Thursday, July 29, 2010

Blog from a friend

This was a great blog posted by our friend Courtney Weber on the GYMSOX blog. She is a rising Junior at Millbrook High School and a stud!! We're so excited about what God is doing in her life and blessed to be a part of it.

If possible, this summer has been even better than last. I spent a week in Arizona for the junior mission trip, a week at Western Carolina University as work crew for Great Escape and the past week in Jekyll Island for Fun in the Son. As much as I have to share about Arizona and Great Escape, I think the most life-changing experience this summer occurred during FITS.
To begin with, it was incredible having Casey there to be with and talk to, Sarah speaking during the morning sessions, and their beautiful daughter to hang out with. I met Casey at the beginning of last summer and really got to know him during our mission trip in Charleston and my first Fun in the Son. I can never thank God enough for placing Casey in my life at such a critical time. I clearly remember him being there to talk to in Charleston as I questioned God, his arm around me as I committed my life to Christ at FITS, and to talk and pray with after to answer my questions and doubts. It was hard when the Prince family moved to Africa in October, especially since I had just met and grown to love them so much. Even then, though, I talked to Casey several times a month, updating him on school and my life in general. No matter how busy he was changing countless people’s lives, or how late it was over there, he never hesitated to talk to me when I bugged him on Skype and Facebook. I told him constantly, but I don’t think he will ever know how much that means to me. My life is forever changed because of what God does through Casey and it is beyond any earthly words!
It was in a Facebook message during January I think, when I told Casey about this “weird feeling” I had concerning mission work and the Spanish language. Since I began taking a second language class my sophomore year, I realized an intense passion I had to learn more and talk with people in Spanish. Every time I hear or read Spanish, something inside me gets soo happy. Casey and I talked on and off about it throughout my whole second semester and in May, as I had just finished reading an incredible and moving book, Crazy Love, I sent Casey another message. I had been reading his and Sarah’s blog everrryy day since they left, and was totally amazed at their continuous love for God and everything He was doing in their lives. And somehow, I just knew that was going to be me one day. So I told Casey that through reading their blog and Crazy Love, I’ve been feeling this “really powerful presence or thought or something” that one day I’m going to do what they’re doing, but in a Spanish-speaking area. He sent an incredibly motivating message back, explaining that the Holy Spirit was planting this thought deep in me so that I won’t ever let it go. He also said that at 16, during a camp between his sophomore and junior year, (my exact situation this summer), the Spirit moved in him and gave him his calling.
And so, months later at Fun in the Son, I was floating in the lazy river with Casey and his friend, Scotty. Casey introduced me saying, “Scotty, this is Courtney. She’s going to be a missionary one day.” It kind of took me off guard considering Casey was one of the only people I had actually told about this “weird feeling” and I didn't even know this Scotty guy. I guess it was something I wasn’t really sure about and not quite sharing with the world. But when he said that, I was overwhelmingly happy and a little surprised that he still remembered and had taken me so seriously. I was in such high spirits the rest of that night, thinking about my future God already has planned and so glad that Casey believed in me.
The next morning, (of course) Sarah spoke about how some of us may feel God move in us, that we may have callings. She said we can’t be afraid; we have to constantly trust in Him and in His plan, and when we do, “we can fly.” She concluded that morning’s program with a prayer meant particularly for those who feel called into mission work or to be a youth pastor, or something specific like that. With all eyes closed, she asked for those who felt that call to raise their hands. With my hand raised and my eyes a little teary, Sarah prayed for me. It was such a special moment in time-another indescribable day that I could stick right next to July 21, 2009 at FITS last summer.
God is so incredible and will do amazing things if I trust in His plan for me. Just look at Casey and Sarah. Casey felt his calling when he was 16 and trusted in God to make that happen. I feel His calling now, and all I can do is trust that it will happen. Things may change, and it probably won’t be easy, but I am so so so excited to see where this goes and where He will take me.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Such a pleasure

This weekend we had the special pleasure of being a part of the wedding of Lauren Wishon and Robbie Sackman. Lauren was part of the first group of kids that we intimately worked with at Grace Community Church. Sarah led her small group and we spent a lot of time with her and her friends. After high school Lauren worked as a summer intern and was a small group leader. So, she is VERY special to us and she was the first of that close group of kids to get married. It was so neat to be there, but also special because she asked Kieren to be the flower girl. That allowed us be a part of some special moments.
At the rehearsal dinner several of their friends gave prepared toasts and some others more spontaneous words. The one that was really special was what Sarah Vevurka, her maid of honor and another of those special Grace girls, said to them. It was so genuine, encouraging, and thoughtful. What I kept thinking was how special it was to be a small part of cultivating a great friendship. Sarah V. and Lauren would have been friends without me and Sarah, but I really believe that we helped them navigate some moments and experiences that led to them having such a special relationship. In that moment I was so thankful that God had allowed us to be a part of that.
It was also such a treat for each of us to share special words with them. Sarah, of course, said something super eloquent. I was reminded, though, of the conversations we had with Lauren over the years about boys. We didn't want her to settle for some ordinary bozo, but to trust that God was going to bring an amazing man into her life. I'm thankful that she listened, because God was faithful, Robbie is a great man.
Finally, I'm excited to see where God takes them. I had a vision of Lauren as a missionary on our graduating senior mission trip to Jamaica all those years ago. I still see it. With a heart like her's to love and care for people, I think it's unavoidable. Robbie will soon be a trained physician. She speaks Arabic. Hmmm, what is God up to?
In the end, I'm just SO thankful that God allowed us to be a part of the lives of these great kids, now great adults. They were so special to us as high school students, some allowed us to continue to speak into their lives as college students, and now we get to celebrate some pretty massive moments with them. SO COOL.
I'm really hoping we get to be home for more of these!

