Wednesday, March 15, 2006

South Africa

8:30pm SA time

We are in a thatched hut; we can hear the ocean 200 yards away. This place is freaking gorgeous. This experience in SA is not a mistake. 4 out of the 20 students in this program were at the NIFES conference in Nigeria 2004. One of the guys, Joshua works for the president of Inter Varsity. There are NGO workers, administrators, professors, Dr.’s Pastors, all coming together to further economic, community, and social development in Third Worlds.

First day at the welcome dinner I meet this guy Drew, who is 32 and he is here with his wife. She is finishing her thesis and he is taking pictures of the local ministries in the surrounding townships and deep in the heart of SA. By the way he has already taken me on a tour and my mind almost went numb. This experience is incubator and I am an egg.

Here are some of the other people I have met.

Peter is a 26 year old student form Atlanta, Georgia. We have a lot in common. Both a little hyper, like to smoke (casually) can’t really focus on one thing. We both come from fundamentalist backgrounds, private school and so on.

Maurice is from North Philly, he loves clothes and his lady. He has three jobs, youth pastor (un official), social worker and real estate sales. This guy makes me laugh. He kept saying that he “I feel you” as he would lightly thump his chest. Maurice turns 30 in May. He struggles to accept responsibility and grow up. I know what that is like.

Jen is a 24 year old student from Santa Barbra. She has spent a lot of time traveling and working in Med Clinic and with Prostitutes in Thailand and fly fishing in New Zealand.

Yesterday I spent the majority of my time sleeping. The only difference I was in a bungalow, not Denise and Len’s house. They are the people that picked us up on the first day. Then there is Cindy. She is a mother of four from FL. Mama Mary is the name of her ministry to Eastern Europe. She recently became a Christian and it is great being around her. It would be amazing if I could help her with a website.

Gary is a 41 year old from SA, who currently lives in London. He loves the outdoors, surfing, scuba, football, rugby and cricket. He is a rugged individual. He works for the European Aid organization. They are a lot like our World Relief. There are three guys from world relief who work in Malawi and I know I spelled that wrong. Hendricks works with all of Africa, bringing awareness to the communities about Pastors with HIV/Aids. I love this guy. I am hoping to meet with him and his boss, who is a priest when they come to America in August. We will see.

As I sit and think about these stories I can not help but to wonder what this all means. There is so much going on. I want to see the world. I want to be where God is speaking the loudest. Who would have thought that a year ago we would be in SA. I just took an exam this morning for seminary and I think I did all right.

It is hard for me to envision myself being a pastor, but I believe I am supposed to go to seminary. It is not hard to see myself using these gifts and talents to empower others to lead. It is not hard to envision myself telling the stories of Nigeria and other oppressed people. It is not hard to see myself speaking to the youth of Nigeria or to people in America about the story of Justice that Jesus came to complete through us.


Jana said...

BTW you did spell Malawi correctly. :) Isn't it great how african's usually spell things the way they sound.

Jana said...

It is so good to hear your stories. Thanks for taking the time to share them, my friend.

I said a prayer for you tonight ... that as you cry for direction, God would show you that before you call he will answer and while you are still speaking he will hear. (Isaiah 65:24)

I felt the Spirit also leading me to Ephesians 5:16. Scott, it sounds like you are really doing this. Drinking in every moment and making the most of every opportunity to be an encouragment to others (which is an awesome gift you have). Do not be brought down by the sights around you but sing and give thanks in your heart in all things.

May His peace be with you! We are thinking of you and Andrea.

Scott Hackman said...

We have to have another Sunday afternoon together soon.

We are back on the 30th of March