As you read this article, I am either in my final preparations to leave, or I am boarding a plane, bound for South Africa. This trip will mark my seventh journey to Africa since 2009. Every trip has contained it’s own unique characteristics and this one is no exception. I will depart with a team from Mt. Pleasant Baptist Church on Wednesday evening, around 5:40 p.m., from Dulles. We should arrive in Johannesburg at about 5:30 p.m. their time on Thursday evening, 11:30 a.m. our time. This trip will start like most others, but will take on a new look, as we travel to a region that we have never worked before.
We have been told to prepare for some of the most rugged living conditions that we have experienced thus far. In all honesty, we have been spoiled by our living arrangements in Africa, up until now. One example of the difference is that we just went to Walgreens and spent eight dollars on a bottle of rinse less body wash. You probably get the picture that after leaving Johannesburg, we will not see a shower for about a week. We will sleep in church buildings, on concrete floors with air mattresses, which I have done before in this country. We will cook our own food on a two-burner hot plate, though I do not believe that we will have the means to refrigerate our food. One of the most interesting pieces is that I may have better Internet service than having my basic needs met.
Another first is that I will be gone for 28 days. Mount Pleasant’s team will return on August 30, but my journey will continue until Sept. 15. I know that most of you know that I pastor Bermuda Baptist Church. I am thankful to have a church that believes in the work that we are involved in, in South Africa and are willing to let me go for this extended period of time. The toughest part will be to leave my wife and family for this period of time. If you think about them, say a prayer for my family, while we are apart.
You might wonder what I will be doing, after Mount Pleasant’s team departs. I will start out with our missionary partner and his family for a few days, staying at his home and taking care of some laundry. I then hear that I am going to do some traveling, throughout the region that we have been working since 2011. This will give me the opportunity to reconnect with some of the people that I have built relationships with in past trips. An important summit meeting will take place at the end of my trip. We are praying for great fruit from this meeting.
I am attaching this link, if you would like to read an article that just came out about this work: http://stories.imb.org/africa/stories/view/community-ties-hinder-gospel-acceptance-in-south-africa.