Well! We have officially completed our first week in our first community and we are now about half way through the second week. I’m going to be honest with y’all…I’ve had some rough moments. Moments where I thought I was not equipped to do this job that I believed God called me to. Moments where I felt as if I was letting down my team, and moments where I just sat and cried because I didn’t know what else to do.
I know. Quite the bummer. Not how you would expect my update to be, but if I were to glorify everything that happened then it wouldn’t be the truth and I am not the type of person to define her life by her highlight reel. I’m just real person. A human being and I am passionate about the truth.
So here’s the truth:
This week, we started off in Pretoria west serving alongside a ministry that we served alongside on my last trip. From packing food parcels, to helping clean and paint the facility to give it a fresh new look, playing with my kids in the after school care program, and watching where the food parcels were sent to, it was truly a blessing in every single way. Not to brag, but my team showed up and showed out. God has truly blessed me more than I could ever imagine with a team that is dedicated and is so willing to go the extra mile.
On the other hand, there was one day in particular that stood out to me. It was this past Thursday. I was coming off of a hard day and to be honest I just needed a break. IN all honesty I needed more than a win…I needed a Kairos moment. On this day, we didn’t go to our normal community, and instead we went to visit a squatter camp that had been established for 35 years. I could say that once you have seen a squatter camp with your own eyes, you have seen them all, but there was something different about this one in particular. The lady who ran the facility is now 80 years old and she simply started this ministry by serving food and helping people at a local shopping center. From there they were able to obtain this old military base, build windy houses which are shed like homes, and help as many elderly individuals and students as they could handle.
To put it in perspective, the majority of these individuals who come to this camp are peoples parents who they simply do not want to care for anymore or students, who once they have turned 18, their parents no longer want them in their household as they are now legally adults. They get dropped off by their families or simply show up and knock at the door hoping…praying that they have space or a room available.
Could you imagine? People not wanting to pay for a senior care facility or help their parents who raised them so instead they drop their parents off at a homeless shelter so that they can now “bare the burden.” Or how about raising a child for 18 years and all of a sudden saying, “I’ve had enough, get out, I am no longer legally obligated to care for you. Do it yourself. You are not my child”
The loss of hope.
The orphan spirit.
Their breaking point.
How could someone you have loved all your life, now turn around and not care for you? How could a child born into what was supposed to be a loving family, be kicked out in a matter of seconds?
A single moment. All it took was a single moment for their lives to completely change and alter the path they are walking. So many, fall to the wayside. They slip through the cracks. Seeking out anything and everything that could possibly fill the void that now engrosses their heart. Drugs, alcohol, theft to survive. A hole that could have been so easily avoided, yet it was created because in a moment, someone gave up on them and told them they aren’t good enough…and they aren’t worth it. In a single moment, their history was changed, now their future hangs in the balance.
This woman who started the ministry, reminded me so much of my own grandmother. She even had a granddaughter named Megan as well, which is why she learned my name so quick. We bonded from that first moment and as I stood to listen to her stories, it was as if I was listening to my grandmother’s stories back home.
A strong woman in the faith, who simply has a heart to meet people where they are at, no matter where they have come from, to help them better their lives, get clean, see the good, give them hope and dignity once again, and be a shining light for God’s kingdom. When asked what made her start a ministry like this, she simply said, “When God calls you, you can’t stop.”
Each and every person we met within this day, has a story, they have a name, and because of one lady opening her heart to God’s calling, they not only have a home, but they now have a hope because someone decided to say no, they are worth it, not only to me but they are worth it to God.
She met them at their breaking point, and showed them a love like no other.
I thought I had hit a breaking point of my own this week, but in reality…I was trying to accomplish everything all at once. Putting too much on my plate not realizing the expectations I was putting on myself were unattainable. Trying to be a good leader to my team, trying to keep up, and if it wasn’t for this woman of God, I could’ve missed this week entirely.
As we were about to leave, one of my team, members and I had to make a pit stop before hitting the road, and as we came around the corner to say goodbye and thank you, she stops me. She handed me a piece of paper with the verse 2 Samuel 22:2-3 written in Afrikaans.
Translated into English it says, “
“‘He sang: “The Lord is my rock, my fortress, and my savior;
my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me,
and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.’”
A moment. This moment that finally got me to stop…and take a breath and piece myself back together.
I don’t know what your breaking point is. I don’t know the hardship you are currently going through or the situation you are facing…but if I can give you some encouragement…if I could tell you what I know, its that even if you feel like you’re at you’re breaking point, you may just be at a stopping point. A simple moment where God needs you to stop, breathe, and remember that the He has you. All you need to do is lean in and rest in the mercies He has given you for today.
Life is too short to get caught up in the rush of life. God only calls us to be present within today. To live moment by moment, trusting, and resting in the fact that He has already gone before us and He knows what comes next. He knows the story that will become our history. It’s never meant to break us, but it may just stop us long enough for us to take a deep breath and remember the one that goes before us and the hope we have because of Him in spite of our circumstances.
As it says in Proverbs 19:21, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”
I’m not broken or breaking. Never was. God just stopped me long enough to open my eyes to a Kairos moment I was about to miss.
Until the next adventure,