Last Thoughts on 2015

Last Thoughts on 2015

Not much has changed since we left South Africa for the first time on the 5th of March. Coffee is about R3.50 more expensive per 250g and the Stormsrivier toll gate has increased to R40. 26-inch mountain bikes are almost phased out completely, which means by this stage everyone has a 29-inch to brag with.

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Logging off.

Urban lights and flashes of nature,

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Ended of well in India

Tomorrow evening, we will land in South Africa. As I reflect on this last month in India, I realise Work Your Way 2015 is ready to go home. Ready for the next journey that awaits us. Its been a great year. A journey full of lessons learned, adventures, fun and difficult times? Our expectations have been met in more ways than one could imagine. The first week in India we spent in New Delhi, while we waited for another Global team (Nortbound) to arrive. Together we went to an Orphanage in Kota, South of New Delhi. It is clear that not all of us is made for Indian street food. Me and another team mate got a classic case of "Delhi Belly".  Besides the stomach bug, going into the streets of Delhi's Main Bazaar is not for the faint of heart. People, cars, bicycles, motorcycles and animals all fight for their right of the small street strip. So when not brave enough for the Deli streets - we found ourselves imprisoned by the four walls of our hostel room. At least we had the entertainment of a few good movies and a lot of Hindi television ads. One day we were lucky enough to escape the city and visit the famous Taj Mahal. One of the 7 man made wonders of the world. When it was finally time to leave for the orphanage, I got a bad chest infection upon my stomach bug. It seemed true that India was really not for the faint of heart. Luckily our time with Northbound  at the orphanage was refreshing enough to heal me from my ailments. I must say the thought of running a evening programme for more than 500 children was daunting at first. But as we got into the swing of things and by the expertise of Nortbound, the evenings with the children went quite smoothly. It was good to spend time with the children. Their hunger for love and affection really made me appreciate life. For me it was scary to see how Christianity as a religion can be indoctrinated into children so small. They know exactly what to say and all the right answers. But the question I kept asking myself, do they really know Jesus? Hell, do I really know Jesus? After 10 days we returned to Delhi excited to leave for Manali. A town high up in the Indian Himalyas. Where we spent a week debriefing and reflecting on our year.  From Manali to South Africa is 6 days of hard travel. Luckily the thought of touching home soil eases the 22h train ride and 2 day stopover. I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this year. Your prayers, financial support and  messages really ment a lot throughout the year. On the 13th of November we will have a 2 week debrief with the bigger Global Challenge team.  I am not sure what the future has in store for me. But I am ready for the next journey. Thanks again for all your support. Regards Henri Knobel Work Your Way 2015Global Challenge Expeditions
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Sho sho... India.

Our arrival into India was ubrupt and crazy, chaos was an understatement. Animals, tuk-tuks, trucks, cars and crowds scattered everywhere. New Delhi is a bee hive of hasslers, vehicles and markets - all trying to promote the best price. Just as ubrupt was the 'Dehli belly' many of the guys suffered from during this time. We arrived in New Delhi on a Monday, from Bangkok, after a lay over in Sri Lanka. As expectations go, Slumdog Millionaire was on my mind, there is a reality of slums yes but there is such a diversity in India itself. Every state has cultures and languages within it. India itself has 16 official languages, so you can just imagine all the different dialects. This country grows on you, although i missed home many times. The people of India are humbling, the streets are lively and the smiles give enrichment and encouragement. So that one is encouraged to spend time there. Why do I say this, the truth is - in cities like New Delhi itself everyone wants their cut, everyone we spoke to in the Market we stayed in, needed in some measure something more than good conversation. This was challenging because the opposite was true at the Orphanage in Kota where the children just wanted time spent with them.  I met a lady begging for money with a burn mark on her face that severed her features. She had three children with her, each asking in desperate plead.  I wondered about her story and gave them money, then she asked if i would drink chai (tea) with them, she then told me her parents died in a fire when she was younger and she is left by herself with her children. She later asked for money, i continued ignoring the question. Slowly but surely faith became the topic of our conversation. I made the point that Christ cares for His children and God is a loving Father. She looked uneasy and offended, she then explained how much she prays to many Hindu gods. She asked for money again, I understood she was in need but I wanted her to taste the life giving water! The Spirit has much more than I can give, but she was blind to what I was trying to bring across, I mentioned Jesus and He was nothing more than an offense. This is what we as Disciples must realize - that the Message of our redeemer is offensive to the world because it is potent, it talks to the very Spirit and gives Life in abundance! We cannot withold His need for others to be with Him, so I gave it to God.  We met up with another Global Challenge Team, Northbound, the following week. A train departed with both Northbound and Work Your Way as our ministry points where combined at the Emmanuel Christian Orphanage in Kota, just South of New Delhi. From a crowd of random strangers to a crowd of children at the Orphanage was an interesting transition.  These children I encountered accept you as one of them, they just want to wrestle and speak about cricket, ask for bible stories at night and be with you. I forgot how freeing it was to be a child, to be careless and playful. To make friends at a split second without the pressure of on going smalltalk that might lead to a conversation. It reminded me of how I grew up, I'm not far from being a child but now even more so.  The mornings would be spent planning and quiet times, the afternoons we would play in break times followed by a service every night.  The reality is many of these weren't children anymore, many of them have scars on their faces and bodies, stitches and marks but scars would still remain. Bruised and broken, untouched and forgotten in the past, this place and sanctuary provides  provision of Christ to these children. The Orphanage doesn't just oversee their basic physical needs but teaches eco-living to the kids so that in the future they may be independent in agriculture. Their faces have been hardened trough life, childhood severed by unfortunate events. The staff knows the weight of how every girl and boy grows up is life and death. The children now live with a sense of adulthood, but their hearts have been turned to Jesus and they really do have childlike faith, each child is capable to move mountains and hearts as their roots grow into Him.  One Northbound member, Christian, got bitten by something and was poisoned while playing with the kids, we feared for his life as he lay in bed, motionless, his face in agony, we prayed while we called the ambulance. His body stood stiff as he cried out in pain, uttering "I love you" while we carried him into the emergency vehicle that would take him to the hospital. We didn't know if it would be the last time we see him. He accepted the fact that he might die and saw a silhouette of his dad in the van. He started singing to God and the pain dissappeared, he suddenly could move. We worshipped and thanked God for healing Christian even before it happened and then it just ...happened!!  We all enjoyed just being one of the kids, time spent with them is more precious than anything we could give. I questioned whether it could be sustainable, but i guess that's faith in the Lord. He promises that He will fulfill the good work He has started.   The truth is that trust comes in faith of the Lord, faith is dead without works, works are not done out of obligation but relationship, relationship comes by being made righteous to be in His presence, and you are made righteous because of this faith. I thank God for His Glory displayed in India as my King, Priest and the ultimate Father, calling is to be the same!! 
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Lastly Paraguay

