I Left My Heart In Africa


I have learnt a lt this year. I learned that things don't always turn out the way you planned, or the way you think it should. And I've learned that there are things that go wrong that don't always get fixed or get put back together the way they were before. I've learned that you can get through bad times and keep looking for better ones. This year wasn't always pretty. It wasn't always comfortable. Some things and situations even break your heart. But that's okay. The journey changes you - it should change you. It leaves marks on your memory, on your consciousness and on your heart. You take something with you, and hopefully also leave some things behind. I will forever remain humble because I know I could have less. And I will always be grateful because I know I've had less.

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Celebrate Life


   

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Exploring Panama

Exploring Panama
 For 12 days we stayed in a church in Gamboa, across the panama canal. One of our verses for the year is Isaiah 55:5 'Surely you will summon nations you know not, and nations you do not know will come running to you.' Everyday, huge ships travel through the Panama canal from the other side of the world and we got to watch them sail past. They didn't exactly come running but instead these nations came slowly sailing past us. It was Gods word spoken in the beginning and we got to see it being fulfilled and that's exactly what I experienced in Panama. The promises of God spoken before coming through.  In the beginning of the year I wrote down 3 values, not really thinking much of them and forgetting about them as well but God thinks much of them and thank you Jesus that you never forget. 1. Intercessory prayer- For three nights, we went to a prayer house with the locals and prayed for Panama and the situations there. We also did a 24H prayer chain praying for the amazing people we met. I learnt that God already has a will He wants to accomplish for individuals and the world and he places these ideas and desires in our hearts to pray them out, to release what Jesus has already done. We have the glorious privledge to be used by God to speak to will of the father on earth.2. Adventure- We swam in the canal...there's crocodiles. We fed monkeys bananas. We saw a Jaguar. We visited a traditional Indian village in the forest. We spoke on the radio and the parents came to visit us.3. Humility- Some evenings we watched movies in the Church (with popcorn) in compelled by love (You have to watch it.) They describe a certain city as an adulterous women, wearing tattered clothes, and wandering in the streets and God calls her His beautiful bride. That's amazing!! God calls us His! "It's only when we begin to see who Jesus really is, that we begin to see who we really are."-Lisa Bevere
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Inexperienced fingers.

Don't play with it. It's fragile. If you bust a string none of us can play.

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Guard your heart


 Why do we make life so complicated? Why do we so easily make mountains out of mere ant hills? It is not supposed to be this difficult and I dare say it is rather tiring to worry about everything all the time.  My stay in Egypt these past two weeks has been a time of growth and transformation. Firstly I would like to mention that all the pictures I have seen, all the history that I have read and heard throughout my years of study about this wonderful place, I could have never imagined it to be so glorious in person. It was like being in a dream.  The biggest lesson however, I learned was at a spiritual oasis called Anaphora. It certainly lived up to it's name. I do not know wether it was the stillness and tranquility,  the flowers, or the lack of connectivity to the outside world and everything in between which made it such a wonderful place but I have come to the conclusion that wherever there is peace there is freedom.  There is so much peace and tranquility there, you just want to remain there forever. It is a place to recharge and renew your mind end even your soul. It is where you feel God in the stillness. I know that He is good. The nuns, whom we call sisters, are beautiful and inspiring. They have so much patience and love, the fruits of the spirit are ever present in everything they do. The other volunteers especially from Sweden and France have stolen a piece of my heart which I will never want back. They have changed my life. Our stay at Anafora will always be longed for in the future to come. God had some things to reveal to me. He has been constantly and slowly moulding my mind and heart to become more like His and pursuing me with a love that conquers every fear. I am learning to love people I do not always like, I am learning to be content with what I have, to be quiet and still and to trust in His timing, for His favor will always come.  I received a revelation specifically about the heart and where it is pointing to. In Proverbs 4: 23 it says: "Keep thy heart with all diligence, for it determines the course of your life."  What is so significant about our entire time in Egypt is that this verse came alive to me through Egyptian mythology. In Egyptian mythology there is a god called Anubis. He guards the gate to the underworld. The Ancient Egyptians believed that when you died, you travelled to the Hall of the Dead. There Anubis weighed your heart against the feather of Ma'at. Ma'at, the goddess of justice sits on top of the scales to make sure that the weighing is carried out properly. If your heart was lighter than the feather, you lived for ever. If your heart was heavier than the feather then it was eaten by the demon Ammit, the Destroyer. The message is quite direct and clear. Our hearts determine the course of our life. If our hearts are set on the wrong course and it is filled with the wrong intentions, it is going to be complicated and difficult. But if it is set on God we can be more than conquerers in even the most trying times. "The boundaries in our lives are determined by what goes on in our hearts."- Brian Houston In other words we do not need to strive for others attention or validation to make us feel better about ourselves. This is not what our hearts should be set on. It should be set on Jesus. The only one who is worthy enough to give opinion and validation.  Our hearts determine the course of our life. If it is set on Jesus then it does not matter what our circumstances are or what others say, when we keep our eyes focussed on the one who is love and and the source of peace, we need never to look down but only up.  I have gained a peace in my heart which I never want to lose. Because I know my God is already in front of me preparing the way.  Anafora, I will always carry our time together in my heart. You have taught my heart to rest in His embrace and to be still and know. He is God and He will always be there to pick me up when I fall.    
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Something delightful

