Saturday, January 9, 2016

JUMPING OVER WALLS (shortened version) January 2016

JUMPING OVER WALLS

For by You I can run upon a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall (Psalm 16:29)




Content
1. Childhood Walls
2. Climbing over racial Walls of Partition
3. Fighting on more than one Front
4. A radical Activist
5. Pro Testare instead of Protest
6. Attacking the Brick Wall of Tradition
7. Home or Hearth?            
8. Clearing Hurdles with the Pen
9. Taking on demonic Strongholds.
10. Testing Times
11. Tackling the Islamic Wall
12. Back to ‘School’
13. The backlash
14. New Initiatives
15. Under personal Attack
16. Attacks on spiritual Strongholds
17. More Shots at Islamic Bastions
18. Advocacy on behalf of Foreigners
19. Fighting the Gay and New Age Agenda
20. A 'new Thing' sprouting
21. Jews First
22. Fighting Ecclesiastic Divisions
  


1. Childhood Walls


            My birth represented a cultural divide. I was born in St Monica’s maternity clinic. This institution was situated in the residential area Bo-Kaap that was declared a ‘Malay Quarter’ in later years. Only Muslims would be allowed to live there according to this apartheid decree, signifying the exit of Christians who were not prepared to embrace Islam.
            Very early in my life I was aware of different ‘walls’ of partition. Thus there was an unseen divide to our next-door neighbours in District Six, the bubbling slum area of Cape Town where I spent my first 9 years. These neighbours sold liquor and dagga (marijuhana) ‘after hours’, i.e. illegally, whereas my parents were true templars, i.e. not consuming any alcohol at all. Even as small children we soon knew where to refer potential customers of the shebeen next door when they came to knock at our house.
            And then there was of course the completely other world although it was only a kilometre or so away - the other side of De Waal Drive. Devil’s Peak and Vredehoek belonged to the world of the Whites. This was out of bounds for us! This wall seemed completely insurmountable and impenetrable.      
            The wall to the Blacks never had any attraction for me. The general prejudice of our society towards the minority of the city at that point in time operated perfectly. Unconsciously I had learnt to look down to the people who performed what was regarded as the lowest kinds of manual labour. The coalmen who brought the pitch black fuel for our stoves seemed to revel in the role of scaring little ones like us, but it also inculcated in me a condescendence over everybody who vaguely resembled them.
Once a year, on our Mom’s birthday – 28 December - we went to Kalk Bay with the train. It was also a special treat to go occasionally to Kinderfees[1] in Orange Kloof, Hout Bay, by lorry or other rented vehicle. Daddy evidently had vision. By joining the African Peoples’ Organisation’s rotating scheme, he knew that one day we would come in line for buying property. At the end of 1954, we moved to a big property of 8 plots in Tiervlei, as Ravensmead was called in those days.

            Our parents allowed us to play with the kids from these other (sub)cultures, we bought koeksiesters from the motjie and we attended school together. I was just turning nine when I had to climb over another wall, viz. the difference between the city and the countryside. Tiervlei was regarded as up-country although it was hardly 20Km from the Mother City distance-wise.   
            In Tiervlei I encountered poor Whites for the first time. Because they clearly despised us, we grew to dislike them. The attitude of the White Christians we saw was so clearly condescending, that it was not easy to love them. It might have been common practice in the country for a White clergyman to travel to the church alone in his car or to the graveyard after a funeral, but it didn’t register positively to my youthful spirit to see such things. My resentment to White people grew as time went on.
            After only two years in Tiervlei, another change came my way. My grandfather, Oupa Joorst, who lived on the Elim Mission Station far away, requested my parents whether I could come and help him and Aunty Maggie, our Mom’s sister, as a ‘stuurding’.  As an errand boy I was required there to fetch water, go to the shop for them and empty the toilet buckets. (Two children carried the buckets to a big hole specially prepared for that purpose on the outskirts of the village.)
            It was however a very special privilege to have been present at the death-bed of Oupa Joorst. The tranquillity, assurance and peace – yes, sheer joy - that he radiated as he left this earthly life, was something never to forget. Two years in Elim gave me not only a firm foundation in the Moravian church traditions, but I also received a sound knowledge of Scripture, because at school we were required to learn many Bible verses ‘by heart’.
                                    *                      *                      *
            At home in Tiervlei also changed dramatically when our father lost his relatively well-paid job as milliner. He was retrenched after he had trained a young man.  With him being unemployed, it became difficult to feed the family.
            For secondary schooling I was back in the city, attending Vasco High School. I felt myself inferior to my English-speaking pupil colleagues, but yet challenged. In spite of not really working hard at high school, I managed to do well enough to be among the top students at Vasco High School in Standard Seven.
         All the changes helped to prepare me to become flexible to different cultures and life-styles.




