Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Here's the Latest

It seems like several months that we were rushing through the airport on the 16th trying not to be late to our flight. It was delayed about an hour, so we had time to catch our breath and prepare ourselves for the next 32 hours. Picture 2 adults, 3 sons, and 2 daughters carrying, pulling, and pushing 14 ‘carry-ons’ and 2 strollers. Andy showed that he was becoming a young man, by pushing a stroller, carrying a backpack and pulling 2 carry-ons latched together. I am not sure how we did it all. But, incredibly, we made it, our luggage made it and we are now mostly unpacked, settling in and the boys have started school.

The boys started school the Tuesday after we arrived back in Mmabatho. Their classmates and friends were happy to see them again after an almost 7 month absence.

We arrived back at the house Saturday afternoon and just kind of walked through with a sense of not knowing what to do. The house wasn’t in the condition that we left it and neither was the yard, so that was kind of disappointing. The phone wasn’t working, so we couldn’t call anyone. We cleaned a little, unloaded everything and the house was a disaster for about 5 days with suitcases everywhere. We went to church the next morning and it was good just to worship.
One minor miracle is that we now have ADSL – I was thinking it would take 3-4 weeks to get it, but here we are. Another event that brought tension to our lives was the power shortages that South Africa is experiencing right now – rolling blackouts. The first week that we were back, the power would be out 2-3 times a day for 2-3 hours – no schedule, no warning no nothing. It brings nothing but frustration because you can’t plan anything – you don’t know when the power will be on or off. Now, we don’t have it as bad as others, but it just wasn’t good to experience right after come back – to a foreign country, you’re jet-lagged, your house is dirty, and there are no missionaries 2 doors down that we had the luxury of in the previous term. Fortunately, the electricity has been on for the last 5 days.

As I contemplated this electricity situation – they said it will 5 years to fix – the thought came to me to use these power outages as a reminder to pray. I thought that when the power was out that it would cause me just to have a concerted time of prayer – for the people, their spiritual darkness and for me to be able to see what God is doing and what He wants me to do.
God is good and he is blessing us. The temperatures have 10-15 degrees cooler than it was last year. It has not touched 90 degrees since we have been here. I believe we’ve had more rain in the last week than we did in the last term. Everyone is healthy and we getting back into a routine.

Thanks for your prayers over these last 2 weeks – we definitely have felt them. God is good. Please continue to pray as we just seek God’s direction in our ministries.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

...and we are here

It is unbelieveable how long 32 hours can be - but we found out!!

All of us made it - safe and sound - all luggage - 10 pieces at 50lbs, 4 pieces at 70lbs, 14 carry-ons, 2 strollers and a partridge in a pair tree.

We spent night in Jo-burg and are heading to Mmabatho today - Saturday.

Thanks for your prayers and we'll talk later.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

And away we go.....

Well, we are about 45 minutes from leaving to drive to DFW. We board the flight at 4:15 pm - fly for 10 hours - play around in the airport in Germany for 12 hours and then get on another flight for 10 hours to Johannesburg. We arrive in J-burg at 10:00 am Friday morning (2:00 am CST). So, about 32 hours of fun.

Please pray.

See you on the other side!!!!!

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Hello 2008

Well, this post was started on the 1st and now I am just now getting a chance to finish it. I am finding out that with 5 children, things are getting a little harder to complete. I guess it doesn’t help with other extended family members in visiting.

I trust that you had a great Christmas time and a happy New Year. Ours was definitely busy. All of Jody’s family was in – that means a total of 2 parents, 4 children, 4 sons and daughters-in-laws, and 13 grandchildren. It was a houseful to say the least. We were up at 4:45 to open presents. There were some who weren’t too happy that it was so early. I won’t say who!

We were scheduled to return to South Africa tomorrow – the 4th. Unfortunately, tickets were not available until 16th – so we are delayed until then. That is a point of prayer for us because we have a 12 hour layover in Frankfurt, Germany. Some people are saying that we should go and sightsee – yeah, that sounds fun with 5 children – 2 strollers and 14 carryon’s – I guess we could rent 3 taxi’s!! I just checked the forecast and it looks to be in the high 30’s – boy, that sounds like a lot of fun. So, just pray.

We leave DFW on January 16th at 4:15 pm and we arrive in Jo-burg on the 18th at 10:00 am. So you are talking about 34 hours of traveling. Then we’ll drive to Mmabatho on Saturday and then school for Josiah and Caleb starts that next Tuesday.

Jody’s dad is doing really well. He has been out of the hospital for about a month and is working on regaining his strength and weight. (and hair) The doctors are encouraged by his progress and feel that his stem-cell transplant was a success.

Since the end of July, I have been in the naturalization process to become an American citizen. My forms were finally entered into the computer on the 10th of December. The official receipt said that I would get a call for an appointment in the next 240 day – so unless something happens in the next 10 days or so, I will be returning here to complete this process. You can pray that I will get an appointment before we leave and I can be naturalized before we leave.

A special thanks to all our new friends, prayer partners, and the churches that we had an opportunity to speak in these last 6 months. What a joy it was to meet you and spend time with many of you. We certainly appreciate your prayers. You make our job possible by your support. We would not want to return to the field without your prayer support. Thanks, also for your support of the Lottie Moon Christmas Offering - I have heard many encouraging reports of goals being met.