Wednesday, August 6, 2008


Here are the links to Nancy's pictures,

and Monica's pictures,

If you want me to post a link to yours, just send me the Picasa address.

A slide show can be put on here also, but you will have to get the code for it when you sign into your Picasa album, look on the left side, it will say "embed slideshow", click on that and then copy and paste the code into a post.


Saturday, August 2, 2008

The Trip of a Lifetime
i remember asking myself as i walked into the airport after crying like a baby as my wife and 3 year old drove off, "what have i let shaun ray get me into." i looked over 26 people with a sense of disbelief. i saw refuge kids, church leaders, spiritual warriors, and then there was me. "God" i said, "please just help me get through the next ten days so i could get back to my family." little did i know that God had much more in store for me in the next ten days than just getting me home to my family.
i'd like to start by saying that any of you parents who sent your high school or young college students should be so proud. those kids really gave me so much hope and inspiration. they are the face of Jesus and gave me a bar which to shoot for with my two young boys. i pray that God will have favor over my boys like he does over the young group that i got to know this past week.
once we started traveling i really pressed in and asked God to speak to me on this trip and allow me to show Jesus to a hurting place. i was so ready for God to use me in these young kids lives. then it hit me like a ton of bricks. God spoke to me more clearly than ever before. (or i listened better than i ever have before.) our first full day in swazi i met 4 young men that the Holy Spirit laid on my heart and said pour into these guys. at that moment God made it very clear that this trip was not about me, it was about strengthening His Kingdom and giving hope to an almost hopeless place. they were on my heart day and night for 4 days. they were coaches at a local high school we visited and were the 3 on 3 tourney champs at the event we threw at HPC Swazi. i loved on them every chance i got and told them all about Jesus and what He means to me. it was so rewarding to see them at church on sunday morning where i was able to share my testimony, and the Holy Spirit made an impact on there lives forever. i'll never forget that day.
God also allowed me to really get connected with some amazing people along this journey. i was so blessed to be able to share this experience with the group God so obviously orchestrated. the bus rides with tweez and jen pouring into our lives every chance they got, to pastor ben and big dan leading us all around this city, and the young kids who just wanted to be loved on by us. it was favor from God. it just all seemed to make sense. we laughed, cried, prayed and loved together for Jesus. it was one of the best experiences of my life. i'll never forget it.

i would like to thank my wife for never doubting God when we sought Him for me to go on this trip, and my parents and grand-parents for praying and making it possible for me to be there. i also want to thank shaun ray for staying with me for the last 6 months and encouraging me to make the trip. tweez and jen, what you stand for and getting to know you was a highlight for me, and dan and pastor ben you put what seemed to be an impossible trip together for the glory of God. mr rolph being so real and genuine, oh and u too dean. you posses a heart for children that's so amazing dude. kevin and jennifer i admire the fact that you have such a passion for Christ and its dear to me because we come from similar circles. dave you and mallory provided such an energy for Jesus it was hard not to catch what you guys have. all of you guys that i haven't mentioned please know that God has etched each one of you and this trip in my heart for eternity. i humbly say that i loved sharing this journey with you and hope there are more opportunities for us to do life together.

remember to keep what we shared close to your heart, and to never stop praying for what we experienced in swazi. lift up HPC Swazi and Children's Cup to God and let Him have his way there. can't wait to go back. Ya-Bo!


ages 15 to rolfe

i just posted this over on my blog. thought it might be a good idea to put it here as well.

praying with the team at the site of the new swaziland dream center

just got back from another mission to africa. this time with a team of 30 from hpc and the life church of memphis - one big go global swaziland 2008 team. we had team members (as dean turner put it) "ages 15 to rolfe" - rolfe mccollister being the senior member of the team as far as we know. no one really knows how old or young he is - i'm guessing 45, 46...

it was a very successful mission - we went to host basketball clinics and a big ol' three-on-three tournament and youth event at the new hpc campus in swaziland, and then to be a part of services at the campus there, and to visit the children's cup carepoints as well. everything we went there to do got done and got done with excellence. hpc_swaziland's staff and congregation were encouraged, swazi youth were given a great launch to a new weekly youth meeting at hpc, and a whole lot of children were shown a whole lot of love. there was no drama, no real problems, and a ton of cooperation and supporting each other on the team. i was overwhelmed with how it went.

