Well, it has been one week today since we returned home from our mission trip. I had hoped to get more pictures on here before now; however, the hustle and bustle of life has not allowed. Since, we landed I have been moving at warped speed trying to catch up on emails, voicemails, laundry, yard work, and housework, while still trying to give my princess and hubby some TLC! It has been crazy!
I think that is what I miss the most about Lobatse….the simplicity. It was actually one of the first things I noticed after getting settled.
As I watched people milling around the streets, no one seemed to have any kind of agenda for the day. There was no rushing to get to swim team practice, trying to squeeze in a morning workout at the gym or stopping by the nearest Starbucks for a cup of joe. I am sure there were people who were headed off to work, but there were many we encountered just ‘hanging out’.
Of course, I realize this is mainly because many of the people in Lobatse have very little (and I didn’t really see a Starbucks anywhere). But as strange as it might sound, there was something appealing about it to me. Maybe because I tend to be so rigid and structured in my idea of how much I need to get done each day…I don’t know.
I had even told Rob right before we left how tired I was of rushing around lately. So, to get there and experience such a laid back culture was nice.
Allison and Kasey, the two missionaries we worked with, told us right from the start that no one was in a hurry there and we needed to be flexible because plans change or fall through at a moments notice. When that happens, they have learned to shrug it off and say TIA…This is Africa!
I was actually a little jealous of just how peaceful Allison and Kasey’s life seemed. I know they are very busy, but it is a different kind of busy….they are busy with things that truly matter….building relationships.
When I mentioned it to one of them, her explanation was, “We keep the main thing, the main thing, meaning that sharing God’s word with everyone is the most important thing we can do, so that’s what we focus on.”Hmmm….now that’s a thought!
That being said, here are a few more pics of the week….
Each day after having our morning devotions most of the ladies hovered around a small display to look at all the jewelry that was made by two of the local women.
Below is a picture of me, Jamie and Amy with one of the ladies who made some of the jewelry. She has an awesome testimony of how God has worked in her life, and she is now able to support herself and her children selling this cool jewelry.
After we finished oohing and ahhing we all headed to the church to meet the children. It was only about 3 or 4 blocks away, so we just took a leisurely stroll.
Sometimes Chandler, Caleb and Solomon would serenade us on the way! Chandler was the son of one of the missionary’s and he and Caleb hit it off right away. Solomon was one of the interpreters that went into the village with us to help share the gospel. Solomon is only 16 years old, but is wise beyond his years! He also loves the Lord with all his heart!
Caleb didn’t bring his guitar, but in a matter of hours he had managed to borrow one of the missionaries! I guess you can take the boy out of ‘the country’ but you cant take ‘the country’ out of the boy!! Lol.
At first the kids were a little guarded, but after a couple of days they were just as excited to see us as we were to see them. One morning they ran out into the street to greet us!
And so did the cows!
These cows walked by the church every day. It was so crazy to see all the livestock and chickens walking around.
Of course, Caleb loved seeing all the animals and even tried to touch some of them.
After burning off a little energy with the kids we had story time. Below you will see Caleb slithering on the ground acting out a seen from the Garden of Eden.
And here he is pretending to be the caring husband of Mary (Amy Meade) while she is still with child!
Lunch time! Jamie and Alicia in the kitchen.
Peanut butter sandwiches, spicy Cheetos and cookies!
By the end of the week we had more kids than chairs!
And at the end of each day we worked some, rested some, and played some. Below is some members of our team starting to build bunk beds for the missionaries house so they could accomodate more people.
These next few shots are of our July 4th celebration….the girls outdid themselves! We watched the movie The Patriot outside under the stars…
stayed warm by the bon fire…
ate cheeseburgers with all the fixings and even had kettle corn with the movie!
To show our gratitude Caleb tried to burn their house down…. Now that’s a fire!
Even though Caleb caught most of the slack, he did have a little help from his buddies, Chandler and Solomon!
But I think my favorite part of the week was when we lost power one night. The power and water can go off at any given time for a few hours to help save energy, and you never know when that will happen. This particular night Kasey had just started sharing her personal testimony when the room went dark. We quickly lit some candles and she kept sharing. When she finished, three others went on to share their stories as well.
Eighteen people with different backgrounds and stories sitting in a candle-lit room somewhere in South Africa talking about how the same God had changed their life. Each one shared the different struggles they had faced and how God helped them through it. It was powerful!
When the last person finished sharing, the lights immediately came back on. It felt as though God had turned the lights out to help create an intimate atmosphere for those to share more easily. And then when they were finished, God quietly flipped the switch back on and restored the power.
The sweetness of that moment will forever be etched in my memory… It was without a doubt a God moment!
This trip was an experience I will never forget!