Tony’s South Africa Daily Journal - 2019
On 10 November 2017, Laurie-Ann and Tony Copple set off from Canada for a three year mission to the townships of South
Africa. This daily journal begins at a guest house in Cape Town prior to their arrival in Worcester, Western Cape. See the entries for 2018.
Latest postings are at the top.
Feb 2019 | Mar 2019
Thu Jul 18 - Laurie-Ann is 58!
Science included transplanting seedlings from the paper towel jar. I must admit I was confused because Dr Jay Wile says the cotyledons come out of the soil on the stem, but the cotyledons are the original seed/bean and they were certainly all below the ground surface. Wikipedia suggests both versions can apply with different plants.
Helena told me that Mella had said there was no Riverview kids' ministry today. Mella flew in to Cape Town today from Dubai.
At the hospice, Loretta and Christo were not at all well. I fed Christo, who could hardly hold his head up. Loretta loves to see me but then talks in gibberish, and the nurses don't know what she's trying to say. I took Moses some bananas and naartjies and he told me he would be going home to Towesrivier on Saturday, and asked if I would take him to Capitek Bank tomorrow.
CWCP featuring Dave Kemp went out and we both listened to the Leak speaker, but there were no other listeners live.
Diane Blenkiron called L-A on Skype as she does every 2 weeks. I have been feeling a little more capable with just about all tasks since returning from Canada. Maybe a change was as good as a rest. I e-mailed Dianne and Neesa and Phil to tell them we were back in SA, since Neesa and Phil don't have Facebook and Diane has it but doesn't seem to use it.
Wed Jul 17 - Laurie-Ann is 58!
At 8:40, Carica knocked on the door with flowers for L-A, including proteas!
Science was good as we continued with the subject of germination, then music was particularly good in Mella's front room. They all sang Cmajor accompanied by piano. Then each of them in turn sang solo. Delivenance was best at this.
Ditto for Dmaj, Emaj, Fmaj. After each scale I wrote it out on manuscript paper showing where sharps and flats came.
Ditto for Dminor, Emin. Each learner then played Cmaj, and Dmaj while the others provided timing by drumming on djembes.
Sinegugu has difficulty singing in tune, but she was the best at playing the scales. Delivenance was best for his age.
L-A had arranged her birthday dinner at the Hussar Grill, bordering Church Square, new to us but operating since 1964. We had an enthusiastic waiter called Edward, and the decor and atmosphere were charming. L-A ordered an appetizer of beef balls which we shared (far to much for one person). Springbok steak for me and ostrich steak for L-A and large portions. A very nice bottle of red wine made specially for the Hussar Grill. The owner came round and introduced himself - he also owns Fowler's where we went for our 19th anniversary. Half way
through her steak, L-A asked for a box to take it home - she had eaten more than was comfortable. We had crème brûlées for dessert. Shortly after she started to look ill. Edward knew it was her birthday and he brought complimentary chocolate liqueurs, but shortly after L-A was very sick, vomiting on the table and her clothes. We paid our bill (+ R100 tip) and left as quickly as we could. Driving along High Street she wanted to be sick again so I pulled
over and she managed to get most of it in the storm gutter. Finally getting home she was very sick a third time into a bucket before going to bed. She was worried she had spoiled my evening, but I had enjoyed my food and eaten it all without repercussions.
At 9pm we fired up the Raspberry Pi for CWCP - GNiTM archives, and I listened to both programs. Noone else in the world listened, but that didn't reduce the impact. CWCP is back!
Tue Jul 16
To Worcester Primary School by 7:30 for Legacy Relay, a repeat of our first visit here 21 May with the same children. I added a short talk based around the bean seedling from MasterPeace science class after the praise songs. A teacher asked me if we would be willing to pray with individual children, particularly one with autism. I said 'of course,' thinking it is interesting that the teachers are willing for us to include God in our session as much as we wish, but stop short of praying for individuals. She also mentioned that one of the children was a JW.
Science at school was good - I opened by saying that either I would talk, and they listen, or the other way round. Their choice. Maybe my lesson was more interesting to them than yesterday, or maybe they listened to my opening comment, but they were better behaved.
Art with L-A was an opportunity for photos since she brought the Canadian flags we had bought in Kanata, and we gave them a set of Papermate colour pens each. Helena thinks we gave them too many gifts at once and this caused some behaviour problems.
We both slept several hours when we got home.
In the evening I watched The Good Wife for the first time since May since Showmax is only available in South Africa - an excellent episode with Christian content, and a trial where the laywers were so aggressive with their constant objections that the protagonists opted for mediation. The mediator basically disallowed objections, and eventually the protagonists agreed on a solution between the two of them. What a breath of fresh air!
Mon Jul 15
Today I took no chances - Exineff and Tramacet, plus Overdrive and Life Essentials, and I felt great all day. Because the Worcester City Church needed the rooms that MasterPeace Academy had been using rent free since its inception for other more luctrative purposes, we were now housed temporarily in the 'Mission House,' - Mella's house - in fact her sun room. It was wonderful to see and hug Sinegugu, Seth, Paula and Delivenance after 6 weeks. We'd all missed one another. I gave each of them a Canada pencil. Helena had been runnning the school in Mella's absence in USA with Ronel. The children seemed well and happy with the change. I had brought a set of photos from Canada/US on a memory stick, and ran through them on Helena's computer to give them a feel for what we'd been up to.
Mella's schedule had given me a full hour today starting 9:30, and now it was 9:55. Instead of jumping right into the science syllabus where we had left off, I spent the rest of the time giving my talk on nutrition. Maybe some of the practical advice may help Sinegugu not become obese like many South African women from eating the wrong foods and sugar-laced drinks. The children were somewhat noisy and argumentative, and I realized I must do something about this, right from the beginning of term.
I had suggested that Jan come to our house to meet the Maibox Club executives visiting Avial Park, before we all go there together.
The team from The Mailbox Club Africa arrived at 2: John Eager, son of The Mailbox Club International, John Mark Eager, Louis Foord and Carel Strydom of The Mailbox Club Africa, which I now see from their website is based in Somerset West. Jan and I recounted the story so far with our clubs in Avian Park. At 2:50 we all climbed into the Mailbox Club van, plus my guitar, and went down to Jamelia's. She had about 8 children. I led them in a couple of songs they knew, and then the visitors talked with Jamelia and the children. Then they watched as Jamelia got on with the Storytime 1 lesson 5 that I had given her on Saturday. We moved on to Bella's house where she had her own group (which I hadn't expected), and was right into teaching. She didn't stop just because she had spectators. At an appropriate time I led them in "Jesus het my mooi gemark."
Then we drove on to Manikin, but Chantelle was nowhere to be seen. Anthonica was in her house so I brought her out and introduced her, and they asked her questions. We then drove on to Marsha's but there were no children there. Driving back towards Manikin again we saw Marsha and Bridney on the street, and had them come up to the back of the truck for a chat. Then Marco appeared and he had a good talk with the team. He said that he was now concentrating on children's ministry. This excited Carol and Louis, because Marco could take The Mailbox club into the more informal parts of Avian Park eg the squatter camp.
Going back to see if Chantalle had turned up, I was very pleased to see that Anthonica had five children in her front garden and was teaching them, so we stopped there for a while and I took several photos as John greeted them and told them that he had done the very same lessons when he was a child. Then he prayed over them. Chantelle was still AWOL, probably in OVD, so we all drove back to our house. Carel and Louis told us of the plans they have for Mailbox Club events later in the year, and suggested we have them back to do a training for current and future leaders. It seems to me that what we also need is more people like me to supervise more clubs. We all parted on very good terms, and John particularly seemed impressed by what he had seen. I felt intensely proud of Jamelia, Bella and Anthonica, who had taken up the challenge and delivered teachings just as we had asked them.
Sun Jul 14
I take Celebrex and Tramacet around 5 pm when woken by pain, but today I did an experiment, taking instead one Aleve at 5 and another when I got up.
Getting up wasn't too easy. It was cold, we were tired, and I had changed my medication for one day. However, once we were up and about we felt better. I dropped off L-A at church, then fetched Jamelia. Got her there 5 minutes early. Lots of hugs from people glad to see us back. The translation equipment wasn't working (for the first time I can remember) and Johan announced that he would be speaking the sermon in English, and that Translation Row needn't worry; then he saw us and announced to the whole church that the Copples were back.
After church I got Jamelia coffee, cup cake and crisps. As I turned to come out of Milk and Honey I walked straight into the large closed glass door, spreading half a cup of coffee over it. The coffee saved me from trying to walk bodily through the door (which I once did in someone's house decades ago). It wasn't too serious (TKOG), but it showed me that I was under par. We went on to Connect Group, something I had been looking forward to, but again it was a struggle for me. We were both feeling tired. As we arrived home, L-A noticed a message from Ricardo Abrahams (whom we had got to know in Brandvlei) saying he was in town, and might we be available. I replied that after 5 would be good (because we really needed to sleep a couple of hours). I woke at 4 and checked the correspondence, but he had had to return to Cape Town because his companion needed to pick up his daughter.
For me the rest of the day was draggy, so I used it to clean up loose ends and other things not needing too much energy. The experiment replacing my drugs with Aleve had not worked very well. Although I could handle the increased pain, which was only a problem when I was walking, I had just not felt myself, possibly because of the small amounts of opiates in Tramacet, so I do need to get off it.
Sat Jul 13
I came to this day with some trepidation - the day we would resume two key ministries. It was the first time Laurie-Ann would come into Brandvlei Youth Centre, replacing Soraya who was on a YMAM outreach. After rising quite early we arrived in the Youth Centre about 8:45, but noone was expecting us. Probably Glenda hadn't allerted them. But they fetched Mr Williams, and he soon had us in the A Section room after clearing some people from what looked like a gymnastics session. There was a barber cutting hair using the wall socket that I normally use. I did the set up, using the closer, but less reliable socket. The TV arrived and there were about 12 men present when we got started with worship - but maybe others heard it,
because by the end of worship there were 30! They all sang loudly, this time with a bunch of them adding percussion with our eggs and castanets, and L-A on bodhran. I asked them how many were new to this course, and about 8 raised their hands. Instead of the Youth Alpha videos that we had used thus far in the course, I had decided that the regular Alpha Film Series would be preferable, and the first one would be on 'Prayer.' It went down quite well, though about 6 men left during the showing. We had about 7 minutes after it ended, and I went over, with questions and answers, the key messages from the film. The atmosphere in the room was good throughout and I felt we were being encouraged by the Holy Spirit.
As always after prison Alpha, we drove home feeling great. At 2:45 I drove to Avian Park to collect our girls. Only Bella and Jamelia were in their homes, but we were able to find Chantelle, Marsha, Britney and Anthonica around the streets. Rens told me that Chrizelle was in Roodeval, and noone knew where Macayla was. 6 out of 8 after a six weeks break is pretty good. At our home they had a great time. Praise, eating, learning about prayer (the same talk I had given in the prison), and watching our pictures from Canada. But the most important part was preparing the 3 Mailbox Clubs whose leaders were here to be ready for the visit from Carel Strydom and the son of the President of The Mailbox Clubs on Monday afternoon. There were all quite excited to hear of this, and I felt they would gather in their children and be in a good state for the visit. I gave them all new resources for teaching on Monday. Before I dropped her off at home, Jamelia asked if she could come to church tomorrow.
In the evening we went for dinner with Andre and Janey. It was great to be with them again and the dinner was excellent: chicken pie and a special dessert. We took along a bottle of white wine, and Andre got out the Amarula and Nachtmusic. I felt very sleepy, probably from jet lag. We were quite late to bed.
Fri Jul 12
I got up at 7:45 intending to go to school to give a science class. But when I got in the car, it wouldn't start. Clearly this battery is untrustworthy. If we would need another before we sell the car, better to get it now. I called Helena at the school to say I wouldn't be coming after all, and then I called AA, and about 45 minutes later they arrived and gave me a boost. First order of business, without turning off the engine, was to replace the battery, so I drove to The Battery Centre. They had a battery for R2,200 and I drove in.
Then I mentioned that I would be selling the car in 17 months and that a 2nd hand battery would be ideal - and much to my surprize they had one for R1,190. So they fitted it. Their service was very good. Then I went to Salon Joan. I didn't have enough cash, and she only takes cash, but she said I could bring the money later! She gave me a nice cut with some nice Christian conversation. I drove to ABSA Bank on Stockenstrom and drew out R4,000, and then took Joan R100.
The next hour was shopping (there's a lot to buy when you've been away 6 weeks). In the afternoon I visited the hospice and saw Moses and others, many quite ill. Loretta was very happy to see me, and made laughing noises, but is unable to speak (was she always so?) I told her her photo had been seen in Canada.
In the evening we had the second half of the wors and chicken, and I edited my speeded up movie of the assistance vehicles we had ridden in Toronto andd Amsterdam. L-A worked diligently to send out our newsletter covering our home visit. I prepared for Prison Alpha tomorrow, deciding to switch from the Youth version to the Alpha Film series. My callouses are soft - haven't played guitar for too long.
Thu Jul 11
Worked on recent photos, Facebook, email. Sent Whatsapps to let people know we had arrived safely. Bought some boerwors and chicken for dinner. L-A did more work on the costs and revenue of the home visit, concluding that we should view it as a reverse mission, sowing some of our experiences and enthusiasm into the people who had come out to see us or been in congregations we had spoken to. It may turn out that the income will exceed the costs, providing a net sum for use in mission work here. Her family's generosity in paying the cost of the car rental will have been a crucial part of the equation if that is to be the case.
Worcester is quite cold in the mornings so I got the heating system working - which it did after a couple of hiccoughs.
Quite a large segment of our expenses went towards medications and nutrition products that will keep us going for months. But we both agree that our priority was to spend time with her parents, and to take a break - hardly a holiday - from our routine. The fact that we did this without any major unexpected costs - eg rental car damage - is also commendable. we think we lost some things: tools, a sweater, a magnifying glass, a calculator and two bendy lights, but that was always a risk from staying in 12 locations and all the packing and unpacking.
Wed Jul 10
We slept in. I knew there were two urgent challenges - no water in the taps, and whether the car would start. It was chilly but I couldn't find my grey sweater. I searched for a main water cock without success.
I saw two neighbours talking, so went to ask their advice. Soon they found our main water cock under a metal grating, closer to next door than to us. When they turned it on, the water flowed in our house. Perhaps that house resident had turned it off when working on his own irrigation system. What I had thought was the main cock was just for the front garden irrigation system. It was fed at both ends! I had disconnected the pipe from the tap at one end before we left for Canada.
Next priority, the car. I turned on the ignition but there was nothing. I measured the battery: 2.4 volts. I drove the rental car up the garage slope, opened the trunk of the Mercedes where the battery is, hooked up the cables, turned on the rental car, and was then able to start the Mercedes. I drove it for about 45 minutes, including highway driving, and then came back to the house beside the rental car, and turned it off. I was able to start it, so I went shopping for a few urgent items, mainly something for us to eat today.
We drobe downtown in the two cars. I filled up the VW (only R81 spent on petrol getting us from the airport) and then returned it to Janette at Bidvest. I walked to Stockenstrom where L-A had parked the Mercedes. We went back to the Durban Esso station and filled up the Mercedes and had all the tyres checked. They were in pretty good state for 6 weeks. Our attendant, Joseph, from Malawi, asked me if I know any place he could get work, because he feared for his safety in that part of town. He is Catholic. I took his name and number and prayed for him.
The next few hours was spent unpacking. I needed to find L-A's South African plug for her computer, and an adapter to allow our Canadian power bar to work, which powered my two computers and the Pyle audio amplifier. The necessary plug was in the far corner of the last of the 5 suitcaes I unpacked. Now we could function on new electricity rather than batteries charged with Canadian power. L-A had been busy completing the accounting for our 6 weeks away. She has done all the financial tracking, a great saving of my time.and she's good at it.
The rest of the day was filled with deciding where to put things, and watching my first BBC World news in 6 weeks. Shocking to see that Britain was despatching a second destroyer to the Gulf to protect oil tankers from Iranian aggression. Strange though that this military decision was on the news. Maybe they have no intention of using any force; they just want the world and particularly Iran to know that they are annoyed, and this is a propaganda battle. Let's hope they also sent a nuclear sub to the area, or better still have one there already. But please don't announce that on the news!
Tue Jul 9
Departure day. In our final packing we used the red back pack for the maple candies, my car cushion, and other items, saving re-opening the suitcases - which were all at 23KG. We left Rideau Heights about 9 am and checked in at YOW. A very helpful Muslim lady helped us get boarding passes for checking our 6 items, and also got us a wheel chair. We had eggs for breakfast at Tim Hortons. Soon we were Westjetting towards Toronto, and L-A spotted Mississippi Lake from the sky and took a photo which I sent to Dave Kemp.
'Assistance' met us as we deplaned, and got us to gate C34 for Amsterdam where the gate is approached via restaurant tables with iPads for ordering from nearby reataurants. She found a sandwich she wanted but I couldn't at first find the restaurant - eventually doing so when their staff member pointed out the name - not easy to see. On the way back I found small Canadian made chocolate bars with maple filling suitable for giving to our girls. Back at her table L-A saw a gate change of Flight KL0692 to B26 as a message posting on the menu iPad, but by now her Assistance person was long gone. We heard no audible announcements about this gate change. I managed to obtain a wheel chair and pushed her towards B26, but when we got there it turned out to be a bus stop for another terminal. There is a
bus service across several runways which we then took. I suspect there are no longer enough gates for the amount of air traffic. Finally we and hundreds of other bus travellers boarded KLM flight KL0597 at about 16:25. As we took our seets we notived that leg room to the seat ahead was very restricted. During the flight when the person in the seat ahead of L-A had his seat fully reclining, it was very hard for her to get out of her aisle seat to walk to the washroom. The screens on the backs of the chairs ahead of us were almost too close for comfort. It was a 7-hour flight but it was a most uncomfortable 7 hours. I watched 'At Eternity's Gate,' a film about Van Gogh's many life struggles, but the visual quality on the rather old screen was very poor.
At AMS we bought Stoopwafels, and a meal while waiting in a holding space for disabled passengers. We boarded KLM KL0597 for the 11 hour marathon to Cape Town, and immedietely saw that the leg room was much wider than the previous KLM flight.
In fact the whole flight was less tiring, even than the shorter flight across the Atlantic. I watched 'Vice,' a film about Dick Cheney and how powerful he became. I also watched film of an unplugged Adele concert in California shortly after her '21' release, accompanied only by keyboard and guitar. Finally I sampled a Coldplay concert from Sao Paulo, recommended by L-A. We got into Cape Town about 9:30. Two nice assistance staff got us through immigration, baggage, and to Bidvest and I gave them R200. We just got our 5 cases plus other luggage into a VW, and drove to Worcester, arriving about 12:20 am, and getting to bed an our later. There was a problem: no water in the taps. Apart from that everything seemed OK.
Mon Jul 8
I spent several very busy hours packing for Worcester, and keeping what we might need for tonight in one suitcase.
We met with Carlos, Janet and Katrina at IG to sign additional i-Profile documentation, and Carlos and Katrina also presented the results of a PFP analysis, which suggests that in 2021, back in Canada, we need to earn $1300 pm to support our lifestyle.
Dr Esguerra saw us both together. He had no suggestions for a replacement for Tramacet for me that would be covered under the Ontario drug program for seniors, saying that I should ask the pharmacist for a generic equivalent. He recommended I keep the second opinion urologist appointment in South Africa following the colonoscopy.
He didn't apologise to L-A for prescribing Fucidin fro her underarm rash, which she was allergic to, but accepted Dr Sanduhu's recommedation for Mupirocin and Lamisil.
Leaving L-A in Mcdonald's drinking coffee, I went to the Superstore for a Tramacet replacement. The pharmasist said that there was no generic equivalent, and if I wanted to switch to a totally different drug I would need a prescription. No time. I decided to order one box of Tramacet, $56. During the half hour waiting time however, I realized that I would be better off ordering in SA where I should still be covered inde travel insurance. So I asked him to cancel the order.
We then went to RBC to send our donations to Iris, then to BMO to confirm the debit card on which I had reset the PIN when we arrived had been activated (it had) and then to CIBC to deposit moneys that weren't to IMC.
Rideau Heights Inn was our next destination, close to the airport, and our 12th home away from home. Being frequented by business people it had a desk. Only Powhatan among our other hotels and guest houses had had a desk.
Our evening meal at Panera Bread was shared with our most ardent supporter Diane Blenkiron, who had met us at the airport 6 weeks ago. On this occasion she also had gifts for Laurie-Ann.
Sun Jul 7
Terry Orchard of Britannia Baptist Church had asked L-A to give the message this morning, but it turned out he wanted us both to speak. Although hers was prepared and mine wasn't, mine was longer. Here's a poor quality recording of both in the dreadful acoustics of the school gym. Afterwards they took a love offering for us, and the small congregation gave us a large gift. Chris Chapman from Kingdom Culture took the trouble to come out, bless him. The only other person to come to one of our sharings in a church was Gerry Hogan at St. Pauls.
After the service we stayed for an hour, the highlight of which was to be present when a local youth, Victory, gave his heart to the Lord, coached by Steve, a church elder and ex-con.
We then drove to Catch the Fire where I dropped off Laurie-Ann, and I went for coffee with John Whelan at Bridgehead, since the Beachcomber Coffee House was altogether too busy on this fine summer Sunday.
We talked about Emma Stevens, recent Beatle books, the OBS, and John's pacemaker which had almost failed him.
In the evening we decided to have a little time for ourselves, only for the second time in 6 weeks, and went to see 'Yesterday.' In this slightly fantasy story, the hero wakes up after a road accident to discover that no-one has ever heard of the Beatles, and when he starts playing Beatles songs, he rapidly becomes a singing sensation. This is not due to his looks! It's the shear brilliance of Beatle songs that hits his listeners, and us in the audience. There is a major guest appearance by Ed Sheeran, who realizes that these songs are greater than anything he has written, and he is a top draw in the world today.
One hopes this film will educate a whole generation of younger music lovers to discover and appreciate the Beatles. Entering the guest house still feeling happy from the movie, I noticed something on the floor and bent down. When I bent up again I hit the top of my head hard on the open corner of the lock box. A few minutes later blood was coming down to my eyebrows. I doused it with cold water on a wash cloth, and soon the bleeding stopped. Although it took a few days to heal, there was no more bleeding or any other consequences. TKOG. It reminded me of the time I had fallen in the Fourie's coffee shop, and needed stitches 11 April 2018.
Sat Jul 6
Dave Kemp had promised me an interview for CWCP and today at 10 was the time. I arrived promptly, and we chatted for a while with coffee before starting. My interview plan had been drafted the last day in Dave's cottage, but he hadn't been around then. This was much better, as I asked him about his life running a sales training company serving the big names in the auto industry. Then we got on to his Christian conversion, the 2008 Anglican church split and his founding of what is now Eternal Hope Christian Fellowship.
I ended with inviting him to assess the effect of his earlier business career on his career as a priest.
Richard Bendall had invited me to his home to give me more OGF, which indeed he did. Then he took me to lunch in a Carleton Place restaurant.
John Whelan not there when I knocked on his door, but he emailed me later to say he had visited his daughter in hospital on her birthday.
I did some shopping, then took home a Bridgehead latte for L-A since she'd been cooped up all day. Then I noticed Nutrichem, which had moved, and they had some Insomnia! This will last me till Louise's pills arrive.
Fri Jul 5
Picked up the rest of L-A's prescription from Shoppers, and set the controls for a remote home in Coburg. Unfortunately the contols lost satelite contact as we approached Coburg, but I had anticipated this and drawn a simple map from Google Maps.
Barrie and Stephanie Davies live in an Eden-like spot and though retired still work in supporting Coburg's poor. It was a wonderful reunion for us, having once stayed in their house, and having seen Barrie in Ottawa shortly before we left for South Africa.
There had been a possibility that we would call on Ron Piggott as we passed Belville, but he wasn't answering communications. His physical situation is very serious.
So we continued on to Ottawa, arriving at our 11th digs in early evening, Pine Trees Bungalow basement apartment, a guest house just across the road from Bourk's garage in Kanata.
Thu Jul 4
We drove to Dynacare for L-A to have a B12 test. The results will be sent to Dr Esguerra. Then round the corner was a
walk in clinic, where a very good doctor, Dr Sanduhu, realized that L-A's serious rash under her right arm was an allergic reaction to the Fucidin that Esguerra had prescribed. It contains suphur, and he really should have realized this. Dr Sanduhu prescibed Mupirocin and Lamisil ointments. We took the prescription to Shoppers and picked up most of the prescrition; the rest will be ready tomorrow.
Then we drive for half an hour to
North York Municipal Centre to negotiate the parking ticket. My fine was reduced from $60 to $20, $10 of which was because I am a senior. They had the streetview vids of eveything, and I had indeed parked in a no-parking area, but the nice lady had compassion.
Claudia Cassels has been a close friend of Laurie-Ann since 1990, and she hadn't seen her or her husand John since 1997, despite several attempts. I had never met either of them. So meeting them and their son Matthew for dinner this evening was much anticipated.
We ate in Perkins restaurant, and L-A caught up on 22 years. John is a campaigner against human trafficking, heading a dedicated segment of SIM to this purpose. His ministry is one of two that we continue to support even though we ourselves are partially dependent on financial support from friends. The other is the McCullochs.
Back 'home' I needed my larger magnifying glass, but couldn't find it.
Wed Jul 3
Angie Steyn began work at Iris Ministries Canada 2 months ago; a great help to Janis Chevreau. We had communicated with Angie a number of times, not least because she previously lived in Durban, South Africa.
We rendezvoused with her at Artisano restaurant in Oakville, and clicked immediately. Conversation flowed with ease and the three of us felt at home with one another. She even treated us to the coffee etc.
We then went on to Florence Meats, also in Oakville, and bought chicken boerwors and some other South African fare that we have been missing.
Approaching Louise-Marie Longhairs salon on Yonge Street, we passed a Salvation Army building with three homeless natives bedding down. We walked past so L-A could sit somewhere, and she asked me if I had locked the car. That
of course made me worry that I might not have done, so I went back. It was locked. This time when I got to the homeless natives I went up to them and asked if I could pray for them. One said: "No, we don't pray." One was a woman , and she said "Yes - I would like a prayer." So she got one, short and to the point.
Louise Pidwerbecki was at school with L-A and has managed her hair ever since. We went to her salon on Yonge Street, which seemed to me like something out of Charles Dickens' London plus a hoarding problem. She gave us a talk for the first 90 minutes about
the state of the American nation and the vital contribution Trump is making. Some of what she said probably had elements of truth, but for us it was like drinking from a fire hose. Finally we got onto shampoo and healthy living.
Apparently L-A needs to change her diet drastically, peel and pit all tomatoes, drink goat's milk and distilled water, eat cabbage rather than other veg, and sit on the edge of the bathtub and let water run down her legs. These are just some things I remember - there was much more.
She sold L-A some nutrition items, without labels. L-A had asked her if she could formulate some sleeping pills for me. Louise thought they were for L-A. I told her that I have no difficulty sleeping, but that noctura/insomnia/sedatif homeopathic remedies have stopped me sleepwalking. She had no idea of this, but some pills she had given L-A to help her sleep better during the original transition to South Africa had also worked for me. In answer to a question about whether she had actually prepared my pills, she launched into a long drama about the difficulty of getting couriers to deliver to her door.
It was about 10:30 when she finally started adding various products to her list, and I bagged them. There didn't seem to be any sleeping pills, but I said nothing, hoping she would forget about them. She didn't forget to add them to the bill, but she forgot to give us the pills. I checked after we had left the house. I suggested (via L-A) that we she just reduces our bill, and keep the pills. She also never told us the price - when we got home and
L-A checked the item on line, they were $100 for 2 months supply! When we got back to the car, parked on the street, we had a $60 parking fine. Louise will be sending my sleeping pills by mail. No way was she going to cancel a $100 order. They won't arrive for 2 - 3 months so I need to get something for the interim. It had not been the best day of our home visit!
Tue Jul 2
In the morning we drove to Scarborough to see Tara (who had taken a half day off work) and Kennedy. We had a box of gifts for Kennedy. She was a little shy and didn't want to come down and meet these relatives whom sh hadn't seen for 2 years, and couldn't remember. But with the incentive of Peppa Pig on the TV (British educational production), and her many Peppa Pig toys on the floor, she came and joined us. Tara and us had good conversations and eventually Kennedy was more comfortable with having us around, though she wouldn't look at her box of gifts till after we had left - later we saw video of her playing with an ostrich toy we had brought from the Cape Agulhas (?)
We rendezvoused with Julia Loewen at Oliver & Bonicini restaurant in Bayview Village. Tom Tom had failed to sinch with more than 2 satellites, so we were 10 minutes late, but Julia had called and the phone had worked.
It was a total joy to unite with her after nearly 3 years when she used to come to Ottawa-Carleton Detention Centre and sing for the men. She is still visiting Toronto jails every week to tell her harrowing story, and sing. It must be good for her health - she was blooming! She is passionate for Christ but surrounded by atheists in her family.
She is a beacon of light and hope for her grand children in blended families.
Mon Jul 1 Canada Day Neesa's birthday.
Today was our scheduled drive to Etobicoke, to stay with Steve and Carol Zachar, L-A's parents. This would be our 10th accommodation on this trip. L-A elected to drive - which was fine with me! En-route we connected with Bonnie Miller Whaley at her Trenton home. She is Laurie-Ann Copple's first cousin once removed and she had contacted L-A through Ancestry.ca, which had matched up their DNA. Also present in our very special meeting, her husband Bill, Bonnie's cousin Linda, and Linda's husband Jack. All lovely people!
I added $15 to phone but did not pay another $30 contract. Not sure how well this will work. Got a notification that Neesa's card had been delivered by Jacquie Lawson.
We reached 28 Alanmeade about 8pm, after a slow run on the 401 for the previous 2 hours. Steve was on the porch smoking as we parked in the driveway. He seemed thinner than I expected. Chatting with him he revealed that life was very hard, as he responded to Carol's continual calls for assistance. We went in and Carol had got up to meet us (she goes to bed at 7). She looked really thin, everything she did accompanied by pain. Not too many smiles. I bought in 2 of the 5 suitcases hoping they would be the ones we really needed. We had brough them Carol's favourite wine from Magnotta in Kingston, where we had stopped for that reason.
Steve washed my glasses - a family ritual - and the whole world looked brighter.
Sun Jun 30
First church: Kingdom Culture. We were in the Scotiabank Cineplex by 9 and delivered Shawn Gabie's favourite coffee via one of his leaders. As we took our seats in the cinema, I was again impressed by the A/V technology, and took photos of it. Soon the praise and worship was under way, but the keyboard was in the hands of Daniel (as I later discovered) instead of John Awali. The worship was excellent. Shawn preached on not giving up because you had a bad day, and this I felt spoke to me, saying that event of the listeners to Good News in the Morning were very small in number, and even if few on the board seemed to care, I should continue to post the podcasts, at least for a while, in this post-CFRA phase.
As he preached, I noticed that John Awali was now on the keyboard with a very sensitive accompaniment. When the sermon ended, Daniel took over again seamlessly from John, who walked round the auditorium, past us, and to the drum kit. Shortly after, Shawn had some words of encouragement for Daniel.
After the service, we went to say goodbye to Shawn, and he called his treasurer and wrote us a cheque for $400!
We had a light bite in Starbucks and went on to our second church of the day, Blackburn Hamlet Community Church. This was my first meeting with Arnold Mayorga, who had taken over from Karen and Pat. I immediately felt comfortable with him, particularly since he had given up his pulpit for me today. We had displayed L-A's art work at the front, and Mollie asked to buy a print of 'Jesus Makes All Things New.' When the time came for me to preach, everyone was
very attentive, even though I went on for 25 minutes, longer than he had suggested. Pierre then announced that we would be receiving an increased gift from the church compared with a year ago. Heather Vos and Sydney also blessed us with financial gifts. After church we enjoyed a picnic in the park, and Sydney, true to her word, had brought lunches for us. This was a good opportunity to talk more with Arnold, Doug, Pierre, Sydney and others.
Back at Diane's, I got talking with Patricia and took up her offer for some coloidal silver nose spray, which she then started to manufacture. She also tested me for
Voxxlife socks and insoles, one of her small businesses. She used a before and after strength test, between the tests having me stand on her Voxxlife insoles. I seemed to be stronger afterwards - or was it my imagination?
Sat Jun 29
We slept in peacefully, L-A longer than I, and I worked on my talk for BHCCh for tomorrow. It needs to be a sermon, but illustrated by our experiences. For breakfast we finished our bread and eggs.
For lunch I had the rest of the pork roast from Calabogie, and L-A had nothing because we had left too little time before driving to Jiri Soukup's house. We were a little early there, and he was out shopping, but we chatted with a girl called Susan who cuts Jiri's grass and watches over the fish and the house when he is away.
Soon he arrived and we sat around the table I have sat many many times since 2000 as I advised Jiri and Hana with their financial planning. Hana died a couple of years ago, but Jiri has kept busy with projects and travel and is even dating. Good for him. He told us about his future book of short true stories about people he has encountered in his varied life. We sketched out some of our activities on the mission field. He served us delicious bread and honey, both home made. We left about 5:15 feeling very glad we had seen him.
Back in Diane's house L-A drew, and I uploaded the
latest batch of Sagan's pictures, including the family's recent trip to Okinawa.
Diane cooked us a late dinner - roast beef and roast lamb, asparagus, baked potatoes, and lots of good conversation (including about VoxxLife) which continued for some time after I retired.
Fri Jun 28
We got away from Calabogie at 10:30. First stop Equator Coffee in Arnprior to load up with L-A's favourite. Then on to St.Paul's when Lorna had a cheque for us from the Ripleys. They had already bought a USB. While L-A was inside, Dave Kemp called to discuss the email I had sent to GNCM, but my phone ran out of air time after half a minute, even though it was a local call. John Bridges arrived in the parking lot at that moment, and when I told him my pay-as-you-go sob story he said I should come ito the church and call on the land line. Dave had been concerned that we hadn't had a GNCM board meeting while I was here, but that didn't bother me.
I said I would continue posting the podcasts at least until all the bills were paid. We drove on to Richmond and Diane's house. She wasn't home when we arrived, so we went for an early supper at Tim Hortons. She was home when we got back, so after warm greetings and thanks from us we took in the one suitcase which should have everything we will need for three days here.
We had been given her own bedroom. I set up my computer in an office and brought this journal up to date.
Thu Jun 27
A day without appointments or events!
Was able to get onto our original Rogers.com/myaccount, and add the white phone.
Called Rogers and they added my Mastercard to the account, but it will take 3 days to come into effect. Till then I will pay a lot for any calls I make. They took pity on me and gave me $10 worth of air time.
There was a freak short thunderstorm, followed by sunshine. Lynn called to see if she could change the time and day for a dinner we wanted to give her. She wants to attend the funeral of Marg Anthony's mother, and Daisy also has to be considered after her operation (reasonable). It was non-trivial for us to find an alternative, but after 15 minutes when we hadn't yet solved the problem, the white phone ran out of air time (even though Lynn had called me). That was an expensive call. I called her back on Whatsapp, which I should have suggested 15 minutes earlier, and we agreed on dinner tomorrow. A problem remaining with this is that we won't be able to have her over to 'our place' and cook her a meal, which would be a reasonable expense, but it would be a restaurant meal, twice the price in Canada compared with South Africa.
I was frank with Lynn and she sensed the issue, and I suspect we will go dutch or she may even treat us, which wasn't the idea at all with the original invitation. Spending some time with her is actually more important than the business of who pays. I mention this in detail because it is representative of our life going forward, when we absolutely have to reduce our expenses or risk coming home earlier with tails between our legs.
After her call I finally got outside to take a token swim in the lake, from the little beach. The water near the shore was actually quite warm, but as I got to the raft it had cooled a lot. The beach was very rocky in parts and sore on my feet. I wished I had my beach shoes, but can't remember if I actually brought them from SA. The depth around the raft as only about four feet, so I didn't risk any jumping or diving, with my legs and toes.
L-A had bought a pasta stir fry from M&M and we enjoyed it for supper.
I sent an email to all the GNCM preachers and board members: "Laurie-Ann and I have been been in Canada for a few weeks on a home visit from South Africa, where we return 9 July.
The switch from CFRA has put me back in the line of fire each week, posting our podcasts to the world. We have the tools and wifi to do this as we travel around (currently in our 8th location) or from South Africa. I doubt any of you are tuning in, so this is just so you will know that from the point of view of on-line listeners, nothing changed. CFRA did finally broadcast an announcement 16 June which I recorded live directing would be listeners to our website. How long I will be prepared to do this podcasting depends on 2 factors. 1. What sort of interest/encouragement I receive from you all (so far almost none) and 2. an accurate assessment of the size of our audience. My experience with CWCP Radio has taught me how to do this. So far the results I am seeing are way below what I hoped for. I am pretty busy on the mission field - almost zero time for anything other than mission work.
The remaining and past schedule for our home visit is here: https://www.coppleswesterncape.ca/events.html. We have two more public appearances and would love to see any of you at either. Laurie-Ann has also posted photos, videos and audios from the events so far. We have greatly enjoyed spending time with Dave, Richard and Sandy in the past few weeks. Our internet radio station has been quiet since we left South Africa, but will broadcast again from ~mid July, including 2 archived programs of GNiTM every Wednesday. We are up to 2007.
Blessings to you all for the incredible achievement of keeping GNiTM on air at CFRA for 20 years, resulting in an enormous body of accessible resources, dedicated to the glory of God."
For our next few days we'll be staying with dear friend and supporter Diane Blenkiron. She and L-A have skyped every 2 weeks throughout our mission. He house is not large and she is putting us into her bed! So we will pack all the things we'll need for the next 3 days into one suitcase, and leave the others in the car.
As I packed I listened to The Killers' Battle Born - latest album on my phone through the Blackstar, and every track glistened with quality, on this 3rd or 4th time of listening.
Around now I became aware that I no longer had my bag of tools that I had selected for Canada, screwdrivers and a variable wrench, but I did still have the voltmeter that was with them.
Wed Jun 26
The Redners were originally due at 11, but arrived about 11:45. As we sat down, two animated conversations sprang up, Mark and I, and Kiwanda and L-A. It was a pouring out, and some was very special indeed when Mark told me of his vision experiences at TACF, which shaped his future life.
Eventually I broke in and suggested coffee. They were interested to hear there was a hot tub here. They are going through transition after leaving The Oasis and discerning what The Lord has next for them. Around 1 I made the egg sandwiches and they were enjoyed. Then, strawberry shortcake. At 4, all except L-A did go to the hot tub. Clearly that is something Mark really likes. They left about 4:30. We both really enjoyed their visit, and I think they did.
