Sunday, July 27, 2008

Back to Jo'Burg

Hello again everyone. It has been 2 weeks and I have a lot to talk about. We are settling in quite nicely here. It occurred to me that you might not have any clue about what Johannesburg, South Africa is like so let me try and describe it for you. It is a large city with a population of about 8 million people. We have not even ventured into the downtown area yet. The city is surrounded by hills/mountains depending on where you live right now. Us Floridians would call it a mountain. We have opposite seasons from the States. We are in winter right now. It is usually about 30 - 60 F. They say it has been a pretty mild winter. We have been in winter for 7 months now so we can't wait for it to be over. Back to Jo'burg. The traffic is not too bad except when it is the good luck your stuck. All of the houses have walls and barbed wire around them. Very hard to meet your neighbors. The crime can be bad here. It is a case of either you have money or you don't no real in between. There are more BMW's here then I have ever seen. Most people do not follow traffic rules. Stop signs mean slow down, look and go. Motorcyclists are crazy. We live in a flat at the Baptist Missionary Services Compound. The IMB built 4 flats for missionaries to live in here. If you are a Baptist this is what your Lottie Moon offering goes to. We are so grateful. We drive a Condor. It seats about 7. We are so blessed to have all of this.

The children are doing well in school. They will be on holiday for the whole month of August. A much needed break for all of us. We will be going to a prayer retreat in Durban on the coast at the end of August. We are planning on staying a few days after to have so family time by the Indian Ocean. We are all excited. Yesterday Micah participated in his schools field day. It was a lot of fun. They do things big here. Remember that he goes to an all boys school so there was a lot of competition. The girls have been going to birthday parties and having play dates with new friends. David and I have also made some South African friends so that is fun.

We joined a church here called Edenvale Baptist Church. On Wednesdays we have joined a cell group. It consists of about 10 couples. Most have children. Last week the group went to a government run hospital here. This was very different than any hospital I had ever seen. They also have private hospitals here but the people in this hospital could not afford it. There were many dying of AIDS there. Most did not have anyone to visit them. They welcomed us. We gave them Bibles and prayed with them. Please pray for these sweet people.

David is still doing his classes and is working hard at the office. His boss and family left on stateside last Friday. We are missing them already. They will be living in Tennessee for 5 months and coming back in January. We also are losing another of our BIMS missionaries to retirement next week. She has been serving for 20+ years. She is an amazing lady and we will miss her also.

Good news. I finally finished the bunk beds. They are together and Emily slept in hers last night. It took about a month to strip the old wood and put new finish on it. It gave the girls so much more room in the room.

We have been connecting with a lot of our old friends through Facebook. I have also been putting pictures there. Please join so we can talk to you too. This is not a commercial for Facebook it is just an easy way to keep in touch.

Thank you as always for your prayers, notes, e-mails, encouragement. We love them. Keep them coming.

Prayer/Praise Requests:

Prayer: That our crate will get here soon.

Prayer: for the patients at the hospital that we visited.

Prayer: for the leadership of the IMB and our Regional Team.

Prayer: For the Naude family on Stateside and Sarah as she retires.

Praise: The beds are done!

Praise: We have all made friends.

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Any Road At Any Cost

Hello everyone. Sorry about not writing last week. We have been very busy with different things. The children are still in school and making friends. Leah and Micah have both been invited to birthday parties. Leah went to one at an ice skating rink yesterday. Emily and Micah went to skate too. They all had a great time.

David has been busy at work and has started his new class. They are only 8 week classes so they are really intense. He has been studying every night. I have become the furniture restainer. I have stained 2 bookshelves, 1 side table and 1 foyer table. I am now in the process of stripping the wood on the girls bunkbeds and re-staining them. It is a long process but they really look good. I will show you the before and after pictures when I get finished. While I have been doing this work I have had a lot of time to listen to c.d.'s. This week I was listening to all of my Point of Grace c.d.'s. If you are like me different songs have different memories. I was remembering singing at McGregor Baptist Church with my friends. It was good memories. One song really got me to thinking. The song is called Any Road at Any Cost. I was thinking about different e-mails that I have been getting. Some of you that read this blog don't have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. If you are reading this and you feel like you have no idea what that means but you feel that something is leading you to want to know more let me encourage you to either e-mail David or me or to visit a bible believing church tomorrow. Do it you won't regret it. I know right now it is summer time in the States. Time to reflect on your year a service in the church and time to pray about what to do next year. If there is something that you feel like God is calling you to do but you don't think you could possibly do it, like teaching Sunday School, auditioning for the Christmas Pageant, going on a mission trip or becoming a career missionary, do it anyway. Take that step out of the boat and walk on water. It's an amazing journey. For those of you that are like us friends on the field either around the world or doing ministry at home. Know that we are praying for you. I know I have said this but I can't imagine doing language school on top of everything else. You all are awesome and we miss you.

The last couple weekends we have been to some really fun outings. 2 weeks ago we went to The Lion Park. We got to feed giraffe, pet baby lions and go on a safari. We saw about 30 lions. They had just fed them so we got to watch them eat. It was a driving safari so they were standing right next to the car at some points. They are huge. One female stood as high as the window. Awesome creatures! We also saw zebra and wilderbeasts. We had a lot of fun. Last weekend we went out to Irene market which is an outdoor Africaans market that has antiques, crafts, food yum and camel rides. The girls can now say they have ridden on a camel. We had a fun time together. This week the children have had the week off and there a lot of families with children staying at the compound so the children have been busy. Yesterday we had a 4th of July picnic. We were afraid that it would be to cold to have outside but it turned out to be really nice and there weren't any flies so that was good. We are settling in nicely to our new home but we are still waiting for our crate to arrive. It will be like Christmas when it finally gets here. I can't even remember what exactly we put in there.

Micah had a great birthday. He got to open his presents from our family on Skype so they could see him open them. It was neat. We took him to dinner and he openned presents from us that day. He had fun. Thank you to everyone who sent e-cards and wishes to him.

Prayer Requests:
Praise: Micah had a great birthday.

Priase: that we are settling in.

Prayer: that our crate gets here quickly.

Prayer: that we will know what ministry God wants us to be a part of here.

Thank you to everyone. We are praying that you will go down any road at any cost.