The last two weeks have been pretty much a write-off as far as I'm concerned as two weeks ago I had a bout of flu which by last Monday was over and I was starting to feel much better but then on Tuesday I got hit by something else and was feverish and in pain for most of the week. Thankfully this weekend was much more back to normal! I was really annoyed by this having got through winter with no illness to suddenly get walloped just as the season is changing. Not good!

The rest of the gang have been fine throughout, suffering only the vagaries of a very grumpy dad and husband but they seem to put up with me well.

I first met this amazing woman almost 6 years ago and remember even then being so impressed by her. As her story began to emerge over the months in my Bible study group and home visits my respect and love for her began to grow. X grew up on a local farm where she lived humbly but happily and later married a man whom she loved dearly. Together they had four sons and, though things were very tight, lived happily as a family and enjoyed the many friends living together with them on the farm. Both X and her husband were committed Christians and taught their children Christian values and ethics as they grew.

Gods Of Rock

I had the Gods of Rock on VH1 on TV in the background for a while this afternoon and I could see Joel had one eye on it whilst doing some drawing at the table.

His attention was then fully grabbed by AC/DC's Back in Black.

When he'd finished he brought over his picture and proudly announced that he's going to get the red guitar when he's older and play like the man in his school uniform.

He makes me so proud!
One of the ladies we've got to know recently would probably be dismissed by most as just being a quiet and even timid church mouse. If we were to judge by appearances she's unremarkable and would probably just get lost in a crowd.

Thankfully, we don't judge people on appearances but rather by what we see in their actions in life. This lady is truly a hero to us!

After church on Sunday most of us trotted off home for a decent dinner, maybe some roast vicar with acidic gravy followed by the obligatory kip on the couch.

I'm starting a new mini series which will run sporadically over the coming months about some of the amazing folk who I/we consider to be the real heroes of our faith.

It would be really easy to do just such a series on the likes of the amazing George Műller, Hudson Taylor, C.T. Studd or Jim Elliot to name a few that come to mind. However just about all that can be said about these heroes has been said and I'm not pretending to have any new insight into their extraordinary lives. If you're interested in the lives of some of these heroes and church history generally pop over to the Church History Blog by Lex Loizedes, it's a great read!

Cape Town Museum

We had a lot of fun today as we went into Cape Town and spent ages in the South African Museum and Planetarium.

The guy on the door gave a knowing smile as the boys shouted "DINOSAURS!" and ran off to the dinosaur gallery. Guess where we spent most of our time.

the boys were inspired to ask to go to the museum again after watching Night at the Museum 2, it's a really good fun film and certianly fired up their imaginations.

Afterwards we strolled up to Long Street which is full of great cafés and pubs and we had a cracking lunch.

Today was very special as the HOPE home based care team, prospective carers and spouses of some of our patients received customised home based care and HIV/AIDS training from Nicky Welsh. This is something that Paula has been wanting for over a year now and it has taken this long to 'pin down' Nicky and make the most of her excellent training skills!! We had loads of fun as well as refreshing (for some) our knowledge and skills base and having the ability to further customise the training for our final session next Friday.

Wounded Soldier

Eli was whisked off to the Emergency Room for the first time this afternoon as he needed three stitches in his top lip.

Initially we thought he'd fallen off his bike trying yet another daredevil stunt but it turns out Rosie (the dog) bit him. Daddy's first response was to get rid of the dog but the Dr that treated Eli reassured Mummy that this is quite a common injury and not to be too harsh on the dog.

It turns out that Rosie had just been given a bone and Eli bent down next to her to pick up a ball but Rosie thought he was going for the bone. The rest as they say is history.

Wiersbe Quote

"We have two ears and one mouth, which ought to remind us to listen more than we speak."

One of my favourite quotes from Wiersbe which I feel is particularly pertinent to those of us in church leadership. I'm convinced more leaders would at least look wise, even if they're not, if they exercised Wiersbe's advice.

2010 SA Blog Awards

Our blog has been nominated in the Best Personal Blog category of the 2010 South African Blog Awards.

This is pretty neat after 6 years of blogging, thanks to Jo for the initial nomination.

Please click on the image and cast your vote for Facing The Mountain

PS. Voting opens on 1st September closing on the 17th.
Montagu is a little taste of heaven on earth and that is exactly what we enjoyed as a family last weekend! We have loved staying at 'Farmer Koos's' farm over the years and the boys definitely treat it like a second home.

The weather was perfect - 29 degrees in the winter! - beautiful sunny days. Joel and Eli spent the whole time outside making up adventures on the rocks which they could now climb, playing with the animals that roam freely around the farm and enjoying braai'ing and eating Dad's beef potjie!

We also enjoyed a great meal out together on Sunday night at Jam Tarts, a restaurant we have got to know. They cannot do enough to make us welcome and Joel, in particular, enjoyed his garlic prawns - which the lady knows to make, despite them not being on the menu!!!

As we were driving home yesterday morning we were amazed by how much snow there was on the Grabouw side of the Hottentots Holland mountains. Sadly I completely forgot to take a picture of the snow until this afternoon when I was on my way into Chris Nissen to deliver the maize meal and sugar to Tiny Bubbles Créche from the boys school.



Zantedeschia is the proper name for this beautiful South African flower more commonly (but wrongly) known as the Calla Lily. They say you learn something new every day and that's what I learnt today. Anyway, the point is that this beautiful flower is growing in our garden which I'm delighted about, though it seems the dog is too as she ate one of them!
From what I know of most other folk serving in a foreign culture far from home, from time to time they get asked something along the lines of  "What does a typical day look like?" That's a tricky one to answer but here's a great post by Hazel on the subject: Two Days, One Life. What I also know from reading the various blogs and websites of other folk serving in a foreign culture far from home is that this is a bit of a dreaded question. In part because trying to explain running around in ever decreasing circles isn't really very edifying and telling folk that you drink tea or coffee all day whilst talking to locals isn't really deemed to be work by the good folk back at base. Added in to the mix is the need to justify to supporters why they should carry on supporting and it all becomes a bit sensitive.

I would like to pretend that I am above such things but in reality I sometimes feel the need to justify my existence just like anyone else...

Here's a few of Eli's earliest attempts at learning to ride his skateboard. He's desperate to go to the local skatepark and judging by his progress so far it won't be long before he's there. One senses a trip to the ER might be in the offing.
Tuesday mornings are always busy visiting mornings for Paula in Macassar. Today was no exception and a good example of why we love our work so much. No two days are ever the same and quite often we do not know what we will find when we get to people's houses. Most cannot afford to run a cellphone, so quite often we will arrive and find no-one at home because something has come up and we can't be informed - frustrating but that's life!

If like me you like spending a bit of time watching stuff on Youtube you may well enjoy the stuff where people get hurt. I'm particularly fond of the faceplant clips of cyclists going over the handlebars, but to be fair, I'm happy to watch just about anything that involves someone else getting hurt through their own foolishness. As the old (or perhaps more modern) adage goes; life's only funny until someone gets hurt, then it's hilarious.