At 5:30 we drove to CHRI for the second time this week for a TBN Canada get-together to welcome L-A into their midst, if only for an hour. It was a spirited time, with Melissa, Sandra, Bill and Bron. Lots of nice things to each, some of which, a nice brie, we took home afterwards. Melissa had the new web page on display, and dshe said they expect to be rebroadcasting materials from other TBN regions within a few weeks. Another fun meeting.
Tue Jun 25
Took Exinef and Celebrex about 4:30; got up when I felt ready and found it was only 6:45! Had several hours before L-A awoke. Posted our remastered wedding film, the CBC TV Love-on-line special, and our 10-year anniversary movie to Facebook as a comment after our 20th anniversary celebration a week before.
I called Dr Esguerra's office and managed to get an appointment for 1:45 on 8 July. I need a replacement for Tramacet that I can buy in quantity before we leave for SA and is covered under the Ontario drug program. I also need his opinion on the blood tests - why am I anaemic?
Cindy and Jill Jeffrey were both delayed a little but by 3 were both here, mainly hearing about Cindy's second visit to Ghana, from which she had arrived back a couple of days before. She gave me two attractive bracelets, to replace the two previous ones she had given me. She has been engaging in super-networking, with a prince and his father, a king. Her vision was to link up NGO's and other groups for the benefit of the poor. Jill has been quite heavily involved in music activity. We ate a slice each of the cake I had bought for the One-Way Ministries event, and drank pomegranate tea. Jill had had a collision in her car a while ago and bought a sporty coupe with the insurance pay-out. Cindy was driving a Prius, and has her own office property, while her boys and the dogs stay on in her Carp house.
I thought afterwards we really should have gone for a walk around the resort, and drunk some wine - but the conversation never stopped for long enough!
In the evening I boiled 6 eggs for sandwiches tomorrow with Mark and Kiwanda Redner.
Mon Jun 24
I am realizing that I need to see if there is a subsitute for my painkiller Tramacet, which is not listed on the Ontario seniors drug benefit program, and costs $50+ for a month's supply.
Today I took 2 of L-A's Tylenol 1 instead of Tramacet to see if it might be a possible substitute.
We drove from Calabogie to the Prison Network Group meeting at Jericho Road on Walkley. There were only a few there: Carl, Dwight, the Powels, Hope. After the regular reports they asked us to share. First I told them how PNG had been the way we found our renters, the Murtas, and how this Godincidence had been the best financial gift we could ever have hoped for, since they are still there and seem happy to stay. PNG minutes had been circulated and Dick Hudson receives them. He is a friend of Jack Murta, and know that Jack's son Liam needed rental accommodation.
I then told them about our ministry in Brandvlei Correctional Centre. It was a warm social gathering, and we (I) had mushroom soup and tuna sandwiches. We went on from PNG to meet with
Anne-Carol Herzig at our Poulin condo. I went up to her room, opposite ours in the 5th floor, and then we drove the short distance to Beachcomber Coffee House for a very pleasant hour of conversation and coffee.
Cathleen Reid was our next appointment, at the Brew Table in the days in Hotel. L-A knows her better, though I have known her just as long, but this was the first time I have spent time with her 1-on-2. Very good conversation.
Lastly in this busy day we went to the far east of Ottawa for Connect group with Teti and Stacy, even more pregnant. Just the four of us but some excellent discussion. Then the long drive back to Calabogie, but L-A did the driving, bless her.
By now I knew for sure that Tylenol 1 wouldn't substitute for Tramacet. I had been fighting fatigue and leg pain all day.
Sun Jun 23
We set alarms for 5:30 am to get to St. Paul's for the 8 am service (and 10 am). To give myself a boost I took Exinef and Tramacet - the best combo as prescribed by Dr Eric.
We actually arrived at 7 so sat outside Tim's on Hazeldean for half an hour. Once inside, Father John demonstrated how to bring up our 8 pictures on the big screen using his iPad. We set up a station in the Narthex for L-A's art.
At the appropriate time we both shared from the lectern, introducing the congregation to our teen Mailbox Club leaders and their groups of children. I recorded it on my phone, knowing that the acoustics would be poor. The congregation seemed very interested to hear what we had to say, particularly Bill Ranger who had a broad smile - so encouraging to a speaker. We managed to keep it to about 11 minutes. The order of the slides was not exactly as they had been on the e-mail I had sent to John, so we had to compensate.
Between the services, Laurie-Ann sat at the art station greeting old friends. For the 10 am service, we were given the children's segment and there were 20 of them sitting up front.
I borrowed a very nice guitar from a member of the worship team, and attempted unsuccessfully to play it through the Blackstar. So I played 'I don't wanna be a rock star' acoustically, teaching it to the children. By the end most people in the congregation were joining in.
Then we gave the same presentation as at 8 am, but I attempted to engage the children with questions, particularly at the start when discussing 'Who actually cares?' I had selected pictures of our teen evangelists and their Mailbox clubs, so the kids here were able to relate. Father John was warm in his intro and extro, even promoting the memory sticks.
After the service L-A sold three of the memory sticks with 57 Way's to Grow and the colouring books. We joined everyone for an excellent BBQ lunch, and Ken Miller mentioned to us that both services would be going up on YouTube.
Back home, L-A found the YouTube channel where the morning's services were up in full. The sound track was way better than my phone recordings, except for about 2 minutes after I had taken off a mic that John had given me while singing, in order to take off the guitar. I should have put it back on again but didn't. After 2 minutes John brought me another mic. So I replaced just that segment with the recording off my phone, and posted the edited audio on Facebook.
Sat Jun 22
Chilled out and unpacked, reorganizing what was randomly placed in the suitcaes. Took photos and didn't rush. It wasn't warm enough for swimming.
Fri Jun 21
I packed and loaded the car with our suitcases. This took talent and energy! It would have been very easy to forget some of our things, since they were mixed in with the cottage stuff, but even more important I wanted to leave the cottage in at least as good a state as we had found it.
We drove to Perth for a charming lunch Lunch at Crossroads Tea Room, a favourite of ours. Then we drove the 511 North to Calabogie, stopping in Baldertone for some medium cheddar and peanut brittle. We rolled into Calabogie Lodge Resort about 3. It looked as good as ever. We had a coffee in the restaurant to put off the time of unpacking. This is only the second time we have stayed here, in Unit A108.
We noticed that each room has a modem, but we got better results using A109 modem. We took photos and didn't rush. It wasn't warm enough for swimming.
Thu Jun 20
Laurie-Ann had beem invited as the guest for the Christ Church Ashton prayer group. There were about 8 ladies + Jennifer and Henry and they listened with interest to L-A's talk on 'The reason for our hope' in the Narthex where Kenosis used to play for the services. After the prayer group we went downstairs for refreshments and discussion.
Jasper offered me a contract for producing an audiobook version of 'Legacy.'
We had been booked for the BHHop mission night long before BHHOp changed their routine to the new prayer room where folks can individually move from station to station for a variety of prayer activities.
The worship leaders were shared between us and a Bible study so we had a full room for that (when I took some photos), but fewer who remained in the room for our presentation. Those who did however include Fred Milnes, Nahia Haddad, Nano da Silva, Mabel Sampson, and Ada Lai who had recently attened the Alpha world event in the Albert Hall!
Wed Jun 19
L-A met with Dr Esguerra, and she found it extremely helpful. The blood test revealed serious vitamin B12 deficiency, and he prescribed appropriate medications, though she may need shots. While waiting, I asked for feedback from my X-Ray and blood tests, and was given a written report by a nurse. The really good news was that my hip replacement is in fine condition. The degeneration in the spine was noted but not considered serious.
We had a little time before meeting John Bridges, so spent it in Macdonalds on their wifi. Then over to Tim Hortons on Hazeldean, and had a most pleasant welcome from John, who treated us with coffees. We discussed our contribution to the two services on Sunday.
Heard from Carlos that our move to iProfile had been approved by IG compliance! This is actually huge news and may benefit us the rest or our lives, as has the All-in-One home equity line of credit that I arranged for myself when I still had the qualifying income.
Dinner with Jennifer and Henry at 38 Coldstream, Munster that evening was tasty and the conversation excellent.
Tue Jun 18
Our 20th Wedding Anniversary! L-A slept in while I went to a musical-social gathering that happens each Tuesday morning 8-12 at Ashton United Church. It had been launched some years ago by Richard and Dorothea Bendall. Richard had suggested I be ready to sing a couple of songs. Before the music started there was sumptuous breakfast and conversation. There were about 30 people. One of them was Jill Jeffery! She had a second guitar in her car which she lent to me, and I did indeed sing a couple of songs: 'Rock Star' and 'I like the way you smile,' which was video'd by Richard. After Rock Star, I felt unusually out of breath.
At the end, returning to the breakfast room, I met a lady called Roseline MacAngus, who had been in the diplomatic team that got Mandela released from jail. She is from Mauritious.
Around noon, Richard took me to his home and gave me 6 bottles of Original Glutathione Formula, which encourages the body to make more Glutathione, an important aspect of cancer prevention. He had recovered from serious cancer a few years ago, and had researched the whole matter, concluding that chemotherapy does more harm than good. His book will be published soon. He also gave me a bottle of Soulera anti stress formula.
At One-Way Ministries we celebrated with 10 dear friends and supporters of our mission, including Wayne Webster, the Carsons, the McDougalls, Diane Blenkiron, Godfrey and Gisele Msimango, Peter Harterink and Gary Bielert. Gary was my best man and the only one present who had attended the wedding, bless him.
We had brought in strawberry shortcake and a chocolate cake, juice, coffee and fruit tray. My main concern was getting the powerpoint that L-A had skillfully prepared up on the big screen, but it worked.
We chatted and ate first, and then gave the presentation, firstly each of us sharing a story of God's blessing on our marriage, and then His blessings on our mission. Godfrey and Gisele were the last to leave - he wanted to talk about his ministry. While he did that with me, Diane was really helpful clearing up. We finally got back to the lake about 11:30. It had been a great evening.
Mon Jun 17
Collected L-A's blood test prescription from Palladium Medical, and went straight to the CMA Bio-Test Lab for her to have a blood test.
Paid $800 on TD Visa. This hadn't been too easy. Bank transactions now sometimes need 2-stage verification, and the phone numbers they send them to are in South Africa. We called Simplii and they told us of a work-around that involded setting up a new e-mail account with Proton Mail, that the bank feels is secure, unlike Gmail and Hotmail.
The reason I only paid $800 was that we need to keep enough headroon on the AiO to cover the end-of-month payment of our Solutions Banking Mastercard, and I had used up most of the headroom with the transfer to allow us to reach the magic figure of $250K, the threshold for iProfile.
Connect group with Teti and Stacey in Gloucester proved spiritually rewarding and socially enjoyable, even though we were their only guests. The questions set by the church that follow up on the Subject of the Sunday sermon are excellent. Stacey is now very pregnant.
Sun Jun 16
I slept well and woke about 6, and went to my computer. The penultimate batch of 'Legacy' recordings was successfully sent. I set the AR Wizzard to record CFRA to see if they would broadcast a notice at 6:30 referring would-be listeners to 'Good News in the Morning' that all future programs would be podcasts on line, and no longer to be heard on CFRA. Dave and Richard had asked them to do this every week since the broadcasts stopped on CFRA, to no effect.
I returned for another hour's sleep, then checked the recording of CFRA. Yes, they had actually included a 1 minute announcement, using the wording Dave had sent them. Success! Maybe this will increase our listenership from its current paltry low levels. I edited the recording to include just the initial announcement and emailed it to Dave and Richard. I dressed in my retirement suit and shirt, and tie.
Dave was generous with giving us breakfast. I set We Transfer to send the final batch of Legacy. Dave left for Eternal Hope and we followed 10 minutes later. There were about 15 in the church when we arrived and another 10 came before the service started. After the Gospel Dave asked me up and gave a very warm introduction to me. I started with an idea that had come to me as I had driven there: use Parter Folla's rousing "Do you love the Lord? "I love the Lord." This worked well with what I know was a fairly quiet congregation.
Sat Jun 15
We woke about 8 feeling refreshed. The bed had been very comfortable. I wanted to get tomorrow morning's edition of Good News in the Morning produced and uploaded. I did. Though we were late for breakfast, a very friendly lady cooked us fresh scrambled egg and breakfast sausage. We were on our way by about 10:30, first to the Three
Brother's winery, and then on towards Syracuse. The journey was uneventful, and we arrived at Dave Kemp's house near Carleton Place about 5 pm as planned with him. He had returned two days before from a holiday all over Ireland. He suggested we stay in the house tonight, and go to the cottage tomorrow, since he hadn't checked out the state of the cottage, and the weather has not been kind. I put the finishing touches on my sermon to his congregation at Eternal Hope in Carleton Place tomorrow. Being with excellent wifi for one more night allowed me to send Jasper the rest of the Legacy chapters.
Fri Jun 14
During the night I transferred more files in batches, up to Ch 8. And during this day Jasper acknowledged receipt. We rose early and were packed and on the road by 9:30. It was to be a long journey.
From Williamsburg to west of Baltimore we were in very slow moving traffic. L-A had never see the like of it. We were spooked about getting into toll system in northern Virginia, and only planned routes on GPS that avoided tolls. L-A drove across Pennsylvania, stopping for an excellent indian meal en route, and got us to New York, but was concerned that Tom Tom recommended going via Syracuse to Seneca Falls, our destination for the night. She pulled in about 11.15 to a rest area and said she didn't know what to do. I took the iPad into the building and there was an excellent map on the wall that showed that via Syracuse was, in fact, the fastest route. I checked for wifi and there is was, free. I called the Quality Inn and told them we would be very late. No problem, he said. I then drove the next two hours at pretty high speed, and after searching the Seneca environs we found the hotel about 1:30 am. The address on their sheet had not been helpful.
I had been driving for 11 hours, the most I have ever done in a day. The receptionist, Zac, was helpful and friendly. Both of us felt he was transgender trying to move from male to femail.
Wed Jun 12
Went for a dip in the Pohwatan hot tab, at the outdoor swimming pool. Although the sun barely shone, it was pleasant. No coffeee at the poolside bar, so we went on to the coffee shop wher the same girl was serving as the last time we had been there. She told us how she compiled the background music, from Spotify playlists.
We drove to the home that Dennis and Cindy had just moved into the previous day, very close to Pohwatan. It was full of boxes of all their worldly possessions. L-A gave them colouring books that they may be able to use with any families they serve (as long as they photocopy the originals!). We spent half an hour with them in prayer and conversation. The man who had cut the grass around their prefab unit came in and turned out to be a believer welcoming prayer, which he got. In the afternoon and evening we packed so that we could leave early the next day.
Wed Jun 12
First thing on waking - see if We Transfer had gone through. Saddly, the answer was 'no.' Something had gone wrong with the ~1GB that should have become accessible to Jasper. Probably this was caused by the Powhatan wifi. Maybe they even switch it off for the small hours. I sent a message to Jasper to ask if he received any of the files. I also e-mailed James to get permission to use part of a track from Chronological Disorder by TPO as theme music for the audio recording. He and Kathy are currently in Okinawa. Later in the day he OK'd this.
We spent the morning on computers (it never ends). At 2 pm we arrived at the Panera Bread in New Town to see Dennis Grannan and Cindy Layman. They were already there eating free, since Panera effectively sponsors their Loaves and Fishes ministry to the hungry. We ordered coffee and bagels. Dennis had not heard about our ministry although Cindy was up to date. Dennis announced that he wanted to help us financially (though to me this seemed unlikely from a practical point of view; they have given up almost all worldly things to do the Lord's bidding). We had a lovely time with them, discussing all manner of matters. We will deliver them some of L-A's colouring sheets tomorrow.
Back home we investigated the logistics of receiving sponsorships from Americans without credit cards. I e-mailed them as follows: "It was so kind and generous of you to even think of supporting us. But it may turn out that you aren't meant to do so - if the mechanism to do so is just too complex. That may be the Holy Spirit at work too. Here's what we have found out from Iris. There is no standard form to set this up for non-Canadian donors. Without a credit card, there is really only one way that can work: Paypal. If you haven't got Paypal yet, it is free to set up on a laptop, tablet, or even a phone.
Then you can either go to Canada Helps on our ministry website, and state Paypal as the method of payment, This is the best method for setting a monthly payment.
Here's the link: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/dn/2555, then click the dropdown menu under the word 'Fund' to find us.
Or you can send it direct to my personal Paypal. This would be easier if you wanted to send individual payments when you happened to have cash available. There's a link on this page: http://web.ncf.ca/aj624/internet.html." I wanted to give them an easy way out if in the cold light of dawn it didn't sound such a good idea,
Back home, L-A worked on the rest of the Legacy files. I received an urgent message to phone Carlos about our transfer to iProfile. It seems that Compliancy want to know more about our residence status before they will approve it. (I still don't understand how they figured out we are not in Canada living at 5 Coulson Court.) Carlos wasn't there when I Skyped him, so I replied to his message laying out our exact situation, and cc'd it direct to Compliance. Frankly I wanted to be the one to do the explaining rather than Carlos. We did speak a little later and he was annoyed that I would have linked the e-mail correspondance into Compliance. Carlos thinks he could be censured for discussing investments with someone with a foreign address. I still think all should be well, since all the discussions took place in canada. Tomorrow we will find out, but the fact is the whole plan to move to iProfile is at risk, and we won't have anouter chance because from now on we will be redeeming investments faster than they
can grow, and the $250k qualifier will fade ever further out of reach.
Around midnight I We-Transferred the rest of the Legacy files to Jasper, and in our prayers I did ask that our financial tactics would in fact proceed as planned. We need TKOG.
Tue Jun 11
Before L-A got up, I resolved to do the editing to 'Legacy' which required re-recording. In the course of this I discovered that the acoustics in Hooggelegen 48 had been somewhat superior to here, so I replaced the bare minumum of wrongly recorded words. 90 minutes later I had completed chapters 10 and 11, jut as L-A emerged from the bedroom. Only one more short chapter to go and I can send it all to Jasper, which I must do while we have wifi. Messages on Whatsapp from the ladies who have been running the school in our absence - Debora, Helena, Janey and Ronel suggest all has gone very well. The exams are done (Paula got 100% on Afrikaans) and the children will be on holiday soon.
I hope to send the .wav files of Legacy to Jasper overnight tonight, so in preparation I asked L-A to work her broadcasting school magic on one of the chapters. Yes, there was an improvement in signal to noise ratio, and no reduction in quality, so I asked her if she would process all of the files. As the Legacy work is coming to an end I have more time for preparing my talk to Eternal Hope on sunday. I will still use TKOG theme but want to talk about people who have touched our lives with their pictures on the screen, so I began selecting candidates. I called Dennis and arranged that we will see Cindy and him tomorrow. At 3:30 we drove to Sentara Hospital to see Danny and Brenda Corey. Danny had a knee operation yesterday. We weren't sure if he would even be
unsedated enough to chat. Brenda was there with him. He was dozing when we came in but soon woke up and over the next hour I had a good conversation with him, while Brenda and L-A caught up with their news. He will be discharged tomorrow, and he is ready, though acknowledging our healing God's help in making this happen. We were there for a couple of hours, and it was good.
Back in Powhatan, L-A worked on my audio recordings, applying professional filters to reduce sibillance, hiss, pops, and increase resonance, making it sound more professional. By 11 she had done the first seven chapters. I fired up We Transfer and sent them off to Jasper, It would take 8 hours.
Mon Jun 10
Leisurely breakfast. Called Melissa from check-in and asked if I could go to the sales pitch (normal timeshare routine, for which she had offered me $125 to attend) and asked if I could go alone, since L-A is disabled, and she said 'no,' it must be both of us. I then asked her how Americans make tea, since there are no kettles in the rooms, and she said most only drink coffee, and the others heat water in a microwave! She will send us round a kettle. Called Allianz Travel Insurance about their letter.
The agent realized quite soon that the problem was to do with the policy number. Although I had correctly stated the policy number for my 2019 policy, someone in Allianz had looked me up by name and used my 2018 policy number! They had then written to me to say that I couldn't claim against an out of date policy! This company seems to employ people with questionable basic ability, but while they pay out our claims in full I won't say a word against them! At least not in public.
After that good news I rewarded myself by making a coffee pouring filter, with similar capability to the two that I had left in the kitchen in Worcester. I'd bought some aluminium plates, and moulded one of them into the right shape, after first making a round hole in the middle. A few hours later I made coffee with it and it tasted great. I took photos during the manufacturing process. I think this was the first non-ministry activities I have engaged in for a long time other than the BC World Service News and Showmax (Downton Abbey and The Good Wife), which by the way we can't get in North America.
About noon we drove towards Richmond, and Christie. It was a hard drive weatherwise. Just before leaving I changed into shorts because it was warm in Williamsburg. L-A thought she knew the way to the New Kent Winery, but soon realized we were going the wrong way, so we fired up Tom Tom. Because it takes a while to settle down with the sattelites, we again found ourselves going the wrong way down the 199 and the I64. Having turned back, the weather suddenly changed from warm and dry to torrential rain, and driving safely was quite tough. But we pressed on, got 2 bottles of L-A's favourite Virginia wine at New Kent, and arrived at Christie's about 1:30.
We chatted with her for a while, and then Pastor Favor Anthony turned up, Christie's house-mate. She is a Nigerian missionary who has stared her own ministry to local women, and Christie is her first white member. We all have much in common and the converstion was brisk. But it all came alive when Favor got busy praying for the health of L-A and me with oil annointing. Mellisa had been expected but didn't show. After we left, L-A went shopping for pants and other plus-size clothes in Catherine's. Then we had coffee and bagels in Panera bread (excellent value compared with Starbucks and just as nice). We drove back to Williamsburg and then had supper from the BBQ leftovers from yesterday.
Sun Jun 9
Up fairly early so L-A had time to wash her hair before we drove the 30 minutes to The River Church, Toano. The Dwelling Place is meeting just once a month (see comment yesterday), and our friend Christie Adams from Iris and Williamsburg recommended this church. We were not disappointed.
We, strangers to most, were warmly welcomed by several of the congregation as we arrived, and more at the end of the service after pastor Ron Vaught had spoken about us. Before that he had come and prayed for us in the middle of the service, saying that the Lord told him we were carrying a heavy weight, and asking us to pray for him. Interestingly I had just done that a few minutes earlier so I was quite ready. There is a really good worship band led by Josh, with second guitar Craig, bass, drums and keyboards. Ron preached on the blessings of tithing that flow to the cheerful giver. We were pleasantly accosted by numbers of Godly people before we left.
The vague plan was to meet up with Christie and friends for lunch at the 2 Drummers restaurant close at hand. She was indeed there, as was Melissa, who had been in church, a local charity food distributor, with her son Benjamin. We shared a BBQ mixture of meats, very nice, and were told that we weren't allowed to pay. These are the warm-hearted people of Williamsburg to whom L-A has been attracted for years, and it good for me to get to know them.
We went to Target on the way home, where L-A bought supplies of Tylenol, and other goods.
Sat Jun 8
I read the letter from Allianz, and soon relaized it referred to only one of the three claims we had mailed in; the second claim I had made for leg/hip pain for ongoing medications. I resolved to call them on Monday.
1:30, rendezvoused with Brian Britton at the same coffee shop (in Barnes and Noble) that we had fist met him 1-on-1 several years before. He greatly encouraged us, and shared the significant changes in his life as he passes pastorship of The Dwelling Place to another couple, and he concentrates on encouraging missionaries (not just Iris) around the world. He will be flying to Portugal on Monday.
Then we went shopping for groceries. In the evening I edited Chapter 10 of Legacy, only discovering at completion that I had edited the .mp3 version rather than the .wav. I listened very carefully on headphones to detect any deterioration on .mp3 and couldn't so I will probably keep it after 90 minutes hard effort. Before turning in I watched Fox News and a sharp woman, Judge Jeannine Pirro, explaining some of Trump's immigration policies.
Fri Jun 7
We sampled the Country Inn breakfast (since it was included), and found it similar to Best Western. Soon we were on our way. We came to a fork where the 295 and 495 split, and chose the 495 thinking it might by pass more of Washington, but it would take us on toll roads. We accepted this, but these tolls that we ran into half an hour later were tolls from hell. It was like a maze, and more tolls up ahead, but we had very limited US cash. At one point I was backing up a slip road to try and avoid getting stuck on another toll road. By now we had set Tom Tom to avoid tolls, but this was asking a lot since we were already in the toll complex. Finally, asking someone was our only option, and he told us we could get back on the
295 by taking a right turn a few minutes further along, even though the signs said that all routes were toll routes. This strategy worked and we were soon free. We later discussed our experience with local Viginians, one of whom told us she had moved away from North Virginia for that very reason. The municipality had introduced the tolls and Hov lanes years ago to alleviate gridlock.
As I drove on the toll problem was gone but the traffic density wasn't and we crawled along for more than an hour. The weather was steadily worsening. We searched for a place to eat in Woodbridge, and ended in Chuys, a Tex-Mex restaurant with a friendly waiter called Charles, who gave us a sauce tasting before we settled on chicken enchiladas. We drove on. I was feeling pretty tired by now, so we stopped at a gas'n'food place and switched drivers for the last 90 minutes, arriving at the Historic Powhatan Resort in Williamsburg as the rain came in quite heavily. It was quite chilly, not as we had imagined it as the winter arrived in South Africa.
Thu Jun 6 - D-Day 75th Anniversry
I am a three cell-phone man these days. Since we put a new sim card into the white Blackberry Q10 (L-A's), that is our phone communications with the world when in Canada. My black Q10 has my Google calendar, but only works with wifi here. I was unable to get the Google calendar up on the white phone, because verification codes had to go to text numbers in South Africa. The Black Q10 is the only phone that seems to work with to our car Blue Tooth, and then to the car radio which will provide entertainment on the long drive from Ottawa. The Mozambique phone also only works on wifi, allowing me to run WhatsApp Web, so all my Whatsapp communications can be done on my laptop, a real blessing. Having these three phones is pretty essential to me on this trip.
We were breaking our journey to Virginia in York, PA, so we packed the things we would need overnight in a large plastic bag, and would leave all the suitcases in the car.
I uploaded our trip photos so far to Flickr. I haven't used Prevident toothpaste since my first two ran out in South Africa, but I was delighted to discover that Walmart sells it, and the local Walmart superstore had some in stock.
I went to Walmart and got two Previdents, and then to President's Choice Superstore to collect my meds that Dr E had authorized. Tramacet is not part of the seniors drug program, but Celebrex (like Exinef but not opoid) and Sandoz-Tamsulosin (to replace Uromax) are, so I now will get them very cheaply. However, the program has a $100 deductible per year so I paid that. As I did so, it crossed my mind that I now have plenty of drugs on hand, while my pain is reducing, either naturally, or by God's grace (actually the same thing). I can't wait to hear the X-Ray results, but I will have to wait till we are back in Ottawa. Back to 38 Polo Lane to finish packing and triple check we had left nothing lying around, and we were on our way South. The first leg of the journey took us to York, PA, and I drove the whole way without any difficulty. Tom Tom was temperamental, at times losing the satelites, but it found them for the final part of the journey in built up areas where we really needed the help. L-A discovered she could get it going by a hard shut-down. Around 8:30 pm we arrived at Country Inn and Suites, the first time we had used it rather than Best Western, because it advertised a hot tub, but this turned out not to be the case. Country Inn was otherwise fine. I watched a little of the coverage of D-Day from France before turning in. I am glad to see these celebrations of an event when I was 3, and they can bring international powers and leaders closer.
Wed Jun 5
10 am to Jiffy Print to pick up the colouring books. Some will be given to churches we visit for their Sunday schools, and others we may be able to sell towards our mission budget. We bought a stack of Canadiana from Dolarama - flags, buttons, pencils - for giving out in South Africa. Received a call from Hai Truong at In Home TV Repair to say that our Insignia screen needed a new screen at $100+. I asked him to recycle the device. We can manage without it, and the whole exercise with his was just to see if it was a simple problem. He later e-mailed back to say he would refund our diagnostic fee of $39 if we wanted to buy a replacement TV from him, but I feel we can manage fine in the future with just one monitor.
At 1 pm we were in Investors Group to sign all the paperwork for i-Profile. This has used up all the room on our All-in-One Heloc, but going forward it should provide a boost to our assets, from higher quality investment performance and lower fees. Carlos was away doing his CFP, but Janet and Katrina made us feel very welcome. Several old friends from IG popped by to say 'hello.' I had provided a cheque from All-in-One to bring our investments to the iProfile qualifying amount. But a little later we had a call from Janet recommending that instead we redeem that amount from AiO to our Simplii bank accout, and they will pull the money from there. This will cover the possibility should a little more be required due to market fluctuations.
At 3 we met with Jennifer Chen from Catch the Fire, in Starbucks in Bridlewood; long term supporter and woman of God. Lynn called and told us that our Nu Skin and L-A's 50 2GB memory sticks from Amazon had arrived. She also said that there was a letter from Allianz Travel Insurance saying they weren't paying any of our recent three claims! This was something to worry about. We thought she might have left these items in her mailbox for us, but they weren't there when we drove round. After that it was time for dinner with Lorna and Ray. We spent some quality time with them: quality food and quality conversation. Ray brews wine and beer, and it was good. We also watched the D-Day 75th anniversary ceremony
from Southsea earlier in the day, attended by President Trump sitting next to the Queen - definitely on his bucket list.
Tue Jun 4
8:30 am I was at Bio-Test Laboratory. In 20 minutes I had received both the blood test and the X-Ray, all done with tender loving care and respect. I resolved to give them social media publicity.
10:00 am we arrived at Sandy and Gayle Davisdon's on Island Park. Coffee, bagels and salmon spread, plus great conversation. This was the first time I have spoken at any length with Gayle. A very pleasant time for us, and I hope, for them. We then drove to In Home TV Repair in Overbrook with the Insignia TV/monitor that had stopped working when we first turned it on at our arrival in South Africa 17 months before. No-one seemed to be home, but the door was unlocked, so I left it on his table with a note. Then we drove to Bayshore to meet with
Matthew McCulloch in the 2nd floor food court. Matthew was accompanied by his three daughters Rachel, Miriam and Rebekah. Nary and their newly adopted Cambodian son Jonathan had been unable to join them on this home visit due to immigration problems. It was very special for us three missionaries, who mutually financially support each another, to meet and share experiences. Went to Jiffy Photo and Print to give Mark files of L-A's drawings to be turned into colouring books.
At 7 I dropped L-A off at Lorna's. I returned home and updated our budgetting spreadsheet for 2021 so Carlos could run PFP projections, and e-mailed it to him. He is taking the CFP exam for the third time, and will be pretty busy the next few days. I had left a message on Gerry Hogan's phone, and she called about 8, and I then drove over to visit her - very pleasant. I left about 9:45 and picked up L-A at Lorna's on the way home.
Mon Jun 3
1 pm: met with Carlos and his replacement for me, Katrina, who was his rep at Co-operators. He had studied my budget spd and noticed a numerical typo. We soon got to the key business of switching to iProfile, now that we are within reach, but we must act. Carlos and Janet will prepare all the paperwork for L-A and me to sign on Wednesday.
2:45 - Dr E. He started - even before saying hello - by admonishing me for allegedly raising my voice to his receptionist on Skype-out when she had said I couldn't communicate with them by e-mail. This was a couple of months ago when I needed to set up this meeting and wanted to give him a heads up of why it was needed. Turned out he had read the e-mail but of course never replied. I said his receptionist was exaggerating, and expressed again my surpise that e-mail was not used by his office for communications with patients abroad. He said no-one needs it. I said 'I did.' Then I said 'let's get on with the meeting.' I covered the apparent new problem with my hip replacement, and the anemia.
He gave me requisitions for blood tests and X-rays, and asked me to have my pharmacist fax him with the equivalents to my South African prescriptions. Then I went to the place where the X-Ray lab used to be and it was no longer, but nearby was a company called Bio-Test Laboratory, with CMA logos all around. Turned out they were newly launched, and I arranged to come in the next morning.
L-A wants to buy bulk 2GB memory sticks for loading up with colouring books and Ways to Grow in God, but had been unable to source them until she tried Amazon. Not only were they available, but they could deliver in 2 days! She ordered them.
7:00 pm we drove across town to a KC connect group headed by Teti and Stacy Kabetu. We were the only guests, so we have a great time of discussion in the normal format used for KC groups. Stacy is a dental hygienist and had cleaned L-A's teeth before we went to SA.
Sun Jun 2
6:30 alarm ... 7:30 on the road to CKCU ...7:40 hit total 417 jam near Greenbank. What to do? 8:05 L-A called Dave Leibold on the studio line, and we then did some broadcasting via the white phone. By 8:15 the jam was moving and I said we expected to be in studio in 15 minutes. We were, despite major construction in Carleton U/V, parking right outside the building. Well, it was Sunday. TKOG. Upstairs in CKCU we had part 2 of our interview and it was good. Listen.
We drove from CKCU (taking Dave home in the rain) to Kingdom Culture, now operating in a movie theatre in Gloucester. Scotiabank Cineplex. Lots of welcomes for L-A. Good service, making use of the big screen.
After a sandwich in Starbucks, we went to the 1 pm service at Blackburn Hamlet Community Church. More warm welcomes and a sermon from Pat Coulombe, since Arnold
Mayorga was on holiday. Then on to Source of Life Church and a big welcome from Bishop Godfrey Msimango and wife Gisele - and all the others present. After worship and praise, I was given the floor to preach on the subject of God's kindness. L-A came up towards the end with a warm segment. Then Godrey spoke to the small congregation - 20? - and exhorted them to support workers in the mission field, and this group
of members in a small black church gave us more than $300! I was amazed. We chatted for a while before going home. Soon L-A received a message that the service was up on Facebook Live. I hadn't realized it was being filmed. Watch here.
One of my actions when in Canada was to buy our regular Nu Skin nutrition - Overdrive and Life Essentials - plus Enhancer which is not available at Nu Skin South Africa, and balancing shampoo. I can get the shampoo in SA, but had run out an been using the cheap shampoo with the dispensers we had bought. Recently I had noticed my hair receeding at the temples. It turned out the nutrition products are cheaper here than in SA, so I ordered four of each for delivery to Lynn's.
We had planned to go to Lynn's to see the Downton Abbey special, but it turned out that the Watertown PBS channel was not showing it, so we had a relatively early night. It had been an excellent day. TKOG.
Sat Jun 1
Shopped for trousers at Value Village to replace the faithful off-white pair that took me through bush bush. I found a few OK pairs and tried them on, selecting one that was comfortable but not much to look at. When I returned to the rack I saw a pair of beige slacks perfectly ironed an my style. They were quite different from everything else in the rack. They fitted very well and I bought them - $11. They were now my smartest pair of pants and I used them the next day for meetings and my talk in Source of Life. TKOG (The kindness of God).
L-A got bras at Penningtons. Unable to buy a British to Canadian adapter for our main power bar.
Went to the funeral of Brian Wilkie's son/daughter Robert/Ember, 29, Don Hutchinson and Brian led the service with dignity and love. We had a great chat with Don - he is a kind of Andrew White reconciler, working particularly in China.
Posted tomorrow's GNiTM. Prepared my talk for Source of Life Church tomorrow.
Fri May 31
At noon went to pick up our old Tom Tom GPS which we are borrowing back from Terry Orchard. Heard about serious corruption in his churches in Malawi.
3 pm to see Lynn, and weed out all the paperwork that has come through her mailbox for us.
5 pm dinner with Rob and Chrstine Burr, and picked up the colour pens for MasterPeace from Susan Williams. Really special night - L-A gave an excellent theological talk.
Thu May 30
We rose at 5, and got the 7 am shuttle to Schipol airport. I wore sandals on this leg.
Took off for Toronto at 9:45. I watched the new Mary Poppins (enjoyed it) and then the Judy Garland/James Mason 'A Star is born.' Still prefer Cooper/Gaga. At 3 pm left for YOW.
Diane Blenkiron came to meet us! Helped push our luggage to Budget rental. They had a new Kia for us at the exact price I had pre-paid. We arrived at 38 Polo Lane, Bridlewood about 5. Landlady Saliha welcomed us.
My feet had been killing me all day, and when I took of my sandals I saw why. I had failed to put in my orthotics from my running shoes that I wore yesterday.
She turned out to be a computer scientist with the Fed Gov. At 8:30 I rendezvous'd with Alan Herbert and gave him Laurie-Ann's art piece that he is buying.
Wed May 29
My computer came on line with full connectability.
I went to MacDonalds for an egg mcmuffin and latter for L-A, and an egg mcmuffin for me. Tasted good.
Sent a 'thank you' e-mail to Schipol airport for the excellent service yesterday by Freek and Ganashu.
Tue May 28
Around midnight they served us a rather large dinner. We were pretty cramped. L-A had ordered a special meal. Then L-A watched 'Collette' and I wathed 'A Star is Born,' (Bradley Cooper) which I enjoyed. By the end of the film my tail bone area was somehat unconsolable, and I tried sitting on 3 pillows. We dosed for a while but neither of us slept. The gentleman on my right had put his blanket over his head and his long legs in my foot space. Around 3 am L-A got really worried that she had left the iPad in the gate area, and asked if I would look in her back pack. By now I really needed to walk around the plane, so I stepped over my seatmate, and started walking. Stopped for a pee, and then back to the overhead luggage rack above L-A. The iPad was of course there, but L-A was highly relieved to
hear it. I still couldn't sleep so I watched 'Johnny English' with Rowan Atkinson. L-A saw some of the scenes on my screen and started to watch it too. Then I watch some short films and enjoyed them, and listened to Exile on Main Street in excellent quality audio. Around 5 am the cabin lights came on, followed by an anouncement that they couldn't switch them off. A large and not-nice breakfast was served about 7. After that I sampled the 1976 version of 'A Star is Born,' and I can say I preferred Lady Gaga's and Cooper's acting. As it ended, we touched down. We had got though the night and the longest and least comfortable flight I have ever been on.
Freek, from passenger assistance, who wheeled L-A in a well-designed wheel chair to baggage reclaim, where he was joined by Ganashu, and the two of them took us to the Bureau de Change. I got some Euro and offered them, but neither would take them, saying it was against airport rules. We have their names because we said we would like to e-mail a customer satisfaction report. Then they took us to the hotel shuttle area, and the minibus from Best Western was right there. Soon we were in our hotel room, and very tired. I returned to the airport to buy a dutch power socket so we could get our stuff running. We slept 3 hours and then I was actually able to log into the on-line Gig meeting with Bruno and Jan - but noone else. Although we could do that, I wasn't able to reach other on-line destinations; the wifi was too weak, probably because in the evenings in hotels, so many people are using the internet.
Mon May 27
Our planning had paid off, and it was not a rush to be ready to leave. Breakfast of scrambled eggs (cooked in olive oil instead of butter) and dry toast and salami - we had finished the butter. At 12:30 we drove to Bidvest. L-A returned driving the car home - rare event. I collected an almost new Toyota from Jeanette. She had falled the day before and really shouldn't have come to work, but I'm glad she did, I prayed for her. We had a few items left in the fridge, before I turned it off, which I took over to Yanni, our new neighbour opposite.
