Regional Director Visits South Africa

SOUTH AFRICA—After a 24-hour delay, Regional Director Wayne Turgeon arrived in Johannesburg on December 22 for a six-day visit to South Africa. Along with Preaching Elder George Githembe, he visited Philadelphia Church of God members in Johannesburg from Friday through Monday and visited Cape Town on Tuesday. During the trip, a member from Johannesburg and a member from Cape Town were invited back to attend.

The two members from Botswana traveled to Johannesburg to meet Mr. Turgeon and keep the Sabbath. On Sunday, Mr. Turgeon attended a Pine Car Derby organized by the Johannesburg congregation. The opening ceremony began with a welcome address by Deacon Trevor Laubscher and a prayer by Mr. Turgeon. Member Rohann Smith provided commentary throughout the event, while observers cheered for each other.

Thirty-seven brethren attended, and 36 cars were entered into the competition. The award for the fastest car went to Esme Henery’s “The Phantom.” Jane Githembe, with a car named “Let’s Taco ‘Bout It,” won first place for the most creative car. Mr. Turgeon’s car, “The Turginator” took first place in the most creative name category.

Many of the members had never attended a pine car derby before and they remarked how much they enjoyed it. Sophie Kekwaletswe from Botswana, who’s car named “Hannah” was the third fastest, said, “I’m so glad I came to Johannesburg this weekend and attended the derby. It was very enjoyable.”

Member Esme Henry said that the fellowship was just what was needed after a very challenging year.

“I haven’t laughed this much in a while,” said member Pina van Niekerk.

Mr. Turgeon said the derby was “well organized, intimate, less competition and more fellowship.”

Mr. Turgeon and Mr. Githembe flew to Cape Town on Tuesday, where Mr. Turgeon gave a mid-week Bible study to the congregation and met with members there. The following day, both ministers flew back to Johannesburg, where Mr. Turgeon caught a flight to return to the regional office in England.