Tuesday, June 23, 2015



                         “Much more is wrought by prayer than this world dreams of ...”
                                                                                                        Alfred Tennyson

Foreword by Dr Bennie Mostert                                                                                 

Part 1
1. Impact of Prayer during early Dutch Rule.......................................................................................
2. Prayer and evangelical Zeal confront Colonial Mission Policy........................................................
3. Prayerful Actions oppose divisive Doctrine....................................................................................   
4. Spiritual Warfare at the Cape..........................................................................................................
5. A spiritual Watershed ………………………………
6. Significant impact of Prayer on Cape Islam ……………………………………………………………
7. God at work behind the Scenes.......................................................................................................
8. Cape Church Opposition to Racism....................................................................................................
9. Church Struggle against Divisions………

Part 2
10. Prayer and Interaction with Islam ……………………………………………………………………
11. PAGAD and its Effects.....................................................................................................................
12. The Pregnancy and Birth Pains of the Mother City............................................................................
13. Birth Pangs of a new Era?............................................................................................................


It was with great anticipation that I waited for Ashley's manuscript.  I was not disappointed. Here is some good and thorough research.  For two decades I have been involved in the prayer movement.  And I can honestly say that much of what Ashley wrote I did not know. 

He combined well known and newly researched information and gives us a clearer picture of the past and the golden thread of what God has been doing and the place prayer has in it.  All the information brings new perspective and helps us to understand the deep hurts and humiliation of multitudes of Black and Coloured people in the Cape.  The historical facts help us to better comprehend how to pray for the Cape, how to pray more "intelligently", with more passion and compassion. 

It is important that the whole church, especially in the Cape, take note of this research.  It will bring clarity about many issues and build faith while also bringing about a new understanding of the importance of prayer even in the most difficult circumstances. Hundreds of thousands have prayed over the years for Cape Town and the surrounding area.  Much has happened in answer to the prayers of the saints. 

We are living in a time where we need to go beyond defending and accusing, excuses and explanations.  It is time for repentance, forgiveness, reconciliation, compassionate outreach and balanced Christian action, which include reaching out to the poor and needy and preaching the gospel of salvation.  Love covers a multitude of sins.  It is time for intensified prayer, laying hold of God (Isaiah 64:7), raising watchmen to pray night and day (Luke 18:7; Isaiah 62:6-7; Lamentations 2:18-19), crying to God for the healing of the land and for the unsaved around us.

A close study of Ashley's research will show that we have entered a new stage of prayer: 24 hour day and night prayer. We have to raise prayer watches and as we do this, God will rectify what is wrong (Luke 18:7).

Understanding history helps us to know how to go into the future. The danger of history is to "go camping" there and not to deal with it and move on, doing and proclaiming the purposes of God. The gospel of Jesus Christ is a gospel of reconciliation and healing.  It is there for everyone, for the oppressor and the oppressed, for the abuser and the abused.

Thank you Ashley for your service to the church of Jesus Christ in South Africa! 

Ephesians 3:20
Bennie Mostert

AE -   Africa Enterprise
ACVV - Afrikaanse Vrouevereniging (Afrikaans Women’s Guild)
AEF - Africa Evangelical Fellowship
AFM - Apostolic Faith Mission
ANC - African National Congress
AWB - Afrikaner Weerstandsbeweging
CRC - Coloured Representative Council
CCM - Christian Concern for Muslims
CCFM - Cape Community FM (radio)
CSV - Christelike Studentevereniging
DEIC - Dutch East India Company
NGK - Dutch Reformed Church (NG Kerk)
Ds - Dominee, equivalent of Reverend
DTS  - Discipleship Training School
GCOWE  - Global Consultation of World Evangelization
LMS  - London Missionary Society
MERCSA Muslim Resource Centre of South Africa
MJC – Muslim Judicial Council
MRA- Moral Rearmament
OM - Operation Mobilization
PAC – Pan African Congress
PAGAD  - People against Gangsterism and Drugs
PCR  - Programme to Combat Racism
SACC -South African Council of Churches
SAMS - South African Missionary Society
SIM - Serving in Missions
SPG - Society for the Propagation of the Gospel
TEAM  -  The Evangelical Alliance Mission.
TEASA  - The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa
UCT - University of Cape Town
UDF - United Democratic Front
UNISA - University of South Africa
UWC  - University of the Western Cape
V.O.C - Vereenigde Oost Indische Compagne = United East India Company
WCC - World Council of Churches
WEC  -Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ
YfC – Youth for Christ
YWAM  - Youth With a Mission
YMCA  -Young Men’s Christian Association
Z.A. Gesticht - Zuid-Afrikaanse Gesticht (South African Foundation)
Prayer is quite widely defined in this book to include prayer walks and prayer drives, fasting, as well as public occasions of confession.
I make no apology for the inclusion of much information about two prayerful spiritual giants who laboured here in our part of the world: Georg Schmidt, the first missionary to South Africa and Dr Helperus Ritzema van Lier, a Dutch Reformed minister, both of whom operated only for a short period at the Cape. Schmidt, who was innocently banished to the Cape and pushed from our shores in a very unjust way by church people, influenced the origins of our country deeply, although he was here for not even seven years.  His life typifies in a powerful way the adage of Tennyson: “Much more is wrought by prayer than this world dreams of...” It points us to the Lord Jesus, whom Georg Schmidt served in such a committed way. Van Lier, who is fairly unknown, has influenced mission history world wide in a much bigger way than he has been credited for. In the case of Dr Andrew Murray, the information available had to be significantly reduced for the purposes of this book.
            I am thoroughly aware that Part 1 of the book in your hand is just a fraction of what God has been doing at the Cape through the centuries until February 1990, the release of Mr Nelson Mandela. This part especially contains only SOME THINGS WROUGHT BY PRAYER.

            We returned to South Africa as a family in 1992. Being a born and bred Capetonian, I had been in Germany and Holland since 1973, apart from a period of six months in 1980/81, during which I was teaching in the township Hanover Park. On the periphery of our ministry as missionaries of WEC International, we have been involved with the prayer movement at the Cape since January 1992. From close quarters we experienced special answers to prayer, a few of which we record in Part 2.
The bibliography and the sources of the quotes can be found in the hitherto unpublished work - SPIRITUAL DYNAMICS AT THE CAPE.

Cape Town, August 2011

1. Impact of Prayer during early Dutch Rule

            The exodus experience of the Israelites - liberated from bondage in Egypt - was the precursor to God’s people around the globe: to be led out of the bondage of sin into liberty. This freedom ushers in a new kind of allegiance, when the doulos (in the related meaning of slave and servant) gives his all in the voluntary committed service of his new Master, the Lord Jesus.  In New Testament terms the optimal way to ‘assist’ God is through persevering prayer. In fact, the Father is ‘desperately’ expecting and hoping for our co-operation in this way. He seeks for such prayful people, who worship in spirit and in truth (John 4:23,24). Paul, the apostle and prolific epistle writer of the early church, encouraged the followers of Jesus not to be bonded in a yoke of legalistic slavery (Galatians 5:1).
            It is no co-incidence that a spiritual battle was revolving around the slaves at the Cape from the outset. The slaves turned out to be an important part of the ideological battleground of the forces in the unseen world. It seems that the vast majority of slaves were initially open to the Gospel, but sinful attitudes - including materialism and racial prejudice on the part of the Dutch colonists, along with authoritarian denominationalism of the church - played into the hands of Satan. Many slaves became Islams as a result.

Providence at Work                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           One senses Providence had a hand in the developments at the Cape of Good Hope at the beginning of the settlement. In fact, even before Jan van Riebeeck set his foot on our shores on 6 April 1652, God had intervened. The Dutch had already intended in 1619 to create a half-way station here between Europe and the East and the British also had similar ideas in the interim. It was however the shipwreck of the Haarlem in 1647 which gave the decisive input. Significantly, in their memorandum to the East India Company in Amsterdam, Leendert Janzoon and Nicolaas Proot, two from the stranded crew, motivated the beginning of such a station with the need of bringing the Gospel to the indigenous Khoikhoi. These primal people had made a very favourable impression on them. The ship-wrecked Dutch were forced to stay here for five months, till another homeward bound ship could pick them up. It is special how the Remonstrantie, which was written by the two, contradicted the common view of the indigenous people of their day and age, referring to ‘a popular error’: ‘Others will say that the natives are savages and cannibals, and that no good is to be expected from them.’ The Khoikhoi at the Cape impressed them as possible candidates for ‘the magnifying of God’s Holy Name and to the propagation of the Gospel.’ Before this, the interest in them was completely mercantile, a time when spices and profits came before souls and patriotism. There were of course economic interests as well, especially when the Dutch discovered that the soil at the Cape was fertile and that the indigenous people, because of their cattle, could be an asset.

Prayer for the Sick, at the Table and other Occasions
The first Christian worker appointed by the Dutch East India Company, the trade company that governed the Cape from 1652, was Willem Barentsz Wijlant, the zieketrooster (comforter of the sick). He came with Jan van Riebeeck’s group.  
            The teaching of the zieketrooster, who was usually not theologically trained, was often problematic. They for instance made prayer at mealtimes compulsory and the neglect of it punishable. They admonished the people not to sit down to their meals ‘without asking a blessing from God before eating and returning thanks afterwards...’ (Theal, History..., Vol. 3, 1964 [1907]: 58). Those who disobeyed ‘were to be fined ...a shilling for the first offence... two shillings for the second offence and so on...’ Yet, the sick comforters did play a role in setting a standard at the Cape that was going to substantially influence the religious life at the Cape. Wijlant’s successor, Pieter van der Stael, who came in 1656, was described as ‘doing the work of an evangelist.’ Van der Stael was very zealous for the Gospel, opening a school for slave children. He also tried to explain the Christian faith to the indigenous beach rangers.
It is interesting that this sick comforter already introduced fasting and prayer during the winter of 1656. Such serious sickness abounded that ‘the council considered this being beyond doubt a punishment inflicted upon them for their sins.’ Thursday, 29 June 1656, was set aside as a day of prayerful fasting, where the early Cape inhabitants beseeched the Almighty to have mercy on them. 

Slavery as an integral part of the spiritual battlefield of the Cape
A sore point, and consequently a matter for confession, was the effect of slavery on family life at the Cape. Between the 15th and 18th century, very few people in Europe and North America had ethical problems with slavery.  The inhuman practices of slavery were regarded as reconcilable with Christian norms in spite of the views of early critics, such as the Spanish priest Alfonso de Sandoval in 1627. Furthermore, influential high-ranking people like Queen Isabella of Spain and Queen Elisabeth I of England also had their reservations about the trade in human beings.
          On the other hand a Dutchman, Reverend Godfried Udemans, wrote a theological justification for slavery, having received payment from the West Indian slave trading company.  This could thus be seen as an early variation of Prosperity Theology.  This justification enabled the merchants to ride roughshod over the concerns about the negatives of the slave trade. The demonic teaching was so pervasive that a black minister, Jacobus Capitein (1717-47), who had been abducted as a slave from West Africa and who thereafter studied at the renowned University of Leiden, defended the practice of slavery. 
            Through the lack of international communications, sensitivity to the inhumanity of slavery broke through only relatively slowly. The system of slavery at the Cape was similar to that practised in other colonial societies. It was part of the colonial economic and mercantile system, driven by forces outside the Colony.  The slaves played a significant part in the internal economic development from a small refreshment station to a relatively established economy by 1795, when Britain became the colonial power at the Cape.

Slaves and Religious Persecution
The early history of Islam in the Mother City of South Africa runs parallel to the practice of slavery in this part of the world and the extension of Dutch commercial interests in the East. The first known Muslims were brought to the Cape as slaves in 1658, i.e. only six years after Jan van Riebeeck landed here. These Muslims, who were predominantly from the island of Ambon, were called Mardyckers, indicating that they had been free people, i.e. not slaves before they came to the Cape. Even before they left their home soil, many of them had turned to Islam in solidarity with their fellow Ambonese - in opposition to the oppressive Reformed (Dutch) colonizers there. They were promptly discriminated against. As a component of Dutch colonial policy, their religious practices and activities were severely restricted. Any attempts to make converts to Islam were met with the threat of a death sentence. The Cape Mardyckers from Ambon worshipped with a very low profile.
          The Dutch East India Company  (DEIC) - backed by their rulers in Holland - fought Islam in the East by military means. When rebellious Muslim religious leaders offered stiff resistance in the Indonesian Archipelago, the developing refreshment post at the Southern tip of Africa provided a handy place for the banishment of political convicts. The first religious prisoners came with a batch of slaves from the East who arrived on the Polsbroek from Batavia on 13 May 1668. Muslim leaders like Sayyid Mahmud and Sayyid Abdurahman Matebe Shah were not prepared to passively accept the religious repression like the Mardyckers before them. The graves of these revered men later developed into shrines and were given the name Kramats. A plaque at the Constantia Kramat serves as a reminder to visitors that these leading men were Orang Cayen, i.e. ‘men of power and influence who were viewed as particularly dangerous to the interests of the Company.’ They immediately befriended the slave population at Constantia, teaching them the religion of Islam. Thereafter they held secret meetings in the Constantia forest and on the mountain slopes. The repression of Islam at the Cape soon turned out to be counter-productive, especially because the staunch Muslims from the Indonesian Archipelago brought with them special practices. Supernatural powers were at work through Sufism. This is a form of spiritism, during which prayers to the Muslim saints at the Kramats (shrines) became part and parcel of this variation of the religion. The Sufi leaders and doekums (witch-doctors) had spiritual occult powers at their disposal. The cold nominal Dutch Reformed brand of Christianity proved no match in the battle for the hearts of the many slaves who were still open to the Gospel. The spiritually dead church had no credible message.
            Shaykh Yusuf, an Islamic Sufi resistance leader whose real name was Abidin Tadia Tjoessoep, came to our shores on the Voetboog in 1694. It has been reported that an early Imam at the Cape foresaw prophetically - soon after Shaykh Yusuf’s death in 1699 - that a ‘holy circle’ of shrines would come about. The Islamic prophecy stated that ‘all Muslims who live within the Holy Circle of tombs will be free of fire, famine, plague, earthquake and tidal wave.’ 
            With the arrival of the banished Shaykh Yusuf the battle in the spiritual realms started to heat up. There is no evidence that Reverend Kalden, the first minister, made any attempt to share the Gospel with the Muslim community on his farm that was located at the present-day Macassar near Somerset West. This was thus at quite a distance from the Groote Kerk, with only 18th century transport at Kalden’s disposal.
            Nevertheless, Reverend Kalden basically had a heart for missions. He was probably the first European who tried to learn the difficult Khoi language with the avowed purpose to be ‘of service to this heathen nation who still abide in such dark ignorance’. In fact, he wanted to study the language for a year or more to master it fully.
            We should bear in mind that his farm was merely used as a glorified prison. Politically and denominationally it would have been very difficult for Kalden to try and show compassion to a Muslim leader who had been banished to his farm.

The Link between Baptism and the Setting free of Slaves 
Paul, the epistle writer, had already discerned that materialism is idolatrous by stating that greed is a form of idolatry (Colossians 3:5). The link between baptism and manumission - the setting free of slaves - had been clearly expressed at the international Synod of Dordt (1618). In the early beginnings of the Cape Colony this was still widely practised. Thus Catharina, a Bengalese slave, was freed soon after she had been baptized.
          It is interesting to note the increase in status which was linked to baptism at this time. The view was basically theologically sound that ‘Christians could not be kept in bondage’, especially when one keeps Bible verses in mind like’If the son sets you free, you are free indeed’ (John 8:36) and ‘it is for freedom that Christ set you free’ (Galatians 5:1). Against this background it was quite natural that Catharina, the Bengalese former slave was styled ‘the honourable young daughter’ after her baptism, on a par with the niece of the commander, Jan van Riebeeck.
          Unfortunately the situation changed at the Cape after only a few decades. The contemporary traveller Kolbe noted that the slaves of the D.E.I.C (Dutch East India Company) were baptized and set free, but that the colonists did not follow suit. It appears that the ministers of the churches in the countryside, Roodezand (Tulbagh), Drakenstein (Paarl), Stellenbosch and Zwartland (Malmesbury) had been baptizing ‘Coloured’ people for much longer than those in the city and had also admitted them to communion.

A Slave as God’s divine Instrument
Seen against the background of the religious intolerance of the time, the first missionary enterprise by the Moravians was a miracle. The start of their endeavour occurred as a direct result of prayer.  It developed out of the revival in the German village of Herrnhut in August 1727, after the laborious counselling and prayers of Count Zinzendorf. He had talked and prayed at length with the quarrelling role players in the village who came from different church backgrounds.  The infighting brought the village Christians to the brink of open confrontation and a split was imminent when divine intervention set in. The Holy Spirit prepared the hearts of estranged believers from the different factions in the church of Berthelsdorf (the village adjacent to Herrnhut) on August 13, 1727 where they went for Holy Communion.  Tears of remorse and repentance were streaming freely in the service.  Two weeks later, on August 27, a few revived members of the congregation started a remarkable ‘hourly intercession.’ 48 believers committed themselves to pray every day in pairs for an hour apiece. That developed into a prayer chain, setting an unparalleled world record of 120 years. After a few years the focus of this prayer movement became missions.
            The cause for the start of the missionary movement was Count Zinzendorf’s encounter with a Christian slave at the coronation of Denmark’s King Christian VI in 1731. The Holy Spirit was evidently at work when the Count did the very unconventional thing of speaking to Anton, a slave from the Caribbean island of St Thomas, who came for the occasion with his owner, the aristocrat Von Pless. Anton immediately challenged the Count, mentioning his slave compatriots who had not yet heard the Gospel. Zinzendorf invited Anton to repeat the challenge in his home congregation in Herrnhut. There Anton challenged the Moravian believers to help liberate those who were in double bondage, and to take the Gospel to his Caribbean relatives and countrymen. Anton warned the committed believers however, that his slave countrymen were so overloaded with work that there would be no time for sharing the Gospel except during working hours.
            In the revived Herrnhut congregation the believers were touched by his appeal. Not even the awesome suggestion that potential missionaries would have to share the slave life-style could hold the eager congregation back. The very next year, in 1732, the first two missionaries left for St. Thomas. They were the first of many from the village of Herrnhut to different parts of the world during the following decades - backed by the 24-hour prayer chain at home. 
            Count Zinzendorf’s encounter with a Christian slave was thus the cause of the greatest missionary movement the world - and coming from a single congregation at that! The evangelical awakening in England that came about through John Wesley and George Whitefield from around 1740 was a direct result of the Moravians’ endeavours, as they left Germany to spread the Gospel in the New World. In North America the movement coincided with the first Great Awakening. This itself was the result of a wave of prayer.
            Georg Schmidt, a Moravian missionary, was ‘banished’ to the Cape in 1737 as punishment for a perceived serious misdemeanor.  In the spiritual realm this could be seen as a divine response to the Islamic foundations laid by the exiled Shayk Yusuf, who had likewise been banished to the Cape in 1694. (Schmidt was ‘banished’ by Count Zinzendorf to work amongst the primal Cape ‘Hottentots’ to compensate for the perceived damage he had done to the cause of the Gospel. An unsubstantiated rumour did the rounds that he recanted in order to be set free from imprisonment during Roman Catholic persecution for preaching the Gospel in Bohemia).

The counterproductive Application of Calvinism
The Afrikaner tradition ‘Boeke vat’, the reading of the Bible and prayer before or after supper, was a custom brought from Holland by the early colonists.  In earlier centuries it was not unusual to hear the singing of psalms in some houses before daylight or in the evening.  It is not clear when the habit started to deteriorate to such an extent that the farm workers were required to stand in the doorway leading to the voorkamer (the lounge) at these occasions.
            Being agriculturalists from Holland, the absence of summer rains called for adjustments. Praying for rain was going to become a regular tenet of religious life at the Cape. Although the lives of their slaves were also influenced by the absence of rain, the farmers probably seldom invited their workers to join in these prayers. The uncertainties of storms, plague and fires were calamities which could be attributed to sinfulness. Public days of prayer were held at such occurrences (Worden et al, 1998:75).
            From a fairly early stage the slaves were not allowed to sit in the pews among the Colonists. They had to sit separately in the church, for example next to the pulpit on the sides or at the back of the church. This was indicative of their lower status. There was also quite a strong undercurrent developing over the years: colonists believed that the Bible was not meant for the Khoisan and slaves.  ‘Dutch Calvinist settlers believed themselves to be saved and the heathen, by definition, to be pre-destined to another place’. The historian Elisabeth Elbourne suggest that the ‘doors to family prayer were more often than not firmly barred against slaves and Khoisan in the 1790s and early 1800.’ In substantiation Elbourne quoted an example in the parish of none less than the evangelical and mission-minded Ds Michiel Vos of Tulbagh. Diana, a Khoi woman, was illegally held as a slave. When the slave woman Diana shrewdly contrived to wash the feet of family members just as they were about to have the Bible reading, she was forbidden to enter the room at this particular time. 
            Worse was the distorted interpretation of Calvinism that took root at the Cape. The colonists’ faith drew much of its inspiration from the Old Testament, but they did not see their presence at the Cape as an opportunity to serve the indigenous population and the Muslim slaves. These Europeans derived from Scripture a special destiny as a people with their model being the Israelites. They had to conquer the land – at the expense of the indigeous Khoi who were the descendants of Ham, who were cursed and in their unbiblical interpretation the Hamites were destined to be only drawers of water and hewers of wood. In their view the Muslim slaves had a pagan creed, which they as good Calvinists despised. On that score that religion was fit for slaves and men of colour. On the other hand - in the words of van Imhoff, a Governor-general on behalf of the Dutch India company in 1743 - they as Europeans preferred ‘to be served rather than to serve’, considering it debasing ‘to work with their own hands’.

The Ministry of Georg Schmidt
Georg Schmidt, the Moravian missionary, was the first cleric outside of the Reformed ranks to operate at the Cape. Theal notes that Schmidt initially experienced ‘nothing but kindness’ from the government at the Cape. Schmidt was a powerful evangelist. Various sailors on his voyage to the Cape of Good Hope were touched and converted. Both corporal Kampen and his successor at the military base at Zoetemelksvlei described Schmidt as their spiritual father. His sense of purpose is demonstrated by the fact that Schmidt moved on from Zoetemelksvlei to the Sergeants River soon after the conversion of Kampen to push through the original reason for his coming - to evangelize the ‘Wilden’, the barbarous Khoi.  Slowly the Christian settlement Baviaanskloof came into being. It was however no easy feat.
            However, Schmidt was handicapped right from the outset after Ds. Kulenkamp, a minister of Amsterdam, issued a pastoral letter of warning against the extreme views expressed by Count Zinzendorf. (Kulenkamp was actually referring to the ‘Blut und Wunden’ [blood and wounds] theology of Zinzendorf’s son Christiaan Renatus, but the warning was now understood to be against the Moravians as such). At Baviaanskloof Georg Schmidt was expected to refrain from starting a new church through his missionary work, although the colonial church officials did not expect any Khoi to be converted. Schmidt was merely tolerated and required to work far away from company settlements. In Kulenkamp’s letter in 1738 (Els, 1971:27), his basic objection against the German missionary was that he had no relationship to the Dutch Reformed Church. Schmidt’s reaction to the ‘whisperings’ that were intended to halt his work, was typical of that generation of Moravians: ‘More than ever  Schmidt sought the guidance of the Lord of the harvest and declared that that guidance demanded that he should only continue but renew his efforts with even greater vigour’ (Gerdener, 1937:20).
            Worldwide the Moravians were operating in remote places. It is quite telling of the religious intolerance at the Cape that this church group was almost treated as criminals for attempting to reach the indigenous people.  It had not always been like that, though.  But it was to change significantly in due course, also at the Cape.
            Schmidt gradually overcame the apathy of his flock with ‘labour of love and patience of hope’. By 1742 Schmidt was very frustrated after long years of toil and with little to show for it, but then the fruit came in the form of three male converts.  Schmidt came to the Mother City to greet his compatriots Nitschmann and Eller, two Moravian missionaries en route from Ceylon (the modern-day Sri Lanka), from where they had been deported. 
            The visit to the Mother City with his convert Willem resulted in unprecedented interest among colonists and officials. During this visit Schmidt received his letter of ordination from Count Zinzendorf. Thus at last, in March 1742, he had authority to baptize suitable candidates.  The Count encouraged him in the same letter to baptize his converts ‘where you shot the rhino’, i.e. at the river.  Schmidt thus succeeded - against all odds and contrary to all expectations - to convert Khoi, baptizing them in or at the Sergeant’s River.
            To the Cape church authorities this was unacceptable, the ordination having being signed by a foreign denomination. After the baptism of five converts in 1742, he was forbidden to baptize more Khoi. We can hardly comprehend the thinking that caused a government to forbid missionaries to baptize their indigenous converts. This is exactly what happened to Georg Schmidt. He was promptly called to book because he had not heeded the warning, albeit that the Calvinists had a convenient formal excuse: Schmidt was regarded as ‘not properly ordained’. Count Zinzendorf, the leader of their church, had only ordained Schmidt by letter.
            In the conversion and baptism of the female Vehettge Tikkuie, one of Schmidt’s converts, there was a clear supernatural element. He had initially only attended to males. At first he found only three men suitable for baptism. Schmidt only proceeded to test Vehettge Tikkuie’s Bible knowledge on 4 April 1742. Quite prejudiced against females, he did not expect much, but Schmidt was very surprised by her answers. He had little choice than to baptize the intelligent Khoi woman, giving her the name of Magdalena, surely hoping that like her biblical namesake she would spread the news of the resurrection of Jesus Christ. This she definitely did. She had been exceptional in every way, progressing quickly from the Dutch ABC manual to reading the New Testament in that language.        

A Threat to the Church?
Schmidt was hereafter regarded as a threat. The three Dutch Reformed dominees at the Cape, Le Seur (Groote Kerk), van Gendt (Stellenbosch) and Van Echten (Drakenstein) referred to Schmidt unbecomingly in a letter to their church authorities as ‘the so-called Hottentot converter’, who pretended to convert ‘the blind Hottentots’. On formal grounds they asserted that the converts were not sufficiently instructed and that Schmidt was not ordained. They referred to Zinzendorf’s letter of ordination in very disparaging terms. Their real problem comes through in a sentence that was added as a sort of afterthought: ‘ook mogen geen bejaarden worden gedoopt, dan in de kerken voor de gantsche gemeente (my bold italics. A paraphrase of the sentence is that they could not palate it that Schmidt baptized in the river and not in a church.)
            Pressure was successfully exerted by the three ministers to get Schmidt sent back to Germany, and Schmidt’s position became extremely unpleasant ‘if not untenable’. Furthermore, neighbouring farmers instigated the indigenous Khoi of Baviaanskloof and surroundings so successfully that many of them left the mission post. The letter sent by the three Cape clergymen, spread like wildfire in Europe. At this time the Moravians had been banished from Saxony, in which Herrnhut was situated. This coincided with Count Zinzendorf’s absence from Herrnhaag where the revolutionary fellowship had found a refuge. Doctrinal excesses by Zinzendorf’s son Christian Renatus aggravated the problem. The Moravians were hereafter villified and branded as fanatics with wild views.
            Nevertheless, the Cape ministers were reprimanded by the Amsterdam classis (presbytery) of that denomination: ‘You should not have insisted on Schmidt’s departure, but you should first have conferred with him’. When this letter, dated 5 December 1743, was still on the sailing-vessel to the Cape, Schmidt was already waiting in the Mother City for transport to take him back to Europe. It seemed as though Schmidt’s work in Baviaanskloof was doomed, a complete failure.

A Christ-like Personality
Georg Schmidt’s life story could be described as an 18th century version of that of the Biblical Joseph. Schmidt had been imprisoned in Moravia because of his faith. After his release his name was smeared and slandered. Some even asserted that Schmidt had returned to Roman Catholicism. Schmidt was hardly back in Herrnhut when he returned to the geographical regions from where he hailed to encourage the Protestants there, risking a new imprisonment or even worse. Just like his Lord Jesus, Schmidt appeared not to have made any attempt to defend himself.
          Without any apparent grudge, he had accepted the unfair punishment to be ‘banished’ innocently to the distant Cape of Good Hope, to minister to the resistant ‘Hottentotten’.  Nobody had given Schmidt a chance to succeed among the Khoi. He had a great sense of purpose, not allowing himself to be distracted by his initial successes amongst sailors and colonists.
          The zealous missionary toiled in far-away Baviaanskloof (the later Genadendal), able to visit the Mother City only occasionally. Overcoming his initial prejudice, Schmidt was obviously very unconventional for his time when he gave women attention who came to him for advice. In the colonial church of the time, women were not supposed to make a substantial contribution, a prejudice that Schmidt had initially shared with his contemporaries.
          Yet, Schmidt was also honest about his failures and frustrations. This came through in his diary. He was for instance very frustrated at the lack of response to the preaching of the Gospel in the first few years.  And his prejudice against women had made him very hesitant to test the Bible knowledge of Vehettge Vittuie.
          There is nevertheless no evidence that Schmidt endeavoured to start a church. However, the chances would have been very slim that one of the three Cape ministers would have been willing to baptize any of his converts. The letter of ordination from Count Zinzendorf and the encouragement to baptize his converts at or in a river was a great relief to Schmidt.
          One does not get the impression that he deliberately defied the instructions of the authorities when he proceeded to baptize five converts. He was just as surprised at the fierce reaction of the dominees. Count Zinzendorf possibly also did not expect that the word would spread so quickly.
          Being reformed and from Dutch origin, the baptism might have conjured up in the minds of the dominees the practice of the Anabaptists, the Wederdopers, i.e. the Mennonites and other groups that do not christen infants. In the view of the Cape ministers, this was in defiance of the instruction not to start another church.
          Schmidt’s own report on the discussions around his baptism of the five Khoi converts - which can be found in his diary - is quite charitable, completely devoid of bitterness or vengeance against the dominees who had been tormenting him. He still hoped that the differences could be resolved. He returned to Europe with the yearning to get ordained as a Dutch Reformed minister, to enable him to resume working with his flock in Baviaanskloof. Rumours that were going around - about the Moravians being a dangerous sect - made this impossible. Schmidt nevertheless did not become bitter or resentful. He utilized the two months of waiting for a ship to take him back to Europe, evangelizing among the colonists at the Cape. Nachtigal, a historian of missionary endeavour, wrote that through Schmidt’s efforts ‘many came to a living faith at this time’

Schmidt’s Legacy of Prayer
It is not difficult to deduce how deeply Schmidt must have impacted the lives of his Khoi congregants in Baviaanskloof. Apart from his remarkable personality, which saw him continuing to influence events at the Cape almost fifty years after he was all but forced to leave, the prayer support of the believers in Herrnhut was evidently the driving force. It has been reported that Schmidt continued to pray for his Khoi flock without a shepherd in Africa until old age in the East German village of Niesky where he went to be with his Lord in August 1785. 
          Schmidt died before he could hear of the resumption of the missionary work in Baviaanskloof in 1792. The seed that Schmidt had sown at the Cape during his stint of not even seven years germinated, both in the Mother City and in Baviaanskloof, the later Genadendal. Schmidt was said to have been ‘a man of strong faith and a prayer warrior’. Apparently this example rubbed off on at least one of his converts – on Vehettge Tikkuie, who got the name Magdalena at her baptism. Khoi Christians reported that she was often found on her knees in prayer. On top of this she taught the believers from the New Testament, which she had received from Georg Schmidt. Andreas Sparrman, a Swedish traveller in the Cape Colony from 1775 to 1776, reported how he heard of an aged Khoi lady, who was building on the foundations laid by a German missionary. On Sundays ‘de oude Lena’ would walk to the pear tree where Georg Schmidt had preached, to read the New Testament and pray with her folk. Almost 50 years after Schmidt had left, Khoi witnesses said that they came together at her home every evening where she prayed with them. If one takes the finance minister of Ethiopia mentioned in Acts 8 as the absolute first indigenous evangelist, we can now say that Magdalena was definitely the first one of Sub Saharan Africa. But she was also the first known indigenous female church planting evangelist of all time.
Early prayerful evangelical Beginnings in the Mother City 
In different parts of the world Christian missionaries played a major role not only in the fight against ideologies and barbarism, but also in protecting the indigenous people against colonial exploitation and of course, in the spread of the Gospel. South Africa was no exception.
The first serious effort in the 18th century to evangelize the slaves at the Cape is said to have been that of the Dutch Reformed Ds Henricus Beck, a Groote Kerk minister and previously the minister to the French Huguenots. At Drakenstein (the later Paarl) where he had started in 1702, a new Muslim background believer was confirmed in 1703. It is said that Beck evangelize the slaves at the Cape after his retirement in 1731, the same year in which Count Zinzendorf had his encounter in Denmark with the Caribbean slave Anton.
          The widow Aaltje van den Heyden, one of Beck’s church members, played an important part in the missionary work to the slaves after the death of her husband in 1740. She supplied the bulk of the funds for what became known as the Zuid-Afrikaanse Gesticht in Long Street. Beck’s pioneering work provided the spade work for the dynamic Georg Schmidt to start lively Christian groups in due course. This would decisively influence the religious life at the Cape for the next decades. It has been reported that Schmidt had a small congregation of 47, and that he was in contact with 39 Whites. The evangelical group in the Mother City formed the foundation of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Gesticht (Z.A. Gesticht).
          A few years later in 1742, Cape residents described the impact of Schmidt’s ministry to Nitschmann and Eller, two Moravian missionaries en route from Ceylon (the modern-day Sri Lanka), from where they had been deported. In their assessment they stated that Schmidt had accomplished in three and a half years ‘what others would not have affected in thirty years’ (Du Plessis, 1911:56).
          The Council of Seventeen in Amsterdam dreaded his possible return, ‘lest another Church than the Reformed should be established at the Cape’. The arrival of three new missionaries in 1792 was the signal for opposition by colonists. They sent a petition to prohibit the missionaries from further instruction to the Khoi. Because many of the Christians in the colony had been debarred from education and thus were more or less illiterate, it was therefore regarded as ‘not fair that the Khoi would advance beyond them (the White colonists).
          How powerful and deep Schmidt had evangelized, is further evidenced by the fact that Hendrik Cloete, the owner of the wine farm Groot Constantia, who had been touched under Schmidt’s ministry as a juvenile, supported the new Moravian missionaries who arrived in 1792 when Cape church people contrived flimsy reasons to attack the missionary work - like the assertion that the bell of the church in Baviaanskloof was being heard in Stellenbosch, more than 50 kilometers away, on the other side of a mountain range.

Christian Slaves not to be sold
It became very problematic theologically when other issues like citizenship and the right of inheritance were connected to baptism. The link between baptism and manumission (the setting free of slaves) had been clearly expressed at the international Synod of Dordt (1618). As an indirect result, the opposite happened at the Cape. Slaves were not baptized because of the fear that they would have to be set free.
            In 1775 approximately half of the Cape colony’s population of 12000 was slaves of whom the bulk was Muslims. This was a matter of concern for the Dutch authorities who tried at this time to control their numbers through legislation. In fact, many of the colonists actively encouraged slaves to become Muslims as a direct result of the ‘placaat’ (decree), which prohibited the sale of Christian slaves.  
            In India legislation had been passed that they drew upon at the Cape.  In the Chapter on ‘Slaves’ in the Statutes of 10 April 1770, Article nine reads:
            The Christians are held bound to instruct their slaves... without compulsion in the
                Christian Religion, and have them baptized,..and such as may have been
                confirmed in the Christian Religion, shall never be sold...
This decree was also applied at the Cape. The slave owners at the Cape interpreted the ‘placaat’ (decree) as a threat, believing that their slaves would become free if they were baptized. In addition, Muslim slaves could be entrusted to the wine cellars on religious grounds, a bonus in trade terms. This was reason enough to encourage the slaves to embrace Islam.
            The general neglect of the spiritual care of the slaves seems to have continued at the Cape after the arrival of a second batch of slaves from Batavia in 1743. This group consisted mainly of normal convicts from the East brought in to work on a breakwater in Table Bay where many ships had gone aground.

A gigantic young Dominee
Yet, Christian colonists at the Cape did not compare badly in spiritual terms in relation to what was happening in other parts of the world. This was mainly due to the efforts of a major role player in the evangelization at the Cape, Dr Helperus Ritzema van Lier. He arrived at the Cape in 1786 - merely 22 years old. The conversion of Van Lier was the product of the faithful prayers of his mother. He had narrowly escaped death after breaking through ice. After the sudden death of his fianceé, van Lier sensed the call of God upon his life.
          Officially Dr van Lier was appointed as the third minister of the Groote Kerk. He found fertile ground among a group of Christians at the Cape, including a group of pietist Lutherans, who were the spiritual descendants of those believers, who had been impacted by the short stint of Georg Schmidt, more than 40 years earlier. Quite soon after his arrival, Schmidt’s legacy worked through into van Lier’s life when he was present at the deathbed of one of the missionary pioneer’s converts. He saw how the Khoi believer died ‘in complete rest and peace and in trust in the Lord.’ It made such a deep impression on Van Lier that he mentioned this in one of his letters to his uncle Professor Petrus Hofstede, an influential academic in Rotterdam, who was at that stage still an opponent of the Moravian brethren. Initially Van Lier had been unsuccessful in convincing his learned uncle Petrus Hofstede to use his influence to have the Moravians resume their missionary work in Baviaanskloof. Hofstede’s attitude to the Moravians and their missionary work would change in due course.
          Because Van Lier was only the third pastor (in rank) at the Groote Kerk, he had more opportunity to do the spadework for what later became known as the South African Missionary Society (SAMS). Van Lier himself was encouraged and inspired in another way.  In 1787 the boat carrying the Moravian Bishop J.F. Reichel en route to Germany from Ceylon made a stop at the Cape. It would have been natural for Reichel not only to share something about the Moravians’ passion for the lost, but also about the 24 hour prayer watch that was still going strong in Herrnhut after 60 years. Van Lier was already deeply troubled that so many ‘heathens fell victim to the Muslims’, a direct consequence of the 1770 decree. Reichel’s visit spurred van Lier and all his followers to do something about the spiritual welfare of the Khoi and the slaves. Conversely, Reichel took the challenge of the resumption of the missionary work in the Cape Colony back to Herrnhut.

Local Influence of the prayerful Van Lier
As early as 1788 various people in Cape Town and its surroundings set aside one day in the week for the religious teaching of ‘the heathen’.  Cape Town evangelicals were among the worldwide leaders in this regard at that time - not far behind the Moravians of Herrnhut in Germany and Bethlehem (Pennsylvania, USA). A local newspaper, the Zuid-Afrikaansche Tijdschrift, Vol.1 (1824) wrote at this time ‘When people in many parts of Europe were still discussing whether slaves and heathen should believe and whether they could be taught, they had already started with that work in this Colony’.  The church members met on certain days of the week for prayer and mutual edification, also giving religious teaching to the slaves and Khoikhoi in their service.
          Van Lier was a world Christian. When he heard in 1790 that the Dutch East India Company contemplated attempting to ‘Christianize the various races in their vast possessions’, he immediately wrote once more to his uncle, Petrus Hofstede, offering to collect 50,000 guilders in South Africa towards the capital required. That speaks a lot for Van Lier’s confidence in the sacrificial giving potential of the Christians of his era at the Cape.
          A ‘revolution’ for which the Lord used Van Lier was the change in the attitude of many White believers towards slaves and other people of colour. In those days slaves were initially not allowed near the entrance of the church after the closing of services and they were punished if they dared to attend the funeral of one of the colonists. The prejudice against missionaries was still prevalent when Van Lier arrived, but the youthful minister dared to challenge the church through his fiery sermons and personal example. The young dominee literally caused a spiritual revolution at the Cape, shortening the duration of sermons and prayers during church services. He also increased house visitation. Believers were encouraged to get involved with the spreading of the Gospel. The historian Theal reports that when Van Lier was in the pulpit, people hardly dared to sleep in church because ‘at times it seemed as if he would jump from the pulpit’.  Furthermore, his preaching was full of earnest appeals and ‘…women were often moved to tears, and sometimes fell into hysterics’.  Van Lier was very zealous, spending much of his time visiting people from door to door ‘...holding prayer meetings and encouraging works of benevolence.’
          Quite a few Christians who later became prominent in evangelistic outreach got their training under Van Lier. Thus there was for instance Jan Jakob van Zulk, who later laboured among slaves and other ‘heathen’ in Wagenmakersvallei (later Wellington). Then there was Machteld Smit(h), the pioneer of the first Sunday School for slave children and later co-worker of Ds M.C. Vos in Tulbagh. In old age ‘de oude Lena’ (Magdalena) impacted Machteld Smit(h) when the committed missionary helper accompanied Ds Vos to Baviaanskloof in 1797.
          The education of the youth was dear to Van Lier’s heart. He started classes in Latin and French in 1791 to prepare young men for theological studies in Holland. Jan Christoffel Berrange had already left in 1788 for Leiden to be trained as minister. Many followed him, including Jacobus Henricus Beck, who became the first pastor of the Zuid-Afrikaanse Gesticht.
          Van Lier was a great visionary, seeing the need for learning the heart language of the people to be reached with the Gospel. He was one of the first to start learning Malayu, the trade language, with the object of reaching out to the Cape Muslim slaves. Ds George Thom, another mission-minded Dutch Reformed Church minister, used the example of Van Lier a few decades later to convince the General Meeting of the SAMS as a matter of urgency to get a missionary, who knew the trade language.

The international Influence of Van Lier
The young preacher Van Lier almost single-handedly set the evangelical world ablaze. His letters from the Cape to Europe were very influential indeed. His testimony - in the form of six letters to Rev John Newton - was originally written in Latin and translated by the well-known poet William Cowper. The title of the booklet is: Power of Grace, illustrated in six letters from a Minister of the Reformed church to the Rev John Newton. (It was published in Edinburgh by Campbell and Wallace, 1792). Van Lier’s story of the influence of divine grace in his life seems to have made a lasting impression on Newton who belonged to the ‘inner circle of (slave) abolitionists’ - especially when one considers that the famous hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ came from Newton’s pen. Van Lier’s humility came through when he insisted that a pseudonym Christodulus, (slave of Christ) and not his own name would be used with the publication.

          It is only natural that the prayer chain at Herrnhut would have included intercession for their bishop Reichel on his trip to the East. But no one probably envisaged that this would lead so soon to the resumption of their missionary work at Baviaanskloof, the later Genadendal. This was partly due to Van Lier, the mission-minded new dominee whom Reichel met at the Cape.
          Various letters of Van Lier had the goal of getting the Moravians back to the Cape. After initially failing to sway his uncle, the Rotterdam clergyman and academic Petrus Hofstede (1716-1803) into action on this score, Van Lier wrote to Ds Hubert in Amsterdam. Van Lier’s letter of 6 September 1791 to the Moravian Jan Swertner in Fairfield, England might have been ‘too late’ to have any direct effect. A decision had already been taken when his letter arrived, to send three missionaries to Baviaanskloof.  But his correspondence continued to have an impact in Europe. Through his evangelical zeal Van Lier, along with William Carey’s 1792 book An enquiry into the obligations of Christians to use means for the conversion of the heathens, definitely laid the foundations for a missionary society at the Cape. Van Lier’s letter may have influenced his uncle not only to attack the internal ‘onverdraagzaamheid’ (intolerance) in the church in Holland, but also to challenge the general arrogant attitude towards ‘de heidenen’ (the pagans). God used Hofstede to such an extent that religious tolerance increased significantly in the Netherlands towards the end of the 18th century.
          Tragically, Van Lier was not around to see the actual founding of the first missionary society outside of Europe at the Cape in April 1799. Van Lier had already died of tuberculosis in March 1793 at the age of only 28 years. Ds. Vos, who was later going to become the first missionary of South African origin, took where the mission-minded Dr van Lier had left off.

Impact of Prayer in Europe and America
In Europe there was a significant increase in missionary interest towards the end of the 18th century. The 24-hour Moravian prayer chain in Herrnhut that started in 1727 was definitely still going strong and in England evangelicalism was gaining ground. The effect of William Carey’s book, An enquiry into the obligations of Christians to use means for the conversion of the heathens (1792) was quite pervasive in Britain and North America. Intensive prayer preceded the revival of 1792-1820, when no less than twelve mission agencies came into being.  In London and Rotterdam two interdenominational missionary societies were founded in 1795 and 1797 respectively.
          The spiritual hunger of the Khoi at Genadendal, the new name of Baviaanskloof, has been attributed to the prayers of the Americans during the second great awakening there. The 24-hour prayer watch of the Moravians in Europe and America, plus the faithful prayer of Georg Schmidt until the time of his death - along with those of his convert Magdalena in Baviaanskloof - will have been just as contributory.
          It is interesting to note that the three Genadendal missionaries who arrived in 1792 - Kühnel, Marsveld and Schwinn - recorded in their diary the instance of a man who ‘dreamt that three would come to teach them... They (the Khoi) say that they spoke about it often because they very much wished for it to happen’. In the diaries of these three missionaries one reads again and again of Khoi coming to them, desiring to know more, wanting to accept the Lord into their lives, wishing to be baptized. Evidently the Holy Spirit had prepared these people through dreams and visions. On a daily basis the new Genadendal missionaries were overwhelmed by questions such as ‘What must I do to be saved?’ However, the rational European missionaries were not ready for that.  It is striking that those who came to faith in Christ also sought protection against satanic forces.  Thus the Moravian J.P. Kohlhammer complained in 1799: ‘The Hottentots are great dreamers and we have much trouble to direct their minds from many deep-seated prejudices that they have imbibed concerning the interpretation of dreams and visions.
          But even if these missionaries had been trained along these lines, it would have been difficult to implement the teaching of biblical checks to see whether the dreams and visions were in accordance with Scripture. Only very few of the Khoisan could read the Bible in the early days of the resumption of Moravian ministry in Baviaanskloof.

