15 August 2010
Pam and I had a rare opportunity to visit a Himba village. Unlike tourists who come to snap pictures of a people that live off the land and still dress as their ancestors did, we wanted to know the people. We sat down and conversed through our Himba translator and asked many questions. They even asked about our kids. The women cover themselves with red ochre which is a combination of goat or sheep fat mixed with a special red clay. It was fascinating to hear how the people have adapted to the elements and their genius in doing things. For example, our translator showed us the wooden pillow that the men use. A man will lie on his right side with his head on the “pillow” and his wife will sleep on his right arm. At night, the people will sit around the “holy fire” and discuss things and ask the ancestors or their “supreme god” for assistance. Sadly, all of the people are needed for the village to function, even the kids, and very few ever leave or learn a second language. I could envision a missionary sitting around the fire and telling Bible stories. We do not want to change the positive elements or even the dress of their culture, but we just want them to know Jesus and let him transform the crucial elements in order to be faithful to him.
We met and talked to many inhabitants of the land such as
The town of Upington in the Northern Cape of South Africa is called the Green Kalahari. The Orange River flows through the middle of this dry land and gives life to people, animals and plants. The farmers ship raisins from here to destinations all over the world because of the size and sweetness of these raisins. In fact, the longest runway in the southern hemisphere is here due to the shipping of the raisins and it also serves as an alternate landing spot for the space shuttle. The Johnstons live and work in this area and proclaim the Gospel among many people. They work with new churches, assist other churches and have Bible studies in French, Swahili, and Afrikaans for people from all over Africa. Pam and I enjoyed working alongside them and seeing the work that the Lord is doing. Please pray for them as they spread the Word in a dry and thirsty land.
14 August 2010
The big news here in South Africa for June/July (and the rest of the football loving world) was the 2010 Soccer World Cup. The country was primed and ready to host the world. Even the three of us got in the middle of the happenings. Our day started with a ride on the Metrorail train and then a stroll along the fan walk with tens of thousands of others towards the new stadium.
We stopped along the way to eat lunch and watched the SA versus Mexico game on television, but this was only the beginning.