Friday, September 18, 2015

JUMPING OVER WALLS (Part 2) September 2015


    13. Early Attacks on the Wall of Islam

            Already during my studies at our Seminary in District Six I found it strange that we had no studies of Islam in the curriculum. In the atmosphere of openness, the lecturers had no problem to have some lectures on Islam added after the end of the year examinations. My knowledgeable close friend Jakes, was only too happy to oblige. At no other educational institution in South Africa anybody would have dreamt to organise extra lectures at the end of the year after the exam time.
            My interest in Muslims and Islam remained dormant for quite a few years. After the Ayatollah Khomeini had worked his way back to Iran in 1979, a book appeared in Germany that shook me somewhat. The author - Marius Baar - suggested the use of petrodollars after the oil crisis in 1973 as demonic, an imitation of God’s work through the Holy Spirit. I knew that oil was seen in the Bible as a picture of the Spirit, e.g. the ten virgins in Matthew 25 that had to have oil in their lamps.
            Baar’s view proved to be quite accurate and prophetic. Over the years it became known how petrol revenue was used not only to build mosques and print Qur’ans, but also to burn Bibles and fight Christians, e.g. in Southern Sudan. Also the Western oil companies fitted into the ruthless exploitation of the poor in the quest for oil even in Nigeria.
            The next stimulus to get engaged in reaching out to Muslims occurred in 1981 when I was teaching in Hanover Park. The openness of Muslims to the gospel - if it is presented in a relevant and sensitive way - struck me.

Suspected to be a Police Informer
I took up a teaching post at Mount View High School in Hanover Park. I knew that this was one of the two schools where the boycotts had started the year before. The students at this school and at the neighbouring Crystal High School had called for the dismissal of their principals, highlighting the fact that one of the principals had invited the hated Security Police to the school after he had found the word ‘SWAPO’ written on a blackboard.
         I felt a little bit uneasy when the relevant authority in Wynberg expressed his satisfaction at me being a clergyman to take over at the school where a colleague had been dismissed for ‘unprofessional conduct.’ There was also the option of a school in the relatively new township of Mitchells Plain. We prayed that God would lead me to the right school, quite happy that Kathi Schulze and other friends were intercdeding for us. I landed at Mount View High School in a highly charged atmosphere.
         The suspicion at the school that I was a police informer was almost tangible. The reason was clear. My predecessor also had the surname Cloete. In addition, the story they heard must have sounded very strange, having come from Holland and a sister who had passed away. On top of it, the widely read tabloid-styled newspaper of the ‘Coloured’ Community, The Cape Herald, reported shortly after I started teaching in Hanover Park that Matthew Cloete, my predecessor, had been sacked for disseminating ANC pamphlets. It must possibly have been logical for the school fraternity to regard this as confirmation that I was an informer, a collaborator with the hated regime. Fortunately for me, the practise of ‘neck lacing’[39] was not yet in vogue. When I was asked to teach Biology, for which I was completely unqualified – and without a laboratory – I was tempted to rather go for a school in nearby Heideveld. But we had prayed about it and I had peace.
We tried to support the bereaved Esau family through practical assistance. Richard Arendse, my classmate of high school days and a later teacher colleague, immediately obliged by allowing us to use their caravan. Thus we could now sleep in the caravan in the backyard of the Esau home. My brother Windsor and his wife Ray from Grabouw generously put the use of one of their two cars at our disposal so that we could frequently visit my sickly and ageing parents in Elim, 200 Km away.
It was very special to see our ailing mother recovering slowly and the diminishing strain was evidently doing Daddy a lot of good.

Acceptance from the learners
During the short spell of teaching at Mount View High School (Hanover Park) in 1981, I had a good percentage of Muslim pupils in my classes. During the intervals I had some interesting discussions with a teacher colleague, Mr Hoosain Solomons, a devout Muslim. I was especially happy that I was so near to my friend Jakes, who had married Anne Swart, a social worker. We had met her years ago at a youth camp of the Dutch Reformed Church in the Villiersdorp area. On many a Friday afternoon we often had a little rendezvous together there in the Penlyn Estate parsonage on Friday afternoons with Henry Engel and Chris Wessels, two Moravian pastors. There I also joined a few Belydende Kring (formerly Broederkring) meetings. After one of those meetings I was evidently shadowed by some Special Branch agent. The next day a mysterious car was parked outside the Esau house at about the time I would have arrived from school. Thankfully, there were no negative repercussions when I experienced divine protective intervention the next day, arriving much later.[40] (My brother Windsor’s car that we used, would not start in the morning that day. However, no fault could be found when I took it to a garage the same afternoon and also subsequently we had no problems with the vehicle.)
Just after Easter, Mr Cassie, the principal, asked me to address the school assembly in the weekly devotional exercise. In my mini sermon I stressed that Mary Magdalene had previously been an outcast and demon‑possessed before she became a follower of Jesus. Coming from their despised township, the pupils could obviously fully identify with the message that I shared. I was deeply moved to see how open some Muslim pupils seemed to open up to the radical claims of Jesus. I furthermore highlighted in my message that the outcast Mary Magdalene became the first evangelist of the resurrection of Jesus according to John’s gospel. This was solid contextual Theology. Others might perhaps have called it Black Theology. In my talk I challenged the township pupils and teacher colleagues, stressing that this could only happen to Mary Magdalene because she had first committed her life to Jesus as her Lord. Of course, that was down to earth evangelical language. Be it as it may, this sermonette harvested for me acceptance from the learners in the highly politicised school. 

As missionaries to the Middle East?
After I had stopped working as a minister of the Moravian Church in 1980, a period of great uncertainty followed for us as a couple. I had already turned 40 when I wrote my examination in Mathematics to get qualified for teaching in the subject in Holland. On that very day our fifth child Tabitha was born, but we did not see any problem with that. We wanted to get involved with missions, but no door seemed to open. One of the major handicaps was my South African passport.         
            At this time a speaker from OM (Operation Mobilisation) pitched up at one of our Panweg church meetings. I felt very much challenged to venture into one of the Middle East countries. A comparative study of the number of missionaries in Islamic countries brought home to me the dire need to share the gospel there. It was clear that I could not go into one of the closed countries as a Christian clergyman. I was thus motivated to get an updated teaching qualification. At that stage Rosemarie was not at all enthralled by my idea of going to a country like Egypt. But she initially patiently allowed me to continue with my studies in Mathematics in order to use that as an entrance into one of the countries that were closed for Christian missionaries. Our interest in joining OM got a blow then we read in one of their leaflets: ‘Don’t wait till you are forty and you have five children.’ That put paid to our intention of joining OM.
            Our diminutive fellowship at the Panweg in Zeist maintained a great interest in missions in general.  From the word go the fellowship supported various missionaries. Liesbeth Walvaart and Bart Berkeij had been linked to the group before they went to England where they studied at All Nations Bible College, soon to be followed by Bep de Bruyn and Peter Zoutewelle.  With Willie Jonker, a worker with the Evangelische Omroep and a board member of the Red Sea Mission, the outreach to Muslims was natural. The Goed Nieuws Karavaan team that Rosemarie and I were leading, targeted the Moroccan and Turkish children and youth of Zeist for loving missionary outreach.      
             This coincided with the practical need to feed my family. It was not easy at all to get a position as teacher of Religious Instruction and my South African Bachelor of Arts degree was not recognised in Holland.
            For years we have been attending the annual mission conferences, but everything still seemed far away. In 1988 it seemed as if the doors to the mission field were finally opening. The visit of the Dutch AIM leaders to our home was the catalyst to start using the book Operation World to pray with our children through all African countries. In this way we hoped to discern in which country the Lord wished to use us. The effect of these prayers at meal times was initially not positive at all, if not counter-productive. But our children now noticed that we meant business. The sprouts did not seem excited at all at the prospect of having to leave Europe for what they perceived as primitive Africa.
            This all changed when Marry Schotte came along with a video of the WEC mission school in Côte d’Ivoire where she was teaching. Suddenly the children caught the vision to go with us. At our extended weekly family devotions even the little ones now started to pray fervently for a teacher to accompany us to England. There we would have to go and do our WEC Candidates’ Orientation Course in January 1991.
            A further ‘confirmation’ of the timetable came when Bart Berkheij phoned yet again to tell me that the friend, who would have accompanied him to Mali, had pulled out. I still had no teaching appointment. Thus the itinerary could soon be finalised. I would join him on the trip to Mali for two weeks and the third week he would accompany me on an orientation trip to the Ivory Coast.
            My attitude to mission in Black Africa changed completely in Cote d’Ivoire. This is what mattered most to us because this is where we eventually wanted to be as a family.
            The last day in Abidjan, the capital, took the cake. I had already enjoyed the bus trip from Vavoua, during which I had a meaningful ‘conversation’ with a student who had studied German. I practiced my little bit of French, translating a tract about the lost sheep of Luke 15 into German, for him to check. The openness for the gospel in the West African metropolis impressed me, even though the humidity made me depressed. I could hardly sleep during our only night in the West African city.
            Bart and I spent the morning doing some sightseeing and shopping - little artefacts to take along for the families at home! I got home sick as I looked over the Islamic city! When I saw a few mosques, it so much resembled the old District Six, the slum-like area of my childhood. I had thought that South Africa was way out of my mind in terms of a return there! But in a fleeting moment I was overwhelmed by nostalgia.
            An even deeper impression followed at our ‘visit to a mosque’. We landed in one by accident. When all the shops closed down, we had no opportunity to continue our shopping spree. We simply took a seat next to the road, when prayer mats were rolled out all around us. Bart was sitting obliquely behind me. Somehow I had the impression that he was also doing the obligatory raka’ts, the Islamic cycles of body movements accompanying the prayers. Thus I simply joined in, imitating the people in front of me. Suddenly I heard an angry stifled shout-whisper: ‘Ashley, wat doe je daar!’ (Ashley, what are you doing!) What a bashing he gave me hereafter for going through the Islamic motions. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel very deeply sorry from within...
            As I looked at the people in front of me, I experienced a thrill. It was as if the Lord was reassuring me that these movements were no more than meaningless tradition; that some day the Islamic wall would also crash like the Communist wall.[41]
            The insight I gained from this experience was quite deep. Back in Holland I challenged our home ministry group: I recognised that having your hands in the air while we sing and similar gestures could be just as empty! Having come from a church with a rich tradition of ritual and music, the message of Isaiah hit home to me that outward feasts and celebrations - without a genuine concern also for the poor and the needy - could actually be disgusting in God’s eyes (Isaiah 58).

            We deemed it fit to speak to the leaders of the fellowship about our mission plans even though we had been church members for less than a year. The dynamic ‘Mama’ Heijnk was quite contented when she heard that we intended to use the vocation in which I had been trained. She stated clearly that as a church they were financially committed to ‘Open Doors’, although they really felt that more missionaries should go to the Muslim world.
            At the discussion with the new leadership team a few months later - the old Heijnks had taken a back seat - they were quite surprised that we didn’t mention financial support. Not very long hereafter, the elders progressed even further along a new road: they committed themselves to regular monthly support for us to a substantial tune.

            As the years went on we discerned that many Muslims were wrestling under the yoke of ritual bondage. The question became even more pressing: How will all those people who are still veiled ever get rid of it? As my wife and I read 2 Corinthians 3 once again, we were reminded that Martin Luther only got into the freedom of Christ when he discovered that he needed a Saviour. This only occurred when he developed a deep sense of urgency about his own sin. We also realised anew that this is something that only God can sovereignly accomplish. God doesn’t need us, but we can be instruments in His hands to change the world, especially through prayer.
            The three weeks were sufficient to excite me about the possibilities to share the gospel in West Africa. The discussions at the school in Vavoua (Ivory Coast) were promising, although I foresaw that merely as a prelude to get into other missionary work after a few years. But I still had to get fluent in French and Rosemarie had not even started learning this language.
            The Lord used the trip in yet another way. While I was in West Africa our longstanding friend Geertje Rehorst visited Rosemarie one evening. When Geertje heard that we were praying for a teacher, she asked all sorts of questions. Because she had been ruled unfit for teaching a few years before, we never even seriously considered Geertje as a possible candidate to help us out.
            When her son Peter visited us with his wife Annelies, we told them of our need of a teacher to accompany us to England. Soon he asked: ‘Have you thought of my mother?’ At the school for the blind Geertje had been teaching children of different age groups. When we invited Geertje over one evening to put the question to her she confirmed that she knew all along that the Lord wanted her to go with us to England. She was only waiting on us to approach her.
            The Lord used the time in Bulstrode, the International WEC Headquarters near to London, to bring Geertje back into missions. Soon hereafter she started to learn Spanish, becoming the member care person for Spanish missionaries.
14. Hurdles towards publication

            Tafelberg Publishers had returned the manuscript of ‘What God joined together’ in 1981 with little comment. Quite a few years later, in 1990, I started considering publishing the material in Holland. I used the manuscript as a ‘fleece’ - albeit still with some inner uneasiness - to discern whether we should visit my home country again. The idea was to generate funds simultaneously for the proposed trip with Danny and Tabitha two of our children. My parents were going to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary. However, after all the overseas trips I did in the preceding months and the pending four-month visit to England as candidates of WEC International, how could we expect believers to support us again?
            The husband of a cousin of mine, Hein Fransman, had started Kampen Publishers, as a subsidiary of the renowned Dutch company. (He published Allan Boesak’s Vinger van God). Chris Wessels was also eager that I should expose the evils of apartheid in this way, but I was still holding on to my hope of winning the Afrikaners over in love.  The need of funds to go to South Africa with my wife and some children for the golden wedding anniversary of my parents and 80th birthday of my mother nudged me to approach the renowned publishers in the Dutch town of Kampen.  They turned my manuscript down, stating that there would be no market in Holland for such a book. Miraculously, God sent in sufficient funds for us to go to South Africa. We gradually got used to expect God to supply our financial needs once we had inner peace that we should venture out in faith.
            The Lord evidently saw that my heart was not really in it to lower my lofty ideals of refraining from publishing the sensitive material abroad. This would surely have been quite embarrassing if not damaging to the government of the day.
            Rosemarie was still quite critical of my writing activities. She thought that I was wasting my time. This effectively put a break and a damper on my spirit. Indeed, I had very little to show for all my efforts.  Looking back, I am nevertheless thankful for Rosemarie’s criticism. It kept me humble. I don’t know whether our family life would have been able to handle the pressure of the prejudicial South African society in the 1980s if we had gone there at that time. One of the issues of which she was very critical was my emphasis on confession. Through our contacts with Moral Rearmament - where I was clearly influenced in this way - we had also seen that confession could also be abused as a tool. We learned that remorse was a pre-condition and that it as a rule had to be followed with genuine restitution.
            In the meantime we had distanced ourselves from the movement of Moral Re-armament. We felt that the movement was too compromising, not radically committed to justice. In our view MRA appeared to emphasize only those parts of Jesus’ message that suited the rich and influential. And then of course the unique position of Jesus as the only door to the Father we saw compromised as well.

          After I had read in the Dutch newspaper Trouw that Professor Nico Smith was visiting Holland, I jumped at the opportunity to meet him. Some correspondence with him followed, during which I impressed the need for confession as a prelude to racial reconciliation. My effort backfired when Professor Nico Smith used my letter in the Reforum conference of verligte DRC theologians in January 1985. He must have cited from one of my letters.
            It seemed as if the way in which Prof. Nico Smith introduced one of my letters, might have rubbed some delegates up the wrong way. That someone from overseas made a suggestion - and a ‘Coloured’ South African at that - was probably also not appreciated. From one of the attendees I got an unsolicited reaction that testified to the negative reaction that my letter had provoked. Nevertheless, the seed sown in that way, seemed to have germinated. Two years later, a group of Dutch Reformed theologians published a confession. Indeed, the seed was sown. In the late 1970’s I was following the developments in the country closely via the weekly international edition of the Star. My flurry of letters might even have made some contribution to change.
            After I had seen Dr Dawie de Villiers in 1988 on TV, while I was in the country during a short visit with our daughter Magdalena, I felt an urge to write to him. He was a Cabinet minister who had been a clergyman as well. In my letter to him I spelt out the need of remorseful confession as a prelude to reconciliation.      

Seed beginning to germinate 
In a few cases the seed I tried to sow seemed to germinate. I really rejoiced when I heard how Professor Willie Jonker started the ball of confession rolling at Rustenburg. (The very same Professor Jonker had told me in an aside on Schiphol airport in Holland in 1979 that he did not belong to the Broederbond.)
 The government of the day and the Afrikaans press slammed the Rustenberg confession in general, but in the spiritual realm a deep impact was definitely made.

            I also started collating the reports of our three visits to South Africa. With my parents going to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, the manuscript was the intended present. David Appelo, a friend that I had met during my stint with Campus Crusade, helped me a lot to get it in a presentable form with the aid of his computer. After our return to Holland, David Appelo felt that we should try and publish the material in a form that would not be only a family record. I agreed to allow him to revamp the manuscript for wider publication. During my quiet time I had been challenged through a Bible story: God touched the heart of King Ahasveros to have the records fetched when he could not sleep. There the king read how someone had saved his life. Mordechai was honoured in the perfect divine timing. I understood clearly that I should not manipulate, trying to get honoured by men. I should leave that over to God. During our visit to Josini near to the Mozambique border of South Africa, there was also a word from the Lord through the van Steltens, a missionary couple: I was not to sell my testimony, I should not expect to be vindicated through a book. The Lord would see to it himself in His good time.
            Family history was definitely the tone of a manuscript with which I presented my darling on her 40th Birthday in July 1991. Referring to our wedding sermon I gave it the title On Eagle’s Wings. Yet another treatise followed, the result of further studies. It was a missiological work describing the new South Africa as a ‘goldmine’ for the recruitment of missionaries. After I presented it to Patrick Johnstone and the international leaders of WEC, the response was not encouraging enough to proceed with publication. I decided to leave it at that. I loved writing and researching and really wanted to put the results in the service of the Lord, but I definitely did not want to waste money to have books printed that would not be read. The Lord would have to confirm any possible publication. Also I recognised that it is not so bad at all to remain an unknown entity. Our family life remained fairly stable that way. I was too aware of the possibility of homes disrupted through too much media interference.
            I had little hesitation to refuse my co-operation to the publication of a complete book on my behalf a few months into 1992. David Appelo had not complied to our original agreement that he would sent the manuscript first. I was not satisfied that my intention - that it should be a testimony to God’s goodness and grace - was coming through sufficiently after his editing. I was nevertheless sad to disappoint David, who had gone to such length to prepare ‘Involuntary Exile’ for publication.

At the beginning of our stay in Tamboerskloof I joined the SIM (Society of International MinistriesLife Challenge team of Manfred Jung in Bo‑Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.[42] I soon felt very uncomfortable with the method of knocking at strange people’s doors to speak to them about my faith. This coincided with the cessation of the SIM outreach effort in Bo‑Kaap, the Muslim stronghold of Cape Town. Rosemarie and I decided that we would now do prayer walking in Bo‑Kaap, asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had done preparatory work.
            Soon we were walking through the Bo-Kaap as a couple once a week, praying for the area. But after a few weeks we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. We had to get the backing of other Christians. As a family we were attending the City Branch of the Vineyard Church as the Jubilee Church was called at that time. Dave and Herma Adams, the local leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims although the church in general had no affinity as yet in this direction.
             A positive result of the door-to-door ministry was that I discovered that my knowledge of Islam was completely inadequate. I got permission from our leaders to do a post-graduate course in Missiology at the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) in Kalk Bay with a special focus on Islam.
            Things were nevertheless auguring well for the future. Our friend Jutty Bredenkamp, who had visited us in Zeist a few times and whom I had assisted to get some sources there, had become professor of History at the University of the Western Cape when we came to the Mother City in January 1992. He assisted me in my research on the establishment and spread of Islam at the Cape for an assignment of the Bible Institute of South Africa. When I shared with him some of my discoveries, especially with regard to the misrepresentation of missions in the available literature - notably in the writings of Professor Robert Shell and Dr Achmat Davids - he encouraged me to publish my findings. Bredekamp arranged with the South African library to have a shortened version of my assignment printed in their quarterly journal. The idea was to let my article coincide with the tercentenary of the arrival of Sheikh Yusuf, but I could not meet the deadline.   
            I still hoped to follow up my post-graduate studies in Islamics, by doing something at UWC in an effort to get in touch with Muslim students in a natural way. In consultation with the Dean of the theological faculty, Professor Daan Cloete (whom we knew from our common days in Holland) and the Missiology professor, I thought of doing a Masters, with the proviso that I would first do a course in Arabic, after completion of the one-year post-graduate course in Islamics at BI. The idea was to get in dialogue with the next generation of Muslim leaders.
            Quite a few more treatises were hereafter predominantly connected to the struggle against another ideological giant, Islam. As I studied different biblical figures in the Bible that are also found in the Qur’an for use with our meetings with our Muslim background believers, a pattern became clear, namely that the cross is consistently left out in the Qur’an. To cross-check my discovery, I also studied the same personalities in the Jewish Talmud. Here I was struck by a further discovery, viz. how close early Christianity was to Judaism. I was very much aware that my critical writing about the Sabbath doctrine, i.e. the changing of the day of rest by the Emperor Constantine in 321 CE, could bring me into disrepute not only with all the mainline churches, but also with the evangelicals. I nevertheless used the results of my studies carefully in a radio series of the local CCFM in 1997, where we used another person as reader. I also used the material in our teaching courses in Muslim Evangelism. I read a more daring version of the series myself on radio in 1999 as midday devotionals. Fortunately there were still no repercussions. This series was running concurrently with the Friday evening programme God Changes Lives where I was interviewing people from different religious backgrounds who came to faith in Jesus. This helped to give me a good reputation all round.
            The studies also sent me in search of the roots of Islam, when I discovered that virtually every single Islamic doctrine had a Judaic-Christian background. The manuscripts ‘The unpaid debt of the church” and “Is Islam a Christian sect?”[43] followed.
            When a rather polemical German booklet came into my hands in 1998, I felt an urge to search deeper after the background of the figure of the angel Gabriel in Islam. The threads seemed to come together as I discovered that there was clear evidence of a demonic conspiracy of some sort at work. When I however also discerned that my ‘discoveries’ were not new at all, that much of it was actually also written about by Muslims themselves - I saw ever more that the lie of Islam and the resultant bondage caused by it will only be exposed and overcome by much more prayer.
          Rosemarie was never really excited by all my writing activities. I contributed to this situation by not finishing manuscripts. I would start with something, but when I would find something interesting in the course of my research, then I would just go off on a tangent. Another factor was that I hardly got any encouragements. Added to that was the fact that I was rather hesitant to get books published that would just gather dust on bookshelves. By the beginning of 2002 I had about a score of different uncompleted manuscripts on my computer or on diskettes.     
          March 16 of that year suddenly brought things to a head when I suddenly had a serious instance of loss of memory, not even knowing how many children I have. Carelessness on my part, by just continuing with ministry on Friday 15 March 2002 after travelling by bus throughout the night from Durban, sparked off a stress related loss of memory the next day. After a day in hospital and further medical treatment, I was cleared with the instruction to come back after a year.
          Rosemarie now nudged me to get some of my manuscripts printed. The first was to be Search for Truth 2, a further booklet with testimonies that had been on my computer for months already. The experiences with the first rendition were very positive, with requests coming for translation into other languages. (I was not excited about this idea because the stories were actually from the Cape. I thought that the stories should then have to be rewritten.)
          We however had some reservations about a few testimonies. On the other hand, the convincing lives of two other Muslim background believers encouraged us so much that we printed their testimonies as tracts in 2002.
          Mark Gabriel, a former sheikh from Egypt, who had to flee his country, came to Cape Town. He started writing down some of his discoveries while he was doing his 3-month practical of YWAM and living with us in 1996 and I learnt a lot from him. From 17 August, 2000 he was back in Cape Town. I assisted him to make use the facilities to do recordings at the CCFM studios for outreach cassettes in Arabic. Mark wanted to settle in Cape Town, but when his passport had to be renewed, he did not see his way clear to go to the Egyptian Consulate. This turned out to be a very wise move. A few weeks later he was on his way to the USA, where he settled.
            At the end of 2001 the Rand as a currency took a major plunge. In a chat with our friend Mark Gabriels in the USA, he started inviting us to come over. I mentioned the currency situation as a major deterrent for a South African to go overseas. At this time his first major publication Islam and Terrorism was about to be launched in the USA. The idea somehow surfaced of trying to get my manuscript on the angel Gabriel published there. (We knew that there would be no market in South Africa for material like that). But that was not to be. We had to cancel the trip and nothing was published as yet.
          In October 2008 cancer was confirmed to be in my prostrate.  The Lord encouraged me with Psalm 117:18 the previous day. I saw that verse as an encouragement to ‘proclaim the works of the Lord.’ Concretely I discerned in the word from scripture an invitation and challenge to endeavour to finalise three autobiographical manuscripts. I started doing this in hospital while recuperating from the hospital.
          At this time I also affected a few changes to Search for Truth 2 to get it ready for printing. (Our son Rafael, who had just returned from Germany, was also available to make the Part 2 of the booklet more readable for the rank and file reader). The booklet could be printed in January 2004. My cousin Patrick Cloete, by trade a printer, gave me a good quote. Without consulting me on the matter he decided to let another printing firm do it. The result was very unsatisfactory, many of the copies spoilt. One almost thought that it had been done on purpose. The firm concerned agreed to reprint the whole consignment of 2000 free of charge. I could keep the old copies. Over the next five years many copies of the booklet – not only bad ones - found their way around the country in a quiet way, the bulk of them used as free tract-like distribution.
          A year later Kobus Smith  a printer, saw Search for Truth 2 on the book table in Durbanville where we staged a a seminar on reconciliation on February 19, 2005. He wanted to reprint 1000 copies of the booklet as a gift but I was not excited about the idea because I still had a few thousand copies in our garage. He did however print a manual of our papers, in which also some of Leigh's paintings featured.  When I wrote a series for CCFM radio called The road to the Global Day of Prayer, we looked at printing it. Neville Truter a retired missionary of SIM, assisted with the layout. We however never came to the actual printing. The marriage of Kobus fell apart when he left the country. That manusucript was used as the basis for  Seeds sown for Revival - Personal Observations on Prayer Movements in Cape Town..
Dr Mark Gabriel invited me and my wife Rosemarie to be part of a 10-week pilot course that started in Orlando, Florida (USA) on 11 September 2007. Unfortunately Rosemarie could not join me during the two weeks that I was able to be the guest of a non-denominational congregation, Northland - A Church Distributed. The idea of co-authoring and revamping THE ROOTS OF ISLAM was given by Debby Poulalion, the editor of five other books of Dr Gabriel, during this my first visit to the USA. The Spiritual Parents of Islam was the result of that attempt, a limited number printed in 2010.

A Publication Saga
The first target date that I had set for Seeds sown for Revival was Heritage Day, 24 September, 2008. To us it was quite providential that we got to meet Wendy Ryan, a missionary from Trinidad, a journalist who had been assisting with the editing at one of our All Nations gatherings. I also had Claudia Taylor, a local pastor who had been trained as a journalist to do proof-reading. It soon appeared that my target date was far too optimistic. When I discovered that my church youth friend Hindi Sanneberg had a small printing company, I was very much encouraged. But in December 2009 was still not published, with many hick-ups and hassles along the way, causing a lot of frustration to many of us in the process.
Just ahead of our Global Day of Prayer I was ready to go public with the book, hoping to get enough orders. Hindi Sanneberg had prepared a few sample copies Seeds sown for Revival for this occasion. When there was an order for only one copy of this book, this was even more to me a sign to continue to wait on the Lord, putting finances for the project out as a Gideon's fleece. As we were on the verge of going to Europe, I hoped at the back of my mind that the financial confirmation would occur there. The opposite happened. When our nephew Uli Braun saw the book, he immediately had an idea to make the cover more appealing. This was the beginning of another saga that was to take us into December. To me this was no great tragedy because I had already started writing an epilogue to the original manuscript. I was definitely not going to rush anything. I was given a lot of grace as I improved the manuscript all the time.
         After our return from Germany at the beginning of September 2010, we had a rude awakening when we received post from the tax consultant that has been handling our affairs over a period of five years. The accumulation of debt, interest and penalties incurred because of the protracted negotiations would amount to a very substantial sum.  My immediate reaction was that the book publication was now out of the question. A few days later however we received an unexpected gift of a few thousand rand from a local church. This sort of thing rarely happens. When I told Rosemarie about it, she immediately reacted that we should then proceed with the printing of Seeds sown for Revival.  This was however not the end of the saga. It would take more than three months before 100 copies of the book were finally printed. The gift of the church was enough for the deposit to which we added a little more from our savings.

A special Visit
On Sunday evening 24 October 2010 I received an SMS from our friend Richard Mitchell whether he could come and stay with us for a few days. (We had been working together so closely in the mid and late 1990s in the prayer movement at the Cape and especially in the fight against the PAGAD onslaught and in the battle against the effort to islamise the Western Cape, until his departure for the UK in 1999. Richard had also been my presenter on the CCFM radio programme 'God changes Lives.') I knew that Richard was attending Lausanne III, but somehow we could not find a moment to meet each other.
            Tuesday 26 October 2010 was quite eventful as I took Richard along to Noordhoek where we had a wonderful post-Lausanne report back by Floyd McClung, our leader. He requested me to share as well, knowing that Rosemarie and I attended Connected 2010, the conference specially organised for all those who were not invited to the main event at the International Convention Centre. Rather spontaneously I went overboard in Noordhoek, by also sharing our concern that a few lines in the draft for Lausanne III were supportive of so-called Replacement Theology. I was not aware that Floyd had opposite convictions. I received a severe reprimand that almost saw us parted ways with All Nations. We decided to keep our conviction to ourselves in order to keep the peace, feeling very hypocritical about the matter. I was like Jonah once again!
         A negative of our link to All Nations was that an interest in the strongholds of Bo-Kaap and Sea Point never took off. In fact, interest in loving outreach to Jews remained almost non-existent. We chose to hang in there, not wanting to be like Jonah to run away. Towards the end of 2015 we felt though that we had come to the end of the road with All Nations International because we had also been hoping for new leaders to lead the ministry at least in Bo-Kaap. Nothing was forthcoming, only tentative interest by various people.
            Another negative of Floyd’s email was that The Unity of the Body of Christ - a top Priority? became untenable. Floyd had been writing a foreword to the book. I pasted the text on our blog without that foreword in December 2011. I knew that I could only move forward with the manuscript in one of two ways. I would have to get the matter resolved in frank discussion with him, perhaps agreeing to disagree, or get someone else like Barry Isaacs to write the forward. Five years later I still had not made up my mind. On this issue I was definitely just like Jonah once again.

15. More hurdles to surmount

            When we worked in Zeist among Moroccan and Turkish children, we were not aware that the Lord had started to prepare us for a future ministry among the Muslims of Cape Town. Even when we invited Herman Takken, who was doing this work in Holland full-time - to come and give us the volunteers of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan some teaching on Islam - I was not remotely thinking of using it one day in the city where I was born and bred. Working as a missionary in a Muslim country was nevertheless one of the options I kept in mind as a definite possibility. And then there was of course the visit to Mali and the Ivory Coast that had struck a chord in my heart to reach out more to those who had come in Islamic bondage.
            The procedure to become WEC missionaries had already started when we became very uncertain. What would happen if WEC turned us down or if we decide not to go with that agency after all? Then we would be without any accommodation. We knew how difficult it was to find a house even for a couple or a small family. With our five kids, would such a step be responsible? We decided to put out a ‘fleece’. If the Lord would give us people who would be willing to come and stay in our home and pay the rent for the six months of our missionary orientation, we would know that God was confirming our call. He indeed gave us a couple, both of whom had a job. The circumstance however became quite a trial when the couple did not pay the rent promptly.
            Come January 1991, we were already in Bulstrode, the Headquarters of WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) International for the Candidates’ Orientation Course. Quite soon I addressed my reservations in joining WEC after the altercation with an older missionary in Durban who had problems with my surmised 'political activity' - my draft letter to the three political leaders of South Africa. Interviews with Dr Dieter Kuhl, the international leader of WEC and Patrick Johnstone, who had been working in Southern Africa as a missioanry helped to put me at ease. They saw my position and possible involvement for racial reconciliation comopletely different to the other potential missionary who supported apartheid.
            The Lord used the time in Bulstrode to start moulding us for our future ministry in Cape Town. Here I was clearly introduced to the concept of spiritual warfare for the first time. Never before had I heard about terms like prayer walks, about strategic and targeted prayer. The Gulf War at the beginning of the year made things very practical. In one of the devotionals Jenny Carter, one of the workers at the International Office, demonstrated why it was necessary for the allied aeroplanes to prepare the area for the artillery. Using the same idea, C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC, had used terms like chocolate soldier and prayer batteries many years ago. But that sounded like language of a bygone age. The purpose of Studd’s concept was to prepare the fields for the mission workers to move in. Studd was of course very much influenced by William Booth and his Salvation Army.
            I could have known more about spiritual warfare because the Count Zinzendorf, the founder of the renewed Moravian Church, had introduced a term like ‘Streiterehe’ - the warrior marriage - centuries ago. According to this concept the married partners sacrificed to be separated from the spouse for extended periods. But all this I perceived as not valid for our time. At Bulstrode all this changed when not only the Gulf War made the issue practical, but fundamentalist Islam became ever more clearly visible as a threat to world peace.
            As part of our missionary training at Bulstrode we had to write an assignment, a ‘field study’ about the country where we intended to go to. I had been giving talks about different aspects of South African life, but thought that I did not know enough about the culture and history of the Indian population of the country. What also played a role in my thinking was the strategy to be used back home to help recruit South African Indians for the subcontinent from where their ancestors originally came. In WEC we were looking for possibilities of solving the problem of entry into India as career missionaries. Thus my suggestion was that Rosemarie could study the politics, economy and related issues about South Africa, while I would make a study of the Indians. This led me into looking at Hinduism and Islam, the two major religions. My experience in West Africa also definitely influenced me. I thought of the Black South Africans as potential missionaries to the Muslim countries of West Africa.
            During my study of Islam in South Africa I discovered that Bo-Kaap, the residential area below Signal Hill, had become an Islamic stronghold. When we returned to Holland, I challenged the Christians there to send their ‘batteries’ to Bo-Kaap, to bombard the area before we as missionaries could go in as the infantry. I was not aware that SIM Life Challenge was already active there. Also we had no concrete plans for involvement there. In our correspondence to WEC South Africa we did mention that we wanted our hands free to evangelise among the Muslims. The South African WEC leadership desperately wanted to use us for representation in the Western Cape. The stated strategy of WEC in SA was to focus on recruitment, and not to get involved with new ministries. We on the other hand were not inclined to get bogged down to administration and representation, not seeing that as our gifting.
            Differences with the new WEC leadership in South Africa with regard to our future role clouded our start at Emmeloord. It was finally agreed that we would help our colleague Shirley Charlton with representation in Cape Town in the first year and thereafter we would see how the Lord would lead.          Also in Holland we got in a tussle with the leadership there. We decided to defer our acceptance as WEC missionaries. We continued however with the negotiations to get the necessary papers for relocating to South Africa. Luckily all the differences could be resolved.

The airfare for the family - another hurdle
Another hurdle was the airfare for us as a couple plus our five children of which two had to pay adult fares. We had also decided that a container would be the best way to get our belongings to Cape Town. The Lord sovereignly helped us in these major steps of faith. When the couple that stayed in our house for six months paid the rent in a lump sum, we already experienced how the Lord saw us through.  Not once we were not able to pay our rent. Now we had the money not only for our airfare, but also for the container in which we wanted to transport our furniture and other belongings.

            During the last few months in Holland before our departure, I helped out as a teacher of Religious Instruction at the local school for the Blind and also to take clothing and Bibles for persecuted and needy Christians on behalf of the East Europe Mission to Switzerland over weekends. On our last trip in December 1991 - also intended as our farewell to the family in Germany - we had to face the reality of spiritual warfare as never before. Satan evidently wanted to prevent us from going to South Africa.
            When we left as a couple from Lienzingen for Switzerland with the intention of returning there the same evening, we had no clue how close we came to losing our lives. Snow in the mountainous region of Southern Germany about 50 Km before the Swiss border with a van loaded with books, was hazardous in the extreme. Apart from the literature we brought from Holland, we also picked up Russian Children’s Bibles at Licht im Osten in nearby Korntal. As we slid across the road we were literally praying much of the time. We discerned God’s protecting hand when we slipped off the road with the heavy load, luckily just at a place where there was a parking place. If it had been at almost any other location in that region, we would have gone done into the depths to a certain death.
            Soon we had to face an onslaught of another sort. Accusations came to us that really made us feel very guilty to go to South Africa. It was suggested that I was only abusing the interlude of the Ivory Coast as a smokescreen, to prepare the way to take my family to South Africa. That was fully comprehensible. Everybody knew of course how dearly I wanted to return to my home country.
            Rosemarie had her share as well, because she was accused of callously leaving the care of her mother - who was now living with Waltraud, her sister - to others. From Holland we could at least come during the school holidays to take over some of the burden.
            We returned to the Netherlands with heavy hearts. We cried to the Lord to intervene. Our tickets were booked by now and the container ordered. The Lord would have to send in someone to help Waltraud with the care of our mother. It was special that we got in touch with a retired nurse who spoke German and who was prepared to go and help Waltraud with our Mama. This cleared the way for us to go to South Africa with a good conscience. It was never necessary to call on that help. But we were thus freed to go to Cape Town in January 1992.
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            Just before our departure to South Africa we heard that we could be housed in the Bible School during the month of January. Evidently this had strengthened the faith of the children to expect a miracle even at this very last minute. The Master clearly used our first days in Cape Town to make it unambiguously clear to all and sundry that we were called to minister to the Cape Muslims. When we came from Holland we didn’t have any house to go to. During the month of January 1992 we were accommodated in a Bible School. This was the first indication that the Lord was perhaps calling us to get involved with the Muslims. Early in the morning at half past four we were wakened by the minaret calls from seven mosques within a radius of two kilometres of the Bible School in Athlone.
            Priority number one was getting permanent accommodation– preferably not too far from the German school - and priority number two was to get the schooling of the children sorted out. We followed up all sorts of advertisements, hoping to find a four bed-roomed house so that we can also have guests. But finding a suitable one that is more or less affordable was almost like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Four bed-roomed houses were few and far between and usually very expensive. Soon we settled for a three bed-roomed one, but also here it was not easy at all. Whenever the owners heard how many children we have, they were not interested any more. Thus we soon made a point of mentioning our five children right at the outset whenever we enquired.
            Towards the end of the month we were quite frustrated, as all our attempts at getting a house had brought us nowhere. We were now in quite dire straits because we had to get out of the Bible School before the end of the month.
            This was still the position on the 30th January. We could not believe our eyes when a reasonably priced four bedroom house plus another room was available in the Gardens suburb, thus not far from the German school. The timing seemed to be perfect, because it was almost the end of the month and we could move in straight away. The wife of the house owner took for granted that her husband would agree to have us because he was a German-speaking Swiss. We were really in the clouds when the phone call confirmed that he indeed agreed initially. We were already praising the Lord at the table at suppertime, when the phone rang once again. This time it was the husband himself. He had just heard from his wife that we have five children; this was a major problem to him. They would rather not rent their house to us. When I returned to the supper table with the shattering news, all of us were devastated. Little Tabitha vented her fears spontaneously as she cried uncontrollably: ‘Will we now have to sleep on the street?’ How thankful we were when Rafael could console her: ‘No, the Lord will see to it that we need not go and sleep on the street.’ I had a big lump in my throat at the child-like and yet also mature faith into which our children had started to grow.
            On Friday the 31st of January we packed all our belongings together without knowing where would be going the next day. On Sunday the influx of students was expected to start.
            We were not aware how many people were praying for us. About one group we heard soon hereafter. They were Christians from the Community Bible Fellowship that we had attended the previous Sunday. They had been praying right through the night from Friday to Saturday, also for us!
            In the heavenlies something was obviously happening, because somewhere in the suburb of Kenilworth a Greek lady could not sleep. Ireni Stephanis never had problems with sleeplessness, but thatnight she constantly had to think about the family from Holland about which she had heard from our missionary colleague. She hadn’t heard whether the family of seven had found accommodation in the meantime. Ireni resolved to offer to share her house, because her daughter had just married and left the house and her two sons would not be around for some time.
            When we learnt this story the Saturday afternoon from Shirley, our missionary colleague, we could just marvel at the intervention of the Lord. It looked to be the most practical thing to sleep at the Bible School for the last time. Even in this little detail we could see the hand of the Lord. At this time we also met John Cyster, who offered to help us with the clearance of our container, when it would be in the Cape Town docks.
            After moving over to Kenilworth, we resumed our search for a house. Ireni Stephanis said that we could stay at their house as long as we would need the accommodation. But we really wanted to get into our own home and of course, we did not want to abuse her hospitality. By this time we had already enrolled our children in the German school. (Already during our orientation in December 1990 we originally thought that our two eldest children should go there) We originally thought of putting two of our children into an English-speaking school in the suburb of Rondebosch, where we initially had hoped to get accommodation. But the prestigious Golden Groves Primary school could only take our Magdalena. At the German school they even enrolled Tabitha for the first grade, although she was only five years old.
            One Sunday afternoon we decided to just go and have a look at a house in Brunswick Road, Tamboerskloof because it would be relatively near to the German School. We liked the house but because of the rental tag we never gave it serious consideration. It would have been nice, within walking distance from the German school. The monthly rental would be well above what we had budgeted for. Sharing our own experience in Berlin with the house owner did give an interesting topic for talk because her aged mother was still living there. More out of courtesy and because of the situation that we had nothing else, we left Ireni Stephanis’ phone number with the couple.               
            We were taken by surprise when the Germans phoned us the next day. We learned that she had remarried and thus the house in Tamboerskloof had become redundant. Our children had made a good impression on the lady owner. Money was not really the object with her. She was also positively inclined to us because her adult children had also attended the German school. When we had to concede now that the rent was too high, they offered to lower it by R100.  We promised to think about it. I had left to fetch the children from school when the gentleman phoned once again. Originally we had decided that the monthly gift that we got pledged from our home church in Holland should be designated for the rent. For the rest of our cost of living we wanted to trust the Lord to put it on the hearts of other believers and/or churches. When Rosemarie was now asked telephonically what we were prepared to pay, it was clinched - R200 less than the original sum.
            Just at this point in time we heard that our container had arrived. Our new landlords agreed that we could move in, almost a week before the end of the month, without any extra cost! Thus it was not necessary to leave the container in the docks for any length of time. That would have amounted to added costs for the storage. Could we do any better than praise the Lord for his wonderful provision?

            In our first year in the country I spoke - e.g. with Rosemarie in an interview on Radio Pulpit - of the new South Africa as a goldmine for missionary recruitment. I had already started in Holland working on a treatise with that topic.
            Now and then we operated together as a family as part of the WEC Team. Shirley Charlton, the Western Cape representative and Grace Chan, a colleague from Mauritius, were the other team members at that time. I restricted the preaching part of my representation work on purpose so that I could be with my family on a Sunday morning as much as possible. Occasionally I was asked to share at churches how we were called into missions as a family. At the one or other of these opportunities the cross-cultural choir that we had recruited, sang. Apart from Grace, we also had people from different races in the choir - including a Zulu and a few Xhosas. We collated the choir members predominantly from Capetonian Bible Colleges.
            We were also approached to help train Xhosa young people in children’s work at a campsite in Strandfontein during the June holidays. The week was strategic as we got to know the gifted Melvin Maxegwana who was translating the teaching into Xhosa. For the rest, our ministry still had no clear direction. We took along two young people from the Hanover Park City Mission congregation, who later showed interest in missions and evangelism. Shane Varney went to Operation Mobilisation with a vision for Bangladesh and Carlo Johnson later attended the Cape Evangelical Bible School. Shane later completed a degree at university and yet later went to teach English in the Far East.
16. More shots at the Islamic wall

            The Lord used our need of accommodation in Cape Town in January 1992 to nudge us towards outreach to Muslims. At the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute in Surrey Estate a roar woke us up at half past four the very first morning. It was the thundering sound from the minarets from seven mosques within a two-kilometer radius from the Bible School. The change of the spiritual complexion of the area happened during my long absence overseas.
            Almost from the word go we got in touch with a major problem of the Muslim community - drug addiction. On the first Sunday we attended the Living Hope Baptist Church with Ireni Stephanis, a couple told us about their daughter who was addicted to drugs and who became a Muslim. We were immediately reminded of the successful Betel outreach of our mission agency to drug addicts in Spain, seeing this as a loving avenue of service to the Muslim community.
            Our lack of transportation brought us in touch with Manfred Jung and the late Alroy Davids, both of whom were involved with outreach to Muslims. The old 13-year old minibus that looked horrible, belonged to Walter Gschwandtner who ministered in Bo-Kaap before he sold it to Manfred Jung. Alroy spray-painted the vehicle in his spare time, i.e. every weekend I would bring the vehicle to him. This went on for a few weeks. To get more information about the German school, we were referred to the Pietzsch family.
            Without our doing anything about it, we got in touch with converts from Islam. We met Adiel Adams and Zane Abrahams through our representation work with WEC, the mission agency to which we are linked. My late Aunt Emmie Snyers, gave us the phone number of Majiet Poblonker, a convert from Islam spontaneously. It seemed as if different people were divinely instructed to challenge us to reach out to Cape Muslims.
            A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent the house in Tamboerskloof, almost a stone’s throw from Bo-Kaap, the prime stronghold of Islam in the Western Cape. This happened a few weeks after our arrival in the Mother City. God had evidently started fitting things together in his perfect mosaic.

Drug addicts as missionaries?           
In the meantime we had already been confronted with the problem of drug addiction and the need of a centre for rehabilitation where people could be set free through a personal faith in Jesus. Our mission agency WEC had spectacular success in Spain, where many former addicts had now even started out as missionaries to other countries. Elliot and Mary Tepper had started the ministry in Spain as a normal evangelistic effort to reach the indigenous population. This also became our model and vision for the drug addicts and the Muslims of Cape Town that we were yearning to share with Capetonian Christians. The reaction the first few years was general indifference.      
            In we confronted with the problem of drug addiction and the need of a centre for rehabilitation where people could be set free through a personal faith in Jesus. Our mission agency WEC had spectacular success in Spain, where many former addicts had now even started to reach out as missionaries to other countries.
            We really wanted to take up the challenge, but our mission agency insisted that we had to get involved with representation - at least for the first year. It had been a battle to get that far as a compromise. In Holland we had also sensed a desire to work among Capetonian street children. But the call to the Muslims of the Cape came through ever stronger.          
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            Towards the end of June 1992 we were not properly engaged in any ministry as yet. But this was not completely surprising. We had seen it as our prime responsibility to help our children to settle down in the new country. Our son Rafael especially had a hard time at the German school, sitting in a grade seven class where all the peers already had years of teaching in both English and German. Of course, all our children could understand some German through our occasional visits to Rosemarie’s family, but writing in that language was altogether another cup of tea to all of them. Starting in grade 1, Tabitha found it the easiest to adjust.
            But then things started moving as we got befriended to a few Muslim background believers Zane Abrahams, Adiel Adams, Achmed Kariem and Majiet Poblonker.  From them we learnt a lot about Islam in Cape Town, e.g. that Bo-Kaap should be a focus of our attention as this could influence Islam in the whole of the Western Cape. And then at last we got in touch with Cecilia Abrahams through Mrs. Hendricks, the lady who was guiding people through the Bo‑Kaap museum. Cecilia, whose husband had been a Muslim until shortly before his death, lived next to the museum together with her daughter and son.
Cecilia had close contacts with Pastor Gay. The old Scottish missionary and his Bethany Church in Rose Street had been happily evangelising in the area in days gone by, e.g. with a Wayside Sunday School that was also attended by Muslims. The well-known Achmat Davids and many Muslims attended one of the Wayside Sunday Schools in the area. The Docks Mission had its services in Chiapinni Street on Sundays and Prayer Meetings on a Monday in the YMCA building. Under one of the lampposts of Chiapinni Street they had their open-air services where many a Muslim was challenged with the gospel. The Christians and Muslims were living peacefully in mutual respect for its other’s religion when the Group Areas Act changed it all. Mutual distrust and animosity grew as people started haunting those who were not supposed to be there and those who had to leave the environment where they grew up. Many became embittered. Even churches were uprooted. Thus the former Baptist Church in Jarvis Street re-settled in Kensington 6 kilometres away.
            Some people fought for the right to stay. Cecilia Abrahams was one of them. Pressure was exerted on her to leave her home in Wale Street because she was Christian. Her husband had been a Muslim, but he became born again just before he died. She was eventually allowed to remain there with her two children. Another Christian who had been born and bred in Bo-Kaap was allowed to stay. Maria Masaking of 92 Chiapinni Street was appreciated as a midwife, first working at St Monica’s Maternity clinic and later in private practice. Many Muslim families made use of her services.
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            When Cecilia visited us in Tamboerskloof, it turned out that Walter Gschwandter, a SIM Life Challenge missionary, had held a fortnightly prayer meeting in her home before he left for Kenya with his family in 1990. We promptly decided to resume the prayer meeting at her home in 73 Wale Street, in the centre of Bo-Kaap. Cecilia introduced us to Daphne Davids, another Christian just across the road from the Abrahams home. In those days it was really special to find born again believers in the almost exclusive Muslim residential area.
SIM had decided to stop their activities in Bo-Kaap but Manfred Jung brought me in touch with Hendrina van der Merwe, another prayer warrior from the fellowship commonly called the Orange Street Baptist Church. She was immediately ready and eager to join the new prayer group. Dave and Herma Adams, our local church leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims although the church in general had no affinity as yet in this direction. They gave their blessing that I could invite people at the local Vineyard church. Soon Elizabeth Robertson and Achmed Kariem joined us for this purpose. Achmed hailed from Mowbray before he and his family were dumped in the desolate Bonteheuwel due to the Group Areas Act. In rebellion and disappointment at the Islamic leaders he became a Communist, finally leaving the country in frustration. In England he became addicted to drugs before he was miraculously freed through faith in Jesus. The need for a centre for rehabilitation of drug addicts in Cape Town was revived in my heart. We learned a lot from him and the other converts from Islam. Achmed soon suggested that we should start a prayer meeting on a Friday when the Muslims go to their mosques. This could be implemented quite promptly. This could be implemented very promptly through the mediation of Marge Ballin, a YWAM missionary who was involved with evangelistic work in the nightclubs. Without much ado we were allowed to make use of the ‘Shepherd’s Watch’, a former funeral parlour in Shortmarket Street where the Ark Mission was now conducting services and caring for a few mental patients. It was an added blessing when we heard that missionaries in other parts of the world were also starting to do this.
            On the first Monday after the conference we started our prayer meeting for the Muslim world at the Abrahams’ home in Bo-Kaap. I was the only man present when Hendrina shared that she is praying for four men to become part of our group. When Floyd Daniel joined us soon hereafter things looked pretty well. We decided to wait for concrete steps in the direction of church planting until such time that the Lord would give us four regular men at the group. Achmed Kariem left for Bible School training in 1993, but Floyd came faithfully from Wynberg until he was incapacitated after a near fatal accident with his bicycle.  A few years later he passed on. When Sybrand de Swardt joined us, we were at least two men for a few years.
Elizabeth Robertson, one of our regulars at the resumed Bo‑Kaap prayer meeting, really had a love for Israel and the Jews. She had been on the verge of getting married to a Jew. Soon we decided to pray for the Middle East at every alternate Monday evening prayer meeting, i.e. now including Muslims and Jews in our intercession. Renette Marx, who also has a heart for the Jews, soon joined our group for this prayer meeting. Hereafter we occasionally started visiting the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point.

In the course of my representation work of our first year, I attended a meeting of the Western Cape Missions commission. Here I met Martin Heuvel, a pastor from Ravensmead. He impressed me so much that it was only natural that I would visit him when we prepared the visit of Patrick Johnstone, the author of Operation World in October 1992.[44]
            Of the early regulars at the new Friday prayer meeting we had Alain Ravelo from Madagascar and Johan van der Wal who originally hailed from Holland. We had met Johan van der Wal and his wife Maaike in our home church in Holland a few months before we came to South Africa. Both Alain and Johan had been in the country for some length of time. Alain had been part of a group that met regularly, praying for the country when apartheid was still rife. Alain also had a vision for networking.  Soon hereafter Arina Serdyn, an Afrikaner, joined us. She prayed with us at the Shepherds’ Watch faithfully for a few years. She was one of the best examples of networking, soon linked to our children’s work in Hanover Park while still having close links to the Ravelo’s who are linked to TEAM and simultaneously being a co-worker of SIM Life Challenge.
            When Martin Heuvel suggested that we should try and gather Muslim background believers on a regular basis, he found an immediate resonance in my heart. Without my knowing it, Alain Ravelo-Höerson and his wife Nicole, who hails from Reunion, had started making plans for such a group at their home in Southfield. Instead of doing my own thing, I decided to join them, used as a chauffeur to bring along Muslim background believers who worked in the city and from the Mowbray area. [45]
            After a few months we decided to start another group in Hanover Park, along with Adiel Adams from Mitchells Plain. Our vision was to start little cells like that all over the Peninsula in conjunction with the other missionary colleagues.                  
            When Shirley Charlton organised for me to preach at the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur, one of the most meaningful contacts ensued. Pastor Walter Ackermann had a heart for missions second to none in the Western Cape. I was soon preaching there regularly till Pastor Ackermann left the church.

A demonic backlash? 
When we wanted to step up our spiritual involvement through prayer walks in the Bo-Kaap in October 1996 we got the fright of our lives. A demonic attack on one of our children brought Rosemarie to the brink of stopping with our missionary work completely. To have to pay with our children would have been too high a price for her. The Lord reminded me at that point in time of the situation when I had to choose between Rosemarie and South Africa. We discerned that it was once again a case of false alternatives. We wanted both our children intact and a spiritual breakthrough in the residential area that had become a Muslim stronghold through demonic apartheid.  Hereafter we decided to go into the attack instead of backing off, making our prayer walks in the area a monthly feature and later even a weekly one during Ramadan.
The two prayer meetings for the Bo‑Kaap got a new dimension in 1998 when drug addiction, prostitution plus the influx of street people and rich foreigners all contributed in a negative way to a breakdown of morals in the area where Christians and Muslims had been living in harmony before the Group Areas Act did its filthy work. How else could this be than a demonic backlash? This was not what we were praying for.
            While I ministered on the Cape Flats, I heard that Esme Orrie had just converted from Islam. The Holy Spirit touched a chord in my heart when I heard that she was baptized together with a believer from Jewish background. Rosemarie and I definitely also had a soft spot for the Jews.
            Elizabeth Robertson, who was now attending our Bo-Kaap prayer meeting, really loves Israel and the Jews. A few years prior to this she had been on the verge of marrying a Jew in Israel. Soon we decided to pray for the Middle East at every alternate Monday prayer meeting, now including Muslims and Jews in our intercession. Renette Marx, who was also interceding for the Jews, soon joined our group for this prayer meeting.  Hereafter we visited the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point from time to time. In later years Lillian James, who grew up in Woodstock, joined this prayer meeting. She had a heart for both Muslims and Jews.  Still later two Messianic Jewish believers joined this prayer group, Lally ?? and ?? ,

                         16a. Fighting the Stronghold of Church Indifference

            The first half of the month of July 1992 was almost completely taken up by preparations for our WEC conference. The event was being held in our home because the WEC team in South Africa was still minute at that stage. We had to make all sorts of plans to get our children accommodated at different addresses for this time. Our two eldest children were e.g. taken care of by Florence Bredenkamp[46]and her sons.  The conference became an experience never to forget. This was the first church-related conference that I had attended where prayer took such a central role. All the participants were experiencing a real sense of unity. As a direct result of the conference it was decided that Shirley Charlton was not go to the Reef as the WEC representative. (For Shirley Charlton this was however a major disappointment). The word came through strongly that we had to consolidate as a team, we were to ‘fasten our stakes’ (Isaiah 52:4). The time would still come to widen our tent. This decision was strategic for us on a personal level, because it freed our hands for Muslim outreach on the long run. If we had become the new Western Cape representatives, we would not have had much time for loving outreach to the Muslim people.

            The Great Commission conference at the Athlone Civic Centre in July 1992 brought about some direction when we met Bruce van Eeden of the Evangelical Bible Church. He wanted to start a children’s club in Newfields in a clinic that is adjacent to Hanover Park. Being a neutral venue, we thought that this was just what the doctor ordered. We really wanted to include Muslims in our outreach. Hanover Park and Bo-Kaap became our target areas.
            Preparations for the start of a missionary prayer meeting had also been progressing well in another church of Hanover Park. The City Mission congregation of the township was prepared to have one per month of their weekly prayer meetings to be changed. It would be used for praying for missionaries.
            With Norman Barnes, a Muslim background believer and former drug addict as the leader, it was easy to share the burden of praying for these groups. This Saturday afternoon prayer meeting fused into the monthly prayer meeting of Operation Hanover Park towards the end of 1992. The vision to see missionaries going from their area was likewise gladly taken on board. The idea was completely new to them, but the Lord soon started answering the prayers miraculously. From the Lansdowne/Hanover Park/Manenberg area there were within a few years more or less as many missionaries somewhere in the world than from the rest of the Mother City put together.
            Many Capetonians from different cultural and church backgrounds became our friends. We got involved in children’s work in Hanover Park and in social work at St Monica’s, the maternity home of Bo-Kaap. I was born at the latter institution in 1945. Margaret Curry, a member of the WEC prayer group in our home and herself a former missionary with the Hospital Christian Fellowship told us about it. I had vaguely remembered that my mother had mentioned that I was born there. St Monica’s institution played a special role in our getting to know some Muslims. After initial scepticism because of her skin colour and foreign accent, Rosemarie would get complete trust from the patients when she mentioned that her husband was born at the maternity clinic.
            By now we had already been going into the last quarter of 1992. We had become involved with children’s ministry at the Newfields clinic and with the establishment of Operation Hanover Park.. Everett Crowe, a police sergeant, gave the stimulus for the operation when he approached the churches because the police could not handle the criminality of the area any more. A miracle happened when Hanover Park experienced its ‘most quiet Christmas ever’, according to an elderly resident. This was the result of a combined prayer effort by Christians from different churches.           
            Pastor Jonathan Matthews was the main driving force of the initiative. His home congregation, Blomvlei Baptist Church,[47] offered Dean Ramjoomia, a convert from Islam and his family accommodation on the church premises and a few other churches pledged financial contributions. Dean was eager to operate among the gangsters as the local missionary of the churches. Things looked very promising. It seemed as if the churches were finally going to get out of their indifference. Our idea of solving the gangsterism problem on the long term by starting Christian children’s clubs in different parts of the township made many believers excited. Furthermore, it looked as if our vision of local churches working together in mission and evangelism, was coming to fruition. At the same time, this would give an example to the rest of the country of how to combat criminality and violence!
            The message hit home to us in a personal way at the end of the year. Walking on the beach at the Strand with two guests from Germany, we were mugged in broad daylight by a group of youngsters with big knives. The Lord used the incident to knit us even more closely to the City Mission of Hanover Park. The German guests[48] were lodging with Charles and Val Kadalie, while they were working as volunteers at the G.H. Starke old age home. Spontaneously the local fellowship gave us a gift to make up for the monetary loss. Hereafter I preached there regularly during 1993. It was great to see the vision of the minute fellowship growing to become a sending church for missionaries and full-time church workers. Unfortunately the vision faded away after 1995 when we decided to focus on the City Bowl.
                                                *                      *                      *
            The second year in Cape Town (1993) coincided with one onslaught from the enemy after the other. Right in the beginning of the year a wrangling for title and position saw the Operation Hanover Park all but disintegrating. My decision to decline leadership in this movement proved very costly. I was wary of the impression which I would give of someone coming back from overseas with bright ideas and from outside the area, thus over-ruling the local leaders. The quality of the leadership had already impressed me tremendously. But the unity was completely lacking. I was not experienced enough in spiritual warfare to recognise the danger. Even the monthly prayer meeting that was the mainstay of the Operation Hanover Park, dwindled in terms of interest.
            Very soon after our arrival in Cape Town, we had been challenged to do something about the problem of drug addiction. We still thought that the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre, as a service in love to the Muslim community, would be a very effective way to make inroads into the demonic forces ruling the lie behind the religion of Islam. The related problem of gangsterism - which had spawned the establishment of Operation Hanover Park - was as far as ever from a solution.
The related problem of gangsterism had spawned the establishment of Operation Hanover Park. A tract by Dean Ramjoomiah, our co-worker, written in the slang of the gangsters, touched Ivan Walldeck,[49] a gang leader. Dean also succeeded to organize gangs to play soccer games against each other instead of shooting at each other. Soon peace was returning to the township. To God be the glory for the answer to the prayers! But hereafter Dean not only got estranged from the Blomvlei Baptist Church, but he also drifted away from the fellowship of believers.

            The Alpha Centre of Hanover Park became another connection to the township. Vivian West was the directress. (She was one of my friends who attended the outreach at Harmony Park in the 1960s, later attending the Bible School in the Strand run by the Moravian and the Lutheran Church.) At the Alpha Centre we got involved with children’s and youth work once a week.
            Our vision to train children’s workers however never came off the ground. We had no solution to counter the lack of discipline and perseverance of gifted potential workers. That seemed to be part and parcel of human nature, but even more so with regard to the township sub-culture. So many good ventures petered out after a while.

One disappointment after the other
At the end of our first year a battle with our WEC colleagues ensued. The year 1992 ended with our WEC conference in Durban. At that time the conference was held twice a year. The midyear conference had been held in Cape Town for the first time ever in July. At the conference in our Tamboerskloof home it had been decided ‘to strengthen the stakes’, to consolidate the present work. That meant that our colleague Shirley Charlton would remain at the Cape, instead of going to Johannesburg. At the same time the Lord had clearly confirmed that we should get more involved in Muslim Outreach. That is how we saw it.
            Yet, our missionary colleagues were initially not prepared to allow us to continue with Muslim Outreach because that would mean starting a new ministry in the country. Officially WEC South Africa had decided to concentrate on recruitment. We really had to fight all the way for the right to start a new ministry. Having fought many a verbal skirmish over the years, this was not new to me at all. For Rosemarie it was the Broederraad of Utrecht all over again, including the tears. The presence of Neil and Jackie Rowe, former British WEC leaders, saved the day for us. It was touch and go or we would have left WEC to do Muslim Outreach outside the confines of the mission agency. The Lord had called us into this ministry and we were not prepared to budge, even though I did not put it to the conference as clearly as that.
            The start of our second year in Cape Town (1993) coincided with one disappointment after the other. We saw already how the Operation Hanover Park almost disintegrated.
            In the meantime we were increasingly unhappy with the fellowship at which we were worshipping. The initial interest in the outreach to the Muslims appeared to be limited to Herma and Dave Adams. Achmed Kariem, the lone Muslim background believer in the fellowship at that time, like-wise found no interest in the direction of outreach to the group he came from when he spoke to someone from the church leadership. Liz Robertson, who almost got married to a Jew, found that the church had only interest to reach out to the Black townships.
            Rosemarie and I had attended the foundation class of the church with a view of becoming full members of the covenant set-up. Though we liked the idea of commitment, we had no liberty to join a church that had so little vision for the body of Christ in general. That is at any rate what we perceived at that time. With the proximity to Hanover Park to Taronga Road in Crawford where the Vineyard Church - as the Jubilee Church was called at the time – was situated. It would have made a big impact if they also joined up with Operation Hanover Park. But no interest was forthcoming. [50]
            The teaching on finances and missions were also much too narrow to our liking. Every member had to give his full tithe to the local church. The fledgling denomination would get involved in missions more or less without outside assistance, without networking in any way. In sermons the leaders referred disparagingly to para-church organisations like mission agencies, making us feel very uncomfortable. Our own experiences, our position as missionaries from WEC and the lessons we had learnt on stewardship, more or less barred us from becoming full members. It was nevertheless painful to share some of these sentiments with Dave and Herma, our leaders and friends, to whom we had grown quite close.
            We knew that these reasons were definitely not adequate to stop attending the church, but we were now really seriously praying what we should be doing. Over the years prior to this we had been changing churches a few times. We really wanted our children to get settled again in a fellowship where there was warmth and love. One of the last things we wanted was to move church fellowship yet again.
            Just then the leadership came up with a suggestion that made the decision very easy for us. Instead of the separate entities at different venues for the Sunday morning service, the church members agreed to the idea of gathering centrally at the former Waverley blanket factory in Observatory. We were not happy to attend church some five kilometres away. We saw this as God’s answer to our prayers. But to find another church where we would be happy as a family, was yet another matter.
            The fellowship of believers from the Vineyard Church stopped gathering at the Cape Town High School. The group decided to change their name to Jubilee Church after a request had come in to that effect to distinguish them from the fellowship with links to John Wimber that also used that tag for their denomination.
            Just at that time we heard that Louis Pasques and his wife Heidi were interested in the Muslims. Louis was a student at the Baptist College at this time and leading one of the three daughter congregations of the Cape Town Baptist church. We had attended a few meetings in a school in Tamboerskloof where either Louis Pasques or Brent Bartlett, two theological students, was preaching. While the preaching was theologically sound, we missed the spark to ignite us towards joining up as members.
            The Lord himself seemed to lead us to the Cape Town Baptist church using Vanessa, the 8-year-old daughter of Brett Viviers, one of the elders of the church. This family was part of the Tamboerskloof cell of the church. Vanessa was terribly troubled by the calls from the minarets in the nearby mosques of Bo-Kaap. Brett, her father, suggested that she should start praying for the Muslims. The result of the child’s prayers was that a whole group from the church pitched up one Monday evening at our Bo-Kaap prayer meeting. From that group nobody continued to attend our prayer meeting regularly, but it was decisive in forging our links to the church, even though we were far from excited about the fellowship itself. The depth of the teaching was not what we had been used to in other fellowships. That was going to change over the years when Louis Pasques became the senior minister, maturing as a preacher.

Church Planting  in Bo-Kaap?
There was also some fruit to observe in our ventures with Muslim converts. We invited Zane Abrahams, Adiel Adams, Salama Temmers and Majiet Poblonker to come to our home to discuss the possibility of starting a monthly meeting in Bo-Kaap as the forerunner to planting a church in the Muslim stronghold.
            Only the former two could attend. The character of the planned meeting was completely changed when apart from Louis Pasques, one of the local Baptist church leaders, two other ministers from that denomination turned up. Nelson Abraham belonged to the mission committee of the denomination and Angelo Scheepers was the regional co-ordinator. Somehow they had hoped that we could plant a Baptist Church in Bo-Kaap. Graham Gernetsky, the senior pastor of the church, had already become excited when I pointed out during my teaching during the mission week at the church that their former daughter churches in Jarvis Street in Bo-Kaap and Sheppard Street in District Six were lost because of the Group Areas Act. (During the mission week we prayed at the locations where there formerly had been Baptist Churches.)
            Perhaps it might have been not too difficult to try and start up a Baptist congregation in the building that now belonged to the Cape Town Photographic Society. However, I resisted the idea vehemently, thinking of all the converts in the Cape who came from different denominations. Adiel Adams supported me in my views, suggesting that we should have an over-arching ministry across the Peninsula. I insisted that a convert from Islam should lead such an initiative. Before long Friendship Ministries was born under the leadership of Adiel Adams.            

Peaceful Elections      
One morning in the period before the elections Pastor Walter Ackerman phoned to invite me to a meeting of pastors with Nelson Mandela, the leader of the ANC, in his church in Lentegeur. When Pastor Ackerman introduced Mr. Mandela he referred to the commitment to faith in Jesus of the political leader on Robben Island where Pastor Ackerman had been ministering during the apartheid era. Mandela did not comment, but significantly referred to the koeksisters that Muslims had been bringing to him there.
            The miracle happened that has been documented in many books - peaceful elections countrywide. Nobody could deny that this was God’s supernatural intervention: the result of the countrywide prayer effort ignited by the St James Church massacre.
            It soon became clear that the new State President was not following up on his conversion of Robben Island. In fact, in the new parliament there was a disproportionate number of Muslims. President Mandela seemed to favour Muslims, some of whom like his first Minister of Justice, Dullah Omar, were of course very much involved in the freedom struggle. Discerning this development, Pastor Ackerman wanted to introduce me to the President privately, but I declined. I preferred to remain low-key, apart from the fact that I could see any purpose of such a meeting. I was not yet aware at that point in time of the visits of Nelson Mandela to the Kramat (Muslim shrine) of Robben Island from 1977.
            My second sermon in the Cape Town Baptist on John 4 was held in May, just after the elections. I ha invited Zane Abrahams to come and give his testimony at that occasion. Due to a misunderstanding, he didn’t pitch up. I erroneously thought that I now had to make up for it. I shared far too much from our personal experience in my sermon. That was unfortunate. I inadvertently offended some church members when I made a joke out of the fact that Rosemarie was expected to come into the country without her husband on our honeymoon journey. I was not asked anymore to complete my series of three sermons.
            An important reason for the indifference to Muslims in the church hereafter was that the church leadership became embroiled in internal bickering. Interest in any outreach, least of all to the Muslims, waned in the next two months. A week of early morning prayer with Bob Bosworth hyped up some excitement but the writing was already on the wall. There was no real unity, the basic ingredient for any church outreach.        
                                                *                      *                      *
            The indifference of the churches for evangelistic outreach was a scourge all around the Peninsula. The situation in Woodstock and Salt River was of the worst in this regard. The two suburbs had become predominantly Islamic within a few years. We got involved through a missions week with theological students at the Baptist Church that Pastor Graham Gernetsky organised with students from the Baptist College in March 1994.

More Lessons of March 1994
While lecturing at the mission week, Rosemarie and I received a big lesson in spiritual warfare as well. One morning early – we had times of prayer with the students starting at 5 a.m. - Rosemarie shared what she had ‘discovered’ in Galatians 1:8,9; viz. that even an angel can bring a false message, if that would differ from the original Gospel revealed in Scripture. This amplified to us the origins of the Qur’an - that Muslims believe was brought to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is well-known that the crucifixion of Jesus is denied in the Muslim sacred book. We were filled with more compassion towards the Muslims when we discovered that they have been deceived in that way. This became to me the pristine beginnings of a major study of the angel Gabriel and other angels in the main scriptures of the Abrahamic religions, the Bible, the Qur’an, the Talmud and the Ahadith.[51]  (The latter are Islamic traditions of Muhammad’s words and deeds that are regarded as equal in authority to the Qur’an.) The more I studied, the more I discovered how deceptive the arch enemy was, that he has indeed been masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14); that the consistent omission of everything alluding to the Cross in the Qur’an cannot be coincidence. The latter discovery surfaced when I prepared teachings for a group of male Muslim background believers.
            Another lesson of the mission week was quite painful to me. When I taught the Bible college students something about the history of Islam in the Western Cape, I broke down in tears. I had to discover that deep in my heart there was still resentment towards the Dutch Reformed Church. I suppose that it developed when I discerned how the denomination opposed the government when Mr P.W. Botha and his Cabinet were ready to scrap the Mixed Marriages Act from the statute books. (This law had prevented my return to South Africa.)

