Friday, August 31, 2012

This is Africa | Week 2

Sunday - 5 August 2012
Sunday was a bittersweet day, my sister and I would be heading over to Baptist camp to stay with a group that was coming in from Texas. Sunday morning we went to church at GodFirstCity, it was amazing! That perticular day they had a guest worship leader, she was from Cape Town and was also the captain of the womens Springbucks Team for South Africa.

I would honestly compare her to Kari Jobe! The church was awesome, people of different languages, cultures, countries, backgrounds. I felt like this is what a church should be. God1stCity meets in a nightclub/restaurant every week. As we were singing I was filled with emotion, I knew we were at the middle point of our time in Africa and only had a week left. At that point I had no desire to go home.
View from where we stayed.
My sister and I were dropped off by Rich Franzen and Micah, they helped us bring things in, showed us around and left us to organize some stuff while they went to retrieve the team who was to arrive that night.
 Joanna and I got our room set up, organized the Impact Africa merch, got the kitchen in order, washed our jeans in the sink and hung them to dry outside, got dinner ready and waited for the team.

At least our pants had a view while they dried. It took a long time for them to dry because it wasn't very warm
and the wind was cold.

While we waited Richs wife and three kids came by and we chatted with them for awhile.
I just loved getting to know them, I had read about them and heard about them from my sister. But to talk to Michelle and the kids was great because I saw the passion they have and heard what God had done to get them where they are today.

City view from where we stayed.
Bokeh lighting from the view.

The team arrived, brought in all of their luggage and we all ate. It was a little awkward, new people not sure what to evening we had gotten more and more comfortable with the team
It's because of the game "Mafia" (seriously this group LOVES this game)
I had played before at church and with the interns the week before, but the TX team plays it slightly different and it was great!
We honestly played this game almost every night, several times!
It was like this game was our life outside of ministry. When we weren't talking about ministry we were talking about Mafia, but it was so much fun!

Monday - 6 August 2012

Our ministry started with two days in Diepsloot, Monday morning we started with training which I was so grateful for.
This new way of doing ministry felt so vast. I was so familiar with one certain way of doing ministry that I felt really overqualified in one area but completely underqualified to do what was being explained.

As we set out for ministry I was a "leader" of a group, I was totally unsure about what to do.
My team was fantastic and just jumped right in.
They looked to me for a bit of guidance and direction and I helped where I could,
but I also made sure to tell them this was all new to me too and I was learning right along with them

"River" in Diepsloot, the smell was so pungent and awful.
Garbage is just left and the "water" running through the sqautter camps is not clear nor is is cloudy,
it is gray and smells awful and filled with bacteria and disease.
Thankfully there are water pumps through out the camps so those who live in the squatter
 camps can have access to clean water.

After our afternoon in Diepsloot we headed back to Impact Kids to head back to Baptist Camp for dinner. After eating dinner we sorted through supplies the team brought for the womens conference.

We put together 300+ welcome bags and 300+ gift bags and 50ish door prizes with a lot of times going back to take something out or put something in or recheck.
However after about 3 hours our team of 18 had it completely finished.
So what did we do?
Play Mafia of course!

On Monday as I prepared to go to bed I was journaling and talking with my sister. I shared how I felt so flatline. My emotions weren't what I thought they would be. I didn't feel like I had a story to share nor did I feel wise enough to share. I know the Bible but I don't KNOW the Bible...
I've memorized verses and have a lot of head knowledge, the translators we worked with KNOW the Bible so well, verses & references and I was feeling so illequipped.  

Tuesday - 7 August 2012

2nd day ministry group.
Me, Bethany, LaNell and Michelle Franzen with two women we ministered to and a translator.
The two women (the ones wrapped in blankets) both made a decision to make Jesus King of their life.

As we were talking to the two ladies above there were several others that joined in. Michelle was awesome at conversing, I was still feeling way out of my element but with every conversation God was giving me more and more confidence.
This type of ministry is all about building relationships and I struggle so much with being relational.

