It's been a very long time since I wrote e-mail. I guess things have
been going a little crazy around here and probably won't stop until
after Easter. I'll try to remember a few things of interest from the
recent past to give you an idea of what we've been up to.
Probably the big thing lately was that Nt. Kali and I made a trip to KwaSizabantu over near Durban to pick up a motorcycle that was given to him. The cycle is a bit of a project, but may still have some potential. It is a Yamaha the same as mine but styled more as a dirt bike. They are a popular bike in South Africa, and have been used by the police a lot. It has three major problems: The exhaust system is completely rusted out. Supposedly there is something wrong with the transmission (I doubt this is serious.) And it doesn't have a title. Since 1994 it has been used to get around the KwaSizabantu campus the owner never licensed it. Now we have no idea how to go about getting a license for it. The man who gave it to Nt. Kali also gave him $200 to help get it fixed up, so maybe we can find a used exhaust for it and put it back together. The motor was rebuilt, but never used and the bike was completely put back together after that. It sat outside more than a year, hence the exhaust and a few other parts were rusted out. I'm fairly sure the transmission problem is just from sitting. I think I'll start by draining the oil out of it, rinsing it good with diesel, then refilling it with new oil. I suspect that will solve the problem. That of course is when I get some free time!
We left about 6:00am Monday morning with the Golf and trailer. We met Nt. Matsaba at the border and had an uneventful trip. It is a beautiful time of year in the Free State because the cosmos are blooming all along the road until we dropped down into the more subtropical area towards the coast. The road we traveled crosses the Drakensberg or Maluti mountains just to the north of Lesotho. We drove through a beautiful
national park called Golden Gate National Park where we crossed the highest passes. We really enjoyed the mountains and also saw a lot of antelope--blesbok, zebra, and another one that I don't know the name of. The baboons were also interesting.
The time at KwaSizabantu was very nice. Their large auditorium which was capable of seating 10,000 people burned to the ground last year. This was very discouraging to them since it was the heart of their ministry. (They don't plant churches as much as we do. Instead they hold conferences and people come to them for spiritual help instead of them going out to plant churches in villages. God has blessed their ministry and they have done a LOT for God in Southern Africa.) From what I understand, they cleared the rubble and then around the beginning of
February started rebuilding. The main structure of the new auditorium is made from laminated wood beams. This structure and the roof system were completely prefabricated in Austria. It was then shipped to Durban and trucked to the mission and then assembled there. They were putting the finishing touches on the building when were there, and plan to use it for the first time on Easter Sunday. To rebuild this massive a structure in two months is quite a miracle in Africa! If you check our blog, I'll post some pictures.
The main reason I'm so busy at the moment is that I'm taking another class from Liberty University. Actually this is the second one this year. They are only 8 weeks long, but there's quite a bit to do during those eight weeks. I thought this one was going to be easier because it
only has two short textbooks, but I misjudged it. There not a lot of assigned reading, but every week there are two writing assignments that require some research. The name of the class is Biblical Foundation of Leadership. I'm really enjoying it and finding it especially applicable to life.
Yesterday I worked with volunteers at Ha Matala on the tabernacle there. We want to close in the open pole barn to make a nice conference facility. Several months ago we dug the foundations, and piled the dirt inside the tabernacle. I had really hoped to get the foundations poured and the the walls up to floor level before the Easter conference, but we had so much rain that we could not work on it. When we get a lot rain, that area turns into a marsh even though it's on the side of a hill.
The foundation trenches that we dug were brim full of water for several weeks. It has finally almost dried up, but there is just not enough time to pour the foundations and build the walls before the conference begins next Thursday. We spread the dirt from the foundation holes out and packed it with a compactor. Maybe later this month we can get the foundation poured.
Well, I guess that's my news. Blessings from God to all of you!