Mission Issues

Thinking and re-thinking missionary issues

Reporting about Mission

Yesterday was spent in a meeting with the ten coordinators of the ten different home-based caring projects in the southern region of Swaziland. These meetings can be quite exhausting but at the same time it’s really a joy to be busy with this. When we started with the home-based caring ministry in 2006, the story which you can read in an article I published under the name: “On Becoming the Hands and Feet of Christ in an AIDS-ridden community in Swaziland – A story of hope”, I invested huge amounts of time and energy in the group. I met the entire group at least once a week and during the other days I regularly met the volunteers individually. My aim was to build up this group to become as strong as possible. But the other advantage was that I had my finger on the pulse of the group and I knew fairly well what was going on.
And then, in 2007 we trained five more groups in different areas in the southern region of Swaziland. By the end of that year it felt to me as if things were getting out of control. Eventually, in an attempt to determine where things were and where they were going to, I arranged for the entire group of volunteers to meet at a central place and gave them a chance to tell me what was going on. It was a highly informative meeting and afterwards I felt that I was more or less in control again.
And then we started more groups this year. At present we are standing at ten groups of around 350 volunteers doing home-based caring. And I got that depressing feeling again a few months ago that I’m out of control! And at that point I decided that I will need to implement a reporting system whereby I can at least get an idea whether we are working effectively and where we need to improve. We drew up a reporting form in the simplest way we could think of, translated it into siSwati and then gave the coordinators a brief training session on how the forms should be completed. They then had to train the volunteers for whom they are responsible and once a month the coordinators have to meet at a central place where they bring one consolidated report from their project from which a final report can be made of the previous month’s work. And this is the meeting we had yesterday.
The reports still have many errors, but I prepared myself beforehand that it will take at least three months to get this sorted out. But what amazed me was to see what these people are doing. When I was in the USA recently to receive the Courageous Leadership Award, I told the people there that we are caring for around 1000 sick people. Now that the reports for July have been finalised, I found that the total number of clients is closer to 1500! More than 3800 home visits took place that month, 524 new clients were identified and 80 of our existing clients died. 374 of the clients are terminally ill and 821 are chronically ill.
These figures are mind-boggling. Three more communities in the southern (Shiselweni) region of Swaziland have approached us to train them to start with home-based caring and our first invitation from the northern part of Swaziland (Manzini) have also been received.
And as I keep on thinking about the future, I realise that God may well be preparing us for more work. I’m excited about this. But I also realise that God will have to provide great wisdom if we want to keep on expanding. I have ideas in my mind, some of which I may share in my next post.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008 - Posted by | AIDS, Death, HIV, HIV & AIDS, HIV/AIDS Documents, Home-based Caring, Meetings, Mission, Swaziland, Theology


  1. […] is one of the main causes for the rapid spreading of HIV infections. It is clear why I said yesterday that we need a lot of wisdom to decide about the things we need to do in the future. At the same […]

    Pingback by Expanding the Ministry « Mission Issues | Wednesday, September 17, 2008 | Reply

  2. Hi Dear Co-Laborers in the service for the Master.

    I am doing an assignment for my MA Studies and have an assignment on the Contemporary Issues in Missions and the topic that I have to write about is Reporting in Missions, so I looked on the google search and found your page.

    It was interesting for me because I come from South Africa and working in India.

    If you have any material on the subject do send it to me via email.

    What I also would like to do is keep you all in my prayers.
    Feel free to send me any prayer points so that I could pray for you.

    God bless you all in what you are doing and remember He is the rewarder of those who serve HIM faithfully.

    God Bless from Samuel – + 91 – 9743044007

    Comment by Rev. Samuel Reddy | Wednesday, October 29, 2008 | Reply

  3. Hi Samuel, I have subscribed you on my newsletter list and would appreciate your prayers.

    I haven’t done anything “official” about reporting on mission, except for writing on my blog about it. But I would be interested to read your assignment once you’re through with it.

    From which part of South Africa do you come?

    Comment by Arnau van Wyngaard | Thursday, October 30, 2008 | Reply

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