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The Second Part of Embarking on a Mission Trip

Taking a Mission Trip – Part 2


In my previous article, I shared my experiences and observations during my mission trip to South Africa. Today, I will continue to recount the memorable moments and encounters that shaped my journey.

An Encounter with Wildlife

During a morning run around the farm, I unexpectedly came across a wildebeest by the fence. It snorted at me, a reminder that I am a mere visitor in its natural habitat. As I continued my run, I saw more wildebeests and an ostrich across the road. It was a humbling experience to witness these magnificent creatures up close.

A Day at Sterkriver Combined School

Our group visited Sterkriver Combined School for a church service. The school, like many others in South Africa, had a gate and a security guard. This is a sad reality reflecting the need for safety precautions in the country. The school houses 180 students who reside in dormitories adjacent to the classrooms.

On this particular day, we were lucky to have Johanney, the farm manager and a pastor, deliver the sermon. He spoke in English, and his words were translated by a young man named Kaiser. It was a beautiful example of unity amidst diversity. South Africa, with its 35 indigenous languages, showcases the richness of the nation’s cultural tapestry.

The energy and enthusiasm of the students were infectious as they sang, clapped, and shouted “Amen” throughout the service. Their love for photography was evident as they eagerly posed for group photos afterward.

A Wild Ride to Spot Giraffes

Accompanied by Dr. Blessman, we embarked on a thrilling UTV ride through a neighboring farm, hoping to catch a glimpse of giraffes. The journey was treacherous, with rocky roads testing our resolve. Eventually, we arrived at the safari camp and met Honest, the cousin of Maxwell and Johanney. Honest spoke about the tranquility of their camp and how it attracts visitors seeking solace in nature and wildlife.

Interestingly, Honest shared that when their children reach the age of five, they send them back to Zimbabwe to live with their grandmother so they can attend school. This highlights the sacrifice families make for their children’s education, even if it means being separated for long periods.

Although we didn’t spot any giraffes, we encountered a herd of ostriches, wildebeests, and warthogs. Nature truly thrived in this picturesque landscape.

Exploring South African Cuisine

In the evening, we had the opportunity to make a traditional South African dish called Bobotie. This delectable creation consists of spiced minced meat baked with an egg-based topping served over rice. The dish is typically accompanied by chutney, a sweet and spicy condiment made from dried fruits and vegetables. This culinary experience allowed us to immerse ourselves in the local culture and savor the flavors of South Africa.

Mission Outreach at Gwename High School

Our next stop was Gwename High School, where we attended an assembly. The students gathered in the courtyard and sang a Christian song, invoking a sense of unity and spirituality. Pastor Jonathan delivered a powerful message about overcoming challenges in our lives, inspiring the students to persevere.

After the assembly, we visited a mall to shop for candies and cookies. These treats would be distributed to senior students studying for their matric exams – an essential examination that determines their access to universities, colleges, and entry-level work. It was heartwarming to witness the commitment of these students, their determination shining through amidst the potential stress and pressure of exams.

Optical Outreach and Del Cramer Campus

At Ben Hlongwane High School, we conducted an optical outreach. The students were screened for poor vision, and those in need were directed to Christel, who helped determine the right eyeglass prescription for each individual. Some students, however, tried to fake poor vision in hopes of obtaining a pair of glasses. This unfortunate reality emphasizes the need for proper eye care and the challenges faced by these students and their families.

Later, we went to Del Cramer Campus, where we had lunch, toured the sewing center, and even engaged in a game of soccer with some of the older boys. These moments provided glimpses into the daily lives and aspirations of the students, fostering connections and understanding.

Related Facts

– South Africa has 35 indigenous languages, and 11 are official languages of the country.
– The South African matric exams hold great importance for Grade 12 learners as it determines their future educational and employment opportunities.
– The South African government is considering renewing work visas for foreigners on six-month terms, claiming the need to prioritize job opportunities for South Africans.

Key Takeaway

My mission trip to South Africa was a transformative experience that allowed me to witness the beauty of the country, its people, and its wildlife. It also shed light on the challenges faced by students, families, and communities. Through these valuable encounters and shared moments, I gained a greater appreciation for the resilience and determination of the South African people.


As I conclude my account of this mission trip, I am filled with gratitude for the opportunity to learn and grow through these experiences. South Africa is a nation that brims with diversity, both in its landscapes and its cultures. By engaging with the local communities, we not only provide support and compassion but also gain a deeper understanding of the world around us. Taking a mission trip, in all its highs and lows, is an enriching journey that leaves lasting impressions on the traveler and the lives they touch.

Denk Liu
Denk Liu
Denk Liu is an honest person who always tells it like it is. He's also very objective, seeing the situation for what it is and not getting wrapped up in emotion. He's a regular guy - witty and smart but not pretentious. He loves playing video games and watching action movies in his free time.

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