Lenten T I D I N G S

March 2000

St Francis of Assisi Parish Newsletter

 

Contents

Foreword

From the clergy

Consecration of Martin Breytenbach as Bishop

Bishop’s Charge

God has not promised

I dreamed I had an interview with God

Eulogies to Archie

My testimony by Foibe B Rugumayo

Religion against Crime


 

Foreword


A new year, and another edition of Tidings.  There have been a number of significant changes in church life at St Francis and the interregnum leaves us in an expectant mood, waiting prayerfully on God for his direction for our future.  Much of this edition is devoted to the people who have left St Francis, and surely the next one (or the one after) will be devoted to new arrivals.

On a more mundane matter, the rising costs attached to the packaging and posting of Tidings has lead the clergy to decide that a different method of circulation is becoming increasingly necessary.  From the next edition of Tidings, rather than post out all copies, we have decided to print copies and make them available at the back of the church.  We would then request that people take one copy per family when attending one of the Sunday services, or pick up a copy from Christine at the church office during the week.  A separate mailing list will be kept for people who find it difficult to get out of their homes, and for those who have relocated to other parts of the world.  The web edition of Tidings will continue to be made available, subject to any glitches in that department.

            Happy reading.

Mark


 

Editor: Mark Napier. Tel. 012-9987992 (home), Email: mnapier@csir.co.za

Typing: Christine Lawrie.  Production: Anne Allison.  Collation:  Amy Macnamara.  St Francis of Assisi Anglican Church, 373 Milner Street, Waterkloof, 0181, Tel. 012-346 1106/7, Fax: 346 4226. 

http://www.st-francis.co.za/   mail@st-francis.co.za

Clergy: Robin Heath, June de Klerk, Ed Smith, Gloria Smith.



From the Clergy...

 

Dear Fellow Parishioners

 

H

ere we are well into the year 2000.  We do hope that you are enjoying the new series of preaching themes that we have been using since the beginning of Advent.  The five Sundays before Lent have had the theme of listening to God, which can be very fruitful, if taken seriously.

I have been asked to put into print the three types of prayer and listening I have found useful and which I mentioned in the first of this series.

The first is simple, to use the words:  "To you, Lord" as mentioned in John Suggit's recent publication called "The Anglican Way" quoted below:

"Many may find it difficult to spend much time in prayer each morning, but at least they can say the three words (an ancient prayer) "To you, Lord", and make the sign of the cross, thereby indicating that they and the world are once again committed to the love and mercy of God.  In the evening again we are to pray for ourselves and others, looking back over the past day, thanking God for it and for opportunities of showing his love to others, and asking his forgiveness both our failures and those of our society.  The Lord's prayer said slowly is a good framework for all forms of prayer."

Secondly the Jesus Prayer, which has also been used for centuries, helped many people: 

Lord Jesus Christ (breathe out)

Son of God  (breathe in)

Have mercy on me (breathe out)

A sinner  (breathe in)

This can be said as slowly and as often as one likes, and the breathing exercise also helps a person to relax.

The third format is one that Fr John Salt, introduced us to at a Clergy Retreat two years ago.  This seems to have a natural progression in the order suggested:

1.                  Prayer of Silence (perhaps using one of the above)

2.                  Prayer of Self Examination and Repentance (sin prevents a relationship with God, so we need to get rid of it)

3.                  Prayer of Meditation or Imaginative Prayer (Reading a gospel passage about Jesus, and imagining yourself to be there, as part of the crowd or one of the characters, can be enlightening and helpful)

4.                  Prayer of Intercession.  In this final step you may find that the Lord Jesus is entrusting you to pray for a specific situation or person (Very exciting)

 

Please do remember that, for the Christian, listening to God is basic to our relationship with Him, and not just an optional extra.

Martin has now left, and Archie's fairly sudden death, have left great gaps in all our lives, but we the clergy, have been greatly encouraged by the way everything goes ahead, by your understanding, helpfulness and continuous flow of ideas.  See back page for exciting coming events.

