Happy Holy Week, dear friends. Forgive my silence. This last week in South Africa has been run-around crazy, and in the midst of it sickness and fatigue. But I owe you something. You prayed for me, for that errant train stuck in the desert, and for the conference in the township. And you need to know what happened!
(But apologies first. I have only two photos of the event, these taken after the conference. It felt rude to go around taking photos. I simply needed to be fully present.)
But here’s part of what happened. This 40-hour-train-trip woman with little sleep for three days went to the Township outside of Cape Town. And went filled with energy and excitement as if she had slept all week. (Supernatural strength given!)
But------would anyone come to this first-time event? It’s scary to go to a township of a million, where many good people live, but where there is violence as well. Some township dwellers do not welcome "settlers"--and who would after the evils of apartheid? There is a deep sad history here.
But they went. Women from the city came who had never been in the township before. Women from the township came to meet them. We sat around circular tables together. We prayed together. We sang praise songs in English and in Xhosa, the tribal language, our voices blending perfectly. We ate lunch together, women in beautiful head wraps and women in flowing dresses. We talked together about the deepest things in our lives as women and mothers.
In the midst of my two hour presentations on parenting, I asked them to share with one another four different times.
“What were your expectations of motherhood before you had children?”
“What do you feel most guilty about as a mother?”
“What are your hopes and dreams for your children?”
“What can we do to be faithful mothers?”
These were the most glorious moments, as women of all colors, ages, languages and history opened their hearts to one another. Women who had been separated by apartheid, literally fenced off from one another for generations. In those long beautiful moments, with heads bent toward one another as stories and burdens poured out, the sanctuary was a picture of the reality of resurrection. What man worked so hard to maim, fracture and divide, God is joining together.
This is why Christ died and rose again: to unite his many people around the world into one people, who sing His praises in many tongues, but in one glorious song.
God has so much work in my own life still to do .... but your prayers helped make this happen this day. (And there is yet more to be shared another day.) Please KNOW I am on-the-floor grateful for your partnership in the gospel this way.
And---one more thing?
For this Holy Week, may I share one more time the Easter poem written last year? That Christ was not buried, He was planted . ..
Lord, help us to live and move and root our being in your resurrection power every blessed day of life that you give us!