First, forgive typos. We have 15 minutes to update you and that means I probably won't be proofreading. :)
Well, we did finally arrive in South Africa. We soon realized that our luggage decided not to follow us over, despite all of the assurance of United Airlines.
So, smelly and despairing, we made it. Only Saturday afternoon did we finally recieve our luggage. The blessing in all of it is this: We had the perspective of those we were coming to serve much sooner than we ever thought possible. We were gross and smelly and needing a bath. We were the object of charity from some lovely Australians who gave Stef some gear to keep warm at night. And we were forced to realized that when we said, "God, send us, we will give up everything," he intended to remind us that we might have to. In it all, we realized (again) that we would be taken care of no matter what, we are not in control, and that our joy is in no way connected to our things.
That said, what a wonderful day to finally have a change of clothing. What an incredible feeling to shower and put on washed garments. Forgive us what we take for granted.
Also, when we finally unpacked all of our belongings in our icy room at the Mission House, we were ashamed at how much we had. We felt a tremendous guilt. We went from nothing but the clothes on our backs to ridiculous wealth again. And we realized that we really didn't need it after all. (Sigh.) We are Americans. We all have too much stuff. But, oh, to see it in such a clear way - piled high as our poor friends tell us they are happy we got our stuff. I almost think we would have preferred in that shameful moment to have never recieved our bags at all. Needless to say, we are about to go on a giving spree. :)
Thanks for your messages and prayers. We are Ok. And we are learning more - quicker than you might imagine.
Kyle and Stef