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WHEN I WENT HIKING IN PERU: PART I: THE YOUNG TOKEN BLACK GIRL

May 14, 2018

 

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For over three years, my ex-hiking group, me included, had been trying to do this trip. But it just didn’t happen. If it wasn’t politics affecting the rand, it was hiking permit problems. If it wasn’t hiking permit problems, it was people pulling out of the trip. Finally, I decided that I was going to grab the next opportunity come hell or high waters (never say that cause hell and high waters will come ) to tick this trip off my bucket list.

When my other friend pulled out of the trip three months before we were supposed to go, I was a bit shattered. In her defense, the planning of the trip was not going well as our agent was not doing due diligence on the planning side. So she pulled out. Leaving me to be the only black girl among white people. Normally I don’t mind this. I mean, I live in Cape Town, it’s a way of life. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I actually met the crew that I would be on this expedition with. All old. All white. All Afrikaans.  I just wanted to say “earth swallow me now.” (Translate that to Setswana for impact)

At the first breakfast, where we all officially met, they were going on and on in Afrikaans talking to each other and totally ignoring me. Then one of them asked me, “Liratu, do you not speak Afrikaans?”

Me:      No (include some attitude with reading the ‘me’ parts.)
Her:     What was your second language in school?
Me:      I didn’t study a second language?
Her:     You just studied English?
Me:      No, I studied Setswana and English, both 1st language. But I also speak 4 other South African languages, would you like to converse in these?
Her:     I don’t know them. But don’t you want to learn Afrikaans?
Me:      I have  5 other South African languages to learn before I get to Afrikaans, including sign language, and by the time I get to even consider learning Afrikaans, it will probably be my time to die, so no.

And then another one jumped in: “Well Liratu, if you feel that you need us to speak English, please let us know.”

Me:      I shouldn’t have to tell you. I thought YOU PEOPLE (yeah I went there), thought that it’s rude to speak another language if you don’t understand it?”

With that, I decided that I was on this trip by myself. I gently said the words of Steve Biko to myself. “Black (wo)man, you are on your own!”

I  took some time out to ask God why He was doing this to me? Why was I there with Apartheid South African?  Why were there no young(er)people on this trip? Why were there no voluntarily English speaking people on this trip?   Brook Benton’s song “why Lord why” rang in my head. What lesson was God trying to teach me?

The past couple of weeks before this trip, My friend Afikile and I had been talking quite a bit about the relationship between race and God. And how God has called us to LOVE. Love in spite of not wanting to Love.  John 13: 34-35 says ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I was like Lord! Nor maaan!  Is this really the lesson? You want me to love these people? Whhyy????  * cues Brook Benton again. * Here’s a lesson I was sure I did not want to learn. I was okay with not loving these people.

Then He reminded me how several weeks before, I had written a blog about loving your neighbour, and how excited I was about someone else spreading that message. It was now my turn. God got me there. Yooooo bafwethu!

I wrestled with this every single minute that I spent with those people. I can’t say the trip ended with me having changed my mind and having decided that they were my new BFF’s. I can’t honestly sit here and say that I love those people now. Nope I don’t.

But I came up with my own reasons as to why I was there with them, as opposed to it having been a solo trip.

  1. To take pictures of me. (Lol)
  2. To have priority boarding preferences because I was travelling with senior citizens
  3. To not be a drug mule victim (single black girl in South America is never good). More detail in the last part of this series.

As for the loving them part? The Jury is still out on that, and God and I are still talking  about it.

However  – for the few moments were I stretched myself and offered to help, (I’m not that bad a person), I guess they took notice. I started a whatsapp group prior to the trip for easier communication (I hadn’t met them then);  I helped out with information where necessary (cause this wasn’t my 1st mountain expedition) I helped tie a shoe lace here and there (when they struggled with back problems); I helped with heavy backpacks if they needed help. I shared a rain coat with another.

One of the ladies, who had not said much to me the whole trip, and who spoke the deepest deepest Afrikaans gave me a hug at the end and said to me,  “Liratu, baaie dankie hoor, for all your help,” she said “You were God’s blessing on this trip.” If I didn’t have a mini-heart-attack then, I’ll never have one.” So those small random acts of kindness (love) were seen and appreciated after all. God’s little ways of saying to someone else “I am here for you,” – can happen through you.