Soup for lunch, still dealing with a few on-line actions, and we were ready to leave by shortly after 5 pm. Just ourside the gate I felt for my wallet and it wasn't there. We went back for it. Imagine our situation had I not realized till we got to Cape Town International Airport. We checked in 5 suitcases, though one was empty - it would be full on the return trip. A nice lady appeared with a wheel chair and accompanied us through immigration and on to the gate. We had 2 hours to wait, and I edited archived music files. We boarded about 10:35. I hadn't realized it but we had a flight of nearly 12 hours ahead of us.
Our seats were in the middle of the plane and neither of us had an aisle seat. Soon the plain filled up completely. We studied the KLM in-flight entertainment; good.
Sun May 26
Some (eg Johan) were surprised to see us in church, after our send off last Sunday. Many were very warm to us, particularly Johann.
We attended cell group although arriving late, and Hector (son of Annamarie) and Cornelia were there. Andre had spoken of Hector a number of times. The group prayed for us and I am glad we didn't skip it.
I backed up our main back-up disk to the back-up back-up disk. It would take 6 hours to copy.
Our final semi-official event took place at 6 - soaking prayer in action. I collected Heather - and Godfrey, his first time. Lovejoy came on his motorbike. The five of us soaked and prayed, and some words and pictures were received. Godfrey had an image of a tree, and it reminded me of the Lonely Tree, so I showed them the pictures. Since we wanted to empty our fridge, we served them soup and the rest of the cake, and then we gave them the rest of the perishables from the fridge. This again was a good event to have done, just before leaving. When I was back after taking them home I watched an episode of the Good Wife, so I must have felt we were on track to be ready tomorrow.
Shortly after it ended the disk back up was complete, and I printed the boarding passes that L-A had downloaded earlier when she was checking of plane seats.
Sat May 25
Brandvlei - no guards around - couldn't get in - but eventually did because other staff called out the relevant people. It's funny being locked out of a jail. There were 21 there including 4 new. And there was a remote with the TV, for the first time! That meant we could pause for discussion during the video. It was thought that the power socket which had been unserviceable had now been repaired, so I wouldn't have to use Jan's long cable. But the TV died before the end. Actually the Youth film series on 'Faith' is not the greatest. Instead of rebooting the TV, I received the idea that for the first time in a prison Alpha we should split into small groups.
The men couldn't at first get the idea of moving into three areas, but once they were there, Soraya and I kick-started them and they got the hang of it.
In one of the discussions I mentioned that Christians were persecuted in many countries by atheists, and one of the men could not comprehend how the world without God could possibly work. How else could creation come? They had not heard of atheism! What a blessed country is South Africa!
After the groups, Soraya brought to the front those who would be released by the next time I (and L-A?) would be there with them, 13 July. We had the rest of the men stretch out arms as Soraya and I prayed for those who we won't see again. It was a special time.
We had planned to take girls to the Lonely Tree in the afternoon, but it took some organizing. I collected Jamelia and delivered her to Hooggelegen 48. Then I collected the other girls, starting with Chantelle from OVD. Marsha chose not to come since I wasn't prepared to take Jo-Marie. Chrizelle and Macayla were nowhere to be found, but Britney appeared.
Since she had already been to the Lonely Tree with Jamelia, I dropped her at Hooggelegen 48, and took the other three - Chantelle, Anthonica and Bella to the tree. Everything went well including photography. When we were down from the hill I drove them to McDonalds and left them with ice creams and fries. Then I went home and picked up L-A, Jamelia and Britney and brought them to Mcdonalds, resulting in an amusing event when Anthonica ate ice cream with ketchup on it. I took them home while L-A stayed in McDonalds drinkinf lattes, and it was a noisy ride, but they were very vocal in making it clear they had had a great time. I am very glad we did this, on the eve of our departure.
L-A made an olive oil cake with citrus and chutney, made with incredients we wanted to use up before we left. It was yummy.
Fri May 24
In Science I decided to let them do the simplified exam just to give exam experience. Henena and I supervised each of them, explaining questions and writing answers where they couldn't. We got through about half the questions in the time available. My gut feel was that this would not substantially change the percentage marks already awarded, so I didn't include them in the totals, and announced the marks already collected at the end of the class.
We had an Afrikaans lesson at 3, and said goodbye to Janey, Andre and Nixon. I realized that I wouldn't have time to record and edit the last three chapters of 'Legacy,' But there was time to do the recordings. I sent the unedited files to Jasper just in case for some reason I was unable to complete the exercise (eg terrorist attack!) he could edit them and publish the audiobook.
Thu May 23
Collected the final marks for the science exam. Sinegugu and Paula had been neck-and-neck, but in the end Sinegugu pipped her at the post. Seth could have done better but wasn't giving it his attention.
At 3 picked up both Jamelia and Bella to come to the house for the wifi.
Moses had texted that he wondered if I could afford to bring him roll-on and spray. Spray turned out to be a spay-on body deodorant. After dropping off the girls I went to the mall to get the deodorants for Moses, and then on to the Hospice. I told some staff that this was my last time till July. Chatted with Moses and he was happy to have the deodorants and some bananas.
Back home I completed 'The Worcester Report' for tonight, where we were 'co-guests' reviewing the first half of out mission, and looking forward to our furlough. The final product sounded better than I had expected, and is a worthwhile reminder of our feelings and attitudes at this stage.
Wed May 22
My cold was considerably better. Thank you Septogard!
Music - Helena entertained S, P and D while I examined Paula. Then we rejoined the others and I coved the subjects of music appreciation, and protest songs with the example of The Killers' "Land of the Free."
L-A came with me for the next three items: Riverview kids, Vink Rivier kids club, and a presentaion on Open Doors by Natasha, at 114 Stockenstrom.
Tue May 21
I woke with a streaming cold. But I also had slept though the night and my leg wasn't hurting. I decided not to take my Tramacet and Exineff and see if I could get through the day without it.
We had been invited by Clarica to come to Worcester Primary School this morning at 7:30 as a practice run for a new program she and her husband Louis Le Grange have devised. She had mentioned to me weeks ago in Fairbairn Paharmacy where she works and I am a regular customer that she wanted to bring seniors with skills into primary schools to share their knowledge with young minds. The felt there was so much potential not being used. This appealed to use both, and we had given her lists of those areas we might be able to excite children. We didn't know what to expect this morning, but soon found ourselves in a classroom with about 35 7 year olds.
Unlike the MasterPeace children, these seemed quite happy being unaggressive and quiet. So we had some praise singing (good thing I brought my guitar) and then L-A introduced them to the world of art and colouring. These children still retained a sense of wonder when they heard something new. Although we won't see them again till July, their teacher now has some art pieces that she can duplicate and let the kids colour, and that could even give them pleasure till we get back.
Louis and Clarica have set up an NGO called The Legacy Relay with the potential to replicate this in other schools and other towns, and we were the first guinea pigs.
In art at MasterPeace I examined Sinegugu, while L-A examined Paula and Helena entertained the others. Shopping in Dis-Chem I tried to remember a cold remedy that Janey had highly recommended. And then I recognized it
in the shelves: Septogard. It wasn't cheap (good) so I bought it, and started on it as soon as I got home. In the evening I took money Mella had given me to Janey (wages), ground some more coffee beans, and collected Andre's HP Laser printer that they have replaced because it was incompatible with Windows 10. He thought it would be no use to anyone, but when I said we are Win 7 people he offered it to us and I gladly accepted. After supper we
recorded a conversation about being half way through our mission, and looking forward to home visit. This will become the interview for the last Worcester Report for 6 weeks. One reason I wanted us to do this was it can be a sort of practice for talking to people during our home visit.
I spent some serious thinking and calculating time completing the pfr for Carlos, including giving him all the figures for our situation in 2019 without any AVP.
I had reached the end of the day without Tramacet and Exinef. I had felt a little under the weather, but the pain was easily bearable. Maybe my healing is happening! Interesting, having just bought extra supplies of the stuff yesterday.
Mon May 20
After school (where I quizzed them on the whiteboard slides, adding marks for their exam) I went to the pharmacy and bought enough meds to last me through our home trip. We'll see Carica at Worcester Primary School tomorrow at 7:30 am.
I then went to Joan's Salon for a haircut to last me through our time in Canada.
About 3:20 I arrived in Avian Park to see if Jamelia really had gathered children to start a new mailbox club in her home. She had - 7 - all new. (Remember she had been running a club in another location some distance from her home.) I gave Jamelia enough Mailbox club materials to last until we return. I believe she intends to keep it going while we are away - wonderful! I led the kids in music, and then gave them naartjies.
Bella asked me if instead of co-leading the club with Jamelia, she could start a new one in her home. She already and several children. I agreed, and gave her some of the materials I had previously given Jamelia. She will actually start next week. This is a double blessing. These two are our most consistent leaders, and I believe they truly love bringing Jesus into the children's lives. Both Jamelia and Bella asked me for R20 for electricity. It is dark when they get up for school at 6. I was very happy to oblige.
I didn't drive round any other clubs because I really didn't expect any activity there.
Sun May 19
At church this morning we and Mella were given a lovely send-off prior to her departure this week and ours next Monay. With we three seated in the front row, Johan spoke soothingly and encouragingly as the congregation stretched our hands in prayer support. I have an audio recording. We stayed at the front for worship, and I took the opportunity to make an extended video, since I had such a good view. Laurie-Ann received a word of knowledge, and went to offer it, but there must have been a mix-up because she wasn't asked to give it.
There was drama very near the end of the worship set, as all the power went off. We don't think this was Eskom up to their tricks, but a more local cause. Then we watched and listened as Johan handled the situation, preaching a sermon in the vastness of God's love.
At 1 pm we were at Moksh Indian restaurant for a goodbye lunch for Samantha Jones. It was a fine meal, and free glasses of good wine with it. Enjoyed by Mella, Helena, Samantha and us.
Back home (after a rest) I finalized the science exam and sent it to Mella at her request. It revolved around the photographs of the whiteboard diagrams I had made while teaching, plus a few photos for good measure. I am assessing the children by giving them a mark for anything sensible they off about the image they are looking at.
Also today I started work completing the pfr data for Carlos when we him soon at Investors Group. We are in reach of iProfile, and I think I know how to get there. Maybe I'll let Carlos figure it out so he thinks its his idea.
Sat May 18
We had been asked by Glenda to get to Brandvlei 15 minutes earlier to give more time to getting the men out, and to finish by 10 when the other young convicts had already been playing sports and other games for a while.
This time we had 25 men. Following last week's session on 'Why did Jesus die,' I had brought 'The passion of the Christ' and our portable DVD. The technology worked, an achievement since there is no remote for the TV. We watch the last 40 minutes of the film and of course it was shocking and left them somewhat stunned. Without a word I sang "Were you there when they crucified my Lord? - basicly me singing to them solo. It was approprate.
We discussed forgiveness and redemption.
At teen ministry there were 9 girls + one boy, Waylan, who I think is a boyfriend of Chrizelle's, who spent the whole time listening to music on his phone using our best headphones. L-A and some of the girls made some scrumptuous brownies which were cool enough to be devoured before they went home.
Dinner with Maggie as a good by treat, as we three go back to our countries, at Bourbon Street restaurant, Robertson. Nice waitress: Marilyn, whom we prayed for.
Fri May 17
Early morning prayer , just Louis, Carlo and I. We prayed for Bella. I gave thanks, tentatively that my leg pain seems less than previously, and that, for example, this morming I put my right sock on in the normal way, rather than seated on the bed with my right leg on the bedside table bent at the knee.
I also reported on chatting with Godfrey and concluding that his only recourse was indeed to return to Zimbabwe - R40,000 needed.
Afrikaans at 3. For me this has become more of a social visit than serious language study. But my pronounciation is improving.
Thu May 16
Dental cleaning at noon, delivering one of L-A's colouring book pieces to the hygienist, which made her very happy. She noticed I needed two small fillings, so I made an appointment for next Thursday. Dental treatment is half the price than it is in Canada so it was good we should be fine for the next few months.
Hospice. Trainee nurse - nice lady. Bcause I had texted the link to his CWCP program (even though he has a basic phone) he passed it to his daughter, who passed it on
further, including to the staff at the hospice, making his program our second most heard after Kaysha and Alex.
The Worcester Report had 5 live listeners (a record?) who clearly wanted to hear Kenneth's story. But why it wasn't 50 or more after extensive advertising on social media and Whatsapp groups, I cannot fathom.
Wed May 15
7:30 - googled 'Intruments of the orchestra, and found this wonderful program. This gave me insight into how to handle a dilemma: getting the children examined for music, while not having kidney beans that were prerequisite for the next science exam.
I resolved to teach music in the 9:25 am slot, as well as at 12:30. I drew up a schedule for what would happen in each music class. Basically, after recording the bodhran track for the song "I am here in school," I would give then enough revision that they would be ready to be examined in the afternoon. I then wrote an exam which wouldn't need any questions to be read or answered in writing. But I would need someone to
occupy them in the afternoon, while I examined as many of them as there was time for. The deal person for that role would be Laurie-Ann, and she agreed to do it.
The execution of this risky plan was just fine. My morning science lesson turned music was busy, but we got through it. Each of them played the bodhran while listening on earbuds to the mixdown, and I held the SM58 mic inside the bodhran. We worked through the questions on the written exam. After the class I drove home, picked up L-A, and
took her to the dental hygienist. They struck up a chord and L-A promised her a copy of a drawing for her children to colour. I wnt shopping while she was there. We were 10 minutes late returning to school which generated a Whatsapp reprimand from Mella, since she had some YWAM students looking in and apparently their program was really tight.
I was able to examine all except Paula, and they did averagely well for their ages; however I lost track of time, and Seth's mother came into the classrooom to see where her child was. Each examinee got to hear their song in it's final state on my headphones.
L-A entertained them with the 'Instruments of the Orchestra teaching video, and after that, with singing along to YouTubes. Between us, we made it.
In the afternoon, L-A returned to the Riverview ministry for the first time in months. From there we drove straight to Avian Park to bring
Jamelia here for homework with our wifi. It is exam season so we are happy to oblige.
GNiTM went our as per usual, ie no-one litening except me, and what a blessing it always is.
I finished recording and editing the long Chapter 9 of Legacy, and sent it off to Jasper, who was as usual very happy to see the project was on track and thanked me warmly.
Tue May 14
L-A examined Seth on the art he had learned, and I supervised the other three as they first meditated to soaking music, and them drew pictures of Jesus. Sinegugu was the first to say she had an image she wanted to draw. As she did so, Delivenance
I interviewed Kenneth Schultz at WCC - and had a nice chat with Johan.
Mon May 13
A pop up popped up on my screen when I turned on this morning; a post from a young girl on Reddit that she had been to a concert in Dallas to see The Killers and had had a really great experience. I had heard of this band but never made any effort to listen to them because of their name. I listened on Spotify to their latest song, 'Land of the Free,' and loved it - excellent protest against guns and mistreatment of would-be immigrants on the southern US boaders. I watched the video, produced by Spike Lee, and posted it to FB.
Before this day was done I was to check out several of their excellent albums. We even have one, Hot Fuss, in our alt rock collection that L-A had assembled at Live 88.5. You can hear every word they sing.
The sad part of today was Mailbox Clubs. None ran. The girls don't seem to know why their children have not been turning up. In the early days they would be waiting half an hour early. The leaders' enthusiasm is evaporating. Marsha had told me on Saturday that she would definitely be there to teach the club, but she was nowhere to be found. Maybe she didn't want to face me because she had taken about R7 from the car right after I had spoken to them about obeying the 10 commandments. Even Chantelle was not at her home at 3 pm. I must fire them up again on Saturday with the importance of the work they are doing, and get them to encourage their children to come, or this ministry is going to crumble. Jamelia can't do that because her club is in Geraldo's house, but as I dropped her off she agreed to start a new club in her wendy house, and there are 5 or 6 in her immediate family and friends who would come.
Sun May 12
Church good; cell very good. I shared that I felt there was some wrong thinking in the idea of praying for something long and often, and not making plans and searching for solutions in the event that the prayer may not be answered. It reminds me of the helicopter story. I believe that the act of praying is not only a communication with God, but also a stimulant to our own brains to work out the answer. This generated an interesting discussion.
After cell we picked up Godfrey and brought him to our house for a chat. In a recent early morning prayer group someone had mentioned that (since Godfrey had been away for a couple of weeks) we shouldn't be leaving him with only his prayers for a financial breakthrough. Anyway he and I talked about all aspects of his challenge, and I
learned a lot. Zimbabwe has strong gun legislation, whereas he feels very vulnerable to violence here were he to be try to compete with other jewelers. Xenophobia is not limited to the east of the country.
In the end he convinved me that returning to Zimbabwe was his best course. Turns out that not only gun laws are better there than here. The challenge is the import duty on his jewelry making tools. If he tried to smuggle them in (which he wouldn't do) the police could come at any time and if he couldn't produce import papers for them, they would seize them.
He needs about R40,000 to move his stuff to Harare, where he would be back with his wife and sons. We even talked about crowdfunding.
Sat May 11
Soraya and I got into the Brandvlei Youth Centre, but only 9 of the 14 attenders had attended earlier classes. The new spiritual care officer, Mamali, seemed unable to find the 25 or so others who had enthusiastically embraced the first session. We did have some excellent discussion on sin, forgiveness and the cross.
5 girls joined us for Saturday ministry. After praising the Lord, I condensed the Bible into a 15 minute talk on the really really key events of the last 14B years. It included a runover the 10 commandments, which unfortunatley didn't prevent Marsha and Joe-Marie (new girl) from rifling the small change drawer in the car.
I uploaded the Good News in the Morning talk on this first occasion when it was no longer broadcast by CFRA. I had produced it from one of George's sermons, adding in the thanks to the WoodSource that he had given the last time he
Fri May 10
My science class was different. I took in a computer with the images of all the material I had put up on the whiteboard for each session these children had been at.
I sat them at a round table where they could see the screen. As each image came up, I asked them what it was about, and then several other questions,
awarding one mark to each child who had anything relevant to contribute. By the end of the esson, Sinegugu and Paula had 6 marks, Seth 4, and Delivenance 3 - though he had been given only the easiest questions.
It all went well enough. I will do this several more times, working through all the images, and at the end the cummulative marks can be their exam results.
We had Afrikaans at 11. At 3 we attended the
My Father's House board meeting, designed to meet new board members, but only Kevin (Daley) was there. He hasn't finally decided.
I spent a fair amount of time recording chapter 9 of Legacy, and
scrubbed L-A legs after soaking in the big bucket, to try and soften the skin.
Thu May 9
After school got some med refils at the pharmacy, including the Chela-Fer chelated iron that both of us use, and is available over the counter. At 11:30 had an appointment with Dr Eric who wrote me a prescription for Uromax, and Exinef. I now have enough refils of meds to see me through our Canadian visit.
Jan messaged me saying that on of the people she thiught would make a good MFH director had turned us down because of business, so could I phone the next on on my list. I was lucky enough to reach Theresa Rossouw from Toeflug, who seems always full of energy, and she expressed significant interest, but wasn't able to join us for tomorrow's board meeting.
Mario's interview was easy to produce; hardly any editing necessary for the program. There was enough room to play one of the songs off the new Hillsong disk, and I chose 'Might sound wild' which may be my favourite on the album. The program went out smoothly, and we had 4 listeners live, more than usual, for Mario's interview. I had alerted his YWAM colleagues.
Wed May 8
National/provincial election day in South Africa, and a bank (and school) holiday to ensure no impedance for the people getting out and voting. The govenment had warned against employers not facilitating people's capability to vote, but some stores like OK Food's still opened. I asked a counter clerk there if she would be voting, and she said she never voted! Apparently voting by township dwellers is not high, probably because of the effort of having to register, and lack of any education about the importance of voting in a democracy.
Macayla had asked to come to our home to use our wifi for her school work, but the word got around. At 3 I left the Riverview group and drove to Avian Park, soon filling the car with 6 girls.
It was a bit of a circus, and we have now decided to limit numbers on their schoolwork visits to 2 or 3. Jamelia messaged L-A to ask why she hadn't been picked up. I had stopped outside her house but she didn't come out. So we told her we would bring her when we took the others home. I did that, and her younger brother came too, and they were no trouble at all.
I am working on recording the massive Chapter 9 of Legacy, and Part 1, 45 minutes and the first third of the chapter had turned out blank. I must have plugged the mic into the phones socket on the Marantz. So I recorded it again. When this chapter is done, we are close to the end and I would love to achieve that before we go to Canada.
Tue May 7
After school, and taking Janey to the pharmacy and then back to school, I drove to Mario Milhomem's home and interviewed him. He has been a missionary all his life, and has strengths in administration, leadership, and strategic planning. I wanted to know more, and he obliged. I think that he also appreciated the chance to talk about these things. He's not your typical missionary, but is a significant mover and shaker for God. He's not all talk and no action; rather leaning towards the oposite.
After art class, we took Seth and his mother home at their request, since she didn't want to be late for work. Then we delivered the books to Changemakers/Boa Boa - personally into the hands of Aubin. Then on to Nuy for lunch and a largish consignment of wine.
Jamelia messaged L-A asking if we had any stale bread that we might not need that we could give them, since they clearly had no food in the house.
I was touched, and decided to get some proper food (meat stew and macaroni cheese) from Pick n Pay, and drove it to her house at about 7 pm. Part of my thinking was that she was recovering from whatever took her into the hospital, and needed nourishment. It was enough for the ~six of them to have some sustenance. Later, she messaged me and said that her mother was very grateful.
Rui called me on Whatsapp to confirm he had received the money via Paypal and his friend Bacar, and asked me if I can send some more now that Paypal works for us.
I listened to the DVD disk of 'People' by Hillsong United and was blown away with the visuals and the sound quality on L-A's headphones. It is presented as one concert and the production quality is amazing considering the energy and enthusiasm of these very talented and passionate musicians. The subtlety of the tunes was now working its way into my aural receptors - every one a gem.
Mon May 6
Only one Mailbox Club ran this afternoon: Chrizelle and Macayla, and I led the kids in praise. Macayla asked if she could come to our house during the week and use wifi for her homework. Jamelia had been taken to hospital from school with stomach ache. I visited Geraldo's house where about 8 kids were waiting. I told them the news and gave them pears.
Marsha and Chantelle were at Marsha's, but no children had turned up. Marsha was also feeling unwell. Several of the girls had been at a sports event on Sunday, and maybe they had picked up something. Chantelle said her children had been told they must find other children to take over from them. I told Chantelle to take anyone rather than noone. Chantelle said she was hungry and asked if I would give her food. I invited her to come and see if we could find Jamelia in the hospital. We went, but
she wasn't in emergency, or the main hospital, but we were told she had been taken to the day clinic (Worcester Health Centre.) We went there to hear that she had just gone home. I went through McDonald's drive-thru to get a burger for Chantelle, and then we drove to Jamelia's house, and she was indeed there, though not looking too good.
At home I watched the DVD of 'People,' listening on headphones. This was stunning compared with the audio CD experience - but from now on I will recapture it with the audio CD.
I called Pastor Mario Milhomem for i/v on CWCP, and he agreed - tomorrow morning at 10:30. I Skyped Dr Esguerra's receptionist and got an appointment for a few days after we arrive in Canada, mainly to decide about my hip pain that came back in January, and to see if more surgery would be necessary.
L-A finished the Boa Boa books! Moment for great joy! She had completed Changemaker a week or so ago. She has worked so long and hard on this for months, particularly recently.
I discovered I had recorded nothing on Ch. 9 Pt 1 of Legacy, a 45 minute section. I must have put the mic into the phones socket. Oh well, I'll have to do it again. I had sent Chapter 8 to Jasper earlier today, and he was happy to get it.
Rui messaged to see if I could send money by 'Paypel' (!) [if having difficulty with Mukuru]. I asked if he knew someone with an e-mail address who uses Paypal. He said yes, Bacar Mussagy: firstname.lastname@example.org. So I sent about $US 14 (Paypay won't deliver in Mets) and he got it!
Sun May 5
To Hillsong in Somerset West. Excellent service as usual, and with communion, which they do on the first Sunday of the month. We emerged from church at 12:50, ten minutes before the end of the final Good News in the Morning broadcast by CFRA. I was able to listen in on the Priv, and felt Brian Wilkie's ending words were perfect for this sad occasion, though he recorded it some time before we knew the end was at hand. I e-mailed him a message of appreciation, and Dave circulated it.
L-A bought the latest Hillsong CD, 'People,' which we played on our drive home, though it didn't catch our attention too much on first hearing. In the afternoon I recorded a long chunk of 'Legacy,' and in the evening e-mailed John Schmidt, thanking him for his outstanding service to GNCM, and asking him if listening to 1000 shows had given him faith. I hope he answers; it's a good question.
Sat May 4
I selected music for Alpha that the younf offenders probably would be familiar with so that I wouldn't need to make lots of photocopies. I prayed with Soraya on the way, thanking God for arranging everything so well; ie assumng He had it in hand. That took faith after the last two Saturdays of not getting in. Soon we were in the room that we had used the first time, and the same young men started coming in. Not quite as many, but 26, of which 7 were there for the first time. The TV was brought in, but the wall socket was still dicey. I had brought Jan's extension cable, but it turned out the socket outside the door was known to be defective. However, there was one more socket in the room, within range of the cable, that did work. When I started to lead in praise,
they sang 'This is the day' louder than my guitar in their enthusiasm! We did 'Amazing grace my chains are gone,' and then had a request for 'Open the eyes of my heart, Lord,' which I was about to play anyway! South Africa loves that song by Paul Baloche. The TV has no remote, and without a helpful and capable member of the group who was able to set it up from (to me) invisible keys on the border of the screen, we would have had no video.
Before the video, I got the names of 7 attenders who had not been there for the previous session. I then introduced Alpha and the first video after the Intro: Who is Jesus.
Without a remote we would not be able to pause for discussion points, so I told them that we would have all the discussion questions at the end.
We started the video. For the next half hour they listened intently. Now, this is significant, because our experience with our girls suggests that very little that they see on a screen will hold their attention. In their homes, most fitted with a TV that is running continuously, there is very little sense of wonder left for any program being broadcast. The girls are 6 - 10 years younger than the young offenders, and maybe it is just in the last 10 years that children have become used to (and therefore not respectful of) day to night TV.
Back to the young inmates: even though most of them speak only halting English, they were able to follow the video pretty well. At the end I gave all of them the opportunity to contribute to the conversation by asking their comments on (a) What would you like to be famous for? (b) Why do you think Jesus is so famous? (c) Who do people think Jesus is?
Their answers suggested two things. They love sports (most wanted to become famous sports stars), and most of them already have a good initial knowledge of basic things about Jesus. I brought Soraya into the discussion as much as possible even though they were answering the questions in English. She took the opportunity to explain some of the finer points in Afrikaans.
I encouraged them to talk to any friends who might not know as much as they do about Christianity and invite them to come to our next session.
Based on what I now knew of them, I ended the session with singing "I have decided to follow Jesus,' which only a few of them knew. Soraya and I drove home very happy with how things had gone.
For the teen ministry, after hearing of my experience walking to The Lonely Tree, L-A suggested I take them on a hike up there. The weather is still warm enough, but won't be in a few weeks. This plan would not have worked if there had been more girls than I could fit in the car - ie 5. The first one I saw was Britney. I told her I could only take her if only a few others were coming. As it turned out, only Jamelia was there. So Britney joined us. While just 2 was disappointing, it also was much more manageable for me, and better than if there had been more than 5. We drove to the golf club. I had naartjies and juice boxes, so they had one of each and we carried some with us as we started the hike. The pictures are here. We sang "I have decided to follow Jesus' beside the tree, and I prayed over them. A man in a Land Rover drove up (!) with his two daughters, and he and I had a good chat. After walking down back to the car, we drove to Hooggelegen to
pick up Laurie-Ann and then the four of us had burgers at McDonalds. The girls had a good time; enjoyed it all judging by their happy dispositions. It was nice to do something for Britney, who is now back living with Veronica her mother in their house, but has missed out on recent Mailbox Club activity. And if she hadn't appeared at the right time, I could hardly have taken Jamelia alone.
Fri May 3
Early morning prayer at Louis' home (across the street). Sean came so I was able to give him the audio CD of his CWCP broadcast. After science class the prospect of a nice long day for catching up with my ever lengthening 'do' list - except for Afrikaans. Andre called and asked if I could pick Janey up after school and take her to the mall for shopping. At 1:30 I picked her up and took her home. At 3:45 we were both back there for Afrikaans. L-A had a lot to discuss and was still going after two hours. At that point I suggested we skip my session (which was just more of what I have been doing the last few times), since I felt Janey had given enough of her time, and we weren't paying her today because she owed me for driving her to the dyslexia seminar.
L-A has been working flat out on the Boa Boa books, yet also managed to do the research on car rental for our Canada trip, and booked it. We needed to buy full insurance with the rental booking because the cover from our Integro policy does not cover driving outside South Africa.
Rui Vasco in Mozambique messaged me to say that he and family were starving in Pemba after the cyclone. I tried to get on Mukuru but couldn't get on - maybe many others are sending money right now. Frog also came through with a less desperate message to say he had arrived back in Pemba from the bush bush where he had buried his nephew to find his lodging house flattened. I heaved a sigh of relief that at least he is safe.
Thu May 2
At 3:30 I arrived at the hospice, with tonight's Worcester Report on my phone. Moses' phone is basic, without Internet or Blue Tooth, so I let him listen on mine using my ear buds. I then did my rounds, praying for some pretty ill people. At the end of that I returned to Moses who had heard his interview. Coloured people have a tendancy to mumble and not enunciate well, and the interview had been done on my phone, but I suspect Moses heard every syllable. I had also messaged Alida Theron with the news of the interview, but haven't heard back from her.
Driving home, I suddenly got the idea of walking up to the Lonely Tree from the golf course. Since I still had the ear buds in my pocket, and the Worcester Report on the phone, I listened to Ways to Grow in God on the way up, and L-A speaks about having a 'secret place' for prayer. You can sense from the pictures that it was a pretty special activity for me; one that I had promised myself since we lived in Fairway Heights. Being beside the beautiful tree was a fine 'secret place' in which to pray.
On my way down I listened to the rest of the program and got thoroughly caught up with the recording of our girls singing songs of praise in our living room a few weeks ago. This will be our 60th broadcast, and all-in-all, for those few who may take the trouble to listen, it is appropriate for the special occasion.
In the evening the program went out without a hitch, although a couple of listeners at the start dropped out during the interview. I had wanted to hear it in the best possible conditions, so I plugged my phone and the big speakers into the Pyle, and located them either side of the TV. I was pleasantly surprized my the relatively good acoustics.
I Whatsapped Thandeka Mbolekwa to hear whether they were prepared for us in the Youth Centre, and she replied that she had been transferred to Worcester prison. So I Whatsapped Glenda with the same question, and she replied that yes, we should come in.
Wed May 1
This was Workers' Day and a bank holiday, so no school or Riverview. I found out that The Vink Rivier kid's club would still be on, after getting Inge-Lize's telephone number from Maggie, so I resolved to be there. Maggie is taking a break from it. I arrived in good time plus guitar, and when the time came for singing some songs, I started playing, and then led them in four songs that many of them were familiar with. Flip and Inge-Lize led the club with almost military precision and the kids
responded with no hint of the bad behaviour that we had come to expect when everything was in English. The younger children couloured Biblical scenes, and the older boys played soccer. I took pictures. It finished at 6 after an hour, and Flip drove the kids to their homes in his truck.
Tue Apr 30
Picked up Chantelle and Marsha at 3, and brought them home. For the next two hours they were no inconvenience to us as they worked on school projects. They used Pink Dell for internet access, and didn't need help from me in that area. The only sustenance I gave them was a cookie as they left. I needed to be sure that these happenings were not just an excuse to claim food.
Our original plan was to see the movie 'Breakthrough' at Nu Metro, but L-A wasn't up to it, and I didn't want to go alone.
After dinner (the rest of the macaroni and gouda, fine by me), I prayed for clarity with my income tax, and then rechecked my Notice of assessment line by line with my U-File tax return. Every line tallied up ... until one line at the bottom: 'Previous account balance: $2,093. Then it hit me. This was the exact amount of my additional tax owing from 2017, which I have already paid, and they had added to 2018! So all was well! Talk about prayer answered. Not only is my tax now sorted out, and less to pay than I had thought, but my method of calculating it with U-File's help is sound. This is important because it means I have correctly figured out how to report my AVP. Furthermore I didn't, as I had thought, need hours to sort out the problem; just 15 minutes. I'm a happy tax boy.
At 8 I 'Zoomed' into a GIG webinar by Bruno Guntelach. It tuyned out to be his first on-line GIG Club (and possible one of the first anywhere). In virtual attendance were people in Hawaii, Zimbabwe, Europe and South Africa. I found it all very interesting from an international viewpoint, since it is possible I could continue GIGing back in Canada. The free membership GIG journey - primarily
financial literacy - is available now worldwide. The paid membership journey requires a South African bank account. All of the people in Bruno's group are paid membership people. It was a good meeting.
Mon Apr 29
The experiment was smashing rocks, which is always fun. I could have written it all up, but they learn more when I spread it over 2 days, concentrating on a good diagram on the white board for them to copy on day 2. This way they hear most things twice. There were only 2 mailbox clubs operating in Avian Park: Jamelia/Bella's, and Macayla in Chrizelle's house, where I led music.
I ran into Chantelle and Marsha on Pelikan. No children had arrived for them. There have been two incidences of violence in the last 2 days, one where a 10 year old girl in a car died in crossfire, and the other where two policemen were shot and are in hospital. This may be the reason the children were scarce today. Jan had given us oranges, so they were still given out and much appreciated. Marsha's sister asked to be taken to Pick n Pay, and kids came too, but didn't ask me for money or food. I found out later they were looking for safety. On that trip we saw two emergency vehicles speeding towards Avian Park as a result of the child shooting.
As I dropped her off, Chantelle asked if I would bring her to our house to do school work the following day at 3, and I agreed.
CRA sent our notices of assessment and I was shocked to see they wanted an additional $2,093. I will go through it line by line ...
L-A cooked macaroni cheese for dinner, but she didn't like the way it turned out, although I liked it fine. She thinks Innovation for the Blind may have packaged gooda instead of cheddar. After dinner I enjoyed The Good Wife as I do each night.
These are the days of cyclone Kenneth making landfall near Pemba, and we are getting messages from boys there that we knew. We haven't heard from Frog in a while and I worry if he is still stuck in the bush.
Sun Apr 28
Church was pretty full, and Johan preached (mainly in English) on the man whose neighbour knocked on his door at midnight asking for bread for relatives who had arrived unexpectedly, as told in Luke 11. Johan pointed out that the main character in the story was not the door knocker, but the children in bed with the householder. Here is Johan's script. We, God's children are the children in bed with their father, and he prefers to spent intimate time with us than serve the neighbour. It is a powerful illustration of our identity in the family of God. We held Soaking Prayer at home at 6. It was a great joy to pray and listen with our regular attenders last night. We based some of the time on Johan's sermon, and some on how best to pray for the elections. Lovejoy, Heather and Chris came. You might ask why bother, but I have come to look forward to and enjoy these sessions where I do sometimes hear from the Lord, as do the others.
I e-mailed Glenda and told her of our attempt to get into Brandvlei on Saturday. We received Whatsapps from Rui in Pemba with reports on Cyclone Kenneth, and from Carlos showing pictures of flooding in Britannia. A little close to home - but I think the 5th floor will be cosy warm and dry.
Sat Apr 27
Went to Brandvlei with Soraya, and we got almost to our destination. But it turned out a fire had been set in nearby cells last night and the same room could not be used. If we used a different room they would have to bring us a completely new set of attenders. With plenty
of cooperation from management we decided to leave it till next week, and leave them with our lists. I though Soraya would be upset, but she handled it well. This all meant that I would be able to join the Jesus March. After dropping off Soraya at YWAM, and getting a coffee at home, I was on the Square in good time. There were about 80 who had responded to the call, mostly wearing white, as I was, and Mario van Zyl, Pastor at Worcester United Church was taking the lead. Sean and Portia were there, but noone else I knew. I thought it was excellent and it reflected well on the churches of Worcester. At the end I found myself in a small group praying for a team of about 6 who would be attending the Burning Man event for the weekend and injecting some Christian content in opposition the the satanic nature of Burning Man.
Walking back to the car, Veronica (Britney's mum) came towards me. She was looking well. She had been released from the House of Hope and was back in her house in Avian Park. She was talking in English quite well. In the past she appeared to have no English. I gave her R20 for bread.
Our teen ministry in the afternoon went well. I presented 15 results of being a Christian. I want to re-motivate those who are a little hesitant to dive into the pool (Alpha-ese). Then they did some colouring of 'Jesus makes all things new.' They love colouring and the results were quite pleasing.
Fri Apr 26
Only four of us at early morning prayer. Carlo's father had died yesterday. At times like that it's good to have praying friends.
Nu Skin came in about 11. I took Overdrive and Life Essentials immediately. Within an hour I noticed an improvement in my state. By the evening I was feeling normal again. Thank God for Overdrive and Life Essentials!
My Father's House extra board meeting to discuss potential new board members was held in the afternoon. Mario, Jan, L-A and I discussed candidates. I had a list of 14 and Jan had 6. Quite a few of mine were people I had interviewed. Jan's were chosen more for their business experience. I gave them marks out of 10, and at the end agreed I call the one who had given 10 out of 10, Kevin Daley, and Jan would call a 10er and a 9er. We reset the next meeting to 10 May, to which we would invite the top 3 people who agreed to serve. I called Kevin later that evening, and he said he would call me back when he had considered it from all angles.
I heard that there would be a Jesus March for the election on Church Square tomorrow morning at 10, and publicized it on FaceBook.
Thu Apr 25
Healthwide this was something of a draggy day. Things seemed to take twice as much energy and with no sense of enthusiasm for the task. But a bigger issue was that L-A had been struggling with tiredness for several days. Although I had been surprized last weekend not to have been laid low by lack of my supplements, it seemed that it had caught up with both of us. Keen Mind had helped for a while, but it's no match for Overdrive.
Jamelia came over from 3 - 6 to do more English homework using our wifi.
I went to the hospice taking a bunch of bananas from home, and then sensing that I should get fresh ones, so dropped into OK on the way. I handed them to Moses when I got there and then began my rounds. The boy with water on the brain was there whom I had seen last week. In the individual wards it sometimes means they are not expected to survive. I took a picture of him while he was looking away. Back with Moses, he told me he thought they may be sending him home soon. I seized my opportunity and asked if I could interview him for CWCP. He said yes and we went into the garden. I used the Q10 and he spoke for 20 minutes, prompted not much by me. He particularly praised the staff of the hospice and their dedicated care. He was gracious in appreciating our friendship. His talk is an eloquent reflection on sudden disability, and the necessity of leaning on God. So glad I took the opportunity.
