A quick red cappucino and a giant muffin at Mugg and Bean in JHB before boarding the flight to Lilongwe.
Matt and Jim were at the airport to help us with all our katundu which fitted very nicely on top of the Land Rover. Guess who else is in the Land Rover? Nanny! She flew with us from JHB to come and spend a couple of weeks with us to help us unpack and settle in. We are so thankful.
Our friends, the Trumbles would be so pleased. The kids chose Taco Bell as our last dinner before we head to Malawi.
The carpets are still a little damp from cleaning and so the kids are sleeping on mattresses in the kitchen:)
Tonight we thanked God for a wonderful furlough. He has blessed all our meetings, church gatherings, family and friend times. We are so grateful for the connection we have made with so many who partner with us for the furtherance of His kingdom. Please pray for an uneventful and safe trip as we return tomorrow. Brian is not preaching this coming Sunday at IBF (thankful for Jim Ayres, who is preaching), but we look forward to being with our church family in Lilongwe! See you all soon.
Two more sleeps until we get on the plane to go back home! We are so ready to get back to our friends and family in Southern Africa. So much has been accomplished on this furlough and we are thankful to the Lord for sustaining us during a very busy time.
Today the kids were washing tarps in the driveway, when the mailman drove by in his van. He delivered a package to us from our friends, the Trumbles. He asked the kids if they wanted to wash his van and they all laughed. He told them he was being serious, because the Post Office has cut back on their cleaning service. So the kids hosed down his van, got out wash cloths and soap and gave it a good scrub. He was quite happy and so were the kids:)
Amidst the packing jumble, our family from Texas came to visit for a few days and the cousins were so excited to see each other one more time before we head back. Uncle Keith had to work, but Aunt Sharon, Breanna and Braysen flew in to spend some extra time with us. We are so blessed.
Friends of ours graciously offered us seats in their business suite in the Staples Center to watch the Barnum and Bailey, Ringling Bros. Circus. Today was a first for all the cousins to go to a real circus. I had been to a dinky one in South Africa, but this was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was awesome. The eighteen tigers on display in a cage doing tricks was incredible and the elephants were "WOW!
We also enjoyed the unicyclists playing basketball and the flying trapeze artists. It really was all amazing! Oh, and the lady shooting out of a cannon at an immense speed was very impressive! My dad would have enjoyed the guy on stilts! He made us our own as kids:)
Brian grew up in Seal beach, a quaint coastal town, at the northern most end of Orange County. The church he grew up is a great supporting church of ours and we are blessed with dear friends there who continue to pray for and support us as we serve in Malawi. Brian took the kids on a "When I was young tour" and showed us all the homes he grew up in. We saw all the schools he attended and heard many stories too!
So, while we were walking down one street in Seal Beach, a guy on his bicycle slows down and calls out, "Brian?" This young man was in Brian's junior high group years ago and still lives in Seal Beach and recognized Bied. It was so fun catching up with him!
The kids with Pastor Steve's wife, Trish. They have enjoyed several frozen yoghurt dates with her!
Bradley says, "This place reminds me of South Africa." They have never been to the movies in the USA. We took our kids to see a movie called, Monsters University and it was great. Funny thing though, in South Africa when you buy your tickets either at the counter or online, you get to book your seats. YES! Well, in the USA it's a first come, first serve basis for seats. We couldn't find six seats together in a row and so we couldn't sit all together. We had to split up in twos.
Even Bied agrees that Africa is one up on the USA in this regard.