Still – me and God are still debating this matter.

Net for control, at the end of the trail, I slightly raised my “Amandla” fist, just to ensure that “Winnie Mandela has multiplied.”

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To be continued…..
Love Always
Lerato Molele

 

 

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WHEN I WENT HIKING IN PERU: PART I: THE TOKEN YOUNG BLACK GIRL

May 14, 2018

 

IMG_1881.jpg IMG_2872.jpg

For over three years, my ex-hiking group, me included, had been trying to do this trip. But it just didn’t happen. If it wasn’t politics affecting the rand, it was hiking permit problems. If it wasn’t hiking permit problems, it was people pulling out of the trip. Finally, I decided that I was going to grab the next opportunity come hell or high waters (never say that cause hell and high waters will come ) to tick this trip off my bucket list.

When my other friend pulled out of the trip three months before we were supposed to go, I was a bit shattered. In her defense, the planning of the trip was not going well as our agent was not doing due diligence on the planning side. So she pulled out. Leaving me to be the only black girl among white people. Normally I don’t mind this. I mean, I live in Cape Town, it’s a way of life. I didn’t realize how bad it was until I actually met the crew that I would be on this expedition with. All old. All white. All Afrikaans.  I just wanted to say “earth swallow me now.” (Translate that to Setswana for impact)

At the first breakfast, where we all officially met, they were going on and on in Afrikaans talking to each other and totally ignoring me. Then one of them asked me, “Liratu, do you not speak Afrikaans?”

Me:      No (include some attitude with reading the ‘me’ parts.)
Her:     What was your second language in school?
Me:      I didn’t study a second language?
Her:     You just studied English?
Me:      No, I studied Setswana and English, both 1st language. But I also speak 4 other South African languages, would you like to converse in these?
Her:     I don’t know them. But don’t you want to learn Afrikaans?
Me:      I have  5 other South African languages to learn before I get to Afrikaans, including sign language, and by the time I get to even consider learning Afrikaans, it will probably be my time to die, so no.

And then another one jumped in: “Well Liratu, if you feel that you need us to speak English, please let us know.”

Me:      I shouldn’t have to tell you. I thought YOU PEOPLE (yeah I went there), thought that it’s rude to speak another language if you don’t understand it?”

With that, I decided that I was on this trip by myself. I gently said the words of Steve Biko to myself. “Black (wo)man, you are on your own!”

I  took some time out to ask God why He was doing this to me? Why was I there with Apartheid South African?  Why were there no young(er)people on this trip? Why were there no voluntarily English speaking people on this trip?   Brook Benton’s song “why Lord why” rang in my head. What lesson was God trying to teach me?

The past couple of weeks before this trip, My friend Afikile and I had been talking quite a bit about the relationship between race and God. And how God has called us to LOVE. Love in spite of not wanting to Love.  John 13: 34-35 says ‘A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another.”

I was like Lord! Nor maaan!  Is this really the lesson? You want me to love these people? Whhyy????  * cues Brook Benton again. * Here’s a lesson I was sure I did not want to learn. I was okay with not loving these people.

Then He reminded me how several weeks before, I had written a blog about loving your neighbour, and how excited I was about someone else spreading that message. It was now my turn. God got me there. Yooooo bafwethu!

I wrestled with this every single minute that I spent with those people. I can’t say the trip ended with me having changed my mind and having decided that they were my new BFF’s. I can’t honestly sit here and say that I love those people now. Nope I don’t.

But I came up with my own reasons as to why I was there with them, as opposed to it having been a solo trip.

  1. To take pictures of me. (Lol)
  2. To have priority boarding preferences because I was travelling with senior citizens
  3. To not be a drug mule victim (single black girl in South America is never good). More detail in the last part of this series.

As for the loving them part? The Jury is still out on that, and God and I are still talking  about it.

However  – for the few moments were I stretched myself and offered to help, (I’m not that bad a person), I guess they took notice. I started a whatsapp group prior to the trip for easier communication (I hadn’t met them then);  I helped out with information where necessary (cause this wasn’t my 1st mountain expedition) I helped tie a shoe lace here and there (when they struggled with back problems); I helped with heavy backpacks if they needed help. I shared a rain coat with another.