Baviaanskloof impacts the Western Cape 
People came to Baviaanskloof from everywhere, drawn to the mission station as if by a magnet. Some of those from the Cape testified to the obvious: ‘...this is God’s work, no one can hinder it though many are trying’. Amongst those who were trying to hinder the missionary endeavour at Baviaanskloof was the government at the Cape along with the church people in Stellenbosch. A group of colonists sent a petition to prohibit the missionaries from further instruction to the Khoi. Ds Vos, who became the minister for Swartberg (Caledon), fortunately brought about some change in the views and attitudes of the colonists of the vicinity.
          The conscription of the pandoere - the soldiers from Baviaanskloof - to fight in the battle of Muizenberg in 1795, cannot be described as a deliberate attempt to hinder the missionary work. However, the prior threat of expropriation of the mission station - which sent Marsveld scurrying to the Cape - definitely was. The reply to Marsveld surely led to much prayer in Baviaanskloof: ‘The Company in the Fatherland (wanted the missionaries) to go to the Bosjesmans to make peace’.  Marsveld returned to Baviaanskloof far from reassured. At that stage the authorities would not even enter into negotiations so that the mission could buy the land. God sovereignly over-ruled, when the Moravians were allowed to keep their property and more importantly: they could continue their missionary work in Baviaanskloof.
          The mission station was threatened from another side. The pandoere were absent during the war.  While they were engaged in the military defense of the colony at Muizenberg, colonists of the area (the Overberg) were conspiring to invade and destroy the mission station. On 18 July 1795, by which time Baviaanskloof started to resemble a European village, the situation had become very tense. Due to rumours of an imminent raid, the missionaries were seriously contemplating to abandon the station. God intervened in answer to their prayers when the government rallied in support of the Moravians.

Colonist and Church Opposition
The colonists were not enchanted by the migration to Baviaanskloof, as a Khoi person narrated:  ‘the farmers were angry, and told us that they meant to sell us as slaves. But I remembered my father’s words, and would not be prevented from moving to Baviaanskloof.’ This culminated in opposition to the missionary work in Genadendal from the Moedergemeente in Stellenbosch, where Ds Meent Borcherds was the pastor. This included the attempt to seize Genadendal from the Moravian missionaries. The mission station was divinely saved, amongst others by the looming conflict between the two main colonial powers of the time - the Dutch and the British.
          Real warfare broke out at the Cape in 1795, which had a clear spiritual dimension. If the Battle of Muizenberg had been protracted with ensuing high casualties, the Genadendal mission station would have been given its deathblow. Almost all its males had been conscripted to fight alongside the Dutch. In fact, in the battle itself the Pandoere from Genadendal testified to the missionaries how bullets were flying around them ‘like sand’ with not one of them hurt.  There might have been an element of exaggeration involved, but as Professor Juttie Bredekamp, who himself grew up in Genadendal, stated: ‘From their perspective, it was a great miracle to have survived the English onslaught.’ That ‘not a single Baviaansklower died in combat’ was surely not accidental. The return of the soldiers to their families secured the survival of the struggling mission station Genadendal, which soon became the biggest town apart from the Mother City, more populous than Stellenbosch. 
          An interesting feature of Borcherds’ resistance to the missionary work was the involvement of a few of his parishioners. But Borcherds stance changed after he had studied the Moravian Bishop Spangenberg’s doctrinal exposition Idea Fidei Fratrum, even to the extent of apologizing to a visiting brother for his former behaviour.
          Meuwes Janse Bakker settled in Stellenbosch after he miraculously survived a shipwreck off the coast of South America. He decided to devote his life to missionary work among the ‘heathen’ at the Cape, buying a house in Dorp Street, Stellenbosch in 1798. Bakker immediately taught a few slave children there. When the SAMS started at the ZA Gesticht in the Mother City, he and the deacon J.N. Desch were the correspondents in Stellenbosch. In spite of the reluctance of their dominee, the Church Council supported Bakker. In no time he was the SAMS missionary in Stellenbosch.  Slaves attended the afternoon services in his home, which soon became too small. Bakker left for further training in missionary work in Holland the next year, returning in 1801 with one big goal: that his property would be used for the extension of the Kingdom.

The counter Attack of the Church and the Colonists
The majority of the materialistic colonists sadly rejected the slaves outright, even in the Groote Kerk and the Lutheran church. Just as bad was what was happening on the farms. The workers who came to Baviaanskloof had been told by some of the farmers that they were not equal to them and that it was therefore impossible for them to enter heaven. The negative attitude of the farmers however made the Khoi inquisitive. In the Genadendal Diaries one reads in the entry for 5 September 1794: ‘...they have heard the farmers say many bad things about us... So they wanted to come and see and hear for themselves.’
            Towards the end of the 18th century, the Dutch Reformed minister of Stellenbosch, Meent Borcherds, made no secret of his opposition to missionary work. Of course, this was nothing new. Years before him, his predecessors at the Cape had applied pressure, forcing Georg Schmidt to leave the Cape.
             Dr Philip asserted in the Philantropic Magazine of June 1820: ‘There is no place of worship where they [the slaves] are admitted; and the Dutch inhabitants, even the ministers, oppose every attempt to alter this state of things.’   It is exceptional how the co-operation of the mission agencies impacted the church life. The same Ds Borcherds who had been so negative towards missions, opened to other denominations a few years later.  In the pastoral letter of the Dutch Reformed Church synod of 1826, of which Borcherds was the secretary, one discerns remorse over the earlier period in which there had been ‘meticulous concern to remain the ruling church.’ He regarded it as ‘better days’ that they were now preaching in each other’s churches. This formed the basis for the theologically sound synod decision three years later not to divide the church on racial grounds. 
            2. Prayer and evangelical Zeal confront Colonial Mission Policy

          The respective governments at the Cape had one thing in common - their opposition to missionary work. Missionaries were meant to serve the state, full stop. In the view of the authorities this work was to be done as far away as possible from any colonial settlement.  De Mist and Janssens, the Batavian governors who ruled at the Cape from 1803-6, were quite ‘tolerant’ in religious matters. In fact, De Mist jotted down some progressive notions before he took office in his Memorie over de Caab, 1802. Thus he suggested that the ‘aborigines’ of the Cape should be employed on a voluntary basis and paid a good wage. But being a Grand Master of the Freemasons, it is not surprising that De Mist simultaneously opposed evangelistic activity in the city. A special paragraph on the Hernhutters (the Moravians) reveals his intention for the abuse of religion: first of all the Khoi must be happy; then they must be taught to be dutiful. His true colours also came to the fore - the Khoi had to become ‘loyal to the government’. De Mist expected the Moravian missionaries to subdue the Khoi, to make them subservient citizens. Marsveld had perceived before this that the interim British rulers (1795-1803) had wanted them to leave Baviaanskloof to help achieve peace at the Eastern frontier of the Cape Colony.

The Opposition of the Dutch Authorities
From the outset the SAMS had the authorities at the Cape against them. Article 12 of the constitution - according to which membership was open to non-reformed believers - rubbed conservative church elements up the wrong way. That article 11 even made provision for the involvement of women at policy level enraged many colonists. Henricus Maanenberg, the first missionary of the SAMS and the directors of the new mission agency were careful not to organize meetings for ‘heathen slaves’ on Sundays because it could have clashed with the other church services or it could have inconvenienced the slave owners. The charismatic-energetic Maanenberg - though sent by the London Missionary Society - could build on the solid foundation laid by the believers who had been influenced by Dr van Lier. A supernatural element can hardly be denied in the spiritual revival that erupted almost immediately. On 15 June 1801 - only two weeks after Maanenberg’s appointment - he informed the directors that he needed a bigger place for the services. A zealous mission-minded group of believers rallied around Maanenberg and Tromp, the other SAMS missionary at the Cape.
          Some missionaries who came out to work among the slaves often left after a short period. Henricus Maanenberg was one of them. Tromp was another, ‘who was here and there and not on one place’.  Yet, within a short space of time the SAMS had enough resources to start building a place where church services for slaves could be held. Wisely the directors decided on 2 March 1802 to have no foundation stone ceremony for their building of an inter-denominational sanctuary (Virtually every church foundation stone ceremony laid at this time transpired with freemason ritual). Apart from this fringe group of Christians, the Gospel outreach to slaves figured very low on the list of priorities of the early Cape churches. Soon plans were made for the building of especially for the outreach to the slaves.

A Blessing in Disguise
De Mist arrived in February 1803, clearly seeing a threat in the expanding missionary activities.  Subsequent opposition by De Mist turned out to be a blessing in disguise. First of all, directors of the SAMS opened their homes for the teaching of slaves. Some of them, like P. Le Roux, got involved personally and finally they started to train slaves for missionary work. Maart, the slave of Ds Vos, was one of the most able ones to be used.
            Maart, a slave from Mozambique, was blessed ‘with strong intellectual endowments’. He responded so well to the five years of Christian teaching under Ds Vos that the LMS thought of educating him ‘... to qualify him to accompany some other missionaries to... introduce into his native country ...that gospel which brings healing and salvation in its wings’ (??).  Maanenberg however had to suspend instruction to Maart because of a ban on teaching reading and writing to ‘heathen’. The blame for the ban should possibly not be laid solely at the feet of the secular authorities. It is reported that Ds C. Fleck, one of the Groote Kerk ministers, also complained that Maanenberg wanted to teach slaves: ‘for this we do not need special missionaries... because the church council has appointed persons for that purpose.’ One suspects sour grapes at Maanenberg’s success. De Mist’s reaction to the memorandum handed to him by the directors of the SAMS may have influenced Maanenberg to resign. He went to live outside the city.
            The SAMS directors were however so eager to get the Gospel to the slaves that they appointed Aart Antonij van der Lingen as the new missionary to the slaves as early as 6 April 1803. However, he was promptly forbidden by De Mist to preach and to give teaching to the slaves. Van der Lingen was only allowed to give support to missionaries who operated three dagreizen (days of travelling) from existing churches and congregations. At this time Stellenbosch, Drakenstein (Paarl), Zwartland (Malmesbury), Wagenmagersvallei (Wellington) and Roodezand (Tulbagh) were already flourishing congregations. Three days of travelling from all these places would have taken Van der Lingen deep into the interior.
          While De Mist was on an official journey into the interior, the SAMS directors approached his colleague Janssens about the consecration of the new sanctuary.  The Z.A. Gesticht, the inter-denominational sanctuary in Long Street, was formally taken into use on 15 March 1804. It is said that when De Mist heard of the ZA Gesticht church building erected in his absence, he cried in fury: ‘May fire from heaven consume it.’ A colonist responded in 1824 in the Nederlandsch-Zuid Afrikaansche Tijdschrift: ‘But what he wished as an evil has come upon us for good. The fire of God has indeed descended and (as we trust) has melted many sinners’ hearts.
          The work of the Moravians at Baviaanskloof continued to impact the Cape. The critical De Mist appears to have gradually become a quiet supporter of the Moravian missionary work after his visit to the Overberg. After seeing the orderly village with over 200 houses, he spontaneously renamed it Genadendal. It was much more fitting to be known as a valley of grace than as a glen for baboons.

The spiritual Death of the Cape Church 
It is reported that John Kendrick, a lay preacher who was evangelizing at the Cape at this time, could not find a real believer after hunting around among 1,000 English-speaking soldiers in the space of four years. Along with George Middlemiss, he could not find a single prayer meeting. One wonders how this was possible when only half a generation earlier the result of the work of Dr van Lier was referred to as little short of a revival! One possible conclusion is that the two were merely looking in the wrong places.
          Other spiritual forces possibly also affected all this.  (The links of Freemasonry to Satanism has become known in recent years and it has also been reported that Tuan Guru revived the Islamic prayers at the holy circle of shrines.) That Janssen and De Mist later also allowed three Roman Catholic priests to operate at the Cape was on the one hand a breakthrough for religious tolerance, but on the other hand occult practices in Roman Catholicism are also quite common. Surely the ruling in the Church Order of De Mist was progressive that the church doors had to be open for all races, for slave and free alike. But he went too far, ushering in the spiritual death of the Church at the Cape.  A humanist liberal spirit was prevalent with the name of God not even mentioned the Church Order of 25 July 1804.
          As a prominent Freemason, De Mist also laid the foundation stone of the Cape Lodge, which served as House of Parliament till the 1870s when the present building was built over the lodge. The link between lodge and the Cape churches at this time was laying a dubious foundation. Simultaneously, the witness of the church in South Africa with regard to secretive societies was effectively blunted through this link.
           Anton Anreith, one of the leading Freemason figures in the secretive freemasonry that has its origins in the occult, made his presence felt in no uncertain way. His architectural work affected even the inner precincts of the first two Cape churches, the Groote Kerk and the Lutheran Church. The pulpit of the latter church was Anton Anreith’s sculpture masterpiece, including lions with huge paws - which is freemason symbolism. A similar feature is found in the pulpit of the new building of the Groote Kerk, likewise by Anreith. Herman Schutte, another Freemason, did the church design. That this church was so much involved with the secretive Afrikaner Broederbond in the 20th century is surely no co-incidence.
          The obelisk structures on the exterior of the building that replaced the original Groote Kerk made the early Christian sanctuary of the Cape resemble more a Freemason temple than a traditional church. (A sad feature of the 19th century church was that there appears to have been not a single dissenting voice for many decades in respect of the Freemason influence). Officially freemasons were not allowed to become members of the Broederbond, but their secret practices were nevertheless very similar.

          Supernatural Intervention
We have seen how Khoi were supernaturally called to Baviaanskloof after the arrival of the three Moravian missionaries in 1792. In the case of the other indigenous Cape people group, the San, called the Bosjesmannetjes, divine intervention was no less spectacular.  In order to reach the people described as ‘a race that stood at a lower stage socially and religiously than any other race upon the surface of the globe’, God initially used a devout colonist, Floris Visser, the excellent field-cornet. He was described by Du Plessis, as ‘a man of character and piety, whose custom it was, even when journeying, to gather his companions and then to offer prayer and sing a psalm both morning and night.’
          Even the San people were deeply impressed by the devotion of Visser and his fellow Boers. Soon they expressed an earnest desire to get to know the God of the Dutchmen. Visser promised to assist them, suggesting that they go to Cape Town to present their request there for a teacher or missionary. Two ‘Bushmen’ and a Koranna two of whom had been given the rather derogatory Dutch names Oorlams and Slaparm, arrived in Cape Town at the very time when the first four missionaries of the LMS set foot on the shores of Table Bay (Du Plessis, 1911:102).This can be regarded as the pristine beginning of the significant work for which Robert Moffat was going to become known throughout the British Empire.          
          When the church and the colonists at the Cape had started becoming disinterested in reaching out to the slaves yet again, God intervened - surely because of the prayers of the faithful few elsewhere, probably evangelicals in England, in Germany and the USA.
          God sometimes appears to supernaturally use natural disasters to shake people out of their indifference and lethargy. An earthquake on 4 December 1809 at the Cape caused not only an 8-day revival and a significant increase in evangelicals, but it also imparted a new urge to missionary work among the slaves. It is interesting that an earthquake had this effect. In the Islamic prophecies referring to the protection given by the ‘holy circle’ of shrines, earthquakes were mentioned by name.  The Cape was not supposed to be experiencing an earthquake!
A strong British force comprising the 72nd and 83rd regiments garrisoned in the Cape. John Kendrick, George Middlemiss couldn’t find a serious Christian between the 1,000 men. They were mocked for their seriousness. At that stage Cape Town was given over to wickedness and immorality and known as the ‘Paris of the South’. During the earthquake, not a single person was killed, but the people fled in fear and watched horrified as the city was shaken as if by the fury of a giant hand. Kendrick wrote in 20 November 1810 that it was the greatest thing that could have happened as soldiers and civilians turned to God in prayer and pleaded for mercy.
          The 1809 earthquake impacted the SAMS in many ways. Jacobus Henricus Beck, a Cape colonist who had joined the SAMS, was deeply touched by the earthquake. Before long he was on his way to the Netherlands, Scotland and England for theological training. (Later he became the first pastor of the congregation formed at the ZA Gesticht.)
          In the same year of the earthquake, the Earl of Caledon’s 1809 proclamation on behalf of the Khoisan made a deep impact on society. William Wilberforce Bird, a colonial official, called the decree the ‘Magna Charta of the Hottentots’. This document had some problematic clauses from a modern point of view, but it was nevertheless in a sense a precursor to Ordinance 50 of 1828.

Compassionate missionary Work
The compassionate work of London Missionary Society (LMS) missionaries like Read, Dr van der Kemp and Dr Philip on behalf of the underdog slaves had the moral power of biblical truth on their side, but they were often opposed by their missionary colleagues. They were furthermore very unfortunate to have to battle against the pace that the Moravians had set at Genadendal. Nevertheless, the battle that raged at the Cape around the Khoi and the slaves – in which Dr Philip and Dr Van der Kemp had a big hand - had worldwide ramifications when it aided the cause of the abolition of slavery. Dr John Philip discerned that the abolition of the slave trade in 1808 caused the price of slaves to rise, leading to the enserfment of the Khoisan. Between 1808 and 1826 the price of slaves rose by 400% (Theal, RCC, 29:427).
          During Dr Philip’s visit to England in 1826, he met the evangelical parliamentarian Sir Thomas Fowell Buxton. The latter had close links to William Wilberforce, the staunch fighter for the complete emancipation of slaves.  In his subsequent correspondence with Buxton, Dr Philip linked the slave issue to the situation of the Khoisan in the Cape Colony already in his first comprehensive report on the LMS stations although he made a distinction between the problems with the Khoisan and those pertaining to slaves (Walker, 1964:153). Ordinance 50 of 1828 and last not least the publication of Philip’s two-volumed Researches in South Africa were major factors in the run-up not only to the Great Trek of colonists to the interior, but also to the final emancipation of slaves worldwide.[1]
          Dr Philip’s role in the proclamation of Ordinance 50 has sometimes been exaggerated. John Philip however definitely played a crucial role in the run-up to this ordinance and he became a prime mover both in the eventual formal abolition of slavery in 1834 and in its implementation at the Cape in 1838. Yet, this decree dramatically changed the legal standing of the Khoisan, putting them on an equal footing with the colonists. Dr Philip undermined his own efforts by the unloving way in which he presented his case. His writing - painting the picture at the Cape in a distorted way, exaggerating things here and there - became one of the causes of the Great Trek, as expounded by the Voortrekker leader Piet Retief in his manifesto. All LMS emissaries of the Gospel were hereafter suspect in the eyes of the colonists, while the Moravian Mission at Genadendal became the model. This diabolic situation was a direct result of Dr Philip’s harsh criticism of the colonists. Not so long before all this, the Moravian missionaries had also been villains in the eyes of colonists - accused of ‘corrupting the Khoisan and encouraging laziness’. The absolute distancing themselves from politics was a tradition of the Moravians, which was not always helpful, making it difficult for the LMS missionaries to make a clear prophetic stand on ethical and racial issues. Because of their a-political role they suddenly became the role models. The precedent was set for the unbiblical notion ‘not to mix politics with religion.’[2]

Lord Charles Somerset’s Opposition to Missionary Work
Lord Charles Somerset, the governor at the Cape from 1814, prohibited a missionary - the Methodist Barnabas Shaw - to preach to slaves at the Cape. Rev Shaw courageously defied the order, determined to preach even without Somerset’s permission. Barnabas Shaw was not going to be intimidated by a ban on public preaching. He was not impressed by Somerset’s refusal to grant permission, knowing that Somerset was hiding behind the colonists, saying that those who owned the slaves were in general opposed to their instruction.
          It is not clear whether Shaw actually preached to slaves. He did preach to soldiers ‘with the knowledge of the governor’, but Somerset probably decided not to make an issue out of that. Shaw preached, prepared and willing to be imprisoned.
          Lord Charles Somerset was known to be an adversary of Dr Philip, who arrived in 1819 to be the superintendent of the work of the London Missionary Society.  After he had been only two years in the Cape Colony, Dr Philip boldly resolved to demand the amendment of the entire legal and civil status of the Coloured population, instead of seeking to correct individual acts of oppression or injustice. In Ordinance 50 of 1828 he had a big hand. This piece of legislation equated all races, also repealing the restricting pass laws that the ‘Magna Charta’ had introduced.  The Khoi were now free to offer or withhold their labour and therefore to improve their condition through their right to abandon bad masters and cling to good ones. The colonists only had eye for the negatives, because the immoral elements among the Khoi indeed stole, cheated and trespassed. Nevertheless, Ordinance 50 of 1828 is a landmark in South African social history. In their eyes the missionaries, and Dr Philip in particular, were the culprits in creating tension between the masters and the workers.
          Lord Charles Somerset invited Scottish clergy to come to the Cape. He merely wanted to counter the Dutch influence by bringing in the British Presbyterian clergy. The likes of the prayerful Andrew Murray, the father of the famous namesake, effectively curtailed Somerset’s bigoted nationalism.

Slavery returned by the back Door?
Colonists now tried to secure an alternative supply of labour through the enactment of a vagrancy law which was thought by many to be overdue since Ordinance 50 of 1828 had actually increased the number of wandering Khoi to some nine thousand. The  Vagrancy Law was passed by a narrow margin, sparking off a storm of protest from the churches and missionaries, particularly Dr John Philip, who suspected this as an attempt to bring slavery in by the back door. In a lengthy memorandum on the subject he wrote among other things that '...Any law ... that would compel the wilfully idle... would (bring) back ... a law more cruel and dreadful in its operation than the old slavery law of the colony, because the masters, having no interest in their lives beyond their immediate services, they would hav no checks upon their avarice...' To counter this possibility, he contended that any  vagrancy law should be accompanied by land grants where vagrants could be taught useful occupations under proper supervision, asissted by missionaries and schoolmasters. In a very rare move, the reforming and liberfally-minded governor Benjamin D'Urban refused to sigh the measure penidng a decision by the Secretary of Statge in London, who rejected it outright. Slave emancipation,  was observed on 1 December 1834 by the churches in Cape Town as a day of prayer.  On that day thanks was offered that Khoi and former slaves would not be restrained by a vagrancy law (Shorten, 1963:117).

Evangelistic Zeal
Another Cape colonist, who was impacted significantly by the earthquake of 1809, was Martinus Casparus Petrus Vogelgezang. He had become a teacher and also had missionary training. In 1837 he applied to be ordained, but he did not find favour with the Dutch Reformed Church authorities. Not having obtained the expected university theological training (in Holland), they referred him to the custom for missionaries. This condescending attitude was indicative of the general view of the church with regard to missionary work.In the spiritual realms the discriminatory church ruling would impact the Cape in no uncertain way. On 17 October 1838 Vogelgezang resigned from the Dutch Reformed Church to start the first denominationally independent church. Undeterred by the rebuff from the big church at the Cape, the evangelist Vogelgezang preached the Gospel among the slaves with unprecedented zeal. Vogelgezang initially operated from his shoemaker’s shop in Rose Street, which forms part of present-day Bo-Kaap. That Vogelgezang gained the respect of his ecumenical contemporaries is demonstrated by the fact that various ministers of other denominations were present at his ordination in February 1839 in the Union chapel on Church Square, including Dr John Philip and Rev Robert Moffat of the London Missionary Society. In the course of time the zealous clergyman planted a few churches, bringing the Gospel to the Muslims with much authority and conviction.
          An interesting prayer snippet exists around the wedding of Reverend Robert Moffat. While working in Cheshire as a gardener for James Smith, he fell in love with Smith’s daughter Mary. The father was however unwilling to allow his daughter to go abroad to marry the missionary in a remote desert station in far away Africa. Three years later the Lord softened Smith’s heart. That Robert Moffat had to come to Cape Town from his mission post for their marriage in St George Cathedral on 27 December 1819 was strategic. Here he was not only persuaded to abandon the mission to Namaqualand, but also to take over the mission station at Dithakong. That was the beginning of the special ministry to the Tswana in Kuruman that would write Robert Moffat into history annals. He was also going to impact David Livingstone, the missionary-explorer of Central Africa. 

A sad Saga with a happy Ending
The Stellenbosch church historian Du Plessis recorded the sad saga of a Khoi tribe, the Afrikaners, that was driven from their indigenous grazing fields between Table Bay and the Berg River to the northern Cape by the advancing Dutch colonists. They had become impoverished by the end of the 18th century. Jager Afrikaner, their chief was finally compelled by circumstances to work for the field cornet Pienaar, also employed by the latter in commando's against the San. After a dispute between Pienaar and Jager Afrikaner over wages, a tussle ensued during which the Field Cornet was killed. Fearing retribution,  the Afrikaner clan fled to an island on the Orange River, from where the Afrikaners ‘embarked on a career of depredation and marauding which made their name a terror to the farmers and  to the tribes dwelling along the course of the Orange River’ (Du Plessis, 1911:116).
          The Government declared Jager Afrikaner an outlaw and setting a price on his head. As he was an intelligent man, he attempted from time to time to secure a truce with the authorities, but so much blood on his hands, the Government could not even contemplate negotiation with him. Under the labours of LMS missionaries, Jager Afrikaner became an exemplary follower of Jesus, becoming an ‘unswerving friend’ of Robert Moffat. The latter had the radical idea to take his friend along to Cape Town in 1819, a thought ‘which was fraught with consequences of the utmost importance for his future life’ (Du Plessis, 1911:156). One needs little imagination the sensation when the missionary rocked up in the city with the man who had once been the terror of armers and natives alike. Moffat introduced him to Lord Charles Somerset, who was duly impressed, presenting Afrikaner with a wagon valued at £80.

Cape Churches working together
At the Zuid-Afrikaanse Gesticht, Lutherans, Reformed believers and other believers were worshipping together with the common goal to reach the spiritually lost with the Gospel. The efforts of missionaries led to the networking of the Cape churches around the time of the slave emancipation in 1838. The cordial harmonious relationship among churches seems to have continued for quite a few years. A special feature of the mission effort of the early 19th century was the apparent lack of denominational rivalry. The Presbyterian Dr James Adamson and the Lutheran Rev Georg Wilhelm Stegmann engaged in combined endeavours.  Soon after his ordination as a Lutheran minister, Stegmann not only felt the need to do something for the slaves, but he also started with a ministry in Plein Street in the Mother City.  He was asked by Adamson to join him in the outreach to the ‘Coloureds’. Hereafter Stegmann became a regular preacher at St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church in Green Point. At St Andrew’s, Adamson would preach in English in the morning and Stegmann in Dutch during the late afternoon service.  A special event to highlight the emancipation of the slaves was organized at the Scottish Church - as St Andrew’s was generally known (hence the name Schotse Kloof was given to the area where the ministers were residing). An unprecedented revival spirit swept through the Cape. It would take quite a few years for churches to network in a similar way.
          It does not credit the churches at the Cape that hardly any effort was made to reach the slaves - many of whom were Muslim - with the Gospel up to 1838. A lack of perseverance was prevalent, combined with a tendency to go for softer targets than the resistant Muslims. Support from the colonists in the missionary work was not forthcoming at all. Financial support for the missionary work dried up, possibly also as a backlash to Dr Philip’s involvement, which was regarded as ‘political’ by church people and not fitting for missionaries. After the abolition of slavery in 1838, there was a rush of freed slaves into the city.  Many deserted their former owners in the agricultural areas. As a rule these newly urbanized freed slaves turned to Islam.  And not much changed thereafter. All the more the stalwart work of individuals like Vogelgezang has to be admired, even though his initial approach to the Muslims had been quite offensive. In the criticism of De Zuid-Afrikaan, a local newspaper with links to the established church an element of jealousy also played a role after Vogelgezang’s success in Bo-Kaap. (He had resigned from the NG Kerk in 1837.)

Church Apartheid is born
It is sad that church authorities at the Cape appear to have been the instigators of racial prejudice. Even though a separate school for colonist children had been started in 1663, there were still slave and Khoi children in all the schools at the Cape until 1876. The germ of apartheid seems to have been spread from a complete identification of the Dutch Church with Israel. The replacement theology that was generally taught regarded the Church as the new Israel. This also developed into racial superiority in respect of all other races, which made missionary work superfluous. The one-off instruction of Jesus not to bring the Gospel to Samaritans and Gentiles (Matthew 15:24; 10; 5-6) - became the norm, completely ignoring the great commission of Jesus to make disciples of all nations (Matthew 28: 19-20). Just like the Jewish racial prejudice, which did not discern that the issue at the heart of the divine prohibition of racial mixing was idolatry, the Dutch Colonists regarded it as divine injunction to keep themselves separate from the ‘heathen nations’. The British rulers were insensitive to this religious spirit, which was probably the major driving force behind the Great Trek into the inferior in the late 1830s.
          At the time of the emancipation in 1838, the slaves were still rejected at the first churches – in spite of De Mist’s progressive Church Order, but in Onderkaap (the later District Six) mixed congregations were started. The Methodists had a congregation as early as 1837 with 200 Whites and 150 ‘Coloureds’ on its roll in 1854. That this racial breakdown is specifically mentioned, suggests that the apartheid spirit could have crept in somewhere between 1837 and 1854.  The Swellendam Dutch Reformed Church actually requested racial separation in 1845, but this was not granted to them.
          It seems that Adamson and Stegmann were different from contemporary clergymen. They were completely accepted by people of colour. The Centenary Record of St Andrews mentions ‘the unsatisfactory arrangement’ as a reason for the discontent that developed after Rev George Morgan, successor to Dr Adamson, joined the mission to the slaves. Haasbroek, a Dutch Reformed theologian who wrote a dissertation on the mission among Muslims, mentions the concrete reason for the discontent: the slaves were not happy with Rev Morgan. The split that occurred at St Andrew’s in 1842 was possibly the result of personal rivalry between Stegmann (supported by Adamson) and Rev Morgan. At a time when the missionary work was flourishing, there was division in St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church.  Adamson had more or less been forced to leave the church. Morgan promptly refused Stegmann permission to preach at St Andrew’s.  
          By this time meetings and school classes for slave children were held at the old theater, the Komediehuis in Bree Street. On 20 April 1842 a ‘vergadering van ontevredenheid’ (a meeting of dissatisfaction) took place at this venue. Stegmann implored the big audience to return to the Scottish Church but only one person did. The rest refused. The building that was envisaged as a separate church for freed slaves called forth the anger of the colonists. Hearing about slave children being taught in their former theatre enraged the colonists terribly. What ensued was possibly one of the first protest marches at the Cape and one that turned sour. Hereafter the church at Riebeeck Square was pelted with stones. Hence the building got the name St Stephen’s, named after the first Christian martyr who was stoned to death.  

The Emancipation of the Slaves: an Albatross removed
There was some sense of relief among colonists in spite of the financial losses experienced through the emancipation of the slaves in 1938. Petrus Borcherds, the son of Ds Meent Borcherds of Stellenbosch, verbalized the ambivalence to which Whites during the apartheid era can easily relate. On the one hand Borcherds tried to justify slavery at the Cape: ‘I think ... slavery existed (here at the Cape) in its mildest form’.  But Borcherds also said about slavery that there was ‘something so repulsive in that state of bondage and so contrary to the principles of justice... that slave emancipation ...was a great blessing... a tribute of infinite value to humanity.
            In the ministry of Stegmann his heart for the lost shone through, especially for the Muslims. Ds Davie Pypers, whose call to St Stephen’s in Bo-Kaap in 1956 was soon followed by a burden for the Cape Muslims, describes Stegmann as fiery in spirit, powerful in the word and a hero in prayer (Die Koningsbode, Desember 1958, p.34). Pypers furthermore typified Stegmann as a man ‘met sy gebedsworsteling en herlewingsgees’[3] (Die Koningsbode, Desember 1958, p.36). This is illustrated by words from Stegmann’s diary, cited in the same article: ‘Oh, how heavy does the case of the poor deluded Mohammedans hang on my mind... Oh Lord, how long, how long shall they continue in darkness ... open the door, send out Thy servants.
          Apparently Stegmann had some notion of spiritual warfare.  It is reported that the conversion of souls was the primary goal of his ministry, and that he was a ‘warrior of God and an attacker of the strongholds of Satan.’ The Lord used Stegmann’s powerful preaching to convict the congregation on 5 November 1843 in such a way that a church member, evidently overpowered by the Holy Spirit, exclaimed aloud towards the end of the sermon “Lord, have mercy” and fainted. A hush fell over the church and thereafter the whole congregation burst out in tears in a typical revival scenario Stegmann was self-critical enough when the near revival looked to have been stifled a few months further on. He took a part of the responsibility when he conceded in August 1844 with regard to the spiritual warfare: ‘What a havoc Satan has been making in poor St Stephen’s lately, so that with my own inward corruption and the perverse walk of many... I am ready to sink down.’ It seems that Stegmann did not descern the need of confession on behalf of the churches for the deception that led to the beginnings of Islam or for the treatment meted out to slaves in the decades immediately prior to and coinciding with the start of his ministry. However, also in the 21st century it remains a battle to let churches discern the need of collective confession.

The Covenant of Blood River
Even though the Covenant of Blood River took place in far away Natal, it had an impact on the rest of Southern Africa. Few historians discerned the spiritual roots at work, viz. that it was also a protest against the liberalism, which had moved into the ranks of the church. Ds G.W.A. van der Lingen of Paarl was one of very few indeed who withstood that tide. It is no surprise that he became God’s instrument for ushering in the blessed Pinksterbidure, the tradition of prayer services between Ascencion Day and Pentecost that became such a blessing to the Dutch Reformed Church over one and a half centuries. (This tradition is derived from Scripture where Jesus’ fearful disciples were united in prayer after the Ascencion of our Lord.)
          The Voortrekkers were devout Christians who firmly believed that God Almighty has a calling for them in Africa. Andries Pretorius, one of their leaders, wrote just before his departure from Graaff Reinet to Ds G.W.A. van der Lingen: ‘Thus we shall become a people working for the honour of his name.’ Even though one has to concede that many of them were deluded en masse by a distorted exposition of Scripture, which made them believe that the British wanted to impose on them a ‘Skrifvreemde vermengingsbeleid met die heidene’ (a policy alien to Scripture of mixing with heathens), it is clear that they lived by the Word of God, applying Yahweh’s promises to Israel for their own situation.
          The Trekkers saw the arrival of Andries Pretorius on 22 November 1938 as an answer to their prayers for a suitable leader. The devout and spiritually mature Pretorius was almost immediately elected as their military commander. (That he chose the mixed-bred J.G. Bantjes as his journal writer demonstrates that he was not as bigoted as so many of his compatriots in respect of racial mixing.) Pretorius discerned that humbling before God was necessary even before they could proceed to the serious matter of making a covenant. In a fighting speech he pleaded with the combined meeting to remove anything which could cause disunity. He emphasized again and again ‘Eendrag maak mag’ (unity empowers). According to Bantjes, Andries Pretorius discussed the possibility of a covenant with Sarel Cilliers, a devout elder, who was later given the task to formulate the covenant. It is striking that they promised in the ensuing covenant that they wanted to establish a temple to his honour, if the Lord would give them victory over the enemy. It has been pointed out that Pretorius, who was a builder by trade, was happy with the formulation ‘establish a temple’ rather than ‘building a church’. In the significant book Rigters onder die  Suiderkruis, Dr. N.A. Burger suggests that this was indicative of a spiritual temple rather than a material building. At the church service on 9 December 1838, Sarel Cilliers used Judges 6:1-24 to draw attention to the fact that Gideon was called to save Israel from the hand of the Midianites. For a whole week till the evening of 15 December the seriousness of the covenant with God was repeated at the evening devotions. The victory against tremendous numerical odds reminded indeed of Gideon’s diminutive army defeating the Midianites.
          Even more significant was the spiritual impact on Southern Africa. The Mfecane, during which an estimated 2 million Blacks were killed in inter-tribal fighting of Southern Africa in the early 19th century, was more or less brought to an end at this occasion. (Years later President Paul Kruger discerned that the Afrikaners got punished because they did not always obey the covenant. Defying a threat by the British of a charge of high treason to anybody attending a mass protest meeting at Paardekraal, halfway between Pretoria and Potchefstroom, the Blood River covenant was repeated on 8 December 1880 by Kruger and other leaders.)

A Slave inherits a Farm
The Moravians became involved in another remarkable piece of Cape history when six ex-slaves inherited a farm. Rev Stegmann told his German compatriot Christian Ludwig Teutsch, a Moravian missionary from Genadendal, about a settlement near Piquetberg where a considerable number of ex-slaves dwelled together.  They longed for a missionary.  Hendrik Schalk Burger, who bought Goedverwacht as a cattle farm in 1809 or 1810, had also bought a slave woman, Maniesa with her two children. Burger did not permit his slaves to go to school, but a slave from a neighbouring farm read the New Testament behind Burger’s back, while doing washing in the Berg River. Another slave even held prayer meetings on the farm until Burger detected it and gave him a thorough hiding because of this.
          After his wife’s death, Burger lived amongst the slaves. After the liberation of slaves in 1838, he very surprisingly bequeathed Goedverwacht to the children and the son-in-law of Maniesa, on condition that they would not desert him as long as he lived.
          Teutsch was sent from Genadendal to investigate the possibility of starting a mission station at Goedverwacht. He preached in one of the dwellings of the former slaves, but found Goedverwacht unsuitable. He found the property rights too complicated. Teutsch promised the former slaves however, that the missionaries of Groenekloof would visit them from time to time. (The name of the latter mission station was changed to Mamre in 1849.) When Teutsch returned to Genadendal, it happened that one of the students from the training school, Jozef Hardenberg, became available for appointment. The people bade the teacher a hearty welcome. That became the beginnings of the mission station, Goedverwacht, started by the first trainee of the Moravian missionaries in Genadendal (The Kweekschool of Genadendal was the first teacher training school of South Africa, founded even before there was one for Whites).
3.             Prayerful Actions oppose divisive Doctrine

The practice of the Moravians and the LMS to ordain Christian workers distinctively as missionaries, received a negative slant. In the Dutch Reformed Church missionary work was clearly seen as something inferior. The interpretation of Revelation 2:15 that hierarchical structures are basically divisive, and something that God hates - or the positive variation of the priesthood of the laity - was not widely known. At the same time, the pioneering SAMS almost dissolved itself when its ministry was assimilated into the Dutch Reformed Church towards the end of the 19th century.
          An artificial and unbiblical differentiation between Christian action and evangelistic outreach resulted in a rift in the missionary movement. In South Africa the old scourge of racism nipped the evangelistic spirit in the bud. 

Diverse Christian Actions
There is clear evidence that some Christians at the Cape understood the biblical imperative that the Gospel had to be brought to the uttermost parts of the earth. As early as 1804-1809, Rev M.C. Vos - born and bred in the Western Cape - operated as a missionary in India and Ceylon (the modern-day Sri Lanka). That the missionary spirit permeated his household is evidenced by the fact that Rev Vos’ daughter Elisabeth married Gottlieb van der Lingen, the son of Aart van der Lingen, a LMS missionary (Gottlieb van der Lingen was still to impact the Cape in a big way as the dominee at Paarl in the 1860s, the one to suggest the Pinksterbidure, the Pentecostal prayer meetings.) The tradition has of course its basis in Scripture when the fearful disciples were gathered in united prayer in the upper room after the ascension of our Lord till the outpouring of the Holy Spirit at Pentecost.
          Various epidemics, e.g. of smallpox, almost brought Islamic numeric growth to a halt at this time, but the opposition to health measures and the carnal responses of the local newspapers made martyrs out of the Cape Muslims. This functioned as glue to them after they had been quite divided at that time. The resuscitation of Islam was aided by racial prejudice.  The hatred and prejudice of rank and file Whites knitted Muslims together to fight for the survival of their religion at the Cape.   
          The churches were too occupied with their own internal issues to see the need of bringing the Gospel to the ‘Malays’ who were perceived to be inferior. At this time, the work of the South African Missionary Society (SAMS) suffered for the same reason, viz. a lack of funds. The need for a special mission to the Muslims was nevertheless definitely felt and a sub-commission specially formed for this purpose.  Speaking on behalf of this sub-commission, Rev. G.W. Stegmann insisted on a final decision in 1873. Yet, Muslims were still coming to faith in Christ. In the annual report of the SAMS of 1875 it is mentioned that 7 of the 18 new members to be confirmed were Muslims. It is ironic that Christians have saved Islam from extinction at the Cape again and again, directly and indirectly.
          Against the background of the generally negative attitude held by Whites, including the majority of the
missionaries and clergymen, a lay Christian, , Mr Petrus Emanuel P.E. de Roubaix, towered above the rest with regard to the loving outreach to Cape Muslims in the second half of the 19th century. De Roubaix practised much of what biblical Christianity is all about. Kollisch, a contemporary, notes that public newspapers and other records of his time would show that De Roubaix ‘most cheerfully rendered his aid whenever required, and as his deeds were open, it was a matter of general surprise ... that as a Christian... he should give such support and assistance to a class of people belonging to an opposite creed.’  There was genuine compassion by de Roubaix - who was a director of the SAMS and a Cape parliamentarian. He intervened to get money from Turkey to finish the building of a mosque in far away Port Elisabeth, which was opened on 1 June 1866 (The actual building of the mosque was commenced in 1855). The P.E. mosque was special, the ‘first ascertainable reference to a mosque with a dome and a minaret’ (Bradlow and Cairns, 1978:18). De Roubaix, brought in Abu Bakr Effendi, an imam from Turkey, to try and stop the doctrinal fighting in the mosques.[4]  
          It was especially remarkable how after losing the parliamentary election in 1856, mainly because of his involvement with the Cape Muslims, De Roubaix even went forward more boldly as the champion of this despised people group.

A Dent in Andrew Murray’s Legacy
At the 1829 Cape Dutch Reformed Church synod it had not only been decided that all church members would be admitted to communion ‘without considering colour or background’, but also that race was not even to be a subject for deliberation at a synod. Instead, it had to be seen as ‘a hard and fast rule, based on God’s Word’ that no person should be barred on racial grounds. It seemed that Andrew Murray, the great man of God, did not sufficiently discern the danger of racial prejudice. That the nationals of colour could also be used as missionaries was apparently not remotely present in the thinking of the churches in South Africa at that time.
          Murray and three other young dominees, namely P.K. Albertyn (Caledon), J.H. Neethling (Prins Albert) and N.J. Hofmeyr, wanted the church to move forward in reaching the lost. At the Dutch Reformed Church synod of 1857 they were given the challenging task as a commission to examine the matter and report back to the synod. With no money and personnel available for missions, it appears that the synod might have tried to silence Andrew Murray and the three young colleagues in that way. Their report ‘took the breath away of some of the older members’. Ds Gottlieb van der Lingen from Paarl suggested with a ‘curious smile upon his face’ that they should do to it themselves. The threesome was thoroughly vindicated when because of the revival of Worcester and surroundings, no less than 50 young men volunteered for ministry.
However, the very same 1857 synod tragically agreed to accept racial separation because of the ‘weakness of some’ - as a motion put forward by no less than Andrew Murray himself.  This was a complete about turn of the 1829 decision not to divide the church along racial lines. The participants had no idea to what a disaster their decision would lead in the long run, even though separation was to be voluntary. An incorrect message was conveyed, and it seems as if there were very few – if any - persons of colour among the 145 missionaries that left the Mission Institute in Wellington over the years. The decision paved the way for the Coloured sector of the denomination, the Sendingkerk, to be sent on its separate way in 1881. An anomaly was that the (‘Coloured’) St Stephen’s church of Bo-Kaap was accepted as a member church at this same synod.

The Run-up to a Revival
The 1860 revival of Worcester that started in the church where the well-known Dr Andrew Murray was the minister has been described as a result of teamwork (Brandt, 1998:58). It has been reported that his father, Ds Andrew Murray (sr), had prayed for revival every Friday evening since 1822. By 1860 he would thus have prayed for 38 years.  The gifted young dominee Andrew Murray, who had just come to Worcester prior to this, would be impacted during the revival along with thousands in the Western Cape. The younger Andrew Murray appears to have at least matched his father as a prayerful minister of the Word. About his life the secular Dictionary of South African Biography, Volume 1 (p.578) wrote: ‘The golden ray of prayer illumined all he did...He believed that nothing that was amiss and demanded correction could not be corrected or endured by prayer.’  This is confirmed when one takes a closer look at the titles of his 250 books. There one finds titles like De Kracht des Gebeds (1860), Pray without ceasing (1898) and The prayer life (1912). A letter was sent out to call for prayer.
          A significant contribution to the revival came from Montagu where three believers came together for early morning prayer on Sundays from the beginning of January 1860. Then there was the missionary conference in Worcester in April 1860 that can be regarded as the run-up to the revival. Three hundred and seventy preachers and laymen attended. The Presbyterian Dr James Adamson set the tone with a report at the conference of the outpouring of the Holy Spirit in America, and the conditions for revival.  Ds Andrew Murray (sr.) was so overawed by the same topic that he burst into tears. And then there was a passionate prayer by his son and namesake that stirred the hearts of many, so much so that someone has suggested that this caused the beginning of the revival.
Montagu was the first place to experience revival under Rev James Cameron, a Methodist minister. People came from Worcester, Wellington and Praal to observe and experience it. (Ds G.W. van der Lingen from Paarl was initially a little apprehensive). In May 1860 the revival started there with three prayer meetings per day. There was also great conviction of sin and confession.
Revival Fires Spread from the Boland
50 Days later, the churches which had sent delegates, experienced the special move of the Holy Spirit.
This happened also 50 days after the conference under Ds Andrew Murray (jr.) and Jan de Vries in Worcester.
          The role of young people definitely has to be mentioned in this regard. In fact, it was in the youth meeting in the church hall where an unnamed Coloured teenage girl dared to call for a song before her prayer, as was the custom. After the typical racially prejudiced hesitation of the time, Ds J.C. de Vries, the minister, allowed her to go ahead. During her prayer, a sound came from afar, getting increasingly louder until the building felt as if it was shaking. Everybody hereafter seemed to have prayed simultaneously, almost oblivious of the other participants. Dr Andrew Murray, who was called to come and listen to the ensuing noise, had great trouble in bringing order in the chaos. A visitor who observed his efforts from the doorway, warned him in English: ‘Be careful what you do, for it is the Spirit of God that is at work here.’
Each one seemed so burdened by his load of sin that they continued to call upon God for forgiveness and cleansing with an intolerable weight of guilt, sin and shame. Hettie Bosman, a teacher from the Karoo, was visiting Worcester. She had been praying for revival for years. During a special prayer meeting she fell unconscious and was carried to the parsonage where Andrew Murray prayed for her. She rose up with an extraordinary experience of joy. She married a pioneer missionary and took revival with her into the mission field. A hunger for revival broke out in all directions. The Stellenbosh Seminary started by John Murray and Nicholas Hofmeyr in 1859, could hardly cope with all the new students after the revival. Missions and evangelism commenced and within ten years of the revival beginning in Worcester, the Dutch Reformed Church had more than 12 mission stations established in and beyond the Cape Colony.
            The movement of 1860 stirred every part of the community and soon it was widespread. Even on remote farms people experienced conversions. A group from Worcester went out to tell of God’s dealings. Prayer meetings started all over the district with people of all races crying out to God not to pass them by. Revival moved to Beaufort West with a tremendous force from 6 -13 January 1861, nearly four months after it commenced in Worcester. Prayer meetings, often lasting all day, were held four times a week and meetings were held everywhere on the Lord’s day, in homes, under a tree, at farm houses. The church was too small for the crowds. God’s grace was flowing so widely that farmers in the remotest areas were touched. The fire also spread to the Free State, Transvaal, and many other towns.
          It is striking that the Worcester revival spread from the conference of Christian leaders to different church backgrounds. Within months the move of God spread to Wellington, Swellendam and even to Cape Town, more than 100 Kilometers away. The next year the revival also moved eastward across the Karoo and to the Northwest as far as Calvinia. Prof. Hofmeyr and Rev Van der Rijst, a missionary, kept on praying for revival for 6 years. While Professor (then Ds) John Hofmeyr was the minister there, he could initially not motivate his congregation to come to prayer meetings. At Calvinia the Holy Spirit then swept away fierce resistance. In 1860, spontaneous prayer meetings started in the congregation, growing as a movement without the help of the clergy.
          Ds Gottlieb van der Lingen, the son of a LMS missionary pioneer, the minister of the Dutch Reformed Church in Paarl, initiated the Whitsuntide prayer meetings between Ascension Day and Pentecost in 1861. The Pinksterbidure would impact Afrikanerdom for many decades. Gottlieb van der Lingen was also God’s instrument and catalyst for De Gereformeerde Kerkbode, which later became Die Kerkbode.

