6May

Hello Jo-Burg!!!

Hey Team,
I will begin this post by letting you know I have another 10 minutes of internet usage left before we’d have to pay for more, so I apologize for any typos and the brevity due to the time constraints.  We made it into Johannesburg last night and got into our hotel rooms shortly after 11 PM local time.  So far, we have completed quite a few items on our to-do list.
-Survive the flight (Check)
-Adapt to a new sleep schedule (Kinda-Check)
-Successfully see all of our luggage come out at baggage claim (96% check – unfortunately, Laurel, Gina, and Matt are without one of their personal bags each, but we are assured they will be to us in Manzini tomorrow).
We arrived late last night to an amazingly large crowd cheering and chanting us on, it was the craziest thing I have ever seen (ok, the crowd was actually there waiting for the professional soccer team to come through, but we felt like rockstars none the less).
As soon as we get into Manzini tonight, we hope to give you a more complete update.
Thanks again to all of you for all your prayers and support and check back for more.

(P.s. Mom, does this count as checking in?)

Tyler O.

4May

Up up and away!!

Mkhombokati, here we come!
 
At 6am, the Swazi 2013 team of 20 shuffled in to the very bright Delta terminal. The Logistics Committee (thank you Karen, Matt and Anand!) set about their weighing, bagging, tagging, herding, documenting and distributing in their extremely prepared and incredibly organized fashion.
 
We thank God for His provision in answering our prayer to waive baggage fees and watched 41 bags, each painstakingly packed to exactly 50 pounds, roll down the conveyor belt free of charge. (Now we pray that we will see all 41 of those bags again!)
 
We deeply appreciate those from our Capital community that came to the airport to support us and cover us in prayer so early this morning. Thank you. We know we fly on the wings of the power of prayer on this mission. (If anyone reading would like a copy of our specific Prayer Request document, please email compassion@capitalchurch.com.)
 
As I write, we’re all buddied-up on the plane for leg one of our journey, the “quick” flight to Chicago. Energy is high amidst the babble and banter. I’m thankful listening to the drum of cards shuffling, magazines pages flipping, books being cracked open and team members laughing and chatting.
 
And yet we are all aware that our minds and hearts are with Thanduxolo. We learned late yesterday that Thanduxolo, one of our CarePoint children, is in a fight for his life. He has been ill for some time and is in emergency surgery for a bowel obstruction this very moment. He is eight years old. This sweet child is a favorite of our 2012 team. They vividly remember him carrying and caring for his younger sibling (he cannot attend school). Join us in asking God for a miracle. A fund has been set up to raise the money needed to cover his surgery. If you would like to donate, click here: https://secure3.convio.net/chc/site/Donation2?3040.donation=form1&df_id=3040
And please, please pray.
 
And now, although my grand plan is to not sleep on this flight, I am being inevitably lulled to sleep by the hum of the engine. I’m a sleeper. It’s just how I roll. And fly.

Tara
4May

And we are off!!!

Well team,
We all made it to the airport (I think) and were met by a multitude of capital members ready to help unload and weigh all our gear. Thank you so much to all of you guys for coming to see us off and pray for us. For those that don’t know, we are heading off to Chicago at the moment before our big jump to Amsterdam before Swaziland. We’ll keep all of you posted as we get closer (cause I know you’ll be worrying mom 🙂
Check back soon!

Tyler O

28Apr

Jehovah Jireh – My Provider

Last summer, I agreed to be the Supply Coordinator for the Swaziland Ministry at Capital. Admittedly, at that time, I had no idea what I was getting myself into. Today I watched as two thousand pounds of supplies were packed in preparation of our upcoming trip to Swaziland. Yes, you read that right. Two THOUSAND pounds of supplies. Over the course of the past few months, there have been times when I have been overwhelmed with everything that I needed to do. But even more so, I have been overwhelmed with the provisions of God.

When you are planning supplies for 200 kids, the task can seem daunting. Time and time again, I have wondered how in the world we were going to collect all of the supplies that we wanted to take to Mkhombokati. I have prioritized what we would need, figured the least amount we could get away with of an item, and then wondered again how it was going to happen. Somewhere in the midst of my scheming and planning, God decided to show me how awesome He really is and how He provides for our needs – whether it be our daily bread or 200 school kits. Time and time again, God has used seeming random encounters to provide exactly what I needed when I needed it.

-Chatting with an acquaintance at a friend’s birthday party, I mentioned we were taking handmade crocheted hats to every kid at the Care Point…if we could get enough. I was met with the response that this acquaintance had hundreds of handmade hats in storage and would be happy to provide however many we needed. Umm, really? Who keeps hundreds of handmade hats in storage? So a brief conversation over birthday cake, added to the many hats made by the Capital community, provided the makings of a cold weather kit for each child at the Care Point.