Going to Turkey was different for many of us. Some enjoyed not knowing where to go, what to do or what God has planned for us there. We only knew that He wants us to serve but the question was who first. The first guess was the refugees. Makes sense…they need help… we are here to serve… so we aimed for them, but it was like shooting a moving target in the dark. We heard so many rumours about where they are or should be but arriving only to see a lack of people to serve…

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The sound of love announcing his forgiveness

Many of times we hear how much God loves us and wish nothing but the best for all his children; the ones that know his love and the ones that don’t know it as much. Looking back at my life, knowing all the wrong that I have done to others and myself, I’ve said and done things that I will always be ashamed of, the worst was not knowing if I am really forgiven. I’ve read the scripters and have said the words out loud, but still every detail of my past was not forgiven; well at least not all, according to me, looking for any sign that God loves me and that he will take care of me, regardless of my past. Seeing so many miracles happen to so many people around me but never to me, then having the devil having some fun in my head telling me lies to make me believe that he does not love me as much as the others. So having this scenario play out for years going round and round in my life…………………..

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Dusty blue sky

Ahh Middle East, what an awesome place! I'm so stoked that I had the privilege of serving the people of crossroads. I'm really liking the tea a lot it's like a mix between rooibos and normal tea, it's perfect!

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Middle East. The start?

My mind is blown. My foundations shaken. Suffering is still a thing? It's still happening?

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My first flight

 

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Training

wow!! I'm so stoked these past 42 days have been something else. Learning more about myself, God, the people around me and how situations can effect you when you beyond tired. I've really been blessed to be here with all these amazing people. From surviving in the freezing cold nights at our makeshift campsite with a sheltt that didn't even work and our fire being to far away from everything, all the "dear diary" entries made it just all the more funny. My survivor team was the orange team and already in 5days we had made a bond that wasn't broken. I learnt team work is very important and you can't be a one man team otherwise you will get wrecke. Then we got back to jbay and had like an afternoon to chill and we thought the hard stuff was done but nope this week we have to build a lovely road for the school of jbay GLA. That's was definitely a huge task but we all found what we where good at and worked together to make an awesome road. Then we had a chance to build relationships with the children of GLA at their camp over the weekend. We really had a fantastic time there laughing and pball the games. As soon as we got back from the camp we jumped Into the car and headed off to the Transkei to help at Canzibe. We built a fence and helped the orphans and the underprivileged children we played and danced and did lessons with skits for them they really made my heart break, they have so little but their smiles are bigger than anything I e ever seen. We also got an amazing chance to go to the hole in the wall at coffee bay. the last day at the transkei we where told that we are going to do a Luke ten back to jbay in small teams haha wow that was something out of this world my experiences in just those two days of how faith and listening can make a huge difference in The way we live and see things and experience them. Then we chilled back home at jbay for a week while the other teams did their stuff in capetown so I was so happy to finally have a bed and warm shower and got to Sleep late. The next week was lessons from Norm Wakefield, oom Gerrie and  Uncle Joe and woah that stuff was mind-blowing my whole look on life has like been changed. The last couple of days has been very special spending the last bit of time we have with the other teams before we all go off. I'm just so overwhelmed at the fact that my new family is so awesome.

