July 18, 1998 – Saturday – 10:45 a.m.

I’ve just been going and going with hardly any time to write.  I’m on the bus now, on my way to a township.

Thursday was more drama training and judging; we passed the judging.  Yesterday, we went to the poor, or rich to some, township around Johannesburg.  We performed the drama four times.  I led about seven adults and 100 kids to the Lord.  And that was just me.

On two ministry sites, I took all the boys over to one side to talk to them.  They began chanting and shouting my name as we walked.  I told them about Jesus.  They were so excited with the largest smiles.  “Tell me about Jesus!” they shouted!

They all accepted the Lord as their savior.  I gave them little booklets to read and one kid started reading it out loud to everyone else.  They were all quiet and listened intently.  That happened twice at two different places.

Afterwards, an older guy came up to me and said, “I’m glad you are here.  My life is only about drinking and drugs, and it is getting me no where.  I don’t want to do that anymore.”

He is a Christian now.  His name is Sylvester.

I cried and cried on the bus ride home.  All those little boys hugged me and kissed my cheeks.  I found myself wanting to move here, just so I can teach them the ways of the Lord?  Who is going to be there for them in the future?

Oh God!

You are great, you do miracles so great, there is no one like you Lord.

Advertisements

July 15, 1998 – Wednesday – 10:30 p.m.

Tomorrow is the birthday of two girls on my team: Angela and Sarah.  One will turn 15, the other 19.  Angela has an amazing heart in her and I see a fire in Sarah’s eyes that I never saw in my own Sarah.  And I’m jealous because she is so bright at just 15.

I’ve had some unique food so far, but it has all been pretty good.

Today was dedicated to rehearsal our street drama and we’ve got it down pretty well.

This morning during my quiet time, God showed me how important each of the people here are to him and how happy he makes him to see us sharing our life for this brief time.  Already I feel haunted by their eyes.  The girls here seem so pure.  I like how righteous they carry themselves and how they are saving themselves for their husbands.

And I am doing the same, though my two previous girlfriends so desperately wanted me to touch them.  But even that is too far, for a girl here said a guy should treat a girl like fine china, “no fingerprints.”

Hmmm.

Well, God protected me, and seeing all these pure eyes and pure spirits has given me so much hope that I will marry a woman who loves God as much as the girls around me do.

And I think they see the same in me.  One girl told me this morning that I was such an amazing guy.

Paul just entered.  He is 15, but in no way looks like it.  He is 6’3″ and from Maryland.

John is my other roommate.  He is 19 and from Arizona.

They are both here now.  Time to chat with them.

July 14, 1998 – Tuesday – 10:05 p.m.

I am here.  I have seen the sunset in Africa.

We are staying at a place on top of a hill here in Johannesburg.  The view outside my window is gorgeous.  I’m an official Mission Advisor now.  Paul and a different John than the one on my travel group is with me as well.  My team leaders are Shawn and Barbie.  Shawn is a drummer for Acquire The Fire.  The other MA’s are Joey, Andrea, Angela, and Kita.  The other team members are John, Amanda, Rebecca, Lauren, Julie, Brandy, Anne, Laura, Joel, John, Trista, Sarah, Paul, Krystal, and Chris.  I think that’s all of them.  And our project directors are Rich and Michelle.  There are many others in other teams, about 75 all together, and I’ve already made friends with many of them like Bekah, Jamie, Audrey, Jessica, Amy, Corey, and Brock.  I will still see them, just not as much as my own team.

The land is amazing, but I only saw what I could from a short bus ride.  Now it’s time to sleep.

 

July 13, 1998 – Monday – 6:30 p.m.

I am flying over the North Atlantic.  We just recently left New York.

The past four days have been amazing; forgive me for not writing during the time, but I was super busy.  My fellow missionaries and leaders are fantastic.  Audrey is my flight partner.  She’s 18 and a senior in high school with really pretty eyes.

The past four days of training alone have already changed me.  I am a different person.  My heart has been broken for the world.  I am ready to change it.

My new buddy Chris is sitting behind me.  The poor guy thew up on the bus ride in New York.  My Mission Advisor Group is myself, Chris, John, and Paul.

This is the most amazing plane I’ve ever been on.  They gave me a blanket, a pillow, socks, and a toothbrush.  Wow!

Every person here is so wonderful.  They are overflowing with the Lord and are completely committed to him.  It’s difficult to begin writing about this new time, for there are simply so many people.

In a few hours I’ll be entering the Southern Hemisphere for the first time.  God is so good.  He is using me to change the world.  There is no joy in a life lived for the self.  Only complete giving of ourselves to God and to others will satisfy.  I love you God!

July 9, 1998 – Thursday – 10:05 p.m.

I’m in Texas!  Dan is here.  He’s going to Alaska and I’m going to South Africa.  We’ll try to hang out a bit each night.

The girls going to South Africa with me are so beautiful, but even more amazing is their deep relationship with Jesus.

It is so warm here.  The moon is full and orange as it sits on the horizon.  I never saw the moon so close when I was in the mountains.

Our South African team is easily the most verbally excited group here.  We’ve made up our own chant and everything.

We will fly out on either Sunday or Monday

July 8, 1998 – Wednesday – 9:15 a.m.

I’m probably over Tennessee now.  The ride over here was with Groome Transportation and Justin’s family paid for the ride.  I rode with a guy going to Alaska and he was complaining about how the government took his money to pay for families that don’t know how to use birth control.  Wow, so much negativity; it broke my heart.

This is exciting!  The flight attendant is here with some food.  Awesome!

Last night I got a message that Mary Jo had a table for me.  She even recruited some guys to help me move it to my apartment.  That was so nice of her.  I also got to see Coleen last night.

Food is here!  Must eat.

July 7, 1998 – Tuesday – 11:00 a.m.

I just had an interview with the Regent Bookstore manager.  She wants me to call her from Texas around Friday and she’ll let me know if I have a job or not.  It went really well though.

Going to the 700 club was really neat yesterday.  Then I drove up to Lanexa and visited both sets of my grandparents.  They gave me a lot of food, it’s so nice being only an hour and a half away from them.

I met a guy yesterday who said he heard about me through Coleen.  He’s in the Theater Department.  Another girl stopped me today and somehow had heard of me and knew I was studying film, she asked if I wanted to help on a film shoot, but I told her I would be in South Africa.

I called Sarah last night and she isn’t doing well, but she said she was happy to hear how well I was doing.  She said she still loves me, yet I feel like I’m growing up so fast and I’m not sure where she fits in right now.

Everything is packed and ready for Africa.  All except this journal.

Here we go…!