As I’m writing it is 9:30pm in Africa and probably somewhere around 3:30 in the afternoon back at home. The hardest part of this whole trip thus far has been my limited (very limited) connection to family back home. I’m doing fine, feeling well, and having a great time, but I can’t communicate that to my family right now and that is hard! Even if I have to live with little to no wifi I can’t text or call because I have no service! So, there’s probably quite a delay from the time I’m writing the post to the time you’re actually reading it. I’m going to go ahead and apologize in advance for the length. So much has happened in the last 24 hours.
To give you an idea of what I’m up against tonight, the past 48 hours has been nothing less than eventful. My trip began with a delayed flight out of Jacksonville, which led to literally running from one end of the Boston airport to the other just to make my flight. I arrived in Paris on Friday morning at around 11:00, walked through 2 hours of airport traffic and then another hour of navigating the train system just to get to the Eiffel Tower. I made it, took lots of pictures and checked that item off the bucket list. I tried Parisian food from a street corner cafe, walked the street that Hitler’s army walked, and got a first hand glimpse of life in Paris. In about 12 hours I hit the highlights and had to get back to the airport for our third and longest flight. The plane from Paris to Johannesburg was the largest passenger jet in the world and it was amazing, but that’s a story for another day. When we arrived in Johannesburg this morning (um…..what is today? Ah, yes, Saturday) I found out that due to the craziness of almost missing my flight in Boston, my luggage didn’t make it and as of today was still sitting in the Boston airport. It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow (Sunday) morning at 11:00, which means I’ll have it sometime tomorrow afternoon. I’ll also have to go to church (a dress wearing church, might I add) in the clothes I’ve been wearing since Thursday. However in all of this, I am thankful that I arrived safely. I’m thankful for the lives that have impacted me already on this trip and for the peace God continues to provide even when the situation is out of my control.
Today, Mpho took us around Johannesburg. We visited FNB Stadium which hosted the World Cup a few years back. We saw extreme wealth and then extreme poverty. I saw what fatherlessness can do to a nation. We visited the KYP which is where we will be doing most of our work and played with those children until it was almost dark. As we drove into the dusty, rocky street it was if God said to me, “Kindall, you are where you’re supposed to be, I’ve been preparing you for this.” Kids immediately ran up to me, wanting to play and sing and dance. It was so rewarding and there’s really no other thing like it.
Tonight we ate dinner with the Putu family and shared some great discussion and a time of reflection of our first day in South Africa. We prayed together and for one another. Something about prayer like that in a place like this will change your life! I’m really excited to see the next week unfold and walk along this journey that God has been planning for me.