Thursday, September 17, 2009

Moving In Day

Well our container arrived today a 7:30 this morning and by 10:00 it was empty. We loaded everything in a couple of rooms except the kitchen boxes and of course Brit's guitar and Luke's teddy bear and Ol' Betsy toy gun. The rest of the things will have to wait until the house is finished.

They made a lot of progress today. They began to tile the master bath and the lounge. They have almost finished the wall they are building in the lounge to make a closet. They have painted almost 1/2 of the ceilings and almost all of the newly plastered walls. We even had to call the plumber back out today because our sewage was backed up! Mark thought we had a problem when he noticed suds in the yard this morning. Now it seems to be fixed.

Yesterday Mark was able to share the gospel with 2 of the workers. Today Joseph was able to talk a little bit to the truck driver. We pray that seeds are planted in the lives of the people God has put and continues to put in our path.

Please pray for Luke he is not feeling very well and started running a fever this evening.

Here are a few pictures from today ...

Mark found his tile saw and his converter. He had fun using his tools today.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Another Update

Praise God for another day here. Great progress was made on the house.

*foundation has been poured in the lounge where the stage was
*painter started painting the ceilings and putting the primer on the plaster
*Started taking out the old tile in the dining room
*fixed a broken cabinet door in the kitchen
*master bath is ready for the tile man in the morning
*wall built in the hall bathroom where the door was
*all walls are plastered!

Here are a few pictures from today ...
Luke playing in the sand pile

bathroom wall

making the concrete

working on the foundation

Dining Room

Mark got in the car this morning to take the kids to school and it would not start. Sean and Gabriel brought us the Mission's Land Rover yesterday just in case. Praise God for providing a way to get our kids to and from school today.

Please continue to pray with us for ...
*our car
*getting the house finished soon - so ready to move on to other things
*the Baptist Union Assembly - our church here is hosting the annual meeting here next weekend. We will help Sharyn prepare 3 meals a day for over 400 people; I need to get the name tags made for the files, and we are hosting 4 women in our home over the weekend during the event (praying our house is ready for them)
*pray for the guys in the mission as they prepare for their pastor training in October
*pray for Derrick (one of our translators) who was injured last week as they were trying to drill a well in Salani. He was hit in the head and rushed 4 hours back to South Africa (which they actually made it there in 2 hours) and he had to get 9 stitches. He is recovering fine and there have not been any complications. We are praying for protection as he heals and a quick recovery.

We are so thankful that God has provided us this house and we praise Him for allowing us to sell our house in the States and have a little money to be able to make this house here a home! We praise God for the encouragement of friends here in South Africa as well as friends and family back in the States. God is good and God is great.

Monday, September 14, 2009

Rejoice in the Lord ALWAYS!

We spent the weekend at Family Camp with Christ Baptist Church. It was nice to "get away" from the mess at the house and spend time with new friends. The theme this year was Lift Jesus Higher. Four different pastors from the church lead the sessions. We enjoyed great food, fellowship and play. Brit loved playing rugby and cricket. Luke, well, he stayed VERY busy! We went on a hike to a waterfall and then some of us went on hike to the top of the mountain. We ended camp last night at church and the pastor spoke from Philippians 2:1-11. He talked about the fact that Jesus Christ IS Lord. It is so important to take a look at our lives and see if He truly IS Lord in our life. Lip service is not enough! My prayer for our family is that He will remain Lord at all times to us. That we will truly seek and live for Him! I want to remain at His feet and serve Him with my whole heart.

Brit is getting ready for a game of Rugby.

We were sitting by the waterfall.

Luke and I on the top of the mountain. It took us 3 hours to go to the top and back.

On the hike we went through the valley at the top and then went up the back side of the mountain and ended up on the top of the left side.

Playing a game.

