Sunday, May 31, 2009

Winter is here!

Well June starts tomorrow and winter has already hit the Johannesburg area. It started to get cold here about a month ago. I am prepared for a very cold winter. It is hard to believe that it is cold here when most of my friends back home in Florida are having very hot and rainy days this time of year. It is hard for my mind not to think that Christmas is just around the corner. Then I remember that it is only June and Christmas is actually 6 months away.
The last two months have been busy for us here in Joburg. Last time I wrote I told you of the children having a month long holiday (vacation) in April. It went very fast. At the beginning of the holiday we went to our annual meeting that they call a AMTM (Annual Missionary Training Meeting). We had a team of volunteers come from the States to minister to us through music, preaching and doing VBS with our children so that the adults could go to the meeting uninterrupted. Our meeting was titled For Such a Time as This. I am not sure how much I have shared with you about our company making changes. But our company is making some big changes and that means a lot of change for us specifically living in Johannesburg. We have had people from around the globe moving here to help with support positions for the continent of Africa. So for such a time as this we had a meeting that we could learn more about the changes and how they would effect us. The volunteer team had 2 preachers with them and they did a phenomenal job sharing with us about how to get a grip on our thoughts and actions while we are going through these changes. It seems that flexibility was the word for our family a year ago and it looks like that its not going to change any time soon. A lot of things that we were told were things we have already heard but it is nice to be reminded. We were reminded that God gives us a fresh invitation to the spiritual world. That to be in that world we need to be in the Word every day so that the Holy Spirit can consume us and that we can have an intimate relationship with God so that He can lead and guide our steps. In doing this we will be able to hear God's voice more like a trumpet and not like a whisper. We need to stay in fellowship with God to know His will. We were asked the question is God having pleasure with what's coming out of you? Are we complaining, whining, being a martyr, a cynic or a perfectionist? We need to stop blaming others for the problems and look for God's hand in our circumstances. As I said before these were such good reminders. There was so much more that we learned but you would be reading for forever if I kept going on. We met some really wonderful people in the volunteers and missionaries that we hadn't had the privilege of meeting before. We all had a wonderful time. While at the meeting we celebrated our one year of living in South Africa.

A week later we went with some South African friends of ours to the beach in Durban. It was our first official vacation since living in Johannesburg. We had a wonderful time relaxing on the beach and becoming better friends with the family we were with. We got to see a shark dissected and went to a water park and the movies and did some shopping in one of the biggest malls I have ever seen. A fun time was had by all. There are pictures on facebook if you want to see. The kids returned to school for their second semester at the beginning of May.

May has also been a very busy month for us. While we were at AMTM the home school books arrived for the next year of home school. We support 14 families here and we have been working diligently to get their orders for the next school year complete. It is quite a process. David has been working hard in the Treasurers office and on his school work. He completed a class (and got an A) and two days later started a new class which he has been working very hard at trying to get ahead because he will be having surgery on his right foot on Thursday, June 4th. Of course every one of the children has speeches to give this week and Emily has a major project next week. Murphy's law. You all were such wonderful prayer partners for his last surgery please be praying for a quick recovery and that he would stay healthy so that he can have the surgery.

June brings Micah's 7th birthday and of course winter. We are not quite sure what we will be doing for Micah's 7th but I am sure I will blog about it next time.

Praise/Prayer Requests:

Prayer - That we would be able to stay so close to God that we can hear His voice like a trumpet and not just a whisper in all aspects of our lives.

Prayer - that we would have opportunities to witness to our community.

Prayer - David's surgery June 4th

Praise/Prayer - David finished his last class and has started another. Only 3 more to go after this one.

Praise - kids doing great in school.

Prayer - that we will all stay healthy. With winter comes sickness and every one of us has had some kind of ailment.

Prayer - for me and my colleague Dee Ann that we would be able to get the home school materials finished in a timely manner.

Prayer - for those missionaries that have to leave their homes to move here and for those that are already here during the transition.

Prayer - for Micah on his birthday the 25th of June.

Thank you for your prayers and for your friendship.
David, Tracy, Emily, Leah and Micah Delac

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Happy Easter!

