Saturday, August 14, 2010

A Weekend to be Remembered...

Last weekend I went to the national Women's Ministry conference. It is held every year the first weekend in August, which is the beginning of "Women's Month" in South Africa. This was the second time that I attended this event and both times I was the only white woman there. It was held in Port Elizabeth, which is a port city along the southern coast of the country. I chose to ride a bus that several of the churches in the Northwest province came together and hired for transport to PE because it was cheaper than flying and I knew that I would have the opportunity to spend a lot of time with these precious ladies. Also, it means a lot to the nationals for me to just "live like they do", so I went with them and "did it their way" for the weekend. The trip was extremely took 17.5 hours to get there, but much of the trip was through the night. We sang, talked, laughed, ate (the Africans are serious, they pack chicken and rice or mealie pap, and homemade bread instead of just snacks!), a little bit of sleeping, and even praying. It was quite the adventure. There are so many stories that I could share from a long weekend like this. But, I just want to share a few highlights or impressions. First, the African ladies are "hardcore"! They kept a grueling schedule...I had to push myself to keep up. We had basically been up all night and travelled until late in the afternoon. The first meeting on the agenda was a prayer meeting from 6 pm- midnight to kick off the weekend! I almost passed out when I read the program...SIX hours??? When I was that tired??? But, I freshened up and put my skirt on and off I went. I thought, I will just put my head down when I pray if I am tired. Well, there was no such thing...there was singing and dancing and worshipping the Lord for the first few hours with periods of prayer in between. Then intense warfare prayer for the rest of the time. The woman who was leading the prayer said, "We must bathe this weekend in prayer if we want anything to be accomplished that is lasting in our lives". I thought, "Wow! How powerful". Needless to say, I was tired, but I enjoyed an incredible time of prayer. These women know how to pray!! The second thing that really made an impression was that the women are so abandoned and sold out to their Lord in worship. It doesn't matter who is leading worship, or what song is being sung, and not even how tired they are; when the worship begins, they are worshipping Him with their whole bodies. The little old ladies who struggled to stand and walk were still doing whatever they could to wiggle their little bodies, even if they were sitting, and dancing in response to their love for the Lord. It challenged me and motivated me to offer myself as a sacrifice to the Lord in worship...even after 4 hours! They never tired or praising their Savior. The weekend was SO tiring, but it was worth every moment. I so enjoyed getting to know these women better and meeting new ladies as well. There were times when my American self reared its ugly head and got frustrated that we stood in line for 3 hours to get served our lunch; but, overall it was a time that I will look back on and thank the Lord for the opportunity to be spilled out and spent for Him. What a privilege it is to serve Him and be touched by Him. I was motivated more than ever to learn their was so frustrating to have talking and laughing erupting all around me and have no clue what was going on! Pray that I can learn this language and QUICKLY!

1 comment:

  1. Wow 17 hours on a bus? That is horrible!! Praying that you learn the language with no problems- how lonely to not be able to talk to the women around you :( Love you!