Thy Special Bounty

Thy Special Bounty

This summer, many friends committed to praying for Christian community to find me here in South Africa. If they hadn’t, I might never have realized how bountifully the Lord has answered those prayers.

My first week of school, when I was interviewing the teachers according to my Peace Corps integration assignment, the Foundation phase Head of Department suggested I contact the principal at a nearby private school. When I finally chided myself into making the call, she graciously invited me to visit.

That was where I met Petra. A native South African and world traveler, she has taught for years in schools as far flung as Europe, the Middle East, the United States, and rural KZN. This exceptional Christian lady has opened her heart and home to me, introducing me to my most exceptional experiences in South Africa to date.

1. The Beach

Within hours of first setting eyes on me, Petra invited me to her home for the weekend. Over WhatsApp messages, this invitation evolved into a beach trip with the four orphaned boys who live with Petra. I called up Sydney, my resident mermaid friend from California, and we loaded into Petra’s double cab for a spontaneous adventure.

2. The Birthday

The next weekend, I visited Petra’s home for the first time. It’s a fabulous structure, like a woodland palace out of a daydream, with curving walks zigzagging under trailing vines, an open floor spanning multiple levels, and hidden bedrooms and cottages around every corner.

Petra’s brother Daniel and his wife Maryna constructed it during their 30 years of local development work. He is a doctor now operating a private practice, while she founded a non-profit that employs local women in creating and selling exquisite handicrafts – to name just a few of the ministries they have piloted over the years.

Their home is a vision of Christian hospitality, with frequent house guests and even an infant hospice taking up roost there.

3. The Game Reserve

It turned out that my first three months in the area were to be Petra’s last term as a teacher at the private school – and she was determined to make the most of it. For our next adventure, we called up Peace Corps Volunteer-extraordinaire, Judy, for a self-guided spin around a game reserve.

4. The Hike

A candlelight dinner with traditional Afrikaner food, skirting mountain pools decorated with lily pads, beating the summer sun with Keiko and local friends…does it get better?

5. The Safari

For my first Thanksgiving away from home, I celebrated unusual circumstances with an unusual treat: a weekend at a luxurious elephant park. The big splurge turned out to be 100% worth it, even though there was no turkey on the menu.

6. The Get-Away

The last weekend before classes ended, the spontaneous bug bit again: Petra messaged me the night before about a drive to meet her friend for lunch at a tranquil mountainside inn!

If I had filled out an online order form, I couldn’t have imagined more perfect excursions for exploring the treasures of South Africa and acquainting myself with its rich and varied culture. God is good…all the time.

6 Responses »

  1. Wonderful updates, Kittie! I’m going to download Whatsapp just for you, lol, but in the meantime…Merry Christmas!!! Love, Alexi

    • Thanks, dear friend, that will be a wonderful Christmas present! xD Blessings for you and your family, especially in the new year!

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