Our last full day here in South Africa. There’s a very mixed bag of emotions that comes along with that. On one hand, we are deeply saddened that our time here has to come to a close. On the other hand, we will soon be reunited with our families and friends back home.
The sky was clear blue this morning for the first time since we got here
Rather than being bogged down by the fact that we will be leaving soon, we set out this morning full of energy, ready to see what the Lord would do through us. We began with breakfast at the Mack’s and a devotion led by Marty Krebs. We looked at Colossians 1:15-20, one of the greatest passages of scripture explaining who Christ is. We were reminded of the truth of who Christ is. Seeing who He is gives us a foundation to base our attitudes and actions on.
“And he is before all things, and in him all things hold together.”
With this in mind, we drove about two and a half hours to Modimolle, where we were greeted with a number of friendly faces. We started off our time with some singing, and a teaching from Bryan Bush on Christ as our one and only mediator based on Hebrews 12:24. Though there weren’t a ton of people there to hear the message, it was still a great opportunity to encourage those who came, and to bless the pastor of the church.
After the message, we split up. The guys, minus Jim, Josh, and Matthew, went to do some gardening for a number of people in the community. The ladies and the three mentioned above stayed at the church to work with the kids. They did some Awana games, shared the gospel message & taught the kids how to do so with a Gospel bracelet, and sang a few worship songs. There was also a delicious pudding, oreo, gummy worm snack!
Kayla made a new friend
Rachel also made a new friend
The kids sang Melo some songs
Melo & Chris got to share the gospel with the kids
The pudding crew!
The kids enjoying their pudding (some of them for the first time ever)
An action shot of one of the AWANA games
Jim Hughes organizing games, trying to get the kids in line
Kayla (err.. her hair) drew quite the crowd
Everyone came back together for lunch, which the church ladies graciously provided for us. Once we were done enjoying our meal, we split up into small groups to do a family style devotion. The purpose of the devotion was to teach the church members how to hold their own family devotions. A number of the men from the team got to lead small groups and did a great job explaining how to do a devotion with the whole family.
Steve Manthorne’s small group
Jim Hughes’ small group
Bryan Bush’s small group
Marty Krebs’ small group
Tracey Murphy’s small group
Randy Clark’s small group
The group shot
Once we had finished up and taken a group picture, we headed back to the Mack’s. After a long drive (on which one of the cars sang hymns for about 2 & 1/2 hours straight), the team made it back to the Mack’s and all of the younger adults & kids on the team got to wash the cars. A church that has close ties to Living Hope church lent us the use of their large van at no charge. This was a huge blessing, and so the least we could do was give it a good washing before returning it. We also got to wash the Clark’s van, which they purchased just days before we arrived (and we proceeded to make quite dirty…).
Hard working group
Andre, the model
Julia showing off her hard work
Andre giving Josh a little whipping
Matthew & Taylor cleaning the inside of the van
Fancy shot – photo credit:: McKenna Mack
To finish off our day, we had a delicious home-cooked meal, and got an update from the Clark family. We have so appreciated our time spent with this dear family. They have been such a blessing to us, even though we came seeking to bless them. We were especially encouraged by their transparency, their openness, and their love for our church & team members. For most of the team, this will be our last night here in South Africa. Please pray for a good night’s sleep and the ability to enjoy our last hours, and church service in Pretoria (last… At least for this year ;)).
Pastor Doug made it home safely! We as a team are especially grateful to those of you who prayed for him during his travels. It has been good for him to be home, and though we were sad to see him leave, we know that it was the right thing for him to do.
Home! Safe, sound, and happy
Tomorrow most of us will head home. Before we do that, the plan is to enjoy a little bit more time with the 1Hope family here in South Africa & to worship alongside the body of believers that gathers at Living Hope Church. Please pray for safety as we travel, a good last day here, and the ability to bless the families that we’ve been honored to stay with here. Your prayers have meant so much to our team–please keep them up!