Hello friends and family,
It is so unbelievable that this is the week of Thanksgiving because it is not celebrated at all here in Africa (the pilgrims didn't make it over here on their journey...). One of those things that of course makes sense, but I would love to see a cartoon turkey this week! We will be celebrating with a feast and football on Thursday with a group of American missionaries, so don't worry, we will be getting started on our pre-Christmas weight gain too :) Around here, the build up for Christmas very muted compared to what you are experiencing in the States, but there are echos of the season approaching. The main problem is that it is HOT right now – I sing the song mentioned in this blog title to say it is frightfully summery here. I found it notably odd that I finally noticed Christmas trees at the mall yesterday as I was wiping the sweat from my brow from the walk from car to mall entrance. Hopefully one day our little mall will get air conditioning....
In other Prince news, baby Kieren is back to her old self and seemingly feeling all better. You could tell she was on the mend by about Friday when she was again overly 'talkative' and bouncing all around the house. I have been still struggling with cough and migraines, but went AGAIN to a doctor yesterday and hope to be on the road towards health. It has been frustrating and depressing working through these past weeks as many days I can't make it through the whole day because of migraines and am forced to rest often. It's not that I mind resting, it's that I would rather sleep at night and be active in the day. So I would love prayers as I continue to try to get healthy; I know it will happen eventually.
We are relatively busy around here with many different things going on. I am visiting various support group meetings and functions for Living Hope and trying to get a feel for how things have been running here so I can lead and mentor these friends well. It really is inspiring to see how sacrificially these people support and lead others in their community – it is so much more than just a job for them. Also, EVERY staff member at Living Hope will receive a 15% pay cut in the new year, as much of Living Hope's funding was cut because PEPFAR (Presidents Emergency Plan For AIDS Relief) in Obama's new budget. It's a real shame, but these people are having such a positive attitude about it and even will be helping to raise money for the organization in the new year. I think will eventually be a good thing as it will help Living Hope to not be reliant on our government, but it's hard right now. Also, I helped on Sunday night with a church service we held – it was a service of 'Remembrance and Light' to remember those who had passed this year. It was particularly meaningful for Casey as he had some time to give thanks for Patrick Looney, who passed last week. For me, it was special because I got to assist in serving Holy Communion for the first time to my new congregation – which is always such a gift! This week I will assist Kyle, the pastor, in bringing communion to some church members who are home-bound, so I look forward to that, as well.
Casey is keeping busy with making plans for December as he will hold some soccer clinics at local schools for Ubuntu Sports Outreach. We are so excited to be taking our first steps – and would love your prayers as Casey decides how to navigate in these early months.
Oh, and PRAISE – our shipped items from home are being delivered on WEDNESDAY! We are excited!
Well, that's all for now, have a great day!
Lots of love,