MISSION: Swaziland/Mozambique - January 18 - March 1, 2005 Project E.A.R.T.H. International - "Going where Jesus leads!"
Welcome to the Journey
I'm happy you've decided to join us for the journey to Swaziland and Mozambique 2005. Here you can read about the journey and participate in it by making entries in the Guestbook. Be sure to fill out the information requested in the Guestbook. Your name and Email address are important in case someone might like to write Email to you also. It makes it easy for me to reply should I choose to Email you. I ask that during the time I am in Swaziland that you use the Guestbook to communicate with me rather than Email (unless you need to write something very personal to me.) If you do send me an Email - please do not attach anything or forward any messages to me as this takes up precious download time and it can keep me from being able to get to other Email. Please do not Email any photos. (Thanks)
It's exciting to watch GOD work day by day as the journey goes on. I will do my best to share the names and faces of people with you along with the their stories and prayer requests. I will look forward to you sharing in the Guestbook about what GOD is doing in your lives and I'll be happy to answer any questions you might have.
Please pray that I will be READY - WILLING - FELXIBLE - PREPARED and AVAILABLE to do ministry whatever, whenever, wherever, however the LORD leads. Pray for SAFETY, CLARITY, GOOD HEALTH, OPEN DOORS, UNDERSTANDING, WISDOM,
DISCERNMENT and STRENGTH. (Scroll down to join the journey.
If you would like to send support to me while I am in Africa you can mail it to: Chris Cote, 810 Center Avenue, Ephrata,
PA 17522. Your check should be made payable to: Chris Cote or PEI earmarked for Africa or USA. Your contributions earmarked; USA will be used for ongoing expenses of ministry in the USA. Thank You for your support.
Your Email address:
Type your Name (and/or a message here)
FROM LEFT: (My Mozambiquiano brothers) John Erasmo, Arone, Dionisio & Karlito
In Swaziland and Mozambique GOD "parts the water" for ministry only when we are ready to cross over!
If you spend much time with me, one of the things you get used to is seeing me pull out my Palm Pilot to take notes and enter reminders into my calendar so that I don't overbook myself and so I can keep an eye on my time. I like knowing in advance all the details about: who, what, when, where, why, and how. That all goes out the window when it comes to this particular mission.
During my first journey to Swaziland & Mozam- bique in 2001 the "plan" was for me to simply teach two classes in a Bible Institute and be a blessing to the local church in Manzini. I never dreamed that GOD would open doors to be on a "Live" radio program for teenagers that would reach millions in over 13 countries in Southern and Eastern Africa. I couldn't have imagined that I would be a guest on a variety of radio programs, recording a series of messages for National Swazi Radio and TV and a host of other awesome ministry opportunities. I realize that being: ready, willing, flexible, prepared and available are the keys to successful short-term ministry opportunities in this part of the world.
In 2001 Pastor Cliff and I had just finished a full day of ministry when we got a call from a man at Trans World Radio who had heard about me and wanted to know if I could come over and be a guest on a radio program for teens that was broadcasted to millions of listeners. I was ready, willing, flexible, prepared and available. The two hour program was a huge success and such a blessing.
My dear brothers and sisters . . . . YOU made it possible for those millions of youth in those countries to hear my testimony and songs. YOU sacrificed and gave so that they might know the love of GOD. So many lives were touched through the broadcast that night.
As I return to Swaziland and Mozambique I have the high honor of ministering in Jesus' name and on your behalf to our brothers and sisters who need encouragement. Pastor Cliff has shared with me how many are looking forward to my return. Daily I am spending hours and hours in study and preparation so that once again I will be: ready . . willing . . . flexible . . . prepared and available when I arrive in Swaziland.
What will I be doing? Whatever they ask me to do! During my previous trips I recorded a variety of messages for National Swazi Radio and TV so I am preparing to do many of those. I go prepared to teach Bible Studies, preach in churches, teach in Sunday school and knowing that I will spend much time encouraging our brothers and sisters who need encouragement, praying with them, counseling them and helping to meet some of
their physical needs. Thank
you for your prayers!