lemme do just a quick rundown of the team and some of the things that stand out to me about each:

matt lebrun - the team's youngest member. at 15 he has been able to be a part of something that most people twice his age still only dream of. he was given a name by one of the bus drivers who went with us everywhere: "sipo si africa" meaning gift for africa....matt connected with a couple kids very closely, he served wherever we asked him to, and he did it well. he represented for the lebrun clan - great job mike and janet.

sherrie serca - the team nurse. don't know, don't care how old she is. don't really care where she's from (memphis) - she just served like a crazy woman. everytime someone said their head hurt or they had a hangnail or felt like barfing or maybe broke their arm, she was right on the job. and on top of that she was a leader, a woman of God and just did one seriously slammin' job serving.

shaun ray - something about going to africa with the ray brothers (last year i got to go with jared - shaun's brother) just makes me laugh. always surprising, never a dull moment, a whole lot of security in the airports love to check these guys closely... maybe the biggest thing about shaun that i will remember from this was how well he led - even though the spotlight wasn't on him, he led the clinics and camps with a quiet but well-executed, well-thought-through plan. so much of what we were able to do as a team would not have been done had he not been willing to lead behind the scenes as he did. and to see him do the african dance around the campfire - well those of you who were there can appreciate the significance of those moments from the gentle quiet one.

monica beemer - enduring a blistered heel through our 5-hour venture into paris, and serving everywhere she went, monica stood out to me not just for her participation in the ministry we were doing, but also for the depth behind her being there. having lost a brother to AIDS, her perspective on serving in a nation where 43% of the population is HIV positive drew out a different depth of compassion than i usually see. she served strong, she pressed in even when it wasn't particularly convenient to do so, and she loved the children deeply. a cool thing to see.

micki firmin - arguably the smallest team member, her serve was anything but small. she worked hard, served hard, prayed hard, and loved immensely. she brought what the children needed most - open arms willing to share Jesus' love. doug and connie - you would have been overwhelmingly proud.

kevin and jennifer jarreau - no way i'm gonna cover all i have worth remembering about these two on this trip. they're phenomenal. sometimes i get to be around people who are so driven that i wonder if they could allow God to direct their steps. and there's the other end of the stick where people are waiting for God to do it all and i wonder if he could make them get moving at all. the jarreau's seem to be a perfect balance of being driven but being submitted to God's plan and timing. i'm amazed at how impressed i am with them. i already knew they were cool before we went. no question. but seeing their serve, their ability to adapt and flex as part of a team in an ever-changing environment, and their total surrender to what God is doing - it blew me away. they engaged, they served, they went above and beyond what was asked and it was a blessing to be a part of them experiencing swaziland together for the first time.

lydia gomez - after accusing her of teaching basketball like a cheerleader, and being very aware that i just might have offended her with that comment (even though it was true - she did that little foot kick-up thing when she applauded their efforts) - i watched lydia totally lay it all out there for the kids. whenever there were kids around, she was loving, hugging, serving, being part of the team however she was needed.... she was a great testimony for the healing place school of ministry. very cool to have her on this team.

mary archibald - maybe the quietest team member, she certainly was not quiet when it came to serving. she jumped in whenever and wherever needed - even before being asked. and sometimes that meant some not-so-fun tasks, but she did it with her whole heart and God used her. what else can you really want? mary was a blessing - representing the DNA and heart of the life church of memphis peeps really well.

paul musso - the pretty boy. you can read the whole story about this on dean turner's post about it, but basically, paul was received comparably to ringo starr - girls screaming and weeping, never going to wash their hand he shook... pretty funny to see. there was a lot more to his swaziland impression though. he showed some sick madness on the court. he taught kids in the clinic as sifundsani primary good ball-handling skills, and he was part of the american team that eeked out a win over the sifundsani high-school team. he was a ref during the tournament, and he was one of the coolest guys to be around. i think if he can avoid realizing just how cool a guy he is, and continue to act like he has no clue how gifted and good-looking he is and just continue to be himself, he's going to be someone that everyone wants to be around. he's one of those dudes i look at and think, "wow, God - what are you setting up here? this is gonna be good." thanks to all the musso's for bringing up this boy the way you have - i know it's a full-family effort in the musso clan.

angelle carmouche - being one of like 43 siblings, angelle was very at home with a team of thirty. she, like the rest of the team, served like crazy. one of the standout moments i saw was maybe too simple to impress you with, but i was very impressed. at the tournament, trash was building up and so i grabbed a roll of trash bags and started looking for team members. angelle was one of the first i ran into, and it was like she just very naturally and smoothly slipped into the role of garbage picker-upper. nothing foreign to her - it was just natural. simple, but spoke so much about her heart to serve.

