Wednesday, June 30, 2010

World Cup!

Just realized that I hadn't posted pics from the World Cup game we went to last week. It was the Thursday night game of Cameroon vs. the Netherlands and the winners were the mighty Dutch-men. We had GREAT seats - row 8 and loved the experience. The Dutch fans are INCREDIBLE and wear the craziest, bright orange outfits - we both want to be Dutch now!



Whew, things are pretty crazy right now! It's our last week in Ocean View before coming back to the States for an 8-week visit and there is so much we are working on right now! There are always so many 'loose ends' before you go on a trip and so we are trying to get done as much as possible and see so many friends. We had our last Women's Support Group meeting on Monday night and combined with a birthday celebration for our Granny Jacoba, who celebrated her birthday this past weekend. She is such a special person and it's really fun to love on her! As a present, Casey and I bought her a double bed (on which is the of South Africa) and she was SO excited! She had a twin bed that was really old and had a major dip in the middle so it was time to take care of her hurting back. It's so fun to bless people you love. Other than that we have been working on insurance stuff from Casey's knee surgery, paying bills from Kieren's hospital stay and doctor appointments, working on talks and videos, and just hanging with people. Oh, and watching a LOT of World Cup games still. This tournament is sucking my life away, but I can't help but keep getting caught up in it! It's so fun! I have even pulled down summer clothes and we are in the midst of packing up in the guest room. This week is flying by! We are very excited to look back at the past eight months and see all God has done here. When we were planning this trip, I knew we needed a long time in the US because I would also be speaking at camps and we would be traveling. HOWEVER, now eight weeks seems SO LONG to be gone from Ocean View and I am going to miss it here so much! But once I think about laying by the pool in the warm sun and the blessedness of an air-conditioned Target, I find my excitement for Raleigh again :)

Good things NOW and great things ahead!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Article About World Cup and UBUNTU

We heard on the radio this morning about a great article in the US' Huffington Post about South Africa and their amazing job hosting the World Cup. I agree - it has been INCREDIBLE to see this country I love doing such a great job hosting this world event. The article speaks about 'Ubuntu' as a philosophy and how it has encapsulated the heart of South Africa's World Cup. Great stuff! Enjoy!


"South Africa Rolls Out the Ubuntu in Abundance" by Shari Cohen in the Huffington Post

Monday, June 28, 2010

GREAT Doctor Report!

Hello everyone!

Well, as have shared, I took it upon myself to make a family decision and last week didn't go to ANY doctors, wound checks, or light therapy. By Wednesday I took of Kieren's chest bandages and they have remained off ever since. She hasn't been very itchy, and there is only one, small scab remaining. But I have been looking with uneasiness to today, knowing that it would be time to head back to Red Cross Children's hospital for an appointment with the 'Professor' who is head of the burn ward. Casey had a planned Ubuntu clinic this morning in Ocean View, so it was up to me to take Kieren by myself again. I don't know why I was dreading it to much, but the mix of the hour drive there and again back, the hot burn ward, not-nice nurses, and the reality of WHO KNOWS what they were going to decide to do next about Kieren's burn wound was really looming in my heart. We got up normal time this morning, had breakfast, and made our way through Cape Town to the hospital.

Upon arrival, we were greeted by two of the therapist who work with wound after-care and they were SO pleased to see Kieren's progress! Then the Professor was ready right away to examine Kieren and was also very encouraged by how far she has come. While he was in the room one of the therapists said, 'it obviously was a great thing that the hospital didn't have electricity that day!' I couldn't agree more at this point! When that fateful Friday happened, and we waited and were postponed for surgery I was so discouraged and confused I didn't know what I wanted or where God was in the midst of it all. But Kieren is ready for the next phase of her recovery - scar treatment! What a great day! We made a plan for Thursday where I will return to the hospital, to another ward, and have Kieren fitted for a pressure vest that will help the inflammation and skin to come down to normal. She will wear her personal vest under clothes day and night for a while, but it should really help the scarring. We will also apply a collagen treatment daily to help the cells continue to regenerate (can I borrow??). So we are coming back to the States with a happy baby and family and so excited about Kieren's healing!

WOOO HOOO! Praise God! What a journey - and still much more ahead, but the worst is definitely behind us and we are VERY thankful!

Lots of love,

Friday, June 25, 2010

Americans are really smart

Can you hear the sarcasm? Can you find the reason?


No Bandages!

Just wanted to celebrate with everyone! This week, a couple days, I decided to take Kieren's bandages off for good and see how her small chest wounds would do. The risk was that it could keep opening up and bleeding, and then get infected. But every time we take her bandages off, the somehow open up and bleed a little, and so we put them all back on. This week I decided it was time to try it out and see what happens! She has been so scared of the bandages that every time I go to change her or put her in a bath she is scared and upset that I will mess with the bandages. So we have taken them off and she is doing great! The small wounds are closed up, looking like small blisters (ewww, sorry if that is gross!) and she isn't itching her chest at all. It's so nice to have a baby without any bandages wrapped around her body! She is so happy and had her first FUN bath time yesterday in the first time in 5 weeks! We are definitely on the road to recovery and actually LOOKING FORWARD to our appointment on Monday with doctors and the professor as Kieren is doing so well. Praise God!

