Settling In

29 July 04

We've been very busy over the last few days sorting out furniture for the house. In the midst of this our freight arrived Praise God!! so we're feeling very homely right now. Joel has been really excited to see so many of his toys as well as other familiar items from 'home'. He became very excited when he saw his swing in the front garden and now trying to get out without him seeing it is quite a trick! The house fees good and we're looking forward to hosting our first visitors on Friday evening (Dean's new boss).

We went to the Church family night last night and were formally introduced to the congregation. We felt truly honoured by the church and they made quite a big thing about our willingness to come and serve them as a church. This was so refreshing as most places we've been we've been so taken for granted, but that's the life we've chosen so we can't complain. We felt God was honoured last night and we hope and pray that we will be a blessing to the church here and as such we will honour God and the call he has placed on our lives.

Joel seems to be coping amazingly and is constantly being mobbed by complete strangers who seem to fall in love with him instantly. Needless to say Joel is learning to milk the attention - good on him!

Lots of love

D, P & J
We've missed a huge chunk of what happened in our final few days in the UK but this should bring you up to date with what's happened since...
We're safe and well and finally settling into our home here in South Africa.  Our first week has been quite stressful, however, we have now completed our dealings with immigration and now have to wait 30 days for our visas.  It only took 4 visits (an hour each way), 1 desperate call to Crosslinks (Brilliant as always!!) and endless form filling! but we appear to have jumped through each hoop successfully.  We've also sorted our freight, the ship docked on Thursday night and today we heard that we have customs clearance so should get it all on Monday.  We've also purchased a car! A Mark 1 Golf which is only 5 years old as they still make them over here.  In the midst of doing all of this we've also moved into our house (Dean had to shift a lot of furniture to do it).  So all in all a productive week.
Joel settled well after the flight, he was teething on the flight so it was a bit of a nightmare.  However since moving into our home he has settled really well.  Our next door neighbours have a 3 year old and an 8 month old baby so he should have some good friends there.  We are so thankful for prayers for Joel, he has been so tolerant and forgiving of being dragged around and not being played with as much as normal.  Hopefully this coming week will be better for him.
We arrived in a drought but that seems to have been broken today, we've never seen such black clouds and as for the wind!  Forget the hurricane of '87 in the UK, this was far stronger (although Dean & Joel managed to sleep through it!).  People seem genuinely happy to see the rain, it's only we Brits who are disappointed!
Cheers for now
Dean, Paula & Joel

Commissioning Service

Sunday 11th July '04
Commissioning Service
We had our commissioning service at St. George's Weald this morning.  It was great to see some good friends again whilst getting ready for our departure on Thursday.  Joel coped admirably with a sea of people wanting to entertain him (or be entertained by him!) and we struggled as we said goodbye to so many friend whom we'll not see again for at least 3 years.  Saying goodbye never gets any easier!
That's all for now.
D, P & J

Welcome to our Blog!

We're going to try and keep a running Blog whilst we're in South Africa, keeping you up to date with our thoughts, feelings and latest happenings, we'll also keep you posted with news about Joel.

We will also include information about the work we are doing sharing the joys, troubles and answers to prayer.

Enough waffle, you'll get the idea as we go along.

Saturday 10 July.
2 days after Paula's birthday (we'll not say how old!) and we've just left Marryat Road in Wimbledon where we've been living for the last year. We had a great time with Susan and feel really blessed to have been living with her in her attic.

As we write we're at Paula's dad's home sorting through the last few boxes of stuff getting ready for packing or storage.

Tommorow we have our commissioning service at St. George's here in the village of Weald, we're looking forward to this but it will also be a hard time as we say goodbye to so many dear people. Then we have 4 days before we fly out on Thursday 15th.

Our immediate needs on arrival are to get our accommodation sorted, we've signed the lease and are waiting for the landlord to do the same. We also need to secure a reliable and affordable car ASAP otherwise we'll be very stuck. Finally, our freight is due to dock in Cape Town on 18 July, please pray that all goes smoothly.

Many thanks for all your support.

Dean, Paula & Joel