The Waldron World, Christmas 2016 Edition

Merry Christmas!!!!

We trust that 2016 has been a good year for you and your loved ones. We have had a “cracker of a year” as they say in South Africa…. which means busy, full, wonderful, challenging, and full of spark!In 2015 we made the decision that 2016 would be our last full year here in South Africa. A lot of thought and prayer went into that decision. And now, in hindsight, we can see so clearly how God has ordained this time of departure for us.

2016 held a lot of activity for the Waldrons. We had many visitors, which we loved! Michelle’s mom spent almost three months with us to help when Mish had her foot surgery. It was amazing to have her mom around! She is sad that we are moving back to Canada, because she has grown to love SA and the visits she got to have!
It was great hosting other relatives and friends, too, including our fellow Hopeshares Canada Board members. We loved showing off Seed of Hope to them, introducing them to our amazing staff, and letting them “find their own African feet.” Which they did beautifully!

Seed of Hope has grown from strength to strength. God chose 2016 to be the year He answered a prayer we have been praying since Derek and Heather founded Seed of Hope. We succeeded in reaching an agreement to purchase the property that Seed of Hope sits upon. Truly an amazing gift from God! And the work of SOH in developing healthy families, young leaders and a thriving community is stronger than ever.

Carl, Heather, Kierra and Chief Maphumulo at the official handover of the property.

Carl, Heather, Kierra and Chief Maphumulo at the official handover of the property.

Marae, Nate and Elise have finished their South African schooling careers. When their peers start back to school on January 11, 2017, our kids will not be joining them. This does make them a bit sad, but they are getting used to the idea of this big change looming in front of them. They are excited (and a bit nervous) about what will come next.

So that brings us to the question – what does come next? For many who follow this blog, you may know the answer to that question. Briefly, we will homeschool the kids for the next 6 months and possibly further. Carl has handed over the role of CEO to Kierra Ward, who has been with Seed of Hope for the past 3 years as our Programs Manager. This transition will continue into 2017, with Carl’s main focus being the property. With the purchase of the property came a LOT of responsibility – rehoming the 19 squatter families that have been living on the premises has been one of Carl’s biggest tasks.

The lease on our rented house here in Amanzimtoti is up at the end of January and we will move into an apartment for the last two months we are here. Our departure date is March 29, 2017 – Just two months shy of our 10 year anniversary of moving to South Africa.

How does it feel? Unreal. Scary. Exciting. Sad.

We all are experiencing a LOT of emotions, but the overriding one is gratitude. We are so grateful that we have been able to call this country and community “home.” Many of the things we see happening today were just prayer requests and hopes early on in our time at Seed of Hope. So leaving is bittersweet…especially now when there is so much promise and excitement ahead for the organisation.

As soon as we get back to Canada, Michelle will start looking for a job back in the hospital and Carl will start his work for Hopeshares. He will be working for them part-time and starting a Master’s degree.

To be able to continue the work that Derek and Heather started in 2003, and that we have helped lead since 2007, Hopeshares needs to grow. And having Carl in Canada to facilitate that growth is perfect.

With the economic downturn in Canada, however, many churches and charities are struggling, and charitable giving is down significantly. Hopeshares is no different.

Although funding pressures at Seed of Hope make leaving even harder, we’re grateful that God began preparing us for this move years ago –before we knew that finances would make it necessary. We hope that although the context of our mission is changing, those of you who have given so generously in the past will keep investing in our work through Hopeshares Canada and RESKU International (USA).

We are very excited about the future and we would love it if you continued to partner with us through financial gifts to Hopeshares and RESKU International, through prayer support, and through your friendship as we settle into our other “home”.

Our journey will be documented here…  Hope you stop in often to hear our stories! :-)

Merry Christmas and Happy 2017! Hope to see you in person soon!

Our little elves

Our little elves

From our home to yours during this beautiful Christmas season – much love and God be close to each of you.

Carl, Michelle, Marae, Nate and Elise

(This newsletter was sent by email to many, but some of our emails are out of date, so posting it here too.)

A few more photos…

A good friend of ours took some fun family photos of us this year.

A good friend of ours took some fun family photos of us this year.

The girls...

The girls…

Merry Christmas!

Merry Christmas!

4 Responses to The Waldron World, Christmas 2016 Edition
  1. Paloma Reply

    We hope that you have a wonderful Christmas and Happy New Year. I can’t wait to see you.

    Love Paloma, Savannah, and Samantha

    • Michelle Reply

      Thank you so much Paloma! We trust you had a wonderful Christmas too! Can’t wait to see you too!! Feels unreal we will be back in the same town again very soon!!

  2. Audrey and Frank Reply

    I have watched your family blossom these past few years and seen a testimony of great reliance on a faithfulGod.However many challenges you face in the
    future *Our Compassionate Everloving,Understanding,
    ,Merciful Father God*will see you through.
    Thank you for touching my life will continue to pray for your family and look forward to updates on your Blog.

    • Michelle Reply

      Thank you so much Audrey!! Will be lovely to be able to keep in touch through FB and my blog. :-) Love to you and Frank.

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