All Glory to God!! 1 July 2009 (Chrisna)

How can I write, if I do not have words? What can I say, if I do not know what to say? But how can I be quiet, if I see and experience God at work? How can I not praise God, for He is Great and worthy to be praised!! God is God almighty, the King of the Universe, but He is also our Father, my Father, who cares for me , in so many different ways... He is the "So Much More God"(as we read in Luke 11, see v13: how much more...)

On this world tour of ours we have experienced God's mind boggling Creativity, His love for Diversity, His Genius and Initiative, in so many different ways. We have seen it in creation: in the mountains, the trees, the animals, the oceans, the dry gorges and the flowing rivers. We have seen it in the people around us, their cultures, their habits, their features. We have seen it in Churches, the way they worship, serve and please God. It amazes me every time, that God could create yet in another new, completely different way. And I know, that as it gives me pleasure, it gives the Creator even more Pleasure. I can see Him smile, enjoying new things with me, whilst knowing that He has even more surprises "up His sleeve" which will amaze me.

I know God is the "so-much-more"God. I know that He can and wants to bless us. I have experienced His blessings in so many different ways before. This whole tour has been blessing upon blessing. And there it happened yet again, in a new way , on 30 June 2009.

Let me write about June 30, and may this praise God and always remind me of who He is. Let me write while this is still fresh in my memory and help me to remember it as it has happened, years from now.

The 30th of June marked the day when we were already 6 months on the road, with only 3 months remaining of this world tour of ours. We, while all lying in bed early in the morning, discussed the blessing it has been so far. And we were looking forward to this day...

Dr Bruce Wilkinson, a special friend of ours, came all the way from South Carolina, to visit with us for the day. We had an expectation to learn from him, and we did. He also challenged us in different ways, something he is a master of. To grow and mature more and more,we know we need to be stretched beyond our limits. Talking together gave fresh perspective on what we do and where we are going and what we must do (and change) to reach our God given Dreams and Potential. (The blessing is that we still have time to pray all things through.) He not only challenged, but also gave. He promised Dawie 10 000 books, to be used for the ALI students as part of their reading program!

Then it was time for a very special event: Charlie's baptism. This was something that he has talked and prayed about for a long time already and now it was time.

Our house does not have a swimming pool, but we found one in the neighborhood and Dawie went to ask permission to use their pool. The lady of the house declared that she does not believe in God, but that she cannot deny such a request. She said: "This is hilarious, I don't believe in God, but someone wants to use my pool to say they do believe!" (We continue to pray for her.)

So it happened that Bruce baptized Charlie, with us as a family as witnesses. It was a JOYOUS and Grateful occasion! We praise God!

Then Bruce announced that he has a wish and we must accompany him to some place. We went along. He took us to a mall, down the passage to a Footlocker (a shoe store) and told us that everyone of us must choose a pair of running shoes according to our hearts (and feet's) desire, the shoes that we only dream about, but will never buy...he's paying! Our natural response was no, we cannot do this, no, it's too much, no, we don't deserve it and many more arguments. But he was prepared for us and persistent: He's going to buy us shoes today.

Have you ever experienced wanting to laugh and cry at the same time, wanting to talk non stop and be completely quiet at the same time, feeling overjoyed and surprised and humbled at the same time? Well, that was some of my feelings. But perhaps "stunned" describes it best. This was new, a first for us to be blessed in such a way. We experience God's blessings every day in so many different ways, but this was the first time ever that someone gave us something so personal (and so needed - our shoes are all TIRED/done). We are also used to being blessed by giving away, but never before by receiving in such a way! Now you understand that I am once again amazed at God's Creativity and abundance in His Blessings. And I am once again stirred in my heart and spirit for how a man (like Bruce did) can be so obedient and instrumental in God wanting to bless. May I be sensitive enough to hear God's whisper whenever he wants to use me to bless someone.

So, we all went in and each received a brand new pair of running/walking shoes and socks.