            The prayer walking in Woodstock was significant. As we strolled through the area, we also prayed at the ruins of the former Dutch Reformed Church in Aberdeen Street. Personally this church had some indirect nostalgia for me. Ds. Piet Bester, the minister I regarded as my mentor and the one who taught me the principles of evangelism, belonged to this church just before he came to Tiervlei (which later became Ravensmead) where he started his own ministry as a young minister in 1962.[52] On our prayer round through Woodstock we heard of a young pastor, William Tait, who had started to minister there from 1989.
            The nearby Presbyterian Church was not a ruin yet, but likewise completely dilapidated. The area had become Islamic after the Christians had moved out. The initial reason for the decay was the expected implementation of Group Areas legislation to this area. In the 1990s the increase in drug addiction, prostitution and gangsterism were the causes of many Christians moving from the area.
            The two derelict church buildings depicted the state of the body of Christ in the area. We prayed that the Lord would revive his church that the character of the suburb would change yet again, but this time in a positive direction. We discerned the same principle that saw vast areas of the world becoming Islamic. Just like the Middle East - where once biblical Christianity was thriving with leaders like Cyprian, Tertullian and Augustine - had been stolen by the enemy of souls through the slackness and indifference of the church, the devil had his way in Woodstock. We believe in the power of prayer. Just as Communism and apartheid were prayed down, I saw here a visible possibility to encourage believers to claim back the Islamic strongholds of the Middle East.
            Two of the student participants at the mission week were Kalolo ?? and Orlando Suarez, respectively from Zambia and Mozambique. The seed had already been sown in my heart to see South(ern) African Blacks as future missionaries. Now the increasing number of expatriates in Cape Town came into my vision as future missionaries to their own people just like the Samaritan woman of John 4.

Slaughtering of sheep in Bo‑Kaap    
In our loving outreach to Cape Muslims it seemed as if we could never penetrate to their hearts. Having read how Don Richardson had a similar problem in Papua New Guinea until he found the peace child as a key to the hearts of the indigenous people, we started praying along similar lines.
            That Muslims commemorate the sacrifice of Abraham at their major Eid celebration, made me aware how near to each other the three world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam actually are. The narrative of Abraham and the sacrifice of his son is central to all three faiths.
It surely was a blessing to discover somewhere along the line that according to the Midrash - so much part and parcel of the rabbinic oral teaching traditions - Isaac was purported to have carried the fire‑wood for the altar on his shoulder just like someone would carry a cross. The voluntary ‘binding of Isaac’ was another notable tenet among the many features of common ground. I learned that the Jews nevertheless still have an objection: that human blood is not acceptable for purposes of sin atonement. For me as a Christian, this objection is sufficiently covered when I take into account that the prophecy of Isaiah 53 saw the suffering servant as a sheep brought to be slaughtered. (To us as Christians the suffering servant is a clear pointer to Jesus, the Lamb of God.)
Witnessing the Islamic slaughtering of sheep in Bo‑Kaap on two occasions was a real blessing to my wife and me. The ceremony really brought to light the biblical prophecy of Isaiah 53 that I had learnt by heart as a child.  To see how the sheep went to be slaughtered ‑ without any resistance ‑ reminded us of Jesus, whom John the Baptist called the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world. We immediately knew that the Lord answered our prayer. He gave us the key to their hearts.

            Over the years we continued to try and get churches interested in the Muslims, for many years with little success. Even in the Cape Town Baptist Church it was only Louis Pasques, who later became the senior pastor of the church and two ladies from our Bo-Kaap prayer meeting, Hendrina van der Merwe and Daphne Davids, who showed consistent interest in our ministry. They were the only church members with whom we had contact in this regard for any length of time. Only in 1997 a member from the church, Sybrand de Swardt, joined up with our ministry team. We became church members when the Jubilee Church stopped having a fellowship in the city. This coincided with our disappointment when we reaped indifference at that church with regard to the outreach to the Muslims. The pattern of indifference from the churches continued. Nowhere did we see it clearer than in the City Bowl. Charismatic churches came and stopped again. Even the big His People fellowship survived at the Nico Malan Theatre (now called the Art Scape Theatre) only for a brief period. God intervened when he answered our prayers in a special way at the end of 2003. Basically everybody seemed to be building their own kingdom. We sensed that the 24 hour prayer watch could make the difference. But that was still a long way off.
17. On the brink of Anarchy

            Over the Easter Weekend of 1993 the whole country was thrown in turmoil when the news came through that Chris Hani, a leader of the Communist Party and set for high office in any new government, was assassinated. For a few days the country hovered on the brink of civil war. The brave action of a White woman who had seen the car of the assassins driving away, followed by the swift action of the police, prevented a major escalation of bloodshed.
            Civil war may have sent us packing our bags to leave the country. The murder of Hani demonstrated the urgency of the situation, resulting in the date of the elections set soon hereafter for April 27, 1994. When Rosemarie left for Germany in June 1993, things were not yet back to normal.
            Soon after Rosemarie’s return to the Cape in July 1993 the whole of South Africa was shocked as possibly never before. On the last Sunday of that month terrorists killed a few congregants and maimed many believers wantonly in the St James Church, Kenilworth. It was a miracle in itself that not many more were killed. 
            The archenemy seemed to have planned this to become the start-shot of the revolution. It had been preceded by many attacks on innocent civilians. Although the date had been set for the first democratic elections, hardly anybody expected the run-up to the elections to be peaceful. Black townships like Khayelitsha were no-go areas for anyone who was not Black. Our friend Melvin Maxegwana had to flee the township for his life because the civic organisation had concocted allegations. As a pastor with contact to other races, he was suspected any way of collusion with the Whites.
            Satan had overplayed his hand. The St James massacre turned out to be the instrument par excellence to start the movement towards reconciliation when those family members who lost dear ones received divine grace to forgive the brutal killers.
                                                *                      *                      *
If the archenemy tried to give us one battering after the other, the Lord also encouraged us. In the second quarter of 1993 we felt that Rosemarie should visit her ailing mother again, to relieve her sister. When we lived in Holland we would go to Germany in the school holidays to give Waltraud a break. But how could we finance such a trip? Just as Rosemarie and I started praying about the matter, the telephone rang. It was Waltraud from Germany. She and her husband had been thinking about funding a trip for Rosemarie to come and visit them. That would be much cheaper than trying to get the bed-ridden mother into a home for two weeks. My cousin Milly Joorst and her prayer warrior friend Magda Morkel were willing to come from Genadendal to cook for us in Tamboerskloof while Rosemarie was away. That was the beginning of a close prayer relationship to this couple.
            While Rosemarie was in Germany, money became available that her late father had intended as an inheritance for his grandchildren. For months we had experienced the need of a guest room. The need was amplified at the latest occasion with Milly and Magda. The close relationship with Lothar and Barbara Buchhorn at the nearby German Stadtmission that contributed such a lot to make our children feel at home, was an added boon, but we did not feel comfortable to approach the Buchhorns again and again when we had visitors.

            Rosemarie’s visit to Germany also contained a temptation. While being there, she heard how nothing was done to reach the many Turkish people of the area with the gospel. In order to share the good news with the children of the guest workers, it would not even be imperative to learn their language. In due course the enemy was going to abuse this snippet of information as a temptation to return to Germany.  Round about the same time we received a letter from the owner of our home. The German owner wanted to sell the house. She gave us the first option to buy it. She was definitely not the only person who wanted to sell a house at this time. In fact, just about everybody who was in the position to emigrate, was considering this option. All around us people started making plans to leave South Africa. From overseas enquiries now came our way when we are returning to Holland. Evacuation was taken for granted. The temptation to return to Germany to work among the Turks grew stronger by the day. But we had no peace to join the ranks of the emigrants.
            With an interest-free loan from Rosemarie’s mother that would be coming from Germany soon, we were now in the fortunate position to consider buying a suitable house. Up to that point in time we did think about it, but a bond on a house with four bedrooms was well beyond our means. It was still the question whether the bank would grant us a bond because we had no fixed income. With Bo-Kaap and Hanover Park as the main areas of our activity, we looked at possibilities to purchase a house geographically somewhere between these localities, e.g. Pinelands.

A home of our own?  
About this time we received a letter from the German owner of our home. She wanted to sell the house, but she gave us the first option to buy it. Our landlady was definitely not the only person who wanted to sell property at this time. In fact, so many people who were in the position to emigrate, were considering this option.
            I was very sceptical when Rosemarie shared that the Lord had given her a vision of a house with a beautiful view in the city Bowl. I was absolutely sure that there would be no suitable house in the price range that we could afford. On Rosemarie’s insistence we went to an estate agent to indicate our interest in buying something in the area.
            The first few houses that we viewed vindicated my scepticism. But then one day the agent phoned to inform us that a dilapidated house in Vredehoek, a suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain, was for sale. The repossessed house was offered to the estate agent by the bank on condition that the potential buyer had to make an offer within two weeks. The mansion we entered at 25 Bradwell Road had broken windows and a stinking carpet in the living room that dogs had infested with fleas. But then Rosemarie saw the beautiful view the Lord had given her. I was not yet convinced. We decided to ask Rainer Gülsow, a German friend who had been in the building trade, to give us his view. “A bargain, take it. You will never get this again.” This was as clear a cue as we needed. But the decision to make an offer within two weeks created some strain. The amount was still substantially higher than the price range that we had envisaged.[53]
            While these thoughts milled through our minds, a traumatic event shook us to the roots of our existence. Whereas the violence and turmoil on the East Rand, in Natal or even Khayelitsha was still on the periphery of our lives, the weekend starting with the second Friday of September 1993 had us reeling.

A traumatic weekend
After the children had left for school at about 7.40h Rosemarie and I had a short prayer session. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of those two days, but I was never able to finish it within a time limit where the memory of the events was fresh enough. I wrote down the following notes (slightly edited) shortly after the traumatic days:

9 a.m. Just after nine I leave the home with the little broom to sweep the car before I pick up the old ladies.
            But the car is not there! I can’t believe my eyes. We wanted to get rid of the ancient 1976 combi, but not in this way! We had hoped to get something for it as a trade-in even though it was getting less powerful.
            Completely shattered I could just run back to inform Rosemarie in Dutch, our home language: “De auto is weg!” I phone the police and Margaret Curry, one of the prayer ladies, instructing her to phone the other participants. I would phone again when the police would have left. Then we would have to see whether we could still have our prayer meeting. Quite soon the police was there.
            They gave us very little hope that the minibus would be recovered because this sort of vehicle is perfect for an illegal taxi service. But they would inform us as soon as it is found. Just after 9.30 they leave. Thus our scheduled prayer meeting could start albeit belatedly. Margaret Curry, the only one with a car, volunteered to pick up the others. Before the people arrive I arrange that a missionary colleague could come and pick up Rosemarie for the lunchtime prayer meeting for the Bo-Kaap that we are having in the city every Friday. I would go to the bank between the two prayer meetings.

10.30 a.m. As arranged beforehand, I request Rosemarie to repeat what she had shared from the Word on Monday past at our weekly WEC business and prayer session. She reads out of Scripture the portion from the Gospel of Mark about the fig tree that Jesus cursed, followed up by the narration how He chased the temple defilers out of the house of prayer. She shows a link between the two portions, noting that both depict what happens when the natural law takes its course. We should be governed by the law from above. Then we can also bear fruit ‘out of season’ just like Revelation 22 that tells about trees bearing fruit 12 times a year like our lemon tree that bears fruit throughout the year.
            Then we pray. It is so good to be distracted from what we have just experienced as we prayed for the WEC missionaries near and far. For us in South Africa the premier prayer point is a building for new headquarters. This has been a consideration for some years but now the growth of the last few months simply seemed to necessitate another building.
            Before we disperse, we have a cup of tea or coffee. I had already taken for granted that I would have to cancel my appointment in Stellenbosch on Sunday, because there would probably be no trains that way on a Sunday morning. But Margaret spontaneously offers to put her car at my disposal. For the appointments to-morrow in Bridgetown and Hanover Park, I shall ask Johan van der Wal, who will be coming to the prayer meeting at one o’clock. We want to make a photo of Zane Abrahams, who is an Muslim background believer and a television technician from Bridgetown. In the township of Hanover Park we shall be attending the support group for Muslim background believers where Johan also wants to shoot a few slides for our audio-visual.

Noon: The representative of the estate agent calls to take me to the Bank. We have seriously started to consider buying a delapidated house in Vredehoek, a suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain...
1 p.m.: At the prayer meeting we share about recent visits to local Muslims, among others to a family that is a follow up of our visits to St Monica’s, the maternity clinic.  The housing situation of F. and her family had been the initial point of contact. How thrilled we were to see the answer to our prayers when the family of four could rent a little cottage in Heideveld.
            We are still sharing from our experiences when in comes Johan van der Wal, one of our regulars with a certain Shane, whom Johan introduces as a brother in the Lord who has just come off drugs ‘cold turkey’. Johan narrates : “Yesterday Shane has accepted the Lord at the address in Cecil Street, Salt River for which we have been praying regularly!.” 
            Through Johan we usually got the latest information about the Muslim Outreach team of the now famous St James Church in Kenilworth, where the brutal attack on churchgoers had taken place less than two months ago. Johan’s boss is John Higson, the leader of this outreach group. They concentrate on the drug addicts of Salt River. John Higson had asked Johan to take care of Shane for a while. The former drug addict had phoned John earlier in the morning, saying that he had been at the teller of the bank when he just felt a strong urge that he should not have any cash on him, otherwise he would be tempted to buy drugs again. He wanted to know whether John could fetch him. Thus Johan has now brought him along to our lunch hour prayer meeting.  
            We are thrilled, because for months we have prayed - also for drug addicts. We felt that the best avenue to serve the Muslim community was to show them the delivering power of Jesus for drug addicts. There are so many Muslim families who have at least one family member addicted to drugs.
            During the lunch hour prayer meeting we express our excitement about being on the right track. We started praying for the finances for a building and staff to man a drug addiction rehabilitation centre.
            We are all deeply moved as Shane also prays, confessing all the lies and stealing in which he had been involved. He also says that he wants to buy the building for people like him. We never would have suspected that he was the rich man he purported to be. Of course, we have no reason to doubt him, knowing that he had come to us via people of repute like Johan and John Higson. Half way through the prayers Shane runs out. I follow him to the toilet, sure that he is suffering from the after effects of his drug addiction. We continue to pray for him and his full deliverance.

2.15 p.m.: After the prayer meeting, we go to our home to discuss the direction of the audo-visual that we want to produce. This was an effort to get churches interested in outreach to Muslims. There is not much of a choice other than to take Shane along to our house. John Higson would come and pick him up later in the evening.
            Myrtle Bahlmann has just joined our ranks as a SIM missionary colleague from Canada. Before we look at the slides that Johan had not yet seen after their photographic development, she shares her testimony. This seems to fit in so well with the life-style of Shane. Myrtle also shares how she got a car - a typical missionary story of God’s provision. When she and Shane expresses what a nice place we have, it would have been our turn to share about God’s provision.  For the moment we have to postpone it because of a lack of time.
            We take a look at the slides of Marieka, another missionary colleague. When one of a coon troop is shown, Shane knows the name of the group, because he had been a member. This makes us suspicious. Does he try to impress us? He also knows the Bo-Kaap. How come? But there is no time to ask him questions like this. After the showing of the slides there is not even time left for the discussion of our audo-visual.
            Rosemarie has to do some shopping.  

4.30 p.m Shane shares some snippets of his life in between. He had been a chef on a ship. Thus he knows the world. Apart from three South African languages Xhosa, Zulu and Sotho, he also speaks Arabic. He had stayed in Haifa for 18 months. But he also tells that he had been in prison for three years. In the end he was released when it was discovered that he was imprisoned innocently. The government had purportedly given him R 20,000 as reimbursement.
            We change the subject by showing a video of our house in Holland. When Rosemarie returns from the shopping, she disapproves of the idea, because that video was everything except gripping. When she suggests the film ‘Caught’ that depicts the life of a former drug addict in Amsterdam, it is Shane’s turn to decline. He would prefer a Walt Disney comic strip. Doesn’t he want to be reminded of his former life? In the meantime Rosemarie prepares supper and I get a chance at last to have a look at our post.
5.30 p.m. John Higson arrives to pick Shane up. We invite him to supper as well, but he declines. He should be at a seminar in Maitland, 7 Kilometres away, at 6 o’clock. It turns out that Shane will have to sit in his car for the duration of the seminar till 8.30. We suggest that Shane stay with us. I would then try to arrange transport to get him to the St James Church in Kenilworth, where the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute has its “Spring Rendezvous”. Originally we would have gone there as a family, but after the theft of our car we had to cancel our plans. With five of the students doing practical work with us in children’s clubs in Hanover Park and a few others interested in joining WEC as missionaries, we have a moral duty to show our interest at the Rendezvous. John leaves for his seminar. He would come and collect Shane at approximately 9.30 p.m. at St James.
            Shane asserts that John Higson has also said that we are stubborn. Up to that point we had not reacted at any of his intimations to buy a car for us. We were still very unsure about where the money had come from which he said he possessed. Of course, we could never accept money accrued from drug sales. This possibility is very much something with which we have to reckon.
6.00 p.m. We have supper. Shane hasn’t got appetite. He must be careful to gradually increase his eating, he tells us. In Amsterdam I had been working for some months in a Christian institution for the rehabilitation of drug addicts, but during this time I was never directly involved with those patients on ‘cold turkey’. Nevertheless I had learned a lot about the treatment. Basically, prayer, loving care and strict discipline were the main components of their approach.
            Shane tells us that his father is a German. His surname Müller - with the umlaut - indeed could testify to this. His mother came from St Helena. This was also the case with his grandparents. He grew up in Natal, where he learnt to speak Zulu.
            After various unsuccessful efforts to get transport for me and Shane, we request our missionary colleague of WEC, Shirley Charlton, to come and fetch us. I sit down to chat with Shane and we speak among other things about rehabilitation. Shane shares that he has inherited a lot of money. He repeats that he would like to buy a building where people like him can be treated and helped. He was so thankful what the Lord has done in his life. We differ on where such a building should be. Having the Amsterdam experience in mind, I have thought of some building near to Woodstock/Salt River where there are many drug addicts, but Shane feels it should be in an area where the drug addicts would not be so near to the temptations.
            We also share from our experience that so many Muslims have drug addicts in their families. Yes, he knows, it is because they don’t drink alcoholic beverages.
            The conversation moves over to some aspects of Islam. He knows such a lot, even about the history of Islam in the Western Cape! At one point I doubt the correctness of what he narrates, because I was just in the process of making a study of the spread of Islam in the Cape. Halfway into some discussion, he asks whether we have a Qur’an.
            I fetch a copy of the most sacred book of the Muslims. In the process I learn a few things from him, and we all marvel at his reading and his ability to quote Surah’s with - as far as I can discern - a rather good accent. Rosemarie asks him whether he has been a Muslim. No he has not been one. She is not terribly convinced, because he knew things that so many Cape Muslims do not even know.
            In between I go and check to see what Shane had said about the first Muslims to South Africa. I discover that apart from one minor detail, he has been spot on.
7.20 p.m. Shirley arrives to pick Shane and me up. It is a pity that Rosemarie and our three youngest children will now have to stay at home. Danny and Rafael have left for the youth group.
            It is raining. I should perhaps have offered to drive, because Shirley does not drive so well at night. But I am a bit hesitant to offer. Somewhere on the road to Kenilworth I mention that Shane also speaks Arabic. Shirley asks him where he has learnt it. When he replies that he has learnt it in Haifa, she enquires whether he also learnt Hebrew? He does not comment in any way. I remember that he had also mentioned that he attended mosques in Haifa. There is thus reason enough to suspect that he is really a Muslim. But this does not worry me at all.
            In fact, that he has accepted the Lord, had made my day. The thought that we have lost our minibus was somehow pushed back in my mind.
8.00 p.m. The evening was scheduled to start at 7.45 p.m., but when we arrive at St James the proceedings have not started yet. The meeting had hardly started when Shane charges out of the hall. I suspect that this must be a recurrence of the effects of cold turkey as I follow him to the toilet. In the foyer I introduce him to Ruben Rhode, one of the lecturers and to some students. Two students who were standing guard with Ruben were a Zulu and a Xhosa. A strange conversation followed, with us using three languages, two of which I don’t understand. On my enquiry, the students confirm that Shane spoke Zulu to the one and Xhosa to the other. I really marvel because Shane was speaking very fluently indeed.
            He stays outside in the foyer, so that I hardly participate in anything of the programme. I don’t wan’t to leave him alone for any length of time.
9.30 p.m John Higson arrives. I ask whether he could sleep near to Shane. This could be organised. We discuss the plan for the following day. John has planned that Shane could go to a religious meeting with the group ‘His People’ along with his wife. I offer to take him along to Hanover Park to a meeting of the support group for Muslim background believers that we were about to start there.

Summary of Saturday, 11 September 1993
The day started with a bang when a surprise phone call came in. Shane phones from somewhere. He wants to know whether we want a Mitshibushi Starwagon or a VW Microbus! I am completely overwhelmed. I don’t know what to say, but managed somehow that we first want to pray about it. Our three youngest children have gone to the children’s club at the German Stadmission nearby. With Danny and Rafael we now sat down to pray. I opened the Bible at random when I stared at Psalm 1. Very conveniently I interpret the latest development as proof that we are being blessed like the tree “standing by the waters.” That we could be sitting in the circle of the wicked did not even remotely cross my mind. I phone back to tell Shane that we have liberty to accept his offer.
            A few minutes later a beautiful 1988 air-conditioned Mitshibushi parks in front of our home in Brunswick Road, Tamboerskloof. What a difference this is to our patched up 1976 VW Minibus that was stolen. It becomes too much of coincidence when the salesman of the car dealer Barons in Claremont turns out to be a born again Christian. With him we rejoice in this special provision of the Lord.
            As we drive out to Claremont, we are full of joy, overjoyed. It is more than a myth, too good to be true. I was too happy to sign the paper to signify that I would be the proud owner of the vehicle in which we had just driven. When I was sent out of the office, I was given the impression that Shane would now be paying by cheque.

3.15 p.m. I try to keep Shane occupied. Now is the time to share the story of how we could rent the house. Back home Shane made all sorts of ‘telephone calls’, speaking to his mother in Wynberg and to his ex-wife. He wanted us to meet his mother. After one of his calls with her he announced that she would bring the car through to town and after another call we heard that we are invited to supper in the evening. He invites me to a walk that I readily accept. Here he shares about his divorced wife who has apparently asked him to help her with the payment of her rent. I suggest that he should not go alone. He should especially beware of not getting physically involved. As Christians we should always walk in the light. I walked right into the trap when I consented to help, doing this without consulting my wife. This was the invitation for him to ask me to go with him. We would then pick up his Mercedes at his Mom’s place and thereafter I could use the car to go to Hanover Park for the inaugural meeting of a Muslim convert meeting there. This is part of my vision to get little cells of Muslim background believers all over the Peninsula.
            When we got home Rosemarie felt uneasy about the situation, suggesting coming along. But he somehow managed to talk her out of which.
            In the end Shane phoned a taxi to take us to Wynberg. After he had succeeded to get me to draw money from an ATM machine intended ‘for the rent’ of his ex-wife and after I had given it to him, he ordered two cool drinks for us in a cafe, requesting me to wait. In the meantime Shane had asked the taxi driver to wait as well. While I was still waiting for Shane to return, he went to Salt River.
            But I found that out only much later. The same afternoon I was shattered. I had to phone our Dutch friend Johan van der Walt to pick me up for the convert meeting in Hanover Park. He was making photographic slides for a slide series in preparation for our deputation in Europe the following year. As we gathered with three converts, Adiel Adams, Achmed Kariem and Norman Barnes from the Hanover Park City Mission, I broke down. How could I have allowed myself to be conned like that? How demonic this was became clear to me as I tried to finish the narration of this weekend on paper.[54]
            A few days later the police phoned. I had to come to the Gugulethu police station to identify our stolen vehicle. There I could witness what had been our microbus. Everything of value had been stripped and then it was put alight.
            There was definitely something demonic about the experience with Shane. The direct effect of the traumatic event was that my interest in getting involved with drug addict rehabilitation somehow got blacked out. It took years before we could resume praying seriously for the acquisition of a Jesus-centred rehab centre. It spelled also the cessation of the Hanover Park little group of Muslim background believers. But it was also the beginning of my comparative study of biblical figures that occurred in the Qur’an. I continued this study with a few other Muslim background believers, meeting in our home on Sunday afternoons. [55]
            A side effect of the cumulative experiences of the previous weeks was that we were now seriously considering returning to Europe. The information from Germany about the German-speaking Turkish community was taking its toll. The talk of the town in Tamboerskloof, in the news media and everywhere was: flee the country if you can. White South Africa was looking with fear and trepidation to the coming elections that had been scheduled for April 27, 1994. Ongoing violence between the followers of the IFP and the ANC didn’t augur well for the period after the elections. In fact, bloodshed and civil war was generally expected.
            In this climate we had to decide within a few days whether we should buy a house. The events of the next 30 hours were traumatic in the extreme. Our emotions swung like a very long pendulum from the heights of elation to the deepest despair. For many years hereafter I tried to document a complete report of the events, but I was never able to finish it within a time limit where the memory of the events were fresh enough.
            On the Friday morning we discovered that our Microbus was stolen, at the one o’clock prayer meeting a new ‘convert’ came to our meeting - a drug addict who purported to have just been ‘saved’. 30 hours later we found out that he was a conman. In between this fake convert had fooled us terribly. His demonic demeanour removed my vision for a drug rehabilitation almost completely.[56]       
            The events of the weekend highlighted the temptation to return to Europe. The Lord however did not give us peace to leave the Mother City as yet. In fact, ten years later we were still living in Vredehoek in the home that we actually bought. A sequence of special circumstances made the purchase possible.
The cash from Germany – at the profitable special currency, the Financial Rand - Melvin Maxegwana and Brett Viviers[57] linked up in harmony with Cameron Barnard, a believer from the Jubilee church and the son of Frans and Vena, an elderly couple that wanted to go to Turkey as WEC missionaries. The threesome renovated the dilapidated house on the inside in two months. The working together of Melvin and Brett especially was invaluable for the time. The example of a White man working happily under a Black was not so common at all in South Africa. 

18. On the victory path

            After some deep soul-searching and quite a lot of prayer, we decided to buy the bargain house and continue with our ministry. With permission of the Stadtmission we were allowed to use a car that was standing there unused. Someone who had left for Germany, had asked them to sell the car for them. Eventually we could even help them to sell the car. (While I was driving around near to Gugulethu with the ‘for sale’ sign prominently in the car window, a lady approached us. This eventually led to the sale of the car.)
            Already towards the end of 1993 people were starting to hoard all sorts of groceries in preparation of calamity. The nearer we came to the elections, the more the pending civil war looked a forgone conclusion. Nelson Mandela was bending backwards to accommodate people not only on the right wing of the political spectrum but especially towards his IFP adversary, Gatscha Buthelezi. But it all seemed to be of no avail.
            The real danger of civil unrest after the elections spawned an unprecedented wave of prayer throughout the country. But that did not prevent a definite shortage of some articles like candles. Increasingly people were hoarding groceries. Until a week before the elections a civil war after the event looked inevitable.
            Also on the missionary front 1994 represented a turn-about. During the first quarter the Cape Town Baptist Church decided to stage a Muslim outreach effort with the aid of students from the church’s Bible College. I utilised my contact to other mission agencies like Campus Crusade and Children Evangelism Fellowship to widen the mission vision of the students, as well as teaching them on Islam. The prayer walk in the Islamised suburb of Woodstock had a genuine ripple effect, even though the planned children’s club in that area never came off the ground.[58] Two churches had become dilapidated through the combined effect of apartheid and Islamisation. The latter happened through drug addiction and prostitution when the Christians moved away and the drug dealers brought in their cronies and Muslim family.

                                    *                                  *                                  *
            Rosemarie and I learned to pray for potential visitors and guests. We had to learn the heard way that not all born-again people from overseas are interested in our work. Thus we started to pray for strategic visitors and for the right timing.
            Two examples really brought many blessings. Gerd Liebner and his wife Lieselotte were passing through Cape Town. Because of their close links to WEC, they had our address. When it now turned out that they were from Hannover in Germany, they showed great interest in our work in Hanover Park. Hereafter the missionary prayer groups in the German city of which Gerd was the co-coordinator, became regular supporters of our work.
            The other strategic visitor came from Indonesia. Veronika Elbers had to leave Indonesia from time to time to extend her work permit. She decided to travel to Germany via Cape Town. When I took her to Bo-Kaap, she was astonished to see the Indonesian language represented in the local museum. A visit to the historian Achmat Davids was arranged. He had been to the Indonesian Archipelago from where many slaves - the ancestors of the Cape Muslims – originated. The visit to Dr Davids became a valuable learning experience for me as well when I discovered that the islands and areas from where the bulk of the Cape Muslims were still occult strongholds in Indonesia. Veronika bought a little chair as a souvenir from one of the street traders. She suggested that the chair should be a symbol of our project - to pray for missionaries to come from Indonesia and work in Cape Town.
            On the final Sunday evening of the mission week that we conducted with the Baptist college students in March 1994, some of the students gave short testimonies; we presented our slide series. I preached on John 4, Jesus’ encounter with the Samaritan woman.[59] This sermon was planned to be the first of a series of three sermons on that chapter. The country was going through a traumatic period at this time. Prophetically I shared that I sensed the same spiritual battle that we had experienced in Europe in 1989. I reminded the church that what had been achieved there was primarily to be attributed to prayer. On this account I meant to encourage the believers. The Cape Town Baptist church was only one of many around the country where regular prayers went up because of the volatile situation at the time. In many homes groceries and guns were hoarded in preparation for the worst scenario. A bomb scare at the German school and contingency plans for the expected emergency situation after the elections brought home the seriousness of the situation.
            The mission week became one big lesson in spiritual warfare. One morning at the early times of prayer starting at 5 a.m. - Rosemarie shared what she had ‘discovered’ in Galatians 1:8,9 viz. that even an angel can bring a false message if it deviated from the original gospel revealed in Scripture. This amplified to us the origins of the Qur’an that Muslims believe was brought to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is well known that the crucifixion of Jesus is denied in the Muslim sacred book.  We were filled by more compassion towards the Muslims as we discovered that they have been deceived without their knowing it. The other lesson of the week was quite painful. When I taught the Bible College students something about the history of the Groote Kerk and the slaves I broke down in tears. I had to discover that deep in my heart there was still resentment towards the Dutch Reformed Church. I suppose it developed as I saw how they kept the government back when the rulers were ready to scrap the prohibition on racially mixed marriages.
                                    *                      *                      *
            It was special to see how our prayers for Woodstock were being answered. Soon after the mission week we heard that the local Assemblies of God fellowship under the leadership of their young pastor William Tait had started with early morning prayer meetings. Every weekday at 5 a.m. a few church members came together to seek the face of the Lord for their crime-ridden residential area. Furthermore, the diminutive Woodstock Baptist Church decided to call a minister. Edgar Davids, their choice, proved to be a real man of God with vision. The minute fellowship later took the step in faith to renovate the ruin of the old Dutch Reformed Church.
            As a result of our missions week we hoped to start a children’s club in Woodstock at the building where the Baptist Church used to fellowship. But it heard now that they had called a new pastor, Edgar Davids, whom we had already intended to use during our mission week when we showed the Jesus Film in the Woodstock Town Hall.
                        *                      *                      *
            Jesus Marches were planned for a Saturday in the month of June 1994 all over the world. In a letter from our late friend and WEC International 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 landed the co-ordination of the whole effort in Cape Town in my lap. I had high expectations when I got involved in the co-ordination of about 20 prayer marches in different parts of the Cape Peninsula. I made strategic contacts at this time, notably to churches in Mitchells Plain and the Logos Baptiste Gemeente in Brackenfell.
            I had been hoping that this venture would result in a network of prayer for a breakthrough among Cape Muslims across the Peninsula. However, the initial interest that our second attempt with an updated slide series had ignited in various areas, soon fizzled out. I deduced that it was not yet God’s timing and that we should do a lot more to stimulate the unity of the body of believers. For the first time I shared here what I had researched about the influence of the Kramats, the shrines on the heights of the Cape Peninsula.
Strategic Contacts from Jesus Marches
A strategic contact of this initiative was Trefor Morris, who was closely linked to Radio Fish Hoek, a pioneering Christian Cape radio station. Trefor became a regular of our Friday lunch time prayer meeting while he was assisting with the work done on the OM missionary ship the Doulos in the City dockyard. He was also the link to get Rosemarie and me invited to the radio station to give some advice and teaching to the ‘prayer friends’ of the station, who had to speak to those Muslims who phoned Radio Fish Hoek. Trefor's radio series on old city churches was valuable to me as an inspiration for further research into local Church History. It also  served as a model for a series on biblical figures in the Qur’an and the Talmud that was transmitted via the radio station towards the end of 1997 and repeated in 1999. Another important contact of this initiative was Freddie van Dyk, a link to the Logos Baptiste Gemeente in Brackenfell. Freddie van Dyk’s attendance at our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting led to our very strategic hospital outreach. That congregation was to keep the struggling Woodstock Baptist Church afloat after the death of Edgar Davids, their dynamic pastor.
            Another concrete positive of 1994 was the start of a movement towards Christ in many Muslim countries. In 1992 mission leaders had decided to call the Christians worldwide to pray for the Muslim world during Ramadan. This was a natural follow-up of the call of Open Doors for 10 years of prayer for the Muslim world in 1990. Everybody was still vividly remembering the spectacular result of the 7 years of prayer for the Soviet Union.

Diverse involvements            
Another concrete positive of 1994 was a movement towards Christ in many Muslim countries. In 1992 mission leaders had decided to call the Christians worldwide to pray for the Muslim world during Ramadan. This was a natural follow-up of the call of Open Doors for 10 years of prayer for the Muslim world in 1990. Everybody was still vividly remembering the spectacular result of the 7 years of prayer for the Soviet Union.
            A little booklet called the 30-day Muslim Prayer Focus was printed, with information on different issues relating to Islam. South Africa was soon in the thick of things when Bennie Mostert of OM initiated the printing of the booklet in South Africa. Hereafter Ramadan prayer became an annual event.
            In October 1994 I had the privilege to meet Bennie Mostert personally when I joined a prayer effort at the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf, the founder of Islam in this country.  I drove in the car together with Bennie Mostert and Jan Hanekom,[60] another giant of the South African mission scene. I shared with them some of my research on the history of Islam in South Africa. The prayer at Sheikh Yusuf’s shrine that day probably signified a breakthrough in the spiritual world. Although the churches in general remained indifferent individual Christians started showing an increasing interest in praying for the Muslims. Invitations to come and preach still did not rise above the level of entertainment, where I was usually asked to bring a convert along.
An extra-ordinary Weekend Camp
The preparation for a weekend camp with juveniles from Hanover Park developed into a major strain on our nerves. Two days before the camp was scheduled to start, I was the only one of the leaders left with reasonable health. Cheryl Moskos, our Hanover Park co-worker, was down with a heavy flu that more or less ruled her out and Rosemarie was out of contention due to a slipped disk. We approached Nasra Stemmet, a convert from Woodstock to assist. She started attending our Friday prayer meeting after she got in touch with us through an American pastor in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. But she hardly had any practical experience after she had passed her driving test. . (We had two vehicles by now, after buying another Microbus at the beginning of the year.)God had confirmed to us so clearly that we should proceed with this camp that we had all reason to suspect that this was another onslaught from the enemy camp.
            The Wednesday evening Rosemarie stayed at home because of the slipped disc. It was just as well, because now she was at home to take a crucial phone call from our missionary colleague of SIM, Horst Pietzsch. He had been approached by Anthony Duncan, a young missionary from Frontline Fellowship. Anthony Duncan wanted to get involved with local mission work before his next stint to more dangerous operational areas. That phone call swung around things. We decided to go ahead with the camp. Up to that point in time cancellation seemed to be the only logical conclusion. And what a blessing the camp was to those children who had hardly been out of the township where they were born and bred.
            All the more the shock was tremendous when the news came through a few weeks later that Anthony Duncan was killed in a motorbike accident on his way from Angola. We were surprised how little reaction the youths showed when we broke the news to them. We realised how normal death had become to the young people from a township where gun killings and other forms of unnatural causes of death belong to everyday life. 
            My presence at a meeting of the Alpha Centre, the venue of our weekly children’s clubs at that time, led to our being approached by She. Ach., the mother of a few of our children. Their youngest child had just been declared terminally ill because of an unknown virus. This got the ball rolling for many sessions of counselling and prayer when Rosemarie and I visited her.

