Yesterday I spent time with a friend of mine that I met in Venda. His name is Marcus. On Saturday Marcus will take one of those life-defining steps – he is getting married. Marcus is also a pastor but unlike me he ministers in one of the poorest areas in South Africa called Bushbuck ridge. Bushbuck ridge is one of the areas in our country that falls under the extreme poverty label (people who live under $1 a day). Marcus chose this specific town because he says that he finds the people there receptive and open to the good news. Marcus himself is a man who lives in total simplicity. For the past year he has not slept on a mattress. Yesterday he told me again that he will follow God wherever He leads – even if it means that he can’t live in luxury.
After I met with Marcus I drove to Krugersdorp to visit with my favorite 18 year old in the whole wide world. Kutluano Toko is a good friend and someone very close to my heart. Kutloano (Scotch) and I became friends two years ago and we visit every other week and talk about God, the kingdom and just life in general. Yesterday we talked about ‘Christianity’. We discussed all the bad labels that are pulled up when people hear the word. Scotch and I discussed the fact that the word “Christian” appears only three times in the whole Bible compared to the word ‘disciple’ that occurs more than 250 times. Both of us want to be disciples or followers of Jesus. In our country there is a big problem with what’s called cultural Christianity – 80% of South Africans claim that they’re Christians. The question would be how many of us follow Jesus? Both of us agreed that we want to be followers.
On my way back home I had a wonderful opportunity to reflect. I got stuck in a forty minute traffic jam where my car moved 200 meters in the forty minutes. I just wanted to get irked and then I realised that it was a wonderful opportunity for reflection (and taking a picture). It gave me a chance to let the dust of the day settle – to see clearly again – to engage afresh on the journey.