After 2 years of praying, seeking, working, and following God one step at a time, I am excited to announce that Beyond Survival is up, running and live on the internet!!
Many of you have walked this journey with us and know the story. For those that haven't, I will give you the shortened version here and am hoping to take a few blog posts to really share what God has done in our family over the last 6 years. We have seen miracles that we couldn't dream up. We have traveled to Swaziland numerous times, each trip having its own unique impact in our lives, the lives of those who have traveled with us, and the lives of many Swazi people. We have experienced God in ways that we could have never imagined. God has used this tiny country to bring healing to our hearts in so many areas. This was not in "our plan" for our family, but God knew what we needed. We have built friendships on the other side of the world that mean so much to us. It truly has been a beautiful picture of the work of God, where only He can get the credit!
6 years ago, Rick was flying back to the U.S. from a 3-week trip in Swaziland and South Africa. The two phrases that resonated within his very bones after this trip were, "It would have been better for me to not have seen, than to see and do nothing," and "beyond survival." You see, Rick had been numb for months grieving the loss of his dad. God used this trip as a sort of defibrillator to shock his heart back into feeling and his life back into ministry.
Here we are 6 years later. Rick is leaving in 4 days for another trip to Africa. It is the first Beyond Survival Exploratory Trip. It is a new beginning. I have sense of expectancy similar to what I felt as he was leaving on that first trip. The purpose is for him to go back, view some models of ministry in Zimbabwe, visit Swaziland, connect with our friends and ministry contacts, and build new partnerships for this ministry that God has called our family to. In order for us to move forward, we need him to touch base with those we have worked with in the past, meet some new people, and share our vision for Beyond Survival.
We do not desire to compete with other organizations or duplicate what is already being done well. We desire to be an advocate for those organizations, support them, fundraise for projects, continue to provide ministry opportunities through team trips and internships, and work as the Body of Christ in ministry in Swaziland.
I would like to introduce you to our new website Beyondsurvival.org. You can go there to read about the work we have done and where we are going. It is our goal to create opportunities for the people of Swaziland to thrive. We hope to create conduits of opportunity for people to not just merely survive, but truly live. We want to connect resources will real needs. Our website explains where we have been, where we are going, and how we hope to take people beyond survival.
You may be asking, "How can I be involved?" Our website addresses that, but I wanted to share some immediate ways that you can come alongside us in this ministry right away.
1. Prayer support - This whole endeavor has truly been from God in our lives. The last 2 years, specifically, we have had to completely submit to his timeframe, not ours. He has literally only revealed one step at a time to us up to this point. We need prayer in the following areas:
- Beyond Survival Exploratory Trip - Pray that God will reveal to Rick the projects for us to begin promoting and the partnerships that need to be created. Pray for safety. Pray for our family at home while he is traveling. This ministry really brings about a lot of spiritual warfare for our family, not to mention the exhaustion for me as I care for the kids alone for 2 weeks!
2. Funding - Funding for Rick's trip. Funding for future projects. Beyond Survival is not a business to us. We do not take income for the work that we do or the time that we spend working on this. It is truly a ministry for us in the purest form. Invest in Lives. We say “invest” rather than “give” because investing denotes an expectation of return on the investment. Donations are tax deductible.
3. Direction - That we would be sensitive to God's leading every step of the way. We do not want to create anything that is not of God. We truly only desire to be obedient to Him. We have no expectations or requirements of what this needs to become. We are waiting on God to see what He wants to do.
4. Join the Beyond Survival Facebook Page - By clicking on the highlighted words, you will be taken to our facebook page. By liking the page, you will be kept in the loop on all the new happenings with Beyond Survival.
5. Be an Advocate - Spread the Word. If you are willing to be a part of helping others, share with those you are in relationship with about your investment. It will take many compassionate people willing to invest in order to make a difference.
We are excited. We are expectant. We are overwhelmed. We are seeking God.
Many of you are already a part of this story. We would love for you to join us as we move forward.
For those who are new to this, but feel a stirring in your heart, welcome aboard. We can guarantee that investing in God's people and the ministry He has called you to will result in a changed life.
"Mercy to the needy is a loan to God,
and God pays back those loans in full."