Monday, July 29, 2019

June 2019 Update

Smith Derksen Family and Work Update – June 2019

Click on link to see some recent photos: June 2019 Photos

Family life


It's hard to believe that we now have two teenage boys who could legally be driving in the USA!  On May 25 we celebrated Jacob’s Sweet Sixteen, and on June 7 we'll celebrate with his friends by having a High Tea party. The fancy cakes attracted Jacob, and the chance to get all dressed up with his closest friends while eating lots of sugar. Should be a splendid occasion. We’re proud of him and the young man he’s become. Also, grateful for the good friends he’s made here.

Meanwhile, his older brother has taken on new responsibilities signaling his own maturing and young adultness. A couple months ago John-Clair was hired by a local coffee shop to work Sunday shifts as a barista, starting at 6am, which he has dutifully done every week. We’ve tasted his yummy coffee, and heard compliments from others. We’re so happy for this gainful way of fulfilling some weekend time. Additionally, his Grade 12 has a class project of producing a play. That means doing everything, planning, advertising, set-building, acting… it’s quite an ordeal. John-Clair has been co-coordinating the set design. Some of us parents will assist in construction, and we’re greatly anticipating this fascinating South African local history-based drama production set in District Six, the heart of the Cape Town area where forced removals of non-whites occurred during the 1960's. They’ll perform during the 1st week of June.

The big news for the boys is their upcoming trip back to the States, sans ses parents! That’s right, they’re on their own: from Cape Town, they fly to Seattle for two weeks to reconnect with family, church and friends. Then they're off on July 2 to attend the MCUSA (Mennonite Church) National Youth Convention in Kansas City with the WA youth groups including several from our home church (Evergreen MC) and others they know from Seattle MC. It’s so wonderful for us that they get to have this opportunity to stay connected with friends and with the Mennonite Church, which we hold so dear. The time in KC will be followed by more connecting with family, from Dan’s side. Getting to meet their new cousin Mona will be a very exciting treat. They’ll spend the remainder of their time in Iowa with Dan’s mom, then return to SA on July 17. It’s incredible to think that we feel confident in them to make this long journey without us. 

As for us, we also will have a little excursion. In July, we commemorate our 20th anniversary (which actually occurred last Dec. 27) with a 12-day camping tour through Namibia, Botswana, and ending at Victoria Falls. We wanted something special in the region to do on a tight budget that celebrates our travel spirit, and Victoria Falls was on our bucket list. We fit it in while the boys are away, and will enjoy our last vacation while on the continent. 

Work life


Speaking of needing a vacation, it’s been very hectic at SADRA Conflict Transformation. So far this year, we’ve helped with trainings, including a Peer Mediation training we were able to do while Oscar was away, visited embassies and government departments to promote the work of SADRA and look for funding, and most importantly, prepared for and aided the mediation efforts during the national election that happened earlier this month. Since preventing election violence is a major objective of SADRA, this election was a main reason we extended our contract through 2019.  Starting two years ago, we’ve hosted regular round-table dialogues with different stakeholders about violence and conflict prevention around elections, which included a wide range of topics, from fake news and the use of social media in elections to community protests over lack of services and inter-party conflict. We’ve been training community mediators for years for this very event. During election week, Dan acted as a certified Observer and Kathryn served in the mediator’s panel, those responding to area crises, working in the provincial Information-communication hub as a liaison between the police and the provincial conflict management coordinator. She kept track of which neighborhoods needed attention and coordinated mediator deployment. While we were all exhausted by the end, the election is being hailed as a success with no one injured or killed, for which we are thankful and happy. 

What is election violence, you may ask? South Africa is still a very young democracy, and complicated socio-economic problems are not fixed easily. Racism and the privilege (or lack thereof) that goes with it are clearly seen every day. For those without power or resources, who still have not been able to gain stability despite these twenty-five years of political freedom, one way of making their voices heard is through using “election violence,” everything from verbal threats against politicians, to burning tires on the streets to disrupt civic function and express discontent trying to force actions in their favor, but usually ending up with overreactions of force by the police and people being injured or killed. Our mediators are sympathetic to the frustrations of the many that still live under apartheid-like conditions and extreme economic hardship, and a large part of what we do is try to help them find a way and a place to legally and nonviolently have their legitimate concerns heard, including elections. 

