Sterkfontein caves

40% of all fossil finds of hominids come from a relatively small area 60kms from where we live. It has become known as the Cradle of Humankind. Today we visited the Sterkfontein Cave in this region. Under an unassuming hill we found an impressive network of deep and roomy caves. At the end of the 19th century, these caves were mined for limestone. This limestone, made into quicklime, was used in the goldmines on the Witwatersrand. In the 1930s, the first Australopithicus (literally Southern Apeman) were found. The excavations continue until this day, and up until now some 500 hominids have been found. The hominids did not use the caves to live in. The most complete skeleton seems to have been from a boy who fell into the caves through a crack – but I’ve not been able to find whether all of them came into the caves in this way…

The Good Shepherd

On the Lesotho side of the Sani Pass, there is a small Pentecostal church. Siphiwe, the pastor, showed us a traditional homestead and how to wear the traditional Lesotho blankets His wife had prepared some delicious bread in a pan on a cow dung fire. The church was not officially part of this cultural expierence, but we were allowed to look inside as well. Inside we found Siphiwe’s wife washing clothes – the church doubles as the pastor’s house and living room. On the wall there was this mural of a shepherd carrying a sheep. Most of the congregation consists of shepherds who come to the Sani Pass area in summer to graze their sheep. This image of the Good Shepherd clearly touched them. I think it’s a really strong, contextual image of the Gospel!