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Saturday, August 20, 2011

The great springbok hunt




I think the one on the right is the big bully who chased the springbok away.







Paul on the cliff overlooking Betshan Seminary



I think we're a rather citified family, for missionaries. We live in an apartment in a city of 3,404,808 people. (Cape Town) We have running water and electricity most of the time, and have nice stores and even malls we can go to. But when we travel, anything can happen! We may sleep in thatched roof huts or go to a Zulu church with the floor coated in dry cow dung or anything!

Last night we started rather late on our family walk because we had been busy on other things. Josh skipped the walk because he was playing with his new buddy Daniel, and Evangel skipped because she's not feeling well, so our skimpy little family of three headed out of the gate of Betshan Seminary where we are staying in two hotel-like rooms under a thatched roof. Betshan used to be a resort called Espada Ranch before the seminary bought it so it is still like a resort in many ways. They have zebras and some antelope on the front section.

On Wednesday a new springbok was introduced to the herd, and the male zebra took offense and chased it. Springboks can spring so this little guy popped over the high fence and was gone. On Thursday they announced it at breakfast so the students could be on the look out. That brings us to our walk.

We headed west, into the sunset and were amazed to see a little silhouette of a springbok bounce across the road! Seconds later, it bounced the other way! I think we saw it five times before we thought to call the Betshan people, as we were clueless on the art of catching a springbok. We kept walking, and lost sight of the bokkie, but 3 guys from Betshan arrived in a bakkie (that's South African for pickup truck) and started hunting. They spotted him in a fenced in field beside the road and gave chase!

It was so exciting! The sun was setting, and the guys were chasing through grass taller then the springbok. We went into the field too, to join the chase. A man who worked there came out to see what was going on, and I think he took care of a dog who wanted to join the chase. I felt so bad for the Springbok, who must have been terrified. It should be a herd animal, and it was all alone, lost, pursued by a bunch of people. With just 6 of us chase, it looked hopeless, so one man went back to the school for more help. I grabbed a jogger who's dad is the head of the school, and he joined the chase.

Then a lady who lived there came home to find a bunch of people in her field. She took it very well, and was very interested. She and Paul decided we could do this "game drive" every Thursday at her house.

Just about the time the reinforcements arrived, the springbok moved into some brush by the fence, and one of the students named Woodford caught it! They covered it's head with a jacket so it would be tranquil, and came carrying the little beastie out to the arriving trucks. By then it was dark, but we were a jubilant group returning to the school.

I love finding lost things. Paul had said during this hunt, "Without the Lord, this will be impossible." I was praying we'd see it, that we'd find it the second time, and then that we'd catch it, and the Lord granted our requests. I know how He feels about the one little sheep that has strayed, so it shouldn't surprise me that He helped us to help that little lost bokkie. "All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned everyone to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all." I'm thankful the Lord took my sin on Himself and didn't leave me in my anger and other junk.

I'd like to bring lost people to Him, more and more. If anyone who doesn't know God reads this, and is seeking God, I'd love to help you come to Him. I'll answer any questions I can, and I'll pray for you.

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