A special word of thanks to Rob, Eckart, and Stuart, our churchwardens, on whose shoulders fall the burden of not only keeping the church going, but spearheading the search for our new rector.  Thanks to Rob for his "Council Chatter" newsletters, which keep us abreast of what's happening, and to Eckart for keeping us up to date with matters financial.

I end with words from the letter to the Hebrews, chapter 6 verses 3 and 11.

"Let us go forward.  And this is what we will do if God allows."

"Our great desire is that each of you keep up your eagerness to the end, so that the things you hope for will come true."

God bless each one of you

 

Robin


 

Consecration of Martin Breytenbach as Bishop

By Don MacRobert

 


T

he consecration of Martin Breytenbach as Bishop of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist took place at St Mary's Cathedral, Johannesburg, on Saturday 5th February.  This was a combined  Consecration shared also with the consecration of Brian Germond as Bishop of Johannesburg.

The celebrant was the Archbishop of Cape Town, Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane.  The preacher was the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr George Carey.

As was to be expected, the cathedral was filled to overflowing.

In his sermon, the Archbishop of Canterbury spoke not only to the two Bishops, Martin and Brian, but also to all present.  His sermon focused on three major aspects.  Firstly, one has to serve.  The Bishops, and all of us have to be stripped of our robes.  We are ordinary people.  But as such we are charged to go out and serve.  He referred to some of the saints whose memories are commemorated on the Johannesburg cathedral walls.  St Augustin, St Cyprian and in particular St Bernard, an African.

The second point raised by the Archbishop was to teach.  He charged the Bishops, and all of us to evangelise.  We should endeavour wherever possible to teach the word of God.

Thirdly, the Bishops were to be Vision Bearers.  He referred to the Archbishop of New Zealand who had said that the clergy should be Vision Bearers, and not problem solvers.  They should be Vision Bearers in God's glory.  The Bishops should be leaders of the churches and people.  However, they should be very focussed on Africa, which is rich with music and the diversity of people.

The Archbishop invited us all to enjoy our faith.  Enjoy the church.  Enjoy being a servant.  All of these are joyful experiences.  The Archbishop also referred to the case of an officer elect at the Sandhurst Military College in England who had failed.  When the father of the boy petitioned the Sandhurst authorities he was told that:  "People would only want this person as a commissioned officer out of curiosity!!"  He charge us all not to be people who would be looked at "out of curiosity".

Thereafter the formal side of the ceremony took place with the presentation of Martin to the Archbishop of Cape Town, the presentation being by the Bishop of Pretoria, and the Bishop of Christ the King.

The Bishops were then addressed by the Archbishop, who charged them to teach and to proclaim the demands of justice and to lead God's people on their mission to the world.  Thereafter the Archbishop asked Martin to accept the calling to be the Bishop.  This was followed by the Consecration of the Bishops.

Thereafter, there was the ceremonious handing over of the bible, the cross, ring and star, each accompanied by an appropriate statement from the Archbishop.

All in all it was a very joyous and happy event.  There were many from the St Francis congregation who must have been very proud of Martin, Sarah and the children, all of whom were invited to stand before the whole congregation and to receive the wide applause and acclamation of all those in the cathedral.                     v


 

Bishop’s Charge

Martin delivered this Charge at his installation as Bishop of the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist on 12th of February.  We have taken excerpts from the Charge for this edition of Tidings.


1. Getting Married!

Becoming the Bishop of a Diocese is like getting married - exciting, frightening, full of expectations and uncertainties:

Since long before the first approaches were made to me, this process has been full or prayer and the desire to do God's will. God certainly made it clear to me, and to my family, that he wanted us to be available if called. The proposal of marriage came on the day of the Elective Assembly and, like a bride with a mixture of fear and excitement, I was glad to say "yes" to the invitation from God and the Diocese. Just like an engagement to be married, all sorts of practical things had to be worked out during the time leading up to my Consecration last Saturday.

Although it has felt like a long time since August, it has been a good one for us, and Sarah, the children and I feel that we have been well prepared for our life and ministry with you. The Consecration felt just like a wedding service, with all the ceremonial, the support of the whole church, vows that were made, fancy clothes - and even the giving of a ring! Today we are enjoying the wedding reception - a great celebration of the new life that we are beginning together. There are speeches, music, rejoicing and feasting at the Lord's Table. Then comes the honeymoon, a time to explore and enjoy the excitement of our new relationship in the Lord.

