Two Weeks!!!

March 22nd, 2018 No comments

We are having a baby in the next two weeks!!! Mel will either deliver before that or be induced on April 6. We are so excited and can’t wait to meet our newest family member and first ever boy. We also have a lot of peace in having this baby in a new country/culture. The hospital is great and the care seems to be excellent.

Please pray for a safe and uneventful labor/delivery!

The Schirtzingers

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Surgery, Bible Studies, and Testimonies

February 15th, 2018 No comments

Hey Everyone,

This is Andy writing. For those who don’t know, I had a hernia repair surgery here on Jan 31st, and I am recovering very well. It was both a pleasant and strange experience having surgery in a foreign country: the staff was great, but they sent me home with meds and a smile only, so it makes me wonder how others fare after treatment with little to no instructions on after-care.

Mel and I had the priviledge of being trained by our team leader in DBS, or Discovery Bible Study. It’s a simple five-point study that focuses on discipleship and the starting of new groups, and it’s fantastic. I have an opportunity here soon to start a group with some local church planters as well as young Xhosa men at our church. I can’t wait to get started and to form these new relationships based around how God speaks to everyone through His living word.

I’ve also had the opportunity to connect with several people recently who have been dealing with some form of stress and anxiety. It has been amazing watching God set up these conversations and allow me to share not only my own experiences, but to offer help in the form of tools like Transformational Healing ( that points hurting people to Jesus. I’ve had a passion for this ministry since Mel and I went through the group in the US. There is so much pain and hurt here, and I would be honored to take part in facilitating healing for people from all classes, races, and financial situations.

Mel and I will be going through a children’s ministry training at our church on 24 Feb. We are really looking forward to jumping in and working with some kiddos here. Our church, Joy to the Nations, has a large population of people from Walmer township. This will be a great opportunity for us to begin working with kids from the township.

The Lord is opening many doors for ministry here and it’s exciting to be able to begin to walk through them. God is good! Please expect more updates as we get more involved in ministry.

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Stewardship and Resources: Water Shortage

January 20th, 2018 No comments

Kouga dam, an arch dam on the Kouga river, supplies water to our home city of Port Elizabeth, and its water lever is dangerously low.

Proverbs 27:18 says: “He who tends the fig tree will eat its fruit, And he who cares for his master will be honored.” We are experiencing a severe drought here in Port Elizabeth, South Africa (Cape Town is as well), and it’s so bad that the local government has put strict water restrictions in place. Right now, we are limited to 60 liters of water per person, per day, and 400 liters per household, per day. We are flushing the toilets with bath water and we purchased a water cooler for drinking water so we can meet these requirements.

The above verse speaks to me about stewardship and how our actions in taking care of natural resources as well as adhering to laws become a light for Jesus to those around who may be trying to push the limits to the max or who are waiting to see what the Americans will do who never have been asked to restrict water usage. We are doing our best to stay under the requirements; this is almost an emergency, and at some point, the water will be turned off if the local governments can’t get their act together and find a solution like desalination (making saltwater drinkable) or tapping into other sources of water.

Please pray for South Africa, especially the Western/Eastern Capes where the water shortages are real and quite scary. Pray for rain, lots of rain! Please also pray for those who are in impoverished situations here where the water restrictions are only squeezing them more tightly, which can lead to severe illness and sanitary issues.

We are hoping to have a newsletter out by next week, and we will be posting on this blog more often so our newsletters are not 45 pages long.

The Schirtzingers

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September 26th, 2017 No comments

Hi Everyone! This is Mel this time. This is my first blog post ever so please bear with me here as I try to figure all of this out. I wanted to share with you all about what I believe is an answer to prayer.

A week ago Sunday, we went to a new church called Fountain Vineyard. We attended this church because we knew about their ministry to orphaned and abandoned children. We did not know anyone when we went to the church. The first person we met at the church was a wonderful, sweet woman from Ireland named Kate. She and her husband are the ones who started the children’s homes associated with the church. Of course, we started talking almost immediately about our hearts for orphaned and vulnerable children. Immediately after church we went over to the children’s home to see it. There are two homes. One has six kids ages 1-10 and the other has six babies in it. The girls played with the big kids for a while and then had their tanks filled holding the babies. It was precious to see them so engaged. I wish I could post photos, but I am not allowed to post photos of the kiddos online. It was a very precious time for our family though!

