South Africa – 7 (Journal Day 2)

Monday, August 17, 2009 Happy First Birthday to my little grandson – Zeke! One year ago today we were celebrating your long prayed-for arrival. I would have never dreamed that I would be on a plane headed to the very tip of the continent of South Africa one year later. I am so glad that we were able to be with you and celebrate your birthday this past Saturday before we left! Our flight landed at 5:30 p.m. South Africa time, but my body clock knew it was really 11:30 p.m. Georgia time! A pastor named John Grubbs picked us up at the Johannesburg airport. His accent was quite thick. Although he spoke English, we had to listen really really hard to understand him. The first thing we did was exchange some good old American cash for South African “rand.” The conversion was amazing. A bill of 20 Rand was worth about $2.50. We had no trouble going through customs and passport control. It was fun to get my passport stamped in South Africa! We walked and walked and walked to get to the car, but it felt great to be up and moving around and out of that cramped plane seat! Of course the first thing we noticed was that the steering wheel was on the right hand side in the passenger seat, and that the people drive on the left hand side of the road. It was quite nerve-wracking actually. Gary was in front of me in the “passenger seat,” which was actually the “driver’s seat” in the good old US of A. As Pastor John drove wildly and I mean wildly through the dark streets of that unknown city, I prayed to the Lord for safety and sang Chris Tomlin’s “You’re The God of This City.” 🙂 Pastor John took us to a place called the Golden Crest Lodge, where we would spend the night. South Africa has lots of “B & B’s” (Bed and Breakfast lodgings). They are not fancy like our Bed and Breakfast inns, but rather a good source of income for many people. The very first thing I noticed about Johannesburg was that every single house, restaurant, building, whatever—was behind razor wire, barbed wire, and electric fences or huge concrete fences. We went behind a gate, a garage door, and then the entire complex was surrounded by 5 rows of electric fence atop a big concrete wall. Crime is rampant and it is because nothing much is done about it. That was both sad and scary to me. The Golden Crest could accommodate about 12 people maximum. It was old, but very nice, and it was clean. We adjusted well to our surroundings and fell into bed asleep. I woke up a couple of times and tried not to dwell on how very far from home I really am. I thought about Zeke’s birthday and counted my blessings. I know that the safest place to be is in God’s will and that He has everything well under control, both on this continent and every other continent! He definitely has “The Whole World in His Hands!”

South Africa – 6 (Journal Day 1)

Sunday, August 16, 2009 We had a wonderful time of praise and worship at my home church this morning, Second Baptist. We went home after church for a quick lunch and to grab our suitcases and head to the big ATL. My youngest son Jonathan and his wife Erin drove us to the airport this afternoon. He is such a good son! Our flight left Atlanta, Georgia, USA, headed for Johannesburg, South Africa at 8:10 p.m. It was a non-stop flight and I praise God for that because if it stopped…we would have been over the Atlantic Ocean! The flight was long, long, long – 17 hours long. Our seats were toward the back of the plane in the very middle with a 3-seater section. I sat in the middle with my sweet man on my left and a very tall young man named Ty on my right. Ty was headed to South Africa as part of his doctoral dissertation work. He was from Washington state. His work sounded very heady and concerned proxy government negotiating…I told him we were going to sing and share about Jesus, and thought to myself that God would do all the negotiating by his Holy Spirit! Amen to that. We slept some on the long flight and that was great. Leaving at night also helped, as did the Ambien I took about 2:00 a.m. Thank you, Dr. Heaton! This was my first international flight, and I was pleased to discover that everyone had a little screen on the back of the seat right in front of them. You could choose from dozens of movies, TV shows, all types of music, and even a “flight-tracker” to keep up with the progress of the flight (which was basically a little plane icon over the OCEAN). I did not want to see that – but of course, my husband did… I watched several episodes of “24.” Thank you Jack Bauer for making me feel safe, secure, and proud to be an American. All in all, I was so blessed and pleased with the flight and my lack of a claustrophic fit of fear. I truly felt the prayers being lifted up for me and the peace of God surrounded my heart. I look so forward to all that God has in store for me the next 10 days.


