Sunday, May 6, 2012

Farm life in SA

May 6, 2012
To our friends and family,  It is so good to have a reason to keep in touch.  We love you all and appreciate each of you.  We see our notes and always get excited to hear from you and remember all the wonderful times we had with each of you.
Selling apples along the road.
This week started with the opportunity to go to a "farm" belonging to a member and her husband.  We really didn't know what to expect.  It was 1 1/2 hours away, we were wondering after an hour if we had passed the exit.  We were about to turn around but decided to call them, thank goodness we did because we were almost there. We were getting worried because we were about to run out of gas.  WE SAW NOT ONE PETRO STATION as we were driving along and wondering how we were going to get home.  Just before we got to the "farm" exit there was the Petro station.  Why I didn't take a picture I don't know.  No one spoke English, they had to go down the street to find someone to help us.  If you are as old as we are you will remember the gas stations in the desert or the small communities that looked deserted, rundown, and scary to stop at, well that is exactly what it looked like.  Our big fear was our fleet gas card not being accepted, after about 1/2 hour Lynn was successful!  As I sat in the car I watch these men caring bags through the barbed wire, come to find out they were taking them to the road.  The bags were filled with apples.  These people looked so much poorer than the people in George, even in the townships.  This man was one caring the apples.(see above)

Before you look at the pictures we took of the "farm", we want you to know that the Deajean family built everything themselves using only the stones from their property. The property only had 1 tree on it. They started this project 12 years ago and they have maybe 8 people working for them.  Gerard is Lynn's age and is French.  His wife is a member of the church and is a hard worker. She has become a dear friend.   It was amazing to us to see what they have accomplished.  The goal of this "farm" was to have events, weddings, birthday's, ect.  Also, just a wonderful get-away.  Gerard thinks his dream  was about 10 years to late.  They are struggling to get people to come out this far.  They would love to sell it, if anyone is interested.

This is what you see as you come over the first rise.  Deseree grew up on the other side of that mountain in the background.  The farm is behind the large trees in the upper left, the main house is behind the tiny white chairs, and the
brown door in the upper left corner, the entrance is on the other side.

I hope you can see the details of the tile work on the fountain.  This was all done by a professional

Deseree takes care of the green house.  In their garden they get to harvest it  2nd, the baboons get the first pick
of the fruits and vegetables.
The animals on the farm, including the pig you see, plus cattle, chickens, geese. 

The front entrance to the main house.  This dog was amazing.  You could kick this ball and the dog would catch it even when you  tried to trick him.  The man is Gerard.  I hope you can guess who the man in the white hair is. Remember each stone you see was picked from their property.

A friendly spider, they didn't even remove it from the guest room.  Now if it was Elder Richins, he would have gotten rid of the spider immediately.  Gerard even picked up a cockroach with his fingers and put it in the garden. 

 The farm cat, lounging on the ostrich couch. What a life! 


Elder Richins plays with the kids while I am teaching English. He was so excited to give the kids in the township
some suckers.  They are such happy kids and they love to having
their picture taken.  They say "Elder, Elder, thank you, thank you Elder"

Thursday is inspection day & the end 6 weeks before transfers.
Sister Richins doing Elder's inspection.  Her favorite job, NOT!
The elder's keep a clean flat so it isn't so bad.  Now on the other hand
Elder Richins inspected the cars, and they are each on probation to get them
cleaned up within the week.  He is a hard task master when it comes to a clean car. Elder Richins motto "cleanliness is next to Godliness"

Elder Sheward on the right couldn't even stop eating for a picture.
Congratulations your the winner including a terrible tummy-ache. 

The last supper at Spur's before transfers,  ALL YOU CAN EAT CHICKEN WINGS AND RIBS!  Elder Sheward won the prize with downing 4 plates of ribs and chicken, and to congratulate him feeling very sick, a chocolate fudge Sunday.

Saturday - service
Lynn, Azola, painting his home with varnish to protect the wood from the rain and moisture.  Sister Mowindi in the background.  And yes this little home does have a window.  This little place cost 7500 rand or $970.

We see these donkeys all over Thembuletu.  They can be on the side of the road, at the school, next to the revival tent you see below, just munching away and moving on to better grass.

We are seeing both sides of everything, the rich, the poor the beautiful and ugly, the happy and sad.  Because of this we have the opportunity to serve in many areas.  This is truly one of the highlights of our lives.  The weeks seem like days and we go to bed each night exhausted.  We love it and would rather be doing this than anything else.  Thank you all for your love and support.  It really means a lot.
Have a wonderful productive week.
Elder & Sister Richins

The Touch of the Master's Hand

'Twas battered and scarred,
And the auctioneer thought it
hardly worth his while
To waste his time on the old violin,
but he held it up with a smile.
"What am I bid, good people", he cried,
"Who starts the bidding for me?"
"One dollar, one dollar, Do I hear two?"
"Two dollars, who makes it three?"
"Three dollars once, three dollars twice, going for three,"
But, No,
From the room far back a gray bearded man
Came forward and picked up the bow,
Then wiping the dust from the old violin
And tightening up the strings,
He played a melody, pure and sweet
As sweet as the angel sings.
The music ceased and the auctioneer
With a voice that was quiet and low,
Said "What now am I bid for this old violin?"
As he held it aloft with its' bow.
"One thousand, one thousand, Do I hear two?"
"Two thousand, Who makes it three?"
"Three thousand once, three thousand twice,
Going and gone", said he.
The audience cheered,
But some of them cried,
"We just don't understand."
"What changed its' worth?"
Swift came the reply.
"The Touch of the Masters Hand."
And many a man with life out of tune
All battered with bourbon and gin
Is auctioned cheap to a thoughtless crowd
Much like that old violin
A mess of pottage, a glass of wine,
A game and he travels on.
He is going once, he is going twice,
He is going and almost gone.
But the Master comes,
And the foolish crowd never can quite understand,
The worth of a soul and the change that is wrought
By the Touch of the Masters' Hand.
Myra Brooks Welch

    was about 10 years to late.  They are struggling to get people to come out this far.  They would love to sell it, if anyone is interested.

1 comment:

  1. Wow, that is an amazing effort on that farm! They must be very patient. How do they exist? We are certainly enjoying your blog posts! Prayers for you!