Exploding Joy

Broken Beautiful Journeying Through Life

Senses November 5, 2010

Filed under: Travel — explodingjoy @ 10:04 pm
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I am bringing back 4 CD’s of photos.  I have video and audio files too.  I have beadwork and rocks.  I have had painted cloth and artwork.  I have books on District 6 and Xhosa.  I have wine and chocolate.  I have Afrikaans and African gospel music.  And I have stories … loads and loads of stories.

I cannot bring home any smells.

I can’t bring the smell of the sea on the strong south-easterly winds from the beach.

I cannot bring back the hot smell of red dirt and vynbos from the mountains.

I cannot bring back the smell of Eucalyptus and limestone dust of Robben Island.

I’ve heard smell is the sense most strongly connected to memory.  While I have no idea if this is true – I know my memories of South Africa will be weakened because I can’t bring smells with me.




White Cars

Filed under: Social,Travel — explodingjoy @ 9:58 pm
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I am sick of white cars.  I bet close to 70% of vehicles on the road in South Africa are white.  I never really had anything against white vehicles, but now I’m just tired of them.

A typical parking lot: white, white, white, white, white.


Some people say there are so many white cars because white people like them.

Some people say it’s because white cars don’t get as hot in the summer.

Some people say South African’s just like white.

Some people have no idea this isn’t normal.

I do not miss all these white cars.


What’s Next? … Part II & III November 4, 2010

Filed under: Social — explodingjoy @ 11:11 am
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Part II

If you missed  my post on love, you better go back and read it here. My what’s next? has become our what’s  next?

Wynand (pronounced Vein-nand)  is also in ministry and we are working to set up an experience for him here in the US, similar to what I did in South Africa.  We are connected with the Children, Youth, and Family Ministry team at Luther Seminary to help set up relationships and experiences with youth and music ministry in American churches for two months (mid-December to mid-February).  We would also like to do similar things in South Dakota and maybe even have the chance to share about God’s work and life in South Africa along the way.

So far, things are moving slowly but surely in making this happen.  People have shown up who have done similar things and have gotten sponsors and have helped
get Wynand started with that.  He’s made lots of contacts and has got a few donations, which raised enough to apply for the visa.   He has a couple of music gigs coming up with church “cell” groups and will be speaking to them about his plans in the US.  A woman from a large company is voluntarily helping him organize for his visa application, which seems quite complicated. A group of awesome people in Custer,SD have made generous donations (You guys ROCK! Thank you so much!). People have popped up and made important connections, promised to pray, and have even said, “If you don’t have faith, I’ll have faith for you.  What God calls you to, He will accomplish.”  We have great hope in a great God – and see God’s hand strongly in our relationship and all these things happening.

… Part III Your partPlease keep us and this process in your prayers.  There are many steps that need to happen.  Passport processed, visa application, documents for visa application, visa interview, finances of support, learning experiences arranged, safe travel, accommodations, transportation, etc.

Here are some practical items that also need to happen.  I was very fortunate that when I felt called to South Africa, I proposed my idea and was handed a large sum of money to make it happen.  This is not the reality for Wynand and any support would be greatly appreciated.

    • Sponsorship(s) for travel insurance ($200), needed ASAP as part of Visa application
    • Letters of invitation to participate in Christian events and ministries to submit for visa application.  These need to be specific: who he would work with, their contact details, their role in the ministry, when he is invited to participate, and for how long.
    • Letters offering accommodation for him during his time in the US. This will need to include a host’s invitation, prove they have a steady job and a steady income, where they work, contact details for them at home and at work, physical address, dates of hosting [as much information as possible].  These are needed ASAP as part of his visa application.
    • sponsorship(s) for a plane ticket (just under $2000)
    • sponsorship(s) for living expenses like food, travel, GoreTex snow pants (it is going to be the winter of his life!), etc.  We estimate $1000.

More information might be needed for the Visa application.  We will find out when he gets further into the application, once his passport arrives.  The specifics on the letters will become clearer the further he gets into the process, so some of those requests may be adjusted soon.

THANK YOU for your prayers and support.  Please contact us if you have any questions or want to help out in some way.

jjoy001@luthersem.edu and wynandhansen@yahoo.com

Here we are.


What Next? … Part I November 1, 2010

Filed under: Social,Travel — explodingjoy @ 3:28 pm
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Now that I’m back from my call to South Africa life is very different.  What’s next for me?

… I have no idea.

I feel responsible to find some sort of income … though not that excited in this state of transition.  Please, I beg for you to pray for this.  Please pray for God to open up the doors of what I should be doing next.  Please also pass on my name or send info my way if you have any leads.

In the meantime, I am excited and eager to share my experiences, photos, stories, videos, deep thoughts and big questions.  So, invite me to your small group, family dinner, or church youth, men’s, or woman’s group, or education class.  I’d love to share in conversation in mutual learning from my time in South Africa.




Filed under: Social,Travel,Uncategorized — explodingjoy @ 12:41 pm
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My feet have solidly in the USA for just a few hours.  Already, things are a bit weird.  I keep finding that I’m walking on the wrong side of the airport and running into traffic.  The moving walkways seem backwards. 

I keep overhearing people complain about stupid things and I wonder what their problem is.  People in the airport seem crabby compared to the laid back, laughable energy of the folks in Cape Town.  And Americans talk really loudly!

$10 for a sandwich and a bottle of water!  What!?!?!

Ahhhh…. Transition.



Filed under: Deep Thoughts,Travel — explodingjoy @ 12:35 pm
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About a month into my time is South Africa – I recognized an old familiar feeling.  I realized I was in trouble.  A good kind of trouble.  I was falling in love.  I was falling in love with the place and people of South Africa.  I was swept up and enamored.  I was foolishly happy.  I was in love.

Then, I fell in love with a sandwich.  Wow was that thing amazing!  Fresh farm bread, bacon, fried banana, cheese, and sweet mild chili.  I am weak in the knees.

I fell in love a third time.  This time with a man.  This time by surprise.  Swept up and enamored.  Spoiled. Foolishly happy.  I am in love many times over.


Catch Up

Filed under: Social,Travel,Uncategorized — explodingjoy @ 12:25 pm
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So much to do at the end of things: visit the beach, squeeze in adventures, shop for gifts, say farewell.  The last 2 weeks of my project, the last 2 weeks of South Africa, the last 2 weeks of time with people who have become family to me. 

Blogging wasn’t very high on my priority list during this time.  Please forgive me and keep up with the many stories still coming.  I will catch up.  Promise.



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