- Finnie family in Rivelin Valley, Sheffield
- Dean and Paula lead The Gathering
- Reaching out to the homeless at Busy Corner
- The Gathering's New Home
- Winter on the Hotties (some of the mountains we face)
- Christmas hampers for church families
- Delivering books from school to Macassar Primary for Mandela Day
- Rocking the Eisteddfod with Stairway To Heaven
- Our pride and joy!
- With former JCF colleagues @ Ziggy's wedding in Zim
- HOPE Home Based Care Team
- Magic family moment
- The Helderberg - The prettiest of the mountains we face
For the last few days Dean has been trying to help Michael sort out some alternative accommodation given that he and Joyce have been evicted from his fathers house and must leave there by midday on the 31st of March. The last two days have been particularly frustrating as we simply dont have enough money between us to buy a wendy house (we underestimated the full cost by half) despite some very generous gifts from some of you.
Each avenue we pursue seems to lead to a dead end and when we appear to be on a hopeful trail we seem to come up empty handed. Dean feels like he has really let Michael down and that hes mislead Michael & Joyce into thinking that they didn't need to look too seriously as we would sort something out. Whilst this is not strictly true Dean was very clear that they needed to make some plans to move before the 31st we still feel a burden of responsibility towards them. Also, Dean wont be available on the 31st as we will be meeting with our social worker regarding Eli (stay tuned for news!) and then on Saturday we travel to Bloem for a 4 day conference, so we feel were really abandoning Michael & Joyce just when they really need some support.
Sadly, Michaels church have not been able to help in any manner and with Michael being unable to work since he snapped his knee and broke his leg in 4 places last year, he & Joyce have no regular income which would allow them to purchase a wendy house on credit terms.
Dean will be seeing Michael again in the morning to spend some more time praying with Michael about the situation and hopefully coming up with a plan.
Matthew 6:25-27 "Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?
Please join with us in praying for a miracle! Michael & Joyce really need to find some accommodation desperately as they will be forcibly removed from Michael's father's house on the 31st. Michael is really trusting that God will supply their needs according to His riches in glory, and is trying not to worry, but this is a stressful time for them as a family.
Matthew 6:33-34 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
The municipality has at last acted in CNP and the netball court has been laid and marked out. Now we are just waiting for the posts, nets & balls to be delivered and then the ladies will start to compete properly. The CNP team have hopes of joining the local league which would be really exciting for them.
The garden has had its first delivery of compost and now is waiting for some of the folk in the community to spread it around the garden.
This has all happened remarkably quickly and we really thank God for these answers to prayer!
Shirley standing in the middle of the netball court
The netball court clearly marked out, just waiting for the equipment
The garden with its first delivery of compost
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I can't imagine the Afghan who converted to Christianity (Abdul Rahman) was feeling very peaceful about the mass response towards him from other Muslims, given that most believed that he should be put to death. Indeed, Sharia law dictates that he should be put to death!
See the BBC new website for details:
Afghan Christian (search results)
Afghans Protest Against convert
Please pray for this brave man, he really needs God's protection in his dire circumstances, pray that God's will be done and that His name is glorified!
This trip was made possible thanks to the generosity of Nick, Julia & Rebecca, THANKS guys!
Joel and the gang watching the cable car
Our party at the top of Table Mountain
The cable car on its way down
Click on any image to view full size
For more photos take a look at Finnie's in Focus
Sarah has started her own Blog about her experiences including some insights on Chris Nissen, you can see her Blog by clicking HERE.
On Sunday we celebrated his Birthday proper and opened a few presents before church, followed by lunch out and more presents on our return. The definite favourite is the Duplo dragon from Eli, Joel hates to put it down.
Enjoy the photos below:
A day at the races, this was so much fun and a definite winner amongst the kids.
The party in full swing
Come on Dad, put the camera down & pick me up!
Showing Eli the Duplo dragon
Click any image to view full size
Visit Finnie's In Focus for more photos
Family wise we're generally OK although Joel has a really bad cold right now and Eli is showing signs of picking it up. Joel had to miss church yesterday which wasn't much fun, but he's managed to go to nursery this morning.
On Friday Paula went shopping with Dina & Aunty Poppy to get the food for round two of the feeding program we are running with the generous support of Hertford Baptist Church. In the afternoon Dean called in on Aunty Poppy and ended up helping to make up the food parcels and then distribute them. This was an interesting experience as we know that they have received a lot of abuse and hassle from other residents who have not received any food so far. Dean copped for this abuse on Friday and it was good to be able to put the record straight. Most of the folk complaining don't fit the criteria for receiving food, and two of the most vociferous complainers are some of the wealthiest residents of CNP. Isn't that always the way!
