Monday, May 08, 2006

Road Trip!
(Written by Lorie)

Last week, Mike shared that eight friends (Jon, Chrisy, Teri, Bobby, Sharon, Maya, Myles, and Lisa) from our church (Canyon Hills) have come to South Africa for a two week mini-NieuCommunities experience. It’s been GREAT having them here doing communion, community, and mission together! It has been a moment by moment adventure that we have shared through conversations, worship, service, and being changed in many different ways.

Two postures we’ve focused on this last week have been “Listening” and “Submerging”. “Listening” has to do with being quiet enough to hear God’s voice and allowing yourself to hear other people – their stories and their place in the world. Some ways we did that was by walking through the city, praying at the Union Building, and visiting the Sterkfontein Caves. It was in those places, coupled with conversations and interactions with one another that began the process of listening. The other posture was “Submerging.” We did something that is rarely done by white people – we took the take the train to the townships of Mabopane and Soshanguve. It was in that setting that we were able to truly submerge ourselves into the culture of the community and boy, did it touch all of our senses – including the offer of roasted caterpillars and corn for lunch!! We were all touched by the opportunities of visiting a primary school (which I loved because of my background in education and even got my picture with the principal!), visiting a home of disabled children, and arriving at the House of Joy for two days of living with and serving children whose parents had died from AIDS. We took on the huge project of cleaning up a destroyed backyard (from fire and storm) and began to fill the pool so a new play structure could be built for the kids. Words cannot describe how these experiences affected each one of us – a range of emotion on every level. I believe that it is intentional situations like these that keep us alive to being grateful for our health, our material blessings, our joy, and our ability to love those around us.

This is a prayer I’ve been praying for months, though I find it challenging to do on my own, that I am finding that God is helping me to make space in my life to live and think differently.

Saturday was a day of fun for two reasons – a day of shopping at an African marketplace and a big going away celebration for the Frasers who are moving back to the states after spending three years serving with NCSA. We have been so happy to do life with them both in the states and in South Africa and have loved watching how they have impacted people here. The evening was full of food, stories, a slideshow, and then yes, it’s true – a ketchup and mustard fight!! So indicative of the crazy lives of the Frasers!

Our lives are full of good things and people.
Much love and thanks to all of you!!


Blogger Doah said...

Lorie, this post really spoke to me about love. I'm thinking of what great opportunities you have had to love people there, an elementary school, a home for disabled children, cleaning up the yard for the parentless children of South Africa. It's been truly a blessing to read about this stuff and be part of your journey. What God is really telling me is that I have to love better too and that I need to do it right where I am at. I truly appreciate your blog today and I am doing my very best to listen to God today, to try to grow while Chrisy is there with you, to let God change me right here, right now.

12:43 PM  
Anonymous Mark Swendra said...

Dear Mike & Lorie,
This is Mark Swendra. I'm so thankful that I was able to find this web site. I have been trying to locate you. This past year my life has taken such an incredible turn and I have finally come to Jesus in the way He has always wanted. I'd love to renew our friendship. I can be reached at

6:41 PM  

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