I can’t believe that I am writing our first newsletter from our home in South Africa!!! We still can’t believe that we get to live here and be a part of this great work. This place is beautiful and the people and culture is special. We are enjoying learning everything and figuring our way around so far. I feel like we have so many stories to tell you but with our limited internet they will have to wait until we can get a reliable service in our house…hopefully soon!
Our first 4 days here in South Africa we stayed in a guest house which is like a bed a breakfast since we had some students from around the world staying in our home. It was a great place to land, relax, and spend some family time together. We then moved HOME and have been working hard to get everything set up there. Without Lara (Super Woman) we would never make it. She is doing awesome at learning how to do, well everything. The most simple task can be a bit confusing and taxing on time. For everything there is a process and it can seem like there isn’t much of a “black and white” way of doing it. We usually end up laughing and reminding ourselves that this is Africa and things take longer and processes are just a little different than what we would expect them to be. Even things like going out to dinner can take 2-3 hours and you might end up ordering the wrong thing. It’s not bad just different, and slow.
We wanted to give you a snapshot of some of the things that have been taking up our time:
buying electricity (you buy electricity at the grocery store)
trying to get internet (which we still do not have after many attempts) This is why our Update has been delayed
grocery shopping (you have to go to multiple stores and just because this store had it last week doesn’t mean they will have it next week)
take 2 minute showers and flush the toilets with gray water (We will explain this in our next story/blog but it has to do with the drought that we are in here)
set up a bank account (still in process and a process it is)
all car related things (tags, registrations, inspections, and much more)
getting library cards (it’s actually harder than you think)
Learning how to drive on the opposite side of the road while the steering wheel is on the opposite side too
Getting into a homeschool rhythm
Exploring our little town and the big city of Cape Town
The kids seem to be doing really well so far. They really seem to be enjoying all of the different aspects of living in another country. They are constantly learning and picking up new things. They have meet some friends just about everywhere they have gone including in the neighborhood which is a blessing to Lara and I. Elly has found some South African friends that take dance and gymnastics and she is going to start going with them this week which makes her happy (social butterfly). Grey is starting up soccer this week with a friend that is a part of the East Mountain community here and has lived here for 4 years already. Mac has been looking around at some science and robotic clubs that are offered at a local museum but he is still on the hunt for something to do. Exploring around is a family favorite and there is much to do and see so we are always out and about.
My mom asked me the other day how ministry and work was going. I had to think about it for sometime since we haven’t jumped into our roles just yet. I figured that many of you would be wondering the same thing therefore I thought I would give all of you an update on this too.
East Mountain has done a great job at encouraging us to take it slow, learn the culture, get settled, and make sure our family is in a good place before we dive in to ministry. This goes against our “doer” personalities and thankfully they know that too. Lara and I are so ready to immerse ourselves and family in all kinds of ministry and work but we know that if we don’t say no to the good things and yes to the best things we will have minimal impact. We have been spending a lot of time getting to know all of the East Mountain staff and residents (like interns that are going through the leader development program). This has been so good for us as well as really fun! This week we are having all of the residents over to our house for a cookout (braai) and game night which we are looking forward too!
Our plan is to start visiting all of the current ministry partners and communities that East Mountain is currently serving alongside to gain a better understanding. I was able to go to last week with Steve (Siyabulela), one of our residents to see his ministry site in one of the largest townships, Khayelitsha. It was so great to see the impact being made in the lives of young teenagers through soccer and life on life discipleship! I got excited just being there observing! We are also reaching out to some contacts trying to build some relationships with potential places/people our family might serve together with. I was reminded by a South African friend last week that this is Africa and the needs will never end so be cautious to not get over extended. It was a good reminder since our goal is to go deep with a few people and a couple of places to make the largest impact possible.
We can’t wait to share all of the many stories of how the Lord is going to use our family. We believe that he has created us for this time, this place, and these people! We are beyond thankful for each one of you that are partners with us financially and through prayer. Our hope is to live and work for God’s glory, love and serve others so they know Jesus more, and to honor each of you for being a part of our lives and this mission! There is so much more to come and we are busting with joy and excitement!
Please continue to partner with us or consider joining us in this mission by praying for our family and ministry, follow us on Instagram or Facebook, and give financially as the Lord allows you. Thank you and God bless!!!