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Christmas and the beginning of 2021

2020 ended on a high note. We were able to provide each family in our community with groceries and the word of God. We were able to give out over 200 bags of groceries which fed an estimated 1500- 2000 people. Each family received a book illustrating Jesus' life, death, and resurrection and a book explaining salvation. It was because of faithful donors in 2020 that we were able to feed this entire community and share the gospel. Thank you dear saints.

We are barely into 2021 and a lot of things have already happened. The pandemic continues here but has become much worse, as it has all over the world. In the beginning, our Covid numbers and deaths were very low. We are now seeing these numbers skyrocket. Eswatini is a small country and the deaths that are happening are those we know. Our hearts are very heavy having lost friends and fellow ministers of the gospel and knowing so many who are infected with Covid right now. The hospitals are at capacity and the funeral homes are full. People have to be buried within 3 days and cremation is now encouraged. It is a sad and overwhelming time here but we continue to thank God that we are in a position to minister to His people.

The next few months will determine what our ministry looks like this year. It may be supplying food as we did last year. It may be providing help with burial expenses, counseling. It is unclear what the Lord has for us in the months to come but each day he brings us ministry opportunities. We remain open to His voice.

We are in a partial lock-down to try to slow the spread of Covid. Masks are mandatory(since mid 2020), curfews are in affect, gatherings are prohibited, churches are closed, among other restrictions. Crime and violence are on the rise in our community and the cities. It is a time like no other.

We continue to be encouraged though. Our community is reading the gospel books we provided and asking questions. It is beautiful. God is using this time for His good no matter what.

Today Justin is busy helping our neighbors clear the grass around their homestead. Last night they awoke to a large snake in their bed. Thankfully, they were able to get it out without getting bit. We praise God for that because the snakes here are highly venomous and have to be treated with antivenom quickly to prevent loss of limbs or death. We are 40 minutes from the closest clinic that can provide antivenom. They have small children and it could have ended in tragedy.

The Worcesters are tentatively scheduled to join us in March. This will greatly increase our ministry here. We are excited and expectant for what the Lord is going to do.

We ask for your prayers during this time as we continue to pray for all of you. We know we are not alone in this struggle and you too are experiencing devastating things.

Would you specifically pray for:

*Fellow missionaries and locals here who have Covid

*A slow in the spread of Covid in Eswatini

*Comfort for those who have lost loved ones

*Us to be sensitive to what God needs us to do to minister in this time

*Provision for the Worcesters as they prepare to move to Eswatini

With Love from Eswatini,

The Carsons

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