Lincoln and Jenny - Missionary Associates to South Africa

Monday, July 31, 2006

Three more questions:

My Uncle Nathan asked some questions awhile back that I’ve been posting about as I had time. Here are three more of his questions:

What is the weather like?
The weather is very nice and pleasant most of the time. Summers can be hot, but not too bad (I think around high 90’s at the hottest, but we haven’t been here a full summer yet.) Winter is really pleasant during the day, but very cold at night. Days are usually 70’s. Some days are warmer and some are colder. They don’t use central heat, so we heat our house with little space heaters at night

Do you go out to movies, if so what country do they come from?
Yes, there is one movie theater in town. They play mostly Hollywood movies. This last Saturday we went to see the animated movie “Cars.” They arrive here usually about 3 months after they come out in the states. The movies are very cheap. We can take our whole family to a movie, buy pop, candy, and popcorn for around $17.
Along those lines, we just bought a t.v. last weekend. There are only four channels. They play a mixture of American t.v. shows and South African shows and movies. They usually have decent American movies on at night. There are three different news programs, one in Tswana, one in Afrikaans, and one in English. Most of the South African produced t.v. shows and movies are pretty cheesy and not worth the time to watch. Generally speaking South Africa is still in the 80’s in their t.v. shows, movies, and music. For example, the t.v. show “Dallas” just came out here and it is a big hit. The American shows are usually about 3 seasons behind what is currently being watched in America.

Is it what you thought it would be like?
Our work here is pretty much what I expected. Because of a lack of money I’ve not been able to do as much construction as I expected, but that’s o.k. I’ve found other ways to be useful, and other ways to minister. This has also given me the time and opportunity to travel and help other missionaries with construction. This has been nice to have the freedom and opportunity to experience more of South Africa and see the work that others are doing here.
In regards to living here, I didn’t expect to have as many modern conveniences as we have. We can buy most anything that we need. Medical services are better than I expected. South Africa is more modern than I expected, and things are generally safer than I expected. In many ways South Africa is a lot like America, which has surprised me.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Segomotso, You're Home

Last Friday night one of our babies passed away. Segomotso was 19 months old. She was very tiny from her illness. She had the most beautiful big, wide eyes. Segomotso has been at the shelter for about 6 months. We have not been able to start her on the treatment that she needs for her illness, because with this particular medicine you can’t start it with a sick person. You have to nurse a person back to relative health before they can start the treatment. The news came as a bit of a shock because we weren’t expecting it. We knew that she had been struggling for the last several days, but we didn’t expect this to happen so suddenly. She died in her bed at the shelter and Janis had to take her to the emergency room for a doctor to pronounce her dead and issue a death certificate. For most of the Americans here we are sad, but happy that she is in heaven away from her suffering. The care takers who interact with her every day, all day, are taking it a lot harder. This morning as I was praying and reading my bible I thought about how Segomotso’s short life has marked with suffering, pain, confusion, and loneliness.
Two words came to mind: “You’re home.”

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

Another World

I just got back from Freedom Park. Every time I go I learn something new. This time I was struck with the fact that the children there don’t know any other life. To them, Freedom Park is their whole world. As far as they know there is nothing better. Part of helping them is to let them see that there is a whole other world outside of Freedom Park. There is hope for a better life.

Sunday, July 16, 2006

Game Farm

This is Lincoln. We just got back from working on the game farm. This is a 3,000 acre property that an African organization called “Reaching a Generation” just bought. Reaching a Generation is an organization that helps fund and connect other ministries. They help support the Lighthouse Shelter, and they are also a major contributor to Book of Hope, a ministry whose goal is to bring the word of God to every child and youth in this generation. Some friends of ours are Book of Hope missionaries, so that is how we got connected with the game farm. So, they just recently bought this property and we went for the week to help fix it up. We mostly did painting and I worked on repairing a wood deck. We had a lot of fun. They bought the game farm as an operating business, so they also acquired game viewing vehicles, four-wheelers, and obviously all the animals on the property. There are 3 main camps with chalets, kitchens, and pools; and one fishing lodge on the farm. It is a very nice property and they got an amazing deal. There are no predator animals on the property, so it is safe to be out among the animals. We saw quite a few giraffe, zebra, wildebeest, wart hogs, impala, and some water buck. I believe that they have around twenty species of animals on the property. It was a lot of fun. We worked quite a bit, but we also took time to enjoy the amenities and have fun. There is a viewing deck at the camp that we were staying at. I went out every night to enjoy the clear, cold night, and watch the stars. The first night there I was shocked at how quiet it was. I’ve never heard such silence. I’m used to going camping and being away from civilization, but in the Colorado mountains you always hear wind, or water, or crickets. It is never silent. It was completely quiet. There was no wind, airplanes, crickets, or animal noises. For the first time, I actually experienced “loud silence.” It was amazing. The top picture is of our safari vehicle. I've always wanted to have an old school land rover or Jeep, so just getting to drive this was a lot of fun for me. The bottom picture is the kitchen/dining room where we did most of our work for the week. I should also say that we had monkeys that hung out around camp trying to get food. The kids had a lot of fun watching the monkeys. That was a really new, unique experience for us. Posted by Picasa

Safari Drives and Working

The top picture shows all the kids in the back of the safari vehicle. The boy on the far left is Josiah, the son of our Book of Hope friends. The two middle kids are Jacques (They call him Jacquito because his dad is also Jacques) and his sister Nicole. They are the kids of the couple that run Reaching a Generation.
In the bottom 2 pictures the kids are "helping" me work. They were hammering nails into the deck.
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Quads and Giraffe

