Friday, April 26, 2013

Alicia's Birthday

Wow, I have been spoiled rotten today!  My family and friends have showered with me with love!  This morning before we headed to language morning Mark and the kids gave me a gift.  Mark said it was from all 3 of them and it was kinda cheesy.  I opened it up and it was a cheese grater.  I know you may be thinking wow, they gave her a cheese grater!  I have never had one like this (fancy) and I would never spend money on it myself.  So, with that said, I was very happy to get that. 

Debbie brought me a plant with pretty orange flowers, which is now sitting next to the tub in my bathroom!  They look great in there.  After language learning, Mark headed to the house before me to help Brit with school and I was taking care of a few things before heading home.  As I walked in the house, I noticed something different on my wall!  I love it so much.

Later in the day, the kids called me to the living room.  They each gave me a present.  
I was surprise there was more!

Luke gave me a picnic blanket
I love it!
Brit gave me a nice bath set!  Can't wait to use it.
 This evening we went to Burger Bash at the church and then afterwards we went to The Isiaho's house for what turned out to be a surprise party with several of our friends.   Sharyn made me a Chocolate Mouse Cake.  It was so yummy. 

Bentley couldn't wait to get into the cake.  He even wanted to cut it with his bad guys sword.

Now he had to lick the sword ... it was washed before he cut the cake!

they look happy to be at a 38 year old's surprise party!

I praise the Lord for another year He has blessed me with and for family and friends who have made me feel so special today.  Thank you so much for the sweet calls, gifts, SMS, Text, emails, and Facebook messages!  

Thursday, April 25, 2013

This weeks Bible Study in Mentz

Last week Mark made arrangements to have Bible study on Thursday this week since tomorrow is my birthday.  What a sweet man I have! 

Before we left the house today to head to Mentz, a family in our church dropped off a lady who has worked for them for the last two years.  Jackinah has worked for our friends for the last two years.  Jackinah is Mpedi (Northern Sotho) and our friends asked if she could go to Bible study with us in Mentz.  This was her first night to join us.  She is very sweet and speaks really good English!

You will have to excuse the quality of the pictures ... I only had my phone with me tonight. 


had to pull over for the cows

it is almost winter, it's colder and getting darker earlier
 Mark started by reviewing from last week and it was great to see that they remembered so much. 
13 people came tonight... they are consistent each week

Jankie translating for Mark

Beautiful sunset

Gladys helping Jackinah
  The three boys on the right, Tobogo, Lazarus and Karabo, only have a New Testament Bible.  Mark was going through Psalms 19:7-8 tonight and they were turned their chairs around so they could write the verse in their Bibles.

Psalm 19: 7-8 
 The law of the Lord is perfect, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple; the precepts of the Lord are right, rejoicing the heart; the commandment of the Lord is pure, enlightening the eyes;

At the end of tonight's lesson, Mark asked them what they have learned so far.  Here are some of their responses ... 
- the Bible is the Word of God
-the Bible is important
-the Bible is pure
-if we want to defeat Satan we have to use Scripture (Mark reminded them that Satan has already been defeated at the cross!)
-if we have a problem we can find help in the Bible
-God is everywhere at all times
-Jankie summed it up by saying "We have learned a lot!"

Prayer Requests from tonight
-for the kids to have wisdom and understanding in school

Update on the trip to Mozambique last week

Here is an update from the trip into Mozambique last week from April 16th - April 18th ...

We got word on Monday that the border was open. This was great news, as it would solve so many problems. The guys spent the rest of Monday in preparation of leaving Tuesday morning at 5 am. They arrived at Punda Maria Gate in Kruger around 8:30 Tuesday morning. When asked where they were headed they responded Pafuri Border. That is when their plans changed. After a few phone calls it was discovered that the secretary misunderstood William on Monday. She thought he was referring to the Pafuri Gate in Kruger not the Pafuri Border. Even though the guys were disappointed that Pafuri Border was still closed they were also glad they would be able to check out the Giriyondo Border Post to see what it would be like. By 10:30 they were on the road and heading to the Giriyondo.

They arrived at the Giriyondo Border at 2:00 pm, just an hour before it closed. This border is mainly a tourist border crossing and therefore the Visa’s for our American staff members were higher. They had to pay R750 ($85) which is normally about R570 ($70). That is a significant difference. On top of that they charged R125 ($15) per vehicle and R125 per person to enter the park on the Mozambique side. They did have a few issues when it came to clearing the border with the police. The police wanted to “tax” our guys for their personal belongings. After some discussion and then the customs guys telling the police that our guys were with the church, they let them go. William said to get a team through that border would be a problem plus the road is so bad. In a small bakkie it took 6 hours to get from the Giriyondo border to Xicumbane and in the buses it will take much longer. When they finally arrived at the gate to leave the Mozambique park and it was closed. They were only 5 km away for the church in Xicumbane. The guy finally opened the gate so they could leave the park and they arrived at the church by 9 pm. Pastor Albert and Ernest were so happy to see them. They greeted our guys with hugs, the kind of hugs that you get from friends you haven’t seen in a long time!

