Beginnings of a new life…

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.

With our boxes in the Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg, South Africa

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.

View from the balcony of our temporary home. Beautiful!

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!)

The Clark children love playing with the Mack kiddos

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!

Sweet babies at the Muphamuzi Baby Home!

The newest baby!

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

10 thoughts on “Beginnings of a new life…

  1. So glad you made it safely! Reminds me of my first day in Iraq. I thought the same thoughts. Am I really here? Very surreal. God will accomplish His good will through you guys. Take care and God bless.

  2. LOVE this!!! Yes, totally hear you on the utter confusion of being on the “wrong” side of the car and the “wrong” side of the road… I just dissociate at that point. =)

    How sweet and awesome and amazing – we SO wish we were there. So thankful that the children are building friendships and thrilled for the new baby. Please give him an extra hug from the 1Hope USA crew =)

    Miss you guys!!!

  3. You holding the new baby – Children happy with friends, Yes. All bring tears to my eyes and happiness to my heart.

  4. Love you, my friend! Sorry I missed the open house – I really wanted one more hug. LOVE reading about this and remembering the first time I drove in Japan! I had to go back to our hotel and lie down for 30 minutes because it was so nerve racking and my heart was racing! Lifting you up to the Father’s care…

  5. I went to bed thinking about you guys on Monday night…praying that the plane would be sacred “ground” for you as God prepared your hearts for this final leg of your journey. So thankful you are there, and thankful for that new baby God brought to the home! Looking forward to what He has in store!

  6. Susan! What an incredibly beautiful thing the Lord has done! My heart is overwhelmed as I look at the picture of your two girls holding those precious babies and how this is truly a ministry from the hand of God to your family! I am so happy for you all–and for every baby who gets to be held and loved and valued for the precious ones that they are!

  7. So wonderful to read your update. Loved seeing the pictures of the kids and of you Susan holding that precious new baby. Already lots of adjustments, I can just see Randy driving with you all scrunched in. God is awesome, the kids are already building friendships.
    Love you, and praying…

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