Publication of Search for Truth
At one of our first discussions with Manfred Jung, a SIM Life Challenge missionary colleague, the idea came forward to write down the testimonies of converts from Islam. After we had Majiet, Zane and their families with us in June 1992, the seed had already been sown in my heart when I heard Majiet’s moving story. I enjoyed collating the testimonies from some of the Muslim-background believers, sometimes making notes at meetings and once I went with a tape recorder to a house. The result was ‘Op soek na waarheid’, a booklet that we wanted to launch at a prayer seminar in January 1995. Because my Afrikaans was not what it used to be, I approached two friends to help with the editing.[61] Elizabeth Robertson - one of our regular prayer warriors - was on hand to draw a beautiful cover for the booklet that was later also translated into English.
            The development of the publication of a booklet with testimonies of Muslim converts preceded quite well during the first half of 1994. Eleven of the stories were finally selected.
            At this stage I was very much interested to see the publication as a combined effort of the various mission agencies. But because of its volatile nature, no one from my missionary colleagues was prepared to stick their neck out. Converted Muslims are prone to persecution if the testimonies would be published and the publishers could reckon with the same. In the end we had no other option but to use our mission agency WEC as the publishers, but the names of the converts remained anonymous. This was a weak link in the publication but because we had to protect the converts - some of whom had reason to be quite afraid. I did not mind at all to stay in the background in this way. I did not want to endanger my family or myself.
            The final touches were simultaneously put to an audio-visual of our ministry. Johan van der Wal, whom we had met in 1992 in our home church in Holland a few months before we came to South Africa, made beautiful pictures of different aspects of our work. This was the second version of the audio-visual. The very first time we used it at the Cape Town Baptist Church during the mission week with the theological students in March 1994.
            A positive result of the effort of the Jesus Marches of 1994 was an increase of contact with a few churches in the city area. As a result of this the Vredehoek AGS (AFM - Apostolic Faith Mission) Church started to show interest in outreach to the Muslims. As one of my last initiatives of 1994 I was able to conduct a short course on Muslim Evangelism in that church. As we headed for Christmas, I looked forward to get them involved - possibly along with the Cape Town Baptist church - in the outreach to the stronghold of Bo-Kaap.
            But it was not to be. When I returned to the AFM church early in 1995, to introduce the Ramadan booklets, they were not interested any more. The Toronto blessing had completely distracted the bulk of the church members. Also the Cape Town Baptist Church and a few other congregations of the Peninsula were negatively affected by this “blessing”.  In a few churches this led to serious rifts and internal problems. 

19. In the Frontline

            As part of my research we had discerned that the Islamic shrines around the city were keeping the city in spiritual bondage. After a Muslim evangelism co-worker meeting with my SIM missionary colleagues in Somerset West, I went to meet a group of Christians under the leadership of Bennie Mostert, an OM colleague, for a drive to Macassar. There we prayed at the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf, the generally acknowledged founder of Islam at the Cape.
            I sensed that something happened in the spiritual realm that day in October 1994. We have made another move to bring down the bondage of Islam on many in the Western Cape. I hoped to go and pray at as many Kramats as possible, but it took another three years before we took up the baton again on this front. I was not yet fully aware of the fact that one should put yourself consciously under the covering of Jesus’ blood when you pray at the shrines. When we took a visiting WEC missionary colleague from Spain to one of the shrines, he had a heavy headache after the visit.
            The new year 1995 started quite well. We received a substantial sum of money that we saw as God’s provision to enable us to book air tickets for our four-month home assignment in Holland and Germany. Our home church is in the former country; Rosemarie’s family and other supporting friends are in the latter one. There would also have been sufficient funds for the printing of “Op Soek na Waarheid”.
            Just after the summer school holidays we had a Muslim seminar in Rylands, a predominantly Indian residential area. That we could stage the seminar in a Muslim stronghold was surely significant. For the rest, the seminar was not a resounding success. Our time schedule for the publication of the testimony booklet Op Soek na Waarheid was much too tight. But this was only the start of many disappointments and attacks. It was clear that the booklet of testimonies was strategic in our spiritual fight against the enemy’s hold on people.
            Almost before our eyes we could now see God started using these two churches change the face of Woodstock gradually. The Assemblies of God rented the dilapidated building from the Presbyterians. They had already started having their fellowship services in this building. The Presbyterians soon hereafter started to renovate the church building and the Baptists bought the ruin which used to be the Dutch Reformed Church. Soon also they started altering the outside of the church. We prayed that something similar would happen in the spiritual realm.
            The Lord was orchestrating things in his own sovereign way. William Tait, the pastor of the minute Assemblies of God Church had the vision to start early morning prayer meetings. Soon after Edgar Davids took office, the two churches organised a combined evangelistic campaign in the Woodstock Town Hall. Our colleague Manfred Jung ran a course in Muslim Evangelism in Woodstock with the Assemblies of God Church.
            Our involvement in the adjacent suburbs of Walmer Estate and Salt River started with prayer walking. In the latter instance it became the prelude to a children’s club that we commenced with Marika Pretorius, another SIM Life Challenge missionary colleague, in 1995 after our return from Europe. (Marika had been used by God to introduce us to families in Bo-Kaap as well as a link to the Alpha Centre in Hanover Park where we also had children’s clubs from 1993-1995). In our absence she did further spadework work with a holiday club. In Walmer Estate the prayer walk led to a link to a spiritual lifeline of the area, Trevor Klein and his minute Brethren Fellowship. As a result, members of that fellowship attended a course in Muslim Evangelism at St Paul’s Church in Bo-Kaap in 1997.
          At some stage Marika brought along her room mate and co-worker from her their Dutch Reformed Church in Panorama, Jenny van den Berg. When Marika left for Germany to work among Turks, Jenny not only became our valued co-worker in Salt River, but in due course she was to become one of the regular lecturers at the annual Muslim Evangelism course at the Bible Institute run by CCM from 1996.

The Toronto Blessing?          
As a couple Rosemarie and I were thrown into some turmoil when a Christian brother seriously meant to teach us a lesson or two on the so-called Toronto Blessing. We would be missing out significantly if we did not have this blessing.
            We went to the Lord with the question. His lesson was unequivocal when our 8-year old daughter Tabitha had to cry unabatedly just as I was about to go to the church in question.  The Lord had laid such a burden on her for the lost. Tabitha wanted to know whether she could give her life so that others could be saved from a lost eternity. Romans 9, where Paul agonized in a similar way, came alive before our eyes. Rosemarie explained to her that Jesus did just that when he died for our sins on the Cross of Calvary. At one of the churches where the blessing was rife, I witnessed excessive ‘laughing in the Spirit’ that I could not really appreciate. And for us the penny dropped: it is not our laughing but our weeping for the lost that honours God more!
            Just prior to the prayer seminar I gave to Gerda Leithgöb some of my research results on the establishment and spread of Islam. Among other things we interceded to get a prayer network throughout the Cape Peninsula that could really cause a breakthrough in the hearts of Muslims as I pointed to the apparent effect of the shrines on the heights. 

Muslims in Messianic prophecy?      
I mentioned the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 60 – including a recent ‘discovery’ and expectation that Muslims as the spiritual descendants of Kedar and Nebaioth, the sons of Ishmael, will turn to Jesus, the Messiah in the last days - as part of a devotional in our Friday lunch our prayer meeting. The Lord used that to start calling Gill Knaggs into the mission to the Muslim World. She was attending a prayer meeting on a one-off basis. This set her in motion to pray about getting into full-time mission work. Soon God used Gill to get YWAM in South Africa more interested in the Muslims. Concretely, an interest developed in Egypt where they started to network with the Coptic Church in that country.
            We still had little clue of the spiritual forces that are unleashed during the Islamic month of Ramadan. We still had to learn that because we have been thrust into the front line of the spiritual battle at the Cape, we needed a lot of prayer covering.
            The battle really heated up during Ramadan. In two cases we escaped serious car accidents on the highway by a whisk. In one of the instances it was very near to a miracle that Rosemarie was not killed. Some strange things also happened to our 1981 model Mazda that we bought after our minibus had been stolen. Twice I had to be towed to Warren Abels, a pastor who worked as a mechanic in Fairways, but on both occasions they found nothing amiss with the vehicle and also thereafter we had no problems with the car. It was evident that there were dark powers at work.
            Our nerves were tested to the extreme when our two-monthly finance allocation did not arrive. It left the bank in Holland all right electronically, but inexplicably it never arrived at the bank of our headquarters in Durban. In the meantime we were forced to start using the money that was scheduled for the air tickets for our home assignment in Holland and Germany. Some tense weeks followed when the airline with whom we had been booked (but not paid), cancelled our seats unilaterally. (Cape Town was fast becoming a favourite destination for tourists.) The tension in the family regarding seats became so bad that everyone in the family forgot our 20th wedding anniversary on 22 March. 
            At about the same time one of our co-workers and one of our prayer warriors, got involved in moral failure. The brother was a convert from Islam, from whom we had really expected great things. Both he and his wife were sensing a calling to missions at the time. The effect on him was such that he was really at the end of his tether. In the other instance, one of our female young prayer partners got pregnant from a Muslim young man. She was firm though that she would not marry him and become a Muslim. She knew enough of the bondage under which other Christian women came after they had landed in a similar position.
            Right from the start it had been part of our vision to see Muslims from the Cape converted and then sent to other parts of Africa and the Middle East. These were not the first disappointments. One of the first converts with whom we had been in close contact and who had been really a blessing to us during the first year of our ministry, completed the first year at Bible School in 1993. He changed over to study political science. He retained the vision for some time to get to the Middle East as a covert missionary in some capacity. Finally he moved to some unknown address. We eventually lost contact with him for a few years.
            The Lord encouraged us after someone had tried to steal a special plant from our garden that had only one flower on it. Rosemarie had been awakened in the middle of the night or rather in the early morning by sounds outside the house. When we switched on the light, the damage was already done. The thief ran away, but this turned out to become God’s way to teach us a lesson. The plant looked completely ruined after it had been uprooted. Someone gave us the advice to tie a stick to the plant. In her quiet time, the Lord ministered to Rosemarie: we had to be such a stick to the spiritual casualties. Unlike other Christians who would only judge and condemn our battered brothers and sisters, we had to support them. The object lesson turned out to be a very special blessing to the remorseful co-worker when we told him about the plant. He had really thought that there was no purpose in life left for him. Now he could see how the plant had recovered. After a few years he got back into ministry.

            Special networking took place when Pastor Johnnie Louw, a retired Bible School principal of the AFM, got different missionary colleagues to write a booklet on sharing your faith to Muslims. Originally written in Afrikaans, he had it translated into English and thereafter he distributed the booklet in different countries. Elisabeth Robertson from our Middle East prayer group, made a drawing for the cover of the booklet as she had been doing for our booklet Op Soek na Waarheid / Search for Truth.
                                    *                      *                      *
            The run-up to our home assignment in Germany and Holland, scheduled to start at the end of March, 1995 was one big turmoil and stress. Apart from the money issue - which was resolved just in time - there was a major problem to get seats. One international airline had a special offer that we provisionally booked. But when the airline discovered that the tourist trade was picking up - with e.g. the prospect of the Rugby World Cup in the offing - they dropped us like a hot potato. Children and youth fares were apparently not interesting any more when they could get full paying adults with whom they could fill the aircraft carrier. We had not paid anything at that point in time, so legally we had no leg to stand on. But by this time also the other airlines had no cheap seats available for a family of seven. The best that we could manage was to get waitlisted on different flights. Because of the uncertainty of the flight, everybody in the family - also the children - had forgotten that it was our 20th wedding anniversary on the 22nd March 1995. I furthermore got involved in a minor car accident on the day before the day. My nerves were all but wrecked. Somewhere in between I also started to attend a prayer meeting of young Baptist ministers in Woodstock. The visionary Edgar Davids, who had just been called to the area, was the initiator. Would at last pastors start to pray together for revival in the islamised area? Was God already answering our prayers with some of their student colleagues the previous year?
            The wedding anniversary - twenty years after our ceremony in the Moravian Church of the Black Forest village Königsfeld - nevertheless turned into a red-letter day. On that memorable Wednesday morning we baptized five converts from Islam, including She. Ach. from Hanover Park and Nasra Stemmet from Woodstock. These two had been relating to us during the months prior to the baptismal service. At that occasion we also heard about Johaar Viljoen, who had won over many Christians to Islam. The former imam came to faith in Jesus in the prison of Caledon. His conversion in 1992 - which was a demonstration of the power of prayer - shook many Islamic inmates who regarded him as their imam.
            It had been a very special blessing for Rosemarie and me to witness how She., the mother of five children, four of whom were attending our children’s club - came through to a living faith in Jesus. As we discipled her, we didn’t even dare to mention baptism. In fact, we shared the gospel with her but we spelt out the consequences very clearly. The responsibility of accommodating She. with her five children in our home if her husband would kick her out after her conversion, was a possibility we had to face squarely. We were not ready for that. It was nevertheless a joy for us to lead her to the Lord - after she had phoned us - but we did not encourage her to share her new faith with her husband. We suggested that he should see the difference in her life first.

            The evening of 22 March the home ministry group of our church sprang a big surprise on us. We had no clue what they were up to when they came to gather at our place for a special farewell. Everybody in the family had forgotten that it was our wedding anniversary, but Carol Günther did not. She arranged with the participants to bring along enough to eat to make it a very special celebration. The day became perfect when the gentleman of Club Travels, who had been working overtime, phoned that he could secure seats for us, thus only a few days before our departure! The three older children could fly on a youth fare of Lufthansa, with the rest of us flying Air France.
            There were also other blessings. It seemed as if our vision of a prayer network across the Peninsula was slowly coming off the ground. Gill Knaggs, who had initially attended one of our prayer meetings for the Middle East, helped with the English translation and editing of my booklet ‘Op Soek na Waarheid’. She also she started a weekly prayer group for the Muslims in her home. Was this the start of the exciting fulfilment of our vision to get a network of prayer across the peninsula?
            It was a blessing that we could invite Shahid Waris, a brother from Pakistan, to come and stay in our house with Henry Davids, who worked among the vagrants of Cape Town. My cousine Milly Joorst with her friend Magda Morkel, our missionary friends from Genadendal, were also on hand to take over much of our work.
                                    *                      *                      *
            Also with Nasra we discerned a spiritual development as she shared a desire to become a missionary. She wanted to return to Holland to share the gospel among the Moroccan women there. While we were in Holland, we succeeded in bringing her to Holland, where she soon got into a Bible School in preparation for missionary work. Unfortunately, she finally got settled in her vocation in Holland with hardly any involvement in missionary work.
            In Germany and Holland we canvassed among the Christians the idea of a prayer network across the Western Cape. I thought that this should be a focus of our work on our return to South Africa. Some seed had been sown already the previous year when I was involved with the organisation of the Jesus Marches. A highlight surely also was that we could speak to Doris and Freddy Kammies in Southern Germany, who considered joining WEC.  They had been working as missionaries with OM in Canada. A year later they were in Cape Town, where they pioneered a ministry among sexually broken people on behalf of our mission.
                                    *                      *                      *
            When we returned to Cape Town from our ‘home assignment’ in Germany and Holland in August 1995, we regarded a network of prayer groups for the Muslims across the Cape Peninsula as one of the priorities. Towards this goal I thought it imperative to gather pastors primarily for united prayer. We were thrilled when things had actually started to develop while we were overseas. We heard of a group of pastors around Theo Bowers and before long I was attending a prayer meeting in Rondebosch and another one in Cape Town. There was hardly any vision as yet to pray for the Muslims, but the first goal seemed to be on its way, viz. to see pastors coming together for prayer.
            What a joy it was to find out that the idea had already been kindled in the hearts of pastors. In different parts of the city pastors were coming together for prayer on a weekly basis. This was very encouraging. With Edgar Davids I joined the group with John Higson in Rondebosch. This group however petered out very quickly.
            With Louis Pasques and Edgar Davids we started up another group in the city. I already saw in my dreams a prayer network in the city coming to fruition. But that was not to be as yet.   
            Unfortunately the devil was not sitting still. The pastors evidently did not see the unity of the body as a priority. Before long the majority of the prayer initiatives of the pastors petered out. By October 1995, there was only one of the pastors’ prayer groups of the city area that was still functioning.
            Another disappointment followed soon hereafter:  Our home congregation, the Cape Town Baptist church, was in shambles in the wake of a major split. When we returned from Europe in August, we found the fellowship completely depleted. There was hardly any other family with children left.   
            Louis Pasques, the interim pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church and I were the only regulars to the City Bowl Pastors prayer meeting until well into 1996. We stuck together, often praying for the Cape Town Baptist Church when no other minister pitched up. Nevertheless, this was strategic because our church was going through a major crisis. I could share with Louis from my own experience and mistakes in Germany and Holland.
          October 1995 was a next major push towards a prayer network as we prayed for the 10/40 window. Every Friday evening we gathered in a different church of the City Bowl. I was thrilled when Hendrina van der Merwe shared that a few prayer warriors from the churches had decided to continue praying for the city every first Friday of the month. A monthly prayer meeting at the Cape Town Baptist church with Christians from different denominations joining in and a weekly gathering with a few pastors was part and parcel of our commitment towards that goal.  The monthly meeting petered out after a group of believers high-jacked the character of the meeting. The weekly prayer of a few pastors continued into the new millennium.

          Things changed during the course of 1996 when Georg Grobe, the pastor from the neighbouring German Lutheran Church started joining as a regular, later to be followed by Cyril Tessendorf, the new pastor of the Strand Street Lutheran Church. During 1996 I also got in touch with a group of pastors coming together on a weekly basis in Brackenfell in the northern suburbs, I heard of a group in Mitchell’s Plain and I learnt that pastors in Fish Hoek were doing this as well. Ministers’ fraternals in other parts of the city were however still without a clear prayer emphasis.         
          Our children had been attending the children’s club and the youth group at the German Stadtmission. They were quite excited about Siggie Steger, who was finishing his studies at Cornerstone Christian College, the successor of the CEBI where we had resided in 1992. When Georg Grobe shared the wish of his church to get a youth worker, I naturally suggested Siggie.
                                    *                      *                      *
          We soon knew that we were back on the battlefront. Within our own family the first few days back at the Cape had been quite traumatic. We returned from an extraordinary hot summer in Holland to an icy Cape Town. Our son Samuel promptly got double pneumonia. Early on the first Sunday morning we had to rush him to Somerset hospital. It was touch and go or we could have lost him.
          Linda Beig had been attending our church now and then. When she was a backslider, she married a Pakistani. They had agreed earlier that each one could keep his respective religion in their marriage. Because she was not so young any more, they didn’t even think about having children. When a baby boy was entrusted to them, major problems erupted in their marriage. As we started to counsel the couple, I made a mistake. Praying with their son without the father’s full blessing - in his presence - was looking for trouble. It was thus actually not quite unexpectedly when we were not allowed to enter their home again.
          Through Magdalene Overberg, a long-time youth friend, we heard about Fatima Hendricks, who was working with Edith in a factory in Woodstock. When we visited them during a lunch-hour, it turned out that Fatima had already secretly asked the Lord into her life. Hereafter we visited the factory regularly at lunchtime to encourage her.

F. is a Muslim lady whom we had been counselling for many years. She was one of our first ‘customers’ from the St Monica’s days. Her daughter R., who was born in the Bo-Kaap maternity clinic in December 1992 and the brother who is two years older, regarded us as an uncle and an aunt. When we came there they would be on our laps in a jiff. When we left their little cottage there was usually a big crying party, reminiscent of how it used to be with our own children when one of us as parents left the home for some reason or another. Apart from the home that they got in answer prayers only months after our first encounter, we could also be instrumental in patching up their marriage that was really in tatters when we met them. F. was all set for a divorce, but we discouraged her and tried to help although it was not easy at all because we had hardly any opportunity to minister into her husband Ach.’s life.
           She discovered for herself in the copy of the Gospel of John that we had given to her that ‘Jesus and the Father are one’. The Lord also visited F. through dreams and visions.
          We saw F. growing spiritually over the years, but I made one fatal mistake: I didn’t do enough include Ach. in our get togethers. It wasn’t very easy to do that because he would often come home from his work or other activities very late. Only once he accepted the invitation to join F. on a visit to our home. In the traditional custom I would have been the one to minister to Ach..
          And then towards the end of 1995 we received a fateful phone call after a visit there. Ach. wanted to speak to me. It was clear that he was not happy.  I wanted to make sure that we would not have a quarrel in front of the children.  He agreed to that arrangement.
          When Rosemarie and I visited him in the evening he soon commanded F. to take the children to bed. He didn’t beat about the bush either. Why do we bring Muslim apostates to his home? He especially meant She., whose testimony had evidently made a very deep impression on F..
          His other question was why we spoke about our religion. I replied that we do not share the gospel only with Muslims. We regard it as a situation as if we are in a desert. If one has found water in a desert, it would be selfish to hang on to it while others were dying for thirst. “We have our own water!” was his curt reply and soon hereafter we got the marching orders: “There’s the door and I don’t want to have you here anymore!” With pain in our hearts we left as we sensed that it was a case of so near and yet so far with regard to F..

A satanic attack
After our return from Europe we discerned the need of discipling She., whom we had baptised just before we left for home assignment. We had lent our car to Josephine and Adiel Adams to use while we were away for this specific purpose, but we saw the need to secure regular fellowship and spiritual nurture for She. O., her husband, is a builder by trade but he was unemployed once again.
          On one of these occasions she was ironing in the kitchen while I was deliberating with Manfred Jung, our SIM missionary colleague in the living room. The Lord ministered to her so strongly that she almost wanted to interrupt our meeting. She knew for certain that she should dedicate her children to God in a church. Just like the baptismal service in March that was performed on a Wednesday morning, the dedication service had to be done inconspicuously. We arranged with Pastor Charles Kadalie of the City Mission Church in Hanover Park, to have the service on a Sunday afternoon. The 5th of November was scheduled for the special occasion.
          The devil would not sit still of course. Soon hereafter, She. came along one morning with her son Rushdien. He was the first of the family to believe in Jesus as Saviour, one of a few at the children’s club who had accepted the Lord. For months he had been reading the little New Testament secretively.
          We were surprised to see him with her because he should have been at school. The reason was that he had a significant visitation by Satan himself that morning. As he was standing in front of the mirror, the devil appeared to Rushdien, encouraging him to become his follower. Their neighbour was a Satanist and evidently this man was spreading his influence. The devil instructed Rushdien not to tell his mother about it. We praised the Lord that the boy was disobedient to Satan! That is why she brought him along. She wanted us to pray with him.
          The memorable day when Rushdien came along with She. had an interesting sequel. Rosemarie gave Rushdien a copy of the comic strip Jesus Messiah to read while his mother was working. We brought the picture books along from Holland. (These books are the brainchild of Wim de Vink, a member of our church in Zeist. Someone from another church had donated us some copies to take along to South Africa).
          What a privilege it was to be present at the dedication of the five Ach. children on the 5th of November, 1995. A few weeks later She. told us what had transpired in their home after her husband had discovered the comic strip Jesus Messiah. Angrily he enquired from Rushdien: “Where did you get it?” Fearing the worst, Rushdien replied timidly: “I got it from Aunty Rosemarie!”
          “Give it here, I want to read it!” This brought Rosemarie to a brilliant idea. She bought a copy of the full picture Bible at the Scripture Union bookshop. It was not so cheap at all, but we regarded this as an investment in the Kingdom. When we invited the whole family over for the Christmas lunch, they also got a family present. This was spot on. Hereafter O. went to bed with the picture Bible and arose the next morning with it before he would go to work. This went through unabatedly until the fasting month of Ramadan 1996.
Networking between various agencies and churches
We got a personal link to the new 30 day Prayer Focus booklets. I had been quite disappointed when Bennie Mostert from OM, who conducted the international contacts for the booklet, announced that they had to cancel the printing because they couldn’t find up-front funding of the new edition.
          I was amply consoled when Manfred Jung encouraged me to continue the negotiations with Bennie Mostert. It ended with us printing a few thousand copies in Cape Town. My hope to see information about Islam in South Africa being spread and prayed for was gradually being realised when we inserted a page to that effect in this edition. In the school holidays our whole family and a few other young people from the Stellenberg chapel, Manfred’s home church, were called up to help collate the booklets.  The move secured the uninterrupted publication of the 30 day Prayer Focus in South Africa.

          An important stimulus for the prayer during Ramadan 1996 was the visit of Louis Farrakhan, a black American Muslim and one of the delegates at an Islamic World Conference in Tripoli in Tripoli. His prominent appearances on South African TV with President Nelson Mandela brought the threat of an Islamic state home to many Christians. The general Christian indifference about the spread of Islam was temporarily checked. A Sunday Times report in October 1995 had been mentioning the Islamic intention to islamize the continent by 2000. Stating that the Muslims have the money to do it, the good South African infrastructure was to be utilised. It now became clear that this was no empty threat.  That was possibly also the reason why we had no problem that year to sell all our booklets.

The following year Bennie Mostert and his Jericho Walls team resumed their responsibility for the publication and distribution of the booklets – part of the significant 10 years of praying for the Muslim World.[62] Gerhard Nehls and a few other role players founded CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims), a networking organism of different mission agencies, churches and individuals in 1982. A result of this networking was MERCSA (Muslim Resource Centre of South Africa) that co-ordinated literature for Muslim Evangelism. The co-operation of different mission agencies became especially practical through the initiative to join forces in the training of prospective missionaries to Muslim countries. This started as an effort to bring teaching on Muslim Evangelism to the Cape Bible Schools and Colleges, a project in which SIM and WEC joined forces. Some missionaries were not happy with the domination of German males. In CCM there was initially indeed little vision for inclusion of nationals and females in the leadership structures. When Patrick Johnstone visited South Africa he spoke in the Moravian Chapel in District Six, where a student ministry from the Church of England met on Sunday evenings. At that occasion Dr Roger Palmer of the YMCA and a board member of the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) aired his vision to a local missionary to get a centre for missions at BI.  I had already been in discussion with Manfred Jung of SIM to get such a venture off the ground with teaching on Muslim Evangelism at different Bible Schools. In fact, I approached various Bible Schools to find out what was taught about Islam at these institutions.
          After C. Tomlinson, a missionary from MECO (Middle East Christian Outreach), returned from the field, the BI venue was secured. Differences with regard to the teaching of certain subjects by ladies led to the TEAM missionaries leaving the initial envisaged set of lecturers. An interesting partnership developed at the course of January 1999 when local churches started sponsoring believers from other African countries. An evening version of the course was organized in conjunction with Herb Ward, BI lecturer from the USA. To date only one course has been held from July to November, 1999. 
          Until 1998 CCM was still very much an affair dominated by German missionaries where males were running the show. Cathy Foster and Nicole Ravelo-Höerson were instrumental in bringing a change at the CCM leadership event at the Bible Institute in Kalk Bay in that year. Coming from my own background of fighting for the downtrodden and discriminated, it was my privilege to support their effort to meet separately.[63]  The eyes of males were opened to the unintended discrimination. (Hereafter Cathy Foster and Nicole Ravelo-Höerson were regularly elected to the national executive, often as chairladies.) I was still not quite happy in the movement itself as I discerned little interest in two issues so important to me, viz. strategic prayer and confession. But my discontentment was not sufficient to warrant suggesting to my WEC colleagues that we as an agency should leave CCM. In fact, the CCM at Constantia in 2001 encouraged us to carry on. At this occasion Denise Crowe was allowed to participate in CCM even though she had not been a co-worker of one of the agencies. This represented another break with legalism that augured well for the future of Muslim Evangelism in South Africa.
20. The Start of the Breakthrough?

            Another thrill followed when Louis Pasques told me that he was going to attend a conference on prayer in Pretoria in February 1996. The international speakers Ed Sylvoso and John Dawson were going to be the main speakers. Louis came back from the conference all fired up to see the church members praying for their neighbours. But it took months before the seed germinated. But it did slowly start happening when a map of the city was put up at the back of the church.

The spiritual battle heats up once again
After our experiences of the previous year, we knew now that the spiritual battle would hot up during the Islamic fasting month. We put ourselves more consciously under the blood of Jesus and also requested prayer covering from as many quarters as possible.
            At the Ach. home in Hanover Park, O. got in a frenzy over some minute difference with his wife She.. He had noticed by now that she had changed. It did not go completely unnoticed that she would go to the shop on Sundays with her kitchen overall staying away unusually long. She had been a New Apostolic Christian before their marriage. Thus he probably suspected that she still harboured sympathies to the Christian religion apart from different intimations from her side. He knew that he would hurt her when he threatened to tear up the picture Bible. He got himself in trouble at his work as well. He was honest enough to eat openly during the daytime. The Muslim colleagues were highly offended. Hereafter he was required to do very dangerous work high up on unprotected scaffolding. With the well-known fierce South Easter of the Cape, his life was thus constantly endangered during this job.
            We were quite excited to hear that he had been reading the Bible with the pictures every morning when he woke up. Finally what we all feared happened; in a fit of rage he tore the picture Bible in two for some flimsy reason.
            When we told the story in our church home ministry group, Gershon Philander suggested that we bring the torn parts of the Bible to him. Wonderfully he hereafter repaired the torn Bible in such a way that one could still read the Book without too much of a problem. How surprised O. was when She. returned the restored Bible to him after a few months.
                                                *                      *                      *
Start of new facets of ministry          
At one of the first Friday lunch hour prayer meetings of early 1996 Freddie van Dyk, a brother from the Logos Baptiste Gemeente in Brackenfell joined us. I got to know him when we were planning the Jesus marches in 1994. At this Friday lunch hour prayer meeting we prayed about our vision to get into the hospitals to visit people outside of the regular visiting hours. Freddie mentioned a training course in pastoral counselling that his wife had attended. When we followed this information up, it resulted in Rosemarie attending such a course along with other befriended ladies. June Lemensich and Arina Serdyn, who had been regulars at our Friday prayer meeting, as well as Renate Isert, our SIM missionary colleague, attended the course. Dr Henry Dwyer, who heads up the pastoral work at the hospitals in the Cape, was an old friend of mine from our connections in the VCS, the student Christian movement in the 1960s.
            Renate was quite impressed by the commitment and quality of the participants at the course. Then she came up with the bright idea of having a teaching course in Muslim Evangelism at the same venue in Lansdowne. Dr Dwyer welcomed the idea of giving me a slot at one of his teaching sessions to invite the participants to our proposed course. We made a terrible mistake with the name of the course, calling it ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’. This was possibly the reason for the church building, where we were going to have the course, to be arsonised.

            When Edgar Davids became ill – his remaining one kidney started giving problems – I preached more regularly at the minute Woodstock Baptist Church. Through a devout late member of this fellowship we heard about Munti Krysler, a Muslim nurse who had been divorced from a Swiss medical doctor. Through Munti we not only got to know a Bo-Kaap family in Bo-Kaap, but also her brother, the late Muslim leader, Maulana Sulaiman Petersen.
            Via our friendship to a member of the Bo-Kaap family, Rosemarie got into a women’s craft club in the Muslim stronghold. Thus she got to know a few influential Muslim women of the Islamic stronghold quite well. Our ministry is very much based on friendships that we pray will become the basis of a church to be started in God’s time. Soon Rosemarie was going there every Thursday. This was really not much of a sacrifice to her. Home craft had been one of her hobbies that she had to stop reluctantly because of duties at home and other facets of our increased common ministry. It is wonderful how the Lord can use our skills and even our hobbies!

Two F’s - Frustration and Fight
The WEC conference of 1996 was memorable in more than one sense. At an international leadership conference in 1994 the various sending bases had been challenged to look at the remaining unreached people groups in terms of the gospel in their geographical areas. As I had already given much thought along those lines, e.g. through my document around South Africa as a goldmine for missionary recruitment, I took on the challenge to research the topic before the next conference for Southern Africa. I expected to be given the opportunity to share the result of my research with the rest of the conference in May 1996. Here however I experienced one frustration after the other till I had to leave by bus again on the Friday, without being given the opportunity to report back  after many hours of research that I had engaged into on the RUPA’s, the Remaining Unreached People Groups of Southern Africa.
          The same conference in early May 1996 had an interesting aside when we heard that Ahmed Deedat, the well-known Muslim apologist, was admitted to hospital. With a missionary colleague from Brazil I went to the hospital where we prayed for Deedat, who was however in a coma.
          Deedat had gone one step too far though. Local Christian clergymen including the missionary Dave Foster of AEF, requested Deedat to retract the offensive remarks he had made in a large advertisement in a Durban newspaper. They warned the well-known Muslim leader that he would have to reckon with God's wrath in the case of his refusal.           True to his reputation, Deedat refused to do anything of the sort. Promptly he was knocked down by a stroke. An instance of divine wrath would have been a logical conclusion. But even after his partial recovery he gave no indication of repentance.  For many years Deedat remained in a condition that resembled a coma, completely out of action.

The ministry a threat in the spiritual realms?
That our work was presenting a threat in the spiritual realms got home to us after we taught at Youth with a Mission in the first quarter of 1996. After having heard me sharing somewhere, a member of the His People Church who was linked to Youth with a Mission, asked me to come and teach at their base in Muizenberg. At this time Mark Gabriel, a former shaykh from Egypt had just come to them to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) there. He had to flee his home country after he decided to follow Jesus and also in Johannesburg there had been attempts to assassinate Mark Gabriel. They requested us to host him for the practical part of his DTS.
            The presence of Mark in our home turned out to be a fruitful two-way experience, but not without hick-ups. As we chatted about the life of Muhammad he spoke quite casually about Waraqah, the cousin of Khadijah, Muhammad’s wife being an Ebionite priest, I sat up. This was something new to me. This became the beginning of research where I not only ‘discovered’ the influence of Ebionism but also of that of many other heretical Christian groups on Islam.[64]
            Mark joined me for my preaching engagement at the Moravian Church in Elsies River on the last Sunday of July 1996 where our friend Chris Wessels was the pastor. We had copies of Against the Tide, Mark’s testimony and Search for Truth for sale. That evening Mark also shared his testimony at a youth service at the same venue, where Christians from other churches of the area attended. I made a crucial error in Elsies River at the Sunday morning service, not warning the congregation to pray before they would pass any testimony booklet to Muslims. Three days later, on Wednesday 31 July, it was clear that Mark’s life was in danger yet again. Heinrich Grafen, a missionary colleague, phoned me to warn me that Maulana Petersen was looking for Mark. A few minutes later Maulana Petersen phoned me as well, enquiring after the whereabouts of the apostate from Egypt who wrote a booklet with very offensive material. It was indeed not so wise of Mark to include a comparison of Muhammad and Jesus in the testimony booklet. He also suggested that Muhammad was inspired by the devil. We had another Salman Rushdie case on our hands; in fact, we had him in our home!
            The ‘co-incidence’ of a combined meeting of the home ministry groups at our church gave us the opportunity to share the need for a hide out for him. That turned out to become a decisive stepping-stone for Debbie Zaayman, a 57-year old nurse. She offered her flat because she would be going away for a few weeks. Although already almost at retirement age, Debbie Zaayman decided to venture into missions, entering the Africa School of Missions the following year. The year thereafter she was already on her way to the mission field, to the Indian subcontinent as a ‘tentmaking’[65] missionary, using her nursing skills in a loving way to the down and outs. It became simultaneously the opportunity for us to upgrade our fleet, taking over her 1989 Mazda. That vehicle was going to give us many years of faithful service till it was stolen in December 2001. We passed on our 1981 model to Adiel and Josephine Adams who were planning to come into fulltime missionary service.
            The killing of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD (People Against Drugs And Gangsterism) a few days later on 4 August 1996 was the next major stimulus for prayer. It brought personal relief to us, because in the resulting turmoil the fundamentalist Muslims seemingly forgot to hunt for Mark Gabriel!
            The PAGAD issue highlighted the fear of and resentment (sometimes even hatred by some Christians) towards Muslims. The veiled threat of a Muslim State was now mentioned more often than was healthy for good relations between the adherents of the two major religions at the Cape. On Saturday 17 August 1996, surmised Satanists broke into the Uniting Reformed Church in Lansdowne attempting to arsonize the building. The arson attempt at the church where our course on ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’ was to be held was luckily downplayed in the press. Satanists were accused of the arson attempt. Fortunately the damage was not too extensive. When Pastor Walter Ackermann phoned me after reading the article in the newspaper we were challenged because a course one evening per week was to have started at this venue on the 27th of August 1996. But how could we know that Lansdowne was actually a PAGAD stronghold? With the arson attempt occurring only two weeks after the Salt River execution, the frightful possibility of a Lebanon scenario challenged the Christians to get their act together. A wave of prayer followed, after which we decided to put out a Gideon’s fleece. It was decided to test the famous but ill-fated St. James Church that had been attacked in July 1993 as a possible venue for the course, instead of cancelling the course outright.[66] The name of the 10-week course (one night per week) that eventually did take place at the St. James Church in Kenilworth, was changed to ‘Love your Muslim neighbour’.
            The crisis that followed the PAGAD eruption of August 1996 presented the churches with a challenge, a wonderful opportunity to impact the problem areas of the Cape townships. With the danger of a Lebanon scenario very real - everybody was just waiting for the gangsters to hit back with a vengeance - a meeting for church leaders and missionaries was organised at the Scripture Union building in Rondebosch. Here the suggestion was put forward to organise a mass prayer meeting on the Athlone stadium. I also suggested at this occasion drug rehabilitation where Jesus is central as a service to the Muslim community. The Bet-el centres which had proved so successful in Spain and elsewhere served of course as a model.  In the early 1990s drug addicts around the world have experienced the liberating power of a personal faith in Jesus.   Some pastor attacked me, suggesting that we would be abusing the vulnerability of drug addicts in this way.        
            When the crisis in the Mother City subsided, pastors simply continued with the building of their own ‘kingdoms’. 

