2 Corinthians 4:10

"We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." 2 Corinthians 4:10

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Home Safe

Last night around 5:30 pm, we all landed at SeaTac Airport safe and sound. . . .Albeit tired and feeling like we needed a shower. Thank you all for your continued prayers and encouragement throught out this trip. We all have appreciated feeling the love from America. I'm sure that all of your loved ones will be sharing some amazing stories from this trip. It was an awesome journey for us all. I hope that they touch you and move you.

In Him ~ Jaclyn

Sunday, August 8, 2010

Saying Good-bye to Cape Town

Today is bittersweet - We get to come home to our families and friends, but we are leaving our other friends and "family" in Cape Town. This morning we had the privilege of worshiping with the Nazerene church again and the welcome we received was utterly amazing. Even those who do not have much have given so much of themselves. It is inspiring and overwhelming all in the same moment.

We can't wait until we are able to wrap our arms around those that we love, but we are sad to leave behind those who we've grown so close to. . . We love you all! We are on our way back to our first home . . . and continually praying for those who we leave behind in our second one.

With love -


Friday, August 6, 2010

This week has been a whirlwind! Only 2 more days until we come home . . .

It is crazy to think that we only have a couple more days until we leave the beautiful, loving city of Cape Town. We have been planning this trip for so long; preparing our hearts and minds to be a blessing to these people. I know that I can speak for the entire team when I say that we have been blessed beyond measure by those we've worked with this week. I know I have been extremely inspired and built up by the relationships that I've had the privilege to have during my time here.

These past few days especially, myself, as well as other members of the team, have had emotional times. I keep hearing from everyone that the experiences they've had while here have been incredible beyond words. I completely understand. . . . and those of you who have been here also know that it is difficult to put to words what is unimaginable and incomprehendable.

First, this week we were extremely blessed to have the opportunity to do our door to door ministry with Living Hope support group facilitators and some local church volunteers from the Church of the Nazerene. These ladies were amazing in the community, speaking the word of God to all of those we encountered, and being fearless in their approach to people. I appreciate and love these women more than words can say and I know the team felt the same. In addition, our team members jumped out of their comfort zones and were fearless and bold in praying for and comforting those in need. The girls and I had the opportunity to take these amazing and faith-filled women out to lunch today. We wanted to make sure they knew through a small token how grateful we are for the selfless service they do day in and day out. It gave us yet another opportunity to get to know them, pour into them, and listen to their stories. They are stories of sadness, heartache, joy, and redemption and I am so grateful that we had the time to build this into our schedule. It was awesome!

Thursday we were busy with our community outreach which involves testing for HIV, TB, high blood pressure, and diabetes. We take for granted in America that we can simply go to a clinic and get seen and treated within a couple of hours (at the most). Here, often, people spend all day in a clinic waiting room just to get an appointment to see a doctor the next day. The testing that was done during the outreach was free to the community and was much quicker. Our team was amazing! Jordan was a superstar doing high blood pressure testing for literally hours (from 9 - almost 3:30). He didn't stop and he didn't even hesitate when talking with patients about their status, what it meant, and what they could do about it. It was so awesome to see him in his element, rockin' it! :) Everyone else was amazing as well and were humble in serving as well. They pitched in whenever they were needed; praying for those who were dealing with difficult times (even those who were volunteering or working on site), cleaning up, handing out sandwiches and coffee, sitting in line with people and comforting them while they waited to be tested, holding and snuggling babies while their parents took the bold step to find out their status, etc. etc. I could go on for hours about the small and big acts of service our team, the testing team, and the support group facilitators did during this outreach. Incredible! You could not be a part of this day without standing in awe of Him. (Official stats are not in, but this was possibly the biggest outreach Living Hope has had with roughly 175 people coming for testing. Of those, MOST were tested for HIV - only a handful chose to not be tested, often because they already knew their status.)

