Mission travel days can be eventful – even with the most detailed and thorough planning you’ll always have the opportunity to grow your faith, trust God more and stretch just a little more outside your comfort zone. Our trip to South Africa would prove to be no different! I won’t take too much time to lay out all the details of the bumps along the way but, after a delayed flight with a short connection (we made it), some concern with almost needing to check our carry-on luggage (thankfully, they let us slide through) and being notified at security that the 16 year old traveling with us needed a notarized affidavit from her parents (which we got & they made it through security in less than 45 minutes!), we were excited and praising God when all 18 members of our team settled into the 15 hour flight from Atlanta to Johannesburg on Friday evening.
The picture above was taken Saturday night around 6pm (local Jo’burg time) when we arrived at Tambo International Airport, greeted by Ps. Peter, Ps. Collin and Ps. Walter from Acts Christian Church. Their team swiftly loaded all 40+ pieces of our luggage and drove us to the church to enjoy a delicious dinner. Afterwards, Alison took time to speak scripture over us and pray for us a team. We had a short team meeting to receive details and instructions for our 1st day of ministry before we turned in for the night to get some rest for Sunday! Most of the team woke up praising God for a good night’s sleep.
We enjoyed a good, hearty breakfast at our hotel’s dining area and set off for Sunday morning services at Tabernacle Church of God in the nearby township, Ivory Park. Our team was warmly welcomed and was honored to participate in several parts of the service. We helped with communion during both services and led the discipleship classes during the interim between the services. Alison Lusted brought a powerful word on God’s character, His enduring love for us and being fully reconciled and in relationship with Him using Zephaniah 3:17 as the foundational verse for the message. Between the 2 services, there were 70 people who surrendered or rededicated their life to Jesus! We praise God for those lives made new in Christ! Our team had the privilege of receiving and praying for many at the altar during ministry time after the preaching. We prayed for many to be healed, for women who desired a child, for hurting and broken hearts, for financial needs. As missionaries, what we quickly learn is that no matter where you live or how different you culture may seem, needs are the same everywhere! We go into a mission trip thinking we are going to be so different than those we come to serve in other countries, but soon realize that deep down we are all similar, with similar needs, desires and longings in our heart. Praise God for connecting us by His love to others all around the world!
Some lunch, a tiny bit of rest and off we go to our final service of the day. Acts Church hosted a Night of the Supernatural service, a time of worship, prayer and miracles! Ps. Peter taught a short message on why God does miracles and began to pray for people to receive healing, many people came up after the prayer to share a testimony of how God had healed them in an instant! Many were healed from chronic pain, several of them jumping up and down able move their joints, legs and bend completely over which they had be unable to do at all before prayer! Ps. Peter then prayed for people to be set free from addictions, to be set from the spirit of poverty and for marriages & families to be restored and made whole. It was a wonderful time to be in God’s powerful presence! We ended the service by praising God by singing an incredible song called Jubilee (Freedom Is In This Place) by the band New Wine – WE LOVED IT and the whole place was dancing – check it out https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNEXv6q-Qus
Our 1st days have been jam packed and we have loved every minute! As you can see we’ve had many, many opportunities to praise God for His faithful love, favor and care and as we’ve praised His name, the blessings have continued to pour down. We are looking forward to a full and powerful week sharing the love & hope of Jesus everywhere we go! Keep us in your prayers!