God can make stronger the bonds between my family and the Children's Cup family, and not allow us to drift apart. I am excited about what my parents will be doing dad will be doing skills training for I guess teens and young adults who are unemployed. This is really cool because there are many unemployed young people here, many who never had the chance or money to attend school, so hopefully through this, God can use my parents to touch people's lives and draw them to Himself in the process.

I've been really busy with soccer the past few months. Our season just ended last weekend, we came in third in the sad. Muchachas were first and Kappa Ladies second. It's been a rough season for my team, most of the time we were short of players because one girl (Tema) hurt her knee and is currently recovering from surgery, and for some reason ( i think it's because my coach is unable to pay them) we lost a few players earlier in the season. With teams like Muchachas and Kappa who have sponsors, tracksuits, transport, and money.....finding players isn't really difficult I guess. I really want to become a Swazi citizen so I can play on the National team (Sitsebe) because the coach keeps asking me and I think it would be a really cool experience, since I dont think I could ever play for team USA. :)

Over the past few months, I have been blessed to have a new friend and sister in Christ. Isn't it cool how even before we were born God knew who would be our friends and who would end up being closest to our hearts......and it's also cool how God brings these people into our lives.
A few months ago, actually back in January, I got an sms (text message) from a player on the Muchachas team....her name is Nontsikelelo Mkhonta, or Ntsiki. But at first I had no clue what people were saying when they said her name, so I called her Ziggy... and it stuck. :) She asked me if we could be friends and I was like .....sure, why not!?!? But it was different....with the girls on my team, we're friends, but all we have in common is that we play soccer. With Ziggy, it was like we both knew we would be friends even before we met. It was a God thing. Even though at first, we didn't talk much because her English wasn't so good at the time, we clicked, and now I can talk as fast as I want (almost) and she answers right back....usually with some hilarious sarcastic remark that I end up rolling on the floor laughing about. :) Anyways.....she is like the best female soccer player in Swaziland, she's 21, and she loves the Lord with everything she is. This past weekend she came to play with my team in a friendly match against another women's team. It was sooo much fun because I actually got to play with her, instead of having to defend her....which is close to IMPOSSIBLE!!! But a lot of the time she had to scream at me to get open because I would forget that I was playing and just watch her dribble everyone on the field, and pass a brilliant ball .....(to me who was supposed to be anticipating the pass and going to the goal to score)....and then of course, I ruined everything and missed the goal all together!! was one of those games. She laughed at me a lot. Everyone did. I even missed a penalty kick......yup, i kicked it straight to the keeper. I laughed at myself for this one. It was fun though. I think I am most happy when I am on the field with my soccer buddies. I love playing with them, I learn something new everyday.....most recently: SPECTATORS SIT OUTSIDE THE FIELD.......gotta get my head in the game. :)

She is part of a ministry at her church called Vessel of Glory (or V.O.G.) They share the word and love of God through dance, poetry, singing, interpretive dancing, and step....and they write their own music. God is using them to touch Swaziland and He shines through all the 10 girls and Pastor The-The (tay tay) so brightly. We just recently went to one of their shows called Dvumisa Acts...The revelation continues. Wow.....u can feel the anointing before they even begin singing. Seriously I recommend that all of you some here just to see them dance and sing, with everything inside of them....all for the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. It's awesome what God is doing through them and I can't wait to see all that He is going to do. They have blessed us so much and now we want to bless them. Jacci and I were talking about having an evening where we minister to them instead of the other way around...( hey it won't be as good as theirs BUT).... there comes a time in ministry when one needs to stop for a little while and be renewed, refilled, and ministered it's their turn, so please pray that God uses us to bless them.