We were literally blessed out of our old shoes right into new ones! Praise the Lord! Thank you so much Bruce, thank you.

He then took us out for a wonderful dinner and took us back home. Greeting us we were reminded that we must now not think of ways to repay him, we must just accept and enjoy.

We were all stunned and overjoyed for the rest of the evening. Charlie said that this was surely the best day of his life so far. We agreed - a baptism and a such a blessing all in one day, was not anything that we deserved. But I suppose that's why we call it God's Grace and a blessing - it is a gift, it has nothing to do with deserve or not deserve.

God is Great! He is the "so-much-more" God! Thank you God! Thank you Bruce, may God bless you and your family in abundance.

Faith, Family, Friends – (Dawie) Toronto – 22 June 2009

After traveling more than halfway around the world for 25 weeks, seeing the most significant places all over and having more time to reflect, I decided that these three words are more dear to me than ever, family and friends.


As I read through the Bible, once again the well known friendship between David and Jonathan was fresh to me. Jonathan was the king's son, the next one in line for the rulership of his nation and David the beloved soldier who killed Goliath, who was anointed king by God. One should expect jealousy in Jonathan's heart but, there was love, compassion and justice.

1 Samuel 18:1-3 (NIV)
1 After David had finished talking with Saul, Jonathan became one in spirit with David, and he loved him as himself. 2 From that day Saul kept David with him and did not let him return to his father's house. 3 And Jonathan made a covenant with David because he loved him as himself.

1 Samuel 23:16-18 (NIV)
16 And Saul's son Jonathan went to David at Horesh and helped him find strength in God. 17 "Don't be afraid," he said. "My father Saul will not lay a hand on you. You will be king over Israel, and I will be second to you. Even my father Saul knows this." 18 The two of them made a covenant before the Lord. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh.

I tried to thank all our friends back home via email, newsletters and in a blog, but words just seem to fall short in acknowledging who they are and what they do. May our prayers of blessing follow them and all the new friends we have made on this trip :

Numbers 6:24-26 (NIV)
24"'The Lord bless you and keep you; 25 the Lord make his face shine upon you and be gracious to you; 26 the Lord turn his face toward you and give you peace."


This whole trip was taken due to the relationships we had amongst each other. Special, unique, loving, respectful...but not perfect. Since 30 Dec 2008 our relationship grew even more, became more special, more unique, more loving, more respectful...but unfortunately remains "not perfect".

James 3:2 (NIV)
2 We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man..."

So what works for us? Spending time together, honesty, open communication channels, regular "house meetings", forgiveness asked and given, soft hearts, shared responsibility, quiet time with the Lord, following only Jesus example, God's written Word, being real (not trying to be over spiritual or faked holy), being ourselves, giving room for our diversity, God's nature, more exercise, experiencing God's wonderful creation, praying together, going through conflict with an expectation that God will bring something good from it, making new friends together, visiting churches where God was present, staying focused to agreed upon goals, etc. to mention a few.

What about the imperfect part? The only things I can think of are negative assumptions and selfishness...that is not working and never will....not for us and also not for any other family!

Genesis 1:26-28 (NIV)
26 Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, and over all the creatures that move along the ground." 27 So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them. 28 God blessed them and said to them, "Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground."

Genesis 2:24 (NIV)
24 For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and they will become one flesh.

Malachi 2:15-16 (NIV)
15 Has not the Lord made them one? In flesh and spirit they are his. And why one? Because he was seeking godly offspring. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith with the wife of your youth. 16 "I hate divorce," says the Lord God of Israel, "and I hate a man's covering himself with violence as well as with his garment," says the Lord Almighty. So guard yourself in your spirit, and do not break faith.

God's plan for this world runs through the family. The restoration and well being of this well thought through strategy should be high on any government, business and church leadership's agenda. I quote one of out great leaders:

Joshua 24:14-15 (NIV)
14 "Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord. 15 But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord."

