Saturday, June 16, 2012


So much of what we are called to do as people and as Christians centers on relationship.  Relationship with our family and friends, with the poor and those in need, with ourselves, with our environment, with God, etc.  Now that I have spent close to 10 months in South Africa, I find I am constantly reminded of the importance of relationship through my interactions with the students, teachers, and monks I am surrounded by on a daily basis.  These relationships have grown to be a part of me, and me a part of them.  One of the beauties of being thrust into a new experience and culture is realizing that the people we saw as different or less privileged than us actually have strengths and gifts where we ourselves may be weak or less privileged in our own lives.  Thomas Merton, a Trappist Monk, wrote, “’God’s will’ is certainly found in anything that is required of us in order that we may be united with one another in love.”

We are called to relationship not merely to do good deeds for the people and things around us, but because it is through our relationships that we come closer God.   

Hanging out with Thembelanie, Br. Josias, and Bongisani
Nyangayethu, Siphosiso, Masixole, Simamkele, Xolisa
Simamkele and Siviwe
The Brothers

Tuesday, June 5, 2012


Karen Langley, my friend and fellow YASC volunteer, has spent the past year volunteering at a medical clinic in Mthatha, South Africa.  The clinic where Karen works serves a shantytown community called Itipini, which was built on an abandoned landfill.  The word “itipini” actually means “dump” in isiXhosa.  Last month the municipality demolished the shacks of those who were living in the community leaving hundreds of people homeless.  You can follow more of what is happening at Itipini on Karen’s blog.  Please keep Karen and the Itipini community in your prayers.

Karen with some boys from the community