                                    2. Climbing over the racial Walls of Partition                                 


            The new situation brought me face to face with the petty apartheid walls of partition. All the walls I had to conquer up to this point in time were not legally prescribed. Coming from school, it became one of our favourite ‘games’ at the Elsies River train station to climb onto the platform when the railway police was not looking. But I couldn’t muster the guts yet to cross the bridge for ‘Whites only’ at the same station. At the subway of Tiervlei station we had to witness a partitioning wall going up to separate the races.
            At high school I became firmly addicted to sport. First I played soccer, later rugby. I studied the technique of javelin throwing from books at the library and practiced with a stick at home over many months. This gave me an edge over much bigger opponents.
            My addiction to sport helped me finally to cross the racial barrier. As one of only very few people of colour to venture to go the Green Point Stadium, I sat among the Whites at athletics meetings that were still very unpopular at the time. Thus I was also present at the trials for the Rome Olympics in 1960 at that venue, the last time before our country was allowed to participate in the prime international sporting event before we were barred because of our racial policies. That stadium later became racially segregated. I was just as sad with my White compatriots when our hero Gert Potgieter, who was a world record holder in the 400 meter hurdles and hot favourite for the gold medal, was involved in a car accident only weeks before the Olympic Games.

Political Interest and prejudicial Influence
The Sharpeville and Langa events of 1960 made itself felt all over the Western Cape. I had really started to hate apartheid but not Whites as such. The subtle indoctrination of society and the oppressive government paid its toll. Thus I was thoroughly influenced to look down on Blacks. I displayed some courage at this time to write a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Verwoerd. In my draft letter of protest I addressed the inequalities and injustice of the political system. However, I did not post the letter immediately. But I was not really sad when my father discovered the letter in my school blazer when it had to be sent for dry cleaning. A serious reprimand followed: “Do you also want to go and languish on Robben Island?” I did not fancy that idea.

A clear Faith Challenge
Mr. Braam, our English-speaking High School principal who hailed from Methodist stock, was God’s instrument with a clear challenge. That he could say with such emphasis ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine’, really struck at my deepest emotions. I lacked that inner assurance.
            I was still a fifteen-year-old teenager when my close friend Klaas Dirks invited me along to the Goodwood Showgrounds on Sunday 17 September 1961 where a Canadian preacher, Dr Oswald Smith, was the speaker. Decisively the evangelist challenged everybody during the service to ‘come to the Cross.’ For the first time in my life I realized that it was not good enough to know in a general way that Jesus died for the sins of the world. I had to appropriate it for myself. I responded positively, accepting Jesus as my Saviour. Once again there was no follow up. (This had happened at two previous occasions.)
            As I was finishing high school, my results inspired someone at Mupine in Pinelands, the place where my father was now working as a night porter, to help sponsor me for medical studies at the University of Cape Town, but I never even gave it a serious thought. I felt myself much too inferior to attend a ‘White’ university. Our whole intellectual community however frowned upon the ‘bush’ University College of the Western Cape that had just started especially for the ‘Coloureds’.  So I did the ‘obvious’, to apply for a place at the prestigious Hewat Train­ing College, the only teacher training institution for ‘Coloured’ matriculants far and wide . To become a teacher came almost natural. Many from our clan were working in this profession.

            During 1962 our mother had to stop working because of arthritis, aggravated by the factory work where she had to be on her feet all day. I matriculated at the end in that year, with the under­stand­ing that I could finish my teacher training after a break of a year, taking any employment that I could find. The financial situation was not such that all three boys could be kept at school and college simultaneously. (Our sister Magdalene, the eldest of the children, had already been taken out of school in 1957, to go and work in a factory to help feed the family.)
            After a few unsuccessful attempts at trying to get a clerical work - that were as a rule reserved for Whites - I settled for a menial job at the printing factory of Nationale Boekhandel, where I was required to clean the machines.
            Returning to our Tiervlei home from the Nationale Boekhandel prin­t­ing works in Parow in the late afternoon of early January 1963, I learnt that I have been accepted as a teacher trainee at Hewat Training College in Crawford.
            I was pleasantly surprised when my parents disclosed that they feel that I should go to ‘Hewat’, the only teacher training college for ‘Coloured’ matriculants of the Mother City. They had been challenged by the ‘Watchword’ from the Moravian textbook for the day, Isaiah 55:8: “My ways are not your ways...” They had decided to send me to college by faith. That was quite exceptional, because faith ventures were fairly unknown in the ‘Coloured’ society of South Africa of the 1960’s.
            After a short period of gradual spiritual backsliding, God used Ds. Piet Bester, an Afrikaner Dutch Reformed minister, who came to Tiervlei in 1962 (later called Ravensmead) to show me that I was effectively ‘addicted’ to sports. Dominee Piet Bester’s testimony of his delive­r­ance from folk dancing pierced my heart: ‘Was I actually idolizing sport?’ I was set free from that addiction that day.

