Joel On The Farm

Paula and Joel went to the farm in Weald with Joel's Godparents, Richard & Sal (Richard's family have been farmers for many years in the village) to see the animals and have a ride in a real tractor. Joel is just a little bit obsessed with tractors and 'scoops'. As well as riding the tractor and seeing the animals, Joel also watched the cows being milked which was very exciting for him.

Thank you so much Richard, Sal, Josh & Issac for taking Joel to the farm and for lending Joel so many toys whilst he's in the UK. You are such STARS!

Hope you all enjoy the photos below:

Joel can't believe his luck seeing cows so close.

Wow! Cows!

Joel shifting grain under the watchful eye of Sal
Soon have this grain shifted

Smile for the camera - Joel can't take his eyes of the tractor! Joel is with Sal, Isaac & Frederick, Sal's father in law.
Cor', look at that tractor!

Wow! I'm sat inside a real tractor! Joel's face is priceless. That's Richard hiding in the middle.
Wow! I'm sat in a real tractor!

14 Days To Go...

Paula & Joel have been gone for a week now and I'm counting the days until their return. I know I shouldn't wish time away, but I'm really missing them!!!

Contrary to popular conception, there is no pile of washing up to be done, I haven't run out of mugs or teaspoons and I've only had one Pizza since being on my own! I am house trained and quite nifty in the domestic department when I put my mind to it, since I've been on my own the washing has all been done and there is only a small pile of ironing awaiting my attention. There's not much chance of me losing weight either as I seem to be cooking for two and then spreading the meal over 2 days - which is good.

The week has been a bit odd to say the least and it's not an experience we would rush to repeat. Prior to this year we had never been apart for more than one day in 14 years of marriage , then in July I had a week in Pretoria (which was long, tiring & lonely) and now we're apart for 3 weeks!

Life in CNP over the last week or so has been quite testing, primarily due to the fact that Donovan was arrested for an alleged assault on the son of another church member. This caused all kinds of fallings out and gossip took a major hold on our church members. Donovan was eventually bailed and is now back home, he is due in court again on the 30 Sept. Apparently one of the charges against him has been dropped and to be honest the victim of the second alleged assault is a very unreliable witness, so quite what will happen is anyone's guess. Yesterday I managed to have a good long talk with Dina and she had calmed down by the end of our talk and we prayed together. Dina also agreed that she would attempt to build some bridges with friends in CNP, so please pray for her, pray for strength and grace.

There has also been an incident (not unrelated to the assaults but nothing to do with Donovan!) involving a stolen gun which was then hidden in CNP. Thankfully the police were able to recover the gun before it was put to any kind of use.

Tonight (Tuesday) I have my first invite out so I'm off to see Felicity and Richard, Paula met Felicity through her Thursday afternoon get together with other mums, apparently Richard is also into mountain biking so hopefully I'll have someone else to ride with. If he's up for it I'd like to go to Delvera in Stellenbosch on Saturday so we'll see. I'm also hoping that I might get a chance to go to Sir Lowry's Pass again tomorrow (that's where I got soaked last week!) as it was a great trail to cycle round with a brilliant long & fast downhill stretch.


Paula and I chatted on the internet last night (we've been using voice conferencing for almost 5 years, well before Skype) and Paula was telling me about a diaster involving Joel, a tube of toothpaste and Granddad's carpet, Oh Dear! Unfortunately this was followed up a bit later with poo - nice. It would appear from Joel's behaviour that he's missing Dad and dad is certainly missing Paula & Joel!!!

After our conversation last night I could hear an owl in the back garden, so armed with the camera I managed to get a fairly decent photo (bear in mind it was pitch black and the owl was on the neigbour's roof some distance away). I've enhanced it a bit in Photoshop.

This a Spotted Eagle Owl and is a fairly regular visitor to our garden. At the back of our neighbour's house is the Lourensford river with a farm on the other side of that, so we do get some nice birds coming over.
Spotted Eagle Owl

Nature Reserve

That wasn't the best weekend I've ever had, particularly being on my own for Sunday lunch, never mind. In the afternoon I went to the Nature Reserve armed with my camera and went on one of the longer walks (don't normally get a chance with Joel), the weather was stunning (very cold overnight) with cloudless skies and I took some lovely piccys, I hope you enjoy the ones below.