Of course it will not all be easy - we will need to work hard on communication. We will have to learn about one another, and get to appreciate our various backgrounds and the different ways we do things. Let us all make a special effort to look for the best in one another, for all of us have valuable gifts to offer to one another and the Church in this Diocese.

 

2. Thank You

Before I go any further, like a bridegroom at his wedding reception, I need to say thank you ...

 

2.1 To Many People

Thank you to all of you for the welcome we have received here in the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist. A special word of thanks must go to:

·         Those who have prepared "Bishopsmark" for us so beautifully;

·         All who have visited us bringing gifts and practical help;

·         The Diocesan Staff who have gone out of their way to be helpful and to put me in the picture about many things;

·         Bishop Philip and Charmian Le Feuvre, who have exercised a wonderful ministry here, and have been incredibly generous and gracious in preparing the way for us;

·         All of you who travelled long distances to the Consecration last week and braved the traffic of central Johannesburg;

·         Nehemiah Mothiba, my Senior Priest, the people of the Parish of Mahwelereng, and the team who have prepared this Installation service;

·         Bishop Duncan Buchanan, who has guided and encouraged me over the years, and has now come to Install me on behalf of Archbishop Njongonkulu Ndungane;

·         The Diocese of Pretoria where I have been involved in many levels of leadership, have received most of my Priestly formation, and have grown in experience and, I hope, wisdom, over the years;

·         The Bishops (and their wives) under whom I have served and who have, each in their own way, been a huge encouragement - +Michael Nuttall, +Richard Kraft, and +Jo Seoka;

·         The people of many parishes where I have been a member, guitar and piano player, Choir member, Youth leader, student, Assistant priest , Rector and Archdeacon. Special thanks to the people of St Francis, Waterkloof who have supported Sarah, the children and me for the last 13 years - and have set us free to grow in our various gifts and ministries;

·         Our link Dioceses: Christ the King, Mara, Singapore and Western Newfoundland for messages of support and the assurance of their prayers;

·         Our Ecumenical partners, especially in the Northern Province Council of Churches, with whom we share in mission and ministry;

·         Bishop Philip's overseas Commissaries, who have agreed to continue until I am able to appoint new ones;

·         My wonderful family (Sarah, Katy, Tasha and Jeremy) who have been willing to leave behind schools, an exciting and stimulating job, and friends in order to be obedient to God's call;

·         All of you who have been praying and will continue to pray for us and the Diocese - "Father, may your kingdom come and your will be done here in St Mark's Diocese as in heaven."

 

2.2 To God

But above all, I need to express thanks and praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. The Old Testament lesson (Jeremiah 1:4-12) and Gospel (John 20: 19-23) highlight specially what God has done for me and for all of us.

God has chosen each of us - even before we were born - to be his children, and to fulfil a special purpose in his plan for the world (Jeremiah 1:4).

God loves us so much that he has poured out his grace in Jesus our Saviour, reconciling us to God and one another (John 20:20) through his death on the cross. More than that - he has given us the Holy Spirit, and commanded us to receive him (John 20:22), so that we have power to live as children of God.

In love, God gives to each of us gifts and ministries (for example Jeremiah 1:9) as part of his body, the church.

God calls us to use these gifts and gives us the authority (Jeremiah 1:10) and power (Jeremiah 1:12) to do so, so that the church and the world may be transformed to reflect his Kingdom (Mark 1:15). We are to do this by making disciples (Matthew 28:18-20) - leading people to faith in Jesus and teaching them what it means to live as the people of God.

In this calling God invites us to share in the ministry of Jesus to the world (John 20:21), as it is so beautifully summarised in Luke 4:18-19

 

"The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he has chosen me to bring good news to the poor. He has sent me to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind; to set free the oppressed and announce that the time has come when the Lord will save his people."

 

This is a holistic ministry, not only to individuals, but also to the community, country and world in which we live.

