SOUTH AFRICAN BLOG #1
It’s summer in South Africa and flowers are everywhere; the colors are dazzling! The yard around the house where we are staying is a tropical wonderland: there are fuschias, an orange hibiscus, a purple bouganvilla, a red bouganvilla, palms, a lilac hydrangea…I could go on if I knew the dozen other names of the plants! It looks like a botanical explosion outside!
We are staying in the home of Dave and Beth Pocta, friends from about 20 years ago when we worked together in the ministry with the wonderful Chicago church. Back then Dave and Beth led the campus ministry at Northern Illinois University. (Here’s a piece of trivia for those Seattlites who remember Bill Shockley: he and Dave were college roommates when they became Christians at the University of Minnesota). Anyway, Beth and Dave would regularly invite Ron and me to hop in our little Corolla and make the long trek from Chicago to Dekalb to have devotionals in their tiny walk up apartment with their married students. They always had an ample dinner for their starving students plus loads of conviction and buckets full of laughter!
Nothing much has changed. Their house is still a center of activity, conviction and laughter, plus loads of creativity and love—and, they invited us to come (though we didn’t drive the Corolla). They look the same, although Dave is priding himself in a few signs of gray maturity at his temples, Beth is young and beautiful as ever and they have added two vivacious daughters and a Jack Russell terrier named Milo to their brood.
Adorable daughter, Hannah is 15yrs old. I remember her birth and even her nursery, which Beth had turned into a scene right out of the Wizard of Oz. (I contributed the ruby slippers—a pair of size 5 bright red high heels from a discount store that I sprayed with red glitter paint). I wasn’t around when they adopted Maddy, their beautiful 13yr old daughter from Northern India. Both girls are mature, gracious, and warm. They are fully partners with their parents in helping to bring strong, spiritual values to the families in South Africa.
Last night the Pocta’s invited Justin and Irene Renton, who lead the Johannesburg church, to have dessert with us and watch reruns of “America’s Got Talent”. This is a Saturday night ritual the two families indulge in and we were happy, half way around the world, to be introduced to this odd TV show (maybe last night’s episode wasn’t representative).
We’re off to church this a.m. and not suffering too dreadfully from jet lag. Stay tuned…..