dave and mallory morgan - serve, serve, serve. it's what they did. mallory helped with worship in the services at hpc_swaziland, and they both served in the tournament refereeing, cleaning, setting up, tearing down, looking after some of the younger team members, hugging carepoint kids, loving people everywhere. and they brought a cool factor to the team that we all needed. i'm so glad they were part of the team.

ryan fontenot - still looking for the 'stache he lost in africa. he had a little trouble with his credit card, but other than that everything went well for him. like the rest of the team, he served like crazy, and he made every kid he encountered feel important and loved. a cool thing to be a part of seeing him grow like he did on this trip.

lacey dotson - as far as i know, she's the only team member who actually got to experience liquid singing on this trip. but after one hurl, she was good to go again. and i saw one of the most hope-giving things i've seen in a while - while talking to her across the driveway, she was holding a garbage bag, and there was really no more trash to be seen. a lady walked by holding an empty paper cup, passed by her about 6 or 7 steps, then turned around and came back and put the cup in lacey's trash bag. woooohooo! lacey and i looked at each other in disbelief (it seemed prior to that that no one in swaziland uses trash cans) then after the lady was appropriately a safe distance away, we cheered gratefully - thinking maybe that someone had gotten the message - if by her example of taking care of the property someone else had decided to do the same, we had accomplished something. yay lacey.

jeanne mccollister - i'm suspicious that she was a lot of the energy behind the idea of the mccollister three coming to swaziland (she and her dad and her sister). if that's true, i want to thank her hugely for bringing that energy. jeanne was a big win to have on the team. she taught defense in the basketball clinics, she played in the tournament, she served with a vengeance, and she honestly just made the whole team better by her being there. the way she engaged with the kids at the carepoints was fun to watch. and the way she connected with the rest of the team who for the most part did not know her at all prior to the trip - well, i'm amazed and thankful all at the same time.

nathan robert - or is it paul nathan? or robert paul? i do know that my chest hurts. nathan is a shooter. i didn't know this prior to the trip. i knew he was a servant, a musician, a people-lover, a hard worker... but i didn't know he could stinkin' shoot the lights out of a basketball goal. a beautiful thing to watch. especially to see him get to teach young swazis to shoot like he does. what i didn't know was how thick and dense his body mass is and how much inertia he has when he tries to run through a pick. i set a pick for him which paul skillfully ran him into during a pick-up game we were playing among ourselves. nathan layed into me and i felt like the sinews and tissues of my chest muscles were agonizingly separating from my chest plate. but he did do more than just brutalize us on the court. nathan loved and served and showed the love of Christ to a lot of kids and that's what i remember and what i know they remember most about him being there.

rico melancon - wow. i'm so happy i got to know rico in africa. he's got a phenomenal testimony of being delivered from drugs and alcohol addiction. crazy stuff. but he's so much more than just a what-he-got-set-free-from story. he's a leader, a people-lover, a smart, coherent, engaging person, he's got insight into people like few i've known, and he's one of those people that makes everyone feel like they're his long-time friend as soon as they meet him. i love this dude. he helped shaun with the tournament and the clinics, bringing a ton of leadership to the table. he loved the young people and i think there's going to be a lot of them who remember his love and his encouragement for a long time. thanks to rico's wife for letting him come with us. he's not so efficient in the paris subway, although he survived well. a face-squeeze from the entrance doors, and his backpack hanging outside the train all the way from st. michel stop to the next.... he is a survivor for sure.

tramar leblanc - maybe the refuge student i knew the least about going into this trip, i was very impressed with how well he flowed in the team and how much initiative he showed when it was time to work, time to play with the carepoint kids, time to serve, clean up, set up, carry stuff, whatever. very cool kind of surprise to have. he's amazingly funny - don't let the quiet fool you. i'm so glad he was on the team.

elizabeth mccollister - just moving back from california just before going to africa with the team of people she'd only met a couple times at team meetings, she fit in quickly and strongly. she's a cool, smart, thoughtful, caring, loving person who showed all of that to a bunch of kids, a bunch of missionaries, and a whole team from hpc and life church. and she's at the center of one of my best memories of the trip. i won't try to tell the whole story here, but suffice to say elizabeth sweeps with excellence now after the training session her dad gave her before the tournament. she's a blessing - so glad she was on the team.

