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.


Tuesday, June 19, 2012

A little of this and that

All the Chips clients are well and thankfully there are no sick ones at this time. We have been giving out packets of dehydrated soup mix for these chilly nights to those who need the food. We visited with Gogo Maria, the lady who has terminal cancer who has been abandoned by her family, who loves to hear the Word and Prayer. 

Last week, we checked in with Fanzile. His Gogo had run out of food and Fanzile was home as the teachers were on strike. Fanzile was so dirty and had not bothered to bath in a while so we left him with soap. He was so thrilled (not really) about the soap, just your typical 8 year old boy! Another reason Fanzile was out of school was that he supposed to pay about $12 towards a school copier. Of course his Gogo did not have the money so they sent him home from school indefinitely. We solved that problem quickly and made sure he was back in school.
 Thankfully, God has provided another vehicle for us which we will collect next week. Having a second vehicle will enable us to minister in a broader scale as we can do some things separately. It will also be a good backup when our other vehicle is in the shop.

 There was a report that Vusile had TB again, but thankfully we found out it was pneumonia and that he is being well cared for. We will nee to visit him soon. 

Starting this Saturday, we will be doing community meetings again. It's time for a refresher course, especially in Maphiveni. Soloman is the overseer at Maphiveni and was just delighted to see us back and more than happy to set up the community meeting for us. 

Since being back, we have had many frustrating difficulties with our computer and internet connection. Please pray that God works this little detail for us, as it's our main connection with our friends and supporters outside 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.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Getting back into the swing of things

We are slowly getting back into our routine and have gotten over jet lag, thankfully. This week we went out and about with Mary and Jabulane in the communities doing clothes and soup distribution. There were several friends that we saw and we were glad to see them as well they happy to see us. It is exciting to be back at work and we are looking forward to seeing people again. 

Also this week, we went to the big city of Manzini looking at cars and doing visits to friends. We did find a vehicle to purchase and will be getting it in a couple of weeks. 

There is a huge prayer need that has come up. We have enough funds to buy 2 months supply of reagents, but at the moment it is tied up in governmental red tape. The government wants to charge 14% sales tax to bring the reagents in from South Africa. The tax came into place whilst we were in the States but the rotary club in Mbabane, who has donated money into the fund, doesn't want to pay tax on something that is a charitable gift.  Please pray that the matter gets dealt with in a very timely way. 
100 Chips clients will be able to get tested with the supplies that have been provided. This is a great answer to prayer to be able to test so many people as well as a continued request for prayer, that there would continue to be enough reagents to test all of our clients as needed.  

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, June 7, 2012

Jenn's Reflections

There were/are so many things that I was looking forward to in our return to Swaziland. I am thankful to be home again and to begin to take part of my home church here.  It will be good to see Sifiso and hear how his new job is going, though we’ll miss his nightly visits as our night guard.  It will be good to catch up with Newman and see how he is doing with his drinking. He did well at taking care of the garden in our absence, it looks great.  I can’t wait to go to the different villages with Mary and sharing the Word together, those are always good times of discipleship, and it will be good to spend time with Jabulane. 

It will be a bit strange to be home, though I felt like I was gone way too long. Both Julia and Babe Shwnage won’t be here. Sifiso won’t be dropping by on his nightly rounds (due to his new job). It will be an adjustment re-learning how to deal with all the daily drama that needs to be taken care of quickly.  When we were in the States, all the news from back home weren’t very positive which just reaffirmed that there is so much we still need to do here in Swaziland and our work is far from finished. 

It was nice to have lunch on Mother’s Day in England with my daughter Rebekah and grandsons, Danial and Thomas. It’s amazing to see how all my grandchildren, Megan, Danial, and Thomas have all grown up into young adults and are continuing on with their lives like going to the university.  I was very impressed to see a young pastor in England, Pastor Malc.  He has such a fire and passion to spread the word. There are so many young pastors in England that want to bring revival to the people and it’s really encouraging to see.
It was great to see Jeremy and Charissa and everyone else in AZ. We had a great time meeting Charissa’s grandparents and visiting with them.  Everyone in Arizona was so welcoming and we just felt like we were part of the family which meant a lot. 