-On a day in December, I received a text from a teammate that she & her mom could get some toys for the trip donated. I was told the toys were in the office of the church and I could pick them up the next Sunday. Walking into the church office, I was anticipating finding a grocery bag or two of toys. Instead, I was met with four boxes and two garbage bags full of brand new toys still in their packages. So many toys, if fact, that we are not able to take all of them with us to Swaziland.  This blessing not only blessed us but also allowed us to bless a low income school in the community with all of the left over toys.

-After seeing a coupon in the newspaper for the soap I was intending to purchase for the hygiene kits, I sent out a Facebook request in order to get more coupons. Some dear friends saw my request for coupons and indicated that they would like to donate some of the soap. Awesome! However, when I stopped by their house to pick up the soap, I found that they did not buy some of the soap. Nope, they went ahead and purchased all 200 bars of soap for the kids’ hygiene kits.

I could tell you of every phone call, text message and Facebook post from friends and family members indicating that they would like to help or donate in some way. But then this post would be really, really long. All of these donations, combined with the overwhelming support of the Capital community and hours of hard work and support by my amazing teammates, made something seemingly impossible, possible. So today as I watched 40 suitcases being packed full of supplies, I just had to step back and praise God for His provisions and His timing as He led me on this journey to show me that He is Jehovah Jireh, my Provider. And while my heart is overjoyed reflecting on the 40 full suitcases today, I’m pretty sure that in a few short weeks, 40 empty suitcases will make my heart explode with happiness. For that means that the 2,000 pounds of supplies have made their way to Mkhombokati to help provide for the needs of the kids at the Care Point. For not only is He my Provider, He’s also the Provider for the children at Mkhombokati. And how awesome is it that the infinite God of the universe allows us to partner with Him?

I may not enjoy carrying 2,000 pounds of luggage through the airports on the way to Swaziland but every single suitcase is a reminder that Jehovah Jireh does care for me and my needs. I’m just hoping His next provision happens to be luggage carts.   

Grace and Peace,

Amber
14Apr

Post Yard Sale Update!!!

Hello Again Everyone!

First off, I can’t thank enough all the great member of this team for the gaggle of hours each member put in to make today’s yard sale a success (I know “gaggle” only get’s used with “geese”, but we’re gonna roll with it).  Seriously though, some of our many volunteers spent more than 12 hours between Friday night and Saturday morning unloading donated items, sorting everything that was deposited, pricing, selling, lugging around stuff, etc….  We couldn’t have done it without everyone’s hard work.

Secondly, THANK YOU SO MUCH TO EVERYONE WHO DONATED!!!  You showed up by the truck loads (literally), and you gave us some fantastic used (and some new) clothes, appliances, kitchenware, furniture, and even a wood chipper.  Our cafe and sanctuary were littered with an inventory to rival Target.  Thank you again.

With that said, I can now proudly say that because of all the hard work of everyone involved, we raised………$1,600 (ish) Dollars!!!  This is truly amazing and all I can think to type is “Thank You” again and again.  All of the remaining items were donated to one of local charities, so everything donated still went to a great cause.

But enough talk from me, how about some pictures!

Until next time……
– Tyler O.

11Apr

A Yard and A Sale

Hey Team,

We are less than a month away from heading out, and we have done a lot of work over the last couple of months to get ready.  Part of this effort is getting all of our supplies ready to take with us.  This includes raising some extra funds to purchase everything that we are hauling over seas with us.

Cue the opportunity for you to help:

This Saturday morning we will be holding a Yard Sale at Capital Church (7th south and 10th east for those of you who don’t know).  Who knows what tools, toys, and tangibles you’ll find that you never knew you needed.  All the proceeds from this yard sale will go towards purchasing supplies that we will be taking with us.  And anything that doesn’t get sold will be donated to the Salvation Army.

So there are two ways that you can help!
 1 – Come buy stuff!  There are bound to be some killer deals to be made and we would love see you there.
 2 – Donate!  In order to have a yard sale, we will be selling items that people in our community have donated after some good ole fashioned spring cleaning.  So bring around that old clunky TV that you want to get rid of.  Drop off those toys your teenagers don’t play with anymore.  And if they are only “lightly used”, bring in that old wardrobe (so you can justify buying a new one perhaps?).
3 – (I know I said there were two, but this is a good one)  Tell your friends!  The more people that stop by, the more successful this will be.

