Chapter 10: I’m in the Lord’s Army

My brother was among some of the very last young men to be conscripted to the South African army after leaving school. He’s my half brother really, from my dad’s first and very brief marriage. Gian was twelve when I was born which meant that between us having different mothers and him leaving school exactly…

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Chapter 9: Leaving the Nest

I was done. Too many late night bible studies and early morning prayer meetings. Too many conversations about deepening my spiritual walk. Too many times of opting out of regular teenage socialising so that I could spend time with my “family” at Alon. Too many chats about spiritual submission and the role of a woman…

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Chapter 8: I have decided to follow Jesus

Ninth grade brought a refreshing quietness to my overworked nervous system, and I found myself stepping out of shadows that had been hovering over my head for too long – Dustin was living far away in Cape Town, having joined a YWAM group in the seaside village of Muizenberg. So YWAM, short for Youth With…

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Chapter 7: Spare the Rod and Spoil the Child

The discipline of children was a hot topic in the community. “Spare the rod and spoil the child.” I was on the backfoot when it came to exchanging tales of “the worst spanking ever”. My mom would give me a little barehanded paddy whack on my bottom if I got too sassy and my father…

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Chapter 6: Amazing Grace

So the first year of high school was the most tumultuous year of my school career. Battling to fit in with any peer group, battling to fit in at Alon and battling to remain invisible to Dustin within the corridors of our drab school. Maybe it was spiritual fervor from my recent trip to Israel…

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Chapter 5: The Holy Land

When I was about ten years old I read a book called One more River. I was on holiday with a friend and her family, we were visiting her grandparents and they sent us off to the library to take out some books. As usual, my friend was about two years older than me and…

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Chapter 4: A Time to be Silent and a Time to Speak

Shortly before Alon featured on the radar of my existence, I spied a pair of Dr Martens I’d seen in the shop window of our local shoe store. It was love at first sight. So, when my mom took me to the shoe store on my twelfth birthday and we bought that pair of oxblood…

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Chapter 3: A friend who sticks closer than a Brother

When we moved to Alon there were a few kids around my age. But most of them came and went as the years passed. So, I found myself stranded in a very small core group. My closest peers were Dustin and Lia. You could call us a trio but that wouldn’t be accurate. Trios work…

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Chapter 2: Exodus

The first time I saw Alon farm was at night. We drove along a winding dirt road flanked by blue gum plantations – it felt as if we were journeying into a hidden land. On arrival I remember walking into a big room that had high thatch roof ceilings. An enormous medieval style chandelier hung…

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Chapter 1: GENESIS

  “I’ve been involved with other women.” The sun is slipping below the jagged horizon of the mountains I’ve been gazing at for most of my life. The rest of that phone call is a blur. I sit there once my husband has hung up, numbly bracing myself for the next call I need to…

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