April 2021 – Back in South Africa
I am so happy to be back home in Africa again. I had forgotten just how much I love serving here. I so appreciate the wonderful people, the African terrain, and the weather. Unfortunately, Beth was unable to join me this time, but despite that I feel so happy and at peace to be back.
Things that I enjoy are my early morning bush walks viewing many different species of game animals. I also enjoy an occasional bike ride, although I do miss our Iowa trails. Dustin is taking great care of me by providing lots of home cooked meals. We rarely go to restaurants even though there are some good ones here. Each night I sit in my hot tub and enjoy the beautiful African night sky and listen to the cry of the jackals and pray. I usually work for 6 to 7 hours a day, but still have the time and motivation to read my Bible and pray. We don’t have a TV here and it is amazing how much extra time that creates.
One of the very best things about being back here in Africa is the opportunity to be a blessing to so many impoverished beautiful people, especially the children. It feels good to be able to assist people who can never return the favor.
In addition, I enjoy working with our loyal, faithful, hard-working staff. The culture here is so different than in the Western world. Meetings and church starts when it starts and ends when it ends. In America we are always hurrying about. The Africans have a saying that Americans have watches and Africans have time. It is so true. While it can be a bit frustrating at times, it is also quite refreshing.
Another best thing about being back here in Africa is working with my son, Dustin. We get to spend a lot of windshield time and even some time in our airplane traveling about to projects we are working on all around South Africa.
It has been interesting for me as a strong capitalist working in a socialist environment like the African culture. At first I worked to convert my friends here to my capitalistic mindset, but over the years, I am finding that a blending of the two systems is really quite nice. When I first started in mission work, our mission was small enough that I sensed that I could easily be a self-funded missionary. Over the years, God has grown our ministry so large that we must have help from many individuals, churches, corporations, and groups like the Rotary. I appreciate so much everyone who has come along beside me in this wonderful life that God has given me. I always say that I have the best job in the world. I am 76 years old and have no idea how much longer I will be able to continue, but right now I could not be happier.
A big thank you to all who walk this path with me, especially to my beautiful wife Beth and my son Dustin.
Happy Easter everyone.