It is only day 2 and already, our outreach has been adventurous! The bus trip that was supposed to take us 18 hours actually took us 26 hours. But by the grace of God, all of us were safe and in good spirits when we finally arrived at the Joseph Project in Johannesburg. The amazing YWAMers here fed us a delicious, hot meal around 8:00pm tonight once we had our bags in our room and had been given a tour. Now we are about to get cleaned up before heading to sleep for the night. It is early but we are all wiped out!
So what was the excitement, you ask?
About an hour or two into the trip, we came to a stand still. There had been a tragic and fatal accident literally a few yards ahead of us. Two people died and it took 3 hours for all of the emergency vehicles to come through and cut them out and clear the road. So we waited and prayed. It was pretty scary, honestly. It was really weird to be that close to death. My dad is a firefighter so I know he has experienced some pretty crazy accidents. It made me pray for him and firefighting teams back home too as well as for the family and friends of the people involved in last night’s accident.
We left that scene at about 11:30pm and as tired as I was, it was hard to sleep. I drifted in and out of sleep and prayer. We stopped sometime this morning and as we were about to pull out, we were told we had a slashed tire that needed to be repaired. Our team enthusiastically ran into the gas station – thankful for extra time so we could get breakfast and coffee. We were hungry! Fast forward to rest stop #3 (our final stop)…about 30 minutes down the road, we realized we left someone behind. So we had to sit and wait for them.
But wait…the stopping wasn’t over! Just as we were getting into Joburg, we started going up a hill on a really busy interstate and the bus sputtered and stopped. We were just laughing at this point. An 18 hour bus trip was now 25 hours. What was another hour? We were able to get in touch with the people waiting for us at the bus stop and they came and parked behind the bus (on the interstate) where all of us were standing and unloading our bags. Not super safe at all…but we were praying that no cars would swerve into the place where everyone from the bus was standing. God protected us yet again and got us safely to the YWAM Base (aka Joseph’s Project) where we are staying tonight and will be serving for two days before heading out on Thursday.
One awesome part of the bus trip was my seatmate. Six of our team members got to sit together, but Estera and I had seats with people we didn’t know. At first I was a bit bummed, but within the first two minutes of sitting there, I found out that the woman next to me was a born again Christian and my goodness – does she love the Lord! Thino is from the Joburg area and came to Cape Town to run in a marathon this past weekend. She was traveling back home with her teenage daughter and her daughter’s friend. Thino and I talked a lot about how incredible God is and what He has done in our lives. She shared with me how God delivered her and saved her and is her treasure now. This lady gets up at 4:00am every morning to spend time with Jesus! She was a practicing Hindu before she met Christ and wow, she is so full of the love of Christ!! It was so inspiring to hear her story and passion for the Lord. She and I swapped contact info and she said she would love for me to come stay with her and her family sometime if I come back through.
It was such a sweet encouragement for me to meet her because often when I travel, God connects me with some amazing people on the way. For some reason, I didn’t fully expect to meet someone on the bus because I thought I would be sitting with my group. But God’s ways are higher than ours and He demonstrates His sovereignty in the most unexpected of places. I definitely felt like meeting Thino was a huge gift from Him and was His way of showing me that He is with me on this trip and will guide my every step.
We will be serving here in Joburg for two days and we fly to Mozambique on Thursday morning. We would DEFINITELY appreciate your prayers! Getting here was pretty eventful and we haven’t even left South Africa yet, so I have no doubt that more trials are still ahead. But I know that God is faithful and has His hand of protection on our team. Please join me in praying for continued protection, revelation of God, team unity, and favor as we travel and minister in the days ahead.
I love you all and am so thankful for you!
ps I took a bunch of pictures of our trip here, so I will post those as soon as I can.