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.