Day 3: Cape Flats and Lavender Hill (June 10, 2019)

On the Monday of the trip, the pilgrims spent a day of service and learning in the Lavender Hill neighborhood of Cape Flats, a township established for "colored" people displaced by apartheid.  It its one of the most impoverished communities in the Western Cape.  Many families are awaiting permanent housing, and economic and educational opportunities are sparse.  Click to view a video reflection from the day, and be sure to read the posts below from Pilgrim Olivia Smith and Adult Pilgrim Aidan Wilbur.  There are limited pictures and videos from this day, in order to respect the community of Cape Flats and to avoid a posture of "missional tourism."  

A Reflection from Olivia Smith

Today was a great day for everyone I would say. First we went to Lavender Hill, which is one of the most dangerous places in South Africa. We visited people’s homes and saw the way they live, and their living conditions were nothing compared to ours. 

They talked about how shootings are regular in their community and that they live in fear even when they just go outside for a walk. I think seeing this for everyone hit deep. It was very eye opening for everyone to see this for themselves. Seeing this was so important because it wasn’t sheltering us from what the reality of their lives actually are. 

Although on a more positive note we saw some seniors who are graduating in December that go to Lavender Hill High School. This was so great to see since these were the kids who worked to stay in school and have a real chance in making a life for themselves and getting a job. They were great kids and you could see the hope they had for themselves and their future. These kids didn’t grow up with much hope for their future so for them to work this hard to make it so far and for us to be there to support them was such an amazing experience. 

After that we hung out with the little kids. Now this was the highlight of my day. They were all so adorable and had such a positive attitude about everything even when it is hard to be happy about the life they live. They faced painted my face, we played with legos, played in the sand and it was just so pure. Hanging with these kids was so far one of the best experiences I have had on this trip because of the way they made us all feel. They were just so excited and happy which was so beautiful to see and after they left the group had a whole new attitude about it all. 

I am so excited for these next days to come and the different experiences we are about to embark on.

A Reflection from Aidan Wilber

When I embarked on pilgrimage from Atlanta to Cape Town, South Africa, I wondered if our teens would be able to relate to the South African kids we were going to serve. When we visited the impoverished  community of Lavender Hill, the differences between our cultures was startling: Our children have material comforts, supportive families, goals for the future, a safe home where food is always available. Many of the kids we visited at  Revelation Ministry in Cape Town go to bed hungry, live in a community full of fear, and have no goals for the future.  Some were shoeless. Yes, we are so different!  But love is universal~ Our teens showered these little ones with heartfelt attention that was visibly as much fun for us to give as it was for the South African children to receive. The Holy Spirit was present! God was everywhere!


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