Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Trip to the South

Hello everyone hope you are doing well. Penny and I are doing pretty well but we have been really homesick lately. As I said in as an earlier post we spent most of the month of August on the road. I am attaching several Web Albums to this post so that you can see where we have been and what we have been doing. I am also sharing what we wrote for this month’s parish newsletter. Peace, Jeremy and Penny

Ministry to the South
From 21 August to 1 September several members of St. George’s Cathedral travelled on a mission and ministry trip to the South. Penny, our new Deacon Thomas and myself began the journey and travelled through Keetmanshoop to Luderitz for Sunday Eucharist and Baptisms on 23 August. This is the Web Album for Luderitz and Oranjemund. Click Here. On 25 August we travelled to Karasburg to meet the rest of our team, Mrs. Hetty Rose Junius, Mrs. Rose Beukes, and Mr. Simon Wilke. We met with a Lutheran congregation for singing, prayer and fellowship on Wednesday as there was no sustained Anglican presence. After that we travelled to Noordower for a Eucharist on Friday, Aussenkher for a Eucharist and Baptisms on Saturday morning then on to Oranjemund for Sunday services on 30 August. Here is the Web Album for Keetmanshoop, Karasburg and Noordower. Click Here. This is the Aussenkehr Web Album. Click Here. After Church Hetty, Rose and Simon headed back to Windhoek via Keetmanshoop and Thomas, Penny and I started our trip back on Monday making a stop in Rosh Pinah to meet their lay minister and find out that they have 500 Anglicans on their role. We finally arrived home on Tuesday afternoon after 4000 kilometers of driving.

To say that this was an incredible journey would be an understatement. It was an amazing blessing and the Holy Spirit was with us all the way. It would take three Gateways to tell all the stories of the South so what I have asked everyone on our mission team to do is to write of the moment that had the greatest impact on them. The moment that they felt closest to Christ. This will be a way of introducing our trip along with a few photos. When we have had the opportunity to organize all the photos and our thoughts we will have a presentation at the Church for everyone to see what an amazing ministry this truly is. We are also starting to plan our next trip. If you are interested please let me know.

Moments Closest to Christ
My moment closest to Christ came in Noordower. On Friday morning we went to the home of Tate Enoch a lay minister for the Anglicans that meet in Noordower. We sat in chairs and on logs in front of his modest home made of sheets of tin and reeds and under a shade made of net and reeds. As we spoke it became apparent that this was a place for us to have a Eucharist. On the outside wall of his home was a hand painted sign that said “Congregation of Enoch”. We were told that since they were not a Church he did not feel comfortable giving his home a Church name but that he wanted people to know where to come for Anglican worship. As we sat and talked more and more people gathered around and as we prepared a small, folding table to be our altar the excitement grew. Close to 60 men, women and children gathered for communion and blessings. Just as the service was ending Tate Enoch asked to say a few words and came to put N.50 cents on the altar. After the service he told me he wanted us to have the money for our continued work in the South. As I looked around I think I know now how the disciples felt in Mark 12:41 when the widow comes to give her offering. Jesus says to them ‘Truly I tell you, this poor widow has put in more than all those who are contributing to the treasury. For all of them have contributed out of their abundance; but she out of her poverty has put in everything she had, all she had to live on. I humbly accepted his offering to God and commit to putting it to use in our continued ministry to the South. Fr. Jeremy+

Throughout our trip to the South I was overcome by a deep feeling of humility. It is hard to describe because it takes time for me to process all the emotions I felt. If there was one moment I could point to it would be standing and sharing communion with the people in Noordower and Aussenkehr. It felt like a true communion. We were sharing in something that brought us together. It touched me in a deep way that people who have almost nothing in common and come from such different worlds can be brought to a different understanding of who they are before God by standing side by side and sharing in the body and blood of Jesus Christ. We were connected in our common humanity and it is humbling to remember that connection. To remember that people are more than what they have, or where they work, or where they live. As Christians we are not defined by these things. We are defined by a common creator and savior who loves each one of us. Although we went to the South to take communion, I realized that true communion was already there and by going I found it. Penny

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