M.O.M. makes Christmas a happy time again!
Masundvwini Swaziland
Project E.A.R.T.H. International
ne of the most difficult parts of the journey for me is the months
of planning and raising the support needed for a successful mission.
There are so many things to pray about and consider as I seek the Lord's will on every side.  A group of trusted Pastors pray with me and give counsel during the 
months of preparation. Communication with local pastors in the countries where I will serve is always an interesting challenge as most of them I cannot just pick up the phone and talk to.  Email is also a hit or miss method when trying to make contact.  Here in the USA we keep tight schedules and plan far in advance for the things we do. In Central America and Africa (probably most of the world), it's much more casual.  These pages will be ever changing and growing so check back often.
  YOU are an IMPORTANT part of the team during the next several months.  YOUR prayers, encouragement, guestbook interaction and support are as important to the success of this mission as the work that takes place on the ground in Nicaragua, South Africa, Swaziland, Kenya and Mozambique.
  So, plan to drop by often and be sure to give the web address to your friends, family and the folks at your church and encourage them to become a part of the PEI Mission Team Online. Feel free to ask questions and we will do our best to answer them for you.  Be patient - you will get a response.  I promise!  God bless you.
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Forgive me for giving you only a summary of this trip. 
  This was a very "unique" mission trip.  There were many challenges that I won't share with you here.  I am thankful for all I learned through the experiences (both good and bad) on this journey.  Our team (Pastor Doug Lamb, Karen and Denny Shenk, Jake Scott, and Jon Johnson) was much smaller than last year.  One thing I learned, is that GOD can take a bad situation and make it good.
What did we do on this journey?
  We served a local orphanage doing scraping exterior walls and painting.  We also provided some gifts for the children.  Imagine - sober people - in their right mind handing me paint and a brush?  WOW!  Now you know they didn't know me well.  Thank GOD my arthritis kept me from painting long enough for any major disaster.  My most comfortable, favorite shoes still have a little white paint on them.   Some of the team also played games with the kids.  They ENJOYED that!  In trying to duck a ball that came my way during the kickball game, my chair tipped and I fell into  a drainage ditch scraping my leg.  It could have been so much worse.
  The second project was painting two sunday school rooms and some doors at Oasis of Love Church.  Again they allowed me to paint.  I didn't do too bad but, since this project wasn't so big and I needed to stay off my feet. 
  We hosted a Christmas dinner w/gifts for the leadership of Oasis of Love and also a dinner for the youth worship team.  Both were nice events.
  Two evenings we attended youth small groups had an oppor- tunity to be an ecouragement to them.  There was also an out- reach done in a neighborhood near the church (where we also did an outreach last year.)  Several people accepted Christ during the outreach.  I stayed behind and prayed for the team.  It was exciting to hear that GOD used my "son" Daniel to translate for the team he was with.
  We got to experience two Sunday morning services and a Thurs. evening prayer meeting with communion.  All we very very uplifting.  Daniel, plays bass in the worship and it was great to see him worshipping GOD in that way.
  When the team left I stayed on for a few days to spend some time ministering to Daniel and his family and it was worth the investment.  I won't go into a lot of details here, but it was a great time for me to get to know Daniel's family.  His father and i really connected and I got close to the whole family. 
  My last night there I took Daniel's family, uncle, cousins and a family friend to a restaurant called: La Finca (The Farm) for dinner.  We celebrated Daniel's father's birthday.  It was really amazing.  GOD really moved during our time together at dinner.  Lots of tears, prayers and fellowship.  GOD is so good.
  I guess I should mention that GOD gave me quite a blessing when I got "moved up" to business class for the flight from Miami to Nicaragua.  First time in 30 years that has happened.  Those folks in business class really get taken care of.  Chilled plates with amazing salad, filet mingion and nice veggies.  WOW!  Then after a nice lunch (no food served in economy class), my seat folded flat like a bed and I had a comforter and feather pillow.
How's this for an answer to prayer? 
How's this for an answer to prayer? 
Remember that prayer request for a safe place for us to stay overnight in Johannesburg, South Africa?  Well, this picture is our answer to your prayers.  This is a small portion of the beautiful Africa Centre Hotel near the airport.  It was roughly $80 USD for the night with a full buffet breakfast (made to order eggs and omelettes) and free shuttle to and from the airport.  The rooms were amazing with private patios, air conditioning a wireless internet for a small fee.  Meals could be brought to your room, served by the pool etc. for no extra charge.

