Saturday, February 27, 2010

Melissa is here and...

Melissa Book is here! And her friend Heather joined her! Melissa was in our first group of students when we started at Grace 8 years ago. We were very close to her and her classmates. She just graduated from college and wanted to do something fun before starting grad school, so she came to see us!!
Tomorrow morning we are taking them to hike Table Mountain. But, we're taking 4 boys from the community with us. Some have never been over the nearby mountain, the one we have to cross just to get to the gym. We want to start helping them have some great experiences in the city. We're really excited to see how the respond.

So, I'm sure you'll get a big update on this adventure and this whole weekend soon.


Thursday, February 25, 2010


Someone sent me this poem today, I think she might have written it (but not sure!), and it really encouraged me. Thought I would share it with you (thanks Christy!!)! What a great vision, to have Jesus Christ a part of every move we make! Amen!


Christ be with you, Christ within you,
Christ behind you and before you,
Christ beside you, Christ to win you,
Christ to comfort and restore you,
Christ beneath you, Christ above you,
Christ in the heart of every one who thinks of you,
Christ in the mouth of every one who speaks of you,
Christ in the eye of every one who sees you,
Christ in every ear that hears you

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Book Review by Sarah

"Everybody Wants to Change the World: Practical Ideas for Social Justice" by Tony Campolo and Gordon Aeschliman

I picked up this book and took it with me to the beach last week, and was immediately excited to pass it on to friends! This is not only a book, but an incredible RESOURCE for teens and young people looking to take their passion for their world and put it into action. Each chapter is a different theme or problem like poverty or violence, and then the authors give practical ideas and projects that individuals or groups could take on. The goals are to truly make a difference in those receiving ministry and to also change those serving and giving in real ways. I loved the ideas in it and thought they were humble, helpful, and inspiring. Grab this if you are looking to step out and make things happen!

Grade: B

Update on Kelly

I got a surprise phone call this morning from Kelly Kosky, our friend that was in the bicycle accident. He was just calling to check in. He said that he, "thought he owed me a call." What? Are you kidding? Why would he owe me a phone call? I am the one that owes him a visit to the hospital. I'm actually embarrassed that he called me before I got to see him.
But it was great hearing his voice. He has been moved from ICU and seems to be having a great attitude, which isn't surprising. He seems ready to take on the new phase of life that he's entering. He is starting to explore the prosthetic limb possibilities. Ironically, or totally by the sovereignty of God, a guy came to that Super Bowl Party at Kelly's house the night before the accident that has a prosthetic leg. Kelly had never met the guy before. They have been spending a bit of time together talking about how that sort of life can be. It's as if God knew what would happen the next morning and was already putting this guy in Kelly's life knowing that he would need him. Very cool!
Just wanted to give you guys an update. I told him that you all have been praying for him. Thanks for that and please keep praying for the next steps in his journey. He's hoping to get out of the hospital in the next couple of weeks I think.
What a great way to start the day!!


Tuesday, February 23, 2010

She's Walking

Check out our new video of Kieren walking!

Casey and Sarah

Monday, February 22, 2010

Poem About Domestic Violence

I read this poem this weekend as Karin, Evarnie's sister gave it to me. What is the strangest thing to me about receiving this poem now is that Karin found a copy of it hung on Evarnie's wall when she cleaned out her house this weekend. Evarnie, like so many women in my community, know of the possible dangers of abuse, but can't find the strength within themselves to make a change. And so my ministry continues on.


I Got Flowers Today

I got flowers today.
It wasn't my birthday or any other special day.
We had our first argument last night,
And he said a lot of cruel things that really hurt me.
I know he is sorry and didn't mean the things he said.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
It wasn't our anniversary any other special day.
Last night, he threw me into a wall and started to choke me.
It seemed like a nightmare.
I couldn't believe it was real.
I woke up this morning sore and bruised all over.
I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today,
and it wasn't Mother's Day or any other special day.
Last night, he beat me up again.
And it was much worse than all the other times.
If I leave him, what will I do?
How will I take care of my kids?
What about money?
I'm afraid of him and scared to leave.
But I know he must be sorry.
Because he sent me flowers today.

