Last Friday morning Mark Harding, who founded Tshepo ya Bana (or as we usually refer to it, across the road) with his wife Chris, passed away. We are mourning the loss of this wonderful, godly, gentle, compassionate, generous man. I don’t even know if I could find the words to adequately describe just who Mark was and what his death means for so many people, so I’m not even going to try. Just please pray for the Harding family and the greater Tshepo ya Bana family as they grieve and process this great loss.
A few weeks back, Darin and I sat down with Mark and Chris and had a discussion about the possibility of our family coming on board at TYB as house parents. The couple who was living in the main house for the past several months had found different employment and the Hardings knew that we had a heart for the little ones over here, which is why they approached us. With our recent financial struggles, this opportunity made a lot of sense, as we would be volunteering, but receiving free room and board. We had recently decided to start a trial period at the end of November, but with Mark’s passing, our move in date was pushed up a few weeks. We hauled a couple car loads of stuff across the road on Saturday and have been here ever since. It has definitely been a big transition for our family, especially since it happened so suddenly. It helped that we were planning to come here anyway and had already started talking to Tyson and Jori about the changes that were coming.
Right now, we are in sink or swim mode. We are so thankful for the two volunteers that are here from Holland and the staff as well. We are learning the schedule, making big dinners, and getting used to sharing a house with 9 children instead of the 3 we had just a week ago. Tyson and Jori are learning to share their parents and trying to be quiet in the morning when the rest of the house is still asleep. It has been difficult for them, but we know as the weeks go on we will find a new rhythm. Darin has been spending a lot of time in the car; bringing kids to school, bringing staff back to the house, picking kids up from school, bringing staff back home and running out when we realize we don’t have bread or milk or the right ingredients for dinner. I have turned into a morning person, more by necessity than choice, but it hasn't been so bad.
So, that is our past week in a nutshell. We covet your prayers as we adjust to this very different life. We’ll try to get on here again soon to fill in the gaps, but if you have a specific question, leave it in the comments and we’ll address it!