By April Monteith
An ending through “I See You”
As we conclude our journey in South Africa, one of the first phases we learned is on a continuous loop in my mind, “Sawubona,” a Zulu phrase meaning, “I see you.” The response, “Ngikhona” means “I am here.”
We had many adventures during our two weeks. We visited the Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, stayed with Phakamisa host families in Durban, explored nature’s beauty at Table Mountain and Cape of Good Hope, and expanded our depth of understanding of daily living during apartheid by visiting Robben Island & the District 6 Museum. We met many individuals, had thought provoking conversations, laughed during our animal encounters, and witnessed several strong faith communities.
At each stop we were challenged to learn and grow in a different culture: to see others and recognize that there are many in our cities who sleep on the street and in distant shelters in poverty and are not seen. In each interaction, God illustrated to us that every human being and creature should be seen and recognized.
This journey has lifted my heart to see everyone in our similarities and embrace our differences. I care. I recognize you. I see you. I am here. You are here.
Thank you to everyone who supported us on our mission trip, those who helped us prepare, planned our activities, provided insights and connections, wrote us cards, and prayed for us! Special shout out to Leslie & Mandy for co-leading a truly once in a lifetime experience.