Thursday, June 30, 2011


I was driving around last night at about one in the morning.

You know, just for fun.


Kiers seems to have an ear infection/was having an allergic reaction in the middle of the night/she is a toddler and her body is SO CONFUSED by traveling for 30 hours. 

We were out looking for meds in the middle of the night.  And can I say it was SO NICE to be able to get what we needed at 1am.  Cuz in Africa only the bars are open then.  That might have helped meeee but not Kieren at that moment...

Anywhoo, I was driving around North Raleigh in the middle of the night, and so took the long way home and drove by our old house.  It looks so sweet and nice and quiet (we still own it and are renting it).  All the streets in Raleigh look so sweet and familiar and lovely.  It's so nice to be here.  It feels totally normal and totally weird all at the same time.

I have concluded that we do in fact have two full homes.  We feel completely at home in Raleigh and we feel completely at home in Ocean View.  It's official.

But it's the community in RAleigh (and beyond) that sent us to Ocean View, prayed for us, and believed in us on this incredible journey.  So the second home can never be possible without the first.  So it's great to be back at the first home.

But I also miss the View.  I miss Granny.  I miss our little gangsters.  I miss everyone.  I miss Ocean View.

So thankful to be in the US.  Excited for the ministry in the coming month.  Expectant for what God is going to do.

Glad to be home, and miss home all at the same time.

What a brilliant problem to have.


Tuesday, June 28, 2011

So Hard to Say Goodbye

Even though we know we are only leaving SA for five weeks, it was SO HARD to say goodbye.

And exhausting.

Because EVERYONE came to our house yesterday and today to say goodbye.  EVERYONE.

I was telling Casey how exhausting it was to say goodbye and he politely brought it to light how BEAUTIFUL it is that so many people wanted to say goodbye.

Granny Jacoba was there almost all day looking so sullen and being very uncharacteristically quiet.

Roseka, Kieren's little friend on our street, stood outside for an hour hoping to get a hug from Kieren before she left (she was napping up until we took off in the car).

Kyle and Vano were around ALL day playing X-box, helping with little details, and already starting to BEG Jordan to give them things we would never give them.  :)

The View youth were over yesterday and today laughing and talking about how bummed they were we were leaving.

Auntie Katie, Granny's BFF came over and sat on the couch with Granny the last hour and then hugged us goodbye.  We made her promise she would take care of our granny.

My View women came over last night for one last laugh and hug.

Treswell gave us a 'word' from Scripture that God had laid on his heart before we left.

We got SO MANY texts and calls today to tell us goodbye.

I just feel so honored and humbled that we are so loved by our Ocean View community.  It is a privilege that we are loved so well.

And now we are on our way to our USA family.

Ready to get tan and fat.


Monday, June 27, 2011

Preaching It Up

Preached this weekend at Ocean View Methodist - YAY!  Every time I preach there I think "I LOVE MY CHURCH!"  I really do.  After I preached they brought our family to the front of the church and prayed for us and our trip.  We are blessed. Thankful.

See my sermon below!


Or click link here.

Moving Forward


Feeling a bit crazy this morning as we leave TOMORROW for our trip to the United States.

NO it's not a holiday!!  But YES I will get tan and fat!  Woo hoo!
So excited to see family and friends and MOST OF ALL excited to share all that God has been doing in our midst and ministry.  We feel abundantly blessed and filled to the  BRIM with what God is doing.  Can't WAIT to share it all.

As we pack up and tie up lose ends, I find my heart already getting sad this morning to say goodbye to our home here.  I love these people so lives and our hearts are deeply, deeply intertwined with theirs.

Yesterday afternoon I woke up from a nap (hollar at Sunday naps - the BEST) and four women from the Methodist church had made me a home-made card and brought gifts for me.  These woman have NOTHING and often don't have money for simple things like electricity and bread.  But they wanted to bring ME a gift to thank me for the ways I love and support them. 
So  humbling.

We had a great day at our SA churches yesterday, and again just thankful for the ways God builds us up in those places.