This little girl found me my very first day in Diepsloot (and first day in Africa). She stayed with my group again the two days we were in Diepsloot. She loved being held and singing songs.

Impact Kids school in Diepsloot.
oh also while were in Diepsloot on this day, there was snow coming from the sky! I kid you not, winter in South Africa = cold.
However they haven't had snow for 20 years.
The kids were so excited!
As was Micah, he had been praying for it.

After ministry in Diepsloot back to Baptist camp we went for dinner and... MAFIA.

Wednesday - 8 August 2012

Impact Kids school in Kya Sands

To Kya Sands we go!

Wednesday was our first day in Kya Sands. Our ministry destination for that day was the other side of the river of Kya.
So cross it we must, I was a little nervouse about this because we are warned to not go into the water, you could grow a limb.
Also last summer as my sister was crossing she fell in.
However our whole group was successful and no one fell in; the guys were awesome in helping us females across.
Our ministry group this day was great, we started talking to one guy about the gospel and stayed there for quit awhile.

Karen (in the Arkansas sweatshirt) was so funny, you could hear her saying "mmmmhmmm" or "ok" all over.
She was getting in on what these two ladies were doing.
Seriously Karen could be in a Madea movie she is that kind of funny!

As Timmy (in blue) and Zach (in green and red) talking to some guys.
In the morning my group was in this spot talking to some guys,
we had intern Sarah with us but the whole time we were talking to them I felt as though they were mocking us.
Mostly everyone we talked to was open and wanting us to talk to them but we did find some people who were uninterested.

Zach using our Bibles to explain how there is a gap between us and God.

Timmy, Karen, Timba (translator) and Carrie warming themselves by the fire.
Behind them are the port-a- potties, behind those we saw big rats.
Timba says the rats are so big they chase the cats. He says the cats don't even try to eat the rats, they just lean up againts a wall and watch and eat cornflakes. (I'm sure some of the story is made up lol )

Kids at Impact Kids eating snack.

As we were walking through the alleys of Kya sands we came across this little girl.
I think she was scared stiff, she stood in that same spot for about 20 minutes. I watched her and tried to play with her,
she cried a bit then stopped but started up again later.
We wondered if maybe she hadn't ever seen a white person before.

Thursday - 9 August 2012

On the way to discipleship groups we found these kids at a daycare in the squatter camp.
We had to drop some things off for them and we stopped to play for a few minutes.

Crossing the bridge, it was made of wood and tin and a bit scary to cross.

Thursday we had a short morning of ministry before lunch and disicpleship groups.

Denis (translator) reading from his Bible in discipleship group.

Discipleship groups are so cool because through ministry in Kya Sands there are people who have believed on Jesus.
So the interns and translators go in and do discipleship groups. When we were there they were going through the book of Acts. This particular day whatever was said was translated in three different languages.
This was such a neat experience to see the interest and passion for Gods word. 
The discipleship groups meet outside or in a shack or an open space. 
The space we were here was an open shack "porch"we used buckets or cement blocks to sit on, really whatever we could find. 
As I think about this now these discipleship groups remind of what the church is suppose to be. 
I am currently reading the book "Radical" by David Platt and in the book it talks about churches, how we "have" so many things that we "need" for church.
Here, in these groups they only need the Bible, I am sure even if there were no translators God would make a way for everyone to understand.

After a morning of ministry and afternoon discipleship groups we walked back, freshened up and headed to Moyo in downtown Johanesburg.

All the girls.

The guys.

Joanna and I at Moyo after getting our faces painted.

The whole group.

the Bethany's

Moyo is an authentic African restaurant, but its very ritzy.
So beautifully designed and stylish. There was great music and good food, I had flamed fillet (steak).
So good!
Post about Womens conference & kids camp as well as last day coming up!