Please keep my friend Ncamsile in your prayers. It is actually from her that I got my Swazi name Gabsile Shongwe. She is also a Shongwe. Ncamsile is on my soccer team and is an amazing soccer player. She can just about dribble anybody....boy or girl and sometimes you just have to stop and stare because its like "what did she just do, and how did she do it??" My coach started calling us sisters last year because she has a lighter complexion than the other girls on my team lol. ANyways.....I think she is sick and it makes me sad because there is nothing I can do about it. I mean she is fine now....but it just scares me that one day I will go off to University and leave all my close Swazi friends here.....and what if when I come back.....some of them aren't here anymore..... My mom was just reminding me that probably 1 in 3 of my friends here has the virus. I guess it never really clicked before because I am ,in a way, protected at my school and with the other missionaries. But its different now....a few months ago I was only really close to the other missionary some of my closest friends are girls I play soccer with....and I just pray that God uses me somehow to touch their lives and help them find they can experience the love, joy and peace that comes through knowing Him. I guess its just hard because it seems unfair that I don't have to go through the things that my Swazi friends do, because of where I'm from and how I was raised and all. I wish I could somehow do something that would bless them and show them love like never before. And I know I can't do that in my own strength.......I need Jesus, they need Jesus.

SO...there were all the main stories. Obviously there is so much more I could write about but Its late and I don't even know where to begin. Or end. Basically...I'm still alive, the family is doing well and God is still in control!! Thanks for your love and support. I'll wrote more soon....I promise.
God bless!!!

Gabsile Shongwe

In the pic--> Ncamsile, Shisa, and Gabsile

Oh and funny story....I made a fool out of myself in South Africa yesterday...ok so I dont get out much. I got in an elevator....first time in a LONG time, and I just stood there. About 5 minutes went by and then Ziggy asked me...."why aren't we moving?, did u press the button?" I was like DUHHH I pressed the close the doors button. Then I started thinking we were stuck on the elevator. Ok so I forgot that you have to press the button for the floor you want to go to......eish technology. I really need to get out more. :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Its been a while

Hi everyone!! Yes I'm still alive n' kickin! Just been extremely busy with school and sports. I'm leaving tomorrow for Johannesburg, SA. I made the senior bball team and we are playing in a tournament at the American International School in Joberg this weekend. I'm excited, but really scared. I just started playing basketball last year and I still have a lot to learn. Tips are needed ;) We dont have much competition here in SD, our usual score against the local schools is soething like 75-2. Our aim is to usually not let them score at all and for us to try and get 100. SO Ive gotten used to easy games, and I've heard that the competition at AISJ is rough. Its okay though, I'm kindof a bench warmer. hehe.

Hmmm....lately....I've been doing nothing but homework, soccer, and basketball. Literally. I've totally been pushing God aside, and not making time or room in my life for the most important part, He is my life. My family and Jacci have been trying to keep me on track though, I love them so much. It's just so easy to get caught up in life. And its been showing too.....last week was the worst...I fell asleep in Physics, English, and oddly enough during lunch. I would be in the middle of writing a sentence and then the pen would fall to the floor and I was OUT. Thank God I have wonderful friends though, they kept an eye on me and tried their best to keep me awake. I only got kicked out of one class. ;) oops.

Jacci just moved to Mbabane, right down the street from our neighborhood and in the middle of all the 'cup people who live in Mbabane. It's awesome! Me and danielle have been taking turns staying with her...until she gets settled and feels comfortable staying alone. SO I guess I'm kindof like a body guard. Eish. Her house is soooo cute!! ANd she has the biggest yard out of all of ours put together. It's a really amazing testimony, how she got the house. A major test of faith and display of God's faithfullness to His children. I gave up hope when the owner said it was already taken, but Jacci stayed strong and felt like it was going to be her house even though the situation seemed impossible. I learned a lot through the whole process and screamed in the middle of bball practice when I found out she got the house. You don't understand.....she had seriously been looking all over swaziland for MONTHS!!! Totally God. SO last Friday night all the 'Cup people and our other american missionary family people got together at her house and prayed. We walked the property and invited the presence of God and demanded anyone/thing else that was not God to LEAVE or HAMBA!! :)

