We sit in the cottage at Amathunzi with the beautiful mountains visible in the distance. Zebra are grazing nearby in our view. Clouds have rolled across the sky for two days of winter like weather here in South Africa.
Cathy feeds the birds who visit our stoop with bird seed from the grocery store. Majestic Bishop birds come and dance among the seeds and eat. Their bright red hood causes them to look like a Bishop from the 15th century. We laugh at the posturing they do to gain dominance over the seeds. They stand tall and erect attempting to appear larger than the others. Then they endeavor to chase others away.
She places an over ripe banana and entices a mongoose to come and eat. The gray mongoose has a glossy coat and a long slender tail. What a splendid sleek animal that eats with great caution and whisks away with immense speed. Our minds dance with his swiftness and ability to kill Cape Cobras.
We now find ourselves viewing our Africa experience in the rear view mirror of our minds. Our memories flip like a roll-a-dex of faces, places, tribes and missionaries. There are poignant moments of truth, awareness, love and prayer. And most importantly, moments of stillness to know that He is God!
We are deeply thankful for all the new missionaries we have met and built instant bonds with. We are thankful for the pastors and volunteers who open their minds and hearts to the scripture. The appetite for God’s Word is unquenchable here in Africa.
We now look forward to seeing our grandchildren, children, friends and family. We want to hug your neck and share the bounty of experiences provided by our Lord. It has been rich and powerful.
The moments we spent here also have an element of anxiety. Just last night we heard the story of three small children in a nearby farm community. They discovered a weaver bird nest on the ground and stuck their finger in the small hole and they felt a peck from the what they thought was a bird. Each child stuck his finger in and laughed with wonder. Unfortunately the peck was from a Boomslang snake that was killing and eating the baby chicks inside the nest. All three little boys, who were brothers, died from the deadly snake bites. Thank goodness Jesus Christ took those precious children in his arms.
It reminds us of the veiled battle that rages on the Dark Continent. It is not with flesh and blood but with princes and principalities. Satan and his minions never sleep or slumber. Thank you for sending us to this spiritual battleground.
The flowers will appear to be gone when we arrive home. God will now cover those bulbs with a carpet of white snow. They are not dead. In the spring the carpet of flowers will reappear as if by magic. The sun hides behind clouds now preparing the spring and summer to come. Jesus Christ will emerge at the right time. The seeming victories of Satan will be swallowed by the majesty and brilliance of our Lord. Praise Him for His love, justice, glory and grace.
Cathy and Danny Sartin
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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.