Lincoln and Jenny - Missionary Associates to South Africa

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Home Sweet Home

This is our cozy little home for the next month or so. Derek and Rebecca (the couple whose apartment we have been living in since we arrived here) are looking for a house to rent or buy in town. So, we will get to move back into their place when they move out.

Here are pictures of the living room, dining room, kitchen, play room and library. We also do our formal entertaining here.

The bottom picture is of the front of our estate (ours is on the right side).
Posted by Picasa

Inside our flat

The top picture is of the Master Suite and our home office. The middle picture is of the kid’s bedroom. The bottom picture is our spa inspired bathroom.
 Posted by Picasa

Here are pictures of what our apartment looked like about 1 week before we moved in. Everyone on the property pitched in to help get it finished in time for us to move into. We had people still working on the apartment the day we were moving in. But, we made it out of the other apartment in time to get it ready for the YWAM couple (Derek & Rebecca) to move back into.
 Posted by Picasa

A house that love built

Here are some pictures showing the different stages of construction that went into our side of the apartments. When we arrived at the end of February, all that was in each of the flats were walls. Over the past 2 months countless hours have gone into making this old garage into 2 flats.

Posted by Picasa

Child Labor Laws?

Madison and Kyler really wanted to go to work with daddy. Painting and sweeping kept them busy for a while so that both Lincoln and I could get some work done in the flats.

This is a great source of cheap labor!

We didn't tell the kids this, but Lincoln had them painting behind where the bathroom closet and the kitchen cabinets would eventually go.

Also, to explain the huge shirts and socks – I didn’t have room to pack any clothes or shoes that I didn’t care about getting ruined, so they were wearing Lincoln’s shirts and sock over their clothes. Posted by Picasa

The Other Flat

There is a team of mature ladies here right now who call themselves the Granny Brigade. In a little over a week two of them will be staying in the flat next to ours. Here are pictures of what that flat looks like right now. The entire group will be here on Tuesday and I think they may be a little concerned about the condition of the flat. I have already seen that it can be finished in a very short time, but it is a scary mess right now! The top picture is the bathroom and the bottom is looking at the kitchen area. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 27, 2006

Child Story

The pictures in this story were removed to protect the childs privacy. Sorry that we can't provide you with an image to match the story.
We have talked a lot about Johnny (not his real name to protect his privacy) in our blog, and here is his story:
In October 2002 while attending to AIDS patients in Freedom Park, our nurse Janice Cole discovered Kerry (not her real name) and her baby boy, Johnny. Kerry was very sick and having trouble caring for her son. When Janice Cole offered to help by bringing Johnny to the Shelter, Kerry gratefully accepted the help. The first day of Johnny’s stay with us was quite traumatic for everyone. The little 7 month old was covered in scabies from head to toe and suffering from malnutrition. He had to be fed through a feeding tube and Johnny would moan and cry through the day and night due to his suffering. By the end of November 2002, little Johnny was suffering so terribly that we asked God to ease his pain, even if that meant to take Johnny home with Him. Within days, Johnny started to get stronger. He began to eat more efficiently. His skin which had pealed and its pigment due to the scabies started to heal. He began to communicate more through expression and gratefully, his pain decreased. Although Kerry did not get well enough to care for him she continued to ask about his condition. It brought great comfort to her to know how well Johnny was being provided for. In March of 2003, we took Johnny to visit his mommy which turned out to be the last time. Kerry died within a month. Johnny turned 2 years old in March 2004 and we are so excited about his improvements. He has begun gaining weight. We all see Johnny as our little miracle baby! He is a wonder and a delight to everyone who comes in contact with him. We don’t know what the future holds for Johnny, but we are committed to caring for him throughout his life.
We celebrated Johnny's fourth birthday last month. Johnny truly is a wonderful, delightful little boy with quite the personality. Sometimes he acts like a grumpy old man trapped in a little body and wants nothing to do with you. Other times he just wants you to hold him and give him your undivided attention. Johnny is still sick, but has made huge improvements since he has been at Lighthouse Children’s Shelter. Johnny is covered from head to toe with eczema and the socks on his hands keep him from scratching himself everywhere. Please pray for “Johnny”. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Life is worth living

I (Jenny) was painting the new flats when I heard beautiful singing. I looked out the window and saw one of the shelter's caregivers on a swing with one of the babies from the shelter. Both of them are HIV positive. I was so moved by the song that she was singing to the sick baby:
"Because He lives, I can face tomorrow. Because He lives, all fear is gone. Because I know, I know, He holds the future. Life is worth the living, just because He lives."

