Tuesday, February 22, 2011

If you only read one part of this, read #2

So, I have quite a few fabulous things to update you on since my last post (which seem like forever ago)!

1) I have moved in with a family! I mentioned in my last post that I was going to, but now I actually have. And I am in heaven. The Harveys are absolutely wonderful! They have welcomed me into their (gorgeous) home like I am actually family. I would be completely thrilled with just that but...I have my own bedroom and bathroom (Amazing), my drive to campus is now cut in half, and I have someone to share clothes with (Nicole Harvey is a year or two younger than me, almost exactly my size, and oddly enough, we look alike)! Seriously, I feel like God has hooked me up. Also, in South Africa, everyone has a house keeper/maid. If you have almost any amount of money, it is expected that you have one because there are so many people here who need jobs. How much money you can pay determines how often the person comes and what exactly they do. I am now blessed to live somewhere where the house keeper comes everyday AND does our laundry! I am so spoiled. I'm going to have a hard time going back to the US, in that regard.

2) Kids Club this past Saturday was so encouraging! The day started off overcast and rainy, which immediately reduces the amount of kids who come; however, as the morning went on, the sky cleared and more and more kids came. The exciting part though, was this: some of the other people from my church who also help out at Kids Club (and have been there much longer than my three weeks), have been trying to get the director to allow us do some sort of spiritual enrichment with the kids. With about ten minutes notice, we were finally allowed to do it! We came up with a quick skit, complete with brooms, tennis balls, and plastic bags, showing the story of David and Goliath. Our "tag line", if you will, was, "With God, I am strong." We needed something that was simple English, but that could really convey a good message to these kids. They loved it. They cheered for David when he (figuratively) killed Goliath, and repeated the phrase many times. And a lot of them really did seem happier, even just from when they walked in earlier in the morning. It was so cool to be able to have a subtle impact on the faith of children who have such a hard life. It still amazes me how I can be with these kids who, 50 yards away live in shacks, and then drive 20 minutes in the opposite direction and see mansions. Honestly, it was harder this time, leaving the kids and going back to my life. It's a weird reality to live in: one where I get more used to the stark contrast between the haves and have-nots, yet become more sensitive to it. I was able to snap one picture on my phone, and have included a few others that someone else took that day. I also am considering setting up a Pay-Pal account this blog for anyone who wants to donate to help these kids. The money would probably go towards buying food, coloring books, and other small items for Kids Club. Thoughts?

3) So, after Kids Club on Saturday, I went to a LION PARK!! It seriously was SO cool. I am not exaggerating or being overly dramatic. Yes, it's not a safari (which I still would like to go on), but going to a lion park guarantees that you see stuff. One of my friends here, Gordon, took me; and it was a good thing, because he knew how to get the lions to get up, off their (probably) overfed, lazy butts. If something fast goes past them (the lions), they (should, at least) instinctively chase after it. So that's what we did. We revved the tires and sped past the lions. (I'm not actually sure we were allowed to do that.) As we take off and look back, through the dust that is floating behind the car, what do we see but a massive lion bounding towards are car! We stopped, so it stopped - right next to the driver's window! It was unbelievable. We literally could look into his eyes. Lions really are such beautiful animals; yet, so powerful and intimidating. (Although, I can see why when they're laying down, someone would think, "I'm going to get out of the car and just take a really quick picture." They just look like giant stuffed animals!)
In another area of the park (completely cut off from the lions), there are giraffes and zebra and antelopes (or something like that). It really was such a beautiful scene - and it did look like something out of "The Lion King". The giraffes, even though everyone knows they're really tall, are surprisingly big. It's head was at least double the size of mine and it's tongue...ugh, giraffe tongues are disgusting. I know this first hand, because we got to feed it. Giraffe tongues are about 18 inches long and look like a slug. I feel like they must a life form unto themselves. Regardless, petting and feeding a GIRAFFE was one of the coolest things I've done.
After feeding the giraffes (I know, what else could there possibly be?!), we got to play with lion cubs! OMG. Lion cubs are unbelievably cute and cuddly. They are also surprisingly strong - it's a good thing they don't know it. They're like puppies, but cats. We played with some that were probably just a month or two old; those were the really sweet ones. There were also a couple that were about four months old, and surprisingly, already much more aggressive. There obviously stronger, and I'm guessing, are more aware of that fact. I started to pet one and then, changed my mind. The scratching and biting (even though it's only four months) was too much for me. I think those guys should already be out with the adult lions.
The whole day was such an incredible experience. Another reason you must come to South Africa.

I am falling more and more in love with the country and the people here. It's starting to get cooler, as March, April, and May are autumn here. I'm definitely not there yet, but it's feeling more like home. (Oh, and my driving is a thousand times better!)
I was reading in Luke today, the passage where Jesus heals a demon possessed man (sending the demon into a herd of pigs), as well as, the following passage where a woman touches Jesus clothes and is instantly healed of her internal bleeding. Once again, I was struck by two things: A) Why did Jesus tell the man who once had the demon not to follow him, but rather, return to his home and tell people about what was done for him? B) Even though he knew someone had been healed because they touched him, why was Jesus insistent on finding who that person actually was? Just as I said in a post or two ago, I came to the conclusion that I think people's spiritual healing is more important than their physical healing. It at first makes me feel a little weird - it's so important for people to be physically helped and healed! - but the more I study the bible with people and see the need for God in my own life more and more, I am compelled to help people spiritually. This life is so temporary, and as I see such extremes in riches and life styles here in South Africa, I believe and am OK with that fact, more and more. I am more grateful for the life I do have and the blessings that fill it, but I think (and hope) I'm becoming less and less attached to them.

Please share your thoughts with me about the Pay-pal account...and whatever else you want. :)



  1. a paypal account would be cool for people who want to donate. my friends did it on their trip around the US (onthegoodroad.com) make sure people know where it's going and be sure to give updates! Sounds cool Elizabeth, I'm sure you are making such a huge impact. LOVE YOU!

  2. I agree with Susan. Especially if you can break down some costs, even some of the kids could donate knowing their money would go to buy a specific item or items.

    Glad you are falling in love with South Africa. Just make sure you come back home in December!


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