Thursday, December 4, 2014

How does an Oasis work?

We are in the final stages of support raising so that we can go 
on the field to do Missionary Care through a hosted Oasis.

Many people have asked us:  

What is an Oasis?  
How does this work?
What is missionary care?

Well, here's our answer to all three of those questions!  

Once we land in Cape Town, we will rent a furnished apartment for the three months we are waiting for our container of household items to arrive.  During that time, we will be looking for a property to rent for our Oasis.  We envision a separate 2 bedroom guest cottage for the missionaries use.  This type of property is relatively common in South Africa - it is called a "granny flat" since families often have their parents come to live with them.  The photo above is of one such cottage that we viewed while we were on our scouting trip in 2012.

Once our Oasis is up and running, we will host one missionary (and family) at a time.  Before coming to our Oasis, they will fill out a questionnaire that will let us know what their needs are and how long they want to stay.  We will host one family any amount of time from 2 days to 2 weeks.

During their stay, if they are struggling in any area of life, we can offer them life coaching, biblical counseling, stress assessments, and a listening ear.  Of course, things might go differently once we are there - but we envision formal interactions between us and the couple during the mornings, with afternoons free for rest and reflection, and additional interactions during several of the evenings.

Our desire is to minister to the entire family.  We will host times of fun and reflection for the kids of the family as well.  Kids often desire to voice their thoughts, feelings, and struggles as well - and we want to be sensitive to the needs of the children, giving them exclusive time to talk.  Julie is able to offer guidance and insight into homeschooling, as well as hosting a homeschool resource library for families to peruse.

The Oasis will feature a lending library, a movie collection, puzzles, and lots of board games for families to enjoy.  In short, we hope to offer weary families a safe place to spend a week resting, debriefing, seeking the Lord, and recapturing the passion that led them to their ministry!

If you would like to be a part of what God is doing in the lives of missionaries in Southern Africa - join our team!! 

We would love to have you join us, once we are fully funded we will leave for the field! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

Where in the world are the van Heerden's going?

Wow! What a view!

We adopted Julia in 2012 and while we were there
we also did a survey trip for our Oasis.

We stayed in a most amazing apartment 
with fabulous views...

I relax just looking at them again!


being on the side of a mountain has distinct disadvantages
when traveling with children.

Safety railings are minimal and a tumble 
off the steps is a three story drop
to concrete below...

NOT relaxing!

So, for our Oasis,
intended to give weary missionaries
relaxation and rest,
a mountain top experience
might not be the best.

So we looked at the surrounding area

we checked out properties in Strand
in Fish Hoek
in Hout Bay
in Simons' Town

and decided that a place on the ocean
in the valleys
on flat land
would be the best location for our Oasis!

So when we arrive
we will search out properties
in the greater Cape Town area
for our 
South African Oasis!

Want to partner along with us?

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Soon and very soon...

The South Africa Oasis

We are in the final stages of funding our ministry...

We will be relocating to Cape Town, South Africa 
as God provides the full measure of our support
in the next two months!

Did you know that more than 6,000 missionaries
will quit and come home unnecessarily this year?

Missionaries and cross cultural ministry workers
face many stressors:

language barriers
cultural stress
conflict with coworkers
feeling inadequate
needs of the children
are just a few...

We plan to provide missionary care
through biblical counseling 
practical encouragement 
for families - offering a place
for families to come to 
rest, relax, and reconnect.

We need partners
folks just like you
who will
pray for us
and the families we will serve.
And offer monthly
financial support
just $5 or $10 monthly
will serve these families!

47% of missionaries leave their work
within the first 5 years!

Help us help them to stay on the field
ministering the Gospel to a needy world!

Thursday, October 9, 2014


 What a little love!

Hannes is doing well.  
All of his birth defects have now been repaired!

He is growing...
from a toddler to a 
little boy!

We are so grateful to all who have 
followed our journey
prayed and donated 
to bring this little one home!

It is hard to think about what his life would be like
if we hadn't adopted him

He was living in Lugansk
and that part of Ukraine
has been under heavy fighting
for a while now...

The orphanage has been evacuated
the facilitator has fled
The buildings have been bombed

There is no water
no electricity
very little food

I can't even imagine what it looks like
or what the people still living there
are dealing with.

My heart hurts for all the pain and despair...

and I hug Hannes just a little bit tighter
so very glad he is with us.

There are two little ones that we met
while we were in Ukraine for 
Hannes's adoption.

They were with Hannes and we saw them
every day
for the five weeks we were there.

A little girl and her big brother.
She was around a year and her brother around 2.

They wrapped themselves around our hearts.
They have a family waiting to adopt them.
The war has interrupted their plans
and they have been waiting
and waiting
and waiting
and they just got permission to travel to them
in the place they have been evacuated to 

This is a miracle!
Their mom will be flying to Ukraine this Saturday!
You can help!

These two children are dear to our hearts
please click on this link and help them get home!

They have been in the midst of a war!
They deserve to come home to peace!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Hannes had his fourth 
and final surgery 
to correct the last of his birth defects.
We are so grateful that 
we are able to give him 
the medical care that he needed.

Care that would have been difficult
in his home country
especially now,
since they are 
at war.

We never take for granted
the ease with which
life is lived here
in the U.S.

And we are so grateful
to God for His
provision to us
this little boy that we love so much!

Sunday, May 11, 2014

I love being a Mother...

Nate - my oldest son with his son - Noah - age 5

Lydia - my second child - with her child Jaxon - age 1 week

Jacob - age 7

Julia - age 6

Hannes - age 3

I am so grateful this Mother's Day... 

Five beautiful children 
two amazing grandchildren. 

 I am grateful to God that He has blessed me so abundantly. 

A big hug to Dianna and Jason 
for loving my two oldest children. 

 And my everlasting thankfulness 
to the two women 
who gave my two youngest children life. 

 I do not underestimate the pain you carry
it is a privilege beyond measure 
for them to know me as mom.

Happy Mother's Day!

Thursday, March 27, 2014

One Year Ago Today...

We arrived home with Hannes...

It was the beginning of the rest of his life...

In the year since we have been 
home with Hannes

he has had his congenital birth defects

he is healthy now!


In his orphanage he was isolated in the infirmary
due to his heart defect

he spent most of his time in a crib...

this was for his benefit, so that he wouldn't get sick
by being around the other children...

So he has spent this year
catching up

learning to laugh

learning to play

learning to eat

living his life...


 one of the boys...



out and about in the real world...

or busy at home...

being a brother...

exploring this world...

gaining skills...

water... swimming... LOVE...

playgrounds!  sliding is fun!

Christmas with your sister
is fun!

It has been a wonderful year

We are so grateful you are in our lives...

Happy One Year home Hannes!!