Michelle’s Blog

sad. little. girl.

Not much to smile about.

Her mom is alive, but doesn’t want her.

Her dad comes and gets her every now and then.  But it lasts about a weekend and then he drops her back to her Gogo (grandmother) because he can’t handle her. Read More…


Beauty came with me on a women’s retreat with my church recently. The weekend was made richer by having Beauty there. One of the ladies likened Beauty to the woman who had to push through the crowd to get to Jesus. Beauty has had to push through hardships beyond most of our comprehension, and to this point she has not received the physical healing we have been praying for. But we are not giving up asking for healing for Beauty, so that she can raise her young boys and be a wife to her husband and a friend to all of us. Read More…

The Proposal

Here it is!  The romantic, heart-warming, charming, engaging (pun intended :-)  story of how Carl asked me to be his wife.  Go get a cup of coffee, tea, or whatever the drink of the day is, and sit back for a sweet love story!   Someday you will be reading it in hardcover – with my husband as the author!  Bestseller for sure!!
Carl and I met in 1994 when we went through a mission training school.  I then proceeded to go overseas for 3 years!  He was in Cambodia for a year and then went back to Canada to finish university.  The entire time I was in the Philippines, Carl wrote me letters, recorded tapes of himself speaking to me (yes, we are that old!), and prayed for me.
When I returned from the Philippines, I had one year of university left in Tennessee.  Carl was still in Canada going to university too.  But at least we were on the same continent now!  We “officially” started dating and could now include telephone and e-mail in our courtship!! Read More…

Hard Sometimes

I am blessed to be able to call Africa home. I don’t know for how long, but for the time God has me there, I count it a blessing.

It is hard to live here when my heart is somewhere else.
May our hearts beat for them. For the hurting.  For the lost.
I am not complaining. And not pointing fingers. Really trying not to judge. Life in North America makes one complacent.  We see all the catastrophes on TV. Starving children. Hurricanes. Famines. AIDS. Death. But it all seems distant. Removed.These are our neighbours. Our world. Our responsibility. Even if they live across an ocean.

Pace-ing Myself

You might find it absurd that my first post after a 5 month hiatus would be about salsa. But anyone who spends much time withe me knows my addiction to a good salsa, and how salsa-deprived I feel in South Africa. So yes, we are home in North America… have been for 4 months. We have been with my amazing family in the states, had a fantastic family reunion in the Colorado Rockies, experienced Barbados through the eyes of my children (spectacular), have had a host of fantastic suppers/breakfasts/brunches/lunches with a host of amazing friends, went to my 20th high school reunion in the states and hung out with all my “old” cronies, preaching, speaking, sharing, laughing, playing, and a whole heck of a lot of other amazing things have been going on in these last 4 months on North American soil!! Read More…


This was the last time Nate would happily step foot anywhere near the ocean – for a LONG time. Approximately 10 days after the above picture, Nate was with some good friends of ours at a local beach. Both Carl and I were busy with getting our house set up, and some generous friends offered to babysit the kids for us.

During that time at the beach, Nate was playing in a river inlet. He happened to find a deep spot while his caretakers had their eyes on something else. He went down and did not come back up. God had his hand on Nate though, because one of the teenagers watched it happen from where he was down the beach, and sprinted back to Nate – and pulled him out of the water. Nate had not been under too long, and had not taken in a lot of water. He was terrified though and kept saying, “I’m cold, I’m cold.” But other than that, was okay. Read More…

We Won this One

Last August our health team at Seed of Hope was called to visit this home. The young mom had given birth only a month before and had never recovered from the birth. We arrived in the home to find her in a horrible state. Upon investigation, we found out she was HIV+ (with a CD4 count of 84 – which is very low) and also suffering from a drug-resistant TB. Read More…

My boet rocked up wanting to drive my bakkie.

Interpretation – My brother showed up wanting to drive my pick-up. :D English is widely spoken in South Africa, but they definitely have their own flavor of English. It is a lovely mix of English, Afrikaans, and a bit of Zulu thrown in.

We are coming home for 6 months this year! We are thrilled!

But also realize we need to prepare our friends and families to understand us and our children. So here is your very first lesson in South African-ese. Enjoy!

When Elise says you must go look out the window, she is not actually ordering you around. Must means should.

Nate needs his tekkies for the afternoon at the park. Help him find his running shoes please. :-)

It is lunch time and Marae asks for a sarmie – she means a sandwich. Read More…

My Friend Beauty

I would like to introduce you to Beauty. Her Lesotho name is Keketso (She is from a tiny little country within South Africa called Lesotho.) She just turned 30 years old in September and has 3 beautiful sons. She is vibrant, fun-loving, sarcastic, happy, passionate, bubbly, and full of life. She has been working with us at Seed of Hope for almost 2 years now. Her job is to help prepare the meal for the 100 -150 children that we feed every afternoon.

Her fiancee is a Zulu young man. In the Zulu culture, before you can get married you have to pay “lobola,” which can be up to R30,000 ($7000) as a bride price. This, unfortunately, discourages young people from getting married because they cannot come up with the bride price. They often just stay “engaged,” have kids together, etc, but never get married because they can’t afford to. This tends to lead to very disposable relationships, which often leaves young girls alone as single moms. Read More…

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