This last week was the mid-way point of my time here in South Africa, a time that I have to constantly remind myself to stay focused on why I am here. There are so many things that, if we are not aware, will cause us to become sidetracked and begin angling away from our goal. Small steps away from your dream for one year might not cause much of a degree shift in your path, but if one continues to do so for twenty years, he or she will be so far off course that it's exponentially harder to get back on the right track.
The first several weeks I was here, I was especially able to see the little things in life that the devil uses to cause us to become sidetracked. Things such as our storage shed being broken into, gear stolen, cars broken (and broken into), sicknesses, people arguing over seemingly small issues, shootings, and more, definitely provided a distraction. Yet, when faced with the unforeseen circumstances of life, we are given two options in how we respond. We can choose to either respond negatively (and be all sad, discouraged, and frustrated) or positively, and realize that the battle has already been won and God is ultimately in control of everything. So please be praying that I stay focused these next few weeks, and that I don't check out!
Week in Review:
This last week was packed full of adventures. Our U15s played the Ajax academy team, which was good for them to get out and play some good competition. Ajax has a pretty nice training facility, and I was in charge of warming the team up on the nice turf field that Ajax has. The next day, I went shark cage diving with the two American boys that I'm supervising till next week (when they go back to Nebraska). Shark cage diving was a phenomenal experience, and I went in as many times as I could. The water was about 60 degrees F, and yet even with a full wetsuit on, it was frigid. On one of my dives, a massive great white shark smashed into my cage with his tail... it was so awesome! That evening, I took the boys to Hillsong Church for the Encounter youth conference that was happening there. Encounter was even more exciting than shark diving, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. Pastor Robert Madu from Trinity Church in Dallas, Texas was one of the main speakers and the word he gave was awesome (you can't receive unless you can perceive).
The next day, after scouting for new Academy players at some of the league games in Wynberg, I took the boys to a rugby match, and met up with Jason (one of the tennis players at ORU who's from South Africa and who's brother is representing South Africa in the 19th Maccabiah Games in Israel) and his friend Marco (who wants to play soccer for ORU...which means I get to scout him sometime during these next couple weeks). Rugby is a pretty intense sport...two 40 minute halves, no stoppages (unlike American football), and the players are all massively built. It was definitely fun to watch! On Sunday, I went back to Hillsong for church, and then in the evening I took the American kids to Noordhoek beach where we watched the sunset (see the photo on the left) and then ate dinner at the Toad with Casey.
School started up again this week, so once again life is starting to become slightly more hectic with Football Forward and practices now going back to the usual schedule (four days a week plus matches). Yesterday (Monday), I conducted the training sessions for both the U8s and U12s at Football Forward, and taught them a life skill from Ecclesiastes 4:9 (about how two are better than one). It was great to get back into the swing of things!
Please keep Ocean View in your prayers too! I feel super safe here (after all, the safest place is in the will of God, right?), but various drug-related activity has caused the township to see an increase in crime lately. Be praying for continued protection for all of the missionaries working here, and that we all continue to remain focused on what God wants us to be doing here!
Thanks and God bless!
Outreach Coordinator - MTAG