Dear Friends and Ministry Partners,
I am forever saying the Xhosa word “uxolo” meaning “sorry” these days. People have disagreements and among the people of God there is and will be disagreements, but God will show us His way through. Saying I am sorry and meaning it as the Xhosa people know are steps towards peace. I say “I am sorry” when the car momentarily stalls because I remove my foot from the clutch too fast. That peace, that only God can give me, comes and resonates in me not the drivers’ honking. I move quickly to recover, not panicking, and get moving once again. A simple lesson, but it stays with me as an example of how to keep learning.
That little word sorry (uxolo), which also means peace, does bring about a peaceful resolution to some of my encounters. One such encounter was with a lady at the bank. I made appointment online to see someone in person in the bank. There is no waiting in line because you have a code they scan when you get to the bank. I get to the bank early, but there is already a long line before the bank even opens. You can imagine the looks as the gentleman tells me that you can go to the front of the line. I say to the first person in line, “Uxolo Mama”, showed her my appointment and let her go ahead of me. I could have held on to the fact that I have the right to be first, show no concern for a person who may have had to take a taxi (no buses are operating) and just be disagreeable. What would my witness for Christ look like if I had done that? We were able to joke, even in my broken Xhosa. We still had to wait once we were inside, but it was not long. I showed this mother/sister some respect and got to speak the Xhosa language I was learning. God helped me to progress, and I hold on to another of His learning moments in humility and in peace.
In the pictures above, you see some of Teleios Christian School teachers and their students. I am sorry (uxolo) that I will not be with the teachers and students this school year, but I am glad and at peace (uxolo) that learning the local language and understanding the culture will help me better minister to the students, their families, the surrounding village schools, and the ladies of Project Dorcas. The teachers and the students minister to me each time I visit them. They give me encouragement about learning the language. I remember that Jesus says in Mathew 19:14 (NLT), “For the Kingdom of Heaven belongs to those who are like these children.” I am learning just like they are but without as many of their challenges. I will be visiting more Xhosa churches, villages, and village schools getting more immersed in the culture. I also met with Mitchell and Caylee Caissie, the missionaries who were serving at Bethany Emmanuel Baptist Church and at Teleios Christian School. They are a very good ministry resource. I am thanking God for the progress and holding on to Him as He is carrying me.
Last week my neighbors, who are missionaries from India, lost their brother due to a heart attack. I gave my condolences and a card with some money inside. When she looked inside the card, I felt that I had offended her, a cultural nuance I missed. She told me to give the money to the poor. We are all right. Then later when we spoke, she said she was sorry (uxolo) for her reaction. We both started to cry and were reconciled to each other as sisters in Christ. Faith, the meaning of Faye, and Mercy, her name, came together. We both said we were sorry(uxolo), and we are at peace(uxolo) with each other. So, saying sorry brought about the peace of God into the situation. God showed us both what was needed. He bonded us together in His love and peace. She and her husband both look out for me, reminding me they are praying for me. I pray for all my neighbors, but this couple, we stop and pray right there. Look at the progress I am holding on to in Christ.
Thank you so much for keeping me in your prayers and for your ongoing financial support. Pray that we the people of God will remember to love each other in the spirit of uxolo (sorry and peace). May our Lord continue to bless and keep you safe.
International Ministries Global Servant – South Africa