I drove down the slippery hill onto a muddy path headed into a shanty cluster of homes. The slow misty rain ensured the mud was soaked. People walked in the sludge headed to a church with their children.
You could see mostly tin shacks and irregular boards on other makeshift dwellings. Outhouses seemed tiny and unbalanced. Trash was caught on clusters of grass, barbed wire and posts.
I walked into the church that had a tile floor now covered with wet and muddy foot prints as the congregation gathered. Music blared over loud speakers and the people danced near their seats. Their joy knew no bounds. Their toothless smiles reflected their excitement and they sang at the top of their voices.
Sitting behind me was an elderly man that appeared to be in his seventies. His smile was all gums as he reached out his hand in respect and enjoyment. I had just come from an Afrikaans church that would mirror a small church back home in America. The difference was stark between the two locations.
I looked up at the ceiling that was exposed trusses and rafters. My mind raced back to my teenage years of building with my father. I had nailed those two by fours with great effort. My father could nail an eight penny nail with one clean blow. My memory held great respect for my father’s skill and ability.
These first few weeks in Africa have been powerful and poignant. Today was the beginning of much needed rain for the country. The hearts and minds of the people we have spent time with so far are just as parched spiritually as the dry dust from yesterday.
Wednesday we begin teaching pastors in Elukwatini just as last year. Cathy and I conduct a retreat this Friday and Saturday with eighteen missionaries who will be new to us. Our schedule has been full and appears that it will speed up over the next few weeks.
We continue to be thrilled that we can breathe life into God’s Word with the missionaries, pastors and people of Africa. It is such an honor to represent you Thank you for sending us and please continue praying.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.