Monday, February 25, 2008
Word from the moochers
Dear Family and Friends,
We are getting all settled in at Cape Town, and it’s starting to feel more comfortable every moment. On Sunday we met up with a mission trip team here from Nashville and we have been ‘tagging along’ with them ever since. It is a strange feeling because we are usually on the team allowing missionaries to ‘mooch’ off of us. I think we are going to be humbled in MANY ways over the coming months.
We went to two churches on Sunday; the first was Fish Hoek Baptist Church. This is the church that started Living Hope Community Center, the organization we are working with here. They are a small but mighty congregation. This week the president of World Vision was visiting, and the congregation was told that their head pastor, Pastor John Thomas has been invited for a visit to the white house in a couple weeks. Just another day around here… But seriously, it is an incredible church, with great spirit and passion. Casey and I recognized that we can get bogged down in ‘judging’ churches for what they do and don’t have, but what really matter is if Jesus is present. He is present here. Then we went to a church about 3 minutes away in one of the townships. It is a poor church, and it is in another language – which has some of the African ‘clicks’ you hear about. They were incredibly passionate and danced as they worshipped. It was such a joy to share time with them.
After lunch we went with the Nashville team to Cape Point, the southernmost tip of Africa. It is strikingly beautiful there, and awe-inspiring. It is also a huge national park – an African ‘must-see.’ As we are taking in all of South Africa, I can’t help but notice the beauty here, both in nature and in the towns’ architecture. And yet, right around each corner you have these townships, basically hidden from view. It is as if this community has hidden away their poverty and problems, and now they have to start facing them all.
Today we went with the Nashville church on a tour of the Living Hope ministries here in Cape Town and the surrounding cities. There is so much need here with poverty, education, health care, and AIDS prevention and care. Living Hope is an INCREDIBLE organization and they are mobilized in so many places to help. They aim for ‘holistic’ care that assists not only the physical and basic needs of the person, but also the spiritual and emotional needs. Even though Cape Town is modern in so many areas, the desperate need is everywhere. We learned, for example, that the government gives needy women 200 rand (about $30) for each child born, and so women have children just to make some money. The people we talked to that work for the ministry said that in the face of the insurmountable need, they could get discouraged. So their mantra has become not to change the world, but just to help change the life of one person at a time.
Tomorrow we will be meeting with some more people about the jobs we are going to start doing here. Casey will be talking with people about some after-school camps and I will be talking with a social worker about counseling and pasturing things I can begin doing. We are ready to jump in!
Please feel free to contact us – or post any questions as a blog comment. We would love to hear from you! Pray that God will put us in the right places and that we will continue to see and hear Him around here!!