07 April 2011

our gumboot boys perform

Our guys had an opportunity to perform the other day at the grand opening ceremonies of a newly renovated road and overpass pedestrian bridge near the settlement. it was a huge production with local and national government officials. And the wife of the late Dr Beyers Naude** - who the road is named after. The boys smashed the house with their confidence and good nature and gumboot skills. I'm so proud of them. I know you will be too. I mentioned in our last newsletter (if you don't receive our email story letters and would like to... drop me a message. We'd love to include you!) we have room for a small team to visit this year still. You could come see our gumboot boys yourselves. I bet I could arrange a private concert - I know some people ;) Late in the summer August/September would be ideal for us. If your house church or family or even a gathering from your local church want to explore what it is to do ministry through relationships here in a settlement area in Johannesburg - let's start a conversation. it would be a joy to have you. . With much love on a day like today - trace . *** the cool story of Dr Beyers Naude - Born Christiaan Frederick Beyers Naude in 1915, Oom Bey as he was affectionately known was a minister in the South African Dutch Reformed Church and later joined the Broederbond as its youngest member. For 20 years he served various congregations, preaching a religious justification for apartheid. He began to doubt this justification after attending interracial church services. . The Sharpeville massacre in 1960 where the South African Police killed 69 black demonstrators protesting against restrictions ended his support for his church's political teachings. In the three decades after his resignation from the denomination, Naudé's vocal support for racial reconciliation and equal rights led to upheavals in the Dutch Reformed Church. From 1977 to 1984 the South African government "banned" Naudé — a form of house arrest with severe restrictions on his movements and interactions. This included not being able to be in the same room with more than one other person. . After his unbanning in 1985, he succeeded Archbishop Desmond Tutu as Secretary General of the South African Council of Churches and he continued his call for the release of political prisoners and for negotiations with the African National Congress. After his death at 89 in 2004, Nelson Mandela eulogised Naudé as "a true humanitarian and a true son of Africa." His ashes were scattered in the township of Alexandra , just outside Johannesburg .

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