Our team has had the privilege of immersing ourselves in the different ethnic communities of South Africa. We learned about Apartheid, which was legislative segregation that separated the various people groups of South Africa. Although Apartheid is no longer legal, the effects of such evil are still apparent, and it plays a huge role in people’s everyday lives. Once the Impact 360 teams arrived in the country, every team had the opportunity to engage with the various communities. As we spent time with the godly leaders of the communities, we learned several valuable life and cultural lessons that we will carry home with us.
During our first full day in South Africa, we had the unique opportunity to take part in a cultural training experience. This simulation opened our eyes to the lives of tribal communities. Volunteers from the surrounding area provided a fun, interactive, and realistic experience that challenged us in new ways. We were able to work together to accomplish the various obstacles by using the team-building skills we gained throughout our first semester as Fellows. We spent the rest of our first day stepping into the life of the community.
We had the great privilege of meeting Meshack and Narina, who warmly welcomed us into their home. We spoke with them and other leaders on their team about their lives and what it looks like living and growing up after Apartheid. We were able to ask many questions and engage in fruitful conversations. Afterward, we really enjoyed putting together games and interactive messages for the youth in the neighborhood. It filled us with love and laughter seeing the joy of the children. We left feeling encouraged by the work the leaders are faithfully doing in their community.
The following day was full of more opportunities to be immersed in South African culture. We journeyed into both the white and black communities and clearly saw the difference in wealth and opportunities. Yet despite these differences, the Lord’s work was equally obvious in both locations due to the faithfulness of the leaders.
In the black community, we were filled with hope when we saw the work of the Lord through Dumisani and his team at Royal Priesthood Academy. Dumisani explained to us that if you are faithful to God, He can use you despite your resources and economic status. We once again were able to work with the youth in this community and see their joy in the little time we had with them. In the white community, we were able to converse with Andre and his friends. We learned how they are working to break the stereotypes in their city, and how they are spreading the gospel around their community and the university campus.
It has been amazing to witness how God is working in different ways in South Africa. We are excited to see the ways He is going to continue to teach us more about Himself as we experience a new and beautiful culture.
Audrey Marshall & Hannah Lane