The Words of the van der Stok Family
Dear Teddy and Pauline,
Our first report from South Africa, this sunny Sunday afternoon, in a suburb, about 16 km. from Cape Town.
The five of us are living with my parents-in-law for the next five weeks, as our house in Welgemoed was let to a Dutch family until end of August, and this does not make things easier for us, as we would like to have our own prayer room and fix our own rules and have a fixed address to advertise for meetings, etc. In any case we have already decided to sell out plot in Loevenstein and house in Welgemoed, to enable us to look for a house with more rooms and nearer to bus and train services, so people can reach us easier.
But to start with our departure by plane from Luxembourg: after saying goodbye to our parents (spiritual as well as physical in my case) and a three times shouting to each other across the platform in front of many people of a loud "Mansei", we had a good trip to Johannesburg, where we stayed overnight with Susan's sister and family and talked about the Principles.
The next morning we got a lift from my sister-in-law's neighbor, who took us to the suburban station. On the train from that railway station to the main station (about 45 minutes trip) of Johannesburg, we discovered that we left three items behind: the file with all the Master's Speeches and a little bag with passports, train tickets to Cape Town, etc. This was the first time anything like this happened to us, although we have travelled a lot. After we had discovered our loss, Susan spoke to a chap on the train, who told us on arrival at the main station that our name had been called over the loudspeakers (which we had not heard).
At the enquiry desk we were told that Susan's sister had phoned to say that her neighbor was already on his way in his car with all our articles! So, although it looked at one stage as if Satan was really doing his best to make things difficult for us, we got the tickets, Master's Speeches, etc. (Which I had been reading again) all back in time before the train left for Cape Town! The previous times when we came back from holiday in Holland, I felt quite glad to be back in South Africa, but this time it was different: for the first time since I arrived in South Africa nine years ago, I felt very homesick and depressed, looking at all the tall skyscrapers and millions of people we have to reach.
That first day, Wednesday and also today it was difficult to keep back the tears: the task ahead looks enormous and I felt Father's Heart, longing for His children. -- In Holland I had already the feeling that it was important for me to climb Table Mountain (which represents Cape Town, which in turn is again the Mother City of South Africa: the place where Jan van Riebeeck landed in 1652) the first day we arrived in Cape Town, which was on Friday two o'clock in the afternoon, our third day in South Africa. Just before we left Holland my parents also said the same thing to us, to my surprise. My old car was not here when we arrived in Parow, so to make things more difficult I had to take the train to Cape Town and then a taxi to half way Table Mountain. The taxi driver must have thought me crazy, climbing the mountain that late in the afternoon!
I started at 3:15 to climb and reached the top at 5:15. On the way up I saw twelve mountain goats with horns, wild ones, which I have never seen before (I climbed Table Mountain about six times before, once with Johan and Erik-Jantoo) 7 little ones and 5 adults. I also met two English sailors who were coming down, one of them gave me a free ticket to come down by cable-way. On top of the mountain I prayed to God for help to take back South Africa, and also for the whole of Africa. Table Mountain is about 1,000 m high. Having prayed again I threw some holy salt to the North, East, South and West and the same thereafter, some sand of the Amsterdam holy ground. We will send you some sand and rocked up on top of Table Mountain.
When I came to the cable-station at a quarter to six I was told that the last cable cabin had gone down at five o'clock. As it is winter here it is already dark at 6:30 p.m., so you can imagine what sort of a trip I had going down the same way in darkness, after a thirty hour train trip, and about 28 hours of fasting and no drinking. How I came down at 8 o'clock in one piece I still do not know, or rather I did know, because I prayed a lot and was definitely helped. From that point I still had to walk one and a half hour to the Cape Town railway station and arrived home at about half past ten. Although some snow had fallen on Table Mountain the previous two days, I did not see any, because it must have melted again during day time. My leg muscles are still sere and aching!
We have given the first chapter to Susan's mother and youngest brother, who are interested. This morning I went to the Dutch Reformed Church in Denville and made an appointment with the clergyman, Dr. Kotze, for ten past nine on Wednesday night. Although it may be difficult, I felt that I had to bring the message of the Principles to him first, because he is a very good Christian and open for new ideas.
I also felt I had to ask you by cable to pray for that meeting especially because of its importance, and I suppose that by the time you receive this letter the outcome of the meeting has been decided.
Tomorrow I start working in the Bank again and since we left Holland I have worn the symbol (sign) of the Unified Family on my jacket and will keep it on also during working hours as a sort of test for myself, even if it might cost me my job.
Thanks for all your prayers and condition making, both of you and every one of the Holland Family, we definitely need all of it!!! I clearly remember that at seven o'clock on Tuesday morning exactly I was jolted and made aware of your praying before we left Laren, and at the same time the sun came all of a sudden through the clouds!
We wish the work in Holland and send you and all the family our warmest greetings from this most southern point of Africa.
Love in our True Parents' Name
Susan and Wouter van der Stok