Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Strangers and Exiles December 2014

                        Strangers and Exiles

Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations (Isaiah 62:10).

Instead of a Foreword
During my years of exile in Europe I was intensely impacted. I returned to my evangelical spiritual roots due to the influence of Hein Postma, at that time the principal of the Moravian primary school in Zeist, Holland. The memory of that influence inspired me here at the Cape after our return in 1992 to be a blessing to foreigners who would come here. In 1996 this became the background to networking with colleagues from different mission agencies who had worked in other French-speaking countries.
This narrative is also a tribute to the late Dr Beyers Naudé, the other significant influence at a time when I had been severly angered and embittered.
In February 2007 we started Friends from Abroad together with local believers:. (The name was taken from a defunct group in Coventry in the UK, of which a missionary colleague of Operation Mobilization, Theo Dennis, had been a co-worker in the 1980s). Noting that Africa provided a refuge to Abraham, Jacob, Joseph, Moses and later to Joseph, Mary and Jesus, I felt challenged to collate a short autobiography of the salient experiences that led to my present vision and hope for Cape Town to impact the world once again.
            As this is not an academic treatise, I refrain from supplying a bibliography. The bibliographical details of titles mentioned can be found in A Goldmine of another Sort, accessible at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com.

 Cape Town, December 2014

1. Childhood and Teenage Impacts
2. The Gospel Seed germinates
3. An African Missionary in Germany?
4.  Apartheid and Romance in a Mix
5. An Exile and radical Activist
6. Doctrinal Issues and Anti-Apartheid
7. Six Months in the Apartheid Hearth
8. Back to Africa?
9. Flexing Missionary Muscles
10. A Part of God’s Master Plan?
11. Testing Times
12.  Called to minister to Cape Muslims? 13. Back to ‘School’
14. The Backlash
15. New Initiatives
16. The Strong Wings at Work
17. A targeted Ministry to Foreigners
18. A New Thing Sprouting
19. Isaac and Ishmael reconciled?
20. Quo Vadis?

1.                  Childhood and Teenage Impacts

         People from other countries and cultures enriched my life. This is especially valid in respect of faith. My appreciation of other church traditions started in the slum-like District Six where I was bred in my early childhood. Born in Bo-Kaap on the other side of the Central Business District of South Africa's Mother City, the influence of Islam would grow there substantially. I had many a Muslim in my class at the denominational Zinzendorf Primary School or in our neighbourhood, but this did not challenge me at all.  As a little roamer on the streets of District Six for so much of my life there as a kid, listening to open-air services was only natural. But this did not remove completely the prejudice against anything that could be interpreted as ‘sectarian’.

Gospel Seed into my Heart
Nevertheless, I remembered a fairly positive appreciation of some German evangelist, merely because this took place in our beloved Moravian Chapel in Ashley Street, from where I got my name.
         We moved to the Northern outskirts of the Cape Peninsula at the end of December 1954. Tiervlei, later to be renamed Ravensmead, was still quite rural at that time. There were many sandy roads. We initially attended the nearby Moria Sendingkerk, the local Dutch Reformed Church as a family on Sunday mornings. In the afternoon we joined the Moravian services in the garage of Mr Charles Grodes, the owner of a small taxi fleet. The school up the road that my siblings and I attended was linked to the Volkskerk, the first indigenous Cape church. There we learned the denominational anthem ‘Protea, protea. ..blom van ons vaderland’ (Flower of our fatherland).
            In Tiervlei my prejudice against Christians from other denominations gradually diminished. I was still nine years old when the next clear invitation followed to accept Jesus as my personal Saviour. This time it happened at an evangelistic service by the well-known evangelist Robert Thom in a big tent next to the local AFM Church.  I responded to the altar call, but I was neither counselled properly, nor was there any follow-up.
Impacts of my early Teens                                                                                                         For my secondary school training I had to return to the Cape Peninsula from Elim, attending Vasco High School, one of those educational institutions designated for ‘Coloureds’. Our school principal, Mr Braam, was a fervent Methodist lay preacher who challenged us time and again with the song ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.’ He would stress the certainty he had personally experienced when he accepted Jesus as his Saviour. This made me quite jealous because I did not have that assurance.
Nicholas Dirks, my best friend at this time, was a member of the Boys’ Brigade of their church. One day he invited me to an event staged by the Sendingkerk Boys’Brigade at the Goodwood Showgrounds to be held on 17 September 1961. The open air congregation was to be addressed by a certain Dr Oswald Smith from Canada. The Lord used the Canadian preacher to challenge me to consider seriously that Jesus did not only die for the sins of the world at large, but also for my sins. I accepted Jesus there as my personal Saviour, without however receiving any spiritual discipling thereafter.
God's higher Ways impacting me
I matriculated at the end of 1962, with the under­stand­ing that I could finish my teacher training after a year of any other employment that I could find. The financial situation at home was not such that all three boys could be kept in educational institutions. Kenneth, the oldest of the sons had started at Hewat Teachers’ Training College.
          After a few unsuccessful attempts at getting clerical work[1] that was as a rule reserved for Whites in those days, I settled for a menial job at Nasionale Boekhandel in nearby Parow, cleaning the machines. Returning to our Tiervlei home from the printing works in Parow in the late afternoon of early January 1963, I learned that I had been accepted for study at Hewat Teachers’ Training College in Crawford.
         I was quite surprised when my parents disclosed that they felt that I should proceed to ‘Hewat’. They had been challenged by the ‘Watchword’ from the Moravian textbook for the day, Isaiah 55:8: “My ways are not your ways ...” They decided to send me to college by faith.

Ecumenical Movement
At this time there was also quite a lot of ecumenical movement in our circles among the youth. Thus we had preachers from various denominations on the pulpit of our small church in Tiervlei. Our sister Magdalene invited Chris Wessels, a young Moravian assistant minister at that time, for some youth service. His sermon made a deep impression on me. Chris utilised the occasion to challenge me to take up theological studies. But I was adamant that the Lord should clearly call me personally to serve Him as a pastor.  Thereafter the conviction grew even stronger within me that I should experience a divine calling from the Lord before indulging in such studies.
         At our local youth services, I went a step further than my sister, inviting not only experienced (lay) preachers from other churches, but also teenagers like myself to come and preach. Attie Louw, who was with me in my Matric class, had contacts via the Christian Students Association (CSV). He came to preach at one of our youth services and he also recommended Allan Boesak from Somerset West.
A major turning Point in my Life
Allan Boesak’s dedication to the Lord made a deep impression on me. When he spoke about the ‘stranddienste’, the beach gospel services of the Students Christian Association at Harmony Park, he sowed seed in my heart. This seed germinated when my Moravian soul mate Paul Engel joined me at Hewat Training College. Paul also spoke about the Harmony Park beach outreach. I was soon ready to join the beach outreach after Christmas in 1964.

2. The Gospel Seed germinates

         The Christmas of 1964 saw me spiritually in tatters. I was getting ready for the Harmony Park ‘stranddienste’ (the evangelistic beaches services), but I was feeling spiritually completely barren. In desperation I called to the Lord to meet me anew. I had nothing to share with anybody, unless He would fill me with His Spirit. And that He did. The Harmony Park beach outreach would change my life radically.

Impacted by the Unity of Followers of Jesus
For the other beach outreach participants it might not have been so significant, but the unity of the Christians coming from different church backgrounds there at Harmony Park left an indelible mark on my mind. I did not know the divine statement yet that God commands his blessing where unity exists. But I saw the Holy Spirit at work there, as I had not experienced before. At that occasion my friendship was forged with Jakes, a young pastor who came to join us after a long drive through the night from far-away Umtata in the Transkei (In recent years the city was renamed to Mthatha). Along with my new friend Jakes and David Savage from the City Mission, I started learning the power of prayer there at Harmony Park. When Jakes came into the tent one night after a fierce discussion with a Muslim he quoted Jesus’ words about prayer and fasting. This was my first introduction to spiritual warfare.
         In Harmony Park I was not only spiritually revived, but there I also received an urge to network with other members of the body of Christ, with people from different denominational backgrounds.

The Challenge to Mission Work                                                                                               Ds. Piet Bester, who came to Tiervlei in 1962 (later called Ravensmead), was divinely used to get me not only interested in sharing the Gospel with others, but also interested in missionary work. Since I was racially classified and raised as a ‘Coloured’ in apartheid South Africa, I never considered in my wildest dreams that I would ever get to another country for missionary purposes. I thereafter worked as a volunteer at a tiny open air Wayside Sunday School in someone’s backyard.

Unity in Christ across the racial Divide?
Rather naively I valiantly disregarded – and sometimes even defied with some risk - the unwritten prescripts of our society. I was thus eagerly looking at ways to express the unity in Christ across the racial divide. I thus eagerly latched on to the opportunity to pray with the young people of Youth for Christ (YFC) on Friday mornings after I had read about the prayer meetings in their periodical. This would have been a natural supplement of my prayer times early on Sunday mornings at the Sendingkerk Moria.
         However, when I pitched up at the YFC event on my way to school, I was told that the prayer meetings were not open to ‘Coloureds’.  I took that in my stride, knowing that this was South African ‘way of life’.
         Multi-racial work camps at Langgezocht in the mountains of the Moravian Mission station Genadendal from the mid-1960s - to help build a camp site there - gave me the rare opportunity to meet students from other racial groups in a natural setting.

A Significant Moravian Funeral       
Next to Jakes, another teenage hero of mine was Reverend Ivan Wessels. At the beginning of 1968 he contracted leukaemia. Ivan Wessels passed on after a few weeks in Groote Schuur Hospital. Instead of the usual Sunday School Conference at the Pella Mission Station that had been scheduled for the week-end following his death, almost the whole Moravian Church establishment gathered in Lansdowne for the funeral of one of its greatest sons.
         Bishop Schaberg challenged the funeral assembly: “Who is called to fill the gap caused by our deceased brother?” I perceived myself personally addressed. Back home in Tiervlei after the funeral, it was not difficult at all for me to say ‘Lord, I’m prepared to be used by you to help fill the void.’ I understood this to mean that I should take up theological studies.

A Bursary for Studies in Germany
The next day we went to Pella for our condensed Sunday School Conference. I was completely surprised when Reverend August Habelgaarn, a member of our church board, approached me with the question whether I would be interested in a bursary for theological studies in Germany.[2]
         I was overawed by the perfect timing of the Lord! If this offer had been put to me a few days previously, I might have turned down the special offer. The temptation to study abroad would have been very attractive. I had however been repeating in prayer to the Lord for some time that I was prepared to serve him as a pastor. But I wanted to be absolutely sure that it was Him calling me. I definitely did not want to merely follow the tradition of our clan or a good idea. I was very happy to tell Reverend August Habelgaarn that I saw this as clear confirmation of the calling of the Lord the previous day. After another few months preparations were well advanced towards my leaving for Germany at the beginning of 1969.
3. An African Missionary in Germany?

         Romances started to play a bigger role in my life. I had just turned 23 when I left South Africa. All around me my peers were getting married. But I was determined from the outset not to marry a German girl because that would have prevented me from returning to South Africa due to of the laws of the country at the time. Rationally, I considered that I would be of more use inside South Africa than outside of the beloved country.
(On the day of my departure with my close friend Jakes standing between my mother and me. My dad is on the extreme left with John Tromp, a friend from the Calvin Protestant Church in Tiervlei)

Studies at Tübingen University?       
I regarded the stay in Europe from January 1969 in the first place as an opportunity to study, but it was also combined with some missionary zeal. Fairly at the beginning of my stint in Germany, I opposed Marxist theological students, although I still could not yet express myself sufficiently in German, thus needing an interpreter. A German lady exclaimed quite shocked that their ‘Christian’ country now seemed to be in need of mission­aries from Africa!
         From the outset I regarded myself as a ‘short term missionary’. In those days this terminology was still fairly unknown. The possibility of a missionary coming from Africa to ‘Christian’ Europe was unheard of. But I was just as determined to return to my home country to serve the Lord there.  The almost two years in Germany, during which I learned much about youth work in the first year, were very enriching. The last of the two years was devoted to studies in Greek, Hebrew and Latin. 

Run-up to a special Relationship       
When Rosemarie entered the Jugendbund für Entschiedenes Christentum with her student colleague and friend Elke Maier in May 1970, I experienced something as close to a ‘love at first sight’ as ever there was one, especially after I had spoken to Rosemarie afterwards.
When I returned to South Africa, I had no doubt that Rosemarie Göbel was the girl I wanted to marry. On the South African side of the ocean there was however the ominous ‘Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act’ that prevented any marital union between a White and someone from another race.

4. Apartheid and Romance in a Mix

            After reading books from Martin Luther King and Albert Luthuli during my stay in Germany - literature that was either unavailable or declared banned literature in South Africa - my interest in politics was more than merely aroused. I was ablaze in opposition to apartheid, regarding this as my Christian duty. My opposition to the government of my home country received a personal touch with my new resolve. A law was prohibiting me from getting married to Rosemarie Göbel. I could not accept that.
         The special romance in Germany gripped me so much that I really wanted to shout it from the rooftops.  I was soon telling our special love story to all and sundry. At one of these occasions I blurted it out towards my cousin, Reverend John Ulster. He was the minister of the Elim Mission Station and a member of the Church Board. He pointed out to me the obvious, that I had to choose between South Africa and Rosemarie.  But I wanted both. This must have looked really stupid and naive because a marriage to a (White) German was just not a runner at that time. But I was determined to marry Rosemarie and also ready to fight to get her into South Africa. To everybody around me that idea sounded quite crazy.
       Many acquaintances on both sides of the Mediterranean Sea were rather sceptical about our friendship, waiting for the novelty of my new-found love to wear off. On my part there was no resolve to prove anything. I was so sure of our strong love. There was however still one snag: Rosemarie’s father still didn’t know about our friendship.

Swept along by Race Politics
After my return to Cape Town in October 1970 I was soon swept along by the race politics of the day.  I was eager to be more active in the task of working towards racial reconciliation. Already in Germany I had decided that - once back in South Africa - one of the first things I would do, was to join the Christian Institute (CI). This organisation was founded by Dr Beyers Naudé. (He had been disillusioned with his church denomination’s response to the proposals of the World Council of Churches consultation at Cottesloe[3] in 1960. There he had been a delegate.)  
         Influenced by my intensive reading about the experiences of Martin Luther King in his books, I had a plan of action ready. I believed that we should demonstrate our unity in Christ as people of different races visibly, and be prepared to accept the consequences, if needed. Concretely that meant to be ready to be arrested in contravention of immoral racist laws.
         At the CI in Mowbray I linked up with Paul Joemat, my rebel soul mate in the Moravian Church. There we hoped to get involved with other young people who also had the vision that Christians from different races should be actively united, to oppose the unchristian apartheid policies.
         Paul and I were rather naive to expect that other young people would also be prepared to be arrested. I was disillusioned, because the basic tenet of my reasoning fell away: I believed fervently that doing things together as believers from different races would be the most effective way to oppose apartheid. It was also my conviction that our united opposition had to be visible, and that it had to include the contravention of the immoral race laws. But that was expecting probably too much for the bulk of middle-class 'Whites’ in 1970. Even in the ‘Coloured’ society of the day landing in prison - even for a good cause - still had too much of a stigma attached to it.
            Paul and I were nevertheless quite disappointed when we discovered that the White members of the CI were not prepared to fall foul of the immoral apartheid laws. We were ready to embarrass the government in that way. Paul and I subsequently stopped attending. (In later years Paul was incarcerated because of his actions and stance against the government.)
Living in a liberated Area
A big dose of cross-cultural pollination was administered to us as students during our time at the Moravian Seminary in Ashley Street in District Six that I attended full time from January 1972. I was now living in a ‘liberated area’ - as one of our lecturers dubbed the seminary complex in Ashley Street. The Seminary was very much involved with activities of the Christian Institute. We were also privileged to get visiting lecturers from around the world like Dr Desmond Tutu. (At that time he was based in Britain, connected to the Theological Education Fund).
   My personal friendship to Jakes also brought us to multi-racial events of the Dutch Reformed Sendingkerk (and later to those of the Broederkring, a circle of Dutch Reformed clergymen and academics from different racial backgrounds. The Broederkring would give the White DRC and the apartheid government quite a few headaches in the late 1970s and early 1980s). Once a month we attended special lectures by the Stellenbosch Professor Willie Jonker in Ravensmead or similar events at the Sendingkerk theological school in Bellville.

Political Activism       
We were allowed by our lecturers to participate in political marches, demonstrations and the like, such as campaigning for equal educational opportunities, without any fear of reprimand. In church politics the Moravian Hill seminary students gave the denominational leadership a hard time. We incited other young people in different congregations directly and indirectly.
Reticently, I however opted to leave the country, with little hope of ever being able to return. I did resolve though to fight the matter, to work towards returning to my home country by 1980. To this end I intended to attack the discriminatory laws from abroad, to enable my return with Rosemarie.
Getting ready for the life of an Exile
A year later I was very much wary of creating the impression that I was running away from the problems of our country. It would have solved the problem for me if I had fallen in love with a ‘Coloured’ girl. In fact, I actually started praying along those lines. This would have been proof to me that I was not destined to venture into the life of a voluntary exile. Was I still gripped too much by apartheid thinking?
Together and yet far apart!
At a German Moravian pastors’ conference in May 1974 I shared the room with Eckard Buchholz, a missionary from the Transkei. He was not sceptical at all - like so many other people - about the fact that the South African government intended to give real independence to the homeland. In fact, he challenged me to come and work there after the commencement of the independence of the ‘homeland’ due to follow in 1976. He was confident that Transkei would not take over the racist mixed marriages prohibition. I gladly accepted the challenge, encouraging him to send me audio cassettes so that I could start learning Xhosa.

5. An Exile and radical Activist  

After quite a nerve-damaging correspondence saga with the South African authorities which I had engineered unintentionally, Rosemarie finally received a visa in 1975, albeit under the condition that she would not “travel to South Africa accompanied by your future husband.” 

A Honeymoon with a Difference
Three days after our church wedding Rosemarie and I parted for the start of our honeymoon. I left on a Lufthansa flight a few days after our wedding ceremony and Rosemarie was ready to fly the following day with South African Airways. She was however still very tense because I was not supposed to go my home country at this time. We were clearly circumventing the condition of the visa that she had received. At such occasions one tends to aggravate things. Fears of my arrest in Cape Town, or even already in Johannesburg on arrival there, were only natural.
         After fulfilling the condition of the visa, not to enter the country together as a couple, and after our honeymoon with a difference, we returned with thankful hearts that nothing seriously happened that could have marred the unforgettable trip. The honeymoon however also stamped the finality of my new status. I had become an exile to all intents and purposes.

The Stewardship Issue
Before I left the South African shores in 1973, I had been influenced indelibly at the theological institution in Ashley Street in the heart of District Six in yet another way. The Moravian Seminary not only increased my awareness of political justice, but during the three years from 1971-3 I also became very sensitive to structures that perpetuate economic inequality.    It was crystal clear to me that the annual salary increases in Germany were only possible because of the disparity between rich and poor countries. This bugged me. Suddenly I started seeing White South Africans in a different light. I discovered that they were similarly enslaved and imprisoned by a system of injustice.
         My fight against apartheid got a new direction. I hereafter challenged various leaders of the apartheid state via letters to set an example to the rest of the world by a voluntary sharing of the resources with the poor of the country. My role models at this time were Jan Amos Comenius and Count Zinzendorf, who took their cues from the Bible. That Comenius had stated that we can erect signs pointing to the reign of the coming King, inspired me. Thus it is not so important if one does not see any immediate fruit of one’s actions. Similarly, the example of Zinzendorf - including his day-to-day relationship to Jesus and his high view of the Jews - challenged me in a deep way.
Determined to retain my Independence                                                                                       I continued to receive the airmail edition of the International Star for a long time. Thus I kept abreast of developments in South Africa. I saw how trouble was brooding in Soweto, with teenage learners objecting to be taught through the medium of Afrikaans. However, the uprising of the 16th of June and the violent police response took all of us by surprise.                                                                        Various anti-apartheid groups had already started pulling at me when I returned to Berlin after our marriage and ordination. They seemed to enjoy having a real apartheid victim who was fluent in German. I was however determined to retain my independence, definitely not prepared to be put in front of the cart of any group
         With Pastor Uwe Holm, a leader from the Lutheran State Church, I however got spontaneously involved in organizing a protest meeting in the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis’ Church in central Berlin. The 16th of June 1976 catastrophe made even more of an activist out of me. I feared an escalation of violence that could lead to a bloodbath in my beloved South Africa.

Called to Holland
In April 1977 we received a phone call from our church head office in Bad Boll (Germany) with the question whether Rosemarie and I would consider pastoring the Moravian congregation of Utrecht in Holland. The church authorities needed someone there who could learn Dutch quickly. In due course I accepted the call.
After my ‘Soweto’ involvement in West Berlin I was catapulted into the role of mediator in a dispute between foreign African students and the local authorities. This effort of mediation caught the eye of Heinz Krieg, who was connected to Moral Re-armament. He and his wife befriended Rosemarie and me. They gave me a challenging book as a parting gift when we left for Holland in September 1977: South Africa, what kind of change? I read in the book about personal friends from the Cape like Franklin Sonn and Howard Eybers.  I was challenged once again to become an activist for racial reconciliation in my home country.

A Stint with Moral Rearmament       
At the end of 1977 Rosemarie and I attended the Moral Rearmament[4] conference in Caux, Switzerland. There the apology of Suzanne, the daughter of Ds. Daneel, a South African MRA leader, for the hurts that the government inflicted on us, made a deep impression on me. (The clergyman had been a former Springbok rugby player.) The power of vicarious confession left an indelible mark on me, something that I perceived as something which could change the social and political landscape of South Africa. In Caux (Switzerland) we also met Rommel Roberts, a Cape anti-apartheid activist. The practice of Moral Rearmament adherents, to write down thoughts that came up during a few moments of quiet meditation, was one that suited the activist spirit in me perfectly.
         In an activist way, especially through letters to various Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers, I resolutely continued towards my goal of returning to South Africa by 1980, i.e. attempting to get the apartheid laws gradually repealed. (Much later I changed my views in my correspondence with the South African authorities significantly, after I had discerned from Scripture that one could not reform a wicked system; that it had to be eradicated completely.)
My interest and involvement in Moral Re-armament taught me to jot down insights and actions during my ‘quiet time’ that I intended to do. As a radical activist I started collating the documents and correspondence pertaining to our struggle with the authorities in South Africa, giving the manuscript the title Honger na Geregtigheid.[5] In this manuscript I included and commented on my correspondence with the rulers of the day. Also our Moravian Church authorities at home came under fire as I tried to nudge them to be more active towards racial reconciliation and equality between the privileged ‘Coloureds’ and the ‘Blacks’ in the church. Thus I challenged the leadership to use the same minister for the ‘Coloured’ congregation of Manenberg and the Xhosa one of Nyanga just across the railway line.

Apartheid has the Beating of me       
In September 1978 we left for South Africa on a six-week visit. Experiences with the Moravian Church leaders at the Cape and with the folk of Moral Rearmament with Rosemarie and our son Danny during this trip were quite traumatic.
Petty apartheid bureaucracy added insult to injury. A Cabinet decision was necessary to give clarity whether we could travel in the same compartment as a family. I had thus become an honorary White for the duration of that train trip. Together with some other bureaucratic bungling, all this really embittered me. Experiences of blatant racism on the train from Cape Town to Johannesburg had the final beating of me. Terribly angered by the Moravian Church Board and the government, I was now determined never to put my foot on South African soil again. I decided to leave South Africa - never to return! It looked as if apartheid had knocked me out. I simply decided to give up the fight.
         Howard Grace, a British Moral Rearmament (MRA)[6] full-time worker, fetched us from Park Station in Johannesburg. He had to bear the brunt of my anger. When I was still fuming, Howard suggested on a car trip to Umdeni (the villa of the movement, where we were scheduled to stay in the rondavel for the next few days) to introduce me to the influential Professor Johan Heyns. The moment of his kind gesture was the worst one the MRA man could have chosen. At that point in time I was definitely not prepared and interested to meet the chairman of the Broederbond, the apartheid think tank! Someone - or perhaps even more than one person - must have been praying for me.

A farewell Gesture of Solidarity
On that November Saturday the MRA people of Johannesburg surely did not encounter a happy Christian. Therefore it was no wonder that Howard Grace and others suspected in the evening that I was craving after sensation when I phoned Dr Beyers Naudé to find out where he was worshipping. I intended the visit to Dr Naudé’s church to be my farewell gesture of solidarity with the politically oppressed of the country.

A red-letter Sunday   
Along with a few believers linked to Moral Rearmament, Rosemarie and I visited the church that Dr Naudé attended regularly. He entered there as the last person just before the bell would toll as the sign that the minister and his church council could step out of the vestry in procession. Dr Naudé was required to leave the building as the first congregant at the end of the service because he was not allowed to speak to more than one person at a time. His wife came to meet us immediately after the service, requesting that we could follow him in his car to their home while she went to teach at the Sunday School.
The heavenly Father hereafter used the well-known Oom Bey Naudé - who was loved by many who were not White (and hated by those who supported apartheid) - in a special way. A miracle happened that Sunday. I was changed supernaturally from within in the course of the visit to the Naudé home within a matter of hours.
God used the banned Dr Beyers Naudé and the congregation where he worshipped to bring me to my senses. A divine touch cured me of my intense bitterness and anger towards the country that - paradoxically - I so dearly love.
In fact, after the red-letter Sunday I really wanted to make amends for my racist bias. Hereafter I set out to work quietly for the lifting of the ban of the beloved Dutch Reformed Minister, who had meant so much to me.[7]

Determinination to fight the Apartheid Ideology
In His sovereign way God used the events of that Sunday to make me more determined than ever to fight the demonic apartheid ideology from abroad. The Moral Rearmament practice of writing down thoughts fuelled my activist spirit. Hereafter I wrote various letters of protest to Cabinet ministers. From the time of our return to Holland after our six-week visit to South Africa, I saw a ministry of reconciliation now as my special duty to the country of my birth. As part of this effort, I continued to collate personal documents and letters with more verve, hoping to get it published under the title ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ (Hunger after Righteousness). I aimed to win the government over, rather than expose their practices abroad. As a matter of ethical principle I was determined to get it published in Afrikaans first.
         The two visits to the Republic of South Africa in 1975 and 1978 cemented my love for my home country. In correspondence with my church leadership back home and with the government, I still tried to fight my way back into the country.

Difficulties in Holland
In Holland itself my radical activism also harvested difficulties. Soon after our arrival in 1977, a local Moravian church member, who was responsible for organising lay theological training, heard me mentioning stewardship. Promptly he deemed it expedient to invite the new young minister of Utrecht to give teaching on the subject to his students. Hardly anybody was however possibly fully happy that I also suggested that obsolete church traditions should be eradicated. Yet, in the beginning of 1978 I was not even remotely contemplating the christening of infants as one of these traditions. With only a few lay people attending these Saturday classes, nobody seemed to take offence at the radical[8] statements which I derived from my private biblical studies and research. Hereafter the water heated up even more.

Dutch Reformed Theologians targeted
I aimed to win the government over, rather than expose their practices abroad. As a means to this end, I targeted the Dutch Reformed theologians whom I believed could play a pivotal role in effecting change for the better in my home country.                                                                        In my resolve to work towards racial reconciliation, I went out of my way to meet Professor Johan Heyns and a delegation of Dutch Reformed minis­ters, who attended a synod in Lunteren when they visited Holland in 1979. A few months prior to this I was not interested at all to meet the chairman of the Broederbond!  The delegation furthermore included Professor Willie Jonker from Stellenbosch. I arranged to meet them again at the Amsterdam airport Schiphol on the return to South Africa. These three were to be quite influential to bring about significant changes in the Dutch Reformed Church in the years hereafter. I urged the clergymen to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted, challenging them also with regard to membership of a secret society. Prof Willie Jonker, whom I still knew from my District Six seminary days, took me aside to explain to me that he was not a member of the Broederbond. I left the envelope open on purpose, suggesting that the bearer could read the manuscript first. I learned later however that the envelope and its content were handed to the government. However,
          A fairly extensive correspondence followed with different role players on the South African scene. My ministry of reconciliation also aimed at trying to heal rifts where I discerned them. Thus I attempted to reconcile (the later Arch) Bishop Desmond Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak via correspondence. The latter, along with his Broederkring cronies, were angry at the likes of Tutu - people who were still prepared to talk to President Botha. (It also affected me personally when my correspondence with the government estranged me to some extent from my close friend Jakes.) My effort to bring Boesak and Heyns together was unsuccessful, but I was happy to hear later that Bishop Tutu and my former evangelism buddy Allan Boesak were operating again in concert.
Sequel to my Actions                                                                                                                    I was quite elated to read that some of the church leaders with whom I had interacted responded positively, although there was no initial success to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted.  (Because of the well-publicized tampering with post by the special branch of the police - which I had experienced myself - I contrived to send the draft manuscript of Honger na Geregtigheid to Dr Naudé with the delegation in Holland.)
Professor Heyns went on to become one of the instruments of change in his denomination in the mid-1980s to take the denomination away from apartheid thinking and attitudes. (It is generally believed in South Africa that a right wing extremist, who could not accept Professor Heyns’ role in the dramatic turn-around of the denomination, was responsible for his assassination in November 1994).In November 1990,  during a historic conference. Professor Willie Jonker made the following confession on behalf of the entire Dutch Reformed Church:
"[I] confess before you and before the Lord, not only my own sin and guilt, and my personal responsibility for the political, social, economic and structural wrongs that have been done to many of you and the results [from] which you and our whole country are still suffering, but vicariously I dare also to do that in the name of the NGK [the white DRC], of which I am a member, and for the Afrikaans people as a whole."
            The conference finally resulted in the signing of the Rustenburg Declaration, which advocated complete confession, forgiveness, and restitution.
6. Doctrinal Issues and Anti-Apartheid
A further nice ‘aftermath’ of our visit to South Africa was that Rosemarie was pregnant once again. We really wanted a second child. It was so fitting that the addition to the family was conceived just before our return to Holland, after I had been reconciled to my home country. The pregnancy itself proceeded however with many tears and anxiety.
A few months after our return to Holland, Rosemarie was diagnosed with Hepatitis. Both she and Danny, our son, had contracted it in South Africa and in January 1979 both of them had (yellow) jaundice. We were not overjoyed at all when the doctor felt compelled to suggest an abortion, intimating that this was advisable because of the great risk to the foetus. The possibility was great that we would have to cope with a deformed or handicapped baby. But we would not have anything of that. As a matter of principle we decided that we would accept the baby in whatever state it would come into the world as God’s gift to us.  For the next six months we had to live with the real possibility of a handicapped child.
The crowning of my renewed commitment to work towards reconciliation in my home country was to me the birth of our second son, 9 months after our visit to S.A.! On August the 4th 1979, our second son was born healthy - against the prognosis of the doctor. Fittingly, we gave him the name Rafael. This has the meaning God, the healer.

