Hi everyone! As something fun we asked our kids a few questions (the older 2 answered for Jensen). We thought you might enjoy reading their answers and getting to know them a little better.🙂


  1. How old are you? 5
  2. What is your favorite color? Dark blue.
  3. What is your favorite animal? A lion.
  4. What is your favorite thing to do? Play with my friends and watch movies.
  5. Who is your best friend? Ethan and Hughlen and Aidan
  6. What do you want to do when you grow up? Be a superhero. Be a pilot.
  7. What is your favorite movie? Buzz Lightyear (aka Toy Story)
  8. What do you like to learn in school? About numbers.
  9. Tell me something about God. He made me and he loves me and he takes care of me. He made the whole world out of nothing.
  10. What is your favorite food? Bacon.
  11. What is your favorite story from the Bible? Abraham.
  12. What do you like about Eliya? I like to fight with her.
    What do you like about Jensen?
    He plays with me.
  13. What do you need to learn about obeying? Learn to be thankful and not complain.
  14. What is one thing you want to do next year? Go to my school.




  1. How old are you? 4
  2. What is your favorite color? Purple.
  3. What is your favorite animal? Elephants and cows
  4. What is your favorite thing to do? Color and sing
  5. Who is your best friend? Natasha and Emmanuela and other friends.
  6. What do you want to do when you grow up? Elsa
  7. What is your favorite movie? Frozen, Baby MacDonald
  8. What do you like to learn in school? About purple and elephants
  9. Tell me something about God. He made my elephants, wilddogs, giraffes, zebras…. They all went in Noah’s ark.
  10. What is your favorite food? Milk from cows. Sandwiches with peanut butter.
  11. What is your favorite story from the Bible? Noah’s ark about elephants.
  12. What do you like about Themba? He plays with me downstairs.
    What do you like about Jensen?
    He gives me kisses at night.
  13. What do you need to learn about obeying? To obey right away.
  14. What is one thing you want to do next year? Go to see elephants, rhinos, giraffes….




  1. How old are you? 1.
  2. What is your favorite color? n/a
  3. What is your favorite animal? Hadeda
  4. What is your favorite thing to do? Play in the dirt, play with Themba and Eliya, dance, eat.
  5. Who is your best friend? Bless, Nkavi, Ana.
  6. What do you want to do when you grow up? n/a
  7. What is your favorite movie? Baby MacDonald
  8. What do you like to learn in school? n/a
  9. Tell me something about God. Who made Jensen? “God did!”
  10. What is your favorite food? Bread, meat on the bone.
  11. What is your favorite story from the Bible? n/a
  12. What do you like about Eliya? She shares her markers and food with me.
    What do you like about Themba?
    He plays with me, and is funny.
  13. What do you need to learn about obeying? To obey and not scream or fight.
  14. What is one thing you want to do next year? Ride the plastic motorbike.


Hello friends,

Here is a quick update on the facility for Living Hope Church:

  1. Over 100,000 Rand came in towards a facility for Living Hope Church last week! Praise God!
  1. There were several offers on the table, and we are very thankful that the owners of the property accepted our offer. We made a cash offer for 3.25 million Rand, which they accepted on the condition that we raise the full amount by Thursday, 7 July. If we don’t raise the full amount by that date, then our offer is considered void. We are praying we will raise the funds in time! If not, we will see if making a second offer (with help from a bank) is a possibility.

Thank-you so much to all of you who are praying, and to any of you who have made donations!

God bless,

Donovan and Heather

P.S.: This blog post explains some of the reasons why we believe a facility would help further the ministry of Living Hope Church and 1Hope4Africa:  https://joshnmarda.wordpress.com/2016/05/10/a-church-is-not-a-building-but-we-kind-of-think-a-church-can-use-one/

If you are able and would like to make a contribution towards a facility for Living Hope Church, here are the details on how to do so:

South African Giving Details:

Absa Bank, Lynnwood Ridge

Account Number: 4074622688

Branch Code: 632005

Reference: Facility


USA Giving Details:

For tax deductible online donations, click here.

Select “Living Hope Church Facility” from the drop down menu.


Our Newsletter

May 3, 2016

Hello everyone,
We hope you are well!
You can read our latest Newsletter by clicking here. There’s lots of news of things to thank and praise God for, and some exciting (time sensitive) news about a possible facility for Living Hope Church, the African Bible Training Centre, and 1Hope4Africa offices… Please pray with us!
God bless,
Donovan, Heather, Themba, Eliya, and Jensen

Themba is 5!

February 12, 2016


Life tends to fly by… we took Themba in when he turned 2 years old and now he is 5 years old! It is such a joy to look back on God’s faithfulness and kindness to us in giving us Themba and in sustaining him and helping him to grow to be the handsome little boy he is. We thoroughly enjoy our son with all his quirks and passions. He brings joy to our family and is God’s means of grace to us in growing us to be more like Christ. We are very very thankful.

We love our goof-ball, talkative, inquisitive, loud, passionate, smart, and lovable boy. He is such a good big brother to Eliya and Jensen. He makes friends wherever we are and enjoys life so much that, heaven forbid, we make him take a nap. He has started Kindergarten at home with Heather and loves it! He gets bored when there isn’t school work to do. He has started asking a lot of questions about God and the gospel and we look forward to all that God will do in him in the next year.

