The photo she sent is of herself. I have to check twice to make sure it is really a photo of her. There are no signs of her once lush brown hair, always and characteristically hanging down to just above her shoulders. She is simply bald.

In  Hebrews  11:1  we  read  the  well-known  sentence  about  faith:  ... being  sure  of  what  we  hope  for  and  certain  of  what  we  do  not  see.  Actually  it  is  a  strange  sentence,  because  'hope'  and  being  'certain'  are  both  things  we  cannot  touch  or  see.  It  means  that  sometimes  we  do  not  see  that  our  work  carries  the  fruit  of  faith,  but  we  know that  you   see   it   less   often   than   we   do.   Yet,   we   are   certain   of  the  things  we  do  not  see!

The postcard shows a picture of a young mother and her daughter, captured in bronze. They are staring expectantly across the ocean. They keep watch over the quay in Odessa, capital of seamen in the Ukraine.

The bronze statue reminds one of tragedy, a tragedy where women, daughters and parents wait forlornly on the quay, always waiting for a ship that never arrived. They waited for fathers, children and spouses – fathers, children and spouses that never returned...

It is somewhere in the beginning of the new millennium when Jan-Harm meets a Russian man and his body language screams aggression. It is as if his veins are filled with adrenaline and he barks at Jan-Harm, demanding to know what he and his Bibles are doing on board.

Jan-Harm calmly tries to identify the reason for the aggression, aware that it is merely a symptom of something deeper.

The man is clear about it.

What is the worst, the most terrible thing that can happen? Certainly, it must be the death of a child? I cannot pretend, not even for a moment that I know that hurt and pain but, I do know the other side of that coin. I know that because I can look into my daughter’s deep blue eyes each night, when the light plays softly on her golden curls. I know because she laughs the last laugh of the day when her mother tickles her gently. And then, I know ... I am afraid. I know there cannot be anything worse in this life than to lose her.

Loffie is watching a father that knows that pain. They are talking in Richards Bay. The man in front of him talks about it as if it happened yesterday, despite the two years that he survived after her death. Each fresh tear bears witness of the pain. It is on the surface. For him it happened a moment ago. He talks about life. Death. He says he thinks it was God’s punishment. He has to pay the price for all the mistakes he made in this life.