There is so much I could share about my time in South Africa. I am treasuring so many moments in my heart that it’s bursting in overwhelmed amazement and gratitude. In the brilliant words of Kevin, I can honestly say:
I am thankful for blessings disguised as hardships.
Recently my life felt like a desert journey. Day in and day out, trudging through barren wasteland looking for hope on the horizon. When I left for Romania last fall, I was anticipating something great to happen… that God was leading me there for something new. I went and came back, and nothing appeared to have changed.
HOPE was disappointed and broken.
|Photo Credit: Kevin Kollar|
In Romania, I met a South African couple who recommended Ten Thousand Homes (TTH) ministry for Kevin and I to serve with. Are you catching this? God put South Africans in Romania, and sent me to Romania in order to send Kevin and I to South Africa, where God was waiting with eager anticipation to pour out His love on us and through us.
HOPE was dawning on the horizon.
We had many opportunities to experience what TTH does to lay foundations of hope in the communities surrounding it. After school programs allow the children a chance to just play, get a meal and most importantly to be known and loved. Relationships are built with and between parents and volunteers breaking down the walls of independence and mistrust.
Building a community of HOPE.
We saw the desert soul first hand when meeting a woman whose dream was for someone else to raise her children. Two of her babies were sick and appeared as if she had just been crying. The youngest, just shy of a year old was the size of 5 month old. After an emotionally hard home visit, with hurting heart Kacy said about her friend, “She’s so broken.”
Holding onto HOPE for the weary.
I stood on a hillside by a waterfall and let the dry cracked ground of my own heart be watered. I sat across the table as transparency overcame acceptability. Sharing how my broken was being rebuilt, God gave me a front row seat to watch truth bring light to some dark corners in the lives of my beautiful new sisters.
Carrying HOPE to the kingdom.
I am so thankful that we serve a God who loves to rebuild the broken, whether in Mbonsweni or Michigan. Perhaps I am drawn to Africa, because they too are a people on a desert journey. Yet, oases of dreams are being discovered. Love is coming up out of the dry ground.
The beauty of hope is no more vibrant
than when it blooms in barrenness.