Lots of love,

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Doing Great

Just a quick update in case you didn't get our Facebook updates. Casey had his surgery on his knee to repair the meniscus tear today at about 4:30pm. It was a quick surgery, although he went under full anesthesia. He woke up quickly afterwards and we were out of the hospital before 7pm! We were in a bit of a rush because we had GREAT tickets to the Cameroon vs. Netherlands World Cup game - row 5! Casey was sore and a bit loopy but we had a GREAT night and really enjoyed cheering on two great teams! Casey in bed finally now (although now Kieren is up to hang out for a bit...) and will be more sore tomorrow but was a very successful surgery. Please pray for his recovery and my continued role as super-mom of my many 'kids.' :)

Lots of love,

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Knee Diagnosis

So, the knee diagnosis is in. I only spent most of the day there! So, after a visit to the doctor, an X-ray, and an MRI we have sorted out that I have a torn meniscus, which is definitely better than my ACL. The word the doctor used was actually a "Smashed" meniscus. Nice. Glad that I could do better than just a tear.
I'm having arthroscopic surgery tomorrow afternoon. I'm glad to get it taken care of right away. Hopefully by the time we get home I'll be off crutches. And then, after my surgery tomorrow, I'm going straight from the hospital to the Holland vs. Cameroon game!! :) No time for complaining!!
So please pray for the surgery, recovery, and all that other stuff.


His Terms

I am reading a great book by a fantastic and inspiring pastor and author, Francis Chan. It's talking about the work of the Holy Spirit and this quote really challenged me today. I want the power and presence of the Holy Spirit in my life, but I want to add it in where I want it. God is calling me to places of obedience every day in big and little ways and I must follow Him EVERY day in order to see the power of the Holy Spirit. It's on His terms not mine. What I forget is that what I REALLY want is for it ALL to be on His terms. That is where I will find abundant life.

"Nowhere in Scripture do I see a 'balanced life with a little bit of God added in' as an ideal for us to emulate. Yet when I look at our churches, this is exactly what I see: a lot of people who have added Jesus to their lives. People who have, in a sense, asked Him to join them on their journey, to follow them wherever they feel they should go, rather than following Him as we are commanded. They God of the universe is not something we can just add to our lives and keep on as we did before. The Spirit who raised Christ from the dead is not someone we can just call on when we want a little extra power in our lives. Jesus Christ did not die in order to follow us. He died and rose again so that we could forget everything else and follow Him to the cross, to true life."
-Francis Chan, The Forgotten God


A Day Off

Yesterday the Prince's had a great day hosting all our guests and took them to the near-by town of Stellenbosch to visit some of our beautiful wineries. It was a perfect, sunny day (rare in these winter months) and we all had a great time together. We even got to watch Bafana Bafana give its proud country a strong win in their last game of the World Cup. We were very proud!

PS. I (Sarah) WAS there all day too, but turned into camera woman. I had fun with my boys but am ready for some girl time today :)

The Edwards brothers at Spier winery

The boys with the goats at the Fairview Winery

Dave and Matt Edwards with Casey

Antony Burton, Josh Edwards, Ben Cash, and Andy Chenlo

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Here is a pic from Kieren and I hanging out in her bedroom today playing in her ball pit. Kieren is HAPPY this week and it makes the world better!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Kieren Update


Just wanted to update everyone on Kieren. Since we had our car break-in on Saturday night, our car is a bit 'under the weather' and we haven't gotten the window replaced. Well we do have a 'window,' if by window you mean black plastic bag taped to car... So I just decided not to make the 45 minute trek to Red Cross hospital in the rain and called them later. I spoke to the head nurse saying I couldn't come today because of my car, but asked when I should come back. She confirmed my hopes saying that the Professor, who is the head of the burn ward, wasn't going to be in all week and so I should just come back next Monday, since I know how to do wound dressings myself for Kieren.


Something just changed in me this weekend and I somehow found it emotionally impossible to go to the hospital this week. I am just tired. Done. No more please. So not sure if Kieren will still need a skin graft, and now that decision will be made a week from today by the Professor. BUT, my hope and PRAYER is that this week of rest for us ALL will just help Kieren to fully heal and we will be golden by next week. She is just so happy again and God has certainly lifted my spirits as well, I just feel like it's time for a break. Time to enjoy. Time to just rest.

It feels good.

Keep us in your prayers - but God is at work around here. We can feel it!


Sunday, June 20, 2010


"For as things are, your man has now discovered the dangerous truth that these attacks don't last forever; consequently you cannot use again what is, after all, our best weapon -- the belief of ignorant humans that there is no hope of getting rid of us except by yielding." -CS Lewis, "The Screwtape Letters"

This weekend I have been thinking a great deal about spiritual attack and how it is not obvious that we are undergoing an attack from the Enemy. God has been doing great things in our midst and through the ministry He has established here in South Africa. Of course, the Devil wants to break this down and leave us discouraged and confused. Well these attacks have been so strong that we have been discouraged but we are not down and stubborn enough to keep going and find God no matter the circumstances. I have thought a lot about the book "The Screwtape Letters" by CS Lewis, which is a work of fiction depicting a teacher devil speaking to a student devil. The above quote comes from the book, and reminded me today that I can trust these attacks will come to an end and I can hold on to the promises of God above and beyond the hard situations of the present.

For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places. - Ephesians 6:12

We will hold strong in this battle because we know God has won the war. Pray for us as we journey ahead and fight, and may we see God glorified through all these tough situations!



