Sunday, February 17, 2013

Back from South Africa

After another long trip we are back home from Cape Town.  We made it back safely with all our bags! We are tired and jet-lagged and spent from giving of ourselves this week but what an awesome journey!!  What a beautiful city Cape Town truly is!  On the last afternoon we were able to do a little sightseeing and were all blown away at the beauty and magnificence of the mountains and the oceans.  It is definitely a city to put at the top of your list to visit!  Amidst all this beauty lies so much poverty and suffering.  One minute our heart is in awe at the beauty that God created and the next our heart is breaking for someone who has HIV and no food to eat.  Living Hope is a great ministry God is really using to help so many hurting people in Cape Town. We were blessed to meet the many people that are a part of that ministry and to work alongside them this past week.  We are thankful to God for this experience.  And now as we are returning home, we know that our journey is not over.  Our week in Cape Town was one chapter in the book of our lives and it was one amazing chapter.  But come Monday morning we are still on mission with God.  We may not be giving out eye glasses or washing feet but we know God has a plan for us right here and wants to use us for His glory.  We greatly appreciate all the prayers this week and we ask for continued prayers for each of us as we continue to follow God on this next chapter of our journey!

Leia Mais…

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Experiencing God's Love

Today was another great day!   On Valentine's Day we were not just able to share about God's Love but were able to experience it with some special people. This morning we had clinic at Living Grace, the substance abuse rehab and counseling program of Living Hope. God is at work in that place!  It was amazing!  We arrived in time to share in their devotion time.  The joy and passion as they worshiped and prayed to the Lord touched all of us.  Then as we began to talk with patients that came through clinic, we heard some of the stories of redemption - lives that were transformed by the power of God.  Many of them had only know Christ for a month or two and we were able to encourage them and pray with them.  Our hearts are full today! I wish that I was able to describe to you what we felt in that place or recount all the amazing stories.  You just had to be there!  Tomorrow is our last day of clinic and we can't believe how fast that it has flown by!  We appreciate all of you that are praying for us us during this week.  Your prayers are making a difference!

Leia Mais…

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Another Great Day in Cape Town

We are so grateful for all that God has allowed us to experience this week!  We have seen Him at work in so many ways, both in the lives of the people we are ministering to as well in our own lives.  It was a great day! God in His wisdom allowed us to go to a new site today.  There were many needs, both physical and spiritual.  Seeds were planted, people were loved and lives were changed.  When asked if she believed in Jesus, one patient answered, "He's the only reason I'm still here today!" This week we have also been able to rejoice with South African Christians, whose joy and love for the Lord is so encouraging!  We are worn out at the end of each day but God just keeps filling us up each night.  Tomorrow is another day and we are excited to see what amazing things God is going to do!  We are so looking forward to sharing Valentine's Day and celebrating God's Love with the people of Living Grace.

Leia Mais…

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Abundantly More Than We Could Ask

"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

This verse has become our theme verse for the week!  We want you to know how much we appreciate your prayers!  We also appreciate all the notes from our prayer partners.  Three different notes team members received today included Ephesians 3:20.  What a God thing!  Because today we saw God do abundantly more than we could even ask or imagine! Today was the day of salvation for one of our team members!  God has brought Nathan on an amazing journey thus far and it has been amazing to watch as God has used this trip to draw Nathan into a relationship with Him.  He prayed to receive Christ as his Savior to a South African sunrise this morning and was baptized this afternoon in the Indian Ocean!!  We are all in awe and praising God for His work in Nathan's life!  Please pray for Nathan and his walk with God... We know God has special plans for his life!

We had a busy and hot day but a great one!  In our eye clinic we saw 133 patients (yesterday we saw 50) at two different sites.  This morning we ended up having to set up outside. It was HOT and there were SO many people to be seen, but the team had such a cheerful and serving spirit.  Thank you for your continued prayers!