An ecclesiastical Misfit
In our church I did not fit in the mould. Along with two young Sunday School colleagues with the name Paul who had the typical Cape Moravian surnames Engel and Joemat,[2] I would often launch out in an arrogant way to ‘get the Moravian Church back on track’ with regard to biblical conversion. The two Pauls and I sometimes used unconventional means. Bible choruses were regarded as sectarian in those days, but we had the respected Chris Wessels on our side. Chris had been in Holland and Germany before he returned to the church’s service and thereafter he became travelling secretary of the Christian Students Association. In that capacity he was to impact quite a few ‘Coloured’ young people around the country.
            At our local youth services, I went a step further than my sister, inviting not only experienced (lay) preachers from other churches, but also teenagers like me to come and preach. Attie Louw, who was with me in our Matric class, had contacts via the Christian Students Association (CSV), who proceeded to training to become a dominee, a Dutch reformed minister. Attie came to preach at one of our youth services and he also recommended his theological student colleague Allan Boesak.

The Challenge to Mission Work                                                                                                         Ds. Piet Bester was divinely used to get me not only interested in sharing the Gospel with others, but also interested in missionary work. Since I was racially classified and raised as a ‘Coloured’ in apartheid South Africa, I never considered in my wildest dreams that I would ever get to another country for missionary purposes. I served as a volunteer at a small open air Wayside Sunday School in someone’s backyard.
Allan Boesak came to preach in our fellowship soon after he started with his theological studies. Allan slept at our home the Saturday evening. This afforded me with a good opportunity for theological discussion. I eagerly grabbed the occasion to sound Allan out about the christening of infants. 
            He couldn’t really convince me, but I was satisfied that Allan was honest, that he believed that infant christening is the sign of the new covenant, a substitute for circumcision. He explained that the latter is the visible sign of the old covenant of God with Israel. Neither did the arguments used by Ds. Piet Bester of the local Moria Sendingkerk make a big impression on me. In other ways Ds. Bester was however such a big influence in my life at that time.
On the issue of believer’s baptism a Pentecostal friend had been influencing me. If my friend had come on the greed Saturday afternoon to take me to a baptismal service in a lake as he had promised, I would have gone with him: I was ready to be immersed and thereafter to be ex-communicated from the Moravian Church. That is what happened to people in those days who dared to get ‘re-baptised’. But my new friend didn't pitch, and I remained in the Moravian Church.




                                    3. Starting to fight on more than one Front

         Allan Boesak’s dedication to the Lord made a deep impression on me. When he spoke about the ‘stranddienste’, the beach gospel services of the Students Christian Association at Harmony Park, he sowed seed in my heart. This seed germinated when my Moravian soul mate Paul Engel joined me at Hewat Training College. Paul also spoke about the Harmony Park beach outreach. I was soon ready to join the evangelistic outreach after Christmas in 1964.
         That Christmas saw me however spiritually in tatters. I was on the getting ready for the Harmony Park ‘stranddienste’ (the evangelistic beaches services), but I was feeling spiritually completely barren. In desperation I called to the Lord to meet me anew. I had nothing to share with anybody, unless He would fill me with His Spirit. And that He did.

Impacted by other Followers of Jesus
The Harmony Park beach outreach would change my life radically. For the other beach outreach participants it might not have been so significant, but the unity of the Christians coming from different church backgrounds there at Harmony Park left an indelible mark on my mind. I did not know the divine statement yet that God commands his blessing where unity exists (Psalm 133:3). But I saw the Holy Spirit at work there as I had not experienced before.
         At that occasion my friendship was forged with Jakes, a young pastor who came to join us after a long drive through the night from far-away Umtata in the Transkei (In recent years the town was renamed to Mthatha). When Jakes came into the tent one night after an intense discussion with a Muslim, he quoted Jesus’ words about prayer and fasting. This was my first introduction to spiritual warfare.  The battle against the giant Islam was however not in sight at all.
         In Harmony Park I was not only spiritually revived, but there I also received an urge to network with other members of the Body of Christ, with people from different denominational backgrounds. This was an impact that I carried with me ever since.