At 7 I joined a webinar with a small group of GIG's top people, outlining the latest developments. Not sure how I qualified for this, other than my work on the audiobook recording. After half an hour I started The Worcester Report, hoping that our modem would handle the load. It did. The upgraded GIG web site that hosts these new facilities is pretty spectacular. At the end of the presentation we were each asked for comments. I was amazed how matter-of-factly people answered, and at least one had nothing to say. I wanted them to know how special this was so I praised Gavin very highly, who had much of the vision and had done all of the programming. When the webinar ended I listened to the back end of the Worcester report. L-A had not had the time to prepare Ways to Grow in God, so I had replaced it with a rebroadcast of the Over My Head from CKCU in August 2017 when Joel Bernard interviewed me about our (then) forthcoming mission in SA. Finally I ran Part 2 of Chapter 4 of Legacy.
Wed Apr 24
My music class was a bit roudy. At last we had all four learners there to record the words for Sine-Paul-De-Seth. Before starting on the recording, we sang scales. Only Delivenance was able to sing the scale of C in tune with the keyboard! I set up the equipment, turned on the Marantz, and started a line-by-line sequence.
Firstly the treble keyboard tune (played on my phone through the Blackstar), then I sang the words and music without the piano, and then they sang the words and music without me, but watching my lips. We did this for quite a while, completing the tune, and I should be able to make use of the recordings. We were done with 20 minutes of the lesson to spare, so I got out the recorders and after a while marched round the room, Pied Piper style, with them following and playing their recorders to accompany Willie en die Wengspan tunes. Of course, they all blew as loud as possible so the recorders all played at the same high pitch with deafening volume. Delivenance was having such a good time his spit was dripping right out of the far end of his recorder, and over the floor. Eventually I called a halt before someone slipped on it. After they had all departed to their homes I thoroughly washed the 5 recorders.
Checked Nu Skin web site and found that my order had been cancelled. They must have tried to deliver twice when we weren't in. I ordered again. Hopefully it will arrive before the weekend.
At Riverview there was no Mella, just uncles Kevin and Tony and 15 kids. We did quite well. Mella had asked me to take photos. Bhile there the anser to ack home, now the scanner was working, I sent my claim to Allianz for additional recent expenses relating to my back pain. I Whatsapped Maggie to say I wouldn't be at kids club, again. At 6 pm I attended a special multi-church prayer event at the town hall aiming for Godly
interference in the selection of politicians at the forthcoming elections. While I was at this excellent event, I realized the answer to my question to Christian Consensus in SA, and later I posted this there: Time for me to answer my own question (18 April). It came to me as I attended a prayer meeting for the election in Worcester town hall this evening (see photo). I think God wants us to pray that He can then arrange for good women and men in any party and in federal, provincial and municipal government to be elected to positions of influence where they will first discern God's plan and then work for it to happen. Government is not just about law making and spending tax money. It is also a place where ideas are discussed and the best compromise followed. Every member of parliament has potential influence over those decisions. Only God is knowledge able enough to know who those good people are, and how many votes are needed to get them elected. This is a 'from the bottom up' revolution and the future leaders of the country will be from among these people. So pray that God will work through his angels to strengthen and encourage those who will make a difference, and get them elected as a result of our votes. [end of post]. This is garnering some approval. I came home from the meeting shortly before it ended to join a GIG webinar, but then discovered the webinar is tomorrow. L-A had cooked an excellent Russian vegetable paella. After dinner I prepared for CWCP GNiTM. As it broadcast, I found I had included the same original broadcast twice, with different names. I will fix that for the mixdown archive.
Tue Apr 23
I got thinking that CRA may have overcharged me for the reassessment from 2017. When I went back into the tax software and added in the $6,024 UK State Pension, and it only increased our tax payable by $993. But the CRA had charged me $2,092. I resolved to investigate.
After school I drove to Tellyfonics and spoke with the son of the owner, Anton. He unscrewed it and looked for a fuse. He phoned a colleague who found another identical transformer in the shop. I was quite ready to buy it - about R300 - but Anton still thought he could replace the main unit that seemed not to be working in mine. He asked for the input power spec of the scanner. I went home, leaving him my transformer and checked the specs. There should be pleanty of power to drive the scanner. On the other hand
I had been scanning and rescanning L-A's medical insurance claim for nearly 2 hours last Friday, and it had got quite warm. I phoned him to tell him the spec, and the lady answering the phone said that he had replaced a fuse, and it was now working!
We jointly ran the art class at school, separating the boys and girls in an effort to make the more productive with the drawings needed for their own colouring books. After school we took Seth home, but on the way picked up
my Shanken transformer. Anton had found that it used very modern tiny fuses costing R5 which is all he wanted. I gave him R10. I have had nothing but excellent products and service from Tellyfonics.
Mon Apr 22
Received my final AVP 'pension' from IG. Used $2092.58 of it to pay the amount owing on our 2017 taxes. At 9 am we picked up Mella and Samantha and set out on our day trip to Cape L'Agulhas, the southernmost point in Africa, where the two oceans meet. No worries about holiday traffic on this drive, without a freeway anywhere near. We stopped on the way for coffee and scones at a lovely road house. They had three mead-like rooibos liqueurs for free tasting and we bought small bottles of all three.
I had set Garmin for L'Agulhas, but the town turned out to be half an hour's drive short of the Cape. We pressed on, targetting the Cape Agulhas lighthouse. Mella, Samantha and I scaled the lighthouse, climbing several steep ladders to
reach a very windy observation deck. They then walked the kilometer to the actual meeting of Atlantic and Indian oceans, while I went back for the car and drove there with L-A. She of course wasn't going to miss the chance of being photographed standing right on the dividing line, though took energy and courage to get there. We drove from there to a restaurant that had been recommended to Mella, the Sea S..... Beach Hut, right on the beach (literally) in Struisbaai, where I had mussles and the ladies had hake. During our return journey, L-A reminded me that it might be nice to interview Samantha for CWCP, so I asked her, and made a date for that very evening. We got home about 6, and at 7:30 I picked her up and we did the interview. She grew up as a methodist, but was drawn to the Jewish tradition, and now worships with a Messianic Jewish Synagogue.
Sun Apr 21
Relatively relaxed rising' I wanted to put up an Easter message, but the folks I thought I might share one from - the Queen, the Archbishop of Canterbury - weren't up yet. But I found an excellent short video on Archbishop Foley Beach's FB and bot only shared it but posted on a number of Whatsapp groups and friends. To church to find it 1/3 full. Easter and Christmas are not seen as important days to go to church in SA. All the congregation were moved to the RHS, leaving us in translation row very remote. Johan (back after his time in Namibia) commented that we had all be told to sit in the corner for not learning Afrikaans.
Rest of the day just working through my do list and L-A progressing on the Changemakers accounts. My first order of biz was to scan the receipts for medications for my back pain subsequent to sending in the first claim. But when I plugged the scanner into the step down Shanken transformer, nothing happened. I put the voltmenter onto to female input plug to the scanner, and saw voltage. This suggested the scanner was at fault. I was certainly unable to get it to switch on whatever I did. I started researching Epson service facilities in SA. I called Epson not expecting them to answer, but just needing to know if I had the right number from their web site. But they did answer on this Easter Monday! A lady listened told me the address and phone number of my nearest Epson maintenance facility.
Then another thought came to me, and I tested the transformer by trying to plug into it two other devices that need 120v. Neither L-A's electric toothbrush, not our iron (dual voltage) would work. This strongly suggested that it was the transformer, not the scanner, that had a fault. Relief for both of us.
Sat Apr 20
Error message in my inbox saying the e-mail was too big to be received by Allianz. After splitting it into two, which was still to big, I sent it with WeTransfer. I picked up Soraya at 8:15 and we drove to Brandvlei. There was no list of names anywhere. We asked everyone. But we went ahead anyway, and the officer on duty found 32 youth who came to the class. As I led them in praise, two staff battled to get the TV working. The power socket had an intermittent problem, cutting power to the set repeatedly. I fetched pink Dell, my back-up system from the car, but had failed to bring the cable to play it through the Blackstar. But as I arrived back in the room, they had figured out a solution. From that moment the session was very successful. Soraya did a wonderful job explaining and translating. They were able to follow the video well enough even though it is in English. This version is specially made for the South African market, with many South Africans taking part in 'streeters.'
The questions asked in the video produced some
excellent answers - and more questions - from the group. And at the end I asked all those who would like to come next week to write their names on a list. All 32 added their names!
When we drove home we both thanked the Lord for his goodness in orchestrating this better than I had ever imagined.
Next challenge in our day: ministry for the girls. Two of them wanted to bring friends, and since I was still on a high from the prison I said yes please bring them. We ended up with 8, only missing Britney and Macayla. After singing and planning, I played them a series of Holy Week short videos selected from a variety of feature films. After about 15 minutes Bella came over to tell me she needed to return home for a movie night. This was a surprize, but Laurie-Ann came to the rescue suggesting she drive them, leaving me to continue with the films. The girls were quite surprized, having never seen L-A drive before. After she left they asked me how long she had been driving for! Another result of this was that the early leavers missed out on some food. We had fresh pineapple, more bread if they wanted it.
And pièce de résistance, a Lindt Easter bunny which I broke into 8 pieces, one of them for L-A since I had bought it as a surprize for her but knowing she wouldn't eat more than a sample. The girls were quite demanding, and when I started up the Holy Week movie clips most of them ignored them. When I took them home, Marsha tried incredibly hard to get me to give her a rand from the drawer in the car, but I refused because I knew she had stolen from there in the past. In the end she got out in a huff. Yet throughout all this my good humour stayed with me, as it would do for the rest of the day, all a demonstration of the joy I had had from the prison that morning.
Fri Apr 19
Good Friday. No early morning prayer group, but instead went to an 8am prayer service at WCC. I knew it would be in Afrikaans without translation, but I just wanted to be with the 180 or do who showed up. At the entrance Johan was greeting people after his Namibia trip, including me. I noticed Kenneth Schultz was operating the slides for the music by a couple I couldn't remember seeing before leading worship.
I spent much of the day on the travel insurance claim for L-A's boils and carbuncles. The full claim was about 17MB, and although I e-mailed it to Allianz, it didn't make it.
With Downton Abbey now history (except for the movie in September) I felt I would like another daily date with drama and opted for The Good Wife, also available on Showmax. I had watched seasons 1-4 on L-A's DVD set, so today I started at Season 5. Faster paced than Downton!
Glenda called to say there would be a list of attenders for Alpha at the gate when we arrived the next morning.
In the evening we had tickets for Mar Vel, a rocking praise and worship evening at the mall. We had attended last year and enjoyed it. Sadly, L-A was feeling under par, and had a fever, so I went on my own. The evening was very good indeed; a credit to Kenneth Shultz' vision and and organizing skills. Two members of the band were the couple who had played at the prayer service at church that morning. There were another couple frontlining the musicians, plus bass, two lead guitarists and drums. The sound was uniformly tight and the sound engineering did them credit.
There was a number of songs I haven't heard before which I really enjoyed. The audience was between 200 and 250 I would say. Kenneth gave two spirited talks in Afrikaans but the crowd certainly responded to him enthusiastically.
Thu Apr 18
We have run out of NuSkin Overdrive and Life Essentials. I ordered last weekend and am surprised it hasn't arrived yet. I rely on this for my health! (It didn't arrive by Thursday night so we won't see it before Tuesday. Can we survive?)
This was the last school day till next Tuesday, after the Easter break. But only Paula and Delivelance were there. I had brought in the props to make a simple thermometer, but didn't want the older children to miss that so instead I did basic revision with the younger ones.
I went to the hospice in the afternoon, and then took Janey to take her to an abacus lesson; she plans to become a registered abacus teacher as an additional income stream. At 6:30 we watched the final show in the 6th season of Downton Abbey. It was one more powerful experience, but all the loose ends were tied up happily, and I must admit to having a happy feeling for the rest of the night! The Worcester Report with Jan Oberholzer went out hitchless. I missed the beginning because there was 10 minutes overlap with Downton.
The CRA sent me a revised NoA reflecting the UK State Pension for 2017, asking for an additional R2092.58. I decided to pay it after my final pay cheque arrives from IG.
Wed Apr 17
Ah, Wednesday, the big day. Today's experiment, making wind, usually fails, so I found the video of the one time it had worked, sending a whisp of burning teabag into the air, and used that. After school I went to Faibairn Pharmacy to collent the detailed invoices of medications where they had only given me a till receipt.
I arrived at the De La Bat Scool for the Deaf at 10:55 and saw the church immendiately. Soon I was chatting with Jan Oberholzer, co-pastor with Andri Eloff. We had a wonderful time, him giving me all sorts of information about how deaf people worship that I hadn't expected. Andri never showed, but no problem from the point of view of the broadcast, though I would still like to meet him.
Music class was interesting. Here's the report of it I did for Mella: "Teacher had planned a singing session which depended on all four children. But when he walked in to take the class one of them, Seth, was away. Shades of last week. A change in plan was needed, since Seth may well be the best singer.
We started by singing scales with the keyboard: doh re me fa so la ted oh. Something was wrong. I played individual notes and asked the three of them to take turns to sing that note. Both the girls were way off. What they sang was several notes out in pitch. I turned to Delivelance (the youngest, 5). I played a note, he sang it immediately pitch perfect. I played 5 more diverse notes and he repeated them all exactly on pitch.
I set up the backing track and the Marantz recorder. I sang each line of the song along with the keyboard recording and then stopped the playback, and repeated the line, and then they copied me, sort of. I turned on the recorder, and repeated the process a number of times, as they gradually improved. While I intend to wait until Seth is a member of the vocal group, these recordings may suffice in case of emergency. At any rate they learned some patience as we tried, then tried again."
In the afternoon I was in Riverview, but did not go to Vinkrivier. The reason was I don't think they need me as much as I need me for work here. L-A is working all hours on Changemakers, but I sense she sees the end of the tunnel in the distance.
Tue Apr 16
L-A wanted me to edit this week's Ways to grow in God, but when I sat down at the computer at 7:30 I just wanted to file our tax. After fixing one more small issue to do with electing not to pay CPP premiums, everything was clean and ready to file. It took 10 minutes to file both our taxes, and then pay the amounts owing on line. It was done, and I have never filed so early before. Next I checked the subdirectory where I have been saving the photos I take of every science teaching on the whiteboard at school.
I took my computer to school, and instead of an experiment we did revision. I brought up the whiteboard images they had watched me draw in the last few months - we are up to lesson 28. Then I quizzed them about what we had learned. I was pleasantly surprized about how much they seem to have retained, as I reinforced the messages. I can use this as the basis of their science exam which will be happening after we leave for Canada, and Mella or someone else can equally (well partially as) well ask the questions.
I saw Dr Eric at 10:30. He thinks I should get a second opinion to compare with Dr Marais findings. Essentially he thinks that we should fight the small amount of cancer, and not risk it festering. He doesn't recommed an X-Ray her to look at my hip replacement, feeling that it needs an MRI, better done in Canada. He have me a prescription for iron, this time chelated: Chela-fer.
I called Andri Eloff at the Deaf Family Church to try and secure an appointment. It was 4pm, and apparently they had expected me at 2:30. I must have failed to put it in my calendar. However he graciously agreed to reset to 11 am tomorrow. I went shopping for a leg of lamb for Sunday with Andre and Janey and bought it at the butcher on De La Bat street - first time I've been there. Nice meat.
In the afternoon I filed our 2018 income taxes, paying the about owing on line. I have never before filed so early, and techically I still have two extra months because my business income consists of the IG AVP. That done, I reported on line to the CRA that I had failed to include my UK State Pension in my 2017 income tax filing. On the "My Account" facility for reporting previous errors, I could find a way to list the $6,024 of UK pension, so instead I siad that my line 115 should be increased my that amount.
In the evening I finally started on the first health insurance claim for L-A's boils. There were 33 invoices with a total bill R15,470 (around $1,500). Yet the one
medication not on the list that may have given the most benefit was colloidal silver, which Diane Blenkiron had recommended, and which is available over the counter here, though not sold in Canada. By 11 pm I had printed the list. Enough work for one session. It had been a good day as far as getting things done was concerned. But very sadly the day that Notre Dame burned.
Mon Apr 15
Picked up 5 bags of naartjies from Jan before driving to Avian Park. First stop as always: Jamelia's. Bella not home yet. Took Jamelia to Geraldo's house, but there were no other children there yet.
I found children in Chantelle's club, and in Chrizelle's. I gave out naartjies, and certificates, and showed them how to fill them in. They are on the last lesson of Best Friends. I would like all those with certificates to find other children to replace them before starting the series again with Storytime 1. Then I walked to Anthonica's and gave her naartjies, even though she is effectively opting out. Bella was still not home. I drove to Marsha's and found no evidence of her. So I went to Chantelle's house and led them in worship songs. Chantelle video'd a short version of 'I don't wand to be a rock star.' At 4 I was back at Geraldo's to find Bella there -
she had walked, and called for me when she saw me drive past her, but I hadn't seen her. All the naartjies were gone. I drove them to Anthonica's, and asked her to give back 4 naartjies for Bella and Jamelia, which she did reluctantly. I think she and her mother may have already eaten the rest, about 15! I took Jamelia and Bella to the store at the end of their street to buy some snacks before dropping them off at their homes.
In the evening I had a fright with our income tax. After clearing some issues that were preventing netfiling, the outstanding tax bill was more than $16,000! This could cripple us, using up much of our All-in-one credit line which would be needed to fund our ministry after my IG pension ends this month. That is unless significant donors come to our rescue. Furthermore I still must pay the tax on last year's UK pension, around $2,000. What to do now?
I checked and rechecked, comparing figures with last year's return. I sent a help message to U-File, but all I got back were suggestions to check out solutions to problems of other users. None of them had the same problem. Then I noticed something. The business income was exactly twice the amount on my T4A. This could be caused by the system double counting my commission income - adding the amount on the T4A to the amount on the T2025. I got on the phone to U-File. As it rang and rang I once again perused the data entry dialogue on u-File, and I prayed for help. I was pretty scared. Then I saw it. Somehow I had managed to duplicate the Business income file T2025. So it was naturally counting my income twice! Wow, what a relief. I deleted one of them, anf rechecked my amount owing: just $1,605. A week ago I had been very sad not to have a rebate. Now I was elated. That much we can handle.
Sun Apr 14
Brought Chantelle and Jamelia to church. Gave them McDonald's cheeseburgers on the way home and they din't ask for more. Spent a couple of hours writing My Father's House board meeting minutes. At 3:30 we left for Brackenfell to see Brian Jourden bring the message on the final night of a revival event at Sunday night at Lofdal International Church, Brackenfell, where Brian Jourden was the guest speaker. Founder Dr Gustav du Toit. If you watch the Complete podcast carefully, you'll see Brian welcome us, and at the end in the line-up for blessing and personal prayer you can see him gently putting me on the ground. I asked him to prayed for me to bring many more souls to Jesus. He asked for boldness like a lion, and we both roared. At the very end
of the service we three prayed together, including for his forthcoming trip to Zimbabwe to help the devastated people after typhoon Idai, and when Laurie-Ann prayed for him he went down in the spirit, much to our surprize. Brian is afraid of nothing, and his Iris heritage shines through every word and deed.
Sat Apr 13
Second successive morning to rise at 5:15, this time to take Janey to a course 'Shedding light on Dyslexia' in Somerset West. She had paid, but she got me permission to audit the course. Finding the location was interesting because it was on a new estate that didn't show up on our GPS, but luckily did show on Janey's i-Phone. The course was good, led by Nokkie Hartman, and I took notes because Mella had asked me for a briefing. I discovered that I do several things that are symptoms of dyslexia, and at least two of the children in MasterPeace show even more traits than I. For example, Paula sharpens pencils when they don't need it.
We were home in time for me to collect three of our girls for Saturday ministry. We did some soaking/listening/drawing, and then I asked each of us to describe what we had drawn, and then to pray for the group. It was special. Getting them to come with me to their homes took a while. They asked if I would bring them to church tomorrow. In the evening I worked on this journal, then my tax return, and one of the medical claims, so no time for Downton.
Fri Apr 12
Early morning prayer at Carlos; just four of us. Still good, though Sean wasn't there so I was unable to give him the disk of his interview.
I looked at the results of the diagnostic test run on the computer. No problems identified. I went to FaceBook. It ran normally. I tried other programs. Everything seemed OK. What was going on? Whenever I have been through this before I ended up having to replace the disk. I took pink dell back to the TV table and began using the main computer normally.
The science experiment was to show air has weight, by hanging an inflated balloon at one end of a ruler, a coin on the other, and then balancing the ruler on a broom handle, and then popping the balloon and seeing if that end of the ruler then went up due to the weight of the coin. Paula took a video on my phone, and later I watched it frame-by-frame, and indeed that end of the ruler did go up. The jet thrust from the balloon will often nullify the validity of this experiment, and I suspect that's what happens everytime, since the ruler moves very fast.
After school I paid Dr Marais' bill at his office. At 3 pm we went to Jan's house for a My Father's House board meeting. Mario was there. After the problems Jan has suffered from him recently I was prepared for some difficult moments, particularly when we reviewed the minutes of the previous meeting when I had stated that his possible vice presidency had not been ratified. But in fact he was on good behaviour throughout. Before we could read the minutes, it transpired that Jan had never circulated them. We found them in her inbox after I had sent them as a draft for her to edit and distribute. She had assumed I had distributed them.
The meeting covered some key issues to do with the proposed new building on her land, and the proposed sale of her wendy house. I offered to try and fundraise for the shortfall, when we go to Canada, that is currently preventing this project moving ahead.
My computer carried on running just fine throughout the day. I re-produced the original part of Travelling Light, when I replaced the soundtrack that Home Video Studio had given me with a hum-reduced version that James had made from it. There was definitely an improvement. However it was still more jerky than the original. However, the computer has continued running normally. I am writing this on the following Monday morning. So what has happened? There are three possibilities.
1. The priginal problem was caused by an abberation in memory that was temporary. This is hard to imagine with computer technology. 2. The diagnostics have an ability to shut out bad sectors on the disk. If so this is news to me, but would make sense. 3. It was miraculously cured by the Holy Spirit as one more act of protection, and not the first we have experienced since we began our mission.
Thu Apr 11
I was able to load a copy of the Wavepad sound editor onto pink dell, vital to audio production. This would help greatly with tonight's show.
In science I documented yesterday's experiment. There were a few sentences as well as diagrams for the kids to put in their books. After writing a few words, Paula asked me if I would complete the sentences for her. She is capable, but lazy, like many of us! I didn't do it. Somehow they must learn that life is often doing things we don't feel like doing. I visited the hospice in the afternoon. Moses and his opposite bed number recovering from athsma were in the courtyard chatting so I joined them.The
In preparation for dinner I bought bean sprouts, lentils, and added to this cellery and squash seeds and sautéed them. These were added to rice, squash, brocolli and excellent chicken for a meal that L-A didn't have to give me direstions for. It tasted quite nice. The Worcester Report with Sean and Portia went out hitchless, and after it I spent a while cutting an audio CD for Sean that I might be able to give him at the prayer group tomorrow. I also planned to take the main computer to PC Partz for a new disk, but then decided to run all the diagnostics to save them the time of doing so. I searched on Google to remind me that as it came up from 'off' I must repeatedly press F12 (with this particular machine). I ran the quick test, and nothing showed up. So overnight I ran the detailed test.
Wed Apr 10
In science we completed the model of the solar system, and did the next experiment: showing hot air expanding in a bottle and inflating a balloon. I managed to figure out how to fix the model solar system on the wall. I was at Dr Marais' office at 11:30 for a follow-up meeting after my procedures last Thursday. The colonoscopy had shown very early signs of moving towards cancer. In the prostate they had taken 7 biopsies and one of them was cancerous. In all, 16 biopsies were done. (Did all of these come out via my penis? No wonder it bled a little!) Dr Marais felt that cancer in only one of 16 biopsies at my age does not justify treatment. My PSA is a little high: 9.46, but again he stressed ther is low cancer risk. He suggested that in Canada I should have an MR scan of the prostate to confirm these results. I now need a further discussion with Dr. Eric to see where we should next seek a cause for my anaemia. While the iron supplements meake me feel fine, there may be a problem elsewhere,
eg my stomach. Back at school for music I found to my dismay that Paula and Delivenance had been taken home early. I had planned to record the voice track for our song, with all four of then singing. Now I could not do this. So instead I used the time to discover the best way of recording voice. Seth can sing on pitch with a pure tone; Sinegugu not so much. We kept at it for half an hour but never achieved a good recording. By the end neither of them were co-operating. However, I figured out that the way to do it whan I have all four of them will be for me to sing each line and then they repeat, without trying to sync with the backing track.
At Riverview there were two visiting missionaries, and Kevin, who translated for Mella. At 4 I left and drove to Vinkrivier, stopping at the Fourie cafe for a delicious coffee and muffin. They have had zero enquiries about L-A's four framed art pieces, but they suggested leaving them there at least till June when there is some kind of a festival that brings in visitors.
Because of the problems with my main computer I produced CWCP GNiTM on Pink Dell.
Our CWCP-GNITM program was a bust; the .mp3 stream stopped after 10 minutes and the .ogg stream was not playing. I reported this to John Clark. I hope it works better tomorrow. I worked on editing Sean and Portia's interview, using Adobe Audition on Pink Dell because the Wavepad sound editor is another early casualty of the suspect disk drive.
Tue Apr 9
First thing I tested the produced version of Travelling Light now that the computer was defragmented. It was still jerky.
I tried running the latest produced version on our other computers. Still made no difference, Then I had difficulty with both FaceBook and Twitter. The screen kept on wanting to slide down fast before I could update anything. This was looking more and more like a disk failure. I began to back up key files.
The children seemed to be in a better frame of mind today, both for science and art. I broke from the regular sequence of 'Science - in the beginning' to introduce them to the solar system. Mella had produced a solar system kit, so after work on the white board, we constructed a polystyrene model of the sun and the planets.
In art, L-A commenced on the plan for them to produce their own colouring books, and had drawn two elephants for them to copy. It proved hard for most of them mainly because L-A's excellent elephant drawing was not as representational as it might have been for this purpose. Paula started drawing on the white board, and Delivenance noticed and followed suit. He has difficulty in drawing on paper, and cannot write, but what he did on the board was amazing, and fast. I photographed his work so it could be used in his colouring book.
In the evening I worked on L-A's feet. Moisturizing with the Simply Bee products was followed by toenail cutting, returning the favour she had done for me. Throughout the day my main computer had been behaving weirdly, consistent with an approaching total disk failure. I continued backing up all key files, and moved pink dell into the offive from the living room and started working on it. In my head I was planning to take the computer into PC Partz and aske them to install a solid state memory to replace the disk, as I had done with L-A's HP computer a few years ago with great results.
Mon Apr 8
Four of the five mailbox clubs were in progress when I toured Avian Park! Prayers answered! There was time to play music only once, in Jamelia's club. Naartjies were given out to all the children, and there were enough also for Britney's grandfather and extra ones for Bella and Jamelia. The only club without children was Anthonica's. I again remined her to speak with any of her children when she saw them in the street. I told her I was not pleased with her for telling me it was her birthday when it wasn't, just to get me to buy clothes for her. I did not give her a rand when she asked for it, as she always does. It may be that Anthonica is edging her own way out of Mailbox Club.
I had the idea to do some more work on the Travelling Light home movie from ~1979. It seemed somewhat jerky in Power Director. After I had done some intricate work on the soundtrack for the hovercraft journey and the French holiday I produced it so far to see if the jerkiness persisted in the produced version. It did. Further tests suggested that the jerkiness originated in the first stages when I replace the soundtrack with hum with a reduced hum version that James had done for me. What to do about this. First I defragged the computer overnight.
Sun Apr 7
Cell group, where we prayed for the return of the children to their mailbox clubs after the school break. Jan suggested getting me oranges or naartjies for the mailbox clubs to encourage them and show how pleased we were that/if they had returned after the school break. At 2 pm I interviewed Sean and Portia Waite for CWCP. They told of his missionary work, and the very romantic story of how they met and married. They also covered their current major issue getting her emmigration papers from Harare so she can stay permanently in SA.
I cooked the dinner - stir fry veg and beef - with verbal instructions from L-A, probably my most ambitious meal so far as she gradually turns me into a cook.
My toenails were getting long. I was able to cut my left foot, but the stiffness in my hip joint had got so bad I couldn't reach my right toes. So L-A came to my rescue and for the first time she trimmed my nails. It won't be the last time. Even getting my right sock on has been hard, but I have developed a method that worked quite well, placing my foot on the bedside table and then bending the knee to the maximum.
Sat Apr 6
My parents' wedding anniversary and the 32nd anniversary of the day I emmigrated to Canada, seen off at the airport by ex con turned street evangelist John Macer, and Emma Dupigny RIP, from Sierra Leone.
Only one of our teens was there for our Saturday ministry, Jamelia. So she came and ate sandwiches and cake and listened to her phone music using my headphones for 2 1/2 hours, quite happy, while I workd on our income tax return.
By 11 pm, I had discovered that we owed about $2,000 in tax for 2018, and that somehow I hadn't reported my UK state pension in 2017. With My Account, I reported it, and expect another NOA with an additional tax bill of $2,000. The Lord gives - my additional allowable claims for Allianz - and he takes away.
Fri Apr 5
Early morning prayer at Louis'. Just Sean, Carlo, Louis and I. Prayed for the Great Awakening and for more ethics among the leaders of countries.
After school, picked up mail. Among it was a notice to pick up a package at the post office. I couldn't remember what it was but I had ordered something from Amazon about three months ago. Later in the morning I drove to the post office. As I opened the car door a child of about 9 was there calling me by name and asking for money. I asked him about his parents. His father had been killed (he pulled a finger across his throat) and his mother had no money. I gave him R20. After picking up the package and shopping for groceries I returned home. The package was a Hav Splint, a device to correct bunions. I wondered if it would actually work on mine, which are advanced.
Glenda phoned very apologetic to say that Mbolekwa had still failed to arrange for a list of candidates for Alpha, and that we shouldn't therefore come in tomorrow. I said it would be 2 more weeks, because next Saturday I will be taking Janey to a Dyslexia course near Somerset West, and I will be auditing the course. Glenda suggested I visit her to discuss the situation next Thursday, and I suggested I call Mbolekwa and see if there is any misunderstanding that I can help with.
I decided to see if I could get Adobe Audition running again on my main computer. I grabbed the .exe file from the downloads on pink dell and transferred it to the E6530. The first time it didn't work. The second time I did not select the option to keep previous run time options, and it loaded and ran correctly! I was very proud of myself.
We had a day at home together, and after OK Foods takeout listened to some great music while we both computed.
Thu Apr 4
It was a bad night for me. Every 90 minutes or so I was in the toilet, but whenever I tried to pee, something started to come out of my bum, and not much would come out of my penis. My pee stream after waking had been getting slower, but tonight it was the slowest. Around 3 am I realized I should use the mini enema, otherwise why did they give it to me, even though the instruction sheet said it was for the hospital when I got there. It was relatively easy to use.
At 4:45 I got L-A a shake so she could take her meds, and then move. I got in the shower with Bioscrub again. I packed a small bag with things I might need, but the only important things turned out to be the admission card and my ear buds. L-A hadn't driven the car for months and her licence had expired but she drove me to Mediclinic with no trouble. We arrived at 6. From that moment everything happened in military precision with a smile. L-A came right in to the prep room and sat in a chair by my bed on her donut (she was fighting a new boil and a retiring carbuncle on her butt.)
At one point I had 4 nurses attending to my needs for the preparation for the procedures. See pics. Dr Marais and Dr Britz the anaesthetist visted. Dr Britz confirmed I would have a general anaesthetic, as Dr Marais had promised. When the time came for the enema, I suggested doing it myself since I was such an expert from last night (and I had given an enema to Laurie-Ann, so I knew the drill from both angles). L-A sensed that the nurse who had been assigned the task was visibly relieved. I went into the toilet, used the lubucation and inserted the thing. A few minutes later I came out proudly showing the nurse that the fluid level in the plastic bottle was lower. "Oh no," said she, you must use all the fludi! So back I went, and
this time, with the full load of fluid injected, it soon all came back, down the toilet, which hardly changed colour. I had succeeded in the task at hand. The bowel was ready for that little light and camera and anything else they decide to stick into me. We waied another half hour, and they came for me, wheeling my bed to the theatre. At one point Dr Marais did the wheeling (not very well; he nearly hit a wall). Humble man. Soon I was in the theatre, and moved myself from the bed onto another less comfortable structure. Soon the anaesthetist was asking me to make a fist, and he gave me a needle. I knew what it was, but I didn't seem to fall asleep. I looked round the room. I opened my eyes and saw Laurie-Ann. It was done:
colonoscopy, gastroscopy, and cystoscopy. Some of these were done by inserting a fibre optic cable plus a camera and scraper into my penis. The scraper was used for a biopsy of my prostate and to remove a small growth. Thank God it was a general anaesthetic. Now see this in the Canadian press very recently. From City news on OHIP -
In total, 28 medical services are on the list for potential savings including sedation offered during colonoscopies which would save $16 million. According to the documents, anesthesiologist-assisted colonoscopies have increased five-fold over the past decade and the government has questions about the appropriateness of this usage.
Eric Thompson from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada says the proposal is not realistic.
“It is unthinkable to have a colonoscopy without sedation,” he says. “It's a very uncomfortable, invasive procedure, so its extremely critical that patients are very comfortable when they are having this procedure.”
He adds that not having sedation would discourage patients from choosing to have a colonoscopy.
“Any barrier to access would ensure that some patients would opt out of the procedure,” says Thompson. “Patients are going for colonoscopies to detect disease worsening, to see if they have any precancerous lesions, polyps … so its extremely critical that there’s no barrier to access for colonoscopies.”
Goodness I am glad to be in South Africa. I went back to sleep for a while as L-A took some picture of me post op. I woke up again feeling wonderfully relaxed and we chatted about my experience. A nurse brought me tea and a toasted sandwich.
I would stay relaxing for 90 minutes or so. I was given an a post-op anti-biotic, Cifloc 500, and 30 Uromaz .4 Mg capsules to help my pee stream. They did. I asked L-A to fetch my phone and ear buds and listened to both Goodluck albums straight, just being happy. After that L-A was in pain from the boils and we really needed to be going. Finally the paperwork was all done, they disconnected my drip, I got dressed and we left. L-A drove us home.
I still felt good and worked on The Worcester report. We rebroadcast Mella's February talk on Valley FM. I hadn't actually listened to it and assumed it was about the problems suffered by teenage girls here, falling pregnant at school. As I listened to the live broadcast it turned out to be focussed on the temptations faced by girls entering colleges and universities, and how to handle them. These problems are not unique to South Africa. So after the show I re-recorded my introduction for the podcast. It is a broadcast full of wisdom and knowledge. Listen here. If only a few more people would listen in!
Wed Apr 3
This was the day before I would be in Mediclinic for several procedures. Toast and tea breakfast would be my last solid meal. I had all the preparation instruction and followed them closely. Three doses of Picoprep wasn't much fun. All was aimed at making the inside of my bowel like a sterile empty bag before the fible optic light would see it tomorrow. With all that in mind I tried to have a normal Wednesday: Science, music, Riverview. Music was interesting as we recorded percussion tracks for the song Sine-Paul-De-Seth.
We had the treble and bass notes of the tune Sine-Paul-De-Seth that we wrote last week. During the school break, I had recorded it on a virtual piano. This took him some time (quite a lot).
I had brought my main computer and the Blackstar amp to play the recording of the tune with treble and bass notes. The tune was shown on the computer screen using Adobe Audition and they could see the sound waveforms as they listened to the tune.
I had also brought some ear buds and the Marantz digital recorder. We had some percussion instruments – tambourines, and triangles. We learned a little about playing them.
As each learner in turn listened to the tune played on the computer, through ear buds, they played one percussion instrument, and I made recordings on the Marantz.
About 25 recordings were made altogether. I said I would choose the best ones to add on additional channels on Audio Audition.
Initially the children tend to play a rhythm that matches all the notes in the tune. They learned that what is required at this stage is just accentuating the key beats in the bar. The children are learning about composition and audio recording.
They are also seeing sound waves on the computer screen while hearing them. This will help in science classes. At the end of the class I was pleasantly surprized to discover that I was no longer taking Paula and Delivenance home; they went with Sinegugu.
I went home but not for lunch! I took the computer to Riverview. This was Tanya's final appearance and photos were taken of her with the kids. At the end of the ministry I played the Bainskloof video to them. I needn't have had a sound track at all for them; they yelped and laughed so much seeing themselves and their friends on the screen. Mella hadn't seen the film yet - she couldn't get it to run on her phone.
I tried to produce the CWCP - GNITM program for tonight, but in the process Adobe Audition crashed. This could be serious. I use the free version of Adobe Audition 3 and have successfully reloaded it in the past. There is a special serial number needed for it, and a lot of posts on line from people trying to load it. There were some suggested serial numbers there but none worked. By now I was worried; this could seriously hurt all our broadcasting. I searched on my 'Allstream' file and Hallelujah the serial number was there. I keyed it in, and Audition loaded and ran correctly. I got the program ready well before broadcast time.
I tried to drink lots of fluids, not my favourite occupation. L-A made me broth, and I could eat yellow jelly and drink Energade. I had a shower with Bioscrub. We went to bed early - I set the alarm for 4:45 - but I was up several times more before midnight as nature and a mini enema worked their magic.
Tue Apr 2
Back to school. I have missed the kids and was glad to see them. Tanya (but not Mella) there when I arrived. Science went fine. I had an idea. I should make a file of all the photos I take of the notes I put up on the whiteboard, and use them for revision and exam purposes.
L-A and I returned for art class at 1 and they were very happy to see her. I was happy to see her there after the vicious medical issues she has experienced since we were last in school. During the class she had a brainwave. She would replicate her ideas for a colouring book and show the children that they too can create a colouring book each. This would give them a specific objective that they are capable of and which in the future they could repeat as their skills developed.
It is now 3 months since we started the claim with Allianz for L-A's boils, and I should now do so. I called them and got some good news; since the problem is continuing, I can feed in further invoices after the 3 month initial period. Furthermore, I can also feed in the receipts for my anti-inflamatories and painkillers even though I have received payment for the initial 3 month claim. This is good news.
Mon Apr 1
Instead of supervising mailbox clubs, it still being school break, I took Bella and her sister to get Bella's birthday present. After much searching in the mall it turned out to be a jean jacket - the version from the store window with fashionable rips all over it. The price was much higher than I had paid for other girl's birthdays, but her sister had given her R90, and I agreed if that was put towards the jacket. Bella told me that Anthonica had lied about her birthday just to get clothes from me. I will need Soloman's
wisdom to deal with this. My initial indication is to cancel future birthday trips, but I don't want Anthonica targeted by the others.