And, btw, Kieren was beautiful!!


Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Snapshots of our First Year in South Africa

Sarah's Sermon to Hear

You can hear Sarah's sermon online at this link:
I know I'm biased, but this was SERIOUSLY an AMAZING message. I really encourage you to check it out. Skip the stuff before hand to get to the good stuff. The video you hear being shown is the one below on the blog.


Monday, July 12, 2010

Meet Ocean View!

Sarah's Sermon from Grace Community

Hello all!

Just wanted to share a written version of Sarah's sermon from Grace Community Church on Sunday morning. As she 'moves' from her notes often, the live version was a bit different but this is a taste. Click on link below!

Sarah's Sermon

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Together For the Princes

On Monday night, July 12, @ 7pm, at Grace Community Church we are having a special event. Together For The Princes will be an auction and sharing time for our ministry in South Africa. We will share about our time this first year, show a video about Ocean View, and have a slide show. There will be coffee and deserts provided by Andrew Cash's new coffee shop, Jubala Village Coffee, and Chris Ertel's new catering business, Triple C's.
Please invite your friends & family! We'd love to have anyone that may be interested in hearing about what God is doing in Cape Town!
If you have any questions, email or call us (919-757-6244).


Friday, July 9, 2010

Kieren's World Cup

Just wanted to share a video from Kieren's time back home. She LOVES playing soccer with the boys in our yard!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Well there is always a silver lining for us, and it took me oh... one SECOND to be pumped about spending the day and night in Amsterdam to watch the World Cup game with my Dutch friends. After we saw the Netherlands beat Cameroon live in Cape Town and fell in love with the PASSIONATE Dutch fans, we are cheering them on for sure! It was fun to watch the game here and celebrate a win with them! We will be honest though, we decided to be 'good' parents and not stay out TOO late for Kieren's sick sake. It FINALLY got dark here at like 10pm (SUMMER!!) and we were out too late still, but we watched the final minutes of the game from our hotel room and Kieren finally got to drift off to sleep in her hotel crib. Poor sweet Kieren! She has a bad chest chold and lots of phlem (yes, a running theme in the Prince household) but decided to kick off the first flight, right before take-off by throwing up all over herself and me. Awesome. Nothing like the smell of vomit and honey-mustard chips to make you excited about a 10 hour flight. Ummm, yes, so NOT so good parents feeding her chips at 10pm, but WHATEVER. So over this LONG day she has yacked like 7 times or something, and only missed me a couple times. We have cleaned her up, cleaned our precious 'lovie,' bought her and myself some non-vomit purfumed clothes and we are ready for some more flying tomorrow! Pray for her as the pressure was really bothering her and causing pain, and obviously an upset tummy is not fun (for ANYONE on the plane). So another blessing was to have a break between the flights and a good nights sleep for ALL of us before we try again tomorrow. KLM airlines has put us up in a great hotel, fed us dinner, given us toothpaste and cleaning stuff, and we are refreshed and ready.

So see you all SOON! And please love us even if we smell like pukies....

Lots of love,

Not today...

We will not be eating queso at Los Tres today. :( Our flight from Amsterdam to Detroit was postponed about 22 hours, so we are in Amsterdam for the night. They put us in a decent hotel and we had a great nap b/c we didn't sleep much at all on the plane. Kieren couldn't (wouldn't) sleep, so you know what that means. She's also been sick with a cold so please pray for her. She threw up about 5 times on that flight! (Yikes).
The silver lining in all of this is that now we are in Holland during their game against Uruguay tonight! We are going to take the train into the city to watch in the fan park. So, it will end up being a great experience!
We catch our flight early in the morning and hopefully arrive in Raleigh even earlier than before. See you then, and please pray for Kieren.
P.S. Turns out Andy was on a different Detroit flight than us, so he left about 2 hours after our flight, so he's on his way. Can you believe he abandoned us?!?! :)


