Christmas time is our favourite time of the year here at Hearts that Hope. It’s such a fun time of celebration and joy with year end parties and Christmas concerts. Our kids are easily swept up in the joy of the season and singing and dancing become second nature in our homes. The kids all love ending the year in one grade and then “graduating” to a new one for the new year. Christmas time is also the time where we reflect on the past year and celebrate how our children have all excelled in their personal growth.

January: The year began with Ollie and S’celo starting their final year of Primary School; Grade 7 at Umhlali prep. Both of them thrived on being the oldest in school and having lots of responsibilities.

February: We had a really cool visit from Mitch Stevenson who is a crossfit champ from my home town. He was in South Africa doing a competition and managed to squeeze in a visit with us. He is amazing in his disciplines for crossfit but even more amazing in his disciplines and heart to love Jesus. It was so encouraging for our children to see and it was a boost for Lyndall and myself as well.

March: My dad came to visit HTH for the first time in 5 years. It was a real blessing being able to show him how much HTH has grown, both in regards to the children and the organisation as a whole. The best for me was that I got to spend real quality time with my dad in my home.

April: S’celo was able to play sports at school for his final year and he absolutely loved rugby. He played wing and scored his first try and added three more throughout the year. It was a real pride moment to see all his teammates from all the other school teams mob him after his first try.

May: We hired an amazing new house mom named Bee. She has been so good for the children and because she has her drivers licence she has been helping Lyndall and I with school lifts. She has a beautiful heart and the more we get to know her the more we love her.

June: The half point of the year brought with it an awesome mid-year holiday. The guys who I play touch rugby with won a tournament and donated their winnings towards a HTH end of term braai. It is these small things that bring such joy and happiness to our children.

July: HTH spent everyday of the rest of winter break on the beach watching the Ballito pro surf combo. We really appreciate holidays as the time where we get to spend quality family time with all our kids. Having fun with them definitely brings us all together. It is wonderful how in Ballito we get to swim in the ocean in the middle of winter; many happy memories were made on the beach this winter.

August: A major celebrate was that both S’celo and Ollie got accepted into their high school of choice; this was such an answer to prayer all round. I also managed to get a job coaching 1st team basketball at Northwood (the high school which S’celo and all the other boys in the HTH family will be attending.) I love the extra time that I get to input into young mens lives.

September: Cale was 3rd fastest in all of the grade 3’s in the sprints. This boy loves to run. It was so awesome to see someone that previously wouldn’t be noticed for his talent, if he was still living in the township and going to a more underprivileged school, now get a change to be coached by amazing coaches at Umhlali.

October: The rugby world cup was a highlight in our household. It was a great experience watching the Springboks dominate England in the World Cup rugby finals with friends and the whole HTH family. There was much joy and love shared over their win. If you haven’t yet, you should google Siya Kolisi- he is the springboks captain. He has a great testimony that we shared with all our HTH children and used it to encourage them that it doesn’t matter where you come from, it just matters where you want to go.

November: Another proud parent moment as we got to watch Ollie take part in the school production of Annie. Her role was quite significant and she handled it so well. We have been honoured this year seeing our kids excel in the things they love and for our community to also experience and acknowledge their talents. Our children have definitely felt the love and support from their greater community this year.

December: Besides church camps, holiday play dates and Christmas, we can’t wait to see what the holidays hold for our family. Sanele will be coming to spend some time with us which we are looking forward to. We are grateful for a month to rest as we gear up for the new year. 8 of our children will be attending new schools next year; schools that we have chosen that will specifically cater to their needs. It has been a daunting and stressful task but God has been faithful in his provision.

A recap of the year would not be complete without a thank you to all of you; our champion supporters of HTH, our prayer warriors, our financial contributors and our friends. It is you who help us to make the dream a reality. It is you who help us fulfil our mission to “raise children with hope.” Thank you!

We look forward to journeying with you again in 2020 and sharing all that God is doing in our family.

Much love

Kent & Lyndall