I regained evangelistic Zeal                                                                                                    Hein Postma was the principal of the local Moravian school in Zeist, whom I got to know when he addressed the congregation at a love least. We met soon hereafter and got befriended. Rosemarie and his wife Wieneke struck a close friendship, having babies of the same age. I sensed that Hein Postma had a kindred spirit, the real servant attitude of the Herrnhut Moravians. It did not matter one bit that he worshipped at another fellowship. When he invited us to a weekly Bible study with other local Christians, I accepted without any ado. Rosemarie and I soon became regulars. Through this influence I regained my evangelistic zeal that I had lost in the course of my anti-apartheid activism during these Bible studies.
A Substitute for Circumcision?                                                                                           During a Bible Study with Hein Postma, Colossians 2:11,12 was read: “In him you were also circumcised... with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith...” Although baptism was not discussed at all that evening, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart.
   I was moved to discover that ‘circumcision of the heart’ - conversion to faith in Jesus Christ - was the actual basis of baptism according to the above-mentioned Bible verse. My own argument for practising the tradition of christening of infants was pulled from under me. Subconsciously I was still somehow influenced by the Calvinist argument in defence of infant christening. (According to this tradition, infant christening is regarded as the sign of the new covenant, a substitute for circumcision. The latter is understood to be the visible sign of the old covenant of God with Israel.) I was now reading there in Colossians about the circumcision of the heart. This was like a hard blow. I had not yet looked critically at the replacement theory, whereby it is believed that the church replaced Israel. From the context it was clear to me though that conversion through faith in Jesus was meant. I could not continue practising infant christening with a good conscience. I shared this promptly with my church council. This ultimately led to my resignation as a Moravian minister.

An Overdose of Medicine?    
Hein Postma pointed out to me that the manuscript ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ was too critical, not loving enough. Hein opined that the manuscript could be compared to an overdose of medication to a sick patient. I had to face the fact that the manuscript was possibly not completely helpful to Afrikaners. Hein noted that he missed love and compassion in it.
            Hereafter I attempted to diminish the possible shock effect for Afrikaners, simultaneously hoping that this could facilitate the return to my beloved South Africa. I toned it down, planning three smaller booklets, of which the first one concentrated on issues around a South African law, The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. I gave it the title ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het.’[9] (‘What God joined together’).

Mixed Marriages Act to be scrapped?
I was following the developments in the country closely. One of the most dramatic moves occurred when Mr P.W. Botha, the Prime Minister, stated publicly that he was ready to scrap the (prohibition of racially) Mixed Marriages Act. All the more I was very disappointed to read hereafter that the Dutch Reformed Church effectively pulled the break lever on this government intention at their synod of 1978. (Encouraged by a speech of Prime Minister Botha in Upington and other reports in the press, I got the impression that the govern­ment actually wanted to change or scrap the law pertaining to the prohibition of racially mixed marriages.) The impression was given that the (White) Dutch Reformed Church was the culprit. Later I had to recognize that this was too simplis­tic a view. Mr Botha later made a backward somersault though, mentioning that he was merely looking at reviewing the law in question.  Yet, he challenged the churches to come with a united viewpoint, which he probably knew would be almost impossible.

Another visit to South Africa?
Initially another visit to South Africa seemed a non-runner towards the end of 1980. Rommel and Celeste Roberts-Santos, a racially mixed couple from South Africa, suddenly popped up in Zeist. We had met Rommel in Caux (Switzerland) at a conference of the Moral Rearmament (MRA) in December, 1977.  After his training as a Catholic priest, Rommel got involved in the Modderdam squatter camp near Bellville. There he met Celeste, a White Catholic nun. They broke all the codes of South African “way of life” by marrying in South Africa, thus not crossing the border to exchange marriage vows in some neighbouring country. Rommel had been released from prison just before their departure. He was never brought before a court of law because of his role in the bus and student boycotts of that year, but the couple feared a new arrest. Therefore they were very happy for the opportunity to flee the police hunt. Probably more than anybody else in South Africa they had courageously challenged the “Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act”.
   When they came to visit us in Zeist, Celeste was pregnant. A complication of the pregnancy not only extended their stay with us, but she also came close to losing her life because of it. In what amounted to a miracle, her life was saved. Because of her illness and hospitalisation, Celeste stayed with us much longer than they had intended.
Just at this time we received the news in August 1980 from South Africa that my only sister Magdalene had contracted leukaemia. She had played such an important part towards the education of us, her three younger brothers.
God used Celeste Roberts to sow seed in our hearts so that we started enquiring after the cheapest possibility to go to South Africa as a family.  (We initially thought that I could go to South Africa alone to be at the same time there for my mother’s pending 70th birthday (28th December).

A Breakthrough         
We experienced a nerve-wrecking few weeks until we finally received the visa for Rosemarie and our two boys literally on the last minute. We could thus finalize our travelling plans at last. Unfortunately, all seats on the connecting flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town were already fully booked by this time – a week before Christmas.
We had no option than to sleep over in Johannesburg.  My seminary colleague Martin October and his wife obliged without hesitation. The conditions under which the visit to the Cape would took place, were nevertheless awesome. We were basicallyplanning to visit my dying sister. We had no idea what would happen on our return to Holland because we had more or less used our last savings for the air fares and I had resigned as pastor.
It suited me perfectly that my seminary colleague Martin October, with whom we lodged in the Moravian parsonage in Johannesburg, was so willing to take me to Bishop Tutu and Dr Beyers Naudé on our return to Holland. From the Bosmont manse I made a few phone calls. Among others I contacted Dr Beyers Naudé. When I heard from him that he had never received the manuscript that I had sent with the delegation of DRC theologians the previous year, I was now all the more keen to discuss my manuscripts with him and Bishop Tutu.

A sad Welcome and Good Bye
On arrival at D.F. Malan Airport, the name of the international airport of Cape Town at that time, we heard that my sister Magdalene had died the previous evening.  In a series of events prior to our scheduled return to Holland, we discerned God’s hand clearly. This happened especially during the evening devotion of 19 January 1981 in Elim. My late father was reading the scriptural Macedonian injunction: ‘Kom oor en help ons’ (come over and help us). Our mother was furthermore quite ill at that time. Her passing into eternity was actually expected. With Daddy’s heart condition, which caused him to go on early retirement, it was a big question whether I would see one or both of them alive again after our return to Holland.

The Anti-Apartheid Spirit hardened me
By this time I had however become quite a hardened anti-apartheid activist. The only constraint I had was that I waged my opposition to apartheid from a religious platform. I thought to have discerned that the unity of believers was all-important.
Therefore we were very much encouraged by a multi-racial group from different churches in Stellenbosch that had been started by Professor Nico Smith and a few pastors. (This was a sequel to the SACLA event in Pretoria in 1979.)
Rosemarie was also deeply touched when she saw how our brother-in-law Anthony was grieving after the death of his beloved wife, our late sister. She could not understand why I insisted to go to Johannesburg in the remaining week before our departure for Holland. The anti-apartheid activist spirit had made me hard and uncompassionate. Many people asked me why we didn’t stay longer when they heard that I had no employment in Holland on our return there. According to certain trusted people to whom we turned for advice like our friend, the Anglican Pastor Clive McBride, I should easily get a post in view of the dearth of qualified Mathematics teacher colleagues in ‘Coloured’ schools for that subject. When I checked it out, this was confirmed. But I was not to be moved to stay longer in Cape Town. I wanted to proceed to Johannesburg. Not even the possibility of my mother passing on soon - and that I would not see any of my parents again - could touch me significantly.
                                    7. Six Months in the Apartheid Hearth

         Contrary to 1978, we received government permission to travel in the same train compartment as a family without any fuss. Did my manuscript Honger na Geregtigheid unintentionally do some intimidating work in government circles? Or was it God’s Spirit that softened the hearts of our rulers? 

Divinely Cornered
On the afternoon that had been scheduled as our final time together, my special friend Jakes was at hand, taking us to the Strandfontein beach. A strong wind was blowing there. In the evening we were due to take the train to Johannesburg. 
When we arrived in Sherwood Park at the home of our family, the train tickets were nowhere to be found. I had possibly lost them in Strandfontein.
The Holy Spirit softened me up. Reticently I agreed to stay in Cape Town for another week. My parents were pleasantly surprised when we pitched up in Elim once again. This time we had interesting news for them. We had decided to extend our stay in South Africa unless I got the Religious Instruction teaching post in Holland for which I had applied.
After the extra week in Cape Town, everything was settled. It was confirmed that we should try and stay for another six months.
I took up a teaching post at Mount View High School in Hanover Park. We tried to support the bereaved Esau family. Richard Arendse, my classmate of high school days and a later teacher colleague, immediately obliged by allowing us to use their caravan. Thus we could now sleep in the caravan in the backyard of the Esau home. My brother Windsor and his wife Ray from Grabouw generously put the use of one of their two cars at our disposal so that we could frequently visit my sickly and ageing parents in Elim, 200 Km away.
It was very special to see our ailing mother recovering slowly and the diminishing strain was evidently doing our Daddy a lot of good.

Accommodation Problems
As the nights became colder in March, it became imperative to move out of the caravan. Our one and a half year old Rafael constantly had a cold. However, the politics of the day prevented us from getting accommodation in a ‘White’ residential area for three months. Then there had been the attitude of locals and that of the churches; they all seemed to fear to defy or event to circumvent the racist customs as we attempted to find accommodation. Thus a church was not prepared to risk letting us live in a vacant parsonage in Newlands, a White residential area, where we were quite willing to be the rent-paying ‘caretakers’ for three months.  Of course, the danger of repercussions and government reprisals were very real.
         Repeatedly Rommel and Celeste Roberts invited us to come and stay with them. The couple had been with us in Holland for a few months after they were more or less forced to flee the country the previous year. They were not only known as political activists but just like us they were a racially mixed couple. To accept their offer would have meant inviting trouble with the government. After all other efforts to get temporary accommodation[10] had failed, we had no other excuse available to turn down their generous offer. Very hesitantly, we moved into the three-bedroom cottage in the ‘White’ suburb of Crawford with our two small boys.

Tense Weeks
We furthermore had to request the extension of the visas of Rosemarie and the children that could still be turned down. With my track record of opposition to the government, the granting of visas for them could not be taken for granted. Rosemarie and the children valiantly joined me in some risky ventures, such as going with me to Crossroads as part of a church delegation after a bus load of ‘illegal’ Black women had been forced to return to the Transkei. A crisis followed when the group returned to the Cape with a hired bus through secret compassionate assistance of the South African Council of Churches under the leadership of Bishop Tutu. This sort of defiant opposition was of course very much against the wishes of the government.
       In the middle of the crisis I preached in the (White) Congregational Church of Rondebosch where our friend Douglas Bax was the pastor. Through his involvement other representatives of the Western Province Council of Churches got on board.
Military ‘Caspirs’ with soldiers driving along Lansdowne Road reminded us at our open-air meeting with these women and others in Crossroads that a shooting spree, in which we could lose our lives, was very much on the cards. The presence of a TV crew from overseas probably saved the day for us.

An old Wound opened
During these tense weeks we had to reckon all the time with the possibility of any one of us residing in Haywood Road, Crawford being killed or arrested.
In the meantime I had become quite bitter once again. Spiritually I still had to learn that God was more interested in my relationship with Him than in my activism. Of course, I regarded my political activism as a part of my service for Him, part and parcel of an effort to get the races reconciled to each other.  Towards the end of our stay Rosemarie had more than enough of all this turmoil and uncertainty.  This was a scar that caused tension in our marriage once again. I still yearned to return to my fatherland despite the strenuous time.
         Our personal experiences and involvement in political turmoil during the first half of 1981 caused resentment in Rosemarie towards South Africa. She had been helping a Black teacher as a volunteer in a Catholic school in Nyanga with the teaching of retarded children. Every day a red car was following her closely, apparently attempting to intimidate her. All this added to great strain.
As we got ready to return to Holland, Rosemarie and I were quite divided on the issue of where we should be located - an old wound had been opened: I yearned to return permanently to my home country, although I knew that it was well-neigh impossible.  But we knew that God had brought us together and that we had to be called together to whatever country He would choose. Both of us were nevertheless relieved that we could get out of the threatening hearth more or less unscathed.

8. Back to Africa?

Back in Holland, another difficult period in our lives started. Time was running out because my work permit was due to expire soon. Yet, a word from Scripture that challenged us the previous year to stay in our “Jerusalem”, did not enter our minds again. However, we had no motivation to start packing. The church had offered us temporary accommodation in Bad Boll, where we started our marriage. But we had no peace about this move. I got a temporary teaching post in Religious Instruction virtually on the last minute in nearby Utrecht.

A Return to South Africa?
Quite surprisingly, Rosemarie did not protest at the prospect of a return to South Africa after we had heard from Hein Postma that the Dorothea Mission was looking for someone to work among the youth of Soweto. I had little hesitation to apply. However, I clearly mentioned that racial reconciliation was dear to us. The Dorothea Mission probably regarded my stance as too political because we never received any reply from them.
The next few years I applied for numerous teaching vacancies in Holland. Amid the uncertainty of permanent employment our daughter Magdalena Erika - named respectively after my late sister and Rosemarie’s mother - was born on 17 March 1982.
A return to Southern Africa was still high on my list of priorities.  When we heard of a teaching position in Lesotho, I was of course very interested.  For some reason unknown to me, a proper application process never materialised. But also other ‘doors’ never seemed to open. Different missionaries who worked in South Africa would visit us when they were on furlough. Thus we got to know Dick and Rie van Stelten,[11] a missionary couple from the village of Josini as well as Cees en Els Lugthart, who were working at the headquarters of the Dorothea Mission in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria.

The Start of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan
While he was still at high school Rens Schalkwijk, who returned with his parents from Jamaica in 1978, joined the weekly prayer group at the Moravian ‘Widow’s house’. This was the one link to the denomination that I kept intact throughout our period of ministry in Zeist. Later Rens’ mother led the prayer group. With Rens I felt myself spiritually very much on the same wave length. In 1982 the young man suggested that the two of us should come together for early morning prayer, just as our spiritual ancestors, the Moravians, had been doing. We put this into practice, soon joined by Peter van Veldhuyzen, a young member of the Ichthus fellowship (in Panweg), praying in the nearby forest in the morning before Peter would leave for his work.
         The 1982 prayer effort with Rens and Peter van Veldhuyzen culminated in the setting up of the ‘Stichting Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ that included various facets of evangelical outreach.
Spiritual warfare       
When we came to Holland we were fairly ignorant with regard to unseen things happening in the spiritual realm. In the course of our experiences with the Moravian congregation that I was pastoring in Utrecht, we started to catch up.
We soon experienced at close range that we were back in the battlefront. In the run-up to the birth of our son Samuel in July 1984 we were clearly confronted with occult forces. Rosemarie suffered excruciating pains in her back during the pregnancy. She feared that evil forces were trying to kill the foetus. We had learned about generational curses and influences in the meantime. Rosemarie heard from her father why he never wanted a son. Through generations some curse passed via the sons.  One night when she had this heaviness, pain and fears again, she woke me. When she told me the background, we immediately prayed, breaking the curse in Jesus name! That was the last time that Rosemarie had these problems, albeit that the actual birth of Samuel was not plain sailing at all.
Knowing that we were now in the front-line of missionary outreach, we were not surprised any more at the attacks. Some of them had evident demonic origins. Yet, we still had not discerned mutual links between Communism, Islam and other anti-Christian forces.

A Period of great Uncertainty          
After ceasing to function as a minister of the Moravian Church, a period of great uncertainty followed for us as a couple. This coincided with the practical need to feed the family. It was not easy at all to get employment as a teacher of Religious Instruction and my South African (Bachelor of Arts) degree was not recognised in Holland. I decided to resume studies in Mathematics, not only as a way of getting a post more easily, but also as a vehicle with which I could return to Africa in ‘tent-making’ missionary work. We really wanted to get involved with missions but no door seemed to open. One of the main handicaps was my South African passport.
         In the mid-1980s a speaker from OM (Operation Mobilisation) pitched up at one of our Ichthus fellowship meetings. I sensed a challenge to venture into one of the Middle East countries as a missionary. A simple comparison of the number of missionaries in Islamic countries brought home to me the dire need to share the gospel there. It was clear that I could not go into one of the closed countries as a Christian minister of religion. I was thus highly motivated to get an updated Mathematics teaching qualification for this purpose.
         Through a ‘Joseph experience’ during personal devotions the Lord had by now thoroughly dealt with my craving after a return to South Africa. Like Joseph who was exiled to Egypt, I was in the meantime prepared to serve the Lord anywhere in the world, quite ready never to return to South Africa if that was the confirmed divine guidance. However, the African continent was still my silent preference.
Rosemarie was however not at all enthralled at my idea of going to a country like Egypt. But she initially patiently agreed that I could continue with my studies in Mathematics, in order to use that as an entrance into one of the countries that were closed for Christian missionaries.
                                       *                                  *
I sensed some satisfaction when I heard that the law in my home country that prohibited marriages of people from different races was finally repealed in 1985. This caused me to test the waters back home with regard to take up a teaching post in South Africa. The Group Areas Act, which prescribed where the respective races had to live, was however still operating as a major hurdle. My participation in the school boycott of 1981 also surfaced as a hindrance.

Interest in missionary Work 
Our diminutive evangelical Ichthus fellowship at the Panweg in Zeist maintained a great interest in missions in general.  From the word go the fellowship supported various missionaries. The Goed Nieuws Karavaan team that Rosemarie and I were leading, started to work with Moroccan and Turkish children and the youth of Zeist.
         We had a fairly close friendship to Bart Berkheij, praying with him through many obstacles before he was finally accepted as a missionary of the Red Sea Mission. And how happy was he to introduce to us his British fiancée Ruth! A special bond developed between Ruth and Rosemarie after their marriage. The two were pregnant almost at the same time when we expected our three youngest children. How we empathised with the Berkheij family as they struggled for many years to go through all sorts of preparations until they could finally go to Mali! They knew how I yearned to return to Africa and how no door seemed to open for us..
         When Shadrach Maloka, an evangelist from South Africa, spoke at the Ichthus fellowship, it spawned the sending of clothing to needy evangelists who were linked to his ministry. Rosemarie was sensitive to the nudge by the Holy Spirit. Financially we were just making ends meet at this time, but we had a surplus of clothing because we received used clothes from different people. This was encouragement to start distributing clothing to missionaries, evangelists and other needy people. In our spacious home, the former parsonage, we always sub-rented at least one room or helped someone with accommodation - and yet we still had space to spare. We changed a part of a big upstairs room that was only used as a guest facility into a small clothing ‘boutique’ from where Dutch people could come and help themselves, giving a donation in return. From the funds thus received we could send parcels to missionaries and needy believers in different countries.

Another Bash at the Iron Curtain
We integrated the seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union from 1984 into our family devotions while we were praying simultaneously for God to lead us into overseas missions. It was always a thrill to remove the one or other face from the small card box. Each card had the name and photograph of some persecuted Christian for whom we had been praying. The removal of a card from the little box indicated that the believer had been released from prison. In due course we could praise God when he answered the prayers for these people.
          In the children’s clubs of the ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ that we had started in the little town of Zeist with Christians from different church backgrounds in 1983, the children learnt a song about the persecution of Christians in Russia and China.
           Financially we could not afford to go on holiday with the family, but in 1987 we ventured out in faith with the prayer that the Lord would use the period of holiday in the German village of Tieringen. This facility was heavily subsidized by the German state to enable big families that struggled financially, to go on holiday.
            Tieringen would become the beginning of the next chapter of our struggle against the atheist Communist regimesof Eastern Europe. There we met Erwin Klein and his family, who had just come out of Romania legally because of his German forbears. Through them we not only got valuable inside information, but we also got addresses from Christians in that Communist country.
         After September 1987 we extended our charity service, now also sending clothing to Romania. The Holy Spirit was evidently orchestrating things. From the little Dutch town of Zeist almost a mini Romania fever broke out in support of the suffering Christians. Of course, this made the Ceauşescu regime quite nervous because their nationals were officially not allowed to have contact with the outside world.

            Believers from different church backgrounds were linked to various mission organizations.  We gradually started to comprehend why God kept us in Zeist, our ‘Jerusalem’, that is situated more or less in the middle of the country. Parcels with clothing and articles that were scarce in Romania, were sent to different addresses supplied to us by Sina Klein. Our ‘clothing depot’ came in handy.  The Goed Nieuws Karavaan funded cost of the freight. Another source of income for this project was people ‘buying’ clothes (Often some of the clothes ‘bought’ were back in the ‘boutique’ after a few weeks, ready for resale or to be sent to some foreign country.) For some Dutch believers who never before considered wearing used clothing, this was a new experience in good stewardship.

Regional Prayer        
Rens Schalkwijk had been entering and leaving our home often - so much so that he was a natural choice to become the godfather of our youngest daughter Tabitha in 1986. One day he came along with the suggestion that we should resume our times of prayer, but perhaps in a different way.  In January 1988 we started a Sunday evening prayer meeting at our home. Rens brought along another couple, Ria and her fiancé Lukas Hartong, who had been students at the local Pentecostal Bible School. Out of these prayer times Rens was ‘delegated’ to attend a meeting with David Bryant, an international speaker who had come to challenge Dutch Christians with regard to Concerts of Prayer.
         In August 1988 - through the active urge of Rens Schalkwijk and his contacts with Pieter Bos, a YWAM leader, the prayer movement in Holland got underway. Rens and I were soon leading the first unit of the ‘Regiogebed’ of the Netherlands - that of Driebergen-Zeist.

Movement on the Mission Front
As a couple Rosemarie and I kept praying for a ‘door’ to open to some African country.  But nothing opened up.  We had been attending the annual mission day of the Evangelical Alliance regularly. Year after year we went there, hoping that the door to foreign missions would open up. When we went to Amsterdam in 1988 we had more or less given up the possibility to enter missionary work. Our eldest son Danny was about to enter secondary school and there were four more siblings to follow. When Tabitha, our youngest, would be finished with her education I would be almost at pension age. On top of it, it seemed as if hardly any mission agency would be prepared to accept a family with five children.
            In Amsterdam I nevertheless took along a leaflet from Africa Inland Mission (AIM). They were looking for teachers at their boarding school for the children of missionaries in Kenya. The “door” suddenly opened for the first time. When we spoke to the representatives of AIM, they encouraged us, even seeing other possibilities for us with my training and background. From their eyes the only problem was my South African passport. But seeing that I had been in Holland so long, they suggested that I should apply for a Dutch passport.
         The visit of the Dutch AIM leaders was the catalyst to start using Patrick Johnstone’s book Operation World. We prayed with our children through all the African countries at meal times. In this way we hoped to discern in which country the Lord wanted to use us. The effect of these prayers was initially not positive at all, if not counter-productive. Our children did not seem excited at all at the prospect of having to leave Europe for what they perceived as primitive Africa. But they now noticed that we meant business in respect of missionary involvement.
         The summer of 1988 also brought a terrible shock when we heard that Bart Berkheij had lost Ruth his wife and his children their young mother in a car accident. They had been in Mali only for a very short time! We had been feeling ourselves so close to them.

Suffering from spiritual Suffocation                                                                                       Before long I got involved in yet another ecclesiastic skirmish. A few members of our Panweg fellowship opposed me because a few Roman Catholic nuns had participated in the ‘Regiogebed’. Some believers had obviously been so brainwashed by anti-Catholic indoctrination that they could not believe that born-again people - especially nuns - could be in the ‘Church of the Pope’. The unity of the body of our Lord was an issue on which Rosemarie and I felt that we could not compromise. Other simultaneous tensions in the fellowship brought matters to a head. We soon suffered from spiritual suffocation. It was very special when we now received a letter from Dick van Stelten in Josini (South Africa), which confirmed to us that we should consider moving on. Dick had no clue what we were experiencing. He just sensed a command from God to write to us. To all intents and purposes a split occurred in our fellowship. We were slandered and unfairly criticised, but we nevertheless hoped that matters could be resolved and that reconciliation could be achieved. It never entered our heads to try and defend ourselves.
         We decided to attend the nearby ‘Figi’ congregation - the Full Gospel fellowship, initially temporarily. Reconciliation with the folk of the Panweg did not come about until much later, when the children were already settled in the new church environment of ‘Figi’. It took some time for me personally to get warm in the much bigger new fellowship, but once we joined a home cell, things improved considerably. We nevertheless yearned to return to the fellowship with which we had so many happy memories over the previous seven years.
         We had proved a point in the meantime with the work of the ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’. This local evangelistic ministry was going well with about 30 workers from different denominations, involved in a wide range of evangelistic activities. We had demonstrated to Dutch Christians that it was possible for people from different church backgrounds to work together if doctrinal tussles were not allowed to cause quarrels, if they would only concentrate on the uniting person of Jesus.

Cutting off my own Roots?   
The suggestion of the AIM leader to apply for Dutch citizenship was easier said than done. My main problem was the feeling of despair at the prospect of having to cut off my own roots as a South African. Would I now also have to lose citizenship of the country that I loved so intensely? (The possibility of dual citizenship was fairly unknown at that time.)
         I nevertheless buried my pride and inner turmoil, sensing that a step of obedience was now required. We had been praying all the years for the opportunity to return to Africa for missionary work. How could I opt out now?  Didn’t I repeat in my prayers that I was willing to serve God anywhere in the world?
         A few months later God the move to apply for Dutch citizenship was confirmed very clearly.

9. Flexing Missionary Muscles

         1988 ended so full of hope. After many temporary teaching posts in Holland, I really yearned to settle down. I now had an updated secondary Maths teaching certificate in my pocket and I was on the verge of getting an even higher qualification in that subject. I had no intention of continuing academic studies as such, but the idea of venturing into missions was somehow blocked out of my mind by November 1988. I finally held a teaching position in the little town of Huizen, a position that could become permanent. After all the dark years of employment uncertainty and scores of applications - plus the local Moravian congregation breathing down our necks to move out of the former parsonage - light at last seemed to break through. The prospect of having a home of our own in the picturesque little town Huizen - with a permanent teaching post in the offing - was rather attractive. It all but nullified my vision for missionary involvement.

Struggle - and Victory
We had been praying this regularly with our neighbours, the old brother and sister Rapparlié until they went to an old age home every Saturday evening. Thereafter our friend Martje van Dam came to us every Saturday evening with Gré Boerstra, another believer from the Panweg fellowship, for a time of prayer. The year 1989 started with turmoil. Martje, who had survived the death sentence of breath cancer for almost 11 years, was now terminally ill. Her cancer had recurred.
A Day not to forget   
We have a family tradition to wake the birthday boy or girl early in the morning by singing the prayer of Martin Luther “Führe ihn (sie) O Herr und leite...” [Guide o Lord and lead him (her)]. When we performed the meaningful ritual for our eldest son Danny on the 4th of February, we had no clue of the multiple blows that would hit our family that day. First of all the news came through that Martje van Dam passed away. But we knew that this could happen any day.
            We were however not prepared for it when a phone call from Mühlacker informed us that Papa Göbel died in his car after he had suffered a heart attack.
            But that was not the end of the calamities that day. As I travelled home from the secondary school in Huizen on the 4th of February 1989 with a teacher colleague, I heard that my teacher predecessor intended to return to the school. It was exactly the time when the decision on my probationary three months was due. I knew that I could not compete. After all, I did not belong to the right denomination and I was a foreigner to boot.
Running away from my Calling?
The Lord used this circumstance to throw us back into exploring a possible involvement in missions, where we wanted to be in the first place. I had almost forgotten that I had applied for Dutch citizenship in order to get to the African mission field.
Information we received during the funeral of our father (-in-law) in Germany comforted us. For years we had prayed that he would come back to the Lord. At a camp the whole family committed their lives to Jesus, but thereafter Papa gradually got backslidden because he had no spiritual nourishment. It was very special when our dear Mama Göbel told us that he carried in his wallet (that was found in his pocket at his death) the letter that Rosemarie wrote to him just before our wedding. In that letter she apologised for the trauma she had caused them as parents through her friendship to me. She also pleaded Papa Göbel in that letter to attend our wedding. Although he did not oblige on that score, he evidently treasured the letter.
         A few months later the news reached us that Rosemarie’s mother had a stroke and that she was committed to hospital.