So this is the last country of our journey. In a sense the last stretch home. We have experienced a lot up until now and it is with mixed emotions we approach the finish line. Some of us are sad that our travels are coming to an end mixed with excitement of seeing our homeland again. Some of us are excited at the prospect of wearing new outfits. And then there are those who are excited about the full farmhouse breakfast awaiting us in Johannesburg...eggs sunny side up, no toast, lots of bacon, and a good cup of coffee.

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Reinhardt
Sien uit om julle terug in JBay te he Chris, geniet die laaste stretch
Tuesday, 03 November 2015 08:54
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India

Theres a place which you can either love or hate. But dont trust your ears for words can only deceive. Don't trust your eyes for images can hide the truth. Rather trust your heart, and let it follow the narrow roads. Sing to the music and be engulfed by a sea of culture and beauty. But be warned, once you get a taste of the rich, spicy culture, you may not want to leave.

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Death, where is your sting?

Are you willing to give it all? No matter what you may see or where you may walk. Though you may stare into the eyes of demons and monsters, will you still be able to worship His name? How deep is your love for Him.

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Luke10

So this is the account of our Luke10 faith journey. This story starts with two guys setting out on an adventure. Jesus sent out his disciples two by two into towns to prepare the way for the kingdom. We prayed and felt God said we should travel through Argentina to the city of Asuncion in Paraguay. I asked God to show me His love on this Luke 10...He did.

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But the greatest of these

But the greatest of these
At this stage of the journey I could write a blog about almost anything. Endurance would be a good subject... With only 22 days to go I have to bite my lip more every day. Even long suffering or forbearance would fit. And when I see the word ''fit'' I am reminded about some of my clothes that does not fit as nicely as they did when I started the journey. My physical, mental and emotional fitness at this stage is also not something to write home about. Despite my frustrations and irritations God opened my eyes to see His love in everyday situations. Not the feeling love. The doing love. Sometimes love feels. And we all like to feel that love. But most of the time love does. Love is when you spend a night in the desert in Peru and the people of the nearby neighbourhood bring you their personal matresses and blankets to sleep on. Love is when someone volunteers to take half a piece of bread when the food team accidentally only bought 12 pieces instead of 14. Love is when someone invites a group of 14 people for lunch when they know that by doing this they themselves won't have much to eat for the next few days. Love is taking 14 people into your home and volunteering to do the entire group's washing. Love is sacrificing your free time and taking someone else's food team day because they are sick in bed. Love is swopping your backpack with your friend's heavier backpack because you could see she is really struggling. Love is someone buying plane tickets for your parents so that they can fly halfway around the world to visit you in Colombia. Love is visiting a complete stranger in the hospital 2 days consecutively because they do not have any family in the country. Love is sacrificing your entire week's schedule because 14 people suddenly showed up on your doorstep with nowhere else to go. Love is welcoming someone who has just been through a divorce into your house and giving them a place to stay in order for that person to recover. Love is benefiting others at the expense of yourself. At the expense of YOURSELF.When love is a theory, it's safe, it's free of risk. But love in the brain changes nothing. Love is Jesus. The One who touched lepers and dead bodies and who wasn't afraid to get His holy hands dirty with the problems of this broken world. Love is Jesus calling me His friend when I deserve it the least. The kind of love that God created and demonstrated is a costly one because it involves sacrifice and presence. It's a love that operates more like a sign language than being spoken outright. After everything I have seen this year, the love I have seen has touched my heart the most. In the small acts of kindness as well as in the bigger acts of sacrifice. I want to agree with Bob Goff when he says the following in his book ''Love does'': ''I want to go barefoot because it’s holy ground; I want to be running because time is short and none of us has as much runway as we think we do; and I want it to be a fight because that’s where we can make a difference. That’s what love does.'' 1 Cor 13: 8-13: Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. For we know in part and we prophesy in part, but when completeness comes, what is in part disappears. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me. For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.   And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
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This is how an adventure starts

 

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