Just last week, Sydney & I launched on our 15-week journey around the world, which we’re calling our ‘Lingberries vs. The World’ trip. What better place to start than the beautiful continent of Africa? Our first stop – Johannesburg, South Africa.
The lovely Harwood family hosted us during our stay in Jo’burg. Sydney first met Sue & Gary in Uganda 4 years ago and they have maintained a great friendship ever since. We were so blessed by their hospitality and cannot thank them enough for opening their home and hearts to us.
For our first trek into the city, Sue took us to one of her favourite shops filled with a variety of African art and home wares. As you can see, I made good use of the masks and sculptures to get some pretty entertaining photos.
We grabbed a quick bite for lunch and then made our way to visit an orphanage that Sue supports called ‘The Village of Joy.’ The village is part of CLM (Changing Lives Ministries), a non-profit organization that also runs a feeding program at a local primary school. Just over twenty orphans live in the village, ranging from ages 2 to 21, and are cared for primarily by their ‘Mum’ Milly Jarvis, South African local and founder of CLM.
The following day, we met up with our beautiful friend Lindi & her husband Hendrik. Lindi and I studied at Hillsong College together and were part of the same small group there. Since then, both Sydney and I have become close friends with her.
We dubbed that Friday ‘Mandela Day.’ First, we visited the hospital that former South African President Nelson Mandela has been staying in for the last few weeks. The walls outside were lined with prayers and gifts in dedication to him and his impact on the Rainbow Nation. Today is his 95th birthday. Happy Birthday Madiba!
Later in the day, we visited the Apartheid Museum to take a deeper look at some of the more challenging parts of South Africa’s history. Nelson Mandela played a key role in bringing about the end of apartheid, which was an official system of racial segregation in SA from 1948 to 1994.
To wrap up our time in SA, the four of us went on safari at the Lion & Rhino Park just outside of Jo’burg. Although it wasn’t a ‘proper’ safari by Lindi’s standards, the experience was fantastic and we got to see a wide variety of African wildlife. Sydney took some amazing photos, which included white lions, cheetahs and rhinos (to name a few). We even got to play with lion cubs!
Although our time in South Africa was short, we loved every moment thanks to the people we spent it with. In one of our final conversations, we discussed the beauty of relationship and how God places people in our lives for a purpose. Take a moment today to think of the people in your life and thank God for blessing you by placing them in your world. And tell them as well how special they are.
Next up – Uganda!