I can’t believe this weekend is already Send Off Weekend! How is it already here?! Then we leave next Friday for eSwatini and all our beautiful babies and get to meet all the wonderful shepherds and build new relationships that we haven’t had a chance to build before. Yet here we are! It’s here! And without further ado, I give you our fearless leaders for our spotlight this week! They are incredible and have done so much to bring out team together and provide us with amazing support, did I also mention that they are the first team leaders that are BOTH male? Yes, everyone this is definitely a year of firsts and we couldn’t be more excited about it!
Please join with us in prayer as we continue prepping this week and packing and getting ready to fly to our babies and to what God has for us over in eSwatini. Now, without any other words, I give you…Derek and Bryan. 🙂
A South Dakota transplant that came for the UT mountains with no long term plans and God still has me here 12 years later. Before I officially moved I already knew Capital would be my church as that’s where my brother and a great new community of friends were attending. I’m very thankful for this church and all who help make it a community. My time here continues to be the greatest period of growth in my relationship and walk with Christ.
Two years ago I sat in a meeting at Capital to learn about a Swaziland mission trip. I was hesitant in being there because I’d attended one of these meetings years prior and questioned how things were being approached, expenses and what was actually being done once the team was on the ground. See, I’d been on mission trips to other parts of the world so evidently I thought that gave me license to view things through my lens and determine if I felt things were being done the way I thought they should. Little did I know that God was planning to poke me in the chest and let me know that I’d be going on that upcoming trip. When I left the meeting I knew I’d be going yet was hesitant because I felt I the recurring theme from returned team members was that they were able to just “love on the children”, which don’t get me wrong that’s great, but it left me wondering about what all was being accomplished on these trips. I’d been on mission trips in the past and they all included a focus on physical labor and results we could take a picture of to know what we did.
After spending some time at Mkhombokati I learned first-hand what “loving on the children” entailed and it is so much more than I could’ve ever imagined. Playing with kids is great and that is part of it, but having the opportunity to model Christ’s love with these children by looking them in the eye, by engaging with them, to let them know they are valued, to let them know they are loved and important. As a man, to do my best to model Christ’s love for both the boys and girls to see; in how I treat them, speak to them, interact with them and also how they observe me interact and speak with my teammates. That.. Is an awesome opportunity and responsibility and so needed. Sometimes we can’t always see the direct results of our efforts but we are certainly being used to plant seeds.
I’m excited to be going back to Swaziland, or eSwatini, to be stretched, to be used and plant some more seeds with our upcoming trip. We are effecting lives and a community in more ways than we will ever know.
Thanks in advance for praying for our team!
Brian was born and raised in Utah and have lived in the Salt Lake valley since 1998. I have worked for a large real estate development company in the Salt Lake valley since 2005. I am currently the engineering and construction manager on a project in Wasatch County. My wife Teneil and I met on a blind date in 1999 and have been married for 16 years. We enjoy spending time outside, good food, the Utah Symphony, travel, MotoGP and we love our Sundays together.
And there you have it folks. You have now met and learned a little more about our entire team that’s going. We are so excited to have you follow along this journey with us. 🙂 Please continue to partner with us while we are preparing for the trip in this upcoming week, while we travel there, as well as on the ground. Thank you again for you continued support in something we are so passionate about, we love that we get to share with all of you!
Grace and Peace!