To follow God's plan will bring His blessings forth:

Psalm 1 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the man who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked or stand in the way of sinners or sit in the seat of mockers. 2 But his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. 3 He is like a tree planted by streams of water, which yields its fruit in season and whose leaf does not wither. Whatever he does prospers. 4 Not so the wicked! They are like chaff that the wind blows away. 5 Therefore the wicked will not stand in the judgment, nor sinners in the assembly of the righteous. 6 For the Lord watches over the way of the righteous, but the way of the wicked will perish.

Psalm 127 (NIV)
1 Unless the Lord builds the house, its builders labor in vain. Unless the Lord watches over the city, the watchmen stand guard in vain. 2 In vain you rise early and stay up late, toiling for food to eat— for he grants sleep to those he loves. 3 Sons are a heritage from the Lord, children a reward from him. 4 Like arrows in the hands of a warrior are sons born in one's youth. 5 Blessed is the man whose quiver is full of them. They will not be put to shame when they contend with their enemies in the gate.

Psalm 128 (NIV)
Blessed are all who fear the Lord, who walk in his ways. 2 You will eat the fruit of your labor; blessings and prosperity will be yours. 3 Your wife will be like a fruitful vine within your house; your sons will be like olive shoots around your table. 4 Thus is the man blessed who fears the Lord. 5 May the Lord bless you from Zion all the days of your life; may you see the prosperity of Jerusalem, 6 and may you live to see your children's children. Peace be upon Israel.

All I can add is AMEN!


Yesterday was fathers day...we celebrated it here in Canada, two hours from Toronto, in a cabin by a lake. It was one of the best days of my life. The three sons gave handmade presents, written and verbal notes...precious. But to prove my point I made above they also gave me a special present: their mother had to sauna with me for an hour and thereafter swim in the lake with clothes of their (the boys) choice...guess what they have chosen...and their mother and I enjoyed it more than words can express!


I will share on this third (or first) part of my slogan faith, family and friends, on a separate blog.

Let me conclude this blog on family and friends with what one of the wisest men who walked planet earth said:

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12 (NIV)
9 Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their work: 10 If one falls down, his friend can help him up. But pity the man who falls and has no one to help him up! 11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? 12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.

Canada – 22/6/09 (Chrisna)

We saw stars! Last night when we looked up into the sky, there were stars, and many of them. It looked like I remember it looks on the farm back in Namibia, only without the Southern Cross. I know the stars are there every night, it's just that we do not see them often because of clouds and mist and city lights, but they are there. A lot like in life as well – the Light is there, the thank you's are there, the miracles are there, but we don't see them – because of many individual reasons.

But last night we could see the stars. It has been long, very long since we last saw them, and Tinus goes out every evening to look for them. We were grateful to see them up there, very grateful.

We are in a small cabin next to the Redstone Lake in the north eastern part of Ontario, Canada. We are the only people here, except for 2 others in a cabin further down the lake. Peace and quiet? This is it. This IS peace and quiet. God is here – like everywhere else, but it's easier to hear Him here, because noise and distractions are so little. This time here is confirmation that it is good to visit a very secluded place periodically, to have the ideal setting to hear God's whispers. If this is true even while we are on our world tour with a much slower pace than usual, how much more important to schedule such times when we are back home, on the run. Praise God that He is not restricted by speed or noise, He speaks even while we run. But we...or I am limited in my hearing when I am always on the run. This retreat is good, and necessary for me. This is special. It is hard too, because God is faithful and He really wants me to look more like Jesus. So when I allow Him, He lifts up a mirror for me to see myself, to see the "not so nice" spots, to repent and to be filled with His likeness in those areas. Less of Chrisna, more of Jesus...

This place, like so many other places before, allows us to soak in the diversity of God's Creation. Here it is also green with water, and I mean lots of water. This whole area is covered with lakes. It is not 1 big lake, it is many, many different lakes. One lake upon the next as far as you drive, with areas of treefilled land in between. I wonder if you will find a road to drive here where there is not water next to it! The green is overwhelming. It will be strange (and VERY special) to see the dry blond-brown country of Namibia again. But for now, we thoroughly enjoy the green and the water.