One of the ladies, who had not said much to me the whole trip, and who spoke the deepest deepest Afrikaans gave me a hug at the end and said to me,  “Liratu, baaie dankie hoor, for all your help,” she said “You were God’s blessing on this trip.” If I didn’t have a mini-heart-attack then, I’ll never have one.” So those small random acts of kindness (love) were seen and appreciated after all. God’s little ways of saying to someone else “I am here for you,” – can happen through you.

Still – me and God are still debating this matter.

Net for control, at the end of the trail, I slightly raised my “Amandla” fist, just to ensure that “Winnie Mandela has multiplied.”

f53b93a0-4bd8-4857-922e-42be406f0fd6.JPG

 

To be continued…..
Love Always
Lerato Molele

 

 

THE RESURRECTION OF MATTERS OF THE HEART

April 10, 2018

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“I don’t want to do it anymore, “she told Him. “Why?” He asked. My heart is just not in it anymore. And I’m tired.” He didn’t really have a say in the matter because she had already made up her mind. Nothing He said would have convinced her otherwise at that moment in time.

This was a conversation between God and myself in 2015 when I stopped writing. I was brain dead. I had no more write in me. I had simply just lost the passion. But that was not it. I had also realised how I had made writing about myself more than I had made it about God. My blogs were not Holy Spirit inspired anymore. I had overtaken what God had given me to do and had left Him behind. So I stopped.  I’m not really sure if God gave me permission to stop or I just did it anyway, but I stopped. Several months later I tried scrambling a sentence here and there, but it didn’t work.

Over the next 2 years, I consistently had people who would get in touch with me and ask me when I was going back to writing. My answer was consistent. “I have a few issues to sort out with God, and when He’s ready for me to get back to it, I will.” Lentu Padi (God bless your gentle soul) is someone who every week/month would ask “When?”. I would get great ideas and amazing stories in my head that I felt I needed to share, but I still maintained that until God Himself told me to start again, I was not going to do it in my own strength.

My big brother from another mother, Lore would constantly encourage me to “just go for it and it will all come back.” One time, I tried. I sent an email to my mailing group and didn’t follow up after that. Until I heard a big loud deep voice from the sky say to me, “LERATO YOU CAN START WRITING AGAIN,” I was not going to move.

And then it happened…

I had booked for a beach horse-ride in Noordhoek for a certain Saturday afternoon. On the morning of the ride-day, they called me to say they couldn’t accommodate me, as they were full. I moved it out to another Saturday. On that particular Saturday I got hit by a tummy bug and I was as sick as a dog. I moved it out again. To a Saturday in Easter. Easter was a weird time to do it, but I thought ‘do it and get it over and done with’. I rode, and after the ride I decided to take a drive through Chapman’s peak.  It was sun-set so I stopped to admire God’s beauty and take it all in. A bunch of people stopped by and I asked one of them to take a picture of me. The guy who did, took a beautiful picture. I thanked him and as I walked to my car to continue my drive, a lady who was with them, stopped and asked me “Please can we take a picture with you.” “Sure” I responded.

They continued to tell me how they are from Switzerland, and have a “ministry called “Love Your Neighbour.” They go all over the world sharing the message of loving people as inspired by Christ. I have ministry in inverted commas, because it’s a clothing line that they have but the root of it is grounded in Christ and the message of caring for others.

They blessed me with a t-shirt, asked to take a picture of  me in it. I obliged. We swapped Instagram details and I got in my car and drove off. As I was driving I was so inspired and kept saying to the God, “Wow, these guys are amazing! Lord I wanna change the world like that. They are not necessarily blown up in a celebrity kinda way but if they had that level effect on me, how much more on other people.” And that still gentle voice said to me, “You can do it too. Start writing again.”  It wasn’t a loud deep voice from the sky. It was the sweet gentle voice of the Holy Spirit.

I burst into tears. I pulled over by the side of the road and had a conversation with God about writing, that I had actually never had before.

Me:      For real Lord, can I go ahead again?
Him:    No not again, we are starting over.
Me:      Does it still remain “Matters of the heart?
Him:    Yep. But this time around, I’m in charge, not you.  Before you were doing it in my permissible will. Now I want you to do it in my perfect will. Before you were chasing numbers of followers and other things. Now I am going to do it, and if you never get a response from anyone, or it only touches one life, it’s okay.
Me:      Aye Aye captain. Take over. Do what you gotta do.