God mysteriously at Work    
I completed my upgraded teaching diploma, but that also signalled the end of my teaching career in Holland. When I applied for a post in Gouda, the principal confided telephonically that he wanted to employ me. However, the two Maths teachers on his staff resisted the move because they were not qualified for the subject. With future retrenchments expected because of a merger, their own jobs would then have been on the line if I were appointed.
         We knew that God works in mysterious ways! Unwittingly I assisted in preparing my return to Africa, to my dear heimat at that! On 4 October 1989 I wrote a letter of confession to President De Klerk, the new president, after I sensed an inner conviction to apologise for my activism and arrogance. (Over the years I had written quite a few letters to the presidential incumbent’s predecessors and to some of the Cabinet ministers. Rosemarie felt that I was wasting my time. She was sure that my letters would never reach the likes of Mr P.W. Botha. I persevered nevertheless, but after 1982 the letters became very sparse compared to 1978-80.)
         At our regiogebed meeting of 4 October 1989, I mentioned in passing to a teacher from the nearby town of Doorn, that I had posted a letter to President De Klerk that day. Spontaneously, the one-off visitor of our prayer meeting, suggested that we devote more time that evening to pray for South Africa. Nobody objected. That must have been supernatural guidance. It was the only occasion that we did it in that way, i.e. praying for only one country and not for other people and issues.
            Nobody of those present at the regiogebed was aware that President De Klerk would meet Archbishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak the following week. That strategic meeting the prelude to the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid. Also in other countries - especially in South Africa itself - people had been praying for a change of the suicidal direction of the political system.
Africa, here I come!
October 1989 would become one of the very special months in our lives. The annual Dutch national mission day of the Evangelical Alliance was held from 1989 in the little town of Barneveld. We were challenged when Marry Schotte of WEC International shared there about a mission school in Vavoua (Ivory Coast) where they needed teachers.  We soon arranged for her to come and visit us.  Marry Schotte brought along a video presentation of the mission school in Côte d’Ivoire. The attitude of our children in respect of Africa changed drastically. Suddenly the children caught the vision to go with us to Africa.                                                                                                           
         The need of the WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ)school in Vavoua seemed geared to what I could offer, viz. teaching Mathematics via the three language media of Dutch, English and German. Videos were still something special in those days. We were required to do the WEC candidates’ orientation course that was not yet offered in Holland, either in England or Germany. At our extended weekly family devotions on Sunday evening even the little ones now started to pray fervently for a teacher to accompany us to England.
         I hardly had opportunity to digest this challenge when along came our friend Wil Heemsbergen with a repeated invitation to me to join a bus trip to Romania to assist on the pastoral side of the touring bus to the Communist stronghold. I had stated the first time that I was not really at ease to accept the invitation because of my situation of unemployment, waiting on replies to applications.

                                                10. A Part of God’s Master Plan?

            Clandestine visits to Romania transpired from different parts of Holland. Various organizations that brought aid to the Communist world intensified their aid to Romania, although this was apparently not formally decided. This was seemingly part of God’s master plan to break down the Communist stronghold in answer to prayer. The rest is history.

On a ‘touring bus’ to Romania
When I was invited to give pastoral assistance to the other participants on a ‘touring bus’to Romania, Nikolai Ceausescu and his clan were still firmly in command. Our bus was almost empty in terms of passengers, but loaded with Bibles, other Christian literature and material goods for the persecuted Christians of the 'Iron Curtain'. Because I was unemployed at the time of the offer, I initially declined the invitation on moral grounds. I had just acquired a more advanced Dutch Mathematics teaching diploma, hoping that this would at least give me a permanent position after more than 8 years of uncertainty with regard to employment. I felt that it was my first duty to feed my family and not to do pastoral duties on a bus to Communist countries. It was an open secret of course that this was not normal tourism. The other reason for declining the invitation was that I possessed a South African passport. I had negative experiences in East Berlin in earlier years almost every time I had to cross a border into East Berlin because of this. I did not want to cause discomfort or problems to the rest of the group.
         It was already well into October 1989 when I heard that my prior applications for teaching posts were unsuccessful. Thus I would theoretically be free to join the group. Wil Heemsbergen promptly relayed my reservation regarding the South African passport to Jan van de Bor, the Dutch leader of the mission agency The Underground Church,[12] and the organiser of the trip. Although the organisers wanted to give it a go with me on their bus - in spite of my South African passport, I was still somewhat uncomfortable.
          Very soon thereafter our friend Bart Berkheij, who had lost his wife in a car accident in 1988, phoned with the request whether I could join him on a trip to Mali at the end of January 1990. Someone volunteered generously to pay all expenses for him and a friend, to go and wind up things in Mali. I declined Bart’s initial invitation to join him because I was still unemployed. It all sounded very attractive to get a feeling of West Africa in the light of our own preparations to go to Côte d’Ivoire. However, I found it ethically incorrect to plan this while I was still hoping to get a teaching post. Everything appeared cut and dried when I heard that someone else was due to join Bart on his trip to Mali.

Dutch Citizenship!
When the Dutch leader of the “Underground Church” approached me a second time, my most recent application for a teaching post had been very discouraging.  My hope of getting an appointment as a Maths teacher in Holland was all but dashed. But this cleared the way for me to join the 'tour' group to Hungary and Romania.
         And then it happened! Out of the blue I heard that my application for Dutch citizenship was successful, without any test of language proficiency that I had expected as the next step – and much earlier than what everybody had anticipated. I unexpectedly received a letter from the office of the Dutch Queen, informing me that I qualified for a Dutch passport. Within a few days I had my passport. I was ready to be off to Hungary and Romania! Many believers in Zeist covered us in prayer for the trip to Romania, one of the prime Communist strongholds of the time.
         The journey to Hungary and Romania was quite exciting. We delivered the bulk of our special load at a Reformed Church in Budapest – Russian Children's Bibles and other literature that was forbidden in almost all the Soviet bloc countries. We slept one night with families from the congregation ahead of the main part of our mission - the Communist stronghold where the dictator Nicolae Andruţă Ceauşescu was ruling with an iron hand.
         As we were driving there the next day,  one of the bus passengers - a Hungarian national who married a Dutchman, picked up on the news via the radio that a warning was broadcast against a bus with tourists from the West. As we had dumped our 'dangerous' material already in Budapest, the scrutiny of Romania's Securitate at the border was nerve-wrecking but it transpired without a hitch.
         I was a rookie on a trip of this kind, a tourist – albeit that I did not pay a cent!  All the tourists would stay at night in the hotel while the Dutch leader of the “Underground Church” and a few regulars were involved with clandestine operations of which we were not aware.  The next day we took clothing in suitcases to certain addresses. Romanians were not allowed to have contact with anybody from the West. Nobody at the address where we delivered the gift suit case with content could speak a Western language.  And yet, we had such wonderful supernatural fellowship in the Lord with our Romanian 'siblings'.

A hazardous Check Point Crossing  
When a security guard insisted on taking the video camera of someone from our group at the border on our return to Hungary for inspection, the owner protested fiercely. This was a mistake onto which Securitate latched – an excuse to put the whole group through stringent questioning. They had done their home-work properly, interrogating those tour group participants who did the clandestine work.  We travelled back to Holland in a very sombre mood. What would Nicolae Ceauşescu and his cronies do to the families we had visited and assisted? What a blessing it was to hear soon thereafter of a mass movement starting in Timişoara, a city that we had visited.

Another overseas Trip?
I had hardly returned from the trip to Romania, when Bart Berkheij approached me again to accompany him to West Africa. The friend, who would have gone with him to Mali, had pulled out. I still had no teaching appointment. This time I was ready to accept the invitation to join him to go to Mali on condition that he would join me to Côte d’Ivoire. In the latter country I hoped to explore the situation at the WEC mission school where I hoped to go and teach. Thus the itinerary could soon be finalised. I would join him on the trip to Mali for two weeks and the third week he would accompany me on an orientation trip to the Ivory Coast.

A Trip to West Africa.           
The brief visit to Mali’s capital Bamako was quite special. This was my first visit to West Africa. Via quite an adventurous train trip to Kayes, the final destination was the mission post Djonkoulane, where Bart and his late wife had ministered. Fairly central in their ministry of the red Sea Mission was daily radio communication with other missionaries of the region. I experienced great exciement personally to hear there via BBC that President de Klerk announced that he would release Nelson Mandela.    
         We were scheduled to fly from Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d’Ivoire on 16 February, 1990. The last day in the West African metropolis was exceptional. I had already enjoyed the bus trip from Vavoua, during which I had a meaningful ‘conversation’ with a student who had studied German. I practiced my recently acquired little bit of French, translating a tract about the lost sheep of Luke 15 into German, for him to check. The openness for the Gospel in the West African metropolis impressed me deeply.
         Bart and I spent the morning doing some sightseeing and shopping – buying small artefacts to take along for the families at home! Nostalgia overtook me as I looked over the Islamic city! When I saw a few mosques, it so much resembled the old District Six, the slum-like area of my childhood. I had thought that South Africa was way out of my mind in terms of a return there! But in a fleeting moment I was overwhelmed by nostalgia. It was strange that my trip was supposed to be an orientation for us as missionaries to West Africa, but I was now also ambivalently longing to return to my home country. Nelson Mandela had just been released. I was quite sad that I could not even witness the event via a TV set! Was the way opening up for me to return home after all? At that moment however, I was more set on returning to Côte d’Ivoire to teach in the WEC mission school in Vavoua.
In a 'Mosque’ by Accident
With the 'iron curtain' of Communism and the edifice of apartheid all but shattered by February 1990, supernatural intervention occurred in Abidjan to nudge me to tackle the daunting wall of Islam. With my Dutch missionary friend Bart Berkheij, I landed in a 'mosque’ service by accident. When all the shops closed down at lunch time that Friday, we had no opportunity to continue our memento shopping spree. We simply took a seat next to the road, when prayer mats were rolled out all around us. Bart was sitting obliquely behind me. Somehow I had the impression that he was also doing the obligatory raka’ts, the Islamic cycles of bodily movements accompanying the prayers. Thus I simply joined in, imitating the people in front of me. Suddenly I heard an angry stifled shout-whisper: ‘Ashley, wat doe je daar!’ (Ashley, what are you doing!) What a bashing he gave me hereafter for going through the Islamic motions. Strangely enough, I felt embarrassed, but I did not feel very deeply sorry from within...
          As I looked at the people in front of me, I experienced a thrill. It was as if the Lord was reassuring me that these bodily movements were no more than meaningless tradition; that some day the Islamic wall would also crash like the communist ‘iron curtain’ no so long prior to that occasion. The experience of that day helped me to persevere over the next decades with low-key missionary work among Muslims although it seemed as if we were wasting our time.

The Yoke of ritual Bondage   
As the years went on, we discerned that many Muslims were wrestling under the yoke of ritual bondage. The question became even more pressing: How will all those millions of people who are still veiled, ever get rid of it? As my wife and I read 2 Corinthians 3 once again, we were reminded that Martin Luther only got into the freedom of Christ when he discovered that he needed a Saviour. This only occurred when he developed a deep sense of urgency about his own sin. We also realised anew that this is something that only God can accomplish in a sovereign way. God doesn’t need us, but we can be instruments in His hands to change the world, especially through prayer.
         The three weeks were sufficient to excite me about possibilities to share the gospel in West Africa. The discussions at the school in Vavoua, Ivory Coast, were promising, although I foresaw that merely as a prelude to get into other missionary work after a few years. But I still had to get fluent in French (Rosemarie had not even started learning this language).
Come over and help us! 
On my return from West Africa there were quite a few letters awaiting me, two of which were challenges to new areas of ministry. Most of all I was surprised that Rosemarie appeared quite tense about my response to a letter from South Africa. Out of the blue there was a hand-written letter from Pietie Orange, a friend from my Tiervlei/Ravensmead days.
         There was not much in Pietie’s letter in terms of contents, but very clearly there was the clarion call: COME OVER AND HELP US.  Different missionary opportunities have suddenly opened up. I was quite confused. The experiences in West Africa especially were still fresh in my mind. For years the doors to mission services seemed to remain closed and now there appeared to be many doors opening and some seemed to be even wide open. Which was the right one?

Doors opening up
I was surprised to sense Rosemarie’s excitement about the possibility to go to South Africa. She knew of my fervent desire to return to my home country. In the early years of our marriage it caused a lot of strain when she sensed that I perceived it as a sacrifice to live in Europe. Through my ‘Joseph experience’ during personal devotions the Lord had by now thoroughly dealt with my craving after a return to South Africa. However, the African continent was still my silent preference.
         With Campus Crusade I had started to do some voluntary work in Holland with their devout diligent worker Bram Krol. Also from that side we were challenged to go and work full-time. I had learned to use the four spiritual laws and we started seriously considering to buy a house in Zeist from where we would operate. (when Rosemarie’s father was still alive her parents wanted to help us with capital towards this end). Personally Africa was however still my preference.
         I also got to know Cees Rentier through this outreach. Subsequently he worked with us as a Goed Nieuws Karavaan colleague. (Thereafter he got involved and finally leading a major ministry of loving outreach to Muslims in the Netherlands.) 
         We decided to move further along the road towards the teaching post at the WEC school for missionary kids in Ivory Coast, unless the Lord would close the ‘door’. This happened all too clearly. Lovingly Jean Barnicoat, the directress of the WEC mission school, pointed out in a letter that the age and number of our children militated against such a venture. I was shattered to some extent when this reply came.
         The Lord used the trip to West Africa in yet another way. While I was in West Africa, our long-standing friend Geertje Rehorst visited Rosemarie one evening. (After she had to return from Austria with her two teenage sons, we helped to make them feel at home in Holland as part of the youth group held in our home.)
         When Geertje heard from Rosemarie that we were praying for a teacher, she asked all sorts of questions. Because she had been ruled unfit for teaching a few years before this, we never seriously considered Geertje as a possible candidate to help us out.

Journey into the Unknown    
In his faithfulness the Lord intervened once again. Out of the blue we received a phone call from Dick van Stelten, a missionary couple in the little town of Josini in South Africa, near to the Mozambican border. They invited us, challenging us to come and take over their work.
         Through a process of elimination we were guided to WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ). Jacob and Emmy Spronk, the Dutch WEC leaders, were very supportive. They suggested that we should go and explore the work in Northern Natal, to see if the Lord would confirm it. Perhaps it could become a new venture of the mission agency. My mother was due to turn 80 at the end of that year and the Golden Wedding anniversary of my parents was due shortly thereafter.
         After all the trips to other countries in the preceding months, we hardly had liberty to share our vision with other Christians that we wished to visit South Africa on orientation. How could one sell that to others, especially financially? In official terms I was still unemployed. But gradually every hurdle was surmounted. We decided to take the eldest and youngest of our children along on the journey into the unknown.
         We were severely tested as we prayed about going to work in Northern Natal. In a programme on Dutch TV the reporter mentioned that conditions regarding violence in Natal was worse than Lebanon and Northern Ireland put together. Was this the sort of situation into which we wanted to take our children?
A Sense of Home-coming       
In obedience to the Lord we nevertheless planned to start our visit to South Africa in Pretoria, visiting the Lugtharts, a Dutch missionary couple linked to the Dorothea Mission. We decided to take the eldest and youngest of our children along on the journey into the unknown. Gradually every hurdle was surmounted. From there we trusted that we would get to the Van Steltens in Josini somehow.
         In a wonderful way transport was supplied for us to get to Durban via Josini and Kwasiza Bantu. In Josini it was clearly confirmed that the Lord did not call us to serve in a school for Zulu children in Ubombo. When we joined the national conference of WEC in Durban however, we experienced a sense of home-coming. Although we did not know anybody present there, we felt that we belonged. in spite of a hick-up or two.[13] Also in Cape Town things fell in place. It was agreed that we could return there at the beginning of 1992.

The Lord at Work in different Ways
After the WEC leaders in Holland had suggested that we should have ‘contact persons’ before we would set out to our mission field, South Africa. Rosemarie mentioned Harmen and Fenny Pos, our faithful ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ co-workers. We could not have asked for more devout persons. The way they rallied around us became the example for other missionary support groups in our own church and even for many other groups in the Netherlands.
         The procedure to become WEC missionaries had already started when we suddenly became very uncertain. We asked ourselves what would happen if WEC turned us down or if we decide not to join that agency after all. Then we would be without any accommodation. We knew how difficult it was to get a house even for a couple or a small family. We deliberated: 'Would such a step be responsible with our five kids?' We decided to put out a ‘fleece’, to test the waters. If the Lord would give us people who would be willing to come and stay in our home and pay the rent for the six months of our missionary orientation, we would know for sure that God was confirming our call.
         We found a couple who had no children and both of whom were employed. That sounded perfect to us, looking like God’s perfect provision. However, it panned out quite differently.
         The Lord used the time in Bulstrode, the international WEC Headquarters near London, to bring our friend Geertje Rehorst back into missionary endeavour. When we worked in Zeist among Moroccan and Turkish children, the Lord had started to prepare us for a future ministry among the Muslims of Cape Town.[14] And then there was of course the visit to Mali and the Ivory Coast that had struck a chord in my heart to reach out more to those who were suffering under Islamic bondage.

                                                                      11. Testing Times

         Come January 1991, we were already in Bulstrode, the headquarters of WEC International for the missionary candidates’ orientation course. The Lord used this time to continue moulding us for our future ministry in Cape Town. Here we were clearly confronted to the concept of spiritual warfare more intensely than ever before. Never before had we heard about terms like prayer walks, strategic and targeted prayer although I had practised it before. (We did this for example in Zeist, together with other believers without giving it the fancy name.)
Field Study     
As part of our missionary training at Bulstrode we had to write an assignment called a ‘field study’ about the country where we intended to go to. We decided that Rosemarie could study the politics, economy and related issues, while I would be looking at the South African Indians. This led me into studying Hinduism and Islam, their two major religions. My experience in West Africa also influenced me in yet another way. I now also thought of the Black South Africans as potential missionaries to the Muslim countries of the continent. I furthermore discerned how I was impacted while in exile, hoping that we could one day also inspire foreigners in South Africa in a similar way - to go and bless their home countries. In the months hereafter I started writing my thoughts about these matters, which ultimately led to a manuscript that I called A Goldmine of Missionary Recruitment (I changed the title later to A Goldmine of another Sort. The treatise is accessible at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com)
         The Gulf War at the beginning of the year made things very practical. In one of the devotionals a believer demonstrated why it was necessary for the allied war planes to prepare the area for the onslaught of the artillery. During my field study I discovered that Bo-Kaap, the residential area below Signal Hill, had become an Islamic stronghold because of apartheid. A seed was sown into my heart’s soil.
Missionary Orientation in Emmeloord         
When we returned to Holland from England, we first had to go for two months to Emmeloord, to the Dutch HQ of WEC. In the occasional sermon, such as one in the village Steenwijk, I challenged Christians to send their ‘batteries’ to the Muslim stronghold of Bo-Kaap in the city where I was born and bred, to bombard the area before we as missionaries could go in as the infantry. The Holy Spirit had obviously started to prepare me for ministry in the prime Muslim area of the Mother City of South Africa. I was not aware at that stage that an SIM Life Challenge team was already active there with door-to-door outreach. We had no concrete plans for involvement there.
         In our correspondence with WEC South Africa we mentioned that we would like to have our hands free to spread the Gospel among the Cape Muslims. However, the South African WEC leadership wanted to use me for representation in the Western Cape. The stated strategy of WEC in SA was to focus on recruitment, and not to start new ministries. We on the other hand were not inclined to get involved in a lot of administration and representation. We did not see that as our gifting.
         Differences with the new WEC leadership in South Africa with regard to our future role clouded our start at Emmeloord. Also in Holland we got involved in a verbal skirmish with one of the leaders. We decided to defer our acceptance as WEC missionaries. We wanted clarity before we would leave for South Africa whether we would have freedom to evangelise there. We continued however with the negotiations to get the necessary papers for relocating to South Africa. Thankfully, all the differences could be resolved and a few months later we were accepted as WEC missionaries. It was agreed that we would help our colleague Shirley Charlton with representation in Cape Town in the first year and thereafter we would see how the Lord would lead.
         We celebrated Rosemarie’s 40th birthday in Emmeloord. My gift to her was the manuscript ‘Op adelaars vleugelen ’ (On Eagle’s Wings), alluding to the text Henning Schlimm used at the occasion of our wedding in Königsfeld.

Hurdles and Afflictions          
The next hurdle was the airfare for us as a couple plus five children, of which two had to pay adult fares. We furthermore decided that a container would be the most economical way to get our belongings to Cape Town, even though the bulk of our furniture was quite old and tattered already and some appliances were bought second-hand in Holland. We trusted the Lord who sovereignly helped us so often in all recent major steps of faith.
         The circumstance we had considered as a ‘fleece’ became however quite an affliction when the couple that stayed in our home in Zeist for six months did not pay the rent promptly. We experienced once again how the strong divine wings of the eagle were seeing us through. Not even once did we have to delay the payment of rent and we always had sufficient funds to contribute towards our stay in Bulstrode and Emmeloord.                                                                                                      Regarding the couple that had been living in our home, we decided to go the biblical route by informing their pastor of the situation.  They hereafter paid the rent due to us in one lump sum. With the belated payment of the rent we now suddenly also had sufficient finances not only for the airfares to South Africa for the seven of us, but also for the transport and rental of a container with our possessions!           
                                                12. Called to minister to Cape Muslims?

         When we came from Holland we didn’t have any accommodation. We were already considering approaching my faithful friend and teacher colleague Ritchie Arendse for the use of his caravan again when just before our departure to South Africa we heard that we could be accommodated in a Bible School in in Surrey Estate, a part of the suburb Athlone during the month of January.
         The first morning after our arrival we were awakened by a deafening roar at half past four.  The cause was the prayer calls from the seven mosques within a radius of two kilometres of the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute.[15] This was the first indication that the Lord was perhaps calling us to get involved with the Cape Muslims. But we were not starkly aware of it as yet.
Valuable Contacts     
The Western Cape Missions Commission, to which our WEC colleague Shirley Charlton took me soon after our return to the Cape, proved very valuable in terms of contacts. Here I met among other strategic people, Martin Heuvel, Bruce van Eeden and Jan Hanekom. At one of the events to which Shirley took me, I heard a missionary of AIM who used her gift of using music in ministry. This was the catalyst for me to start a choir with singers from different cultures. In 1992 there was still great need for racial reconciliation. We started the choir as a vehicle for reconciliation in our divided country.
         At different occasions to which I was invited as speaker, I took along the cross-cultural choir that we had recruited. Apart from Grace Chan, our colleague from Mauritius, we also had people from different races in the choir - including a Zulu and a few Xhosas. I collated the choir members predominantly from Capetonian Bible Colleges. The contacts to the various Bible colleges proved quite valuable for our ministry.

Involvement with Drug Rehabilitation?
The Master clearly used our first days in Cape Town to make it unambiguously clear to all and sundry that we were called to minister to the Cape Muslims..  Almost from the word go we got in touch with a scourge of the Cape communities - drug addiction. On the first Sunday after moving to Kenilworth, we attended the Living Hope Baptist Church where a couple told us about their daughter who was addicted to drugs and who subsequently became a Muslim. We were immediately reminded of the successful Betel outreach of our mission agency to drug addicts in Spain, seeing this as a possible loving avenue of service to the Cape Muslim community. This was yet another nudge that we should get involved in compassionate outreach to that part of the Cape population. The problem of drug addiction in the Cape Muslim society was highlighted again and again.

Focus on Outreach to Cape Muslims?          
The Master clearly used our first days in Cape Town to make it unambiguously clear to all and sundry that we were called to minister to the Cape Muslims. Without making any special effort, we got in touch with a few converts from Islam. We met Adiel Adams and Zane Abrahams through our representation work with WEC. My late Aunt Emmie Snyers spontaneously gave us the phone number of Majiet Pophlonker, another convert from Islam. It seemed as if different people were divinely instructed to challenge us to focus on Cape Muslims.
         A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent the house in Tamboerskloof, almost a stone’s throw from Bo-Kaap, the prime stronghold of Islam in the Western Cape. This happened a few weeks after our arrival in the Mother City. God had evidently started fitting things together in his perfect mosaic.
         At the beginning of our stay in Tamboerskloof I joined the SIM (Society of International Ministries) Life Challenge team of Manfred Jung in Bo-Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.[16] However, I soon felt very uncomfortable with the method of knocking at people’s doors to speak to them about my faith. This coincided with the cessation of the SIM outreach effort in Bo-Kaap. Rosemarie and I decided to do prayer walking in the Muslim stronghold, asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had done preparatory work.
            Soon we were walking through the Bo-Kaap as a couple once a week, praying for the area. But after a few weeks we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. We had to get the backing, moral and prayer support of other Christians. As a family we were now attending the City Branch of the Vineyard Church (as the Jubilee Church was called at that time). Dave and Herma Adams, the local leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims, but the church leadership in general had no affinity as yet to get involved.
            After a few months in the Vineyard Church we found out that there was a Muslim background believer in the congregation. Achmed Kariem had fled South Africa in the wake of his anti-apartheid activities with a hatred for Christianity. In his accurate assessment apartheid, devised by the Christians, had been the cause for his family to be moved out of Mowbray to the desolate Bonteheuwel. This ultimately resulted in him fleeing from the country. In England he became addicted to drugs. There he was miraculously set free from drug abuse through faith in Jesus. The need of a centre for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in Cape Town was invigorated in my heart when I heard his testimony. He would become God's instrument in our ministry in many a way.

Bo-Kaap Prayer Meetings Resume  
During one of our Bo-Kaap prayer walks we visited the Bo-Kaap Museum. There we heard about Cecilia Abrahams, the neighbour at 73 Wale Street, a committed believer. She is the widow of a convert from Islam in that residential area. When we finally met up with her, we were blessed to find out that we could actually resume the prayer meetings there, which had been conducted by Walter Gschwandtner, a SIM Life Challenge missionary before he left for Kenya with his family. We started with fortnightly prayer meetings in the Abrahams home in July 1992.
         SIM had decided to stop their activities in Bo-Kaap, but Manfred Jung brought me in touch with Hendrina van der Merwe, a fervent prayer warrior from the fellowship commonly called the Orange Street Baptist Church. She was immediately ready and eager to join the new prayer group. Dave and Herma Adams, our local Vineyard church leaders, gave their blessing that we could invite people at the local Vineyard church to join the prayer group. Soon Elizabeth Robertson and Achmed Kariem joined us for this purpose.

Start of Friday Prayer Meetings
Achmed soon suggested that we should start a prayer meeting at lunch time on a Friday when the Muslims attend their main weekly mosque service. This could be implemented very promptly. Without much ado we were allowed to make use of the ‘Shepherd’s Watch’, a former funeral parlour in Shortmarket Street where the Ark Mission was now conducting services and caring for a few psychiatric patients.
         One of the early regulars at the new Friday prayer meeting was Alain Ravelo from Madagascar and Johan van der Wal, who originally hailed from Holland. Both Alain and Johan had been in the country for some length of time. Alain had been part of a group that met regularly, praying for the country when apartheid was still rife. He also had a vision for networking. 

Fruitful Networking  
At the same time Rosemarie and I prayed, asking the Lord where we should start with ministry. By June 1992 our ministry was not focused at all. We had no clear direction. As I was speaking during a phone call to Val Kadalie, the matron of the G.H. Starke old age home in Hanover Park, I sensed confirmation that this township, where I had been teaching in 1981, was the place to get involved with ministry. Soon I linked up with Norman Barnes, a former gangster and drug addict and a convert from Islam. He was leading the City Mission prayer group on Saturday afternoons.
         In the course of my representation work of our first year, I met Martin Heuvel, a pastor from Ravensmead. It was only natural that I would visit him when I helped prepare the October 1992 visit of Patrick Johnstone, the author of Operation World.[17] A touch of nostalgia was hardly to be prevented when I visited the premises of the Fountain Family Church complex in Ravensmead.
         When Shirley Charlton organised for me to preach at the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur, another meaningful contact ensued. Pastor Walter Ackermann had a heart for missions second to very few in the Western Cape. I was soon preaching there regularly until Pastor Ackermann left the church at retirement age. Having ministered to Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, he was keen to introduce me to the prominent politician when he was the State President. He was rather concerned with the way the Mandela government accepted financial assistance from the oil-rich Arab states. However, I could not quite see how a single meeting with the President could influence matters.

Gathering Believers from Muslim Background                                                                    One of the most strategic moves of our ministry ensued when we started gathering the believers from Muslim background once a month. When Martin Heuvel suggested that we should try and gather these believers on a regular basis, he found an immediate resonance in my heart. Unbeknown to me, Alain Ravelo-Höerson and his wife Nicole, who hails from Reunion, had started making plans for such a group at their home in Southfield. Instead of doing my own thing, I decided to join them, functioning as a chauffeur to bring along Muslim background believers who worked in the city and from the Mowbray area.[18]                                                                                                                                  Independently I started another group with males Muslim background believers in Hanover Park, along with Adiel Adams from Mitchells Plain. It was our vision to start little cells like that all over the Peninsula in conjunction with other missionary colleagues. This did not materialise however.
The Country in Turmoil
Over the Easter Weekend of 1993 almost the whole country was thrown into turmoil when the news came through that Chris Hani, a leader of the Communist Party, was assassinated. He had been firmly on course for high office in a new ANC-led government. For a few days the country hovered on the brink of civil war. The brave action of a White woman, who saw the car of the assassin driving away, prevented a major escalation of bloodshed. The murder of Hani demonstrated the urgency of the situation, resulting in the date of the elections set soon hereafter for April 27, 1994.
The arch enemy tried to give us one hammering after the other, but the Lord encouraged us. In the second quarter of the year we felt that Rosemarie should visit her ailing mother again to relieve her sister Waltraud. When we lived in Holland, we would go to Germany in the school holidays to give Waltraud a break. But how could we finance such a trip to South Africa? Just as Rosemarie and I started praying together about the matter one morning, the telephone rang. It was Waltraud from Germany. She and her husband had been thinking about funding a trip for Rosemarie to come and visit them. That would be much cheaper than trying to get the bed-ridden mother into an institution for two weeks so that they could get a break in this way.
         While Rosemarie was in Germany, money became available that her late father had earmarked as an inheritance for his grandchildren. Her visit to Germany also brought a temptation. While she was there, she was moved to see that nothing was done to reach the many Turkish people of the area lovingly with the Gospel. In order to share the Good News with the children of the guest workers and other foreigners in the region, it would not even be imperative to learn their language. In due course the enemy would abuse this snippet of information to tempt us to return to Germany.

