Where it all started ~ My Father is now 92, my Mother in her eighties and they baptized me Pieter Retief…
Born into a multi-generational missionary family, and was baptised Pieter Retief. I grew up on a farm where my father and mother led a humble life raising five kids. We were frowned upon because we were involved in missionary work and led a life of virtue and non-racism. I have done the full circle and cannot escape the calling to contribute to another attempt to restore our nation and to mediate reconciliation.
May 2013. The stark reality of our nation in both the physical and supratemporal realms dawns on me. With that comes a call to establish a new narrative for an alternative future and only One to sustain it:
“But this is a people plundered and spoiled; all of them are trapped in holes, and they are hidden in prison houses. They have become plunder, and there is no one to deliver … and there is no one to say: Restore Them. Who among you will give ear to this?… I have called you in righteousness, I have held you by your hand, I have kept you and I have given you … as a light for the nations. To open the eyes of the blind, to set the prisoners free, to those who dwell in darkness from the prison house… do not call to mind the former things, nor consider the things of old. Indeed, I am doing a new thing: it will spring forth… rivers in the desert… this people I have formed for Myself; they will show forth in praise…Listen to Me, you who pursue righteousness, who seek after God. Look to the rock from which you were hewn, and to the excavation of te quarry from which you were dug….gladness and joy will be found in her; thanksgiving and the voice of song. Hate evil and love good. Set up justice in the gate, perhaps God will be gracious (Amos 5:15). God has declared to man what is good.. “and what does God require of you; But that you would execute justice and love mercy; And walk humbly with your God.” – (Micah 6:8)
A call, born out of pain and deep caring concern, born in agony and grief over my own brokenness and that of my country. It is accompanied by the resilience and loneliness typical of hermits, mystics, visionaries, prophets and other fringe figures. With only One promise to cling to in the hours of turmoil, anguish and doubt: “But for the mountains may depart, and the hills may shake. But My lovingkindness will not depart from you. And my covenant of peace will not shake, says God who has compassion on you. (Isaiah 42:7,22,23; 43:18-21; 51:1-3; 54:10). I have taken some solace from Dr Barbara Winter who wrote this:
“When you come to the edge of all the light you know, and are about to step off into the darkness of the unknown, faith is knowing one of two things will happen: there will be something solid to stand on or you will be taught how to fly.”