6/19/2013 9:31:00 AM Shetek Conference receives visit from South African Ondini Circuit leaders
When leaders of the Shetek Lutheran Conference visited South Africa in October, the trip was an "honorific" event. Leaders saw the work that had been done in developing agricultural land for the rural Zulu people of the Ondini Circuit (the Lutheran leadership equivalent of U.S. synod leadership).
Indeed, this is a partnership between the Shetek Conference and Ondini Circuit that has been cultivated not only in terms of land, but friendship as well.
However, when local leaders left their South African friends in October, they knew their parting was a "til-we-meet-again" goodbye.
Indeed, just eight months later the two synods renewed their friendship in Southwest Minnesota. Nine members of the Ondini Circuit arrived at Shalom Hill Farm last week for a week-long visit around Southwest Minnesota. The group also stayed in the homes of families in Southwest Minnesota to get a flavor of rural Minnesota life.
The South African group consists of Ondini Circuit leaders, school staff, a nurse and an ag advisor.
The chief reason for the visit, says David Xaba, dean of the Ondini Circuit, is to learn more about U.S. farming practices.
"In our area of South Africa, we have two types of farming. We've got the commercial farmer and the small farmer," Xaba explains. "We are the small farmers struggling to farm. We are coming over to this side to see the commercial farmers, who are doing a lot of things. They have big land and using big machines.
"We are here to get knowledge of what we can do to improve our agriculture on the other side."
For more on this story, see the Faith & Family page in the June 19 issue of the Cottonwood County Citizen on newsstands today.