Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Trip to the Eastern Cape: Day 12

One of the favourite games Louise and I have played on this trip is the game of dodgem...dodgem taxis, dodgem people, dodgem animals, and, our all time favourite, dodgem potholes. We left Molteno at 7 AM, which doesn't sound early, but it is still not quite light at that time...so it was hard to spot potholes until you were right on top of them...unless, of course, some thoughtful person had painted a white line around the potholes...no kidding. They erect signs warning you of potholes and they paint around them with white paint, but they don't fix them. Go figure...

I can well understand why our ancestors wanted to settle in this area in spite of the awful winters. -1 this morning! But the landscape is simply stunning...the valleys and the hills...the flora and the fauna...add in the mist over the dams and lakes and rivers...add in the golden hues of pinks and lilacs of sunrise...and you have magic.

Our first stop today was in a town named after Queen Victoria...Queenstown. This is one of two Dioceses in which we have struggled to get appointments, but a dear gentleman by the name of Siphiwo requested to see us today...which, in turned out, was his birthday!
He wanted to know what we were doing so that he can pass on the information to the Bishop and the rest of the Diocese...but, more importantly, he wants us to train his parishioners how to disciple others. We did the introductory presentation with him and the Diocesan secretary and prayed with them. He showed us around the cavernous Cathedral of St Michaels and All Angels. Gorgeous building...and really interesting decor...among the typical stained glass windows and stone carvings, they have a brown Jesus behind the altar.

Then we had to push on to East London for our first meeting at St Mark's, Cambridge, at 12:30. East London is part of the Diocese of Grahamstown, but these folks are chomping at the bit...they are so ready for the disciple-making training, the only repeated, almost urgent question was when do we do this? There were 24 at this introductory session...other than Mthatha, this was the largest group we have addressed. They are all excitement and so we set a tentative date, subject, of course to the approval of their Bishop.

We then went to the Guest House where we will spend the night. The building belongs to a member of St Mark's Church, but he is a St Thomas Christian from Kerela. They trace their origins to the evangelistic activity of Thomas the Apostle in the First Century. How fortuitous that we should be staying in a house owned by a man who is a Christian today because of the obedience of one of Jesus' original disciples...to make disciples of all nations...even if that meant crossing land and sea and cultures and languages to do so...not to mention, lose his life in the process.

After a short rest we returned to St Mark's for the second session.
This was not so well attended, but some key people were there with key ideas and key questions. It really only take one or two...that's the beauty of disciple-making. You don't need huge numbers, huge budgets, huge buildings, huge anything...you just need huge hearts filled with love for God and for people. It is that simple...

Tomorrow will be the longest drive yet...so it is time to find a pillow and get some shut-eye. Nighty night world...


  1. The area reminds me of Britain. My Grandparents grew up in Cathcart and my Dad and uncle went to school at Queens College.