Thursday, December 31, 2009

Happy New Year

Well I should start this post by wishing everyone a Happy New Year. It is 11:20 pm here and we just got home from the church braai and service. Brit has a few friends over for a movie and we are told that in a few minutes we will see lots of fireworks from the neighborhood. I can't believe it has been over a month since my last post. So I thought I would highlight the month of December with lots of pictures. This month has flown by for us. We have been so busy still trying to get this house in order. Why does it take so long to unpack and get organized? Can I just say too much stuff! Today we finished removing the last of the building rubble that has been sitting in our yard for the past 4 months. We still have a lot of the garden to trim and cut back and haul that to the dump but we are making great progress.

Now onto the pictures ...
The end of November Steve Mickler and his daughter Adrienne came to visit. We were very excited to meet them and welcome them as our first official guests from the States. Steve is working on his dissertation and wanted to visit all of the villages in Mozambique that PaulAnn Baptist Church has ministered to in the past. This was a very important part of his research for his paper. A few days before they arrived Mozambique had received a lot of rain and it delayed their trip a few days so we enjoyed getting to know them while they waited for the river to go down some.

Steve is interviewing some of the mission staff for his paper.

Mark and the Land Rover - this is what it looked like after his trip into Mozambique with Steve a few days after all of the rain.

Yes it is December and yes that is Mark mowing the yard on a hot summer day!

The kids got an early Christmas Present this year... Meet Tex!

Christmas Eve dinner - we had several families join us for a Mexican Food Dinner to celebrate Christmas Eve. It was a typical HOT summer day here and before everyone came I had to go a take a COLD shower to cool off. (Cold showers are becoming our friend!)

Our tree

Christmas day we got up early and enjoyed opening presents and having our traditional Christmas breakfast consisting of eggs, bacon, homemade waffles and strawberries. Then we went to church for a Christmas morning service. We spent the rest of the days at the Beakley's swimming and visiting. There were 2 American families, one South African family, one man from Kenya and one man from Zambia and one family from Zimbabwe. We had a leg of lamb and then lots of different side dishes.

Mark helping carve the leg of lamb

Luke having fun!

kids hanging in the pool on Christmas day! So strange but fun!

We had lots of help this past week loading and hauling off lots of rubble (trash!!!)

Guys taking a break from all the hard work. (We were blessed by our parents and grandparents and got a great pool table for Christmas. I am looking forward to all of the fun and fellowship that will take place with it.)

On Monday after working all day hauling off all the rubble Mark cooked some American hamburgers for everyone! He really likes his new Braai apron he got for Christmas!

The man you see here is a guy that works for us a few days a week helping us get the yard under control and odd projects. His name is Jankie and we enjoy having him around. We pay him a daily amount and provide 2 meals. We eat most meals with him and enjoy that time of getting to know him. He is not a Christian but we have had several opportunities to share the love of Christ with him. In fact this past Monday we had 4 of the Seminary guys here helping us and they were witnessing to him. It was great seeing Africa reaching Africa and it was happening on our lapa. Please pray for him that his eyes will be open to the truth. We look forward to seeing what God wants to do in his life.

Jankie and Brit playing pool after a long day of removing rubble.

The finishing touches today! I think we are all sore!

We finally got it all out!

The trees behind the lapa are going to be next. They are so overgrown we can't even walk behind the lapa. So this is next weeks project!

Hanging out at church tonight.

Mark and Mike cooking the meat.

This was the view looking down our street tonight. I love the fact that I can see the moon as it is coming up from my kitchen window. It is always so beautiful.

Well it is now 12:30 and I guess I can officially tell you from South Africa "HAPPY NEW YEAR!" We took a break and went outside to watch the fireworks. They were being shot off from all directions, you could hear people yelling and laughing, horns blowing and music coming from all over.

We want to thank everyone for all of your prayers and support. We love you and miss you all so much. We would love to hear from you!