Monday, November 29, 2010

Where did November Go?

Wow, I am just amazed at how fast time flies by. We have been living in South Africa working with Samaria Mission for 17 months now! We love serving the Lord through the mission. We are so THANKFUL for the Lord calling our family to join Him in the work He is doing in and through Samaria Mission. Thank you for your prayers, encouragement and support.

The past 17 months have been filled with lots of ministry opportunities in Mozambique and in South Africa. We have had many adventures, which include ...

making new roads in Mozambique for the bus to be able to get through

Mark and the mission's Land Cruiser getting stuck in the Limpopo river

being about 5 yards away from a Rhino

and the kids have been involved in church, sports and they enjoy their time in Mozambique.

Luke is enjoying Jr. Youth at CBC

Brit helps with Jr. Youth

Brit playing soccer with Pepps

Luke swimming for Pepps

Brit helping with the soccer clinic in Matsilele during the CBC youth outreach.

Luke is helping William & Gabriel with the well in Tchale during the PaulAnn/Selma outreach.

Of course we have had lots of adjustments to make and we are still working through some: our new life in a new country; adjusting to home schooling; Mark starting Seminary; missing family, friends, church, our kids school and of course Mexican food!

Last year, Mark was in Mozambique with Steve and Adrienne Mickler. I found a small turkey at Woolworth's and decided to make all our favorites for me and the kids and then we could eat leftovers with the them when they returned from Mozambique a few days later. It was a nice, quiet and very hot Thanksgiving.

This year, we found out that Thanksgiving was Mark's first day back in class before he started finals this week. So I figured since he still has to eat I would find a turkey (which was much easier this year - thanks Pick n Pay) and I would make all of our favorites and we would eat an early dinner. This would allow him time to study after class and time to study after dinner.

Well, we Paula, a girl serving in the Peace Core, who is away from home for the first time at Thanksgiving (she came at 9 am to hang out and help for the day). I also invited Gabriel and Nikki since she is American and her parents are gone. Then one thing led to another and after talking to Mark, to make sure he was OK with it, we ended up with 23 people coming. Several people pitched in to help with the food and it was great. Mark's plan was to go to class then study, then come home and eat and study some more.

Now, I want to fill you in on our day with a little more detail and of course pictures. The weather was nice and cool the whole week which made it feel more like Thanksgiving except for t=all the flowers that are in bloom. Gordon, mission's administrator, wanted to come over and help with the turkey. He brought his Weber and rotisserie and hung out with the kids and I most of the afternoon. (I need to add the turkey turned out GREAT!)

On a side note - our we have been having issues with our sewage (on the city's side) for MONTHS. It blocks, we call, they come and unblock, we ask them to PLEASE make a report so it can be replaced and it goes on and on like this each month. So of course on Tuesday, we started having trouble again. I called and got no answer, finally Wednesday they tell me someone will come. On Thursday, we still had problems and we were still WAITING for someone to come. By this time we are starting to get frustrated. Mark tells me to go buy rods just in case, which by the way were R1,075 ($155). I kept calling the city and they kept assuring me someone was on the way. I told them that I had been waiting for 3 days and I had 25 people (I will get to the other 2 people in a minute) coming to my house at 4:30 and that the problem is now URGENT. We now had the rods but really didn't want to do it ourselves, we needed the city to come so that yet another report could be made and maybe we could finally get the pipes replaced. Well by 4:00 we were told they are coming now. We waited and nothing. So with guests arriving Mark and a few guests went to tackle the problem so we could get on with our day.

OK ... so in the middle of the plumbing problems we carry on preparing for our meal. Tables needed to be set and we needed to start cooking food. Paula and Brit had a GREAT time hanging out together and helped get the tables ready. Around 12:30 or so Mark walked in, he had a break from class, and he had 2 guests with him. He introduced me to JD and Lori. They are new IMB missionaries. They left the States the first part of October and arrived in Africa for training. They had just moved into their new house in their village on Tuesday and decided to spend their Thanksgiving driving an hour to Polokwane to buy a TV and eat dinner at a restaurant.