Time was short in Mozambique! They basically only had Wednesday to see people and then they needed to return home on Thursday. They left Xicumbane around 8:30 in the morning on Wednesday and started to head to the Pafuri Border with plans to stop in Matsilele on the way. When they arrived at Pastor Robert’s house in Matsilele, they found out that he was not home. They spent some time with his wife, Rosita, and another church leader. They asked her how things have been since the floods. She explained to them that the soil was swept away from some farm areas and deposited in other areas. She said it is hard to tell how people are coping right now. The guys worked on the churches water pump while they were there. They also left some seed for the church. They also stopped by Pastor John’s house in Mbuzi to check on him. They found that he has been in South Africa with family since November. He is getting older and we are not sure if he will be able to return to Mozambique. They left Mbuzi and continued on to the border. They were impressed with the condition of the road and said in several places the road had been graded. They arrived at the border around 1:30 in the afternoon. Masango from Mabuzanne as well as Ellias and Judas from Dumela were able to cross the river (by boat) and meet the guys there. Their time together was short but they were able to visit a little and also give them some seed for their churches.

While at the border, they did meet with the Chief of Post. He told them that the WFP is caught up in red tape and they are not sure when they will be able to bring in more food. William asked for permission to come in to Mozambique and deliver the seed and donated food we have. The Chief was going to Maputo (Thursday) to continue to get the proper clearance we will need to go in and deliver the seed and donated food we have. William also asked if they could spend time with churches when they come back to deliver the seed. He said that it is beyond his power to give that kind of permission coming through Pafuri border. He said it could cause too many problems. The chief must go with them to deliver the food and in the process they could see some of the churches but he can’t give them more time other than what is needed to deliver food.

They also talked to the Chief about the timing of the border opening again. A closed border does affect our outreach season. The Chief said they had a meeting with all the authorities and that the border will only be open by the end of June (which also cannot be guaranteed). After their meeting with the chief they headed back to Xicumbane. The chief rode with them so he could catch the train to Maputo on Thursday morning.

Thursday morning the guys were able to pack up camp and get on the road by 8:30 am. After driving over 11 hours they were back home safely to Polokwane.

Just to give you an idea of how much they traveled in 3 days … 1270 Km; 27 ½ hours drive time in 3 days.

Be sure to check out some of the photos from their trip on the
Samaria Mission Facebook Page

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

We had a visitor distract us during school today ...

This morning Jankie and Gladys were walking into the house and she spotted something on the top of one of our camping chairs leaning against the wall on the porch.  I went to see what she found and discovered a crab!  It must have found his way from the dam (pond) at the end of our block on Saturday during the heavy rains we had all day.  I guess he found a warm place to stay.  

We watched him walk around for a little bit and got a stick and played with him before taking him back to the dam.  

he was making this his new home

he was not so happy

 Mark decided he needed a turn to "play" with it!

Brit checking him out

heading to the dam

Luke is releasing him

the dam (pond) at the end of our block
walking home - recess over!

Monday, April 22, 2013


 "And now we thank you, our God, and praise your glorious name."  1 Chronicles 29:13

Thank you for praying for Mark.  HE PASSED!  We are so thankful to the Lord for allowing Him to pass the first time.  He will now be able to help the mission with the transporting of teams and the equipment.  

Doug, our friend and fellow missionary, went with Mark today (he had to have someone who is a licensed Code 10 driver go with him in order to drive the bus to the testing place.)  They left the church a little after 9 am and were back just before noon. 

Thank you again for praying for Mark and most of all we give all honor and glory to God! 

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Prayer Request

Tomorrow morning at 10 am (which is 3 am Texas time), Mark will go to the Traffic Department to take the driving test for his Code 10 license with a trailer.  We have heard that passing a driving test the first time is very difficult, it can be done but it is difficult.  He will drive the China Bus with the 1-ton trailer. 

We ask that you would join us in praying for him...
- for a great nights rest 
These things have to be completed successfully in the "yard" BEFORE being allowed to go out onto the public roads.  
-for him to be able to complete the "yard" test in the 20 minutes allowed.
-for him to remember the 49 things he has to do and say out loud for the Pre-trip Inspection (if any of the items indicated on the Pre-trip Inspection are found not to be operating, the vehicle will be considered unroadworthy and he will not be able to continue the test - AUTOMATIC FAIL ... as far as we can tell the bus will pass the pre-trip inspection)
-for him to be able alley dock with the trailer on the first time attempt (they will allow him one correction if needed - but he would prefer to do it the first time) 
 - there will be an incline stop ... no rolling allowed - AUTOMATIC FAIL (the first three things are before he even gets to leave the test yard and drive in the street.) 
-left turn
-reversed in a straight line
(all rules of the road must be obeyed, he is not allowed to touch any obstacle or mount a curb during any of the manoeuvres - AUTOMATIC FAIL)
These things are part of the "road" test and is only allowed once he has passed the "yard" test.  This part can be as quick as 20 minutes and as long as 45 minutes
-for him to remember that the hand brake is his friend ... meaning at all traffic robots (lights) and stop signs he must use the hand brake. 
-for him to remember to do the 5 five point check anytime he is taking off from a stopping position, when backing up, before and after engaging in a gear
-every 8 seconds - look in his mirrors 
-for the many other things he must take in to account while driving on the road.  
-for clarity of mind
-for peace that only comes for the Lord

We are praying for him to pass this test the first time.  Most of all we pray for the Lord's will to be done!  

As Mark said, "the mission will need this license to help with transportation of goods and people in the near future."  Outreach season is fast approaching!  

Today I went to the mission farm with Mark while he practiced alley docking for over an hour.  Here are a few pictures of him from today ... 

going through the pre-test inspection
still working through the pre-test inspection
Still on the pre-test inspection

has to go between the poles without hitting them!

and he did it!

good job!
Thank you for praying for him.  We will let you know how it goes tomorrow.