Dear friends, family and sponsors.
In this letter
- Mom's heart.
- Wycliffe Muslim project.
- Handing out Bibles etc.
- Climbing Sleeping Beauty!
- Family pics.
-Badminton in George, Rugby season!
- THE SA record holding WHISPERING TREE!
MOM HAD A HEART ATTACK
“How did you not know?” the Doctor asked.
To which I replied, “Usually people with heart attacks fall to the ground!”
We all laughed while taking in the somber news. We knew something was very wrong and two Stilbaai doctors confirmed heart failure, including my uncle. Hearing the words ‘heart attack’ is different.
If it was not for my uncle who is a practicing pathologist, who very quickly opened a way to a sonar of the heart, we still might not have known how close mom came to dying. This is the second time God spared mom’s life. Three years ago a doctor gave her the wrong heart meds. Her heart beat slowed to unimaginably low yet God restrained the grim reaper that night too!
A few days before we confirmed that mom had a heart attack I climbed a high mountain peak. In hindsight this climb connected me deeply with what God was speaking to me about my mother.
This mountain (1,343m) is usually covered by snow this time of the year. At 7:15AM I arrived at our arranged place of meeting, the jetty overlooking the spot where Stilbaai’s river enters the ocean. It is pristine. It fills the cup.
We were warned about the weather and 35 people of the original 40 changed their minds not to climb. My WhatsApp message to them read:
“I am not scared of rain the weather is not predicting.”
Four others had the same idea, one of which is a registered South African Trail Guide. This fact gave me peace to climb onto the head of what someone called, “one of the unacknowledged wonders of the world.”
Is it not like this in life, with God as our Trail Guide? Sometimes we have to climb where He leads. How many times in the face of death and deep misery, will we, who walked, look back and say – the road of suffering is an unacknowledged wonder of the world.
We drove off to the famous high mountain in Stilbaai’s backyard, called Riversdale’s Sleeping Beauty. First we stopped for the Oakdale Highschool cows to have their way.
Perhaps this is really where this story starts. Nature that one cannot control. Rain, snow, the hand of the watch ticking while waiting for cows in the road. At least mom’s pace maker still have 3 years of battery left. Mom’s heart failure, causing her feet and liver to swell, is like nature - the darn cows are in the way. You can go dance and shout in the poop and get nowhere or take a picture with a smile and make others laugh too.
We finally arrived next to the old toll-house and parked the car. The sky was an early morning clear blue that made looking up a worthwhile moment. No wind. No clouds. No other people. With my raincoat in my backpack, coffee and bread I baked myself, I was ready as can be. With one of the most important object also in my bag, a walking stick, we started climbing.
The beginning was easy and filled with all sorts of flowers you only find in the Western Cape, nowhere else in this entire world. Only here do you smell the indescribable smell of Fynbos. It is a bit like the smell of my mother.
How do you describe the smell of a mother that has positivity as her number 1 strength finders’ test answer.
It is like the fire that swept over Sleeping Beauty three years ago and today, unless you knew, you would not know it was destroyed. Nature is positive. My mother is nature poured into a cup for me and God said, "be blessed with this one in a million gift I give you."
I think this is where Holy Spirit started to hover over me like only the mist can within seconds, covering a mountain out of the blue, the blue I just looked at, white in seconds.
We kept walking and then the serious climb to get to the top of the head of Sleeping Beauty and her stunning eye lashes, nose and mouth started. I read somewhere that it was suggested Sleeping Beauty be on the list of one of the world’s wonders! She is perfect when you pass on the N2 through Riversdale.
As I walked, I noticed footprints, step by step dug in by time and other mountaineers before me. It made this steep part a bit easier. I could lodge my foot into their foot and together climb higher with people unseen.
God spoke into my spirit, “Just like these feet you step into, I have gone before you.” In my spirit I knew He was referring to the very uncertain road I am walking with my mother. He has gone before me and knew everything. It brought so much peace to me. You can just imagine how grateful I am living in Stilbaai in this season.
The higher we climbed the more wed face a strong 59 kmph wind billowing around our ears. “Sleeping Beauty is dreaming up a storm!” Fortunately this strong wind came from behind and literally pushed us up that steep neck. Then came the point where it was too steep to climb and predecessors drilled two silver cables into the mountain rock so that one could pull yourself up the ledge. I was never fearful but the strong wind definitely made me extremely cautious as to where I stepped next.
Three of the five reached the top before me and when it was my turn, I could not see them. I could barely stand still in the wind and it was freezing cold.
Where did they go?
For a moment it was a mystery because I was standing on Sleeping Beauty’s head – a cliff, literally the end of the road. Then I saw movement. A head. Then a face. Thank goodness. It was my friend who knew the Mountain. They sat behind a massive rock that completely blocked the wind. What I thought was a cliff, was a hidden safe place. We had the most extraordinary vi