We have been away for a retreat with our All Nations family here in South Africa for a few days. We were at a conference center in the mountains outside of Pretoria, in the northeast of the country. All during the weekend, we could see brush fires burning around us, but at a distance. Veld (brush) fires are not uncommon. They are usually left to burn, unless structures are threatened. Most times they burn themselves out. After lunch on Sunday, everyone said their goodbyes and were on their way. A few people stayed behind for a small meeting. During the afternoon, the fire edged closer to where we were.......until it was burning on two sides of the conference center!! Floyd and some of the other men rushed out to help fight the fire.......with hoses, buckets, wet blankets, and branches of green leaves that wouldn't catch fire. At one point the fire came within about 10-12 feet of the wooden cabin that we had been staying in and that I had just evacuated about 3 minutes before!
I've seen fire at a distance before, but never quite that close. It's exhilarating, and frightening! You realize how very quick and destructive it can be. Afterwards I noticed that Floyd's gray hair had been singed yellow in a few places. That's a little "too" close to the fire!!!
I've written before about all the unusual experiences we've had in our life here in Africa. This is yet one more! I wouldn't dare to imagine what might be next!
"As fire consumes the forest, as the flame sets the mountains ablaze...." Psalms 83:14