Speaking of water, we were at Niagra Falls a week ago and that's water for you!

We were IN the falls. Yes, we did stand at the top and watched the spectacular falls, but we were also literally IN the falls! We went on a boat right up to the falls, and we from Namibia stood right in the front of the boat. Most of the other people were either inside the boat or on deck, but safely to the back. Not us, we were there in the wind and the water of the falls and of course got soaking wet. Oh, what a joy! It was better than any rollercoaster or thrill ride can ever dream to be... The falls are beautiful – both the Horseshoe and the American vertical falls. We spent 6 hours there soaking in the view, the spray of the tumbling water and the sun. Yes, it was our first summer day with (as they call it) toasting temperatures of 23 degrees Celsius. (what on earth will they call our moderate average 35 degrees C?!)

We enjoyed a picnic on the grass. I'm pretty good at packing picnics nowadays, because we always take our own food, it is just SO much more affordable. Eating out - even at the franchise fast food places- are too expensive for us. This fight to stay within our budget has become an adventure and helped us to discover and treasure the fun of having picnics . It takes a little more effort and planning, but it's equally enjoyable, perhaps even more, than visiting a restaurant. Having fun, building memories, does not have to cost a lot of money. Go with what you can afford, an attitude of expectation and thankfulness and great company, and you have a feast! Any place...

We are having a feast! We are blessed! We are thankful!

And although this is wonderful and I often wish it can go on and on, we know THIS feast will end in 3 months time and we will return home. And then ...yet another feast will start! We will be ready...Thank you Lord


A few days after finishing this blog (it wasn't posted yet because the lake is an internet free zone), I read this in the book Celebration of Discipline by Richard Foster and I realized this is a good summary of this blog and confirmation of what I've experienced. That's why I've decided to quote it (my own free translation into Namlish) here, to remind me when we're back home of this truth.

"One of the disciplines through which we are to be transformed into the image of Jesus Christ is meditation. A heart that is fragmented, harassed, swept away with frantic activity, is not prepared for meditation. I need Otium Sanctum, or Holy Leisure. This is a sense of balance in life, an ability to be at peace through the activities of the day, the ability to rest, the ability to take time to enjoy beauty, the ability to pace myself. This is what I must pursue!" This then is what this year , or 9 months, is called. It's not a sabbatical, or a long holiday, or a break, or even just a blessing. It's a Otium Sanctum, and this week here by the lake is an Intense Otium Sanctum (if you get something like that), and this is what I must continue to pursue, specifically back home – in the reality of life.

It sounds difficult, but that's why it is called "pursue", and not just "do" .

Thank you God, for being faithful, fot being real and alive. Thank you that you will be at my side in my pursuit...

Alaskan Cruise (Thursday 25 June, Redstone Lake) Tinus

Gazing over a lake – coffee at hand – I sit and ponder our fortune. My dad and brothers are off to play golf, my mother is outside writing. Music fills the room behind me. Oh, how grateful I am! We have truly been abundantly blessed by the King and to the flow of blessings there seems to be no end!

Thousands of thoughts, which I am desperately trying to catch and pen, are flying about my head. Mostly thoughts of all that has happened in my life thus far. Stories I wish to share but can't seem to find an appropriate introduction for. Thoughts of praise to our Precious Lord. Thoughts of things and times so beautiful that I can't help but feel it can only be put to paper if the perfect words are found. Yet even as I sit and ponder them, words, even the very best ones available in my arsenal, fall woefully short!

But my mind can contain no more and be it that I fail horribly at portraying the wonders I have seen and experienced, it is still better than not voicing them at all, I suppose.

