Greeting from rainy Polokwane! It looks like mopping up water from leaky roofs and doorways is going to be my lot in life here. But let me back up a bit and explain what I mean.
The rainy season in this part of Africa is generally from October through March, with the heaviest rains coming in December and January. But this year has not been a “typical” year. We arrived back in Polokwane the middle of January. It was very dry and we were told they had not received much rain yet. It rained a couple times before we got moved into our house the first of February. During the rest of February, it rained 4 or 5 times every week and so far in March that trend is continuing.
The house we used to live in had major roof damage and leaked horribly all over the house every time it rained. So when we would hear the thunder approaching, the towel and bucket brigade would come out and we would try to catch as much water as we could in the buckets and mop up the rest with the towels.
The new house we rented was just recently remodeled, so we were looking forward to no leaky roofs. But when the first rain came, we saw we were mistaken. The former owner built a patio area with a big braii that connects to the living room with glass doors. These glass doors as well as the ones on the patio can slide open all the way, therefore making a big open area to entertain. It looks beautiful and is a wonderful idea, except they put a flat roof on the patio and whoever put up the gutters wasn’t very smart. So when it rains the water pours out of the gutters and it all collects outside the patio doors and consequently runs in under the doors. Also, the roof leaks in several places around the door frames. The result: lots of water to mop up. At least we don’t need buckets this time to collect the leaks!!
I am not complaining about the rain, because we definitely need it. And I am no builder, but if you ask me, they need to remove the roof and rebuild it, and put in a whole new guttering system that works. But the man who did the remodeling on the house told us that after the recent torrential rains, 90% of the roofs in Polokwane were leaking! I guess you call that job security!! So we are mopping up water when it rains, and looking forward to April when the rains should slow down a bit.
Truthfully, we have much to be thankful for. The Lord allowed us to find a house within 2 weeks of our arrival here. It is only about 1-2 km from where we used to live, so we are familiar with the neighborhood and where everything is. We live on a cul-de-sac in an area where there are several office buildings and businesses, so there is not much traffic and it is quiet in the evenings and on the weekends (except for the neighbor’s dog).
The work here is going well. We are slowly meeting again with the guys my husband is working with. We meet every Sunday afternoon with the guys at the University of Limpopo for a service. We have traveled to the Pretoria area a couple times to meet with a group of guys there. We have traveled to the Zebedelia area several times to meet with some men there. Please pray for wisdom in working with these men and safety in travels.
Also the work continues with all the men and women we have contact with on the internet. These are doing studies either by email or by WhatsApp. Pray for understanding hearts and conviction. As these people finish the studies and profess salvation or want more studies, we meet with them in person. Pray for wisdom as we deal with these people.
I saw something the other day that reminded me of an important truth. I was sitting inside a KFC waiting for my husband to finish a Bible study he was doing with a young man. I watched as a group of about 5 young men, probably around 15-18 years old, came walking up outside on the sidewalk. One of the guys was carrying a 5 liter bucket of ice cream. He sat the bucket down on the sidewalk, removed the lid, and then proceeded to hand out plastic spoons to the rest of the guys. Then they all started eating spoonfuls of ice cream out of the bucket. It was an ice cream party! They were laughing and dancing to the music and eating ice cream, just having a great time.
The truth it reminded me of is that we need to rejoice in all things! So many times we tend to focus on the negative, on what is wrong, on how things are not going our way, and we forget to celebrate the blessings. As I was looking at those young men, I wondered what they had to be happy about. Several of them didn’t have shoes on. Most of them wore ragged clothes. I am sure if you knew the background of those young men, you would think they had nothing to rejoice about. But in spite of their circumstances, they were rejoicing.
So what blessings has God given you today that you can celebrate? I challenge you to think about that and throw a party! Maybe call your friends over and have an ice cream party!!
Love and prayers,
Beverly is a wife, mother, and grandmother. She and Doug Hammett have been married for over 35 years. Since her father was a pastor and her husband was already a pastor when she married him, she is well acquainted with the blessings as well as the problems of the ministry! Bev’s favorite things to do are read and spend time with her family.
In Autumn of 2010, Doug stepped aside from his position as senior pastor at LVBC to reach and train men in Botswana and South Africa. Beverly continues to write for our ladies publication, giving her unique perspective of life in the ministry, and now life on the mission field. You can read more about their ministry here.