In July 2017 our family embarked on a much-needed, sabbatical from our work in Hillbrow. It has been very beneficial and healthy to each of us to be able to get away from it all initially, then to be able to reflect about what we've done in Hillbrow over the last five years and lastly realign ourselves with where we are headed to in the future. To this end, from the beginning of July last year we took 5 of our 6 kids out of their schools, bought a caravan and set off on a trip to explore different parts of South Africa, returning to Joburg in December. We also visited family in Cape Town while staying for 2 months at caravan parks near different beaches, which added some salty sea air to our refreshment.
For the last ten months, since January this year, we have been staying in Northriding, Joburg, close to our church, and catching up with friends there. Our children have also been attending the school on the church campus during this time. It has been a restful time.
After much thought, prayer and conversation, in the last 3 months we have felt inspired again by God to return to our work in Hillbrow. We have found an area we believe is suitable just across the road from Hillbrow in Park Lane (near the Brenthurst Clinic) We believe this will be more sustainable for us as a family, as it will allow us to still be close to the people and issues of the inner city while living in a place that both refreshes and strengthens us to face those challenges. Our children are also looking forward to returning to their previous schools from the beginning of next year.
Our initial focus back into Hillbrow will be to give a fresh injection of life into the Blauwberg Learning Centre, which we started in September 2012, by holding some visioning and planning meetings with the current volunteers and seeing where their needs are and how we can help. We will also be reuniting with old friends and co-workers into the area with a view to deepening our relationships with them and supporting eachother in our work. More on these plans and others later.
In conclusion we feel really excited about returning to Hillbrow and are looking forward to seeing where God leads us through it all!