I would like to wish you a great Christmas. We had a great Christmas day. We woke up and opened some gifts and hung out with our dog. Then we drove to the office and called some family and friends. After the calls we rushed home to prepare Christmas dinner for some of our friends and when we got home we realized the duck that we were going to cook was rotten in the packaging. So instead of the a Christmas Duck we had Christmas Breaded Pork Chops. To tell you the truth I think the chops were better than the duck would have been. We also enjoyed homemade eggnog which turned out really good. Then it was off to see The Chronicles of Narnia and home to bed. It turned out to be a great day. I hope your day was a great and enjoy the college football bowl games that should be on now until whenever. Cheers.
Tuesday, December 27, 2005
Saturday, December 24, 2005
Tuesday Rach and I got a call, from Annette (a lady we work with,) that she has a friend who paid to go on a two night holiday in a cabin in the bush. However, her friend couldn't go and asked if she knew anyone that would want to use it. So Annette called us and we said “yes”. So Rach, Guinness and I headed off for a short little holiday. The cabin was nice and it had this great view of the mountains, it was on stilts so our view was up over the trees, which made the view perfect. We were not allowed to let Guinness run free because the cabin was in the game park and there are no fences keeping the animals from coming near the houses. On the main road to the cabin we saw zebras, warthogs, bucks and wildebeests. It was cool. The last morning I took Guinness out to take care of her business and there was a strange noise getting louder and louder. Guinness finished what she was doing and ran back to the house. When we got up on the deck we saw that there was a gray monkey with a black face up in the tree yelling at us. I don't think the monkey was a fan of our dog. Pretty cool. So we stayed there for two nights, watched movies, went looking for animals and played Scrabble. It was a nice get away. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 2:42 PM
Wednesday, December 21, 2005
One of the things Rach and I are in need of is a second vehicle. We don't have the money to get anything, but the other day I got a loaner vehicle from a friend of mine, Hennie. He had this old Vespa scooter sitting in his back yard and I asked him if I could borrow it to drive around town if Rach had the car. He said yes, and now we have this supper cool Vespa to drive around. There is a problem though, it tops out at around 83 kph which is about 51 mph so there is no driving to the training facility, because it is down the highway. The other problem is the registration is very out of date, so if I were to get pulled over there is no chance of not getting a big ticket. So besides these set backs and the fact that it doesn't always start and I have to push start it, it's a cool thing to have. I am still hoping to get another car or something, but for now it really is the most fun way to go to the grocery store to buy milk. Until later, cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 2:51 PM
Thursday, December 08, 2005
Last Saturday my buddy Jacques Jacobs, Mari Walters brother-in-law if you know her, arranged for a small group to go quad biking. We had a blast! There were trails through the woods and an obsticle course and mud and riding up this super technical trail over rocks and up a rock wall. It was beyond nuts sometimes, but we all made it out alive. We were on this one trail and I was in the back of the line and there were these jumps and we were all trying to get some "big air" (as much as a few chumps get) and as I jumped the last jump I noticed that everyone stopped ahead of me. I landed and tried to turn, but I ended up doing this really pathetic slow fall off my quad as it turned very slowly. So then I rolled on the ground next to Jacques quad and hit his exaust pipe with my forearm. The crash wasn't that bad, but it left me with this killer burn that impresses all the ladies. Well maybe not, not even my wife really. What does a guy have to do to impress some ladies? I guess loose an arm or learn some old poems or something. I think it looks like a coffee stain, like when there is a little coffee on the bottom of you cup and you put down and it leaves this little half circle that tapers off. Rachel thinks thats stupid too, don't feel bad for thinking that. Oh well, at least I had a great time riding the quad bike and met some cool guys so I guess the burn was worth it. Hope all is well with you and I will write more later. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 4:09 PM
Sunday, December 04, 2005
You know in the The Karate Kid when Daniel LaRusso (played by a young and smashing Ralph Maccio) is playing soccer and he gets into an altercation with some of the guys from the Cobra Kai dojo and the coach kicks him off the field. Then Daniel walks off the field and in his frustration about his new school, the students, the Cobra kai's and the move from Jersey to California he yells “This school sucks, it sucks!” I had a similar experience the other day here, minus the soccer, the altercation, anyone one from any opposing dojos, or Elizabeth Shoe watching from cheerleading practice. Rach and I were at the bank and something that would have taken 15 minutes in the states took roughly an hour and it was just a little too much for me. I didn't yell or storm out of Africa, but it was just the thing in a series of events that upset me to the point of wanting to say “This continent sucks, it sucks!”. Like Daniel, I eventually felt better about my new life and my new home, but at the time I was quit frustrated.
