T.I.A – This is Africa. We have the hot African sun, shark infested waters off the coast, the southern most tip of the continent is home, stoplights are called robots, and we have all the time in the world. This is a little look at what has been going on.
Its a lot like home. From the moment we arrived in Cape Town we realized that culture is not very different than what were used to. Modernized, globalized, and even trendy are some of the words I would use to describe the environment, and who knew that they would even have indie/hipster food and craft markets too! The outward appearance seems similar but the people of South Africa are different. They have time, and value relationships higher than a planned schedule. They are friendly and willing to talk, which is really why we are here.
Our team of fourteen have been here since early Dec ‘’working the ground’’ in conversation and relationships, sharing life with people not as teachers but as learners. Our heart is to reach people, the rich, the poor, and anyone we meet. I feel like I have never talked to so many strangers in my life than my time here in south Africa. Its challenging. But here’s a little perspective.
I was in a group with my friends out for the day. It seemed ordinary and to be honest I wasn’t feeling very accomplished or even motivated due to my poor attitude, but I went out in faith that I had a message to share that is greater than my feelings. We pass an old wrinkled man who started to talk with us, trying to communicate his situation. He is a street sweeper. My friends started to talk with him, opening up, and showing compassion. I stood listening and watching his face. He was desperate and dry. And then the opportunity to share Jesus with this man came. I talked grace, forgiveness, and hope. It was simple and definitely not me. I felt the words I said were foreign or at least I wasn’t living them out in that moment because I was so concerned with my own issues and not concerned with the Savior. But here’s the incredible part. This is the reason why Im here. Despite my inadequacy in sharing the message of hope, it got through to him! It was as if, a light bulb turned on in a dark room, and there was for the first time a change in the man’s eyes. His demeanor had a look of mystery. He had never heard of such good news, that God wants to forgive him of his past! He drank in every word that was spoken. And a man who almost died of dehydration now had living water in him never to be thirsty again! I walked away with a deep sense of humility, for here I am a broken man ministering to another broken man. The only difference is that I found Jesus and I got to share him with the street sweeper.
Proverbs 25:25 “Like cold water to a weary soul is good news from a distant land.”