Ian and Jenn Stephens are missionaries working with C.H.I.P.S, Children HIV Intervention Programme in Swaziland, to help the orphans and vulnerable children affected by HIV/AIDS pandemic in Swaziland, Africa. Their home base is in Vuvulane and they travel around to various communities testing for HIV, assessing medical needs and treatment options, teaching job skills, providing workshops, and occasionally conducting Crossroads training (character building/positive living/HIV & abstinence). Ian and Jenn's main desire is to share the love of Jesus for each of these precious children while working towards fulfilling the vision of a HIV free Swaziland.


Sunday, May 20, 2012

We're going home!

Jenn had her final doctor's appointment this week. Everyone was very impressed at how well Jenn has done with her recovery. Dr. Pruitt said that where Jenn is at, would be the equivalent of 12 weeks out of surgery as compared to the 6 weeks since her surgery.  He gave us the green light to head home. That's right, we're heading home to Swaziland on May 29th, we can't wait! 

We continue to make the rounds to the various churches that have been supporting us to give a brief talk sharing about what God has done. It's been good to catch up with everyone and we're thankful for the continued outpouring of blessings we have been getting from everyone around us. 

Tomorrow, Monday, we'll be up early and heading to Arizona to visit our dear friends there for several days. 

As we prepare in earnest for our trip home, there are still several prayer requests and needs that we have. 
  • Our only vehicle in Swaziland is still in the repair shop (and has been the entire time that we have been here) needing parts from Japan. We are praying that it will be ready in time for our arrival. Otherwise, we'll probably have to rent a vehicle until it's fixed. 
  • Upon our return, we will be looking for another used vehicle to purchase so we can have a second vehicle which will allow us to minister more effectively covering more ground at the same time. Please pray that the Lord will lead us to a great deal/vehicle. 
  • Our monthly support is still lagging by just $250. We are thankful for the many one-time gifts that our faithful supporters have given and are so appreciative! Please pray that our monthly support would be enough to cover all our needs.
  • Please pray for travel mercies both to/from Arizona and to Swaziland next week   

The time here has gone so fast. We're thankful for the many friends and supporters we have and for the opportunity to renew friendships and establish new ones. It has been such a blessing to be surrounded by so many people who care so deeply for us. We do ask one more thing, please keep in touch with us when we are home. We love to hear how you are doing and any prayer needs that we can pray for covering your needs. At this time, we don't have any plans to return to the States anytime soon so our newsletters and blog will be our primary means of communication to you (unless you contact us in another way).

Hopefully we will have Skype when we are back home and if so, will let you know our Skype name. You can contact us by email at piggwr4647[at]gmail(dot)com, by mail at PO Box 96, Vuvulane L 310, Swaziland, AFRICA or by phone (from the US) 011-268-2313-1428. 
P.S. - If you want to support our ministry, the fastest way is to make an Online Donation via www.WorldOutreach.org
Go to "Donate" and select our name, Stephens, Ian and Jenn SWAZILAND. The system can process USA and International cards.
Or simply mail your gift to World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Ian and Jenn, Fund Code #97.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Broken hearts

Babe Shongwe
Babe Shongwe

We learned this week that Babe Shongwe, an older man in Section 19, has died and it just broke our hearts. Babe Shongwe was left to die alone, no one- not even his own children- was there to care for him at the end. Daran and Teresa found him lying in his own urine, hungry, sick and dying in a dilapidated hut at the beginning of the week. The neighbors (including some of the women that have been involved with the Sewing Project and whom we have mentored) only had excuses why they weren't able to do anything to help Babe Shongwe. A few days later, Babe Shongwe went to be with Jesus. During his life, Babe Shongwe had often talked about Jesus and how he relied on God.

This news upset us greatly as we have known Babe Shongwe since we first came to Vuvulane and he was such a sweet man. It is a hard existence, one of survival, for these people, but it's frustrating to see that so many, who profess to have Jesus in their hearts, aren't willing to care for the elderly who are sick and dying. We regret that we weren't there with Babe Shongwe during his last days here on earth. Daran and Teresa had a good talk with some of the Sewing Project ladies, explaining that we show how Jesus has changed our lives through caring for others. It's our prayer that God's word would transform the hearts of those who profess God; that others around would see God in their actions and be drawn to Him. Our heart breaks for the abandoned, the elderly and children who can't take care of themselves, the sick, and the ones dying alone.  (To read more about Babe Shongwe, here is Daran and Teresa's post about it http://rehmeyers.blogspot.com/2012/05/new-command.html)

This whole time we've been in the UK and the US, we have realized that our home is in Vuvulane, where God has called us to pour out our lives ministering to these people and to train up godly leaders in the community. We pray that God would do a incredible work in these communities where the people are marginalized and have no hope on their own, that this area of Swaziland would be so transformed that it would be a light for the entire nation. Please join us in praying for the people of Swaziland.

P.S. - If you want to support our ministry, the fastest way is to make an Online Donation via www.WorldOutreach.org
Go to "Donate" and select our name, Stephens, Ian and Jenn SWAZILAND. The system can process USA and International cards.
Or simply mail your gift to World Outreach Ministries, PO Box B, Marietta, GA 30061 and designate for Ian and Jenn, Fund Code #97.


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Section 19 Woman's Support Group Floor Polish Micro-Industry