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!
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Providentially, we know that we celebrate the Incarnation of Christ. We take comfort in the knowledge that God came to earth as man, in order to take our sins upon His shoulders. So no matter where we live, this central fact will always be at the heart of our celebrations.
So as the year draws to an end, we once again give thanks to our Heavenly Father for the many blessings of 2013! Our year began with the Great Commission Camp, followed by the three week Great Commission Course. The day after Peter’s Birthday, we concluded the GCC by hiking the full length and breadth of Table Mountain during the night.
Calvin attended his annual Troop Camp, which consisted of 6 nights of camping in the midst of wine farms down by a river. These Camps are excellent training and the self-sufficient manner in which the Scouts have to look after themselves, requires skill and determination.
Once school started again, Calvin was in full swing of the water polo season, which saw him grow from strength to strength in this discipline. The Team travelled to Plettenberg Bay for a water polo Tour, which was the highlight of the season. He participated in a Life Saver Course with the Scouts, as well as a Patrol Leadership Training Camp and a First Aid Course. He was also awarded ‘Junior Hiker of the Year’ once again! Calvin participated in his first-ever Kontiki, and their troop did exceptionally well with the construction of the raft. In March we celebrated his 14th Birthday.
This year Calvin also ran cross country, and made it all the way to the finals for Provincial Trials. Only the top 10 runners were being chosen to compete on a National level, and he came in 11th position!! Once the water-polo season came to an end, hockey became the main feature again, and Calvin played for his school as well as on a club level. This year he was invited to umpire as well as referee for the younger players.
Calvin played indoor-hockey again this year, and at trials was selected for the Western Province B Team. The National play-offs take place in December. (Note to our Northern Hemisphere friends: No, this is not ice-hockey!! It is field hockey played in-doors!!)
In his spare time, he has managed to pay some attention to his school work, and is following in his father’s footsteps with a love for English Composition, orals and History.
Christopher has had an eventful year on so many levels! For the Great Commission Course, Christopher helped with the self-defence training, and participated in as many of the outreaches and hikes as he could. During the third month of school, Christopher’s class went on the Cedarberg Mountain hike. This was quite a gruelling 5 days of hiking, while needing to be completely self-sufficient. Lots of strategic preparation went into the selection of food and equipment needed, and as a whole his group did very well.
Christopher passed his Learner’s license in 2012, although I had been teaching him to drive for some time already. Christopher was ‘born to drive’ and took to it so quickly. He is excellent at making driving an art form and passed his driver’s license in September. This is no easy feat here in South Africa where many have to endure multiple fails before earning their drivers licence.
Monday, September 2nd, the day he passed his driver’s license was also the day he had his first appointment with his new Renal Doctor. This was quite a watershed day, because he has been attending the Renal Clinics at Red Cross Children’s Hospital since he was a new born baby! We know all the Renal Physicians there, and have developed quite a rapport with them over these 18 years! But this was the year for him to move to adult care, and thus marks the advent of Christopher taking over the management of his own renal care. Somehow though, I think this affected me more than it did him!
Christopher has had a very successful year in Karate, and has again won several Gold medals. This means he has been selected for the World Team for 2014. So Squad Training began in earnest in September. Christopher has also begun to be a Referee for the younger competitors at competitions. The National Championships took place September 21st, and Christopher won Gold for Kata and Bronze for Kumite. In October Christopher was invited to participate in an advanced Black Belt Seminar, and has since been selected to grade for his Senior/adult Black Belt this December. This is a full year earlier than expected.
As this school year was drawing to a close, we have been thinking and praying over what to do for the rest of his High School Career. We feel at peace that he should finish his High school diploma on-line, which will free him up to work at the Mission in our Audio Visual department, and also to start taking over teaching some of the karate classes at the Dojo. God is gracious and allowed us to find just the right match, which will enable him to get more experience in the work place, while studying at the same time.
At the year-end function, Christopher was awarded 'Junior Competitor of the Year' as well as 'Junior Student of the Year'. It has frequently been arduous journey for him to achieve this level and he has worked very hard, through some overwhelming situations. We are delighted that his dedication and diligence has been acknowledged in this manner.
Peter has juggled family and Mission responsibilities across seven countries this year. Between driving our children to their various matches, contests and competitions, Peter has spoken at a wide variety of Reformation, History and Missions conferences throughout South Africa, Holland, Belgium, Switzerland, the USA and Zambia. He co-ordinated the Livingstone 200 events, celebrating the 200th anniversary of the birth of the best friend Africa ever had, Missionary explorer Dr. David Livingstone. This culminated in the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference and outreaches in the city of Livingstone in Zambia.
Peter was also invited to lecture at Bible colleges and universities, including at the David Livingstone College of Education in Zambia. He completed a new Great Commission Manual, the Livingstone Missions Manual and made much progress on The Life and Legacy of David Livingstone book and In the Footsteps of David Livingstone film. JOY! and JUIG! Magazines have published multiple articles and series of Peter’s articles in every edition. Numerous film makers have also interviewed him for a variety of Missions, Persecuted Church and History documentaries, including a British film maker on The Life of Andrew Murray. I will have the opportunity of joining Peter as we drive up to Graaff-Reinet next week for the Evangelists Conference.
We are all looking forward to having Andrea and Hunter with us for six weeks, which will include them helping to lead the intensive Great Commission Course.
