April 27. Freedom Day.  Mrs Potgieter had been a history teacher for more than 30 years and had naturally experienced many changes during that time.  She reflected, “The most significant fact that forms part of our South African history is the change from government under apartheid to a democratic government of ‘one man one vote.’  The Day of the 1st Democratic Election on April 27 1994 is commemorated every year as Freedom Day, a true milestone.  This Freedom itself has not come about over-night, but continues to be part of a centuries-long struggle during which many people have suffered and made enormous sacrifices. Internal wars, violence and torture accompanied the journey.  Changing mindsets across the board continues as true freedom and full human rights are still not yet achieved by all, as poverty, lack of equality and violence, present in society as well as within families and against foreigners has not ended.     

Those who were scattered because of the persecution over Stephen travelled afar and also came to Antioch, speaking the word to none except Jews.  But there were some of them who on coming to Antioch spoke to the Greeks also, preaching the Lord Jesus and the hand of the Lord was with them and a great number that believed turned to the Lord. Acts 11:19-26.   Pope Francis:  A journey of peace is possible between religions. We believers need to find occasions to speak with one another and to act together for the common good and promotion of the poor. This has nothing to do with watering down our deepest convictions when we encounter others who think differently than ourselves, for the deeper, stronger and richer our own identity is the more we will be capable of enriching others with our own proper contribution. FT 282. Reflect, share, pray.  What does a “culture of encounter” mean to you?