Friday, October 31, 2008



Children's Cup has now received donations covering 9 of the 25 events, plus pledges for three more.

It costs $1250 for each CarePoint to give each of our 10,000 kids a gift, food (including meat and ice cream), medical attention, games, dramas, and spiritual help.

The kids will never forget the event.

12 of 25 parties are covered.
That leaves 13 @ $1250 to go by December 1st.


I thought that after traveling in 109 countries I would be immune to culture shock.

I'm not.

Several months of being in the good old USA with instant high-speed internet have spoiled me.

We've been on a hectic series of road trips to other countries since we got here and seldom could find workable access to the internet.

We are back in Mbabane for a few days where we have internet access--but that doesn't mean much. The access is random and intermittant, slow and will cut you out without warning.


And now I am rebuked by the memory of our first year overseas. We were in the Philippines and it was almost a year before we even had a telephone conversation with our family in

Now with Skype we can have video calls to America--free!

We really do have awesome communication tools today.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Happy Landings and Connectings

Years ago my flight instructor told me, “Any landing you walk away from is a happy one.”

Jean and I had a “happy landing” Friday in Dakar, Senegal. Pilot error. He dropped the jumbo down on its left wheels very hard which threw the plane into a careening, waddling, fishtailing, screeching trajectory down the runway.

Although no one was hurt (everyone held their breath for a few moments), this caused damage to some of the electronic sensors in the luggage area that had to be fixed before we could take off again. It took some hours to get that fixed.

That meant late arrival at Johannesburg, South Africa which meant we missed our connection to Swaziland.

But the good news is that it put us on the same plane Saturday with Pastors Matt and Martha Fry and their three children from the great C3 Church (Cleveland Community Church) in Clayton, North Carolina.

I think their attendance at C3 is larger than the total population of its neighboring towns. It has been honored as one of America’s fastest growing churches. The Frys are here in Swaziland to minister to the Children’s Cup staff and the Healing Place Church of Swaziland.

Saturday night at meeting at the Rodgers’ home, Pastor Matt spoke from an anointed heart and an incisive mind as he challenged the HPC leadership team to rise up to new levels in all areas of their lives and ministry.

Sunday he challenged us from Psalm 103 when he spoke at Swaziland HPC.

If you gathered all my favorite people in the world, Matt and Martha would be on the front row.

Thanks, Fry family for all you mean to us.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


We are in the final stages of packing for our flights back to Swaziland. Thursday we leave. After doing 60 or more round trips you'd think it would get easier and the flights would not seem so long.

Not so.

Minimum of twenty seven hours door-to-door. I start out with great resolution to use the forced quiet time for writng and reading and being productive. But sometimes I spend the last third of the trip just vegging.

Lord, prepare me now to make the very best use of these traveling hours for Your Kingdom. Is there a verse to discover? A thought to write? A person to minister to? Help me not to miss what You have for me in this journey.

Sunday, October 12, 2008


Pastor Rick brought a poweful message on forgiveness last night at Healing Place Church.

Key point in the message: We are forgiven only to the extent that we forgive others!

I hope he preaches it again when he comes to Swaziland in May, 2009.

I have a sense that unforgiveness is a very pervasive problem--inside the church as well as outside.

Saturday, October 11, 2008


Think about this:

Most of the business and government leaders so lacking in ethics and moral values--the ones who are destroying our economy and government--went through the American schools after the Bible was thrown out in the 1960's.

And this:

Bad goes too far, good won't go far enough.

Friday, October 10, 2008


Today's mail included funds for two more CarePoint Christmas parties at $1250 each.

Children's Cup is giving regional Christmas parties for the 10,000 orphans and vulnerable children we care for in our 25 CarePoints. Fun, food, gifts, games, singing, Gospel--life changing experiences for these beautiful, hurting kids.

Update: To date we have received cash or pledges for nine Christmas parties--16 to go.


I've watched this man's life for 50 years. He's genuine.

Tom is Associate Pastor at The Rock Church in Huntsville, Alabama. The Reverend Rusty Nelson is the lead pastor of this awesome church--check it out if you are in that area.

Our love and respect, Brother Tom.

Wednesday, October 08, 2008


My Eagle Grove High School classmates held a silent auction at our 50th class reunion and raised funds for Children's Cup--enough to pay for three of our twenty-five CarePoint Christmas parties for our 10,000 African AIDS orphans.

Just now as I was about to post this I got word that two more Christmas parties have been funded. Amazing!

Thanks again, Eagles.

Total to date: 7 parties funded, 18 to go at $1250 each

Sunday, October 05, 2008


Last night at my class reunion I discussed combat flying in Vietnam with Joe. He is modest and you have to pry to learn the extent of his heroism as a fighter jet pilot.

This I know: Joe did not deserve the treatment he and most of our returning Vietnam vets received at the hands of the very people they risked their lives to protect.

America has not yet done enough to honor them.

Another wave of our nation's protectors coming home from the Middle East are getting the same treatment.

I believe the Church should lead the way in giving honor to our heroes--first by praying for them and their families and then by public acts of recognition and gratitude.

Thank you again, Hero Joe!

Saturday, October 04, 2008


Spent some time with classmate Gene Tveit at our class reunion (50th) last night.

Gene is a retired airline pilot who flew around 175 missions in Vietnam--helicopter dust-offs often into hot landing zones with live ground fire trying to drop the chopper.

"How did you handle the fear of being so vulnerable to live fire?" I asked.

"I prayed." Simple answer with profound meaning.

I could tell his memories and old feelings were filling the space between us. He mentioned the pain of losing so many friends in combat.

Then he locked eyes with me and said, "I never refused an extraction mission--no matter the risk. God always helped me."

And I thanked him for what he did for America.

Thanks again, Hero Gene.

Friday, October 03, 2008


A lovely lady who wants no public applause for helping has sponsored the $1250 cost of another of Children's Cup's huge Christmas parties for the AIDS orphans and vulnerable children (OVC).

We care for 10,000 OVC in Swaziland, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe in 25 CarePoints. Each Christmas party includes transportation, gifts, food, games, jumping castles, and Gospel dramatizations.

It is a life-changing event they will remember the rest of their lives.

Two Christmas parties sponsored--23 to go.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008


Last night Jean and I met her.
She's three years old.
And if all goes well she will become our adopted great niece.

Her mother recently punished her by holding her hands in boiling water for 30 seconds. I have to fight down the bile even as I write this. The mother is now in prison, but lovely little Valentina (born on Valentine's Day just like I was) will bear pain and scars the rest of her life.

On other occasions the mother would put her and her three siblings, one at a time, in the clothes dryer and turn it on.

Valentina is now in the Godly home of our niece and nephew. She sings happy songs about Jesus and asks her new family to pray for her mommie.

Would you join us all in praying for Valentina--and her mother? And her siblings?