The Blessing…

These are exciting times! After the last few months of grace and battle, we are excited to press into this new season of family before us! We hope you have seen the numerous posts and testimonies on http://www.runwiththeglory.com) Truly it would have been impossible without the love and prayers of so many of our global family. For you we are truly grateful. As we eagerly await the arrival of Baby Nicole (due March 1st) and Joshua (a 6 week old HIV + baby abandoned at a local hospital who will be joining the MCV family), we anticipate the great honor and responsibilities before us. People love to tell us, “Life will never be the same!” Indeed…and we will never fully know this adventure of parenting till the baby arrives. What will happen when we are handed these precious miracles of life? I love this story of Jesus with children…. Jesus said to them, “Let the little children come to me and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these….And he took the children in his arms, put his hands on them and blessed them. Mark 10: 14,16 The beautiful thing about a blessing is that, unlike a curse, a blessing can never be broken. What power and possibility! I have often wondered what exactly Jesus said to the children as He blessed them. One day I will ask him. For now, I will simply follow His example and bestow His blessing. From the children on the street to the children brought by Social Services to MCV, I desire to speak blessings over these precious gifts from God. And in that first moment of seeing our baby, we vow to bless him or her with the same blessing Jesus gave to those children. We want to encourage you today to do them same! Look around you today…who is around you? Go to them. Bless them. Seize the opportunity to bless the children/people around you with the impartation of God’s unfailing love and destiny for their lives. Join us in blessing Baby Nicole and Joshua this week as they begin their lives. We covet your prayers for a safe and joyful birth for our baby and a speedy discharge for Joshua so he can come home to MCV. We look forward to sending out another update soon including pictures of these newest treasures!!!

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Waiting Game…

Forgive our silence! We have been swept away with ministry and pre-baby preparations. We are in the final weeks now!!! Baby is not due till March 1st, but he or she could come any day (I am 38 weeks)…Prayerfully, Mommy and baby have an understanding that it would be best for baby to stay cozy till after the MCV board meeting (Feb 19th). We would love additional prayer now….it remains a busy time as I transition away from the daily responsibilities and delegate to our amazing staff.
Speaking of amazing staff, Cindy Mauro and Tryphina Sitehole surprised me with a precious baby shower this week. Almost all my siSwati and missionary friends were present…it was a delightful afternoon which I will always cherish!
Of course, we covet your prayers for a healthy and safe birth! We struggled with a few complications about 6 weeks ago, but God’s incredible healing power has cleared us from pre-eclampsia and gestational diabetes! At that time, the doctor was suggesting a cesarean, but due to God’s miraculous touch, he supports a try at natural! We had to compromise on the location (home birth was ruled out), so we are going to a local government hospital. Stand with us by faith, we are going to have an awesome natural birth.
We are standing on the word! My two favorite scriptures right now are:
Psalm 4:1 You have freed me when I was hemmed in and enlarged me when I was in distress.
Exodus 1:19 …we are vigorous and quickly delivered!
We promise to send out an announcement just as soon as we can!!!
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Back to school…School of the Holy Spirit!

School is back in session! Our kids loved the month long holiday, but everyone was excited to return back to school. In preparing to return to school, God laid on our hearts to do a “Back to School, School of the Holy Spirit.” Our weeklong program focused on teaching the kids about loving God and worshiping Him in Spirit and in truth. We were so blessed to have an amazing guest minister, Anne Geary, to lead the sessions. We also had an AIM team, an incredible American couple, and some of our local youth to assist in praying over the kids. We concluded the school with intense prayer and prophetic ministry for each child. It was amazing to see the kids pray for each other and grow in the gifts of the Spirit. We saw many breakthroughs, but we know this is only the beginning! Please join us in praying for our kids- that God would heal each one completely and fulfill His destiny in their lives!

