Tuesday, April 1, 2014

A Letter to South Africa

Dear South Africa,

I know we didn’t start off on the best of terms. I came to you not long ago with a broken heart. You accepted me without any questions, allowing me a safe place to grieve. At first I thought that was all you were to me, a resting place to decide what was next. But then I started to open my eyes to everything you have to offer. Each morning I see the sun begin its work, reflecting off the ocean waters and causing thousands of sparkling diamonds to dance upon its surface. Your church family accepted me without hesitation. You welcome people of many colors, languages and cultures to live together and learn from each other. You have a rich history that was difficult at times, but seems to have only made you stronger. And if all that wasn’t enough, you seem to have a fairly constant supply of electricity and water! You are beautiful both inside and out.

Although you have much to offer me, I began to wonder if there was anything I could give back to you. One day I visited your township, Masiphumelele, which means “we will succeed!” I met your children there. They remind me a lot of some other children I know in a country not too far from you. Some of your children are growing up in difficult circumstances, but it has not yet taken away the smiles on their faces or the joy from their eyes. If you think they might need another person to love them and teach them for a while, I have had some practice                                                                                                                                                     with that.


Yes, my heart was broken when I arrived, but I can feel it being stitched back together a little more each day. It is stronger and more resilient than it used to be. You see, South Africa, I used to think my heart was only big enough to fit two countries inside: the place of my birth and the place where my daughters were born. Those two, I will never stop loving. But it seems that before my heart had time to heal completely, you found your way inside. So if you will have me, I think I would like to stay. I might make a lot of mistakes in the beginning since everything is new to me, but hopefully that will be okay. I serve a God whose strength is made perfect in my weakness, so I think we’ll get along just fine.

Yours Faithfully,

Janine

(I will be returning to Zimbabwe on April 13th for a visit and then home to the States for speaking engagements before returning to South Africa, full-time in September. Please pray for the visa application process, which hopefully will be a bit easier than past experiences! I am still working through CornerStone and the HOPE programs in Zimbabwe will continue. Think of this as an expansion of the old to include the new!)

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