Right now – Imagine:
You are a 25 year old woman.
Once upon a time, you thought you found true love.
A foreigner came and promised you a grand life.
And for a moment in time, life was everything he promised.
You had a child together, but without notice his bags were packed and he was gone.
Desperate to provide for your young child, you go to a bigger city to try and find work.
On your quest for a job that will provide, you meet a man who offers you a job as a waitress in his resteraunt.
You arrive at your first day of work, believing that this was the answer you were searching for, this is the golden opportunity to make a living for you and your child. Upon your arrival, your boss asks you to go serve a customer. With a nervous feeling in your stomach, you go to attend the customer in the back room, however, within moments you realize this job was not what you thought it was. As the man moves towards you, he begins to force himself on you. Filled with fear, you run out of the room in hopes to be saved. However, instead of finding refuge, your boss yells at you demanding you go back into the room to serve the customer, or else you’ll be fired. Convinced there are no other options for work, you stay working at the restraunt where every night men come in, expect you to serve them, and for a small chump of change they can purchase you for the night, allowing them to have their way with you. This is your life.
A little inhumane, wouldn’t you say?
This scenario isn’t just a scenario, its the story of 50 women on a 136th street in Phnom Phen, Cambodia.
These women are desperate for someone to rescue them. They are desperate for someone to love them for who they are.
These women are desperate for a night of refuge.
Friday night the Go Team moved with purpose as they went into the Red Light District of Phnom Phen, determined to give 50 women a night of refuge. Determined to be a light in an industry that is full of darkness and to create change in the lives of women who have lost all hope. 9 o’clock on the dot, the team showed up at the beginning of 136th street, with their hearts beating fast for what was about to happen, they dispersed throughout the street fearlessly. The street that was previously filled with men wandering the streets lusting at women, was now overtaken by a team of people who were radiating the love of God. As the team went into the bars where the women were, the men sitting at the bar were left utterly confused as the women who had seconds before draped themselves around the men’s necks left them as soon as the women heard they were invited to a party by the Go team. Bar after bar, the Go Team invited these ladies to an extravagant party, leaving the men sitting alone at the bar with no women to service them for the night. Although the men’s plans had been completely ruined, the women left with excitement, they knew that this was not going to be an ordinary Friday night, this night was special.
These women knew that there was something different about the Go team as they watched members of the team whole heartitly “fight” for one of the women. After hearing about the party, a precious young girl left the man she was with so that she could attend the party, yet, shocked and upset the man threatened her placing fear in her. Members of the Go Team pleaded with her not to stay with him, with passion in their voices they told her “He doesn’t own you, you don’t have to stay with him. You are valuable. Come with us”. This was the first time for many of the girls that they had seen someone fight on their behalf, telling them that they were valuable. Tonight, would not be just a regular night with the normal clients, and the women were fully aware of it.
After inviting fifty women from the Red Light District to an evening party on the river, the Go team headed to the boat they had rented for the night in order to host this life changing event. As the team and the women walked down the street, the women moved proudly down the busy street with an excitement radiating from them, they had just been invited to what seemed like a party of a lifetime by a group of Americans. They where hand picked and selected for the party, and their genuine smiles were showing it.
The atmosphere was filled with excitement as you could hear squeals from the women as they saw the boat they were about to get on for the party. Little did they know that they were about to have one of the best nights of their lives. Anticipation built amongst the group of 80 as they waited to load the boat, their cheers grew louder as the rest of the groups arrived at the dock. The time had finally come. Christa Baca, co-founder of Go International, welcomed the women to the party as the gates opened. As the men helped the ladies board the boat, the women were were left in awe as they saw rose petals flooding the lower deck of the boat. Making their way to the top deck of the boat, some of the women’s eyes welled up with tears as they saw the details of the decor that was done all for them.
