After over 25 hours of travel time, we arrived bleary eye, but safely in Johannesburg, South Africa on Wednesday morning where we were warmly greeted by Josh Mack, his eldest daughter, McKenna, and Andre De Wet. We counted it “miraculous” that we made it with all 17 boxes, 7 carry-ons and 7 backpacks packed full with “stuff”. We were in awe that after six months of continuous planning and working to get to this moment, it had finally arrived.
We are so thankful to the Mack family, Andre and Karlien and other members of the 1Hope Team who worked hard to prepare a lovely place for us to stay until we move into our new home on September 1st.
On our first full day here, our very adventurous and brave Daddy Randy got behind the wheel which is on the wrong side of the car as the seven of us squeezed into a car that seats five (no laws against that here) to drive us around on the wrong side of the road. It is quite disorienting and confusing for me as a passenger, but Randy did an excellent job keeping his wits about him as we drove around in the car that Macks so generously have loaned us until we can purchase a car of our own. (Don’t worry, we are looking to purchase a car with seatbelts for the whole family!)
Marda Mack so graciously has provided meals for us along with her own family of ten the first few nights we have been here. After watching my children say goodbye to some of their very dear friends back home, it has been so fun to watch our children form instant friendships with the Mack children. God is so good to demonstrate His love for them in this way, and with thirteen kids between the two families, it is always a party!
The best news of all is that we were so privileged to meet the newest arrival at the Baby Home. He is 2 and ½ months old and was abandoned at the government hospital and arrived at the Muphamuzi Baby Home today!! He is healthy and so precious. The 1Hope team is so excited and thrilled to be entrusted with this little life. The prayer is that God would provide a forever family for him soon!
Internet access is still limited for us. Using it is very different than what we are use to, because here you pay for a certain amount each month and after you have used it up, you either “run out” for the month, or pay extra large fees! Our friends have been so gracious to let us use their internet.
We are all in the process of taking it all in. Getting accustomed to all the different sights and sounds. (Different bird sounds. Gabriel woke us up at 3 am our first night here to tell us that there is a rooster crowing). Randy and I keep saying to each other things like, “Is this real?” or “Are we really here?” We truly have no idea what God has in store, but we know that He will be faithful to reveal His plan. Each day we are thankful for His grace to sustain us.
“But God, being rich in mercy, because of the greatlove with which He loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses, made us alive together with Christ-by grace you have been saved-and raised us up with him and seated us with him in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, so that in the coming ages He might show the immeasurable riches of His grace in kindness toward us in Christ Jesus.” Eph. 2:4-7