Journalist: Doug Pfeiffer – Return to South Africa

Journalist: Doug Pfeiffer – Return to South Africa

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 Return Travel to South Africa
Doug Pfeiffer

Tuesday, September 12, 2006 Return Travel to South Africa
Doug Pfeiffer

Because my handwriting is so bad, I will take my time on this entry and attempt to be clear and legible.

Gracious and Guiding God (I always journal in mode of prayer),

We had a wonderful breakfast, again. It was totally pleasant to sit for awhile and linger over coffee and chat. We enjoyed conversation about the previous day – were still “buzzing” about the visit to the bush and the hospitality of the people we encountered there. That visit, and the graciousness of the people have worked our souls forever. Thank you, O God, for your kindness and for showing up (to us) in the most fascinating and remotest (to us) corners of the world, and surprising us with your joy.

The pastors graciously and kindly shepherded us to the airport. A good drive. Traffic was heavy. We saw a glimpse of the presidential palace on our way – it was on a hill not too far from our hotel . . . the residence of de los Santos.

Rev. Abias told us that the slums below the palace (through which we were traveling), were about to be cleaned out because the president did not want to see them. And, please give us leaders who are willing to see the truth and do something about it.

We saw a monument en route to the Soviet involvement in the civil war. It was not completed; a statement about how our efforts to control, incite war, never, ultimately, are completed or win out. You win, O God. Peace wins. Ultimately, in the form of your kingdom.

Our pastor friends helped us with our luggage. We talked in pairs and three’s and four’s. Rev. Abias told me how the newer generation is getting stronger, taking the leadership reins, gathering support and wisdom from the older generation and leading the church forward. They want to gather a team and begin working with us. Help us, O God, to be open to them, work respectfully with them, help them, let them help us through their wishes.

I shared with Rev. Abias how our churches were moving through a similar transition, which we are calling transformation. The old ways are dying with new ways. Thank you, God, guide us, God.

As we went through customs, a few of us were searched. They were looking for Angolan money. As we waited, several brought beautiful African-made fabric. Many of us journaled (like me, now – at 12 Noon). Sandra, Ed, Eugene, then Denise talked with Rev. Chipenda, who is going to Jo’burg (Sandra’s shortened version) on the same flight as we. Thank you, God, for good traveling companions, for traveling mercies on our trip. In Christ, Amen.

Around 11:00 p.m. – Precious and loving God, the one who guides us and blesses us with traveling mercies, thank you for a great plane ride from Luanda to Johannesburg. Thank you for the kindnesses of one another. Thank you for the rest on the plane. Thank you for a great conversation with my seat partner. He was from Segovia, Spain. He spoke Spanish and I spoke English. He was an agnostic and yet you prompted me, O God, to befriend him and show him how to play the chess game on the in-flight entertainment system. Thank you for the guidance.

O God, thank you for a safe journey back to the Jozi House. Thank you for a delicious meal. Thank you for the good discussion around the dinner table about what we are going to preach about on Sunday and about the upcoming generations, and how we need to be open to their taking on leadership. Thank you for a good final session of reflection.

Many good things were shared by the group:

  • “Behold I do a new thing”
  • Transformation is done in context
  • Transformation is done in community
  • God does transformation, we don’t
  • Transformation has to do with sharing the good news and making disciples of all .
  • Transformation has occurred in most desperate of circumstances, and most terrible.
  • An entire generation of Africans has had their experience of life robbed because of apartheid and civil war; the setting is destroying lives.
  • Transformation has a global dimension as an essential component.
  • Transformation has occurred in most desperate of circumstances, and most terrible.

Thank you for these good words. We agreed to email more principles of transformation; “wise sayings” from the Africans we have experienced, and ideas about transformation.

Oh God, may our efforts at transformation be multiplied because of our experience here.

Oh God, thank you for the commissioning of Lee Parker for his efforts at helping to dedicate a church in Zimbabwe, and safe passage and new experiences of your spirit.

Give all of us, as we end this journey, oh God, the guidance and strength of your spirit so that we are inspired to speak and act anew for Christ’s transformation of the world. Amen.