South Africa – 5


I am going to post my “Out of Africa Journal” very soon, but I could hardly wait to stop and post these comparison pictures!
The picture above is one I found on a South Africa tourism site. However…the picture on the right is me “on-site” at Cape Point, South Africa, just last Saturday. Woo-Hoo! I made it to Cape Point and it did not disappoint.
It was gloriously delightful…only our Creator God could make such beauty!
So many things much more monumental and wonderful happened that are of way more eternal value, but I was so blessed to see this beautiful place first hand.
Love to all, can’t wait to post my journal soon.

South Africa – 4

We are leaving Sunday night and will be in South Africa on Monday afternoon, August 17…which just happens to be our grandson’s first birthday. Happy Birthday Ezekiel – I love you. I am so glad I was able to celebrate with you at your party today! Thank you ALL for your prayers and sweet comments. You must read the wonderful poem by Lora – see it in the post comments on South Africa – 3. What a gifted writer! Thank you Lora, you blessed my soul. One of the things I want to see is the “Cape of Good Hope.” I found this picture on a travel site. It is the southern tip of the continent of Africa, Capetown, South Africa, and we will be ministering in Capetown as part of our journey. Isn’t it beautiful? The place where the Indian Ocean and Atlantic Ocean meet. I know the One who made those seas, and my Hope is in Him! Dear Father, guard and keep us safe, use us for Your Glory Alone, watch over our family, protect our home, and hold Your Mighty Hand under that big 777 plane…and then again as we return. Psalm 95:5 The sea is his, for he made it, and his hands formed the dry land. I can’t wait to share this journey with all of you…I am so blessed and my hope is to be a blessing.


South Africa – 3

Well, we are one week away from departure for South Africa. I am sharing our itinerary below. Please pray for me and my husband as God brings us to your heart and mind. (Remember, it is a 16-hour flight….) Sunday 8/16 Flight leaves at 8:10 p.m. Arrive in Johannesburg 5:15 PM (Monday) Monday 8/17 Arrive in South Africa Tuesday 8/18 Travel to Lichtenburg Wednesday 8/19 Outreach – North West Thursday 8/20 Travel to Pilanesburg – Outreach Overnight – Manyane Friday 8/21 Back to Johannesburg / Fly on to Cape Town From Lanseria – Arrive 19:10 Saturday 8/22 Planning & Ministry in Cape Town Conference Monday 8/24 Flight to Lanseria – Arrive 16:35 Tuesday 8/25 Depart from Johannesburg to home 8:45 PM Wednesday 8/26 Arrive Atlanta 7:00 A.M. I am so very excited about this adventure, and can’t wait for all God is going to teach me. I am praying He will use me to encourage and minister to others in His Name (and I believe that I will be the one that will be CHANGED). I am so thankful for the opportunity to go.


South Africa – 2

Well…we can breathe a sigh of relief that we are really on our way…the passports came! The first picture is before I even opened the envelope! Flights will be booked next week and that is a serious prayer request from my heart to yours! I am not askeered (scared), I am a-claustrophobic! Seriously claustrophobic. In fact, my “most requested story to tell and act out with lots of drama” is about my trip to Chattanooga and RUBY FALLS back in the day when I was a young woman and certainly knew better than to act like I did. The problem was I did not know that Ruby Falls was an UNDERGROUND waterfall until I got down there…all the way down there in a mineshaft. My, my, my. My husband knew we were in trouble when he saw me laying on the ground, holding on to the tour guide’s ankles and begging her to take me back UP! She didn’t, and I still suffer today…bless my heart. Anyway, back to South Africa. The flight from Atlanta is around 16 hours, so pray for me. That’s a long time to be confined. Any good ideas besides a double dose of Ambien? Love y’all so much! Jan

South Africa – 1

Today marks the beginning of a journey to South Africa! The actual trip is late August of this year, but the process has begun in earnest. We have known about this mission opportunity since late Winter, but the details are coming together and I am beside myself. My husband and I finally got everything together and applied for our passports today! After finding out that I wasn’t “certified,” there was a delay. I have had a copy of my birth certificate for a VERY long time :), but only recently discovered it wasn’t certified. I got that taken care of this past week, so we are well on our way. The nice gentleman at the Post Office told us the turn around time is actually just 3 or 4 weeks! I want to keep up with this journey on my blog, so I’m going to number the posts…so today is number one! I appreciate your prayers as God brings me and this mission trip to your mind. Much love, Jan