Palace Result

Palace stretched their unbeaten run in the league to seven games with a well earned point at the Stadium of Light. A solid defensive display was the backbone to the good result, with Gabor Kiraly, Mark Hudson and Carl Fletcher standing out. Sunderland had the better of the first half in terms of possession but it was Palace who had the best opportunity to open the scoring. Stuart Green played a neat one-two with Shefki Kuqi and the winger's shot was tipped over by Ward. The second half saw Palace come in to the game further and looked a more dangerous outfit as the half progressed. But neither team could break the deadlock and had to settle for a point.

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Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 3rd Feb home to Ipswich

Emyezweni Pre-School

One of the joys of my work is that I get to spend time with a wide variety of people in a wide variety of contexts. One of the best contexts is Emyezweni Pre-School which is run by Debs & Rach as part of HCC's outreach into Lwandle. This morning I took my laptop and projector and played Cars for the kids. Needless to say the film was a huge hit.

The boy in the foreground in the check shirt was riveted

All the kids seemed to enjoy the film

That was a mornings work for me!

Paddling Pool

We had a fairly lazy weekend and spent quite a bit of time around the paddling pool particularly on Sunday. The weather was great with the temperature in the high 20's rather than low 30's so it was quite comfortable. On Saturday we went to the Nature Reserve (sadly the camera battery died) and had a lovely morning feeding the ducks and trying to coax Spikey the porcupine out of his house, with no success.

Joel had a great first full week at the International School Nursery and we can see him changing already. It's still quite odd getting him dressed in his uniform in the mornings, but we can see him developing so positively and enjoying the school. We're also very blessed as he's in a class of 10 with two members of staff so he never really has to compete for attention. Wow! what a blessing for us.

Joel through the fence

Eli finishing his milk

Joel gets faster and faster on his bike

Eli contemplating the paddling pool

Soon getting the hang of it

Joel getting serious in the pool

A relaxing moment

Don't sit too close

Cluster Maps

We've just added the 'Cluster Map' feature lower down on the blog (just above the hit counter) for a bit of fun. We were impressed with the results within the first 24 hours of the map being on the Blog. As you can see from the dots we attracted a fairly broad array of worldwide hits. We figure the dot in Argentina is our dear friends Hazel & Martin but beyond that we can only wonder at the global reach of a simple tool like this Blog. Enjoy!

Hadeda Ibis

The Hadeda Ibis (Bostrychia hagedash) is a regular over our house and can usually be heard long before they're seen as they make a right racket. However, they are spectacular birds and it's a real privilege to have one stop on your house like this.

To see more visit our PhotoBlog

Ibis on the roof

Just taken off

In flight

Home based care

We are constantly amazed by God's goodness and faithfulness regarding Chris Nissen Park.  Just when things are getting difficult again in many respects, God sends along a little angel and we can start to dream and plan again for the future!  As you know Paula has been dreaming of officially launching a small home based care team this year.  Around 20 women from the community have received some training and Paula has done quite a bit of work drawing up requirements, budgets, characteristics of carers etc.  However, apart from so far lacking any sort of finance to be able to start the scheme, she also felt quite out of her depth in terms of the more medical side of home based care.  In December a woman from our church approached her out of the blue eager to know more about the programme and pledging her help.  She came to see Paula again 2 weeks ago and was in time to attend a very important planning meeting. It turns out that she is a nursing sister, who currently only works 1 day a week - WOW!!  Paula immediately took her to visit some of the folk we will start caring for first and she was wonderful in terms of her manner, her advice and her knowledge.  Praise God.  Please pray for Paula and Irma on Wednesday morning when they have a meeting in the main tent at CNP to share the vision again and to decide who should be our official first home based carers.  We have already identified our first 'patients'.  Please also pray that the proposal Paula has submitted to our church for regular financial support will be positive.  We don't want to start anything too seriously without the promise of bucks and yet the need is too huge to not do anything now.