The Call to Full-time theological Studies
While I was still a teenager, the above‑mentioned Chris Wessels, challenged me to go for theological training, but I expected to be more clearly and divinely called.
            After my special spiritual encounter before my first Harmony Park beach outreach, I was now seriously considering God’s call to full time service. Almost as a matter of routine I put it before the Lord that I was fully prepared to proceed to theological studies. But I wanted to be absolute­ly sure that it was His calling.
            From the Wessels clan Reverend Ivan was even more of a hero to me. He got leukaemia at the beginning of 1968, passing on in Groote Schuur Hospital after a few weeks. Instead of the usual Sunday School Conference that had been scheduled for the weekend following his death, almost the whole Moravian Church establishment gathered in Lansdowne for the funeral of one of its most promising sons. Although very principled and out­spoken against any form of racism, it was characteristic that the late Rev. Daniel Ivan Wessels was never jailed or banned - in contrast to so many other members of the Wessels family. When Bishop Schaberg challenged the congregation: ‘Who is going to fill the gap caused by our deceased brother?’, I discerned God’s voice in my heart, calling me to theological studies.
            God used the adversity of the early death of one of my faith heroes to call me into ministry. A bursary for theological studies in Germany confirmed the call a day after the funeral. I was intensely determined not to fall in love with and marry a German. (This would have prevented me from returning to South Africa due to of the laws of the country at the time.) I still had to learn that it was not right to prescribe to the Lord the race to which my future wife should belong, that God actually loves diversity. 
It is well- known that it panned out differently and that Rosemarie and I ultimately got married - in spite of many trials and tribulations in the run-up to our marriage of which one can read in our booklet What God joined together.

Swept along by the Politics of the Day
After my return from Germany in 1970 I was soon swept along by the politics of the day. Ever since reading books from Martin Luther King and Albert Luthuli during my stay in Germany that were either unavailable or banned literature in South Africa, my interest was more than only aroused. Now I was ablaze in opposition to apartheid. I saw this as my Christian duty. One of the first things after my return was to join the Christian Institute (CI). Here I linked up with Paul Joemat, my old rebel mate in the church. He also had the vision that Christians should be actively engaged in opposing the unchristian apartheid policies.

The Stewardship Issue
While still a young teacher before I left for Germany in 1969, I made myself unpopular among colleagues by suggesting - in my yearning for justice, but to be credible about the lack of parity in our country - that we should be clamouring for equal salaries as Blacks and not only shouting for having the same as Whites.
            In 1971, I took the full-time teaching post in Elsies River and studied part-time at the seminary.  Having completed my B.A. degree just prior to my departure for Germany in January 1969, I was earning much more than the bulk of the other teachers. This made me rather uncomfortable. The bulk of my colleagues were married with families. Soon thereafter two White nurses we had challenged on this score, rocked the proverbial boat when they did attempted to get salary parity with ‘Coloureds’.
         Before I left the South African shores in 1973, I had been influenced indelibly at the theological institution in Ashley Street in the heart of District Six in many a way. The Moravian Seminary had not only increased my awareness of political justice, but during the three years from 1971-3 I also became even more sensitive to structures that perpetuate economic inequality.         
         From 1 December 1973 I had become an unmarried assistant minister of the Moravian Church in Germany, earning a salary that was a multiple of what my colleagues with families and with many years of experience were earning in my home country.
         It was crystal clear to me that the annual salary increases in Germany were only possible because of the disparity between rich and poor countries. This bugged me. Suddenly I started seeing White South Africans in a different light. I discovered that they were similarly enslaved and imprisoned by a system of injustice. My fight against apartheid received a new direction.

Towards a non-racial Set-up in South Africa?         
I recorded in our booklet What God joined togetherh how the run-up to our marriage and its aftermath presented quite a challenge to the apartheid rulers. In September 1975 we started as a married couple in the Moravian Church of West Berlin.
Various anti-apartheid groups started pulling at me when I returned to the ideologically divided city of Berlin after our marriage and ordination. They seemed to enjoy having a 'real' apartheid victim who was fluent in German to boot! I was however determined to retain my independence, definitely not prepared to be put in front of the cart of any group.
         With Pastor Uwe Holm, a leader from the Lutheran State Church, I however got spontaneously involved in organizing a protest meeting in the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis’ Church in central Berlin. The 16th of June 1976 catastrophe catapulted me even more in my activism. I feared an escalation of violence that could lead to the widely expected bloodbath of cataclysmic proportions in my beloved South Africa.

Starting a Front for peaceful Change?         
I now set out to start a front for peaceful change to use non-violent means to get the racist South African structures dismantled. I wrote letters to various people but support was not forthcom­ing. All bar one of those persons whom I approached had given up on South Africa. The reaction of the government to the peaceful protest of the students was to almost all and sundry the proof that the days for boycotts and the like were over. At this point in time I saw boycotting South Africa as one of the remaining options short of the armed struggle that I opposed. Yet, from within I was not completely happy. How could I suggest some­thing where others back home had to bear the brunt? Of course, there were also Christians who were opposed to boycotts for different reasons.
In Berlin itself I straddled the Christian world. Because of my socialist stance, some really leftist pastors invited me to come and preach in their church. On the other hand, I worked alongside the organisers of an evangelical campaign with Ulrich Par­zany, who was up and coming as an evangelist. In those days it was rather unusual to be evangelical and at the same time radical in one’s opposition to apartheid. Not everybody had understanding that this was perfectly possible, so some people probably regarded me as a misfit. Some might have experienced a fit if they knew that I also attended the odd Pentecostal service with Volker Spitzer at Nollendorfplatz.
         In our own church I also had difficulties. Because of our clear stand on moral issues and through my preaching, which however also challenged the conservative Berlin-Neukölln Moravians to submit completely to the claims of Christ, the younger generation especially couldn’t appreciate the evangelical morally conservative stance of Rosemarie and me anymore.
         The lack of compatibility of my voice with the microphone in the church -because the sound amplification was not optimal - created some tension of another kind. Older people with hearing problems had difficulty understanding me.
        
