Happy New Year

Happy New Year! I hope and pray that each of you had a wonderful holiday season! Mine was great and relaxing. I stayed in South Africa and enjoyed some down time and a summer Christmas. I tremendously missed being with my family, but I got to Skype and see most of them on Christmas and even watch my nephew open his stocking.

This week marks my 7th African Anniversary. As I think back I’m so overwhelmed by God’s amazing goodness and faithfulness to me along this journey. It’s been bumpy at times and extremely difficult. But overall it’s been awesome! I’m so grateful for all He has done and the path He has directed me on over these years.

NCF is back in full swing and ready to start 2012. We are excited and expectant of all that God has planned. It’s going to be a great year!

Birthday Dinner

Growing up my mom would make a requested birthday dinner for me each year. After a few years in a row of me asking for Cornish Pasties, they became my traditional birthday meal. Even the past several years mom will make me my birthday pasties when I’m home on furlough even if it is months before or after my birthday.

My great, great-grandmother taught my mom how to make pasties. She would make them for her husband to take to work with him. He was a miner in Cornwall, England and apparently pasties were perfect for lunch; you can stick one into your pocket and not make a mess yet it’s a yummy man meal of meat and potato. If you have never had a pasty you are missing out; they are delicious. It’s like a meat pie without gravy. It’s meat, potato, carrot, onion, salt and pepper wrapped in dough.

I have helped my mom make pasties but this year I decided I should make some pasties for my birthday, my first solo experience. It’s been years since I have made them and I kind of had to stumble through the recipe, yet once I was going it all came back to me.

I love the family history behind this recipe and the many memories that come with it! My heart (and stomach) is full and happy!

Comfort in the Familiar

A few weeks ago, 2 volunteers set up a visit to NCF’s children home. They had bought and put together care packs for each child. These ladies have a desire to spoil the children a bit and help out the house in any way they can.  We were so blessed by their heart to serve and help!

On Friday afternoon I took the ladies to the house to drop off the goodies and packets. We were there before the older kids got home from school, so just our three little ones were around. The ladies were so excited to leave a little surprise on each child bed. And of course we had some fun with the little ones and took a few pictures.

Remember our little baby girl? I bonded with her the first day we meet and carry her around on my back African style. Since then we have played a bit but not much. I typically do more admin stuff for the house then the day-to-day things. With these two new faces at the house our baby was a little shy and unsure. Which is actually a healthy, encouraging thing; that means she had attached to her new family! She snuggled right into my chest when the ladies were talking with her, she didn’t mind looking and listening but she didn’t want to leave my arms. She needed the comfort of the familiar with the little bit of newness. And my heart rejoiced that I could be her familiar.

Ps once they busted out candy she didn’t need familiar anymore!🙂

Open Hands

Typically Africa isn’t an open hand, generous, giving continent. On the contrary, a common mindset is open hands asking, expecting, wanting and begging for something. A give me, give me mentality. Yes, this is a stereotype and isn’t true everywhere and with everyone. But typically I see hands extended to grab what they can and not extended to help where it is needed.

A few weeks ago when I gave the disabled center the computer they were so excited and then decided they needed to give me something. They had just harvested onions from the garden so I was sent home with a huge bag of them. It was such a sweet jester and meant so much. It was refreshing to see open hands not just receiving but also giving.

Gardening

I’m attempting to grow my first veggie garden. So far so good. I did cheat a bit and got a few seedlings to help jump-start it. But even my seeds are growing great. I figured living in a warm, tropical feeling area would be good conditions for gardening so I dove into uncharted waters. It’s been a fun project so far…who knows, it might even become a hobby.🙂

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Excitement

I recently started volunteering at a disabled centre once a week. The centre attracts adults with disabilities ranging from deafness, to epilepsy, to being in a wheelchair. It is a day centre and gives people the opportunity to be busy. They do bead work, sewing, gardening, etc. Being “different” in African cultural can be very challenging. People with disabilities aren’t accepted in most parts of society, sometimes even among family. Thus places like this centre are so vital. It gives people a place to belong and be part of a community.  

Today I was able to bless them with an old computer that was donated to NCF. You should have seen the excitement; it was filled with so much joy, smiles, hand clapping, hugs, and one lady was even speechless.

Such a great day!

Cape Town Pictures

A few weeks ago I went to Cape Town for vacation. It was such a blast and so refreshing. Actually it was one of the best holidays I have ever had! I’m so thankful for down time and enjoying so much beauty. I got to see tons of whales, so incredible. I loved being near the ocean and enjoying all of God’s creation and beauty, it was amazing! God totally spoiled me and showed off. I loved every moment of it!


"You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation." Rev. 5:9
I'm a missionary in South Africa. I have been here for over six years and plan on many more to come. God has captured my heart for this nation. Just like with anything there are some days overflowing with joy and other days filled with heartache. But I love it and wouldn’t trade living and working in South Africa for anything. I am living a dream; it is more than I could think or imagine.