I arrived late in the afternoon to an overcast, showery, but very humid Durban welcome. The weather in Durban was 34 degrees when I boarded my flight in Dubai, but by the time I landed the temperature had plummeted to only 24, but boy was it humid !!! I breathed in the welcome warm air with a sense of “I am where I belong” for the time being at least as I looked around at the all too familiar surroundings of the King U’Shaka airport I had come in and out of so many times over the past four years.
I was picked up at the airport by Amanda Dove and taken back to Vernon and Amanda’s home for the evening, as my apartment in Umdolti Beach was having some minor repairs done and would not be ready for occupation until the next day. Seeing Amanda and then Vernon and then their family immediately made me feel like I was home.
“Home” is made up of two important components. The first and most important is irreplaceable …. “Family” !!! My children and grandchildren are everything to me. I wouldn’t be here in South Africa without their unqualified support and encouragement. The second is the place where you feel you belong most at any given time. Durban gives me that feeling and has given me that feeling most in the past four years. It’s an indescribable feeling really. South Africans call it “the Spirit of Africa” or just “Africa” gets into you …. and it’s true.
A dinner meal a few hours later with a small group of friends was like picking up a conversation we had been interrupted by a day or two earlier ….. It was warm, welcoming and most importantly, sincere. We talked about my journey, each others day, we discussed some spiritual thoughts and principals …. And we even found time to talk about the weather and the rolling black-outs afflicting South Africa at the present time. It was engaging, it felt good …. it felt like I belonged.
The next day (Friday) I moved into my one bedroom apartment in Umdolti Beach where I will stay for the first three months of this trip. The normal Westville accommodation was at breaking point and my normal accommodation options were both in use for the first 3-4 months of my time here. Although this option was not a preferred location, being 40 minutes drive from Westville, it did provide me with a unique opportunity to live in a little sea side South African village with a nice ocean view to wake up to each morning.
This morning (Sunday) I woke to a beautiful South African sunrise. The sound of the ocean waves were only interrupted by the pitter patter of the monkeys running across the veranda outside my balcony. An early morning walk along the beach was followed by some last minute preparation for my “Witness Talk” at Westville a few hours later. Lunch with Bro Barry Van Heerden and a young family (Bro Lithle & Sis Rose) who live in isolation was followed by a drive and visit to their very humble home where Barry and I were treated like royalty as we talked about our love and hope of the coming Kingdom of God ……..
Yes …… it feels like home !!!