South Africa 2013 - Recap of Days 5-8

South Africa 2013 - Recap of Days 5-8

Day 5 - Sunday, 2/24
Worshipped at Living Hope Church in Sunnyside where Josh Mack pastors. Newton was preaching today, a strong sermon on Matthew 5:8. Solid exposition of scripture and passionate preaching. Before church I went to Salvakop with Andre and picked people up for church. 19 people in a 10 passenger van! After church the team went to Nixon's flat for an authentic DRC (Congo) meal and to hear his testimony of God's grace in his life as a husband, father and seminary student and pastoral intern at Living Hope. A long day but full of sweet worship and fellowship. God is good and Jesus is Lord.

Day 6 - Monday, 2/25
Up at 3 am for a 345 am pickup and 4 am departure from Pretoria, South Africa to the small country of Lesotho, a unique country within a country completely surrounded on all sides by South Africa. We will be 'roughing it' a bit, in the village of Rahomaneng, about 50 kilometers (about 35 miles) from the South African border town of Ficksburg. Lesotho is more mountainous, more remote, surrounded by mountains with Grand Canyon-esque plateaus and distant ranges, wide open spaces with dramatic views in all directions.

In Lesotho, we are on what I'm calling "A missions trip within a missions trip to a country within a country" led by servant extraordinaire and quickly becoming good friend Andre DeWit. On the menu for our team is feeding orphans, building a church (including digging an outhouse) and enjoying the fellowship of the people.

We arrived, got settled and promptly worked hard under the blazing hot African sun. In the evening we studied Galatians 4:4-7 and focused on how God's adoption of believers inspires human adoption.

Day 7 - Tuesday, 2/26
A full day of work and fellowship! Feeding multiple groups, lots of dusty hot digging and a sweet time in the Word as Ted Dang (Sonja Kostura's brother) led us in a study of 2 Cor. 5:17-21 and how God reconciles believers to Himself and points us to serve Him rather than ourselves, and to see others according to God's holy opinion of them versus our sinful opinions. Good word from a good brother who lives what he taught.

Day 8 - Wednesday, 2/27
Up at 4 am for a 430 am pickup for a 5 am departure from Lesotho back to South Africa. Every hour on the hour we prayed for God's wisdom, blessing and strength for our upcoming outreach. I got the treat of riding shotgun for Josh Mack and a six hour drive seemed like one hour! What a dear brother. We spoke of Jesus, family, and pastoring among other things. He's one of those 'brother from a different mother' kind of guys. Gracious and kind. We arrived back at Pretoria about 1 pm. A couple of hours of rest and it was off to the Salvakop area for our planned outreach of dinner and the Jesus Film at the local school.

Upon arriving in Salvakop we set up, then canvassed the neighborhood reminding people about the event. Many showed up to eat hot dogs and view the film. We are trusting God to wipe away all obstacles to faith that exist in their lives; that they would turn to Jesus and be saved. Pray for Randy Clark's weekly Wednesday Bible Study there. There are many obstacles but God has opened a door for the Word. I'm envisioning outreach like this, Bible Study and relationship-building discipleship, in areas in and near Orange that we mostly overlook or ignore.

A surprise late-night run to the Muphamuzi Baby Home with Randy to drop off a car and fix some blown electricity resulted in another opportunity to fellowship and hear my brother's heart for ministry in his own home, the Church and his immediate world. There is a firm resolve on the Clark's part to serve God's purposes in this generation in South Africa. They are here 'for such a time as this', as you and I are in our place of God's planting. Bloom where you are planted!

By the way, on many fronts our resolve as a team to serve unselfishly for the glory of God rather than self-focused for our own comfort is being tested; and while we are weak, we are trusting our strong Sanctifier to glorify Himself in us and complete the work He started in us.

Until next time.
In Christ,

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!