Pockets of Home

March 31, 2017

This month has been packed with teaching, team bonding, preparation for our cross border outreach to Lesotho, and finished off with a bang camping for the weekend before our more intensive church planting training starts. There’s been many new experiences, but I’ve also been reminded of home in my daily life here in South Africa…

Camping this weekend brought a sharp reminder of home as I discovered that the Loch Ness Monster made it to Robertson, South Africa. We had the weekend off camping before the next phase of teaching and we were able to borrow 2 kayaks, one aptly named ‘Nessie’ . I even managed to get in the kayak with the only other Scot that I’ve met so far in South Africa, the lovely Rachel! I’ve also acquired a Scottish name as well as a kayak – Rory – due to Malawians often getting their “L”s and “R”s mixed up. And Nessie remains illusive…

Frosty mornings and cold winter nights have also resurfaced. I’m heading to a rural village in Lesotho on outreach on 24th April and temperatures can get down to -10c which beats even a Scottish winter. I’m looking at my shorts and t-shirts and wondering how this will pan out! But I’m excited to learn from and serve the local community in any way we can for 10 weeks. If anyone wants to send me a woolly (tartan?) jumper and a hot water bottle…….

The simple things in life also serve to remind me of home. Laughter is never far away. There’s been some really funny moments amidst the learning and the prep for outreach. Our cultural differences are often the cause of laughter – but also help us to transcend cultural boundaries.

We’ve been doubled up with laughter at moments like ‘pie roulette’ which made it to our ‘active debrief’ sessions. Staff, students and cultures alike became victims to the pie in the face.

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And of course, our cultural differences continue to provide comedy gold. Although I’ve always lived in multi cultural environments, I still get tripped up by the different values attached to the concept of time. The other week, straight after lunch we were expected to meet with our outreach partner and pray for 30 minutes ahead of going into the community to speak to people. We all got busy chatting and praying with our partners when we realised our American member was sat on her own, her Malawian outreach partner no-where to seen. Time crept up and we were due to leave for outreach. Still no sign of the Malawian. We all piled into the car and pressed the horn, a good 45 minutes late by now. We had just about given up on finding the Malawian and starting to worry for his whereabouts, when he suddenly emerged from the house. To our cries of ‘where were you’ he calmly announced he’d gone for a jog to the mall (not our local mall, but one farther away..) and then for a shower (and not the quick type). He remained unflappable to our concerns and exasperation, and slid into the car as if nothing had happened. African Pace: 1, Western Drama: 0, and we continue to laugh and celebrate our cultural differences and how God made us…

Lastly,I see pockets of our heavenly home. Whether it’s praying with people in communities, worshipping with the All Nations family, hanging out with people and having fun or simply doing chores, the Holy Spirit is in us and working through us. I’ve seen God do more than I can expect or imagine through simple prayers and I’ve been amazed at God’s faithfulness, especially during our fundraising process. We were faced with the challenge of raising R50,000 (approx 3.1 thousand) to cover our extra outreach costs. With limited time available, and our efforts proving fruitless (baking for a cycle tour which was cancelled for the first time in 40 years, and planning an event on a bank holiday) we climbed up Kommejie hill to pray and were challenged to ‘Be still and know that I am God’. Over the next few days we found that God provided all the money above and beyond our needs – and any money we’ve raised since has gone to scholarships for next year! It was a lesson for all of us to give God the reigns and allow Him to provide. I’m very thankful for my heavenly home (as well as my UK one) and that I can experience some of this here now on earth.

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I’ve realised I have several places I call home, and I’m so thankful for them all. Here in my South African home, I’ve got 5 minutes before dinner so I’m off to jog to the mall and go for a shower…

2 comments

  1. Comment by Linda Wantland

    Linda Wantland Reply April 1, 2017 at 3:42 am

    Morgan, thank you for relating your adventures to us! I know God is watching over you, and guiding you. Know that you are beautiful n our hearts and prayers. You are dearly loved❤

  2. Comment by Nadia Kettles

    Nadia Kettles Reply April 1, 2017 at 5:51 pm

    Love this ❤

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