People Do Amazing Things: Mandy Rapson

Let me introduce you to an amazing friend. Her name is Mandy Rapson. You will discover that she is fearless, courageous, selfless, and passionate in her love for others and for Christ.

I first met Mandy seven years ago when I began developing a service learning experience for Belmont University students in South Africa. Over the years she has become a friend to our family, a mentor to my daughter, and an encourager to students.

Moreover, she has built a life where she invests herself in others. I want you to meet her and to learn about the cool things she does and the really amazing thing she did lately.

Friends, let me introduce Mandy Rapson to you. She is the kind of person that gives me hope.

I have asked her to respond to four questions in the form of an interview. Here we go:

1. How does your faith inform and encourage you in your life and work?

God placed us on this earth, not to sit and let years gather, but to live John 10:10! Jesus came and showed us what this life should look like, to not just preach the gospel but to show the depth of it through sharing life together. He showed us that this is a long term involvement, Jesus did it for 3 years full time! And even then, he had disciples deny him! So the journey is not about ‘success’ but about commitment to the person and commitment to the real message of the gospel.

It is this that drives me to work with LifeXchange! I want to be involved in supporting these same discipleship/mentorship relationship and facilitating the development of other people’s lives through. We’ve come so far from knowing how to do that on our own that we need to be shown how, and this is what LifeXchange does!

2. What amazing thing have you done recently to help change lives?

In October I cycled solo 1,982 kilometers (1,231 miles) across South Africa, taking me 32 days! My aim, although a personal challenge, was to raise R150,000 ($17,300) to pay for 5 young people to join LifeXchange in January. I managed to raise R40,000 ($4,600), and we are very happy with that. I also wanted to use it as an opportunity to go on a symbolic journey whereby I could use the experience to speak into the lives of our LifeXchange youth.

What it means to have a goal and dream and even when you don’t know how, if you really want to get there, you’ll make it happen. As well as the journey of reaching your goal, that it often starts off fun and exciting but then gets sometimes boring, sometimes difficult, sometimes challenging, sometimes you want to give up but then you make yourself push through, because if you really want to, you will! So it takes perseverance, resilience and tenacity and it’s not always easy, but it is possible!

3. What it the most pressing need in your community, your country?

Family dysfunction – if we had wholesome families we would have wholesome youth and wholesome people. People who don’t kill, steal, rape etc. South Africa’s huge problem is crime, and I believe that dysfunctional families is a huge contribution to that problem. South Africa’s problems are obviously multifaceted, but having sound family upbringing, would change things considerably!

4. If you had more resources what would you be able to do in your ministry?

We would be able to train more mentors and recruit more young people! In January we want to have 10 new LifeXchange members and mentors! At R30,000 ($3,500) per year per person this is R300,000 ($35,000) we need for this to happen!

Fun bonus question: If you had one short phrase to challenge people with what would it be?

We are not born to live ordinary lives, but extraordinary ones!

Be sure to go to the LifeXchange link and explore the work she does. Here is Mandy’s Facebook page, check it out, too. She will inspire you and challenge you to live an extraordinary life. People do amazing things. You can, too!