Hello friends and family!
Some of you may be joining in as a result of the articles written about me in the Beloit Daily Newspaper (and an article coming up in the Janesville Gazette as well!) Thanks for visiting the blog and reading about my story!
The past two months have been considerably hectic with many teams pouring in from all over the world but have grown me in so many ways! Seeing lives changed in the communities (and on the teams) is an extremely humbling experience as well as eye-opening. Watching others as they journey through the struggles of sharing their faith and relating to others has given me more of a passion to share and determination to encourage them as they dig deeper in their walk with God.
Towards the end of May I met a woman named Sharon living in the communities. She had a four year old daughter tied to her back and wove through shacks to bring me to her home. It was the smallest shack I had ever seen, fitting only a full sized bed and a cardboard box to stack her belongings on.
For a long while we sat and talked, she gladly opened up to me about what was going on, thankful for a listening ear. Staying with a “boyfriend” in order to have a roof over her and her daughter’s heads, she wakes up before the sun to collect garbage and hopes to turn it into the scrapyard in order to feed her and her daughter. Stuck in the thought process of only relying on herself in order to do anything, hearing about the gospel and what Jesus did for her was shocking.
About a month after Sharon had been coming to Bible study regularly we were able to give Sharon a Bible. At first, she was scared to read it often because she didn’t want it to get dirty. It took a little bit of time but she began to read it and discovered the truth for herself. She used to talk about “cleaning herself” but now she is pointing out that because Jesus forgave us we should forgive others!
The other day I was talking to Sharon and she began to tell me that there are days she is tired and doesn’t want to go to Bible study but goes anyway; how even when she has a bad day she reads her Bible or prays she feels a peace. “Even if I have nobody to talk to, God is always listening. Even if I have nothing, God is always listening.”
This is the reason I’m here in South Africa. To change lives like this. To see God tangibly taking a hopeless situation and filling it with His life. This is what happens when you are motivated by the Love of God!