Saturday, January 29, 2011

Settling in Rustenburg

7:12 AM
So we've arrived back in Rustenburg, South Africa safely. It was a long day of travel, from Palapye to Gabarone, from Gaborone to Labotse, and then we waited at the bus stop in Labotse for 2 hours for our ride, to drive us the remainding 3 hours back to Rustenburg. So needless to say, we were quite happy to be "home" again. We are going to be here in Rustenburg for about 3 weeks and we are all sp excited to finally settle down somewhere. Its pretty funny to think that "settle down" somewhere means only 3 weeks. I'm sure to anyone else, living somewhere for only 3 weeks isn't settling, its stressful. But this has been our life: after Lecture Phase ended in Orlando, we went home for Christmas for 2 weeks, packed up and came back to Orlando for 2 days. We left Orlando for North Carolina, and spent 4 days at our first location. We packed up again, and went to our second location in North Carolina where we stayed another 5 days. We packed up again and came back to Orlando for 3 days. Packed up again and left for South Africa. Stayed in Rustenburg for 3 days and then left for Botswana. Stayed in Botswana for 9 days, then came back to Rustenburg. And now we are here for 3 weeks. We've unpacked and moved in, and it feels great. Here's a few pics of home at Rustenburg!

Our clothesline outside of our cabin!

The cabin that Rachel and I share. So cozy!

The steps leading up to the cafeteria, the porch and the swimming pool.

The view from my cabin. Not too shabby!

All of our cute little cabins in a row!


Monday, January 24, 2011

Letters, Love and Prayers Vol. 8

4:15 AM
Dear Family and Friends!

Hello, from the beautiful continent of Africa! I've been here almost 2 weeks, and I've already fallen in love. It's so peaceful and gorgeous here, and I swear even the sky looks different. As you guys are experiencing a cold winter, I'm sweating through an African summer! But I can't complain too much, there's always a nice breeze and refreshing water nearby.

I've been able to post quite a bit to my blog, so if you haven't been able to keep up with it, you should check out my latest posts!

My team spent a few days in South Africa, and then we split up into two teams for a week and a half of ministry in Botswana. You have to read my blog on crossing the border to Botswana, it was so entertaining! This time of ministry has been challenging and fruitful. My team has been in Palapye, a small village on the east side of the country. It's further north and MUCH hotter! We've been living and working with a local pastor and supporting his church community. We've been preaching sermons, leading prayer meetings, and even sharing the purity message with the youth. We've also visited primary [elementary] schools, where we taught Bible stories and played games. We've visited hospitals, and prayed for the sick. We even saw God's healing power in action! The people of Botswana are so open and receptive, and willing to pray and talk about spiritual things. The church we've been working with is alive with the Spirit of God, and it's just been exciting to be a part of it!

Tuesday, we are traveling back to Rustenburg, South Africa, where we will be for almost 3 weeks. Here we will be doing more hospital and hospice visits as well as feeding programs. I can't wait to see what God has planned for the next chapter of our outreach!

Here's some ways you can be praying for me and my team:
~Health: many people have been sick on and off, so please just pray that the worst has passed and we remain healthy throughout the rest of outreach.
~Attitudes: as our comforts and strengths are being stretched, please pray that we can keep "the same attitude as that of Christ Jesus", and continue to be loving to one another!
~Faith: as we've already experienced in Botswana, God is on the move in Africa! Pray that our team has the faith to expect God to show up and act. We believe He has much more in store for our team this outreach
~Finances: my supporters have been so faithful in their continued giving to my ministry, and I couldn't be here without them. Please lift up my financial needs for bills while I'm in Africa, as well as future ministry plans after Africa, which God is speaking so clearly about.

Thank you all for your prayers and support. I feel God's presence in this place, and am so grateful for all the times you've remembered us in prayer. Please keep up to date with my blog: and use the PayPal link to send any financial donations.

I pray God's blessings for you and your family!

