Sunday, 4 June 2017

Safe arrival but disturbing news from London

We are glad to have arrived safely at the Hands at Work hub in White River.
Our flight was good and we were really happy to meet Cathy Mark and the two members of our team from Matlosane - Lebogang and Letlhogonolo. They had been brought to the airport to meet us by Bishop Steve Diseko, so we were given a warm Africa welcome as soon as we emerged from the arrivals area.

After a long flight it was good to know that we didn't need to drive, as we were taken from O R Tambo airport to White River by our driver, Andrew... but he told us the shocking news of the London Bridge terror attack.

We are still trying to make sense of the news really - but we are aware that the people who did this must be so full of hate and so closed to love and kindness. Whoever gives them such hateful teaching is as guilty as the people who carry it out.

It has made me think about how we respond to such acts.  We can feel powerless- as though there is. nothing we can do... but this is not true.

We can, and must, choose to live in the opposite spirit to those who sow seeds of hate and carry out acts of violence. And we can do this wherever we are.

Tomorrow we will be visiting some vulnerable children and young people in the community of Mluti,  and we will meet the people who give themselves as volunteers to care for them with the support of Hands at Work. They are living in the opposite spirit to those who discard their lives and take others with them.  I find their giving of their lives an inspiration, the very opposite of the reaction I feel toward those who kill and murder in the name of their supposed religion.

Whether we are in Africa or UK - we alaways have a choice about how we use our lives... let's fight terror by fighting with the weapons of love - of self giving service, of kindness and mercy. It is costly- but it is the way of Jesus... and if we want to follow Him we know that in the end this path is the one which will lead to life not death.

Rosanne led us in prayer tonight for those affected by the terror attacks and we felt, despite the distance, well connected to the U.K.

When we arrived at Hands we were met by Carolyn Snyman and Brenda Rebro- who made us feel very at home.

 The two photos on the right should be  of a message card which each of us found on our beds as we came into our rooms. They focus our mind on why we are here in Africa and why we are here on earth.

With our love and prayers
On behalf of the combined Lichfield and Matlosane Link for Life Team
Richard Westwood