We are learning.  We are growing.  We are blessed.
Oh, and we ended the weekend by taking Granny Jacoba out for a birthday dinner (her b-day was Saturday but she was too busy for us!).  We took her for fish at Ocean's Basket.  We laughed and had the best time.


love my life.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Sisters United

This week I got to work on a new initiative that Hillsong is starting on.  It's called 'Sisters United' and the goal is to reach women in various township communities to love, mentor, and build up what God is doing there.  Hillsong has been busing in small groups of women from townships for big women's events, but  we have seen such beauty in the Ocean View community as women unite and grow together we want to help foster it in other areas. 
And I get to help with it!  YAY for me! What a dream!

So on Tuesday I went to the northern suburbs of Cape Town to an area called Atlantis, a coloured township that was established during apartheid to move the group out of the city of Cape Town.  It is HUGE now, overflowing with people, and home to another smaller community called Mamre.  Mamre is on the edge of Atlantis, and a farming community made up of coloured folks, and it where I found these incredible women.

An powerful friendship was formed by two woman, a white Afrikaaner named Loretta and a coloured woman named Nolene and they have started to minister together to women in Mamre and Atlantis.  I went for one of their weekly women's meeting in a home in Mamre.  The area is insane because it's made of small homes and 'wendy homes' similar to what I see in Ocean View, but surrounded by horses, chickens, and farm land.  It's actually really beautiful.  As the women opened up, I found their hearts to be broken and needy just like the women I minister to in Ocean View.  Actually, just like my heart too.

It was a beautiful morning and I got to take some of them home and see their humble homes.  There was instant connection and they are ready now to come to Ocean View :)  We will continue to build and mentor these women and bring them into the Hillsong Sisterhood family.  Beautiful things are ahead.

What a privilege I have to reach out to these amazing women.  God is at work.


Friday, June 24, 2011


Yesterday when I came home, I walked into THIS.

Blessed and loved.

Giving Back

This week I was so surprised by something.  Tuesday night I was hanging around the house, a bunch of kids over playing with Kieren, and preparing dinner, and I had a knock at the door.  It was three of my Ocean View women.  My first thought was 'uh oh, what did I do??'

Turns out I didn't do anything.  I wasn't in trouble.  My Ocean View women are just going around to all the families in the Methodist church to check in with them and see how they are.

They just wanted to check in with ME and see how our family is doing.  And pray for us.  That's it.  Just wanted to love us.

Humbled once again in this community.  The people we have come to serve have time and time again served and loved us so well.  There is so much in this incredible community of Ocean View.  And so much more to come.


Thursday, June 23, 2011

More Intern Thoughts...

Check out these REALLY cool thoughts from one of our summer interns, Alison Gamble.  Love her SO. MUCH.


I am taking our wonderful interns through a journey that I call "Look, Listen, Love."  It's what God has taught me through living in Ocean View and has become a key piece in my ministry (you are going to hear MUCH MORE about this soon!).  So with the interns, we are walking through each of those steps while they are living in the Ocean View community.  I wanted to share some of their thoughts with you because they are amazing!

From Christine:
As I go and listen to people from Ocean View there are many tragic stories of drugs, alcohol, violence, apathy, job loss, and the list goes on and on.  While these stories were eye opening and difficult to hear, it was something else that stood out to me. In the midst of so much darkness, there is light.  In this past week I have had the privilege of talking to several people in the community who are daring to go against the grain and fight for something bigger than most people in the community are willing to settle for.  One particular family we talked to, the James family, is doing this everyday.  While talking to them about what life is like in the community, I saw that they recognized the problems in the community and the pressures they continually face, and it was clear that they had made a decision to not give in to these pressures. Their stories were inspiring and they are all working in different ways to encourage and strengthen those around them.  It was amazing to me that in a world where so much is going wrong, their love for each other, their community, and God was so apparent.  It reminded me of Matthew 5:14-16 when it says “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”  The James family is just one of many lights in Ocean View and they offer hope that this community can transform and live up to their potential.

