Monday, June 10, 2019

Lesotho, the grand finale

Today (May 31, '19) was our last dip into Lesotho, and Josh's first time.  His passport arrived Wednesday, but Thursday was a holiday in Lesotho so we didn't have any schools scheduled that side of the border.  Instead we had 2 in Ficksburg on the SA side.  Today we went back today for the last two schools.

The first school was super enthusiastic.  First they just started laughing when we arrived.  I think that was at the height of Paul and Josh.  Loud laughing.  But when they spoke to them, the kids responded positively to questions and were respectful.  

I dashed to another nearby school while they were speaking to drop off some books.  Then we had about an hour before we needed to be at the second school.  Josh had found some dinosaur fossils online, and I realized they were right near this school, so we set out (without much hope on my part) to find them.

Subeng Dinosaur Footprints was there.  I'll share photos and our funny guides.
 Things didn't look too promising at first.  Those yellow things under that hut are squished plastic chairs!  I hope no one was sitting there when the hut fell. 
 The brother of the guide had painted this rock and wanted an extra tip because now the frog needed repainting.  I suggested Paul's chalks but no one was excited about that little gem of an idea.  Paul gave them both tracts and the brother was studying his.  English is not his first language, but you never know where tracts go and what they can accomplish. 
 Do you see a footprint in there?  They were under water!  Our first guide swished the water and sediment away with a branch.  They said these had lasted for some millions of years, but they're not looking like they're going to last too much longer with the rain and the brushing and all.  Unbelievable. 
 So, I'm afraid this is our best shot of the footprints.  Googling Subeng Dinosaur footprints gets you dry season shots. 
In truth,
I loved this outing!  Our guides made me laugh as they had to hunt a bit to find these illusive "millions and millions of years old" prints. 

They kept dreaming up more reasons we should keep paying for things.  Near the end of their little tour, they said all the money so far was going to the council, so now we needed to give more for them.
The frog was our "surprise".  I took little videos, but I haven't managed to upload them.  Too bad.  They are funny.

We believe in dinosaurs.  Not sure about the Lesothosaurus, but it was fun looking. 

Thursday, May 30, 2019

Lesotho part 2

On May 27 our Bible reading included Proverbs 27 which begins, "Boast not thyself of tomorrow, for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth..."  So.  Did I say we were going to Lesotho?  The day didn't bring forth as expected.

That day Paul preached at two schools in Ficksburg,  on the South African side of the border, and then we headed for the border.

Border crossings are always a little nerve wracking, but this one seemed like a tame little one.  What could go wrong?  Um, a lot could go wrong.  It was there at the border that we discovered we had Josh's shiny new passport, which does not include his SA visa, and that was not enough.  We needed his old one as well, the one with the SA Visa in it.

Time to move on to plan B or wherever we are in the alphabet.

We went back to the guesthouse where we had been staying, moved back into our newly cleaned room, shuffled luggage frantically, and then Paul set off for Lesotho alone.  We didn't know if he would be back that day, or later in the week.

He found a border crossing a breeze, and then put "schools" into the GPS.  He drove to 6  schools, and scheduled 5 of them for Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday!  Whoo-hoo!  That's good.odds!  (It sounds so simple, as I re-read that, but if you could see the roads...)

Then he came back to us in Ficksburg.

Meanwhile, Josh and I had called "base camp" in Cape Town, and  Paul's nephew James got the missing passport into DHL, who said they'd have it here by Wednesday noon.

Tuesday Paul and I went into Lesotho to preach at three different schools.  Josh stayed at the guesthouse and made progress on his missionary video he's had in the works for years.  The end is in sight!

Wednesday Paul and I went back  to Lesotho for more adventures.  Let me just say here, I am so thankful for our Jeep!  It can handle Lesotho conditions!  It's covered with dust, and it rather matches the dust which is an extra perk.

The first school on Wednesday made some memories.  The principal of that high school talked to the students in very halting English after Paul was done preaching.

He said, " told call him...Small...Paul. That's...just...irritating." (The principal is a little guy.)  That's where I cracked up.  But there was more.

"This... man...came straight out...of heaven.  He...fell...from...the sky."  Now the students were laughing too.  When they got quiet, he went on.

"Do you know why I say that?  Because.  I...never...heard...of this man.  I didn't know anything about him, and he came here.  God promised to feed His people in the wilderness, and we are here in the wilderness, and he is like bread that came out of the sky."  I think the students clapped at this point.
The school "in the wilderness" has an amazing view!

So my MANna and I had some time before the second school, so we went and scheduled another school for Friday in between.  We ate sandwiches as we drove, and were pretty well refreshed before we got to school number 2.