kassie perrit - the youngest of the three memphians on the team, and one of only two veterans of swaziland missions other than myself. she knew what to expect from the swaziland kids, but this team was different than any other swaziland had ever seen. she fit in tremendously well. she served hard. she was part of the few that got to be in on the giving away the shoes that the life church had collected - brand new nikes that the moneni carepoint kids wore with some huge pride. amazing to see the smiles that those shoes made. kassie was a blessing to have on the team - and a blessing for the kids in swaziland who got to meet her.

jamie phillips - the team photographer dude. yeah, he's a pro now. shooting pics in africa will make you feel like a pro. we're working on getting all his pics uploaded to the web, but seeing's how it's like over three thousand of them, it's taking a little while. jamie also was in charge of the canvas bracelet project - you'll hear more about that soon i'm sure. ingenious and very cool gig. jamie was a blessing - not just for his smarts, but because he was soooo teachable and such a servant. one of the standouts in his level of serve - and on this team that's saying a lot. i love this kid.

heather leblanc - never standing in one place too long - she served and served and served - looked aggressively for ways to help every second of the trip it seemed like. comes from a long line of servers (joe and the doc are amazing too) so i kinda knew what to expect, but heather did not disappoint. there's a lot of kids in africa who are better today because they met heather.

nancy clary - the agility award goes to this lady. not only was she incredibly flexible, taking on changes and new assignments and alterations without complaint, but she was agile - strength in her flexibility - to deliver well in the new spur-of-the-moment assignments. like "hey nancy we need you to come up with a devotional you can give 6 kids at a time for two days straight?" and "hey nancy can you do kids church tonight in 5 minutes?" - always a yes! and always delivered with excellence. she's a massive blessing to have had on the team. can't imagine this team without her.

telia goudeau - a.k.a. "freddie" or "blue-hair" or "st. franny" or "loudmouth" or any host of other nicknames she picked up. telia was second only to rolfe for cheerleading volume and energy at the primary schools. she freaked many kids out with her calisthenics routines from looneyville. even freaked out many of the team. she definitely always brought a smile to the table. such a testament to the joy of the Lord - and she's contagious about it all, too. just what every great missions team needs.

dean turner - my roomie. dean was amazing on this trip. he flexed and bent and twisted and stretched like crazy. 12 hours before the tournament where 400+ people would be showing up, he accepted the job of security chief for the event. and he delivered. dean took charge of many of the projects we had, helped track what reebok stuff had to be ready for what location each day, and he was massively dependable whenever i needed help keeping track of moving 30 people from one place to another. he can count to 30 better than anyone i know. dean (not being the i-wanna-speak-in-public type of dude he is, handled the "hey dean, why don't you lead us in prayer for this..." that he heard a couple times very well, including the prayer with the kids at the orphanage where we all met pepe and banele. dean is a blessing. can't say it any better than that. check out his picture gallery from the trip here.

rolfe mccollister - a.k.a. "broke arm" and "daddy" and "seth godin who?" and "reverend rolfe" and a i'm sure a few others... rolfe blew me away. despite being one of the most revered business leaders in baton rouge (ceo of baton rouge business report) and respected across our nation for his business leadership wisdom, he joined this team to serve, to get down underneath all of us and support however, whenever it was needed. rolfe was amazing. he sat by a puking kid from houston to paris. his cheers with telia and the kids they taught passing drills will echo in my memories for years - "we are the stars, couldn't be prouder... if you can't hear us, we'll cry a little louder!" dude! we can hear you!!! he played basketball (full court) with our sports team leaders and very much held his own. he preached at hpc_swaziland about slaying the giants in our lives. he carried water for the team. and he broke his arm. some say it was while swatting a shot by one of his 7-footer wnba-hopeful daughters. some say he was saving an orphan from a runaway dump truck. he insists he just slipped off a stair step and caught himself with his arm. i say whatever it was, he's a hero. he gets the purple heart award. he also got his cast signed by the orphans at the place pepe and banele live. he taught at the children's cup/hpc_swaziland staff meeting and brought some gold that (as ben told the staff afterwards) business leaders pay thousands of dollars to go to conferences to learn. we're talking blue circle, big rocks, company culture and DNA, and even a little lesson on "assume." the coup de gras had to be for me though, when he brought me a thing of ice cream on the long air france flight home. dude's amazing.

