Centurion is a city near Pretoria.  Like the more affluent areas throughout South Africa, most of the houses are surrounded by tall fences or walls.  Rather than knocking on doors, missionaries must ring call boxes outside of gates.  This led to the following exciting experience for two sister missionaries:


Two sisters were tracting and rang the call box of an average South African home.  A small voice answered through the intercom and then the electric gate opened. The missionaries were greeted by a young boy behind the bars of the front door.  They soon discovered that he spoke only Afrikaans and had Downs Syndrome.  Before they could leave, the boy closed the gate trapping them between the house and the gate.  Nothing they could say or do could convince the boy to open the gate and no one else seemed to be home.  After being trapped inside for more than ten minutes, contending with three small but annoying dogs, the boy finally opened the gate but only for a brief moment.  One sister was able to dart out through the gate before it closed, but the other was not.  The second sister tried to convince the boy to open the gate again, but he repeated over and over again “Ner!” followed by hysterical laughing.


Seeing no other alternative, the sister threw her bag over the wall and, at great loss of personal dignity, climbed up and over the eight foot wall in her skirt.  She received many startled looks of disbelief from those passing by.  These sisters are now memorizing how to say “Open the gate – now!” in Afrikaans – just in case.