A Christmas Story

A South African Madonna. Source unconfirmed.

A CHRISTMAS STORY for all our dear ones!
Yesterday, the 21st of December, the day before the shortest night of the year, we had to phone the glazier about some panes of glass. The man, Johan Cloete, who we did not know, told us, exuberantly that he had just finished loading 500 panes of security glass to be installed in a school in Calitzdorp, about 300 km away in the heart of the little Karoo.

Klein Karoo, not far from Calitzdorp - Swartberg mountains in the background (courtesy of http://www.sa-venues.com)

He had cut them from off-cuts and was donating them to a School building project. He had heard of the project on local radio and it was being steered by a namesake, Johan Cloete of Calitzdorp and his friend, a German, Klaus. These two gentlemen aged 76 and 80 respectively, had decided to build a school for the rather impoverished folk of Calitzdorp, to get the children into a system which would break the cycle of ignorance and poverty. Being elderly, they do not sleep well and spend their wakeful hours of the night praying. The result of this is that every morning, the essentials of what they need, are always, in miraculous ways, provided. A donation of land, bricks, cement, roof struts, labourers from the township donating their time and effort and builders their expertise. The school was started in August. It is opening in January! A schedule beyond anything a commercial venture could have achieved. A 3000 sqm school with 12 flush toilets, and now, Johan’s wife, a retired headmistress taking charge of the management until it is all up and running. Other retired teachers are pitching in too, giving of their “priceless” expertise. A hundred children are already registered. While packing the donation of the window panes, a lady in the vicinity heard the story, phoned a “contact” et voilà, the Development Bank of S. A. is committing to help with running expenses. And the two “old toppies” are praying through the night!

Marcella's bold and gaudy move away from the traditional tree.

Our newlyweds, Thekla and lovely new son-in-law Adam have decided to celebrate Christmas by doing volunteer work at a “soup kitchen” or equivalent and so avoid the sometimes disturbing materialism which often manifests at this time of the year. This story is in “solidarity” with their sentiments which we share.

Nikki an Bob's "spiral" tree, hung with lights.

May your season too, be blessed with peace and compassion and the presence of the Saviour.

Much love
Walter & Colleen

Betty’s Bay
Thursday 22 December 2011

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