Tuesday, April 28, 2009


When the team from my home church was here about a month ago, they went to the village of Kabokweni. Elizabeth is the lady there who started a drop-in feeding program after seeing so many children in her area going hungry. She now feeds about 150 children 5 days a week. The team was able to spend a few days at her center, helping with the feeding program & doing a short VBS for the kids. The children loved it!

The last day the team spent with Elizabeth, she took them to the home of one child who needed help. Since his mother died, he had been living with his grandparents. The house was on the side of the mountain & 2 huge boulders had crashed through the 2 rooms. They were using what ever they could find to keep the rain & cold out, but it wasn't helping much. They told Elizabeth that they had no food & he hadn't eaten in a few days. The grandparents asked Elizabeth to take him in. Elizabeth told them she would pray & talk to her husband. The team was able to donate some food for the family to at least hold them over.

Bandula is still living with his grandparents, but spends every day with Elizabeth. He is able to have 3 meals a day there & take some of the burden off his grandparents. As I spent the day at Elizabeth's on Monday, he was attached to me & wouldn't let me out of his sight. Every chance he got, he would drag me to a chair & tell me, "Sit down". Then he would proceed to climb in my lap & just hold me. There were many kisses & he would turn my head if he wanted me to look at something.

It struck me how much this child just needs attention & love. His need for food is being taken care of, but what about the love of a mother? Can you imagine your child, at 5 years old, having no one to hold him or kiss him or tuck him in at night? I can't solve many problems, but I can hold a child. I can love on him & show him what God's love is like, even if we don't speak the same language. It somehow makes it all worth while.

Monday, April 20, 2009

My"Master" is back!

Over the last 2 weeks, several of the workers here on the property have been asking, "When will your master be back". Well, I wanted to tell them that I wasn't really sure when Jesus was coming again, but was looking forward to that day! I was pretty sure that that wasn't what they were asking though. In the African culture, my husband is called my master. Hhhmmm, takes a little getting used to!

Of course, on the other side, I am called Madam or Madam Carla quite a bit, so that is nice. I'm just wondering if they would ask John where his "Madam" is. Well, guess that sounds like the woman who runs a cat house! Oh well! When in Rome....

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

It cost how much?

Before John left for outreach on Monday, he went to the mall to pick up a few things he needed to take with him. (Side note - yes, they have malls in South Africa!) I asked him to pick me up a silverware holder while he was there. You know, the little plastic tray thingy that you put your forks, spoons & knives in to keep your drawer organized. So, he comes back with this plastic one & says, "That thing cost
R99! That's outrageous!" So, that's about $10. Of course, being female, I would have found something else that was cheaper but would have served the same purpose. But, good hubby that he is, wife told him to get a silverware holder, and he got a silverware holder!

Later that afternoon, he decided to take the truck to the mechanic before he left because it was making a noise & he wanted to make sure it was ok while he was gone. The guys drives it around the parking lot & then pulls it into the bay. He starts taking the wheel off, fiddles with something, puts the wheel back on & drives it out. He tells John the brakes were fine, it was just a little peice of metal that was bent the wrong way. He's good to go & no charge. John tries to give him a little money to go buy a pint, but the guy says no, just come back when you need work. As John starts up the truck, the guy tells him to wait; he hears something. So, he climbs under the truck & then tells John there is a couple of holes in the exhaust pipe. They don't fix that there, but sends him 3 doors down to have it taken care of.

John drives down to the next shop & the guy waves him onto the ramp & proceeds to raise the truck, with him in it, up about 6 ft. in the air! He puts a metal sleeve over the holes & welds them on. After lowering John & the truck, he tells John it will be 50 bucks. John ask if that's American or Rand. Well, rand of course! So about $5 to have the truck fixed.

So, he spends $10 for a plastic silverware holder & $5 to have 2 things fixed on the truck. Makes lots of sense, huh? Good thing theyused metal to fix the exhaust instead of plastic. If it was plastic, we wouldn't have been able to afford it!

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Oh the joy!

The team from our home church, New Hope, in Wylie, Texas was here for the past 10 days. It was so good to see them, including my best friend! What a blessing they were. They were able to spend sometime in the communities we work in & also to bless the staff here at Ten Thousand Homes. We had lots of late nights, hanging out on the patio talking & just catching up. It was so much fun, but over so fast.

When they got here, it was like Christmas! They brought us all kinds of goodies that friends & family had sent. We got plastic bowls, Starbucks coffee, candy, magazines, razors, Tylenol, taco seasoning, Pace picante sauce, pinto beans, etc. And my daughter sent me a digital key chain with pictures of her & the grandkids! There was so much stuff, I still haven't found a place for everything!

That was all a huge blessing & couldn't have asked for more. But, the day they left, one of our staff came out with an envelope with our name on it. Inside was a receipt that said "to be delivered". No description of what it was. Well, John & Rae went to the store the next day to see. When they showed the lady the slip, she said, "You don't know what you bought?" After John explained how someone else bought it for us before returning to the states, she said,"Oh, a surprise! Then I can not tell you. But the truck will follow you. You can go home now." So, they followed John home & much to our surprise, there was a brand new fridge! We were so excited & blessed!

They went above and beyond blessing us this past week & the fridge was even more than we could have imagined. So, to our New Hope family, thank you for all the blessings. Each one is very special to us!

No wolverine sighting yet, but...

Every time I talk to my grandson, he ask me if I've seen a wolverine yet. Not quite sure why he thinks I will see one, but then again, he's 6. The first 2 months of being in South Africa, I had really seen very little wild life. Some really cool birds, lots of lizards and that was about it. Until this past week. So, first I saw a mongoose. Mongooses (mongeese?) are great to have around as they kill snakes. Supposedly there are quite a few on the property, but I had never seen one until last week. Cute, curious little things. A lot like ferrets. My thought though is, if there are lots of mongoose, does that mean there are lots of snakes? Or are the snakes gone because there are a lot of mongoose? Hhhmmm....

Then, yesterday morning, I was out walking Gracie right around sunrise. As we stood staring out into the newly cleared field behind our house, I saw what looked like a big deer. I'm guessing it was an impala, although I thought impalas were smaller than that. It saw us & hopped off between the rocks.

So, the wildlife is really starting to show itself. I could have done without the next thing. I was standing at the patio door talking to Rae & suddenly saw a HUGE snake slither from the side of our house to the rocks beside our patio. It looked to be about 3-4 feet long & was a blackish silver color. I went to get some help. Stanley, one of our African DTS students, came over with a jug of gasoline & a lighter. I showed him where the snake went in the crack & he threw the gas in & lit it on fire. By that time, there was quite a crowd. Trust me, I was standing as far away as I could! I was thinking, hmmm,roasted snake! But NO! The snake comes slithering out & goes down a little farther to the big rock pile. Well, I had to leave after that, but apparently they kept trying to kill it since there is a lot of burned rocks! So far I haven't seen it again & will be just fine if I don't!