Forty-one hours. That’s how long it took to get home from my recent trip to South Africa. We left East London, South Africa on a Thursday morning, traveled to Cape Town, London, Philadelphia, Orlando and finally arrived on our doorstep Friday night. That was eight days ago yet I still feel like I’m in a fog. It was a long trip, but so worth it.
My husband and I have always enjoyed traveling. The first five years of our marriage were childless so we traveled when work schedules allowed. We had some fun family trips during the child-rearing years; not too many trips on our own though. Now that we live in an empty nest, it is easy to say yes to one of my favorite questions:
Do you want to go to (fill in the blank)?
We love to visit different parts of the world. These trips are even more rewarding when they involve missions work. That was the purpose of our most recent trip to Cape Town, South Africa.
We traveled with a team of nine from One More Child Global, an organization whose mission is to provide Christ-centered services to meet the physical, spiritual, emotional and medical needs of children and families throughout the world. One More Child Global partners with Living Hope headquartered in Capri near Cape Town, South Africa. These two ministries, working together, are reaching hundreds of children living in several townships; providing meals and after school Christian kids clubs. Our team visited six ministry sites around Cape Town and traveled to another in East London. In between visiting and lending a hand at the ministry sites, we explored the area around Cape Town.
Here are a few of my impressions of Cape Town, South Africa
- With tall mountains that end at the sea, the Cape of Good Hope feels like the edge of the world
- The Western Cape is home to some unusual animals
- Things aren’t always as they seem – Table Rock looks like a giant rock but when you’re on top, it’s covered with flora and fauna
- If you close your eyes while listening to a group of South Africans sing worship songs, it sounds like heaven
- Children laugh, giggle, smile and play the same
- Fifty-Seven is probably too old to join in a rousing game of Four-Square
- A little hand fits nicely in your own (I wish I had taken a picture of the little guy who didn’t let go of my hand for a solid hour)
- Forgiveness is powerful, can you imagine giving tours of the prison that was your home for five years?
- There are amazing people doing important work in a difficult place, bringing hope to a generation of South Africans
- It was strange to see areas of extreme poverty right next to very nice neighborhoods
- It was difficult to comprehend a severe water crisis in a place surrounded by water
- You can fast become friends when you are working together for a common cause
- You can do more than you think you can
I’m still processing all that I saw, felt, experienced in South Africa. It will probably be so for days, weeks and months to come. A piece of my heart remains behind. I hope that I will be able to return one day.
In the meantime, would you join me in a couple of things? Would you pray for the people of South Africa? Pray for rain and an end to the severe water crisis. Pray for racial healing in the land as well. It is a complex situation that is difficult to fully understand. If you are able, would you consider giving financial support to a reputable ministry? I personally recommend One More Child Global. There are many needs all over the world and we are charged with looking out for those less fortunate.
Have you been to South Africa? What were your impressions? Is there a place where you have traveled that especially touched your heart? I would love to hear about it.