Mar 17, 2009

Farewell

Today marks three months since we left South Africa. Ironically, it also marks what would have been our first year there. We’re still unsure of what happened. Why we were asked to come and why we were suddenly asked to leave. Only God knows the answer to that question.

We struggled so hard to know how to respond. We struggled if we should respond to anything. But in the end I think all we can say is that we did our best despite the issues we faced. Did we do everything perfect? Did we make mistakes? I’m sure we did, but it could have turned out differently if things were handled differently - in love rather than indifference. We were never informed of any specific errors or problems, just handed our walking papers.

Despite this we know we worked as the Lord led us to work, we worked with the resources available, we worked with the obstacles we encountered and God blessed and we saw souls saved. We believe this was the most important thing and the sole purpose of us going to South Africa. As Kevin and I discuss our work there we recount the students who’s lives we saw change because of the Lord’s love in them. We saw them make a decision to tell the truth when it benefited them nothing. We saw them apologize for their error in judgement, when the only reward was a “thank you”. We saw them gather with no incentive but to learn more about God. And we rest on that. We rest on the fact that God used us, and at the end of the day, THAT is all that matters.

We are still waiting upon the Lord for our next “assignment”. While Kevin was not able to return to AT&T, they did graciously extend his leave for another year. So should his position be available again it will be easier to step back in. We are also in the process of applying with an established youth organization that looks promising. And we’ve got plenty of applications floating around. But as many of you know it’s been difficult to get anything.

We are so thankful and blessed that my parents have graciously allowed us to live at their house until we are able to support ourselves once again. If not for them, I don’t know where we would be. Probably living in one of those tent cities popping up everywhere. Emily is always asking to go camping…

We just wanted to thank everyone for the opportunity to serve our Lord in South Africa. Thank you for your prayers, support, love, and confidence in our abilities and calling. We are thankful to our Lord and Savior that He blessed us with the opportunity to share His love and salvation with the children in Mitchells Plain. We do miss them, especially those that grew close to our hearts. We’re just saddened by the fact that we won’t be able to further nurture the new hope they have found in Christ. We pray that our sudden departure hasn’t effect their new relationship with Him. Our hope is that our love for them, our treatment of them, our excitement over their decision to follow Christ will be enough to encourage them not to allow these bumps in life to sway them from His love, His hope and His truths.

We are most thankful for all the notes of encouragement that we received upon the news of our leaving. Especially from the parents of some of the children we were blessed to come to know. We do not look at this as a failure, for we are confident that God did not send us to Mitchells Plain to fail. We do not look at this as a waste of our time nor money, for God’s work is never a waste. We look at this as lessons learned and most importantly as obedience to the One who called us.

We may never know why we were sent home after only seven months, but we know God is faithful. We know He is trustworthy and we can only lean on Him and not our own understanding.

So with much regard, a final farewell to all things South Africa, and looking ahead to what’s to come…

Kevin, Holly, Emily & Katie

Jan 5, 2009

Now What

We got the news Monday, Kevin will NOT be returning to AT&T. They are in fact over the number of techs needed and will be letting go of a number State wide.

This was a much angrier post on Monday, but I've deleted all that. Two days later I'm still scared, still unsure of how we're going to survive. The thing that really upsets me most is that if someone, anyone, would have taken the time to sit down and discuss things with us, we might still be in South Africa seeing more kids come to know Him as Lord and Savior. The absolute truth is we don't know why we were sent home. No one talked to us. We were just handed a letter and that was that. We left that place with just four crying girls to see us off. And for the month we had to pack and prepare to come home, those same four girls were our only real visitors. Why do Christians treat each other so horrid?

Anyway what are our options? Kevin heads to Colorado this weekend for a Discernment Conference with a ministry of Youth For Christ. We've also gotten an offer to serve at a church a few hours north of Miami. The job market right now is so tight that its almost impossible to find work. Had we known further on that we were coming back we could have had more time to look. I do feel panic. But I keep reminding myself that I have to trust in the Lord. He is faithful, His is trustworthy. He knows the plans He has for us, just wish He'd tell us!

