Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Cape Town, South Africa: Day 4

Bottom's up. It's time to drink in more of the beauty we're seeing here.

Gulp, gulp, gulp...

Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp...

Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp...

Gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp, gulp...

Ahhhhhhhhhhhh. Good, huh?

Today, our team is exhausted beyond measure. For that reason, we're taking a half-day off.

This morning, we went to Living Grace, the ministry of Living Hope for the helpless, homeless, and addicted. We stepped one foot inside their building and were greeted by those in the recovery program, the ministry leaders, and a few early morning patients.

Before we even started unpacking blood pressure cuffs and eye glasses, we sat down to worship with the group. Then, we got an extra special treat as our very own Michael took on a new name: The Right Reverend Russell.

He delivered a short message to the crowd based on Jesus' words in Acts 8:7-9: "'But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes upon you. And you will be my witnesses, telling people about me everywhere—in Jerusalem, throughout Judea, in Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' After saying this, he was taken up into a cloud while they were watching, and they could no longer see him."

The Rev explained that it's much easier to go to a foreign country and tell people about Jesus than to do it right where you live, work, and play. He's right. We're realizing that more and more on this trip. And he pointed out that Jesus didn't suggest that we do this, but said we will do it if we want to follow Him.

Overall, he challenged those native South Africans in the room to take Jesus' words to heart, embracing the uncomfortable task of reaching people in their own community with the gospel through relationships, love, and service.

Let's just say he hit a home run. I almost passed the offering plate and stood to give an invitation. I've already suggested he may need to reconsider his calling in life and move from the court of law to the pulpit.

The program at Living Grace offers a feeding program and recovery/rehab program for those who are trapped in addiction. Ashley Lovell, a Brentwood Baptist missionary, serves as a rehab counselor in this program. (Stay tuned for a story on Brentwood Baptist's website about her ministry and what she's doing.)

After the clinic, we took the afternoon to rest and see the area. Some took naps. Some spent time with our missionaries. Some walked the beach. And some of us went to Boulders Beach near Simon's Town to take in the Penguins Colony. Want to guess what I did?

Tonight, we enjoyed a delicious meal together, prepared by Nadine, our spectacular cook in The Team House. She surprised Troy with a birthday cake since he's celebrating his 23rd year of life this week (apparently for the fourth year in a row). It was decadent, mouthwatering, mesmerizing.

If you come to South Africa for any reason, it must be for these things (in this order): Jesus, the people, Living Hope, the beauty, and Nadine's cooking. Can I get an amen? Amen. We're all going to need to go on strict diets after this trip. She's amazing and talented.

Having said that, check out what we experienced last night. We were challenged by Nadine to figure out a way to get into and drain an ostrich egg for tomorrow morning's breakfast. Guess what? Mission accomplished. Ahhh...the many talents of our team and Brentwood Baptist missionaries.

Needless to say, most of us only had toast and juice this morning.


Adam Dye said...

Awesome things are happening in South Africa. Keep up the good work, team!

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