100 Days in ZA

What have you done in the last 100 days? Each day often goes by without even recognizing the significance of it. And most often we do not take the time to praise Him for that day. But can you think of all the amazing things that you have done in 100 days?? I would imagine that the Lord has blessed you in countless ways in 100 days.

This is the day the Lord has made; We will rejoice and be glad in it. Psalm 118:24

On this day….this 100th day of living and serving and loving in South Africa…I would like to take the time and thank Him for this day; recognizing that this day and all the ones before and all the ones after are His.

So here I share with you the good, the bad, and the ugly…

In the last 100 days, we have…..

  • landed in our new country after 22 hours of travel time.
  • learned to live life with our team
  • fell in love the beauty of the sea and mountain as it collides to create this beautiful valley


  • eaten some of the best calamari anywhere
  • moved three times
  • struggled to feel settled and get school work done as we transitioned through those three moves
  • house sat, chicken-rabbit-bird sat for friends traveling to America
  • explored Cape of Good Hope, V&A waterfront, Boulder Beach, Kommetjie lighthouse, and Table Mountain.
  • began building relationships with the amazing kids and staff at God’s Little Lighthouse


  • seen posts of friends and families left behind and felt sad that we weren’t there to share in their moments
  • heard stories of poverty and despair and abuse and neglect that brought us to tears.
  • seen the smiles and hearts of those who share the same stories and learned that the Lord is the only way that they are able to have that joy
  • seen penguins, dasies, baboons, zebras and seals – all in the wild


  • seen the girls get involved in a wonderful youth group.
  • learned how to braai
  • practiced haggling at the street side markets; bought giraffes and an elephant and a rhino at our favorite market
  • met people from Australia and Zimbabwe and the Congo and Malawi and England; realizing the cultural mixture that is this land!
  • learned what lekker and geyser and now now and just now mean
  • recognized that just because two people speak English it doesn’t mean that they are going to understand each other
  • adjusted to using rands instead of dollars to buy things
  • cried when trying to convert from rands to dollars and then pay for something and then realized it doesn’t really matter what it is in dollars
  • gotten completely frustrated with all the things that I don’t know
  • missed Mardi Gras
  • enjoyed a ZA wedding with an American bride and a Xhosian groom; watched as two cultures joined as one with love and laughter
  • had a read-all-day day at the beach
  • had that same read-all-day day at the beach interrupted by one shark siren after another; talked to the shark spotters and learned that 16 sharks were in the bay that day
  • watched the fishermen at Fish Hoek beach


  • bought a car
  • made numerous trips to the traffic office and stood in line for at least 5 hours to get a traffic number and the same car registered
  • had that same car break down and have to be in the shop for a week
  • found out that same car needs to have the clutch tightened
  • cried because neither the repair or the needed service is in our budget
  • realized how blessed we are live somewhere that we can walk to so many places if we don’t have a car and that we have wonderful teammates who will chauffeur us if needed
  • figured out how to get internet and television set up
  • accepted the fact that things here move at a much slower pace
  • been frustrated at the slower pace that we thought we had accepted
  • had a sod-turning (ribbon cutting) ceremony for the new Extreme Response Africa office


  • realized that the sod-turning ceremony does not necessarily mean that construction is going to begin
  • had colds and sinus issues that don’t seem to want to go away
  • found a house that we can make a home
  • unpacked 25 suitcases
  • furnished an entire house
  • got a dog – supposedly for security but she is already part of the family
  • watch this mountains around us burn

DSC_0173 1484678_954249757918383_1443700082625446195_n

  • prayed for rain, had friends all over the world praying for rain, and watched the rain start – at just the right time!
  • watched a community come together in a time of crisis
  • learned the word “ubuntu” and all it means
  • learned how to shop at the market
  • been brought to tears when I couldn’t find something at the same market
  • pulled out the winter cloths as all our friends in America post beautiful spring time photos
  • got a library card 🙂
  • missed friends and family
  • enjoyed a concert that mixed three different cultures into a beautiful symphony and lift the name of Jesus high


  • welcomed friends from CIT to this amazing country
  • started violin and piano lessons as well as dance class
  • started homework help and tutoring with kids at African Hope Trust
  • feel in love with, at least, 120 kids
  • joined a cell group in a home right down the street
  • loved being able to throw the windows open every morning and enjoyed the mild weather
  • laughed at ourselves with the what is now normal wind-blown look
  • found a McDonald’s and Burger King for a little “Merican food
  • missed Mexican food
  • learned that I like butternut squash soup
  • wanted to meet our neighbors but can’t figure out how to when we all live behind walls and gates
  • made friends with the car guards at the mall
  • wrote an article for the Extreme Response blog about God’s Little Lighthouse
  • learned to surf; well, at least, two of us – Middle Sis and Little Sis


  • been in the local newspaper – Big Sis
  • felt completely overwhelmed with all the changes
  • set up a time to FaceTime family each week
  • seen how xenophobia can tear a city apart
  • seen how love can unite a people and heal a community
  • learned to make playdoh
  • seen one daughter – Middle Sis – commit to couch to 5K and run her first 5K.
  • been scared to death of the largest and yuckiest spider ever seen
  • seen a little girls attitude change completely just because Uncle Ron said “I forgive you. Uncle Ron loves you”
  • cried on Ron’s shoulder and wondered if I could really do this
  • fell in love with this face – and so many more

IMG_0417 Wow! As I write this I am amazed at all the Lord has done in 100 days. And I am sure that even as long as this post is I have left out many, many things. It is definitely good for the soul to sit down and review His love and provisions. Even the hard times are times to rejoice in His love. Sometimes in the day-to-day craziness of life, it is easy to just go through the day without recognizing that today…this day…is the day that the Lord has made. My challenge to you – write down all that you are thankful for every day.

The very best soul care begins by rejoicing in all He has done!

Start right now…leave a comment of just one thing that you are thankful for today.  Be blessed! And know that the Lord is faithful and true.
Velvet Ashes: encouragement for women serving overseas

About byhisdesign5

Headed to South Africa; following God's lead!
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3 Responses to 100 Days in ZA

  1. Kay Taylor says:

    Today I am thankful for my husband who is celebrating his 2nd year after his heart attack today! All the time God is good !!

  2. Wow! These past 100 days have been significant and full. May you be filled with joy and grace in the next 100! Thank you for linking up with Velvet Ashes to share with all of us!
    And I’m especially thankful for the community around me.

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