Wedding Day

We were privileged to attend another very special day in the life of the church as we celebrated the wedding of the daughter of two of our cell group members.  Taswald and Chrisandre have been coming along to Grace for many months, and we have enjoyed getting to know them a little bit.  Chrisandre's parents, Chris and Veronica are very special to us and we enjoy them and their input - albeit Chris is a Chelski supporter!!

The wedding was beautiful... perhaps the simplest we have ever attended.  The pastor was 'spot on' and the bride and groom's love for one another was so evident, they adore each other!  Perhaps the loveliest part of the service was the prayer at the end for all marrieds - we all had to hold hands with our spouses - aaahhh!

Well done Taswald and Chrisandre for being such positive young role models!  It was a pleasure to share in your special day.

Daft Drivers

As I was driving into Macassar this morning with Michael we noticed this pair of legs sticking out of the back of the lorry. At first I presumed it was a joke pair until Michael pointed out that there was a hand holding the door closed. So I passed him the camera and he got a pretty decent shot of it.

One can only wonder at why someone needs to sit and hold the door closed and marvel at his bravery (or should that be stupidity) for actually doing it.

The Good Life

I finally finished my compost bin this evening, putting the door on and covering the sides with chicken wire to make it dog and rodent proof or at least rodent resistant. I'm quite chuffed and think it turned out well, even if I do say so myself. Now I just need to get an old bit of carpet to put on top to help the composting process.

It's made from old pallets and apart from the latch and the nails for the chicken wire everything else is recycled so I can feel a bit smug about helping the environment.

Ups & Downs

I think it's fair to say that I'm not known for my administrative skills, in fact I would go so far as to say that I actively seek to avoid such unpleasantness but there are times when it is simply impossible to ignore the stack of jobs that just won't do the decent thing and go away.

This morning was a rare morning in that not only did I get a lot of the yucky admin jobs done but they seem to have been done quite well (even if I say so myself). I guess time will be the better judge of this but I'm optimistic that my efforts will stand the test.

We're back!

So here's the revamped blog in all its glory.

First things first, a MASSIVE thank you to all of you who took the time to enter the Renaming Competition. We had some great ideas but were really struck by Facing The Mountain suggested by Katie Machell. Katie suggested it "with the double meaning of both describing where you live and alluding to the challenges of the work you do". We guess Katie was thinking of Table Mountain (which we can see from Somerset West) without knowing that we're actually surrounded by mountains with the Helderberg being so dominant it gives its name to the whole area. We were really taken with the simplicity of the name and the way that it works at so many levels. Enough explanation, you can work it out for yourselves!

Entries Close Soon

Well I'm very excited about the relaunch of this blog.

I've got a totally new template with some neat features in it.

I've almost got a new name, there is a clear frontrunner at present but there's still time to stick your two-penneth worth in so go on and give it a go. You can submit your ideas via any of the following: blog comment on this post, Contact Us button at top, Facebook or good old fashioned email. Now if that's not enough options you need help!

Life Is Messy

The nature of the work we're involved in is completely relational and as such it tends to be quite slow with many ups and downs. All too often the downs are more noticeable than the ups but that is the reality of many people's lives and as we get to know folk and walk with them we experience their highs and lows with them. Obviously this brings joy and sometimes heartache but we love what God has lead us to do. It's a real privilege to get to know certain folk intimately and to be there for them as they walk the narrow path with God.

As we began working in Chris Nissen six years ago we were let down more often than not and it took months and in some cases years to get to the point of being trusted within the community and now we're in the early stages of doing something similar in Macassar and Firgrove which is very exciting but also quite daunting at times.
We heard recently that our dear friend Pete Smyth (known to most as PJ) had been diagnosed with  a cancer known as Hodgkin’s lymphoma and Pete is now undergoing a six month course of chemotherapy as the Dr.'s seek to destroy the cancer.


Cancer really is the word no-one ever wants to hear and is a word that can truly crush even the bravest soul, so as I was reading Pete's Personal Blog I was really encouraged by his positive outlook on the diagnosis and prognosis.

