Children of God in a Crooked and Depraved Generation
An Encounter with Evil on a South African farm on 5 December 2018.
My feet trod swiftly in my trusty fifteen-year-old Rockys1 along the long two-track driveway, away from our friends’ farm. I stumbled from time to time because it was difficult to see the hollowed surface in the dark. A cool wind contoured my face as I looked toward the distant lights of the neighbouring farm. As I walked, I wondered how I would summon the attention of the neighbours in their home on the other side of their high gate and barbed-wire fence. The events of the past few hours were still surreal in my mind. Earlier that evening I had closed my bedroom curtains in preparation to visit our neighbours. The thought of our vulnerability crossed my mind. Not consoled by the unrealistic idea that we would never become victims of a farm attack, I thought to myself that it is most likely a matter of when and not if.
Having closed the curtains, I gathered my guitar, music files, tablet and Bible and left the house with my two daughters. My father was ready to pick us up at our driveway gate, and we were off. For many years we have enjoyed our neighbours’ hospitality on Wednesday evenings for Christian fellowship. Arriving in the early evening, we sat outside their home on the patio. The tiled patio has a short wall around it, punctuated by an equally short pedestrian gate that leads out onto a sloping lawn. On top of the patio wall there is a row of quite large pot-plants.
It was a beautiful evening. Our excellent hosts put on a light meal for us and some home-made nectarine juice. We thoroughly enjoyed it, as well as the relaxed, friendly conversation around the table afterwards to the light of a few citronella candles as darkness gently fell. My elder daughter took some beautiful photos of the small flames dancing against the African night sky. Peace.
While still looking at one of my daughter’s photos, a sudden sound startled us. It sounded something like cattle that had escaped from an enclosure and they were now rushing past the patio on the lawn. A loud thud startled us as one of the large pot-plants fell off the wall and onto the paving outside of the patio. Our eyes all strained into the darkness for a few seconds as we tried to make sense of the sounds we were hearing.
Then they appeared. Men dressed in black, wearing balaclavas, some with 9mm pistols in their hands.
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