On Resurrection Sunday morning as I woke up to pray, I asked Him, Lord, so what’s the first one going to be about, and He said to me, since it’s resurrection day, call it the resurrection of MOTH. I was like “mmhhhh you so smart.”

And He lead me to the most important commandment in Matthew 22:37-38. Love the Lord your God  with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. “Go on” God said. Verse 39: Love Your neighbour as you love yourself. “Your version of loving your neighbour is Matters of the Heart” He said.

I was totally besides myself. Because looking back at how things transpired in God giving me the thumbs up, it can’t have been anything or anyone else but Him. Cancelled horse-riding session, tummy bug to keep me at home. I had to be at the right place at the right time. My Swiss friends had to be at the right place at the right time for God to confirm it to me. How is that for ordered steps?

In summary: Matters of the Heart is back.

Please make sure to follow the Love Your Neighbour movement
Instagram:       @loveyourneighbour, @michael_studer and @tognidavid
And pray for them to continue doing what they are doing.

Love Always
Lerato Molele

CAPE TOWN: THIN LINE BETWEEN LOVE & HATE

March 4, 2018

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The move to Cape Town for anyone who is not from the Mother City is not any easy one. Being on holiday and living in Cape Town are two totally different things. Let’s get that clear right now. Waking up in the morning in Camps Bay with a sea-side view, is totally different from sitting in peak-time traffic during the week. Here’s my Cape Town story:

A couple of years ago, I made the move to the Mother City.  At the time, it was the best decision I could have made. I needed a change. I was looking for something new. But, also for the longest time, God had been saying to me “Forget the former things, I am doing a new thing.” Isaiah 43:18-19.  So, He created an opportunity which I took it with both hands. He opened doors that I walked through, and through it all, He ordered my steps.

Somewhere along the line, I lost direction and took a wrong turn. I lost the purpose of why He had brought me to CT. I stopped looking forward, and I looked back. I was like the children of Israel having left Egypt for the Promised Land, and because I was wandering in the desert at the time, I cried to go back to Egypt.  Not only did I cry about it, I actually packed and went back to Jo’burg.  The “weirdness” of Cape Town (and CT is weird, beautiful but weird), made me go back to Jozi.

The day I moved back, I knew that I had made a mistake. I spent the next 18 months after that trying to find my way back to Cape Town. But as weird as Cape Town was, Joburg had become a stranger to me. I was back in Egypt. I thought I had moved back for my friends, but they were nowhere to be found and were busy with their own lives. I thought I had moved back to be physically closer to family, but we were really not any closer than we were before. I thought I had moved back because I was going back to my church and my home-cell. But I discovered that I just didn’t belong anymore. I felt more alone in Joburg than I had ever had before. The only thing that kept me sane and cushioned me during that period was work (God bless you #TeamRed).

But because God is a God of second chances, He ordered my steps back to the Mother City. But this time around I was ‘woke’ about what I was getting myself into. Cape Town is still weird – no doubt, But my eyes had opened up and my mind was renewed.

What is the problem with Cape Town you ask?

  1. There are waaaay too many white people.
  2. It’s an expensive place to live.
  3. People are clingy.
  4. The wind has a way of regularly giving you a bad hair day.
  5. Water

However my real beef with CT is the people. When I came back, I tried to reconnect with old (black) associates, and tried to make friends with (black) people. But alas. My many failed attempts on “let’s do drinks, let’s go for dinner, let’s hangout” remained exactly that. Failed attempts. With many a response being, “Sure, I’ll let you know,” or basic disappearing with no responses at all. I found myself hanging out with the very same Joburgers who weren’t available in Joburg, in Cape Town.

Alas, I am one of the few lucky ones. God is good and He has blessed me with amazing friends in the Mother City.

So…

If you can find a way around being around too many white people…If you can find a way to afford and enjoy living in CT…If you can find a way of being a loner and doing things alone…If you can be less expecting of people…Then You will love it here.

CAPE TOWN: It’s either you love it or you hate it.

MPONDOLAND: A HIKE WITH A CAUSE

January 5, 2017

Over a year since my last blog! Shame on me. Now that we got that out the way… Here goes…

There I was, searching for destinations to visit, because there’s nothing as horrible as spending the period between Christmas and New Years in Johannesburg. Of course I was rather later in my search, and a majority of the places I was looking at were fully booked. But alas, there is a God.

