Sunday, June 29, 2008

News regarding Natalie

Just to let everyone know that Nats is doing fine. She was discharged on the same day. We expected her to be all swollen and bruised, but to our surprise, nothing.

Her nose is a bit sensitive and has been bleeding on-and-off for the last two days, but she'd doing fine. Most of the swelling is inside her nose, causing her to snore like my Vespa.

But that will be sorted out soon. The Vespa, that is.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Winding down and prayer request

On Monday I'll be going on leave for two weeks and I can't wait. We usually take this time to go down to our flat in Scottburgh, but we need to save our pennies for our trip to Israel in September.

So, we're going to Romania (Remain-here), exploring the Garden Route and braving the Pretoria winter for the first time since 2001. I'll take this time to finish fixing my Vespa, play with the kids, finish my Lenten devotion book and a few other small projects.

Please pray for my beautiful wife, Natalie. She will be going in for an operation to remove some growths from her nose. It's a painful op as they need to remove some bone.

I'm also deciding whether to go for an op... the notorious snip-snip.

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Zapiro on xenophobia

Click here for more Zapiro.

TSSA 2008

The TSSA conference in Grahamstown was absolutely fantastic. I presented a paper entitled "'Is there a building?' - Should the church be a haven for refugees?". It was received very well.

Here are some photos from Grahamstown.

The Cathedral in Grahamstown.

Commemoration Methodist Church

Professors Louise Kretzschmar and Neville Richardson.

From Left to right: Me, Paul Kruger (Behind), Neville Richardson (in front), Jaco Kruger, Roberto Zwetsch, Katrin Kusmierz

Monday, June 16, 2008

My birthday

Well, what have I done on this historic day?

I must say that I have enjoyed it very much so far.

My son kicked me out of bed at 5am, because his bed was to cold.

So, I got up and marked UNISA assignments until about 8am (about 40)

Then we jumped in and cleaned the house.

We went to the shops to buy some goods for tonight's meal.

I wanted to serve up a 3-course Jamie Oliver meal, but due to interest rates, they'll have to settle for a 3-course Japie Olivier.

Now, I'm quickly updating my blog while the kiddies are sleeping and then it is chop, peel, stir, fry, boil, strain, sweat (not me, but some onions), season, caramelize, mould, chill, bake, welcome friends, serve, eat and enjoy. This should take us to about midnight or soon thereafter.

Food on the go - "We've been having it!!!!"

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

A Confession of the Church

I am guilty of hypocrisy and untruthfulness in the face of force.
I have been lacking in compassion and I have denied the poorest of my brethren.
...she [the Church] has often denied to the outcast and to the despised the compassion which she owes them. She was silent when she should have cried out because the blood of the innocent was crying aloud to heaven...
She has stood by while violence and wrong were being committed under the cover of this name [Christ]...
She has incurred the guilt...of the exploitations of labour even beyond the working weekday...
The Church confesses that she has witnessed the lawless application of brutal force, the physical and spiritual suffering of countless innocent people, oppression, hatred and murder, and that she has not raised her voice on behalf of the victims and has not found ways to hasten to their aid. She is guilty of the deaths of the weakest and most defenseless brothers of Jesus Christ...
She has witnessed in silence the...corruption of the strong.
The Church confesses herself guilty towards the countless victims of calumny, denunciation and defamation.
...she has rendered herself guilty of the decline in responsible action, in bravery in the defense of the cause, and in willingness to suffer for what is known to be right.

Dietrich Bonhoeffer (Ethics, written between 1940-1943), p. 91

Thanks for reminding me

Natalie's gran "Oumie" passed away a couple of months ago. Our four year old, Matthew, was very fond of her.

This morning, as Matt and I drove to Nat's mom's house, he turned to me and asked: "Pappa, where is Oumie?".

"She is with Jesus, Matthew." I replied.

"She died?"

"Yes, Matthew. She died."

"Why Pappa?"

"Because Oumie was very sick and she was very old. When people get very old, they get sick and then sometimes they die. It happens to everybody."

"Pappa, you are old.", and then I saw his lip quivering.

A sobering moment. In my rattled state I told him that I would do my best to be alive until he is very big.

I've never seen anybody be so happy that I am trying my best not to kick the bucket.

I hope this episode didn't jinx my efforts.

Sunday, June 08, 2008

Visiting refugees

This afternoon our circuit staff visited a camp set up for people who have been affected by the Xenophobic attacks in our country. The conditions are terrible. There are many different factors that have contributed towards these people's current situation.

I am left feeling heartbroken and ashamed.

The first picture is one of a colleague, Ross Olivier with some children. It was shocking to see how many children are present in this camp. Nothing has been organized for them. They share the same toilets, tents and other facilities with adults, most of whom they do not know.

This is a photo of Jerry and Jonathan (from Ethiopia), Alan (from the Democratic Republic of the Congo) and a friend (also from Ethiopia). They shared their stories with us, how they fled their countries out of fear for their lives, hoping to make a life here.

This is a photo of the make-shift camp set up by the Tshwane council. Drainage is terrible, the place smells and people sit despondent.

I am not pretending as if there are no issues attached to this situation. But before issues become more important than people, perhaps take the time to walk through one of these camps, listen, pray, be present.