Sunday, January 31, 2010

Sarah's Sermon

This is Sarah's last sermon, preaching Sunday, January 31st at Ocean View Methodist. Cut and paste this link:



http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ASXLDKBOhmIZZGQzbXRiMjRfMTNmZmJqaHNndA&hl=en

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Book Review by Sarah



Cry the Beloved Country
by Alan Paton


I have been privileged to just read an incredible, award-winning, novel that beats with the pain and beauty that encompasses this beautiful country of South Africa. It was written in the 1940's just as South Africa was on the brink of the apartheid regime, and it is haunting in its prophecy. The story is of two men and how their lives are brought together by tragedy, what they and their communities believe is the greatest tragedy that could even be imagined. It is heartbreaking and still filled with hope and vision for a new future. If you love literature, or stories, or learning, or falling in love with a book, or reading something that is a treasure, then I really recommend this book. You won't regret it!

This quote comes when a friend and minister, Rev. Msimangu, speaks to one of the main characters, Stephen Kumalo, about his fears about future relations between black and white people in South Africa.
"I have one great fear in my heart, that one day when they are turned to loving, they will find we are turned to hating."




Grade: A+

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Kieren Update Video

Enjoy this Highlight video of our little performer and a message from the whole family!

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

L Family Update

Hello friends and family!

Sorry we have been a bit quiet over here with the blogging lately. It has been busy as usual, but the real problem is that we have used up all our Internet for the month of January! Woops! It's not unlimited like in America and we (Casey) went a bit overboard on some videos and such this month. Lessons learned. Things are going well for us both and just continuing to move ahead with ministry and meetings. Kieren is great and having a fun time practicing her walking with her 'cart' from Abuelita from her birthday. She can't walk alone yet, but any day now!

Just wanted to update you on the "L" family and how things are going for them. Mr. L is still in the clinic at Living Hope getting rest and being taken care of by the doctor and nurses. They are incredible there and he likes it, although he would MUCH rather be at home (and tells you that all the time...). His wife, Mrs. L is also doing well as she is getting some much needed rest and even came to church on Sunday for the first time in 3 months! And she is looking refreshed already (Mr. L also told me about that many times during my visit to him today!). So praise God, the rest is really doing them both a lot of good. Mrs. L is visiting her daughter for a few days in the city and making a doctors visit there, so Mr L is not happy about that and missing her, but has complied and just looks forward to seeing her again tomorrow. And we have shared some great conversations and prayers at the clinic, and he has even apologized multiple times for loosing his temper with me last week. I am humbled by that and feel like I am seeing the deep places of this wonderful man's heart and how anguished he was last week by so many things. But thankfully he has let me in now and I look forward to much ministry and life with them both ahead.

Thanks so much for your encouragement and prayers!

Lots of love,
Sarah

Sarah's Sermon Week Two

Follow this post to open my sermon from week two at Ocean View Methodist church, also on the Beatitudes. It went well again and I am just so thankful for the opportunity to share with this community!

Love,
Sarah



http://docs.google.com/Doc?docid=0ASXLDKBOhmIZZGQzbXRiMjRfMTJmdjdua2pncA&hl=en

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Prince Family January Newsletter



Go to this link to see the Prince family newsletter for January:

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0ByXLDKBOhmIZYzc0MjFhMDctZTUyYS00MzhmLTkwMTktZDJhMjBlZmM2YTQ0&hl=en


If you do not regularly receive our newsletter and would like to be on the list, please email us at caseyandsarahafrica@gmail.com.

Thanks!
Casey and Sarah

L Family Update

Wow, today is a new day, and evidently God's fresh spirit made today new not only for me but also for the L family. I went to visit them this evening after hearing that Mr. L might be going TODAY to Living Hope. I came into a calm and happy room that had guests visiting. Mr. L was in some back pain, that has evidently escalated in the past 24 hours, but he was happy and joking with me. Mrs. L was also so much more light and lifted then she was yesterday and was also smiling and seemingly happy. They were waiting for an ambulance to take Mr. L to Living Hope and he was honestly ready to get there and be cared for by the doctors and nurses. It was astonishing and truly a different feel and spirit in that room - a true miracle! I really don't know how it happened, but I believe that God worked in both of them and made a way to help these people. Still many challenges ahead as I know it will be hard for both of them to be separate and harder for Mr. L to be away at a clinic, but I hope it will be for the best and they will come back together refreshed and stronger.