Sun Mar 31
Every so often the Iris Western Cape group of missionaries and friends gets together for fellowship, praise and worship, and food. Maggie had organized such a day today.
We took Tanya with us, and my guitar. Good that I took the guitar because first item on the agenda was praise. Gavin was visiting from Cape Town, and had his guitar, and we played together. Seemed to go down well.
Then we had a time of testimony, words of knowledge and stories from the mission field. We had all brought food along - we had the left over tuna pasta from Bainskloof, and we ate most of it. I guess it tasted nicer than it looked! See pics. Back home at 6 we hosted the monthy soaking prayer in action meeting for WCC. Lovejoy and Heather came. We prayed for the Great Awakening, and listened for God's voice.
I always find spiritual value in these meetings, and I try not to fret that so few others do.
Sat Mar 30
At 7:30 Thandeka Mbolekwa called to say that a key person on the prison staff had been sick this week, so the list of attenders for Alpha had not been done. We should wait another week. I called Soraya who said she was happy to go back to bed. This gave me some time I hadn't expected, so I made a start on our income tax return.
We had six girls attend ministry in our house, including Bella. After leading them through lesson 8 of 'Best Friends' I asked them to tell me which drugs they had heard of. There were about 8. I added cocaine and heroin. Then I asked them when it would be easier to give up drugs: after a few years using, or before starting. I think they got my message. I told them about Debbie, so they knew I had knowledge of the subject.
There was some sort of altercation between Anthonica and the others. I think what was going on was that one of them nade fun of her because of her period.
I said to Bella that I would be happy to take her shopping for a birthday gift on Monday at 3.
Fri Mar 29
I didn't want to miss the hospice so I could confirm Moses had the same understanding as Andre, so I repeated to him what Andre had said in his e-mail. Ww had a good chat - as usual - and then I had another very good chat with Kenneth. Apparently the Proxera Keratoff had helped with his itchy back. We talked about many things for quite a while - the best conversation I think I have had in the hospice. I was leaving when the evening meal arrived, and asked one of the servers why it was served cold. She said that if any of the patients wanted it hot, they could ask. I wonder if they know that.
I received an e-mail from Glenda to say that it would be fine for us to come in tomorrow, but that I should contact Thendeka Mbolekwa - Youth Centre. I had her number so I sent her a Whatsapp.
Thu Mar 28
I had been invited to a 12:30 meeting at Child Welfare to discuss the Steenkamp family: Veronica, Britney et al. This after pestering them to let me tell them what I knew. Veronica had been brought to the meeting from the House of Hope and was looking much better. Britney was also present, and Janine, the carer at the Roodeval safe house. Completing the group were 2 staff from Child Welfare. My objective had always been to get the family back together in their home on Manniken, Avian Park. I soon found out why that hadn't happened yet. Although Veronica was making good progress, she would still need 2 month's more recuperation and 3 months in rehab. For some reason they didn't want her to go to Toevlug, but to one of two out-of-town rehabs that they mentioned. This explained why the children would have to stay in care for another 5 months. It also transpired that Britney had stolen money from her grandfather - probably one of the reasons she had been walking over to Avian Park so often. So now I knew the
situation, and they suggested I should leave at that point. I was impressed with Child Welfare. At 3:30 I arrived for a consultation with urologist Dr Marais. One of the things I mentioned was that my pee stream in the morning was quite slow, but recovered to normal after I had been up for 30 minutes. He checked me out looking for why my iron was low, and from his examiniation said that it was unlikely I had prostate cancer. Nevertheless he arranged for me to have a colonoscopy and gastroscopy at the Mediclinic next Thursday, to make sure. Andre Viljoen and I traded e-mails; he will need to know when Moses has the money in his account, and how much, before they go to the next step.
In prepararion for the Worcester Report, I added part 1 of Chapter 4 of Legacy to the mix, since L-A had not had any time to prepare WTGIG. The program - with Frikkie Boeter went out smoothly.
Wed Mar 27
We were woken about 6:45 by Mella needing her Apple watch and her i-Phone which we were charging for her. She came in and took them from the window sill, knocking my alarm clock to the floor in the process. We got up. I led worship at 7:45, followed by Mella giving a devotion. Then breakfast - porridge with raisins from Kevin - quite nice. While the kids tidied their rooms, Mella and a helper made toasted egg sandwiches for the hike. We left the house at 10:45 for a waterfall. I had always intended to come, but didn't do any research, so I had little idea what I was in for. L-A and I brough our walkie-talkie set into service. The beginning of the walk was downhill via some steep steps to a very stony riverbed, and I called L-A before the final descent. At the bottom of the steps was a very inviting pool, but this was not our destination.
The plan was to walk up the riverbed as it rose to a large rockpool said to me 20 minutes walk away. The children and Kevin, and Mella, found this easy enough, but I was bringing up the rear from the start. It was effectively mountaineering, which with my aches and pains and anemia proved very hard on me. To help me, one of the boys took my plastic bag with my towel, trunks, folded chair and the walkie-talkie. After about 35 minutes of the 20 minute estimate, Kevin took pity and came back for me, lending me a helping hand when necessary. He was very considerate. However, I was becoming extremely tired, as if I had been shovelling snow for an hour. I know this could be dangerous for the heart, but I was also very aware that if I fell and damaged any part of me, I would be a serious problem for Kevin to solve.
So I opted out of going all the way. I lay down on a smooth rock and fell asleep. Half an hour later I felt some energy had returned and made it to a cave mouth that Kevin had suggested as a good place to wait for them to come down. I felt very thirsty, so went down to the small stream of water that consituted this river, and drank. I considered continuing on to the destination, but I could no children's voices, so that suggested at least 30 minutes at my pace.
I decided on discretion rather than valour, and slept on the rock for about an hour. Eventally Kevin came back with one of Mella's sandwiches for me. We chatted a wile. He returned to the group. I was disappointed because I had wanted to get movie shots of the kids swimming in the pool at the destination. Another 45 minutes and Kevin was back with one of the boys. They had decided that they would start back with me, and Mella would bring the rest, with the expectation of us arriving together at the steps. I managed the final leg reasonably well after my rests and was happy to see the children who had beaten me on the downstretch frolicking happily on the pool. I called L-A by walkie-talkie to let her know we would be back soon. I was surprized to have reception - the signal must have bounced on the mountainsides. At last I had a chance to get some movie footage of them swimming, but the Flip video refused to turn on. The batteries had been new that morning, but I thought they must have drained extra fast, so I used my Blackberry for these shots. The last to get back was Mella, not looking too happy.
Eventually we were all back in the cottage, though bringing up the rear I took a wrong turning and found myself in people's back gardens till I got back on track, very weary. Packing up for us was next, but I got it done. By 4 pm we were on our way with the same four we had brought. The car seemed to run normally.
Tue Mar 26
We arrived at Riverview about 9:45 with a trunk almost full of what we might need for the next 2 days in Bainskloof. Mella allocated 4 children for our car: Al Romano, Zito, Sita and Kinwell. Their bags filled the rest of the trunk and most of the space on their knees. It was cosy. En route when I was passing a long truck with the accelerator down, I saw a pall of black smoke through my rear view mirror.
Did it come from the Mercedes, or the truck. I noticed that we didn't have much acceleration after that, but the car was fully loaded. I was concerned at first that we might have problems climbing the pass.
It took about 90 minutes to reach Coaton Cottage, the second last house on the left on the south west end of the village of Bainskloof, the highest point of the pass. Mella arrived 30 minutes later, and Kevin 15 minutes after that, with the keys. Everyone took in their stuff to their beds. We had a room with 2 beds.
We had a lunch of chicken cooked by Kevin. In the afternoon everyone except us went for a hike to a beauty spot, and we were fully engaged preparing the dinner of tuna pasta followed by banana custard. There was no pan large enough for the tuna, so we decided to make two tuna pastas and bake them one after the other. This worked - except that it tuned out there was plenty for everybody in one pan. I had brought 16 bananas because I thought there were 16 people, but there were actually 19. Al Romano sliced the bananas. I guessed the amount of milk, and heated it in two pans. I prepared the custed powder and sugar,
and at the time I judged was right added milk to the custard powder, stired it up, poured some of the hot milk in, and then poured the the mixture back into the heated milk pan, the way my mother taught me. The problem was that it wouldn't thicken. There was too much milk for the amount of custard powder. So I prepared a third bowl of custard powder and sugar. With this added, the custard finally decided to set. I poured it into the 16 bowls and took it into the dining room. I was the first to try it - it tasted fine! Towards the end, Kevin asked if I had some for the three who were washing up. I handn't. One of them didn't want it, and the other two
shared Kevin's, which had been augmented by someone elses. In the evening L-A gave a class on prophetic art, which was well received, and they were all colouring some of her drawings before long. She had long wanted to do this for the Riverview kids, but the windy spot by the dry swimming pool where the Wednesday ministry meets is unsuitable for an art class. During the evening Mella discovered she had lost her drivers licence, R 400 and some cosmetics. Syrita had carried one of her bags at some point during the day which contained the licence and the money, and she thought it might have fallen out of the bag. This episode cast a pall over the event.
Mon Mar 25
Looked up John Flynn on line, after having played his 'Hope Sleeps' last Thursday on CWCP. He has about 8 albums and is still very active. One of the Alpbums is all Christian content, but his view of religion, based on song titles, seems to be that all religions are valid. Found his FaceBook and messaged him with the link from CWCP. Got a message back 2 days later - 'Honored.'
At 3 picked up Anthonica for her birthday shopping. Cay-Lene came too. In the end she got some pyjamas, and instead of a small cake preferred donuts. Spent the evening packing for the outing to Bainskloof.
Sun Mar 24
When I got up the We Transfer was only 75% complete. I had arranged with Nicky Rabie that she would bring a memory stuck to church so I could give her recordings from Legacy. By 8:45 the transfer was done and I packed up the computer.
L-A was not up to churchgoing this morning. I went to Avian Park to pick up the girls for church, and came back with Jamelia, Anthonica, Cay-Lene and Sherick. I am excited to have a boy, Sherick, among them. Unfortunately, since it is school break, there was no kinderkerk. I couldn't see Nicky Rabie. After worship, the leader felt called to bring all the children to the front of the church. There were many from the Over Hex church plant. Our group joined them. Then most of
the congregation came forward and laid hands either on them or stretched towards them. This will have been special for our four. The preacher was 'Ziggie,' an evangelist originally from East Germany. She held an alter call at the end for those wanting prayer. Only Jamelia stayed for the sermon. The others went out and presumably sat in Milk & Honey. I bought them pies from Shoprite on the way back to their homes.
At 3 pm I arrived at Ebrahim's house for a filming session. He wants to make a documentary taking a look back at his years as a gangster. We went to locations where he and his gangster friends used to plan their exploits, and where he had stabbed someone for the first time at the age of 12. We will record his narration later. He knows many people there, but seems not to have enemies, considering his abandoning of the life of crime. Nicky sent me a Whatsapp apologizing for forgetting our date in church to give her the 'legacy' files. Although it
was a lot of effort to get chapter 7 done last night, I probably wouldn't have made the effort if I wouldn't have been expecting to give charper 7 (and the rest) to Nicky.
Sat Mar 23
Glenda had not got back to me yet. But getting back is not her strong suit so I went in with Soraya anyway. We arrived at the Youth Centre about 8:55. The men were having a great game of soccer and other outdoor activities were taking place. We were totally unexpected, but the guards were welcoming. Pieter Beukes told us there was no one there from Spiritual Care, so we wouldn't be able to go in today. He recommended I speak with Glenda. We would need a list of inmates to be called out before we could run a course. So we were escorted back to the gate. Soraya's comment: "That was a waste of her time. I could have spent it with my boys." I said nothing. I didn't feel it was a waste of time, and it had allowed us some orientation. I took Soraya home to YWAM.
At 3 pm I was in Avian Park to tell the girls that we wouldn't be able to have them up to our place today because L-A was not well enough. Britney, Sherick and Cay-Lene were with Anthonica. They asked it they could go to church tomorrow. I drove on to Jamelia's and told her. Then returned home.
At the Hooggelegen gate I stopped for mail and spoke to Ebrahim. He told me he wanted to make a documentary video, going back to the Avian Park locations where
his miss-spent youth had rolled out. After some discussion I said I would help him. We agreed to start the project Sunday afternoon at 3, and I would bring my filming equipment.
For dinner, L-A cooked a wonderful stir fry. We communicated with Kevin on details for the Bains Kloof outing next week. I completed the editing of chapters 6 and 7 of Legacy, and sent them off to Jasper. Overnight I sent the second half of 'Compelled by Love' by We Transfer to Lise in Cape Town. It would take 7 hours.
Fri Mar 22
Went to the mall. L-A had said Clicks sells Body Shop products, but load was being shed and Clicks was shut. Dis-Chem has a generator so I asked advice at their skin care counter. She recommended Proxera Keratoff. Its claim to fame was no colorings, alergens etc, could be used on the whole body, and the price was reasonable - R 110. I photograped the box in the store. Then went to Pick n Pay for some bananas and peaches for Moses. I went to the hospice and delivered the goods. Kenneth and Moses were happy! It was only when I got home and showed the photograph to L-A that we found that mineral oil was the #1 ingredient in Proxera. It would be hardly better than the Vaseline Kenneth had been given. As a long term moisturizer, it would fail. Hope that in the short term ir takes away his back itch.
Thu Mar 21
We slept till 9 - 13 hours! Now that's being on holiday. During the day, feeling fresh, I recorded chapter 6 of Legacy. We didn't wait till the load shedding ridden evening to see what would happen next on Downton Abbey. What brilliant storytelling. I went to the hospice in the afternoon to hear wonderful news from Moses. He had sat in the hospice garden the day before with Andre Viljoen, who had won his confidence, and mapped out the path ahead for him. This was what I had hoped for but hardly dared expect. It should put Moses in a good position for many years.
I also spoke with a new arrival, Kenneth Gordon, with severe osteo arthritis who had been given vaseline to reduce itching in his back, I told him I will get him something better.
I e-mailed Glenda Fredericks to ask if we were all set to go into the Youth Centre on saturday. She said she would get back to me.
At home I completed the production of the Worcester Report, part 2 of Ebramim's story of redemption, and including two songs from Josiah Milnes. Because of load shedding it will go out an hour late. WTGIG is on 'hope, Part 2,' and I added a favourite song, Hope Sleeps, by John Flynn, the words of which fitted perfectly with WTGIG.
Wed Mar 20
With Franchoek off the agenda we hoped for a more relaxing day. The carbuncle needed perodic attention, and soon I was right back into busi-ness, wondering how we could ever have taken a day off! I picked up the Stilpane at the Dr's office, and while driving had a call from Johan to say he was planning to buy a kit to make hydrogen water. This I believe is for general health. A US company was offering an extra discount if he could find two other buyers. I agreed to investigate. Sounds a bit like the water ionizer L-A used for a while in Kanata. Making matapa was the main event of the day so I was chopping onions. While the dinner cooked we watched the final episode of Downton Abbey season 3 - with its shocking ending. It reminded me that not only is the darkest hour before the dawn, but also sometimes after the greatest happiness.
We had everything on schedule when we had a call from Tanya saying they would be held up. Maggie had taken a wrong turning and they had gone a very long way round on the return trip from Hermanus. So we had small helpings of matapa. Then at 6:30 another call to say they would be at least an hour more because of road delays in Ashton. We again said 'no problem.' Around 7 I remembered that Tanya was probably using this trip to move to Robertson and stay with Maggie for a while, so there was no need for them to drive on to Worcester just for supper. We called them again and they were at Maggie's home, and were quite relieved I think at not taking a further hour's drive after their heavy day.
If they had come, their arrival would have been 20 minutes before load shedding. So instead, after L-A had a little more matapa, we had a really early night, from 8, as the power went out. I just didn't feel like hitting the keyboard during the blackout.
Tue Mar 19
I slept though the night, not being woken between 4 and 5 by leg pain, and getting up to take my meds, as I have been for the last month. Maybe it was the Sedatif. I was initially pleased about this because it might indicate a reduction in pain and that might suggest healing. However, the medication takes an hour or so to become effective, so the first hour of my day was less pleasant than normal; some leg pain and slight nausea reducing my appetite and joie de vivre.
L-A woke in great pain from her new boil on her backside, a headache and a temperature of 100 °C. I saw Dr Eric at 10 and he prescribed two anti-biotics, more powerful than she had had previously. He also said he would give me, but, forgot, a kit for taking a sample from the carbuncle, for that's what it is, and a prescription for Stilpane. L-A continued having a really tough time all day from the carbuncle on her bottom, but at least it is in a place where the latex 'doughnut' that we bought is quite effective, so she is able to work at the computer and sit on the couch. I took a sample of the fluid from her carbuncle using a Q-tip and putting it in a small drug bottle and dropped it off at the Dr's office later when I also collected the missing Stiplane prescription.
At 2 I picked up Frikkie Boeter from outsite Innovation for the Blind, plus his guitar. As we chatted on arrival at home I discovered the E string on his guitar has snapped, which would have been very embarrassing next time he tried to play in public. There was a spare string in his guitar case that I was able to fit. He tried my guitar, but his fingers are fat and my strings are closer than his. In the end we used his with his soft pick. I haven't seen one before.
Over the next 90 minutes we recorded 4 of his songs, one with a backing track - Blueberry Hill - plus a good interview, a story like mine, of losing faith but having it restored. Throughout we got on really well and I believe it will make an excellent program for next week.
During the recording I had two phone calls, one from Chantelle, and one from Dr Eric's office. So after dropping Frikkie at Innovation, I went to the surgery and was given the correct kit for taking a sample of fluid from the carbuncle. Then I went to OVD, finding it on the second attempt after phoning Chantelle. She told me she needed a lift to Avian Park. Two children came with her. Once we were on our way she said she was going to Avian Park to collect her clothes because she was moving to OVD to stay with her blind grandmother! She also said she would like to run a Mailbox Club there. She was brought up there and has many friends. This has potential. Unfortunatley she would not be able to come for Saturday ministry at our place. But if I can get copies of Storytime 1 - if it exists - she could use that and wouldn't need too much help from us. It this point my phone rang and I turned on the bluetooth. Laurie-Ann was not happy. Our power had run out.
I had failed to add more to the meter. We continued on. Chantelle picked up her clothes and I took them back to OVD, ignoring their pleas for food on the way. At home I tried to buy power from Powertime on my phone, but for some reason it wouldn't accept my password. So I drove to OK Foods. They asked for my meter number. I didn't have it, so I drove home again and wrote it down from the meter. Back to OK, and got the power voucher, then bought more food so we could have a decent meal. We ate chicken kebabs (very good), cauliflower salad, noodles, leeks, potatoes, and filled our bellies, managing this before load shedding. L-A had had a terrible day, and wasn't up to our planned drive to Franchoek tomorrow with Marggie and Tanya. She had looked forward to it for months. So she called them. They decided they would drive to Hermanus and meet us for matapa in the evening.
We are in Stage 3 load shedding, with twice a day power stoppages at the same times. The evening outage is from 8 - 10:30. This evening I edited L-A's 'Ways to Grow in God' recording by candlelight and battery back-up, and she worked at her computer also by candlelight till we retired about 10.
Mon Mar 18
It's always nice to wake up on the first Monday of school breaks. I didn't busy myself too much during the morning, but since load shedding was due at noon, went out before that to Rodlyn's to get copies of Mailbox lessons, and to ComPro to get 15 copies of L-A's drawing of Southerland for use with the Riverview children at our hiking trip / retreat with them next week in Bains Kloof. I made an appointment with Dr Eric for tomorrow to get more medications for L-A.
At 3pm picked up Jamelia , but when we got to Geraldo's home, there were no children waiting. On to Marsha's, and again no children. Jamelia was of the opinion that they had been taken places on this first Monday of school break. The roads were virtually empty of children. It is normal for ministries to take breaks when schools do, to give the teachers a break. At Anthonica's, she asked me to take her shopping. I dropped off Jamelia and returned. Cay-Lene's uncle ws having a wedding anniversary party in Rawsonville on Saturday, and had invited Cay-Lene, with permission to bring friends. This in Anthonica's mind justified asking me to get her something to wear. At the same time she introduced me to a boy who had been in her club, called Sherick, whom she felt had leadership potential. I liked the look of him. I agreed to take Anthonica, Cay-Lene and Sherick to town after Cay-lene and Sherick got signatures from their mothers giving me permission. However, the
shopping trip was not successful. Anthonica couldn't find what she wanted at a price I would agree to. I had given her R 200 a few days before. I ended up getting them all burgers and ice cream from McDonalds as a consolation. It was worth it to build the start of a relationship with Sherick, if he is indeed to join the teen's team. I have long wanted some male content, since they are more at risk for gang recruitment.
On the way home I went To Dis-Chem for more Sedatif, and some items for L-A. Tonight the load shedding started at 8 again, and again we lost the last five minutes of Downton.
Sun Mar 17
We were en-route for Hillsong by 9:30. Done the trip often so didn't use Garmin. As we approached the R 44 turnoff we were passing a large truck that obscured the sign, so I missed the turning. We continued on and took the next route East, but we had lost some time and got to church 10 minutes before the service would start, with many from the previous service lined up for coffee, so L-A went without her latte. At about noon, the power went off from scheduled load shedding. The leaders and the worship team were not phased at all. The pastor gave his talk unamplified, standing among us in the crowd + iPad. It was not a blackout because they opened large curtains on the right of the room. After the sermon came what I was really looking forward to: Hillsong music unplugged. The main song they had oped with at the start of the service was 'Be Still,'
and now they sang it with one acoustic guitar, a sit-on drum and six voices. I have video to prove it was real.
As the service closed we were suprized by Lise Lourens, there in the sanctuary. We were going to spend time with her today but she had said she wouldn't make it to Hillsong. Laurie-Ann had met her on-line since she follows Darren Canning, and they had long been trying to make this meeting happen. She drove us in her Jeep to the Verselegen Estate, winery and restaurant. A historic place. We were lucky to get in, but were given a wonderful location at an outdoor table sitting on couches, which was good for L-A.
We all decided on chicken ceasar salads. For the next couple of hours we talked and talked. So much in common for previous strangers, and brother and sisters in Christ. I wasn't expecting it, but the meal was her treat. Finally she took us back to our car. We then went on to Loop Street, Cape Town, where I had dropped Tanya and Samantha two days before. They were waiting for us. The drive home was uneventful. I was relieved that the hastily organized trip for Samantha had proceded without a hitch. I don't know how much Samantha enjoyed it; she was mum on the subject. Neither did she thank me for making it possible, or offer any petrol money. Maybe being vocally thankful is not part of Afro-American culture.
By 7:10 pm we were settled down watching Downton Abbey, but the power went off before the end of the program. I went to bed, and L-A soon followed. I had set my alarm for 10:30 pm, when the load shedding was meant to end, and sent the first half of Compelled by Love to Lise by WeTransfer, which I had promised earlier in the day. After starting the 6-hour transfer, I didn't feel tired enough to sleep, and L-A appeared. We watched the final part of Downton Abbey which we had missed earlier, and then decided to watch another episode, before retiring again.
Sat Mar 16
Had an hour's lie in, and relaxed in the morning editing audio files of music from reel-to-reel tapes. I have a lot more work before that project is done. In preparation for ministry with the teens I realized I must help them understand the value and power of the ministries they were all running. Six came, including Cay-Lene, but excluding Chantelle, Chrizelle and Mackayla. Spoke to Marco. At our gate said Hi to Ebrahim - two reformed gangsters in 20 minutes. After the girls had their sandwiches we had an extended praise session, where they chose the songs (they still love their old favourites most like 'Open the eyes of my heart Lord.') I set the Marantz to record it all. For the teaching, I started by having them update the attendance sheets, mainly so I would know which lessons they were up to, in case I should have extra copies made.
Then I spent 15 minutes on our vision. I started by telling them that what they were doing was incredibly important. They were chosen by the Holy Spirit to bring the Word to the children of Avian Park, and they were doing it. Nothing could be more powerful for changing the atmosphere from gangsterism to the Kingdom of God. Since this is so vital, it is really important that they show up for their learners on Monday afternoons. They can't just be doing something else if they don't particularly feel like teaching that day. At the end of the sessions they will feel the joy of having sowed into the children's lives. Our vision is an Avian Park where many children would have been through the Mailbox materials, Storytime and Best Friends, and where
Mailbox Clubs will have multiplied as more and more leaders are identified and trained. The gangsters are angry when we take possible future recruits from under their noses and show them a better way. But this can save their lives, giving them self respect and friendship so they don't need to seek it in the gangs. [These things I learned from my recent interview of Ebrahim Samboe.] We will soon have reached the end of our second course, Best Friends, and we will provide a certificate for each learner, but to keep the certificate they need to find another 8 - 12 year old to replace them in the Club. Then we will begin again with Storytime. After laying out this vision for the future, L-A and I then taught them lesson 7, for which we have English versions available. The subject was "Five
wonderful things that happened when I took the Lord Jesus as my saviour." This was an excellent faith strengthener for the leaders at this stage.
Fri Mar 15
My science lesson heralded the school break for me. Back in two weeks, with time to to catch up, and attempt our income tax returns. Tanya called to say she had been trying to reach me by text to confirm that not only would Samantha like to go the Cape Town, but that she, Tanya, would accompany her. I wasn't sure if this would work out; I didn't know where I was going with Soraya. So I called Soraya. The triangular trip was doable. At 3:15 I picked up Soraya, who half filled the trunk. At 3:30
we picked up Samantha and Tanya, with, luckily, not many bags, and drove to their B & B near Table Mountain. Then the 40 minute trip to the house where Soraya had grown up to pick up her boys. On the return trip I treated them to an edition of Good News in the Morning with Jonathan Griffiths. Not sure what they made of it. We were home by 5:30 and Soraya gave me R200.
Thu Mar 14
At 11 I picked up Soraya and we drove to Brandvlei to see Glenda for a briefing on the Youth Centre. She started out by saying the Alrico Cupido was none too pleased about losing us from the Medium unit. Glenda would like us to cover both the medium and Youth, and wondered if this could be achieved by Soraya working solo. We drove there in convoy; it is further down the road after the Medium. We were shown around, introduced, and saw the room we would be in. We will have a large TV with USB input.
They are not ready for us this Saturday. There are few staff on weekends and it's a stretch for them not to have us on a weekday morning, which would clash with teaching duties not only for me but also for Soraya at WYAM. Glenda asked for a desciption of Youth Alpha and our vision (which I was able to send by Saturday morning). Then she took us to see Brandvlei Radio. It was jumping with activity. I met Ridwaan Addams, who i had corresponded with, and his colleague JP Lennert, a radio enthusiast. We discussed several possibilities for us to get involved in the station. He was keen to listen to our broadcast tonight.
In the afternoon I visited the hospice, and of course was happy to see Moses. We discussed his financials, and I said I would introduce him to a professional planner, which I did with a phone call to Andre Viljoen the next morning. By 6, The Worcester Report was mixing down, with part 1 of Ebrahim Samboe's gangster reminiscences.
At 10 pm the lights abruptly went out from an unannounced load shed, and I took pictures of us working at our computers by candlelight.
Wed Mar 13
For music class we built on the momentum of last week, adding a bass clef to the manuscript. The kids took turns to come up with a bass line by disagreeing with dischords and OK'ing what sounded nice. By the end we had our tune with harmony. I took Delivenance and Paula home as usual, but when I got them there I locked the car and walked with them to their home. It took more than 15 minutes. They live near the edge of the informal settlement where there are no road than a car can run on. Finally we got there - a sturdy and quite large metal building; the front a shop and the rear the living quarters. Paula's elder sister
greeted them as I took photos. Walking back on my own was not straightforward. I knew the general direction but must have missed a turning because I was soon walking through people's back yards hoping
no one would challenge me and demand my phone and wallet. They didn't. They said "Middag" in a friendly maner and waved as we passed. My route got me back to the road where I had parked but 100 metres to the north. The car was untouched. I drove home relieved - but happy to have shown the children I cared about them to walk with them.
At Riverview I introduced "I Raise a Hallelujah," and Mella thought well of it to ask that we play it a second time as she
got all the kids joining in with rhythmic motions. Tanya and I went on to Vinkrivier - she had brought a parcel of food for Jenny's family, who received it gracefully. Flip and one of the mothers led the kids club expertly, showing that last week was not a flash in the pan. Inge-Lise was not present. I tried to make myself useful without much success, but it was good to be there, since most of the children know my name. We drove home about 6:30, and Tanya asked me if I had seen a message from Mella asking it I were driving to Cape Town any time, and might take Samantha so she could see the sights. I hadn't seen her message, but I suggested to Tanya it might be possible to take her on Friday and bring her back on Sunday. When we arrived in Worcester, stopped at Jan's to collest the parcel of food for Britney's grandfather, I dropped off Tanya and took it to him. He was clearly very grateful. I doubt he had had a proper meal in weeks.
Then home to my sweetheart, and the GNiTM archive broadcast.
Tue Mar 12
At 10:15 I saw Dr. Eric so he could report on the blood tests. I started by showing him the letter from Western Cape Blood Service, but he already had that data from Pathcare. I am confirmed anaemic, but as he explained, that is a symptom of something else, such as a prostate problem. He arranged an appointment with a urologist on 19 April. For the floater in my left eye, he arranged an appointment with an eye specialist, Dr. Marais. He gave me a prescription for chewable iron tablets.
After L-A's art lesson at school, we were both hungry and went for Chinese.
On our way back from Star Park, we saw a group of young people walking up Deon Britz street, and I spotted Chantelle at the head of them. We continued home. 10 minutes later one of the guards called and asked if I would come and pick them up. There were three of our girls plus a friend of Britney, and about 10 teenage boys. It turned out the boys had tagged along with our girls. Chantelle's story was that she had missed two Saturday trainings and wanted to catch up.
I sent away the boys and brought the four girls (Chantelle, Marsha, Britney and friend) to #48.
After a discussion they suggested working through several of the key points in lessons they are currently giving in their clubs. Since I have an English copy of the lessons, I was able to do this. My surpize came when the subject matter was focused on the process of becomming a Christian, and changes it makes to one's life. It was perfect
for the girls at this stage; they were
refilled through the sinner's prayer with the Holy Spirit. We taught them the three words: Sorry, Thank you, Please as a memory jogger to lead people to Christ. I felt humbled that something I had nothing to do with setting up had yielded such fruit. The combination of Chantelle's enthusiasm and my initially unwilling cooperation had worked for the Kingdom. It also allowed Marsha to apologise for failing to run her club yesterday, just with her presence today.
After they had gone home I found that several of them had drawn illustrations based on Sorry Thank you Please. Bella's particularly deserves a wider audience: see below.
Moses texted me to say he was back in the hospice. Soraya called to ask if I would drive her to cape Town on Friday to bring back Nathan and Josiah for the school holidays. I hinted it would cost me, and she said she would contribute.
Mon Mar 11
I had some concerns about the Mailbox Clubs since We had cancelled last week's Saturday ministry, and not brought any of the girls to church last Sunday. This week, Jamelia's club was moving from the hut in her yard to the home of one of her members, Geraldo. I picked up Jamelia, and then picked up the kids at Tinktinkie, and finally we drove to Geraldo's house. It was a good venue and located within a short walk for all of these children. We had a good session of praise. Next, I drove to Marsha's but noone was there. Then on to Chantelle's where there were several children but there wasn't any teaching going on. Chantelle wanted to go to the library with Anthonica and Cay-Lene, and I agreed to take them after 4pm. I drove on to Chrizelle's but there was no sign of her or Macayla. I began to wonder if things were falling apart because we hadn't seen them on Saturday. There were a bunch of girls I didn't know walking down the street and I asked them if they knew where Marsha was. They said they did, so I
bundled them into the car. We drove along Mockingbird then down a side street, and one of them caught a glimpse of Marsha. I think she was hiding from me. Then, who should turn up but Britney! She asked if I would take her back to Roodeval. She got in the car, and I dropped the other girls back where I had picked them up. I asked Britney if her mother's boyfriend was called Christopher Breeze, and she confirmed it. We drove to Chantelle's, who said they wanted to say a prayer. She told me to come into the house. There were about 9 of them, and as they stretched out their hands to me Chantelle said a longish prayer in Afrikaans and she was praying for me. This was a special time. After that we drove to the Worcester library and offloaded Chantelle, Anthonica and Cay-Lene.
I asked Britney if she would like a McDonald's burger, and she said she would really like a Hungry Lion, so we went there and got her the big mac equvalent, and three cheeseburger equivalents, plus a large Sprite. On the drive to Roodeval, she ate the burger. She must have been extremely hungry because in the past she would have shared it with her brother and sister.
On the way in to Hooggelegen I stopped and checked our mailbox. Halleluja! My credit card renewals had arrived from Lynn after 3 months. This is a great relief, meaning that we don't need to get the bank to courier replacements. In the evening I skyped Solutions Banking and after about 45 minutes they had activated the regular card and the expense card. I gave L-A back her TD Visa which I had used for a couple of months, pumping up her Aeroplan points.
We watched the Christmas edition (double feature) of Downton Abbey. I am hooked.
Sun Mar 10
First Sunday for 6 weeks or so that we didn't pick up children and bring them to church. I hope they won't think we are abandoning them. For us it was necessary to take a break from the routine. Instead we took Tanya to church, gave Mella the neclace for her 51st birthday today, had a good chat with them and Willem Grobelaar in Milk and Honey, and then went on to cell group. After that, three hours at home working on Legacy audio book recording of chapter 5. Mella's birthday party was at 5, and she called me to pick up Janey for it. At 4 there was a serious rainstorm, which will have made the people of Worcester very happy. It made Laurie-Ann scared of walking on the wet tiles of our stoep, and she decided she couldn't come to the party.
I picked up Andre, Janey and Nixon, wondering how this would work, because I assumed there would be large numbers at the party as there were last year, but it turned out it was a much smaller, more intimate gathering of about 8, so we all had seats to enjoy a pleasant buffet and company. Mella was in great form and read us a draft children's story she has written based on soft toy characters made by Samantha. One of the characters is Sinegugu the hippopotamus. I took a group photo. It broke up about 8 and I took home food for L-A which she ate immediately as her supper. We then watched today's Downton Abbey from Season 2, after the first world war, where I was dissapointed to see Lord Grantham kissing one of the servant
girls, who was then forced to leave service at Downton. What was he thinking! Admitedly he was unhinged because his wife nearly died of Spanish 'Flu.
Sat Mar 9
We had cancelled the Saturday afternoon ministry with the kids because of the ChangeMakers books, and now prison had been cancelled, so we had a Saturday off! I slept in till 10, had bacon and eggs, and spent the day doing things I enjoy, including recording more of 'legacy' and posting some recent videos, including the new regime in Vinkrivier with Inge-Lise and Flip.
Outside Pick n Pay downtown, a blind busker opeates on Saturdays. I have seen him often, but today something pleasant in the tone of his voice prompted me to ask him if he would like me to record him and put him on radio. He readily agreed and gave me his number.
Went shopping in the mall for a birthday gift for Mella, and in Woolworths found an African style wooden neclace that I think she'll like. Made some progress on editing 'Travelling Light,' my home movie from 1978. Jason Campbell called - wants to give us $100! He was earning big money until he was injured recently. Had nice chat (after all these years), and showed him how to do it on Canada Helps. I told him I have two of his sweaters here. I thoroughly enjoyed the whole day.
Fri Mar 8
5:54 to prayer meeting where there were only four of us, so more time for each I couldn't have coffee or a rusk, but it didn't matter, I was feeling fantastic (the chicken liver?). Then to Pathcare for my blood test. When you get in their waiting room you can't tell who is next in line so you sit there and when nobody else moves you get up and go to the
reception. Out the back an expert blood letter got 5 phials before I realized she had started. Cost a lot though: R 2,434, which I am not sure I can claim unless one or more of the tests indicates I have something new wrong with my body.
I messaged Glenda Fredericks to remind her about Alpha for the juvenile wing tomorrow, but she replied that the supervisor there was away sick (?) so we must start a week later. Meanwhile she asked if Soraya and I could visit next week for a briefing, which we arranged for Thursday.
Tanya joined us for dinner - a South African special: Waterblommetjiebredie. Laurie-Ann had made this with lamb see the set and it was excellent, and will do us for two more meals each. After that we'll have to wait again for the Waterblommetjiebredie season - they only grow in this part of the world.
After dinner we had a good time of praise and prayer - I played a song, then we all prayed, then another song, etc.
Thu Mar 7
At 10:45 collected Ebrahim Samboe from Avian Park and brought him home to do a CWCP interview. Born a Muslim, by his age 6 his mother had converted to Christianity, and brought him with her. But by age 14 they had moved to Worcester from Cape Town and he was selling drugs in Avian Park, leading to crime as a gangster. Today at 23 he is a security guard. He may seem an odd choice for a security agency, but a reformed gangster has skills ideal for a security officer. I did not go to the hospice today.
We did two interviews, because after the first one he felt he could do a better job. At 2 pm I went to Dr Eric's office and read out my current list of ailments: large black floater in my left eye, hearing loss, right knee can only come half way up to my chest, weight loss 3.5 Kg since the beginning of the year. He gave me a requisition for a comprehensive blood test. Also got prescriptions for Laurie-Ann, whose rash on the stomach has returned. Dr Eric looked at a photo on my phone and prescribed. I went straight to Fairbairn Pharmacy for the prescriptions, and then to Pathcare to arrange my blood test for tomorrow morning. I stopped eating and drinking about 8:30, after an excellent dinner of chicken liver.
By 7:45 I had completed producing tonight's Worcester report, with the second part of the Toevlug interview, which went out till near the end (when there were no listeners) when the .mp3 stream stopped in its tracks.
Wed Mar 6
Picked up Tanya at 8 am and took her to dentist Hofmeyr, whom we had recommended. Apparently his advice was to change her toothpaste to Sensodyne. After school,
I visited the police station, then on to the 'other' police buiding to provide info on the whereabouts of Veronica's assailant on 5 Feb, but instead discovered that he had been arrested 12 Feb. The detective was very cooperative to a walk-in stranger, and I saw the screens about the case. The perpetrator on the police file was named Christopher Breeze, so if Veronica's boyfriend was Christopher Breeze, this is the same case. I reported this to Child Welfare by e-mail, with the name and number of the detective in clarge of the case, Sgt. Wehr, 023-348-6100. and they said they would pass it on to the case worker.
In the afternoon to Riverview, and then Vinkrivier, by myself for the first time in a few weeks. Was amazed to discover a transformation in Vinkrivier wrought by Inge-Lise and Flip, thanks to their facility with Afrikaans and many other youth ministry skills.
