Saturday, September 25, 2010

A note from Laura, my team member to South Africa

Pass it to the Mlungu woman!" the guys yelled from the back of the field.

An intense game of soccer was unfolding on a large dirt area speckled with rocks and cow/goat/donkey droppings. The teams in play were an interesting combination of guys from the Mahvusa village, guys from our Global Encounters team, and then a couple crazy "mlungu" or white women. I was one of the mlungu women and, more particularly, the mlungu woman the guys on my team were referencing.

I should probably explain that my idea of soccer is just getting the ball in the white box at the end of the field. Any rules, strategies, or techniques related to the sport are completely lost on me. I can run and kick, but that's it. Somehow, in spite of my inability, I was designated as a "striker" and actually made a goal! It was an incredible moment. The white woman from America, playing soccer with mostly African guys, scored a point. What are the odds? But isn't that how God often operates? He puts the inadequate in improbable circumstances to do the incredible for God's glory.

Here I was, a clean freak, living in a concrete hut without electricity or hot water trying to share the love of Jesus with the people of Mahvusa. Anyone who knows me would agree that my survival there was improbable at best. But it was so cool to watch as the Lord took my focus off all the dirt (and trust me, it was EVERYWHERE) and allowed me to see how much He loves each one of those precious children. Suddenly it didn't matter that I could only take a shower every couple of days or that I had half a dozen grimy hands braiding my hair at the same time. Jesus gave His life for these people and now I wanted to be a conduit of that love.

I wouldn't trade that soccer game or my time in South Africa for anything. It was a trip of a lifetime and I'm so grateful God allowed me to go. And for the record, my team won the soccer game that afternoon. :) My God is the God of the impossible. How about yours?