Sunday, April 23, 2006

3months old

The pictures in this story were removed to protect her privacy. Sorry.
I took some more pictures of little Suzie (not her real name) who came to us a little over a week ago. In these you can really see how tiny she is. At 3 months of age she looks like a pre-mature newborn. She has been keeping her feeedings down, but she is still very sick. She needs to be put on medication to help her, but at this time she is still too weak and sick to be able to handle it.

Posted by Picasa

Easter Party

We had a huge party here for Easter. Everything was donated by a local family and the pharmacy at a hospital in town. They provided for the kids a jumping castle and a jumping dragon that had a rope ladder and a slide as well as the food for lunch.

Posted by Picasa

Easter Braai

For lunch we ate what I think are called vorst dogs which are kind of a cross between a hot dog and a bratwurst. An ice cream cake was donated by an ice cream store at the mall.

Posted by Picasa

Easter Egg Hunt

Hundreds of plastic eggs filled with candy were hidden in the front yard. Each child was given an Easter basket to fill. Plastic eggs are not available in South Africa; the people here hide only real eggs. One of Janis' friends from the US sent a huge box full of Easter supplies and plastic eggs last year. The people from the pharmacy were amazed at the plastic eggs. It was a great day, all of the kids had a wonderful time.

Here is Dineo putting an egg in her basket.

Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 16, 2006

Our address

I just realized that we have never posted our address here, so for those of you that are interested here it is.
Lighthouse Children's Shelter
Lincoln and Jenny Smith
P.O. Box 21398
Protea Park 0305
South Africa

Easter Cookies

We had a very big Easter party here on Saturday, complete with 2 jumpy castles, a cookout, and a huge Easter egg hunt. Madison and Kyler had a lot fun, but I wanted to reinforce the true meaning of Easter. So, we made Resurrection cookies. For those of you who don't know what these are, you make meringue cookies, and tell a little bit of the Easter story with each ingredient. For example, we had to crush almonds with a wooden spoon and I read out of the Bible where Jesus was beaten, salt represented his followers’ tears as he was crucified etc. After mixing all of the ingredients, you place the cookies on the cookie sheet and put them in a warm oven over night. I talked about how Jesus’ followers were very sad to lay Jesus in the tomb, much like we may be sad to have to leave the cookies in the oven until morning. I read John 16:20 & 22 where Jesus tells his followers that they will weep, morn and grieve, but Jesus would see them again and they would have joy. So, trying to make sure my kids were understanding, I said "Jesus said that his followers were sad, like we may be sad to have to leave the cookies all night, but what did Jesus promise?" And Madison said in complete seriousness, "He promised that the cookies would bake over night." Lincoln and I laughed for about 3 minutes - Lincoln actually caught it on tape. I am glad to see that I have steered the kids away from the Easter bunny and eggs, to Jesus' promise of freshly baked cookies on Easter morning! (We talked to her again on Easter morning and she really does understand what Easter is about!)

Day of Beauty

On the Friday before Easter, the older girls in the shelter got to go to Janis’ house for a morning of pampering. Madison, Hope, and Audrey (Gordon and Michelle’s daughter) were invited also. Kyler came to watch. He also got to soak his feet, but Lincoln strictly forbade any nail polish on him. We turned on Cinderella for the kids, and Janis made popcorn. They each got a turn to soak their feet in a warm bubbly foot bath. Kaitlin (Michelle’s cousin visiting from Canada) did manicures and Janis and I did pedicures. It was a lot of fun, and the girls got a chance to feel special.

In the top picture, Lerato and Anna are on the couch with Janis painting Anna's toenails. Kaitlin is painting Dineo's fingernails, while Kyler watches the movie.

In the middle picture, Dineo is soaking her feet with Kyler, Madison and Lerato in the background.

