The wind and the rain were lashing my little blue Toyota Yaris as I pulled up to the pavement. Figures wrapped up in greying blankets could be seen huddling beneath a flimsy roof, trying desperately to stay dry. My friend grabbed his sleeping bag and turned to go. Opening the door he mumbled goodbye, barely audible over the sound of the deluge, and was gone.
I’m taking a short break from the Moles and the Earthworms to tell you a story about my friend, Mandi. It’s something burning in me and I know it won’t go away (and there’s no way I’ll be able to sleep) till I’ve written this post.
I met Mandi in the beginning of 2012 at a church I’d just started attending. I’d only recently moved to Cape Town and this was the first church I had tried since arriving. Mandi was young, going into his first year at a college but very mature for his age. He has one of those kinds of faces that could be anywhere from 17 to 28. Mandi has a keen interest in working in community development and is studying at a bible seminary to pursue this aim.
Now in his second year, Mandi had a crazy idea…He would go live on the street with the guys he wants to minister to. He would eat with them at the soup kitchens, sleep with them on the pavement and simply share his life with them. It’s such a revolutionary idea! It’s an idea I considered as I drove home, shivering as I sat in my warm car. Before I dropped him off I asked him how long he expects to be on the street and he answered: “Uum..I donno…mm…indefinitely…” I tried to imagine myself, my comfortable self, in Mandi’s position. I questioned whether I would have the courage to surrender myself as Mandi did, to choose to put aside the luxury in which I live and live as others are forced to. My body answered with a resounding “No way!” Yet my heart replied: “Maybe not yet…”
All I have to say is thank GOD that there are people like my friend Mandi!