That school had a unique way of gathering for assembly.  The teacher had one class (grade one?) go over to a spot on the grass and set up their chairs.

Then she called another grade and they raced across the grass to stand behind the seated children.  One by one the grades raced over to find their spots.

They were nicely attentive children, but the principal was flitting talking to her colleagues and doing whatever, often with her back to Paul.  As he was starting the invitation, she must have tuned in, because she came to me at the back and said, "This is a Muslim school."

I didn't quite know how to respond to that.  All I could think of was, "He's almost finished."  I should have said, "This will not hurt them" maybe.  Anyway.  He finished, and the teachers received books and DVD's.  On the way home I told him.  He was rather pleased that he had just preached in a Muslim school.

Back in Ficksburg, we had some tension because Josh's passport with Visa had not arrived, but it did show up about 4 hours later than we thought.

We have enjoyed our guesthouse so much, with one of the exciting things it has is HEAT!!!  This morning the Jeep was covered with ice and had to be scraped before starting.  I've been so grateful for that heater, for my own comfort too, but most especially for Paul as he was sick at first.  He is getting better each day.

Today, Thursday, Josh and Paul went to schools in Ficksburg, on the South African side of the border.  It's Ascension Day which is a school holiday in Lesotho so Paul scheduled two schools yesterday morning in Ficksburg.  It is so exciting how the Lord has opened those doors.

When they came back from the first one, I asked how it went, and Paul said, "Good, but I had to fight for it."

Though they had scheduled it yesterday, today the principal who scheduled the meeting was not there, and the ones there were not so sure, so he had to convince them again.  The assembly finally happened, and when it was over, all were delighted.  Josh told me one of the teachers seemed thrilled with Paul's teaching style of constantly asking for feedback, to see if the kids understood.  Another comment was how this was going to change the school.  Thrills!!!

So we plan to sleep in Ficksburg three more nights, with one more dip into Lesotho (Josh for the first time!) on Friday, and then head for Cape Town Saturday morning right after Josh and I do the local parkrun again, but we won't boast because we don't know what each day will bring.

The view behind the school "in the wilderness"

                                               Scenery from along the road in Lesotho.
 Our faithful grungy Jeep, for which I am very thankful!

                              Paul preaching to an eager group of students in Lesotho.
As we approached the border to go back into South Africa, traffic was very slow, so Paul grabbed a bunch of tracts and hopped out to pass them out.  He was going faster than the car for quite a while and gave out a lot as I poked along in the Jeep.

Monday, May 27, 2019

Lesotho 2019

Taking time to stop and photograph the flowers on a walk.
    On the road again...Wednesday the 22nd of May, one day after Josh turned 18. 
I thought I'd take note of some of how we eat on this trip, having never done so.  We go for efficiency as well as healthy and yummy, so our first meal was sandwiches, from tinned chicken, with mayo added.   These tinned chickens have been a winner on trips, and I was psyched to find a deal on them this time before I was even looking!  I stocked up. 
KFC got our business for supper cuz it was at the right place at the starving time.  It wasn't exceptionally quick, but we didn't realize that 'til we were committed.  Delicious!  A little touch of Kentucky in the Karoo.  
I felt so organized for breakfast having 8 eggs packed in a plastic box, with a towel to pad them.  Alas, the best laid plans of mice and men, don't always work.  My eggs were scrambled before I got to them.  Well, 5 were, so I cooked the remaining 3 in the kettle meant for tea, and we were started.  In the Jeep we had my homemade granola, a family favorite, (I'll send the recipe to anyone who wants it!  It is my most shared recipe, I think.  It's a high protein recipe I learned from a pregnancy book way back with Evangel.)  When we stop for petrol, I'll wash out the bowls. 
So now we're driving blindly, straight into the sun, straight along the N-1 toward Lesotho.  I think we have about 7 hours to go.  
The Karoo delights me.  It's semi desert, so we see a big panorama.  We see sheep grazing, impala hopping, cows occasionally, and ostriches standing tall.  The Karoo is known for it's windmills too, and I hope to get a stunning silhouette of one to stick on here.  (*GOT one!  Though it's the sun that is stunning, more than the windmill.  See back at the top.)  The terrain looks like New Mexico with buttes popping out of flat or gently rolling landscape.  The predominant color is brown, but certainly not the only color.  Last night the pinks and purples were wonderful at sunset.  This morning in the bright sun, yellow highlights in the dead grass are splashed in the brown grass.  Cool that God likes highlights. 
Our fellow travelers seem to be mostly 18 wheelers with frequent white farm bakkies (that would be "trucks" in American) and the occasional other vehicle thrown in.  
Last night we didn't have a plan on where to stop, so we drove until dark, and then started thinking where to sleep.  Hanover was the right distance so Josh typed in "accommodation" into the GPS and we prayed (sang "Guide Me, Oh, Thou Great Jehovah) and picked one with a nice name.  Ash Tree Guesthouse was our first pick, and we ended up staying there.  The owner, Danie,  turned out to be a Christian, and he and Paul swapped abbreviated testimonies in the morning. We took a 30 minute walk in the dark before bed, and Paul passed out his new tract to some giggling teens. 

