A brief stopover

Photo-of-feet-in-garden

We are back in England. For those of you who read our prayer updates, thanks for the support, we had a fairly uneventful flight home, albeit with very little sleep – as expected with two children under the age of four!

We are now relaxing in my parents home, trying to enjoy the sacred art of rest, as we prepare for a month long road trip across America. Its amazing just how vibrant and green everything is here, and there’s no sand!

Lots of people talk about culture shock, and reverse culture shock. Thanks to some very supportive friends, …

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Learning to breathe

learningtobreathe

We’ve now been here for 8 months. It has been the quickest 8 months of my life… but also the slowest. It’s the first time in my life I’ve ever really been forced to slow down.

When we first arrived, oh I got bored!

Bored – of looking after the kids,
Bored – of there being nothing to do that wasn’t at least 20km away,
Bored – of being hot,
Bored – of myself who grew bigger and bigger as the quieter days continued.

We persevered and what has happened is a simpler more contented perspective.

I have grown to …

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No more foreigners

mthethwa

At the moment there’s a lot of fear and hype surrounding Xenophobia in SA. There has been a new wave of attacks on foreigners, in several big cities. Many hundreds of Zimbabweans, Congolese, and Indians have been forced to leave the country, whilst businesses have been burnt down and looted.

So far, there’s been very little sign of it in rural areas, and media coverage of the city violence appears to have been blown out of proportion – but its still a slightly tense time to be a non local living in South Africa.

You can deal with foreigners

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You are free

UsInHarrismith-forblog

In March, we had the opportunity to visit Harrismith, the town we’ve stayed in during all our previous South Africa visits. You can see the Platberg behind us in the photo, the majestic mountain that hovers over the town.

It was a real blessing to see our lovely friends, and Freedom Church gave me the honour of preaching at their Sunday morning fellowship.

Continuing on a theme from our talk on Sending Sunday, I used Ephesians 2 as the basis for my talk.

Feel free to download it here, or listen by clicking play below.


Apologies

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A little less fear

Chilling in Soshanguve

Coming to South Africa was daunting. You read (and are told) stories about the country from people who live here – and others that don’t – and you wonder, “Do I really want to put myself in that position?”

Thankfully I told my fears to God and He met with me. He calmed my fears and gave me the strength to come and live here with my family for what will be 9 months.

Whilst in SA, we are being mentored by a lovely couple who head up the UK section to CRM – a missionary organisation with many …

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The New South Africa

The New South Africa

Last week we went to the beach at Sodwana. It was probably not the best time to visit, given that it was the day after New Year, a day that traditionally *everyone* heads to the seaside.

But we went anyway, with our lovely Scottish friends Paul & Debbie (read their awesome blog about living in Soshanguve township). As expected, the streams of tourists meant that the queue to get onto the beach parking took more than an hour – it usually takes us a few minutes – but we persevered.

Once through the parking barrier, there were approximately …

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It’s beginning to feel a lot like…

Kids at Christmas

It is very strange living in a country that gets hotter as Christmas comes near. For 27 years of my life, the build up to our annual celebration has been marked by the temperature dropping.

The nights draw in, the Christmas tree appearing all the more bright as a result, festive candles illuminating the dark. And the social events: carol singing in a thick coat, followed by hot, freshly-baked mince pies and mulled wine; food that warms you up as it sinks down.

Here in South Africa, its been reliably 30+ degrees each day, with a few hitting 36. I’ve …

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A trip to the beach

Joen on Black Rock Beach

This weekend, myself and Joen went away for a trip without the girls. Just father and son, enjoying a trip to the remote Black Rock Beach with some of our friends from the hospital.

It was my first experience of real 4×4 offroading. Not only did I have to use the 4×4, I had to put it in ultra low gear mode, and in the end I still had to give up on one hill and find another route round.

After a fairly exhilarating 2 hour scramble along sand dunes and vague attempts at dirt tracks, the beach was incredible. …

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Different Worlds

bluebird

Coming here, I was aware that South Africa is not England. I was also aware that South Africa is not just one culture itself – any country that has 13 official languages is likely to have very diverse national identities!

I’ve seen several of my friends from Nigeria get frustrated with the Western tendency to think of Africa as one big, perhaps slightly backwards, country. Whilst I’ve always tried to avoid falling into that trap, I’ve still been surprised by the huge variety of ways of life here in Mseleni.…

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Face to face with the old man

chriscar

When we arrived in Africa, we had to buy a car.

It was an interesting process: and also a little dispiriting to discover that 15 year old pick up trucks with 300,000km on the clock are still worth R65,000 (around £4,000).

We eventually settled on a Jeep Cherokee –  we wanted ‘plenty of room’ to fit our 5+ suitcases, and we felt like having 4×4 was a useful move. That turned out to be providence when we drove to Mseleni and took an accidental detour that included 60km on dirt roads, and around 20km just on sand.

On purchasing a …

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