While in South Africa, it was only a few hours drive into Namibia. I was just across the border along the coast in the diamond country on one sojourn but we did not cross over. At that point all I could see for miles and miles were sand dunes. Not a blade of grass or bush; let alone a person.
I was traveling with James Adams, the local pastor for a number of churches, and Mike Spiller, a games person who also does strings. When we were in Springbok, it seemed appropriate to make the trip. Driving through the foothills and arid land of the Kalahari Desert, one wondered if there were any way to make a living and thought it remarkable that the early people could survive. We crossed into Namibia without any problem. No visa required. Just pay a road tax and you are in. When James was asked if he had anything to declare, he said “Yes.” “Jesus Christ is Lord.” They smiled and waved us on.
Driving through the arid land, we drove through Grunau and finally came to Krasburg. It was a holiday so most things were closed, including the one hotel restaurant. We found a local eatery and ordered the blue plate special…goat, rice and cucumbers. Of course, Coke is everywhere and available to accompany our meal.
While waiting, I went outside and was met by some boys begging for change. Instead of giving them change, I reached into my pocket and gave them each a string. What a fun time we had…me teaching them and them teaching me. I went in to eat and when we finished…they were out there with some friends wanting more. We spent a good part of the afternoon working with those boys, some men who happened along and a few other onlookers.
Even though these were some of the poorest of the poor in Africa, they have a part of them that loves to have fun, create and communicate with others. I could have given them a few coins that they would have immediately spent, but rather gave them a string that I would venture to guess that some of them still have. What a great way to share the love of Christ with some people. It was not a long time of sharing, just an impromptu event in a few lives. But, I am sure some of them still remember when those two white men came to their town with strings.