Thursday, August 6, 2015

Looking back, Looking ahead

We have been living in South Africa now for over 4 years. Sometimes I find that hard to believe as I can still picture my kids running around our cul-de-sac in Hudsonville, but it is the truth. These 4 years have been filled with a lot of laughter, a lot of tears, adventure and excitement as well as deep pits of depression. There are days where our eyes open and we feel energized and excited about the day ahead and days where we want to turn it all in, turn over and go back to sleep. This up and down and in between life is the same for most of us, no matter where we live!

From our vantage point, we are able to look back and see how God has been moving, sometimes with quiet gentleness, sometimes with a hard jolt, but always moving us towards Him and what He has in store for us. We can see how He has used so many different opportunities, both the ones we’ve grabbed on to and the ones we’ve missed, to get us to this point and we are excited to see how He will continue to move and shape us.

Over the last few months, we have been preparing to move on, both literally and figuratively, from where we are at currently. We have been in South Africa 4+ years, at Tshepo ya Bana for over 2 ½ years, and working alongside Take Action Ministry for over 3 years. In September we will be moving on from Tshepo ya Bana and working full time with Take Action. This wasn’t a quick decision or an easy one, but it is something we have prayed about, sought advice for, and most importantly we see how God has been moving and preparing us and believe He is ready to use us for something else. Not something better or more, but something different.

Our time here at Tshepo ya Bana has been part of that preparation, as we have met people and come into contact with organizations that have taught us a lot about this area where we live, the need, the culture, and the different ways that things can be accomplished. We are so thankful for the many people we have met here, both local people and those from around the world! God has used those interactions and meetings in such powerful ways. We can say with certainty that while it was never our plan to live and work at Tshepo ya Bana, we know that this was right where God wanted us to be. We are thankful for his guidance, for the gentle way he said “no” to one thing and led us into something more than we would have ever imagined for ourselves.

It is with this same faith, a faith that has grown by being exercised in many hard and often uncomfortable situations, that we will now step back from our work here and step into something new. We are excited about what is already happening with and through Take Action Ministry and are looking forward to being able to devote more time and energy to this work. We do plan to stay in the Hammanskraal area and are currently seeking out places to live. We are also looking for a second car as we learned early on that having one vehicle is not so great for our marriage or my mental health! We know that God will meet needs as we move away from the Tshepo ya Bana community, which has been providing our room and board and extra wheels when needed. We have recently received a few unexpected financial donations and we know we can move forward with courage instead of fear, trusting that God will provide.

I will be writing (soon!) about our work with Take Action, but if you would like to know more now, feel free to email us at or check out to see what is going on!

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