jason and jennifer laird it's really not fair that we got to have them together on this trip. they are soo stinkin' cool and soo totally in love with God. i love them. tori always tells me they're her favorite people in the world, and i totally understand why. jennifer was in charge of the paperwork and logistics and everything for the team. she brought balance to us right off the bat when the continental lady freaked upon learning that we (a big group) were flying together and she had to check us all in. i thought it was odd of her to freak, but jennifer just kept smiling and loving the lady. jennifer didn't just lead the logistics of the team though. a lesser person could have hidden behind that and missed out on the opportunity to serve. not her - she jumped in and led, served, prayed, hugged, encouraged, cleaned, made wake-up calls, and did whatever needed to be done. and jason - now there's a piece of work. what was God thinking when he made this one? wow! i laughed. i cried. i stood in awe. i felt like a worthless worm. i felt like i mattered. i was encouraged. i was challenged. all just standing by jason on this trip. he's got a gift. he's one amazing person i get to call my friend. jason preached sunday and brought the goods. he emcee'd the basketball tournament, even doing play-by-play announcing of the championship game. he didn't miss a single touchdown call or home run. he led team prayer with a serious touch of God on his words and his heart. all i have to say is that i believe God has some huge huge stuff ahead for jason and jennifer laird.

and me. that's the team. there's still so much more i could write, but this has taken me like all day today to write, so i'm probably gonna end up just dropping the other stuff in here whenever it comes to me. God showed us so much about ourselves on this trip. i'll end with a thought that i know God gave me that i shared with our team.

this trip isn't honestly about africa, or the kids or the church here. it isn't about you having a great experience seeing amazing animals or even showing God's love to hundreds of kids. it isn't about africa. it isn't (as much as missionaries are needed out here) about you deciding whether or not God wants you to be a missionary here one day. it is about God drawing us close to him. that's it. if it is about africa, then when it is over, we wrap it up and put it on a shelf and that's that. but God wants to use this trip to draw us close to him so he can speak to us and we can hear his voice. it is all about hearing God and obeying him. if we do that - hear his voice and simply obey - then all the needs of the orphans and the youth and the church out here will be met. guaranteed. our job isn't to find the solution. our job is to get close to God, hear his voice and obey completely. that's it.

thank you to those who prayed, sent your kid or spouse, gave toward the trip.... it couldn't have been done without you. and thanks to the hpc_swaziland team and children's cup team and go global team - y'all are all amazing.

if you want to read more, see more, etc. from this mission, check out the team blog at

please join me and hundreds of others in forty days of prayer for the children (learn more at - and let's keep the momentum going in the spiritual battle for these precious kids.

Pretty Boy

O.K. When I saw who was going on this trip I thought "oh great a bunch of teenagers that we are gonna have to watch this whole trip". Boy was I wrong about that. We had no problems at all with anybody.Think about this there were 30 people ages 15 to Rolf (LOL-Don't know how old Rolf is). And there were no fights, no getting on any buddies nerves. Now if that's not God I don't now what is.

This is Rolf..

All the teenagers were great for teenagers. they never complained about anything they were told to do. They loved on some baby's and were just great.

Now one of the teenage boy stood out to me more then the others and that was Paul (The pretty boy) Musso. He was on my team for the basketball camps.

First let me tell you why I gave him the nickname. It was the 2nd day of camps and we were going to have tea with the Principal and Teachers of the school. I was the last one to go up and some of the kids asked me to sign their wrist bands that we gave out. So as I was signing one girl looked at me and said "can you give this to Paul (handing me her wrist ban) and have him sign it for me?" so I took it and then she said "oh and have him kiss it". So like any grown 35 year old man would do I gave it back to her and said "I will go get him for you". Then I went inside and told everyone. Paul went out and the girls (by this time there were more of them) went CRAZY (like the old video of the Beatles) They chased him around screaming. Even the kids at the care points looked at him different. We also heard some of the girls at the school walking back to there class saying that Paul had shook there hands and they were not going to wash them.

Some of the kids from the school.

Paul in blue holding the basketball..

Paul in blue in the middle of the group.

He's not only pretty but he's a great kid. I'm glad he was on my team and I got to know him better.

Dean Turner

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

airports and layovers and sleep? oh my!

We got back to the States safely. Right now we're still in the ATL airport with our last layover and final flight home. I for one still have a surreal feeling and have not yet processed through everything we accomplished while in Swaziland. If it was up to me I probably would not have left, but I did with plans of going back a third time. Yes we did a lot for just a small part in God's great plan, but every little bit counts and there is always more to do. The walk of faith is never ending. What blows my mind the most is not how faithful people are to God, but how much more faithful He is to us despite what we do. I know our hearts are forever changed and this trip has caused us to grow spiritually.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

What day is today???


