Thursday, September 5, 2013

Some Great Reasons To Be Thankful!

Friends & Family,

Some Great News!
We first want to thank you for your prayers regarding our internet situation!  We have had a breakthrough and I am updating this blog post from our own house in Swaziland!  After months, & months, & months, the telephone company finally came and installed our internet a few days ago.  Right away I got to updating this blog.  What a blessing it is to be able to communicate right from where we live!  Thank you for praying for this, and we look forward to being in contact much more often in the future. :)    

The Highlight of our last few months...
We were so blessed to have a visiting missions team from our home church, Kenmore Alliance Church.  The KAC team was here from the 7th to the 19th of July, and they were a huge encouragement to our family!  We know the Lord really sent them at just the right time for us!  Their love and all the work they did were a huge blessing everywhere they went!  It was also fantastic to have some old friends return on the team as well as to make some new friends from KAC.  The team spent four days ministering here at the Sandra Lee Centre, and four days working with an awesome medical ministry called The Luke Commission.  They also ministered at a government hospital, and at Ludlati Care Point in the rural community of Ngculwini.    

KAC Team @ The Sandra Lee Centre

The KAC Team worked hard to install these water tank stands at SLC!

Dennis with some of the great men from the KAC team.

The stands today complete with the water tanks. 

One of my personal highlights working alongside the KAC team was ministering at the government hospital.  Before coming to the Sandra Lee Centre, I was very involved in hospital visitation and outreach ministry.  Being back in the hospital alongside the team made me realize how I still need to be involved regularly in this ministry.   No one ever wants to be in a hospital anywhere, and for sure you wouldn't want to be in the government hospitals of Swaziland.  The level of care is very poor.   People are suffering often needlessly because of lack of proper equipment and medicine, and many times people are suffering in their last days alone.  It seems like such a dark place, but we as Christians have the chance to bring the light of Christ to this darkness.  It is a tough ministry for sure, but it is a very needed ministry and such an awesome opportunity to offer the hope & love of Jesus Christ.  I have been back to the hospital a couple of times this past August.  I know this is a ministry that our family needs to be more and more involved in in the future.   
It was also great to be with the team ministering in the rural areas of Swaziland.  Whether it was with The Luke Commission, or spending time at Ludlati Care Point, to be in the rural areas again was refreshing!  Ludlati was a care point that we used to minister at while we were with AIM.  That community and the care point has a special place in my heart!  

The KAC Team observing The Luke Commission staff perform a surgical procedure. 
The team helping to restock medicine that will be offered free to people in the rural area. 

John & Musa putting together a wheelchair with some help from Thandeka.

Bheki & John teaching @ Ludlati Care Point
Katie & Phendulile teaching the younger kids outside @ Ludlati Care Point

The KAC team also purchased 30 chairs for the preschool class at Ludlati Care Point!

A Personal Dream Come True! 
When Zwakele & I were first married we were able to build my mother-in-law a 2 room house made of concrete blocks.  Zwakele, her mother, and my sister-in-law had been living in one room stick and mud house until then.  It was a huge blessing to get them into a safe & secure concrete structure.  After the 2 room structure was finished, my mother-in-law still had one of her children living at home along with 3 grandchildren, and 1 great-grandchild!  2 rooms were not enough!  So about a year and a half ago we started extending her house to 4 rooms.  The project was carried out bit by bit as we had means to do proceed.  The extra space was finished just before we came home to the States in December 2012.       
When the KAC team was about to depart they made a special financial gift to our family.  Because of that gift we were able to make a personal dream of ours come true!  First, we were able to install wires, outlets, lights and everything else needed for the 4 room house to have electricity.  Secondly, we were able to pay the large fee for the electric company to come and install the electricity.  Well we are very happy to announce that the company just came this past week to install the electric poles and connect the house!  What a huge blessing this is for our family!  Without the love and generosity from the KAC team I can honestly say this would not have happened anytime soon.  We are so thankful to Lord for this amazing blessing!  I (Dennis) grew up in the great privilege of the middle class suburbs of Buffalo, NY.  Thankfully, we always had lights, heat, a refrigerator, and other appliances that made our lives much easier.  It's so easy to take that for granted.  My mother-in-law is in her 60's and she never had electricity up until this past week.  She is so very happy and thankful for this blessing.  A huge "Thank You" to KAC & it's mission team for helping to make this dream come true!  And of course a huge "Thank You" to JESUS!               

Zwakele's mom's house, showing the pole of the newly installed electricity!
Zwakele & Thandeka inside the house showing the fuse box and the refrigerator! 

Meet Celucolo
Just last week we received the 30th child to the Sandra Lee Centre.  He is a 6 year old boy named Celucolo.  His name is a bit hard to pronounce for the native english speaker, because in the Siswati language each letter “C” means one makes a click sound.  Celcolo originally came from a rural area in the northern part of the Swaziland.  He was placed @ the Sandra Lee Centre by government social workers after he was discovered in a very dire situation.  He is now living with 4 sisters and 3 brothers in the Blue House at the Sandra Lee Centre.  Will you please pray for him as he adjusts to life @ the SLC?  Please pray that he will really be impacted by the love of Jesus and feel very welcomed to his new home.  Thank You!   
Celucolo (in front) with his brother Sibusiso from the Blue House

Would you please keep us in prayer: 

1.  This Saturday (7th September) I have the awesome privilege of speaking at a men's & single father’s fellowship outreach.  Will you please pray that the Lord will use me to communicate His truth to the 30+ men that will be in attendance?  Also, in the next couple of months I will be preaching a lot on Sunday mornings both at the church we regularly attend, and at some other church's that have invited me.  
2.  Thank you for your prayers for our ministry to the staff at the SLC.  Things have been going well in this.  Will you please pray for Zwakele & myself as we continue to minister to the care givers of the 30 children here.  We meet every Friday morning for worship, bible study and prayer.  Please keep those times lifted up and also the many opportunities throughout the week we have to listen, give counsel, and pray with these ladies.  Please also pray the love of Christ would be so evident amongst all the staff at the Sandra Lee Centre. 
3.  Please pray for our health.  This past couple of months all 3 of us have had various repeated sicknesses going on.  Nothing major, but regular cold, flu, & stomach bugs that have sidelined us at times.  Would you please pray that the Lord would bless us in this area so that we could stay effective in ministry.            

We are so thankful for your continued love & support to us!  Thank you for standing with us in prayer, we need it!  We also pray for you our family and friends of our support team regularly.  May the Lord bless you all!  

For the King,   
Dennis (for Zwakele & Thandeka)