jump to navigation

God must have left this place a long time ago February 5, 2007

Posted by Cobus in Missional, Movies, Politics, South Africa, theology.

We went to see Blood Diamond last night. It’s about illegal Diamond trading in Western Africa, how the Diamond companies buy up these diamonds to keep them from flooding the market, and in this way finance local wars. It’s similar to Hotel Rwanda and The Interpreter.


When Danny Archer concludes that God must have left this place a long time ago, I again realized that this becomes much easier to conclude when stuff start turning bad, real bad. We talk of the holocaust as “bad”, but I’m starting to wonder if Africa today may not be worse than the holocaust. An advertisement from the WFP (World Food Program) before the movie claimed that 25000 people die every day from hunger. At the end of the movie the claim was made that 200000 children are currently soldiers.  Central Africa has been a conflict zone for years now. People die, are mutilated, families torn apart. Civil war is tearing Africa apart. Poverty, AIDS and hunger is tearing it apart. The conclusion that God must have left this place a long time ago is not that difficult. But still we believe that God is here. We believe that things can change. But the more I look, the more I realize that the challenge is much bigger than we might think. To really make this world different is a much bigger task than most would like to think. To help
Africa change the church will need to do more than make mission some sideline part of our ministry. We will need to put mission back in the center of what we are doing. That is simply the only way to start making this continent different.

Africa might be a tough place to live at times, and fact is, it might even get worse, who knows. But this red soil running through our fingers is our home. This is where we grew up, lived. This is our continent. Our country, despite the problems.



1. Bernardvw - February 5, 2007

So here I sit, in a small town in South Africa. We are in the small part of South Africa that isn’t desert. But they say the desert is growing…
I am not that sure that we are totally unaffected by it. I don’t think that Europe or America is unaffected by it. And like the dessert, I think it will spread. A second great depression? The rich being very rich and the poor don’t have enough to live of? And I would’ve liked to be rich enough to start making the diffirence, but it’s a fact, I am not. And I don’t have the answer. This morning I had a chat with a guy at school, and he said that he is pesimistic about Africa and when he is done with school he is leaving us alone here on this rotting continent. Maybe that is where the problem lies.

2. Glenn - February 6, 2007

Is it an indictment of the entire worldwide church if it seems as though “God must have left this place?”

3. Annemarie - February 6, 2007

I don’t think that being rich is the only way to help making the difference. One can start with prayer (though it might seem insignificant). God hears our prayers and longs to fill our hearts desires, so if we have the desire to make a difference, God will give us the strenght, knowledge, wisdom, people and tools to do so. Just take a few minutes to pray. Then go out and arrange things like fund raises. Every person can make a difference, no matter what his or her age.

As for our country, South Africa, it stays just so beautiful. Just the other day I saw a rainbow for the first time in a very long time. And I started thinking. We call ourselves the rainbow nation, yet some people (I think) can’t really accept it. There are still people who stick with the whole Apartheid thing. I know some people who are racists, but I still see them talking to other races with respect. Maybe that’s the problem. Maybe we live in a country that has no respect for his or her neighbour.

It seems the best place to start, just accepting the other races for what they are, human. Though it may not always seem so, but who are we to judge them?

4. Glenn - February 7, 2007

What role do you see for us In the US?

5. Christelle Robbertse - February 7, 2007

The fact still stands that we all have to do our part to better the situation in Africa and I thnk in all third world places. Up untill a few years ago men in South Africa were required to serve at least one year in the army, after they had finished school. If they were able to sacrifice one year of their lives for war, shouldn’t we be able in this day and age to sacrifice one year of our life for working towards peace. Spreading the Word of God is working towards peace (of course it’s not the only way ,but it is I think the most lasting way) and that is why I fully intend to spend at least one year as missionary. I think more Christians should consider this. You don’t necessarily have to leave your own country, because there is need in every country in the world.

6. cobus - February 7, 2007

I really like the even younger people letting us hear your voices. Thanx.
It’s sad that people of 15 are already talking of Africa as a rotting continent. But yes, Annemarie and Christelle. I do believe that we can start making the difference. You guys live against eThandakukhanya (you won’t find this on a map, but it’s a black community around Piet Retief area, about 5 times bigger than Piet Retief. Piet Retief you will find in an atlas), is it possible to start getting involved there?
Glenn, I guess your interest in mission must have brought you into contact with the history of the near moratorium on mission in Africa. People in africa was getting so fed up with the hit-and-run way mission was being conducted, and with the way mission and colonialism was mixed, that they simply wanted to ban all missionaries. As far as I know it never went through, but I could even be wrong. Get to know some Africans. Especially those that don’t have internet, because it’s not those of us writing here that have the problem:-)
But in all honesty, I don’t know. There is such beautiful stuff happening, but sometimes I just feel hopeless, because the suffering is just to much!
But Africa is a beautiful continent! South Africa is a beautiful country. Come visit us.

7. Glenn - February 7, 2007

I read a really interesting related post on another site, entitled, “The Ministry of Presence.” See if this furthers the conversation.


8. cobus - February 8, 2007

I like what I read Glenn. Get to know the people, really get to know them. Work side by side. Don’t just simply do stuff FOR them, do it WITH them. Most important, when starting something new with a different people-group, start from a not-knowing position, and work from it, instead of starting from an all-knowing position.

