After the longest travel time, we believe, in the history of the Swaziland Partnership, we are FINALLY in Johannesburg, South Africa.
We have our bags, our rental vans, and are quickly settling into a short overnight stay at BIMS, the Baptist guest house in Johannesburg, and we’ll set out in the morning for ESwatini (Swaziland)!
We’ll be honest: the flight was ROUGH. Unfortunately, we traveled alongside 50 middle school and high schoolers of the Children’s Choir of Washington D.C. and if you’ve never been in a plane with 50 other children, then you haven’t experienced a true “long-haul” flight. Between the seat switching, the up and down (and up and down and up and down AGAIN), one incident involving mildly warm water, two hysterical crying teenagers and all of the burn cream on the plane (causing us fairly significant delays in Dakar, Senegal) and the incessant chatter of bratty teens leaving the country for the first time, we think it’s safe to say we are so GLAD to be here and to be at BIMS and ready to go to bed.
God used this very long 17 hour plane ride today, however, to remind us of some valuable lessons from His word. “The fruits of the Spirit then are love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, and self-control.” (Galatians 5: 22) Not many of us we’re feeling those fruit today at 2am body time sitting on the tarmac in Dakar waiting on the nation of Senegal to release one measly pack of burn cream to us so that we could take off. Most of you can relate somehow I’m sure! But we were reminded tonight that people are watching us. When we take the title “missionary” (which we ALL as Christians are) we have to remember we don’t know who is listening, who is watching, who is paying attention. We live in the freedom of Christ’s resurrection — which provides us the Spirit and to live in its fruit. Without Christ, we are unable. With Christ, all of this is possible!
For those of you who prayed for our safe journey, we thank you for your continual pleading to the Lord on our behalf. Without you, none of this will be even close to possible. You have bathed us in prayer much deeper than we deserve, and we’re so grateful.
We ask you to pray alongside us tonight (or today where most of you are!) for sweet rest, warm showers, and still hearts as we continue this long, long journey. Pray for us to remember that our faith is on display, whether we are here in South Africa and Swaziland, back home in America, or anywhere else in the world. Locations change, Christ does not. We’re forever thankful for those of you who join alongside us. Let us lay our burdened hearts and minds at the foot of the cross together.