I have a really long story to tell about something that took place next door to our house a few weekends ago...but I'm not sure if I have enough time to fully describe it. Short version:
In the middle of the night (jacci was sleeping over) we heard this loud wailing and really loud drums coming from next door. At first I thought maybe it was a church service ( they had a big tent up) and maybe someone was getting a demon cast out of them or something. But something didn't feel right. I was overwhelmed with a sense of fear. Jacci and I prayed for a while before finally falling asleep. The drums played the WHOLE night. COme to find out, my dad and mom had a rough time sleeping, they both wrestled in their sleep, and our other neighbor who is also a Christian couldn't sleep. And he didnt even hear anything that was going on. Also, Roger, our swazi brother who lives in our house could not sleep so he stayed up and prayed the whole night. He knew what was going on next door, so the next morning (sunday) we didn't go to church so we could have a family meeting. Roger explained to us what was happening because by this time we were all scared. We went outside to see the people next door sacrificing goats right next to our fence. Our dogs were going crazy and the guy with the knife ( he looked completely possessed or something) was swinging the knife at our dogs.
SO here is what was happening: They were having a graduation ceremony for a lady who had just become a witch doctor, and during the night she was basically giving her soul to the devil. It was her wailing the whole night. All day sunday people would come to test her and see if she really had 'powers'. There was some scarry stuff going on over there, I wont go into detail. What made it even more scarry was that all day it was dark and cloudy. Me and my siblings went outside and startd singing worship songs really loud. Then these 3 guys who were chanting something over the goats body all of the sudden turned at the same time and stared at us. We ran inside. :) It was scarry, but it just opened to our eyes to what the devil is up to. It was hard for us to understand because we're not really used to this having grown up in the US. God really comforted us through the body. We had a prayer evening that night and everyone came over to pray with us and around the house. Everyone was crying. I love them soo much.

Well....I have to go...this is kinod random because its rushed. I'll write more soon. Wish me luck this weekend!!!
God bless!!!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

My desire......South America

You know how when you have your mind so set on something....its all you can think about.....but in the midst of the worrying "how am I going to be able to do this?" "how do I get there" "what if...", God keeps hinting at something else so totally different to what you think you want to and should be doing and then you ask yourself "have i just been wasting my time making my own plans when in the end it is God who directs my paths?" Well if not, it's okay....just wanted to put it as a rhetorical question because my English teacher says that it grabs the audiences attention. And you are the your attention grabbed?? lol.
Well that is exactly what has been going on with me lately. I thought I knew what I want to do and I can't really say it on my blog because in the odd chance that I really do end up doing it, everyone would know and then I'd have to kill ya! ;) Just kidding.
All my life God has been telling me that I'm supposed to be in Missions work and I thought we're in Africa, being this what He was talking about? Maybe now that I'm here, I'm doing what He's called me to do and then after school I can do what I want. Now that I go to a really good school, where doors and possibilities have been opened and maybe will be opened where before I would have never had them. e.g....getting a scholarship to a prestigious university after schooling here. These are thoughts that have been running through my head and honestly I have been so stressed lately because I know what I want to do, but I've been telling myself that I don't know what God wants me to do. But all along, He has been hinting it....missions, missions, missions.
I personally don't see myself in Africa in the future, after school, though if God specifically tells me to be here I will. The place that has always been on my heart is South America, maybe even Mexico. Every time I talk about it I get this feeling in my heart, I can't explain it, it's like a yearning, a desire to be there. Before we came to Africa, my dad had always wanted to go to South America for missions work, but God led him and our family to a totally different place, somewhere we never once imagined we'd be and I know His purposes for my parents, maybe even us, are at work every day here.
With the thing that I want to do , there is no yearning, I want to do it because it sounds exciting and I'd get to travel a lot and learn other cultures and ways of life, but with missions work, being an Ambassador for Christ, I would get all the excitement, though I know from experience, it isn't always fun or easy, plus the travel, plus learning other ways of life, while also taking part in the advancement of God's kingdom. That is the most important thing that could ever be done.
My mind is set on doing something....but my heart is yearning to be in South America. The Holy Spirit has confirmed this to me in so many ways.....through other people, through my journal entries that I have recently looked over from 3 years ago......and simply through the fact that I want to walk in His perfect will for my life. I feel Him pulling me one way, and yet I still try to pull another and I don't even know why. Maybe I'm stubborn, maybe afraid, maybe confused. I just pray that each day I become closer to Him and I pray that He will open doors where they need to be opened in order for His purposes to be put to work in my life. I don't want to do something without Him in the centre. I want to be where He wants me and though I do not know exactly where it is, He will show me in His timing.
Please pray for me. God has already opened doors for me to be able to go to South America on a missions trip, we know some really cool missionaries there. I need to raise support to be able to do it though. Please ask the Lord if He would use you to help support me.
God bless!!

Holidays with new adopted family members!

Jacci is officially a Rehmeyer. She has accepted and signed the terms of the Declaration of Initiation Contract of Dual Familyship last week and is now our adopted big sister. Seriously you should have seen the 'ceremony' HILARIOUS! We had it behind our house by the pool and Nathanael was playing the drum, Joelle was doing a weird chant like thing like on Finding Nemo, and Danielle was randomly floating around on a raft in the pool. My parents were standing there solemnly with a plastic sword and the declaration. Yeah right....we were all laughing so hard we couldn't even stand up straight. All that to say....she's been part of the family this Christmas, basically she is always at our house or I'm always at hers. But she lives all the way in Manzini so it's been cool to spend so much time with her because during school I can't really go to manzini.

Last week she put together, along with her Swazi friends, Ncobile, Zanele, Zwagele, and Cynthia, a Christmas party for the ladies that work at the AIM care points. They are wonderful women. They cook for the children and they also make beautiful purses which are sold as a means of making money so they can take care of their families since being a cook is voluntary. The two days before the party we went shopping for the food which was going to be made for the party as well as gifts for gift bags and then a few bigger ones to be raffled. The day of the party, the girls woke up really early , God bless 'em, and began cooking. They made chicken stew, coslaw, and beet root salad. It was all really good. There were about 40 women in total at the party. The best part, besides what Jacci shared with the women about being obedient to God like Mary was, was the game. What was the game?? Musical chairs. How was it played?? HILARIOUSLY! I was in charge of the music and most of the time I was laughing so hard I couldn't even stand up straight. So there is this lady, Ruby...she is the cutest old person I have ever seen in the whole world. She is 78, and she takes care of her 5 grandchildren as if they were her own. She is full of life and energy and the love of Christ and it is evident in everything she does and says. Her and another lady were the last ones in the game, with one chair left. When the music started, Make Ruby picked up the chair and walked away with it. It was funny. You just should have been there. So all went well and 40 ladies were blessed thanks to Jacci, Zwagele, Ncobile, Zanele, Cynthia, and of course God who made it all possible and a day to remember.

Our other adopted family member is a wonderful lady by the name of La Salet. (not sure if I'm spelling it right) She is Portuguese and has lived in Swaziland most of her life. She pastors a church in Tabenkhulu (the sugar cane company) and lives there as well, in the middle of the sugar cane fields. Her house is so nice and she has air alien species in these parts. But that's not why we love her. We have known her for quite a few months now and each time we go to see her, we love her more and more. To describe her for all that she is is impossible. She's just too sweet, caring, loving, and Christ-like to explain. She is our adopted grandmother in Swaziland. Her husband passed away almost a year ago and her two sons are grown, one in England, and one married in South Africa, so she really enjoys it when we come see her. Its not just any old visit when we go. She does everything to the fullest and makes everything as nice and relaxing as it can be. She can cook.....and that is most definitely an understatement. You cannot say no to her, simply because she does not understand no. When she asks you if you want something more to say yes because even though you are so full you feel like you are about to explode, she'll put it on your plate and then tell you to go for 3rds. She asks us to spend the night every time we go and Joelle has spent a week with her. She loves it, she gets spoiled and kissed, and hugged, and fed and boy does she take it all in. So anyways....summary.....she pastors a church there, and the church is BEAUTIFUL....another under statement. All of the people who work at the church have taken on her personality and it's so funny because in my experience, Swazi's aren't very emotional, huggy, kissy people. She is and she rubs off on everyone because that's just in her nature. SO when you go to her church you get hugged and kissed by everyone...only to walk to the front and get a big lipsticky smooch by La Salet herself....the chief kisser. lol. She has such a big heart and she dreams big.....really big.

