The first word that will come to mind when Kris and I think of our trip to South Africa is the word “hospitality.” And when I say that I don’t mean just generosity, which we experienced in abundance, or kindness, which we also experienced. We will think of the hospitality of time.
Three couples, Attie and Renate Nel, both on staff at the NG Kerk Bergsig (Mountain View Dutch Reformed Church in Rustenburg), and our host family Nic and Magriet Alberts, didn’t just provide for us so we had our needs met. They gave of their time. Then when we spent the weekend in Stellenbosch, both Theo and Wilma Geyser gave of their time so we could see and hear and experience the country. These new friends gave of their time — and maybe it is our time-crushed world in the USA that made this so abundantly clear — and that mattered most.
Attie and Renate took us to Pretoria twice; they flew with us down to Cape Town; they ate breakfast or lunch with us and checked in constantly to make sure we were fine — all in the middle of busy pastoral lives and family life and a father who is aging. Their church staff went with us to Pilanesberg park. And Nic and Magriet took us to the Cheetah farm and to work and downtown for some shopping … to the mall. They interrupted work to lunch with us and chatted with us in the evening. Theo and Wilma drove us around rainy and cloudy Cape Town and Stellenbosch — showed us Kayamandi (a township settlement) — and then Theo reintroduced us to Rugby (the Stormers rock!).
Here are some pictures of Attie and Renate, Nic and Magriet, and Theo and Wilma:
From Kris and me to Attie and Renate, Nic and Magriet, and Theo and Wilma … immense gratitude.