Palace Result

Crystal Palace's FA Cup dream ended in depressing fashion in front of only 8,442 spectators. Once Preston had taken the lead with a fine individual strike by Nugent, the Eagles never looked like they would get back in the game. Peter Taylor brought on Shefki Kuqi and Dougie Freedman in the bid in inject more life up front, but it didn't pay off. Substitute Simon Whaley put the game beyond Palace when he slotted home a corner after Scott Flinders failed to claim what looked to be a straight forward cross. Taylor will hope Palace get this result out of their system fast as he prepares to take on Sunderland on Tuesday.

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Report & Comment

Next fixture: Tue 30th away to Sunderland

Chris Nissen Update

We're currently melting in the heat, today the temp is supposed to drop to 27°C so that will be a welcome break from the high 30's we've been enjoying. On Wednesday Dean was in Jonkershoek where the temp' was 41° at 9 in the morning! Hopefully this evening it will be a bit cooler as Dean goes mountain biking with a friend. Dean's riding three times a week at present which is great.

Things are a bit mixed for us in Chris Nissen at present, the new year kicked off with Sandra (one of the community leaders) being very abusive towards Dean, this has caused a few problems in the community as people side with Sandra or not. Oh dear! This all sprang out of the food hampers we distributed at Christmas.

Dean's bible study is going really well, yesterday was one of our better studies in a while and at the end we were discussing the Gospel of Judas and the DaVinci Code. Wow! Not topics I would have thought the group were particularly interested in. We're currently working our way through Daniel and we're planning to do Acts next. We had a new member yesterday which was great, his name is Scottie (he's James' older brother) and he's wanting to turn his life around this year.

Home visiting in CNP continues to be a highlight of our work although it is also the most taxing part of what we do. Dean's been visiting Ben quite a bit lately as he was knocked down just after Christmas and whilst he has no broken bones, he is in a lot of pain. The new year is a difficult time for the poor in South Africa as the new school year begins and parents / carers have to buy new uniforms, books, resources and pay school fees. Needless to say a lot of folk in CNP really struggle to make ends meet. One family Dean visited are having a particularly hard time as both carers are on disability grants with a combined monthly income of R1500 (£110 at todays exchange rate). They have two kids of their own but are also looking after a little boy (Jonathon) who's mother died last year and dad is in prison. Sadly they're keeping the child off school because they simply can't afford to send him. We're looking at a few options for helping them but things aren't looking too hopeful. That is one of the harsh realities of life for the poor in South Africa.

Things to pray for:
Pray against the gossip and jealousy which rip the community to shreds. Pray especially for Sandra as she is one of the key protagonists in this.
Pray for Dina that she would mature in her faith and wisdom and know when not to get involved.
Dean's bible study group. For growth spiritually amongst the members and for numerical growth.
For Scottie as he seeks to beat his alcohol addiction and get on with his life.
Healing for Ben, he's in a lot of pain and can't work. No work = no money = no food.
Miraculous provision of school fees , uniform, resources etc to enable Jonathon to go to school.

We'll post answers to prayers as and when they happen!

Comet McNaught

C/2006 P1 (McNaught) has been hanging around over South Africa for several days and will probably be around for a little while longer. Sadly the weather was cloudy for the best part of the comet's time with us so we've only just been able to see it and get any decent photos, hence the not brilliant photo here! What a pleasure to see something in the cosmos so clearly.

Palace Result

For the second time this season Palace have been frustrated by Hull City, after Ian Ashbee's header denied Palace all three points at Selhurst Park. After a goalless first half the game came to life when Carl Fletcher's fierce drive found the top corner of the net. Palace had chances to increase their lead but could not beat their keeper. Taylor switched to 4-5-1 to become more solid at the back, but Hull equalised minutes later through Ashbee's header. At least the point keeps Palace's unbeaten run going but it was certainly a case of two points dropped for the Eagles. Text from EagleEye Live

Match Report

Manager's Comments

Next fixture: to Preston in the FA Cup 4th round

Family Fun

We've had some fun this weekend just chilling with friends and at home. On Sat' we went to some friends around the corner for a lamb 'poitjie' which was delicious. The afternoon was very chilled and the kids played brilliantly. Today we've been hanging out having a braai (bbq) and messing about. The kids have had fun whilst we've melted in the heat, it's well over 30°C today and is supposed to remain hot for the rest of the week. Summer seems to have taken an age to arrive properly but it's arrived with a vengeance.

