The following is an update from my sister Rosina. She has been here since May 13th, along with my brother Tim and a few other family members and potential family members.
After months of anticipation, planning, and yes, even a little apprehension it's hard to believe that we are finally in South Africa. Our first two weeks here have just flown by as Louis and Amber have kept us all very busy with a plethora of projects and activities.
My goal in coming to South Africa was first and foremost to see my family but also to assist in the building of Restoring Hope Village-an orphanage for children affected by the aids epidemic. Construction for Restoring Hope Village began just a little over a year ago. In that short amount of time The Village has gone from being an empty piece of land to having a fence all around the property, and having the first children's and staff homes built. When we arrived preparations had been made to begin construction on the second children's home. The concrete for the foundation had been poured but that was about it! In the two weeks that we have been here we have put up all the exterior walls and on Friday the guys got all the trusses for the roof up. It has been exciting to see it go from a slab of concrete to something that resembles a house. Now I know this may come as a shock to some of you but I have never been involved in the construction of a house before so helping out with this project has been a learning experience each step of the way. And Michelle and I may or may not have been fired from a job or two :P
When we arrived there were only two girls living at The Village; Lerato (9) and Monica (7). In the last week we received two new babies. Our first baby came last Monday and it was love at first sight. Amohela is only 25 days old and weighs less than four pounds! The first time I gave her a bath I couldn't believe how tiny she really is. Michelle and I had a blast going through the container in search of some little girl clothes. She is swimming in all of them, even the newborn ones, but we are hoping that in a short time she will grow into them. Our second baby arrived Thursday morning. He is quite the opposite of our little princess. Tumi is only six months old and already weighs nearly 20 pounds! He's a little butter-ball. He has only been here four days but he has already received several new nicknames, the two favorites being Sumo and Jabba. Both babies are absolutely precious and there is never a shortage of people to love on them.
|Baby Dumisang with Meredith and Drake|
|Rosina cementing the brick walls|
|Rosina tired of cementing brick walls|
While we have been quite busy working on the new children's house our time here has not been all work and no play. Yesterday we went to Thabong for a game of soccer and a traditional South African meal, complete with Walkie-Talkies (chicken heads and feet). After lunch we went to the Boskoppi Lion Park in Kroonstad, which is about an hour away from Welkom. We were able to get into a cage with some tiger cubs and play with them. Even though they are only a couple months old they have already perfect the art of sneaking up and pouncing on their prey (their prey being us!). We were also able to see some leopards, jaguars, lynx and lots and lots of lions. Seeing the full-grown lions up close gave a whole new meaning to the story of Daniel and the Lions den.
|No, Tim and Rosina are not engaged. Tim is just awkwardly placing his hand over Rosina's for an unknown reason.|
Well, I'd better get going. Tomorrow looks like it's going to be another busy day. Thank-you to those of you who have been praying for our trip and for the ministry Louie & Amber and Brian & Lois have here in South Africa. It has been so exciting to see God work but there is still so much left to do. Please pray for continued safety as construction for the Village moves ahead. Please also be praying for God to be preparing a new housemother for the next children's home and also for the children that will soon be living here. Thanks again for your prayers.