Return to Minnesota
We greet you, our family and friends, as the AIAIA delegation prepares to return to Minnesota. Our lives have been enriched by our experiences and we acknowledge our mixed emotions as we leave our South African family.
This is our thirteenth mission in twelve years. We have continued to maintain our outreach by expanding our food distribution, increasing our hospice presence, as well as providing much needed medical supplies to hospitals and clinics. AIAIA continues to identify improved education as key to improving conditions here. We are looking to commit our time and energy to focus on leadership training and skills. This expansion is a result of discussions with Reverend Xapile as well as other leaders in the South African community. We celebrate the improvements we have seen in the last twelve years and we recognize the many challenges that lie ahead, many of which will take multiple generations to improve. Ironically, during this mission trip, Matisse Xapile, the mother of Reverend Spiwo Xapile, the pastor with whom we partner here in South Africa and a well known friend to past delegations, died while staying with her daughter in Port Elizabeth. Matisse was a proud African woman who experienced firsthand the pain and struggle of apartheid. She raised a family of seven in rural South Africa. On behalf of Arm in Arm in Africa we extend our condolences to the Xapile family; we were honored to share in her life.