Friday, August 26, 2011


The definition of child is “a person between birth and full growth.
A child has only briefly stepped into life. 
A child has a lifetime of memories yet to make.

What do you say when the lives of 14 children end in a moment of absolute tragedy?

What do you say when grief-stricken families and friends gather at a community hall for counseling?
What do you say when masses of young school children are singing We Shall Overcome in that small community hall as they attempt to deal with the loss of sisters, brothers, friends?
What do you say when an accident rocks a town, a city, a nation?
Perhaps it can best described in the words of our president as “It is tragic beyond words.”
This is what Jacob Zuma expressed in his shock at the horror crash. He sent his condolences to the families of the victims, while surviving children and teachers at Rheedendal Primary School, and the local community.                                                                             “The loss of such young lives is very painful for all of us. We share the loss and the pain suffered by the families.”
The horror bus accident happened in Knysna in which 14 pupils and their driver, Taan Colin Payle, 65, died when the school bus plunged off a bridge and into a dam. It should have been a day like any other with these children sitting in the bus that used to take them to school every day. However, the bus apparently rolled backwards down a hill and plunged nose first into the rain-swollen Kasatdrift River, about 18km outside Knysna on Wednesday morning.
The children, along with another 44 of their school mates, were crammed into a 32-seater African Express bus that was contracted by the Western Cape Education Department to transport them to Rheenendal Primary School.

Neil Sharrocks, who arrived on the scene about two minutes after the bus went into the water, said: “I immediately jumped into the water. There was no exit window and I pulled one of the small side windows open. I started to yank children out of the window. I just kept grabbing them around the chest and yanking them out of there.”
Young Jorika Kiewiets, 7, whose twin sister Jorina died in the horror bus accident said, “My sister is lying dead in the water. I would also be dead if the man did not grab me by the hand and pull me out the window.” Jorika clung to her sobbing mother, Veronica, outside the community hall. Jorina had been sitting next to her sister on the bus.

Paulina Fiegeland lost all three of her children – Maurisha, 15, Felicity, 10, and Andre, 12 – in the accident. She was too sedated to talk about her sad loss. The Mello family also lost three children – Lugan, 8, Lisa, 9 and Antonio, 6.

The twins’ grandfather, John Kiewiets, also lost his 11-year-old son, Marco, in the tragedy.
“Marco and Jorina apparently called out for help, but they were stuck,” Kiewiets said.

He had to identify the two bodies at the mortuary. “I can’t forget how they looked,” he said.

Chriswin Vryburg lost his twin, Cheswin, 15. Their father, Chris, said his grief was “tearing me apart inside”. Chriswin, who survived the accident, stood silently with him.

Southern Cape police spokesman Captain Malcolm Pojie said the pathologist had already started conducting post-mortems on the children, but the results were not yet known.

A memorial service will be held for those who died in Rheenendal on Monday night.

The list of victims are:

1. Ashwell Davidson, 17

2. Michael Sass, 9

3. Rayleen Wessels, 11

4. Marushaan Meyer, 13

5. Maurisha Fiegeland, 15

6. Felicity Fiegeland, 10

7. Andre Fiegeland, 12

8. Lugan Mello, 8

9. Lisa Mello, 9

10. Antonio Mello, 6

11. Jorina Kiewiets, 7

12. Marco Kiewiets, 11

13. Cheswin Vryburg, 15

14. Octavia Williams, 14

15. Taan Colin Payle, 65

The 24th August 2011 shall be a day the families and friends of the above deceased shall not forget.
A day drenched in a tragedy words cannot describe.
A day etched in searing loss.

Perhaps the greatest comfort we have is in the words of what the children were singing in that small community hall:

We shall overcome. We shall overcome. We shall overcome.

The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Thursday, August 25, 2011



The cryptic black sky.
The glistening stars.
The vigour of the breaking waves
reflects the tempest in my heart.

I sit here in my armour.
Knees held tight against my chest.
for the perfection of your presence.

I relish this night.
A celebration of your beauty.
My craving gaze fixed

The blue war paint in my eyes,
fiercely amplifies my depths.
Desperately determined:
To seek you
To meet you
To know

The title of my heart.

It was then,
on that mountain,
that you took my breath away.
Whispering with intimate power:
‘Do you know?
 I love you Faye.’

Lips that touch the hollow beneath my ear.
Hands that hold my intrepid heart.
Eyes that burn with deep desire.
My Saviour

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


[ M a u r i t i u s ]

It’s been months since I returned from an island that seemingly stole my heart…


Is it the beauty? The experience? The adventure? The escape? The change?

All I know is that something was ignited within me. 
A switch was turned. 
A movement. 
A flash of life-giving desire. 
An awakening. 
Something greater than a simple-outreach-trip-get-away-with-my-parents-for-two-weeks.

The one day I was taken for a surf by the ‘surfing legend’ of Tamarin Bay. 
Yes, THE Cedric Holl took me surfing. How privileged am I? :)

Perfect weather. Nice waves. Free afternoon. Long board.

I’d been taught to stand on flat water so now the issue was fitting that into catching waves. Doesn’t seem like too much of a challenge when you have concept worked out in your head. And it wasn’t too bad – especially with Ced helping me catch the right waves (timing is essential) and pushing me because my arms weren’t strong enough to paddle out quick enough. 

However, the problem came with Ced pulling us out deeper as the waves grew in size. Adrenaline soon turned into fear. Pride was the only motivator for sticking it out. Four-foot-waves. My insignificant self on a life-saving longboard.
Ced taught me that if you don’t intend on catching the wave you have to hold yourself on the board and push through the crashing wave. Simple wena?

Ummmm…. NO.

My instinctive response was to push the long board aside and cover my head with my arms in an attempt to not be crushed by the massive waves. Each time, whilst I was gasping for breath and trying to drag myself back onto my board I’d resolve to stay on the board next time. Eventually Ced held me on the board so that I wouldn’t jump off. It worked. I learnt.

And it was in that moment that I realized something.

I felt the reverberating voice of my Savior saying “Hold onto me and you will see victory.”

The fear. 
The paranoia. 
The anxiety. 
The terror. 
The confusion. 
The pain. 
The destruction. 
The insecurity. 
The difficulty. 

The waves of this life. 


Clutching onto HIM.

It may seem like the last thing you want to do. 
It may not make much sense.

But… I can promise you he will not fail you. 
I can promise you he will never leave you.


Psalm 42: 7 + 8

“Deep calls to deep in the roar of your waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.
  By day the Lord directs his love, at night his song is with me – a prayer to the God of my life.”


"The world bursts at the seams with people ready to tell you you're not good enough. On occasion some may be correct. But do not do their work for them. Seek any job; ask anyone out; purse any goal. Don't take it personally when they say "no" - they may not be smart enough to say "yes."

--Keith Olbermann
MSNBC's Countdown