Wednesday 1 March
So we woke early and packed up our trailer not having a clue where we would be sleeping tonight. We had a special time praying with the family we were staying with before we headed off to get our police clearance and be introduced to Living Hope. We’d hope to be able to work into the one area but as they had a gang shooting there last week no one can work there at the moment. I went off to the mom’s group with our 2 little people and Neil took the others to go and see the farm.
I loved being with the moms. However, it was fairly structured in that I didn’t get much time to chat to the moms. But it was good to meet them. At lunch time we needed to find some picnic bits and pieces which we enjoyed at Imhoff farm. We spent sometime looking around the farm stalls and estate agents. This gave us an opportunity to share our story and our song as we asked if anyone knew of a place for us to stay.
We had a quick play on Fish Hoek beach before settling that we are going to take up the offer of our friends to camp in their garden. This journey is crazy and not turning out how we expected. Camping in a garden! We are literally living in the moment, seeing God simply supply our daily needs. This having faith is hard work, I’m tired!
Parenting ain’t easy…
Being Mom on the road is hard work too. Everyone needs a piece of you all the time. With camping in the garden, routine is out the window. One little person in particular is taking strain with the lack of routine. The moaning and complaining and arguing wearies me to the bone. Why does every instruction I give result in her responding with…. “No – I have an idea actually.” Me saying “No” means nothing except providing a challenge for which she can rise to. Having no routine as such has lead to a downward spiral of “but, no, But I want to , I don’t want to , actually ……”
Yet Being Mom is something we become when our little people enter into our lives – not something we just do when we feel up to it. So even when the road is long and the days endless if we choose to stop. And ask. And listen. Our heavenly father whispers his wisdom and truth into every disagreement. He leads us on and upward as to how we should keep moving forwards.
Sunday 26 Feb Day 17
Sunday dawned upon this sleepy family. We decide to attend the church with which Living Hope is associated. It was with great joy that we once again heard it being preached that we are here as the body to serve and to rub shoulders with others. He kept asking – what is your story? Can you tell your story? He spoke about binding up the broken and setting captives free, the same words spoken again and again to us. It was profound hearing exactly what God has said to us as a family over the past months.
After church we spent a lovely afternoon catching up with another beautiful family who have loved us so much over the years. When I first started homeschooling Kadin was probably about 18 months old. Her daughters were 12 years old and up. Yet she would let me come into their home – whenever I rocked up on the door step – and just let me be there.
We sat colouring in or playing with the chickens while she homeschooled her girls. So much was woven into the fiber of my being mom and raising my children to love and serve God in those simple hours of just watching them raise their children and being a part of their everyday life. As we still have no place to stay on Monday she gave me the number of a friend who she thinks may know someone who is away, we also left our names at the church in the morning. All we can do in this regard is trust God. Our dear friends did however invite us to camp in their garden if need be. I know that this is not the answer but just knowing there is somewhere to be brings some comfort to us in this time of absolute unknown….
We then spent a beautiful evening with my cousin on the beach watching an eclipse and the sunset. I don’t think my children have played on the beach till 8pm before! Winding our way home over the mountains I was asked to read our school story book to them as they dozed in the car. My mind is feeling so mixed up here. As we used to live here 10 years ago and now we here for a while but we are not on holiday and we technically have no home in KZN… it’s a very surreal feeling knowing the only place that you truly belong and can call home is heaven.
Saturday 18 Feb – Monday 20 Feb
Heading off from this quaint little town we wove our way along the Western Cape coast line to meet up with an old friend and his family. It’s amazing how a decade can pass and sweet friendships simply reunite and pick up again. Matt didn’t think we’d all fit into his house so he arranged for us to stay at a friend of his holiday house. Oh my what a treat this turned out to be. We have found ourselves on the bank of an estuary with a jetty, fishing, crabs, prawns, sea slugs and a myriad of birds 3 steps off our veranda. Not only this, the family staying on the property – not well off by any means – have taken us in ensuring our every need is met! They have fed us cake and vet koek and honey, they have seen the gas for the stove is full, they have done our washing and taught the children all about the tides and the myriad of creatures they have discovered.
