What an amazing start to the year...

8 of our 11 kids started at new schools and all settled in so well. We were seeing great results and excitement as they were meeting new friends and loving their teachers and new environment. Whether it was a move from primary school to high school or a move because the last school just wasn’t the right fit, it was such an easy adjustment for all of them. Everything was moving forward perfectly until March 2020 COVID LOCKDOWN.

We went into lockdown thinking, “Wow! This is going to be ok. 21 days of a slower life and hanging out around the house and then back to normal life.” But boy was I wrong. The first few weeks of lockdown were really difficult. We had 8 different schools sending us our work for the week and then we had to schedule online schooling for all our kids across 5 or 6 different platforms. This may have been ok but almost all of our kids had no idea how to use any of the devices we had or how to set them up. Then when you finally get everyone sorted and ready for their class you realise “Wow, we don’t have an internet connection fast enough for all our children to be in their meetings!” 9-12 am in April was absolute chaos in Hearts That Hope! We were trying to figure out who needs to be streaming on what device on what platform and for how long. After 2/3 weeks of that, we just decided we needed to do our own thing and use the material we thought best for us from all the schools. We become the teachers ourselves and no longer did anything live online. Once we had made that call, we actually loved and enjoyed online lockdown school. We got to know our children so much better and got to see their strengths and weaknesses. It was a great time to bond with them.

With so much downtime we got to hang out with and enjoy each other, with no outside pressure.

There was lots of fishing and swimming in our estate dam. Lots of card games around our table. Many braai’s, pizza nights, and sleepovers at each other’s Hearts that Hope houses. It was a time we will cherish and probably never get in our lifetime again. I wouldn’t trade it for anything. 

The highlight for most of our children this year was getting to go away for a week for their first-ever vacation. We were asked to house sit for a supporter that lives in a holiday town close to the beach. We spent all day in their pool or at the beach or just hanging out around the house playing cards and board games. It was so great to see the children having fun in a new care-free and relaxed environment. Everyone had severe cabin fever from being stuck in our little estate with the same people for over 6 months. It was a much-needed break.

As we finish up the year we seem to be getting back to a more normal life pace as we start moving into the busy holiday season. School years are ending, year-end functions are happening and there is an excitement in the air for Christmas break, ending the school year and moving on to the next grade. All school work is done and the kids are enjoying year-end parties, concerts, outings and just getting to play at school.

God has been good to us this year with the blessing of lockdown

as it gave us the time to slow down and get to know our children better. As a parent sometimes you just feel like a taxi taking your children from here and there, so to have that extra time to just spend at home was amazing. As a result of the lowdown and current economic downturn, we have lost some of our supporters but God continues to provide we are not panicking as we continue to see His provision daily in many different ways. 

Thank you for your amazing support over 2020. We hope that 2021 is a blessed year in your life and that you too would see God working for the good in your life as you growing closer to Him.