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Everything is Growing

Psalm 145:3  Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom.

It’s been a year since I’ve sent out a blog.  It’s been too long! So much is happening in our lives it’s hard for me to fathom how to communicate it all to you – but here is an attempt!

I received this picture today of a garden we have at a Care Point which serves to provide fresh vegetables for the children there.  It’s exciting and symbolic – everything is growing!

I just returned from a short trip to Swaziland to show some friends around so they could see the various ministries we are involved in.  Two of the men had funded some Care Points and it was a great experience to see how the children organized themselves to express thanks – there was singing, dancing, and thank-you note reading.  I think we were all touched to realize the impact of the investment of these men.

In less than two weeks Marcia and I leave together for Swaziland.  Marcia will be running Timbali Crafts for our missionary home on furlough.  In addition to giving attention to the staff and ongoing ministry I will be conducting field research for my doctoral program.  This will involve interviewing many young adult emerging leaders in Swaziland in order to better understand their challenges and potential for becoming leaders.  I’m excited to say Marcia is helping with the interviews!  

This research will result in a broad based outreach program for leadership development among the almost 200,000 orphans and vulnerable children growing up in Swaziland.  What will become of this beautiful country ravaged by HIV/AIDS?  It’s in the hands of a loving Savior and He will use this generation to renew their own country and have influence around the world.  I believe this is God’s redemption plan for the HIV?AIDS pandemic.   If we can influence the Godly character and leadership development of a generation – can you imagine what the Lord can do with those leaders?

Marcia continues to lead the efforts for Timbali Crafts here in the US.  She’s just finished with exhibiting Timbali at the Christian Alliance For Orphans annual conference in Nashville as well as at a large Atlanta retail merchandiser convention.  It was a great time for her to work alongside some great ladies who volunteer so much time in selling Timbali.  Also Julie Anderson (the missionary who started Timbali) is in country and was able to attend the sales as well!

We’re making progress on our Children’s Home although it’s not been easy.  Realities of constructing a building half way around the world have resulted in many challenges.  When finished there will be 4 bedrooms and 3 bathrooms to house between 8 and 14 children, depending on age.  The building lacks electrical wiring and plumbing fixtures but we have the finances for this and it will be finished soon.  Then we need to purchase appliances and bedroom furniture.  We have raised $4500 so far for furnishings which will be enough for a refrigerator (very expensive in Swaziland), stove (big enough to cook for all those people), and a table and chairs for meals.  Each room will need beds and a desk.  The living room needs furniture.  Then the entire house needs to be set up with linens and cooking supplies!

The ministry with AIM in Swaziland is growing in some great ways.  As we serve a meal for 6000 children per day we also reach out to them with a newly created discipleship and evangelism curriculum.  Our team in Swaziland has come together to create these standardized materials for a several year strategy to teach the children everything we want them to know about life in Christ and how to grow up to be responsible adults full of Godly character.  For many this means grieving loss of parents and many other hardships that accompany poverty.  It’s a great program. 

We’re also instituting a medical outreach.  We’ve hired a Swazi nurse to join our missionary who was a fireman paramedic to go to each of the 34 care points for clinics with the children.  I have a friend who is finishing his Masters in Public Health who is in Swaziland right now to help us create a system for not only caring for the children but also strategizing our policies for dealing with the full range of medical service requests we receive on a weekly basis.

Along the way I’ve also been asked and accepted an increased role with AIM in Gainesville.  First I am leading a team to create a training platform for long term missionaries who will be sent out through AIM.  With hundreds of young adults coming through AIM programs, many have a desire to go on to long term missions and the training program will equip AIM to send out potentially hundreds of long term missionaries over the next decade. 

Secondly I am taking my experience with working in Swaziland and with different partnerships and applying that experience to all of AIM’s international partnerships.  I am working with 10 or so international ministries to help them create development plans in order to both creatively utilize the assets they have in country and communicate a compelling vision for that ministry to potential donors.  Now my week in the office is peppered with conversations with ministries in places like Thailand, Philippines, Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, Guatemala, and India. 

I see both of these new roles as opportunities to leverage my gifts, experience, and education to greatly improve the effectiveness of those international ministry partners.  I’ve been able to take on this extra role because I have an assistant in the office – a missionary who was in Swaziland with AIM for 4 years and now has come back with his family to work with me on Swaziland efforts here.  He’s been invaluable to the ministry by taking on an operational role so I can be more freed up to lead.  

Our family is blessed.  Each of our children are doing well in their faith, family, and career.  Each of our 5 grandchildren is a special gift to our family.  We cherish the time we get to spend with them in between working, serving, and studying!

Please keep us in your prayers as we serve and travel.  We need supernatural help in order to keep up with all the opportunity on our plates!

With Gratitude,


Scott and Marcia