With Gratitude For New Friends – South Africa

We have been blessed to have many friends. Friendship is incomparable in the sense that it builds up the world. We have made many friends here in South Africa. Let us thank them…

Let us thank:

Sidwell – Who hosted us for our first few days. He took us to the apartheid museum, a musical show, a spiritual place called Freedom Park, Soweto, and took us to Sunnyside for worship on Sunday. He and his family let us stay at their home for our time in Pretoria.

Refilwe – Who tended our household needs. She insisted upon doing our laundry and cooked delicious food. She teaches 50 third graders every day! She has won many teaching awards including one stating that she is the best teacher in South Africa. She is Sidwell’s wife.

Rapsy, Ofentse, and Khathu – Who became Alistair’s new friends while we stayed with Sidwell. They showed Alistair soccer moves, let him play their video games with them, and gave a play-by-play monologue during a football (soccer) game on TV. They were wonderful hosts.




Mesh – Came to Sidwell’s house for a BBQ and helped us plan the worship service the next day. He is a volunteer pastor at Sunnyside and specializes in lay training.

Stephen – Is a volunteer pastor at Sunnyside as well as a doctor and is working to become ordained. He welcomed us warmly into the church and worked hard to get everything set up for us.


Pam – the wonderful organist who invited me to accompany her and play the special music with Mom.

Adri- Marie who hosted us in Cosmo City. She is one of the leading workers for Oasis and works hard to create a better community every day. She works closely with Tom and Anothi and Scotch. We pray for her work.


Anothi – who took us to our destinations and told us about them. He had us interacting with what he was showing us. He changes lives every day because he works with the Bridge the Gap program. He is a special part of Oasis and our lives.

Scotch – Who talked and laughed with us all the time. He explained things and discussed certain parts of life in Cosmo City to us. He and Anothi are having a house built for them now. At Oasis you live with friends and neighbors to conserve housing. Unfortunately for him about half-way through our visit in Cosmo, his car was stolen. He said that they took his car, his wallet, his drivers license, and a really good book. He was most disappointed about the book!

Left – Scotch Middle – Adri- Marie Right – Anothi



Arnie – who fed us dinner one night and told us his journey and story of starting Oasis South Africa. He changed the lives of many people through his work. He and his wife Chantal and their two daughters are about to move. We pray for them.


Chantal – who took us to the clinic and showed us what they do. She quickly put us to work and showed us what a difference it made in the life of the people at the clinic. She is Arnie’s wife and a nurse.


Florence – who works tirelessly at the clinic and gives people vitamins and blankets to nourish them. She also works the administration of the clinic. She put mom to work.

Josephine – who took us to pre-schools that she helps to run and had us interacting with the children by singing, dancing, and taking their pictures. They loved that!


Lorna – who has come all the way from Scotland and is working to help children in the community who don’t go to school. She helps catch them up and get ready to go to school.

Nobuthe – She runs the Bridge the Gap program. She changes the lives of youth from the ages of 18 to 25. She teaches them conflict management, economics, managing money, and other life skills. She has brought out the best in all of these youth.

Right – Lorna Left – Nobuthle


Reggie – who works to stop trafficking just around the corner from the office he works at. He is part of a project called Project Greenlight.


Tom – who is a pastor and manages the Rhythm of Life for Oasis. He also works closely with Adri-Marie.


We pray for everyone that is in Cosmo City either working or living there.

Thoko – who runs the after school daycare center in Etwatwa. She is the headmistress and a wonderful care person. She invited many neighbors and friends of hers to come and eat with us on the second night of our time in Benoni.


Those who took place in the workshop lead. Those like Anne Marie, and Dot and our hosts at the after school center.





Mofomotsi Diutlwilenge who came to take notes for Sidwell at the storytelling workshop. He is a pastor in a church and a very active person in the community


Ruhlawni – Who volunteers at the after school center. She is in between school and the working life and has designated this first year to travel. She plans to go to Turkey and the Philippines.

Patrick, and his 2 boys as well as Phyllis and her friends who talked with us and visited with us at Thoko’s.





For Trevor’s Colleagues at Northfield like:

Moira – who participated in the workshop and drove us home. She is the head of the pastoral care center. (She is on the right)


Gavin- who is one of the four pastors.

Jackie – who is empowering Trevor to use his new iPad.!

Louisa – who is the youth director.

Fran – who drove us to Thoko’s and is the head of the missions department of Northfield.

The organist who so kindly invited me to play the communion music on Sunday during worship.

In Pietermaritzburg…

Doug and Cheri who took us out to dinner and brought Alistair and I to see amazing animals on two amazing hikes in which we saw two giraffe, several thousand empala, and many, many zebras.


Peter Grasso – who hosted us at Seth Mokitimi Methodist Seminary he is the chaplain and Professor of Church History.


Jenny Grasso – who took us to lunch.

Sox – who is the dean of the seminary. We had a good conversation with him. He has a deep history.



Shayne – who came to dinner and told us all of her animal stories. She is the widow of Ross.


Ross – was the former president. He died before we arrived.

Philippa – a second year student.

Oz- a first year student.

Gloria – a staff member who drove mom and dad around the historic part of town.

Peter Storey – an amazing pastor who has a very deep background. He has preached many places including for several West Ohio Annual Conferences. He showed mom her calling to ministry. It was wonderful for her to meet him.


For people like Stacey who have showed us the beauty of South Africa through wild animals. Stacey took us on a boat tour and we saw hippos and crocodiles.

Craig – who was the owner of the cottages that took care of us while we were in St. Lucia

Paul – who was our safari guide. He picked us up at 5:00 in the morning and drove us until 1:30 in the afternoon.

Skipper- who took us on our Whale Watching adventure. He showed us two male humpbacks and gave us a new appreciation for these creatures. His real name is Vernor and he has a PhD in Cetacean studies. For half of the year he leads these trips and the other half he spends in the Bearing Sea studying whales.


Trevor – who hosted us during our time in Benoni and helped us organize events and take us places. He is the reason that we went to Cosmo City or Benoni. He is a pastor at Northfield Methodist Church. He works in the community every day and writes books and preaches sermons somewhere every Sunday. He introduced to many new people and became excellent friends with us. (picture below)

Debbie, Joanie, and Mark – Trevor’s family who hosted us on Sunday and visited with us and treated us to lunch. Debbie, Joanie, and Mark are all teachers in their own way. Debbie teaches in a high school and Mark teaches in an Elementary school.



Debbie – Who hosted us for our whole time in Benoni and treated us to all sorts of wonder in her home. She cooked us delicious meals and gave us beautiful rooms to stay in.


Ingrid – She changed the trip for me. She was a wonderful person to talk to and just enjoy and was someone that I could process with. She was a wonderful friend.


South Africa is a country of love and friendship. In a few days time we shall be departing from Mother Africa. We will be in awe from our wonderful experiences. We lift up the gift of love.


















About willrand

Will is interested in many different ambitions. He enjoys playing musical instruments such as the piano, organ, and the French horn. He has traveled to Turkey, South Africa, Cambodia, England and Scotland. Will loves to learn about new things and contemplating upon the mysteries of the world.
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