Nylstroom: A small message of Hope

The last blog post shared some of the scenes around our town, gripped in one of the worst droughts in history.

I have shared some photos on facebook about the state of our town’s dam, the main water supply. But here is some of it for those readers not on my facebook…

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I have taken this rock to our church, as a token of remembrance-  we need rain…

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Beauty in death…

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I also learned this past week that one beer can really hurt you. And no, I did not step into a broken bottle…

A week or two ago my wife and I sat in this dam, between the cracked dry mud, and we prayed. Something mayor is going on in our lives, and we are experiencing the onslaught in so many ways. Landing on the front page of the Afrikaans newspapers all over South Africa, just by buying a beer at a  National Cricket Game and being identified as a pastor afterwards did not help at all.

This morning I had to deliver a letter at a Crocodile farm. I took the long way home, feeling very down and out at the moment. The long route took me across some of the beautiful scenery in our part of the world, even if it severely dry at the moment. I just am in no mood to be amongst people today.

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And so, with this long route back home, I drove past our Donkerpoort Dam again from the other side, and went in there again- it is one of my favorite praying spots.

The Lord must have invited me there. Because what I have seen, has really blessed me. It did rain over the weekend, quite a lot in some places. And when I walked over to the middle of the dam, I saw this sight…  the change has begun. The slow restoration of hope has started to change the scenery…

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A very small stream has begun to flow, covering the cracks, bringing the promise of a new season…  It is still very small. It disappears into the dry earth quite suddenly. But… it is there. And if it continues to grow, it will make a huge difference…

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Friends in wet countries will probably not understand my excitement over such a small amount of water. Friends in desert countries will rejoice with me. In a normal year, even these rocks will be a few meters under water.

I needed to see this promise of hope this morning.  The wonderful sound of water flowing. The frogs- where have they been??? has started croaking again.  And I so long for the day the fish wlll be jumping again at sunset, and to hear the cry of the fish eagle again soon…

A little bit of water brings a lot of hope to a dry place.  I now pray for the same to happen to my heart…

PS Photo Quality sucks… took it with my phone- plan to go and show it to my wife this afternoon and take a decent camera along.  And pray a little more…

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Global Warming is real around my home town…

I see a lot of politicians around the world trying to deny the effect of Global Warming. Some call it just a myth. But each month sets new records as the warmest month in human history. And it is wreaking havoc around the globe. Some places get a lot more rain than usual.

But here in the Limpopo Province of South Africa nature forgot to send rain, this whole season long. The effect- it is the first time in my 22 years living in our town, that our town’s dam is drying up completely. This is our main water supply.

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This is the last remaining water in our dam, with water levels now getting too low to pump any water out anymore.

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This lonely rock would in a good year be more than 10 meters under water… 

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Even my Pick-up (Bakkie!) is going boldly where it has never been before…. 

Fortunately our town has a new government after the last Local Government Elections. While the previous regime did nothing to ensure water supply, the new Municipality is keeping us up to date about the water supply, and have started to order the drilling of a few boreholes, something the previous mayor and friends failed to do in the past 6 dry months. We also get water pumped in from Pretoria, our capital. The previous town council became in arrears with their payment of water, so supply was severely limited.

Fact remains- it is very dry around here. We need rain very soon in this new spring season, as nature is having a very bad time, plants and animals dying from thirst..

I hope I can post a photo with an overflowing dam soon…

Bucket List Item #38: Shark Cage Diving

This morning at 06h00 my daughter and I reported at the Blue Wilderness at Rocky Bay on the Kwa Zulu Natal South Coast of South Africa.

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I was in serious need of some adrenaline in my life. Time to do a Bucket List Item… number 38 was possible… And so we decided to go feed ourselves to the sharks.

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Photos by Blue Wilderness

There was a cage available, but we decided to be brave and swim outside the cage…

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I think the wetsuit makes me look fat.. 🙂

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That hairy skinny legs outside the cage are mine..

And then the SHARKS started arriving…

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Fortunately only Black tip Reef Sharks today…

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But they are beautiful, and very curious about us hanging around in their world…

 

This was really an amazing morning in my life, spending some quality time with my daughter, and enjoying nature…

I felt sorry for a few of the sharks… the one still swims around with a very expensive Rapala lure dangling from her mouth.  Some of the other sharks has evidence of broken jaws, being caught and then the hooks got taken out very brutally.  The one positive- they were released after being caught.

I really enjoyed this experience, and now I would love to start saving for the next level- doing a scuba course…

Still breathing… barely

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Hi dear friends… So I have been quiet for a while… a few months to be precise…

I always wanted my blog to be a place with a positive vibe, good news and so. So I developed a huge writer’s block.

It was a hard year for me with my eldest son working in the USA. But he has safely returned last week. The US of A has been good to him, and he really enjoyed it a lot. He thinks the people of Gregory, South Dakota are some of the friendliest people around. He was based in Hendricks, Minnesota. The Combined Harvestingvteam travelled through to Texas, Colorado, Montana, both Dakotas and over to Saskatchwan in Canada. He has seen a lot that his father would also love to see one day.  He returned to South Africa, and promptly left for Mozambique again last Friday- week ago, with his girlfriend and her family. His sister also worked until now, and her firm closed for the Christmas holidays.

The rest of the family is at Scottburg just south of Durban. We are having a good time in the Indian Ocean, swimming and suntanning. I also am planning to make a bucket list item a reality, to go shark cage diving if weather permits on Saturday. My eldest 2 children will probably join us in 2 days’ time to celebrate Christmas together.

Why I was so silent on my blog: the situation in South Africa is really getting me down. We have a very expensive clown for a president, and he and his cronies are really ruining our beautiful country. Even the New York Times says so…

In South Africa, if you are white and think the ANC is ruining the country, you must be a racist and longing for the old apartheid days. And that is really getting me down. No, I do not long for old days of racial discrimination. But I am fed up with the corruption and the way our President treats the country as his personal piggy bank. I do not long back to good old days, I look forward to a day in the future where everybody will really be treated as equals, and that I will never have to fill my race in on a form again. South Africa is in real deep… trouble. And while I still have the freedom to say that, I will.

So we are going to enjoy this seaside holiday, I think 2016 is going to be a very difficult year in our country…  we need a good rest before the next struggle starts.

So for all readers who celebrate Christmas, may it be a good time of peace. And for all the rest, may you also experience peace in these troubled times!