Joel playing with his pirate ship

Pretending to review the photos on his camera

Mr Mischief, 13 months today!

Getting the hang of his car

Water play is always good fun

First Day at School

Our little boy is growing up! This morning he had to put his uniform on for the first time as he got ready to go to the Nursery at the International School. Needless to say we got lumps in our throats as we saw our little boy suddenly looking all grown up. Joel was really excited about going and he was really good when we left him. We can't wait to go and get him at lunchtime!

Family Fun Day

We decided to have a fun family day out on Wednesday before Joel starts nursery on Thursday, so we went to Pringle Bay just around the coast from where we are. The beach is beautiful and deserted and affords great views over the Cape Peninsula and Table Mountain. We had so much fun, Eli loves to eat the sand whilst Joel wants to explore the rock pools. This time he discovered a lobster which was being eaten by the crabs. Joel was delighted to find that the lobster had been decapitated so put it in his net an took it to show Mummy (Eli tried to eat it!). We had a real treat just after lunchtime when a group of dolphins came close to the beach. they hung around for a few minutes and then disappeared. Joel couldn't believe his luck!

In the early afternoon we decided to drive on a few K's to the next bay to see the penguins at Stony Point. Joel always enjoys seeing the penguins and Eli is getting into them too.

On our way home Joel was preparing a little speech for his new teacher (Mrs Walsh) about the dolphins, penguins and pizza which he had for tea.

Eli playing on the beach

Looking cute as ever

Joel found a lobster head on the beach..

and was proud to carry it to show mummy

A group of dolphins came and played by the beach for a while

Penguins at Stony Point in Betty's Bay

Wow, what a backdrop! The stuff floating on the water is Kelp forest

Joel admiring the penguins

Like the haircut ready for school?

'Thank You' on behalf of the penguins

Whitebreasted Cormorants at Stony Point

There are four species of Cormorant at Stony Point as well as several types of Gull all living with the penguins. We also saw the African Black Oystercatcher which is a severely threatened species, thankfully, it seems to be thriving at Stony Point.
Here's a few last photos of Grandad's visit over Christmas, somehow they were missed in the downloading from the camera to computer.

Daddy & Joel exploring the rock pools

On the wall of the tidal pool

Final dinner at 96 Winery Road

Palace Result

Palace took their first maximum points on the road since Norwich away back in September 2006 by demolishing Coventry 4-2. It was a well deserved win against a team which took the game to Palace in the opening stages, only for them to go 1-0 down against the run of play when Eagles captain Carl Fletcher burst through to tuck home. From there on in Palace were rampant, going 4-0 up only for Palace old boy and son of Croydon Leon McKenzie to pop up to grab a goal before the break. After the half time interval Coventry came at Palace and the ever dangerous Kevin Kyle finally netted to bring Coventry within two goals of nicking a point. Peter Taylor had seen enough and took Palace to 4-5-1 bringing on Paul Ifill for his Palace debut, sacrificing Dougie Freedman from the two man attack. It worked and Palace ran out comfortable winners. Text from EagleEye Live

Click below for
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 20th Jan, home to Hull

Christianity Under Attack

Two articles have appeared on the BBC News website recently both of which have big implications for Christianity in the UK but also for Christians in other places. The articles; Christian students in legal fight and Faith rally over gay rights bill both discuss how Christians will no longer be able to discriminate on the basis of faith. In other words, a university Christian Union could well find itself being led by an atheist and a village church may not be able to refuse to loan it's hall and facilities out to a civil union for homosexuals.