Revival in the Mother City and a Backlash
Like Zinzendorf, the founder of the renewed Moravian Church, Andrew Murray had a great love for and interest in children. The very first book he wrote was Jezus de Kindervriend (1858). At the Cape, the Dutch Reformed Church penetrated into the fisherman families of Roggebaai near to Green Point, where they opened the second church school on 15 April 1861. In spite of the well-known revival of Worcester, Dr Andrew Murray was not yet so famous when he served as the minister of the Groote Kerk in the Mother City from 1864. His booklet Abide in Christ, which was originally written in Dutch, a daily devotional for a month, was meant as a manual and guide for the many converts in Worcester, when Murray saw them becoming gradually less committed. Within four years, more than 40,000 copies were sold. However, he only published a translation of it eighteen years later, the first of his English books. Andrew Murray would impact the Christian world like few before or after him. The pattern of 31 or 52 chapters was a favourite with him, a model that was to be emulated by many to this day for devotional diaries or prayer books. Abide in Christ was said to have started a revival in China.
          In February 1865 Andrew Murray started with services in Roggebaai every Thursday evening with a ‘full house.’ On the other side of the Groote Kerk, Murray started with services in a house in Van de Leur Street in District Six.  Soon a parish of the mother church was started in Hanover Street, at that time called Kanaalstraat, where race and class discrimination started to play a role. The ‘Dreyerkerk’ as the church became known later, was obviously intended for poor Whites and ‘Coloureds’. Nevertheless, especially for the parishes of Roggebaai and Hanover Street, ‘the services could not be long enough in duration.
          Satan had to react, trying to split the church. An unbiblical theological liberalism infiltrated South Africa in the 1850s. This happened amongst other things when a book De Moderne Theologie appeared, written by Ds D.F. Faure, the founder of the Free Protestant Church. Andrew Murray replied in 1868 with a series of thirteen sermons.

Turn of the Tide in Favour of Biblical Christianity
South Africans were among the world leaders in church cooperation when the Evangelical Alliance was formally started in 1857 in Cape Town. In fact, at this occasion the founders declared that an Evangelical Alliance existed in the Mother City in all but name already in 1842. The South African Evangelical Alliance thus functioned long before it kicked off formally in England and six years before it started in Germany. They referred to the move when pastors of different churches had a weekly prayer meeting a few years after the slave emancipation.  The South African branch of the Evangelical Alliance was the first outside Europe. This was the start of the worldwide movement, which again brought the major correction in Lausanne in 1974, after Marxists had successfully infiltrated the World Council of Churches.
          Cape Evangelicals got together in Cape Town in 1842 to work out a strategy to reach the lost of Southern Africa. Gerdener records how - within five years after the centenary of the start of Georg Schmidt’s endeavour - ‘concerted action had arrived.’ At that stage there were only 9 mission societies in South Africa, the bulk of which had to be contributed to the endeavours of Dr John Philip. (In 1937 – another century on – South Africa had become the best occupied mission field in the world with 1,934 Protestant missionaries and 658 Roman Catholic priests, according to the World Mission Atlas of those years.)
          The start of the Alliance in Cape Town led indirectly to the opening of the Stellenbosch DRC Kweekschool in 1859.  At this occasion Professor N. Hofmeyer complained that no effort was made to bring all Christians of the country together. A committee organized a conference fairly quickly. Some 400 delegates from the Dutch Reformed, Congregational, Lutheran, Methodist, Moravian and Presbyterian churches converged on Worcester in 1860 for the epoch-making conference. Worldwide it was one of the first of its kind.
          An interesting view expressed at the conference in Worcester was: ‘the home of every Christian should be a mission station’. The success of Worcester led to a similar one in Cape Town in Januar 1961. A special innovation – worldwide perhaps a first – was that the conference was conducted in two languages on alternate days, Dutch and English. Hereafter such conferences with delegates of 5 denominations plus mission societies were held at different centres. The first missionary conference took place in Genadendal in 1865 where 20 participants of the Rhenish, Berlin, London, Dutch Reformed and Moravian groups gathered. In 1872 Andrew Murray suggested regular missionary conferences with all churches and missionary societies. Missionary conferences took place in alternate years at different centres of the Western Cape until the South African War.

Women spearheading missionary Work
A rare feature of the 19th century is that a Cape-based missionary agency actually owes its existence to a woman. Mrs Martha Osborne was forced to leave India due to illness. In England she was thoroughly impacted by the Holy Spirit after conversion during a meeting of D.L. Moody, a well-known American evangelist. Her husband became seriously ill soon after his retirement, and eventually died. A newspaper reported negatively about conditions among British soldiers in Cape Town. The presence of ‘dens of the lowest description’ there, gripped her. This became Martha Osborne’s call to missions. She sailed in 1879, devoting herself to work among the Cape soldiers.
In South Africa she initiated evangelistic missionary work in Cape Town, Natal and Zululand. She founded a Sailors’ Home, a Ladies Christian Workers Union, the Railway Mission and the South African YWCA.  In 1890, she married George Howe who had been working alongside her with a similar vision. During the South African War the couple established no less than 27 Soldiers’ Homes. The Osborne Mission went through a number of changes and mergers, at last becoming the Africa Evangelical Fellowship.
During a visit to England Martha Osborne challenged Spencer Walton, an evangelical Church of England member, to come and join the outreach at the Cape. Walton was the first director of the Cape General Mission that later - after a merger - became known as the South Africa General Mission.
            May, Emma and Helena Garratt, three sisters from Ireland, were invited to visit the various stations of the South Africa General Mission. May Garratt responded to the invitation but the other two sisters got involved in other outreaches. Bible readings among the police led to the establishment of a Christian organization and other outreach forms. For example, the Africa Evangelistic Band (AEB) came into being. The Pilgrims, as their workers were called, evangelized in same-sex pairs, discipling new believers as they criss-crossed the country, bringing life to many a spiritually dead church.

The Emancipation of Women pre-empted[5]
The author of The Romance of the threeTtriangles is convinced that the work of the Young Women’s Christian Association (YWCA) ‘had its inception in the mind of God’ (Nowlan, 2001:3). The Ladies Christian Workers’ Union was formed in Cape Town at the suggestion of Mrs Martha Osborne. In August 1884, during a visit to the Mother City by Dr Andrew Murray for evangelistic services, this organisation was formally established under his chairmanship. At one of the Ladies’ gatherings young women and the best way to help them was discussed. Mrs Osborne’s sister succeeded in gaining the interest of many Christain friends. It seemed as if the matter ended their even though a great deal of interest was expressed.
            The women continued to pray, asking God for further guidance. There was an urgency now to find a suitable venue to which they could invite young women. For weeks they prayed to this end.
            At this time the affluent Bam family of Cape Town had sent their two daughters to Germany for schooling. During their stay there both girls contracted Typhoid Fever, dying of it subsequently. In this time of grief their father heard indirectly of the desire of the Ladies Christian Workers’ Union to befriend young women in Cape Town. He wrote a letter in which he expressed his desire to devote the house, which was the birthplace and home of his deceased daughters, to the work the Ladies Christian Workers’ Union had in view.
The hearts of these women were filled with praise and gratitude to God for his gift through Mr Bam. They had asked for one room. God gave them a building in Long Street with many rooms, which almost immediately became a venue for services conferences plus a substantial library via a gift of books from the YWCA in London. Bible classes on Sunday afternoons were popular and well attended. Furthermore, in the winter months, a special kitchen provided soup for the poor.
At a public meeting on the 6th May 1886 presided over by Dr Andrew Murray, it was decided to inaugurate the work of the YWCA. The building was dedicated for use by young women as a safe place and also intended as a place of rest for Christian workers and missionaries coming to town.right from its inception, a basis of faith became the framework within which membership would operate. The dependency upon God was epitomised by a week of prayer, first used in the second week of November. Later the second week in March became the week of evangelism. When special needs arose, it was quite normal that the leaders would call for Quiet Days. ‘It has always been the great desire of the members that the organisation should never lose the spirit of waiting on God to know how and for what to pray’ (Nowlan, 2001:24). Under the leadership of Miss McGill, the house became a blessing to many. At one stage she was President both of the Ladies Christian Workers’ Union and the YWCA. On 5 June 1901 the committee of the former union resolved to discontinue using the name Christian Workers’ Union. It had by then done its job to instill dignity and self-confidence in many a young woman. The emancipation of Cape women was prepared and pre-empted in this way.

A new Wave of Revival
During Pentecost 1904 the Methodists at Wittebergen had a week of prayer. There was such a response that intercessors met at 4 a.m. and prayer meetings continued throughout the day. A month later a great revival hit the village of Villiersdorp. 
            The news of the Welsh revival at the beginning of the new century caused the Dutch Reformed Church commision to issue a call for all churches to join together to pray for South Africa. Dr Andrew Murray, together with Prof. N.J. Hofmeyr and Ds. Botha, organized a conference on revival for ministers held at Stellenbosch Seminary in May 1905. The main topic was the ministry of the Holy Spirit in the world and in the church. Soon local awakenings were taking place all over the Cape Province, in both Afrikaans and English-speaking churches.
            On the evening of 23 July 1905 about 130 young people were engaged in a Christian Endeavour service in Villiersdorp when deep conviction gripped the entire meeting. The Holy Spirit led their concern for sin, which turned into brokenness, tears and a spontaneous calling on the mercy of God. Each evening the people gathered in meetings of up to three hours. The number swelled and attendance increased from 350 to 500. Sometimes a score of people could be heard praying simultaneously. Nothing else was talked about and more than a hundred villagers were converted, including the roughest and most reckless men in the district, but the believers were transformed into fearless witnesses, testifying with great power, urging friends to respond and praying for them by name in the open meetings. One young man became a pioneer missionary in Nigeria. Three months after the revival started, the minister appealed for help from his colleages, because it was spreading. This moving of the Spirit began to influence thirty other Dutch Reformed congregations, chiefly in the Western Cape, the Boland and the Eastern Province.
Still in 1905, the news from the revival in Villiersdorp caused the Christians in the Karoo town of Prince Albert to start with prayer meetings in homes. Soon the homes were too small and they met at the schoolhouse. One Sunday evening the Holy Spirit caused a spirit of conviction to break out among people of all ages. Even the children of the parish became so concerned that they filled another hall in the village, astounding the leaders and adults with their prayers for their own salvation, their families and friends. Whole households got converted, many of them led to the Lord by their own children.
In September 1905 Rev William M. Douglas from the Methodist Church, who had ministered powerfully in the Eastern Cape and in the Karoo, was invited to Wellington for a convention. He shared the ministry with Albert Head, a well-known speaker from England. Dr Andrew Murray presided over the convention. A conviction settled over the gathering and soon scenes of revival surfaced as people sought blessing for their souls. A prayer meeting with two hundred people present continued into the early hours of the morning and led by Rev Douglas, it became the focal point of the convention.

Andrew Murray, the Catalyst of Missions
Andrew Murray continued to be a blessing to the nation, having founded the Bible and Prayer Union in 1883. The main object of this venture was to encourage members of his church to read the Scriptures daily and to pray regularly for specific causes. The organization published Uit de Beek, a daily devotional booklet, of which Andew Murray was the editor for 40 years. He also wrote a booklet in 1885 ‘De School de Gebeds’ that was translated into English as ‘With Christ in the school of Prayer’.
The link between prayer and missions became concrete when the Goodenow Hall was built in
Wellington in 1886. Here the annual Western Cape Keswick holiness meetings would be held for many decades. In the same year Murray was also the catalyst for the Ministers’ Missionary Union, where pastors pledged 5 to 20 pounds sterling as an annual contribution. How fitting it was that his nephew, Andrew C. Murray, could be sent as the church’s first missionary of the new era to Nyasaland (today Malawi) in 1888.
          In the Cape General Mission, which was started in 1889 with Dr Andrew Murray as President, there were from its outset people from different denominational backgrounds. Andrew Murray was closely involved with the South Africa General Mission until the end of his life. From the beginning the Mission agency was a dual enterprise, intending to reach both the White and Black sections of the population. In the main towns of the country they would labour among the neglected Whites. The mission agency was blessed with spectacular growth. After only five years the original six workers had increased to sixty-eight.
          Furthermore, at least one of Andrew Murray’s disciples, his first missionary student, Petrus Louis le Roux, did not inherit the negative trend of denominational and racial separation. Influenced by Murray to be a missionary to the Zulus, he was ordained Eerwaarde, i.e. as a Dutch Reformed missionary in 1893 at Wakkerstroom in the Eastern Transvaal. Within seven years Le Roux had 2000 members, attributing his success to ‘good, earnest, native preachers’.

Africa for the Africans
John Langalibele Dube was a Zulu patriot but an opponent of ‘narrow tribalism’ simultaneously. The rising generation of militant African nationalists came to look upon him as a parochial figure. Looking back in history, we discern that the country had been blessed with a gifted Christian, whose potential could not be fully exploited because of racial prejudice. As a sixteen year old Dube went to America where he also traveled and gave talks on self-help for the Blacks of South Africa. He returned to the USA in 1897, this time to study theology for three years. Ordained in the Congregational church, he was one of the delegation to London in 1909 to lobby against the colour bar in the Act of Union. Unable to attend the founding conference of the South African Native Congress (later the name was changed to the ANC), he was elected in absentia as its first president.
            The slogan ‘Africa for the Africans’ has often been branded as Black racism.  It is hardly known that a White missionary from New Zealand was actually one of the first protagonists of the principle. Joseph Booth, who was born in Derby, England, wrote a booklet with the title Africa for the Africans in 1897. He worked as a farmer in New Zealand until he experienced a missionary call in 1892. His unorthodox approach to mission work and his schemes for African self-help and advancement eventually created friction with colonial authorities. He was barred from central Africa around 1903 as an alleged supporter of Ethiopianism or African religious separatism.
            But also other clergymen who thought along similar lines were side-lined, although not to the same extent. One of the most prominent late 19th century church leaders was Bishop John William Colenso of Natal. In the eyes of many church people he was suspect because he ‘advocated revolutionary and unpopular missionary policies’. Yet, Colenso also ‘asserted very firmly that the Christian gospel possessed definite social implications.’  He was for many Whites too radical when he tried to ‘leaven African culture and its social system with the gospel’, as De Gruchy worded it so aptly. Thus he was very critical of Bishop Robert Gray’s effort to turn Xhosas ‘into good Anglicans fitted for English society’, by taking them to Zonnebloem College in District Six.

Prayer as the Key to the Missionary Problem
Dr Andrew Murray put in practice what he had taught about ‘waiting on the Lord’ when he was invited to be a speaker at the World Missions conference in New York, 1900 - billed as the biggest ever to be held. (At this time the effect of the Enlightenment and rationalism had significantly diminished belief in unseen forces like the Holy Spirit.) Andrew Murray had no inner peace about going to New York, not even after the organizers tried to use his famous friend Dwight Moody to entice him. Moody invited Murray to join him in outreaches in the USA after the World Missions conference, but Murray was not to be swayed.  He felt morally bound to stay with his people because of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902). We may safely surmise that Murray was sensitive to the Holy Spirit, only wanting to take instructions from the Lord.
            Murray’s subsequent absence at the conference ironically became the biggest cause of missions in the 20th century.  After he received the papers and discussions at the conference, Murray wrote down what he thought was lacking at the event in a booklet: The Key to the Missionary Problem. This book had an explosive influence on the churches in Europe, America and South Africa.  In the booklet Murray referred prominently to the 24-hour prayer watch of the Moravians. It called seriously for new devotion and intensive prayer for missions. Murray powerfully stated that missionary work is the primary task of the church, and that the pastor should have that as the main goal of his preaching. These sentiments were repeated in a small booklet he called Foreign Missions and the week of Prayer, January 5-12, 1902 - stating that ‘missions are the supreme end of the church’.  He furthermore suggested that ‘to join in united prayer for God’s Spirit to work in home churches a true interest in, and devotion to missions (is) our first and our most pressing need.
          One of Andrew Murray’s classic statements of the early 20th century was that ‘God is a God of missions.’ He wrote powerfully in his book The Kingdom of God in South Africa (1906): ‘Prayer is the life of missions. Continual, believing prayer is the secret of vitality and fruitfulness in missionary work. The God of missions is the God of prayer'.
It is surely no mere co-incidence that revivals broke out in different parts of the world in the years hereafter - in such divergent countries as Wales, Norway, India and Chile. (The effect of the Welsh revival on Korea has been highlighted by Patrick Johnstone on a CD-Rom. That country was fast becoming the second biggest missionary sending nation of the world in the 21st century.) The Cape was used in this way by God to get missionary endeavour as a worldwide priority, an important spur to the conference at Edinburgh in 1910 that in turn could be regarded as a forerunner of the World Council of Churches. (An interesting fact is that William Carey had proposed a hundred years earlier for a missions conference to be held at the Cape of Good Hope.)
            Andrew Murray summarized the link between the Holy Spirit and missions as follows: ‘No one can expect to have the Holy Ghost unless he is prepared to be used for missions. Missions are the mission of the Holy Ghost.’ The first of the triennial General Missionary conferences was convened in 1904, very much prepared through prayer. These conferences surely contributed greatly in the run-up to the world event in Edinburgh in 1910.

Confession as a Revival Instrument

Confession is an important element of prayer as a tool towards revival. The rebirth of the Jewish nation after the exile was prepared by the intercessory prayers of Nehemiah (1:6-9), Ezra (9:6-13) and Daniel (9:9-19). All three of them concentrated on the spiritual condition of the people and confession of sins.
In revivals through the ages, prayer was the basis. In these cases prayer brought about a con­sciousness of sin, which invariably led to confession and restitution. Rightly Andrew Murray stated: ‘an essential element in a true missionary revival will be a broken heart and a contrite spirit in view of past neglect and sin’ (Murray, 1901, [1979]:150). In the probably most well-known recent major revival in South Africa, in Kwa Siza Bantu, (Natal) Erlo Stegen, the leader, had been going through an extended period of prayer, but the Holy Spirit could only break through when Stegen confessed his racial pride, idolatry, lacking neigh­bourly love and other sin (W.L. Muncy Jr., cited in Elana Lynse, 1989:49).
Through-out his the booklet The Key to the missionary Problem Andrew Murray men­tions prayer as the major single factor to change the world, as the key to the missionary problem. If he says over and over again that the problem is a personal one, he also states clearly that personally we have this key in our hands: ‘We feel that our only hope is to apply ourselves to prayer. Prayer, more prayer, much prayer, very special prayer should first of all be made for the work to be done in our home churches on behalf of foreign missions(Murray, 1901[1901]:147). With regard to the latter, the Herrnhut church of the 18th century was exemplary. As the missionaries faithfully sent reports of their work on the fields, the church prayed for them concrete­ly.
            About the priority of the work of the Holy Spirit and the power of prayer, Murray continues a few pages further: ‘And yet, it is only when they have first place and everything else is made subordinate to them, that the Christian life will be truly healthy’ (Murray, 1901[1979]:150). But he knew that he had an uphill task, conceding: ‘This preaching of contrition on account of our lack of obedience to Christ’s great command will be no easy thing’ (Murray, 1901[1979]:155).

Paternalism breeds secession
All along there was a lot of goodwill among Whites. A problem was that even radical thinkers among them hardly ever consulted people of colour. Proper consultation could possibly have averted many a crisis. From the earliest days at the Cape the ‘natives’ were regarded as inferior, their culture despised. Paternalism was rife.
            This gave rise to the secessionist ‘Ethiopian movement’. The ‘Ethiopians’ have been typified by the sentence: “We have come to pray for the deliverance of Blacks.’ The ideological link went back to the Ethiopian eunuch of Acts 8 and the church, which developed in that country without mediation of Western Churches. The term ‘Ethiopian’ was derived from the concept that the first indigenous church on African soil started in Ethiopia. By 1902, Ethiopianism was used for the entire indigenous church movement.) For the ‘rebel’ Black churchmen Ethiopia was the model land where Blacks were ruling their own country. In America a separate church had been started among Negroes as the American Methodist Episcopal Church (AMEC). It was only natural that the ‘Ethiopian’ Methodists of South Africa linked up with them. Bishop Levi Coppin was sent here as the first Black bishop. The AMEC headquarters were to be in District Six.  The ‘Ethiopian’ movement started in different parts of South Africa as breakaway congregations from the Methodist mission churches. In a sense the good teaching of the Methodists backfired to make the indigenous independent, because the missionaries kept on patronizing their congregants of colour.

            Another influential figure was Henry Sylvester Williams, a black lawyer who hailed from Trinidad in the West Indies. He came to Cape Town in October 1903, with the intention to build Pan-Africanism and to see British status coming into being for all Black people in the Empire. When he and Coppin saw how the ‘Coloureds’ were distancing themselves from the ‘Africans’, they thought that the ‘Coloureds’ might be the next to be segregated residentially. (The Blacks had been dumped in Ndabeni in 1901). They saw all the ingredients of divide and rule given when Tobin, one of the early leaders of the African Peoples’ Organization (APO), looked for reconciliation between the ‘Coloureds’ and White Afrikaners, who also spoke Afrikaans. Tobin and his supporters were angered by what they regarded as the betrayal of the British in the run-up to the Anglo-Boer War. 

Struggle for justice and equality
Bishop Coppin and Henry Attaway, another American, who headed the Bethel Institute in Blythe Street, District Six, returned to the USA. The hopes that had existed at the end of the Anglo-Boer war were disappearing quickly. Racism, segregation and repression increased. Henry Sylvester Williams found himself boycotted and ostracized by his White colleagues and blocked in his work. He returned to England disillusioned. His contribution to the struggle for justice and equality at the Southern tip of Africa was nevertheless invaluable. South African Blacks were encouraged to see that their struggle was not an isolated one, but part of a worldwide movement against racial oppression.
            Joseph Booth, the missionary from New Zealand, was in Cape Town in 1912-13, living off rent from boarders in his home, one of whom was the great D.D.T. Jabavu. He drew up an ambitious scheme which would train Blacks in modern skills and give them a base for greater self-assertion. He enlisted support from Sol Plaatje, a fervent nationalist and Black author and Rev John L Dube, but nothing came of the schemes. In 1914 Booth went to Basutoland (today’s Lesotho) where he worked as an independent missionary.
          With the bulk of the leaders of the South African Native National Congress (which later became the ANC) coming from the ranks of the churches that grew out of missionary work, it was natural that a deep influence would be felt there. No wonder that the country’s first non-racial Bill of Rights was passed at their conference on 24 May, 1923. The five clauses demanding the right to live in South Africa, to own land, to be equal in the eyes of the law, to be treated equally irrespective of race, class, creed or origin and to have direct representation in government was expanded significantly in 1943, still anticipating the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the UN by five years.

Spurning of local ministers of colour
A sad development in the last decades of the 19th century was that the gifting of people of colour was not appreciated sufficiently, combined with ambition and rebellion on a few ministers of colour who evidently did not understand the nature of the gospel properly.
            If one takes Gerdener’s statement as a cue that Black dislike of whites was a common characteristic of those ministers who broke away to start their own denominations, the deduction is natural to suggest that they had bad examples of Whites who lorded over them, not allowing their understudies to develop their full potential.
            A case in point at the Cape is Reverend Joseph John Forbes. Starting off as a teacher, he was ordained as a Methodist minister at their Buitenkant Street fellowship on the outskirts of District Six in 1918. He withdrew from the church ‘owing to differences on the colour question’, accepting a call to the Congregational Church soon hereafter. There he did not last long before he started his own church and denomination, the Volkskerk, in Gray Street (District Six) on 14 May, 1922. His leadership qualities were clearly overlooked and spurned because thereafter he became one of the greatest church planters at the Cape, starting an orphanage, five schools and congregations as far afield as Kimberley.
            In the case of the Cape Town City Mission, Alec Kadalie went to the African Methodist Episcopal (AME) Church, whose leader since the 1930s – the American Dr F. Gow – was all too eager to use people of colour. That denomination - with its origins among the Negroes of the USA - was a great propagator of the indiginization of the church at the Cape. Under Dr Gow’s leadership the church expanded rapidly, at least numerically, with churches in different parts of the Peninsula. The Kadalie clan would play a substantial role in the second half of the 20th century in the Cape Town City Mission.
            The Salvation Army was especially known for their work among the down-trodden and their open air services. All these outreaches however never seemed to have caught fire amongst the people of colour. One of the common weaknesses of almost all Christian groups was that they all seemed to be paternalistic, hardly recognizing the potential of locals, let alone to involve people of colour in leadership positions. In the case of the Baptist Church in Wale Street, the first minister who officiated as senior pastor and who did not come from England, was Pastor André Erasmus in 1971, i.e. almost after a century of its existence. He was a Dutch Reformed Minister, who had been deposed when he was convicted to get baptised by immersion.

Spiritual vitality of praying women
The spurning and suppression of women with regard to leadership went a completely different route. In stead of getting bitter and resentful, Black women especially appeared to have accepted male leadership gracefully. Up to the late 1940s these women organised activity among themselves independently.  They would often allow the men to formally open meetings, in which they participated as speakers. Thus one found in a report of the Primitive Methodist Church of an evangelistic campaign by women from Johannesburg in the Free State how thirty three people were impacted under the preaching of three different women from Saturday evening to Monday, 22-24 September 1919. The manyanos (the Xhosa word for prayer unions) turned out to be instruments of Black empowerment virtually second to none. Here women leaders would not only pray and preach, but here dignity and political awareness developed. Xhosa female poet wrote about the praying women of a store boycott in the country town of Herschel:
                                     ‘Right from the start, manyanos the shield to ward
To ward off the white man’s arrows’
            The practice and hurts of apartheid society was possibly the reason for determined resistance in the 1950s to reshape their meetings to provide more practical instruction and community activism.
            Whereas White and some ‘Coloured’ church women’s groups concentrated on fund raising, Black women amended their name soon to ‘Prayer and Service Union.’ The social and mutual support offered by prayer groups helped compensate for the isolation and poor social structures, which Western missionaries held up as models. Testimonies, preaching and spontaneous prayer became the lifeblood of Black Christian groups. In the prayer groups they could develop their potential as orators without first having to be literate. In accepting a role in moral teaching of their adolescent children, Black Christian women turned their backs on pre-Christian norms, by which female relatives other than the mother had provided sex education. In general, the spiritual life of manyano women appears to have been more creative and vital than that of the other racial groups. Dawn prayer and nights of prayer were quite common.
            Among the ‘Coloureds’ at the Cape there were ‘gebedskringen’ in which both sexes participated but they appear to have kept social and political issues outside their meetings. Alcoholism - and in the latter quarter of the 20th century drug abuse - were exceptions. Racial mixing happened in the early part of the century, but increasingly the apartheid patterns became the order of the day. Whereas some two hundred women also included other races (than Black) attending the annual district manyano in 1930 in Ndabeni, White churches would at best provide garages and the like (not even their church halls) for religious meetings for their domestic servants.

Evangelism Explosion in the Mother City
Mr Frederick George Lowe came to Cape Town in 1896 as a concerned Anglican and a businessman who sold cheap clothing. He soon got involved with the poor and needy, especially at the time of the Bubonic plague in 1901. Lowe started what he called the City Slum Mission in 1902. This outreach remained fairly obscure, till the Bubonic plague hit the Mother City once again in 1915 - especially the areas of Salt River and Woodstock. The compassionate work of the City Slum Mission now became more widely known. Frederick George Lowe’s death on June 2, 1924 hit the headlines. His funeral from the City Hall was probably only really eclipsed at the Cape in 1969 when the corpse of Imam Haron was carried from the City Park Stadium. (The biggest funeral ever held at the Cape to date was possibly the one on Saturday 21 September 1985 in the Black township of Gugulethu. That was the occasion of eleven people killed indiscriminately by police in a riotous situation.) After Lowe’s death the mission got its present name, the Cape Town City Mission. Over the years churches and all sorts of charitable and compassionate institutions were established all over the Peninsula. The combination of evangelism and compassionate outreach – which they took from their model, the Salvation Army, became an integral part of their ministry. (This remained the case till the 1990s when the evangelistic portion became a part of Kingdom Ministries, led by Pastor Alfie Fabe, which started sending out ministries all over the world.)
            Things started to change in the 1930s. The depression of the early 1930s appears to have caused a new fire for evangelism. The start of the Docks Mission is a case in point. When John Crowe listened to an open-air service of the Salvation Army in Adderley Street in 1932, he was touched.  How happy his prayerful mother was when he shared that he had decided to follow Jesus! The ‘slightly Coloured’ family - as those with a fair complexion from that racial group used to be called - attended the Baptist Church in the Mother City’s Wale Street. Almost immediately the 18-year old John Crowe wanted to share the gospel with other people in the neighbourhood of Roggebaai - the area where Andrew Murray also evangelized. With his namesake John Johnson he soon struck a partnership, getting involved in open-air services at different places. Later they were especially active on the Grand Parade, Cape Town’s Hyde Park corner, where various political groups and others had their meetings. Harold, John Johnson’s brother, joined them at a later stage. When people started committing their lives to Jesus through their ministry, they asked for permission to conduct meetings in one of the Railway cottages that soon became too small. They then rented a wood and iron construction that was called the ‘Tin Shanty.’

Impact of Student Christian outreach
A significant spiritual influence at the Cape was John Mott’s Student Christian Movement, along with the Edinburgh meeting of evangelicals in 1910 that became the forerunner of the World Council of Churches. All this looked set to spur worldwide evangelisation significantly. The Cape was in the thick of things through the presence of Dr. Andrew Murray. John Mott, the renowned preacher and leader of a global divine work among students, who mobilised many of them for missions, spoke at the Huguenot Hall at the beginning of the century. This ushered in the establishment of the Students’ Christian Association (SCA).  The work of the SCA at the Victoria College - that was to become the University of Stellenbosch and the forerunner of UCT - had a significant impact on individuals. One of the most notable influences was on Jan H. Hofmeyr, who was poised to become the successor as Prime Minister of Jan Smuts, if the Nationalists had not come into power in 1948. Hofmeyr, who attended the Cape Town Baptist Church in Wale Street, was a fervent supporter of the SCA.
           A related ministry in the 1920s was the Oxford Group, started by Frank Buchman, an American with a German background. Edgar Brookes, one of South Africa’s greatest liberal politicians of the apartheid era, described the influence of the Oxford Group as follows: ‘Undoubtedly its first impact on South Africa was that of a genuine religious revival, and this made itself felt quite remarkably in the field of race relations.’ In the 1960s and 1970s the group played a significant if not so overt role in racial reconciliation under its new name Moral Rearmament. Ds George Daneel, who died at the end of 2004 in French Hoek, a Dutch Reformed Church clegyman and a former Springbok, was the face of the movement for many years, even though they worked low-key to bring people from different races together. The movement got politically stained among the Cape ‘Coloureds’ through the participation of people like George Golding, principal of a primary school in District Six. Golding was attacked as a quisling or traitor by radical Coloureds who opposed collaboration with government-sponsored institutions. (Nevertheless, the author was deeply impacted by a book about some of its work of Moral Rearmament in the country with the title South Africa, what kind of change, which was given to him as a gift in 1977.  Peter Hannon, the author of the book, was operating from the Fish Hoek centre of the movement in the Western Cape for quite a few years).

Praise, worship and Fasting
A text, which is rightly quoted quite often, is Zechariah 4:6, 'Not by might nor by power, but by my spirit, says the Lord Almighty'. This is basic to spiritual warfare, but it is unfortunate that the context is usually not considered when the text is quoted. Other basic principles are contained in this prophesy of Zechariah 4, namely that of the power of the weak and the 'few' in building the temple. 'Shouts of thank­s­gi­ving' declare that 'all was done by grace alone' (v.6-8).
            Praise is used in the ‘OT’ a few times in the attacks of God's enemies. Probably the most well-known of them is probably Joshua and the seven trumpets as the gathering marched around Jericho, augmented by the united shout after the sev­enth time on the seventh day. (We note the repetition of the number seven, the biblical number for being complete and perfect.) Some­times fasting and praise occur in close proximity, e.g. Nehemiah 9:1+4.
            The arch enemy furthermore saw to it that fasting as a tool in spiritual war­fare lost its initial purpose. It was either com­pletely neg­lected, or it became a 'work' to earn God's favour for example to fast during lent. Jesus himself fasted and prayed for forty days and nights before he started his ministry (Matthew 4:2). When His opponents pointed to the fact that His disciples were not fasting, he never cancelled the feasibility of it. He merely stated that the disciples would be doing it when he, 'the bridegroom', would have been taken away (Matthew 9:15). Jesus did however attack fasting as an outward show to impress others (Matthew 6:16; Luke 18:12). The Master was fully in line with ‘OT’ teach­ing where we read for example that God rejects fasting when those who are fasting are living in evil pleas­ures and oppress (underpay?) their workers (Isaiah 58:3). But the ‘OT’ teaches just as clearly how fasting can be a sign of penitence (2 Chronicles 20:3; Ezra 8:21; Jona 3:5; Daniel 6:18; Joel 2:15). It can also be used as a weapon in fight­ing the enemy (Esther 4:16).
            Starting their outreach in the Dockyard, the church group, which started operating from the ‘Tin Shanty’, called themselves the Docks Mission. From its earliest years prayer and fasting belonged to the habits of the Docks Mission. Many a Friday night was used for an all night prayer meeting. No wonder that God gave the new denomination phenomenal growth. Not only were new churches started on Brown’s Farm (Ottery) and Factreton Estate, a new housing scheme, but also further afield at Wellington and Grabouw. In due course they conducted gospel meetings in the Community Centre of the Bloemhof Flats in Constitution Street, District Six and in the YMCA building in Chiapinni Street, Bo-Kaap. Every third Saturday of the month a combined prayer meeting was held in one of the branches.
            From their early beginnings the Docks Mission also started with outreach at the prison in Tokai and at the nearby Porter Reformatory. Many a life was changed though this ministry, as well as at the Brooklyn Chest Hospital where services are still being held. After the services at the ‘Tin Shanty’on Sundays, some members went to Somerset Hospital to pray with nurses there. A branch of the Hospital Christian Fellowship, which operated at Somerset Hospital for many years, benefited greatly from this assistance. Docks Mission workers made a national impact through ministry to prisoners on Robben Island. Pastor Walter Ackerman thus witnessed and challenged Nelson Mandela at this time. After his release in 1990 Mandela often referred to the Christian teaching that he received over the years as contributory to his emphasis on refraining from revenge.
          The Africa Evangelical Band had evangelism as their main activity. One of the first Bible Schools operated in Bell Road, Kenilworth with great effect, sending their graduates as pilgrims throughout the country. Through this evangelism and spiritual challenge many pastors in the ‘Coloured’ churches of 'mainline’ denominations where gospel preaching was neglected, were impacted. Because of the Group Areas legislation the Bible School moved to Crawford.

Christian Compassion in District Six and Bo-Kaap
The Nanniehuis of Bo-Kaap showed the way of compassion. Anna Tempo, the initiator of the project, was the daughter of slaves from Mozambique. She became the matron of the Stakesby-Lewis Hostel in Harrington Street. With this move that started in District Six, care was taken of unwedded mothers and prostitutes. The Nanniehuis in Jordaan Street, Bo-Kaap became the model for similar projects in other parts of the country after Ms Tempo had been awarded the King George Coronation Medal for her work in 1937.
            By the early 1960s there were 288 welfare agencies in the city of which less than half were run by religious organizations. The City Mission was by far the best known of them all. The combination of evangelism and compassionate outreach, continued unabatedly.
            A special ministry of compassion to the city nightclubs from the early 1970s was based in the old Tafelberg Hotel of District Six. It was started amongst the youth of the White Dutch Reformed Church congregation of Wynberg. This ministry was birthed in prayer. Pietie Victor, who started his theological training in Stellenbosch in 1964, founded the compassionate ministry with his wife Annette, who was a social worker by profession. Only four young people of the fairly big youth group were initially prepared to join Pietie and Annette Victor for outreach on the streets and in the nightclubs on Friday nights, but many of the young people came for Bible Study and prayer before the group left for the outreach that would take them into the early hours of the morning.
            God used the breakdown of the bus that took the group back to Stellenbosch after a training weekend to bring them to the realization that they were broken themselves. At the Sunday evening service in the Student Church that evening, 350 young people remained in the church after the service as an indication that God had dealt with them during the week prior to that.
            In the Dutch Reformed Church denomination there was initially a lot of opposition to the work. However, after an invitation by Ds Solly Ozrovich to come and share about their work in his congregation in Gordons Bay, they received invitations from all over. The favour of the devout young people seemed to have angered the forces of the enemy tremendously. Pietie Victor was now asked to appear before his church council. Via the grapevine he heard that he had to account for the ‘late night activities and that he was busy with sectarian “things” like speaking in tongues, laying on of hands and other “geestelike vergrype” (spiritual offences). The group was driven to prayer as never before. God vindicated them. At the actual meeting not a single one of the accusations was mentioned. Instead, the youth group only harvested praise.
One of the criticisms thrown at Pietie Victor, who finished his theological studies at the end of 1971, was that he was a liberal. The reason for this was that they took people from all races into their mobile coffee bar - a Microbus, which they parked in front of St Stephen’s Church in Bree Street under a street lamp. There they served those whom they had brought from the streets with sandwiches and coffee. That was the cause for St Stephen’s Church to invite them to offer two of their cellar rooms for the use of the coffee bar. What an irony of history followed. The ‘Coloured’ congregation that was still linked to the Groote Kerk - the same congregation that refused teaching to Muslims in one of their rooms at the beginning of the century - now hosted the White young people. Even a greater irony followed when the very room that functioned as coffee bar, had once been the source of conflict in 1842. It was the room where a little more than a century ago manumitted slaves learned to read and write. That had been the main bone of contention - the reason why the church got its name, after being pelted with stones by angry White colonists. For many decades, the Straatwerk Koffiekamer at 108 Bree Street remained a blessing to many destitute people. It is ironic that the Tafelberg Hotel of District Six birthed such a blessed ministry. By the mid-1980s District Six was a tract of wasteland. From the mid-1990s prayers were held in the Straatwerk Koffiekamer for the Bo-Kaap and Cape Muslims every Friday between one and two o’clock in the afternoon.

Ds Davie Pypers leads the outreach to Muslims 
The Dutch Reformed Church pioneered the work among the Cape Muslims. It is fitting that the initiative for resumption of evangelistic work among the Cape Muslims in the second half of the twentieth century was undertaken by the SAMS. Ds Pypers, who became a full-time missionary for this purpose in July 1961, was joined by Pieter Els who had been challenged to reach out to Muslims with the Gospel along with two other student theological colleagues, Willem Louw en Coen Brand, while they were studying at Stellenbosch in 1960. A witness group - spearheaded by White theological students - was started in Stellenbosch in the 1960s, reaching out to the Muslims of Idas Valley, the ‘Coloured’ residential area.  
             The group of ‘Coloured’ churches called the ‘ring’ (circuit) of Wynberg - stretching from Retreat to Claremont including a big part of the Cape flats at that time - decided to give a bigger responsibility to the churches to witness to the Muslims and Hindu’s. The ‘Coloured’ sector of the denomination accepted the reaching out to the Muslims as their special task. In many suburbs they were their neighbours.
          The stalwart work of women in breaking down the prejudice of Muslims has too often not been duly recognized. Johanna van Zyl and Ria Olivier kept the loving outreach to Muslims in Bo-Kaap and other places going, along with other women of the Vrouesendingbond (Women’s Missionary Guild). That Johanna van Zyl could write in the August 1974 edition of Die Ligdraer about her 25 years of work amongst children in Bo-Kaap is an exception that only amplifies the rule. The fact is that whereas quite a few Cape Muslim women came to faith in Christ, conversions among their male counterparts have been very rare. 

                                                4. Spiritual Warfare at the Cape

          In the 'Old Testament' the Israelites were repeatedly warned against idol worship. Their idolatry took place, as a rule, on the ‘high places’.  Nevertheless, the Jews - and much later also the Christians of the Middle East - ignored these warnings, getting into all sorts of bondage because of their disobedience to the divine precepts. Often people combined the idolatry with ancestral worship, for example the worship of stones and trees.
          In due course, buried saints were regarded as mediators between man and God. This belief grew to immense proportions, especially in Roman Catholicism, where the birthdays of saints are still commemorated worldwide.  (As a rule, the New Testament calls only living people saints). In Egypt, the shrines of revered Coptic Christians very soon became places of prayer. Muslims copied the practice of building shrines when the Musselmen conquered North Africa. Ancestral worship at the shrines became part and parcel of Folk Islam, which has the anomaly that Jesus is rejected as mediator, while the deceased in the shrines are being called upon for help in times of distress and need. In Cape Town, these shrines (called Kramats), which are the graves of Muslim leaders, are specially frequented before pilgrims leave for Mecca.
          The biblical prohibition of ancestral worship was watered down and almost nullified in the 1990s. (In the secular government South Africa after 1994 ancestral worship became increasingly prominent, especially after it had become known that Mr Thabo Mbeki, the vice president at the time and now the present State President, appeared to have fairly close links to sangoma’s (witch doctors). In the belief system of the latter, ancestral worship is quite central.)

Teaching of Spiritual warfare in earlier centuries
The influential reformer Martin Luther believed in the reality of the devil so much that he was reported to have thrown his inkpot at Satan. His famous hymn ‘A mighty fortress is our God’ typified his belief in the realities of and the need for spiritual warfare. Along the lines of the teaching of the ‘Streiter-ehe’ (warrior marriage), Count Zinzendorf saw his marriage as part of the spiritual battle, where no sacrifice is regarded as too great in the light of the Cross of Calvary.  Of course, they did not suck the concept out of their thumb. There was the scriptural precedent where Joshua had to request some tribes to join them while their women and children could remain in the land east of the Jordan while the warriors would go to war with the remaining tribes (Joshua 1:14).
          In the 19th century hardly anyone typified spiritual warfare more than William Booth and his Salvation Army.  C.T. Studd, the founder of Worldwide Evangelization for Christ (WEC International), was also very much influenced by the concept. His wife Priscilla more than held the fort at home in England. In fact, the Lord used her to prepare the ground for WEC International in South Africa in 1927 when she also visited Cape Town. That visit also paved the way for WEC to change from a mission agency with a focus on the heart of the African continent to one with a worldwide focus. C.T. Studd furthermore used terms like ‘prayer batteries’ and ‘chocolate soldiers’ at the beginning of the 20th century. The earlier name of the mission agency was typically called Worldwide Evangelization Crusade.

