Leaving Heathrow, London on the 24th Aug, I flew to Atlanta where I was fetched from the airport by Mike and Cathy Horat. Mike is an Elder with the Church of Christ in Lilburn, GA. Spending a little time with Mike and Cathy was wonderful. Janet and I first met them in 1999 during my late wife's and my first trip to the US.
Sunday 26th August.
I spoke on my work showing my Power Point presentation. I was told that the Church there was considering supporting me and at the time of this writing they are supporting my work in South Africa.
Just before lunch, Mike drove me through to Gainesville, GA where we met Donny Lott and I accompanied Donny back to his home in Watkinsville, GA. I stayed in a very nice apartment on his property, thoroughly enjoying it. Will probably stay there again on my return to the Atlanta area, just before my return to South Africa on the 9th December.
On Tuesday 28th, Donny and I went through to Warne, NC. where we met up with Sakkie and Laverne Pretorius, had lunch with them and thoroughly enjoyed a few hours visiting with them.
On the Wednesday evening we went through to Gainesville for midweek Bible Study. I spoke about my work showing them the Power Point presentation I had prepared. At the writing, they have not made a decision on whether to give me monthly support, but have sent me some one time support. Very grateful for that.
On Friday 30th, Donny had me at the Atlanta airport on time for me to get my flight to Chicago, arriving there and getting a bus to Vallparaiso, arriving in the afternoon at the home of brother Lyle and sister Marie Lovell.
Leaving South Africa on the 16th August, I arrived in England in the early morning of the 17th. This was my first opportunity to spend 7 days with my daughter, Ashleen and grand-daughter Molly in their home since them leaving South Africa to settle in the UK in September 2009.
I will always remember Molly's excitement when she saw me waiting at the airport. They were still some way off when she jumped out of the car and ran to me, giving me a wonderful hug.
Ashleen said that she had not waited for her to stop before jumping out of the car. From there we drove down to Fleet where she lives.
The next day, Saturday, we went to Portsmouth, Where we met with one of Ashleen's friends. We had a meal on the beach front, and a hour or so later made our way back to Fleet.
Years ago I read an article in either a book or magazine about two Israeli submarines that had been refurbished in the Portsmouth harbour and completed at the beginning of the six-day war with Egypt. This was the first time I had been introduced to what was going on in Portsmouth, and now, here I was, right here where these submarines had been. You probably wonder what happened to them, well, the first one, named Dakar never made it back to Israel, It was found at the bottom of the Mediterranean sea many years later.
Ashleen works for BAE and I have never asked her if BAE was the company involved in the refurbishment of those subs, since they are in the ship building industry.
Sunday 19th, we left home very early and drove down to Waterlooville, in the same direction as Portsmouth. I was asked to preach there before leaving SA and so my subject matter was "The Role of Women in the Church". I know I got a few strange looks. After service we gave Inez (Gradwell) a ride home and had lunch with her. Inez used to live in Johannesburg many years ago and it was great to meet up with her again and spend a little time with her.
Places we visited in the next few days were Windsor, and while there we went on the river Thames in a Ferry. My impressions of England as I saw it this time, is that it is a very beautiful country. Everything is just so neat. I can say that I enjoyed every minute there, especially with Ashleen and Molly.
The time to leave was approaching and sadness crept in, with the occasional tear. I knew I had to say goodbye to Ashleen and Molly which would not be easy. Looking forward to the day when I can spend a few weeks with them, but not sure when that will be.
It's been over a month since moving to Makhado and enjoying it. I am working with three congregations, one in Mavele, Gazankulu, near Tzaneen, the next in Mamaila, Venda, and the other in Matanda, Venda. It has been a wonderful experience so far for me. My only problems have been trouble with my right elbow (Tennis Elbow), and my right foot, which has in the heal, Planters Fasciitis, and two toes that should have been fixed a few years ago when I had a growth removed from my foot. I will have to have it operated on, after my return to SA from my proposed trip to the USA in December, and before my return to this area.
