20 May 2010

Preparing for the Miracle

It was during our weekly coffee date in February 2009, when Christo broke the news! Our biggest supplier - Sevenpointfive, of whom we are the Franchisee in the Northern suburbs of the Cape Peninsula -  was running a competition for the ‘Franchisee of the year’. The Franchisee of the year would be chosen not only on sales but also on the testimonies of life change in the people who benefitted from using Sevenpointfive products!  And the price? A holiday to Mauritius! 

I remember looking at him and saying: “Mauritius here we come!” and promise to diligently pray that God would give him all the wisdom and insight to help every client the Lord send into his office!

Sevenpointfive has a state of the art product range, and it is daily changing people's quality of life. Thus it wasn't difficult to pray that God would send more people for blood analysis and favour Christo to help seriously ill people. 

Christo has a passion to teach people to take responsibility for and take care of their bodies themselves. 

Sevenpointfive and Live Blood Analysis is our main supplement range in helping people to do so. We believe God appointed us to redirect people to treat their bodies as the temple of God, to stop stuffing it with bad food and chemical medicines and help them recognize heathy food and using God's natural medicine to treat it.  So often Christians’ bodies are in a terrible state when they reach the age of 40 to 50 years (heart diseases, diabetes, using anti-depression drugs, cancer etc) This is supposed to be the peak of their ministry, but due to their bad physical state they are then not able to fulfill their God given calling!
It was soon evident that God was answering my prayers. Christo was sending in amazing testimonies of people using Sevenpointfive products. As soon as I realized Mauritius was actually in reach, I had to change my prayer. We wanted to change peoples live, but God must please keep us from being the Franchisee of the year! There was no way I could go on a holiday to Mauritius and leave my seven precious children at home!  On top of it, I was pregnant again and we would have a newborn baby by the time the Franchisee of the year had to claim his prize.
Throughout the year, Christo stayed at the top of the franchisee list and I was on a roller coaster of emotions. I desperately longed for the opportunity to win the holiday in Mauritius, but what about my children? 

Daniel was still very small, I would have a newborn baby and we didn't know anyone who would be able to take 7 children for a week and look after them.
During December we discussed it with the older children and I admitted to them that we would not be able to accept it. They where very upset and insisted that we must take it if our health shop won! They even started to make suggestions of what could work.
On the 29th of January we not only became the proud parents of a healthy sixth son and eight child.  We also received an e-mail from Sevenpointfive, announcing Christo was the Franchisee for 2009!  Clearly God wanted to bless us more than we could think or imagine and allowed us to win the holiday to Mauritius

but I had no idea as to how it would be possible to pull it off.  So, I diligently started praying again, asking the Lord to show us exactly how it would be possible to leave our children for seven days, and go on a Mauritius holiday with an almost newborn baby!

We preferred that the children all stayed together and in their familiar environment.  It would be far to unsettling for them to be moved to someone else’s home, and the older children had extramural activities to attend, while we would be away. 
The older children preferred that we only get someone to stay with them during night times.  They knew the daily routines of the little ones and only needed help with supper, putting the little ones to bed and be there during the night. 
It had to be someone who didn’t have a family of her own and for whom it would not be too much of a sacrifice to come and sleep in our house. This was a tough call and I couldn’t think of anyone who would fit the above description!
Only 3 weeks after we got the e-mail, I ran into the mother of a young woman who babysat our children three years ago, after which she committed herself to a year of missionary work to young adults in the Silver Ring Thing program. 
She was now a working lady and would get married in December.  While I was talking to her mother, I heard the soft voice of the Lord - “She is the one you are looking for.” I almost loudly shouted out with joy! I called her the moment I arrived home. She was her bubbling self and full of excitement. 

She agreed to take care of the children after working hours. 

With great anticipation the arrangements for our holiday started, but a part of me just couldn’t be totally at peace.  Would my children really be okay during the day?  Would the older children be able to handle difficult situations with their siblings all day long, without the help and strong hand of an adult? 
Then two weeks before we would leave, the Lord sent more people across our way who offered to keep an eye on the children.  A very special friend of Christo, who is in full time ministry, offered that either he or his wife would visit the children every morning, check on them and play with the little ones. 

A home school friend ‘gave’ us her 13year old daughter (this mother has little ones and her daughter is her right hand during the day!) to come help my older children with their younger siblings.  They also drove every day of the weekend and alternative days during the week (once got stuck in traffic for an hour, due to rain) 50 km, from Fish Hoek to come and check/play with the children!

Our neighbours promised to check on them every morning and the grandparents, 

my sister-in-law and another friend took turns to take CJ and Josua to horse riding lessons and Heidi-Mari and Danika to ballet classes.
The few weeks before we left, I prepared extra meals alongside our supper and put it in the freezer.  I worked out a detailed menu, telling them exactly what they must have for breakfast, lunch and supper, when to take frozen meals out of the freezer, when to put a bread in the bread machine and when to do laundry. 
I also worked out a detailed daily routine for every day.  Giving every child specific chores for the day and made use of the buddy system, assigning an older child to a younger sibling to take care of during craft projects, mealtimes and bath times.

The children obviously didn’t stay on these routines 100%, but it guided them through the day. It helped them to feed the little ones nutritious meals, like they are used to and keep the little ones in their sleeping pattern.
The week before we left, we almost thought our holiday was doomed.  I got in contact with measles, while being out the morning and only realized it hours later, after I got home and kissed and hugged my children.  
We could only depend on the Lord for our family’s safety and protection and decided to use communion every evening, for the next 7 nights during supper - calling on the Lord for His divine healing.  It was an awesome time with every supper and strengthened our faith to trust the Lord with our children’s and our own health and safety while separated.  
Needless to say, nobody got seriously hurt or ill while we were away.
While we were away we were pleasantly surprised by the sacrifices the older children went through for their younger siblings.
Heidi-Mari was responsible for little Daniel (21 months old).  The weeks before we left, we deliberately planned situations during which she would came to his rescue and strengthen the already strong relationship between them, so he would experience as little as possible insecurity, while we are away.
Daniel isn’t a good sleeper at night and he was even worse while they were alone, but still Heidi-Mari stayed patient and understanding and took care of her baby brother (he is only a bigger baby) every night, despite her deprived sleep. 

Every night she put him in the African Carrier and rocked him asleep! 

The African Carrier is 99% the same as the Ergo. 
CJ again was taking on the over all responsibility of looking out for his siblings.  We knew Danika would loose a baby tooth, while we were away.  Only two days after we left, the tooth was painfully loose.  

Big brother CJ, remembered how Dad did it, and with little formalities pulled her tooth.  

The special part was when he took into consideration his little sister’s heart and on his own initiative, made sure the Tooth Fairy paid her a visit...
After returning from Mauritius, I observed a stronger union between my children.  Josua especially used his ability to entertain his younger siblings and became more confident in himself.

In the next posting I will share Experiencing the Miracle.


Petra said...

Yes, the buddy system is a great life-saver. We used that when we travelled here - the buddy had to ensure that his/her buddy was with them at all times with all the carry-baggage each were assigned. As for the lists of menu-planning, etc. that really helps me focus as well, as I know I do not have to fret or think about that for the week as it is already there. These are all great tools to use, even in the day-to-day running of a busy home.

Cannot wait for the next instalment!

Sonja said...

Ek het sommer gesit en huil toe ek dit nou lees! JY het sulke spesiale pragtige kinders! Mamma,jy MAG maar trots wees op jou skapies,hulle is dierbaar!!

Trudie said...

Congrats on your well deserved break! It is so awesome to see your family and your children, you truly are an inspiration!

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