South Africa has some of the most spiritually alive people and places that I have ever seen. Thanks to a few faithful leaders, light has pierced the darkness and the darkness has not overcome it. These leaders kept their hands open to the Lord and were willing to surrender and be used as vessels for the Lord’s glory. From 1948-1994, Apartheid—a legislative segregation of races—separated the white, black, and colored communities, causing division and forced relocation of people groups. The Fellows had the privilege of visiting the communities of Khayelitsha and Eersterivier. The leaders who started the children’s ministries in both of these communities served the Lord by offering themselves, their time, and their energy to bring the light of Christ to kids who need it.
While these leaders didn’t have much monetarily, they had faith even when they could not see. They trusted that the Lord would sustain what He started. The Lord has used them to impact and pour into so many kids who are now seeking after Him. And those who have been impacted want to do the same for others in the same situations they found themselves in, bringing the light of Christ to more kids through discipleship and coaching. It is so evident that Christ is in these kids from the way they emanate a pure joy that can only come from Christ. They overflow with the love of the Lord in ways I have never seen before.
God is at work in the global Church in ways I never could have expected. The joy of these people is truly infectious in how they worship, care for one another, and make the most out of what they have despite the reality of poverty. Mate
rially, they don’t have much to give or hold onto, but spiritually, their hearts are full and Christ lives in and through them. It wasn’t just me trying to bring the Gospel to them, but they showed me Christ. My heart has become so full and open as I view these people as image-bearers and children of Christ above all else.
Although it was a modest home that we met in, their open doors and open hearts made it a place of true worship. I couldn’t help but smile and jump around in worship to our creator, provider, and protector in such a welcoming community, despite the cultural differences. There may be a language barrier, but I have learned that laughter is a universal language, and the heart of worship is the same in every language. These communities in South Africa may worship differently than I am used to, but they are so purely serving and praising the same God I am with a passion that is internally motivated by the Holy Spirit.
Charlotte, North Carolina