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April Update 2018

Hello Friends and Family,
 
We are so excited to be visiting the United States in just 3 short weeks.  We  want to let you know where we will be when, so we can connect with as many people as we possible can during our visit.  We land in the United States  May 17th and will be there through July 10th
 
We are also very excited that Shelly will be visiting the United States as well.  Shelly will be with us from June 6th thru June 19th! The last time Shelly was in the States was 2012. She has been ministering with YWAM (Youth With a Mission) since January 2009. She has ministered in Swaziland, South Africa, Mozambique, India, Thailand, Philippines, Cambodia, Indonesia, Germany, Denmark, Wales and the United Kingdom. 

Our tentative schedule is as follows:
 
Wisconsin: Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Milwaukee & Manitowoc:
May 17th  thru June 5th
 
Shelly will be with us the first couple weeks in June. We will be in
Illinois, Indiana, Ohio, Michigan and Wisconsin during her visit!
June 6th  thru  June 19th

 
After we drop off Shelly in Chicago on June 19th, to fly back to Liverpool, United Kingdom, Randy and I will be back in Wisconsin.
 
Wisconsin: in Oconomowoc, Waukesha, Milwaukee & Manitowoc from:
June 12th  thru June 28th
 
South Dakota:  We will be in Cedar Rapids, South Dakota from:
June 29th thru July 3rd
 
Florida:  We will be in the Tampa, Florida area from:
July 3rd thru July 7th
 
Then we will be back in Oconomowoc from July 7th thru our departure date on July 10th.
 
That's the update on our upcoming trip, now for other news from the Kingdom of Swaziland. We recently celebrated our 50/50 Anniversary. It was the King Mswati III's 50th Birthday, as well as the country's 50th Anniversary of independence from Britain. It was a beautiful day celebrating the many wonderful things that have happened in the last 50 years. The King made a surprise announcement at the festivities. He changed the name from the "Kingdom of Swaziland" to the "Kingdom of Eswatini". All of the details have yet to be worked out, but if our updates change to read "Update from Eswatini", please know we have not moved to a different country, the King just changed the country's name!!!!

We look forward to seeing all of you very soon. Thank you for your love, prayers and support!
Love, Karen and Randy

Church Plants

2018 has been a very busy year with church plants. The first church plant in January was in Mliba. There have been 4 additional church plants since then. The Lord has connected us with wonderful Pastors who have a heart to preach the Gospel and see people come into a life saving relationship with Jesus Christ. We are thrilled to be able to partner with them and make this happen. We provide the tent, chairs, and sound system to help them get started. After the church is planted, we provide discipleship lessons in Siswati or English, to help the people get grounded in their faith relationship with the Lord, and to help them grow spiritually. We continue to do what we can to help the Pastors grow spiritually, as well as helping them develop strong followers of Jesus Christ. Below are the 4 additional church plants for 2018.

Church Plant in Kakholwane

The church plant in Kaholwane is in a rural area of Swaziland, about 30 minutes from Manzini which is one of the big cities in the country. Pastor Mabanhla Manana shared the gospel of Jesus Christ and saw many people with Godly sorrow, repent and accept Jesus as their Lord and Savior. He is currently taking roughly 30 people through our Discipleship Course, to help them grow in their relationship with the Lord.

Church Plant in Bhamboo

The church plant in Bhamboo was planted by Pastor Thabiso Nxumalo. We planted a church with him in Moneni in July 2017. (see the pictures below for an update on our recent visit there)  Prior to planting the church, they prayed specifically for this geographical area, as well as going door to door to invite people personally to the church plant. At the main church in Moneni, they also collected food items that they had and distributed them, according to the needs they saw in the community of Bhamboo. They handed out rice, beans, tins of fish, oil, bath soap, and what ever else they had, to bless those in need.
 
Once the tent went up, there were many people who came to the new church and gave their lives to the Lord. Since the church was planted 5 weeks ago, they continue to meet and teach the people about their new relationship with the Lord. On Easter Sunday, they had over 30 people get water baptized. Please pray for these new believers, that they continue to grow in the Lord and walk in loving obedience to the scriptures.

