Wednesday, March 6, 2013

South Africa 2013 - Recap of Days 9-14

South Africa 2013 Recap of Days 9-14 Day 9 - Thursday, February 28 Working at Muphamuzi Baby Home. Prepping for Together for Adoption Conference (T4A) in Pretoria. I went to the Pastor's Boot Camp pre-Conference half-day seminar led by Dan Cruver, the leader of T4A from South Carolina. Day 10 - Friday, March 1 First day of Together for Adoption Conference (T4A) in Pretoria. Doug Plank from a Sovereign Grace church in Pennsylvania led worship. A smorgasbord of gospel-centered preaching, singing and fellowship. Day 11 - Saturday, March 2 Last day of Together for Adoption Conference (T4A) in Pretoria. A full day of amazing worship, gospel preaching and fellowship. Drenched in gospel truth. Day 12 - Sunday, March 3 Team debrief and a meal at the Mack's. In the afternoon we worshipped together with the people of Living Hope Church once again. Randy and I picked up 15 Salvokop folks for church, most of whom are from Zimbabwe. Living Hope has people from 12 ethnic groups. What an awesome mix. Doug Plank led the singing (joined by weekly regulars on the djembe and tambourine, from out in the congregation) and Dan Cruver preached. After we dropped everyone off in Salvokop, the team did some souvenir shopping near the Capitol buildings. Day 13 - Monday, March 4 Randy took the men to Salvokop where we worked on Claudius' home. We put on the roof, worked on the floor and built a front stoop in a slum-type neighborhood. Lunch and packing at the Clark's. A trip to the Lion Park capped off our time in South Africa. Day 14 - Tuesday, March 5 Flying to London, then on to LAX. Over 24 hours of travel! So many things God has done in such a concentrated time. It is clear to me that the Clarks are in the right place, at the right time, for the right reasons. Gifting, desire and team fit are all solidly in place. They are clearly doing what they are meant to do at this point in time. A gospel-focused engagement in sacrificial service is their only agenda. What a joy it was to witness this first hand. The Mack's are an exceptional family that is walking by faith and trusting Jesus every step of the way. Josh is a humble leader and a man of depth. I witnessed many things that brought joy to my heart on this trip, notable among them are these: 1. Gospel-centered living permeated everything. The 1Hope team strives to bring God's Word and Christ's finished work to bear on everything. What does God's Word say about it and how does what Jesus did and is doing inform and transform us and every situation? It really is the only way to really live. 2. Humble Hospitality. We came to be a blessing and refresh others, we ended up being blessed and refreshed. Our hosts graciously opened their hearts and homes to us. Love of the brethren continued. God was obeyed and Christ was honored. 3. Sacrificial Service. Every member of the 1Hope team and the Grace Orange team willingly did whatever was needed, for Jesus and the gospel, at cost to their preferences and comfort. A living example of 2 Cor. 5:14-15.

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