Blessed by the Waterberg Bush

IMG_7568

As I walked the various trails in the heart of the Waterberg Bush with my family this week, my heart was full. Yet, words failed me. How could I apprehend this moment in time and ask it to hold still – until I had fully appreciated every sound, every sight, every scent, and every feeling? This was one of those fleeting times in our family life – where we were able to enjoy each other and relish a special experience all by ourselves – without the pressure of school work, ministry tasks, or the needs of others. I wanted to take hold of this time and not let go – at least not yet.

IMG_7591

We took a brief family get-away into the bush to literally catch our breath from the whirlwind we’ve been experiencing in our ministry/mission life since the start of 2015. John and I knew 2015 was going to be a very full ministry year. With our home assignment beckoning in June, the first part of 2015 would require almost a year’s worth of ministry packed into a short six months. So, back in January, we booked a three day holiday in the Waterberg for March – an anniversary gift for John and me and also a fun holiday treat for our boys. We anticipated that we would need a time to decompress, rest and replenish after the first three months of the year.

And we did.

IMG_7596

One of the things we did not realize when we booked our accommodation at the Waterberg Cottages, was that if we wanted to view any game, we would need to walk. In the past, all of our game farm experiences have offered viewing opportunities by vehicle and by foot.

IMG_7679

Walking, however, proved to be one of the gifts of our trip.

IMG_7590

As a family, we don’t have many opportunities to walk together. For me, this was my favorite part of our whole Waterberg experience. When the boys were younger, and we were still living in Oregon, John and I took the boys out for many walks and meandering hikes. We just don’t have the same kind of opportunities here in Jo’burg.

Therefore, when we are able to get out in the bush, get walking and exploring, our hearts are filled. With no wifi, no television, little phone reception or access to news of the world, we really could savor the sights, scents and sounds of the Waterberg bush.

IMG_7641

John was able to explore the entire farm – sometimes three times a day – to see if he could encounter zebra, kudu, guinea fowl, or other small game.

IMG_7608

Caleb and Jake enjoyed spending time in and around our accommodation, Bushwillow Cottage.

IMG_7583

Caleb loved the time in the pool. The water was especially refreshing after our hikes.

IMG_7611

Jake shared that he liked eating all of our good food on the cottage porch. We were able to eat outside for all of our meals.

IMG_7600

Micah, too, enjoyed our hikes. He struck out on the trails with his dad and later with our entire family as well.

IMG_7632

We also ventured away from the farm to visit The Church of St. John the Baptist at 24 Rivers. This little church has served as a central place of worship for over a hundred years. The small chapel once accommodated 33 people along with the minister. It was designed by Sir Herbert Baker, the architect who designed other significant South African structures such as the Union Buildings in Pretoria (Tshwane), St. John’s College in Johannesburg, and Groote Schuur on the slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town. The fact that Sir Herbert Baker agreed to work on this small project was a testament to the tenacity of pioneers EA Davidson and his wife Molly along with her two aunts to secure the time and skill of the most renowned South African architect of their time.

IMG_7634

It was a delight to explore the charming church grounds.

IMG_7623

IMG_7628

IMG_7620

Each night in the Waterberg, the sun’s rays sent stunning brush strokes of red, orange, pink, and violet over the expanse of the sky. The spectacular African sunsets invited both an appreciation of great beauty and wondrous rest for us. Such a gift!

IMG_7579

The blessing of time and the decision to take it afforded us a unique opportunity to make some fond memories as a family.  I confess we don’t do this enough. I am thankful, though, that we could do it this time – especially now as we prepare for another three months of continuous ministry service.

IMG_7636

We’re ready!

IMG_7682

Thanks to a great time of rest and relaxation in the Waterberg Bush!

4 Comments

Add yours →

  1. What fun to see all the family photos and incredible scenery. Thanks for sharing your adventures! Glad you got time to catch your breath as you begin another three continuous months of ministry.

    • Hi Diana, thanks so much! We had a great time away and wished we could have taken a couple more days. However, we’re grateful for the time! John is already off to the next thing and we’re praying the pastors he connects with are encouraged and strengthened in their lives and ministry. Thanks again for stopping by! Love, heather

  2. Heather and family it’s so good to connect with you after all these years! Blessings on you and family! Please send email add for your parents ! Warmly Roy Susan

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: