In 1994, the company I had worked for, for 25 years, suddenly closed down and 1,800 people were suddenly unemployed. City life in Durban, South-Africa was costly and I could see that the severance money was soon going to run out so, my wife and I took a trip into the country, the Heartland of Natal. Arriving at a tiny village called Wakkerstroom, (Lively river) we discovered that if needed, we could survive 5 times longer on the cash we had.
We left and everything was really fine and even my wife’s asthma had practically vanished overnight. I managed to get a job about 45 kilometers away and life was great. Then a terrible drought hit our country and farms were being auctioned off by the dozens. The insurance company I was working for soon started laying off employees. I was one of the first to go.
Soon, the cash we had, started running out and my wife and I were eating smaller meals so our three teenage kids would not go to school hungry. One winter’s night as we sat in front of the tiny woodburning stove in the kitchen, by lamplight, telling each other stories about better days We all heard a car drive up to our back door.
I immediately got up and went towards the door to see who it was when there was a sudden knock. I opened it and a familiar friend fro Durban, 400 miles away walked right in without saying a word. Standing in front of our empty food cupboard, she yanked it open then she spun around and said to her husband:”What did I tell you about their situation?” There is nothing here, start unloading. Then she started hugging each one individually.
She was the church choir coach and we all used to be members. The night before, bringing the tons of food, she was busy teaching the notes of a new hymn when she saw my son, Werner walking down the aisle towards her, the entire choir suddenly stopped when they saw him. Just as she got up to greet him, he turned and walked back towards the door and disappeared. She excused herself and went after him. Her husband who was waiting for her outside, for her to finish was standing near the gate as she asked him: “So, where are they?” he replied, by asking her who she was talking about? The Hartslief’s of course.” she said, we all saw their son.”
They had no way of getting in touch with us since the phone was cut off, some months earlier. Based on that “apparition”, or “vision” they asked the choir members to donate quantities of food and household items, all of this was done on what they all saw that night. Needless to say, we were extremely grateful for their and the choir’s Act Of Random Kindness which was sufficient to haul us through a very harsh winter those many years ago.