Home. Wow! Hard to put into words the time I spent in South Africa. I feel so incredibly blessed to have had this opportunity. My eyes have been opened in ways I never imagined.
Going half way around the world to serve God was an adventure of a lifetime. I can truly say I left my heart in South Africa. It was so fulfilling and rewarding in so many ways and on so many different levels.
Friendships were made, lives were transformed as eyes were opened, hearts were broken, God’s majesty was revealed.
I was so amazed by those who serve at the Khula, Murchison and the Care Center. Amazed at the joy of those I met, the strength and depth of their faith, their passion for life, and their deep abiding love for God. Their movement through their everyday service was an inspiration and has me wanting that deep trust and faith. To dig deeply in God’s word, to be anchored by prayer, to be rooted in His holy word.
The children we encountered-I saw joy, sadness, despair, and smiles that could light up a room. They live in such extreme poverty, under such difficult circumstances and the odds are stacked against them. Aids has ravaged their families, their communities and taken away their childhoods. Yet they muster on, encouraged by Ally at Khula, Letitia at Murchison, and Gail and the nurses at the Care Center, Byron at Norwegian Settlers, and they are encouraged and lifted up in prayer here in Chicago. Some of the stories are heartbreaking and bring so many questions with no answers. How to respond to their plight? How would God have me continue to serve? What is my next step?
Teamwork-As a team we pulled together, served together, cried together, laughed and snorted, formed new bonds and new friendships. God put a bunch of strangers together and created a family. I knew no one when I started this adventure and now have 8 new friends that I was so grateful to serve with. It was fun and exciting to watch as God worked in each of us, challenged us, transformed us, and grew us. I can only speak for me, but think it is the same for the others, my faith was changed. Newly charged, deepened, strengthen, and a new passion infused.
I am sure there will be adjustments to being back in the USA, back in the routine, but God will be faithful in directing my steps on solid ground, lighting the way He desires me to go. He is awesome and powerful.