Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Visitors from Home

I love South Africa. I love where I live, Joburg. But, I am still a foreigner. We have made some really good friends here, but I still miss church family! Church people have always formed my closest family since I can remember. Here in Joburg, that is not the case. Even among missionaries, something is different (maybe it's us!). I think it is because, in the States, you see people at church more often than once a week. You develop close friendships when you see each other and work together often. Missionaries don't have the luxury of seeing each other very often. Although, some are able to form close relationships despite the distance.
All that to say, I absolutely love it when teams from the States come to visit and help us with our ministry! In fact, I'm sitting here eating a bowl of "grits" right now! It is instant grits...But it still tastes like home! We had two teams with us in July and August. One was from our home church, The Summit, in North Carolina. The other was a team from Mississippi.
One of the most wonderful things about teams is that you not only see old friends again, but those on the team you didn't know before become new friends. Family has come to see us in South Africa!
I just want to take this chance to say "thank you" to the Summit Church and Church of the Highlands for making these past two months exciting, fun and memorable. And, I want you all to know that your ministry with us in invaluable. You are able to do things that Kurt and I can't do alone! You all have touched many lives, children and adults, while you were here working with us. I don't have the words to say "thank you" adequately. But, know this, you are so appreciated and loved! God has used you here in a mighty way! Thank you, also, for blessing us personally with a part of "home."

Just a note...Thinking about close friendships...How do you develop a close relationship with God? It is the same principle. Spend time with God. The more time, the closer the relationship with Him will be! He love us! He wants us to spend time with Him. He wants to be close to us!