The Start-Shot of massive Bloodshed?
Just after Rosemarie’s return to the Cape in July 1993, South Africans were shocked out of their wits. On the last Sunday of that month deluded hate-filled Blacks killed a few congregants and maimed many believers wantonly in the evangelical St James Church in a Kenilworth,Cape Town suburb. It was a miracle in itself that not many more were killed. 
         The great deceiver evidently planned this to become the start-shot of massive bloodshed. Although the date had been set for the first democratic elections, hardly anybody expected the run-up to the elections to be peaceful. Black townships like Khayelitsha were no-go areas for anyone who was not Black. A pastor friend of the Khayelitsha City Mission fellowship, where I had preached once in the meantime, had to flee from the area. The local civic organization had concocted allegations against him. As a pastor with contact to other races, he was accused of mixing with the Whites. This was for many local Blacks tantamount to colluding with the devil in person.
         But Satan had overplayed his hand. The St James Church massacre turned out to be the instrument par excellence to impact the movement towards racial reconciliation in the country. Those family members who lost dear ones received divine grace to forgive the brutal killers. The killing of innocent people during a church service sparked off an unprecedented urgency for prayer all around the country.

A Home of our own?
About this time we received a letter from the German owner of our home. She wanted to sell the house, but she gave us the first option to buy it. Our landlady was definitely not the only person who wanted to sell property at this time. In fact, many White people who were in the position to emigrate, were considering this option.
         I was rather sceptical when Rosemarie shared that God had given her a vision of a house with a beautiful view in the City Bowl. I was absolutely sure that there would be no suitable house in the price range that we could afford. On Rosemarie’s insistence we went to an estate agent to indicate our interest in buying something in the area. With funds that would be coming from Germany soon, we were now in the fortunate position to consider buying a suitable house. Up to that point in time we did consider this, but a bond on a house with four bedrooms was well beyond our means. It was still the question whether the bank would grant us a bond because we had no fixed income.
         With Bo-Kaap and Hanover Park as the main areas of our activity, we were looking at possibilities to purchase a house geographically somewhere between these localities, such as the suburb Pinelands.
         The first few houses in the City Bowl that we viewed vindicated my scepticism. But then the estate agency phoned one day to inform us that a run-down house in Vredehoek, a suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain, was for sale. The re-possessed building was offered to the estate agent by the bank on condition that the potential buyer had to make an offer within two weeks. The mansion we entered at 25 Bradwell Road in the City Bowl suburb Vredehoek had broken windows plus a stinking carpet in the living room that dogs had infested with fleas. But then Rosemarie saw the beautiful view the Lord had given her in a vision. I was however not yet convinced.
         We decided to ask Rainer Gülsow, a German friend who had been in the building trade, to give us his view. “A bargain, take it. You will never get this again.” This was as clear a cue as we needed. But the decision to make an offer within two weeks created some strain. While these thoughts milled through our minds, a traumatic event shook us to the roots of our existence. Whereas the violence and turmoil on the East Rand, in Natal or even Khayelitsha was still on the periphery of our lives, the weekend starting with the second Friday of September 1993 had us reeling.
A traumatic Week-end           
After the children had left for school at about 7.40h, Rosemarie and I had a short prayer session because we were due to have our WEC prayer meeting in our home later that morning. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of those two days. I wrote down the following notes (slightly edited) shortly after the traumatic days:

9 a.m. Just after nine I leave the home with the small broom to sweep the car before I pick up the old ladies.
         But the car is not there! I can’t believe my eyes. We wanted to get rid of the ancient 1976 combi, but not in this way! We had hoped to get something for it as a trade-in even though it was getting less powerful.
         Completely shattered I could just run back to inform Rosemarie in Dutch, our home language: “De auto is weg!” I phoned the police and Margaret Curry, one of the (WEC) prayer ladies, instructing her to phone the other participants. I would phone again when the police will have left. Then we would have to see whether we could still have our prayer meeting...

         The occurrences of the next 30 hours were traumatic in the extreme. Our emotions swung like a very long pendulum from the heights of elation to the deepest despair. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of the events. But I was traumatized so much that I was never able to finish writing down the story within a reasonable time limit, where the memory of the events was fresh enough. On the same Friday on which we discovered that our vehicle was stolen, a new ‘convert’ came to our one o’clock prayer meeting. Purportedly he was a drug addict who had just been ‘saved’. Thirty hours later we found out that he was a conman. In the interim, By this time the fake convert had dubed us terribly. His demonic demeanour squashed our vision to work or challenge others towards the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre in Cape Town almost completely.
The events of that weekend highlighted the temptation to return to Europe. The Lord however did not give us peace to leave the Mother City as yet. In fact, more than twenty years later we are still living in the Vredehoek home that we ultimately bought.
A sequence of special circumstances made the purchase possible. A Xhosa pastor friend and the Jewish background brother – whose 8-year old daughter the Lord had used to link us to the Cape Town Baptist Church and who was also unemployed at the time – operated in harmony with a believer from the Jubilee Church, the son of a couple that wanted to go to Turkey as WEC missionaries. The threesome renovated the dilapidated house in two months.  The example of a White man working happily under a Black was not so common at all in South Africa! 

                                                13. Back to ‘School’

            Apart from the many lessons that I still had to learn in the preceding years, I discerned that the Master was taking me through many more. A student from the Baptist Seminary, the Zambian Kalolo Mulenga, would become God’s instrument to lead me to the small Woodstock Baptist Church to discover more fully the lessons Jesus had been teaching via his conversation with the Samaritan woman of John 4. At that congregation which had no full time pastor in 1992/3, I preached three sermons on that Bible chapter. I expanded on that in a repetition at the Cape Town sister fellowship which we joined in 1993. I collided with some of the missionary practices at the Cape. Understandably, some expatriate colleagues found it especially unpalatable that I suggested so radically that God could use the immoral lady even better among her own people than Jesus. I made no secret of my conviction that Muslim background believers could similarly witness much better to their peers and family than we as missionaries. Being the only ‘Cape Coloured’ among many expatriate colleagues at that time, this was not very charitable and wise.
Targeted Prayer
Prayer walks in Bo-Kaap resulted in the resumption of a fortnightly prayer meeting in mid-1992 in the home of Cecilia Abrahams, the widow of a Muslim background believer from Wale Street. The prayer meetings focused on reversing the effect of apartheid on Bo-Kaap.  
          Soon thereafter we also started with a monthly prayer meeting for the Middle East in our home in Tamboerskloof. This evolved from the fortnightly event in Bo-Kaap. The vision grew to see Jews and Muslims reconciled around the person of Jesus Christ. This vision received fresh nourishment when we started praying on Signal Hill from September 1998 on every alternate Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (Signal Hill is situated just above three residential areas that are associated closely with the three Abrahamic religions. Tamboerskloof is a predominantly ‘Christian’ suburb, Bo-Kaap is still a vocal Muslim bastion and in Sea Point the bulk of Cape Jews are living.[19])                              

Taking back what Satan has ‘stolen’
The indifference of the Cape churches for evangelistic outreach was a scourge all around the Peninsula. The situation in Woodstock and Salt River belonged to the worst in this regard. The two suburbs had become predominantly Islamic within a few years after the increase of drug abuse, gangsterism and prostitution had driven Christians away.
            We got involved there through a missions week with theological students at the Cape Town Baptist Church that Pastor Graham Gernetsky organized with the Baptist Seminary in March 1994. Reverend Gernetsky, the local minister, was open to the suggestion that we should do some prayer warfare with the students not only in Bo-Kaap, but also in Woodstock. We thus started an attempt to take back what Satan had 'stolen' territorially through drug abuse, prostitution and gangsterism.

Slaughtering of Sheep in BoKaap     
In our low-profile outreach to Cape Muslims it seemed as if we could never penetrate to their hearts. We had been reading how Don Richardson had a similar problem in Papua New Guinea until he found the peace child as a key to the hearts of the indigenous people. We started praying along similar lines, to get a key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
That Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at their major Eid celebration, made me aware how near to each other the three world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam actually are. The narrative of Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son is central to all three faiths. Witnessing the Islamic slaughtering of sheep in Bo-Kaap was a special blessing to my wife and me. The ceremony really brought to light the biblical prophecy of Isaiah 53 that I had learnt by heart as a child. To see how the sheep went to be slaughtered without any resistance reminded us of Jesus, whom John the Baptist called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. We immediately knew that the Lord answered our prayer. He had given us the key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
It was special to discover through my studies that according to a Jewish Midrash - so much part and parcel of the rabbinic oral teaching traditions – that Isaac was purported to have carried the firewood for the altar on his shoulder, just like someone would carry a cross.

More Lessons of March 1994
While lecturing at the mission week, Rosemarie  and I received an important lesson in spiritual warfare. One morning early – we had times of prayer with the students starting at 5 a.m. - Rosemarie shared what she had ‘discovered’ in Galatians 1:8,9; viz. that even an angel can bring a false message, if that would differ from the original Gospel revealed in Scripture. This amplified to us the origins of the Qur’an - that Muslims believe was brought to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is well-known that the crucifixion of Jesus is denied in the Muslim sacred book. We were filled with more compassion towards the Muslims when we discovered that they have been deceived in that way. This became to me the pristine beginnings of a major study of the Angel Gabriel especially in the main scriptures of the Abrahamic religions, the Bible, the Qur’an, the Talmud and the Ahadith.[20]  (The latter are Islamic traditions of Muhammad’s words and deeds that are regarded as equal in authority to the Qur’an.) The more I studied, the more I discovered how deceptive the arch enemy was, that he has indeed been masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14); that the consistent omission of everything alluding to the Cross in the Qur’an cannot be coincidence. The latter discovery surfaced when I prepared teachings for a group of male Muslim background believers.
            Another lesson of the mission week was quite painful to me. When I taught the Bible college students something about the history of Islam in the Western Cape, I broke down in tears. I had to discover that deep in my heart there was still resentment towards the Dutch Reformed Church. I suppose that it developed when I discerned how the denomination opposed the government when Mr P.W. Botha and his Cabinet were ready to scrap the Mixed Marriages Act from the statute books. (This law had prevented my return to South Africa.)

Blacks as future Missionaries
Two of the student participants at the mission week were Kalolo Mulenga and Orlando Suarez, respectively from Zambia and Mozambique. The seed had already been sown in my heart to see South(ern) African Blacks as future missionaries. Now the increasing number of expatriates Africans in Cape Town came sharper into my focus as future missionaries to their own people, just like the Samaritan woman of John 4. The lessons in cross-cultural outreach that the Master Teacher passed to us through this Bible chapter would impact me significantly. I not only used the conversation of our Lord Jesus with a woman from another culture as a prime example for the outreach to Cape Muslims, but we were now also concentrating on the local converts from Islam in our ministry. We not only discovered that many of them had not been discipled, but we also noticed how much more effectively they were reaching out to their own people.[21]
It was special to see how our prayers for Woodstock were being answered. Soon after the mission week we heard that the local Assemblies of God fellowship under the leadership of their young pastor William Tait had started with early morning prayer meetings. Every weekday at five o’clock a few church members came together to seek the face of the Lord for their crime-ridden residential area.
Costly Mistake            s
Also in Cape Town we witnessed the miracle that has been documented widely - peaceful elections countrywide. Nobody could deny that this was God’s supernatural intervention: the result of the prayer effort that had been especially ignited by the St James Church of Kenilworth massacre in July 1993. There was also some fruit to observe in our ventures with Muslim background believers.
I delivered my second sermon of an envisaged series of three on John 4 at the Cape Town Baptist Church in May just after the unique elections of 27 April 1994. I had invited a Muslim background believer to come and give his testimony at that occasion. Due to miscommunication, he didn’t come. (I still had to learn that it is always advisable to confirm verbal agreements just before the event).
I erroneously thought that I had to make up for it. In my sermon I shared far too much from our personal experiences. That was unfortunate. I evidently offended some church members when I made a joke out of the fact that Rosemarie was expected to come into the country without her husband on our honeymoon journey.
I was not asked any more to complete my series of three sermons. An important reason for the indifference to Muslims hereafter was that the leadership of this church became embroiled in internal bickering. Interest in any outreach, least of all to the Muslims, waned in the months that followed.
A personal costly mistake transpired in Bo-Kaap itself. A well-known female there displayed openness to the Gospel, so much so that we we saw in her a potential strategic 'Samaritan Woman'. Much too soon we suggested doing Bible Studies with her. She closed up, thereafter making sure that the topic of religion would be kept out of any interaction.

Diverse strategic Moves        
Elizabeth Robertson, who was now attending our evening Bo-Kaap prayer meeting, really loves Israel and the Jews. A few years prior to this she had been on the verge of marrying a Jew in Israel. Soon we decided to pray for the Middle East at every alternate Monday prayer meeting, including Muslims and Jews in our intercession. Hereafter we visited the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point from time to time. In later years Lillian James, who grew up in Woodstock, started to pray with us. She had a heart for both Muslims and Jews.  Still later, two Messianic Jewish believers joined this prayer group.[22]
         An event organised in 1993 with some link to the Western Cape Missions Commission was a workshop with John Robb of World Vision. I later used the list of participants at this occasion to organize Jesus Marches the following year.
The Muslim Prayer Focus                 
In 1992 mission leaders had decided to call the Christians worldwide to pray for the Muslim world during Ramadan. This was a natural follow-up of the call of Open Doors for 10 years of prayer for the Muslim world in 1990. Everybody was still vividly remembering the spectacular result of the 7 years of prayer for the Soviet Union. A little booklet, called the 30-day Muslim Prayer Focus, was printed with information on different issues relating to Islam. South Africa was soon in the thick of things when Bennie Mostert of OM initiated the printing of the booklet in South Africa. Hereafter it became an annual publication.
            In October 1994 I had the privilege to meet Bennie Mostert personally when I joined a prayer effort at the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf, the founder of Islam in this country.  I drove in the car together with Bennie and Jan Hanekom,[23] another giant of the South African mission scene. I shared with them some of my research on the history of Islam in South Africa. The prayer at Sheikh Yusuf’s shrine that day probably signified a breakthrough in the spiritual realm. Although the Cape churches in general remained indifferent, individual Christians started showing an increasing interest in praying for the Muslims.


Search for Truth        
A German missionary colleague, Manfred Jung, encouraged me to go ahead to jot down testimonies of Muslim background believers in Afrikaans. The development of the publication of a booklet proceeded quite well during the first half of 1994. Eleven of the stories were finally selected.  I hoped very much to see the publication as a joint venture of the various mission agencies that worked among Cape Muslims. However, because of its sensitive nature, not one of my Christian Concern for Muslims (CCM) missionary colleagues was prepared to stick his neck out. Converted Muslims were prone to persecution if the testimonies would be published and the publishers could reckon with the same. In my view it was the apartheid intimidation all over again in another way. So few people were prepared to take risks!
            In the end we had no other option but to use our mission agency WEC as the publishers, but we kept the compiler and the names of the converts anonymous. This was a weak link of the booklet, but we had to protect the Muslim background believers - some of whom had experienced fierce persecution and thus had reason enough to be quite afraid. I did not mind at all to stay in the background in this way. I was not terribly afraid, but I did not want to endanger my family or myself unnecessarily.
            The plan was furthermore that the original booklet, Op Soek na Waarheid, the Afrikaans version, would be ready for a Muslim seminar in Rylands early in 1995. This was too ambitious, because we also wanted to launch our revised audio-visual at the same occasion. Johan van der Wal, whom we had met in 1991 in our home church in Holland a few months before we came to South Africa, made beautiful colour slides of different aspects of our work. This was the second version of the audio-visual. We used it at the Cape Town Baptist Church the very first time during the mission week with the theological students earlier that year.

14. The Backlash

         A positive result of the effort of the Jesus Marches of the second quarter in 1994 was an intensification of contact with a few churches in the city area. As a result of this a local congregation in Vredehoek started to show interest in outreach to the Muslims. As one of my last initiatives of 1994 I was able to conduct a short course on Muslim Evangelism in that church. As we headed for Christmas, I looked forward to get them involved in outreach to the stronghold of Bo-Kaap. But it was not to be.

Toronto: Blessing or Curse?
At this time Rosemarie and I were thrown into a dilemma when a Christian friend seriously meant to impress on us the absolute necessity of personally experiencing the ‘Toronto Blessing’. We would be missing out significantly if we did not have this blessing. We had our doubts.
         I returned quite hopefully to the City Bowl fellowship early in 1995 with Ramadan prayer booklets where I had done some teaching before Christmas. We hoped that we could discuss possible involvement and networking with Muslim Evangelism. However, the congregants were not interested any more in praying for Muslims. The ‘Toronto Blessing’ had completely distracted them.      
         Unknown to me, the excesses of the ‘Toronto blessing’ had become rife at the church I had attended and taught at. I witnessed profuse ‘laughing in the Spirit’ which I could not appreciate. I went there with the hope of getting quite a few of the 30-day Ramadan Prayer focus booklets among the people because before Christmas there had been such interest in Muslim Outreach in that fellowship. Now there was hardly any interest in anything else than an overt ‘laughing in the Spirit’ that appeared to me rather carnal.
         We nevertheless went to the Lord in prayer with the question. His lesson in reply to us was very clear and fairly prompt. Our 8-year old daughter Tabitha had to cry unabatedly just as I was about to go to the Sunday evening service of the fellowship referred to above.  Somehow she had become very much burdened that people might go to hell. Tabitha now wanted to know whether she could volunteer to go to hell so that others could be saved from a lost eternity. Romans 9, where Paul agonized in a similar way, came alive before our eyes. Rosemarie explained to our daughter that Jesus did just that when he died for our sins on the Cross of Calvary.
         For Rosemarie and me the penny dropped: we deduced that God seemed to honor the anguish for the lost more than the carnal‘laughing in the Spirit’.
         Also the Cape Town Baptist Church and a few other congregations of the Peninsula were negatively affected by the doubtful movement. In a few cases this led to serious rifts and internal problems in churches.  Satan had succeeded in derailing what had started off as a divine move of God, using extra-biblical phenomena like animal noises and ‘laughing in the Spirit’.
         A personal experience at some charismatic meeting made ‘Slaying the spirit’ very suspect to me. At that church service I responded to an invitation to come forward for prayer. The preacher asked me to close my eyes before he could pray for me.  The next moment I was on the floor. Was I slain in the Spirit? Instead of blessed, I felt manipulated and tricked.

An evangelistic Seminar in a Muslim Stronghold     
The New Year 1995 started quite well. We received a substantial sum of money from Rosemarie’s godmother, a retired dentist. We saw this as God’s provision to enable us to book air tickets for our four-month home assignment in Holland and Germany. (Our home church is in the former country; Rosemarie’s family and other supporting friends are in the latter one). But we still needed funds for the printing of Op Soek na Waarheid.
            Just after the school holidays I initiated a Muslim seminar in Rylands, a predominantly Indian residential area. That we could stage the evangelistic seminar in a Muslim stronghold was already significant. For the rest, the seminar was not a resounding success. Our time schedule for the publication of the testimony booklet was much too tight. But this was only the start of many disappointments and attacks. It was clear that the testimonies were strategic in our spiritual fight against the enemy’s hold on people.
            Rainer Gulsow and his wife Runa, friends from the nearby German Stadtmission, introduced us to Gerda Leithgöb, who was still fairly unknown to Cape believers. Their recommendation was influential in me inviting Gerda to come and teach at our seminar in Rylands Estate in January 1995.  ‘Spiritual mapping’ is a term that has been used in recent decades for research into spiritual influences, especially those of a demonic or anti-Christian nature. In respect of Islam, Gerda Leithgöb introduced the issue at the Cape at the prayer seminar.  Her talk changed the outlook of many a co-worker when they discovered the value of strategic prayer.
            Just prior to the prayer seminar I gave to Gerda Leithgöb some of my research results on the establishment and spread of Islam. Among other things we prayed that a prayer network throughout the Cape Peninsula might be established, which could cause a breakthrough in the hearts of Cape Muslims. I had pointed to the apparent effect of the shrines on the heights that kept Muslims in bondage. 
            As part of a short devotional in one of our Friday lunch hour prayer meetings I highlighted the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 60 that the descendants of Nebaioth and Kedar, the two eldest sons of Ishmael, would one day also come to fiath in Jesus. The Lord used that to challenge Gill Knaggs, a one-off visitor. She was touched, considering hereafter to get involved in the mission to the Muslim World. Soon God used Gill to get YWAM in South Africa more interested in the loving outreach to Muslims. Concretely, an interest developed for Egypt. The base of Muizenberg started to network with the Coptic Church in that country via links through Mike Burnard of Open Doors. When we started with a radio programme via (Cape Community FM) CCFM in 1998, Gill was on hand for the writing of the scripts, something she continued to do for many years, also after her marriage in ??
            I was personally impacted in another way when I discovered that the Bible is much more positive about Ishmael than the inculcated (or indoctrinated?) prejudice that I still had towards the elder son of Abraham. I continued quietly with further Bible study, once delivering a sermon in a church. About ten years later I used my research during a seminar in Durbanville in February 2005 with our missionary colleague Leigh Telli. Subsequently we printed our respective papers  on 'What are God’s purposes for Isaac's and Ishmael’s descendants in these last days?' in a manual.
Thrust into the Battle front Line       
We still had little clue of the spiritual forces that are unleashed during the Islamic month of Ramadan. We had to learn that we needed a lot more prayer covering. After all, we had been thrust into the front line of the battle at the Cape.
            The battle heated up during Ramadan. In two cases we escaped serious car accidents on the highway by a whisk. In one of the instances it was very near to a miracle that Rosemarie was not killed. Some strange things also happened to our 1981 model Mazda that we bought after our minibus had been stolen. Twice I had to be towed to Warren Abels, a pastor who works from home as a car mechanic in the suburb Fairways. On both occasions the mechanic found nothing amiss with the vehicle and also thereafter we had no problems with the car. It was evident that there were dark powers at work.
            Our nerves were tested to the extreme when our two-monthly financial allocation did not arrive. It left the bank in Holland all right, but inexplicably it never arrived at the bank of our headquarters in Durban. In the meantime we were forced to start using the funds that were scheduled for the air tickets of our ‘home’ assignment time in Holland and Germany. Some tense weeks followed when the airline with whom we had booked (but not paid), cancelled our seats without any prior warning. (Cape Town was fast becoming a favourite destination for tourists with the Rugby World Cup only months away.)

Turmoil and Stress    
The run-up to our home assignment in Germany and Holland, scheduled to start at the end of March 1995, became one big stress. Apart from the money issue - which was resolved just in time - there was a major problem to get seats booked. Also the other airlines had no cheap seats available for a family of seven. The best that we could manage was to get wait-listed on two different flights. Because of the uncertainty of getting seats, everybody in the family - also the children - had forgotten that our 20th wedding anniversary on the 22nd March was looming. I furthermore got involved in a minor car accident on the 21st March. I was stressed as rarely before!

A red-letter Day        
The wedding anniversary - twenty years after the special ceremony in the Moravian sanctuary of the Black Forest village Königsfeld - nevertheless turned into a red-letter day. On that memorable Wednesday morning we baptized five converts who came from Islam, including a female convert from Hanover Park and one from Woodstock. At that occasion we also heard about a former imam who had won over many Christians to Islam in his Islamic hey-day. He had come to faith in Jesus in the prison of Caledon. His conversion in 1992 - a demonstration of the power of prayer – impacted many Islamic inmates who regarded him as their imam.
         It had been a very special blessing for Rosemarie and me to witness how a Hanover Park mother of five children, four of which were attending our children’s club - came through to a living faith in Jesus. As we discipled her, we didn’t even dare to mention baptism immediately. In fact, we shared the gospel with her but we spelt out the consequences very clearly! The big responsibility - taking her with five children into our home if her husband would evict her after conversion - was a possibility we had to face squarely. We were not ready for that. It was a joy for us to lead her to the Lord but we did not encourage her to share her new faith with her husband. She was one of the five we baptised. We suggested that her husband should see the difference in her life first. But the seed was sown into our hearts for the need of a discipling house where we could walk a road with new believers.
Other Blessings          
There were also other blessings. It seemed as if our vision of a prayer network across the Peninsula was slowly coming off the ground. Gill Knaggs now helped with the English translation and editing of my booklet ‘Op Soek na Waarheid’. She also began a weekly prayer group for the Muslims in her home. Was this the start of the exciting fulfilment of our vision to get a network of prayer across the Peninsula? This was unfortunately not to be, albeit that the prayer group initiated by Gill at George Whitfield Bible College in Muizenberg would continue for quite a few years. Sally Kirkwood and another intercessor also continued to pray in the suburb Plumstead for a number of years until Sally moved from there.
            The diminutive Baptist congregation of Woodstock called a minister. What a blessing it was when we heard that Edgar Davids accepted the call to be their pastor. Just before our departure for Europe on our 1995 ‘home assignment’, I had been praying with a few students of the Baptist College in Mountain Road, Woodstock. (A small fellowship worshipped there.) This augured well for a close link to the denominational sister City congregation only a few kilometres away where Louis Pasques was now the interim pastor. Edgar Davids proved to be a real visionary and a man of God, along with his devout wife Sandra.
            The minute fellowship took the step in faith to start renovating the run-down former White Dutch Reformed Church. Elisabeth, a committed believer who belonged to this fellowship, brought me in touch with Munti Kreysler, one of her former Muslim neighbours in District Six. In turn, we hereafter met Maulana Sulaiman Petersen, the brother of Munti, who was living in the former Afrikaner city stronghold Tamboerskloof. Maulana Petersen was an influential Cape Islamic clergyman who had studied in Pakistan for many years, a scholar of note. I got to know him fairly well.

15. New Initiatives

         In September 1996 we suddenly received access to St Paul’s Primary School in Bo-Kaap, through one of the teachers, Berenice Lawrence. To their home I had taken Mark Gabriel. Berenice’s husband Elroy had been visiting us in Holland in 1978 as a teenager, while he was part of the delegation to the Moral Rearmament conference in Caux and attending Spes Bona High School.  Berenice lodged the request to bring people like Mark Gabriel and others from different countries to their school for cross-cultural exposure.  I jumped at this idea to broaden the minds of the Bo-Kaap children, to open them up to the Gospel in a loving and non-threatening way. Subsequently I organised many a speaker for their chapel hour on Thursday mornings more or less once a quarter for many years.
         At this time Louis Pasques, who was raised in an Afrikaner set-up, had become the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church. Alan Kay resigned his well-paid job at Telkom to become the administrator of the congregation. He became the leader of a church home ministry group. As Alan was living just a street away from us, we joined his weekly cell group on Wednesday evenings after our return from Europe.
The Foreigner in our Gates                                                                                                     We had to relocate our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting to the Koffiekamer below the St Stephen’s DRChurch when the premises were sold. The prayer meeting soon became the start of yet another venture. A believer from the suburb Eerste River on the northern outskirts of the city, who had been a regular in the beginning of our prayer meetings, popped in again one day. He challenged us, mentioning the many French-speaking Muslim street traders from West Africa, who have been moving into the city: ‘Have you ever considered doing something about bringing the Gospel to them?’
         We started to pray seriously about the issue of foreigners. God surely used these occasions to prepare Louis Pasques’ heart. He had not only been a regular at the Friday lunch-hour prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer, but he also speaks French. Due to this fact and possibly also because of a brave sermon in which Louis confessed on behalf of the Afrikaners for the hurts to people of colour, West and Central Africans started attending the church. When the destitute teenager Surgildas (Gildas) Paka pitched up at the church, Louis and his wife Heidi sensed that God was challenging them to take special care of the youngster. When Louis and Heidi had their parents over for a weekend visit, they asked Alan Kay to accommodate the Congolese teenager. Gildas crept into Alan’s heart, igniting an extended and unusual adoption process.
Foreigners as a Blessing at the Cape
I was reminded anew of how I was challenged by a Dutchmen while I was in Holland to become a blessing to my compatriots. With gratitude I recalled how ex-patriates like Floyd McClung (USA) and Jeff Fountain (New Zealand) were divinely used to bless Holland in the 1970s when liberalism and the drug subculture were eating away at the moral and biblical roots of a nation that had blessed the world so much in the past.
            During my historical research I was also challenged by the knowledge that the Cape was initially started as a refreshment station after a ship had stranded in 1647. The stranded foreign Dutchmen were impressed by the indigenous Khoi as candidates for the Gospel. I am also well aware that a situation of moral degradation at the Cape in the 17th century was only checked to a large extent by the pious French Huguenots who arrived from 1688. They brought with them spiritual correction at a time when corruption and immorality was rife amongst the Dutch and early German opportunist colonists. The renowned church historian Du Plessis described the situation picturesquely: ‘During the dark days of spiritual declension… deeds of individual charity on the part of the pious Huguenots towards the stricken natives stand out in bold relief.’ Similarly, British-background compatriots need to be reminded that the settlers, many of them Presbyterians from Scotland, blessed this country when many of them had been quite destitute in Britain. One of these immigrants was the prayerful Rev. Andrew Murray, whose sons played such a special role in the second half of the 19th century in the Cape Colony.  The Scottish Rev. Andrew Murray and his sons blessed this country immensely, along with so many other missionaries from Europe and North America. But then, Andrew Murray (jr.) received a big part of his spiritual empower in this country. From the Western Cape his thoughts, notably those on revival and prayer, fertilized the lives of believers across the globe.

