Thursday, December 2, 2010


I am not that big on surprises. I don’t like being left in the dark or not knowing what is going on. You might say that is my controlling personality. (I come by it honestly) One of my sisters favorite stories of me as a child is when I knocked on her door (I really wanted in to hang out with her friends and She kept telling me no) I lowered my voice, as low as 6 year old can go, and Proceeded to say that it was JR (my oldest brother) in hopes that I would be allowed in the room; all that to say I don’t like being left in the dark. So these past few weeks have been torture on meJ.
Gary has told me time and time again that he wanted to marry me and when he asks me it will be perfect.  Man oh man! Patience has never been mine! I tried hard to be patient; it took all my will power to be patient. I can’t say I was perfectly patient because I was not. I tried hard to pull information out of mutual friends but they plead ignorant on the whole thing! And I believed them!
Over a month ago I saw a ring in a shop and I couldn’t stop thinking about it so I showed my friend Lorna the ring to get her opinion on it. She loved it. She told Gary about it but He didn’t seem to be concerned that it was the only one of its kind. I thought maybe he had other plans. Then one afternoon at his parents, Gary called Lorna about an “assignment” he was working on and asked her if she could get that “book” they were discussing the other day for him. I light bulb went off in my head Lorna is not in Gary’s class why are they discussing an assignment?  Later that week when I went back to the store I noticed the ring was gone!  I was sad, not even thinking that Gary was the one that bought it. I told Lorna that the ring was gone and she just said I am sorry. I asked her about the “book” and she played it off so well, she just said she was helping Gary with an assignment he was working on. I believed her.
Two Sunday’s ago Gary told me he needed to speak to Mark (the pastor) privately after Sunday evening Church. I thought they would go into Marks Office at his house and Sam and I would chat and get the kids in bed. I was clueless of what the true meaning of meeting meant. Mark and Sam have Skype so Gary really wanted to Skype with me dad and ask for my hand. When we walked into the house Mark said that Skype is set up (at that moment I knew the point of the meeting). I slowly made my way to the back of the house and helped Sam get the kids to bed While Gary talked to my family.
Even though I knew Gary had asked my dad for my hand, I still did not expect anything anytime soon. I thought he would wait until after the Churches quarterly meeting where they would be voting to bring him on staff at the church.
On Thanksgiving Gary asked me if we wanted to hang out one on one on Friday or hang out with his brother and sister-in-law. As much as I love his brother and sister-in-law I really wanted to hang out with Gary alone, so after I got up to Kraaifontein around 6 on Friday after kids club and we headed to this beautiful park that we went to a couple of weeks ago. It was a very hot day so both Gary and I were in T-shirts; I put jean on, because evenings can get cool, but Gary still had shorts on. We went to the Park found a perfect little spot near the dam and started reading through a chapter in a book we have been reading. All of the sudden the wind started blowing and it got cold fast. I was shivering. Gary said let me make sure I have my wallet and we can go get something to eat. He “had his wallet” and we got up to go, but he only moved to his knees.  I was questioning what in the world was he doing. I wanted to fold up the blanket so we could go, it was cold. Then all of the sudden was only sitting on one knee and he had a ring in his hands, MY ring! He proceeded to ask me to be his wife! I of course said “YES” (Repeatedly).
I was clueless! I might not like being in the dark of things. But I do have to say the end results are always better. I am glad I was clueless even though it was tough to be patient! SO I am very thankful this season that God has brought Gary into my life. I have been praying for years that if God so deemed to provide a husband for me it would be someone who loved this continent as much as I do, and that we could serve God better together then separate.  God has provided for me as he always has and always will. We serve a might God and I give him the praise.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

