This trip is precious, as it is the last one where our Joshua is with us, at least for awhile. He's 18 now, and off to college in America in August. We plan to be in four places, the first being Queenstown, South Africa. We're actually staying at Tylden, which I have fallen in love with. It's about 6 kilometers off a tar road, and we're staying at Light of the World Mission.
|We slept in this building.|
|Jock with Josh or Josh with Jock. The beginning of a great tongue twister.|
Tim preaching at Sunday School with a blue hand. He doesn't like the feel of chalk. Kind of ironic.
Light of the World Mission is next to a river, which is significant. The river floods a couple of times a year, so a hotel was built next to the river to house people stuck on this side of the flood, until the waters subsided. I think it was in the 80's, that a man named Jack bought the hotel, and used it for missionary work such as camps, Bible schools, and a little church. Late in the 90's, Frik and Sue Labuschagne came, and they are leading the mission still.
Pastor Mike Watson in Queenstown invited us so he has filled some of the time, though not as he expected as he has had cancer since we were here last time. Frik scheduled Paul some other places, and with the "leftover" time we prayed for open doors, and set out visiting schools in Queenstown. The first day Paul scheduled 10 preaching appointments! (though I must confess, one of those was online, in America). After that he combined preaching and scheduling. When his schedule got full, he started scheduling Timothy, who was now more free to help.
The first few days here, we had another project underway. We had hoped that both our sons could have a try (Josh) or another try (Tim) at getting their driver's licenses. We had noticed how the wait time for an appointment to take the test can be just days in these smaller towns, unlike Cape Town where the wait can be weeks or months. So we made appointments for the following Monday, and went to work having some more driving lessons to perfect their "K-53" skills. (K-53 is the South African skill set required uniquely for the test.)
Monday morning dawned. Appetites were low, and tension was high. We went into town early, still in the dark, to Pastor Michael's house so Paul could borrow the church van so that the boys could use our car. We had a little panic as we discovered our rear brake light was out (again! what's with that light?!??) The sun was up, but we didn't know if any place would be open where we could buy a bulb so we scrambled around to get that sorted out. It wasn't too bad as we had needed a new tire as we had a VERY flat tire on Saturday and had learned a car repair place. We got a new light bulb and still had a few minutes before Josh's test time at 8:40 AM. We headed in to the municipality building.
Then came the blow: the municipality was on strike! It is still on strike today, I think, a week later, so no driving tests have happened. It looks like they will have to try in America.
The low appetites had worn off, so disgruntled boys were soothed and comforted with a quick trip to KFC for a snack. At least now they were free to be more helpful to Paul.
I thought Thursday's schedule was remarkable. We had an early morning school first, which Paul and Tim handled, then Paul parked us at the pastor's house so we could get some work done with Wi-Fi while he and Josh went to a 11-1 appointment. They preached 6 times at that one school! Taking them class by class. That has some advantages, but it is very tiring for the chalk artist evangelist. Top priority was to race home for a rest after that, as we were schedule to be interviewed (whole family!) on the radio from 6-8 PM that evening.
I really enjoyed that interview. I was a little worried about Paul overdoing, but he had slept for over an hour that afternoon, and he seems to have made it through without a sickness.
Friday was remarkable in a different way. We woke to find blood spattered right down the hallway of our current home. Tim had a horrendous nose-bleed. (This is cold, arid country right now, and our Capetonian skin is drying and cracking and even bleeding as we adjust.) We mopped that up and kept moving. Had to be out of the house by 6:30, to get to the first school and be ready by 7:30. The plan was for Paul to preach there, with Josh to assist, but the nosebleed changed that plan. Instead Josh now assisted Tim, just in case.
I want a T-shirt that says, "Uber driver" cuz it was like that! We dropped Paul at the first school about 7:15, then raced to Tim's school by 7:45 then back to Paul to pick him up to get him to his 8:30 school. I stayed with him through that one, helping to hold the chalk board as it was WINDY! Then together we zipped back to Tim's school to find him and Josh had preached twice and then walked a to a shopping center to wait for us. Three schools accomplished, four time preaching, by 10:00!
Then Paul could rest, while the boys spoke at a youth group that evening.
Also of note, some record breaking cold weather (at least the coldest this year) came through over the weekend. Brrr! It got down to -6 degrees Celcius. Someone said I must be used to this, being brought up in New England with snow and all. But I'm a wimp! New England has heated, insulated houses. This cold is colder. But it's great sleeping weather. We're in bed early to get warm, and at least one of us lingers til the last second before launching out each morning.
|This bucket got "skun over" with ice, as my Gram would have said, plus icicles. Chilly!|
The only touristy thing we've done on this trip was as we were driving from Cape Town, we slept over in Graaf Reinet, a beautiful, historic town where Andrew Murray used to live and preach, and David Livingstone's family went to recuperate. Josh and I did their parkrun, and then we went to the Valley of Desolation to see some more of God's creativity.
|They were more enthusiastic than this picture looks.|
On Wednesday, after some schools, we plan to head to Swaziland where it should be warmer. We're grateful for our cheery, helpful boys, for open doors, and for open hearts. We appreciate translators in Xhosa for some of the meetings, and new missionary friends. I've also enjoyed their little granddaughter Skye who has helped and inspired me with my Instagram Bible pictures (see vickiyoung1066). It is good to follow God, to obey Him, and to trust Him. He blesses so much along the way.
|Frik and Sue and Skye.|