We sent a mission team to South Africa November 14-25 to partner with our friends at Emoyeni. Here are some of the updates from their time experiencing the love of Christ with others halfway around the world.
Hannah Siegel, an intern with theHeart, helped Relational Care Pastor Graham coordinate the trip to South Africa. She was good enough to keep us updated with stories and photos.
Hurry Up and Wait
So as most of you have probably heard, our flights have not gone exactly as planned due to mechanical issues on our original flight to Amsterdam... we are currently in the London Heathrow airport waiting for our flight out to Johannesburg which departs at 4:45pm (11:45am y'alls time). We are scheduled to land at 5:45am Friday in SA (10:45pm y'alls time).
Everyone is pretty exhausted after such a long day of travel but spirits are high. On the bright side, some of us have learned that when you haven't slept in 24 hours, the airport floor is actually fairly comfortable. Plus, who knew we would find ourselves in London?
Once we land, we will head to the farm to get some much needed showers (I won't mention names) and lunch. Then on to Kruger for an overnight Safari! We will be back on the farm Saturday evening.
I will be checking this email account throughout the trip so if you have any questions, concerns, or just really need to tell your kid how much you love 'em (talking to you mom), feel free to shoot me an email!
Graham and I are SO blessed by this team already. It is an incredible group and we are excited for how The Lord will show up this trip! Even though travel has not gone as planned, we've all felt His presence with us already. Prayers for rest on this next flight and no hydraulic issues this time would be much appreciated! On to South Africa!!!
Has Anyone Seen Our Luggage?
The team arrived safe and happy this morning! Unfortunately their luggage did not, but it should be delivered tomorrow.
We made it back to the Emoyeni Farm for some needed showers, nap and lunch and then drove to the Kruger National Park for safari. We only had an hour to drive but saw zebra, giraffe, and impala. Then we had a nice braai (South African bbq) of ostrich steaks, chicken sausage, butternut squash, corn, braai bread, and s’mores :)
Testimony–After we checked into our accommodation in the park a few of us asked to pray for the receptionist as she used a crutch to walk with a severe limp (she had major surgery on ankle and shin with screws and plates etc). We prayed and she put weight on her leg - no more pain. She started walking and laughing and all the pain left, and she had full mobility and no limp! Than the other two staff wanted prayer too and the office was so blessed! Praise the Lord, God our Healer!
Off to bed so we can catch the sunrise safari drive at 4:30am!
Wild at Heart
You can all rest easy now... no one was eaten by a lion or trampled by an elephant. We had a BLAST [on our safari] at Kruger but are excited to be back on the farm to start our week of ministry!!
We attended two church services today and then got to share a meal with lots of people from the community. The busy days don't end here. Tomorrow we are running a mini camp on the farm for some local preschool-age kids. Not really sure if our heads were screwed on right when we decided to blow up a bunch of water balloons and break out paint for them but I guess we'll find out tomorrow. Updates on our levels of sanity to come.
Thank you all for keeping us in your prayers this week! We are all enjoying this time together in such a beautiful place. Again, if you have any questions or anything, please don't hesitate to reach out!
Relentlessly Pursuing God
Wow. What a week it's been and we still have a few days to go! Y'all, I cannot brag about these amazing people enough. They have been waking up at the crack of dawn and working SO hard until sundown but always seem to have an abundance of energy. The way they are relentlessly pursuing The Lord during this experience is incredibly humbling. I am so thankful for each one of them!
The preschool party on the farm was such a success yesterday. Really not sure if the kids had more fun or if we did! We got to go to the preschool this morning and do some projects around the grounds. Nothing like getting your hands dirty and sweating like crazy in the African sun.
The rest of our time has been spent in and among the community, praying for people and ministering to them in various ways. I think everyone is getting a great taste of the culture and everyday life of rural South Africa. We've had some pretty cool testimonies but I'll just let y'all anxiously look forward to hearing those firsthand :)
Tomorrow we will be helping a family with some projects around their house and then running a mini camp in the afternoon where we will meet the kids who will be coming to our overnight camp at the end of the week!
We so appreciate all the prayers as we have certainly felt them. Some more ways to be praying would be for continued energy. We are all getting tired and in need of some rest! Also, be in prayer for all the wonderful people we have met while here in Badplaas. Pray that Holy Spirit would continue to move in and among them!
Back Home Again
Hey family! We are on our way to Johannesburg as we speak for our 11:55pm flight (4:55pm America time). We have a layover in Amsterdam, then Atlanta, then Charlotte! We should be at CLT around 8pm Sunday. Whew. We are all pretty exhausted from the overnight camp last night but we had an amazing time.
Prayers that the hydraulic system is fully functioning this time would be very much appreciated (still not sure if I can joke about that yet). Also pray that we will actually get some sleep!!
It truly has been an incredible week. The Lord has shown up in so many ways and I am over the moon with thanksgiving. Thank you for sharing your kid/spouse/sibling/friends with us this week. It has been a joy and a privilege growing together!