Sabbath Johannesburg

Saturday, April 01, 2017
Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa
Highlight today:
  • Sabbath services in Kempton Park
  • Dinner at Jason and Monique Webster's
We are adjusting to the change of time and hemispheres very well. Friday night was the first night in a bed since Tuesday night and we did sleep well. We went to bed at 9 pm, the early side.
I love the Avalon Guest House where we stay. If you're ever in Pretoria, this is a nice quiet and safe place to stay. You do hear the Russian language spoken here because the Russian Embassy is close by and they seem to find it a favorite place, too.
We found interestingly that the Ukrainian Embassy is close to the Russian embassy.
Breakfast was brought to us on our veranda. The birds are twittering, the tropical vegetation so beautiful when you first see after coming from the climates of back home.
A 10 am Jason Webster came by with two of his four kids and we drive to Kempton Park for Sabbath services. We had been here exactly a year ago and it seemed like we were just here a week or two ago!
We were among the first to come. Jason sets up the hall which is a kind of lodge. There is a play area for the children for them safely run off their steam. There are a nice number of children in this congregation.
It was good to see Arthur and Gail Fisher. This is the first time that we have seen him since his ordination. He has taken well to his new duties in the Church. He also cares for and often visits the newest congregation in Bloemfontein which is about five hours’ drive, but he really enjoys going down there. He will be going there for Passover leaving the Johannesburg congregation to deacon Jason Webster who along with his wife Monique are fantastic servants and leaders for the long-term future of this congregation.
There were 50 people in attendance today. The congregation has been growing with new families and individuals who have made this their home and want and need the fellowship. There are several that we have gotten to know from our continuous visits such as Olga, Mr. Simba and others. It was also good to meet members who were recently baptized and filled with a newness of enthusiasm for the Church. I gave special greetings from Richard and Emmy Kennebeck, Jorge and Kathy de Campos as well as the McNeely's and the Myer's who had visited in the past year.
Jason Webster gave truly an outstanding sermonette about how much more you can get done pulling together than pulling separately. He gave figures on how two draft horses pulling together could pull almost three times the weight that two separately could. The lesson was for all of us to pull together.
I gave a sermon about discipleship and how one of the things about a disciple is that rivers of living water are to flow from us, meaning the Holy Spirit. That spirit then proceeds and does its work. We don’t even know what is done, but good continues to be done down the road, but it has to have a source – that we can be.
Afterward, there was a potluck meal. We then sat and talked for almost three and a half hours. The people really enjoyed being with one another. There was no reason to go anywhere. This was the best place to be on the Sabbath day.
A question came up about explaining the Parable of the Unjust Steward of Luke 16. This is indeed one of the more difficult parables to understand. This was by Silinda (who also goes by "Pinkie") who was there with her young children. One son was named Reabetsoe. At the table where we talked there were Pinkie, Poppy and Olga. 
After fellowshipping in the hall, I went outside and talked to a group of people, some of whom were Zimbabweans living in South Africa One, Ken Mwarumba, is planning to return to Harare sometime in the future. 
Then, back to the Pretoria where Jason and Monique invited us for dinner. We spent a wonderful time with them and their beautiful four kids. Kayla asked Bev why we called the back of the car a "trunk." She thought trunks were for elephants. For them it's the "boot." Bev told Kayla that boots were to be worn. We had a lively discussion about a number of things, notably about the subject of why so much suffering and what is the reason and need for it in the greater scope of life, particularly the Christian life I am planning to discuss this subject in my Feast of Tabernacles sermon this fall. I’ve been doing a lot of thinking and reading on it and want to present a relevant and hopeful message when that time comes.
Finally, back to the Avalon. A truly wonderful day as we get oriented for more Africa! 
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Filius Chalo Jere

We are counting down to 5th April for Chipata Zambia. May make journey more rugged for you and Ma'Berverly, but very inspiring for us. May YAHWEH make your visits very meaningful and fruitful to all who host you.

Michelle Dean

So glad everyone is doing well! Don't forget to give the Webster's our gift.

Grant and Kim Chick

Great to see all our brothers and sisters in South Africa. We miss the people there so much and have so many wonderful memories with a number of them.
Hope the rest of your trip goes well.