It’s the millienial cliche – Africa changed my life, but that really is the truth of it. I went to South Africa in the Spring of 2015 (or their Autumn/Winter) and my life was turned upside down. I was partaking in the ICS (International Citizen Service) programme with Tearfund, a Christian charity, yet I was going with no faith. Although I had grown up as a Christian I wanted nothing to do with God, I’d had a particularly painful few years and no longer believed that God would answer my prayers, or want anything to do with any of us. But that all changed. After witnessing miracles and a lot of people wearing me down, I finally started to feel God again. As the year progressed, volunteering at HTB Focus, working at Tearfund, being a youth leader in my church, my faith got stronger and my passion for God grew with each day. Deciding to come back to South Africa as a team leader was difficult, I felt really torn about the direction I should take with my life and I knew how difficult it would be. But God gave me so much confirmation and encouragement, eventually I had no choice.
So here I am! Back in South Africa about to embark on the next step of my journey. It’s been a crazy week! We landed last Tuesday evening, shattered, sweaty, and cramped from the flight, but we were greeted with open arms and warm hearts by Dion and Thabiso (who are absolute legends!) and then our fellow team leaders. We quickly became family as a group of ten, and relished the tine spent preparing for the coming months.
All the volunteers arrived on Saturday, and we were eager to embrace them into the ICS family. We had a day together on Sunday and we took the opportunity to bond as a big group – though with 70 people that proved to be a little tricky! In the evening we planned a time of worship in lieu of Church, and I spoke and led the session – which was enlightening! We had a mixture of South African songs and some more recognisable by us Brits (a lot of Bethel!), it was incredible to see them all bonding in such a spiritual way and opened the door for deeper relationships.
Training over the last couple of days has been intense, a lot of information to absorb and a lot to give out, but it’s been so great meeting our teams and I’m so excited by the work we’ll be doing!
My team is heading out to a small community called Weenen, which I have heard nothing but good things! One of the other team leaders was previously placed there and he can’t stop talking about how wonderful it is, how incredible the people are, and how tangible God’s presence is. I’m so excited for team to experience all of it and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for us.
Prayer Requests – for team dynamics, that they bond well and there won’t be any major conflicts.
I won’t be able to see any of the other team leaders until the end of March as our project is so far out, this could be quite isolating and I pray that we can keep the sense of community over whatsapp (not quite the same but will have to do!)
Praise for the love that is being shown here (as cheesy as it is!) it’s such a blessing to witness and be a part of.