The  Cape as an Advance Guard
Through my private studies and research I soon perceived the role of the early 19th century Cape missionary Dr John Philip in the emancipation of slaves as extremely significant. I saw that as an important stimulus for the formal abolition of slavery worldwide. Dr John Philip influenced matters worldwide through his book Researches in South Africa  and his personal friendship to William Wilberforce. It is of course common knowledge that the British evangelical parliamentarian became the main driving force towards the outlawing of slavery.  Later I discovered in my research that Dr Philip was not much more than an important catalyst. Nevertheless, my crooked understanding of his role inspired me to hope that history repeat itself. I sensed a challenge to avail myself to spread the information to my fellow Capetonians. Could we be the avant garde yet again, this time to emancipate the world of demonic religious enslavement, to usher in the return of the King of Kings? Unwittingly this had actually already started when we took Mark Gabriel into our home. There he started to work on a book which would expose the intrinsically violent nature of Islam in an unprecedented way. Terrorism and Islam was ready in Arabic, to be translated and printed in the USA a few months after the 11th September Twin Tower event of 2001.

Contacts with individual Muslim Leaders
For years I had the illusion that one should just be able to sit down with Muslim academics to show them how they have been deceived. Having seen how a few academics like Professors Willie Jonker and Johan Heyns had been used by God to bring Afrikaners to repentance, I hoped that Muslim leaders would then lead their people in a similar way into freedom once they understand the truth of the Gospel.
            The contact with Dr Achmat Davids was quite cordial, but our conversations never went really deep. I learnt a lot from him about the history of Islam, even though I soon challenged him on issues where I detected historical mistakes. He was a true academic, taking my opposition from an academic viewpoint in his stride. On theological topics he was however somewhat at a loss. This was just not his field of study.
            Through the contact with Maulana Sulaiman Petersen I realised not only how naive my assumption was, but also that our work with Muslim converts had become quite perilous. When I suggested bringing Majiet Pophlonker along to discuss matters, he was suddenly very angry and offended. How could I expect him to entertain murtats (apostates) in his home?
Centre for Missions at BI
Remembering my personal experience in District Six in 1972, when I noted the deficit regarding Islam in our seminary curriculum, I approached various Bible Schools to find out what was taught about this religion at these institutions. I discussed with Manfred Jung of SIM the possibility of teaching Muslim Evangelism at different Bible Schools.
When Patrick Johnstone visited South Africa once again, he also spoke in the Moravian Chapel in District Six, where a student ministry from the Church of England had started on Sunday evenings. At that occasion I chatted afterwards with Dr Roger Palmer of the YMCA. He was also a board member of the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) in Kalk Bay. He aired his vision to have a centre for missions at BI.  I thought that we could perhaps link this with my suggestion to see Islam taught in conjunction with other Cape Bible Schools.                                                             After Colin Tomlinson, a missionary from MECO (Middle East Christian Outreach), returned from the field on home assignment, the BI venue was secured.[24] I had personally preferred the centrally situated Bethel Bible School in Crawford, also as a clear message that we appreciated to have students of colour as well.(An interesting partnership developed at the course of January 1999 when local churches started sponsoring believers from other African countries to attend our course.)
Two F’s - Frustration and Fright
The WEC conference of 1996 was memorable in more than one sense. At an international leadership conference in 1994 the various sending bases were challenged to look at the remaining unreached people groups in terms of the gospel in their geographical areas. As I had already thought much along those lines, e.g. through my document about South Africa as a goldmine for missionary recruitment, I took on the challenge to research the topic before the next conference for Southern Africa. I expected to be given the opportunity to share the result of my research with the rest of the conference in May 1996. Here however I experienced one frustration after the other until I had to leave by bus again on the Friday, without being given the opportunity to report back. On the positive side, I was encouraged to hear of so many believers of Indian descent in Durban. This was to me something of a model for Bo-Kaap, that was still the prime Muslim stronghold of our country.
          The same conference in early May 1996 had an interesting aside when we heard that Ahmed Deedat, the well-known Muslim apologist, was admitted to hospital. With a missionary colleague from Brazil I went to the hospital where we prayed for Deedat, who was however in a coma.
          Deedat had gone too far with his arrogant approach! He published a large offensive advertisement in a Durban newspaper. Local Christian clergymen including the missionary Dave Foster of AEF, requested Deedat to retract the offensive remarks. They warned the well-known Muslim leader that he would have to reckon with God's wrath in the case of his refusal.
          True to his reputation for arrogance, Deedat refused to comply. Promptly he was knocked down by a stroke. An instance of divine wrath would have been a logical conclusion. But even after his partial recovery he gave no indication of repentance. For many years Deedat remained in a condition that resembled a coma, completely out of action.

Our Work a Threat in the spiritual Realms?
After having heard me sharing at our first BI course for prospective missionaries, someone linked to Youth with a Mission asked me to come and teach at their base in Muizenberg. At this time Mark Gabriel, a former shaykh from Egypt, had just come to them to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) there. He had to flee his home country after he decided to follow Jesus. Also in Johannesburg there had been attempts to assassinate him. YWAM subsequently requested us to host Mark for the practical part of his DTS.
The presence of Mark in our home turned out to be a fruitful two-way experience; I learnt such a lot from him, for example when he referred to the Ebionites. My own discovery that Muhammad, the founder of the religion, had been intensely influenced by the Jews, led to more studies in Judaism and subsequently to my personal discovery of many an Ebionite Jewish-Christian root of Islam. (I recorded this in The Spiritual Parents of Islam.[25] ) That our work was presenting some threat to the enemy’s camp in the spiritual realms soon got home to us.
I proceeded to examine other Christian roots of that religion. I detected very soon that Christianity had a much greater debt to pay in respect of Islam than I was aware of. I learned that Muhammad had been misled by a sectarian view of Biblical belief. I discerned that this is only one of many causes of what I dubbed ‘the unpaid debt of the church’. I wrote a treatise with that title.[26] How sad I was when I discovered that Islam had adopted one doctrine after the other from heretical Christianity. I learned that even reputable theologians and church fathers like Augustine played a role in this development. And then there was the role of the emperor Constantine, who drove a wedge between the Jews and Christians when he gave special favours to the latter group. I was also reminded how paganism was made fashionable via the worship of the sun god, making Sunday a compulsory day of rest in 321 CE.  This was destined to keep me uneasy for many years. When I shared this with Christians, there was some surprise, but also opposition and denial. Like the harsh realities around the practices of apartheid in the not too distant past, it seems to be very difficult for followers of Christ to swallow these hard truths. 

Mark Gabriel on the Run again        
However, Mark’s presence was not without hick-ups. He joined me on a preaching engagement at the Moravian Church in Elsies River on the last Sunday of July 1996 where our friend Chris Wessels was the pastor.[27] We offered copies of Against the Tide in the Middle East, Mark’s testimony and our booklet Op Soek na Waarheid,  for sale. That evening Mark also shared his testimony at a youth service at the same venue, where Christians from other churches of the area attended. I made a crucial error in the morning, omitting to warn the congregation to pray before they would pass any testimony booklet to Muslims. Three days later, on Wednesday 31 July, it was clear that Mark’s life was in danger yet again. Heinrich Grafen, a missionary colleague, phoned me to warn me that Maulana Petersen was looking for Mark. A few minutes later Maulana Petersen phoned me as well, enquiring after the whereabouts of the apostate from Egypt who wrote a booklet with very offensive material. (It was indeed not so wise of Mark to include a comparison of Muhammad and Jesus in the testimony booklet. He had intimated in the booklet that Muhammad was inspired by the devil.) We had another Salman Rushdie[28]case on our hands; in fact, we had him in our home!
   The ‘co-incidence’ of a combined meeting of the home ministry groups at our church the same evening gave us the opportunity to share the need for a hide-out for him. That turned out to become a decisive stepping-stone for Debbie Zaayman to missionary endeavour.[29]  She offered her flat because she would be going away for a few weeks.[30] Subsequently she did our course in Muslim Evangelism in Kenilworth a few weeks later.
Although already almost at retirement age, Debby went for Bible School training and as a 57-year old nurse decided to venture into missions, entering the Africa School of Missions the following year. The year thereafter she was already on her way to the mission field, to the Indian subcontinent as a ‘tent-making’ missionary, using her nursing skills in a loving way to the down and outs.
   The killing of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) a few days later on 4 August 1996 was the next major stimulus for prayer. It brought personal relief to us, because in the resulting turmoil the fundamentalist Muslims apparently forgot to hunt further for Mark Gabriel.
A Lebanon Scenario  
The PAGAD issue highlighted the fear of and resentment (sometimes even hatred by some Christians) towards Muslims. The veiled threat of a Muslim State was now mentioned more often than was healthy for good relations between the adherents of the two major religions at the Cape. On Saturday 17 August 1996, surmised satanists broke into the Uniting Reformed Church in Lansdowne, attempting to arsonise that building. The arson attempt on the church was thankfully downplayed in the press. Satanists were accused of the arson attempt. Thankfully the damage was not too extensive. When Pastor Walter Ackermann phoned me after reading the article in the newspaper, we were seriously challenged because a training course on one evening per week in Muslim Evamgelism was due to start at that venue soon thereafter on the 27th of August, 1996. We had unwisely called the course ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’ in the flyers that we printed to advertise the course. I did not know that Lansdowne was actually a PAGAD stronghold. With the arson attempt occurring only two weeks after the Salt River execution, the frightful possibility of a Lebanon scenario challenged the Christians to get their act together. A wave of prayer followed, after which we decided to put out another ‘fleece’. We decided to test the famous but ill-fated St James Church in Kenilworth as a possible venue for our course. (The sanctuary that had been attacked in July 1993 when many died and some were maimed as a result.) The alternative would have been to cancel the training outright.[31]  We changed the name of the 10-week course (one night per week) that eventually took place at the St James Church to ‘Love your Muslim neighbour’.
The PAGAD crisis - a wonderful opportunity?        
The crisis that followed the PAGAD eruption of August 1996 presented the churches with a challenge, a wonderful opportunity to impact the problem areas of the Cape townships. With the danger of a Lebanon scenario very real - everybody was just waiting for the gangsters to hit back with a vengeance - a meeting for church leaders and missionaries was organised at the Scripture Union building in Rondebosch. At this occasion I suggested drug rehabilitation as a possible solution where Jesus is central. This would be a service to the Muslim community. The Bet-el centres which had proved so successful in Spain was still our model. Many people, who have recognised the harmful effect of drugs, were finding it so difficult to get rid of the addiction. Yet, many drug addicts around the world have in the meantime experienced the liberating power of a personal faith in Jesus.
       When the crisis in the Mother City subsided, pastors unfortunately simply continued with the building of their own ‘kingdoms’, shelving the drug problem into some invisible drawer. 
A difficult Month
I had to discover anew that if there were to occur a spiritual breakthrough, a revival in the Mother City of South Africa, it would be God’s sovereign work. Our own experiences highlighted the need for more prayer.
            On Sunday October 6, 1996, I preached at the Cape Town Baptist Church. Towards the end of the sermon my emotions got the better of me.  I broke down in tears when I was overwhelmed by the idea that the Lord might want to use this congregation to minister to Africans from other parts of the continent. When I invited the congregation to join in the venture, there was hardly any visible response. Yet, seed was sown.[32] (Within a few years there were more people of colour attending the church than Whites - the bulk of them foreigners.)
   October 1996 was a month when we were experiencing the heat of spiritual warfare very much. Often we found ourselves at the receiving end of the battle. I started writing a diary that went as follows at some stage: “The attack starts not only very early in the month, but also early in the day. Neither Rosemarie nor I was able to sleep properly. For Rosemarie it was the second sleepless night in a row. She shares her concern that we were getting nowhere with our ministry: ‘For almost five years we have toiled here in Cape Town. And what have we achieved? Almost nothing! We might as well go back to Holland.’ I concede that I also feel completely depressed.”      
   Prayer walking by me and Rosemarie in October 1996 for a church to be planted in Bo-Kaap, the (former) Muslim stronghold, made us anew aware of demonic forces at work that were attempting to destroy the evangelical churches of the city centre. The necessity of church unity was more than evident. It had to become one of our priorities. Somehow we forgot that we had learned that we should not be doing this sort of thing alone as a couple.
   The risk of spiritual warfare became very evident when one of our children came to us in the middle of the night with all the signs of a demonic attack. This seemed to Rosemarie the signal for us to stop with our ministry. To her the price was too high to have to sacrifice anyone of our children. Reminding her of the false alternatives I had to face years ago when someone suggested that I should choose between my love for her and my love for my country, I pointed out that we should fight in prayer for our child. This definitely paid off.

The Penny dropped               
At one of my private conversations with Maulana Sulaiman Petersen, I chatted to him casually in City Park Hospital.[33] Visiting him there, I was very much aware that he was terminally ill. I cited John 14:6 more or less by the way, where Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me”. The absolute statement shocked him much too clearly for my liking. I got a terrible fright. Knowing that he was a heart patient, I feared for a moment that he might pass out. I did not want to be the cause of his death. He nevertheless allowed me to pray with him in the name of Jesus. Soon hereafter I visited him at his home in Newfields. There he gave honour to Allah, for bringing him through once again.
            The next year at Lebaran(g), the Eid celebration at the end of the Islamic fasting month of Ramadan, Rosemarie and I went to visit Maulana Petersen. After listening to his argument that there are many ways to get to God, I conceded this as a possibility, but concluded our dialogue more or less in the following way: ‘There may be different roads to God because everybody is unique. There are different avenues, but there is only one entrance because Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” This was the same Bible verse that had shocked him so visibly in City Park Hospital. I saw now how the proverbial penny dropped with him, but I also discerned his determination. He was evidently convicted, but to concede that one had been wrong all of one’s life, is of course never easy. Even though he was on death’s door, he was not ready to risk ostracism by going through the door of faith in Jesus. Hereafter we never had a good talk again. He was clearly avoiding any interaction with me until he finally passed on into eternity. I never came into closer contact to any Muslim leader thereafter.

A positive Change towards Refugees
The attitude in the Cape Town Baptist Church hereafter gradually began to change positively towards refugees. West and Central Africans started attending the church. Before long, quite a few of them attended our services, especially when we arranged special French-speaking church services first monthly and later twice a month. The word spread, so that in due course also other churches started opening their doors to refugees.
       The need for refugees to get employment was the spawn for the English language classes at the church to be revitalised. (Carol Günther, an American missionary, and Heidi Pasques had been giving English lessons to paying foreign students.)  The simultaneous need for a discipling house for Muslim converts and a drug rehabilitation centre gave birth to the Dorcas Trust. I hoped that the city churches could take ownership of these ventures. That turned out to be easier said than done. Yet, the Dorcas Trust was finalised in 1998.

         Traumatic experiences around two Muslim background believers that we had taken into our home highlighted the urgent need of a discipling house, where people like these can be assisted more effectively.

A scintillating Week of spiritual Warfare
Towards the end of 1997 I had to organise and prepare the visit of a group of intercessors from Heidelberg (Gauteng). Sally Kirkwood, who hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, phoned me at this time because she was burdened with guilt of the City in respect of District Six, the former slum area that had been declared a 'White' residential area. I took Sally to Bo-Kaap where we prayed. There the Lord reminded her of a prophetic word that was originally given for Jerusalem. However, she sensed that she had to apply this to the ‘Mother City’ of South Africa. The afflicted city would be spiritually rebuilt with beautiful gem stones. Intercessors felt that Cape Town was like a sleeping giant that was tied by its shoulders.
         A scintillating week of spiritual warfare followed, which included an unforgettable day of repentance and reconciliation. As part of this visit from the Heidelberg (Gauteng) intercessors, a prayer meeting of confession was organized for Saturday November 1, 1997 on a gravel patch adjacent to the Moravian Church in District Six.
         Through this event the citywide prayer movement got a significant push. I had asked Eben Swart to lead that occasion in District Six. This turned out to be very strategic. Hereafter Sally Kirkwood came to the fore with a more prominent role among Cape intercessors. Richard Mitchell, Eben Swart and Mike Winfield linked up more closely at this occasion in a relationship that was to have a significant mutual impact on the prayer ministry and transformation at the Cape in the next few years.
         At the ceremony on November 1, 1997 tears of remorse flowed freely. English-speaking South Africans, Afrikaners and foreigners repented of the respective roles of their population group in exploiting the apartheid situation. 
The Need of a Discipling House amplified
We were confronted with the drug scene in a very real way when Ayesha H. approached us with regard to a young woman whose life was threatened. Kevin,[34] the husband of the young woman, was a gangster. He had been involved with many crimes. Kevin had been abusing Shehaam[35] almost in every way possible. She was a new Muslim background believer. After praying about the matter, we had peace to take Shehaam into our home.
         What a joy it was to see how the young woman grew rapidly in her new faith. I was deeply moved to hear Shehaam share the burden she had for the residential area where she grew up. In Woodlands, a part of Mitchells Plain, drug addiction and gangsterism was a way of life. But Shehaam knew that she first had to become spiritually strong and mature.
         Soon we were counselling her together with Kevin. I roped in Eric Hofmeyer to this end. He had been a gang leader himself who later became a pastor.
         Far too soon however, we allowed the couple to live together again. The end result was final separation. Thereafter she returned to her earlier life style. It was little consolation that Kevin grew spiritually to some extent. I encouraged him to go to the police to confess his criminal deeds. He only wanted to do it in God’s time. Even though I had problems with this view, I would not consider putting pressure on him. He had definitely stopped with his old life-style and that was something for which we were very thankful. Unfortunately that was not permanent.
         We were however very disappointed in the meantime. We  had to face the fact that Shehaam was the third failure with a Muslim background believer, into whose life we had invested quite a lot of time and energy. We were thrown back on the grace of God. The need for a discipling house where we could nurture these new Christians for a longer period, was amplified once again.
         We had hardly recovered from this disappointment, when we were confronted with a similar case. Nazeema[36] had been a Christian for quite a few years but she was still very immature. For years she had been abused by her husband Keith,[37] more than once she was almost killed. In spite of a few interdicts against him, Keith would not leave her alone.

The Struggle against the giant Islam
I wrote a few more treatises thereafter that were predominantly connected to the struggle against the ideological giant Islam. As I studied different biblical figures in the Bible that are also found in the Qur’an - for use during the meetings with our Muslim background believers - a pattern became clear, namely that the cross is consistently left out in the Qur’an. To cross-check my discovery, I also studied the same personalities in the Jewish Talmud. Here I was struck – which of course should have been quite natural - how close early Christianity actually was to Judaism. I was very much aware that my critical writing about the Sabbath doctrine, i.e. the changing of the day of rest by the Emperor Constantine in 321 CE, could bring me into disrepute not only with all the mainline churches, but also with evangelicals. I nevertheless used the results of my studies – I called them Pointers to Jesus - carefully in a radio series via the local CCFM station in 1997, where we used another person as reader. I also used the material in our teaching courses in Muslim Evangelism. I read a more daring version of the series on the radio in 1999 as midday devotionals. Fortunately there were no repercussions. This series was running concurrently with the Friday evening programme God Changes Lives where I was interviewing people from different religious backgrounds who came to faith in Jesus.
         The studies also sent me in search of the roots of Islam, when I discovered that virtually every single Islamic doctrine had a Judaic-Christian background. More work on manuscripts followed to which I gave the titles ‘The unpaid debt of the church” and “Is Islam a Christian sect?”[38]

The Angel Gabriel in Islam   
When a rather polemical German booklet came into my hands in 1998, I felt an urge to search deeper after the background of the figure of the angel Gabriel in Islam. The threads seemed to come together as I discovered that there was clear evidence of a sinister supernatural conspiracy of some sort. Around 2003 I tried to test the waters for publication via Mark Gabriel’s connections in the USA. I discerned that my ‘discoveries’ were not new at all, that much of it was actually also written about by Muslim scholars themselves. I saw ever more that the lie and deception at the origins of Islam and the resultant bondage caused by it, could only be exposed and overcome by much more prayer. Just as it had been the case with the apartheid deception, I continued to pray that the Church at large will get ready to confess its guilt in respect of Islam as a possible run-up to the exposure of the lie at the base of Islam.

                                                16. The Strong Wings at Work

         The new workers settled in nicely into our team brought valuable additions to our ministry. Furthermore quite a close relationship developed to Richard Mitchell and his family after we had joined them in prayer at Rhodes Memorial and later resumed early morning prayer meetings on Signal Hill. When the opening came for a regular testimony programme on Friday evening on Radio CCFM, Richard Mitchell was a natural choice. The programme ‘God Changes Lives’ with him as presenter was also used to advertise citywide prayer events.

Prayer efforts in the Cape Town City Bowl
The forty-day period from Easter Sunday to Ascension Day 1998 included days of prayer and fasting by a few churches in the City Bowl. Rev. Louis Pasques of the Cape Town Baptist Church, who also adopted the vision to reach out to the Cape Muslims with love, spearheaded this endeavour. After trying hard since September 1995 to get a ministers’ prayer group going in the City Bowl, this weekly meeting with a prayer emphasis gained ground slowly after the 40 day prayer effort from April to May 1998.
          A corresponding move in 1999 - this time with a prayer period of 120 days - was concluded in the Western Cape in the traditional service of the Groote Kerk on Ascension Day, 1999. At this event Dr Robbie Cairncross was divinely brought into the equation. He came to the Mother City with a vision to see a network of prayer developing in the Peninsula. After hearing me speak at the Groote Kerk, an appointment was set up. I was able to introduce him to the leaders of the Cape Peace Initiative, which had just been formed in the wake of the PAGAD disruptions in 1999 (see below). His prayer for an office for his Christian Coalition/Family Alliance near to Parliament was answered in a special way, and he could move into the premises of the Chamber of Commerce at 4 Church Square, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. Dr Robbie Cairncross’ plan became quite strategic when Achmed Kariem, a convert from Islam with a vision for distributing prayer information, came onto his staff. Unfortunately the plan faltered somewhat when Robbie Cairncross had to leave the Chamber of Commerce because of financial constraints.
Demonic Conspiracies           
For years I had been aware that the various forms of separation of human beings were actually demonic. My personal experience and theological studies in apartheid-dominated South Africa highlighted this in no uncertain way. In my studies I became aware of satan’s success at keeping the spiritual descendants of Abraham apart. It is a tragedy of history that the really great men were individualists who had insufficient vision for the diabolic spiritual dynamics of separation as a tool of the arch enemy. Paul, the unique apostle, and Martin Luther, the special reformer, both belong to that category. It is sad that all these men were obviously headstrong, but basically misunderstood. I asked myself how Paul, who really was prepared to give his life for his people (see Romans 9-11) could be perceived by the Jews as someone who had cut himself off from them. To me, there was only one explanation: that it was a demonic conspiracy! How different things could have been if Muhammad, the great statesman had been explained the Gospel clearly and committed himself in faith to Jesus - not to regard the Master merely as a prophet.         
            It was so sad to discover that Muhammad and Islam actually had precedents for their doctrines in heretical Christianity. Yet, there was no evidence  and still is - that the time was ripe for Cape pastors to heed my challenge towards confession, e.g. in an ‘open letter’.

Convert Care

Already in our first year of ministry at the Cape Rosemarie and I discovered ever more how important it was to support converts coming from Islam. We were so grateful when a few of our friends took this lesson to heart. Best of all from this category was possibly Magdalene Overberg from the Docks Mission in Factreton. She not only invited the converts to their church, but the friend of many decades also showed a personal interest in their whereabouts like very few other Christians.
         Things started to happen in a big way when Zulpha Morris, a Muslim lady from Mitchell’s Plain, became a Christian through divine intervention via a vision in July 1998. Through a further vision she was challenged to convert her home into a shelter for abandoned babies and abused women. In spite of many attacks and difficulties, she persevered. Miraculously her Muslim husband sacrificed his house and even his garage for the venture. She received assistance from many churches – also from overseas. Soon the Heaven’s Shelter of Rambler Road in Beacon Valley (Mitchells Plain) not only received visitors from all over the world, but many Muslims also came there for prayer, knowing very well that the prayer would be offered in Jesus’ name.
         Rosemarie did regular Bible studies with a few Muslim background women in Mitchells Plain. This was fruitful when Zulpha and her husband decided to start a weekly cell group of Muslim background believers from the Mitchells Plain area. Soon quite a big group was gathering at their home every week, often including more than 20 Muslim background believers. After a few years, also Abdul, her husband, decided to become a follower of Jesus.

Anarchic Conditions
In the beginning of 1999 PAGAD (People against Gangsterism and Drugs) was still terrorising the Cape Peninsula, part of a sinister plan to Islamise South Africa and attempting the violent overthrow of the government in the Western Cape where the bulk of the Muslims in the country are living.[39] Gangsters and other criminals gladly jumped on board with high-jackings, rape and all sorts of crime to make the Western Cape ungovernable. Gangsters enjoyed the anarchic conditions created. They started taking protection money not only from shop keepers, but they even dared to request this in individual cases from churches.

Former Gang Leaders shot   
By the beginning of 1999 Rashied Staggie, a Cape drug lord and leader of the Hard Livings Gang, had become quite well known with frequent media appearances. Two weeks before Easter, Staggie was shot and hospitalised, with PAGAD almost sure to be behind the assassination attempt. He made the news headlines soon thereafter from his bed in the Louis Leipoldt Clinic in Bellville through his public confession of faith in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He recovered miraculously.
         Shortly after Rashied Staggie also Glen Khan, another Hard Living gang leader and drug lord, committed his life to the Lord at the Shekinah Tabernacle in Mitchells Plain. He became a Muslim after his marriage to Lameez, a secret believer. She had been led to the Lord by Ayesha Hunter, one of our co-workers. Glen Khan secretly heard the Gospel in this way. He was also clandestinely funding a feeding distribution scheme to poor kids related to the Hard Living gang for which Ayesha took some responsibility.

Thrown into the spiritual Battlefield 
We returned from the Easter CCM conference 1999 in Wellington in high spirits. For the first time WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) was represented there with a substantial contingent. My efforts, which started already in 1996, to nudge the umbrella organisation to give guidance to the Church at large seemed to have been listened to at least. Confessing our sad role in the establishment and spread of Islam looked promising at last.
         We were however thrown into the spiritual battlefield on another level much sooner than we could anticipate. Only a few hours later we were shattered. Ayesha phoned, telling us that Glen Khan had been shot and killed.  The Muslim family attempted to get the corpse for an Islamic funeral that usually happens within 24 hours! Lameez, the young widow and still a secret follower of Jesus, was very brave to refuse to release the body of her late husband for such a funeral. She knew of course how he had just recently made a public commitment, indicating that he also wanted to follow Jesus. She insisted that he should have a funeral from the Shekinah Tabernacle where he made that commitment under the ministry of Pastor Eddie Edson.

Aftermath of the Glen Khan funeral
In the wake of the Glen Khan funeral on 7 April 1999 and the powerful testimony of Staggie at that occasion, a trickle of Muslims started turning to Christ. Suddenly PAGAD was marginalised even more. It was not surprising that they frantically sought to get credibility. This was God at work supernaturally, but Pastor Eddie Edson and his colleagues were not immediately aware of it.
         When Pastor Edson phoned me the afternoon of 13 April for prayer support because ‘Muslim leaders’ wanted to speak to him in the evening, we feared a confrontation because rumours were spread that Muslims have been coming to faith in Jesus, for example as a result of preaching in the trains. We called the intercessors to bathe the proposed meeting with ‘Muslim leaders’ in prayer. A crisis was feared once again.
            Pastor Edson was surprised when the ‘Muslim leaders’ turned out to be no less than representatives of PAGAD. This was a major turn-around on their part. It was however quite surprising that the PAGAD leaders now had become willing, almost eager to speak to churches. Only a few weeks prior to this occasion they refused to meet any Christians or other mediators. Whatever the deceiver had planned in terms of havoc, was thus curtailed. A direct result of all this was the birth of the Cape Peace Initiative (CPI).  Pastor Richard Mitchell, who was closely involved with the CPI attempt at negotiating peace between the gangsters and PAGAD, kept us informed.
A Pattern of Traumatic Incidents
A pattern of traumatic incidents happening at home during my absence continued when Rosemarie and I attended our WEC conference in Natal in October 1999. When we phoned our home we heard that our 21-year old son Danny had to counsel Nazeema, the Muslim background believer we had taken into our home. She threatened to commit suicide.[40]        
         Shortly after our return from our conference in Natal, I received an invitation to attend an international conference on Muslim Evangelism in Nairobi as the South African delegate, with all expenses to be paid by TEAR FUND, a British development and charity agency. Knowing that travelling in Africa by air is very expensive, I enquired how much a ticket to Europe would cost. I had just heard that I would lose my Dutch passport unless I interrupt my residence in South Africa before January 2002. We thought that a guest lecturing period at the Cornerstone Christian College, a WEC institution in Holland, could be the solution. Without much more ado the itinerary was finalised. I would fly with the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) to Nairobi via Holland (and Spain).

