Monday, July 05, 2016

It’s a low-activity rest & recovery day, but I have a couple of things to get done in the morning. The first is to take Beth and Rachelle to the airport. I tap lightly on the house door at 7, and they’re waiting inside, packed, organized, ready to go. When you run a children’s home, you learn to be organized. We put the luggage in the back of the van and head for CPT. It’s just a 15-minute drive, and traffic is light, partly because these days the schools are on holiday.

At the curb, we get all their luggage onto a single cart and say our goodbyes. I think they’ve had a good time of refreshment here. That was certainly my goal.

On the way home I stop by a doctor’s office in Kuilsrivier to be sure I know where he is. One of the Crew is showing possible early signs of bronchitis, and we want to get right on that. Cathy Payne, who is a nurse, has confirmed our suspicions and suggested a doctor near the house who accepts walk-ins. I find his place and see that he opens at 9. Good. We’ll be here right then.

And we are. Patient X signs in, and we wait a little more than an hour. This waiting room has awesome magazines, by the way. Soon our name is called, and I wait while The Patient sees the doctor. In less than 20 minutes they’re done, and the doctor comes out to talk. He’s young and friendly, and very positive about what he’s heard about why we’re here. He tells us where the pharmacy is and sends us on our way.

The bill is less than $25.

We drive across the street to pick up 4 separate medications. The counter clerk is friendly and full of information, explaining carefully the way each medication should be used.

The bill is less than $20.

I love this country.

Back to the house to find that Salvin has come by to take Jojo and Lora to the mall. Jojo wants a South African soccer jersey, and Lora wants to see if a shop there can help restore her iPhone, which was one of the victims of the rogue wave at Dias Beach.

The other girls emerge to get some breakfast and then disappear, I assume back to bed. At noon there’s been no word from Jonathan.

Good. Situation calm and stable. Just as we like it.

Jonathan wakes up at 1—says it’s the latest he’s ever slept in his life. Glad to see we’re expanding his horizons.

Jojo and Lora get back from the mall just in time for us all to leave for VBS at 1:30. It’s raining today, so we’ll put the Bible story and memory verse first and then move the chairs to the side of the church sanctuary and have the games inside. The children are pretty energetic today—no real room to run around—so it’s a struggle to keep them reasonably quiet while Rachael tells the story and Bethany teaches the memory verse.

After we get the games started, Bethany, Lora and I jump in the van with Kevin and drive 10 minutes over to the Macassar church, where they’re having a little program this afternoon that they’ve asked us to help with. About 20 children and maybe 10 homeless people show up, and we give them the Bible story and sing some songs with them for about half an hour; then the church gives them hot soup and bread. On this cold, rainy day, that’s a real treat.

We leave as the soup is being distributed, to get back to Eersterivier and pick up the rest of the team. There we find that Willa has been at work again, making hot soup and a kind of donut for the VBS workers. We all have some and then head back to the house for supper. At the mall this afternoon Salvin picked up a Gatsby—he’s crazy about them. It’s a sub, filled with meat and chips (i.e. French fries). This one’s about 6 feet long. Seriously. We cut it into 5-inch sections and heat up 8 of them. That takes care of about half of it; we’ll eat the rest for lunch tomorrow.

Nothing scheduled for tonight, intentionally. I announce that we’ll have devotions at 8, and everybody disappears, I assume to sleep. I turn on the TV, pull up a soccer game, climb under a quilt on the couch, and doze off myself.

For devos we talk about what we’ve learned in the churches here. They’re all in the same fellowship network, all in the same (Coloured South African) culture, but very different in personality and to some extent in practice. Some appear more outgoing as a body, while others seem more reserved. But they’re all characterized by quiet joy. They’re a wonderful part of the Body of Christ.

And we pray for needs among our friends here, for strength to finish well, for needs back home, for our sick ones.

We socialize until 10, when we all decide to call it quits. That’s how tired we are. But we’re OK, and we see our way clear to finishing what God has for us here.

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Dan Olinger

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

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