From Doug:
There are a couple things that stand out in my mind with the people here in Ocean View that I’ve heard. The first is that they are not quick to take the blame for anything. After spending much time with the Ubuntu kids, listening to programs on TV about Cape Town, and from people in Ocean View, they all blame their struggles not on their doing but on the doings of others. That may be partly true because of the apartheid and the prejudice and segregation that still holds strong here, but it has been years since the apartheid ended, and it continues to receive the blame for the lack of change in the more poor communities. The young kids find no fault from their own actions when they’re late to events or aren’t prepared for activities. The blame is put on their parents or on the taxi’s who provide some of the kids transportation, etc.  When I compare what I’ve learned from “Looking” at Ocean View to what I’ve “Listened” to here in Ocean View, my desire to see young men rise up to be leaders in the community is desired even more. I don’t see and hear a community who can’t change. Instead, what I see and hear is a community who won’t change.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Volunteer HERE!

Alison Gamble and I (one of our interns) and I went to a Volunteer Workshop last week to learn how to best utilize people volunteering their time and passion in our organizations.  It was an OVERLOAD of information, but GREAT stuff.  It really pumped me up for having people work with us here in Africa!

This year God has really uncovered a part of my heart that desires to teach and inspire young people to see God's heart for the last and least in our world.  I have LOVED all the people who have visited us in SA and worked with Ubuntu and Ocean View.  It's something I want MORE MORE MORE of!  So we will continue to position ourselves to be ready for volunteers to come work with Ubuntu and learn from the Ocean View community!

Who is next??
Is it you??

Here are some of the benefits that come from volunteering with Ubuntu and living in Ocean View:
1. Learn about living in a TOWNSHIP in Ocean View
2. Make a difference in the life of others
3. Be exposed to new cultures
4. Learn about soccer ministry
5. Travel!
6. See AFRICA!!
7. Training, skills, and life experience
8. Hang out with the PRINCE FAMILY!

Time for you to make a plan to come to CAPE TOWN!


Love to the Dads

Happy DAD's DAY to all the Father's out there!

I was brimming with thankfulness yesterday as I celebrated my sweetie who is the BEST DAD to Kieren.  He is amazing and fun and the most incredible partner I could ever ask for.  We have a blast!  

Cute DAD story:
Every night when Casey puts K to bed, they start playing, and wrestling, and jumping, and laughing, and showing off (the interns have been enjoying the show lately), and it takes a good 30 minutes.  I can't even try to stop it.  They just have so much fun together and Kieren giggles and grins from EAR to EAR every time she sees Casey.  What. A. Gift.

And then there is my own Dad, who is an incredible example of humility, Godliness, and love.  He has taught me to be giving, faithful, strong, and to seek Holiness.  Each year he gets better and better and I look up to his walk with God.  

Who could ask for more?


Thursday, June 16, 2011

You are Not Alone

I found this incredible organization today when I was reading up about what's going on with To Write Love on Her Arms.  They are also amazeballs, but THIS one is pretty epic, I think.  I found an organization online called I'm Alive at  This is what they do:

 Delivering The Miracle of Hope and Help
We are poised to create the world’s first virtual crisis center. When it launches it will also be the first crisis center where 100% of the volunteers are trained in crisis intervention. While we are only able to offer services to North America, we hope IMAlive will grow beyond our borders.
I think it's beautiful that anyone can go online and get help and someone to listen to in a moment of desperation or crisis.  We should know that all of us come to a time where we need help, a hand, something beyond ourselves.
You are not alone!  Share this resource with others!

Kieren 'Reading'

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

New Interns

We are growing quite a clan of fun people hanging out in the View with us!  Two new interns are now here to work with us, and I want them to introduce themselves!

     Hi. I'm Jordan Parker and I'm from Corinth, MS. I am 17 and just graduated high school. In the fall I plan to attend Southern Mississippi University and play football as a kicker/punter. While at Southern I will study polymer science. My dad Gregg, is the youth minister at First Pres. Corinth and also the boys soccer coach for Corinth High School. My mom, Debbie, is a school teacher at the elementery school. My sister Kara is studying dental hygeine and little brother Joel who is ten is just enjoying being the baby of the family. Sports of any kind, that I enjoy, and also good company and just relaxing.
     I first heard about Ubuntu and what Casey and Sarah were doing here in Ocean View two years ago at Fun in the Son. I immediately felt compelled and felt the calling to help with their organization. Two of my greatest loves put together: Soccer and missions. I knew that one day I would arrive in Ocean View and do whatever it is that I have been called to do here. Although it didn't happen immediately and as soon as I would have liked I didn't lose hope, with a little help, and now I am finally here!
     During my time in Ocean View I want to practice and learn more about the art of serving. 1 Peter 4:10, "Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God's grace in its various forms." For me that gift is soccer so I believe that through soccer I can ultimately help serve others. Also, while I am here I don't just want to serve but I also want to learn. There are those who need help, but then there are others who have a lot to teach me.  

