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Yes, I am heading back to South Africa tomorrow morning for three weeks!  I am so excited to see this amazing country once again and especially to spend time with all our friends, Mama Christina, Mama Nomakhya, Mama Gladys, Gretel and Molly, all the children they serve and so many others! God has blessed us with a wonderful extended family 8,000 miles from snowy Montana! I just finished up with our US tour alongside Rufus Luttig. We were able to share the needs of Africa and tell stories about the Champions we are so blessed to be working alongside.  We  traveled across Texas, Colorado, Michigan and Montana!  We saw old friends and made new ones along the way. (Many of you are reading this update!!) In the process, we saw 12 children get full sponsorship to Alexandria Christian Academy for this school term. We are amazed to see the destiny for these children changed for a lifetime! We have about 40 people coming over this year for building projects, medical outreaches, serving in the children’s homes and Christian school through Mission Builders International as well as hunting and photo safaris! Please pray for safe travels, on time connections, health and great encounters on the journey.   Would you also pray for several key meetings with leaders in ministry? Rufus and I will be getting to know the new pastor in Lusikisiki, Transkei, with hopes of partnership for the future. We will also be spending some time with leadership from Door of Hope orphanage in Port Elizabeth to see how Village South Africa can play a role in the near future.  And, of course, we will be meeting with our great friends from the Jehovah Jireh Haven Children’s home board of directors and Gretel Olivier from Alexandria Christian Academy. Thank you for your prayer, support and friendship as we continue to press on in this calling to serve in South Africa.  You are the fuel in the tank to keep us running! We are truly the blessed ones! Brad and Joyce If you are interested in supporting us financially, you can donate securely on line at missionbuilders.org or contact me for other options. All gifts are tax deductible. -- Brad Rauch Field Staff-South Africa Hunt SA Safari /Mission Builders International/Village South Africa...

Curiosity led me to a meeting about the upcoming South Africa trip sponsored by my church. My wife and I had visited about me going on a mission trip some time but this was the biggest step I had ever taken toward that goal. When I walked in the door for the meeting, I had no plans to go on the trip. When I walked out of the door, I was ready to sign on the dotted line....

As I sit here pondering what to say about South Africa my mind goes to one place…Hope! In the last year that word has taken on a whole new meaning to me and those closest to me and really anyone who will listen. ...

Meeting with a building team in Helena who are heading to Transkei, South Africa in March. They will be building a home for a family as well as many other outreach opportunities! With Rufus Luttig, Owen and Becky Voigt, Brad Rauch, Joyce Rauch JR Quigley, and several other excited mission minded folks!...

[caption id="attachment_163" align="alignright" width="1024"] Meet Lambo and Nomnto Mabunda, our new mission couple in the Transkei.[/caption]  Brad and Joyce Rauch- We met with Lambo and Nomnto Mabunda, the new mission couple. We are excited about them and we feel with mentoring they could be a long term answer. They have a passion to raise up leaders, resurrect the church in Bambisana. We took them to visit Mama Christina and our soup club at Mtende. Of course we took Nomi along with us everywhere. We are really going to miss her when she retires. She is hoping for August. We asked Lambo and Nomnto if they would take over the soup club at Mtende when Nomi leaves and they enthusiastically agreed. This of course, is contingent upon the probationary period and funding for the future for them. They will also need a vehicle. They attended the River Bible Institute in East London and spent time working with Pastor Leon in Alexandria the past year or so. Several of the people of the church gave us good reports. At Mtende the water tank was overflowing with fresh water. What a blessing. Aviala, Mama Nomakhyas daughter says it has saved them three trips a day to the stream. When we arrived at Mtende, there were about 6 mamas there that we knew were not a part of this club. Rufus asked Nomi about it and she said they are from a village over the hill and they want a soup club too. We didn’t meet with them, because we can’t offer anything at this time. It is sad. There were about 70 kids there, some from the other village. There was only enough food for about 50 and you could see how hungry they all were. It is obvious that God is on the move in Transkei!...

By Jennifer Agee (first published December 1, 2010) Today is World AIDS Day. Living in a country so devastated by the virus it is impossible to look past the effects the AIDS crisis has had on this country. There are commercials here about how to have an HIV free baby when your partner is positive. There are Sesame Street type shows for kids about HIV/ AIDS and in the schools the examples given in their elementary school books often have a character with HIV. It is always heartbreaking to see someone in the final stages of AIDS, the sores, the pain the dementia characteristics. What breaks my heart even more are the children who have to fight this battle. Yesterday, I received a call that an 8 month old baby girl at one of our children’s homes passed away. Her tiny body just had no fight left. At 8 months old she weighed only 4.5 pounds. I cannot begin to tell you the number of times that women here have asked me to take their children because they fear what is going to happen to them once they pass away. The devastation is so bad that you cannot even make plans in a village or township on Saturday because that is the day they have the funerals. Everywhere you look on Fridays, there are tents in front of homes to accommodate the funeral guests. It is a weekly visual reminder of why we are here and a kick in the pants to not get lazy or to give up the fight. True story, I carry condoms in my purse at all times – much to the embarrassment of my children. You may laugh but here’s the deal, there is a gas station on our way to the Transkei that has free packs of condoms in the bathrooms. Whenever we are passing through I pick one up and stick it in my purse. I always want to be ready in case a teachable moment presents itself. Yes, I believe in abstinence and that is the first thing I tell people. I also believe in education, this is power. I teach the mama’s who have sexually active children about how to talk to them about condoms and show them the proper way to put it on. The women always laugh when give a demonstration but their eyes are glued and they ask questions. We must keep the...

By Becky Voigt Driving from East London, South Africa toward the Transkei, down into a steep valley, crossing the Kei River – hence this area’s name. I find myself sorting through a mixture of feelings: excitement, awe, fear, sorrow. The Transkei of South Africa is a 17,000-square-mile area with approximately two million residents speaking the Xhosa (pronounced “Kosa”) language. This area is a place of exquisite beauty with rolling hills and lush landscape, yet an incredibly sad history. It was a designated destination during the forced removals of black people from white South Africa in the 1970’s and 1980’s. A part of this people’s history is one of being servants – providing labor in exchange for food and shelter. Once they were banished to the Transkei, they did not know how to provide for themselves. Their mindset is one of pure survival. Predictions are that it will take one or two more generations before the Xhosa people can wrap their minds around the idea of sustainable living. There are huts scattered across the hillsides. Some are the traditional round rondovals with a thatched roof. Some are made of salvaged scraps of wood and metal. Goats, cattle, dogs and donkeys wander everywhere, including on the highway. People also walk along the highway, waiting for someone to pick them up and transport them to the nearest village. Driving these curvy roads after dark is risky. AIDS has run rampant through the Transkei, with infection rate estimates as high as 75%. A large number of young adult men and women have died, leaving children to be raised by their grandparents. Each family receives a monthly government stipend amounting to approximately $20 yet food costs are comparable to those in the US. Enter…my heroes…the mamas. The mamas of the Transkei are older women who have stepped up to help feed the thousands of hungry children. These children wander the streets or highways; some attend school, many do not. They may have living relatives yet alcoholism or disease dominates lives, leaving the kids on their own. With the help of organizations such as Village South Africa, soup clubs have been formed where the mamas prepare food five days a week for as many as 250 children. I watched a mama prepare food in her meager two- or three-room home, then bring it outside to where the children were waiting in a line, holding their “bowl” which may be anything from a...