Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Finding Joy

This picture is not our new flat. It is the tents we stayed in during 40/40.

Hello again everyone. Just over a week has gone by and already things are so different here. We have finally moved into our permanent flat. We have been very busy decorating and trying to make it our home. We got our beds on Friday so we were very excited. We live right next door to where David works so it has been really nice to spend time together. We never had that in the states. I started taking a Beth Moore Bible Study every Wednesday morning. It is on the book of Daniel. It has really been great for me to focus more on God and less on me. It gives you perspective. I have been trying to find joy in all things new. Like for instance last week I wrote about having to pick the children up at 3 different times every day. Well I figured out that when doing this I could spend quality time with each one personally talking about their day. It has really worked out quite nicely. The children are really doing well in school.

We have found a church and we are very excited about joining it. We visited several different churches but in the end we picked Edenvale Baptist Church as the church we will be members of. It is much smaller than our home church. The children seem to really like going. So we are very excited.

We are learning the lay of the land more and more each day. It seems that driving on the other side of the road isn't as difficult as we thought it might be. This weekend we got to see some friends that went to FPO and 40/40 with us. They are in town for 3 weeks to go to another training. It was so nice to see them and hang out. They are serving in Malawi.

David is liking his job. He has a lot to learn in a short period of time. We are praying that the power doesn't go out again so that the computers still run. Last week they were out for 2 days. This did give us time to do things that needed to get done before we moved. He will be starting classes again next week so please pray for him. It can get pretty stressful especially if the Internet goes down.

Last week I forgot to say Happy Father's Day to all the dads in my life. You know who you are. I hope you had a great one. We had a national holiday yesterday so the kids got the day off. We went to a movie and had a great time together.

Micah's birthday is next Wednesday. There is a team coming over this Thursday bringing presents from our family over. He doesn't think he is getting anything from his grandparents so he will be so surprised. Say a prayer for him on the 25th if you think about it.

Prayer/Praise Requests:

Praise - We have moved to our permanent residence.

Praise - We got our work permits today!

Praise - We found a church.

Prayer - for Micah on his birthday.

Prayer - that we would get our crate soon.

Prayer - for a little girl named Alexus. She is 4 and needs a new kidney. Her mom is a real estate agent that I met while showing the old flat to renters.

Prayer - that now that we are getting settled we could find where God wants us to minister.

Prayer - for David's job and school.

Thank you as always. You all are so awesome. I pray that you find joy in the Lord this week.

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

This Is Going To Be A Long One

Home Sweet Home or maybe not quite home but I will get to that. We did finally make it back to Joburg. We have had an interesting week. When we arrived we found out that the flat that is being built for us is not quite finished so they moved us into another flat not to far from where we will live. We will only be here until the 22nd of this month so we will have to re-pack yet again to move. Hopefully for the last time. In this week we have mastered driving on the wrong side of the road and car with a stick shift in your left hand. The drivers here are pretty crazy. Worse than Florida if you can believe that. We have been hooted (honked) at several times.

The children started school last Monday. I know most of your children just ended the school year. Here we have year round school that starts in January and goes to November. The children will have May, August and December (our summer) off. So in the end it all equals out. The children are really liking their teachers and are making friends rapidly. It was truly a miracle that they had space for all three kids. At the girls school they only had 2 spots open in grades 2 and 4. They told us there are waiting lists for all other grades until 2013. Micah did not have a spot until the week before we came back from Zambia. Another boy had to drop out so his space opened. God is so amazing. We have spent all week trying to get uniforms. The kids had uniforms in the states but nothing like these. The girls have to wear a blazer, tie and trousers every day except for one which they wear a track suit and when they are outside they have to wear a school hat. They can only wear a certain color hair accessory and they have to have their hair pulled back at all times. That is just the winter uniform. During summer it's a whole new set. Micah's isn't quite so bad yet. He wears a track suit with shorts underneath and a hat when he is outside. They all had to get new shoes and special socks. School drop off/pick up times are interesting. every day each child has a different time to pick them up at. I actually had to write a weekly schedule out so that I could figure out what time to pick each child up. This is my first week so I will let you know how it goes. For all you moms out there there are no car lines. You basically have to drive up to the school, park and go get your child. Interesting when they have to be picked up at three different times. I am trying to get used to this. Just so you know they all go to Catholic Private School. This of course poses a myriad of questions about why they pray to Mary and why do they use a necklace to pray? The schools are our mission field. Please pray that all of us can be the salt and light there.

In the last week we have gone grocery shopping, gone to the mall, eaten at restaurants and bought furniture and appliances for our new flat. Here are some funny stories about our South African happenings. First, grocery shopping. Here they have different names for a lot of things. So if you go with a list you have to ask half a dozen people what they might call a certain item. Most of the time they have no clue what I'm talking about. For instance, Q-tips are called ear buds here and you can find them with the baby items. Kidney beans are called sugar beans and sour cream is sour cream but it is in the yogurt section. Shortening is called white butter and you can find that with the butter of course. There is about 3 different kinds a sugar. Good luck trying to find the one you want. Then there are the things I haven't been able to find yet. I was so excited the day I finally found dryer sheets. You have to cut them in half here but at least they have them. I told David I can't even imagine living in a country where I can't read or speak the language. It has been hard enough just doing this. Please join with us in praying for all of our friends around the world who are in language school. At the mall here it is one stop shopping. You can go to the grocery store, go see a movie, go to a restaurant or a drug store all at once. Most big stores have large appliances, food, t.v.'s, things for your car, ect. Last week we went to a restaurant for pizza. That day they were having a "special" on pizza's. Each pizza was 36 rand. However, the pizza I wanted only cost 26 rand regularly. But because the pizza was on special we had to pay 36 rand for it. In Zambia we learned the phrase AWA which means Africa Wins Again. We have used this phrase often. We have also been in the process of shopping for appliances and furniture for the new flat. This has been interesting. Believe it or not the appliances here are very different and everyone has their own opinion about what you should get. We were blessed to find a sale at a nice furniture store so last Saturday we bought furniture for our living room. Yesterday we bought all of the appliances and beds. We have never had to choose appliances so this was all new to us. Appliances & food are smaller here so we are trying to get used to that. I feel like I'm always going to the grocery store. Eventually I will figure it all out. Probably about the time that we go stateside.

On a serious note. I am not sure if you saw on the news the riots that were happening in Joburg. It was happening while we were in Zambia. We were not affected by it. They call in Xenophobia. What was happening was that some of the black Africans were upset that refugees and ex patriots were taking homes and jobs that they thought belonged to them. So they started to riot and things got out of control and about 30 people were killed. The South African army was called in. Families are still displaced and grieving. It is very sad. Thank you for thinking about us during this time.

Our new mailing address here is PO Box 1759, Edenvale, South Africa 1610.
Just so you know Micah's birthday is June 25th. He will be 6 years old. My does time fly. It takes about a month for things to get mailed to us. You can e-mail any birthday greetings to me at tracy_delac@yahoo.com We are on-line now so please e-mail, comment on the blog or Facebook us. We want to hear form you.

Prayer/Praise Requests: Praise - the children's school. Please pray that they will do well and make friends easily.
Pray - that the building inspector will o.k. our flat so that we can move in.
Pray - that we find a church.
Pray - for all the people that we are coming in contact with at school, or when buying stuff. That we would have the opportunity to witness to them.
Pray - for the families that have been displace or lost loved ones during the riots.