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From Africa to the Alps & Wittenberg
The year of our Lord 2017 started out unlike any other for us. Especially for me. My dearly beloved father had gone to be with the Lord, just after his 89th birthday, a somewhat expected promotion, but never the less the hardest farewell I have ever said.
My sister Debbie was visiting here in Cape Town during December and it was very precious that she and I were able to Skype a number of times with Mom and Dad during his final days. My mother was a sterling stalwart and ably cared for Dad’s medical needs. She stood by his side every moment of the day and night and ministered to each and every request. Debbie and I were very grateful that Mom was skillfully assisted by our good friend Mary, a nearby neighbor.
To read the JOY! Magazine version, with pictures, click here.
Through the years, I have often had people talking about what they were going to do, could have done, should have done, but did not do! Early on I determined that I would not want to arrive at the end of my life regretting missed opportunities and wasted potential.
The first time I heard the Gospel, I was 17-years-old, in a cinema in Cape Town. Rev. Rex Matthie spoke of the sufferings and sacrifices of Christ. "This is what Christ has done for you! What have you ever done for Him?" This challenge pierced my heart. I had done absolutely nothing for Christ. I had not even thanked God for His Creation, for my life or health. That day, I realised that I was a self-centred, ungrateful lost soul, truly deserving of the condemnation of Almighty God on the Day of Judgement. At the end of the service I went forward and publically committed my life to Christ.
The year 2016 arrived brimming with guests and camp participants. We had such an array of international attendees, and I must say, it was the most action packed three week camp and course I have ever known. It is particularly meaningful to Peter and me, when our children willingly and joyfully participate in the events and outreaches as well. Growing up in a Missionary home can be daunting to say the least, and often children feel duty bound to ‘tow the line’. So when our children invite their friends and form an integral part of our Camp and Course, our hearts as parents are full.
THE ABC ' S OF 2015
Greetings and Christmas salutations to friends and family all over the world. No matter how you are celebrating, no matter the weather, the location or the style, it is gratifying to know that we can all agree on the fact that we are commemorating the birth of our Risen Saviour Jesus Christ. What a privilege and a blessing this is indeed!
Early on in the New Year, Andrea and Hunter surprised us by announcing the joyful anticipation of a baby. We had been skyping, and Andrea asked if she could read out a Birthday Poem to Peter! Here is the Poem:
From the moment I took my first breath, you've been there by my side;
And taught me everything there was to know about this life.
Giving me the zeal to learn and passion to explore the world,
Never ceasing to strive to be the best dad for your little girl.
Loving me at my best as well as at my worst,
I'm so thankful to know how loved I am,
I feel like I could burst,
You've shown me how a loving parent really ought to be,
That life is an adventure and there's many a sight to see.
"And you know in all your hearts and in all your souls that not one thing has failed of all the good things which the Lord your God spoke concerning you. All have come to pass for you; not one Word of them has failed." Joshua 23:14
End of Lenora's Radiation Treatment
By God's grace, Tuesday was the last of Lenora's radiation treatments. Since being diagnosed with a recurrence of cancer earlier this year, Lenora has undergone further surgery, 12 chemotherapy infusions and five weeks of daily radiation. Yet, despite the horrible side effects and fatigue produced by these cancer treatments, Lenora does not complain and has not allowed any of it to prevent her carrying on with her family and ministry commitments. Incredibly, Lenora has kept up with her weekly Dragon Boating paddling, frequently being on the water three times a week. This year she was elected Chairman of the Cancer Survivor Dragon Boat Club in Cape Town and has participated in races and regattas even while undergoing the oncology ordeal. Most people going through chemotherapy or radiation stop their sports involvements. Not Lenora. Last week she was on the water all day for the Rotary Dragon Boating Regatta. As a family we were quite against a second round of chemotherapy, Lenora having gone through all this before in 2010. We have incorporated a range of natural treatments to counter cancer, including special diets, juicing and alkaline rich Kangen water. I was inclined to support the alternatives to the standard oncology surgery, chemotherapy and radiation route. However, after much study, reflection, discussions and investigation, Lenora cautiously accepted the oncologist's prescribed treatment and we have tried to support her in every way that we can through this difficult season.
Christmas Greetings to you and yours!
What a privilege it is to ‘re-wind’, ‘re-focus’ and to give thanks to our Heavenly Father for all of His many blessings throughout this year. Thank you for your involvement in our lives, for your support and for sharing in our family and ministry with us. The Great Commission Camp and Course ushered in the month of January. This course, attended by participants from all over the world covers every mission subject from ‘world views’, ‘Dates with Destiny’, ‘how to make a difference’ to ‘hospitality and modesty’. The lectures, outreaches, discussion groups, night hikes and workshops make for a very busy three weeks, culminating in the night hike which takes us from Constantia Neck to the other side of Table Mountain. This year’s hike was on Peter’s 54th Birthday.
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Dear family and friends
Singing in Berlin
Last night, our daughter Daniela, as part of the Cape Town Youth Choir, sang in the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church (Kaiser-Wilhelm-Gedächtniskirche). The original Lutheran church on this site was built in the 1890s. The foundation stone was laid 22 March 1891, which was Kaiser Wilhelm I's birthday. The church was designed in the Romanesque Revival style with a spire 113m (371 feet) high and seating over 2,000 people. The church was consecrated 1 September 1895. During the Second World War, on the night of 23 November 1943, the church was irreparably damaged in an air raid. The badly damaged spire of the old church has been retained and its ground floor has been made into a Memorial Hall. Daniela sang in the new cathedral next to the old spire in Berlin.
Christmas in the Southern Hemisphere is in the middle of summer heat. The fact that I have been living in South Africa for over 25 years, has not diminished the inevitable feeling that something is ‘not quite right’ with traditional Christmasdecorations. Cape Town conjures up images of surfing, beaches and seashells. It invokes the feeling of summer holidays and barbeques. So once again, I find myself trying my best to create an atmosphere of Christmas in our home and Garden, whilst ignoring the sound of flip flops coming down our passage way!
Dearest friends and family!
I always look forward to this time of the year, as it affords me the opportunity to look back and recall all that God has done in our family and ministry. Without the discipline of reflection on a regular basis, the many blessings our Heavenly Father bestows on us are all too easily forgotten! I trust that you all will take the time to write about your year…..and then send it out for us to enjoy! The many events and opportunities that have come our way this year are so numerous, but I will attempt to highlight a few.
What a privilege it is to catch up with one another at the end of each year. We enjoy reading updates from family and friends far and wide. When you read someone else's story, your own is always put in a fresh perspective!
Each of our family members has had 'new chapters' in their lives this year, and as we reflect upon the last year, we are grateful to God for His many incredible provisions.