Thursday, June 9, 2015

Another slow start, with time to think, write, catch up on details. Charity and Michaela braise some chicken for lunch, with rice. It’s wonderful what a couple of bouillon cubes will do.

Today is our last assignment for the trip—one more VBS at Immanuel in Eersterivier. We have a good bunch of kids, all of them energetic but not unmanageable. We’ve collected well over 100 contact forms for families in the neighborhood of the church; Pastor Kevin and Lydia and the other church leaders will have plenty of work to do in the follow-up stage. I’m glad we’ve been able to play a role in broadening the contact base.

We turn the children  loose with a lollipop and the South African equivalent of Cheetos, and they all go home happy. We stop to pick up milk and bread in preparation for tomorrow’s trip to the Cape, and then we have leftovers for supper. Cleaning up the food supply.

What to do on our last open evening? The team decides unanimously to go back to Century City. Bring American kids all the way to Africa, and they want to go to the mall. I turn them loose there and tell them to be back at the van at 10 pm.

Well, I’m bored. I spend much of the evening out on the north side of the mall, at the Canal Walk. I’ve mentioned that this mall is based loosely on sort of a Venice theme—perhaps with a little San Antonio Riverwalk thrown in. I walk along the wide sidewalks that frame the water features, ambling by the upscale office buildings and the occasional hotel. At the east end, next to a fancy building called Knight’s Bridge, is a water feature with fountain waterfalls ablaze with bright blue light; at the other end is a pedestrian suspension bridge reminiscent of Liberty Bridge in Greenville, though about half the size. My walk brings me by a well-lit storefront with an open front door, through which I see men in Muslim headdresses reciting their evening prayers. That’s something we saw a lot more of earlier in the trip.

I glance up and right at 12 o-clock high notice my old friend the Southern Cross, which so faithfully kept watch over our dorm room at Tumaini. Higher in the sky because we’re farther south. But still there, watching.

Back inside, where I run across some of the crew at the food court. A few get a snack as we wait for others to show up, in ones and twos. We’re all there by 10 and head to the van.

Back at the house, Salvin sits in on team devotions. I talk about things to watch out for in the repatriation process. Salvin says his goodbyes, and we take a picture.

Full day tomorrow at the Cape. By shortly after midnight we’re winding down, and then to bed.

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Dan Olinger

Chair, Division of Bible in the BJU School of Religion.

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