On Tuesday (a week ago today), Kasey and I went to the children’s homes again and to get to know Kate better. We held some babies for a while and then we went and played with the big kids. It was amazing to have one of my little girls there volunteering with me and loving on these kiddos. I love her heart for them. Each night, she asks to see the pictures of the kiddos and she prays for each one personally, asking the Lord to make it possible for them to be adopted into a loving family. I am melting as I type this.

I have prayed for a year now for a ministry partner and I believe that Kate could be that answer to prayer. She mentioned to me that they have plans to build 10 more children’s homes! And I mentioned to her my desire to run one and to start a child sponsorship program to get and keep kids in the township in school. Who knows what the Lord will do with this! For now, I am looking forward to the opportunity to volunteer at the homes regularly with my girls. Please pray the Lord would grow our relationship and create many more opportunities for us to do ministry together! And please pray that I can find a good balance between being a mom, ministry and language learning. Right now, it’s tough to find the balance.

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First Update in South Africa!

September 15th, 2017 1 comment

Hey Everyone! I wanted to share a quick update before I write a full newsletter. We have been here for 11 days and have been working hard to settle in and find some necessities as well as things to make our house a home. God has helped so much as well as our new friends, and we have a bank account (money has been hard to use here with our US accounts) and we are buying a car that is being driven from Cape Town!

We have also begun language learning with a helper which has been really fun and challenging. I’ll work on a newsletter this week and send it via email/post on Facebook. Thanks for reading this quick update! We want to connect with as many people as possible so thanks for your patience as we try to respond to and create messages to friends/family.

Andy and Mel

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Just 19 days to go!

August 2nd, 2017 No comments

We are so excited to be going to South Africa! I will try to use this website as a blog, and if it doesn’t work well, I’ll post a new location for my blog. Please pray as we pack for Lake Cumberland, KY, for a last vacation before we leave for Africa.


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Welcome to our new website!

February 19th, 2017 No comments

Hello and welcome! We will be using this website to provide frequent updates on what our family is up to and what is new in the process of moving to South Africa to do missions with Operation Mobilization ( We want to spread the love of Jesus and the hope of what He offers all of us.

My family and I (wife Mel and three daughters Kasey, Nora, and Janie) are planning to move to Port Elizabeth, South Africa, in August 2017 to minister to the poor and vulnerable in the local slums (townships). Here are the details of the ministries that we will be involved with:

Khanyisa Credit in Walmer Township

  • Build relationships through the facilitation of small loans for starting individual businesses
  • Education on maintaining a profitable business for the uplifting of the community and the advancement of God’s kingdom

Business for Transformation (

  • Partner with B4T to assist Africa For Christ church planters in “tent-making” business opportunities to give them sustainable income and influence in their communities

Mel’s Ministry Opportunities

  • Partner with local ministries to work with vulnerable children and orphaned children


As members of Operation Mobilization, we are fully dependent on finding partners who will support us through both prayer and finances. This has been an amazing process for us in trusting the Lord to provide individuals and families who want to see His work done in South Africa.

Here is an update on our support-raising situation:

  • Monthly financial need: $6100.00
  • Current at 51% funded
  • Goal for 100% funded: April

If  you are interested in partnering with us, please visit this link and search for Schirtzinger to set up online giving:

Lastly, here are a few prayer requests for our family if you want to pray for us:

  • Protection as we begin to prepare to move to South Africa
  • Continue to trust the Lord to provide for our security and finances
  • The hearts of Kasey, Nora and Janie during all of this transition
  • The Lord would begin to prepare the hearts of those we will be ministering to

Thank you for visiting our website!


Blessings and cheers,

The Schirtzinger Family

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Hello world!

February 11th, 2017 No comments

Welcome to MissionsPlace. This is an example post. Feel free to edit or delete it, then start sharing your ministry updates!

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