Mac’s trip to South Africa

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.10.06 PM
I will travel with this kid anywhere because he knows how to eat! Sushi!


As many know, last week I was able to take Mac with me to Stellenbosch, South Africa. It was so fun to have this cool guy travel with me, especially on such a long trip. When he was 5 he had the chance to go with Lara and I to Panama but honestly he doesn’t remember much other than the ice cold showers we had out in the jungle first thing in the mornings. He even asked me if we would be able to take hot showers this time a few days before we left. haha!  This trip was kind of special and it was his first time to Africa which was pretty special for me. I would be lying if I said I wasn’t praying that he would fall in love with this place and the people much like Lara and I did 10 years ago.


It was a long journey just to get there. 32 hours to be exact. He was a champ the whole way there and back. He slept, talked, ate, talked, read, talked, did home work, talked, watched movies, talked, played games, and then talked a little more. Let’s just say I was more tired by the time we got there than he was. It was fun though!

This week in the Cape Town area was good for he and I. I was busy many of the days in a conference/leaders summit with some remarkable leaders from multiple African countries, Thailand, India, Mexico, multiple European countries, and the US. We dream, talked and planned for how God can take this way of life, living and serving in intentional community, and transform lives around the globe. Let’s just say He is up to big things…and by His grace I have a chance to be a part of it!Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.10.40 PM

Mac had a full week too. When I was in meetings he would hang out with some of the families that live in Stellenbosch and are a part of the East Mountain community. I think he really liked being with them more than me but I can’t blame him for that! The other half of the time he would come along with me to visit ministries, head into town, or go have a meal by the water. Lunch by the ocean with your son and friends is pretty cool if you are 11 or 33 years old! Mac also just hung around with us at the East Mountain house and busted out some homework. Yes, he had to do homework per his teachers but just being in Africa was pretty educational.

“Dad, I need a coffee and I have my own money.”

I asked Mac a bunch of questions on our way home so that he would be ready for when people asked him, “how was your trip?”. I know how this kid works and I didn’t want him to just say, “good” in his non-excited tone. Once we talked through the trip he really had some great answers so, I thought I would share just a few of them.

What was the craziest/best thing you ate? Ostrich steak and kudu sausage…This kid loves some meat!

Braai – South African for cookout or BBQ. We had 7 or 8 different meats!

What kind of money do they use? The use the Rand which is around 15 ZAR to $1USD. I love math so I liked figuring the price of things out when we went to buy something.

Did you see any cool animals? penguins and seals

Was it what you expected? No, I thought it would be a bunch of huts and animals but it was really normal.

What was the funnest thing you did or visit while you were there? The day we visited the township and saw just how poor some of the people were. I couldn’t believe that people in the world actually lived that way. They were also cooking goat heads on the side of the road which looked weird, but smelled so good.

Screen Shot 2016-05-11 at 6.09.24 PM
Over looking Khayelitsha

What language do most people speak? I think it is called Afrikanns but they also have some tribal languages but I can’t say them.

What’s one cool fact that you learned about South Africa? There are 2.4 million people live in the Khayelitsha township which is only about 15 sq miles.


The top of Table Mountain. Usually you can see for miles.

What was the weather? Well, they say that it is really nice but it rained while we were there, especially the day we went on top of Table Mountain. It’s not too cold though.


What did you do most days? When I was with you (dad) we hung out at the East Mountain house which is really cool and when I wasn’t with you I played with my friends Asher, Madeline, Caleb, Dylan, and Isaiah. They were pretty cool!

How do think God could use you in a place like Africa one day?  I would love to work in the poor townships teaching people about Jesus, playing with kids, and helping with whatever they might need.

Mac visiting a church sponsored school in the township. 

Well, I think we have another lover of Africa and future missionary in the RouseHouse! He did great and loved every minute of his time in South Africa. It was a really blessing to be able to spend so much one on one time with this kid and see him love being a world traveler! He was made for this.

17 Hour flight with NO TV! What else can you do but sleep.


BIG Things, Legacy, Life’s Purpose….

Grey (left), Mac (center), Elly (right)

I believe that God has created me and called me to do BIG things in this world! Big things that will move the Gospel forward. Big things that will change lives, families, and communities. Big things that will help people know Jesus better and better. Big things that will put a smile on my Heavenly Fathers face and things that will become my legacy.

I have dreams of what these BIG things might be, could be, or want them to be. They all revolve around our life and family’s mission statement…we are going to love people well, serve those in need, and help them know Jesus and grow in a real relationship with him…The BIG things could be endless with a focus like that.

But what if the BIG things that I dream about and hope for are smaller than I initially imagine? I had this thought the other day and it is something that I have really come to ponder a lot over the past couple of years. What if the biggest thing I ever do for God, for those in this world, or as my legacy is NOT to change the world?  When I say change the world what I mean is making a lasting difference wherever and with whoever the Lord puts in front of me.

What if God’s whole purpose for me in life is to simply raise/disciple/train up 3 little people that will then go on to change the world? Not that this is or would be a simple task but at first glance it does seem way smaller than the dreams I have for changing the world.  What a difference could it make if I simply tried to, Be the best, most Godly dad I can be to my children?  I whole heartily believe that if this is one of the main focal points of life that my children will go on to change the world, at least the world around them. They will be people and are people that love others, enjoy serving others, and know the truth that Jesus loves people more than anything else already. If this is who they are today, WOW, who will they be in 10, 20, 40 years from now!!! They will go on to do BIG, HUGE, ENORMOUS, GIGANTIC, UNIMAGINABLE things for God. I get the opportunity to shape these kind of people. That seems like a mission worth pursuing.

I know two things in life. God has created us to be people that love and trust Him wholeheartedly, and He has called each one of us to a specific purpose. If I can live out the first part of that then I will live out the second. As I come to love and trust God with my life I will live out the purpose of raising world changers! I have never been great with words but I do great with numbers therefore, 3 is always better than 1. What the 3 of them will do with their life will make a greater impact than my single life could every make. I can live with that kind of legacy!