"The effectiveness of my work and my so-called success are tied to the quality of friends God has given me. Your friends see value in you and you meet that with value. The pursuit of that value is the friendship. If that stops because something got in your way-- time, goals, or something else-- it becomes a grace, because you benefit from something you did very little for."
We've talked about this a lot, Sarah and I, but I was reminded of it last night while reading from "Follow Me to Freedom" by Shane Claiborne and John Perkins. (This quote is from Perkins, who has been a civil rights advocate and fighter for justice since the 1960s.)
Sarah and I recognize that the thing that God has always given us in abundance is amazing friends. They are high quality, loyal, trustworthy, supportive, and caring. We left behind a community in Raleigh full of amazing friends that have continued to support us even from far away. You have sent us emails, called us, sent us letters and cards, one sent us an amazing care package, and one has even visited us. You have supported us financially as we rely on your generosity to allow us to be here. So, the first part of that quote totally relates to you.
But God has also blessed us with amazing friends here in South Africa. Many of you who follow our blog often have gotten to know some of these friends. Michael Jenkins, the Torrances, Shagmie & Lauren, Jamie and her family, Granny Jacoba, Bernadette & Iver, and the list goes on and on. They have embraced us in their homeland and made us a part of it. We are humbled by their grace towards us and their support.
As we celebrated our Christmas together with Sarah's parents yesterday, we were reflecting on the thing that God has done the last year that has been most significant to us. Our friendships are the thing that I shared about. The friendships at home that sent us and entrusted us to the friendships we have here. Friends in America, take heart, our friends in South Africa are doing a great job!