Feel free to drop off any items tomorrow evening, Friday the 12th, between 2 and 8pm (Apologies for the short notice). It’s for a great cause and like I said, we’d love to see you there.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Thanks again to all of your for your continued support, we couldn’t do it without you.

– Tyler O.

1Mar

Two more months


It’s hard to believe that a year ago this week, I was stepping foot on African soil for the first time and traveling to a little place called Mkhombokati Care Point. While preparing for the 2012 trip, I had no idea what to expect when I arrived. You quickly learn the statistics about Swaziland – the highest HIV/AIDS rate in the world, a shockingly low life expectancy rate that is continuing to drop and the sheer number of orphans. With these statistics in mind, you pack your bags expecting to find a dark, dismal place when you arrive. As a result, my goal for the 2012 trip was to bring love and hope to a hurting nation. However, the moment I stepped foot on the grounds of the Mkhombokati Care Point, I knew my goal had been amiss. Even though the Swaziland statistics are a reality, I did not need to bring love and hope to the Care Point because those qualities already echoed through the grounds of Mkhombokati. Love and hope were not foreign qualities that needed to be brought by foreigners. No, love and hope are currents that run throughout the Care Point despite the severe need of Swaziland. They are evident in the laughter of the children, the hard working hands of the Makes and the dedication of the missionaries and leadership team.
With this in mind, my goal for the 2013 trip has changed. Instead of bringing hope and love to Mkhombokati, I am excited to return to share in the love and hope that permeates through the grounds of the Care Point. I am overjoyed to be able to return to Swaziland in May. However, I know that even if I had never been able to visit the Care Point first hand, I would still be able to share in the love and hope of Mkhombokati because I sponsor a child at the Care Point. Vuyisile is a 13 year old girl who is facing the reality of the statistics of Swaziland. I worry about her safety, her health, her educational progress and her decisions as a teenager. Thankfully, I know that she has many at the Care Point who are looking after her and helping guide her in all of these areas. I also know that she is being fed by the loving hands of the Makes who cook for her and the other 170+ kids every single day. My $34 monthly sponsorship helps purchase food, medical supplies and other necessities for Vuyisile and the other kids at the Care Point. And while I cannot wait to wrap my arms around Vuyisile in a giant hug when I see her, I know that even from 20,000 miles away, I am actively participating in the love and hope that makes up Mkhombokati Care Point.
Do you want to share in the love and hope of Mkhombokati Care Point? Five of Vuyisile’s peers at the Care Point are still in need of someone to sponsor them and become their special friend. Sponsorship includes a $34 monthly donation (tax deductible) and a commitment to write to and pray for your special friend. If you are part of the Capital community and want more information about sponsorship, please check out www.hopechest.org/community/mkhombokati/or email Swaziland@capitalchurch.comwith questions.
With love and hope,
Amber Baudino
30Jan

Mbuso Shoba

We are extremely excited to have just been informed that one of the students of the Swaziland Leadership Academy (who just completed their first year of training) is returning to his home area of Mkhombokati and will be the discipleship leader at our carepoint!! His name is Mbuso Shoba and last year’s team had the privilege of getting to know him as he was at the carepoint during their entire visit.  This is such GREAT news for our kids and our carepoint. Mbuso will be a regular presence at Mkhombokati and thus will be our valued contact for all things happening there. He will be continuing his studies through the Academy so he will be doing double duty discipling our precious children at the carepoint and attending training. He is a promising future leader of Swaziland and we are so pleased to have him ministering to our kids!
I would like to share with you a wonderful excerpt about Mbuso from Scott Borg’s blog. Scott serves with AIM (Adventures in Missions) based at their home offices in Georgia but spends many months a year in Swaziland:
“In 2012 we started the Swaziland Leadership Academy. 11 young leaders led by Bheki and Zodwa – two trained and seasoned Swazi’s. What an amazing and strategic opportunity to influence a generation. We’re recruiting 12 more to participate this year.
From scottborg.myadventures.orgOne of these leaders is Mbuso Shoba. He’s 19 years old and from the Mkhumbokati Care Point community in Swaziland. I was Facebook chatting with him toward the end of his 1st year of training, a portion of which is in South Africa. When I asked him if he was ready to return to Swaziland, here is what he said, “yes!!!!!!!!!!!!!! im ready for anything sir!!!!!!!!! i cant wait to apply what the lord will tell me to do and my spirit is pregnant with the word of God i wanna deliver it anytime i reach swaziland.”
Wow. His energy made my day. Even now the realization of the impact of this investment in the lives of young people like Mbuso brings tears to my eyes. I love this picture of Mbuso with his arms spread – ready to fly!”