This is a not so thin end of a very thick wedge which is clearly aimed directly at the heart of Christianity and the fundamental belief of Christian's that Jesus is the way, the truth and the light and no-one comes to the Father except through Him. I can see a time coming when it will be illegal in the UK and other supposedly rational liberal democracies to preach the gospel in any way shape or form.

I don't want to get political, although this does make me angry, rather this should spur us on to pray against such blatant attacks on our faith and our basic human rights to be able to exercise our faith without fear or prejudice.

Saddam's Death

I had no intention whatsoever of posting about Saddam's death, mainly because the man really isn't worth commenting on. However, after enduring a week of endless 'sick' pictures of Saddam with the noose around his neck I feel obliged to say something.

Saddam was a cruel and vicious despot who cared for little other than his grasp on power! Mugabe and others fit the same mold. However, I am deeply opposed to the death sentence at any time and don't believe it can be justified, especially within supposedly civilised societies. The fact that Saddam was hung is bad, but then to learn the true circumstances of his hanging has been quite horrible. Clearly the Iraqi justice system failed and together with the Western occupation forces all in authority have allowed themselves to be dragged down to Saddam's pitiful level.

Two key issues have been highlighted for me in the last few days, firstly, Saddam was executed before justice could be served! He has been denied the right to defend himself in the trial just started and so charges against him have been dropped. That is a travesty of justice! Secondly, we now know that Saddam was executed on the first day of the festival of Eid. Not a great way to win friends and influence people within the Islamic world! Also, the fact that he was taunted in his dying moments displays a lack of humanity in the whole sordid episode.

Islam is a false religion based on a few gross misinterpretations of New Testament scriptures, however, to insult the holy days of any religion is simply not on.

Little wonder that we've lost the war in Iraq!

The above photo (©Getty Images) was taken in the early 80's during the Iran / Iraq war when we were allies with Saddam against the newly installed regime of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. Interesting isn't it that an ally can become enemy number one if you just give him a little time. Any chance of hypocrisy on the part of the USA, UK et al? Just a little.

Sean Got Married

Sean got married to Susan on Saturday in a really cool ceremony at the Somerset College chapel. The service was really good with many personal touches in it and everybody really enjoyed the occasion. Sean was clearly very nervous beforehand, but soon chilled and took the day in his stride.

Enjoy the photos...

Sean and his best men, Cameron & Jan

Susan with her Father

Francois, our lead elder who married Sean & Susan

Sean & Francois admiring beauty

Susan was gorgeous!

Signing the register

The newly wed Mr & Mrs Du Toit

Susan with her father

Palace Result

Palace secured their place in the FA Cup fourth round draw on Monday lunchtime by beating Swindon Town 2-1 at home. The Eagles controlled the game and took an early lead thanks to Kuqi's header. McAnuff made it 2-0 after the break with a fierce right-footed effort and Palace should have increased their winning margin. Swindon's late goal made it a nervous final few minutes, but Palace held on and hope for a good draw on Monday.

Click below for:
Match Report
Manager's Comments

Next fixture: Sat 13th away to Coventry

Fun with Grandad

Our last few days with Grandad & Lesley were spent chilling out and spending time with the boys, this was especially important for Joel who knows and understands who Grandad is. Joel really loves Grandad and knowing that they might not see each other for another 18 months makes it very important to spend quality time together when opportunity allows.

Sadly, on Thursday we had to say goodbye as Grandad & Lesley had to return home to the UK. Joel & Mummy took them to the airport which was helpful for Joel to understand that they had left, but also upset him as he wanted to go on the airplane too. Thankfully, after getting home and a few treats Joel was fine, although both he and Eli struggled for the afternoon. Hopefully things will be back to normal quite quickly.

Joel showing Grandad his photo albums

A lazy(ish) afternoon, Eli makes it busy

Lounging around

Eli just has to be where Joel is

Eli desperate to climb gets a helping hand from Grandad