So many “lasts”!

Hello Friends!

Wow! What a crazy last couple of weeks it’s been! It has been filled with so many lasts, so many “wow” moments…as in “WOW, This is really happening”…so many emotions and sacrifices and SO many God moments! Where once again I am amazed and humbled to see His hands at work in our lives and on this journey He has called us on.

This past week was Stephen’s last week of work, it was our last week in our house and now we have started traveling to see family for the last time before we leave. The month of August has been filled with so many different emotions.

We are currently at 89% funded monthly and only need $543 more dollars committed monthly and we will be at 100% supported. Our God is faithful!!!

It is a bit surreal to know that the preparation side of this journey is coming to an end and we are about to make the biggest move of our lives to a country God sketched onto our hearts, and to a people that we love so deeply.

We had our estate sale, where God showed up in a big way! We basically sold everything we owned that day, and it was so encouraging and humbling as our life group and family of believers showed us Christ that day! We had people there helping in every way possible, we had people praying for the weather, it was meant to storm that day…but it didn’t…we had people praying we would sell everything and we had people come and buy things just to support us! Here are some pictures of that day.

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And here are some pictures of after our sale.

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So what do you do after you sell everything you own? You go to the dollar movies of course, and watch How to Train Your Dragon 2.

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I am amazed at watching God work in our children’s hearts! They have been amazing in the midst of all the craziness, of selling everything we own, everything that is familiar to them. God is truly gripping their hearts for the people of Swaziland. God is teaching them in a very real way at a very young age that following Him is not always easy and there will be sacrifices here on this earth. Well our sweet Hannah experienced this kind of sacrifice just this past week as we told her that we could not bring our dog, Nala, with us. The saying, a dog is a mans best friend, could not be more true then with Hannah and Nala! Because there are no words to truly describe her heartbreak here is a picture of them right after I told her.

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It was one of the hardest conversations to have with her, knowing it was going to break her heart, and oh there were so many tears. But through the tears and the heartbreak I saw God working in her heart and her child like faith, that doesn’t put God in a box, as she said “mommy, I’m going to pray that God brings someone we know to love Nala and take care of her. And when we come back to visit they will let us see her.” She knows that we serve a God who hears our prayers and answers them!

Isaiah 51:6 Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look at the earth beneath; for the heavens vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment, and they who dwell in it will die in like manner; but my salvation will be forever, and my righteousness will never be dismayed.

He Goes Before Us!

Hey friends! Some BIG things have happened this month that continue to show how God truly is going before us and preparing our way. I am amazed at how He continues to confirm our calling to Swaziland as He answers prayers and moves mountains that get us one step closer.

We continue to be humbled that God has chosen us to be a part of His story and the work He is doing in Swaziland. We serve a great God, who is always faithful!

Deuteronomy 32:4 The Rock, His way is perfect, for all His ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is He.

One of the biggest “mountains” in this journey has been selling our house. Well, guess what…after 20+ showings in a months time…It.Is.Sold!!!!!!!!! We close on August 18th. Once again there are no words but humbled. We get a front row seat at seeing His hand at work!

God has taught me so much through this process of selling our home. He has used this to open my eyes and convict my heart of how selfish my prayers can be. Let me give you a little example…when our house first went up for sale my prayer was that it would sale FAST, because then people would see His power, aaaand my main reason, because it would be MUCH easier on me! Oh how I fall so easily into Satan’s traps and forget THE REASON why we are here, and that is to bring honor and glory to God and make His name known among the nations. I am so thankful that God does not leave me in my sin but He continues to refine me.
My prayer began to change, more than I wanted things to be easy for me, I prayed that God would bring a believer into our house to continue to be a witness in our neighborhood. Whether God sold our house “fast or slow”, it would be in His perfect timing and ALL the details He would bring together would bring Him the most honor and glory! God didn’t just sell our house but He sold our house for $100 MORE then what we were asking for it!

Ephesians 3:20-21 Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen.

The other big obstacle standing in our way is being 100% funded monthly. We are at 75% as of right now. Our goal has been to be at 100% by August. We need to be able to buy our tickets no later then the middle of August. We are in the home stretch here people! We only need 12 more people to partner with us at $100 a month or equivalent to and we will be 100% funded! I cannot wait to see how God is going to do it! It was just in June that we were at 13% and now in less then two months we are at 75%. We are amazed and once again humbled to see God work in the hearts of His church and the obedience that follows in our family of believers. God has called us and He will continue to prepare our way!

Titus 2:11-13 For the grace of God has appeared, bringing salvation for all people, training us to renounce ungodliness and worldly passions, and to live self-controlled, upright, and godly lives in the present age, waiting for our blessed hope, the appearing of the glory of our great God and Savior Jesus Christ.

