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Drews' News Edition #9

Hello friends and family,

We celebrated our ninth wedding anniversary this year with a trip to Cape Point, from which one can see the meeting of the Indian and Atlantic oceans, and another one up Table Mountain.

After more than a year in Cape Town it was a privilege to get to these beautiful places. The past year has been busier than ever as we adjust to life as a family after an international move. There are the small things . . . paying electricity before it runs out, securing the letter box, finding out where to buy coriander seedlings. Then there are the big things . . . passports, making friends, the birth of our fourth child, visits to home affairs for birth certificates and citizenship, getting better security for our house, buying necessary furniture, finding a church.

 There are the delightful aspects of our move . . . making new friends, being invited over to people's homes, having extra household help, finding out about encouraging things other Christians are doing to serve others, diverse people, and seeing the children enjoy their grandparents. We have discovered new favourite places like Helderberg mountain reserve near our home, Boulders Beach where we swam with the penguins, and Blue Jay Farm where we buy fruit from the growers at low prices.

Then there are the hard parts . . . extra paper work fitting in somehow around Dave's full time work and Sherrin home schooling, new shops, making currency mistakes, missing Tassie family, our practice of having the children in church with us being more controversial here, and being burgled (albeit in a completely non-traumatic way).

We are thankful that Dave's work has been a good fit for him so far, although very demanding. It is diverse and stimulating. The whole family had a chance to experience one aspect of Dave's work when he took us with him on a work trip 8 hours drive east in the Tsitsikamma forest. The students were doing practical work there. They were great with our children, playing hide and seek and chatting.

We also enjoyed the beauty of that part of the world, including taking Nate to see his favourite animal the tiger at a wildlife sanctuary. Our lives have felt more divergent here. Sherrin finds it a challenge to develop relationships with people outside of our social strata and race group. In contrast, Dave is in the midst of the Stellenbosch university campus engaging with students from every cultural, economic and racial background. So it is good to find ways, like our Tsitsikamma trip, to combine our lives. A big part of our year has been trying to make church decisions, in part due to looking for diversity. We are currently going to the Stellenbosch Baptist Church where Dave went as a student. We love the diverse congregation and worship. Lets be honest that the couch at the back is also a draw card. It's perfect for sitting with a toddler and a baby!

Our new wonderful blessing, Liberty Anne Drew, was born on April 20th. We took an opportunity to have a “baby-moon” a few weeks before her birth, and enjoyed a weekend away in a little piece of paradise (a small self-contained cottage) on a vineyard in the spectacular Franschhoek valley.

Libby was born (rapidly) at home; thankfully Dave had the sense to ring our midwife, Natasha, while Sherrin was still wondering if she was in established labour. It is a good thing that Natasha lives only a few minutes drive up the road, as Libby was born in the birth pool only minutes after her arrival! This is just one example of the way God has provided for us, with the best home birth midwife in our area living so close to us. The pregnancy was challenging, especially due to the combination of physical weakness and a new country, but as soon as Libby was born she brought an incredible peace with her.

 Libby is friendly, radiates joy, and sleeps well. It is precious to watch the older children interact with her. Mercy is happy to have a sister and loves to kiss the soft part of Libby's head.

Sherrin's recovery has been a challenge, but in this case it seems like the greater the cost the greater the reward! It is lovely for Dave's Mum and Dad to be able to experience a newborn baby with us as all their other 7 grandchildren were born overseas.

Our older three children are also thriving. Nate and Mercy have made great progress in reading, writing, maths, and understanding of relationship with Jesus this year. We have also done more painting, music and computing. Our larger living area with room for “stations” makes this easier.

They love swimming and ball lessons. Mercy has also taken ballet, which has also been delightful for music appreciation. William has a great life observing and joining in with the play of his older siblings. Our curriculum based on Mummy reading aloud continues to bring sanity to days when children, health and emotions get challenging to manage.

This move has exposed our weakness and need more than ever, and we feel like we have “grown up” without Sherrin's family, friendship networks, and the Aussie government to rely upon. So to God is all the glory for any achievements!

Thanks for reading!

Love Dave, Sherrin, Nate, Mercy, Bill and Libby.

Where can I go from your Spirit?

    Where can I flee from your presence?

If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
    if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
    if I settle on the far side of the sea,
even there your hand will guide me,
    your right hand will hold me fast.
If I say, ‘Surely the darkness will hide me
    and the light become night around me,’
even the darkness will not be dark to you;
    the night will shine like the day,
    for darkness is as light to you.
Psalm 139: 7 - 11


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