Another HUGE difference on this trip is that we have a third driver!  Josh is helping with a lot of the driving.  He loves it, and is passing big trucks like a pro (i.e. scaring me witless!)  
Friday the 24th.  We arrived in Ficksburg, on the border of Lesotho, but still on the SA side, around noon yesterday.  We quick found accommodation and Paul headed off to schedule schools.  He got 2 out of 6 visited, then came back feeling yucky.  I think his heart was palpitating.  He got up for a walk, and then went to sleep from about 5-8 PM.  At 8 we talked, and I tried merry heart meds on him, giving him Babylon Bee to read.  It seemed to help!  It took his mind to another place that was all fresh for him.  
Speaking of taking our minds off things, we are reading our 10th of 11 Bodie Thoene books in the 2 Zion series.  My goal is to finish that before Josh leaves for college.  Tim read it on his own years ago.  Josh should know a chunk more about WW II and the birth of Israel.  It's so suspenseful and made the miles, or should I say kilometers, fly by painlessly.  

Later:  Paul went back to two of those six schools, and we're now in Ficksburg until Monday.  Fine with me! I like where we're staying, within walking distance of shops, and it has HEATERS in the room!!!  Yippee skippy!  Warmth is so essential right now with Paul feeling yucky.  Though it's called an air conditioner.  

Monday.  Paul and Josh preached in one school, and soon we have the second one, and then we head for the border of Lesotho!  The Mountain Kingdom. 

Sunday, May 26, 2019

Following in their Parents' Footsteps

Following in Their Parents’ Steps

Are you pressuring your children to preach or to be missionaries? Gasp!

Abraham did more than just pressure his household. See what God said about him.

       For I know him, that he will command his children and his household after him, and they shall            keep the way of the LORD, to do justice and judgment; that the LORD may bring upon Abraham        that which he hath spoken of him (Gen. 18:19).

Joshua said. “…As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” He did not say, “I don’t know about my family.” He said, “…As for me and my house, we will serve the LORD” (Joshua 24:15). Whatever authority or influence I have, I want to use it so that my children will serve God.

Paul said about Timothy, “But ye know the proof of him, that, as a son with the father, he hath served with me in the Gospel” (Philippians 2:22). So I take my sons, Timothy and Joshua, with me preaching in schools and churches. Now they are doing the same thing I’ve been doing for over 50 years. And I can teach them things that took me a long time to learn.

When I was a young man my father sent me to preach in seven or eight schools a month where he had preached for years. Mom took me to a Bible club where she had a ministry, and she had me preach to the children. I never thought my father was bullying me into doing his thing. He was not out of place or usurping God’s calling. My parents did not ask me what I thought about it or if God had called me. They just sent me.

By cooperating with my parents and obeying them I was obeying the Great Commission far more effectively than I had been obeying it. Instead of sharing the Gospel occasionally with a few people I was now preaching the good news to hundreds of people a week. I am indebted to my parents for guiding me into a vocation of obedience to the Great Commission.

The idea that you have to sense a special call from God to preach is not in the Bible. God already commanded us to preach the Gospel to every creature (Mark 16:15). Even when the Bible lists the qualifications of a pastor, there is no mention of a call.

Jesus commanded us to go and make disciples, to baptize them and to teach them to obey all of His commands (Matthew 28:19, 20). So Jesus commands us to make disciples and to teach them to make disciples. My wife and I are obeying those commands with our children.
        And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: and thou shalt teach    
        them diligently unto thy children… (Dt 6:6, 7).

But you can’t tell your adult children what to do! At least that’s what the world says. God says, “Children obey your parents.” The word children, is not the word for little children or the word for minors who are not yet of age. He used the word meaning offspring.

God specifically commended the descendants of Jonadab the son of Rechab because they obeyed their father—even though they were adults, married and away from home. They obeyed—even in things that God does not require: Jonadab forbad his sons to build houses. They had to live in tents. They were not allowed to plant gardens. What kind of liberty is that? But notice what God said about them.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Because ye have obeyed the commandment of Johadab your father, and kept all his precepts, and done according unto all that he hath commanded you: Therefore thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; Jonadab the son of Rechab shall not want a man to stand before Me for ever (Jeremiah 35:18, 19).

