Thursday, 2 February 2012

A new perspective

Our week in Pretoria wrapped up quickly, and before we knew it we were on our way to learn about black culture in Soweto.  There were many heartbreaking moments - when we visited the Apartheid Museum, our trip to the Hector Pieterson Memorial (in honour of those who lost their lives during the Soweto uprising in 1976), walking through the tin-shack townships... It's sometimes hard to know what to do with those experiences.  Sometimes you wonder where God is in all this.  Especially when you think about your life back home in Canada.

One of the best parts of our week though, is the time we spend volunteering in Kliptown (the township outside of Soweto).  We join up with ministries and organisations already at work and provide whatever other service we can.  Sometimes that means playing with 30 children under the age of 6 in a nursery school, sometimes that means gardening at an HIV/AIDS foundations, sometimes that means sorting toys at an orphanage, and sometimes it means keeping people company throughout the day.  What always gets me is that among all the heartbreak one can see in South Africa, you never see places without hope.  The smiles on the kid's faces, the passion in someone's voice as they say, "We may not have much, but we are so rich here" and points to his heart, those moments leave you believing that whatever the past, whatever the future, South Africa will move forward.

Our world view is shaped by so many factors: where we grow up, what we experience, the people who influence our lives.  I love Outtatown because it blows your world view to smithereens.  It challenges what you have experience and says, "Have you thought about this?"  It makes God real, because sometimes you don't have the answers and just have to trust that He knows what's going on.  You question the way things are and sometimes you're inspired to make change.  I love our week in Soweto because it leaves us all unsatisfied with how things are.  The hope, as we move forward in our semester is that we are convicted to get involved, to take part, to be like Jesus and make things better - in whatever way we can.

Written by: Sandy Town

Sandy & Brenda - the lady who sells candy at our compound

gumboot dancing in the township

kids to play with at the nursery school

taking on Soccer City!

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