The song says, diamonds are forever. So is eternity. And like diamonds much polishing makes, of an ordinary rough stone, a brilliant gem, a thing of awesome beauty for all the world to see and admire.
God has put beauty in our hearts, and when we truly see the beauty before us it takes our breath away.
I remember visiting the Tower of London where the British crown jewels are on show for all the world to appreciate. I was enraptured by the beauty of the Culllinan diamonds (found in South Africa in 1906) embedded in the Queen’s crown and sceptre.
I remember my heart taking wings and soaring at the beauty. It is a special memory and the giddy feeling of awe I felt I will cherish for ever.
Botswana is a land of harsh contrasts. It is a dry and dusty land, where mined diamonds are a source of the country’s main revenue. I did a little research on Botswana and discovered its interesting history, and a little about the Bushman who live there.
“Botswana achieved independence from Britain on September 30th 1966. In the 50 years since, it has become one of Africa’s success stories, though success has also involved a half a century of contradictions and difficulties.
“Diamonds were discovered in 1967, which allowed Botswana to achieve the fastest rate of economic growth in the world between 1966 and 1980.”
“Botswana has the second highest per capita income in Africa at $17,595, eclipsing South Africa’s $11,750. Despite unequal distribution of such wealth and despite the likelihood of problems to come, it is at least a legacy to bequeath to the second 50 years.”
Despite apparent democracy, liberal ‘freedoms’ are not always protected : the attempted removal of Bushmen from the Kalahari occurred in President Mogae’s time as did the beginning of the effort to remove the San people from the west.”
Ref : www.historytoday.com/stephen-chen/50-years-botswana
Digging a little deeper I came across the following on the Bushman of Botswana :
“Tourism is Botswana’s most important market, after diamonds. Tourists are openly encouraged to enjoy a “Bushman experience”, taking trips with Bushmen to learn about their hunting and gathering survival techniques and watch them perform ‘trance-dances’ At the same time, the Bushmen are prevented from hunting and the majority are forced to live outside their ancestral land”
Ref : www.survivalinternational.org/tribes/bushmen
So despite its potential wealth for some, the poorest of the poor scratch out a meagre life in its thorn tree geography, where, with God’s help, only the strong, the faithful and the resilient can possibly survive.
Often the emails from Gawie are cryptic, and I have had to re-read them to really get an understanding of what he is trying to convey.
Gawie and Dina Joubert have been serving God, and the Bushmen of Botswana for over 25 years now. It is through his emails that I have come to hear of the Bushmen people of Xanagas.
Gawie, truly a diamond in the making, is a missionary to the Bushman people in Botswana.
No to long ago, an appeal went out to sink a borehole in Xanagas, with a plan to get animal stock, and grow some vegetables, (yay !) so that the Bushmen could sustain themselves. When water flowed from the borehole, they named it Blessing. Water is a blessing, especially in a dry and thirsty land.
Often Church-outreaches from South Africa visit Gawie at Xanagas and bring necessary goods for the Bushmen. One such item was the donkey-car, also named Blessings !
Such extremes – from crown jewels to donkey-cars.
Has our sophisticated world forgotten the needs of the poor and the needy ? Is wealth and riches all this world is about, driven by insatiable greed. Where has honour gone, where does contentment find itself these days ? Can’t we share a little ? Between the have-nots, the haves, and the have-yachts, surely there must be a bridge we can find ourselves on to equalise our different worlds – just a little?
If you have some time on hand, visit Gawie on his blog, and be amazed at what God’s grace and love can do., and view some real endearing photos of the people of Xanagas.
Or drop Gawie an email of encouragement on : firstname.lastname@example.org
Isaiah 62:3 You shall also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord. And a royal diadem in the hand of your God.
Eternity is forever.