Some Fruit of Convert Care
We continued having meetings with a few converts from our area at our home on Sunday afternoons, trying to revive the little prayer cells we had envisaged, e.g. in Hanover Park when our vehicle was stolen. In the meantime we were able to buy another Microbus that we not only needed for the transportation of the family (We tried to go to Elim as often as possible to visit my parents), but also to bring people to the various meetings. One of the Muslim background believers was Alec Patel, who was still attending the remnant of the Moravian Hill congregation. (He was also a member there when I attended the seminary).
            Alec Patel and his family were among the few Christians in Walmer Estate who succeeded in escaping the evictions in the wake of the Group Areas legislation. What a surprise it was when a young man present at Alec Patels 60th birthday celebration at their home in Walmer Estate mentioned that he had been at our house in Holland. Elroy Lawrence was one of the Spes Bona High School Students who attended the MRA conference in Caux in 1977. He was now a teacher at Salt River High School.
            When I dropped Mark Gabriel one evening at their home in Salt River I was not aware that his wife Berenice was a teacher at St Paul’s Primary School in Bo-Kaap. Berenice was deeply moved by Mark’s testimony. When I picked him up, she asked whether he could come to their school to share at the chapel hour. This was to us a special opportunity to impact the prime Islamic stronghold of South Africa. When the school principal turned out to be Jacques Jepthas, with whom I camped at Genadendal many years ago, the access to St. Paul’s seemed to have been prepared.
            In September 1996 we suddenly got access to St. Paul’s Primary School through Berenice Lawrence. Berenice’s husband Elroy had been at our home in Holland way back in 1978. Now Berenice came up with the question whether I could bring people from other countries along to their school. I jumped at this idea to broaden the minds of the children, to open them up for the gospel in a non-threatening way. Soon I became well known to the kids as I brought Christians from all parts of the world to the school assembly.
            Another result of the convert meetings was the maturing of Salama Temmers and her husband Colin who moved to the Good Hope Christian Centre after they left their church. Going through the waters of baptism had become a problem in their previous fellowship.

A difficult Month
I had to discover anew: If we were going to have a spiritual breakthrough, a revival in the mother city, it would have to be God’s sovereign work. Our own experiences highlighted the need for more prayer.
            October 1996 was a month when we were very much involved in spiritual warfare, often at the receiving end. I started writing a diary that went as follows at some stage: “The attack starts not only very early in the month, but also early in the day. Neither Rosemarie nor I was able to sleep properly. For Rosemarie it was the second sleepless night in a row. She shares her concern that we are getting nowhere with our ministry: ‘For almost five years we have toiled here in Cape Town. And what have we achieved? Almost nothing! We might as well go back to Holland.’ I concede that I also feel completely depressed.”      
            Prayer walking by me and Rosemarie in October 1996 for a church to be planted in Bo-Kaap, the (former) Muslim stronghold, brought us anew to the discovery that demonic forces were at work that are trying to destroy the churches of the City Bowl. The necessity of church unity was more than evident. It had to become one of our priorities. Somehow we forgot that we had learned that we should not be practising prayer walking alone as a couple.
            The risk of spiritual warfare without proper prayer covering became very evident when our son Rafael came to us in the middle of the night with all the signs that he had been attacked demonically. He appeared to be becoming mentally crazy. This seemed to Rosemarie the time to stop with our ministry. The price was too high to have to sacrifice anyone of her children. Reminding her of the false alternatives I had to face years ago when someone suggested that I should choose between my love for her and that for my country, I pointed out that we should fight in prayer for our son. This definitely paid off. He came through the crisis with flying colours. He later became pivotal for the ministry of + Culture (using only the symbol of the Cross), a ministry among young people of a few city churches, while he studied at Cornerstone Christian College[67] where he completed a Bachelor of Arts degree with distinction in 2002. Yet later, he sensed a calling to work among drug addicts and other derailed young people in the Eastern part of Germany that was ruled by the communists till 1989. In 2003 he ministered in the city of Chemnitz under the auspices of the Salvation Army along with the Jesus Freaks.

A Base for new Initiatives?
On Sunday October 6, 1996 I preached at the Cape Town Baptist Church. I could not finish my sermon. Towards the end I broke down in tears when I was overwhelmed by the vision that the Lord wanted to use this church to reach out to Africans from other parts of the continent as well as to reach out to the near-by Bo-Kaap. On my invitation to the congregation to join in the venture, there was hardly any visible response. Yet, seed was sown. (At another occasion, Louis again broke down and I took over.)
            A few days later, during our lunchtime prayer meeting with City Bowl ministers that we had on Tuesdays, Bruce Rudnick - a Messianic Jew - joined us. Bruce was the leader of the Beth Ariel Fellowship of Messianic believers in Sea Point. (I had been attending the Beth Ariel meetings on Friday evenings occasionally). In the prayer time with Louis Pasques and Bruce Rudnick it came to me quite strongly that the Jews should play an important role in the leadership of the world missionary movement. This should also start happening in Cape Town. In my private study the guilt of the church through the estrangement between Jewish believers and other Christians because of the advantages given by Emperor Constantine had become quite significant.[1]
            Soon after our prayer stint of October 1996 we heard of rifts in various churches around the Muslim stronghold. It was a sort of breakthrough to me that we could stage the launching of the new Ramadan booklet at the historic St. Stephen’s church, i.e. on the doorstep of Bo-Kaap only a few months after the great PAGAD scare.
                                                *                      *                      *
            Our Friday prayer meeting became the start of yet another venture after Daniel ??, a brother from Eerste River, who had been a regular at the prayer meeting a few years previously, popped in again, challenging us with the many French-speaking Muslim street traders from West Africa who have moved into the city: ‘Have you ever considered doing something about bringing the Gospel to them?’
            At this time Louis Pasques, who was raised in an Afrikaner set-up, had become the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church. Alan Kay had resigned his well-paid job at the telephone company Telkom to become the administrator of the congregation. He became the leader of a church home ministry group. As Alan was living just a street away from us, we joined his group on Wednesday evenings. Rosemarie and I became very close to both Alan and the pastoral couple. Many a Monday we prayed with Louis and Heidi Pasques.
            We prayed about the issue of foreigners at our Friday lunch-hour meeting. God surely used these occasions to prepare Louis Pasques’ heart. He had not only been a regular at the prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer, but he also speaks French. Because of this and possibly also because of a brave sermon in which Louis confessed on behalf of the Afrikaners for the hurts to people of colour, West and Central Africans started attending the church. When the destitute teenager Surgildas (Gildas) Paka pitched up at the church, Louis and his wife Heidi sensed that God was challenging them to take special care of the youngster. When the Pasques had their parents over for a weekend, they asked Alan Kay to accommodate the Congolese teenager. Gildas crept into his heart, setting off an extended and unusual adoption process. The attitude among the church members slowly started to change towards refugees. Before long quite a few of them attended our services. I got in touch with French speaking missionaries - June Domingo and Maria van Maarseveen from our mission, Ruth Craill from SIM along with Alain and Nicole Ravelo-Höerson from TEAM. Freddie Kammies, who had been working with his wife Doris in Canada as OM workers, later also joined in. Hereafter special French-speaking services were arranged initially monthly and later twice a month as an effort to equip the French-speaking believers for loving outreach to the Muslim French-speakers from our continent. Because many Portuguese-speaking Africans from Angola and Mozambique had moved to our city, with a Bible Study in their language was also started at the Cape Town Baptist Church.

            Soon the English language classes at the church were revitalised to help the refugees to get employment. This became the catalyst for the erection of the Dorcas Trust that I envisaged as a funding vehicle for projects by the churches of the Mother City. Our intended Discipling House and the need for a rehabilitation of drug addicts were long burning issues in our ministry we longed to see owned by the body of Christ in Cape Town. English languages classes were added and taken on by the Cape Town Baptist Church with verve. Tafelberg DRC had a small contribution for theological training that they were now going to siphon towards the language classes. The Strand Street Lutheran Church bought into the support for the Discipling House. No other churches joined the Dorcas Trust initiative.

The Run-up to a Year of Crisis
Rosemarie and I walked and prayed in the Muslim stronghold Bo-Kaap day by day again from Monday to Friday in October 1996. During this time we got a vision to pray for the churches surrounding Bo-Kaap. The Lord revitalised in our spirits the necessity of praying for church unity. Through our involvement in Zeist, Holland, with the prayer movement there, we experienced how powerful the combined prayer of a few dedicated prayer warriors can be. Very concretely the Lord blessed us with answers to our prayers for the breakdown of the demonic forces ruling the Communist world and for justice to come about in South Africa. The force of the lie that was evidently ruling Islam was now our next target. We however also discerned to our dismay that none of the churches around Bo-Kaap would be ready to welcome ex-Muslims in their midst warmly, not even at Cape Town Baptist Church with whom we were closely associated.

            A Missions consultation was planned for December 1996 in the Mother City. I linked my own participation at the consultation to my using the occasion to launch my manuscript about South Africa as A Goldmine for missionary recruitment. I incorporated in this work also my research on unreached peoples groups of Southern Africa. However, there was no support from our own mission for the venture both nationally and internationally. So I dropped the idea. I deduced that I would have to take it back to the drawing board and pray for the right timing for such a publication.
            When we started the year 1997 we had a great expectancy with regard to Bo-Kaap, the prime Islamic stronghold of South Africa. Christians from Melkbosstrand some 30 Km away came along to pray with us every Thursday evening to do ‘prayer walking’. As we walked through the streets that were quite well known to Rosemarie and me by now, because we have been doing this from time to time since 1992.
            In spite of the joy at the increase of interest in praying for the Muslim world because of the distribution of the Ramadan booklet, the visit of Louis Farrakhan in 1996 and the PAGAD debacle, I sensed that before anything could happen, confession would have to be made. In our teaching since 1994, confession by Christians had a prominent place.   Not all Christians were open to this however.
            As the months of 1997 passed by, we discovered why the Lord has imprinted on our hearts to pray for the churches around Bo-Kaap. We had experienced a major split in the Cape Town Baptist from close by. We saw how the Lord was healing the rifts in a few of the other churches.
            Louis Pasques and I were often praying together for our own church when no other pastor pitched up. The Lord answered the when the wounds among the church members were healing slowly. 
21. Strongholds attacked – not without a Backlash

            In previous years we had experienced major attacks during Ramadan. In 1994 I twice had the experience that our car had to be towed away but no fault to be found. The year thereafter Rosemarie was almost killed in a car accident and during the same period we skidded on the high way and miraculously came out of the incident unscathed. In 1997 we experienced it almost as a Satanic taunt when Rosemarie had symptoms of being pregnant just after Ramadan. That would have ruled her out for much of our ministry.
            Just prior to this we were so exceptionally happy when a friend of Bo-Kaap brought her in touch with a home-craft club in the area. A pregnancy would have meant an abrupt end to her involvement with the friendship ministry. A scan did not show any foetus. A month or two later, when she was admitted to hospital for a suspected miscarriage, there was no trace of any pregnancy when the gynaecologist scraped the womb. What was this all about?
            I had to learn the hard way through this experience once more that we should not give Satan too much honour. Soon we discovered that he archenemy was actually attacking our marriage relationship once again. A tension developed as Rosemarie could not accept the validity of my office ministry of research and writing and indeed too much time on the phone, organising teaching courses and the like. This was indeed happening at the expense of person-to-person outreach. Communication between us was completely insufficient.
            The Lord used the crisis to help me not to lose sight of our priority as actual outreach to the lost. The 1997 version of the Ramadan backlash appeared not as obvious. But I had also learnt not to give Satan too much due. The trauma was nevertheless very real when the sale of the CEBI Bible School to a Muslim buyer came up during a prayer conference with our friend Gerda Leithgöb of Herald Ministries. This was the very same building at which we had been called into Muslim Outreach in January 1992.

The request to help a pregnant young woman who was expecting a child from a nominal Christian looked to be a pretty straightforward case. We heeded the request as we visited the eloquent Muslim young mother of two other children. Already divorced twice, we could never advise a marriage where the recipe for disaster was there for the taking. Rosemarie and I were almost on our way leaving the house where she was renting a room, when the conversation took another turn. Somehow a religious topic was mentioned and we were able to share the gospel in some way.
            We combined the next visit to her with the collecting of Mark Gabriel, our friend from Egypt, from the airport. The idea was merely to pop in, but soon Rosemarie and Nadia were deeply involved in a discussion so that we decided that I would go and pick up Mark at the airport in the meantime, while they would conclude the conversation.
            We were not so happy that Mark could not wait on his visa for Australia to go and study at the WEC Missionary Training College in Tasmania. He had now decided to come and do a Master’s degree at the University of Stellenbosch.[70]

Strongholds attacked
Bo-Kaap started to lose its character. Whereas the old District Six - where I had been raised - was notorious for its gang activity, the residential area was a traditional haven of peace. The predominant group of ‘‘Coloureds’ lived there harmoniously with a thin sprinkling of ‘Whites’ and ‘Blacks’. The majority racial group consisted of a sizeable Christian component and quite a few Muslims. The latter group was concentrated in the Schotse’s Kloof[71] flats and a small pocket between around the mosques between Dorp, Strand, Rose and Chiappini Streets. 
            I repeated at different venues that the roots of the religion, the establishment and spread of Islam at the Cape really have to be described as ‘The unpaid debt of the church’. But how could we share the need for confession with the church at large? A major personal disappointment of 1997 was the events around the need of confession with regard to the spread of Islam globally and at the Cape. I knew that I had to be patient. Didn’t it take years as well till the message of confession got through to the Dutch Reformed Church with regard to its race policies? It’s not my work. God would see to it. Yet, I wanted to share the results of my studies with others. How and when could I do that?

Confession once again
It came really as a special boon when Christians overseas starting organising a Reconciliation Walk following the path of the Crusades. Bennie Mostert (Jericho Walls) faxed the lengthy confession of the organisers through to our Cape CCM Forum on the very day we had one of our meetings. It looked to me as if God had his hand in it. But it turned out to be no cakewalk. In our meeting the lengthy confession was turned down out of hand because it was regarded as not relevant for us in South Africa. I managed to salvage the idea, that we should then write our own confession. At our Easter Conference 1997 at Wellington I reminded the missionary colleagues of the idea at the meeting of the leadership. They promptly gave me the homework to write a draft and pass it on to the colleagues in preparation for our leaders meeting in October. It was obvious that they were just procrastinating but I did not want to let them off the hook so easily. The matter was much too important for that.
            What a difference the prayer seminar with Gerda Leithgöb at the former Cape Evangelical Bible Institute (CEBI) shortly hereafter, still in April 1997. The news of the sale of the former CEBI Bible College to Muslims coincided with the prayer seminar but what a sense of unity we experienced in spite of the sword hanging of Damocles over all of us.  (Pastor Danny Pearson led the believers of the fellowship that was making use of the premises from there on many a prayer walk in the area.) Gerda approached me to become the co-ordinator for the Western Cape of Herald Ministries, but I had no peace to accept. Eben Swart turned out to be a much more capable person for that function.

More Knocks, but not knocked out
The general disappointment at the basic disunity among our missionary colleagues was only one of a series of knocks. Just prior to the Easter conference we had to bury my father on the Elim mission station and shortly thereafter Rosemarie had to fly to Germany for the funeral of her mother.
            While she was there, I spoke to tr telephonically. She manipulated cleverly, so that I arranged with Rosemarie on the phone in Germany that we would take her into our home after her return. Louis and Heidi Pasques, our pastoral couple, agreed to take Nadia till Rosemarie would be back from Germany.
            There was a slight flicker of hope when I visited my dear friend Jakes, breaking away for a few minutes from the conference in Wellington. He shared his resolve to go on pension soon. Thereafter he wanted to get involved with Muslim outreach again. That was not to be. A little more than a month later he had a stroke. When I prayed with his wife Ann in hospital, he was in a coma with little hope given that he would survive. The next day he passed away. With the church packed at the funeral service, I did not mind at all to sit on the steps at the front near to the coffin of my best friend. I was sad though that there was no thaw in the relationship to Allan Boesak at that occasion.
            On the same evening of his funeral, Rosemarie had symptoms of having had a stroke as well after Nadia manipulated in such a way that Rosemarie had to drive her to friends after our return from Wellington. A befriended doctor referred us to a Christian specialist who quickly diagnosed that it was a nervous breakdown caused by stress. I was very near to one myself, completely exhausted - battered and bruised by the circumstances of the weeks prior to my best friend’s funeral.
            The specialist, to whom we were referred, ordered us at least two weeks’ rest. It was so good that Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England, who had been a nurse in her hey-day, was on the spot. She spoilt our children as we left for Betty’s Bay, to the holiday home of the Edwards family from our church.
            Soon thereafter, Maria van Maarseveen, a member of our home church in Holland came to do her Bible school practicum from the Africa School of Missions with us. With Nadia in the very late state of her pregnancy, it was handy to have Maria, a qualified midwife, with us. During this period Maria sensed a call to come and join us after completing her Bible School training.

Radio Opportunities
We would have loved to attend the Global Consultation of World Evangelization (GCOWE) conference in Pretoria in July 1997, if only it was to utilise the opportunity to visit our son Danny who was doing a year of orientation with Trans World Radio before the start of his tertiary studies in Electrical Engineering. But the ‘door’ never opened to enable us to go to Pretoria. (In hindsight we understood why after the traumatic experiences of the preceding months.           
            The Lord did His thing in a sovereign way. Shortly after the GCOWE conference, we got a phone call from Avril Thomas, the directress of the Cape Community FM (CCFM) radio station. Avril had been challenged at the conference to look at ways and means to spread the gospel via the radio responsibly, also to other religious groups. At that stage CCFM had been passing telephonic contacts from Islamic background to us. (One of these contacts was Rochelle van Staden, a policewoman whom we could later lead to faith in Jesus as her Lord.)
            With our full agenda I initially did not see my way clear to commit myself to a regular radio slot. But I could envisage the adapting of my series of lessons by Jesus on cross-cultural communication. As devotionals I had taught at various courses on the conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John 4. After more prayer into the matter, Rosemarie and I thought that this series was not suitable for radio devotionals for our purpose. Instead, I would write a series on common personalities of the Abrahamic religions. The result was ten talks about Abraham, Noah, Isaac, Joseph and Jesus after more private study of the Qur’an and the Talmud. The consistent denial of the Cross in the sacred book of the Muslims was more than compelling. It was just too subtle to be man-made. Knowing the history of the compilation of the Qur’an, the question was how I could share this theoretically devastating information in a loving way to a possible Muslim audience. The fact that I would also be addressing Christians and Muslims via the radio simultaneously would of course not make things easier. During one of our prayer walks in Bo-Kaap it became clear to me that I should not go on the air myself. Someone else should read the script. CCFM agreed to the suggestion. (At a repetition of a somewhat expanded series in 1999 I did it myself)

Time for Confession?
At the 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.
It is high time that we as Christians start paying off the debt towards Islam and Judaism. Remorseful confession is possibly the right way to start, followed by concrete steps of restitution. But how can we pass the need for confession to the church at large? I know we have to be patient. Remorse is not something we can bring about through our efforts. Only God can do that.
            I thought it a matter of urgency to publish the results of my studies so that clergy and missionaries can see the need for confession. But doors would not open. Or was I not persevering enough? Or was the timing not correct? Normally I would not have regarded the attendance of the CCM leadership conference in Johannesburg as a high priority. To go to big expense to attend a conference of which the purpose and sense was not so clear to me, seemed to me a big luxury. The optimal use of my time was also part and parcel of stewardship to me. A major draw-card for the visit to Gauteng was the possibility of seeing our son Danny, who was doing a missionary year with Trans World Radio in Pretoria.
            The ‘final straw’ to go to Gauteng was the contact to a church in Heidelberg (Gauteng) that wanted to undertake a prayer journey to the Mother City. They wanted to come and pray for the Cape Muslims as part of the prayer effort of the 10/40 window although the connection was not so clear to me. Bennie Mostert came up with the suggestion to send a prayer team to the Cape. Be it as it may, I decided hereafter to attend the CCM leadership conference on the Reef in October 1997.
            At the conference itself it was possibly a case of overkill when I proposed in my draft confession - which had been posted very late to the conference participants - that the confession should also be read in mosques.[72] Because Ramadan and the start of 1998 coincided, it looked to me a good opportunity to present the confession. This timing of my suggestion was however not good because we got side-tracked.
            Thus it was actually not so surprising that the actual discussion of the confession was shifted to the next conference at Easter 1998. The overall reaction to my suggestions did not augur well for the future. I had the silent fear that not many colleagues were behind the idea. One of them was honest enough to state publicly that he was against my suggestion. Another one assured me privately afterwards that he wanted to work with me on the re-drafting of the confession
            My personal further participation in CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims) got a serious blow when I could not discern a clear commitment to prayer with my colleagues. I was obviously quite disappointed.
            Yet, the conference also had positives. There were major confirmations with regard to my suspicions of demonic involvement in the compilation of the Qur’an and important catalysts for further research. With regard to the former - confirmations of my own independent study - the result of meticulous computer analysis with regard to the name of Yahweh, was just astonishing. I was not aware that the Arabic equivalent of Yahweh was not in the Qur’an.
            I had mixed feelings when I saw the excitement of the missionary colleagues at the facts unearthed by Jay Smith in London that could smash Islam completely. Although I am aware that Paul also got involved with public debate on the Areopagus (Acts 17), the idea of the Speakers’ Corner of London’s Hyde Park was still strange to me. What especially didn’t appeal to me was the triumphant tone that came through. Is the smashing of Islam really what we need at this time? Yes, we have been praying for years for the wall of Islam to come tumbling down. But the impression - that was perhaps not intended - was left as if the effort was an end in itself. The smashing of Islam should in my view only be the prelude of a major turning of Muslims to Jesus.
            The video of Jay Smith nevertheless did supply me with a stimulus for further research. I still wanted to check out how well his assertions are covered that Mecca is not mentioned in early sources outside of the Islamic tradition. Were the mosques with qiblas pointing to Jerusalem, substantiated in academic works?
            Instead of gaining support for the idea of a confession to be done by churches throughout the country at the beginning of 1998, I was deflated. I sensed that even if I had succeeded in gaining support, it would not have been from the heart. Very few colleagues had remorse with regard to the guilt of Christians and Christianity. Basically God could do that, but I would have to disseminate my research in a way that the Holy Spirit could use to which effect. What an awesome task!
In AWB Territory
I would have left Gauteng a very frustrated and despondent person if I had to come back to the Cape straight from that conference. Instead, I returned from there overjoyed. The big difference was the visit to Heidelberg in Gauteng, where I met the group that was going to leave for the Cape the very next day. At the occasion of the sending out of prayer teams to different spiritual strongholds in 1997, a team from the Dutch Reformed Church Suikerbosrand from Heidelberg (Gauteng) followed the nudge of Bennie Mostert of Jericho Walls fame to come to pray in Bo-Kaap. In the spiritual realm this was significant because Heidelberg was the cradle of the racist Afrikaanse Weerstandsbeweging (AWB) when the town belonged to the Transvaal province of the old South Africa.
            While still in Heidelberg I heard telephonically that one of the converts, Fatima Hendricks, was about to lose the house that she inherited as only daughter. Just prior to this she resigned her work at the factory where we had ministered to her during lunch times. Her family was pressurizing her to return to Islam if she wanted to keep the house. A Muslim lawyer would see to it that she gets the house under the same conditions. We were over-awed how she was determined not to recant, even if that would mean losing her house. The believers in Heidelberg joined in prayer for this emergency.
            Up to this point in time our involvement with Muslims and the converts coming from Islam was very low-key. We thought that the moment had arrived to go public with the unjust way Fatiema was treated. But the Lord intervened. It turned out that her mother did not sign the last will and testament in which Fatiema was disinherited because of her faith. The document was declared invalid. The house was given to her as the only heir.

A scintillating Week of spiritual Warfare
The dramatic weekend on the Reef was followed up by a scintillating week of spiritual warfare, including an unforgettable day of repentance and reconciliation in District Six. A supernatural element was clearly present when I received a phone call from Sally Kirkwood at this time. Sally hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s. The Lord had laid prayer for the wasteland of District Six on her heart - for the curse and guilt linked to the wanton greed and theft of the area by apartheid legislators, to be lifted. As a direct result of this week, a new ministry team was born. Our contact with Gill Knaggs was not only revived, but they brought along Dave and Trish Whitecross. Sally Kirkwood informed Richard Mitchell and Mike Winfield about the event. The citywide prayer movement got a major push. I had asked Eben Swart to lead the occasion. That turned out to be very strategic.

            A supernatural element was clearly present when I received a phone call from Sally Kirkwood at this time. She hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s. The Lord had laid prayer for the wasteland of District Six on her heart - for the curse and guilt linked to the wanton greed and theft of the area by apartheid legislators, to be lifted. played a pivotal role in this prayer event. An unforgettable day of repentance, confession and reconciliation followed. As part of the Heidelberg (Gauteng) visit, a prayer meeting was organized on November 1, 1997 in District Six on a gravel patch near to the former Moravian Church.
         Hereafter she came to the fore with a more prominent role among the Cape intercessors. Richard Mitchell, Eben Swart and Mike Winfield linked up more closely at this occasion in a relationship that was going to have a significant mutual impact on the prayer ministry at the Cape in the next few years and transformation in the country at large. Eben Swart’s position as Western Cape Prayer coordinator was cemented when he hereafter got linked to the pastors and wives prayer meeting led by Eddie Edson.

            The event at the Moravian Church in District Six attempted to break the spirit of death and forlornness over the area so that it would be inhabited again. Five years later President Mbeki gave back the Moravian church complex back to its former owners and a programme of restitution got under way whereby former residents (or their descendants) could apply to return.
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            From some things said at the CCM leadership conference I deduced that I should publish the results of my studies as a matter of urgency so that clergy and missionary colleagues can really understand the necessity for confession. I gave the summary of my studies the title The unpaid debt of the Church. However the timing of such a publication is not confirmed.
22. The well-nigh insurmountable Drug Problem
The drug problem of South Africa was under the spotlight as never before. The need for a drug rehabilitation centre where real liberation from addiction would be imparted had become a pressing need. I still have to see a better way for Christians in this country to make restitution for the debt incurred towards Islam than to invest in such a centre. However, the more we met drug addicts, I discerned that this is the last thing we should rush into.
            The killing of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD (People Against Drugs And Gangsterism) on 4 August 1996 was the next major stimulus for prayer. At this time the story of the chief tax collector Zacchaeus (Luke 19:1-10), collaborator with the Roman Empire and possibly an extortion practitioner, became very valuable and actual to me. I rediscovered that Jesus ‘looked up’ to the equivalent of the drug lords and gangsters. Our whole society despised the likes of tax collectors and prostitutes. I believe that this still is the challenge to the body of Christ: to look at the drug lords and gangsters with love, with respect and compassion.
            Our mission gave recognition that the Lord had called us to the ministry to Muslims, so that our representation responsibility decreased accordingly. However, for six months during 1996 representation increased temporarily when our colleague, Shirley Charlton, was overseas. In this period I renewed contacts to quite a few Bible Colleges.
            At one of these occasions I addressed the students at the Baptist Bible College. Here Jonathan Clayton asked me to come and address his ‘congregation’. As a former prisoner he started ministering in Pollsmoor prison on Saturday mornings while he was still a Bible College student. He went there with members of the Strandfontein Baptist church, the home congregation of his wife, the former AEF (Africa Evangelical Fellowship) missionary, whom I know carried the maiden name Jenny Adams.[73] At one of these services at Pollsmoor on a Saturday morning in 1997, I challenged the prisoners to see Rashied Staggie, the (in)famous Muslim drug lord, as the equivalent of Zacchaeus, the chief tax collector. Jesus looked up to Zacchaeus in a double sense, giving dignity to the reviled and hated little man upon whom everybody else looked down. Society at large should still learn to see gangsters and drug addicts - and even groups like PAGAD - as potential missionaries and evangelists if they would start to follow Jesus radically.[74]
          When the crisis in the Mother City subsided, pastors simply continued with the building of their own ‘kingdoms’. A year later, in November 1997, the gang war erupted once again. This time TEASA (The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa) called a meeting at the Baker House in Athlone. At this occasion I addressed the group, challenging them from Scripture how Jesus used outcasts like prostitutes; that David was at some stage little more than a gang leader.          
            It was suggested at the meeting to form a core group to get negotiations underway between PAGAD and the gangsters. Locally, churches would initiate monthly inter-denominational prayer meetings. However, none of the nice-sounding resolutions aired at that meeting was perseveringly implemented (At that stage PAGAD was however quite headstrong, not willing to talk to anybody). I tried to get a few churches in the Woodstock area together for an interdenominational prayer meeting. Apart from the host fellowship in the Ebenhaezer Reformed Church, hardly anybody else pitched.
            The PAGAD issue highlighted the need for a drug rehabilitation centre. Anew we started to pray it into being. What a blessing it thus was when we got in touch with the work of Ian Murray and his team on a farm in Philadelphia where a few members of the ministry team had been drug addicts themselves. A special joy came our way when we heard that the City Mission, with whom we had contact since 1992, was planning to get involved again with (drug) rehabilitation at their centre in Salt River. The building for which we had prayed so fervently, had been turned into offices in the interim. The prospect of Eddie Hofmeyer, with his close links to the gangsters, becoming the new pastor of the City Mission fellowship in Salt River, brought a note of excitement for the prospects for the new year.
            A serious blow was however dealt to our dreams soon hereafter. We not only had to witness how a Muslim convert alongside whom we walked for many months, turn away from Christ but we also heard that her drug-addicted nephew was not allowed to go to the farm in Philadelphia where Ian Murray, a pastor colleague, was ministering with his team. The reason given by the Muslim family was shattering to me - they would not allow him to go there because it was a Christian institution. This dampened my eagerness somewhat to get the rehab centre off the ground. We would not make any secret of it that the intended rehab centre would be Jesus-centred. We especially hoped to serve the Muslims in this way.
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            Ever since our experience in Holland, we saw the ministry to children as an avenue to influence the next generation before they get trapped in all sorts of vice. Our vision to get various children’s clubs started in the crime-ridden township of Hanover Park as a counter to gangsterism, could not be realised. We failed to recruit sufficient workers to help us and the few we did get, displayed no perseverance.
            More successful was the contact that we got to St. Paul’s Primary school in Bo-Kaap with its preponderance of Muslim children. We had been praying for this school for some time and we had even thought of having a holiday club there, but the time was definitely not ripe to venture something like this in the prime Cape Muslim stronghold.
            Our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting was continuing unabatedly. But the participants and the venue had changed. When the Shepherd’s Watch changed hands in terms of ownership, this seemed like one of the last church buildings of the old Bo-Kaap was being sold. But we were thrilled when the problem turned into a blessing. The contact to the Dutch Reformed Church was revived as we had a choice in the end. We could relocate either to the Sendingsgestig Museum in Long Street or to the ‘Koffiekamer’ that is below the St. Stephens Church. Both buildings have a direct link to the slaves. We opted for the Koffiekamer not only because of the better possibility of parking, but especially because of its proximity to the present-day Bo-Kaap.
            However, some work on the periphery of the Franklin Graham campaign in 1997 revived many a contact. It was a real joy to see how the Lord used this event to unify the churches as never before.
            Unfortunately the body of Christ still hardly had vision for the opposing forces at work. At any rate, the effort was minimal to demonstrate the visible unity that was so evident before, during and immediately after the campaign. By the end of 1997, the churches were once again almost as divided as ever before. When we heard that the St. Paul’s church of Bo-Kaap had been impacted by the campaign, this became a stimulus to go and do an evangelism course there.  
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Repentance and Confession in District Six
During the year 1997 I had to see many of my hopes and dreams dashed. Our efforts to save the strategic old CEBI Bible School for Christianity failed dismally. We especially thought of it as the building for our new national WEC headquarters, but it had also been my dream and vision to see the building used for the initial language teaching of future missionaries to all parts of the world. The Muslims had much more money on the table.
            Our prayer walking in October 1996 for a church to be planted in Bo-Kaap, the (former) Muslim stronghold, brought us to the discovery that demonic forces were at work trying to destroy the churches of the city centre. The necessity of church unity was more than evident. It had to become one of our priorities.
             The dramatic weekend on the Reef was followed up by a scintillating week of spiritual warfare, including an unforgettable day of repentance and reconciliation in District Six. As a direct result of this week, a new prayer team was born. Our contact with Gill Knaggs was not only revived, but they brought along Dave and Trish Whitecross. Sally Kirkwood informed Richard Mitchell and Mike Winfield about the event. The citywide prayer movement got a major push. I had asked Eben Swart to lead the occasion. That turned out to be very strategic.

            As part of this visit from Gauteng, a prayer meeting of confession was organized on November 1, 1997 in District Six on a gravel patch near to the former Moravian Church. Sally Kirkwood, who had a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, played a pivotal role in this prayer event. Hereafter she came to the fore with a more prominent role among the Cape intercessors. Richard Mitchell, Eben Swart and Mike Winfield linked up more closely at this occasion in a relationship that was going to have a significant mutual impact on the prayer ministry at the Cape in the next few years and transformation in the country at large. Eben Swart’s position as Western Cape Prayer coordinator was cemented when he hereafter got linked to the pastors and wives prayer meeting led by Eddie Edson. Mike Winfield belonged to the congregation in Bergvliet, that got Trevor Pearce as their new pastor. (The Anglican Church in Bergvliet later took a leading role in the attempts of Transformation of the Mother City.  Richard Mitchell left for England at the end of 1999, becoming an instrument for the starting of citywide prayer n London. Willy Oyegun, a Nigerian pastor, also tried to attend the District Six prayer occasion, but got lost. He nevertheless was another link to Christians in the Northern Suburbs. It seemed as if the holes in the net were getting plugged.
The ceremony on Satruday November 1, 1997 saw tears of remorse flowing freely. English speaking South Africans, Afrikaners and foreigners repented of their respective rolls in exploiting the apartheid situation. The event closed with the stoning of an altar that had probably been erected there by Satanists or other occultists. The occasion at the Moravian Church in District Six attempted to break the spirit of death and forlornness over the area so that it would be inhabited again. It was still going to take many years before that was to be realized.