I will need a place to stay on my way to Kenya also since there isn't enough time to get from Swaziland to the airport in time for my flight.  It will be a pleasure to stay there again.  Thanks for your prayers.  I found out about this place through someone at the Mennonite Central Committee in Akron, PA.  Thanks for praying!
Stayed here on our way to Swaziland - Thursday night December 17th.  It was an amazing blessing to us!  We took advantage of the air conditioning but not the pool
Friday, December 18  - Swaziland here we come!
  After an enjoyable experience at the Africa Centre Hotel, we were blessed to be picked up by our very friendly driver who came all the way from Swaziland to "collect" us.  The vehicle is comfortable and we had a speedy 5 hour trip to Manzini - arriving there around 7pm.  There was another couple from the USA in the kombie with us.  You all know how much I hate wearing a seatbelt so, I was not wearing it when we were stopped by RSA police.  This could have been a huge problem.  I was feeling very bad for the driver who was being raked over the coals by the police officer for not making sure we fastened our safety belts.  I have been wearing one every time I am in any vehicle.  I prayed we wouldn't get a ticket and the police officer decided to let us go with a very strong warning. We had a long wait at the border crossing.  My first glimpse of Swaziland made me tear up.  We pass very near the place I've talked about living someday.  Maybe that's just a good dream now.
REMAR Christian Centre is host to my friend Alisha and me during this journey to Swaziland.  I have known the directors: Ze & Vanda for nearly 8 years now.  They are amazing people taking care many of Swaziland's orphaned children.  The facility in the photo to the right is a home for girls in Fairview (near Fika's house).  There are over 50 girls in this home.  Just down the street is another home for boys - where I am staying.  It's very hot here!  Also my dear friends the cockroaches are out in full force. No matter where you are going to meet up with these guys.  Pray for me because I hate them!  I am trying to get up enough courage to just pick one up and play with it .
I will most likely be staying at the boy's home for orphans down the street.  About an hour after we arrived Fika and Bo came with Bo's brother Tando.  Bo wanted me to spend the night at his house so I went.  Fika was also going to stay with us but, couldn't because he was going to a wedding on Saturday. 
Saturday - December 19th - Sorting out pieces of the puzzle.
  The first week in Swaziland is always interesting because it's a time of sorting out all the pieces of this time of ministry here and watching GOD put the puzzle together to create what He wants this to look like.  Patience is a requirement for this to work.  Last night I didn't sleep at all at Bo's house.  There are some things here that need to be resolved and they have been weighing heavy on my heart.  It will take a few days to arrange opportunities to do that.  First order of business was going downtown to greet the brothers who are vendors on the streets.  I then needed to visit my friend to exhange currency.  Next - activate my cell phone and begin texting the pastors and leaders of the organizations I work with here to let them know I have arrived and ready to set up meetings with them.  By noon I had met with several people and now headed to the airport to get a rental car so I can begin my work.
  Thanks to a gift from my mother and some extra work with Tell Limo I am able to rent this car to help me be able to do this work.  It is a blessing to be able to escape the extreme heat now and then as I drive to my next appointment or project.  It's always interesting adjusting to driving on the opposite side of the road as well as looking to the left to see the rearview mirror, shifting with my left hand (relearning to drive manual shift).  As soon as I had the car (which I got an amazing discount on) I headed to Manzini to meet with more pastors, saw Bo for lunch and set up more ministry.  Tomorrow I will share at Greater Grace of Manzini and then preach at REMAR's service since our hosts will be in South Africa for a Dr. appointment.  Vanda is ready to have their 4th child.
Sunday - December 20th - The Heart of Worship
  I woke up at 4:00a to begin preparing for the day.  It was so hot in my room I don't know how I slept at all.  My sheets were so wet with sweat I couldn't believe it.  It's hard to study or work on the webpage, etc when you are that hot.  I am planning to get a fan.  (Is that okay?)  By 8:00a I was ready to pick up Alisha and head for the first church.  We stopped on the way to get a COLD drink which we both needed. When we got to church they had already begun and they were praying.  We quietly slipped in and sat down.  When they finished praying and saw us they clapped and cheered.  It was a nice welcome.  I lead the first couple songs of worship.  They continued with worship and Pastor Reginaldo played the guitar.  When it came time for testimonies I was the first to share since we had to leave early for me to preach at REMAR.  The Pastors joined us for the service at REMAR when they finished church there. The worship at REMAR was powerful being lead by youth.  The boy on the left is 19 and
the other is 20.  Both are fireballs of the faith.  The one on the right looks and  worships just like Fika. One strange thing was: the service began with the same worship song as the one at Greater Grace and ended with the song we ended the other service with. 
