I so wish I could upload photos, but our internet connection is limited, and we have been asked to not upload photos - I may have to break that rule in the next few days simply because words don't tell the whole story.
This was a good day for our first full day in Cape Town simply because it was relaxed comparatively speaking related to what our next (4) days will be.
We moved into the Team House today and met Jakes (Jenny Cate). She is a delightful young woman who manages the Team House. I think she may have thoroughly enjoyed being the only woman among our "band of all male misfits". Not to mention that the lethal (humorously speaking) combination of Michael Boggs, Shane McConnell, and Doug Sarrett - well, the poor girl just doesn't have a chance! Maybe the personality balance of the more reserved Doug Diamond and whatever there is to describe my personality combination gives Jakes a fighting chance against this particular team.
Our driver while we are here is Gordon Jacobs. Gordon grew up in Cape Town and knows his way around this entire metropolitan area of more than 4 million people in astounding ways. He has already realized that he is trapped in a combi for too many hours each day with this small in number, but relentless in non-stop humor group.
We visited a large music store today to borrow a synth keyboard for our recording sessions on Monday - well, actually, we have to prepare the tracks on Sunday evening. Doug S. of course had to have a t-shirt, but they could not find one, so they promised him one when we return the keyboard on Tuesday.
After the music store, we went to Logos Assembly of God Church in Belhar - a rather poor community of about 15,000 in the heart of Cape Town. This church is the site for our weekend music workshops that we will be leading. The small church staff and a few volunteers from the host radio station were so excited to have us and help us prepare for tomorrow.
On the way to the church, we passed a the oldest township in Cape Town - called Langa - where more than 45,000 people live in conditions that no human being should ever have to live in.
Tonight, we were treated to a beautiful and relaxing evening at the home of John & Avril Thomas - our gracious hosts and the visionaries for so much of what is going on down here and why our church has made the decision to partner with them in their on-going fight against poverty and HIV-AIDS, and their efforts to do whatever is necessary to bring true Hope to people of all ages. Tonight was a vivid reminder of why more and more people need to make the trip here to help these saints in their efforts.
John & Avril had invited many of their worship team members from their church to be there, as well as BBC missionaries here at Living Hope - Mike & Pam Talley and Danielle Schneider. It was an incredible evening of food, fun, getting to know new folks, re-uniting with friends I had met from past trips here, and probably the highlight of the evening was hearing Avril tell everyone there about our entire itinerary while we are here - no notes - she had the whole thing memorized down to every single detail - astonishing.....then, we prayed together. It was powerful, and I can't wait to see what God will do these next few days.
Thank you for praying - it makes all the difference......
Oh, and I have to remember to blog about my visit tonight with John Thomas as he elaborated on his recent visit to not only the White House, but his 25 minute visit with President Bush in the Oval Office. Know this - God used that visit in ways that are already beginning to be made known, and John talked about some additional things that are in motion as a result of that that made me almost break down in front of him - honestly, I just sat there with my mouth open.....
(Here's just a taste of "some" of those things - President Bush's Press Secretary, Dana Perino is coming to Cape Town to do volunteer work at Living Hope for a brief period of time beginning February 13 of next year - how's that for God working in people's lives? There is SO much more!)