Tuesday, June 22, 2010

We flew out a year ago

We left the States one year ago today! We are heading into Mozambique in the morning for the beginning of our outreaches. We were hoping to have a video that Brit and Alicia put together but we were having trouble uploading it. So, check back in a few weeks and hopefully it will be up.

Please pray for us and the rest of the mission staff as we are on outreach. Please pray for the team members as well as the local village people.

Friday, June 11, 2010

June ALREADY ????

Wow, June 2010 is here and almost 1/2 over already!

This is a big month for ...

The Raley family ... we celebrate living in South Africa for a year on the 24th!

Samaria Mission ... outreaches have begun and the mission staff is BUSY with all the preparations, teams and travels.

South Africa ... The World Cup begins TODAY! This is the first time ever in Africa.

Raley Family
Mark finished his first semester of Seminary and he is enjoying a little break from his school schedule ... Although his break so far has been full of many days of running around and collecting things for our hall bath and making sure things are getting fixed that need to. He is also busy preparing for outreaches and helping when and where needed with the mission.


Our last post we told you about Alicia passing out - well happy to report that the stitches are out and the scar is not too bad. The headaches are pretty much gone and the scar is only a little tender. Thank you for praying. We praise the Lord for such a quick recovery.



We are happy to report that Brit has finished the 9th grade and is officially on summer (or I guess we should say winter) break. She started home school in October and managed to complete all of her subjects by the first week in June! She worked very hard and we are very proud of her.

She is 15 and if we were in the States she would have her permit. In South Africa you have to be 18 to get a drivers license. We take her out to the Mission Farm and let her practice driving. She is bummed about not getting her license when all her friends do but we have told her that she will be one ahead - she is learning to drive a standard and learning to drive on the wrong side of the car! She is like any typical 15 year old ... always wants to go to the farm for a practice driving!

We started home schooling Luke in April. Since we were pulling him from the school here in South Africa and home schooling him with an American curriculum we felt that he needed to start at the beginning of 3rd grade to make sure he understood everything. (side note - South Africa schools run from January to December with "holidays" throughout the year. So when we moved to South Africa and started the kids in school here last September they had to go in the grade they had just completed in the States. So Luke didn't officially start 3rd grade here until January) He is working very hard each day by completing 2 to 3 lessons in each subject. He is already ahead of schedule on the program. Our goal is to have him finished with 3rd and 4th grade by next May. For Luke this means taking school with us into Mozambique this year for the outreaches.

We want to have both of the kids on the American school schedule due to the fact that June - August we will be in Mozambique each year with the different teams that come on outreach. So this will be all around better for our family.

Luke also celebrated his 10th birthday. He invited a few friends to go play at the Maropa Entertainment World ... How does 18 holes of miniature golf for R10 each (which is about $1.50), a 6 laps in a go-cart for R20 per kid (which is about $2.75), and a walk through a bird and snake park for R5 per kid (which is about $0.75 per kid) sound? He had a great time and so did we.

Almost One Year!
We left the States last year on June 22nd and arrived to our new home in Polokwane, South Africa on June 24th. We have experienced so much in the last year. We are so thankful to be here serving the Lord and working with Samaria Mission. We will spend our 1st year anniversary in Matsilele, Mozambique on an outreach. This is the village that it all began in for us. More about our first year to come in a few weeks.

Our hall bathroom is almost finished. Hopefully by this time next week we will have 2 working bathrooms!!! Here is a little of the progress ...

Samaria Mission
The first outreach this year was the 4th Year Seminary Students. William & Sharyn as well as Gabriel and Nikki headed this team. It was a successful outreach and for some of the students their first time in Mozambique.

The mission staff has spent the last few Mondays in meetings doing last minute planning and organizing so that everything we will work smoothly with all of the different outreaches. We have packed and loaded most of the supplies for the teams and the rest will be finished this next week. This week the whole staff and their families gathered at the Mission Farm to have dinner with a family from New Zealand who is on their way to Zambia for 3 months to do mission work. We enjoyed the food and fellowship with them.

Please pray for the whole mission staff and our families as we begin the busiest time of year for us. We are all excited to see what the Lord has planned during all of the different outreaches. Pray for the people in the different villages in Mozambique. Pray that their hearts will be open to hear and see the good news of our Lord Jesus Christ! Here is a list of the different villages we will be ministering in ...

Matsilele (we will be on this outreach)
Panhame (we will be on this outreach)
Tchale & Mabuzanne (we will be on this outreach with our sending church -PABC!)
Xicumba (we will be on this outreach)

World Cup
From the day we arrived in South Africa last June you could see all the preparations for the World Cup. As we entered our city there was a huge billboard with a count down on it. We remember it said 11 months as we passed by. Polokwane has been busy cleaning up the city, fixing pot holes and repairing roads, businesses have been cleaning up their store fronts, banners and flags have gone up all over town, the stadium has been completed with the finishing touches put on last month, decorative statues and flower gardens on the main roads welcoming everyone to the FIFA 2010 games! Count downs all over town now say things like "let the games begin" and "can you feel it". For the last several months we have heard people blowing their vuvuzela's off and on throughout the day. In fact we woke up this morning and heard someone starting to blow theirs at 6:45 am and our neighbors across the street have been blowing theirs all afternoon.

When we told the kids that we were moving here one of the things that Brit (our soccer player) wanted to do was attend the World Cup. Then we found out they were building one of the 10 stadiums in our city and that 4 games would play here. Mark started checking into tickets several months ago and everything we found were just SOOOOOO expensive. We began to tell Brit that there was just no way we could afford tickets to a game. She of course was disappointed. To be so close and not see a game. Mark kept looking and we found out that we would qualify for the South African ticket price since we reside here. So we applied and we were able to get tickets to the Greece vs Argentina game on the 22nd. So we are excited to say that we will get to watch one of the World Cup games in person for only $20 a ticket!

Here is a little of what Polokwane looks like right now ...

Since this is the year of the World Cup the youth at Christ Baptist Church (our local church here) is going on outreach to Matsilele on 23rd. They will hold a VBS with the focus on evangelism while holding soccer clinics and hosting a tournament with 3 other surrounding villages.