The impact of The Key to the Missionary Problem
Until the early 1990s spiritual warfare was regarded as a modern fad but precursors had started from South Africa already in the previous century. Andrew Murray had already brought the issue into focus through his emphasis on prayer and the interest he aroused for the work of the Holy Spirit. Revivals in different parts of Africa were initiated from Cape Town after Murray’s founding of the South African General Mission in 1889. His booklet The Key to the Missionary Problem in 1900 really set the scene for great things. Hans von Staden, the founder of the Dorothea Mission, was born of German parents in the Free State town of Winburg. The family moved to Stellenbosch in 1920 where he developed a close friendship with Andrew Murray, the grandson of the well-known theologian with the same name. The writings of Dr Andrew Murray, especially The Key to the Missionary Problem, were destined to have a profound influence on von Staden, finally leading to him becoming the superintendent of the Africa Evangelistic Band in the Transvaal. In 1942 von Staden experienced God’s call to his life work, the founding of the Dorothea Mission: ‘I discerned His commission: we were to dedicate our lives to the evangelization of the people in the dark city townships of South Africa’ (cited in Roy, 2000:161). Soon he had a band of evangelists who would pitch a tent for evangelistic purposes.
         One of the converts was Shadrach Maloka, a gangster, who would become a powerful preacher himself, used by God in Canada, Germany and Holland. The author met him not only in the latter two countries, but also back in South Africa in the early 1970s. Maloka was one of the first Black preachers to whom South African Whites would come and listen (This occurred for example at the Sendingkerk in Ravensmead, where Ds Piet Bester had impacted the author so significantly towards missionary work).
At the end of the booklet The Key to the missionary Problem Andrew Murray advocated the observing of 'Weeks of prayer for the World'. Patrick Johnstone comments: ‘So far as I know this was not taken up earnestly until 1962 when Hans van Staden, the Founder and Director of the Dorothea Mission inspired the launching of a whole series of Weeks of Prayer for the World in both Southern Africa and Europe.’ It was these Weeks of Prayer that made the provision of prayer information so important, and led to van Staden's challenge to Johnstone to write a booklet of information to help in these prayer weeks. Hans van Staden also proposed the name "Operation World" in 1964. The very first booklet with basic information covered 30 countries, was printed by Cees Lugthardt at the presses of the Dorothea Mission in Pretoria. In Johnstone’s own words: ‘So the book was South African-born, but then went global.’
Operation World has been published in whole or in part in 16 languages, and the total number of volumes printed over nearly 30 years is probably approaching 3 million! The book has arguably influenced world missions more than any other book. Johnstone met his first wife Jill, who wrote the first children’s version of the book, while they were missionaries with the Dorothea Mission in Southern Africa.
         The initial promise of Murray’s vision never came to fulfillment. Satan hit back through his favourite weapon: divide and rule. Racial pride and discrimination - legalized after 1948 in South Africa - wrecked the promising beginnings. 
Some influences of prayer on the World Wars in the 20th Century
During World War I it seemed as if England was on the losing side in 1916. Then along came Chaim Weizmann, a Jewish scientist, with the offer of his newly developed explosive TNT. He was willing to give Britain the formula in exchange for a promise that they would help liberate Israel from the Arabs and Turks who were living there and if Jews would be allowed to return to Israel. The Balfour Declaration was signed and General Allenby, a committed Christian, was sent to Israel to liberate the country. Possession of TNT tilted the World War in favour of the Western allies.
          General Allenby took the liberty of asking God in prayer to enable him to drive off the Arabs and Turks without bloodshed. God answered his prayer. When Allenby’s troops marched into Jerusalem, the panic-stricken Arabs and Turks from Israel sent a delegation to negotiate their surrender. Without a single shot fired, he took over the land. Israel came under a British mandate on 24 July 1922 and the birth of the new nation Israel became a fact. The return of Jews to the Promised Land would have been for them the fulfillment of biblical prophecy. However, this final liberation of Israel had to wait for more than a quarter of a century. The Jewish nation had to go through the crucible before this came into being. It is a sad irony that the Nazi holocaust speeded up the formation of the Jewish state like no other event in history! On the other hand, Christians worldwide were now challenged in a new way to look at biblical prophecies.
          The influence of prayer on World History was perhaps never recorded better than the intercession of the Welshman, Mr Rees Howells, before and during World War II. It can be said quite firmly that God used him to avert a worldwide demonic Nazi takeover by Adolf Hitler. Already in March 1936 Howells began to see clearly that Hitler was ‘Satan’s agent for preventing the Gospel going to every creature’. In the four years prior to the outbreak of World War II, the Lord increased the burden on Howells from local concerns to national and international affairs. As Howells testified, he and the group of intercessors linked to the Bible College in Swansea, Wales ‘... were led to be responsible to intercede for countries and nations’. The strategic prayer offered and led from Swansea effectively countered the progress of Hitler during World War II. ‘There was no hope for Tommy, humanly speaking’ when King George VI decreed a day of prayer throughout the British Empire. Also at the Cape, Christians were praying for divine intervention. What was the result? Hitler was supernaturally stopped at Dunkirk in a way that reads like a repetition of Israel’s exodus from Egypt. A storm came up on the side of the Germans while on the British side of the English Channel it was ‘like glass’. Was it mere co-incidence that Hitler repeated Napoleon’s mistake to take the Russians on during winter, and ushered in his own demise? Or was it much rather divine intervention once again? Rees Howells concluded: ‘God laid bare His holy arm and wrought as He alone can’. Prayer indirectly saved the Cape from coming under Hitler’s dictatorship. (The ‘Greyshirts’ had ensured the dissemination of Nazi propaganda in the Mother City.)
          Prophetically, Rees Howells had predicted concerning Joseph Stalin that ‘the devil may yet use this man to be the greatest foe to the Church that the world has ever known’.  These results of sustained prayer hardly came to the surface - much less than the efforts of the Moravians in the 18th century. Stalin in Russia and Mao Zedong in China would to stage major offensives against Christianity. The deportation of missionaries and the persecution of Christians in China combined ironically to start an unprecedented church growth in the 1970s - the result of fervent prayer by followers of Jesus around the globe, not least of all in China itself.

Cape Prophetic Voices
The almost classic guilt - going right through to the present - derives from the refusal of the church to listen to, let alone to follow the warnings and advice of prophetic voices, especially with regard to outreach to Jews and Muslims. Although people like Dr John M. Arnold had already spelled out the need in the last quarter of the 19th century - for the church to give its best people for evangelism among Muslims, this call was not heeded. In general, the church authorities persisted in looking for people who could achieve quick results.  (A notable exception was the Dutch Reformed Ds Davie Pypers, who persevered for many years to reach out to the Indians in the second half of the 20th century.)
          With regard to racial segregation, the warning voices of theological professors Barend B. Keet and Ben Marais should be added. In the Dutch Reformed Church synod of 1940 Marais warned his church not to accept apartheid because it was scripturally unjustifiable. However, he was sidelined. Keet, who was at some time heading the Kweekskool, the Seminary in Stellenbosch, was at it again in 1956 with his book Wither South Africa?, warning that ‘The test of our civilisation is our treatment of the underprivilged. Everything which bears the stamp of oppression [and oppression of personality is the worst] debases the oppressor just as it degrades the oppressed’ (p.85).
The young student Beyers Naudé was deeply influenced by Professor Keet who was firmly opposed to the growing racist theology in the DRC. Writing in the Kerkbode, Keet would frequently clash with theologians who claimed that apartheid could be justified on biblical grounDs On a personal level, the heritage of the pioneer missionary Georg Schmidt impacted his life when Naudé met his wife. She was the daughter of Emil Weder, a German missionary who managed the Moravian Mission Store in Genadendal. (The name Emil Weder still lives on in the name of the local High School). Coming from the Karoo town of Loxton where he was a pastor, Beyers Naudé encountered cultured educated people of colour for the first time in Genadendal and nearby Greyton during the time of courting. The seed for the multi-racial Christian Institute was sown into the heart of the former Afrikaner Broederbond leader whose father had founded the secretive organization.  A few years later, Dr Beyers Naudé, just after he had been elected as moderator of the new Southern Transvaal Dutch Reformed Church regional synod, was completely ostracized for criticizing apartheid.) 
Racist separatist thinking was disastrous in its effect with regard to evangelizing the Muslims. Dr Andrew Murray, who had been a divine instrument for the spreading of the Gospel worldwide through his books at the turn of the 20th century, had unintentionally sowed the seeds of racial segreagation when Dutch Reformed Theologians abused his a-political stand. Murray was branded in a negative way as a pietist.
          With the focus of so many church leaders on the government’s apartheid policy of yesteryear - either in defence or opposition - correction was definitely needed. Even the evangelical churches had no eye for the Muslims in their midst. The unspoken rule that one should not speak to Muslims about religion, won the day.  It was in this regard that help from abroad was surely an answer to prayer. In England prayers had been offered for many years. The prayers for the ‘Cape Malays’ - as the Cape Muslims were erroneously called - possibly came into focus either after the publication of an article about South African Muslims in 1925 in the Muslim World by Dr Samuel Zwemer, the greatest missionary to the Middle East, or after his challenge to the Keswick convention in England about ten years earlier.

Unity as a Prayer priority
The Church at the Cape (and in the country at large) failed to follow the pattern of Jesus in making prayers for unity a priority. Jesus deemed it fit to pray in His high priestly prayer for His disciples and for those who would believe in Him because of their message, ‘that they may be one’ (John 17:21). It is surely no exaggeration to state that all sorts of disunity in the body of Christ is tantamount to crucifying Him once more. We should take it to heart that believers in Jesus have to be in unity ‘so that the world will believe’ that God sent Him.
         After Jesus’ ascension, his followers were united in prayer (Acts 1:14a). The Greek word homothumadon, which has often been translated as ‘of one mind’, indicates a common purpose, a common goal, an emotional and willful agreement. ‘Of one mind’ is a characteristic of New Testament leadership. This unity in prayer formed the natural base for the revival at Pentecost. Yet, also after Pentecost they continued to act ‘of one mind’ (see Acts 2:45,46; 4:24; 5:12; 6:2; 15:25). The newfound unity was grounded in their trust in God, which minimized all possible differences. Thus the meeting of pastors - primarily for prayer to get God’s mind for their city or town - should be a top priority.
         It is interesting that St Cyprian, Bishop of Carthage in North Africa from 248-258 CE, already saw the importance of the unity of the church, yet allowing for plurality. He wrote: ‘The church is a unity, yet by her fruitful increase she is extended far and wide to form a plurality; even as the sun has many rays, but one light; and a tree many boughs but one trunk, whose foundation is the deep-seated root... So also the Church, flooded with the light of the Lord, extends her rays over all the globe; yet it is one light which is diffused everywhere and the unity of the body is not broken up.... yet there is but one head, one source...

Denominational and doctrinal disunity as sin
The teaching of unity as a biblical priority has been generally neglected. There have been only very few exceptions of people like Count Zinzendorf who practised and preached the unity of the body with verve. He was very unhappy when his fellowship agreed to become a denomination to enable them to operate in Britain.
         In no way could we condone an airy-fairy covering up of differences. We must recognize that division is the paramount. If he can use the church and its leaders for this purpose, he will never hesitate. John Wimber, a well-known late 20th century Pentecostal preacher, serves as a modern-day example of Satan's strategy. Although God used him so powerfully through his teaching of Power Encounters, his personal history left deep scars in terms of church unity. Wimber left the Calvary Chapel movement in the USA after his doctrinal disagreement with Chuck Smith, the founder. Wimber’s abuse of the name of the disenchanted leader of the Vineyard Church had all the hallmarks of classical empire building. The practice rubbed off also on the branch in Cape Town. After a fairly amiable separation from the Wynberg Baptist Church, a new charismatic fellowship called itself the Vineyard Church. They were not linked to Wimber’s empire at all. No wonder that they were requested to relinquish the name. (The fellowship subsequently called itself the Jubilee Church.)
         Through the ages the enemy has succeeded in sowing division in the evangelical churches. Denominational and doctrinal disunity poses a problem of no mean dimensions. Unity in Christ must be practised and seen to be a reality in the lives of believers. The Church's disunity must be acknowledged for what it really is - sin! It is debatable whether mere discussion of doctrine can promote church unity as Bishop Brent from the Phillipines thought at the launching of ‘Faith and Order’ at the Lausanne Church Conference in 1927. What Bishop Azariah (India) said at that occasion had more clout: ‘The divisions of Christendom may be a source of weakness in Christian countries, but in non-Christian lands they are a sin and a scandal.’ (Quoted in Visser 't Hooft, The Pressure of our Common Calling ,1959:44).
         Cindy Jacobs, an international prayer leader from the USA, has put it even stronger when she not only referred to the idolatry of denomination and pride in doctrine as sectarianism, but she also called it a demonic stronghold. Viv Grigg, another US American, wrote very aptly: ‘The spiritual unity of believers is a key to spiritual power... The Holy Spirit may not work significantly in a situation where he is grieved due to disunity.’ Conversely, and I quote Grigg yet again, ‘prayer is a common denominator around which many diverse Christian groups can work in unison.’

Paternalism hinders the cause of the Gospel
Missionaries whose lives had been transformed through personal faith and conversion, often expected that this would also happen in society at large automatically - if the Gospel would only be effectively preached. Satan hit back, when an artificial and unbiblical differentiation between Christian action and evangelistic outreach caused an ever-widening rift in the Church.
          South African exponents of the ‘Social Gospel’ embraced education, social work and politics not as replacements of evangelism, but they were sometimes accused in this way by right-wing evangelicals. For Blacks, the discussion was academic in part, because as Professor D.D.T. Jabavu, a Black Christian leader, claimed, ‘the secular-sacred dichotomy was foreign to their African cosmology’.
          The disunity between churches for much of the 20th century actually centred around paternalism. The White-dominated English-speaking churches thought that the other races only needed equality of opportunity, which the Whites owed to the others. Afrikaners generally thought themselves to be called to be the guardians of the ‘non-White’ races. White supremacy was thus taken for granted by both groups. In the former case – also among missionaries - full equality and total integration were dragged and postponed to a distant future. On the other hand, nobody put the thinking of Afrikaner Christians more clearly than Hendrik Verwoerd, the architecture of apartheid. It was his conviction that the Black man had to be kept ‘in his place’, i.e. in subjection and servitude.
          Both groups were unaware that they were hurting themselves by denying dignity to others and thus seriously hindering the cause of the Gospel. Somewhere the teaching that unity is a prerequisite for effective prayer did not penetrate into the churches. That does not mean though that the message was not vocalised. Donald Fraser, a former Scottish missionary preached in twenty-six South African towns and cities in 1925 during the United Missionary Campaign. He charged Whites to abandon their fears of a so- called ‘black menace’, claiming wisely that there is ‘no menace when people are determined to do justice to one another.’

Early 20th Century Black Church leaders in costly Reconciliation
Generations of political leaders in South Africa, particularly within the ANC, drew on Christian values for the building of a broader political unity. Coming from the African background of a broad humanity,(ubuntu) there was, they believed, an ethical imperative to move beyond narrow identities of family, clan and race. Long before White and Coloured churches embraced the concept – their own thinking was bedevilled by the neat separation of politics and religion – Blacks already saw the importance of the unity in Christ. Thus Rev Zaccheus Mahabane, a Methodist minister and president of the ANC in the mid-1920s and late 1930s, maintained in 1925 that ‘the universal acknowledgement of Christ as common Lord and King break down the social, spiritual and intellectual barriers between the races’.
Over the years the church in South Africa has been a major conduit for peace and reconciliation. Strong personalities like Reverend John Dube and Professor D.D.T. Jabavu had been playing a moderating and conciliatory role in the early days of the ANC. Successive White governments failed to appreciate the gold of human resources, by not listening to Black church leaders.
          Not bearing the brunt of the hurts caused by apartheid, the White-led denominations were out of touch with the spiritual dynamics of the resistance against the heretical ideology which became government policy from 1948. Helen Joseph, a Jewish anti-campaigner, bemoaned in respect of the Defiance Campaign of the 1950s: ‘The Church turned its back on the ANC, [but] the ANC never turned its back on the Church’.
          The deep religiosity and prayerfulness of that campaign was described by Tom Lodge as a ‘mood of religious fervour [that] infused the resistance.’ He went on to note: ‘When the [Defiance] Campaign opened it was accompanied by days of prayer, and volunteers pledged themeselves at prayer meetings to a code of love, discipline and cleanliness… and even at the tense climax of the Campaign in Port Elizabeth people were enjoined on the first day of the strike “to conduct a prayer and a fast in which each member of the family will have to be at home;” thereafter they attended nightly church services’.
Substantial resistance to the oppressive race policies came as a rule from the ranks of these church leaders till the 1950s. One of the most prominent of them was South Africa’s first Nobel Prize laureate, Albert Lutuli. After he had been dismissed as chief in November 1952, he responded with his famous address which had at its beginning the momentious words ‘thirty years of my life have been spent knocking in vain, patiently, moderately and modestly at a closed and barred door…’ and ending with the powerful sentence ‘The Road to Freedom is via the CROSS’ (The full address in printed as an appendix in Luthuli:, 235-238). Long before Black Theology was in vogue, Lutuli expressed his conviction that apartheid degrades all who are party to it. He was optimistic despite all evidence to the contrary that Whites would sooner or later be compelled to change heart and accept a shared society. Lutuli was elected ANC president-general by a large majority the next month, followed by his cross: Bans imposed in early 1953 were renewed in the following years. Lutuli was not around any more to experience the freedom which Nelson Mandela could walk into, but he paved the way.
          On the other hand, many Christians naively overlooked the innate convenience in man to hold on to privilege. Some needed Black Theology in the 1970s and 1980s, for example the Kairos Document of 1985, to shake and liberate some of them out of their cozy zones.

Opposition to the Separate Representation Voters Bill.
The one instance when George Golding, the leader of the Coloured People’s National Union (CPNU) – widely regarded by ‘Coloured as a quisling - influenced national politics was when he made common cause with the Communistic Frachise Actron Committee (FRAC), the ANC and other groups when a ‘most impressive demonstration’ (Walker, 1964:823) was organized in the Mother City on 11March 1951 in reaction to the introduction of the Separate Representation Voters Bill.  This was followed by a fairly successful one-day strike.
            This caused Adolph Malan to invite White ex-servicemen of his Veterans’ Action Group from around the country to the Mother City. Presently changing their name to the Torch Commando, they conducted a huge mass-meeting on the Grand Parade. In the aftermath of this demonstration, teams of young policemen, who had been trained to break up mobs, charged unruly ‘Coloured’ folk without warning. ‘For the second time during this disastrous (Parliament) Session, the Mother City was the scene of scarcely excusable violence’ (Walker, 1964:823).    
            All this led indirectly to the founding of the mother organization of the Black Sash. Six White English-speaking women, gathering for a tea party in a Johannesburg suburb on 19 May 1955, decided to ‘do something’ about the proposed legislation authorizing the government to enlarge the Senate. The moral indignation was the result of another effort to get the ‘Coloureds’ removed from the Common Voters’ Roll. The Women’s Defence of the Constitution League was started, an organization which became known as the Black Sash. Over a period of twenty years this group – easily discernable through the symbols of mourning over the rape of the constitution[6] - developed a sustained campaign of public education, examining the legality and morality of the laws. Significant was that the move of the The Women’s Defence of the Constitution League not only spawned a male counterpart, The Covenanters, but they organized a national prayer day for Wednesday, 10 August 1955. The weakness of all these organizations became apparent. They had limited themselves to ‘citizens’, i.e. they excluded Blacks. And even though the initiative was aimed on behalf of the ‘Coloureds’, they failed to catch the imagination of these people. It was surely no co-incidence that a broad representation of protest gathered the same year on 24 and 25 June in Kliptown, Johannesburg where the Congress of the People formulated its Freedom Charter.

An emerging church unity high-jacked
In South Africa the Boer-Brit rift, a traditional animosity, was still rife in the 1940s among Whites as a legacy from the Anglo-Boer War at the end of the 19th century, especially after the Dutch Reformed Church withdrew from the Christian Council of Churches in the early 1940s. The unity in the church body, which had been started in 1936 with Dutch Reformed Church ministers in leading roles, had however been quite frail from the start.
          Politics or an academic career was not the first vocational choice of Jan Hendrik Hofmeyr, a Cape genius, who looked poised to become the Prime Minister of the country as successor of the ageing Jan Smuts at the 1948 elections. Hofmeyr had been deeply impacted as a child and teenager by Rev Ernest Baker of the Cape Town Baptist Church and Oswin Bull of the Student Christian Association (SCA). At the beginning of 1912 the teenager was elected president of the SCA at the forerunner of the University of Cape Town, a mere 17 years old. At the end of that year he attended the seaside services of the SCA at Somerset Strand and in July of the following year he surrendered his life completely to the Lord at the SCA conference in Worcester. After his return from Oxford in the UK, where he had also won one academic prize after the other, he had no bigger desire than to serve the Lord full-time with the Students’ Christian Association. Hofmeyr’s church affiliation proved to be a stumbling block: ‘He was not employed by the interdenominational association for which he had done so much, for the reason that he was an Afrikaner who did not belong to one of the Dutch Reformed Churches.
            The enemy of souls succeeded in high-jacking an emerging unity of believers in South Africa at the end of the 1950s. Professor G.B.A. Gerdener, a Stellenbosch academic, could write in 1959: ‘With thankfulness we observe signs to come together and work together, also in our own Dutch Reformed Church’. Gerdener rightly discerned exclusiveness and isolation as a danger to missionary work. ‘Nowhere is isolation and exclusiveness so deadly and time-consuming than in the fight against the mighty heathendom and nowhere is co-operation and a unitary front so necessary and useful as here.’ (??) Ambivalently, Gerdener was very close to apartheid thinking in political matters. The link to the apartheid legislators threatened the emerging unity in no uncertain way.
            The Sharpeville massacre of 21 March 1960 could have been God’s corrective to get the church in South Africa at large to change its course. One of the leading Dutch Reformed Church ministers, the gifted Ds Beyers Naudé, was seriously challenged. The World Council of Churches met their South African member churches at Cottesloe, a Witwatersrand University hostel in Johannesburg, to discuss the crisis in the country in the wake of the Sharpeville killings and the arrest of Black leaders.
            From Pretoria where he was at this time to testify during the Treason Trial, Albert Luthuli, the leader of the ANC, called for a national day of mourning. He asked the people to stay at home on that day ‘and treat it as a day of prayer… Many churches were open for prayer throughout the land, and students of all races participated in the mourning’ (Luthuli, 1962:222).
            A significant segment of the White Dutch Reformed Church was at this time very much part of the ecumenical movement in South Africa again. Dutch Reformed Church leaders initially agreed to oppose apartheid, but were thereafter demonically cajoled into line - after the Prime Minister, Dr H.F. Verwoerd, had exerted pressure.
          Furthermore, one can safely surmise that denominational rivalry at the Cape contributed greatly to the lack of significant success in evangelism, especially in the 20th century. 

13 August 1961 - a Date to remember!
When Ds Davie Pypers commenced work in 1956 as a minister of the Dutch Reformed St Stephen’s Church in Bree Street - which was quite prominent in Bo-Kaap in those days - he discerned the need for increased prayer for the Muslims of the area. Soon he initiated praying for Bo-Kaap and the Muslims there. Together with two other Dutch Reformed Church minister colleagues he interceded every Monday for the area that became pronouncedly Islamic in the wake of the envisaged implementation of Group Areas legislation.
          Pypers was one of the very few ministers at the Cape at that time who had any notion of spiritual warfare. It was definitely not common practice yet.  And Satan was not going to release his gains so easily. Davie Pypers was called to become the missionary to the Cape Muslims on behalf of the NGK, linked to the historical Gestig (Sendingkerk) congregation in Long Street, the church where once people from different denominations worshipped. He had hardly started with his new work when a challenge came from Mr Ahmed Deedat, to debate the death of Jesus on the Cross publicly.  As a young dominee David Pypers prepared himself with prayer and fasting in a tent on the mountains at Bains Kloof for the event to be held on 13 August 1961 at the Green Point Track.
          Because of publicity in the papers, 30,000 people of all races jammed into the sports stadium. The venue quivered with excitement like at a rugby match. In the keenly contested debate, Ahmed Deedat started with the assertion that Jesus went to Egypt after the disciples had taken him from the cross. He thoroughly ridiculed the Christian faith, challenging Pypers to give a proof that Jesus died on the cross. The young dominee rose to the challenge by immediately stating that Jesus is alive and that He could there and then do the very things He was doing when He walked the earth.
          Dr David du Plessis reported about the event in his autobiography: ‘Taking a deep breath, he (Pypers) spoke loud and clear, “Is there anybody in this audience that, according to medical judgement, is completely incurable? Remember, it must be incurable...’ Of course, the stadium was abuzz by now. And then several men came along, carrying Mrs Withuhn, a White Christian lady, with braces all over her body. She was completely paralyzed. Then Pypers went ahead, asking whether there were any doctors present who could examine her and vouch for her condition. ‘Several doctors came forward, including her own physician, and they concurred in pronouncing her affliction incurable.
          Pypers simply walked to her and without any ado prayed for her briefly and proclaimed: ‘In the name of Jesus, be healed!’ Immediately she dropped her crutches and began to move.
          The Green Point event thus resulted in a victory for the Cross, after the miraculous healing of Mrs Withuhn in the name of the resurrected Lord. Many Muslims were deeply moved. However, the impact of the miracle was almost nullified by the news that came from another part of the world on that same day. The report of the building of the Berlin Wall resounded throughout the world! A new type of battle was heralded in- the ‘cold war’ between Soviet Communism and Western Capitalism!

The Green Point Aftermath
The re-issue of the pamphlet The Hadji Abdullah ben Yussuf; or the story of a Malay as told by himself and its distribution at the gates of the sports stadium called the Green Point Track, was definitely not helpful.  Actually it was quite unfortunate. The Muslim community was enraged by this re-publication of the 19th century pamphlet. Even worse, Pypers was heavily criticized by his church officials because he undertook the confrontation without getting prior synod approval.
          The perceived defeat of Ahmed Deedat at Green Point called for revenge. Deedat stated publicly that his original motivation for these public debates was his humiliation at the hand of Christians. He was not going to accept defeat lying down. Over the years, he challenged many a Christian leader, usually with many of his followers in attendance.
          With the ensuing cold war becoming the talk of the day, the enemy of souls abused Communism with its atheistic basis to hinder the spreading of the victorious message of the Cross, which had been proclaimed at the Green Point Track. The Cape Town event of August 1961 had great importance in the spiritual realm. The Islamic Crescent was clearly linked to Communism - albeit not intended - in opposition to the Cross. (This would happen again in reverse in 1990 after the demise of Communism. Islam took over the mantle from the atheist ideology as a threat to world peace when Saddam Hussein marched into Kuwait with his army. That event became the cause for ten years of praying against the ideology of Islam as a spiritual force.)
          In his denomination, the NGK, Pypers was still a lone ranger.  In some quarters he was even vilified by some after the Green Point event. Although he had actually been challenged by the literature on faith healing written by Andrew Murray - a revered hero of his denomination - Pypers was out on a limb in the NGK. At the Kweekskool in Stellenbosch, the theological seminary of the church, it was officially taught that faith healing was something which belonged to a past age - to the times of the apostles.

A Cape-born Reconciler at Work
If ever there was someone who took the ministry of reconciliation seriously, it was the Cape-born David du Plessis. He moved to Ladybrand in the Orange Free State with his family before he was nine years old. Du Plessis first had to go through the mill himself, leaving his home when his father would not allow him to go to university. He was reconciled to his father two years later. The Lord first had to deal with the prayerful Du Plessis before he could be used optimally. ‘I began to be sensitive to the Lord’s checking’.
            Even though it was not generally recognized as such, one of Du Plessis’s greatest achievements was in race relations. At a time when Professors Ben Marais and Barend Keet were battling against apartheid in their denomination in the 1940s, Du Plessis as General Secretary of the Apostolic Faith Mission (AFM) was responsible for reducing missionary staff to a minimum, taking the work out of the hands of the North Americans and Europeans and putting it under the jurisdiction of Africans. ‘The local work, we felt, had to be under the control of the nationals.’ As if that were not radical enough, the AFM had a central conference in which ministers, missionaries and executives of all races met at top level. It appears that this denomination came the nearest to practical non-racialism at a time when apartheid was already practiced far and wide.
But this was by far not the end of Du Plessis’s ministry of reconciliation. He had to go through the crucible once again. After an accident in the USA, when the car in which he was a passenger, drove into a shunting locomotive, he landed in hospital. Du Plessis later described this time as ‘the most extended period of silent prayer in my life’. He was challenged to forgive Protestants in general. The first test came at the Second World Conference of Pentecostals in Paris, which he attended on crutches. God used him to reconcile Pentecostals who were fighting each other. In his typically humble manner, Du Plessis did not gloat over the victory achieved there. Instead, he said ‘I know that if I would have any success at all with what the Lord had directed, if I was to be able to forgive the old main line churches, I had to forgive these Pentecostal brethren.’ God would use him to bring the first Pentecostal denominations into the maligned World Council of Churches.

Into the Vatican and further
David Du Plessis' ecumenical work was however not appreciated in his own denomination. Fellowship with independent Pentecostals was to him just as important. He was invited to become the secretary of the world conference in Toronto in 1958. There he was completely cold-shouldered, and all but pushed out of the Pentecostal movement. Du Plessis felt clearly led ‘to resign from every position that I held in any society and to follow Him wherever he may lead.’ Sovereignly God over-ruled. In 1959 he was lecturing in the theological institutions of a wide spectrum of denominations.  The following year he was requested to give a lecture at a meeting in Scotland, in preparation for the WCC plenary occasion that was to be held in New Delhi in 1961. This resulted in him being invited to the WCC conference itself. There he met Professor Bernard Leeming from Oxford, who was the personal representative of Pope John XX111. One thing led to another until Du Plessis wrote from New Delhi that he would make a stopover in Rome.
There he spent many hours in prayer, ‘considering the difficulties that lay ahead for Protestants and Catholics in matters of trust and forgiveness.’ The Lord first had to deal with him through His Word. In fact, it came to him through the context of the Lord’s well known prayer. ‘...If you forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses’ (Matthew 6:15). He sensed: ‘I am certain the Lord spoke to me about the many burdens of unforgiveness and suspicion’ between Catholics and Protestants for so many centuries. “The souls of Christians will live when all learn to forgive.”
In Rome Du Plessis met Dr Strandsky, the secretary of Cardinal Bea, who headed a new Roman Catholic secretariat for promoting church unity. Strandsky had a special charge to learn as much as he could about the Holy Spirit and the Pentecostals. Because David du Plessis was now a ‘mere zero’ in the Pentecostal movement, he was ideally placed to share at the Vatican. When Cardinal Bea asked him: ‘Well then David, what do the Pentecostals have to say to Rome?’, he was in a predicament. In honesty he could only hesitantly stutter: ‘I have to say that the Pentecostals have no intention of talking to Rome.’ When Cardinal Bea asked him for his personal opinion, God used David du Plessis to minister to millions of Roman Catholics all around the globe. ‘Make the Bible available to every Catholic in the world - in his own language...If Catholics will read the Bible, the Holy Spirit will make that book come alive, and that will change their lives. And changed Catholics will be the renewal of the church.’  Cardinal Bea immediately ordered those words to be written down.
The words of ‘Mr Pentecost’ – as David Du Plessis was nicknamed - turned out to be very prophetic. At the Vatican Council it was decided to make the Bible available to every Roman Catholic person in the world. David du Plessis was present at a session of the Vatican Council. His contribution in 1964 ushered in the charismatic renewal of the Roman Catholic Church. Du Plessis was also used by the Lord to bring about a thaw in the relationship between Protestants and Roman Catholics worldwide, notably at a meeting in Zürich in June 1972.
Special about that meeting was how God brought Jean-Paul Regimbal, a Roman Catholic priest from Quebec to the event. He was the translator from English to French and vice versa. At that time Regimbal was one of very few Roman Catholics who had a thorough understanding of the charismatic renewal. He was praying one morning about the meetings when the Lord seemed to say to him that he should go to Zürich. But he had no finances. Before long, a woman arrived at his office to tell him that the Lord had instructed her to give to Regimbal an amount of money. It was exactly the amount he needed to pay for his expenses in Zürich.

A Call to Prayer for African Cities
Michael Cassidy, another Southern African spiritual giant, grew up in Maseru in Basutoland, as Lesotho was previously called, attending boarding school at Michaelhouse in Natal. He proceeded to study at the famous British Cambridge University in the mid-1950s. While attending a meeting with Dr Billy Graham there, he was greatly impacted. In Cambridge the conviction developed that only a spiritual renewal could remove Boer-Brit alienation and Black-White racism in South Africa.  On vacation in New York in mid-1957, he attended an evangelistic campaign by Dr Graham. He reports in one of his autobiographical works about this event: “Suddenly I heard within my spirit: ‘Why not in Africa?’ ‘Yes, why not Lord?’ I replied.”  (Cassidy, ??). God started to prepare Michael Cassidy for a special mission.
During a study stint in the USA in 1960 Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade, invited Michael Cassidy to start work in South Africa on behalf of the agency. During the Week of Prayer at the Campus Crusade Training Institute, Cassidy participated in a period of “Waiting on God”. There he was challenged to pray for the 31 major cities of Africa. This he did by praying one day of the month for the whole summer for African cities. Joined by a prayer partner, they were soon asking God for the chance one day to minister in each of these cities.  The very next year they undertook a trip to the 31 major cities of Africa.
After seeing a boat with the name Africa Enterprise, the 23-year old Cassidy started an evangelistic agency with the goal ‘to reach the influential people of this continent’ (Cassidy, ??). He wrote in a magazine ‘We desire to have a social emphasis in our ministry as well … because evangelical Christians have presented a lob-sided message that has greatly ignored the social implications of the Lord’s teachings.(Cassidy, ??). Across the continent of Africa the agency Africa Enterprise (AE) was destined to have a significant impact in the years to come, starting with an interdenominational campaign in Pietermaritzburg in August 1962.

Other Power Encounters
 At the Cape, Ds. Davie Pypers continued to be one of very few evangelists who was involved in spiritual power encounters, albeit that he operated in a very low-key manner because the Protestant churches hardly had any antenna for this sort of thing in the 1960s. However, the Green Point event of 13 August 1961 received relatively wide media coverage. Yet, the publicity of the Green Point Track meeting was not of Pypers’ making. But it did open doors for him throughout South Africa. This secured for him a prayer backing, which few ministers enjoyed. (He testified how he visited Hendrina, a far-way town 20 years later, when a man came up to him. The believer did not only recognize Pypers immediately, but the man told him that he had been praying for him every day since 1961.)
          Faith healing was widely regarded as sectarian. In his ministry to the Hindu’s, Pypers furthermore made use of films, exposing the demonic nature of walking through fire with the role players being in a trance.  In Muslim strongholds of those days like Sherwood Park, Pypers extensively used a film about the crucifixion of Jesus.  In this film Barabbas made the significant statement: ‘He died in my place.’ The film was used in conjunction with a series of sermons on the ten ‘I am’ pronouncements of Jesus. This series in Sherwood Park, a small residential area with a significant Muslim component near to Manenberg, had the title ‘Who is this man’. This definitely was a power encounter. Two weeks before the campaign, rain and wind were ravaging the area. The Muslims themselves recognized the supernatural ‘co-incidence’ because the rain and the wind stopped the moment the team unpacked their evangelism material. A terminally ill woman, Fatima Olckers, heard parts of Pypers’ sermon on her bed. She wondered whose voice was repeating a sentence again and again. The breeze brought the words to her ‘I am the resurrection and the life’.  She realised that it was Nabi Isa ibn Mariam. She resolved to call on the name of Jesus, after she had called on Allah and Muhammad in vain. She was instantly healed and thereafter she became a believer in Jesus Christ, one of the first converts from Islam in the Western Cape in the early 1960s.
Concealed power encounters at the Cape
The influence of evangelistic campaigns in sports stadiums and big auditoriums had started to take the English-speaking world by storm, impacting South Africa as well. Already in the 1950s Michael Cassidy became a follower of Jesus under the preaching of Dr Billy Graham. The Green Point Track event of 13 August 1961 was only one in a series that would influence South African ecclesiastical history.
            Mass evangelists like William Branham, Billy Graham, T.L. Osborn, and Oral Roberts drew big crowds all around the world. Cape Town was one of the venues for these religious globetrotters.  Alan Walker and Eric Hutchings joined the fray in the 1960s.
A mere month after the Green Point Track encounter between Pypers and Deedat ,another power encounter took place at the Cape, this time at the Goodwood Showgrounds on Sunday 17 September 1961. There the Lord used Dr Oswald Smith from Canada to challenge many to accept Jesus Christ as their personal Saviour. The author was one of those who surrendered to the claims of Christ at the evangelistic service there.
          A veiled power encounter ensued at the Cape in 1962 when Theo Kotze became the pastor of the Sea Point and Malmesbury Methodist congregations. John Wessels, the Sea Point Methodist minister in 1999, described Kotze’s ministry with the following words:  Theo Kotze ‘combined church growth and integrity on the one hand, and evangelism and social justice on the other’. With his wife Helen and their children the Kotze family formed a formidable team, soon becoming the talk of the city.

Underhand tactics lead to the founding of the Christian Insitute
The Afrikaner Broederbond, very much nudged by Prime Minister Verwoerd, got the White Dutch Reformed Church church to change its stance after the watershed Cottesloe conference of December 1960. The Broederbond was a secretive organization of which only male White Afrikaners could be members. Rev Beyers Naudé, one of the Dutch Reformed Church delegates to the meeting with the WCC officials, could not palate the underhand tactics. With a few other ministers he started the Christian Institute along the lines of the Confessing Church in Nazi Germany. Beyers Naudé was by now quite influential - the moderator of the new Southern Transvaal Synod of the NGK.
          The Sunday Times published a secret Broederbond plan on 21 April 1963 to oust the ‘new deal’ leaders of the NGK, people like Beyers Naudé - and to outlaw theological criticism of apartheid. The Sunday Times revealed that the secret organization wanted to tighten their stranglehold on church affairs and that they wanted to ‘clip the wings’ of Beyers Naudé. The disclosure did not save the gifted church leader. He was effectively ostracized by Afrikanerdom, until he more or less had to resign from the Aasvoëlkop congregation in Johannesburg. But that also ushered in the isolation of the NGK. The emerging church unity was effectively put on hold.
          One of the closing paragraphs of the Cottesloe declaration stated: ‘We give thanks to Almighty God for bringing us together for fellowship and prayer and consultation. We resolve to continue in this fellowship … to join in common witness in our country.’ The resolve became more concrete after Beyers Naudé attended the 1966 Conference of the WCC on Church and Society. Together with an Anglican clergyman, Bill Burnett, who was instrumental in the reorganization of the Christian Council of Churches, Naudé drafted The Message to the People of South Africa. The document, which was published in 1968, was reminiscent of the anti-Nazi Barmen Declaration of 1934. It declared in no uncertain terms that apartheid was incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The reorganized national church body – known hereafter as the South African Council of Churches (SACC), was now branded as politically tainted. This was reason enough for the conservative Baptist Union to withdraw their membership, thus siding with the Afrikaans Churches. The rift between churches supporting apartheid and those opposing it was now complete.

The Christian Institute at the Cape
At the Cape, Reverend Theo Kotze was one of the first Christian Institute (CI) members, forming an ecumenical Bible Study group and using CI material. In the second year of his ministry in Sea Point, Kotze masterminded a prayer vigil and the publicity for the multi-racial Alan Walker Mission at the Goodwood Showgrounds. Special trains were organized to bring people from as far away as Simon’s Town. Two massive crosses were erected on Signal Hill and the summit of the Tygerberg range. An all-night prayer vigil was a part of the build up. Dr Alan Walker, a godly and fearless Methodist evangelist, had been leading Gospel campaigns worldwide. Unlike most contemporary evangelists, he emphasized the social implications of the Gospel. During the preparation for the mission an ex-Cabinet Minister, angered by Walker’s statements on non-racialism, unleashed a politically contrived controversy. Through his involvement with the evangelistic campaign, the government lumped Reverend Theo Kotze with Dr Alan Walker of whom they disapproved because of the Australian evangelist’s non-racialist stand. Tony Heard, the editor of the Cape Times, described the handling of the crisis with the following words: ‘The steadfast way in which Theo Kotze handled (this) was a harbinger of his future principled, non-racial work in the Christian Institute.’
          A demonstration of the fine balance between biblical compassion and social involvement became evident in Kotze’s ‘Straight Talking’ columns in the Sea Point Vision magazine, which he launched in his congregation in March 1964. On the cover of the first edition was written: “Wide Vision, big Thinking, Great Faith, Stout Effort, God’s Husbandry... bring results.” The youth work of the church impacted the 'Duck tails', the White gangsters of the area, in no uncertain way. ‘Club Route Twelve’ was led by Derek Kotze, the eldest son of the family.

A Capetonian Prophet in the making
Theo Kotze was granted a Christian Fellowship Trust grant in 1967 for three months of overseas’ travel and study. This trust was closely related to the Christian Institute. His vision was decisively broadened when he and his wife Helen were privileged to meet the leaders of the Methodist Renewal Movement in the UK. Dr Pauline Webb, one of those leaders, summarized the essence of the renewal mission that Kotze would try to implement back in Cape Town as follows: ‘... renewal can come about only as the church is recalled to the priority of mission - for then the focus of our concern would not be... the church and its forms, but rather the world and its needs.
          Upon discovery of the depth of God’s grace and forgiveness, Kotze committed himself also to the local problems. Very daringly he addressed not only the burning issues of his White congregants, but also the social ramifications of apartheid legislation, making it illegal for Black workers to be accommodated in servants’ quarters, amongst other things.  His involvement with the CI, of which he became the Regional Director in 1969, played a major role in his spiritual development in this regard. Jenni Sweet, who worked on a literacy programme at the Sea Point Church, met him through the CI. She quoted Kotze as saying: “Political involvement stems from your love for Jesus. If you love Jesus, you love people. The way you express that love is by getting involved in a concrete way in people’s struggles.” At the Methodist synod his clear and convincing articulation of the problems of the dispossessed alienated him from his White colleagues.
          When Kotze became Regional Director of the CI in 1969, the organization had already become quite unpopular among Whites because of its clear stand on the side of justice, and against apartheid. He also became General Secretary of the Western Province Council of Churches.
          The theme of the CI was (racial) reconciliation. All initiatives were preceded by discussions based on Bible Study and prayer. Beyers Naudé, the national leader, set the prophetic tone in the pursuit of truth and reconciliation, a message with which Kotze had no problem at all.
          Naudé dreamed of establishing a ‘Confessing Church’ in South Africa along the model of what happened in Germany when Nazis threatened to absorb the church in its ideology. With the help of friends and colleagues, Kotze regularly prepared and disseminated memo's explaining the implications of Parliamentary Bills and giving ideas for practical involvement. The demonic apartheid ideology tilted the Bible-based beginnings of the CI. The CI was quite prophetic when it encouraged Black, Indian and ‘Coloured’ Dutch Reformed Church leaders to consider how apartheid was destroying church unity in South Africa. However, the CI was at the same time acting diabolically, politicizing a part of the body of Christ in an unhealthy manner.  The CI became a catalyst for unchristian activism. This was especially evident in the University Christian Movement (UCM) that was more or less a spiritual child of the CI.

Personal spiritual encounters
During a series of Pentecostal series in the early 1960s, God used the prayerful Ds Piet Bester of the Sendingkerk, to cause a local revival in Tiervlei, which was later called Ravensmead. I was personally impacted during one of his sermons. Some months hereafter, Paul Engel and Allan Boesak, two peers brought me to a major turning point in my life. They invited me to the evangelistic outreach of the Christian Students Association at the seaside resort of Harmony Park. This was scheduled to start just after Christmas at the end of 1964. At that time however, I felt spiritually empty and bankrupt. How could one go and share the gospel with others in such a condition? I cried to the Lord to equip me! He heard my heart’s cry, divinely touching me. I sensed the power of the Holy Spirit taking hold of me. Now I was ready for the outreach there in Harmony Park!
A special friendship and partnership developed to my evangelical tent mates David Savage and Ds Esau Jacobs (who was generally known as Jakes). At that time Jakes was a young pastor, who had just started off in his first congregation, in the Transkei.
After one of these evening services I got my introduction into ‘spiritual warfare’. When Jakes entered the tent after he had a long conversation with a Muslim camper, he exclaimed that we would not be able to make any head‑way without prayer and fasting.  The young pastor became my role model and mentor for the next few years. We corresponded quite intensely for a few years.
After my personal encounter with the Lord before my first Harmony Park beach outreach, I started to attend the early prayer meetings every Sunday morning at six o’clock at the local Sendingkerk church. I was now seriously considering God’s call to full time service. Almost as a matter of routine I responded on these occasions that I was fully prepared to proceed to theological studies should the Lord call me.
            God works in mysterious ways, his wonders to perform. This surely was the case when Reverend Ivan Wessels, widely touted to become the first bishop of colour in the Moravian Church, died of leukemia aged a mere forty-three years old in March 1968.  At his funeral God called the author into the ministry, using Bishop Schaberg to issue a challenge: ‘Who is going to fill the void left?’ I knew that it was God’s calling upon my life, even though I felt myself in no way adequate to step into the deceased’s shoes. I discerned God’s hand when I was offered a scholarship for theological studies in Germany the very next day.

The crunch for Africa Enterprise
The crunch for the young agency Africa Enterprise (AE) came in 1970 during Mission ’70 in Johannesburg. There the need for drawing the body of Christ together had been brought home to the AE ‘quite forcibly’. Cassidy and John Rees, who became the new General Secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), learned from their mistakes.
Together they organized the South African Congress on Mission and Evangelism in Durban (13-22 March, 1973). The SA government went all out to protect the South African ‘way of life’. All overseas speakers including Billy Graham, Leighton Ford and Michael Green were initially barred from entering South Africa. Dr Graham had indicated previously that he was not prepared to speak to racially segregated audiences.
The Congress leaders turned to God in prayer. Michael Cassidy was given the verse: “No weapon that is fashioned against you shall prosper and you shall confute every tongue that rises against you in judgment” (Isaiah 54:17). Together with David Bosch and John Tooke he petitioned John Vorster, the Prime Minister. Finally, written permission was given for non-racial accommodation in a Durban hotel and all overseas speakers were allowed entry into SA. Significantly, the Durban Congress brought together the so-called evangelicals and the so-called ecumenicals. The Congress was much more than only an ‘…experience of tremendous learning and mutual discovery for different sectors of the Body of Christ.’ It was pivotal in the spiritual realm as the body of Christ in South Africa operated together for the first time across racial and denominational barriers in significant numbers.
            The Durban event made a worldwide impact, coming only a year before an international meeting scheduled for Lausanne (Switzerland), which was organized by ‘evangelicals’.

