Happy Birthday Adam…

You don’t usually get a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity more than a couple times.
Well, we got invited to be special guests of the Xhosa royal family at a cultural dinner this last weekend.
It was interesting, we had dinner and listened to a crazy preacher.

This preacher started the Twelve Apostles Church in Christ and claims that he is from a line of Apostles that has been passed down (secretly until the 1800s) since Peter. So he claims to be the Chief Apostle and has some pretty radical views- along with 3.1 million followers in Africa.

Anyway, one of his beliefs is that there were two different kinds of people.
He started by saying that Adam’s birthday was October 26th, 4004 BC. But he said that science proves that people existed millions of years before that, so that there must have been people before that.
His biblical proof was this:
In John, there was Light and there was the one before the Light, Right?
He said that the other meaning of this besides being Jesus and John the baptist is that it also dealt with creation in that there was Light when God made the sun, but there was light before that, so he related that to humans and said that the Light was Adam and those before the light were the people who existed millions of years before.

He was hard to follow, but that’s what he said.

He also had some other really weird points.

I don’t understand why people listen to him.

Anyway, the next day we got to see the Xhosa king, which was pretty cool. He had his police escort and his entourage. Neat stuff.

Overall, it was actually pretty disappointing. I was expecting ornate ceremonies and tribal coolness. It was pretty “western” and lame.

But who gets to say that they were guests of a royal family?

Anyway, thought I’d share that.

Brittney’s parents will be here for Christmas and they’re bringing a bunch of things from the States, so It’ll be fun.

Merry Christmas, everyone.
Love ya.

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Finally…

Well, I’m finally updating this thing.
I’ve been wanting to, but I didn’t know what to write about; so I’ll start with last week.

Liz and I, through a series of events, ended up at a catholic care center right next to where we do our soup kitchen (which I haven’t helped with in a while). At first I had other things on my mind and I kind of wanted to do what I came for and leave, but we ended up on a tour of the facilities and I have to say that I was very impressed.

Background:
A catholic nun from Ireland, Sister Ethel, was sent here about 20 years ago to an informal settlement inside Port Elizabeth called Missionvale. It has around 100,000 people living there and about 90 percent of them are unemployed and 70 percent are living with AIDS. Sister Ethel came here and she was offered a tree to use, and started teaching and checking the kids there.

Um, Foreground?:
Now they give families a certain amount of soup ingredients and bread per week and give them clothing once a year out of an enormous clothing warehouse that they have. They have a clinic that treat about 200 people a day and a small school.
Every day they run a day care kind-of-thing from ages 1 to 18ish, which started at 30 kids at the beginning of this year and now they have about 600 kids there everyday. They feed them lunch and just give them a safe place to play and have fun because these kids, for various reasons, aren’t in school (obviously 1yr olds aren’t in school anyway).

So hopefully I’ll be going back there to help out. I made some friends and got some numbers. Oh, and I found out that Mother Teresa and the queen of England have both visited the care center. Pretty cool, maybe I’ll meet both of them.

It amazes me what some people can eat, and others can’t.
And it annoys me when practically everyone can eat something, but I can’t.

Last night we were invited to eat at Uncle Ivan’s (who reminds me of a mob boss leader and I want to make a movie with him) house and while I was walking up to his front door I knew I was in trouble.

I smelled fish.
Ivan had made fish curry.

Now, I hear some fish are nice to eat, but I hate the smell, texture, and taste of fish. And these fish, which I found out later were “just sardines,” were not the “nice to eat” fish. I can usually deal with the smell of fish, unless I’m full.
I managed to only dish out the potatoes from the curry into my rice and I was pretty proud of myself, so I ate that and kept a low profile at the table. I decided to eat some bread and I mistakenly grabbed a fish cake, which surprised me but I wasn’t full, yet, so I managed to choke down the bite and set it aside. I finally got normal bread and filled up on that and I was quite content.

Then Joey, remembering that I hate fish, waved a plate of fish patties in front of my nose.
I was in the middle of a sentence with him and I had to stop talking and try to breathe through my mouth. Joey just started laughing quietly; that laughter where you’re not supposed to laugh, so it’s a lot of short breaths and low moans.
I just had to wait it out and drink some juice and then laugh it off.

