At 7:30 this morning my brother took Bied to the airport. We miss him already. Thankfully though, it won't be too long before he joins us here again. He has so much work to do back in Malawi, including getting ready for a missions' team from LA. Matt and Rachel Floreen are also planning to arrive within the next couple months and Bied has to help organise their container which is already on African soil, I believe. We are real sad not to see the team and not to be there to welcome the Floreens to their new home! But we serve a sovereign God and knowing that His ways and plans are far higher and better than ours, is a comfort.
Today was rather eventful. Brian took me for a 4D scan which is a complimentary non-diagnostic scan from the hospital. It was fun because we never had one with any of the other kids. We are excited to meet our newest addition in a few months and are thankful that things are going well. I shall continue to see my midwife here in SA and also my ob/gyn at 36 weeks. Please pray that the baby comes at the right time, God's time is always right!
The lady doing the scan said that the baby has lots of hair and chubby cheeks. She also saw the baby's gender, but we are happy to be surprised on the day!
We also went out to have lunch with uncle Martin and Nanny, because Brian is leaving tomorrow. The kids love the Spur and they get to play. Boo Boo played a little too hard and received a rather severe blow to his head. Opa commented how wonderfully we've been made and how hard our skull bones actually are.
What a bump :(
Not a happy Boy!
And then on the way home from the restaurant Nanny, uncle Martin and Ami witnessed a hijacking with guns and all. It happened at a four-way stop intersection. Martin was stopped at one of the four stops. Two men in a 4X4 rammed their vehicle into a Mercedes Benz with two business men inside who were on their way to deposit money at the bank. The Mercedes reversed into the intersection trying to make a get away. The hijackers did the same and jumped out with guns, took the money and drove off. All those at the intersection stayed right where they were at and didn't attempt anything knowing that if they tried they might be shot. We explained to Ami, who was a little tearful, that we need to thank God for His protection and that we need to pray for those men, that they would be convicted of their sin and turn to Christ.
Praising the God Who is in complete control and Who in His grace and mercy protected our family today.
I am so much better than this time last week. Praise the Lord! Thank you so much for your prayers. I am still pretty much house-bound and have been careful not to overdo it. We did have to make one trip to the Home Affairs Office (those in SA know how one's patience is tested on these visits) last week to apply for Benjamin's South African passport. US citizens may only stay in the country for 90 days and since we'll be here for an extended time we have to get it. Other than that we have stayed put with Bied running around for us. He has been amazing! The kids are having a ball here at nanny and opa's house. Ami still hasn't started home school here and so she thinks she's on vacation. We will start on Monday. In the meantime, they have been helping nanny to make pancakes (crepes) and to sew. They also made spider webs in the house with nan's old cotton. Today Bradley helped daddy to fix opa's closet and an exercise bike for mother hen to use :)
Seems like there is more finger licking than helping :)
Trying to lay a trap with our cotton spider web.
Helping nanny to sew.
Fixing the exercise bike that opa has had for 33 years!
Just a quick update. The doctor saw Anita on Sunday at around 11am and was very happy with her improvement. She is not on any medication anymore. He discharged her and I was able to pick her up and bring her to her parents' home. I will be with the family here at the Kelders' home until the 26th March. I have to return to my responsibilities at International Bible Fellowship Church and teaching my students at African Bible College. The doctor has encouraged Anita to stay down in South Africa until the birth of the baby. We feel that this would be a wise decision, although tough too, because we won't be together as a family.Please pray for Anita to regain her full strength back so that she will be able to handle the responsibilities of looking after the kids while I am in Malawi.
Thanking you for your prayers and praising Him for faithfully answering them.
Both Anita and baby #4 are doing well. We met with the doctor on Friday night and during his examination she had four contractions and was experiencing quite a bit of pain. He was able to rule out an apendicitus as well as a cyst. He also determined that she was not in labor but that the contractions were braxton-hicks (sp?). The pain she has been experiencing is probably tendonitus and I am not sure how it all works, but somehow this could be related to the bacterial infection she had earlier in the week. He did say that it was good that we came down because this is the kind of thing that can trigger a premature labor - and at 27 weeks, we don't want that. He has admitted her for two nights for monitoring and to deal with some preventative issues. He visited her again this morning (Saturday) and she should be released on Sunday. We are truly grateful for the Lord's hand in all of this.
Anita has been sick for most of this week. After the blood tests it looks like she has a bacterial stomach bug (the flu). So she is on antibiotics. Because she is 27 weeks pregnant, it seems like the cramping in her stomach and perhaps this sickness is causing some irritation to the womb. Over the past couple of days she has experienced quite a number of contractions.
This is not good news in any country, but especially in Malawi where there are no facilities for premature babies. Our doctor has been monitoring Anita and checked to see if she was dialated (and she was not – this is good news). However, we were told that if she does dialate that we would have to emergency air evacuate her to South Africa.
We don’t want to risk having to go through that scenario, therefore we are changing some tickets and we hope to fly to South Africa (today – Friday, March 13, 2009) on South African Airlines. We were already planning to go down to South Africa for the birth when Anita was at 35 weeks, so we are just bumping our trip up. Because of responsibilities I have here in Malawi, I am only going down for a couple of weeks and then I will be flying back up here to Malawi (assuming that her contractions calm down and everything goes well). Anita and the kids will be staying with her parents and I will go down at least one more time before I go down for the birth towards the end of May (she is due in mid-June). We are thankful that good medical care and facilities are only a two-hour flight away.
Please pray for us as we try to get on the flight today, and especially for Anita and baby #4. The most likely scenario is that things will calm down with these contractions and she will get over this bacterial stomach bug. But we are trying to avoid a stressful situation if we decided to stay here.
My cell number in South Africa is +27-82-400-2266.