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Mission trip in Africa

In September, missionaries from Grace Missions of U.S. Generations Ministries led a two-week mission trip to the southern part of Africa. The trip was a follow up to a trip held last year to help the GCI church in Moruleng, South Africa install a septic system at their new church building. On that trip, the team developed friendships with local GCI members who expressed interest in conducting a mission trip of their own. The team agreed to help and the trip this fall resulted. Following are reports from team members. For additional pictures go to http://www.facebook.com/pages/Grace-Missions/234443013258723.

From Joel Clevenger:

Joel Clevenger second from left

Four of us from NE Ohio joined four members from the GCI church in Moruleng, South Africa for this mission trip to Gaborone, Botswana. While there we met the family of a longtime member who had just passed away after a long battle with cancer. We were able to help repair the roof on their home, but the relationships built were the greatest work. People there are making plans for a mission trip next year that will include many people from South Africa as well as from Botswana. Our goal in Grace Missions is to teach others to lead mission trips as well as to be active in their communities in participating in mission with Jesus.

From Lynne Botha:

Lynne Botha at left

Why did we go halfway round the world to serve when there are many here in need? Obedience. Trust. Love. Obstacles in the way (like lack of funds) seemed insurmountable, but the Lord carried us through. Fears were faced, doubts conquered. Personal growth amplified. Friendships and relationships forged for life. We helped many people, but I feel the greatest impact was to join with Jesus as he said to one particular person: “I see you. I know your need, and I sent these people to tell you that I care.” Yup. That’s it. Are there needs at home? Oh yeah, and now we’re better equipped to listen to the Lord, to trust him, to reach out in his name and make a difference for his sake here at home.

From Pat Shiels:

Pat Shiels second from right

It became clear that my job in Grace Missions is to extend God’s love and encouragement to new or struggling congregations around the world. Many of the people whose lives we affect say that they want to do the same thing for others – disciples making disciples – an ever-widening circle. I am deeply struck by the strong heart connection that I felt this year in Botswana, as well as last year in South Africa. Fortunately the work that God has required of me has not needed a young, strong body or construction skills, just an ability to love and serve the people I meet.

From Gary Schrimpf:

Gary Schrimpf

During this trip I visited two churches. One is a fairly new church located in Namibia. It is currently unaffiliated, but interested in joining GCI. This church is full of excited, energetic people striving to find their way. The other church is a long established GCI congregation that is dwindling in numbers. We prayed for both churches and I hope encouraged them and pointed them toward the Lord. We also had contact with a third African church – the one that joined us on this mission trip. They were recipients of our work last year and this year served other African churches with us. In these ways, the Lord allowed us to minister with him – making connections and building relationships that will permeate through the churches that we served. Short-term missions are great tools for building expanding circles of mission that are centered more on relationships than on projects.