One random day a poster popped up on my Whatsapp, advertising an Mpondoland hike. No deliberating was needed. It was an immediate “Go for it.” I booked, got my unfit self ready, and straight after Christmas went to see what the Eastern Cape terrain had.

The territory known as Pondoland or, more correctly Mpondoland, incorporates the divisions of Bizana, Libode, Ngqeleni, Port St John’s, Tabankulu, and Umsikaba, and the plan was to walk the hills with pauses at the villages.

I wasn’t really sure what to expect. All I knew was that I was going hiking (cause it’s what I do right. I hike). Arrival time where we spent the first night was after dark, so I didn’t get to see much of the surroundings. I was rather disappointed at how things were disorganized that night, and the dissatisfied side of me saw me going to sleep rather angry (yes.. yes… don’t go to sleep angry. ok got it.)

team

The next day the trail quickly made me forget the previous nights unhappiness. All I could say was, “WOW – BEAUTIFUL.” Mpondoland coast stretches along the Indian ocean, and has the most beautiful beaches. Un-populated and secluded, the beaches are hidden treasures, which in my opinion should never be discovered by the typical holiday maker.  The rest of the trail was amazing. Not as mountainous as I expected, but nonetheless holds beautiful stretches of green land. The area can  be explained in one word: EXQUISITE.

pano

river  people-beachwalk

As much as the trail and the landscape was lovely, what fascinated me more was that this was not just another “let’s go and discover new territory” hike. I later found out that this was actually a hike with a cause. BREARD Foundation, the organizing company that plans these hikes, have a good cause as to why they do what they do. The proceeds end up back in the communities and villages around Mpondoland.

As we trail from one village to another, we are hosted by the locals. They provide us with shelter, cook us the most amazing meals and share their culture with us. I’m still on about the food. Seven colours every-day. This is food-heaven for me ‘cause nothing beats a HOME cooked meal. I don’t mean the fancy home cooked meals we cook in the burbs, I mean good-wholesome-cooked-like-granny-used- to-cook kinda meals. * licks lips.* I digress. The locals hosting us means that they get some form of financial input into their households, and believe me, it’s needed.

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The proceeds of the monies for the hike also go towards socially uplifting educational programs. This time around, BREARD Foundation invested in purchasing brands new school shoes which were distributed to the local children. On any given day these kids walk 5-15km daily to get to and from school. It was humbling, mainly because I was unaware that there was a cause in it all, secondly because it was so cool to see the beautiful hearts of the people that run this foundation having so much passionate about investing into their communities. Jesus said it himself in Luke 6:38 “Give and it shall be given to you.” James 1:27 says  “ Real religion, the kind that passes muster before God, is this: Reach out to the homeless and loveless in their plight…”

shoes-giveaway

It challenged my complacent self to want to do better. Perfect way to end 2016 and start 2017.

dessert  beachwalk

Should you ever want to:  explore your fitness levels, see the beauty of the Mpondoland, indulge in good food, have fun with crazy people and learn more about the Xhosa culture, give back to humanity, all at one go, make sure you making a booking via BREARD Foundation. Email: info@breardfoundation.org.

Until the next one…

“In all things of nature, there is something of the marvelous.”- Aristotle

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BASECAMP EVEREST HIKE: WHEN GOD SAYS YES

May 18, 2015

when God

I have had a lot of people asking me to share my Everest Basecamp (EBC) trip. I have thought of the shortest possible way to try and tell this story from beginning to end. Unfortunately this cannot be done in one single blog. Hence a book is on the way (Why not).

My blogs also usually have a sentimental meaningful message attached to them, some life lessons of sorts, and because every single minute spent in Nepal had a lesson attached to it, it was also hard trying to summarize and put all of them together. So I have had to choose one, and hence the subject of today’s blog: WHEN GOD SAYS YES!

Hiking EBC was not something I thought I would do anytime soon. It was in my bucket list, but I did not see myself doing it in the next 2 years, because the mention of “Everest” was clouded by the thought of walking along a trail covered with corpses as one tried to figure out how to stay alive. This is the picture the world has painted about hiking the highest mountain in the world.

After our hiking group failed to secure hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, a good friend of mine, Lilly Seema told me about another group that were planning on going to EBC. I thought to myself… oh well, why not, go for it. I started and continued to pray about the trip long before it happened, and as the departure date grew closer and closer I prayed even more.

