I have recently returned home after spending 10 days with our team in South Africa. I don’t know about you, but when I am coming up to something important and things start going wrong, its easy for me to feel like giving up. I’d like to say that its my great faith that keeps me going, but really its often my pig-headedness and a fear of losing face. Over the last few days though, my reflections have lead me to desire a clearer vision of God’s reality as a motivation for keeping on pushing through.
We have just completed a Foundations course during my time in South Africa, the following results have come out of sharing the week together, talking things through and doing life with God together. Three people have reviewed their lives and priorities and are making immediate changes in response to what God is calling them to as they serve their communities. Three others have rediscovered their love for God and commitment to serving him with their whole life. Some have had the chance to talk through personal concerns for the first time, and find a way forward and God’s peace in the midst of the uncertainty. Many have a clearer conviction that through the expression of God’s nature in practical ways in the streets and high places of South Africa, hope for South Africa’s shalom is within reach. Three young men alone in the world, now exist in the hearts of others who will care and notice. Fusion South Africa has a way forward and a tangible future. And that’s just the stuff I know about! This time has been incredibly fruitful and yes there is more work to be done to make sure that the fruit will last, but God has done amazing things amongst us and brought his life to hearts and places where it seemed to have gone.
I arrived in Cape Town on Friday at the end of a long haul journey that included an unexpected 24hour delay at Melbourne airport. As we went through my first day, people already committed to the course began pulling out, we lost our caterer for the week and there was a question over whether the venue would be available in light of our lower numbers! I went to see a member of the team who had been in a near fatal car crash 10 days previously, she was alive and well, but still suffering from the trauma of the accident – one of her passengers had been transferred from ICU to a standard ward the day before. By the end of Monday, the day we were due to start the course, a total of 14 people had pulled out! We had invested $5000 in airfares to make the course happen, everything inside me wanted to scream and shout in frustration . As I went about airport pickups and last minute arrangements, in the back of my mind was the question ‘what could we have done differently to stop this all happening??’ and ‘how do I tell those who have invested in this time, that its turned out quite the way we imagined?!’
I can live thinking that what I see is all there is to it or I can let God show me the same things, and more, from his vantage point. The first is where I live most of the time, and its pretty scary and I quickly want to give up or run and hide, the second is still pretty scary, but I can hold on with a little smile, knowing that God is doing, and continues to do, amazing things!