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Wednesday, March 31, 2010

The Niehoff Return

Another huge hurdle has come and gone for Restoring Hope International.  On Tuesday, March 23, Brian & Lois, along with their two children - Liam & Lindie - flew from Des Moines to Atlanta.  The next day they left Atlanta and arrived in Johannesburg sometime on the evening of March 25th.
(farewell dinner at Hy-Vee)

By their reports all travel went well.  The kids slept for most of the 16 hour flight.  Of course, the drawback to that is that the kids aren't tired after they arrive, while parents are usually ready to crash.  (Saying goodbye to the grandkids)  They were able to spend Thursday night with Mark & Chris Harding, good South African friends who care for 16 children in their own home (read about their ministry here).

Apparently the night was a bit of an adventure, since Mark & Chris were being overrun with ants.  Such is life in South Africa sometimes.  They are now living with Lawrence & Trish Dargie, (Lois with her sister Rebekah) another couple who have become dear friends.  Lawrence & Trish live in Welkom, so Brian & Lois are able to make that their home base for a couple weeks.  They have located a house to lease for a short time until we can complete construction on their own house.

For those of you who know Brian & Lois personally, you'll not be surprised to learn that they have jumped right into the work.  Brian has already had some success with government officials, getting paperwork through on the purchase of the Restoring Hope Village property.  Here is what Lois wrote to us:  "Another great achievement today, Brian was able to get the clearance certificate for the land today. He will be paying for the land tomorrow and then the transfer will go to Bloomfontein. The assistant at the attorney's office said the transfers have been getting completed in 2 weeks recently, no more then a month. So that is fabulous news! "  

They currently have limited access to internet, so they may be a bit delayed in corresponding with people.  (group prayer before departure) It is always exciting to get an email from them and hear about the latest developments...and they've only been there less than a week.  It is such a blessing to Amber & me to work with people who are such go-getters.  We can't begin to express our appreciation to God for His amazing provision to this point.  Imagine, just 6 months ago we were returning to the US to begin fundraising, and now they are ready to complete the purchase and start building.  We serve an awesome God.

Of course, Amber & I can't wait to get there and start helping.  We anticipate leaving around the end of April.  Currently we have about $111,000 in our Capital Campaign.  (Liam gets his own backpack this time...with candy included)  As long as we have $120,000 by the end of April we are cleared to return.  We are trusting that God will provide this last amount and we'll be able to get back.

Once we arrive at the $120,000 we have our goal within sight.  Our initial construction goal was $150k, so while there is still some work to do, we are excited to get the ministry going and begin reaching more children for Christ.

Please continue to pray for us, for Brian & Lois, and for the ministries of RHI in the US and South Africa.

(taking advantage of every last minute with the grandkids)

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