February 24, 2012
Hello from South Africa! Our Rolling Hills team made it to South Africa yesterday morning, and we hit the ground running. We are all feeling so blessed to be able to serve here!
Yesterday afternoon, we spent time at Living Hope’s facilities, where we were trained on all of the different parts of their ministry. There are an incredible number of ways that Living Hope is reaching out into the community! We were able to tour their healthcare facility, where the Living Care arm serves people from the community chronic illnesses, such as HIV and TB. We also had a chance to tour the facilities for Living Way, an arm of Living Hope that helps equip people with economic and job skills so they can learn to support themselves. While at Living Way, we were able to meet Joey Lankford, their business developer, who moved his entire family with young children from the United States to serve for three years in South Africa. Not only is his passion for helping raise up people to thrive on their own and in turn to raise up others amazing, but it was so fun for me to see a family who is doing long term missions together. It can be done, and Joey and his family are living it out!
Today, our team was honored to host a retreat for all of the Life Skills Educators who work for Living Hope. We wanted to take time to pour into people who day in and day out give so much of themselves to the people they serve. So, we all took a trip to the Camp Bay Beach to spend the morning by the ocean. We were able to spend a lot of time in fellowship, including a soccer game on the beach. After some fun in the sun, we headed back to The Team House, where we are staying, for lunch and a time of Bible study. During the afternoon, Ethan and I also had the opportunity to take pictures of each of the Life Skills Educators and write down their individual prayer requests to bring back to Rolling Hills with us. That part of the day was most inspiring for me, as we heard from people over and over asking for prayers to do the best job they can for God, for inspiration in their work, and for the people that they serve. The Life Skills Educators we had the privilege of working with today are so passionate about serving people and helping make their communities a better place for this generation and generations to come.
Some other fun notes from our trip so far:
- We have been able to spend lots of time with our own Leslie Crawford. She is doing amazingly well here, and it is so fun to work with her in her element here in Cape Town. We can’t wait to see Red Hill through her eyes.
- Our team celebrated Jeff’s birthday today with lots of fanfare (and an amazingly delicious cake).
- Leslie was so delighted and thankful for all of the books donated by Rolling Hills families. She can’t wait to put them to good use in Red Hill and other areas served by Living Hope.
Overall, this trip has already been amazing. I am learning so much from the people here, especially about what it means to follow God’s call with my life. I can’t wait to see how God is going to move throughout the next week! Please keep our team, the staff and volunteers at Living Hope, and the people communities they serve in your prayers as we continue our journey.