I have changed the format of the blog so that the most recent reports appear on the top. This way you do not have to scroll down to see if there is a new update!
On our way home we did have one more breakdown. It was a simple problem with the exhaust, so we had this repaired in George and were able to continue our journey home on the same day (14/3/2018). At the time when this happened, it did feel like more arrows in our direction, explosive ones at that (rather noisy), but looking back now, the repair was done for free (as the car was under guarantee), so in the end everything truly worked out for the best!
Due to the delay, we had to stop over for the night in Graaff Reinet. One of our oldest supporters of the Hour of Power, Daniel Smith, lives in Graaff Reinet, so we met again and had a very enjoyable conversation. He related some of his rather unpleasant experiences when he was in the local hospital there not so long ago due to health problems. I must say that we agreed with his various initiatives of trying to improve the conditions in the hospital of Graaff Reinet.
I am glad to report that we arrived home safely in the afternoon of 15/03/2018. God is good. We decided that we will postpone our visit to the various children’s homes in the Cape for 6 months when Annette will be on pension. However, I think this time we will rather fly down and hire a car…..
Hearing this song and this girl’s voice lifted our spirits:
Many thanks to all of you for your support and well wishes during our trip and our very best wishes to you from Henry and Annette!
We were on our way to Villiersdorp in die Boland on 12/3/2018 to visit the home with handicapped children when something bad happened. For some reason my car’s engine lost water and I did not notice it before it was too late. I was wearing my sunglasses but they give me poor vision on the dashboard. Needless to say that I did not see the needle going up until it was too late. So here we got that horrible feeling again that you get when you notice your engine’s power falling away. After towing back the car to Riversdale it was found that the engine had completely ceased and burnt up. It was not repairable, as the cost for a reconditioned engine is horrendous and the value of the car did not warrant it.
Ironically, that same morning, we (Annette and myself) had been reading about Job and it calmed us down. True, we were both distressed and I for one was devastated realizing I was to lose my most priced and precious possession. With tears in my eyes I looked at the car for the last time, after selling it for scrap.
But we know that our Shield of Faith is there to protect us against the burning arrows of the evil one….. we know that in the end, all things work for the best!
The owner of the mechanics workshop was also co-owner of a shop selling motor cars and he showed us a Ford sedan that was a bit old but really looked like a new car. I was stunned. It had belonged to a 92 year old lady who apparently drove very little in it. The car still is spotless, having stood in a garage most of the time, still looking like new, with only 42000 km on the clock. We bought the car and quickly got it tested, serviced and registered in my name. See picture below.
Under the circumstances, both of us feeling emotionally drained and physically exhausted, we decided to cancel our visits to the children’s homes from Home from Home in the Cape and head for home on 14/03/2018.
REPORTBACK: Friday 09/03/2018.
Coming from the King’s Children home (7/3/2018) we stayed the night at Penny and Philip Nicholson who live in Dorchester Heights in East London. How we enjoyed the stew that Penny had prepared for us! We are old friends from the days when we were involved in prison ministry. They are also long time supporters of the ministries and Philip is a board member of both CCMSA and Heart for Children and has kindly agreed to always do the audits on our books. Besides looking at the books, we fortunately also still had some time to play chess. Needless to say: I lost again…. but it truly was a very exciting game right up until the end. On Thursday (8/3/2018) we were back on the road again, heading toward Port Elizabeth. We arrived safely in St Francis Bay. My wife and I are falling in love with this place. This truly must be one of the most beautiful corners of the earth! We took some pictures at Cape St. Francis, the most south eastern point of South Africa:
On Friday afternoon (09/03/2018) we visited the foster homes in Jeffreys Bay and in Humansdorp that are run by the organization Victory4All and that are sponsored for the running costs by Hart voor Kinderen and us. Victory4All was started in Jeffrey’s Bay by Johan and Astrid Vos. Unfortunately 2 of the 7 homes are now standing empty due to a natural outflow of children from all the homes as they became of age and able to go for studies and/or take care of themselves. Obviously, on its own, this is not bad news!
Moves are afoot to fill these 2 homes again with 2 new mothers and children as soon as possible. Our proposal has been to place some of the children that we saw in the Kings Children safe house here in these 2 homes because the infra structure is in place here but apparently the relevant gov. depts. are against it, even though it is in the same province [so by my reasoning, the law is not against it]. In the meantime, as you will understand, our funding for these two homes has been suspended.
Pictured below is one of the home’s families in Jeffreys Bay and one of home’s foster families in Humansdorp.
True to our promise, as you can see from the picture above, we have been delivering the spray cans with foam soap from Spanjaard to each and every child in the homes where we have been! There are not too many bottles left…..The nannies and mothers each received a heart necklace from us.
REPORTBACK: Wednesday 07/03/2018
On our way from Port Shepstone to the Kings Children’s home (near East London) on 6/3/2018 we encountered a problem. There was a big accident involving two big trucks somewhere just before Harding and we were asked by the police to turn back to Port Shepstone and take the alternative route to East London. Unfortunately, this route takes a lot longer to drive, due to various reasons. We saw some beautiful scenery but in the end we were exhausted when we arrived in Port St Johns (PSJ) around 13h30. Luckily we were able to postpone our meeting with The Kings Children’s home to 7/3/2018 so we decided to stay the night in PSJ. Must say: I have never seen such big mosquitos as those in PSJ. Jackie, my dog, who is travelling with us, got stuck in the mud at the river and his appearance after this encounter provided us with another challenge….
Must say that Jackie’s presence up to now has actually been such a blessing. At all the homes the children loved to touch him and one child overcame her fear that she had of dogs by her encounter with him.
We arrived at the Kings children’s home of Tracy and Jonathan King in Cintsa at around 1 pm on 7/3/2018 just when it was time for lunch. After adopting 6 abandoned children as their own, Tracy and Jonathan started this half way house for orphans and abandoned children. There are 4 homes with 8 nannies on rotation looking after just over 40 children. One of the houses (about 10 children) is sponsored for the running costs by our Heart for Children foundation.
It is heartbreaking to see small children that have been abandoned by their families, discarded like used furniture. One little boy was so badly abused that he is unable to function properly, wears a colostomy bag that needs to be replaced 3 times a day. The medical cost of looking after this child is astronomic and is borne by Jonathan and Tracy. Even more sad is the fact that there is a family in the USA that wants to adopt this little boy, but due to red tape, this process has been ongoing for a long time. Tracy and Jonathan need our prayers so that all hurdles are cleared and the child is adopted. This is but one story of one child. Every child has a story. Every child needs love and attention.
I am amazed by the love that Jonathan and Tracy have for these children and that they open their hearts and home for each little one. What is clear is that they need lots of financial and emotional support. Please remember them in your prayers. From HfC, we will, God willing, try and raise funds for the building of a roof across the containers that serve as kitchen and bedrooms.
[Jonathan is left in the picture. He mentioned that there are still problems with the neighbors: they appreciate the work that they do, but had said ‘just not here’. Can we pray for this as well?]
REPORTBACK Tuesday 06/03/2018
We arrived safely in Umtwentini and on Monday 05/03/2018 we visited the Rehoboth Children’s Village just outside of Port Shepstone.
Amazing what Alfons and Yvonne van der Galien have done (picture above) and built there during the past 16 years.
check the link:
There are 16 houses with children, 80 children in total, of which 75% are HIV positive. 5 of these houses are sponsored by Hart voor Kinderen, i.e. our parent organization. These are orphans and abandoned children that no one wanted to have…. It is quite a job for Yvonne (a trained hospital nurse), to make sure all these children get their medicines on time. Once the children were there it became necessary that they got educated as well…so Alfonse got up and somehow found sponsoring for the 3 schools that are on the premises now as well…(up to Matric)
To make the village more self sustaining they have some agriculture and by a miracle God also showed them that the place has very good mineral water…and so Alfonse found a sponsor to set up a water bottling facility. That water is now being sold to various places in South Africa and restaurants and has become a good source of income for them (note the bottles in their hand). Obviously they would like to expand this bottling facility to include carbonization as well since this is a requirement by many customers.
Since I am originally a [plant] chemist, I got to thinking a bit as we parted ways: how about it if we make it a project of Heart for Children (SA) to try and get them that carbonization facility? Let me know what you think?
REPORTBACK Friday 02/03/2018
I am thankful to report that we arrived safely in Pietermaritzburg! We finally met Hazel Imber who is one of our donors that started supporting the Heart for Children foundation since its inception in South Africa in 2008! She had invited a few friends over and we had a lovely supper; really, it was actually a Shabbath, everything in the real old Jewish tradition. Hazel was so kind as to offer us accommodation at a place near to her house!
Thank you so much Hazel for your heart for children and for your hospitality and all the work you put into making this such a memorable day!
As some of you already know, we have planned a road trip to visit most of the 21 homes that currently receive support from Heart for Children / Hart voor Kinderen. As stated before, we have noted a healthy income trend and part of the reason for this road trip is to determine where the need for additional help from our Heart for Children foundation is the greatest. Just in case you were wondering about this: note that my wife and I are sponsoring all the costs for this trip!
The original trip was planned for November (2017!) but as you know I had quite a spectacular breakdown of my car’s engine just before the planned date. Needless to say that I have now checked my car very thoroughly. Indeed, I did pick up a problem with the pressure of one of my tires. It turned out to be a small nail lodged into the rubber.
Above I am showing the picture of the car so that if any of you see us on the road you can hoot and wave your hands in support when you pass us! Note the Heart for Children vinyl logos on each side of the car. During our trip we also want to meet as many of our donors as possible. You might want to greet and meet us when we are near to the area where you live! We will make regular reports of our visits to the foster homes that we visit on this blog so you can also simply follow us on our trip through the country! Shown above we will give the Reportbacks during the trip!