The biggest change that I have noticed since being in the States is the technology, it just blows my mind. I do like the convenience of everything in the States but not enough to come back. There is an extremely fast pace of life in the States which is too much for me and I don’t like it one bit.  I much prefer the slower pace of life in Vuvulane.

I enjoyed going to all the churches and seeing people that I knew. But I felt that the churches were lacking a dynamic interest in reaching the lost world with the Gospel, which was sad.  We did go to one church that was really on fire for the Lord and that was encouraging. The Church in America needs revival and needs to become willing to take the Gospel to those who so desperately need it. The time is short and we want to/need to take as many people with us as we can.

I am so thankful for everyone who was involved with my care during surgery, therapy and afterwards.  They were all good listeners, patient, understanding, had a good sense of humor and were very encouraging. According to Pastor Harry I am a blessed and fortunate woman because I’ve recovered from my knee surgery in half the time it would take an ordinary person.  The entire time that I was away, I had a quest to find fresh strawberries and to try a snow cone for the first time. I was able to accomplish both of those goals and now am ready to return home.

It’s been a time when I’ve had to be completely dependent on others, which I have never had to do; previously I’ve only depended on God.  I’ve had to learn how to receive and be grateful. Ian’s been a good coach and together we’ve made it through this time as a team.  It is so good to be home and I am looking forward to getting back into our ‘normal’ (if you can call it that) routine. Please pray that we can transition well back into life here and that my knee would continue to heal.  

Thankfully there was enough money donated towards the reagent shortage that 100 Chips patients can get tested this month.
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.

Friday, June 1, 2012

Ian's Reflections

Why did the Lord send us back to the States when He did? Well initially, we wanted to make good on our promise to come back in three years, knowing we’d be going back to Swaziland indefinitely at the end of the short three months.  There was so much more God had in store for us then we could have ever thought! 

Another question that came up was why did God give us a house in Conway when all of our friends were 30 miles away in Little Rock?  Being in Conway, we were able to get to know the people of the new Conway Mosaic campus to renew friendships with those who had moved from Little Rock and to make many more friends.  We had to learn how to receive as the people in Conway just poured into us over the last couple months.  This was a difficult lesson to learn.  Another reason we were placed in Conway was the Home therapy staff–we ministered to them by telling them our story and the Conway Therapy clinic staff received great joy from serving us and we from them.
The past two months have been a period of receiving.  The Lord taught us how to receive and be gracious about it, which was very difficult to do because we have always given to others and been independent. 

I’ve noticed that a lot of Americans, even Christian Americans, aren’t focused on God every day. They know He is there but don’t look to Him for daily provision.  This really saddens me because we have learned to depend on God for our every need daily in Swaziland. This is something that America needs to refocus on that God is the ultimate power and we should depend on Him for everything and acknowledge everything that He gives to us.  There’s the tendency to overlook the blessings God gives because of the hustle and bustle of life here in the States instead of acknowledging every simple things that God provides every day. 

We were able to come to Arizona to visit friends. It means a lot to see how much our friends have been there for us, looked after us, prayed for us and there was several opportunities to meet new friends.  The impact that we have made on the lives of new friends by sharing our story is pretty amazing. We continue to give God the glory for all of this, though it doesn’t feel like it is enough.

Though the time in the States that we weren’t with our friends in Swaziland, we knew that God was walking with us every day and we could feel His presence every day. He continues to bless us by providing answers to needs/prayer requests and still showing us that He is the ultimate power (our car was complete ready upon our return and cost less than expected!). 

It’s amazing how God provides for even simple requests. Being busy with therapy and doctor’s appointments we didn’t have a chance to see everyone that we wanted to see. One of the last Sundays in Arkansas we had gone out to lunch with a couple that had been a major support over the last couple of months. As we were leaving the restaurant we saw another couple, one whom we hadn’t seen but had wanted to contact, and were able to spend some good time visiting and catching up with them. We recognized it as a God-encounter where He brought the four of us to the same restaurant at the same time and are thankful that we were able to see our friends. 

We just thank God that He gave us the chance to visit with so many old friends and to meet new friends during our time in the UK and the States. What can I say about looking forward to returning to Swaziland? I just can’t wait! We know that our work isn’t finished there and want to carry-on where we left off three months ago.  Swaziland has become our home. 

Thankfully we made it back to Vuvulane safe and sound on May 31st and we are so glad to be home!

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