9. Glenn - February 10, 2007


That helps and I think it is pretty universal stuff of love and respect that most people want. We just have a tendency to act superior as Americans and to think we have things figured out in advance and to develop our own plan. Please, forgive us! Maybe through blogging, we can open some avenues of learning and relationship..

10. Annemarie - February 11, 2007


Someone once told me that we in South Africa don’t have to worry about stuff like alien contact and things becuase everything happens in America (no offence meant here Glenn). The person who told me this was some or other sceintist (at least that’s what he said he was). But the book Faith like potatoes proves to me other wise.

But that’s not the point. Watched blood daimond over the weekend and it’s an excellent movie. Fact. IT shows us how different people can work together. Maddie (the American journalist), Danny Archer (orphan who grew up in Rhodesia) and Solomon (an innocent black man caught in the middle of a war he didn’t start).

Maybe these are the kinds of relationships we need to build. Although we are from different races and have different backgrounds. This is where it has to start, by mbuilding relationships. Even if that relationship is based on You see me, you greet me, I see you, I greet you. IT’s a start I think.

People think differently, so why not build on a relationship with an orphaned child at the local orphanage. Let him/her know you care. Give to them what has brought you to them in the first place. The grace of God. The need to witness miracles by seeing how these children give their hearts to Jesus.

I remember the first time I went to the orphanage was with the youth group. I recall being the one who always said: “Luckily I don’t have to do that” but right after our outreach to the orphans my words changed. I felt lucky being able to witness the joy on those children’s faces.

The foundation of making a difference starts with a relationship. That’s what I believe

11. Bernardvw - February 11, 2007


I watched the movie with Annemarie:-) When we went out of the cinema, one of the first things I told her was that it was probably one of the best films I ever saw.

One of the things that really stuck with me was at the end (sorry if you haven’t seen the movie yet) that Solomon, although Danny wanted to kill him the night before and Solomon thought that Danny would steel the diamond, he saved his life, while risking his own.

Anoher, although a bit smaller, is that everytime Solomon enters a village where the rebels had been, or see someone dies, he is shocked, but Danny just doesn’t seem to care. Lines can be drawn between this and other sins. If you do it enough, its OK

If you go back to my first comment. I said that nobody is unaffected by the growing desert. Here is two qoutes that I liked from the movie : “This my country, man. We here long ‘fore you came – long after you gone” and “The Third World is not a world apart.” It’s not other people’s problem. It’s everyone. Like where Danny explains to Maddy that it’s their fault. And where the villager says that he only hopes that they don’t find oil there

Last thought, at the orphanage, he children seemed so happy, as opposed to the rebel, with a kinda of a “gansters attitude”

If you haven’t seen the movie, I strongly suggest that you must go and see the movie. Like I said, it is probably one of the best movies I ever saw

PS I thought DiCaprio’s accent was perfect. and I liked the Afrikaans spoken throughout the film.It was shot in South Africa and Mozambique, for those of you who don’t know

12. paul-louis - February 17, 2007

I try to stay positive about living in africa but lately I’m starting to lose faith in a big way, how can God allow this to happen..I know I shouldn’t..it’s almost as if the only way out is to leave, like DiCaprio puts it..this godforsaken continent forever..
I know it’s wrong to even consider blaming God, but look at the stats about Zimbabwe, Mozambique..just look at what has happend since 1994…I was only 13 in then, now I’m 25 and things have only got worse..
At night I have dreams of leaving for europe and never looking back..but then again, I dip my hands in our red african soil and tell my self..Africa doesn’t let go of her children’s souls..

13. Annemarie - February 18, 2007

In Prediker 5 (sorry, don’t know the english name) is written that there’s a time for everything. A time to laugh, a time to cry, a time for war and a time for peace. I think instead of asking why God is doing this, we must ask what is God’s plan with this. But it’s difficult to see it in this way, if you think further it always goes back to people who are suffering (Christians as well). But does God really decide everything? Does He open a book and say: ” OK, you haven’t suffered lately, so I’ll just send someone to come and rob you while you are sleeping”. We must not forget that people have a will of their own and that not every person knows God and His love. But if you think about the government, crime and politics of South Africa, then you can’t help wondering it’s really worth living here. People getting raped and killed, another member of the government stealing money (as if they don’t have enough already), this is almost everyday life in SA. Almost. But then again there isn’t a place in the world where there is no crime.

But one thing we do know is that God walks with us, always. So maybe He doesn’t decide everything, maybe, but He will always be there for us.

14. Ben - November 10, 2012

Truly after watching the movie,i felt the pain of gross neglect in Africa,we are one bless continent with enormous natural resources , but our few leader have done greedy and gross damage on our collective goods and turn it into personal use….Africa seem to be a curse nation,i dont know if it has to do with the power of witchcraft or the ritual killing that happen everyday,is it the innocent people that their blood cry for vengeance and have not gotten help,i sometimes ask myself when is Justice gonna come for those whom have been murder in cold blood….Many people are suffering in an era of IT and african leader dot see change as alternative,they still live in the old rugged way.God left Africa for is abominable sins….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: