After much prayer and discussion, Rick and I have decided to launch Beyond Survival as a non-profit organization. This feels really big to us. This June, we will be leading our 5th team from Vanguard Church on a mission's trip to Swaziland. Once this trip is complete, we will have taken almost 75 people to Swaziland over the last 5 years!! In addition, a handful of those 75 people have gone on multiple trips with us. From one vision trip in August of 2006 to now, God continues to move in the hearts of all of us for this special nation.
Once the 5th trip is complete, Vanguard will no longer be continuing this ministry so Rick and I have been praying about what is next. Do we continue Beyond Survival on our own? Do we assume that it has accomplished all it was meant to? We have wrestled with these questions over and over. Over the last 3 months, we feel like God has shown us the next step. We do not feel like our ministry in Swaziland is complete. We feel passionately about the orphans, the gogos, the pastors, and churches that we have been partnering with. There is so much left to do. Our hearts still feel passionately called to this part of the world.
Now that some of the basic needs are being met, we want to help children get educated(it is so sad to me that education is not a basic need). We want to create sustainability projects and provide jobs for the Swazi people. We want to invest in the Halfway House where Isaiah and Laila are from. The Swazi people are not just a group of people that we have heard about. They are our friends. We love them.
We are excited to share that both Cody and Lauren are going on the trip with us in June. I will share more about that later as I share their words with you about why they are going. I have some fundraising that I am working on as well. Let's just say, lots of baking and jam making going on around here to help us reach our goal. It feels a bit overwhelming, but we have clearly seen God's hand in these decisions and are trusting His Provision for our trip and Beyond Survival.
We need lots of people, called by God to join us in this endeavor. We hope to continue to provide opportunities for you to be involved whether you can go to Swaziland or whether you participate here in the U.S. We need prayer support in so many areas. Our hope is that God can use this ministry to mobilize people in the U.S. to further His Work in Swaziland. We hope to be a conduit for that.
So, there you have it, the big news. 5 years ago, when this all began in our hearts, we never would have imagined we would be where we are today. God has been so faithful. We feel so blessed to have the relationships that we do in Swaziland. We are so fortunate that we have so many of you who have a heart for the people of Swaziland as well. It has enriched our lives and our family's life in ways we could not fabricate on our own. We now step out in faith to see how God will lead. Will you join us?
To read more about Beyond Survival and what we are doing, go here.