Kyler enjoyed his turn in the foot bath! Posted by Picasa

Thursday, April 13, 2006


I (Jenny) would like to start telling you the stories of all of the children who are here at the shelter. I will begin with a baby girl that came earlier today. I was walking by the shelter and when I looked in I saw a tiny baby that I did not recognize. I went in and when I asked the caregivers about her they said that she had just arrived and they didn’t know anything about her. She was so tiny and frail, I guessed that she was probably a newborn. I found Janis and she told me that the baby’s name is Rebecca and she is 3 months old. Rebecca’s mother who had been very sick just died yesterday, and her father is an alcoholic who is in and out of prison. Rebecca has been in the care of a 19 year old uncle. I am not sure who brought her to us, but it was very obvious that the 19 year old was not capable of caring for a baby. Rebecca came to us dressed in a filthy outfit wrapped in a tattered baby blanket. The outfit looked like it used to be white, but it was so dirty that there were spots on it that were almost black. Her diaper was so full that it made the bottom part of her look twice as big as her top. When a child arrives at the shelter we take pictures of them before they are changed and bathed, and then more pictures are taken during their first bath here. I got to take the pictures of baby Rebecca today. I used the shelter camera, so I don’t have the pictures to post here. It took my breath away to see Rebecca with no clothing on. Rebecca is sick. She is very dehydrated and malnourished. Her skin just hangs from her bones. There are spots on her body where the skin is peeling off. When you are used to seeing healthy, happy, well cared for babies, it is shocking to see something like this. We have all seen the pictures of starving children on TV, but when you see it in person it becomes so much more real! Words cannot describe the feeling of seeing a baby suffering so much. She wanted to be held and screamed every time she was set down. But as soon as she was picked up and cuddled she settled down immediately. I went back to check on her later in the day and found her happily sucking her fingers in her crib, all clean and warm and in a pretty pink outfit. She was sucking the same 2 fingers that Kyler used to suck when he was a baby – the middle and ring fingers on the left hand. She looked so content and peaceful. The doctor came to see her and has put her on some medication, and Rebecca has kept several feedings down since she arrived. Please pray for tiny Rebecca, I will keep you updated on her progress. Posted by Picasa

Monday, April 10, 2006

Trying out a new dishwasher

We're trying out a prototype of a new dishwasher. It is a 2010 model year, but they've come out with an early prototype. It is a little slow and tends to leak water everywhere, but I think that it has potential. I think that we'll keep our new dishwasher for awhile.

(Madison is in the grandstands eating a popsicle; in case you were wondering.) Posted by Picasa

Sunday, April 09, 2006

Lion Park

This weekend we finally got out and were able to see a little bit of South Africa. Gordon and Michele (our next door neighbors, the other missionary associates from California) took us to stay at her Dad's house in Johannesburg. He is a missionary who is home on furlough right now, so we were able to use his house for a mini vacation. The highlight of the weekend was going to the Lion Park. The kids got to pet some baby lions and feed a giraffe. The kids didn't actually feed the giraffe because they were grossed out by the slobbery tongue. We then drove through the lion camps where lions roam freely. In these pictures, the lions are as close as 5 ft. It was pretty amazing to be so close to animals that big and powerful. You just stay in your car and take pictures of the lions through the cracked window. It was really fun and we got some great pictures. We want to go back some time when they feed the lions. I think that will be fun to watch. You get to ride on a truck while they drag the meat behind so that the lions have to chase it to get it. We also got to go to a restaurant called Carnivores. It is an all you can eat place where they bring you meat from all kinds of different game animals. We ate Rhino, Venison, Kudu, Giraffe, Crocodile, Lamb, Beef, Pork, Chicken, Zebra, and Ostrich. I've always wanted to try different meats like that. It was really good, but it was an over load of meat. That will be a fun restaurant to take visitors to for a taste of Africa. On sunday we went to Rhema church in Johannesburg. I think it is the largest predominantly black church in Jo-Burg. I think that I heard that they have 37,000 members. They have six services every sunday in their huge auditorium. It was a cool experience. Their worship was great. It was good to visit, but I don't think it is a church that I would attend. We got to have some real coffee for the first time since we've been in Africa. We went to the Seattle Coffee Company for a taste of home. We had a great weekend. It was nice to get out of Rustenburg and visit someplace a little more modern and civilized. It was fun to have a chance to see some more of South Africa and do some things that we've never done before. We had some great experiences and had some rest and relaxation.

We thought of doing a chinese fire drill until we saw this big guys teeth.

With a face this cute, can you believe we had giraffe for dinner? I kind of felt bad about that. Posted by Picasa

Lion Park 2

Notice how close to the edge of the car these mommas are.
This big kitty is wondering if we are the appetizer or the main course.

Madison was afraid to get slimed.Posted by Picasa