Saturday, December 27, 2008
Friday, December 19, 2008
Dad turns 40 today and his wife and kids (boy 11, girls 9 & 7) arranged some worship at a coffee shop for him (he was so surprised). This is a family orientated family. The 5 of them do almost everything together and with 21 months between all 3 kids the dynamic is amazing. I thought I needed to share this.
I pray for more Godly men, who will lead their families in Godly ways.
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Fourth picture in the fourth folder in our iPhoto. Random, just as I said!
Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Monday, November 24, 2008
Living in Cape Town we have so much to do at our doorstep so -
Martin had 3 Sundays off in a row! The first week we drove to George and visited Daniel & Elzette and Andre, and DeWyk.
Friday, November 07, 2008
We drove to Cape Point on Saturday morning and had a great time there! This place is filled with history of our country of the first ships to arrive - 1488!
My first time up on Table Mountain was shared by our American friends! It was amazing to hear other people talk about our country and exclaiming how postcard beautiful it is! There was a cloud rolling over the mountain after we got up there, and it was COLD (but we loved it anyway).
Monday, October 27, 2008
My grandma Loraine turned 80!!!
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
Monday, October 06, 2008
Thursday, October 02, 2008
In '06 & '07 Martin and I had the opportunity to attend Passion in the USA. This year, we had the privilege to take our fellow countrymen - South African Young Adults to the Cape Town Passion one night event!
Monday, September 29, 2008
This is my nephew - LUAN!!! He is turning 4 in October, loves RUGBY and the outdoors and will become a BIG BROTHER in February! My brother Ben and his wife Elanie is expecting another baby boy!
Thursday, September 18, 2008
Many of you might know that I volunteer at House of Thembiso, which means PROMISE in Xhosa… It basically is a safe house for babies between 0-12 months! In the last 18 months we have had 24 babies move through the house, either by national or international adoption, placement into foster care or reuniting them with their families.
House of Thembiso is one of 80 homes that is part of the uMephi project!
In September I became the project manager of this amazing home… this is so big and so wow to me! God is so big and it is an amazing project to be apart of.
House of Thembiso has eight cots, which means we have eight babies at a time in our home. There is a wonderful house mom, 24 hours a day that live in one part of the house and permanent staff that works in shifts. Then we have volunteers who come in and serve the staff and love the babies. To look after eight babies costs a lot and we are currently working on a fundraiser, called ‘SPONSOR a BABY DAY’.
For each baby to be at Thembiso, it costs R80 ($10) per day! Which isn't that much if you break it down… The plan is to launch this project at two of our community churches in October! Each cot will get a name, that will represent a baby and you can choose a ‘baby’ and one day, two days, three days… in a month to sponsor a ‘baby’.
There are still many other final details to work out, but I’m so excited about this house and the amazing adoption stories we have so far!
Feel free to give your opinion… Ask questions, anything that will help me with detailing this project so that come launch day - it can be smooth!
Thursday, September 11, 2008
My dearest friends, Flaps wrote this amazing tribute to Jacques-Louis, and I just had to translate it for those of you who followed this journey! You can follow the link to Flaps blog!"Daddy’s little elf, your Daddy loves you so much, and he is so proud of his son! You’ve meant so much to so many people but you’ve meant the most to Daddy and Mommy. The best time of Daddies day was when he was visiting with you. And we played so well together. When Daddy would play with your fingers and make rhymes with your toes and feet, and when you would play back. Or when Daddy would kiss kiss kiss your forehead, and Daddy could see you love it. Or when you just hold your Daddies hand. Daddy loves you so much. You fought so bravely! When your kidneys stopped working, you kept on fighting. When your stomach wasn’t feeling well, you showed the doctors… Every time the doctors said 50/50, you showed them… And your little heart would just pump so beautifully! You were so pure my little elf. Your 2 weeks on earth was without spot, without sin. Daddy wishes he could be like you. Daddy wishes he could be half the man you were. Daddy honors you for showing us the way. Daddy wants to make his Heavenly Father proud like you. In you 2 short weeks on earth, you probably reached and touched more people for God than Daddy could, in 20 years. You will always be a part of our family my little elf. You got just got to go home first! That’s all. But you will always be a part! And when you look down on Daddy and Mommy and Riccardo, we hope we can be as pure as you and touch so many lives as you did!
Jacques-Louis van der Merwe. Daddy’s little elf. Famous Warrior. Daddy loves you so very much. Daddy loves you so very much. Daddy loves you so very much. And your Daddy will continue this race! So that we can be together again one day. And play and laugh and wrestle together!" Flaps van der Merwe, Daddy
Wednesday, September 10, 2008
Friday, September 05, 2008
Monday, September 01, 2008
Saturday, August 30, 2008
Update from Flaps -
Friday, August 29, 2008
Their second son Jacques-Louis was born yesterdaywith a heart defect. His left ventricle is under developed. The left ventricle is one of four chambers (two atria and two ventricles) in the human heart. It receives oxygenated blood from the left atrium via the mitral valve, and pumps it into the aorta via the aortic valve.
