It is now 6 months since we arrived here in South Africa. And even though we long for our home back in Papua New Guinea, we can thankfully summarize by saying, “The Laureti’s are doing very well”.
Those first few weeks here felt like a whirlwind… landing in JHB, some medical appointments, seeing friends and family again and just adjusting to the faster pace of life and traffic! I sat at the kitchen table one night, just sobbing… telling Lourens how unsettled my heart is… we have just uprooted ourselves and are now asked to grow and bear fruit on South African soil. There was an uneasiness inside my heart… I was struggling to thrive and just said goodbye to my oldest daughter… I felt unsure if we will survive our South African stay, we were not in routines…
So Lourens gave me the best answer- “Marie- make sure you are living with God in these days…do not neglect your relationship with HIM!” And he was right… as the weeks went on, God’s peace took its place in my heart. Now looking back… 2 months after my melt down, 2 words summarize our life- EXTREME THANKFULNESS!
And this is what I want to write about today… about all the blessings in our lifes…
-When we first arrived in South Africa, some friends of ours made available their farm so we can just rest there and catch up with family- what a blessing
-Our car for the year arrived, bought with money from generous supporters. My brother in law bought it on our behalf, and went through all the trouble of registering it, insuring it and took care of all the car logistics!
-A dentist friend helped us to fix our teeth for free so we can look more representable and then an orthodontist came up that helped Naomi and Marlou to get braces. Very needed braces!!! My girls dreamed of this for a long time! Crooked teeth are bad and being a teenager with crooked teeth is the worst. And to make things work out, a dear friend in JHB hosted my girls for 2 weeks. Free of charge! Just happy to help!
-Then we arrived in the Cape Province. Here we had a furnished house waiting on us. We saw it on the internet while still in PNG and my cousin, living here in Durbanville took care of checking it out for us and some other detail. We looked and tiny apartments… but are so happy that this house with a yard and a swimming pool, opened for us. After the open playing fields in PNG, Liam would have died without a place to run and do his boy things…
-Some of our supporting churches here in Cape Town decided to bless us with groceries since it is so overwhelming to buy from scratch. I am so thankful for this kind gesture. Thank you to everyone who contributed to this, and still is!
-My cousin and
-And then there is the whole journey Madeleen started on. She is our
autistic, 18-year-old, that has to leave the house now. I stand amazed at
EVERYTHING God is doing here. She is adjusting super well at her new
home at Camphill Village. Can it be that there is a place for her on this
earth that is so tailor-made for her? Up to now- I feel like her life has been
pretty hard. Always being the odd one out, no friends, feeling like the
weakest one in the family. Being misunderstood often and being the object
of our impatience… Thank
checked my messages every 5 minutes. I was so sure they will call me any minute to go and pick up Madeleen, telling me this is not working for her…instead there are good reports.
– And to top it off- one night a church of ours gave us a huge gift- a gift for Madeleen- enough money to pay her stay at Camphill for 6 months! Wow- GOD- thank you! God’s amazing GRACE is written all over this story…
-A fellow believer blessed us too with money for our plane ticket back to PNG. A huge amount towards our return later next year. What a blessing, to not have that burden on our minds as well. But to know God is our provider and he uses his children to bless each other!
-When we started our time here in SA we knew our income is not enough to sustain us here every month… not enough for basic expenses like house rent, food, fuel etc. I told God the amount we need each month, as if he does not know… and asked him to provide this for us. It will have to come from other people than our usual faithful supporters. And of course, this is what God is doing. He is using his children, once again, to look after us. We are humbled and thankful. And right here I want to thank you guys, for your financial support to us… money for fuel, food and also for the extra treats we can allow ourselves.
-We are also thankful for a time where God is leading us beside quiet waters, where he is refreshing our souls. We don’t know if we should be running around and working on our support that is needed before we can return to PNG… but we are in a time of not many appointment and we are feeling relaxed and encouraged.
-We are thoroughly enjoying the Cape province. We are learning that the best adventures are the FREE of charged ones… like a drive on the N1 in busy traffic but to have the beautiful mountains and vineyards surrounding us.
We love the ocean and are happy for Liam’s free wetsuit that he inherited from his cousin so he can conquer the cold water on his body board. We LOVE Cape Town and the free hiking trails and markets it has to offer.
-It is good to be surrounded by some evangelical churches where we can go to get food from God’s Word.
-One of the private schools here in our area agreed that Liam can do sport with them in the afternoons. So he finished a successful soccer season and is now learning to play cricket… this is such a great opportunity for Liam. And then there is a young lady who agreed to give free art classes to my girls on Tuesdays. They are showing talent (the mom thinks) …
I will stop here, but I am sure I am leaving out a lot of blessings we are experiencing currently. It’s a good thing to write this letter at the 6-month mark or else it will be too long to read…
What’s standing out most is how God uses each member of the body, each with its own strengths, to bless out. Whether you are a friend, coach, wealthy person, prayer partner, dentist… thank you for your part in our lives.
– Pray for us as we prepare to move to Johannesburg next month.
From 6 very thankful Laureti’s