Anyway, thought I’d share that with you. Nothing significant, just a story.
Love you guys.

Not the trip story, yet…

Preface:
I just took 3 sleeping pills.
I’m not trying to kill myself, just trying to sleep.
Hopefully that’ll excuse this post if it doesn’t make any sense.

Sorry it’s been a long time since I’ve updated this thing, we’ve been all over southern Africa the past couple of weeks.

But I’ll write about that in a couple of days.

Today was a weird day. I just wanted to be by myself; I’m not mad at anyone, but it’s been a while since I’ve just had time to myself.
Yesterday, I tried some time alone- went to a movie and walked around the mall- but on my way home, our already piece-of-junk car started overheating on the highway in the rain and I didn’t have any minutes left on my phone. That really put me in a bad mood for some reason.
I’m still glad that we have a car that runs, albeit a piece of junk.
Then some other stuff happened, so I thought, “I’ll just try again tomorrow.”
Wrong.
We had a WBS thing at our house and I also had to be across town because we’ll be starting a singing group. When I got home, I had to take some people back across town to their houses.

Anecdote:
The church here has a fair number of middle-aged single men who admit that they are too picky when it comes to women. I don’t know that means, all I know is they can get pretty close to our AIM girls, so I make sure that I’m always there and they’re never alone.
Anyway, I was taking two of these guys home today and all of a sudden, one of them brings up how American girls are better than South African girls (I think in a romantic way?)and tried to argue his point.
I thought it was funny because when I tried to disagree, he told me that I don’t know South African women. I asked him what American women he knew, and he told me he had met a couple. So the other guy and I gave him a hard time about that being his main connection to the entire country. (We’ve had these same joking arguments before, so we both knew how hard we could push him before he’d get mad. So the other guy took him there.) It was fun.

When I got home, I had kids in my room playing games.

While I had fun in all, stuff still just really irritated me today.
I know I’ve heard Brandon say stuff about how when he has a certain way planned and it gets changed, he feels the same way.
I had my whole day planned (both days) and when they changed, I got really irritated and it put me in a bad mood all day. I kept having to choose to be happy.
I don’t really know what my main point of all the stuff in this post is, I think I just wanted to sort it out, but being flexible is really hard when you’re not willing to be.

Today, I just wasn’t wanting to be flexible. I wanted to be selfish with my time and when things changed, I wasn’t ready.

Anyway, just thought I’d let you know how I was doing.
I’ll update about the trip we went on, it was amazing.
(That wasn’t the update, by the way.)

Logan.

Meh…

I usually hold off updating this thing until I have something to write about.
I thought I’d break that pattern tonight, meaning I don’t have anything meaningful to put on here.
(I should probably reword that last sentence.)

Anyway, last night I was watching a movie on my laptop in my room when Brittney came knocked on my door and asked me if I’d go down to the petrol station and buy some electricity.
I then realized that my laptop had been running off of battery and the power in the house was off. Ken had already walked down there I guess, because he was halfway there and he needed me to bring him the card with our electricity information on it.
It was useless to drive because the garage doors weren’t going to open, so I checked the bikes and both of the front tires were flat. So, mildly annoyed, I started to walk. The walk was good, I had time to unwind and watch a pretty cool thunderstorm over the ocean and under a full moon. It was dark, and everything anyone’s ever told me here is to not be alone at night. Good deal.
I meet up with Ken and he sends me with the card to the petrol station.
Change of plans; more walking.
On my way back from the petrol station I was just playing out all these terrible scenarios in my mind for fun and this scooter with two people on it catches my attention:
I was trying to keep an eye on traffic behind me, so I was aware of the scooter and when I turned around they made a sudden, seemingly unplanned turn onto another street and sped up really fast. I thought it was suspicious, but I kept playing out terrible scenarios involving other vehicles.
Anyway, I had plenty of time to ponder things while I walked by an empty field and when I got to the end of it, I heard the scooter again. I let them get pretty close before I turned to check on them, but when I did, their headlight was off and they were driving really slow.

Dramatical Aside: One thing that crosses cultures, I guess, is the throwing of food. Particularly eggs.

