SOUTH AFRICA 2007

South Africa ’07 Testimonials

South Africa was an eye opening journey that touched my heart once
again.
Africa is a continent that is in great need of love and compassion.
I was honored to be able to share and receive that from so many
gracious people.

The powerful teens we met touched my heart as they shared the reality
of their struggles and the tenaciousness of their commitment to
the abundant life. The energetic little children we played with
taught me that we can laugh no matter where we are or what we have.
Joy is a choice.

The men and women suffering with HIV/AIDS that we sat with reminded
me that our strength truly comes from the one above and that our
faith is a light for others.

What an incredible life changing experience!! I am so thankful
for all the supporters who made it possible.

Thank you Lord, for all the visible and invisible fruit of this
journey, as well as the fruit to come.

– Elizabeth

This was my first oversees experience. It was awe-inspiring, revealing,
invigorating and holy. I was overwhelmed with these experiences
and many more during my trip. One gift (and it is certainly one
of many) that I am grateful for certainly being a by-product of
experiencing the people of South Africa, is realizing all the things
in my life I claim as significant. I noticed all the petty issues
and inconvenience in life that I subscribe value and significance
to, really to the point of idolatry.

I discovered how much condition and criteria I place on my joy.
In South Africa I sensed a joy in the people (more so even in the
most disenfranchised areas) that was pure and uninhibited by condition.
This was spiritual refreshment I have never tasted before.

Upon returning home as I pulled in my driveway and I noticed I
had a new appreciation for the view of my luxury vehicle (my 5 year
old truck) and my luxury home (average place in the reality of the
Southern California Market), yes South Africa has shifted my perspective.
Forever I believe. South Africa has given me much to be eternally
grateful for.

Since being back I have often wondered if, in my ministry there,
I had given her something of value, if I was a contribution to any
of her many needs. I have also wondered if her needs are as many
as an extremely privileged American like me perceives. I know that
there is plenty of suffering and need in that country and I pray
that many will give themselves to her in love and service.

But I wonder if she has more to give to us than we could ever give
her. And from an eternal perspective if maybe, just maybe, our needs
in the western world – thoroughly camouflaged by the many technological
and monetary conveniences and yet simultaneously illuminated by
how we use such privileges, are equally as dire.

Regardless, I believe that there was an unprecedented exchange
between the GAP mission team and the people we engaged in South
Africa that will produce great value and be an opening of the possibility
available in the being of Jesus Christ far beyond what is fathomable
this side of eternity.

Thank you to all of you made contribution in whatever fashion to
this opportunity. Your investment will be increased many times over!

– Robb Farrell

In three words: freedom, inspiring, love.

I knew when my passport arrived at the eleventh hour and Robb and
I missed our first flight to South Africa that this trip was going
to be powerful! In my time walking with the Lord, He has always
been faithful to grow my faith in little things, as believing He
will get me to South Africa, to prepare my heart for the big adventure.

God is love. He is beauty, mystery, wild, untamable, gracious,
merciful and perfect and yet chooses to use us. Thank You Jesus!

GAP was absolutely incredible. The teens were intelligent, articulate,
FUN, loving, brilliant, authentic, spiritual and changed my life
forever. I saw love at a depth rarely experienced this side of heaven,
I am most certain. We were welcomed into the South African culture
immediately. The teens opened up about their vision for the future
of their own lives, the movement in their community, their country
and continent. POWERFUL!!!

I would not be the least bit surprised if one young man will be
the president of South Africa, another find the cure for AIDS and
another will lead the men in his tribe to mentor other young men.
One young woman will be the next first lady and another an all star
comedian. It was a sight to behold to watch each teen discover and
present their unique gifts, talents and abilities. They were brave,
loving and passionate to stand in three languages and colors as
one united group in the face of their culture so deeply divided
by race to stand with one another. It was an honor to be in their
presence, to be brought into their “worlds” and to love
and be loved. Many re-dedicated their lives to Jesus. Many proclaimed
they came to know God in a fresh, authentic way as never experienced
before over the course of the four days. It was incredible.

After the GAP, we spent some time in a township called Kayamandi.
There we got to be a part of a support group for HIV and TB infected
adults. We held hands and sang a song in a beautiful African melody,
the word “never” repeated over and over again. Looking
around at the team, it was a deeply emotional experience. These
are the heroes people write about: People who have had a T-cell
count of 14 who fight for their lives, love one another and support
one another to take their AZT to live to see tomorrow. They sang
with reckless abandon and looked one another in the eye for long
glances communicating “I know that you know”. We got to
deliver meals to those 25 families. The people said they were blessed
though I know we were the ones receiving the blessing. The work
of God is so awesome that way…I will never understand the depth
of the reciprocal affect of love.

