My South African Brother

David Stertz
January 19, 2012

I only have seen him five days of my life: Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Friday. We sat next to each other for five and half hours each of those days though we said very little to each other. A few breaks between lectures provided opportunities to find out a little bit about our families, backgrounds, likes, dislikes, and ministries. Surprisingly we had a lot in common. He is almost exactly my age, is married, has three children who are close in age to mine who are spaced apart about the same distance, is a pastor, is pursuing further theological studies, and his name is David! Though separated by many miles (Minnesota to Johannesburg, South Africa is a long distance!), our similarities were striking.


These connections were wonderful, but there was and is something far greater that brought us together: we are brothers. We are brothers who finally met for the first time. No, we are not blood related. Rather, we are blood-bought related. Both of us are believers in Christ and have entered the new family that God through Christ and His Spirit have created. We are members, one with another in the grand church of Christ which is extended from Minnesota to South Africa to China and back again. This church does not just span geography, it spans time as well. We are brothers in this great body that Christ has created.

Friday evening I said goodbye. It hurt to say it. I wished to spend more time with my brother. He loves our Father very much and probably more so than I. I longed in my heart as we shook hands to stay a little longer and to worship and love our Father a little more together. But time is short, the days whisk by, and there is a good chance I will never – this side of heaven’s glory – see him again.

Driving the little over an hour trek home that night, I worshiped our Father. I was reminded again why I cannot wait until the kingdom of Christ is established on this earth. Because there I will meet him again. There I will meet more brothers and sisters. We will share stories, sing songs, enjoy each other’s company, and worship our Father together all while never worrying about saying goodbye again.

Blest be the tie that binds

Our hearts in Christian love;

The fellowship of kindred minds

Is like to that above.

When we asunder part,

It gives us inward pain;

But we shall still be joined in heart,

And hope to meet again.