An Africa-styled Wedding in Berlin  
The congregation had no qualms however when Eckhard Buchholz, a missionary from Transkei, wanted me to marry him and Cathy Ncongo, a Zulu teacher from South Africa. The authorities in Pretoria would surely have fainted if they had attended the Africa-styled wedding in Berlin in October 1976. Not only was it very special to see the beautiful black bride narrate the African customs with great self-consciousness, but also to hear a racially mixed group of South Africans - including a few of them exiles - singing Nkosi sikelel i’Afrika. In those days that anthem was regarded as subversive inside the beloved country. The West Berlin Moravian congregation soon discovered that Africa also had a lot to give. The church people had little inkling how meaningful it was for the South African contingent to sing ‘Nkosi Sikelel I’Afrika together as a racially mixed choir. But they did enjoy the ‘bring and share’ church celebration, a community occasion which was unknown over there at that time.
        
Called to Holland
In April 1977 we received a phone call from our church head office in Bad Boll (Germany) with the question whether we would consider pastoring the Moravian congregation of Utrecht in Holland. The church authorities needed someone there who could learn Dutch quickly. Because Afrikaans is my native language, they approached us. We had earlier indicated that we were open for a call to work among the Surinamese people in Holland. Before this we had been planning to go to South Africa in February 1978 to show our Danny to my parents. We had to postpone these plans when we accepted the call.
After my ‘Soweto’ speech in West Berlin I was catapulted into the role of mediator in a dispute between foreign African students and the local authorities. This effort of mediation caught the eye of Heinz Krieg, who was connected to Moral Re-armament. He and his wife befriended Rosemarie and me. They gave me a challenging book as a parting gift when we left for Holland in September 1977: South Africa, what kind of change? I read in the book about personal friends from the Cape like Franklin Sonn and Howard Eybers.[3]  I was challenged once again to become an activist for racial reconciliation in my home country.



4. A radical Anti-Apartheid  Activist

         Soon after our arrival in Holland in September 1977 we received a letter from our friend Rachel Balie, who had returned to South Africa after the completion of her studies. She wrote that Chris Wessels, a minister colleague and long-time friend in whose home Rosemarie and I had been on our honeymoon journey, had been imprisoned. Nobody from his family knew where he was incarcerated. He was never formally accused or brought before a court of law. Later we understood that his main 'offences' were his involvement and role in the formulating of hard hitting statement at the conference of the South African Council of Churches and that he helped to care for the families of political prisoners on behalf of that body. Shortly before this, Steve Biko died while in police custody. We feared that the same thing could happen to Chris.

Advocacy on Behalf of a Friend in Detention
Egged on by Rosemarie, my activist spirit was aroused. I moved into action mode, attempting to nudge the Moravian Church leaders into action on behalf of our brother in detention. Initially it involved something of a battle to get our church authorities in Bad Boll (Germany) on board, but they subsequently also urged Moravian church leaders in other countries to write to the respective S.A. Embassies. We heard later that this move possibly saved Chris’s life.

The unsound Premise of my Calling to Utrecht        
The premise of my calling to the Moravian congregation of Utrecht was not sound. A Surinamese brother representing the Utrecht congregation had heard me attacking the South African Moravian Church for its unclear stand against apartheid. The occasion was a visitor from the Broederkerk Church Board of South Africa to the Synod in 1975 at the opening evening meeting. I embarrassed the South African church leader unlovingly, exposing the lack of support of the Broederkerk board for the banned brother Daniel Moses Wessels in Genadendal (On our honeymoon Rosemarie and I had been visiting the old and anti-apartheid stalwart pastor and teacher who lived there in banished retirement.) The Surinamese brother possibly hoped to get a young ‘political’ radical pastor in Utrecht. He didn’t bargain for one who was also an evangeli­cal, one who was also deeply influ­enced by a moral radicalism. Later this would cause a lot of strain.