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Pastor’s Advance

At the beginning of every year, our ministry (Iris Africa/PIH) hosts a three-day seminar for leaders and pastors. Years ago God gave Pastor Surprise Sithole a vision of impacting South Africa by gathering, imparting, and empowering the pastors each January. Following this God given strategy, over 100 leaders were launched into the new year with fresh teaching, fire, and anointing for the Kingdom of God!
Surprise opened up our meetings Friday night by casting vision for the upcoming year, and imparting the DNA of Iris Ministries to our leaders. Saturday morning Surprise spoke about changing for growth. He spoke about the importance of developing a culture of honor, love, and respect for one another. The focus of the teaching was on training up servant leaders who would grow the church through fellowship, relationship, and open communication between members of the body. Team building, communication, and delegating were key points that Surprise imparted to our leadership. Saturday night was an absolute Holy Ghost blow out! The manifest presence of God and the fire of His love overwhelmed almost everyone. What a joy to see leaders from Mozambique, Swaziland, Zimbabwe, and all over South Africa getting renewed and transformed by the Holy Spirit. We concluded our Pastors Advance Conference on Sunday morning with Pastor Dube teaching about the importance of giving, and then we had wonderful fellowship together with a wedding and chicken feast for over 250 people!
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Christmas Joy!

Our MCV family enjoyed such a sweet time of God’s presence on Christmas Eve and Christmas day! We enjoyed a special candle light service at the church on Christmas Eve. We sang, danced, and delighted in His Holy Spirit as He burned us anew with His love!
On Christmas, we gathered together in the morning for a special time of worship and testimonies. The kids led the worship and testimony time, which was thrilling. Song after song, different kids would lead out and everyone would join in. What a joy watching these precious ones loving on their Heavenly Daddy!
After testimonies, we sang “Happy Birthday” to Jesus and talked about the greatest gift! After thanking God for His gift in Jesus, we called each child up individually by house. After the kids received their gifts, we prayed for the families as a whole. We asked the kids to wait for the end before opening the gifts, so each family could enjoy this special time together in the houses. This was an incredible time for each family as each child raved over their new clothes and toys. Each family also enjoyed their special Christmas meal within the MCV homes.
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for standing with us, for sending us gifts/provision, and for praying for us!. We love you and we so appreciate your vital part in this ministry and growing family.
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My Pemba trip

My early Christmas gift was a short visit up to Pemba, Mozambique the first week in December. Jean stayed back in South Africa to hold down the fort. Poor guy was the only missionary at our base besides Tryphina who was overseeing the Baby House. Needless to say, he was busy. But we knew my window for flying was closing due to the pregnancy, so it was now or what seems like never (July 2010).
I had the most amazing time in Pemba. It was incredibly refreshing and renewing to be back “home” although God has transitioned our hearts to SA…I was so blessed to be with the Bakers, Pemba missionaries, and old Mozambican friends. It was quite fun to return being 7 months pregnant as many of my Moz friends had been praying for so long (they would often ask me why I did not already have babies since I was so old (30 is very old to not have babies in Africa!)…and after getting married, what was the hold up? ☺)
My highlight was the Mighty Warriors/Firestarters (our old boys dorm). They are 8-9 years old now and doing amazing. We enjoyed a day at the beach together and a special meal at the local restaurant. It was so good to see how they have blossomed and grown…It remains hard letting go and trusting God with their lives, but the visit did wonders for my mother’s heart.
It was also a great blessing to be at the graduation of the Mission School. Two of our beloved team members from South Africa, Frank and Cindy, just completed the school, so it was great being there to pray over them. It was also wonderful to spend time with various graduates who are praying about serving in South Africa. We have some huge needs at our SA base, so it was exciting meeting these amazing people whom might be God’s divine answers to prayer. Please be in prayer for our staffing/missionary needs. We need an overseer for our Baby House ASAP and someone who might be able to help assist in various leadership areas when I have the baby in March. There are other huge areas of staffing needs too, but we will start with those two areas for now. Pray for supernatural provision for these needs and the precious team He is putting together!
Lastly, I can’t forget to also mention the funny thing that happened when I was leaving Pemba. While boarding the LAM plane (national airline of Mozambique) the stewardess asked me how far along I was. I told her 27 weeks, but she did not believe me. She said that I would not be able to fly without a doctors note since I was so big. I tried reasoning with her, but she was dead set against me flying. I called Jean so he could pray. A few minutes later, the captain came out to talk with me. I explained my situation and how I was not a flight risk. He agreed and allowed me to board the plane. The stewardess was still a little mad, but I smoothed things over with her when departing with a hug/prayer. Yeah God!
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Christmas Update

