“…in everything give thanks; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.” 1 Thess 5:18
We have been in the RSA (Republic of South Africa) for about a week and a half now, and thanks to our dear friends who are serving us so selflessly, much progress has been made in setting up our life here. Here is a rundown:
- We own a car with seatbelts for our entire family! Coming from the U.S., this may not not seem like much to rejoice over. In America we would not even think of anything less, nor do our laws allow for it, but believe me, after squishing my entire family of seven in a very small car for five, we are totally rejoicing and thankful for our seven-seater! Our faithful friend, Frank
(who is a seminary student and member of Living Hope Church) worked so diligently, not stopping until he found the right car for us. He literally ran from dealership lot to lot searching for that very rare automatic seven seater in our price range. He then drove out to Johannesburg twice to secure the deal. We were so thankful for his servants heart as he drove into the driveway with our new car for the year.
- We have a South African bank account! Again, might not seem like much, but we were not even sure we would be able to obtain a RSA account because we are foreigners. One funny thing that Randy and I have been laughing about these past few days is how we had to transfer money from our U.S. account to our RSA account: We stood at the ATM to withdraw cash from our US account as many times as the machine would allow, and then quickly and quite nervously deposited the money back into the same machine, but into our RSA account! A very primitive form of “electronic transfer”!! We are working on a more modern way to get access our funds, but for now, this has been the quickest way.
- We have internet access! Thanks to another faithful servant here, Andre (who is the director of operations at 1Hope) who found a way to get us a contract that would give us a good deal on internet. We have to monitor our usage because we can actually run out for the month. We never realized how we took our unlimited access for granted. Along those lines, my smart phone (iPhone) is not so smart. It ate through my R200 (about $25) prepaid minutes in a few short days because of its constant connection to the network. Randy has called us Americans with unlimited access“Gig Pigs”! We are learning to be unplugged.
- We have a house!!
We have been in a temporary living situation for the first week, which has been so great, but we have now moved into our new home! It is such a lovely home and it was so amazing to finally see it after working on the U.S. side to secure it. It is above and beyond what we can ask or think and we are so thankful for it.
Our prayer is that God would use this home for His purposes and glory while we are here in South Africa and that we would be open to share it generously with those He puts in our path.
- We have a church! Living Hope Church is a beautiful congregation of mixed ethnicities. This small, but mighty, group of believers is quite serious about standing together to proclaim the gospel and live it out and we are very blessed to be a part of it. Many people from the church have provided dinner for our family to welcome us and it has been so fun to get to know the people we will be serving alongside this next year!
As we adjust to the many changes in our lifestyle, we are finding that we are not much different than the Israelites. It would be so easy to grumble and complain and focus on all the things we don’t have compared to our life back in the States. However, by God’s amazing grace, we are resisting that temptation and are choosing to rejoice in the Lord always and be thankful. He is good and His mercies endure forever!
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows