Anja Joosten

A Child of KwaSizabantu Mission

Many people may not know this about me, but I have a Zulu name that I received from Reverend Stegen – Nomthandazo, meaning “with prayer”. My parents could not have children, but after Reverend Stegen prayed for them, I was born. When presenting my ID book to people, they often look at my information twice because of this Zulu name that appears on there! I am always happy to explain the story that comes with the name.

Growing up I only have the best memories. The mission is the place where I have always felt the safest and most protected. The first 5 years of my life, I grew up in the “anti’s passage” and these are of the best memories that I have got. Sitting at the switchboard, running in and out of the old CFT office, visiting the packhouse, occasional helping at the shop sweet counter, getting fresh bread crusts from the kitchen, visiting the dairy and going to the cowshed to see the new calves. Popping in at the noodle factory to eat raw pasta…the memories are endless.

I remember how one day, at the age of 5, I could drive around the mission with Reverend Stegen. How special I felt that he would take the time and allow me to go with him! There is also another incident that will always stay with me. I had to have a jaw operation and I was warned prior to my operation that I could become numb around my jaw area or that it might take a VERY long time till the feeling comes back. I had also heard stories from people who said it was a hectic operation or where they felt terribly sick after the operation. So, prior to my operation I went to Reverend Stegen to ask for prayer that everything would go well. A week after the op, I went to the specialist for a check-up and much to his surprise I already had some feeling back! I also cannot say that I had much pain after the operation.

There is no school like Domino Servite! Where does one even begin to mention all the good things that the school did for me? It is a school where first and foremost we were taught to serve the Lord and to serve with integrity. The teachers always gave 200%, and they were always available to help us.

The best memories were the outings; spring days (which came with a longer breaktime!), sports days and the occasional pranks one could play on the teachers!

After school I started working at the packhouse. During this time that I have had the privilege of meeting countless people, from daily visitors to businesspeople, it is an incredible experience to watch them walk through our workplace and to see how amazed they are with the work that takes place on the mission. Each time I get to go around the mission with a visiting group, it is a fresh reminder for me to see how truly privileged we are to have this place.

It is here that I have learnt to accept & love people who are not of my own race and colour. I love working and being together with the Zulu people – they have taught me a lot of things which I would not have learnt elsewhere, such as having deep respect for one’s elders, ubuntu, and the great joy of pure laughter.

I thank the Lord for this gospel that has taught us to live in the light of eternity, and I pray that He will keep me faithful to the end.

Anja Joosten

Anja Joosten