History In The Making!

Last night Paula was invited for the first time for tea with some ladies in CNP. She drove down at 7 pm last night to meet 5 ladies for tea and cake despite the freezing conditions. They spent the time in the house of a lady whose house had been deliberately burnt down a while back and whose court case against the perpetrator was about to draw to a close the following day. Paula was really humbled by the reception she received. The ladies simply cannot believe that she, a white woman, will drive alone to CNP at night and spend time with them. On top of this, it really dawned on her for the first time that for 3 of these ladies, this was the FIRST time since independence (10 years now!) that they had sat and had tea with a white person. They were incredibly nervous at first whilst history was being made, but soon warmed up as the conversation, cake and laughter flowed. God was so good as He allowed them to talk about being one in Christ as well as speaking plainly about the problems of gossip and dissension in such a small community.

Life In CNP

Below are some photos taken in the last few days in Chris Nissen Park, we hope you enjoy them. We feel that they give a taste of life in CNP and some of the issues people have to deal with on a daily basis. As you can see in the photos the sun is shining which has been a welcome break from the rain, Sunday was truly awful! As soon as the sun is out in winter we all pile outside to get warm! We know most of you don't believe us when we say it's cold here in winter, but this morning there was ice on my windscreen and I had to spend a few minutes scraping it off!

Free At Last

Jerome with his mum & dad. Jerome was released from prison yesterday morning after a year inside. He was so glad to be back home! Please pray for Jerome, he is basically a good lad but is easily led and has previously fallen in with a very bad crowd. Pray that he would get work so as to distract him, but also pray that he'll be strong enough to stay away from his old crowd.

Seven Leaves Utd

Seven Leaves United. These are some of the men from the football team which is mainly made up of Rasta's. We'll let you work out the significance of the name!

Many thanks to the subscribers of CP-FRIS and Neil at the Palace Echo for the shirts.

Aunty Poppy

Aunty Poppy enjoying a bit of sun. Aunty Poppy has not been well lately and she appears to have some long term health problems, but like so many folk in CNP she's not really pursuing the health service to get them sorted.

Dina & Miriam

Dina with her boss Miriam from the local ANC office.

Child-Care

It's not uncommon for older siblings to be left 'holding the baby' whilst parents are out working or otherwise engaged. This is an area of need in the community, if we had a suitable building for a pre-school, the lives of so many kids would be improved dramatically.

Chatting

Some of the CNP menfolk stopping for a chat on their way home from work. Thankfully unemployment within the community is quite low.

Playground

Kids playing in CNP. The swings are still holding out and the kids are having a ball enjoying a sunny break from the rain.

Scrapyard

Many folk in CNP seem to turn their gardens into scrap yards. This household has 3 wrecks in the garden and they're trying desperately to get one car working so they can go into business.

Live8

We've recently been asked what we think about Geldof's Live8 and the general issue of Africa, Aid & Debt Relief. These are huge areas and brief answers will always be inadequate. However, we will try to respond as briefly as possible.

Firstly, anything which moves this glorious continent toward debt free existence should not be knocked gratuitously, after all, Africa really needs all the help she can get. We fully support the principals of the 'Make Poverty History' campaign and are pleased to see Gordon Brown doing so much to champion African poverty. Equally however, Africa cannot be generalised about, especially in terms of development as the continent is huge and incredibly diverse. If you've not travelled to more than a handful of countries you can never fully grasp the diversity of this beautiful land!

Dean's Week

Dean's week was generally good, but unfortunately he was told on Thursday that he could no longer use the containers in CNP for his Men's Bible Study group. The reason given was that the key will "..never be given to one of Dina's friends." Oh dear! The petty mind games have begun again. Thankfully Dina has risen above this and is not bothered, but the men in the group are absolutely livid. Cyril went to see the person who made the comment and got a few things off his chest (well done that man!).

It Wasn't Me

Joel had a bit of a disaster at lunchtime... he discovered a pot of Sudocrem and spent quite a while in his bedroom massaging it into his scalp as well as the carpet and on the door. We tried really hard to wash it out but unfortunately the cream is waterproof and after using a whole bottle of washing-up liquid we had to resort to some fairly drastic action...

Drastic Action

As you can see, drastic actions lead to drastic consequences! Thankfully Joel has a lovely smile to compensate for the 'knuckle dragger' hairstyle. If only it was as easy to get the carpet clean.

A Day In A Million!

Thursday morning marked a one-off highlight for Paula and her mum's and grannies cell group! They all went off to the Spur (equivalent of UK Aberdeen Angus steak houses) for coffee and dessert courtesy of a wonderful gift from 2 very special people in the UK (thank you, thank you!). It was a tearjerker as 4 of us drove in to Chris Nissen to collect the ladies and children. All 15 of them were there eagerly waiting, dressed up to the nines, some even with new hair do's and everyone else wondering where they were going!!

Praying The Future

As you might have seen from the posts below we've just had Mary (our Pastoral Director) from Crosslinks stay with us for a few days. Mary's visit was a great time, as we were able to take some time out to visit some of the sites such as Cape Town, the penguins at Simon's Town and drive over Chapman's Peak. We really enjoyed her visit and it was great to have a Crosslinks visit at a time when there is no crisis (present or looming) which need sorting as was the case in Zim when Andy Lines visited!

Panorama

Panoramic view of Hout Bay seen from the road on Chapman's Peak

Chapman's Peak

Paula & Mary standing in front of Hout Bay as seen from Chapman's Peak.

Cape Town

Paula & Mary in Cape Town. Unfortunately Table Mountain was covered in cloud so we were unable to go up, however we had a great time walking around the Waterfront and then going on for a drive over Chapman's Peak.