The Lord has been kind to me as I am staying with brethren who have been dear friends of mine for many years, almost since their move to SA many years back, David and Joanne Beckley.
I have had the priviledge to study with Dave, who is to my mind a true Bible scholar. Our studies started with the book of John, Brother Prince Ramaira, joining this class, and shortly to start in the book of Romans and well as on the subject of Prayer.
Brother Beckley has introduced me to the Church in Mavele and asked the brethren there if they wanted me to work with them, thankfully, they let me know that they would and I have been travelling there, about a 2 1/2 hours drive, for the past three weeks. Also, I had been asked by Brother Prince Ramaira, after consultation with the Matanda church, if I would mind teaching the Book of Romans every Thursday at 17H30 (5pm), and this I have done for the past three weeks as well.
In April, the 6th, at 15H00 (3pm) I am to present a lecture on "Prayers That Please God" at the Maydell's home. This is the personal effort of Les and Linda Maydell. I also look forward to seeing brethren that I have not seen in a long time, as well as meeting brethren that I have not met before.
Following the lectureships, I will be travelling down to Port Elizabeth to be with my sister Colleen and brother-in-law Johann Scholz, who are visiting South Africa for three weeks, for a two week period from the 9th to the 24th, when I will return to Makhado.
I arrived here at the home of David and Joanne beckley on the 19th (Thursday) January. Was rather tired and relaxed that afternoon and on the Friday. On Sunday the 22nd I accompanied David Beckley, and Prince Ramaira to the Mavele Church of Christ, building situated in between Tzaneen and Phalaborwa, a 2 1/2 hour drive in a south easterly direction from Makhado. On the way we picked up Brother Phineas Mathamane and his family as David wanted to introduce Phineas to the brethren at Mavele. There I was introduced to the brethren (about 80) that gathered there that morning. David had said that they would want me to preach that morning and so I preached on the 1st Chapter of Ruth, (Choices). Afterward, David spoke to the men, about them inviting me to work with them. I got word back in the past week that they want me to be there on the 5th at 9:30am to teach a Bible Class. I had suggested to them that we study the Book of Romans and they were acceptable to that.
We drove back to brother Phineas Mathamane's house and there at 3pm we had service with Brother Beckley preaching. This is a new congregation, with most of his family and a few visitors.
From Monday the 23rd Brothers Beckley, Prince Mamaila and myself have put in at least 5 to 7 hours per day in the study of John. Plus attended the midweek study in the home of Brother Phineas, at Mamaila Wholesale, where he lives, as well as prepare the material for the classes we are to teach. It is this kind of activity that I have been yearning for, for some time now. I am expecting word from another congregation here in Venda who would like to study the Book of Romans with me.
Today, 30th Jan, I submitted my Visa Application to the US Embassy in Johannesburg online and I have an appointment on Monday the 6th at 10am in Johannesburg.
Today is the 2nd January 2012 and Monday 16th January I will be leaving Port Elizabeth for Louis Trichardt which has a new name Mukhado. I think a distance of about 1600 kilometres (1000 miles) is about right from where I live at present.
It was a number of months back during 2011 that I wrote to the brethren in South Africa letting them know that I was ready to move to where I am needed. The first one to respond was Brother David Beckley, who lives in Louis Trichart with his wife Joanne.
David suggested that I think about moving to Louis Trichardt. I realised that this was a major decision on my part, which would necessitate either selliing or renting out my house at Sundays River in Colchester, Eastern Cape. Since the housing market is very bad at the moment, I decided to rent out the house and handed the rental part to Lindsay Erasmus of AIDA Properties. I am pleased to say that a tenant was successfully found in a very short space of time, and at the time of this writing have already moved in.
Certain roof repairs still have to be carried out on my house and my son-in-law Bruce Samuel has agreed to quote on doing the work for me. This has fortunately left me free to plan my move, what I need to take with me, etc. in the next few days.