Tim & John playing with some of the kids in CNP. They had been playing rugby until the ball (on the floor slightly right of centre) gave up the ghost!
Franklin swinging with vigour in CNP.

Face Down

On Friday we had the privilege of going to the Face Down tour at Jubilee Christian Centre in Cape Town. Matt Redman was leading with support from Chris Tomlin. Wow! What an evening! Enjoy the photos below. The photos were taken by Tim one of our FYP volunteers this year. You can see more photos on Tim's Blog


Above you can see some photos taken this afternoon in CNP. They are of some of our FYP volunteers playing with the kids in the community. Please pray especially for Dina as things aren't going well with her at present and we've not seen her for over 2 weeks. We know why she's avoiding us and we dearly want to see her again.

Matt Redman leading the worship during 'Face Down' at the Jubilee Christian Centre in Cape Town
Chris Tomlin in full flow praising God
Chris Tomlin leading worship at Jubilee in Cape Town as part of the 'Face Down' tour

Paula's Cell

Paula's mums and tots cell group grew even bigger last week as they have been joined by 3 pregnant girls, all in the last few weeks of their pregnancies.  The girls are staying at the church pregnancy crisis centre and at the moment, all of their babies will be adopted out.  Following the birth of their babies the girls have 60 days to decide whether or not to continue with their decision whilst their babies are being looked after by 'kanga mothers', so it is obviously quite a harrowing time for them.  Paula is thrilled that they have chosen to come along to the group and the ladies are enjoying the new company as well as praying for their salvation.  Please do pray for more helpers to look after our children whilst we meet together.  The volunteers are beginning to come to the end of their time with us and we urgently need more help.  This is a crucial part of the cell ie: that mums can be free from their children for an hour whilst they are excellently cared for.
 
The cell starts with a social time of tea & coffee and lots of chat. God friendships are developing which is a real blessing
Paula's cell getting down to the serious business
Joel running around during the social bit of the cell group

Patrick

It's late as we write so this is a quick update.
 
Patrick was discharged and sent home today which is a bit of a shock.  It's less than a week since the amputation and he is still in so much pain!  Dean's main concern now that he's home is the level of care Patrick will receive and who is going to dress his wound each day.  Patrick is staying with his daughter Mabel for a while and she has a drink problem and is not wholly reliable.  Please pray about this, Patrick really needs tiptop care.

Michelle

Dean received a telephone call early this morning informing him that Michael's daughter -Michelle- had been raped and murdered. Unfortunately, Michael learnt of this from the news last night on E-TV. As the day progressed we gained more information and it transpires that Michelle was raped and murdered on the 1st May but the police say they were unable to locate any family so allowed the story to be broadcast in the hope of family coming forward. However, we also learnt from Michele's boyfriend that he approached the police soon after the incident and as such the police were fully aware of the family's whereabouts. The truth is probably somewhere between those two versions.

Needless to say, Michael is really gutted, especially as Michelle had been raped and burnt a while ago. Dean spoke with the police inspector and was informed that Michael would have to identify the 'remains' of the body. That sounds really horrific, and for a parent to have to identify a child is really hard, without the added element of the body being imcomplete. Please pray for Michael as he comes to terms with Michelle's death, pray for strength to deal with the practical issues and for grace as he has to identify the body and meet so many people in the course of the next few weeks as folk come to pay their respects.

Pray that the perpetrator/s of the crimes will be brought to justice and account for their actions.

Sunday

Wow what a service! Ansie (a Rasta from CNP) came to church and appeared to have a good time. This is quite remarkable as the Rasta's very rarely venture near any church. Please pray for Ansie that he would have a personal encounter with God. Paula & I were in the creche all morning so didn't get to speak to Ansie or anyone else, which was a shame.