I got flowers today.
Today was a very special day.
It was the day of my funeral.
Last night, he finally killed me.
He beat me to death.
If only I had gathered enough courage and strength to leave him,
I would not have gotten

By Paulette Kelly

Monday Update

Hello all!

Here with my regular Monday update. It's Monday afternoon now. Jacoba has taken Kieren to walk around on a very warm and VERY windy Cape Town day, and Casey is out for a meeting and lunch today. I am sitting in a quiet house, listening to music, and reflecting on the weekend. I was already blessed this morning by working with the group of support leaders working for Living Hope in Ocean View by giving them a time of training, encouragement, and ministry. It was beautiful - these are INCREDIBLE women of God that do so much for this community so I love encouraging them! This was a scripture that really spoke to the group this morning:

"The one thing I ask of the Lord—
the thing I seek most—
is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life,
delighting in the Lord’s perfections
and meditating in his Temple.
For he will conceal me there when troubles come;
he will hide me in his sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.
Then I will hold my head high
above my enemies who surround me.
At his sanctuary I will offer sacrifices with shouts of joy,
singing and praising the Lord with music."
- Psalm 27:4-6 New Living Translation

Well it was a good weekend, and I was very thankful for the prayers I received, as many of you knew I had two funerals. I was one of many who attended the funeral of Lenny Levendall on Friday, and that was a beautiful celebration. Then on Saturday was the funeral of Evarnie Garnett. I met her sister Karin and her husband and son for the first time when they came to our home Saturday afternoon before the service and they were refreshing and wonderful people. All believers of God, they had a mix of feelings being in Ocean View once again (they are a white family from Pretoria, another big city in South Africa), and feeling guilt and sadness over Evarnie's death. The service was exactly what God wanted as kids from the Open Door ministry in Ocean View sang and presented the family with a card, Sharine who works at Open Door and ministered to Evarnie shared, Karin spoke about Evarnie and 'called' on the community to leave alcohol and violence, and I shared a short meditation about the unrelenting love of God. The scripture that I really feel like God laid on my heart that day seemed to speak to all of us deeply:

"Can anything ever separate us from Christ’s love? Does it mean he no longer loves us if we have trouble or calamity, or are persecuted, or hungry, or destitute, or in danger, or threatened with death? (As the Scriptures say, “For your sake we are killed every day; we are being slaughtered like sheep.” No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us. And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow—not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love. No power in the sky above or in the earth below—indeed, nothing in all creation will ever be able to separate us from the love of God that is revealed in Christ Jesus our Lord."

- Romans 8:35-38, The New Living Translation

God really used the service to speak to everyone there I believe. The family stayed for tea and food afterwards and then headed to town to meet up with Karin's other children. It seemed like such a random thing for me to be involved in, but I truly knew that God wanted me to lead that service and honor this woman. It did touch me to be involved, and it also put a fire in me even deeper to help stop the silence in Ocean View that is deafening about violence.

Sunday we went to church at Ocean View Methodist, and Casey had the opportunity to share about Ubuntu. Kyle (the head pastor) even preached on the idea and really encouraged the congregation in this place where God is 'stretching' them. It was very well-received, and I believe people now understand us even more. I even had two men come to me and apologize for their negativity towards us living in the house and the grass dying, and saying they now understand why we are here and want to be a part of it. Incredible! Casey then went to another church to talk about Ubuntu - 'Revival Church' - and the head pastor there wants to be a coach and help lead this ministry! Then we rested for the afternoon before going to a worship service and ordination where our friend Shagmie led worship. Afterwards we went to church at Hillsong and had dinner at our local 'Mexican' restaurant, Fat Cactus with our friend Michael Jenkins. Great weekend with God doing lots of great stuff!

