Thursday, October 30, 2003

The way of the work

Nick is almost finished now with his college year - he has one assignment left to finish off and then two exams in November. The assignment mentioned in the last update ended up being 67 353 words and 175 typed pages. The length of an average novel is about 100 000 words, so Nick will probably turn this assignment into a book at some point in the future. He received a distinction for it. He is seriously considering continuing studying next year (the professional student?) to get his Masters, which will enable him to teach at a college or seminary in the future.

Nick has had two preaching opportunities in Pretoria - the first one at Emmaus Baptist Church, which is an offspring of our church. The second time was in our own church while Pastor Martin was away. Both went well and Nick received a lot of positive feedback, particularly from the younger people. It was also a blessing to have Nick’s family with us in church for his first sermon at Constantia - his father and his father’s girlfriend were out from the UK for two weeks, and were very happy to attend, along with Nick’s sister and brother-in-law and his uncle. Amazing how God timed these events so perfectly, that his dad, who we haven’t seen in almost two years, should arrive in the country on the day that Nick preached!

Nick has also started up two new bible studies. One is at Pretoria Boys’ High on Wednesday afternoons, and the other is on a Wednesday evening in Riviera, just near to Pretoria town, which is on the book of Romans. He continues to lead the Saturday night young adults bible study as well, so has a lot of preparation to do. He is taking over the worship portfolio at church, which means finding musicians and vocalists, training worship leaders, finding new songs and so on.

I am still struggling on under the constant cloud of housework. No more said! The garden was also needing some attending, so I had “fun” pulling out bushes and planting some new things, as well as finding some rocky topsoil, which probably did more damage than good. The rain we have had in the last few days has been fantastic, and an answer to prayer, particularly for the farmers. I am now involved with the Sunday School, teaching a lesson every third week and helping with the activities the other weeks for children aged 2 - 6. Quite a big age range, but it seems to work. There are between 10 and 15 children in the class, Caleb being one of them.

Caleb is doing pretty well with toilet training, which we started at the beginning of October. For those of you with children who have undergone and completed the tedious process, you can be thankful that it is over. It is not fun dealing with poo underpants. He has settled into his playschool which he attends two mornings a week, and has made some friends there. It is a Christian school, English, and just around the corner from us - definitely God’s leading! Favourite things to say are “what you doing”, “hey, stop that”, “what does Caleb want” (usually the answer is food) and “let Caleb do it”.

Aaron has cut four teeth in the last three months. Both boys seemed to follow in Lynn’s teething pattern - bottom two middle teeth came first, followed by the top eye teeth, so Aaron is sitting with “fangs” and a gap in the middle. His party tricks include clapping his hands, finding the light, and shaking his head in imitation. His crawling led him to the stairs in the duplex, which he now gets all the way up by himself. Getting down is still a mystery to him. He likes to stand, but loses balance after a moment if unsupported.

Our alarm system was put to the test one night at about 3 am, when it was triggered by an intruder. We apprehended the intruder and applied the death penalty immediately - squished that ‘roach dead.

With the approach of summer, I went shopping for some shorts for Nick, but when he tried them on, his comment was “hmmm, these are funny. There’s so much space in the front, and no pockets.” Weird shorts. Also, the label was in the front.

Thursday, July 17, 2003

From behind the Boerewors Curtain

To place us geographically, we are now living in the south east of Pretoria, in a little suburb called Moreleta Park. We moved into our rented duplex a month and a half ago, and have settled in pretty well. It’s a two-bedroomed place with one bathroom, lounge and dining room area and little private garden. We are finding Pretoria a “lekker place to be”, despite living on the other side of the “boerewors curtain” as Nick puts it.

The reason for our move North was not to emigrate for the winter, but rather because Nick was called to Constantia Park Baptist Church as an associate pastor, or pastor in training. Having graduated from John Wycliffe Theological College and obtaining his BA Theol., he is currently doing a fourth year at Baptist Theological College to obtain Baptist Union accreditation. However, some aspects of the college were not pleasing to Nick, so he approached Martin Holdt, who is the pastor of CPBC, to discuss some issues. God used these events to call Nick to this church, to sit under Martin’s mentorship and learn about the inner workings of church life. We were officially welcomed into the church just a couple of weeks ago.

Nick is now firmly established in the church and loving it. This new position does, of course, mean that he is more busy than ever. His main area of responsibility is the young adults, and he leads a bible study on Saturday nights amongst other things. He is also assisting with doing children’s talks during the Sunday worship services. Not quite where he pictured himself, but taking it in his stride. These responsibilities, along with attending elders’ meetings and deacons’ meetings, have not caused him to hold back with college work. He is writing his longest assignment yet called “The Decalogue as a Foundation to Christian Ethics”, with a current word count of almost 33,000 words, and that’s not even half way through.

I am continuing with my working from home for an enterprise architecture company, where I am involved with salaries, invoicing, and other administrative functions. It is often tricky finding time to concentrate on work with the offspring under feet (or on lap at the keyboard), but I press on. Housework is also always there waiting, hanging around, shaking its finger at the dust and unfolded washing.

Caleb is now two and a bit, and has the attitude to prove it. On the whole he’s most endearing, but the other bits are better left to the imagination. His passion for cars does not seem to be waning. He is becoming quite creative in bringing cars into every aspect of his life – the latest, it appears, is that the bath is a car, particularly when Aaron is driving with him in the watery vehicle.

Aaron, now seven months, has just started crawling. I don’t think he knows yet that this means he can get anywhere in the house, as he limits himself to objects within a metre or so of himself. A little uncoordinated still though, but on his way to great places. No teeth yet.

We were recently sponsored by the church to attend a Reformed Evangelical Conference at Skogheim, just near Margate, for about six days. What a wonderful time of teaching, fellowship and relaxing, as well as a break from cooking and the other accompanying bothers. Unfortunately, Nick connected with a fellow soccer-player on the beach and broke a toe, which put an abrupt end to any further sporty pursuits. He did manage to have a good swim in the ocean though, where he was stung by fireweed…