For this reason I have decided to launch a "Bishop's Disaster Appeal" to offer practical help to those in this Province who are suffering as a result of the floods this week. I ask all the people of the Diocese: please bring blankets, food and clothing to your church, who can deliver it to the Diocesan Centre. We will see that it reaches those agencies that can distribute it effectively.

All of these things are reasons to give thanks and praise to God for his boundless love and goodness to us.

  

 

3. The Church

God has chosen to use, as his special instrument, the church with all its faults, divisions and weaknesses. Often we fail, betray, deny and hurt him. But God continues to trust and use us. It is up to us to keep turning back to him, offering ourselves to him in faith and obedience.

 

4. The Future

What are God's plans for the Diocese of St Mark the Evangelist in the next few years? To continue to work and pray until the Diocesan Vision comes true in all our congregations. As for this year, I know what God wants me to do - and I invite you to join me in it. It is all summarised in our New Testament Lesson for today - Acts 11:23-24. As we are obedient to this direction, I know that God will guide and bless us in ways that we cannot now imagine. Wonderful things were happening in Antioch. Jews and Gentiles were coming to know the Lord, and the news spread to the church in Jerusalem. So they sent Barnabas the "Son of Encouragement" to see what was going on. We read:

 

“When he arrived and saw how God had blessed the people, he was glad and urged them all to be faithful and true to the Lord with all their hearts.”

 

I believe that God wants me, and all of us, to be like Barnabas.

 

5. Conclusion

Now, let us continue to celebrate the wedding feast of the Lamb at the Lord's Table, knowing that all these things are but a foretaste of the great celebration that awaits us and all those who are faithful and true to the end.

 

Thank you.

 

Martin

God has not promised

 

God has not promised skies always blue,

Flower-strewn pathways all our lives through;

God has not promised sun without rain,

Joy without sorrow, peace without pain.

 

But God has promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labour, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

 

God has not promised we shall not know

Toil and temptations, trouble and woe;

He has not told us we shall not bear

Many a burden, many a care.

 

But God has promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labour, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

 

God has not promised smooth roads and wide.

Swift easy travel, needing no guide;

Never a mountain, rocky and steep,

Never a river turbid and deep.

 

But God has promised strength for the day,

Rest for the labour, light for the way,

Grace for the trials, help from above,

Unfailing sympathy, undying love.

 

 

From “This England”, sent in by Robin Heath

 

   


 
I dreamed I had an interview with God

 

"Come in"' God said.  "So, would you like to interview Me?"

"If you have the time," I said.

God smiled and said "My time is eternity and is enough to do everything.  What questions do you have in mind to ask Me?"

"What surprises you most about mankind?" I asked.

God answered, "That they get bored of being children, are in a rush to grow up and then long to be children again.  That they lose their health to make money, then lose their money to restore their health.  That they live as if they will never die, and they die as if they never lived."

God's hands took mine and we were silent for a while and then I asked: "As a parent, what are some of life's lessons you want your children to learn?"

God replied with a smile. "To learn that they cannot make anyone love them.  What they can do is let themselves be loved. 

To learn that what is valuable is not what they have in their lives, but who they have in their lives. 

To learn that it is not good to compare themselves to others.  All will be judged individually on their own merits, not as a group on a comparative basis!

To learn that a rich person is not the one that has the most, but is one that needs the least.

To learn that it only takes a few seconds to open profound wounds in persons we love and it takes many years to heal them.

To learn to forgive, by practising forgiveness.

To learn that there are persons who love us dearly, but simply do not know how to express or show their feelings.

To learn that money can buy everything but happiness.

To learn that two people can look at the same thing and see it totally differently.

To learn that a true friend is someone who knows everything about them, and likes them anyway.

To learn that it is not always enough that they be forgiven by others, but that they have to forgive themselves."

I sat there for a while enjoying the moment.  I thanked Him for his time and for what He has done for me and my family.

God replied. "Anytime, I'm here 24 hours a day.  All you have to do is ask for me, and I'll answer."

"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel!"

 

 

From Gesine Buiten


 

Eulogies to Archie

Although the St Francis church was packed to capacity, many people missed the funeral service for Archie.  Here are some of the eulogies that were read there, and a letter from Cherry.