We have a normal busy week ahead and I am just encouraged as I have seen God really work in me and other people this past week. He is really moving and changing people - and I feel like God is teaching me so much! Tiring, humbling, but so good.

Lots of love!

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Kieren's First Happy Meal

A Book Review by Sarah

“You Should Dress Your Family in Denim and Corduroy” by David Sedaris

This book is laugh-out-loud funny and made me so happy in so many ways. David Sedaris is an author who was raised in Raleigh, North Carolina, and his stories come out of his life, many of them from his childhood. To add to my enjoyment, his father, Lou Sedaris, was a part of our 'spinning' group at the gym who took cycle classes and also had lunches and get-togethers. This was my second Sedaris book (check out “Me Talk Pretty One Day”), and in some ways I liked it more than the first. It had the expected sarcasm and colorful storytelling that I hoped to find, but gave an added element of heart towards his family members and himself. I found myself smiling and being touched at the end of every chapter, and then quickly moving ahead to enjoy the next episode in the hilarity that is David Sedaris' life. It is certainly an off-coloured and crude piece of work, but if you can handle it, get ready to enjoy yourself and even see a piece of your own family.

Grade: A

Friday, February 19, 2010


First, so cute, Kieren is napping and we need groceries for dinner, so Casey just piled a bunch of the kids who were at our house and in our yard and took them all to 'Pick N Pay' for shopping. Funny!

I have been thinking a lot this week about many things, one among them being addiction. This weekend I will be pastoring and leading a memorial service for a woman named Evarnie Garrett who died in this community 2 weeks ago through domestic violence at the hands of her boyfriend. I watched the movie last night 'Rachel Getting Married' starting Anne Hathaway (couple years old) and Anne's character is a sister in recovery who comes home out of rehab for her sister's wedding. The family is all crazy and amazing, rich, troubled story ensues. But I don't have to watch a movie or choreographed dance to see the power of addiction, it is ripe all around Ocean View. Evarnie, who we will celebrate and remember tomorrow, was mostly remembered in this community as the white lady who walked around drunk. Once she was that, 'a drunk,' she was labeled and ignored, even though she knew Jesus Christ and desperately tried to change her life, always falling back to her addiction and the twisted comfort of her abusive relationship. It's so easy to stand on the outside, like watching a movie, and try to analyze the people in the community and the source of their many vices and hang-ups. However, I think a reason I have felt very fragile lately in the face of all the pain around me is that I realize that all of us are weak, broken, and vulnerable and possibly a step away from a life tortured by addiction. Also what is wild is that something about that place of weakness is exactly where Jesus wants us to be as Paul says in 2 Corinthians 12:9, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." I hate weakness and greatly prefer control, success, and happiness. Somehow in this context, in our world of brokenness and addiction, I am seeing myself, or realizing how weak I really am. It's terrifying and maddening. Literally. However, somehow I have peace in knowing I am on the right road. I can't disguise, and this is a good thing.

It's a tough weekend. Today we went to the funeral of my friend and church member Lenny Levendall. There was an open casket viewing, where afterwards you greeted the mourning family. Then an hour and a half long service with people sharing, choirs singing, and a moving meditation from my fellow pastor, Kyle. Afterwards was a HUGE spread of desserts and tea where the 300 or more people visited and shared. It was beautiful, heartbreaking, and exhausting. Honestly though, I am so happy for my friend 'Uncle Lenny' that he is rejoicing in heaven, his body whole, and his fears and questions no more.

Tomorrow is the funeral for Evarnie, and this one I will lead alone. I have assisted other pastors but never lead a funeral by myself (I just realized this as I am writing!). I have such a peace about it and even feel privileged to honor this woman who I think was troubled, misunderstood, and I KNOW loved by God. Pray for me, the family, and this community. May we honor our friend and move forward together, broken and honest, yet with a new bond and longing to see this community healed and whole, just like Lenny and Evarnie are now.