I therefore mean to undertake that which I have – for reasons I have just tried to explain – postponed until now. Though there are a great many things I would love to share, somewhere I must start and a recall of our cruise aboard the Norwegian Star seems to be a proper place to do so.

This account to follow is, however, mostly for my own gain and you will do nor yourself, nor me any injustice in not reading any further. Besides, I am perfectly aware that you have already heard (or read) plenty of our week on the waters.

When I shall publish this post (hopefully soon) and how many hours I shall sit sifting through all the fragments of stories and memories overcrowding my head (oh, how lovely is such an overcrowding!) I know not, but about that you need not worry for if you are reading this, I must already have posted it. J

Allow me to start with the ship upon which we sailed. She goes by the name of Star, Norwegian Star.

Her 92 000 ton bulk elegantly absorbs the 1100 crew members from 56 different countries and more that 2000 guests. The mass of people is so effectively dispersed between her 14 decks, more than 10 restaurants and 12 elevators, that it never feels crowded aboard. And therein lies possibly one of the main reasons I enjoyed the cruise so much. For you see, I am but an introvert in a family of passionate people. A tentative C among D's and I's. I have long ago been teasingly dealt the name of "Spoedvark" (for those that have no understanding of Afrikaans, it sort of translates to "Speedy.") I'll have you know, that the name has been very liberating to me, for now I have a license to be slow! Oh, how often do the member of my family dread (not really) the day I became Spoedvark

See, what I mean, my head is a mess of thoughts! Please forgive me if I lose tread of my story and be warned that it might happen again.

Anyway, though I have learned to love the fast paced life I was born into, I need time of silence and solitude every now and again in which to recover, to recharge if you will. And that this cruise was for me, but more on that later. I was still telling you about the Star.

Deck 6 is home to the Casino and Cigar bar (and no, I did not hang out in either), as well as the lower portion of the Stardust Theatre. The rest of the Theatre resides on deck 7, forward. Deck 7 and 12 are the main public areas of the ship. A host of restaurants (amongst them the Blue Lagoon) the Galleria duty free shop (yes, they even cater for shopaholics aboard), the photographers' headquarters, the Carousel night club and Pearl martini bar, as well as the reception, housed on the lowest floor of the main atrium at the centre of the ship, are located on deck 7.

Set on deck 6 mid-ship and astern, respectively, but accessed only by stairs from deck 7, are the Aqua and Versailles Main dining rooms.

Five floors above the Stardust, forward on deck 12, the Spinnaker lounge enjoys panoramic views. When nothing is happening in it (which seldom occurs, since it is used for "game shows," staff quizzes, bingo and other entertainment), it is a wonderful place to sit, gaze and read.

Behind it the chapel, with blue chairs looks out massive windows on the port side. The lifestyle and card rooms, which look exactly the same: green tables and comfortable chairs, occupy the starboard side. Between them and the chapel (I'm still on deck 12, forward) are the library and Cinema.

Venturing further backward on deck 12, you walk out onto the pool deck with 2 slides, a pool, 4 hot tubs and the Grill. Behind it is the Market, the ships main cafeteria which serves breakfast (7:00 – 11:00), lunch (12:00-15:00) and dinner (16:00-22:00). As if they knew you would feel guilty at merely looking at or thinking about all that food, the spa and gym are next in our journey from bow to stern on deck 12. At the very back of the ship, two ping pong tables, 2 hot tubs and the kiddies pool occupies the open deck.

Walking up a flight of stairs from there, the helipad (sit-and-soak-up-the-sun-in-icy-Alaska-since-no-helicopters-ever-come-to-the-ship-space, in other words, are at the very rear of deck 13, which is open deck all the way to the bow.)

Before you think you are at the top of the ship just yet, ascend with me to the 14th deck that bulges from the centre of the ship at both the stern and bow. On Deck 14, aft, are located the 2 garden villas and the basketball court. The Bier Garten and another hot tub is upon deck 14 forward.