The biggest impact for me came the second to the last day. We delivered
some diapers and other supplies to a day care center in Kayamundi.
With a heart for children, I couldn’t wait to get out of the
van and love on some of the little ones. And then, a pair of bright
brown eyes caught my eyes. I swooped up little Sino and we played
for the entire time we were at the facility. I wanted to take her
home, she captured my heart. I have now learned that two weeks after
our departure Sino died in a fire. The news was heartbreaking and
I have since been marinating in the tangible reminder that God is
unpredictable, wild, spontaneous and perfect.

He calls us to be BIG and BOLD in our service to Him while we have
no control over the outcome. The truth remains to love big means
to hurt big and the eternal perspective being so far out of reach
can feel devastating, at least in moments. When the tears have come,
heartbreak streams out of the left eye and joy from the right at
how much love can be exchanged in a matter of moments when fueled
by authentic love only God can source. When I pray I can hear her
laughter in my ear, feel her little hand holding onto my arm or
around my neck and the feel of her coarse hair against my lips from
when I kissed her head. My lil’ Sino, it’s beautiful to know she
is resting in the arms of Jesus now and giggling with the angels.

Galatians 5:22-25 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love,
joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness
and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who
belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its
passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep
in step with the Spirit.
Let us not become conceited, provoking
and envying one another”.

– Holly Morris

What amazed me the most about this years GAP Africa trip was the
continuous level of team work and servanthood leadership. There
was no Cali team and Tennesee team or MAD team and Africa team.
We were a family with one intention: to see a new revelation for
S. Africa blossom in it’s youth stemming from Godly principle causing
love and life. From the actual training to the work that we were
able to take part in in Kiamundy (sp?) the support that I experienced
was given without restraint.

Hearing the horror stories of childhood that some of our youth
had experienced and seeing ant touching poverty, illness, death,
widowed, orpahaned, and starvation is never acceptable or wanted.
It is, however, mandated by our God that we reach out with His sons
hands as healers, doing whatever it takes to take a stand in His
name. It would be a lie to say that this is easy. In fact, inviting
the heart of Jesus to capture mine completly and live in it “freakin”
hurts and costs more than I am.

But, in the company of those whom I was honored to serve with,
of course I was able to give more than I could imagine! In them,
my heart never grew too weary and my head never had the chance to
drop. Once again, this experiece changed my life. I am now more
aware than ever of the difference it makes when I use the hands
and voice I have been given.

– Sonya J. Gereghty

GAP in South Africa, April, 2007

There are lots of reasons why I’m involved with GAP Youth Ministries
and the friends therein. One of the best reasons is seeing how a
handful of people can help make such a difference in so many lives
in countless ways through pursuit of God’s will and obedience of
Him.

GAP’s four day workshop that I was fortunate to take a part in
Stellenbosch, South Africa was perhaps the most meaningful GAP I’ve
ever been a part. Several of we Americans and even more South Africans
came together and stood for a group of teenagers and their families
that resulted in an experience and creation of friendships that
will always last. I saw the future in the teens that were there.
Some of those teens I fully expect to be amazing future leaders
of their country. So much power and so many gifts were revealed
from this group of people I’m confident we sampled a little bit
of Heaven during this time. It wasn’t easy to help bring about but
GAP is always worth it. This time was especially so. I even had
a small group of geniuses that showed me in no time that the world
can expect great and wonderful things from them if they just choose
to believe it.

I consider myself a good man with good fortune that partly comes
from being with good, Godly people who shower me with love second
only to His own. I see this happen for others in workshops such
as this and am so glad to be a part of it. South Africa will see
GAP again soon perhaps operating autonomously God willing. I know
I’ll be there again soon knowing such a place craves so much what
God has set before them. Things are happening in a big, positive
way in South Africa and I’m proud to be a part of it.

– James Green

This was my first missions trip and I must admit I did not know
what to expect. I know that God aligns circumstances and people
together and on this trip it continually amazed me how intricately
He is involved in our daily lives. I realized how much more aware
we are of Him when we are surrounded with nothing comfortable or
convenient.

The most rewarding experience was to see the transformation in
the faces of the kids who participated in the GAP training. My favorite
aspect of the training however was the testimony of one of our translators
who was caught completely unaware of the depth of the GAP experience
and had an awesome breakthrough in her own life.

Just another proof that God will take each and everyone of us
regardless of the depth of our despair to give us life and freedom
as long as we are willing. He is always “…more then able
to do above and beyond what we can imagine or think…”. When
we choose to take a risk and come out of our comfort zone He will
meet us with more then enough. I am so thankful for this opportunity
from our sponsors.

Adelina