Barberton NG Kerk bids farewell to its reverend

Gerda-Marié and Andreas van Rooyen, Louis Pienaar, Flip Stroelbel, Ben Theron, Fransie Badenhorst, Dawid Spangenberg, (back) Jaco Janse van Rensburg and Christelle Strauss.

The Barberton NG Kerk had to bid farewell to its reverend and his family on April 16.

After serving the church for two years and nine months, Rev Andreas van Rooyen had to embark on a new journey to Boshof, Free State.

The church held a farewell ceremony to wish him well.

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On his last day, Van Rooyen could not help but reminisce about his first few months in Barberton. “It was a bit challenging, but very exciting getting to know all the people and adapting to the local culture. Before I knew it, I was adapting so well. I like the area and the people of Barberton.”

One of his memorable moments was during a thunderstorm. “I forgot my umbrella and I was soaking wet from the rain.”Van Rooyen will continue in the ministry as an NG reverend in Boshof.

“I will continue with the same duties which include preaching, visiting people and doing community projects. It is time for me to go, I have done my duties and I am sure what I had to do in this area, is done.

“I have mixed feelings about leaving, it is scary as change is daunting, yet exciting as it is something new.

“I will surely miss the people of Barberton and the beautiful mountains. To the church, God has great plans for you, we will miss you. Thank you for the time we shared and all that we learned from you.”

The reverend’s wife, Gerda-Marié van Rooyen, said she will miss her friends and the church.

“We made incredible friends who taught us about recovery after defeat. I will miss those friendships made in church and outside church with both young and old. To the congregation thank you for having us and sharing your lives with us. May God bless you and keep you.”

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Gerda-Marié said the memories she is taking with her is the feeling of being loved, appreciated and cherished by the people in Barberton.

“I have learned valuable skills during our time here like crocheting and soap making.

I will always hold dear the memories of the bazaars and spending time with my Sunday school class,” said Gerda-Marié.

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