Curiosity led me to a meeting about the upcoming South Africa trip sponsored by my church. My wife and I had visited about me going on a mission trip some time but this was the biggest step I had ever taken toward that goal. When I walked in the door for the meeting, I had no plans to go on the trip. When I walked out of the door, I was ready to sign on the dotted line.
The trip consisted of three segments – a conference in Clarens put on by Regions Beyond; time in the Transkei repairing roofs and seeing soup kitchens; time at HuntSA and Jehovah Jireh Haven.
Being a small business owner, I was nervous about leaving my employee alone for 3 weeks so I tried to schedule a partial trip but God had other plans! Nothing about me joining the group after the conference would come together.
The conference in Clarens opened my eyes to a whole new world of God chasers. From the free and open worship, to the prophetic support, and meeting missionaries from all over world, I left the conference with a changed heart and attitude.
While working on roofs in the Transkei, one of the local young men would come to work every day without shoes because he had none. He was a pleasant, polite young man who was a college student – a very rare opportunity – with a heart to serve and never complained about walking on the hot metal barefoot. We looked through the shoes our team had brought with us and presented him with a pair of nearly new tennis shoes. I will never forget the look on his face. It was as if we had given him a new car! He chose to keep his new shoes for good and continued to work barefoot but now he had a nickname, “No Shoes”.
It was a pleasure to meet Molly and the kids at Jehovah Jireh Haven. These children are blessed to know where their food is coming from each day, yet they thirst for one on one attention. Most of the time I was there, I had two young boys in my arms.
Our trip wrapped up with a great time at HuntSA – the fellowship, great food, and peaceful environment comforted me after the dire living conditions of the Transkei.
My wife will tell you I am a different man since my trip to South Africa. I look forward to taking her this year and showing her where the transformation occurred. In the meantime, if you see a video from the Clarens conference and you spot a tall guy with a red beard dancing in the crowd in the front of the church, you will know who it it!