Arone was one of the Bible Institute students 2001,
Now pastors the
The Journal Begins!
Some of you have been asking me . . .
"Can we still send support while you are gone?" Yes - read on.
Saturday, January 15th
After months of planning it is hard to believe that the day of the Open House and Prayer, Praise & Fellowship Night have arrived. At a little after 2am, Jeff, Josh and Kito arrived from NYC. We were up till a little before 4am praising GOD and talking. By 7am I was up continuing to prepare for the journey. Packing for 6 weeks takes a lot of thought. I went out with the guys for breakfast and then back to packing. Throughout the afternoon people dropped by to pray and fellowship and then moved on. We video taped quite a few people introducing themselves and saying hello to the folks in Africa. A little after 7pm the Prayer, Praise and Fellowship time began. Worship was lead by Jeff Mohl, Urban missionary with CBF of NY ( www.cbfny.org ) It was a very powerful time of praise & worship. I then introduced each person present, and gave a brief update and plea for prayer. The prayer time was lead by Kevin Eshelman - Executive Pastor at Ephrata Community Church and Mike Wenger - Youth Evangelist for Ephrata and Director of TNT Youth Ministries. Many gathered around me and Ryan (who is traveling to Swaziland to join me Feb17 and will finish out the trip). It was a very moving time of prayer. The orginal plan was for a team of us to drive back to NY on Sat. night. Jeff, Josh, Kito and Terry Smythe (my previous roommate) went on to NY and Ryan and I decided to travel to NYC on Sunday a.m. for the services at Beacon Bible Church in the Bronx.
Sunday, January 16
With only a couple hours of sleep I finished packing and prepared for Ryan to arrive at 8:30 a.m. to begin our journey to the Bronx for church. It was a beautiful but cold morning. We had an uneventful ride into the Bronx. Ryan was excited as this was his first trip to NYC. (A place he's always wanted to go.) We found a place to park and prayed everything would still be there when we returned. We then walked to a local pizza shop for some REAL New York pizza before heading to church. Beacon Bible Church rents the building of another church for their services so they have Sunday school at 12:45 and church begins about 1:30pm. The service was awesome. I sang and shared during the adult service and then shared with the children in Children's Church. This was all difficult for me as I was losing my voice and could barely speak. Ryan and Terry headed back to PA after church and I went on the church bus with Jeff Mohl to bring all the kids home from church. We were going to go to another service in the Bronx near Yankee Stadium, but we couldn't find it so we went home. That was good because we were both tired. I stayed up till nearly 1 a.m. making phone calls to folks I needed to talk to before I leave the USA. (Not too good for my voice). I went to bed about 2 am.
Monday, January 17
This was the original day that I was slated to leave for Africa. Due to some techinical difficulties I couldn't get a ticket so I have one more day before I take off. So, I slept in today. Though I woke up a couple times - I forced myself to stay in bed until about 10:30a.m. This is really a big deal for me. I consider "sleeping in" 7:00a.m. We had a nice lunch here at Jeff & Rachel Mohl's. They live on the grounds of Camp Hope/Camp Joy at Children's Bible Fellowship of New York. It's a beautiful place. (About 1 hour north of NYC) just off I-84. Last night I looked out the window while I was talking to a friend on the phone and there were nearly a dozen deer out there. I thought of so many of you who are hunters. Last time I was here there was a whole flock of wild turkeys on the lawn of another CBF home. Amazing!
Today was a day to rest and reflect. I also needed to repack my bags as I didn't do the best job at home. I knew I would be repacking here so I wasn't too worried about using space effectively. I appreciate your prayers as I continue to prepare for the journey. Less than 24 hours from this journal entry I'll be on the plane!
(ABOVE) Don Fabula, Jeff Rossignol & Adam Rank after Prayer Praise Time.