Jacques-Louis was transferred to Sunning Hill Hospital in Johannesburg today. Several tests need to be done to decide on the best and most effective way to fix Jaques-Louis's left ventricle.
Things to pray for -
Pray for Flaps and Amanda to stay positive and not loose faith in this process.
Pray that they will hear the Lord's voice during this time of uncertainty.
Pray for Ricardo, their first born, he does not understand why his father and mother do not come home.
Pray for the doctors so that they will make the correct prognoses.
Pray that the Lord will heal Jaques-Louis. That he will stay strong during all the test and the clinical stay in hospital.
Go to their facebook pages for updates. Please leave them some notes, messages, words of encouragement as you keep them in your prayers!
Wednesday, August 13, 2008
What a great evening!! Six thousands students and young adults got together for one purpose: His Renown! We were at Passion 07 in Atlanta and got really excited about the possibility of Passion coming to South Africa, and that day finally came!! Thanks Louis and the team for bring this great message to Cape Town.
Monday, August 11, 2008
As I sit in the study working on my eight assignment since I started on this new journey on development in an unequal world. With the African winter sun on my back, I feel previledged! Previledged to matter enough to have a journey, to believe in a calling and to know where I am, is where I need to me right now!
Saturday was WOMEN’s day!
In a developing country this matters a lot! “Three-fifths of the 15 million children currently out of school are girls! Two-thirds of the 876 million of the world’s illetrates are women.” (UNDP 2003a:v). See what I mean…
It is just a previledge that I, an African (ok, an Afrikaner African) am litterate! I can even spell color in Brittish or colour in American English! The more I study, the more I realise how easy it is to create our own little save world, with technoligy and a bank account! BUT it is not so easy when you have to live on less than an US $1 a day!!! Try as hard as you can to climb out of that extreme poverty trap. To most of us, this might just seem so far away… yip, far away it is but realise, our Christ would have been right there, in the whole, pushing as hard as He can to lift these people out/up from the trap. I want to scream really loud and shake some people to forget about their own kingdom, and get real… but we don’t speak our minds, we smile and walk by and hope someone else will see the need. Enough of my heart…
Passion World Tour is here on Wednesday and our Young Adult Ministry is geared and ready to attend! We are excited and ready!
Friday, August 08, 2008
Monday, August 04, 2008
I think Cape Town is one of the most beautiful place on earth!
Monday, July 21, 2008
Tuesday, June 24, 2008
June 16th was YOUTH DAY in South Africa. Everyone at P E P (if they wanted) wore school clothes to work. Due to school uniforms it was GREAT! We had so much fun. My Tea Lady, Jacky with her other Tea Servers won!
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
Sunday, June 01, 2008
Martin’s grandma, Oma Nel turned 87 this past week, and we got to have lunch with her and Opa Bob and the rest of the family. Martin’s mom decorated the table in Old English Pink Roses and it was so beautiful.
Martin also got to record again for a CD project - he flew to J’burg on Monday and back Tuesday night. These projects are good for him, but I know ministry right now, is his calling.
From Wii, have a great blessed JUNE in the WARM northern part of the world!
Martin finally got us the Wii on Friday – so I don’t think I need to explain what Wii did this weekend.
This is an enourmous blessing and due to the Wii Fit, we can now be a little more active… It is GREAT!
As I wear my Sara Christmas Socks in June, I do my thing on the Wii Fit Board! (I love you Sara) Yoga Baby is what I’m rocking right now, and Martin is killing me softly on the GAME side of Wii.
We miss you all and trusting God for big things, due to happen soon!
Saturday, May 10, 2008
Without sometimes realizing it, you brush shoulders with someone who will forever change your life. By Shoulder Brush, I mean, sometimes it literally means, seconds... or minutes, hours or during a period of years. I write this blog because Martin and I met with my Aunt and Uncle today, whom live in Australia and whom I haven't seen since May 2001. It was such a glorious meeting. We had great wine, great food and just a great conversation.
They would brush shoulders with me, now and again growing up and they installed so many core values into my life.
They are one of the best roll models of how a marriage should be (according to me), how I would want my house to be run, and how I would want to go on vacations (they took me with time and again)…
Then there are the silly things, floss before going to bed, always use gift wrap paper that is big enough and ‘new’ (even if it was used) to let the receiver know you really care! If you visit with friends be home before your husband, and make him feel like the KING of his castle!
Anyhow, just wanted to brag with my great family!
Saturday, May 03, 2008
Martin & I drove to McGregor Thursday morning (we had a LONG weekend due to holiday’s in SA). We met up with two friends, Andre & Retha who drove from George (from St.Louis to Springfield) to see us. What makes it so great is we have two other friends, Johan & Elsabe that lives in McGregor and has a coffee shop – Villigares there.
