Last week we traveled to South Africa to meet with the Missions Council of the IPHC to be officially approved for our next post as missionaries. We had an amazing time of encouragement and direction from the council, and we left with an even stronger passion for the work that we feel is before us. We will be focusing all of our efforts into supporting local orphanages, schools, and churches with sustainable development through income-generating projects, as well as supporting individuals through micro-finance loans. We have also made some progress towards knowing where our next post will be. We have decided that we will be returning to the continent of Africa! We do not have the nation nailed down just yet, as there are several that would be a good fit, but we know that we will be on this continent and we are thrilled about that. It is amazing to look back over the last 5 years and see how God has been preparing us for the next step, even when we weren’t aware of it. We are also looking forward to our time in the States, traveling to visit friends and churches to share our vision and to continue raising support. If you are interested in supporting us in this work you can click here: www.iphc.org/donations/missionaries. If you are interested in having us visit you church in the coming year please contact us. As always we thank you for your prayers and support.
While in Johannesburg we also saw the surgeon about Jamie’s back issues. All of the tests have come back clean, so the surgeon has recommended that Jamie have an anterior/posterior fusion. He feels that with the injured disk being at the lowest level (L5-S1), and with the overall good health of the rest of the spine, this would be Jamie’s best option to regain optimal function. We had a few complications with our insurance provider, so once again we returned to Kenya, but since returning we have received word that the surgery has now been approved for full coverage. So we are praying for wisdom and direction so that we make the right decision in regards to this surgery.
We also had a bit of down time so we took advantage of the restaurants and shopping malls that Joberg has to offer. Being in South Africa is always a bit surreal because it almost feels like being back in the States or Europe. We also made a day trip with the kids to the Lion Park. The Lion Park is basically a zoo but all of the animals are in enclosures with a lot of open space. So you can drive through each enclosure as if you were on safari. The highlight is that you can also hold and pet baby lion cubs. We have been on a fair amount of safaris, and we worried that the Lion Park may feel a bit cheesy, but (considering it is basically a zoo) it was actually a pretty cool experience. The kids loved petting the cubs and the park is also home to a large number of rare white lions…which are incredibly beautiful. Sophie pointed out that they looked like her (white-blonde hair and bright blue eyes). All in all it was a fun day with the kids. If you ever find yourself in Johannesburg or the surrounding areas we recommend a visit.
Ethan also had a few firsts while were there (other than his 1st beating of a lion cub because he doesn’t know how to do anything gently). He had his first haircut at the….wait for it….airport…because Jessica convinced herself on the plane that it had to be done and we could wait no longer. So he had his 1st haircut and, consequently, his 1st bad haircut….it looks like Sophie tried to cut it. It is pretty hacked-up…but he is cute anyway. He also decided that Daddy shouldn’t be the only one with a doctor visit, so he tripped and busted his head on a door frame at the McDonalds play area (literally 15 minutes after we left the hospital). So he had his first E.R. visit in SA. No stitches were needed, but they did use glue and med strips. Only 10 months old and he has already earned his 1st scar on his head….like father, like son.