Yesterday (Tuesday) was the start of a new week in the vast mission fields of South Africa around the Durban area. The weekends are nearly always full and hectic with lots of outreach work, mission work and ecclesial activities, so when Monday comes around it is a time to relax and start thinking of the coming week’s projects and activities. A Monday morning sleep-in, a roll-over, and another hours sleep followed by a casual walk along the beach is always a very pleasant way to start a new week.
After another week where my projects with Barry Van Heerden were severely disrupted due to the serious illness to Barry’s little grand-daughter, yesterday (Tuesday) was a fresh start. With Barry’s grand-daughter now on a steady path of improvement, we were able to refocus on the week ahead. Barry and I are still in trial and development mode for our years work as we set about to establish a monthly program of visiting, caring, supporting and encouraging a large number of elderly, ill and isolated brethren & sisters, friends and people in need and with special needs.
So today it was a special privilege to visit Nomvula Khathi, the wife on Bongani in Umlazi who has asked to be baptised. Umlazi is a township on the east coast of KwaZulu Natal, South Africa, located south-west of Durban. It is the third largest township in South Africa, after Soweto and Tembisa with over 550,000 residents. The township is the only township in the country that has its own registration plate, which is NUZ. Umlazi is divided into 26 sections, A through to Z.
Section B of Umlazi where Nomvula lives is at the very far end on the township. It is a drive riddled with steep hills, narrow roads and lots of speed humps designed to remove each cars undercarriage if you drive faster than 15kph over them. However, driving slow creates it own hazards as impatient Durban Taxi Bus drivers and cars take your slow progress as an opportunity to pass you during this process, particularly on a blind bend or if another smaller car is approaching you head on that the Taxi driver believes he can still squeeze between while crossing the speed hump and break neck speed. We eventually arrive at our destination where we leave our car parked on the side of the road and walk to 100 mts up a dirt road / track to Nomvula’s home. As we walk, we wonder if we will ever see our car again as Umlazi is a notorious area for car jacking, general thieving and very little respect for any white men or their possessions.
Nomvula had a friend with her from the “Twelve Apostles Church” up the road when we arrived. Her warmth of friendship was obvious from the start, as was her nerves at the pending discussion concerning her faith and beliefs. Nomvula is a quiet, gentle and unassuming lady. Her quiet demeanor however does not disguise her love of God or her desire for baptism. She speaks softly and carefully to us of the change in her husband since he was baptized about four years ago and she want to join him in Christ. She talked about the Kingdom of God and a wry smiles comes across her face as she recalls many of the things she has learnt about Jesus and looks forward to about the coming Kingdom of God.
Nomvula is a simple Zulu woman with simple tastes, but is rich in grace with a powerful yearning to be with her Lord. It was such a beautiful experience and pleasure to spend the morning with her and Barry and listen to her “good confession” ……