Staying true

I enjoy music tremendously. I’m terrible at remembering band names, or song titles, but the one piece of dedication I excel at? Listening to albums on repeat. Again and again.

In June, I am going to see a band called The Movielife with some close old friends. As part of preparing for this, I’ve purchase their first two albums, which I didn’t already have, and am now spending all my exercising time listening to their entire catalogue, over and over.

Generally, there are aspects to a band’s lyrics I agree with… and disagree with. Often I’m not on board with …

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A little less fear

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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Emmanuel

I’ll be honest, the past month has been tough. 

We’ve had illness, on calls, broken cars and stretched cash. It’s also been the first time in my life where I have felt homesick.

You see, I asked God to break me, change me, do what He needs to do to get me where He needs me to be. Shortly after that prayer… the car broke down on a remote beach whilst Joen and Chris were away camping. There really was a possibility that our car would have to stay there forever, and we’d have to say goodbye to convenience and …

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Different Worlds

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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Baby Chris

After a pretty difficult day on call for labour ward, I went in yesterday to check up on the baby I was worried about.

Happily, he is well, but I also discovered that he is now called “Chris” – after me!

I was euphoric for the whole day, telling all the other doctors, and generally grinning a lot. Difficult to explain exactly why, but having a child named after you, its breathtaking. I feel honoured, and undeserving, and protective, and… humbled.

Which is odd, because its an event that could be a big ego builder. “I’m so amazing, mothers

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Awake!

You wake up, disorientated, on the floor in the lounge, next to your phone.

Blearily you reached out for the phone, and answer its insistent call. Harsh, chirpy hold music plays, and then a nurse answers.

“Doctor, this is Labour ward”.

Communication is difficult – English is not her first language –  but the urgency in her voice is clear. There is a woman bleeding, and they are not sure why.

You end the call, and start casting around for clothes, a pen, a stethoscope. One moment, barely awake, the next, a clear focus, an adrenaline fueled calm.

Despite the

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Limbo

This is the first time in my life where I do not know what is going to happen.

I have an idea, a hope, but a written down secured plan? No.

I thought we did. We’d gotten passports, visas, accommodation confirmed etc etc. But we arrived and the plan changed. We got ill, it turned out there was no job, no purpose, just us trying to figure out what next.

The only thing I’ve been sure about this whole process is that we’re meant to be in South Africa. It’s funny, but we didn’t really pray about going …

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Start as you mean to go on…

Lots of people have warned us that this is going to be hard.

Specifically, they’ve warned that a year of medical mission in a township with hardly any English speaking people, and none of our normal support around us, will be emotionally, physically, spiritually draining.

Just as we were getting better, Joen decided to spend an entire night vomiting. I got to sleep on the floor next to him, ready with a bucket.

I think we expect that, and we’ve tried to sensibly prepare for it. What we weren’t prepared for was:

  • Our children barely sleeping the night before we
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Choice

Choice. What an amazing gift.

Many in this world don’t have it. Those that do, generally take it for granted. I know I do.

The choice to move, to vote, go to university, change job, choose what food I eat, what recipe to follow, even what church I go to, what bible app to download… I am privileged and yet I still complain.

The decision “oh what on earth are we going to cook this time?” should become “Wow what shall we cook?!”

bowlsJoen is 3, and part of his stage in life involves becoming aware of choice. One big …

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Plenty of room in the back.

The conversation went a bit like this:

“Yes, we need a blog this year!”

“But we can’t use yours”

“Why not?”

“Because its called All About Chris. And that’s a bit egotistical. And not really about us, just you. You idiot.”

So, when me and Katherine (and our crazy friend Marli) sat around the kitchen table, trying to think of a name for our blog, really we were asking one question:

God, what do you have in mind for us?

We threw around some ridiculous suggestions – getting more ridiculous as the evening wore on – but when we …

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