A few hundred yards from the
I made it to Piet Retief, but either Rev. Lees gave me the wrong directions, or I wrote down to turn right instead of to turn left at the Pick n’ Pay grocery store. At any rate, I turned right and got that feeling about 5 km down the road that was headed in the wrong direction. I tried to call Rev. Lees and realized that I left my
The Piet Retief Methodist church was a pretty little church surrounded by a beautiful green lawn and yard. It has 30 members half of which are related to each other by birth or marriage. I would guess that if you put 60 people in the sanctuary it would be at a maximum capacity. We sang a couple of songs that were displayed on a screen using an overhead projector to get us started and then during the service we sang a couple of songs from the Methodist hymnal. Four scripture passages were read by someone who was requested to read on the spot and the sermon was preached directly from the scriptures. It was a very nice little service.
Lunch was a fundraiser. They served “bunny chow” which was really a beef curry stew served in a half a loaf of bread that had been hollowed out. You were supposed to eat it with your hands, although I noticed we all resorted to using a fork after the first couple of bites. No one knew why it was called bunny chow, but they said it was a “poor mans” lunch because it was so filling. Whatever it was called, it was very delicious.
After lunch I visited with Rev. Lees and his wife Esther. He told me about the HIV/AIDs projects that they had going in their little town and about the politics in South Africa and his concern that if the churches don’t integrate more with the blacks and work together with the other denominations, the old mainstream churches will slowly die. It was a wonderful day and I felt like I had an instant family in Piet Retief. Rev. Lees led me to the tarred road that I should have taken from the border. It went around the groves of Eucalyptus trees on a beautiful, windy, hilly road that went by several small homesteads.
There were parts of the drive that as I rounded the curve at a top of a hill the most breath-taking view was right before me. I guessed correctly where to turn to cross the border and made it back to Manzini before dark. (Whew!)
After I got home I realized that the day had been another confirmation of what it means to trust in the Lord, stay on the straight and narrow path when following him, and listening to his quiet voice that will guide us through life. I realized how much I have come to love the beautiful countryside that I am fortunate enough to drive through even with the chickens, goats and cows on the road. I also realized how far I had come since arriving in
Sorry, I couldn't drive and take a picture of the great views and there wasn't any place to pull over.