A true homeschool moment – Mom, we playing Bartholomew Dias! We collecting shells for the guinea women!
The jetty from our veranda
Doing some nature study on tides
Identifying this slippery sea slug Kadin found in the estuary.
At the close of today I quickly popped out the house to get some things from the trailer and a man popped his head over the wall and introduced himself to me by saying he’d been watching our children all day – his veranda also leads onto the estuary so they had been playing in front of his yard a fair amount- and he wanted to check if we did in fact have six children. He then continued to comment on how amazed he was at how they all looked after each other and helped each other. As we chatted further it turned out that they were wanting to find out about home schooling and Matt had told them we were coming so they had been waiting for us to arrive to talk about it. So there it was our story – our song! Weaving briefly into another’s life before each one going off on their own melody again. Yet for one short refrain we get to sing a stanza with a predestined appointment. What a mighty God we serve!
We were also able to spend sometime frolicking in the natural rock pools. What a delight to this mommy’s ears to hear my little people exclaim with glee at all they have found and discovered and then linking it back to stories we had read about tidal pools and their creatures last year!
Monday 13 Feb – Tuesday 14 Feb
Heading off early the next morning we spent the day exploring Addo Elephant Park before being welcomed on to a farm in the middle of nowhere near Oyster Bay. I had mentioned on a home school Facebook page that we were setting off on this adventure and a family responded offering us to stay on their farm – which they had moved off – for as long as we liked. As we were wanting to get to Cape Town by 21 Feb to house sit for some friends we only stayed for 2 nights. During this time however we were royally greeted and treated. From a family we had never met we were given free reign in their home, on their wifi and even had muffins made for us and meals brought to us. This level of hospitality to a stranger has left an everlasting impact on us as a family. Having 2 nights there gave us a day to do nothing – besides catch up on our journals and begin reading our next homeschool story book.
This year we decided to study South Africa so we are working our way through the Footprints homeschool curriculum. The first book follows the story of a little Khoi boy growing up 500 hundred years ago in the Outeniqua mountains near Mossel bay. The second book is about a little boy who stows away on Bartholemeu Dias ship that discovers the route around the tip of Africa and stops off in Mossel bay. The idea being that we had to have both these book completed before we arrived in Mossel bay in a few days time!
Sunday 12 Feb
Sunday morning saw us again fed from our toes up! What a glorious morning feast! We did then have to hurry off to visit a church headed up by old friends of ours – Dave actually married us and moved to Grahamstown to start a church about 8 years ago. It was quite surreal being in that place, seeing this congregation that God had brought together – something God had predestined and called this couple to step into obedience and build. As we sat in the meeting I found the tears warmly slipping down my cheek as I remembered Dave and Kate saying they were going and us wondering how they would ever pull of such a thing in such a small town. Yet here they are today with an amazing community built in Grahamstown. Phew – the awe of seeing the fruit of obedience! I can’t help thinking what fruit I’ve missed out on through holding onto fear or disobedience.
The sermon was one directed to their congregation but we had to smile as it was so predestined that we were there as it spoke exactly into where God has been talking to us as a family. Into us becoming climate Changers. Bringing heaven to earth and shifting the environment around us. Influencing the spheres into which we are called and bringing God into that moment and time and place. Later on our trip we were in a campsite and some guys arrived in a taxi with their music pumping. As they disembarked the whole atmosphere changed and we quickly finished packing up before moving on our way. Afterwards I thought back on this sermon and wondered at how the world walks in such confidence with no fear of bringing whatever they have and whoever they are into that place and time and yet as Christians we slink around, not wanting to offend. We slip around difficult or controversial topics and in so doing allow the world to be the atmosphere changes instead of us stepping in with the authority of God in that moment to bring the truth of the kingdom of heaven.