Kieren enjoying a sunny, Ocean View day

Kieren and our little friend Megan

We Will Bring Praise

We continue to find ourselves in the 'desert' here in South Africa. Just to add to our confusion and frustration, on Saturday, Casey hurt his knee and thinks it might be a torn ACL, and last night our car was broken into. A window was broken, cd face stolen, and our American flag mirror covers stolen - low blow! Whew! What a ride we are on. I went on a run this morning after church and this song appropriately came on my ipod shuffle. We are in a desert, but we WILL continue to choose praise. This is Hillsong United singing 'Desert Song,' and she is reading Psalm 66.


Saturday, June 19, 2010


What a journey we are on! Yesterday was a very challenging day as we got all geared up for Kieren's skin graft - and had tons of prayer and support going into the day - and then it didn't happen! We just feel so confused and at this point we don't even know what to pray! Does God want Kieren to have a skin graft or not? Is it a spiritual matter? Does it even matter? We don't know!! We do know this, it is emotionally affecting us and just wearing on our spirits a great deal. It's been almost 5 weeks since Kieren's burn accident and we are ready for it to be over - or at least on to the scar management phase of this. We will go to the hospital for a wound check on Monday morning, and if the wound is still open then we will probably proceed with a skin graft this week. The longer we wait the more thick and noticeable the scar tissue will get. But who knows what will happen! Maybe aliens will take over the hospital or we will have a snowstorm!

We do know this, God is STILL in the midst of all of this. Casey and I were both very discouraged yesterday but God gave us a great day with our visiting friends and lifted our spirits. Kieren is BACK and has been a great mood lately, possibly more happy then EVER! At one point we were watching a soccer game last night and a shot bounced off the goalpost and Kieren yelled "Goal!' Really?? How cute is that. Today Casey is kicking off a week of Ubuntu clinics with all our volunteers, and even though it was forcasted to be rainy weather, it's a beautiful sunny day. For me, I am without a car all day, but our neighbor and friend Heidi offered to take Kieren to a 'braai' all day with family. So I get to catch up and rest all alone. AND, icing on the cake, there is some sort of event at the church today, so our yard is full of cars and the kids won't even stop by because they can't play soccer :)

Casey and I are hanging in with the ROLLER COASTER that is our lives, but we are resting in our great God who holds this all together. We trust, we rest, and we wait.

"For by him all things were created: things in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible, whether thrones or powers or rulers or authorities; all things were created by him and for him. He is before all things, and in him all things hold together." -Colossians 1:16-17

Friday, June 18, 2010

No Surgery Yet...

There is a saying we always say around here, "TIA" meaning, 'This is Africa.' Casey rightly used this saying today at the hospital. We arrived at 7am, meaning we left the house around 6:15, and made sure that Kieren hadn't eating anything since the night. This is usually fine, since Kieren sleeps through the night, except last night she decided not to and was hungry for a couple hours in the middle of the night. It was really sad because she kept trying to go to the kitchen to get out her box of cereal - an activity that she usually does! Anyways, we made it through the night, got to the hospital, got her checked in, had a bed, and started to wait. And we waited, and we waited. At first it was fine, Kieren was distracted and happy, but then she began to realize her hunger and was crying. So we paced the hospital until about 9:30 when the doctor and professor came in to tell us what was happening.

THE ELECTRICITY WAS OUT IN THE HOSPITAL and so they couldn't use the 'theatre' or surgery rooms. Seriously. The hospital does have a generator but it's not strong enough to actually support the whole hospital. TIA. Only in Africa.

The professor told us that the electricity might be back on at some point today, but he didn't know. Honestly, at this point Kieren was HYSTERICAL and so we decided to come back another day. He still wants to do a skin graft, but other nurses and doctors think she may not need it, so we will get a reassessment on Monday when we go in for another appointment. If we still need a small skin graft then we will go back on Tuesday for it.

Ughhh. That's how I feel. I am emotionally so exhausted from all this I don't even know what to think or feel. I don't want Kieren to have a skin graft but if it's going to help her scarring then obviously it's a good thing. I just don't know. I do know I am tired of this. I have been telling God lately that I think he chose the wrong people for this story, because I am getting really tired of it. HOWEVER, Kieren seems to be thriving and has had a GREAT week loving life and feeling great (except for the hysteria this morning). Not sure what will happen next in this story but I do believe something that Granny Jacoba always says, "We trust where we do not see." Our God is in control.

Lots of love,

Thursday, June 17, 2010



The Prince family is finally all together again as Casey is home from his World Cup travels. It is so nice to just have him home and to get to talk about all that is going on. Honestly, yesterday was a very difficult day for me with the news of Kieren needing a skin graft. I am not even sure why it was so hard, because I completely trust our doctors and believe God has brought them to us, AND I see their reasoning of wanting to get Kieren's burns closed up after four weeks plus of being open. It all dose make sense, but I was just wanting more of a supernatural healing to happen and no more surgery. All that being said, I can't help but see the other truths in how God has healed Kieren SO much over the past four weeks and her scars are looking really incredible except for that tiny spot. Her joy and laughter continues to return more every day and I can tell that she has really moved on from the trauma. As difficult as it will be to take her into surgery tomorrow and all the will happen in the morning, I know that Kieren will bounce back so fast and if it means that we only have days left until she is closed up with NO bandages then so be it. God works in mysterious ways and not always in our plans, but He is worthy of our trust. This is surely a challenge in my own faith walk as I do not understand why this has to happen and am very saddened by it, but there is no one else I can or want to turn to other than God. He has carried us this far and will continue to lead us ahead.