I could tell something was going to happen, so I was sort of ready for what happened: the kid on the back threw something at me, but with all of my yellow belt training I didn’t even react. I don’t think I flinched and I didn’t jump, which really confused the passenger. They sped up for a second and then slowed down. The passenger made some confused noises and then they sped off around the corner.
Only then did I feel my back to find it very wet with yolk.

Anyway, that was fun. Just thought I’d let you guys know.
Love you.

Rugby Champions…

I know most of you don’t follow rugby; I know I didn’t.
Since I’ve been here, I’ve discovered that it is one of the coolest sports ever and South Africa has a really good team- The Springboks. South Africa is a part of the Tri-Nations Cup with Australia and New Zealand. In the rugby world, these teams are the corn. But as a Tri-Nations Cup member, South Africa has only won the world cup back in 1994.
The Springboks made it to the finals against England and we had a big party on Saturday. The game itself was actually not that good. No one scored any Tries- “Touchdowns”- but the final score was 15 to 6 in our favor.
It was a neat experience to be in this country for their second world cup win. The recent surge of pride in this country was interesting. We went to the main shopping mall in town and EVERYONE was wearing a Springbok jersey.

Just for your information; I know most people don’t care about Rubgy. (By the way, I watched the USA play for about 10 minutes and had to turn it off. They lost to us really bad.)

Something Brandon posted about in his blog made me realize something that happened at a party on Father’s day. I mentioned it just a little in this post.
But basically this man came up to us while we were cooking our meat; he had drool all over him and he could barely stand. He was so drunk and mixed his sentences with Afrikaans, I couldn’t understand him but I could pick up enough to know that he was telling me that he is a horrible person.
The Christian man that we were with told us that he was just a street junkie and just kind of wrote him off, which looking back bothers me for various reasons.
He started confessing his sins to me and how he doesn’t like doing the church thing.

I could see no light in his eyes; he looked so hopeless.

All I remember telling him is that God loves him anyway and He wants a relationship with him in spite of all that.
I either think he didn’t understand me or he didn’t like my answer but either way he didn’t seem interested in what I had to say and he left.

Brandon mentions in his blog about running into a person who had no future with us in heaven. He was so deep in sin and a bad life that it seemed hopeless.

I have two thoughts; they’re not profound, but two thoughts that just jumped.

1. What would Jesus have said to these people? I believe Jesus could have changed these men’s life right there, instantly. I, dumb little me, said what little I could to just try to comfort him and get him on his way, I guess.

2. My opportunity is gone.
I believe that God gives us these glimpses into these people’s lives to remind us why we’re here and what we’re supposed to be doing. I don’t know much about this man or where he lives or anything and I had no clue what I could have even done, but I hope that our friend, who knows more, would want to share his life.

I hope I would want to.

Sick Again…

There’s been something circulating around our house this past week.
No fun.

I’ve been out of commission for the past 3 days but I think I’m coming back into it.
*(I wrote that yesterday, but I’ve taken a turn for the worse and I’m not expected to sleep through the night. Pray for me, please.)

Last week, the kids at school invited us to their talent show on Monday. They kept going on and on about what they were going to do: singing, dancing, reading. I was really looking forward to going, even though we don’t usually go on Mondays.

Johnathan, Liz, and I went to school early and just hung around the campus until right after the first break (we waited for about 2 hours). Everyone got together in the middle courtyard and one of the older ladies got up and started preaching in Afrikaans. From what we could understand, it was a lesson on how God has a telephone using Jeremiah 33:3. I’m pretty sure she had some pretty good jokes, at least I hope so because I laughed at what she said.

After she got down, a little girl came up and read from “Die Bybel” somewhere and then a little boy and his teacher got up and danced to a couple of kids songs in Afrikaans.

All of that lasted about 10 minutes.

The principal got up and started talking about the school’s attendance problem and then chewed the kids out for their behavior at the assembly and dismissed everyone.
That was a bummer. Maybe they’ll reschedule.

This weekend I made pizza puffs for some college kids and they really liked them, which made me happy, and we made a new friend, Kuda, who is an albino black guy and he’s really cool.

Anyway, Love you guys.
Logan