I was blessed yesterday when this letter arrived  in my inbox from a student of the University of Stellenbosch, Cape Town – South Africa.  She was part of a team that visited us in July 2013 through Stellenbosch Congregation – a community of missional go-getters who believes that life is more than mere existing … it’s a life that can mean so much more here and now.  See them at www.sg.org.za

Dear Africa

This letter has been a long time coming ……  The enormity of what I feel takes my breath away, but I just have to say it.  You entice, you seduce, you take prisoners, you capture the hearts and minds of rational human beings, you are a mystery, you keep secrets, you are possessive, you are dangerous, you challenge and yet you move me beyond what I know or think I know.

I may never understand your complex nature but I’ve seen a part of your heart.  I’ve experienced a part of your pain, I’ve seen the tears you cry for those who have suffered and are still suffering.  I’ve felt you touch on my skin, the sunlight dancing on my face.  I’ve stood in awe of your silver moonlight.  I’ve drowned in your starlit sky, I’ve heard your stories, seen your tragedies, I’ve seen the joy of your children, the simplistic way they love and celebrate you.

I’ve looked in the eyes of the broken, which is a part of you.  You’ve forced me to confront my demons, you challenged me to truly experience every possible emotion and just when I think you cannot take anymore you force me to do it all over again. 

You inspire emotion beyond the emptiness, the hopelessness …….

Dear Africa I wondered who you are, but then I discovered you are all of us, those looking for love, acceptance, understanding, grace, passion, meaning, forgiveness,  God ….. You are now part of me and I of you.  I’ve stared into your eyes.  I’ve seen the light and darkness and still I knowingly let you take hold of my heart.  Willingly I’ve let you close your hands around my heart.  I know now that it was never mine to give away, you had it all along.  

And beyond all these emotions I want more.

Yours Sincerely

Nathania Hendriks