October 2010

I am halfway through my internship with Mission to the World in Cape Town South Africa. These past six months have been a roller coaster ride of joys and sorrows, as well as a time where I have been able to seek God’s call in my life and know that this is it.
            Being away from my family during that first month here was tough, I cried most days, but the more I got to know people and the more busy I became with ministry the more I started to feel at home. I have made wonderful godly friends who push me more to seek God’s face in all that I do, and I have for the first time felt content in the work that God has given me.
            As Luke writes in Chapter 9 of his book that there is a cost to following Christ. I have experienced a minute part of that. I have missed the weddings of dear friends. I have missed the babies of friends being born. I have missed family events. But I have gained so much as well.
            I have fallen in love not only with my work and this beautiful city but also with a wonderful South African man, Gary Isaacs. Gary is a student here at the Bible Institute of South Africa, where I have been living these past months. He graduates the end of November and hopes to become an Interim Pastor of his home church here in Cape Town. He also has a big heart for the children and youth of his local community in the Northern Suburbs of Cape Town.
Before Gary and I started dating I contacted MTW about returning to Cape Town for an extended period, because it felt so right here. I knew that I was where God wanted me. MTW was shocked because they told me I should be experiencing culture shock and be home sick. But I think I got all of my home sickness out during the first month, and I really I felt at home here. God is truly good, and has made it evident that this is where He wants me to be by blessing me with Gary and with incredible ministry opportunities.
            My ministries have had some interesting moments these past six months; times when I just wanted to cry and time when I wanted to cry out of complete JOY. This month has been no exception. My ministry at Joshua Children’s Mission is going well. I love those kids and they will, by the end of the term, have learned 12 Bible Verses, and learned many great stories in the Bible. My Wednesday Bible Study has been tough. The girls who attend are very closed up and afraid of speaking. They don’t want to be laughed at so they don’t want to really talk. In this Bible study I have two “gangs” of girls. They don’t like each other and I am trying hard to help them see each other as friends not enemies. Two of the girls got into a fist fight a couple of weeks ago after Bible Study. That was a BIG faith challenge for me; I have never been good with confrontation. Carol, the director’s wife, told me that she would talk to the girls if I wanted her to. I personally really wanted her to, but I knew that it was my ministry and my responsibility. I pray that the issue is resolved but in this type of community hatred is running rampant so it sometimes feels impossible to break down the barriers; the only one who can break those barriers is God. But God has given me a glimpse of hope though; I have seen progress in one of the girls; at 16, She is the Oldest. She has a beautiful one year old daughter who was conceived out of rape, and even through the hardship of the conception, Gayle is a wonderful mother who wants only the best for her family. She works very hard in school and at home, not only taking care of her baby but her Grandmother and baby sister. Gayle asked me if I would pray for her daughter, that she would grow up and have a personal relationship with the Lord because she knows how important that is, so I ask all of you to lift this little girl up to our heavenly Father and ask him to take her as his child.
             Another fun blessing in my work schedule has been taking a 12 year old boy to art class every Monday afternoon. Art has always been a joy in my life so I was excited about this opportunity. I noticed soon after working at Joshua Children’s Mission that he was talented and that with training he could be very good. Carol and Greg felt the same so they asked an art school if they would take him and they agreed. It is a joy to be able to take him each Monday. We get to chat about his day and I am working on a good relationship with him. I must admit it makes me a little jealous that he gets to be taking these art classes; it makes me want to pull out my creativity once again!
            Through my ups and my downs these past six months I have seen God’s hand in all my ministries and my daily walk with him. I Praise our Heavenly Father for blessing me with wonderful, faithful supporters who are my faithful prayer warriors.

A child of the KING,
Ruth Caines

Prayer Points:
1.    Pray for the dynamic with the girls in my Bible Study. Pray that God will soften their hearts and teach them how to love one another.
2.    Pray for Gary and my relationship, that the Lord will grow us more in HIS love and teach us how to love each other through his love. And that neither of our ministries are hindered by our relationship.
3.    Pray for all the students who are finishing up the School year the end of November first of December. Pray that they will pass their finals and be able to advance to the next level of school.
4.    Pray for me as I prepare my different lessons throughout the week and how to minister effectively to the Children that I am with 5 days a week.
5.    Pray that Greg and Carol Karsten will find someone to replace me at Joshua Children’s Mission come the First of March as I am to return to the States.  

Friday, October 22, 2010

Rainbow Nation

  South Africa’s nickname is the “Rainbow Nation” for its ethnic diversity.  It is amazing how many different ethnic groups are in this country. I always thought America was ethnically diverse, but South Africa is so much more. I think mostly because there are more Natural Ethnic Groups in South Africa then the USA.
I have enjoyed this “Rainbow Nation” for another reason then just its ethnic diversity, But for its Natural beauty.  I was told when I landed in South Africa that I will see some amazing Rainbows. The past couple of weeks I have seen some spectacle Rainbows. They Stretch from one Mountain to another; from the ocean to a Mountain. It is amazing.
  I went for a run one afternoon in between rain storms (unfortunately it was not so much in the middle because I got caught in the rain half way through my run) and as I running two whales were having a grand old time in the bay that I had to stop and watch them, my lungs were grateful for the stop as well. J As I watched them I noticed this beautiful Rainbow stretching from Muizenberg beach to Fish Hoek beach. It was beautiful.  The greatest way for me to really experience God has always been through Nature.  I have always felt God around me while enjoying his creation. Once again it was like God was giving me a BIG hug as I enjoyed watching these two silly whales with his Covenantal Promise stretching overhead. He is a good Father that loves his children unconditionally.
  I live in “Rainbow Nation” and I really enjoy it, but I am glad to say that I am a child of a Father who never breaks his promises, a Creator whose creation is so wonderfully diverse in all aspects (ethically and topographically). His Art is more beautiful than any art hanging in Louvre or the High or the Vatican or any other Art Museum.  He is the Best most perfect Artist there is. Take time today to look at the creation around you and see Gods handiwork. 

Saw this rainbow on my way to my car to go to one of my ministries. It is hard to capture the true beauty of the rainbows here, but like I said my art is not as amazing as the real thing!

Monday, October 4, 2010

Bend but does Not Break

These trees are all over the Cape Town. They Crack me up! Why are they like this! Cape Town is know for Strong North-westerly Winds, so as young trees  they bend to the wind while trying hard to grow Tall and strong. And as long as their roots are strongly Planted they never fall over when a big wind comes thru. They just are a little cattywompus. 
These trees make me think about the different times in our Christian walk we are blown over by circumstances, but as long as our roots are grounded in the word and our eyes are pointed heavenward we will grow tall! Yes, we might have kink here and there, but those kinks are the Things that God has used to shape us!

Thursday, September 16, 2010

July/August Newsletter


Let my hands perform His bidding,
Let my feet run in His ways; 
Let my eyes see Jesus only, 
Let my lips speak forth His praise.
~All for Jesus
July and August has been a whirl wind for me. I can’t believe that August is already over and September is well on its way.  When School started back the first of July from the Holiday’s I jumped with both feet into all my ministries.
I continue to go to Athlone once a week to see my babies in ThembaCARE.  I knew when I started volunteering there I would see some of my babies leave. I know I am not supposed to have favorites but I do. The two babies that stole my heart on my first day have both been discharged. It means that they are reacting properly to their medicines and they are starting to act like normal healthy babies. It makes me sad to think that each Monday when I arrive I will not see either Elethu or Owetu and their BIG smiling grins that they give me, But I am thankful that they no longer have to be there and they can go to their homes and live a “normal” life with their loved ones.
Joshua Children’s Mission has been such a blessing to me. I have enjoyed getting to know Greg and Carol Karsten and their passion for Vrygund. Carol asked me over the holidays if I would be willing to take on more responsibilities. I was more than willing and ready to help where needed.  Tuesday and Thursday they do a literacy program connected to the school. Carol is doing the literacy program and I am teaching a 15 minute bible lesson and helping the Kids learn memory verses. Then on Friday I teach the same lesson to the kids who come to Kids Club.
My Girls Bible Study has had its ups and downs. I have come back a couple of times just wanting to cry because I just felt as though they didn’t care. I have a couple of girls who can be hard to handle. On one of those days a dear friend came up to me and I was telling him about my frustrations. He reminded me that most likely the only time they get attention at home or school is when they misbehave and so I need to find a way to incorporate loving tactics that encourage good behavior. That was hard to do. I still do not have a grasp on how to do this effectively but I have been praying that God would give me opportunities to learn more about these girls on a personal level, and he has. I have had a chance to speak one on one with two of my girls. I am thankful for that. And I have seen a change in these girls, and I can’t wait to see a BIG change in all of them.
I am still helping out with my churches Kids Club program. It has been such a joy to get to know these kids better. They adore me and I love them. I am smothered by kids as soon as I walk into church. From little 3 &4 year old boys who want me to play a game they have dubbed nighttime to 8-10 year old girls who give me big hugs that almost knock me down. They are all precious. In the middle of Church one Sunday one of the younger girls was sitting on my lap and was playing with my hands, then all the sudden she turned around and said “Aunty Ruth, You are really white!” I just grinned trying hard to hold back the laughter and I said “Yes I am, and you are NOT”.  These are the moments that I cherish and love.
There have been hard times and there have been times of laughter. I am thankful for them all. God is using both of these times to strength my walk with him and learning how to love in those moments where you just want to give up. He continues to teach me to rely on him for all my needs and not trust in my own strength. I cannot wait to see how God will grow me in the months ahead as well as how he will use me to advance his kingdom.
His Daughter,
Ruth Caines

Please Pray for:
1.         1. The girls in my bible study. Pray for opportunities to develop a personal relationship with them and that I will see those moments clearly and use them.
2.        My time management as I have to do more preparations for my daily ministries. That I will use my free time wisely.
3.        For all the children that I come into contact with. That God will soften their hearts towards his Grace and love and that I will see some fruit from the work he has put before me.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

My Heart is in Africa

My whole life I have dreamed of being married and raising a family. There were years where I doubted that was what God had planned for me. I was convinced he had other plans. I knew God was calling me to Africa.  The first day I stepped foot in Kibera I knew God wanted me on this continent. I was coming to terms with my singleness. I was learning that God can use me even if I am not married. I still desired to be married, but I was happy where God had placed me.
Two months ago I was convinced that God wanted me to stay for long term in South Africa. It scared me to think about. Was I willing to put aside me desires for a husband and live on the Mission Field the rest of my life? The following month I contacted MTW, while I was still praying for wisdom of what to do. I learned what needed to be done to either extend my internship for a couple more months or to proceed with the 2 year program. I was prayerfully considering what God’s plan was. I was confident God wanted me in South Africa, but part of me was saying “Lord, are you sure you want me to do this alone?” I knew I would never be alone because God would always be with me, but my desire for a husband was still there.
Then one Saturday I received a text from a friend of mine here in Cape Town. Just asking me how my weekend was going. That one text has now turned into a total life changing event. This friend is now more than just a friend. He has become more. With that one text God opened the door for our friendship to flourish. We are now dating, with the future hope of marriage.
He is a student here at the Bible Institute where I live. He will be graduating in November with the hopes of joining the staff at his home Church in the in the Northern Part of Cape Town. He is a godly man who wants to serve the Lord with his whole being. I have for years been praying that if God did plan on providing a husband for me that he would be a godly man who had a heart for Africa. My heart was stolen by Africa the first time I stepped foot in Kenya and now not only has God provided a godly man but one that feels called to serve God’s people here in South Africa, Gary’s home country.  
I am constantly reminded that when I put my whole trust in God, he does things better than I could imagine. Romans 8:28 reads “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” Tim Keller paraphrases Romans 8:28 as “God gives you what you would have asked for if you knew what he knows”. It is so true! I am thankful that God works things out HIS way and not mine. My ways are tainted with selfishness. When I try to do things the way I want them done is when my world starts to crumble and things start to fall apart; but when I allow God to do his sovereign will in my life things turn out better than I could have imagined.
I am glad that He makes us wait for the answer, because in the waiting we learn to lean on Him and to trust him with all things. Isaiah 43:1b-3a has meant a great deal to me over the past few years as I was trying find Gods will for me. It says “Fear not, for I have redeemed you; I have called you by name you are mine. When you pass through the waters I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, your Savior...” He is with us in those moments when we feel we need an answer now. He loves us so much that he won’t let harm come to us. He loves us and knows what’s best for us!
Thank you Father for having me wait for your perfect timing! Thank you for teaching me to trust you. And thank you for putting Gary in my life and allowing me to continue to serve you in a continent that I have grown to love.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

June Newsletter

June in Cape Town has been fun! Vuvuzela’s have been blowing and National Pride has bloomed. The World Cup has brought this nation and this continent together.  You can’t help but get swept away in World Cup fever here.
School was out this month, so I have not been doing my weekly activities, but I have been involved in two ministries based on the World Cup; I did an Upward Soccer Clinic with the Church and I directed a Kids Club in Vrygund.  I also was involved in couple other activities as well. I went with the church Children’s Program to play putt-putt with some kids one afternoon as well, then I helped out in Vrygrund with some craft days.
This was my first time to be involved with Upward Sports, but I am really impressed with the program.  They have six stations set up to teach the kids different skills. You have 15 minutes at each station. Each station as two or three leaders, and then there are two or three leaders per group of kids. The kids will do three stations, and then they will get together as a group and have devotions and learn a Bible verse. At the end of each day the kids get a chance to earn iron-on stars for the shirt they got for the week. Each star is a different color and represents different Christ-like attributes.
The Camp went really well. There were three Churches involved and we had a great turn out of kids and leaders. The first day I almost became a Popsicle due to rain. I remember as a Kid I loved playing soccer in the rain. As an Adult it was still fun until I realized my hands were RED and COLD and my jeans were soaked to the point where I could have filled a 5 gallon bucket with water and they would have still been wet. Rudy, the director of the camp, decided to not cancel, despite the rain. We were the only Upward clinic in Cape Town that didn’t cancel on Monday. The next two days were considerably warmer and drier. The Kids had a great time, and my kids enjoyed telling me what stars they got that day and what they meant.  The final day I got to play soccer, not just coach. We put together a Parents and Leaders versus the Kids game. It was lots of fun. My legs hurt afterwards because I do not think I have used some of those muscles since College Intramural Soccer.
Grade 4 to 7 got to go to the Soccer Clinic, so we decided we needed to do something with the Grade R (kindergarten) to 3. We took them to play putt-putt that Friday. I was really excited about this because it was a childhood past time of mine when we would visit my grandmother at the beach. The putt-putt course is only two blocks from the church, so we walked the kids down to the course one Friday afternoon. There were three adults so we split the 12 kids into three groups. It was fun. The kids really seemed to enjoy the afternoon and the winner of each team got a ticket to come back. One of the girls told me one Sunday that she was using her ticket that afternoon with her sister and cousins.
The following week I directed “Treasure Island” Holiday Club in Vrygund. The point I wanted to get across was that Jesus is the Ultimate Treasure. I am praying that the kids understand that we are sinners but God loves us. I closed the week reading Romans 10:10-12 For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. As the Scripture says, anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame. For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, for, Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.” I wanted the kids to know that no matter who they are or - where they come from they are all special to God, and that as long as they have a personal relationship with him, the Ultimate Treasure they can be saved. I am eager to see what the Lord does in these kids’ lives. Pray that the children take to heart what they heard during Holiday Club and that there is a harvest from the week.
I know you are curious on how we entwined the World Cup with Treasure Island. It was fun! I picked my top four countries in the World Cup. We had Team Brazil, Team Spain, Team Italy, and Team England.  They competed all week against each other on behavior, Memory Verse, Singing and Group Games. In the end team, England blew every one out of the water with 57 points. They got a fun gift of Silly Bandz bracelets, candy and Pencils.
I was really nervous about not getting Volunteers to help out, but God provided. I had four MTW missionaries help and a friend from church. I was thankful that they willingly volunteered and jumped right in, not even blinking an eye at the tasks I gave them. The week went as smoothly as it could have, and the kids seemed to enjoy the week.
Greg and Carol, the directors of Joshua Children’s Ministry in Vrygrund, wanted to keep the kids busy during the holiday, so Carol and I organized some Craft days. It was lots of fun. I taught the Kids how to papier-mâché and then we painted the dried product the following week. I think fun was had by all.
Now that the Final has been played( One of my top four teams happen to WIN, just saying), school resumes, and the city can go back to its normal routine, as well as I to my daily schedule. I am excited to get back into my routine even though I really did enjoy the holiday and all of its activities.
I am thankful to my Heavenly Father for the success of this month; I give him all the Glory. I pray that hearts have been changed and seeds have been planted.
Please pray for:
1.      Pray for the Kids I have worked with during the holiday. Pray that God will work in their hearts and that they will want to receive the Ultimate Treasure
2.      Pray for all the Kids- that they will stay healthy and safe during the winter. It is getting close to freezing at night here, and most of the kids I work with do not have the best living conditions.
3.      Pray for the Country as they resume into normal life; people have had jobs for a long time due to the World Cup, but now that it is over, people will start to be laid off, which ultimately means crime will go up.
4.      Pray that God will direct my steps on what His will is for my future is as, now three months have flown by and I only have 9 more left here.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

May 2010 Newsletter

My first few months here have flown by. I am entering June with the knowledge of How to get around the city, where to go for certain things and Where not to go at certain times! This is becoming a place I can call home!

Gods has graciously filled my scheduled! I am really excited with the work the Lord has blessed me with. I go one day a week to Athlone and work at Thembacare. Three days a week I go to Vrygund and Work with Joshua Childrens Mission. Once a week I go into Masiphumelele and teach bible. And once a week I help with Kids Club at Muzinberg Community Church.

Thembacare is a church run program. It started out as a Hospice for babies in the early 2000’s; but now that ARV’s have been introduced their survival rate for children as gone from a 20% to an 80%. Praise God. Now they are working with the Children to get them Healthy and get their motor skills better developed. I am playing with babies and working on basic motor skills like laying them on their stomachs and getting them to reach for things, or singing them songs, read books to them, letting them hold my hands while they learn to walk! It is lots of fun, even though I am sure in the course of the next 9 months I will lose one of baby! That will be hard. But God is working there. Thembacare not only works with the children, but they work with the child’s guardian. They are teaching them what foods to serve the child, and how to admister the childs medication. They are also helping transport the guardian and child to doctor appointments.

Three days a week I am going into Vrygund, doing an after school program. I am really enjoying this time. The Kids I work with are awesome and the Directors of the mission are sweet, dear people. I am in charge of their holiday Club (VBS) this year. I am excited about this opportunity but nervous. We are learning what “real Treasure” is. It is June 21-25. I also started a bible study for 9 of the older girls that come to the after school program. They were asking questions a few weeks ago, and God put it on my heart to teach these girls the truth of the gospel. We are doing a program by Samaritans purse. I think that it will be good for these girls. I really would love to get them to start thinking on their own and asking me more questions. I just pray for God’s blessing on this ministry opportunity.

I continue to teach at Ukanhyo School once a week in Masiphumelele. It has been a challenge for me. I have a hard time teaching to 6th graders who don’t really seem like they want to be there. It is the end of their school day so they are ready to go home and be done with school. Next semester I will be taking two 2nd grade classes in addition to my 6th graders. That will be good. I am much better with this age.

I am also helping out with Kids Club and Sunday School at Church. I have really enjoyed getting to know the Children at Muzinberg Community Church. They are a real Joy. They are eager to learn and are thirsty for knowledge.

I am thankful that my days are getting fuller and I am taking on more responsibilities with my Jobs. And I ask that you will pray for these children that I interact with on a daily basis. 
I want to share a song “Esther” by Sara Groves:
“I have a picture of Esther and David
She is a young bride and he is a soldier
They didn’t know then that David was dying
They wouldn’t have children
Alone with a life time, Africa called
She went for the first time, it grew in her heart
All of the children, all of those children
Now Esther has 2.4 million children
She writes us and asks us to pray for them all”

If you have not noticed you will find that my favorite Singer Songwriter is Sara Groves. She is simply amazing with the imagery she conveys in her songs. This particular song has meant a lot to me as of late. Africa did call and I don’t have children of my own, but I do have children. All those kids I have taught and are teaching in Sunday school in the States and here in South Africa, and all the other children I work with have become my children. My little sick kids in Thembcare dying of HIV/Aids, my kiddos in Vrygrund and Masiphumelele, who live a daily life I cannot fathom; they all have a special place in my heart. They all have different stories and I do ask as “Esther” asked: “Pray for them ALL”. Lift these dear souls up to the heavenly Father who cares about the Children and loves them all.

Winter in the Western Cape is wet and cold! The wind howls and the rain is not really droplets, but a mist! But a mist that will get you soaked in two seconds. It is rather incredible! As I sit here and listen to the wind and rain beat against my window, I go back to Kenya in my mind and think about walking (more like wading) in and out Kibera. I am thankful that this is not the case here. But that doesn’t stop the fact that my Children are sleeping in this! The live in Shacks made of tin, some built on sand, some built on top or near a swamp. Water comes into their very small home where most likely their beds are on the floor. I remember my Kenya team praying for those in Kibera to stay dry and warm during that trip of rain. And Now I ask you to pray for these children here in Cape Town. Pray that they will not only stay warm and dry, but also stay healthy. Some of these kids already have poor immune systems because they have HIV, and have poor diets, so to stay healthy is hard. Keep them in your prayers! All of them! They are all God’s Children, and they have become my children!

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Night of the Vuvuzela

I was so thankful that I got to go to a game. When I finally accepted the call to go to South Africa I didn’t realize that I would be there during the World Cup. Once it clicked in my head I thought that it would be fun to go, but never imagined I would actually go to a Game.
One of my supporter’s daughters was studying at the University of Cape Town (UCT) this past semester. She purchased tickets thinking that she would still be here for the game. But she had to go home early to see her brother graduate and go to her Grandmothers Birthday Party.  She called me one night and asked if I wanted her ticket! Of Course I did. It was awesome of her to give it to me. I went on Opening night to the France vs. Uruguay game.
I ended up going over to the Mcginity’s house to watch South Africa vs. Mexico, and then Pamela, Lake and I headed to the stadium after the First game. The Mcginity’s had tickets as well. We left their house a little before 6, for an 8:30 game. We drove to UCT to park and hopped a Bus to the stadium.( You take two buses, One from UCT to the Civic center, then another one from the Civic center to the stadium)  As are bus was pulling out of UCT traffic was at a standstill, which made me concerned that we wouldn’t get to the stadium on time. But then the French team drove by! That was why traffic was stopped.  It was fun to be able to see their Bus! And to think that Henry was on that bus!
The Bus ride was fun! Enthusiastic fans shouting for their teams (some of which weren’t playing that night). Vuvuzela’s were blowing.  Some were even talking (Yelling is more like it) to the people on the street. I think the bus ride might have been one of the best parts of the night.
We got to the stadium park a little after 7. We followed the crowd to what we hoped was the entrance to the stadium. The closer we got the more jammed we became. I felt like a cow being herded in to a coral. It took a little over an hour to get 100 meters. Do you remember when you were a child and you were standing in the middle of a group of Adults. You can’t see anything except those around you. That is how I felt. I was surrounded and all I could see were people’s backs. Pamela finally made me get in front of her, because she kept loosing me.
There were interesting people in this Crowd.  Some of them I could smell the alcohol on them. Some were on the shoulders of friends, shouting for their favorite team; People blowing the Vuvuzela’s and singing the World Cup song.  And even some were dancing.
I finally got to me seat a few minutes before the National Athems were played.  The game itself wasn’t the most fun to watch. It was a little slow. But the atmosphere in the Stadium was great. I even thought that the Vuvuzela’s would drive me crazy, but actually inside they became like a white noise. And I was able to tune them out.  I tuned them out to the point of when the guy behind me would blow his I would jump because I wouldn’t be expecting it. 
I was sad at the beginning of the game because Henry was not starting. Henry is/was (he is getting older) one of the top strikers (center forward) in the Premier league. He plays for Arsenal. (I don’t really have a favorite team in Premier League. I use to cheer for Man U. But I can’t say I am fan anymore since I have really watched it in years.) But Henry came in the last 10 minutes of the game. I was excited to see him play. The game ended 0-0. 

Theirry Henry #12
Leaving the stadium was much like coming into the stadium. I was being herded out. The first bus station was so crowded that we decided we could walk the 2.5 k’s to the civic center faster than waiting on a bus. The walk was interesting; 10 thousand people walking in the same direction. It was hectic. We made it to the Civic center safely and we waited only about 10 minutes for a bus. We got back to the Mcginity’s at 12:30. It was a fun night that I won’t forget. I am thankful that God blessed me with the opportunity.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Rugby and Braai: A South African Past Time