(BELOW) Pastor Jack Raeside and Ryan
"Obie" Oberholtzer at Beacon Bible
Church - Bronx, NY
(ABOVE) Moriah, Zion and Caanan Mohl
after some play in the snow in Carmel NY on Monday.
Please be sure to sign the Guestbook and tell me what's new with you! If you have any questions - feel free to ask. Also, if you find something interesting that someone else has written email them and tell them about it.
Let's have some fun with this! ~Chris
I thought you might enjoy this beautiful view I saw out the family room window of the Mohl's home here at Children's Bible Fellow-ship of New York. How breath taking. It's been quite frigid here today. The pictures in the days to come will not be white with snow so enjoy this one!
Tuesday, January 18 -
The day has finally arrived! Jeff & I were up early and off to a CBF Staff meeting. It was 5 degrees. The CBF staff prayed for me and the journey to Swaziland. Jeff and I had just a brief moment for a breakfast snack before we headed off to WalMart for some last minute items. We got back a little later than we planned and I still had to do some final packing of the items we just picked up. By 1:45pm we were on our way to the Bronx to pick up two of the brothers (Josh & Nick) and then head to JFK. We got there about 3:40pm with my flight leaving at 5:50pm. Jeff waited while Josh & Nick helped me with my bags. I did a good job packing and felt that there would be no problem with weight. It ended up that my largest bag was 84 lbs. (14 lbs overweight.) They wanted $125 for the overage or I could take some things out. I wasn't happy since I felt the scale was not working properly. I took out what might have amounted to 6 lbs and we tried again. This time it weighed 64 lbs. There was no way that it could be right. I wanted to put the things I took out, back in my bag but the guy didn't let me. So I sent some things back. The stuff I didn't bring is ok. Things I could have used but could manage without them. (An extras pair of shoes - which I needed but had to give up.) My flight left on time and it was a very smooth flight.
JEFF MOHL - Has been my driver to JFK for all my journeys to Swaziland. He is a major blessing. What a great blessing the Mohls are to my life. Will you remember to pray for Jeff, Rachel & their 3 children?
Wednesday, January 19 - Johannesburg, RSA (Republic of South Africa)
Greetings from the RSA! What a great flight! We arrived a few minutes early. I did not sleep much on the plane but enjoyed watching movies and talking to two little guys
who were headed to the RSA with their parents on vacation. There is a large selection of movies available as well as TV shows, travel logs, and music channels. Every person has their own TV with remote control and headphones. (Very nice). I was on a brand new A340 Airbus operated by South African Airways. The meals were great. I had both dinner and breakfast on the flight as well as unlimited water, soda, and juice. Two small sandwiches were my snack. I was picked up by Mrs. Feek at the airport in her brand new Renault. What an awesome little car! The Feeks have moved a few blocks from where they lived in 2001. It's a nice new four unit condo of sorts that is all on one floor. Absolutely beautiful. You'll enjoy seeing the pictures of where I spent my first night in Africa. What a blessing it was!
We had a salad with many items from their own garden and a special Thai chicken over rice that was very tasty. Over dinner we had so much to talk about. Being with the Feeks was like being with family I haven't seen for a long time. Our conversation was really amazing and I thank GOD for blessing me through the hospitality of these folks that I barely know. We had dinner at an outdoor patio which is being transformed into an outdoor room of the house that will be a very African theme. The Feeks have invited me to spend a couple days with them in the RSA on my next journey so they can show me some of the sights. What a blessing. It's amazing how GOD continues to connect me with folks like these. Thanks John & Joan for being friends. What a great time I had with you!
Joan's new little Renault is awesome!
Dinner on the patio was very special. I will long remember this brief visit in RSA.
Jan 20 - Jan 24 Jan 25 - Feb 4 Feb 5 - Feb 11 Feb 12 - Feb 17 Feb 18 - Feb 23 Feb 24 - March 2