We arrived in South Africa Tuesday night late, and Wednesday morning was spent catching up on the rest that did not happen in my compact airplane seat the 30 hours prior. Wednesday afternoon, we visited Pollsmoor Prison for the first time, and I will share more about that later. Our visit led us to the hospital/clinic on the property and was very eye opening. Wednesday evening we shared dinner with the Mayotte's, the missionaries we were serving with and I very much enjoyed sharing and getting to know them. One of the other purposes of our trip was to receive some training through the church that Steve and Daria are a part of. We had 3 evenings of training and they were amazing! This training was wonderful and stretched me in lots of ways. One area of my spiritual life I have always struggled with is really listening and being obedient to the Holy Spirit, and the training we received certainly addressed that. One of my favorite things our trainer Alison shared is this, obedience is more important than knowledge. More on that later! :)
Thursday came and we were excited about a day to worship and visit Masi a township in Cape Town. And I had no idea how a visit to this place would affect me!
Here is a little background knowledge about the township, just to give you some perspective. The township is a Xhosa community and was created during Apartheid. Apparently it was originally known as Site 5, but later the residents renamed the area Masiphumelele, which means "We Will Succeed". Around 400-500 people settled the here but as Apartheid unraveled the number of residents began to grow. At this time, the population of the township is around 38,000 people. The houses in the township are made from various materials, cardboard, metal sheeting, etc. Most have dirt floors and no bathroom. There is a water spout where the families must go to fetch water for cooking, cleaning, bathing etc. There is a school on the premise, but it is overcrowded and even though it is a public school, there is a fee for students to attend.
When we drove into Masi it was overwhelming. It was easy to feel down and depressed, to feel such a heavy feeling of despair. And then we met Edward. Edward is a friend of Steve's who lives in Masi. We pulled up to a shack and standing there greeting us with the most amazing smile was Edward. He was kind, joyful and so excited to welcome us to his home. We walked behind some homes and made our way to his house. And that is exactly what he called it, his house. We entered his one room home and he immediately invited us to sit on his bed and pulled up every available item he could for us to sit and be comfortable. He told us that he wanted us to come with him next door to his friends house that had more room to do bible study with them. He had gone over to wake his friends up so that we could all open the word and share how the Lord was speaking to our lives and hearts. Next door we met Robert and Luke and Joseph. Again with the same joy and hospitality they welcomed us into their home and shared the best of what they had to offer. We opened the word together and shared from our hearts. At that moment, any division that might have been there due to race, background, socio-economic status was erased. We were brothers and sisters in Christ. As I looked around the room, I didn't see the nicest furniture, the most up to date clothes, food falling off the shelves. But what I did see was a true picture of the body of Christ, I heard thankfulness for time with new brothers and sisters, I heard gratitude for how God had provided, I heard sounds of hope.
|Meet my new brothers in Christ!|