Almost 100%

We're both getting stronger and putting the worst of the illnesses behind us. Dean definitely suffered a bit worst than Paula, but Paula was still very unwell. We are so grateful to Felicity for taking Joel off our hands on Wednesday, there's no way we could have got through the day without her support. Dean said his tummy felt like the roundworm he had in Tanzania whilst the diarrhea was like his Shigela dysentery he had in Zimbabwe, sounds nice doesn't it!

Spiloxene Capensis

Recently we posted a photo of a stunning flower but didn't know the name of it. Well we now know that its proper name is 'Spiloxene Capensis' also known as the 'Painted Peacock Flower', it is classified as a weed (remarkable!) but we think it has to be one of the most beautiful weeds on the planet.


We have both been really sick for the past 48 hours with some sort of a virus. Unfortunately, it led to Dean vomiting up blood all of last night and we are both wiped out from this and lack of sleep. We have a very wonderful friend however, who, on hearing this, came and washed our dishes, picked up Joel and took him home to her place to play with her 2 year old son for the day. This was absolutely fantastic, allowing us to sleep for the day and try to recuperate. In 14 years of marriage, we have never been so sick at the same time. There was no way we would have been able to look after Joel today, so thank God for friends! We are both feeling a little better tonight- weak but not as sick.


I eventually found out yesterday (Monday), after much phoning around, what had happened to Gert. It turns out that he was discharged on Friday shortly after arriving at hospital. He had 2 X-rays taken and was given a letter of referral to Ikhwezi clinic (where he'd been on Friday morning!) and then left to get himself home. So that's why the hospital couldn't trace him on Friday evening. Yesterday afternoon in CNP we managed to piece the whole story together. Gert had no means of getting home after being discharged and certainly couldn't walk, so he spent 2 nights sleeping in the hospital car park and spent the daytimes in the waiting room. Luckily, a lady from CNP attended the hospital on Sunday evening and whilst there bumped into Gert and brought him home.

This is an outrageous story but sadly a true one! Sadly it's not an uncommon story for folk in Chris Nissen. In fact, the ambulance had been called into CNP on Thursday for Gert but never arrived.


Friday was a busy day for Dean starting with his first clinic visit at 7.15, followed by a second clinic 15 minutes later. It’s quite disconcerting having a car load of sick people when 2 are coughing and wheezing with TB, not a totally pleasant experience! Gert was taken to the hospital by ambulance from the clinic which is what was needed all along. The ambulance was called for him on Thursday, but as so often happens, they refused to attend – can you believe it! More on Gert in a minute.

Bible Study

Dean had an excellent small group this morning with 8 men attending which was a first. They all said they enjoyed the study (we were looking at Samuel) and said they would come again next week, so that's really exciting. To think that just a few months ago I was struggling to get 2 regulars to commit! The three new guys this week were Danny (Anna 'Bop's' partner) Trevor & Willem (see photo below). The group want to continue our season of Character Studies so we will carry on with that and include some New Testament characters in the coming term.

Anna 'Bop'

During her visiting in CNP on Friday, Paula went to visit Anna 'Bop', a dear friend suffering from AIDS, who very recently became a Christian and who had been attending Paula's cell group on her stronger days. Anna was really weak, but was battling courageously. They prayed together and Paula gave her some baby porridge in the hope that she might be able to keep it down, as she wasn't able to eat anything. Sadly Anna died on Monday morning. Obviously, this has been a bitter blow for Anna's family and all her friends. Death is never easy, even when you watch someone you love slowly deteriorate. Tonight Paula went in to visit Anna's family.


Dean was in CNP early this morning (Monday) to take Vissy to the Dr's but unfortunately she didn't want to go (that is so annoying when you get out of bed an hour early!) but whilst he was talking to her, he heard that the lady across the street had just died. Anna Bop had been seriously ill for a while and Paula had visited a number of times. On Friday afternoon Dean took her some food and spoke to her partner about getting to the clinic. Apparently they had been and Anna was waiting for test results before being referred to the hospital, sadly she never made it.


Dean's cell was cancelled yesterday morning as most of the members went to collect their grants, so he looked after Joel whilst Paula was leading her cell group. Dean & Joel had a fun morning watching a 'Scoop' in the fields opposite our house. Joel is really keen on 'Scoops' and tractors so he was in heaven watching this one for almost half an hour. After eventually dragging Joel away from Scoop Dean & Joel had a good walk in Radloff Park and spent some time throwing sticks into the river.


Aletta is a faithful church member and a lovely lady who really does put the needs of others before her own. For a long time she has been preparing meals for sick and vulnerable people in the community with little or no help from anyone else. Basically, Aletta buys the food and cooks it at her own expense and then distributes it within CNP. Unfortunately Aletta's cooker broke down recently and she was unable to provide any meals for just over a month, which had a serious impact on a few folk in the community, particularly as the last month or two have been very cold and wet.

Rock Star

Couldn't resist posting these photos after lunch. I went home as usual and as I was sorting out my camera for this afternoon, Joel picked up his guitar and 'pretended' to play it (he's only 2½ so can't play it properly), as you can see from his face he really enjoys playing.