Joy Engdahl


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Church Planting in Botswana

4:21 AM
Pastor Peter is a small man, with kind eyes and a gentle voice. But the ministry he runs is anything but small. He and his family are church planters at heart, taking on the Palapye plant of Christ Citadel International Church which is a large church in Gabarone with many locations. CIC Palapye has services almost every night of the week, for families, for prayer, for youth and for children. Each Sunday averages about 70 members crammed into a tiny little rented room. Pastor Peter is the only staff, and his week is filled with visiting primary schools [5 a week = 500 kids!], praying with patients at the hospital, preparing services and sermons, and driving people around the community [he's one of the few blessed with a car in Palapye]. But when you meet him, you'd never know he has all that on his plate. He looks like he has all the time in the world. But I think that comes naturally to an African. Pastor Peter and his wife Monica are from Zimbabwe, and moved to Botswana just a few years ago, with their 3 kids. Pastor Peter himself is a YWAMer, and his DTS outreach was to Botswana! He fell in love with the people and felt burdened to plant churches. The vision for CIC Palapye this year is to plant 10 new churches. This Sunday, we were part of one of those plants. Sunday night, we traveled to a neighboring village of Serowe to launch its first service. We got there a little early, and walked to the houses nearby and invited them to a special prayer service. And 13 people actually came! I can't imagine that ever happening in America...inviting someone to a church service the day of, with about 30 minutes notice. But T.I.A....This is Africa. It just works here. The service was celebratory. Jumping and dancing and praise and shouting. We knew we were part of something great. As we talked to the visiting members of the community, they said they would come to church every week, because they could just walk to it. And that was Pastor Peter's plan all along. He mentioned all the bigger churches being planted across town, but no one is planting the villages, where the people don't have cars. That's the heart of this man. Bringing the gospel to the people, not making them come to find it. It's been pretty awesome to be a part, and partner with this godly man and his ministry. He says we blessed him, but I think he's blessed us more.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Crashing into the Kingdom of Heaven

2:24 AM
I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things that these, because I am going to the Father. - John 14:12

I've read this verse, memorized this verse, but I never really believed this verse until today...until I lived this verse. We've been in Palapye, Botswana for 5 days, and each day has looked totally different than the one before. We've taught in church services, led prayer meetings, loved on kids at an orphanage, and taught Bible stories to kids at schools. All of these great ministry opportunities have really given us a heart for the people of Palapye. On Friday, we started out walking the streets of the neighborhood we've been living in, and introducing ourselves, and asking if they needed prayer for anything. We found most people to be really receptive and open to prayer. We eventually walked to the local hospital , where we would pray for the sick, the families & friends, and the nurses. It was such a blessing to pray God's love and restoration over these people. Near the end of our hospital visit, two nurses called a few of us over to pray for them. They had been having trouble breathing, and one couldn't see out of her left eye. So we laid hands on them and prayed & believed God's healing for these women. They were extremely grateful for our prayers, and we invited them to church with us this weekend. They hugged us as we left, and we hoped to see them on Sunday. Friday night, the church held another prayer service, which we helped lead as well. Halfway through the service, the nurse with the eye problem and another friend of hers who had been prayed for as well walked in. We were excited to see them and we made sure to talk to them after the service. They told us that they just had to come to church and find us - because they had been healed. The woman could see and breathe clearly, as did her friend who had suffered the same symptoms. They were overwhelmed with joy and gratefulness. We were thrilled and humbled. They plan to continue to come to church there and find out more about this God who healed them. God had just used us to change these women's lives forever. This is the kind of stuff from the New Testament, not my world. But here is my world, crashing into the kingdom of heaven. It's only been a week and a half into our outreach, and God is already doing miracles all around us. This is what the Christian life is all about.

But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and the ends of the earth. - Acts 1:8


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Botswana Bound!

