Sawubona! Hello from the South Africa team! We just finished up our first day in Durban after several delays. The entire team has learned about the most important attitude to have on a mission trip—flexibility. Here is a picture of our team pictured from left to right: Amy Westerman, Brianna Leavell, Ryan Troglin, Ryan Martin, Jake Adel, Kyle Smith, Julie Yngsdal, and David Yngsdal.
Our first flight was late on Friday, so we missed our connecting flight in Dallas, which delayed the trip by a day. However, when we first arrived it was so great to see David and Julie Yngsdal. Since then, we have been spending a lot of time with them and have been greatly encouraged by their ministry and joyfulness in the Lord. This morning, we all woke up with jet lag but were quickly restored with a good breakfast and coffee with Jeremiah and Amy, some of the Yngsdal’s friends. They have two awesome kids named Elijah and Grace and have been South Africa for a little while now. Jeremiah told us about his ministry with Bible Talks (a ministry of Pioneers) on college campuses. They hope to share the good news of Jesus Christ through the use of the Bible. They have a regular meeting on Friday on campus and regularly do evangelism around campus.
The first part of our day consisted of going to campus with Jeremiah and the Yngsdals and participating in walk-up evangelism. However, once again, we had to learn to be flexible and trust in the Lord’s plan. The main area of the campus was having a student strike because of complications with housing prices, so we were not able to do evangelism there due to safety concerns. As we began moving to other areas of the campus, we began to engage in some conversations with the students. One of those conversations with the Yngsdals resulted in a young lady accepting Christ as her Savior. Please pray that she would continue to grow in knowledge and love of Christ. Jeremiah will continue meeting with her, as he resumes his ministry on campus. What a great reminder of God working all things according to the counsel of His good and perfect will!
After the initial part of the day, we continued to get to know the Yngsdals by seeing a lot of the places in Durban that they frequent for ministry. It was around this time that we began to see their desire for the Durban refugees to come to know the Lord. They shared stories and showed us their main ministry area on Dreadlock Corner. Yes, you read that right! One of their main ministry opportunities is among refugees who sell and insert dreadlocks in people’s hair. We finished the night at their house and hearing how they each became interested in missions. They shared about frustrations and encouragements in ministry. However, at the end of it all, they were able to say that the Lord provides in ways that are much better than anything that we could provide.
One year ago, Dreadlock Corner had been one of the most difficult ministry areas in Durban. However, now it was one of their most regular. We finished the night with a devotion from Jake on Acts 15:30-35 on encouragement, as one of the primary reasons for short-term missions. We then talked about ways to continue in encouraging the Yngsdals and spent some time in prayer.
Tomorrow, we will spend some time doing two Bible studies and a training session for pastors. We ask that you pray for boldness and clarity in the gospel and also energy. Today, I think we were all reminded of the providence of the Lord, so we leave you with James 1:17 – “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.”
Loving the Bride,