Decisions, Decisions...

Decisions, decisions, decisions....

As the year winds down towards the summer holidays it would be nice to have a bit of breathing space, but as ever that's rarely our experience and once again we find ourselves having to make some pretty major decisions ready for the new year.

For those of you who get our prayer letters, you'll know that we have had to make a big decision about Joel's last two years at school. We're thrilled that in January he'll be returning to a more formal High School set up, though it will still be informal with a Christian ethos, but at least he won't be being home schooled and self-teaching anymore, which will be a huge blessing for Paula!

Homework Club

We've not posted much about The Gathering's Homework Club for a while, despite posting loads of stuff about the Soup Kitchen, so here's an update on things....

As the school year winds towards the end we've had a few kids drop out of the Homework Club, some have moved away from Firgrove and some just think they're too cool for school, so we're down to 28 kids from 32, but those that are committed are seeing great improvements in their overall schooling, and we're loving the privilege of walking with them as they achieve the best they can.
I was so blessed yesterday by my Grade 4 kids at Firgrove Primary School.

I have been reading with them once a week all year and have absolutely loved the experience. I have learned so much, and they tell me that they have also - so that can only be good!! I was asked to come in today to receive a token of their appreciation.

On arrival a small group of the 170+ children came to give me a certificate, a card and a lovely plant to say thank you. One of the learners addressed me beautifully in English and expressed how they all feel about my help.

I am humbled and can't wait to start back again in 2019.

 It's so good to build relationships in our Firgrove community!
This brought a smile to my face this morning....

...two easy riders on their bespoke choppers.

This is a local guy in Firgrove who decided to turn his welding skills to bike making and produced these two prototypes.

He learnt a lot along the way and has some great ideas for refining his next bikes.

I wish him all the best and hope he makes a decent living out of this.

Daisy

I'm not quite sure how this happened, but recently Paula was seduced by the idea of getting a second dog. Having been resistant to the idea for so long, I was amazed because this is something I've been trying to do for ages and have previously attempted to sneak a puppy into the garden. Sadly I was busted and the puppy was banished, albeit to a very good home.

Anyway, just before we left for holiday Paula showed us all a picture of Daisy and it snowballed from there. So having been approved by Animal Welfare and having passed their home inspection, they neutered her over the weekend and said we could collect her this morning. So we did.

Now Rosie and Daisy are spending some uninterrupted time getting to know each other and sorting out their stuff as dogs do. Having introduced Rosie & Daisy off the lead in a neutral environment they now seem to be getting on OK, though I'm sure there will be some issues along the way, but for now it's all quiet on the western front.

Holiday

For the first time in 14 years we actually managed to string a two week family holiday together. Actually it was 13 days but we'll let that slide.

It was great to be back in Montagu (though we missed Greyton) and trying some new accommodation. Paula found this little gem online and we had a very peaceful two weeks with great views and were only a five minute walk from the town centre.

Montagu has some great restaurants, a fantastic secondhand bookshop and a lovely Saturday market so we got to do lots of what we love to do, chill, read, eat good food and sample great wines all whilst reconnecting as a family. What a huge blessing!

I've been meaning to post this for a while so here it is.

One of the costs of an overseas life in mission is missing the conveniences of home, such as free schooling and health care, two things that take up a lion's share of our budget.

This week we're missing the dear old NHS and the fact that if we were in Blighty Eli's current infliction would have been treated for free, but as it is we're in a land with no real welfare net and so our pockets are feeling the squeeze.

Please pray for him, he's got a double chest infection and is burning up with fever. So on Dr's advice we're trying the non-antibiotic route first and hoping it will do the job. Thankfully we also have who is lending us a nebuliser.

Almost Over?

September 1st is known as Spring Day down here and I always think that this is one of the Cape's cruelest jokes, though to be fair  it was a warm sunny day. However on Sunday it gave way to more rain which is due to return with a vengeance this evening.

So after an average August and a wet start to September, with the promise of a lot more rain over the next few days, our dams now sit at a respectable average of 65.9% full.

As I ran into the house last week after my ladies group to grab a quick sandwich and coffee before beginning the "afternoon busy-ness" of my day I clearly heard the Father say to me, "how many of your ladies can do this right now?". This stuck with me all week and right through the weekend.

It's true, we had had a fun and exciting morning together, plenty of laughter, conversation and a few tears with our sharing and prayer time, but I could see that many were in typically tight situations, and once again, one had come back very shame-faced after everyone had left and I was washing up to ask me if I didn't have something for her to eat.