Monday, August 20, 2012

| This is Africa | Week 1

Monday - 30 July 2012

We got into Johanesburg on Monday, late morning.
Our luggage was not there so had to make a luggage claim.
After figuring all of that out and promises that our luggage would be there later on that night;
we met our dear friend Micah and we headed out.

After going to the place we would stay, having lunch and changing we went to Diepsloot, the biggest squatter camp in the area. 250, 000 people in a 2 mile radius.

A view of part of Diepsloot, we were standing in the soccer pitch.

We met up with the Impact Africa interns, interpretors and Global Expeditions (GE) South Africa Z Trip for an afternoon of ministry. After hearing about this squatter camp and the ministry I was actually there. We walked around to try and find the other "umlungus" (zulu for "white people")
As we walked around I was able to practice the very little bit of zulu I know "sobonana"
(zulu for see you! - greeting to many).
As we were walking two little girls found us and attached themselves to me and my sister.

The girl in the gray and the one in the yellow followed us all around.
Filled our faces with stickers and were like velcrow.

The Global Expeditions (GE) team and some interns started doing a kids program,
I was a bit overwhelmed, we had been in the country for literaly a few hours and already we were in a squatter camp helping with ministry. This was different then any type of ministry I had ever done before.

After being in the squatter camp we headed back to the cottages where we were staying with the interns. 
Joanna, Micah and I made dinner for the four other interns.
After eating we went to Morrester, where the GE team was staying, and joined in on a praise & testimony time. We were not prepared for this, in terms of temperature, we were both freezing and so tireds.

* Still no luggage *

Tuesday - 31 July 2012

Tuesday was the teams fun day which we were able to join in on.
Fun day means African market, safari and Braai  (wicked awesome cookout)
I was so excited for the African market but was unprepaired for how stressfull it would be.
The African Market is a big building where many people have booths to sell things, customers can barter to get a good price. I had never bartered before, nor did I know what prices were good and what was too much; also I had no idea how many rand to a dollar, so I was definitely overwhelmed!
Thankfully I didn't make too many errors when purchasing items.
The last few years my sister made a friend in the market, his name is Edmund. He was there this year as well and was very excited to see me sister again.
I spent some time talking with him.
After a long morning of shopping we had lunch did a bit more shopping and headed out for our safari! I was over the moon excited about the safari! ahhh, i had my camera and was ready!

Our big group had two trucks for the safari,
all the young high school kids (mostly girls) were in one truck
and all the older, more mature leaders, interns, Impact Africa staff, etc. were in the other truck.

As I took out my camera and extended my lens there were comments of..
"Oh wow look at that lens!"
"It looks like your camera ate mine!"
"that is a long lens!"
Comments like that make me giggle!

I don't exactly remember what this is, but I know it is rather rare to see. The curve in the "antlers" show how old the animal is.

The ostrich is such an ugle animal, they look mad all the time.

We saw two different kinds of rhinos, the black and "white" (wide)

There were so many elephants!

As we were watching the elephants out comes the leopard, there are only two in the whole resserve so it is very rare to see them.
Our truck driver was so excited that we all got to see it!


On our safari we spotted 4 our Africas Big 5, we didn't see a lion on the safari but we did see many animals that are rarely seen!
After the safari it was time for the Braai
(The word braaivleis is Afrikaans for "grilled meat.")
The food was so good, I had pork (or lamb, I don't remember) it was good!! The best meat I have ever had! After our whole group was done eating they sat around the fire to discuss what things they had learned durring their time in Africa. One by one a team member from the GE team was chosen; one thing that one of the guys said really stuck out to me.
He said that he and his team were really wanting to witness a physical healing and their particular small group hadn't seen that. He had been disappointed but through thigns God revealed to him he realized that he had seen healings. The ones he had seen were of the utmost importance.
He had seen multiple people come to salvation, which is the ultimate healing.
That was so profound to me, I was also hoping to see a physical healing (which I didn't see) but I realized that salvation IS healing.

Wednesday - 1 August 201

On Wednesday was the GE groups last day, we met them at the Lion Park and were able to walk around and see many different animals.

I love the giraffes!

'bout to pet a giraffe

I'm feeding a giraffe!

After the Lion park the interns, some staff and my sister and I all went to see Batman: The Dark Knight Rises (I had not seen the 2nd Batman movie nor had I really intended to see the 3rd, however I saw it and quite enjoyed it)
After the movie the guys told us they would be cooking dinner for us and we were to dress up, so off we went back to the cottages to get all dolled up for our fancy dinner from the guys.

We went over and Micah, Justing & Foosh had made dinner, set the table very nicely. Justin was playing dinner.

After doing all these fun pics,
the guys came over to play mafia!
Foosh narrated our game entirely in Zulu, Hilarious!
Thursday - 2 August 2012

Thursday was filled with office work and preparation for the women's conference. 
So not many pics from that day. We cut and counted all morning.
In the afternoon we went to discipleship groups in Kya Sands.

My group didn't have people show up but we spend time with one lady (Emily) and her children. 
We helped with laundry and played with kids.

I had my hair "done", it was a sweet time of getting to know and play with these precious people and share God's love with them.
This verse is very special to my sister. It is her calling verse, but I found so much truth and relevance in it in relation to the ministry that we did.


Friday - 3 August 2012

Friday was our day to clean out a storage unit to find giveaway things for the womens conference.
It seems like this would have been a hard thing, the storage unit was full, however with all of us it was a lot of fun!

Micah, being a ninja.

After having lunch with Foosh and saying goodbye, we went back to finish sorting and then home to the cottages.


Saturday - 4 August 2012
Saturday was Justin's last full day so we all decided to make it all about him.
First we decided to have a BIG family breakfast, which was awesome and so delicious.
 Then we went to play paintball! I had never done that before and it was so much fun!
We played about 6 games, I only got hit like maybe 6 times.
I was like a snipper!

After paintball we all went to a park for lunch and hiked up a hill to a waterfall!
BTW I was in sandals.

Sarah, Justin and Cori Impact Africa Interns

Justin and Micah

After our outing and adventures back to the cottage we went for dinner.
A super hero dinner!
Nichie as "super mom" and Katie "Super Kid"

Micah as "Man"

After this awesome and hilarious dinner we cleaned up, had a hot seat council (basically talking about Justin how we appreciated him...which was interesting for my sister and I because we had only met Justin 5 days prior) Even so it was emotional and touching!

That night was our last night at the cottages before heading to Baptist Camp for a week and meeting a new team.

The first week was filled with adventure and new things.
Awesome people and great memories, I felt as though I had known these people for years!
God is so good! Being around the interns and summer staff was an awesome thing!
Micah is an awesome man of God who has a passion for evangelism and discipleship. He is adventerous brave and wise and a true encouragement to be around!
Katie is awesome, she is hilarious and always fun. She has a passion for little ones and teaching them the gospel, her heart beats for Africa and the women who are hurting.
Sarah is so sweet, her passion and love for Jesus and people is contageous. She is strong and such an awesome teacher; her heart is for women and children who are hurting and need the love of Jesus. Her faith is so great!
Cori is sweet, peaceful; she loves children and dance and desires to use her skills and talents for the Lord. She is very relational and passionate.
Crystal is smart, logical and strong. She has a passion for Gods word, discipleship and winning souls.Crystal is brave and ready to go or do anything God leads her to do.
Justin is this 16yr old kid who has the maturity and spiritual heart and knowledge of someone much older, yet he is very much a 16yr old boy. He has a drive and passion for Gods word, he doesn't hesitate but jumps right in to whatever he is called to do or asked to do.
 Nichie was the oldest in the group and definitely the "mom", she has a heart for the people of Africa, particularly Diepsloot. You can see her heart for discipleship as well as seeing souls come to Christ. Nichie is a fantastic cource of encouragement!

Spending time with these awesome individuals definitely had a positibe effect on me!
*Week 2 coming soon!