As the women took in their surroundings, the Go men stepped up to the plate and began their side of the ministry: serving these girls. The women took their seats, and within the blink of an eye, the men from the Go team were bringing the women drinks and desserts. The men were setting a new standard for these women on how man ought to treat woman. These women have never been treated with such respect. It was a beatiful sight to see the men rush back and forth with smiles on their faces serving the women from the bars. Their faces lit up as they came to the realization that these men did not want anything from them. Tonight, they were not being asked to service customers. Tonight, they were going to find a place of refuge. Tonight, they were going to be treated like queens.
The music turned on and in a matter of moments- all the ladies from the Go team and the women from the bars intermingled and began dancing the top deck of the boat. As popular tunes from Justin Beiber and Miley Cyrus came over the speakers, everyone cheered with excitement as they danced and sang their hearts out. The girls were loosening up and beginning to taste freedom. On a boat that was drifting down the Mekong River, these girl were given the opportunity to be themselves and rest from their nightly routine. At various points during the party one could see girls taking in the moment as they stood at the edge of the boat catching the river’s breeze and looking at the city lights. Tonight, was unlike any other, it was better than the movies.
After dancing the night away, the time had finally come to let the girls know why we were having a party in their honor. As everyone sat down in their seats, Christ Baca took the stage voicing the fact that tonight was different, tonight was a night to give these girls a safe place. A place of refuge from their nightly routine and customers. Smiles appeared on the faces of the girls as you could hear a few of them saying “Yes, Yes. This is true.” One could see the Cambodian women connecting with the Go team as they squeezed their hands and smiled as a gesture of “Thank You”. Christa continued speaking to the girls as she shared part of her story with them, letting them know that we are all the same, despite our backgrounds. As Christa continued speaking to the Cambodian women, she saturated them with truth; letting them know that they are special and created in the image of God for a purpose.
The hearts of the girl’s were softening as they were realizing more than ever that the Go team was here to love them as they just as they were. After sharing the vision of the night, the team performed a drama for the women called “Bondage”. The drama illustrated a girl who was wrapped in chains and held in bondage by the devil. The devil brought her through bad relationships, greed and money issues, hurt, pain, rejection, and alcohol abuse. Yet the whole time, Jesus was reaching out the the girl in bondage, trying to save her. As the women watched the drama one could see tears streaming down their faces, they were connecting to the girl in the drama. After all, they were in bondage, trying to break free. At the end of the drama, Christ saved the girl who was in bondage, freeing her from the chains that bound her. One could see it on their faces, that these girls were longing to be rescued.
The women were finally understanding the purpose of the party. Their deameanor competely changed as they let down the walls and were exposing how they truly felt. Their whole lives no one has ever cared about them or showed them love. No one has told them how valuable they are or how they have purpose. As Christa got up one last time to speak, she poured out her heart to the girls telling them that all of us women are the same; we are no different. She expressed that we are loved and valued by the Creator. Christa then told the girls about Jesus, who came to rescue them from bondage. There was hope in the women’s eyes, they had heard truth and were clinging on to it.
The opportunity was now before them, to accept Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. That night in the city of Phnom Phen, lives were changed as many of the women gave their lives to Christ. Looking around the boat, one could see clusters of American and Cambodian women connecting. There was an overwhelming peace in the atmosphere as the women from the Red Light District began telling the ladies Go Team how much they disliked their jobs and what forced them to being an industry that is so inhumane. As the Cambodian women told their stories, all around you could see compassion filling the eyes of the women on the Go Team; their hearts were breaking for the Cambodian women. Yet, in between the tears, one could see smiles appearing on the faces of the Cambodian women as the grasped the hands of the Go Team and said “Thank you for coming, I so happy.” The lives of these precious women were forever changed as they were given the courage to leave this industry.
On an ordinary Friday night, a group of 27 Americans made the descion to be obssessed with doing the will of the Father. Going into a district that is known for it’s “darkness”, this team of American’s knew that the light that shined in them was greater. As they stepped onto the scene, light came into existence; and with it rescue, relief, and hope. Something extraordinary happened that Friday night:
For the first time in a long time, these women were treated with the respect they deserve.
