All posts by christina

What I Didn’t Tell You Today

www.tinybuddha.comI wanted to say something about Ocean View today. But I didn’t want to add to the negativity and fear already on the Internet. I wanted to tell you that today my sweet friend who is 65 years old was on her way to our container when she was caught in the cross fire of a gang shooting. She wasn’t hit, but she is a grandmother who is trying to help her community. She is a grandmother. She had to cover her head and run from gunfire.

I wanted to tell you that this weekend another child lost his life when shooters entered his house and opened fire while chasing someone else. On the day of a wedding in the family. But I don’t want to be accused of using Ocean View’s tragedy to get sympathy which could translate into financial support for us.

I wanted to say that this morning before 9 a.m. there were 32 shots fired close to where we have 40 children playing and learning.

I wanted to say that while residents are warned to stay inside their homes, we left Ocean View, drove across the street, a mere 50 meters and sat in a quiet cafe and I ordered a cappuccino to steady my emotions.

I wanted to say that I’m dealing with a white-hot rage mixed with a sliver of hope and a helpless sense of disqualification. I don’t fully belong to this community, to this country or to their story. 

But I feel it like it’s my own. And today, I just want you to know that just down the road in the area known as Slangkop, there is an unanswered pain too overwhelming to carry alone.

 

http://www.capetalk.co.za/articles/272073/ocean-view-shooting-claims-life-of-9-year-old-it-s-like-gunfire-is-raining

In Search of the Elusive Photograph

a guest post by Steve Hovda, my dad

Simple math would have solved the problem but in haste I proudly made one of my first purchases at the grocery store after our arrival in Cape Town, South Africa, a small box of Grape Nuts…for about 110 Rand, or $9.00 American.  And so, it begins. 

This was not the only faux pas, as my wife will be quick to interject.  Learning to drive a stick shift from the right side of the car on the left side of the road through roundabouts, U-turns, mountain switchbacks and construction zones provided dozens of amusingly, terrifying moments. The simple task of ordering shawarma in the Market (Think “some of each” at the Mongolian BBQ.)  produced a cuisine which burst with flavor, to put it euphemistically. Continue reading In Search of the Elusive Photograph

Can You Believe It? Online Giving!

                                  Click me to join the fun

Sit back and relax. We now have online giving options! They are super easy! Now everyone can easily join the fun and help spread the LOVE!

Our 2017 budget is in need of 27 people to commit to $50 a month, or some such configuration. It’s never been easier to join! We’d love to partner with you! Click the friendly baboon or GO HERE if you prefer.

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A Common Table

photo: greedy guts

Live. Dream. Eat.

Can it be this simple? Something so common, so everyday, so normal? Sitting down together, sharing a meal. Listening, talking and eating. The three things we do every day of our lives. What is one step we can take to heal the wounded chasm of separation between us? Eat.

Just do it with someone different. A different skin colour, a different accent, a different upbringing. Share your stories. Listen to different persepctives. Share food. Nourish each other with human connection and stories of humanity. Look into eyes, notice the forehead wrinkle, and feel the hands shake when sharing a story. The words are not what we are sharing. It’s the heart and emotion behind the story, the memory that has lodged itself into our narrative, just waiting to hear a redeemed version. Continue reading A Common Table

Why I Loved South Africa Today

Photo: Sullivan Photography

It’s alive today. Not in a perfect way. In a broken, hurting, raging way, for a pile of different reasons. Standing in the middle of Main Road, a chain of people line the sidewalks and streets in a nationwide protest against the current president, Jacob Zuma.  Car horns are sounding, flags are waving and there is something alive in the air. I am standing mostly beside elderly white people holding South African flags almost too big for their frail bodies. The wind whips and twirls the flag but these old ladies can hold their own against great white sharks during a morning swim. A rambunctious flag is no problem. Continue reading Why I Loved South Africa Today

THE BIG ASK NEWS!

Our new friend Sara inspired us to ASK BIG! So here it is!

OPERATION HOPE: As we have sought God’s heart, we find it more vast and more expansive than we ever dreamed. The depth of His love of us is without equal and without limit. He has big plans for His people and we are thrilled to be a part of it. We believe He has placed us here in Cape Town, the Mother City, to be a part of Him birthing something new into the earth. He is always doing a new thing.

 

WHO: We believe the first nation people of southern Africa, the Khoisan, to be a key component in God’s new thing. (Some believe they are the first nation people of the whole earth.) They are gate-keepers to the land, to the soil. As God draws us close to show us who we really are, we find that He is telling us we are both fully physical, people formed from the dust, and fully spiritual, made in the image and likeness of God. These gate keepers have a deeply spiritual way about them. Continue reading THE BIG ASK NEWS!

Our Top 10 Car Stories

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.

 

 

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Why Essential Oil Massages in Ocean View?

d26b93970c974a944536144e6accb1d3That 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?

Who Will Help?

ov prayerPlease 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.

 

http://www.iol.co.za/news/crime-courts/murder-suspects-free-after-witness-shot-dead-2076232