Emyezweni

Here are some photos of Emyezweni taken on Monday morning when we popped in briefly with Mary. Crosslinks are considering the possibility of SMILE teams coming and serving at Helderberg Christian Church and Emyezweni would be an excellent place for SMILE'rs to serve.

To see more photos and learn more about Emyezweni visit Deb's SA News

Nature Reserve

Dean, Paula, Joel & Mary in Helderberg Nature Reserve. We had a lovely afternoon walking around with Joel as he chased some Bok and discovered a tortoise.

Father's Day

Joel & Dad on Father's Day.

Excited By Penguins

Joel was enthralled by the penguins and made sure that he pointed out each penguin that he saw, as you could imagine we were viewing penguins for quite a while!

Exploring The Beach

Not really sunbathing weather, but this didn't stop Joel from looking for a close encounter with the penguins. Sadly, there were none on the beach today.

Mary, Paula & Joel.

We've posted a similar picture before with our dear friends from Zimbabwe. This really is an amazing experience to get so close to the penguins.

Enjoying The View

What a stunning view! Even Joel made time to stand and enjoy it.

Pesky Penguins!

We thought this was quite amusing.

A Day Of Contrasts

Dean went to Patrick's funeral in Chris Nissen Park this morning. It was a moving service conducted by Donald, one of the community leaders. He did an excellent job and Francois our lead elder at church gave a short preach. This was great and has really helped our witness in the community. Patrick's family were deeply upset, but again Aunty Kuku barely registered any kind of emotion, we are really concerned for her.

Patrick

Patrick died at lunchtime this afternoon, having been ill over the weekend the ambulance was called this morning and took him to hospital around 11am. Dean has just been with the family to see Patrick in the morgue and to start the claim with the funeral policy. Afterwards we returned to CNP to spend some time with Aunty Kuku. She doesn't appear to have registered Patrick's death yet and to be honest her relief will probably outweigh her grief for a while, but who can blame her, she's had so much to deal with over the last year.

Life Of Contrasts

Paula had another interesting and emotionally exhausting morning in Chris Nissen on Friday. She spent quite a while with Lorraine talking about her illness, general health and the various options that she now finds herself faced with , particularly with regard to her little daughter. She is very anxious and tearful about the future for Evidine, her daughter. Lorraine is not afraid to die, she said, but she is so afraid of what will happen to Evidine. This is such a common story and yet, thank God, she does at least have wider family who will care for her.

Pirate Party

These photo's are of Joel at his friend Sean's Pirate Party. As you can see from the photos Joel had great fun even though he was significantly younger than the other children.

The rain has been pretty relentless this weekend, don't be fooled by the sun in the photos below, the rain abated for Sean's party but kicked in again afterwards with a vengeance! The rain is desperately needed and the locals are quite excited about it but somehow, being English, we just can't get excited by rain!

Photos

Below are some photos taken by Tim, one of our FYP volunteers, we hope you like them. The explanation with each photo is probably enough but we'll just fill in a little detail here.

Ouma Sophie is a relative newcomer to CNP but has made quite a mark on the community and on us. She lives in an appalling shack and pays rent for the dubious pleasure! Sophie is in an unhealthy relationship with a man half her age who is regularly getting drunk (at Sophie's expense) and is also known to be sexually active with other women, putting Sophie at huge risk. Please pray that she would be strong enough to do the right thing with regard to this relationship.

Ouma Sophie's Shack

Ouma Sophie's shack in CNP. We wouldn't let a dog live like this, but the sad reality for many in South Africa is that this is all they can afford.
Helderberg Mountain reflected in the pond in Helderberg Nature Reserve. Paula & Joel are barely visible standing on the decking near the middle of the picture.

Joel Chasing Bok

Joel chasing some Bok in the Helderberg Nature Reserve this afternoon. We had a lovely afternoon enjoying a break in the rain for a day.

Running Around

Joel running around in Helderberg Nature Reserve on Sunday afternoon.

Tyrone

Tyrone has been offered an appointment by an eye Dr (one of the best in the country) in our church in 2 months time. This is a real answer to prayer and will be a real blessing for Tyrone and his family.

Living With AIDS

Paula had an excellent morning in Chris Nissen on Friday. It was pouring with rain but she really wanted to go and visit some of the women. At last, after over 2 weeks of not seeing Dina, she found her curled up in bed recovering from a very nasty bout of gastric flu! Dina was so pleased to see her and they had a good chat. Many bridges were built and it was so good to hear from her why she has been so upset lately. It is amazing how easily an action or words can be misconstrued and misinterpreted so as to cause offense. Paula was also able to advise her about her diet, the drugs she was trying to take and her busy lifestyle. They prayed together and then Paula set about trying to catch up on Dina's busy 'visiting and caring' schedule that she had had to drop during her illness (typical Dina! always thinking of others).

Very Wet!

Dean had a good afternoon in CNP although it was cut short by the weather. The rain is here with a vengeance today and the cloud is so low that we can't see the mountains. As we've said previously, as English folk we really can't get excited about the rain even though we desperately need it.

Men's Bible Study

We had an excellent bible study this morning, looking at baptism (see the material below). Unfortunately we were not able to use the container as there was some building work on the go but we managed to cram into Michael's house. as it turned out we had all been baptised as consenting believers which is excellent.

Quick Update

The last few weeks have been a bit of a strange time. CNP has been a bit of a frustration for Dean, particularly as Dina is not making herself available, we've not seen her for 3 weeks now. Dean has rung the ANC office but received no reply. Please pray for Dina as we know she was upset about the funeral arrangements for Michael's daughter and we think that her absence is related to this.