Let’s take a look back at the best of our car stories, shall we? :
10. Circus clowns. Upon arriving in South Africa and not having enough money to buy a car, we rented what we could afford: A purple Ford Fiesta named Jasmine. All seven of us would cram in that thing, all folded over on top of each other. When we got out it was like crescent rolls in a Pillsbury can.
9. Grand Theft Auto. Four months into our life in South Africa we learned just how easy it is to have a car stolen. From the front of your house. While you’re home. In broad daylight. If you’re naive, like we were, you’ll leave a bunch of treasured possessions in the car too. Dude, Where’s My Car?!
8. The Swaggon. We loved our 1989 VW Microbus. Often mistaken for a taxi, we cruised through town with style, sometimes surfboards in tow. Sometimes it ran. We had the engine rebuilt… twice. It had no less than 17 major repairs. Still, even though she said she would stay loyal, she quit often. We have pushed her out of parking garages, up hills and through town. She was a moody one. However, one late night, Christina caught four guys trying to steal her, from right in front of our house. Unfortunately, they had already started dismantling the whatchamacallit, making it impossible to drive. After neighborhood watch caught the guys, Christina marched herself into the police station to identify the thieves but also to suggest that since they were doing nothing but sitting in jail, that they come repair the work they had done. The police refused. We had to pay for it. It broke down again shortly after that. We decided it was time to break off this co-dependent relationship.
7. The Phantom. We found this beauty for sale on a used car site from a nice Christian man we met before. Perfect! We mentioned it on social media and the next thing you know, there’s a gofundme and money is coming in faster than a televangelist during the hour of power. Friends and family are super excited for us and we are thrilled to have a car that seems so nice! It has been four long years of waiting and praying and enduring car problems. Finally, it’s over! Everything is awesome.
Until there was that dreadful noise….TWO DAYS LATER. Oh, the mechanic says, (our trusty mechanic) the engine needs to be rebuilt. He can do it but it requires a deposit, a large one. And then later he needs more money because he needs to rebuild the rebuild. Then the mechanic is crying in our living room because his life has no purpose.
Three months later we discover our car in his garage but he is nowhere to be found. The engine is there, in parts. All over the place like a neurotic jigsaw puzzle. The mechanic is nowhere. He just disappeared, like a phantom. We tried to file a police report for a stolen car. Fat chance said the officer. You gave him your keys. Well, when you put it that way…No money, no car. No hope for humanity.
6. We borrowed a friend’s van while they were in the US. Thieves broke the side window and stole a shoe. A child’s shoe. Not both shoes. One shoe-the left one to be exact. Amount owed: one window and a pair of shoes.
5. Borrowed a friend’s car… (When will we learn to NOT do this)? Hear a strange noise. Mechanic says the entire car is not roadworthy. Advises us to only drive if we are done with living. Odd business style but alright.
4. Borrowed a friend’s car…breaks down. Find a different mechanic. Should have had a clue when this mechanic doesn’t own a car of his own and must walk to our house everyday carrying his set of tools. R5500 worth of repair plus petrol expenses. Ours, not his.
3. Have pumpkin pie, will travel. Thanksgiving week. On our way to Thanksgiving dinner, the car slowly grinds to an involuntary halt. Pumpkin pies on our laps, we are forced to yet again call a friend to come pick us up from the side of the road. The car is towed and fixed. Or so we thought.
That same week…we are on our way to take all the kittens to the vet. Driving along a very busy road we hear a terrible noise. The car rumbles out of control and we pull over to the side to discover that metal shavings all over the road and the tire is shot. One of our friends, Marti, shows up to direct traffic away from Kevin who is sprawled underneath the car. The kittens are meowing. A tow truck driver arrives, another friend arrives for moral support. One drives by and honks, no doubt laughing at us. Marti is wearing an authoritative safety vest and scolds speeding taxis while standing guard over Kevin’s head. I guard the box of cats wishing I had pumpkin pie to eat right there on the curb.
2. Hello from the other side. This is way too long a story but it begins with us borrowing a friend’s van which breaks down in the middle of forsaken land in Illinois. The story culminates with a kindly man picking us up off the side of the interstate and taking all 7 of us to his house to stay until the van can be fixed which turns out to be 7 days. You really have to read it to believe it.
And the TOP CAR STORY is…Last week, my friend calls me all excited and mysterious like, talking of God-things. Their family is moving back to America from South Africa .
Over the phone, I hear, “We are giving you our car. We feel like that is what God wants us to do.”
