Written by Kara McLaughlin – an Australian volunteer serving in South Africa
“I have come into the world as light, so that whoever believes in me may not remain in darkness.” John 12:46
“In him (Jesus) was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1:4-5
Throughout the past few weeks I have had a number of opportunities to walk alongside our African brothers and sisters as they tirelessly fight for justice (making wrong things right) in their own communities. I have witnessed them being Jesus’ hands and feet. Running headlong into the darkness. Bringing the true ‘light’ to the darkest of places.
This is no easy feat. The darkness hates to be exposed. Lately I have seen that the harder God’s people fight, the more obstacles they encounter. Obstacles like deceit, apathy, misunderstanding, hopelessness, trauma…I feel like I keep saying to myself, ‘we are just trying to help, why does it seem so complex?’
The theme of light and darkness has been huge for me during my time in Africa. I have seen that our calling as followers of Jesus is to bring THE ‘life’, which is THE ‘light’, to the whole world. I have also seen that it is fundamental that we experience that ‘life’ ourselves. The encouragement and anchor is that…
‘The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.”
The darkness cannot overcome the light.
This was recently illustrated to me when I was visiting Zimbabwe in March. I got to walk with Courage*, a local Care Worker (Christian volunteer who serves the children in her community) who is only a few years younger than me. As we walked together, I casually asked her why she had chosen to be a Care Worker. She told me some of her story.
After the death of her husband she was left with three children. She found herself completely vulnerable and hopeless, borrowing food from neighbours and unsure of how she would provide for her children. It was during this time that two locals serving as Care Workers for the most vulnerable. They found her in the darkness. Really, our Father saw her and found her. It was through their visits and care that she met Jesus. She concluded by telling me “that’s why I want to be a Care Worker, because it saved me. I want to love like I was loved.”
“In Him was life, and that life was light of men…”
Light invading the darkness.
There is so much darkness in this world, honestly, I keep thinking there can’t be any more layers of brokenness out there (or in me) but then another layer is exposed. The beautiful thing is that I have also been experiencing and witnessing what happens when Jesus’ truth and life bursts through.
Please pray for our brothers and sisters here. Fighting the darkness is no easy task. No wonder the Bible refers to it as a spiritual battle.
Please pray that you and I will be able to bring light to the darkness, wherever we are.
*name has been changed