A s you read this article, I and my team are either stuck in an airport on the east coast of the United States, or we have just arrived in Johannesburg, South Africa.
Stuck due to a hurricane, but hoping that we will be able to take off on time. This trip will mark my tenth journey to Africa since 2008. It has been such an awesome privilege to make this journey so many times. When I was in Botswana in 2008, I was standing with a missionary leader and asked him to help our church seek out an unreached, unengaged people group in Africa that our church could begin to pray for. We prayed for two years for a people group in South Africa known as the Pedi. In May 2011, I and another member of our church made our first journey to a remote village in South Africa. I can safely say now; the rest is history.
I have had the joy of taking many different teams, not only from my own church, but teams from other churches in our area. I have even had the privilege of coming alongside of a Korean/American church in Dallas TX, as they work among the Pedi as well. God has opened many doors as we have zeroed in on a place with a specific people. The old mission’s paradigm was for churches to go multiple places with large teams. Though there are some churches that have the opportunity and resources to go to multiple places and be effective, Bermuda Baptist Church is a small church, therefore, our focus had to be narrowed. For any church or church member that may wonder if they can become involved in an international work, I heard someone once say, “If Bermuda Baptist can do it, any church can.”
One of the toughest parts of the journey is the long flight. I have flown South African Air, Ethiopian Air, British Airways, and KLM. Each of these airlines flies to a different place before reaching Johannesburg or any other destination. This trip will be on Delta. As I said earlier, I am praying that we will be able to dodge two pesky hurricanes, one in the Atlantic and one presently in the Caribbean. If we can make the journey, the clock will jump ahead six hours. We will also be arriving in Africa at the beginning of their spring.
I obtained my International Driver’s Permit from AAA. Two of us on this team will be the designated drivers on this trip. Picture this, the steering wheel is on the right side of the vehicle, making me shift with my left hand. You also drive left and pass right. I have told people that have asked me how they can pray for us, pray for my driving in Africa. One of the things that I have learned over the years is that you do not want to drive at night. The reason for this is potholes, people, and animals in the roadway and unmarked traffic bumps. When I say that these traffic bumps are extreme, they are wide and tall.
The team that I am taking on this journey consists of one person who has been with me once before and three who have never been before. We are trained and ready to work alongside of our national partners in South Africa. It is my hope that the Lord will use us as we seek to obediently follow Him.