We spent our entire day in this little quaint town. It has one tarred road, no traffic lights, and they still have a water lay system that runs through the town, to water their gardens. You get the farmers, the Brittish and the people who no longer care to live in a busy city life sociaty, and don’t forget the tourists.
McGregor is about as far as Tulsa from Joplin, except that you drive into the mountains, past wineyards and the only thing that is remotely close to I 44, is you pay TOLL.
Anyhow, we had a great time visiting with old friends, and talking about how good God is in our lives. It is not always easy, but it is good.
Saturday, April 26, 2008
Saturday! Wonder and greatly antisipated day - I love Saturdays. I can sleep in and do not have to go to work.
We are getting settled in more every day. Martin finally got his cellphone on contract and we also got 500MB per month on contract which means we are BACK in the GAME of the WORLD WIDE WEB.
These photos where taken about a month ago but I just think they are beautiful. We took them one Sunday after church at Dolphin Beach, just look at the Table Mountain View!
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
My best friend in South Africa got married on April 12th. It was a fantastic day for a fantastic couple!
Thursday, April 03, 2008
This growth has been good but it is teaching us to SHARE in more than one way… The biggest lesson we are all learning is to share POWER (electricity).
Our country doesn’t have enough POWER for everyone, this might sound funny, it did to me in the beginning but it is TRUTH. They (Eskom, our electricity company in South Africa) call it LOAD SHEDDING. This might continue till 2013 till they have enough POWER saved up again.
‘Luckily’ Pep’s Central Office, where I work has a generator. Every Wednesday afternoon (according to the load shedding schedule) for a couple of hours we have dark hallways and no coffee at lunch time. But at least we can work…
On Thursdays from 8am-10am we have no power at our apartment, ‘luckily’ we are at work during that time.
LEARNING (forced) to SHARE in this beautiful country, full of its own corky problems (like all countries have).
Wednesday, March 26, 2008
The long weekend, Easter and birthday is over and I have to say, it was a very good weekend.
We went to church Friday morning and then after wards took my mom to Dolphin Beach for a birthday pick nick. It was a great day for a pick nick, Table Mountain was clearly visible and with almost no wind, the day was perfect. After we ate, we bought ice cream and sat on the sidewalk eating, while being entertained by Ilze.
Saturday, Martin stayed home because he had to preach Sunday night… (He did so well you guys would have been so proud) We drove to Houtbaai, to eat fish and fries (chips) at the harbour. The wind was blowing to much so that Ilze got up on Sunday ant the first thing she said was – I HOPE THE WIND DOESN’T BLOW AGAIN!
Sunday was a early and long day. We went to church, had lunch with my parents, Martin’s parents and the Besselaars (they are friends I grew up with who have 2 children). After lunch Martin & I went back to church to prepare for Sunday night church. There were almost no technical volunteers so I did ‘easy worship’ (I don’t know why but I go into a stress ball when I have to that, I don’t like it to say the least). Martin talked about STORY and how God is the writer of our story, he got a lot of his material from Donald Miller.
Monday we slept in and went to a goat & cheese farm with my dad’s step brother who is also the Senior Minister at our church, Lofty & Petra and their son Rian. We had great cheese cake and Martin took beautiful pictures.
My parents are staying till Monday.
Thank you for all of you’alls birthday messages. I feel loved and even though we are so far away from you’all my spirit feels close.
Know that we miss you more than words can say.
PS. Passion is coming to Cap Town in August 08, for those of you who would consider combining missions with a visit
Monday, March 17, 2008
Friday night our woman’s ministry had a great time of ministry. We dressed up and wore beautiful feathered masks. We talked about the different masks we were as woman and how with Christ, we need no mask.
Saturday afternoon we went for a hike. There’s a ‘koppie’ (little mountain)– Leeukop, next to Table Mountain that we climbed out! The wind was insane and it felt like it was going to blow your clothes from your body. We made it and it was a great adventure. (Martin kept saying Johnny needs to do this…J)
Friday, March 21 is a holiday in South Africa, Freedom day, my mom’s birthday and Good Friday. My parants are driving down to visit us this coming week! It is going to be great.
My you have a great week and enjoy the last bit of winter!
Wednesday, March 05, 2008
Yes we are alive! God is so good to us there's no way around it.
We are both working and we have our own 2 Bedroom Apt on the 3rd floor! It is great.
Please know that we love and miss you all!
All our Love,
Martin and Jani
Ps. I'll try to update more often!
Monday, January 14, 2008
Wednesday, January 09, 2008
~ Martin's brother Ferdi and his wife is pregnant (due in Aug)
~ We bought a VW Polo Classic (maroon), a little older 1996 but with 121 000km it was a deal
~ We are finding out about health insurance because people drive insane here...
~ We've met lots of people
~ We've had to tell all those people about the journey we are on
~ I've sent my resume (CV) to one place so far, we will see
~ Many sun sets in the beautiful Cape Town
Still waiting for that 'place' we need to be!