At last, we got the keys to our apartment on the 1st March and moved in. We have 2 second hand couches, 4 dining room chairs, a borrowed bed and a few kitchen essentials. Our shipment has just docked in Cape Town (finally) but the goods have not reached the depot yet. We are desperate to have some of our personal belongings with us again. It will be like Christmas when we get to open the boxes. What we have learned is that you don’t really need much to live but in this heat a fridge is quite important and we currently don’t have one!
How does a whole nation function without Ikea? It has been very frustrating and time consuming trying to find reasonably priced furniture for the flat as there is no shop where you can go and buy all household items in the same place and 2nd hand furniture is not necessarily cheaper.
However, God definitely sent us to Helen and Tubby who were the hosts of the airb&b we stayed in for nearly 3 weeks (if your visiting at any time get in touch for details). They went above and beyond to help us settle in to our new city sharing lots of fun, laughter, good advice about purchasing cars, local bureaucracy and markets. They made us dinner, did our washing, even opened their home to our friends for a braai (BBQ). Tubby won a national competition several years ago, (a bit like master chef but for BBQs) so is officially ‘The Braai Master’. Helen and Don spent time shouting at the rugby together, both supporting Scotland as Helens mum was from Fife.
Don has been spending time in Sweet Home Farm with progress being made on the concept house which is now fully rendered and the floor now tiled. The shower and toilet will hopefully be fitted out in the next week or two. Imagine having your own toilet and shower in your house and not sharing it with 5 or 6 other families! This demonstration of what is possible on a saved-for, bit-by-bit process, turning what starts as a shack into a permanent home, is a revelation to people in the community.
Lorna has been shadowing in Jubilee Health Clinic, which is very different from working in the NHS. Patients queue from 7.30am and wait without complaining until they are seen by a staff member, sometimes waiting up to 5 or 6 hours. Each patient, though very poor, is charged a small amount for the consultation and any medication dispensed to give them dignity and self-respect. The physical, emotional and spiritual health of each patient is considered and there are no time restraints or a sense of hurry during the consultation. The staff member who carries out each consultation prays with the patient before they leave.
After several weeks of church hopping, we have decided to stay at a local church called Connect for a least the next few months as we establish ourselves. It is a lively church, good worship and teaching, mixed age range and lots happening for all ages. We have been made to feel very welcome and have already enjoyed the hospitality of some of the members.
We feel things are beginning to slowly come together, but it is 2 steps forward, 1 step back. 1st step forward…. Now we have a permanent address we have set up a local bank account, but not yet got the debit cards, which will mean we can move money monthly to cut down on international transfer fees. 2nd step forward…. We are still waiting for our traffic registration number to be processed but have gone ahead and bought a bakkie (pronounced ‘bukkie’), this will mean we can return our hire car which has been costly.
1 step back……This very morning, believe it or not, we were advised of a Sheriff Officers Warrant for repossession of our leased flat from the owner. We have been dealing directly with the letting agent who hopefully will sort it out for us and explain our lease agreement and tenancy rights. We are praying we will not have to move again!!!!
‘And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to his purpose’
Romans 8: 28