Hi!  I’m Christine Gamble and I grew up in Raleigh, NC and went to Grace Community Church.  I now go to Wheaton College, which is a great school near Chicago.  I’m an Interdisciplinary Studies major, with a combination of economics, anthropology, and geology with a focus on water.  I have a heart for rural parts of Africa and want to help with economic development and help ensure that people have access to water, adequate food, and basic health care.  I originally came to Africa this summer with a program at my school called Student Ministry Partners.  I was supposed to work in Zambia with the Jubilee Centre, an organization focused on community development and empowering local churches, with two other students from Wheaton for two months.  Due to some unfortunate and unavoidable interactions between my malaria pills and migraine medicine, my trip in Zambia was cut short.  Although it has been easy for me to become frustrated by the circumstances and confused as to why God would bring me all the way here just to have me leave so soon, I know that God is faithful and has a plan, even when I don’t completely understand it.

Instead of going directly home after leaving Zambia I decided to join my sister Alison, who is already working with Casey and Sarah this summer.  This summer is already a lot different than what I expected or prepared for, but I am excited for this opportunity to be in Cape Town. While my location has changed, my goals for the summer are more or less the same.  I hope to learn about different communities and see how they function.  Most importantly, I want to love and humbly serve those around me while also growing in my awareness of God's love for the people of this world.


Casey and I took a day off yesterday and created our own 'stay-cation' for ourselves!  Actually CASEY did ALL the planning - how cool is he??

We hiked up Chapman's Peak (took us 2 1/2 hours!) then had lunch, went to a movie, had SUSHI (he loves it now!  Who is this man??) and stopped by our Hillsong leaders connect group.  It was relaxing, long, restful, and full of laughter and great conversation.

Of all the things we are doing to prepare to return for a visit to the US in two weeks, I think yesterday was the most important - REST!!


Monday, June 13, 2011

Great Thoughts

This is a post from our good friend here, Noah.  It's focused on fulfilling God's dreams.  Check it out please, it's very inspiring!


Enter At Your Own Risk

On Friday, we went to the Westlake township, to see a kids club that runs there on Friday afternoons.  They had almost 400 kids running around that gym and it was CHAOS PERSONIFIED.  Seriously never witnessed anything so crazy; but it was a beautiful environment for these kids to grow and learn about Jesus.  But whoa.  Crazy.

As we left, I noticed this brick wall, which was the entrance to one part of the township.  I was struck by what was painted on the wall:
"Enter At Your Own Risk"
Can you imagine if that was the sign at the front of your neighborhood?

What does it do to one's psyche and identity to have your community marked as a 'risk' to any who want to enter?  This is the realities of people growing up in this desperate and hostile townships - there are risks around every corner and it is many times too harsh to survive or thrive.  

My heart broke once again and my vision continues to expand of how to create environments of love, peace, joy, and belief for these people who only know risk, danger, violence, and darkness.  We can see pieces of heaven on this earth - I see it all the time in Ocean View.  We need more.  The journey continues...


Sunday, June 12, 2011

Check out OUR Ocean View

A couple weeks ago our incredibly talented friend, Kate Senekal took pictures of our family in Ocean View.  I am taking a wild guess that it was the first photo shoot in this crazy location.  
It's out home, it's our community, and we love it.  I think Kate captured it all well.  

Check out these below, or to see more or her work (AMAZING) check out:

Friday, June 10, 2011

Kieren Loves

Kieren loves her friends.  Adores.  She adores her buddy Jensen.  Her little smile says it all.
We are blessed.


