Category Archives: Adventures in South Africa

In Search of the Elusive Photograph

a guest post by Steve Hovda, my dad

Simple math would have solved the problem but in haste I proudly made one of my first purchases at the grocery store after our arrival in Cape Town, South Africa, a small box of Grape Nuts…for about 110 Rand, or $9.00 American.  And so, it begins. 

This was not the only faux pas, as my wife will be quick to interject.  Learning to drive a stick shift from the right side of the car on the left side of the road through roundabouts, U-turns, mountain switchbacks and construction zones provided dozens of amusingly, terrifying moments. The simple task of ordering shawarma in the Market (Think “some of each” at the Mongolian BBQ.)  produced a cuisine which burst with flavor, to put it euphemistically. Continue reading In Search of the Elusive Photograph

Love

“The greatest of these is love.” As I have been planning these essays, Paul’s words keep coming back to me. “The greatest of these is love.” We left our normal lives in the USA because of love. We thought we knew what love was. We thought the way we live should look different because of love. Continue reading Love

Abundance and Freedom

Living a life of abundance and freedom is so much more than material abundance and financial freedom, but these are certainly tangible examples that we can easily relate to. Talking about finances and provision is uncomfortable and awkward but a lot of what has God has taught us has been either in the realm of money or money was a factor in the lesson. My personal hangups have to do with not wanting to ask for money or misinterpreted as such. I am still on a journey in this and I haven’t arrived, but please know that this isn’t a sales pitch. Continue reading Abundance and Freedom

Spirit, Soul and Body

Christlikeness is one of the destinations of our journey. It is our promised inheritance, but defining it quantitatively and qualitatively is not easy for us. We haven’t walked with Him the way His disciples and friends did. Some of the stories we have been given give us clues. Continue reading Spirit, Soul and Body

Journey, Inheritance and Forerunners

We are on a journey. We are all on a journey. Most of us acknowledge that is true, but it seems there is very little space in church culture for it. The destination isn’t always clear. The path is described as straight and narrow but seems winding and rough. Abraham was told to go where God would tell him. His descendants were told to go the land of the promise. This was their inheritance, but the way to claim it was to walk with God until He brought them there. Continue reading Journey, Inheritance and Forerunners

A Common Table

photo: greedy guts

Live. Dream. Eat.

Can it be this simple? Something so common, so everyday, so normal? Sitting down together, sharing a meal. Listening, talking and eating. The three things we do every day of our lives. What is one step we can take to heal the wounded chasm of separation between us? Eat.

Just do it with someone different. A different skin colour, a different accent, a different upbringing. Share your stories. Listen to different persepctives. Share food. Nourish each other with human connection and stories of humanity. Look into eyes, notice the forehead wrinkle, and feel the hands shake when sharing a story. The words are not what we are sharing. It’s the heart and emotion behind the story, the memory that has lodged itself into our narrative, just waiting to hear a redeemed version. Continue reading A Common Table

Community

Community is the second aspect of the call to intimacy. It is impossible to love God and not love those who carry His image and likeness. We are designed for community. Our very existence comes from the intimate relationship of Father, Son and Spirit. It is our design. We are made for heart to heart connection. When God said, “It is not good for man to be alone,” I always assumed He was only talking about marriage and male-female relationships. Logically, though, marriage leads to families. Families lead to communities and communities make up cities. For most of my life I assumed if it was me and God alone on a desert island, that would be the perfect life. But in Genesis, when God and Adam had a perfect relationship, God’s evaluation was “It was not good.” God was saying we need more than a relationship with Him. We need each other. Continue reading Community

Intimacy

A major part of our story is that we were unsatisfied with life as we knew it. We longed for more, a deeper connection with God and with others, more significance in what we were doing. We felt that if we committed ourselves to a life of loving and serving others and if we sought to live out Isaiah 58-61, we would find those things. Father has seen those desires of our hearts and honored them. We are experiencing a deeper connection with God and more significance, but not how we thought. Continue reading Intimacy

Why are we here?

On June 28 we will have our five year anniversary in South Africa. With less than a month to go now, I feel I should do a little series of what God has shown us as we have journeyed with Him these five years. He has called us and He keeps opening our eyes to His plans and purposes. When Christina’s parents were here last month, we talked quite a bit about defining vision, mission and purpose, giving words to the things we feel in our spirits. Continue reading Why are we here?

Why I Loved South Africa Today

Photo: Sullivan Photography

It’s alive today. Not in a perfect way. In a broken, hurting, raging way, for a pile of different reasons. Standing in the middle of Main Road, a chain of people line the sidewalks and streets in a nationwide protest against the current president, Jacob Zuma.  Car horns are sounding, flags are waving and there is something alive in the air. I am standing mostly beside elderly white people holding South African flags almost too big for their frail bodies. The wind whips and twirls the flag but these old ladies can hold their own against great white sharks during a morning swim. A rambunctious flag is no problem. Continue reading Why I Loved South Africa Today