Our 10-day outreach to the Transkei was tremendous! God did some amazing things. I will send it in a few different blogs, but here are a few highlights:
|Marius helping the team build a fence around the orphan school|
|Some kiddos playing a game my Nanny Stancil used to play|
|Anne-Marie, the founder and leader of GCEX, helping with the sandbox|
|Beautiful Coffee Bay|
|Half of the mission participants slept in tents at one site, and the other half at the chief's homestead in huts|
|Willam, one of our leaders, who shared with the chief|
|We had to pick up Emi's stroller and carry her over the river because it was high tide. She looked like an Egyptian princess being carried by her servants. That's sort of what she is!|
-One of our teams stayed at the chief's house (which was several small huts) and one of the chief’s daughters accompanied the team to the local huts to translate for them. Her name is Bongi, and she speaks very good English. They shared the Gospel with one hut, and Bongi very hesitantly translated for them. They moved on to the next hut, and shared the "God Story" again, and Bongi was very animated and translated with a smile. They moved on to the 3rd hut, and Bongi practically shared the whole story herself! And very excitedly. When they left the hut, Bongi turned to the team leader and said, "Wow, I want to take this Jesus seriously!" They talked and she later came to them and asked for them to pray with her as she wanted to give her life to the Lord. They were able to give her a Xhosa Bible (no one in that whole area had Bibles in their language, and very few of them had ever even heard of Jesus. Isn't that crazy? They hooked Bongi up with a group of local believers who have a house church, so that she can continue to learn and grow. Praise be to God for this miracle!
- Another cool thing was one of the leaders Willam (who grew up as a missionary kid in Mozambique with his parents) shared the "God story" with the chief himself. The chief is the one in charge of the whole territory and anytime there are disputes, the people must bring those to the chief to sort them out. Even though this is South Africa and there is a President, these local chiefdoms still function as a true form of leadership in the small, rural areas. The chief heard the story and was interested. And then Willam explained that if the chief chooses to give his life to Jesus, then Jesus wants everything - that the chief can't continue to worship his ancestors or consult with the witchdoctor. The chief said that then he must think this over, because this is too high a cost. In this area witchcraft is very prevalent, it is a way of life here. People always consult the sangoma (the witchdoctor) for healing, for wisdom for the future, for power over their enemies, etc. About that time the sangoma (witchdoctor) came walking up the path towards the chief. Another one of our leaders, Clara, reached out her hand to shake the hand of this elderly person out of respect, and the sangoma jerked her hand back and said to Clara, " I will NOT shake your hand." Clara asked why and she replied, "I can NOT shake your hand." Clara asked the sangoma if it was because she was afraid of Jesus who lives inside of her and she screamed, "Yes!". The chief saw this whole thing, so we are still praying and believing that this will influence him as he saw that the power of Jesus was greater than the power of the sangoma.
Sometimes we as Westerners can easily lose sight of the tremendous power that Jesus has. The thing you see in Africa is that these people KNOW there is power, both dark and light, and they recognize it when it is in their presence. I will share more later……
Thanks for caring, thanks for keeping up with us, thanks for praying.
We love you,
Jodi (& Marius & Emi)