July 2020

‘Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.’ James 4:14

I am writing this news update on Day 100 of our lockdown in South Africa. It has been an incredibly difficult time for everybody globally. As the phrase goes, ‘We are all in the same storm, but we're in different boats.’

Me and Yolanda - masks say, 'Do what you must.'

The South African boat was a bit like the Emperor's new clothes. We started our five weeks of hard lock down swimmingly and successfully flattened the curve. But now due to economic realities we have had to re-open the economy. This means that Trinity School reopened to children on Monday, along with many other schools and businesses. At the same time our rates of transmission are soaring (currently over 9,000 per day). Needless to say this week was a stressful week for the staff. Amazingly, our students took everything in their stride and have adapted really well to the new normal. 

Half of the Interventions Team - first week back.

Being locked away for three months has meant there have been significant changes with the people I've been working with. I have been particularly encouraged by our teenager, C, who went into a secure facility. She is responding well to the staff and even enjoying the education that she has missed out on over the past two to three years. Likewise mum C is still clean and is continuing to live in a secure place as she builds herself up ready to take on her full role as a mum again. There are a few stories that are disappointing but I'll include those in the prayers below.

TCC. You have to get past the whole team before you enter!

For Trinity, our township church, it has been particularly hard as our people don't have enough data to live-stream or Zoom our meetings. As part of the opening up of the economy, churches are now allowed to open (less than 50 people), but our denomination has decided it is unsafe to do so. However, at Trinity we decided to use the Sunday morning to meet up one-on-one for individual counselling. In addition to this I have been visiting my home church in Banbury over Zoom and that has really been a life-safer. 

I am currently studying 'Counselling and Physiology' with CCEF which has been absolutely amazing, but very demanding. We have been looking at things like OCD, bi-polar, depression, anxiety and addictions. The material has been great and opened my eyes to completely new perspectives.

Allowed to mountain bike again (Stellenbosch).

I now have just six months left in South Africa and so have started to make plans for my return to the UK. I have sold my apartment here (in just four days) and hopefully that lady will also buy most of the furniture, which will make life much easier. My good friend, whom I first stayed with when I arrived 11 years ago, has offered me my old room back and so I will finish back where I started!

Prayer points:

  • Please pray for diligence as I study - that I would learn and grow.
  • Please pray for two of our school families who have tested positive for coronavirus and are self-isolating (one of our grans is in hospital).
  • Please pray for the Interventions Team and the teachers at TCC, that they would remember what they have been taught with regard to self-care.

Give thanks:

  • Please give thanks for our principal, Renier (the steady hand at the helm of our ship).
  • Please give thanks for the people who have generously and sacrificially given to the people of Mitchell's Plain.
  • Please give thanks for the many glimpses that we see of Jesus at work amidst this pandemic.

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