Sunday, February 18, 2007

One month

It's hard to believe that I'm already a month into my time here in South Africa! It's been such a blessing to be here, to learn from God and from the community here, and to begin seeking out where God would have me serve during the months ahead.

As I'm exploring different areas of ministry, I wanted to share about a really awesome experience I had last week. When I was here in May, I really felt drawn to ministry in the townships, and I've wanted to explore that further now that I'm here for the year. So last Wednesday, I went out to a nearby township with one of the other apprentices, Sarah, and one of the staff guys, Doug. We visited a family that Doug's been really involved with over the past couple years. A couple of the women in this family are (or have been) sangomas, or traditional healers. Ancestor worship is a big part of what sangomas do, but most people in South Africa who rely on traditional healers also practice Christianity. Often sangomas are accepted as just as high of an authority in spiritual things as the church.

Doug's had the opportunity to share a lot with this family about following Jesus, and at one point last year, one of these women told him she wanted to give up being a sangoma and only follow Jesus. The family has now asked him to lead a Bible study for them, and we got to take part in that last week. It was so exciting to see the family and some friends and neighbors all interested and asking questions and responding to the Bible story we read. One of the girls (Sophia) invited me to come and visit again soon--she wants to teach me to cook some traditional dishes, as well as go shopping for eye makeup. =)

I'm not sure where all of this will lead, but I'm looking forward to hanging out and talking more with Sophia and seeing where the next few weeks take me in ministry involvement. There are some opportunities with a couple of ministries to women and teenage girls in downtown Pretoria that I will be taking a look at this week. What I want to be part of here is building deeper relationships that make a difference--whether that's studying the Bible and mentoring girls in Soshanguve, or volunteering with women's shelters in downtown Pretoria, or something else entirely! Please be in prayer with me in the coming weeks that God would continue to show me where he is working and how I can best be part of that during this year.

Prayer requests:
-Pray that I would be attentive to where God is leading in the next few weeks, as I explore opportunities for ministry
-Pray that I would be fearless in diving into relationships here, getting to know people in deeper and more meaningful ways as God places them in my life
-Continue to pray for our team as we live and learn together--pray for deep friendships to develop as we move out of the "getting to know you" stage

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