Just to clarify, the open part of deck 13 thus wraps around the "bulges" on which deck 14 is. Furthermore, the pool deck on deck 12, has clear skies above it, as deck 13 has a gap in that area.

Open decks can be found all around deck 7 (upon which a few shuffleboard courts are located) , the pool deck and stern deck on deck 12, the helipad and outside edges of deck 13 (housing the 400m jogging track) and the forward observation deck on deck 14.

The remainder of the ship is mostly filled with staterooms. Ours was located on deck 4 forward. Rooms 4557 and 4559

There, that is the ship.

If I have lost you, which I probably have (not because of an error on your part, but my over detailed and unimaginative description,) I beg you pardon. I once again extend the offer to stop reading at once.

If anyone still chooses to proceed, I must explain a few more things.

Norwegian Cruise Lines pioneered a policy they call freestyle cruising. Basically, it means that you can almost do whatever you want, whenever you want, wearing whatever you want wherever you want. Between the Market Café, Grill, Aqua and Versailles you are almost always sure to find something to eat, all included in the price of the cruise. If you still find yourself hungry at a time that none of these are open, you can order room service or visit the Blue Lagoon 24/7, also at no charge. The rest of the restaurants (on decks 6, 7, 12, 13) charge extra.

Now, on to what we actually did…

But before I start, I must go refill my cup of coffee for it has become cold. (I can’t remember the last time I allowed that to happen…comes to show you how hard this recording business is.) The problem is, I know not if I shall return to my post soon. But as I have said, about that you need not worry. For now, share my joy and contentment if you can. The lake lies like glass before me, Laurika Rauch is singing behind (the second album to fill the room since I started typing), my mother is still writing and the other men have yet to return. The sky is palish blue and the trees on the far shore vivid green. Truly, we serve a great God!

« « « « « « «

Well, that is how far I got beside the lake in Canada. After the break above, which was intended as but a brief pause (but did after all lengthen considerably), my mother and I went for a stroll down the road and I dared go kayaking once more (a funny story can here be recalled…maybe I shall tell it later).

Now I sit in Atlanta, in my "office" (and off course my coffee is not far) and finally post Volume 1 on our Alaskan Cruise.

Though it is off topic, alow me to end with by quoting the words of Himlin Galant.

I can't wait for the day that God's glory shines forth in our government, education, law, economy, arts (magazines, music, movies incl.), churches and international partnerships.

It's what burns in my heart, I cannot rest and nor can I give God rest until this vision materializes... for His glory and humanity's sake... We are the salt, we are the light... no longer can the world decay, no longer can darkness reign... yet we have to allow Him to prepare us...

Spectacular Canada - 14-28 June 2009 (Dawie J)

Once again an amazing experience! This time it was a 2 in 1 holiday (but I did do 9 full schooldays).

Landing in Toronto, we already saw the CN Tower high up in the sky!

We had a great home in Toronto with a swimming pool, sauna, ice hockey table, and video games. The house was like a 5 star hotel. The home exchange family, Judy, Brian, Francis and Oliver are VERY special people and generous! They took us to a steakhouse!!

When we sauna-ed, I told Tinus that I feel like a cookie, because I am being baked. We enjoyed the house a lot, swimming and regular BBQs.

We went to Niagra falls. It was roaring water and clouds of spray in the air. We went on a boat, The Maid of the Mist, right into the falls. It was wet and wonderful!

Our second week, we've spent at Red Stone Lake, in the Haliburton Highlands. There we also baked in the sauna, but swam in the lake (not a swimming pool). I went rowing on the kayak a lot. I can even stand and row.

We visited the ice cream kiosk 3 times. Each time we bought 2 "small" ice creams (which were actually gigantic) and shared it amongst the 5 of us. We never saw how big the "large" ones were!

We did not initially choose to go to Canada, the Canadians chose to come to Namibia. I'm so glad they did. This was surely a highlight!

DJ is signing off now, as we descend into Atlanta. Yet another adventure is waiting!!