Bridges. Different cultures. Different ways of seeing. I always wanted to be just one thing. Either American, or South African. But,God has been showing me that I need to embrace the tension and live in the in-between. Be a bridge. It doesn’t have to be one or the other. It can be both. I took a road trip to San Francisco in the summer of 2011 with my brother, and saw the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. It’s a suspension bridge. Built on tension. Maybe the tension in my life is okay. Maybe that is what God is calling me to be. He did it. He took on the uncomfortable task of bridging between fallen humanity and all-glorious deity and became one of us so we could be with him. Maybe that is what he wants all of us to be–bridges for people to walk across so they can meet Him.
Hope. “iThemba” means “hope” in isiZulu. In case you haven’t noticed, the world is pretty messed up. People are alone, people hurt others, people get sick, people die. There is injustice. It happens in South Africa. It happens in America. But even though our world is fallen, God created it. And he loves it. And he is present in it. He is slowly redeeming his children. His people, the church, are supposed to be like little puddles of hope to the rest of the world. The world is supposed to look at how we treat each other and say, “Oh! So that’s what God is like. That’s how it’s all supposed to work.” As we conform to his likeness, we are able to be hopeful. We can see what God is doing in his world and persevere even in the midst of darkness. And we can give hope, by pointing people to Christ, the source of our hope.
Bridging Hope. This blog started out following my journey of serving with a community development organization in South Africa. I started out sharing stories of what God was doing around me…and then slowly I also began sharing stories about what God was doing in me. When I began my masters in South Africa, focussed on racial justice, I began to post a lot more on the topics of race, racial justice and reconciliation.
WHAT I BLOG ABOUT NOW: Right now I am blogging about race, social justice, reconciliation, missions, cross-cultural issues, following Jesus, and finding hope. I also read and review books related to any of these topics! If you’re interested in advertising, or having me review a book, please email me steph(dot)ebert17(at)gmail(dot)com.
Photo Credit for my header: Rachel Elizabeth Nolan. She’s based in Indiana, and an amazing photographer. She took this photo of the teens at our Saturday teens club in Sweetwaters.