This last week was the last of our four weeks at the Olievenhoutsbosch Christian School before switching to go to the disability center for four weeks. I knew it was going to happen, but seriously the past four weeks have flown by. I have become so comfortable in an environment, so now changing to a new location feels like we are traveling to a whole different planet even though the disability center is only like four blocks away from the school. We have formed real authentic relationships with not only the kids, but the teachers and the mentors in the aftercare program.
I am really falling in love with relational ministry. Empowering people with hope seems so simplistic when you go into it with a relational mindset. I find this especially true after spending a month in South Africa so far with my main efforts being towards getting to know the people. It’s so much easier to see the hope in someone’s eyes when you truly know them. The compassion you can then give truly helps you empathize to their individual situations, while not wanting or feeling the need to change anything about it.
It took four weeks for me to see my true role at the school. While at times days seemed pointless or especially trying, I now look back on those moments and see the work being done through my actions, even if they were so small in my perspective at the time. I wish I could spend more time with my classes or my aftercare girls and really pour everything I have into them. I can only pray that God has plans to work in the people I loved at the school, and I can rely in him because of the faith/trust I have in him.
This week Wednesday was “Heritage day”, which is a government holiday in South Africa. If you know me, one of my biggest arguments for the presence of a true God is the complexity of our universe, especially nature. We went on an absolutely gorgeous 6k-ish hike about an hour and a half east of Pretoria where I truly relished in how freakin awesome the world is. There are beautiful places in the world that people may not know of as a big “tourist spot” just because it isn’t the top ten things “to-do” on trip advisor, and that is exactly how I would describe this place. It was an emotional week being the last one at the school, and going to this place truly helped me be at peace some with what God is doing in the lives of the people I was leaving in Olieven. The kind of faith I have when enjoying the world around me outdoors, is the same that I try to apply when it comes to the time to “let go and let god” take over the relationships I have made in my life. Although I may not see the beauty in what we have done in each individual at the school all the time like I can in something like a mountain range, it is still real and relevant in building my faith.
I am not sure if that will truly make sense, but it gives me a sense of humility and awe. You can only do so much in any situation, but there will always be a point where you did the part God wanted you to and you have to have faith that he will continue to do the good works he allowed you to be a part of. Next week will be the beginning of another chapter of what we are doing in South Africa, and I may be somewhat nervous but I am excited for what our God places in our paths.
Hebrew 11:1 Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see.