For the first time, a glimmer of hope had entered their world.
For the first time these women had a Night of Refuge.
Written By Lindsey Clark
Photos By Dodge & Bel Pangburn
At some point in time, many of us have prayed this prayer.
The Go Team is no exception to this. Throughout the trip, members of the team have been crying out to the Lord for their hearts to break for what breaks His. The day has come, when that prayer really starts to take effect. As the team traveled from Kampong Thom to Phnom Phen today, they had time to prepare their hearts; their ministry was about to have a seemingly drastic change as they moved from village ministry to ministry with women and children who have been exploited for sex.
The fact is:
The sex industry is one of the largest in the world, generating over 28 billion dollars a year.
There are 27 million people in the world today that are enslaved.
Broken down that means that there are more slaves today than there were in the historic transatlantic slave period.
Today, reality hit.
Twenty-seven million was no longer an overwhelming statistic for the members of the Go Team.
Today that number was attached to faces.
The team had several amazing opportunities today to breathe life into the women and children who have been aching inside, struggling to survive.
In the afternoon, the ladies of the Go Team went to go work with the SHE Rescue Home. It was there that reality set in as they heard the stories of these children. The youngest girl at the home was only 3 when she was first exposed to one of the most inhumane acts known to mankind. Not even able to read a Dr. Seuss book on her own, this little girl has been gang raped, drugged, and exploited for sex. For two years men took advantage of her, robbing her of her innocence and childhood. The man who is responsible for all the harm that has been done to her is her father, who raped her in order to “prepare” her before he sold her. The hearts of the ladies on the team were beginning to break.The ladies spent the rest of the afternoon with the girls, ranging in ages 5-16, bonding over making simple little bracelets and other crafts.
Meanwhile, the men of the trip were also playing a vital role in the lives of these women and children who were trafficked. If girls are honest with themselves – they’ll come to acknowledge that they want to be rescued, essentially they want a hero.Today, the men of the Go team played the roles of heros as they served a rescue home doing manual labor for various projects. While to some it may seem like it was just another random work project, the men understood that this was much more. The men knew that they were setting an example to the women who were trafficked of what real men are supposed to be like. They spent the afternoon working hard, sweating a little, and serving the women. This afternoon they were the warriors, they were the heros.
As night time came, the team prepared themselves as they were about to go down to the place of action: the beer gardens. A place where women are often in forced prostitution, having no choice, and no freedom. The team’s ministry was nothing extravagant, it was simple. They chatted over cokes, exchanging stories and details of their lives. As time passed by, the conversations revealed more and more. The hearts of the team were beginning to break as they heard women after women say “I hate this job, I want out!”
are in need of change, are longing for freedom, and are on a quest for love.
The question is this: What does one do now- once they have heard these stories and these desires to escape the industry? One cannot help but crave to do something to change their realities, after all, isn’t that what Jesus would do?
The team has invited the women from the beer gardens to a party that will be thrown in their honor.
This purpose of this party is to recognize them as women who are precious and valuable in the sight of God.
Though it may not be one’s normal outreach- tomorrow morning lives will be changed as many of them hear the gospel message, are told they are priceless, and as they are connected with a local rescue home that can help them escape the lifestyle they are in.
Tonight, the team is going to bed with heavy hearts. Their hearts have broken for what breaks the heart of the Father. The Lord is creating a zeal in the hearts of the team to create change and be a light in this dark city.
Tomorrow: Change is coming.
The story continues tomorrow…
Special Request: The Go International team asks that you as our friends and family be in prayer the next 24 hours to our ministry with the women in sex trafficking. In addition to tomorrow morning’s party, tomorrow night Go International will be throwing the second annual Night of Refuge, giving the women a night of rest and refuge from their nightly routine and customers. As a team we ask that you pray for wisdom, discernment, safety, an that the Lord would be able to move in and through us as a team, and that He prepares the hearts of the women who will be attending the party. Thank you so much to all of you back at home, we appreciate all your prayers and support.
