Keith R. Brinkman serving with Mercy Ships. This is another way for me to communicate with you all what is happening. I hope you enjoy seeing the photos and entries.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

iMfolozi Game Reserve - View in mirror

As the game reserve is set up that you can drive through yourself (the map at the entrance gate is very helpful), it was amazing to see the various animals crossing the road/path in your rearview mirror.

iMfolozi Game Reserve - Buffalos

Within ten minutes of driving into the iMfolozi Game Reserve as I was heading to the education centre, I saw these two buffalos enjoying a small water hole - there was also a warthog taking a drink.

iMfolozi Game Reserve Giraffe

This was the best close up sighting I had of the giraffes in the iMfolozi Game Reserve when I visited.

iMfolozi Game Reserve - Zebras

There were some amazing animals in the iMfolozi Game Reserve - I loved watching the zebras and am reminded that no two zebras have the same stripes. This is a story we share in children's ministry in West Africa to share how each and every one of us is unique and special to God.

iMfolozi Game Reserve Rhino

On Saturday, I was able to visit iMfolozi Game Reserve in the state of KZN, South Africa. The game reserve is famous for the white rhino - I saw three in this general area - amazing animals just to watch.

Zulu Dancers Ballito

Zulu Dancers Ballito
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
After our meeting this morning, we went for lunch at the mall in Ballito, north of Durban. Some Zulu dancers were performing in the parking lot and so we stopped to watch them for awhile.

Keith driving

Keith driving
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
Driving here is on the opposite side of the road and in the right hand seat of the vehicle, which means you shift with your left hand, though the foot pedals are the same thankfully. I think I am doing ok, but the early days, I was too much on the left hand side of the road.

Friday, June 11, 2010

World Cup RSA vs Mexico

We joined the approx. 2 billion people in the world and I am sure almost every South African to watch the Opening Ceremony and the first game of the FIFA World Cup - first to be held on the African continent. We jumped up when #8 made the first goal for South Africa. Even now an hour after the game we still hear our neighbours blowing the vuvulezas (long horns) outside. South Africa 1 & Mexico 1

Braai - 1st at the Advance Team House

During the visit of John Rae, our National Director for Mercy Ships Southern Africa, we had a braai at the Advance Team house. A braai is a South African bar-b-que with various meats. We enjoyed the time together.

Monday, June 07, 2010

Bafana Bafana Shirts

The South Africa national football team or Bafana Bafana (a term of endearment which means 'the Boys') is the national team of South Africa. You see people everywhere around South Africa wearing the football/soccer jerseys. The World Cup 2010 opens this Friday in Jo'burg. Our advance team now has the right shirts - thanks to Cathy who bought them at the shopping centre on Saturday.

Kloof Baptist Church

Yesterday, we had the opportunity to join the Mercy Ships Southern Africa Director in sharing at the Kloof Baptist Church. Cathy gave her testimony and John shared about Moses from Exodus 3. We were able to talk with people before and after the service. We are experiencing some of the hospitality of South Africa.

Indiana Sign in AM

Indiana Sign in AM
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
As I am serving on the Advance Team for South Africa, we having been driving many different places (of course on the other side of the road). The other, I had to stop the vehicle when I saw this on the compound wall 'INDIANA MEWS' - (Indiana is my home state) see the beautiful ocean behind - though the water is very cold for me and we are entering into Winter now here in the Southern Hemsphire.

Sunday, June 06, 2010

KRB Update South Africa Advance

KRB Update #2155
June 6, 2010
Keith R. Brinkman
Advance Team – South Africa

Greetings from South Africa where I am serving on the Advance Team for nine weeks. You may ask, ‘you were just in Liberia and now in South Africa and the ship is in Togo’ – that is true; this has been a year of more travel than normal for me. The Managing Director of the ship asked me to pray and consider joining the advance team to assist with things in South Africa. The reasons we are going to South Africa are for a technical work phase primarily; though we will have some programmatic activities ashore (Eye Program, possible Dental Outreach and Mental Health training in the churches).
Even though we have only had the Africa Mercy in service since the summer of ’07 after 8 years of renovations in England, the ship was built in 1980 and the electrical generators are old and cause vibrations and noise pollution primarily in the hospital operating rooms and wards which are on deck 3 just above the engineering compartments. This has meant that during our field service in Togo – we are limited to only 4 of the 6 operating rooms. So the decision has been made to take time out of our field service schedule and bring the ship to South Africa for a shipyard phase to replacement the generators and the old air conditioning units for deck 5, 6, & 7.

The decision has been just recently confirmed by the Mercy Ships International Board that we will bring the ship to South Africa for this project. Though, we are awaiting the announcement on which shipyard contract they will sign – as there are three options. South Africa has eleven official languages – so we are trying to learn some phases and try to pronounce the names of cities and streets - but my pronunciation is not so good – we as a team laugh a lot as we are South African, a Canadian, and American.

Prayer Requests: ** Technical work to be completed with excellence and on schedule **Accommodations and all the logistics for the crew who need to move off the ship during the shipyard phase ** Divine opportunities and appointments ** Remaining funds needed to pay for the shipyard phase

Friday, June 04, 2010

Monkeys Visit the Advance Team House

Just off the dining room in our guest house is an area we have set up for the Advance Team office - pictured here are some of our 'friends' who come to visit - primarily they are around the house as the landlady feeds them. The little ones were really cute today. Though we have had them act as thieves and entered the house and took some of our fruit from the kitchen.

Backyard View - Advance Team House

I have joined the advance team in South Africa for 9 weeks - the team is made up of Cathy Warkentin and Brenda van Straten. We usually start our mornings at 7:30 having our breakfast and prayer and devotional time siting in our backyard.

Comrades 2010

Comrades 2010
Originally uploaded by keith.brinkman
A friend and one of our board members from England had his son and friend running in the Comrades 2010 and invited our advance team to come to the Sahara Stadium for the finishing line. It was a 89 km race from Pietermaritzburg to Durban and had over 23,000 runners from 18 years old to those much older. It claims to be the Ultimate Human Race -