I went to one of the students houses to watch the Super 14 Rugby Championship. Two South African teams were playing: The Bulls and the Stormers. The Bulls are from the Pretoria area and the Stormers are From Cape Town. From what I have gathered, it is a BIG Rivalry. It is like when we would Play Boyd or Notre Dame in High School. Sadly the Stormers lost. It was a good game, the Bulls are just BEASTS. They are HUGE. And the Poor stormers had a few BIG players but not like the Bulls. These Guys were BIG!
I had only watched one other Rugby Match before this one! I was told the basics. I think each time I watch I learn more of the Rules.  But if you have never watched a Rugby game before and didn’t know the Rules you would see:
Kick the ball…catch the ball…Hit the guy with the ball…throw the ball backwards…run with the ball and Pray you don’t get hit….get hit and you are now on the bottom a huge pile while trying to hand the ball to someone else.
It is really crazy to watch. I think I like football better, but we will see next season when Rugby starts back up.
After the Game we had a Braai. A Braai is a BBQ here in South Africa. Except they take it REALLY seriously. Its not an American BBQ with Hamburgers and Hot Dogs and Corn on the Cob. Oh No. You have Boerewors which is a spicy sausage of sorts. You will also have Lamb, steak and Chicken. You NEVER use gas. You  can use Coal or Wood. A true South African will use wood, but most people just use coal because it is easier. We used Coal. I am learning that I think the taste of Meat is better cooked on Coal then on a Gas grill! SO much nicer, or Lekker as a South African would say.
It was a fun evening even though The Stormers lost. I am truly blessed by the Friendships I am making here!

Friday, April 23, 2010

Cheeky Flight?

I have spent the past week in Hermanus, South Africa.  It is best known for their whales. Every Year from June to September the whales come up from Antarctica to South Africa to mate! Since I was not there during those months I didn’t see any whales, but the scenery was stunning. The retreat center where we stayed was in a valley of about four or five mountain ranges.  I really felt like I was in the Blue Ridge Mountains in the fall. The Trees where changing colors. Yes, we are going into the fall down here. The colors on the trees aren’t any where as beautiful as they are back at home, but they are changing.

The Whole Africa team was there: Ethiopia, Uganda, Zimbabwe, Zambia, and South Africa. We spent the mornings in meetings; learning what each other’s ministries were as well as worshiping our savior together. In the Afternoon’s we each got a chance to go on adventures. I went horse Back riding.

I was asked if I ever rode a horse. I told them I had, because I rode with Martha Krabbendam several times in high school and some with the Williamsons as a child. I didn’t know saying this they would presume I was the best rider in the group. The man leading the rides, Peter (that was his English name he had a Xhoasa name but I couldn’t tell you what it was), matched up everyone with a horse. While he was doing this there was one horse who I knew was going to be trouble, because he was trying to untie his lead from the fence. One by one people mounted their horses. This Horse was still not mounted and I was still waiting on being put on a horse. Peter took the bucket up to the horse and said here you go! Dang it! I have been given the crazy horse, or as they say here, Cheeky! I held on to his reins and he started throwing his head back. He didn’t like that. And he started to go. Peter Yelled “Put your brakes on” I put the brakes on and he Stopped but still didn’t like me holding the reins as tightly as I was holding, which I wasnt holding them very tight. I had to barely hold on to them for him to be happy. I asked Peter what the horses name was, He said “Flight” I thought to myself great the others have horses named, Rembrandt and Jessie and Patches, I have FLIGHT! What does this mean for the next hour!

We headed to the beach. I think the first time in my life I can say I didn’t enjoy the beach. As soon as we hit sand, Flight started to trot, and then the trot turned into a gallop. I don’t think I have galloped on a horse before. I was freaked out. I kept yelling Whoa, and Stop while pulling on the reins, but flight didn’t listen, My brakes must have gone out. My foot came out the stirrup. I was sure I was about to eat sand. I said a quick prayer, Got myself balanced, my foot back in place and then Peter whistled and just like that Flight stopped.  My heart was racing. Peter decided that we needed to leave the beach so he took us on some trails in the Mountains.

The trail ride was much better except that Flight didn’t like to be behind anyone. He kept biting Emily Wegners horses butt. Well Jessie didn’t like that to much so she reared back and kicked her! I can’t say I blame her I would have don’t the same thing. She calmed down for a while until Patty Wos and Patches were in front of me, She started doing the same thing. Thankfully Patches didn’t kick her as well. I don’t know what her deal was, but she was Cheeky!
This is Flight! She was Beautiful! But Not Nice

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Care Packages

These are things I miss from back home and they are sold here, or that I am told I should ask people to send because it is stuff they just dont sell.! Which some of them might be good that I dont have them here so I wont gain weight, but I still would love to have them:)

  1. Twizzlers
  2. Hershey's Chocolate 
  3. Skippy Peanut Butter
  4. Dove Dark Chocolate
  5. Taco Seasoning
  6. Ranch Dressing
  7. Blow Pops.
I might have to add to this list later but this is all I can think of

Saturday, April 10, 2010

Sushi Roll?