Leia Mais…

Monday, February 11, 2013

Living Hope

We had a great first day of work! This morning we took a tour of Living Hope, the ministry we are working with this week.  John Thomas, the founder, shared the story of how it began in 1999 when as a local pastor he was told that the HIV rate in a local township was 44% ( About 10,000 people) Although he later found out that it wasn't that high, this statistic is what God used to move him to start a ministry.  What began as a hospice and HIV prevention program now is a huge ministry that includes a health center, life skills & economic empowerment, homeless and addiction programs and much more.  You can find out more about Living Hope on their website  It is an amazing ministry and they need more partners to donate and volunteer.
This week we are going to be having eye clinics at various townships in Cape Town.  We are fitting people for readers (there is a great need for glasses) as well as screening for hypertension and diabetes.  In addition we are washing the feet of the patients, both to look for sores and to minister to them.  We had a great afternoon!  We were reminded by Kathy tonight at our team devotion that we are in this world to be a light.  We are visiting places of so much darkness and hopelessness.  Please pray for us this week, that we would shine bright as we share and live out the gospel.  Pray that these South Africans would find the true and living Hope!

Leia Mais…

Sunday, February 10, 2013

An Amazing First Day in Cape Town

How do I even begin to describe the beauty of this place or the amazing day we have had? We were able to worship in two church services today and both were amazing as we saw the body of Christ, vastly different in language, color and culture, but all worshiping the Lord.  Common Ground is an English speaking church where some of our BBC missionaries attend. The pastor preached on "How God Guides", talking about how God guides us through wisdom.  In our decisions He doesn't decide for us but gives us wisdom to decide.  It was such a powerful message and all of us walked out of there just blown away of how God spoke to each of us.  

From there we drove 5 mins down the road to a church in one of the townships (like a favela or slum).  They worshiped in Xhosa (an African tribal language) and we did not need to understand their words to know that they were praising a God they loved! The joy and the adoration was all over their faces and in the way they sang and danced.  During the offering they lined up in the back of the church and sang and danced their way down the aisle to drop their tithe in a basket in the front - what a visual of what true giving should be like.  Do we joyfully offer our money, our time and our talents to God?
This city is beautiful!!!  The mountains and the ocean are breathtaking! The team house we are staying in happens to be overlooking the beach.  We had a wonderful afternoon hanging out with some of our church 's missionaries to Cape Town and just taking in the beauty of this place!  We are getting ready to eat dinner and then have a team meeting to plan for the week.  Thank you for all your prayers and please continue to pray for us this week!

Leia Mais…

Saturday, February 9, 2013

We made it to Cape Town

We're here!! We are exhausted and this will be a short post but wanted to let you know we made it safe and sound. After 24 plus hours of traveling we finally made it to Cape Town, South Africa!  Everyone did well on the flight and we had a good trip overall. Unfortunately 3 bags did not make it so please pray that they will be found soon.  It is almost midnight here and we are all glad to be in a bed and hoping to get some good rest tonight.  Please continue to pray for us.  Our journey has just begun and we are excited to see what God has planned for us this week!

Leia Mais…

Friday, February 8, 2013

Mission Journey to Cape Town, South Africa

In just a few short hours a group of 11 will be boarding the plane for Cape Town, South Africa.  For some of us, this is our first visit to South Africa and for others it's even our first mission journey.  But for all of us, we leave on this mission journey knowing that God has a great week ahead of us as we work with Living Hope in the communities of Cape Town.  "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth.  These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them."  Isaiah 42:16  As we leave for Cape Town, we leaving knowing that we are led by a God who loves us and promises to guide us.  He is a God who loves the people of South Africa and the world.  Please pray for us during this journey - for safe traveling and protection and that God would use us for His purpose in Cape Town.  And as you think about your own life, you may be traveling along unfamiliar paths... but know that God is leading you and promises to guide you.  Let Him lead you on an exciting journey!

Leia Mais…