I am thankful for Casey and the strength that God has blessed our relationship with to walk through these hard times. I am thankful for my sweet and happy Kieren who brings laughter and joy into our house every day and will continue to. I am thankful for a great community here that is ALREADY gathering around us in prayer and love. AND I am thankful for an upcoming visit to the States - just two and a half weeks away! We are READY for some good American food, pool time, and lots of fun friends! Bring it on!! :)

Love you all and thanks for walking this journey with us,

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

New Prayers for Kieren

Hello everyone,

Well I have just gotten home from our latest visit to see the doctor and professor at the hospital this morning, and we did not have a good report. A very small piece of the burn on her chest has STILL not healed and now it's been over four weeks and they are concerned that when it does heal it will have very thick scar tissue over it. They want to do a skin graft with a very small piece of skin and believe it will then heal in only a couple days. It is a very small piece on her upper left chest and is a noticable part of her body for swimsuits and stuff. So they just want to go ahead with a small graft, taking some skin from her butt, and they want to do early this Friday morning.

I went to the appointment alone as Casey is still coming home from the Port Elizabeth World Cup game, and it was obviously a very discouraging visit. We really did not want to have skin grafts and believed God was going to heal her so she didn't have to have it. Now I'm not quite sure how to pray, because I also believe God brought these incredible doctors into our lives to help Kieren and I trust them. I just don't know what to think, but I feel like we should trust them and go ahead with surgery. She will go under, they will 'clean up' the remaining wound and then make the final decision about a skin graft, as it still might not be necessary.

Please pray for us to keep our heads high even though this is news we did not want to hear. Kieren did great at the appointment and was playing and happy the entire time in the waiting room, while she was surrounded with kids exhasted and in so much pain from their own burns. We have come so far and know God is there no matter what the next steps are to be. Pray for Kieren to continue to heal and for this surgery she will have on Friday morning. God is soverign and we trust Him with everything - especially our most precious Kieren!

Lots of love,

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The Vuvuzela Controversy

Leading the headlines every morning here in South Africa is the continued controversy regarding the vuvuzelas trumpeting all over the World Cup games (and ALL of South Africa all day!!). On a recent post I shared a video of the Vuvuzela 'choir' during the South Africa game and the people here LOVE the vuvuzelas and are very proud of them (see article here). However, as the world media has descended upon our country for this glorious month, the warm sentiments are not shared about our plastic trumpets, and each day the news headlines begin with a new organization, nation, or broadcasting company wanting to ban the vuvuzelas! Here a couple of the articles here, here, and here.

Personally, I believe this is AFRICA's world cup and so we should embrace all that it encompasses, including the vuvuzelas! It's something that will become a symbol of this historic event and it has brought this country together in celebration! It's just one more fun part of this experience and we are soaking it up!

Lots of love,

Focus on the US Soccer Team

The Prince family continues the love affair with all things World Cup, with a focus today on the US soccer team. We are so proud of our guys after their 1-1 draw with England last weekend and are looking ahead to seeing them dominate this week. In preparation for their first game, the Daily Show did a HILARIOUS piece on the team that we thought you'd enjoy!

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
World Cup 2010: Into Africa - Two Teams, One Cup
Daily Show Full EpisodesPolitical HumorTea Party

Monday, June 14, 2010

It Turns Around Again

Tonight was such a gift, as I got to just remember again why God has called us into this community. We had our regular Monday night women's support group meeting where we come together and just share our stories and pray for one another. Since Kieren's accident I haven't really been able to be there and then last week Kiers and I were both sick and so took a break. Tonight we are having a classic Cape Town winter night with freezing temperatures, wind, and rain - yuck! Since most people in Ocean View don't have cars and would have to walk (and no heat inside our homes, so better to snuggle in bed!) and so most of the group didn't 'pitch' (show up!). We had a small group of women, but it was wonderful as always. One of the women in the Methodist church shared her story of family troubles, substance abuse, violence, a cheating husband, and a faithful God who led her out of it all. She is an amazing woman of faith, grace, and forgiveness and it was very encouraging. Some others shared some prayer requests and shed some tears and we gathered around one another and lifted each other in prayers. Once again I feel so privileged that these women open up to me and one another because it is SO rare in a community of broken and hurting people. They are vulnerable and real and loving and learning. I love it.

Matt, Dave, and Josh Edwards spent their first day in Cape Town with us today and we gathered for a big family dinner together tonight. Matt asked me how I am feeling about my 'work' here if I am feeling satisfied with what I am doing. I feel like words can't describe how special it feels to be used by God exactly where He wants me and where I have always hoped I could be.

Oh, and the cutest member of the group tonight was our dear Kieren. She was in a particularly happy and curious mood, sitting on my lap, chatting on my phone, walking from lounge to kitchen, back and forth, back and forth.... By the end of the night she had brought most of the cupboard food into the room, but it is wonderful to have our happy princess a part of the group.

You know, this morning was so challenging and discouraging, realizing it has been FOUR weeks today since Kieren's burn. She is still not healed, they are STILL threatening skin grafts, and she cries in pain and confusion as we continue to clean and work on healing her wounds. It's exhausting and excruciating and by the time I was home from the hospital all I wanted to do was curl up in bed and cry. But I didn't. I cried and then moved on and God rebuilt the day for His praise and my goodness and enjoyment. Wow. That's life. Keep moving forward, I really believe God will always turn in around.

Lots of love,

Weekend Update

Hello everyone!

