Lincoln and Jenny - Missionary Associates to South Africa

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Kendi Grace Denny Smith

Kendi was born on Sunday, January 28th at 7:55 pm at Ferncrest Hospital in Rustenburg, South Africa. She was 7.7 pounds (3.5 kg), we think this is about 7 pounds 11 ounces and 20.08 (51 cm) inches in length.
Please view her online birth announcement at
and her hospital pictures at

"Kendi" is an African name meaning "The Loved One".
The name "Grace" is the name of an abandoned baby at the Lighthouse Shelter.
Madison got to name the baby the day she arrived at the shelter.
The name "Denny" is a family last name.

In the Labor and Delivery Room

On Saturday night at about 11:30 pm I started having pretty regular contractions. I timed them until 1:30 am and they were coming about every 8-10 minutes apart. At that point I was pretty sure I was in labor and sent an email to friends and family in the US since it was 4:30 pm their time. I told them that I thought I was in labor, but that I was going to try to get a little more sleep before we went to the hospital. I slept until 5 am on Sunday morning, and during that time my contractions slowed down and eventually stopped. I thought that this baby was going to stay in forever. I joked with Lincoln that if we really wanted another child that we were going to have to adopt.
Lincoln took my mom, Gloria and the kids to church Sunday morning while I just stayed home and waited. Finally at about 3 in the afternoon the contractions started up again coming about every 10 minutes apart. They stayed at about 8-10 minutes apart for 2 hours and then suddenly at about 5 pm they started coming every 3-4 minutes and were getting very painful. Lincoln called my doctor at about 5:15, and I sent out another email letting people know that we were on our way to the hospital. I was admitted at 6:05 pm. The nurse took my vital signs and did all of the preliminary things then did an exam. She said that I was 4 cm dilated. She asked if I wanted an epidural and I told her that I probably did and she said we would wait until my doctor got there and let him know. When my doctor, Dr. Holcher, arrived at about 25 minutes later he checked me and said that I had already dilated to 8 cm and it was too late for an epidural. He told he would be back 30 minutes later to check on me again. While he was gone, at about 7:00 pm the contractions got much more painful. I was given nitrous oxide, or laughing gas. Believe me, I was not laughing. I am not sure that it did anything expect make my face feel like it was slipping off. At around 7:30 I had dilated to 10 cm and started pushing. This was absolutely, horribly painful and I think that I will need some therapy to get over it. Thankfully I only had to push for about 25 minutes and at 7:55 pm little Kendi Grace Denny Smith made her entrance. I wish I could say that the second I saw her face all memories of the pain were washed away in a moment of joyous bliss, but that would be a complete lie. I wasn't so much happy to see her as I was just to have her out. But within minutes she completely captured my heart. It is so hard to believe it is even possible to have so much love for someone that you just met. Posted by Picasa

Just minutes old

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The first time I held Kendi

Right after Kendi was born, the nurse cleaned her up a bit and then put her directly onto me under my gown. (This is called Kangaroo care) I didn't get to hold my other two this way, and it was an amazing experience. Kendi had been crying, but calmed down right away. I could have held onto her forever this way. She was so sweet and cuddly.
After the doctor and nurse finished attending to me, everyone left the room and Lincoln and I were alone with Kendi for about an hour and a half. I got the nurse her and we just got to be alone together, getting to know each other. It was a very calm and peaceful time.
Finally at about 10 pm the nurse came and took us to the maternity ward. Posted by Picasa

1st Bath

After we moved from the delivery room to the maternity ward, Lincoln went with Kendi to have her first bath while I got a little bit of rest. He said that she did not like the experience at all. She screamed almost the entire time.
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1st Family Photos

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Kendi's first check-up

Kendi's pediatrician, Dr. Moutan, came and checked on her on Monday morning. He said that she is perfectly healthy, or had "no factory faults" as he put it. Posted by Picasa

Going Home

We were discharged by my doctor at 8 am, but had to wait for the pediatrician, our paperwork and the picture lady, so we didn't get to leave until around noon.
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Meeting the rest of the family

These pictures were taken just after we got home from the hospital on Monday afternoon, January 29th. Madison and Kyler fell in love with her immediatly. Kyler said that we need to have some more babies so that we can have our own baby shelter in our house.

