Good morning precious family and friends,
Somewhere around November 2017, after returning from a successful and inspiring trip to the DRC, I applied for the M24 school in California from March till May 2018. I booked a plane ticket JHB to LAX with a stop in Amsterdam so I could go home to Belgium as well.
At the very end of last year I was confronted with a big challenge: I was diagnosed with breast cancer. After a weekend of shock and total blankness of the mind, I got up the next day and started to fight; I went on a strict diet and looked at all the alternative treatments, natural remedies and inner healing stuff I could do. This in addition to and in preparation of what the doctors were going to do. I made appointments in Belgium for an MRI and biopsy …. first of March they removed the tumor. As my sister was just recovering from the same issue two years ago, we decided to wait for DNA/gene test results before continuing eventual further treatment.
This gave me a two month window to take the already booked flight to Los Angeles. Although the school had been postponed to June and to Pemba, I really felt lead to go to California anyway. I called Dea and she was more than happy to receive me and make a road trip with me to Bethel in Redding and together we embarked on a much needed adventure with God. An inner healing trip, without any agenda, just to follow Holy Spirit.One of my favourite things to do in life.
And as always, when God is in control, things work out lovely.
With Dea and her friend in her home town Lebec, Frasier Park, California.
We had a wonderful healing time in Redding. We met the team that was meeting before going to our White river base and we had a chance to talk to them about our precious kids at MCV and about our Dignity ladies on the streets in Nelspruit. Such an amazing group of people! One of the group opened her house for us and her whole building adopted us as family and came to visit and love on us.
We got to sit in class while Banning and Bill were teaching. So inspiring! Very special was the Easter Friday meeting, with many churches united in one building, to honor and celebrate what Jesus did on the cross.
We finally got to meet all the people behind the names on the emails: In the Iris Office we caught up with Shawn and Joy, Will and Emilyne, the Flom family, the financial team and the Stop for the One team. So good to hang out with family! These are the people that work hard and make it possible for us to be on the mission field, thriving and doing well. They all prayed for us and lavished us with presents and attention. Our love tank was full.
After two weeks of laughing lots, sitting long and loving well, we went back down to LA. I dropped of Dea and went to visit some friends from the early days, when I used to live in Hollywood. I saw old friend and made new friends, restored relationships and made new ones. God was there, love was there.
Joy from the Iris office in Redding had organised to do a podcast on Iris after hours with Nathan Kotzur. To my surprise it was the same office where I had my meeting with Herbert Barbutti, VP of missions and leader of the M24 school that I had planned to go to. We had a wonderful meeting and Herbert thought me as much as he could in the short time that we had. I really would like to do that school now… maybe one day.
The next week Nathan wanted to do the podcast, so I called Dea and asked her to join me. As she co-founded Dignity with Tryphina and I, she should be present.
We had a blast like always…. you can view the result on youtube: https://youtu.be/QwhwHxoVT6g
Then homeward bound.
In Belgium awaited me not so good news. As I did not want to do chemo but integrative oncology treatments, it took a little time to organize.
Fun is on my list of treatments and I take this one very seriously! Belgian Iris Alumni…
Now I am finally packing and leaving back for South Africa on Thursday 14th of June.
I will have to be back in Belgium end of July and August for some follow up tests, but the month in SA will be marvelous… Harvest school is on it’s way….
The story of my life was produced by heartlines media initiative on what’s Your Story? Programme to build understanding, trust and greater social cohesion in South Africa. http://whatsyourstory.org.za/i-did-not-think-of-it-as-prot…/. I dedicated this story to all families,friend, colleagues and nation wild missionaries under umbrella of Iris Global. Special thanks to the founder of Project Dignity foundation Catherine Restiau and her team for restoration of my dignity and victims of prostitution.
Last Sunday our babies got dedicated to Our Lord. Our guard Doh and his wife are on the left hand side, next to them one of our kids Lienah with her baby Penelope, and Mpumelelo with little Surprise. A happy event.