IF YOU WANT TO GO FAST GO ALONE; IF YOU WANT TO GO FAR GO TOGETHER
At the start of the New Year we stop off at Steve’s place. Even as we look forward to a time of new beginnings it is appropriate to reflect on ‘Transformation through loss’ …..time and again either lack of rain or hungry dassies destroy what has been planted. So we try again….. constantly removing alien wattles that kill the indigenous vegetation…...a picture of our lives?
We have had some good feedback from our guests.
One of the guests phoned to thank us for a charming place of Peace and Healing which was just what she needed.
OLD FARM HOUSE
Good news for those who have been missing the Old Farm House. It is back on the accommodation list with some upgrades. Each bedroom now has its own washbasin.
Thursday services will commence on the 4th February . No refreshments will be serviced afterwards until the 18th February. Please notify the office that you will be coming.
The brothers’ Sunday services will start on the 7th February. Don’t forget your masks and please sanitise on arrival.
Our new Director Tony Schnell started the year with an African Proverb ‘If you want to go fast go alone , if you want to go far go together ‘ Setting the tone for our year ahead. We want to include everyone in our planning on how to work together better and sustain Volmoed for years to come
We ended 2020 on a sad note as we said goodbye to Penny Pelders, our bookkeeper, who retired after 17 years. We are thankful for the years she spent with us and the legacy she leaves behind. On the other side of the coin, we welcome Karen Black in the office. She is taking over from Penny. She has a long background in things financial and has already contributed to the fund raising efforts. We trust that she will soon find her feet as she learns the new system and becomes part of the Volmoed family.
The brothers have relocated to ‘Duck-Inn’ their new house after Bernhard and Jane moved. At present they are having their summer retreat. We hold Scott in our prayers while recovering from an emergency operation and a slight pneumonia. Daniel shares the following as being meaningful during their time of retreat.
The following prayer was sent to us by one of our regular visitors
Circle them Lord,
Keep protection in and danger afar.
Circle them Lord,
Keep hope within and doubt without.
Circle them Lord,
Surround them with Your Light and banish darkness.
Circle them Lord,
Keep peace within and all around.
Be their strength when they are hurting,
And remind them of Your unconditional Love.
As this new year is off and running, Volmoed is in good transition and change, while weathering the enormous challenges of Covid-19 variants and all the changes, concerns, and extra work this brings. Thank you for your partnership in prayer as we navigate all that is before us. Thank you for your prayers for our finances as we continue to engage with robust fundraising plans to help us sustain Volmoed through 2021 and beyond. Though it’s not my training or skill set, this seems to be part of my calling at Volmoed at present. I accept with gladness and a bit of trepidation! A big thank you to the newly formed finance committee and fundraising committee for sterling work they have done in a short space of time. With God’s help and the help of others, we will!
Grace is ever with us, not just the delightful calf who is growing before our eyes! Grace undergirds our grief and loss, as many of us have lost friends and loved ones to the virus. We held a first-ever All-Community meeting of staff and residents this week, focused on Covid-19 and how we are feeling about it, and our questions. It was a time of bonding in feeling sad, tired of it all, or anxious, and prayer together. We are grateful for this new forum for communication.
I am grateful also in my role as chaplain, to have joined the newly formed leadership team that meets bi-monthly to coordinate our communal and collective life at Volmoed. No small task!
On the personal front, the house building process is not yet in place, as we wait for a slightly amended plan to be accepted by the municipality. My transition here sometimes feels never ending. Your prayers for a smooth path towards this become a reality are appreciated.
VYLTP is on the move again, remotely this year, as we begin our first ever online course, ‘Building the Beloved Community’ facilitated by VYLTP faculty Seth Naicker. We will accept twenty-five of the over forty applicants, including some VYLTP alumni. This continues our vision of building strong youth leadership across denominations in our country and beyond. This is an exciting step and also challenging!
In times of uncertainty and change we look for grace, which is always there. “Grace tethers us to a place of knowing we belong to God and at the same time rolls us into uncharted waters” (Mary Gray-Reeves). It’s from this security of knowing our grounding, our belonging in God who is Love, that we can feel safe enough to let go and let God nudge or even propel us into the unknown future. When we are grounded in grace we can live in the present moment, even when it is untenable. In these transition times it can feel difficult to trust that all will be well and all manner of things will be well. We trust that Grace will be with us, no matter what.
EXCERPTS FROM JANE’S MEMORIES—ARCHIVED IN THE VOLMOED OFFICE
In 2016 Bernhard mentioned to the Trustees that he would be retiring at the end of 2020 when he was 70 – having given almost 35 years of his life to Volmoed and felt the need to hand over the baton to younger people. In those 4 years till 2020 he trained up Mathilda Roos to take over the hands on running of Volmoed having her shadow him and learn all the ropes and she did it amazingly giving her all and going the extra mile on many occasions. Our dream was to carry on living in our own home at Duck Inn on Volmoed once we had retired and had discussed this with our son and daughter and they both thought it would be the best decision as if and when we were old and ill they would arrange carers for us – it seemed an excellent plan. During this time of waiting until 2020 we asked Our Lord that if it was not His plan for us to stay on Volmoed after retirement would He please let us know and make it clear.
On 12th August 2020 at a Trustee’s Meeting Bernhard felt the Lord say it was “time to go” - we would have to sell our house to be able to go somewhere else and so Bernhard sat down with his computer and looked on Property 24 to get an idea of what was on the market and for how much money! A house was advertised for sale in Onrus Manor, a lifestyle centre in Onrus. We went to have a look and there were 4 available houses for sale. Word had spread like wild fire at Volmoed and the next thing we knew was Brother Daniel asking us if we wanted to sell our house as they would be very keen to buy it – wow! Within days Brother Daniel came back with the news that it was a resounding “YES” to buying Duck Inn and this was almost unheard of with the Brothers ....a decision usually took a long drawn out time so we just knew God was in this plan....and so we signed on the dotted line for No.22 Onrus Manor with occupation at the end of November!
We moved on Friday 27th November and on the day before we had our farewell service in the Chapel. It was a beautiful and emotional service with Brother Scott doing the sermon (you can read what he said on the website stbenedicts.org.za under blog which comes up when you click on green circle with 3 black lines and look for sermon for Nov 26th) and Mike Guy played my favourite piece of music – Benedictus by Karl Jenkins (have a listen on You tube) – transports me to heaven!
We have been at No. 22 Onrus Manor for 6 weeks now and it is as though God built this house specially for us – it is perfect in every way. We marvel at how blessed we are – we just love our new home more and more each day and are so happy, even our two cats have settled in so well and have friends with the next door cats. God takes care of everything. We hold Volmoed in our hearts and pray for its future and the well being of all the Volmoed Family members. What a blessing it was for us and for so many more people. We thank God for entrusting us with His vision.