They could have sold it and used the money for moving expenses or for anything, but they gave us their Toyota Condor which is in phenomenal condition and runs like a charm. It has air conditioning, a CD player, power windows and locks and most importantly, an alarm system, which I think God finds hilarious. It’s also made in this century, unlike any of our previous cars.
I often look outside to make sure it’s still in front of our house and I’m not dreaming.
“That is not a massage. No, it’s not a massage. I was telling my neighbor, what happens is… healing. Three other people this week say the same thing. It’s healing, that’s what it is.“-Aunty Eliza
It seems unlikely, I’ll admit. This is the last place you’d visit for a spa experience, with these sun-faded sheets and shattered windows. I’m the last person you’d want give you a massage. I don’t even like feet.
I don’t know exactly when the idea took root. It swirled around in my head after I was given a massage with essential oils by my friend Ginger over three years ago. It was glorious, relaxing, calming and undoing. Continue reading Why Essential Oil Massages in Ocean View?
Please read this article. Please pray for Ocean View.
On the evening of Jacobs’s funeral on Tuesday, her family pointed to some young juveniles called “bokkies” who they said helped kill her, but would not speak to the police because they were afraid they would be next on their hit list.
Residents say the child hitmen, recruited to commit murders, are feared even though they are as young as nine.
“I am heartsore about Linkie’s death, about the messy way she was killed. She did not deserve it. Everyone knows who killed her, but no one will talk. If you lived here and have seen people drop like flies for even speaking to police, you will understand the fear,” a family member said.
Here’s what we’ve learned about racial reconciliation since living in post-apartheid South Africa:
That’s Bernie. She won’t be too thrilled about this picture. But, let me tell you the story. I (Christina) was supposed to go to Bernie’s flat for tea, but “on a whim” (God’s idea) I said, “Why don’t we go out for lunch?” So we did. We went right across the street from the entrance to Ocean View to a hippie, organic-type, trendy place called Imhoff’s Farm.
I recommended the club sandwich (also pictured). It’s delish.
Halfway though our meal, tears started rolling down her face.
“Just this morning, I said to God, ‘I haven’t ever been to that Farm across the street. And I don’t know when the last time was that I ate bacon. Now, here I am, at this beautiful place, eating bacon. God is just so good to me.”
When the waiter came over to check on us, Bernie said, “My compliments to the chef. This is the first time I’ve ever been here.”
“Oh, are you from Johannesburg?”
“No, I’m from Ocean View! I’ve lived there 18 years and this is my first time here, ” she proudly proclaimed ( Did I mention it’s literally, RIGHT ACROSS THE STREET).
Then we talked about the goodness of God and He brings people together.
“Yes, I never thought I would sit and have lunch with a white person from another country. But God brings people together. God hears. He sees.”
Yes, He does.
Dylan didn’t tell his grandparents and flew nearly 24 hours straight to surprise them in Dallas, Texas. My parents’ reaction is typically entertaining with my mom screaming and my dad non-reacting to my mom’s screams.
Dylan will be in the USA for a few months to earn money and other such adult things before his next adventure. He and Jackson will be living together!
Our favorite daughter of all time wants to attend a YWAM Discipleship Training School next month. It’s in Paris with a 3-month outreach to southeast Asia. It would be a huge growing, learning season for her. She will be learning about herself, Jesus and loving others and how all that works together in life.
Even though she’s been baking brownies, making earrings, sewing catchy crafts and such, she’s still quite shy of the amount she needs.
She needs at least $2500 before 27th of the September. Can you help her out? She is a worthwhile investment! thank you!
This post isn’t really about politics. Honest. In fact I am going to use 80s television to make it seem less political, but I do think politics is a gateway to look at ourselves, or a mirror, if you will.
The other thing is that this post isn’t about trying to change anyone’s views, opinions or actions. I am merely trying to plant a seed, a seed of hope.
It is strange viewing this election campaign from afar. The distance certainly changes the intensity. Although I find that people here are almost as interested as they are in the USA. So many tell me they are following the drama quite closely. To tell the truth, they seem much more interested than I do, but I find their reactions and observations fascinating.
There are some things that are obvious to me.
1. We are deeply divided. I am primarily talking about the people of God, but we could say that about the nation, as well. Some of us love Mr. T and are rooting for the A-Team. Others of us are saying that Mrs. C and Happy Days are the best option. And a very large group are saying they don’t like the choices that 80s television is giving us. I have people I love, honor and trust in each group. Each group seems to be using Biblical examples as proof. Each group seems to feel there is no other way to look at it and if you do, you are violating the Word. Continue reading Is it an Election Year?