What is this privilege (so often race-based), you may also ask? We can answer that for ourselves. Here in SA, it’s the fact that we have a car and house near town, and can easily drive home from work in minutes, while our co-worker must take 2-3 taxi-buses to get to the low-income township where she can afford to live. Those taxi-buses are not on a time-table – she spends a lot of time waiting, in rain and wind, and without safety. We can decide to stop for groceries on the way home, and even to go to a gym class before she ever reaches her house. We pick up our children when needed; she’s busily arranging neighbors to get her son from preschool when she is stuck between buses. She and her husband dream of having their own car, of safer transport and house, but that reality is out of reach for now.  

The problems South Africa is facing are hardly unique – these issues are all around us. Maybe your neighborhood, your town, or even your small country in Europe is reasonably equal and fair. But in this shrinking world, our neighbors on the other side affect us – global disgruntlement with democracy and the world order of capitalism seems to be everywhere. As our Election Commissioner says, wealth itself is now holding politics hostage, and how can we talk about fair elections when the conditions people are living in are not fair? 

These are not easy questions and we don’t have the answers. One common reaction when we discuss these issues here is for someone to say, “Don’t take this wrong, but I think your own country needs you for this work more than we do.” Frankly, we agree. The current news and political dialogue out of the USA is depressing and somewhat unbelievable. Working in our own country of citizenship to counter these forces that seek to sow division among people of separate race, or economic status, or gender, etc. is as important now as anything we’ve ever done in Africa. It’s what each of us must do, as much as we’re able. 
We remain deeply thankful for your continued support and look forward to hearing from you. We realize these updates have become less frequent, but please know that we are working hard and missing you. 

With great love,
Dan & Kathryn

Recommended Online Article - Love and Loyalty in a Land of Gangs

Love and Loyalty in a Land of Gangs

We recently discovered this online published photo/journal. It beautifully and tragically describes the community where we've done much of our work here with high school students. 

The reality of Manenberg depicted here is undeniable. Yet, what often gets overlooked by the outsider is the warmth of life, openness and genuine caring we've experienced during our few years interacting with people there. 

It has been our privilege to be welcomed and included in Manenberg alongside the many strong and faithful people working hard to improve life in their community. 

Pray with us for peace to reign, in Manenberg, and on earth.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

January 2019 Update

Link for Recent Photos

Dear Friends, Family and Greater Support Community,


We've found a few minutes to send you greetings and Christmas wishes. It's been hard: the myriad activities have piled upon each other, as they do this time of year, but in life-giving and fulfilling ways, so we're grateful for all we've been able to do. Especially, we are thankful for the visitors who have come to spend time with us. In November, we were blessed to have Dan's mom Bonnie and family friend Anet here for a couple weeks. They got to attend all of our various performances, Jacob’s dance recital, Kathryn’s Baroque Christmas concert, and Dan’s musical. It was great to have their loving support. Then we had Kathryn's sister Elizabeth and her family here for their first summer Christmas! We were so happy to have family to spend the holiday time with, and had a joyous Christmas day together even providing special acapella music singing Oh, Beautiful Star of Bethlehem for the packed out Christmas morning worship service at Somerset West United Church. Yes, apparently many people still go to church on Christmas day here in South Africa!

While they were here, we also enjoyed showing them around to see some of our favorite places, and wrapped up their visit with a trip together along the famed “Garden Route”, SA’s south-eastern highway which parallels the Indian Ocean. We stayed in a beautiful house on a private game farm, and spent time in the Tsitsikamma National Park kayaking on the Storms River and zip-lining in the forest canopy. Kathryn and the Browns also did a day safari in Addo Elephant Park. It was a trip we’ll all remember for a long time.

SADRA Work

As we were working at wrapping up the year, circumstances allowed the long-awaited Manenberg Community Leaders Conflict Training to happen. Unlike other communities where we've trained leaders, this workshop involved leaders in conflict with one another over issues stemming back many years. For them to agree to come together was just the beginning. A friend of Oscar’s from the area helped tremendously with the facilitation, and to make a long story short, a week of hard work resulted in hugs and pledges to work together differently. Youth shared their visions for peace, and mourning mothers shared their daily pain in a room now willing to listen. It was transforming for all of us involved, and a huge positive step to end the work year. We will have several follow-up events with this group in 2019, but it’s a tremendous cornerstone.

In our annual review, we summarised SADRA’s work: we’ve helped train 344 people, about half of which are youth, equally male and female, in conflict transformation – whether that be peer mediation, community leadership, or conflict within the church. We have worked in ten different geographical communities, and in six secondary schools. We’ve also intervened in local area conflicts and our election roundtables have been well attended and now picked up by a partnership with a European donor and the Electoral Commission.