An open letter?
From some things said at the CCM leadership conference I thought that I should start trying to publish the results of my studies so that clergy and missionary colleagues can really understand the necessity for confession. I wrote an open letter to clergymen with the title My spiritual Odyssey as a summary of my studies. The idea of an ‘open letter’ to all Capetonian clergy arose in 1998 when I was very strongly impressed by the guilt of the church in general, not only in the establishment and spread of Islam but also through the pervasive replacement theology that is still keeping Judaism and the Jews side-lined. (According to the replacement theory the Church is the ‘new Israel’, substituting the old nation that was elected by God to be a blessing to the nations. The Bible is very clear on the role of Jews and the nation of Israel as the apple of God’s eye.) I was saddened to discover in my research how the Church at the Cape treated Muslim slaves and how Christians expediently kept the Gospel away from Cape Muslims because of material gain.The title of the actual research was The unpaid debt of the Church. However the dissemination/publication of neither work was confirmed.
            The traumatic experience around Nadia and another Muslim background believer that we took into our home amplified the urgent need of a discipling house, where people like these can be assisted more effectively. Getting to know Dave and Trish Whitecross also brought a possible couple to approach as home parents for such a place into our frame of reference.

The Hospital Ministry 
The hospital ministry by Rosemarie and June Lemensich had very interesting ramifications. At the Groote Schuur hospital - that became renowned worldwide in 1967 through the first heart transplant operation - the two were especially visiting the cancer ward. A very special case occurred when we heard about a patient, Ayesha Hunter. Rosemarie understood that she had been sent home to die. This sort of situation was of course happening quite regularly from time to time.
            What a surprise when Reggie Clarke thus mentioned at one of our Friday prayer meetings that Ayesha Hunter was going to share her testimony at one of their church home cell meetings. It turned out that the Lord had touched her body. She was now ministering to patients on behalf of the Cancer Association. Soon a contact was established.
            In the hospital Rosemarie met an old Muslim lady from Belhar who seemed to be quite open to the Gospel. At that time we were going to Grabouw more or less every second week after my mother went into Huis Silwerjare, a home for the aged. As Belhar is not too much of a detour, we popped in after the old terminally ill patient was sent home basically to die. When we visited her, she spoke very lovingly about her grandchild who evidently had made her quite jealous to experience the love of Jesus. Her heart was prepared so much that Rosemarie could lead her to the Lord straight away. When we went there again a few weeks later, we found a devastated couple that was not only in bereavement about the mother - that was expected - but also because of the death of their 17-year old daughter. The young girl was killed by a young man who was ‘playing with a pistol’. The parental couple went on to rave how other children loved their daughter at Kensington High School. They mentioned that the perpetrator had links to PAGAD, but stopped short of accusing anybody. Suspicion did come through that it might have been no accident after all.
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            The contact to CCFM turned out to be quite strategic. After the initial radio series we felt that we should be going for a regular programme. We were praying about the format when we heard that Salama Temmers had resigned her full-time post at Standard Bank. Along with Ayesha we would have two possible presenters from Muslim background for our envisaged programme. When we spoke to Avril Thomas, the directress, about our plans we heard that Gill Knaggs had volunteered to assist just prior to our meeting with her. Gill had been our contact in Muizenberg for a few years, but we were not aware of her experience in secular radio work. Things seem to fall in place.
            But PAGAD was still breathing down our backs, also in the radio work. From the outset we had to mention to Avril the possibility of the bombing or arsonising of the radio station. But she was brave enough to take the risk. The greater risk would fall on Salama and Ayesha, two converts from Islam. On Wednesday, 7 January 1998 we took the decision to forge ahead. We would trust the Lord, come what may. The same evening we were encouraged to find a newspaper report that Voice of the Cape, the Muslim radio station, has employed a convert from Christianity, who had married a Pakistani cricketer. The precedent created space us to follow suit with less fear of PAGAD reprisals. If the Muslim radio station could use converts coming from Christianity, why could not we operate along similar lines?
            Soon the format of the slot on the radio evolved - it would be a 15-minute women’s programme on a Thursday morning during one of the Life Issues slots with Gill writing the scripts and the presentation done by Salama and Ayesha alternately. Phone calls to the station gave testimony that many homes, factories and even shops were impacted by the programmes that have been running ever since.
Contacts with Muslim academics
For years I had been under the illusion that one should just be able to sit down with Muslim academics to show them how they have been deceived. Having seen how a few academics like Professors Willie Jonker and Johan Heyns had been used by God to bring Afrikaners to repentance, I hoped that Muslim leaders would then lead their people into freedom if they would get to know the truth.
            The contacts with Dr Achmat Davids were quite cordial, but our conversations never went really deep. I learnt a lot from him about the history of Islam, even though I soon challenged him on some issues. But he was a true academic, taking my opposition in his stride. On theological topics he was somewhat at a loss, this was just not his field of study.
            Through our contact with Maulana Sulaiman Petersen I realised not only how naive my assumption was, but also how dangerous our work with Muslim converts actually was.
            At one of our first contacts, I challenged him in City Park hospital. I knew that he was terminally ill but nevertheless mentioned John 14:6 where Jesus said “I am the way, the truth and the life, no man comes to the Father but by me.” The absolute statement clearly shocked him. Knowing that he was a heart patient, I feared for a moment he might pass out. I did not want to be the cause of his death. He nevertheless allowed me to pray in the name of Jesus. Soon hereafter I visited him at home where he gave honour to Allah, who brought him through once again.
            When I tried to arrange for Majiet Poblonker, a Muslim background believer, to visit him, his true colours came out. Completely angry he threatened me; that I had the temerity to bring an apostate into his house! And he was of course also the Muslim leader who was looking for Mark Gabriel, the former shaykh from Egypt a few weeks later.
            The next year at Lebaran(g), the celebration at the end of Ramadan, Rosemarie and I went to wish him as we travelled back from a Bible School in Strandfontein. After hearing his idea that there are many ways to get to God, I conceded this possibility but ended our dialogue more or less in the following way: ‘There may be different roads to God because everybody is unique. There are different avenues, but there is only one entrance because Jesus said: “I am the way, the truth and the life”. This was the same Bible verse that had shocked him a few months before. I saw now how the penny dropped, but I also discerned his determination. He was evidently convicted, but the price to concede that one had been wrong all one’s life, is of course not easy. Even though he was on death’s door, he was not going to risk ostracism by going through the door of faith in Jesus. Hereafter we never had a good talk again. He was obviously avoiding me till he finally passed on.
            Both he and Achmat Davids died in 1998; the latter only a day after I still had an interview with him at the studio of Radio Voice of the Cape. After all our experiences I knew that only prayer could make the difference, even though I still hoped to get into dialogue with young Muslim academics, who might be more open to listen to the credentials of the Gospel. I started learning Arabic in 1999 - through private lessons by a student from Tunisia - to get the necessary grounding to start as a student at the University of the Western Cape the following year, but unfortunately my full schedule did not allow me to persevere with the lessons. I saw the lessons however also as a way of building trust with the doctoral student with whose wife Rosemarie had close contact. We saw in the couple potential missionaries to their own country after completion of his studies. Were we not praying that Muslim countries would open up to the Gospel?

A Ray of Light           
A ray of light broke through in 1998 as more pastors joined in our weekly prayer that we were now having in the German Lutheran Church. Louis Pasques was already ‘converted’ with regard to the necessity of more united prayer to get a breakthrough in the City Bowl. Over a period of 40 days after Easter 1998 Christians from different backgrounds throughout the country were joining in a fast. In the city a week of prayer meetings with speakers from different churches was organised. But also here the initial promise was not realised.  Yet, a core of pastors kept coming every Thursday till the present.
            A major challenge came over to me as I was able to put in some sessions of private study. I discovered that an important stimulus for the formal abolition of slavery worldwide had been given at the Cape. Dr Philip, who had been a missionary at the Cape, through his book Researches in South Africa and his personal friendship to William Wilberforce. The British evangelical parliamentarian became the main driving force towards the outlawing of slavery.  I sensed a challenge to available myself to spread the invitation to my fellow Capetonians. Could we be the avant garde yet again, this time to emancipate the world of demonic religious enslavement, to usher in the return of the King of Kings?
            For years I had been aware that the various forms of apartheid were demonic. In my studies I became aware of Satan’s success at keeping the spiritual descendents of Abraham apart. It is a tragedy of history that the really great men were loners who had insufficient vision for the spiritual dynamics of separation as a tool of the enemy. Paul the unique apostle and Luther the special reformer both belong to that category. It is sad that all these men were obviously headstrong, but basically misunderstood. How come that someone like Paul, who really was prepared to give his life for his people (see Romans 9-11) be perceived by the Jews as someone who cut himself off from them? To me, there is only one explanation: it was a demonic conspiracy! How different things could have been if Muhammad, the great statesman had understood the Gospel and committed himself in faith to Jesus - not only seeing in him a prophet.    
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            In August 1998 I was invited by the Christian group His People to come and give two lunch time lectures on the UCT campus. Through their own aggressive evangelism on the UCT campus, tension had developed between His People and the radical students with PAGAD leanings. To the second meeting Muslims were invited and quite a few attended. The meetings helped to defuse the situation on the campus somewhat but the Christian students backtracked when I wanted to follow through on the progress made. Other Christian groups - fearing confrontation with Muslims - requested His People more or less to keep me out. For months I hereafter tried unsuccessfully to get into contact with one of the groups again.
            Only in 2001 there was renewed contact. Great was my surprise that Peter Storm, with whom I had contact in 1998, was now heading up the whole ministry to students on behalf of His People. Two very good meetings ensued at UCT, after which the Muslim students wanted to continue the dialogue. But then September 11 came. That spelled the end of our dialogue.
            Our Friday prayer meeting became the start of yet another initiative when Onne Mellema, a City Council worker and regular at out prayer meeting, casually threw in which Vision S.A. - the ongoing Consultation in the wake of the Franklin Graham campaign - was planning a weekend in Lansdowne in March. The Lord had laid on my heart since the beginning of the year to pray for Dean Ramjoomia who had been inactive for a few years in terms of outreach. We really longed to see him being used among the gangsters again. This was possibly the opportunity to get Dean Ramjoomia linked to evangelistic work again. Of course, he first had to get out of his backslidden state.
            God used the ensuing visit by Onne and me to rekindle in Dean’s heart the yearning to return to his first love. Towards the end of 1998 he was already making restitution for what he had committed during his period of backsliding. In the beginning of 1999 he started attending the EBC Bible School in Strandfontein.
            At this time the PAGAD scourge was threatening to cause major disruption in the city. The need for a response in the form of a rehabilitation centre had become pressing. It was only natural that we challenged Dean and his wife to pray about a leadership role in the envisaged Christian rehab centre.

The urgent need of a discipling house
We were confronted with the drug scene in a very real way when Ayesha Hunter approached us with regard to Shamiela, a young woman whose life was threatened. The husband of Shamiela was a gangster who had been involved with many atrocities K. had been abusing Shamiela almost in every way possible. She was a new Muslim background believer. Apparently K. had also committed his life to the Lord, but he was still abusing her.
            After praying about the matter, we had peace to take Shamiela into our home. The experience of 1997 had made us wary to jump into something that could bring us in serious trouble again.
            What a joy it was to see how the young woman grew rapidly in her new faith. It was moving to hear Shamiela sharing the burden she had for the residential area where she grew up. In Woodlands, a part of Mitchells Plain, drug addiction and gangsterism was a way of life. But Shamiela knew that she first had to become spiritually strong and mature.
            Soon we were counselling her together with her husband. He conceded that he was so angry that he wanted to kill me. Far too soon however we allowed them to live together again. The end result was final separation. Thereafter she returned to her earlier life style. It was little consolation that K. went spiritually from strength to strength, wonderfully used by the Lord. I encouraged him to go to the police to confess his criminal deeds. He wanted to do it ‘in God’s time’. Even though I had problems with this view, I did not even consider pressurising him. He had definitely stopped with his old life-style and that was something for which we were so thankful.
            We were however disappointed, having to face the fact that Shamiela was the third failure with a Muslim background believer into whose life we had invested quite a lot of time. We were thrown back on the grace of God. The need for a discipling house where we could have these new Christians nurtured for a longer period, was amplified once again.
            We had hardly recovered from this disappointment, when we were confronted with a similar case. Nas. had been a Christian for quite a few years but still very immature. For years her husband had abused her, more than once almost killed her. In spite of divorce and a few interdicts against him, he refused to leave her alone.
            The police in their residential area knew C. well. He had worked there as a reservist before he was sacked. She told us about a recent instance when he shot her in her leg. A few policemen came to her aid, but they had to unleash a dog to get him under control.
            Soon after the first interview we had with her, she phoned us. Her ex-husband had tried to choke her, when she succeeded to run away to a befriended family from where she phoned.
            In the court case he succeeded in turning things around, because the police dog had bitten him. He walked away free as a bird. We don’t know if our report to friends overseas about our latest guest was the spawn to set things in motion. In both Holland and Germany believers started raising funds for a discipling house. Especially in Holland our friends were engaging in all sorts of activities to that end.

Frustration at the lack of networking           
Before the 1999 CCM conference in Wellington I was on the verge of withdrawing our mission from CCM because of frustration at the lack of a vision for networking and the indifference of missionary colleagues with regard to corporate prayer. When it was suggested that every leader should contribute something at the conference, I volunteered to speak on the role of prayer in Muslim Evangelism.
            At the conference I delivered a paper on Spiritual Dynamics at the Cape[75] that was well received. We returned from Wellington quite excited, after having had a lot of scepticism with the way the networking was operating. Various participants asked if they could have my paper. This resulted in my expansion of the studies into a manuscript that I called Some Things wrought by Prayer.
            The new excitement with the networking unfortunately faded away as I tried in vain to get the colleagues on board with a major last effort to distribute the Ramadan prayer booklets, to be prepared by a letter to all pastors as well as a common endeavour to disseminate four tracts that I had written. With both issues the colleagues dragged their heels to such an extent that I was quite frustrated.
            Through my reading I initially perceived the role of the missionary Dr Philip in the emancipation of slaves as extremely significant. Later I discovered in my research that he was not much more than an important catalyst. Nevertheless, my crooked understanding of his role inspired me to see history repeat itself. I was challenged to see Cape Town used again in the worldwide liberation of Muslims from Islamic bondage. This challenge I also included in the insert to the South African version of the Muslim Prayer Focus. But somehow I could not get my missionary colleagues excited. I was not unhappy at all to hand over the chairmanship of the Forum, even though nobody was willing to take up the baton. I was however disappointed when by September 2000 no meeting of the Forum had been called. Luckily our hand was forced somewhat because we in the Cape had to stage the next national CCM annual leadership Consultation, scheduled for October 2000. Neither this consultation at Wortelgat near Stanford, nor the one at Betty’s Bay in 2001 delivered the goods (In fact, at the latter one it was touch and go or WEC would have left CCM.) I was now only waiting on God to confirm our departure from CCM, without getting activist in my efforts to see networking with the other mission agencies operating again.
            Without me being aware of it, God had already started doing that in a completely different way. When Mark Gabriel had to go undercover in Cape Town in July 1996 he saw the pictures of PAGAD execution on television a few days later. He was reminded of Muslim radicals of the Middle East. This inspired him to start researching jihad in Islamic literature. He started with the research while staying with us, finishing the book in 2001 in the USA, where he had moved to in the meantime. The September 11 event in that year made his book on the topic – that came out under the title Islam and Terrorism - a best seller when it appeared at the beginning of 2002. The book turned out to be a major factor in the exposure of the nature of Islam as a religion, going into its fourth print in April 2003 possibly influencing the White House in its stance on Iraq (Every USA Congress member was given a copy of the book).
            Similarly, Mark was greatly inspired when I introduced her to Messianic believers in Sea Point. He later wrote a book Islam and the Jews in 2003 that was also to send ripples far and wide.

                                                    23. A Funeral as a Catalyst

            We returned from the Easter CCM conference 1999 in Wellington in high spirits. We were however thrown into the battlefield on other levels the same day. Our high spirits were already dampened when the bag of our Dutch colleague was stolen from our Combi in front of our house while we were drinking coffee. In broad daylight the car was broken into.
            Only a few hours later we were shattered when Ayesha Hunter called. Glen Khan, a gang leader and drug lord who had only ten days before committed his life to the Lord, had been shot. We knew that Lameez, his wife, was already a secret believer and that Ayesha had been ministering to them secretly. Ayesha had her fair share of hick-ups in the months prior to this - part and parcel of the PAGAD saga. Once someone was shot next to her while she was waiting for a taxi from a passing car, whereby the assassins could have come from both camps in the gang war. Glen Khan had been funding a food distribution scheme to poor kids related to the Hard Living gang for which Ayesha was responsible. Sharing the Gospel with them, she used the first letters of the notorious gang, calling the children the Heaven’s Little Kids.
            And then there had been two attempts to arsonise the CCFM radio station - the second one a few hours before the Thursday Life Issues programme was to have been transmitted.
            Lameez, the wife of Glen Khan was very brave to refuse to release the body of her late husband for a Muslim funeral that should have happened within 24 hours of the assassination. She knew of course how Glen had made a public commitment to indicate that he also wanted to follow Jesus, just prior to his death. Lameez insisted that he should have a funeral from the Shekinah Tabernacle where he made that commitment under the ministry of Pastor Eddie Edson.
                                                *                      *                      *
            Two weeks before Easter Rashied Staggie, the Cape drug lord who became quite famous, had been shot and hospitalised. Staggie made the news headlines from his bed in the Louis Leipoldt clinic in Bellville through his public confession of faith in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He recovered remarkably quickly. To get away from further assassination attempts, he relocated to Natal immediately after his discharge.
            At the funeral of her husband in the church Lameez, the widow, had asked me to speak on behalf of the family. I did not mind at all when instead ‘Brother Rashied’ was called up to give a tribute. This caused quite a stir because the media had evidently been tipped off that he would be there as well. Overnight he had become a celebrity. The new babe in Christ gave a powerful message to the packed church. Many were listening, following the service outside that was relayed by an amplification system. The funeral audience included a significant contingent of gangsters. Staggie challenged his followers present not to retaliate. Coming from one who had virtually come back from the brink of death because of an assassination attempt, the message could hardly miss the mark.

            In the wake of the Glen Khan funeral on 7 April 1999 and the powerful testimony of Staggie at that occasion, Muslims started turning to Christ in a significant way. Suddenly PAGAD was marginalised even more. It was not surprising that they frantically sought to get credibility. It was however quite unexpected that they became willing, almost eager to speak to churches. This was God at work supernaturally, but Pastor Eddie Edson and his colleagues were not immediately aware of it.
            When he phoned me the afternoon of 13 April for prayer support because ‘Muslim leaders’ wanted to speak to him in the evening, we feared a confrontation because reports were coming in of Muslims who have come to faith in Jesus, e.g. in the trains. Intercessors were called in to bathe the proposed meeting in prayer. A general crisis was feared once again. At a church meeting in Hout Bay to which Pastor Johnnie Louw – the former principal of the AFM seminary in Sarepta with whom I had various contacts in the preceding months - invited me to join him that evening. I challenged the congregation that we should first pray for the meeting of Pastor Eddie Edson with the Muslim leaders that evening before we move on to the rest of the proceedings.
                                                         *                           *                          *
          Pastor Edson was surprised when the ‘Muslim leaders’ turned out to be no less than representatives of PAGAD. This was a major turn around on their part. Only a few weeks prior to this occasion PAGAD refused to meet any Christians or other mediators. Whatever the devil had planned in terms of havoc, was curtailed. A direct result of all this was the birth of the Cape Peace Initiative (CPI). Pastor Richard Mitchell, who was closely involved with the CPI attempt at negotiating peace between the gangsters and PAGAD, kept us informed. We had become quite close to Pastor Richard Mitchell, last not least through our fortnightly prayer at Signal Hill Saturday mornings at dawn. Thus we could pray intelligently for the proceedings on 22 April. The meeting with PAGAD that took place at the Pinelands Civic Centre was followed with discussions with gang leaders the same day.  Richard Mitchell was also the ideal presenter for our weekly testimony programme God Changes Lives on which I had a Muslim background believer as a rule at least once a month.

Spiritual mapping
Gerda Leithgöb introduced spiritual mapping in respect of Islam at a prayer seminar in January 1995, but only in 1999 it was practised in Cape Islamic areas.
          A forty-day fast from Easter Sunday to Ascension Day 1998 included days of prayer and fasting by a few churches in the City Bowl. Rev. Louis Pasques of the Cape Town Baptist Church, who also displayed a vision to reach the Cape Muslims with love, spearheaded this. After trying hard since September 1995 to get a ministers’ prayer group going in the City Bowl, this weekly meeting with a prayer emphasis gained ground slowly after the 40 day April-May 1998 prayer effort.
          But also in other ways it was evident that the Holy Spirit was at work. Supernatural visitations came to the fore in March 1999, possibly as a direct result of 120 days of prayer and fasting in which many Christians were involved.
          A visible result occurred after I had addressed a church gathering in the Groote Kerk, Cape Town at lunchtime on Ascension Day, 1999 where the Lord’s Supper was served by ministers from different City Bowl churches. The event was simultaneously billed as the metropol’s conclusion of 120 days of prayer and fasting.
                            *                          *                           *
          At the Groote Kerk event Reverend Robbie Cairncross was divinely brought into the equation. He had been prepared by the Holy Spirit, coming to the Mother City with a vision to see a network of prayer developing in the Peninsula. His prayer for an office for his Christian Coalition/Family Alliance near to Parliament was answered in a special way when he could move into the premises of the Chamber of Commerce at 4 Church Square, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. After he had listened to me speaking at the Groote Kerk, I could link Robbie Cairncross up with the Cape Peace Initiative. At the initiative of Pastor Eddie Edson of Mitchells Plain, occasional all-night citywide prayer events started, one each on 25 June and 15 October 1999. Towards the end of 1999 the various mission and prayer initiatives seemed to converge. The unity of the body of Christ became visible at half night of prayer on 18 February 2000 on the Grand Parade attended by a few thousand believers from different parts of the Peninsula.

To Nairobi via Amsterdam and Madrid en route
Shortly after our return from our WEC conference in Natal in October 1999, I received an invitation from TEASA to attend an international conference on Muslim Evangelism in Nairobi as the South African delegate, with all expenses paid by TEAR FUND, a British development and charity agency. I was less excited about the invitation when I discovered that my departure would coincide with the arrival of our second son from Germany. Rafael had been evangelising there with Youth for Christ for the greater part of the year. Knowing that travelling in Africa is very expensive, I enquired how much a ticket to Europe would cost. I had just heard that I would lose my Dutch passport unless I interrupt my residence in South Africa before January 2002. We thought that a guest lecturing period at the Cornerstone Christian College, a WEC institution in Holland, could be the solution. I could then go and discuss that en route to Nairobi. Rosemarie pointed out that a visit to Madrid would be more important to get some movement on the drugs issue for which we had been struggling so long. (I hoped somehow that I could meet our son Rafael in Holland. He was doing a stint of a year with Youth for Christ in Germany.)
          Making extensive use of our new communication medium, the e-mail, it was soon finalised that I would be stopping over in Amsterdam en route to Madrid and Nairobi. The first and third venues turned out to be quite strategic.
          My two days in Holland were very strategic. An evening was organised on short notice to speak to some of our friends. Martie Dieperink, one of our faithful prayer partners, lost her mother. Shortly after having heard of the need of a discipling house in Cape Town where new believers coming from another faith could be nurtured, she immediately offered to help us with a substantial amount as an interest-free loan. This set in motion what became a strategic building. The furniture from the house of her mother was part of the content of a container that was sent in 2001.
          Rosemarie and Maria, our Dutch colleague, were in the meantime frantically looking for accommodation for our new missionary colleagues from Indonesia, Nim and Nur Rajagukguk. They were the fruit of about five years of praying for workers from the most important country from where the slaves ancestors of the Cape Muslims came.
          The Spanish part of the trip did not deliver the goods on the short term, but seed was sown. In 2003 Elliot Tepper, the leader of the Betel Ministries, informed us that Cape Town is high on their agenda for the start of a new Rehab centre, even though we did not have a couple ready to go to Birmingham in England for training.

High-powered Spiritual Warfare  
The Nairobi conference was linked to a traumatic event at home. While I was still in Spain our son Danny was rushed to hospital after his appendix had burst. He turned out to be allergic to the medication given to him. According to reports it was touch and go or we could have lost him.
          This was happening on the eve of the World Parliament of Religion. Rosemarie sensed that this was an attack from the enemy while I was away. She alerted prayer warriors at home and abroad. I got the news at a strategic moment in Nairobi, when we were not making much headway to get a draft on paper that we could report back to our respective sending bodies. When someone at the conference tried to share something about spiritual warfare, I had the opportunity to chip in. The impact was tangible when I reported how I had just heard how our son escaped death by a narrow margin. In the months hereafter we heard from people all over how they had been praying.  I discovered that the invitation to the International conference in Nairobi was God’s strategy not only to keep me out of the limelight of the praying around the World Parliament of Religion, but even more important – the detour via Holland and Spain was going to be pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house.
          On home soil the news of Danny’s fight for life brought home to some Christians the simultaneous urgency to prayer for the World Parliament of Religions. Thus God turned around the attack on Danny’s life and on our ministry for his sovereign purposes.
          The evident spiritual warfare around the World Parliament of Religions was fuel to set up an all-night prayer meeting on the Grand Parade on fairly short notice. Just at this time Cees Vork and Pieter Bos[76] started corresponding about their intentions to come to Cape Town. It was clear that God was at work orchestrating things when Mike Winfield and others were simultaneously busy with ‘Closing the Gates’ meetings, where we were looking at the sinful roots of our society. It was special that we could gain from Nim Rajagukguk as he shared what had been happening in his home country in recent years.
          The all-night prayer meeting on the Grand Parade on Friday 18 February 2000 was followed during the next days by strategic ‘Closing the Gates’ prayer occasions and other meetings like a combined church service on the Bellville Velodrome gave the impression that revival was in the air.
          The moving confession of Pieter Bos because of the Dutch colonial guilt at the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf at Macassar, the pioneer of Cape Islam, moved Nim Rajagukguk deeply. Hereafter we went to Vergelegen, the farm of Willem Adriaan van der Stel. He shared how he harboured hatred towards Dutchmen, breaking down in tears of remorse. This gave the occasion a special touch. At this occasion I also met Dr Lovejoy Tiripei, a national of Zimbabwe, we had been a freedom fighter before he came to faith in Jesus as his Lord. He started Grace Fellowship Africa, an agency that was going to impact our ministry significantly.[77]

          Satan would not sit still, of course. In March a protracted dispute between taxi drivers and the Golden Arrow bus service held townships like Khayelitsha in suspense for months on end. Bus drivers and innocent passengers were killed and maimed in the process. Nobody suspected that the shooting of a Golden Arrow bus driver as part of the conflict between taxi drivers and the bus company, would bring the black townships to the brink of anarchy.
          At this time C., a drug criminal who had assaulted his ex-wife Nas., one of the Muslim background believers, was set free from prison, much sooner than his sentence prescribed. As a former policeman he had spurious contacts to the police force. It seemed as if a new period of spiritual warfare started in the Cape Town City Bowl. In spite of a conditional suspended sentence on a charge of abusing his ex-wife, he continued to harass her. After another assault on her, the police appeared to disregard the charge. May 2000 seemed pre-destined to become another season of spiritual combat, with the police force not only in disarray, but also frustrated by a corrupt judiciary. It furthermore surfaced that an Egyptian man abducted his South African Muslim background believer wife who lived near to us, to prevent the pending divorce. This could have resulted in his being deported. The conditions in S.A. prisons were highlighted when inmates threatened to sodomize and kill the well-known activist Dr Allan Boesak as he was about to enter Pollsmoor, the major prison of Cape Town.
          On Thursday 18 May there was a well-advertised public meeting in the Parow Civic Centre with a speaker from India, Dr Zakir Naik. He was billed as an expert on comparative religions, viz. Islam, Christianity, Judaism and Hinduism. This event was staged by the Islamic Dawah Movement, the Islamic missionary arm, but advertised to non-Muslims - especially to Christians -as an inter-faith exercise. The title of his talk was ‘Similarities between Christianity and Islam’. In his talk Naik initially indeed gave the impression that he wanted to placate the Christians, showing why he deemed Jesus to be a Muslim. But the attack did not stay out as he stated how Muslims were more Christian than Christians in the use of alcohol. In the question time Naik showed why he could be regarded as someone who attempted to take over where Ahmed Deedat left off, offending the Christians in a much more refined way. However, if the event was intended as a public relations promotion for Islam, it backfired. Naik demonstrated why the religion is regarded by many as one for the intolerant. He mocked Christians left, right and centre. This was hardly an advertisement for Islam.
          Friday evening the 19th May, there was a citywide half night of prayer, attended by 6,000 people at the UWC Sports Ground in Bellville. How necessary such events are, i.e. where the unity of the body is emphasised. In the spiritual realm it was surely powerful when Pastor Martin Heuvel apologised on behalf of about 40 pastors present to their congregants, among other things for lording over their flocks, for being dogmatic and having a lack of a servant attitude.
                            *                          *                           *
          Here and there we got in direct confrontation against opposing spiritual forces. On one of our monthly prayer walks, a lady who had just come from the Bo-Kaap kramats (shrines), was befriended by Rosemarie after she had actually verbally attacked the faith of the prayers who believed that Jesus died on the cross.
          It was soon obvious that the lady in question was demon-possessed. Valerie, a new worker who joined us in January 2000 - got befriended to her daughter. More than once the unfortunate daughter survived massive attacks on her life. At one such occasion she left the house.
          The drug issue came up at another Bo-Kaap home. At a family where the husband had died of AIDS in 1999, the wife was terminal in the last stages of the same ‘death sentence’ when Maria got involved. Soon I was ministering to two of their children who attended the St. Paul’s Primary School. In vain I tried to organise secondary schooling for the boys who had lost out completely. This brought me in touch with the principal of Vista High School, the sole secondary school of Bo-Kaap.
          I could cry when the family decided that the boys should rather stay at home - that meant being in the company of drug addicts and other bad influences - rather than sending them to a school where they could eat food that was not ‘hallal’.
          At this time I was trying to get a drug rehab programme going with Eric Hofmeyr and Dicky Lewis. My patience was really put to the test as even the start of a prayer meeting - that we saw as imperative to accompany the programme - took months to get off the ground.
                            *                          *                           *
          My old fighting spirit was activated from another side. Our colleague Maria had all sorts of hassles with the Home Affairs department. Only a few months earlier Siggie Steger, the youth worker from the German Lutheran Church, whom we had suggested to Georg Grobe a few years ago and with whom we had been praying regularly on Thursday mornings, was stranded in Germany because of evident opposition to church and mission work in the offices of the new regime. I succeeded to suppress my old activism, but nevertheless I got Dr Robbie Cairncross, who had his offices near to the national parliament, to write a letter to Dr Buthelezi, the Minister of Home Affairs, to request a meeting with a delegation from the churches. I had introduced Robbie to the pastors and wives’ prayer meetings and he also attended our fortnightly prayer occasions on Signal Hill. At a later stage we got Graeme Kent, a missionary from SIM with legal and administrative know how, to finish off the draft that I had written. This letter was then forwarded to TEASA, so that it could be a national initiative on behalf of missions and churches. The low-key action paid off when our colleagues the Rajagukguks only had to pay a fraction in 2003 of what Maria van Maarseveen had to pay as administrative fees to get permanent residence status.
          I was already starting to prepare to go to Natal for the CCM conference at Marian Hill near Durban at the end of April, when an invitation came to teach at three seminars in Mozambique. It was a sequel to the conference in Nairobi in November, 1999. The eyes of Pastor Ernesto Mugabe, the Mozambican delegate to the conference was opened. On his return to his home country he saw how his country was being systematically islamized after the president - a former Communist – started favouring Islam.
          Pastor Mugabe, along with David Zimba, who had met a Ghanaian Muslim background believer, Achmed Adjei, became the driving force to get these seminars organised to conscientize the Christians. In spite of organisational flaws, the meetings augured well for future involvement in that country. Strangely enough, though all my efforts to get more involved in Mozambique, were of no avail.
                                      *                          *                           *
          We were over-awed by God’s provision after we had prayed in our family circle about the possibility to attend two weddings, two nephews of Rosemarie in Germany. We soon had peace to pray for funds that six of us could go. My experience of November 1999 brought us on the track of relatively cheap air fares whereby we could fly to Germany with a free stopover in Holland. When Elsabe Odendaal, a member of our church, came up with a very special fare from Air Namibia, we were thrilled. The payment of a greatly reduced fare for the second person - plus a further discount for 12-18 year olds, allowed us to pay a total for six persons that normally two people had to pay on the other airlines.
          Initially I did not feel completely comfortable with the idea of spending two months in Holland and Germany apiece, especially because the two weddings were the main motivating items. On the other hand, Rosemarie was so tired. She definitely needed a good rest. We agreed that I would return with our two youngest children after seven weeks. She would stay on a little longer.
          A week before our departure to Europe, we went to say good bye to my mother. This was not the first time that we had to reckon with the possibility of seeing her for the last time. I was shocked to find her in the sick bay and very weak. At 89 years this was of course not surprising. The day before we were scheduled to leave, I decided to go back to see her again.
          God intervened clearly. After not even a full week in Holland, we got the news that our dear om had contracted a brain haemorrhage. For a few days she was in a deep coma. She passed on without returning to consciousness.
          My two brothers were gracious to allow me to attend the first of the two weddings, postponing the funeral for a week. Difficult though it was, I could see God’s hand because there had been a few unresolved things.
          Many prodded me on to return to Europe. Some - definitely not affluent people - were even offering to help towards my airfare. However, after much prayer, I decided to remain at the Cape.
          The one issue that became clearer to me in the process: I had to ask God to show where I should interrupt my ten years of continuous residence in South Africa in Holland if I would survive the threat on my life that was very real at this time. C., a criminal who had quite a scalps already, but also contacts within the justice department to get away with things, once phoned me, inviting me to accompany him to throw away his pistol. I challenged him instead to commit his life completely to the Lord. What use would it be if he throws away one weapon and then buy another one the next day?
          And then suddenly, we heard that the law in Holland was changed. It was not necessary to go and live in Holland for some time. I just had to see that I would renew my passport before it would expire.
24. The Battle against Crime, War and Violence

            Clarion calls were going up in 1976 for action against South Africa in the wake of the Soweto killings.  I was asked to address the protest meeting in the Wilhelm Memorial Church of Berlin, where I was co-pastoring a church at this time. The feelings at that time were that the beloved country would soon be going up in flames. Christians should do all they can to stop the rot.
          It was sad that the form that opposition to apartheid displayed was diabolic itself. Whereas hardly any single factor was uniting Christians of colour as much as the abhorrence of the oppressive policies race policies in the country, hardly anything brought as much division as the reaction to it.
          I tried in vain to get various church organizations and forums to confess the role of the church in the perpetuating of violence. One of these occasions was at a church discussion in Driebergen, Holland in the late 1970’s when one of the big Reformed Churches was considering supporting the armed struggle of the ANC. At that time I was a pastor in Utrecht with close links to Moral Rearmament. In fact, Aad Burger - their man in Utrecht - organized for me to be invited to speak at the church meeting. I angered the Moral Rearmament faithful though by speaking in favour of boycotts as one of the few tools available to bring an end to apartheid rule. Ethically I was not insensitive that people in other countries would have to suffer because of our pleading for a boycott of products from my home country. Because I was also calling for boycotts against the regimes of Idi Amin in Uganda and Nicolai Ceasescu in Romania, I tried to make it clear that I saw boycotts as a tool against evil governments everywhere. Nevertheless, my activism was always very low-key.
          A few years later, I wrote a letter to Dr Beyers Naudé, when he was the secretary-general of the South African Council of Churches after his ban was lifted in 1984. From his reply I could appreciate that he was not willing as a White to stick his neck out on such a sensitive issue. On top of it, he saw himself only as an interim incumbent of the post.
          The debate on the feasibility and validity of violence as a reaction to apartheid oppression and violence was raging in church circles. In fact, the lifting of his ban and the award of the Nobel Prize to Bishop Tutu in the same year, unleashed a new vibrancy in the communities of the oppressed. Dr Allan Boesak was leading the newly started UDF in organised non-violent protest, but he was ambivalent with regard to violence. Bishop Tutu was very courageous, slashing the practice of ‘necklacing’, the killing of (suspected) apartheid collaborators and police informers, but nobody in the struggle clearly opposed the armed struggle, the official policy of the ANC. Ambivalently, as Archbishop Tutu[78] he referred to legitimized violence. The impression gained - especially after the Kairos document of 1985 - was that the churches and groups linked to the SACC were condoning violence perpetrated by Blacks. Some even interpreted this viewpoint as outright encouragement of violent protest.
          One of the few serious opposing voices in this regard came from the theologian Dr Walter Wink. In a society that hardly reads, his booklet - published in 1987 by the SACC titled Jesus’ Third Way - the Relevance of Nonviolence in South Africa Today, remained by and large unknown. Yet, Wink argued convincingly why non-violence would be the best option to get rid of apartheid. But prayer hardly featured as a tool with him and even he wrote about counter-violence by the oppressed in such a way that it could be interpreted as condoning of violence.

The Response of the church and Missions to Gang-related Activities 
The spiritual warfare from the side of Satan was conducted in the ‘Coloured’ townships especially through the inter-related threesome drug addiction, gangsterism and prostitution. The last two decades these vices proved the ideal bridge head for Satanism, causing massive havoc and misery.
          Over the years drug addicts and gangsters did come to faith in Christ incidentally. Former gangsters like Eddie Edson even became pastors. In recent years quite a few from Muslim background became followers of Jesus. Till the early 1990s there was no targeted endeavour to reach the gangsters with the gospel. Some of them came under the sound of the gospel at the occasional open air service.
          In the second half of 1992, the criminality and violence in the township of Hanover Park got completely out of hand, but the Lord raised up praying people. As an answer to these prayers police sergeant Crowe approached the churches about the situation in the township. Pastor Jonathan Matthews of the Blomvlei Baptist Church played a big role in the start of Operation Hanover Park. Prayer by believers from different churches had a prominent part in this operation. The situation in Hanover Park improved dramatically after the churches had joined hands in October in that year in Operation Hanover Park.

Addressing Gang Violence
Dean Ramjoomia and his wife were directed to minister to different gangs as part of Operation Hanover Park that was a combined church effort to arrest the violence and crime in which township. Ramjoomia had been embittered by maltreatment by police when he was a boy after he had used a ‘Whites only’ toilet. Formerly a Muslim, Ramjoomia entered Bible School in 1999 with the intention to get involved with a ministry to drug addicts and gangsters on a full-time basis.
           In 1995/6 conditions in the township of Manenberg were well-nigh unbearable to the local people, completely out of control. PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) was initiated by a group of Muslims and joined by Father Chris Clohessy, the local Roman Catholic priest. He had earned the trust of among others the (in)famous Staggie twins as he moved fearlessly in gang territory.
          The crisis that followed the PAGAD eruption of August 1996 presented the churches with a challenge, a wonderful opportunity to impact the problem areas of the Cape townships. With the danger of a Lebanon scenario very real - everybody was just waiting for the gangsters to hit back with a vengeance - a meeting for church leaders and missionaries was organised at the Scripture Union building in Rondebosch. Here the suggestion was put forward to organise a mass prayer meeting on the Athlone stadium. I suggested a drug rehabilitation centre where Jesus is central. The Bet-el centres that had proved so successful in Spain served as my model.                           
          Since our return to South Africa in 1992, I repeated my view quite a few times that confession was needed on behalf of the churches with regard to the ongoing violence, yet without any visible results.     
A strategy with which I became involved in countering the gangster scourge, was getting former prisoners like Johaar Viljoen to share their testimony in churches. Viljoen was well read in the Bible and the literature of Ahmed Deedat who was his hero. Before his conversion in the Caledon prison, Viljoen frustrated the evangelistic efforts of Christian workers there. Three of these workers decided to take him on through prayer and fasting. When Viljoen studied the Bible - in order to fight the Christians even better - he was bowled over by a comparison between the narration of the near sacrifice of Isaac and the Qur’anic version.
          How long would the churches sit idly by and watch senseless killings and crime? The occasional pious talk calling for an end to the violence is not good enough. A group of church leaders was formed in November 1997 to try and get negotiations between PAGAD and the gangsters underway, but it never functioned.  It was left to individuals like Eric Hofmeyer, Ayesha Hunter and Dicky Lewis to minister to both camps, not without success. Some Muslim leaders, which had some dealings in drug peddling became very scared when they heard that PAGAD had a hit list of three pages. Some of them went secretly to Christian ministers like Pastor Sylvester Pillay.

Countrywide Prayer   
The simmering ‘War in Cape Town’ became an issue for prayer countrywide when Christians were challenged by Herald Ministries to get together for prayer on the evening of 15 January 1999, the Muslim Night of Power that is celebrated in remembrance of the first Qur’anic revelations. 
          A mini crisis developed when the testimony of Majiet Poblonker, an Indian convert from Islam was going to coincide with the Islamic Night of Power on 15 January 1999. Poblonker was understandably uptight because a police agent, Bennie Lategan, had just been shot and killed in Mitchells Plain the previous day. Parts of Majiet Poblonker’s testimony about the persecution he had to endure - including his near assassination - that could have enraged Muslims, could fortunately be deleted just before the transmission. The powerful testimony was bound to impact Cape Islam, coming only a day after Ayesha Hunter had given a part of her story on the ‘Life Issues’ programme.
          More fireworks with which we were somehow linked, exploded at the beginning of the academic year 1999. At the George Whitefield Bible College a Thursday teatime prayer group around Gill Knaggs and Marthinus Steyn was started to coincide with the time when Life Issues - the version of the women’s progamme with two converts from Islam - was broadcast.  (Marthinus had been a WEC short-term missionary in Chad). Gill, one of the new students at the college, was of course writing the scripts for the programme.
          The results of the CCFM here and there also impacted our ministry. Thus a Muslim lady phoned CCFM after she had seen different visions of Jesus, also getting instructions from Him to read portions of the Bible that very clearly related to her life. Rosemarie ministered to her. Soon hereafter she accepted Christ as her Saviour, but she never made a clean break with Islam.
          But also in other ways it was evident that the Holy Spirit was at work. Supernatural visitations came to the fore in March 1999, possibly as a direct result of 120 days of prayer and fasting in which many Christians were involved.
          A visible result occurred after I had addressed a church gathering in the Groote Kerk, Cape Town at lunchtime on Ascension Day, 1999 where the Lord’s Supper was served by ministers from different City Bowl churches. The event was simultaneously billed as the metropol’s conclusion of 120 days of prayer and fasting. In my mini sermon at that occasion I referred to the violence and brutality of the police and defence force on the one hand that were excused in what was described as the ‘total onslaught’ against Communism. But I also mentioned the dangerous seed that was sown when counter violence was condoned and even exonerated if it was part of the struggle against the government of the day. I furthermore touched on the uprooting of stable communities as a source of the exponential growth of gangsterism in the new townships, suggesting that we ask God to give us remorse on a big scale as a condition for genuine confession.
          Dr Robbie Cairncross heard me speaking at the Groote Kerk.  Thereafter he made contact with me. He had just arrived in the Mother City on behalf of a group that renamed themselves as the Family Alliance. Soon I could link him up to other important role players like Richard Mitchell and Eddie Edson.
          The search for church unity in the Cape Town City Bowl - as an answer to the never-ending spiral of violence - had another visible result when a combined church service was held in September 1999. At this service, prayers were offered for the Prime Minister of the Western Cape and other dignitaries. Percy Sonn with whom I had shared the gospel at a students’ camp in Genadendal in the mid 1960s was also invited to this service as the person responsible for leading the fight against crime in the Western Cape.[79]

Contact with Violence
Our involvement with Muslim background believers brought us in contact with different forms of violence. Our hiding of Mark Gabriels made targets out of us for fanatical Muslims who wanted to kill him. We were aware that because we were linking up with people like Ayesha Hunter and Lameez Khan, this could bring us into conflict with groups like PAGAD. But because we were constantly working low-key, it helped..
          Nevertheless, because we were seen as the cause of people leaving Islam, this led to threats. When O. discovered a photo on which I baptized his wife, he threatened that he would thrash me if he saw me. I never took that threat really seriously, although I hereafter simply refrained from going to their house again. He had beaten their daughter who clearly professed Christ.
          On the other hand, wherever I had the chance, I taught Christians to see gangsters, prostitutes and the like as potential evangelists and missionaries. Two other big lessons I gleaned from my study and experience in spiritual warfare - the power of confession and unity. I shared and implemented my new insights, but by far not forcibly enough.
          The counselling of Nas. soon included parallel sessions with her husband. If ever there was a Dr Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, C. was one. So intelligent and nice to speak to under normal circumstances, as unreasonable and angry he could react, especially when he was under the influence of drugs. He literally cried out for help on the one hand, on the other he did not want to be treated in an institution. This also gave me food for thought with regard to my vision of a drug rehab centre. I sensed that God would have to make a few of the potential patients at such a centre really desperate before they would come to the envisaged centre.
          One Saturday afternoon I experienced in a very personal way how serious the situation was when Nas. phoned me from her working place at the Cape Town Waterfront. I had just returned from our hospital outreach. The urgency in her voice said it all.
          I took our eldest son Danny along. When we arrived there C. was standing nearby waiting on her to come out. He was heavily drugged, having threatened to kill her. That is why she phoned us. I tried to pacify him and then told her to come with us.
          When C. saw his own plans frustrated, he drove with his vehicle into the back of our car so that I could not leave. The moment he bumped into us, Nas. ran off. He followed her, catching up with her, evidently determined to take her along. I tried to get him to release her. Plain-clothes policemen who witnessed what happened, intervened. After a scuffle they arrested him. From the police station he phoned and manipulated that weekend so frantically that he succeeded to pressurize her. He wanted her to withdraw the charges. She almost committed suicide, as she felt caught between the devil and the deep blue sea.
          Our son Danny was thrown in at the deep end with counselling Nas. a few weeks later when we had left for the WEC conference in Natal. We hereafter organised for her to go to a place of restoration, where she was wonderfully ministered to.
          When C. was convicted and sent to prison for nine months, a period of relative rest followed. Through our contacts with Straatwerk, it could be arranged for her to move to their community house in Woodstock, while she continued to attend the home ministry group of our church that Rosemarie and I were leading.
          C. threatened to kill not only his wife and his children, but me as well. Knowing that the blood of martyrs had always been the seed of the church, we were however not going to allow the threats to influence our lives profoundly. We were very thankful when Nas. could gradually grow spiritually to a position of faith, not to be guided by fear.
          Nas. was making good progress when C. was released from prison much sooner than the expiry of his sentence. He was hardly around when we sensed demonic activity. We heard that he instigated curses to be placed on us. One night Rosemarie was awoken by noices on the roof. She thought that C. was around. Because of his threats from prison to kill Nas. and me, we had to reckon with this possibility. Threats were not new to us, sometimes having to contend with them from opposing sides of the political divide in apartheid days. But we have somehow learned not to be guided by fear.
          Knowing that some Muslims are involved with magic in the form of curses and because C. had tried to blacken us in the Bo-Kaap, occult activity was also on the cards. The next night there were similar noises on the roof and a mysterious anonymous phone call in the middle of the night. This time I was ready for it, immediately getting into action praying the Holy Spirit to bless whoever was trying to scare us, that it might work as a boomerang. Thereafter we had no trouble along those lines.
          Two days after my arrival from Germany in July 2000, from where I had to return after my mother had passed away, I was woken by a phone call from Nas., “C. has again tried to kill me”. In an effort to escape him, she jumped from the upstairs bedroom, landing on a cemented surface. It was a miracle that she suffered only minor injuries. We were appalled how the police handled the case. The challenge came through that we really had to pray for divine intervention at the near anarchic situation in our city. The next few weeks I had various telephonic calls from C., accompanied by threats to kill her, their children and all her advisors, as he endeavoured to intimidate me to get Nas. to withdraw the charges.

The War heats up in the City Bowl
In June 2000 the fight in the spiritual realms was raging at the City Bowl as never before. A TV report depicted how the Mother City drew gay tourists from around the world. Capetonian homosexuals and lesbians went public with their intention to make Cape Town the gay capital of the world. Satanists were also staking their claims to impact the city.         
          All this coincided with the threat of gunmen operating on behalf of taxi operators to the rule of law in the Mother City. We were sad when we heard that Mr. Mark Wiley, whom we regarded as a man of integrity and for whom we had prayed in the Cape Town Baptist Church in September 1999, had resigned from his portfolio, being responsible for policing in our province. 
          At this time we also heard of the killing of Christians on the island of Ambon in Indonesia. We saw it as our duty role to call for prayer wherever we had the chance. With Nim and Nur Rajagukguk as part of our team, there was a double link. We had been praying so long for Bo-Kaap, a residential area that had been islamized through the demonic apartheid system. Indonesia was a country that became Islamic especially as a result of the base colonialism practised by the Dutch. Both practices - colonialism and apartheid - were perceived as being executed by Christians. Muslim extremists had given an ultimatum to Christians on the predominantly Christian island of Ambon to leave it by July 31.
          I did not succeed in convincing evangelical Christians in either Holland or South Africa significantly to see these practices as part of our collective guilt that we had to confess. Nevertheless, we took the challenge to believers to turn things around through prayer both in Bo-Kaap and Indonesia, praying that God might even use the extremity into his opportunity, that thousands of Muslims may turn to Jesus, that the lie of Islam may be exposed.
          Pastor Eddie Edson discerned that Manenberg was a key township in the spiritual warfare in the Peninsula. On short notice the venue for the monthly pastors and wives prayer meeting of August 2000 changed to ‘Die Hok’, the former drug den and headquarter of Rashied Staggie’s Hard Livings gang. Edson was also the driving force to get a 10,000-seater tent campaign into which township, preceded by a Cape Town ‘Jesus March’ (as opposed to the internationally orchestrated ones) on 2 September 2000.

Special Encouragements
Our friends in Holland and Germany really overwhelmed us with gifts for the discipleship house. Up to this point we spoke of a safe house. We changed the title of the building. Abuse had been the major reason for originally deciding to take in such women (with children). The need for the house was amplified by the unpredictable behaviour of C., the ex-husband of one of our Muslim background believers. We found ‘Discipling House’ more appropriate than ‘safe house’ as we used to call it. Our main purpose for the institution is indeed to disciple new Christians, especially those who have come from another religion. Within a few months we had sufficient funds to buy a building. The first few months of 2000 were rather frustrating as we saw one offer after the other come and go for different reasons. In the meantime the friends in Holland continued gathering furniture, household articles and clothing, more than what fitted in a container. The Lord wonderfully provided storage free of charge where they could keep the goods that came in for that purpose. Before we could finish the paper work on this side, they shipped the container.
          We were really tested as we waited for weeks and later months for customs clearance. We had learnt in the meantime that God’s timing is the best. We would not allow the enemy of souls to upset us unduly.
          We were nevertheless shattered when Dave and Trish Whitecross, who had considered seriously to be the houseparents of our discipling house, told us that they were going to do something else. Not much more than out of desperation, we approached Dean and Susan Ramjoomia. We thought that they would be suited for the task but they were preparing themselves to get into the leadership of the drug rehabilitation centre we hoped to see coming off the ground. We had however already been grooming them for leadership in the Muslim background believer meetings.
          It was a special blessing to discover how the couple had been prepared by the Lord to take on the discipling of the new Muslim background believers in our house. Their ideas for the place were not completely in harmony with what we had envisaged but we thought that this could change in due course. Dean was already in his second year of his Bible School training. Susan would stop working at Constantiaberg Clinic as a nurse. They wanted to trust the Lord for their day-to-day needs.
          How glad we were when we heard that the Lord used Teen Challenge to start a Rehab Centre for the poor in Eerste River. It is still one of our dreams for the Western Cape to see a few more centres coming into being where drug addicts can be liberated from their craving to become slaves of the Lord Jesus.
          Thursday, 10 August 2000 turned out to be a very special day. When I arrived at “Die Hok” in Manenberg for the monthly Pastors and Wives prayer meeting, a black car arrived there almost simultaneously. I greeted the White lady who got out of the car. She introduced herself as Elna Boesak. I didn’t recognise her as the wife of my friend Allan who was in prison. She left halfway through the meeting before I shared the message during the open time of sharing that I believed God had given to us at that point in time, viz. that God specialises in using those people and areas that are generally overlooked. Using the example of David who was initially overlooked by his father - “there is still ...the youngest... tending the sheep” - and who was treated condescendingly by Saul - “you are only a boy”, I challenged the pastors and wives present to see gangsters, prostitutes and Muslims as potential carriers of the gospel. And then I asked the audience to pray for Allan Boesak. Before the group was dismissed for tea, a person felt constrained to tell us that God has already done a wonderful thing in Allan Boesak’s life; that he is penitent and that we shall see a different person, a man of God coming out of prison. I had been praying for Allan and asked different people - also in Holland during our short visit there in July, 2000 - to pray for him.
          How I was blessed about an hour later when I popped in to visit K., the former gangster to whom we ministered after his wife Shamiela came to stay with us in 1998. (Thereafter she went back to him prematurely. The fighting resumed and she left him, going back to her old life-style, sinking even deeper into drug abuse than before. When I saw K. just before we had left for Holland, he was speaking about filing for divorce.)
          All the more I was elated to hear that Shamielah was now back with him, looking better than ever before. I was overjoyed to see what God had done in their lives. In the evening we joined Dicky Lewis for the beginning of the prayer group in Athlone. I was the only one in the group who had not come out of drug and/or alcohol addiction. After all the years of speaking and praying for a drug rehab programme, it seems as if the Lord was now finally bringing things in place. What a joy to hear that K. and Sharon (Shamielah) were contemplating to labour full-time in the service of the Lord. How I yearned to bring C. in touch with K.. I started praying that God will let C. phone me again. Only a few days before, I had been relieved when he said that he would not phone me anymore. However, I was less elated that this was said rather threateningly.
Diverse Forms of Ministry
Our booklet with stories of Muslim background believers from the Cape, Search for Truth, as well as tracts with testimonies how they came out of Islam, eroded a prevalent Cape Muslim notion that if one is born a Muslim, one must die one. Via our colleague Pam Forbes some of these tracts found their way into the prisons. Through the Soon Bible Correspondence course many prisoners were changed.        
          The new workers who settled in nicely brought valuable additions to our ministry. Nim and Nur Rajagukguk met influential people from Bo-Kaap at the Indonesian Consulate. Through a Chinese medical doctor, a Muslim background believer, with whom Nur had come in contact in Hong Kong when she was working there as a missionary, we actually started the prayer ministry at UCT where her husband, Dr Folley, is a lecturer.
          At our church many refugees had already been assisted and impacted through the English language classes and the French services. In the latter case it happened via our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting and the English language classes got a push when we erected the Dorcas Trust in 1998. (The rehabilitation of drug addicts was the third leg of the formation of the Dorcas Trust.) Robbie Cairncross became interested when he heard that we considered deliverance an important part of any rehabilitation. He was going to write a manual that would be suited to the local situation.
          A new facet was added when Rev. Cyril Tessendorf wanted our assistance in assisting with a refugee from Iran. While I was overseas he approached Nim Rajagukguk, who led the Iranian to a better understanding of the Gospel. It turned out that M. had already been baptized in South Korea, however without a proper understanding of the Gospel. M. however abused the hospitality of the Rajagukguks.
          When Valerie Mannikam joined our team for practical experience in preparation of missionary work in the Middle East she had vision for a strange combination: for the aged and youth. Both of these were areas we had neglected. In the case of the former this was only covered through our hospital ministry and visits to homes and the latter we left over to Eric Hofmeyer in Salt River in 1998 when we left on a period of home assignment in Holland and Germany. Valerie joined Rosemarie at the home craft club in Bo-Kaap.
          We were happy when the container arrived in mid-2001 but it became quite a nightmare to get it cleared. Some mistakes had been made with the paperwork. We were shattered once again when the container saga took a demonic turn. On 7 September 2001 I phoned Pretoria when there seemed still no movement. We rejoiced when the lady said that it has been approved. Another worker confirmed that we could fetch the permit at 11 a.m. the next day. With the freight agency in Cape Town it was arranged that a courier would fetch it there and bring it down to the Mother City on Monday, the 11th. Everywhere we shared our excitement that the container is now finally getting out of the harbour.
          When I phoned the manager of Meihuizen, the freight agency on the Monday so that we could make some contingency plans for the unloading of the container, he said that the permit had not been signed and that he had to fax through the values of the items that we had already sent them. That was too much for me. When Rosemarie suggested that we should phone Pretoria, I suggested that she should do it. She was flattened as well when the lady in Pretoria who had told me that the container has been approved, only laughed. We sensed that here was foul play at work.
          The next morning we were on the verge of taking action on a higher level, when the Lord intervened. Through Proverbs 20:22, 23 we were exhorted to wait on the Lord instead, he would handle the matter. And that he did!!!

25. Taking on the Prime Cape Strongholds

          For years we knew that church and doctrinal disunity along with sexual perversion were demonic strongholds that were stifling all efforts of spiritual renewal in the Mother City. Never was it clearer than in 1995 when we started with monthly prayer meetings. The catalyst was the call for prayer for the so-called 10/40 window in October of that year. Every month believers from different denominations would come together for prayer, initially at different venues and later at the Cape Town Baptist Church every first Friday of the month. Simultaneously pastors were coming together for prayer at lunchtime once a week, likewise at the Cape Town Baptist Church. A double blow followed when first a charismatic group came one evening, taking over the meeting in a way that estranged those coming from the mainline churches. In another blow one of the pastors attacked Louis Pasques, who was appointed as the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church at the beginning of 1996 unfairly. He was accused of usurping power, centralising events at this church. The growing unity among the city believers was never the same hereafter.
          With regard to the other stronghold – sexual perversion – Louis Pasques saw clearly that this had to be addressed head-on. Coming himself from a background of homosexuality, he made no bones about his past. Not only did he give his testimony from the pulpit in one of his sermons, but he also made an appointment with Dean Rowan Smith of St. George’s Cathedral, who professed the same.  A major difference was that Louis shared how he was delivered from the bondage involved, whereas the Cathedral took the lead in condoning the practice. Cape Town Baptist Church was known for years as the home of a ministry to sexually broken people. Mariana van der Walt ministered with that fellowship as a base. Total Transformation and Truth Transforms became household words in evangelical circles throughout the Western Cape.
          Seen from the perspective of Spiritual Warfare it is not surprising that sexual perversion was not only going to rock the boat of the marriage of Louis Pasques, but that it brought a major disruption in its wings at the Cape Town Baptist Church – one of very few churches in the Peninsula where homosexuals who had been practising as such before there conversion, were completely accepted without the watering down of the biblical prohibition of the practice. Even well into 2003 reverberations continued to haunt the fellowship that carried the banner of evangelism in the Mother City for years.
          A demonic stronghold that has still to be recognised as such by the church at large was also addressed in its infancy at that church. Jews are still being looked upon condescendingly although Paul the apostle had taught by example that his nation should have a leading role. His teaching might have been too ambivalent, but sadly anti-Semitism in the church at large in its crudest forms – also by church fathers like Origen, Tertullian and Augustine - has never really been repented of. 
          Over the years a sprinkling of Messianic Jews found their way into the Cape Town Baptist Church. For years Pastor Andre Erasmus remained a lone voice crying in the wilderness for recognition of the Jews as the apple of God’s eye. Ambivalently the Dutch Reformed church led the outreach to Jews as the only denomination at the Cape doing anything about reaching the descendants of the Israelites with the Gospel consistently.[80] That denomination was just as strong as other churches proclaiming that the church came in the place of Israel, a crooked derivation of the teaching of Paul and other New Testament writers. Pastor Erasmus had an albatross around his neck. Having been a Dutch Reformed minister before he became a Baptist, was not one to whom anybody in the mainline churches would listen. Yet, his voice was prophetic. In the mid 1990s Barry and Melinda Buirski, Jewish background believers left for Australia as missionaries with Jews for Jesus without however being recognised as such by the church from which they left.
          The Beth Ariel fellowship, that included a few Messianic believers, struggled for years on the outskirts of the church. For a brief moment it looked as if Bruce Rudnick, a pastor from Jewish background ranks, was going to be recognised as a church leader beyond the Beth Ariel fellowship, but before that could develop, he had left for Israel.
          I have recognised the above strongholds already from approximately 1995, but at that point in time we saw our ministry to Muslims as our divinely appointed duty, although I gave a lot of support to all attempts where churches would work together. The Jesus marches of 1994, the prayer for the 10/40 window in 1995, the prayer drives and other initiatives before and after the PAGAD threat in 1996 and in 1997 the city wide prayer events as well as the Franklin Graham campaign at Newlands of the same year belonged to that category.
          When Rosemarie and I were prayer walking through Bo-Kaap in October 1996 we discerned how the churches around the Muslim stronghold were ransacked in the period before that. We were blessed to see how the Lord brought restoration but still we did not see it as our duty to get involved in the actual unification of the body. This only started to happen at the end of 2003. As our youngest daughter Tabitha was approaching the end of her schooling career, we thought that we should be open for a change. We initially thought about leaving Cape Town as a distinct possibility, but no ‘door’ appeared to open.
          When we started praying for a 24hour prayer watch to be started in the City Bowl already in 1999, we also prayed for someone to be the coordinator. I felt that I had too many other responsibilities. As the year 2003 drew towards its close, we were still praying for clear direction.    
          When I phoned Reverend Rica Goliath of the Moravian Church shortly after my discharge from hospital, she gave me the good news that we could have regular convert meetings in the Moravian Hill church and use the complex as a venue for the 24h prayer watch.
          Rosemarie and I were still praying for a major indication of the future direction of our ministry when we heard that the Lord had ministered to Heidi Pasques and Bev Stratis, two friends with whom we had been in close touch over many years. Bev had been very much of the supporting stick for Heidi after the moral failure, which led to the collapse of the marriage of Heidi and Louis Pasques. As they were praying, the Lord challenged them to get involved with the 24h prayer watch. They also discerned that Bo-Kaap was a stronghold and a challenge for which we should endeavour to get the City Bowl churches united in prayer. We praised the Lord for that confirmation of our focus for 2004.

A Ministry to Refugees and Foreigners
During 2003 it seemed as if the Lord was leading us more and more to a ministry to refugees and foreigners.  In November we baptised a refugee from Rwanda in our pool. When the Lord used the workers of Straatwerk – with Shaun Waris, a believer and worker from Pakistan quite prominent - to lead a few people from this group as well as vagrants to faith in Him during the last weeks of 2003, a link-up with them to start fellowship groups in Bo-Kaap and District Six became a distinct possibility.
          Another interesting move towards the end of 2003 was that different churches approached us with concrete suggestions for courses in Muslim Evangelism. After I aired my disappointment when we were initially expected to run a seven-week course for three persons at the Blomvlei Baptist Church, things swung around completely. 
            Already during 2002 refugees from various African countries came more and more into focus. Many refugees had been empowered after having learnt English at our church. Heidi Pasques had been heading up the proceedings.  In this way it was easier for them to get employment. Through the difficulties at the church the classes were stopped at the end of 2001.
The resumption of English classes at our church was something we really wanted to see going again when someone in the church leadership wanted to take the church out of the Dorcas Trust at the beginning of 2003. The English classes operated in collaboration with this trust. We were blessed when things were turned around. Brian Wood, the new pastor, really had the vision to use the Dorcas Trust as a vehicle to join the city churches in service to the poor and needy. When Pieter le Roux, the son of South African missionaries in France took over the services in 2002, the idea soon developed to use him on a full-time basis for a church planting in the Mother city for French speakers. This plan had to be amended at the beginning of 2004. When he went to France during the Christmas holidays, he sensed a calling to work there rather, where he deemed to have discerned a greater need.

We also wanted to set up a programme of English classes teaching in Mitchells Plain for Somalian refugees after the return of our colleague Valerie Mannikkam in July 2002. That plan unfortunately had to be put on hold. Towards the end of 2003 the Lord seemed to confirm in different ways that refugees and other foreigners should become a new focus. We heard of people from various countries including Chinese coming to Cape Town to learn English. The latter group is doing this in preparation of the Olympic Games to be held in Bejing in 2008. We were surprised to hear on 16 January 2004 at our monthly prayer meeting with WEC colleagues and other interested people – this happens every third Friday of the month at our regional HQ in Ottery – that quite a contingent of Turkish men are working in Cape Town.
Rosemarie and I had already sensed ourselves challenged to make the City Bowl 24h Watch a matter of priority for the first half of 2004. The unity of the body of Christ, i.e. believers in the crucified and risen Saviour, has always been very much on our hearts. We believe that the prayer watch could be a decisive vehicle to make this more visible, to be used as a powerful means to take the city for God. The envisaged Islamic conference was of course more than a local challenge. This was a wave of opportunity for countrywide prayer.
          May I suggest that we look for ways and means to rally around the Man from Nazareth, the greatest Jew who ever lived, whom the Samaritans described as the Saviour of the world. Among other things it became even more clear to me that hierarchical (pyramid) structures that have become customary in church, mosque and synagogue are diabolic. Before the period of the Second temple even High Priests had been primi inter pares (first among equals). I have learnt to understand that it was Jesus’ mission to make out of the nation of Israel, ‘a light to the nations’.

Fighting against homosexuality and Satanist Infiltration
Whereas the apartheid regime government had an obsession with race laws, the secular government since 1994 has legislated against it. The new regime however has taken sexual immorality on board, passing laws that give the impression that homosexuality, abortion and prostitution are the most normal things in the world, to the extent that atheist or even Satanist infiltration in the government can be suspected. The efforts between 1995 and 1998 to get religious broadcasting banished – albeit that the impression was given that all small radio stations were under scrutiny – tend to fuel that suspicion. The view of a spokesman for the South African Council of Churches, referring to Satanism as just another religion, gave an indication that there were still hard battles ahead of us as the millennium drew to a close.
            But also within denominations interfaith was gaining ground, so that the unique features of Jesus were gradually eroded. Parallel to this, acceptance of homosexuality was gaining ground at a rapid pace, notably in the Anglican and Dutch Reformed Church. A move by concerned pastors of the Cape Town City Bowl led to a declaration to be read in churches at Pentecost 2004 that included the sentence ‘We implore Christians to observe marriage as the ultimate and unique expression of the relationship between one man and one wife.’ It was generally felt that a status confessionis had been reached. The Church had to speak out against the sinful practice of homosexuality as she failed to do with regard to apartheid. On the last minute the reading of the declaration in the churches was postponed on the request of Groote Kerk (NGK) ministers, not to jeopardize the discussion at their General Synod, which was to be held in October 2004. The decision at that synod was however nowhere unequivocal.
(Double. See next page) Matters came to a head when the Constitutional Court ruled shortly thereafter in November that gay marriages were not against the constitution. Pastors could thus theoretically be charged if they refused to marry lesbians or homosexuals. The spokesman of the South African Council of Churches added to the confusion in the television discussion on the matter. This troubled was Rowina Stanley, the prayer coordinator of the Woodstock Assemblies of God sufficiently to bring this up for prayer at the monthly Prayer for the City event on 4 December, 2004 in the District Six Moravian Church. Prayer against Satanist and homosexual infiltration into the Church was thus put on the agenda for 2005. The question still is whether representatives of the Church will be ready to accept co-responsibility through confession for the confusion caused with the conciliatory efforts to accommodate the sinful lifestyle of gays. Would they be prepared to apply the radical statement in the Kairos Document of 1985 that was used in respect of the sin of racism and apartheid also to homosexuality, namely ‘Nowhere in the Bible…has it ever been suggested to reconcile good and evil. We are supposed to do away with evil, injustice, oppression and sin – not to come to terms with it.’

Cape Town emulates Sodom 
Sexual perversion had become a spiritual stronghold in the New South Africa, which got the country firmly into its grip. The new government since 1994 outlawed racism, but it opened the floodgates of sexual perversion with laws to legalize abortion as from 1 February 1997. Gay tourism started to thrive. With a renowned church leader speaking favourably about homosexuality, even the church appeared to back practices, which have a clear biblical veto. It seemed as if the legalistic past was handcuffing church leaders. They simply refrained from speaking out against this trend just as the bulk of pastors were silent during our apartheid era. There was for instance complete silence with regard to the surmised origins of HIV - men having sex with animals and thereafter spreading the disease among gay men in the 1970s, although the pandemic became increasingly out of control.
         Cape Town took the continent-wide lead to emulate Sodom when the Western Cape’s person responsible for tourism seemed to have a free hand to promote the Mother City, competing with San Francisco and Sydney for the title of the gay capital of the world. I was rather sad to read that support for the gay movement was forthcoming from the Dean of St George’s Cathedral, the church that played such a big role in opposition to apartheid. Our friend and pastor Louis Pasques made a point of it to share his personal experience and deliverance with the dean of the cathedral, but that appeared to be like water on a duck’s back.
         A casino in Goodwood with all the known vice surrounding such institutions - at the site where agricultural shows and evangelistic meetings were held in years gone by[81] - typified the moral degradation of the metropolis. A 24-hour prayer watch was needed to counter this. Our Hendrina van der Merwe, faithful prayer warrior of our Bo-Kaap group, had been praying for years for such a prayer watch.

Homosexuality gaining ground                                                                                                                          All around South Africa interfaith was gaining ground – especially within so-called denominations - so that the unique features of Jesus were gradually eroded. Parallel to this, acceptance of homosexuality was gaining ground at a rapid pace, notably in the Anglican and Dutch Reformed denomination. A move by concerned pastors of the Cape Town City Bowl led to a declaration to be read in churches at Pentecost 2004 that included the sentence ‘We implore Christians to observe marriage as the ultimate and unique expression of the relationship between one man and one wife.’ It was generally felt that a status confessionis had been reached. The Church had to speak out against the sinful practice of homosexuality as she failed to do with regard to apartheid. So to speak at the last minute, the public reading of the declaration in the churches from pulpits was postponed at the request of the Groote Kerk ministers, not to jeopardize the discussion at their General Synod, which was to be held in October 2004. The decision at that synod in Hartenbos was however nowhere unambiguous, merely appealing to church members to be loving and not judgmental towards homosexuals. However, the lack of comment on the actual practice was leaving a loophole which was to ferment causing trouble a few months later.                                                                                                                                        Matters came to a head when the Constitutional Court ruled shortly thereafter in November 2004 that gay marriages were not a violation of the constitution. Pastors could thus theoretically be charged if they refused to marry lesbians or homosexuals. The spokesman of the South African Council of Churches (SACC) added to the confusion in the television discussion. This troubled Rowina Stanley, the prayer coordinator of the Fountain of Joy Assemblies of God in Woodstock sufficiently to bring this up for prayer at the monthly Prayer for the City event on 4 December, 2004 outside the District Six Moravian Church. Prayer against satanist and homosexual infiltration into the Church came on the prayer agenda for 2005. But that was not the only battle to be engaged in the new year. Sunrise monthly prayer resumed on Signal Hill in 2005.

