Forgotten Voices' Mission:

"Demonstrating the love of Jesus Christ by equipping local churches in southern Africa to meet the physical & spiritual needs of children orphaned by AIDS in their communities."

Friday, January 21, 2011

Greetings from South Africa

Greetings from South Africa from the flight lounge, as I await boarding to begin. Just connected with Michelle Lockwood, a missionary who hosted us on night 1 almost 2 weeks ago. We met to exchange things for her to bring home and for me to bring to the USA. :) International next day delivery at its best... :)

James is off to Washington Dulles as I type this. Rob & Remmy just wrapped up a game drive to see animals in Zambia's National Park in Livingston and I'm connecting here with you before going to JFK in NYC shortly, arriving tomorrow (Saturday) morning. Pray for safety & sleep for all of us as we travel.

We had WAY less internet time or access than planned. The days were too long and full and the places we were visiting were often too remote to justify special trips into town to wait for a working computer. but I do hope you were able to enjoy the posts from our team in the USA and the tweets.

There are so many amazing stories to share, as there always are. I could tell you about the 2 hr gathering we had in rural Solwezi, where over 200 people came 3-4 hrs walking away to greet us, pray with us, and share a meal --- even though they only heard we were visiting. They didn't know who we were, but wanted us to feel welcome.

I could tell you about our conversation with a pastor, who painfully shared about someone who had prostituted herself for the equivalent of $6, but was bringing charges to the police because she had only been paid $3.

I could tell you about some of the 300 kids who the Zambian Baptist Association helps to assist in 2011, believing God has called them to do so, yet they have little resources to provide tangible change for these vulnerable children orphaned by AIDS. Most of the pastors did not know why we were there, except to greet them and see how God was using them so we could share their prayers with others.

I could tell you more about the dozens of remote and urban churches we visited with over 10 days on the ground.

I could tell you about the 15 widows and 2 other women who expressed joy that I have rarely seen as they graduated from a Forgotten Voices supported tailoring program, receiving a machine, fabric and capital to provide for their children on their own.

I could tell you about the long 17 hr days we had some days, resulting in a need to support & encourage each other when very tired.

I could tell you about the late night PHASE 10 tournaments we had almost daily, with James winning "COPPERBELT PHASE 10 CHIEF" title on our last night together in Zambia. It was awesome to kick back, debrief the day, discern together, and enjoy some cards.

There are so many stories I could share and I will. Please look forward to my reflections and some from Rob & James in the days to come. Realistically, I'll be off most of this week to rest, then returning to the office on Friday - a week from today.

If you are local to Central PA, please consider coming to WEST SHORE E FREE CHURCH in Mechanicsburg, PA this SUNDAY. I arrive back into JFK Saturday, then will be speaking in both the 9am and 10:45am services on Sunday at WSEFC. I'm excited to see how God equips me to share, despite jet lag, emotional exhaustion, and being physically sore. But God is using us to bring hope. I look forward to being there with you.

See you then or see you here very soon. Lots of love!

-Ryan Keith, President, Forgotten Voices International

1 comment:

Nate and Ellen Shaffer said...

Travel safely and know our prayers are with you! We all can't wait to welcome you home and see your family reunited again.