Thursday, February 18, 2010

Prince Family February Newsletter

Copy and paste this link into your browser:

Lots of love,
Casey and Sarah

Great Video


I want to share a video with you. I recently saw this dance on the reality show 'So You Think You Can Dance.' It is to Sarah Barreilles' song 'Gravity' and is about addiction. The man in the video is the 'addiction,' whatever that may be, and the girl is the one who is addicted and can't escape. I had seen this video before, but today it really moved me because of the power I see of addiction here with drugs, violence, and sex. It is so sad because many people don't escape their addictions yet want so desperately to be free. Thankfully, not all are overtaken by their addiction, and there can be a way out.


Book Review by Sarah

"The Calvary Road" by Roy Hession is a Christian classic and a deeply impactful book. It's short but rich and powerful read about the Christian life. The basic idea is that is Christians want to see revival in the church or the community then they have to begin with themselves. Furthermore, true revival and spiritual awakening begins with realizing that we are nothing without Jesus and we have to come to Him completely open and broken. This book brings the reader through their own judgement, pride, and prejudice all for the hope of becoming whole in God and then sharing that love with others. The ideas are simple and profound and it really impacted my personal spiritual time while here in South Africa.

Grade: B

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Check out Ubuntu Sports News

A great night!

I have recently joined a pastor fraternal (first frat I've been in) called "The Fellowship of Good Hope." I know, I don't really qualify since I'm not a pastor, but I figured ministry is ministry whether it's with a ball or a podium. I had been meeting with a few of the pastors in the group and they kept inviting me so I went for it. I know that I need to have other men in my life, and it sounded like a great group. They meet every week on (now) Thursday mornings. They pray together, have a devotional, and work on some projects that they are sharing. Right now that's obviously a focus on the World Cup. I really enjoy being with them and the diversity makes it so interesting. It originally started off as a group of pastors from Ocean View, but it has grown and spread. There are 4 pastors from OV (not including me). One at the Baptist church, one at Revival Ministries, a Zimbabwean guy leading OV Christian Church, and a new member at another church. There are a couple of guys from Masi, the black township. A white guy from the surf village down the road called Kommetjie. A young white pastor (only 26) from Simon's Town Baptist. And 3 guys from a church in Fish Hoek called Connections, one is black and the other two white. Oh, and another American missionary is set to join us. So, we are different racially, denominationally, theologically, generationally, but we all love God and believe that we need each other!
Last night we had a dinner where we brought our spouses. We all brought something to share (thankfully we had dessert) and our wives were served all night by us. The food was delicious, but the time together was even better. We got to know each other better, laughed at each other, and prayed a bit. It was such a pleasure and such a treat to be starting to connect with this group of men. Some of these churches will be our sponsoring churches for Ubuntu and some want to be but don't have the right people. But that is not the purpose for me. It's to have great men in my life that can strengthen, sharpen, and challenge me. Hopefully I'll be able to do the same for them. It's been 3 weeks now, and I'm excited to see what's to come!!
This is just another example of how God has really blessed us with an abundance of amazing relationships. He is so faithful!

Check out the Ubuntu update on that blog, have some exciting news!


Monday, February 15, 2010

Monday Update

Hello friends and family!

I enjoy my new tradition of a Monday morning update - hope you do too :)

We had a great weekend and just finished up this morning at the gym. For me, it was a girls weekend, as I hung out with some American missionary friends on Friday night, Saturday morning went to a workshop for Sisters For Sisters, then hosted a bridal shower for our friend Lauren Presence (her fiancee is Casey's friend Shagmie), and ended the day by taking Lauren and some friends out for a 'bachlorette party' on Saturday night. I learned so much at the bridal shower - it was totally different than a shower would be in the States, and 30 minutes into it I whispered to a women there, 'does it always happen like this??' She laughed at me and explained the me their traditions of bringing in the bride-to-be dressed funny and blindfolded, and then they would proceed to have her open each gift blindfolded, guess what it is, and guess the giver of the gift by touching their face and body. If they got anything wrong then they had to do 'dares' like spell their fiancee's name with their butt! It was so different and hilarious - learned a new side to the coloured community here!