We had a memorable weekend here in South Africa - don't you wish you were here with us!! Some of our friends DID and ARE here - what a treat. Most of you know that we are hosting FOUR college students here in Ocean View to work with Ubuntu Sports Outreach ( and so they have been loving their time in the View and seeing some great World Cup games. Casey met three of our great friends, Matt, Dave, and Josh Edwards in Rustenburg for the US/England game on Saturday and now they are here in Cape Town with us for almost two weeks to see more games and help host an Ubuntu holiday club for our soccer boys. ALSO, we have another friend (former youth-group kid), Graham Wales who is in Cape Town this week to hang in the View! Whew! Honestly, it is such a privilege to host these people that we love, share our lives with them, and just enjoy a special time in South Africa's history!

This morning as I drove Kieren to the hospital for her doctor appointment (burn is STILL not healed on chest, an open wound, but are still saying they will not do skin grafts), I was listening to the radio and the ONLY thing anyone can talk about is the incredible experience this world cup is here and how it's brought this country together in a historical way! You can FEEL the energy, excitement, and pride for South Africa. We are enjoying it!

Kieren and I had a great weekend together as Casey cheered on our American team in Rustenburg. I had a girls night with some friends on Saturday night, and watched more of the games. Then Sunday, Kieren and I went to Ocean View Methodist and then into Cape Town to Hillsong (with two of the sweet high school girls of Ocean View, Stacy and Marizon)and had a great time once again at my church. The girls had their first Frappachino at the NEW Starbuck's - the coffee giant just got here in SA!

Because I was able to share with the leaders of Hillsong on Thursday night about Kieren's healing, many of them came up to me at church on Saturday to express their prayers for her - what a gift! In the evening, Kieren and I went to a friends' house for a big 'braai' (cook-out) to celebrate two couples that are friends who are having baby girls next month. Kieren was sleepy and fussy, not not the BEST example of how fun motherhood can be, but we loved hanging out with our good friends. Overall a fun weekend for the Prince family, although we prefer to watch the games with Casey! Lots of fun ahead with our friends visiting and we will keep you updated.

Lots of love,

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup With OUR People!

Today was such a fun day and it all led up to the World Cup kick-off soccer game of South Africa (called 'Bafana Bafana' which is an African term for 'the boys') versus Mexico. Some knowing I am 50% Mexican, have been asking me if I am torn between the two teams of the match. As much as I love my family heritage, there is no doubt that the Prince family is 100% South African today! There were many opportunities and groups watching the game today, but we were invited to watch it with a group of people at the American Embassy with the US Consulate General. It's one of the those opportunities you don't pass up, and we knew some friends would be there, so we planned on going, but as the game time grew nearer I knew that I just wanted to be in Ocean View with my PEOPLE watching the game. We left the Embassy at half-time and sped home to watch the game at a big-screen viewing at Ocean View Baptist Church. The room was already buzzing with excitement and roaring with the hoot of vuvuzelas, but minutes after we arrived, South Africa scored the first goal! The place went crazy and I immediately got out my camera to capture the special moment! It was PERFECT! Even though SA tied the game 1-1 with Mexico, this country is so proud of its 'boys' and the great fight they gave against a great Mexico team. But that goal scoring moment is one that will ring in my memory for years!

The Vuvuzela Choir who sang the ENTIRE game - you couldn't even hear the sound or commentary!

Kieren Feeling Better and Better

It was a beautiful day today as the country of South Africa prepared to host the world, and Kieren and I spent time hanging with the kids of Ocean View as they excitedly prepared themselves for the festivities. Kieren loved being outside and playing with her friends - and she just gets better and better!

World Cup Time

World Cup fever is here and we have caught the bug! We woke up the sound of vuvuzelas this morning (small plastic horns that South Africa is about to be FAMOUS for!) Even at the leadership vision night at Hillsong Church last night people brought their vuvuzelas and hooted during worship! Everyone is PUMPED and South Africa plays Mexico today to open up the celebration! It is consuming this place, and seriously all businesses will close down and everyone is ready to party. For us, it is a proud moment in the history in South Africa and we feel so fortunate to be here to share it with the people we love. Even here in Ocean View, in a coloured community that was oppressed by the South African government for most of their lives, you see so much pride, flag waving, and celebrations about who we ALL are as South Africans. It's a great time to be here!

Today we will go to the American Embassy for a viewing party hosted by the US Consulate for Americans in SA and then come back to the View for a viewing party at the Ocean View Baptist Church with our friends. A great day is ahead!

Lots of love,

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book Review by Sarah

"When Helping Hurts: How to Alleviate Poverty Without Hurting the Poor... and Yourself" by Steve Corbett and Brian Fikkert

In our journey of missions this past year, this book has been recommended to us by a few people and I felt encouraged to pick it up as we have experienced a BIG learning curve in our experience here in South Africa. I have been involved in MANY short-term mission trips (1-2 week mission trips to poverty-stricken areas) and obviously knew that I didn't 'know it all' before coming to SA to live, but honestly didn't realize we had SO much to learn. It is very interesting NOW living in a poor community and seeing regularly groups of 'white people' walking around and doing ministry events TO the people of MY community! I honestly am skeptical to these groups and see them as clearly outsiders. Lately a group from Switzerland has been doing work with the kids in our area and regularly use the church property. On some Fridays they will fill the yard and paint kids faces, play games, sing songs, and give out toys - and then leave them behind with a wave and a prayer. It just seems strange and makes you wonder what is the point of it all? We see that there is a need, and can be very well intentioned and pure at heart, but it is a time to really question what our 'mission trips' are really accomplishing and if they are even hurting more than helping. This book is a heavy look at poverty and the real need and vision for people to get rehabilitated physically and spiritually with God and themselves. Sometimes we can play a role in this and sometimes only those in their own community can come alongside to truly walk the journey. The book is a bit 'thick' in content, but if you are really serious about missions and have a heart to REALLY help the poor in your community or around the world, I challenge you to get this book and learn how you can do it right! It will take you a while to read through it but will provide profound questions to inform your mission work!