The birth of South African Black Theology     
During 1971 UCM conducted a series of seminars on Black Theology, which resulted in the publication of the first South African book on the subject, Essays in Black Theology. The seminars succeeded in bringing Black Theology to the attention of the public and the churches like very few other attempts to conscientize church people.  It must have been in answer to prayer that government agencies were the main contributors to this state of affairs. For one, the distinguished Bishop of Zululand, Alphaeus Zulu, was arrested during one of these seminars on a technical pass-law- offense. The banning of Essays in Black Theology made the available copies going from hand to hand. De Gruchy summarises the significance of UCM and Black Theology: ‘Seldom has a new theological movement achieved such publicity.’ At a UCM conference Steve Biko and others discerned the need of forming SASO, the South African Students’ Organisation and breaking away from the White-dominated National Union of South African Students (NUSAS).
          The popularity of UCM unfortunately also ushered in a shallow spirituality. Prayer and Bible Study became ‘also rans’. The author climbed onto a bandwagon that had counterproductive ramifications in the spiritual realm. At the final disbanding UCM conference in 1972 - to pre-empt the organization being banned - the Bible was seldom opened, and prayer seemed out of place. (I attended the conference as the delegate of the Moravian Seminary). Symptomatic of the atmosphere was that the bulk of the delegates stayed on for the SASO conference. I did not, missing the opportunity of meeting Steve Biko. He had already ‘graduated’ from UCM to a more radical position, which was ultimately going to cost him his life. (As a committed Christian, Biko got disillusioned with both the churches and liberalism as agents of change. Yet, he was deeply influenced by the Christian tradition and the development of Black Theology.)

From Nairobi to the Cape
At the Pan-African Christian Leadership Assembly (PACLA) in Nairobi (1976) tensions between Black and White South African delegates spilled over into the wider conference. Professor David Bosch from Unisa was divinely used when he addressed the conference. Hearts began to melt as he spoke self-critically: ‘We have failed to create the new community in Africa… which should be an alternative to all other communities on earth. Have we really understood what Jesus came to do on earth? … Reconciliation is no cheap matter. Reconciliation presupposes confrontation… Reconciliation presupposes an operation, as cut into the very bone without anaesthetic. The abscess of hate and mistrust and fear, between Black and White, between nation and nation, between rich and poor, has to be slashed open’ (Coomes, 2002:398). That speech turned out to be very strategic, paving the way for the South African Christian Leadership Assembly (SACLA) in Pretoria in 1979. Here the seed for the new South Africa was sown. A group of delegates from Stellenbosch decided to continue the SACLA fellowship locally.
                                                                                                                                                                   A result was that at least one Afrikaner theological student was delivered from a racist posture towards Blacks in 1980 after a meeting at Stellenbosch University with eleven hundred students. Bishop Festo Kivangere of Uganda was one of the speakers. The Afrikaner theological student was touched by the double feature sermon by Cassidy and Kivangere. The latter speaker pulled no punches on the theme of race relations bringing the student to concede that he had been full of race prejudice. “I feel I have today been liberated from racism. Thank you, thank you, Bishop Kivangere”…’ (Coomes, 2002:208).
                                                                                                                                                                                                                         This was however no plain sailing. More sinister forces of opposition were also at work both on and off the campus. The resentment towards English–speakers was still rife in Afrikaner circles. The mission to Stellenbosch was not only hit at the heart of the apartheid philosophy with a Black and White speaker performing as equals, but for afrikaneres it would have been a bitter pill being brought to them by a rooinek, as the English–speakers were dubbed. The head of the student Christian group just before the mission received an anonymous phone call, warning that ‘Cassidy is a terrible man ansd has left his wife and is living with another woman’ (Coomes, 2002:208). Besmirching the characters of Christians who opposed apartheid was a well-known ploy of the government Bureau of State Security (BOSS).
Michael Cassidy and his Africa Enterprise (AE), that had been so closely involved with PACLA and SACLA, did it again in the mid-1980s through ERA, a holistic approach bringing Evangelism, Reconciliation and Action together. The start of this new campaign took place in 1981 in the Cape violent suburb of Elsies River. Michael Cassidy was staying at the home of Rev. Njongonkulu Ndugane for the Elsies River Mission that deepened even more the burden for the Black townships in his heart. (Ndungane became the successor to Archbishop Desmond Tutu after the latter’s retirement). ‘He described lucidly how the misery impacted him: Human brokenness, personal fragmentation, marital heartbreak, incredible social dislocation and community disruption due to Group Areas legislation all stared us in the face with eyes of fire’(Coomes, 2002:274).
          From May 1984 onwards, meetings with businessmen were organized by AE. At what was called the ‘Top Level Encounter’ in Cape Town, Graham Power was impacted. The event had far-reaching spiritual consequences in some of the professions and industries of the Mother City. (In 2000 Graham Power would be God’s choice instrument to get the spiritual transformation of Cape Town off the ground when he was the catalyst for the prayer event at Newlands the following year, see p. ??).

Islamic shrines come into the limelight
Father Bernard Wrankmore had been a chaplain to seamen when he was especially challenged to pray for the beloved country.  Just at that time Wrankmore saw the dossier of Imam Abdullah Haron, who had died while in police custody on 27 September 1969. Mrs Catherine Taylor, an opposition MP, had brought up the issue in Parliament, which the government of the day evidently wanted to squash. The Imam Haron case highlighted for Wrankmore the fact that South Africa was now misled by a similar delusion as the Germans under Hitler. He decided to retreat for prayer and fasting to St George’s Cathedral for the situation in the country. However, Wrankmore was refused permission to do so by the Archbishop and the Dean of the Cathedral.
          In the church at large there was ignorance about the effects of ancestral worship on people in general and of praying at shrines. Being a lover of mountaineering, Wrankmore retreated for prayer to the Kramat near to Lion’s Head. He was in deep meditation when a group of Muslims entered. They promptly invited Wrankmore to attend the Muir Street mosque in District Six. When the Muslims there heard that permission had been refused for him to pray in the St George’s Cathedral, one thing led to another. Eventually Wrankmore was allowed to use the Islamic shrine at Lion’s Head for his fast. He was probably not aware of the occult connections. 
            Wrankmore came into the frontline of opposition to Prime Minister Vorster, when he requested an inquiry into the death of Imam Haron. He added weight to his protest through a drawn-out fast. A friend, who had visited him at the shrine near to Lion’s Head, put the newspaper reporters on his track. It was definitely not Wrankmore’s own idea to get media attention.  Initially the effort of the cleric seemed in vain, as Prime Minister Vorster remained unbending. Eventually a judicial inquiry followed when advocate ?? Cooper came into the picture. Imam Rashied Omar points to the role played by the local newspaper The Cape Times to keep protest alive in the minds of the people. What Wrankmore did not bargain for, was a major health hazard.  After an extended period of fasting, his body became mysteriously swollen up. He thanked God that another round of prayer and fasting could sort out this matter. It is interesting that he started his fast on 19 August - 40 days before the second anniversary of the death of Haron.
          Through apartheid legislation the ‘Malay quarter’ of Bo-Kaap was greatly extended, churches there were closed down and Christians were tempted to become Muslims if they wanted to continue living there. Some of the believers, who worshipped at St Stephen’s and the Anglican St. Paul’s Churches, had started leaving the residential area because of this legislation. By 1980, Bo-Kaap had become a Muslim stronghold with very little Christian influence left.

            While he had been a prisoner, Mr Nelson Mandela visited the shrine of Shaykh Mattara on Robben Island in 1977. Mandela had evidently not received any teaching on the spiritual dynamics involved. He ‘literally harassed the Commanding Officer for permission’ to visit the Kramat. He and his fellow visitors came out of the shrine ‘proud and happy that we were able to pay our respects to so great a fighter...’ Mandela was possibly not aware of the influence which the shrine exerted on him. It seems to have effectively neutralized his decision to become a follower of Jesus, a fact to which Pastor Walter Ackerman testified in Mandela’s presence in a meeting with many pastors in the Docks Mission Church of Lentegeur (Mitchells Plain) in 1995. Ackerman, an evangelical clergyman, had ministered to Mandela for many years while he was on Robben Island. The Billy Graham Evangelistic Association publicized the news of Mandela’s conversion. However, it was not customary for Mandela to refer to his commitment to Jesus in his public utterances after his release on 11 February 1990.  By contrast, the first ANC government under President Mandela after their election victory of 1994 was perceived to be favourable to Islam.  In the new government 17% of the ANC members of Parliament were Muslim, completely out of proportion to their percentage in the population (less than 2%).

The Wall of Communism under attack
After the Second World War Communism had become a greater threat to the progress of the Gospel than Hitler and his regime had been. The demonic roots of Communism were not generally known, but the atheist stand of the ideology should have made it easy to discern its opposition to the Church. Yet, Communist infiltration into church bodies was fairly successful, notably into the World Council of Churches (WCC) at the plenary assembly in Uppsala (Sweden) in 1968. Very few people in the mainline churches discerned what was going on. Isolated voices warned, like the German Reverend Rolf Scheffbuch, who attended the WCC plenary conference in Nairobi in 1975, but the course was set. It took only a few more years before 'inter-faith' was the official position of the WCC. (Actually the origins go back to Edinburgh in 1910, following the suggestion of the German theologian Troeltsch in 1902, that Christianity was hitherto the highest form of religion. This implied of course that a better one could still evolve.) There was some further preparation in isolated cases, such as through the Moral Rearmament (MRA) movement, which had started as the evangelical Oxford Group under Frank Buchman in the 1920s. The MRA misled the believers by compromising the unique claims of Christ. Everybody was allowed to worship God in their own way. Morality was the ‘in’ word. Mahatma Ghandi’s example was placed next to Jesus’ teaching of the Sermon on the Mount.  Muslims and Hindu’s came to Caux (Switzerland), the international headquarters of the MRA movement along with Christians. 
         Books on prayer as such, for instance those by R.A. Torrey and Charles Spurgeon, were better known. A pocket book by William R. Parker and Elaine St. Johns called Prayer Can Change Your Life was published in 1957. Hereafter a spate of books followed in the 1960s, notably by Leonard Ravenhill, who edited a whole series of booklets on prayer by E. M. BounDs The notion of spiritual warfare remained fairly obscure until the late 1980s, although Jim Wilson wrote a booklet in 1964 called Principles of War. The issue of spiritual warfare was however not yet prominent. This only really happened in 1975 with Paul Billheimer’s book Destined for the throne.
          In 1980 Jim Wilson gave his booklet a new title Against the Powers. This was possibly the starting gun for an increase in spiritual warfare, although at this stage it was still happening against the backdrop of the Cold War between the Soviet Block and the West. Communism was seen as the threat to the Church par excellence. Pastor Richard Wurmbrand, who had been imprisoned because of his faith in Rumania, had alarmed the church already in the late sixties in a booklet with the title Tortured for Christ. Persecuted Christians, who succeeded in coming out of Communist countries, aroused the sympathies and interest of believers in the West. Pastor Richard Wurmbrand of Romania was one of the most prominent, sharing his experiences. The Dutchman Brother Andrew (Anne van der Bijl) wrote his Battle for Africa in 1977 in the same mould. Much to the chagrin of Moscow, a polish pope was elected to the Vatican in 1978. The new pope’s support to the trade union Solidarity in his home country would erode much of the Soviet influence in the years hereafter.
          After leaving South Africa in January 1969 for Germany, the author was personally moved to prayer for the Communist world after reading Wurmbrand’s story. In Stuttgart I had the opportunity to hear him speak. Soon I was supporting the cause of the persecuted Christians in the Communist world. Along with believers in different parts of the world, I started to pray regularly for persecuted Christians in Eastern Europe and China.
‘Brother Andrew’ van der Bijl, a Dutchman, was a Western evangelical believer who discerned things quite clearly. He was trained at the WEC Missionary training College in Glasgow (Scotland) when Norman Grubb, the son-in-law of C.T.  Studd led the mission agency, which was still known at the time as Worldwide Evangelization Crusade. When Brother Andrew visited Prague at the time of the Soviet invasion in 1968, his eyes were opened. A programme of Bible smuggling was developed in obedience to the Lord. The link to his training in Glasgow was kept alive in Holland when he founded Kruistochten (Crusades), a ministry on behalf of the persecuted church. Internationally the organization became known as Open Doors. Brother Andrew wrote a book in 1977 about the ideological battle for Africa. He was a regular speaker at a church fellowship that met in the theatre Figi that was situated about hundred meters from our home in Zeist. From its beginnings the fellowship was closely linked to the work of Open Doors. (Later we as a family joined that congregation in Holland, which also became our home and supporting church over the years.)

Personal prayer for South Africa 
Back in Cape Town in 1970 I was still nowhere near being a faithful prayer warrior, but I definitely sensed a need to pray for our country. Early one October morning in 1972, while I was on my knees praying for the country at the Moravian Seminary in District Six, I felt constrained to write a letter to the Prime Minister. In this letter, I addressed Mr Vorster with ‘Liewe’ (dear). That was definitely something extraordinary. My natural feelings towards him were not that charitable. In this letter I challenged the State President to let himself be used by God like Abraham Lincoln in the USA, to lead the nation to the ways of God. Basically however, it was a letter of criticism that could have landed me in hot water. I was fortunate that I only got a reprimand from Mr Vorster, the standard reply to people who objected on religious grounds to the racial policies of the country. (It is of course not certain that the Prime Minister saw my letter.) The reply implied that I was involved in politics under the guise of religion. Through this ploy, that was very much used in propaganda, the government endeavoured to teach Christians to make a sharp distinction between faith and politics. Many Afrikaner eyes were kept blinded to the heresy of apartheid in this way.
          At and in the church building adjacent to the seminary, the former Moravian Hill manse, significant moves towards the first Global Day of Prayer were to occur in the 1990s and especially on 9 May 2004.
Third World spiritual Impact on the West
In the Western world the term ‘power encounter’ is often associated with John Wimber, the American evangelist who revolutionized theological thought in the evangelical world in the 1980s.  It is not generally known that Wimber was greatly influenced by Peter Wagner at the Fuller Seminary (USA) where they lectured together in the Church Growth department. Wagner himself had been impacted in a revolutionary manner through his contact with Pentecostals, after 16 years of sterile ministry as a non-charismatic in South America. There he was challenged when he researched the history of the Pentecostal movement. His 1973 report on the movement in South America with the title Look Out! the Pentecostals are coming had Western theologians sitting up straight.  Perhaps Wagner prepared many of them to take to heart what third world theologians had to say, notably at the world conference of evangelicals in Lausanne (Switzerland) in 1974.
          From another part of the globe, Paul Yonghi Cho of Seoul (South Korea) impacted the world, illustrating to all and sundry that the Bible is nowhere outdated. He emphasized that what he dubbed Fourth Dimension Faith was needed in evangelism. Korea taught the whole world anew the neglected power of prayer, breaking the ground for Patrick Johnstone’s powerful prayer guide, Operation World. Internationally, the Third World started to challenge the leadership of church growth in the 1980s with Cho’s International Church Growth Centre. In fact, the dynamic pioneer of the church growth movement, Donald MacGavran, initially called it ‘Third World missionary enterprise’.
          Discovering how ‘the first instinct of many Latin Americans is to consult a witch’ in case of problems, Peter Wagner learned the hard way that occult power cannot be broken with logical arguments. With some of their evangelists coming from a background of spiritism, the South Americans may have given the tools to the rest of the world to deal with Folk Islam, where White (sometimes Black) magic and Spiritism occur. ‘Practising spiritists serve the devil like practising Christians serve God’. Heber Soares, a former Brasilian spiritist leader, told after his conversion how he made a pact with the devil to receive the healing powers from five medical specialists from different parts of the world.

                                                5. A spiritual Watershed

            After the West had refused to help them in the battle against the apartheid regime, the ANC turned to the Soviet Communists. The military situation on the country’s borders spawned White believers of South Africa to form a group called Intercessors for South Africa. This was initiated by Dr. Frances Grim, leader of the Hospital Christian Fellowship, which had its national headquarters in the Capetonian picturesque suburb of Pinelands. He was one of very few at the time to discern the growing moral dangers sufficiently: ‘Most people seem to be too busy making money, enjoying themselves...to notice the dangerous downward trend in the country’s morals’.

Prayer as a Part of the Process of Change
Prayer was very much part of the process of change. This is demonstrated by times of prayer and fasting in the St George’s Cathedral. Those responsible had evidently repented after the negative response to Rev. Bernard Wrankmore in 1971.
          Dr Frances Grim initiated a National Day of Prayer, called for 7 January 1976. However, this was not perceived by people of colour as something to join. In fact, few people from these ranks knew about the day of prayer. The all-White organizers had still not recognized the need to draw in people from other racial backgrounds. Yet, this move may have stemmed the tide of Communist-inspired revolution, to which the Soweto June 16 upheavals in 1976 could easily have led. Grim gave a challenging title to a booklet that was published by his organisation: Pray or Perish. At any rate, God was already at work. On that very June 16, 1976 a young policeman, Johan Botha was posted in Soweto. Supernaturally God would use him almost 20 years later to bring the nation to its knees in prayer.[7]

The role of the Church in Reconciliation in recent decades
The fear of a serious backlash after a takeover by a Black government in the 1970s and 1980s was quite pervasive among White communities and very understandable. The sparsely populated Botswana was the only country in Africa at that time where there had been a fairly smooth transition to democracy, a country with very few Whites. There had been warning voices from the side of individual White South African clergymen because of the country’s oppressive race policy, but they went unheeded. The role of Black spokesmen like Bishop Desmond Tutu was even less appreciated in the 1970s, especially when they referred to the bondage of Whites.
Yet, valuable seed was sown towards racial reconciliation by Black clergy who had a good track record and who were not known to be radicals like Desmond Tutu or Allan Boesak. One of them was Bishop Alpheus Zulu, who had been one of the few delegates of colour at the WCC-convened consultation in Cottesloe, a suburb of Johannesburg from 7-14 December, 1960. In his T.B. Davie Memorial Lecture at UCT in 1972, Bishop Zulu hopefully opened the eye of many a White person when he stated: ‘… Some black people... refuse consciously and deliberately to retaliate… calling a white man a beast.’ 
Long before the Soweto uprising he also warned in the same lecture: ‘At the same time it would be a grave mistake to presume to think that such attitudes will survive callous white discrimination.’  Warnings by himself and Bishop Tutu were not heeded by the authorities.

Resistance of Werkgenot squatters
Thousands of Blacks continued to come into the Western Cape in the 1970s in spite of the government intention to finally remove Africans from the region. About 100 shacks were built secretively at Werkgenot, near to the University of the Western Cape, but unknown to almost everyone except the squatters themselves. Marius de Jager, an employee of the municipality of Bellville, became aware of the camp during the winter of 1974. On October 21 he received a phone call from Mr W.F. Coetzee of the Bantu Affairs Administration Board (BAAB) with the instruction to arrange that Werkgenot be bulldozed on the night of October 25. City engineer John Marshall, De Jager’s boss approved Mr Coetzee’s request. The raid – fully described inn Andrew Silk’s booklet A Shanty Town in South Africa, was executed ‘like a military exercise.’ Blacks took the matter to court because a shanty could not be destroyed without a court order or the permission of the landowner. Details of the raid emerged during the trial.
            About 20 shanties were erected near Nyanga township during February, 1975. Several of them had been put up by former residents of Werkgenot. By mid-April there were over 1000 shacks and almost 4000 people. The first raid on the new camp, which had been called Crossroads, began at 5 a.m on May 2. Thirty four squatters were arrested for pass offences and for trespassing. During the next two months selected shacks were knocked down and women arrested while their husbands were at work. Finally two squatters brought a suit against the Bantu Affairs Administrative Board for destruction of property. The judge ruled in favour of the squatters, lecturing the officials to respect the little possessions the squatters had. The Board did not contest the ruling but their officials continued to harass the squatters. Pretoria would of course not allow itself to be challenged by Blacks. In the parliamentary debate Dr van Zyl Slabbert, a former sociology lecturer valiantly gave an analysis of the situation, defending the squatters. The government was undeterred. A new law, the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Amendment Act of 1976, came onto the statute books. No longer would a court order be needed to demolish a shack.

Cape Build-up to Soweto June 1976
The Werkgenot squatters were not going to take everything lying down as well. While Parliament was debating the new law, they constructed new shacks in the bushes just off Modderdam Road, not so far from where they had been evicted. Modderdam Road runs between Bellville Station to the N2, passing the University of the Western Cape (UWC) and Bishop Lavis Township. The camp soon became a test of the government’s renewed war against Western Cape squatters. By the end of May 1976 more than a hundred shacks had been put up and the police was now also aware of their presence.
            The first heavy winter rain fell during the night of June 2, 1976. This did not deter the police pouning at the doors of the shanties and demanding passes. While policemen with heavy raincoats herded Black women to parked cars, about thirty squatter men – armed with clubs, pick handles and stone - surrounded three policemen who stood apart from the rest. The ensuing battle of about half an hour was followed by a procession along Modderdam Road in a strange combination of hymn singing and the stoning of passing cars. At about 1 a.m. the police sealed off the road. The Cape Times reported the next day that 30 squatter had been arrested and two policemen were hospitalized. Rev. Louis Banks reacted on behalf of the Western Province Council of Churches, calling the incident ‘a direct outgrowth of the law.’

A pleading letter to the Prime Minister
Bishop Tutu wrote a pleading letter to the Prime Minister on May 6 1976 during a three day clergy retreat. This was just weeks before the eruption of violence after 16 June 1976, when protesting high school students were shot. More than anything else, this event brought church leaders back into the centre of racial reconciliation.

            Writing from a clergy retreat in Johannesburg a month before June 16 1976, Desmond Tutu, at that time the General Secretary of the SACC, demonstrated the initiative and prophetic vision, which was to distinguish him in the years to come as a Godly man on the South African political scene. He predicted a nightmarish scenario of violence and bloodshed in South Africa if the basic demands of Black South Africans for a non-racial, open and just democracy were not reacted upon by John Vorster, the Prime Minister, and his government. Tutu appealed to the humanity, parental concern and Christianity of Vorster in a highly personal and impassionate appeal, which was to become characteristic of Tutu in the years to come. The injustice, oppression, exploitation and inhumanity of apartheid were becoming increasingly intolerable for Blacks to bear.

The run-up to the 1976 clash in Soweto 
Tutu incisively depicted Vorster’s reformist moves of doing away with petty-apartheid as superficial and hence not bringing about fundamental change in Black lives vis-a-vis the migrant labour system, inadequate housing, transport and overcrowded classrooms. It is significant that Tutu mentioned educational conditions as only one of many causes of Black frustration. He did not even make mention of the language issue, which is widely accepted as the immediate spark which ignited the Soweto revolt a month later.
            All this must have troubled Satan tremendously.  On 16 June 1976 the enemy of peace had his reply ready, a major upheaval which reverberated throughout the world. Was this the starting shot of the revolution which had been feared all along, a power encounter ‘too ghastly too contemplate’, as John Vorster, the Prime Minister had worded it so aptly? Rioting of all sorts by young people all over the PWV area (as Pretoria-Witwatersrand-Vereeniging was abbreviated in those days) erupted in force.

New dignity to people other than white
The protest of the youth served to inject a new dignity into people other than white. Thus the Cape Herald, a newspaper predominantly read by Coloured people in the Cape peninsula, wrote proudly in the edition dated 7 September 1976: ‘Last week’s two illegal parades through the city had a positive side in that many White South Africans saw for the first time that the Black scholars are not savages but neat, orderly, very serious and very concerned young people’. The lines turned out to be premature. When schoolchildren from Heideveld tried to march into nearby Guguletu and Nyanga townships, they were forcibly turned back by police at the only road bridge. The Argus reported the same day: ‘Earlier today police opened fire with shotguns and service revolvers into large groups of demonstrating Coloured youths… outside the African township of Guguletu.’ The result of the reaction was mayhem: looting and rioting, nothing to be proud about. Even worse - this started an era of ugly boycott politics which damaged relationships between parents and their children. The boycott generation became the teachers at the end of the century, which had never learnt to respect the older generation. In fact, quite often the parental generation was crudely despised, because of the fallacious youth perception that earlier generations accepted and tolerated the apartheid humiliations without protest. Many a Cape township still has to recover from the moral damage perpetrated since 1976.

Alarm among Whites  
Whites could initially only be spectators, but soon many of them were affected as well. Liberal sympathizers at tertiary institutions found themselves banned or detained and man had their cars damaged. Tension rose in the run-up to worker stay-aways, including a big one planned for 15 September. Stories circulated that Blacks had been told to ‘kill a White’. Many White rushed to buy guns, took shooting lessons after rumours of arson were spreading like wild-fire. The stay away – observed by about 100,000 Black and Coloured workers – was largely peaceful. Yet, foreign embassies were overwhelmed with enquiries about emigration.
          The urban uprisings of 1976 shook the nation and the international community. In all, 128 Capetonians were reported killed, and about 400 killed. Living in Berlin at this time, we tried to start a ‘peaceful front’ for change in South Africa in Germany, but other South Africans had given up hope that the escalation of violence could still be stopped. The violent struggle was seen as the only option left to fight apartheid repression.
          God was however also at work. On that very June 16, 1976 a young policeman, Johan Botha was posted in Soweto. Supernaturally God would use him almost 20 years later to bring the nation to its knees in prayer.

Divide and Rule scores a victory
Two groups in the Black townships had diametrically opposite needs and ambitions. The Africans who grew up in the city knew little of the rural areas. Yet, they were nevertheless pushed by the government to abandon the city for the Ciskei and Transkei. They resisted the call to revolt and strikes. The (not always veiled) threats of employers worked wonders. Some of them had passports from the Transkei, the first apartheid homeland to be granted independence in 1976. The fear of losing their jobs meant for these migrants risking their right to be in the Cape. Divide and Rule scored an easy victory.
          As the ‘conscientization’ process by the students increased, the rift between the students and the migrants turned ugly. After having fought the police, the students no longer hesitated to use force. The students’ main targets were the shebeens, the illegal alcohol outlets. This was adding insult to injury because the students had already burnt down the beer halls. Mr Oscar Mpetha, a trade unionist and a member of the Moravian Church, was soon seen as a leader of the settled inhabitants of Nyanga, which was close to Crossroads, where many of the former Modderdam inhabitants were now residing.
          Mr Simon Matthews who had come to Modderdam shortly before the June 2, 1976 raid, soon established himself as a leader on behalf of the migrants. Boldly the group took their case to the police, offering to maintain order inside the camp and to cooperate with the police on serious criminal offences. Astonishly, their offer was accepted. An informal agreement was made that as long as the camp was peaceful, no more raids would be undertaken. Word spread quickly through the city with the result that Modderdam spread in all directions. Between June 1976 and December of the same year the shanty town grew from 400 to 10,000 inhabitants. This could happen quietly because the police were kept busy on another front. Students were marching, stoning, demonstrating not so far away, while the camp itself remained ‘peaceful’.
          In due course the tension grew inside the squatter camp. Those inhabitants who had come from the hostels for singles or the ‘homelands’ distrusted the students, feeling strongly that the camp should be guarded to prevent them from using Modderdam as a hideout. Mr Plaatje, an influential member of the committee, called for a compromise which was approved. Guards were appointed and placed on the road and the railway tracks, and residents were warned not to harbour students on the run.

Other races assist the Modderdam squatters
Mr Simon Matthews did much to establish a link between White churches and community groups. He knew personally several members of the old Congress of Democrats, which funded the Kliptown ANC event in 1955. In the early months of 1977 the people of Modderdam believed that the Whites were their strongest allies. Soon they were disillusioned as they learned that financial aid had strings attached. An organization called SHELTER came into being in February on the back of Modderdam, but the trustees ruled that the money could only be spent for ‘legal’ squatter camps. Modderdam did not qualify.
          Social work students at the Institute for Social Development (ISD) of the University of the Western Cape came to help in the camp. The Coloured students had the same limitations because the university was governement-run. Soup kitchens, kindergartesn and first-aid clinics were allowed, but any political ‘agitation’ was closely monitored. The dangers came to the fore when the director of the Institute, Wolfgang Thomas, was deported.
          The Cape Flats Committee for Interim Accommodation (CFCIA) was the most overtly political organization working for the squatters.  The sponsored meetings and workshops for squatters from different camps enabled Simon Matthews and Mr Plaatjie, a community leader, to work in the camp full time. CFCIA was funded by churches linked to the Western Province Council of Churches and the Catholic Church. Some within CFCIA believed it impossible to develop the resistance of the squatter and the sympathy of Whites simultaneously, others felt the need to be sufficiently moderate to win financial support and prevent to be banned.

Demolition of Modderdam announced
SHELTER, ISD and CFCIA net-worked loosely, but when the chips were down with rising tension when the protest became dangerous, mud-slinging surfaced. In late January 1977 the government announced its plan for the demolition of Modderdam. ‘Coloureds’ and Blacks would first be separated. The ‘Coloureds’ would then be sent to a new squatting site, Rifle Range. Africans would then be screened into ‘illegals’ and ‘legals’. Rural women and children, as well as men who had neither contracts nor residence rights, would be given free train tickets to the Transkei and free baggace space for their belongings. The few African men and women who did have full rights to stay in the city would be moved to a new squatter camp on a plot of land called KTC near Nyanga.
          The Modderdam squatter community entered into negotiations with the government, aided by a White lawyer, Mr Richard Rosenthal,[8] with Matthews and Plaatjie as their spokespersons –Several meetings followed with Mr Fanie Botha, the Bantu Affairs Commissioner. Rosenthal helped the squatters to discover a technical mistake with the eviction notice, securing for them the temporary extention of their stay. Messrs. Matthews and Plaatjie won new support in the camp. Finally the judge dropped the case. The week-end following end of the court case, several new shacks were erected.
          Of course, the government would never take the defeat without retaliation. A new version of the Prevention of Illegal Squatting Act followed. The amendment tabled on April 25 1977 was a remarkable document, bringing in legal language an end to all legal protection for squatters. Inter alia the law stated that a shanty could be knocked down and squatters’ belongings removed ‘without any prior notice of whatever nature to any persons.’ Blanket permission for abuse was given in this way. Alex Boraine and Dr van Zyl Slabbert fought valiantly in Parliament against the new Bill, but is was a lost cause. With their comfortable majority the Nationalists were sure to rap it up. This they did when the measure was passed by 88 votes to 33. Coming just before the Cape winter, it would just be a matter when the demolition of Modderdam would take place. The government seemed to have preference of blundering in this way, when some from their own ranks would come with pleadings to do these brutal actions at another time of the year.
          The unity of the camp became strained in the weeks which followed the passage of the new Bill. The victory of the April court proceedings turned out to be pyrrhic. Plaatjie and Matthews were accused of planning to abscond with camp funds and of working too closely with Whites.
          The ‘axe’ started to come down in late June with hammers and crowbars. Municipal workers knocked down St John’s Church on on June 25. After being challenged, David Roux of the Bellville Municipality retorted: ‘I think it was a dance hall and was used for squatter meetings.’ ‘Coloureds’ were served with eviction notices on July 1. Five days later also the Blacks got the notices of the intention of the government to demolish their shanties. Most of the ‘Coloureds’ left voluntarily to Rifle Range, the legal camp on the other side of Belhar during July.
          The internal squabbles intensified as the plight of the camp became more hopeless. A BAAB employer brought suspicions into the arguments which were difficult to defend. Squatters were hereafter angry that Plaatjie and Matthews accepted help from Whites.

The Modderdam squatter camp – a model of resistance
The government’s intention with Modderdam backfired completely. What was intended to become the model for the country to deal with illegal squatters became instead teaching in resistance. Andrew Silk summarized the paradox of South African history aptly as it was practiced in a nutshell in that informal settlement: ‘The economy’s huge appetite for black labour is in conflict with white fears of being ‘swamped’, and ruled by Blacks. Modderdam was a microcosm of this classic struggle’. The men and women who fought to keep the camp were hardly known outside Modderdam and were forgotten after they had left. The first raid there on June 2, 1976 was overshadowed by the uprising which began in Soweto. Its demolition on August 8, 1977 was eclipsed by the death in detention of Black Consciousness leader Steve Biko, who had been tipped to be a future State President and the bannings of the Christian Institute and a host of other organizations in October of that year.
          The demolition of Modderdam brought in the churches in a big way. A tradition had already started to see the month of August as one in which compassion was highlighted. The Sunday before the ‘Coloureds’ left, the squatters had their weekly meeting. The crowd unanimously resolved to resist the government passively by simply refusing to move. They also agreed to undertake a three-day fast, and invited those outside the camp to join them. In a new stand of solidarity with the squatters, the leader of the white Women’s Movement endorsed the fast and also urged members of her organization to sleep alone at night, to symbolize the separation of husbands and wives. A ‘Coloured’ woman stood up during the meeting and expressed ‘Coloure’d solidarity with the Blacks. This appeared to be rather tokenism, because the ‘Coloureds’ obeyed the eviction orders soon thereafter. Yet, if the government ideologists had hoped that fights would break out between ‘Coloureds’ and Africans, they failed dismally. Laconically, the Blacks resolved that it was better to have a hard committed core of people who were determined to fight to the bitter end. Yet, the Modderdam camp stayed in the newspapers, gaining wide support all along. When the bulldozers arrived on August 8, the press was there, as well as many supporters from the other races.

The Start of the Demolition  
The first bulldozer got stuck in the mud, as well as a tractor which was called to pull it out. This gave time to organize. Edna van Harte, a lecturer of the ISD played a powerful mediating role, bringing in Dr van der Ross, the rector of the University. An emergency situation was organized including twelve huge containers with steamy vegetable soup donated by the large Pik ‘n Pay supermarket chain. In the afternoon Modderdam had become a major traffic jam.
          The appeals of the White sympathizers were unsuccessful, although the actual demolishing was postponed when people obstructed the vehicles after a second tractor succeeded in freeing the bulldozer and the first tractor. The next day, a letter from the benefactor whose generous gift triggered the founding of the SHELTER Fund six months earlier - framed by a black border - was printed on the front page of the Cape Times. ‘…The misery of the ejected squatters with their homes in ruins, guarding their meager possessions on the roadside, is indescribable... I have to share in the guilt of the ‘haves’ of contemporary society. I hang my head in shame and plead for forgiveness…’ Scattered skirmishes during the morning - after the police had separated the supporters from the inhabitants – converged into a major confrontation shortly after midday. A tense razor-edge situation developed, which looked like ending in massive bloodshed.  Mr Plaatjie lifted his hand as once the apostle Paul spoke to a riotous crowd, miraculously bringing down the tension. The squatters dispersed quietly. They won the moral confrontation, leaving the field to the police to take Modderdam without bullets. The burning of Modderdam began shortly after the crowd dispersed. Social workers and squatters reported that police had set fire to the shanties but the inhabitants themselves also fanned the flames in their desperation.

Church Protest
The day’s ‘fighting’ ended with teargas, but there was little panic. That evening a protest meeting was held at St. Xavier’s in the White suburb of Claremont. They decided to form a human chain the next morning in front of the bulldozer and force the police to drag them away.
          An unprecedented wave of support followed when 100 clergymen arrived at 6 a.m. But the bulldozers did not arrive. The bulk left by 9 a.m., with a few staying behind, to warn the others, should the operation begin later in the day. It is obvious there there must have been informers in the protest meeting in the Claremont church. After midday, two bulldozers arrived. Three White men including Rev. David Russell, the Anglican priest who ruffled the conscience of the nation with his protest and fast in St George’s Cathedral on behalf of the Blacks in the ‘Resettlement Areas’, walked into the camp. Since the inception of the Crossroads informal settlement in 1975, that was part of his parish. As soon as the three protesters reached the first truck, Rev Russell calmly laid down in front of the vehicle. He was promptly arrested. Asked later why he did it, he said: ‘…instead of writing another letter to those in authority,  I had  to use my body where communication and words were useless, as an act to uphold and be a witness to God’s law. Just by obeying God’s law and acting according to my conscience, I felt I could communicate to these people’s hearts so that they could be made aware of the evil being done there.
          The community workers found shelter for the women and children in church halls. Their possessions were taken to an empty Pepsi-Cola warehouse.  Three church services were held on the following Sunday. At the nearby Unibell informal settlement ministers from different races joined in the service, including a prayer for Rev. Russell who was still imprisoned. He refused the condition of bail – that he would not enter any squatter camps. The second gathering was at the City Hall in the city centre. In the inter-faith service Dr Allan Boesak received a standing ovation when he said that he would pray every day for the downfall of the Nationalist government. His repetition of that statement would become quite controversial in later years. The third meeting of the day took place at the camp itself.  Prayers were offered in a moving ceremony where the congregants held hands, sang hymns and closed the proceedings with Nkosi sikelel ‘iAfrika.

The spirit of the migrants crushed?        
The government seemed to crush the spirit of the migrants completely when Werkgenot was flattened on August 25 – the second time in three years that shacks were demolished there. The squatters put up little resistance. The only person arrested there was a White – Dr Margaret Nash, a member of the Christian Institute. She came to Werkgenot with a large white cross. Holding the cross high she walked up to her waist into a stagnant pond in front of the shacks. After she had marched to the other side, she was escorted to a police van.
          Quite surprisingly, opposition from within the National Party surfaced. That the Kerkbode expressed regret at the timing of the demolition, was a new element. A direct attack by theological students from Stellenbosch demonstrated the growing influence of Professor Nico Smith. Superficially, it looked as if the government won the bout. The spirit of Modderdam would get resurrected in KTC, Nyanga and Crossroads where the bulk of the squatters landed. Very few went to the Transkei and Ciskei as the apartheid ideologists would have liked to see them going. In the ‘battle of Nyanga’ the government would suffer its first major victory in 1981.

A year of major spiritual confrontation
1977 turned out to be the year for a major confrontation of spiritual forces. South Africa was ideologically under threat because of the ANC's close links to the Soviet Union. In the same year the famous prisoner Nelson Mandela started visiting the kramat of Shaykh Mattara, the Islamic shrine on Robben Island, unwittingly bonding him to that religion. The seed was sown for a link to Islam, a religion which also had a clear political agenda.
          In February 1977 the Catholic Bishops conference made a statement expressing their stance on social justice and race relations in the church. Some of the most radical recommendations for the time were made, for example ‘to signify, by the appointment of Black priests to the charge of White parishes, the breaking away by the Church from the prevailing social and political system.’
          The news came through in September 1977 that Steve Biko, a leading Black Consciousness leader and highly touted to be a future president of the country was dead - possibly killed while in police custody. Furthermore, the Christian Institute and its leader, Dr Beyers Naudé, were banned on 19 October 1977, along with many other organizations that were perceived to be in opposition to apartheid.
          Professor Nico Smith from Stellenbosch played a significant role in initiating Koinonia, a movement that organised inter-racial weekends in different towns and cities. Participants would always lodge with someone from a different race group. Christians of different races started meeting socially as families in order to get to know and understand each other. From their ranks the Koinonia Declaration followed in 1977 when three Dutch Reformed Church dominees in the Western Cape significantly reacted against a government ruling, which made agitation against detention without trial unlawful, as well as calling for transparency regarding ‘the handling of matters relating to the security of the state (e.g. the recent series of bannings, detentions and arrests on October 19th., 1977). The prayerful attitude of the three clergymen came through in the first sentences of the Koinonia Declaration: ‘…We also believe that the prayers of just men have great power. We therefore urge all Christians to pray without ceasing for those in authority that…they may not be led astray by unbiblical ideologies…’

Bannings and arrests of church people   
The October 19th (1977) bannings and arrests of church people simultaneously called forth a spate of church condemnations of apartheid from around the world, to be followed by sharp criticism from within the Dutch Reformed Church ranks. Thus the meeting of the Lutheran World Federation in Dar-es-Salaam in 1977 declared apartheid a sin and any theological justification thereof a heresy, with the NG Sendingkerk using almost identical terminology the following year at their synod. The judgment was repeated a little stronger by the Association of Black Reformed Christians in South Africa (ABRECSA) in 1981: ‘apartheid is a sin and any theological justification thereof is a travesty of the gospel, a betrayal of the Reformed tradition and a heresy.’ Dr Allan Boesak’s paper in Hammanskraal on 26 October 1981 at the founding conference of ABRECSA included the statement: ‘I indeed believe that Black Christians should formulate a Reformed Confession for our time and situation in our own words’. All this paved the way not only for Dr Allan Boesak to be asked to deliver a paper at the World Alliance of Reformed Churches (WARC) and ensuingly being elected as President of the WARC in Ottawa (Canada) August 1982, but also for the Belhar Confession at the Sendingkerk Synod of October 1982. In this way the name of Allan Boesak got linked to the declaration of apartheid as a heresy. All the more it was sad that he did not discern that he became party to new heresies soon thereafter. He was instrumental in the formation of the United Democratic Front (UDF) a year later, where Muslims joined Jews and Christians in the fight against apartheid. A by-product of that struggle was a resurgence of inter-faith on dubious premises, where the uniqueness of Jesus Christ was compromised; where Allah was equated with the God of the Bible.
Western Cape missionaries breaking through apartheid hurdles
Sydney Dean, an English-speaking Capetonian from the suburb of Vredehoek, married Annamie, an Afrikaner from the Boland town of Bonnievale when marriages like that were still frowned upon - at best tolerated. After being trained at the WEC Missionary Training College in Tasmania, they were refused visas for Indonesia, the country that they perceived to be the one to which God was calling them. With nobody to lead proceedings at the WEC Headquarters in Durban, they were requested to fill the gap. Very bravely and prayerfully they fought against the apartheid hurdles.
Along with the Anglican priest Trevor Pearce, Peter Ward and Eugene Johnson boarded one of two Operation Mobilisation ships, the Doulos, in 1978 as the first missionaries of colour with an international mission agency, to be followed by two young people from the Cape, Caroline Duckitt from the Bishop Lavis Township in 1979 and June Domingo of Steenberg in 1980. The latter two became the first South African female missionaries of colour in the apartheid era to go abroad with faith missions. The two went to Brazil and France respectively with WEC international.
WEC also pioneered with Indian missionaries from Durban. The first three Indian missionaries from Durban, Bhim Singh, Tiny Kuppen and Geetha Sunker, had a Cape link through the missionary endeavour of Ds Davie Pypers, who started his career in Bo-Kaap.  Two Blacks, viz. Newman Muzwondiwa from Zimbabwe and Abraham Thulare - both of whom worked in Japan - pioneered a new recruitment base for Southern African missionaries. However, only many years later the next Black African was accepted as a WEC missionary. A spate of applications came from various African countries, but just like other Western mission organisations, WEC International in South Africa allowed itself to be restricted by the concept that sufficient funds should be forthcoming from the country of origin. On the other hand, many an applicant looked merely for an opportunity to escape poverty in their home countries. The emphasis on full-time missionaries barred the possibility of ‘tent-making’ missionaries from Africa. The Nigerians would overtake South Africa in the 1990s as a missionary sending country from the Black continent.
            Sydney Witbooi and Peter Tarental, respectively from the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) and Operation Mobilization (OM), broke through racial marital prejudices. Witbooi married Andrea, the daughter of Gerhard Nehls, the well-known Life Challenge missionary pioneer. Quite a few racially mixed marriages followed within Operation Mobilisation (OM) ranks through the ministry on their ships.  Jeremy Kammies from the Assemblies of God Church in Grassy Park married his bonny Anne from Pietermaritzburg. After serving WEC International in Liberia, from where the family was forced to leave in 2003 because of the civil war there, the couple was elected as the new national leaders in South Africa. 

A Call to pray for Communists
Shortly after the South African Peter Hammond was converted to Christ early in 1977, a missionary from Overseas Missionary Fellowship challenged their congregation, urging them to pray for God to open the doors to Red China.  Even as they prayed, his heart was filled with unbelief. How could a communist country like China ever be open to the Gospel again?  Yet, shortly after Mao Tse Tung died, his little Red Book became discredited. Since then many millions came to Christ in China.
The vision for a mission with a Capetonian head office - to assist persecuted churches, evangelising in war zones, serving in restricted access areas - grew out of the daily Bible study and prayer meeting, which Peter Hammond, the founder of Frontline Fellowship, led during his time of military service in 1981. He reports about this time: 'For two years we met, almost every night, around the Word of God, spending extended times in prayer.  Sometimes we prayed through the night, in prayer chains.  Often our Bible study and prayer meetings lasted for three, four or five hours at a time.' When Hammond first started praying for Mozambique in 1981, the country was firmly closed for the Gospel. 

The Beginnings of Frontline Fellowship
It was while praying through Operation World on an all night prayer chain, that the Lord impressed upon Hammond's heart what Patrick Johnstone had written, that Mozambique was the least evangelised country in the Southern hemisphere. It moved him that there was less than one Bible for every thousand people in that Marxist nation. Something stirred deeply within him. He knew that God was calling him to take Bibles and the Jesus film into Marxist Mozambique.
            As Hammond shared this vision with Christian friends and family members, they reacted sceptically. Mozambique was a communist country, a war zone, an enemy of South Africa. As he prepared for his first mission to Mozambique, the Lord confirmed His call through many passages in his daily devotions. Hammond recalls:  "The Lord said to me, 'Do not say that you are too young, but go to the people I send you to, and tell them everything I command you to say.  Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you and will rescue you, declares the Lord” (Jeremiah 1:7-8). "Get ready now and cross the River Jordan into the land." (Joshua 1:2)
In 1982 Peter Hammond crossed the border from Swaziland into Mozambique on a 250cc motorcycle with a thousand New Testaments in Portuguese and four reels of the Jesus Film.  In so many ways God protected, provided and guided.  This was a faith mission.  'I did not know a word of Portuguese. We had no contacts in Mozambique.  I only had R10, not even enough money to purchase petrol to drive out of Mozambique again. Yet the Lord led us that first night to someone who became our host and translator.  By the next morning he had gathered a large number of Christians from numerous churches together for us to minister to, and by the next day someone at the British Consulate permitted us to use their 16mm projector.'