Thanks for the prayers and keep them coming!

Love,
Sarah

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rough One

Whew! I write this afternoon with a heavy heart and a mind that is racing at all that fills me today. I would always consider myself someone who cares about world issues, but as soon as this crisis in Haiti happened last week I have found myself glued to the television at the international coverage on CNN. The reports have been provocative, and daily break my heart into millions of pieces as I watch the plight of these incredible people in Haiti. Honestly, I want to be there during this time. No, seriously, right now. I always feel this way when huge tragedies happen like this in the world; my first thought is that I wish I was there immediately, to love on the people, pray with them, and help to build up the church and spiritual leadership. I have honestly prayed for God to make a way for me to Haiti, but it seems for the time being he wants me to stay put. But let me know if you hear otherwise :)

However, this is not particularly why my heart is so heavy this afternoon; rather it is from an occurrence that happened this morning. I was scheduled to go with a friend at church, 'Petey' to serve communion to the sick who can't leave their homes, a monthly ministerial task usually done by our head pastor Kyle, who is presently in the United States. Yesterday I was again visiting an elderly couple in our church, the L's (obviously not their name, but want to keep it private), as they have both been sick, in and out of the hospital, and just deeply struggling spiritually and emotionally. Yesterday's visit I decided to really push a conversation with Mr. L concerning his health and my opinion (and the opinion of MANY others) that he should go have a short stay at the Living Hope clinic to recover and give his wife a break. Today we came again and I had no idea the storm I was walking into. Mr. L was hurt and in a horrible mood and I felt like I walked into a natural disaster in my own community. He is terrified of being put in another hospital and sees the clinic as such, feels like his marriage of 51 years is crumbling, can't walk or barely move, and is totally in despair. His wife is exhausted from caring from him and trying to help him through his falls, illnesses, and changing emotions. We came in to serve communion, but left finally after they refused, I had been yelled at, and he had basically said he didn't see the point in living. I cried in front of them, and then we all cried as we finally closed in prayer. Thank GOD that He is real and His Spirit brought some peace to Mr. L and to that home, but as we left I still felt a desperation and deep sadness. Ugghhh. Seriously, I have been wanting to go to Haiti all week, but that was sorrow and darkness like I have never seen. I could have gone home and slept for the rest of the day in my depression, but kept moving and even doing some ministry. Thankfully Casey made it through the day unscathed by me, but it was a close one for sure as I was in a sad state.

I don't even know how to really pray for this, I just pray for a miracle. It's not even so much for the physical healing of these new friends, which of course would be incredible. I pray for their spiritual and emotional healing and just a peace to overwhelm and take over their home in their pain and fear.

One of those hard days, and I never would have expected it would look like this. Life can just be rough. Thankfully there is hope deeper, peace that pervades even in fear, light that pierces, and love that conquers all.

Love,
Sarah

Monday, January 18, 2010

Prince Update

Hello friends and family,

Well we are up and on the move Tuesday morning of a busy week. We had a great weekend, and I was so glad and thankful to finally be able to preach in our church, Ocean View Methodist. I felt like the opportunity would allow the people to get to know our family better and hopefully open them up to share themselves with us more. It was a great Sunday and I really do feel like it brought us even closer. Now preparing to preach again this weekend, and want to push them now to look out with compassionate eyes to those around us. Would love your prayers!

Casey has another Ubuntu Sports clinic today at a school in Simon's Town and it will be their first clinic there. The weather is a bit dreary right now, but hopefully will hold out to begin a relationship with the kids and teachers there.

I am leading my HIV support group today at my house, which I am looking forward to. We have been taking a break over the 'summer break' and so it will be nice to see the group together again. I am in the midst of really praying through my role at Living Hope now, as it is starting to seem like there isn't much of a place for me to serve there as I had hoped. What I would like to do is simply already being done by wonderful and capable people. I think I will still be involved with the organization and support group leaders in Ocean View, but more in just a supportive role and someone they can use when they need counseling or have other specific needs. I am feeling more and more led to do work for domestic violence, and working and talking more with Sisters For Sisters, who do support groups for women closer to the city center. So not sure what is ahead, but would love your prayers as I discern the next steps.

