We’ve enjoyed spending this weekend with a family that has twice as many children as we do. We’ve felt refreshed by this special time of building a friendship with Anita and Frankie Gates and getting to know their eight children.

Anita and Frankie live on a gravel road 13 kilometres from the main highway. They’re currently searching for a church and have been going to Totara North Bible Chapel for four weeks. Their kids enjoy the programs run by our hosts Mike and Janet Fleming, and it is through the Flemings that we first met the Gates.

The Gates family, March 2011
Frankie and Anita with their eight children: Rain in back, in front from left: Daisy, Cherry, Justice, Promise, Woven, Freedom and baby Ruby.

The Gates have two daughters aged five and seven years old, and after the initial warming-up period, our girls started playing nicely with them. The children brought out various pets and toys to show our girls.

Aisha and David with one of the Gates' rabbits, March 2011
The Gates have a large number of pet rabbits, and they brought some in to show the girls.

Girls giving each other piggy-back rides, March 2011
Soon the girls started playing nicely together while we talked with Anita and Frankie.

Watching Gates' home videos, March 2011
We were highly entertained by the Gates' home videos which the three oldest boys have made together.

Anita cooked up a vegetarian feast for our visit, and in the morning David got into the kitchen to re-cook the left-overs into chapatis. When we got tired, our family simply moved outside to sleep in our truck. It was our first time sleeping in the truck with the beds built-in, and we felt snug and warm in our well-insulated new home!

The Gates homeschool and are into natural, whole foods. We felt a real rapport with them and are once again inspired to have made such a connection. Surely our Father is directing our paths. We continually meet such fascinating, like-minded people! Praise God!