 

To all at St. Francis,

You have all been a wonderful support to my family and me over the past month after the loss of my beloved husband, Archie.  I can't say enough thank-you’s for all the cards, letters, phone-calls, visits, flowers, plates of food that I have received. I have been literally overwhelmed and at the same time humbled by all the care that has been shown to us. Without your support, I would never have had the strength to go on and ultimately that comes from the Lord working through you, so I have much to be thankful for. May God bless you all in your ministry.

 

Cherry, Susie, Mark & Jo, Rob & Riana, Andy & Fern

 


M

y beloved husband, although you are not physically here with us today, I know you are with us in spirit. I would just like to thank-you for loving me, spoiling me, caring for me with a most dedicated love which could withstand any pressures, crises and problems and still remain the same. What did I do to deserve such love? I give thanks to the Lord.

Always ready to give to others, to think of others before yourself you were a shining example to me and to your children who are already showing that your wonderful influence is having a remarkable effect on their lives and within their own families – may these gifts of yours be passed on through them to their own children. Thank-you for giving me four wonderful children, who give me endless pleasure and a reason to live.

Although you could be serious and enjoyed deep discussions, your ready sense of humour was always close to the surface and many a friend or family member fell victim to your little pranks which together with your wonderful positive attitude to life, kept the people around you on an even keel.

God has blessed us richly in giving us a happy and fulfilling marriage of nearly 32 years (6th Jan).  Many people do not have that privilege. God has been good to us in so many ways and we thank and praise Him for that. We thank Him also for a wonderful support system given to us through all these hard times by people all over S.A., U.K. and even the States - I did not know you had touched so many people in your life!

And so we say good-bye for now, my love, knowing that you are beginning your new life with your beloved Lord, a perfect life with no more pain, sickness or tragedy. May you have eternal rest and peace.

Your  loving wife,

Cherry


Dad you were a precious man. I remember so many things that were so special. Walking down the streets in town being ever so proud to hold your hand. The bear hugs, which I could never win. The patient cricket coach, the proud soccer fan. The sensitive father with tears in his eyes at each departure. The times we would just talk and especially those “compulsory” golf days that were so necessary whenever we met. There was always time, then, to talk about the things that were happening around us.

You have been the role model in my life and I thank you for the special moments we shared.

I thank the Lord that He provided the time for us to talk just one more time before your illness took you away. The pleasure in your eyes of seeing your grandchild again will always be in my memory, but Oh, the sorrow to know that you cannot continue physically to share in our joy.

The Lord has taken you from us, most probably to have the company of one of his faithful servants. Rest in peace my Father and friend –

For ever missing you

Andy


 

One of the best memories I have of my father were the hours that he spent with me in the cricket nets during my school years. During some seasons we would go down to the cricket nets every day of the week.  Dad’s enthusiasm at times seemed even greater than mine!  Coaching me was not always easy!  My family will tell you how extremely frustrated I get when I don’t get some things right the first time!  My regular expressions of these frustrations would have tested the limits of any coach’s patience!  Dad seemed to have endless patience with me!  He must have been an excellent coach as he managed to teach me how to play the game!  At all my school cricket matches, dad shared my disappointment at every failure at the crease and shared my enjoyment of every success.  These times I will never forget.

Dad was dedicated to his family.  He gave us everything that he had to give.  He was an excellent example of a great husband and father.  Dad loved and served God and his fellow people.  By his life he showed us what values are worth holding onto.  We will always remember these.

I always thank God for giving our family such a great father.

Rob


 

Dad, Thank you for being such a wonderful father and man. You embodied what a Christian ought to be in so many ways. You were patient, kind, loving and always thinking of others before yourself. You were an example and an inspiration to all of us. Always a family man, who missed us terribly when we moved away from home, you let us go with both love and pride. When I lived in Pretoria, I remember our special lunches we had together and our squash games where I just couldn’t keep up with you .

As children we knew we could come to you at any time with our hurts and disappointments. You were always there with words of comfort and wisdom.

Jo


 

Dear Dad, I love you very much. Thank you for being such a good Dad to me. Thank you for taking me to work and back. Thank you for getting me into Irene Homes as a resident. Thank you for always having time to do things with me, like playing putt putt and other games.

