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.