Hi, my name is Kathy McClure and I went with Crystal on the recent trip to South Africa. She asked if any of us who went on the trip wanted to write about our experiences in South Africa and I jumped at the chance to share about why I went and how the trip impacted me…
A Little Background on Me & My Family
I was born and raised in Lancaster County, PA. My parents started a printing, publishing and bookstore business, and were entrepreneurs in other areas, too. I grew up attending genealogy conferences, designing book covers, troubleshooting computer issues, and traveling to Europe to see where our ancestors lived.
I am now a stay-at-home mom of three, Caleb (6), Kaylee (4) and David (3), and a wife to Steve. We love to do things together as a family whether it is bicycle riding the rails to trails, cooking together, going on family camping trips or visiting great-grandma in the dementia unit.
I exercise my love of marketing and media through a blog I started in 2010. I love seeing how God gives me vision and passion for posts, and sometimes just puts me in the right place at the right time. It is thrilling to watch how He alone can take a post viral—it is definitely not my own doing!
I love to try new things—like adding shredded zucchini and crushed pineapple in pancakes to discover a new family favorite recipe! I also love to make our house a home by designing chalkboard wall art. I recently co-authored a book with a mentor of mine. Hosting a launch team and watching the book rank in the top #30 on Amazon was an incredible experience!
Why I Applied for the South Africa Advocacy Trip
When I heard about Crystal’s trips to South Africa, I was intrigued and inspired. What I absolutely loved was that she was an entrepreneur here in the States, and she was advocating entrepreneurs in South Africa.
Not only was she advocating it, but she was supporting it financially. I grew up in a small family business and it never once occurred to me the possibility of helping others overseas, who might not otherwise have any guidance, to develop their entrepreneurial skills. I loved the connection Crystal made.
As I researched the Help One Now organization that this trip would be in partnership with, I was moved by how they operate like Paul. Their goal is to equip and support the locals, not to go in and do the ministry for them. They find locals who are already being moved by the Spirit and doing God’s work, and they empower and equip those local leaders. I connected deeply with this vision.
My Experience in South Africa
So many times I get brochures in the mail, pamphlets to read through, and even videos to watch—on where and how we can give money to help overseas—but I often feel like I don’t know exactly where my money is going, how it is impacting the area first-hand and how much it is really needed. I don’t have a personal connection and so it can be difficult for me to get excited about giving generously.
When I was in South Africa, I saw the hearts of the Take Action Ministry Team. I felt their passions and compassion. I witnessed their excitement and I heard their true and personal stories. I spoke with them one-on-one and heard their humility.
I saw first-hand the poverty and the needs of the locals—what they eat every day and what they don’t eat, how little money they make and how hard it is for them to make any money at all. I learned about the government and the systems that are trying to help but are only making things worse.
I also saw the hope the country and the people have. With the extreme prosperity only 20 minutes away from extreme poverty, there is incredible potential for change and improvement!
I saw God at work and I loved it!
I was amazed at how the people were literally God’s hands and feet. It was not uncommon to hear compelling phrases such as, “We act out of obedience, because our faith is not big enough.” And, “Now that we are doing agriculture God’s way, how about doing marriage God’s way?”
When we asked one young man what his vision for his life is, his response was that he wants to transform people. I was humbled to consider what answers Americans might give to this question.
This trip was so much more than a missions trip for me. As part of an advocacy trip, I felt I was able to come to an understanding of the country, the people, and the land. I asked questions and learned things I would not have had the time to learn if I was there serving.
How I Was Most Impacted by Going to South Africa
While my life was impacted in many different ways, I think I was impacted the most by the Take Action Ministry team—their unity and their mission for Christ. God has given them the wisdom and discernment to seek out those being moved by the Spirit and already doing God’s work.
The team works diligently, faithfully, and obediently, and they do all of it because they have a heart for it. They have their own families, their own children, their own houses, their own dreams—yet every day they give of their time and make helping these communities their passion.
I feel compelled to find creative ways to tell and show others the integrity, obedience and trustworthiness of the Take Action Ministry Team. I feel compelled to advocate for them and the impact they have on South Africa.
I feel compelled to share how I have seen they are truly God’s hands and feet, acting in obedience. I feel compelled to support their decisions they are making to eliminate poverty and to make all communities sustainable.
Read All My Behind-The-Scenes South Africa Updates
While I was on my South Africa trip, I created a newsletter and sent out daily updates sharing what I was learning. I am continuing with that email newsletter featuring insights now that I am back in the States, going deeper into some of the areas of the trip that I didn’t share much about while I was there, and sharing some of my favorite South African recipes with a Lancaster County twist! I would love for you to follow along and enjoy these exclusive stories, photos and updates with me.
Kathy likes to define herself as a child of God, mother of three adorable children, and a wife to a totally amazing husband. She’s a deal finding enthusiast, a dreamer, a houseplant killer, and an ever-learning student who is inspired by trying new things. In her spare time she likes to host yard sales, sell at consignment sales, design chalkboard wall art, and find bargains.
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