Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Hard to believe it but after 2 weeks and two days,; 3 countries, God only knows how many cold showers, and bottles of hnd Sanitizer; nearly as many "English Breakfasts;" worship at two very different yet African churches; 7 baptisms; 3 preschools; two community based schools; a women's sewing co-op; lots of Starbucks VIA coffee packs; 7 people down with colds; hot dusty, sweaty work mixing concrete; meeting an African community's chief; a Pastor Leadership Conference; and so much, much more, we are finally ready to board a plane and head home. After a good nights sleep (Judy and I got to spend the night with the Teicherts in their lovely home), we will meet at the Witherows for brunch and debriefing. Then its off to the Apartheid Museum for the afternoon and finally on to an Emirates Air flight that will carry us to Dubais and then on to Seattle Washington. In case you hadn't heard, it snowed yesterday in Johannesburg - a very rare event. There wasn't enough to cover the ground but the roofs of the simple houses in Finetown and Soweto were white. And we had the awesome, humbling privilege of walking with the home based health care givers in Finetown. The finely falling and blowing snow chilled our bones but our hearts were strangely warmed by the tender care these men and women give to the sick and suffering in the dirt lined streets of FInetown. I walked with Pastor Vessie, Jabulilu and Sylvia. We visited 5 homes - seeing illnesses ranging from HIV'AIDs infections, to TB, to heart disease to Diabetes. One of our team members had the sobering experience of knocking on one patients door only to be told by neighbors that the gentleman had died in the night. This is not an uncommon occurance that these selfless men and women encunter each day as they mnister in Christ' s name. I am not sure I could ever adjust and accept this on a daily basis and retain my sanity or my spiritual health. An expression we have often heard is TIA - This is Africa. And the realities of of uncared for orphans, poverty, illness, death, poverty, exploitation, corrupt and inefficient governments are every bit as much of the landscape of Southern Africa as are the wild game, adventurous safaris, charming rural villages, and mysterious history of the continent. I am not sure how our team will ever be able to process and syncretize the feelings, memories, experience and people that have been a part of the trip. Add to that the wondrous variety of fun, uninteresting, and tasty markets, restaurants, and sights and it adds up to something that is nearly impossible to grasp.. Don't ask us about our experience unless you really have some time and patience to listen, view slides and maybe even allow us to weep with fond and tender memories. Again we thank you for standing with us in this incredible endeavor. We are anxious to see you all - family and friends alike. Sawubona

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