After church we took a walk through the old chapel in Grahamstown and stood in awe of the craftsmanship. Our children challenged by the idea of having a different reverence and level of excellence in our workmanship to the glory of God.
How amazing is the quote on this plaque I found in the cathedral honouring men who had died.
Once we had returned to Cath and packed ourselves up to go spent the night with Dave and Kate we headed off to the shops to restock on some vital food items. As I ran into the shop Neil and the kids tidied out the car and repacked their sitting spots for the journey the next day. As I wove among the isles looking for bread and milk I felt a deep panic begin to rise up within my soul. “What are we doing? Why exactly are we on this trip? Are we really hearing God? If we were why do we not have accommodation in Cape Town yet? Where are we going to stay? Is this all actually going to back fire into a sick joke with us returning home next week with our tail between our legs? Where will we stay in Cape Town? Where will we stay? Where will we stay? I could feel fears icy talons work their way around my chest making it hard for me to breathe, let alone think about what I needed to buy. As I stood turning in circles trying to remember what I was in fact in the shops for I heard the gentle voice of my father simply saying, “I can’t use you like this. When you let fear take his hold all you think about is yourself and you can’t even notice the people around you let alone hear what I want to you to say to them. Fear makes you only see yourself.”
As I stumbled out of the shop I was still aware of fear grasping for my heels but I needed to see my family, the car and trailer packed for this trip. I needed to know the truth that our father in heaven has so clearly directed our feet thus far that he won’t let us down now.
We had a good laugh as people tried really hard to look like they weren’t looking at us as we ate our lunch alongside the trailer and then proceeded to unpack our bags in the carpark so that once we reached Dave and Kate we could simply take in one bag for the night.
A lovely time was spent at Dave and Kate catching up and seeing what God is doing in all our lives. They have the most beautiful view from their kitchen window over the whole of Grahamstown. I think if I were to start a church in a town that I would love to have a view like that from my kitchen sink as there isn’t a better way to have a regular reminder of the people you’ve been called to serve and to lift them all up in prayer wherever they are in town at that moment whilst you are washing the dishes. I think one of the most profound things I’ll take away from our time with Dave and Kate was when we asked him how they started the church they are heading up. They arrived knowing only one student so how did they gather people. The reply was so simple and has yet left me with a profoundly impacted. They got people together to eat and pray.
So the simplicity of food and prayer was the start of this beautiful community!
Friday 10 Feb
On Friday 10 February 2017 we headed of on an epic family trip across South Africa. Armed with 3 boxes of school books, activates and road trip games, 3 boxes of food, a box of kitchen and bathroom things, a box of towels, half a suitcase each of clothing, a tent, a gas bottle, whistling kettle, wash basin, porridge pot, a few camping mattresses and our bedding and pillows we headed off into the some known and some unknown days of life on the road.
We had our first few days planned out so we had managed to arrange to have lunch with Neil’s’ aunt in Kokstad – where we were able to have a glimps into Neil’s cousins new water bottling factory. Over the last few months we have been to a taxidermist, coffee barrister and now the water bottling factory – all of which we’ve found people making a living from passion, skill and natural resources – all of which do not require 12 years of institutional schooling. Something we are beginning to see happening around us more and more…..
We were so pleased that we managed to see 2 special family friends for a quick cup of tea in Kokstad. Tucked away from any signs of city life one always feels so refreshed being up in their mountain home. We then drove back down the mountain to spend a wonderful evening reconnecting with old friends.
What an amazing life they have buying and selling cattle, horses and goats from the Eastern Cape to sell in KZN. The children were even treated to a 5:30am hike up into the mountains to go see and check up on the goats. They loved helping pick some up and watch the herd boy feed the orphan goats. As sad as we were to bid farewell to friends we had not seen in so many years we are excited for the journey ahead and that we will be coming back past this way when we return home in 3 months time…..