I drove over an hour North to Bushbuckridge to start the morning. The early morning breeze was cool and very enjoyable. I drove through banana plantations and various crops through the hills of Mpumalanga.
There was road construction on the R40 that delayed me for almost thirty minutes. I sat behind someone that was highly impatient about the delay. He blew his horn every few minutes for the entire thirty minute wait. I rolled down the windows and took in the freshness of the countryside. Gum trees were over a hundred feet high.
Several hundred people were attending the Word of Life Bible Church. I got to see a number of good friends at a church that has become very familiar over the last three years. Their music is always a lifting breeze that makes you think of heaven. Bishop Israel makes me feel very welcome and calls me a member of his church.
We looked at the life of Paul and all the pressures he faced to the point of despair. It was a joy to watch their hearts follow his story and compare the pressures they face on a daily basis. Their pressures are so much more basic than what we face in the states. Pastor Israel said it was very powerful as over one hundred people came forward for prayer afterwards.
One of the church members rode with me to the next small church in the village of Jim Brown. She was very familiar with the area and talked of the crime and difficult circumstances the poor face in this area. Witchcraft is very strong here, she stated as we drove down a dusty road with grass growing in the middle.
She pointed out members of the Zion Christian Church walking on the roads as we passed by. She explained the special tea made by young boys for the SanGomas. Drinking that special tea gives prophecy and insight into the future. I was getting another fresh glimpse into the Christian faith that has been homogenized with ancestral worship.
I walked into the tiny church that has grown over these few years. When I first visited it was in a tent. It is now a concrete floor with cinder block walls. Gum tree poles make up the rafters and brace the tin roof above. The crowd is mixed with children, young people, couples and elderly ladies. They love the Word of God and eagerly follow in their Zulu translations.
The thank you from each person was warm, sincere and tender. Their humble hearts were inviting and encouraging. Thank you for sending us to Africa.
This coming week is full of meetings. We look forward to spending quality time with several missionaries and a variety of pastors. We would appreciate you continued prayers.
Cathy and Danny Sartin