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Austin Wesson
Ahh ash!! You rock!! I really appriciate the support we only get enough time to blog when we leave a country or place but I will t... Read More
Saturday, 26 March 2016 10:54
Austin Wesson
Ahh yeah thank you for that support I don't have always wifi or internet so sorry for the late reply I'm on the road now we are of... Read More
Saturday, 26 March 2016 10:50
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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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Dear Diary

19:46,  24 April 2013 Today was our third day in Bogota, Colombia. As I'm sitting here, looking back at this day, Max is playing songs on her guitar...voicing all my heart is trying to say:.We went to a market in the center of the city, hopping on public busses and looking like real tourists, I enjoyed that a lot. Man, the market...even as I think back on that I can feel a little girl jumping up and down inside of me, soaking in all the colours. Oranges, purples, greens, blues, reds, pinks everywhere!  "I can show you the world, shining, shimmering, splendid, tell Me princess, when did you last let your heart decide... I can open your eyes, take you wonder by wonder...! A whole new world, a dazzling place I never knew... let Me share this whole new world with you..." I enjoyed it so much to look through all the little shops, seeking my Friend's advice on what bag to buy or what magnet will be the best deal, and getting His advice through the peace that only He can give, even in small things like that.Around 11oclock our team devided into smaller groups to go to different tourist sights...and in the chaos of  deciding where to go, I got left behind. Alone. Diary, I will not lie, I was freaked out as soon as I realised I'm alone, unable to speak the language or find my way back home. Should I stay there and wait, but when will the group realise I'm missing...2 minutes from now, or 5 hours? Should I go somewhere...but where, and what if they do turn back, how will they know I'm OK?  "Higher mountains that I face! Stronger than the power of the grave. Constant through the trails and the change, One Thing remains..." Within moments later, that Peace thet surpasses all understanding took over, and I decided to write small notes saying "I went to the Monseratte to find Jaco, dont worry". I left the notes at several places in the market, asking the people to give it to my amigo's if anyone comes back, looking for one, lost South African girl.And then I walked to the cable car station at the foot of the Monseratte: the only place that I knew some of our team would go to, and also the only place that I knew I would be able to find, having the cathedral on top of the mountain as my guide. So what do you do...well, you go and buy yourself a soft serve, sugar cone, ice cream, walk confidently, not looking like an 18yr old, lost tourist, breath deeply, laugh at the madness and reality of the situation and enjoy the view! As I walked through crowds and crowds of people, feeling like the only one that doesn't  really know where she is going, the song of Ronan Keething got so much more significance:  It's amazing how You can speak right to my heartWithout saying a word, You light up the darkTry as I may, I could never explainWhat I hear when You don't say a thing  The smile on Your face lets me know that You need meThere's the truth in Your eyes, saying You'll never leave meAnd the touch of Your hand says You'll catch me, whenever I fallYou say it best, when You say nothing at all All day long I hear people talking out loudBut when You hold me near You drown out the crowd Try as they may, they could never describeWhat's been said between Your heart and mine At the bottom of the famous Monseratte I desperately started asking around for my team mates, but no one saw any of the faces on the team picture...not one! Diary, that was my second moment of panic! I felt how hope drained out of the situation and then I turned around...! I nearly cried when I saw Chanan and Jaco only meters away, not even knowing that I was lost! Our God is so good...I joined them in a trip in the cable car up to the cathedral on top of the mountain, not really wanting to stay behind at the bottom. As I stood on top of the mountain, overlooking the capital city of Colombia my heart sang:  Standing on this mountaintopLooking just how far we've comeKnowing that for every stepYou were with us

Kneeling on this battle groundSeeing just how much You've doneKnowing every victoryWas Your power in us

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Chanan Booysen
Wow, wow, wow ♡ I can't explain how grateful we are to have you back!
Friday, 03 May 2013 22:12
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pink, my favourite colour?the story continues...

