As I’m embarking on a journey of racial reconciliation in South Africa I’m confronted again and again by the Afrikaner culture I grew up in. The process of filtering my culture through the sift of the kingdom of God is liberating me. It offers me a new identity. I recently started to articulate my identity here in the Southern point of Africa in the following way: I’m a Christ follower of the commonwealth of the kingdom of God, an African living in South Africa born in the Afrikaner tribe.
The atrocities of Apartheid has been a huge stain on the Afrikaner’s history and it is sometimes hard to come to terms with the fact that my forefathers were the architects of the evil domination that has left so many people destitute in SA. As I mentioned before I preached on Apartheid two weeks ago and I briefly told you about an amazing Spirit-led encounter. Let me tell you what happened in more detail.
At the end of my sermon I gave opportunity for comments. One of the older ladies in our community raised her hand and said that she had to confess something. She then told the story of how her father once asked them what they would do if the blacks came to power in South Africa. (By this time she sobbed uncontrollably) and then told the congregation how she jokingly said that she would just become a teacher and then kill all the children entrusted to her.
Through immense remorse she then asked two of our black brothers to forgive her – which they did. I think this is the kind of repentance and healing needed in our country today. I also came to the realization that I have to forgive my forefathers for what they did and that facing the past will be essential in forging a path for the feature.