A pyrrhic Victory?                                                                                                                             The gay lobby displayed exceptional efficiency during 2006. All odds were stacked against them to get same sex marriages legalised. Almost all the major religious groups - with the lonely exception the spokesman for the SACC – and traditional leaders came out against a law that had no scriptural and popular backing. Very cleverly the gay lobby played the card of discrimination, which in South Africa found very eager and sensitive ears because of the heritage of apartheid. They managed to get the ANC, which had a massive majority in Parliament, on their side. Evangelical Christians had organised very well under the leadership of the Marriage Alliance, but they could never win without the backing of the ruling ANC. The law allowing same sex marriages took effect on 1 December 2007. The question remained: was the gay victory pyrrhic?               
 In Parliament Rev Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the African Christian Demodratic Party (ACDP), warned that the country was inviting God’s wrath through the passing of this law. This seemed to get a prophetic dimension when crime and violence spiralled in the first two months of 2007, despite the vitriolic assurance by the State President that crime was not out of control. On the flip side, this seemed to be God’s way of stirring thousands to prayer in a way reminiscent of 1994 when the country seemed to be heading for a bloodbath of terrific dimensions. God has already raised people to pray for the removal of the gruwel, the abomination, as Cedric Evertson, a prayer warrior saw the new law.                                                
When only Murray Bridgman was there alone with me on Signal Hill for our monthly prayer event of 2 December, I was initially somewhat disappointed. We were in the clouds, but not in a pleasant way, cold and wet. Murray had so much wanted to introduce me to Cedric! A cell phone call was enough to get Cedric to join us for prayer simply in the car. How exciting it was to hear from Cedric how the Lord has been leading him. The Holy Spirit touched his heart to stand in the gap like a Moses on behalf of the nation. To this end he would go to Tygerberg man alone to pray there in the morning, three days a week.                           When two leading international 'pink' figures – one apiece from the lesbian and gay background – turned their back on the movement after becoming followers of Jesus – the gay victory into the SA statute book of December 2006 became pyrrhic. The question was only when it would go the same road as the old apartheid laws – into the dustbin of history. The time of such a move was now in the hands of prayer warriors.                                      
          In a sequel to the 2006 events, evangelical spokesperson and advocate for a biblical stance on Homosexuality, Pastor Errol Naidoo, left the His People Church to launch the Family Policy Institute. On 15 May 2008 Family Policy Institute took occupancy of its new headquarters at Parliament Chambers, 49 Parliament Street Cape Town. An email newsletter of Errol Naidoo on Wednesday 3 December 2008 took the turn-about of a law allowing same-sex marriages in three USA states via the ballot box to challenge South African Christians to do the same.

Prayer at Die Losie
When we were still wondering whether it was feasible to go ahead with plans to have a 24/7 week of prayer in the City Bowl at the beginning of February 2005, Trevor Peters phoned.
          At the monthly prayer for the City on Saturday 8 January (2005), it was decided to press ahead with another week of prayer from 30 January to 6 February as a next step towards the goal of a 24-hour Prayer Watch in the City Bowl.
          One thing led to the other within a week, until it was finalized that the week of prayer would be held at Moravian Hill, to be followed thereafter with weekly prayer at the Buitenkant Street police station complex. Superintendent Fanie Scanlan fnally put to our disposal a room called Die Losie, a former Freemason lodge. This was a significant move in the spiritual realm. On Sunday 23 January, 2005 the station was anointed and prayed over.
          In the run-up to the 2006 Global Day of Prayer Graham Power, the national co-leader of the transformation network and Daniel Brink, the Western Cape leader of Jericho Walls organised various prayer drives to converge on the City for  the groups to arrive at the former Losie. Daniel Brink  requested me at this occasion to share how God changed matters there. At that moment Wim Ferreira was divinely inspired to request a room for prayer in the Civic Centre. The Lord soon challenged Ferreira to start a 24-hour prayer facility at the Civic Centre premises. A few months further, a regular Friday prayer time was functioning in a board room of the Deputy Mayor and a room in the basement of the massive building functioned as a 24/7 prayer facility.

Changes in our Prayer Strategy
Via the contact to Elizabeth Dundas, a French speaker who had a heart of compassion for French speaking refugees, Joy Burger came into the frame as a new prayer partner. When Kowie Smith became the new minister of St Stephen's we thought we had at last a minister who would join our prayer for Bo-Kaap. He could also supply us with a stamp to park free of charge on Riebeeck Square next to the church. Fridays were however his free day. Because we were now no more praying so explicitly for Muslims, we changed the lunch time prayer to Wednesdays. Here we however soon had only a few regulars, because June and Reggie Lehmensich could not attend as before. Also Kowie Smith had other responsibilities all too often. Although we continued to pray for Bo-Kaap, we moved the meeting to our home. A new element was that we would pass on special prayer points to our faithful prayer warriers Joy Burger and Maria Masaking.

The Home Affairs saga continues
The need arose to get the visa for our All Nations colleague Munyaradzi Hove sorted out. Not so long before that we had lost the battle to get the 'deportation deposit' of R11500 waived for Trisha Pichotta, a US volunteer colleague. The inept and undignified way in which foreigners have been treated at the Barrack Street offices brought me into action once again; my hunger for justice was stimulated. I am determined to see the corruption at local Home Affairs offices uprooted in a way that would have ramifications throughout our beautiful country. In the short term I wanted to get refugees served professionally at the Nyanga complex, and other foreigners at the Barrack Street premises dealt with in a dignified way.  

More Unity of the Body of Christ?
I was very much blessed at the end of the year pastors' breakfast at the Groote Kerk Deli at 55 Kloof Street. I happened to sit next to Alan Noble, the pastor of Holy Trinity Church, who had come with Jacques Erasmus.  As Rosemarie and I left, we noticed that Chris Saayman, the minister of Tafelberg DRC, who had Bo-Kaap and the Muslims at heart, was parked next to us. A little chat prepared a short meeting which I subsequently had with him on Wednesday 10 December. It looked promising that we at last might get at least two of the local churches interested to see home churches planted in the former Muslim stronghold. Getting them interested in outreach to the foreigners incarnationally seemed however still on another page.

            On Wednesday 10 December 2009 our son Sammy and his fiancéé informed us that they have a sense of calling to work alongside us to disciple those friends from abroad that we felt specially challenged to minister to at the Discipling House. Pastor Gary Adams of the Shiloh Sanctuary of Observatory, an electrician by trade, came to Moriah Discipling House to look at the problem with a stove plug at the beginning of 2009. We soon started chatting. It turned out that they had planned to use the Battle for the Hearts DVD series for a teaching course in evangelism in their church. He promptly requested me to come and assist them. He had a convert from Islam with him, a member of his congregation. What a blessing it was to hear that this person hails from Bo-Kaap. Rosemarie and I were so blessed when we visited her and her husband a few weeks later, to discover that the Lord has been answering our prayers in a special way. In human terms she would have been a very unlikely candidate for conversion. She narrated how the Holy Spirit nudged her over many months, when she sensed a special presence whenever she was hearing the name of Jesus. In those days she was looking forward to sit under the preaching of the Gospel in commuter trains.
            It was to us tantamount to another miracle that we could accommodate two Rwandese women – the one Hutu and the other one Tutsi in our discipling house simultaneously. Both of them had lost family members in the genocidal civil war of their home country.
            And then we heard soon thereafter that a Zimbabwean believer, a female teacher, who had been impacted at one of our home churches, was getting ready to return to her home country. She has the vision to start a simple church if the Lord opens a door for her. This is exactly the philosophy of Friends from Abroad - to see people spiritually moved and equipped here at the Cape to go and bless their countries of origin. 

New Turmoil in Government          
When I spoke to Barry Isaacs on the phone at the beginning of March, he shared that he and his wife had peace about him to be listed as a candidate for the Provincial Parliament. I had no problem with the move, knowing that God used people like William Wilberforce and Thomas Clarkson in the past for the cessation of the slave trade and the eventual emancipation of slaves in the whole British Empire.
I was not happy with the timing of Barry's near resignation and concerned about the implications to the prayer movement at the Cape that he had been leading so ably in the preceding months.
On Monday 6 April 2009 the National Persecuting Agency (NPA) announced that 16 charges of fraud and corruption against Mr Jacob Zuma, the President of the ANC, are dropped. He was touted to become the country's next leader. (There were all in all 783 charges of this nature stacked against him which resulted in more prayer than in the previous two elections. More than ever the ogre of a situation like Zimbabwe drove many to prayer who would otherwise not have done so.
            At this time the Dalai Lama was refused a visa for attending some conference which was to promote the World Cup. When Archbishop Tutu and ex-President as other Nobel Prize winners indicated that they would not attend the event in protest, it had to be cancelled. The refusal of the visa to the Dalai Lama caused not only highlighted human rights, but it also brought the level of corruption in the ruling party, the ANC, who had to dance to the tune of the People's Republic of China. That country dictated the terms behind the scenes, leading to the visa refusal.

Corruption and Assault at Home Affairs

Police Collusion with Corruption at the Department of Home Affairs
On 21 April 2009 I was suddenly summoned to the Discipling House.  M, one of the workshop ladies had been beaten rather seriously by an security official on 16 April at the Nyanga Home Affairs. The marks on her legs were still clearly visible. I took her to the nearby police office in Mowbray to lay a charge of assault against the official even though she did not know the name of the gentleman. She was however able and willing to identify him there on the spot.
A few weeks later she was required to come to the Nyanga Police Station for the investigation.  Because she was afraid to go alone, I accompanied her, peparing to take along Pastor John Kabenda, a teacher from Rwanda who had been operating as a taxi driver. They had to get their car written on the name of a South African because they could not get a taxi permit because neither he nor his wife had a South African driver's licence. For the use of his name, and the facilities like insurance etc., they had to pay R1000 per month. I found this amount rather exorbitant in the light of their financial situation, volunteering to accompany him to the HIV/Aids sufferer to try and negotiate (If the man died, they would lose their car.) Without my having to accompany pastor John Katende, they were able to retrieve their car, but the charge against the Home Affairs security official turned into quite a night mare, which pointing very much to collusion between Home Affairs and the police.
When I went to John to make sure that they get their car back on their own name, he had another urgent case to report. One of his church members, Frecian Eliah  and a taxi driver, had been arrested on Table Mountain Road on May 1 on rather flimsy grounds. The police constable suspected that he had a fraudulent international driver's licence. Mr Frecian Eliah, a legally documented foreign national, was man-handled, wrongly arrested and illegally detained. After the officials at the charge office just started sending us from pillar to post, without taking seriously the obviously inconvenient counter charge against the police. I ultimately wrote a letter on 7 May:

Friends From Abroad                                                             NPO Registration Number: 067-478
P O Box 326
Century City
Tel.  021 4613745 / 0738175888                                                                    7 May 2009

To: Senior Superintendent Swanepoel

As an organisation we would register our dismay at the flagrant disregard of foreigners' human rights. South Africa's constitution is the bedrock of our society. In the light of recent events, we would like to register a complaint.

Mr Frecian Eliah, a legally documented foreign national, was man-handled, wrongly arrested and illegally detained. Mr Eliah was not informed of the grounds of his arrest. These events occurred  around 10.00h on Friday May 1, 2009 on Table Mountain Road.  Mr Eliah fully obeyed the instructions of the officer. The compliance of Mr Frecian Eliah was deemed insufficient and he was bundled into the police van. At the charge office Mr Frecian Eliah surrendered his cellphones and cash (R1000). The  International Driver's licence given to the officer was not handed over at the charge office, whereabouts unknown.  Mr Frecian Eliah was not afforded the opportunity to consult with legal representatives or his employer.

Mr Frecian Eliah's absence at church on Sunday raised concerns about his safety.  Given the history of treatment meted out to foreigners', the first port of call was the police station.  Pastor Kadende and the owner of the taxi visited Mr Frecian Eliah at the police station. At this stage Mr Frecian Eliah was not yet informed of the basis of his arrest. The taxi owner was then instructed to remove his vehicle form the police yard. How it got there is a mystery seeing that the driver was in the police van. On inspection of the vehicle, it was found that several items were missing.

On Monday, 4 May Mr Frecian Eliah appeared in court and to his horror found that he was charged with fraud.  At the court case he was released on bail pending further investigation.

I, Rev Ashley Cloete, accompanied Mr Frecian Eliah and Pastor Kadende to the charge office on 6 May, to question the modus operandi of the police officers, intending to lay a counter charge. We subsequently decided to follow the route of writing this letter to the highest authority at the station.

The failure of the officer to hand over the driver's licence is a cause of great concern.  Mr Eliah is now rendered unemployed and liable for goods missing in the vehicle.

As Friends from Abroad we are seriously concerned about the blatant disregard of human rights and natural justice by the SAPS members concerned.
We would appeal to you to rectify this matter at your earliest convenience. These latest events force us to take drastic action in the form of laying a counter charge for wrongful arrest, theft and violation of human rights. Given our recent history of xenophobia, it is incumbent upon us all to uphold the constitution and all the values entrenched in it.

Yours faithfully,
Ashley D.I. Cloete (Chairman)

In my email to Bennie Mostert I wrote:
I pray and trust that Jericho Walls may consider inviting political parties to add to the above the biblical injunction 'to love the stranger in your gates', which came so strongly to the Church the past year. It would be great, I think, if all parties could be challenged to dare to put - as a matter of priority - the repeal of the Acts permitting abortion and same-sex marriages. Keeping in mind that righteousness and justice exalt a nation, I though that we should add - as another matter of priority - a law on the Statute books that would make discrimination against foreigners an offense.

The Soccer World Cup as a Revival Catalyst?
When Cobus Cilliers, our missionary colleague approached me for co-operation in a major evangelistic effort to utilise the Football World Cup of 2010 as a catalyst for evangelising the thousands that would come from other countries, I was rather sceptical. Fred Nel, another colleague from Pretoria, wrote an email to the same end. I responded positively, but I still doubted. Previous attempts at networking with my colleagues at the Cape, apart from one-off events like the annual CCM conferences, have been completely unsuccessful. At my most recent attempt - to invite local Christians to join in prayer for the coming elections – the result was dismal. In fact, I was still licking my wounds on this score when Gerhard Weich, an Afrikaner YWAM leader in Muizenberg, came along with Mohieb el Hag, a Christian leader from  Egypt on Friday, March 20, 2009. Their request - to get involved with the organisation and accommodation of Arab and African evangelists from the continent during the World Cup - could not enthuse me. But I did not want to be a spoke in the wheel. I wanted to seriously pray about possible involvement. This turned out to spur me on to get more involved with the Global day of Prayer again. Transformation had decided on a three-year cycle where various regions were scheduled to have a centralised event. Kowie Smith of St Stephen's had been battling alone the last few years with nobody else showing interest. I decided to assist him. Soon I was organising both the run-up to the Global Day with prayer at the Losie in the Central Police station and the Pentecost event in the Groote Kerk on 31 May 2009.

Throwing out the Net once again!
Was this now the divine invitation to throw out the net on the other side? On two of the four issues where I still felt myself in limbo, in 'exile', a possibility loomed that I would be coming home at last. We would now invite churches and local Christians to join us in an evangelistic effort, especially to reach out lovingly to Muslims already in the Mother City, but also in attempting to evangelise the hundreds from other nations who would come to the Cape for the World Cup. That this could now operate under the umbrella of either CCM or Friends from Abroad or both with churches and mission agencies operating in tandem could almost excite me. Would it be too much to expect that apart from networking on practical issues like accommodation of evangelistic teams, united prayer could also have a prominent place. And is it utopia to expect my CCM colleagues to open up collectively – after 13 years - to express regret for the lapses of our Christian forefathers in respect of Islam?
          One evening the programme was advertised as Prayer for the Middle East: Israel and the Jews, Saudi Arabia and the Muslims – Sea Point and Bo-Kaap. Cecilia Burger shared some prayer points and reminded us of the forthcoming meeting of the Lausanne Commission for World Evangelisation meeting on June 6 in her flat to which she wanted us to come. Initially I was ready to attend a meeting somewhere else on that morning but then suddenly, on the morning itself, I had no peace to go to Ravensmead. The door opened for me to attend the meeting in Cecilia's flat, where we met Sharon ??, a Messianic believer from Sea Point, who had been married to a Muslim. New perspectives appeared as she shared about Muslims in the Salt River to Kensington area that may have started opening up to listen to the Gospel message. But it was not yet God's timing evidently. There was an order for only one copy of this book, of which my church youth Hindi Sonnenberg had prepared a few sample copies. I was not going to rush anything. We would just continue to wait on the Lord.

Turmoil once again
When our friend Bev Stratis asked me what would happen  in the city with regard to the proposed three days of fasting and praying for the upcoming elections on April 22, I got into action, organising lunch time prayer at the Family Policy Institute near to Parliament and evening meetings at the Central Police Station. I asked local ministers to send me prayer fuel.
            Attendance at the prayer meetings was minimal and I received only one response with prayer points from the churches of the City Area. How would we ever get a revival if we could not get Christians to pray together? In answer to prayer the door to the Provincial Parliament was re-opened. We resumed our prayer meetings there on Saturday 18 April, praying especially for the parliamentary elections a few days hence.
          A week later I was in the clouds, literally and figuratively. Because of the forecast of inclement weather, I cancelled our early morning prayer meeting on Signal Hill, for which I had invited Christians to come and celebrate. I went there nevertheless, in case people might rock up who did not receive the last minute cancellation. Battling to drive very slowly indeed in the cloud-cum-fog on the mountain rise, I could just about discern the white middle line on the road, driving as closely to it as possible. I was very glad that I went. Our stalwart prayer partner Bertie de Jager, coming from Brackenfell 30 Km abreast, would otherwise have been all alone. And what a wonderful, precious time we had, praising the Lord for peaceful elections that somehow reminded us of 1994 with the long queues.  We had been prayed for godly governance in both provincial and national parliaments. The celebration I had hope for was rather subdued. The Christian party for which I and many evangelicals have been voting for, faired very poorly! (The ANC had just missed a two thirds majority nationally and the DA achieved an absolute majority in our province.)

More doors to Bo-Kaap open up
As yet another bolt from the blue our former SIM missionary colleague Marika Rentier (nèè Pretorius) phoned us from Holland, following it up with an email and informing us that a certain Dr Ali Behardien was interested in assisting the starting up a church for ex-Muslims. When we followed this up we discovered that he was a part-time Dutch Reformed minister who is working as an accountant a stone's throw from Bo-Kaap. We of course immediately asked ourself what the Lord was saying.
Out of the blue, Galima, a Muslim lady from Bo-Kaap, phoned Rosemarie. She was leading a handcraft group, where Rosemarie had been assisting in former years. She was about to go to the Middle East for two years and was now looking for someone to lead the group in her absence. Rosemarie did not see this as a possibility, especially because it co-incides with her workshop with the refugee ladies. We knew though that the Lord had put a love for Bo-Kaap and the folk their on Annerie, one of our All Nations colleagues. Soon we coulod connect them up for Annerie to go and assist there.

Deep into May 2009 Bev Stratis phoned us. She had heard of a Christian fellowship that started in Bo-Kaap. Was this the beginning of the breakthrough. In the follow-up of this call, the Congolese pastor,  Donat Tshonda not only met me and Bertie de Jager, but he also joined us on our prayer walk on Saturday 16 May.
It was very encouraging to hear that the fellowship around him - consisting predominantly of refugees, many of them living in the notorious crime-infested Senator Park Flats - had been meeting in the Schotse Kloof Civic Centre already since February 2009. God has been at work. We were encouraged to continue for more breakthroughs.

A Breakthrough in Bo-Kaap at last?
On Sunday 7 June I went to Noordhoek to celebrate with Gerald Schwartz, our CPX colleague! Miraculously the Lord had 'given' to him and his colleague Julian ?? a property in excellent state on the Ou Kaapseweg that had been on auction. The property is adjacent to Africa House, the property of All Nations that we had just acquired a few months ago. What a special privilege it was to help dedicate the building to the service of the Lord where Julian, Gerald and their team want to empower Blacks with different skills. And what an encouragement it was to me to hear that Julian had been praying for 18 years for the fulfilment of his dream. (It is the 18th year of our praying for a breakthrough in Bo-Kaap.
            Rosemarie stayed at home because our son Danny had phoned from Germany late Saturday night that he was taking his wife to hospital for the birth of their baby. It became quite quite tense when her reported in another call later that the mother mouth had closed again. Rosemarie and I were quite tense when hours later still nothing had apparently happened. She wanted to be at home for the phone call so she did not go to Noordhoek with me. Early on Monday 8 June we received a phone call. We had our first grandson – Josiah.            I vaguely remembered him to be the king of Israel who came to the throne when he was still a child.
Rosemarie was scheduled to share at our home church in the Discipling House on Saturday 14 June and I was due to start a three-part series from the next day at the church in Ottery. (Months ago Pastor Danny du Plessis had requested this as he would be on a Sabbatical.) We were deeply blessed to used the child-king Josiah as theme. I was also challenged to break down any vestige of idolatry in my own life as I prepared a series during which I was humbled one more to discover how the neglect of the visible unity of the body of Christ could be regarded as some sort of idol. I should be prepared to devote the rest of my life towards the fulfilment of our Lord's prayer that they may be brought to complete unity, starting with the foreigners in the City Bowl.
            A week later, Rosemarie and I were praying together in the morning somewhat more extensively as I did not go to the Provincial Parliament as it would have been the case on the third Saturday of the month. We had been informed that the door to that venue had been closed. But this is only one of a few doors that we wanted to see opening up. 
Our small FFA team continued with weekly prayer walks in Bo-Kaap next to the monthly ones at which Bertie de Jager was a regular participant. We will have to fast specially for breakthroughs. And then in the evening I shared at our house church, using Matthew 28:16-20 as a cue. Not that Jesus instructed his disciples to teach everything that he had taught. I asked the group whether there is anything that they felt has been neglected in our teaching or even generally. One of the participants mentioned fasting, which we duly discussed in more detail. On Sunday the 21June – the first Fathers' Day I experienced without any children of our own around.  The two remaining children at the Cape had other engagements out of town. Only Koershad, a Chinese 'son', one of those who had been coming in and out of our home the last years came over. I preached the second of my series at the church in Ottery while Rosemarie visited Freda David, the old Jewish activist of Sea Point.
            We invited Bev Stratis, our close friend, for lunch. During our time of fellowship when we highlighted the need for breakthroughs, she again mentioned Fasting. We decided to take a day out towards this end the very next day. Would this bring about the breakthroughs we were praying for?
          When I had a meeting with a few local pastors to prepare a week-end seminar scheduled for 17/18 July Donat Tshonda was among them. He shared not only about their fellowship's prayer and fasting the very next day, but also that they wanted to do this on a monthly basis. He invited the other churches to join in. The question was now however if and how this would impact the Bo-Kaap community.

[1] I was actually sexually abused twice - by a gangster and a vagrant - on the unfulfilled promise respectively of payment of sixpence and a shilling (These were the equivalent of 5 cents and 10 cents respectively when our currency became decimal in 1960)

[2] The annual celebration of the revival among the children of Herrnhut on the 17 August, 1727.
[3]      The only other institution in the vast Cape Province – Bridgton Training College in Oudthoorn – only catered for males.
[4]    As I had passed first class - that today would not count much because it meant merely passing with a C aggregate - I qualified for a bursary from our school. (That I was one of the top students countrywide, one of only 36 candidates who had C aggregates, reflects on the poor quality of teaching at the ‘Coloured’ schools countrywide. We had only one good teacher - Mr. Awie Muller, who was actually still inexperienced. In later years he became the Driector of Education for ‘Coloured’ schools.

[5] He had been the principal of Vasco High School that was closed down because it was in a White residential area, continuing as Elswood Senior Secondary School. In 1964 he had pioneered a new high school in Bellville South.
[6] The first group of German (Special) students, my student colleagues of 1965, included many who later became school inspectors and top academics. One of them, Jakes Gerwel, later became the Rector of the University whom President Mandela chose to become his close aid in the first ANC government. Tony Links went to high honours until he finally became the Registrar of the prestigious University of South Africa, UNISA.
[7] Marriage across the racial divide was barred since 1949. My cousin Hester, who married Tubby Lymphany, an English marine sailor from the Simon’s Town naval base around 1950, was one of a few people of colour who was forced to emigrate.
[8]               Approximtely 1,5 Km.
[9] Nic Bougas later became the editor of the periodical Christian Living Today.
[10] Tony Links later became a Professor at UWC and his brother Dr Eltie Links, another teacher colleague at Bellville South High School, later became the South African Representative to the International Monetary Fund for many years.
[11] In the early 1990s Dave Savage became the principal of the Chaldo Bible Institute, the theological seminary of the Full Gospel Church.
[12]             I studied the latter language by correspondence with UNISA, intending to write the exams in Cape Town after my return in October 1970.
[13]My parents were paid out a pittance our property that consisted of 8 big adjacent plots. A few years later a shopping centre was erected on the premises.
[14]The course for ‘Erzieherinnen’ qualifies one to become either a Kindergarten teacher or a tutor for a chil­dren’s        home.
[15]  I wrote down a fairly full account of these two weeks soon after my return to South Africa.
[16]  About R260 return from Johannesburg.
[17] Robert Kriger later became active in anti-apartheid affairs from Germany. He completed his doctorate in Engllish in Tübingen. Subsequently he became a professor at UNISA.
[18] We visited Douglas Bax and his wife Betty on our honeymoon journey in Umtata, where he was teaching at the time and in 1981 I preached in his church in Rondebosch. At the latter occasion I also informed the congregation after the service on what had been happening in Crossroads.
[19]             We know of at least one person who was approached to spy on the activities at the Seminary. I gave private lessons in German to a teacher who told me that he had been approached by the Special Branch. One of their agents must have been monitoring the premises constantly to have noticed that this teacher was coming there because he only came irregularly, only once or twice a week.
[20]     At a public meeting in the Rondebosch Town Hall organised by UCT students Helen Joseph was the speaker on ‘Civil Rights for all’. While Geoff Budlender was chairing the meeting, his house was petrol bombed and gutted in his absence.
[21]     Black Power was understood to exclude Whites, Black Conscious­ness was only concerned that Blacks should also have the opportunity of leadership without ever excluding Whites as such. The concern in the latter was also that no racism in reverse should occur.  
[22]     Elke Maier brought Rosemarie to the Jugendbund für Entschiedenes Christentum, the Christian Encounter youth group where we met each other the first time.
[23]     Peter Dingemans, a Moravian pastor colleague in Zeist was out of action months after we came to Holland and Reinhild Schäfer, the wife of Wolfgang, our lecturer in District Six had also passed away because of cancer. The two children of Henning Schlimm, our other lecturer, also had the same disease. (Henning’s first wife whom I never got to know, had also died from brain cancer) The daughter Monica had already passed away while we were still in Berlin and it looked a matter of time before Andreas would go the same road. In this atmosphere it was all gloom; tears were flowing freely.
[24]     A fuller record of that trip can be found in Involuntary Exile.
[25] As Christians we have been referring to the Hebrew Bible as the 'Old Testament', a term Jews consider denigrating. I try to avoid the term because of the substituting connotations. It somehow creates the impression that the New Testament (NT) more or less replaced the 'Old Testament'. For lack of a better term (Jewish scholars sometime refer to the NT as Christian Scriptures, but that terminology does not sound to me accurate enough), I continue to use NT.
[26]     ‘zieltjes winnen’ in Dutch has a negative connotation in Dutch and giving one’s testimony is known as ‘getui­gen’. Jehovah’s Witnesses are also known as J’s ‘Getuigen’.
[27]     I thought to have discerned some influence of Honger na Geregtigheid when I read about an open letter that Dr Boesak wrote to Dr Schlebusch, a Cabinet Minister. Later he openly clashed with Bishop Tutu because of the willingness of the Anglican bishop to continue talking to Prime Minister Botha.
[28]     I had vocalised an objection when someone approached me to assist with the translation of parts of a biographical TV documentary about Allan’s life on the German ZDF. I could not detect the evangelist Allan Boesak of his youth in the script. I may have angered him extremely when he possibly preferred to keep that part of his past out of the limelight.

[29]     Travelling by air was still out of bounds for the rank and file mortal in financial terms. The church paid my ticket.
[30]     Kgati Sathekge later went to the USA where he was pivotal in drumming up opposition against the apartheid regime.
[31]     I gave this finally as a gift to my parents on their Golden Wedding Anniversay. A Dutch friend edited it substantially, calling it Involuntary Exile.
[32]     Translation: A christian church (congregation) must orientate itself to christ and his word on the one hand and on the other hand she must face the problems of our time squarely  
[33]             Translation: Love drive out fear
[34]Annelies was the sister of Lesley Reiziger, to whom we had contact even before he and his wife Wil, a medical doctor, left for Ghana with their son Samuel as Wycliffe missionaries.
[35] God had evidently already heard the agonising prayer of the persecuted believers long before 1984, the start of the seven years of prayer. The soviet invasion of Afghanistan in December, 1979 started the downward spiral. Riots in 1980 in the city of Alma Ata. Between 1980 and 1984 many Kremlin old guard stalwarts died viz. Kosygin, Brezhmev, Podgorny, Andropov Ustinov and Chernenko
[36]     Soon hereafter we bought a second hand TV for 50 guilders that we left in Holland when we came to South Africa in 1992.
[37]     I do not want to minimize the political efforts, e.g. by the moves behind the scenes sponsored by the Swiss government or by Dr van Zyl Slabbert’s IDASA, but I maintain that it was ultimately the concerted prayer that made the difference.
[38]    My mother was to have turned 80 at the end in that year and the golden wedding anniversary of my parents shortly thereafter.

[39]             In the mid-1980s a motor car tyre was put around the neck of persons suspected of conniving with the government, petrol would be poured over them and then they were set alight. It was a sort of people’s court where the suspect had little or no opportunity to defend himself.
[40]             Occasionally, people were ‘disappearing’, so one never knew what could transpire after such an encounter.
[41]    Later that year Saddam Hussain attacked Kuweit, the single event that ushered in ten years of prayer for the Muslim world. The direct result of Iraq’s move - and their failure to withdraw from Kuweit - was the Gulf War of 1991.

[42]     The emphasis of SIM Life Challenge was at that stage very much governed by the philosophy of Gerhard Nehls, that he called ‘broad casting’, trusting that the mere dissemination of the Gospel amongst Muslims would finally provide a breakthrough.
[43]    I changed the title subsequently to Forerunners and ‘Successors’ of Islam in Heretical Christianity and yet later to The Roots of Islam. I used that material as a basis for The Spiritual Parents of Islam.

[44]     That special book had already influenced the praying for missions like possibly no other.
[45]     In earlier years Life Challenge had a similar initiative with its New Life group but that petered out. In 1993 they also started with centralized convert meetings.
[46]     Florry is the wife of Jutty, and another one of the Harmony Park campers of the mid 1960s.
[47]     This church came into being as the continuation of the Sheppard Street Baptist Church of District Six.

[48]     I organised for Damaris Frick, a daughter of Hermann and Mechthild Frick, with whom we were befriended for many years to work there after she had been in touch with someone in Soweto at a time when it would have been difficult in the extreme to go there.
[49]             A few years later the Lord was going to use Ivan Walldeck to disciple Rashied Staggie, a well known drug lord who became a follower of Jesus.
[50]          That was fortunately going to change years later after PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and drugs terrorised the Western Cape. Pastor Alistair Buchanan from the Jubilee Church got very much involved with the Cape Peace Initiative in 1999.   When the main church moved to the old Italtile building in Observatory at the beginning of the new millennium things changed dramatically with regard to Muslim Outreach.
[51]Accessible as Gabriel and Jibril at www.
[52]             He helped out at the Sendingkerk down the road in Aberdeen Street while he was a theological student in Stellenbosch.
[54]     Again and again I tried to finish the story, but I just could not complete it
[55]     After expanding the series significantly, I used it as a radio series in 1997 and 1999.
[56]     This was only destined to return in 1996 when PAGAD (People against Terrorism and Drugs) terrorised the Western Cape.
[57]        The Lord had used his 8-year old daughter Vanessa to link us to the Cape Town Baptist church and who was also unemployed at the time.
[58]     At the beginning of the new millennium Jennie van der Berg, who ministered with us in the children’s club at the Burns Road Community Centre in Salt River till 1998, started a chidlren’s club in the renovated building that became the Woodstock Baptist Church.
[59]      I completed a treatise that I called A Revolutionary Conversation,-  lessons in cross-cultural outreach.

[60]     Jan Hanekom, a missionary stalwart of the Hofmeyr Mission Centre in Stellenbosch and the Western Cape Missions Commission, had a burden for the Kingdom of Bhutan. He is fondly remembered when he strangely became ill terminally. Some occult curse appears to have been the cause of the death of the devout young man.  
[61]     Attie Kotze, a former class mate of Vasco High school went on to become an Afrikaans teacher before he took the package, becoming a fulltime pastor of the Rhenish Church. Wilna du Toit who lived near to us in Devils Peak was a missionary colleague of Children Evangelism Fellowship and a part-time Afrikaans lecturer at UCT.
[62]             At the increase of internet and email use, the printing of the booklets was stopped. At Ramadan 2003 Manfred Jung initiated the publication of a prayer booklet for South Africa that was also retrievable via the internet.
[63]             Organisations like SASO and others linked to the Black People’s Convention could only come into their own when they broke away from the White-dominated bodies.
[64]             I gave the title Forerunners and ‘Successors’ of Islam in Heretical Christianity to the treatise that I put together as a result of these studies.
[65]     I.e. should be working in her vocation as a nurse.
[66]    The St. James Church massacre of July 1993 ironically caused a temporary break on the escalation of violence that sent the country to the precipice of a civil war of enormous dimensions. Inter alia it spawned unprecedented prayer all around the country, bringing home the seriousness of terrorism that would not even stop at sacred places.
[67]     This was the new name of the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute (CEBI) after it relocated. CEBI had been the venue where we started off in Cape Town in January 1992.
[68]     I wrote a treatise that I called The Unpaid Debt of the Church partly as a result of this study.
[69]     I have used a pseudonym for this person
[70]             Later he cancelled also this plan. The positive of the exercise was that I got closer contact with Professor Chris Greyling, who wanted to know what ideas I had in terms of furthering my academic qualifications. In 2002 I looked with him at the possibility of academic accreditation of my manuscripts, but I had no peace to press on with that as yet.
[71]     The part of Bo-Kaap got its name from the Scottish Presbyterian ministers of St. Andrews who lived there in earlier days.
[72]             A weakness of my efforts was that I made little effort to get Rosemarie interested in my writing activities. She might have picked up that error in judgement.
[73]     In 1999 Jonathan Clayton became a prison chaplain.
[74]     I have worked this theme out more fully in the treatise A Goldmine of another sort.
[75]     I expanded and updated that paper into a booklet that we published at the course at the Bible Institute in July 2002.
[76]     I knew him from the start of the Regiogebed in Holland in 1988 and I had also met Cees Vork in Holland.
[77]     In due course we advised all our workers to attend at least one module of their Christ-centred teaching in biblical counselling
[78]     He was inducted as Archbishop in 1986.
[79]             When I reminded him later of that occasion, he thought that I had more or less pushed him into a decision by the scuff of his neck, not voluntarily whatsoever.
[80]     Very incidentally and occasionally the Sea Point Assemblies of God and its successor the Atlantic Christian Assembly did outreaches that impacted the Jewish community of the area.
[81]     This was in fact the venue of my own conversion experience on 17 September 1961.
[82]      See e.g. Search for Truth, WEC, 1995 p.20, 23, 25, 37

[1] I wrote a treatise that I called The Unpaid Debt of the Church partly as a result of this study.


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