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Africa Community Family Fun

family time at mac mac

me and my girl

DTS at Mac Mac

Saturday was a scorcher. The high was 106F. I’m not sure if it reached that, but it was definitely hot. I know it gets that hot in Texas, but you see, here in S. Africa, we don’t have central AC. Your options are to sweat it out at home, load up and go to the mall (where there is AC), or find water…quick. Saturday’s option was finding water. Everyone else had the same idea, because it was busy.

crazy boy

Around these parts we talk about family. A lot. Our desire is that we wouldn’t just be a random, unique group of individuals from different cultures working together, but that we would be a family that walks with each other through the good, the bad, the ugly. It’s challenging at times but so worth it.



I love it when family time goes beyond the office walls into good, ole plain fun. Every family needs that. On Saturday’s scorcher, we had a little family time at Mac Mac Pools. Burgers, water, laughter, I mean, really. What better way to spend a Saturday?

sunscreen face

A lot of these photos were taken by the hubs while I went on a hike with my girlie. I did manage to snap the drowning African. I don’t like to stereotype, but most Africans are scared of the water. I find that I’m in good company with my water phobia.


Have a happy Tuesday!

Community Travel

feeling rich

Jeremy and I both have a strong value of community and relationship.  As we’ve traveled the world, we’ve made friends all over the place!  This trip I felt so rich as we were able to see friends that we hadn’t seen in years. 

erica works for today’s mama.  we were neighbors with her and her husband in our connecticut days.  i last saw her nearly 5 years ago.
friends at evo

jen and jenn!  jenn was in my small group during our ywam tyler days.  we last saw her and her husband when they got married 10 years ago.
jen & jenn
erin, blissful e‘s sister, and i went to youth group together.  lots of high school camp memories.  i believe we last saw each year before my 9 year old son was born.
friends photo

I still feel overwhelmed with the richness of relationships we have all over the world.  It truly is a gift and something to be treasured.



piney woods
boat house

We just returned from a weekend retreat in the piney woods of East Texas.  My brain is still processing a lot of things and physically I’m pretty tired, but it was an excellent weekend.  But you know what stood out to me during these few days?  As I looked around the room at the people who attended, I realized something incredible.  Gathered in that room were people from about four different seasons in my life.  People I went to high school with, people I work with in S. Africa now, my youth leader when I was a teenager, the leaders I worked with at YWAM in Tyler, TX.  And then there were people in that room who were linked to other people I knew.  Now you might not understand how incredible that is, but believe me it was. 

It makes you realize how small this world really is, how much emphasis Jesus places on relationships, and how staying connected to lasting relationships offers so much life.  I mean these people have seen my high’s and low’s, walked me through struggles, celebrated my victories, and loved me through all of it.  It was incredible to have them all in one room.  It makes chills run down my spine.

I’m still processing a lot of the weekend but one thing I’ve realized.  As I head into this next season of sabbatical, I really need to get a journal to record everything God is speaking…


Community Living

having fun

That word gets thrown around a lot here among our staff. When I look at these pics of just a sunny afternoon, everyone by the pool enjoying themselves and the company of one another, I can’t help but ponder what makes up community and how do we achieve it?

by the pool

Webster defines community as basically a group of people living in the same place with a feeling of fellowship with one another. It almost sounds fun and glorious, right? But can you imagine living with, working with, and being friends with the same group of people? It is fun but it also takes work.

playing with zoe

One thing I’ve learned from being in ministry is that conflict comes. It just does. And it’s natural. But the beauty of conflict is that it can be the gateway to intimacy if walked out properly. I believe the key to living in community is not ignoring conflict but being committed to walk in right relationships with each other. It’s hard, it’s scary, it’s being vulnerable, but it’s the key. The beauty of it is that you have the potential to live with, work with, and be friends with your closest friends. But to get that place takes commitment and hard work. Don’t be scared of conflict, but face it remembering that the outcome of right and close relationship is the goal!

this pool photo set by brittany

Community Fun Ministry

Second Annual Love Feast

dinner at the love feast

What is a love feast, you might ask. That’s a good question. The purpose of a love feast is for us, as staff, to bless our students in the discipleship school. We prepare a nice dinner and serve them. Then we all have fun seeing everyone perform for the talent show! The weather prevented us from having it outside (our first choice) but our living room did just fine as a dining hall and stage!

The Menu

greek salad with an amazing dressing prepared by the one and only, Brittany
homemade wheat bread, fresh out of the oven
steaks grilled to perfection by my awesome husband
broccoli and cheese casserole by none other than Lynn Hodge
and to top it all off…strawberry shortcake with fresh cream baked by me

The Talent Line-Up

(for those of you who don’t know all these people, you might find this next segment a bit boring, but this part is dedicated to all those friends and family out there!)

opening act :: African Woman!
monologue on the richness of Africa and African women
followed by how to tie a scarf on your head
african woman

DTS staff band :: Falling Slowly
this was my debut after 10 years of not playing my flute
Mishea, where were you!?
falling slowly debut

Hodge and friends
(who came all the way from the states to sing this hymn!)
hodge and friends

the Jazzettes
Eunice couldn’t quite get the moves down
Monique aka Jillian (The Biggest Loser) kicked into action
jazzettes in action

the boot dance!
move over Shangana Village
you might have some competition!
boot dance

some African dancing
always a treat!
african dancing

how to tie a baby on your back
the real talent is walking around without the little one falling off!
how to tie a baby on your back

“sandy” doing impersonations of everyone
and the costume…well, some things are better left unsaid

love of my life playing an original song
it was amazing!
my love singing

David Song :: Diamonds In The Dust
diamonds in the dust

Joshua sang his original song, I Like How God Made Me
I was a proud mama!
i like how god made me

I don’t know what’s better…seeing a precious baby make cute faces or her parents faces as they desperately encourage her to perform!

Brittany recites her amazing short story in progress
short story by brittany deniston

Jocelyn with her slam poem
slam poetry

John tells a funny about a certain Robert Spears
doctoring emails!
funny story

So as you can see, we had lots of fun Saturday night! The photos don’t even do justice to all the talent and laughs that were shared! I think these times are a vital part of being a healthy team and living as a community of people working together.