I had not been training as I usually would, and I had just gone through an emotionally challenging streak in my love life, and as much as my body was not prepared for challenge, my mind was also all over the place. The day I was supposed to leave, as I sat on my couch waiting for my friend Portia to pick me up, I thought about chickening out of the trip. But the thought of losing out on my financial investment quickly brought me back to reality.

As Portia walked through my front door all excited, she asked me, “Are you ready?” – My response was, “I’m not going anymore.” She laughed at me and dragged my suitcase out the house to the car. That was the end of that conversation (LOL).

Fast-forward. Flying to Kathmandu, required connecting in Dubai. We (being our group), landed in Dubai as scheduled. I quickly felt the need to share on twitter that we had landed and were headed to Kathmandu. I got a response, “Are you aware that there has been an earthquake in Nepal.” I shared that little piece of information with the group, and our unanimous response was one of ignorance, “Oh these things happen.” When I heard that it was an 7.8 magnitude earthquake, I quickly thought back to standard 5 geography lesson to figure out what was the highest magnitude the Richter scale hit. “Eight” – I thought to myself. “wait no, it’s 9. No Molele it’s eight.” Then I realized how big this problem was.

As I was still involved with my thoughts, one of the airport officials walked towards me, with a smile on his face. “Kathmandu?” he asked with a slight whisper. I nodded. “Do you know what’s happened there?” I whispered back, “There’s been an earthquake.” He nodded. “Yes,” he responded, “and the Kathmandu airport is now closed.” A feeling of despair went straight to the bottom of my heart.

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We looked for a spot and settled in making ourselves comfortable, as we waited for an inevitable end. Five hours later, we were still waiting. I watched Google, Facebook, Twitter and every other piece of media to see what was going on where we were destined to go. Then more news hit. Basecamp had been swept by an avalanche! “Whoa! Noooo! Why Lord! I really don’t want to go back home not having conquered this trail. I don’t want to take this trip again next year. It has to happen now!” And then I remembered, Katlego Letheo was up on that mountain.
A couple of weeks before, I had learnt of an amazing woman who had left to try and conquer and summit the mountain. Not Basecamp. Hers was to make it to the top of Everest. I stalked her a bit on twitter and we ended up swapping telephone numbers. I immediately texted her to check if she was ok. She responded. She was ok. She was on the Tibet side of the mountain, not Nepal. There was no immediate danger on that side. Relief.

We continued to wait to hear if there would be any flights to Kathmandu at all. By sunset, it was clear that there was no hope. The domestic part of the airport was filled with Nepali residents who were desperate to get home to their families. Amongst the crowd, we met a young lady who had been studying in the US, who was headed home to get married. She hadn’t been home in 7 years, and this one time when she was going home, the earth shook.

By this point in time I was saddened more by the fact that I would have to go back home with my tail between my legs, than by the lives that had been lost in Kathmandu (It’s selfish I know, but that was the reality at that time). The fact that I was bombarded with calls and messages by concerned family and friends  back home didn’t help. They all sang one song, “Come back home, you can always do it again next year.” No matter what anyone said, going back  was not an option.

I found a secluded corner at that packed airport and had a conversation with God.
Me: Lord, WTH… (Ok – I didn’t put it like that). What’s going on? Why is this happening?
God: *Silence*
Me: Please tell me what to do? Should I continue? Should I go back home?
God: *Silence*
Me: Lord, if you knew this was going to happen, why did you allow me to come this far. What’s the point of flying all the way to the Dubai airport? It doesn’t make sense.
God: *silence*

I hate those times when God just doesn’t say a thing. They are my worst.

Me: Aiiiiight Lord. Be like that!

I opened twitter to check messages, and a verse popped out at me.
“REMEMBER THAT I HAVE COMMANDED YOU TO BE DETERMINED AND CONFIDENT. DO NOT BE AFRAID OR DISCOURAGED, FOR I THE LORD YOUR GOD AM WITH YOU WHERE EVER YOU GO. JOSHUA 1:9. (It came out exactly like that. Good News Translation.)

God: There you go.
Me: Then onwards we go Lord.