We then had church Sunday morning in Ocean View for our 'covenant service' which is a yearly occurrence where the church comes together to covenant and vision for the year ahead. It was a packed morning and great time of tea and goodies afterwards. Great things ahead. Sunday afternoon Casey and I took Kieren to the beach, which was beautiful and crazy, as she decided to be a bit moody and have a tantrum over a fudgesicle. I mean, I like them too, but there is no reason for a full melt-down... Then we went to Hillsong Church Sunday night and dinner afterwards with Michael Jenkins and some of the Living Hope volunteers. Whew! It was a great weekend filled with many wonderful people and events.

We are both looking forward to a good week, many things to tackle ahead with Ubuntu and my various ministries and it all seems exciting to us. As life goes though, you never know what each day holds, and as I was working on finishing this blog post I learned that my friend and parishioner Lenny Levendall (who I previously called 'Mr. L in other blog posts) passed away peacefully this morning. He has been in and out of the hospital since I spoke of him before, and on his last visit they learned that cancer had spread throughout his body. He was at home and not in pain as he was on morphine and being watched by nurses. He said his goodbyes last night to family, was beginning to talk about Jesus and other people who had previously died, and then peacefully let out his last breath this morning while his wife Olga and family sat around him. It is a heartbreaking loss for this community that loved him so, but it was his time, and he was really at peace with it, which was such a gift. So please pray for his family, this community, and myself as we begin to move forward with a memorial service this week and then this new life without our friend, Lenny. Olga, his wife, is also at peace, just frail and tired, but knows her husband is now with the Lord.

Thanks for being a part of the journey once again everyone!
Lots of love,

Friday, February 12, 2010


We continue to meet the most amazing people here who are doing incredible and sacrificial things for people who really need love and help. I am working on understanding what rights and resources ARE available for families and women, and so decided on Thursday to visit a center in Ocean View called 'Open Door.' From what I could see it was for children of child abuse, but hadn't heard much more. I met there with a woman named Sharine, who runs the development for the children there. They have an extensive program that has feeding, hygiene, activities, and learning all the children there, as well as programs to help parents and caretakers. They do SO much and Sharine has a deep passion for the community and especially for the children. We were both excited to meet and will work together in the future as well as use one another for references when a need arises in our various ministries.

However, what really struck me as a unique and strange opportunity that has now come my way came as she was sharing the story of a local Ocean View woman named Evarnie. I had heard the major details of this story earlier in the week, as I learned a woman died in Ocean View on Tuesday and it seemed her boyfriend had killed her. She was a white woman and people said she was always walking around drunk. That was all I heard, until Sharine began telling me her story. Evarnie was a white woman whose boyfriend is 'coloured' (the term for white/black mixed race) and they stayed together in Ocean View. She struggled with alcohol abuse and would be out walking around drunk at times. It was also known that Evarnie and Peter would fight often and Evarnie would have bruises, cuts, and breaks to show afterwards. But she also was a Christian and really wanted to change her ways. Sharine continued to encourage her and finally she did get clean, although her boyfriend Peter would show up and verbally abuse her in front of the children and anyone else in ear-shot. Eventually she went back to the alcohol, but continued to share her desire for a new clean life. LONG story short, it is now know that the Evarnie and Peter had an argument about some money she was getting, the fight got out of hand and he killed her. Then he cleaned her up, cleaned up the house, and tried to tell the police she had a heart attack. It quickly became clear the real cause of death and the community seems not to be surprised at all. The craziest part for me, is that as I want talking to Sharine about her friend she was telling me about her desire to have a memorial service and how they needed a pastor, and suddenly I said that I would do it. So now in about a week I am going to help Evanie's family and friends mourn over the untimely death of their mother, sister, and friend. I have no idea why I am doing this, but feel really strongly that I should, and honestly feel honored to bring this woman some dignity and respect. She was far from perfect, just as we all are, but deserved life and love. It is a shocking and tragic real-life example of what can happen with domestic abuse, and possibly even more tragic that this community doesn't seem to be shocked by it all. The fire that is moving me to help these women grows and I know there is a need for community and love for these women who feel so alone. I'll keep you updated on the details - but this is definitely a new thing for me - so please pray!

