Arrived in South Africa

Hello everyone!

Thank you all for your prayers, our travels were blessed and we arrived safely and very well provided for. We had an overnight stay in the airport of Johannesburg, South Africa, and said airport just happened to have an out-of-the-way prayer room that was quiet and had long seats we could sleep on. We arrived in Nelspruit, SA, the day after Christmas and we have been here ever since. There is a new Iris Ministry base here that is starting to grow and take off. Instead of a contained, walled-in compound like all the bases in Mozambique, this one is right in the middle of a very poor village and they invite everyone in need for a meal every single day. They said they usually have about 350 take them up on the offer. Unfortunately we didn’t get to experience any of these feedings because they were taking a short break for the holidays, but we’ll be coming back here in May and we’ll be able to help more then. We did get to play with the village children who still came to the base every day, a couple of whom spoke a little English and had fun teaching us their games. I also got to teach a bit of guitar to a couple teens from the church.

The memory that will forever stand out in my mind from these past few days was when we visited the children’s hospital. Several of the kids had AIDS, some were abandoned or orphaned, and all were in desperate need of some love and attention. We brought puppets and stickers and played with them, and seeing their eyes light up and their smiles was so precious. One little boy in particular gripped my heart, he was absolutely the most starved and malnourished child I have ever seen. He was 2 years old, and his spindly arms were about as big around as quarters and his belly was so bloated below his sticking-out ribs. I wished I could have done something to help him, but for our short visit all I could do was hold his tiny hand and pray while tears ran down my face. Of such is the Kingdom of Heaven.

We are supposed to go to Mozambique tomorrow, so please keep praying our visas work out, as we don’t have them yet. We will be in the town of Zimpeto where Iris has a very large children’s center and plenty for us to help with. We are excited to see all that God has in store for us there!

Have a Blessed New Year!
~Carla Reinagel

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