I realise that it is often difficult to understand cultural differences and how the gospel fits within certain cultures. For example, working out the gospel in an animistic culture throws up a whole set of difficulties which aren't immediately easy to address. As such I may have completely misunderstood this article on the BBC news website, but I'd love for someone to explain just how carrying a gun for personal protection fits with the gospel and teachings of Jesus.

Weekend

Dean is finally feeling better so we had a lovely afternoon walk in the Nature Reserve after church. Thanks for your prayers for him.

Church was great this morning and we had a visiting preacher from Mitchell's Plain. Graham has spoken at Grace before and we certainly enjoy him. We had a few visitors again today which is great as word seems to be getting out that Grace is a church of integrity. One of our biggest joys about church is that our boys love it. This is such a huge answer to prayer!

Runaround

Whilst Paula was visiting in Chris Nissen with the HOPE home based care team I took the boys for a runaround in the Nature Reserve. We ended up there for almost four hours and Paula joined us for lunch after she had finished in CNP.

This is such a favourite trip out and we all really enjoy it. The weather was a bit better than it has been so far this week so we were able to walk about a bit.

A Moment In Time

Over on our photoblog Finnie's In Focus we've been running a series entitled: A Moment In Time and at present we're up to Part 17 with several more still to come.

Hope you enjoy the series.

Flu Is A Real Swine!

Spare a thought or a prayer for Dean as he's got himself a bout of real flu not the pseudo man-flu blokes normally seem to contract. He's on a hefty dose of antibiotics and is generally feeling pretty rubbish.

Hopefully normal service will resume shortly.

June 21 is the shortest day of the year also known as the winter solstice and we're pleased that it has finally arrived as now the days can begin to draw out and we can head back towards summer. Winter here in the Western Cape is quite unpleasant as it is the only part of the African continent where it rains. Everywhere else it rains in summer or seasonally as in they have no real winter. Tanzania was one such place whereas in Zimbabwe the winter was quite cold with temperatures dropping as low as -2°C but with midday highs of 25°C. Here the temperature never gets as low as that but with the rain and the northwester howling the windchill factor comes into play. All this means we're longing for summer!

Project Fix It - Goes Large

Project Fix It was an initiative we ran whilst with HCC in which we sought to bless our brothers & sisters in Chris Nissen Park by fixing their homes up for winter to ensure they all had leak fee roofs, proper windows etc etc.

Now, we're in Macassar and we're aiming to go further and higher by replacing existing dwellings/hokkies with wendy houses and actually building homes where possible.

We're also planning on undertaking a whole host of repairs on houses too, but the priority is to sort out the key accommodation issues where members of the church either have no permanent home or live in a shack which is unfit for the purpose.

Father's Day

Joel's school celebrated Father's day this morning by inviting the dads to come and do some silly races followed by bacon & egg rolls.

It was good fun and everyone entered into the spirit of the event and had a good laugh. It was also good to meet some of the other dads, you begin to understand some of the kids a bit better!

Joel participated in a beanbag race but Eli couldn't be persuaded to do anything other than chase around after Daniel his best friend.

Do Not Adjust Your Set..

The last two weeks have been odd and just a bit frustrating as I've not been able to get on and do things I wanted and needed to do. This was compounded by the boys having a five day weekend with Friday, Monday and Tuesday off school. As such I was unable to do any visiting and couldn't get involved in the stuff I normally do. Thankfully Paula is now home and life is back to normal, at least for just over a week until the school holidays. I've felt like I needed to adjust the proverbial TV set but as the continuity announcer always says; "Do not adjust your set, normal service will resume shortly." Thankfully normal service is resumed.

Rape - A Way Of Life?

Here's a shocker from the BBC News website: South African rape survey shock. According to the survey one quarter of South African men have raped a woman or child. That is truly horrific!

The study was done by the South African Medical Research Council so it's not easy to dismiss its findings.

This nation really needs a lot of prayer.

Sadly the BBC did not include a link to the actual study which is very disappointing.
The new football season begins in August with the full fixture list being published today. As ever no-one is allowed to publish any fixture list because of some outdated and immoral arrangement between the FA, Football League and a data company. Anyway, there are ways around the draconian arrangement such as visiting the BBC who have a license to publish them.

Mummy's Home

Mummy got home yesterday morning. We were all excited to have her home again and the boys were delighted to see her plane land at Cape Town airport. we got to watch the plane taxi all the way to its berth which was quite cool.

Our family felt incomplete without mummy and whilst we were nowhere near a 'Lord of the Flies' scenario, life just wasn't the same without her.

World Blood Donor Day

Today is World Blood Donor Day. I had no idea there was such a day but am pleased to see that there is. If you want to know more visit the World Blood Donor Day website.

I used to give blood in the UK but after having malaria in Tanzania the blood service got all snobby on me and permanently struck me off their lists which is a shame as my blood group is Oneg. Thankfully the South African blood service have no such hang-ups and because their screening is amongst the best in the world (if not the best) they know my blood is safe.

Two More Sleeps

We're on the home straight now as we're only two sleeps away from picking mummy up at the airport. Needless to say Joel is really excited but Eli doesn't seem to get it all as he is a bit young.

Joel has really enjoyed his chats with mummy on the telephone and he seems so grown up as he chats away.

Unfortunately Joel's earache turned out to be an inflamed ear canal which seems to be getting worse. Our Dr was great and saw him just after church so he's now got some drops for his it. This afternoon he's had quite a high temperature so please continue to pray for him. Thankfully he's gone off to bed in fine fettle.

Farting Wellies

Once again the Helderberg Nature Reserve comes up trumps as the place to go locally. The weather was totally foul today but we went anyway. Our good friend Jo (in the blue car) joined us, I think against her better judgment, but we managed to have some fun. Somewhere along the line Joel managed to get a welly full of water (see piccy). He was so chuffed when it made a 'farting noise' when he took it off. We made it all the way to the 'climbing tree' where we stayed for all of five minutes before repairing to the cafe. As ever my boys demonstrated their 'uniqueness' by asking for ice-lollies on a cold and miserable day. They truly are odd.

Sciencentre

The weekend has started early for us as the boys school has decided to throw two teacher training days onto the weekend to make for a very long weekend which includes a public holiday on Tuesday. That means I've really got my work cut out as I can't escape during school hours.

Home Alone

Someone once said that being at home with daddy was tantamount to being left at home alone. Not sure who said that but I'm happy to report that they weren't 100% accurate, at least not here.

We're all missing mummy, but she's having fun with family in Blighty which is great. So back on the ranch we're coping just fine much to the apparent amazement of many who seem to think we should have crumbled into 'Lord of the Flies' type anarchy by now. However, the boys are fed, homework is done, the washing is sorted and the earth is still spinning on its axis.

Surprise!

On Thursday Paula flew to Blighty for a very well earned and well deserved break on her own. Truth be told it was payback for the Cape Epic (in case you missed what that was all about, click here)

Much subterfuge went into planning it especially as we wanted her trip to coincide with the birthday celebrations for Stephen's 50th and Susannah's 18th, so many thanks to Sal for helping with the scheming!

Aunty M

I took a phone call from one of the home based carers last night asking me to come in to Chris Nissen today because the mother of one of our patients who died last year had just been taken into hospital. I went in to find a very classic situation of hopelessness! It seems that Aunty M has classic first signs of Alzheimer's disease. She is not recognizing family members, getting very confused and upset and is generally causing anxiety to everyone around her. The worrying thing is that she spends every day supposedly caring for her 3 year old great granddaughter.