A strategic Detour                                                                                                                      The overseas trip turned out to be quite strategic on the short term. My two days in Holland were special, pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. The need for an extended stint in Holland became redundant when the Dutch law was changed. An evening was organised on short notice to speak to some of our friends. There I showed a picture of the house we intended to buy for use as a discipling house. The mother of Martie Dieperink, one of the believers who attended that event, died soon after my visit. Shortly after having heard of the need of a discipling house in Cape Town where new believers coming from another faith could be nurtured, Martie offered to help us with a substantial amount as an interest-free loan, to be paid back over a period of five years. This set in motion the acquisition of a building that became an important asset of our ministry. The furniture from the house of her mother was part of the content of a container that was sent in 2001.
         I discovered that the invitation to the international conference in Nairobi was a part of God’s strategy. The Nairobi conference ran parallel to a traumatic event at home. While I was still in Spain, our son Danny was rushed to hospital after his appendix had burst. He turned out to be allergic to the medication given to him. According to reports it was touch and go or we could have lost him.
         Rosemarie sensed that this was an attack from the arch enemy yet again while I was away. She alerted prayer warriors at home and abroad. I got the news that they were fighting for his life at a strategic moment in Nairobi, when we were not making much headway to get a draft on paper which we could report back to our respective missionary sending bodies.
Divine Elements                                                                                                                      When someone at the Nairobi conference tried to share something about spiritual warfare, I had the opportunity to chip in. The impact was tangible when I reported how I had just heard how our son escaped death narrowly. In the months hereafter we heard from different people how they had been praying to save Danny's life. 
         This was happening on the eve of the World Parliament of Religion in Cape Town. I discovered that there was some divine element in the invitation to the international conference in Nairobi. It served to keep me in low profile, out of the limelight while the World Parliament of Religion took place. Even more important was the fact that the detour via Holland and Spain was to be pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. The Spanish part of the trip did not deliver the goods, but seed was sown. We were nevertheless encouraged when a Muslim drug addict was not only supernaturally delivered from drug abuse, but he also became an avid student at an evening Bible school. His prowess was such, also in his church, that we had liberty to use his testimony in a tract in3 2002. We also did this with that of Zulpha and Abdul Morris, two converts from the same background whom God used profoundly, especially in the Mitchells Plain area.
         On home soil the news of Danny’s fight for life brought home to some Christians the simultaneous urgency to prayer for the World Parliament of Religions. Thus God turned the attack on Danny’s life and on our ministry around for his sovereign purposes.

Towards a 24-hour Prayer Watch
In September 1999 a new type of initiative emerged worldwide. God also started to speak nationally about 24-hour prayer watches. We felt that this is what Cape Town needed more than anything else.
         We thought: 'What better place for the 24-hour prayer watch could be found than the Moravian Hill complex in District Six that now belonged to the Cape Technikon?' Murray Bridgman, a local advocate had similar ideas. But I evaded responsibility for initiating or leading a 24-hour prayer watch in the City, thinking that someone else should do that.
         In February 2000, Susan and Ned Hill, a couple from Atlanta (USA) linked to the Blood ‘n Fire Ministries, visited the Mother City on an orientation visit after they sensed a call to come and minister to the poor and needy in South Africa. When they visited the District Six Museum – at that time temporarily housed in the Moravian Chapel – they learned of the tragic story of the former cosmopolitan slum area of the Mother City. With Susan Hill’s vision for prayer it was only natural that they should get linked to the prayer watch movement. Susan came into the frame as a possible coordinator for a prayer watch to be started in the City Bowl. During 2002 and 2003 she organized prayer events at the Moravian church every third Saturday of the month.
         In 2002 the government gave the Moravian Hill complex back to the original owners. Hendrina van der Merwe, our faithful but sickly prayer warrior, had been praying for years for a 24-hour prayer watch to be started at the Moravian Church. She hoped to be part of the beginning of it before her death. I approached the Moravian Church towards the end of 2003 formally, pointing to the origins of the modern prayer movement going back to Herrnhut in 1727. The request was approved, along with permission to have monthly meetings with Muslim background believers in the District Six church.

Rumblings at the Moriah Discipling House      
An inappropriate reaction from my side to a manipulative phone call from one of the Moriah Discipling House inhabitants on my birthday in 2001 set off a stressful chain reaction. The next two and a half months kept our stress levels extremely high. I was careless, just continuing with ministry on Friday 15 March 2002. I had been travelling for 20 hours by bus throughout the night after attending a WEC national committee meeting in Durban. This sparked off a stress-related loss of memory the next day. (I did not even know how many children I have.) After a day in hospital and further medical treatment, I was cleared with the instruction to come back after a year. Medication for blood pressure was prescribed that I would have to take till the end of my life.
         The rest of the year 2002 was very stressful. The ministry at the discipling house brought us to the brink of resignation more than once. It was a special blessing when the relationship to the previous house parents could be restored at the wedding of Shubashni, one of the Discipling House occupants in October 2003. Our joy was marred though when soon hereafter Shubashni was diagnosed with an aggressive cancer in a terminal stage. In mid-2005 I had the unenviable task to bring a message at the first funeral of one of our Muslim background believers!

The Going gets rough once again
We had been taking some photos at Sedgefield and Knysna of beautiful waves during a time of holiday in July 2003. Somewhere we found Psalm 93:4 engraved on a stone. That was exactly the Bible verse that Rosemarie received on the day of her Confirmation in the Andreaskirche of Mühlacker way back in the mid-1960s. ‘Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!
         The run-up to the publication of a second booklet of testimonies, true-life stories of Muslim background believers from the Cape as Search for Truth 2, was quite a trial as one hassle followed the other. The first draft had already been on my computer in the first half of 2002, but the actual printing only took place in January 2004.

Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
A medical check-up was due a year after my stress-related temporary loss of memory in March 2002. This led to a period that seemed to lead to the last lap of my 'race' on earth.
         After going to the doctor for the blood pressure check-up at the end of September 2003 - without having any complaint - he suggested a PSA blood test because of my age. The physician hereafter referred me to an urologist, who did a biopsy on 7 October 2003 – just to make sure!
         Perhaps the arch enemy tried to knock me out. I was so confident that the result of the biopsy would be negative because I had no physical discomfort up to that point in time and the doctors to whom I had spoken, pointed out that the PSA count was only minimally above normal. A high count would have pointed to cancerous activity. Neither of them had initial reason for concern. There could have been other causes for the abnormal count, e.g. infection.  When a phone call came from the hospital on Thursday 9 October 2003, I was caught off-guard.
                             I was told that I had contracted
                                      Prostate Gland cancer
 Without any ado the urologist gave me the result of the biopsy: I had contracted prostate cancer in an early stage. Through an extra-ordinary set of circumstances, the Lord however prepared me for the diagnosis. At that time – on 8 October 2003 to be exact – I was encouraged by the ‘Watchword’, as the Moravians have been traditionally calling the Old Testament Scripture for the day: ‘I will not die but live and proclaim what the LORD has done’ (Psalm 118:17).
            Looking back over my life, it seemed as if my (semi-) academic studies and anti-apartheid activism did not bring me anywhere. But the Lord gave me a ‘second wind’ after the removal of my Prostate Gland during a surgical operation in December 2003.

                                    17. A targeted Ministry to Foreigners

         At this time Rosemarie had a strange dream in which a young married couple, clad in Middle Eastern garb, was ready to go as missionaries to the Middle East. Suddenly the scene changed in the dream. While the two of us were praying over the city from our dining room facing the Cape Town CBD, a massive wave came from the sea, rolling over Bo-Kaap.  The next moment the water engulfed us, but we were still holding each other by the hand. There was something threatening about the wave, but somehow we also experienced a sense of thrill. Then Rosemarie woke up, very conscious that God seemed to say something to us through this dream. But what was God trying to convey?
         The very next day we heard about a conference of Middle Eastern Muslim leaders in the newly built Convention Centre of Cape Town. We decided on short notice to have our Friday prayer meeting there nearby instead of in the regular venue, the Koffiekamer of Straatwerk. Lillian James, one of our prayer partners, was on hand to arrange a venue for us near to the new Convention Centre. 

A Wave of Opportunity
The same Friday afternoon Rosemarie and our colleague Rochelle Malachowski went to the nearby Waterfront where they literally walked into a group of ladies with Middle Eastern garb. The outgoing Rochelle had no qualms to start chatting to one of them. Having resided among Palestinians in Israel, she knows some Arabic. Soon they were swarmed by other women who were of course very surprised to be addressed in their home language by a White lady with an American accent. A cordial exchange of words followed.
         Rosemarie was reminded of her dream, sensing that God might be sending in a wave of people to Cape Town from Muslim countries. We understood that we should also get ready to send young missionaries to that area of the world when it opens itself up to the Gospel. Shortly hereafter we heard of various groups of foreigners who had come to the Mother City, including a minority group from China.
         In 2003 Rosemarie and I were already seriously praying about a possible change of ministry. After almost 12 years at the Cape in the same ministry, we thought that we should consider a change for the last stretch before retirement. With our youngest daughter about to finish her schooling at the end of 2004, we even considered relocation. But no ‘doors’ opened with regard to any change. Instead, we felt increasingly challenged to reach out to refugees and foreigners locally, for example by using English language teaching as a compassionate vehicle. (In a similar way we had intended to initiate a rehabilitation programme of drug rehabilitation as a loving outreach to the Muslim Community, hoping that some of them may discover the love of God demonstrated in Jesus' sacrificial life and death.) We prayed that the Lord would give us more clarity with regard to our future ministry by the end of 2003.

A ‘global Church’ in the City Bowl
When I preached at the Cape Town Baptist Church one Sunday at the beginning of the new millennium, I asked those in the congregation to raise the hand who was not born in South Africa. I was quite surprised how many hands were raised. By this time there were quite a few Blacks attending the church. Apart from a substantial group from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the former Zaire and Congo-Brazzaville, there were hereafter also a contingent of Angolans. We also had some individuals from other nations attending regularly.
            Jeff and Lynn Holder, who had been missionaries in Botswana on behalf of the Southern Baptists of the USA, came to Cape Town as the denominational co-ordinators for Southern Africa in 2002. The multi-national character of the Cape Town Baptist Church appealed to them. Despite a leadership crisis there, they decided to join that congregation, rather than other churches nearer their residence in the suburb of Claremont, more than 10 Kilometres adrift. Due to Jeff’s dedicated ministry our congregation became in due course the catalysts for new missionary work to the Northern Cape and ‘forgotten’ tribes of Namibia. How wonderful it was that the Lord in his mercy allowed me to see some of these Remaining Unreached People Groups of Southern Africa now getting targeted and evangelised.
         A group of young people from Botswana came to study in the City, staying in a hostel near to the Baptist Church. This was of course up the ally of the Holders who had ministered in Botswana in earlier years. Soon a whole bunch of Tswana-speaking youngsters were attending the church. Some of them received special teaching from Jeff and Lynn as they used the Experiencing God material of Henry Blackaby.
         Our son Danny was the leader of the worship team at this time. He now intertwined songs from the other cultures and languages. In due course the fellowship became one of the first churches in the Cape Town City Bowl with adherents and visitors from many nations on any given Sunday.
         Towards the end of 2001 Africa Inland Mission (AIM) approached Louis Pasques to use our congregation for some practical assistance for Brazilian missionaries, such as learning English (Frances, the wife of Abe Jacobs, the new AIM leader, had been a member of the congregation before their marriage). Soon the congregation became a base from which Brazilian missionaries operated, like before they moved on to Mozambique. However, a separate Bible Study in Portuguese also developed on Sunday mornings.       

The Unity of the Body of Christ as a Priority          
When I was in hospital for my prostate gland operation, I was challenged anew to look at the City Bowl 24-hour watch as a matter of priority for the first half of 2004. The unity of the body of Christ, i.e. believers in the crucified and risen Saviour, had been very much on our hearts. We believe that the prayer watch could be a decisive vehicle to make this more visible - to be used as a powerful means to take the city for God.

A Ministry to Foreigners       
During 2003 it seemed as if the Lord was leading us more and more to a focused ministry to foreigners. While Lynn Holder’s husband Jeff preached one Sunday, Rosemarie received a vision of our Moriah Discipling House to be used for refugee-type foreigners.
         In our recruiting for a couple as house parents of the facility, the Lord had to correct us because we had thought that a Cape ‘Coloured’ couple would be the ideal because they would understand the culture of the Cape Muslims the best.
         Around the turn of the millennium Rosemarie was battling with the discipling of new Muslim background believers (MBB’s) and general convert care. The bulk of them were females. Some had hardly any income because of their decision to follow Jesus. As a token of assistance Rosemarie started a workshop on one day in the week where they could earn some money making 3D cards which we tried to sell in churches. We were glad that we could hand over the responsibility for the hospital ministry to Maria van Maarseveen, our Dutch colleague. At the end of 2002 we were praying however again that the Lord would give us more assistance. Lynn Holder had been praying how she could get involved ministry-wise.
         At this time I approached the Atlantic Christian Assembly (ACA), as part of an effort to promote the hand-made 3D cards, which a few lady MBB’s had been making as a source of income. The Lord had undertaken wonderfully so that we could pay these ladies, giving them some regular income, although we hardly sold cards.
         Anthony Liebenberg, the pastor, had good memories of the time when he was youth pastor of the ACA. Our son Danny joined his cell group and he also played in the music group of their church on Sunday evenings. The prophetic word spoken about Danny to be a link to other believers on the day we were sent out by our home church in Holland, had obviously already been partially fulfilled because the Lord had already wonderfully used him at the German School to bring new life to the Christian Union there, especially when another youngster, Chris Duwe, came to the Cape in 1996 during their Abitur (A-level) year.
         By 2003 Anthony Liebenberg had become the senior pastor of the Atlantic Christian Assembly. Because of some internal decision, the congregation would not allow people from outside to come and promote anything. Anthony would do it on our behalf. Because of the good rapport we had with him and the link via our son, he did it much better than I could have done. Anthony also spoke a prophetic word over us, that we would get assistance soon. This was fulfilled when Lynn Holder joined Rosemarie with the making of the 3D cards, followed by an American colleague, Rochelle Malachowski, soon thereafter.

An Event Film
When the movie The Passion of the Christ was released in March 2004, it was clear that this would be another event film. For an Indonesian missionary colleague who had worked in China years before, it was very special to watch the video version in our home together with two Uyghur female physicians from China. Our colleague had a special burden for the Uyghur, a Muslim tribe in the Northwest of the vast and populous country. For years she prayed for those people, without seeing any change. And now God brought some of them to Cape Town. Within months we had contact with more Uighurs. (The increased interaction with the Peoples' Republic of China saw many nationals from that country coming to Cape Town. With the Olympic Games of 2008 looming, many students came to learn English in Cape Town.)
            At this time we were introduced to Leigh Telli who loves the Jews. Her husband, a North African Arab, comes from Muslim background. An old vision was revived, serving to confirm our calling of ministering to foreigners and linking our ministry to Messianic Jews, bringing to the fore a dormant wish to facilitate reconciliation of Jews and Muslims at the Cape through faith in Jesus as Lord and Messiah.

Sammy to Kazakhstan against our Wish
In mid-2004 almost the whole family was present at the wedding of a nephew of Rosemarie. Our son Sammy stayed on in Europe, doing some casual work in the second half of the year and earning the funds to go and assist missionaries in Kazakhstan in December 2004 for a month. Rosemarie and I were very uptight with this idea, remembering how we had almost lost him due to double pneumonia after our return to South Africa in 1995. We knew that winter temperatures in the part of Central Asia where he would be heading, could easily drop to minus 40 degrees. However, Sammy was adamant, insisting that he saw that as a divine commission. He was vindicated. During the month that he was there, the temperatures were quite moderate and it turned out that he was assisting to prepare Gospel material for an unreached people group that the Lord had just started to bring to Cape Town. It was very special when he brought audio-visual resources along, which we could pass on to a few Uighur folk in Cape Town. They were thus coming from the same people group with whom we had come into contact while Sammy was in Kazakhstan.

Towards Muslim/Jewish Dialogue and Reconciliation
For many years our love for the Jews found very limited expression. This changed from 2004 when we increased our networking with missionary colleagues who ministered to Jews. After the arrival of Leigh and Rabbah (Paul) Telli at the Cape in 2003/4, Rosemarie and I were very much encouraged anew to attempt stimulating Jewish dialogue and reconciliation at the Cape.
            On 19 February 2005 a few believers from both Jewish and Muslim backgrounds were present at.a seminar in the suburb of Durbanville. At that occasion Leigh Telli and I spoke respectively on 'What are God’s purposes for Isaac's and Ishmael’s descendants in these last days?' We proceeded with the printing of an A4 manual with the talks of Leigh and me at the seminar. The manual also included some paintings of Leigh. On the cover a Jew and a Muslim – a painting of Leigh - are depicted in discussion with a broken wall in the background. This was the start of an effort towards reconciliation of Jews and Muslims at the Cape under the leadership of our Lord, alongside other followers of Jesus. But our vision did not get off the ground as yet.

Little Movement in Respect of Guilt towards Islam
On an issue that was close to my heart, confession of the role of Christians with regard to the origins and spread of Islam, there was no movement in South Africa. Assistance came from a completely unexpected source when the annual national Missionary Congress, organised by UNISA, was held in Stellenbosch in January 2006. The two main plenary lectures were delivered by Professor Farid Esack and Dr Allan Boesak. The former confessed in his personal capacity on behalf of Islam what Islam had done in bringing the peoples of Africa in neo-colonial bondage. In his paper Dr Boesak merely intimated the issue. Very much aware of how he had helped to cause the spread of the religion at the Cape on dubious premises, I deemed this the chance to get some movement. After pointing to his role in my life and honouring him publicly for it, I suggested that Boesak could take a leading role in getting the church to repent and confess. He felt though that he was not the right person to do that, which was quite comprehensible in the light of negative publicity around his imprisonment not very long before that.
At that conference in Stellenbosch I also suggested an international mission conference to be held in 2010 as William Carey had proposed 200 years ago. That group did not latch onto the suggestion for a commemoration of the big Edinburgh event of 1910, but I was very happy to hear soon thereafter that a big conference was being planned in our city for 2010, organised by the Lausanne movement.  Somehow the challenge of reaching out to the foreigners – the vision we had received in 2003 – got blurred.

                                    18. A New Thing Sprouting

            Towards the end of 2005 the Lord pointed Rosemarie and me again to the people from the nations that had been coming to Cape Town. We needed a nudge while we were busy with all sorts of other 'good' things. But we were not in the centre of God’s will for us anymore. He had to use a rather traumatic situation in our team to bring us back to the vision he had given us in October 2003, viz. that we should focus on the foreigners.
The situation in our small evangelism team came to a stage where Rosemarie and I decided that it would be in the best interest of our team to resign as leaders. Personally, the two of us were encouraged by Isaiah 43:18 to expect a 'new thing' that has been sprouting.

The 'new thing' sprouting      
During the first term of 2006 an OM missionary started working more closely with us who also had a vision to minister to foreigners. In the course of looking for a neutral venue where we could help the sojourners from other countries with English lessons, the young OM colleague suggested that we pop in at the home of Theo Dennis, one of the OM leaders in the Western Cape. When Theo spoke about their ministry in Coventry in the UK with the name Friends from Abroad, I once again had a sense of home-coming, especially when he mentioned that the group does not operate there under this name any more.
The very next day I took Rosemarie along to him, starting discussions for the establishment of an alliance with other mission agencies and local churches to be called Friends from Abroad. Both of us felt that this was the new thing that has been sprouting, a renewed challenge to get involved with foreigners.
A very traumatic period was ushered in via our mission agency leaders, but the two of us hung on to Isaiah 43:18, to forget the past and to expect a ‘new thing’ that has been sprouting. We definitely however did not close ourselves to the possibility that the ‘new thing’ could still happen within WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) confines. We remained committed to operate in a positive frame of mind until the end of July, while we prayed for clarity about what God had in store for us. We were sure that our ministry in Cape Town had not been completed yet.

Our Nerves stretched
During the months prior to the WEC conference in Stellenbosch in May 2006 and also thereafter we experienced a very traumatic period in our ministry. In on-going discussion with our leaders we could not identify ourselves with their way of giving leadership. Our nerves were on end and we had no energy left to continue with our missionary work. Our colleague Rochelle suggested that we get counselling. What a blessing Dave Peter of YWAM became to us at this time. The advice of Dave Peter helped us to carry on. He challenged us, never to leave a ministry in defeat.
I had made a mistake mentioning the name Friends from Abroad in correspondence to our leaders, although everything was very much still in an orientation stage. This caused a serious problem. We were nevertheless completely surprised when our national WEC leaders would not give us a ‘green light’ to continue working within this context as WEC missionaries, without giving a proper reason. Towards the end of April things followed each other up in quick succession, so that a letter of resignation was already on our computer on the 29th of March.
We now received a warning email out of the blue that simultaneously encouraged us with Psalm 7:14 to wait on the Lord. The next few weeks were not easy though, but the Lord carried us through in a special way as we did the ‘Experiencing God’ course at the Cape Town Baptist Church. As the weeks passed by our situ*ation in the mission became worse.
We had not yet fully recovered from these shocks when the lack of news from our daughter in the Netherlands strained our nerves further. She had sent an SMS from Scotland in mid -April that she was heading for Holland from where should would send us her new number. We were not unduly worried initially although we were very concerned about her life-style. When there was initially no news, we still took it in our stride. But when she also did not phone for Mother’s Day nor congratulate Tabitha on her birthday on the 25th – as we erroneously thought - we were terribly worried. A few days later the fear that she might not be alive was allayed after we had also alarmed our friends in Holland. The circumstance prepared us in some way for the rather disappointing news a few months later that she was expecting our first grandchild.

Equipping and empowering People from the Nations
One of the new ventures of Friends from Abroad with which we started before we left for Europe was a fortnightly fellowship, Bible Study and prayer with Uighur people from China. (One of the visions of our new endeavour was to equip and empower people from the nations to serve their own people, similar to the way I had been impacted while I was experiencing an (in)voluntary exile in Holland.) This was basically coming from our ministry while we were with WEC.
            We resumed our contact with Bruce van Eeden, the former pastor of the Newfields EBC, with whom we had started children’s work in 1992. In 1995 he initiated a Mitchell’s Plain-based mission agency called Ten Forty Outreach, which concentrated on sending out short-term workers to India. We thought he could be a valuable complement to our Friends from Abroad concept, making use of indigenous Christians.                                                                                                               Through Pastor Theo Dennis we linked up with Ds. Richard Verreyne, a mission-minded pastor of the Soter Christelike Gereformeerde Kerk in Parow. To the core team of Friends from Abroad (FFA) co-workers also belonged a couple with mission ministry experience in North Africa. Two highly valued American co-workers assisted in starting up English classes in Parow.
Throwing the Net to the other Side?
Another word from scripture came to the fore. I had to throw the net to the other side. But what did this imply? When we heard that Floyd and Sally McClung, the founders of All Nations International would come to Cape Town with the vision to establish a training and outreach community that impacts Africa from Cape Town to Cairo and the vision ‘for a multi-cultural community that exemplifies the kingdom of God’, we were quite excited. This was more or less what we wanted to see coming to pass, albeit that our vision was somewhat wider, also for countries outside of Africa to be impacted from Cape Town. All Nations International later also sent people to Lebanon, India and Syria. Getting the vision over to local Christians and pastors was a much bigger challenge.

Vibes and Bribes
It was more or less an open secret that the South African Ministry of Home Affairs was one big mess. The government more or less conceded that, but a correction to the system looked to be as far away as ever when Rochelle Smetherham-Malachowski[41] asked at our prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer on Friday 30 March 2007 whether we could not go and pray at the Home Affairs premises at the Foreshore. The memorable precedent of October 2003 that ushered in the start of Friends from Abroad, obviously came to mind. Operating with Rosemarie at our workshop with refugee-type ladies, she could of course hear the vibes of the bribes at that institution all the time. Talking about their experience, refugee women they were speaking of how much the highly valued paper ‘costs’ which would take them out of illegality. (For a thousand Rand one could get the document the same day. For half the price one would have to wait for three weeks and without money you might as well forget about it.) Also at our English classes we heard the sad stories of people who had to wait for days before even getting a hearing and about many irregularities. Without any discussion we agreed to go and pray at the Foreshore Home Affairs premises on Friday 13 April. There we saw some of the vibes confirmed, but we were also deeply challenged about practical involvement.
         Could this avenue be the other side of the net? We decided to approach a few City Bowl pastors with regard to a common compassionate effort. Initial responses were positive when I asked them to pray about a possible involvement. But we were wary of getting too excited prematurely. Haven’t we been disappointed more than once when we attempted to get churches of the City Bowl to do something together? Could this perhaps be just God’s time to use the plight of the destitute and exploited foreigners as a means to spark the unity of the body of Christ into action and ultimately usher in the revival that we have been praying for so long!

Somalians killed in Masiphumelele
While we were in Holland in the summer of 2006 to discuss our possible resignation from WEC, we read about many Somalians who were being killed in the township of Masiphumelele near Fish Hoek. The cause was the xenophobic attitude towards them by the Xhosa-speaking original inhabitants, fanned by the traders.
         We were still open to the possibility that the ‘new thing’ could still happen within WEC confines. We remained committed to operate in a positive frame of mind until the end of July, while we prayed for clarity about what God had in store for us. We were sure that our ministry in Cape Town had not been completed yet. We felt that God was possibly using the personal trauma to move us on.

All Nations International Pioneering in Africa
CPx (Church Planting Experience) teaches a new dimension of church - whereby simple non-denominational independent fellowships are planted that attempt to come as closely as possible to the practice of the first generation of ‘New Testament’ followers of Jesus. The first CPx of All Nations in Kommetjie broke new ground in many a way. We were very much privileged to participate. We enjoyed the training there more than any other course we had ever attended up to that point in time.
         A special personal highlight was when I discerned where my over-reaction to injustice came from. Childhood experiences in District Six which I always regarded as unimportant had been the cause of hurts about which I never spoke with anyone.
         I befriended Munyaradzi Hove, a lone participant from Zimbabwe. This relationship would affect the whole All Nations family in due course. He was not only a member of CPx ‘home church’ but also a member of the small team that Rosemarie and I led for the outreach phase. Munya was a member of this team along with two couples from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. Their outreach at Green Market Square would have major ramifications when a little 'simple church' could be started there. One of the participants, Valentine Chirume, also hailed from Zimbabwe. He would be the link to a few others from that nation to be impacted, notably in the wake of the xenophobia mob violence that rocked our country from May 2008.
         Munya personified the vision and philosophy of Friends from Abroad more than anybody else before or after him. After he returned to his home country, initially as  a part of teams that he led, he and other All Nations young people led many people in Victoria Falls to faith in Christ. Thereafter, when he returned there permanently in 2010, he gathered the new disciples of our Lord in discipleship groups and simple churches. We were blessed to see also others impacted at the Cape who would return to their home countries or who went to other countries to share the ‘Good News’.
         The only negative of our link to All Nations was that an interest in the strongholds of Bo-Kaap and Sea Point never seem to take off. In fact, interest in loving outreach to Jews was still almost non-existent at the end of 2011 among our All Nations colleagues. But we just prodded on, sowing seeds to this effect whenever we had the opportunity.

A special spiritual Victory
The sheer satisfaction to see corruption all but stamped out at the Cape Town Home Affairs offices, was short-lived, replaced by sadness and anger. Corruption flared up once again. Within weeks it was worse than ever before.
            We battled in vain a few weeks later to try and get refugee status for someone.  This was the result of corruption at the Nyanga Home Affairs (Refugee Centre) and I was unable to do much about it.
I was so sad that things had deteriorated such a lot since March 2008 when we thought that the corruption and the duping of the destitute and hapless refugees at the Home Affairs offices had been stamped out. Now it was much worse.
         But there were also spiritual victories. One of them happened when I was called in because a refugee lady from Burundi had collapsed at our jewelry workshop. (A year prior to this occurrence she had been one of my English learners who showed significant interest in the gospel.)  I took her to Somerset Hospital where she was admitted and treated for about a week. After her improvement and discharge she was taken to relatives to recuperate. When however some medical backlash occurred, the relative deemed it fit to involve a sangoma, a witchdoctor. Hereafter the patient became completely insane and had to be taken to a mental clinic. From there she was transferred to the psychiatric ward at Tygerberg Hospital where she was soon regarded as terminal. Family members started with preparations to take her body to Burundi for the funeral there.We discerned that we now had an extreme case of spiritual warfare.  After a day of prayer and fasting we took along Arsene Kamptoe, our All Nations colleague, who prayed there in the name of Jesus in Tygerberg Hospital with us. The patient only recovered dramatically as a trophy of God's grace, but she also returned to the jewelry workshop a few weeks later. 

19. Isaac and Ishmael reconciled?

At the beginning of 2010 I was deeply touched when I discerned that Isaac and Ishmael, the two eldest sons of Abraham, had actually buried their father together (Genesis 25:9).  The evident reconciliation in the biblical report was probably preceded by confession and some remorse. (Later I learned that the narrative of Jacob and Esau also played a role in efforts of Jewish/Arab reconciliation like Musalaha.) Or was there some reconciling agent involved?
         I started to pray more intensely that a representative body of Christians might express regret and offer an apology on behalf of Christians for the side-lining and persecution of Jews by Christians.

