3 000 kilometres and more than 55 hours on a small slow moving bus!  I followed my friends via facebook as they post quicker than CNN can get a report out to me (guess sign of the times).  The photos they sent via technology was staggering. I looked at a photo that arrived early morning from Cape Town.  THE BUS – I heard was a small Primary School bus …. there wasn’t even space for a Cape Town beetle to travel as people’s legs were hanging over guitars, paint, sports equipment …. and food!  And here’s the thing traveling to Mozambique – the long journey was only 25 % of what was still to come.

Crossing any Zimbabwean border must probably be one of the biggest obstacles … and quite frankly the biggest nightmare for any team leader to endeavour.  Add 24 pumped up transformational agents from all spheres of life to that equation and you are about to explore something you never knew about yourself.
Except for the huge amounts of money it costs to cross a Zimbabwean border, the amount of paperwork is even more staggering.  From carbon tax (it’s all about the Zimbabwean carbon footprint you leave behind) to toll fees for the privilege in crossing the one and only bridge in Zimbabwe.  The 3 toll booths on your way doesn’t help either.  Police clearances, roadblocks and toilet stops!

They came from all spheres in life … young … and even younger.  Theological students, pastors, managers, maintenance gurus,  carpenters, welders, physiotherapists, secretaries, newspaper industry, cultural experts, teachers, musicians – GOD truly has an unique bouquet of disciples.  

After more than 3 days on the road I received Bellville Congregation just before sun sets in the African bush. Setting up camp in the bush is not an easy task and if you do that with a tent you have never seen before it gets very interesting.  I was still amazed as the ladies one after another put their pride aside and asked for help!  Within a few hours the empty bush space was transformed to a small bush town  …… and for most a journey of a lifetime was about to take shape.  The campfire was burning high, our warm water donkey was boiling …. and the spirit of the team was contagious!

Of course I could not resist this photo – as Theresa tried to climb the mountain dressed for the occasion …. and that handbag was my favourite.

Introducing ‘new’ friends to what we actually do in the bush is a challenging task!  Mostly due to the fact that I myself wonder what we actually do.  I have over the years thought about many names as people want to now our actual occupation.  I guess we’re  just  lovers!  I do get the odd stare when I write that down ….!  I love God and I love people and I guess that’s enough.  The ‘tour’ always starts at  ‘Transformation Hill’ where we usually sit and take in what God is doing around us.  I usually start our time of reflection with         I Cor 9 which states:

“I keep my bearings in Christ –
but I entered their world and tried to experience
things from their point of view.
I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is
in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life.
I did all this because of the Message.
I didn’t just want to talk about it;  I wanted to be in on it!”
                                                                                     – Paul the Apostle

Bellville Congregation is one of the churches that truly helps me to get the written Bible out to those who have never had the opportunity to own their own Bible.

The rest is usually history as people grasp what they are about to explore about themselves and the people around them.  The blessings bestowed upon us by this phenomenal group of people from Bellville/Blouberg Congregations (and others who joined in) was astounding.  They came to ‘transform’ and to ‘work’ – something they did with great humility and honour.   But let the photos do the talking!  God bless you all!


And off to work they go …..!  Paining and preparing the windows for the Womens Training Center.
His name is Jaco …. and these are the type of guys you pray for all the time.  Brilliant technical buddie who helped us in various ways completing the building and fixing vehicles.
The juniors and the seniors …. learning from each other.
Henri Weideman, leader of the group, pastor, doctor in Theology and handyman.  No task was  too big!
One of the many reasons why I sooooo loved this group!  Nothing was an effort for any of the team as Maire explains.  She grabbed (whatever she was mixing – and she is a master chef too by the way) her plate and got working …. singing!
Reaching out to the ladies in the ‘knitting’ and ‘craft’ department.
Phase 1 of the inside nearing completion as our ‘building inspectors’ carefully examine the job done!
Joao Benjamim (middle) is a missionary with us on the base.  The group gave a hand to complete the installation of all his windows.
Alta was totally spoiled with this surprise Birthday party organized by the team.  It was an evening never to be forgotten.  It touched us deeply to see God’s people truly caring and remembering the small things.
The dream team …. who made the party possible with all the hidden faces not in this photo.  They backed cakes like you can not believe is possible on a gas stove in the bush!!  Maire and Ans van der Merwe with Alta!