  After church I took Alisha on a tour of the local area so she could see some of Swaziland.  We had a great time.  We got back about 6:00p in time for me to meet Fika.  We arranged a time to get together to talk over some misunderstandings.  It was a powerful time. Many of you have been praying about this.  YOUR PRAYERS have been ANSWERED.  Without going into a lot of detail here - we also had an opportunity to minister to an elderly man with HIV/AIDS and it was a great moment for us together.  GOD is so good.
Monday - December 21st - Getting the ball rolling
  The heat is making it very hard to do things here.  It's hotter than I ever remember.  Everyone is talking about the heat.  When I got up - long before sunrise this morning it was already hot and they are talking about record temps again.  I had to get an early start since I was headed up north to greet Pastor George to greet him and get some counsel on some issues I am facing here.  Pastor George has great wisdom from his years as a pastor and he knows the Swazi culture inside out.  It was worth the trip to the northern mountains.  It's about 20 degrees cooler up there and it was a beautiful day so I enjoyed every minute of it.  Pastor George was happy to see me.  If he had his way, I would be living there while I am in Swaziland.  I would like that too but, sadly it's too far from all the people and projects that I am working on here.  Living in the boy's orphan home is a challenge for me - (humble) but, I am adjusting. We also made a plan for me and Alisha to come back to Pastor George's to be with them Saturday and Sunday.  These two days after Christmas everyone is on holiday here.
Though my time with Pastor George was brief, it was good for both of us and I got the help I needed for the problems I am trying to resolve.  I was able to confirm with him how to handle these things.  I drove back to Manzini to pick up Alisha and we made a brief stop downtown so she can see that and meet some people I usually minister to there.  It was HOT!  We stopped by Mr. Price (a clothing store where Bo works) to say hello to Bo and it was so hot in there we couldn't stay more than a minute.  Terrible!  Now it was time to go to Mazundvwini to see the orphans and help feed the children.  It was quite eye opener for Alisha even though she's been living in an orphanage since she arrived in Swaziland.  It's a good thing we went because they usual have help from some Bible college students but, they are gone for Christmas break. Alisha dished out the chicken stew and I was handing them the bowls the children bring with them from wherever they are staying. They have a washing station for both the hands of the children and then their bowls.  The children eat the hot rice and chicken stew with their hands.  The stew is hot!  I dont know how they do it.  There was seconds for
only a few children today.  That always makes me sad.  I thank GOD that we can be a part of helping to provide two meals a week for these children.  PRAY that some more Swazi organizations get involved in helping to feed the children of Masundvwini. There is a palace right near the school where these orphaned children come for the meal.  One day I would love to have His Majesty King Mswati III come and see the children.   We will see the children again or Christmas eve.
Nearly 140 orphans receive these meals.  Thanks!
Tuesday - December 22nd - The love of GOD brings - resolution/restoration
  Time, space and communication are always a problem when I am in the USA and the people I work with are so far away.  For several years Mfana was my (volunteer) Exec. Assist. in Swaziland.  Without him I would not be so established and connected.  He organized so many things for PEI and introduced this ministry to so many people.  During the summer of 2008 when Fika and Bo were dismissed from the ministry, I also had to let Mfana go.  He's a good man and a dear friend.  It wasn't easy for either of us but, I knew (as I did with Fika and Bo) that GOD would continue to use him in other ways and that we would remain friends.  During the past year I've continued to encourage him through emails he never received and there were some other issues that caused him and others to feel somewhat bitter toward me.  I knew nothing about these things until just before I left the USA.  I was very sad when I found out about this.  It was a bit stressful for me as I didn't know whether these things could be resolved. Even Fika was upset by these things and he wasn't really wanting to see me during this journey.  I shared that with Pastor Brett and my family at Shiloh before I left and they prayed for me.  When Fika and I got together on Sunday night and
had a chance to resolve some things - I knew there was hope for resolution/restoration between me and my dear friend Mfana.  When we met today, I had great confidence and knew you all were praying for me.  Though the meeting was somewhat uncomfortable for Mfana, I had to apologize for my smiles and happiness because it was so good to see him.  (Even though I knew how upset he was with me.)  Our time together brought peace to the situation and we left there at peace. I'm not done.  We still need to get together and have some fellowship so that there can be total healing of his heart.  Thanks for your prayers.