Tue Mar 5
Art class at school. Pulled the plug on the GIG recruiting meeting scheduled for tomorrow, but without Bruno and Danielia. Sent e-mail to Glenda Fredericks to say the meeting was cancelled. She would have been the only guest,
Mon Mar 4
Monday afternoon ministry started, as last week, with picking up children in Tinktinkie and taking them to Jamelia's. Pretty full house. Chrizelle wasn't well but Macayla ran her group in her house. Marsha also had good numbers. Anthonica had none, and Chantelle about 7.
when I had returned the first bunch, I then picked up Chantelle for her birthday treat, taking her to Mr Price where she found nice white jeans without holes in the knees. On the way home, she told me that she had seen Veronica's assailant, whose name is Christopher, at #5 OVD. Glenda Fredericks called to confirm she was available to attend the GIG meeting on Wednesday. One of the guards on our gate, Ebrahim, asked if he could tell me his story. Turned out he had seen one of the little fiers I had left in the guard's office, and he had heard from other guards that I did missionary work in Avian Park. In a brief conversation, he said he had been a gangster in Avian Park in his teens, but had been rescued by the Lord and felt a need to tell his testimony. I offered him an interview on CWCP and he readily agreed, and we arranged that I would pick him up at his home on Thursday, his day off.
A letter came through local mail telling me that Western Cape Blood services were confirming the local blood clinic's test that I am anaemic, and giving the results of a number of tests.
Although the letter was dated 20 February, I am not rigourous at checking the mailbox, and am not certain which day I saw this letter, but it was around this time.
Sun Mar 3
We had told the teens we wouldn't be taking them to church more than once a month. We picked up Tanya. I half expected Chantelle and friends to have walked there but they hadn't. This afternoon's praise and worship in Avian Park was strongly promoted. When the time was approaching for that, Tanya wasn't feeling up to it, so we drove to the safe house in Roodeval to collect Britney. She was ready, but when she was in the car I saw she was crying. She said that Jamilie (?), Janine's son, 13, had hit her in the face and chest and she was in pain, and didn't want to go back there. Unfortunatly we didn't take that seriously.
We were 20 minutes early for the start of the event. Once we had a place near the front for our chairs, Britney asked if she could go and get her friend Marsha. I said yes. I shouldn't have. We watched and enjoyed the music and prayer from Marius and friends, and he twice mentioned 'the Canadians.' Near the beginning he sang his song "The Time Has Come," which is the theme song of The Worcester Reports. You can see some of it here.
The program continued till about 5:20. It had only attracted about 150 people, though 10 of them had come on motorbikes (but they left early). Britney never did return with Marsha, leaving us with a problem. We drove to her house and spoke to her grandfather, who had seen her earlier. We found several of the teens including Marsha, some of whom had seen her earlier but insisted they didn't know where she was now. Some of them looked sheepish. We did two circuits of the area where she might have been, recruiting Chantelle to help us. She asked if her blind grandmother and some children could come with us to get them home to OVD. I decided we should do that.
We drove to OVD to drop off Chatelle's Ouma, who seemed a good soul, and pretty old by her body language. When Chantelle returned from seeing her to her door, we drove to Hooggelegen so L-A at least could get something to drink and eat, and Chantelle and I fortified ourselves with an apple. We considered the possibility that Britney didn't want to return to the safe house, where the boy had hurt her. On the way to Avian Park, Chantelle mentioned that her grandmother was only 51! (this prompted us later to check longevity stats for SA - they are some of the worst in the world). As we once again drove slowly down Mockingbird Street, Chantelle suddenly saw Bridney and Marsha in the distance surrounded by friends.
I can only assume that when we had driven off earlier, they thought we were gone for the night so they could relax. News travels fast among the youth of Avian Park, so 20 or 30 of them by now were wanting to save Bridney from going back to Roodeval. Despite this, she got into the car, Chatelle got out, and I drove once again to the Roodeval safe house. On the way out of Avian Park I phoned L-A to tell her the lost lamb was found. Bridney wasn't talkative, but she didn't deny giving us the slip because she didn't want to go to the safe house, even though her young sister and younger brother were there. Anyway, I was mighty relieved, and didn't give her a hard time, other than saying we were very worried about her and had been searching. When we arrived at the safe house, I told Janine
that we had temporarily lost Britney, and how, and that her son Jamilee had hurt her so that she didn't want to return. Her response was that Britney had been teasing him, which I am prepared to believe, although only in fun. When I got home I much enjoyed my chicken and matapa dinner, after which we watched Downton Abbey - a World War 1 episode.
Sat Mar 2
I woke again at about 2:00 am. for a pee, but half an hour later was very restless. Couldn't keep still for long enough to fall asleep. It's a strange sensation, and I have had it once before. Normally I can fall asleep in seconds, but with this condition I had the distinct feeling that I would toss and turn till morning. It was still too early to take my meds - anti-inflamatory and pain-killing - so I got up, pee'd, splashed water on my face,
ate an apple and the rest of the lemon cheesecake ice cream, then a cup of tea and a ginger biscuit, sitting in an arm chair not feeling very tired, but worried that this day was going to be tough. I went back to bed, promptly falling asleep, and woke at 5, just the time to take the meds. The final stretch was uneventful and I woke at the regular 7:15 alarm feeling quite fine. I guess that though I hadn't slept through, I had rested through. A possible cause of the bad night was that yesterday I only took two Tramacet painkillers, whereas for the last week or so I have taken an extra two during the day. I will return to that. I was very happy that L-A soon got up; this meant she really did want to come to to the prison for the final Alpha session with this group.
We arrived about 10 past 9 after dropping off the copy of Soraya's clearance certificate at the reception in the main office building. There were many men crowded into the area we walk through, all awaiting a sports day. There were only 6 at Alpha, including one first-timer. I had included extra music and extra jokes for this last day of the course. The message on video was powerful as usual, and when it was over I encouraged them to consider starting Alpha courses if they ever have the opportunity.
The men and the staff were very sorry to be seeing us possibly for the last time as we move on to the young offenders wing. It was particularly sad to say goodbye to Thandeka, and I asked for her e-mail.
On the way home I mailed the main copy of Soraya's clearance at the central post office and then went grocery shopping. Saturday in Worcester is always crowded, but today it was worse than usual (as I found out later from Britney) because not only was it pay day yesterday, it had also been child grants payment day. There were queues for every ATM. We got home at 12:30 pretty desperate for a coffee.
I left early to pick up the girls because I wanted to have time to take Britney to get some flip flops. Luckily she was watching out for me, and we drove to Tekkie Town where she found a nice pair for R200. Then on to Avian Park for the other girls, just three of them. The afternoon ministry went really quite well. L-A had been nudged by Holy Spirit that we should teach about love looking like something, which I did. The others were happy to be with Britney. It was a good afternoon. After dropping off Jamelia, Chrizelle and Anthonica, I took Britney to her mother's house to see her grandfather. She gave him the left over half loaf of white bread from their sandwiches. She told me he was doing OK, and was very happy to see her and hear that her younger sister and brother were fine. She told me he loves them dearly (and more than he loves her). I took her back to the safe house in Roodeval.
When I got home L-A was at an advanced stage of cooking a beef stir-fry, which we both enjoyed half an hour later, before the first Downton Abbey episode we had had time for in four days.
Fri Mar 1
No Afrikaans today because we had a My Father's House board meeting. Nik wullschleger and Claire Slingers joined us to educate us on their initiative to improve the lot of Avian Park residents, and to see if there would be benefit from some sort of cooperation. There is R500,000 already allocated by the Municipality, but no one with the clout to push through Nik's plan, or any other, so there is a risk that the money will not be spent - or will be spent on someone else's pet project.
Nik explained that the Municipality is reluctant to spend on a pioneer project, but more willing to add funding to a demonstrably successful project. Claire is chair of the Avian Park Community Association, an umbrella group for distributing funding rather than expecting donors to select their own small projects for support. Nik knows that half of Jan's land could be used for something like this, and is already zoned for it. A matter of relevance is a local chool which could fold due to issues between the board and the parents. If it did, their portable (?) classrooms might become available and would suit Jan admirably for her building plan. We may know more after a meeting next Thursday.
There was an e-mail from Glena Fredericks confirming that we could switch to the Young Offenders wing next week, and that I should mail Soraya's police clearance to her. Glenda's message was not very precise, so I also scanned the clearance and e-mailed it to her, and put a colour copy in an envelope in the hope of leaving it for her at Brandvlei tomorrow morning.
Since I had been up since 5:15 (prayer meeting) I had an early night, but it wasn't a good night. Before midnight when L-A joined me I was woken by a combination of needing a pee and my leg pain.
Thu Feb 28
To the hospice with Tanya, but not Matheus, so no hair cuts. Spent some hours editing and producing the Worcester Report with Theresa Rossouw and colleagues at Toevlug. It was 45 minutes, so I decided to keep 15 minutes for next week. The program went out without a hitch, although for the first time, Laurie-Ann was too busy with her ChaneMakers accounts to be able to listen. She (and you) can listen here. She is spending many hours trying to find out what a series of donations from Rope were actually spent on.
Wed Feb 27
The music lesson went as planned, but with almost too much enthusiasm. I played each format for about 3 minutes so they had a chance to really listen. The formats illustrated were: Symphony, Concerto, Opera, Ballet, Song (2 songs both from Africa), Arabian, Chinese, Indian. In most examples the children couldn’t help themselves; they just had to get up and move to the music or dance. Paula and Seth danced together ballroom style.
I had been asked to provide the drink and crisps for the Riverview kids, and there was plenty of cake from both Mella and Kevin. I invited Tanya to join me for the rest of the afternoon at Vinkrivier. We stopped at the Fourie cafe, just at the time when Johan and Marie came through - this was the first chance for them to see Tanya on this trip. The cafe still had the jar of lime marmalade I had bought but left on the counter. No one had enquired about L-A's artwork, hung there on the walls.
The regular kids who have been taking Alpha were nowhere to be seen when Maggie arrived with a refugee from DRC (?) called Grace. We decided to visit the homes of Carmen and Jenny. Carmen's house was locked up, but Jenny and her family were in residence and we chatted for some time. Jenny has been accepted in a school in Nicobela - good news. Her mother was knocking back the wine when we arrived, but sobered up a little to join the conversation. Her father was most hospitable, cutting a bunch of roses for Grace.
I dropped Tanya at Mella's and then remembered I was to collect the R150 I had lent to Anthonica's step father Henry. I drove to the house. Anthonica found Henry. He had the money but it was in the Capitek bank. Four girls and I then drove to four ATMs to try and retrieve it, eventually doing so at a grocery store on Durban Street. We returned to Manniken Street, where I received my R150. While it was good news to be actually paid back in Avian Park after lending money, I hope I am not now to be seen as a payday loan shop at zero interest.
For the first time in three weeks the GNiTM archive went out without a bandwidth problem.
Tue Feb 26
Science and art went quite well. Got a haircut from Joan. Spent some time preparing tomorrow's music lesson, settling on listening to various musical formats, such as symphonies and concerti.
Visited Toevlug Centre for Alcohol and Drug Dependence to interview the manager Theresa Rossouw. As I walked from the car towards the main gate I heard my name called. It was Chantelle, shouting from a window in her school next door. The grounds are lovely with well kept grass and chickens with their chicks running free.
Theresa brought in social worker Louise, and therapist Chrisme, so I used the intermal mics in the Marantz in stereo with automatic volume control. Instead of focussing on describing the facilities, I had decided to encourage them to give their personal opinions about the
scourge of drug dependency, starting with prevention. They obliged, and the interview is helpful, though punctuated regularly with the chickens outside the window.
Mon Feb 25
The YWAMers have finished their month of joining me for outreach, and I'll miss them! So will the teens. So I was on my own for Mailbox Club supervision. This was the first time for Jamelia's/Bella's club to meet at Jamelia's, so I drove first to the house on Tinktinkie that Danelia had lived in till a few days ago. Good as gold, the 6 or 7 children were waiting for me outside. They had remembered! They were also excited to see me and bundle into the car. This would have been a lot less comfortable if Matheus and Regiane had been there. Jamelia had a largish wendy house in her garden that I hadn't noticed before, and there was already another bunch of kids there - in total she had
10 children, with a few from her own family including one young one who danced to the music, as I opened their session in praise and worship. Jamelia filled in my copies of the attendance sheets and I gave her the Mailbox Club materials she needed. Next stop Chrizelle and Macayla, were the numbers were lower, and I also played. Anthonica and Chantelle had no children in their clubs this week. I must get them to do more recruiting. They wanted me to take them to the library, so they got in the car. Then on to Marsha, who again had about 10 in the lovely setting behind her house. I brought Chatelle and Anthonica to see them (and to see what they should have been achieving!) Chantelle announced herself as being from YWAM! I asked her and Anthonica to pray for Marsha and her group, and they enthusiastically did so - a special moment, and a photo-op. Marsha updated the attendance sheet. When we left and drove towards the Avian Park library, Chantelle and Anthonica said "No," it was the main library in
Worcester they needed to visit. They had books to return and wanted to apply to be able to use the library computers. Of course I was happy to hear this. I didn't even know where the library was.
They began asking me to get them some food for the night. I decided to oblige. While they went in I drove to OK and got spaghetti bolognese and juice boxes. Had they chosen, it would have been sugar-heavy processed food and pop. They were a little late coming out, so I went in and admired the facility. When they got in the car they exclaimed "Spaghetti - I'm allergic." I said I would take it home and we will eat it. At this they unwrapped it and tucked in. A few minutes later they were saying how good it was. I suspect they hadn't had it before, but wholesome food is unusual for them.
Sun Feb 24
Today was less invigorating than yesterday. I brought four girls to church - Britney from Roodeval, Anthonica from Riverview, Chantelle and Jamelia from Avian Park. Chantelle and Britney joined a kinderkerk group that went to Church Square and prayed for even poorer people. In Milk & Honey my order of 5 cup cakes was hijacked by someone in the line-up behind me so the girls got half a cup cake each. We all piled into the car, dropping L-A and Tanya at cell group. The girls wanted to go to OK for more food and I wasn't feeling stong minded so I took them. They spent 15 minutes in the store arguing about what they wanted, ending up with koeksisters and blackcurrent juice. There was a shouting match in the car as we drove on: Britney wanted to be dropped of last, and I and the others wanted her to go first. Britney's focus was probably on a pair of flip-flops I had said I would buy her, so she wanted me on her own to make it happen, but I knew the shops would be shut. So I drove to the end of her street and asked her to
get out. Very reluctantly she did, slamming the car door in her frustration. I wonder if this behavious is part of a delayed reaction to the violence against her mother, and the danger the whole family is in. Next stop Riverview, where we waited 15 minutes for Tersia to appear. Chantelle told me I must drive back to town rather than short cut through the rest of Riverview because the gansters would recognise her. While accepting there could be some truth in this, I nevertheless took the short route and Chantelle didn't squeal. At Anthonica's house, Tersia started one of her regular speeches about she was sorry not to have repaid previous moneys, but could I lend her and Henry R100 till next Wednesday. I decided to do so as a test. Should I not get it back I could forever to use this as a reason not to lend more. I again offered financial planning help but wasn't taken up on it, probably because she buys wine and doesn't want me to know. (I buy wine too). I then dropped off the
other girls, and drove to cell group, where in a condition of a certain frustration with myself I told the story of my last 45 minutes. Several well-meaning friends reminded me that the missionary life should be restful and not cram full of taxi-driving and solving the population's food problems. Erick was there and I asked him about his wife Saphra who had called me. Turned out she is his girl friend, not wife (he says). They await a court hearing when witnesses will hopefully demolish the Namibian's case. L-A had been in touch with Leonie to find out if the church would be open tonight for us to host soaking prayer. She said it wouldn't. So she posted that on the Soaking Prayer Whatsapp, and invited anyone interested in joining us to come to our house.
When we got home, we both rested for a while since noone had responded, but we were both up by 6 pm, and Chris Maartens knocked on the door! I later posted on the group Whatsapp: "Chris arrived for our session tonight and for the next 90 minutes we had a great conversation about the local community, and prayer. Let's hope that the necessary arrangements can be made in the church for our next soaking prayer on 31 March. Why not put it in your calendars now?"
Sat Feb 23
One of the very special days. L-A needed time for preparation for the teens' party this afternoon, so didn't come to the prison. At the prison gate I was stopped to sign a form. Alrico Cupido had an assessment form which he wanted me to sign, and he said he would fill it in. Because I have no complaints about how we are treated, I complied. It was healing day. I started with my first public playing of 'I Raise a Hallellujah.' After the video I annointed them all, then asked each in turn if we could pray for their healing. Abdullah insisted he needed nothing healed but all the others had laying on on hands by all and prayer by me.
There were two people waiting at the gate when I left and I took them into town: a guard in the max and his wife.
When I had dropped them off, I bought food for the teens at Pick n Pay, and then collected 'Annie' from the video store. At 12:45 I was outside Anthonica's house, and by 1:00 pm her mother Tersia and boyfriend Henry were ready to be taken to their relatives in Riverview. Both Anthonica and Marsha decided to come with us. After dropping off the parents, we drove to the Mall to pick up Tanya after a massage, and then took all three to our house. I immediately drove to Roodeval to get Britney at the safe house, then to Avian Park to get Jamelia and Macayla, getting them to our place by 2. Marsha and Anthonica were by now making brownies under L-A's supervision, and the other three soon joined them, making for some photo-ops. Soon, Davi and Courtney arrived from YWAM ready to counsel. I briefed them on Marsha and Britney. Juliana and her baby arrived, driven by Matheus in their Jeep, bought yesterday, saving me from driving them. When the
brownie-making was complete, Marsha and Courtney went into our office for the counselling for the next 45 minutes, and Britney and Davi went into our bedroom. Anthonica asked if she would receive counselling and I said I didn't know if there would be time. I started the movie. It captured their attention, particularly Macayla's, who had recommended it, since aspects of it mirrored our girls' situations, and also inspired them that a young person could be very significant. I served the brownies when they were ready and there were enough for everyone. They were delicious! Britney came out of the counselling session first, and I asked Courtney if she was up to seeing Anthonica. She was hesitant at first, but agreed, so they got started. When Davi had finished counselling Marsha, she asked me to join them, and then asked Marsha to recount the day she had taken a handful of sleeping pills that landed her in hospital for four days. It was all to do with an ex-gangster
Raymond, and a gangster Ortolo (?) who had
pulled a gun on Raymond in Marsha's house in front of her eyes. It was all too stressful for Marsha, who grabbed the pills. This diversion may have saved Raymond's life, because he is still around, and rejoined ChangeMakers. Ortollo is in jail. My phone rang. It was Chantelle, asking if there had been any cake. I told her about the brownies. She asked if I would bring her one.
When Annie ended, the girls found a YouTube movie they wanted to watch, and we got through about half of it before it was time for everyone to go home, which I managed in 4 stages: Davi and Courtney (allowing me a further debriefing), Juliana and child, then the girls, and finally Tanya. I asked one of the girls which part she had enjoyed most, and she said "The movie."
As I dropped off the girls I also delivered brownies to Bella, Chrizelle and Chantelle.
The most successful part of the day for me had been enabling the counselling. It was a great bonus on top of the relaxation that the girls and the adults had enjoyed. Laurie-Ann's plan had worked out.
Fri Feb 22
I was on the road by 5:50, listening to George Sinclair's GNiTM talk "Did God Really Say," a masterly exposure of how peoples' ears and brains are often closed to even consider looking into a Gospel they have never heard. This kept me company till the tunnel. I arrived at the airport about 7:20 and made my way to International Arrivals, where I waited with my Smantha Jones notice for 2 hours, when she finally appeared. The plane had been an hour late, and then her luggage had been left in Canada. She had been diverted via Toronto due to the severe weather in North America, and had been put up in a hotel for a night. For one who had never travelled outside USA before, she was remarkably self contained; just pleased to have finally arrived. I drove her to Worcester, and MasterPeace Academy, and then Mella got in and we took her to Napier Street to sleep it off.
Erick Ambuta's wife called. I hadn't realized he was married. This resulted in my posting the following on the church cell Whatsapp: "I am sorry to be the bearer of bad news but our friend and cell-group member Erick Ambuta is in police custody awaiting a court hearing tomorrow at 9 am. The key points as told to me by his wife Saphra, a nurse in the Worcester Hospital are as follows. They had taken into their home a recent immigrant from Namibia a few weeks ago. Recently Erick notice hairdressing equipment was missing from his salon. He kept his eyes open and say enough to convince him that the Namibian had taken them. Erick, in the presence of witnesses accused him of the theft and a scuffle broke out. The Namibian later reported to the police that Erick had threatened him and Erick was arrested. It is likely that the case will be set for a future hearing to allow witnesses to be called, although Saphra will be in court tomorrow and conceivably might be asked to tell her story.
Where you all have a part to play is to pray that Erick will be treated fairly tomorrow, and released. It would be very distressing for them both if he remains in custody awaiting a further hearing. Let's leave this one at the foot of the cross."
Within a short period of time Erick posted that he was now out of custody ... Miraculous fast answer to prayer? or what?
In the evening I drove the Roodeval - Avian Park circuit to take girls to the Friday youth event, only to be told by Chantelle that it was a bi-weekly affair, and this was the 'off' week. So I made us of being down there to remind as many girls as I could find that I would be picking them up an hour earlier tomorrow for our Saturday teach-in, because it would be party-time with a movie and extra food.
Anthonica asked if I would take her mother and stepfather to their relatives in Riverview tomorrow, since they believed it would be too dangerous for them to walk there. She gave me a bag of President's Choice grapes! I didn't know this Canadian brand was in South Africa (where the grapes came from). This was the first gift we have received from anyone in Avian Park. The grapes were huge and delicious.
Cristine Reurink, who coordnates the YWAM trainee counsellors, called to confirm that they would be available to join us tomorrow.
Thu Feb 21
I advertised tonight's Worcester Report on several FaceBooks, and about 10 Whatsapps and Whatsapp groups. At least 50 people will be aware of the program tonight.
Spent much of the day expecting to drive to Cape Town airport to pick up Samantha Jones. In the end, she'll be coming in tomorrow after battling North American extreme conditions. I had switched the Hospice visit to Friday, and then back to Thursday, and Matheus and I went up and cut hair / prayed respectively. Back home I had everything ready for our 50th broadcast of The Worcester Reports in good time. The last time I conducted a financial planning meeting was nearly 3 years ago, and I have never conducted one with a microphone recording it. However, my myelin was still good and things went well. The terrible situation of so many in the struggle phase of their
financial journey (to borrow from 'Legacy') is well illustrated by the interview. David's contribution emphasised those aspects that need to be heard, from one who is living it. See what you think. During the program we had 3 live listeners. In the next 2 days there were only 2 hits on the podcast. I try hard not to let this depress me, since many of those who can't be bothered to tune in (though they know about it) are our personal friends and relatives. But we will carry on doing this week by week because the one trying to depress me about it is evil and comes to destroy everything good in the world.
I have a talent for explaining how people can plan their lives not to be poor, and I intend to use it. Over time I know that there is potential for these podcasts to reach people who need to hear them.
Around 9 pm Mella called to say she had heard from Samantha, and she would be touching down in Cape Town at 7:15 am tomorrow morning, in 10 hours time. I posted a note on the early morning prayer group Whatsapp group to say I would be getting up at the same time as on every Friday, 5:15 am, but instead of walking across the road to Louis' house I would be driving to Cape Town.
Wed Feb 20
I was listing to Finance Minister Tito Mboweni start his budget speech on SAFM as I drove home after taking the two children to Zweletemba, and was delighted when he quoted Zechariah 8:12 - 'For there shall be a sowing of peace. The vine shall give its fruit, and the ground shall give its produce, and the heavens shall give their dew. And I will cause the remnant of this people to possess all these things.' How amazing that a senior politician would express his (and our) dependence on God. Not amazing at all in South Africa, where being a believer is not a career killer.
When I got home I immediately turned on SABC 2 and watched live. It was so enthralling I quite forgot about Riverview kids club. That is until Mella called and asked if I would soon be picking up Tobia, who is making a film about YWAM ministries. I leaped up drove to YWAM, picked up him, Matheus and Regiane and had them at Riverview by 2:53. The session was just fine.
At 6:15 I was at Jan's for a GIG recruiting meeting. I had invited Hilton, Glenda Fredericks and Nicky Rabie. Nicky was already there but had no idea what the meeting was about. If she had known it was financial planning, I think she would have left. Hilton and Glenda both forgot to come. Bruno gave a great presentation, by the end of which Nicky was eating out of his hand! As she described her needs, they were congruent with the GIG mission. Yet had I explained more about it, she wouldn't have come. Go figure! The group scheduled another meeting for two weeks later. Back home I edited David and Sylvia's (Bob and Mary's) interview and recorded a suitably passionate introduction which explained why I felt this interview important enough for our 50th program.
Jan Whatsapped to say that trainee counsellors from YWAM would like to interview some of our girls who have gone through trauma. I explained that finding them in Avian Park would be very difficult, but it might work if they came to our house on Saturday, when we would be having 'the party,' and we might be able to schedule time with Britney, Marsha and Anthonica.
Tue Feb 19
At 10:30 went to pick up Janey, who told me Andre was stuck in Q-Square with Nixon and needed to be rescued. Janey's gate key wouldn't open the gate so she got a neighbout to do it. When I dropped her off at the school I asked her for her key.
At 11:00 I met Andre Viljoen, brother of Philip, our insurance broker, and a financial planner. We hit it off immediately. If I am asked for financiual planning help other than common sense that I can supply, I will refer to him. Hilton Aries was the trigger for this.
I sent an e-mail invitation to Hilton for the GIG meeting tomorrow. I messaged Maggie to say I wouldn't be there tomorrow for the Vinkkrivier Alpha.
Mon Feb 18
4 healthy mailbox clubs - only Anthonica had no children. Marsha continues to do well with about 10. This was the last time Regiane will come round with me. It had made it more fun having the YWAMers, and the children love them.
L-A's boils continue painful and need regular treatment. I am feeling under par. My appetite has been low for some time, and my right leg has got worse; putting on a sock is painful, so I generally go sockless. There are only 2 days to the GIG presentation so I posted some reminders on the Whatsapp group. Bruno will give the presentation.
As we continue to experience load-shedding - though less than a couple of weeks ago, I decided to replace my useless battery on this computer. Amazon won't ship this item to South Africa, so I went to Computer Mania, and was pleased to discover that they could get me the right battery for a price not much higher than Amazon's. My productivity should improve once I can continue working when Eskom turns off the power.
Sun Feb 17
We went to Somerset West Hillsong, and took Tanya with us for her excellent company. We enjoyed the Vision Sunday service, which was shared in 279 Hillsong services world wide (our Hillsong has 3 of them), including those in Ottawa and Toronto. After the service we lunched in Ocean Basket in Strand. The restaurant is on the Beach Road. Tanya and I put on bathing things in the restaurant washrooms, and then we walked over the road and directly on to a lovely beach with very few people in sight - this was some way from the popular beaches. I swam; Tanya paddled; L-A photographed. We stayed sunbathing for about an hour and it was very pleasant and relaxing.
On the drive home we passed a wild fire on a hillside, where there were flames right down to the road side. We played the music CD sampler that Tanya had given me for my birthday.
Sat Feb 16
For the first time in weeks, L-A was well enough to join me in prison ministry. There were only 6 attenders, the smallest number yet, but they were happy to see her again as we learned about telling others about our faith. Alrico, our friendly and devout supervising guard, confided that he wasn't being treated very well by his management. Thandeka had come in, but went home sick before we arrived.
At 2:30 I picked up Juliana and Regiane from WYAM for our home ministry, and then went out again to get 4 teens. Juliana gave an excellent talk to them on prayer. After milk tart we watched some more of the Jesus film, though only Macayla seemed interested, and the DVD crashed after about 15 minutes. The girls had asked if they could visit Britney at Moriah House on the way home, but Mia had replied to my question saying that none of them was there, so I took them straight home. An hour later, Chantelle called me to say Britney
was with her, and could I come and take her - where(?). So I went, and they were together, and wanted me to take Britney (and Chantelle) to a location in Roodeval. On the way we picked up Veronica's comb and pom pom (and toothpaste) at her house, and two of Britney's friends from Roodeval who had walked over with her. They all asked for (and received) suckers from OK Foods on the way. Soon we arrived at a house in Roodeval, which I now know to be a safe house belonging to Child Welfare, so I told Britney I would be back at 7 to take her to the hospital to see her mother. I then drove Chantelle back, and the most direct route
would have taken us through Riverview, but Chantelle absolutely refused to go that way. She said there were gangs there who could attack her. Further discussion revealed that her brother used to be in a gang, but had become one of Kevin's boys, and not only was he in some danger for leaving the gang, but so would his sister be. Chantelle is no wimp, so I took her seriously, and went round the longer way. After dropping her home I called L-A not to expect me any time soon for supper.
I returned to the house in Roodeval. Britney was not there at first, and I had a chance to talk to the supervisor, Janine. She doesn't want Britney to go to Avian Park for a while - probably until her step father has been arrested. She suggested I take Coren, Britney's sister to the hospital with us. Britney turned up soon, and we drove to the hospital, 5 minutes away. At first we three went to Emergency. At 7:15, when visiting started, nothing happened. After a few minutes I asked an orderly if we could go in.
He said the girls could but not me - a limit of two visitors. They went in, but came out again 2 minutes later. The guard explained something - in Afrikaans. At this point we were tescued by another waiting visitor, who said that Coren was too young and more susceptible to contagion. So we took Coren back to the car, and then Britney and I went in. We couldn't find Veronica. We asked at a nursing station, and were told she was now in ward C2. Progress! We went out of Emerg and into the other entrance, and got through without being stopped.
We then searched out ward C2, and very soon were with Veronica. She was pleased to see us - no longer in shock, and Britney gave her her comb, pom pom and toothpaste. She gave Britney two juice boxes - I think because she was more concerned about her children than herself. Her unappetizing-looking dinner was on a tray and she had hardly touched it. She asked if next time we came we could bring some food. What a waste of public funds, serving food so unpalatable that a very poor township dweller wouldn't touch it. However, everything else that we saw inside this hospital seemed reasonable quality, and it was clean.
After a while, Britney hugged and kissed her mum, and we left. Coren was fine in the car. I was impressed with her behaviour throughout. I returned them to the safe house and went home for some belated sweet corn and meat balls - delicious! It had been another long day.
Fri Feb 15
I am 78! The day started at 5:15, waking for the early morning prayer group. I told them of my joy in having given some basic financial advice to David and Sylvia. Also mentioned the interview with them for next Thursday's Worceester Report. As we were leaving, Hilton mentioned he would like to see me for some financial advice.
As I entered the school, the children emerged from hiding places shouting happy birthday and holding home-made birthday cards. I think Tanya had organized all this! She has been the teaching assistant and often the teacher this week. Mella gave me a cushion. At first I said that we really needed extra cushions at home, but then she said it was to put behind my back in the car. I thanked her again - but not with much expectation of benefit.
After science (studying the human eye) I brought Janey to the school, and we all had a birthday party, with brownies, crisps and soft drinks. I went home till 12:30, when I returned with L-A to pick up Delivenance and Paula and take them home. The map reference I had setup on Garmin worked, and took us to to their front door. We were earlier than last week, and their parents were not there, but I judged it safe to leave them.
Then we went on the the birthday lunch at Nuy, our favourite restaurant. It was once again a relaxing and memorable time, as at previous celebrations. I had sirloin steak and creme brule. L-A had a special cheese salad and no creme brule. From there we picked up Janey at the mall and took her home for our Afrikaans lesson. It was around now that I relized I wasn't in any pain from driving the car, now I had Mella's cushion behind my lower back! Hallelujah! Jan and Joy came over about 5:45 to discuss My Father's House, and I skipped part of it to take three of our girls to the youth evening at church.
I am unsure where Britney and her siblings are. Since some of our teens had said she was at Moriah House, I Whatsapp'd Mia. I also texted Mella and told her that the cushion was amazing and could make a major difference.
It would have been nice to watch Downton Abbey, but there were several other thngs I had to do in the evening - paying the TD Visa etc, finalizing our latest newsletter - that even on my birthday we both worked till nearly midnight. It had been a long but good day.
Thu Feb 14
A certain amount of Valentine's Day activities at school. Tanya is doing good work as teacher's assistant. Science and music went well. From my lesson report: Teacher played examples of 16 genres of music. The learner’s names were on the whiteboard. Whenever they liked the genre played, a checkmark was put against their name.
At the end of the session when 16 genres had been played, discussed and commented on, every one of them had a tick for every learner.
A skeptic could infer that they just wanted points on the board. However, the skeptic would have also noticed the genuine enjoyment on their faces as the music played, and they played air violins and trumpets, and, when there were drums, got up and danced.
The reason Mella rushes off every morning as I arrive is that she is going to the gym, according to Tanya.
At 11 I met with David and Sylvia Delille at Maranatha Church to help them in their financial planning. David had given me some figures for a month's expenses and income, and I had prepared a simple spreadsheet, which I updated with more information now I was with them. Their monthly expenses exceeded their income by ~R1,000 (`CAD 100). He gets a R500 payday loan each month at 30% interest, and the interest is deducted at source from his disability grant. This is a dreadful drain on their cash flow. I outlined their options. This is the kind of work I had envisaged I might be able to do in planning our mission, and now it was happening! When David and Sylvia had heard
my initial recommendations, I suggested to them that their situation was extremely common, and they migh be able to help others with a radio interview. I had brought the Marantz and microphone. They readily agreed. When I said we wouldn't use their real names, David said he would be quite happy to do so, but I insisted for privacy reasons, so in the interview they are Bob and Mary. The interview should air 21 February, and is a worthy candidate for our 50th edition.
The Worcester Report tonight was a repeat of 15 March 2018 - Interview with Andre van Deventer, Ways to Grow in God 4 with Laurie-Ann, music (trains, rain), and starting with clips from Worcester Unite Corporate Intercession for rain. There just hadn't been a chance to find an interviewee, L-A's boils had taken away her time for preparing WTGIG, and the threat of Load shedding meant that even if we had put a new program together, it may not have gone out on time. Ironically, the repeat program was 20 minutes late in starting because we were engrossed in watching Downton Abbey. This was only the second time we had repeated a show, and the first time we failed to start one on time.
Wed Feb 13
I called the hospital. Veronica was still there and unlikely to be leaving any time soon. I spoke to Veronica and told her not to worry about the children, She told me that she needed her hairbrush and pom pom hat.
Without contacting Britney, there wasn't much I could do about that.
Tue Feb 12
Woken up at 6 by Britney playing videos on L-A's phone, so took it from her. For the girls, our fast wifi is like magic.
At 7:15 she had found my Mozambican phone and her aunt's (?) Facebook, and she asked if she could use messenger to tell her what had been going on. I gave her a plate of porridge. We were about to leave for her school when she announced she didn't have her socks, so we went to her home. Sadly, her grandfather insisted she not go to school, but look after her siblings. Back home I allerted Jan to the situation.
Jan told Child Welfare, and they called me about 11, suggesting we meet in Avian Park at Britney's house, prior to my taking the three children back to our house. L-A was horrified when I told her this, because of her health situation, so I called back Child Welfare and told them we couldn't take them. In Mannikin Street they located Coren (7) and renito (4), Britney's sister and brother, but neither they nor I could find Britney.
They found places with Avian Park families for Coren and Renito.
This week we are being hit by serious load shedding right across the country. Ramaphosa publicly criticized Eskom, while other organizations criticized him for suggesting in his SONA that Eskom would be split into 3 separate entities. The unions freak out if there is any suggestion that Eskom solve its problems by retrenchment (lay-offs).
Around 4 I went to Western Cape Blood Services. It was now just over 3 months (the required interval) from my last donation. I filled in the complete medical form - this has to be done on every visit. They took a tiny blood sample from my finger. A few minutes later they told me I would not be able to donate because my iron level suggested I am anaemic. I was shocked. I have had good iron in my blood always, and I would have been OK 3 months ago. They offered to take a sample from my arm and have it analysed in depth and I readily agreed.
Mon Feb 11
5 am: 13 year old Britney's mother's boyfriend attacked the mother (Veronica) with a knife, putting her into the emergency ward, but not life threatening. Britney heard the scream, found a neighbour who called the police (didn't come). and then called an ambulance.
After school I picked up L-A for her (our) appointment with Dr Eric. He prescribed another blood test for L-A to establish for certain that she does not have diabetes. I asked Eric about the new pain in my butt and leg whenever I was driving, and the fact that I can no longer pull my right knee up to my chest, or put on my right sock without pain. He got me on the couch and tested my leg strenght in various directions. His verdict was that this was more likely associated with my hip replacement than my back problem. I told him I would get X-Rays in Canada in June. Meantime, my anti-inflamatories and pain killers will have to suffice. A hip operation in South Africa would bankrupt us - no travel insurance for pre-existing conditions.
Took 3 YWAMers and Soraya to the Mailbox Clubs. They only saw 3 in action, but I later saw Marsha's with about 10 students again!
It was at Chantelle's group where Britney told us about her mother. I said I would return at 4:30 and take her to see her mother. This I did and Chantelle and Anthonica tagged along for moral support, but we didn't arrive during visiting hours, so they wouldn't let us in. So we went to McDonalds for 5 cheeseburgers (two for Britney's sister, Coren (7), and brother, Renito (4)).
At 7 I returned to pick up Britney and take her to see her mum in the Worcester hospital. Coren and Renito had been taken in by neighbours. We found Veronica wandering outside, between locations, carrying two bags of blood, and I didn't recognise her - in shock and gaunt. We were told to come back in 15 minutes, when we saw her in her bed in the emergency ward. She was withdrawn and uncommunicative. We left after 20 minutes and I took Britney
to our house for the night. She got a hot bath, a fish dinner and as much TV as she wanted before she turned in on the sofa bed.
Sun Feb 10
3 girls to church
Cell group - Tanya came
L-A sent our newsletter
Sat Feb 9
L-A had been constipated three days and very early this morning we used a micro enema to loosen things. She has also developed new boils on her upper body, which is concerning. I called Dr Eric's office and made an appointment for Monday morning.
I went to Brandvlei and conducted the session on evil. On the way home I went to the water refilling shop, and in addition to our regular water bottle, brought back two bottles of their apple juice.
At 2:30 I picked up Juliana at YWAM (Regiane unable to join us) and brought her home. Then I picked up 5 of the girls and brought them home. Soon they were tucking into ham or peanut butter sandwiches, washed down by the new apple juice, which they like. Laurie-Ann taught them on praying for the sick (her in this instance, which we did), and I taught them some of the things the Bible says about money. As they were having snowball cake and fruit, I put on the Jesus Film, and it captured their attention. We watched for about 25 minutes - to be continued. The whole session went well. We all got into the car, and one of the girls asked about Soraya. So when we reached YWAM, Juliana went to fetch her. It was a happy reunion, and she may be joining us on Monday to see how her proteges are getting on in the field.
Fri Feb 8
Second day this week to get up at 5:15, this time for the pleasure of the early morning prayer group, and it was. Louis had a box of grapes for everyone.
Yesterday I had bought four higher quality mechanical pencils for the learners and I gave them out at the beginning of class. Some of the previous ones were functional, but most were nasty (and they had been cheap). The kids were very happy.