Blessings from your family in South Africa!Excitement is in the air as we gear up for the biggest and best birthday of the year. Amazingly, our SA family (which includes YOU) was able to bless over 140 orphans in the Extended Kids Outreach program via eight local churches…Just today, we hand delivered gifts in BackDoor; praying for each child and home. What a joy sharing the greatest gift ever-JESUS!!! And last Friday, we hosted over 350 local kids with a Christmas program, chicken feast, and candy bags. Things got a little crazy during the feeding and giving out the gifts, but not even small riots can stop His love from being poured out! And we cannot forget to praise God for our 24+ kids at the children’s village who soon enough will be overwhelmed by Daddy’s lavish love! Wow, wow, wow! We rejoice in His wonderful provision! “Sing to God, sing praises to His name; extol him who rides on the clouds, by His name and rejoice before Him. A FATHER of the fatherless, a DEFENDER of widows, is God in his holy habitation. God sets the solitary in FAMILIES; He brings out those who are bound, in to prosperity; but the rebellious dwell in a dry land.” Psalm 68:4-6Thank you to all who have poured out your hearts in prayer and your pockets in giving so that we are able to bless abundantly these amazing treasures at the children’s village and the awesome ministries flowing out of the SA base! You are a great Christmas present to us through the love you so generously pour out. We also want to thank those of you who have specifically lifted us up to the Father on a daily or weekly basis. Without you, we could not continue being His hands and feet in Southern Africa!.

Blessings to you as you celebrate the love and joy of our Savior during this holiday season. And may the Lord pour out an abundance of His Holy Spirit and provision on you in this CHRISTmas and this upcoming New Year!!!

Below is our latest newsletter! Do not miss this important message from God’s heart…

Jean often says, “Our family just keeps getting bigger and bigger!” Amen! Presently, we have over 20 kids and 2 babies at the children’s village and hundreds more being cared for in the feeding program, preschool, and extended outreach ministry. As the family grows, everything else seems to grow: the joys, the triumphs, the needs, the problems, etc. As in any big family, there is never a dull moment and everyday, new adventures!
As the days go on, we are learning more and more about the beauty of God’s family. There are no orphans in God’s family. Only sons. Only daughters. Each one deeply loved and wondrously healed. With our Heavenly Daddy leading and guiding the family, we receive His full inheritance and His promises on earth as it is in heaven. Our precious family in South Africa is not there yet…but we are in pursuit! We have seen so many orphaned children with tragic pasts come to Jesus and find healing in His presence. We have watched the orphan spirit dissolve away as a child embraces his or her place in God’s family! Just two weeks ago, as one of our newest girls was dropped off by Social Services, the social worker wrote on her intake file, “She refused to do dishes. Therefore, she was not wanted in the previous home.” What? Hounding the social worker for more details, we learned of the girl’s tragic history of sexual and emotional abuse (a little more important than not washing dishes!) Head and eyes downcast, the young girl did not want to talk at first. We watched as her new foster mother embraced her and began the process of making a genuine heart connection with the beautiful girl. Slowly, this precious, wounded young girl opened her heart. Within an hour, we saw the beauty of family at work.
We are enraptured by the splendor of God’s family–the Body of Christ. For the believer, no matter where he or she goes in the world, God has a family waiting, even more so, God has a family longing to grow! Each and every person in the Body is needed to fulfill His great command and commission (1Cor. 12:12-13; Matt. 22: 37-39, Matt. 29: 18-20). The holidays are an amazing time to reflect about this truth. We want to encourage you to embrace this holiday season with a renewed passion for family. God has given us such an amazing, yet diverse family! In South Africa, we have so many cultures coming together- siSwati, Afrikaans, British, American, and Mozambican. Please know, you are a vital part! You are such an awesome blessing to us and we pray for you often! Until we join the greatest family reunion in heaven, may we pursue the fullness of the Father’s heart and see more and more children enter into His eternal family!!!
We are happy to announce the new website for Michaels Childrens Village! Please visit www.mcvafrica.com Currently we have several posts about Welcome’s journey (Warrior Baby). He is 16 month old being healed of advanced AIDS and TB. We are seeing some great breakthroughs with him and many of our other children…please visit and read more testimonies and prayer requests.
From our hearts to yours this Christmas!!!
Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you for standing with us, for praying for us, for financially making all this possible. We love you and we so appreciate your vital part in this ministry and growing family. May the Holy Spirit hold you close this Christmas and overwhelm you with His lavish love! He is already overwhelming us…we are busy with the babies and kids, preparing gifts and celebrations for our new family…believing that each child will embrace the Father’s love! Any orphan spirits will be broken forever! May we all fully grasp our inheritance in Christ and our precious adoption as sons and daughters. “Glory to God in the highest, and on earth Peace to men on whom His favor rests” (Luke 2:14). His favor soooooooooooo rests on us Friends! Because we have Jesus–we have everything….at least everything that matters!
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November Update!

