Mount Humbe – our home!

I’ve just said goodbye to a few great groups of people visiting us as you know by now.  As I am writing this they have already reached their destinations and have been re-united with their families and loved ones.   When I work with amazing teams like these, I always have to ask myself the question whether it is worthwhile. There’s a lot of preparation that goes into an outreach like this. The people making the trip are investing huge amounts of money and when they leave, they want to know that they have made a difference.

Teaching ladies how to knit.
Karien from Blouberg Congregation getting a few lessons from on of the ladies on how to knit.
It was a true cross cultural experience for both.
There’s a number of arguments against short-term outreaches.  Why go to a far-off country if there is so much need right where you are? And this is indeed a very valid argument. A few things can be said about this.  It’s never one or the other.   Do what God wants you to do, whether it’s close or far. The downside of this argument (and the most people using this argument, in my experience, fall into this category) is that people are actually saying: If you get involved in another place, you make me feel guilty. 
Somebody has to take care of the local needs and if you’re not here to do it, then who will? So rather remain behind, take care of the local needs and I can go on with my life. Or something to that effect. If someone goes on a mission trip to avoid getting involved locally, then that is wrong. But the reality is that many people return from a mission trip abroad and get more involved in the local community, because often people undergo a heart change while on a mission trip.

 A scene that totally captured my attention.  Niell, a young student from South Africa
praying for a blind lady at a church service.  In a “normal” church he would have probably never had
the opportunity to pray for someone in need.

The other argument is that the money could rather have been sent to the country where the outreach would have taken place. This sounds logical. Unfortunately it won’t happen. We need to see and feel and smell and taste the needs of people, before we will really get involved with this. And, in any case, for too long have we seen people writing out cheques while relaxing in front of their TVs, believing that they have then fulfilled their mission obligation. Obviously not everybody can go on a short-term outreach. 

But those who do, need to go back to their own communities and become advocates for the cause to which they were exposed, wherever that may be.

Dwayne Luddick(left) a young theology student preaching for the first time using
an interpreter.
I have seen the positive effects of short-term outreaches.  When done in the right way, with the right attitude, with a teachable spirit, focused on building relationships rather than just solving problems, short-term outreaches can possibly become the greatest learning school that any Christian can be exposed to.

A visiting group sharing with a group of mourners at a funeral.  Now where else could you do that
at home?
Worshipping together.  As on lady told me after the service:  “We would have never ever
gotten the opportunity to meet other brothers and sisters from neighboring countries serving the same God,
if you didn’t bring the along!”

Another special moment that captured my attention!


Due to the holistic approach we follow we use short term groups to touch communities
in a wide range of activities and upliftment projects.  We even had Dr. Henri Weideman (Theology and Leadership)
getting wood ready for a roof!
Margaret Weideman teaching kids how to paint by using a potato.
No fear as Ansonette (Bellville Congregation) tackles a government school in Pina.  We try
to color in all government schools to create an atmosphere of learning with the kids in the bush.
Always time for soccer!


Time to leave again.  Naomi van Loggerenberg (WEN – Win the Nations – Goodwood Congregation) leaving the base.  We tried 10 years to get her here too ….. and eventually persistent prayer paid off!  
The team from Blouberg (Table View Congregation) sharing a moment.