We've done so much since we blogged last that I have really lost all track of day and time. I think being beneath the equator definitely has something to do with it, but the action-packed, ministry-filled days are really flying by. I thought that as my body became adjusted, my mind would too...not so! I keep needing people to re-orient me! I'm going to try and list all of the things we have had the opportunity to do since we blogged a couple of days ago (in VERY random order):
-Served at the HPC Swazi Block Party/3 on 3 B-ball Tournament
(more than 500 people signed in, even more were there-awesome outreach!!)
-Spent time at the party with dozens of the kids we met at the local schools
-Prepped HPC after the party for today's service
-Ate some's just as good here as it is in the U.S.
-Served in the Children's Church during adult service (right in our comfort zone, it was so smooth, 50 kids, God really blessed, the language barrier had not effect...we had a great time)
-Did some souvenir shopping
-Visited an orphanage, met some great "mothers" and children
-Had dinner at Ben and Susan Rodgers home
-Greg Evans got here from the U.S.!!!!
-Finally had some Chicken Curry that I'd heard so much was great!
-Got to meet, learn from, and talk with several people who serve with HPC Swazi, Children's Cup, and Care Point Pastors.
-Most importantly, HPC had an o'mazin' service where several youth made a FRESH START!!!

We visit Care Points tomorrow, there are 16 in Mbabane alone! We'll divide up and go to a couple. We leave here Tuesday night and will return to Memphis late Wednesday night. We can't wait to see you all!

Love and Blessings!
Kassie, Mary, and Sherrie

Friday, July 25, 2008

"Wow, where do I begin? I guess I could start with I'm in Africa! :] This is truly an amazing experience! It's so grand, man, and I love being here! The people are amazing, the climate is awesome, and God is doing incredible things over here! Just to start off, we've done basketball clinics the past two days at two schools, and we've basically been teaching the kids over here basketball skills because basketball is very recent sport to be added in Swaziland. They have been going wonderful! The kids have been responding well, and we've all, I believe the team as a whole has had many opportunities to show the love of Christ to these kids. It's amazing, because these kids over here just don't get some good ole' TLC on a daily basis, and it's amazing what one smile from you to them will do! They are so desparate for our attention when we get there, and they don't want us to leave! The things they say like "will you come back?" or "I'll miss you when you go" or "Can you pack me in your suitcase?" Man, things like that just tear me up, and I can hear it in their voices that they want to be loved and to have hope! And hope's name is Jesus! I'm seeing that more and more everyday that's it's not about backgrounds or groups of people or circumstances. It's about being the hands and feet of Jesus and showing the love and hope that's found in Christ to a broken and dying world! I love the fact that I've been allowed to come on this trip because God has been showing me so many things these last few days. Well, it's really late, but I'll try to post again tomorrow! Much love guys!


Today Was A Great Day!

Hello again!
Today our teams divided up and returned to schools in the city of Mbabane. We held basketball clinics, talked more with the kids about God's plan and purpose for their lives, prayed with them, and Coach Rico was even able to step in and coach a boys and girls team in a game when their coach was unavailable! All in all, the clinics were amazing; definitely planned and carried out with excellence!

Tomorrow HPC Swaziland is hosting an awesome outreach; a 3 on3 Basketball tournament/Block Party. It's going to be food, contests, give-aways, etc! The community is fired up about it! We'll post photos of that tomorrow night.

Thanks for your continued prayers for the whole team. Blessings to you!

Sherrie, Mary, and Kassie

Fun in Swaziland

We are having so much fun here. We did our 2nd day of camps and had a great turn out. The kids just love us and had us sign there shirts and wristbands, then they signed our shirts.

Swaziland reminds me of Ohio, the landscape and the weather.

More Later.

Dean turner

Thursday, July 24, 2008

They're Playin' Bask-et-ball !!


Today was spent out and about the town of Mbabane. As Nancy and Elizabeth mentioned below, we divided up and went out to schools. The team I was with went to a Primary and High School. The young men and women were all very excited to speak with us, share their dreams for the future, and most of all...learn more about playing basketball! The sports most common here are soccer, racket ball, and a game called netball.

As I listened to the children's laughter combined with the thump, thump, thump of the basketball, it really felt like the heartbeat of Swaziland...the hope of Swaziland lies in teaching the children how much God loves them, as well as relevant, productive ways to equip them for the future. Ben Rodgers (Children's Cup and Pastor of HPC Swaziland) told us that unless something changes dramatically in these children's future, statistically, 1 out of every 2 of them will die of AIDS.

