After our five sermons for Pentecost up in Rustenburg (about an hour west of Pretoria), Attie and Renate Nel flew with us down to Cape Town where we had been scheduled to speak to the Stellenbosch congregation. The pastor we knew here is Theo Geyser (and I won’t even try to describe how to say his name); Theo and Wilma picked us up at the airport, Attie and Renate went on their merry way to relax, and we were promptly introduced to the Stormers — the rugby team from that area. We tooled around Cape Town — the beach front for a coffee and then the mall and a fine lunch at the harbor.
Here are some highlights of our time in beautiful (but cloudy and rainy this time of year) Stellenbosch:
First, on Saturday evening while Wilma stayed home to prepare her sermon for another church on Sunday morning, Theo took Kris and me to a downtown restaurant where we had a bottle of glorious Cape wine and watch the whole of the rugby game. We loved it — and it reminded me of our time in England where I learned about “rugger.”
Second, as we were sitting around talking about my sermons for Sunday, Theo suggested I change my talk to a mother’s day topic and so I reworked some stuff on Mary and had a wonderful time on Sunday — a sermon at 10am, then one at 5:30pm and then another to big crowd of college students at 7pm. Another great experience with Christians on the Cape, with serious worship and music, and an opportunity to press upon Protestants to think more seriously about Mary and the vision of her Magnificat. (I should have brought along some Mary books … alas, a good excuse to come back!)
We enjoyed listening to Wilma describe her experience preaching at another church when she got back. We loved getting to know Theo, Wilma and Wilma’s delightful mom, Barbara (who cooked up some authentic Cape dishes, including Bobotie — who knows how to spell it). Barbara was very kind — and she’s one more example of S African hospitality. And … about the church in Stellenbosch… this community of faith has something going on that bodes well for the future.
After the Sunday evening services we enjoyed a wine-tasting party with Theo, Wilma, Attie, Renate and Ian and Karin — Ian is a professional wine person and we were introduced to those for whom wine is not only a business but an art form. Wow, do they know alot, including being able to taste wine and recognizing from what country it comes.
Third, I was scheduled for some talks at the theological seminary at Stellenbosch. To my delight, the room on Monday morning was packed and we had two sessions — one on missional Jesus and one on teaching postmodern students to read the Bible. A very stimulating conversation. Loved it. What a beautiful university Stellenbosch is.
Then we flew back to Johannesburg and drove up to Pretoria and to Rustenburg to be greeted by our splendid hosts — Nic and Magriet Albertz. This morning when we got up, I went outside and watched baboons in the hills for about thirty minutes. Awesome place.
I’ve developed a special affection for the red sand/clay here in the north west area of S Africa.