International prayer against Communism
After the exposure of the atrocities in communist countries by people like Richard Wurmbrand as well as Brother Andrew’s forays into the countries behind the ‘iron curtain’, prayer increased for an end to the atheist ideology. It is hardly known that the Dutchman Bob van der Pijpekamp and another believer prayed against the occult powers at Lenin's mausoleum in the Kremlin while they were waiting in the queue for one and a half hours in 1980. This was happening just after the prayerful outreach of Christians during the Olympic Games in Moscow (Van der Pijpekamp, Gott zählt sie auf, Maarn (NL), 1992:123f). In 1983 Brother Andrew’s Open Doors called Christians worldwide to pray for a period of seven years for the collapse of the Soviet Union. Thus it was not so surprising that we saw the disintegration of the vast USSR in 1991!
            The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 ushered in the collapse of the Soviet Empire. This had been preceded by mass prayer rallies at different churches, for instance in the East German cities of Leipzig and Dresden.
In Southern Africa there were a number of occasions when Frontline Fellowship’s Peter Hammond was arrested and detained in Zimbabwe, Zambia, Mozambique and Sudan. On each occasion the situation was very serious and could have become quite disastrous. However, in answer to prayer, on each occasion, the Lord opened prison doors and set the captives free. Hammond reports: 'In July 1984, my brother, Derek, and I were on a mission trip through Zimbabwe into Mozambique.  We were detained and escorted out of Mozambique and detained in Zimbabwe and interrogated by CIO investigators. On both occasions the Lord gave us wisdom in our answers, and grace in the eyes of the authorities to set us free.'
In October 1987 Hammond and three other Frontline Fellowship volunteers were imprisoned in Zambia. During the 16 days that they were locked up in Zambia they had to endure six interrogations. The tension between South Africa and Zambia at that time was intense, and sometimes it looked as though the missionaries were mere pawns in a political game being played. Nevertheless, by God's grace, in answer to international pressure and prayer, the Zambian government was forced to set them free.

Eight missionaries in solitary confinement
In October 1989, exactly two years after the Zambian prison experience, Hammond was leading a team of eight missionaries on a mission to Mozambique.  They were captured by Frelimo troops, transported by Soviet MI-8 hip helicopters, and ended up in solitary confinement in the Machava Security Prison in Maputo.  Hammond reports: ‘I had just been married six months before.  My wife, Lenora, was the only one back at our mission headquarters in Cape Town to mobilise the international prayer and pressure on our behalf’.  The situation was most serious because of the Mozambique Report, which Hammond had published. It included eyewitness testimonies of Frelimo atrocities.  He had received warnings from the communist government in Mozambique, which bluntly stated that should he return to Mozambique, he would be killed.  His writings and documentation on the systematic slaughter perpetrated by the communist Frelimo government in Mozambique had received worldwide distribution, and was even read in the US Senate and in the Parliament of Norway.  Now he was in Frelimo’s hands.  By God’s grace, his captors confused his identity, leaving out his surname on all their records.  He was continually referred to as Peter Christopher (On his passport the surname was on the second line). Banner headline articles in South Africa and Zimbabwe declared:  ‘Baptist Minister Is Frelimo’s Top Captive.’ International prayer and pressure secured their release before these reports made their way back to Mozambique and beyond the translator’s table.

Bliss and Blessings
David Bliss came to South Africa under the auspices of Africa Enterprise (AE) in 1967 from the USA as a student. The relatively young mission and evangelistic agency AE, which was started by Michael Cassidy in 1962, rubbed off on David Bliss in the best sense of the word. He decided to postpone his return to Princeton University for a year. After his marriage to Deborah in 1972, the couple came to South Africa in 1979 as AE workers on the Wits University campus in Johannesburg. In that year the South African Christian Leadership Assembly (SACLA) took place in Pretoria, an event that impacted them significantly. The issue of unreached people groups and the possibility of South Africans as missionaries came to their attention so powerfully that soon thereafter they started to put together a group of 35 people to attend the Urbana missions event in the USA at the end of the same year.
The next year they participated in the students' conference in Edinburgh, which was running parallel to the 70th anniversary celebrations of the founding of the World Council of Churches. In the same city the American John Mott had been one of the main movers in 1910, the man who had catapulted world missions into the attention of Christian students. The 1980 event brought the use of non-Westerners as missionaries into focus. For Dave and Debbie Bliss this was a natural follow-up to SACLA in Pretoria the previous year.
At SACLA Professor Nico Smith, who had come from Stellenbosch, was significantly challenged to attack the apartheid structures with more attempts to bring people from the various race groups together, at least from time to time. David Bliss linked up with him in 1981 at a CYARA conference, the acronym for come ye apart and rest awhile.
The Bliss family had relocated to Pietermaritzburg when Dave Bryant, who is known around the world for Concerts of Prayer, came to the country in 1983. (David Bryant played a major role in promoting Concerts of Prayer in the early 1980s. This initiative spread into the nineties and helped to bring people together on a city-wide level. Anything from 5 000 to 50 000 people were coming together in stadiums to pray for their cities and nations and millions of intercessors were mobilized in this way.) Bliss organized a busload of people from Natal to attend a prayer and revival conference in 1983 at the Cape that would have a deep impact on many young people.

Waves of prayer start at UWC
The Mother City and the wider surroundings of the Peninsula were blessed when a Frontiers Missions Conference was organized at the University of the Western Cape with Dave Bryant as speaker. The conference at the University of the Western Cape spread waves of prayer throughout the country.
Charles Robertson, who had been a lecturer at that university from 1971-76, was brought into the swing of prayer events when he was approached to help fund the hiring of a bus to take participants to the event at the historical Sendingsgestig Museum in the Mother City's Long Street. (The former Coloured Gestig church building had been 'saved' by Dr Frank R. Barlow, a Jewish academic with a keen sense of history. The congregation had to move because of apartheid, and thereafter the former church was turned it into a museum).
After Charles Robertson's father died in 1979, he was thrown into deep spiritual turmoil. The business he had started was in dire straits. All that brought him to his knees in a double sense. Hereafter he broke through into a living faith in Jesus as his Lord. At the Concert of Prayer with Dave Bryant he was approached to chair the meeting as an Afrikaner. That was not going to be the last time either. He led the Concerts of Prayer not only at the monthly meetings at that venue, but later also at the Presbyterian Church in Mowbray where the event moved to. (The Concerts of Prayer were held there for many years.) The visit to the Sendingsgestig Museum in Long Street with Dave Bryant - along with a visit to Wellington - paved the way for the Bliss family to move to the Boland town, which had so much of the stamp of the renowned Dr Andrew Murray. At the museum they were significantly challenged by the vision of Dr Helperus van Lier to see slaves trained to become missionaries. At a Concert of Prayer in Wellington the hearts of Dave and Debbie Bliss had been already prepared when Dave Bryant proposed a Consultation on Prayer and World Missions in the town. Dr Christie Wilson, one of Dave Bliss's lecturers at Seminary, furthermore suggested that they buy the building, which in due course became the Andrew Murray Centre for Prayer, Revival and Missions. That also became the venue for the first Bless the Nations conference, an annual event that would significantly impact the country for missions in the late 1980s.

An Indian couple from Durban impacts the Cape
Richard Mitchell was a young pastor affiliated to the Full Gospel Church, who came by bus from Natal to the Frontiers Missions Conference in 1983. He had been a political anti-apartheid activist and a drug addict, who came to faith in Jesus in prison. He became an important catalyst for citywide prayer in the 1990s.
Richard Mitchell and his wife Elizabeth had already been used by the Lord in 1980 when they asked Reverend Hugh Wetmore to share a room in their home with Dr Theodore Williams, the speaker at the Keswick Convention in Durban. For Wetmore, who became the leader of the Evangelical Fellowship of South Africa, TEASA's predecessor, the experience was life changing. It was the first time that the White clergyman, who had been born and bred in the apartheid set-up, would share a room with a person of colour!
At the Frontiers Missions Conference Mitchell met a young man from the Cape, Roland Manne, who had a heart for missions. Manne's yearning to serve the Lord abroad was aborted when he contracted cancer of the bowels, dying in 1984. His commitment had however by then sown seeds that were germinating in the hearts of many young people. Mitchell was one of those impacted by the testimony and commitment of Roland Manne and Dave Bryant for missions and prayer.
            When Mitchell came to the Cape to plant a church in Rylands Estate in1985, he felt challenged by his background in the struggle against apartheid to bring the element of prayer into the matter as well. He approached Pastor Ron Hendricks of the Silvertown Baptist Church to bring together a few evangelical pastors for regular weekly prayer. In later years the practice found a powerful emulation in Mitchells Plain.

                                      6. Significant impact of Prayer on Cape Islam

The German missionary couple Gerhard and Hannelore Nehls had to stop their work in Johannesburg with the Bible Band due to health reasons. When they saw Bo-Kaap at the beginning of 1975 the first time, it immediately called forth a resonance in their hearts.  Soon the focus of their ministry changed, although they were formally still missionaries of the Bible Band. That surely was an answer to the faithful intercessors in England who had prayed for decades for the 'Cape Malays' among whom at that point in time very little was done in terms of loving outreach.
          At the Cape itself, Andrew Murray’s legacy was revived in 1986 when the American missionary David Bliss started to mobilize for missions from Wellington in the same building from where the pioneer of old had operated.  It became increasingly evident that Islam was more than only a religion, that it was a political ideology due to the interpretation and escapades of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran. Unfortunately the religion was hereafter regarded more as a threat to world peace than one for prayerful concern. The threat of another world war was even more evident after Iraq’s State president Saddam Hussein had ordered his army to move into Kuwait.
          After the success against Communism and Apartheid, it was only logical that praying Christians would apply the same spiritual principles to ‘fight’ Islam. A call for 10 years of prayer for the ideology of Islam was a natural result. Prior to the 1989 turnaround in the Soviet-block Communist world, Chinese people had turned to Christ in an unprecedented way, and after 1991 a major missionary interest developed for the Arab world. This was surely an answer to prayer. At any rate, it cannot be rationally explained, especially considering the complete lack of interest in the churches in the Muslim world before 1990. The call to intensified prayer for Muslims came during a meeting of several Christian leaders in the Middle East in 1992. The 31 Day Prayer Focus – a booklet published by the Hospital Christian Fellowship in Voorthuizen, Holland appears to have inspired at least one in the group at that time. These men and women strongly sensed God’s desire to call as many Christians as possible to pray for the Muslim world. An internationally mixed group produced a booklet calling for prayer during the month of Ramadan, the 30-Day Prayer Focus.

Prayer against the Wall of Islam
Some books had already been written in the 19th century, clearly exposing the deception of Islam. One of these was the two-volume work of C. Forster with the title Mahometism Unveiled (1829). Dr John Mühleissen Arnold had the third edition of an excellent scholarly book printed in 1876 along the same lines. Somehow the information did not become general knowledge, and the Islamic deception continued unabatedly. In fact, at the beginning of the third millennium, Islam was still expanding quite substantially worldwide - also in Southern Africa, and notably among the Blacks.
            Internationally, the first major round of prayer for the Muslim world in the past century started around 1915 when Dr Samuel Zwemer challenged the Keswick Convention in England. This event fathered the Prayer Fellowship of Faith for Muslims in Britain. The next major round had its origins in the Lausanne Convention in 1974, the brainchild of the spiritual giant Dr Billy Graham. The conference in Lausanne was organized from an evangelical base. A direct result of the convention was a conference of missionaries to Muslims from all over the world in Glen Eerie (USA) in 1978. 
            Marius Baar, a German author, reacted to the Islamic revival that was initiated by the Ayatollah Khomeini in 1979. After the oil crisis of 1973, the Arab states were swimming in money. Baar saw the West in crisis, and wrote his book Das Abendland am Scheideweg (The West at the Crossroads). The book was intended as an effort towards an exposition of eschatological prophecy. An interesting aspect of this work is the discussion on the meta-historical role of oil money. Baar foresaw that revenue from oil - in the Bible the image of the Holy Spirit - would be used to expand Islam. Looking back over the last two and a half decades, this was definitely the case in Africa, with Libya playing a prominent role.
            The destruction by a gale of a big tent in the mid-1980s in which the German-born evangelist Reinhardt Bonnke was to hold an evangelistic campaign in the Cape township Valhalla Park, created much interest for the event when it had to be held in the open. The networking of township churches in the run-up was unprecedented. With a corresponding response at the altar calls. Hundreds of Muslims gave an indication that they wanted to become followers of Jesus. However, putrid follow-up by the churches prevented a massive spiritual turn around at the Cape. This lack combined with a brutal apartheid clampdown at this time, driving many nominal Christians to Islam when it was regarded as part of the struggle to become a Muslim. Marriage swelled the numbers of Cape Muslims when the Christian partner moved over to Islam and staying Muslim even after divorce.
            That Islam was another vassal of the enemy of the Cross became only generally recognised after 1990, after the Berlin Wall had been demolished. In the meantime, the main opposition to the apartheid regime, the banned ANC, was linked very closely to Moscow, after the Western nations had failed to give concrete support. No church leader with credibility among the oppressed of the country dared to warn the leaders of the ANC against the dangers of getting into an unholy alliance with the atheistic world power. The demise of Communism after 1990 got the country off the hook. The country was saved the humiliation and misery which so many countries had to go through when they joined the communist block.
            A new wave of prayer against the ideology of Islam started in February 1987 when David Montague challenged those involved with the preparations for the conference to be held later that year in the Dutch town of Zeist. Potential participants were requested to ‘bathe the entire event in prayer’.  It was emphasized that ‘... a significant part of the conference will be prayer for the Muslim World and each other’.
          The year 1987 can be seen as one of major spiritual warfare between Islam and Christianity. The counterpart of the conference in Zeist (Holland) was the Islamic event in Abuja (Nigeria), which strategized to take control of the Black continent. But the Holy Spirit was also clearly at work. Various world leaders in the prayer movement were divinely called to this ministry in that year. Bennie Mostert (a Namibian Dutch Reformed minister) was challenged to become a missionary to South Africa. God has used him since then to spearhead the prayer movement, the Network of United Prayer in Southern Africa (NUPSA), which has become closely linked to the spiritual transformation of the continent. Gerda Leithgöb in Pretoria and others were divinely called at this time into intensified prayer. In 1988 Leithgöb called prayer warriors from other countries at a conference in Singapore to pray for South Africa, which had been in a constant crisis since 1985.

The '10/40 window' in the Spotlight
Prayer journeys to Muslim countries followed after 1991. The 30-day Muslim prayer focus started in 1992 where Christians, on a global level, prayed through the 30 days of Ramadan for breakthroughs among the Muslim peoples of the world. In 1992 about 200 000 people prayed. Increased intercession for the Muslim world has taken place during Ramadan since 1993 when the 30-Day Muslim Prayer Focus booklets were distributed globally. Bennie Mostert became God’s instrument when he organized the annual distribution of thousands of prayer booklets in English and Afrikaans since 1994 in South Africa. The booklets were intended for intercession during Ramadan for Islamic countries and Muslim people groups.
            Thousands of Muslims, Hindu’s and Buddhists in the '10/40 window' have come to believe in Jesus as their Lord and Saviour in the last few years as a result of the application of spiritual warfare in different parts of the world. Conversions have often been preceded or accompanied by supernatural manifestations like visions, dreams and miracles of healing. More and more the dubious roots of Islam, Hinduism and Freemasonry have been exposed. In the case of Islam, scholars like Sales, Foster, Pfander and Arnold had already done this in the 18th and 19th century, although their efforts did not receive much recognition.
          Colonel Muhammed Khaddafi, the Libyan State President, was one of the first to propagate the islamization of the African continent. According to a newspaper report of 9 September 1978, he stated this clearly. It had special significance in the light of an Islamic conference held in Tripoli, the Libyan capital, in October 1995, where it was verbalized that Africa was to be Islamized by the end of the 20th century.  This was to include a major move to utilize the South African infrastructure. It is not surprising that these tones came from Tripoli. In the spiritual realm it was therefore surely meaningful when Colonel Khaddafi invited his national television crew to record a Christian praying for him and his country in 1998. He ordered these prayers to be screened daily for a month. The friendship of former president Nelson Mandela to Colonel Khaddafi may still set the scene for Libya to become (one of) the first Arab country(ies) to become open for entry by emissaries of the Gospel. The impact of the Global Days of Prayer since 15 May 2005 will surely also have their impact.
          At the Global Consultation of World Evangelization (GCOWE) conference in Pretoria in July 1997 a significant development and correction took place when churches and mission agencies discerned that they had been working in competition with each other. But there has been hardly any translation of the discovery in terms of action. In fact, there has been a dramatic decrease of Bible School students and full time Christian workers since then. This will possibly only be reversed by a complete spiritual renewal and networking of the poor and more affluent churches, to tap into the dormant goldmine of missionary recruitment from Black communities and refugees who could return with expertise and as emissaries of the Gospel to their countries of origin.

Start of Life Challenge
In the mid-1970s the missionary effort to the Muslims at the Cape was revived through the pioneering work of Gerhard and Hannelore Nehls couple, who laboured hard for many years without seeing much in terms of fruit or local recognition. Nehls started with regular outreach to Muslims in the suburb Salt River in 1980, later calling his work Life Challenge.  Support from the Cape churches was almost non-existent at the time. In fact, the churches were rather indifferent to Muslim outreach in general. Even denominations that were very much involved in evangelism, like the Docks Mission and the City Mission, had little vision for the Muslims on their doorstep. Suburbs like Woodstock and Salt River had become increasingly Islamic, due in part to this indifference. Prostitution, drug abuse and the sale of houses to Muslims who had been tenants, were however the major factors, which pushed many Christians out of these residential areas during the late 1980s and early 1990s.
          Gerhard Nehls became God’s instrument for the recruitment of a string of German and Swiss missionaries. These Christian workers made little impact, but they kept alive the consciences of those churches that did not get on the inter-faith bandwagon with regard to their missionary duty to the Cape Muslims. A major contribution by Nehls was that he linked up his agency Life Challenge with other missionaries working among Muslims. John Gilchrist (Jesus to the Muslims) and Fred Nel (Eternal Outreach) joined forces with Nehls in 1982 under the umbrella of CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims). They later held annual conferences for all co-workers, in addition to a leadership consultation once a year. Significantly, one of the founder members was Gloria Cube, a Xhosa-speaking female, who started Muslim outreach in Bo-Kaap as preparation for missionary work with Africa Evangelical Fellowship.
          Life Challenge and the initiative from the Dutch Reformed Church seemed to co-operate quite well, especially while Ds Chris Greyling was still the Sendingkerk man. Neville Truter became a follower of Jesus and later a co-worker from Dutch Reformed Church ranks after he was touched by a tract that was given to him by Gerhard Nehls when he sold his car to the German missionary in 1976.

Prayer used in Evangelism
From oral reports of Life Challenge workers of yesteryear like Neville Truter, who later became an SIM associate missionary, the work was accompanied from the start by an emphasis on prayer. For many years Muslim outreach at the Cape and SIM Life Challenge were almost synonymous.  The mission continued with an annual prayer initiative during Ramadan when they usually stopped their actual door-to door weekly outreach for that month.
             WEC missionaries, who came to the Cape in 1992, likewise endeavoured to emphasize prayer, undertaking prayer walks in Bo-Kaap, Woodstock, Walmer Estate and Salt River. At the Cape Town Baptist Church a few believers, including Hendrina van der Merwe, prayed at the church when outreach groups would go to Muslim areas like Bo-Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.
Prayer walks by the author and his wife resulted in a fortnightly prayer meeting in the home of Cecilia Abrahams, the widow of a Muslim background believer from Wale Street in Bo-Kaap. The former Muslim husband of Cecilia had been in a backslidden state spiritually, but he came back to the Lord just prior to his death. Regular prayer meetings focused on the prime Muslim stronghold of Bo-Kaap. The weekly Friday lunch hour prayer meeting that was started in September 1992 became the catalyst for many evangelistic initiatives. The meeting itself was initially mooted by Achmed Kariem, a convert from Islam.
            At the prayer meeting itself, Daphne Davids, a member of the Cape Town Baptist church and also a Bo-Kaap resident, was a regular from the outset. When Cecilia Abrahams encountered problems with her hearing after a few years, the Monday meeting was relocated to Daphne's home over the road, which became a monthly event. There it still takes place.

Interlude: An impact on Cape Jewry
The Bo-Kaap prayer meeting in the Abrahams’ home in Wale Street was later changed to a monthly meeting, making room for a prayer event where intercession for the Middle East was the focus. The new monthly meeting - at the author's home in Vredehoek - also included prayer for the Jews, those in Israel as well as those in Cape Town. The catalyst of the Jewish part of the prayer meeting in Vredehoek was Elizabeth Robertson, whom God used to stir the Jews of Sea Point in 1990. She had been confronted at that time with a very difficult choice when she was about to convert to Judaism, in preparation for her marriage to an Israeli national. Her autobiography The Choice impacted Cape Jewry when it was published in 2003. In the same year it was read on the programme Story Teller via CCFM radio.
          In The Choice Elizabeth Robertson writes about the predicament into which the rabbi put her in the final interview of the procedure before she was to convert to Judaism:
"Elizabeth, ... being raised as a child in a Christian home, who is Jesus to you now? Is He just a prophet, or is He the Messiah? What is your belief on this subject?”
She continues to describe her inner tussle, the choice between the Jewish future husband ‘Aaron’ and her Lord:
“Elizabeth, you have got to understand that you cannot have Aaron and Jesus. You’ll have to make the choice!” Four hours was all the grace she was given to give her reply. Four hours to decide whether she would give up the love of her life or deny her Messiah. She describes the turmoil in her innermost during the next few hours with the following words:
                "Thoughts of Jesus came to mind. I remembered how He had also faced a choice, a choice that seemed so unfair. By rights He was totally innocent, not deserving death on a cross, and in the Garden of Gethsemane the Father allowed Him to choose whether or not He would go through with it. “Oh Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me. Yet, not my will, but yours be done,” He cried, as drops of blood and sweat fell to the ground. Then He willingly laid down His life as atonement for the world, trusting His father to raise Him from the dead as He had promised. God never forced His will on His son, but He watched and waited to see Him obey."
                I was led before my judges who waited to hear my choice. They sat anxiously; clearly moved by what was about to happen and knowing only too well what devastating consequences my choice would bring - whatever it was... Quietly I was asked to give my answer: “So now Elizabeth, who is Jesus to you?”
                I cleared my throat to speak, when unexpectedly an anointing fell upon me, and I found myself asking if I might go on my knees. A Holy boldness overtook me and in a loud, firm voice, with an authority that shocked even me, I heard myself saying: “To me Jesus Christ is the Son of God! He is the one who died for me,” then, pointing at the rabbis one by one, “and for you and for you and for you. He is the Messiah. He was born of a virgin, and His blood cleanses all of our sins. This is who I believe Jesus Christ is!”  I then collapsed onto the floor in a sobbing heap.
The Lord my God was so tangible that my whole mouth tingled with pins and needles from the presence of His Holy Spirit. There and then, in spite of the pain, I was baptized afresh with His Presence and Peace, in a measure never known before. He was clearly assuring me that I had made the right choice.
             Bathing in this weird peace I quietly sobbed, as everyone else in the room sat in shocked silence, arrested too, it seemed, by the presence of this Holy God. I knew in my spirit, that on this day ‘the God of Israel’ had spoken. His Will had been done by His strength in me."
            The unexpected choice of Elizabeth Roberson shook Cape Jewry. Surprisingly, she was encouraged by Jews to publish her special story, as she recollects: "Although everyone knew now about my faith in Yeshua, it did not seem to matter a bit. I felt liberated, no longer having to watch my words or actions anymore. My story became the talk of dinner parties and coffee mornings and time and time again the suggestion of writing a “book” came up. I even remember when the rabbi once said: “Liz, your story makes The Thornbirds look like Mickey Mouse!”
             Through Elizabeth Robertson, the author and his wife met Renette Marx and Lorraine Fleurs, two Christian workers, who were ministering covertly among the Jews of Cape Town. The two believers concentrated on praying that Cape Jews might see that Jesus is indeed the promised Messiah. For many years they stuck to this task until Renette Marx left the Cape in the late 1990s. Later we also met Edith Sher, who is a Messianic Jewish believer herself.

Ten Years of Prayer for Muslims
In 1983 Open Doors called Christians worldwide to pray for a period of seven years for the collapse of the Soviet Union. At conferences in Germany and Holland in 1987 missionaries started praying more intensely for the truth to be exposed to Muslims. 
            The fall of the Berlin Wall on 9 November 1989 ushered in the collapse of the Soviet Empire. In spite of the reign of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, the Christians were not really interested in Muslims, let alone concerned enough to pray for them. Until the 1990s only very few missionaries volunteered for work in Muslim countries. (The dearth of missionaries to the Muslim world was the direct cause for the author to start praying seriously about volunteering for such an endeavour in the early 1980s.)
            All this changed after Saddam Hussein ordered his troops to invade Kuwait. The run-up to the Gulf War sparked off the call by Open Doors in 1990 - ten years of prayer for the Muslim World. Subsequently, Iraq’s invasion became a major undercutting of the foundations of Islam in recent times. At least one Egyptian Muslim - a former lecturer and shaykh from the famous Al Azhar University in Cairo, who wrote a summary of his life story under the pseudonym Mustafa, was troubled by the undermining of the idea of jihad (holy war) in Islam. It disturbed him that Iran and Iraq, two Muslim countries, had been at war with each other for many years. During his student years the former shaykh had to ask himself: ‘What religion would continue such destruction of human life?’ The advent of the Iranian Ayatollah Khomeini had indirectly led to the fact that the president of the USA at the time, Jimmy Carter - who fought valiantly for human rights to be given worldwide priority - was not re-elected in 1980. But Khomeini (like Mao Zedong in China) became one of the best ‘evangelists’ of all time when his rule exposed a side of Islam that had not been generally known until then. Hundreds of Iranians turned their backs on the state religion, and many thereafter turned to a living faith in Jesus Christ. Some Iranians converted in exile, others in secret. The Egyptian scholar from Al Azhar, who studied in Teheran at the time of Khomeini’s rule, voiced his objections to his own peril.  He was ostracized and kicked out of his job for questioning the religion. After fleeing to South Africa in 1994, he adopted the name Mark Gabriel. He was significantly impacted when the PAGAD (People against Gangsterism and Drugs) scourge broke out at the Cape in 1996, forcing him to go into hiding. This turned into a blessing when at this time he started his research on Jihad, which culminated in his book Terrorism and Islam. This book influenced world politics when it was published in the USA shortly after 11 September 2001, going into its fourth printing in April 2003.

Correction and Aid from Abroad
A void was left in the Christian outreach to Cape Muslims after Ds Davie Pypers went to the Indian suburb of Rylands Estate in 1967, and even more so when Ds Chris Greyling became an academic.  Furthermore, the proper discipling of new converts from Islam was not always optimal. The lack of discipline in the townships - also on the part of pastors - has to a great extent been hampering the evangelistic effort.
            With the focus of so many church leaders on the government’s apartheid policy of yesteryear - either in defence or opposition - correction was definitely needed. Even the evangelical churches had no eye for the Muslims in their midst. The unspoken rule that one should not speak to Muslims about religion, won the day.  It was in this regard that help from abroad was surely an answer to prayer. In England prayers had been offered for many years. The prayers for the ‘Cape Malays’, as the Cape Muslims were erroneously called, possibly came into focus either after the publication of an article about South African Muslims in 1925 in the Muslim World by Dr Samuel Zwemer, the greatest missionary to the Middle East, or after his challenge at the Keswick convention in England about ten years earlier. (The intersession was mentioned to Gerhard Nehls by Lionel Gurney, the Director of the Red Sea Mission team.) 
            Nehls became the catalyst in recruiting many German-speaking missionaries from his native country, from Switzerland and Namibia. Uli Lehmann was Nehls’ first assistant. He experienced first hand how resistant the Cape Muslims of Bo-Kaap were. When Walter Gschwandtner could not get a visa for Pakistan, he came to the Cape.
          Divine correction also took place when Kathi Schulze from the USA, a descendent from German missionaries to the Eastern Cape, came to help as a physiotherapist on the Moravian settlement Elim in 1973. She remained in South Africa after finishing her stint on the mission station.  When Kathi visited her sister and brother-in-law in Heidebeek, the YWAM base in Holland, she was touched by God’s Spirit. Back in the Cape, she soon started to minister with Scripture Union in the pioneering days of multi-racial camps.  During that time she became burdened to start praying for Cape Muslims.
          Alain and Nicole Ravelo-Hoërson, respectively from Madagascar and the island Reunion, came to Cape Town as Bible School students, and ended up as Life Challenge co-workers. They joined Youth for Christ in 1984, later becoming independent missionaries on behalf of TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). ‘Co-incidence’ also played a role in the recruitment of missionaries from other countries. David Jun came from Korea with his family, initially with the intention to work as a missionary to seamen, after he had ministered on one of the Operation Mobilization (OM) ships. Soon Jun was also assisting as a Muslim outreach co-worker for Life Challenge.
          The international component of the missionary work at the Cape continued to expand over the years. Orlando Suarez from Mozambique, who came to study at the Baptist Bible College, ended up as a SIM co-worker linked to the Westridge Baptist Church in Mitchells Plain. From Canada, Egypt, Hong Kong, Korea, Indonesia, the Netherlands, Pakistan, Taiwan and the USA labourers joined the full-time staff for loving low-key outreach to Cape Muslims in the 1990s. The author returned to his home country in January 1992 and soon hereafter he was called to this ministry with his wife - after initially feeling drawn to work amongst street children.  The new element of workers from the third world became even more pronounced when Orlando Suarez from Mozambique became one of the first to return as a missionary to his own country, after he had been impacted and equipped at the Cape. 

Jesus Marches at the Cape
All around the world Jesus Marches were planned for 24 June 1994. In a letter from our late friend and missionary colleague Chris Scott from Sheffield (England), he wrote about their preparations for a Jesus March in their city. Inquiries on this side of the ocean dropped the co-ordination of the whole effort in the Western Cape into the lap of the author.  
I became involved in the co-ordination of about 20 prayer marches in different parts of the Cape Peninsula, liaising closely with Danie Heyns, a Christian businessman and Chris Agenbach of the Andrew Murray Centre in Wellington.  Danie Heyns organized the marches in the northern suburbs of the city and Chris Agenbach did the same for the immediate ‘platteland’ (country side).
I had high expectations that this venture would result in a network of prayer across the Peninsula. However, the initial interest that our second attempt, which an updated audio-visual had stimulated in various areas, petered out. I had to learn the hard way that it was not yet God’s timing and that much more had to be done to stimulate the unity of the body of believers. As part of my own research, I thought to discern that the Islamic shrines around the city were keeping the city in spiritual bondage. I shared this in meetings prior to the Jesus Marches. Probably for the first time Cape Christians started to pray concertedly against the effect of the occult power of the Kramats, the Islamic shrines on the heights of the Peninsula.

Personal Spin-offs of the Jesus Marches
In the run-up to the Jesus Marches the vision came in my heart to get a prayer network going throughout the Cape Peninsula to achieve a breakthrough among the Cape Muslims. I was so terribly aware that we concerted prayer was needed. A few prayer groups got going but the bulk soon petered out. Two of them not only went on for some time, but they had interesting consequences for the role players. Sally Kirkwood, who led a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, played a pivotal role in this prayer event. Later she came to the fore with a more prominent role among the Cape intercessors. The other group was formed by Gill Knaggs in Muizenberg after she had attended our Friday prayer meeting on a one-off basis. This set her in motion to start praying about getting involved in full-time missionary work. She had been involved in a close relationship with a Muslim person before she became a believer in Jesus as her Lord. Soon God used Gill to get the YWAM base in Muizenberg more interested in the Muslims. Concretely, an interest developed in Egypt where they started to network with the Coptic Church in that country via the links through Mike Burnard of Open Doors. In Mid-1996 the author and his wife were asked to teach in Muizenberg. This led to a close friendship with Mark Gabriel, a former Sheikh from Egypt.

Mitchells Plain Pastors in a Prayer Offensive
In the early 1990s the pastors Henry Bush, Eddie Edson, Alfie Fabe and Theo Roman came together for prayer on a Friday morning with other pastors from the area. The ministers' fraternal of Mitchells Plain succeeded in bringing well known evangelists like Jimmy Swaggart and Reinhard Bonnke to the area. That gave them quite a lot of credibility among the churches there. When I approached the ministers' fraternal in 1994 to join in the Jesus Marches, they were immediately eager to join up, organising a separate march in no time. (The concept of taking the Church to pray outside the four walls and put their feet on the streets of the cities began in London in 1985. In 1987, 15 000 believers took to the streets of London in the very first “March for Jesus”. In 1997, more than 170 nations of the world participated in Marches for Jesus. An estimated 10 million believers, spanning every time zone, were marching in the streets of more than 2 000 cities on May 25, 1996. Since then the March for Jesus has become a permanent part of the prayer calendar for many nations.)
The Mitchells Plain ministers' fraternal was also the driving force of the pastors' and pastors' wives prayer meetings, every second Thursday of the month from the mid-1990s. This prayer meeting soon included church leaders from all over the Peninsula. Pastor Eddie Edson of the Shekinah Tabernacle was also pivotal in the formation of prayer drives where believers would target strongholds of the enemy every last Friday evening of the month. (Eddie Edson had already pioneered transport for the poor at his church in Mitchells Plain, buying buses for his congregants.)
In due course, strategic marches followed in other areas, such as Hanover Park, where combined prayer marches by churches on a Saturday afternoon would especially stop at places of vice, such as the homes of drug merchants.  The seed sown in Hanover Park germinated when various attempts were made after 2005 to tackle the 'tik' (metaphetamin??) drug problem. The input of Ewa Hus, a WEC International missionary from Poland, to get a support group for parents of drug addicts going,was valuable. The Victory Outreach progamme from 2007 and that at the ?? church resulted in many a drug addict rehabilated when they became followers of Jesus.

New ground broken in the Mother City and on the Mountain tops
Because of his own background in drug addiction, it was just natural to the family of Pastor Richard Mitchell that their home in 22 Flat Road, Rylands Estate, a traditionally Indian suburb of the Cape, would be used simultaneously as a sort of drug rehabilitation centre. Tony Ramiah became their first convert from the drug scene, and soon the church also had a vision to impact the Muslims and Hindus of this residential area. Rasheeda Davids was the first of the former group, and over the years quite a few Hindu background believers were added. New ground was broken when Richard Mitchell pastored the fellowship in Taronga Road, Crawford, in a building that had formerly been a White Dutch Reformed Church.
            In the new fledgling church pioneered by Richard Mitchell on the Cape Flats, church members took over the vision for prayer as a matter of course. When hardly anybody at the Cape had a vision for praying on mountain tops, Mitchell succeeded in getting believers to gather at Rhodes Memorial on Friday evenings from 1989. Led by Richard Mitchell, the Christians - some of whom had been at Rhodes Memorial the previous night - prayed from Signal Hill early on Saturday mornings. After a citywide prayer event on Table Mountain in September 1998, organized by Eben Swart of Herald Ministries, the vision of praying on the mountain was revived. At one of the Saturday mornings at Signal Hill in 1999, the idea of Cape Town as a spiritual gateway to the continent was shared. The prayers ushered in transformation in the country after Richard Mitchell had seen the Transformation video at a pastors' prayer meeting one Friday morning in Mitchells Plain. The vision of praying in sports stadiums became a reality within months. There were significant combined prayer events, respectively at Bellville's Velodrome on a Sunday morning, at the Athletics Stadium of the University of the Western Cape, at the Vygiekraal stadium and the nearby Athlone Stadium. The well-publicised transformation meetings started in March 2001 at the Newlands Rugby Stadium. But there were many other obstacles to overcome before that fell into place.

Reconciliation of Jews and Muslims?
Already in 1993 we started with a monthly prayer meeting for the Middle East, which evolved from a fortnightly meeting in Bo-Kaap. The vision grew to see Jews and Muslims reconciled around the person of Jesus Christ. This vision got fresh nourishment when we prayed on Signal Hill from September 1998 every alternate Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Signal Hill is situated just above Tamboerskloof, a ‘Christian’ suburb, Bo-Kaap which was still very much of a Muslim stronghold at that time and Sea Ponit where the bulk of Cape Jews are living.
          For many years our love for the Jews was limited to occasional visits to Beth Ariel, a fellowship of Messianic Jewish believers in the suburb of Sea Point and friendship to their leaders. This was to be stepped up significantly in 2004 when we got to know Leigh Telli, a missionary from Messianic Testimony, who is married to an Arab.
            During 2004 Edith Sher organized a prayer breakfast in Sea Point during which Adiel Adams, a Cape Muslim background believer, shared his testimony. Lillian James is a longstanding contact and one of our prayer partners. She grew up bilingually in Woodstock among people of different cultures. After she had become a committed follower of Jesus, she grew to love Jews and Muslims. She had been one of the believers who attended our prayer meetings for the Middle East where we prayed for Jews and Muslims. She introduced us to Leigh Telli and her husband. Leigh loves the Jews and the husband comes from Muslim background and hails from North Africa. All this served to confirm our calling of ministering to foreigners and linking our work to Messianic Jews. Soon we were invited to join an open-air service in Camps Bay that was dubbed ‘Shalom Salam’, denoting the intention to reach out to both Jews and Muslims. This became the start of a close link with Leigh Telli, who was reaching out lovingly to Cape Jews and a strengthening of the tie to Edith Sher.

7. God at work behind the scenes

From the mid-1960s a local revival was taking place in Kwasiza Bantu in Natal. The start of the revival could possibly be located to the prayer of a young woman in the Zulu congregation, after she had interrupted the sermon of Erlo Stegen, a German background preacher.  She had just been converted three months before. Stegen recorded the incident as follows: 'Tears were streaming down her face as she said, "O Mfundisi, please stop"... Astonished I asked: "Yes, what's wrong?" She replied, "May I pray?” Somewhat unsure what to do with a newly converted person suddenly getting up, stopping the service and wanting to pray, Stegen decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. ‘I did not know whether to allow it... But then I looked at her and I thought, "Well, she isn't deceiving us, she seems to be serious."  The simple prayer of the young woman seemed to penetrate the throne of heaven in a special way. 
Stegen himself was changed and hereafter evidently completely accepted by the Zulus! This itself amounted to a breakthrough! In due course, people from different races were worshipping together at Kwasiza Bantu, which was quite revolutionary for the country at that time. The location of this 'revolution' on the countryside, apparently did not trouble the government. Surprisingly the government did little to curb the ministry. Yet, Kwasiza Bantu knocked the bottom out of apartheid’s theory that different races could not have close fellowship together without friction.

SACLA impacts the Cape and further afield
In the spiritual realm, a major event took place in Pretoria in 1979. After the impact of PACLA in Nairobi (1976), UNISA’s Professor David Bosch initiated the South African Consultation Leaders Assembly (SACLA) with Rev Michael Cassidy. There a broad spectrum of Christians met. Very significantly, Bosch repudiated two contrasting positions at that occasion, which had been bedevilling race relations in the country.  On the one hand he rejected the complete separation of the church and the kingdom of this world, the view that the church should not get involved in political matters at all. On the other hand he also opposed complete church collaboration with any political grouping. He took his cue from Matthew 5:13; the church has to be the salt which indicates its solidarity with the world and yet it should retain its critical uniqueness, thus a sort of critical solidarity.
Professor Nico Smith and a few pastors in Stellenbosch established a regional follow-up, a logical extention of Koinonia, the linking of families from different races in homes.
The informal meetings of believers from different races in Stellenbosch had been making a profound impact on Professor Nico Smith, so that his resignation from the Afrikaner Broederbond in 1980 was a mere formality. As a member of the Broederbond he got the post at Stellenbosch, but now his situation had become very shaky indeed. 
After my sister had died of leukemia in December 1980, we applied for the extension of Rosemarie's visa in order to stay on a family for six months to help the bereaved family. We slept in a caravan in their yard for the first three months, while I was teaching at Mount View High School in Hanover Park. My wife Rosemarie and I became personally involved with the SACLA follow-up during a six-month stint at the Cape from December 1980 to June 1981. We were personally very much encouraged at the monthly church meetings of a multi-racial group of believers from different churches in Stellenbosch, the sequel to the SACLA event. The experience in Stellenbosch inspired us later to link believers from different church backgrounds in Zeist (Holland) in combined outreach from 1982.
            Because I was unemployed in Holland after our return from the stint in South Africa, I was approached to take over the leadership of the ‘Kinderkaravaan’, a local evangelistic endevour. It turned out to be no salaried position, but we nevertheless volunteered to lead the venture. I immediately put forward my vision for a broadly based evangelistic outreach - also to the youth, the unemployed and to the prison in Utrecht, where I had been ministering during my work as a Moravian pastor. Within a few months the ‘Stichting Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ was a reality with workers from many local fellowships and others in the region. That people from different church backgrounds could work together locally was completely new to the bulk of the co-workers.
            The town of Zeist and its surroundings has been impacting the Netherlands significantly since World War II and it was continueing to do so. A Full Gospel Church was started there at which Brother Andrew of Open Doors and Floyd Mc Clung, who started a ministry on behalf of Youth with a Mission in Amsterdam, were regular speakers since the 1970s. (Both of them became household names in the evangelical world in the late 1970s.) We could ride on the crest of a wave. Just at this time Campus Crusade was pioneering a campaign called Er is Hoop (There is Hope), with which we also linked up. Quite a few co-workers of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan later ventured out into missionary work over the years.

The initiation of a broad correction
Some actions of the WCC was causing deep division between the evangelicals and ecumenicals worldwide, notably its Programme to Combat Racism (PCR). The state-owned radio, the SABC, distorted the recommendation of the consultation of the World Council of Churches (WCC) at Notting Hill near London in 1969 to support the freedom struggle if efforts towards negotiation would fail. All churches linked to the SACC – seen as a subsidiary of the WCC – were now labelled as being in league with communist-inspired organizations that were seeking the violent overthrow of the government.
          God especially used two Africans at this time to close the rift, one from the South of the continent and the other from East Africa, the one White and the other Black. Dr David Du Plessis – who was nicknamed ‘Mr Pentecost’ - teamed up with Bishop Festo Kivangere of Uganda to bring Christians of different persuasions together. In an unprecedented manner Du Plessis was God’s instrument at the Vatican, pointing out to the Pope that Mary obeyed Jesus according to John 2:5. Bishop Kivangere had to flee the evil antics of his President, Idi Amin, before he became a blessing to Christians all around the globe, preaching love and reconciliation wherever he went. 
          Sovereign intervention also followed when Grahamstown Bishop Bill Burnett, who had previously been General Secretary of the SACC, had an experience of being baptized in the Holy Spirit in 1972. This brought him into the heart of the Charismatic Renewal that was impacting many a church in the country. Two years later he was elected head of the Church of the Province. As Archbishop in Cape Town, Burnett was able to bring together in a powerful way the social concern of the ecumenicals and the spiritual vitality of the Charismatic Renewal. As the first South African-born Archbishop at St George’s Cathedral, he was in a much better position, endeavouring to achieve reconciliation with Afrikaners.

School and bus boycotts influence the Cape scene
In the school boycotts of the Cape in 1980-81, Muslim youngsters worked side by side with Christian students, some of whom had been influenced by Dr Allan Boesak, who had radiated some evangelical flair before leaving for studies in Holland in the 1970s. An upsurge of interest in Islam among Blacks followed the apartheid repression of the late 1970s.
          Mount View High School in Hanover Park was one of the two schools where the boycotts started in 1980. When the students from that institution of learning were challenged at Easter 1981 with the story of the despised Mary Magdalene at a school assembly, Muslim students were among those who responded favourably.

          Initially the action and stance of the churches against apartheid opened up some of the Muslims for the Gospel. Bishop Tutu’s lead as secretary of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) had an evangelical touch when biblical compassion shone through for the victims of apartheid evictions and the like. The care for the families of political prisoners especially had his loving concern. Accommodation was provided in Cowley House in District Six for relatives who were visiting prisoners on Robben Island. The SACC also provided transport to and from the ferry going to the island.  In 1981 Bishop Tutu took a retreat in prayer and fasting, a practice that was definitely not typical for the SACC (South African Council of Churches) at that time.
Compassionate Christian outreach challenges apartheid
In 1980 a young physician, Dr Ivan Toms, launched the SACLA Clinic in Crossroads as a sequel to the big inter-denominational event in Pretoria in 1979. This was the first of its kind, after various denominations had started their own ministries of compassion in the informal settlement.
          Some Stellenbosch Missiology students under Professor Nico Smith were worried that their denomination, the NGK, seemed to be unperturbed by what was happening in Crossroads. Prof. Smith became very controversial when he heeded their request to take a group of Dutch Reformed Church (White) theological students to the informal settlement in 1981. After being called to book in an aftermath of the event, Professor Smith agreed to refrain from making a statement to the secular press. He did subsequently however, publish his statement in what became a front-page report of the Kerkbode. In his statement, Professor Smith criticized the government for it's handling of the Nyanga squatters. Even more unconventionally, he lashed the church for its non-involvement in the situation. He and his students challenged the Dutch Reformed Church to highlight the ‘painful policy’ of resettlement and migratory labour.
          Conflict in Crossroads had its origins in the rise to power of Johnson Ngxobongwana as head of a residents’ committee consisting exclusively of males in 1979. This resulted in abuse and corruption. In the early 1980s a power struggle developed between Ngxobongwana and his past supporters, notably his former vice-chairman, Oliver Memani. In 1983 this developed into bloody clashes that soon spread into surrounding camps like the informal settlement KTC. Ngxobongwana’s supporters distinguished themselves by wearing bits of white cloth, or witdoeke. They were basically vigilantes, who opposed the ‘Comrades’, young Black militants. Some people fled to the new township Khayelitsha to avoid the violence.                                                                                                                                           

Crossroads and Nyanga in the limelight
Rommel Roberts and his wife Celeste were Roman Catholics who became somewhat of an embarrassment to those church members who preferred their church ‘not to be involved with politics.’  The couple became known for their compassion for squatters in Modderdam (near Bellville). Rommel also became very much involved with the bus and school boycotts of 1980. They had already completely inconvenienced the Roman Catholic Church leaders by their marriage. Apart from marrying across the racial divide, Rommel had studied at the Roman Catholic theological seminary to become a priest and Celeste had been a nun. The couple lodged with the author and his family in Zeist (Holland) in 1980 after they had left the country because the South African police were looking for Rommel. God used the visit of Rommel and Celeste to Holland in1980 her pregnancy and loss of their first baby to get Rosemarie deeply involved in the plight of the 'illegals of Nyanga and Crossroads' during our six-month stay in South Africa. (That followed the death of my sister in December 1980.
At the beginning of 1981 Rommel and his wife Celeste were back in Cape Town. After we had tried unsuccessfully to get other accommodation, we moved in with Celeste, her husband Rommel Roberts and his two brothers Alan and Wally, into a house in Haywood Road, Crawford.
Soon hereafter we were confronted with the eviction of Black women and children from their shacks at night. From March to June 1981 we were quite deeply involved in the plight of residents of Crossroads and Nyanga, two Black Cape townships. Rosemarie paved the way after she had been approached by Celeste Santos-Roberts to assist with the teaching of retarded Xhosa children. Rosemarie knew full well that she was acting against the spirit of the conditions of her visa, which prohibited her from taking any employment, but she felt that she should be more obedient to God risking imprisonment or deportation.
The Black women were subsequently scheduled to be forcibly sent to the Transkei.  Through my contacts with church leaders that included the Dutch Reformed Church Broederkring and church leaders like Douglas Bax who were linked to the Western Province Council of Churches - as well as Rommel’s hot line to the Cape press - the matter received quite a lot of media coverage.
We returned to Germany and Holland in June 1981, unaware of the effect, which our involvement in Crossroads and Nyanga would continue to have. I stopped receiving the international edition of The Star, which had kept me abreast of events in South Africa. Only many years later did I read of how the homeless people of Nyanga and Crossroads had scored one moral victory after the other, encouraging many others to resist the oppressive race policies.

