Greetings friends! I'm sort of on blog-sabbatical here while I'm in Namibia with our 2006 G.O. Team. We're posting many entries daily there, so come along with us at http://www.namibia2006.blogspot.com and leave us lots of comments! I posted this entry there today and thought I'd copy it here too.
Wednesday… Our team has been enjoying our time in Rehoboth – the third setting into which we’ve had to adjust. As with the previous two experiences (Okahandja and Arandis) ministry here is unique. We’ve spent time in two of the local High Schools, leading classroom discussions with students in grades 8 thru 12. In the group that I was a part of (Me, Shari and Hannah) we would ask the students in each period what they wanted to talk about with us. In each of the eight periods the number one answer was ‘sex’. It became very obvious from the youngest to the oldest students there, sexual activity was the norm. We asked each class to estimate how many out of 10 students in their school were sexually active, and the standard answer was 7 or 8. There were some pretty poignant moments. You’ve read about Amanda sharing a bit of her testimony with the students. Hannah also shared, very openly and honestly, a 10th grade/16 year old/American girl’s perspective. Melissa and Claudia – you have much to be proud of with your girls! Many students were able to relate. I continued to rerun my “boys put away your toys” mantra that I developed quite accidentally last year. In each setting it received a howl from the students, but then a more serious nod of agreement from some of the girls.
This afternoon Amanda and I were invited to do a radio interview on LIFE FM here in Rehoboth to promote the upcoming By Faith concert on Saturday. The DJ named Byron did a marvelous job of making us feel at home and conducting the interview. The rest of our team sat in the Combee in front of the studio listening to us live on the radio. Byron wanted to play a cut or two of By Faith’s music. Since they haven’t recorded anything yet, we offered a couple of cuts from the Namibia 2005 disc with many of the current By Faith line-up included. Aside from being referred to as ‘Mandi’ the whole interview, Amanda was a radio pro, and I think we did a pretty good job of representing the band. Listen to the interview by clicking here
Speaking of the band, as I type this I’ve received word that they arrived safely in Katima (the very end of the dangerous Caprivi Strip) where they are playing tonight. Thanks for your continued prayers for them on this long and lonely leg of their tour. Tomorrow they will begin the 1000 km drive back to meet the rest of the team by either Thursday night or Friday.
We continue to hear from folks who were blessed by our 2005 dance team. I’m so glad that Don, Jackie and Shari, as dance parents, are getting to see and hear all of this first hand. In each location we’ve been people have approached us remembering the ministry the dancers brought to their communities, and the fruit of that trip continues to grow. In one community, a dance troupe was born after the girls in the community were inspired by our 2005 team. In another community, a church began using dance as a regular part of their outreach into the community. There were even racial barriers that were crumbled in one community and people here attribute much of it to that dance team’s visit. It is really as if those performances that seemed so insignificant to us at the time, were Divine appointments in many ways. So, any of you 2005ers looking in on this year’s blog – know that your dancing continues to make a difference!
I’m aware of a critical juncture on the immediate horizon for my team (and all the teams really). Tonight is our last ‘ministry’ of this trip. Tomorrow morning as we begin the journey to Etosha we begin our debrief and re-entry process. So, good news for our loved ones at home – we begin our journey home tomorrow. The bad news for our team is that this transition is always hard. I expect the usual – people feeling guilty that we’re being more tourists now than missionaries, or that we should use these last couple of days in-country in more ‘productive’ ways. What we all need to realize is how very important this time of re-entry prep really is. So, please, will you pray for us these next couple of days?
Greetings to my girls! Just a few more days and we’ll be home. I love you all and I’m very proud of the way you’re handling yourselves while we’re away. See you soon.
To the CCA family – As wonderful as it is to worship with believers in a foreign culture, I really miss worship together with my church family. I look forward to being together again soon.
We’ll most likely be unable to post anything to the blog from Etosha. So, expect a couple of days of ‘quiet’ from us. Look for a barrage of postings on Saturday when we come back to civilization. Until then… pray for the Elephants – Another CCA team is on the way to Etosha!
“Flamingos? I want to see something eat a Flamingo!”