Today was a treat from our Father God. We left early, before the sun had risen in an overcast sky. The forecast called for rain, but as much as the Cape needed it, we hoped it would hold off just long enough for us to go ON SAFARI!

We headed inland through the incredible and majestic Cape Ranges, their jagged summits disappearing into clouds, heavy with rain. We passed through the Huguenot Tunnel, about 2 miles through the heart of the granite mountains. We passed vineyards ready to be harvested, their delicious fruit being sold on the roadside by opportunists who steal the hanging fruit to make an ill-gotten profit.

We ventured deeper inland into the Karoo, a desert land dotted with sparse bushes and craggy hills. Our destination was Aquila, a private game reserve nestled in the barren landscape.

Packed tightly into our bush vehicle, our guide informed us that we would be experiencing an African Massage – very bumpy roads, and indeed they were. Springbok, zebra, hippo, rhino, giraffes, gemsbok, elephant and lion. We saw them all. The weather was perfect. The sky cleared and the air was fresh and crisp.

This evening, on our return home, we did our mission debrief. Each of the team members shared what they had learned and what was for them the highlight of the trip. It was amazing to hear over and over the same sentiment, the kids were what made it special. Even the team members who had come mainly for the work project had been won over by the innocent smiles, hugs and unconditional love of the children. Most of the team hope to return to do it again next year.

A short term mission trip is a life-changing experience. Those who go will never be the same again. Our lives have been branded forever by the sweet smiles of dark-eyed children.

As we were sitting in the living room of Sonnekus, someone remarked, “it’s raining!” And it was. The rain was pouring down. The dry spell was over. For me it was a message, a confirmation, a promise. “Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6

We will be home soon, with stories to tell and experiences to share. But we will not be the same people who left you 10 days ago. The children of Cape Town have changed us.

God bless and much love,
Your very humbled South Africa Team

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