Ferment in the Dutch Reformed Church      
More ferment occurred in the Dutch Reformed Church. One hundred and twenty-three Dutch Reformed ministers signed an open letter, publishing it in the Kerkbode on June 8, 1982. The document stressed the unity of the church, thus pointing to a major correction of the denomination’s position. In this open letter, the ministers confessed that they were ‘mede-aandadig’, that is they were accomplices to many of the social evils in the country, also calling for the church to play a role within reconciliation. However, the letter only referred to unity in the Reformed church family. It was nevertheless valuable in the South African context that the document stressed that unity in Christ is primary and the (racial) diversity secondary, and that the broad representation included many ministers from the countryside. 
          The confession of 1982 – albeit one of a different caliber - that would impact the Dutch Reformed Church most was the one by the daughter church, the 'Coloured' Sendingkerk. At the Synod in Belhar in 1978 the star of Dr Allan Boesak had already started to rise. That synod declared the moral and theological justification of apartheid a mockery of the Gospel. The confession at the 1982 Synod, which declared apartheid a heresy, elevated the condemnation of the deplorable ideology into a status confessionis, an article of faith. This confession would keep the minds and synods of the Whites within the denomination busy for decades. 
Police Brutality changes the political climate at the Cape
Possibly the biggest funeral at the Cape took place on Saturday 21 September 1985. Eleven victims of the police actions, including Ayanda Limekaya, a two month old baby, who died after inhaling too much tear gas, were buried that day in the township of Gugulethu. This set off a chain reaction of guilt waves that finally led to the unbanning of Nelson Mandela in February 1990. The start of the traditional march to the cemetery was described as follows: ‘Within ten minutes it has swollen to 20,000, 25,000 then it becomes impossible to estimate the numbers’ (cited in, Pienaar, 1986:45)- This was in spite of many roadblocks put up by the police and army to prevent people from other places joining the funeral. 
          The roadblocks could not prevent the consciences of some Whites being touched. Events followed each other up in quick session at the Cape at this time. Willem Steenkamp, a conservative writer reported in his Cape Times column the following about what became known around the world as the ‘Trojan horse’ or the ‘Jack-in-the-Box’ event that took place in Thornton Road, Athlone on 15 October 1985: ‘Film taken on scene shows railway policemen laying down a heavy column of indiscriminate shotgun fire...’ An eye witness described a similar scene in Crossroads three days later, printed in the Cape Times: ‘Suddenly the police jumbed out and opened fire, but they did not shoot the people who had thrown the petrol bomb, they shot two men (dead) who … were walking down the road. One was standing still when they shot him, and when his friend tried to run away, they shot him too (cited in Pienaar, 1986:1). The Cape exploded and the state of emergency was extended to include the Cape on 26 Oktober 1985. Hans Pienaar, an Afrikaner journalist, courageously wrote in a book that he called Die Trojaanse Perd about these events and a few similar incidents. Many of his Afrikaner compatriots had never heard about these things before because Die Burger and the Afrikaans press withheld this information from them.

Chickens coming home to roost
In the meantime, the clinic in Crossroads, the township visited by Professor Nico Smith and his students, continued to do fine work under Dr Ivan Thoms, the young doctor. But when the chickens came home to roost in the resistance against the tri-cameral system of government a few years further on, Crossroads was one of the first to erupt at the Cape.
          Behind the scenes, God was at work. On 22 September 1985, the day after the funeral, Dr. Charles Robertson, who had been a lecturer at the nearby ‘Coloured’ University of the Western Cape from 1972-76, was spiritually impacted during his quiet time. Sensitivity grew amongst Whites that finally enabled Mr F.W. de Klerk to take the risk to ask the White electorate for permission to vote themselves out of power in a referendum on 17 March 1992.

An advance guard for seven years of prayer
We have noted already how the Western Cape’s Dr Andrew Murray was used by God in the run-up to Patrick Johnstone’s Operation World, a book which had probably influenced prayer for missions worldwide more than any other in the 20th century. In fact, Johnstone acknowledged this in the preface to his magnum opus. Operation World brought united prayer into focus like no other one before it.
          Furthermore, World Literature Crusade launched their Change the World School of Prayer in the early 1980s. The South African prayer manual was published in Cape Town in 1981. It seems as if the manual was not very widely distributed, but the terminology used indicates that Dick Eastman and his prayer warriors operated much in the mould of CT Studd, the founder of WEC International. World Literature Crusade’s publication may have been the advance guard for the seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union, and the prayer victories at the end of the 1980s. The group in California (USA) documented some of their experiences, praying systematically over 40,000 continuous hours.
          Charles Robertson, a Bellville businessman and lecturer, who was very much involved in the launching of the initiative at the Cape, wrote that the vision of the School of Prayer was ‘to see a million Christians in South Africa pray for revival and world evangelism by the end of 1986.’ The first school was held in Cape Town, attended by 1,130 people over two weekends.
          It is appropriate that the revived prayer movement started at the Cape where Andrew Murray had written his School des Gebeds in 1885, and it is also very fitting that Charles Robertson and his wife Rita would donate the property where the first NUPSA (Network of United Prayer in Southern Africa) School of Prayer was to be erected in 2000.
          The Change the World School of Prayer appears to have inspired the initiators of a booklet, published by Hospital Christian Fellowship (HCF, later called Healthcare Christian Fellowship). The Change the World School of Prayer suggested that believers pray strategically, praying for 100 unevangelized Chinese and Arab-Moslem nations. The Dutch section of the Hospital Christian Fellowship in Voorthuizen, which had South Africa’s Dr Francis Grim as its worldwide leader, was possibly God’s instrument for the prompting towards a month of prayer for selected Muslim countries, when they published a little booklet in the early 1990s. They referred to specific needs in a 31-day prayer guide. In turn, this appears to have been the model for the 30-day Prayer Focus that went around the globe during Ramadan in the years from 1993. The influence of Andrew Murray could hardly be overlooked.

(Semi-)political and Doctrinal excesses hamper the impact of the Word
The apartheid ideology influenced the whole of South African society. The Dutch Reformed Church (NGK), the denomination with a big vision for mission and evangelism until well into the 1960s, was adversely affected by the racist government policy - more than any other church group. It brought the denomination into almost complete isolation, and it also tainted her mission policy. Ds Davie Pypers was understood to minister to the S.A Indian population in the 1960s as an entity, and he was expected not to concentrate solely on either the Muslims or the Hindus as an unreached religious grouping.  Ds Chris Greyling was an exception. He understood his predominant role to minister directly and indirectly to Cape Muslims, working from the Wynberg Sendingkerk congregation.
            It looked initially as if Greyling’s hope for a simultaneous evangelical and prophetic witness ‘...that a better rapport could be built without compromise’, could have come to fruition from the ranks of the Sendingkerk. But looking back, it seems that the Gospel was watered down. Nowhere did the unfortunate politicising of the church become more evident than in the Dutch Reformed Sendingkerk. Previously fed on apartheid propaganda, the racial inequalities of society became the main issue in many a Cape Sendingkerk congregation. In the late 1970s there was almost no semblance left of the young Allan Boesak who had been evangelically active in the Students’ Christian Association of the 1960s.
In the late 1980s there was similarly little comparison discernible with Bishop Desmond Tutu, who had been fasting and praying in 1981 on behalf of the battered Crossroads inhabitants. A wonderful opportunity to demonstrate that evangelical concern and spirituality were not mutually exclusive was impeded by the too overt political agenda of these clergymen. The ‘prayer marches’ by religious leaders to Parliament in Cape Town in 1988 appeared to have been influenced by those of Martin Luther King in the USA, who was in many ways a model to Dr Allan Boesak.
On the other hand, there were factors in South Africa, which called for action. When the government banned opposition organisations on 24 February 1988, it was actually laudable that churches took a clear stand. The march of 29 February, which was organized at such short notice, could have turned very ugly indeed, knowing that the South African Police had no hesitation to shoot even at little children. Instead of dispersing at the command of the riot police commander, the significant number of clerics - which included many Whites - kneeled down on the street. They were arrested and warned. The committed stand of the clergymen turned the tide in a new way. The government now had to counter resistance on a much broader level than ever before. The marches might also have influenced what happened in East Germany the following year.
Doctrinal excesses have been hampering the impact of the Word for centuries. This has also happened in recent years, notably through the so-called Toronto Blessing and Prosperity Theology.  With regard to the former, it should have been clear that animal sounds - which are also found in Hinduism - have no biblical foundation. Demonic infiltration had the effect that what started as a special move of God in a church at Toronto's airport, caused splits in churches all around the world.
            After the spreading of the teaching on prosperity, which was not very balanced, Pastor Ray Macaulay, one of the pioneers of Prosperity Theology in South Africa, repented publicly of it. But this repentance did not filter through properly after the damage had been done. It also appeared that his Rhema-related churches never mended their ways in that regard. Many churches still have a sermonette on giving or related testimonies as part of the weekly liturgy. In another excess, after the neglect of worship in mainline churches in earlier days, some churches started to over-emphasize worship. The Word and its proper exposition became neglected. The most extreme example is possibly the Universal Church where the preaching of the Word was all but pushed aside.

Rebels against the Status Quo
Rev George Buckley, vice president of World Literature Crusade, cited prayer as a legitimate rebellion against the status quo. Charles Robertson used this as a chapter in his booklet ‘South Africa: the miracle of little waves.’ Without expressing it in so many words, the booklet suggests that the little waves of revival from the Cape might have started in the tumultuous year of 1985. At that time racial separation was the major dividing factor in the country, possibly stifling revival more than anything else. After giving some examples of ‘little waves’, and of individuals who rebelled against the status quo of racial separation, Robertson concludes: ‘The changes ... were rooted in concerted prayer for revival and prayer for change in the nation.’
          Charles Robertson mentions two black leaders in his booklet of 1986 that appeared to have been exemplary. Chief Mangosuthu Buthulezi is quoted as having said at that time: ‘...prayer is the only way black aspirations can be met while the temptation of blacks to wreak vengeance can be dissipated...the key is to pray for one’s enemies. Joy in the midst of adversity is an inner strength that only comes from Christ.’ That was definitely rebelling against the status quo of the mid-1980s. Of Bishop Tutu, the other Black leader that Robertson quotes a few times, similar rebellion could be quoted. Unfortunately, the balanced views of both Buthelezi and Tutu became tainted in the political hurly-burly of the late 1980s.
          Special Cape ‘rebels’ were unnamed White teenagers in the home of Mike and Mure Kloppers of Hout Bay on some Sunday in whose hearts compassion was birthed for the nearby squatters.  What started with soup, bread and plastic sheets as protection against the rain, developed into bonds of mutual friendship. ‘Families of squatters began to call on the group for assistance in prayer or when medical help was required, and the bonds grew.

A prayer awakening in Pretoria with a national impact
Gerda Leithgöb started a prayer ministry for the city of Pretoria in 1978. The SACLA event in Pretoria of 1979 influenced the whole country positively. 1979 was a significant year in South Africa also in another way. Pastor Ed Roebert initiated a gathering of like-minded pastors with the purpose of fellowship and mutual encouragement. Soon he met regularly with Reinhardt Bonnke, Ray McCauley,  Fred Roberts, Tim Salmon and  Nicky v.d Westhuizen (Vincent,1986: 164). In due course many major churches were founded and men with unusually anointed ministries appeared on the scene. The SACLA conference was part of God’s plan to transform the apartheid stronghold and capital of South Africa.
            In 1983 a prayer awakening started in a few congregations all around South Africa. One of these was a small group of intercessors led by Gerda Leithgöb in Pretoria, setting them on a path previously unexplored in this country. Simultaneously with this, Bennie Mostert, a Dutch Reformed Church minister, started a newsletter to mobilize prayer in Namibia. Mostert dubbed his newsletter for Namibia Prayer Action Elijah.
In 1987 the Lord led the group in Pretoria to start with research into spiritual matters. In that same year a similar initiative started spontaneously all over the world. The Lord also called pastors in South Africa to start writing on prayer. Books were published concerning this issue.
            In 1988 Leithgöb called prayer warriors from other countries at a conference in Singapore to pray for South Africa, which had been in a constant crisis since 1985. In 1993 Mostert formally started a national prayer network known as NUPSA (the Network for United Prayer in Southern Africa).  NUPSA became closely linked to the spiritual transformation of the continent. In 1993 the first teams started praying through information gained from serious research. Teams travelled from Kimberley to Grahamstown and George, to pray through issues concerning Cecil John Rhodes and Freemasonry. This had a major influence in the continent, exposing much of the damage done to society through Freemasonry.  During 1993 South Africa also started to participate in the Pray through the Window initiative, launched internationally by the AD 2000 prayer track. 

Personal involvement in the battle against Communism
In Zeist, Holland, we were receiving more clothes for our relatively big family than we could use. We started a private project, sending clothing parcels to South Africa to support the missionary endeavours of Shadrach Maloka, an evangelist from Garankuwa, near Pretoria. At that time we had also become more involved in the battle against Communism. God led us to a family from Rumania in 1987, Erwin and Sina Klein with their five children. The big family was allowed to leave the communist-led country because of Erwin Klein’s German ancestry. We got befriended with them when we attended a German government-sponsored camp for families with many children. (Tabitha, our fifth child, was born in 1986.) With Sina Klein supplying us addresses of believers in her home country, we now started sending parcels of clothing to Romania as well. We thus created headaches for the communist dictatorship of Nicolai Ceaucescu, which had tried to isolate Romanian Christians from the rest of the world. 

A mysterious move of God's spirit
A special move of God's Spirit took place when Pastor Alfred West was turned down for missionary service on medical grounds He was redirected to start working as a missionary in the Cape township-like suburbs of Kensington and Windermere. The prayerful Pastor Alfred West had to wait for twenty five years to marry his (‘Coloured’) sweetheart Jessica because of the country’s racial laws, was in this way a quiet rebel against the status quo. When members of his flock moved to Bishop Lavis and Bonteheuwel, the mission-minded pastor started a prayer-centred church that brought forth missionaries to different parts of the world. Caroline Duckitt from Bishop Lavis Township would become the very first South African missionary of colour serving in Brazil in 1979 with WEC international, thus causing a little crack in the apartheid wall.
            In the late 1980s Pastor West was in the forefront of a prayer move when gangster violence threatened to turn the township of Bonteheuwel into anarchy. All law-loving citizens of the township appreciated West’s brave challenge to shebeens (illegal liquor outlets). A special trophy of his ministry in Bishop Lavis was when the gangster Percy Jephtha got converted, proceeding to become a pastor of a home church. Special about Pastor West’s ministry was that he regarded the new home church not as competition, but as an extension of his ministry and keeping close contact with them. Various missionaries visited the two churches in Bishop Lavis, and quite a few went from there to minister in other parts of the world. Peter Barnes, who was trained at the nearby Cape School of Missions in Ravensmead, became a missionary to the Transkei where the vision was shared to prepare missionaries for other African countries. All this started to take place at a time when the concept was still rife that missionaries were not expected to come from the Black and ‘Coloured’ communities.

An innovative township Bible School gets off the ground
The Cape School of Missions commenced in 1987 innovatively as a video school - the Urban Missions School. Martin Heuvel started the one-year programme in his home in Belhar with ten of his congregants. The following year they moved to the projector room of a cinema in Ravensmead, which became a prayer room. Subsequently they bought the building that later became the Fountain Christian Centre. When a few students wanted to continue their studies, it was decided to start the Cape School of Missions.
            Gielle (Deon) Daniels is a special former student of the Cape School of Missions. He was only in Standard Six (Grade 8), when he was expelled from school in 1980. Boycotting and political activity was the reason.  He landed in gangster-type activity in Port Elizabeth until he came to know Christ, experiencing a call for full-time service. No Bible school was willing to accept him, because he only had a Grade 7 report. Daniels applied to the Cape School of Missions, which had advertised in Rapport, an Afrikaans nationally distributed newspaper. He excelled to the extent of faring better academically than student colleagues who had already attended university. After marrying a girl from Ravensmead, he returned to the Eastern Cape, continuing with theological studies. In 2004 he was heading for his Master of Theology degree.
          Until 1994 Martin Heuvel was the principal of the Cape School of Missions, succeeded in 1995 by James Selfridge, an Irish missionary of the Metropolitan Church, who led the teaching and proceedings up to the disbanding of the school and the merger with the Bethel Bible School in 2004.

God deals with arrogant Communist dictators
When Frontline Fellowship first started delivering Bibles and medicines to Christians suffering in Angola, the mission agency heard that the Angolan Christians were praying for God to intervene.  They were told how the dictator Augustino Neto had declared:  "Within twenty years there will not be a Christian left in Angola.  I will have eradicated Christianity!"  After Christians had prayed for God's deliverance, Neto died in mysterious circumstances on an operating table in Moscow.  His successor, Josè Dos Santos, showed a marked lack of enthusiasm for continuing Neto's wave of church burning.
In 1986 Samora Machel's brutal persecution of Christians in Mozambique intensified. Frontline Fellowship published The Mozambique Report, which has been updated and re-published as The Killing Fields of Mozambique, launching a campaign of prayer for the suffering Christians there.  Although there seemed to be no hope, the Cape-based Frontline Fellowship continued to trust God to intervene and stop the bloodshed.  Machel publicly cursed Christ and challenged God to prove His existence by striking him dead. When, after sixty seconds nothing had happened, Machel declared:  "God is dead!  But I am alive!"
Suddenly, in October 1986, his Soviet Tupolev crashed in the midst of a storm. (It has now surfaced that the plain crash in which Samora Machel died was orchestrated by the Defence Force.) Although much suffering continued, Mozambique officially renounced Marxism a few years later and allowed some measure of freedom to many churches, especially in the cities.  And missionaries were at last allowed to evangelise in Mozambique. The atheist persecutors of the Church finally had to acknowledge defeat and they have even returned many confiscated churches.

Results of Seven years of prayer 
Things changed dramatically when the results of seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union became known. Open Doors had invited Christians around the globe to pray for the prime Communist state. The results were there for everyone to see. There is nevertheless no cause for triumphalism - this never behooves a believer. Yet, we may utilize the new opportunities for the spreading of the Gospel. The demise of Communism received its major impetus from the crashing of the Berlin Wall on November 9, 1989. This had been preceded by mass prayer rallies at different churches, for instance in the East German cities of Leipzig and Dresden.  Yet, one has to put some question marks to the demonstrative appeal of those prayers.
Also in 1989, Edgardo Silvoso and Tom White presented papers at the Spiritual Warfare Track workshop of the Lausanne II Congress in Manila. Tom White’s paper on spiritual warfare there set the evangelical world on course for the biggest missionary decade of the 20th century. The outcome was the founding of a Spiritual Warfare Communication and Referral Network. Since then Peter Wagner and others have developed this further. A spate of books followed on the topic. In the 1990s Silvoso would impact many countries with his teaching and example of bringing churches together in unity and practising restitution as part of genuine repentance.
With the increased awareness of spiritual warfare in Christian circles, the power of occult strongholds was also recognized more and more. Things started to change dramatically on a worldwide scale after the results of such prayer became known.  The effects of seven years of persevering prayer for the Soviet Union were already there quite apparent towards the end of 1989. The spadework had been done through Johnstone’s book Operation World. For the first time in the modern era thousands of prayer warriors were mobilized globally.
          It is possible that due to the faithful prayers of many over the years, South Africa did not fall into the communist camp. By the time Nelson Mandela was freed in February 1990, Communism had been exposed as a spent force. Worldwide prayer brought it down. The demise of the atheist ideology was ushered in by mass prayer rallies at different East German churches, but especially also by the faithful prayers of believers around the world.

Spiritual warfare gets off the ground
Only in the last two decades has it been acknowledged - and not even generally as yet - that occult forces are at work, which hamper the spread of the gospel. ‘Spiritual warfare’ as such had been either completely neglected or was unknown up to about 1990. Of course, here and there the example of Hur and Aaron in the Bible might have been noted. Their keeping Moses’ arms aloft was often taught as a model for intercessory prayer. Occasionally, lessons were taken from the battle of Gideon against the Midianites. But it was hardly emphasized that the ‘sword of Gideon’, which brought such awe in the camp of the Midianites in the end, turned out to be a torch. In biblical context the Word is the (two-edged) sword (Ephesians 6:17; Hebrews 4:12).
          Furthermore, Psalm 119:105 describes the Word as a light and a lamp, the equivalent of a torch. Isolatedly, the expertise of Kurt Koch, a German theologian, on the occult and its diabolical links, had been widely recognized since the 1960s. Paul Billheimer’s 1975 book Destined for the throne approached the matter in a revolutionary manner. Although this book had quite a few printings, the content was not distributed globally by way of translation before 1989. Thus it did not mobilize believers siginificantly to either use praise or prayer - let alone both - to break down demonic strongholds in spiritual warfare.
            Yet, Billheimer made some profound statements about the role of the prayerful church that would have influenced world history deeply, had his book been taken seriously. He said for example that the church wields the balance of power ‘in overcoming disintegration and decay in the cosmic order’. This has become especially relevant at the beginning of the new millennium, with increasing moral decay and an almost universal increase in (organized) crime and violence.

Cape-based ministry in Central Sudan
In recent years, the Cape-based mission agency Frontline Fellowship has been working in restricted access areas, frequently having to smuggle Bibles illegally, across hostile frontiers into Marxist or Muslim areas.  Long before the international community took note of the atrocities in Sudan, Frontline Fellowship was there to assist the poor and the persecuted Christians. Sometimes they had to charter aircraft to fly into no-fly zones, to deliver Christian literature in the Nuba Mountains of Central Sudan - an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam. They have had to trust the Lord for protection in defying flight bans in countries where a shoot-on-sight policy was maintained.  The government of Sudan posted an article on their official Ministry of Foreign Affairs website, which referred to Peter Hammond, the leader of Frontline Fellowship by name.  It plainly stated: "Peter Hammond should expect to be bombed, to be shot on sight."  It even gave the reason for this.  The article stated that his writings made him "an enemy of the state."
          Indeed, Hammond had to endure artillery and aerial bombardments in Sudan at church services.  On one occasion the Sudan Air Force dropped eight bombs around a church where they were holding services on a Sunday morning.  All eight bombs landed within a hundred metres of the church - one barely seventeen metres from where Hammond was crouching.  He had a few cracked ribs and was buried under the debris flung up by the explosion, but otherwise he was unharmed.  On this and many other occasions they experienced Psalm 91 fulfilled, namely to be under the protection of the Almighty. 

A New Age onslaught countered
The late 1980s co-incided with the office of Gordon Oliver as mayor of Cape Town. He proved to be a forceful agent of the New Age movement, fighting for the erection of a Peace Pole apiece on Table Mountain and at Rhodes Memorial. With its syncretistic-universalist elements (the mixture of different religions, whereby people can get saved in any way), the claims of Jesus to be the unique Saviour of the World (John 4:42) were clearly challenged. The position of Jesus as Saviour was compromised in various other quarters, e.g. in the growing interfaith movement.
          1989 was a year of spiritual clashes. New Age made its ‘official’ entry with the 15 March 1989 article in the periodical Fair Lady under the caption ‘The Lure of the Occult’. In the article, which featured the telephone numbers of 18 practitioners of astrology and psychics, Ms. Caroline Hurry asserted that ‘more and more people are turning to New Age practitioners for answers to questions about their life, money, health…’ (Cited in Gardener, The New Age Cult in South Africa, 1991:38). The same year the country had its first ‘National Festival of Mind and Body’ in Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban.
          Gordon Oliver, the mayor of Cape Town in the late 1980s, was a self-confessed New Ager.  However, the efforts to abuse his high office to promote the New Age ideology backfired. It spurned some sort of prayer networking in the Cape Peninsula. Stiff resistance was given by Christians, led by Youth with a Mission (YWAM), with Jamie Campbell and Brian Johnson the prominent personalities. At a New Age ritual on the slopes of Table Mountain at Deer Park, Vredehoek, a group of Christians challenged the New Agers prayerfully, refusing to leave when Gordon Oliver and his band attempted to drive them away.
          Vagrants destroyed the Peace pole at Rhodes Memorial. The poles on Table Mountain and at the St George’s Mall also did not last long. The latter two were removed by Mr Alaistair Sutherland and Mr Charles Probert, after which they reported their deeds to the police.  In the subsequent court appearance of Sutherland, the magistrate dismissed the charge because the State could not establish the owner of the pole and in the case of Probert no charge was laid against them.
          What was interesting in the response to the New Age onslaught was that an Afrikaner reformed clergyman, Dominee E. J. Sevenster, linked up with the Pentecostal Pastor Paul Daniel of the Lighthouse. For those days it was also significant for the unity of the body of Christ that a Coloured Christian from Mitchell’s Plain, Mr  Norman Scheffers, had prayed at a gathering of 1000 Christians at the St George’s Mall "that this pole be removed and that the name of Jesus Christ will triumph."

Truth and Reconciliation
The other side of the coin is that the South African military was performing terrible atrocities. A case in point was Michael Lapsley, a clergyman who came to South Africa from New Zealand. Here he joined the ANC but he was deported after three and a half years, hereafter fulfilling a pastoral role for ANC members in exile. He testified during the hearings of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, a process which contributed so much to the healing of the wounds of apartheid, how he lost both hands because of a letter bomb on 28 April 1990, two days before the first talks between the government and the ANC. As a representative of the many who got grace to forgive the perpetrators, simultaneously ushering in the spirit of forgiveness, we can take his words: ‘I was faced with some important questions and one of them was: Do I allow my life to be consumed with hatred, bitterness, self-pity and desire for revenge? I was saved from that by the prayer and love of many people… That enabled me to make the bombing redemptive, to bring life out of death and good out of evil…’
                                                8. Cape Church opposition to racism

          Apart from a few individuals Christians rarely protest against the South African government race policy during the 1960s. The propaganda seemed to be very effective in spreading the perception that to get involved in politics in any way was unchristian and that all religion had to be separated from race politics. The Dutch Reformed Church was teaching in a distorted way that God had ordained racial separation. As we have already seen, Cape churches have had hardly any vision for the unity of the body of Christian believers. It is sad that the clergy - and the missionaries - have often been just as guilty, appearing to be quite content with all the racial divisions that were characteristic of the previous dispensation in this country. Even the ecumenism that grew in the 1960s was not based on a solid unity of the body of Christ, but boiled down to mere window-dressing.  Every denomination - very often also the individual churches - was basically busy building their own kingdom. Little has changed since then, but racially and denominationally, combined prayer events did pick up at the beginning of the new millennium.  However, the church in general remained fairly indifferent to the racial divisions. 
          In the 1970s and 1980s the lie of the apartheid policy was increasingly exposed, as communities were ripped apart. It became more and more clear that the bottom line was the retention of White supremacy. Police brutality in the mid-1980s drove the message home, when even little children were shot in the name of the regime. The prayers and groans of the masses increased, even though they were not coordinated. The church opposition - sparse as it was until the march to Parliament on February 29, 1988 - can nevertheless be regarded as some sort of answer to prayer for just rule.

Initial Church Opposition against Apartheid
The main formal church opposition against apartheid ironically came initially from the Dutch Reformed Church. The Anglican Bishop Trevor Huddleston and others were making some inroads through their stand against the race policies that became official after 1948, but the most effective counter surprisingly came from within the ranks of the denomination that was led by racist ideologists. I do not refer to the warnings by people like Ben Marais and Professor Keet, but specifically to the stand of a ‘Coloured’ Dutch Reformed Church clergyman, Eerwaarde (Reverend) I.D. Morkel, who in turn influenced a dynamic mover, a young minister, Ds David Botha.
          From the Sendingkerk in Wynberg, to which was linked the Battswood Training School, Ds Botha opposed the apartheid policy long before the famous Dr Beyers Naudé. (Reverend David Botha later became the moderator of the Sendingkerk, the Coloured sector of the denomination.) The Wynberg ring (circuit) of the church agreed unanimously with the motion tabled by the dynamic Coloured minister, Rev Morkel, to oppose apartheid on scriptural grounDs The participants at that meeting included quite a few Afrikaner dominees, because there were still very few ministers of colour ordained in that denomination before 1950. The circuit protested against the proposed legislation of the new Nationalist government, appealing to them urgently not to implement apartheid laws. However, the Malan Cabinet ignored their protest.
          Ministers of the Sendingkerk were hereafter invited to discuss the legislation. Although 28 congregations were represented, only two White dominees attended the meeting. Another meeting on 14 October 1949 resolved to encourage believers to retreat into a day of prayer on 16 December 1949 ‘to be relieved from the apartheid affliction’.
          Led by the young Rev David Botha, the Wynberg Dutch Reformed Mission Church spearheaded an effort towards reconciliation with the 'mother' denomination. In a letter to the (White) moderator dated 29 October 1949, they deplored the deterioration of relations between the Sendingkerk and its mother. In the letter the church council protested sharply against the apartheid policy with the implied inferiority of ‘Coloureds’.
          The spiritual value of this protest was limited from the outset because an activist undercurrent could not be denied in the date set for the corporate implementation, that being 16 December 1949, a public holiday. This was to be followed by a public meeting in the City Hall the following day. The Afrikaans daily Die Burger, in its report of the City Hall meeting, scathingly referred to the event as a "so-called church convention".
          Afrikaner solidarity - probably via the Afrikaner Broederbond connections - tragically undermined the principled stand of White dominees in the Coloured Sendingkerk, who had agreed in October 1948 that ‘no ground for colour apartheid can be found in Holy Scripture’. To Afrikaners it was especially painful that Rev David Botha, the young Dutch Reformed Church Sendingkerk dominee, honoured the City Hall event with his presence. 
          It was nevertheless pathetic how inaccurately his speech in the City Hall was reported in Die Burger. In a letter to the editor Botha complained about serious distortions, pointing to important omissions from his talk. Rev Botha had noted in his speech that the church had no right to criticize the state unless it could show a positive way forward. More important was his strong plea for intercession and his reference to the main weapons of the church, namely the Word of God and prayer. Botha also urged the whole audience ‘to pray for revival instead of having a critical spirit.’ None of those notions were reported in Die Burger.
Other Churches oppose Apartheid
The Anglican Church leaders opposed apartheid from its pristine beginnings. The Boer-Brit stigma, a traditional animosity as a legacy from the Anglo-Boer War at the end the 19th century, was however clinging to the efforts of (Arch) Bishops Trevor Huddleston, Geoffrey Clayton, Joost de Blank and French Breytag, because they hardly had support from other churches. These church leaders were nevertheless household names in the opposition to the apartheid folly in the 1950s and 1960s. Bishop Huddleston joined the Defiance Campaign, stood in the forefront of resistance to the destruction of the township Sophiatown in Johannesburg (the equivalent of District Six in Cape Town) and he went on to play a big role in the Congress of the People, which produced the Freedom Charter in 1955. (Unfortunately his church was not so happy with his political involvement and he was recalled to England the next year.) Reverend Arthur Blaxall, the Anglican General Secretary of the Christian Council of South Africa, who worked at the Cape in the 1920s, developed a support network for political detainees during the Treason Trial of the late 1950s. He was one of a few clergymen, who were deported because of their political involvement.
Because of the harsh repression and the ‘kragdadige’ (forceful) clampdown on all opposition by the government, the early 1960s was marked by indifference and inertia on the part of the church. In the second half of that decade one finds careful opposition such as Beyers Naudé's multi-racial Christian Institute. Reverend Theo Kotze, a Methodist Minister from Sea Point, headed up an office of the organization in Mowbray, where the Institute of Race Relations was also accommodated. This building near to the station soon became a thorn in the flesh of the government. Multi-racial work camps at Langgezocht in the mountains of Genadendal from the mid-1960s formed another avenue that brought the Gestapo-like Special Branch of the South African Police into action.
          As previously stated, in the early 1970s individual Anglicans were still prominent in the church protest against apartheid principle and practice,. Father Bernard Wrankmore called forth the anger of Prime Minister Vorster and his government in 1971 when he called for an inquiry into the death of Imam Abdullah Haron, who died while in police custody on 27 September 1969. The St Paul’s Church of Bo-Kaap voiced its protest when an unusual memorial service was held in the crypt on 6 October 1969.

Compassionate Work amongst peripheral Groups
Reverend Arthur William Blaxall, an Anglican clergyman, came to South Africa in 1923 to work with the deaf. At the Cape he was open for the need to reach out compassionately to other peripheral groups of the society like the Muslims. In the 1930s he headed the Athlone School for ‘Coloured’ Blind children, which is now located in Glenhaven, Bellville South. In 1939 he opened the first workshop for blind Africans in South Africa in Roodepoort. For many years he was secretary of the the South African Christian Council, which was established in 1936 and he was also chairman of the South African branch of the International Fellowship of Reconciliation.
          The need for reconciliation was necessary all round. A competitive spirit and backbiting even among missionaries seems to have been quite common at that time.  In his inaugural speech as chairman of the Christian Council in 1936, Rev. Nicol referred to a letter of a missionary, which he concedes was not typical: ‘Ek veg ook wat ek kan teen die Y-seksie...Ek is ‘n man van vrede, maar nou het ek oorlog verklaar (Koningsbode, August 1936, p.258).[9] The same missionary opines that he never knew that one sister church could be so distrustful of another. 
            Over the years Reverend Blaxall developed ‘an ever deepening sense of solidarity’ in his own words with the Black, ‘Coloured’ and Indian struggle against apartheid (Karis and Carter, Volume 4, 1977:8). Trusted as a friend, he received money in the 1960s from exiled ANC and Pan African Congress (PAC) leaders and passed it on to former political prisoners and their families who were in need. This led to his arrest in 1963 and conviction under the Supression of Communist Act.

The Homeland Situation highlighted
From 1969 Reverend David Russell, a committed and unusually innovative Anglican priest and CI member, worked in the Dimbaza ‘resettlement area’ near King Williamstown. ‘Resettlement areas’ were the euphemism used for human dumping grounds for ‘redundant’ labourers and their dependents, those who had been endorsed out of the so-called ‘black spots’ of cities. Russell profited from the attention Bernard Wrankmore had received. The St George’s Cathedral authorities could hardly refuse him permission to conduct a prayer vigil there. However, the fact that he only intended being there for 90 hours would surely also have aided his cause. Surrounded by informative and challenging posters, Russell conducted a 90-hour fast and prayer vigil on the steps of the Cathedral. For his pains he went a step better than Wrankmore, securing an audience with the secretary for Bantu Administration. However, the latter’s cynical response was not encouraging.
            Three months later, on the public holiday called the Day of the Covenant, 16 December 1972, David Russell set out on a thirty day ‘Pilgrimage of Confession for the Healing of Family Life in South Africa. In 1974 he moved to Cape Town, taking a small office at the Ecumenical Centre in Mowbray. From here he courageously endeavoured to prevent the break-up and removal of families to the Bantustans. Russell worked closely with the CI, particularly in publicizing injustices and enabling blacks to fight for their legal rights through the courts.  He became one of those banned in October 1977, along with other leaders of the Christian Institute. Russell was also placed under house arrest during week-ends.
            Cosmas Desmond, another Anglican minister, drew attention to the plight of ‘Discarded People’, as Rev Desmond called the inhabitants in a book with that title. Sada and Dimbaza were two new Transkei townships into which many of those discarded people were dumped - for instance after catching ailments such as lung cancer because of working in the goldmines.
            The regime responded by banning clergymen, confiscating passports - for instance those of the leaders of the CI - and deporting foreigners like Dr Häselbarth, a Lutheran theologian. There was sadly also no protest from the church ranks when the outspoken Reverend Daniel Wessels was banned and restricted to Genadendal. The ogre of government reprisals and Robben Island as a scare kept almost everybody silent. Many gifted people of colour left the country in the late 1960s and early 1970s instead.
            The relatively small D.F. Malan airport of the Mother City did experience occasional public protests. A few Christians would sing ‘Onward Christian soldiers’ every time a deported anti-apartheid fighter left. As a rule they were missionaries and foreign clergymen who had opposed the government. Then there was the occasional protest meeting organized by Theo Kotze and the Christian Institute on a Sunday afternoon on the Rondebosch Common. However, usually only a small brave crowd would attend. Kotze became one of those South Africans whose passport was withdrawn. He fled the country in July 1978.

Robben Island – Incarceration gives Birth to Baith: 
The government was quite successful to create fear of incarceration on Robben Island among all communities of South Africa in the 1960s. What they did not entertain was that God used the brutality of the system just as he heard the groans of the Israelites in Egypt in preparation of their final liberation. For Njongonkulu Ndugane, who was sentenced to three years on the island because of his political activities on behalf of the Pan African Congress of Azania, his time there became a turning point in his life. The son of an Anglican priest, he found himself wrestling with God asking the question: ‘How could a good God allow so much suffering in my country and now on the island? It was in the course of that wrestling with God that I found inner peace, as if God laid his hand on me. It was in a prison cell that I felt the call of God to serve him in the ordained ministry’ (Ndugane, 2003:5). In June 1996 he was elected to become the successor of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. In this office he was instrumental in the renovation of the Church of the Good Shepherd on Robben Island and the reconsecration of the sanctuary ‘as a symbol...of future hope’ They also made a statement to the effect of claiming it as ‘a place of pilgrimage and reconciliation. The island of incarceration has become an island of faith… It is part of that spirit of hope, that reconciling effect that people who were incarcerated on the island can bring to the world’ (Ndugane, 2003:3).

Spadework for Reconciliation       
A diabolical polarization between evangelical and ecumenical Christians followed the WCC General Assembly in New Delhi in 1961. The Wheaton Declaration of April 1966 was surely necessary as rectification, but the conference of evangelicals in Berlin later the same year widened the rift. The schism was causing anxiety, resentment and even animosity within some denominations. Evangelization and care for the poor and needy were never meant to become biblical alternatives.
          Much of the spadework for reconciliation between evangelicals and ecumenicals was laid at the Durban congress of 1973. Michael Cassidy recalled how he and John Rees laid the foundation of a watershed in the spiritual realm through a congress on mission and evangelism in 1973. They had encountered major polarization and alienation in their effort to stage a citywide evangelistic campaign in Johannesburg in 1970. At the Durban inter-denominational church congress of 1973, the Dutch Reformed Church and the Pentecostals were still notable absentees.  But the event was nevertheless regarded by many a church leader as a ‘seminal(ly) transforming experience in terms of their attitudes to people of other races, cultures and denominations’.
          The famous Dr Billy Graham had the vision to call a broad spectrum of the divided church together in the Swiss city of Lausanne in 1974 for an international congress. Here third world theologians exposed the diabolical semantics of the unbiblical and artificial rift between (born-again) faith on the one hand and compassionate action on behalf of the poor and needy on the other hand. The Lausanne event was regarded as a meeting of the evangelicals amongst each other. At that occasion third world theologians were divinely used by God to bridge the rift between evangelicals and ecumenicals that existed at that time.
          It is so apt that way back in the early 1980s Archbishop Tutu wrote in his essay ‘Apartheid and Christianity’ in the book Apartheid is a Heresy (De Gruchy and Villa-Vicencio (ed), 1985:42) that ‘the heart of the Christian Gospel can be summed up in the one word reconciliation’. Along with Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu became the personification of costly reconciliation, heading the Truth and Reconciliation Comission in the mid-1990s.

An activist Spirit spawned
My reading the books of Martin Luther King in Germany in 1960/70 spurred me on to become a radical activist. One of my first moves after my return to the country in October 1970 was to become a member of the Christian Institute (CI). The practice of the organization to obey the petty apartheid laws, when the White members were not ready to go to prison for defying these laws, led to some inner estrangement to the agency. Hereafter I went through the motions of attending events more to please the director of the Moravian Seminary in District Six, which I was attending from 1971 to 1973. (As an activist I found the CI policy of heeding the unjust laws unacceptable.)

            Falling in love with Rosemarie Göbel in Stuttgart in 1970 was to me tantamount to supernatural intervention, creating a tension between the love for my country and my love for her. The latter love threatened to take me out of the country. This finally followed after all attempts had failed to get her to South Africa. She had been black-listed for visa purposes by the government because of our friendship. Reticently, I left for Germany in voluntary exile at the end of 1973, determined to fight my way back by 1980, by working towards the phased removal of apartheid. (There was some ambivalence here, because in a short treatise that I tried to get published in Afrikaans newspapers called Liefde dryf die vrees uit (Love drives out fear), I described apartheid as a cul de sac, something that could not be reformed).
            My marriage to Rosemarie in 1975 made us political 'victims', a fact which different factions in West Berlin tried to exploit. There I co-pastored a Moravian Church from September 1975. My personal independence was however too dear to me to allow myself to get on any bandwagon.
            The deaths in Soweto in 1976 threw me into political turmoil. With Pastor Uwe Holm, a leader of the Lutheran State Church, I spontaneously organized a protest meeting in the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis’ Church in central Berlin. The 16th of June 1976 made an activist out of me more than ever before as I feared a development that could lead to a bloodbath in my beloved South Africa.
After my ‘Soweto’ speech in the Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis Church in Central Berlin, I was catapulted into the role of mediator in a dispute between foreign African students and the local authorities. After listening to my effort of mediation Heinz Krieg, who was connected to Moral Re-armament, made an appointment with me. A friendship started with him and his wife Gisela. When we left for Holland in September 1977, he gave me a challenging book as a parting gift: South Africa, what kind of change? When I read in it about personal friends from the Cape like Franklin Sonn and Howard Eybers, I was encouraged to increase my activism for racial reconciliation in my home country. This was also the start of a stint with Moral Re-armament (MRA). Already at the end of the same year Rosemarie and I attended the conference in Caux, Switzerland. At that venue the apology of Suzanne, the daughter of Ds Daneel, a former Springbok rugby player and a MRA leader in South Africa for the hurts of the government, made a deep impression on me. The power of confession left an indelible mark. I perceived it as something, which could change the social and political landscape of South Africa.

Conscientious Objection debated
In due course, the SACC (South African Council of Churches) became the main opposition to the government. In its leadership, the Moravian Bishop August Habelgaarn was not regarded as radical, nor was his Lutheran counterpart Bishop Manas Buthelezi. Cross-pollination was taking place with input from the CI and related organisations like the Black Sash, which brought their objection against conscription to the military into the open in 1973.
          The SACC confrontation took a clearer perspective in 1974 on the issue of such conscientious objection. Reverend Douglas Bax of the historical St Andrew’s Presbyterian congregation of Green Point proposed the motion, which was seconded by Dr Beyers Naudé. In the preamble to the motion it was noted that in the case of South Africa one cannot speak of a ‘just war’ because Whites would wage war in ‘defence of a basically unjust and discriminatory society.’ This would lead on the long run to the End Conscription Campaign (ECC).
          Reverend Douglas Bax prodded away within the Presbyterian Church to keep the denomination relevant. Already in 1973 the church reacted on the SPRO-CAS report Apartheid and the Church with a Declaration of Faith in the trinitarian form of a creed that included the words ‘We believe in the Son… breaking down every barrier of religion, race, culture or class’. This was expanded significantly in 1981 to include ‘every separating barrier.’ The Church and the State were summoned to seek reconciliation and unity between all and justice and freedom for all.’

A strange Mix: conscientious Objection and charismatic Renewal
As was expected, the SACC motion opposing military conscription - by supporting conscientious objection - made headlines which evoked the wrath of the government. Mr P.W. Botha, then the Minister of Defence and a later Prime Minister, indicated that he would introduce a bill in Parliament that would provide for a fine of up to R 10,000 or ten years imprisonment.
          Dr. Alex Boraine, a former president of the Methodist Church, led the attack sympathetic to the SACC resolution as a Progressive Party member of Parliament, suggesting that many would have no alternative than to break the law. The most interesting support of the church resolution came from Bill Burnett, the newly elected Archbishop of Cape Town. In his ‘enthronement’ sermon in August 1974 before a huge congregation in St George’s Cathedral that included the State President and military chiefs, he called for a new Pentecost. He however also expressed the hope that the resolution, which he supported, would help the Church to understand that some Black South Africans, many of whom are Christians, are fighting from outside the country ‘to change our power structure by force…’ John de Gruchy noted that the connection between charismatic renewal and non-violence had found a powerful advocate. Archbishop Burnett was a strong supporter of the charismatic renewal in the Anglican Church.

