1. How did you become engaged with Children’s HopeChest?
We connected with HopeChest after traveling on a short term trip to Swaziland with Adventures in Missions. Though we were only there for 10 days, it changed our outlook of what we wanted our lives to look like, and what it meant to be a Christian and truly follow Jesus. Upon returning home we explored how to stay engaged with our new Swazi friends. Becoming a HopeChest Partnership Leader was a natural fit.
2. How have you seen lives in your community in the US change through traveling or sponsoring a child?
Since we are a connect community many of the individuals we work with are scattered around the country. Most were folks we traveled to Swazi with, though some are from our local family, friends and church network. It’s amazing to witness the impact on lives while serving in Swaziland, and to witness similar growth happening at home through this ministry outreach. Some of our team members have been called to other missions, but they’re living boldly for Christ because of what they experienced Him do in Swaziland. We always say the people of Swaziland do more to help us than we can ever do to help them.
3. What are your dreams and hopes for your CarePoint?
Our prayers for Bhalakene are multi-faceted. On a micro level we pray the CarePoint will be fully sponsored and sustainable in the future. We want to see the programs there continue to grow, so the kids will gain skills such as growing food and taking care of animals. We’re ag people, so it is pretty awesome to see the kids working in the new garden and now raising chickens and eggs! On a macro level we hope to see kids from the CarePoint grow into leaders that facilitate great change in the country of Swaziland. For all of the challenges the country faces, its people are its greatest resource. God will do amazing things in their hearts, for the future of their nation.
4. If you were auditioning for The Voice, what song would you choose and who would you want to be your coach?
Whitney says we would sing “She’s in Love with the Boy” by Trisha Yearwood; mainly because she sang it in a Nashville recording studio when she was 5 (it was one of those touristy places, on family vacation). She thinks she would like another shot at making it big, though it probably sounded much better when she was 5 (Her words!). The song isn’t really my style, but I’m glad to be the boy she loves! We would have to go with Blake as the coach, for his Nashville perspective.
5. Tell us your about your favorite moment traveling to your CarePoint for the first time.
Whitney remembers walking into the preschool classroom on the first day at the CarePoint in 2013. The kids were shrieking with joy, and giggling excitedly. Whitney knelt down next to the table and remembers the little girl who quickly grabbed her face with slobbery hands, tugging Whitney’s hair to move her face closer. The kids at a CarePoint have no sense of personal space, which is something that takes getting used to when you visit. But the symbolism is awesome–there are no barriers to God’s love and the connection we’re able to share with those kiddos through Christ.
6. What’s the biggest challenge you face as a HopeChest Partnership Leader?
Our biggest challenge? It is hard to ask people for money. Neither of us work in sales for a reason. We are both good at sharing the stories and introducing the Swazi people to people we meet. So we do our best to focus on the story of what HopeChest is doing in Swaziland and lean on the Lord to give us courage when it is appropriate to be more direct with financial asks.