Wow have I really not written anything on this blog since January? Sorry about that. So what has happened in the lives of the Delac's since January? In a couple of days we will make it to our 1 year mark in Johannesburg. Crazy stuff. Its hard to belief sometimes and other times it seems like we have been here forever. The children have just finished their first term in school and now are enjoying a month off. We had conferences with all of their teachers and they seem to be doing great. Emily received a diligence badge at assembly yesterday. This is a big accomplishment here. David and I are so proud of all of them. The Lord really blessed us with great kids. Next week we will be going to a conference here in Joburg for the southern section of Africa. We are all looking forward to this for several reasons 1) we missed it last year. 2) we get to visit with other M's that we don't get to see often 3) we get to meet M's that we haven't met as of yet and 4) we get to hear some great speakers and hear what other M's around our region are doing. At the end of April we are going with some South African friends to the beach in Durban for a much needed vacation. We are very excited.

In March, David celebrated his 40th birthday and Leah celebrated her 9th birthday. I get the fun of calling him an old man for about 7 months then its my turn to turn 40. We went to the Lion and Rhino Park for Leah's birthday (there are pictures on facebook). She took a friend and we got to pet a Cheetah and baby lions. It was a really neat experience. In March we also went on a safari in Pilanisburg. It was so neat to see these animals out in the open and know that its Africa and not Animal Kingdom (nothing against Animal Kingdom). You can also view those pics on facebook. I would put them on here but I can't figure it out. We also received several care packages in March. The Watkins family, David's co-workers from Ft. Myers and the Mother's Morning Out program at McGregor Baptist Church all sent us American goodies. We have been enjoying everything and are so thankful to all of those who have blessed our family.

David has started a new class. He is about half way thorough it now. He is taken Personal Evangelism this time. He will be finished with his degree in December. He has enjoyed his classes but I think he is looking forward to finishing. For those of you that have been wondering about David's foot it is doing great. In fact he will be having surgery on the other foot June 4th so you can be praying for that. We can't wait to have all of that behind us. Thank you for your prayers for the left foot.

Around BIMS (where we live and work) things are changing. I think that I wrote that our company is changing the way we do things which for us means that there will be a lot of people moving to Johannesburg and working here at BIMS. All of the Treasurers from across Africa are coming to live here. At this time there isn't enough office space for all of these new people to work so they have moved all of us out of the administration building and are building a second story. I am still working in the Home School room and we have had to move all of our books and things to a new office for the time being. That was quite a job. We are all scattered throughout the compound now. Please pray that the building will be completed quickly. Pray for all of those who are moving here and for those who already live here that are dealing with change.

In April, Emily will be turning 11. In fact in just a few days. We celebrated by taking her and a friend to an amusement park called Gold Reef City. (pics on fb) We had such a great time. She is getting older to fast. Micah learned to ride his bike last week. I know he's 6 but when we were in Ft. Myers we had to sell his bike before he learned and then well we moved to Africa. Anyway, he was so ready to learn and now he rides like a pro.

As I sit here and write this blog I am reminded that tomorrow is Good Friday and of course Sunday is Easter. What a time to reflect on God's sacrifice for me and you and you too. Ephesians 3:19 tells us that Christ's love is greater than anyone can ever know, but I pray that you will be able to know that love. Max Lucado tells us that it wasn't right that spikes pierced the hands that formed the earth. And it wasn't right that the hand of God was forced to hear the silence of God. It wasn't right but it happened. God did nothing while his son cried "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? It wasn't right or fair but it was love. Again, I pray that you know that love. The love that was willing to sacrifice his life for our sins. It is so humbling that God would do that for us. I hope you and your family have a very blessed Easter.

Prayer/Praise Requests:
Praise - The kids are out of school for a month and are doing great in school.

Praise - Micah can ride a bike!

Praise - David's foot is healing nicely. Prayer - for the right foot - surgery June 4th

Prayer - that we would be able to share the gospel with more people. That the Lord would put those people in our paths.

Prayer - That the new office buildings would be finished quickly.

Prayer - For all of the M's that are moving here and for those already here.

Prayer - for the meeting coming next week.

As always thank you for the prayers. You are such awesome prayer partners. We are so blessed by you.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

