Monday, April 30, 2012

Are you surpised?

Are you surprised to FINALLY get an update????  I can't believe it has been 2 months since I last updated our blog.  Really no real excuse except I just never got to it.

So, I will give you a quick (or not so quick) recap and then promise to do much better keeping everyone updated on what we are up to.

After we left Houston at the end of February, we headed to Dallas to spend time with Mark's mom and her husband Bruce. When we first arrived we were only there for one day, then we hit the road, AGAIN, to Oklahoma.  First stop was Clayton Avenue Baptist Church in Hugo, Ok.  We spent the morning there with Mark's cousin, Nancy and we enjoyed our time at the church sharing about the mission. 

Hugo, Ok
  We then headed to Owasso, Ok that afternoon and spent time with our team from last year from Bible Church of Owasso.  We were able to share our testimony of how the Lord called us to serve with Samaria Mission.  After the service the team had arranged a fellowship time with pizza in a room decorated with an African theme.  It was great to visit with everyone.  

Owasso, Ok
This was a great way to end our time in the States
Mark and Jeff
never takes Luke long to make friends
hard game of basketball
2011 Team from Owasso
We headed back to Dallas the next day and went through Paris, Texas.  Of course, we had to stop to take a picture at the Eiffel Tower.  

she is pointing to "Paris"

After our quick stop in Paris we were back on the road to Dallas.  The weather started to look really bad and yes we were driving right into a storm.   The last 30 minutes were a little scary but my man did a great job driving and we made it safely to his moms house.  

While we were staying with his mom she held an open house for us to meet and visit with her friends and share about the work we do with Samaria Mission.  

During the middle of March we had to head back to Colorado to speak at Fraser Valley Baptist Church.  Of course while we they had to get a few more days of skiing in before heading back to South Africa.  Luke was excited because his cast was off and he had permission from the doctor to ski with as long as he wore his splint.  

On the way back from Colorado we spent the night in Amarillo and went to dinner with our family there one last time before heading back to South Africa. 

We headed back to Dallas and enjoyed our last week there (except for the packing part!) with Mark's mom and her husband Bruce. 
beautiful Texas sky
next to Franco's ... my next favorite place
sure wish I had those right now!  

 Brit choose to eat a burger when it was her last time to eat Mexican Food in the USA!

Brit's nickname... "one messed up Texan"
We had "visitation" with Snowbell, one of our dogs we gave away before we moved.  A good friend of Mark's mom has her and they have taken such good care of her.  We were so thankful for the time we got to spend with her.  


We enjoyed our time in Dallas with Mark's mom!  

As hard as good byes are we were so ready to head home.  
Once we arrived back to South Africa our first week was spent trying to sleep at a normal hour and the huge task of unpacking.  We were so happy to be home. 

We arrived home at 10 pm and Luke didn't fall asleep until 3 pm the next day! 

Getting used to long lines at the grocery store again
Our first weekend back was the annual Samaria Mission Golf Day. Mark and the newest missionary with Samaria Mission, Darren, were team mates.  Brit helped serve food at the half-way house and Luke helped caddy with his friend Michael for a few hours.  I spent the day helping prepare lunch.  That meant lots of chopping!  Then I sat down and enjoyed talking with everyone while waiting for lunch to be served... ok, well, truth be told I didn't do much talking and apparently I fell asleep and there is a picture to prove it.  I just don't have a copy of it.  I guess jet lag got the best of me.  

getting ready to Tee-off
preparing veggies with Lydia
working with Lydia, Debbie and Hannah
Michael and Luke (and Jankie)
preparing the wors
Abigail and Brit working the half-way house
Mark and Darren
Half-way house
Josh and Tikfah
time to eat
beautiful view of the golf course
Brit and Abigail

 After the golf day we took Jankie home to Mentz and since we were in the "neighborhood" we stopped by to see Meriam and her family.  She was happy to see us and we enjoyed spending time with her.  Although her grand daughter, Surprise, was not happy to see us white folks. 

The week after the golf day Derrick came to stay the night with us and attend an outreach planning meeting. 

Member, Mark, Josh, Derrick and Darren
 We also got to celebrate Brit's 17th birthday!  We had fun at the go-carts.  

go - carts
The guys spent a day or two working on installing the radios that were donated to all of us.  They were able to use them when they traveled into Mozambique for the leaders training.  

and they work!
The headed in for the leaders training and finished up the book of Romans.  Mark, Darren, Member and Josh went to Dumela and the others headed to Xicumbane.  Debbie and Hannah were able to go and start teaching and training the ladies in the church.  This way they can go and teach the other women and children in their church.  They had a great week.  To see more pictures check here and here.  

the group heading to Xicumbane went to check out the river
Mark heading across the river to Dumela

Masango and Mark
Member and Darren
Masango and Mark
 Last week Mark, Gordon, Josh and William to a day trip
to Mashushu to check on the church there and encourage Pastor Lazarus. 

Pastors home
bricks for the new room on the Pastors home
 We spent this past weekend getting things ready for outreaches.  We already have to guys living with us, David and Josh.  In two weeks we have 5 other outreach missionaries that will be staying here as well before we head into Mozambique.  

shower used during leadership training
replacing something that rattled    

washing the bunk beds for the outreach missionaries

our showers for outreaches
guys room

girls room
Today, Meriam brought her daughter Daneo and her grand daughter Surprise to the house with her. Surprise is now 2 and the few times we have seen her she just cries (we are white and we talk funny).  Meriam wants her to get used to us and since it was a school holiday she thought today we be a good day.   Of course she cried when she got her but when I brought a few toys out she started to have fun and laugh and smile.  At one point she even called me "sese" meaning sister to get my attention.  Mark went to say hi to her and she started crying again.  He was talking to her and then waved bye as he walked away and he said she was crying and waving at the same time.  By the end of the day she would let me be close to her without crying.  So hopefully next time she will let me hold her . 

Meriam, Surprise and Daneo


Successful day - she didn't cry