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For me, being in South Africa means . . .

Feeling bathed in the goodwill that seems to surround Dave wherever he goes! Dave built many positive relationships here, and we are often welcomed with enthusiasm.

Telling a small brown skinned girl that my favourite colour is pink, and hearing her reply "you have pink on your face".

Feeling stressed on some roads as Dave had to respond to the actions of agressive drivers.

Listening to "A Vision for Africa" on the radio in a parking lot, and feeling very inspired, only to lift my eyes and find a beggar outside the window.

Realising that people here see the idea of us moving back as less crazy than people do in Tasmania, because of course they do live here. Many do so quite happily, too!

Wondering how South Africa will ever move on fully from the horrors of segregation between "races", and the racism that seems to still dwell in so many hearts, and the cultural divisions.

Laughing at the sight of an African man in a well cut suit riding on the back of a bakkie (pick-up truck or ute) with his tie flying, while he chatted to two glam looking ladies who were riding in similar fashion.

Dave's parents' warm welcome. Sharing a beautiful dinner with them, and watching monkeys from their windows the next morning.

Understanding Dave better, through sharing those places and people that have shaped his life and heart so deeply.

Goats near the highway below huge houses, and a collection of tiny, run down houses on the other side of the road.

Hearing stories of Dave's ancestors, and realising just how long Dave's heritage here is as his Dad recounted the story of a great-great-grandfather who was killed by a leopard.

Re-focusing on the wonder of the gospel that transcends our sin, our colour, our theological and political differences.

The wonder of seeing a large group of elephants emerge from the bush, and watching a baby elephant suckle from his mother.

Knowing that this place is more colourful and complex than any other place I have ever visited. It is so different to the place where I have always lived, Tasmania, that they are almost incomparible.

Long road trips, punctuated by singing along to worship CDs.

Feeling "other" in a mall full of people with dark skin.

Realising that HIV/Aids is devestating communities in ways I cannot even imagine, and the orphan problem is huge yet invisible to many South Africans.

Having a drink near a restaurant fire and hearing Dave define what he hopes our priorities will be as a family: Hospitality, Generosity, Faith, Holiness.

Marvelling at the beauty of the 'berg, as we sat in our chalet overlooking the mountains with the river gurgling in the front and the fire crackling behind. Relaxing on walks with my husband, and celebrating our first anniversary with joy!

Submitting my fears to God, as I know he will not allow anything to happen that is not part of his plan.

A Zambian immigrant at a craft stall asking after Kevin Rudd and John Howard, and being amazed that he cared to know the names of Australian political leaders.

Feeling incredibly blessed. Being scared by the blessing we've been given, as I know that "of those who have been give much, much will be demanded". Asking the question: What will we do with what we've been given?

Knowing that everyday must be lived for Jesus, because there is nothing else worth living for.

And so much more . . .

Faith  – (August 25, 2008 at 3:42 AM)  

Awesome list!
Love your husband's family goals!

Homemanager  – (August 29, 2008 at 8:21 AM)  

I love your descriptions here about Africa, both the good and the bad. As I read your list, I was marveling at how many things have changed for you since your engagement and marriage to Dave. It is a wonderful testimony of the Lord's grace and blessing! Thanks so much for painting a picture for us with your words and memories.
Blessings to You!

Sherrin  – (September 3, 2008 at 11:19 AM)  

Thanks ladies!

Karen, I've been thinking about the same thing . . . so much has happenned! I realised recently that I've been wanting everything to come at once, and need to pause and realise how much God has already done.

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