This seems to get worse with every project trip. I come home with so many great memories and thoughts and cannot seem to get them organized into any readable format for sharing. Then a few days ago I got a call from a friend and ministry partner and was telling her my conundrum (50 cents for use of that word!). She very helpfully suggested, "Why don't you just post some photos and give a snippet of the story behind each one?"
BAM! This is one of the reasons we love having ministry PARTNERS. Your prayers and financial support are greatly appreciated, and you're also full of ideas, big and small, for how we can do this thing well. So I'm going to run with her idea (thanks, Melissa!) and who knows, the photos might actually make the longer stories flow out in words too.
But before I do some photo essay work, I should give you the overview of why I went to South Africa. The ministry we went to serve is called Beulah Centre for Destiny, and it changed names about three times during our time there (more on that later).
Beulah was founded by Fulu and his wife Sheila and the aim is to provide a halfway house for juvenile offenders coming out of the prison system. This was a great one for an inaugural EMI South Africa project as Gerhard, the director of the new office, has a particular heart for the youth of the nation. It being the first project is the main reason I was there: to collect photos and video content so folks can see what a unique location for the ministry of EMI this will be.
And here is where about two dozen thoughts come tumbling through my poor head in random order and I struggle to put them together for you. There is a lot to tell, a lot to share. Half of our team was comprised of South African design professionals so eager to be part of this and they have some really great stories, not to mention awesome accents that the American delegation tried in vain to imitate. We had so many great conversations about the history of the country, the current struggles, and ways that change might come about. We met individuals with huge faith stories and others who are just plowing away at the work God placed in front of them with no recognition and no cares for attention beyond the love they pour out so freely. We were hugged and thanked and sung to and rained upon and treated to some really great experiences of all South Africa has to offer (beaches! penguins! Table Mountain! ZEBRA BUTTS!).
It felt like we packed two months worth of life into two weeks.
And so now my challenge is to pack it all into a small series of blog posts. Or maybe it will be a long series. But if you're itching to see photos right away and/or you hate reading, you can see the gallery now by clicking here.
From the Keiters:
Here is where we share our daily experiences of how God is using our life in the US and abroad with EMI to draw us closer and to make Himself known.