Written By: Lindsey Clark
This ought to be something that we as Christians do on a daily basis; it ought to be a lifestyle.
In fact, the Lord beckons us to be a source of life to those around us throughout scripture.
During the last several days, the Go Team has done exactly this. They have breathed life everywhere they went. Whether that be at the orphanage, villages, medical clinics, church services, or english schools. The Go team has made themselves available for the Lord to use. The team has been breathing life through not only their words, but actions, and their presence.
For the past 5 days something beautiful has been in the making; a bond between believers.
It all started with one little girl who wanted a “God Sister in Christ”.
As team member Esther Gualtrieri unloaded from the vans the first day at the orphanage, she was quickly greeted by a little girl who latched on to her. There was a soul connection there as the young girl squeezed Esther tightly not letting go. As Sokhon, the team’s contact, noticed what was unfolding he took a moment to share with the team that the young girl had approached him just days before stating that she had been praying for God for a “God Sister in Christ”. God had answered her prayers; He brought her Esther, an American with a heart of passion for Jesus. The young girl looked up at Esther with admiration as Sokhon explained the young girl’s desire for a God Sister. Without hesitation, Esther eagerly committed to being the young girls God Sister; committing to encourage her, pray for her, and be a spiritual example to her; essentially breathing life into her.
Day after day teenagers and young adults in the Cambodian Church approached members of the Go Team, asking if the Americans would be their God Sisters, Brothers, and Mothers. And each day with pleasure, members of the Go Team said “yes”. The team was making the most of every opportunity and seizing the moment to breathe life into the Cambodians.
It has been such a beautiful thing to watch the relationships between the Cambodians and the Americans unfold.
Throughout the New Testament, Christians are referred to as “brothers and sisters” and are urged to not only live lives pleasing to the Lord, but to also encourage one another in their faith. The New Testament Christians are encouraged to imitate the faith of someone they respect and of the Lord, that they may in turn become a model and an example to those around them and constantly be breathing life.
As our time in Kampong Thom comes to a close, it has been beautiful to watch members of the team step up to the plate and be spiritual leaders in our world. The team has breathed life into the people of Cambodia and is leaving a thumb print in this nation. Though our time here in the villages was short, much was accomplished. The team has gone out to the uttermost bounds of the earth preaching the Gospel of Jesus Christ, encouraging the believers, reaching the lost, and bringing restoration all in the name of Jesus. We can be assured that much will be accomplished in our absence, there is a generation of believers in the Church here who are seeking to create change in their world and become more like Jesus, who are ready to breathe life in their own circles of influence.
Tomorrow, the team will be traveling to the city of Phnom Phen to work with girls in the sex trade.
Tomorrow is a new day with brand new possibilities.
Tomorrow day will be yet another opportunity to breathe life to the people of Cambodia.
The story continues tomorrow…
Written By: Lindsey Clark
Video By: Josh Dagenette
Over and over again we are beckoned as believers to be ambassadors of Christ. We are called to represent Christ on earth and move with purpose on His behalf. Today, the Go team truly took ownership of this title and stepped into their role as ambassadors of Christ as they ministered in the villages of Cambodia. The team started the morning off with dramas in a small concrete school. Squeezed inside the four walls, the Cambodians leaned in intensely as they watched the team perform dramas that told the message of Jesus Christ. After the dramas, the team went out into the crowd praying with individuals for healing. At this point the team had no idea the stirring that had already been going on before they had arrived.