Church Plant in Kandinda

The church plant in Kandinda was planted by Pastor Chris Ndzimandze. We have known Chris for over 5 years now. We partnered with Pastor Chris for 2 years and faciliatetd an ISOM Bible school in Luyengo, his home area. This new church plant is at the "end of the valley" about 10 kilometers away from his current church in Luyengo. The people in this area have been asking for a church for a long time. Finally, a bible believing Christ centered church has been planted in their area, and they are so thrilled. The church now is roughly 40-50 people on a regular basis. Praise the Lord!

Church Plant in Mavula

The church plant in Mavula is the second church we are planting with Pastor Nomkhosi Dlamini and her husband. This church is in the north eastern most corner of the nation. It is only 7 kilomters from the Mozambique border. Each night, outreach services are held and the gospel is being shared. Then during the day, they are holding Discipleship Classes for those people who have given their lives to the Lord. This church plant runs from 23 April to 6 May, 2018. Please be praying for pastor Dlamini and her husband.

Church Plant in Moneni from July 2017

Recently, we had the privilege of preaching at one of our church plants that took place in July of 2017. The top picture is Randy and Pastor Thabiso on the right, and his assistant pastor on the left. It was such a joy to see how the church has grown in just 7 short months. People were given a chance to testify about what God has done and is doing in their lives. The children sang a song and recited bible verses (in English!) that they have been learning. The people in the church were giving of themselves and serving one another. They were feeding the little ones before church, they has kids church, there were greaters to welcome people, as well as a worship team to usher in the presence of the Lord.

The Sunday we visited, was the week before they were starting a new church plant in Bhamboo. (See the above photo) The Lord has spoken to them to reach out to the village next to where they are currently meeting. Read the details above to see what the Lord did ...... amazing things are happening because we serve an amazing God!

Trip to the Dentist

We also wanted to share with you a typical day in the life of the Brennan's  ........ The beautiful picture at the top of the update as well as the pictures above,  were taken on our recent trip to the dentist. After living here almost 12 years, Randy and I sometimes say, "People wouldn't believe what we go through just to live here ...  to go to the dentist, or buy a set of tires .. and the list goes on and on!" 

Wednesday, was Randy's day to get a root canal done. Eish!!!! But, this was our second attempt at a trip to the dentist.  The first attempt was last week Thursday, when we set out bright and early in the morning, only to realize 1 hour into our trip, that I (Karen) had forgotten our passports. The first time in 12 years that I have done this, (AND LAST TIME)!!!!   So our second attempt was Wednesday and it was a huge success.

We do have a dentist in Swaziland that can perform our cleanings, but for something complicated like a root canal, just 2 hours away is top notch, state of the art technology for something complicated like a root canal. So we literally drove over the river and through the woods, to the dentist we go!!!!!! Everything turned out great and Randy should be as good as new in no time. Once we get back in July, another two trips to the dentist and he will finally have a permanent cap for his tooth.

Our Awesome Guard Dogs!

Back in October of 2017, we were given these two beautiful dogs by dear missionary friends, James and Jannie. They were missionaries here in Swaziland for years and Randy has actually known James since 2003!  We are blessed to have our "guard dogs" on duty 24/7. Roxy is a little Fox Terrier and she is the warning sound. The big dog Joda, is a Boerbull and is the huge, intimidating, and scary guard dog. We love our dogs!!!!
Prayer and Praise Report:
Praises:
  • Praise the Lord for answered prayers! We have been offered a place to stay and a vehicle to use for the entire time we are in the States. Thank you to all who have reached out to us and offered to help us, may the Lord bless you!
  • Our plans are coming together nicely and we already have our schedule tentatively set up in a fashion that we are able to see many of you while we are back.
Requests:
  • Safety during our travels and for excellent health.
  • Pray that we are able to see all the people the Lord wants us to see.
  • Pray for the church plants that have been established so far in 2018, that they continue to flourish and bear much fruit.
  • Pray for Nelson, our facilitator who will be continuing with ISOM classes in our absence.
Thank you for praying and partnering with us to advance the Gospel of Jesus Christ in the Kingdom of Eswatini!
Love,
Karen and Randy
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