Here are a few simple thoughts.
They are not simplistic.
These thoughts are radically altering my life and they have become paradigmatic for my journey.

Jesus’ answer to the question “how should we pray?” starts with the phrase “our Father”.

As a white Afrikaans South African my “our” has been re-populated, corresponding roughly to the apartheid and post apartheid era.

During apartheid my “our” was defined by my biological family. Later it embraced those in my faith family and some friends – all of the same race and socio-economic class. My “our” was a product of our country’s politics. My relationships were perfectly synchronized with the oppressive system of apartheid.

In post-apartheid South Africa my “our” is changing. It now consists of people that are radically different than me. Some of them are poor; some of them are black, others Indian. Some are Christians, others not. My “our” has been diversified. But not in the abstract. Christ followers don’t love in the abstract – they are on a constant quest to discover the stories of the people reduced to statistics.

My “our” consists of people. Flesh and blood people, they have names: Lollie, Tayla, Liam, Sulette, Colin, Deon, Babette, Francois, Dirk, Melodi, Adriaan, Amelie, Martha, Eddie, Archie, Gomolimo, Lazarus, Drennan, Linda, Gawie, David, Sibongile, Eddie, Bruno, Miguel, Nelson, Short, Waro-waro, Schalk, Sakkie, Lindie, Neels, Marietjie, Adrie-Marie, Gerrit, Christina, Emtia, Suzette, Stanis, Trevor, Stephan, Dries and the list goes on [please don’t feel offended if your name is not in the list, or at the order of the list] … eventually flowing into abstraction (for its not a totally useless category). Kleipotters, South Africans and Africans, North Americans and Europeans, Australians and even people from New Zealand, people living on Islands, Russians and South Americans, Asians and people from the Middle-East.

Whenever my “our” becomes populated with another person, they become part of my rhythm – our lives become connected, connected in the realest sense of the word. We become brothers and sisters. If one of them celebrates, then I celebrate. Conversely I feel pain with them. But this is not just an emotional bond, a koinonia defined by only emotions. It also has a physical/material/economic implication. This is where it becomes really challenging.

In the same prayer Jesus asks us to pray for “our daily bread”. That same “our” listed above are those we are praying for. But what do we do if some on the list – like me; have bread and steak, and others like Miguel has a small peae of bread for a family of ten? I’ll tell you what it means for me. It simply (but not simplistically) means that I sacrifice some of my trips to the restaurant so that they can have.

Relationships become the vehicle for this miracle of redistribution. It’s not communism, also not socialism – it is voluntary flowing out of kinship. For who can let a brother or sister suffer and still say that there is love?

Yet.
We still live in a country trying to rid itself from apartheid.
The church is still divided.
Our “our” is very homogeneous.
Black and white on this issue is now grey.
Black.
White.
Apart.
Still.

The white church has become like medical schemes.
We regulate the “our” so that we minimize the risk.
Koinonia stays only emotional.
It’s sick.
We are sick.
But …

There is a way out. It’s the way of Jesus. A mustard seed way. What if every white Christian in South Africa started to pray for a broader “our”? What if every one of us developed friendships with someone other than the “usual suspects” that populate our “our”? One relationship at a time. Matthew the tax collector in the same band as the disciples whose taxes he stole. It has happened once, it can happen again!

I think it could revolutionize us.
Liberate us.
Black and White.

The church is perfectly situated to become an instrument for this.
Will we?

Below is an email sent by someone in our community on behalf of Linda, a seventeen year old mom who has been given a home by Alida (Dayenu). Linda got chosen for the Gauteng Netball team!

Soos meeste van julle weet is my hart vreeslik opgewonde vir Linda se part. Sy is verkies vir die Gauteng se Netbal span en hulle toernooi vind volgende week plaas.
Die sponsors het egter die week onttrek en met ‘n gesukkel is die toernooi steeds aan die gang maar moet elke speler nou self die koste vir die week dra.
Daar is reeds van julle wat Linda met nuwe sportsklere bederf het bv die tekkies, sportsak en die sportsbra. Baie dankie. Ek en Linda waardeer julle ongelooflik baie!!

As daar egter iemand is wat nog ‘n bydra wil maak sal dit so baie waardeer word.

Die koste beloop die volgende:
R250 Gauteng Sweetpak
R150 Gauteng Netbal hemp
R 50 Kouse
R100 2de sportsbra
R250 Verblyf vir die week
R ? Navy Dri-Max
R ? Sakgeld vir die week

Baie dankie vir die R100 wat reeds gesponsor is saam met die bo genoemde klere. Baie baie dankie!!
Daar is ook ‘n vriendin van Linda wat gekies is en met wie dit finansieel nie te goed gaan nie. Om alles te kroon was haar ouers laas naweek in ‘n motorongeluk en albei is nou in intensief in die hospitaal. Sou ons genoeg donasies inkry om Linda se koste te dek en daar is ekstra oor sal dit great wees as ons die vriendin ook kan uithelp.

Julle kan my bel of mail sou julle nog ingligting benodig of as jul iets wil sponsor. Selfs al is dit net ‘n klein bedrag. Ons sal dit so baie waardeer!!

Baie liefde
Alida