from Chapter 4
In 2006 my life changed forever! That’s the year that I met my beloved husband, Justice Nthakgeleng Nonyane.
I was attending Bible College at the Assembly of God Church in Paradise, South Australia now called Influencers Church. I started in 2004 and completed my advanced diploma in 2005. In that second year at college I met Solly and Siphiwe Solomon, Pastors from South Africa. They were also studying at the college. Their zeal for God and their lovely black faces added interest and diversity to our classes. As our friendships in the college grew, they invited some of us to visit their church and community in Hazyview, in the province of Mpumalanga. I heard that it was a beautiful location in a mountainous tourist area not far from Kruger National Park. I decided I would go. I booked my tickets several months later and took leave from my job for a few weeks. It was the first time I experienced hesitation in travelling somewhere. I’m not sure if it was because I was going to a country where the local language was not English, or if it was because something or someone was trying to intimidate me into not going. Waves of fear threatened me every time I thought about making that trip and I very nearly cancelled my plans. My Aunt Glenda lived in South Africa when I was a young girl. This invoked curiosity in me to know more about the country and it’s people. The same adventurous spirit that was inside of her was also inside of me. My dream was about to come true.
I arrived on December 29th, 2005. I had no idea the people we were staying with would need to drive for five hours to collect me and drive five hours right back to Hazyview, but I’m grateful that they did. Once we met at the airport, we left the busy city and drove through the countryside and its beauty preoccupied my mind. I wondered as we entered the more rural landscape, why so many people were out walking up and down the road. I had of course arrived just in time for New Year’s Eve celebrations. After a day of rest, I accepted the invitation of my hosts to travel with them to Nelspruit, only one hour away, to a New Year’s Eve party. It was wonderful. I was very tired, but it was such a fun night. There were multiple groups of joyful, well-fed, fun, dancing people scattered over the entire oval. The music was loud, and it was a memorable evening. Amongst the sea of dark faces there was one slightly timid white one, that of which belonged to me.
My parents (to my surprise) were considering coming to South Africa to visit while I was there. We had all met with my Pastor friends in South Australia a few months before I left for South Africa to discuss the details of culture, expectation and experience. We were assured that they would be well looked after as our Pastors would also be there to host them. However, their plans had to change, and they were back in Australia by the time my parents arrived.
My father was funny to watch as he walked around the local streets trying to make jokes with and befriend the locals like he would in his own small town. The small wooden huts scattered throughout these streets showcased homemade crafts, including carved animals and baskets or bowls. My father was very well received as he learned about the local culture and looked at the craftsmanship of their wooden An Unexpected Uni on 23 creations. I am sure however, the highlight of his experience in South Africa would have been any time he spent with children. God blessed him with an enormous capacity to delight in and share the love of God with them. He would beam with satisfaction reciting his experiences with the children he had met at a few schools.
Mum was also given the opportunity to go with dad to a couple of schools. She laughed and laughed when she returned from these visits describing the size of the potholes in the roads and how much they had bounced around in the back of vehicles with the teachers, en-route to and from schools. They had never seen anything like it. They reported that they bounced so much they thought their brains would fall out of their heads. It was extremely funny to listen to mum recount her stories, wide eyed and full of joy. As I sit here recalling these memories, it makes me smile. I remember the incredible blessing it was to both of them to have those experiences together. That joy my parents experienced certainly outweighed the confusion of the mysterious disappearance of the biggest bunch of bananas I have ever seen. A bunch my mother generously bought for the home that we were staying in. Someone clearly anonymously donated them to someone else and didn’t own up to it.
Continued … Buy Healer of Memories