A Stint with Moral Rearmament       
At the end of 1977 Rosemarie and I attended the Moral Rearmament[4] conference in Caux, Switzerland. There the apology of the daughter of Ds. George Daneel, a MRA leader, for the hurts that the South African government had inflicted on us, made a deep impression on me. (The clergyman had been a former Springbok rugby player.) The power of vicarious confession left an indelible mark on me, something that I perceived – possibly a touch too naively - as something which could change the social and political landscape of South Africa. In Caux (Switzerland) we also met Rommel Roberts, a Cape anti-apartheid activist. The practice of Moral Rearmament adherents, to write down thoughts that came up during a few moments of quiet meditation, was one that suited the activist spirit in me perfectly. My subsequent interest and involvement in Moral Re-armament taught me to jot down insights and actions during my personal ‘quiet time’.
         In an activist way, especially through letters to various Prime Ministers and Cabinet Ministers, I resolutely pursued my goal of returning to South Africa by 1980, i.e. attempting to get the apartheid laws gradually repealed. (Much later I changed my views in my correspondence with the South African authorities significantly, after I had discerned from Scripture that one could not really reform a wicked system; that it had to be eradicated completely.)

               *                                  *                                              *
   As a radical activist I started collating the documents and correspondence pertaining to our struggle with the authorities in South Africa, giving the manuscript the title Honger na Geregtigheid (Hunger after Righteousness  - as a matter of ethical principle I wanted the work published in Afrikaans first.)[5] Also our Moravian Church authorities at home came under fire as I tried to nudge them to be more pro-active towards racial reconciliation and equality between the privileged ‘Coloureds’ and the ‘Blacks’ in the denomination. Thus I challenged the leadership to use the same minister for the ‘Coloured’ congregation of Manenberg and the Xhosa one of Nyanga just over the railway line. I relished this challenge, having started to learn Xhosa already before our marriage..
         In September 1978 we left for South Africa on a six-week visit. Experiences with the Moravian Church leaders at the Cape and with the folk of Moral Rearmament with Rosemarie and our son Danny would be quite traumatic.
        
Inappropriate Activism
The six-week visit from September 1978 turned out to become a watershed. The experiences at the Cape at that occasion made me quite bitter towards our church authorities. I had more or less been forced to scheme to arrange a meeting with our church board. I enquired on behalf of the Dutch colleagues after Chris Wessels when he was incarcerated (There had been special interest in Chris because he had studied at the seminary in Zeist, Holland). This was not completely honest however, because I had spoken to Chris personally in the meantime, hearing also how he was ostracised by his minister colleagues. The church leaders were obviously not enchanted to be interrogated by me, a young minister whom some of them regarded as a trouble-shooter. I sensed that for some of them it had been good riddance when I had left for Germany at the end of 1973.
            The church leaders were thus completely taken by surprise when I furthermore suggested a temporary return of three years by us as a couple, another attempt to hammer the wall of apartheid. We would be quite happy to go to a countryside mission station to minimize the possibility that the move would be interpreted as provocation by the government. (In earlier correspondence I had already suggested combining ‘Coloured’ and Black churches that are in close proximity, e.g. Nyanga and Manenberg. I never got a reply to this proposal.) My suggestions must have sounded too radical for some members of the church board. When the chairman blurted out, “We don’t need tourists!” he was probably silently supported by the others. My activism was probably just a bit too much for the brethren. The reaction was therefore actually not so surprising – an understandable bout of frustration at me.
            Disappointments in the church board and their reaction to the imprisonment and restriction of Chris Wessels, our friend who had been detained without trial, made me bitter. I returned from the meeting so disappointed that I just wanted to leave the country as soon as possible. I had enough. My interest to come and work in the country and the church that I loved, got a near fatal blow.
            Simultaneous traumatic negotiations with the railways authorities and eventually indirectly with the central government - after Rosemarie and I had been very ‘audacious’, requesting to share a train compartment - all but finished me. I hereafter had quite a firm resolve to leave the area, never to return to my home country. Experiences on the train, from Cape Town to Johannesburg – they were actually well intended when I was treated as an honorary White – proved to be counterproductive. They merely strengthened my resolve never to return to South Africa. That a Cabinet decision was necessary to give clarity whether we could travel in the same compartment as a family, together with bureaucratic bungling, really angered and embittered me.
            The effect on me was devastating. Petty apartheid bureaucracy added insult to injury. I fumed in anger! But I was perhaps unreasonable in my anger, not willing to understand that the government was themselves in bondage, entangled by their race laws.
            I had thus become an honorary White for the duration of that train trip. Experiences of blatant racism on the train from Cape Town to Johannesburg rubbed more salt into the wounds. I had already decided to leave South Africa - never to return! It looked as if apartheid and its cronies in the Church had knocked me out. I simply decided to give up the fight.

