Lutheran Connections in KZN
Last week was one of the highlights of our time in South Africa. Through my internship site in Southwestern Minnesota we were able to get connected with a group of Lutheran churches here. This global partnership of congregations was a great chance for us to get into a rural area of South Africa and learn about ministry in this context. Our hosts in the Ondini Circuit were Dean Xaba and Lee, the chairperson of the partnership. They were gracious hosts, open to all of our questions, and showed us around.The first day of our visit Dean Xaba had us accompany him to the funeral of a young man. It was held at the family’s home and it was packed with people. We received a nice welcome as guests and it was a very powerful experience for us take part in. Here are a few pictures of the funeral which Dean Xaba insisted that we share.
On Sunday we were went to worship with a congregation in Ladysmith. The service was full of music and dancing and the pastor was gracious to preach his sermon in Zulu and with English mixed in so we could understand. Another powerful experience for us.
During our time we stayed in the guesthouse at the Kwazamokuhle Diaconic Center which is part of the Lutheran church here. Taisha is one of the ELCA young adults in global mission volunteering here in SA and she is based at Kwazamokuhle. She showed us around the center as well as the pre-school she works at a couple days a week.
There is a communion wafer bakery at Kwazamokuhle. It was special to see how these are made. The bakery was a nice reminder of how God comes to us in an earthy way–flour, water, and a little heat, facilitated by human hands.
Dean Xaba also gave us a tour of some other projects that Lutherans having going on in this part of KZN.
It was an amazing few days for us to be at the Kwazamokuhle center learning about ministry and community development in South Africa. A big thanks to Dean Xaba and Lee for hosting us! Also a big thanks to Taisha for showing us around and sharing about her work in SA!