Friday, December 30, 2011


We really enjoy being missionaries in South Africa and truly love our job but somedays we do ask ourselves ‘WHY’. Our job description covers a vast variety of duties and that includes working closely with each child’s social worker.

I understand that being a social work isn’t easy-they have a lot of cases to manage, their job is difficult and not fun because they are always seeing devastation and it must get depressing at times. But yesterday was just about all we could handle.

Since August we’ve been caring for a 2 year old boy because his father was in jail for rape and his mother had died. His father is now out of jail on bail. Yesterday his father came to The Village demanding to have his child back and was very forceful. Brian could not control his father and we ended up pushing our panic emergency button for the security system we have at the property. Our loud siren went off and that was enough to scare him. He quickly put his child down and walked away. I notified his social worker that his father came here demanding his child and saying he had a letter stating he could have him back but the father said “he forgot to bring the letter”. The social worker said the father doesn’t listen to her and he is very hostel. We were told to go to court and get a restraining order against this father.

Not even 3 hours after that I received a call from the same social saying the father could have the child back. This is the same person who told me to get a restraining order against this father and even described him as very hostel. Obviously I didn’t understand and questioned her decision skeptically. She explained that the father did bring her a letter showing that the rape charge against him had been dropped so she decided he could have his child back. I said, so just because the charges are dropped that makes him a fit father? The social worker went onto say lets look at it this way, when his father was arrested he took his son to jail with him so he wouldn’t be left alone at home. So I guess that makes him a fit father.

I brought up a few other questionable things to her and she finally said. I am not going to ask the father, I don’t want to know what he does and I just want to close the case. Bottom line, she just wanted to get rid of a case and didn’t really care what was best for the boy. Thirty minutes later we had to let the father have him back. The child left crying & our hearts were breaking.

We thank God for the time we had to show this little guy love & we pray for his future. Only time will tell but maybe he will back. Until then we pray for his safety and salvation of his father.

Please know we have a lot of great, fantastic days here but somedays end up being rather rough.

Bikes for Christmas

Thanks to Hope Community Church in New Jersey for blessing the children at Restoring Hope with 5 new bikes & a little scooter for Siya to ride! We saved the best gift 'til last for the kids on Christmas day. Uncle Louie had all the kids go into their house while the rest of us adults parked all the bikes and little scooter behind the bus. When we were ready we had kids come out together and see the big surprise. They were really surprised and super excited. It didn't take them long to jump on and take them for a ride. The bikes have been great fun this week as the kids are on school break.

Thanks Hope Community Church

Thursday, December 29, 2011

My Little Elf

Things we do to our children...I had a little fun with Charlie and dressed him up in an Elf outfit for Christmas.

Charlie finally said he had enough and it was time to put the camera away :)

Monday, December 26, 2011

Restoring Hope Village Christmas


On Christmas Eve we enjoyed our Christmas celebration with the children. The children were given generous presents from many sponsors and others who deeply care about them. The Village also gave each child and housemother a present. Before the unwrapping of the gifts started, we took time to read the Christmas story & to discuss why we give gifts to each other. For many of the children and even for some of our housemothers this was their first Christmas to celebrate with presents and to reflect on the REAL meaning of CHRISTmas.

(Pastor Uncle Louie reading the Christmas story. -notice the nice book rest he used)

(Housemother Selina helping Siya & Granny Susie helping Tumi open their presents)

(Dieketseng very pleased with her gifts)

(Motshidisi wish came true for a watch)

(Siya can't decide what to play with first and
ran out of hands so he could eat his candy)

(Komehelgo is very pleased with his car that makes car noises)

(Paulina got her wish for a doll & tea set)

Thank You to everyone who generously gave to the children at Restoring Hope Village to make Christmas so special for them. The children had a super exciting day & were very blessed by all the gifts they received. I do believe each child is truly grateful.

Our Family Christmas!

Our family it still trying to figure out what our 'Christmas traditions' are going to be. Since moving to South Africa each Christmas has been unique. When we moved to South Africa it was just the two of us and forming our own traditions didn't seem to be important to us & the day was filled with many others to celebrate with. Now with our own three children we feel the need to set some family traditions. This year we celebrated our Christmas on Christmas Eve evening & it was wonderful. I believe this will be our tradition to carry on.

We had a Skype Christmas with my parents & they were able to watch the kids open their presents from them. Skype is such a wonderful gift to us, it bridges the gap of not being able to be together in such a wonderful way.

{Skyping with Papa and Nana in Iowa}

After our Skype Christmas, we enjoyed a Christmas supper & opening of presents with Brian's parents that are here with us. We read the Christmas story with the kids and talked about the importance of Christmas. And of course, we enjoyed watching Liam and Lindie open their presents. Charlie is a bit small to enjoy Christmas yet :)

{Daddy reading the Christmas story. Liam & Lindie enjoying the pictures
and answering questions.}

{Grandma and Grandpa gave Lindie a doll baby crib
& it happens to be a perfect fit for Charlie}

Christmas Eve was a busy day. Prior to our family Christmas celebration we celebrated with The Village Kids, but that is going to be another post.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

We Have 3 Children!

Yesterday as we were getting ready to leave for church we had one of those moments that made us realize we really do have 3 children. Life has been pretty easy up to this point with 3 kids. We were about 1 minute away from walking out the door for church when Lindie took the cap off a black sharpie marker that had a leak. She was wearing her ivory Christmas dress that is still soaking in hopes that the black ink will come out. Needless to say, I had black ink on me and daddy and grandma quickly cleaned Lindie up and changed her dress. Now we are out the door and onto the bus to take everyone at The Village to Church when Charlie decides to spit-up big time. He even managed to get the bus floor. I took Charlie back inside to do a complenoutfit change. Brian left with the bus and kids for church and Charlie and I drove separately. Yes, today is the first time it felt like we had 3 kids that are ages 3 years, 2 years and 3 weeks old.

Before spitting up on his outfit-3 weeks old

I managed to get to church in time to see the children's Christmas program. They did a great job. This is Drake, Komahelgo and Liam dressed as shepherds. You can also see Meredith dressed as an angel.

Charlie is growing!

A few new pictures of Charlie. He's getting so cute and changing quickly.

We've been without internet for a while & still don't have it back...the joys of South Africa.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Enjoying Charlie

Everyone at The Village is enjoying baby Charlie & he is getting extra spoiled. Even the kids line up to take turns to hold him.

Dieketseng comes everyday after school to see if he is awake so she can hold him.

Charlie has had a big welcome to The Village Family!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Baby Charlie

On Saturday morning, we welcomed our newest addition to our family. Charlie Levi was born at 9:24AM. His arrival was a bit of a surprise since he was almost 3 weeks early but he was ready to join the family on his schedule.

Charlie has already captured his big brother's love. Liam loves trying to give him toys to play with. Liam is already asking when will Charlie be big so they can play together. Lindie is also fascinated with her little brother and is even willing to share her blanket with him (this is a big deal). We are enjoying being a family of five and Charlie is a perfect addition. We love you so much little guy!

Daddy made Charlie his own website, check it out.

{Last prego picture before Charlie was born}

{Charlie's first picture right after being delivered}

{Charlie and Daddy}

{All sleepy after his first bath & looking very cute.
We love his fuzzy hair. Thanks Nanna Cain for my cute outfit}

{Daddy and his two boys}

{Mommy & her 3 little bundles of joy}