Personal Activities

We also ended the year with a musical “bang” – Dan starred as Buffalo Bill in our local theatre’s production of “Annie Get Your Gun,” a rewarding and fun experience. Kathryn directed a local choir and orchestra in two sold-out performances of Baroque Christmas music featuring Vivaldi’s “Gloria,” including one as a fundraiser for SADRA. Even the boys joined in singing, and the audiences were very impressed. We continue to build these relationships, and hope to connect local folks to SADRA as part of our last year.

We now start our fourth and final year in South Africa. The boys begin Years 10 and 12, and are thinking about next steps in the US. They would love to attend the MCUSA Youth Convention this summer in Kansas City, so we’re hoping to find a way to make that work financially, especially as that could also facilitate their being able to visit some college campuses.

Kathryn finished 2018 at a conference in Stellenbosch on Reparation, Reconciliation and Historical Trauma and is wondering how to continue this work in the US when we come back. It seems the work we’ve been doing here could be helpful in many ways back home – if you have any ideas around this please be in touch.

Our life and work here continue to feel meaningful and busy. We are grateful for the holiday break and having family to share time with. It is always a joy to show off this beautiful place to loved ones! Thank you for your many prayers and generous gifts that uplift and sustain us, through the trials and the celebrations. May 2019 be a year of great happiness for you and yours.

Gratefully,
Dan & Kathryn
A prayer to share from our friends at the Volmoed Centre, Hermanus.

October Update

Link for Recent Photos

Dear friends and family,

How October flies! Hard to keep up with the passage of time. We hope all is well with you, and that you’re moving peacefully into fall – we’ve survived winter and had some replenishing rain, so are happily looking forward to summer. The boys have started their last term of the year, and we’re excitedly awaiting my sister and her family visiting us for Christmas!

Work

We’ve had several trainings and work trips since we last wrote, and rather than run through them all, I thought you might enjoy reading a more in-depth reflection from a training for church leaders we did in Durban at the end of August, the first of its kind in that province, so very new material which was received enthusiastically.

The good energy, creative questions and honest reflection by this group made our conflict analysis and mediation training an especially rewarding time. From the opening session on understanding and analysing conflict, pastors were excited to be learning such relevant skills. Unpacking concepts like  that we each need to recognize our own reaction to conflict, as well as understanding and valuing the ways others react, was just the start of their transformation. We heard comments every day like, “This is exactly what I need to know to work with a current conflict situation,” and “This training is dealing with what we all need to be talking about.”

One of those topics was racial tension, a very tangible reality for many in the room, and a growing concern in the KwaZulu Natal province. Our director, Oscar Siwali, feels racism has not been honestly talked about since the end of apartheid, and that racial tension is growing in anticipation of next year’s national election. “Part of what we need to do is educate whites on what it is to be African.” Oscar explained his personal observation, that whites don’t have a space to engage and process their own pain, of which they have plenty. Coming from a traditional Xhosa community in Eastern Cape himself, Oscar reminded these primarily Zulu pastors that most of them had grown up with more present supportive, communal structures to help process pain.

A Few Thoughts

I have been reflecting a lot on this topic recently, at these conflict trainings I do with Oscar, in racism awareness workshops, justice conferences, and even the recent Anabaptist Network in South Africa (ANiSA) conference. “Why are whites not better at loving?” was the resounding question in my head from that gathering of 40 South Africans of different colors and backgrounds. It seems we are not very good at loving ourselves, in our own communities, or loving the Other, even though the Bible we imposed around the world says we are to do just that. The whites that held power in South Africa largely came from a Dutch/Germanic background and have a legacy of trauma from immigration and isolation, coupled with cultures that don’t allow emotional processing and have high levels of damaging patriarchy. English-speaking whites have their own historic ghosts, and that stiff-upper lip culture with the need to act as if one is always right has not done any favors. I’m not saying one culture is innately better or healthier than another, but when looking at the larger picture, our dominating spirit, our wounds and the trauma we deny, and our disconnect with community and caring for Others… well, there’s a reason ubuntu sounds too good to be true – there’s a lot we can learn from it.