8:59 AM
Our team actually split into two smaller teams for the next week for some different ministry opportunities. My team would be traveling about 6 hours to Palapye, in the midwest part of the country. The other team was going to Labotse, which is just over the border of South Africa. Getting to Botswana has definitely been one of the most interesting travel experiences I've ever had. My smaller team of 13 loaded up Sunday afternoon in 2 vans and began our trek for the border. It's only about a 2 hour drive, and it went by pretty quick as we took in all the beautiful South Africa landscape along the way. We had to get out at the border for customs and immigration, which is where everything changed. One of our drivers had an invalid passport and wouldn't be allowed to cross the border. Of course, this was the driver that I was with. The other driver's van was so full, that the 6 of us could never fit. So the only choice was to take the first van load into our stop for the night at Labotse, then come back for us. So we walked over to border patrol office, filled out our forms, and just waited. And waited. Don't worry, she came back for us. To avoid paying for a second trip into the country again, the driver had us actually walk across the border and get in her van in Botswana. So I literally walked from South Africa to Botswana! We made it Labotse without any further complications and reunited with our crew for dinner. We stayed the night there, and then started early the next morning for Palapye. Because we were down a vehicle, we now had to walk to the bus station to catch our ride. Luckily, it wasn't too far! We said goodbye to the last familiar face, and headed for Gaborone. Gaborone is the capital, and the largest city in Botswana, and this was where we had to switch buses. It was quite a hassle. People yelling for our attention, trying to sell us things, and all we wanted to do was get on the right bus to our final destination. Thankfully, a kind soul pointed us in the right direction, and we headed north. We arrived in Palapye at a small bus stop by the side of the road. We waited for a man named Pastor Peter to pick us up. We got alot of weird looks at the bus stop with all of our luggage, but I guess we'd just get used to it. Pastor Peter arrived, and he took us to his home, where all the girls would be staying with him, his wife, and 3 kids. It's tight quarters, but its a nice house with internet [yay!] and its a blessing to all be together. We have a busy week of ministry planned, and can't wait to see all the exciting things God's going to do here in Botswana!


Here in Africa

8:50 AM
The Rustenberg base is absolutely beautiful! It looks like a resort on the set of the Lion King more than a missionary base. There's lush vegetation all around, and animals just wandering about. From donkeys to peacocks, to ostriches to chickens, there is quite the wildlife at our fingertips. Most of the team is staying in 2 person cabins, complete with a tin roof. The staff is great and have been so welcoming. The view from the base overlooks the city, which at night you can see lit up like stars. During the day, you are surrounded by mountains. On top of one of those mountains is a prayer chapel, where you can see for miles. I'll be hiking up to that chapel soon. The weather is perfect. It's been a little rainy, but still warm enough for tshirts and shorts. Such a great change of pace from the chilly USA! Our days at Rustenberg have pretty chill, recovering from jetlag and preparing to leave for Botswana in a few days. But settling into life in South Africa has been a pretty easy routine. Not getting too settled though, as we are hitting the road all over again!


Goodbye America, Hello Africa!

8:36 AM
After a winter storm scare, we left North Carolina earlier than planned. It was a bummer to miss out on some ministry opportunities, but if we wanted to be sure we made our flight, we had to get back to sunny FL. So late Saturday night, we got back to Orlando. We spread out through different houses, and got to meet some of the new Winter DTS students. It was actually a blessing to get back earlier, because we were able to catch up on laundry, on packing and organizing, and last minute shopping trips. Tuesday, we were able to go out the property and be part of Family Night as well. It was so fun to reconnect with our YWAM Orlando family again! Wednesday, we packed up the vans and said a final goodbye to the base, and headed to the airport! We gave ourselves plenty of time to get all 25 of us checked in, and things went pretty smoothly. We had our first flight to Atlanta, GA. There was some concern about flying out of Atlanta, because of all the snow and ice the south had been getting, but we made our connection with no problem, and a *short* 14 hours later, we were in Johannesburg, South Africa! OK, short was an exaggeration, it was actually super long, and we couldn't wait to get off the plane. Being on solid ground was a relief. Also a relief...all of bags made it through! Praise Jesus! We were picked up by some staff at the YWAM Rustenberg base, and loaded up for another 2 hour van ride. It was almost 10pm on Thursday night by the time we finally got settled where we were staying. We briefly met the staff, and then went off to a much needed night sleep. We were weary from the travel, but so blessed to finally be in AFRICA.