Dean didn't get to see Patrick over the weekend so will go tonight. However we did hear this morning that one of the women in CNP has died.
At long last we got to use the container in CNP for the Men's Bible Study group. The container is actually 2 welded together with the middle cut out, but it provides an invaluable resource. Pray that we may continue to have free access to this resource as certain elements of the community are politicising the useage of it.
James. He is the youngest son of Mama Jane (her picture is further down on the blog in Feb's Archive), we don't know if he is a Christian and he is reluctant to speak up. However he has heard the Gospel very clearly over the last two weeks so we can only pray for him.
Oop Boyd. He is also completely blind and has very limited mobility. We're not sure how much he is able to follow what is happening as he has some hearing impairment, but he appears to enjoy the fellowship.
Ernest. He is completely blind and is immobile due to leg problems. Ernest is able to follow the studies but rarely contributes, but we really value his presence.
Cyril. He's a great guy and a great participant in the Bible studies.
Michael. Michael is a staunch regular at the CNP Men's Bible Study and is a great contibutor. Pray for Michael as he is an expert on getting sidetracked by obscure scriptures.
Dean, Oop Boyd & Michael. Michael is sharing an anecdote to illustrate a point.
Michael, John & James at CNP Men's Bible Study.
James, Cyril and Ernest at the CNP Men's Bible Study group on Thursday mornings.

Patrick update

Dean has just returned from the hospital where he saw Patrick and Ben.
 
Patrick is in so much pain after the amputation.  His leg was removed just below the knee, so he will be somewhat unbalanced when he has recovered.  Dean has never seen anyone literally writhing in pain before and it was quite distressing to see him in this state.  Aunty Kuku has agreed to visit tomorrow so Dean will take her in the afternoon to see Patrick.  Unfortunately their grandson Enslen has been dumped on her again.  Enslen is seriously disable having some form of palsy and having him in the home puts a huge burden on Aunty Kuku.
 
Ben's eyesight has been restored, Praise God!  He doesn't have 100% vision yet but hopefully over time it will be restored.  Please keep praying for him, foe recovery of sight and for salvation.
 
This morning Dean had his first Bible study in the 'containers' (the community centre) in CNP.  5 men attended and we looked at 'How do I know I'm saved?' and used the Roman Road to underpin the study.  It went very well and the men all enjoyed the time.  Please pray that we will have regular access to the containers on Thursday mornings.

Patrick et al

Dean went to Hospital today with our two medical electives (Jonathon & Rachel) to visit Patrick and Ben. Whilst there we also saw Annie who is being treated for severe chemical burns. She was working in the farms in Feb and was exposed to some chemicals which have left her quite badly disfigured and have burnt her throat and lungs. Dean didn't initially recognise her as she had lost so much weight.

Patrick is scheduled to have his leg removed tomorrow (12 May) and he is really upset about this. Whilst Dean was with Patrick, Paula arrived with Joel which appeared to brighten up Patrick's day.

Ben appeared to be OK but a little confused and Jonathon was able to explain what had happened to him and why he was in hospital. This calmed Ben down, but when we popped in this evening on our way to cell group Ben was blind. Dean asked the ward sister about this but she thought he had always been blind. Hopefully we'll get some answers tomorrow.

CNP does appear to be in the midst of a very difficult time with many people suffering. As winter sets in this will only increase, especially as TB starts to kick in. Please pray for our friends in hospital and also for the community as a whole. Pray specially for protection from sickness over winter.

Joel on Dad's mountain bike.

Lots of illness

 
Patrick remains in hospital but is very confused and quite upset.  He really wants to see his wife (Aunty Kuku) but she doesn't want to go to the hospital and is enjoying the break from him, which she really needs!
 
Lorraine was taken to hospital last night as her stomach had swollen dramatically.
 
Ben collapsed in CNP this afternoon, Dean wasn't there but thankfully another volunteer was and he's a Dr so was able to help.  The ambulance was called and Ben is now in hospital, so Dean will see him tomorrow.
 
We currently have two volunteers with us for 3 weeks, they are Jonathon and Rachel from Nottingham and have both just qualified as Dr's.  They're not engaged yet but are very serious and currently doing marriage preparation.
 
Yesterday Dean was able to ask Rachel to take a look at a CNP resident who has a lump in her breast and as a result the lady has arranged to visit the GP for further checks.
 
What a blessing to have two Dr's around even just for a few weeks!
 
Please pray for Patrick, Lorraine and Ben in hospital.
 
Also, give thanks to God as Christine was discharged yesterday and in now home in CNP.

