Holiday is over, Switzerland 16 Jan 2009 (Chrisna)

The experiences in London,Paris and Orciere were wonderful, but all play and no work willl not work.
On 14 Jan, the same day school started in Namibia, our work year also started. I calculated approximately how many working days we will have and we worked out what Dawie J and Charlie must do daily to make sure they stay on schedule. Tinus studied Charlie,s syllabus and appointed an accounting teacher for him. Mr DJ Fourie will have time with Charlie every 3rd day. "Not too shabby" is the expression we would all say now. (When we say this, it means we are very satisfied. Come to think of it, we say it often, very often.)

Dawie, that's old Dawie ,reads a lot of Bible and teach us every now and then. He is also quite busy with emails and keeping The Rock Lodge, ALI and the Turn The Tide Coffeeshop on the road with the help of very capable people back home.

And me, I am teacher to Dawie J, schoolprincipal to Charlie and his teacher Tinus and cook. Yes, you heard me right: I put food on the table 3x a day and no, they don't just get soup. God is realy helping me to make food as well! I must also be clever and creative, because EVERYTHING is VERY expensive(and we have a limited budget)Also, the amount and variety as well as spices,etc we have is limited. My 4 men are not hungry, but not full either. When they see a cow, they want to slaughter it. You will see on the photo how they get ALL out of a plate of food. (They most definitely miss the visits at Ouma and all she always has on offer.)I even made them bananaloaf, but true to my gifting, it wouldn't have made a cake sale.(the "poudre a lever" is either not baking powder or I did not use enough) We called it rubberbananacake. The good news is: it tasted very good. Today Dawie was the cook, MUCH better than my banana rubber...

We have the wonderful priviledge to be in contact with Ouma almost daily, as we bought a SKYPE phone for her for Christmas. Thank you to every one who give her so much special attention, and Ilsje who took her some photos of the boys on the ski slopes. May God bless you.

Although we work on special projects, have school daily from 8 till 13h00, work on emails and the offices back home , it is not busy. There is peace and quietness and a relaxed feeling. I often think that this is part of MENUCHA that God has promised. The rest in Him. I praise His name and is so greatful for this blessing.We start each morning with 1hr individual quiettime, whereafter we start the day. Tinus plays Julius Magan singing either "Good morning God" or the Afrikaans version of it to get us all up to start with our personal devotions. How wonderful to know" God, this is your day" and then to live the day that way.

We also exercise in the afternoon. 2 Go for a jog and the other 3 walk. Being high up in the Alps with outside temperatures of -9 makes this quite a challenge.

All in all, we are blessed. Not food in abundance, but satisfied and blessed. We thank God for this and may our lives give Glory to Him

Experience of a lifetime! (Charlie)

30/12 – This was d-day. I thought about a lot of things in the few hours before the flight. I thought about my friends, my house, my school, my family, the food, my country and it’s wonderful people, all the things I was going to leave behind. Namibia and its surroundings are my comfort zone. Here I can be me and I can live to my full potential. Realising this I knew that this tour was important for me at this moment in time because I will be making new ground and breaking out of my comfort zone. I will make sacrifices and learn the ways of other countries in God’s beautiful Creation. Now the excitement was too much to bear.

We boarded the plane and I kissed my country goodbye. Now it was time to broaden my horizons.

31/12 - Although the flight was a bit shabby the thought of landing in London made the cramps better. That day we gave it our all. Firstly we left the father of the house with the luggage while the rest of us went to Buckingham palace. Immediately London’s history hit me like a pan on the head. It was amazing to gaze at buildings older than many countries. This made me realise that many people admire works of excellence. That is why we should be Excellent in everything we do to fight for the Kingdom of God.

That night we were very tired and slept straight into the new year.

01/01-02/01 – These two days we went flat out at London again. We travelled the subway with great ease and enjoyment. On the first of Jan we went to Greenwich by boat on the Thames. Here we visited the royal naval academy, the National Maritime Museum and the Observatory at Greenwich were we stood in the western and eastern hemisphere at the same time. To be on the Greenwich Meridian was amazing. Now for the first time in my life my watch is exactly right… Then we rushed to the Queen’s theatre(stopping halfway for 30 min to buy a fridge magnet souvenir for my mother) because that night we saw a London musical, Les Miserables, the longest running, most widely shown musical of all time!! This was amazing!

On the second day of the year we got even more astonished by flying in the London Eye and by seeing the Big ben and Westminister Abbey from close by! We also treated my future engineer brother with a visit to the tower bridge and tower of London. To top the day off we went to a local market and tasted the most wonderful British and Irish Cheese…

03/01 – This day we almost missed our flight to Paris, bringing a bit of adrenalin in! We gave Paris our all visiting the Notre Damn and the Eifel. That night we caught a train to Gap entering a new phase of the tour.

I felt I had to give my own account of the first few days but now my mother stopped me to start with school! I will chat again.
Signing out from Switzerland.
Charlie (14/01/09)

Orcieres, Southern-France 14/01/09 (Dawie)

On the 12th, Charlie and I tried to catch a bus from Orcieres to Gap (France) to rent a car, but the bus was only scheduled to depart at 15:00. This would give us only a few minutes to negotiate a good deal for a car-hire. Chrisna suggested we hike.

Tinus and Dawie J went to ski for the whole day. Chrisna packed. We hiked.

The Lord provided us a lift and favorable negotiations for a very special car at a very good price (thanks to Gielie van Zyl and Annemarie van der Riet, my Avis Presidents Club card has powerful influence).

Yesterday we traveled from Orcieres, through Geneva, to a wonderful villa very high in the Swiss Alps. The cabin is small, but luxurious and very comfortable. (It is part of Chrisna’s Home Exchange efforts and does not cost us a cent.) We all have a desk to work at and today, we’ll plan the “working part” of our world wide tour.

We read John 2, discussed it and prayed together. The depth and insight of the discussion was so special. The Lord, through the powerful work of His Spirit, is doing something very special in our spirits (individually and as a family).

In two weeks, I have already read three books:
The Latent Power of the Soul by Watchman Nee
The Shack by William Young
Genesis by Moses

All of them being world-class books that fed my spirit.

I do not have words to thank our Heavenly Father for the privilege we may have for this special year.

Orcieres, Southern-France 11/01/09 (Dawie)

It was a very special Sunday in the “Alps/France”. We rested, had church as a family and read from John 1. Discussed John the Baptist’s calling and execution there of thoroughly and prayed together.

In my mind I always felt John the Baptist “ prepared the way for Jesus”. This morning it was clear how he did it:
1. Breach the knowledge gap from the OT (400 years of silence) to the NT.
2. Preached the Gospel (the good news about Jesus)
3. Baptised people
4. Prepared/trained Jesus’ first two disciples.
5. Identified and confirmed Jesus Christ’s identity.

His role cannot be underplayed. He was focused and completed his calling like David did (Act 13:36)

Tomorrow Charlie and I will take a bus to Gap and try to find a car for us for the next 33 days we will be in Switzerland and Germany.