Lots of love,

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

The Questions Rise

Last Tuesday I wrote about some great men that I've been meeting here and one of them is Kelly Kosky. He moved his family to South Africa 20 years ago to reach the Xhosa speaking people of the Transkei region. They lived there for 10 years without electricity or running water. After amazing work there they moved to Cape Town to reach out to the men of that community that have moved here to find work. They have been reaching the men of that tribe now for 10 years here. They have just done tremendous work and have earned the trust of the people. Kelly is just an amazing guy with crazy stories. His work has been so fruitful that he consistently has the attention of the US State Department and the US Consulate General. I'm really enjoying getting to know him and cycling has been one way for us to do that.
We were at Kelly's house on Monday for a day-late Super Bowl party. We couldn't stay long because of other plans but he was telling me that he was cycling to Stellenbosch the next day. Well, apparently he ended up in a massive accident on this ride. From what I can understand he had hit a curb and was going down when his leg was runover by a truck (the details are fuzzy). His leg had to be amputated. That detail isn't fuzzy. A man who cycles probably 5-6 days a week is now without his leg. It's totally tragic.
I know that often you guys think we are "so spiritual", faithful, and have it all together. Well, I have lots of questions today, much the same you would ask. Why would this happen to a guy that is serving God in such amazing ways? Why would the thing that he loves so much be taken from him? I know that following Jesus doesn't promise us any sort of safety, but seriously come on! And I know that God will be glorified by all of this because Kelly will respond in a way that will bring that glory. So I'm just frustrated and heartbroken today. I'm obviously crushed for him, but I'm even sad for myself because cycling was my way of connecting with a man that I really wanted to learn from.
So, I'd ask for your prayers today. For Kelly's continued recovery, apparently he didn't have any other serious injuries. For his family. And for his spiritual and emotional recovery.

Thanks for letting me be honest.


Hello all!

Just want to share something wonderful that I am really thankful for. I have been working with a couple, Denille and Mark, who have been having marital problems and even signs of domestic violence. It has been very intense, frustrating, and heartbreaking to watch it all and be a close part of it, as they are also involved in the church. The family has three children that are between the ages of 13 and 6 and the kids are awesome and spend a good amount of time at our house. Denille has been looking for some sort of counseling for the kids, but hasn't found any ting really available nearby, and is limited because of her job and the kids school schedule. A Living Hope volunteer who is here long-term from America, Christina, and I were talking last week about ministry and I learned about her passion for kids and background in social work and counseling. All of a sudden I thought of Denillie and the kids and Christina coming in to work with them. Christina was excited about the idea (although she later realized she wasn't really qualified... something I feel ALL the time about the ministry I do), and later felt God confirming His desire for her to join in the ministry to this family. So today Christina, Denille, and I met and talked about their situation and the kids. It was incredible - Christina is so gifted! She asked thoughtful questions, was a great listener, and is deeply intuitive in their struggle. So we are all ready to move forward, and tomorrow Christina and I are going to take the kids to ice cream and just talk and see if they would be open to talking more with Christina. Christina has many different methods and ideas but most of all wants to allow the kids to lead the time with her for what they want to get out of it. Our hopes and prayers is that they will see Christina as 'their' friend who they can talk to and share anything and see her as someone safe to work through all they are feeling and experiencing. I am so encouraged to have a friend working beside me with this family and really think God is going to use Christina in big ways. What a gift.

