By all appearances it was an idyllic little town surrounded by miles and miles of sweeping grasslands. The streets around the classic Dutch Reformed Church at its heart reminded me of Bulawayo, Zimbabwe—broad enough to turn a span of eight oxen. The houses were quaint reminders of a former era. They were a bit run down, perhaps, and the unpaved side streets showed erosion from recent rain. Most of the buildings were Edwardian or late Victorian. A good development committee might turn the town into an arts center or major tourist attraction. But the era was not as idyllic as it appeared on the surface.
The walls of the little restaurant in the guesthouse where we stayed were covered with framed pictures of organizations and athletic teams dating back through the town’s history. It reminded me of an Applebees at home. But in all those proud frames there was not a single face of color. The new South Africa is seventeen years old, but this was the heart of the former Orange Free State where Apartheid is still the law of the mind if not the land.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.