Best Day Ever

Yesterday we had a YEAH moment.  We had a 'this is WHY we do this' moment.  We had a major GOD moment.

We were hanging out at home doing different things; kids and people in and out of the house like usual.  All of a sudden I realize Kyle is at our house (totally normal everyday occurance) but his grandmother is also at our house sitting on our front lawn.  So Casey and I both go out to speak with her.  She won't come inside but she wants to talk with us.

She proceeds to tells us a MILLION different things, and pours at her broken heart, as best she can.  

Kyle had a note sent home from school that he was being disrespectful to his teachers.  His schoolwork is good, but he is just disrespecting his teachers.  So his granny went to school to find out more details and was overwhelmed with emotion about the situation.  

She told us multiple times in front of Kyle that his mother doesn't care about him.  She took one look at the note and threw it on the floor.  Grandmother said she has reared him since he was a child because his mom have never cared.

This is all TRUE but we were both just cringing as she was saying this in front of our sweet Kyle.  Of course he knows it, but how painful must it be to hear it out loud.  Ugghh.

So she was just at a loss, and asking us what she should do.  Wanting our advice.  Wanting our help.  She decided to take away soccer for a bit because it's what he loves the most (true) but just so desperate to get through to him about how important school is.

She kept asking him to 'tell me' what is the problem.  'Talk to me now, we are listeing.  Tell me.  TELL ME.'  Kyle eventually just started crying.  Who even knows why.  His broken heart probably has no idea either.  With no dad and a mom who doesn't care and a granny who cares some but is just mad I would cry too.  All the time.

So we told her we would talk with Kyle about it today some more.  We would keep working with him.  We told her we believed in him.  We think God has a special future for him.  He is a special kid.

One of the sweetest things she said.  She says that Kyle loves us so much.  She couldn't even articulate the love, so she said that he thinks we are Mrs. World and Mr. World.  So. Sweet.

I can't articulate in words how much I love Kyle.  Today Casey already talked with him about the situation, and we have learned that Kyle likes to be the class clown, and he is going to work on being respectful.  Even he knows there is so much ahead.

"Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us..."  -Ephesians 3:20


Thursday, June 9, 2011

God on the move

Since the Hillsong Colour women's conference, a group of friends and I have been really burdened by the issue of human trafficking.  We have been praying together weekly and it's just a huge, huge movement of evil in this world.

There is this amazing organization called the A21 Campaign and they are doing something about the problem.  It was started by this radical woman named Christine Caine.  She rocks and is changing the world.
I recently read this article from her about her journey towards trafficking and doing this amazing work, you can read it too here:

Wow.  God is moving. 



We have the best community in Ocean View.  We are SO. BLESSED.

Our neighbors down the street are the Kallis family with four generations of wonderful women all in one house (until this past year when the youngest Jamie went to medical school!).  They are EPICLY amazing and love Kieren so much.  So they come by and 'fetch' her frequently and even the extended Kallis family loves Kieren.  The 'mom,' Heidi takes Kieren to see her sister Lynn and she says Kiers is the daughter she never had (she has two adorable and rambunctious boys).  SO. SWEET.  Oh my gosh I just love them all so much. 

Today I realized Heidi recently put up a TON of Kieren pics on facebook.  Seriously, they are basically like family, they love Kiers so much.  SO. SWEET.

We are blessed.

Heidi and Jamie Kallis with Kallis cousins Adam and Liam and Kiers

Umm the theme is that she is ALWAYS eating at the Kallis home.  A bit spoiled and a LOT loved.
 So special.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Ubuntu Life

Our coaches.  Coach Kieren is especially tough on the kids.

Stayed Tuned

This is a week of planning and preparing and visioning.  I am SO. EXCITED.

One of the things that is brewing is some women's ministry that I am working with Hillsong to build.  We want to work with women in the townships around Cape Town bring them together and build them as great women of God.  

What we have found in Ocean View is that there are so many amazing women of God.  But they are often alone.  Struggling.  Carrying the weight of so much.  Bring them together to love, believe in, and encourage each other and something HUGE happens.  It's been SIMPLE but PROFOUND in Ocean View.

We want to go into other townships and bring togehter women of God, mentor and encourage them, and build women's ministries. 