Monday, July 5, 2010

It's Time

Can't believe it, but the day has come, and we fly out tonight for our 8-week visit to the United States! How can it be that almost 9 months has passed in our first year living in South Africa?? When we came here, Kieren was only 8 months old, and couldn't even crawl or walk yet! She broke her first tooth ON THE PLANE on the way here, and this morning she smiled her toothy grin revealing her growing collection of chompers. We leave this place with a bittersweet sentiment in our hearts. We are VERY excited to be in Raleigh (and beyond) and see our amazing family and friends. Everyone gets to 'meet' our cool Kier Kiers again and get to know what a great little girl she is growing up to be! There is lots of ministry ahead as we share what God has taught us during our time here, and we look forward to every bit of it. And DON'T even get me started about the FOOD we get to eat and T.A.R.G.E.T. Come on. However, now that we are on the doorstep of this trip, we are already sad to leave our new home for so long. We will miss the kids who come to our house EVERY day and hang out and love on Kieren. Kieren said her FIRST real NAME this weekend - one of the kids who is named Nazeem has the nickname 'Kaka' after the Brazil soccer star and Kieren said 'Kaka' to him this weekend! AMAZING! I mean her first name is one of the boys that we love here and is coming to know Jesus more and more! I am going to miss my women's group, and Granny, and Danielle, and my friends, and the churches, and just THE VIEW. We love this place, and it truly is HOME to us now. So we have many emotions as we finish our packing and make our way to the airport today, but I know as soon as I see the faces of the people I love I my heart will be warmed once again! We can't wait!!

See you SOON!

Friday, July 2, 2010

Kicking Crime

Our friends, Ambassadors In Sport, have a program called the Hope Academy here in a prison in South Africa. They were highlighted last night on ABC News Nightline. Check it out, it's a great story, and they are great friends.


Hello all,

Just wanted to give you a quick update on my visit with Angelique yesterday. I went with my friends and co-leaders Bernadette and Naomi. Angelique was sleeping again when we arrived, but woke up after we were around her talking for a bit. It seems that she has a bit of blindness, but can maybe see shapes. She is VERY disoriented, restless, and in obvious pain. I think she understood who we were while we were there talking to her, but she continued to call out for her 'ma' who wasn't there. We prayed for her and spoke a lot about Jesus, and she was crying out to Him. I am not sure where she stands in her relationship with Jesus Christ, but we are praying she would surrender to Him and also be surrounded by His peace. There is just confusion and pain in her eyes and it is difficult to see.

I haven't seen AIDS take a person to this horrible state and I'm not sure how much longer this friend will be alive. It is a disease that robs people of their lives, joy, and dignity. Please join me in praying for Angelique.

Lots of love,

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Saying Goodbye

We are rushing around in our final days here in Cape Town before we come to the States for a visit, and saying goodbye to many people as we will not see them for eight weeks. Today, however, I will say goodbye to a friend for the last time. When we came to work with the Living Hope organization in 2008, my favorite part of the ministry I was involved in was helping to lead a group of people living with HIV. Now that we live here, I still help to lead this group and love these people deeply. I will be honest in saying that it has been rough at times living life with these people many of them struggle with drug and alcohol abuse, stop taking their necessary ARV meds at times, and just have a difficulty to accept their present lot in life with joy and courage, It is difficult to have HIV in the community of Ocean View as they are ostracized and looked down upon for their disease. One member of the group, Angelique, has particularly struggled lately with alcohol abuse, even though she has two kids she must take care of a raise. She has been in and out of the hospital this year, and I received a call yesterday saying she is in the hospital again, and this time it looks like she might not make it too long. We went this morning to see her, but she was sleeping and the nurses wanted us to come back during visiting hours, so this afternoon we will return to see her. My friends and fellow Living Hope support group leaders, Bernadette and Naomi visited her yesterday, and she really didn't recognize them as she also has water on her brain at this point. But as they were talking to her she started crying and Naomi asked Angelique to squeeze her hand if she knew it was them, and she did. I am eager to pray with her and love on her for what will most likely be the last time I see her.

I absolutely love Angelique, and not just because she is precious to God and in my HIV group, but because she has a special spark in her. During our time in 2008 Casey and I both loved hanging with her as she is hilarious, loves to sing and dance, and has a laugh that is infectious. She is one of those people that others love to be around, and I bet when she was younger and not infected by HIV, she was the life of the party. I think as time has gone on, she is looked down upon and she has definitely lost some of that spark. Her life is hard now, and her eyes are full of pain.

I pray for Angelique, that she can find peace with God during her final moments on this earth. I pray for her two kids, who also have HIV and their new life ahead without their mother. I pray for Angelique's mother, who will now be caretaker of these two kids and will walk a very difficult road ahead.

It is the first of what I feared, that eventually these friends that are living with HIV, might succumb to one of the many viruses and infections that plague them so frequently. I pray that I will be able to say goodbye in a way that brings glory to our great God, who holds and loves His precious Angelique more than I could ever know.

Lots of love,