It's A New Year

Happy New Year everyone. Welcome back to a new year of blogs from the Delac's. I hope that everyone had a very Merry Christmas. That seems so long ago already. I think that I will start this blog telling you about how we spent Christmas over here. First let me let you in on a little secret. Yes, we live in Africa but Joburg is a lot more like living in the States than most of Africa. We have malls and roads and most modern conveniences. We do not live in a hut out in the bush. However, we do have friends that do, just not us. O.k. that said we had a pretty normal Christmas. The kids were out of school for 6 weeks. A lot of Joburg left the city and went to the beach for the holidays. Remember it is summer here now. It was very quiet here. The kids and I spent a lot of time baking and making Christmas ornaments for our tree. We had a lot of fun. Here they do not decorate as much. Most everyone has a Christmas tree but there weren't a lot of lights/decorations outside. Again a lot of people were gone. We do have malls here and they were decorated. The children call Santa Father Christmas here. He does the same job. Instead of going to church on Christmas Eve they go to church Christmas morning here. We had a lovely Christmas Day. We opened presents in the morning and had Cinnabons for breakfast. yum. Then we went over to some South African friends for lunch. We ate turkey and some meat they call gammon which tasted like ham. We did Christmas crackers. This is a gift that when you pull the strings at each end it pops and there is a small prize inside. That was a fun tradition. I made pumpkin pie for dessert (which they had never had). I think they liked it. We had a great time. The day after Christmas was a holiday here in South Africa called Boxing Day. This holiday is probably not what you think it is. Basically what you are supposed to do is box up your old clothes and give them to the needy. One of the big differences we have noticed here is that they don't have sales after holidays. The stores are usually just back to normal. Not like the States after Christmas. One week later we had New Years. It was amazing to me how many people told me Happy New Years but never said a word about Christmas before Christmas. Again difference in culture. We didn't really do anything for New Years. Pretty much what we would have done at home in Florida.

The day after New Years we held a home school family conference here in Joburg. A few blogs ago I told you that I have been working in the home school room. I got to go and stay out at a hotel with all of the home school families that home school in SA, Botswana, Mozambique, Madagascar and Zambia. We had a volunteer team come over from the States that did workshops with the parents while others were working with the children. Some of these parents have been home schooling a long time while others were just starting. I think it was a great benefit for the moms who were just starting out. I really enjoyed getting to know all of these families that we serve. David stayed at home with our children and on Sunday got a chance to come out and talk to the youth about personal finances. At the end of the month the home school orders will start coming in so we will be very busy trying to do the orders.

On another note David's foot is healing nicely. He had surgery in November to straighten out his toes. He went to the doctor yesterday and the doctor seemed surprised that it had only been 2 months since the surgery because the healing process is going so well. We will know next month when David can schedule surgery to do the right foot. Thank you so much for you prayers about this.

We finally got to go to the dentist here in SA. The kids went in December and I just went the other day. We were happy that no one had a cavity. Yea us. They do things a little differently here. The dentist is actually the one that does all of the work here. He takes the x-rays and cleans the teeth and everything else. There is a dental hygienist in the room but they just help mainly. X-rays were not taken on the children and I only had two. When he cleaned our teeth he used some kind of electric thing that sounded like a drill instead of the hand held instruments. It was a lot quicker and I think less painful. Anyway I just thought that might be interesting to know the differences.

The children started a brand new school year last Wednesday. On Tuesday I took the girls to book day to meet their new teachers. On the way there I asked them who they wanted for a teacher and wouldn't you know that they both got who they wanted. Even better they all three have children in their classes that they are friends with already. What a blessing. Emily surprised us by auditioning for choir. She found out the next day that she had made it and the music teacher wants her to audition for the marimba band. We will see how that goes. Leah also wants to audition for choir and join the Drama club. If you know Leah this is not a surprise at all. Micah is wanting to play cricket for his school this year. I am thrilled that they all will have something to do but it will be difficult to schedule it all.

As most of you know we are on Facebook. While on fb last week I was chatting with a friend who asked me in the last year what do I think is the biggest thing that God has taught me. I really had to think about that. God has taught me so many things but as I thought the one thing that kept coming up was this. Everything around you can change, whether it be your home, family, money, whatever but God never changes He always stays the same. Everything that happens is intended to bring us closer to Him. Amazing. Everything for us has changed this year but God didn't and He brought us here to be closer to Him. This year there will be many more changes. The job that David knows right now is going to change. He will still be a Treasurer but the IMB is making Joburg the Cost Center for Africa so we will have a lot of other folks coming to join us here. Things are changing and we don't know what the changes will be. We are standing firm in the knowledge that God knows what will happen. To Him be all the glory.

Praises/Prayer Requests:

Praise David's foot is healing well. Pray for the right time to do the other foot.

Praise the children are doing so well in school. Pray for their teachers Mrs. De La Rosh, Mrs. Raines and Mrs. Brennar

Prayer for the home school office as we are going to be very busy.

Prayer for the IMB as they make decisions and for the families that will be leaving their homes around Africa to come live in Joburg.

Thank you as always for your prayer support. God has heard your prayers and we have been blessed. You guys are an amazing bunch of people.