It feels like it was just the other day I
wrote our last newsletter, Boy time flies. Since February we have had a very
busy time. In South Africa we are also going into our winter months, I guess
not as cold as some other countries but cold enough for us.
This is a very dry time of the year for us
and it presents us with a lot of problems.
After installing extra rain tanks last year
we were hoping it would make life a lot easier for us. Unfortunately when we
did our calculations we took into consideration the water we receive from our
local municipality. As of January we have received no water and we have been
using our rain water that is in storage. I recently spoke to the municipality
and they informed us we will not be getting water because the demand is to
great. There pumps can’t keep up. We are going to have to buy more tanks but we
are stuck for now. A couple of weeks ago we got 49mm of rain over a two day
period. We need a 1000lt of water a day. If we don’t get more rain soon we will
run out of water. I think we have enough till the end of this week.
Lisa and Slindie have been finding it hard to
read at school. We took them both to an optometrist and both girls have been
issued with glasses. Both girls are amazed with the difference it has made.
They are now able to read and see things they could not see before. For Slindie
it was not easy to accept because she feared what the kids at school would say.
Both girls have not encountered any problems.
Phile has started guitar lessons every
Friday. Aidan has joined the church worship team and Nathan is still in the
worship team and goes to piano lessons every Wednesday. The older girls have
also started dance lessons every second week at school which they are enjoying.
The children at Jacobs Ladder (the nursery
school Michelle and Beatrice started) are doing well. One of the parents came
to see Michelle today and she is amazed at her sons level of English. She says
her son comes home and opens up a book and makes as if he is reading. He will
look at the book and tell his mom the story Beatrice read out to them in class.
We have 14 children who attend Jacobs Ladder. Over the holidays I had to make
more space for them. We emptied out our store room, put in a window, a carpet and
some shelving. This room is used as a reading and art room for the kids. So now
Jacobs Ladder has two rooms. I will also be vacating my office so that it can
be used by Jacobs Ladder. Currently when the parents come to meet with Michelle
or Beatrice they meet in the house. We are also hoping to enlarge the play area
for the kids and make a new entrance. Currently when the kids arrive they must
come through the entrance to the house. Things do get congested at certain
times of the day.
From the right in pink Thandi, Kayla and Mandy. In the back ground is Grace their house mother, in the blue top.
Over the Easter Holidays we had a Easter Conference our church. Our kids were all involved in different activities. The group Lisa and Rebecca were involved in sang a couple of songs.
Here is Rebecca on lead vocals, behind her is Lisa wearing a black Jersey, Slindie in the pink top
Aidan and Slindie are in a band and they led the worship at the morning sessions. Nathan is in the main worship team and they were responsible evening worship. It was great to see all the kids involved and the different activities they were involved in. All the little kids did some wonderful drawings and shared with us the songs they learnt. The kids all had a great Easter Holidays. Easter Sunday we have an Easter egg hunt for all the kids. Michelle put some amazing treats together for the kids. Aidan and his friend Sazi hid the treats in the garden and gave the kids clues where they could find them. Some places like moms car were strange places to hide treats.
The joke of the day was when Stephen went into the flower bed and came out with a real egg, laid by one of our hens. Nikki found her treats in between the tyre and bumper of moms car.
The school that we started 5 years ago has finally moved. For our friend Andrew Swift, who is the school principal, it has been a very stressful 6 months but finally we are in our own building and the kids are a lot happier. When the school started on our property we had 5 children in our first class, today there is about 117 kids and 13 staff members. I help coach sport during the week and for me it is great we have our own grounds for the kids to play on. We have a long way to go to get it to the level of other schools but finally we have something that is ours. One big issue we for the school is also water. Once a week we must drive 10km (there and back) to collect 400lt of water for the school. This will last the school a week, if the teachers ration the water. I think our best solution to this problem is to harvest rain water and try have a bore hole.
The children are all getting older and so the homework and school work is increasing for all of them. They are all very good about doing their homework. They all arrive home after school, have a quick snack and get changed and get started on their homework. When we say to them to have a longer break they are not keen, as they know that no television is allowed until all homework is done.
Kayla is keen to start learning the bass very early
Nathan and the team preparing for a session at the Easter Conference
As of this this month we have just under two months of finances left for Umndeni. It has been a challenging few months for us but by the Grace of God we seem to come through. We thank our Lord Jesus Christ for the continued support we receive from all of you. May He bless you and your family
Neil, Michelle and kids
Projects that need support: Jacobs Ladder extensions Rain water Harvesting for Umndeni WaBantwana Financial Assistance for Umndeni WaBantwana
BANKING DETAILS: First National Bank Pongola KZN Account No: 62178787598 Branch Code: 270124 Account type: Cheque account Swift code: FIRNZAJJXXX