Monthly Archives: October 2010

October 28 Visit to the Township

Last night “the rains” finally started.  We had thunder and lightning and rain starting around 7:30 and ending this morning around 7:30.  We wondered for awhile if we would get to make our usual Thursday morning trip to Zen Zella (found out that it is 2 words) settlement.  We were amazed that the clouds held their moisture as we made the drive and were breaking up as we made our return to the office.

My first stop was to see Pala. (I decided to change names after googling something and seeing my blog show up in the results!  I thought it would be good to protect the identity of our friends.)  I was disappointed to see a chain and lock on her door.  Gladys was home but was headed out the door.  It seems that every week I hear those words, “next week . . .”

I ventured down the somewhat muddy path to find Denise.  Her two friends were ready to continue their study.  Denise ended earlier than usual because one of the young women was not feeling well.  We decided to walk back to see if Pala might be home.  She was outside laughing and playing with her little boy.

As we went inside to share our lesson on John 6, Pala began to tell me that she had just returned from a trip.  Her in-laws had requested that her husband come and bring his family.  They made the journey.  Her husband was told that he must return home!  Pray for Pala to be able to love her husband through Christ and that she will also be able trust her husband – and that he would prove to be trustworthy.  He is not a believer, so pray that he will see his greatest need. 

Pray for me that God would give me wisdom in how to teach the Bible to this woman.  I go away wondering what I should have done differently or what I should have said.  It is such a privilege to go to meet with Pala.

Different Yet Not So Different

One Saturday we went with friends from the office to see some sights in Pretoria.  From the Union Building downtown we could see a monument on a hill several miles away.  Our “tour guide par excellent”, decided we should make the drive and find it. 

The Vortrekker Monument was massive.  It was built as a tribute to the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of Afrikaners (European settlers from mainly Netherlands and France).  It was so interesting to see how similar these pioneers’ lives were to American pioneers going west. 

Their covered wagons looked to a great extent the same as our pioneers’ except the wheels seemed to be much larger.  The women wore the same dresses and bonnets.  The Bibles we saw were massive – maybe 2’ X 1’ and about 1’ thick – we were not sure exactly why they were so large.  But all in all the history of this country seems so similar to that of the US.

At church the following day, a man gave his testimony.  He grew up in a “blended family” with a very large number of siblings, in a township, under Apartheid for most of his life.  Yet, he came to know Christ in the say way I did – He was convicted of his sin and his need for a Savior. 

Every person on this earth today is alike in that we all need Jesus.  How often do I look at someone and not see their need for The Savior.  Jesus came to a lost world to freely offer salvation.  He came and gave His life for every man – from the homeless, country-less illegal alien to the post-modern living in Europe, Asia, Africa or America.  I know I can’t share what Jesus has done for me with everyone but am I sharing with anyone? 

We may all have different backgrounds and experiences but we all face the same future – we will all stand before Jesus one day.

God’s Amazing Attention to Detail

Ok, so I’m reading along in the book of Isaiah. . .

 I come to that well known verse, “The Lord Himself will give you a sign:  The virgin will be with child and will give birth to a Son and will call Him Immanuel.”  It is a wonderful prophecy and seeing the “double fulfillment” in their near present history and then future when Jesus was born was pretty exciting.  However, I must confess I did wonder and think it was sort of a “random” prophecy.  It seemed to be a prophecy that comes “out of nowhere” – what I’m trying to say is, why did God put that particular prophecy in that particular place in the book. 

It’s not random at all.  King Rezin of Aram (Syria) and King Pekah of Israel had plans to attack Judah and place a person of their choosing on the throne, thus ending the kingly line of David.  This prophecy was to be a comfort to the king of Judah that God was in control and would keep His promise to David.

Then comes the prophecy, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light . . .”  I get to verse 4 of chapter 9 (For as in the day of Midian’s defeat, You have shattered the yoke that burdens them, the bar across their shoulders, the rod of their oppressors.”).  I went back to Judges (chapter 7) to read about the defeat of the Midianites. 

I admit that my mind sometimes works in strange ways.  But my first thought was, did God have Gideon use the torch under the jar method so He could then use it as a “word picture “here?  Or did He use it here because it enhanced the imagery of His prophecy?

Gideon’s army shattered those jars and the darkness became light and the enemy was defeated.  Jesus, the Light of the World has shattered our darkness and broken the yoke of the enemy!  We no longer have to be slaves to sin because The Child was born!  What more is needed!

As believers, He is our:

 Wonderful Counselor – He will give us excellent, perfect counsel with amazing wisdom.