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Friday, January 26, 2007

4 Siblings

We got a little bit of an update about the 4 siblings who were returned to their abusive parents a little over a month ago. The oldest 3 have been enrolled in their local school. The kids were removed from their home because the oldest child’s teacher spotted the abuse. Please pray with us that the children’s teachers and neighbors will notice very quickly if the children are still being abused. Also, we heard that the children’s father has been complaining that the kids can’t do anything without praying first. I am so happy that we had that influence on them for the short amount of time they are here. It is reassuring to know that even though we can no longer protect them, that they are in the hands of their loving Heavenly Father, and they know that they can turn to Him whenever they need to.

Baby Update

No baby yet!
I went to my doctor yesterday and he was suprised that I am still pregnant. He did an ultrasound and everything still looks good. The baby is getting very big, she weight a little over 8 pounds now. If I am still pregnant next week they will induce labor on Wednesday the 31st. We have been having difficulty with our internet connection, so I may not be able to update again for a while. Hopefully we will have a connection when the baby is born!

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

9 Months

The baby is due TODAY. Where is she? My doctor assured me many times that I would deliver far before my due date. I am not sure what the baby is waiting for?!? Maybe she knows that we don't have a name chosen for her yet and she is refusing to make her big entrance unnamed. I just don't know. We will post updates when things happen.

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Sunday, January 21, 2007

Baby Shower in a Suitcase

This is Jenny writing.
Last night my mom and her friend, Gloria, arrived safely from Colorado. They were all too happy to exchange the cold and snow of Colorado for the warm summer here in South Africa. They had a good, but long flight, and both slept very well last night.
My mom brought with her an entire suitcase filled with things for the baby. Some friends back in Colorado had a "Shower in a Suitcase" for me. I was so excited to see all of the cute, girly stuff that people sent for the baby. It was late, and we were all very tired, but we just couldn't resist opening up and looking at everything. It is very difficult to find cute baby things here, and the baby items are often very expensive. So, this Shower in a suitcase was a HUGE blessing! Thank you to everyone who sent things for the baby, and for Madison, Kyler and I. (Lincoln kind of got left out, but we did get a shirt for the baby from Jen and Gareth that says "I love Daddy.") Posted by Picasa

Friday, January 19, 2007


Sorry we haven't posted in a long time. We've been really busy. David and Janis are still gone, Anna went home, and Ashley was with her mom who was visiting for 10 days. So, we have been the only ones that could drive and do errands for the shelter. So, we've been very busy and occupied. Ashley is now back so we are going to be taking time off. Jenny's mom comes in on Saturday and the baby is due next tuesday, so will be taking time off for family. So, you should be seeing lots of pictures of the baby soon. The top picture here is of a movie night that we had with some of the kids from the shelter. The middle picture is Madison with Gracey. We usually bring her over to our house for a few hours each day. The bottom picture is Grace on her "mommy Jenny recliner." I'm not sure what Kyler is doing in that picture. I think that maybe he is playing "ostriche."

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My head got real hot

That title is for you Napolean Dynamite fans. I'm hoping to find a wig that makes me look like a medieval warrior. For the rest of you, no I didn't shave my head because it was hot. Actually, the reason is that there is a teen in our church who has a disease that has caused him to lose all of the hair on his body. Eyebrows and everything. So, some of the men in our church decided to shave our heads for 21 days. The purpose is to make him feel more normal, by not being the only one bald, but we are also spending these 21 days praying for his healing. It is kind of like a fast from hair. Everytime my head hurts from being sunburned, or everytime I feel like an idiot because everyone looks at me funny, or everytime I see myself in the mirror and wonder who that guy is I remember to pause and pray for Godwin. You can join us in prayer if you want. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Colorado Christmas vs. Africa Christmas

