When someone asks, "How was Africa" I always feel I cannot answer that question with a few words that anyone could really understand. All that God has done. All that He was doing. The work He has has begun that He will complete.
Like, never before, I really felt, I was seeing the face of God.
While driving from Johannesburg to Shayandima, Brother Brad and I discussed the work we would be doing and the work we had prepared for. While we were prepared to teach daily in the mission schools, we knew he had arranged for us to visit an outreach program. He suggested going three times.
I asked, "How often do these children receive visitors?"
And, he replied, "They hardly receive any visitors."
Then, I asked, "Why can't we go everyday."
Children who are orphans, or in poverty, or otherwise at-risk, go there everyday for one good meal. I held those we were told we orphans. I hugged and comforted those who were age 19, but mentally handicapped and living alone. I tried to be certain to look into the eyes of those who seemed the most forlorn.
We were blessed with some extra money to take along with us, so we purchased more food...and they were given a fresh piece of fruit every day we were there. When have you seen your children thankful for an orange?
Funny thing is...I was just going to take their photo as they gathered around Joshua....and they all decided to show me their oranges.
We were blessed to be able to give them a cup of water...in Jesus name:
And, everyday, we told them about Jesus. We knew we needed an interpreter. Brother Brad said we would have to ask who could interpret for us. I don't know why I was surprised when there were two young girls there who could interpret for us. One was a college student, waiting to save more money so she could go back to school. The other as Nella. (Well, her name was much longer than that, but she shortened it for me and told me I could call her Nella.)
I was filled with joy as God allowed me to share His love with the children, through Nella.
Joshua led the music, so faithfully, singing the same songs sometimes 10 times each day with different groups.
Amy assisted with games as we further developed the story. She and Jeanne helped in a relay where we carried our friends to Jesus.
And, I am reminded of how much we take for granted here in our cozy homes in America. Nella's family, like almost all of the others, had no water. They had to go to the village well and "fetch" water to take home. They seemed to truly appreciate all we were doing. When we would arrive each day, they began shouting our names. Even the teenagers eagerly sat down to color a picture.
They eagerly lined up at the end of each day when our lessons were over....and waited for one piece of candy. Even....my 17-year-old friend "Muscle Man." He was always eager to show me his muscles.
And, I still grow teary-eyed when I remember the prompting of the Holy Spirit, to speak the name of Jesus over them. So, as I gave each one a piece of fruit or a piece of candy. I spoke His name.
He is a strength to the needy, a refuge from the storm.
He gave me the blessed opportunity to be His vessel.
And, I pray that I am never the same.