January 23rd marked our one-year anniversary of moving our family to South Africa. What an incredible roller coaster year it has been. We came to South Africa to work with orphaned and vulnerable children. As usual, God has a way of changing our most well laid plans, and this year was no exception.
When we arrived, we intended to live and work primarily at the Lighthouse Children’s Shelter, just as we had done when we lived here in 2006 and 2007. We did live and work at the shelter from January to August. In August it became clear that it was time for us to move on from the shelter. Since it’s creation, the shelter had been funded and managed mainly by missionaries. It was always the plan to turn it over to South Africans when the time was right. Last year in August the shelter was taken over by a local South African church that has the resources and personnel to run the shelter without the help of the missionaries. So it was time for us to move on.
We moved off of the shelter property and began to spend more time reaching out to orphaned and vulnerable children living in child-run homes in the town of Phokeng. (These are homes where orphans who have lost all adult family members live and raise themselves and their younger siblings.) This is a ministry that was begun by our YWAM friends, Derek and Rebecca Van der Merwe. We have been involved in this ministry at a marginal level since 2006, but last September we took more of a leadership role in what happens there. We began to develop an after school program where the kids can come each day for a meal and different activities.
In November we moved yet again (for the third time in 2010.) We had been renting a 3 bedroom flat on a farm/retreat grounds. It was a nice place to live, but our house there was just too small for our family. Someone in our church offered a rental house to us that is much bigger than our previous house for just a little more rent than we had been paying.
Now that we have finally settled down in a home and consistent ministry, we look forward to a productive 2011. 2010 was a great year for us, but it had so much change and transition that we don’t feel like we accomplished as much as we would have liked.
We are starting a fresh year settled, focused, and full of vision and hope for a great 2011.