Thursday, October 04, 2007

What happened in September.

It is hard to believe that September is gone and here we are in October, already. We are half way through out STAS - Stateside Assignment. We are planning to return to South Africa in the first week of January. Let's start with the first of September and tell you what we have done.


We had a fantastic time as we returned to Stonewall for the first time as a family. The boys and I went to Stonewall three days after we were back in the States to take Andy to Falls Creek and enjoy a Shrimp Boil at the Newports. It was over the Labor Day weekend so we enjoyed a very long weekend. We spent late Saturday morning and early afternoon at Billy and Laura Steele's. They have a swimming pool and 4-wheelers and a golf cart. The boys had a blast swimming and riding the 4w'ers and g-cart. When we lived in Stonewall, Jody babysat Addy, Laura's 10-week old baby during school hours. She called Andy, Josiah, and Caleb her "bubba's"

I had the privilege to preach the morning service at First Baptist - Stonewall. They built a new sanctuary after we left and it was just beautiful. Jody and I were able share during the evening service of our work in South Africa. It was a wonderful time to see everyone and everyone seemed to be equally excited to see us - well, most people?!?!

We stayed with Lee and Shirla Sweat - and they treated us like royalty. Before we left for South Africa, while we were there, and now getting ready for school, they supplied the boys with shoes. What a blessing! (Those are Nike's that wouldn't come from my wallet!)

The boys are actively involved with their school activities. Andy is playing on the school soccer team at Longview Christian School. He scored his first goal last Thursday. Jody and I missed it while we were at a Mission's Conference. Josiah is playing soccer on a city-league team. They are are Screamin' Eagles. They are undefeated. His coach really likes that he picked up this temporary player. In the league, they can be on the same team for 2 years or 4 'seasons'. We tried to get Caleb on a team, but they were all full. He came home from school with a Karate flyer. He said that he wanted to do Karate - so we signed him up. He should be a green belt after this first semester. Bethany couldn't be left out, so she is doing gymnastics. She looks so cute in her pink leotard. Melody is involved with crawling and climbing - she's getting quite the little personality.

Unfortunately I will not be able to get up to the Northwest to see my mom and brother and his wife. I tried to 'piggy-back' some speaking opportunities in conjunction to getting up in that area, but nothing worked out. God worked some things out that enabled her and her husband to come down and see us. Also, my brother from Florida came up to her and I got to see him and his wife and my niece, Christina. It had been 8 years since I had seen my mom and probably that with my brother and his wife and more for Christina.

Bethany had a birthday this month and she turned 3 years old - already. She had a full day. She opened her presents in the morning before the boys went to school. Then she wanted to go to lunch at McAlister's Deli with her Nannie and Papa. After going to one of Andy's soccer game's we all went out eat at McDonald's. She has been asking to go there every time we see one since we arrived in the US. You know we see one on every corner. Jody said she didn't want to eat at McD's or KFC because we can eat their in South Africa. We had to have some cake, so we went to a BR31 (Baskin-Robbins) and ate an Oreo Ice Cream cake.

The last weekend of the September, we were at First Baptist Church, Fairfield, Texas, at a Global Impact Celebration. What an incredible time it was for us to share our stories and for them to love on us. The showered us with incredible hospitality and wonderful gifts of love. We stayed at the Wilson house - a family with 6 boys. We felt right at home. Two of the boys were already out of the house. They had a ping pong table, pool table, XBox, and a Gamecube. We didn't need to worry about the boys and their boredom level. Shelly loved having 2 baby girls in her house and she spoiled them royally. They loved on her like they knew her for years. We had a great time!

n Jody's dad is dealing with cancer again - multiple myloma - God healed him 4 years ago of this same uncurable cancer.
n Dennis' naturalization and passport situation. We need it by Dec 15th or sooner.
n Travel grace and mercy. We are doing a lot of traveling in October and November.
n The boys - their schooling and walk with Christ. We explained a little bit about the permanency of Hell just tonight at Whataburger. Andy was asking some questions and making some comments and that's what got us talking. Hell is not a normal dinner conversation item.
n The girls - whatever and 3-year old and almost 1-year old needs.
n Our work in Mmabatho and love for the Tswana People.