Lots of love

Sue


 

Being a daughter-in-law and having an Afrikaans background, I must admit that at times it was difficult to feel part of the huge Archibald family.  My first recollection of this, was the first time I met the Archibald and extended family at the PSA camp at Gonoubie.  What  a shock it was to the system!  It felt like walking into a group of  a million people babbling about everything and anything.  Being a Kovsie girl, the language barrier made it difficult to join in.

If there was one person who always made me feel at ease and very welcome in the family, it was my father-in-law – a person I could look up to and who I could think of as being my Dad, a person I loved as much as my own dad.  I will always think of my father-in-law as a very kind-hearted man who always gave something of himself and lived life to the full.

How privileged I am to have such special memories of a father-in-law!

Riana

 


I remember Arch.  I remember the unfailing dedication to God; the morning and evening prayer conducted without fail even when on camp. Sleepy eyes, locked on the last words of prayer before nodding off.

I remember a meticulous scientist – a leader in diatom biology. I remember Arch’s own private meteorological station – temperatures and rainfall recorded every day for the last umpteen years.

I remember Arch’s homebrew beer – a quart shared every evening before supper. A family man whose biggest regret in passing is probably that he can’t hold his grandchildren.

I remember a selfless man who, when I had flagged long ago, was still packing the dishwasher at midnight and loading the washing machine at 5am the following morning before going for a run.

I remember Susie’s innocent characterization of her Dad as “a beautiful soul”.

I remember a man of God.

Mark

 


 

It’s very difficult to know what to write down today when I realise that this is going to be read out in front of people who knew you for many more years than I did.  But as one of the newest members of the family I feel that I have to at least try to say thank you.

As I was thinking about what I could possibly write that hasn’t already been written, I suddenly thought that I didn’t really have time to get to know you. But then I realised I was wrong, because so many of the things that I love and admire in your son I know he learnt from you. His sensitivity and gentleness, his patience, were things that were second nature to you.

I will never forget the day I married your son and you took me onto the dance floor, gave me a hug and said,” I think I’m going to enjoy having you as a daughter in law.”  Well I can honestly say that the feeling was entirely mutual.

What a privilege it is to be a part of your family, where you were such a brilliant example of what a godly husband and father should be. What a wonderful legacy you have left behind you.

Thank you, Fern



My testimony

By Foibe B Rugumayo-(Uganda)

We run this autobiographical account as a two part series in Tidings.  People wanting to see the second part of the testimony will have to wait!

 

From Iron Age to Space Age

M

y husband and I often refer to our past, in humour but thankfully as being, “From stone age to space age", or is it the digital age now?  We have come a long way from humble beginnings of hardship of childhood and youth.  It did seem like survival of the fittest, large families, little change of clothing and no shoes, with scanty personal belongings.  In retrospect, individualism had no place, honest hard work without much personal reward except for self-reliance.  ‘No work, no food’ was the rule of the day.  At times we had to forgo delicacies with crop and animal epidemics.  Travelling long distances under heavy tropical rains without rainwear when crossing swamps in search for Upper Primary School was a nightmare.  Secondary education being boarding throughout the country at the time, was a haven for many of us, but competition was quite stiff even then.  Hardly with the affluence of modern conveniences such as electricity nor gas, car nor television, let alone the fascination of Internet and the computers.

 

Survival

H

owever, we were reasonably contented and happy.  A Christian, non-materialistic upbringing gave us a good foundation.  We did survive on parental as well as family love and care with community support.  We were blessed with a rich cultural heritage of natural food, folklore, music and dance.  It was a blessing that we both enjoyed the mother-father figure till old age.

By the grace of God we had the privilege of studying abroad for our University education.  We have crossed continent upon continent, survived Idi Amin’s reign of terror and the harsh realities of refugee-exile life.  New beginnings began to unfold in the early nineties with the opportunity of working for the UNDP in Lesotho as a programme director.  Later we moved to diplomacy in South Africa where my husband has been representing Uganda as a High Commissioner (Ambassador).  He has, since August, been appointed to the cabinet by president Museveni as the Minister of Internal Affairs, combining police, immigration and correctional services.  As one put it correctly ‘This is a trouble-shooting spot’.  We shall value your constant prayers.

