2 years ago, we faced a crossroads with the ministry of Beyond Survival. We had to decide whether our ministry there was complete or if we were going to branch out on our own and make Beyond Survival a non-profit ministry. After much prayer and seeking the Lord, He used several people, circumstances, and His Word to confirm in us that this work was not complete. Over the last 2 years, our progress has been painfully slow. We have sought throughout the process to seek the Lord's timing in EVERYTHING. That has meant a lot of waiting on Him to lead. He has literally only revealed to us one step at a time. I have been tempted many times to take matters into my own hands and MAKE THINGS HAPPEN! Each time, He has reminded me that He is in control.
I believe the lesson He has wanted to teach me all along the way is that He has a plan for this ministry. I do not need to make it into something that is not in His plan. We are literally walking by faith step-by-step through this process. Beyond Survival is not a source of income in any way for our family. It is truly a ministry that we devote our personal time to. We do not want to make it into "our" ministry but seek God in every way asking Him to do the work He wants to accomplish through it.
Over the last two years, He has led us to do the following:
1. Pursue the process to become an official non-profit organization. That process was completed in Feb. 2012
2. We sent our first official intern to Swaziland for the Fall Semester 2012.
3. We sent Rick on a Discovery Trip in October 2012 to reconnect with our Swazi friends, further the partnerships that exist, and create new opportunities for ministry.
4. We launched our first fundraising campaign through the Giving of Life Grant raising over $2,500 for the abandoned baby home.
At the beginning of the year, we felt like God was saying to us that it was time to take our first team trip as a new organization. He has confirmed that decision over and over. Now, we are asking Him to assemble the team of people that He would have to go.
Now, here we are, gathering our team, preparing our family(arranging for childcare, getting Abby's passport and shots, and updating our shots), and developing the ministry plan for the trip.
It has been so amazing to look back over the last 7 years and see the work that God has done in our family through our calling to Swaziland, Africa. God has literally changed our family in every way possible. Laila and Isaiah are continual reminders of this calling that God has given us. As we prepare for our next trip, it has been such a blessing to see Abby desire to be the hands and feet of Jesus to our friends in Swaziland. I cannot wait to take this chick to Africa!!
She has seen pictures, watched videos, heard our stories, and even had the privilege to meet some of the people that we minister alongside when they have visited us in our home. She has had Africa in her heart since the beginning. She has dreamed of going with us. Over the years, she has done several things to raise money and supplies to send with us. For at least 2 years, we had a "donation station" in our house that she set up in case anyone came over. She has participated in every one of our Swazi walks. In addition, she was constantly looking for things around our house that she could donate. She has sent several garbage bags of toys and clothing on at least 3 of our trips. She also has a Swazi change jar that puts money in regularly. She has made several items that she has taken to school to sell and raise money for the people of Swaziland.
Bracelets she made to raise money for her trip.
I know that this trip will change her life and we desire to encourage and support her in this endeavor. We would covet your prayers as we take this step of faith as a family. There is much to do as we prepare to leave. We also would appreciate your prayers for Cody, Lauren, Sam, Isaiah, and Laila as they spend time with family and friends while we travel. We have felt so much support over the years in this ministry and want to thank each of you for your continued support of this calling God has placed on our family.
Here is what Abby has to say about the trip:
My name is Abby Clapp. I have wanted to go to Africa for as long as we have had Laila and Isaiah. I can't wait to see all the stuff my mom and dad have told me about, like some of the markets, the Halfway House where we got Isaiah and Laila, and people from different places they have told me about. Some ways I am earning the money to go are selling bracelets that I made, doing a yard sale, and setting money aside from my allowance. I am so excited to go to Swaziland, Africa!!
If you would like to invest in Abby and me as we raise money for our trip with your financial support please send checks made to Mountain Springs Church with "Swazi-Clapp" in the memo to: Beyond Survival, 3620 Cranswood Way, Colorado Springs, CO 80918.
The cost of each of our trips is $3,750. All gifts are tax deductible. We can't wait to share with you all that God has done in us through this monumental trip!
If you are interested in going on the trip with us, we still have a few spaces left!! Let me know and I can send you an information sheet and application! You can go to our website to read more about the trip as well. You do not have to live in CO to go with us. I promise you, this trip will change your life!!!