2013 has got off to a very busy start for us. Most of Michelle’s time is taken up with helping the kids with school homework and home-schooling Nathan and Aidan. Most nights we are up late helping kids with homework. We try to share the driving of kids to school activities. I am very busy with building project at Khetani Christian School, building a kitchen for the church and doing repairs to the new home bought for Umndeni by the Mosvold family. One of our biggest challenges has been finding good builders. Next month I am taking some of the kids from Ingwavuma on a cricket tour. Aiden has made the under 14 team that will go on tour to Pinetown.
I want to take this opportunity to thank our main donors Martin and Astri Mosvold. Seen here with their grandchildren and some of the kids from Umndeni. Martin and Astri have been involved with Umndeni from the very start. When we have been very scared and unsure to take on certain challenges they have both been there for us. Martin and Astri are involved in various projects all around the World. Every Year the make donations to Umndeni for running costs, that is so hard to raise funds for and upkeep of our cars. Just recently our Isuzu was unsafe to drive because the body mountings had all broken because of the bad roads we drive on. The Mosvold family made a donation to get our car repaired and get it back onto the road again.
They have supported Umndeni WaBantwana in many projects and continue to play a vital role in our day to day activities. Martin and Astri have also been helping Michelle and Beatrice with the purchase of items for Jacobs Ladder as the school is not in the position yet to take care of itself but it is better off than last year. Martin is also not afraid to share with us his valuable experiences and tell me to slow down, or even take on a new challenge that can help Umndeni. He is also not afraid to remind me of what my responsibilities are. This is very good for me because I do get caught up in matter that can draw me away from home and family. The work in Ingwavuma can be very demanding of one’s time. I think I need to learn to say no, it would make my wife happy.
Above is a picture of some of the kids going off to school on their first day. The boy standing at the back is Phile. Phile just joined us over the Christmas holidays. Phile was staying with a very abusive uncle and we were asked to intervene. Phile is a very polite young boy but also very quiet. Like most kids that come to us their education background is not good. A lot of our time is taken up trying to get the kids up to speed. Most cases the kids are put one or two years back at school because of the poor education they have received in the past. At the moment we have 15 kids.
This month was also Kayla’s Birthday. From the start of the year she has been telling everyone she will be four this year. On the day of her birthday she told everyone she is now four years old.
Kayla made Michelle tell everyone in the shop she is now four. So now I would like to inform everyone my daughter Kayla is now four. Oh, her birthday is now over but she is still telling everyone she is now four. Boy this is the longest birthday celebration. We don’t know what will happen when she turns 16. In the photo Kayla is standing with all her class mates at Jacobs Ladder. On the day of her birthday she told Michelle she will stay at school the whole day. That only lasted one hour and then she came home.
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understandings, in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight.” Proverbs 3:5-6
No this is not a river this is water from the heavy rains we been having lately. On Thursday the 31st of January our whole garden turned into a river. Fortunately there was no major damage to the homes only a couple of leaks. Some water did come in the front door of one of the homes and an outside wall fell down. The wall was about 1.2m high and was keeping back the water but on this day the force of the water was too much. The builders have started with the cleaning up and doing the necessary repair work around the home. We will have to get up on the roof and seal the areas where the water was leaking into the home through the roof. The rain has damaged our road and driveway.
Some more pictures have been down loaded onto our web page.
I also want to thank Out Look church in Richards Bay for the wonderful Christmas gifts they bought the kids. The water guns were a huge success. For days after Christmas everyone even Mom and Dad got involved in water fights. It was as if we were reliving our childhood. Thanks guys for making this a special dayssssssss especially the hot days.
This year we have also had the passing away of our neighbour. To our kids she was known as GoGo (granny) and they always stopped to great her and she would always talk to them. They loved her and she is sorely missed by all. Every day when I drive past her home it saddens me not seeing her there. Sadly her daughter also passed away last week. Her daughter has been sick for a while. Michelle and I have dreaded this day. The only remaining daughter is finding things very hard and at the moment is not coping. Every month we buy them a food parcel. After the funeral Michelle and I will go and see her and see what we can do for her. Although this is not an Umndeni home we do try supporting them where we can. We are very involved in helping her son and the son of the daughter who passed away. I long for the day I will attend more marriages than funerals.
Thanks to everyone for the support we have been receiving it has come at a vital time of the year for us. Words can’t explain the emotions we have been going through. Never ever think the support we get from you is too small. It never is and we are very thankful for everything we get. May God bless you and your family.
Tomorrow I am taking Michelle away for a day to celebrate our 21st wedding anniversary. I tried to keep it a secret, but it does not help when the place you are going to emails you to confirm your booking and your wife receives the email. It is also not usual for me to do all these romantic things. One day I hope to surprise her.
Neil, Michelle and kids
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