Wednesday - December 23rd - Making connections before Christmas
  Making connections before Christmas is not easy.  Many people leave on holiday a bit before Christmas and don't come back until after New Year's.  The heat is still causing problems for me. Thanks to the rental car I am able to get around much easier and give my foot a break and the air conditioning in the car not only brings some comfort to me but also is helping cool down the wound.  So far I am doing ok with it.  Your prayers are helping.  I've been blessed to minister to so many of the brothers and pastors.  I've seen Fika and Bo here and there for brief visits and it's been so nice.  They also text message me now and then to say hello, bit me goodnight etc.  It's good to be near them.
  Finally today I got a few minutes to work on the webpage and write some emails.  I've been so busy trying to link up with people before the holidays, there just hasn't been time.  I usually do this around 4am when I get up but my room has been so hot that I'm just too uncomfortable to hook up my laptop and other things to do it.. Today Pastor Ze brought me a fan so that will make things more comfortable for me.  I'm on a "mission trip" so maybe I shouldn't even be talking about this whole comfort issue.  I am thankful that GOD is blessing me with a fan.
  This afternoon I met with Pastor Chirwa (CFC of Hhelehhele).  He's a dear brother that has really been a bless- ing to me.  We had a good talk and he's another one that I look to for counsel here.  I have surrounded myself with a group of veteran pastors whom GOD has given great wisdom.  So I am not working alone here.  He was sad to hear about the situations I am having to deal with (the misunderstandings) but happy to hear about how GOD is bringing peace to those situations.
  Finally today I got a few minutes to work on the webpage and write some emails.  I've been so busy trying to link up with people before the holidays, there just hasn't been time.  I usually do this around 4am when I get up but my room has been so hot that I'm just too uncomfortable to hook up my laptop and other things to do it.. Today Pastor Ze brought me a fan so that will make things more comfortable for me.  I'm on a "mission trip" so maybe I shouldn't even be talking about this whole comfort issue.  I am thankful that GOD is blessing me with a fan.
  This afternoon I met with Pastor Chirwa (CFC of Hhelehhele).  He's a dear brother that has really been a bless- ing to me.  We had a good talk and he's another one that I look to for counsel here.  I have surrounded myself with a group of veteran pastors whom GOD has given great wisdom.  So I am not working alone here.  He was sad to hear about the situations I am having to deal with (the misunderstandings) but happy to hear about how GOD is bringing peace to those situations.  I'm thankful I was also able to see Pastor Reginaldo and Pastor Jeronemo today.  They are replacing the shocks on one of Remar's cars today.  What a job that is in the heat.  They don't complain.
(ABOVE) Pastor Rob and Pastor Richard during a previous visit to Swaziland.  These are two of the Pastors who have been coming together in unity.  Pastor Richard has a new baby boy and his wife died 7 days after the birth.  When I called Pastor Rob earlier today to arrange our meeting this afternoon, he was babysitting for Pastor Richard.  They Chirwa's are helping him through this tough time. I look forward to being an encouragement also.
Christmas Eve at Masundvwini
Christmas Eve at Masundvwini
M.O.M. makes Christmas a happy time again!
Thursday - December 24th - "I'm dreaming of a hot meal - just like the ones M.O.M. served before!"
  Thanks to a local church and some other caring people like you - Masundvwini Orphan Meals is helping these orphaned children with hot meals twice a week.  Oh how I look forward to the day when they are having a hot meal everyday!  Keep praying.  I am praying for Swazi churches/organizations to step up as the current ones did.  PEI is happy to help fund this project but, we want the Swazi people to receive the blessing that comes from helping these little ones in the name of JESUS! What a celebration we had today.  Alisha and I got up early and headed over to Matsapha to see where the food is being prepared and bring a little Christmas gift toe the dear lady who works hard preparing the food more more than 140 children. Fresh
vegetables, chicken, rice and eggs will make up today's meal.  The children love the food so
much.  She spends most of the day preparing this wonderful meal.
  From there we drove to Mbabane to do some last minute shopping.  It wasn't easy finding a
parking spot.  After all, it is the day before Christmas and just like the USA, people are doing
their final Christmas shopping.  It hardly seems like Christmas with temps above 95 degrees
  By late afternoon we found ourselves at Ezulwini visiting with the "sisters" from Worship and
the Word you've heard about during other journeys.  Usually by this time they are all gone on
holiday but, with the economy the way it is they couldn't afford to go back to their homesteads
this time. It was so good to see them and be able to pray with them.  Our time was limited so
we will see them next  Wednesday.  We stopped for a cold drink at the Royal Swazi to escape
the heat before going to Masundvwini for the Christmas celebration. 