We were able to see this yet again in the Christmas play the youth at her church put on a few days before Christmas. The set was beautiful, painted, colorful, just beautiful. The play was quite long, like 2 hours, but it sure didn't feel that long because it was so good and every moment of it you were either laughing, crying, or in awe of how amazingly put together, thought out and acted it was. They had only been preparing for two weeks, and it was seriously better than any play I have ever seen anywhere. We weren't expecting that because at most churches here, they don't have the resources, the set, the materials, and the people who are willing to give so much of their time to make it a success while also blessing the children in the process. It was The Christmas story from Zacharias in the temple all the way to Mary and Joseph heading to Egypt after Jesus was born.....but the African way. I think it is the closest thing I have ever seen to the real thing. I can definitely imagine it being just like they showed it. To fully appreciate it and feel the way myself and my family feel about it, you just have to come here for a few days and experience life here, the Swazi way. Then we'll show you the play and it will leave you speechless. I cannot explain it any more because I can't put into words how amazing it was and how amazing that church is. I thank God for La Salet's heart and for what He is doing through her in that community.

So anyways......we spent Christmas day with La Salet and then stayed 2 nights there with her. We were only planning to stay one night but, she talked us into it. Right as were about to leave, she would be like " Oh you need some coffee before you go" or " it's about to rain and you don

t want to drive in the rain". And the funny thing started raining....STORMING. We were like " you prayed for that to happen huh?, it was always your plan to convince us to stay another night" She was like "Yup." I think she wants us to move in. My dad loves it down there, even though it is like 105 degrees in the daytime, because it is so relaxing and away from the city and all the stress that comes with it. He said he just wants to move down there and be a litchi farmer. ( a yummy fruit that grows here) Of course just joking, because the only litchi tree we saw was in La Salet's yard and I don't think he could make much profit from one tree. But hey! if he wants to

On Christmas my family, Jacci, Sandra, and Rajni went to her house and she had a HUGE meal set out. There was : prawns, prawn curry, rice, chicken, turkey, honey glazed ham, salad, samusas, apple turnovers, and cake. All delicious. Her son Sergio was there from England along with his friend, Justin from SA. That night we played a really fin game, Dutch Blitz, with everyone and then me, Jacci, and Rajni watched DeJaVu (spelling?) I love that movie. The rest of the time was spent relaxing, talking, eating, sleeping, and making necklaces. That's one of her many hobbies, and they are very pretty. Oh and another quick random story....the other day before the Christmas play we were driving to her house and we saw a black mamba on the road. My dad stopped and we all looked at it and he didn't pick it up, surprisingly because he always does, because they are really dangerous snakes. Then we saw a monitor lizard a little ways down the road....but it was dead. Tear tear.

So yea....we just came back from her house this morning....and she still wanted us to stay. We love her so much and I am so thankful that God has put her in our lives.

Christmas Parties Etc....

