It happened a couple of weeks' ago. I was arriving back in Hlabisa in the evening when I saw fire just outside the house. One could have remembered a number of biblical images at that time like the one of Moses in the book of Exodus: "The angel of Yahweh appeared to him in a flame blazing from the middle of a bush. Moses looked; there was the bush blazing, but the bush was not being burnt up.  Moses said, ‘I must go across and see this strange sight, and why the bush is not being burnt up.’" (Ex 3) ... but it was not the case. No angel of the Lord!

Soon there was no electricity and for some time now we have been without water. I was wondering if there was anything we could and should do, how long it would last and ... which way the fire was going to take. 

Fr Msweli (priest-in-charge) told me he had been keeping an eye on it and made sure it would not reach the house. Of course, it would depend on the wind. 

The other concern was to see my room (which was close to the fire) full of smoke but once the wind changed direction things got better.

Still, in the morning I saw the fire had continued for a long time and had somehow stopped outside the pastoral centre.

Last week I was visiting Mbabane (Swaziland). At the end of a meeting with the executive of the Parish Council I found there was a big fire next to the house. There had been concerns in the whole of KwaZulu - Natal (South Africa) and Swaziland as temperatures are reaching 36 - 37 degrees and do not go down much at night. Suddenly, things we normally watch on TV happening far away are much closer...

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Bishop of the Diocese of Manzini (Swaziland)

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