James Kalauma Handicap
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James Kalauma Handicap
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Cape Town

Valvis BayConstantly, we ran into segregation problems in South Africa. Although I could if I wished go into the poor tin shack shanty towns, James Kalauma's handicap was that they would not allow him in, even for official church meetings. While walking on the outskirts of Valvis Bay, I came across a school that most of the black children of the fishermen attended. Surprisingly, the principal encouraged me to take assemblies and classes, then to visit the children's parents in the ramshackle tin huts they called home. While I was experiencing encouragement, James's problems increased. Though we had a large rectory with many spare rooms, he was compelled under Government regulations to sleep in a hut outside.

Greeting in Cape Town

Cape Town MountainsJames's handicap eventually became a blessing for our work. Our large rooms with a rest center and bath house were ideal for off duty soldiers after maneuvers on the sand dunes. Soldiers would sometimes call late at night and though we had nothing but bread and jam in the pantry, this seemed to satisfy them. They adopted us as their home from home. Months later, walking in Cape Town, a police officer hailed me! Then, I realized it was an ex-serviceman who remembered visiting us in Valvis Bay! "Hi!" I shouted back!

Fishing Boat Outreach

Cape TownMany foreign ships and fishing boats in the bay offered us other opportunities for outreach. On board the large pilchard fishing boats, colored and white labored together to bring in the catch. Once there were so many fish in our haul net, another boat drew aside to help us. Out at sea, faced by ferocious storms, giant waves and the contrast of beautiful sunset scenes, thoughts of God sprang readily to mind.

Jesus the Fisherman

Bantu PeoplesThe one who called the fishermen Peter and James, naturally entered our conversation. These bold fishermen came like the early disciples to love and serve the same Jesus. Later, they were my first group of confirmation candidates to be presented to the Bishop. Living faith in Christ brought men of different races together, but the Government enforced partition by legislation upon the church. At Valvis Bay, Bantu peoples and whites worshiped happily together until the State built a new church near the desert for nonwhites only.

"James Kalauma Handicap"
by Ron Meacock © 2018

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