Yesterday I went to church right down the road from me- Claremont Baptist Church. I was interested to know what a Baptist church in SA was like compared to an American Baptist church. As it turns out, they are not much different.
The pastor was named Peter Smallbones, which I thought was kind of a pirate name. ("He may be a small'un, but beware ye Peterrr Smallbones! He'll whip a knife o'er yer hamstrings and tie yer shoelaces togetherr!") The message centered around the Christian's need to view the Father from the perspective of a child. It was good teaching, just kind of short. Maybe because I am used to Mitch Jolly's teaching, which isn't short...
The worship was led by a rainbow'd guitar strapped bearded guy with a nice smile. He was painfully soft-spoken and sweet, and consistently changed the tempo of the songs throughout the singing of each and leaving the band on their toes.
I honestly wasn't taken in by the service that much, but afterward I went and introduced myself to Pira-er, Pastor Smallbones. He was a friendly, caring person who, when he found out I was American, exclaimed that I must meet one of the two American families in the church. He led me to a large, long-haired and smiling lady who grabbed both my hands when I introduced myself. Her name was Gail, and she and her husband moved from Memphis to Cape Town roughly twelve years ago so he could teach at the Baptist seminary in town. She immediately began questioning me about where I was from, where I went to school, and where I currently lived. Turns out that she was familiar with Rome and Shorter College (now University), and had some family herself further down south Georgia. She has 4 kids, the youngest named Samuel (of course I got excited and told the boy that my younger brother is named Sam). This Wednesday I am to be picked up by Gail and fam and spend the evening with them. The church college student group meets at their house that night, so it will give me a chance to meet more students, South African students, regardless of whether I decide to stay at that particular church or not.
I slept terribly last night, being tormented by extremely realistic dreams dredging up unwanted thoughts. I woke up at 3:00am, wide-eyed and heart-heavy. I lay there, wondering if I could go back to sleep without worry of the dreams again. Almost as soon as I gave a sigh, words began pouring into my mind. The Lord is with you, he is mighty to save. He will quiet you with his love, he will rejoice over you with singing. Oh Zephaniah.
The words He will quiet you with his love became I will quiet you with my love circled in my head over and over until I fell asleep again, deeply this time.
I would like to say I slept without incident until my alarm went off at 6:30am, but alas, I was woken up again, not by the voice of God or by nightmares, but by Jenny turning my light on and explaining that the dog, Pooh, has gotten sick all along the hallway and into my room. We covered the sick with newspapers and went back to sleep, Jenny to her unsick'd room and I with my covers over my nose!
I opted out of the Wine society and joined the Biological Society instead. I know it sounds funny, but they go caving! And go on nature hikes! And their table during the society fair was really pretty. Don't worry, I asked if one had to have biological skillz to join and they said naw. Fingers crossed!
Do yourself a favor and google Kirstenbosch Gardens. That is where I spent my Saturday. We happened to be there at the same time as a wedding was taking place. We sat on the grass and spied on them. It was so beautiful- everyone was dressed in traditional African garb and after the ceremony they walked through the gardens singing along with a drummer's beat. It made me so happy, I wanted to go and hug the bride myself! I got pictures, so of course at some point you will be able to see if for yourself.
That's all for today,