I just wanted to tell you this because we always go on and on about the great things here, but there are also things that can wear on us. Please be praying for us, especially in this Christmas season, that we can just continue on when we are reminded in the little things that this not America. Thanks for all your support of us being here and I hope you are enjoying a cold/wintry Christmas. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 2:32 PM
Tuesday, November 29, 2005
The Thanksgiving dinner went great with 13th Floor. I was helping dish out food and its kind of strange having to explain what stuffing is or what mac & cheese is. Strange. The Day after Thanksgiving was fun. We got a Christmas tree and decorated it, that was nice except it was so hot and we were sweating, but without many decorations it didnt take long. We bought some lights and then we used Rachel's scraves and hats and mittens to finish the decorating. Its our Charley Brown Christmas tree. The other after Thanksgiving thing we did was we ate leftover turkey sandwiches. Thats a must and I have to say they are just as good here as they are at home, mmmmm. Well thats all. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 2:19 PM
Thursday, November 24, 2005
Happy Thanksgiving from the Dark Continent! We are having a huge dinner tonight for 13th Floor, C-Kruis staff and other friends of the ministry. Rachel is preparing the turkey and potatos. We are also having stuffing and pies and vegies and mac and cheese, the whole deal. There are going to be about 70 people tonight and I hope things go well. Last year Rach and I went to my dads for Thanksgiving and I almost choaked to death. I wonder how many choking deaths occur on Thanksgiving. I bet its high. With all the dry turkey and stuff, whatever. Also, there is no football here on Thanksgiving because it will have not been played yet due to time differences. Bummer.
I hope that in this time of Thanksgiving we all take time to really see how blessed we are. On my way to work in the mornings I drive by a township called Nellmapius and to see how poor these people are really opens my eyes to the blessings that we have. Just something to remember because it is so rare in America to see poverty on a daily basis. I hope you all have a great day and enjoy some football for me and remember to chew your turkey ALOT. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 10:25 AM
Wednesday, November 16, 2005
This has just been a nice morning, nothing eventful really. I got with the dog early and went and exercised. When I got home Rachel was already awake, showered and getting ready for the day. I had a cup of coffee, some toast and then Rachel, Guinness and I headed out to the traing facility to watch the end of training recitals. The 3 ballet classes had dimistrations of what they have learned over the past few months. It was nice to see how much they had learned, but sad in the fact that 13th Floor is leaving soon. They will be leaving in the next couple of weeks to come to the States and start their tour after Christmas. They are still trying to book up a couple of weeks, so if you would be interested in having them come to your church contact me and I can get you the right people to talk to.