We're believing that this outreach today, along with all that God is already doing in this country, will produce long-lasting, positive effects. As we continue to plant and water the seeds of God's Word in these fertile hearts, God will bring increase to the Kingdom of Swaziland!!

God bless each of you, we love you, and you are in our thoughts and prayers!
Sherrie, Mary, and Kassie

Basketball and Bracelets

TOday was our first visit to the schools here in Swaizland. 2 teams went out and worked with the kids playing ball and cheering and learning about GOd's purpose for their lives. Our team went to a wonderful International School. The children were amazing. They loved us more than we could have possibly loved them. Along with teaching them basketball skills we had a devotional station. They learned that God loves them and has a purpose for their lives then we had them write their names on cloth bracelets that we will bring back home with us. They were so excited to know that we will be praying for them when we return home. They were bright and curious and so thnakful for our time and encouragement. The teachers and staff were so grateful also. We learned that God is here, yet the struggle with ancestrial worship is still present. Some of the children wanted us to stay forever. It is truly a blessing to be able to touch these children's lives and share with them. The country here is beautiful and the people are also. The culture is amazing, We have all learned a cool new handshake.

We are here at HPC Swaziland Campus and are getting ready for a great night of worship and Rolfe teaching the word. Please contiue praying for everyone on the team. We can feel the covering over us all and everyone is doing great!!!

That's all for now from Elizabeth and Nancy!!!!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

We're Here

Hello Friends and Family,

We have had a great trip thus far! We left Memphis on Monday morning and
met up with the rest of the team from Baton Rouge's Healing Place Church (HPC) Monday evening in Houston. We flew to Johannesburg
via Paris and then drove by bus 4 hours to Swaziland. We are all doing well and all our luggage is small feat considering there were 30 of us traveling and
approximately 100 bags! Praise God!!

With every step of the trip, our anticipation has grown! We are so thrilled to
be a part of what God, HPC Swaziland, and Children's Cup are doing here in Swaziland.
Thanks so much to everyone for your prayers, support, love, encouragement,
generosity, etc. Words really can't tell you how appreciative we are for you
helping us to GO!

A HUGE shout out to the GoGlobal team for all you do, everyday,
to take teams from there to here! You all are amazing!

Blessings and Love,
Sherrie, Mary, and Kassie
The Life Church of Memphis

Monday, July 21, 2008

Coca Cola Stuff for the Care Points

We are off to Africa in a couple hours. This is a picture of the stuff Coca Cola donated for me to take to the Orphans at the Care Points. Coke pencils are the best! Have you ever used a Coke Pencil? They ruin you for all other pencils! Coke donated a couple hundred of them and also these really cool lunch bag/cooler things that are Olympic themed and even have the Ethiopia Coke can on them (our son "A", that we are in the process of adopting, is in Ethiopia so this is really special to us) and also three new Coke T-shirts that are really cool.

Dan told us that to people in Swaziland like Coke hats, shirts, stuff like that, even used ones, so I am bringing a few of my old hats. I figured I could give them away or use them to barter with.

I think it's so cool that Coca Cola donated all that stuff.

This is a hat just like the one we sent to "A" last month. I got one to wear on this trip to Africa. I know he is in Ethiopia and we are going to Swaziland but it's still closer to where he is so it's like Carole said on her blog, It's like a connection, a hat tied to our son in an Orphanage in Ethiopia Africa - tied to a dad on a missions trip in Swaziland Africa.

Dean Turner

Thursday, July 17, 2008

They call it justice..

Man, oh man! Four more days! I can hardly believe it! This has been one incredible journey just looking back to the first time I talked to Jason about Africa back in January, and I can honestly say that God has stretched my faith a great deal! Wow! I'm so pumped about this trip because I know God's got His hand and anointing on us, and as we be His hands and feet to the lost and the broken and the hurting and oppressed, we will see God's faithfulness and His heart! I'm expecting so much; I want to come back from this trip completely wrecked.. The other day in Saturate, I wrote this following piece in my journal, and this is what I think it's all about..

"Justice.. it's not a one time mission. It's a lifestyle that reflects the heart of God. People, no matter what their circumstance or situations or geography, are still valuable to God! Therefore they need to be valuable to us. We can't fix every problem, but that's not an excuse to do nothing. Justice is the heartbeat of God, and we've got to run this race for those who can't. Amen."


Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Be Empowered

Prayer this morning was great! I love that we are gathering as a time of preparation for our trip and I know that God is going to show up. My prayer for each of us is that Jesus will empower us to grow, stretch and learn in ways that we cannot even imagine right now. God showed me this morning how important is for us to allow our roots to grow strong in Him, to be FIRMLY PLANTED IN ORDER TO BE EMPOWERED!!

I pray Ephesians 3:14-19 over this Africa team.

14 For this reason I kneel before the Father, 15 from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. 16 I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, 17 so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, 18 may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, 19 and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.

I know that there are people who are going on this trip that don't even know the degree that God is going to use them.There will be gifts imparted and people used in massive ways Hold on to your hats!!!!!

As I read a quote from Mother Theresa this morning, I knew it was for our team,

"What we say does not matter, only what God says to souls through us."

In His Love, Nancy Clary

Monday, July 14, 2008


got this note from rolfe after last night's meeting. cool thought:

"You give but little when you give of your possessions. It is when you give of yourself that you truly give."

May I suggest some books to read on your trip?

Since you all will be traveling for over 24 hours, and may want to consume some of that time reading, I thought I'd give you a couple book ideas that go right along with what your trip is all about.

The first two books, Fields of the Fatherless and Red Letters are written by Tom Davis. He has personal experience of doing ministry in Swaziland. His books will rock your world. I challenge you to stay the same after reading them.

The third book There is no Me Without You is very dear to my heart because it's about Ethiopia BUT it's equally about HIV/AIDS, the pandemic of the 21st century. This book really educates the reader on this disease,what it is doing to Africa, and the world. Since Swaziland has the highest concentration of AIDS Orphans per-capita, this would be a great book to teach you both about the plight of the AIDS Orphan and AIDS itself. Again, be ready to be changed.

God be with you all. May He mess you up forever!!

The Wardrobe and the White Tree Book Club Life Group

a great reminder before we go

Staying in the Moment

Yesterday was an amazing day! Having the team all together in Church for Prayer was overwhelming for me. The reality that we will be leaving so soon is beginning to sink and the feelings of joy and humility are flooding me right now. I know that none of the team will ever be the same again after our opportunity to serve and pour out His love in a country that is parched and dry. I am so humbled to among the team memebers that have never had the opportunity to serve on a mission team before and I know that for us our excitement is totally over the top. My prayers is that for all of us we can stay in the moment this week and allow God to speak to us as He prepares us for this journey. That we can become soft and pliable in His Hands. He wants us to be so close that we are clinging to Him. I am praying for each of you that you will Hear him call your name like never before.......

In His Love, Nancy Clary

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Swazi Thoughts from the Doctor

Sitting here at our final Swazi mtg and I'm getting fired up just thinking about what God is going to do in us and through us!!!! This morning at the 12 o'clock service when our team was prayed for I really felt like God put His anointing on us for what we are going to do there. It felt as if someone put a blanket on my shoulders and as crazy as it sounds, I felt His spirit rest on was awesome. Luke 4 Jesus talks about the spirit of God being ON him and God's anointing being ON him for the task he came from heaven to earth to accomplish....what was ON him was not to enable him to preach better or pray better but what was on him was to serve the people. WOW!!!! As a team whether it be in Africa or in Prairieville we have to remember that what is on us is not for us but for them....its never about us but about bringing healing to a hurting world. Amen


Saturday, July 12, 2008

Really excited about this trip. The anticipation is growing each day. I know that God has some incredible things in store. Thank you all those who have supported us financially and with your prayers. I pray that God will continue to bless you all as you sew into the work of his kingdom!

In Christ, Nathan Robert

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Official Swaziland Go Global Team Blog Is Ready To Go

A huge thank you to Carole Turner ( for setting up our team blog. Team members will be posting here, and Carole will be helping us keep updates posted as much as possible between now and when our team returns.

Thank you to all of you who have helped financially to send this team as well as those who have committed to pray for us.

Our ministry itinerary continues to be refined and adjusted to milk the most out of the days we are on the ground. Generally speaking thought, our plans include hosting basketball clinics at four schools, which will also include devotionals and bible teaching. We also plan to host a one-day three-on-three basketball tournament at the HPC Swaziland campus parking lot (thanks for the help, Kevin and Tracy), concluding with a message from none other than Jason Laird.

We'll get to be a part of sunday services at HPC Swaziland, and do some outreaches at some of the Children's cup carepoints as well.

Please be in prayer for us - we'll keep you updated as much as possible.


Dan Ohlerking