 

Exile

W

hen Edward resigned from Amin’s government as Minister of Education in 1972, he ran away to Zambia under the guise of Sports Minister with mere suitcases and three children to start a new life.  In a similar manner I followed later while undergoing a Cambridge certificate examination course in Nairobi as a history teacher.  We started from scratch but slowly built our family.  Our children were marvellous, undemanding and understanding.

Three years later, a dear South African colleague and friend, Prisca Molotsi, puzzled as to why I was not using any contraceptives but still not pregnant, grabbed my hand in African style, and dragged me to a gynaecologist in spite of my plea that both my husband and I were not worried and that all was well.  The doctor in question fell sick while diagnosing my case and with the social welfare medical services in Zambia at the time the doctor I took on was not at all sympathetic to my cause.  After realising that I was reluctant to follow his drastic schemes, he brushed me off saying, “You go, maybe your God will do a miracle.”

Soon after, I had an opportunity to go to Botswana where I accidentally met two gynaecologists including my original bedside doctor who gave me much encouragement assuring me that children were gifts from God and there was still a chance.

 

A miracle baby

I

 left feeling restored and hopeful, concentrated on a rigorous keep fit programme and not on my uncertainties.  The following month, I remember exactly, the good Lord did indeed bring about a miracle, and I conceived. The Lord graciously blessed us with a precious beautiful daughter, Mbabazi, now completing her course in tourism at Technikon Witwatersrand.  She loves the Lord Jesus, is handy in the house, and a source of encouragement and fellowship.

Our firstborn Timu is now working in Uganda as a civil engineer, he has given us four wonderful grand children, Mpuuga, Ira, Kogere and Bobo.  Our second and third born, Nyonga married to Ulf, and Olimi married to Caroline, are all here with their Norwegian spouses and families.  We have enjoyed immensely a global village with them and our delightful and affectionate grandchildren, Guma and Hangi (Nyonga and Ulf’s), Cwa and Olea (Olimi and Caroline’s) and at one time all under one roof in our beautiful mansion in Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria.  How I shall miss them. We could not send them spouses by DHL after living in Norway for over ten years due to the political unrest at home.

 

Diplomats

O

ur present home, a Uganda residence, is an imposing, spacious structure with a spectacular view in Waterkloof Ridge.  A Greek semi-millionaire built it; I keep saying he didn’t know that he was building it for us.  I bumped into his daughter one day at a shopping centre, on overhearing the address I was giving to a friend, she got excited and arranged to come to the house with all her extended family, over 10 of them, who came one Sunday afternoon because they had not been to the house for some ten years and wanted to show now the grown up children where they were born.

At first I nearly went round the bend with its maintenance.  My first exposure to SA’s maintenance service was not impressive.  Diplomats were seen as people with fat pockets.  Eventually like everywhere else, I discovered some lovely genuine transparent and efficient service providers.  Thanks to the St. Francis Anglican Church Pretoria contacts where we have enjoyed wonderful Christian fellowship.  I learnt to accept the inevitable and did what I could.  It was then that I started enjoying the God-given privileges and learnt to be content with whatever was available.

 

Variety: the spice of life

I

n regard to factionalism, I believe that ‘variety is the spice of life.’  God has created diversity for our good. Each culture has a contribution to make and we need not copycat other cultures.  True, we need to be selective.  Every culture has had the Stone Age, and we do not need to go back to the dressing habits of the Stone Age to be seen to stick to our identity.  Culture is a living organism: it grows and changes, and we have to discard what is superstitious and artificial, a consumption of gullible belief in medicine for example, and uphold what is genuine, true and effective.

History has proven that it is the fear of the unknown that makes people suspicious of one another and the more one is exposed to meeting other people with an open mind the better our human relations will become.

 

Foibe’s personal conversion

is described in the second part,

appearing in the next edition



Religion against Crime

Some of the projects in which we could become involved.