I agreed with Oscar’s point – the whites of South Africa have been and are now very broken, and yet can’t see it or admit it in most (any?) spaces. Oscar described being African with an isiXhosa saying “When your neighbour is hungry, you give him your cow so he can milk it, and he milks it, but while looking over his shoulder as he knows some day you will come to take it back.” Emphasizing his point, he went on. “This is what we need to teach white people – you cannot just drive your big car when your neighbour is hungry. Capitalism has failed us, and we need to find ourselves as Africans.”   He challenged these church leaders to share this strong sense of community and the strengths they have with their neighbouring whites. “The government is not going to do this, so the church must take on this role of reconciling the nation.”

Our participants accepted this call and applied themselves through the week to learn the skills of mediation and community building. We coached them through the mediation process, pointing out how important things like identity and dignity are in assisting resolution. In our model, mediation is a needs/interest-based approach to conflict, and this requires a different way of thinking than an advice-giving pastor or arbiter.

ANiSA

I was going to say more about the ANiSA conference – sometimes we wonder why the term Anabaptist is carried around and hung on certain things – couldn’t there be a new theological term instead of reviving this dusty old European word – we can be social-justice-pacifist-activists without needing another title, right? Well, the Anabaptist Network in South Africa has been doing a lot of intentional work figuring out who they are and what they want their power-under response to be, especially through the coordination of Mziwandile (Mzi) Nkutha. Dan and I learned a lot at their gathering last month, and I especially liked this introduction from a young attending scholar: “I’ve been trying to figure out who I am - my father is Xhosa, my mother is Zulu, our neighbors when I was growing up were Sotho, my friends were all Tswanas, and then in school I did English and Afrikaans - so what IS my identity? Mzi told me Anabaptism could help me find my identity, and invited me to this conference, and so I came.” Walter Maqoma.

Our work at peace-building puts a lot of weight on relationships. We are grateful for the connections we’ve had throughout our few years here, but have felt that gratitude anew during these recent events. Thank you for your support of the work towards a more peaceful world, and always for your words and prayers.

Gratefully,
Kathryn, for the Smith Derksens

Monday, August 13, 2018

June/July Update

Dear Friends and Family,

Time to write again – how are you all?  We love to hear your news, too.

Dan and Oscar pose with the participants of the
Community Conflict Mediation training in Kwazulu Natal.
As I mentioned in April, it’s been a busy time. Dan and Oscar did a rural community mediation training in Kwazulu Natal, where election violence has been heaviest. Oscar and I had a great trip to the thirteen different Embassies to advocate for community peace-building to be included in their programming, and alert them to specific concerns in next year’s presidential elections. We’ve been trying to find funding to help in Zimbabwe with their first democratic election in decades, but nothing has materialized yet.

Next week we have another residential Peer Mediation training with high schools from the nearby Lwandle township. The word “township” means the area that Apartheid allowed black workers to
live in hostels and controlled by pass books. Families were not allowed to live here until 1994, when cheap housing and squatter camps sprang up. Mass migration from the rural areas brought a new population here and schools and infrastructure have struggled to keep up. The problems facing Lwandle are different from those challenging Manenberg, a reflection of how different “races” were used and abused under Apartheid. We’ll let you know what we learn next time!

Preparing Peer Mediators for practicing conflict role plays.
We’ve also been following up on the Peer Mediators from Manenberg – all three schools have launched their programs after a month of continuing role plays and practice. Several schools have used them for actual conflicts, and now we prepare for a celebratory certification service in July at the Alliance Fran├žaise again. We also did a presentation for the teachers and admin so that they could understand when and how to use Peer Mediation.

At one of the schools, we got feedback that we wanted to share with you; their names have been changed to protect their identity. I mentioned that several students struggled at the actual training? Here’s the longer story: Sharif almost got sent home – the friends smoking marijuana he was standing with were driven home, and in this gang-world, loyal solidarity is expected. However, we had noticed Sharif’s keen interest and natural skills in mediation and encouraged him to stay. He did and became one of our best mediators. We were hoping that this might help pull Sharif away from gangs, or at least he can be a better leader among his friends with his new skills in listening and conflict management.

Kathryn addresses the learners at Phoenix High School
as we initiate the Peer Mediation program.
Another turn-around was a young Nicola – she was strung-out the first day, crashed the second, and slept through the third – we debated sending her home, not because she was unruly, but we couldn’t see her getting anything out of the training. The fourth day Nicola was participating, and miraculously, she was leading her mediation group by the fifth day. We were very pleased and thought she must be brilliant to get so much out of a training with her head on the desk half the week.

