This blog is an account of our lives and ministry in South Africa. Please click on the tabs above to learn a little more about us and what we do.

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Sunday, February 28, 2010

Phokeng Playground

For the last couple of weeks I've been working in a town called Phokeng.  We're building a playground and basketball court for an after school program for orphans living in child led households.  

Martha, a lady in the community who helps care for the orphans, opens her home to the children to give them a safe place to go after school.  The kids receive a meal and tutoring and this new playground will give them something fun to play on while they are there.

This project has been led by the local YWAM base.  They hosted a team of high school students from California that provided the funding for the playground.  I've been helping out with some building expertise and I'm the only one around with the tools needed for the job.

I love doing this kind of work.  It's such a joy to simply work and see some immediate fruit from my labor.  I'll post pictures as soon as I take them.

A few of the older boys from Phokeng have been helping, and it's great to see them so eager to help out and learn.  One of the oldest boys is a kid named Tebogo.  He just graduated high school and a donor from the states has provided funding for him to go to a trade school for IT.  He starts next week and he's excited to get started.  

Tebogo been our main helper as we've been building the playground.  He's kind of a surrogate father to some of the younger kids.  It's wonderful to see him working and giving the younger kids direction.  I've nicknamed him "coach" because of how he trains the younger kids.

As I've been working it's been surreal that I'm actually back doing what I love so much.  I keep saying to myself, "I'm working in Africa...building a playground...with orphans."  I am so incredibly fortunate to be here.


Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Kidnappings and Human Trafficking

I have debated about whether or not or not I should post this, I don't want to worry our friends and family.  But this is a very real problem here. I want you all to know what is going on here and ask for your prayers for protection for our children and the children of our city.

There have been numerous kidnappings and attempted kidnappings in our city recently.  I have been getting information from different sources and for the most part the stories all line up, so I believe I am getting the truth.

The police believe that, because of the circumstances surrounding the kidnappings, they are most likely the work of human traffickers.  The World Cup is coming here in a few months and this is a huge opportunity in many ways for human traffickers to make money, to traffic children (and adults) in and out of the country, and to lure the innocent and unsuspecting into the world of human trafficking.

I will be writing more about this in the days and weeks to come, I just wanted to post something now and beg for your prayers!

I have been doing some research about human trafficking here in South Africa and have been trying to find some information and ways we can get involved in fighting it and help keep the children here safe, but I have not found a whole lot.  If you have any connections or information please get in contact with me.  You can send me an email at JennyLincoln@hotmail.com or leave a comment here on our blog.


Saturday, February 20, 2010


We got our new boxer puppy today.  We decided on the name "Rocco".  His parents have won all kinds of dog show awards, so we expect him to grow into a great dog.

We were wanting to get a dog that could be a guard dog on the property, but that would also be good with kids.  Boxers can be very intimidating looking when they are full grown, but they have a great temperament with children.

We did quite a bit of research and decided that a boxer would be the perfect fit for our family.  So far he seems to be a pretty mellow dog, and I look forward to starting to train him.  It is important that he be well trained since he will be around children and visitors on a daily basis.


The Rat

When we moved into our house here in South we were told that there had been some rats living inside.  Some of the rat holes had been closed up before we arrived, and rat traps and rat poison had been placed strategically around the house.  The entire house had been scrubbed from top to bottom in preparation for our arrival.

Two days after we arrived we heard a clawing and gnawing noise coming from under our cabinets.  A few days later we began to smell a horrible smell coming from the same area.  We realized that a rat had gotten under the cabinets and died.  

The day the kitchen was crawling with maggots was the day that Lincoln and my dad decided that it was time to get the rat out.  They cut access holes in the bottoms of all of the lower kitchen cabinets.  They found the dead rat, 3 live mice and numerous nests. 

They cleaned everything out, sealed up all the holes and repaired the cabinets. 

This picture shows a huge mess of sunflower seeds, maggots, plastic bags and other miscellaneous items used for nest making under the cabinet.

Here's Lincoln with the dead rat.   That's what we had for dinner that night. (I'm joking.)


Friday, February 19, 2010

The Lion Park

We took my dad to the lion park in Joberg while he was here visiting.  The lion park is made up of different camps where the lions roam free.  You drive your car through each camp and get a close up view of the lions.  Each time we go to the lion park we see something different.

We learned that they feed the lions on Sundays.  We went on a Monday and there were still huge hunks of meat left that had been fed to the lions the day before.  We had never seen that, it was cool to see the lions eating.

I love this picture!!

This mommy lion was steering her baby by the tail.

This is the lion that spotted Kendi and then came in very close for a better look.  It was inches away from my dad's window and very interested in Kendi.


Pictures of the Shelter grounds

 For now, we are living in one of the houses on the shelter property.  It is a 4 bedroom and 2 bathroom house and was most recently used as a foster home for some of the older children in the shelter.  Those children have been placed in other homes, so the house was free for us to use.  We are so thankful it was available and ready for us when we arrived!

I don't have any pictures of the inside of the house yet, but here are some of the outside.

Looking out our front door.  The shelter is on the right side of the picture and the shelter office is on the left. 

The yard at the front of the shelter property.  The end of our house is on the left.


New Cars

We finally got internet in our house so we can begin to update our blog more often.  So much has been happening we have a lot to say.  

For today I'll start with some pictures of our new (used) cars.


For me (Lincoln) we got a 2002 Landcruiser.  It has around 120,000 miles on it, but Landcruisers have a reputation worldwide for driving nearly forever.  It is in great shape and the previous owner was the original owner who kept really good care of it.

It is perfect for me because I can use it as a work truck when I'm doing construction, but it has 8 seats so I can fit our whole family in it, or use it to host teams when they come to work with us.

This last week I was building a playground in Phokeng for the orphans' after school building and I carried all of the timber poles inside my truck.  They were 10 feet long and hanging out the back, but it handled it great.  I thank God for this vehicle as a gift from Him that enables us to do the work we need to do here. 


For Jenny we got a 2007 Honda FRV.

This is kind of like a hatchback Honda Civic sold in the states, but it has 3 seats in the front, allowing us to carry our whole family in a pretty small car.  It gets great fuel mileage and Jenny loves it because it is small and easy to drive.  And of course, Hondas have a great reputation for reliability which was very important to us.

Vehicle theft and hijackings are a pretty big problem in South Africa so we had smash and grab windows installed on both vehicles which helps to deter hijackings, and we also had a vehicle tracking system installed which allows the police to track the vehicle if it is stolen.  This also gives us a discount on our auto insurance which helps to offset the cost of installation.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Quick update

Sorry we haven't posted much lately.  Our internet connection is painfully slow here so it takes a long time to do anything online.  We also can only get internet in one room of our house.  It is in the pantry, which happens to be the smallest and hottest room in the house, so we try to not spend a lot of time in here.  We'll try to get some pictures up as soon as possible.

The last several weeks have been a whirlwind of trying to get settled and getting reacquainted with our old work here.  I've been out to Freedom Park once to pray with AIDS patients and bring them food, and today I went out to Phokeng to do some electrical on the after school building for the orphans in that community.  It's been great to begin to get back into the swing of things and start to work.  We can't wait to do more here and share it with you in the near future.  We cherish your thoughts and prayers.

Jenny's dad just left on the plane to return to Denver last Saturday.  We were able to take him to the Lion Park.  In this picture I am sitting in the driver's seat and Kendi is on my lap.  The lion spotted Kendi and stared at her as if she was stalking her.  It really freaked me out because I'm sure she's strong enough to break the window glass.  We stayed there long enough to get a few good pictures and then we moved on.