We thank God that so far we have managed to provide food for twelve families who are suffering both physically and financially, it's really good to know that we've had a direct impact upon them and their lives. please pray that we can continue to meet the needs of the most needy in the community with this food. Thank God too for Hertford Baptist Church in making this whole program possible.
Below are some recent photos of our family life, hope you enjoy them..
Joel & Eli enjoying a "turtle" in the Helderberg Nature Reserve
Eli watching 'Spikey' the porcupine
Mummy & Eli
Eli intently watching his toy, he enjoys bashing this
Joel 'fixing' his helicopter. Dad had his toolkit out so Joel had to get his too
As ever, click on an image to view it full size
Genesis 1:16-18 ...He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good
Psalm 8:3 When I consider your heavens,
the work of your fingers,
the moon and the stars,
which you have set in place
Psalm 147:4 He determines the number of the stars and calls them each by name.
How typical then of man to think that God can be constrained by the universe!
Psalm 148:3 Praise him, sun and moon,
praise him, all you shining stars.
Our new house is such a blessing. At last we have SPACE!! Joel can't believe it. He has his own play room (well, at least until Eli can move!), a garden to trundle around in and to whizz around on his bike and his bedroom has Shark Tale curtains (a surprise for him). We have had to get our bargaining skills in action as we have had to buy quite a bit of furniture to fill all the spaces! We are very pleased with the outcome though and are really enjoying our new home. Dean has an office upstairs next to the main bedroom and we have a kitchen/diner, so at last we can eat at the table - a discipline which Joel needs. Dean took 10 days holiday and has spent the whole time doing jobs in the house and dodging the various shortages. However, it has been worth it and he is really looking forward to going back to work again tomorrow (for a rest?!). Paula carried on for the first week with her work and then took last week off as well, so we did manage a bit of family time. We had a lovely day in Cape Town, visiting the aquarium (Joel's second home) and enjoying the sunshine. Joel has now discovered some battery operated cars and enjoys doing 10 laps everytime we visit! Unfortunately, he doesn't look where he's going - just presses the accelerator and is off. Dean and I also enjoyed an afternoon on our own (bliss). We went to a local wine estate and treated ourselves to a picnic and bottle of wine in their 'forest'. The food was spectacular and we arrived home unable to move or eat for the rest of the day.
Eli is growing fast. He is a very big baby and is so happy and bonny it's untrue. It is hard to stop him from beaming and he only has eyes for Joel, which is nice for him. Joel loves to play with him, squash him, sit on him and generally abuse him, but Eli just giggles and smiles, so long may that continue! He has slept through the night on 5 different occasions now, unfortunately not consecutively, but we can see that it won't be too long now. This is a real blessing as, unfortunately, Joel has taken to waking once most nights since the move, so we have been very tired. We're just praying that this stops soon. He has also stopped his daytime nap now which is a real pain for mum! However, we have instituted a 'quiet time',which, you will see from the photos, is working quite well.
We have now started down the legal road for Eli's adoption and the first papers have now been filed. We are waiting for them to be returned from Pretoria. There will be a lot of to'ing and fro'ing of papers in the next few weeks but we are hoping that the original time scale of 3-4 months for the full adoption remains the same. It looks fairly likely that the adoption won't be fully through in time for us to get a passport for our trip back to the UK in June so we will have to get travel documents for this. Please pray that things will run smoothly now. We have heard via the social workers from Eli's birth mother and she is doing as well as can be. She is still searching for a job, but we know that she is completely at peace about the adoption, praise God.
Joel will be 3 in 2 weeks time, which we can hardly believe. He is going to have a little party at home and is very excited about the thought of having a birthday cake which he can blow the candles out of again. I don't think he is that bothered about the party, so long as the cake is there! He is changing all the time and challenges us daily, but on the whole he is a fantastic little boy. He is so full of energy that we have to just pray for more ourselves all the time. His favourite activity is to jump on our bed and fall over. This is made all the better if Eli is also there to bounce around. He is quite gymnastic and this has been fuelled by stuff they do at his nursery. He talks constantly, sings and plays endless games with his toys. It is funny to hear him belting out the Bob the Builder theme tune with all his little characters around him. Life is so good for him!
We are looking forward to getting back into CNP this week. There is so much to catch up with. The first food parcels were shopped for, administered and delivered 2 weeks ago and we must now do the same again for March. Our Bible studies will continue again this Thursday and Paula starts her Tuesday evening visiting again this week. Please pray for good fruit.
Joel & some classmates from Nursery with Nata (his teacher) whom he adores!
Joel's Shrek impersonation takes on a whole new dimension!
Joel's latest method of watching TV
Eli at 10 weeks, he's growing so quickly we hardly seem to be keeping up with him!
Joel & Scoop, still a favourite toy
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