It’s hard to believe that it’s been almost 2 years since I was in South Africa. It was an amazing but short, 3 week mission’s trip into KwaZulu Natal. I took 5 teenagers from our church with me and we met up with 15 others from the surrounding LA area. We landed in Durban and spent time with Glenridge Church in Durban, supporting an orphanage called iThemba Lethu, then onto do work with Hillside Church in Hillcrest, working into Embo Township / Valley of 1,000 Hills, and also a church in Pinetown.
I miss the people we met there, it was such an amazing time. I joked with a few people that we should do a swap… they could come here and live in our house and lead our church and we could go there and live in their shoes for a period of time, I was thinking at least 3 months. Like a Pastor-Exchange Program! Do they have such things??!
We were able to enjoy some free time while we were there. One of the churches took us to a Game Reserve, another to a Canopy Zipline Tour and lots of others had a Braai for us. That’s a carnivores dream BBQ!
We also had some scary moments. We weren’t able to go into Zimbabwe because of the political unrest due to election time, so much of our trip was altered at the last moment. In Pinetown, we were diverted from going to a hospital on a particular day because of a city strike which resulted in cars being smashed and a lot of angry people in the streets. We also had some health scares. One of the guys leading the trip, who lead trips for Acquire the Fire for years, said in all his years leading mission’s trips, never has he had to take people (the kids on the mission’s trip) to so many doctors and hospital visits. When traveling, more than ever, I know the importance of having proper, more-than-adequate, travel insurance!
Last year our Church sent 3 teenagers on a mission’s trip to Georgetown, Guyana where they worked out of a local church. There they repaired buildings, painted, preached and handed out shoes collected through our “Cinderella Project”… One Shoe Can Change Your Life! My friend’s son went on that trip, she guest posted on my much neglected travel blog about his experiences, called “Never pet the Market Cat!”
This summer we’re sending 3 people (one being the market cat petting teen) to Ploiesti, Romania! Hopefully he’s learned his lesson. LOL They’ll be working out of a Christian radio station that my parents helped establish way back in 1989. While they’re there, they will help an orphanage my parents found on their most recent trip last fall, Haven for Orphans.
Have you ever been on a mission’s trip? Where did you go?
If you could go anywhere… where would you go?
I’d go back to Japan….. and this is why!