We made it to South Africa! Everyone is settled into their host homes and we could not be more grateful for our gracious hosts and hostesses (not to mention the beds that our sleep-deprived bodies have been aching for all day). We got together with the team based here in South Africa and got a good run down of what our week (plus a few days) is going to look like. We are incredibly excited to be here and to have this opportunity. We got to take part in Living Hope church’s Teen Group Ministry tonight, which was a blast. We’re going to sleep greatly anticipating all that God has for us here this week. Thank you for supporting us and continuing to lift us up through prayer!
Today (or whatever you call this last crazy bit of traveling) has been long and tiring, but so rewarding. Before we left the airport in Frankfurt, Germany, our team was encouraged by Rick Weber who shared from a number of bible passages about humility. We were challenged to remember that God chooses the weak, low, and foolish of the world. Not only that, but to remember that we are the weak, low, and foolish. Everything that we have received is a gift from God, so we have no right to boast. Ultimately we have to realize that we don’t and won’t control the details of this trip. We have been faithful to prepare, but God is going to do what He pleases in us and in spite of us.
After the flight, we were graciously picked up by Andre de Wit and Randy Clark. After more than a day of traveling, seeing their familiar faces was such an encouragement and blessing. Right away we were taken back to the Clark’s house for breakfast, a meeting, and another devotional.
Bryan Bush led our devotional this morning pointing us back to grace. We looked at the story of Mephibosheth and how David treated him with the utmost dignity, respect, and grace. However, that story pales in comparison to all that God has given us in His grace. We are not only pardoned from death, but we receive life, joy, and pleasure of being with God Himself for eternity.
This has been an exciting day! For some of us, it has been a chance to reconnect with friends that have been eagerly awaiting our team’s arrival. For others from our team, this has been a whole new experience. There has been much joy experienced today, and we can’t wait to continue to experience that joy throughout this trip.
The Clarks are doing well and are such gracious hosts! Please continue to support and pray for their ministry here. The Macks are wonderful partners in the gospel and we are blessed to be able to minister with them. The de Wits are much of the reason why this trip is possible logistically, and they’re really awesome people. There are so many more brothers and sisters in Christ that we are excited to meet up with throughout our time here! The gospel is alive and well in this community of believers, and we just can’t wait to continue to partake in ministry here in South Africa.
There are so many more things that could be said, but simply not enough time to recount everything. One that must be mentioned, however, is just how incredible our support team has been to get us here. To know that you have pleaded with the God of the universe on our behalf is an incredibly humbling thing. To know that many of you have given graciously from your personal finances just to send us here is humbling to the point of tears. We cannot express how grateful we are that you have sent us here. Please, keep beseeching the Father on our behalf.
In our meeting today, Andre shared some more details about what we will be doing here in South Africa. Even though we know that trip is not just about doing, we wanted to share with you some highlights so that you can pray with us and for us as we seek to serve the Lord through them. Tomorrow we get the incredible privilege of providing childcare for an evangelism training day for the whole Living Hope Church body. Lord willing, our presence here will allow some of the parents within the church who would not otherwise be able to attend, an opportunity to take part in learning how to effectively share the gospel! Depending on how many kids there are, some number of us will take shifts in childcare while the other members of our team get to be trained and encouraged in sharing the gospel. We have some physical labor next week, both at the baby home and at what will soon be the Biblical Training Center. We will also get to take part in their church’s “Fun Day” which will be somewhat similar to the campout.
Thank you, thank you, thank God.
We are so grateful for your support and how God graciously works all things together for His glory and for the good of His people.
~Team Member Shoutout~
We’re not sure how many of you have traveled abroad, but we’re guessing most haven’t had to plan for ten people to safely travel over 11,000 miles over a 28 hour time period. Bryan Bush has. In fact, it’s not the first time that Bryan has led a team to South Africa (and hopefully it won’t be the last time either). We are so thankful for all that Bryan has done, by the grace of God to prepare our team for this trip. He has been gracious and firm, humble and confident, and has set a precedent in those things for all of us to follow throughout this trip. He is a leader, teacher, friend, and father, and we are all uniquely blessed and grateful that he is a part of this team. We thank God for how He has, is, and will use Bryan here in South Africa.