Friday, December 26, 2014

Christmas Eve and Christmas Day

Christmas Eve we joined the Umlazi BB Relief Society to visit a premie ward at Prince Mshiyeni Hospital.  We handed out New Born Kits from LDS Charities a few quilts, and nappies.  The babies were so very small.  There were 30 women in beds side by side in this one ward.  Christmas Day was very relaxing with  a Braai at Sipho and Peggy Duma home in Hillcrest.  In the evening we had missionaries come to our flat to Skype their families.

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Zulu Beauties

Back home, the Salem Oregon Stake Relief Society made summer dresses for a service project.  We were lucky to get some of them delivered to South Africa via my sister Sue and her husband Nick.  Today Ed and I delivered them to an orphange. Phindile Mchize didn't set out to take in orphans but as they keep showing up at her home for food she soon discovered her love for children and her desire to help them.  She is currently applying for status with the government to get assistance and in the mean time she feeds them however she can.  One three room home has 10 boys (most sleep on the floor), the other two room home has 10+ girls.  We enjoyed our visit and the children seemed happy.  We gave out the dresses, and the food Ed and I brought and in return they entertained us with traidtional zulu dancing and singing.

This beauty was all dressed up to entertain us with her Zulu dancing

The children entertained us with their traditional clothing and dancing

Dresses donated by the Stake Relief Society

Group picture of the girls and their new dresses

Zulu Dancing - posting the video on Facebook

Phindile and her boys and I think some neighbors

Phindile cooks most of her food outside under a firewood pot.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Community Soup Kitchen

We visited a community soup kitchen called Enhlanhleni Isibani Sezwe. They serve two meals a day, five days a week to mostly people with HIV/Aids, TBvirus, or elderly residents in the area.  They serve roughly 1000 meals a week. There is no water or electricity, they cook on a big propane burner. The children come with a plastic container and take it home to eat. The day we visited, there was rice and beef (insides of the beef), still it was protein.  The governement pays for two employees to run the soup kitchen.  They both receive R2000.00 a month which is
$200.00. They work very hard trying to get donations of food and propane.  They also provide a day school for smaller children. It was tough to see the situation here.

Older girls were entertaining the children while waiting for the food to get done

Around 100 people came to get food for dinner.  At breakfast they served around 80 children

As they are called the children bring their plastic containers to be served

Little cutie came with her brother to the soup kitchen

They have no water or electricy.  This is how they cook the meal.

Monday, December 15, 2014

Family Home Evening

Tonight for Family Home Evening the senior missionary couples met at our flat for dinner and message. We decorate cookies to give away to our neighbors as part of the #sharethegift initiative spreading through social media.  The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has a 3 minute video that reminds us that the real gift of Christmas is Jesus Christ.  HE IS THE GIFT!  If you havent seen it follow this link  
Enjoy the pictures we had a lovely evening.  How will you share the gift this Christmas?

Friday, December 5, 2014

Merry Christmas

We are packaging 300 Christmas cards and 43 Christmas CDs to mail throughout Durban and Capetown mission. They will be given to Public Affairs Directors and
leaders of the Stakes to say thank you to people of the community where they have established friendships and partnerships during the year. 

Wednesday, December 3, 2014

1000 Hills Community Helpers Center

We had a wonderful day at 1000 Hills Community Helpers.  Elder Cinquini and I asked two sisters, Lauren Cunningham and Gladys Wilford to accompany us.  In 2008 when Gladys was the Stake Relief Society President she had done some volunteer work at the Center. Dawn Leppan is the Founder who started 1000 HCH, to improve the lives of children and adults infected by chronic illnesses such as HIV/Aids, TB, Hepatitis, and Cancer. We were so impressed what she has accomplished in such a short time. Gladys was in tears to see all the changes since the last time she visited.  Dawn has been able to secure several sponsors that have supported her cause and the results have been amazing. They have a free health clinic, pre-school (many are orphans), skills classes, kitchen that supplies two meals a day for anyone,  library and more. Most workers are volunteers. We were happy to be able to donate a few needed items to the clinic.
Dawn Leppan and friend

The day we visited was new baby clinic day

Kitchen volunteers

Patients waiting for clinic and breakfast to be served,

The grannys make these dolls to sell in the store to help support themselves. I bought four @ $2.50 each.

We donated some New Born Kits and baby quilts.

There were 100 + childern  of differents ages.  This group sang to us in English and Zulu. 

Thursday, November 27, 2014

Ngidi Baby

We've known four new babies born within the last month.  This is our Bishop and his wife Lungile with their first child (cant prnounce or write his name yet).  He is adorable! She is very protective and has a carrying basket with a net over it so the young women at church are not able to pick up the baby whenever they please.  It's a good idea with all the colds and flu going about just now. (Look at me I just sounded South African)Haha.  They are both college educated, have good jobs, home, cars and good families to stand by them.  Bishop Ngidi is doing a great job leading our ward.

Nono and Joe

One day we were on our morning walk and we stopped to talk to a friendly young couple on the street.  After several months of saying hi to eachother Ed and I  invited them to dinner at our flat.  We had an fun evening getting to know eachother and playing games.  After Nono had her baby we took them dinner.  They have been so enjoyable and we feel a connection to them.  The baby's name is Gabrielle.  They are not South African, but came here in hopes of finding work.  Nono  is educated and has a good job as a pharmacy technician, Joe is looking for work.  They live in a two room flat with no stove or microwave.  They are happy and healthy, but have very little in the way of material goods.  I know Joe worries about providing for his family, but he has a deep faith that God will provide for them. I get a sad feeling in my stomach when I think about saying goodbye to some of the people we have grown to love here.

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Port Elizabeth

This is a beautiful, clean town with a gentle sea breeze. We came to train a new Public Affairs Council. They are going to do great things here. In PA as we build relationships with community leaders they can see we are Christians and we follow Jesus Christ. Sending correct messages to media, government and other faiths is an important part of Public Affairs work. 

Ed took a nap on the deck Sunday afternoon. I hope his snoring didn't bother the neighbors. 

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

New Born Kits

During our visit to Johannesburg we went to the Distribution Warehouse and picked up some baby crib quilts and new born kits to hand out at some public hospitals.  Our Public Affairs Councils will identify the hospitals most in need and come with us to hand them out.
As you can see our car was packed to the Macks!

Over 180 new born kits and 32 baby quilts

Nick and Sue Visit to Durban

We had such a wonderful time with Nick & Sue during their visit to South Africa.  They saw the very best this country has to show and also the poorest. This is one of my favorite pictures of us on top of the Sky Car in Durban. It was a beautiful day with beautiful people that I love.

We enjoyed a Zulu culutral event 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

South Africa Mission

Sister Snell and her husband are serving a mission with Self-Reliance

These beautiful women are attending a"Return Missionary" dinner at the Berea Chapel

Dr and Sister Dow are working with government to begin a Wheelchair project in South Africa. Next to them is Mr. Blose a Physical Therapist overlooking the project with the government and Phillip  from the AREA Humanitarian Department.

It was such a delight to hear these women speak in Cape Town, South Africa.  Sister Merrill, Sister Mkabela, Sister Cook, Sister Stevenson and Sister Clayton

Elder and Sister Snell with the very first class of Sel-Reliance students in Durban South Africa

Pilanesberg National Park

We never get tired of watching the animals and birds.  On this game drive we saw 11 different mammals and eight different birds.  Beautiful!