Long Story Short: The airlines arranged entry Visa’s into Dubai, we were booked in a hotel and spent the night there. Next flight to Kathmandu was for 14h30 the following day. By 11h00 the next day we were at the airport, excited and happy that we were finally going. Just as we arrived at the airport… Breaking News: 6.8 Magnitude aftershock hit Kathmandu, and Kathmandu airport is closed. Whooooaaa!
At that point I had lost 90% of any hope of making it to EBC. Then we heard that Lukla airport (where the trail actually starts) was jam packed with people trying to get out, and that making it to there was near impossible. That was my ultimate its-all-over minute.

My conversation with God after that:
Me: Daddy, if this flight is cancelled, then I will give up and go back home.
God: Aiight girl.

An announcement came to say that further flights to Kathmandu had been delayed.

Me: Lord, I said cancelled, not delayed
God: Aiiight girl.

An hour and half later, we boarded a flight to Kathmandu and were on our way. 5 hours later, in the middle of the night, we landed in Kathmandu to a devastating airport. Cracked floors, cracked walls, luggage all over the place, aid packages lying around, and very few officials at work. After 3 hours we finally received our luggage and made it to our hotel. I won’t get into the details of how that first night was. You are going to have to buy the book to get more details.

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Fast Forward:
Lukla is the most dangerous airport in the world; seriously – Google it. If it’s raining, flights can’t land there. If it’s misty/cloudy, flights can’t land there. As Murphy would have it, 2 days later, the day we were supposed to fly to Lukla, it was overcast without any hope of the sun coming out. *sigh* Once again we were stuck at the airport for a full day waiting for the weather to clear. It didn’t. We went back to the hotel saddened by the fact that we were losing all opportunities of making it to Basecamp. If we didn’t get on a flight the next day, it was all over.

Conversation between God and me:
Me: Lord, you gave me that Joshua verse Dude. You said you would be with me where ever I go.
God: Yes… and? I’m here ain’t I?
Me: Look, if Joshua can pull off that making-the-sun-stand-still thing, so can I right? Well the weather better be clear tomorrow. Please sort it out.
God: Let it be done according to your faith.

The next day the sun was up just in time for us to take off and land in Lukla, and the moment we landed, it started raining. The trek could officially begin. I was so happy!

We started off by having tea in a nearby tea-house where there were a lot of people who had turned back from trekking because of the earthquake and avalanche. They had nothing but negative and scary things to say, “The trail is damaged. There’s gonna be another earthquake. You can’t go up.” The ultimate was a gentleman from Taiwan who felt the need to sternly reprimand us and scare the wits out of us. He even managed to bring one of our team members to tears, “Do you people have earthquakes where you come from?” he asked shouting across the room. “No? Well we do, and when there’s an earthquake, you stay away from the mountains before they land in unstable. You people are crazy to go up.” Now that got to us. BUT we went on…..
The point is, when God says yes, no-one and nothing can stop something from happening. Besides the long hauls at the airport, there were no more quakes until we finished trekking. We were always safe. Because most people had turned back, we practically had the trail to ourselves.
Even the delays at the airport were part of God’s plan for us to make it. Had we arrived a day earlier, we would have been shaken by the earthquake and probably decided not to trek. Everything worked out PERFECTLY, Because God said “I will be with you.” He had already said YES, so nothing and no one could stop that trip. When God has given you a Word, stick to it with dear life. Don’t listen to any other murmurings from other people. Focus and meditate on His Word. Don’t be deterred. Keep your eyes on Him.

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways submit to Him and He will make your paths straight” – Proverbs 3:5-6

