|Why did the chicken cross the road? It was in a shopping cart...|
Last week in Daveyton
Not sure how I can possible put this week into words if I’m honest. But I’ll give it my best shot:
My time in Daveyton has come to an end.. I honestly can’t even believe it, I’m gonna miss it a lot. Been here seven and a half months, it feels like I’ll live here forever or something. I really don’t even know how to talk to white people anymore. I’m going to remember this place forever.
So grateful for the chance to see the clusters grow, hope I was able to contribute a little to the growth, but it was such a privellege to watch with my own eyes the literal progression and pioneering of the work of the Lord in South Africa. I’ll likely never receive such an authentic, dramatic experience as this ever again in my life. I’m so grateful I gotta ride bikes through these windy township trails, through the streets and through the tin shacks and beaten goat trails under a majestic African sky. To serve and try my best to reach out to God’s precious, beautiful African children.
I’ve literally seen some of their lives change in front of my eyes. They’ve changed both physically and spiritually, absolutely transformed into something more clean, pure, fit for the Kingdom- and I have no doubt it’s because of the Savior. I’ve seen evidence that God loves all of His children, and that He’s mindful of us, “wanderers in this strange land.” So grateful to be sent to an area where the gospel has not yet been preached, where this things are completely new, trying by all means to extend this message to the ones God’s prepared to hear it.
I’ve changed a lot in 7 and a half months, I’ve seen things I thought I’d never see before, felt things I’ve never felt before. I’d say I’ll forever be impacted from these few short months in this land.
I’ve gone through ups and downs- bouts of anxiety, stirring like a blender on the inside feeling big time inadequacy to live up to the calling of being a missionary. All I’ve ever known is photography and skiing and soccer, why is it now that I have to worry about two clusters and a chapel etc. etc.
I guess doubts have always been a struggle, I dunno I’ve felt underqualified to “cry repentance” unto these people, but I found a scripture that helped me a lot,
The Lord charged Enoch with towering responsibility to preach the gospel to a nation of wicked people, here was Enoch’s response to God’s call: “Why is it that I have found favor in thy sight, and am but a lad…the people hate me, for I am slow of speech; wherefore am I thy servant?”
The Lord replies: “Go forth and do as I have commanded thee, and no man shall pierce thee. Open thy mouth, and it shall be filled, and I will give thee utterance, for all flesh is in my hands, and I will do as seemeth me good.
Say unto this people: Choose ye this day, to serve the Lord God who made you.
Behold my Spirit is upon you, wherefore all thy words will I justify; and the mountains shall flee before you, and the rivers shall turn from their course; and thou shalt abide in me, and I in you; therefore walk with me.”
The part that touched me was that last line: “walk with me”- in anything in life, we are never expected to walk alone. This isn’t our work, it’s His, so just choose to walk with Him.
One of the roles of the scriptures is to show us how all these super legit guys all had weaknesses, but when they ‘walked with him’ they accomplished whatever it was they needed to.
Obviously they didn’t send this, or any other 18 year old to South Africa to preach the gospel cuz he knows what’s up, cuz he went to bible school or is good with people. On your mission papers it doesn’t ask “what was your ACT score” or “how big is your testimony”.
Christ needs all of us to be willing to be His hands, he doesn’t ask about our capability, he rather asks for our availablilty to walk with Him. He sends you through every little thing for your owngood, and rejoices at every little victory you do obtain.
I guess God doesn’t call perfect people to be missionaries, he calls the imperfect ones with some kind of seed of desire in their hearts, and then helps them along the way.
On Sunday we had stake conference, usually stake conference is a drag for everyday missionary work, mainly cuz your investigators can’t make it.. But on stake conference day I was straight overwhelmed with happiness for a sec.
Our bishop managed to hire a bus driver to get to one of our clusters, which was awesome cuz some of our investigators made it to conference. I was stoked to see these guys wide-eyed walking into the Rynfield stake center(located in a cheese-boy(rich) area), they’ve only known township their whole lives, and I’m telling you compared to our cluster the stake center is easily a temple. Ima talk about one of the guys who was able to make it-
His name is Obed, he’s like 38 years old and makes a living selling popsicles in the market. He started 1st grade when he was 10 years old, and wasn’t allowed to complete matrik(senior year) because they didn’t let him come to school because this guy was too old. He lives in nothing short of a broom closet. He’s the weirdest, most happy-go-lucky awesome guy in the entire world, and his life has been transformed.
When we found him and started teaching him, for a month and a half he wore the same clothes everyday, from the smell you could tell he smoked like crazy- wearing this crazy tangled hair on his head. He cooks on a lil fire outside his house, eats pap every day.
When teaching him the word of wisdom, we came to figure out that he smokes 20 cigarretes a day, he let us come into his “house” and it was literally covered in tobacco cluttered around the floor, spider webs and beer bottles, it was super bad, we were like “obed next week we’re coming to clean your house”
|Me & Obed|
Within our short time teaching him, from previously smoking 20 a day, he’s down to just one. He completely cleaned his room, shaved his head, and just looks and feels like a completely different person. (benson he’s the one I gave your tie to) He came to stake conference on Sunday and it honestly got me stoked outta my mind. I’ll attatch a pic of me+obed+plan of salvation. Should’ve taken a before and After picture of this guy you’d all be blown away. We also flushed all his dakga down the toilet.
Also at stake conference, gogo Mhlanga, the 92-year old was invited to say the closing prayer. You could barely see the tippy top of her head over the pulpit, they had to point the mic straight down because she’s so short.. but as she prayed, tears came to the eyes.. couldn’t help but think that God and Jesus were watching smiling, with tears in their eyes. I felt the spirit of the Lord come into the crowded, overflowing building. Soon we will definitely need the stake to split.
Asked drunk guy w/ beer in his hands yesterday night if he loved Jesus. He said yes so I was like dump out your buzo buzo. He just stared at me for 10 seconds, then poured it out onto the ground. Couldn’t help but smile.
Just gonna miss Daveyton, I’ve had the roughest moments, the lowest moments of my entire life here; But in retrospect, I’ve experienced glimpses of some kind of realm of joy and happiness I’ve never felt.
I’ve realized I have so many inadequacies, I’ve also realized the importance of the Savior in my life, and have tried to convey that message to my African brothers and sisters.
|Saying goodbye to those I love|
“No amount of falls will really undo us if we keep on picking ourselves up each time. We shall of course be very muddy and tattered children by the time we reach home. But the bathrooms are all ready, the towels put out, and the clean clothes in the airing cupboard. The only fatal thing is to lose one’s temper and give it up. It is when we notice the dirt that God is most present in us, it is the very sign of His presence”-C.S. Lewis
Excited for this new change, wherever in this amazing crazy land I get sent.. Gonna miss people like Oliver and Roniey and Pule. Feelings were evoked similar to the ones when I left my own family, and now in Africa I’ve found myself leaving my family in Daveyton.
Companion: Stephen Savage
|Grillin' chicken feet|