South Africa Update Report
Shrocks: Fairly good week for the Shrocks. Not as many problems with illnesses this week and the girls were able to spend the weekend at a friends for a birthday party. We also had an enjoyable time visiting with Doug and Barb before they flew on to Zim.
Lorraine: Had a good week helping out here at the base in developing curriculum for Samaritan Ladies and different outreaches. She found out when my (Jason’s) son-in-law was here that they have forms that have to be completed by the Canadian Embassy as well as the South African Home Affairs. They have to have these forms together before the signing of the marriage certificate at the end of the month. We were so glad Symps was able to let us know what to do to prepare them for the wedding. These plans are going well. They are cutting the growth on the plot next door on weekends and evenings to prepare for the wedding. She is wanting an outdoor wedding under the big Acacia tree in the field.
Tia: I was at the outreach this Saturday picking up the staff and students to take to another location when I see Tia and a couple students walking towards me with these huge beautiful flowers. She found a roadside vendor as they were talking to people so bought some flowers for the base as they were leaving. She is really working hard on upgrading the landscaping and it’s obvious by how beautiful things are looking.
Shanty: Has been helping Tia with the planning and reorganizing of the plants. They are taking some of the plants that don’t flower and moving them so that they can plant flowers. She is taking her kitchen supervisor more serious and even bakes banana bread once a week from our large donation of bananas.
Lydia: Is getting the garden in shape. She has the composting going and has a new plan of where to put plants as we will be getting new winter ones soon. She is struggling with homesickness and came to Karen and me to talk. She wants to be involved in a single church instead of going to the different churches each week that we attend. She wants to be a little more involved once a week with others her age.
We had two Samaritan Ladies come and make pillow cases. Katie and Brenda learned some trouble shooting with the sewing machines and turned some old sheets into beautiful pillow cases. Shanty shared from II Chron. 15:7 about not giving up like King Asa. Lesa that was ill last week is being referred to the hospital for tests this week. Karen was able to chat with Beverly who is praying for a full-time job. She is a caregiver in hospitals, but can only find part-time work. She is very interested in the computer training. She said with a certificate they could get till jobs (cashier) and make between 1,200-1,500 Rand per month ($125) which is way more than the girls can make in prostitution.
BMW: Had a pretty good week with the students. There were few minutes this week. Our biggest issue is when they are told something, they want to argue their point instead of discussing the issue. With me they are fine, but with the lady staff the boys will argue with them. Had a nice talk with them about appropriate ways to discuss and what my expectation is. I told them that if they have a grievance about a decision they are to bring it to me as well.
We had three different people come this week to fill out applications for next term. One pastor actually brought the student with his bags to begin classes right now. I told him that he has to complete an application, do an interview and we will pray and let him know if he is accepted. We are in week seven right now, so there is no way that he can make up the classes and begin now. He asked if I could go ahead and interview and they will bring the application back later. I asked if when he gets a job do you interview then apply for it? It is the same here, the interview is based upon questions that are asked and answered on the application form. Everything has a process and so do we.
Had a fun time Saturday as Lorraine and Lydia planned a fun night for the students. We wanted some time of relaxing just before they go into writing their mid term exams this week. We had a lot of fun and played some games that were new to me. We closed the night with one of their favorite snacks, popcorn.
MSSM: They are doing a lot of outreach to the community to break down barriers and make themselves known to the parents. They were doing prayer meetings and afterwards met the lady that just had her baby. Peter & Kgotso had prayed for her because she was bleeding. Well this week both the husband and wife came to the Lord. They continue to clean the lot of brush and grass.
Base: Both vehicles are having problems. The bakkie’s brakes are in desperate need of changing, so we are getting them fixed. While using our car to help transport people to the bunkhouse, Karen accidentally hit a tree stump and we broke something with the suspension. So our car will be going in for repair once the bakkie is back and running. The car runs but you can tell something is out of whack with it.
Finally got all parties together and delivered 20 wheel chairs to Pastor Reuben at Love in Action. The people from Hillsong Church went with me and we were able to get them out. I have a few pictures, but hope to get more from them as they had a nice camera and professional guy taking the shots. Reuben, as well as the people, was so excited. One lady that I was talking to was in an old chair that had no tires, just the metal rim. They could take her outside, but she couldn’t wheel herself around as it was too difficult. I was testing a chair to see how they worked and she looked at me with a smile and said that as soon as I leave she is taking my chair. I told her I would be glad to give up my seat for such a beautiful lady. She laughed and thanked us for bringing the chairs to them. (She is sitting next to me in one of the pictures)
We got the last of the software packages and the extension cords to run to each computer station. We should be receiving the desks soon.
We were able to do some repairs to the rental next door. It has been a year since I have invested anything into the property, so we were able to do some roofing repairs, as well as repairs to the gate motor. We will be bricking in an old doorway that goes to the garage. It is blocked off by large metal shelves so cannot be used and the termites are eating the door. We have decided to just brick it in to close off the doorway. We will also be repairing the beams for the roofing trusses as some are very old and rotting. Once that is done we will replace the actual garage door as it was badly damaged by would-be thieves when we first bought the property. We have made do these years, but the door is beginning to come apart. As a special blessing Sarie (rental lady) had some sweet potatoes starts for us to be able to plant in the garden.
In His grace,
Karen & Jason Shrock