Sunday, February 22, 2015

A New Baby

So we have some news. Our goat herd is expanding. We are expecting at least three baby kids in the next week! We are now up to twenty goats. The pigs are doing well. The broccoli and cauliflower is growing. We have almost hit the mid-term break at school and the learning thus far has been very high quality. And in August we are expecting another baby to arrive. Not an animal, but our very own human baby!

To say that we are thrilled is a massive understatement.

We have been meeting with a great doctor in Nelspruit, South Africa and the facilities and the care seem really top-notch. Mandi is doing really, really well. The weather here will start cooling down with the arrival of fall in a few weeks, which will be really nice. We're starting to think about how to decorate the corner of our bedroom and what African name we will give the baby (just kidding!).

To those that are worried about our child being left off the ballet for the 2066 presidential elections, let me remind you that we still fall well within the bounds of the Natural Born Citizen Clause that was put forward by Alexander Hamilton and company. The rest of you know that we actually do not care at all if our future child is president of our country (or their local FFA chapter, for that matter). We just want them to feel loved!

That is all for now. We appreciate your friendship, love, and support.
Oh yeah, and the baby is due on August 31. 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Backpack Blessings!

Last week, the children of New Life Homes returned to school after their 7-week summer vacation. As a teacher, the beginning of the school year involves long hours spent at school preparing, but also involves excitement and anticipation. For young students, there’s also a great deal of excitement, which was confirmed by daily visitors peeking through windows to monitor the progress of school preparations.

The children at New Life Homes also had something extra to be excited about this year—new backpacks! While home in the US, University Covenant Church organized a backpack drive and was able to provide each of the 42 children with a new backpack filled with school supplies. 

A few days before school started, we gathered together and gave the children their new bags. They were so excited! Not only were the bags “cool” (boys) and “beautiful” (girls) they were also much better quality than the backpacks we can find here in Swaziland. They marveled at the contents, which were completely above and beyond what they anticipated receiving.

A few days later I was at one of the houses watching a movie with the kids. One of the boys, KK, was sitting on the sofa with his bag in his lap with his arms around it—for the whole movie! What a perfect illustration for what a precious gift these bags were! 

The gift also communicated an even more important truth to the children—you are loved. People around the world, who have never even met you, care for you and love you just because you are a child of God. Now THAT is a generous gift! On behalf of the kids, we share a sincere thank you for this special gift.

Please continue to pray for our school as we proceed as a private organization. The Ministry of Education has been neither cooperative nor communicative. We are praying to keep our government-assigned Siswati teacher for the year. Tommy and Peter are also adjusting to their increased involvement in the classroom. Despite some of the challenges, we feel much affirmation that we are doing the right thing for the long-term sustainability of the school. We do value your prayers in this area!