With winter being set in the time spent out in the garden is at a real premium so we have to make the most of the brief spells between deluges. Yesterday we had just under one inch of rain and that's fairly average at present. Amazingly even the locals have stopped saying "We really need the rain" or "I love the rain" which is quite something. Being British I have a built in dislike of the rain and as much as we may really need it I really don't care for it at all!

Update (Of Sorts)

How to update without getting into trouble with someone? Probably not possible so here goes..

Chris Nissen is a real challenge at present. Mainly because some of our church members are behaving appallingly and preventing other non members in the community from either coming to church or trying out one of our groups. 

Firstly I need to make clear that the title of this post is not an issue for ourselves at present. We're committed to the local church and for the moment God has led us to serve Him at HCC. That will only change if God clearly leads us into newer pastures but until such a time we're happy to be obedient to the call He's placed on our lives. That's not to say that we don't find things (many things) frustrating at times.

Ahoy There Me Hearties!

Joel had the most wonderful, magical afternoon yesterday at his friend Ross's 4th birthday party. Of course it was a Pirate party and everyone came dressed and ready for action. As soon as we turned in to the farm entrance there were skull and crossbones announcing the venue and once there, the woods had been transformed with papier mache crocodiles in the stream with a plank to walk over; a croc' for pin the tale on the croc'; treasure hunting; signing their names in pirate blood etc, etc,. Ross's mum certainly has a very active imagination and I think she enjoyed it more than all the guests!!!

Friends To Play

Joel had his friends Liam & Morgen to play after school one day this week and much fun was had by all. As ever, Eli crashed the party and struck up a friendship with Liam who was very kind to him. The house was complete chaos for a few hours between lunch and their mums picking them up, but it was worth it.

Health & Fitness

After a dreadful bout of measles I seem to be almost 100% which is a relief! I managed to ride in Jonkershoek for 2 hours on Saturday morning with a friend and it was great to be on the bike again after two weeks of inactivity. Thankfully my fitness levels weren't overly impacted by the sickness and I was able to climb the big hills with no problems.

A Wake-Up Moment

I had another of those life-changing wake-up moments yesterday during my visiting in CNP. My ladies had been telling me about a woman called Mary (name changed to protect identity) who has recently been very sick with AIDS. They very much wanted me to visit and pray with her and see what the little home based care team can start to offer her. I was thrilled about this as I have wanted to meet her for some time. I was greeted outside the house by a stick thin woman carrying a big basket of washing and a huge smile on her face. I couldn't believe this was Mary, I was expecting a very sick person lying in bed, probably in a very smelly house. How wrong could I be. Mary is amazing! She has been very sick but is coming through the latest dose of illness. She had been to the clinic that morning and got more ARV's and Vitamin C. We sat and chatted about the importance of a good diet, which she fully understands. The problem is that she needs to eat before taking the pills or they make her very sick, and at the moment, there is no family income as neither she nor her partner work.


Terrific, I've got measles! Who ever heard of a 40 year old with measles? Pathetic isn't it.

I feel shocking but at least I have a name for it as I'm sure Paula was getting a bit fed up with my slow ambling around the house. The headache is incredibly painful, my eyes are really sore and I'm either freezing or roasting, not being able to get comfortable. For the last couple of days I've been craving sunshine to help me warm up. I ache all over so find playing with the boys almost impossible which is really gutting.

Testing Times

This week has been a bit testing so far and we would really value your prayers. It all started a bit badly on Saturday when Paula woke up to find she couldn't open one of her eyes. It turned out that she had been bitten by a spider. All is well now, after a massive shot of hystamine, but it wasn't pleasant.

Now Dean has been complaining of terrible headaches, achiness and general 'not very well' type symptoms. This morning he came out of the shower sporting a beautiful all over rash. By 10 o'clock he was diagnosed with having measles... he is not a happy chappy to put it mildly. As when Paula had chicken pox for the first time aged 35, Dean says this is the worst he's felt in a long while.

CNP Update

Things have been very frustrating in Chris Nissen for a while now, mainly because the same old issues of gossip & jealousy keep rearing their ugly heads and damaging the work we're doing. Frustratingly it's church members who are the worst and behaving terribly. Things came to a head last week when Paula was told by some ladies that they want to join her cell group but are afraid to because of certain church members. I then had one of the men in my group tell me that he was no longer coming to my bible study as he was scared of one particular church member who verbally abuses him and accused my group of gossiping about them.

MTB Race

I rode the Tru Cape 40km mountain bike race this morning and whilst I enjoyed it I'm now very tired and just a little bit sore, more about that in a minute! I rode with my friend Paul and a friend of his, Paul & I ride early on Wed mornings. This was my first MTB race and like an idiot had to choose what is arguably the toughest on on the calendar. The race venue was the Grabouw Country Club and the surrounding mountains.