Its just a really nice morning and I just wanted to share that with you. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 8:44 AM
Monday, November 14, 2005
Rachel and I got to go to church last night. We have been attending the worship service that C-Kruis does on Sunday nights, however I have been really wanting to go to church. So Rach and I packed up and went to Moreleta Church, where some of our friends worship, and we loved it. If you notice the super cool headphone things, we needed those because it is an Afrikaans speaking church. They offer English translation, which was funny once when the guy didn't know how to say something and the other guy in the booth was telling him what it was and they were confused and then that guy got so flustered he just said "uh uh uh uh" and then he quit and the other guy took over. Hectic. We only missed a few sentences, but it was really funny. The service was great and just being at church with people from a different continent and being able to worship together and hear a sermon. It was what we needed. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 11:00 AM
Rachel and I are in our house. It is great. It is so nice to wake up in the morning and be somewhere where there is nobody else. It sounds so silly, but we have not had that is a long time. We were talking about it and the house is nice and all, but the feeling of "home" is unmeasurable. Guinness is loving it. She loves to run and play in our small yard. Its great. There is still work to with the house, but its what we needed, just in time. Thanks for the prayers for the bond process. It was such a mission to get the loan, however the interest rate we got was the best we had found yet. Just another example of God providing in His time and not mine. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 10:47 AM
Friday, October 21, 2005
Rachel and I will be moving into our house Friday, October 28th and are so excited about having our own place for the first time in a long time. We also purchased a security system the other day. She is a great dane puppy named Guinness. She got her name because she is all black and "extra stout". She is about 8 1/2 weeks old and is bigger than the dog that lives at the training facility. Guinness is great and she just loves to pee on the tile floors in the house. We are working on that one before we move into our house. Hope all of you are doing well and I will be in touch. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 8:05 AM
Monday, October 17, 2005
A few weeks ago we lost a very special person from the 13th Floor team, the C-Kruis team that will be touring the states. Eddie Rector was in the computer lab at the C-Kruis training facility, when theives broke in to steal the computers. When they found Eddie in there, they attacked him and he ended up dying from the attack. It is such a horrible and sad loss for us here and for Eddies family and friends back in the States. Eddie was a very inspiring man. His passion for the arts and for using the arts to share the truth of God's love was so great you could see it in everything that he did. Eddie along with his best from Eric have had a dream of using drama for ministry for a while and when they heard about 13th Floor they jumped right on board. Eddie was a great man who has inspired many people to follow their dreams, he is greatly missed. Eddie was 24 from Suwannee, GA. Check out the 13th Floor website at www.13floor.org.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 9:36 AM
Sunday, October 09, 2005
Rachel and I are the proud owners of a new Toyota Corolla 140i. It is a nice entry level corolla and Rach and I decided to splurge and get an air conditioner installed. We chose to not get the stereo at this time. That was just a little to luxerious for us. I am very excited knowing that this is the car we are going to tour this beautiful county in with a ministry that we are so happy to work with. It's like when Traveling Mercies got the RV. We were so happy knowing that this vehicle would allow us to do our ministry and I feel the same way about the Corolla. I will post a picture later. however, if you want to know what it looks like, go outside and look around until you find one, it should not take very long. Just imagine it silver, the steering wheel on the other side and me driving with a smile of my face, a song in my heart, and the wind blowing through my handle bar mustache.
I went on a tour of Soweto yesterday with some of the Americans and a couple of Africans from the team. Soweto is a huge township outside of Jo'burg where a lot of historic stuff went down in the fight of freedom in South Africa. It was very interesting learning more about this country and being where some very important events took place.
Thats about from the Dark Continent. Until next time, keep it sassy America. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 2:24 PM
Wednesday, September 21, 2005
We are in the midst of therapy training and it is going really well. We are in class all day learning about therapy and couseling techniques that we can use when we are working with our team. We also were assigned our positions on team and are very excited about our jobs and are equally excited about the responsibility. Besides being on management committee and being sheperds for our small groups Rachel has been appointed Team Advisor and I have been appointed Music Producer. Team Advisor deals with the people on the team and makes sure that people are happy and having their needs met. Music Producer is in charge of the band and produces all the live music needed for the performances. They are really big jobs and carry a lot of weight. Please pray for us as we continue to settle in and get acclamated to being in our new environment. Thanks for all your support and prayers. Cheers.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 5:52 PM
Tuesday, September 20, 2005
Saturday, September 17, 2005
Hey everybody. We have cell phones now. I will give you our numbers, not expecting calls, however you will still have them. Rachels is 083 226 7831. Mine is 07 22 33 1764. Please keep praying for us for our home. Things are not going smoothly and we are doing all we can. Besides that life at C-Kruis is going very well. We are doing therapy training, and getting used to being here. There is a huge rugby match tonight that Rach and I are getting to go to . I hope to tell you more soon. Chris
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 1:17 PM
Wednesday, September 14, 2005
We are here. I am so sorry that it took so long to write. Getting time to write on the internet is a little difficult. We are enjoying our first week living in South Africa though. We are still recovering from the jet lag, however it is starting to ease. Rachel and I really feel at peace about being here. We were both a little freaked out about coming here at first, however when we landed and woke up the next morning (at 3:00 am, thanks jet lag) we knew without a doubt that this is where we are to be.