We've posted a photo of the Cape Sugarbird before, but this shot is particularly nice as it shows the bird on top of South Africa's national flower, the Protea.

Sugarbird on Protea

The Common Fiscal Shrike is actually quite a shy bird and it's quite unusual to get a good shot of one.
This Shrike is quite shy

This is a Leopard Tortoise and is significantly smaller than the ones Joel normally gets to see in the Reserve. This one was ambling along and stopped to look at me!
Joel's favourite

I have no idea what this flower is but it's very beautiful!

Again, no idea of the name of the flower but the colours in this shot are really nice.
Just like the colours in this composition


Palace's 5th game of the season and we beat Stoke 2-0 with AJ scoring both goals. The game was good and the reviews are positive. The good news is that Clinton Morrison has resigned for Palace after a few seasons with Birmingham and he set up AJ's second goal.

Click below for:

Match Report

Midweek we beat Walsall 3-0 in the unecesary distraction that is the Carling Cup and last Saturday we beat Plymouth 1-0, so results are going our way at last.

Next league match: Palace V Hull

The 2nd round of the Carling Cup has been announced and Palace will play Coventry at home to be played on 19th, 20th or 21st September.

Mixed Day

Dean has had a mixed day which started with a trip to the magistrates court to support Dina as Donovan appeared on two charges of assault. Unfortunately Dina was very angry and was complaining about ho so many people in CNP (especially our church members) were gossiping about her, however Dina proceeded to do exactly the same to the crowd of Rastas who were also there to support Donovan. Dina is so angry at the moment that she can't listen to reason, please pray for her as she said she is going to give up on church. This would be really sad and a real backward step in her life.

Paula and Joel arrived safely despite Joel having a very difficult plane ride (he screamed for over an hour and eventually collapsed exhausted at 11.30, sleeping through to 5.30am) which wasn't great for Paula or Susannah. Thankfully Joel had a good lunchtime sleep, so he should be back to his normal self soon.

This afternoon Dean went mountain biking with Jonathon (a friend from church) up the Grabouw mountains, the weather was fine as they set off up the tracks but then rode into the cloud and got absolutely soaked, the last time Dean was that wet he was in a swimming pool! This evening Dean made it to our cell group (we've not managed to get there for the last 6 weeks!) and had a really good time studying Ephesians.

The house feels very strange without Paula & Joel!

Billy No Mates

Paula was really fed up yesterday as Dina failed to make herself available despite the fact that she had agreed to meet Paula.  Dean will try and catch up with Dina during the week.  Please pray for Dina as she's really struggling with the situation at the moment and as a fairly young Christian she needs a lot of help in dealing with her emotions and how she handles other people.  Pray too that Dean will catch up with Dina at some point this week.
Well, Dean will be 'billy-no-mates' for almost 3 weeks as Paula & Joel are flying to the UK tonight with Susannah to have a short break with family.  We're really hoping Joel will cope with the change as well as not having his Daddy around.  We're very privileged as Dean gets to be around more than most Dads during the week and Joel clearly thrives on this, so things will be a bit different for him.  It will also be great for Joel to spend time with his cousins, aunts, uncles and Granddad.  Paula & Joel will also be meeting up with a few friends (if you want to see Paula & Joel you'll have to travel to her Dads as she won't have transport).
We've really enjoyed having Susannah for just over a week, we've always had a good relationship with her and it's amazing to see how she's changed and grown over the years - she was just 3 months old when we got married.
Hopefully Paula will be taking plenty of photographs while she's in Blighty and we'll post some here on the blog.
In the meantime we hope you enjoy the photo below of the Jasmine right outside our front door, it really is blooming marvellous at present.

Jasmine in bloom


As we said in our post on Tuesday 16th 'Interesting Afternoon', Dina's husband, Donovan has been arrested for allegedly assaulting two young men in CNP.  Unfortunately, one of the alleged victims is the son of another church member; Aletta, who until this incident was good friends with Dina.  Sadly, things are very tense between them now with Dina refusing to speak to Aletta.  We really need you to join with us in prayer over this situation.  We want to see Dina & Aletta maintain their friendship and to be able to support each other through this messy situation.  At the end of the day the problem is between Donovan and Jerome and as grown men they need to deal with the situation and take responsibility for their own actions.  Dean has arranged for Dina's discipler to meet with both Dina & Aletta hopefully this afternoon.  Please pray for wisdom and grace as we attempt to broker some sort of peace and help these two ladies get their friendship back on track.  Needless to say this is also having an impact upon our whole input into CNP and with our other church members from the community.
Donovan has been transferred out of the police cells into Pollsmoor prison in Cape Town on remand.  This prison is notoriously overcrowded and a very dangerous place for the most hardened criminal, please pray for safety and protection for donovan whilst he's there.  Apparently he is due in the magistrates court on Wednesday so hopefully he will be granted bail at that time.  This is another travesty of the poverty the folk in CNP suffer.  Because Donovan cannot afford legal representation he has no-one to arrange bail for him so he has to be remanded, which is really bad news for him. 

Table Mountain

We finally made it up Table Mountain on Sunday afternoon, we were on our way to Stellenbosch when we saw the the mountain was clear of cloud even though the weather was wet and cold. A quick detour home to get some waterproofs and we shot into Cape Town and up the mountain. There were very few people around which was great as it can get quite crowded on the top. Afterwards we decamped to the Mount Nelson for Hihg Tea which was very civlillised, although Joel isn't quite ready for such activities!

Paula & Susannah on top of Table Mountain overlooking the Lion's Head peak to the Right.

Paula & Susannah overlooking Lion's Head

Paula & Joel enjoying the view towards the Twelve Apostles, the weather was quite gross!

Joel & Mum enjoying the view but not the rain

Joel running around on top of Table Mountain.

Joel running around on Table Mountain

Joel and 'sannah sharing a bowl of chips in the cafe at the top of Table Mountain. Joel and Susannah are getting on brilliantly which should be a real help to Paula as they travel back to the UK on Tuesday evening.

Joel & 'sannah' sharing chips on Table Mountain

A solitary sunbird in the rain on Table Mountain.

Sunbird missing the sun on Table Mountain

Table Mountain

Paula & Joel in the cable car on our way up Table Mountain.

Joel & Paula on the way up Table Mountain

Looking down as we pass the other 'car' on our way up.

Passing the other car on the way up

Looking up at the cable car stop on the top of Table Mountain.

Looking up to the top

Cape Town

On Friday we arranged for Joel to be looked after and headed of to Cape Town. Unfortunately the cloud was hanging around Table Mountain so we weren't able to go up, but we managed to have some fun before heading off over Chapman's Peak to Simon's Town to see the penguins at Boulders Beach.

The photo below shows Paula & Susannah in front of Table Mountain. As you can see the 'tablecloth' is obscurring the top of the mountain.

Standing in front of Table Mountain

Below is a photo of Dean & Susannah stood on the Chapman's Peak drive overlooking Hout Bay. This is a truly stunning drive and the views are spectacular!

Dean & Susannah standing over Hout Bay, seen from Chapman's Peak drive

Paula & Susannah at Boulders Beach in Simon's Town with the penguins. The penguins are a real success story of nature overcoming man. The penguins arrived on this beach 15 years ago and have grown in numbers to around 4000 today. The main beach is now given over exclusively to the penguins!

Susannah & Paula at Boulders Beach with the penguins


A delayed second part of the 'Cape Agulhas' post:

On our way home from Cape Agulhas we dorve along the coast road to Hermanus in the hope of seeing some whales. There were a few in the bay but due to the grim weather they were quite a way out and certainly not performing for us. Never mind, we continued on the coast road and as we got to Gordon's Bay we saw several whales enjoying themselves and they were very close to the shore. As you can see from the photos below, we had a great view of the whales.

A whale 'sailing'.

Whale sailing close to shore @ Gordon's Bay

This photo shows a whale 'spyhopping' which is when they poke their head out of the water without actually breaching

Whale 'spyhopping'

In the photo below you can clearly see three whales swimming together with the one on the left 'blowing'.

