Posted by: jeremyh06 | December 7, 2009

An update…long overdue!

So most of you have already been sent an email giving you an update on our situation, but I know that we weren’t able to get everyone’s contact information before we left so I wanted to make sure everyone would be caught up.

We hope this update finds you all enjoying the holiday season! We know that it has been a while since you’ve gotten an update and we apologize. We also know that this letter isn’t what you’re probably expecting but if you would please take some time to read it we would be grateful. (see letter below) For those of you who have questions or concerns, we would love to be able to sit down and share our experiences with you. We feel that we have learned a lot and want nothing more than to give insight on ways to continue supporting the ministry here in Mitchell’s Plain. Thank you so much for your love, prayers and support. Without you we would have never made it this far.

To our financial supporters and prayer partners,

We want to start by saying thank you so much for your prayers and financial support! We began our journey to Mitchell’s Plain with great enthusiasm (and fear) of the unknown while also doing our best to stand on the theme of “Fully Relying on God”. We have come to realize over the past 7 weeks that our inexperience and a lack of structure have contributed to our inability in reaching the kids of Mitchell’s Plain. Our experience level does not match the need of this current ministry. We feel that we lack the leadership skills and are not well enough equipped in order to be successful in running the FROG center.

Neither our desire nor our dedication to spread the gospel with children is diminished but we have concluded that we need to find a ministry that has a structured environment where we can be trained and gain the necessary experience to be successful on the mission field.

The love and effort that has been put forth to build the FROG Center, Molly’s Place and the mission home are wonderful and deserve an entire team and a structure that can be successful for many years to come. We do not have the skills at this time to accomplish that task.

Based on these factors and much prayer we feel it is in the best interest of everyone involved that we return to the states and access what we feel God wants us to do next.

The children deserve more than the two of us can provide them at this time.  We hope and pray to maintain our relationships with the people in Mitchell’s Plain because our lives will be forever changed. We will take with us all the memories and wonderful experiences we have had with each of them.

We love you and thank you for all your prayers and support!

Jeremy and Sarah

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Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 18, 2009

A few points of interest

1 – If you or anyone you know is interested in getting our monthly email update we want your email address! We tried to put together a listserve for our October update, but we know we missed some of you.  Please add a comment to this post and leave us your email address so that we can keep you updated that way as well. Although we post updates here, the email updates will be a more cohesive monthly summary about our ministry and other events of the month.  Also its a great way for YOU to update US!

2 – We are in desperate need of a car.  We have already eluded to this need, but we wanted to put out a formal request for your help.  Without a car our ministry opportunities are being very limited and strained.  We are completely dependent on others for transportation to and from the FROG center along with anywhere else we would like to or need to go.  We’ve missed out on some great opportunities to get involved because of this limitation and we’re frustrated.  Our need amounts to $4000 to be able to purchase a car.  This car will not belong to us, but it will belong to Opportunity to Serve Ministry which is the non-profit organization that the FROG center operates under here.  This will be beneficial for everyone because we will have a car for the next two years and when we leave OTSM will have another car to be able to transport people around or they will be able to sell the car and use the profit for one of the many needs they might have. Please prayerfully consider supporting us in this way. Our support information is available by clicking on the support tab above.

3 – There are an abundance of opportunities for ministry here and we are excited about a lot of them.  We are still trying to figure out where to get involved and what to pass on because we do not want to over extend ourselves, which would be very easy to do.

  • First we have the FROG center, which will always be our priority.  We’ve had around 150 different kids in the past week and half, but its hard to keep a head count with so many different kids coming each day.  We’ve started having each grade come on an assigned day and that has helped make the groups a more manageable size and it has given us an opportunity to start developing a more structured time together which includes a short time of sharing the Gospel.  The kids that come are very diverse while some do come from Christian homes and attend Westridge Baptist, some come from poor family backgrounds, and some from a Muslim home. So we started this week with talking about who God is.  We’ll begin to talk about Jesus through the holiday season and then onto the Bible. Our goal is  to lay a foundation to be able to share the need for a relationship with Christ over the next two years.
  • Our second opportunity for ministry is in the schools.  Right now we are only going into one school because everyone is nearing the end of their school year and gearing up for their summer break, which starts in December.  They will get a month off and then start back middle of January and that is when we will start going into all of the schools.  We are still not sure what that is going to look like; if we will be teaching life skills, assisting the teachers, developing relationships, etc. Luckily, South Africa has not yet closed the church off from going into the schools so we are going to take advantage of it while we can.
  • Another opportunity for ministry for me is at the Westridge Yankees Baseball/Softball rec park.  I have gotten to go practices with the adult team and hope to go help coach some of the younger teams soon.  I love sports and I love the connection you get when playing on a team and hope that that connection will help develop some relationships outside of the area we are usually in.
  • Molly’s Place, of course, already has a special place in our hearts and we will continue to invest in the kids there. Helping them with schoolwork, taking them to do special things, and just hanging out.  We can’t replace the families that these kids have lost, but we can try to become a part of the new family they have developed.
  • We have made some friends here, Sarah and Casey Prince, who are missionaries in a town about 30 minutes from us. Sarah is working with an organization called Living Hope, which is an organization that works all realms of dealing with HIV/AIDS.  And Casey is going to be using soccer to do ministry through a nonprofit organization he started up called UBUNTU sports. Check out their blogs as hopefully we’ll continue to develop relationships with them and do ministry together.
  • Lastly check out africastories.org.  We hope to take some time to write and submit a special story from Mitchell’s Plain, South Africa to the Africa Stories website.  They have a lot of great stories so far, but hopefully you’ll read something from us on there one day.

Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 15, 2009

Weekend adventure…

this weekend we got to get out and around town to see a lot of neat things that cape town has to offer…we went from mitchell’s plain to muizenburg to fish hoek to simon’s town to scarborough to kommetjie to chapman’s peak drive to hout bay and back to home in mitchells plain…you’ll see on the map that we basically drove the coast line and in a big circle…it’s amazing and beautiful scenery and i could elaborate more about how much an adventure it really was, but you can just see for yourselves…

Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 15, 2009

first week at the Frog center!



We completed our first week at the FROG center and we’re anxious to start a new one! This week was definitely a learning experience for us and I think it was for the kids too! We allowed children of all ages to come but starting tomorrow we will have each day broken down into a certain age group. Monday through Wednesday there will be a different age group of children and then on Thursday all children are welcome, that way they have the opportunity to come twice each week! It was a challenge trying to play games that all the children would enjoy but now that we will have smaller groups that are the same age we will be able to plan for more age appropriate activities. We are excited to start forming relationships with the children and start our devotional time too! We have already fallen in love with so many of them and have enjoyed getting to see familiar faces every afternoon!

We have a small fear that the children will loss interest due to the new schedule. Siblings will no longer be able to come together and they can only come twice a week instead of every day. We have high hopes that the children will encourage their friends to come and that the numbers grow! Please pray that God will move in a MIGHTY way and that the children will know the FROG center is a safe place for them to have fun and experience Christ’s love!

Here are a couple pictures from this week and I promise to take more soon!

Tug of warBrothers

Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 10, 2009

Day 1 at “The Frog”

So, yesterday was our first day at the Frog Center.  I think Sarah and I started to realize why God gave us a few weeks to settle in and get rested up because it was quite an adventure.  The whole time we’ve been here and even before we came we have been trying to imagine what it would be like when we started to work with the kids. After yesterday I can tell you that we really had no clue.  We spent a few hours yesterday morning going through all of the supplies that will be available for us and trying to think up good ideas for the kids.  But, as you know its kind of hard to plan for the first time you do anything because you do not know what it will be like.  Kind of like riding a bike. You’re dad can prepare you all he wants but you do not know what it is like until you actually do it.  Well we had been prepared, but yesterday at 3 p.m. it was time to get on the bike and start peddling. At first there were only a handful of kids so we started putting together a little game for them to playing. But, within a matter of minutes we had over 70 kids all between the ages of 5 and 13. We quickly realized that a simple game of “red light, green light” was getting way out of hand and we had to change our plans.  Sarah kept most of the kids busy with a game of “Simon says” while I ran around trying to figure out what the heck we were going to do with this many kids. This wasn’t just riding a bike for the first time, this was like going to the steepest hill in the neighborhood and riding down with no hands.  Thankfully God has given us enough experience with kids and at camps that we were able to be creative and hold the kids attention for the most part.  We played relay races, had a singing/dance contest because they love music, and then finished up by separating the young ones to color with Sarah and the older ones to play “knock out” with me.  While it was a crazy ride we learned a lot from the experience and are so excited about all the kids we will get to know and love.

This week we will continue to try to manage the organized chaos at “the frog” (as the kids call it) because our goal is to have as much fun and as many kids as possible so that the word will get out that the Frog Center is open again.  Starting next week we are going to divide up the grades to come on different days so that we will have a more manageable number of kids and be able to start using a curriculum and developing relationships.

Pray for us that we will have the energy, wisdom, and creativity to be successful at the Frog Center!

Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 6, 2009

Molly’s Place

I know…its taken me way too long to blog about Molly’s Place and I still don’t have all the pictures but I wanted to share with you what I’ve got! As some of you may already know Molly’s Place is an orphanage owned by the church where they currently have 11 children. All but three of these children are there because their parents have passed away. Some of them from AIDS and others that were killed. The children are brought to Molly’s Place through a social worker similar to how things would be in the states. There were only eight children there when we first got here but earlier this week a family of three came. We have spent a lot of time with these children just loving on them and giving them some extra attention! We absolutely love them and hope to do many fun things with them over the next couple years. They range in ages from 17 years- to 7 months old.  I have spoken with Pastor John about what kind of plan they have for the children, like how long do they stay and once they are 18 are they taken out of the home…what’s the next step? Basically, they aren’t sure what the plans are for the children in the future; all they know is that they are able to give them a place to stay and food to eat right now and so for now that’s all they need to know. It frustrated me at first because I am such a planner and couldn’t understand how they couldn’t know what will happen to these kids, but as I’m learning what it is like to rely completely on faith I am beginning to get it.  You see from the very first day of being here in Mitchell’s Plain, I had to make the decision to completely rely on the Lord and know that He was going to take care of me or I would still be convinced that I couldn’t live here for 2 years. And by no means have I mastered the idea of complete faith; its a daily struggle, but I find myself feeling much safer and happier when I put all of my faith in Him. So, I will keep you updated on all the children and will post more pictures soon! I thought it would help for you to see a picture of each child and tell you a little bit about them. That way you can put a name to a face but also I would like to ask to you pray for them. I can’t begin to even imagine what they have gone through already in their short little lives, but as you can see they are very happy!

Posted by: jeremyh06 | November 2, 2009

its the small things…

its the small things that make me happy and put a smile on my face! jeremy and i have been stuck in the house the last few days with what we think must have been a stomach bug. 😦 we went from bed to couch and from couch to bed taking naps but also having to tend to our new puppy mahdi. we survived on toast and crackers…not at all any fun! BUT we’re feeling much better now and had a fun filled day! we phoned mrs. evelyn to see if she would take us somewhere for lunch since we were doing better and our one request was somewhere with good chicken! we knew it would be light on our stomachs and so much better than what we had in the house. she brought her friend cheryl along..and she was a hoot! we ate at a place called nando’s. the restaurant was similar to a nice fast food place. afterwards mrs. evelyn wanted to show us how nice the grocery store was in the same shopping center. we went in and found so many small…but wonderful american things! 🙂 you see i had been struggling with not feeling well and being stuck in our house that i was missing home. once i began to see so many familiar things it definitely put a smile on my face! jeremy even had to tell me to quiet down because i screamed that they had chocolate chips! i didn’t know that they had chocolate chips…i was already trying to figure how we could get some sent here to us without them melting. they had smuckers jam, hershey’s chocolate syrup, pop-tarts, frosted mini wheats, honey smacks, FRUITY PEBBLES!, captain crunch, and lots of american brands of candy..oh and even marshmallows! i was so excited to see everything because the more and more we shop at different places the more american foods i find. it just makes cooking and baking easier when i find things that i’m used to buying in the states. even now typing this update it excites me to know that when we want “comfort foods”  that will remind us of home, we can go to that store and feel better! 🙂 i just though i would share my “little bit” of happiness with you. enjoy!

Posted by: jeremyh06 | October 29, 2009

new addition to the family*

WE GOT A PUPPY! We have been searching on a local classifieds website (like craigslist) for puppies since we got here and we finally found one! See its important to have a guard dog to give you that extra security in protecting yourself and your house. You would think that having locked gates and security systems in place would be enough…but unfortunately its not! Most people, even lower income families have dogs for protection.

Mrs. Evelyn took us this morning to see about getting a puppy and once we got to the breeder’s house…we knew we were meant to come home with one! 🙂 The breeder explained to us the different kinds of boerboels that there are (her breed) and showed us several of his own boerboels along with others that he’s in the process of training. We got to see our puppy’s mother and father showing us that we’ll have our hands full! Her aunt weighs about 180 pounds! She is absolutely adorable with a tan body, black face mask and a white diamond shape on her chest. Her eyes are hazel…like her mama’s! 😉 At first when we got home with her, she was very timid, crouching down or running away if we would try and reach out to pet her. Right now she’s laying on the floor with Jeremy playing with her new ball..she’s come a long way in such a short amount of time! She is very curious and is already winning over our hearts. And in no way is she taking the place of Maela (our cocker spaniel from back home) although she is a close second! We’re having to be stern with her though as to make sure she doesn’t rule over us..because in just a few months she will easily weigh more than I do!

We need your help! We’re trying to come up with a name for her…do you have any suggestions? We thought it might be fun to have our friends and family back home help us come up with a name! So what do you think? Send us any ideas…we’re open! We will definitely continue to post pictures of her so you can watch her grow…oh so quickly!

Posted by: jeremyh06 | October 24, 2009

Pictures…of our home.

Posted by: jeremyh06 | October 20, 2009

Quick Correction

For all of those who may consider sending us a little something in the mail….

We were told our address here would be 3 Choir Street, this is actually Pastor Johns address. So if anything is sent there we will still get it.  But our actual address is 9 Choir Street.

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