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.

We hope you enjoy our blog. Please feel free to leave your comments, we love to hear what's on your mind!

(If you got here from facebook or Twitter you can read the rest of our blog at SmithSA.blogspot.com)

Saturday, June 26, 2010

How to comment on our blog 101

We've had a few people ask how to comment on our blog.  I have written out step by step directions. It's really very simple to do.

Under each blog entry you will see the following:

Click on the link that says "comments".  Depending on how many comments have been made on that specific blog entry, the number will change.  In the picture above, there have been 0 comments.

After clicking on "comments" you will see the following:

Type your comment in the blank white section on the screen.  Then you will need to choose a profile.  You do this by clicking on the blue up and down arrows to the right of the section that says "Comment as:"  In the example above, it says "Lincoln and Jenny (Google)" because that is what we are signed in as on our blog.  Yours will not say that.

After clicking on the blue arrows, this will appear as a drop down menu:

We've set up our blog so that you can comment as anonymous if none of the other categories fit.  Select and click which profile you would like to use.

Finally, click on the "post comment" button.  Your comment will need to be approved by us before it shows up on our blog.

If you have any questions about this process, please post a comment to this blog entry (just kidding - send us an email and I can walk you through the process.)


Blog Post Ideas

We haven't been very good about updating our blog often enough.  Our goal is to update 2-3 times a week, and we don't reach that goal very often.  Sometimes we are just so busy and other times we feel like we don't really have anything interesting to write about.

So, we thought we'd ask you, our blog readers, what would you like to read about here on our blog?  Do you have any questions about our lives here and what we do?  We want to make our blog interesting and informational, so please let us know if you have any ideas to make it something you want to read.

You can click "comment" under this post or you can send us an email.  Thanks!!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

South Africa Newsletter

We recently sent out our latest newsletter by email.  If you didn't receive it and would like to, send us your email address and we'll add you to our newsletter list.

Saturday, June 12, 2010

What in the World is a Vuvuzela?

 If you've watched any of the World Cup games this year, you may have noticed a buzzing bee sound.  That is the sound of a vuvuzela, a long plastic horn played very loudly by South African soccer fans.  You can read a Time magazine article about it here.

Saturday, June 5, 2010


Lately I've been in the playground building business.

A few months ago a California team of highschoolers started a playground at the orphan after school program in Phokeng.  This is a place where orphans from the community come after school for a meal, mentoring, and to hang out with friends.

This playground gives them a nicer place to hang out and play.  Derek, the local YWAM missionary, and I have been working on finishing it whenever we have time.  Finally, we finished it this week.
This is me with some of the orphans.  (Yes, I know my hat looks funny but it keeps me cool.)  Martha is to my left, she is the local woman who started this program.

A few weeks ago we had the Stanphill family from the states come over to build a playground for the shelter in the memory of their infant daughter who passed away a few months ago.  They took off all the old rotting boards from our playground and replaced them with new wood.  They also expanded the playground to allow for another 7 baby swings and 4 toddler swings.  They did a beautiful job and we are so thankful for their hard work.

This is during construction.

 This is the finished product.


New Babies

Recently we've received some new babies in the shelter.  They have similar stories.  We aren't allowed to give too many details on the internet.

The great thing about the stories of these babies is that their mothers are in the process of releasing them for adoption.  That is such a wonderful thing and a blessing for these babies.  So many times we receive children that have been abandoned and no one knows who their families are.  In that situation the social workers have to begin a long process of searching for parents and extended family who might want them.  It takes a VERY long time, months, and sometime years to accomplish this.  All the while the child is in limbo, unable to be adopted to a loving family.  We are so thankful for situations like this where the babies are ready to be adopted when they are still young.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

World Cup

I came across an interesting BBC article about the World Cup coming to South Africa this month. 

 The Royal Bafokeng Stadium in Phokeng, South Africa is a stones throw from the shacks of orphans that we work with.

There is much hype in South Africa about the World Cup.  Many people expect this to be the great savior of South Africa, bringing in millions of dollars to the economy.  I think that they are going to be sorely disappointed when the games are over and they realize that South Africa still struggles with extreme poverty.

The world cup is going to have very little effect on the millions of poor.  It's pretty amazing that tin shacks without running water lay in the shadow of world class soccer stadiums.