Written by Ronn and Aladrian Elmore
Ronn and Aladrian are Americans, former church leaders who moved to South Africa earlier this year to live in the EM community and serve as members of EM full-time staff.
Sixteen weeks. Not very much time in a missionary's life. It seems like we've been serving with East Mountain so much longer. Everything is new and so very unfamiliar--new country, community, customs, cuisine, languages, laws, practices, procedures, expectations, work, and relationships (let's not talk about driving). The only things familiar are what we brought with us--our clothes, our prayers, and each other. What an adventure we're having, and we're so grateful.
God's timing in our lives has been amazing. We arrived at East Mountain (EM) just days before the Battle for the Hearts (B4H) retreat, which afforded us the privilege of getting to know and be known by our new community very quickly. We were embraced by each EM household; and, we fell in love with the residents whom we adopted as surrogate offspring. We quickly became family.
So much has happened in this short period ... Both of us have preached at a local church, and Aladrian has sung there on several occasions. Ronn has preached, taught, and counseled in the Western and Eastern Cape areas. He was even asked to candidate to be pastor of a local church and (only half-jokingly) Bishop of an Eastern Cape diocese. Talk about jumping in with both feet!
We've met South Africans changing the world like Desiree, Branch Manager of Learn to Earn, a discipleship for residents of high-unemployment communities; and Enoch, a Zimbabwean pastor called to South Africa, who also tends lions, tigers, jaguars and cheetahs in a big cats preserve at a local winery; and Marie, an Afrikaans woman called to meet the needs of the down-trodden in her Paarl community and to challenge Afrikaaners concerning the validity of their relationship with God.
It's been an exciting life so far, filled with challenges and much joy. We are honored that the Lord called us to partner with Him in this beautiful part of the world. And, we are grateful for our East Mountain community. We look forward to more adventures to come.