The science experiment was popular - seeing what happens when you focus the sun's rays on newspaper with a magnifying glass. Back in the classroom they were eager to use their new pencils, so we wrote up the experiment this morning instead of taking two days.
Took Paula and Delivenance home into a remote part of Zweletemba. Couldn't be found on GPS, so their mum and dad rendezvous'd with us at Shoprite and showed us the way. This is a new routine for Wednesdays and Fridays since Atwell's father pulled him out of school when he fully understood the fees, and he had been transporting Paula and Delivenance as well as Atwell. We should be able to find the way there next Wednesday.
Thu Feb 7
It turned out that because I wasn't able to bring Janey to school yesterday, she never got there, and Mella stood in for her. It also turned out that the children's transport was an hour late. Mella had persuaded the church to let the children wait, without one of us teachers, but they were still waiting when the school needed to close. These two events galvanized me into doing something about the problem of school transport. First I confirmed the updates to the school timetable with Mella now that Janey was teaching Maths, Afrikaans and some Abacus.
I updated the timetable and will post a paper copy in colour in the school tomorrow. I called Janey and offered to transport her on a regular basis for about half of her trips. She has a friend called Catherine who will share this load. In the case of Mon - Wed and Fri I will collect her each day after science. Since Mella has asked me to take Paula and Delivelance home to darkest Zweletemba on Wednesdays and Fridays, the Mercedes will be feeling like a taxi, except it won't get paid!
Heinrich arrived at 3 as agreed and he and I chatted about the kind of mission work we have been doing. At 4 we picked up Matheus with his barber kit, and Regiane. In the Hospice reception, a nurse took Matheus to one of the men who needed a haircut, and the rest of us got started in the women's ward. Half way round it I asked Regiane and Heinrich to take over and went to the men's ward and took some pictures of Matheus at work. It may be a side job for him but he looked every bit the professional. I returned to the women's ward. Soon thee three of us were back in the men's and Matheus was working on another patient. After that, a third - with two nurses in attendance since this one had tubes up his nose. We reached the last of the patients as they were being served supper, and we spoonfed one of them who couldn't feed himself. I took more photos of this special day in the hospice
Our Worcester report with Maretha Hofmeyr came together well, with music she would like, and a good picture of her for the podcast.
Wed Feb 6
Rang our alarms for 5:15 and were on the road by 6 to pick up Tanya at Cape Town International Airport. So good that L-A was well enough to come, because my leg pain might have needed another driver. I took a couple of extra Tramacet before we left, but they didn't cut in till we reached the tunnel. Up till then I grimmaced and bore it. Andre called and asked if I could take Janey to school; I told him I was in Cape Town. Tanya was at the rendezvous, Woolworths, as pre-arranged. It was great to be reunited with her after several months. We stopped for a nice breakfast at DuKloof Lodge. Dropped her off at Mella's where she will be staying. I had no pain on the return trip, or for the rest of the day. Although I could have joined in our Wednesday ministries, I had made arrangements to be covered, so I left them in place and and enjoyed the luxury of having plenty of time for do-list tasks at home.
After having prepared the GNiTM archive broadcast yesterday, I managed to forget to run it till 9:10, when L-A rmeminded me. This was the first time I had forgotten one of our programs, and hopefully the last time.
Tue Feb 5
It was sunny for the first time for some days, so at last I could do the experiment showing radiant energy absorbed more by a piece of black plastic than a piece of white plastic, which I had put off from last week. Mella mentioned casually she had delegated Ronell to teach science the next morning. As I showed the kit to Ronell she admitted she had never in her life played with a construction toy. She said she would take it home and practise tonight.
L-A and I were back at school for art at 1. As I set up the audio-visuals I noticed that the adapter Mella was using to allow the US standard projector to be plugged into South African sockets was very loose, with the possibility that one of the children could kick the power cord and the projector would lose power instantly, which is very hard on projector bulbs. So we were extra careful. The lesson went well, learning about and drawing shapes like ovals and rhombi. At the end I was diligent in
following Mella's intruction, which I had stuck on the wall, for doing various actions before going home. One of them was taking the garbage down to the kitchen. Unfortunately Gary had not done anything about my suggestion for getting more black garbage bags, the previous supply having been used up. I couldn't take the garbage to the main bins outside because the church back door was locked and none of the staff was around. So I emptied our bin into a container out on the street. In clearing up I found the Meccano kit lying on the floor some distance from where I had left it, and certainly not taken home by Ronell. It did not appear to have been opened. I wondered how science would go the next morning, but I didn't worry because it wasn't my problem. Eventually the various tasks were done and the classroom was tidy. When the children had been collected, I took L-A home. After a quick bite, I went out shopping. I found the right kind of electical adapter in 'Computer Mania,' and black garbage bags in
Pick n Pay. I delivered these to the school before closing time because I wouldn't be there tomorrow. We went to bed quite early because we would have to leave for Capetown by 6 am.
Mon Feb 4
Lois was in class when I arrived, and so was a new lady, Ronell. Now we have two teaching assistants!
In preparation for Mella building a Meccano car on Wednesday, science this morning consisted of breaking down the race car I had built on Saturday, and then putting it together. The boys had more aptitude than the girls, particularly Seth. My motive in this is to spot potential engineering talent. Delivenance and Paula had never unscrewed anything, but they learned. Sinegugu announced this was a boring game. Paula was more interested in the magnifying glass which I needed to read the instructions on the box, some of which were right. By the end of the lesson we had built the front of the car. I left it and all the parts in the box for Mella. She arrived shortly after and I expressed surprize she hadn't been there to see how to do it.
I picked up Matheus and Regiane from WYAM and we were at Jamelia's house by 10 to 3. Bella wasn't able to come. At Tinktinkie there were about 8 children already waiting. Matheus and Regiane took photos. After a prayer we moved on to 82 Pelikan St where I hoped Marsha would be premiering our brand new Club, #5. She was indeed, under a tree in her back yard. She had the attitude of an experienced teacher - and I could see that the children had been taking in her every word. She had found these children and invited them to come to learn about Jesus. She had no food to offer then as an enticement. I played some songs for them and they enjoyed that. We moved on to the other groups. All 5 groups had children being taught by their youthful teachers. Our friends from WYAM were seeing the potential offered by The Mailbox Club, with children teaching children. And I was happy to show them what the Holy Spirit had been up to.
We went home via Marsha's, and she now had 10 children of 8 or older plus a few younger siblings. It was awesome. Thank you Jesus - from the bottom of my heart. Who would have thought that Marsha, who came to us half way through the training, probably stole some bottles of wine from our house, and probably stole some money from our car the previous Saturday, had taken up the challenge to spread the Gospel. It taught me not to exclude people because of bad habits. I had not forgotten the time a few months ago that Marsha rescued a young girl hit by a bicycle on the sidewalk and made sure I took her to her home.
One our way home Matheus and Regiane came to our house, and he signed a voluteer form for the hospice so that he (an amateur berber and a professional professor of theology in Brazil) could cut a patient's hair when we go to the hospice on Thursday. Back home dropping them at YWAM I noticed I couldn't read the key parts of the form he had signed because it was in cursive scrawl with no redundancy. I Whatsapped him for his surname. Strange how bright people don't understand that there is a reason why things like names should be written in capitals. Well, all this will be dealt with when I write my book on redundancy.
Sun Feb 3
L-A had set her alarm for about 7, because she truly wanted to get to church this morning. Unfortunately she was very tired and didn't get up then. When she did get up she couldn't find her hairbrush. It was in a drawer where she had hidden it from prying children. These delays meant that she wasn't ready in time for me also to pick up the girls who wanted to come to church, so in the end I went alone, as in the last few weeks when she was in too much pain.
There were 3 of our girls, plus Cay-Lene, who had come to our house once for a training, and one of Jamelia's brothers, Germaine, who came. I sent them in ahead of me while I parked the car on the north side of Russell. When I arrived, they had found a parental consent form to allow them to join a Kinderkerk visit to a care centre. Chantelle knew my phone number (it took me several months to remember it) but not my signature, so I was necessary. I was impressed that they had found all this out. As we reached our seats, they near the front on the LHS and I in translation row, Johan and Marie arrived, and introduced me to Heinrich Neufeld. He is a young missionary friend of Patrick Pilorz, our Harvest School 24 friend. Johan Schoonrad passed by and welcomed Johan and Marie warmly.
After the praise and worship, the girls and boy went on their trip. Next in the service is a time when people who have received words of knowledge go to the front and give them. Among 4 word-givers were Johan and Marie, exhorting us not just to sit on our backsides, but actively participate in the fight for the Kingdom. Johan (Schoonraad) then preached on grace, and the suggestion that we think of grace as a person. It was quite intellectual stuff, and he preached in English. Towards the end he asked the church's main prayer leaders to come to the front, and specifically invited Johan and Marie. So they had quite a role in the service. Heinrich and I spoke about ministry opportunities we could offer him, and settled on 3pm Thursday when he would come and chat with me at home, after which he would come to the hospice. He was happy with this, and would be using one of the Father's House vehicles to get here. They were still ministering at the end when I needed to go and look for the children. I was hovering near the gate when Germaine appeared and took me to them, gathered around the car, which they must have spotted when they were on their trip.
They had all clearly enjoyed talking with the elderly folk in the care centre. I was feeling generous so although they were five I said we would go to McDonalds for burgers. They asked for cool drinks and I agreed to that but I made it clear there wouldn't be anything else. So they each got a cheeseburger and a small Fanta. When they were finished I asked if they would like to go our to the pay structure at the back, and they were very keen. They had a great time - though I read a notice that said it was only for children up to 12. Then they started bugging me for ice cream cones, and I firmly said 'No.' At one point I was waiting in the car and all of them except Germaine were sitting by the McDondalds entrance refusing to move. But I was determined, having spent R162 on them, and eventually they came. They tried to get me to buy them R2 suckers (ice lollies) but I needed them to understand that I will say 'No' and mean it from time to time.
When I got home I checked the Mcdonalds bill and noticed that the burgers had been R90 but the Fanta had been R60! I won't be getting pop at McDonalds in quantity again. In the evening it came to me why they had demanded the ice cream. In their family cultures to have money in your pocket means you must spend it. What else would you do with it? They assume I would feel the same. The idea of not spending what you have in your pocket seems crazy to them. At no time have they ever heard of the idea of saving the money so you have it available another day when your needs may be more acute. The concept of saving it for the medium or long term future has never been suggested to them. One result of this is that you will often see them walking down the street eating crisps/chips or other unhealthy foods in small packages. No one in Avian Park buys anything in large pachages. I called Maretha Hofmeyr, the most well known of Hooggelegen residents, and asked if I could interview her. She said yes, Monday at 8.
In the evening L-A invited me to watch Downton Abbey, starting at the beginning. It was surprisingly enjoyable, even after Victoria. We have a new way to relax together. She has seen it all before, but I haven't seen any of it.
Sat Feb 2
In Brandvlei, in addition to Alpha, I showed the men my video of Alex and Kaysha's wedding. I like to give them a taste of normal life outside jail. The were very attentive. The video was 'How to make the best of the rest of my life.' Thandeka seemed down, so I prayed for her when everyone was gone. Some colleagues had been less than friendly and she felt humiliated. It seems bullying is not limited to children in school.
At 2:30 I picked up Juliana and Regiane at YWAM and brought them to our house, and then went and fetched the children. Only Bella was unable to come, and the other 7 all squeezed in. They were glad to be coming back to Hooggelegen. They made friends instantly with Juliana and Regiane. We had the best praise singing yet from them as L-A cut the sandwiches. The main thing I covered off was that we were starting Club #5 on Monday at Marsha's house with Britney helping. I also reviewed the 2 commandments not to steal and not to covet. At the latter there was some verbal commotion and embarrassment from Anthonca, relating to a boy called Wilbur Classen. I am going to guess that he was now Anthonica's boyfriend, but had been someone else's. Later I checked him out on FaceBook, and he looked OK (ie not like a gangster in the making.)
The afternoon was a success. I think our YWAM friends liked what they saw. I have an unterior motive: introducing them to the Mailbox Club and its excellent materials.
Mella asked me what she should teach in science next Wednesday when I was picking up Tanya at the airport. After I had listed several options, she chose building a racing car with Meccano. So tonight, for practice, I got out the box I had bought before Christmas and set to work making Meccano for the first time in 65 years. It took me about 90 minutes. Would have been less if some of the instructions on the box had not been plain wrong.
Fri Feb 1
Early morning prayer was good as usual, and I only had to walk a few yards to Louis' house. Back home after I did some significant catching up before school. Mella was there but didn't bring up the subject of my misdemeanour yesterday.
Thu Jan 31
During the science lesson this morning, Seth, who was sitting next to me mentioned quietly in an almost casual tone "I wish I had never been born." Ponder that for a moment, in a 6 year old. I quietly replied, "Seth, why on earth would you say that?" His reply was even more shocking: "Because I'm boring." Now Seth is anything but boring. He always has a smile, and he's a young 'life and soul of the party' type. One can only imagine that either a parent has told him that, or another child, and it has landed on him like a curse. Bullying. This reinforces the fact that parents must encourage their children, and teachers must be super-vigilant against verbal bullying by children, which I have always felt is an expression of original sin. Sadly, in the township communities, parent are more likey to curse their children, scarring them for life. At my age 78 (in two weeks) I can remember similar things told to me by my father, imprinted on my memory.
I had told Mella that I needed to leave school at 10:05 in order to get L-A to her colonoscopy by 10:30. Mella had said she would be in by 10:15, so I left at 10:05, and we were at Dr Botha's clinic in time. L-A had her gastroscopy and colonoscopy performed by some very caring nurses + Dr B. She was done in about an hour. I settled the hefty bill, which should be covered by insurance.
I got down to recording a talk about shower plumbing and shampoo for the Worcester Report. At 3:46 I picked up Matheus and Regiane - a third YWAMer seeking practical experience - and we drove
to the hospice. The visit went well, though Matheus was reticent to pray. At first they prayed in Portuguese, but by the end were in English. As we went home, Matheus said that he was a barber and could cut the patients' hair as they ley in bed. At home I called the hospice, and they seemed OK with it, and e-mailed me a volunteer form for him.
Mella e-mailed very annoyed that I had left the children unattended at the school, 'placing their lives in danger.' and Nicky Rabin the drama teacher had found them alone. I countered by offsetting some of the blame to her for not being explicit when I had said I would leave at 10:05.
The Worcester Report had a max of 6 other than us listening live until my rant about showers when it dropped down to us only. I checked Whatsapp and saw that Carlo had left a message in Afrikaans about tomorrow's meeting. Using Google Translate I decyphered his message - could the meeting be somewhere other than his house because he was called away. So I used Google translate and said, "Ja, ek sal graag gasheer wees solank ek nie eers die eerste plek moet skoonmaak nie!" However, Louis replied shortly after offering his house.
Wed Jan 30
Today L-A must fast from most things including all her meds in preparation for a colonoscopy and gastroscopy tomorrow morning. So it was very tough for her, not so much from hunger but from pain all over.
At 11:30 I visited Pastor Mario Milhomem from YWAM at his home near OK Foods to be introduced to Matheus and Juliana and their two children, recent DTS graduates on outreach looking for experience. We agreed they could join us in several ministries, beginning with the hospice.
My music class was teaching a second scale, D major, and ending with making a recording of piano,
glockenspiel and 3 tamborines playing C major. Mella had asked me to clear the second room for Nicky to do her drama class tomorrow morning, but I did it today after music. To make room for the furniture from that room, I decided to do what I had asked Gary to do months ago, remove the broken cupboard beside the stairs. Basicly I tossed it down the stairs which broke it into four pieces of chipboard, and these I dumped in the corridor plus the contents of the cupboard, All Gary would have to do now would be carry it out to the garbage.
Janey sat with Sinegugu waiting for her transport while I did that, and I finished before Sinegugu's ride turned up. He hadn't been told that school ends at 1:30 on Wednesday. So after dropping off Janey I didn't have time for any lunch before going down to Riverview. Kevin was there, and I said to him I wished it was the last time I had seen him (which was in Yzerfontein) but he laughed because the meaning could be interpreted as that I hoped not to see him again! After praise songs, Kevin gave the children a talk.
Lois from Ywam cut up a loaf from Daily Bread with Kevin's pen knife, and made peanut butter and banana sandwiches. Apparently this is a delicacy in the US, but many of the children didn't like the look of it here. I ended up giving some of the sandwiches to some labourers across the street. David Delisle Whatsapped L-A to say he wanted to postpone the meeting with me this afternoon until Sylvia could be present, and she was currently in Cape Town.
In the late afternoon, L-A offered to edit the interview we had recorded yesterday. Unfortunately she was unable to suck the file into Adobe Audition. We have had this problem before - the Marantz makes files that are corruped and can't be edited, but will still play. So I set it playing, re-recording it with the AR Wizzard. I finally had time to get down to CWCP-GNiTM, but had to do the whole job on the LH computer while the RH computer was busy. It worked out. Turning briefly to my own health,
I've had less pain in the last 24 hours and I think it is since I switched back to Exinef. But on the negative side, I have been getting pain when driving, which I never had before. In the past, driving was something I could do confidently and it would take away pain! Is this pain caused by the out of position cartilage in my lower spine, or is it even possibly from my hip replacement? My only recourse is to take more Exinef if I will be driving for any length of time, such as next Wednesday when I'll be picking up Tanya at the airport.
Tue Jan 29
This was Laurie-Ann's first day back at school, teaching art, and it went very well. She introduced them to a fundamental art concept: line. So they drew many varieties of line. Delivenance, the youngest, who can't read or write, was able to participate fully. Janey, who had taught Afrikaans before lunch waited thoughout the class so I could take her home afterwards. We went to the police department security office and had our fingerprints taken and signed the Brandvlei forms to renew our security clearance for another year.
I called the Mayor's office and reached Neil Mercuur, the Speaker at Breede Valley Municipality. he was friendly enough and asked me for an outline of an interview with Mayor Antoinette Steyn. I spent quite a lot of time putting this together, and sent it.
I went to Western Cape Blood Services to be told that it was not yet 3 months since my previpus donation. In Canada the interval is only one month.
We were relaxing at home about 4 pm, I with a full cup of coffee on the arm of the chair, when there was a knock on the front door. I looked up, then sprang up sending my coffee flying, when I saw that three of our Mailbox Club girls and one of the boys in a class were outside the door. They had come to see how Laurie-Ann was, and had sweet-talked Cosmos into letting them in the gate!
After the initial surprise, it became a very nice 40 minutes, and they did cheer her up. I gave them water but no food. I drove them home, and at the gate they all got out and prayed for Cosmos! This was special. On the drive home I said 'No' to a request for food. This was hard to do, but I don't want them to believe that they can walk here any time and be fed. It could turn into a regular stream from Avian Park.
L-A suggested that in view of the uncertainty of this week's CWCP interviewee, I should interview her about teaching art to children, which I did. I put all the data David Delisle had given me on his finances onto a simple income and expenses spreadsheet. His expenses exceeded income by more than R1000 in that month. I thought it might be possible, after going through the figures with David, to interview him anonymously for CWCP and produce a cautionary tale for many local people whose expenses are more than their income, introducing them to the concept of tracking both on a daily basis, which in itself will reduce those expenses.
Mon Jan 28
At 2pm L-A had a follow up appointment with Dr Eric, and I accompanied her into his office. No sign if diabetes, some anemia, slightly high cholesterol. He prescribed iron supplementation. He was very pleased with her for losing ~15 Kg, and insisted that continuing progress here would reap great benefits over the long term. In the pharmacy I noticed that he had prescribed regular iron, but at my request they switched it to chelated iron. I didn't spend all those NuSkin trainings for nothing. I like it that the parmacicts here have the option to make minor changes to prescriptions. I also got Exinef for my self instead of Spec Etoricoxin, but this had been agreed with Dr Eric when I was in there. The good news was that neither those nor Tramacet have to be accompanied by food. Since I am being woken up between 4 and 5 am by pain, and that's when I take the meds, this is convenient.
We have no interviewee for this week's Worcester Report. I called Sean Waite and he agreed byt said Portia was struggling with dental pain. Nevertheless I went to their house at 5:30 to find no Sean, but Portia clearly in distress from toothache. She invited me to wait for Sean, who had gone out to get food. She went to lie down and I waited. When Sean came, he was suffering form allergies. Clearly this was not a good time for a radio interview, so we will try again when Portia had recovered. As we chatted, Sean gave me pesonal numbers for Mayor Antoinette Steyn, and for Theresa Rossouw at Toeflug. He is very well connected through his Breaking Chains Ministry.
Sun Jan 27
Brought four children to church, including, for the first time, Marsha. Britney's mother was nowhere to be seen, despite what she had said yesterday. I saw David (Delisle) and he gave me a rough list of what he had received and what he had spent in the last month. I told him that I have decided that when adults ask me for money in future, I will only help out after they have given me basic information on their finances, so I can see if there is anything obvious they are wasting money on. Then I gave him R 100, and made an appointment to see him on Wednesday at 4:30. Another great sermon from Johan about Jesus' arrest in the garden. Because we had cell group, I gave the girls cup cakes and crisps with their coffee in Milk and Honey so they wouldn't clamour for more food. After dropping them home I was at 74 Stockenstrom by shortly after noon, and much enjoyed a spirited time with good friends. They all wanted to know how L-A was doing.
Spent the afternoon working on Legacy - my audio recording. The process is mentally draining. L-A was writing the next 'Ways to grow in God.' and had me proofread it. I like it a lot when we are together in this cosy house doing our things but being strengthened by the other's presence.
Sat Jan 26
When I arrived at Brandvlei there was no one on duty at the gate, so I went to the other gate and was let in. There was no one in the chaplaincy room, so I tuned my guitar and set up the technology. 20 minutes later Isaak turned up. At first I wasn't sure what he was tying to tell me, but then things clicked into place and I realised they were short staffed and we wouldn't be able to do Alpha.
This was clearly quite a big deal for him, but I explained that it was amazing that we had been coming in seven months and this was the first time we were shut out of ministry. He told me that there was a funeral for someone's child, and that would have drawn many staff members. Driving home I detoured to Avian Park to
confirm arrangements for this afternoon. First person I saw was Marco (Ruiters), outside the house where he used to live, so he spoke to his mother-in-law and all was arranged. We continued to chat, me the missionary, and he the forgiven murderer. He would love to come into Brandvlei and talk to the men, and he may even have a security clearence. He is going to search around. He is now teaching children in a De Doors school from time to time; the Lord seems to be moving him more towards children's ministry.
On the way out I saw some of the other girls, and Britney's mother, who said she was looking forward to coming to church tomorrow.
When I got home I realized I needed more copies of the MailBox Club 'Best Friends' Lesson 2 to give out this afternoon. So I drove to Rodlyn's which was shut. The opening hours were clearly marked and they should have been open. I rang the bell. After a while a window in the house opened and a man told me they were closed - it was Saturday! Somehow this undeniable fact had not entered my mind when I decided to come here! Then he asked me what I wanted, and I said 11 copies of two A4 sheets. He said he would ask his wife if she would do them.
Soon she came to the door and let me in. She is the Lynn in Rodlyn's, and he is the Rod. I noticed Christian materials on the office wall. He asked me what it was that she was copying. When I said it was the Mailbox Club material, she then told us that several years ago she had been a Mailbox Club mentor! What had started as an interruption to their Saturday off had turned into a communion between Christians. This also meant that a little later when I got to Avian Park I was able to distribute 6 copies of Lesson 2 to each of the four group leaders. If I had remembered it was Saturday, this wouldn't have happened! Mysterious ways again. Getting to Avian Park was a bit of an adventure.
Chantelle had called to say she was not in the Park, and that Anthonica knew where she was - would I come and get her. So I picked up Anthonica and Britney, and we drove to OVD, where I had previously dropped off Chantelle on a church day. The girls went in to find her, and I called Chantelle again. She had got a taxi back to Avian Park! So we had wasted our time (and petrol). I asked her to walk to Chrizelle's and tell them we would be late. When we got to Chrizelle's at 3:15 there was no sign of her. So I got started with those present. One thing I told them was the story of Greta Thunberg, 16 year old Swedish campaigner who has mobilized youth in publicity for climate change, and had soken at Davos the day before. (see my Twitter). I want to show the girls how they too could develop a voice to be heard in the world.
I had brought extra nice cakes (Gerda's) and they enjoyed them, plus real orange juice instead of concentrate. There was one cake left after 2-each for the girls and one for the others living in the house for their hospitality. I took it with me and gave it to Chantelle with her copies of lesson 2 on my way home.
Dr Eric wants to see L-A on Monday. Is this good news or bad? Hopefully it will confirm she is not diabetic, which would add an unknown dimension to her health situation.
Together we cooked red beans, russians and rice for dinner. I sent another Whatsapp to David Delisle. I have an idea in mind that I can help him do a simple income and spending chart. I asked him to list his income and spending for the last month. He said he would see me in church tomorrow.
I noticed that I have a small boil on my wrist of a similar type to those that L-A had now recovered from. After a major search I found the Traxa ointment, about a minute after L-A had prayed for its whereabouts to be revealed. I had never taken it out of a plastic bag that I had packed it in when I might have been taking L-A to hospital on 18 January.
We ate our dinner with a glass of wine, throughout which I was feeling extremely tired. After dinner I forced myself to do the washing up, and then we watched the final episode of Victoria. Very moving indeed. Probably my favourite TV series ever, and that includes Bergen, The Planemakers, The Power Game and Sandbaggers.
But it hadn't cured my weariness so I went to bed at 9:30.
Fri Jan 25
I got to early morning prayer about five minutes early, ie 5:40, as did Louis, both of us bearing rusks. I had really been looking forward to it, and as usual it didn't disappoint. How good to commune with men whose faith is rock solid and care so much about the world. Also good to get home and have an hour before the time I normally set my alarm to get busy on various projects.
In science we split white light into colours and I illustrated it with the diagram on the cover of 'Dark side of the Moon.' It's coincidental that on the dark side of the moon the Chinese now have an operational presence, with two rovers. I have been posting their progress on Twitter.
I designed a flier for the GIG recruiting seminar 20 February using Word, and it looked quite good. I sent it to Bruno with Whatsapp, but since he uses Mac, the formatting was jumbled. However, he could see the content was OK so he suggested I distribute it to the Club as a .pdf, which I did. In the evening we much enjoyed the penultimate edition of Victoria in season 2.
L-A feels she won't be well enough to have the children at our house tomorrow. I went to the Hospice around four. What struck me was the several people there close to death. One lady in particular who always manages a smile is now only skin and bones. Several amputees. I contacted most of the children by Messenger to arrange that we meet in Chrizelle's house, as we have for the last two weeks. There was a message on our early morning prayer group Whatsapp asking if someone could bring rusks.
Thurs Jan 24
This was our first opportunity for Laurie-Ann to get the blood test prescribed by Dr. Eric. This must be done after fasting so L-A took no food, drink or medication, making it extra hard to move, but she made it into the car. We were at Pathcare by 7:50, but so were about 7 others. They don't have a 'take a ticket' system, so we couldn't be sure if there would be time. I read my current book, Geoffrey Lay's 'Seeking signs and missing wonders,' about some of the excesses of the 'signs and wonders' churches back in 1998, a detailed study of healing ministry and what one can really expect. The book suggests healing miracles are extremely rare, yet the experience of Iris worldwide would contradict that. There is an analogy with climate change and how much of it is the result of human activity, and how much would have happened anyway. With healing miracles, how much would have happened anyway even if people had not prayed for it.
It turned out L-A could have had a coffee without spoiling the test.
There was still time for us to drop off the laundry (including three badly soiled sheets), take her home, and get to school. Today in science they would write up yesterday's experiment in their notebooks. But not all of them had notebooks. I gave sheets of paper to Atwell and Delivanance, but after a fairly short while it became clear that neither of them could write or read. Worse, they couldn't
draw, so the relevance of notetaking for them would be nil. Seth is actually writing, but very slowly. This was an advance on last term. Both the girls Sinegugu and Paula wrote up reasonable notes with diagrams.
Back home, L-A still had diarrhoea, and headaches. This is going to take longer than we had hoped or prayed for. Thank goodness her spirit and determination are strong. Thank goodness also for her i-Pad that provides everlasting mental stimulous as she sits on the couch. One of her friends, Gaets from Ottawa, whom she had met as a MAP volunteer years ago had read on L-A's Facebook that Andrea Bocelli would be performing in Paarl in April. L-A had bemoaned the prices, way out of reach. But Gaets had offered to pay for L-A's ticket, to give her a real night out! At 5 pm I went to Pierre Rogers' house, next door to the 19th Hole Golf Villa to pick up a Breede Chem wall-mounted perspex bracket, two dispensers, and 1 litre bottles of shampoo and body wash. This is the best shower dispenser I have ever seen, with labels in large letters that one can read in the shower without glasses. It is more than a year since we had used one of these when we stayed in the 19th Hole Golf Villa.
I spent some hours on producing The Worcester Report, and ended up including the wedding vows from last Saturday. L-A had done 'Ways to Grow in God,' so we were back on track. And Riana's interview was exellent. There were 4 people listening live when the show aired, plus us, and they stayed listening till the end. Usually there is only one other listener. I started the broadcast exhorting our listeners to tell others about the show.
Wed Jan 23
I started Science with Day one of Creation, from Dr Jay L Wile's excellent book, Science - in the beginning. This is my third time starting the course. I love this book because it unashamedly ascribes to God the credit for His creations. It would be banned in most state schools in the West. I asked if anyone was afraid of the dark. No one admitted it. We went to the small kitchen and I turned off the lights. They started to howl. When they were quiet, I spoke the opening words from Genesis in a sonorous voice, and as I said "Let there be light" I turned on the light. They enjoyed that and asked for it a second time. Then with a torch and my shaving mirror I showed how a light beam can be reflected. Back upstairs we spent the rest of the lesson talking about light and reflection. I took home one of the hula hoops and glued it, leaving it to dry jammed in front of the 'fridge. I recorded Chaper 4 of Legacy. I was in competition with some workers on a neighbour's roof with something sounding like a chain saw.
I was back at school for the music class at 12:30, armed with 'instruments' capable of making musical sounds. I started by drawing a sound source on the whiteboard, with a sound wave flowing from it to an ear. I put various things as sound sources: a bell, the marimba, two Appletizer bottles with different amounts of water in them, the yellow sports whistle. In each case I added different frequency sound waves to the whiteboard. Then, my piece-de-resistance, a string bass constructed from our oldest suitcase, our broom handle, and yellow cord. I got Sinegugu to film several learners playing the bass. Finally I introduced the keyboard, and as Sinegugu played the scale of 'C" I added sound waves. The purpose of all this is to teach them both science and music, and why we have different instruments. For the third time I heard a car alarm, and worried it was mine, went downstairs, where
I saw outside Atwell's father, come at 1 pm as I had asked him. Mella hadn't told him it was 1:30. However I had already covered the key material, so I brought down Paula, Atwell and Delivelance so he could take them home. We need a written chart for parent showing them the time school ends each day. it confuses me so no wonder they roll up at the wrong times. I then continued with Sinegugu and Seth, introducing them to the idea of composition. At 1:30 we were waiting in the school lobby, but their parents didn't show up till 2, reinforcing my point made above. I went home and had about 20 minutes before leaving for Riverview. The group was more of less the same as last term, except (big exception) the thee rasta-style boys who we all enjoyed so much had gone to Cape Town. There were two recent YWAMers, Lois and ?, who was making a video with a GoPro camera. Mella summarized her teachings on the armour of God, asking everyone to remember them all if they wanted a treat at 4 pm. Shoes of peace, belt of truth, helmet of salvation, breastplate of righteousness, sword of the spirit, shield of faith, and all of these covered in prayer. I made a very determined effort, and there, I can remember them! This kind of thing I find incredibly difficult, as do some of the children, so I relate. At 10 to 4, the special treat, some Korean food, had not turned up and I excused myself.
David Delisle is Whatsapping L-A and saying he needs help. She replied that he should contact me. When he didn't, I whatsapped him. He says he is in dire financial straights and would I come. I said it wasn't possible today.
At 6 pm we had a long-awaited GIG meeting for the Worcester #1 Club at Jan's. There were only five of us. We need more members so the first thing we will do is have a recruiting seminar at our next meeting Wednesday 20 February, and I offered to design a flier.
Tue Jan 22
At school we had 5 children - Sinegugu (8), Paula. (8), Atwell (6), Seth (6), and Delivelance (5). Seth is the only one who was here before. I gave them a mechanical pencil each, and pinned name tabs on them.
After the class I went shopping for additional school supplies, fruit, etc, and wound up at Janey's at 11:30 to take her to school to teach Afrikaans. Janey gave me a small and simple marimba, thinking it might be helpful in music class. I was back at school at 12:20 to deliver L-A's art class. Janey congratulated me on my way of teaching. So nice to receive encouragement! I wanted to find out what art skills, if any, they had. First I asked them to draw and colour either a coke can, or our toy Pakistani taxi, or anything else they would prefer to draw. Both girls showed talent. The boys just wanted to play with the Pakistani taxi. Wary that 'play with' in their culture actually would mean destructive testing, I watched very carefully, and it survived. I brought all the art home for L-A to examine.
Powertime replied to my query re data packages on MTN that there were no recurring data packages, so I bought R10 of phone data for Jamelia and Bella, and R20 for Moses, who was also asking. I spent quite a while uploading my photos of Alex's and Kaysha's wedding to Flickr, and added some of Marie Fourie's photos to my album. I processed the audios from the reception speaches and added them. They are well worth a listen. I posted the album to FaceBook. I prepared tomorrow's Good News in the Morning production. L-A was up for much of the day, but her carbuncle is still producing liquid (not puss), so she is limited in what she can do. However, she did record 'Ways to grow in God,' so she will be back on air on Thursday after a break of two weeks.
I phoned Jan to comfort her for the loss of one of her German Shepherds, Isabel, who had suddenly died of Tick bite fever on Sunday morning. I had fed her each day last week, and had not noticed any symptoms. Now Jan only has the older German Shepherd, Ben, as her trusty guard dog, though Silky's yapping is also a deterrent.
Mon Jan 21
Mella had scheduled a get together at the school prior to the first day of term tomorrow. I had it down for 9 am and was there by then. Thobeka came by and asked when Mella would be in. Tawana's father came in to say that their family was moving to Cape Town tomorrow, so we wouldn't be seeing him again. The idea of giving people a head's up ahead of an event hasn't yet blossomed in the brains of some South Africans! Everything happens in the present. By 9:30 Mella hadn't arrived, and I couldn't reach her on my phone, so I drove to her house and tried phoning again. I must have pushed the wrong button because I reached a stranger. Tried again and reached her loud and clear: the meeting was actually at 10:30. However it was providential I had been there early to see Thobeka and Tawana's dad. At 10:30 I was back at the school for a good discussion with Mella and updates on everything. We are expecting five children tomorrow, only one of whom, Seth, was here last term. He and one other, Delivelance, are only 6, so my teaching style will be changing. Mella had brought back various teaching aids from the States, several of which are relevant to science. She annotated the school timetable I had drawn up last term with changes for this term. On my way home afterwards I went into Vodacom to investigate the long delay on getting me onto a contract. Turned out they needed yet more proof that I would be likely to pay the monthly bill, including the ID of my employer. This mindset reflects the fact that township people here who don't pay in advance, the normal way of funding phone usage, just don't pay, and incur debt which they still don't pay. So Vodacom must go to extraordinary lengths before accepting a contract application, particularly from foreigners. Back home, L-A was up and she made a good point; since we would be out of country for 6 weeks starting 30 May, perhaps it was not a good idea to be paying a phone contract at that time and the likelihood of successfully suspending it was not high. So maybe I should put this project on ice till July.
In the afternoon I visited the Mailbox Clubs. Jamelia and Bella had a good group at Danielia's. Macayla and Chrizelle had split their kids into two and seemed to be getting on well. I led them in praise songs for quite a while; they kept on asking for more. Chantelle was not at her house. Anthonica was there but with no students. She got me to sponsor her R5 in support of her school. Jamelia and Bella asked me for R10 worth of phone data and I said I would send it from my computer using Powertime. I got their phone company, MTN, and numbers.
At home I wasn't sure enough of the MTN data packages to go ahead and order at that time; I sent a help message to Powertime. Shortly after 5 I was at Carlo and Riana's home to interview Riana. It went well.
In the evening I got down to timetabling, making the changes Mella had indicated. Some things we don't know, such as whether Janey will teach maths. So I printed it in monochrome.
Sun Jan 20
Our nights are definitely more restful than a week ago, though L-A was still not strong enough to come to church. After waking up however comes an increasing challenge: putting on my right sock and sandal (yes I wear sandals with socks having never found a logical reason not to). Even when my pain meds are kicking in, this is becoming harder. I picked up Jamelia, Chantelle and Anthonica - who kept me waiting. I managed to collect signatures from all their parents giving consent for me to drive them for ministry purposes. We got to church a little late. None of them had had any food. They found good seats though the church was pretty full. Pieter-Louis came and asked how L-A was, as did many others. Johan preached on the love of God, using Hosea as a text - unusual. After church I took the three girls for Big Macs without being asked by them. I don't like to think of them being hungry all day. At home I edited my video of the wedding and posted it.
I called Riana Van Wyk and thanked her for telling us about 'I raise a hallelujah' which had given L-A a boost when she really needed it. I then asked if I might interview her, mainly about Kinderkerk; she agreed, and we set a date for 5 pm tomorrow.
We watched an episode of Victoria, where she and Albert strayed deliberately from their protection squad in Scotland and ended up lost, and staying in a peasant cottage for the night. Very sweet.
Sat Jan 19
My routine of the last few mornings remained - wake between 3 and 5 and take my pills. This morning not only did I feel good, L-A had enjoyed a restful night and was in good spirits. I was on my way to Brandvlei by 8:35. When I got to the chaplaincy room Thandeka was around but the men were delayed for 20 minutes. I gave Ebrahima his attendance certificate. I gave Isaak the film stick with The Shack and Raise a Hallelujah, the Bethel song I showed them last week on it. The men asked after L-A and when I brought them up to date one of them suggested they could write a well-wishing letter to her, which they then did. I introduced the session, and we sang two Holy Spirit songs. Then I gave out copies of my page listing the gifts and fruits of the Spirit, and led
a teach-in on them. The one needing most explanation was discernment. Then we watched the video. After that I anointed them all with oil in the sign of the cross, and then led the whole group through the sinner's prayer and some subsequent material relating to what happens next. During this time the presence of the Holy Spirit with us was very strong. All the men, including two for whom this was their first experience of Alpha, were touched by the Holy Spirit giving me the words. Although it would have been impractical to pray with them individually, the normal Alpha way, the group approach worked well here.
Thandeka gave me forms to renew our security clearances with the police. This is an annual requirement.