In faith, a woman who had heard about the team coming to the village, made the descion to skip work, believing that if she came to get prayer she would be healed. For years she had been suffering from a bad back causing difficulty in her daily routine. As the team dispersed throughout the crowd, a couple of the team members approached her to pray. WIth an eager and expectant heart, the woman agreed with the team for her healing. Within moments of praying, the woman started moving freely. With a smile on her face she started moving her hips and dancing; she had been healed. Her faith had made her well. For the rest of the service, the Cambodian woman danced with the team members, rejoicing for her healing.
Yet as the service drew to a close, the rejoicing did not stop. As the team moved outside to the fresh air, the woman continued to dance around, joining in a game of jump rope as she relished the healing of her body. Curiosity stirred amongst the other women as they watched the sweet lady dance around with joy. It was not long before members of the team sparked conversation with a beautiful woman who was 75 years old. She informed the team that at the age of 20 she had lost her sight due to cataract. The small group from the Go Team and the woman whose hip had been healed gathered around the blind woman and prayed for her healing. The team spoke with authority and called her healing into existence. As the team prayed, the cataract began to disappear from her eyes. By the end of their prayer, the woman’s sight had been completely restored. For the first time in 55 years, the woman could see the world clearly.
These are only two of many stories from today; stories of healing, restoration, and salvation.
Today, the team moved with purpose as they fulfilled the mandate of Christ; to love God and love people.
The team has become ambassadors of Christ in the nation of Cambodia.
The story continues tomorrow…
Written By: Lindsey Clark
Photos By: Lindsey Clark
Video By: Josh Dagenette
Video from Day 1 of ministry:
There is something absolutely beautiful about music: it transcends language. This morning, the Go Team had the opportunity to attend a Cambodian church service, where they entered together in worship with a church full of Cambodian believers. There were no fancy lights, no elegant decor, just four walls and a roof and a room full of believers entering into worship. Though everything about the surroundings were simple, the presence of God was there. United together by the love for their Savior, the Cambodians and Americans danced and sang praises that filled the whole village.
As worship came to a close, Christa Baca, co-founder of Go International, took an opportunity to breathe life into the Cambodian church, challenging them to pursue the dreams that God has placed in their hearts. What the world needs to day is dreamers, not lofty dreamers, but dreamers who dream of a better world. Dreamers who do not merely dream selfish dreams, but dream for the sake of others. As Americans, most of us live in a culture where we are encouraged to pursue our dreams, however, for many Cambodians this is not the case. However, today marked a new day, full of new beginnings. Today, Cambodians both young and old alike made the decision to start living out their dreams. As the service ended, there was a freshness in the air; dreams were being awakened. It was evident that change was occurring in the hearts of the beautiful people of Cambodia.
Though the service had come to a close, the day was only just beginning. After the service, the team spent time playing with the children from the orphanage. As bubbles and balloons showered the atmosphere, the team and the children bonded. Everywhere you looked there were little Cambodian children hanging onto members of the team. The children were getting special attention as the team played games and danced in the street with them. However, it’d be safe for one to assume that more was happening than meets the eye. As conversations continue between the team members, it is evident that God has been softening the hearts of the team members for the fatherless. God is in the process of breaking the hearts of 27 individuals for what breaks His.
With several hours left before sundown, the team continued on their trek through the villages. Where they continued to spread the love of the Savior to the villagers through dramas, carnivals, and medical clinics. With each village that the team attends, there is a fresh excitement that comes to spread hope to those who have lost hope, to bring love to those who feel abandoned, and renewal to the brokenhearted.
It is truly beautiful to see the team come together as one, with pure hearts and one vision in mind. The team is creating change in their every movement and lives are being transformed.
The story continues tomorrow…
Written By: Lindsey Clark
Early morning risers, the Go team woke up early and headed out to a village for their first day of ministry. Excitement filled the air as the team passed through the busy streets knowing that they were about to enter a village that may have never been visited by Christians who are spreading the love and gospel of Jesus Christ. Side conversations in the vans were filled with team members expressing how excited they were to play with the village children and minister to the people.
