We hope you are really well & enjoying the Christmas preparations! We can’t believe that it’s nearly Christmas & we’ve been in South Africa for over three months now. Time has flown & once again we are getting ready for the next stage of the journey. On the 12th of December we will be driving to Port Elizabeth to start setting up Mihlali Haven. Mihlali means joy in IsiXhosa. As we are not sure when we will manage to get internet set up in PE & we are about to go on camp with 18 of the children from the havens, we wanted to take this opportunity to wish you a very blessed & joy filled Christmas.
Moving: We are excited to be moving to our permanent home, but are sad to be leaving behind so many new & much loved friends… especially the children. The past 3 months have been a huge blessing to us. In retrospect, we arrived in Joburg with a small vision of what our time here could be… God had a much greater vision! We came here to learn, but not only have we learnt, we’ve made life long friends. We have experienced much blessing as the wonderful Webbs (Directors of Masiphane) have invested in us & Mihlali. We’ve had the privilege of serving wonderful children who have ushered us into more of God. We have had our unbelieving mindset challenged, as we witnessed God revealing Himself to 2 of the children by covering them in gold dust. We have been confronted with our pride as God has lovingly brought correction. The last three months in my mind can only be summed up as life changing, foundation building, & filled with God’s grace towards Kate & myself.
Being open to God interrupting us in our everyday lives has been one of our values for a long time. Truth be told I am not very good at being in a place where God can interrupt me, Kate is far better at it than me. However we would both openly admit that we desire more growth in this area of our lives. The past three months has taught us a lot about being interruptible. God’s Kingdom has taken me by surprise on numerous occasions as the King has broken into my life, giving me no choice in whether I wanted to be interrupted or not. These occasions have left me with an increased view of my life & who God wants to be for me. His Father heart has left me in tears on numerous occasions in the last three months. The most momentous of these experiences was when God placed us in the path of a 10 day old girl who was & still is in the care of Masiphane. The moment Kate saw her, her heart started to yell: “that’s my daughter!”. When I next saw Kate she began telling me about what had happened & I began to think of all the reasons why this was not the right time. As I was about to speak, I was interrupted. In my spirit I heard “you need to pay attention to this”. Instantly, every objection I had thought of fell away & Kate & I agreed to fast & pray. God brought courage to all our fears and anxieties, which has led to us pursuing the idea of adopting this wonderful girl. We quickly found out adoption is not currently a possibility, & so we are currently going through the process with her Social Worker to foster her. Then, in a few years time we can pursue adoption.
We are telling you this now because we would love your prayers. We need your prayers whilst we walk down this road of trying to become her foster carers, which will open the way to be able to adopt. Also no matter what the outcome of this process is, we’re going to need prayer support. In 8 days we leave Jo’burg & unless there is a miracle we will have to leave this precious, wonderful girl in Joburg. If we are unable to bring her with us to PE we hope she will be in our foster care by January or February. If she is not in our foster care by April 2014, we will not be able to foster (due to the time left on our visas). We believe that everything is going to work out & we will be able to provide the love & care she needs & deserves. We believe that God is going to open the doors we need opened. Please join with us as we pray for the road to be made straight & for the way forward to be opened. On a practical note, this decision does not change any plans regarding setting up Mihlali haven. We will simply have a daughter to join in the adventure alongside us. We will not be informing Joseph & Reuben until we have a date for receiving this wonderful, beautiful girl into our care.
Thank you so much for your love & support that enables us to follow the call of setting up Mihlali, but also to have this wonderful girl in our lives. This Christmas we pray that God would pour out great blessing & breakthrough in your lives, along with an increase of His presence.
Richie, Kate, Joseph & Reuben