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)

Friday, August 12, 2011

Birthday Party for Kyler and Isabel

Last week Kyler turned nine and Isabel turned two.  Kyler had two friends over for a sleepover, then the next day we had a joint party for Kyler and Isabel.

Watching a movie at the sleepover

Isabel at the sleepover

Isabel and "Aunt" Bri
(Bri is a YWAM missionary who helps us with our kids)

The grown-ups at the party

The kid (and Bri) table

Isabel wore her party hat for about 1.4 seconds

 Time for presents!

A Dora babydoll for Bel

Lots of Legos for Kyler!

Pretty pink cake for our sweet two year old

She blew out her candles in one breath

Kyler wanted a dirt and worm cake

Make a wish!

 Beautiful princess Kendi

Kyler continues to be a sweet, quiet little guy.  He is very loving and compassionate.  It is fun to see him grow and mature!  He is turning into a young man before our eyes!

Isabel is developing such a fun personality.  She is goofy and keeps us laughing with her silly faces and antics.  She can be a pretty stubborn and frustrating at times, but isn't that what a two year old is supposed to do?


Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

(Oops, jumped the gun and posted this a day early!)

National Women's Day

Photo Source K. Kendall

Today is National Women's Day here in South Africa.  In 1956 on this day, 20,000 women marched to government offices in Pretoria to protest the "Pass Law."  This law required black people to carry a pass proving that they were allowed to enter all-white areas.  These women delivered petitions signed by over 100,000 women.

At the end of the march, the women sang freedom songs.  The song "Wathint' abafazi, Strijdom!" has become known as the anthem of the march.  It includes the line "When you strike the women, you strike the rock."

Women's Day celebrates all women who have fought for women's rights and equality in South Africa.

For more information on National Women's Day, please check out the following links.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Twitter Followers, Read This!

Photo Source Travelin' Librarian

Several people have asked if we are still tweeting, and the answer is yes and no.  The internet connection at our house is so slow that I can't log onto twitter from our house, so posting on twitter has been pretty difficult.  So, I've connected our blog to twitter, and when we post to our blog it shows up on twitter.  But recently, our internet speed has gotten even slower*, and we're having a hard time posting to our blog from home now also.

We are praying for a faster internet speed to become available to us at home, but for now we will post to our blog when we can!  If you would like to follow us on twitter, my name there is @JennyinSA.


*To give you an idea of just how slow our internet speed is - dial up runs at around 52 kilobytes per second, our speed averages about 5-10 kilobytes a second.  What that means is that our speed is 5-10 times slower than dial up.  Fun stuff!

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Mama Agnes is Honored

Recently, a local primary school made a donation to Mama Agnes in honor of Nelson Mandela day.  (Mama Agnes is one of the ladies that we work with in the community.  She helps feed between 80 and 100 orphaned and vulnerable children every day from her home.)

Every child in the school brought food or toiletries to donate to Mama Agnes and the needy children that she looks out for.

The donated items

The school was celebrating Mandela day.  Every year South Africans celebrate Nelson Mandela’s birthday by encouraging people to participate in community service for 67 minutes in honor of Mandela’s 67 years of fighting for social justice.  I think that it's remarkable that Nelson Mandela did not want his birthday celebrated as a national holiday; instead he wanted it marked by service to others.  Mandela is truly an extraordinary man.

The school children at the assembly

I thought that I was just there to drive Mama Agnes and to help her transport all the donations back to her house.  When we arrived we were escorted in front of 1,500 students waiting patiently in the hot sun for the presentation to begin.

Mama Agnes, myself, Rebecca (another missionary we work with), and my two oldest kids, Madison and Kyler, were brought to the front of the school assembly and asked to sit in the seats of honor for the presentation.  For Madison, Kyler, Rebecca, and myself, it was a little awkward to be in front of all the students.  We aren’t heroes, Mama Agnes is.  I was just there to provide transportation.

Kyler and Madison at the assembly

Rebecca and Agnes at the assembly

The school administrators and Agnes

It was great to see Mama Agnes honored with several speeches and songs from the choir.

There were enough donations to completely fill my SUV and another pickup truck.  We took the food to Agnes’ house and completely filled her living room.   She was able to make little parcels to give out to all the children that she looks out for.

Part of the donation was canned meat that she fed to the kids the next day.  The kids were in an unusually happy and energetic mood, singing and dancing as they started their walk  home.  Agnes told me, “The kids are happy because they ate meat today.”