Grade: B+

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Today Was the Day

Hello everyone!

It's amazing, but we finally made it through THIS day, the day where we would go to the doctor and tell would make the final decision as to if Kieren needed a skin graft on her burn wounds on her chest. We have prayed for this verdict, thought about it, talked about, and now it's passed - and the didn't even MENTION a skin graft! It was almost as if it wasn't even in question! It's a long wait at the hospital burn ward on Wednesdays as it's 'out-patient' day and today there were about 15 families waiting. They give the kids pain medicine (which they all HATE! Why can't they get some stuff that doesn't taste like baby poison??), and then take off their bandages one-by-one. Then we wait for the doctors, and wait, and wait. Finally, a medical student comes in to talk with each of us and access where how the child is doing today, and then finally we are called into see the 'professor' (the real head of the whole joint), the doctor, and a group of medical students and other doctors (I think there were like 15 people in there today). NOW, each time we have come to the hospital each of these steps have been traumatizing and full of tears, but today Kieren was mostly calm and could even play and eat. When we went to see doctors, I just stroked her burn scabs on chest (ewwww I know, but it soothes her for some reason, I think it helps the itch). She just sat there sweetly as they determined her fate. Overall, they are so pleased with her progress and we were even asked by one of the doctors if we could bring in pictures of her progress to encourage other mothers! YES! The professor thinks the stubborn burn will heal (scab over) in just a couple days as it's still a bit 'wet' but almost closed over. Then they will begin a regimen that will help the scarring process along, but not a MENTION of skin grafts! WOW! Then we are ushered again into the 'bandaging' room, Kieren's chest is mummified again and we can go home (3 hour process in total). I just couldn't take it in, but we have really made a HUGE step today. I honestly think the light therapy has really helped, but honestly, HONESTLY I just think God did a miracle today. When they first took off Kieren's bandages I checked out Kieren's chest wounds and while much of it had healed, there was a small area still white, meaning it had not closed up yet. Somehow in the air for an hour it did dry up a bit, and God just worked in this situation. I am not trying to trivialize or romanticize this experience, but Kieren has had a long journey of healing so far (someone at hospital today said, 'She is STILL not healed? Like we take her there for fun...) and I truly believe God intervened to not have another surgery. We are so encouraged, Kieren grows confident and happy by the day, and we give God all the praise.

As I sat with Kieren as she was bandaged up again, knowing we were on our way home again to another great Ocean View day, in the room a young boy, about 5 years old, was being cleaned. He had burns over his ENTIRE body, and they were struggling to get the bandages off the wounds as he screamed in pain. It was tortuous. As I walk through that ward I have such a connection with these mothers and my heart beats for these kids. I am so thankful we are home tonight and Kieren is sleeping soundly in her own bed, without pain. A whole new crop at the hospital can't say the same tonight. I pray for those kids and their families and am deeply humbled that we have made it this far on our journey of Kieren's burn. I don't know how we would have done it without all of you.

LOTS of love tonight,

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

The Sun Came Out

Every morning I get the weather forecast sent to me on my phone (I love it because I love knowing the weather!) and this morning when I got up the forecast was a high of 57 degrees and raining. Ummm GROSS. BUT, somehow they were wrong and the sun is shining through the clouds and confounding what has been predicted. I feel like that is our spirits today, it looked as if it would be dreadful again, but the sun is shining through. I unfortunately woke up feeling REALLY sick with my bronchitis and could barely get out of bed. I am on the couch now, still feeling really awful, but for some reason I am encouraged and hopeful. I did make it out to take Kieren to light therapy today and her burns are looking better - not completely scabbed over - but CLOSE. Very encouraging. Tomorrow is the day we go to the hospital and the doctor decides if she needs a skin graft - and with her burns still not healed it might be the case. But I have this supernatural hope today that there is going to be a miracle and she won't need it. I really do. So we are praying hard-core and please join us! Casey has been discouraged as well the past couple days, but hit the ground running (once he could get out the door because I was of no help with Kieren!) and has had many good meetings with schools so far today as he sets up the plans for the Ubuntu clinics happening soon. He too is encouraged and we both know it's going to be a great day!

We definitely want to say THANKS for all your mighty prayers for Kieren last night because she slept sound ALL NIGHT - not a peep or cough! She slept 11 hours straight and woke up happy and chattering. WOW! I know it's prayer - thanks for being a part of the miracle of the day!

God is on the move - can't wait to share what He does next!

