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Recent South African trip

Posted by Lizzy Armentrout on January 13, 2010 at 6:23 PM

Our family just had the most wonderful opportunity!  Over the Christmas break at school, we were able to travel to South Africa to visit with some very good friends of ours who are missionaries in White River, Mpumalanga, S Africa. Where is that? Click here to see a google map: 

http://maps.google.com/maps?rlz=1C1CHMA_enUS336US336&sourceid=chrome&q=white+river+south+africa&um=1&ie=UTF-8&hq=&hnear=White+River,+South+Africa&gl=us&ei=b1pOS_KDGs-XtgfxoLXsDA&sa=X&oi=geocode_result&ct=image&resnum=1&ved=0CAsQ8gEwAA

  I'll be writing more about our trip in the next couple of weeks, but today's post is just going to be on a couple of things I appreciated while being there.  

Having never been to the Eastern Hemisphere of the world, I was very ready to get off of the plane when we FINALLY landed in Johannesburg.  It was a very long flight...a total of 19 hrs in the plane and a 3 1/2 hr drive upon arrival.  Needless to say, I had very swollen feet when we finally arrived at our destination.  The car trip went very quickly due to being with good friends who are like family to us, but it was a very hot drive.

Now, there were many things about America that I did miss while there, but today's post is going to be about things I miss there.  The first thing I would have to say is FULL SERVICE gas attendants at every single gas station in every town.  It was wonderful!  They came right up to the car, filled the car up, and washed the windows if needed.  Never had to wait for them to notice us.  I really appreciated this after we arrived back home because NC was in a record setting cold snap...in the teens for several days!!  I was standing at the gas pump with the bitterly cold air gusting about me and dreaming about being in S Africa with full service gas stations! 

The second item would probably be my favorite...the daily maid we had at the timeshare chalet.  When we checked into the resort, we very quickly noticed (or more accurately, I noticed!) that there was no dishwasher or dish detergent.  I even commented to my husband that we would need to make a run to the store to pick up some.  Imagine my very pleasant surprise the next morning when a maid came in and cleaned the kitchen completely, mopped the floors on hands & knees, changed out towels and linens, and cleaned up the whole chalet.  It didn't take me more than a day to get very comfortable with this service!!  I LOVED IT!  I actually think this could really help the American economy out if we had this practice in all American middle-class homes!  So now every time I do the dishes, I think of S Africa and remember to pray for the people there.

The last item is really my favorite...the people!  The Christians we met there were all so happy and sweet. Most of them live in very sub-standard conditions but I never heard them complaining or saw them down in spirit. The opposite was true...very happy and content.  And, of course, the missionary family we went to see is definitely one of the top things we miss. They are such a dear family, and we've actually claimed them as part of our family!  They have quickly become S African, and the Lord is using them mightily there.

Next time I'll tell about our first afternoon Sunday service....what an adventure!!  Here we are with the Badgett missionary family standing in Calvary Baptist Church in White River.

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