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An African sermon

"There was a history. There had been trouble before, Hutu and Tutsi trouble. There had been big killing in Burundi. That is part of the story, but in a way it is also another story. When trouble comes, it happens to you alone."

By Damon Galgut   August 2004

Some years ago, a young man was travelling on the train between Pretoria and Cape Town. He had recently been ordained as a minister in the church, and he was moving to a small town on the west coast, to his congregation there.

When he got on the train an old white man was already in the carriage, drinking wine, which he poured surreptitiously from a bottle into a plastic cup. He offered some to the young man, who shook his head. The old man looked worried, and when the train started to move he said, “I hope there won’t…

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