[This is what I sent out in an email—so I’m committed to writing at least once a week on this thing. :) ]
I’ve been in South Africa for exactly one week…I got here around 9:30 last Sunday!
My first impressions of the city were how large it was as I flew in. It just seemed to go on for such a long distance. They let the other intern, whom I live with, and I rest for the first two days and we went to work on Wednesday at TWR.
The thing I have been struck by the most in being here is the security measures that people take in their day-to-day lives to be safe. Around each home is a wall of some kind which is generally topped with razor wire, electric wire, spikes or a combination of the three. Each driveway has an electric gate to get in and there are certain strategies for entering and leaving their home to ensure further protection from hijackers and robbers. Needless to say, this is not like small town Arkansas. I honestly have never felt true fear until I came here.
This is what the Lord has really worked on me with, though, and I have already seen such growth from this experience of real fear. Last week, a combination of jet lag, medication, and seeing so many security measures made it impossible to even think of sleeping because I was terrified someone would come in and hurt me. I’ve never been so afraid in my life. I asked many friends to pray for me, though, and the Lord overcame my fears, eventually. Last night I spent time looking into the Bible to see what it said about fear—I knew it had different verses, though I had never really thought much of it because I had never had a reason to be afraid before.
Here are some that helped me:
Psalm 4:8: I will lie down and sleep in peace, for you alone, O Lord, make me dwell in safety.
Romans 8:37-39: No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hebrews 13:6: So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper, I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?”
Psalm 91: (All of it :) )
Lastly, Philippians 4:7 is a great verse about the peace that comes from God when we don’t worry:
And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
This is one thing the Lord has really impressed upon me so far. I haven’t got to do much work at TWR, yet, but will very soon. I will be announcing on the radio and will hopefully do some live announcing very soon. I’ve been able to watch and listen to the other announcers do their work and it’s amazing to think that the words they say reach nearly half the continent of Africa. Who knows who is listening and having their heart turned towards the Lord?
This ministry is really bringing the gospel to people who have never heard it before and discipling and encouraging those who do know the Lord. Many Africans think highly of TWR and work hard to let them know that. A text message can be expensive and internet isn’t as easily accessible here and many listeners are poor and/or outside SA, but they will text TWR or get on the internet to request a song that is important to them. They go out of their way to do these things, and I think this shows the importance and effectiveness of this ministry.
I am so blessed to be able to be a part of this, even the smallest part, and I know I will be forever changed by the experiences I have here. It has been an eye opener about poverty, unreached people groups, safety, and culture. I can’t wait to see what happens next.