Cape Epic

Dean & Paul aka Bizweni Bundu Bashers finished the ABSA Cape Epic on Saturday in 46 hours, 29 minutes & 21 seconds having ridden for 743km's climbing a total of 16650 metres (almost double Mt. Everst). Their overall finishing position was 278th out of 598 starting teams.

To see more about their Epic Adventure see Dean's mountain bike blog. He'll be updating it over the next few days with more facts, figures and recollections of the event.

For now Dean is delighted to have completed the TOUGHEST mountain bike race in the world and to have finished in the top half of the 598 starting teams. No mean achievement! He's even happier to be at home with Paula & his boys!!

Today I drove with Lizbeth, one of the HOPE carers to our local hospital to visit one of our patients who was admitted on Saturday. Both of us had visited individually prior to this, but it was so good to go together and really have a good chat as well as taking some essentials to A. A is one of our classic patients who is too scared to admit to why she is really sick. This makes it difficult when she is admitted to hospital. This time however, she has suffered a stroke; has TB and pneumonia, all of which has caused her body to swell up, so she has been in quite a bad way. Today was a wonderful visit. Despite being in the high care ward, she is now surrounded by 4 women half her age, and though they are all very sick, the camaraderie was great! She was therefore in much higher spirits. After chatting for a while, Lizbeth and I prayed with A. We then started to chat to some of the other women and before too long each one had asked for prayer. I particularly wanted to pray for a young woman who looked like a skeleton and was barely conscious. I find this so sad and really asked God to restore her both physically as well as give her hope for the future.

Having done this, another patient came over and we all started chatting. Within 10 minutes she told us that she is HIV+ and has been living positively on ARV's for 3 years now. Her home life is not easy and she has 2 children the same age as ours. My heart went out to her as it is a very brave thing to tell 6 relative strangers all this information. We thanked her and encouraged her to keep going - she looked so wonderfully healthy! - we also told her that being open like she had been was so helpful to others. Lizbeth asked her if she knew God and we were then able to pray for her. How amazing is our God! We thought we were just going for a short visit to 1 person, and He has far greater ideas!!

And They're Off

Dean's Epic adventure started at 09:52 as he and Paul rode the prologue of the Cape Epic this morning.

Visit his bike blog for more info: Epic Adventures With A Mountain Bike.

Test

Testing my cell phone blogging function.
Nothing to get excited about.

6 Years Old!

Joel was up bright with anticipation just before 5am this morning eager to open his presents and tell the world that he is at last 6 years old!! Unfortunately, mum sent him back to bed until a more civilised hour - well, that's 6 am in our house!

He was absolutely thrilled with his presents. He loved the surprises and was so pleased to get a couple of things that he has been asking about for months and months!! He was quite impressed that Grandad managed to organise such a huge box all the way from England(!) and LOVED the cool Pirates of the Caribbean clothing all the way from Euro Disney from his aunty and uncle! The book on Why Is Snot Green? is also really going to liven up bedtime story reading!!

Mum stayed behind at school to listen to Joel being sung to by the Junior School in the line before being whisked off to the classroom for another lovely morning! Much fun was had by he and Dad as Dad had the daunting task of assembling the Flying Dutchman toy which has now been lined up for battle with Grandad's Christmas present Black Pearl!!

It's funny to watch just how much Joel has grown up recently. He has handled himself and all the attention so well today and then left us in no doubt at all about where he wanted to go out for his tea - Ocean Basket for the prawn special of course!! As we couldn't haul Grandad in for the event he was more than delighted at the thought of our good friend Jo (with the blue car) coming with us and we all had a lovely evening. Even the waiter said we had been fun to work with, which was just as well considering Eli managed to spill his mango juice within 5 minutes all over the table!!

So, we have reached another milestone, and whilst mum and dad sit around in disbelief Joel seems to grow taller and more adult every day.

Joel with his presents


Delighted with the water wheel from Grandad


Off to school in civvies courtesy of Lisa and family

6th Birthday Party

Joel had his 6th birthday party today and was really proud to have his friends round. Inevitably the theme was pirates so all the games had a pirate twist to them!

Much fun was had by all with plenty of gold coins and pieces of eight being given out as prizes.

The cake was probably the most interesting part of the party. Hamida (in the pink to Joel's left) was clearly horrified by the Davy Jones picture on the cake. The party shop where we had the transfer done were quite horrified by it too. Joel certainly seems to be quite unique in what he wants!

A variation of 'pin the tail on the donkey, we're looking for treasure!


Party games always involve a little bit of nose-picking


Pass the treasure always goes down well with hearty pirates


The cake shop where Mummy got the cake transfer were a little bemused by Joel's choice. Joel was thrilled with the cake!

We're Still Alive!

Keeping the blog going has taken a bit of a back seat recently (you probably noticed) and that probably won't change for the next couple of weeks so we apologise in advance. The main reason is that it is I (Dean) that does most of our blogging and I've been very distracted by a little bike adventure coming up at the weekend. Somehow it overtook so much and became a bit all consuming of my/our freetime. You can see more by clicking here.

Life has been very busy as ever and the boys continue to keep us on our toes. We're now officially seconded through Crosslinks to Grace Community Church in Macassar and are really loving it! We love the church and are delighted to be able to serve in way that is appreciated and used. Dean has already had the immense privilege of being involved in some key leadership issues and has really felt humbled to be able to serve and have input in these. We're really enjoying getting to know the church members and feel we have gained some great new friends. Our day to day roles are still being worked out and won't become 100% clear for a while, but that's the nature of relational work, it really does take time, commitment and perseverance to make inroads into any community and we are starting from scratch again. Having said that, Paula is already running a daytime group with Zelda for young mums and Dean has donned some farmer's gear and is looking to help with an agricultural project. He's also planning to spend time with some of the men who are around in the day to see what they want to do in the community. Hopefully this may lead to Dean doing another bible study group too.

One massive answer to prayer for us has been the re-structuring of the kids work in Grace (for which we take absolutely no credit). It used to be a bit of a shambles but now there is real structure. It's called King's Kids, and Joel is enjoying it immensely which is a real relief for us.

We continue to have some involvement in Chris Nissen and the home based care team is going really well. Paula loves visiting on Fridays to encourage the ladies and see some of the patients. Dean has been working on our links with the Tiny Bubble creche as well as continuing to visit Michael and encourage him in his daily walk.

The boys really enjoyed their school sports day (see the photos) and much to our surprise Joel did well in his races. He didn't win but he was happy to participate. Eli just thought the whole thing was a laugh and giggled his way through most of it. Joel has really settled into Year 1 well and is thriving in his class. He's already been Star Of The Week and this week won 2nd prize for best costume at the school Book Day. Joel went as Harry from Harry And The Dinosaurs. No effort required on our part at all as he just rocked up with a bucket and a dozen plastic dinosaurs in it. Simple but brilliant!