“I’m glad you finally made it back to the dark continent, where we left our hearts”

Apparently I started a blog while I was in South Africa in 2006. I only wrote one post and forgot about it until this evening. My favorite comment, a reference to my first time in Africa, is from my friend Jordan – a New Zealander I met in Italy when we were both 17 years old. I’m sure he’s doing something amazing with his life right now.

Here’s what I was thinking about this time 6 years ago. Ah, to be young again!

http://rachelkatherinelycan.blogspot.com/

Friday, May 26, 2006
sawubona–that’s ‘hello’ in zulu. and that’s about all of the zulu i have learned so far!

south africa is a beautiful country. i am growing to love this place and its people–despite high crime rates and post-apartheid instability. i have already made good friends with unexpected people! the south african woman are admirable; so strong and independent, yet genuinely compassionate and loving. i went for tea and panekoke (traditional pancakes that are basically crepes) with some of the american girls here and a handful of south african women in their 50s. they loved telling the girls about their adventures hiking in namibia, their run ins with troops of baboons, and other thrills that come with living in africa! somehow they manage to mention killing wild animals and asking if you’d like another pancake in the same sentence–and with such grace!

i am learning so much already at this ministry school my parents are co-leading. i have a tendency to get antsy and frustrated when i do not have a clear agenda laid out–but im learning to let go of that and relax. it would be easy for me to daydream about being somewhere i feel ‘useful’ (like a clinic in mozambique), but i really believe that if i were anywhere else i would miss out on what god wants to do with me and through me.

the teaching at this ministry school is great. a lady named bernie from a ministry school in california is taking us through the life of christ. she has so much revelation and is answering tons of questions i had shoved to the back of my mind. god is really moving in my heart and in this place. rarely do white and black south africans come together like they have in this school. here the blacks and white pray together and are all so hungry for whatever god wants to do. everyone is eager to take what they have been learning and apply it in their communities. there are plenty of opportunities to serve and share the love of christ in this country. nelspruit, the town i live in, is relatively wealthy–but just a few kms outside of it are shantytowns and townships overrun with poverty, corruption, and aids.

i hope to go to maforga–a mission in mozambiqe–within the next few weeks. maforga was my primary motivation for coming to africa…while there i hope to aid in implementing a childrens nutrition program for malnourished orphans. if only i had a weblink! there are tons and tons of stories about god’s creative provision at that mission. they have really creative ways of serving the orphans and widows: milk feeding programs, weekly feeding programs, microenterprise programs, and even a program that teaches older children how to grow sustainable gardens.

i know that this is a sloppily written blog–but i just want to update everyone about how i am and where i am! frankly, i feel like im floating around in a daydream. sometimes i expect to wake up and find myself sitting at my kitchen table staring blankly out the window..i hope that’s not the case.

i am exceedingly grateful for your prayers and emails.
sorry if i was a bad friend and didnt say goodbye to you…or tell where i was going in the first place!

i do love you!
until i have more time–rachel

*As a side — this little find is exactly why I think people should journal. Perhaps an online catalouge of thoughts is not for everyone, but it’s both fun and encouraging to look back on how you’ve processed life. Most of the time I’m encouraged by my growth -or- I feel compelled to challenge myself to revisit a certain mindset.

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One thought on ““I’m glad you finally made it back to the dark continent, where we left our hearts”

  1. Rachel,
    Like you, on one hand I think,”Ah, to be young again!” Seems energy and flexibility were endless. But, as I reflect on your 2006 blogpost, I am so very glad for where I’ve ‘moved’ in the last several years. Amazing the sojourn we’ve all been on… the whole country and the entire world has shifted in those years. But constants still remain and our ‘compasses’ still point the same directions,don’t they? Sweet.
    Thanks for the post, the memories, and the continuing adventure. May we have the grace and character in the coming days that it can be said of us “Esse Quam Videri” -To Be Rather Than To Seem (NC’s state motto). Sure appreciate your quality and your integrity and your character. God is good.

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