“I expected to get something out of it spiritually. I don’t think I expected to get something out of it emotionally,” said Patrick Rascoe of his first mission trip. But after spending a week in Mzamomhle, South Africa, Pat said the relationships he built led to emotional attachments that he won’t soon forget.
When Pat heard the initial announcement for the South Africa trip, he thought, “that’s a great idea… for somebody else.” He had a family, businesses to run, things to do. But then God began working on his heart.
“The moment I stopped thinking about making a living and shifted my focus to making a difference, I felt like that’s where God put my heart in His pocket and told me, I’m going to take you to South Africa and you’re going to do something great,” said Rascoe.
The team, made up of Pat and nine others, served with our global mission partner, Living Hope. This year, they worked alongside the Living Hope staff doing home visits throughout the township. They brought food parcels to the homes of those without jobs or steady incomes. They also spent time praying with the people they visited.
“You see the people and look in their eyes, they’re needing something. They need more than just food and clothes. They needed hope” said Pat. Not just hope for now but hope for their future.
Pat told the story of a 92-year-old gogo (grandmother) they met during one of their home visits. She couldn’t see very well but she had joy in her soul. Although there wasn’t much in her home, she kept saying how much God had blessed her. A plaque hung on her wall that said, “A home is a home even if there’s nothing in it.” Pat said it was something he’d never forget.
The team spent time hanging out with kids at after school kids club and they also spent time in the township school. They went from classroom to classroom sharing the story of Noah. They told the kids that “Noah was a righteous man, blameless in his generation. Noah walked with God.” When they asked the kids if they knew anyone who was like Noah, their response was always the Living Hope staff.
That resonated with Pat. In just the short time he was there he saw a staff dedicated to increasing the population of heaven through the love of God. Mzamomhle is not an easy place to stand up for something, but Pat says the staff stands for Jesus and people notice it. They are known in the community for their bold faith and their desire to see the children of Mzamomhle live for Christ.
As they were leaving the school one afternoon, Pat noticed a teacher pointing at their team and the Living Hope staff and overheard them say, “those people, those are Christians.” To be recognized as a Christian because of what he was doing and what he was sharing was a feeling Pat didn’t want to lose when he came back to the states.
Being in South Africa “clearly opened my eyes to the verse for God so loved the world… It was a reminder that that’s who God died for,” said Pat. He died for everyone and it’s his job to share that good news. After this trip, Pat isn’t ok with people knowing him as just being a nice guy. He wants people to look at Him and say “I can tell he’s a Christ follower.”