We've set up an indoor trainer for our bikes in our living room. I want to cycle through the winter on this trainer - and lose some weight at the same time. We're also heading to South Africa in March and are going to be cycling the Cape Town Cycle Tour - so I definitely need to get back into shape! Riaan and Rusty were both very curious the first time I used it! :)
A fiery sunset over a frozen lake, taken on the 20th of December, the day before the official start of winter. I love the contrasts of winter! (I'm not a huge fan of the cold, though.) Candace and I are blessed to live in such a beautiful setting! :)
The bare wood and the icy lake add to the beauty.
I love the weeping willow in the right of the shot.
The 15th of December marked one year since Candace's life was saved after her post-partum heamorrhage. (You can read Candace's story here and here.) We had an Indian Christmas meal with a group of close friends and then surprised Candace with showering her with blessings and speaking life and prayers over her. It was a very special time for us. One of her friends, Casey, who went through a similar experience shortly before Candace's emergency, joined us over the telephone and shared this passage. It is fitting to re-share it below:
I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips.
I will glory in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.
I sought the Lord, and he answered me; he delivered me from all my fears.
Those who look to him are radiant; their faces are never covered with shame.
This poor man called, and the Lord heard him; he saved him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him, and he delivers them.
Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him.
(Psalm 34: 1 - 8 NIV)
Riaan with his friend Asher.
Table set for our Indian Christmas meal.
Enjoying fellowship together.
Preparing to spend time praying over Candace.
Sharing how thankful we all are for Candace and her life.
Praying over Candace.
Sharing stories together.
Candace with a gift from one of our friends. The song is Showers of Blessings and it is what Candace sung to herself while flying to the hospital in the ambulance. It is very special.
This is just to wish all of our friends, family and blog readers a blessed Christmas today and a wonderful New Year! We hope that you spend this special time with family and friends and are surrounded by love, peace and goodwill. Much love from all of us, Murray, Candace, Riaan and Rusty. :)
As can be seen from previous posts this month, bird life has been abundant recently. All of these birds were spotted within a mile or two of where we live. Here are some other interesting bird spots in the past few days.
Sandhill cranes in flight.
Red-tailed hawk in flight.
The same red-tailed hawk perched on a tree.
Downy woodpecker. It's the first downy woodpecker I've seen here at home.
Our little son celebrated his first birthday on the 7th of December. We had a small party with family on the day and then we had another small party with our close friends a couple of days later. It is amazing to see how much he has changed since that day he arrived into our world a year ago.
Opening a present from Mommy and Daddy.
Now he can spend hours of fun playing Duplo!
The Victoria Sponge Cake for his party.
Eating his little cake. :)
Opening presents from family.
Enjoying a meal of soup together.
Miller family photo.
Crawford family photo. :)
Friends celebrating Riaan on the 9th of December.
Riaan didn't have his own cake this time round. :)
Opening presents surrounded by his best friends. :)
The Northern Cardinal is Indiana's state bird. I've seen cardinals frequently this December, as this bird remains in Indiana year-round and doesn't migrate south for the winter. It always makes for an attractive photo.
Male in the background with a female in the foreground.
Candace and I took Riaan to see the Odon Christmas Parade on the 5th of December. Riaan loved seeing the different floats in the parade. He especially loved seeing the different animals - a camel, several sheep and donkeys.
Candace with Riaan.
Odon Park entrance lit up with Christmas lights.
Police vehicle and fire engines.
Father Christmas (Santa Claus) in the parade.
Camel in the parade.
Nativity scene in the park.
Riaan loved looking at the animals.
There were biscuits and hot chocolate in the community building.
I am a 32-year-old South African whose journey with Mercy Ships began in 2007 when I joined the M/V "Africa Mercy" in Liberia. I met my wife Candace in Sierra Leone in 2011 and together we served with Mercy Ships until December 2012. We worked with Mercy Vision in South Africa during 2013, and are now settling into a new life together in the USA.
If you would like to support Candace and I, please send us an e-mail to the address listed on my profile. Thanks!
We are now no longer serving with Mercy Ships, so please don't send any more mail to Candace and I on the ship. Thanks!
I served with Mercy Ships. Everything here, however, is my personal opinion and is not read or approved before it is posted. Opinions, conclusions and other information expressed here do not necessarily reflect the views of Mercy Ships.