God has blessed me with abundantly good health this year. I am still, reluctantly, on my course of tamoxyphen, and I see my Oncologist twice a year. I have increased my involvement in the Dragon Boating fraternity and serve on the Executive Committee now. We are really hoping to be able to put together a Team for an International Regatta in Malaysia next year.
It was such a joy for us to be able to have Andrea visiting during her summer vacation. She spent six wonderful weeks here, immersed in all aspects of our busy family life. What a treat to be able to enjoy such fellowship with my adult, married daughter. While here, Andrea helped with the preparations and décor for Angela Stott's wedding to Daniel. It was an honour and a joy to be able to take part in this celebration. Andrea and I also managed to fit in lots of time for quilting, one of our favourite diversions.
This Christmas we look forward to celebrating with Hunter and Andrea. My biggest heart ache is having family in Africa, Austria and America, so it is very special when we are able to be together. Family can never be taken for granted!
My dearest parents are ever involved in our ministry and their counsel and wisdom continues to be a source of inspiration. As they live quite a distance from Hunter and Andrea, they do not see them that often, but when they do, they are an ever on-going foundation of motiation and encouragement to this young couple as they embark upon becoming third generation missionaries.
A Whole New World
This year has marked the start of my college education. I have had the privilege of taking part in a course involving a variety of aspects in art and design at City Varsity. The course is titled Multimedia Design & Production, which includes poster design, website design, media communication, and logo design amongst others, within digital, graphic, and creative design. It has exceeded my expectations, and has opened my eyes to how the design world works!
In the third term of the 2nd semester, we were given a brief to re-design the 'People's Dispensary for Sick Animals' logo. We also used each of our logo designs in creating posters and business cards. The PDSA committee visited our college to see the poster designs we made for them. Surprisingly, mine, and another girl's poster designs were chosen! They will be used in advertising the PDSA. This meant a lot to my family, as we love animals, and have always been supporters and volunteers at animal organisations.
A New Environment
Walking into varsity for the first time was a daunting experience. I didn't know what to expect, or the kind of people I would meet. God really provided me with courage and some new friends. Every day, I have been challenged to be a godly witness, an ambassador for Christ, to remember who I am in God, and not to falter in my ways. I have been stretched, challenged and at times overwhelmed, but so appreciate being taught at this level. I hope to be able to incorporate these new skills by having my own design label, and by assisting my Dad at Frontline Fellowship. Please pray for me, as I continue this journey next year for my second year of studies.
WORLDS at Boston
I was very privileged to travel as part of the South African Ice-skating team to Boston, USA, for the ISU Synchronized Skating Championships in April 2013. It was a huge event represented by skaters from all over the world, and a marvellous experience in the beautiful chilly town of Boston! A highlight was meeting Ross Miner, an American figure skater who won silver at the US nationals this year, and will be competing in the Winter Olympics! Our good friends, Uncle Ron and Aunty Jan, regularly record US skating events for us, which my Mom and I thoroughly enjoy watching. After the skating event, I was able to fly over to Arizona, where I stayed with my loving Grandparents and also spent a week with my sister Andrea and brother-in-law Hunter! We had a wonderful time catching up, and seeing old friends and meeting Andrea's friends. My close friend Kaitie, who stays in California, even surprise visited me in a Starbucks coffee shop, sneakily planned by her and Andrea! I had never been more surprised in my life.
Cape Town Youth Choir
This year has been enriched by my experience in the CTYC, (formally known as Pro Cantu). It's a dream come true for me to sing in this choir. We practice twice a week and have many performances all over the Western Cape. We sing for Mayoral functions and other Governmental events. These are 'practice runs' for the World Choir Games in Riga, Latvia 2014. This is the world's largest choir competition, and I am very blessed and honoured to be a part of it this coming year. Here is one of our earlier performances this year:
After the skating trip, I sadly had to end my commitment to the skating team to allow more time for studies. I have 'kept in touch with skating' by becoming a coach for Junior Blades Club. This is aimed at beginner skaters on Saturday mornings, where we polish up the basics of skating skills. I am grateful that I am able to pass on my passion of skating to others, and to carry on the sport in the form of a job. Since I wasn't getting as much physical exercise as before, I have joined my Mom's Dragon Boat paddling team on Monday nights. I have enjoyed learning a new skill as well as bonding with my Mom and her friends.
In December I am traveling up to Plettenberg Bay with Church friends to volunteer in an organization called the Red Frogs. Our aim is to minister to the Matrics who are celebrating finishing High school. We are there to be a Godly witness, share God's love, and make sure they are safe by giving them water and walking them home at night if needed.
Thank you for your continuous support and loving kindness to our family. May God bless and keep you this Christmas and the coming New Year!
From Andrea and Hunter:
'Thanksgiving always makes its predictable entrance on the last Thursday of every November, rendering this month the perfect time to consider everything we have to be thankful for!
God has been so good to supply our every need! Through His bountiful provision, we are on track to depart for Cape Town, South Africa. Thanks be to our Lord, we have received almost all we need to cover our expenses! We are so glad for this chance to go and share the Gospel with those in South Africa. We are grateful for the opportunities that Frontline Fellowship is giving us to partner with other ministries during our visit. Due to the summer season there, we will have a chance to witness to the cosmopolitan population and vacationers in this port city. We are particularly looking forward to evangelism around the city, visiting the inmates in local prisons, as well as being a part of the leadership team for Frontline Fellowship's Great Commission Course in January! It will also be a wonderful time of fellowship with our family over the Christmas season, and we are excited to celebrate our anniversary in the city where we married just two years ago'.
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa