Last night I was privileged and reminded once again why I serve the God I do and why I’ve been a part of Intentional Living the past few years. I remember meeting the guys who had started the 1st Intentional Living house in my 1st year of varsity and that I have been involved in their projects since, only thing that changed is that this year, my 3rd year of varsity, I had moved into the house myself.
Last night, we had had a communal supper made by Wihann whom I had met back in 2010 in the 1st house. He had made us the dish he had been most commonly known for this year – bunny chow. What was great about this evening is that not only were there people from this year’s Intentional Living enjoying supper with us, we had our 2 German visitors as well as 3 members from the previous years.
These 3 are just legends, and listening to them last night truly stirred my heart and brought a few tears as they spoke…happy tears. Wihann and Hearns – they were there in the 1st house and then Davie was part of the house last year, whom we supported as he went into the mission field this year.
These 3 men…just listening to their hearts and stories was really a gift from God last night. It was a blessing. At one stage it was just Jaco, Davie, Hearns and I at the table. Things got a little quieter and deeper as we spoke about missionaries and grace. I could literally feel God’s presence moving around us as we spoke.
Davie spoke about grace, making it so tangible and beautiful that if you hadn’t heard of it or someone who was blind or deaf and sitting there, they would have felt what he was talking about. It was just insane listening to him and how extremely humble he is. It was beautiful and during most of that conversation between the 4 of us, I sat with tears welled up in my eyes. He spoke about Bill Taylor, a great missionary and writer about cross-cultural ministry from the U.S. I once had the privilege of having supper with him and speaking to him and his daughter, I was truly humbled – something I would always remember. What really stuck out to me last night, was that Davie was saying – just like Bill once had said – that he doesn’t know if he can do this whole Christian thing and bring people God’s Word, because he isn’t perfect enough and can’t tell people to follow God and do things in which he himself is failing. That was such an incredibly humbling moment, one in which Hearns brought up ‘grace’ and that we have to remember we will never be perfect. We will always strive towards it and try be perfect, but that’s where grace comes in because without it – we will struggle.
Hearns also spoke about his heart, for those of you who don’t know – he’s finishing his articles now, in law. So as we all know, lawyers can be quite the sharks but when you hear Hearns speak and his dream….He’s not a shark at all….If you wanted to you could call him a shark – but a vegetarian which totally defeats the shark look he has going. Anyway, he will be working with Afgri next year which has been something he has been wanting to do for a while, as he wants to travel up into Africa. He wants to help them develop self-sustaining communities. They buy land and develop that community, giving them the equipment to farm and teach them how – using South African farmers, helping them build schools, churches etc and then the community gets to buy them out. He does all the lawyer-paperwork stuff but most importantly he makes sure what is happening is fair and that NO ONE will be exploited in the process. He really has such an amazing heart for people and God’s Kingdom, using what he has learnt for serving God. He has this great dream of farmers sitting around the fire with these communities, all of them sharing stories of their day and jokes and about what still has to be done tomorrow. His dream is to see all these different people come together, just sharing life. He told us a story of some of the guys from Afgri in Centurion. A whole lot of the farmers, guys with the same kind of heart, just arrived in the Congo and Uganda to help the communities there. They left here 2 months ago, it has taken them that long, because these guys drove in the tractors with all the farming equipment needed all the way to the Congo and Uganda to meet these communities and go help them out. I mean. Isn’t that what we should be like? Isn’t that what mission is? Isn’t that the Kingdom of God right there?
One more thing we spoke about that Hearns mentioned. Missionaries: the best missionaries in the world, are the ones we haven’t seen or heard of, the ones that are making a difference without even mentioning they are missionaries. The ones, who don’t even have to mention the word God or Jesus Christ in any of their sentences, ever. Those are the best kind of missionaries. Davie also told us about it as he was just in Malawi. He said something we all agreed to – that people don’t want to hear about God and Jesus or anything like that. Christians are usually the most hypocritical. They don’t want to hear the stories anymore, they have heard it all. They want to see the stories come to life, they want to see through our actions. Our actions say a lot more about us than our words. Our actions are more influential than words. So we need to stop telling stories and start living what we believe. When we are so in love with God and focused on serving Him, His name and words won’t be necessary – only our actions will be. Our lives and actions will be what tell His story.
I wish I could better capture the moments shared last night and make it more tangible… but what I do wish, is that you all could get a chance to meet these wonderful men of God. Last night, was a cross-cultural conversation but not for one moment did any colour matter. We all felt like one family, one body of Christ. I just want to glorify God for these men and the work He has done through and in them as well as what He is still to do in and through them. They are amazing men, with such hearts for God who only inspire me to be more like them and to seek God more in my life and I am truly blessed to say I am friends with them and can call them my brothers.