MA

 
Dean had a long two days in Pretoria on Thursday & Friday last week, he was at the induction for his MA.  This our big news at the moment.  Dean will be doing a Masters Degree in Social Behaviour and HIV/AIDS with UNISA, the course is over 2 years by distance learning.  Needless to say Dean returned home quite stunned by how much work will be involved over the 2 years and the academic level at which he will have to work, but he feels that it is a challenge worth facing up to.   Dean will have to go to Pretoria at least twice more this year for a week at a time which will be a bit rough on Paula and Joel.  However, as a family we feel that this is an investment in our future and so worth doing.  On ihs return Dean managed to get onto the earlier flight so should have been home 2 hours earlier but eventually got his seat back on his original flight which left almost 2 hours late but arrive in Cape Town only 5 minutes after the earlier flight!  Quite a stressful evening in the end!
 
Joel is struggling with a high temperature at the moment, he's been a bit under the weather for the last few days and his fever appeared last night with a temp of 39.4C.  Thankfully he is taking on plenty of fluids and eating a little bit so we're keeping a very close eye on him.


Joel walking with Duwayne in CNP. Duwayne is one of Patrick's grandchildren and a very sweet little boy. Posted by Hello

untitled

Dean had a great day in CNP today and spent a long time with Patrick and his family.  The photo of him is with his grandson Eugene.  Patrick was far more lucid that he has been for a long time and we all had a really good laugh together!  Dina arrived towards the end and was telling us that 3rd Degree (local version of Panorama) are to interview her on Friday in relation to some missing money from the CNP trust.  We were pulling her leg sying that they wanted to see where she parks her Mercedes, poor Dina she was quite concerned but laughed a lot!
 
We've also posted some photos of Nomza being baptised a week or so ago.  Nomza is a regular at Paula's cell group and is a quality Christian!  Nomza is our link for distributing food within CNP, we deliver food to her and she takes it to folk whom we know to be needy.  This works really well as it avoids dependency and the inevitable 'scramble' around the back of the car if Dean delivers the food.  Nomza is so faithful in doing this for us and we really praise God for her integrity!

At last!

Over the last week or so Joel has ben taking tentative steps in walking but hasn't really gone for it.  Today Joel walked for ages in the local shopping mall surprising us and providing much amusement for many passers-by.  We are so grateful to God that at last Joel is walking and h just looks so proud of himself!

Patrick with his grandson Eugene Posted by Hello

Nomza after being baptised Posted by Hello

Encouraging Weekend


Dean was invited by our neighbour Don to join him and three friends for an early morning prayer meeting. Dean really enjoyed meeting with a small group of men as this is something he is looking at starting in our church here. The only downside was that they met at 6.30 on Saturday morning, a bit of a shock for him!

After church this afternoon we joined another family for a picnic lunch in the Helderberg Nature Reserve. We had a great time and Joel was mothered by their two daughters. The highlight for him was the giant tortoise which fascinated him. See photograph.
Our week ahead looks like being a good one with our friends Nick & Julia coming out for two weeks, they arrive on Thursday and we're really looking forward to seeing them and their daughter Becca

Patrick was very tearful on Friday and wanting to leave CNP to stay with his sisters in the Eastern Cape. Thankfully he has now realised that that would not be a good move and he is feeling a lot more positive about remaining in CNP.

Joel & Tortoise at the Helderberg Nature Reserve. 13th Feb 05 Posted by Hello

TB

Dean had a meeting with one of the Sisters at the Govt clinic in Nomzamo (opposite CNP) this morning to talk about the TB epidemic which is sweeping through CNP. We've agreed to organise a TB awareness day in the community and to involve as many other agencies as we can to assist with the day. We're planning for this to coincide with World TB Day on 24 March.

The national statistics for recovery of TB patients across SA is 85%, however in the Helderberg Basin the recovery rate is 56% and Chris Nissen Park is almost single-handedly responsible for this dramatic reduction in recovery rates. One of the major problems in the community is the failure of residents to complete their medication. This results in the TB manifesting again, only this time the TB is resistant to the medication. One of the problems in this area is the Rasta's, they are well meaning and try to get residents to take herbs to cure the TB which sadly is completely inadequate. The community also have a hang up about going to Nomzamo which is a Black community and CNP residents would rather walk to Somerset West. However, SW clinic is over 5km's away whilst Nomzamo clinic is less than 1 kilometre. This reluctance is a deep-seated fear of the Blacks which is a throw-back to the apartheid era.

Dean spent a long time with Patrick and Aunty Kuku this afternoon. Patrick was very tearful and eventually said he was leaving CNP to go and stay with his sisters in the Eastern Cape. However, Aunty Kuku would not go with him to his sisters. We don't know what has happened in their home to precipitate Patrick's wish to move but we feel this would be a very negative move for him and the family. Aunty Kuku said a while ago just after Patrick's stroke that she felt she had lost her husband and gained an infant as she has to do everything for him. Please pray for Patrick and Aunty Kuku, pray that they would make the right decision for them as a family and for Patrick to receive the best care possible.