Lots of love,

Monday, June 7, 2010

Hanging In

Hello everyone,

Well the night is getting later and I'm heading to bed early in case Kieren decides to wake up in the middle of the night for a bit per her usual routine of late. We have had another difficult night with Kieren last night and both got very little sleep. I took her to the doctor again today (a different one) and she said that it is bronchitis, and a very bad case with a lot of phlegm in her lungs. She recommended going to a Physio to help work out the mucus but then we decided together it would just be too traumatic to have Kieren endure more doctors. She is still SO scared of any doctors. We will have to go AGAIN to see another doctor tomorrow because she is now vomiting her antibiotic whenever we try to give it to her. I think it's just really gross and the drama meter is on high-alert. So she didn't nap much today but went down hard tonight and must have been tired from a difficult day where she obviously felt very bad all day! There was some fever, lots of coughing, and even more throwing up. So we are just trying to get through the days, and now on near exhaustion. It's pretty hard. We continue to cling to God although our adrenaline and enthusiasm are both at a low. But even in a day like this a couple things stand out. One is that Kieren even on a horrible day has some fun moments of laughter and playing, and I love every second of it. She is just such a special person with a light inside her. Second, there is NO ONE that I would more want to be this miserable with than Casey :) Seriously, this is not fun days, but Casey and I are making the best of it together and really working as a team. He is so wonderful, gracious, and sacrificial and the best Dad ever. I am blessed, even on the worst of day.

Prayers for Kieren's bronchitis and that she would be able to sleep and slowly heal. Prayers for me, because I seem to have the same bug, which is bringing down the fun meter a bit more. Third, BIG prayers for our two sessions of light therapy tomorrow as they are our last before our big doctor appointment on Wednesday where they will decide if Kieren needs a skin graft. We are DEFINITELY seeing improvement, but still a spot that is not healing! PRAY friends and family!

Thanks for walking this LONG journey with us - we will all get there together!

Lots of love,

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Hit the Wall

So, this is really just an extension of what Sarah already wrote about being in Judah. I just wanted to share how I'm feeling since she's been doing most of the writing lately. Simply, we've hit the wall. Spiritually, emotionally, physically, mentally, any way you can. I'm fatigued and discouraged by the situation with Kieren, but also with ministry. But really the ministry fatigue is the result of the situation with Kieren. Before the accident, I was excited and things were rolling. I was joyful. I was actually getting sad about coming home this summer since I wouldn't be here. Now, I'm excited about coming home and recognize my need for a break. We lost so much momentum with Ubuntu while Kieren was in the hospital and the World Cup break is hindering us from getting some things settled. That's got me discouraged and treating things as tasks to be completed, not joyful ministry to be done.
I know things are going to be okay with Kieren. And I know that God is big enough to handle the delays in our ministry. But my feelings and fatigue are real and they are there. We would so appreciate your prayers. I don't want Satan to win this battle. He came after us because of the great things happening. He tried to distract and discourage us. It's worked a bit, but he will not claim victory of this battle. Please join us in this battle by really praying for our energy and strength over this last month. Pray for favor for a few things to fall into place for Ubuntu (like location for our World Cup clinics in Ocean View, need to know by Tuesday). Pray for our marriage to stay strong as we keep seeking to serve and carry each other.

As we sang tonight, "You (God) are strong enough in my weakness, you make all things new, I will believe." Help us claim that for ourselves when may not have enough strength to do it on our own.


Always in Judah

Tonight was another incredible night at Hillsong Church. That place never lets me down, but I think it has a lot to do with the fact that I go expecting to experience God and be in a positive, happy, and encouraging environment. Expectation plus people who love God equals a good time. I was SO SO tired today, just a long one. We are still going through light therapy with Kieren and it's helping but it's so hard. She cries most of the time, and it's painful, but also just hard for her to be in a 'doctor' environment at all. AND she has a bad case of bronchitis so was up sick from that lots of the night. Ugghh, it's hard. Hard because her body (chest specifically) is still not healing, but even more hard because she is still having so many bad moments. She is uncomfortable, tired of being poked and prodded, now coughing her brains out, and just exhausted from this whole thing. Some moments we see glimpses of happy Kieren but today, we saw more of the tired and sick Kieren. But, as God always does, just when we think we can't go further, God intervenes and gets us through. My friend Mandy showed up at light therapy to say hi (her friend is practitioner) and offered to watch Kieren tonight and bring her to light therapy, while we go to church. GREAT idea that we hadn't thought of! We were just going to drag her through church, THREE parties, and then church again, sure she would love that... So she had a great night with Mandy, who she loves, and we got a break and some wonderful encouragement from our God.

My friend, Pastor Lucinda Dooley preached tonight (seriously only reason I dragged my sad self there) and it totally spoke to me. So many things were challenging, but one piece I thought I would share with you. She spoke about Daniel and his journey. Daniel was at first in the town of Judah which means 'God's provision' and then he is moved to Babylon which meant 'confusion' and was a place of worldly focus. This really spoke to me because I feel like we were in a place of God working, and major favor and provision and then all of a sudden the rug was pulled out from us and we were thrown into darkness and confusion. We STILL don't know which way is up at this point, even though everyone is ready for Kieren to be feeling better - and we are too! It's still hard, and I feel like I am many moments grasping ANYTHING to make sense of it all. Many times I grab for God, but other times it's whatever around. But what Daniel had to decide was that He was going to claim that even though his life was changing and challenges were hitting hard, GOD defined who He was and He was still in the place of God's provision even if it seemed the opposite. Daniel is an incredible example of courage and strength and he was a hero for God. In the midst of the biggest trial in my life, and even when everything around me seems like confusion, I know I am in God's hand and He writes my story. I will continue to trust in Him and I know He will never let us go. We are ALWAYS in Judah, in the place of God's provision.

Prayers for this week, for Kieren's healing and health, our strength and endurance, and for God to be GLORIFIED through all of this!

Lots of love,

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Kieren Hanging Out

Just wanted to share some pictures with you guys of our new Kieren. She is having lots of great moments and we are enjoying her SO MUCH! As you can see, her face is much lighter because of the skin peeling off, but it's looking great and she is as beautiful as ever. The kids who come by keep saying, 'she looks the same now.' Wonderful.

