Laina’s Mission – South Africa

Friday, 17 May 2013

Work, Relationships, and God !!

This past week I kept busy mostly at the hospice and helping the staff with different things. One day we went to a local farm to pick up some vegetable that they donate each week. The type of veggie’s varies from week to week but we take whatever we can get as there is always someone who will use it. This day we got lots of cabbages, and some peppers, beans, and tomatoes which were brought to use at the hospice and crèche. The extras were given to the staff at the hospice and then we brought some packages of food to the squatter’s camp (I will write an article in the future about the squatters camp).
At other times I was able to help with some office work and organization which is always something that needs to be remembered. On Friday I interviewed three staff members in order to write articles for EWF’s upcoming newsletter. I spend the morning doing the interviews and most of the afternoon formally writing the pieces. I am used to writing a lot for school, and have not done near as much writing since I finished school four weeks ago, so I actually enjoyed doing this quite a bit.
I spent Saturday, my day off, with Ntsiki, the house keeper at Ebukhosini Guest House where I stay who is also a Community Service Worker, and Miriam, a new friend of mine. Unfortunately it was a rainy and very cold day and so we spent a lot of it curled up warm inside with our little heater on and talking. In the afternoon it was still really cold but the rain had stopped to we went into town to pick up some groceries and so that Mariam could get her hair done. We had lots of fun together and were able to make the most of a dreary day. The entire weekend was very cold so Ntsiki and I could more often than not be found with a cup of tea in our hands. We drink mostly Rooibos tea which is filled with antioxidants and is free of caffeine.  
            I have really been blessed in this past week to get to know many of the staff better. When we are not so busy we will often spend time talking and I have gotten to know more about many of the staff personally as well as learn things about South Africa. Yesterday I learned more about Lobola, which is similar to a bride price or dowry, and which is still followed in South African culture. The person I was speaking to is preparing to get married and her family and the man have just settled what amount the Lobola will be and now he must save to pay that price to the family before marrying her. Though some are changing to a more modern payment of just cash there is still often Lobola amounts that are paid by cattle which is a sign of wealth in South Africa. African’s have a love for food and eat many interesting things that Canadians do not eat, though I have been able to eat some new things I am hoping this time to try more of their traditional foods. Maybe my next post will be about the food that is typically eaten.
            There has been a couple times this week that I have had nothing to do for a couple hours. God has lead me to use these times to spend hours in his word or in prayer for EWF, the work being done here, and for the staff and patients. I consider sitting in the backyard of the hospice and praying over it a blessing to be able to do and I hope that you also would be blessed by adding your prayers to mine.
              Please keep me and all the staff at EWF in your prayers. I know for the staff it can be very hard work and often the rewards of their work are not seen. This can be discouraging so pray that they might remember that they are doing their work for God and that he blesses those who honor him. Since it is getting colder here some of the staff are also suffering from colds or other illnesses which makes it harder for them to have the energy needed for work and then also their families at the end of the day. Please pray for one staff in particular whose mother past away this week and is not the head of her household and the main breadwinner for her and her siblings. Praise God for recovering patients who are being sent home and getting stronger every day. Also for the blessed relationships among the staff and who have opened their arms to me and made me feel at home. God is at work here, and though there are always challenges to work through for us humans, Gods plan will be done and I trust in that.