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Long forgotten in the Valley of Grace by Elizabeth Kendall

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Long forgotten in the Valley of Grace by 


Genadendal, six kilometers outside Greyton is the first and oldest mission station in South Africa. Genadendal (‘Valley of Grace’) was founded by Georg Schmidt, an early worker of the Moravian Missionary Society in 1738 when he settled in Baviaans Kloof (Ravine of the Baboons) in the Riviersonderend Valley.
Click here to see one of the beautiful buildings in Genadendal.
PHOTOGRAPHY: Buildings and statues

Schmidt became acquainted with an impoverished and dispersed Khoi tribe who were on the threshold of complete extinction. There were already 13 farms in the vicinity and within a short while he formed a small Christian congregation and taught the Khoi to read and write. When he began to baptize his converts there was great dissatisfaction among the Cape Dutch Reformed clergy. According to them, Schmidt was not an ordained minister and so was not permitted to administer the sacraments. After seven years missionary work at Baviaans Kloof, Georg Schmidt had to end his ministry and leave the country.

Only in 1792 did the Moravians in Genadendal obtain permission to resume Schmidt’s work at Baviaans Kloof. When the three men arrived they discovered the ruins of Schmidt’s dwelling, with a great pear tree in the garden. There was also an old woman, Magdalena, whom Schmidt had baptized, whose acquaintance they made. She was able to show them a Bible (on display in the museum) which Schmidt gave to her. The missionaries listened with amazement when she asked her daughter to read a portion of the New Testament to them.

The number of inhabitants increased so much that at one stage Genadendal was the largest settlement in the Colony after Cape Town. In 1806, the name of the mission station was changed to Genadendal (Valley of Grace). To maintain the number of inhabitants permanently on the mission station job creation was necessary and in this way the mission station developed into a self- sufficient community. Home industries flourished, including amongst others the forging of knives (the well known herneuters) and Genadendal became an important educational centre.
The first Teachers’ Training College in South Africa, now the Museum building was erected in 1838.

Genadendal is ’n dorp in die Wes-Kaap (Suid-Afrika). Dit is amper anderhalf uur van die Kaap af op die platteland in die Overbergstreek. Hierdie ou huis is deel van dié wat lankal nie meer bewoon word nie.

Genadendal was die eerste sendingstasie in suidelike Afrika. Die Duitse sendeling Georg Schmidt is in 1737 deur die Morawiese Sendinggenootskap gestuur om die evangelie aan die Khoikhoi te verkondig. Genadendal is in 1738 gestig nadat Schmidt hom op 23 April 1738 in die Baviaanskloof gevestig het soos die dorp eers bekend was. In 1806 was die naam verander na Genadendal.

Die inwyding van die eerste Kerkgebou het plaasgevind op Witte Donderdag 1796. Hierdie kerkgebou was van die begin af te klein. Die inwyding van die nuwe kerk het plaasgevind op 18 Januarie 1800. Aangesien die kerkgebou later bouvallig begin raak het, is besluit om ’n nuwe en groter kerk, wat 1400 mense sou kan huisves, op te rig. Op 12 Oktober 1891 kon die hoeksteen van die nuwe kerk op die gebruiklike wyse gelê word. Na ’n anderhalf jaar is die bouwerk voltooi en op 14 Maart 1893 is ’n aandseën gehou.

In 1831 is ’n skool gebou. In 1837 is op Genadendal die eerste opleidingskool vir onderwys in die hele Suid-Afrika begin. In dieselfde gebou kan ’n mens vandag die Morawiese Sendingsmuseum vind.

In 1859 is ’n drukkery gestig. In 1860 het hulle die eerste uitgawe van “De Bode van Genadenthal” gedruk en uitgegee. 1861 is ook nog die “Kindervriend” uitgegee.

Die Morawiese Sendingsmuseum en die historiese kerkplein is op die werf. Nelson Mandela het die woning van die Suid-Afrikaanse president in Kaapstad in 1995 van Westbrooke na Genadendal herdoop. Op 10 Oktober 1995 het president Mandela Genadendal besoek.
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Comments

  • Esperanza Gallego
    Esperanza Gallegoabout 3 years ago

    Great capture, I love it :)

  • Thanks so much Esp, also for the fav!! ;-)

    – Elizabeth Kendall

  • Julie  White
    Julie Whiteabout 3 years ago

    Awesome capture love it.

  • Thanks for adding it to your favs Julie, it was a very interesting place!

    – Elizabeth Kendall

  • AndreaEL
    AndreaELabout 3 years ago

    Lovely write up and beautiful capture Elizabeth, so sad to see it in such a state.

  • Thanks Andrea for your support and fine comment! Much appreciated! ;-)

    – Elizabeth Kendall

  • maggie326
    maggie326about 3 years ago

    wonderful capture Liz Love old buildings Great write up also

  • Thanks dear Maggie! Glad you also enjoyed like I did!

    – Elizabeth Kendall

  • Maree  Clarkson
    Maree Clarksonabout 3 years ago

    Wow, beautifully captured Liz! It’s just ready to be moved in to…. a bit of paint, some funky furniture and Bob’s your uncle!

  • Oh my Maree!! I can already see you and Dave having tea in front of the fireplace….in winter!!! Thanks so much for stopping by and making me smile!

    – Elizabeth Kendall

  • Konstantinos Arvanitopoulos
    Konstantinos A...about 3 years ago

    8 November 2011 – 2 images per day

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