Today was my second visit to the Methodist Church at "Unit 14", a sub-section of the Imbali township just outside Pietermaritzburg, and once agan I was amazed and humbled at the welcome I received. People also seem to be starting to get used to the idea of a whitey in their services, and for my part my aim is to be just like any ordinary member of that society (although my Zulu still needs a LOT of work).
I also managed to dodge preaching today. Not that I want to do this - on the contrary, preaching opportunities are proving to be few and far-between at seminary, so one would think I should want to grab any possible gap to get up there and do, after all, what God has called me to do. However, while I appreciate the respect and willingness with which the local Society is willing to hand over their pulpit to me, simply on the basis of me having a sliver of plastic tucked into my shirt collar, I also believe that it is not right when a Local Preacher has gone to the effort of preparing the service, only to have me butt in and take over.
There was an interesting little incident on the way home, however, in that while I was driving up the hill toards the main road, I hit two goats that ran out in front of me. Seemingly goats are tougher than double-cab bakkies, since while the section of plastic bumper that surrounds my left foglamp is now completely cracked, the goats didn't even so much as lose their footing as a result of the impact.
However, while I was making sure that I hadn't gone and made any goat puree for Sunday lunch, a shirtless man (who was under the influence of a different kind of spirit to the one we had encountered in church) came running towards me, shouting what sounded like Zulu obscenities and brandishing his fists. Discretion being the better part of valour, I decided to hop back into the truck and execute a strategic retreat.
So after lunck I will be learning yet another new and useful ministry skill as I attempt to put my bumper back together again.
Incidentally, what is the going rate of compensation should I ever have the misfortune of squashing a goat en route to my next visit to Unit 14? And is there a "clergy discount" for these things?
Prayer during difficulty - *"Help us bear difficulty, pain, disappointment, and sorrows, knowing that in Your perfect working and design, You can use such bitter experiences to shap...
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