2004. She was sitting on the steps to the Home Affairs office in Bellville. Drunk. Begging for food. She grabbed at him as he passed her but he ignored her and went to the counter. Suddenly, he felt guilty without knowing why. He walked back to find her still on the stairs – begging for something. He took her aside and sat with her on the step. She had one wooden leg and one blind eye. She wasn’t young either. He looked at her and asked “why”?
He was an experienced street worker, used to sharing the gospel with prostitutes and street kids who only knew the hard side of life. He gave her much more than money that day – he gave her the gift of life as he shared the gospel with her. He gave something of eternal value…
She asked for his phone number and he gave her his business card, not believing that he would ever hear from her again. Great was his surprise when she phoned him that same evening. To tell him that she used the money to pay for electricity, that she bought food for her family and that she was sober. She promised to remain sober. And she did – for 7 years.
Since that day, she phoned him daily, without exception. Daily she reported that she was still spiritually standing. Daily she checked up on him to make sure he was still spiritually standing. Often the learner reprimanded the teacher; when he confessed sickness, she corrected him and said that Christians never confess sickness.
The call came every evening, up until Thursday, the 17th of March 2011. She phoned that night for the last time.
She passed away in her sleep, without an illness known of. How wonderful to go like that.
Our hearts ache, but at the same time, we rejoice for one who finished the race.
I wonder what she said when she entered heaven and saw Jesus. In my mind I hear her voice and her bellowing laugh: “Djeere maar djy is soe mooi!”