We continued to see these two students the next month – Sharif with shy smile and warm eyes taking everything in, and tiny Nicola with her sharp tongue and wry sense of humour. The principal mentioned in passing that he had noticed a difference in these two. After sharing with the teachers what we taught at the training, we asked if they had seen a difference in any of the students – most teachers didn’t even know who had gone on the training. Right away they named Sharif and Nicola – it was such a great affirmation. Sharif came back from the week much more focused in his schoolwork, and “calm” was used to describe him several times. He is a natural leader, and he is now using his calm tall presence to settle others around him. Then we learned of Nicola’s transformation – she was suspended earlier in the year for bad behaviour, and recently disciplined for failing grades. After the week with us away from drugs, she soared to the top of her class. A girl who mumbled for days found her voice and the ability to lead her peers and gain respect. Every teacher in the room had noticed the change – we were right – Nicola is brilliant, and she finished the term with a smile. We are not kidding ourselves – our program is not about drug rehab, and the pull of drugs and
Sinoyolo, our new SADRA Intern at the far right, poses with
the Peer Mediators from Silverstream High School
gangs is strong. But hearing these testimonies, over a month after finishing the training shows that small changes that lead to big differences do happen. Those we trained last year have reported how they use these skills not just with other students, but with their younger siblings and friends. They think they aren’t doing mediation, but I quickly affirm they are doing conflict transformation, and that’s the important thing. If we can better listen to each other, be more calm and patient and problem-solve together, then we are living as peace-makers. True for all of us!


Boys excited for pizza on J-C's birthday.
Jacob and Willow and doggie obedience class.
Our family is well, the boys are OK – they have both had birthdays in the last month. It’s winter now – this means that our house is about 50 degrees inside, without central heating, and at 80% humidity, it’s hard to get out of the warm bed in the morning. Since it’s break right now, our oldest child spends as much of the day with his heating pad and sleeping bag as he can get away with. He starts a new school in July – transferring to a Waldorf School, as he is more interested in theatre and music, which is almost non-existent at their current Cambridge-curriculum school. We just joined a good choir in Stellenbosch so John-Clair can have that exposure – we perform Monteverdi’s Vespers in September. Then I start my community project of Vivaldi’s Gloria for Christmas, and Dan is going to be Buffalo Bill in Annie Get Your Gun! So we are staying busy and trying to build some relationships. Jacob continues to bond with his new dog Willow and started dog obedience lessons.

Boys showing their awards from their
school Toastmasters Club.
Our new house doesn’t do well with the rain, but of course, we are all thrilled that the dams are filling. We continue to conserve water, of course, so that we will have water half a year from now…
We hope you are well, and thanks again for your interest in us and our work. Please feel free to drop us a note, a question, or picture. Remember that we post regularly on Facebook, too.

Love and hugs,
Kathryn, for Dan, John-Clair and Jacob

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

April 2018 Update

Dear friends and family,

It’s been so long since we’ve written! We hope your new year has been good, and that you’ve seen some of our photos and work updates on Facebook, if you have that. Since we’ve last written, we’ve had to move to another rental house (again, and for the last time here, we sincerely hope), had the epic cross country road trip at the end of the year, and a blazing start to our third year of work here in South Africa.

New House and Dog


After a year in our Strand house we discovered it wouldn’t work to have a dog there after all, so we didn’t renew the lease and found a house in the neighbourhood of the boys’ school for less money (Somerset West; see our new address below). Unfortunately, the outgoing landlords, frustrated by our decision, refuse to return our deposit, so we are working at that through a housing tribunal mediation. The stress of this situation, along with the work of moving, took its toll on us, but we are very happy to be in our new home with our new dog, Willow! Technically, she is Jacob’s Christmas present – a one-year-old whippet/border collie mix. She is a good dog, if rather stressed from her shelter experience. We keep the bunny hidden away in our back yard; Willow has the front and side yards, and she has figured out how to share the house with our kitty Miems. And we have a garage for the first time since being here – table tennis tournaments encore!
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Bringing Willow home.