This week we have been working on the normal life things, bank account, cell phone, car shopping etc. It has been hectic though. Nothing here is easy and anything you do takes 2 or 3 trips to the same office to get it done. Annoying, but no big deal. I must go, but I will post more info soon. Please be praying for us as we do our car shopping and still work out the details of our home. As of yet we don't have a loan. That was new information once we arrived also. Cheers,
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 4:43 PM
Thursday, August 18, 2005
Yesterday Rachel's mother moved to Saudi Arabia. Yep, Saudi Arabia. She will be teaching 3rd grade at a medical compound outside of Tief. She was so excited/nervous when we said good bye to her at the Atlanta airport yesterday. I am so glad that she is taking this opportunity to do something new in here life. She, like many people, get into a rut with work and other activities that it seems that life has lost its "life" and there needed to be a change.
I remember when Rachel was talking to her mom on the phone while were driving in the Traveling Mercies' RV about what she would do if she was not teaching in Savannah. She told Rachel about a program where you teach over seas. She checked it out, got an offer in the Middle East and as of now lives in the mountains of southeast Saudi Arabia. I am so happy for her. I am glad that she took the risk to get out of her comfort zone and do something that seems totally insane. Please pray for her in her adventure of a lifetime.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 3:21 AM
Tuesday, August 09, 2005
Pretoria South Africa email@example.com
One thing about Africa that really excites me is that Rachel and I will have our own home. It has been over 2 years, Wow. Being on the road in a RV has been nice, but it's not the feeling of home. The basement (which was a huge blessing and I in no means saying that we did not love staying with the Hancocks or that we didn't appreciate them letting us live there for next to nothing.) just did not offer the feeling of "home" that we were really wanting.
As some of you know, Rachel and I were preparing to buy a house where ever we were to move next. When my aunt Pat died in November of 2003, she left us some money that helped us get out of debt and gave us a little extra to put down on a house. We had no idea that the next place we would move would be to South Africa. However, when we committed to moving there we looked at the housing market and got a really good deal on a new home being built in a neighborhood called Dane Hill. So we got one. It is a nice, little 3 bedroom, 2 bath with a 2 car garage and a little yard. It's the American dream. That is if the American dream is to move to a third world country and buy a house with bars on the window, but whatever.
So here it is, our home, our first home. I can not wait until November 1st when we get to finally have a place that is just for the two of us.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 6:39 AM
We have finallized our travel plans to South Africa. We are leaving Atlanta on August 31st to go to New York. We are going on Amtrak and are so excited about taking a train. We will spend a week with our friends Tim and Suzy and then we fly to South Africa on September 7th.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 12:39 AM
Thursday, August 04, 2005
Welcome to our blog.
Rachel and I have been working for the past few years with a performing arts ministry called Traveling Mercies (www.themercies.com) where we have done drama and comedy at Christian conferences, camps, churches, schools etc. As of the end of August Traveling Mercies will be now more. When we decided to be done with TM, Rach and I were really looking forward to living a more normal life. Perhaps start to settle down, have some kids, stop living in an RV with another married couple and a single guy. You know, more normal. Well a couple of weeks after we decided to call it quits we were working a youth conference in Cincy and a good friend of ours from South Africa was going to be there, Flaps. Flaps toured with us for a couple of months 2 years ago and he and his wife became good friends with Rachel and myself. Well to make a long story short, Flaps asked us to come over and work with him in South Africa. Rach and I thought and prayed a lot about it and went to visit the ministry and knew right away that this was something that we need to do, so we are moving to South Africa.
The ministry that we will be working with is called C-Kruis and is a performing arts ministry that uses music, dance and drama to teach the gospel. It is two fold ministry. There are two teams of 40 college-age adults that travel around SA doing shows at churches and schools. The other part of the ministry if for the young adults in the ministry. There is a large focus on the young adults, building them up through discipling, coulseling and biblical training so that when they Leave C-Kruis they have a good solid bible background, have had therapy to deal with issues in their past and train them to be affective leaders where ever it is they go after C-Kruse.
That's it in a nut shell. Rachel and I are going to SA to tour with one of the teams and perform at the shows and also to invest a lot of time and energy into the lives of these young adults. Rach and I have a passion for college age adults and feel that this ministry is exactly where we need to be. Touring, performing and getting a chance to work with college age adults, perfect.
Dark continent, here we come.
Posted by Chris and Rachel at 9:02 PM