A drive through Polokwane is not often with the idea of visiting the Eagle’s
Nest Christian School (ENCS), a place of small beginnings and astounding
results. We were met with open arms by Mac and Elsa van den Berg, the
current vision leaders and principal. And we, after a tour of the school, could
only marvel at what our great Lord can do through the obedience of His sons
But first, I will be amiss in not mentioning Gert Pretorius, Elsa’s father; who at
91 vividly recalled his experiences as a young boy on his father’s farm in
Chipata, Zambia and later in Zimbabwe. What an inspiration he is.
The 3 pillars of the school that Mac and Elsa started with a group of Christian
families 25 years ago, are Prayer, Education and Outreach. Starting off with 7
temporary classrooms on condition of these being removed from a site within
a month, to obstacles such as rezoning, transport, services and finances over
the years and being one of the first multicultural schools in Polokwane has
become a turnkey solution from preschool to Grade 12, including boarding
facilities. Large sports grounds and country surrounds complete the picture.
I have encountered some of the kids who schooled there and what a blessing
they are; watching their ease and freedom of association within our
Mac and Elsa have also launched an impressive project (one of many), to
cultivate medicinal herbs which have progressed to the harvesting and drying of
Artemesia annua and Moringa among others. This all becomes part of the
curriculum, hands-on and progressive. Artemesia is used as a repellent against
malaria and some use it as the first line of defence against the COVID virus. Value
is added to the products in the form of tea and cream for hands, face and
Another such is the Foundation for Farming workshops which highlight Africa’s
diverse needs and solutions, practical farming and compost making.
A quick glance through the Official Newsletter of ENCS gives an immediate
impression of excellence, commitment and community. During our walkabout,
which was during school holidays, we met teachers from faraway lands
preparing for the new term. They were so open and free in their expression
and love for their work.
If you wish, do yourself a favour and Google ENCS, click on Newsletter T1 2020.
It is an inspiring read and Touching Africa is proud to be associated with such a