So you ask ... how did they get to our house???

Well, Mark went to his office, which is at the church where the seminary also is, during a break in his session. He could hear American voices coming from the lobby and he went to see who was talking to the secretary. That is when he met JD and Lori. He found out they were new to the area and asked them if they had plans for Thanksgiving.

So here is a little of how they ended up at Christ Baptist Church on Thanksgiving.

Like I said they came to town to buy a TV and they thought they try to find CBC and when they did they decided to stop in. Well, when they were still in the States they attended a church one day and a guest speaker from Cape Town was preaching. They approached him after the service and told him they were moving here. He told them that he has contacts in Polokwane and gave them the name and number of Christ Baptist Church. (the guest speaker from Cape Town happens to be Gabriel and Nikki's sending church and pastor). Then we found out that they contacted CBC months ago and JD talked to Dave, an American who has been here teaching at the Seminary for almost 10 years.
By the way Dave his family were also coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Anyway, while Dave was talking to JD on the phone, he mentioned that Samaria Mission, back in the 90's, built a church in the village they were going to be living in so he put JD through to talk to William, director of the mission. By the way, William and his family were coming for Thanksgiving dinner. Small world and now here they were in our house going to meet everyone they had spoken to on the phone months ago.

Paula and Brit took them to Game to try to buy a TV, but because of all of the paper work to purchase a TV, they couldn't do it until Friday. (you have to register and have a TV license in order to have a TV in your home!) They ended up staying the night with us. It was great since we are able to have uncapped Internet and we have the Vonage phone, they were able to Skype and call home to wish their family a Happy Thanksgiving and of course tell the story to everyone they talked to of how they ended up at our house on Thanksgiving.

We are looking forward to when they can come back in town for supplies. We told them that the guest room is available for them ANYTIME and we are looking forward to getting to know them more. It amazes me how God works and brings people together. We serve a MIGHTY God.

Meet JD and Lori

Here are more pictures from Thanksgiving. It was a great time of fellowship and food. We are so thankful for our friends here in South Africa who treat us like family. It makes being away from our family in the States a little easier. What a MIGHTY God we serve!

Nothing like my man having to clean out the sewage before a Thanksgiving meal and not to mention his assistant was our new friend JD. Thanks guys!

Here are pictures from Thanksgiving

Gordon and Luke were passing the time while waiting on the turkey to cook.

Mark is thanking everyone for coming and getting ready to pray.

Nothing like a full tummy laying on the couch watching football.

We hope that everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving. We all have so much to be thankful for but most of all that we serve a great God, one who loved us enough to send His son to die for our sins. Thank you Father for all you do for us on a daily basis. We are so thankful to have been called to serve here in Africa!

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Matthew West - My Own Little World (Slideshow With Lyrics)

A friend of ours posted this video on her blog today. Were we live in South Africa we really don't have a local Christian radio to listen to. We rely on our CD's and ipod for music. Occasionally we listen to Air1 or Klove online. This is a great song and I wanted to share this song with you (just in case you are like us and haven't heard it).

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Luke's swimming Gala

Luke was in a gala on Thursday at the Polokwane, South Africa city pool. Let me just say that this was a NICE pool.

I have been trying to put the pictures on Facebook and they won't upload so here they are on our blog. He got 4th in breast stroke, 3rd in freestyle and 1st in back stroke. He was also on the relay team. He was the first leg and managed to get his team 10m ahead. His team finished in 2nd. He had fun and that is all that matters. After the gala he went to the diving pool and jumped off two of the platforms. He thought they were pretty cool.

This is the city pool.

Luke is in lane 3

This is the first leg of the relay. He is lane 5

He couldn't wait for the Gala to finish so he could jump off the platforms.

Several of the kids went to the first level of the 3 level platforms. A girl just jumped off and now the boys are checking it our and making a plan.

Luke is busy telling this kid that he wants to go last.

Luke jumped so fast all I got was his splash.

We are so thankful to one of the local private schools here for allowing Luke to join them for sports each day. That is a huge blessing to us as a home school family.