Sunday, March 30, 2014

Better Late Than Never

I know, I know. I said I was going to write more often; faithfully, at least once a week. Obviously that hasn’t happened!

Instead of trying to do a major catch up, I’ll just write a bit now and the rest some other time, hopefully during our holiday! Yes, we are going away for a few days with my parents. We are looking forward to seeing a new place and just spending some time together without all the distractions, cute and precious though they are, here at Tshepo ya Bana. We had planned to go to Botswana, but instead are heading to Rustenburg. It is a lot closer, and when squeezing 6 people into a 5 person car, travel time is important!
Yes, my parents are here. I don’t even know if I’ve written since they’ve arrived. That is just sad. They have been here since the end of February and we are having a wonderful time. My dad taught three courses in Johannesburg and Pretoria, but that has all wrapped up now. My mom has been such a great help to me, doing homework with the kids, making supper, entertaining extra kids when needed. I am so thankful for them both and am blessed that they have made the effort to come and spend time with us each year. Tyson and Jori love having their Papa and Gram visit. Tyson has a new bug collection, mounted with pins and everything, and Jori has a “new” bedroom, thanks to her Papa and Gram. I’ll have to get pics up soon.

We have been so busy here the last few weeks. It seems like busy-ness comes in waves. Darin was running back and forth to Pretoria and Johannesburg for meetings about Sawyer filters and Peppermint solar energy products almost daily for 2 weeks. He is also getting more involved with the James 1:27 Trust, an organization that we have teamed up with through Take Action Ministries (find them on Facebook!). We are thankful for all of the opportunities he has had, but wish they would spread themselves out a bit more. I have been busy going to court for old and new cases, the hospital to get a new baby and a couple other trips there for Amo, meeting with social workers and talking on the phone, a lot. Again, I am thankful for the busy-ness as it means progress is being made and cases are moving forward, but things all seem to happen at the same time and I get tired and take out my stress on my own family.

Speaking of my own family, we are doing well for the most part. We have recently had Tyson evaluated and it appears that he has ADHD and some anxiety. This is something I’ll write more about at some time, but we sure covet your prayers for our boy and for our family as we try to figure out how to best help Tyson with a few different things. Jori is doing well. She is great friends with one of the sisters who stay with us here. I love seeing their friendship blossom, but also worry at times as I know this little girl won’t be at Tshepo ya Bana forever. We trust that God will give us the grace for these situations and many more.

Ok, that’s my short update. As always, I have so many things to write about, but finding the time to sit down and write just doesn’t always happen! 

Saturday, March 8, 2014


One week ago today we ran in the Warrior Race. Obviously, since I am writing a blog post about it, we all survived! I should probably start by clarifying who “we” are: Darin and Jonna Fey, Tim and Athena Van Gilder (friends from Eastside Community Church), three TYB volunteers (Gabby, Sam and Shanti) and Nhlanhla Harding, one of Chris’s sons.

We had a great day to run the race. The weather was a bit overcast, but the rain held off until we had finished our race. The people who started late in the afternoon were not so fortunate. There was a bit more running involved than I was prepared for, but I stuck to the middle and back of our team and we all managed to stick more or less together. There were times where I wanted someone to carry me, but my dear husband wasn’t willing and I didn’t want to impose on any of my other teammates.

The obstacles, oh the obstacles. We crawled through mud, ok, I walked over the mud and the other people crawled; we climbed up ropes; we climbed over (or were heaved up and over) tires set over a pool of muddy water; we climbed up and over a 20 foot high wooden ladder type thing; we went up and over a cargo net, crawled through tires filled with pieces of coal; climbed up a slanted wall using a rope to “walk” up the wall (I failed this task, but not for lack of trying); ran up a half-pipe wall and depended on the strength of Tim and Darin to pull us the rest of the way up and over; to finish it off we climbed up the “Tower of Rage” and jumped into a pool of water about 25 feet below. There were 15 obstacles in total, so I am leaving a few out!

Overall, it was a fun experience. We all came away with scrapes and bruises, some banged up ankles and knees, but no serious injuries. My parents were able to watch us at a few of the obstacles and they also kept an eye on Tyson and Jori and Tim and Athena’s two oldest kids. It was a great feeling to be running in our “Tshepo ya Bana” shirts, knowing that we weren’t only putting our bodies through moments of torture for nothing, but that we were taking leave of our senses for the children!

Thanks to the generosity of so many of you, we raised over US $1500! We have already used some of those funds to pay March’s school tuition for Thato, and some new burp clothes for Amo (she goes through a TON of them). Now, burp rags might seem a bit inconsequential, but when finances are tight, there are a lot of small things that get put off until some future time known as “later”, but they are needs that we can now fulfill! So thank you, thank you, thank you!

After crossing the finish line Darin asked me if I was excited to run again in 2015. I might have had fun, but I am not that crazy! However, Darin is. He is already looking forward to a new batch of volunteers to arrive and planning to run again in 2015. So stay tuned!

Build Them a Home Progress Report #3

Wow, wow, wow!!! We are only $50 away from reaching our goal!! Thank you to everyone who gave over the past week. The house is really taki...