For the past week or so, I’ve had some kind of cold that’s kept me in the house for the better part of the week. I was only able to visit the school once last week, and today was our first day back. We were only there for about 15 minutes because, when we got there, the principal told us that he was dealing with a “mini-crisis.” I didn’t know what that meant, so we sat and waited. Liz and Johnathan went and looked for a classroom for their classes and came back. While I was in the hallway, I gathered (of course, I’m very perceptive) that something was wrong. And then the principal told me something was wrong. He was busy calling in students trying to find a couple of kids. He said they’ve been missing from the neighborhood since Thursday (today is Tuesday) and nobody knew where they were. The police were on their way and he told us we could leave.
I don’t think any of us really know what to do about it. But ultimately it’s our of our hands.

South Africa is, really, a filthy country as far as trash because it’s everywhere.
Last week, on our way to the school I saw some people picking up trash on the side of the road. I thought to myself, “That’s pointless, there’s so much! They won’t make any difference.
On our way back from the school on the same day, there were more than 40 bags of trash setting on the curb, waiting to be picked up. There was not a single piece of trash on the whole field.
I didn’t see the potential, I just saw a trashy field that I’d probably get stabbed in.
What if Jesus had said “They’re just fishermen. I can’t use them” or “No, we’ll never get 5 loaves to everyone?”
Just an empty field kicked me in the face that day.

Anyway, I hope everyone is well.
Please comment when you read this, it’s encouraging to know who’s reading this thing.
Love you.


Sapphire Primary School

On Tuesday, we finally got to get into the main school that we’ll be working with–as the title gives away, Sapphire Primary School. It’s a really neat school; the Principle just got back from Canada because he received an international award for the way his school does things.
The school itself is in between 3 or 4 townships, the really poor parts of towns with shacks and dirt roads, but it’s in good shape because they take really good care of it.
Bruce, the Principle, begs and borrows for everything from Computers (donated from Germany) to whole bus shells that we’ll convert into a place for the kids to play. I’m looking forward to gutting it and painting it and making into a cool place for the kids to play.
Bruce is the kind of guy that will try anything, even if it seems possible. So, right away he was asking us what our talents are and, as a result, Liz is going to start a music class; Johnathan will teach an art class with Brittney’s help; and I will be helping teach the kids how to use computers, I’m going to take pictures and video for the school and work with Lindsay to teach the kids how to make yearbooks and I’ll be making some promotional videos for Bruce so he can raise funds and stuff.
The others have split up to go to the other school we visited earlier.
We’re going to use this school as a base to spread out and get our curriculum to other schools in our province.

Ok, so, I don’t know if you’ve ever been around kids, en masse, who don’t see camera’s very often (or kids in general), but as soon as you get out a camera, they go crazy. I snuck off from the group to take pictures by myself and get to hang out with the kids and when I took the first picture I broke any kind of barrier that there could be between (in their eyes) a rich white person from America and a horde of little black children. In my first picture of that day, there’s about ten kids, and it’s a fairly candid picture. In my second picture: not candid, add 5 kids. Third picture: it’s over. I took about 25 pictures as I retreated from my first position back to the door where it was safe and in each picture there’s probably 5 more kids than the picture before. I don’t know where they were coming from, but they kept coming and posing and pushing and yelling.
By the way, the school has about 1,400 kids between 1st and 6th grade in two buildings.

I’ll be going to this school 5 days a week for now, until we start going to other schools, but I’ve been sick this week, so I’ve only been once.

This is my favorite picture from the day. This little girl kept asking for 1 more picture and I kind of had to ignore her request half the time, because everyone was asking for “one more picture,” so she started hugging me, which might have been because everyone was pushing up against her and I was up against a chain length fence and couldn’t move. So I took a picture. I’m gonna hang it up on my wall. It’s a good’n.

The rest of the pictures are in “My Pictures” on the right side of the page.

Anyway, Please comment and then pray for us.
Or vice versa.
Love you guys.

Cape Town Trip

Well, we’re home.

We had a lot of fun on our trip. On our way down, we stopped for a couple of nights in Oudtshoorn, which is the ostrich capital of the world in case you wanted to know. I got to ride an ostrich- not a lot of people get to say that.

And not a lot of people get to say that they have jumped the highest bungee jump in the world.

One of the main reasons for driving all the way down to Cape Town was to go to a family retreat that was hosted by Watershed, Free Indeed and One Spirit. It was really fun getting to hang out with those groups.

Then we were tourists for the rest of the time…

Our last night in Cape Town was Nelson Mandela’s birthday. For his birthday there was a “Africa vs. World” soccer game where all the best players from all over Africa played some of the best players from around the world.
Before the game, we went out to Robben Island- where Mandela was imprisoned for 18 years. We saw all of the soccer players that were in town for the game and I got to take pictures of them all as they were getting off the ship before we got on.

Well, that’s the extremely short version of our trip. I posted over 1000 pictures of it in my pictures section, so feel free to look at them.

Alright, well, leave a comment, please.
Love you guys.

South African Schools

There’s an older lady here from America here that is working with cancer patients and with schools in Port Elizabeth with her grandson who is about to start medical school so he can come work down here. She was on the beach praying for an army to come and help her as our coordinator’s wife, Judy, was walking her direction.
Judy met this lady and found out about what she’s doing here and invited them to dinner. They came to our house on Thursday night and we arranged for all of us to go to the school she’s been working with on Friday.

We got there and were greeted by the kids and they started dancing. There was one girl who couldn’t have been more than 3 years old who was dancing in the center of the group. She was so cute, so I started taking pictures of her.
At first, I was hesitant to get my camera out, because I’d been in this situation before. I knew if I got it out, I’d have to take pictures for them and show them the pictures right away. I wanted to take my own pictures as freely as I wanted.
But then I thought, “that’s a jerk of you!” So I got my camera out and started the whole time-consuming process.

Before we left, we handed out blankets to all the kids because they come from a “squatter-camp” outside of a really nice beach front town called Seaview. I’ll eventually have pictures of a squatter-camp, but they are basically whole towns built out of sheet metal and cardboard.
The kids were so glad to get the dog blankets that we were handing out to them because, even thought it’s Africa, people do freeze to death here. Winter has just started here, and almost all of the houses in the country (ours included) do not have heaters.
As we were pulling away, they still wanted me to take pictures, even as I was trying to close the car door, but we told them we were coming back and they let us go.
It was a cool experience and I can’t wait to go back in the future.
Ok, leave a comment and the rest of the pictures from the school are in “my pictures” on the right side of the page.
Love ya.