Last week Hendrick and Elize were in Tsumkwe for a couple of nights. Hendrik and his wife lived in Tsumkwe for a period of about 19 years while they worked for the Dutch Reformed Church. They founded the church here and have now moved to Grootfontein from where they oversee, support and train the local Ju’hoansi pastor, Pastor Gerrie (sounds like hairy). They suggested that we take a trip out to visit the pan with them if their meetings finished in time. Fortunately their meetings were completed in time and so we were able to go out to see the pan. We had heard plenty about it and that it was the largest water source around and because of that it draws a lot of wildlife.
We left town at about 4 o’clock and headed out behind Hendrick in our team vehicles. We went through or skirted numerous pools of water that had accumulated where there were dips in the track. The sun was low in the sky and the grass was very long and it made for an incredibly beautiful scene. The closer we got to the pan though the fewer the pools of water we encountered, until we were finally travelling on rocky ground alone. We passed trees that had water marks on them that enabled us to see how far the water would normally reach and how far the pan would extend.
We finally reached the pan to find it completely dry. As far as we could see there was no water on the surface though it is possible there may have been moisture below the surface. We did see quite a number of springbok and a huge herd of wildebeast as well as some birdlife. We pulled up beside the pan and got out to walk on it. The surface had many snail shells a varying sizes scattered over it and it was crunchy underfoot, which was indicative of the lack of water.
I could not help but reflect on the need for water here, water for life…..animal,bird,insect and plant. But it also reminded me of the great need I see in Tsumkwe for the life giving water of Christ the wellspring of life! There was beauty here to behold but Hendrick spoke of flamingoes breeding there and an abundance of life around the pan…a greater beauty I am sure. It is the same in Tsumkwe, what we see needs Christ to redeem and bring it to a place of life, hope and growth.This is our prayer for Tsumkwe.