I had the privilege of making a road trip to the beautiful Durban, South Africa (Which I will refer to as Durbs from here on out, because the locals will appreciate it) with my co-worker Sandra & her husband this weekend. Sandra & Cyril are such an incredible, tender hearted, power couple. I sincerely enjoyed the conversations we had on the road!
I had my first Tramezzini on the road, which is an Italian snack sandwich. I have found it quite interesting how many Italian restaurants are found in South Africa. I still have not found the answer to why Italian food is so popular here, but I will report back when I know. It could simply be due to the fat that Italian food is always Lekker.
When we arrived Friday evening, I met Jeanette David. Jeanette leads the JAM Programmes in KwaZulu-Natal. I had the privilege of staying with her family in Umhlanga all weekend. Jeanette has two sons and a daughter. They are all entrepreneurial and spiritual warriors! The Lord absolutely has a hand on their lives and I am so excited to see the fruit of their future! I was well loved and absolutely spoiled by this family. I experienced challenging conversations, wisdom, and laughter being in their presence.
This was my lovely view for the weekend from their gorgeous home. The Lord definitely put some extra time in creating this place!
On Friday evening I met with my friend Bryn who I know through Bands that JAM for Africa endeavors & my music industry job back at Ditto Music in Nashville. Bryn is in a South African band called Yorke that is truly making waves internationally. You can check them out here:
Bryn & his friends invited me to a hip hop show that an American act was playing at a place called Freedom Cafe. This was the epic view! It was a great first introduction to Durbs!
On Saturday morning, I had some of the most fulfilling spiritual conversations on the veranda with my host Jeanette. Jeanett continued to pour into me. I felt so encouraged and invincible just being around her!
I decided to explore Umhlanga a bit so I went down to the beach and spent some time alone by a lighthouse. There is a peace and comfort in Durbs that I truly haven’t experienced anywhere else. It was as if there was a spiritual covering over this city and it’s people. I had some very productive thinking time throughout the weekend in this place. I truly refueled me and lifted my spirit!
In the evening, I joined Bryn & his friends for a movie night. I felt as if I was experiencing my friend group in Nashville as doppelgangers with South African accents. It was as if God picked me straight up out of a map from Nashville and placed me with a community of people in Durbs that He knew would encourage and inspire me.
Sunday was a very productive thinking day for me back at the lighthouse. I was able to simply praise God because He is, not because He answered my question of why I was there or what my purpose was in that moment, but just loving and thanking the Lord for the opportunity to be exactly where He wants me to be.
My friend Alex picked me up in the afternoon. Alex and I have been working together nearly 2 years via Skype and it was my first time meeting him! Again, it was a divine connection from the Lord. Alex works for an incredible NGO called LIV Village in Durban and has such a heart for the Lord, people, and positive music. We got along swimmingly! Alex joined me for church at Olive Tree where Bryn is part of the worship team. We were so blessed by the message and worship.
I continued on with Bryn after church for his bandmates birthday party. As an introvert, I spent a lot of my time there observing. Through my observations, I again found myself in awe of where the Holy Spirit led me. I was welcomed so warmly by these people and was surrounded by the joy that radiated through them.
On Monday, I had the privilege of meeting the JAM team that resides in Durban. I attended the JAM feeding programmes in Durban at a creche in Adelaide Township. Nothing fills my heart more than being around these children and seeing the joy in their faces when the JAM porridge is being prepared by the creche mama. The monitor of the school explained that Jeanette and I are the woman from the place that brings the red bowls & food and a child immediately ran to me and embraced me as if he had known me his whole life. It was the sweetest, most perfect example of the impact JAM is making on the lives of these children. I am so glad I was able to see JAM’s impact in another province of this country. It is a testament of the scalability and need of their work!
I felt the Holy Spirit lead me to Durban last week and I did not know why, but was obedient to the call. God managed to open up every door that I set foot to walk through. He absolutely provided divine friendships and experiences for me. I am so thankful for God’s provision. I absolutely loved Durbs and cannot wait to return.