Thursday, January 22, 2009

discernment

The day after hearing that we were to be evicted, we met with a group of people from our little church. We asked them to pray for us. They asked: "must we find you a new place to live?" We told them: "even in Mandela Park." Mandela Park is the location in which the church is situated and all of the families live. It is a former informal settlement. We had believed that this eviction was God's call to us to do something new and drastic. Maybe we could move to a rural area. Maybe we would move in among our friends from church.

The next day the church met in town to take all of the kids to the beach for the day. When we arrived they announced that they had found us a place to live. There was a house available next door to the daughter and son-in-law of one of the members. We went to see it that day. It was in the area of Mthatha that I had declared was the last place I would ever live due to its being far from town and seemingly very middle class. The previous tenants had been heavy smokers. There seemed to be no other children out playing. It was far from ideal and I was disappointed. It didn't seem like something new, it seemed like a lot of work to move somewhere that wasn't much different from where we were.

So we went back to the church. We told them that we really did want to live with them and asked would they allow us to. The pastor responded. He thanked us for this willingness and said: "because of our love for you we will not allow you to do this thing. The crime of this place is something that we of this culture must bear. We will not allow you to carry this burden." And so we moved to Southridge Park.

We don't yet know why we are there but there is great peace in knowing that we made the decision with prayer and with our church and we know that God has a reason for us to be there. We live in anticipation of the revealing of this purpose and in gratitude.

Pastor and Mama Ntapo in front of the church in Mandela Park

1 comment:

  1. Anna and Joe, Wow...it sounds like it has been a difficult month or more. I admire your willingness to submit yourself to your community and their insight about the place you should live. I can't imagine how difficult that must be. I pray that it will soon become clear as to why God has placed you in that particular area. Blessings to all of you as you continue to do your work.

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