It’s been a year!

One year ago TODAY we landed in South Africa. As with every part of this journey, there have been ups and down – goods and bads. Thankfully, we have learned and grown and are more prepared to live and love here than we were one year ago. We can’t wait to see what the Lord has planned for year 2.

Here is our first year in photos! ENJOY!

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Thank you to everyone who made this year possible!

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11

 

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Our Adventure to the end of Africa

Over the festive season (Christmas), we (maybe I) decided to take a day trip to the southern most tip of Africa. This little adventure is about 3 hours from the valley so we got a bright and early start which did not make most of the family very happy. After all, Christmas break is for sleeping in – at least that’s what the teenagers in my house thought.

I had our map printed from google maps. I had the address in my phone. What could go wrong?

Two hours into our beautiful beach route (which is also the longest route) I began to realize that you couldn’t even see the beach. We went through a few little beach towns and did stop in Hermanus which is the whale watching capital of the world. I don’t really know if they claim that title but in this part of the world Hermanus is where you go for great whale watching.

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Back in the car, no beach views on this beach route I had so carefully planned. Then the GPS said…in .9 miles turn left. Yes, we are stuck on miles…not kilometres. I really need to learn the metric system better! Anyway…0.1 miles turn left. Wait…a dirt road! Are we in the right place? I glance at Ron’s face and realize that this might not be good🙂

The GPS says turn left. To the best of my abilities, the map from google maps says turn left. We turn left! Mumbling from the back seat, mumbling from the middle seat, and mumbling from the driver’s seat. HOW WAS I SUPPOSE TO KNOW?!

The view was beautiful…a stark difference from the coastal and mountain views that we are used to. Flat, dry land where you can see from kilometres!🙂 But I dare not ask to stop and take a photo for fear of being put out of the car permanently. So we keep driving and the mumbling continues.

15-20 miles and 4 turns later, we are back on a paved road. Then a road block! Oh NO!! This grand adventure is beginning to feel like a grand mistake. But the Afrikaans police officer hears our American accent, glances at Ron’s license, and waves us through.

Was our adventure of misadventures worth it? These photos do not do justice to the beauty of Cape Agulhas – the southern most tip of Africa

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Where the Indian Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean meet

 

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First time we had our feet in the Indian Ocean

This family of mine….I am thankful that they are used to my grand adventures. We had a few little hiccups along the way, but it was a great day. We did take the more common and shorter way home; there were no 20 mile dirt roads, and it was relatively uneventful (yet a beautiful drive through the garden route of the Western Cape).

Thankful for this beautiful country God has called us to serve.

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Merry Christmas from South Africa

So…I tried and tried and tried to send this video via MailChimp to everyone who receives our monthly updates. However, my limited technology genius failed. I was beyond my capabilities. If you receive our emails, I apologize for the fact that you did not receive one this month. I am so sure that you have waited patiently at your computer each morning hoping that it would be in your mailbox.🙂

Anyway…our latest newsletter and a Merry Christmas video…just for you. Enjoy!!

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to each of you!

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Hope…Joy…Peace

I just can’t seem to get into the habit of posting anything. First, it feels like things are moving so slowly. Then, too quickly. Then, the heart break is too much. Then…hope abounds!

Strangely enough for those living in the Northern Hemisphere, we are in the middle of summer and at the end of our school year. Can I just say that it seems weird to be wearing flip-flops at Christmas time? Ok, my CIT friends..it’s not right, it’s not wrong, it’s just different!

In the last month, we have been on a roller coaster. We have experienced toyi-toyis (protests) in Masiphumelele that have distanced us from the children we have grown to love so much; yet it has built stronger relationships with the ladies we work with daily through the shared struggles. We have helped host an Extreme Response Christmas team of 27 amazing people who blessed our partners, the children, and our family in more ways than they will ever know.

We smiled and laughed as we watched 34 children graduate from grade R (kindergarten) from God’s Little Lighthouse. There was joy…hope…peace on the faces of these precious little ones.

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Just days after the team left and the same night as the graduation, we witnessed the worst fire spread through Masiphumelele in recent history with over 4000 people left homeless.

We were blessed to attend another grade R graduation in Masiphumelele with the mums from African Hope Trust. Each of the 60 children got to speak into the microphone and tell what they wanted to be when they grew up. There were the typical answers of policemen, firemen, and teachers. But this one stood out from all the others with her answer…a dancer!

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There is hope…joy…peace!

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them, for the kingdom of heaven belongs to such as these.’” Matthew 19:14

As we end the school year and prepare for the opening of the Dream Centre for the 2016 school year, we know where true hope comes from, the joy of these children, and the peace of the season.

Be blessed, friends, as you celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ!

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