Today I am just thankful that God doesn't call us alone anywhere. First He is ALWAYS with us, but He also sends us others to walk alongside as we do His work. It's awesome!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Book Review: Follow me to Freedom

I'm a little delayed in this book review, but it was a great book sent to me by my great friend Chris Sasser. Follow Me to Freedom was written by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins. Both men have been about changing their communities in unique ways. Perkins was involved in the civil rights movement and has been doing community development in poor areas of Mississippi since then. Claiborne has been living in a unique community in the poor areas of Philly for several years. So, they are from different generations, races, and ways of doing things; but both love God, the poor, and want to see communities changed.
This book was great for me at this particular time. So much of it was about leadership, vision, and serving. It really did strike specific chords in me about how I cast vision for Ubuntu, love the people serving along side of me, and move forward in a community like we live in. This book came at a fantastic time for me.
If you're interested in leadership, vision, service, the poor, or things of that nature, then you'll really enjoy this book. It's not only packed with great content, but has a fun conversational style.
Overall Grade: A-


Monday, February 8, 2010

Sarah's Beatitudes Sermon - Week Four

Follow this link to read through my fourth of four sermons on the Beatitudes in Matthew 5 at Ocean View Methodist Church. I really enjoyed sharing this one and feel so privileged to be working with this community!

Lots of love,

Great Weekend

Hello friends and family!

Hope you are recovering this Monday morning from your fun and festive Superbowl parties on Sunday night. I actually missed being at those silly parties - something I seemed to plan every year begrudgingly while I worked at church and now I missed being a part of one! We actually got together with a group of American volunteers from Living Hope to watch the game together LIVE - which started at 1 AM. Yep, that's right, we are true and hard-core Americans. We had a proper party feast with sandwiches, dips, chili, cookies, fruit (boring) and Coke. It was so fun! Okay, so Casey and I went home after the first quarter of the game - hah - but it was a great night anyways. Good game though, as we caught up with the rest of the story this morning.

We were blessed to have a great weekend just pass, and I am first thankful just to really be feeling better. Thanks for your prayers and encouragement last week, and I feel privileged to have a community surrounding us that will allow us to be honest and vulnerable about this experience. So thanks for always listening! My health is better, and I think some of the meds my doctor changed have helped my sinus and stomach problems. I also saw a chiropractor about my shoulder tightness which is heightening my headaches and that REALLY helped. I think that is definitely where I hold my feelings and tension, so it seems that I need to continue to do a better job at resting and working through the intense situations we are dealing with here. Prayers for me as I learn to do that - but I am really trying! Thankfully as well, Casey is a great partner in all this, very supportive, and seems to be super-man and can thrive on much less sleep, loves to help with Kieren, and is still growing his ministry in the meantime. Show-off. :)

I preached my fourth sermon in a row this weekend at Ocean View Methodist on 'Blessed are the peacemakers,' and it was my favorite by far. I really feel like I continue to connect with the congregation, and more and more, I fall in love with them and am so excited about their passion for Christ and potential to change this community. Next weekend is 'covenant Sunday' when they look forward to the goals and vision for the year and I'm excited to get them rallied around what we believe God wants to do this year in our church. We also visited Simon's Town Baptist church where Casey shared about Ubuntu and we are working with their pastor, Martain, who is very excited about getting their church on board as a partner in the Simon's Town primary school. This is very exciting and Casey did a great job at sharing. In the evening we went with Kieren and our friend Michael Jenkins to Hillsong Church again where they had a 'vision' night with goals for 2010. It was very inspiring and exciting and we really feel that God has given us this passionate church to feed into US on Sunday nights as we are always ministering to others. We have always wanted a church to just 'be' and this seems to be a place where God is feeding and growing us right now. Good stuff.

Other than that we had a fun weekend hanging out with friends, seeing Avatar in 3-D (TOTALLY recommend it!), going to the beach with Kieren, hanging with the Ocean View kids and watching soccer with them, and just being together as a family. Casey and I even had a lunch date on Sunday. Great weekend and I was just reminded that God has put us in the perfect place for this time. Some days life seems so random and disjointed, but this weekend we saw again that God has a place for us here and a purpose and He also just wants us to enjoy life.