What really struck me about Pete's blog was his tackling of the issue of leadership in GodFirst church in Jo'burg. Over the years we've experienced many styles of leadership, some good, some average and many just downright poor but to all the church leaders I have ever known I would commend the following from Pete:

Competition Update

Thanks for your comments, emails and encouragements.

Maybe I should clarify one issue; I have no intention of giving up on the Blog. What I am intending to do is revamp it as after 6 years of blogging it feels like time for a change.

I've had some good suggestions for a new name for the Blog but will leave it open for a few more days, so, the competition is still on.

Leave your thoughts and suggestions in the comments or send me an email.

Air Powered Car

On our last trip to the Sciencentre we got a kit for making an air powered car with a coke bottle so this afternoon I set about having some fun with the boys seeing just what this air powered car can do. As you can see from the video below the results weren't stunning although we did have some better successes later on. The main thing we found was that the harder we pumped the car the better it did on the grass.

Joeland Eli loved messing around with the car and were actually interested in knowing how and why it works. Cool!

Click 'Read More' to see the video

Competition

So here's the thing; I'm bored of this blog!

I'm bored of the way it looks, I'm bored of the name (more on that in a mo'), I'm bored of the layout and I'm fed up with the lack of interaction from you our readers, assuming that anyone is actually reading this stuff given that hardly anyone ever leaves a comment.

I'm planning a major overhaul of the whole thing from how it looks to what it's about. I'm feeling inspired by my friend Hazel and her blog and a few other missionary bloggers out there who are doing things a bit differently. Two of these which are well worth reading are Jamie the Very Worst Missionary and El Chupacabra Writes a Blog.

Bits of the blog will remain unchanged in so far as I want to continue blogging and to keep the blog aimed at family and friends as well as using it as a tool to keep supporters and supporting churches up to date with our lives whilst also giving pointers for prayer and testimonies of how they've been answered. But beyond that I want to use this as a tool for engage in conversation with you about what we're up to, what we're thinking etc. I plan to be a lot more honest here about things including church life and mission society life (if there is such a thing). Hopefully it will be thought provoking and get up some people's noses but time will tell.

Probably the biggest thing in all of this is that I'm looking to rename the blog. One of the biggest complaints I've had is how the blog is a major turn-off for our friends and others who are not Christians. Don't get me wrong, I'm not planning on watering down the content  and most of our non-believing friends have no issue with the content but apparently the title is more than a little off-putting leading many visitors to depart just as quickly as they arrived, which I personally think is a shame.


So on to the competition...I've got an idea for a new name for this blog but it's not really very exciting, topical, witty etc. So if you can be bothered to give it more than a few seconds worth of thought, please enter by leaving a comment on this post, contact me by email or use the link at the top to submit your suggestion/s. I don't know what the prize will be yet but I'll come up with something good for the entry that wins.

Go on get busy!

Back To School

Today is the last day of the school holidays and we had a lot of fun with the boys as we took them to one of their new favourite places - the MTN Science Centre in Cape Town.  This is always a great fun and educational day out for the family - and they do great coffee, which is a bonus!! 

We certainly have 2 very different boys, 1 is thrilled at the prospect of school re-starting tomorrow and the other is very non-plussed... no prizes for guessing who is who!!  Despite that, both are very much looking forward to seeing friends again and mum and dad are thrilled at the prospect of life returning to 'normal' again and being able to get on with work without having to dance around the other in terms of child care!

It has certainly been an eventful and historic 5 weeks to live in South Africa during the 2010 World Cup and we know that we will never forget the memories.  However, we are looking forward to moving on and seeing what God has in store for us in the coming months, whilst very much looking forward to our forthcoming annual family holiday at the end of September. 



Happy Birthday!

Today Paula celebrates her birthday so to help her we all piled into a coffee shop in The Strand for lots of coffee, milkshake and cake.

It's been such a lovely day that we just had to take a stroll along the beach to ensure we all had sufficent room for the cake which seemed to work well.

Paula has been pleasantly overwhelmed by the number of sms's and phone calls from friends wishing her a happy birthday and feels particularly loved by our family at Grace!

See the full album here.