Community Church Arrives in South Africa

Community Church leaders have traveled halfway around the globe and have now arrived in South Africa for a week of serving some of the most vulnerable families in our world.

Two years ago, we made a decision to expand our impact beyond central Michigan and begin a partnership with a village in South Africa. Our vision at Community Church has always included pointing kids to Jesus. We believe that is one of the most important things that we do in our own neighborhoods. (In fact, this fall as we talk about how we together can reach the 130,000 people who are not connected to a church in our neighborhoods, a huge part of that is going to be making space for more kids to discover the wonder of the gospel of Jesus Christ.) However, we also sensed a call to reach out to kids who are not in our vicinity. So, when we heard about the village of Madutle and the fact that hundreds of kids in that community were eating only a couple times a week and that they did not have a church where they could hear the gospel, we said, “Here is a way that we can make a global impact for Christ!” Each week, part your regular and consistent financial giving as a church goes to care for these kids (many of whom are orphaned due to HIV and AIDS) providing a daily meal, a vibrant church and care as they face the tragedies that extreme poverty and sickness has caused.

Last year, we made our first trip to Madutle and it was overwhelming how God worked through that team to bring hope and encouragement to the village. We were also amazed at how a willingness to go as representatives of a loving church family made a major difference. One of the villagers said, “Because your church is here, we know now that God has a plan for our people.”

Jesus said these words about caring for those in need, “For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink…I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me…whatever you did to the least of these you did to me.” Jesus said when we care for the weak, the lonely, the lost and the sick we are actually serving Jesus.

This year’s Community Church mission team is now on their way to Madutle to share the love of Christ again as well as greetings from a far away church that loves them.

Brad Stutzman, our Executive Director, is with the team and he has sent an email about how God has already been at work during their travels. Each day the team will be writing a blog post about the events of that day. You can read it at  http://www.orchardafrica.org/blog/missiontrips/mountpleasant/.

__________________________________________________________

Pastor Brian,

I wanted to let you know that the Madutle Mission Team arrived safely in Johannesburg, but a few hours later than anticipated due to weather delays in Atlanta.  It has been incredible to see the ways in which God is already working on this trip and bringing our team together.  We experienced quite a bit of turbulence on the flight, but we arrived safely and with all of our luggage, which was one of the big ways God has revealed his power to us.
Unbeknownst to myself, Orchard: Africa, or our travel agent, about four months ago Delta switched their international checked luggage to a limit of one per person, and a second could be checked for an additional $75.  Upon realizing this in Detroit, we shared this with one of the Delta workers, who eventually let us through with two bags each, which were carrying all of our VBS supplies and donated items for the village.  A few group members had to register through a different kiosk, and we ran into the same issue.  This Delta employee did not understand how the rest of our group each got two bags, conversed with the other employee, and decided that it wasn’t worth her time to fight it, so she let us through as well!  Needless to say, God was at work in the entire situation, and we arrived at our terminal as our plane was boarding!
So, we are here and the team is getting a good night’s rest before heading to the Mission House in Mafikeng tomorrow, which is the last leg of our traveling journey.  We are all looking forward to settling into our new home for the next week, and we will also have the opportunity to visit the Model Village of Molewane.
Please continue to keep our team in your prayers as we begin to learn more about South Africa, its people, and the reasons God has brought us to this point.  The team is ready and willing to be open to all that God has in store for us!
God bless,
Brad
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