One of the most awesome parts of Thursday was the community celebration. At the end of each outreach, Living Hope holds a community celebration service with food and worship. We packed as many people as possible into the Church of the Nazerene - literally people were standing on benches so they could see and about 50 children were smushed in the front to get in on the action. Life skill educators, support group facilitators, and Living Hope volunteers and staff were there participating. It was so wonderful to see and be a part of - again this moment is something that can not be explained. I wish I could, but it is difficult unless you have actually been here and seen the light in people's eyes, the joy, the renewal of strength, and the complete redemption in Christ. It is absolutely the coolest thing I've ever had the opportunity to be a part of. We had worship, Heather gave a stunning testimony, and the team did their skit for the last time in Cape Town. I know that all of us were emotionally and physically drained, but seeing people who had earlier been tested and hadn't ever stepped into a church or had fallen away and had not done so for years, come again, in faith, to the church for the service that night literally made everything worthwhile.

Teen's club was also crazy amazing on Thursday. Ana, Jenny, Sean, Steph, Shagmie, Stacey, and I talked with the teens of Overcome about Peer Pressure. It was great because for Tuesday and Thursday, I was asked to write up the curriculum to teach. It was a great opportunity and it was something that I do at work everyday. To be able to talk with these teens about pressures they are facing put me in my element and I was so thankful. God knows this is where my heart lies. Equally fulfilling to me on this day was a last minute opportunity to give my testimony to a group of teenagers at an alternative school near Fish Hoek. This was unplanned but the teen's team had asked me earlier in the week if I'd be willing to do it. I felt as though, while talking with them, that God was truly speaking through me and I hope that I was able to touch some lives while there.

The Lord has been so faithful to all of us during this trip. And I want you to know that your loved ones who are returning are returning changed forever. I have a jacket that says "I have tasted the African sky." We have definitely tasted S. Africa - the good and the ugly and we thankfully have been transformed by it. Thank you to all of you who have given us this opportunity to grow in our walk with the Lord. We all heard the call and because of your willingness to support us in it, were able to fulfill that calling.

As I'm writing this blog, my heart is filled with joy and sorrow - Part of me wants to hug and kiss my family again and sleep in my own bed ;), but a huge part of me wants to stay in this beautiful place with these beautiful people and continue to savor this moment. I love this place, but I will mostly miss the people.

In His mighty and holy Name ~ Jaclyn

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our first day of Door-To-Door Ministry and Teen's Club

Door to door ministry in Overcome Heights was amazing today! We split up into 5 teams. Each team had one support care facilitator and one volunteer from the Church of the Nazerene in Overcome. For most of those present from the Nazerene church, it was their first time in the community doing door to door and it was awesome to see them working alongside Living Hope with the same purpose and heartbeat . . .to love and care for those in Overcome Heights. Pretty cool!

I know that this day was impactful to the team as well. Team members expressed how eye-opening, humbling, and indescribable the experience of going door to door was. It was inspiring to see people come to Christ or to ask for prayer and was extremely humbling to see people who have so little, put their faith in Jesus Christ. One team member described the experience as God's glory shines brighter in the darkness. I think that he was referring to the fact that in a place where people seemingly have nothing, they really hold the key to everything. In our lives, in the U.S., we take for granted all that we have, even those of us, who by American standards may have little. Even those of us who have little in the U.S. have more material things than those who we are serving in Overcome Heights, but those we are serving continue to have hope even in the most dire circumstances.

Our team's continued heart has been as follows: "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him." Collssians 3:17 I love them all! I love their hearts! And I love that I get the privilege of sharing this amazing journey with them.

Continue to pray for broken hearts for Overcome Heights. Love you all! Jaclyn

P.S. We are loving seeing your comments. Keep them coming ;)

Monday, August 2, 2010

Link to the You Tube video of the Team's Skit - Yay!

Here it is! This is so amazing and has touched so many people thus far. They are doing it again at Teen's Club in Overcome today and at the community celebration on Thursday night. :)