01 July 2016

The key to long-term missions ... what I'm learning

The theme of true ministry and long-term missions is RELATIONSHIP. 
I've been in Cape Town, doing community development in the same little township for 6 1/2 years now. I've had the privilege of working with lots of non-profits, churches and schools. It's hard to have time for everyone and everything that's good, but I've been transformed by the importance of relationships and time-spent in people's homes. The secret to good relationships in places like Capricorn, South Africa is ...

Listen some more. 
Then keep listening. 

I don't have a lot of answers, but I have a lot of access to people's stories. I'm not the answer, God and His community are. I'm the connector of stories, the pointer to other people's experience, the bridge to communities, and I love introducing people to each other so that they can share their stories. In my line of work, there's a lot of counseling, a lot of deep personal sharing. So much of my work can't be shared on a platform like this for the safety of my people and privacy of personal lives. But what an honor to have these stories and relationships in my heart! God is truly changing me, more than I'm changing Africa.

These last few weeks, I've been DEEP in a few key relationships, investing in the growth of people's journey and celebrating people I love. It's school holidays, so my work in the community is exciting because the community is alive with the chaos of children. 

Here are just a few photos of the last few weeks and a peak into the stories I can tell ...

This is Blanche. She's a wife, mom and care-taker of many youth in Capricorn!
She took time out of her week to teach me and a few of my colleagues
(from www.butterflyartproject.org) her version of South African curry. 

Blanche's mince (ground beef) curry with potatoes and peas. 

Hazel, Amanda, and Blanche in Blanche's Capricorn kitchen!

Took my little GROW girls on an outing to Hermanus
(an hour's drive from Cape Town)

GROW girls in Hermanus!

Home visits in Capricorn.

Supporting families and spending time!

This sister of mine had a birthday.
We celebrated her with cake and a dinner with friends!
She's in her last 5 months of Seminary, finished her thesis,
and headed to an awesome church internship in a few weeks. 

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