I’ve been going through older blog posts, and discovered how little I actually blogged about HUGE life altering moments. That shocked me really. I usually over-share… I guess they were too intimate or deeply moving to express myself at the time…
One particular moment… I really didn’t post about the time I spent a month away from my family in July 2008, while my youngest was still in diapers.
I really didn’t share through this blog, my three week journey inside KwaZulu Natal, South Africa and all that touched me there.
Five years later, I stare at these photos and I’m immediately transported back to Embo in the Valley of 1,000 Hills, Pinetown, Durban and Hillcrest.
These pictures were from a day we spent in Embo Township / Valley of 1,000 Hills. Red. Point Church in Pinetown had been recently introduced to a Go Go (grandmother) who was known for taking in orphans and saving women from abusive relationships. With each child the police dropped off on her doorstep, she made a way to care for them. With permission from the Chief of her village, she opened up a Medical Clinic on her property as well, medical students fill their practicum hours there and people walk for several miles to be treated.
Through COCA, Red. Point Church has a long history of working into underprivileged communities, which includes everything from a soup kitchen, food & clothing drops, prison ministry, to creating avenues for those widowed and orphaned to start entrepreneurial businesses in order to support their families.
On this day, they sent us to this Go Go, to repaint the buildings on her property, build a fence around her garden so the goats would stop eating her harvest, clean up garbage and to play with the children. We brought books and games for the kids and gardening tools to help Go Go Dladla produce the food she needs for her growing family.
It was an amazing day.
I was there with 20 others, only a handful of us were over 16 years of age. It was a youth mission’s trip, put together by a friend’s church out of Brea, California. I signed up and took 5 teenagers from our church with me to LA first for a week of training and then onto South Africa.
It was here that I had my “Cinderella Moment” and was inspired… and although I haven’t yet been back to SA… I’ve since collected and sent over 500 pairs of shoes to other nations like Romania, Guyana and Peru.
It is my heart’s desire to return. My daughter is almost 13 now and she’s pressuring me, big time, to take her in the Summer of 2014. Some of her friends have already started saving to go with us. I’ve been excited but also hesitant. These kinds of trips take a lot of organization, a lot of time and a lot of money.
But looking into these faces… how could I not go back?