As the team approached the village, villagers waved by the side and followed the vans to the stopping point. There, the team unloaded and found themselves in front of a quaint Cambodian home, where waiting for them was a crowd full of men, women, and children. It wasn’t long before the team pulled out face paints, watercolors, and bubbles in order to entertain the children. There was an invasion of smiles as young and old alike, were laughing and giggling alongside the Go Team. Little did the villagers know that the fun was only beginning; the Go team was about to reveal carnival they had set up. One could say that the carnival is essentially a “mobile Disneyland”. Laughter filled the air as the team and the villagers were bonding over “Putt Putt” and “Pin the Tail on the Monkey”.
After the carnivals, the team performed several dramas for the crowd that had gathered. While some of the dramas were humorous, others presented the gospel message in a compelling way. A stillness fell over the crowd as they watched the story of Jesus Christ unfold. Moved by these dramas, one could see it in the eyes of many of the villagers that truth was being revealed. Today, lives were changed, as several Cambodians gave their lives to Christ.
Packing up their bags, the team continued on to another village where they conducted another carnival as well as a youth service. As the vans headed back to the hotel for the night, the team chit chatted amongst themselves exchanging stories of their day and connections with different children and villagers… change has come. However, not just in the lives of the Cambodians, but in the lives of those on the team. A stirring is occurring in the hearts of 27 individuals- a stirring to see the love of Jesus be spread around the world.
Today was the beginning of something beautiful.
Today, lives were changed because a few Americans decided to spend time in a nation that needed hope.
Today, lives were changed because a few nurses and doctors gave medical attention to those in pain.
Tonight, our team goes to bed knowing that they are fulfilling the mandate of Christ: to go into the utter most bounds of the earth and “make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you” (Matthew 28.18).
The story continues tomorrow…
Written By: Lindsey Clark
Photos By: Lindsey Clark
After traveling more than 24 hours the team touched down safely in the capital city Phnom Penh. This morning they will continue their journey and drive 4 hours away to the province Kampong Thom where the bulk of the ministry will take place. Spirits are high and expectation is stirring as to all that God has in store in the coming days. While in route to Cambodia they had the opportunity to visit the shopping district of Mong Kok while on an extended layover in Hong Kong. The team was excited to get one more stamp in their passports and to pick up a few souvenirs along the way.
Thank you for your continued prayers. We look forward to keeping you updated on all that is taking place on the ground in Cambodia. In addition to posts made here you can receive micro updated by following us on Twitter @go_intl or on Facebook. Feel free to share these posts to your social networks.
After months of anticipation, June has finally arrived. Go International and missionaries from across the country have gathered in Los Angeles, California in order to embark on an adventure half way across the world, in the nation of Cambodia. The group of 27 has one mission in mind: to bring a piece of heaven to earth, bringing the message of Jesus to the fatherless, oppressed, and hopeless. As the team met together in their California hotel, Christa Baca, co-founder of Go International, casted the vision for the trip, encouraging the team to “step onto the scene and be light in the darkness”.
It can be said that this team of people is “expectant”. As a few of the team members shared their heart and expectations of the trip, it was evident that despite the “darkness” of Cambodia, the team is expecting God to move in a beautiful and powerful way.
Jeremiah 1.5-10 says, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart; I appointed you as a prophet to the nations… ” Do not say, ‘I am too young.’ You must go to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you”, declares the Lord.” I have put my words in your mouth. See, today I have appointed you over the nations and kingdoms to uproot and tear down, to destroy and overthrow, to build and plant.”"
This team of 27 individuals are bonded by the fact that they are ready to see change in the lives of Cambodians. They are ready and willing to be used by God to breathe life into the nation of Cambodia, by going where He says “go” and saying what He has put on their hearts. With courage, the team is ready to go out into the front lines, and be a voice of hope to the villagers, fatherless, and oppressed, knowing that the Lord has appointed them for this moment in time. As the team gathered for morning worship, they sang “Our God is greater, Our God is stronger, God you are Higher than any other”. The song became an anthem for the team, as they were preparing their hearts to go out into the world and be a light in this nation.