Shelly,Jacci, Zinty, and me at the Mbabane Christmas Party

I know I know....I haven't kept my end of the deal up. I thought I would be able to just chill at home and be bored out of my mind these holidays....but actually timehas been flying by because we've been so busy and its really freaking me out!! I don't want to go back to school. Everytime I think about having to go back I get so sad...God please give me joy about school and endurance...emotionally.
So the first few weeks of December were the Childrens Cup Christmas parties. There are 11 carepoints in Manzini, 2 in Mbabane, 1 in Tabenkhulu and 1 in Mozambique. There were 4 parties in all....the one in Manzini being the largest with over 2000 kids. It was awesome because we rented a big field at a local school and their were kids EVERYWHERE! The buses just kept coming. A team from Celebration Church in Texas was here as well as a doctor from Arizona, Rajni. They helped with all of the parties and were just AMAZINGLY AWESOME people. I was so sad when the Texas team left because it's like really cool relationships start to develope and then they have to leave. But the cool thing is is that even though on earth , I may not have the chance to hang out with some of the people I day in heaven we will all be together. So these relationships God is creating are just getting us ready for eternity where all believers will be together. And Rajni......Wow she's just .....Rajni. No words are good enough to describe how awesome she is. The day she arrived here, she came to our house and she was totally different than what I expected her to be. She is so easy to be around and so fun to talk to. It is impossible to have a dull conversation with her. She is leaving tomorrow and we're all sad. I just hope that one day I'll get to see her again somewhere...either in the US, here, or in another continent since we both want to travel the world. Anyways....short update on cool people i've recently met and gotten to know.
So the parties all went well...
Manzini: It started off rainy and cold and we were worried because it was supposed to have the largest number of kids. The buses started rolling in and we stood on guard as they stampeded down the hill next to the field. I started out at the space it was difficult because we had to make sure only 10 kids got on at a time and they were only on for 1 minute. Since I only know a few words in Siswati, it was rather difficult, but I picked up a few words that were necesary for this mission. Hamba!- Go. Puma!- Get out. Bambe- Hold on, wait. I know more than just that...not much more but a few phrases. ;) We served hot dogs, chips, and this weird soda drink that tasted like kids tylenol syrup. Lizette came and helped as well. There was also face painting, relay races, a worship tent, and other games here and there.
Tabenkhulu (Mapheveni): IT WAS SHISA-(hot)- wow. The sunburns were bad for all the malungus (white people) but it was really fun. This is the newest carepoint and the farthest away (in Swaziland). The community the carepoint is for is very poor and in need. Thabenkhulu is a sugarcane company, and mapheveni is a community where all the outcasts or rejects from the sugar cane company live. So they are in major need of food, love, and Jesus. One of the poorest areas of Swaziland. It is so cool to see all that God is doing there through childrens cup and Pastor La Salet...I'll talk about her later. Talking about how awesome she is could take up a whole blog in itself.
Mbabane: As far as orginization goes, this one ran the smoothest. I did facepainting for most of this one. We had it at a soccer field close to where we live. The kids were split into groups (they were at the other parties as well but at the manzini one, it was a little chaotic because of the weather and at the Mapheveni one the area was too small to properly divide them into groups.) The Mbabane party was great because the area was huge and there wasn't an overwhelmingly large amount of kids. The kids did a christmas program that they had been working on and it was really good. dogs....they were looking pretty funny by this party. And you know the funny thing?? We still have hundreds of them our freezer....I'm telling you if I ever see, smell, taste, imagine, walk by, touch another hot dog I might just die. Not really because I usually really like them....but they have scarred me for life. I will never thoroughly enjoy another hot dog again.
I heard that the party in Mozambique went well...Thank you Jesus! Unfortunately I couldn't go, there wasn't enough room. Jacci, Patrick, Christy, and Zinty took the Texas team.
So all in all the parties went well....except for a few minor disputes and frustrations amongst the cooks and elders but I won't go into that because I don't fully understand it myself. All glory and thanks to God for being there with us and with the children and for blessing them and making it a success.

Sac races at the mbabane christmas party. The kids had a blast!

My dad with his safari hat...organizing the food?

Some of the girls at the Mapheveni carepoint did a dance as part of the Christmas program.

Crab of the many games going on. As you can see it was pretty wet in Manzini.

Monday, November 12, 2007

The Phone-call...

So...Tori asked me to say something for a chick night my church (HPC) was having for the middle and high-school girls last Friday night. I said yes after a little hesitation because I was soo scared. But I was at the Survivor thing for my class, camping so I convinced my teacher to let me take my phone and we found a place where there was good service for when they would call. The plan was that they were going to call me at 3 AM Swazi time, Saturday morning and I had been worrying about what I was going to say all week, Lizette was going to come outside with me and hold the flashlight. So I prepared something to say and a phone call came at 2:54 AM, I picked it up, but then it disconnected. (tori just emailed me and told me that they realized no one had international service on their phones at the service so they got Jean Ohlerking (meemaw) to call me and tell me what happened..but unfortunately it didn't come through)

I walked around the campsite a bit but no one called was REALLY cold outside and I was half asleep, all I wanted to do was return to my cozy sleeping bag and get 2 more hours of sleep before they woke us up to hike, but I felt the Lord speaking to my heart, telling me to stay outside. I told Lizette, who was sleep-walking I think lol, that she could go back to sleep, that I was going to walk around for a while.

I was kind of sad at first, I was scared but looking forward to speaking, but as I sat there looking at t he stars I realized that I wasn't supposed to speak. I had planned something and was so sure of what I was going to say, but in my heart...I didn't believe what I was saying and God knew...He wanted to show me a few things that morning. I guess He's been trying to speak to me for a while, but I've been too busy to listen. It took a disconnected phone-call at 3 in the morning in a quiet place where the only people awake were me and God, for Him to get through to me.