Someone must have been praying for me
Howard Grace, a British Moral Rearmament (MRA) full-time worker, fetched us from Park Station in Johannesburg. He had to bear the brunt of my anger. When I was still fuming, Howard suggested on the car trip to Umdeni (the villa of the movement, where we were scheduled to stay in the rondavel for the next few days) to introduce me to the influential Professor Johan Heyns. The moment of his kind gesture was the worst one the MRA man could have chosen. At that point in time I was definitely not prepared and interested to meet the chairman of the Broederbond, the apartheid think tank! Someone - or perhaps even more than one person - must have been praying for me.
            When Howard Grace, a new friend from Moral Rearmament suggested soon after my arrival in Johannesburg to introduce me to the influential Professor Johan Heyns in Pretoria, I was definitely not interested. The only thing I still wanted to do was to attend the church where the banned Dr Beyers Naudé worshipped. Completely disgruntled, I wanted to get out of the country, and nothing else.
            All that was going to change on a special Sunday just prior to our return to Holland. The secretive meeting with Dr Beyers Naudé after the service, in combination with the visit in the evening to the Dutch-based family of Ds. Lensink, changed all that. When I heard how the Lensink family was courageously harbouring Black children illegally, it inspired me to such an extent that I was hereafter inspired towards a completely new commitment. The next day I even phoned the office of the State President, with the intention to try and console the embattled President Vorster. (The ‘Muldergate’ scandal, in which the maladministration of a Cabinet Minister, Dr Connie Mulder, was implicating Mr. Vorster, had all but floored him). I returned to Holland with a new resolve to work towards racial reconciliation in my home country.

A farewell Gesture of Solidarity
On that November Saturday the MRA people of Johannesburg encountered a bitter disgruntled Christian. Therefore it was no wonder that Howard Grace and others suspected in the evening that I was craving after sensation. (I had phoned Dr Beyers Naudé to find out where he was worshipping.) I intended the visit to Dr Naudé’s church to be my farewell gesture of solidarity with the politically oppressed of the country. There was ample reason for the one or other MRA member to surmise that I was not sincere in my wish to want to worship with Dr Naudé. One of them actually suggested more or less that I had contracted a martyr complex - that I was hoping to be thrown out of the church or prohibited entry. (A number of these incidents had been highlighted in the press occasionally where Blacks were refused permission to attend funerals of White employers or colleagues. In other cases people were ordered to leave the church building.) Somehow I received special grace to keep my cool in that situation!

A red-letter Sunday   
Along with a few believers linked to Moral Rearmament, Rosemarie and I visited the church that Dr Naudé attended regularly. He entered there as the last person just before the bell would toll as the sign that the minister and his church council could step out of the vestry in procession. Dr Naudé was required to leave the building as the first congregant at the end of the service because he was not allowed to speak to more than one person at a time. His wife came to meet us immediately after the service, requesting us to follow Dr Naudé in his car to their home while she went to teach at the Sunday School.
Our heavenly Father hereafter used the well-known Oom Bey Naudé - who was loved by many who were not White (and resented by those who supported apartheid) - in a special way. A miracle happened that Sunday. I was supernaturally and dramatically changed from within in a matter of hours.
God used the banned Dr Beyers Naudé and the congregation where he worshipped to bring me to my senses. A divine touch cured me of my intense bitterness and anger towards the country that - paradoxically - I loved so dearly.
In fact, after the red-letter Sunday I dearly wanted to make amends for my racist bias. Hereafter, I set out to work quietly for the lifting of the ban of the beloved Dutch Reformed pastor, who had meant so much to me.[6]

Determination to fight the Apartheid Ideology
In His sovereign way God used the events of that Sunday to make me more determined than ever to fight the demonic apartheid ideology from abroad. The Moral Rearmament practice of writing down thoughts fuelled my activist spirit. Hereafter I wrote various letters of protest to Cabinet ministers. From the time of our return to Holland after our six-week visit to South Africa, I saw a ministry of reconciliation as my special duty to the country of my birth. As part of this effort, I continued to collate personal documents and letters with more verve, hoping to get it published in Afrikaans under the title ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ (Hunger after Righteousness).

An Attempt to apply my Stewardship Conviction
With diverse letters I hereafter challenged various leaders of the apartheid state to set an example to the rest of the world by a voluntary sharing of the resources with the poor of the country. My role models at this time were Jan Amos Comenius and Count Zinzendorf, who took their cues from the Bible. That Comenius had stated that we can erect signs pointing to the reign of the coming King inspired me. Thus it is not so important if one does not see any immediate fruit of one’s actions. Similarly, the example of Zinzendorf - including his day-to-day relationship to Jesus and his high view of the Jews - challenged me in a deep way.
                                               



