I love South Africa, it’s people and running. This is my story of how God brought these passions together, challenging my doubts that God could ever use an ordinary person like me.
For as long as I can remember, I’ve had a desire to work with the poor. When I became a Christian this desire only intensified. I began to learn, on a deeper level, how God’s heart breaks for people. For a long time I experienced a lot of despair with the situation in South Africa. I would wonder what one, young, naïve girl could do to be part of the solution.
I met many young people who had the same heart. I knew God was highlighting the same things to them.
But what could I do?
GOD’S LOVE FOR THE CHILDREN OF SOUTH AFRICA
My first year at Stellenbosch University was incredible for many reasons. One such reason was that it was the year where I first watched the Liv Village documentary. I remember weeping and weeping as I heard Tich Smith, founder of Liv, explain God’s vision for the orphan.
I remember thinking: This is what God is up to in our country. This is part of the plan for South Africa.
God truly did something major in my heart as I sat there taking it all in. All that I desired for South Africa was portrayed in this one video – and most important of all God wasn’t just a side note – God was at the centre of the plan and vision. It was God’s heart for the hurt and broken. His was desire to restore and rebuild lives that was on display for all the world to see.
I knew in that moment that I wanted to be part of it. It was then that I believe God called me into this amazing journey. Initially, I had always pictured myself working at Liv Durban but here I find myself at Liv Lanseria, just outside of Johannesburg. It seems that God knew what I needed before I did. I am so grateful that He orchestrated this despite me and my whims.
USING MY RUNNING FOR GOD’S KINGDOM
During that same year at Stellenbosch University, I discovered another passion of mine, running.
It became a crucial part of my life. I would love to feel the wind on my face and earth under my feet. Most of all, it was time alone with the Lord. Little did I know that God would unite these two passions just a few years later here at Liv Lanseria.
No South African can deny that we are a sport mad nation. Sport continues to amaze me with its ability to unite people and break down boundaries. This is what I believe the Liv2Run running club will be.
Liv2Run launched at the beginning of this year and we currently have 30 children from the local informal settlement training with us every week. We do the Lanseria Park Run most Saturdays. It has been incredible to see God using the club. Most kids didn’t have takkies when we started but so many clubs donated pairs. I now have over 60 pairs of takkies in my cupboard!
Liv2Run has become a place to talk about never giving up, the importance of hard work but also a place for friendship, fun and discipleship. I am still learning everyday what it is to do life with these children but God is faithfully teaching me. Although we are still in the early stages, I am excited to see how God is using a small running club to engage the kids and those who are partnering with us in the journey.
I have no doubt that God is at work in South Africa. I am learning every day that He wants to use us. All God needs is a willing and obedient heart.