Sunday, February 21, 2010

The Bad and the Good

Hi everyone,

It's been a busy, interesting couple weeks since we last wrote. Dentist, pediatrician, Valentine's day, a trip to Pretoria, homemade peach jam, Kristell with a fever, a broken timing belt, and hours of studying for a systematic theology class. In spite of a few bad things, God has been so good to us!

Two weeks ago Kristell saw the pediatrician. He is very happy with her progress. She's right on target with the development for her corrected age. (She was born two months early, so the doctor subtracts those two months from her actual age.) We thank the Lord for the miracles that He worked to spare us tragedy and many problems. The same day, the dentist looked at a lump on Steph's cheek just in front of her ear that he said needs checked out. We've seen our doctor about it since, and he referred us to yet another doctor in Bloem. We have to go there tomorrow (Monday). It is most likely nothing serious, but we'd appreciate your prayers as we walk through the unknown. The lump has shrunk considerably this week, so we are trusting that God is healing whatever it is.

Last week on Monday Ntate Kali and I made a long trip to Pretoria, South Africa (about 700 miles round trip) to exchange a tent there, get tracts, and look for parts for a motorcycle that someone gave him. We left at 3 in the morning and didn't get back until nearly 10 at night. It was a tiring day. Fortunately Ntate Kali is a good, safe driver, so I didn't have to do all the driving.

The following night as we came back from Ladybrand, our little Volkswagen Golf broke a timing belt. We saw God's hand of providence in that it happened when we were almost home. It could have happened the day before in the dangerous inner city of Johannesburg. God is so merciful! I took the head off and found that the damage is much less than it could have been. Two valves are bent, and there may be one rod that's bent. I'll have a machine shop check it for sure. Please help us pray for wisdom to fix it and that God will provide the right parts! This car is a "gray market" import, so sometimes parts are hard to find. Fortunately "gray market" used engines are also available fairly reasonable, so that is another option that I'm considering.

Steph canned 15 bottles of peach jam Wednesday last week. That was a long day's work between taking care of the children and canning. It's been a good year for peaches here. Our neighbor, who has been very strongly against us and the church here in the past, just invited us to come pick peaches from his tree. Some of the reason is the bumper crop, but God is also at work in his heart. Pray for his salvation! He has really changed a lot over the last six months.

Kristell is starting to sit without being propped up. She still is really wobbly, but you can tell she's pleased with herself.