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)

Monday, November 29, 2010

Martha's House

Here is an overview of the work we do with orphaned and vulnerable children in Phokeng.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

We're Baaaack!!

After 4 long weeks of no internet access, we now have a connection again!

We contacted 8 different internet service providers, and aside from the one who is not taking new customers (side note: it must be really nice to be so successful that you don't need any more customers) there was only 1 option that would work for us where we are.  It's a cell phone modem that plugs into our USB port.  I really have no idea how it works, but I am thankful for it!  It's really slow right now but we have been told that a faster speed will be coming to our little town soon.

So, we can start blogging again!  We may not be able to add quite as many pictures and video as we have in the past due to speed issues, but we will start posting again regularly.

I also plan to try to figure out what is going on with the title and link colors.  It's really bugging me, it looked so nice before and I really have no idea what made the colors change to purple and blue instead of the dark red that matched the rest of the blog.

~ Jenny

Thursday, November 11, 2010

No Internet Access

We’ve had every internet provider in our area come out to our new house and the only company whose signal reaches us cannot accept any new customers.  Their tower is full and they don’t have any plans to build a new tower.  The only way we will get service through them is if/when one of their existing customers cancels their service.

The other option we will be looking into is satellite internet, but we’ve heard that it’s extremely expensive.

So for now, we will not be posting to our blog regularly.

Lincoln has internet service on his cell phone, but we can’t check our hotmail accounts from his phone.  We are able to check our facebook accounts and our gmail account from his phone.  Please send emails to us at SouthAfricaLincoln@gmail.com.  If you’ve sent an email to our hotmail accounts and we haven’t replied, please resend it to the gmail account.  Using Lincoln’s cell phone for internet is costly and tedious, so we will be greatly limiting our time online.

If you need to reach us quickly you can call Lincoln's cell phone.  The number is:  011-27-76-308-4310

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

I Saw What I Saw

I love to hear stories of lives being changed when people visit Africa.  When Lincoln and I left South Africa in 2007, we thought we would never live here again.  Although we were leaving, we knew that our lives would never been the same, we would never truly "leave" Africa.  Who we were as people, the way we viewed life and the world, our thoughts and emotions had all been deeply impacted.

I recently heard this song written and preformed by Sara Groves.  The song was inspired by a trip she had taken to Rwanda.


Sunday, November 7, 2010

South Africa Statistics

Based on its sample of 33,488 women attending 1,415 antenatal clinics across all nine provinces of South Africa, the South African Department of Health Study estimates that 28% of pregnant women were living with HIV in 2007. (The most current data available.) 

 Source: Avert

Friday, November 5, 2010

South Africa Stories

One day as I was visiting shacks in Freedom Park, a local squatter camp, I met a three kids raising themselves. Their father had never been part of their life, and their mother died a year earlier from AIDS.

They were 12-year-old twins, a boy and girl, raising their 4 year old little brother. They had both dropped out of school to try and find work. The sister had a “boyfriend” to make money, and the older brother was trying to pick up odd jobs around town to find work.

My heart went out to them as they tried to do everything possible to make ends meet. I offered the older boy a job working in our garden at the children’s shelter where we worked at the time, with the agreement that both he and his sister would go back to school.

He took us up on our offer and we were able to give him a job and some job skills that he could use later in life. The sister was able to leave her “boyfriend” and they both went back to school.

I spoke to their school headmaster a year later and she told me that those two kids were some of the best students in the entire school.


Monday, November 1, 2010

South Africa's Parentless Families

I recently came across an article about orphans as the head of their family in South Africa.  Many of the kids that we work with in Phokeng have lost their parents to AIDS and are raising themselves and their younger siblings.  This article gives great insight into the plight of South Africa's orphaned children.