Rev Hendrik Du Plessis
After a nasty experience during which my vehicle (bakkie) almost burst into flames, we were able to hit the road to Mababe on Tuesday, 19 October, around noon. A new oil filter that was replaced during a car service a few weeks before had obtained a crack, and oil sprayed out and landed on the wires of the starter motor. This resulted in a short circuit and the accompany-ing heat ignited a fire in the engine. On the way to Gantsi the day before, the bakkie’s engine shut off several times. When we arrived at the motor garage, the wires at the front were fuming. This resulted in a sudden onset of flames that had to be extinguished immediately. The mechanic also had to rapidly disconnect the battery. After removing the starter, washing off the oil, and insu-lating the wires we were able to head home (This happened on Monday, 18 Oc-tober). We planned to drive to Mababe early the next morning. However, when we arrived in D’kar, the same thing happened again. The engine started to shut off and we had to disconnect the battery to be able to get home. Once more, I called the mechanic and arranged to take the vehicle to him again the next morning. It turned out that some of the wires at the starter motor were still in contact with one another. After fixing the problem, at around noon, we depart-ed for Mababe. While we were on our way, I pointed out to Abdul how the Lord works, and how we were meant to be near the garage in Gantsi when this acci-dent took place. “Can you imagine if this happened to us in the wilderness, be-tween the lions and the elephants? The vehicle most likely would’ve burned out. It would have been a nightmare.” Abdul agreed and added the following: “You can clearly see how the Lord is with us. Such things do not happen by chance or luck.”
The purpose of our visit
The purpose of our visit was to distribute Bibles, conduct Bible studies, visit people to whom we distributed Bibles on prior visits, as well as to continue working on the fencing of the churchyard. In the mopane forest, we went to col-lect wooden poles again. However, when we arrived at the churchyard, we saw that some of the poles that were planted during previous visits were detached by elephants. If there was fencing, they would have certainly broken this too. If you drive around Mababe you notice that there is not a single yard with fencing. All the fences were damaged by elephants. There are elephants everywhere and the chances are next to zero that they will not damage your fences. Every-one in the village has learned to accept this – for them, it’s just the way things are now. The next day we went to a lodge nearby to hand out Bibles. This lodge had a lot of trouble with elephants in the past. This was until they installed an electric fence (the fence works with batteries and is charged by solar panels). I realized that this may be the only way to keep elephants out of one’s yard. I understand that it is not too expensive.
The next day we drove to Sankoyo; a place where we previously distributed au-dio bibles. It is about a 40-kilometer drive from Mababe. The purpose of our stopover was to visit the people we gave audio bibles to previously and find out if they are still using them. We visited an old lady with the name of Zita. She has become so bent-over from old age that she can no longer look you in the eyes when walking. She told us the following: “This little Bible goes with me everywhere. I listen to it everywhere while in my pocket.” My question to her was: “If you charge it in the sun and you go somewhere, can it be easily sto-len?” “No,” she said, “I sit with it until it is fully charged. I do not leave it alone while charging.” From there we went to Jimmy Ntema’s house. He and his old-er brother (Sepopo) did not expect us at all. We found them under the tree lis-tening to Jimmy’s audio bible. They were indeed caught in the act.
For a mo-ment Jimmy did not recognize me, but once he did he was very happy to see us. This happened around 11 a.m. “My brother and I have been sitting and lis-tening to the Bible since early this morning. He always comes here to listen because he does not have his own audio bible “, says Jimmy. They were listen-ing to the New Testament. His brother is the deputy chief of the town and a re-spected person in the area. To the left of the photo is the deputy chief Sepopo and to his right is Jimmy, they are the kindest and dearest people. On the dep-uty chief’s lap, the audio bible is visible. I spoke to Jimmy to hear how things are going. His words to me were: “People everywhere are bothering me and want to borrow my Bible. They are so impressed with your work here. Everyone wants to join your church. This Bible is going to bring us to repentance. ” When we walked away from there it struck me again, these people have never actual-ly made contact with the Bible. Not that one disregards the written Bible, but who would have sat there and read the Bible to them from early that morning? Now they can hear the Bible speaking to them for hours each day, and “faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.” (Romans 10:17).
We drove back to Maun on Saturday and Dorette invited us to stay over at her place for the night. It was good to see her again, we had a wonderful time. The next morning we went with her to Motopi where I led the worship service. After the service, one of the children came to us and asked us to pray for her, be-cause in a week or so they were to start with their exams. Her name is Topo and she is 16 years old.
Dorette is doing very well under the circumstances. She still gives Tswana classes in Maun. On weekends she drives to the worship services in Motopi. She is still recovering from a difficult time, she says. It was very difficult for her after Thys’s death. They were about to move from Motopi to Maun. This in itself was very traumatic for her. For an older person, it is never easy to go through changes. It’s almost like moving an old tree. For the past few weeks, she has been able to visit her children in South Africa which has been very good for her.
To conclude, we once again ask for your prayers regarding our points of minis-try and also for the Lord to open new doors for us – so that all whom the Father has given to His Son will come to Him (John 6:37), and no one can come to Christ when the Father does not draw him or her (John 6:44). He does this, we know, through the proclamation of the Gospel and the work of the Holy Spirit. Your brother in Christ, Hendrik du Plessis.