Despite the silence on the blog we're still alive and very much kicking. We hate it when we don't keep the blog up to date but sometimes things happen in life which are just not appropriate to be shared in a public way so it's best just to say nothing. All we will say is that the last few weeks have been very tough as we grapple with issues which have been bubbling for some time and whilst we're prepared to put the past behind us and move on others aren't which is tough to deal with.
So here's an overview of just what we've been up to....
Starting the good stuff, Joel's arm is finally healed and the sling has gone. To be fair Joel had pretty much given up with the sling for about a week before the Dr actually said he could. However, the mend in the bone isn't perfect and so Joel is not allowed to do ant sport until the end of term (like he's bothered).
The Dr is generally quite happy with the progress of the healing and we will have a follow-up appointment in a year's time just to check how the mend is doing in the light of the growth of the bone.
Other than that the boys are both doing fine. Joel's just had his 7th Birthday and Mummy doesn't think it's possible that seven years have lapsed since that fateful night when we were told to "Go home and have a hot bath" by the nurse on duty at the labour ward.
Just over a week ago we both attended Tom's funeral in Chris Nissen Park. This was a sad time but also a happy one as he was a Christian. Tom had been in Dean's old men's bible study group in Chris Nissen so had known him quite well. More recently Paula knew Tom as one of the patients of HOPE, our home based care team in CNP. Tom spent his life working hard to provide for his family but a couple of years ago he developed some health problems and was unable to work full time. Then one harvest season whilst working as a casual on a local farm he suffered serious chemical burns to his hands. The employer did nothing to help him and Tom never worked again. Slowly his hands got better but just as things were looking up he had a massive stroke from which he never recovered. It was sad to see Tom as a shadow of his former self. Tom was a great dad and grandad and will be deeply missed by his family and friends. Joyfully, he knew Jesus which is brilliant!
Roger & Moya Grady visited us briefly whilst on their travels several weeks ago. It was great to see some old friends from Blighty and they also brought a gift from St. George's in Weald (the village where Paula grew up) whic we had already planned to use to buy some school shoes for some of the neediest families in Chris Nissen Park.
The gift allowed us to buy six pairs of decent quality shoes which will allow some kids to go to school knowing they're wearing the same shoes as everyone else so won't be bullied for being different. This really is a big issue in schools.
Dean rode in the 2010 Cape Argus and despite having done no training whatsoever managed a not too shabby 4:17. The best bit about it though is that it has been the motivator he needed to get back on the bikes and start riding regularly again. So much so that this week alone he has done two MTB & two road rides having ridden for 12½ hours covering 247K's and burnt 11592Kcals. Dean is now well into planning his rides for the next week or two. The only downside is that he's getting up around 5am to fit it all in but it's worth it in the long term and already he's feeling the benefits of getting fit and healthy again.
We continue to thank God for leading us to Grace Community Church in Macassar, it truly is a privilege to be a part of the church and we're really thankful for the solid friendships we already have there. This morning was a great time for a number of reasons. Despite it being a bit chaotic due to the equipment being a bit late (we wonder how many of you attended church this morning in comfortable purpose built buildings with no equipment worries?) we had a great time of worship, literally stripped of any hint of performance as Daniel led us with his guitar. Then Graham from Love & Grace in Mitchell's Plain spoke with authority to the church. All in all a brilliant time together completely devoid of any sense of this being about us but rather it all being about our Lord!