As I sat there I began to sing, and then weep because He reminded me of my purpose here, my mission friends...the 89 people sleeping in their sleeping bags all around me. My heart broke because I love them so much and if I love them that much...I can't even imagine how much God does, and how His heart breaks to see them hurting...longing...searching for the one person they need to save them and love them, but who they are so against accepting...Jesus.

I began to pray for them and to pray that God would help me and speak through me and open doors to witness to them. You know...a few days ago I was wondering why I'm here, again, and how can I even be considered to be a missionary when I'm not really involved with my parent's children ministry, what I thought was the reason I was here. I go to school just like all the other girls that I was going to speak to. I would say I live a normal, soccer and more soccer, but the thing is...It is soo much harder to witness and share Christ's love with smart teenagers at an International World College where there are so many different backgrounds and religions, than at a care point where the children are starving for love and are so ready to accept Jesus into their hearts. It is hard, and we (teenagers) are STUBBORN!! ;)

So, that night, God reminded me of my purpose and that there is so much more work to be done, so many hearts to be softened, and so many more seeds to be planted. Although I didn't get to speak, it actually turned out to be a good thing because my heart was in the wrong place. I had forgotten my task and ignored God's calling in my life. I'm telling you, I have never felt the presence and love of Christ so strongly as I did at 3 Am Saturday morning and I pray that I never get that busy and caught up in useless things again that I can't hear God speaking to me.

God knew what He was doing...and He blessed another girl that night at Chick night, who got to speak and share what God has done in her life...which is AMAZING!! I wish I could have been there! But God had something else in mind for me...a one on one chat session under the clear Swazi sky. God is awesome!

Tori...see, no worries! You're the best, I LOVE YOU!! ;)

Waterford Form 4 Survivor 2007

This past weekend, my whole class (about 90 students in all) went to Malolotja nature and wildlife reserve to have a survivor weekend. We were split up into 10 groups and had to give all of our bags to the counselors to lock up in a roon. They didn't want us to be eating anything except what they brought for us and knew that most of us had brought our own snack supply. We were only allowed into our bags to get our shower stuff and sleeping bags (they monitored what we took out, which was good because a few of the guys had brought a lot of alcohol) I had brought some good snacks too, DARN! ;)

The reserve is HUGE, with endless green mountains and zebra and wildebeest and lots of monkeys. We had 10 survivor challenges the first day, and had to hike at least 2 miles to get to some of them. Some of them were deep in the woods and it was like we were in the jungle or something, we got lost a few times. My favorite challenges were swimming across the dam and going into a gold mine to look for 'treasure'. There were bats in the cave and it was so scary in there, especially with Ralph saying the whole way 'This is like a scene from the Texas Chainmsaw Massacre'....thanks Ralph. lol.

My team was called the HIllbillies...guess who came up with that name? ;) For dinner the first night each group was given 5 potatoes, an onion, half a bag of froxen veggies, a few slices of roast beef, and a packet of soup. They told us to make our own dinner, so we made stew. It actually turned out very good...especially since I smuggled out some spicy seasonings from my bag. Hey, I'm from Louisiana...gotta have some spice!!

On the second day...they woke us up at 4:30 in the morning and said we were leaving at 5 to go for a hike. We hiked from 5 till 10 least 20 kilometres, up and down huge was AWESOME! We stopped at a beautiful waterfall for half an hour and swam. It was cold, but so much fun!

When the bus dropped us off in town for our parents to fetch us, we were like zombies.....the parents were like...whoa what did they do to you? TALK ABOUT TIRED! It was really cool to be able to hang out with friends and learn how to work as a team. I really enjoyed it. I'll post some pics when I get them.

Now there are 3 teenagers in the Rehmeyer house...oh boy!

Danielle turned 14 NOvember 2nd and Nathan turned 13 this past saturday. Me and lizette baught a joint gift for Danielle and I wasn't sure what to get Nathanael, so we took him to lunch after school last wednesday. Here are some pictures.

First : lizette, nate, me, and JacciSecond: Me and Jacci

Third: Nathanael and Ralph

Fourth: Lizzy and Nate

Fifth: Desert