God Is Amazing!
3 days before my 20th birthday, God showed me a picture of the Savanna and said, “I know you want to go, and now I am sending you.” Immediately South Africa came to mind and I knew that was where God wanted me to be. But when it came to 2 months before I intended to leave and I still had no plan in place, I was worried. I was told I must have misheard God and urged repeatedly to give up, and I can’t say I didn’t consider it. What if I was chasing the wrong dream? But I held on to one thing – I have never failed at anything God wanted me to succeed at, and I should never want to succeed at anything else. And then of course, it all fell together at the last possible minute. 14 months after I heard God speak to me, I finally saw His plan moving into place.
I didn’t feel like I was in South Africa until I was chatting to the Sudanese refugee standing in the tree next to my bedroom window, trimming the branches so the monkeys wouldn’t get in. That was my first working day in the WEC house, and things only got more surreal from there. Almost everyday was a new experience, navigating things that were completely normal to most South Africans. From eating rice with a fork and knife, to having to run from a man on the street. So I hardly let my surprise show, and took it in one day at a time. People say that the only way to truly find yourself is to travel, to take yourself out of the familiar and immerse yourself in the unknown, where you become your only constant. But even more than myself, I realized God was my only constant – I could be lost, confused or wrong, but God never fails.
In Durban, God was everywhere. The day I arrived, we were walking along the beachfront when 3 disheveled, noisy youths started walking towards us. In Singapore, I would have shifted MRT seats to avoid them, in Durban I briefly wondered if they would murder me. But as they got closer, I realized they were not harassing anyone, but belting out worship songs with a handheld drum and toothless grins, yelling hoarse ‘God bless you’ at every passerby.
Later that evening we went to collect our groceries – they were donated to us by a local supermarket, and the amount we received determined our meals for the week. We usually took 2 crates for collection. That day there was so much food that it filled the car and eventually made up about 10-15 crates. Shirley sat down, exhausted from unloading and said, “How could we ever doubt that God provides?” The next few months were reflections of the same. 5 months, 8428 km away from home, the most important lesson I learnt was to stop thinking, and trust God. It seems so basic, but it’s a lesson I needed, and one I am still learning every day.