Now, with only 5 hours till take off, the team is uniting together as one as they prepare dramas that they will be performing in the villages of Cambodia. To say that the team is eager, is an understatement, they are ready and willing: to go out into far ends of the earth and be ambassadors of Christ, ready to be a part of a beautiful story of Christ bringing redemption to a nation who has lost hope.
The story continues tomorrow…
“God prepared my heart”, Kelly said. “I’ve always wanted to bless people with money to do traveling ministry, but I thought it would be years from now. God answered my heart’s desire and Hilary’s as well.”
Just two weeks before leaving, apprentice Kelly Drury decided to give her entire trip money to intern Hillary Patrick- months of work and planning gone with a single decision. For Kelly it wasn’t a challenge or even a questionable notion, she knew what God asked her do. More so, Kelly believed in the sacrifice she made because she believed in Hilary. She believed that family sticks together.
Another exciting miracle was soon to follow. Because of Kelly’s efforts, the other interns followed her example and quickly formed a strategy to raise the $2,500 that was needed for Andrew Hunt, the last intern without the trip money. With just 48 hours left before their departure date you wouldn’t think there was much hope, but it was just the opposite. Hope saturated the offices and the atmosphere was charged with possibility. It turns out that 48 hours was more than enough time for the interns. The money was raised. Following the announcement of his latest financial breakthrough, cries of celebration surrounded Andrew’s speechless face; he was coming with us. “I know they care about me; they are family.” –Andrew H.
Today at 8 o’clock in the evening, the team will be leaving South Africa to return to the states. Although today is our final day in South Africa and the Mystery Trip is coming to a close, ministry is not over. The team spent the morning at a local church service, leading worship and preaching the message of God’s love, the freedom we have in Him, and the plan He has for our lives. It was evident that the members of the church were encouraged by this message bringing hope. After the message, the team prayed with members of the congregation. Individuals came up for prayer for new jobs, healing in different parts of their bodies, and healing for HIV. As prayer was ending, the presence of God filled the tent as Ben Blount, a first year intern, started singing “Hallelujah”. It was beautiful to see the body of Christ unite despite nationality, skin color, age, or language. The team said their goodbyes, and headed to Impact Kids, a project started by Rich Franzen, director of Impact Africa. Rich shared with the team the vision that he had for the organization, and the role that Impact Kids plays in the community. Rich explained to the team that Impact kids is strategically located between two squatter camps, both having approximately 15,000 families in their communities. Aids affects 80% of the camps, resulting in 1,000 deaths per a day, leaving 450 children as orphans. Rich explained that in addition to aids being one of the growing problems in these squatter camp communities is mothers abandoning their babies after birth. Mothers throw their helpless unwanted babies in the streets, in fields, and even in dumpsters. These ugly realities left the team in complete shock. Creating a burning desire to continue carrying out God’s mandate: “Learn to do right! Seek Justice, encourage the oppressed, defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow” (Isaiah 1:17). So as the team heads out to share the love of God to those in the squatter camps one last time before they board a plane to come back to the States, the team’s hearts will be aching with the desire to bring hope and light into these individual’s lives.
Though the Mystery Trip is ending, the mystery continues. The need is great and the yearning for a savior is still burning in hearts. The Lord is in search for those who are fully committed to Him and sharing His great love to those who are lost. To those of you who have partnered with us on Mystery Trip 2011, Go International thanks you for helping send us and for your prayers. Much was accomplished in our short time here, there is still more work to be done in South Africa, however we can be assured of this: “The people walking in darkness have seen the light; and those living in the land of the deep darkness a light has dawned. You have enlarged the nation, you have increased their joy; they rejoice before you as people rejoice at the harvest.” (Isaiah 9.2-3).
The mystery continues, tomorrow.