One week ago today about 70 people were sitting (and shopping) in the Jo-burg airport, awaiting our 8-something departure. It’s just so incredible to believe our journey to Mamelodi has concluded. Yet, has it?, I ask myself. I sit here in our quiet living room sprawled out on our couch and really ask myself if this journey as commenced. I do not believe it has. For starters, I have not yet sat down to really process what I witnessed over that last two weeks, nor have I processed how God has moved in my life because of the last several weeks. I feel somewhat of a barrier to wanting to process. Deep down I guess I wonder if I write down and tell of many of my experiences, they will not be a part of me any longer. Does that make sense?
I know, it doesn’t really to me either as I see the words on my screen. So much occurred throughout our journey: some major spiritual highs seeing and feeling God’s hands move, some emotional lows as I saw so much devastation I wanted to kick into my social worker-mode and start solving the basic needs of the people I came into contact with, and also some anger and confusion as I wanted to do more hands-on work yet I had no control over our logistics and time management. Granted, I had some incredible highs as God gave me some remarkable people to meet and get to know from the few teams I was a part of, and also from the Africans we worked and played with. God blew me away with His provisions!!!
The first and most obvious answer to my prayers was the fact that I felt NO, and I mean NO overwhelming fear throughout our many hours of travel. We even had some scary and almost horrific turbulence at times throughout our flights, yet my anxiety waned. It was amazing! God was so incredibly faithful to me. God became so real and so large for me. The people from Charity and Faith Mission showed such power in their worship for our Creator, and I was completely humbled to learn of some of the members’ living conditions. Here they were, still worshiping our Lord, even when they struggled with food and health care. At times we as Americans, I believe, have a difficult time praising God even when we are not able to upgrade our cable or kitchen appliances!
There are so many individual stories that I have to share, but I still want to “digest” them a little more. But one thing I want to share directly at this time is a video, but it doesn’t seem to want to upload…. Our welcoming committee after we flew 14+ hours, gathered our luggage, and waited for direction, was absolutely amazing. Everyone of the individuals waiting for us was incredibly warm and open-hearted…The moment was priceless. It was hard NOT to smile when each cheer/chant/song (and vuvuzelas blast!) occurred. Little did we know it was just the beginning for our ever-growing hearts to be blessed by the people of Mamelodi and Charity & Faith Mission.