Jews First
On 11 October 2010 the Lord ministered to me from Romans 1:16 when we received the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) Quarterly Bulletin. That edition of the LCJE Bulletin highlighted the legacy of Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus. In the paper that Rosen delivered as part of the Jewish Evangelism track at Lausanne II in Manila in 1989, he highlighted 'Jews first' from Romans 1:16. In the printed summary of his paper one could read that Rosen regarded 'God’s formula' for worldwide evangelization as the bringing of the Gospel to the Jew first.  Highlighting the example of Paul: I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’ (Romans 1:16), Rosen proposed in the same paper thatby not following God’s programme for worldwide evangelisation – that is, beginning with Jerusalem (Israel and the Jews) – we not only develop a bad theology because of weak foundations, but we also develop poor missiological practices. I felt personally challenged to get involved with outreach to Jews as well.
            The very next day our friend Brett Viviers, a Messianic Jewish believer and long-time friend, a former elder at Cape Town Baptist Church, whose daughter's prayers were instrumental in linking us up with that fellowship in 1993, visited me. At the end of 2010 we made another attempt at Muslim/Jewish dialogue and reconciliation, an effort to link Messianic Jewish believers and Muslim background believers at the Cape. Initially it did not reap much success however. On Fridays Brett and I started doing prayer drives and prayer walks in Sea Point.

Replacement Theology still an Issue?
It was very special for Rosemarie and me to attend the international LCJE Conference on 15 October, 2010. For the first time this was held in Cape Town. People from all over the world attended who are somehow involved with outreach to Jews - including of course those who specially came for Lausanne III – at the International Convention Centre.  It was however very much of a shock to us to hear that a few lines in the draft for Lausanne III were supportive of so-called Replacement Theology - that the Church has replaced Israel as God's special instrument. The flaw was thankfully corrected in the final revision when it was published in the Cape Town Commitment.

Tears rather than Laughter?
I had been researching the history of revivals at the Cape, hoping to finalise a booklet in 2010, the 150th anniversary of the big Boland revival. I discerned that a) united prayer across the barriers of race and church affiliation and b) genuine remorse, accompanied by tears, are signs that a revival was not hyped up carnally. On Signal Hill at the beginning of October I stated publicly the need for tears of remorse as a possible condition for genuine revival. I was praying that I would also genuinely experience this.  In different places we had been seeing ‘laughing in the Spirit’, notably in the Toronto movement of the 1990s. But the deep remorseful crying to God as I had been reading about was lacking. Via an experience in 1995 with our youngest daughter the penny had dropped for Rosemarie and me that it is not the ‘laughing in the Spirit’, but our weeping for the lost that honours God more!

Overawed by a Sense of Guilt
During a lunchtime prayer meeting of City Bowl ministers in October 1996, a Messianic Jewish pastor attended who was known at that time as Bruce Rudnick. Bruce was the leader of the Beth Ariel Fellowship of Messianic believers in Sea Point. That is where I got to know the servant of God who later changed his name to Baruch Maayan. In 1999 he and his family left for Israel.
On 19 October 2010, we received an email from our friend Liz Campbell, with whom we had started prayer meetings for the Middle East in the early 1990s. She shared 'that Baruch and Karen Maayan (Rudnick) and their five amazing children are back in Cape Town from Israel.  A quick and sovereign move of God believe me, and worth coming and finding out why! … we have sent this out to not only those who know Baruch and Karen but also to those we know will be greatly touched and taught by Baruch's ministry.'
         The meeting on the Saturday afternoon of 23 October 2010 at a private address in Milnerton with the Maayan family was a defining moment. I was very much embarrassed when I broke down in tears uncontrollably.  I was completely overawed by a sense of guilt towards Jews, while I felt a deep urge to apologise on behalf of Christians for the fact that our fore-bears had been side-lining the Jews. Christians have haughtily suggested that the Church replaced the nation of Israel and the Jews. My weeping was an answer to my own prayers, but it was nevertheless very embarrassing, especially as many others present followed suit. (The 'sea of tears' however knitted our hearts to the Maayan family. After an absence of 11 years, the Lord had called them back to be part of a movement to take the Gospel via simple churches from Cape Town throughout the continent of Africa, ultimately back to Jerusalem.

Israel, here we come!                                                                                                                   
Rosemarie went to Israel in 1973, after she had been refused a work permit and visa to come to South Africa. Knowing our wish to visit Israel together one day, our children wanted to contribute financially to enable us to go to Israel as a couple. They knew that this was our big dream since we got married in 1975. I told them that I wanted separate confirmation.
A Cape Delegation to Jerusalem
Baruch Maayan challenged all of us during the Monday evening prayer in Mid-2011 about becoming a part of the South African delegation to the Jerusalem prayer convocation. On June 27 Baruch, Karen and a few other believers in Claremont prayed fervently that the Lord would confirm clearly whether Rosemarie and I should step out in faith to join the Jerusalem convocation or do the workshops.  Knowing that our children were ready to sponsor Rosemarie for her 60th birthday in July so that we could fulfil this secret wish, I had to pray now for confirmation for myself.
         The very next day I received a letter from Germany. It informed me that I would receive a small monthly pension, retrospective from 1 January 2011. I don't know how the German Social Services got my address. On Thursday morning, the 30th June, during my quiet time I felt that this was the confirmation to trust the Lord for all the funding necessary to attend the Jerusalem convocation.
         For Rosemarie it was very special that she could now be a part of the South African delegation.
(She assisted there in a children's home after the work permit and tourist visa for South Africa had been refused. Their leader had expounded from a Bible study during her visit to the Holy Land that nations would in future be going up to Jerusalem.)

In the Holy Land
When we left for Israel for the annual International House of Prayer (IHOP) convocation in Jerusalem, we had one special prayer: We did not want to be the same on our return to South Africa. The Lord clearly answered our prayers. At the convocation we took a firm decision to spread the word of the Highway of Holiness to our personal contacts. As a group of 11 South African Christians from diverse racial, and geographical backgrounds (Messianic Jewish, Black, ‘Coloured’, Afrikaner and English-speaking), we prayed separately for our country. At the first session we set out issues for praise and prayer.
Even before we looked at praise points, the concern came up to pray in remorse and confession for divine forgiveness because of the biased expressions of certain leaders in Church and State regarding Israel. We knew that such utterances could incur the wrath of God.  We agreed to disseminate the following via personal emails to our friends:

We derive from Scripture that since the two sons of Abraham buried their father together, we believe that loving both Muslims and Jews is the biblical position to take for followers of Jesus.

We ask God for his favour upon our country and for a change in the official position of our government in favour of a negotiated settlement (not the unilateral one the Palestinians are striving after). An even better suggestion would be if our government could take an independent line, striving to encourage Arabs and Jews to live peacefully next to each other as the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael…

Arabs and Jews in Harmony
At the prayer convocation in Jerusalem we were blessed to listen to Israeli Arab and Jewish pastors who had been meeting each other regularly. As in every effort of reconciliation, a price has to be paid. But the biggest price of all has already been paid by no less than God himself, who gave his one and only, his unique son to reconcile us to himself. This is the basis of Paul’s challenge to all followers of the Master, viz. to get reconciled to God, to accept his gift in faith, the death on the cross for our sins.
          What a surprise it was to hear and see how Orthodox Jews and Arabs were actually living in close proximity in the controversial East Jerusalem. How prophetic and sad that all around the world people were clamouring for this portion of land to become the capital of a Palestinian State and thus perpetuating the strife, instead of praying that the day might be hastened when they would serve the Almighty together as descendants of Isaac and Ishmael. This would of course be the culmination of the fulfilment of Messianic prophecy. We were challenged towards increased commitment to usher this in via the Highway of Holiness from the Cape to Jerusalem via a 24/7 prayer room.
         Karen Maayen had arranged for us to lodge at a Christian guest house outside the city of Tiberias. What a surprise it was to find out that the guest house was actually situated in Migdal, where Rosemarie and her friend Elke Maier, our bridesmaid, had been volunteering 38 years ago in 1973.
          The following morning Rosemarie and I saw a house for sale with a beautiful view over the lake Tiberias. In jest I said to Rosemarie: 'let’s sell our house and buy this one'. She then disclosed that she had a vision in Jerusalem for a prayer room to be built on the dining room of our house. We decided to go and pray there. One thing led to the other until we returned home a few days later with a new resolve: to pray for a north facing prayer room to be built at our home. At the beginning of November we prayed with our Saturday group at our home because of inclement weather. The Lord confirmed matters in no uncertain way.
On 8 September 2013 we opened the Isaiah 19 prayer room as a valedictory event for the Maayan family that started returning to Israel.

20. Quo Vadis?

            We often looked at ways to approach, impact and involve foreigners. After 2003 we also especially thought of believers and other folk from our continent who could possibly assist us toevangelize unreached people groups of which there are representatives here in Cape Town. Many Zimbabweans have been impacted and equipped already for missionary outreach. One of them is Munyaradzi Hove, who has planted many home churches in Victoria Falls. (We were blessed to regard him as one of our 'sons'.  Munya became quite closest to us, one of the first of a series of new ‘sons’ from different nations.)
            The big challenge to us was always the Somalians, of whom the biggest concentration in our country is in Bellville – up to 20,000 of them in 2010. The African Islamic Propagation Centre is also situated there. We know that a breakthrough among the Somalians in Bellville could make an international impact with a snowball effect. To get the Christians in Bellville towards some semblance of unity proved to be quite a challenge. We will pray and leave the matter in the hands of the Lord.

         Obedient to Romans 1:16 and Matthew 28:19 and 20, the challenge remains to see Muslims and Jews saved, discipled and ultimately enlist them in the planting of simple churches everywhere on the route to Jerusalem and to the ends of the earth: the spiritual African Highway from Cape Town to Jerusalem. We believe that there is a special unction on Jews as the apple of God's eye and that they will have an important role to play in the end-time spurt of the Gospel.
          It is our firm belief that reconciliation of Jews and Muslims at the Cape would send powerful signals around the globe. In Cape Town we have the special situation where we have sizeable minorities of Muslims and Jews, next to the majority group of Christians. On top of that we have a heritage and history where representatives of the three Abrahamic religions have been living harmoniously next to each other for decades in places like District Six, Bo-Kaap and Green Point until the 1950s. Of course, at that time no one even remotely thought of the possibility of a common movement like the one we now have in the Middle East called Musalaha where Christians of both Jewish and Arab extraction meet from time to time.

Devil's Peak to be renamed?
At the beginning of 2011 the Lord put the public manifestation of the unity of the Body of Christ on my heart once again, this time via the possible renaming of 'Devil's Peak'. I was well aware that the contentious issue came up for discussion in the city council some years ago. I believe that the matter was not handled well in 2002 – in my view abused to score political points. I was ultimately referred to the Western Cape Provincial government. With municipal elections due later that year, we were wary of repeating the same mistake.  We did not want the issue to become embroiled in the run-up to the elections.
            On election day in 2011 our little group, i.e. Pastor Barry Isaacs, Advocate Murray and myself deliberated again. (Soon thereafter Marcel Durler became a regular in our long drawn-out deliberations.) We requested Barry Isaacs to take the matter to the executive of the Religious Forum for input from that side as well. The provincial Heritage Council was quite favourable because we had researched that the peak had previous names like Windberg and Doves’ Peak. The matter turned out to be quite an intricate issue when Table Mountain was declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world. We knew that Satanists had vested interests in the retention of the name. Murray Bridgman put some persevering stalwart work into the process, but only by the end of 2013 there appeared some light at the end of the tunnel.      
Hosting Speakers from Abroad                                                                                                                       From the middle of 2012 we were challenged with the hosting speakers from abroad. Linked to the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Consultation, we had little hesitation to agree hosting Pastor Umar Mulinde and a niece, a nurse. (He was attacked by a Muslim fanatic at the end of 2011 who threw acid on him.) He had survived miraculously and was subsequently treated in Israel. Using him as our keynote speaker was quite a risk. It was finalized when he was still in hospital. God used Pastor Umar Mulinde powerfully in South Africa to wake up at least some Christians to the danger of militant Islam. He stressed that we must love Muslims but we must oppose, even hate the demonic spirit at the base of the religion.
          Just prior to his arrival in this country a Deputy Minister discouraged South Africans publicly to visit Israel. Umar Mulinde highlighted the link to the Marikana Platinum Mine tragedy two days later on 16 August, which resulted in the deaths of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers, stressing that it was ideologically and spiritually linked to the hate-filled speech of the Muslim Deputy Minister. We became very much aware of the fact that South Africa was cursed as a nation because of the anti-Israel stand of the government. The rand plummeted as a currency, a sign of the general economic decline.
          Other speakers we were requested to host and to organize itineraries for, got us quite excited. Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, a Muslim-raised Algerian and his Malaysian wife Hie Tee, whom God had used in the run-up to the revival among the Berbers of that country, challenged us to get a prayer and fasting chain going in order to achieve a breakthrough, notably in Bo-Kaap, the Islamic stronghold for which we had been praying for more than 20 years. Alon Grimberg, a German who has been living in Israel for many years and who married an Arab believer, encouraged us in our vision to see reconciliation between Jews and Muslims at the Cape through faith in Jesus. We felt ourselves so much on the same page with these speakers.

A Breakthrough at last?
In the space of a few weeks we saw seven people baptised with some link to our Discipling House at the end of 2013 and in January 2014.     When we got the phone number of Pastor Shaheed Johnson of Hanover Park, we had no clue what an exciting period of ministry this would usher in. As a new-born believer he had been miraculously and divinely used by God in February 2013 to bring his mother back to life in Groote Schuur Hospital.  A death certificate had already been issued for her already. Shaheed had become a follower of Jesus only a few hours before that.
          Just over a year later he was ordained as pastor in the church that his father had started. Displaying exceptional maturity, he initiated a one day Jesus Saves campaign in the Hanover Park Civic Centre on 7 June 2014.
            Pastor Bruce van Eeden approached me on short notice to come and preach at his church after a Muslim background preacher had cancelled. Because of the expectancy raised in the church, I took along Pastor Shaheed Johnson to give his testimony. I was myself quite surprised when about 20 people stood up when I asked for Muslim background followers of Jesus to rise. At the end of May 2014 we set off on a sabbatical, just over four months during which I worked on autobiographical manuscripts of which this is the second one.


A. Jesus, the Homeless: a Refugee as a Baby and a Vagabond as an Adult

In the Hebrew Scriptures the Israelites are repeatedly admonished to be hospitable to strangers. About Abraham it is specifically mentioned that he was a stranger in various places (Genesis 12:10; 17:8; 20:1). Likewise were Isaac (Genesis 26:3), Jacob (Genesis 32:4), Joseph (Genesis 37ff) - Moses (Exodus 2:15ff) and Nehemiah. In fact, it can be argued with some substance that in the case of David and Moses, their years as a refugee served as training ground for later service. The Israelites were strangers in Egypt. Repeatedly they were reminded of this fact. Exactly because they had been oppressed there, they were expected not only not to do this to foreigners, but Leviticus 19:33,34 includes the astounding verse Love the stranger as you love yourself. In fact, the Law commands them more than once to treat the stranger as an equal (for example Leviticus 24:16,24). If the foreigner/stranger is destitute, he should be supported and given hospitality (Leviticus 25:35). In the case of Joseph and Daniel, they held high office in their host countries. Daniel had the special distinction to have served with aplomb under three different rulers Nebuchadnezzar, Belsazzar and Darius.
            The refugee status of the baby Jesus should fill Christians with compassion towards all refugees.  As an adult the Master replied to someone who wanted to follow him: ‘Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay his head’ (Luke 9:58). During his earthly life Jesus was so to speak only at home with his Father. In fact, already as a twelve year-old he referred to the temple as ‘my Father’s house’ (Luke 2:49).
We should be quite aware that God can turn seemingly difficult circumstances to the good. I suggest that the presence of refugees should be regarded as a challenge and a chance. At any rate, they should definitely not be seen as a threat to our jobs and livelihood.

B. Prominent Exiles and Refugees in the Hebrew Scriptures
The Bible contains quite a few reports of personalities who became refugees or exiles. Here are a few where Messianic traits can be easily discerned.

B.1 Joseph: A kidnapped Exile

B.2 Moses: An (in)voluntary royal Exile
The letter to the Hebrews (11-24-27) summarised succinctly how Moses incurred exile after he had been raised and educated in the palace of a powerful Pharaoh. He killed an Egyptian by accident after the man had maltreated a Hebrew slave: By faith Moses... refused to be called the son of Pharaoh's daughter, choosing rather to be mistreated with the people of God than to enjoy the fleeting pleasures of sin... By faith he left Egypt, not being afraid of the anger of the king, for he endured as seeing him who is invisible.

David: A King as a Refugee
Already from childhood, David displayed many Messianic traits. Overlooked as a ruddy boy by his own father, he had to be called from the field before he could be consecrated and anointed as King of Israel. (compare John 1:11, ‘...but his own did not receive him.)
Keeping in mind that Jesus said: Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest, (Matthew 11:28), Watchman Nee, a well known Chinese evangelist of yesteryear, highlighted a special trait: ‘... David must go with God into the wilderness. So the cave became his headquarters. To it there found a band of those whoe were weary of existing conditions, and he became their captain.They came to Adullam in desperation, because their need was met nowhere else. David is a type of the Lord Jesus in His present rejection.’

Elijah: A vagabond Prophet
One would normally not expect to find Elijah among prophets with Messianic traits. Jesus himself compared Elijah with John the Baptist.  In our context, that of foreigners, the Master however also said: But I tell you truly, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months, when great famine was throughout all the land. But Elijah was not sent to any of them, except to Zarephath, a city of Sidon, to a woman, a widow (Luke 4:25-26).[i] and an outsider
Another special piece of common ground between Elijah and the Messiah is defilement. He became a fugitive who had to the hide in the Kerith Ravine, east of the Jordan. There he would be fed by ravens,known to be ritually unclean because they often eat defiled food. Elijah took defilement consciously in his stride when he lied on a corpse, the son of the deceased widow of Zarephath.[42]
            This is simultaneously linked to a messianic trait as Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum highighted in his studies. Jews of Jesus' day and age knew that there was no report of any Jewish leper that has been healed. In fact, with time the tradition evolved that no Jewish leper would be healed until the Messiah  would  come (Fruchtenbaum, Das Leben des Messias, 2013:31f). Moses specified the procedure clearly in Leviticus 13 and 14) what should happen if a leper would claim to have been healed by someone. If this could b e verified that someone actually healed the person, it would be the sign that the healer was the Messiah. By touching the leper Jesus would have defiled himself.
            In a similar way Elijah defiled himself, but brought life to the young man. When Jesus became defiled once again when he died on the cross, he became the sacrificial Lamb of God who brought eternal life for all who believe in Him as the Messiah and Lord.

Nehemiah: An Exile with a Mission
The prophet Nehemiah was normal and yet special. Not quite an exile ‘by birth’ in the mould of Moses, his illustrious model – possibly coming to Babylon with his parents as a child, Nehemiah grew up in the foreign environment, without however losing the love and compassion for his Hebrew heritage. That may be normal for Jews down the centuries - with some exceptions – but it also thus becomes a challenge for any foreigner to be a blessing to his adopted country. 
            The function Nehemiah performed as cup bearer of the King did not require any special training. But he had in this way set the pattern for any Christian to excel in his secular vocation, so to speak making his mark even with mundane work. The attitude in which Nehemiah performed his tasks was apparently quiet and inco as he joyfully did what was required of him. But he was honest enough not to hide his feelings. After his brother came to him, reporting the desolate state of Jerusalem, he was so saddened by it that the King soon noticed it. This was risky business. To be sad in the presence of the monarch was punishable by death.
            Nehemiah is a model for openness and transparency, as well as for being radical. He had a good position at the palace, but he was willing to sacrifice all that to return to Jerusalem. All foreigners are challenged by Nehemiah’s demeanour to be radical and willing to return to their home countries when desperate needs beckon them to get thus involved.
            The example of Nehemiah apparently rubbed off on his fellow exiles as they linked up with the Jews who remained in Jerusalem. There seems to have been hardly any bickering and jealousy as they set about the job at hand. Everyone had to do a certain job and thus every part of the wall could be erected in quick time. Yet, all was not plain sailing, which points to the human frailty of the group. They were nowhere perfect because somewhere along the line we read ‘...their nobles would not put their shoulders to the work under their supervisors’ (Nehemiah 3:5) .’ But Nehemiah apparently did not allow that to upset him too much.
            We should note in respect of the preparation which Nehemiah had performed beforehand, that every step was important - from listening, waiting, prayer, repentance, organization and planning.

Zechariah, the rejected Shepherd
The prophet Zechariah, who was possibly also a priest, served in Juda after the Babylonian exile. His prophetical career began in the second year of Darius, king of Persia (B.C. 520), about sixteen years after the return of the first company from their Babylonian exile. He was a contemporary of the prophet Haggai (Ezra 5:1).
          In messianic context, Zechariah is usually associated with the entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, commemorated on Palm Sunday and sometimes on the first advent Sunday, referring to chapter 9, verse 9. Rejoice greatly, Daughter Zion! Shout, Daughter Jerusalem! See, your king comes to you, righteous and victorious, lowly and riding on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
                Personified by the prophet himself, Zechariah warned how divine punishment would fall upon the people of Israel if they reject overtures of the Good Shepherd. In Zechariah 11 an autobiographical detail is included, which was picked up by Matthew 26:15 and 27:9,10 Then what was spoken by Jeremiah the prophet was fulfilled: “They took the thirty pieces of silver, the price set on him by the people of Israel, and they used them to buy the potter’s field, as the Lord commanded me.” Jeremiah's purchase of a field in Chapter 32 may indicate that both prophets are in mind.                                                    In Zechariah 11:12–13, 30 pieces of silver is the price Zechariah receives for his labour. He took the coins and threw them "to the potter". According to Chapter 27 of Matthew's gospel, Judas is filled with remorse and returns the money to the chief priests before hanging himself. The chief priests decide that they cannot put it into the temple treasury, and so with it they bought the potter's field. A different account of the death of Judas is given in Acts of Apostles; it describes Judas as using the money he had been rewarded with - no sum is specified - to buy the Potter's field, and then falling there, dying of the resulting intestinal injuries.  We are indebted to Dr Arnold Fruchtenbaum (Das Leben des Messias, 2013:100) who explains from the Jewish background of the day that this is no contradiction. Because Judas had made the city ceremonially unclean with his suicide – and this at Passover – his body had to be removed b efore they could go ahead with the required sacrifices. They threw it over the city wall with the result of Acts 1.  Fruchtenbaum (Das Leben des Messias, 2013:103) also highlights the 'OT' link to 30 pieces in  Zechariah 11. According to Exodus 21:32 a Jew had to pay 30 pieces of silver if his ox killed the neighbour's slave accidentally. When  Zechariah was thus given 30 pieces of silver for services rendered as shepherd to the Jewish leaders, it would have meant that the donors thought nothing of him – he was only worth the price of a dead slave. It would have been better if they had given him nothing. By giving 30 pieces of silver, it was a clear sign of rejection. Matthew seems to tell his readers that, like Jeremiah and Zechariah, Jesus attempts to lead his people with a prophetic and pastoral ministry, but instead he ends up suffering innocently at their hands.  Jesus, the Good Shepherd, would suffer even worse. In stead of confirming that his healing of a deaf and dumb man as a claim to be the expected Messiah, the religious leaders ascribed it to Satan. He had come to his own (nation) but they rejected him.
Daniel, an Exile in royal Service
In Babylon, where Daniel was taken to, the special gifts of the young man was spotted soon. Along with his three young friends who received the names Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego, he sought the face of God on more than one occasion when their lives were threatened. In the narrative where the three friends refused to bow down in worship of a golden image that King Nebuchadnezzar had erected, they dared to incur the wrath of the king, ready to be thrown into a scorching furnace. Significantly, the enraged king saw a fourth person, whose form was like unto the Son of God (Daniel 3:25).                                                                   
           Daniel kneeled down when he prayed as a sign of his humility before God. He prayed three times a day as a token of his continuous dependency upon the Father in heaven. He stands in this way very much in the same line as Abraham and Moses as a friend of God, as someone who had an intimate relationship with the Almighty.
His habit of praying thrice a day towards Jerusalem brought the idol worshippers to extreme rage. With this practice he was clearly distancing himself from those who worshipped the sun as God. The practise does not have a biblical injunction as basis as far as I know, but it may have served as a model to later generations. It is known that Muhammad was deeply impressed by the practice, modelling the qibla, the prayer direction on it. He made it incumbent upon all Muslims. The salat prayer - five times a day - possibly also has Daniel’s habits as model and origin, via the Jews living in Mecca and Medina around 620 CE. Unfortunately the basis and reason for the change of the qiblah, the prayer direction is clearly recorded as well.  The qiblah was changed in the opposite direction towards Mecca in disappointment and anger at the Jews after their refusal to recognise Mohammad as a prophet.

Foreigners who impacted Israel
The Hebrew Scriptures furthermore depict clearly how foreigners became a blessing to the people of God. The prime example in this regard was Joseph who was saved by Ishmaelites after his own brothers had contrived to kill him. He was an Egyptian in the eyes of his brothers when he reminded them of their God and the God of their forefathers. As Egyptian ruler he saved the nation when a severe famine hit the region.
            The Ethiopian servant Obed-Melech who rescued Jeremiah and the prostitute Rahab are only two of quite a few ‘foreigners’ who are mentioned favourably. Both were rewarded when their lives were saved in the sacking respectively of Jerusalem and Jericho. The great Persian King Cyrus facilitated the return of Jewish exiles in Babylon to their own country and the rebuilding of the temple in Jerusalem.
But God also used other nations to chastise the ‘apple of His eye’, the Israelites, when they strayed from Him. God wanted His people to be a blessing to the nations. The idea of the ‘New Testament’ Church as a replacement, a spiritual Israel, is nowhere clearly taught in the Bible, but the inference is nevertheless correct that Israel is the example to the Church. The body of Christ should also bless the nations.
            With the Moabite Ruth, the biblical condition becomes clear: faith in the God of Israel is the criterion. When Naomi returned to Israel with Ruth, they came to Bethlehem (the “House of Bread”). It was the beginning of the barley harvest.

An Explosion of Missions
Although Jesus initially sent disicples to the House of Israel (Matthew 10/ Luke 10), he depicted foreigners positively from the outset of his ministry. In fact, this seems to have been the very reason why his compatriots of Nazareth wanted to throw him from a cliff (Luke 4).
            Jews were probably already coming from Central Asia to Jerusalem at the great Pentecost after the resurrection of Jesus Christ. What we may take for granted is that many Jewish believers will have returned to places like Damascus and Babylon after that special event. They had been dispersed already from Samaria by the Assyrian king that led to the Babylonian captivity and replaced from Babylon, Cutbah and other places (2 Kings 17:24ff).
            The persecution in Jerusalem (Acts 8:1) caused possibly the biggest explosion of missions in history ever.  It is noteworthy that this persecution in the first century was the main catalyst of the spread of the Gospel to the ends of the earth. Together with the Babylonian exile, that circumstance prepared Jews to become vagabonds for the Lord. The hardship experienced under suppression made all other problems and tendencies to ‘settle’ relative. Automatically the Gospel broke through geographic, racial and nationalist barriers. Philip obeyed immediately to go the Gaza desert where he met the Ethiopian finance minister (Acts 8:27) who in turn pressed ahead to bring the Gospel to Africa. The Cypriot Barnabas became a leader in Antioch along with the Africans Simon, the Black and Lucius from Cyrene in North Africa (Acts 13:1). Different parts of the known world were reached with the Gospel from Antioch.
            Paul, the missionary apostle, along with the Assyrian Church of the first centry, took the Gospel to the extremities of the known world - Spain in the West and Central Asia in the East.

E. Special Refugees and Exiles in Church History
Jan Amos Komensky (latinised to Comenius) was one of the greatest refugees of all time. In 1614 he became a teacher at the Moravian school in Prerau. It was there that he introduced revolutionary teaching methods that would change the world. The inspiration that fueled Comenius’ insatiable search for knowledge was his belief that all things were made through Christ. For Him, Christ could be seen in everything (Colossians 1:16).          Comenius’ notes about this period did not survive long. The war clouds turned dark over Europe. For thirty years, from 1618 to 1648, murder, violence and hunger were the order of the day. The population of Moravia was reduced from three million to one million. Apart from his precious library and all of his writings, Comenius lost his wife and only child, after he had refused to renounce his biblical convictions.  Hereafter he felt that he now understood better what a great sacrifice the Father had made in giving His Son as a sacrifice for the sins of the world.
            This was only one of many calamities to follow. However, each time a calamity struck, he would just formulate an even greater plan to be implemented. In 1624 the ever faithful Pastor Komensky of Fulnek led a small band of exiles out of their native land to seek a safe haven. For the rest of his life Comenius remained a refugee.
             As the last bishop of the old Unitas Fratrum did not only lose almost everything through fire and persecution, but he was also forced into exile, first from his home country and on his 64th birthday, also from Poland, his adopted country. From his new home country Holland he became a blessing to the nations of the world through his writings, notably on education.
            The Moravians in Herrnhut in the 18th century most probably also thought about the refugee ‘problem’ in a positive way. It is surely no co-incidence that the first missionaries who left Herrnhut after 1732 were predominantly former Bohemian and Moravian refugees. Their preparedness to leave home and hearth to spread the Gospel, soon ‘infected’ the Germans. I dare to put it even more radically and it is not difficult to prove it: The history of missions would have been completely different if Count Zinzendorf did not allow himself to be impacted by the Bohemians and Moravian refugees. When Zinzendorf returned from Holland in 1736, it was conveyed to him that the government of Saxony had banned him. He thus became an exile himself temporarily. God turned around the period of exile from Herrnhut for the extension of the Kingdom During these years missionaries were sent to many parts of the globe.