Well time to get going with the day! Sending our love!
Sarah

Sarah's Sermon at Ocean View Methodist this weekend

Hello friends and family!

Follow this link (copy and paste it into browser) to read my sermon that I preached this weekend at our church.

https://docs.google.com/fileview?id=0ByXLDKBOhmIZOGZlYTNlOTEtOWY1OC00ODRiLThjZTgtNjgzMjE4OThmOWE2&hl=en



Love,
Sarah

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Friday, January 15, 2010

Prayers for new missionaries

Our prayers today go out to our wonderful friends Caleb and Adrienne Weir and their son Ben, as they begin their journey to Papa New Guinea to work as missionaries. We have loved sharing this experience with them as they are from our home church, Grace Community in Raleigh. They are an incredible family with a deep passion for Jesus and we know God is going to use them mightily. Pray for them, for their VERY long journey to PNG and the beginning steps of creating a new life there.

Love you guys!

Casey and Sarah


The Weir family blog for their mission work in Papa New Guinea
www.weirinpng.com


Three clocks hanging in our kitchen: one for Cape Town time, one for Raleigh time back home, and one for time in Papa New Guinea, to think and pray for our friends Caleb, Adrienne, and Ben

Book Review by Sarah


What what, I read two books in one month!

Sharing a second book review this week because I have recently read another wonderful book that I want to share. 'Cold Tangerines' was given to me for Christmas by my 'bestie' Kerry Mandulak. It is a collection of personal stories by author Shauna Niequist that all bring life and focus to celebration in our lives, as she feels there is a need to see the good and lovely in our normal lives. It is a book that will make you laugh and surely you will find connection with her authenticity and joy. I read this book in just a couple of days and enjoyed every chapter. Niequist has a writing style that is flowery, deeply descriptive, and just plain filled with truth. Read this book for an enjoyable time!

Grade: B

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Book Review by Sarah


Same Kind of Different as Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

GREAT book I just read and really recommend. This book was actually given to me a couple years ago, but my Dad was reading it during his time here visiting and said it was a must read. During a couple nights of insomnia I gobbled it up. Truly an incredible, humbling, and inspiring story. It is written by two men, Ron and Denver, who paths and lives couldn't be further from the same, but God weaves them together in an extraordinary way. You come to love and respect both these men and fall deeply into their journey of learning about the 'other' and how we are actually so much more similar then we could ever imagine. The themes are of race, poverty, and love, but this story will touch you deeply and move you to see others differently.

Grade: A+

“But I found out everybody’s different- the same kind of different as me. We’re all just regular folks walkin down the road God done set in front of us. The truth about it is, whether we is rich or poor or somethin in between, this earth ain’t no final restin place. So in a way, we all is homeless- just workin our way toward home.”

Glimpses of our visit with Mom and Dad

Grandpa and Kieren playing her soccer ball

Mom and Kieren playing

The four of us on a visit to beautiful Table Mountain

Kieren opening a birthday present from Abuelita (umm, wrapped in Xmas paper...)

Kieren practicing her walking SKILLZ with her present from Abuelita

Kieren screaming for joy in her new ball pit. A fun b-day present from her new friends here in Africa!

The Freshlyground concert at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, the last night of my parents visit

The four of us enjoying a picnic before the concert

Jumping Back In!

Life is moving along this week here in South Africa! I am working this week on preparing for my first opportunity to preach at Ocean View Methodist Church and I am SO excited! I have been thinking and praying about my message for weeks now, so I am looking forward to sharing my heart with this church. Casey is out for his first of four Ubuntu clinics this week and the beginning of next week. We have some new friends here also to help, some college students from Elon University in North Carolina, who are here with a program studying abroad for the month. Prayers for all this ministry are greatly welcomed!

My parents have arrived back home in Charlotte, North Carolina, safe and sound. My Dad was sick as he left and is exhausted but feeling better and I believe both will need a bit of time to recover physically and emotionally from the travels and African adventures. Promise - pictures from their visit are to come soon!

Love,
Sarah

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Book Review: The Unlikely Disciple


We have been meaning to review more of the books that we've read. I finished "The Hole in Our Gospel" by Richard Stearns when we arrived, which is a must-read. Then, I read "Urban Halo" by Craig Greenfield about living amongst the poor in urban Cambodia.
But the book I want to review is called "The Unlikely Disciple" by Kevin Roose. It's about a student at Brown University who decides to spend a semester at Liberty University, the polar opposite of his school. He goes in undercover and tries to blend in as a regular Liberty students. It's a fascinating look at the very conservative end of the Christian world. Kevin does an amazing job of going in very open minded about his experience. The way his preconceived notions are changed about people, especially, is very refreshing.
I got sad as the book comes to a close, because I just didn't want to be done. It's not only an interesting 'experiment', but he also tells the whole experience in a very compelling way. I'd HIGHLY recommend this book.
I give it a grade of 'A'.
Casey

Monday, January 11, 2010

Heading Home

So sad as my parents are about to board their first plane to head back home to North Carolina after an incredible and jam-packed two weeks visiting us in South Africa. Uggghhh it SUCKED to say goodbye to them today! Yuck! I will post some pictures from the whole visit soon, but just thinking of them right now and sad that I won't get to see them until JULY. Just one of the harder sacrifices of this mission life - being so far from family.

Prayers for my parents as they travel home - and especially for my Dad as he is sick with a bad flu as be begins traveling!

Lots of love,
Sarah

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Kieren's First Birthday Mexican Fiesta!



What a day yesterday was! Saturday we had a huge birthday party to celebrate Kieren turning one years old (the actual birthday is on January 12th, but we wanted to party while my parents were still here). In honor of my mom who is Mexican American, and my years of birthday parties in the theme of her vivacious heritage, we decided to continue the FIESTA tradition here in our own community of Ocean View. We prepared pico de gallo, chicken, veggies, chips, salad, rice, Mexican beans, and lots of sweets for all our guests for two days leading up the party. We invited all our guests through evite, texts, phone calls, and just word of mouth, decorated the house, rented a 'jumping castle,' and my mom and I even made a home-made pinata for the kids! The party was Saturday afternoon and around 50 of our wonderful friends in our various communities here in South Africa came to celebrate sweet Kieren. Our friends Lauren and Shagmie bought her 'fairy wings' to celebrate her princess status for the day - very appropriate and cute. The house was buzzing and my parents helped with the cooking and serving of our Mexican feast since most of our friends had never even heard of fajitas - shame! They had also never seen a pinata but quickly joined in the fun with the kids of hitting it, although it took our 'big' friend Evan Torrance to finally break it open. The day flew by and it was just a great time of visiting and celebrating with so many people that God has blessed us with here. Kieren got lots of fun presents (most of which she still hasn't opened because she was so excited to just be with her friends). My parents really enjoyed seeing our friends and spending time talking about them and their lives, although most of them had already come by for a visit at this point of their trip! By 10:00pm all the guest had gone home and we sat exhausted in the lounge in a fog of bliss and thankfulness to all God has created here. The gift of the day gave us memories we will never forget and the only thing it was lacking was SO MANY OF YOU back home that we wished could have been with us too! Know that you were missed at this celebration with us - you are always in our thoughts - especially on days like these!

Still recovering and deeply thankful,
Sarah



Sarah and Kieren with the woman of her support group

Wendy trying to break the pinata

Uncle Jenks hanging with Kieren, telling her about the festivities around her

Mom explaining how to 'construct' the fajitas

Mom and Dad with the Terry family, Bernadette and her son, Robin and our 'Granny' Jacoba

Casey 'braving' the grill for our 'braai'

Evan, Cameron, and Kerryn Torrance

The neighborhood kids who showed up to hang at the jumping castle and celebrate with us

The ladies of my support group taking over the jumping castle

Kieren's Birthday Party!!

Kieren's 1st Birthday party is today!! It's a Mexican Fiesta! We have a homemade pinata, fajitas, pico de gallo, refried beans, and lots of other goodies. Probably 40-50 of our friends, from all different communities, are coming!! We even got a jumping castle!! I'm so excited! Of course we'll post pics and maybe even a video soon.

