Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Some Thoughts

"When communities set expectations about the sexual behaviour of young people, they must also create an environment where that behaviour is possible," said David Stanton, a clinical epidemiologist at USAID.

I came across this quote when I was preparing for my presentation yesterday. There are 2 new things I've heard since coming back to Beautiful Gate and getting involved again in HIV/Aids work.

We encourage abstinence because it is the only 100% effective way to prevent HIV infection. But we often don't understand the situation young people, particularly girls, are in. Now, if it is known that a girl is abstaining from sexual contact, she is more likely a target for rape, and therefore at risk for HIV infection. There is still a myth spreading around that HIV can be cured by sleeping with a virgin. Please pray for the young people here to hear and know and be transformed by LOVE &TRUTH!

When I was here last, the prevalence of HIV infection was 1/5 in South Africa. It is now 1/4. This makes me so sad. It also makes me wonder what it is we really need to do to reach into this dying, confused, suffering world to bring LIFE, HOPE, LOVE? I can feel it sometimes, living here in the township, the desperation; the fear. But I also feel the strength of this place. How it fights. Please pray for the communities to be changed from within and for people like us, coming from wealthy, developed nations, to minister in humility and love; to have teachable hearts.

I can't end off this entry without mentioning some of the very positive things going on around me. The children here at Beautiful Gate for instance, are for the most part healthy and happy. Some have gone back to their families, some have been placed in foster families. The older children are going to school now and have the opportunity to interact with other kids in the community.

We have 25 students coming to our school and almost all want to place themselves somewhere where they can minister in the field of HIV/Aids work. 25 students can go to many places and reach out to many lives! We are praying for one student, from Nigeria, to continue the work our friend Rahim had started there before he passed away.

So despite the overwhelming statistics and the seemingly hopeless situation, I trust in "the God of all comfort who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).

Sunday, August 20, 2006

Hey Michelle, You're Not The Only Teacher In The Family Now!!

Tomorrow I am going to the YWAM base in Muizenberg with Elaine and Edith to give a presentation on HIV/Aids. I don't know how many people will be there or what they'll already know but please pray for us, that we can be a blessing to them, that they will really learn some things and that it will be not only informative, but interesting and useful. My part is teaching on prevention/risk.

Am I nervous? Oh yah, pray for that too! :-)

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

"The air smells of braaied meat. The sun is hot, now that it has risen over the misted mountains. I ran along the beach in awe. Am I really here...again? And then I wondered where God is taking me this time. Sensed a complete upside down turning of my world yet again. I also wondered, how do I contain this moment in time? Holding hand to breast, I feel overwhelmed. The beauty, the calling, the life. Longing to be part of it, to face my fears and live in it, all messy, wild and beautiful.

God, You are my ocean, constant, rhythmic, strong, vast, comforting, alive, pulling me to the centre; all that is necessary; all that is needed; where the rest fades away into the horizon.

There is a gentle waft of ocean air. Lord, help me bring it to the deep places where it can be planted and part of me."

(August 5, 2006)

Monday, August 14, 2006

Starting.......Now!

We had our first official HIV/Aids School meeting this morning. I'm working with Elaine (US), Beth (US) and Edith (Holland). They are all beautiful, strong, wonderful women and I'm excited to work with them. I am now in charge of worship, hospitality (for the guest speakers who come each week) and food for breakfast and dinners. I'll also hold a small group each week. So it'll be busy but I think good. 25 students are coming! I've met some because they are already volunteers here at Beautiful Gate and that is great!

Here are some pictures from my get together with Cape Townian friends Rodger and Linda and thier 7 month old Rebekah.



































Wednesday, August 09, 2006


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Kuala Lumpur City Tour


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Introducing Icky and African-Icky

For the pics below to make sense, I must introduce you to some important travelling companions to me, Michelle, and Shannon. Icky, a leopard-spotted newt, and African-Icky, a giraffe have already travelled extensively and wish to share their photos with you as well. Collectively, they have been to England, Ethiopia, Korea, India and South Africa. Now they can add the US and Malaysia to their long list of adventures. Cheers!

Icky and African-Icky in their hotel room in Kuala Lumpur

African-Icky in LA

Icky in LA

Icky and African-Icky enjoying some down time with Ozaki

Friday, August 04, 2006

I'm here, in Cape Town. It sort of feels like I've come home after a long trip. And it also feels more terrifying than I remember. I'll post some pics soon. Miss you all!