It’s hard to believe that the conference is more than half over. This has been such an intense few days. Most days I’ve been waking up around 5 or 5:30 and then finishing up blogging or gathering pictures to use in a slide show that is displayed during breaks. Then getting ready for heading over to breakfast by 7. Staff meeting is at 7:30 and the conference begins at 8:30. Our sessions are interrupted with tea breaks in the morning, we have lunch around 1 each day, more sessions, then another tea break and sessions that continue until 5. Then we have a little break before dinner which is at 7 each night. By the time we leave dinner, I get back to my room in time to go through the pictures from the day and pick the ones I will put on my blog and that I will give to Katie for the slideshow. I’ve been up until around 10:30 or 11 each night. Yes, I’m really feeling the crazy pace about now!
Though the conference is focused on legal professionals, I have found that many of the sessions are applicable in my life. One of the men who shared with us, Eberhard Bertelsmann, is a South African judge. He shared his testimony about how he battled with addiction. He said that his friends finally intervened in his life and had him admitted to a rehab center for a month. They had told others that he had a nervous breakdown. Eberhard, when he got out, found out what they had told others and the Lord convicted him that he needed to not hide what happened but show integrity by being honest about where he had been and what the Lord had done for him. As he shared, I thought about how we often as Christians try to show others our life as being perfect and don’t share our struggles with others. And yet each time Jesus healed someone, he always had them go tell others what had happened. In not sharing our struggles, are we taking the glory away from God for how He gets us through them? And putting a burden on our brothers and sisters in making them think that perhaps they are the only ones going through tough times and struggles? It is certainly something to think about.
Carl is one of our prayer warriors who came to the conference specifically to intercede for us.
In the afternoon, there were a number of breakout sessions and an opportunity for non-legal professionals to visit a model Pedi village and the white lion boma. Not too far from where we are in Limpopo, there is a tribe, the Pedi, who live in the village this was modeled after. The Pedi live in this village, have a chief who wears animal skins and has 4 wives. Not all the Pedi wear traditional dress – apparently there are some who work in the cities and therefore wear “Western” dress. And then after work them come home and live in huts and help with the cattle.
Not far from the village is an area where there are white lions and tigers. Liesel was our guide for this tour again, and she told us they never see the tigers. And yet we were blessed to have both of the tigers come out so we could see them and I was able to get a few pictures of them as well. In case you think you are missing something, no, tigers are not native to South Africa. These two were rescued as cubs after they got too big to be in a “petting zoo” and so they were going to be executed.
When we returned from the tour, it was time for a very special presentation by Rolf Enger. Rolf was on the team that ran a series of tests on the Shroud of Turin as part of the Shroud of Turin Research Project Incorporated doing over 100 hours of hands-on research in the summer of 1978. He gave us a presentation on what they found, how if nothing else, it gives us an amazing picture of what crucifixion would look like. He did not give us his opinion on whether he thinks the Shroud is authentically the burial cloth of Christ, but concluded by letting us know that if it isn’t anything else, the Shroud can point us back to the death and resurrection of Jesus and be a reminder to us of the great love that Jesus showed by giving His life for us.
One of the Campus Crusade for Christ South African staff members is Fanie who has been with us here since the first day. He has been handling all kinds of technical things, helps with running the Power Point presentations, and pretty much has been working in a way that I would have described as tirelessly. Until I caught him behind the sound tables yesterday afternoon. . .
For dinner we returned to the boma and were treated to a performance by local school children who danced, sang, played drums and and instrument resembling a marimba.
We were served a number of South African treats such as pap (rice porridge), fish, lamb and beef stew, impala salad, a butternut squash dish, sweet potato soup and a potato dish and some bread “rolls” filled with cheese or honey. I actually tried each of the above. I did not try the spinach (which is braised and not spiced) and I did not try the worms. Yes, I did say worms. However, some of the brave souls in our group did. Luke gave us quite a show eating one and my main regret is that I wasn’t even thinking about the camera in my lap until the very end when he was gasping for some water to wash down the taste!
This is Medhat (with me), an attorney from Cairo. He and some other Christian attorneys have been making an amazing difference in Egypt after the revolution and have had a hand in the creation of the new constitution. The first day of the conference, he introduced himself to me and asked if he could have a picture taken with me. Yesterday he again wanted a picture and told me he wants to have a picture with me every day. He also told me that when he first came to the conference he asked God to show him 5 people to pray for during the conference and that I am one of the ones he is praying for. What a blessing that is!!