Sunday, September 24, 2006

Incarnational

This morning we worshiped with a house church in the Delft area of Cape Town. Delft is largely populated by "coloreds"--those of mixed heritage. Mark Swartz, our host, told us that many of them find their roots in Malaysia and Java; their ancestors were brought to Africa as slaves. Delft is a very poor section of the city. The homes are no bigger than most sheds and are made of corrugated tin or cinderblock or asbestos, which is cheap and readily available here.
 
The church met at Richard and Sharmain's home; 14 of us with two beautiful little girls. The purity and simplicity of this gathering touched my heart. Lynn spoke on hope. A rich discussion followed, based on the depth of their poverty and the abundance of God's faithfulness. Richard is an Indian cuisine vendor; his new trailer is situated at a busy intersection and he hopes to once again support his family--his previous trailer burned to the ground. This man is a beautiful picture of what incarnational and missional ministry is like--he sees his business as a door to sharing the gospel, and he is building relationships with the doctors at the clinic he's parked in front of, with the librarians across the street, with the people who come and go on a daily basis.
 
This afternoon we went to the Vineyard, the inner city outreach begun by the Swartz and Kendall-Ball families. They began a soup kitchen and other services with the simple goal of loving people like Jesus does. Several of those people have begun a spiritual search and have asked for worship services to be held on Sundays. What sweet fellowship. Several searchers were there. Twenty-five-year-old Graham, who fought tears through much of our time together. Victor, who is trying to overcome his addictions. Samil, who has been disowned by his family for exploring Christianity. We all spoke together long after the service ended.
 
We drove to the ocean afterward. I scooped up plenty of beautiful seashells for my international collection. Lynn went for the smooth and colorful rocks. Snapped a digital photo of the Leveretts near the water's edge. "Hmm," I said to myself. "That's a great wave in the background." Then suddenly it dawned on me. "Watch out," I cried. We ran, but too late to escape the water swirling around our ankles. Of course, I was barefoot as I always am on the sand, but Lynn and Paula's shoes are still drying. :)
 
Please pray--I think I have a sinus infection as a result of the allergies stirred up by the continual dust and smoke in Zimbabwe. I'm on an antibiotic, but not finding much relief yet. I don't feel bad, really, just cannot breath or hear as my head is entirely stopped up. Of course, that's not necessarily a bad thing--we drove past some kind of feed yard this evening and I was the only one who didn't suffer through it!
 
Thought I should explain something I wrote awhile back about "thumbs up." In Zimbabwe, the sign of the opposition party is a wave. Pretty ingenious, since you can always claim you were "just waving." But since some local elections were coming up around the Wedza area, we were cautioned against our continuous waving to everyone we passed--we're Amarilloans, after all. Instead, we were to give a thumbs up sign, though we hardly ever remembered. Washington told us that one time the president's wife accidently waved to a crowd instead of offering the ruling party's raised fist as her husband did. Newspaper headlines over the picture of the two of them the next day said, "MIXED SIGNALS." :)
 
To living missionally, Caron
 

3 comments:

Tammy and Justin said...

Thank you so much for keeping us updated as you can. Thank you for sharing your heart with your words. We can hardly wait for you to be home so that we can hear all of your stories.
We are in constant prayer for your safety and your heart!
Our love to you and the Leverett's!
Blessings,
Tammy and Justin

Debbie Rhodes said...

Dear Karen, I couldn't wait to get online today to read the new entries in your journal. Bob had told me yesterday that you had added new entries after I mentioned to him that I had missed reading anything new this past week. I commented on your talented writing skills and how your journey into Africa has become vivid and alive in my mind! Thank you so very much for sharing this Journey with all of us back home! I know you, the Leveretts and all the dear ones you come in contact with there are rewarded with God's purest "heavenly" blessings! I'm so sorry that you are battling a sinus infection. I will add that to my list of prayer concerns and thanksgivings for you and the Leveretts. Please give Paula and Lynn my love. Love and blessings, Debbie Rhodes

Darlene Morris said...

Caron, There are tears in my eyes as I write....I have loved reading your jouney. We don't know each other except thru Diana Kretz. I am so thankful that she keyed me into your blog. I love in Lubbock. Would love for us to meet someday. I have heard so much about you.
May this journey be just the beginning. In Him,
Darlene