3 whales swimming at Gordon's Bay

Paula and Joel whale watching at Hermanus, unfortunately the whales were quite a way out as the weather was awful and the swell on the sea was around 5 metres.

Paula & Joel whale watching in Hermanus without much success

Susannah, Joel and Paula walking at the Southermost tip of Africa in Cape Agulhas.

Susannah, Joel & Paula at Cape Agulhas

Cape Agulhas

We've just been to Cape Agulhas and then Hermanus with Susannah. When we arrived at Cape Agulhas the weather was truly appaling and the guy we got to take the photo of us nearly got blown off his feet, hence the lack of focus in the picture!

Windswept at Cape Agulhas

The photo below shows us a little less wind and rain swept at the Southernmost point of the African continent.

Windy but not wet at Cape Agulhas

The next two photos below show the lighthouse at Cape Agulhas in day and night.

Cape Agulhas lighthouse in daytime

Cape Agulhas lighthouse at nightime

Below is the remains of a Taiwanese trawler which was shipwrecked a few years ago at Cape Agulhas. When we first saw this wreck 4 years ago it was still intact which gives you an idea of the ferocity of the sea.

Shipwreck off Cape Agulhas

Interesting Afternoon

Dean had one of his more interesting afternoons in CNP today. Initially he took Tyrone and his mother to Hottentots Holland hospital and then returned to CNP for a meeting with the Social Worker from ACVV the Afrikaans Christian social service. Whilst Dean & Dina waited for the social worker Dina received news that her husband Donovan had been arrested. As the social worker was late we decided to go to the police station but passed the social worker on the way so had the meeting. This was a constructive session and although Dina has some issues with the social worker, she calmed down towards the end of the meeting and hopefully we can start working together a bit more. Immediately after the meeting Dean & Dina shot off to the police station. Thankfully, the duty sergeant was a church member so we were well looked after and allowed to go through to the cells. Donovan was OK but angry at being detained, allegedly he assaulted Jerome (see post: 28 June - Free At Last) in CNP causing GBH. Unfortunately, the complainant is not making himself available to the police and this is causing problems for Donovan. Straight after the police station Dean then went to the hospital to collect Tyrone and his mum. Unfortunately, the procedure wasn't going to happen today but has been scheduled for the beginning of January next year. Please pray that this happens!

Paula and Susannah took Joel to KidZoo this afternoon and had fun as he chased around. Tomorrow we're off to Cape Agulhas for the night and will drive home via Hermanus in the hope of seeing some more whales. Hopefully we'll have some great photos to post on the Blog.


Susannah went into Chris Nissen yesterday afternoon with Dean but unfortunately the weather was gross so they couldn't stay for very long. Susannah met Henna, mama Jane and Rosie who are members of Paula's cell and then had a brief guided tour of the community before being accosted by the kids to push them on the roundabout (see photo below). In the evening we went to Lorna's for an Indian which was very nice!

Today Dean will be taking Tyrone to the hospital at 13.30 for his corrective eye surgery, please pray that all goes well and that his eyes are restored 100%

How fast can you go? .. never fast enough for these kids!
Shot using Nikon Coolpix S2

Susannah Arrived

A scarey family likeness

As you can see from the photo above, Susannah has arrived safe & sound, we appreciate your prayers in getting her through, it sounds like Heathrow was still in chaos as she left. Sadly the weather has been horrific sinse Susannah's arrival and the forecast is not looking too good for the rest of the week. We're really hoping for good weather on Wed and Thur as we're travelling to Cape Agulhas (the Southern most point of Africa) and the driving back through Hermanus in the hope of seeing some more whales (see post: Whale Watching below).

On Sunday afternoon we went for a walk in the
Nature Reserve but couldn't stay for long due to the weather. however Dean did get this shot of a Guinea Fowl which shows just how horrible these birds really are. Dean actually loathes these birds with a passion as our landlord in Harare used to breed them and they would invariably find their way to our bedroom window and start with their racket at unearthly times of day for which Dean would happily shoot all Guinea Fowl!

Disgusting creature

A Point!

