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Knock Knock - Who is there? Otter... Otter outreach

Knock knock - Who is there? Otter. Otter Outreach!

I just finished a four-page script to be filmed about the O.T. Tabernacle and how it helps us to pray as N.T believers.

I was so ready to start filming the next day and quite happy about the progress. Finally, I can get to the Tabernacle and some thoughts to help us think deeper about prayer and the book to the Hebrews I so love. The African Muslim Makhuwa project is also in between it all...

My good buddy Jacomi popped in for a brief coffee and then there was another knock on my front door. It was 16:15 last Tuesday afternoon. Who could this be?

Photos: Jacomi, Derick, and I walking Sundays on Stilbaai beaches. I rescued 8 sea stars on this day!

I was about to get ready for Badminton cause we were going to play George and I was invited onto the team. (Yes… slowly I am losing my tennis arm and picking up a Badminton wrist!) I had to get to practice after 5.

As Samuel-Gilmore walked into my place he said, “I am not here for coffee but I got a random place to join a group for the famous Otter trial tomorrow. There is still another place left - wanna come?” Later he told me this was not the reason he randomly walked into my house!

We South Africans know that:

- The Otter is the most coveted trail in South Africa

- You have to book 1-2 years in advance depending on the season you go

- It is always fully booked… and you need a lot of gear.

- You have to have a high level of fitness for the high climbs each day.

Two weeks prior to Samuel-Gilmore popping in, I was at the doctor for a very bad tennis elbow of my left arm and specifically asked him if I would ever be able to carry a backpack for a trail again. You see, Jacomi’s husband (photos above) is an official trail blaze tour guide for South African hikes. I’ve never been able to join them cause I cannot carry a backpack and my back has been giving me trouble. The doctor said, no! You will not be able to do trial blazing like that again.

In a space of 5 minutes I had to say yes or no to do the Otter.

- I had to consider fitness,

- my back,

- and that I had zero preparations

- or food

- and no gear... no backpack.

The Tsitsikamma Otter trail is a 7/10 for trial difficulty (and Jacomi’s husband rightly encouraged me to consider not going!) You have to carry food for 5 days. It as several technical river crossings and hiking 4 hours in the dark over sharp rocks and cliffs to get the tides right. It is 300km from my house in Stilbaai.

What did I say?

I turned my heart towards the Lord and said, “If I am not to go please trouble me in my spirit because this is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I am not getting younger. Give me peace about my back and my fitness level.

In the back of my mind, I recalled the fact that I walked an 8km hike from Jongensfontein to Stilbaai the previous Sunday and remember telling my friend Jacomi - I am not tired at all! My fitness has really increased since the badminton and my back is holding out. My inner peace remained. I said yes and was super excited.

The reason behind my said YES - mom’s heart failure.

The next morning 9am I was on the road - with a backpack and food and boots on my two feet! I said yes because it was my mother’s dream to walk the Otter and she never got to it. Now that she has been diagnosed by two doctors with heart failure (mom is quite ill), I said - FOR MY MOTHER I GO! Mom was green with jealousy but she was so happy for me. It shows me again, that we need to carpe diem! Father’s day marked 5 years since we said goodbye to my late brother Zarias at the age of 37 - and both incidences were outstanding reminders to carpe diem while we have the health to do so.

I hung a shell necklace I made for my mom around my neck… and it is still hanging! I walked the entire Otter with no back-pain. I cry as I type. It was one of the most extraordinary unplanned trips of my life. Due to the fact that I had to safe money for something else, and that it could wait another few months, The amount I saved was the amount needed for the entire trip!

Did God decide to send me on a mini outreach? YES - I believe so.

Only Samuel-Gilmore and I were Christians.

Out of a team of 11 South Africans and 1 person from Eastern Europe, we were the only two who knew Jesus and the Bible. The lost-ness touched me deeply. The only person who was not as ‘lost’ about things was my new Muslim friend, Abas.

You literally could see the shock on his face when I greeted him with Salam Alaikum, and then I threw more Arabic words around and by the time I said Habibi… he said: