Danny standing with several pastors in Mpumalanga.
This week has slowed our pace so we can breathe and digest many of the experiences over the last seven weeks. Memories pop to the surface like popcorn as we remember the missionaries, the pastors, the deaths, the services, the Bible Study, the people, the issues and most importantly our education about Africa.
One morning in April I was riding with Ronas Marule to pickup some pastors for a 5 am prayer meeting. I remember going down dirt roads that were laced with channels washed away by rain. We bounced up and down as we crept along the road. Then the road turned into two tire tracks with tall grass in the middle. Grass was swiping along the bottom as we drove back in the bush to pickup one pastor. There were no lights anywhere but only the car lights contrasting the inky darkness.
Ronas explained the pastor can’t walk to the road due to thugs who robbed him at gun point recently. We stopped and he looked into the darkness to see the pastor. Where is he? Then he stepped out of the darkness to open the car door. There is no running water at his home or electricity. Women in the area have to tote water for over a mile to use at home.
I also remember seeing women bending over and using home made brooms to sweep the dirt of leaves and other debris. It took me back to the home of my grandmother in Walnut Grove, Mississippi in the 1950’s. African women made brooms of certain brush that grows near water and streams. They bind the straw together with cut inner tube strips to provide a handle. It was just like my grandmother who couldn’t afford a “store bought” broom.
Another strong recollection comes from the orphans. There are so many children left on their own as both parents die from AIDS. One village area had over 100 orphans in each rural community. In Swaziland there were vegetable gardens organized for the orphans to work and grown some food. Busie’s mother who is now a widow organizes feeding for hundreds of children who have no adult left to care for them. Their troubles broke my heart and their smiles invited us in.
We have met volunteer staff here in Cape Town that come from Germany, England, Scotland, Ireland, Holland and the USA. We had a great Bible Study Friday at their office. Last night one came to me and asked if Cathy and I would come to their group home for dinner and do another study. They were excited about the study on Friday.
This last week will be full of mentoring, teaching and spending time with Weichardt family here in Cape Town. Remember Gio, a former member of Khaniysa and good friend of ours, as she lost her father yesterday. We also would covet your prayers for our family. We trust the Lord to guide you in those prayers.
Cathy & Danny Sartin
Four decade veteran of youth ministry in churches, Youth For Christ and now is the Founder and Executive Director of Deeper Still Missions. Danny and his wife Cathy spend most of their time mentoring missionaries in Africa, Europe, Central America and North America. Future opportunities include South America and the Asia Pacific area.