Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The Day in South Africa

Hello from Johannesburg, one of the largest cities in the world and the center of life in South Africa...we landed here after a long flight and are staying at a nice hotel on the outskirts of town...

We had a very unique experience today as we visited the Apartheid Museum here in the city...it was a very involved exhibit and we had the chance to spend 90 minutes learning about the history and experiences of the people of South Africa have been over the last 100 years...

It was full of video, photographs, newspaper articles, and was increibly powerful to go thru as people with varying degrees of understanding about the issues...truly an incredible educational learning experience...as we read yesterday in our devotions about God making everyone of us in His image, the reality of apartheid and the fact that many who were professing Christians helped to put that system into place in South Africa causes you to once again look inside your heart and consider how you view people and the various prejudices we can hold in our hearts as we view others in this life...it was really neat to then talk to our drivers of some of our vehicles who had grown up in townships and experienced apartheid and the change in South Africa beginning in 1991...check out the website if you want to take a piece of the journey we did today: http://www.apartheidmuseum.org/

We also had a chance to visit the World Vision national office for South Africa...we had a reunion of sorts with their Operations Director who used to work for World Vision Zambia and visited Wheaton Academy almost five years ago as the Zambia Project was just beginning to grow...as Kanyata said today, it is a small world when you end up reconnecting in a different country on the other side of the world...they are heavily involved in HIV/AIDS education work and meeting the needs of children all over this country of 40 million people...they are even caring for some of the recently displaced foriegn nationals who were under persecution in the last weeks and dealing with Xenophobic issues here in this country...

In many ways, we are seeking to bring change to the people of Zambia like Nelson Mandela once did here and World Vision South Africa is doing in a nation with more people suffering from AIDS than any other in the world...we want to break the cycle and change the very way people will live here for the long term future...tomorrow morning we fly up to Lusaka and will begin our next 10 days in Zambia...after a Chinese dinner we spent an hour talking about why we came all the way here...it was clear that many of your students have clearly felt called to come here and many of them can't wait to meet people they have fallen in love with and yet never met...my heart is here in a real way in Africa and I can't wait to see God meet each of them as He meets me in a place full of great need and so very full of God's presence and joy in the midst of great struggle...pray that their hearts will be gripped by a deep purpose, the love of Jesus, and the needs of the world and all whom God has created in a new and personal way...thanks for your prayers...everyone should get a good chance to rest tonight after a long travel journey...

I've had great access to email so far...that will most likely change tomorrow as we go up North and away from the first world to the thrid world...so I am not sure when the next blog will come...we look forward to having Trent join us tomorrow as we hooked up with Tony Frank from the World Vision office today here in Joburg...

We love you and miss you...off to Zambia we go!

CHIP