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One of the things we started in SA was to take the The Times on line whatever you politics it just keeps us informed of home. the result is I have started writing in the comments back to the articles this is one such. https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/comment/covid-complacency-threatens-south-africa-mj92xzlsr It's difficult to know how to comment on this article. I think the writer was from SA but lives in the UK now, my home. There have been so many times I have wanted to write back to my people and say how bad things are here but I read the UK press and see the chaos at home. I think it's too early to tell the long term effects of Covid anywhere even here in SA. What I see is that more people will die of starvation and other diseases in SA in the next 2 years than Covid. Covid did not bring the government hospitals into the state mentioned many have been like that for a long time. If you're not SA you are often turned away from the hospital.  In the township I'm conn
Recent posts

ordinary day

What a great morning. Well let’s start before As you know on the rear of a John Deere 2140 tractor it has a shaft running through the width of the PTO. Attached to this shaft are two arms which rise up and down via the PTO allowing the trailer or slasher to be operated at the correct height. But for a good while we have had an oil leak from both seals on the said shaft, both sides of the PTO casing.  Bearing in mind it costs R750 for 20 litres of 20/40 multi use oil. Are you still with me? Great. Vusie one of my team and the main pilot of the John Deere took it into his head to take the right-hand lifting arm from the shaft. Thus forcing my hand to get it fixed!!  So today we, Vusie, Moses and meself became the dream JD team a bit like the Formula 1 pit stop team.  We realised after shifting the shaft the seal was a combination of a felt seal inserted into a grove and a plastic washer to keep the dust out, a modification. A short trip to a new local John Deere s

moaning

Today started well, watching the sun lick the land into a new fresh colour. But as the colour fixed itself to the land a storm blew in…When I get a bit down, blue, frustrated (more could be added), I can veer towards moaning and I am at that age, so it’s a perfect storm!  Recently I found myself singing the praises of someone who lives here in White River, not moaning but that will come. One Saturday Erin and I went to a car boot sale. Yes, we live life on the edge! It does not take me long: no magazines, no tools, no CDs. ‘I’m off for breakfast love’ and I leave Erin to it, by mutual agreement of course. ‘Yogurt, granola and fresh fruit’, seeing as you asked.  The following week a local restaurant organised a special evening meal deal, so we and friends went along, it was a great change for us as we never go out in the evening. ‘Indian food’, seeing as you asked.  A week later, Erin received the weekly WhatsApp information for the local independent cinema: Holds about 150

doctors and other things

There are some things in life here I have been very pleased with. One of those is a small boast, that since we left the UK we have not been to the doctors, that’s 2 and a half years. That’s not a small achievement as we are both moving beyond the 60-land mark coupled with the amount of travel we have done in malaria areas, tag into that those general tummy upsets that seem more regular here. We have consulted the local ASM nurses and obviously a huge dose of God’s grace. We also planned to be back in the UK for a short period to get a local doctor and dentist to give us an MOT. Well that hope came to a slow but grinding halt recently.   We have been learning what it means to seek medical support and advice outside the NHS which is an interesting experience. To find a doctor here we rely on other people's recommendations and all have different opinions and experiences. Once the doctor is identified the first question the receptionist asked is do you have medical aid or a

Budget

  If you know me, you will be aware I am not an economist, but we are all economists when its comes to balancing a budget whether its small like mine or humongous like South Africa’s. This week here in SA we have what is called a mini Budget or the MTBPS. Some information to set up the situation here. It is generally agreed that 2.2 million people lost their jobs in SA in the 2 nd quarter this year. But what is also important to know is that 1 job = 5 dependents, many of these newly unemployed will be low skill low paid with no savings. When a job is lost there is no food in the cupboard and the hit on family life is immediate. So the budget, here are some of the figures that form the difficulties around the budget. We have had in South Africa the most stringent lockdown anywhere in the world. So the lead up to this budget is not a good one. South Africa has the privilege of having its own airline SAA which has a fleet of 16 Airbus aircraft to put that into perspective British A

The Rock

  Not to long after moving onto the farm at Marcy Air Erin and I realised the farm itself felt like a faded jewel.   We began praying about what we should do if anything. One thing became clear was the possibility of a prayer walk around the farm via a series of prayer stations. We have lots of space some amazing views much of Gods creation speaks to us of his wonder when we allow it time and space in our lives.   I am not sure if it was a vision or just a good idea or even a whisper from God, but we settled on creating 12 prayer stations around the farm. Hopping this would assist us who live here but perhaps more so visiting missionaries who stay with us. That this prayer journey around the farm in a sort of guided manor may help others to see and hear Gods guidance. Erin and I identified where we believed prayer station number two was to be. It is just around the corner from our house next to the irrigation canal. On Friday morning I began a conversation with my farm team centred o

preaching? story telling?

 had a reasonable amount of fun Sunday morning at church. I was invited to deliver the word. I have obviously spent many years preaching to a congregation whether they like it or not. As a pastor vicar role there is a certain relationship you have with your congregation, you are called to lead then on a journey together hopefully. My role here in South Africa is different and that was part of the attraction of the church Erin and I attend now called Salt. The church does not have any paid leadership and I am not on the leadership team and it has been an interesting time after spending so many years as a responsible church leader. I am invited to share the word and sometimes the leading of communion. I now take the role in preaching as someone on a Christian journey and share some of my journey with my brothers and sisters, it feels more personally revealing, possibly more risky.  This Sunday I shared how I have three scripture readings on the wall of my workshop. They are there to remi