 

More recently i am convinced that the greatest battle you will ever fight is for your FIRST LOVE! The greatest call you will ever answer is the call to RETURN to your creator! The greatest purpose of your existence is for intimacy. You have been saved for GOD! "And this is eternal life, that they know You, the Only True God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent." [john 17:3]. What an Awe inspiring God we serve, the King of the universe loves and pursues a creation that's predisposition is to betray and reject HIM! But before you begin to think that this is another one of those pieces that will make you feel guilty about being a human listen to this Story ...

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Charmaine Strauss
Love your testimony Maximushki, love you!!! Go lady go!
Wednesday, 17 April 2013 14:05
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Brazil - God Doesn't Need Google Translate!

Everything that the Holy Spirit taught me just during our first week in São Paulo, Brazil, can be condensed into that one sentence: God doesn't need Google Translate. He really doesn't!

 

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Amazon adventures

Have you ever crashed in a jungle by plane ?Well... neither have I.But I think the adrenaline levels I have experienced, landing in Manaus are pretty much the same as before the actual crash...Imagine a river so wide that out of the airplane you would mistake it with the ocean. And along the riverbed, an unending garden with all the shades of green you can think of. Beautiful from up there, but landing on what looks like to be on a bed of trees ( Because you see only jungle and no runway ), is quite frightening! Jhup, that's when I KNEW "we are in The Great Amazon" !When we landed, we were starving, so we had a quick lunch in the airport! ( 2min noodles in a pot with lukewarm water, I have you know! ) The guy from the YWAM base, where we stayed for our time in Manaus came to fetch us and so we were off...We had the opportunity to serve the people at the base with some labor of love and to minister to them. We also went out with them, evangelizing in the community, serving in the river tribes, worked at the orphanage and just spent some time together in fellowship and Bible study. Those people showed me a whole new picture of what God's love looks like. The way they endure and persevere with what God has given and shown them, blew my mind. They really are a lighthouse shining God's Kingdom in a dark dark spiritual realm..Crazy facts.-We played with a baby alligator. -We swam in the Amazon river. -I held a snake in my hands that was my length and a bit. -We ate a cooked fruit witch looked like a prune, smelled like a butternut, had the texture of a pumpkin and tasted like corn. -We were 14 people on 1 canoe, crossing the amazon river at night, without a light.-We hiked 2hours to the river tribes and 2 hours back through the -----Amazon jungle. -We got lost in the Amazon jungle. -My camera fell off into the most filthiest longdrop at the river tribes but with a lot of trouble and VERY dirty hands I managed to get it out. -My camera works. -The Lord loves us very much!

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Thandie Dumisani
Believing for more for you Jana! Can't wait to hear more!
Sunday, 07 April 2013 12:22
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Pokhara - The jewel in the Himalaya

Pokhara - The jewel in the Himalaya

While our first week in Nepal we focused on encouraging the churches, the second week we focused on adding to them.

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Today We Serve Nations!

Today We Serve Nations!

NEPAL, Katmandu, this is the ground on which we start our journey and what a journey it is going too be!  First there are some things you should know about Nepal. There is the occasional power cut, pigeons flood the rails of rooftops,smog covers the foothills and hides the mountains from sight, the pollution a causes some locals to wear masks and prayer points and stone idols are spread  amist the dirty, the strike is over and the streets come alive with cars , motorbikes, bicycles and people. Oh the people the wonderful, beautiful people of Nepal. I think I love you already.

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Charmaine Strauss
Wonderful Blog Robynne!!!
Friday, 15 March 2013 15:52
Thandie Dumisani
Great Blog Robynne! keep writing, i want to hear more! Miss you and Love you friend! Praying for so much more of His love for you... Read More
Wednesday, 20 March 2013 14:29
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Because WP won the Currie Cup…

Because WP won the Currie Cup…

Please spare me a brief moment to just testify how faithful and powerful our Provider is.

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Restoration of the Heart

Restoration of the Heart

We truly serve an awesome God :)

 
Training has been simply amazing so far - getting to know the Distant Worlds team has been interesting, while developing my relationship with Christ has been nothing but fulfilling. 
 
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