These are some of the 4-wheelers that we got to drive on. (They call them "quads" here.) Jenny drove within 50 feet of a herd of giraffes while on the quad. How often can you say that you were out on a four wheeler and came across a herd of giraffe? The kids were a little scared at first, but eventually had a blast.
The bottom picture is of a herd of giraffes that we came across as we were leaving the farm. Right after I took this picture a whole group of 10 giraffe crossed the road accompanied by about 10 zebra, and 4 wildebeest. They all crossed the road together. It was picture perfect. I got it on video, but not on a still camera.
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Wednesday, July 05, 2006


This is Lincoln. In a past post we've written about how they have these four way stops here that are death traps because no one seems to know when to go. Well, they've recently installed robots (stop lights.) We thought that this would really help the traffic problems. Boy, were we wrong. For some mysterious reason, people here can't handle the logic and order that a stop light brings to the flow of traffic. Within the first day of the lights being turned on we saw 3 accidents (and we were only driving a few miles.) Today there was an accident at the big intersection in town and someone hit one of the light poles, and now all the lights and robots are down. It is actually quite comical that something so common to us causes so much chaos here. What is weird is that there are other robots in town, so people are used to using them. It's just that they can't handle replacing a stop sign with a robot. Go Figure!


This is Lincoln. I just got back from Freedom Park. I went out with Nate to go into the homes with a caregiver. We brought some bags of food to bring to the HIV patients in their homes and pray with them. It was a really good experience for me because this is the first time that I went without someone more experienced. We were with Tembe, an in-home caregiver, but we weren’t with any other pastors like I’ve done in the past. This time was also different because we walked quite a way through Freedom Park instead of driving. This was good to be closer to the people and see more of their life. Johannes has been teaching me some Tswana, so it was fun to get to practice some of my words. I talked to Tembe about possibly bringing in clean water in my truck. She showed me that the people buy water from a rusty tank pulled by a tractor. They pay 2 Rand (about 40cents) for 25 liters of water. She doesn’t know where the water comes from, but it tastes very salty. They have to boil the water to not get sick from it, but many of the people cannot afford paraffin for a flame to boil the water, so they drink it and get diarreah from it. We are going to see what we can organize to get them fresh water.

Somila’s new parents came to visit the shelter today. It was really cute, because when they arrived all the shelter kids came running across the play ground yelling, “Somila, Somila is here.” They were very excited to see her and meet her new family. The children become brothers and sisters and care a lot about each other.
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Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Happy 4th of July

Today we had a fourth of July picnic. It was a lot of fun to get together with all the Americans and have some traditional American food. Janis made apple crisp with vanilla ice cream. It doesn't get any more American than that. We played football and the kids had a ball playing with each other in the yard. The weather was perfect. It was just like a perfect fall day back in Colorado.

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Last night the kids and I read a bedtime story to the kids in the shelter. Madison chose Dora the explorer. It is a book that Madison can read, so she read half of the book to the kids. Everyone loved it. Posted by Picasa

Monday, July 03, 2006

2 Stories

This is Lincoln. I wanted to give an update on the baby that I wrote about last month that was sick. (I'll call her Suzie, not her real name for privacy reasons.) She had been in the hospital for around a week. I remember at the time, the emergency room doctor made a comment "If she lives....". Well, I'm happy to say that she is doing good. She is looking so much stronger and healthier than when I was with her in the hospital.
Johnny (not his real name for privacy reasons), the new born who was found on the trash pile in Freedom Park a few weeks ago is also doing good. Dr. Neil examined him on Saturday and said that he is doing remarkable. Dr. Neil was telling me that a world renown dr. was looking over the case files of the children from Lighthouse Shelter. This dr. says that the progress and health of our HIV positive children is absolutely unbelievable. It is remarkable how well they are doing with the treatments that they are on. They key to their health over other patients on the same treatment is that they are watched and cared for so closely. They receive their meals and medicine like clockwork, which is the key to success on this particular treatment. Their blood counts and all of the other standards by which they measure health in HIV positive patients are incredibly improved from when the children came to us. We are so thankful to God for these healthy children, and we are so thankful that God has brought Dr. Neil to help us give these children world class care.
Janis just told me that we just received a new 3 year old boy. He was left at the taxi rank (a taxi station) in Pokeng (a neighboring city.) A taxi driver found the child with a sack of clothes and took him into Child Protective Services. That is all we know for now. We don't know his name, history, or medical condition.
You may ask, "What kind of mother would leave her child like that?" The answer is, "A desperate mother with no hope."
Pray for this child. Pray for his mother. Pray for Africa. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, July 01, 2006

New baby

We just received a new 10 month old baby girl in the shelter this afternoon. Suzie (not her real name for privacy reasons) was brought by her father and a police officer. The mother is in jail for allegedly trying to kill the child. She allegedly gave the child tablets and tried to hang her. The father said that he is working in Jo-Burg and can't take care of the child. She seemed to be healthy and didn't show any bodily signs of abuse. She was very scared and unsure of what was going on, but I know that in time she'll feel at home here. When we receive a new child, the caregivers have a checklist to go through to document the condition of the child. They bathed her, weighed her, fed her a bottle, and gave her clean clothes.

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Team from Illinois

Today we had a team of 40 people from Illinois visit the shelter. They have been working with another missionary at Jackson's Ridge, about 45 minutes outside of Rustenburg. They just came to spend some time with the kids in the shelter today. The kids ate up all of the attention. Nate Sanow, a missionary associate that we met at our orientation last year, arrived yesterday. He is the guy with the beard in the bottom picture. Nate instantly became a good friend when we met him last summer. The kids call him Uncle Nate, and Madison couldn't wait to see him when he arrived.
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