Paula had another excellent mums and tots cell group yesterday. This time there were 13 women, 8 of whom were from either CNP or Nomzamo. This is thrilling and it is such a privilege to meet with and befriend these ladies and their children. It is also wonderful to have such a dedicated team looking after the kids and giving mum a break for an hour. Yesterday we talked about the death of Jesus and what that means for us. This was quite a challenge with 3 different languages represented, but Paula is just praying that the Holy Spirit will work and bring understanding into people's hearts. Already the needs that people are sharing run very deep. Just yesterday, someone asked for prayer because her 2 weekly groceries had been stolen in the bus on the way home. Another woman said that her brother had just 'dumped' his 2 year old boy on her doorstep for her to look after from now on. She is pregnant and can barely afford to feed her own household! Another woman shared about the difficulties she is having with her health as a result of HIV. It really is on the edge stuff and we are praying that God would use this group of women to really bless one another and for true friendships to form.

Dean's Bible Study also went well on Thurs morning with three CNP men turning out for it. This is a slow process but please pray for these guys that they would commit to coming.

Roller Coaster

Tuesday started with an email from Paula's sister telling us that Michael Howard had died. Michael was the vicar in Weald for several years and was due to retire in a few months. We had tremendous respect and love for Michael and his family and they were key supporters of our ministry. Michael will be sorely missed by a lot of people and especiall in the village of Weald, please remember them in your prayers.

In the evening we went to the Kalk Bay Kitchen with some friends. This is an amazing theatre which has been setup in a disused church building. The experience comes as a package so we had our starters and main courses upstairs before watching the play downstairs. The play was "Black Men Like Me" which was a duologue between an old and cynical black man and a young optimistic black man working together in the same factory. We both agreed this was one of the best bits of theatre we have ever seen and we had a fantastic night! After the play we returned upstairs for dessert before rolling out into the night to wend our way home.

Dean had a positive afternoon in CNP and was joined unexpectedly by John -one of the FYP's. WE followed up on the first time visitors to church which is good as we were able to encourage and pray with folk.

So that was our roller coaster day.

FYP's

Today was the first full afternoon that the Frontier Year Project (FYP) were with Dean in Chris Nissen Park (CNP). Their main role on a Monday afternoon is to follow up on the children who attended Sunday school and to make contact with their families. We hope that this will build further bridges between the church and the community as well as encouraging the parent/s to come along to church. Please pray for this initiative as we believe this could be a real blessing to the church, the children and their families.

Dean had a good afternoon talking with Dina and then he visited two other church members. Sadly however, it is becoming clear that we have a real problem with jealousy amongst our church members and as you would expect this is very divisive. Please pray against jealousy for our church members. Jealousy tends to be a common trait amongst poorer communities and is exhibited less discretely than amongst wealthier folk. This is one of those sins "..that so easily entangles.." and we really need our folk in CNP to be salt & light in the community.

Apparently, two men came to church on Sunday due to the direct contact Dan has had with them, unfortunately Dean was serving tea & coffee after the service so didn't get to speak to them, but this is really encouraging and a further sign of God's grace on our ministry with the community. Praise God!

Most of the weekend for Dean was spent sorting out the new computer, trying to restore from backups and downloading stuff from the web. Whoever said that computers would help humans to be more productive and cut time wasting and unproductivity should be shot! Computers must be the singe biggest waste of time known to man!

Tough Week

This week seems to have been completely manic for both of us but probably more so for Paula, we don't feel that we've had a chance to catch our breath.   The week culminated with our hard disk collapsing leaving us with a complete headache!  We've lost lots of emails and a months worth of photos which is very frustrating!  We were budgeting for a new laptop later in the year but have had to bring that forward to late Friday afternoon.  On Friday we also had the dentist and as new patients the dentist wanted to do x-rays etc.  This led to Paula getting a bit of bad news and has to go back for a few more appointments.
 
So, not the best end to a busy week, but somehow we continually sense God's leading and hand on our lives and we rejoice in His faithfulness!

Mama Jane at her sewing machine Posted by Hello

Michael sat in his garden in CNP. Posted by Hello

Busy as ever

This week has been a great week so far, not least because Joel has decided that standing unaided is actually a good thing and something he wants to do!  We're rejoicing that he is making such major moves towards walking, and he certainly appears to be happy.  Joel had his second day at nursery today and again he appears to be thriving on it, however he was so hyped up that he didn't have his lunchtime sleep so mum & dad are feeling a little frazzled!
 
This afternoon we went to a braai with another English couple who are getting involved in a variety of social action projects and it looks like we may be able to develop some positive links and share resources which would be great.
 
Dean visited the Hand Over Heart sewing project this morning and had a meeting with the organisers.  As a result of this he will be going to Khayelitsha with them next Tuesday to see how they can adopt and adapt a local curriculum into their own project.  Several ladies from CNP attend the sewing project and the aim is to see the equipped to run their own micro businesses.
 
We've attached two photographs to this post (either above or below).  The photos are of Michael in his front garden -looking replete in his Palace shirt! and Mama Jane at her sewing machine in her house.  We hope you enjoy the photos and we plan to post more photos in the coming weeks and months.