1. After two tries during previous trips, I finally made it up Table Mountain. The third time is a charm, and the view was spectacular.
2. Jen, Ali (our host), and I attended a reception for Proudly Macassar Pottery, a job creation program that empowers young men, teaching them how to make Udu drums and ocarina-like flutes from clay. It was a fun-filled evening in the heart of South Africa’s wine country.
3. While touring False Bay, I met Alfred, a refugee from Zimbabwe. Like many refugees in South Africa, Alfred depends on his handiwork to make a living.
4. One afternoon, I attended a special prayer time at a local Anglican church. Several parishioners had been praying for me for weeks, and they wanted to meet and pray with me. It was a very special time, and I felt humbled to know that people who I didn’t even know existed were praying for God’s guidance in my life.
5. Over the weekend, Jen and I attended a camp for students who recently completed a Scripture Union lifeskill course. In the mountains of beautiful Franschhoek, we bonded with the campers and leaders. All of the students come from disadvantaged backgrounds and live in the Cape Town townships.
6. Sunday afternoon, a new friend invited us to her house for lunch. It was a lunch on par with a Christmas dinner. Estelle and her family truly have the gift of hospitality.
7. It’s always a treat to spend time with my South African “family” in Johannesburg, and this time was no exception. We stayed with Father Xolani and Mathabo Dlwati and were able to spend some time with friends from St. Thomas Anglican Church. Lu, the Dlwatis’s precocious little boy, had Jen and I in stitches with his witty sayings.
8. We spent a delightful afternoon in Soweto, visiting Father Xolani’s mom and meeting several of his family members. Father Xolani is a great friend of my church and is the current rector of St. Monnica’s.
9. It was amazing to experience South Africa with my friend Jen, who offered to travel with me in order to be an extra set of “eyes and ears” during my interviews and meetings. Her moral support and wisdom was invaluable. Plus, we had a great time together. I will forever be thankful for her sacrifice of time and money. I am so grateful for our friendship.
10. After days of meetings and interviews and much prayer, I feel confident about which organization I believe God is calling me to serve. After I meet with my discernment committee and finalize things with the necessary people, I will make an announcement.