The year has passed by. I am not really able remembering the moments. there are just too many. I take a lot of notes, but if I don’t take the time to write, my notes also become unclear. I especially miss the emotional charge in my notes. I noted music titles but I don’t know why anymore. both sides now, Joni Mitchell. Can only guess that I felt melodramatic.

I look back on the year 2019. Greece, refugee camp Athens and farmers in Lagonisi. My account blocked back to the Netherlands, Later bank card blocked. Now a small living and care community in PE. My thoughts wander even further back. Back to the moment “where I am at today”, started to become a dream.

I created a season greeting card based on that moment. I sent a few copies to those who don’t know where I am at.

Delighted by myself that I have not yet reached an aging age, I dare to be surprised by what happens to me every day. It is wonderful to experience and also to be aware of it. I am so happy that I am not limited by my so-called life experience.

After 2 months of working and a little more experience at Maranatha, I asked myself whether this place is one to be for me. So I needed to found out the meaning of the word Maranatha. Wikipedia displays the following …

Maranatha is the transliteration of an Aramean phrase, maran at (h) a, which occurs once in the New Testament. The apostle Paul uses the term at the end of his First letter from Paul to the Corinthians (1 Corinthians 16 verse 22) as a farewell greeting. The most likely meaning of maranata is “Our Lord, Come!”

Being here it s about being christian.

It seems that all the answers are found in the its Word. When I browse through my teaching materials what I am about to give to the young people and older residents next year, there is nothing to be found about God or what the New testaments writes about.

My teaching material challenges you to think and imagine about me, you, they, we. As a the society they want to be part of. The Belief in themselves and their environment and writing their own NT.

I am gradually learning about people. In an environment like this, I would think they find hope. But perhaps I should reconsider. A few residents still remember their lives before. Every story has pain and for some it is still very much present. Some experience Maranatha different then I would.  Some talk about leaving. They do not experience the home or feeling of being at home as such. Not seeing salvation and recovery here.

We more whisper then talk about this with them. There is this discretion around it. Conversations are sometimes suddenly stopped because they do not want to get into trouble. Perhaps they talk too long with me.

With this in mind, I have an answer to the question I ask myself. Precisely by sharing their stories and experience positive or negative, I have the feeling of being in place here. I am part of their environment, their life. I like to come back here and I have to come back here.

December 16 was much busier than usual here at Humewood. Traffic jams, honking cars and lots of noise. Fireworks were lit. I Found out what it was all about. Day of Reconciliation I tried to sleep that night but the party noise and fireworks kept me awake. The next day at work, I was informed that I had missed a opportunity being part of culture. December 16 is a typical South African celebration. My colleagues told me “if you can’t be them join them”. They had a point there!

Christmas has arrived. The weeks before, advent completely passed me. I have been reminded of the Christmas period due to the artificial Christmas trees in shopping centers. It is summertime in PE. I find it difficult to taste that Christmas atmosphere.

We decorated a wooden Christmas tree. To get somewhat Christmas feeling. It’s my first Christmas in the summer with others! Will I understand what Christmas time implies. Will I recognize the true spirit of Christmas.

When serving I introduced them about what we were about to eat and. It was special that Lulu the matriarch of the family and I sat together got into a very relaxed and pleasant conversation. Culture-related attitudes had completely disappeared. We just felt like family.

True spirit? I think I’ll have to do some research before I can recognize it. Maybe I should go see Scrooge again. It has been especially cozy, warm and a great get-together. Cooking and eating seem to connect once again.

In my notes I came across one when I was staring at a full taxi-van. I have been surprised for a while about how people are transported. Families on a scooter in Bali. Also seen vans in Fiji that were already packed with passengers. And now, as far as I know, South Africa (PE) is taking the lead. It is worth mentioning in the Guinness book of records. I didn’t take a picture there, but I did a quick search on the internet.