We came back from church last night and had a quick dinner and then got the kids in bed. We needed to take care of things on email and I was able to skype with my granddad. We went to bed thinking about all that still needs to be accomplished this week. (Side note we got word that our container is arriving on Tuesday and the house is torn up) So to say the least we have been a little stressed just on how to get it all accomplished. We know God is in control and that He has a plan. He is LORD of all things!

I didn't sleep well last night and then 5:15 came very early this morning. We got up and got the kids ready for school. I left to take the kids and Mark stayed waiting on the builders to get to the house. I drove around the corner and up the road to the stop sign where I cross the highway and head to school. I was 2 cars away from the stop sign and the car stopped and I couldn't get it to start. The guys behind me got out and came to help and he got it started. Praise the Lord. By this time traffic is getting bad. I moved the car up to the stop sign and it stopped again. I do praise the Lord it stopped at the stop sign and not any further out or in the middle of the road. We sat there and I could not get it started. By that time the traffic behind me was back up so far. I couldn't even put the car in reverse and back out of the way. We just waited and I told the kids to start praying. I was praying that one of our neighbors would come by that had kids in the same school. Soon a man stopped and asked if I had a phone. Which I did not. We only have one cell phone and I left it at the house. He went to the house to let Mark know what was going on. We just waited and people kept going on around me. After a while a lady pulled up beside me and asked if I was ok. I told her someone went to fetch my husband. She had 2 girls with her and she offered to give my kids a lift to school. I could see they had the same uniform on. I told them to go so they wouldn't be late. I just prayed they would be safe. That made the momma in me nervous but I had to trust that God was answering my prayer for someone to help me get the kids to school. I waited a little longer and if you know me I was frustrated about the car. I kept thinking I had so much to get done today to get ready for our container to arrive and to make a plan on where to put all the boxes since the house is such a mess and on and on and on my mind went. I felt bad for for being in the way of all those cars that needed to go. On and on. I knew God would take care of me but just overwhelmed with it all.

Then I saw Sean and his family and they pulled off to help me get the car out of the road. (Mark had called them since the workers were at the house and he couldn't leave.) They finally got it to start and drove it to the house. I will tell you I had a moment and I praise God for sending my friends to me to help. Sean and Gabriel got the car taken car of and Gena listened to me cry and encourage me. I praise the Lord for the people He has put in our lives here. They were able to do something to the car and hopefully it will work now.

I made a call to the school to double check my kids made it and they had. I thank the Lord for his provision and protection!

The contractor came over to help us measure some things we need to finish off the walls. He said they can try to have the house finished by Wednesday or Thursday. He said he is still in between jobs and he has no work for his people so he brought them all here. We have 16 people in the house working. Some are plastering the bedroom walls, some are in the master bath finishing it so the tile man can start, some are taking out the 2nd door in the hall bath and bricking it up, some are preparing the floor in the lounge for the foundation to be poured and some a busy making concrete. God is so good and He is in control - even when things seem impossible.

Mark and Joseph left to go get more supplies and I was able to spend some time in the word and God took me to Philippians 4: 4-7 ...
Rejoice in the Lord always, I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

All I can say is Praise God! I am so in awe of how He continues to provide for us over and over. How He has every last detail taken care of.

Here are some pictures of the work being done today...

These guys are working on the floor in the lounge where the stage was. They are getting it ready to pour a foundation.

He is taking out the door that went into the toilet at the end of the hall. When the seminary used this house they built a wall to separate the toilet from the rest of the bathroom. We knocked that wall out and made it one bathroom again. They will brick up the extra door. Then we will build a closet for linens etc.

Mark and Joseph went to get supplies.

We had to order sand and rocks today for the foundation.

It is 12:45 here and it has been an hour since I originally posted this blog entry. Mark just got off the phone with the guy in charge of our shipping container and he asked us if we would like him to wait until the Thursday to come. It won't cost us any extra. HUGE answer to prayer. You should see how my shoulders just relaxed a little. Praise God!

