SOUTH AFRICA // The beginning of a grand adventure

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I didn’t expect that it would take so long for me to blog here in South Africa, but finding the time to sit and think has proven to be harder than I thought. The abundance of new stimuli in this culture makes my brain slow and fingers freeze. Any spare time that I do have, I am keen to just stare in awe at the incredible place that I find myself in. Even now, I am pausing every few words to stare at the beauty before me. Here, let me show you. This is where I’m sitting…

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See what I mean? I write from my experiences… and this experience is just a smidgeon hard to put into words.

I won’t even try to dictate all that has happened in the last week here in South Africa, but I’ll provide some highlights and pictures for you

Upon arrival in Johannesburg, we spent a day touring an area of the city called Soweto.

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This is where an uprising in 1975 resulted in the deaths of thousands of school children; the beginning of the end of the apartheid era. No matter where we went in Soweto (or any other area of SA thus far), we were greeted with smiles and waves. It’s incredible to me, even miraculous, that only 20 years after the end of such an evil era, there is little to no animosity between races. Furthermore, rather than trying to achieve equality by erasing or ignoring differences between the various racial groups that reside here, people embrace their color with pride. Here there is no social courtesy that gasps when people are called black, white, Indian, or coloured – each rejoices in who they are and respects others for who they are. It’s quite beautiful.

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Following our historical tour, we boarded a flight for Durban where we jumped on a bus for the home stretch to Pietermaritzburg. They weren’t kidding when they told me the campus was heaven on earth. I have never seen so much green in my life.

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Activities to date have included:

exploring the wild life reserve just down the road where we frequently cross paths with Zebras
exploring the wild life reserve just down the road where we frequently cross paths with Zebras
hiking through thorn bushes and sliding through mud to get to a hidden waterfall
hiking through thorn bushes and sliding through mud to get to a hidden waterfall
class on class on class – but it’s fine cause my Professors rock and we take a million fieldtrips and what we’re learning is rocking my world. this is bio!
class on class on class – but it’s fine cause my Professors rock and we take a million fieldtrips and what we’re learning is rocking my world. this is bio!
tea time twice a day with the best pastries eva (this is where the hiking is coming in handy)
tea time twice a day with the best pastries eva (this is where the hiking is coming in handy)
laughing till I’m crying and singing and other goofy endeavors
laughing till I’m crying and singing and other goofy endeavors
making new friends
making new friends
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and keeping the old
encountering Jesus in familiar ways and some pretty radical ways
encountering Jesus in some familiar ways and some pretty radical ways


And that’s just to name a few. Don’t be mistaken; I am definitely out of my comfort zone. And there are surely hard times ahead. But I am certain beyond a shadow of a doubt that this is where God wants me.

Sometimes it’s hard to be present. Despite all the beauty and the excitement, waves of anxiety hit me when I remember that this is not a two week mission trip or a month long vacation. This is my home for 3 months – half way around the world from a majority of the people that I love.

But then I also remember that the One that I love most always goes with me. I followed Him here, and here I will remain until He calls me to the next place.

 Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you goJoshua 1:9

But I trust in You, O Lord; I say, “You are my God.” My times are in Your hand.  Psalm 31:14-15

The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup; You hold my lot. The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places; indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance. Psalm 16:5-6

For the next 3 months I am going to live and breath, sleep and eat, laugh and cry, explore and rest to the fullest of my ability here in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

And to Him I will give all the praise.

Until next time.

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