South Africa 2013 - Recap of Days 1, 3 & 4!

South Africa 2013...Recap of Days 1, 3, & 4!

What? No day 2? I think it vanished in thin air somewhere between London and Johannesburg.:)

We left on Wednesday night, Feb. 20 and the Lord brought us safely through the air and multiple security checks and customs. Great excitement and fellowship amongst the team. This is going to be good. It already is. An amazing African sunrise seen from the plane capped off some really good travel. Praise God.

We landed in Johannesburg early Friday morning, Feb. 22. All 20 boxes for the 1Hope Muphamuzi Baby Home, the Clarks and the Macks made it safety through. Praise God.

We were greeted by Randy Clark, Josh Mack and Andre DeWit, our primary hosts and men who are in awe of Jesus and savoring gospel truth as they serve God's purposes in this part of the world. Praise God.

Pretoria here we come! We pushed through jet lag and the day, driving from Joburg to Pretoria, going first to the Mack's home in Pretoria for breakfast and an initial team meeting. We were foggy but excited to finally be here. We met the Mack's nine wonderful kids, including Muphamuzi, and toured the Muphamuzi Baby Home. Beautiful babies loved by God and their gospel-changed caregivers. Praise God.

Off to Awana in Sunnyside, Pretoria! What an amazing opportunity at a public school! Amazing kids, Awana games, small group time, and Bible teaching. Praise God!

Dinner at the Mack's, trying to keep our eyelids from closing. We are closing in on some sweet sleep! Off to our host homes. Praise God.

We awoke on Saturday to the fresh sounds of birds chirping in the trees. It's summer here and the days are hot while the nights and mornings are refreshingly cool. Praise God.

Today we are working at MBH (the baby home). Loading tools and boxes from the US. Heading to the Mack's for breakfast and some time singing praise to God and hearing His Word. Mike Kostura led us in a gospel-focused time in Titus 2. Then off to MBH. Driving the highways and streets with fresh eyes open to the many sights reminds me to look for needs all around when I get back home. So many gospel opportunities. Praise God.

A full day of baby holding, feeding, cuddling; clothes and supply sorting; bricklaying, tree cutting, supply buying, and shelf making surrounded by sweet fellowship with brothers and sisters in the shade of trees, an easy up and under the hot African sun. Words can't do justice to the goodness of God among His people as they work together for the gospel. We were made for this. Praise God.

Back to the Mack's for an amazing South African dinner of Potjie (Food cooked in a cast iron Dutch Oven over hot coals all day). Weary from work yet pressing on into some great fellowship as we savored God's goodness and some really good food. And the sound of the many children on our team interacting with their new and old friends is awesome. Praise God.

So much more I could say so far...about the Clark's and their God-ordained perfect fit (heart, gifts, desire all clicking along and fitting so well with the 1Hope team) in Pretoria for such a time like this; and the Mack's and their contagious passion for Jesus and the gospel; Andre's endearing sense of humor; Donovan and his wife's humble oversight of the baby home. And the Grace team: all I can say is praise God. Mike Kostura's gospel-infused leadership; getting to serve with the Manthorne's, Hughes', Bush's, and Ted (who all display the ability and willingness to help with pretty much anything needed); and the kids bringing joy and excitement into every situation. This is good! God is good. Praise God.

All praise to the Lord Jesus Christ. I have been saved by grace alone, through faith alone, in Christ alone, as revealed in Scripture alone, for God's glory alone. Jesus loves you!