Boston Butt Fundraiser pick-up

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They are cooking away. Thank you all that helped us sell tickets, who bought a butt, lent us your grill or helped in any way!!! It was greatly appreciated!!
Thank you especially for bearing with us as we navigate our way through fundraisers, as we are taken completely out of our comfort zone. Thank you for your grace!

The pick up times are at 1pm and 4pm today. If for some reason you bought one and have not been contacted for your pick up time please come at 4pm.
You will come to Warren Grovetown for your pick up location.

777 Horizon South Pkwy
Grovetown, GA 30813

Once again thank you all for coming along side us on this journey and mission God has called our family to.

Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you. And behold, I am with you always, to the end of the age. Matthew 28:19-20

Encouragement

Wow! It has been a crazy busy month.

Our house officially went up for sale two weeks ago today. It has been shown 11 times in those two weeks. It’s safe to say our house has NEVER been as clean as it has been in these last two weeks. Our kids have done an amazing job at keeping things straight and toys put up. I love seeing their servant hearts as they volunteer to do little jobs as we race out the door before another showing.

We had our Artsy Me Fundraiser on the 16th. It was an awesome success! (Ok I had a couple of pics to upload here but for some reason it won’t let me, I’ll try and figure that out and upload them later)

I was so humbled to see God use the body of Christ, our family of believers, to make this such a great success! God brought in around $1,600. I will never be able to thank you all enough! Cricket and her family, the owner of Artsy Me, all of our volunteers who came along side of us to serve…did I mention it was smokin hot that day. We were literally sweating buckets out there….and to all of you that took time out of your busy day to come out and bring your kids to paint, buy a hot dog or lemonade we are forever grateful!!

We have moved on to our second fundraiser…pre-selling tickets for Boston butts. We are still selling tickets for a couple more days and pick up will be on Saturday the 28th.

We are now at 37% funded monthly and roughly $5,000 for our start up fund. By August 1st we need to be 100% funded monthly, that means we only need 30 more people giving $100 a month and we will be there. Also we need to be getting closer to our start up goal of $10,000.

We are beyond thankful for those of you that have partnered with us financially and in prayer. We are humbled and in awe of how God continues to show up and use our family of believers to come along side of us and be such a great source of encouragement!

As I look back over this last month, no other word could best describe how I feel but…encouragement.At the beginning of this month, I took my eyes off of Jesus and took things into my own hands…because things weren’t happening as fast as I thought they should be…according to MY plan, MY timing. In return, I began to get discouraged and downhearted and I began to doubt. (Big shocker there, like anything good ever comes from me relying on myself instead of God…when will I ever learn?) I am so humbled to know I serve a God who is faithful, even when I am faithless. I am reminded of Peter, as he was walking on water towards Jesus and he takes his eyes off of Jesus and begins to look at the raging storm around him and He begins to sink.
I have been like Peter so many times in my life and God full of grace and mercy has pulled me up and shown me His faithfulness and given me His strength. He is continuously teaching me what it really means to walk by faith, not by sight.(2Cor 5:7)

God has used so many of you to bring encouragement to me this past month! Thank you!

I know this is only the beginning but I am so humbled at how God has used this journey to stretch our faith, refine us, take us out of our comfort zones and lean into Him more!

We can rest completely in His sovereignty knowing… This God–His way is perfect. (Ps 18:30a)

Gods Timing is Always Perfect

Hello All! I hope all you moms had an awesome Mother’s Day! I am truly blessed beyond measure!

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Let me give you a little update on what we’ve been doing, what we plan to do and where we stand as of now.

One of the biggest things that we have to do is sell our house and well pretty much everything we own, so our house is the biggest part of that. Let me give you just a little bit of background on our house. Stephen and I have been married for 10 years this year,(yaaaaay! 😊 I’m just a LITTLE excited and in shock how fast time truly goes by) and for 8 of those years we rented, we moved…A LOT…just ask our friends that ALWAYS helped us…and we traveled. We always wanted to be ready to go when and if He would call us. Well 2 years ago this summer, God gave us our house. Seriously, it was amazing. A great home, that was a foreclosure, on the end of a cul-de-sac with a great big backyard and lots of trees. We love it!
So we took it, thinking God would have us stay here, put down roots and be missionaries in our own town…come to find out that wasn’t exactly His long term plan for us. Seriously, not even 6 months later Stephen was boarding a plane for Swaziland Africa that would, in our thoughts, change our path/our plan completely…but of course it came to no surprise to God. You see, when we God sells our house we will be completely debt free! I love that our God is a God of details!! His timing is perfect! So we have been doing lots of painting and little jobs and it is almost ready!!!
We have also been selling T-shirts. Thank you to everyone that has bought one already and if you want one we still have some.

We have 2 fundraisers that we’ll be doing this summer. One is at Artsy Me Saturday June 14th from 3-7pm, Father’s Day weekend. So mark your calendars, we’ll be selling food in the parking lot and it will be lots of fun!
Our second fundraiser will be selling Boston Butts. We are still working out the details, so be looking for more info on that in the near future.

This is where we stand on our actual support that we have received so far. We are at 12% funded monthly and have roughly $1300 in our launch fund. This is where we need to be by July. We need to be 100% funded monthly, and well on our way to reaching our goal in our launch fund. Thank you to all that have given already, my heart overflows!

Wow! We have a long way to go. When I sit and actually look at the numbers and ALL the things that still have to be done, it can be a little overwhelming to say the least. I question “how” and “when”? Then of course the answer comes, one I already knew but way too often need to be reminded of. It will only happen through God and in His perfect timing! He has called us and He will be the One that prepares our way. He is faithful! Through Him and only Him can we have His perfect peace and He is the Rock on which we stand.
Isaiah 26:3-4 You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You. Trust in The Lord forever, for The Lord God is an everlasting Rock.

Our Blog

Good morning friends!  So here is our blog. We’ve never blogged before so just bear with us, as we are newbies when it comes to blogging! :) We are very excited to be able to share with you all about our journey and all that God is doing. You can read about our family, the calling that God has put on our hearts and how to partner with us in giving and updates as we are moving along in this process.  Most importantly though, we covet your prayers.  James 5:16b The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working. 

Our Call

It has been two and a half years since God started directing our hearts, thoughts, prayers and attention towards Swaziland, Africa. He has filled our hearts with a love for the people of that country. The journey that He has, and is, taking us on has been incredible. Praise God for His sovereign hand as He orchestrates and directs our paths. It’s funny, because although Charity and I have always had a heart for missions, we have never had any desire to go to Africa. God, who works in wondrous and mysterious ways, obviously had another plan. Jim Elliot, a Christian missionary to Ecuador, was extremely sure of his calling to bring Jesus to the lost of that country. This is seen in his quote from the book Through the Gates of Splendor, “I am as sure of my calling to Ecuador, as I am of my salvation”. As Charity and I have prayed through this major decision in the life of our family, we can now echo the sure words of Jim Elliot. We are as sure of our calling to Swaziland, as we are of our salvation.

Swaziland is a country of great contrast. As you look around, there is a natural beauty as far as the eye can see, and you are greeted by the people with warmth and friendliness. The children show contentment and thankfulness for the simplest of things, and reveal a genuine care and devotion to the needs of each other. In the midst of this, there is darkness and despair in numerous ways. It is a country that has the highest prevalent rate of HIV in the world (26.5% of the population), a 40% unemployment rate, 80% of the population subsisting on less than US$2 per day, an average life expectancy of 50 and a substantial problem with alcohol abuse. It has a population of around 1.4 million people, with 36.9 % under the age of 14, totaling to roughly 518,000 kids in this age bracket. A large portion of this number is either at risk or orphaned.

As a result of all of this, and many other reasons than mentioned, God has put a sense of urgency in our hearts to move over there. We are being sent out from our church, Warren Baptist, through Adventures in Missions (AIM). Our desire is to partner with, and serve along side of Christ’s church that is already there and established. In doing this, our goal is to live in, and be a part of the people/ culture of that country. Just as Jesus was fully God, He was also fully man, and took on the culture in which His Father sent Him. He learned the culture and lived among the people, and although it will be extremely difficult and challenging to break out of our learned cultural tendencies, by His strength in us we will be able to do the same. Our hope and prayer is that we will be able to build a home so that we are able to live amongst the people. This will not only cut down our cost of living, but will also help to build greater unity with the people. Learning the language will also be of utmost importance to us, as this is critical in being able to share the gospel to all without hindrance of tongue. Although many of the children and people already know English in addition to their native tongue, siSwati, many do not speak English. Our plan is to hire a native Swazi, who will teach us how to speak their language.

In the Nsoko area, there are eleven care points that AIM currently oversees. At these care points, many children from the community come to get a meal. Although feeding these kids is important, as God commands us to look after the orphans (James 1: 27), this time of gathering is used to give the children Godly discipleship. This is done by an amazing AIM staff who are Swazi nationals. In addition to shepherding and loving these care points, God has put a desire in our heart to see the adult generations of Swaziland reached for Christ as well, and come to a maturity in Him (Ephesians 4).

We ask that you would partner with us in prayer for the people of Swaziland. That our hearts would grow together, even as we are a part. We are trusting and praying that God’s Word will go forth and produce fruit (Isaiah 55: 10 – 11). We know that this will be a very trying, difficult and joyful time, and are expectant of the spiritual warfare that will most assuredly come (Is. 41: 10; 1 Peter 4: 12 – 19). So please be in prayer for our family, that God would grant us greater faith and unity daily, and that our hearts would be unified with His body overseas, and here in North America.

Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.
Isaiah 41:10

Where Feet May Fail

Where Feet May Fail’ was taken from the song Oceans, from the album Zion, by Hillsong United.   It was in 2013 when we first heard the song, and for a while God had been stirring our hearts, challenging us to step out of our comfort zone.   The lyrics resonated with our desire to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord (Col. 1: 9 – 12).   It became the prayer of our heart, and that was the year God confirmed our call to long-term missions in Nsoko, Swaziland.   Charity and I pray that we are a family that lives out the truth of the Scripture, completely trusting in God no matter where His Spirit leads us.  We cannot be frightened to step out of the boat, and in to the rough storms that will inevitably come.   In Psalm 23, God promises to lead us in paths of righteousness, and in that leading, we will end up in the valley of the shadow of death, but we must not fear because He is with us.  So, when we step in faith, ‘Where Feet May Fail’, we must step with our eyes firmly fixed on Him, knowing that He is there with us, and is in sovereign control of the storm.   It is here, and only here, will we find true, complete and continual joy in our lives.   When, wherever we are, daily we are walking ‘Where Feet May Fail’ trusting solely in the power and strength of The One who called us, is sustaining us, and is completing His work in and through us, His bride.   Praise God for calling all of His children to walk ‘Where Feet May Fail’, providing us with the strength of His Son to take the steps to do His work.   So to us, ‘Where Feet May Fail’, is not just a single action at any given point of time, but rather it is a way of life.

Oceans (Where feet may fail)

You call me out upon the waters

The great unknown where feet may fail

And there I find you in the mystery

In oceans deep

My faith will stand

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And I will call upon Your name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

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Your grace abounds in deepest waters

Your sovereign hand

Will be my guide

Where feet may fail and fear surrounds me

You’ve never failed and You won’t start now

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So I will call upon Your Name

And keep my eyes above the waves

When oceans rise

My soul will rest in Your embrace

For I am Yours and You are mine

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Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders

Let me walk upon the waters

Wherever You would call me

Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander

And my faith will be made stronger

In the presence of my Savior

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I will call upon Your Name

Keep my eyes above the waves

My soul will rest in Your embrace

I am Yours and You are mine

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We’re the Spraggs!

Hey!

We are the Spraggs!!

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Let me tell you a little bit about our crazy family and the journey God is taking us on.  It  all started in 2003 at Liberty University, where two people fell in love! lol But seriously, that is where I met the love of my life, Stephen Spragg, and we were married a year later. God definitely made us for each other because very few would love our crazy lives, like we do!  Right from the start we were on the move, Stephen played minor league baseball for the first five years of our marriage, and every season we were off to somewhere new. It was fun, crazy, stressful, exhausting and did I mention FUN….and CRAZY!! :) Those two words pretty much describe our family. ;)   We will be celebrating our 10 year anniversary this year! Wow! Where has the time gone?

God has blessed us with three amazing and full of life children! :) Hannah, Luke  and Titus.  Hannah is in second grade and loves school.  She loves to draw and is very creative. Most importantly she is my sister in Christ! We are so thankful that God drew her heart to Him and she is now adopted into the family of Christ. She prays daily for her brothers to know Jesus in the same way.  She has such a big heart and is full of compassion. She is my big helper in  SO many different ways!  She is an awesome big sister!  Luke is in pre-k and has been desperate to go to school to be like his big sister.  He loves to play hard and have fun. He has such a sweet spirit and is our encourager. His smile is contagious, you just can’t help but smile back!   He is an awesome big brother!  Last but definitely not least we have Titus. He is, oh so silly and always putting on a show. He will keep you laughing that’s for sure.  He goes to the beat of his own drum. They all love each other dearly and have brought so much joy into our lives.  We know that God has a special plan for each one of them and we pray daily that they will not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. ( Rom. 12:2) IMG_7125

Now let me tell you a little bit more about Stephen….other then he is the love of my life and that he played baseball for the first five years of our marriage. He is SUPER handsome ;), very athletic, easy going, and always keeps me laughing.  Most importantly he loves God with all of his heart. He is humble, has a servants heart and is always thinking of others. He is an awesome leader because he is sensitive to the Spirit, constant in prayer and always reading the Word.  He is the the most aaaamazing husband and dad in the world! I could go on but we don’t want all these compliments  going to his head. ;) I am so blessed to be able to stay home with our kids. It is definitely a full time job…it is crazy and frustrating and tiring and hilarious and fun….nothing is more rewarding!!!  God has taught me SO much through our children!! 1157728_10200699668868243_1363705365_n

Our prayer is this, that we as a family would live out Romans 12:9-13

Let love be geniune. Abhor what is evil; hold fast to what is good. Love one another with brotherly affection. Outdo one another in showing honor. Do not be slothful in zeal, be fervent in spirit, serve the Lord. Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer. Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.