That’s it for now….. Will share more soon…

PHYSICAL FITNESS vs SPIRITUAL FITNESS

March 12, 2015

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I love working out. I love physically challenging activities, and if there is one thing I don’t compromise on, it’s keeping and maintaining fitness. Not just to look good, but because it makes me feel good too. Most people focus on their health once it’s too late. I just love the feeling of feeling good.
So I have a proper training schedule. I have set days when I run, set days when I cycle, set times when I go to gym, and I try my best not to fault on these set time. I prefer to go to gym at lunch time, when it’s not full, and I don’t have to wait for machines, or share space with too many people. Plus, it invigorates me so that afternoons aren’t dreary and tiresome.
Today in particular (Thursday 12 March), I did not feel like going to gym. I was driving from a client meeting back to my office and I thought to myself, “It’s ok to miss one day girl… rest.” But I found myself driving straight to gym anyway. And I ended up having an awesome work out.
As I walked to the changing rooms after my work out session, I thought to myself, “Sheesh, I feel great! I didn’t feel like coming today, but that was great!” Immediately that soft still voice of the Holy Spirit said to me, “Imagine how you would feel if you did the same with your prayer time.” Selah. I literally stopped walking, paused and froze for a minute.
He’s the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I have time scheduled for my prayer time as well. My alarm is set for 04h30 in the morning, in order for me to have my quite time at 05h00. (Yes, it takes time for me to actually wake up, I need to snooze it least 3 times before I’m actually awake). Sometimes… ok a lot of times, I snooze for about an hour and half, as I keep covering myself with the duvet and saying, “Yes Lord, I’m gonna get up now now and give you my undivided attention.” The next thing I know its 06h30 and I actually have to shower and get ready for work, and I hit Him with a, “ We’ll chat properly later” as I go about doing my thing also mumbling “Thank you Lord for the morning, I’m still alive, that means you’re done with me etc. etc.”
So that Selah moment at gym made me ask myself, “Why do I CHOOSE to be disciplined physically more than I choose to be disciplined spiritually? Why do I go gym, even when I don’t feel like it, but I don’t pray even when I don’t feel like it? Why do I think that the flesh (which is ultimately going to rot and be eaten my worms) is more important than my soul, which is going to live forever? It made me realize the real human nature of the human mind and body.
As I had conversations with the Holy Spirit about it, He made me realize the importance of the spirit move so over the flesh. Look exercise is good for the body, it makes you look 26 when you’re actually 40, but the spirit is so much more important, because as a matter of fact it has power over the flesh.
We are spiritual beings, having a human experience, and what we tend to do as humans is put that human experience and make it more important than the spiritual of which we really are.
It is not an easy thing for anyone to really understand the reality if being a spiritual being. You are not a body, you merely live in a body.” Okay, what does that mean you ask?” Itmeans you are both mortal and eternal, and you have an existence far beyond your personality, your ego, your self-appointed identity, and even your own mortality. That sounds really great, even poetic and magical, but life can be hard anyway. Let’s face it, we all experience the imperfections that come with the territory of being human. Oftentimes, we feel like tremendously limited, ordinary people who enjoy occasional moments of spirituality. It’s certainly not easy to practice spotless ways of living all the time so we’re sure to slip up and have days when our attitude is more than a little self-defeating. And that’s okay.
So why do we, those of us who are in Christ, have such a hard time living out this discipline? I think its due in great part to still seeing ourselves as “human beings having (or trying to have) a spiritual experience”, instead of “spirit beings having a human experience”. What will it take to get believers on the right track? A change of perspective – believing what God says we are in Christ.
1 Corinthians 2:12-14 tells us, “Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God, which things we also speak, not in words taught by human wisdom, but in those taught by the Spirit, combining spiritual thoughts with spiritual words. But a natural man does not accept the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually appraised.…”
Spend your time and energy in training yourself for spiritual fitness. Physical exercise has some value, but spiritual exercise is much more important for it promises a reward in both this life and the next. This is true and everyone should accept It.” Says Paul in 1 Timothy 4:7-9
It is also very important to take care of our spirit as much as we give attention to the flesh. How do you do this you ask? Get closer to God. Spend time with your Maker, get connected to Him.Have a closer relationship with God by speaking to Him through prayer. If reading the Bible is listening to God speak to us, speaking to God is accomplished through prayer. The Gospels often record Jesus secreting Himself away to commune with His Father in prayer. Prayer is much more than simply a way to ask God for things we need or want.

Having a closer relationship with God is also built upon a life of obedience. Jesus told His disciples in the upper room, “If you love me, keep my commandments” (John 14:23).

If physical care-taking can do so much for you physically, just imagine how much more spiritual care-taking will do for your soul. God loves you so much and He wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with you. If you want to have a closer walk with Him, you’ll need to make some changes and some of them will be challenging… like committing to the time that you spend with Him on a daily basis.

If physical care-taking can do so much for you physically, just imagine how much more spiritual care-taking will do for your soul. God loves you so much and He wants to have a personal, intimate relationship with you. If you want to have a closer walk with Him, you’ll need to make some changes and some of them will be challenging… like committing to the time that you spend with Him on a daily basis.