F. Foreigners as a Blessing in Missionary Endeavour
The Netherlands illustrated what a blessing can ensue if refugees and foreigners are given ample opportunity to serve the Lord. The diminutive country of Holland influenced world history at various points in time, completely out of proportion to its size. The two great figures of the Unitas Fratrum, Comenius and Zinzendorf, both utilized the hospitality in that country to the full. It is significant that both these men had an eye for the Jews there in a loving way at a time when other churches looked down upon the nation of Israel. The Reformed Church in Holland had a positive view of the Hebrew Scriptures, but unfortunately only because they saw themselves as the replacement of the Jewish nation – the new Israel. This is an unbiblical premise.
Denmark led the Protestants in sending missionaries to the rest of the world from the early 1700s. The German Lutheran missionaries Plütschau and Bartholomäus Ziegenbalg, who left for India in 1706 from Denmark, studied in Halle, Saxony. This influenced Count Zinzendorf decisively when he was still a teenager in the boarding school there. The missionary endeavour of Denmark in Greenland by Hans Egede was decisive to get Herrnhut young men trained for missionary work. In 1724 Egede baptized his first child converts, two of whom would travel to Denmark. There they there inspired Count Zinzendorf to begin Moravian Missions. The slave Anton, working at the Danish royal palace in Kopenhagen, would be God’s special instrument and the final catalyst to get the Moravians in action when he challenged Zinzendorf to bring the Gospel to his people on the island of St Thomas.
A Pilgrim Church      
Like the first generation of Christians, which was dispersed by the severe persecution (Acts 8:1), this only served to change the Moravians of Herrnhut. After accusations from neighboring nobles and questions of theological orthodoxy, Zinzendorf was exiled from his home in Herrnhut in Saxony. His reaction when Count Zinzendorf read the notice to leave Herrnhut, showed that he had learned the biblical lesson well: ‘Then we must gather the Pilgrim Church’[43] (Nielsen I, 1951:44). The extremity was soon overturned into an opportunity. As a travelling church they went from place to place where Zinzendorf would preach. Sowing seeds of the Gospel, he regarded it as the privilege of the Pilgrim Church to be salt and to anoint, to bless other churches. The reason for this activity he expressed thus in 1745: ‘For thirty years I have yearned that all may be one in the Lord’ (Nielsen I, 1951:44). Zinzendorf used the acute threat of new persecution in Saxony as a catalyst. He relocated a part of the Brethren to North America. True to the biblical principle, the mission to the American Indians started, spear-headed by the fearless David Zeisberger. When Zinzendorf was accused of only sending others to go and sacrifice their lives in the tropics, he went there himself and subsequently almost died as a result of a disease that he picked up there.
            The community had to leave Saxony mainly because of their support for the Bohemian refugees. The opposition did not quite succeed in this because hereafter almost the whole community joined him in the Wetteravia area, some 50 kilometers to the northeast of present-day Frankfurt (Main). For a start, the group that called themselves the pilgrim congregation, moved into the Ronneburg, a dilapidated castle that was inhabited by the despised of their society, ‘thieves, gypsies, sectarians and Jews’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:68).
            Also in the ‘new world’ the notion of the Pilgrim Church was meticulously adhered to. The settlements at Bethlehem and Nazareth were started for no other purpose, than ‘that the work of the Lord would be rendered a hand not only in Pennsylvania but in the whole of America’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:122). Bethlehem only had to be a barn, a Pilgrim house, a school for prophets and the smith for producing the Lord’s arrows, from where workers would be sent into the rest of America. At any time a third of the adults would be on the road somewhere to spread the Gospel.
G. Vagabonds of a higher Order
Christian David, the first Moravian refugee who found solace on the estate of Count Zinzendorf, was challenged when he heard about Christians who were imprisoned for having religious services in their homes. He started reading the Bible, something which he was not supposed to do as a born Catholic.[44] He was convicted by the Holy Spirit, but no evangelical pastor wanted to have anything to do with an apostate. Subsequently Christian David roamed through Bohemia and Austria before he finally came to Leipzig in Saxony. After more ridicule he moved to Berlin and from there to Breslau. But also from that city he had to flee when Jesuit priests got to know about him. This brought Christian David to Görlitz, near to the border of his home country, from where he started on trips to encourage the persecuted believers there. The Neissers were one of the evangelical families he visited in 1717. He challenged them towards a complete commitment to the Lord, even to the extent of leaving their homes in faith; that it would be returned to them hundredfold. The clan had already indicated that he should look for a place across the border where they could be taught in the Scriptures. On Easter Monday 1722 Christian David brought them the good news that he had met the young Count Zinzendorf, who was not only himself a child of God, but who also fendeavoured to lead souls to Christ. Just after Pentecost two Neisser families fled adventurously over the border into Salesia to Görlitz. On 22 June 1722 Christian David felled the first tree for the start of the village Herrnhut on the estate of Count Zinzendorf. As a carpenter Christian David would help building houses also in Herrnhaag in the Wetteravia, in ‘s Heerendijk (Holland), in Greenland, in Pennsylvania and Latvia. He conceded his major ‘weakness’ that was so powerfully used in the service of the Lord: ‘I do not think that it is my calling to stay long in one place... Once things get started at one place, I love to hand it over to others’ (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:16). He would work only for something to eat.
            Christian David continued with his missionary forays into Moravia. In the village of Zauchtenthal Martin Schneider had been treasuring the heritage of the old Unitas Fratrum (Unity of the Brethren), holding secret cottage meetings where he taught young people reading and writing, A spiritual revival broke out in Moravia in 1723 that was ignited by the preaching of Christian David. The revival there was followed by fierce persecution. Just like in biblical times, this was the fuel the believers needed to leave their home town. Many of them came to Herrnhut and send from there later to other places.

H. Itinerant Refugee Preachers
The 18-year old David Nitschmann was one of the refugee clan that would impact Herrnhut intensely in the next few years. He went around the Moravian environs of Kunwald with others of his age, speaking about what they had experienced, spreading the fire even more. All people who attended the meetings were imprisoned and some were locked up in the tower of a castle during the hard wintry conditions. The authorities hoped to get information about the books they were reading and how often the bush preacher (Christian David) visited them. Three young men with the name David Nitschmann, along with two other peers, Melchior Zeisberger and Johann Töltchig, appeared before Judge Töltchig. He was the father of one of the five young men. After they had been given heavy sentences and prohibited to have religious services in the homes, they went together to stage a prayer meeting on a meadow outside the town, concluding their service with a song that their ancestors wrote. It was sung a century before them when the ancestors had to leave their fatherland (Uttendörfer and Schmidt, 1914:19).
            The younger generation was however not solely used as itinerant preachers. In 1740 they prepared a plan to use older couples whose children were not small. Fifty ‘anchorites’ as they were called, would go from place to place as witnesses of the Gospel (Nielsen I, 1951:44). From this source Zinzendorf also developed the idea of a Diaspora Church where members could visit Herrnhut every five years.
            Another variation on the theme is found in the practice of sending artisans from home to home. The habit was grasped spontaneously in Herrnhut to send these men as missionaries and witnesses, even to the ends of the world – albeit not before thorough preparation. During the daytime they would work in their respective trades. In the evening they received training in the Brethren’s house that would become the forerunner of a mission seminary (Van der Linde, 1975:29). By the way, Comenius had been teaching in the Old Unity of the Brethren and in the Reformed church that hand work was a noble calling. Students in Theology were taught practical subjects from the start.
            Soon Herrnhut profited from the revival in Moravia. Because of his support for the refugees, the Count encountered problems with his authorities. Eventually Zinzendorf was banned from Saxony in 1736.

I. The small Country of Holland shows the Way
In recent decades the Netherlands were blessed by foreigners during the war years and thereafter when secularism threatened to bring about moral decay. The Moravians in Zeist, started by the Germans, played a major role in reconciliation between Germans and Dutch citizens as evangelicals like Jan Kits (sr.) rallied around Rev. P.L. Legêne, a Danish preacher.
            Twentieth century history in the small country shows how refugees and foreigners have been fruitful in the missionary movement. The persecution of the Jews and the repression by the Nazi regime brought out the best in the Dutch nation whose own history is interwoven with the refugee status of their monarchs. Evangelical Christians like the ten Boom family of Haarlem in the Netherlands, were themselves persecuted because of their support to the hapless Jews. Brother Andrew, known in his home country as Anne van der Bijl, the founder of Open Doors, received much of his inspiration from Corrie ten Boom and Sidney Wilson, a British missionary working in Holland. Open Doors to-day still has as its main thrust the support of the persecuted Christians.
            Brother Andrew was the initiator for the seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union, which more than anything else brought about the downfall of the Communist regime. Aid to the embattled Christians of Romania was divinely orchestrated from Holland in the late 1980s, for example after the German-background Erwin Klein was allowed to emigrate to the West with his family. After meeting a family from Holland in the Southern German holiday facility for big families in Tieringen in 1987, many parcels were sent to Christian families in the communist country. This must have angered the dictator Nicolau Çeaucescu and his Securitate profusely, because they had tried to isolate Romanian Christians from any contact with the West.
            The subsequent ten years of prayer for the collapse of the 'wall of Islam' is having similar results if not so spectacular. Thousands of Muslms have come to faith in Christ in the last ten years, more than in the previous thousand years.

A scriptural Principle implemented   
The scriptural principle involved is no mere theory. Bishop Festo Kivangere, who had to flee the wrath of the dictator Idi Amin in the seventies, became a blessing to Christians around the world with his challenging message of love and forgiveness.[45] An Egyptian Islamic scholar, had to flee his home country of Egypt in 1994, adopting the name of Mark Gabriel. Dr Gabriel and other Arab-background converts in the USA exposed the lie and deception of Islam like few others in recent decades.
Drug addition and prostitution were fast becoming the hall-marks of the capital Amsterdam in the second half of the 1970s. That was the time when Floyd McClung from the USA, Jeff Fountain from New Zealand and other foreigners came to Holland, among others under the auspices of Youth with a Mission. McClung started his ministry in the drug capital of Europe in 1973 with six months of prayer as he walked through the streets of Amsterdam. The moral decay was clearly slowed down as churches started to work together, when pastors from different denominations came together for prayer. Many Christians tried to talk Floyd and Sally out of their calling to the red-light district of Amsterdam, but a Dutch pastor, Rolf Boiton, thanked them for availing themselves to be the answer of his prayer for 14 years. When the McClungs came to Amsterdam there were only five evangelical churches in the Dutch metropolis. After practising biblical principles of church planting, they were amazed to discover that the number (including house churches) had increased to 400 when they left Amsterdam in the 1990s (McClung and Kreider, 2007:88). The McClungs were blessed even more to hear in 2008 that the new Jewish mayor of Amsterdam had outlawed the notorious red light district of the Dutch capital.  The Jewish mayor discerned that it did not make economic sense to propagate sexual immorality.
            South Africans are generally less aware of the stalwart work of our late countryman, ‘Mr. Pentecost’ Du Plessis. There are few people in the world - if any - who did more to bring Pentecostals into the mainstream of evangelicalism. Much of this work was done while he was a foreigner in Europe and North America.

Late 20th Century missionary Interplay involving South Africa     
A similar interplay can be discerned with regard to South Africa. Professor Verkuyl, a Dutch academic who had become very sensitive to racism during his term as a missionary in Indonesia, influenced many South Africans in the resistance to apartheid, for example through his booklet ‘Breek de muren af’. Dr Beyers Naudé, who started the Christian Institute, was decisively influenced by Verkuyl and he became the channel, which opened the Dutch Churches for the South African church leader when Naudé was outlawed by his own church (Ryan, 1990:113). Through the favour and offices of Dr Naudé many a DRC pastor of colour could proceed to post graduate studies in Holland. His influence was nowhere more evident than in the doctoral thesis of Dr Hannes Adonis, Die Afgebreekte Mure opgebou. In turn, this work played a significant role in the run-up to the famous Belhar confession.
            Other compatriots, with Ds. Steve Deventer among the best known, played a major role in the Dutch prayer movement, spawned by a visit of David Bryant from England in 1988. The first regional prayer group in Holland started in Zeist-Driebergen, where a South African exile spearheaded the group. On the first Thursday of October, 1989, this group devoted the whole prayer meeting to South Africa, just a week before the momentous meeting of President De Klerk with Archbishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak.[46] The latter meeting helped to pave the way for the release of Nelson Mandela in February 1990 and the ultimate democratization of South Africa.
From 1982 a South African led a networking effort of Christians from different local churches and Bible Schools around the Dutch town of Zeist in the evangelism of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan, exposing the prejudice and lie that it was impossible for believers from doctrinally differing churches to work together in this way for any length of time. The ministry continued long after the family returned to Cape Town in January 1992.

More Moves of the Spirit      
What is also not generally known is the two-way movement of the Spirit between continents after 1949. The visit of Norman Grubb, a WEC missionary leader, caused a mighty movement in Zaire,[47] which spilled over into Rwanda. Two African brothers from the Rwanda movement, who came to Britain, made a powerful impact on WEC in the UK and from there around the world. The two Rwandans shared the powerful principles of ‘Walking in the Light’, which were recorded by Roy Hession in his Calvary Road and Norman Grubb in his book Continuous Revival.
            Experience abroad played a role in yet another case where South Africa is concerned. The German theologian Dietrich Bonhoeffer received a major part of his theological formation during his exile in New York where he worshiped with Blacks in the suburb Harlem. Here he came face to face with the problem of racism at a time when Hitler was not yet persecuting Jews. But it prepared him for the struggle against the Nazi racism. Bonhoeffer also learned to work with a variety of churches in New York and he was challenged to become involved in working for world peace.  Bonhoeffer had a powerful effect on Dr Beyers Naudé and a few others like Rev Chris Wessels, who were inspired by him in their resistance to apartheid.  Chris Wessels[48] became an inspiration to many young people after his return from a study stint in Europe in 1962. Dr Allan Boesak, Professor Juttie Bredenkamp and Dr Franklin Sonn have been only a few of many who were influenced by him and who later became prominent in the struggle for democracy in South Africa.

South Africa to set the Pace?
In obedience to the biblical exhortation to be hospitable to strangers (Hebrews 13,2), refugees and foreigners should be served lovingly. In this way South Africa could set the pace for the wealthy ‘Christian countries’ towards a return to the living God. We - as well as the Western countries with an influx of refugees - should welcome the opportunity to host refugees, even those of the economic type. If they are isolated, they could become even worse materialists than the inhabitants of their host countries. However, if these refugees are gripped by the Gospel, it is quite possible that many of them would want to return to their home countries to share the insights, which they have learned. And if they do not, they will nevertheless have enriched the individualistic Western countries if they have been given the chance to share their non-material attributes.
            South Africa has been having its fair share of refugees, especially from Angola, Mozambique and Zimbabwe. In the first years of the new democracy the country has been quite exemplary in its care for these hapless people. Former President Mandela’s statement in the mid-1990s - not to see refugees as a threat - is completely in line with biblical guidelines. In some countries refugees and other foreigners have often been regarded as a threat and/or a nuisance. Unfortunately this tendency also occurred in South Africa after the influx of thousands of foreigners from all over Africa and other countries like China. At the turn of the century the loss of jobs in the textile industry – that was most adversely affected by cheap imports from the most populous country of the world – contributed to general xenophobia, leading to serious mob violence on a national scale in May 2008.
            In terms of missionary strategy, future missionaries could nevertheless be seen in this category of people. Already significant ministry amongst Portuguese-speaking people in South Africa started over a decade ago by an ex-soldier working with refugees from Angola and Mozambique. Missionaries from Brazil proved to be a precious asset in this regard, following up the pioneering enterprise. Prayer could be directed that many of these refugees may be challenged with the Gospel and called for service in Mozambique, Angola and Guinea-Bissau, where there are still many unreached people groups.
After 1996 ministry among French-speaking Africans took off at the Cape Town Baptist Church, and followed by a few other congregations of different denominations. In the new century this mushroomed, with many little fellowships and cell groups for French and Portuguese–speaking Africans all over the country in the big cities.
            We should keep in mind that especially those refugees became a blessing to nations who had been persecuted for the sake of the Gospel. Africa has started in recent years with a good record after Mark Gabriel, who had voiced his objections to his own peril, was ostracized and kicked out of his job as an Egyptian academic from Al Azhar, for questioning Islam.

A Role for former Exiles
Comenius possibly had a much bigger influence in his home country after his exile than he would have had if he had never been forced to leave. The new democratic South African government of national unity since 1994 displayed an excellent blend of exiles, next to political prisoners and former apartheid rulers. This set an example for many other countries to make use of the expertise that their nationals had gained during a period of exile.
The attitude to former exiles who have returned to South Africa is just as important. Although some of them may have displayed an arrogant know-all attitude, there is often a deep spiritual need. In South Africa’s case, the decision to leave the country was more often than not preceded by disappointment and bitterness because of an unjust political set-up. These former exiles have not always been cordially welcomed and given opportunities to share the skills which they have learned abroad. Special attention should be given to the children of such returnees who may still face the after-effects of culture shock. There are cases of children who grew up in Western Europe but who eventually landed in squalid living conditions. Opportunities surfaced to minister to some of those who had genuinely thought that Communism was the only solution to our country’s problems. Many of them became more open to the Gospel than before they left the country. Some of them have experienced the demise of the atheist ideology. A positive attitude to former exiles could go a long way in preparing the way of the Lord in their lives and that of their families. Some of them have learned languages like Russian and Spanish, which could be utilized in the service of the Lord. New opportunities for missionary work, especially in Eastern Europe, have opened up. The special relationship of the government to countries like Cuba and Libya could create openings for South Africans in these countries about which many other Western nations can only dream. Coupled with this ex-President Mandela’s criticism of American and British entry into Iraq on rather flimsy grounds ensured for the Republic a good reputation among Muslim countries. Thousands have been coming to South Africa to learn English already from 2002. The Catholic countries of Southern Europe still resemble a desert in spiritual terms. Many nationals from Greece, Italy and Portugal came to personal faith in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour in South Africa.
            South African intercessors – led by Bennie Mostert and Gerda Leithgöb and their Network of United Prayer in Southern Africa (NUPSA) and Herald Ministries respectively - became prominent internationally in the prayer movement. The Newlands Rugby Stadium event of 23 March 2001 spread to all parts of the continent and ultimately led to the Global Day of Prayer in 2005.
The Homeless as a Potential for missionary Recruitment
Similarly, the homeless represent a potential for missionary recruitment. Some of these hapless people have landed on the street through very unfortunate circumstances. We would possibly be quite surprised what potential could come out when some of these people are guided towards a full committment to the Lord Jesus,  after the healing of their emotional and other hurts.
            Pastor Willy Martheze, a qualified welder from Mitchells Plain, was still a vagrant when he was initially ministered to by Pastor Gay, a Scottish missionary. Humorously he would recollect how he had been such a good-for-nothing alcoholic. His own mother deemed it appropriate to send the police and the gangsters after him. ‘But Jesus found me first!’ he averred. Obedient to God’s voice when he saw a vagrant, Pastor Willy Martheze followed a call to minister full-time to homeless people, with the intention of bringing Gospel healing to these people. He constantly aims to empower them to return to the homes they had left. At the District Six fellowship worshipping at the Azaad Youth Centre, the congregants can clean themselves before the late Sunday afternoon service and get a plate of food afterwards. One of Pastor Willy Martheze’s ‘clients’ gave him the special testimony: ‘you are the only church where the pastor is happy when the members leave’. His main purpose is not only to minister to them with the Gospel, but also to empower them to return to their homes.
At ‘the Ark’ in Cape Town, a place where more than a thousand homeless people have found a refuge, the one or other of the former ‘bergies’ (vagrants) could already be given responsibility. In another project, Loaves and Fishes, a few churches work together to offer more than only shelter to the destitute. We would do well to consider that Jesus also did not have a place to lay his head (Matthew 8:20). At any rate, through their experience of suffering injustice and being prepared to take difficulties in their stride, the refugees and homeless have a head-start.
            However, this does not absolve our society in general, and the church in particular, from the responsibility to put much effort into reducing or even eliminating living conditions which are conducive to the production of the next generation of street children. (I believe however, that it should happen much more low-key than at present. The praise-worthy efforts of former President Mandela may turn out to become counter-productive, encouraging young children to take to the streets for the flimsiest of reasons.)
            The challenge is there however, to treat these unfortunate people not first and foremost as criminals, drug addicts, drunkards and prostitutes, but as individuals for whom our Lord bled and died. At least some of these street children and other vagrants could be rehabilitated and taught life skills, farming or other uplifting activities.


The (un)official Renaming of ‘Devil’s Peak’
The first known effort to rename ‘Devil’s Peak’ was made by Hilary-Jane Solomons when she wrote a letter to President Mandela in 1996 to request the landmark to be changed to ‘Doves' Peak.’  (Already as a child she felt the name of the peak offensive.)
         The unofficial renaming of ‘Devil’s Peak’ to ‘Disciples' Peak’ - led by Pastor Johan Klopper of the Vredehoek Apostolic Faith Mission Church - and regular prayers at Rhodes Memorial, fitted into the pattern of spiritual warfare. These venues have been strongholds of Satanists for decades. A mass march to Parliament on 2 September 1998 in response to the perceived attack on community radio stations was followed by a big prayer event on Table Mountain a few weeks later. The prayer day, this time as an effort to rename the reviled peak ‘God’s Mountain’, was called for 26 September 1998. A few thousand Christians prayed over the city from Table Mountain. The event inspired a new initiative whereby a few believers from diverse backgrounds would come together again for prayer on Signal Hill on Saturdays every fortnight at 6 a.m.  Christians from different churches thus demonstrated the unity of the body. 
         Advocate Murray Bridgman showed a keen interest in the change of the name around 2000. Along with Ned and Susan Hill of an American group ‘Blood ‘n Fire Ministries’ regular monthly prayers were offered from 2002 at the Moravian Church in District Six, where the renaming also featured prominently.
         In 2002 there was an effort by an ACDP City councillor to get the name changed but this was heavily defeated. The next attempt started in 2009 when Mr Dan Plato was mayor. I approached Murray Bridgman who I knew was passionate about the name change. Along with Barry Isaacs we started to get an official process going under the auspices of Transformation Africa. Marcel Durler, who likewise had a great yearning to see the unity of the body of Christ operating in this venture, joined this group the following year. Murray Bridgman had been making personal sacrifices up to this stage to engage an historian, involved for the needed research as required by the Western Cape Provincial Geographic Names Committee. After Table Mountain had been declared one of the seven natural wonders of the world in 2012, massive funding would be required to drive the process. A significant pledge enabled the employment of two part-time workers to get the process going.
The Name change Campaign: a God Idea?
At the beginning of 2012 it became quite clear that the name change campaign was more than just a freak idea of Murray Bridgman and a few others. Some of the main Cape evangelical role players experienced the one or other form of attack. It seemed to me no co-incidence that I was touch and go or I was eliminated personally in the night of 30/31 January 2012. This happened a few days before a Transformation Africa event that was scheduled for Saturday 4 February at Rhodes Memorial.
      A completely blocked main artery should have taken me out. But God had fore-stalled this attack on my life. A few days prior to this, He gave to Beverley Stratis, a good friend of us and a faithful intercessor, a picture of me while she was praying, with some confusion surrounding me. That was her clue to include intercession for us especially the next day.
       About two weeks later Erika Schmeisser, an intercessor who attended our Saturday evening fellowship regularly, came up to me to tell of her experience. She heard that I had a heart attack. At that time she woke up from a massive pain in her chest. She immediately knew that this was from someone else and that she must intercede. This highlighted Isaiah 53 to me in a special because doctors and nurses were so surprised that I had no need for tablets for pain in the chest region. Also the physician who sent me to hospital for an ECG initially was very surprised that I drove a car to her myself with the low pulse that she had felt.

[1] I lost one such opportunity to be appointed as store clerk after telling the manager that I intended to go to Hewat Training College the following year.
[2]Later my programme was changed to a single year, a practical year with the Evangelische Jungmännerwerk in Stuttgart.
[3] In the wake of the Sharpeville massacre of March 1960, the World Council of Churches convened a consultation in Cottesloe, a suburb of Johannesburg from 7-14 December, 1960 with South African Church leaders.

[4]The global movement is today known as Initiatives for Change.  In this work I however stick to the term at the time when it impacted me.
[5]The title alludes to one of the biblical Beatitudes of Matthew 5. Geregtigheid in Afrikaans has the double meaning of righteousness and justice.
[6]The global movement is today known as Initiatives for Change.  In this work I however stick to the term at the time when it impacted me.
[7]A fuller report of the visit to South Africa can be found in the manuscript (In)voluntary Exile, accessible at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com.
[8]I loved to use the Latin word for root – radix – as my motivation to be radical. Certain trees with bad fruit had to be uprooted, I would explain.
[9]The other two manuscripts, Sonder my kan julle niks doen nie and As God die Huis nie bou nie did not get much further than the collating and commenting stage of the respective documents.
[10]The efforts are described in more detail in Jumping over Walls.
[11]We had met Dick and Riet van Stelten in the early 1980s in Soest, when they were on home assignment in the Netherlands. We immediately struck a good rapport with them.
[12]Richard Wurmbrand called his organization to support Christians in communist countries The Underground Church.
[13]Thus my idea of writing a letter to encourage the politicians  Mandela, Buthelezi and De Klerk to put forward a common gesture of reconciliation did not go down well with one of the leaders, who thought that I was engaging in politics inappropriately. He feared a repetition of problems the mission agency had with a right-ẃing colleague not too long prior to this.
[14]When we invited Herman Takken, who was doing this work in Holland full-time - to come and give us, the volunteers of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan’, some teaching on Islam - I was however not remotely thinking of using it one day in the city where I was born and bred.
[15] The institution, later called Cornerstone Christian College, was started as a parallel Bible school for ‘Coloureds’ to the renowned Bible Institute of South Africa in the White suburb of Kalk Bay.
[16]The emphasis of SIM Life Challenge was at that stage very much governed by the philosophy of Gerhard Nehls, that he called ‘broad casting’, trusting that the mere dissemination of the Gospel amongst Muslims would finally provide a breakthrough.
[17] That special book had already influenced the praying for missions like possibly no other.
[18]In earlier years SIM Life Challenge had a similar initiative with its New Life group but that petered out. In 1993 they also started with centralized convert meetings.
[19]In preparation of a church service in September 2011, in which we celebrated the various cultures in our city, we were quite surprised that there are so many more Jews in Sea Point (15000) than Muslims in Bo-Kaap (7,100)
[20]Accessible as Gabriel and Jibril at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com
[21] I subsequently completed a treatise that I called A Revolutionary Conversation - lessons in cross-cultural outreach.
[22]Lillian James was God’s strategic instrument to link us up with Leigh and Paul Telli, when they came from the UK early in the new millennium.
[23]The late Jan Hanekom was a missionary stalwart of the Hofmeyr Mission Centre in Stellenbosch and the Western Cape Missions Commission. He had a burden for the Kingdom of Bhutan. He is fondly remembered when he strangely became terminally ill. Some occult curse appears to have been the cause of the death of the devout healthy young man.  
[24]Personally I would have preferred a more central venue but I compromised, not wanting to wreck the initiative because of a peripheral matter.
[25]I documented this as Roots of Islam, revising and printing it in 2010 as The Spiritual Parents of Islam, accessible at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com.
[26]Like all other manuscripts it is accessible at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com.
[27]That was to be my last invitation to a Moravian pulpit up to the point of writing.
[28] The author of the novel Satanic Verses had to go in hiding for intimating that Satan revealed certain verses to Muhammad was at some stage. This is in spite of biographies of Muhammad which also refer to demonic inspiration of these verses which amounted to a concession to Meccan idolators.
[29] It became simultaneously the opportunity for us to upgrade our ‘fleet’, taking over her 1989 Mazda for a song. That was to give us many years of faithful service until it was stolen in 2001.
[30]Debbie subsequently did a course with us in Muslim Evangelism and a precious friendship to her developed that would stretch over decades.
[31]The St James Church massacre of July 1993 ironically caused a temporary break on the escalation of violence that sent the country to the precipice of a civil war of enormous dimensions. Inter alia, it spawned unprecedented prayer all around the country, bringing home the seriousness of terrorism that would not even stop at sacred places.
[32]At another occasion, Louis Pasques broke down and I took over.

[33]The name was later changed to Chris Barnard Memorial Hospital
[34]Not his real name
[35]Not her real name
[36]Not her real name
[37]Not his real name
[38]I changed the latter title subsequently to Forerunners and ‘Successors’ of Islam in Heretical Christianity and yet later to The spiritual Parents of Islam.

[39] The model was the ANC, which had given encouragement from exile. In January 1985 it had been suggested that the oppressed should make the country ungovernable. This should become its strategy to get ‘people’s power’ in place.
[40]We took care of Nazeema after her ex-husband had shot her in her leg. Thereafter she fled to friends in the neighbourhood.
[41]She had married Doug Smetherham, a South African.
[42]Jesus also mentioned in the same context the ministry of Elisha to a foreigner: And many lepers were in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, and none of them was cleansed except Naaman the Syrian (Luke 4:25-27). Numbers 19:11-12 states: If you touch a dead body, you will be unclean for seven days.
[43]He might have been influenced by the Waldenses of France who had also called themselves a pilgrim church.
[44]This was the domain of priests. Until the Vatican Council in the early 1960s, Latin had until then been retained as the language in the Roman Catholic Church.
[45]He wrote a booklet in 1977 with the title I love Idi Amin.
[46]The prayers for the country followed after the South African requested prayer for a letter to President De Klerk in which the writer confessed his hypocritical attitude.
[47]The story is told in Norman Grubb's book A mighty Work of the Spirit.
[48] He was innocently incarcerated in 1977 because of his care for the families of political prisoners on  behalf of the South African Council of Churches.


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