south of somewhere

Hi, our names are Sarah and Nathan Cooper. We are based in Sheffield in England, but are preparing to move to South Africa in September '06 to join a church planting team in the Western Cape. We hope that this blog will keep you up to date with our progress as we embark on this new adventure. Watch this space...

Friday, January 26, 2007

Rooms and phones

Just a quick one to let you know that we've got a spare room to rent in our house in Sheffield. We are renting it out to FORM student (St. Tom's year out programme). But unfortunately one student has had to leave. So if you, or anyone you know needs a lovely room in our house, let us know ('re hoping to get it filled asap, as we're currently looking at a 200 pound shortfall on our mortgage without this rental income!

More exciting, we now have a telephone line and our number is 0027 23 347 3081 (including the dialling code if calling from UK). So you can give us a ring. We look forward to hearing from some of you soon.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Feeling hot hot hot!

Hi everyone! We're feeling the heat a bit over here as it's been 39 degrees for the last couple of days.

Tomorrow is the launch of the long-awaited new Mobile Ministry Unit. We'll be going into two of the townships, with a program of games, quizzes, teaching, singing and free ice pops for every child! We'll be drawing on every ounce of energy as we're expecting to see a thousand children over the two sites, and we'll be out in the heat from 2 o' clock until 6 in the evening. PLease pray for the smooth running, and thabnk you to every one who has supported the fund-raising. It is so exciting to see the dream finally become reality, and we're so pleased that the children will no longer have to walk so far ( the walk was several kilometers, and many of them arrive carrying smaller brothers and sisters.)

We are having a great time with Nathan's parents, and have been seeing some new places in Cape Town for ourselves as we explore with them. We have been so blessed to enjoy their company for a month and will be very sad to wave them off at the end of this week. They've had a really good glimpse of what life is like here, including some of the wildlife - another great spider story to be shared on next week's entry...

Friday, January 05, 2007

Empty Cupboards

This week is a hard week for many in the church. As businesses and shops shut for weeks at a time over the Christmas season, the employees find themselves with no pay during the holidays, and cupboards are literally bare. We have been giving out food parcels with rice and other staples to try and help see people through this period.

We found ourselves in the position of having to empty our own cupboards one evening, after finding one of our youth had not eaten since the previous day, but the shops were shut. He had been out working in the fields for 12 hours on an empty stomach, but with no pay until the end of the week he was facing the prospect of another 2 days without food. Please pray for him and his family. His brother has just been sent to prison for a stabbing, and with both parents alcoholic, he is carrying a heavy burden at the moment. We are trying to encourage him to buy food for the week out of his wages to ensure the family will have enough to eat. His name is Marthinus.

More Christmas pics

Christmas Day Pics!

Here's us with some of the youth on Christmas Day. You can see Nathan preparing the ill-fated braai (see last entry for the story...). Still, we had a fantastic day, and so did the youth from what we could see!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Happy New Year!

Hello everyone, Happy New Year!

Thank you so much for all your cards/emails, we were so encouraged by them all. They took on a new significance this year, an encouragement that we might be miles away but still in people's thoughts!

We had a great Christmas here despite the disaster that was our Christmas Dinner (having prepared a roaring fire ready to barbecue lots of lovely meat, we discovered it had all turned green, so had to chuck the lot. We were spared a completely veggie dinner after salvaging a couple of chipolata sausages and barbecueing those on our humungous fire.

We had thought we would be spending Christmas on our own (not something we particularly wanted to do), but then discovered that some members of our youth would be spending Christmas Day wandering the streets in the township. So it was a no-brainer, and we had them over with us, and had a fantastic time. For one girl, it was the first time in her life that she had ever received a present. They were also thrilled with the gifts in the Christmas crackers (most kids in England would be distinctly unimpressed with a plastic smiley face key ring, but not here!) Pictures coming up soon ...