A Short Story
Beginning from Bend, Oregon in January of 2008 Paula and I (Nick) started out on a 3 month trip around the world. Our planned points of destination were: Thailand, Cambodia, India, South Africa, and parts of South and Central America. We planned on this being a mix of adventure, research, and world-education all in one. It was that and much more. While in Thailand, Cambodia, and India we saw great opportunities for us to get involved in church work and justice initiatives. On our fourth major stop we had arrived in Cape Town, South Africa. Our initial experience within South Africa was such that we decided to simply scrap the rest of our planned trip which would have taken us to South and Central America. In its stead for the remainder of our time we stayed in S.A.
As we began to fall in love with the work we found ourselves in, what began as a 3 month trip turned into 6 months in total. We spent those months in South Africa assisting in disaster relief in a community called Red Hill, the southernmost informal settlement “township” on Cape Peninsula. The residents of Red Hill had just suffered from a wildfire which had burned down hundreds of their homes. We moved in and took part in the rebuilding process. We shared our labor, friendship and our Love for Jesus with many of the people there. It was in one word, Amazing.
A Bigger Story -All Things New
While our own story is one of a growing passion for community development initiatives and justice issues around the world, we have found that our personal stories are getting caught up within a much bigger story than our own. We have been captivated by a Voice telling a bigger story.
“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does Yahweh require of you but to do justice, to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?”
This bigger story is the narrative that God has been telling. The story begins with life and beauty. The middle chapters have involved separation, pain and death. But the end of the story speaks of all things being made new.
“He who was seated on the throne said, ‘I am making everything new!’ Then he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.’Rev 21:5. This Voice we have been listening to is telling a story where all things are being made new, and a story where we are invited to participate. This Big Story is resounding in our minds and hearts and imagination.
Making New Things
After our trip, we came home to Bend and have been enjoying living, working, and playing with great family and friends -old and new. As much as we have loved our days here, at night our dreams have been of Africa.
Yet the time has come and we are now able to relocate to Livingstone, Zambia where we will be joining up with a local Non-Profit, working in a rural village called Singanga. We want to be the hands and feet of Jesus serving people around us:
- Teaching the path of Jesus to those who desire it.
- Resourcing the many orphaned children due to the AIDS epidemic.
- Planting sustainable gardens
- Encouraging small business opportunities to empower locals
- Raising awareness through the art of Photography