Home!!

We had nearly three days to spend in reflection and on retreat at Volmoed, near Hermanus, South Africa.  Time was spent with the whole group asking one another to consider questions that had been formed during our time together.  “What do I do with all I’ve experienced?”  “How do I carry my power and privilege?”  “What responsibility do I have…as an individual…as a white person…as a theologian?”  These questions and more were asked and considered…

Time was spent alone and in small groups, walking/hiking, praying, journaling, drawing, sitting quietly in this beautiful place…Volmoed.  Volmoed was created as a place of retreat:  “Bringing wholeness to broken people, a place set aside by God for His ministry and healing.”  We certainly had a time of retreat as we prepared to end our time together, end our time in South Africa, and to come home to our friends, family, work, and “everything else.”  The photos here give a little sense of that transition time…

Nine of us arrived home in Minneapolis on Thursday evening, and others will arrive home sometime today…we’ll look forward to knowing everyone is safe and sound after nearly 24 hours of travel! As for Scott and me, we’re taking a day or two of rest before getting back to church work, a move, a new job for Scott (pray the “right” one comes along quickly), and classes starting again on February 4th!  Others are heading back into more of the same…thoughts and prayers for all will be appreciated as we bring all of our experiences and memories into our lives at home.

We may continue to blog for a few more days as thoughts and memories get processed…thank you so much for your comments and support.

~Karen

Safari!!!

Yes!!  We really have seen all of these animals and amazing sights here in South Africa, while on safari!!  We have had a wonderful driver for our 4 x 4 vehicle, Tyler, who has been very informative about the animals and has done a fantastic job of helping us to spot them and get as close as we can.  We have yet to find a giraffe, and the hippos have moved on from this area for the time being, but we are AMAZED at all that we have been able to see!  This morning (Sunday), a number of our group have gone out to plant two tree seedlings with the rangers (we are sponsoring them as a group from UTS), as part of efforts to maintain and support the ecosystem here.

Sunday Worship in Guguletu: Never Give Up

Professor Christine Smith Introduction at JL Zwane Church in Guguletu Township

Professor Christine Smith Introduction at JL Zwane Church in Guguletu Township

Professor Chris Smith and Pastor S'piwe Nkosi as Chris speaks to the congregation

Professor Chris Smith and Pastor S’piwe Nkosi as Chris speaks to the congregation

One of our guides and hosts at JL Zwane Church

Monalisi, one of our guides and hosts at JL Zwane Church

Never Give Up

Never Give Up (on the wall at JL Zwane Church)

Scott and Sam at JL Zwane Church in Guguletu

Scott and Sam at JL Zwane Church in Guguletu

South Africa Photos from Days 1-3