#GiftFail: A Story of Redemption

Exiting the familiar and entering the unfamiliar, in terms of culture, has been a learning curve for me.  It is teaching me to be more observant as I try to respect the African people by conforming to their cultural expectations. In the African culture, it is considered rude to give something to one person and

Famous for its walls

by Daniel C. The second story of our wobbly bus offers breathtaking views of the sharp edged mountains stabbing through the sand dunes. I imagine hordes of horses or even camels around every turn. The air conditioning gives us a break from the blistering heat, as we watch a movie in a foreign language trying to read subtitles, while trying

Thoughts from the flight home

As we sit together on the airplane headed back toward California it's time to take a look back over our experience in South Africa. We are all walking through this adventure together with different experiences. We have each been stretched in different ways. The memories we have are the same, yet so different. What we

South African highlights

by Jodi N. As we finish up our time here in South Africa we are thinking not only about what lays ahead, but also what we are leaving behind. Today we are in a time of debriefing when we reflect about the past 2 months. I want to share with you a few of my

A walk in the rain

By Jodi Noordmans It's not just your everyday normal night. It's the end of something. The beginning of something else. It's the night we all think, did we accomplish our goals this year? Or, what will next year bring? It's a time to ponder our lives to this point. It's New Year's Eve! Usually my

On your mark, get set, let’s go!

By Jodi Noordmans "Go blue!!!!" We cheered as the four expertly painted and built box cars careened down the track. The flash of red, green, yellow and blue was off the starting line and the race had begun. The blue team, which was on track to win it all danced around me as we playfully

Fun and Face paint

by Jodi Noordmans DRAKENSBURG, SOUTH AFRICA: "Sawubona." The Zulu greeting reached our ears as we jumped out of the vans. The beautiful faces of school children surrounded us. We were at a school to do ministry with the students. We didn’t know what we were doing or how many students we would have. We had