It's New Years Eve as we write and once again we find ourselves on our own. This seems to have been the story of Christmas for us this year. Our original plans were scuppered by our friends 'outlaws' who forced them off to Durban. Failing any further invites we decided to do our own Christmas and bought the turkey etc. only to receive a half hearted 'sympathy invite' very late on. Christmas day was great, Joel was able to open his presents at his speed and play with each one before moving onto the next so he wasn't swamped. We had a lovely Turkey dinner in the evening under the stars in the garden.

Happy Christmas!

We want to wish all of you a very Happy Christmas!

Don't forget the one who's birthday it is..... Jesus Christ

Lots of love

Dean, Paula & Joel

XXX

We had our Mulled Wine & Mince Pie evening last night. For those who have ever been to one of these (at Bible College, Zimbabwe, Wimbledon) you'll know how legendary they've become! If you've not been to one, you have no idea what you're missing!

Christmas buildup

Many businesses seem to have shut down already in time for Christmas or as it seems to be more popularly known here; the 'Holiday Season'. We've always been disappointed with Christmas in Blighty as it seems to start in Aug' and drag on for months, but at least it is called 'Christmas'. Here it appears that Christmas carries very little significance with most shops & businesses advertising for the holiday season, choosing to ignore the reason for the season. Our church held it's first ever Carols by Candlelight service last night which went well, however it was a hot night and a couple of hundred candles didn't help much!! Gary preached a solid evangelistic message presenting the Gospel very clearly which was great as many non-church folk attended. Hopefully we'll have such a service each year. We're also having a Christmas day service which again is a first for Helderberg Christian Church and we're really pleased as it always feels a little odd not to go to church on Christmas day.

Reconciliation Day

Today is Reconciliation Day so we've been enjoying the day off. We went to the aquarium in Cape Town this morning and then spent time playing in the river with Joel. He had a great day, at the aquarium he was by far the most excited child and we had a job to contain him at times. Still, it was all good fun!

Last Week

Once again we go into another week having failed dismally to keep our Blog upto date!

We had a good week. We met up with Maurice & Wendy (friends from Zim) and spent time catching up which was great. Then later in the week Pete & Ash came for tea with their 3 boys. Their youngest was born after we left Zim so we hadn't met him and Ash hadn't met Joel so it was a great afternoon catching up. Pete is now leading God First Christian Church in Jo'burg, well worth a visit if you're in that neck of the woods!

Freedom

We've just enjoyed 2 nights away without Joel and it was brilliant! We missed him dearly but it was so nice to be able to do normal things without him. We ate lunch when we wanted, Paula could have a cappuccino without having to share the froth, we went to the cinema but best of all we got to lay in in the morning!!!! Joel was a star by all accounts and was a credit to us.

World AIDS Day

We'd like to encourage you to take a few minutes to reflect upon the pandemic of HIV/AIDS upon the world and your own community.

Pray for those in your community who are HIV+, you might not know them by name (or even realise that some of your neighbours are HIV+) but they need your support.