Sometimes you just have to laugh. The hysteria over Harry Potter is just as bad here in South Africa as it is elsewhere, with some bookshops staying open until midnight or whatever ungodly hour it was decided the book could be sold. We know this because our regular babysitter was off to join the queues.

The problem here is that South Africa generally doesn't have a book culture in the way the UK does and so books are very expensive. Harry Potter was going on sale at launch for the usual R240ish (£17). However, Paula happened to see a small notice at our local supermarket saying they would be selling the book for R149 (£10). We knew Paula would be at the supermarket around lunchtime but certainly didn't expect to find any copies left, but lo and behold, there were loads!

10 Years In Mission

This month marks 10 years since God first led us into full time Christian mission overseas when we visited Tanzania for three weeks. Prior to that time we had never thought of serving God outside of the UK and we weren't looking to rock the boat. In '97 we had a very nice life and for the first time we actually had some money and were able to enjoy a few luxuries that previously had been out of our reach. However, God has a funny way of shaking things up and now 10 years on we wouldn't want to give up the adventure He's given us.

Weekend In Montagu

We escaped to Montagu at the weekend and spent a few nights on the farm we visited earlier in the year. The boys had a ball and we were able to chill out a bit before getting back into the routine of school & nursery runs juggled with work commitments etc.

We were very blessed on our last night when Mike the farm mechanic baby-sat for us so we could enjoy the highlights of Montagu's nightlife. Sadly Montagu has no nightlife! Despite that we really did have a lot of fun together.

Roofing Sheets

The Red Cross recently asked us to spend R10,000 on their behalf, the only condition being that the money be used to buy things for those in the greatest need. After a brief assessment (limited by time) we decided that aluminium roofing sheets would be very useful for those living in shacks. The money enabled us to buy 150 roofing sheets and enough nails to secure them (however, the recipients must take responsibility for fitting them). Today Dean delivered the sheets to those who needed them.

An Update Of Sorts

The last few weeks have been really busy as Dean was sorting out our BOB campaign and then undertook a three week intensive Afrikaans language course at Stellenbosch university. The course coincided with the school holidays so Paula was stranded with the kids with no help from Dad. Thankfully it all came together with a weekend away in Montagu this weekend. It was a great way to end the school holiday for Joel and we all had a lot of fun. It's so good to be able to chill out and know your kids are safe wandering around the farmyard looking at the animals and stuff.

We'll post more in the next day or so.

Signs Of The Times?

During the course of a fun day I encountered the following signs, each of which raised a smile

I have no explanation for this other than to say the goats must be very smart to read the sign

Project Fix It - Part 2

On Saturday we completed part 2 of our Project Fix It with a great turnout of folk from church getting involved. This was a great time of blessing for our friends in CNP and a great way for church members to build relationships with people they might not ordinarily mix with.

The feed back from the two days has been very positive so hopefully we'll be able to follow it up later in the year.

Busy Times Ahead..

Having had a hectic weekend of birthday parties and 'Project Fix It' this week is about to get a lot busier and more hectic. Dean has a ton of stuff to do in preparation for part 2 of Project Fix It such as collating the outstanding jobs, sorting teams for Saturday and buying the outstanding resources needed all of which needs to be squeezed in between his language studies.

On Tuesday Dean starts an intensive Afrikaans language course at Stellenbosch university for the next three weeks. Unfortunately, this clashes directly with the school holidays so Paula will have no real support from Dean during this time. So we're not really looking forward to the immediate complications of the next few weeks but we're really excited about the longer term benefits, especially if Dean does get a good handle on the language. Also, Dean's not looking forward to the daily commute into Stellenbosch, the peak time journey is a nightmare, so please pray for safety on the roads for him.

Project Fix It - Part 1

On Saturday we had the first phase of our 'Project Fix It' in which we're blessing our church members who live in the local townships by fixing up the things that make for a more bearable winter. So far we've replaced front doors, fixed leaky roofs, built new front steps and replaced many broken windows.

Project Fix It

Starting tomorrow we're launching 'Project Fix It' in which we want to bless our church members living in the local townships by fixing up their houses to make them more tolerable for winter. Many of our members can't come to church in the mornings because they're too cold or wet. So, Dean has enlisted/conscripted a number of folk to come and undertake simple repair jobs such as replacing windows, fixing leaky roofs etc.

Shortest Day

Today is the shortest day (for those of us in the Southern hemisphere) which means that winter should be about half done, but one never knows! Today was unseasonably warm (quick run out and panic about carbon and slap some tax on something!) and a really beautiful day. One of the joys of African winters are the stunning skies. The Southern Cape is the only part of the continent where it rains in winter, but between downpours we get to enjoy the same clear and cloudless blue skies as the rest of Southern Africa. Such skies are amazing and have to be seen to be believed.