A change of pace blog about life in Fish Hoek, South Africa Written by Patty Spykstra
Oceans Ministries partners Mike and Dawn recently returned back to the US. I would sum up the days they spent here at the Retreat Center as Christmas in January! After all they brought along favorite foods, copies of Tim’s new book and his bankcard, peach tea for me, gifts from our kids and even Christmas cards from friends in Michigan. During the Verkaik’s stay we hosted dinners and teas and met others for a meal or a cup of coffee. We experienced some wonderful ministry opportunities, prayer times, and discussions about what may be ahead for Oceans in 2021. I suppose the time together caused this mom’s heart to miss her family.
This past year has been anything but “normal” and at times ministry in another country seems overwhelming. So when an unexpected weekend of burgers, Bunny Chow, and a braai came along my spirits were lifted. Perhaps it was the change of pace, the food, the company, or all your prayers.
So this is a glimpse into our “abnormal weekend.” Last Friday Stag Coffee Company held a well-attended Burger Night! The meal was delicious and reminded us of “home.” On Saturday, a local pastor and family invited us to join them for Bunny Chow, a Cape Malay Curry dish that delighted our senses. We smiled recalling the busy days of ministry. On Sunday, due to load shedding, the power was off from 6am-2pm, so the church hosted a “Braai Thru” with prayer, communion, an opportunity to donate food to the community and Boerie Wors to go. People were invited to drive their cars through each station, bikers and walkers came as well, so many of us ended up hanging around and enjoying the summer sunshine.
Each of the meals was so unique and special in it’s own way. I suppose we’ve all had to adjust to the “new normal” of hand sanitizing, masks, and that awkward moment of being unsure how to greet one another. I know that everyone has experienced a year of life like never before. Truly the blessings are abundant, and far out weigh “the bad” yet at times the blahs just creep in.
The busy weekend did take my mind off the disappointment that the flight our daughter and her husband had booked was now cancelled. Changing the ticket was double the original cost. We understood and recalled how the same incident occurred last year. Tim and I set our sight on the process of renewing our VISA; physicals, chest x-ray and collecting data.
A while back I had purchased a world puzzle, and now seemed like a good time to set that up as a distraction so I convinced Tim to join me as we put the world together! The next thing I knew I was searching for Qatar in the Middle East, our kids had a secured an alternative flight! I could hardly believe it!
In the mean time, while Tim and I worked on the puzzle, we talked about how quickly plans can change, how unexpected life is especially in these Covid days. Tim shared this verse as a reminder to live in the presence of the Lord.
Psalm 16:11: “You have made known to me the path of life, You will fill me with joy in Your presence, with eternal pleasures at Your right hand.”
This weekend brought unexpected blessings as Hunter and Anna safely arrived in Cape Town! We really don’t have a plan or a list of things to do, but no doubt we will continue to count our blessings starting with HIS presence and joy! This mom’s heart is so happy.
His path for our lives! His presence for each day! His joy in the moment!