There is a dreadful urgency in the command to proclaim the good news. Most people are going on the broad way to the lake of fire. We have the message of salvation. There are many who could be saved. God is not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance (2 Peter 3:9). Most people who call themselves Christians don’t bother to warn sinners or tell them the good news of salvation.

       The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few; pray ye therefore the Lord of the                    harvest, that He will send forth labourers into His harvest (Mat. 9:37, 38).

I make no apology for showing our children the urgency of serving God. I don’t want them to live like those who show they don’t even care that multitudes are going to the lake of fire!

“Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men” (2 Cor. 5:11).

I don’t want Jesus, the Judge, to say to me or to any of my children, “You wicked, lazy servant!” (Mat. 25:26). I don’t want Him to say,

       I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. So then                  because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth                          (Rev. 3:15, 16).

I will have to give account to God for myself and for what my children do with their lives.

       Obey them that have the rule over you, and submit yourselves; for they watch for your souls as            they that must give account… (Heb. 13:17).

God held Eli accountable for the immoral life his sons followed.  God said,

       For I have told him that I will judge his house for ever for the iniquity which he knoweth;                    because his sons made themselves vile, and he restrained them not (1 Samuel 3:13).

Just yesterday, and it often happens, men and women here in Africa tell us how glad they are to see that our sons are following in their parents’ footsteps.

We have no greater joy than to hear that our children walk in truth.  Really.  

Sunday, May 12, 2019

Well Bless my Buttons!

Mother's Day is sweet this year, as evidenced in the little things. 

I was trying to finish this trench coat for Prudence this morning.  I'm using dolls to put scripture verses on Instagram, and I'm enjoying that hobby/ministry---even if I am getting teased about going through my second childhood.  I suppose you have to expect persecution. 

 I live with three guys.  Three men, really.  Big men.  They are not into my dolls very much, but they're sweet.

The last thing now was to put the buttons on the coat.  I found a YouTube tutorial that looked do-able, and tried to do it.  You use a hole puncher to cut out the buttons from some plastic, and then poke the holes with a hot needle.  The problem is, I couldn't punch the holes.  It takes some serious hand strength or a sharper hole punch than we have.

Sweetie #1:  I chased Josh down with the black plastic, and he punched out 5 buttons, losing only 1 that shot off into outer space or somewhere.

Sweetie #2:  Tim was vacuuming later, and knocked my 4 remaining black buttons into our green and black carpet!

Sweetie #3:  Paul yelled and alerted #2 as to his misdeed and imminent problems with his mother.  Then the two of them began to search.  It makes my heart swell to bursting (literally, that means getting tears in my eyes) thinking of my darling husband crawling around, even putting his face on the carpet to hunt for those blessed buttons.  Tim got a cell phone flashlight to help, and each precious little find was cheered like a rugby touchdown.  Isn't that sweet?

It's Mother's Day, and I'm just savoring their caring.  I know that of themselves, they don't care two hoots for doll buttons, so it was just for me.  That's sweet!

Soon we'll have Mother's Day Lunch, and that will be so nice too.  I can't wait to see their faces when they see what they got me for Mother's Day this year.  ;- )  

Friday, April 19, 2019

You've Got to See These!

We have several new projects going on around here, and as someone gets enmeshed with their new project(s), jobs are getting shifted around.  James, Paul's nephew and right hand man, has been driving Tim to his Friday night Youth Group meeting since Tim doesn't have a license yet.  (Hopefully that will change in 2 days!!!  Praying for that!)

Anyway, James is now editing furiously, working long hours to get sermons ready to send to a TV station who wants to broadcast them.  We have a lot on You Tube, but this TV station wants them in High Definition which meant new cameras and lots of work of preaching them again in a quiet place, and then that tedious, time consuming editing.  So.  I have started driving for Youth Group on Friday nights.  I am under suspicion of the kids, who are acting as if I am an interloper, who might change things in their tight knit little group, but I'm a necessity so they have to put up with me for the moment.

I was so impressed to see what they've been doing for Bible lessons.  James drew most of these, so I hope he can get back soon, besides the fact that 3 of the kids are his, and it's their big father/kid outing of the week.  But I want to share these pics!  Good stuff!  A walk through the Bible in chalk. 
It would be fun to play a guessing game with these, so I'll just number and put the answers at the bottom.  




