Sunday, August 28, 2011

Change Afoot

I suppose that all of us tend to hide away sometimes or at least find a place of solitude where we can be ourselves without having to meet all the demands imposed on us by society. I have, for the last ten years, had my refuse, my place of solitude, my hill where I can rise above the hassles of daily life and commune with God. I have been blessed, but things are changing. Almost all my adult life I have sought out dwellings off the beaten track, like the boat we lived in in Durban harbour, which sank in the middle of the night forcing us to make a plan very quickly in order not to go down with it, or the cottage we lived in on the banks of the Vaal river where I used to go to work in the laboratory by canoe or the cottage we lived in on the beach near East London. I'm not a large city type of person, I like space and far horizons.
In two weeks time there will be more than two thousand people on the farm and as can be imagined, I'm not looking forward to it. The church that owns this farm will be bussing people in to attend one of their meetings and to go up the hill. This church, The International Pentecostal holiness church, link has more than 5 million converts. Frederic Modise's son Clayton, now known as the comforter or holy spirit has declared this farm holy and renamed the hill Zion. The farm is now his property and he has his own plan for it.
In preparation for this meeting and the arrival of the "Comforter" they have been working on the buildings every weekend for about a month now, the only time I have to relax. It has been very disquieting.
Some friends wanted to go up the hill yesterday and, since they were friends, I went with. The walk was very nice and the weather was really great but I was saddened to see that a large area on top of the hill had been cleared of Feinbos to prepare for the comforters sermon.
I wonder what this farm will look like in ten years time, I was keeping it safe and allowing it to recuperate from the abuse it had taken prior to my arrival. We shall see.
When one has been alone for many years it is difficult to reintegrate into society as I'm sure those who have been kept in isolation can testify. For me this is a very trying time. I'm still in my same home, for which I'm eternally grateful and do admit that this church has treated me with respect and kindness but having so many people around does pose it's own set of challenges.
My prayer Lord is for You to look after this farm and to see to it that the life that already exists here is maintained and kept safe for all South Africans. May Your will be done, not mine.

Life goes on and even though there will be stacks of people on the farm over that weekend, it will return to quiet again. I suppose the weekend work will come to an end too sooner or later too and Geoff will be at peace once again. Well not quite, when I arrived on this farm I was the only person staying here, now there are businesses and a lot more people actually living here, life goes on. God is good and if things become unbearable he will find me a new spot I'm sure.
 Which do you prefer, City life with the crowds and gossip or farm life with nature and animals or maybe a boat or a cottage?


  1. Hi Geoff,
    I know exactly how you feel. We have the same blog background and I believe it is because you and I like our solitude. :)
    I live on a 500+ acre farm that backs into a mountain owned by the government, no chance of population. When we first moved here our nearest neighbour was 6 km away and at night time the only lights you could see were the beautiful stars in the sky and the shinny moon. Now there are lights all over the place, our nearest neighbour is 1 km away and across the valley, over the lake and on the other mountain is HUGE hotel resort! :(

    I will share with you what I think about when I feel really down and closed in...I know Jesus knows how I feel about this and I know He cares about how I feel because He created me. I know He has a very special spot for me in heaven. One that has huge wide open spaces with no lights but the light of God. I know that one day soon I will be able to hike the mountains and send time with the grizzly bears and cougars. With this in my mind I am so willing to wait. Our time here is short but our life in eternity is well, eternal. :)

    Jesus has a very special spot for you too! One that will be perfect, made specially for you by our awesome Creator. Thinking about this makes the wait all the more exciting...don't you think?

    Praying you will make it though this huge crowd.

  2. I like the quiet country life and not many people. I used to work in the public system and my name was called all day long, I couldn't wait to get home again..but you never know who you might meet so keep yourself open for a surprise. Blessings CM

  3. I love the country...but as Don's health declined we needed to live in or near a city to be close to a VA hospital. No matter where I live I like my home to be a sanctuary, as peaceful and quiet as possible. Currently, I'm very fortunate to live in an apartment complex (one level, no one over top me) that has very little noise. And I have a little patio where I can grow plants in containers. I can sit on my sofa and look out the sliding glass door and see my is good! Life is all about change isn't it...hope the influx of visitors is not too unsettling for you and that life is calmer and more peaceful soon.

  4. Child of God,
    You know, your words do really bring me strength to cope. Sometimes when I think about the population growth and influx into Cape Town it gets me a little down. I know that I have been very blessed for the last ten years or so and I'm very grateful but I also know that it can't last forever.
    Yes there will come a time when I will once again roam the hills and lift my eyes to far horizons. Thank you lord.
    Child of God, may the Lord bless you for your words and encouragement you have brought to this old man today. Lots of love, Geoff.

    Crystal Mary,
    Thanks for the visit, I always look forward to reading what you have to say when I see your name.
    I'm very open for that surprise, now come already ha ha.
    God bless you my friend, Geoff.

    Theanne, and Baron of course,
    Yes life is good, certainly better than the alternative. Things will calm down soon enough, I'm actually looking forward to seeing Clayton again, we get on rather well, I like him.
    You show a remarkable peacefulness, it must be the Holy spirit living in you.
    God bless you Theanne and may He bless Baron too. Give him a pat for me will you. Thanks, Geoff.

  5. Hello Geoff, my exotic fine-feathered South African friend... I feel your pain, as I can tell you relish your peace and privacy. You did not ask what we think of the IPHC (I clicked on the link and read half way down), you asked what sort of environment we prefer to live in. I have lived in a city and enjoyed the culture and busyness it had to offer, but I am a different person now, the years and events have changed me, and now, I prefer a small quiet place where I can soak up the silence or enjoy the songs of birds, and see the stars at night in an inky black sky. I love being able to see the change in weather by watching the wide open sky, and I relish the idea of the nearest neighbor being out of sight! I don't like the idea of going outside and knowing someone is watching me! I have a collection of 'sky shots'; various cloud formations and beautiful colors. Nature is a wonderful and majestic thing. A cottage would be nice, maybe on a hill over looking a body of water. A nice selection of books, my projects I like to work on, a woodburning stove that I could cook on in a pinch, a sweet, simple kitchen with a small table, a bedroom with long, gauzey, watercolor curtains at the windows that I can throw open to a brisk, cool wind, and a covered porch where I can sit and watch the sunsets and the rain. I have thought that living in the city would be exciting and interesting, but I would tire of it. Living in a city takes a lot of money, and is spending a lot of money really all that important and useful? I say no. Now I am wanting to escape to my little imaginary cottage. I'll dream of it tonight when I go to bed. P.S. Throw a dog into my little fantasy also. Thank you.

  6. I have always been a country boy at heart. Had to move to the city to find a job, but when I get a chance I go where there is peace and quite... Blessings to you. Lloyd

  7. Geoff, I think mayhaps the weekend the hoards of people are to arrive, that is the perfect weekend for you to visit a friend. What do you think? A little rest and recreation away from the maddening crowd?

  8. Joy and Lloyd,
    Thanks for your visits. I'll be back later today to answer your comments, I'm off to work right now but will be back in the afternoon. Thanks for you patience, Geoff.

  9. Well Geoff, this is the big weekend. It will be interesting to hear from you about all the visitors and how things turned out. Hope you can rest your weary old (smile) bones this weekend. Time to take a well-deserved break from working on your ant hill. ;D I think you need some fun this weekend. Whadda ya think?