When we have visitors I am always reminded to see things through their eyes, and not just the negative things, but we also become tainted to the positive things as well. When we have visitors, I see the beauty of the valley again for the first time, I see the hospitality of Zulu people, the joy, fun, and laughter. I see the resilience, the strength, the determination, the hope. I see how far our volunteers and leaders have come. I see them challenging our american friends to be vulnerable, unashamed, open. I see them showing them how living in the Spirit is not something you take on and off; not something that is turned on every Sunday morning and tuned off at night. I see friendships forming across cultures, countries, and colors. I see young Americana and Zulu people so transformed by Jesus and his Grace that they cannot wait to tell others about it and how he has set them free. The students always think they are coming here to serve and help and minister to our people. And that is not untrue…they do those things, but the real reason they come, and the real reason we have them is because they are ministered to, they are transformed, they learn, their eyes are opened, their word views are blown, their hearts expand, they receive healing and freedom, the boxes that they have set up for their lives are torn down and cast aside. And those are beautiful things.
Thursday, 25 June 2015
We recently said good-bye to an amazing group of University students from Ashland University who came to join in with the Isaiah house for 3.5 weeks and to see what we get up to. Hosting a team every year or every second year from AU is part of our ministry at the IH and we LOVE hosting our American friends! (Not just because they bring us things ;) They come with passion, excitement, a servant heart, ready and willing to throw themselves into whatever is asked of them, and they do it with joy, fun, laughter, and love. It is always refreshing to have them, not just because of what I already mentioned but because they are new…fresh…innocent…they bring with them a perspective that isn't hardened or tainted, and sometimes we need that. When you work with people who live in such hardship, and you are surrounded by it every day you start to think of it as normal. Its normal that 14 year olds give birth and no one bats an eye, its normal that so and so beat up their girlfriend again, its normal that more than 50% of people have HIV. Its normal that there was another rape, another break in, another hijacking, another armed robbery….etc. THESE THINSG SHOULD NOT BE NORMAL!! And these are the things we are fighting against every day. These are the things we are trying to love and support people through.