I have you ever made sushi? I had my first experience.
Last Night a bunch of the BI students came over for Sushi! One of the students was a chef and put together everything to make it!  They set up all the ingredients and tools on the Dining room table and everyone gathered around and rolled their sushi! It was delicious. It was a fun night, I got to meet about 30 BI students whom most of them live on campus so they will be my neighbors very soon.  The boys were hilarious, I felt like I was 14 again sitting in the TV room with David and all his friends. That is exactly how they acted, laughing, making fun of each other, but also having serious conversation in the midst. SO it will be nice to have some people around who remind me of my family.
I am settling in well. I am just sitting back and learning all the quirks and expressions of the south Africans.
I am excited because I will be spending the Night with the Mcginty’s on Monday night so that I can go to bible study with Audrey Griggs that next Morning. Coby and Pamela Mcginty lead the Student Y (which is a lot like RUF) at UCT, where Audrey is studying this year. It will be nice to have a familiar face around.
I worked all afternoon on my lesson for Thursday at the Masi School. I will be teaching Daniel 1 to 3 6th grade classes. I am a little nervous about this mostly because that is a little older for my comfort zone, but Going out of the comfort zone is what helps  you grow! It is my really first task since I have been here. It will be interesting to see how these kids will react to me! I little white American girl standing in front of a classroom of 50 primarily Xhoasa students. (Xhoasa is one of the largest tribes in South Africa). The Lord will take control of my words and say what needs to be said!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Baboon Crossing

Today was a good day.
After not sleeping for at least 36 hours I slept for 10 hours. The Wannemachers ( Who I am staying with for the first few weeks) graciously let me go to bed early last night while they entertained company. I slept like a rock.
This Morning Bill Carr and I went to downtown Fish Hoek. (Fish Hoek is where I will primarily be working and Living. It is about 45 minutes to an hour from downtown Cape Town.) We went to a car dealer ship where I put a down payment on a 93 Nissan Sentra that was in immaculate condition, according to guys who looked at it for me. And the best part is it’s a automatic, so I don’t have to learn to drive a stick shift. PTL. That was something that was a little nerve racking for me. I should be able to get the car on Wednesday. After wards I went to The Cape with Susan Newkirk and her Dad who was visiting with the Missions Directory at Susan’s home church in St. Louis, Twin Oaks Pres.
The Cape was absolute stunning. All day I have been imaging God creating the world, I think he had a really fun time with CT (Cape Town). Everywhere you look you see either mountain or Oceans and usually both at the same time. I was told before I came that this was the most beautiful place in the World. I have heartily believed it, but now I know it is true.
the Cape Of Good Hope!

I giggle every time I think of Baboons I think of Kenya, because my friend Jen Miller and I got chased by some one day in a National Park. But here in CT they have signs for Baboon Crossings (mostly Warnings, because they are Trouble) It is very similar to Deer Crossing signs. Baboons can do a lot of damage to a car.
I am excited about the work they have me planned for me one is to teach 6th graders bible in a township school. It is a little intimidating to do that, but I know these tasks are the ones the help you grow!

Sunday, April 4, 2010

48 Hours

Well in less than 48 hours I will be on an airplane headed to the other side of the world.
The past couple of weeks have been a whirl wind. Last Saturday My friends threw me a going away Bash. It was a lot of fun, and very touching to see how many people showed up. And then on Sunday I was commissioned by the church. It was wonderful to have my parents and two of my sibling’s families there.  We all took communion alongside my taco gang, my small group, my bible study ladies, and my Kenya team! I thought I would be in tears like I was at my friends commissioning last June, but I kept myself together until my daddy prayed. But then it was just a few tears.
After dealing for almost a month with the South African Consulate I finally received my visa. It is amazing the lies Satan can whisper in your ear when you are trying to be patient. But Everyone’s prayers where wonderful and calming and I had to keep reminding myself that God had this under control.  I was thankful and relieved when the visa arrived on Wednesday.
I am now trying to pack. Thanks to my sister Heather, I have the majority done, but I am still lacking priority items and they are at their maximum weight. I believe I am going to have to pay big bucks for one extra suite case. But I am going for a year!
I will not say that I am not nervous or sad, but I think my excitement is truly outweighing those emotions. I will miss my family and friends. But I know God has a plan for me, if he didn’t then all the details would not have come about as well as they have if this was not His plan.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The Cost of Following Him!

I read a blog by a 20 year old Women who has given up everything from her American Life and has made a life in Uganda taking care of the children there. ( ). Her last blog has meant a lot to me. She talks about the COST of following Jesus.

I have struggled the Last week with leaving my family and my Friends, and my comfort. I keep wanting to say God are you sure? Are you sure this is what you want me to do? I know it is, but it is hard to comprehend. But Katie’s Blog was very encouraging to know that God has called us to Count the Cost of what it takes to follow him. I might not be in my comfort zone but I will find the Joy in following him! I am not saying that there wont be those moments were it is going to be tough, but I know God will be with me and that through him I will find the Joy or serving him.

The count down begins: 49 Days til take off!