The first missionary for the Church of the Nazarene in Eswatini was Rev. Harmon Schmelzenbach, who arrived with his family in Piggs Peak in the northern mountainous area of Swaziland in December 1910. Schmelzenbach’s scriptural mandate was to “teach, preach, and heal.” Generations later, the reach of Schmelzenbach’s ministry has expanded to include a Nazarene university called Southern Africa Nazarene University, five high schools, 43 primary schools, 150 churches in 4 districts of Eswatini, Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM), and 20 rural clinics. In many communities you will see a clinic, a school and a church. All of this network throughout Eswatini represents our official partners.
The Eswatini Partnership
In 2008, Dr. David Busic, senior pastor of BFC, and Dr. Loren Gresham, president of Southern Nazarene University, had a vision to reach out to Eswatini, the country with the highest rate of HIV and TB in the world. They were welcomed by Swazi health, education, and church leaders. BFC recruited Barbi Moore to work with this partnership, formed an Eswatini Leadership Council, and set about enlisting local medical professionals, business leaders, and other willing and talented people to join the effort in Eswatini. Since that time, 10 couples and one individual have given a year or two of their lives to live in Eswatini and represent the partnership. Our on-site coordinators have built trust and friendship with our Swazi leaders to allow this partnership to exist.
The experience and passion of our on-site coordinators have been a great gift to this partnership. Each individual has brought their gifts and talents to this ministry.
Rev. Will and Karis Stemen – 2008-2009
Brent and Rev. Michaele LaVigne – 2009-2010
Andy and Amy Curry – 2010-2011
Evan and Rev. Andrea Mosshart – 2011-2012
Dustin and Amanda Hogan – 2012-2013
Seth and Kaylee Carley – 2013-2014
Rev. C. Dale and Emmalyn German – 2014-2015
Rev. Ron and Sara Willard – 2015-2017
Jess Jenkinson – 2017-2018
Doug and Margaret Eaton – 2018-present
Meet the Onsite Coordinators
Doug and Margaret Eaton are our 10th volunteer couple to serve as BFC’s On-Site Coordinators in Eswatini. They are currently serving their second term. One of their responsibilities is hosting visiting teams and preparing for their visits. The Eatons are in Eswatini to serve and to encourage our Swazi leaders. Follow along on their Facebook page below.
Short-Term Teams and Partners in Eswatini
Over 750 people have volunteered on short-term teams that build, paint, clean and serve in clinics, schools, churches and at Raleigh Fitkin Memorial Hospital (RFM). Three nurses’ housing units have been built and Bhalenkani received a new clinic. Churches have received new roofs. A new school was built at Mhlaba. The first public dental clinic was established at RFM. Training has been provided on the prevention of AIDS and booklets provided through the Ministry of Health on pediatric standardized care. We also have established two Child Development Centers that minister to children who are at-risk. The partnership has been a key catalyst with the Southern Africa Coca Cola Foundation in providing 52 water wells to communities in need. We also support the HIV Task Force as they visit hundreds of homebound patients giving palliative care with over 130 imbedded community care supporters. Eswatini has received support from organizations like Heart to Heart International, Dean McGee Eye Institute, and churches in Kansas, Canada, California, and Texas who have also joined this partnership.
We are now in our 11th year of hosting a 5K to help raise funds for ministries in Eswatini and at the Bethany After-School Program. A USA Track and Field sanctioned event, our next Swazi 5K is on Saturday, September 21, at Southern Nazarene University. Karen and Scott Dedmon lead a dedicated team of volunteers for this event and invite you to get involved for another great year!
Join a GO Team
We would love for you to join an Eswatini GO Team. These teams join in serving at-risk children, visiting homes of those ill with AIDS, and working to complete a construction project. We will have the opportunity to work alongside our Swazi leaders and to be a part of their vision for ministry.
For more information about the Eswatini Partnership or joining a future GO Team, please contact Barbi Moore, Director of Global Outreach, at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also, be sure to follow @bfcmissions to stay up to date with all things missions!