Monday, February 16, 2009

A Message from Leah Rush - South Africa

Stirring family,

Greetings from half-way around the world! I think about you often and wish I could be there to see how the church must be growing!

I am finding South Africa to be my home more and more each day. If you aren't aware, my original team of 50 split into smaller teams in the beginning of January. Myself and 14 others are currently in Port Elizabeth, SA about an hour from where I started my time here.

Port Elizabeth is ripe for ministry. We commonly refer to it as "uncharted waters" as there haven't been many missionaries come through. There are a lot of genuine hurts in this city and my team and I continuing to discover what those are. Racism, poverty, drugs, cutting, and safety are at the top of our prayer lists. It is very interesting to see that the segregation of three races very much still exists seeing that the Apartheid ended only 15 years ago.

Our team is partnering with a Baptist (very charismatic Baptist) church in the area and is helping out wherever we can. A few of us are very active in the youth group and are even beginning to walk closely with a few of the students as they face typical high school struggles. This is my favorite ministry that I am involved in here in P.E. During the week, I help with homework and teach swimming lessons to kids in a Children's Home just down the street. I am training them for the South African "Iron Kids" competition! The Home houses 4-18 year olds who have been abandoned, orphaned, or displaced. The Home isn't necessarily Christian, so it is a good opportunity to bring the hope and love of Christ. I also help out with toddlers one morning a week in the local township (black poor area).

My internship officially ends the middle of May, but I still haven't decided if I'll be on that plane. I have been searching for a place to serve overseas for many years now, and finally feel like I've found a place that fits. I'm still praying relentlessly that the Lord will clearly open or shut doors for me to stay.

Pray for my team as we desire unity and discover how to love one another. Pray also for me as I am desperate for more of God's presence in my life, and that He alone will direct my steps.