Kieren is really working on her walking skills, and now doing 5 steps in a row at times. We will DEFINITELY make a video this week and post it. She is a star and doing new things every day, spouting out new words like 'juice' and 'ouch,' and even started hugging Casey and I last night. She is a trip.

Have a great Monday! Lots of love,

Thursday, February 4, 2010


Life is so funny. I just spent an hour on the Internet looking for 'tips' on how to get my toddler to go down for a nap. Seriously. I use to spend my Internet search time looking at clothes or craft ideas or on Yep, nap time success stories. So Kieren is fighting naps these days, although many times she will just lay in her crib for about 30 minutes and talk and sing, which is very entertaining, but still would more enjoy her sleeping. Anyways, life is moving along here in South Africa and the week has gotten better for sure. Thanks for the encouragement and prayers, as I am feeling better each day. I think my health has been affected by a mixture of things, but I am taking steps in different areas to get healthy. I am really working on stress, and saw a new chiropractor today which was great. Next week I am going to do 'dry needling' which is supposed to help with pressure points that are inflamed, which I have many of in my shoulders. Many little details, but all in all I am feeling on the mend and just staying positive. God has been faithful and is lifting my spirits and I am looking forward to a fun weekend with Casey and Kieren and friends. Lastly, how can you really complain about life when your day consists of a late afternoon trip to the beach with cute Kieren; a beach that is a 2 minute drive from the house. Come on.

Lots of love friends and family!

You need to know...

I just think everybody needs to know that they have really great cantaloupe here in South Africa. They call it Sweet Melon here and it describes it well. Last week we went through 3 melons in 3 days!
I just really thought you should know.


Wednesday, February 3, 2010


Hello friends and family,

So wanted to share an update on me and ask for your prayers. Sorry I have been a bit MIA on blog updates, but I have been struggling again with my health and it's gotten me down a bit. Just having migraine problems, sinus issues, and even on-going stomach problems that I shared with the family when they visited in January. And with that I have been feeling anxious and depressed here and there. I really can't pinpoint it to anything specific, and thought maybe it was just overload on ministry a couple weeks ago, so I have really tried to slow down life a bit, but still feeling the same even after lots of rest. I went to the doctor again this week, have been to a therapeutic massage this week, chiropractor tomorrow, and did blood tests today. Looking like it's just stress related, but very, very frustrating for your body to be holding you back so much - something that many of you I know can relate to and have had similar experiences. Health is such a gift and you don't realize how wonderful it is until you don't have it. I am feeling a bit better tonight and so hope I am on the way up - and need to focus this week as I preach my fourth sermon in a row this weekend at Ocean View Methodist. Prayers for that, and also just for overall health and most of all, my spirit as I work through this.

Lots of love, thanks for the support and allowing me to be honest and open!


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Great Men

I've just been reflecting on the really great men that God is allowing me to be around here. You guys have all heard Sarah talk about Peter Storey before, her professor at Duke, and he's amazing, but there are others. As I've been meeting with churches to create partnerships with Ubuntu I've met with some amazing men. Jeremy Koeries is a pastor here at Oceanview Baptist Church, where many of our friends attend. He's a great guy leading a great church. Last week I met with a young pastor named Martyn Kilian. He's only 26 and has been pastoring Simon's Town Baptist for about 3 years. He's doing a great job trying to change culture and lead his church into the future. Another man, Ronald Cronje, is a colored man leading a church, Maranatha Family Church, in the black township Masiphumelele. He's made great progress there in that community. Finally, I cycled today with a great American guy named Kelly Kosky. His family moved to South Africa 20 years ago to start African New Life Ministries. They have done amazing work over that period for the people of the Trans Sky region. And I even have to include the young leaders of Living Hope that are doing great work all over this place.
I'm confident in what God is doing here as he is raising up great men to lead this country forward. I believe that he is going to continue that work through Ubuntu Sports Outreach as he brings us great coaches who will then raise boys to be great men!