We are thankful and excited to have made it to the 6 month mark! The first 6 months in some ways were easier than we had thought, but in ways we hadn’t imagined it was tougher than we anticipated. Lara and I regularly try to take the “temperature” of the children and ourselves to evaluate how we are doing. We try to get away and take a walk or a drive, go have a coffee, or chat while sitting outside on our patio. These times have been some of the most powerful/intimate/challenging/fulfilling/helpful moments for Lara and I.
These past few months have been emotionally, spiritually, and mentally challenging for us, but also have allowed us to create some of the most beautiful memories that will be cherished for a lifetime. This time has reminded me that I am deeply thankful for my wife!!! It’s been a dream of mine, since I was 14 years old to be a missionary, but I had no idea how crucial it was going to be to have this woman on the journey with me.
Mac is doing well! Out of the 3 of them he is the one that has surprised us the most. He is truly thriving and that is an enormous gift to us as parents. His first year of online school with Liberty University is coming to a close shortly and he has been challenged but done well with it. The Lord has been good to Mac by providing him with some great friends, and lots of them! We walk into church and people run to Mac. He has truly been loved well. Mac is taller than his mom, his shoe size is bigger than mine, his voice gets deeper and deeper, his hair is longer than ever, and his joy is still as contagious as always. Mac is really loving life in South Africa.
Grey has enjoyed many of the new facets of life here in South Africa. He loves going shoeless (everywhere), minimizing the number of showers he has to take every week, learning some Afrikaans words and phrases, and having a slower pace of life in our weekly schedule (Africa life is slower and more relational than we are accustom too in America). Grey started learning how to play the guitar and is doing pretty well so far. Homeschooling has been a great fit for Grey and he should be finishing up in the next week or so for the year. One area that Grey has struggled with more with than the other two is finding some close friends that he can regularly spend time with. He seems to be growing in his relationship with Jesus and understanding on the bible which is exciting to see. He is still the most loving little guy and loves those around him well.
Elly is a “mini me” of Lara, therefore she has no issues with finding a friend no matter where we go. Elly walks into a room and immediately has a new sidekick to hang out with. She has a great group of girls at church, dance class, and within our East Mountain community that she enjoys a lot. Elly also loves having older girls around that act like big sisters. Being a social butterfly we are grateful for all of the relational connections for her. She has learned how to read (English) as well as she can count to 29 in Afrikaans! Elly also really enjoyed getting her nail polish collection from Nana and Marla last month. Her nail colors change daily.
Alechia has just finished her first term at University! It was a challenge for her but she did well and is enjoying it. She is taking 7 classes so her schedule is full and some classes are difficult but she is learning a lot. She is thankful for all of your prayers! We have enjoyed spending some extra time with her while she has been on fall break.
Romero is doing well! He has begun to work more with the church we attend. He is serving in the young adults ministry, the youth group, and with one of the pastors here. He also auditioned for the worship band and made it as a regular drummer! It was really exciting to see him excel in something he loves and is naturally gifted in. Romero is also busy leading at some Christian camps in the area during the school break. It is a blessing to have him be a part of our life and family (I think he likes it too :))
- We love serving with our church at the community centre! Great things are happening through the relationships we are building there. Read more here…We love these kids so much!
- Homeschool is almost done for the year and Lara and the kids have done really well with it.
- We love mentoring! We also love the young people that we have the opportunity to pour into.
- IT RAINED!!! This week it rained for 2 straight days at our house and it was wonderful! Day Zero (April 2018) is the day that Cape Town was supposed to run out of water but it has now been pushed back until sometime next year! Praise the Lord!
- We love our church, Life Church! Great connection, wonderful people, and life-giving ministries! It feels like home!
- We have all been sick on the regular. Lara and Elly have had a head cold, chest cold, and snots for over 5 weeks. All of us have had stomach issues regularly for a few months. It comes and goes and is super frustrating. We aren’t sure if it is our bodies getting use to the water here or something else. PLEASE pray for healing!
- Pray for the Helder Valley Community Centre families and for the Lord to give us favor with them.
- Join us in praying about buying airline tickets to come to visit in July.
- Pray for us to have deep relationships, big impact, fruitful ministries, and life-giving opportunities.
- Please pray for these young leaders we get to mentor and invest in. Pray that they will get a full glimpse of who God has created them to be and what God has called them to do with their lives.
- Pray for Lara and me as we are figuring out some new roles within East Mountain that will allow us to have a greater opportunity to love, serve, care for, and point people to Jesus.
- Pray that we will find a language helper soon. We don’t “need” to learn Afrikaans but we think it would be very helpful to get a little understanding.