November Update!
Blessings! We wanted to give a brief update on the past few weeks! We have 3 new kids since our last blog! Two boys were brought to us for temporary placement as a child trafficking investigation takes place. Please pray with us that the social workers and government officials will be able to find out the truth as quickly as possible. We have already fallen in love with the boys, but we want them with their real families if it is God’s will. Another young 11 year old girl came to us under interesting circumstances. Her social worker wrote on her intake form “refused to wash dishes” as the reason she was kicked out of her previous foster home. We have learned of some other extremely tragic reasons including that our precious girl is pregnant. Please pray for her and us as we walk with her during this challenging time.
Warrior baby is doing great! He has been out of the hospital for over 3 weeks! Although he still has good days and bad days, we believe he is on the road to complete healing. He started ARV’s 10 days ago. It was extremely rough on his body the first week, but he pressed through! He is now taking his medicine much better (5 days without vomiting) and being more playful. Yesterday, he played Peek-a-Boo for a long time- laughing and smiling!
We also want to praise God for some amazing visitors who have stopped by the past few weeks! We had a painting crew from AFM church led by John and Xannie who blessed our socks off by helping paint the final house. We also hosted a group of saSawati church women who came and prayed over our kids and center. This was such an amazing answer to prayer as the women also brought 3 weeks worth of food for our kids! We also hosted two dear friends from America- Samara and Becca! They have served in so many areas- from painting to treating all the kids to KFC! We are so grateful for all our extended family members who make so much possible!!!! For example, we have the most amazing servant in Holland- Jill, who continuously sends us blessings from fresh vegetables to clothes to fortified food supplements for our kids! Thank you so much friends!!! We love and bless you!
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Warrior baby back in hospital

Warrior baby is back in the hospital….it turns out that his pneumonia was resistant to the antibiotics the doctors tried, so they are trying another one…lets just agree the strongest antibiotic Jesus heals him!!!

We welcomed our newest addition to our family last Friday. Our precious new treasure is a 5 year old girl. She also needs special prayer since she is HIV+ and finishing TB treatment. Unfortunately, yesterday we had a horrible accident when a dog bit our newest girl and Carolyn (a missionary). We have lots of wild dogs in the area and we have to be extra careful since 2 children have died of rabies in our area recently. Therefore, our newest gal and Carolyn went for shots today and they both have to receive 4 more rounds. Bless their hearts! Pray also for the dog which we prayed for and then took to the SPCA.

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Keep praying!

Our little warrior baby with TB had to be readmitted to the hospital (again) because of spiking fevers (+39!) and vomiting….We also found out he is HIV+ with extremely low blood counts, so his dear immune system is overwhelmed (keep praying….may it be overwhelmed by the healing power of JESUS). The doctors are trying another TB medicine and a stronger antibiotic (he seems to have some other infection too). The great news is that we have seen great improvements in the past 2 days! He ate almost a whole boiled egg yesterday which was quite encouraging because his appetite was so weak previously. We have him on a high protein diet, but getting him to eat at times is very challenging. He is in good sprits with a laugh and smile which melts our hearts….and yesterday when Carolyn (our mission graduate intern/future director of Iris Madagascar) was leaving his room, he called out “Momma” which has been the first word we have ever heard him speak! We are believing for his quick healing and advancement in all the learning milestones like speech, walking, etc!

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