  Just like last year at this time, the sky turned black and thunder rolled - threatening our time
celebration.  It tried to rain but did not come until after we finished.  The children were so excited.  They were playing soccer when we got there.  Along with the usual food today they will have nice cold drinks and a small gift bag with candy and a small toy.  They were so excited!  Some children fell asleep (tight grip on the bowl that will hold their special meal.)  We enjoyed our time with them!

  I was looking forward to giving
you great news about my friend
Syiabonga whom PEI helped get
some medical treatment a year
and a half ago.  When I saw him
at Christmas last year he looked
so good I didn't even recognize
him.  This picture doesn't do him
justice. He looks well and at first
glance I thought he was.  Sadly he
is even worse than before and he
is suffering in so many ways.  No
matter what they do for him, it all
comes back again. Pray that GOD
will heal him or end his suffering.
Thanks for your prayers.  You can see he is happy in spite of all.
A very Merry REMAR Christmas
  During our visit to Ezulwini in the afternoon I took this picture of the lady who prayed for my foot.  She is the one seated with her sewing machine.  That is her shop. More than 50 shops like hers there.
When we got back to REMAR they were all ready to have the big Christmas celebration with the orphans they are taking care of.  More that 160 of them.  I was selected to be the MC for the evening.  One problem - the event was being held outside and it was raining now.  We prayed for the rain to stop.  Then I told the director to continue to set things up outside because we wouldn't have more rain.  I prayed an extra prayer that it could cool off so it would seem more like Christmas.  Both prayers were answered.  We could have worn jackets by the end of the night.  At the last AMEN 6 hours after we began - the rain came!  What a great blessing the party was for everyone.  Good food, music, fun and it all ended with a wonderful time of worship and preaching!   They had to almost carry me home.  I did too much this day and I literally could not get up or walk on my own. 
(LEFT) I was happy to have Fika and his little brother come to check out the party.  Fika lives two doors up the street from REMAR.  (RIGHT) My friend "Peter".  This guy is like my shadow.  Wherever I am you'll find him.  He's tough little guy.  He's like my bodyguard.  Always watching out for me.  He's 14 and suffering with HIV. He loves JESUS and when I see him worship he inspires me to worship more deeply.  It's going to be hard for me to leave him behind when I go to KENYA.  Please pray for him.  Oh how I would love to see him healed.  This is affecting his skin in a way that would resemble leporacy. I know a Pastor who is actually trained to treat and work with lepers maybe he can help him.
We would like to wish all of you we love so much
a very Merry Christmas and a happy, safe and
prosperous New Year.  Thank you for all
your prayers that have blessed us!

Chris, Fika & Bo
Friday - December 25th - A laidback Christmas in Swaziland
  Today was a very quiet laidback Christmas.  Doesn't seem like Christmas with the heat.  I was in bed till nearly noon recovering from the long day yesterday.  I did too much.  I was a bit concerned with how my body was reacting and my in ability to get up.  I did finally get going and was fine.  I went downtown for a while in the afternoon and spent some time with a couple seemingly homeless guys.  I also spent a few minutes talking to the elderly man Fika and I ministered to on Sunday night.  He wanted more help but I explained that I did what I was able to do for him as the LORD lead us that night.  I encouraged him to become more active in his church as I know they take care of those in need.  I then went to Bo's.  His grandma was the only one around and it was good because I had a long talk with her about "things".  She encouraged me to sit down with Bo's mom and talk and I asked Bo to arrange a time for the three of us to do that. When I got back to the girl's orphanage we had a bad storm and the power was knocked out.  I ended up sleeping on the couch there as it was raining too hard to go home.  I keep the car there and walk down to the boy's home..
NICARAGUA           SOUTH AFRICA           SWAZILAND             KENYA            MOZAMBIQUE            USA
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Week 3
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Week 5
Week 6
Week 7
Week 8
Week 9
Week 10
Week 11
Week 12
Week 13
Week 14
  THRU DEC 25            DEC 26 - 31              JAN 1 - 7                 JAN 8 - 14                JAN 15 - 21              JAN 22 - 28          JAN 29 - FEB 4      
  FEB 4 - 11               FEB 12 - 18              FEB 19 - 25          FEB 26 - MAR 4           MAR 5 - 11             MAR 12 - 18            MAR 19 - 30