October 22, 2014
It’s anniversary time! We are so happy to celebrate that we have been in SOUTH AFRICA serving for FIVE YEARS! What the what?!? But what we are most cheering about is that we have lived in the incredible Ocean View community for five years.
So in honour of our FIVE YEAR ANNIVERSARY here are my FIVE FAVORITE THINGS ABOUT OCEAN VIEW:
1. The noises. There is always something happening. Always someone in conversation. Always a dog barking. Always music playing. Always someone sharing in someone else’s life. I love that. If I need to go write a sermon or focus on something I like to sit in a crowded coffee shop with lots of noises and action. I dig lots of stuff going on and I dig Ocean View.
2. The food. My people know how to eat and value food. It is awesome. It has always reminded me of my Mexican heritage (my Mom is Mexican-American) because people in Ocean View love to gather and share food together. Another great thing about Ocean View is that while food is a value, there are many who do not have a meal to eat some days, including many vulnerable children. What I see is that those who have are ALWAYS sharing with those who don’t and making sure children go to bed with a meal. My friends are always sharing with those who are in need. In addition, when there is something to celebrate it is done with FOOD. People love to have gatherings for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, accomplishments, holidays and anything else in between.
3. The laughter. You know the Prince’s love some laughing and this is something that is really valued in the community of Ocean View. Come to any meeting, dinner, gathering or even tea and you will eventually hear laughter. Laugher is LOUD and done with the entire body. I remember vividly seeing a stand-up comic we love named Trevor Noah with a group of friends and our friend Treswill was laughing so hard that he unintentionally was hitting the seat in front of his with his knees. He didn’t even notice but the people in front of him did and kept looking back at him hoping he would stop. I told him of his kicks and he changed his sitting position but continued to laugh WITH HIS ENTIRE BODY. It was awesome. And it’s normal.
4. THE COMPASSION. You guys. In Ocean View you SEE IT ALL. Pain, suffering, abuse, gangsterism, addiction and just HURT. You would think people would be so use to it that they don’t even notice it happening, and unfortunately that does happen at times. But the norm in Ocean View is COMPASSION and response to those who are hurting and in pain. I am frequently humbled when I hear about how my friends in Ocean View respond to hungry children at their doorstep or people who need to borrow money… again. Compassion is deeply woven into the fabric of hearts here and it challenges me to be God’s compassionate hands and feet even more in this community I love.
5. The LOVE. People in Ocean View love FIERCELY. They take care of their own family and they love really deeply. The love of the people here in Ocean View has spilled into our lives and we will never be the same. We see it most vividly in the way people here love our children. They hug and kiss them spoil them beyond anything they deserve. Even with Keller who struggles to interact with anyone because of his autism, he has LEARNED how to love people because of those who have loved him in Ocean View. That is profound and true. We are loved beyond our failures and weaknesses here and seen just as we are. That is true love and we are so blessed to experience the love of Ocean View.
Happy anniversary Ocean View! To MANY MORE!!