At home L-A had conserved energy by sleeping in, but now she got up. She felt strong enough. She put on her back/red dress and I wore my light grey suit with one of my two ties. We were on our way to a certain field in the middle of nowhere by 2:45. Normally at this time on a Saturday I or we would be meeting out teenage Bible class leaders for taining, and we hoped they had all remembered this wouldn't happen today. When we arrived, there were already quite a few present including a contingent from local farm cottages. There was wind, and a white sheet pinned over the bamboo gate threatened to sail away, but Alesha continually re-fixed it in place. Greg had decided to use his own guitar after all, but my guitar cord, guitar strap, music stand, guitar stand and tuner were all useful. Guitar tuning is not too easy in such conditions. Gradually more and more showed up until the white plastic chairs were mostly occupied. The groom arrived about 4:40, and his bride five minutes later. The ceremony began with a good word from Johan. Greg sang 'You are Worthy of it all' and another song few people knew. Pastor Chris clearly knew the couple really well either from his personal experience or from being briefed. He referred to Alex's traumatic childhood in the Rwandan genocide when he lost many family members. The vows were a lot different from the prayer book, reflecting this couple, and I was able to catch most of them on video. They spoke to some specific characteristics of the bride and groom. The atmosphere of the whole event was unforgettable, and at the end during a laying on of hands by close friends, Johan spoke again, addressing the now-married couple and the congregation with some thoughts on the significance of this day for the community here and in Rwanda.
When people were leaving, L-A told me that she wouldn't have the stamina for the remainder of the wedding day program, so I drove her home. It was great that she had been here for the wedding itself, and nothing had happened that would have required me to take her home immediately. I had parked in the field in case of such an eventuality. We gave a lift back to the road to Greg, and Cheeks who had been taking video, and turned out to be the one who had called me yesterday to see if I could bring the pizza. L-A got home still in a good state. There was a message from Frog thanking us - he had received the money. I took my tie off. and returned, this time to Pomegranate, for the evening reception. I had missed the afternoon reception for the farm kids and families at Vinkrivier. The scene was a magical display of lights as I walked towards the guests in the barn. The evening consisted of dinner with wine, and then some speeches. Alex spoke very well with touches of humour. He handed out gifts to the Fouries and others. People were there from many parts of the world. Because I had arrived a little late, I found myself in a good spot for hearing the speeches, but the lighting was too much of a challenge for my Blackberry flash, so I got few pictures. At the end of the formal procedings, Alesha announced that dancing might be on the agenda. I helped a little with clearing dinner plates, putting quite a large number into a plastic box and then carrying it into the house. This was not such a good idea, since my back is not that strong any more, but I managed it. However, at that point I decided to leave since I shouldn't carry more loads, and I felt a preferance to get back to be with Laurie-Ann. So I don't know if dancing happened. On my way home I listened to Arcade Fire and the Beach Boys with the RPO at a good volume level, and by the time I arrived was invigorated again. L-A was OK.
Fri Jan 18
This morning there was improvement. She was a far more agile getting out of bed, and when she did, the carbuncle had not produced puss overnight! For the first time in two weeks she put on underwear with pads in case of puss. Unfortunately she had a sudden bout of diarrhoea. It was now 9 am and I had an appointment with Dr Eric at 10. Instead of taking her to emergency it made more sense to
have her in the car with her suitcase packed for hospital, and for me to talk to the doctor. When he had heard the latest situation he said he didn't think being in hospital was the best thing for her. He said diarrhoea was seasonal here and this is the season. Now that she can get out of bed, she should do so and return to spending her time on the couch, which has never caused her muscle pain. He felt she did not need to continue on penicillin. He prescribed more Stilpane (for pain) and Smecta for diarrhoea. He wrote a prescription for comprehensive blood tests to establish beyond doubt the bacteria that had caused the boils and carbuncle, and also to be sure she has not developed any diabetes. He also wants to be kept up to date with progress (or the lack of it). He also gave me a new prescription for Tramacet, saying that if my pain persists I should take more than the two pills a day I have managed on. I picked up the meds from the pharmacy next door (so convenient) and returned to her in the car. She must go to Pathcare for the blood test, but not today because I must get to school. A passing pedestrian had noticed our rear nearside tyre was half deflated. We drove to Caltex and they pumped it up, then we went home. After a coffee I drove to Tiger Wheel & Tyre
and they repaired it while I sipped a coffee. They had done this before to the same tyre. Frog Whatsapped to say he couldn't get the money because his brother Carlitos' name had been spelt wrong by Mukuru. Carlitos has the necessary ID for receipt of money. I went on the Mukuru site to the chat line, and after five minutes they a corrected message to Carlitos.
At 2:45 I left for the wedding rehearsal. When I arrived at the wine cellar on the Fourie farm where I had thought the wedding was being held, I saw no sign of it. I went back to the gate where I had turned right, and were some men were doing road works. They were able to tell me that the wedding was in a field a little further up the road beyond the wine cellar. I found it, and drove several minutes along a very rough trail designed for 4 x 4 vehicles. The field was surrounded by vines, pregnant with wine grapes, with a bamboo 'gateway' erected where presumambly the couple would stand. No-one else was there. My phone had no signal. I waited 15 minutes and drive back to the Iris mission house were there were a few people. Maggie told me Alex was still in Robertson having a hair cut. Two hours later I returned to the field where about 15 were gathered, including Greg, the guitarist from Hermanus. We compared the sound of his guitar and mine plugged in, and both of us thought his sounded just fine.
I said that maybe Kaysha's concept of an electic guitar was a hard rock sound like AC/DC. The two radio microphones that had been provided with the speaker worked fine. Greg usually played seated and had no guitar strap, so he used mine. The betrothed never did turn up for the rehearsal, and Chris, the pastor who would conduct the service tomorrow informed us that the rehearsal would now take place tommorrow at 9:30. I drove home and was relieved to find L-A was continuing to improve. In fact, she felt she might be able to make it to the wedding. I prepared what would be needed in the prison tomorrow for the Alpha session 'How can I be filled with the Holy Spirit.'
Thu Jan 17
Jan Buchanan phoned at about 5 to say she was 20 minutes from home, returning from East London. I said I would go to her house immediately, feed the animals, and be ready to let her in, which I did.
Shortly after the beginning of tonight's CWCP broadcast, featuring Godfrey, L-A needed to pee.
She had been lying on her front on the bed pretty constantly for two weeks, and because she wasn't moving much had made a unilateral decision not to take her Arthrotec. For the last couple of days, muscles in her back had been very painful when she slowly worked her way off the bed and into the toilet. This evening when she tried to get out of bed to use the toilet, the muscles round her rib cage and in her back put her in unbearable pain. Amid some screaming she did eventually make it. This was very concering to me because I hadn't realized she had stopped taking Arthrotec, and I thought this was a serious new development that was beyond my capabilities to deal with. I believed she should go into the Mediclinic emergency as soon as possible. We posted a message on her prayer supporters page to see if they had any advice and they all recommended hospital. I packed the things she would need into a suitcase. I placed a Tena pad to cover the carbuncle. Then I called Mediclinic. It was about 9 pm.
They said that if she came in she would probably lie in a bed till morning and then would see a doctor. Furthermore, if she needed an ambulance I would need to arrange that separately and
they gave me the number - 084124. L-A and I discussed this and decided that there was no benefit to her sleeping in a strange bed without expert treatment, and that we would take her in in the morning. She took Arthrotec. In fact she slept through. I posted on the prayer group Whatsapp group that I wouldn't be with them in the morning, and asked for their prayers.
Wed Jan 16
I awoke around 4:30 with my right hip and leg in some pain. I decided that I would take my regular pills now instead of after breakfast, so that firstly I would sleep better for the rest of the night and second I would be more comfortable starting the day. I had an apple and then took the pills.
Frog called from Pemba to say that he was out of hospital. However he has a major challenge to pay his school fees in a lump sum for the coming year and buy school uniform items. He is 19 but had returned to school. He has two more years there to earn an education certificate which is pre-requisite to getting any kind of real job. The total amount he needed was about 1400 MZN, or equivalent to $37; not a huge amount for us, but way out of his reach. It didn't take us very long to decide to send the money, so I re-acquainted mystelf with the not-user-friendly Mukuru, and was able to take the money from my on-line FNB account. He has other challenges after his mother's death. She had been renting the house where they lived (which L-A and I had visited in Pemba), so now he is homeless. He will have to scrounge around for accommodation and money for food. The fact that he placed his education as
more important that these things endeared me to him, and I knew we should help.
Tue Jan 15
It's one week before regular school starts. I have enjoyed being less driven by my calendar, but something in me wants to get back to a more vigourous routine. I have been able to catch up on many outstanding actions. We had a great holiday trip, thanks entirely to Laurie-Ann who as organized every holiday we have ever had. The only blight has been L-A's health; primarily severe allergic reactions to something in the environment, and her personal plague of boils and the carbuncle, something I wouldn't wish on an enemy, if I have one. For her today was same new, same new, as between us we battled the seemingly endless stream of puss from her carbuncle.
At 1:30 I left for Cape Town airport to pick up Andre and Janey. I had concerns about leaving L-A for several hours. Beside her she had our emergency button that would bring medical staff to her aid, and she also had a powerpack for her phone. Their flight was a half hour late. They had had a great time, particularly Nixon, who had swum every day. They were glad to be back in the better air quality and lower humidity of the Western Cape. When I went to pay for my parking, the machines wouldn't read my ticket. I called the parking number and was advised to press the help button on the pay console if the ticket wouldn't work there either. It didn't, but the help botton allowed us out without paying, saving about $15 since we had been there a while. We stopped at the Engen station for chocolate milks, which the Deventers swear is the best thirst quencher, and then proceded home, battling some rush-hour trafic. I was home shortly after seven.
L-A had managed to 'hold it in' throughout. After getting her comfortable I went to Jan's to feed the animals. Kaysha phoned to see if the guitarist who was going to play at her wedding on Saturday could use my guitar, because she prefered an acoustic sound to an electric sound, and his acoustic guitar has no pick-up. She had ordered a battery powered amplifier-speaker for the wedding. She invited me to attend the wedding rehearsal on Friday to make sure the technical details were fully checked out. It's Lynn's birthday tomorrow, so I selected a Jacquie Lawson card intending have it ddelivered tomorrow, but I must have missed something because it went out immediately, so I sent an e-mail apologizing for the premature delivery.
Mon Jan 14
I don't feel too good these mornings, but I feel a lot better than L-A. I usually take my pain meds and vitamins (NuSkin Life Essentials and Overdrive) as soon as I have some food in my body, but I sense the benefits are taking several hours to be apparent, instead of 15 minutes. During those hours I have felt 'flu symptoms and lethargy. Today I felt fine by about 1 pm, which is good because I was in Avian Park by 3. L-A needs my help to get to the toilet from the bed, because when she takes an upright position after being horizontal, the puss in her carbuncle tends to spurt out due to gravity. What we hope for but haven't yet seen is a time when there is no more puss to come out.
I confirmed with Danielia that her house would be available for the Mailbox Club.
At 3 I was taking Jamelia and Bella to Danielia's, and when we got there there were 9 children ready for their class! I decided to have some praise singing at the beginning of their class, and set up my guitar and amp while the new attendance sheet was being completed. The children - learners and teachers - all loved the singing and sang lustily. They then got started on 'Best Friends' I then left and drove to Mannikin. It was now around 3:30 and Chantelle had joined forces with Anthonica with about 9 kids. Again I led them all in music and they too had a great time singing. Chantelle and Anthonica told me they needed school supplies and had the Walton's discount forms offering 25% off. They thought the forms meant the supplies were free. I told them I would come back around 4, and went on to
see how Chrizelle and Macayla were getting on. Macayla was teaching about seven children, who were clearly engaged. There wouldn't be time for music, so I prayed with them and returned to Mannikin. Neither Chantelle now Anthonica had their signed parental consent forms, and I could have used this as a reason not to take them out of the Park. But I didn't, and soon we were at Waltons. I realized this would cost us, but I felt that it could give them both a good start in school, so it was like an investment in their education, which both of them take seriously. So I let them gather up what they wanted. They were very happy and grateful, and we did get the discount. After returning them to their homes, I got back to L-A to make sure she was OK before going out to feed Jan's animals.
Sun Jan 13
L-A unable to come to church. I watched Brian Houston, then drove down to Avian Park. Picked up Jamelia, Anthonica, and for the first time Veronica, Britney's mother. First thing she did was tell me they had no food in the house. Chantelle and a friend with a baby wanted a lift to OVD, a housing complex where they have relatives. The church was full and I couldn't even see where my guests were. After worship, Jamelia and Anthonica went to the Sunday school, and Veronica stayed to listen to the sermon. It was a unique (to my memory) study of the similarities between the life of King David and the life of Jesus. Watch it here. It ended with a plea to us all not to wait till we are perfect to spread the Gospel. You may be divorced, bankrupt, but you can still tell others about Jesus.
After coffee and quiche in Milk and Honey, where I gave Veronica R30, I took them home. They wanted iced lollies, which at OK turned out to be chock ices, and chips for Veronica. In the afternoon L-A suggested watching an episode of 'Victoria' lying on the bed. After 15 mins my back wasn't in good shape, and I wondered how she was able to lie like that all day reading her iPad. We did watch, and appreciate Victoria, which was focussed on the Irish potato famine, and the objections of parliament to giving them relief, since most of them were papists. This was most upsetting to the queen, who strongly advised her prime minister to be charitable, and he was.
Sat Jan 12
After helping L-A with what she needed while I would be out, and just managing to download the YouTube of Raise a Hallelujah, I drove to Brandvlei, on the way picking up a hitchhiker. Typical conversation: "Hello I can't take you all the way because I'm going to Brandvlei to tell the inmates how much Jesus loves them." Reply from middle aged man with tools - "Jesus must have arranged for you to pick me up. He is so good to me." Honestly, it's hard to find anyone here who doesn't either know the Lord well, or is quite happy to talk about him. People love to be prayed for, and we love praying for them. In the jail, Alrico was on duty making me very welcome. We had been moved next door, where there is more space, and Isaac had made sure I had the A/V techology I am used to. My guitar sounded great plugged into their audio amp and their singing was awesome. After the first two songs I showed them 'Raise a Hallelujah' and they loved it.
Then we sang 'Father could you mend me.' 'What does the Holy Spirit do?' was today's video, which talks to our being adopted sons of God. At the end I told them the story of Jan's adoption of Joy. On the way home I stopped off at Avian Park and was able to confirm that we could use Chrizelle's house for our meeting in the afternoon, and was also able to find almost all the girls and tell them. At home I spent the intervening few hours before that meeting being a little stressed about it. How best to deal with the envy? And then I had a nudge from the Holy Spirit to talk about the ten commandments. I found a kid's version of them and printed it off. I arrived at 49 Nightingale where three girls were waiting. They bundled into the car and we went in search of the others, finding four of them. Back in No 49 I began the program with prayer for L-A, and them, then did the paperwork with my copies of the attendance sheets to switch from 'Storytime' to 'Best Friends.' Each club leader got 5 photocopies of Best Friends. At this point Chantelle arrived, so now we had all 8 leaders, which included Marsha and Britney, who I reminded them would start a new club when they have had a little more training. When the admin was done I taught on the Ten Commandments. Saving the best till last, Do not Covet, I explained what coveting was and how some of them had a problem with it; how it included being jealous when something nice happened to someone else. I pointed to my paper and told them that was a sin, carefully not looking at Chantelle. They were all paying close attention, and not even playing with cell phones. I then gave out the (cold) hot cross buns I had buttered (Macayla scraped off her butter) and Pine drink. Then I took some pictures using flash which came out very well, and they of course wanted to see them. Bella is a little camera-shy after losing her front teeth. I foolishly mentioned that two of my favourite pictures were of her
when she still had them. When we went outside for some group photos - the first with the whole group - she stood in the background looking away. Strangely this enhanced the overall shape of the composition. Apart from that faux pas by me, I was much encouraged by the meeting and the cooperation they had given me.
Fri Jan 11
I was back at the early morning prayer meeting at Carlo's house, and happy to be there, though only Marius and Hilton showed up. Good prayer; good company. I mentioned colloidal silver when telling them a little about L-A's condition, and Carlo said that it was marvellous stuff, either applied topically or injested. Apparently it was used in the first world war for quick healing of burns and wounds in the days before antibiotics. I am glad I listened to Dis-Chem and Carlo rather than taking too much notice of on-line information about colloidal silver, which is universally negative. It reminded me of on-line information about apple cider vinegar, which Laurie-Ann wouldn't be without. 10 years ago it was said to have no medical benefit whatsoever. Today it is promoted positively on line with multiple benefits. Go figure! Around 9:30 the carbuncle was oozing large amounts of water, puss and some blood, to the extent I had to hold a cloth on it when she walked to the toilet. I put colloidal silver on the carbuncle. Two hours later new smooth skin was in evidence in the central area, and there was no oozing! So at the next opportunity I also put it on the boils on her abdomen, one of which had started to bleed, probably as a result of rubbing on the bed sheet when she painfully got herself down from the bed. We now had two sheets badly soiled, plus all our towels, so I took them to the laundry.
I also took a copy of 'Best Friends' to Rodlyn's, and they made 20 copies for R40 while I waited. I had a rest beside L-A from 2 - 3 pm, and then drove to Avian Park to try and organize our Saturday meeting to be in Chrizelle's hour like last Saturday, but her house was locked. The wind was blowing really hard so there weren't too many people on the street, but I spotted Macayla. I told her about L-A and asked if she would speak to Chrizelle to allow us to use her house. A little later I found Anthonica and told her. Apparently her opening days as a prefect at school had gone well. I didn't see any more of our girls so I decided to come by after prison tomorrow. Maggie called L-A and wanted to come over and bring food, but I asked her not to. It would need too much activity (eg dressing) for L-A at this time. So they had a good chat. Chantelle sent a FB message to L-A complaining that I had bought shoes for (her friend) Anthonica. This doesn't bode well for tomorrow's meeting. I replied using L-A's phone and posing as her, ignoring her comment and reminding her about the meeting.
Thu Jan 10
I was in a town somewhere in the South of France on a project with a colleague. The car got stuck in a cul de sac and I walked around to see if there was a way out - yes, but on a long narrow bridge across the bay. I returned to the car to put a large piece of art in the trunk. Scene shifts to several more men in the car and I wasn't driving. Instead of the narrow bridge they find a good road across the bay. We drive until we see the sea shore ahead, and they park on the beach, then walk towards the sea. Who are these men? One by one they turn and walk towards me. I feel nervous. Did they drive down here to kill me? I must take the initiative. I launch myself at the man in front. Next thing I know is a bang as my body lands on the floor beside my bed. But unlike the last time this happened, the cushions I had placed on my bedside table do their job and my head or face are not hit. The dream was very coherent and detailed, like my previous two dreams that knocked me out of bed. I will take a Sedatif PC
homeopathic sleeping pill every night instead of every second or third. Don't get me wrong - I have no difficulty sleeping, but these pills, like Noctura in UK and Insomnia in Canada stop me sleepwalking. One result of this episode was that L-A took the opportunity to have a pee (it was about 4:30), which meant she didn't need to at normal waking up time, and was able to stay on her front until mid morning. Riana rang her to find our how she was, and L-A was comforted very much by her care and their conversation. She mentioned that she found worship to be a good antidote to times of difficulty. She had seen a new video from Bethel Music with a song that was inspired by a life-threatening medical issue for a young boy called Jackson, and how the worship leader had experienced a 'giant of unbelief' in his path as they prayed for Jackson, but then the Lord gave him this powerful song, 'Raise a Hallelujah.' Jackson recovered! I immediately decided to play the song as the finale for tonight's Worcester Report, and completed the mixdown. The last few days Cindy and I have returned to communicating, this time on Whatsapp. Apparently she is planning to visit Ghana, so needs to know things like the power supplies there. It's nice to be back in touch. We used to text a lot a couple of years ago and it taught me that texting has some advantages over other forms of communications, particuarly with a good friend.
In the afternoon I visited the hospice. I don't remember seeing so many people just clinging on to life. One 37 year old with cancer looked like a skeleton. I prayed that either Jesus take him home, or totally cure him, but the status quo is unnacceptable. His sister was keeping watch in the same private room, and I chatted and comforted and prayed for her.
I had messaged Gerhart Strydom yesterday about the next course, 'Best Friends' for the clubs, and he replied saying he had the materials just at 8 pm when The Worcester Report was starting. So I drove down to his school and brought them back. I will need to do some photocopying. The program went out fine, ending with the new Bethel song, Raise a Hallelujah. L-A complimented me on the reading of 'Legacy.'
Wed Jan 9
The pain from the carbuncle means that L-A is spending most of the day on the bed on her front. She can't use the computer for Ways to Grow in God, or for the accounts, and receipts are piling up. Instead of Ways to Grow tomorrow night, I had the idea to broadcast my readings of the start of 'Legacy,' by Jasper Cloete, and he was OK with it.
I went to Vinkrivier, arriving about 4:30 before anyone else. Maggie arrived around 5, and the couple whom Kaysha thinks may take over the leadership of the kids' club, Flip and Inge-Lize arrived shortly after, so I had the chance to meet them. Flip went to run a soccer game for the boys, and I joined Maggie for the Alpha course. There were 3 guests including Jenny. Maggie set up the very sophisticated equipment, loaned by Mike. Battery powered everything, projector about the size of 2 cell phones with the video file on an SD card. The loudspeaker was a megaphone style piece of sh*t from a sound quality standpoint, connected with a proprietary mini 3-pin plug, so it would not be easy to substitute a better speaker. We ran 'How can I be sure of my faith?' and I think Lydia and Minmarie caught some of the concepts even if the voice track was very hard to distinguish. Afterwards we drove over to Francolin's (?) house to meet up with Kaysha. Now I have seen two of the farm cottages close up.
Frog called from Pemba. He was in hospital with diarrhoea and vomiting, and his mother had died of D & V on Christmas Day. We had met her when we invited them to have a meal with us just outside the base main gate. I comforted him. Later I posted this news with pictures of him and his mother with us on the HS 24 FaceBook.
I worked on the Worcester Report, finding a piece of music I had written for the intro and outro of the 'Legacy' segment. It was the beginning of Amptude #1 which I had extemporized on the keyboard back in 1991. If this by any chance winds up on the 'Legacy' audiobook, we won't have to worry about copyright. There's just 7 minutes left to complete the program, which I will do tomorrow.
In the evening we watched 'Victoria' with L-A sitting partly on the 'donut' and with our one piece of plastic postioned to stop puss and blood oozing onto the couch. Every time she gets off the bed, pressure increases withing the carbuncle, forcing out more puss and blood. This is a good thing.
Tue Jan 8
Thank goodness I can be home most of the time because L-A needs me. She sometimes comes into the living room, but that is more and more difficult as the carbuncle flexes its muscles. I went to the doctor's office around 10 to collect the new prescriptions, and also got a 'Donut' from Boshoff Orthopedics which in theory should allow L-A to sit down without bad pain. Unfortunately the carbuncle is too close to the bottom
of her back for this to work well. I drove to Rodlyn's and found that they do much more than refill ink cartridges, including photocopying. The CRA had sent me an e-mail yesterday suggesting I check my messages on 'My Account.' This is usually a chore and inconsequential so I didn't get round to doing it till this evening. Bear in mind my work on the small amount of my tax rebate on New Year's Day. Imagine my surprize and delight therefore when the message informed me that they had reassessed my return, and had sent an additional $861.98 tax rebate! Lord, thank you. I shared the good news with L-A. Interestingly this is very close to the $846.65 that was due before the end of the year for our Calabogie maintenance fee. Seems like the Lord wanted to soften the blow.
Mon Jan 7
The mornings are bad. Getting out of bed for a pee involves L-A in major pain. The carbuncle is getting worse, and the boils are oozing puss and some water. So getting to the floor from the bed will either hurt her tummy or her backside. I am talking screaming-level pain. The Propolis from Simply Bee that we had bought yesterday was effective in treating the open boils, drawing out puss and watery blood. The doctor had said he would phone when he received the lab repot on the swab from one of her boils.
L-A had the good idea that I should interview Jan about the story of Joy for this Thursday. I called Jan and arranged it for this evening after 5. She mentioned that there had been violence near the library in Avian Park, and recommended I call Danielia to see if she thought it safe to hold a Mailbox club there this afternoon. I tried but failed to reach Danielia, so left a message.
At 5 to 3 I was at Chrizelle's house, delighted to find that she and Macayla already had about 7 children being taught outside her house. I drove down the street to Jamelia's and Bella's amd neither of them was there. The people who were there didn't know their whereabouts. I called Danielia and left a message that my earlier message was now mute, since we had no teachers for her Club. In Mannikin Street, Chantelle was not at home. Anthonica was there on her own but with no children. What she had was a nicely written letter to me begging for school clothes: shows, socks and a tie. She was now a prefect and on Wednesday school would start. She also needed R30 relating to the first day back. I noticed cigarette butts in the room suggesting that her mother was still smoking, although Anthonica said they were old. I felt for her because she had achieved the prefect status, and clearly had come to me as a last resort. I told her I would be back.
I returned to Chrizelle's and got out the travel guitar (it was hot) and led the children in 4 songs. They loved it, and so did their teachers. This was the peak moment of my day. I went back to get Anthonica, and on the way Chantelle saw me and told me she had finished the Mailbox Storytime course with her children. Since she has been the first club to start, this is possible. I drove to Anthonica's house, and of course Chantelle wanted to come. I said no. Anthonica had not, or course, yet had her mother sign the parental permission slip, so I could have refused to take her. I decided to take the risk because the chance of her mother calling the police when she got home from work was small. I drove Anthonica to various stores and bought her the shoes, socks and tie she needed. She wanted a rucksack as well but I refused. I gave her R50. She bought a meat roll and a drink and still had R30 for school. She was actually pretty happy with the shopping trip. The problem will come later where the other girls expect the same. When I got home, Dr van der Merwe had called L-A with the results of the lab test. He prescribed Cloxin, a different penecillin, and I would be be able to collect it tomorrow morning. L-A had also discovered from Diane Blenkiron that colloidal silver could help with carbuncles, and that Dis-Chem sold it.
I drove to Jan's with the mic and Marantz and soon Jan was telling the full story of Joy over the last 10 years. I had hoped that Joy herself would answer a few questions at the end, and Jan was able to persuade her! Jan asked if I could feed her dogs, cats, and garden vegetables next week when they are going to Port Elizabeth. Finally I brought her up to date with the Mailbox Clubs including today's shopping trip with Anthonica. Jan mentioned that I shouldn't have been out alone with her according to YWAM guidelines.
We relaxed with Victoria.
Sun Jan 6
My alarm was set to 4:45. L-A was determined to make this trip and subjugated her pain. She managed to get out of bed and wash herself with my help. We had something to eat - mainly to allow us to take morning medications. Chantelle had confirmed that she was with Vodacom. I say she, but it is almost certainly her mothers phone that needs data. I sent her about 300 MB from Powertime. By 5:50 we were on our way to Andre and Janey's house. At 6, Nixon, Andre's guide dog, came out to welcome us. We embarked passengers, filled up with petrol at the Durbon Street Shell station (the subsidized petrol prices had kicked in), and Garmin told us we would arrive at the airport by 7:20. It was a gorgeous day and the trip went well. Amazingly. L-A wasn't complaining of pain. We arrived at the airport parking lot by 7:45 and they said their goodbyes to L-A as they left for their holiday in Margate.
I accompanied them to help with luggage. They wanted to check 3 bags, but were only allowed 2, so Nixon's bag went in the cabin with them. Once they had their boarding passes, a disability helper took over my role and one of their bags, and I concentrated on getting a few photos as they went through the security gate.
From the airport, L-A and I drove to our rendezvous with Kerleed X. He had been introduced to us a year ago via Nahia Haddad in Ottawa after he had approached Pastor Andrew, who has a ministry to Somalians who have converted to Christianity. At last we were to meet him. We found his temporary lodging on Athena Street easily enough. When I stopped the car, a man got up from working on the road and asked if we had come to visit someone.
He then went inside the house and brought Kerleed out. It was an emotional meeting. We drove out of the township, a dangerous area, to a more open area the other side of the N1 highway and chatted. It had to be brief because he was depending on a lift back to Uppington sometime this day to see his wife and children. He said I was the the first Christian in South Africa that he had had contact from. A local church in Cape Town has offered to sponsor him in theological studies! He plans to bring his family here from Uppington. He also says he'll be able to visit us in Worcester. If he does, he has agreed to be interviewed for CWCP. He has always wanted to tell the story of his conversion.
After half an hour we took him back, and got on our way to the Somerset West mall, where there is a store - Wellness Warehouse - that stocks Simply Bee products, and L-A believed that their Propolis can sooth her boils. I got their last bottle. Then we went for coffee at Hillsong before enjoying the 11:30 service. The original plan was to bring Kerleed here. Maybe later in the year. As we got back to Worcester it was clear that for whatever reason L-A had been spared the extreme discomfort she might have expected on this trip today. But the relief wasn't to last. Once we were home the pain and suffering returned. She had discovered that the thing on her butt was a carbuncle. The way to treat it is with hot compresses to draw out the poison, so we got busy. We weren't even able to squeeze in an episode of Victoria. During the night we were up several times attending to the boils and trying to help her get a little sleep.
Sat Jan 5
Although she had a better night than the previous night, L-A was too sore to come to Brandvlei. I brought a couple of hitch-hikers to the Brandvlei corner. I was able to plug my guitar into their amp again, so from now on I don't need to take the Blackstar. After music and jokes (which they loved), I explained how the Alpha Weekend is done outside jails, and then We had the Intro to the Weekend, and 'Who is the Holy Spirit.' This is one of my favourite pieces of Christian video. At home I prepared what I would be teaching the Mailbox leaders in the afternoon. L-A is a little better, but will she be well enough to come to Cape Town tomorrow when I (we?) take Andre and Janey to the airport?
Following the altercation with police last Sunday evening on Mockingbird Street, I prepared some permission notes for Avian Park parents to sign if they were entrusting their children to me.
Becuase of L-A's indisposition I had told our girls that we wouldn't be bringing them to our house this afternoon. Instead I met them as planned in Chrizelle's house. Actually I had to collect Chantelle, Britney and Anthonica who hadn't got the message. Everyone was there except Jamelia. I had brought little cakes and a large fizzy orange. I first handed out the permission notes for their parents to sign. They all appreciated the need. Then I reinforced our mission with Mailbox Clubs, and I believe they took it in and appreciated the importance. The group was paying serious attention. Then I ran over the key parts of each Mailbox Club session. I confirmed that the clubs would re-start this coming Monday, and suggested that if they saw any of their learners in the streets they should remind them. I left them at about 3:45 - it had been a very good meeting.
I decided to try again to install Whatsapp Web on my laptop computer. Many months ago I had tried and got the impression ir wasn't supported on my not-the-latest system software. But Phil Adewumi had said that wasn't the case. So I followed the simple intructions, and not too long after it was working. What a difference in my efficiency compared with the Mozambique phone's tiny on screen characters. It was shortly after this that I received a message from Cindy saying she had reloaded Whatsapp on her phone. So I sent her a message, and soon after got a reply. The reason this is important is that I have had great difficulty e-mailing her since she left investors Group.
In the evening we watched another episode on 'Victoria' while I worked on L-A's feet as I do periodically. Chantelle messaged L-A about 9:45 and asked for some phone data. This was a first! I had L-A reply and ask how much she needed, and to say this one one emergency response; not the beginning of a regular source of supply. She needed R20 worth of data - somewhat less than I had envisaged. L-A then asked her which company had given her phone number. We went to bed about 10:30 after setting the alarm for 4:45, having not heard back from Chantelle. I still wasn't confident that L-A would be coming on tomorrow's trip to Cape Town with Andre and Janey ...
Fri Jan 4
L-A had a dreadful night with the painful boils, which do respond to Ibuprofen gel, of which, thank goodness, we have plenty. Around 9 am I called the doctor's office, and was put through direct to Dr van der Merwe. I told him she had a temperature of 103, and the boils were very painful. He assured me that the anti-biotic should have done its job by tomorrow and she'll feel better. L-A cancelled our Afrikaans lesson.
There had been no reponse from Mella about Mpho's end of term report. Around 12:30 I drove to Zweletemba to Mandisa's house and gave her Mpho's report. He and Khanyo (and Mandisa) were very happy to see me and we spent some quality time. Kanyo did very well at Worcester Primary last term and has fitted in with the other students. Mpho thinks he will be going there this coming term. Mandisa had been suffering recently from the same boils as L-A, but after taking the anti-biotic she had recovered quickly and was fine now. She says it is caused by the heat.
I went on to Kleinplasie to see Heather and pick up from her 3 more purses, one for Jamelia who has broken her phone screen. Back home there was a FaceBook message from Bella
saying she was home if I wanted to bring her Christmas presents. So I took the Afrikaans Bible and the purse made by Heather and went to her house. She was very happy with the gifts. I told her and Jamelia I was planning to have our Saturday meeing in Chrizelle's house since l-A was unwell. I then went to Chriszelle's and she said we could indeed meet there. Shortly after I saw Anthonica and Chantelle and told them the same. This had been a good visit.
In the evening we watched the second program in the second season of Victoria.
Thu Jan 3
We were in Dr van der Merwe's office, together, at 10:30. He examined her, and said that it was a blood condition, and may have originated by an infection in her nose (she has no pain there). He prescribed penicillin, Stilpane, and Naseptin for the nose. He took a swab of pus from one of the boils to send to the lab. After collecting the prescriptions (and more Tramacet for me) from Fairbain Pharmacy, we went to the Traffic Department, and successfully renewed the car licence disc in about 3 minutes, far
less time that I had expected after my experiences a year ago. I spent the afternoon completing the editing of Alex and Kaysha's interview, and then working on the 20 minutes of time left to fill. My plan was to use a series of historical audio recordings from Tape B1, but when I plugges in the red disk, B1 was nowhere to be found. Either I had failed to digitize it, or it was misfiled.
The time was now 6:30 and I needed a new plan, and fast. I searched for New Year's Day songs (there aren't many) and found Abba's from 1980, a nice tune. When I had done a back-up a few days ago, I had come across a recording made by L-A of me speaking to the children in Avian park library about what it means to be a Christian. I checked it out and felt it would do nicely, showing our audience exactly what is involved in preaching the Gospel in the townships. So I got the recording from the red disk and rapidly made three 'tonytalk' continuity pieces, and was soon doing the final mix-down.
We were 15 minutes late in starting the prelude music, but that's OK. L-A got up around then, and we both listened to the show as it went out. Sounded good to me. During the Alex/Kaysha interview there were a peak of 6 people listening live, more than for any other program. Sadly all of them tuned out immediately the interview was done. Why do people do that? It's good quality radio. After the show I got the podcast ready and decided to put a link to my Falling in Love radio program from CKCU four years ago. We watched the first program in the second season of Victoria on the iPad.
Wed Jan 2
Laurie-Ann's rash is responding to the Quadriderm, but the boils - if that's what they are - are getting worse and multiplying. And they are painful. She has one on her backside that makes getting into bed very hard for her. We tried painting them with baking powder paste this morning. It is meant to draw out the pus. It did seem to give some relief.
I picked up Janey about 1:30 and brought her to our home where she spent the afternoon praying with L-A and watching 'Loving Vincent.' My larger ink cartridge had run out yesterday, so I was using the emergency cartridge. My ink refilling company had been closed over the holiday season, and I called the number today to hear that he had shut up shop. However the lady who answered the phone told me about Rodlyn's in Fairy Glen who also refil cartridges. And that's closer to Hooggelegen.
At about 3:00 I set out direction Robertson with L-A's four framed art pieces - Sintra among them - plus the three from Doxa. I wasn't expecting to be able to hang them this afternoon in the Fourie Vignerons cafe, but in fact it turned out successful. There was a wooden batten which Sintra went on with two picture hanging hooks, and is pretty secure. The other locations all were on hard plaster, but much to my surprize the small nails in the little hooks all went in well enough to take the weight. I gave the list of prices and commissions for the cafe to Rita, the lady who
has served us coffee so many times as we went on to the Vinkrivier kids' club. I then joined Kaysha, Maggie and newly arrived from USA Karrie, and we discussed the future for the club when Kaysha has gone to Rwanda. We know that we need an Afrikaans speaking preferably male leader for the club to flourish, and we prayed for God to provide one. Neither Maggie nor I feel called to that role, but we would be happy to continue in supporting roles. Kaysha, Karrie and I then drove to club member Jenny's home to encourage her following her month in a Cape Town psychiatric ward.
She looked and sounded fine. It was very interesting to visit this farmworkers home, with mother and original father (!) still present, plus 4 or 5 younger kids, including Keenan, whom we know from kids' club. They have a stone house on a hillside, reachable by climbing a dirt path from the road. The idea surfaced that Jenny could assume more of a leadership role. She is about 22 and speaks Aftikaans and English fluently. I was home by 7 and took Janey home. L-A and I dined at about 8 on turducken - very nice - then I started working on The Worcester Report.
New Year's Day
L-A asked if I would do some on-line searching for the rash she is experiencing. I faily soon found a condition called Hidradentitis Suppurativa, with photos very like her rash.
Commercial holiday here, which I forgot when I went out to the chemist - so came home again. Have to be careful driving because my licence is out of date, so the less driving the better.
For some months one of the more important items on my do-list has been to re-examine my income tax return and figure out why my rebate was a lot lower than UFile had predicted. I haven't tried to do this till now because I felt it would be a detailed forensic exercise and take much time. But when I looked at my notice of assessment and compared it with my tax return I saw immediately where the problem may be. The total income on the NoA was $9K more than on my return - which would translate into the lower tax rebate.
I checked each figure carefully and finally it dawned on me that I hadn't included my CPP and OAS in the income that I had reported. So I checked the scans of T-forms that had been sent by Janet at IG, and there was no sign of a T4-CPP or T4-OAS. That was why I hadn't reported it. But I did know the exact amounts from my expenses and income spreadsheet, and the total exactly matched the discrepancy. QED. What is very interesting is that the CRA had corrected the error, since they would have had access to the T-forms. Strangely, though, they said nothng about the
cause of the error in the NoA letter - just that there were errors in the income. The bad news is that I can't claim another $3,000 rebate, but the good news is that I don't have to claim another $3,000 rebate, which will save me a lot of time.
I have been putting on L-A's prescription ointment three times a day, and I think that the rash is improving. However she is developing boils on her stomach, and today she has one on her finger. Are these connected with the Hidradentitis Suppurativa? I called the doctor's office and they were able to book her in for 10:30 on Thursday with Dr van der Merwe.
Mandisa Whatsapped me asking if she could have Mpho's end-of-term report, and I Whatsapped Mella. I prepared the GNiTM archive broadcast for tomorrow, and the computer battery indicator was flashing oddly. The battery is shot, but could still cause problems. So I did a back up in case I am in trouble.
Copples in Western Cape