Sunday, January 5, 2014

December Highlights

December for us meant extra time for our family to spend time together.  We had many days to rest and relax and the several days that kept us busy.  We were only able to have two Bible studies in Mentz this month due to a death in Meriam's family and the holidays.   We are looking forward to starting again in a few weeks.   Grandparents LOVE pictures so here a some pictures highlighting some of our month.

The month started with Carols by Candlelight at Christ Baptist Church. 

We enjoyed a Monday evening bowling with The Hixon family and then eating chili cheese dogs at our house!

Derrick, who has been a missionary with Samaria Mission for over 15 years, lives in the Malamulele area.  He and his family have not had electricity to the house yet and they have been promised a line for YEARS.  They do have a generator but fuel is high so they are not able to use it often.  Mark has wanted to help Derrick.  Back in November Mark had shared the need with our cell group for Derrick to get a solar panel, battery and lights.  At the end of the evening we had been given a solar panel and the funds to get everything else needed.  We were so thankful that the Lord provided!  In December, our family along with the Hixon family, headed to Derricks house and spent the day installing the lights and solar panel.  It was a great day for sure!

After lunch, Sarah took me for a walk through the village and showed me damage from a storm that had come through the village a few days before.  Several houses and buildings had been damaged and they were grateful that they did not have any major damage to their house.

The kitchen roof at Mchipisi Baptist Church where Kenneth is the pastor was damaged.

Derrick and Sarah's house

Luke was a little sleepy on the way home from Malamulele.
We chatted with Derrick the other day and everything is working great.  We are thankful for a cell group that cares about what is going on in the mission.  They continue to pray and support in many ways.  What a blessing to be a part of! 

One Saturday morning we were invited to our neighbors house for a "missionary breakfast."  We were told to bring our costumes (swimsuits), two eggs each and anything you like with your eggs like tomatoes, mushrooms, ham and the list can go on and on.   After everyone had arrived, we were all given instructions to crack two eggs in a ziploc bag and then add any of the other ingredients you want.  Then we squeezed the air out of our bag and made sure that all the ingredients were mixed together.  We wrote our names on the bags and put them in a pot of boiling water for about 15 minutes.  When it was finished it was like an omelet.  It was a great morning a fellowship! 

We were also able to take a four night holiday (vacation) to Maduma Boma.  We were so grateful The Lord provided for a much needed time away as a family.   Here are a few pictures from our trip.  On the way to Maduma Boma, we drove through the Blyde River Canyon in the Mpumalanga province.   We drove what is called the Panorama Route.  It was a beautiful drive.    Some areas close to what they call God's Window were so foggy we couldn't see five feet in front of us.  We were not able to stop at the Pinnacle or God's Window on that drive but we did manage to stop there on the way home a few days later.  It was still foggy but we were able to out and walk the path.  They say on a clear day you can see Maputo, Mozambique from this look out point.  

One of our first stops was the Bourke's Luck Potholes.

Next - Three Rondavels and the Sun Dial

One of the many things we loved about Maduma Boma is that it is a small game reserve with some wildlife but you have the freedom to walk and cycle through the reserve.  It is bordered on three sides by Big Five Reserves so you can cycle or drive the fence line and find many animals.  One evening we drove some of the fence line in our bakkie and Brit spotted a lion.  We watched him for awhile and then drove back to the chalet to get our bikes and camera.  When we got back on our bikes he was gone.  We enjoyed our time so much.  We did a take a day and drive to Kruger and enjoyed that as well. One morning we drove across to a dam and spent several hours trying to catch some fish.

Not the best picture of the lion we saw through the fence but all we had since he was gone when we returned on our bikes with Brit's camera. 

Each chalet has its own pool and private boma (a place to braai and fellowship). 

Our day in Kruger ...

Fishing at the dam ...

 after fishing back to the chalet for a swim ... Mark enjoyed having a pool larger than a two liter bottle for a few days :)

On the way home we drove back towards God's Window to see if we could see.  First stop was the Pinnacle then God's Window.  As we drove towards God's Window the fog started rolling in again. 

God's Window
Once we left God's Window and drove a while the fog lifted and it was a beautiful day.  This is called Berlin Falls

If you are friends with us on Facebook then you can see over 100 more pictures from our trip.  Check out the album titled Family Trip December 2013.

Christmas Eve Luke posted two pictures on his Instagram ... he said "mowing instead of shoveling snow"

and "swimming instead of making a snowman"

We had Mexican food for Christmas eve and enjoyed the company of Darren, the Isiaho's and the Crawford's. 

Christmas Day we went to church and then spent the day together enjoying family and celebrating the best gift of all ... Jesus Christ our Savior.