Hospital Visits

Today seems to have been dominated by hospital visits for Dean as he went to see Patrick at lunchtime and again tonight.  At lunchtime Patrick was still in casualty and eventually stayed there for just over 24 hours.  Thankfully by the time I visited tonight he had been moved onto a ward.  Patrick is very confused about his situation and also angry with his family for not coming to se him yet.  The reality for Aunty Kuku (Patrick's wife) is that she's enjoying the break from him and is reluctant to visit the hospital (although this may in part be because she is not very well herself).  Aunty Kuku has to care for Patrick and their disabled grandson who is regularly dumped on them by one of their daughters.  Life is hard for the family and as such Patrick's absence from the home is a blessing in disguise.  Dean spoke to the ward sister tonight and expressed his concerns regarding Patrick's hygiene and the nurses have agreed to give him a very thorough bed bath.
Whilst at the hospital, Dean also saw Christine from CNP.  Christine ha been in hospital for almost a week but appeared to be picking up tonight.  Dean will take her some fruit and juice tomorrow.
Please pray for Patrick and Christine, they really need your prayer support as does the whole community, sadly there are many more sick people in CNP and as winter moves in more and more will fall sick and the mortality rate will dramatically increase.
 
Paula witnessed a miracle today at her cell group.  We have been visiting and praying for Lorraine who is very sick with AIDS.  She has a 14 month old daughter and on Sunday we all thought that she wouldn't make it through the night.  Obviously we all prayed and some from CNP sat with her through the night.  Today, amazingly, she walked through the church doors into Paula's cell group carrying her baby and wanting to give thanks to God for bringing her through the past few days.  She was remarkably strong and wanted to share her testimony with the group.  There wasn't a dry eye in the group and we all laid hands on her again and asked God to spare her life, at least for a few more months to see her daughter grow a bit older.  The way she is handling her illness and the grace with which she faces the indignity of AIDS is inspirational and we are praying that many will come to know God through her. 

Dean on the Delvera vineyard as part of the Dirtopia mountain bike event in Stellenbosch. Why not? we're always looking for an excuse to visit the local wineries!

Patrick

Please pray for Patrick, he's back in hospital this evening. Dean went to CNP as usual and called in to see Patrick and was alarmed to see that the blister which had appeared on Patrick's foot late last week is now the size of a tennis ball! Dean immediately arranged to take Patrick to hospital and they arrived there at 3pm this afternoon. Patrick is in a lot of pain but doesn't want to stay in hospital - quite understandable! Please pray that Patrick will get a thorough 'MOT' and a very thorough bed bath. Unfortunately due to his amputation and stroke, Patrick finds washing and showering almost impossible. We're also left feeling that the health service here are only interested in addressing his symptoms and not the underlying problems, please pray into this.

Update

Joel is quite ill at the moment with another bout of bronchiolitis, the Dr gave him some drugs which have had a positive impact but he's coughing like mad and is really fed up with it.
 
We're both well and Dean is just about recovered from his bad back.  He recently acquired a new mountain bike (see the piccy) and as he was getting used to the new seating position etc his back obviously stretched, no permanent damage but a bit sore for a few days.
 
As you can see from the photo (hopefully) Dean went mountain biking with a couple of friends at Delvera vineyard in Stellenbosch.  They participated in an annual event called Dirtopia (www.dirtopia.co.za) and initially did the 7km trail on the farm.  Rian decided he'd had enough after this so went home whilst Dean & John went on to do the 15km trail.  This was a complete blast with the technical downhill section on single track making the long uphill sections more than worth the effort.
 
Once again Dean is enjoying being mobile on his bike and is again cycling into CNP.  Part of his aim is to save a bit of money (fuel just went up again here last night!) but also to try and shed a bit of the Beirut.
 

Joel mesmerised by the waves crashing onto the beach in Plett. Posted by Hello

Joel lounging by a boat. As the lagoon was so shallow we were able to wade up to many of the small fishing boats which Joel thought was great. Posted by Hello

Judy's house in Plett. This is where we stayed for 2 weeks, our bedroom was the one with the balcony. The house was stunning! Posted by Hello

Joel and dad at Plett lagoon. This was Joel's favourite bit of beach as there was no tide and the water was very shallow. Posted by Hello

Walking on the beach with mum. Posted by Hello

On the seesaw with mum. Not sure who enjoyed it the most! Posted by Hello

Joel watching the elephants at Knysna Elephant Park. Joel was able to feed the elephants and really enjoyed getting this close.

The view from our bedroom balcony in Plett Posted by Hello