Lots of love,

Kieren laughing and eating - two of her favorite things!

Sarah and Kieren hanging on the couch before bed (sorry about the red eyes!)

Casey and Kieren hanging out in front of the church eating some chips :)

Light Therapy Update

Hey kids!

We are at day two of this new light therapy called 'Bioptron' and it feels like day 12! Kieren really doesn't like it and cries when we just pull in the driveway of our new friend! I am eventually able to calm her down when the light is focused on the burn spots, but then when we move the light to a new position in 10 minutes she gets moved and worked up again! Sound exhausting? It is! She just hates it and it's painful to take off and put on new bandages and clean the wounds twice daily. BUT! BUT! We are definitely seeing results as some of the lower burns on her chest are beginning to dry and turn into scabs! Such a great praise! So we are thankful for what God is doing through this new friend and light therapy, I really feel like it's helping. It is an exhausting experience and we will continue to do it twice a day on Monday and Tuesday so that we can hopefully have a good visit with the doctor on Wednesday. Pray for us as we continue on! This is QUITE the journey and having new twists all the time, but we are seeing her continue to heal and move forward. It's hard for me to endure her crying and screaming, but the good moments with her are really great!

Oh and it WAS a beautiful Cape Town day, sunny and in the 60's. I love this kind of winter!

Lots of love,

Friday, June 4, 2010

Trying Something New


Well it's Friday night, and I just finished a great BRINNER (breakfast for dinner) with Kieren - yum! She's off to bed already and we had a great day together. She was feeling pretty happy and played all day. We are excited about something new in her healing process that has been introduced to us, that we tried today. A good friend here, Mandy Rapson, introduced us to a therapy that is from Switzerland and being used for burns and other needs. It's a light therapy called 'Bioptron' (check out the link here). Lots of people know about it and have heard of the great results that can come from it here - but it's nothing I had ever heard of! Here in South Africa they are really open to different methods of health and healing, so we decided to give it a try. It's a yellow light that is put on the affected area for 10 minutes at a time, and we are going to try to do it two times a day until we see some results - which we hope to see by Wednesday when the doctors want to make a decision about her possible skin graft. There is a family who owns a Bioptron machine and Ursula, the mother, is trained in using it. The family is so sweet and gracious to help us with Kieren (especially since she cried the WHOLE time this afternoon when Casey took her). Kieren and I had a better experience this evening, but still hard! She is just so scared of having ANYTHING near her burn and it causes some great pain when we have to take off the bandages. But by the end she was calm and we got to talk to the family a bit. SO we are hopeful that this might help her healing process and we are encouraged once again! Pray for us as we continue to help Kieren's healing (specifically on her chest) along!

Lots of love,

Need Some Help With the World Cup?

World Cup fever has really caught up here in Africa and everyone is excited! People are flying flags everywhere, we are celebrating another 'Football Friday' today as everyone wears their favorite team's jersey, and the Prince's even have their car decked out with American flags (a bit embarrasing, but time to have some pride). If you need some help understanding what's coming up in the World Cup then check out this great site:

World Cup Info

Lots of love,
Casey and Sarah

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Just Show Up

Hello everyone!

It's been a busy week here at the Prince home so just wanted to check in quickly. We have LOVED not having to go to the hospital since Monday - what a praise! Kieren has been feeling better by the day and we are seeing her sweet and fun personality come out more and more! It's awesome! Today was a hard day because Casey and I had to clean her wounds and re-dress them. I hoped it was going to be okay because it would involve a nice, warm, fun bath in her own home, but it was almost just as traumatizing for her as at the hospital. Once we finally finished, Kieren was still upset and in some pain and really continued to cry and whine most of the day. It was frustrating and just makes you sad to see her sad! Somehow tonight she perked back up as some of the kids came inside to play with her so we ended on a great note! As I cleaned her chest wounds today it is evident that they are STILL not healing and so we are praying big time still for full healing! I am really trying not to revert to fear about these wounds because I so don't want her to have to have a skin graft, but it's very tempting to worry about, you know?? So I guess you could also pray for my faith in our God :)

Tonight was a fun night because I was reminded that ministry is LESS about me and so much more about our God. Sometimes all you have to do is SHOW UP. The week of Kieren's burn I had invited a friend Cindy James to come to dinner that Thursday night and have a gathering for some of the young adult women that are Christians and in Ocean View that we know. She was excited about it, but with the accident it was postponed until this week. I HAD been excited about it, but with a tiring day with Kieren I wasn't really looking forward to it anymore and was wishing for a night alone. But the 'show goes on' and I just had them over anyways. I felt like I had nothing to give and it was awkward at the beginning some when we all didn't know what to say, but the night ended up really wonderful because I just asked questions, was authentic myself, and invited them to share their own lives. I just showed up. God really did something among us and gave us a deeper bond even in the couple hours we spent together. And it was only three of us, but perfect to give them a space to talk and share openly about the struggles in their lives that no one else knows about. I am so thankful to live in this community, that for some reason God has given me favor here among some of these people, and that these women feel comfortable with me and open up to me. They are incredible and inspiring young women and I pray that God will give us MORE great dinner nights together.

Lots of love,

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hello Video from the Prince's

Check out this video from the Prince family! We have had a great day today and Kieren was feeling great!

This is a video of Kieren and I hanging out. She was having so much fun today playing outside!