From Rev Martzi Eidelberg 

Please contact her if you have any offers of help or queries  Tel 344-3299

 

Proposed Projects List for the Brooklyn “Religion Against Crime”  Church Community Initiative

The following is a brief summary of some of the projects/activities in which the Brooklyn Church Community could assist the Brooklyn Community Police Forum to fight crime.

 

1.  Individual Congregational Activities

a.  “Adopt-a-Cop” – this is aimed at young children through the schools.  The idea of this project is to create awareness among young children that a policeman is not a “bogey-man” but rather someone who is there to care for and protect them.  The children are also advised how to contact the police in time of need.

The police will visit a Primary, Play or Sunday school with a clown or some such person and spend time with the children.  Individual churches can assist the BCPF by arranging meetings through their local Primary or Sunday schools.  The contact persons to take this further are:

Sgt Annabelle Meyer (PRO at the Brooklyn Police Station) tel 362-1507 x 206

Insp Wilma van der Bank, Sgt Karel Viljoen, Sgt Thomas Molefe

 

b.  “Anti-Drug Education” – this is currently taking the form of a very hard hitting school-level drama presentation by University Students entitled “Time Out”.

Individual churches can assist the BCPF by fund raising for this production or by arranging for the presentation thereof in their church or other local community or school halls.  The play could for example be presented on an evening together with their youth band.

The contact persons to take this further are:

Super Johann de Lange (Brooklyn Police station) tel 362-1507

Christiaan Bezuidenhout (BCPF) Cell 083-310-4520

c.  “Improving Moral Values” – individual congregations could make a huge impact in the fight against crime by encouraging a greater sense of moral values within the community.  This could be done by way of sermons, lectures etc.

 

d.  “General Awareness Against Crime”

Possible projects that could fall under this umbrella are:

Advising Elderly – This is a group of people who are generally very vulnerable to crime.  There is as yet no specific project defined to assist/include the elderly.

Self Defence Training – through Ladies Fellowship/Woman’s Auxiliary and/or Youth groups.  The police are more than willing to assist with this.

Domestic Servant Awareness Training – through Ladies Fellowship/Woman’s Auxiliary.  The Brooklyn Police have an office.

The use of Sunday Intimations and/or Prayer Lists to provide members with relevant information and to pray for the Brooklyn Police in particular.

The contact persons to take this further are:

Sgt Annabelle Meyer (PRO at the Brooklyn Police Station)

Tel 362-1507 x 206

Insp Wilma van der Bank, Sgt Karl Viljoen, Sgt Thomas Molefe

All of the above are trained in these fields and will assist the congregation in getting such activities going.

2.  Activities to be Co-ordinated by the Religion Against Crime Committee

a.  “Inter Trauma Nexus (victim support/empowerment)” – This is a project run by Barbara Louw and aimed at providing victims of crime with counselling and advising them of their rights and how to enforce them.

Churches are requested to canvass their congregations for potential Counsellors who could be trained to assist in this work.  Groups within the congregation could also be requested to provide “Rape Packs” for distribution to victims.

The RAC Committee to co-ordinate.

b. “Wednesday Lunchtime Prayer Meeting” – This is a group prayer meeting that takes place at the Brooklyn Police station every Wednesday starting at 12h30.

Churches are requested to canvass their congregations for members and/or clergy who are interested in attending/leading such meetings.  The RAC Committee will set up a Roster in order to give individual congregations the opportunity for conducting these meetings.

c.  “Networking” – Each congregation is requested to appoint one or two members  whose names will be incorporated on a “Grape Vine”.  A RAC Committee member will head up this “Grape Vine” and through this the BCPF will be able to disseminate information to the various congregations.  Individuals wishing to remain anonymous will also be able to us this “Grape Vine” to provide the BCPF with information.

 

d.  “Reservist/Administrative Manpower” – There is still a need for individuals willing to make themselves available to assist the police in this capacity.

The RAC Committee will also investigate ways, together with the BCPF, in which the community can assist the BCPF with Voluntary Administrative manpower eg the filling in of accident forms and/or taking statements.

e. "Police Image” – The RAC Committee to investigate, together with the BCPF, ways in which the public image of the Brooklyn Police Service can be improved.