SADRA Work


Now that we know our way around, we can do a lot more to help Oscar and SADRA Conflict Transformation. We’ve already done three trainings this year – teaching mediation to community leaders from Nyanga, the community with the highest crime rate in the nation, church leaders from our local township area dealing with anti-immigrant unrest, and the big Manenberg schools peer mediation training. This is the year’s highlight for me (Kathryn) especially, as this is my area where I have built relationships with the three schools and their students. We were full past capacity this year and seemed to have particularly challenged youth – one had buried his father the week before; one had just given birth; several used our five-day residential retreat to detox from drugs; many struggled to give up cigarettes and just sleep “normal” hours. As they described violence in their neighbourhoods, Oscar kindly asked how many had lost an immediate family member in the last two years – 8 of the 56 teenagers stood up. My heart breaks in those moments, and the chance to smile into these faces, hug their thin shoulders, praise them for working hard, and see the changes that happen in their lives over five days are an immense blessing to me. The fact that they feel invigorated with new skills to better understand and interact with their complicated lives means we are doing the right thing.

April will be just as busy – Dan is at a rural training with Oscar in the north this week, and then Oscar and I go on our annual pilgrimage to Joburg/Pretoria to visit embassies and explain to diplomats the importance of supporting community peacebuilding as part of their intervention strategies. We’ve been able to do so much more in the last year as an organisation, thanks to a one-year grant from the French government; we now need a follow-up partner to continue. We will host the fourth roundtable dialogue with the provincial electoral commission – current topics of water and land access and economic disparity will play heavily in the next elections and we are putting heads together as proactively as possible. By the end of April, we will need to have started relationships in local township schools to start Peer Mediation there, and we continue to do follow-up and support of community mediators we have trained.

Here’s a story from one young trained pastor – there had been several break-ins in his neighbourhood, and one youth was found entering a home that wasn’t his and people had come out and were accusing him of the crimes and the conflict had become violent enough that his life was in danger. Our young pastor stepped in and was able to diffuse the crowd, explaining that he knew the youth as a younger brother from out of town, visiting his brother’s home. He literally saved the man’s life, and he thanks us for giving him the skills to handle that situation. 
Youth from Manenberg practicing Peer Mediation skills at the training in Franschhoek.

Drought and Day Zero


Many of you have asked how Day Zero might unfold as Cape Town dams reached critical levels. As we cautiously enter the rainy season, day zero has been put off till next year, but it’s imminence has changed our lives. We use, re-use and sometimes re-reuse every drop of water with new life-style habits. Rinse water is used for washing, then for toilet flushing or watering plants. Handwashing water is used for household washing, then flushing. Our clothes washer empties into our tub (no more baths; wet-wipes and quick showers only) to be re-used. I’ve even come up with “cluster cooking:” we were already re-using our pasta water to cook oatmeal, but with a block of time I can cook several things at once with just a couple liters. For example, blanch vegetables for dinner’s pasta salad first. Use water to cook pumpkin for pumpkin breakfast bars. Then boil some butternut for tomorrow’s bisque, then cook macaroni in this water for the pasta salad. Now half this nutrient-rich, already-thickened water is broth for the butternut bisque, the other half makes yummy oatmeal. No waste! Four dishes on about three litres of water, and no pots had to be cleaned in between. You get the picture – this is how Capetonians exist these days – we are not the only ones to have switched from filter coffee to espresso and we share tips like this with each other constantly.  We have a new version of “let it mellow” – just ask me if you want to know what it is . . .

I hope the rest of the world is paying attention and considering how they use this most precious of resources. Day Zero would have meant a turning off of most taps, and we would have queued daily at a water distribution point for our daily ration of 25 litres each. This would have been chaotic, but it was a good exercise for us all to practise getting down to 25 litres a day.

Thanks for reading through our eclectic update – we always love hearing from you and are ever so appreciative of your ongoing support. It’s been a difficult couple of months, but I’m happy to say things are stabilizing out better and we’ve had some breathing space and positive energy again.

Much love and hugs to you all,
Kathryn, Dan, John-Clair and Jacob

Dan and Kathryn Smith Derksen
4 Sir Lowry St.
Somerset West 7130
South Africa
Bird's nest hang out at Babylonstoren Farm on Easter Monday.
Copyright © 2018 Smith Derksen MST, All rights reserved.
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Our mailing address is:
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South Africa


Our phone numbers are:
(D) +27 79 153 2095
(K) +27 79 254 8979

Monday, December 4, 2017

Hear Dan's sermon at West Union Mennonite Church from February 2017

Hi Friends,
We're re-posting this link to Dan's sermon to let people know it's there, in case you missed it earlier and would find it interesting.  It shares some stories and details about our peace-building work in South Africa. This sermon was given at West Union Mennonite Church in Iowa, where Dan attended in high school and where his mom Bonnie Smith is still an active member.
Peace.

 Dan's sermon
Click on the image to go to the sermon link.