1000 Words: Township Life (Submersion Experience).

by Chris Kamalski

I haven’t been able to find adequate words yet to describe my experience this past week in Soshanguve, and actually in fact have felt overwhelmed and drained with the implications that are building in my experiences so far through this apprenticeship.  More is coming, but here’s some of what I’ve been chewing on recently:

Do I have friends who are poor? (My friend and local pastor, Tom Smith)

I set out to see poverty in India and came face to face with poor people.  Despite my good intentions to personally observe and respond in India, I was at best a ministry tourist.  Equally important, I had not acquired this knowledge from the poor themselves.  I had not submerged myself as Jesus had submerged Himself in our world through His incarnation.  Good intentions, I have found, were not enough. (John Hayes, Submerge, p. 47).

There is hope for the rich, insofar as they act and serve in solidarity with the poor and oppressed.  In their being converted to God, rich and poor are converted toward each other.  Their main emphasis, ultimately, is on sharing, on community. (David Bosch, Transforming Mission, p. 104)

The concept of neighbor can no longer be solely geographical.

Township walls are textured contrasts in beauty.  Lawrence, my host in Soshanguve, posing like a rock star.

Township walls are textured contrasts in beauty. Lawrence, my host in Soshanguve, posing like a star.

Does the fact that the amazing corn I was served is found directly next to the Outhouse have anything to do with its goodness?

Does the fact that the amazing corn I was served was found directly next to the Outhouse have anything to do with its goodness?

Tony, looking kind and calm.  Don't be fooled-He could fold me like a pretzel through his MMA training!

Tony, looking kind and calm. Don't be fooled-He could fold me like a pretzel through his MMA training!

Old beer bottles making an artistic statement.

Old beer bottles making an artistic statement.

My fascinated next-door neighbor would stare at me each morning.  Bet he hasn't seen skin as pink as mine before!

My fascinated next-door neighbor would stare at me each morning. Bet he hasn't seen skin as pink as mine before!

Gutted semi-truck cab parked on a street we strolled down.

Gutted semi-truck cab parked on a street we strolled down.

Busi and Colletta rocking it hardcore, as always!

Busi and Colletta rocking it hardcore, as always!

Oupa, my roommate, NOT waiting for the bus.

Oupa, my roommate, NOT waiting for the bus. He has nicknamed me 'Bafana!'

The other main activity of our time in Soshanguve.  Walking with the boys.

The other main activity of our time in Soshanguve. Walking with the boys.

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