Mighty God – All powerful, supreme, sovereign.  He will accomplish all that He has in mind to do.  All knees will bow before Him.

Everlasting Father – He will continually care for His children; He will never remove His love and will guide us, discipline us, protect and teach His children.

Prince of Peace – He will bring perfect peace to believers’ hearts and ultimately to the world – as He reigns in our hearts and eventually sits on the Throne of David!

(Isaiah 7:14; 9:14, 6-7)

Kruger Park – Part 2

The uncertain elephants I mentioned in part 1.  (Also, for those of you not from the south Mrs. Winners is a fast food restaurant.) 

 If you put your curser on the pictures and click, they will get larger.

We learned quickly to go wherever there were cars stopped.  It took awhile to see the animals they had spotted.  Can you see them?

There are actually lions sound asleep in the grass!  After thoroughly exhausting our eyes trying to see the lions, it was time to head back to camp and start the fire for dinner!  Dauw fixed us some lamb chops, baked potatoes, roasted carrots, and sandwiches grilled with cheese, onion and tomatoes!  Very tasty.  We of course saved room for roasted coconut marshmallows on digestive biscuits!  Ok – if you haven’t had them, wow – you should . . . Just ask Annie!  She had had them in India . . . buttery cookies made with whole wheat flour (hence good for the “system”) with a nice coating of chocolate on one side!  As dinner was cooking, there were spotted hyenas watching (there was a fence between us). 

Again still on the Musgrave Family Vaca, so we headed out the next morning at 6:00 (not sure why we slept in – maybe because the gate didn’t open until then??)

How could I have forgotten – the rhino Doug spotted while driving (on Day 1)!  It looks close to the road, but wasn’t!  The man can multi-task!!

We had a South African treat – instant coffee – in the car that morning with our cereal and Ouma Rusks (google them).  While eating breakfast in the car, we spotted our first of many buffalos.  We had to eat with the windows up part of the time since monkeys were wanting to join us!

Here’s another “see if you can find the animal” picture.  Annie’s camera could really zoom in which makes them a little easier to see.

We were very surprised to see a leopard.  This one we saw only because someone pointed it out.  We saw very few zebras, but lots of elephants.

My most exciting moment was spotting a leopard!  We could have so easily missed him.  I was so speechless, all I could do was point and say, “there.” 

God truly blessed us!  We saw the “Big Five” – something that is not common!  And we did it within the first 24 hours we were in the park! 

Here are some other animals we saw:

And though small, I’d go back just to see the  birds!

And some not so small . . . Vultures

Loving, thoughtful monkeys

Up close tired lion

See what you’re missing!  Don’t you want to come to South Africa!!!!

Kruger Park with Annie — Part 1

Since this was a Musgrave Family Vacation, we got up at 4:00am and left the house promptly at 5:00am.  Dauw Briedenhann, a friend from Pretoria accompanied us and served as an excellent tour guide!  After around 2.5 hours of driving, we stopped at Milly’s for breakfast.  (That sentence makes me laugh – reminds me of  back in the ’80′s when my sister, Debbie told my mom that she had a sausage biscuit every Saturday morning at Mrs Winners.  My mom was so pleased that this lady would fix breakfast and have Debbie over!)  FYI Milly’s is a restaurant overlooking a small lake – possibly for trout fishing??

Dauw had told us that he planned a stop at a mall!  Annie and I perked up and were impressed with his thoughtfulness in letting us shop for awhile.  Then he explained that the stop would be for grocery shopping.  While Dauw and Doug selected the meat for the braais, Annie and I rushed to our favorite aisle.  Yes, Megan – the cereal aisle!  The Musgrave Women know what is important!  I think Dauw was hoping for eggs and bacon . . . .  Milo and Muesli!!  WooHoo!!  (Milo is like Peanut Butter Puffs only without the peanut butter and with extra chocolate.)

We enter Kruger Park at the Mulalane Gate.  There were crocodiles under the bridge and elephants crossing the road!!

We arrived at our campsite around 3:30 that afternoon.  For some reason I didn’t take any pictures, but Annie and I slept in one tent; Doug and Dauw in the second.  The tents were on concrete floors, had doors and electricity.  Someone even came and made the  beds in the mornings!  Showers, etc were in a building a little way down the road. 

We unloaded/unpacked, then went out for another drive.  We saw lots of “deer-like” animals.

And giraffes . . . then were delayed by a large group of elephants who did not know whether they really wanted to cross the road or not.

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