Here are just a few photos from his 5th birthday party in November. We enjoyed celebrating big with family and friends and were so blessed by all those who were there and also those who weren’t able to be – all who have loved on and been there for our little guy.

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Our November Newsletter

November 26, 2015

Hello friends,

Happy Thanksgiving!
We didn’t originally intend to send this letter out today, but today is when we had the chance to finish it up… It’s good timing! Reading through the finished letter, I was struck by just how much we have to be thankful for. You can read our November newsletter by clicking here.
We hope you and your families are well. Have a blessed Thanksgiving!
Donovan, Heather, Themba, Eliya, and Jensen

Moving and the Springboks…

October 30, 2015

We’re moving TOMORROW!!! God has been so gracious to us in providing a new home for us in Sunnyside. We are so thankful. As in all of life, though, there are bitter-sweet moments and tomorrow will be one of those moments. We are sad to be leaving a home filled with so many memories and close to the baby home and the ladies that work there. We are also excited to live near other church members and step into a new home with all the memories to be made…


On another note, after an intense game last weekend, the Springboks play Argentina tonight in the Rugby World Cup to see if they place as 3rd. We hope they win! Here’s a photo of us watching the semi-final last Saturday with brothers and sisters from Living Hope Church. It was such a fun day of fellowship! (Can you spot Donovan, Themba, and Eliya?)



October 23, 2015

A fun memory from last year and now this year too is picking mulberries and making mulberry jam with Aunty Abbie. Abbie was an intern at the baby home for 10 months last year, and returned this year in May as a full time caregiver. We love having her around! Here are some fun pictures of our mulberry adventures.



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Jacaranda City

October 22, 2015

October is a wonderful month if you love the color purple (and other colors in contrast as well). Jacarandas all over Pretoria flower in October and for a few weeks the whole city seems purple! It is Spring!


(I didn’t take this photo but it gives a good perspective on the “Jacaranda City,” aka Pretoria.)

As promised, here are a few photos of the jacaranda beauty we see every day:





Go Springboks!

October 22, 2015

Many of you may know how much Donovan LOVES rugby. What you may not know if how much I and the kids have grown to LOVE rugby. Springbok and Sharks games are big events in our family. What has been wonderful is not only the memories that we as a family make surrounding the games, but also the many times of fellowship we get to enjoy when there are games to watch. We also love the opportunity it brings to break the ice with new friends and really get to know each other well. Some are even opportunities to build relationships for the gospel.



On Saturday we play the All Blacks (from New Zealand), considered 1st in world rankings. Donovan is optimistic…. whatever the results we will enjoy a sweet time of fellowship with friends. Go Springboks!!



October 2, 2015

It is good to look back at God’s faithfulness. This is our last month at our house that has been home for over a year and a half. We are excited to find a new home, Lord willing close to more church family. When we found the home we are staying in now we had no other options and it seemed like too much for just our little family, but God had a plan we could never think of. Throughout a year and a half he would bless not only us but many others through this home.

God gave us the privilege of continuing to live with Newton and Vanessa and Chisomo Chilingulo before they moved to Malawi in August 2014 to church plant. We enjoyed being family with them! The kids especially enjoyed all the time together.

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After them, we enjoyed a few weeks with Donovan’s sister Kerry and her husband, Vinson. It was so much fun having them around. We were truly spoiled.


God provided Vinson and Kerry with other homes to house-sit while awaiting Kerry’s visa to move to the USA. So we were able to have Bovard and Dadi (brothers from our church) come to stay with us. Dadi stayed with us until his job required him to live closer to town. Bovard stayed on until the long-awaited day he would marry Laurene. These 2 brothers and sister are from DRC. We are so very blessed to have them stay with us. Bovard has been with us for over a year now. There are so many blessings that come with feeling like you are truly family. We love how much our kids have loved having different brothers and sisters stay with us. Each day Bovard comes home from work the kids run yelling his name and ask him to throw them in the air. Their excitement can’t be contained!🙂


God has allowed us to use the space to bless others in many ways including having people stay with us, hosting Ladies’ Bible studies, showers, and home group meals, fellowshiping with many brothers and sisters from our church, etc. We pray he will use our new home (wherever that may be) for His Glory and will continue to teach us how to live life with our brothers and sisters in a way that matters for eternity.


Ladies from our “Gospel Community” (home group) enjoying some time of fellowship.


We hosted a kitchen tea (bridal shower) for Laurene.

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The kids thoroughly enjoy playing on our trampoline.

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The kids have also enjoyed having the space for a small pool and having picnics on the lawn.


Here is one of the Bible studies that was held at our home in 2014.

For those of you who would enjoy a “tour of our home” here are a few pictures. Don’t worry. It’s not usually that clean (we had to get it ready for a real estate agent bringing potential buyers by for our landlord).😉

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We loved being able to have a fire during the cold winter months and roast hot dogs and marshmallows on it as well.🙂

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Eliya loves her cardboard kitchen. She often “cooks” whatever mama is cooking.