I have been home now for about 3 days from TheFold in South Africa. This trip changed my life. My title is so true, there are not enough words to explain my feelings/thoughts that I have, I am going to try to write some down here, but if I am all over the place, its because of how passionate I am about this... So here we go.
Vaalwater, SA in the Limpopo region of South Africa is one place I never thought or dreamt I would ever go. But God called me there. I have come to realize that if you just listen to God's will, you will be rewarded. This trip engaged me with a group of people, whom, before this trip I had spent less than 2 hours with. The people that God brought together was astounding. We fit together like a puzzle. There was a perfect balance to this group, and God's hand chose the group that came together for this trip. All age groups, married, not married, college student, and me. To the Africa team, Johnny, Gary,Carol, Brad, Julie, Andrea, and Ron, I am astounded at the perfect timing of our Lord for us to come together and be able to experience what we did. What a blessing.
When I arrived at TheFold, I didn't know what to expect. I had been on the website and I had done research into the workings of TheFold and how it all worked. The website does give a wonderful and honest picture of life at TheFold. But, the unexpected is when the children come up to you and introduce themselves and you see them look at you with joy. That is indescribable. That is the most amazing feeling in the world. The hug. And when I say hug, it isn't, just a hug, they really hug you.
We got in pretty late on Saturday, so the kids were already asleep. The plan was for us to get up and go to church the next morning. We all got up, got ready and headed outside. Then the children came out. They came out with such excitement and joy that they were going to church. There is a bus that holds 22 passengers, and I was lucky enough to be able to sit in the bus with the children on the way to church! The ride to church is close to an hour ride, and the biggest reason it takes so long to get there is because you have to go down this dirt road for about 10 KM to get to the church. But the time on the bus had no complaining, it was excitement to get to go to church. For an hour I got to hear the children sing. Sing songs in their language, and some in English. This warmed my heart. To hear all of the children singing was such a blessing. From oldest (Anna 15) to (Junior 2) They sang with smiles and so much happiness. It was awesome, that all I can say, purely AWESOME.
We had so much we wanted to do as a team at TheFold. Paul and Micky Prince, who run TheFold had a couple of projects for us to do, and out main goal was to give Paul and Micky anything we could. Our time, our prayers, anything. We spent time during the week doing things around TheFold that needed to be done. But we also had some extra time to get some stuff done for Micky that she has been wanting done. What a blessing it is to serve someone who day in and day out serve our God!
The rest of the week pretty much was the same thing, serving/helping in anything that needed to be done, then spending wonderful time with the children. One thing I wanted to write about is these children are such a blessing to the Princes, but also Paul and Micky are such a blessing to these kids. The 15 kids have a safe, comfortable place to call home. There are multiple stories behind how the kids came to TheFold, and to me, it really doesn't matter how God got them there, all that matters is that they are there and they are safe and happy. The constant work and the things that have to be done, and the administrative work and the grounds work for TheFold are constant. We were never without work that needed to be done. What a blessing it is. Both Paul and Micky have done incredible things at TheFold and with the love and support of many people and churches, TheFold will sure grow and prosper and be everything God wants it to be.
On Wednesday, Paul and Micky took us to a Soup Kitchen in Vaalwater. These children are considered "street kids" or the live in 3 sided shacks on the side of the road. There is no water, or electricity or anything here in America we consider a necessity. These children come every Wednesday to receive 6 oz of powdered milk and a peanut butter sandwich. The week we were there, unfortunately, the peanut butter was stolen, so the bread barely had peanut butter on there. Here's the kicker, not one single child complained. Not one single child was upset that the peanut butter this time was barely there. They were appreciative, they were joyful for this blessing they were receiving. Not one refused it because it wasn't what they were expecting. The sandwich wasn't "sent back to the kitchen". They were joyful. I was standing at the front of the room, watching these children sing as loud as they could, jumping up and down, doing all the motions to songs that we sand as little kids in Sunday school. They sang louder than I have heard any of the congregations I have been around in my life. These children who have nothing, who truly have a dirt floor, 3 walls made out of anything that can be found, were jumping up and down singing praising to out Savior. It was 90 degrees outside, hot, and I got chills. I was astounded at the smiles, and the laughter, and the yelling for joy, and happiness that I saw. This moment, I will never forget. I will always remember what I experience there. Because of the work of Paul and Micky, we were able to be there that day, to see God working through his missionaries!
I can go on and on about my experiences there. I could write all night, but let me leave you with this. I am proud to say that I have been to TheFold. I am happy beyond words that God chose me for this mission. I am a Child of The King, and he gave me the capacity to be there and experience this. Not everyone has one specific calling from God, and most Christians spend their entire Christian life trying to figure out what God wants them to do. Let me tell you, I have been there, and I still am. But, what I did was I began to listen to God through His word and from my minister, and from other Christian that have encouraged me. Listen to what God wants of you. He has a plan for you. He knows your heart better than you do. Remember, He made you, He made you in His image, and you are royalty. I am a daughter of King! And for me, I serve the Most High. If you are still reading, thank you for spending this time reading such a small amount of how I feel. Please if you can, spend some time praying for Paul and Micky. Pray that the work the do will fulfill the their purpose in South Africa. They live serving God, and it is an awesome pleasure that I had to go and experience this place. God is dwelling there. His work is being done. Pray for the children of TheFold and for the people of South Africa.
Again, thank you for reading this really long blog. I appreciate everyone who spends their time reading this.
May God bless all of you, Love to all!!!