Saturday, April 25, 2009

"Be the duck"....

My Dad and his paddling buddy racing in the African Queen (check out the pitiful African design)

I thought it was about time I had a little more catchy title to one of these blogposts. The waters of Lake Whatcom have warmed up enough that I was finally able to get out with my father on his new double surf-ski (racing kayak) made in and sent from South Africa, appropriately dubbed the "African Queen" by him and his paddling buddy here in Bellingham. It's pretty cool that my dad will be able to paddle the Great White shark-infested waters of False Bay and around Cape Town when the fam comes over for the wedding. In fact, where I will return to staff and live in YWAM Muizenberg, the little seaside town of Fish Hoek which serves as headquarters for world-class surf-skiers is only a couple train stations away.

Paddling really increased my respect for my father in how easy he makes it look. After only about 5 minutes of going at it, striving to keep in sync with his strokes, I was dog-tired! But I persevered (with his encouragement), and we had a great 1-hour paddle, without dumping in the lake once! Even so, I was glad to have the wet-suit because I was constantly getting splashed and sitting in a good-sized puddle. I am thrilled to get so much use out of the suit, which I bought off Ebay for the sole purpose of surfing when I get back to the Cape's frigid waters.

Ok, so how does all this relate to the title of this post? I'll tell you. When we did hit some rough waters and some waves coming at us from the side, my dad instinctively called back to me, "Be the duck!" After some initial confusion, I caught the sense of what he was saying (though I was a bit surprised my Dad was so down with all the hip paddling lingo). When you observe a duck floating on the water, when a wave comes, they simply roll with them and don't struggle to keep their balance or head above the water. The same rule must hold true with us.

I thank the good Lord for the great day we had, and will be writing next from the beautiful and promising nation of South Africa!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

South Africa Elections 2009

So I am all set to head back to South Africa on May 3 (though won't reach Jozi until the 5th, after a brief 13-hour layover in Frankfurt where I will be able to catch up with a former colleague in the Church Planting school who is now a full-time Youth Pastor). I have been blessed to see so many of you in this extended time back, and so grateful you could see what I see in my lovely fiance Thandeka as well:) The wedding invitation is still open to all (if you are really looking for a place to let go and dance into the night) in Lenasia, Johannesburg on July 25!

Second, yesterday marked the 4th democratic national election for the Republic of South Africa, and a very interesting one indeed since many of the first-time voters (and there are a lot) are the first generation not to have been raised at the height of apartheid and separate development policies that plagued the land for so long, and thus are not as necessarily inclined to support hands-down the liberating African National Congress party. The main opposition party is hewn from this ruling party and goes by the name of Cope (Congress of the People). I am not sure about the latter's leader, but know ANC's Zuma has been on trial for a number of charges and is thus very questionable (though he still holds a lot of loyalty). SO I encourage you all to check out hte results in the next couple of days, and keep praying for the nation to go forward into the destiny God has for it (incl. hosting the World Cup next year!)
South Sudan, still a semi-autonomous region in larger Sudan, will hold elections later this year, but many of the educated Sudanese of the diaspora are skeptical of there being any real change. THe real testing time will be at the end of the CPA interim government period in 2011. But be in prayer anyways, asking God for gracious intervention and progress to see His purposes envisioned by the leaders of this great land of promise!

Further Prayer Requests:
Thandi is currently visiting family in neighboring Mozambique (where she was born) and paying respects at her grandfather's grave (who passed away some years back, but she had not been able to go until now). Thank you for your prayers for her safety (as she is traveling alone), and to meet up with all God has for her.

I will be with Thandi and the family in Johannesburg for the first week or so, hoping to buy a used car with a good resale value, and then make my way down to Cape Town to begin working at the YWAM Muizenberg base once again and searching for a place we can stay for the next two years. I will be on general staff, but when Thandi comes after the wedding, we will both be in the Discipleship Training Department and focusing on the upcoming school.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Canyoneering in Zion/Death Valley National Parks

Firstly, let me praise God on this fine Easter Day filled with the everlasting hope of our Lord Jesus! He continues to prove himself faithful to me in very real ways...
After putting in my church bulletin a prayer request last week for favor with the SOuth African Consulate in LA to receive my 2-year Visa before my departure date on May 3, I came home on Friday just in time to receive a Fed-Ex with passport enclosed and everything as I prayed it to be! He is risen and alive indeed! I just pray to remain in His will, for my life truly belongs to Him.

So, as the title indicates, my father and I just returned with a great group of men from a week-long canyoneering/backpacking trip in Utah, Nevada and California. I knew it was going to be a physically stimulating trip as well as give me some quality time out in the wilderness with the Dad, but was not expecting to be so refined in so short a time by the godly men we went with. Below are a few pics from the trip, and I hope to post some more on Facebook soon.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Onto the American Southwest manana!!!


Hey Everybody,

I have started a number of blog entries since my last one, but have failed to finish any one topic since they all seem to keep building on top of another with more recent events (such as the events rapidly escalating around the indictment of Sudan Pres. Omar al-Bashir). But is it our role as Christians to always be in the reactionary seat towards world events, or are we to speak out in the midst of them and partner with God in prayer to see change realized? I hope all can answer the latter....
And, yet, I struggle to put out intended posts in a timely fashion. Lord, help me. Thankfully, my lack of discipline in this does not bring the end of the world.

Anyhow, I am gonna get up this post because I will be out of the B'ham hometown for a week as I head down with my father and a gang of his buddies to brave the elements in the canyons of Zion National Park, Escalante and possibly even Death Valley, California (if the weather turns rough in southern Utah--it has definitely been a long, cold winter).

I plan on posting some photos of my canyoneering debut adventure when we return, and hope you will enjoy...and don't worry, I will exercise much caution so as not to put my bride-to-be in an awkward solo position at the altar. Speaking of Thandeka, isimomo sami (my beautiful girl), I want to wish her a relaxing, stress-free 27th b-day today!