It's a big vision, but we love women and want to build them up to see the beautiful women of God that they are.  

I have seen it in Ocean View.  I can't wait to see it all over this city.  

It's going to be beautiful.  Stay tuned.

Kieren Singing

Quick video of Kieren singing - she is ALWAYS singing. That girl has her own song in her heart...

Monday, June 6, 2011

Our Interns are "Looking"

This month our lives are being invaded by our 'interns' Alison and Doug.  They have LOTS to do around here, but along the way I have invited them to 'Look, listen, and love' those in Ocean View.  This is a way to truly step into this community and engage in a new way.

Last week their task was to 'look.'  Here are their profound thoughts:

From Allison
This past week we were given the task to look around at our surroundings and really try to absorb as much about Ocean View as possible.  There were a couple of patterns that really stuck out to me about this place.  The first thing is that the polychromatic stereotype about Africa is definitely true here.  Time is a very vague concept and relationships are a much higher priority than getting everything on the to-do list done in the day or making it to a meeting on time.  Going along with this concept, many people seem to lack motivation or work ethic.  A lot of this seems to come from the mentality from apartheid.  Rather than taking responsibility for one’s own actions, its common for a lot of people to blame others for their circumstances without looking for ways they can change their situation.  The youth and men of the community seem to have the hardest time with this.  Some of the women, especially the older women, are the ones that are carrying this community.  They are the ones that are working to provide for their families, taking care of all of the household chores, and parenting their children and grandchildren.  The mentality that the man needs to provide for the family and really be the leader seems to be lacking here.  The last thing that I noticed is that people seem to be more spiritual.  They are more comfortable talking about God and spiritual realms and are faster to attribute things to God and show their dependence on Him than most people back home seem to be. Overall, I think I’ve just started to scratch the surface of the lives of those who live here, but I’m really looking forward to getting to know them better and learning more about their lives.

From Doug
When I walk through Ocean View and look around, I have a mixture of emotions. From what I've heard, Ocean View is a pretty poor and helpless place. But since I've been here, I have found that it doesn't fit that description soundly. Yes, Ocean View is "poorer" than Cape Town. Yes, Ocean View does not have the best looking houses or flats. Yes, there is poverty. But overall, the people here aren't too poor, if you consider that running water, food, and a place to stay at night isn't a description of poverty.  When I walk the streets, I see a lot of independence, and it saddens me because some families aren't tied together as they should. The streets here are filled with teens and adults who seem to "waste" their time and are comfortable with doing nothing productive.  They may not like where they are living, but most people or families don't do much about it to change.  
When I walk through Ocean View, I see a community that knows each other but shares the same bad situations and doesn't help each other break of of these situations. I see individuals. Individuals who are stuck in their position or lifestyle because of lack of community that lifts each other up and delivers each other out of the situations that strikes every family. As a result, when I think of sharing the gospel here, I don't think of a community uprising that is willing to stand for a cause or change for the better. I see an individual change. A change that needs to strike one individual that affects him or her enough to change, then personally pursue a relationship with another to see a change in their life. Ocean View needs leaders. Leaders who are motivated. Leaders who are accepted. Leaders who want a change. Leaders who will not settle for less. Leaders who, most importantly, are willing to truly live for the 
Gospel and give their life to something thats more than themselves

Saturday, June 4, 2011

View Youth

Another great night with the youth of Ocean View!

We had youth at our house last night and had a great group along with our new leaders Chevonne, Morne, and Pam!  SO exciting to have these incredible people on board!  Our white-people friends from the US lead us last night by sharing their testimonies.  Amazeballs.  It was seriously incredible how Doug and Alison's stories were so different but completely related to our youth struggling to grow up in Ocean View.  Wow.  I was inspired and moved and I know they were too.

Youth are youth, wherever they are.  We may have NO idea what we are doing; but I feel more and more that God does when He put us together with this crazy clan.  Things are unfolding and opening up.  It's going to be good.


Friday, June 3, 2011

Will You Join us to Support UBUNTU?

A night of food, music, and stories of the Ubuntu boys!  Don't miss it!
Email Sarah at or call 082-071-5526 for tickets.


