From Washington to Masiphumele and back – let Sue’s story inspire us to boldly go wherever God calls – loaded with love and a lot less fear.
Meet Sue Cochran
Sue is a missionary from Washington, USA. When God told her he wanted her in Africa, Sue courageously said “Yes!” Things immediately fell into place and in just four months, at the start of 2017, Sue found herself working in Masiphumelele, Cape Town.
She joined Clever Kids Homework Centre, where Karin D and a small team of local staff provide loving after-school care for about thirty children-at-risk. Far sooner than she planned, Sue will be returning to the States for urgent family reasons.
Over these past nineteen months though, Sue has driven daily into the heart of Masiphumele. Watching her friendships with local people blossom, and observing the fulfillment and joy she has found in working with the staff and children at CleverKids. I asked her to reflect on her experiences in Masi. This is what she said:
Don’t be afraid. There’s so much fear around!
“Don’t be afraid. There’s so much fear around! I’ve always appreciated diversity, and in Cape Town, we have a variety of cultures living alongside each other – what an opportunity! It’s important to go in humbly with respect for individuals and their cultures; to serve alongside the people and share in their daily lives. I’ve made genuine friends who have welcomed me into their homes. I shop with them at the markets and we do life together. I guess the community knows who I am and what I do. I’ve had countless more positive than negative experiences. For example, when I’ve got lost in the labyrinth of narrow streets, or when I’ve had punctures, Masi residents have always helped me to find my way or get the repairs done.
“Apart from challenging physical conditions with chronic shortages of space, electricity, water and sewage planning, I’ve also been exposed to the threats that are ‘normal’ daily life in Masi: the drug gangster who walked past me in the street; the traffickers who haunt even populated areas and – on one occasion – tried to snatch a baby out of the arms of his mother in broad daylight; the thieves who constantly prey on the residents – the alcohol, drugs and witchcraft which are all rampant.
“There have been tense moments, but I’ve found that on every occasion God has filled me with courage or boldness that just isn’t me. One incident stands out. Recently, the community caught a thief in action just outside the Clever Kids house. They circled the thief toy-toying,and formed a tight shoulder-to-shoulder barrier around him so that he couldn’t get away. Someone fetched a tyre. The unthinkable was about to happen – on our doorstep, just when the children were about to arrive! The staff and I rushed back into the house and began to pray with great urgency. A miracle happened!Almost impossibly, three policemen happened to be in the vicinity. They forced their way through the crowd and arrested the thief. Satisfied that justice would be served, the crowd melted away. The children arrived unaware and protected from the trauma of what nearly happened.
God has filled me with courage or boldness that just isn’t me
“I am leaving South Africa very reluctantly,but with a full heart. I’ve never experienced the love and acceptance as I have here at church or in Masi. I hope that I have been a blessing, but the truth is– I’ve been so blessed in return!”