Tuesday, March 29, 2011

A TLC Newsletter

Hello Friends

The last few weeks have been filled with emotion and challenges some good, some stressful, some bittersweet - the nature of the life I guess:-)

Here is the link to the February Newsletter recently sent out by email to all the contacts on my list - if some of you missed it and would like to be on the mailing list for next time please send me an email telling me so and I will add you to the list.

We love you all

Thursday, March 10, 2011

For those who believe South Africa is beyond redemption.

My Dear Friends.

Every so often a gem comes along that is just simply too beautiful to not share!

Jonathan Jansen is the Rector and Vice Chancellor of the University of the Free State. A university that has been fighting a great battle against racism with such grace and integrity that it has become a beacon that reminds every South African that we chose to be ONE NATION and that we all knew it would take a committment from every individual to make the impossible, possible!

My South Africa by Jonathan Jansen Wednesday, 09 February 2011

My South Africa is the working-class man who called from the airport to return my wallet without a cent missing. It is the white woman who put all three of her domestic worker's children through the same school that her own child attended. It is the politician in one of our rural provinces, Mpumalanga, who returned his salary to the government as a statement that standing with the poor had to be more than just a few words. It is the teacher who worked after school hours every day during the public sector strike to ensure her children did not miss out on learning.

My South Africa is the first-year university student in Bloemfontein who took all the gifts she received for her birthday and donated them - with the permission of the givers - to a home for children in an Aids village. It is the people hurt by racist acts who find it in their hearts to publicly forgive the perpetrators. It is the group of farmers in Paarl who started a top school for the children of farm workers to ensure they got the best education possible while their parents toiled in the vineyards. It is the farmer's wife in Viljoenskroon who created an education and training centre for the wives of farm labourers so that they could gain the advanced skills required to operate accredited early-learning centers for their own and other children.

My South Africa is that little white boy at a decent school in the Eastern Cape who decided to teach the black boys in the community to play cricket, and to fit them all out with the togs required to play the gentleman’s game. It is the two black street children in Durban, caught on camera, who put their spare change in the condensed milk tin of a white beggar. It is the Johannesburg pastor who opened up his church as a place of shelter for illegal immigrants. It is the Afrikaner woman from Boksburg who nailed the white guy who shot and killed one of South Africa's greatest freedom fighters outside his home.

My South Africa is the man who went to prison for 27 years and came out embracing his captors, thereby releasing them from their impending misery. It is the activist priest who dived into a crowd of angry people to rescue a woman from a sure necklacing. It is the former police chief who fell to his knees to wash the feet of Mamelodi women whose sons disappeared on his watch; it is the women who forgave him in his act of contrition. It is the Cape Town university psychologist who interviewed the 'Prime Evil' in Pretoria Centre and came away with emotional attachment, even empathy, for the human being who did such terrible things under apartheid.

My South Africa is the quiet, dignified, determined township mother from Langa who straightened her back during the years of oppression and decided that her struggle was to raise decent children, insist that they learn, and ensure that they not succumb to bitterness or defeat in the face of overwhelming odds. It is the two young girls who walked 20kms to school every day, even through their Matric years, and passed well enough to be accepted into university studies. It is the student who takes on three jobs, during the evenings and on weekends, to find ways of paying for his university studies.

My South Africa is the teenager in a wheelchair who works in townships serving the poor. It is the pastor of a Kenilworth church whose parishioners were slaughtered, who visits the killers and asks them for forgiveness because he was a beneficiary of apartheid. It is the politician who resigns on conscientious grounds, giving up status and salary because of an objection in principle to a social policy of her political party. It is the young lawman who decides to dedicate his life to representing those who cannot afford to pay for legal services.

My South Africa is not the angry, corrupt, violent country whose deeds fill the front pages of newspapers and the lead-in items on the seven-o'-clock news. It is the South Africa often unseen, yet powered by the remarkable lives of ordinary people. It is the citizens who keep the country together through millions of acts of daily kindness.

Remember to point people to our Lenten Appeal on our Season Giving Blog :-)

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

News and Lots of Love

Hello Friends

So, sadly it seems to be a bit of a trend now! My lack of posts, I mean.
2 Weeks ago we had to let our one driver go and have been hobbling along since then trying to keep all the various logistical needs moving along smoothly. It is a massive challenge and of course things conspire to end up as complex as possible and we have had no less than 5 flat tyres and 1 flat battery in that time!!! ARRGGHHH!

I have been working on our Newsletter and will post it here in the next few days. I will also be emailing it to as many people as I have in my inbox so you may get it twice :-)

Today I spent the first 4 hours at the vegetable market. Buying the squashes, potatoes and fruit we never seem to have quite enough of :-) I had a somewhat shocking but very humerous encounter with an old gentleman who always watches my car.

He had not seen me for several months as my beloved Tammy and Anne were doing the veggie buying for awhile. Since Tammy is away I am back at it and so the old man looked at me with some interest because he knows the car and is always curious about who is driving it this time. He asked me where the young lady is who always wore the head scarf. Those of you who hve known me for awhile know that for many years I enjoyed wearing a head covering and when I told him I was indeed the same person he peered at me and then laughed and said ... "You got fat!".

How is that for motivation to get back into the gym!

When I got home I had 3 hours hosting two film students from Boston who are doing a documentary on the experience of HIV and AIDS for the people in our country. It was a good thing for me to have a chance to articulate again why we do this work and how important I truly believe it is. We are literally on the coalface here, putting in our blood, sweat and tears but for great results. I am so grateful to every person who helps us do this work and make the impact we do.

After those 3 hours, I spent 3 hours at a genetic specialist trying to find out if Paul perhaps has an abnormality that causes him to be so unusually small. The doctor did xrays and investigations and says he seems to have minimal but not abnormal growth and so we have begun a period of obervation to measure the velocity of his growth so that we can get an idea of what we should or can do.

After that it was a few hours of homework, organising logistics and making sure there was enough milk :-) Now I have spent 3 hours checking and answering emails and updating the 2 blogs.
Those of you who haven't checked the SeasonsGiving blog for awhile should do so again. We are displaying an image and short message each day for the Lenten period leading up to Easter to support our efforts to gather funds for a rainy day. It is called the "Nest Egg Project".

We love you all