The building of St Martin's Church
The initial church building completed in 1935 consisted of a hall and an altar and vestry attached on the east end. The Reverend Beattie was the priest, who we shared with our mother church St Columba's. Mr Blake, the headmaster of Durban North Government School (now Chelsea Drive), was the choirmaster and Betty Harris played the little foot-pump organ. In 1944, the big event of the year was the church fete to raise money for the building of the church and rectory. Eventually enough money was made to make a start and the large blocks of grey sandstone arrived from the Orange Free State. Shortly afterwards the stonemasons arrived and the blocks were split into workable sizes, which you see in the church today. On the 26 February 1949 the floor slab was poured and the stone work and stone columns appeared above the ground like ancient Roman ruins. The Reverend Victor Shaw was our first parish priest and his actress wife, Yvonne, caused quite a stir with her big hats and theatrical entrances!
An Update on Cruz Araujo
It’s been just over a month since we sent the last update email, and the majority of you would have followed Cruz on Sarah’s Facebook updates, but there are the odd few not on facebook so this is just a quick follow up.
On the 27th January 2015 Cruz underwent an 8 hour peri-insular hemispherotomy. The most radical surgery currently performed by any surgeon, and luckily we were blessed with an amazing team of doctors. The surgery and Cruz’s recovery 4 weeks post surgery is nothing short of our little miracle. God has answered prayer, and we have been overwhelmed and lifted up by all the support and prayer around us and our little champion! Cruz is 100% seizure free since the day of the surgery, that from 30 seizures a day! We remain vigilant and Cruz remains on his medication but we give all thanks to God for the healing he has done! Cruz is walking, saying all the words he was saying before surgery (plus 1 or 2 more!!) and getting stronger every day! There remain many challenges ahead and we are back into his therapy sessions 5 times a week, but with no seizures we can see the learning and growth happening every day.
Words will never be able to convey our thanks to all of you, your support and prayers gave us as a family such peace through every step of the process, a peace that can only exist in the presence of God. There were many tough days, many difficult meetings with doctors, many challenges ahead, and we are pretty much shattered for lack of a better description, but to see Cruz getting stronger each day, playing with his little brother and laughing while his scar heals and he recovers…it is a miracle that lifts us each day and reminds us that we can face all challenges ahead.
Thank you for your love and support, and please continue to pray for Cruz’s development and that he is now seizure free for life!
Love Sarah, Marco Cruz and Nic
Alpha- The Holy Spirit Weekend
II did not know what to expect from this weekend and was nervous about going.
When we arrived I felt at home and like part of the family. God started working in me from the very first session. I opened my heart to him and he spoke to me through Psalm 103. He was telling me to be thankful for all that I have and this was all the little things I had overlooked because my problems were huge to me. I was hurt and also felt that I had lost who I was. God has promised that HE would heal me and redeem my life.
The Saturday evening, I felt God’s presence, it had never happened to me before. When the group prayed for me, I felt heat all over my body. Then God spoke to each one in the group giving them a message for me and it was amazing because it was all true, yet they did not know me. That confirmed God’s presence and yes, he will restore me.
At the end of the evening someone from the group came and asked me if I wanted to go and visit my Mum, this was one of the things that were worrying me. She took me to Mom and she also blessed my Mom. It was only God who knew my worries and acted on it. My Mom called me later that day and she told me she had prayed on Saturday evening and asked God to help her because she had nothing to cook and HE could see the situation. Then she saw the 2 girls at her door with packets and yes that how we appeared at her door.
YES! GOD IS ALIVE AND BIGGER THAN ANY PROBLEM I FACE.
A DAILY PRAYER FOR YOUR FAMILY
from the book LOVE & WAR by John & Stasi Eldridge
To my dear St Martin's family
Well, it has been almost a year since being diagnosed with breast cancer and I have just enjoyed my first weekend treatment and studies free!
Looking back it has been quite a walk, one which I hope never to repeat, and one that has changed my life forever, and yet each day I was actually OK. God gave me a measure of grace and of faith for each and every day and this together with a supernatural joy He has placed in my heart enabled me to have a smile on my face, most of the time.
Despite this time of hardship, the blessing we have received has been overwhelming! The time people have taken to visit us, to phone us, to prepare meals for us, to send encouraging sms's and scriptures, uplifting gifts and spoilings and care and most importantly to pray for us, has just been incredible. For all these I would like to say a heartfelt thank you to you all! Without your prayers and support, we would never have coped as well as I think we have.
God's timing is perfect and he knows just what we need and so two and a half months before being diagnosed, he blessed me with a new career opportunity. I joined a wonderful company of Christians who have been so completely supportive throughout my surgery and treatment, I couldn't have asked for more. With a new career comes further training and so I am privileged to be studying a post graduate diploma too and although heavy going at times, this has also kept me focused and encouraged - so thank you Lord for your provision and blessing!
So where to from here....well I am in remission but have tablets and injections and check ups with my oncologist for many years to come......I have a new career in financial planning .......and God is at work in me.......
I am so grateful for His unconditional love for me and the blessings he has so generously sown into my life.
Jeremiah 29:11-13 says "for I know the plans I have for you" declares the Lord, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart".
... and so I continue my journey in life and in my relationship with Christ and give enormous thanks again for the role you wonderful people of St Martin's have played in supporting, caring for, nurturing and growing me in my time of need and in my Christian walk.
God bless and lots of love,