The top picture is at Derek and Rebeccas house Christmas day. It was a little cloudy, but it was warm enough for the kids to swim. We had a really nice time spending Christmas day with friends here in Rustenburg.
The bottom picture is at Jenny's parents house in Colorado. This is our nephew, Avery, as the family was shoveling some 98 feet of snow out of the driveway.
I really miss the snow. Posted by Picasa

Never a dull moment

This is Lincoln writing. We have had a very eventful holiday season. There is never a dull moment around here. This is a picture of Kyler on Christmas Eve. We went to Derek and Rebecca's house for Christmas Eve and had fondue. It was a lot of fun. As you can see, Kyler really liked the chocolate fondue. As we were preparing to come home at about 11pm we got a call from Ashley who is an American helping us at the shelter for a few months. She said that there were a couple of men at the shelter gate that were threatening to tear down the gate if she didn't open it so that they could bring the kids Christmas presents. Obviously she was a very scared and nervous. We talked for a short while and then she let me go so that she could talk to Adrian, the only man on the property at the time. A few minutes later she calls me back and says, "They're in the gate, call the police and come back right away." So Derek and I race back to the shelter not sure what we are going to find. When we arrive, Adrian is holding hands with the two guys in a circle and praying with them. We come up to the group and find out that they were just a couple of drunk idiots that didn't have the common sense to realize the time and come to the conclusion that 11pm on christmas eve is not a good time to spread good will and cheer. Apparently the story was that Adrian had let the two men in the gate with the intention of meeting them in the office to see what they needed, because he didn't realize how aggressive and beligerent they had been with Ashley on the other intercom. But as he watched for them by the office, Anna and Ashley rang his doorbell from the front of his house. So he went to go talk to them, missed the guys coming around the other side of his house, and the guys went straight into the shelter scaring the poor caregivers half to death as they came in to wake the kids up to bring them presents. Later that night I went over to talk to the caregivers and they looked like death warmed over. The next day I installed a lock on the shelter door so that they ladies can have a little more protection. Everyones adrenaline was pumping from the adventure. The guys left us very expensive bottle of j&b whiskey as a present for being so nice to them. So we all knocked a few back before bed. (I'm kidding.) The security company (whose name is fatal force, you gotta love the name) arrived about 2 minutes after the ladies pushed the panic button on the alarm. The police arrived about 3 hours later. So, I guess we know who to call when we need help.
On New Year's Eve we had another adventure. One of our little girls was returned to her Granny's shack in Freedom Park for the holidays. This was the social worker's decision, not ours. She was supposed to return to the shelter on December 30th. Well, she wasn't returned and on December 31st we became very concerned when we realized that the little girl did not have enough of her HIV medicine. With this treatment it is very detrimental to miss a dosage. The medicine must be taken like clockwork or the patient can become violently ill. So, we were scrambling trying to figure out what to do to get her back. None of us knew where the granny lives and the social worker wasn't answering her phone, go figure. So we finally found someone who knew where she lived, we went to the police station and picked up an officer to accompany us to pick her up. We expected trouble because it was New Years Eve, a lot of people are drunk, and whites don't go to Freedom Park often, especially at night, and the Granny has been very beligerent with us in the past. Thankfully it ended up being pretty uneventful. The granny argued with us, but there was no resistance. We were able to bring the child back to the shelter. We couldn't give her the medicine right away, because she hadn't eaten all day and it can't be given on an empty stomache. We are hoping that this will help the social worker realize that granny is not fit to have the child, when she can't return the child on time and can't give her medicine at the appropriate time with the appropriate food.
So we had a very exciting Christmas Eve and New Years Eve. I'm starting to feel a little like an emergency worker, like a fireman or paramedic. We are always on call. Sometimes it is for something trivial like getting toilet paper out of the store room, sometimes it is to receive a new child into the shelter, sometimes it is to handle drunks that don't know what time it is. But there's never a dull moment. Posted by Picasa