Casey

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Family Time

Time with my family moves on this week and I can't help but feel like it is all flying by so fast! We have had such a good mix this week of seeing this incredible city, learning about the history of South Africa, my parents meeting more of our special friends here, laughing and playing with Kieren, and just enjoying this time together. One thing I have realized this week is two-fold. One, we have become really comfortable here in our life and really love it here. Our house is like a train station with people always around, but then we also have times of quiet and peace. I love how the people here love Kieren and are already so enjoying her crazy personality. The ministry we are already doing is so fulfilling and meaningful and Casey and I are both passionate about all that is so come in 2010. I think it almost took my parents coming here for a visit to realize how 'right' this time is. I am thankful. The second thing I realize with my parents here is how different this life is. It's become normal for us but that doesn't mean it's truly normal (and you all know WE were NEVER normal to begin with). I can't expect people to want this life as well, but I am so thankful for the privilege of sharing it with you back at home and with those up close who visit. It's strange and hard and hectic but we love it.

My mom and I are working on plans for Kieren's first birthday party - a Mexican fiesta - which we will have on Saturday. We have invited EVERYONE, and I honestly think at this point we will have about 50 people. Bring on the chaos...

Lots of love,
Sarah

Sunday, January 3, 2010

The Visit Continues

So it's Sunday night here and as I go to bed just wanted to share a few other bits from my visit from my parents. They have been here just over a week and it's been a great trip! We are all exhausted, as I think we are trying to fit in EVERYTHING in these two weeks. We want to have every conversation, sightsee, hang with Kieren, meet our friends and community here, do ministry together, change the world, etc.... Today my parents went to church with us again and I was struck once more by how hospitable and welcoming our church family is here. They are incredible to my parents! We then went to see the movie 'Invictus' that is now in theaters here and is a GREAT story about South Africa in 1995 - go see it! Then we took a beach walk, and then headed downtown to visit Hillsong Church and have a dinner celebrating Casey's 25th birthday (this is our 6th year to celebrate it...). It's been a full day and a full week. I am realizing that I think some of our fatigue is just that so much is NEW that we are experiencing together and it just takes so much of us to go through this new world together. I know my parents are feeling many different emotions about our life here, but overall they have been so gracious to just learn and welcome so many new things. I pray that they will continue to enjoy their time here and just learn from the people and experiences - that is what we hope to do to!

On a GREAT side note, I received a text from Eunice, one of the leaders of Sisters For Sisters tonight. It was her second text today thanking us for coming yesterday and praising my mom for her giftedness and time with them. Too cool. BUT, tonight's text was also about a women who came to the workshop yesterday named Karen. Long story, but it was her first time to visit the group and she was very hurt and abused by many situations in her life. As she left with a friend of hers, I talked to her a bit and gave her my Bible to take home. Eunice texted me to say she came by again for a visit and has now become a Christian believer! I am overjoyed to hear this because this woman really needed some hope and healing and I truly believe she will find it through our God. It was a cool moment to share with my family and we celebrated at dinner - and this is why we do what we do!

We are grateful and blessed!

Love,
Sarah

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Ministry with Mom

Today was a special day because I was privileged to do ministry with my Mom while she is here in South Africa visiting. I have met a new non-profit called 'Sisters for Sisters' and they form support groups for women suffering domestic violence. The groups are mostly near the city of Cape Town (we are the 'southern peninsula') so there aren't any near my area, but the women are incredible and I have been so inspired by them. In meeting with them I began to brainstorm that my mom might be a great person to lead some training for the leaders and clients of the group. SO my mom and I worked with Eunice, who heads up S4S and we came up with a day of training for the leaders and then an interactive workshop for any group members who are in town at this time. It was such an incredible day, and if I could sum it up, I would say I was 'in awe' of my mom and her incredible ability to meet these women exactly where they were, teach them, and love them deeply. it was extraordinary. We had a leaders training, then other group members arrived and we served lunch as we led into a workshop with the others where they shared and learned a great deal. They were open and excited to be learning so much, just like sponges. It is obviously heavy stuff we are talking about when speaking on domestic violence, but these are brave women working through towards freedom in varying stages. i am looking forward to working with these women more and learning from them in 2010. What a GIFT to do ministry with my Mom and watch her in action - she is a rock star!

Love,
Sarah


My Mom, Alicia, in her 'element,' teaching

Training with the Sisters For Sisters leaders

Me with the leaders; Evelyn, Eunice, and Patience

Mom working with the women in the workshop, teaching and facilitating discussion