More pronounced Confrontation with the Government
When the Anglican Bishop Desmond Tutu became the general secretary of the SACC in 1978, the confrontation with the state became more pronounced. It was generally accepted that his caring for the families of political prisoners on behalf of the SACC was a thorn in the flesh of the government. Evangelicals had been more or less neutral until people like Pastor (later Dr) Frank Chikane, who had been involved with the institution for contextual theology, were imprisoned. Until the early 1980s the churches were hardly supporting people like him and the Reverends Chris and Daniel Wessels who were respectively imprisoned or banned - let alone supporting other Black leaders who had secular professions. (Rev Chris Wessels was imprisoned without being formally charged. His ‘crime’ was supporting the families of political prisoners on behalf of the SACC. SA legislation allowed people to be detained for up to 180 days without a charge laid.)
            It is significant that the usually conservative Christian Students Association also joined in with a declaration in 1980 that was critical of the government, saying among other things: ‘We must reject an unquestioning loyalty to our own group or country, placing first our identity with each other in Christ.’ He continued very radically: ‘If the will of those in authority is irreconcilable with the will of God as clearly revealed in Scripture then Christians have no option but to break their pattern of conscience in favour of God’s command’.  The Methodist Church chipped in the following year with a Message of Obedience, calling the members to move from resolution to action, translating their love for each other into justice for all.

Someone must have been praying for me
The grace with which the MRA people of Caux accepted my criticism of their hero-worshipping Frank Buchman, the founder of the movement - although I was still a complete newcomer to MRA - augured well for deeper involvement. A few months later I participated in the celebrations in Freudenstadt, Germany where Frank Buchman, had been born in 1878. The practice of Moral Rearmament, to write down thoughts that came up during quiet times, was one that suited the activist spirit in me perfectly. My activism however also led to estrangement to my church.
Ideas from my quiet times that I came up with - like pastoring the Black church of Nyanga together with the Cape Flats one of Manenberg - were too radical for the Moravian Church leaders. My compromise suggestion, to pastor a country congregation for three years, and thus to cause another crack in the apartheid wall - in defiance of the prevalent racial laws - was still too rebellious for the church leaders. I managed to ‘fight’ myself into a meeting of the Moravian Church Board in South Africa in the Capetonian suburb of Bridgetown during our visit in early November 1978 with the help of Rev Martin Wessels, who was a lone comrade against the old guard of the denominational leadership. My activism was however just a bit too much for the brethren of the Church Board, causing the chairman to lose his cool. This was enough to label me as a tourist! It hurt me terribly that nobody contradicted the chairman. I was thus not welcome to return to my home church! But I probably deserved that treatment.        I also confronted them with the perceived lack of concern for my friend Chris Wessels when he was incarcerated.
When we ran out of cash, it came in handy to discover that South African Railways offered a ‘special.’ It should not have surprised me that the embarassed young official in the White side of the Cape Town station where we dared to go and enquire, bluntly told us: ‘You see, we discriminate here!’ Noticing that we intended to travel by train from Cape Town to Johannesburg as a family in the same compartment, he was forced to consult his boss. The simple request went up the hierarchical ladder via the System Manager right up to the responsible government Minister. Finally it had to be dealt with at Cabinet level, earning treatment for us as VIP’s. Perhaps the Prime Minister and his Cabinet colleagues intended to make us happy. All that had however the opposite effect; it angered me intensely. 
In November 1978 I was enraged by the combined reaction by the Moravian Church Board to my suggestion to come and work in South Africa, and that of the government when we wanted to travel in the same train compartment as a family of three from Cape Town to Johannesburg. My expectation was actually unreasonable but all the same I was hereafter determined not to put my foot onto South African soil again. I only had one last wish, namely to worship with Dr Beyers Naudé.  (Later the Lord gave me grace to forgive the perpetrators.)
            Howard Grace, a British full-time worker with Moral Rearmament (MRA), fetched us from Park Station in Johannesburg. He had to bear the brunt of my rage. When I was still fuming, Howard suggested during the car trip to Umdeni (the villa of the movement, where we stayed in the rondavel for the next few days), that I meet the influential Professor Johan Heyns. The timing for Howard's kind gesture was the worst one the Moral Rearmament worker could have chosen. At that point in time, I was definitely not prepared or interested to meet the chairman of the Broederbond!
Changed from Within
On that November Saturday the MRA people of Johannesburg surely did not encounter a happy Christian. I am ashamed to say that I relished verbally whipping an old lady, who clearly had her sympathies with the government. With as much venom as I could muster, I shared how the various agents of the apartheid government had been maltreating us. Therefore it was no wonder that Howard Grace and others suspected in the evening that I was craving after sensation by phoning Dr Beyers Naudé to find out where he was worshipping. There was thus ample reason for the one or other MRA member to surmise that I was not sincere in my wish to worship with Dr Naudé. One of them actually suggested that I more or less had a martyr complex, hoping to be thrown out of the church. It was a miracle that I kept my cool!
            Someone - or perhaps even more than one person - must have been praying for me. God used Dr Naudé and the congregation where he worshipped, to supernaturally heal me of my intense bitterness and anger towards the country that I paradoxically loved so dearly. Rosemarie and I visited the church that he and his wife attended, along with a few believers linked to Moral Rearmament. I had intended the visit to Dr Naudé to be my farewell gesture of solidarity with the politically oppressed of the country. A miracle happened that Sunday. I was changed from within, through the visit to the Naudé home and that of Ds Joop Lensink, a Dutch national, who ministered to Blacks in the mining compounds!         
Determinination to fight the demonic Apartheid Ideology
In His sovereign way God used the visit to Dr Beyers Naudé to make me more determined than ever to fight the demonic apartheid ideology, and to work towards racial reconciliation. The Moral Rearmament practice of writing down thoughts fueled 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 collated personal documents and letters with more verve, hoping to get it published under the title ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ (Hunger after Righteousness). In this manuscript I included and commented on my correspondence with the rulers of the day. Yet, I wanted 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 my resolve to work towards racial reconciliation, I went out of my way to meet a Dutch Reformed Church church delegation that included Dr O'Brien Geldenhuys and the Professors Willie Jonker and Johan Heyns at the Amsterdam airport Schiphol when they visited Holland in 1979. These three would be quite influential in significant change in the Dutch Reformed Church in the years hereafter. I urged the clergymen to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted. (Later I found out that some of them had responded positively, however without initial success on this score.)  Because of the well-publicized tampering with post by the special branch of the police - which I had experienced myself - I contrived to send my draft manuscript of Honger na Geregtigheid in an open envelope to Dr Naudé with the delegation. My request for one of the delegation to deliver the manuscript to Dr Beyers Naudé, was not honoured (I had left the envelope open, suggesting that the bearer could read the manuscript. I learnt later that the manuscript had been handed to the government, instead of being delivered to Dr Naudé. However, the action did harvest respect for me in government circles thereafter.) Dr Naudé never received the manuscript.      

                                    9. Church struggle against divisions

          In South Africa the churches were completely divided in the late 1960s. At this time believers were calling in a rather isolated manner for prayer against the heresy of the apartheid ideology that held so many people (not only Whites) in bondage. The Message to the People of South Africa, which was published in 1968, caused some ripples declaring in no uncertain terms that apartheid was incompatible with the Gospel of Jesus Christ. The author was campaigning in Germany in 1969 as a young student for prayer on behalf of the unique problems of South Africa, viz. apartheid, church divisions and alcoholism. I did this without knowing much about spiritual warfare. I was not taken seriously, here and there scoffed at, for instance when I suggested that the apartheid regime was a potential danger to world peace. The circles in which I moved at that time included few fervent prayful persons. Thus the effect of these warnings was like water on a duck’s back, not much more than mere entertainment. (Initially I heeded the warnings by our bishop to be wary of South African spies in Germany. I dropped my caution after I heard how our family had been required to leave our home in Tiervlei. Nevertheless, my theological position remained basically evangelical.)

Ferment in the Dutch Reformed Church
Already in 1963 Dr O’Brien Geldenhuys, a prominent Dutch Reformed Church minister, threw a cat among the pigeons when he resigned from the Broederbond. Geldenhuys believed that the Broederbond was being used as a political instrument in the church. Discontent slowly started to simmer in the Dutch Reformed Church church about the role of the Broederbond.
However, only when a letter by a well-known dominee was published on 22 January 1979 under the pseudonym ‘Ethicus’ in Hoofstad, a Pretoria afternoon paper, a 'snowball' got rolling. In his letter ‘Ethicus’ asked whether there was not a clash of loyalties if ministers belong to a secret organization. On March 13, 1979 a statement by 45 ministers of the Sendingkerk, the bulk of them stemming from the Cape Peninsula, was published in Beeld, another Afrikaans daily newspaper. They asked White pastors who were serving in the Sendingkerk, the ‘Coloured’ part of the denomination, to declare their loyalty to either the Broederbond or the church. And most surprisingly, the conservative Free State Synod decided on September 27, 1979 that a commission should be appointed to investigate the Broederbond in depth. However, like previous investigations into the secret organization, little was expected from the inquiry because the bulk of the investigators were Broeders, members of the Broederbond.
The 1980s saw ferment in the Dutch Reformed Church as never before. Officially described as a ‘verligte’, Dr O’brien Geldenhuys still opposed the concept of a non-racial church. Dr Geldenhuys caused a storm of his own by resigning from his post as Chief Executive Officer and Director of Ecumenical Relations of the Dutch Reformed Church on September 10, 1980. Geldenhuys had clashed with his church leadership, differing on the urgency of implementing synodal decisions on racial matters and the need for the church to sound a prophetic note on such matters. The conservative leaders were very unhappy with the statement in the Dutch Reformed Church News of June 1980 including the ‘radical’ words: ‘no political solution will ultimately work, which does not enjoy the broad support of the convinced Christians of all races in our country.’ In his farewell sermon on 28 September 1980 Geldenhuys warned bluntly: ‘South Africa’s people would be plunged over the precipice if drastic solutions were not found soon… the church has become an exclusive group that built barriers’, closing its doors to the other races.

The Seed of Confession starts to germinate
From Holland the author continued his correspondence with a few Dutch Reformed ministers in South Africa since 1979, impressing on them the need for confession as a prelude to racial reconciliation. The powerful impact of confession and restitution, which I had experienced within the confines of Moral Rearmanent, was obviously working through. The Reformation Day statement that became known as the ‘Witness of the Eight’ of 31 October 1980 - seemed to have given the ‘snowball’ momentum. The statement challenged the NGK, inviting the believers to ‘resist mutual estrangement and exclusivity among Christians and so to work against the divisions of the church, which shame the communion of saints.’ It was an encouragement to me that two members of the Dutch Reformed Church delegation, whom I had met at Schiphol Airport, were in this group, viz. Professors Heyns and Jonker. That Professor Willie Jonker was among this group of eight was not really surprising. At the Dutch airport Jonker had taken me aside to explain that he was not a member of the Broederbond.  I was sad to hear of the ambivalent role that Professor Heyns was still playing as the chairman of the Broederbond. (Yet, during an 1981 interview he conceded that the Dutch Reformed Church was paralysed internally.)

Militant Prayer as Part of Anti-apartheid Armour
At the national launch of the United Democratic Front (UDF) in Mitchell’s Plain on 20 August 1983 Aubrey Mokoena, secretary of the Transvaal branch of the Release Mandela Campaign gave an unusual slant to prayer, exhorting the listeners to: ‘…remember our leaders on Robben Island and we must pray, but when we pray we must not do so like the missionaries who said we must close our eyes while the pull the land from nder our feet. I would like to call upon you to pray like revolutionaries with your eyes wide open becaue I believe we can never win the struggle unless God is amongst us’ (cited in Lodge/Nasson, 1991: 49).
          The WCC and its agents - in South Africa it was the SACC - often called for action like boycotts, rather than for prayer. When prayer was called for from their ranks, for instance when Dr Allan Boesak called for prayer to topple the government the SACC conference of 1984, the activist spirit was prevalent. (It must however be added that the media loved to quote Boesak out of context. Thus the latter part of the phrase ‘....and the removal of those who continue to do injustice’ in their reporting of his sermon on June 16, 1985 was often conveniently omitted). Also the historical context has to be taken into account. It was at a time when police brutality was at its worst. All over the country even small children were ruthlessly beaten, and in isolated cases, even killed.
          The year 1985 could be seen as the start of another season of major spiritual upheaval. The government repression of 1984/5 coincided with the increased activity of the UDF.  The run-up to this season can be traced to the call of Dr Allan Boesak during the 1984 annual conference of the SACC (South African Council of Churches) for a day to be set aside for a day of prayer for the fall of the government. The conference changed the wording to prayer for the ‘abolition of all apartheid structures' and 'the end to unjust rule’ (Boesak, 1986:16).

A season of major spiritual upheaval
Another mighty move of God in the mid-1980s was the National Initiative for Reconciliation. In a sense this was a spin-off of SACLA (1979), but even more it was a result of the political tension of 1985 - when the country seemed to be rushing towards the precipice of civil war.  Michael Cassidy issued a significant 'Statement of intent' on 18 July 1985 which heralded the National Initiative for Reconciliation. Following ‘several months of prayer, careful consideration and discussion in the Board and team of Africa Enterprise... a unanimous decision has been taken to place all manpower and resources on an emergency footing to cope with the crisis situation which exists at present in South Africa.’ Four hundred Christian leaders, drawn from 48 denominations, cleared their diaries and cancelled engagements to come to Pietermaritzburg for three days of consultation and the inauguration of the National Initiative for Reconciliation (NIR) from 10 to 12 September 1985. The call for a national day of prayer by this group on October 9, i.e. less than a month later, was widely followed.
          Yet, the prayer day had a less positive intermezzo. Many Black Delegates at the Pietermaritzburg NIR consultation felt their interests not seriously considered. They saw the 'pray-away' as a bad compromise. (A national six-day stay away from work had originally been suggested as a non-violent gesture of opposition against apartheid.)

          Already in July 1985 the Institute for Contextual Theology had finalized the first draft of the Kairos document. The radical document blasted church theology, which supported the status quo. Two weeks after the NIR in Pietermaritzburg, the document was published, demonstrating the disunity of the church as never before.
          The repression also caused conservative church groupings like the Baptist Union, to take a public stand. Their national Assembly of 1985, which met in George, sent an unprecedented letter to the State President, clearly deviating from the usual evangelical position that the church should not get involved with politics.’ 

The National Initiative for Reconciliation
God used Michael Cassidy and his Africa Enterprise at this time especially to heal wounds of racial polarization in the run-up to the National Initiative for Reconciliation, which was convened in September 1985. Cassidy wrote about this preparation: ‘I felt while travelling around South Africa that I was seeing a new thing – the birth of an embryonic national humility…’ (Cassidy, 1989:295). 
          The most significant outcome of the National Initiative for Reconciliation, was the call for a National Day of Prayer and humiliation, set for Wednesday 9 October, 1985. How politicized the country had become, became obvious when it was decided to debate the prayer day on television. But God intervened, in answer to inercession. As Michael Cassidy recalled: ‘I knew many were praying for me. An African leader told me he fell on his knees by his TV set the moment he saw me come on… A whole bunch of (TV) technicians were up there: We were all praying for you, Mike…’ (Cassidy, 1989:301).
          How different this National Day of Prayer was to the one about ten years earlier when only a slice of the population participated. All around the country Christians from different denominations and races came together for prayer services. In Cape Town over thirteen hundred people crammed into the St George’s Cathedral for a lunch-hour service. According to a report of a participant: ‘In Cape Town we broke out of our islands as never before’(Cassidy, 1989:302). Significantly, concerned Chritians all over the world across denominational barriers joined in prayer for South Africa that day. Thus the Pope, speaking to seven thousand Catholics in St Peter’s Square in Rome, called Catholics everywhere to pray that ‘South Africa should soon find peace founded n justice and reciprocal love through a sincere search for a just solution to the problems that torment that dear country’ (Cited in Cassidy, 1989:303f). The well known evangelist Luis Palau put the prayer call on that day on hundreds of radio stations across Latin America.

Chickens coming Mome to roost
In the meantime, the clinic in Crossroads, the township that Professor Nico Smith had visited with his students, continued to do fine work under Dr Ivan Thoms, a young doctor. But when the chickens came home to roost in the resistance against the tri-cameral system of government a few years further on, Crossroads was one of the first to erupt at the Cape. Worse was to come in 1986 when the place was virtually in a state of civil war. The igniting of the powder keg occurred from faraway Krugersdorp when Winnie Mandela went on record as saying: ‘Together, hand in hand, with our sticks and our matches, with our necklaces, we shall liberate the country.’ Crossroads was one of the areas hit most by the revolt that followed countrywide.
          On 9 June 1986 the Community Centre of Crossroads, which had sheltered over two thousand refugees on the chilly night before, was put to the torch. Dr Di Hewitson and a nurse, Dorcas Cyster, risked their lives as committed Christians in service to the battered and bruised. The SACLA clinic was located in the Witdoeke area while many of the Clinic’s workers came from the Comrades turf. Even as they came to work, they were accused of going to tend to the wounds of the enemy. Michael Cassidy summed up the situation, which epitomized the dilemma of the country at that time in a prayer: ‘O God, only you can resolve all this. And without the power of prevailing prayer, our land will never be healed or saved.’ Cassidy sensed that ‘the Lord needs his people not just in prayer but in active peacemaking in such polarized contexts.’
            The controversial Dr Allan Boesak did this in a way, which was not recognized as such at that time. He engaged in spiritual warfare on 16 June 1986, although he might not have been the first to call it such. In his sermon he acknowledged the reality of Satan, challenging the congregation: “Satan is alive. Satan is real. Believe the words of Jesus:  I have seen Satan fall.”  Other elements of such warfare that Boesak included in his writings and sermons were the inner joy that the persecuted were experiencing amidst unjust suffering. Thus he preached: “The joy of the oppressed is a source of fear for the oppressor. But we sing because we believe, we sing because we hope”. He also quoted how students danced and sung around a police vehicle just after a student had been arrested at a church service: “It is broken, the power of Satan is broken. We have disappointed Satan, his power is broken, Alleluia!” The police released the arrested student almost immediately.

Confession starts to bear fruit
Dr Nico Smith visited Bilthoven in Holland, only a few kilometers from Zeist where we were living at the time, I visited him there. This resulted in some correspondence. One of these letters landed me in hot water when Nico Smith quoted from it at the ‘Reforum’ conference, at which Reformed theologians and ministers from different races participated. In my letter I had suggested confession for apartheid as the place to start, to be followed by restitution. Some dominee wrote to me angrily, asking who had given me the right to interfere in their affairs. He had a point of course, but I definitely had not written the letter for the consumption of the conference.
In the course of my correspondence with Dutch Reformed theologians I urged Professor Johan Heyns to co-opt Allan Boesak to their commission, which had the brief to rewrite the Dutch Reformed Church policy on Ras, Volk en Nasie.[10] As a personal friend of Allan Boesak when we were in our late teens, I remembered how Allan had raved about Dr Heyns, his lecturer in Biblical Studies. While I was studying to become a teacher, Allan Boesak started off towards a career as a dominee. My request was obviously asking very much, knowing that Allan had publicly criticized his former lecturer quite harshly in Pro Veritate, the periodical of the Christian Institute.
Nevertheless, Professor Johan Heyns’ metamorphosis continued dramatically in the following years while he was the chairman of a synodal commission Church and Society. At the 1986 General Synod in Cape Town, the report of this commission brought the White sector of the Dutch Reformed Church almost to a 180 degree change. In the White Dutch Reformed Church General Synod the seed of confession appears to have started to bear fruit. In the policy document ‘Church and Society’ it was formulated in so many words that ‘a forced separation and division of peoples cannot be considered a biblical imperative. The attempt to justify such an injunction as derived from the Bible must be recognized as an error and to be rejected.’
            Yet, this position was not supported by the rank and file church member. Right-wing elements were perturbed that Church and Society actually included confession of sin concerning the part played by the churches, for example in causing suffering through the implementation of apartheid. In 1987 the reaction was formulated under Professor W J G Lubbe in a document called ‘Geloof en Protes’. Faith and Protest laid bare a weakness of the majority decision: ‘It is also the question whether this confession of sin is really derived from true remorse or whether it is derived from a desire to please certain churches … and thus evoking an artificially created consciousness of guilt’. The 1986 synod thus ushered in the formation of a break-away denomination, the Afrikaanse Protestantse Kerk.
          Here and there it surfaced that the likes of Boesak and Tutu had meaningful prayer lives, although they would not go on show with it. Tutu lifted the lid once when he mentioned how Boesak came to welcome him as the new Archbishop at Bishops Court in 1986 and how they offered 30 minutes of silent prayer there in the chapel. The good intentions of the Kairos Document (KD), which contained quite a few positive elements in terms of creating an atmosphere for repentance, however also displayed too many features that smacked of posturing to an (overseas?) audience.  A spokesman for the KD stated that it was not meant to be a final document, but it rather wanted to ‘stimulate discussion, debate, reflection and prayer’. The document did stimulate discussion and debate - reflection also followed - but there is no apparent evidence that the KD became a catalyst for prayer.

Battle lines between the church and state are drawn
The decision of the government to outlaw the activities of the UDF and sixteen anti-apartheid organizations, including the Congress of South African Trade Unions (COSATU), turned out to be completely counter-productive. The message of 24 February 1988 was clear: any opposition to the apartheid regime would not be tolerated - not even peaceful protest.
          Unlike October 1977, when the Christian Institute and other organizations were banned, the church rose to the challenge. Dr Allan Boesak, the leader and founder of the banned UDF, defiantly preached in his church in Bellville South on Sunday 28 February 1988, choosing Luke 13:31-35 as his text. He noted that Jesus chose confrontation in his response to the threats and intimidation of state power. He was surely brave in the volatile situation to quote Jesus’ words (in which the Master referred to King Herod) "Go and tell that fox...",
          The very next day, Monday 29 February 1988, Archbishop Tutu, Frank Chikane and scores of other church leaders led hundreds of protesters in the Mother City in a prayer service, marching to the South African Parliament to demand the restoration of the right of non-violent, peaceful protest. Emulating the civil disobedience of Martin Luther King, Jr in the 1960s, they refused to disperse and retreat when confronted by a daunting line of riot police, calmly kneeling in prayer. The clergymen were detained by the police, strictly warned, and then released. Hundreds of other marchers were hosed down with police water cannons. Archbishop Tutu vocalized the feeling that the battle lines between the church and state were drawn: "We are not defying, we are obeying; and we are going to obey God every day". A new era was born in the conflict between the church and the state. Jim Wallis, a visiting American clergyman, aptly summarized the spiritual warfare involved: The white South African government had to understand clearly that to attack the South African churches is to attack the whole body of Christ. 'The time has come for the faith, prayers, and energy of the worldwide church of Jesus Christ to be clearly focused on bringing an end to the diabolical system known as apartheid.' In March 1988 the white South African government did not yet understand that. A rally planned to launch the newly formed Committee to Defend Democracy, an organization hastily put together by church leaders to protest against the government's assault on peaceful opposition, was banned hours before it would have been held. The three-day-old organization was likewise outlawed. A Prayer Service for Justice and Liberation in South Africa was called for Sunday, 13 March 1988. The sermons of Boesak and Tutu in St George's Cathedral that day were prophetic. Using the content of Elijah's warnings to Ahab (1 Kings 19-22), the challenge via Boesak to Mr P.W. Botha was clear, a paraphrase was hardly to be overlooked: 'Go and tell Ahab, “Ahab, you have displeased me. I am going to take away from you your kingship..." A few sentences later Boesak said in so many words: ‘...Bishop [Tutu], you and I have to do the work of Elijah. We will have to go to this Jezebel who sits in Pretoria... and we will have to say to ...Ahab and Jezebel: "Your days are over! ..."
          The prayers at the service may not have been so vocal and expressed, but God evidently heard the groans of the oppressed. Less than a year later, in January 1989, Mr P.W. Botha had a stroke, to be replaced by Mr F.W. de Klerk as leader of their party and as State President.

Government reprisals and demonic Backlashes
In the interim however, there was still more ‘warfare’ to follow. In the ecumenical services the prayers were as a rule formal-liturgical, and not the targeted spiritual warfare-type prayer. In some of these events there was not even any intercessory prayer, even though they were sometimes called prayer services.  Thus the sermon of Allan Boesak was most prominent in the ‘prayer service’ for Nelson Mandela in August 1988 in the extended celebration of the prominent prisoner's 70th birthday. (To be fair, it must be said that the sermon has traditionally been the focal point in the Calvinist churches with prayer playing a smaller role.) The reaction to the boycott calls was counter-productive on the part of the South African government and the churches linked to it, inducing the well-known laager mentality. (One of the best examples of this phenomenon happened after the 1960 Cottesloe consultation initiated by the WCC. It was a direct result of the Sharpeville disaster, when 69 Blacks were killed after a peaceful protest.) The government's reaction was typical: at ten minutes past one on the morning of August 31, 1988 an expertly set bomb exploded in Khotso House - meaning house of peace - where the offices of the South African Council of Churches and other organizations were located. In a similar move the government tried to silence the critical Southern African Catholic Bishops’ Conference (SACBC) and their outspoken leader South African-born Archbishop Denis Hurley, who could not be deported like other foreign clergy. Khanya House, the Pretoria headquarters of the SACBC, was destroyed by fire under suspicious circumstances. Solidarity of the international Roman Catholic community was typical of the support, which the struggle against apartheid experienced. Irish bishops especially helped tremendously with the cost of rebuilding.
          Archbishop Tutu formulated a side of spiritual warfare that is not so well-known: 'For those of us who are from a sacramental church our strength is in the encounter with God in the Eucharist, the encounter with God in mediation, the encounter with God in those quiet moments when you’re consciously aware of being in the flow. You're being carried along in the current.'
          Apparently both Dr Boesak and Archbishop Tutu were not properly prepared for the ensuing demonic backlash (That is not surprising, because not much was known about spiritual warfare at that time). Only later did it become known how Satanists were praying for the break-up of the marriages and families of Christian leaders. Of course, the devil cannot be blamed that Boesak’s marriage broke up because of his infidelity and that Tutu’s son received negative headlines. Yet, Christians were also not taught in those days to cover their leaders in prayer.

Reactions to 16 June 1976

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) appealed to all Churches to give guidance and support to a shocked and bereaved society and to those who by virtue of the vote bore the responsibility for fuelling the oppressive structure. The SACC called on the churches to observe Sunday 20th June 1976 as a day of prayer, bringing to their attention II Chronicles 7:14. ‘If my people who are called by my name humble themselves and pray and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sin and  heal their land.’
At the SACC conference in July of that year, Bishop Tutu set liberation firmly on the agenda in an address entitled, “God-given Dignity and the Quest for Liberation in the Light of the South African Dilemma.”  In his speech, Tutu concluded with the following words:The struggle for liberation, a truly biblical struggle, is crucial for the survival of South Africa. It must succeed. Yes, liberation is coming because our God is the God of the Exodus, the liberator God. `If God is on our side, who is against us?
In the aftermath of Soweto 1976 the Anglican Archbishop Bill Burnett actualized 2 Chronicles 7:14, the Bible verse that would play such a crucial role in the transformation process in the new millennium. In an open letter to Mr B.J. Vorster in September 1976 he wrote: ‘Unless White Christians in particular admit the wrongs they have done to Black people and take action to redress them, there can be no possibility of healing in our Land.’ Not even exposure of corruption in the government Department of Information, which finally led to Mr  P.W. Botha becoming the new Prime Minister in 1978, brought about change.
The Christian Institute (CI) was always one step ahead of the SACC and the churches in their resistance to apartheid. It was often the case that what the CI practiced, the SACC, followed by its member churches, also did. It is thus important to examine how the CI responded to the uprising, to get an idea of the direction that the SACC and the churches would take in the future. The CI discerned that the initiative for change in South Africa lay firmly in the hands of the Black people. This in itself represented a fundamental shift from an earlier position they had held. In a statement immediately following the Soweto uprising, the CI said: “the Government is no longer in a position to determine the course of political events, not only in Soweto, but also in South Africa as a whole; nor is it capable of guiding in any way the nature, direction or pace of change.” At their Pietermaritzburg conference on 18 September 1976, the CI showed an increasing political maturity in the far-reaching resolutions they took, contained in their State of the Nation statement. Amongst these was the demand for a National Convention.
The CI proposed that Blacks be given the freedom to elect truly recognized leaders from their midst, including those in prison, and those who were in exile. These leaders would then ‘participate in a national convention with a view to dismantling in the shortest possible period the unjust political and social structures of our land and to present to our country a political policy of liberation based on freedom and justice for all.’ They saw any action, which fell short of this demand as ‘a dangerous stumbling block to the achievement of fundamental peaceful change.’ The radical stance of the CI ushered in its own demise. In 1977 the CI called upon their White ministers and members to publicly retract their support from the policies of the Government unequivocally, and to make personal and collective representations to their members of parliament to press for a conference of Black and White leaders, recognising that there could be no peace until all people were totally liberated.  (This call was echoed later in that year by Reverend Abel Hendricks, a Cape clergyman, to Methodist circuits throughout the country).  The CI position was apt to lead to government reprisals. The organisation was banned on 19 October 1977.

Soweto impregnates the new South Africa
A rather belated reaction to the Soweto riots followed in the 4th quarter edition of Educatio, the periodical of the Cape Professional Teachers Association (CPTA), which had just elected Mr Franklin Sonn as its President.  The editorial was probably hardly read outside the circle of teachers of the relatively new teachers’ association, but it may have sent ripples which started Mr Sonn’s meteoric rise. His editorial focused on justice in the interest of all children in South Africa. Sonn followed this up with a 43-page memorandum four-hour address to the Cillie Commission Riots Enquiry, which was reported in the Cape Times on 27 November 1976. Among other things CTPA called for full citizenship for all South Africans. Strategic was especially his letter to Die Burger on 12 February 1977 in his private capacity where he called for the building of a new South Africa that transcends existing divisions. The term New South Africa was to be popularised by Mr F.W. de Klerk in 1990 when he released Dr Nelson Mandela and after he had lifted the ban on various organisations. Soon Franklin Sonn, born in the rural town of Vosburg in 1939, who started off his teaching career at Bishop Lavis High School, was heralded as a rising star. Soon he was a sought after speaker across the country. When Sonn was asked for his motivation behind his decision to give evidence to the Cillie Commission Riots Enquiry he replied: ‘I believe the truth should be spoken.’ In the foreword to a book with speecehes and addresses of Franklin Sonn commemorating Ten years of Struggle Randall van den Heever suggested that ‘this concise statement epitomizes the dedication and conviction of Franklin Sonn to pursue, uncover and speak the truth at all times’ (Sonn, 1986: Foreword). Whereas his fight for the equalisation of teacher salaries might not be that dramatic – something which had to come anyway – his ‘vehement objection to the dominance and paternalism of White officialdom in the educational area’ was a driving force which led to affirmative action in the field, something that was practically ushering in the New South Africa. Along with a group of committed colleague, he challenged the staff structure of the University of the Western Cape. Their involvement led to the sudden appointment of a number of ‘Coloured’ academics who later utilized the facilities to attain doctorates and professorships.

Prayer moves in District Six and Woodstock
It is noteworthy that the first two phases of resistance with regard to District Six was started by a prayer campaign. Four days after the notorious proclamation of 11 February 1966, a twelve man steering committee proposed a ‘Peninsula-wide prayer period’.  This was possibly the first time a city-wide prayer event was mooted at the Cape. Syd Lotter, a trade unionist, appealed to ‘all the churches and mosques… (to)…call a day of prayer on which our people can give vent to their humiliation and frustration, to the Almighty.’ 
The government reaction was a stepping up of the harassment. ‘Spyker’ van Wyk, the notorious Gestapo-like Special Branch agent, intimidated the movement by visiting all the members of the District Six Defence Committee.
            Significantly, the second phase of resistance with regard to the removal of ‘Coloureds’ from District Six was also started by a prayer campaign. The vehicle to carry the campaign was the District Six Ministers’ Fraternal, an energetic group of clergymen from a few local churches. Father Basil van Rensburg, who came to District Six with advertising skills in September 1978, launched a fundraising initiative, along with the new prayer campaign: ‘our aim is to start in a small way with Holy Cross as a nucleus and gradually to build a forceful campaign of prayer and action until official thinking on District Six changes’ (Cape Argus, 5 September 1978). The parish priest of St. Philip’s Anglican Church expressed some of this commitment as he invited other congregations to join in prayer: ‘May we all by the Power of His Holy Spirit seek nothing else but a miracle from the Lord.’ Lay people were well represented in the ‘Friends of District Six’ movement, an offspring of the District Six Ministers’ Fraternal. The members came not only from the above-mentioned churches but also from other circles, notably Muslims and Jews. They included some Whites. Among those who joined were the Black Sash, the National Council for Women, the Civil Rights League and the Institute of Race Relations.
          The revival of Islam at the Cape in the late 1960s started with the dual Group Areas proclamations: District Six was declared a White residential suburb in February 1966 and Bo-Kaap was to become a ‘Cape Malay' pocket. The latter area was thus perceived to have been reserved for Cape Muslims. Christians were expected to leave Bo-Kaap. By becoming a Muslim, one received the right to remain in or move into Bo-Kaap. Some of the Christians decided to become Muslims so that they could remain in the area.

          That a part of the old District Six and Walmer Estate were later formally declared ‘Coloured areas’ was surely partly due to these prayers and efforts. Some people alleged that it was a sop by the government to keep the protesters happy.  Nevertheless, Whites hereafter refused to buy property in District Six en masse, possibly not wanting to be identified with the perpetrators of the injustice. This created some embarrassment to the government, but the suggestion that District Six should become an open residential area was not going to bring them off course, not even for the time being. That District Six never became a White suburb was surely an answer to prayer. In fact, God turned the injustice perpetrated in District Six around, stirring the conscience of White South Africa like few other apartheid measures had done.

Conciliatory church moves
A significant church initiative was the South African Christian Leadership Assembly (SACLA) of 1979. However, it would probably be safe to say that other factors like the 40 years of apartheid oppression - combined with the prophetic WCC and SACC actions between 1948 and 1988 – also helped to conscientise the poor and the oppressed. In this, the situation was radicalized towards the inevitable conflict.
          The revolutionary situation after 1985 possibly influenced F.W. De Klerk, the pragmatic new presidential incumbent in 1989, towards a more conciliatory approach. Such a scenario also normally calls for more prayer. We can safely surmise that more people were agonizing in prayer for an end to the killings and violence than before.
          Further concrete fruit came through in 1990 when Professor Willie Jonker started the ball of confession rolling at Rustenburg in November, ushering in the new South Africa. I really rejoiced when I heard of Professor Willie Jonker’s bold stand in Rustenburg. (This is the very same Professor Jonker, who told me in an aside at Schiphol Airport in Holland in 1979 that he did not belong to the Broederbond.) The seed sown through my correspondence with Dutch Reformed theologians, seemed to have germinated. The Rustenburg meeting of church leaders in November 1990 sent signals of reconciliation throughout the land that augured well for the future. There Professor Willie Jonker started the ball of confession rolling at Rustenburg in November, ushering in the new South Africa.  The document issued after the Rustenburg event in November 1990, where 230 delegates from 97 denominations had gathered, contained specific, radical and concrete confession like their misuse of the Bible and their being ‘bold in condemning apartheid but timid in resisting it’. The confessions were not one-sided at all. The victims acknowledged for example their ‘timidity and fear, failing to challenge our oppression.’
The government of the day and Afrikaners in general, slammed the Rustenburg confessions. Were they forgetting that it had been President F.W. de Klerk himself who had originally initiated the idea of such a national church conference, or were they too surprised at the outcome? Be that as it may, a deep impact was definitely made in the spiritual realm.
When matters were very volatile in Natal in 1991, churches played a big role in the National Peace Accord that was brokered. After the introduction of the transitional government, churches retained a high profile in the process of reconciliation.
An instrument used by God in a special way was the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The success of the implementation of the nitty gritty must be contributed to the input and integrity of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. One of the commissioners, Alex Boraine, who himself had been a former minister in the Cape suburb of Pinelands and a former president of the Methodist Church before becoming a Progressive Party member of Parliament, described Tutu’s role as follows: ‘I don’t think the Commission could have survived without the person and leadership of Desmond Tutu… He assisted the Commission tremendously in every possible way to become an instrument for healing…’ 

Pentecostals usher in transformation
Evangelicals in general, Cape Pentecostals in particular, were not known for radical change. In fact, they were regarded as reactionary, supporting the racist structures of Cape society. In July 1981 a young final year University of
Cape Town (UCT) student, Paul Daniel, had been coming from a dramatic conversion experience in answer to the prayers of his grandmother after the death of his younger brother. (His grandmother became a follower of Jesus through the ministry of the Pentecostal pioneer John G. Lake).
            The Pentecostal Protestant Church (PPC), much better known in the Afrikaner version, the PPK, could be regarded as a stronghold of apartheid practice in the 1960s and 1970s in the Boerewors curtain of the Cape, the northern suburbs. No one would have suspected that from this denomination one of the most radical changes of Cape Society would emanate.
            In obedience to the divine call, Jenny and Paul Daniel sold their house and moved to Table View in the Cape, joining the Lighthouse Christian Centre as Youth Pastor after meetings between Henry Wolmarans, Paul and Pastor Walti Snyman. Around Dean Carelse, who came to the Lord as a young boy from Muslim background when his father became a Christian, outreach work evolved from the Lighthouse Christian Centre at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) where he was studying. From other students he had heard about the non-racial fellowship that started at the former Lantern cinema. He was instrumental in starting a Lighthouse Christian Centre-related cell group in his hostel.

Good Hope to the City
Paul Daniel thus came to the Lighthouse Christian Centre, which had a flourishing student ministry not only at UCT, but also at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) at this time. led by Dean Carelse. Colleen Snyman introduced Dean Carelse and Paul Daniel to each other. The first His Majesty's service was held in the home of Paul and Wendy Daniel. He soon resumed the student ministry at UCT, forming a society on the campus. While fasting and praying with the students, Paul Daniel sensed God clearly leading him to pursue a vision to take the Gospel to the nations. The ministry grew rapidly, and soon the biggest lecture hall of UCT was too small for the congregation. In the mornings all students would come through to the Lighthouse for the Sunday service in Parow. They soon moved to the Baxter Theatre for afternoon services, but even there within three years that were conducting four full-capacity meetings every Sunday. Peter Snyman, the son of Walti and Colleen, led the first few worship times at UCT with the Lighthouse Youth band. Peter was to succeed his father as the senior pastor of the Lighthouse in May 2007. Later some of the band members became part of His People when it was formed into a regular fellowship.
            In 1988 His People Ministries started at UCT with services on Sunday afternoon in the Baxter Theatre, usually led by Paul Daniel.  In due course this institution became a blessing to many a country as missionaries left Cape shores to plant fellowships  abroad. Some of these new leaders found initial salvation experience and nurturing at the Lightouse, like Wolfgang Eckleben, who went to London etc.
Glen Robertson.also got saved at the Lighthouse and was introduced to Paul Daniel there. At His People he developed an extensive music ministry. He was to play a pivotal role in the Newlands mass events from 2001.
          In a parallel move of the Holy Spirit, Neville McDonald was impacted. Groomed by his father-in-law, Fred Roberts, he came to Cape Town as a young pastor with his wife Wendy to start a church. They hired a cinema, the Three Arts Theatre, put an advert in the newspaper and began to preach and pray for the sick (Vincent,1986:134).
          Along with the Cape-born and bred Derrick Golding, who soon joined him, a fellowship was started at the former
Three Arts complex. After a few years this building became too small. A large new facility around a warehouse in Ottery became known as the Good Hope Christian Centre, with daughter fellowships of its own in due course, notably a large congregation in Strandfontein led by Pastor Salama Temmers, who had orginally come out of Islam.

Prayer initiatives of the North that impacted the Cape
What happened through Gerda Leithgöb and Bennie Mostert in 1987 are examples of divine calls received by other people on a congregational level. A visit to Singapore in 1988 by Gerda Leithgöb, at that stage a virtually unknown prayer warrior from Pretoria, became a spur for worldwide prayer for South Africa. Leithgöb had been involved with spiritual warfare, amongst other things with confession at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria, along with her prayer team. In the country itself she became the pioneer for spiritual mapping, using the results of research for informed prayer.
          Even in remote parts of South Africa people were praying because of the escalating, explosive situation in the country. Thus vastly different groups, like one in the Mother City, which gathered on a weekly basis, as well as the Black women in the Soutpansberg Mountains, interceded for the country to be spared from bloodshed and for an end to the misery caused by apartheid.
In 1989 Kjell Sjöberg, from Sweden, visited South Africa on a prayer assignment to pray at sites called ‘the ends of the earth’. In South Africa they prayed at Cape Agulhas. At that time a national prayer network was formed that started linking up with international prayer agencies. All of this happened fairly quietly and unnoticed. 

The role of the Church in racial Reconciliation once again[11]
It is so apt that way back in the early 1980s Archbishop Tutu wrote in his essay ‘Apartheid and Christianity’ in the book Apartheid is a Heresy that ‘the heart of the Christian Gospel can be summed up in the one word reconciliation’. Along with Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu became the personification of costly reconciliation, heading the Truth and Reconciliation Commission in the mid-1990s.                                                                                                            
         A significant church initiative was the South African Christian Leadership Assembly (SACLA) of 1979. However, it would probably be safe to say that other factors like the 40 years of apartheid oppression - combined with the prophetic WCC and SACC actions between 1948 and 1988 – also helped to conscientise the poor and the oppressed. In this, the situation was radicalised towards the inevitable conflict.
          De Klerk attested more than once to the role of his minister Ds Pieter Bingle of the ‘Dopperkerk’, (the smallest of the three Afrikaans Churches). Friends and relatives reported that De Klerk talked of being seized by a powerful sense of religious “calling” on 20 September 1989, when he was inducted as State President. In his sermon Dominee Pieter Bingle challenged him from Jeremiah 23:16, 22 to operate from the council chamber of God rather than heed the words of false prophets. De Klerk was exhorted by his minister to break new ground, ‘aggressive enough to tackle problems and challenges fearlessly. Excess baggage will have to be discarded.  …Those stuck in the grooves of the past will find that besides the spelling, depth is the only difference between a groove and a grave’.
          His brother shared how the new president was literally in tears after the service, asking his family and friends to pray for him. De Klerk sensed that ‘God was calling him to save all the people of south Africa, that he was going to be rejected by his own people but that he had to walk this road. That he did. He also conceded that he knew that he had a big responsibility in his vertical relationship – with God.
             A week before his inauguration De Klerk was put to the test after the police had opened fire and killed a number of demonstrators in ??, a Cape ‘Coloured’ township. The angry community planned a protest march into the city, to be led by Archbishop Tutu and other church dignitaries. During the Botha era such a march would have been banned outright. De Klerk acted differently. After getting assurances from the church leaders that their own marshalls would control the demonstration, he allowed it. Thirty thousand people marched peacefully to the steps of the City Hall. This was clearly the first step towards normalizing life in South Africa.

En route to real democracy
A letter of confession, posted on October 4, 1989 in the Dutch town of Zeist, became the spur for the regiogebed of the same evening to devote their monthly prayer event exclusively to South Africa (In the months preceding this evening, the group had discovered how powerful intercessory prayer for countries could be offered, interceding for the former Communist states of Eastern Germany and Hungary, which were in the process of transformation.)  A week later - without the group in Zeist having any knowledge of it - the new South African president, Mr.W. De Klerk, met Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak. That momentous meeting would help change the course of events in the country decisively.
             De Klerk showed that he meant business already by October 15. He not only released Walter Sisulu and five other ANC life prisioners, but also Jafta Masemola, founder of the military wing of the Pan-Africanist Congress, and Oscar Mpetha, a Cape trade unionist and an ANC member who had been imprisoned for terrorism at the age of seventy six.
          It was especially the Rustenburg meeting of church leaders in November 1990 that impacted the land so immensely. The document issued after the Rustenburg event in November 1990, where 230 delegates from 97 denominations had gathered, contained specific, radical and concrete confession like their misuse of the Bible and their being ‘bold in condemning apartheid but timid in resisting it’. The confessions were not one-sided at all. The victims acknowledged for example their ‘timidity and fear, failing to challenge our oppression.’
The government of the day and Afrikaners in general, slammed the Rustenburg confessions. Were they forgetting that it had been President F.W. de Klerk himself who had originally initiated the idea of such a national church conference, or were they too surprised at the outcome? Be that as it may, a deep impact was definitely made in the spiritual realm.
          Soon it became only a matter of time for the slated Group Areas and other apartheid legislation to be scrapped. On a missionary orientation trip in December 1990, we were sufficiently encouraged to return to South Africa a year later as a family. Earlier that year the Lord had started to prepare me for this eventuality during a trip to Abidjan (Ivory Coast), just at the time when Nelson was released.
          Part 2 gives an indication of what happened in the spiritual realms at the Cape since the release of Nelson Mandela on 11 February 1990. 

[1]           Kapp (1985:285) plays down the role of Dr Philip in the emancipation of the slaves. Dr. Philip's indirect contribution was surely just as important, even as that of Caledon was in this way and should be recognised and appreciated.
[2]     I differentiate between party politics on the one hand and ethical and moral issues where the prophets for examples spoke out clearly against injustice and immorality on the other hand.
[3]     Translation: a man with his agonizing prayers and revival spirit.
[4]     Lightfoot suggested that De Roubaix got into parliament because of the ‘Malay vote’. Though some expediency might have been present, this assessment is not completely accurate because De Roubaix initially suffered a lot because of his support for Muslims. How much he sacrificed has been especially pointed out by Kollisch, 1867. However, all Muslims did not herald him. He harvested opposition by some when he banned Khalifa (ratib). in his capacity of Superintendent of Police (de Lima, J. The Khalifa Question, 1857). 
[5]     The information included here is taken from Nowlan, 2001.
[6]     The reference is to the government attempts to bypass the entrenched clause in the Constitution guaranteeing the rights of Coloured voters.
[7]     The supernatural intervention by God in the run-up to the miraculous elections in April 1994 is beautifully described in Cassidy, Michael: A Witness for Ever, Hodder and Stoughton, London, 1995
[8]     In later years Rosenthal was going to play an important role as a go-between for secret communication between the government and the ANC
[9]     I fight as a can against the Y section.  I am a man of peace, but now I have to declare war.
[10]    Translation: Language, people and nation.
[11]    A good overview of the role of the Church in Reconciliation can be found in the booklet Peter Walshe Prophetic Christianity and the Liberation Movement in South Africa, 1995


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