After three days of traveling non-stop, I am finally settled in my hotel room in Johannesburg! I just figured out how to turn on the heater in my room. So, while I fight jet lag and defrost sipping hot tea shedding layers of multiple jackets, socks, and hats while one of those wonder-kid cooking shows plays in the background…I thought I would write!
Our journey to Johannesburg has not been an easy one. I started out in Dallas with a solo flight to Houston where I met up with our group of about twenty youth and young adults from the Southcentral Jurisdiction. From there, we all flew to Doha, Qatar. Doha, according to some, is the richest city in the world. However, you might recognize the name because they are hosting the next World Cup in 2022. We had a seven-hour layover in Doha, so we got the chance to leave the airport, see the city, and catch a few hours of sleep in a hotel!
Our hotel in Doha. Every building in the city had magnificent lights surrounding it!
There were plenty of sights and sounds in Doha that were familiar to me. Earlier this year, I had the chance to spend seventeen days in Israel and Palestine. One of the sounds I fell in love with here was the Muslim call to prayer.
The idea of all the people of one religion stopping to pray together at the same times every day, no matter where they are or what they are doing, still captivates me. As a Christian, I desire to have the same kind of spiritual discipline rooted in a community. In Doha, our Muslim friends do not share the religious majority like they are in Israel, but Muslims alone are the major religious majority. Even the radio on the bus announced the call to prayer, and our hotel room had a mat for praying if you wanted it. I loved being in this kind of culture once again.
We boarded our flight in Doha to head to Johannesburg, then upon arrival here we ate lunch, and settled into our hotel rooms. Tomorrow we begin the Global Young People’s Convocation. This is a large gathering of 350 United Methodist youth and young adults from all over the world who were elected to represent their jurisdiction by other youth and adults in each area. Since this is my first time attending an event of this kind, I am both nervous and excited about the events in the days to come.
It is in these anxious moments, God usually meets me with something really beautiful.
Check out tonight’s sunset I caught on my walk to dinner…
With major jet lag kicking in, Goodnight from Johannesburg!