Now it is 2:15. I went to pick up the kids from school and I was supposed to have a meeting at 2:00 with Luke's teacher. I got to the same stop sign and the car died AGAIN! This time I had my phone. I called Joseph who just left our house and he went back to the house and stayed so Mark could come get me. I called Gena to get the kids, Wally to let the kids know and Sharyn to have her call the school and reschedule my appointment. Wow - please pray for us. Looks like this car needs more work than originally thought!

It is now 7:15 pm ... Sean & Gabriel came over and worked on the car this afternoon. Brit told me that the lady that took them to school this morning was her science teacher. Again all I can say is Praise God. We are exhausted! Time to sit down and enjoy a cup of coffee and relax.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Still busy with the house

A lot has been accomplished this week ... plastering walls, bricking up walls where doors used to be, smoking out termites in the garage, working on the master bath, Brit got to Skype with 3 of her friends and Luke got to talk to his buddy Garrett (We were sitting in church on Sunday and Luke leaned over to me and said ... "Mom do you think Garrett, you know the one that worked at the church, has skype?" He REALLY wanted to talk to Garrett. What a blessing technology is.

We had termites coming up in the foundation in the garage and the room off the kitchen which used to be the other part of the garage. We had them "smoked" out.

They are building the wall for the corner tub in the bathroom.

They are building the wall where the door used to be to the toilet in the lounge. We opened it up on the other side into the kitchen and we will use this room as a laundry room/pantry.

This is the dining room. The far back wall (looks like a little cubby area will eventually have a counter there. We will use this area to serve coffee/tea or for extra seating. We plan on having several teams use our house as well as the church when needed.

Wally is helping us move and add some plugs.

Luke is supervising the plumber.

Brit is on Skype with her friends. They haven't talked since we left.

Monday, September 7, 2009

My Mouth will Speak in Praise of the Lord!

I will exalt you, my God the King;
I will praise your name for ever and ever.
Every day I will praise you
and extol your name for ever and ever.
Great is the Lord and most worthy of praise;
his greatness no one can fathom.
One generation will commend your works to another;
they will tell of your mighty acts.
They will speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty,
and I will meditate on your wonderful works.
They will tell of the power of your awesome works,
and I will proclaim your great deeds.
They will celebrate your abundant goodness
and joyfully sing of your righteousness.
The Lord is gracious and compassionate,
slow to anger and rich in love.
The Lord is good to all;
he has compassion on all he has made.
All you have made will praise you,
O Lord; your saints will extol you.
They will tell of the glory of your kingdom
and speak of your might,
so that all men may know of your mighty acts
and the glorious splendor of your kingdom.
Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
and your dominion endures through all generations.
The Lord is faithful to all his promises
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord upholds all those who fall
and lifts up all who are bowed down.
The eyes of all look to you,
and you give them their food at the proper time.
You open your hand
and satisfy the desires of every living thing.
The Lord is righteous in all his ways
and loving toward all he has made.
The Lord is near to all who call on him,
to all who call on him in truth.
He fulfills the desires of those who fear him;
He hears their cry and saves them.
The Lord watches over all who love him,
but all the wicked he will destroy.
My mouth will speak in praise of the Lord.
Let every creature praise his holy name
for ever and ever. (Psalm 145)

All I know to do at this time is Praise His Name and His Name Alone!!! We knew in May that this was the house the Lord had for us and we were so excited to get here and see what He had planned for it. I will tell you we were not planning or expecting to enter into a remodel right away. But through the last 2 months and a lot of pray and thinking things through here we are. There were some major things that needed to be fixed or changed in this house and this was the best time to do it before our house hold goods arrive. Today God provided a team of builders to finish this house completely this week. All we have to do is provide the material and the cost of the labor! The owners are believers and they said they didn't want to make a profit they just want to help us! Only God could have done this today. As I type the workers are busy and one wall is almost plastered. The plumber is in the master bath finishing his work so the tile man can begin. I will keep updating the blog with pictures as the day and week go on. All we know to do is praise the Lord! He is the one in charge and in control. We thank Him for this journey He has our family on and we will tell of His goodness!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

The Stage is Gone

We started this morning around 8:30. Around 20 people have come to help us get the stage out. We knocked out a new door in the kitchen that will enter the new laundry room/pantry. We have moved lots of dirt and rubble out of the lounge and we have now knocked out the wall between the sink and toilet in the main bathroom. We have already filled up the 7 ton trailer once and taken it to Sean's to dump. We will take another load later today. We have had a few band-aids and one seminary student had to go to the hospital to get stitches :( We had a lunch break in the Lapa and one of my friends daughter, who is around age 11, has been a big help keeping my kitchen cabinets clean and making sure everyone gets enough water to drink. Here are a few pictures so far ...

It was hard work and we are so thankful for everyone who gave up their Saturday to help us. Now we are off to unload the truck at Sean's.

Friday, September 4, 2009

House Work!

We were very blessed to be able to buy the house that we are living in. To read more on the story go to the post from May 22nd. We arrived here on June 24th and were so blessed from God as He used and continues to use people in Christ Baptist Church to help us feel at home here. If you have been following our blog you have read that the house was used as a hostel for the last 10 or 12 years with 25 to 30 guys living here at any given time. We first discovered that the bathrooms were going to have to be replaced and we have a stage in the lounge that really needed to go. With the help of several people in the mission and from the church we have completely gutted our master bath and the stage has been broken up and will be removed tomorrow. We were at the point that the things that needed to be done here are all MESSY projects. Our things from the States have not arrived yet so we are trying to get these projects finished before our things arrive. Then we can unpack, set up our home and settle in to our new life here in the mission.

Several people have asked to see before and after pictures of the house ...

(This is the Master bath - there were 3 showers for the hostel - we are taking two out and putting in a corner bath)

(This was the vanity that was in the master bath. When we removed it we found there was an old pipe that was brittle and had been leaking for a long time- the ground under the cabinet was standing water with mold.)

(This was the wall that was put up around the toilet- we took it down)

(Entry way from the front door- It was so crowded by the door, moving this wall back and taking out the broken archway opened the entrance up and makes things flow so much better.)

(This is the view from the dining room looking at the front door and office door.)

(David and Sydney are students at the Seminary - they have been a huge help to us)

(New view of the entry)

(This was the tree in the front yard that I backed into. William took it out for us. It was just in the way!!! In case you didn't hear ... I decided to drive to the store on my own and told Brit to go with me. I got in the car and told her to pray I wouldn't hit anyone and then put the car in reverse and well hit the tree.)

(This is the stage in the lounge)

Here is what the stage looks like now. Several people from the church will be here int he morning to help haul it out.)

We are so excited to be a part of Samaria Mission and are so grateful for God's grace in our lives. There are a few pastors from Mozambique and a few of the translators we use that are attending Seminary here at CBC. Their sessions are 2 weeks on and then 2 weeks off. Since we live so close to the church they often drop by. We enjoy visiting with them when they are here for their session. We praise God for the opportunity to build a relationship with these guys.

Our church here is very busy getting ready for Baptist Union Assembly that will be held here at our church this year. Pastors from all over South Africa will be here. We will all have a part in serving during this weekend. We are going to have some of the pastors stay here during the conference.

Sean, Wally and Gabriel will head into Mozambique on Sunday for a few days. They will try to finish a well they started drilling in Salani. Please pray for them as they travel to and from Mozambique and as they are there working with the village trying to get a well.

Here is a picture from last Sunday afternoon. We were invited by one of the small groups to join them for a family picnic at Cheerio's Farm. It was beautiful. We had a picnic lunch and went on a hike. It was good to meet some new people from the church.

This is what I found in the bathroom this morning!

Mark found this one tonight. Not sure I like having these on the inside of my house.