Well, my long awaited for holiday is now over. The trip to the UK for 6 weeks was so amazing! The flight to the UK was pleasant and my cousin Judy met me at Heathrow airport. It was so very special for me to meet up with my cousins whom I hadn’t seen in many, many years and to spent time with them, catching up and reminiscing over our past. Thank you to Judy and Richard and their lovely children for allowing me to stay with them and for spoiling me.
The surprise for Talitha worked out really well and it had her crying when she saw me. It was so well worth keeping it a secret from her. Well done to all who helped me, particularly to Jono, with the surprise. Thank you to Pa ul, Bev and Owain Hughes for getting me to Talitha’s and for helping to make the big surprise work. Benjamin and Jesse were also amazed to see me when they walked in the door from visiting with their friends. Jesse just kept looking at me and then I got lots and lots of hugs. I was so privileged to be at the birth our new grandson, Judah Will Garner, born on the 22 August.
The little town of Ilfracombe in North Devon, where Talitha and Jono live, is such a beautiful little harbour town and I enjoyed many pleasant walks into town and down to the quaint little harbour, looking at shops and enjoying meeting all Talitha’s lovely friends. I spent time with Jon and Jude Skinner, our ex Bulembu neighbours, and also with Charlotte and Phila, their daughters. But most of all I got to spend lots of special time with my grandsons. What a privilege. It was a great pity that Gerry couldn’t be with me but someone had to ‘man the fort’ back home this time. I was gone for nearly 6 weeks which was just too long for both of us to have been away at the same time.
I was also privileged to celebrate Talitha’s birthday and their 11th wedding anniversary with them on the 17 September. Jono is doing well in his job working as a driver for Ed’s Vegetables and he is the most amazing cook. His job at home is to cook dinner every night and I was treated to some really lovely meals by him. It was just so lovely to spend time with them all and I was so sad to leave my grandbabies behind, but Gerry and I are praying about returning to visit them and are trusting God to provide air tickets for us to possibly visit next year.
The return trip home was a bit hectic as the flights were delayed, I arrived extremely exhausted in Johannesburg and missed my bus ride home but God was in control and it all worked out well in the end. My journey home took me 4 days and I arrived home exhausted but safe. Thank you to everyone who made it possible for me to visit Talitha for the birth of my grandson
and to all the wonderful people I met while I was in the UK.
While I was gone, everything ran smoothly in the home. All the kids were on school holiday and helped out too. Lozi stepped in to fill my place, by running the home together with Gerry. Lozi cooked meals, helped with the babies, made sure the babies were fed properly, helped the aunties in all areas and did an amazingly good job. Dominique was available whenever possible to help out as well.
After I got home, we had a few issues with Kitty. She had been sneaking off to visit a boyfriend and Gerry hadn’t noticed what she was doing. We took her for counselling with the social welfare officers but she insisted that she wanted to drop out of school and leave our home. As she is now 19 years old, she is no longer under the social welfare system and she can make her own decision as to where she wants to live. She told us that she and her boyfriend had planned a baby together and that he was going to make her famous with music. Nothing that any of us said to her could change her mind, and on the 27th September she signed herself out of ABC and left our home for good. It was a sad day for all of us at ABC.
Then it was brought to our notice that Collin was smoking marijuana and coming home smelling really bad from it. Gerry had found a few marijuana cigarette butts around our property while I was gone and he realised that it was from Collin. The kids mix tobacco with the marijuana so that it just looks like they’re smoking a cigarette. When we approached Collin he got angry and aggressive and denied it, so we called in his social worker who counselled him and gave him a warning that, as ABC was a baby home it was a privilege for him to live with us in the home and that if he continued with this behaviour, social welfare would remove him from the home and he would be returned back to the squatter camp from where he had originally come. We also took him to his Clinical Psychologist who counselled him as well. Collin says he wants to change and we are helping him wherever possible. We are watching him closely and it is putting a strain on all of us in the home but things are looking better.
Lozi has been studying hard as her exams for JC start in October. Her former teacher from primary school has offered to pay for her to go to St. Marks High School next year. It is a private school in Mbabane and she is excited at this prospect and really working hard. Joshua has been working for ABC, doing the garden, driving and helping out wherever necessary. Sam is enjoying his motor mechanics course at the training centre and likes the fact that his school is so close to home. Keturah continues to be healthy and doing well at school. José is about to finish his first year of bible college and has done really well.
The babies are all growing well. Little Isaac is now 8 months old and trying to crawl. Lucy and Wanda are almost walking and Emily and Emanuel are 18 months old and are into everything. The older 4, Tino, April, Barry and Patricia are busy all the time, climbing, running, riding their bikes, exploring, touching everything and talking lots.
We are continually grateful to all of you who have helped us. We are thankful to the funding that has come in and to the faithful people who support us and keep us going. We are grateful to Woolworths and their ongoing donations which help us tremendously in the home. We cannot make this Home work by ourselves and we appreciate everyone who partners with us in any way, big or small.
Greetings from Gerry
God bless you all
Beautiful Ilfracombe – the town and the harbour