We have officially landed in the beautiful country of South Africa!! Even though Pack Your Bags has already been to South Africa twice, this year's team - including the leaders - have never stepped foot on the continent of Africa! Needless to say, we have all enjoyed learning and appreciating the culture and traditions of South Africa.
So far, we have been here for two weeks. Our time here has been filled with many activities, ministries, and building relationships with those we come in contact with. These include:
- Visiting the Freedom Park, Voortrekker Monument, and the capitol buildings in Johannesburg
- Experiencing history and culture of South Africa through the Lesedi Cultural Village
- Sharing our testimonies and illustrated messages in diverse church and youth services
- Visiting a nursing home to minister through conversation and song
- School assemblies where students shared testimonies, songs, and skits
- Climbing to the top of Legogote mountain
- Helped improve a playground on ASM's campus
- Puppet show for a kid's service in White River
- Worked with Masoyi Home Based Care helping with families who have been affected by HIV AIDS
These past two weeks have been full of ministry and the warm Africa sun. We have been amazed at how faithful God has been as we enter into each ministry. We have walked in not knowing what to expect, and we end up walking out praising God because He worked in wondrous ways in the lives of those we are ministering to.
"I had the amazing opportunity to share a word with students at a high school called Uplands. I was given about 24 hours notice that I was speaking, and I had a little freak out moment with myself. However, amidst our business, I gave this worry to God and asked Him to give me the words to say because I had absolutely nothing prepared. When I let God speak through me in this situation, it resulted in a better word to the students than I could have ever came up with in my own strength. Being here in South Africa has reminded me that being in the center of God's will is the best place to be; there is joy and peace that surpasses our understanding when we submit our hearts to Him." - Rachel
Pray that God would strengthen our hearts and give us even more passion to minister here! We are all so excited for what God will do in the next four weeks.