Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Sammy has returned

Today we found Sammy the tortoise again. I suppose they do move kind of slowly. It was so neat that the kids got to see him again, especially after Bied had said to them that if we don't cage him in then he'll feel free and might want to come back:) Bradley ran over to the boys down the road and told them to come and see Sammy. I imagine he wanted to prove to them that he hadn't been lying about the tortoise that we had/have.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sharon Biedebach

For the lady who enquired about Sharon...yes we are related! She is my sister-in-law. If you would leave your details for me then I'll pass on your info to her. I am sure she'd be glad to catch up with you! Sharon's brother Brian (my husband) used to work for Teen Missions here in Malawi. He now pastors a local church and teaches at a Bible college.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Back in Malawi

We flew back to Malawi on Monday 19th January and have taken a couple of days to adjust to life back here again. Just driving to our house from the airport opened my eyes again to the poverty in this country. South Africa has so much! I experienced a little culture shock. We have unpacked everything and are slowly getting organized again. We even managed to do two days of school last week. The kids are happy to be in their own home and getting into our routine again is good.
Brian went to try and sort out his Temporary Employment Permit this week and found a tortoise crossing the road. He brought it home for the kids. The tortoise named 'Sammy Biedebach' just stayed the night and has since moved on. The kids were disappointed, but we didn't want to keep him caged in.
Our weeks will get busy from now on. Bible Studies will start up next week and activities will begin to crowd our calendar. We are so thankful for the time away and feel refreshed to start the year serving here at International Bible Fellowship Church.

Wedding Bells - January 17th

Brian, my brother Martin and I flew down to Cape Town for four days to attend our friends' (Sybrand and Beth) wedding. The children stayed in Johannesburg. Cape Town is beautiful and a must see for anyone who gets the chance to visit South Africa. I have tried to encourage my folks to retire down there or get my brother to marry a Capetonian, that way we'll have an excuse to visit.
The weather on the day was just perfect! The wedding was God-honouring and a tremendous encouragement to all those who have prayed for these two individuals over the years. Beth, who we first met in the USA in 2001, moved to South Africa in 2005 to work as the Women's Ministry director at our church in Johannesburg. She became a great friend to both of us and was especially a blessing to me. She continually discipled and encouraged me.
About two weeks before the wedding Beth called me to say that there was a possiblity her good friend and bridesmaid from the US would not be able to make it to the wedding, because of her mother being so ill. Beth asked if I would mind being her back-up bridesmaid. "Of course!", I said, although I was disapppointed for Beth that her friend who I have met, was probably not going to make it. Within the next couple of days, I became the official bridesmaid because her friend's mom passed away. The dress which Beth had purchased for her friend needed little adjusting and there was enough room for my growing belly. It was so much fun and I was delighted to help out.
Andrew and Caroline Gill with Beth and Sybrand. The Gills are our dear friends and were most hospitable hosts for the weekend.

Dr. Mack walking Beth down the aisle.

Don't you just love this cake? - It was yummy too.

My brother, Martin and me.

The reception was held at the Mount Nelson Hotel. It was gorgeous.

Brian was the Master of Ceremonies.

L to R: Anita, Katy, Eileen (Beth's friend form the US), Beth, Cambria, Marda and McKenna
The flower girl and junior bridesmaids are Beth's nieces (Marda's daughters).

She looked stunning!

Sybrand and the girls.

Baby #4

This picture is for you sis!
We went for our first scan while in South Africa and it was amazing! You would think that fourth time round you'd be used it and kind of nonchalant. Unbelieveable miracle. To hear the little heartbeat and to see our tiny baby moving around was wonderful. We are so thankful to the Lord for blessing us with this little baby. The scan showed that the baby looks normal, the weight is good and the heartbeat is fine too. We asked about the rubella scare and our midwife was so encouraging. She told us that only God knows and it is only Him whom we can trust. She also, as well as the doctor, suspect that because of my innoculation in 2006 that I should've been immune. We eagerly await the arrival of our newest Biedebach.
I am officially 20 weeks (half way) according to the scan and expect to deliver June 12th. The kids and I will need to be down in South Africa by the first week of May. The airlines will not allow me to fly later than 35 weeks. If you remember, please continue to pray for a healthy baby, pregnancy and smooth delivery. We'd appreciate that.


While we were down in Johannesburg we had plenty of opportunity to swim. The kids loved it and so did we. Brian and I joined a nearby gym for the time we were down there and swam as much as we could. Brian's record was 100 laps and the pregnant mother managed 60. We tried to do this every day:)

Monday, January 5, 2009

A house made out of bricks

For those of you who keep up with our blog, you'll remember a post about the kids building and playing house in Malawi. Well, in South Africa their opa let them build a house too... but it was out of his left over, perfectly formed, cream-coloured bricks. That gives you a good idea of the contrast! This past week they had some friends come over and they all tried to squeeze into the house of bricks which they have made a couple of times in the backyard.

Friends, Fun, Food

We have been able to spend some time with many friends of ours, who we have missed since moving to Malawi. We've also been eating far too much, but it's so hard to resist all the excellent food down here. The prices have gone up, but of course for us, it still seems 'sort of' inexpensive, because we pay double or more for most things. The kids haven't eaten so much ice-cream in all their lives. We don't buy it in Malawi because it costs so much! R75 for 2 litres or $7.50 for a half gallon. Benjamin has never had it until now and even says the word. Bradley, after guzzling down McDonalds' ice-cream, asked pointing to the cone, "Dad, do I also eat this thing?"

When we were kids...

My dad made us a little wooden wagon which we loved pulling each other in. Well, our kids had a fun time pulling each other in the same wagon. I wish my mom were able to find the photo with my brother, sister and me in it, just to compare. Anyway, you'll just have to enjoy the ones with the three Biedebach kiddies.


Ami, Bradley, Benjamin and aunty Judy at the statue of Max the Gorilla.

Enjoying picnic time.

Brian, the kids and I were joined by aunty Judy (she is a dear friend of ours who is just the greatest with kids-she looked after them for two weeks in Malawi while we were in Israel) and Tassie (also known as the kids second ouma and my mom's friend) for an outing to the Jo'burg zoo. We went early in the morning and managed to book one of the buggy golf carts which was a huge help, especially when you have smaller kids and a tired pregnant mom who can't keep up with the walking.

The kids loved the animals and we enjoyed it too. We had a lovely picnic in a grassy area and then headed home with very tired babies ready for naps! Actually, we all needed naps :)

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Christmas in South Africa

Christmas morning- they were waiting so patiently and were spoiled rotten!

Christmas Eve dinner at my folks' home. The food was delicious!

Benjamin, Ami, Daniel, Christopher, Connor and Bradley (who you can barely see).
Second cousins.

We arrived in Johannesburg on Dec 21st and have had a delightful time of rest and relaxation. The kids have thrived on attention from their opa and nanny. The first couple of days we shopped and although we were crowded by many other late Christmas shoppers, we enjoyed it nonetheless. Brian preached at the Christmas eve service at Grace Christian Church in Primrose and afterwards we shared in an outstanding mom-made Christmas eve dinner. On Christmas day we had a braai and invited my aunt around. We also spent afternoon tea with my cousins and their families. What a blessing to be able to share the joy of knowing the Greatest Gift to us in Christ with our family and dear friends here in South Africa.