ANSWER KEY:  (Too bad I don't know how to write upside down  :- ) 

  1. Miriam watching over baby Moses. Exodus 2:3-9
  2. Moses fleeing from Egypt.  Exodus 2:15
  3. Moses and Aaron before Pharaoh.  Exodus 5:1 and others following
  4. Plague of locusts/Angel of Death Exodus 10:4, and 11:1 and following
  5. Passover blood on the doorposts. Exodus 12:22.
  6. The Egyptians wailing for their dead firstborn.  Exodus 12:30
  7. A pillar of fire leads the Israelites Exodus 13:21
  8. Jethro's suggested leadership reforms. Exodus 18
  9. Mt. Sinai
  10. The Tabernacle
  11. Moses throwing down the 10 Commandments Exodus 32:19
  12. The Levites killing those who worshipped the idol. Ex. 32:27
  13. Some of the travels in the wilderness
  14. People complaining about food, quail, fire destroying people.  Numbers 11:31-33
  15. Crossing the Red Sea (Huh?  A tad out of order. Makes it more challenging.) Exodus 14:27, plus that blurry bit was the Egyptians chasing them, but the waters closed over them, and then some of their route is shown.
  16. Deuteronomy.
  17. Achan's stolen goods.  Joshua 7:21
  18. Joshua inquiring of God why they lost the battle Joshua 7:6
  19. Achan's punishment. Joshua 7:24
  20. Sun standing still for Joshua.  Joshua 10:12
  21. 5 Conquered kings being led out to be hanged. Joshua 10:22-26
  22. Eglon Judges 3:17 and following
Well, this is a big job!  Not just one blog entry, but this is a start.  I'll do another post with more pictures, maybe 2 or more posts.  I'd love to hear if anyone uses these pictures.  

Monday, March 11, 2019

Three Hours at the V & A Waterfront

 What a treat for me today!  Josh was taking his GED exams in downtown Cape Town, so I decided to wait for him and save about an hour of driving back and forth.  I went to the nearby V & A Waterfront to see what I could see.
 I saw oodles and kaboodles of seals.  That's a highly unscientific numbering system, but when you only get to see a piece at a time, accurate counting is tricky.  I didn't get any wonderful shots with my phone, but there are at least 8 in this picture! 
 Table Mountain has its majestic table cloth (a cloud) on it, overlooking the whole city and the boats and all.  We climbed it last week (the back side) for blackberries.  I'm very content to just look from afar today.  You stand in the above frame to take pictures of yourself.
 What?!?!?  I never saw this before!  Maybe I can drag Paul down there to check this out.
 He'd like this!  He's a smoothie guy for sure!
 I tried a Hungarian Hatbread Stack.  My first Hungarian food, and I'm impressed,  If the Lord calls us to Hungary, I know I won't go hungry.  :- )    Notice the classy dining wear: a piece of cardboard.  We're all about recycling around here. 
 A whole army of beaded tall people.  When they make a Tall Small Paul, maybe I'll get one. 
 Rhinos abound to raise awareness of Rhino poaching. 
 This is a treat!  I started my 3 hours with a little sit down on these cushioned bleachers to use some free WiFi and get a bit of work done before I launched off to shop.  It was then I decided to blog my fun day. 
 Blown glass is so pretty! 
 Funny little beaded band of people. 
 I was tempted to get the cutie little dress with the mouse in the pocket. I think my Clarity granddaughter  would like it, but my main mission today was to buy surge protectors for our house.  It's not the most glamorous or exciting purchase, but necessary. 
 Ah!  A rare glimpse of me during my sit down time. 
 And who needs a wooden tie?  I'd have scooped these up for my 3 guys, maybe, but I'm suspecting they won't go for it.  I just sent out a survey, 2 out of 3 give it a thumbs down, one still hasn't responded.  Shame.  I think they're cute. 

 Check out the bags!  I see zebra, ostrich, springbok, and nguni ( a kind of cow) that I can name.  Pricey bags, but probably last awhile.  

I haven't been blogging much lately as I've had another project going.  I'm doing an Instagram account, having dolls act out Bible verses.  I'm getting some criticism for this one.  People are teasing me about going through my second childhood, but my niece Connie, 8, is in on it, so it keeps me respectable. 

 I'm enjoying it.  I'm learning about photography, sets, sewing,  the Bible Lens App (which Evangel recommended and it has been my lifesaver!) and the most important thing, the Bible!  It's a new way for me to study the Bible, keeping an eye out for ways it can be acted out.  It may be new to me, but I am realizing so many others do art with this same goal. 
 This is Prudence, the first doll in the project.  Constance is the other one above, and they're joined by others as I find deals. 
Not all the Instagram pictures have dolls, but most of them do. This one has Connie, a living doll, at a dam on top of Table Mountain.

Please feel free to visit at vickiyoung1066 on Instagram.