Here’s a summary of my mission trip to Cape Town South Africa!
We stayed in Orchard Africa’s house during the mission. It was SO nice! I expected our accommodations to not be so nice, but they far exceeded my expectations. Not only that, but the food was plentiful! The food was good and the portions were so big! We were blessed to have a wonderful woman by the name of Michelle as our head caterer and she was wonderful in spirit and in that kitchen! lol
We served in one of Cape Town’s largest slums called Khayelitsha which translates to “new home.” About 1.4 million black South African’s call it home. There you will find thousands of makeshift homes built right on top of each other and even a few brick and mortar homes. Shipping containers are used for businesses such as hair salons and bike repair. You’ll also see small stands with vendors selling food, used mattresses, and other miscellaneous items. You’ll see bus stops, braai (pronounce “brye”) stands (similar to barbecuing) and porta potties shared by several families.You’ll see schools, churches, clinics, even a community building. Men, women, children young and old all call Khayelitsha home.
Vacation Bible School
Orchard Africa partners with local churches and organizations in Khayelitsha and we did a Vacation Bible School at one of those churches. The building was not big enough to fit all of us in there so some kids play outside with our volunteers and some of us stay inside with the kids. That week we taught them about praying and talking to God whenever they need Him. Outside they did a variety of different activities like soccer (their favorite sport), face painting, jump rope, and even taught them tether ball!
We had the opportunity to visit Masikhanye Food Garden! We came to help plant spinach & cabbage, little did I know it would be such a humbling experience. The garden didn’t host any brown soil to plant, only sand filled with years of garbage, broken concrete slabs & rocks. I couldn’t understand how anything grew in that ground, but as I looked around & we heard from the garden’s leader who everyone calls “Daddy,” I came to the conclusion that God, determination and faith yielded crops in that garden. Despite the circumstances, people like “Daddy” & others had faith that they could grow their own food and were determined to do so because people have to eat even when the money is lacking. And God blessed that land (that would otherwise be barren), to yield food for His people.
Computer and Business Training
My team and I created a curriculum to teach adults computer and business knowledge. Many students had never used a computer before and did not know how to use a mouse. We were able educate them on basic computer knowledge, get them personal emails, show them how to use the internet to search for jobs and apply for jobs online. Other students were able to get valuable small business training so that they could create their own business in a place where there aren’t enough jobs. Many were already doing some aspect of small business but we were able to help them with marketing, business plans and one even left with business cards
Orchard Africa Partnering Organization
We partnered with a phenomenal ministry called Orchard Africa. I was so inspired by their character and ministry. I’m not sure I knew humility until I met the couple who started this organization. Pastor Mike and Michelle simply want to do the work of The Lord and receive no praise for it – they just want those they serve to know that God loves and cares for them. Their ministry emphasizes the importance of developmental help and not just sending relief, which is often short term. They believe in empowering the community to see and make the changes needed by providing resources, training, awareness and ideas. All of the staff were great – wish I had pictures of everyone, but below are a few. I highly recommend those interested in taking a mission trip and/or donating, to check out Orchard Africa (http://new.orchardafrica.org/).
Mission Trip Crew & Cape Town
I went on the mission with a local church in the area. I didn’t know anyone except my friend Quiera and was a little nervous about traveling with 23 new people that I didn’t know. However, the way my God works…let’s just say He knows what He is doing! He is so amazing the way He linked and put all 25 of us together for this mission. I was so grateful to meet and get to know each and every person and I’m blessed to have some new friends and role models!
Couldn’t be more grateful for the beautiful people I served, worked and traveled with and to top it all off, we got to do so in such a beautiful country! It was so amazingly beautiful and it was refreshing to breathe air and admire the sky in a different part of the world (I miss it).
*Shout out to the professional photos taken by the one and only @NickSmith_poop (Instagram)*