Wednesday, April 17, 2013

This is Africa


Life goes on and we are enjoying being busy with classes and assisting prospective PEF students and assisting the young missionaries.  As for current events here in South Africa:  There has been a judges strike due to failure of government to pay judges.  So the courts have been temporarily in limbo until judges are paid.  A shortage of 11,000 school teachers has led to strikes by students across the nation where affected.  Reason: failure of school districts to hire teachers due to failure of government to provide money for salaries.  Our missionaries had not received mail for a month due to strike by post office employees.  They went on strike because of failure by government to pay them.  The government has failed to deliver payment respectively because money so allotted legislatively has been siphoned off along the pipe line by so called civic officials.  The last week of March one of our missionaries was very happy.  He was elated.  He received his Christmas package that his mother had mailed to him the first week of November.  It was a beautiful air mail gift and included  “freshly baked cookies” by mom.  Well, at least this elder received his Christmas package.  We still have one elder waiting. The overall answer to all things in this country is  “This is Africa.” 
Hospital workers demonstrating for higher wages

But there are so many good things in this country:  You can have your car thoroughly cleaned for 40 Rand ($5) and the cleaning is the equivalent of “detailing” in the U.S. You pull up to a petrol station and attendants put petrol in your car, check the oil and water, put air in the tires, and clean your windows.  The people are friendly, helpful and will go out of their way to assist you.  There is spiritual strength not just in wards and branches but in other denominations throughout the land.  School students look fantastic in their uniforms and to see young elementary school boys in dress shoes, dress short pants, white shirt and tie, sweater, and coat plus hat is really an aristocratic sight.  Just imagine your six and seven year old sons looking this way each day they go to school.  Visually, the students in this country are outstandingly dressed and are so impressive looking.  The shops, the malls are loaded with all kinds of products just like the U.S. To go into a “fruit and vegetable” store is amazing for such stores far  exceed similar stores in the U.S.   There are a lot more positives but the point is:  despite its challenges, there is a lot of good in this land, the land of two life styles --  the modern contemporary world, and the archaic world of poverty-stricken people living in squalid tin shack ghettos and a few mud huts.  The gospel is true and we are enjoying our stewardship as the work progresses.  May the Lord’s choicest blessings be upon you all.

Elder S.

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