As an all-volunteer, grass-roots organization, it has sometimes been difficult for us to accomplish all that we hope to. For several years, it has been the hope of our organization to put "boots on the ground" in eSwatini. In 2017, Mick and Cathy Sander answered the call and began preparations to be Swaziland Relief's first full-time missionaries.
Meet Mick & Cathy Sander
Mick has been a professional educator for the past 26 years, teaching social studies in a public school in Warminster, Pennsylvania.
Cathy recently retired from her job as a medical assistant. She worked for the past 19 years for a private oral surgery practice in Spring House, Pennsylvania.
Mick & Cathy's journey
Mick has had a passion for cross-cultural ministry since his college days in the late 1980’s. Over the years, he has served on and led many short-term mission trips. It was Cathy, however, who first visited eSwatini (then called Swaziland) back in 2005. When she came home, she told Mick how the Lord had given her "a heart for Africa."
Inspired by this, Mick visited eSwatini in 2007 as a part of the first team for what eventually became the Swaziland Relief organization. While there, Mick's heart was also touched for the Swazi people.
Mick went on to volunteer for summer teams with Swaziland Relief for a decade, and Cathy returned with him in 2013. In 2016 they took the Perspectives course together and felt God's call to the mission field. After praying and conferring with the leadership of Swaziland Relief, they announced in February 2017 that they were pursuing full-time service in eSwatini with Swaziland Relief.
What will our missionaries do?
Mick and Cathy will represent Swaziland Relief in-country and will act as liaisons between the primary school, the community where the school is located, and the government of eSwatini.
In addition to working with the school, Mick and Cathy will be partnering with the local church and community, as well as seeking out and strengthening partnerships with other organizations working in eSwatini to pursue both short-term and long-term relief.
Short-term relief goals:
- distributing food to areas hit by the recent, devastating droughts in eSwatini
- distributing clothing and shoes donated from the USA
- organizing mobile medical clinics
Long-term development goals:
- completing the primary school (several new structures are needed, including an agriculture classroom and a science laboratory)
- administering a micro-loan program to help stimulate locally owned and operated businesses
- overseeing the establishment of a secondary school in Madudula
- seeking to address the isolation caused by deafness in eSwatini
- orphan care point in Manzini
- orphanage in Hlatikhulu
- sustainable agriculture project in Siteki
- teaching farm in Bhunya
- Swazi Sign Language College in Manzini
- Coordinating Association of Non-Governmental Organizations in Mbabane
Mick and Cathy will be supported through Shepherd's Staff Mission Facilitators. Donations for one-time and monthly support via a check payable to Shepherd's Staff with their account number (6551) in the memo line and mailed to:
Shepherd’s Staff Mission Facilitators
6739 Academy Road NE, Suite 320
Albuquerque, NM 87109
Donations may also be made online at the following website: https://ssmfi.org/missionary/michael-and-catharine-sander/