Delaware students reach out to Cape Town

University of Delaware Team

“What an amazing adventure God has taken us on, both leading up to departure, and while in South Africa.”

Those were the words of Jennifer Pringle, the group leader of the 2011 University of Delaware, Christian Fellowship mission team, as the group of 13 prepared to leave Cape Town behind, after what was a life-changing experience for all.

The experience left a lasting impact on every member of the group. As is so oftenthe case on mission trips, through spending time with the people of the local communities and building relationships, the students were impacted by God’s people in Africa as much as they had impacted the communities in which they ministered.

Jessica Jones was no exception, whose heart went out to one of the homeless ladies on one of the days spent at Living Grace, a ministry that takes care of and ministers to the homeless people in the Southern Peninsula of Cape Town:

The second week into our trip I met a woman named Deena at lunchtime. I approached her as she was eating her lunch alone, and within seconds she began sharing her story with me. At 68 years old, she has been abandoned by both her husband and her daughters, raped, and left to live out on the streets without a home. While sleeping on the street, a couple of young kids stole all of her possessions, leaving her with nothing to her name. This woman is completely alone. She shared with me how angry she feels, how unjust her circumstances are, and how hard it is to keep from getting frustrated when your life is entirely about survival. As she spoke, I was struck with how normal she was. Talking to her was easy and simple, and hearing her story made me realize my stereotypes and prejudices about people in her situation. She told me that one of the hardest things about being homeless is that people pass you by and treat you like you’re garbage, like you’re not even human. Her words struck me with such intensity, because I realized that I look at homeless people as subhuman as well.

In Matthew 25:40, Jesus says “Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” I’ve heard that verse many, many times before, but this time my heart really understood what it meant.” (Jess)

One Friday morning the group spent some time with the patients of Living Care (Living Hope’s medical facility), where they had some special interaction with some of the patients of the ward. David Powlison shares one such moment:

“I was almost immediately aware of the strength, determination, and good spirits of one of the men, an amputee named Philip. He’d had his leg removed just below the knee after a serious infection had attacked his foot and set into the bone. He told us he was thankful. Because it was below the knee it will make getting a prosthetic much easier and allow much more mobility.

Once again I was humbled. Later as we sat around conversing like old friends, Philip looked at me and Eric and said, “You know that God brought you all the way to South Africa, just to meet me? Doesn’t that amaze you?” It does. It also amazes me to think that maybe this wasn’t about me ministering to him, but about him ministering to me. I don’t say that flippantly or selfishly. It’s just something I’ve realized. When I put myself in a place where God can use

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