I told myself that I would get back into the habit of blogging once baby Titus started sleeping through the night. He started sleeping through the night around 1.5 months which is SO AWESOME! Now, I use another excuse for not getting my blogging current. I go back and forth between these excuses: a month ago we transitioned from the USA back to Africa and we are tired from the LONG (40 hr) journey and still have jet lag...or we are having yet another lightening storm and I am going to turn off my computer so it doesn't get fried by lightening...or we are still living out of suitcases (8 months now!) while housesitting for friends and I'll become a better blogger once we are settled into our own space again in early January.
Anyway - lots has been going on, so I thought I would catch you all up in one fell swoop again.
Since I blogged last - the very most important event was the arrival of our new baby boy - Titus Glen. He was born via c-section on August 24th and is the sweetest little boy ever. He was average weight (7 lbs) at birth, but proceeded to quickly grow into his strong name by almost doubling in weight his first month. He was 12 lbs at month one and 14 lbs month 2. He is a very happy little eater. As I mentioned before, he is a fantastic sleeper and already sleeps 8-9 hrs a night for me which is SO WONDERFUL! He is good natured, laughs hysterically at his parents when they make funny faces at him, tolerates his sister, has a bit of a snore, and sometimes even laughs in his sleep.
We had some wonderful memory making with family and friends in the States during our final two months after Titus was born. Here are a few picures:
When we arrived, we spent some quality time looking for a rental house. Through friend connections, we found an amazing house, for an amazing price and we will be moving in in early January. We are praising God for his provision. Also, the place we are housesitting for is available to us to use until January 9, so the timing is perfect!
On November 29th, we participated in the church service for World AIDS Day in Ennerdale with a very special group of friends. Pastor Wessie and his Compassion Team gave a heart wrenching overview of AIDS statistics in South Africa, complete with personal testimonies from the congregation and a powerpoint presentation showing all the projects where people are being served a helped by their church and ministry partners. OC Africa was recognized as a ministry partner as there are 3 missionary families from our team who all contribute to serving in Ennerdale and Finetown. (Finetown is the impoverished community next to Ennerdale where there is 80% HIV infection rate and where the majority of the Compassionate Care Team’s efforts are focused) In 2008 we took our short term team to Finetown for a week of service doing work in a pre-school, assisting at an orphanage, doing house visits to encourage and give food parcels, doing grief conferences, teaching first aid, and more. It was a blessing to participate! The few pictures we took turned out blurry, sorry.
On Friday we sponsored a Christmas party for the AIDS group I have been involved with in the past. This group is our “test group” for the Bible study lessons I have been writing. I haven’t seen the group since last year’s party since early last year we were preparing for furlough, packing up our rental house, my pregnancy with Titus made me exhausted, and we were in the states for 6+ months. I was so excited to see everyone again! In the past the party was at the church, but this year the venue changed since Pastor Bhembe left the senior pastor position at the church to attend Bible School full time. We arrived at the party destination an hour in advance to set everything up and then waited and waited and WAITED. Dan went with Pastor B to pick up a few people who needed a ride and then we waited and WAITED some more. About four hours later the party finally started, but the 25 people that I had planned the party for still had not arrived. Then we were told the lady who is in charge of the program, who I have worked very closely with in the past, was in the hospital. The van who went to pick up all my sick friends from the church didn’t come while we were there. After about an hour of singing with the local kids and a few grandmothers, Dan and I had to leave to pick up Miesha and Titus from a friend’s house who was babysitting them. The food packets that we made and the feast of a lunch we prepared were still on the agenda, but we were not able to stay any longer. We got a text message later the next day saying my friends from the HIV support group finally did arrive after we left and that everything was a big blessing to them. I have to be honest and say I was a bit disappointed since I wanted to see everyone and to celebrate with them, but obviously God knows best. I hope to get to see them in the New Year. Please pray for THELMA who is my friend who is in the hospital. They don’t know what is wrong with her yet, but she has been unable to keep food down for a week now.
Last Saturday was our Thanksgiving Feast/End of Year Party with our church. We celebrated how God has worked in our church, the growth of our members (we have gone from 80 people to over 300 in the two years Dan and I have been attending!) and there was a beautiful presence of thankfulness. We took a picture of the “small" group that we co-led the six months we were here and I have attached the photo here. About a third of the group wasn’t there for the photo, so you’ll only see about 30 of the 50 of us.
Thank you for your love and prayers for our family.
I hope to be blogging more in the New Year...I'll make it my New Year's Resolution!