Thursday, January 6, 2011

A Little Bit of NC

7:30 PM
Well, its a week into my DTS outreach, and just wanted to put together a little update. We've been doing something called "mobile teams" which the stateside part of our outreach, which the purpose is not only serving, but also mobilization [recruiting]. So we drove up to North Carolina, as we have some good contacts up here. The 22 of us piled into 12-passenger vans, and we started the trek...but not without complications! One of our leaders had gotten really sick over Christmas, and hasn't been able to leave her home in Canada, and she wasn't going to be able to join us on during mobile teams. We were bummed, but knew that she needed to be full and healthy before leaving for South Africa in a few weeks! Then, we were supposed to leave super early the morning of the 31st, but because of the snowy weather up north, one of our teammates flights was delayed. So we left after we picked up that afternoon, pushing our drive much later into the night than planned. So we rang in the new year while driving down I-77 in North Carolina. It was quite merry. But we arrived in Thomasville safely, and settled in for the weekend. We were visiting the church of Steve Shamblin, who was one of our speakers during the lecture phase of DTS in Orlando. He was one of our favorite speakers, and when he offered for us to visit, we were than excited. Right off the bat, his team had a time of ministry for us! They prayed over each of and spoke words from God on our lives. The words Steve prayed for me specifically really confirmed what God had already been speaking to me regarding my next steps. It was very encouraging. We had alot of downtime this weekend, which was a blessing. We did do their entire Sunday morning service though. We shared about YWAM/DTS and what our outreach was going to be [I shared on our purity education aspect] and testimonies, did a drama, a dance, and had a time of prayer. It was a full, but exciting morning. It felt so natural to be doing ministry alongside these people, like I've known them my whole life. God has truly knit our team together. On Monday, we left Thomasville and headed over to Burlington, which was only about 45 minutes away. We have been staying at the home church of one our teammates, and they have been the most generous church to serve with. From sleeping arrangements, to food menus, to ministry connections...they have been a blessing. We have spending our days at Haw River Elementary, a lower income area school that this church does alot with. We've just been going to serve in the school in whatever capacity they've needed. And we've definitely been a help! From copies to organizing to reading with kids to bulletin boards, we've been put to work, but its been a blast. Last night [Wednesday] we did the youth service, which was a really good time also. We shared about YWAM and DTS, with the hopes of recruiting students to do a program with YWAM Orlando. Three of us shared testimonies on something God had taught us during DTS. I shared on Lordship, and God really challenged that within me regarding my plans for Cambodia. We did a dance, and had a time for prayer and questions as well. They teens were really receptive, and we even heard that an email came in from a parent of a teen who wants to do a DTS after she graduates this year! So that was pretty cool. Mobile team is not over yet though, we are here until next Monday, when we'll drive back to Orlando and then have a day to transition, and fly out to South Africa on Wednesday! Here's a glimpse of what the rest of my week in NC looks like and some ways you can be praying for me and my team:

-Saturday, we're volunteering with Living Free Ministries, a men's rehabilitation center at a local farm. We will be doing anything and everything from office work to cleaning out horse stalls.
-Sunday morning, we will be doing the entire children's service for 1st - 4th graders [about 75 of them!]. We're planning on sharing about missions, the story of the Good Samaritan and compassion, talk a little about our outreach to S. Africa and even teach them an African children's worship song & dance!
-Sunday night, we will be doing the youth service again, but this team we will be teaching them. It will be the first time implementing our purity material with the whole team teaching it, and I'm pretty nervous/excited. The team has really gotten excited about this focus, and many of them are anxious to communicate the information. We're also during our drama and having a time for more ministry/prayer.

Please be praying for the rest of our mobile team outreach and the people we're encountering. Please pray for the sickness within my team, that they are healed quickly and it doesn't spread. Please pray for Tasha, our leader who is still in Canada healing and recovering. Also lift up her reentry into the States, that she is not delayed in getting back to us. Please also pray for our travel back to Orlando [I'll be driving again!], and our time of preparation there. Also, on Wednesday/Thursday we'll be en route to South Africa, so any and all prayers would be appreciated then as well. Plans changed a little, and we'll be headed to Botswana within a few days of arriving, so I may be out of communication a little longer than expected. But check out the YWAM Orlando website for updates.

Thanks for all your prayers and support. God Bless.