The first American missionary was black

I only learned about this a few weeks ago. For most people, you’re probably like, “I don’t even know what a missionary is, so what if the first one was black?” But when you’re a missionary kid like me who grew up in church hearing stories of missionaries all the time, the fact that thisContinue reading “The first American missionary was black”

One of the best short-term trip resources out there

Ok, so if you’ve read this at all, you’ll know I’m a huge fan of the book “When Helping Hurts” because it explains a lot of the problems we Christians have when it comes to helping people. We think our good intentions are enough… but the sad truth is sometimes even the best intentions canContinue reading “One of the best short-term trip resources out there”

APU is here!

The Azusa Pacific students are here! And they’re great! (Which is why I haven’t been writing–I’ve been back at work 5-6 days per week again. And then there’s that whole clean the house thing, too.) I’ve written before why having 6 APU college students join us for their 4 week Community Engagement pratical course isContinue reading “APU is here!”

On Being Needy

  I’ve been reading Kenneth Bailey’s “Jesus Through Middle Eastern Eyes”. One of the things I’ve been struck with again and again is how humble Jesus is. Not just the whole incarnation God humbling himself to become a man thing. That was amazing.  But even the kind of man that Jesus was is amazing. HeContinue reading “On Being Needy”

Linking Communities

One of the things that gets me excited is seeing the community of Hilton intersted in partnering with their neighbours in Sweetwaters to reach this community. This time last year we ran a holiday club –a little like a vacation Bible school, for you Americans 🙂 — and we had three volunteers from Pietermaritzburg whoContinue reading “Linking Communities”


Here is a really good article to read about how to listen from a position of privilege, from Christena Cleveland’s blog. I challenge you to read it and think about how you are privileged either because you belong to the dominant culture, race, religion, or gender in society, and how you can be a betterContinue reading “Listening”


So, I want to tell you about some volunteers that are coming to iThemba that I am super excited about! Firstly, I’m excited because I know them– Rachel and David are two friends from Taylor University where I attended. Secondly, I’m excited because they are volunteering their awesome photography and video skills to iThemba. ForContinue reading “Skills”

The Real Customers

Here’s a really great, really short video about how good intentions are not enough when it comes to assisting those in need. The gap between the kind intentions of the US and the actual needs in Africa is very large. A lot of times someone in the West comes up with a GREAT idea thatContinue reading “The Real Customers”

Guest Post: Have I made a difference?

  We’ve loved having Anna with us! Here’s her reflection on her time with us. It is almost time for me to go home, which means I have been a volunteer at iThemba Projects for about four months. My biggest fear these days relates to trying to answer the question, “Anna, did you make aContinue reading “Guest Post: Have I made a difference?”

A World Where Short Term Trips Aren’t Needed

“But when we are honest, too much of the time our service projects cover up the reality that our way of life is what makes the service project necessary to begin with. In that way service projects don’t function to change the status quo, or even push against it, they actually function to maintain it. TheyContinue reading “A World Where Short Term Trips Aren’t Needed”