Thursday, March 11, 2010

what in the world is going on

To all my long lost friends and family. First, sorry that it really has been a month since some of you have heard from me. Yes I'm alive and things are going fine here in Pretoria. For those of you who want the quick and easy update this is it: enjoying the new flat, work is busy, still thankful to be here, saw a giraffe and rhino, I miss doing Yoga class, and I'm spelling things the European way now. For those of you with either more time on your hands or more we go!

The weeks since last time have really flown by but some very significant things have been going on. My step-mom Margit came for a visit for a week and we had a great time exploring just outside of town. We went to the Hartesbeepoort Dam area and stayed in some great little backpackers. After getting lost a good number of times, we found ourselves at Pilanesburg National Game Reserve and spent the day on Safari. Safaris are HOT! It was a blast searching with the binoculars for zebras, springbokke, rhinos, and giraffes. I cannot even start to describe how beautiful the park was and how much fun we had shrieking when the hippos would pop their noses and eyes out of the water, or when we finally at the end of the day spotted a "tower" of giraffes in the trees. Margit nearly jumped out of the car to get a better look. Good thing we didn't see any lions. We also got to go to a musical at the Market Theatre in Jo'Burg featuring Hugh Masekela and Sibongile Khumalo who are both significant and world famous jazz musicians who did a lot during the Apartheid Struggle. It was amazing! Pictures will be coming soon. The trip went very quickly but I think she got a taste of the reality, beauty, and variety of South Africa. I am so thankful that she could visit, it was nice to have a bit of home here!

Why has it been so long? Thank you first to those of you who have been so dedicated in keeping in touch and sending your encouragement, it means a lot. The last night that Margit was here we returned from dinner to find my laptop gone from the flat that Siri and I stay in. It was stolen from our lounge and the person had to have come in through my bedroom window. In the tradition of police officers, they arrived and went on to ask me what they should do! Furious, I told them to search the flats that were also in Museum Park since no one else would really know I had one there and other valuables were not taken. No luck. The computer is gone and that greatly limits Siri and my chances of writing any sort of emails, blogs, or posting pictures. The pictures are also all gone. God is still good and quickly reminded me that things are things, and people are what matter. 4 days later, another of the volunteers here was attacked just outside our gate. She is, thankfully and miraculously doing alright now but it led to a very hectic and traumatic day and week for many of us. But as I said, things are plastic and people are priceless. The police are still investigating the case so if you like, please pray that justice will be done and the person will be caught. Also for her recovery and all of our attitudes. There are a lot of new security measures in place for Museum Park now and the changes seem to be limiting the number of people coming and going so that is good.

All of these things, along with some others really seemed to be a Spiritual as well as physical battle and were challenging much of the work that is being done. We are all reminded that as we work towards furthering the Kingdom of God, there are forces that do not want this to happen. The Counter-Human Trafficking Coalition took a big hit, with people getting sick and information being lost, meetings confused and schedules disrupted but we are back on track now. I will post more next time with exactly what we are busy doing.

Last night, Mashadi, Sheryl and I went on the night outreach to Pretoria Central and it was so nice to be back out on the street. The ladies were pretty friendly and were joking around and talking with us about how things have been going. Sometimes, they are only interested in talking if we have soda or tea or coffee in hand but last night they were really willing to chat. It is always interesting to just sit down and talk about work with a woman who's industry has so many stigmas around it. Some women to be praying for specifically are: Mavis, Olivia, Lizette, Linda, Sibongile, Moshudu, and Polly.

Finding space in the city is difficult and this past week, it was brought to my attention how different life is here than at home and how much this still affects me. So, it has been my new challenge to try and find some spaces to escape to and breathe. Last weekend some friends and I found one! A great big park just outside of town to hike, bike, and ride horses in! There are giraffes and zebras running around, tall grasses, and beautiful trees. Still looking for others, but the list is growing. In the next month or so, I am hoping to do some traveling again. My cousins Pete and Shelley just moved to Gaborone,Botswana and Siri and I are hoping to visit over the Easter Holidays. At the end of April, the plan is to do a hiking trip in Lesotho (there may even be snow there by then).

A new favorite person that you should check out is: Jean Vanier, the founder of L'Arche Communities. His words and work have been very encouraging and challenging lately and we all could learn something from his life!

Okay, more to come in a week or so...maybe even some pictures!
But I love you all and pray that you are well.

Peace that continues to surpass understanding and grace that keeps us serving Him,


1 comment:

  1. So sorry to hear of all the troubles. Keep up the good attitudes - people are so much more important. The people who stole your laptop are more important than your laptop, yes. I hope they are somehow shown a bit of God's love in all this. Somehow.
    L'Arche has been an encouragement to me in the past. Learned of them more while in Glasgow, and then remembered in high school, we worked on the L'Arche farm on vickery.. remember?
    Keep well my friend.