August 20, 2019

We are back in Cape Town after an amazing whirl-wind trip.  Thank you for welcoming us back into your lives with so much love.  It was as if we had never left, except for the fact that everyone’s kids had grown beyond recognition!  Non-stop invitations to get-togethers with old friends was sweetness to the soul.

We stayed with my parents during our Massachusetts visit.  Isaac was also there, so that was a highlight!  My sister and her children visited, as did my brother and his family.  I hadn’t seen my brother and sister-in-law in six years, and finally met my nephew, all pictured above.

We attended lots of meetings and presentations at Park Street Church, had seven appointments at Children’s Hospital, refinanced our Quincy house, and ran around visiting as many friends as we could.  For those of you who missed the five-minute YouTube video we showed at our reception at Park Street Church, please click this video link.  Thank you to our friend Wesley for filming!

In Pennsylvania we saw more friends, bits of Isaac’s life at Messiah College, and attended the phenomenal Family Camp with the Spanish Church (Primera Iglesia Bautista de Washington DC).  In the Washington DC area we saw Alberto’s two brothers and their families, and more friends!

Thank you for encouraging us in our ministry in South Africa.  We often feel lonely here, so being surrounded by people who are familiar with our work and lives is a blessing.  We have returned to South Africa overflowing with more happiness, more confidence, and more energy.  Prison and soccer ministry resumed immediately, and Alberto’s team is doing a Restorative Justice conference this week.  Margaret and Phoebe are back to school.  Please see their updates below.

As a side note, please delete my U.S. cell number from your phones, as that number is being reassigned to a new person!

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I loved being with Isaac again!  He and Margaret sold ice-cream at Faneuil Hall in Boston.  Isaac also took an on-line summer class in Economics.  His two scholarships were renewed for this coming year (Mary McKenzie through Park Street Church and Martin’s through Messiah College).  Praise God!  He returns to Messiah at the end of August.  It will be hard for me to not be there when he moves in, although I am grateful for his surrogate mother Leah Plante, and my own mom!

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Back to freezing cold Cape Town, where morning temperatures are in the 40’s.  That’s pretty cold, considering there is no central heat.  We are grateful for the wood stove in our new house, which is keeping us warm.  It’s been a cold wet winter, which means Cape Town is comfortably out of the drought crisis.  Praise the Lord!

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Clearly Phoebe is the most photographed member of our family!

Her appointments at Children’s were all positive: Gastrointestinal, Down syndrome, Endocrinology (twice), Hearing test, Dentist, Physical therapy assessment (for a special needs stroller we are hoping to receive).  Some of these areas we only check every two years, while others we check regularly in Cape Town (namely the diabetes).  I appreciate seeing the doctors at Children’s Hospital who have been following Phoebe for most of her life.  They always offer good suggestions, and don’t mind following her progress from afar.

Phoebe does have some challenging behaviours such as slamming doors, dumping her food, stripping off her clothes, etc.  I have been on the wait-list to see a behavioural therapist here in Cape Town for a very long time.  Please pray that we get the appointments we need, as I am running out of creative ideas and need some help.

Margaret started 10th grade the day after we arrived in Cape Town.  It’s been a challenging few weeks in terms of classes and friends.  Academically, she is taking her first AP class in Psychology.  She is doing soccer again.  Sadly, her two best friends left the country in June.  Please pray for new best friends to come her way!  The high turn-over rate is the hard part of attending an international school.

Having completed her School of Biblical Studies in June, Ana and team are on outreach in Oregon and Washington state teaching the Bible at various youth camps and churches.  Ana has been speaking on the Old Testament.  She finishes in September, at which point she will visit my sister in Denver, then spend a week in Boston before returning to Cape Town.  (Look out for her at Park Street Church on September 15.)  We are so excited to see her again!

She recently wrote an update on her time with YWAM, which you can read here: update link.