Palace's third game of the season and we get our first point against Norwich drawing 1-1. The stats from the game show that Palace were the better team and should have won, so hopefully we'll start gaining points soon.

Dean is a bit happier about this result.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comment

Next match: Sat 20th Aug Plymouth at home.

Joel Drumming

Well the good news is that Susannah is due to fly out tonight so we'll pick her up from the airport in the morning. We can't wait to see her as we've got quite an itinerary lined up including going back to Hermanus to see more whales!

As you can see from the whale photos we've had a great day. Over lunch we wandered around the craft market in Hermanus and Joel had a drum with some of the guys there. Joel enjoyed this and the guys were really accommodating!

Joel jamming with the men

Whale Watching

We drove out to Hermanus this morning as the weather was so bad (it's been raining for days!) thinking we'd just have a nice drive, but as you can see from the photos below we were blessed with an amazing morning! Joel was so excited to see the whales and exclaimed: "I can see it, whale" on several ocassions. These whales are all 'Southern Right Whales' so called as they were regarded as the 'right' whale to catch back in the bad days of whaling.

The photos show the following:
1) Two whales swimming together, probably getting ready to mate.

Two whales swimming together

2) Whale breaching in the distance, in the foreground (bottom left) you can see another whale.

Breach in the distance

3) Sailing; this is the description given for when whlaes stick their tale out of the water. There is another whale just visible in the centre of the picture.

Sailing, this looks like fun

4) Whale breach, we were given such a treat when this whale breached right in front of us as we stood in the car park.

Whale breaching

5) Splashdown, this was the splash as the whale crashed back into the water, very impressive!


Strike Chaos

We're quite gutted this morning as our oldest Niece (Susannah) should have arrived for a ten day stay before returning home with Paula, but due to the catering strike at Heathrow, her flight has been cancelled and we're not sure whether or not she'll make it. Please pray that Susannah can get a flight either tonight or tomorrow (Saturday). We'd love to see her and we're sure she'll be really upset if she can't come.

Clinic Visit

Mary & Basil

Dean took Basil to Ikhwezi clinic in Nomzamo yesterday morning as Basil has been in a lot of pain for the last few weeks with some large growths on his chest and back. Basil was diagnosed as being asthmatic, suspected diabetic(he has to go back in a month for further checks) and as for the lumps Dean couldn't really ascertain what they were!

Dean & Basil arrived at the clinic at 7.30am and Basil eventually returned home at 2pm! When they arrived there was already a queue of over 100 people, so it really is no surprise that the folk from CNP don't want to go to this clinic and would rather travel into Somerset West.

Mary & Basil are a well respected couple in the community with Basil being the chairman of the community 'Buurwacht" or neighbourhood watch.

August Prayer News

Our August prayer news is now available and can be found here on the Crosslinks website.

Whilst there, why don't you have a look around the Crosslinks web pages? You can find information on their mission opportunities (such as SMILE) and other ways to get involved as well as find out who the Crosslinks mission partners are and where they are.

We hope you find it useful.

Letter to the editor

The following is an extract from a letter in the current 'Weekly Telegraph' and to a certain extent sums up all that is wrong with contemporary Christianity and the church:

"SIR - I am a white, British moderate Christian who never goes to church. ..." (The Weekly Telegraph Issue No. 732)

We find it amazing that any true Christian can believe that the church is not for them and has no part in their lives. The church is the 'bride of Christ' and the church is what Christ died for. Paul in his letters continually encourages the church and builds her up because he has fully grasped and understands Christ's relationship with the church.

Maybe the word 'moderate' should have said 'nominal'. Within the 'Emegent Church' it would not be unusual to find such comments as this one in the Telegraph but to read this from someone who demographically is likely to be at least middle aged is quite worrying, no wonder the established church is shrinking! Also, this letter was written in response to the 'YouGov' poll of Muslims living in the UK. Any Muslim worth his salt would read such a comment and fall about laughing at the 'Christian's' lack of any clear theology his appalling spirituality and misunderstanding of his faith. Revelation 3:15-16 is quite clear; :"I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm--neither hot nor cold--I am about to spit you out of my mouth." (NIV).

As Christians we are secure in the knowledge that Jesus is "...the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Some claim this to be an arrogant statement by Christians, we believe it to simply be the word of God and as such worth believing. Christ has won the victory, and as part of his church we can enjoy the pending wedding feast without the need for forcibly advancing the gospel, but rather by living faithful and obedient lives to God's word. As Christians, our goal is not to get into heaven (that's been secured by our confession of sin and acceptance of Jesus Christ as our Lord) but rather it is to glorify God's name! If only the letter writer to the Telegraph would devote his efforts to glorifying God's name the church would surely be a stronger place.

NB. The YouGov poll is worth a read as some of the results are quite shocking.

Oh Dear!

Palace's second game of the season and we go and lose 2-1 to Wolves. The season really hasn't started well and even AJ didn't get to score, however, our new signing Jobi McAnuff did. Once again there were some positives but we need to start converting the chances into actual goals.

Neeless to say, Dean is gutted again - it could be a long season!

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comment

Next match: Saturday 13th Aug, Norwich away, KO 3pm


Today is Women's Day so we're enjoying a public holiday (SA has several more 'Bank Holidays than the UK does!) and the weather has even brightened up a little, with the rain stopping and the wind easing up. It's been great to have an extra day together and Joel has really enjoyd the extra attention. This afternoon we went to the Nature Reserve and met up briefly with some friends, Joel enjoyed playing with Sean.

Paula went in to CNP tonight where a group of 11 ladies had come together to celebrate Women's Day. Two of them had brought a wonderful curry and we really enjoyed that together with the fellowship, all in Dina's house. They had then asked Paula to repeat some teaching she had given at her cell group on the gifts of the Holy Spirit - how about that for a ladies' social!! It went down very well and she could see that many of the women were so hungry for this kind of knowledge. Lots to build on for the future. It was also really encouraging for Paula to see Anna there. She has been praying for her on Fridays for the past 6 weeks now and she has really been very weak. She has apparently become a Christian and wants to come to her cell group! Please pray for her continuing good health and that Paula would be able to find more practical help to be able to help Anna and others like her to get the right food to eat healthily everyday.

As you can see in the picture below, we gave Joel a 'bubble machine' which he was given by David & Jacqueline whilst they were with us. Once he'd got the hang of it he had a lot of fun making bubbles.

I'm forever blowing bubbles .. no I'm not a Hammers fan!

Zapiro Cartoon


Ordinarily we tend to avoid politics in this Blog, but we thought this cartoon by Zapiro was quite poignant with regard to the current situation in Zimbabwe and the fact that Mugabe has approached SA for a loan. The cartoon is a spoof of a series of posters in SA published by the local tax office.

League Kicks Off

Palace's first home game on the opening day of the Football League season for many years and we go and lose 2-1 to Luton. The only bright spot of the afternoon being the fact that AJ scored for the Eagles.

Needless to say, Dean was gutted!

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comment

Next match: Tuesday 9th Aug, Wolves away, KO 19.45

Thursday Mornings

We both run small groups on Thursday mornings and have done for a little while now. Dean leads a men's Bible Study group in Chris Nissen Park between 10.30 and 12pm whilst Paula leads a Cell Group at the church building which is intentionally cross cultural, attracting some whites and 6 ladies from CNP.

Dean had a really good Bible study in Chris Nissen this morning. Once again 5 men attended and it's looking like they're going to be a regular committed core from which we can build. Michael and Cyril remain the bedrock of the group and James is regularly coming now. Our newcomers are Alfred and Peter both of whom are really keen on coming, so Praise God for the growth in the group! Dean is particularly pleased as the group has become cross cultural drawing from Cape Coloured, Zulu & European cultures, this is an unexpected but very welcome change in the group dynamics.

Before the study, Dean spoke to a key player in the Parks & Recreational Department of the Helderberg municipality about the nonsense with the container (which is supposed to be a community centre) and the fact that we can no longer meet in there as we are denied access to the key (as are the Police who want to run a Karate club in the container). We had three excellent meetings in the container before being told we could no longer use it (see post: May 13). This call resulted in one of the local councillors ringing Dean and assuring him that the situation will be resolved ASAP. So hopefully we'll be back in the container before too long. Please pray for this as our meeting in Michael's house is really impractical! and the container is a great venue which would also allow us to grow as a group.

Paula also had an excellent group today looking at the gifts of the Holy Spirit - what they are for and how to grow in our measure of them. Next week is a practical - how do we know what our gifts are session. Paula realised one of her dreams/prayers today as she was able to give a modern translation Afrikaans Bible to all the CNP ladies. They were naturally absolutely delighted. Please pray that they will really use them and that those who can't read will take them to people who can to be able to read to them. Paula was also encouraged as Dina has asked her to use the material on spiritual gifts next Tuesday night when she goes in to meet informally with several women. It will be Womens Day (a Bank Holiday) and 20 women have been invited!!

Good & Bad

Dean had an excellent afternoon on Chris Nissen although he encountered both good and bad news. Firstly, Michael told Dean that the police had arrested three men for the rape and murder of his daughter Michelle (see post: May 17). This has really encouraged Michael and he's now looking forward to going to court to see the trial.

On a sad note, we learnt that Christine's death was totally avoidable as it wasn't her HIV that killed her. Christine had been a self-injecting Insulin user for about 15 years and on Saturday she fell into a hypoglycemic coma which then killed her. Once again in CNP we see such simple illnesses wreaking havoc unnecessarily. With just a little education we could see more lives being saved.

Dean is going to meet up with one of the Dr's involved in the ARV clinic at Hottentots Holland Hospital this week with a view to formalising some kind of referral process to enable folk from CNP to access these drugs. Please pray for this, as it really is such an important area! We have so many folk dying in the community and others who are expecting to die but could easily live for another 15 years or so.

Dean was also able to deliver a few blankets which Dina had sourced, so that really cheered up a few of the men. The weather has turned cold again and so the CNP folk are suffering.


Dina rang Dean yesterday morning in tears to tell us that her good friend Christine had died. We knew Christine reasonably well and had visited her a number of times in hospital. Christine was very open about her HIV status and was a great role model to others in CNP, she was also a lovely lady with a heart of compassion for others in CNP. When Dean first met Christine, she was looking after a man called Michael aka. Rasta, who was in the latter stages of AIDS and died shortly afterwards (see post: Oct 7th) . We rejoice however, as she was born again and was a strong Christian. Sadly she leaves four orphans behind, the youngest being 10, Christine's husband died around the time that the youngest was born, so she had a lot to deal with in life, and at only 38 she was doing well.

Once again this death is hitting the community hard, especially as there are now orphans involved. Please pray for the children and also for the extended family as they come to terms with Christine's death. Also, the funeral is likely to be in Siskei so no-one from the community will be able to attend (other than family).

Below is the only photograph we have of Christine and shows her talking with Dina last summer.

Christine & Dina, best of friends

Ronco's Visit

We've had a lovely week with David & Jacqueline Ronco and thought we'd post some photographs of our last day together on Sunday. We went to the Helderberg Nature Reserve after lunch and had a lovely afternoon with Joel watching the wildlife and enjoying the scenery. This morning they left to go to Mossell Bay where they will spend a week before returning to Cape Town to fly home. We've enjoyed their company and Joel has had a ball playing with david & Jacqueline!

The photos show the following in order: (There is a second lot of photos below this posting)
1 & 2. David and Joel playing on the swing. This is one of Joel's favoutite pastimes and anyone willing to give him so much time doing this will always be a legend!
3. About to have lunch in the garden. The weather has been incredibly warm this week and Sunday was really delightful as we were able to eat out in the garden. We wouldn't normally expect to do this until the end of August.
4. Joel walking with Jacqueline in the Helderberg Nature Reserve. We had a great afternoon in the reserve and saw a tortoise, a turtle in the lake and lots of birds such as the Cape Sugarbird in the last picture.
5. A male Cape Sugarbird sat on some Proteas, South Africa's national flower.

Joel and David playing on the swingJoel enjoying himself
Lunch in the garden, what a treat in winter!Walking in the Nature Reserve

Cape Sugarbird - male