This is our awesome Mbuso who will be serving at our carepoint. How incredibly blessed we are and how incredibly good our God is!!! Let us welcome Mbuso back to the Mkhombokati carepoint with the same open arms he joyfully demonstrates!!

-Dannele

9Jan

The Privilege of Sponsorship

Hello Again Everyone,
We are back and itching to fill you in on all the updates.  The entire team met again this weekend and had, what I would call, a very exciting meeting.  We laughed, we cried, we spoke Siswati; there was too much great news to share.  Our supplies team is dominating the list of items we need.  The travel team had set up Travel Clinic appointments for many of us so we could get our shots.  There was so much great news, that I am going to neglect most of it tonight and save those highlights for another date.

For now, let’s talk about sponsorship.
We learned that several members on our team will be attending the “Africa Partners Conference” with Children’s Hope Chest.  While not only attending this will be a great opportunity, our team has a chance to do even more.  To fill you in on the entire story, Dannele, who leads the sponsorship team, will give you the scoop.  Take it away Dannele…

We currently have 169 children officially enrolled in our sponsorship program. That’s over 100 more than when we first started our partnership with CHC (Childrens Hopechest) back in 2007. As of today, only 18 are not sponsored, most of those from a recently activated batch of new children attending the carepoint.
Capital Church has been invited to an Africa Partners Conference hosted by CHC at their Colorado headquarters and we are thrilled to have 5 of us from the Swaziland Ministry planning to attend. They asked us at Capital specifically to lead a discussion group on the importance of obtaining 100% sponsorship as they state we have been exemplary in this area. How awesome is that! That is of course due to our generous, kind-hearted and compassionate congregation at Capital and enthusiastic leaders. That said, we are eager to get the remaining 18 kids sponsored and expect to be doing a live call for sponsors at church very soon (possibly this coming week). Our committee is also diligently working on our “gift” idea from the sponsors to their special friends at Mkhombokati and we believe to have a good handle on that. We will announce to you when we have that definitive gift idea in place and rolling as we will possibly need some additional team member’s assistance to carry it out. (But it’ll be fun!! – we hope!)
Umusa Nekhutula (grace and peace),

Dannele

 I can’t emphasize enough how much of an amazing task this has been that our sponsorship has been that high.  If you would like the opportunity (nay, the privilege) of sponsoring a child, and to help our care-point reach 100% sponsorship, please contact us at Capital Church.

Thanks again everyone,
We’ll be back soon

Tyler O


 

3Jan

Ramping Up!

Sawubona!
Happy 2013 to all of you.  As the calendar rolls over to a new year, we find ourselves already just four months away from our departure date.  And with that, we have kicked our preparation efforts into the next gear.  Throughout the upcoming weeks we hope to provide you with updates on all the progress, successes, and needs of our sub-committees so that you too may have the opportunity to partner with us along the way.

With that said, let us get all of you up to speed.  As previously alluded to, our mission team has divided into several sub committees, each committee taking on the challenge of ensuring adequate preparation for our trip.  Our Supplies team  has already begun making their lists and checking them thrice (once extra for good measure) to ensure we don’t forget a single item when we leave.  As we get closer to our leave of absence, we hope to keep you informed of any items we may be in need of, just in case you may be that one individual with the connections to obtain discounted medical supplies, shoes, or 200 yo-yos! (We might not actually need 200 yo-yos on this trip, but they would sure keep me entertained during the 26 hours of travel).

Our Sponsorship team has identified several additional children at the carepoint in need of sponsorship and are working tirelessly to ensure no child is left un-sponsored.  If you are interested in the opportunity of sponsoring a child at our carepoint in Mkhombokati, please visit our Global Outreach page.

The Wonderful Logistics team has accomplished the difficult task of securing plane tickets to transport our entire crew to and from Swaziland, which in itself is no small task.  If you feel so inclined to do so at your computer, please give them a round of applause (nevermind if everyone else in the coffee shop gives you an odd look).

Lastly for this post, I will mention our Fun Team (the name I bestowed upon the VBS/PreSchool/Games committee).  They have already commenced preparing a lesson plan.  Without giving too much away right now, I will give you the insider scoop that they will be following the life of a pretty famous king of the Old Testament.  Look for the pictures to follow our trip for all the fun.

Once again, we appreciate your willingness to Journey With Us as we prepare to embark on this amazing opportunity.  We ask you keep us and the children in Swaziland in your prayers, that this trip may be glorifying to God and will further his kingdom here on earth.  If at any point you care to find out more about this mission, or would like to get involved, just click here! And if any of you feel so led to participate with us financially, we would gratefully appreciate your support.

Thank you everyone, talk to you soon!

Tyler O.

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