The time is 4:16 a.m. in Chester – 10:16 a.m. where I am right this moment. Since our day began, which included a cool morning at 15 degrees Celsius or about 59 degrees Fahrenheit, we have been to the primary school where we were able to share a bible story with the entire student body. We have since purchased gas by the liter and bread with the Rand. In case you are wondering, I am in South Africa as you are reading this.
Our flight from Dulles to JFK was very short and uneventful. Due to the way that JFK is laid out, we had to go through security a second time, so we had to board the plane for South Africa the moment we arrived the gate. Our plane was pretty full, which is not the greatest thing when you are flying internationally in economy class for 14 hours, 45 minutes. We landed, went through passport control and customs rather quickly, and met up with the missionary with whom we would be serving.
We first arrived in Diphagane (pronounced dee-paw-haw-nee) at 3:30 p.m. After eating a PBJ, we prepared to go to a church leadership meeting. It was good to see people I had met five months ago. We still needed to be reintroduced; but in time, we will come to know each other. The leadership team laid out our itinerary for our visit, with a number of teaching, preaching and sharing opportunities planned for us.
One unexpected event has occurred twice: getting stopped by the police. The police pull people much differently here than in the states. Once you are deemed to be speeding, an officer steps out into the street and flags you to the side. We received grace for a rate of speed infraction, and our driver, luckily, was not ticketed. Our second time involved a routine traffic stop, checking vehicle registration and license. It is just interesting that we have been here two days and have had two police officers visit the driver’s window of our vehicle.
The temperature has risen quickly, and it appears that it will be a pretty warm day – as I write this. Africa is currently in late spring, so things are blooming. We have a couple of fans but no AC or heat, but it was actually pretty comfortable last night. This is a pretty dry region, except for the rainy season that will occur from about November to March.
I sat on the wall in front of the house where we are staying this morning with a kid (baby goat) grazing beside me, and a few chickens messing around. It was quite peaceful watching the sun come up over the mountains and just taking in all the beautiful sounds associated with this place. The mountains are covered by these huge brown boulders, some which looked like someone placed them there. The missionary has stated, “It reminds me that a great flood occurred here long ago.”
I hope that you have been able to draw a mental picture, through my words. If you go to a map to find me, you probably won’t find Diphagane, but you will find the Limpopo Province. I appreciate God giving me the opportunity to be here, and pray that He will use me for His kingdom’s purposes. God bless you.