So that's where we stand as the new year begins - jobless, homeless, and just confused as to what this past year was all about. Was it a waste? Not really because we saw so many kids come to know Christ as Lord and Savior, we saw them changing, we began to see fruit. Its just a shame that no one else bothered to look. What the issues were we may never know. But we know our place before God and in the end that's all that matters really.

And just so you know, technically we're not homeless. We're living with my parents. The four of us in one room, in one bed. Which I guess isn't too much of a change since the girls always came into our room in the middle of the night anyway. All our belongings stored in the garage still in boxes and suitcases. Without jobs we can't afford our mortgage and the rest, so the renters will hopefully stay for a while.

So please continue to pray for us. We have lots of decisions to make and lots of unanswered questions. I for one would like to move back to our house, but honestly I don't think that will happen. Only God can make that happen at this point and unfortunately I can't see past my nose right now. I know in a year's time I'll look back at today and praise God for it, but when you're in the midst of it all, that's very difficult. At the very least I can lean on Him, for He is strong enough to bare my burdens and this heavy yoke that I keep trying to carry around by myself.

So that's the update. If you're on our mailing list, you should be getting our last letter soon. Thanks Jescel for doing that for us. Thanks again to all of you who come by to read, support, and pray for us. It does so much to encourage us. Will post again when something new happens.
If you want to keep up with us until then, you can check out Life with the Logans.

Dec 19, 2008

Home

Well, its almost 5:30AM Miami time and well, I've been up since 1:30AM. Why such an ungodly hour? Because my girls are still on South Africa time. They were asleep at 3PM and up at 130Am (that's 10pm & 8:30am SA time).
So we're home. It was a long trip. The girls were perfect on the plane. A little hard to handle on the ground - all the pent-up energy I guess.  
After a tearful goodbye to "our girls", dropping the keys at the Frog Center, the car service drove us to the airport and then the fun really began. We had 4 boxes, 4 suitcases, Kevin's guitar, the diaper bag, two backpacks, three carry-ons and Katie's car seat. Oy!!! We had 4 guys pushing our stuff to the check-in! Out of the 9 items we checked in we were charged for 7 of them ($1100). Kevin's guitar ended up being an overage charge ($200), but it was still cheaper than shipping it FedEx or DHL (the only services available in SA). So not too bad.
We headed to our gate, but not before security checks, then a bag search before getting on the bus that took us to the plane.
We flew from Cape Town to Dakar, Senegal. That was an 8 hour flight. Arrived at 3:30am (SA time) and had to go through another security check even though we did not get off. There was a refuel, crew change, restock and security check. Two hours later we were airborne. Then just over 8 hours to JFK in NY. A queue through customs, then we had to reclaim our luggage!!! WHAT? Yea, we were like, "how are we going to do this?" Well there are guys there to help (for a fee). But we claimed our 8 pieces of luggage, then went through a second security check, then loaded our bags back on the conveor belt to be reloaded onto the plane. We had a three hour overlay in NY. We actually met a family that was from South Africa there on vacation! Too funny. They were from Johannesburg, north east of Cape Town. Then we boarded our last flight to Miami. 
We caught a good wind because we landed 30 minutes early. Got our luggage and my sister Melinda and Joe and Jescel showed up to help us get everything home. Such a blessing!!!
So we divided everything between their two vehicles and headed home. I have to say that when my sister started driving, I was a little freaked out. She was driving on the wrong side of the road!!! LOLOLOL!!! I didn't realized how accustom I got to the driving rules in South Africa! It looked weird even though I knew it wasn't wrong.
So 31 hours and over $6000 later we're home. Family is glad we're here and in the end, we're glad we're here. We will miss all the kids we worked with, especially our girls. We know that God has a purpose for us and we will follow His lead. If 9 months in South Africa is all He required of us, then that's what we have to have faith in. We committed to 3 years and made the necessary adjustments in the face of the obstacles to fulfill that commitment. The Lord, who knows all, had other plans for us. Maybe He just wanted to see what we were will to do. Maybe there will be political difficulties in the coming months as SA is about to have an election in March. Maybe we'll never know this side of heaven. But we can stand before our Lord and say we did all we could, we were willing to serve out our commitment no matter what, and we continue to say, "here am I, send me."
What's next?
Only God knows.
We'll be living with my parents for the next few months until our renters find another place or April 1st which ever comes first. Luckily they have a spare room that will fit us nicely.
We still don't know if Kevin will get his job back with AT&T. We've been in contact with an organization that works with military kids. Another organization contacted us about working on college campuses, and a church has offered Kevin a position as youth director (it would be bi-vocational). 
So God is already providing options, we just have to rely on Him to know which is the right one. We're knocking on the doors and we'll see which one He opens. All we can do is trust in Him, because He is faithful and He is trustworthy. We are blessed by the opportunity to serve our Lord and Savior in South Africa. We're blessed not just for the fruit God blessed us with, but seeing Him change the lives of those who now call Him Lord. We are blessed by the seeds that has been planted and will rejoice in the harvest.  That is what we are focusing on because that is the only sure thing and our purpose for us going in the first place. All the rest is laid at the throne of our King and He will sort it out.
So thank you for your encouragement, support, prayers and love. Thank you to those few who took the time to love on us during our time in Mitchells Plain and thanks to all of you who are excited about us being home again. We will keep you informed with the plans God has for us, for we know that are for good and not for harm. They are plans for hope and a future and we know God keeps His promises. So until the next adventure...

Dec 13, 2008

Never Miss An Opportunity

So we sold our car yesterday. Just waiting for the final transfer of the funds and all is complete. But I just wanted to share that despite the circumstances we face (I mean "we" as in any one) God still calls us to share His truth. Kevin rode back with one of the guys from the dealership - apparently they needed some paperwork that Pastor John had left at his house.
The whole trip back - about 25 minutes - Kevin had the opportunity to share the Good News with the gentleman that drove him. Apparently both his mother and sister are saved and have been discussing the Lord with him. Kevin told him that him riding in the car was no coincidence. God was trying to get his attention. So there's never any reason to miss an encounter orchestrated by God. Kevin even commented, "If we weren't going home, we wouldn't have sold the car, I wouldn't have been able to witness to him."
So pray for Cullen. The seeds have been planted, Kevin got the chance to do some watering. Its a lesson for us all - never miss an opportunity!

Dec 7, 2008

Countdown

Sorry it's been a while since I've written. As you can imagine we've been busy packing, cleaning, and trying to take in the sites before we head home. We're almost there as we head into the final days.
Today we headed to the beach. This time ready for the water in swimming suits and all. Katie finally started enjoying herself and the water. She's a strange child. At first she doesn't want to get off the towel because of the sand. Then once she's played a bit and has to wash her hands, she'll reluctantly head for the water. Today she was walking hip deep - which is a miracle in itself! So we're all a bit tanner, really tired and I'm feeling the stress in my stomach once again as we get into the final details of returning home.

Prayer requests? You bet!!!
1) That the sale of our car goes through without a hitch and we get a good price.
2) That we can get everything ready to go without any hiccups
3) That the girls handle the 19+ hour flight back. The good thing is our flight is at night so they should sleep the majority of the trip - but we've got about 7-9 hours they will be awake!
4) Just a general safe, relaxed trip home.
5) That we can attend church Dec 21 - really looking forward to being back "home" and seeing our church family and hearing Pastor Troy preach.
6) Kevin's job. We still don't know if he'll have anything when we get back. Still working on the paperwork with AT&T, but nothing is guaranteed.

Thanks so much for your continued words of encouragement and love. Thank you for every word you've sent our way. We have been blessed beyond measure and we're looking forward to seeing everyone.