Tag Archives: beach

Singleness of Heart: Holidays in Western Cape

Singleness of Heart: Holidays in Western Cape

Three weeks of holiday delivered a treasure trove of fellowship opportunities in June and July.

The weekend after schools closed, I joined a local Christian ministry for hosting a short-term mission, or “outreach” team. Our guests, fifteen young men from Pretoria, made even the typical Peace Corps accommodations look glamorous: They pitched tents on the hillside in front of the Youth Center, with nothing but the spigots on jojos (massive rain water barrels) for showers.

Introducing them to the wonderful world of my local community brought back memories of my early days here, when I was still puzzling out and goggling at the mind-blowing ministry and development work unfolding around every corner.

It felt strange to be a veteran in comparison.

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The World Which Thou Hast Redeemed: April Holidays & Swaziland

The World Which Thou Hast Redeemed: April Holidays & Swaziland

A friend told me that sleeping cleans and heals our brains, like brushing the plaque from our teeth. That’s how church felt my first Sunday back from visiting the USA: brushing the plaque from my soul.

Peace and a sense of belonging enveloped me like a perfume; I greeted every friend with joy, conscious of how blessed I am to know them. Every week, it seems that a new connection unfolds, weaving me more and more into the fabric of community life in KZN.

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Thy Special Bounty: Unexpected Adventures in KZN

Thy Special Bounty: Unexpected Adventures in KZN

This summer, many friends committed to praying for Christian community to find me here in South Africa. If they hadn’t, I might never have realized how bountifully the Lord has answered those prayers.

My first week of school, when I was interviewing the teachers according to my Peace Corps integration assignment, the Foundation phase Head of Department suggested I contact the principal at a nearby private school. When I finally chided myself into making the call, she graciously invited me to visit.

That was where I met Petra. A native South African and world traveler, she has taught for years in schools as far flung as Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and rural KZN. This exceptional Christian lady has opened her heart and home to me, introducing me to my most exceptional experiences in South Africa to date.

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To the Haven Where We Would Be: Swearing-In Ceremony in Durban

To the Haven Where We Would Be: Swearing-In Ceremony in Durban

The road was long, but the destination was worth it.

That’s the best way to sum up our training to become Peace Corps Volunteers, and the very same phrase applies to our week in Durban.

Durban: the beach-side city where we would take our oaths to uphold the U.S. Constitution and swear in as the 38th class of South Africa’s Peace Corps Volunteers. We had been anticipating this day since we arrived in South Africa, some of my fellow volunteers for years before that–but first we had to get there.

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