Update on Ubuntu Football Academy's night out last Friday.  Please check it out!

Thursday, June 2, 2011

Meet the Interns!

We have two ridiculously cool college students volunteering with us this summer, making them somehow our 'interns'!!  They are amazing and helping us SO much already!  Just wanted to introduce them to you!
Hi!  I'm Alison Gamble.  I'm from Raleigh, NC and I go to UNC-CH, also known as the University of National Champions.  :)  I have a twin sister, named Christine, who is also very focused on missions and has a heart for Africa.  She is now currently serving in Zambia. My mom also lives in Raleigh and is very involved in our church there, Grace Community Church.
 I decided to come to South Africa, because I came here for the first time two years ago and fell in love with the country.  This summer I had the opportunity to come back to Africa and was so excited for the chance to be back in South Africa.  I have a non-profit organization called Love for the Sake of Love that connects college students to ministries in the developing world, so I want to use my time in Africa to find new organizations to partner with, as well as learning more about Casey and Sarah's ministries.
God has opened my eyes to the importance of living with those I serve and I think living in Ocean View and learning from Casey and Sarah will do just that.  I'm hoping God will use this time to teach me how to serve humbly and love others like Christ did.  As the co-founder of a non-profit, I also want to use this time to learn how other organizations operate.

Hey, I'm Doug Wegman. I'm from Raleigh, NC. I go to North Carolina State University (Woo! Go Wolfpack!). My family also lives in Raleigh. I have one brother who turned 18. His name is Tyler. I love to play golf, read my bible, and long walks on the beach.
I came to South Africa because I have always had a heart for mission, doing two mission trips to Cuba when i was in high school, and last summer God called me to leave the US and go (where ever that meant). I had originally planned to go to South East Asia this summer with a group based out of Atlanta, GA, but God closed that door and opened this door to coming to South Africa after meeting Alison in December. God provided a way to come here, so I am determined to make the best of it and do whatever the Holy Spirit leads me to do while i'm here
I haven't traveled in a long time, and do not know exactly what it takes to be a missionary, so I think God wants to teach me exactly those things. He has called me to live outside of my comfort zone in the US, so I think he is going to show me exactly how uncomfortable or comfortable life as a missionary may be. Also, through the long and arduous process of raising support, God has taught me how faithful he is in providing for his loved ones. Through raising support, he has humbled me, and from seeing money come in and not come in, I have gained more faith along the way. Also while I'm here, I also just want to serve in whatever way possible, leaving any "lessons" or "opportunities for me to learn from or experience completely up to God.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Long Way Still to Go

Yesterday was one of those days where I was reminded that I still have a long way to go.  A looong way.

With Alison and Doug visiting, I wanted Alison to experience a special part of my community here, and that is my HIV support group.  I have been helping to lead this group since our short-term trip here in 2008.  It has changed a bit, but really has most of the same members.  These are incredible people, struggling each day to live with dignity and hope while being ostracized from their community and sometimes families because of their disease.  It can be a heart-breaking life.

So we went today, and it's been a while I'll admit, and today I remembered why.

It's HARD.

It was a small group of my friends that showed up for a rainy afternoon of talking.  So many were missing, and usually they skip for no reason at all.  If it was me, I would skip just because it's HARD to talk about our issues.  It's HARD to talk about where we are hurting.  It's HARD to talk about the darkness.

Another hard part is that one of my friends has gotten progressively healthier over the past few years and is very spunky and talkative.  Obviously this is GREAT for her, but now she has determined that she won't speak to me because I can't speak Afrikaans.  It's not that she can't understand English; she can, and most television is English.  She just says I need to respect her and speak her language.  HARD.  I can actually understand a great deal of the language, but everyone speaks English AND Afrikaans in our community, so I have gotten lazy about pushing myself to learn.  HARD.  It's just hard.  So I get upset when she won't speak to me, but I know she is right, I SHOULD be working harder to learn her language.

It's hard.  And it's very, VERY humbling.

Just another reminder that in the world of missionary life in Ocean View, I still have a LONG way to go.  Nothing wrong with that.  I am ready for it all.