The Genadendal Diaries.
I have started reading ” The Genadendal Diaries”. Diaries of the Herrnhut Missionaries H.Marsveld, D.Schwinn and J.C. Kuhnel. Volume 1. (1792-1794).
These three missionaries came to Genadendal to re-establish the Mission that George Schmidt had started in 1738, leaving after being forbidden to administer sacrements to any of his indiginous converts.
I was looking for a copy of Dr Balie’s book on Genadendal and was offered these diaries instead. Being able to read the meticulous and detailed diaries is bringing history alive for me. Imagine the bravery and faith of these three men setting out for the Cape, knowing they would most probably never see family and friends again. Setting off for a new continent of which they new very little. They left Zeist for Amsterdam on the 11th June 1792, boarding their ship on the 25th.
They disembarked in Cape Town on the 23rd November ” glad and thankful to our dear Lord and Saviour that our life on board which had lasted for twenty one weeks and four days had now ended.”
It is exciting that the heritage of these men is so well preserved at Genadendal and is so easy to visit. The Museum at Genadendal has a rich collection of history and artifacts, preserving for our enjoyment and education this legacy of the Missionaries and the indiginous people.
Genadendal is only a 7 km hike or drive from Greyton and it would be a great pity if any visitors to the area left a visit to Genadendal off their itinerary. The 7km hike from Greyton to Genadendal is suitable for children from Grade 5, there is also a longer route that follows a contour line high on the slopes of the Sonderend Mountains ( more suited to older children and fitter hikers). The Museum is a must-see for School and Church groups visiting the area, and the curator and education officer are available to offer guided tours of the Museum.