                                    5. Pro Testare instead of Protest

The two visits to the ‘heimat’ in 1975 and 1978 cemented my love for my home country. In correspondence with the Moravian church leadership back home and with the government, I still tried to fight my way back into the country, initially with the intention of coming to work in the Transkei. My intentions in this regard - which were not fully shared by Rosemarie - were interrupted when we were called to serve in Holland. It never became relevant again because two years later the continuation of our service in the Moravian Church was very much in the balance.
          A direct result of the 1978 visit to my home country was that I had a new determination to work towards racial reconciliation back home. Noting that the root of the word protest in Latin is pro testare - to testify for something - I was determined to fight for good virtues like reconciliation quietly, rather than protesting overtly against the evil system of apartheid.
         This was not completely without danger.  I for example refused to take sides when a group of South African Blacks who visited us, threatened me. It was not easy at all, but I managed to stand my ground saying: “I am neither solely ‘for White’ nor ‘for Black’, I merely want justice. Cathy Buchholz, a Zulu, who was visiting us at the time with her German husband Eckhardt and their daughter Irene Nomsa, cou­rageously supported me. (I had married the couple in Berlin).
Hein Postma was the principal of the local Moravian primary school, whom I got to know when he addressed the congregation at a love least. We met soon hereafter and got befriended. Rosemarie and his wife Wieneke struck a close friendship. I sensed that Hein Postma had a kindred spirit, radiating the real servant attitude and spirit of the 19th century Herrnhut Moravians. It did not matter one bit that he was worshipping at another fellowship. When he invited us to a weekly Bible study with other local Christians that he was leading with Wim Zoutewelle, a biology teacher at the local Christian high school, I accepted without any ado. Through this influence I regained some of my evangelistic zeal that I had lost in the course of my anti-apartheid activism. Rosemarie and I were very happy to find real soul mates in Hein and Wieneke while the tension in our church council became almost unbearable.

Ministry of Reconciliation
As part of an effort of reconciliation I had started collating personal documents and letters under the title ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’. In this manuscript I included and commented all my correspondence with the government. I wrote the manuscript in Afrikaans for publication inside the reviled country in my effort to win the government over on purpose, rather than expose the evil practices abroad. As a means to this end I targeted the Dutch Reformed theologians whom I believed could play a pivotal role.
            After reading in the newspaper that a church delegation from the influential (White) Dutch Reformed Church - including the Professors Johan Heyns and Willie Jonker - was due to attend some church synod in Lunteren (Holland), I took the initiative to meet them. I saw this as a possibility to amend for my incalcitrance and headstrong refusal to meet Professor Heyns on our visit the previous year when a friend wanted to go and introduce me to him. However, the only possibility of a meeting that Dr Heyns could offer me was to meet the delegation at Schiphol Airport just before their return to South Africa. This I did.
            I made the ministers very uncomfortable by referring to Dr Beyers Naudé. I stated quite bluntly that I regarded it to be their duty to see him vindicated and re-instated. I had taken with me the  manuscript in which I included my correspondence with the apartheid regime. Sure that Naudé’s mail was being fiddled with, I requested one of them to take it along with them and hand it over personally.
            Naively I expected that theologians should be open to take the lead towards repentance and remorse regarding the apartheid practices.
            After this airport ‘rendezvous’, a superficial correspondence ensued with Professor Heyns. I challenged him to include theologians of colour like Dr Allan Boesak in the revision of a publication on race relations in the denomination of which Heyns was the editor. Indirectly I thus also tried to reconcile the two theologians, who were such influential church leaders. (They were respectively leaders of the Afrikaner ‘Broederbond’ and the ‘Broe­derkring’. The latter institution consisted of Dutch Reformed ministers and academics that came mainly from the disadvantaged race groups. These ministers and academics opposed the government of the day.) I knew from our student days how excited Allan Boesak had been about his lecturer, Dr Heyns, hoping naively that this could play some role.                
         Our modest parsonage home in Zeist now had as guest within a short space of time first a high Embassy official, Mr. van Tonder and then Reg September from the ANC top command in Zambia. I found myself opposing both of them from completely different angles.
           
Too critical of Apartheid?
Hein Postma had pointed out that my manuscript ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ was too critical. He highlighted that he missed love and compassion in it. It amounted in his eyes to an overdose of medicine to a sick patient. There were also other persons who were not happy with ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ like my close friend Jakes to whom I had sent a copy. He was unhappy for a completely different reason. Jakes felt that one should not correspond or communicate with members of the apartheid government at all. In his view the government should be isolated and treated like outcasts! We agreed to differ, but it was not easy to discern that apartheid was causing a strain on our friendship. His ‘second best friend’ was Allan Boesak. Jakes’ views were apt to rub off on our common friend, who had become quite influential by this time.[7]           I started to revamped the manuscript, concentrating on the issues around the prohibition of racially mixed marriages and our own experiences, calling it ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het’ (‘What God joined together’). I hoped of course in my heart of hearts that this could facilitate my return to South Africa.
In the late 1970’s I was following the developments in the country closely. One of the most dramatic developments was when Mr. P.W. Botha, the Prime Minister, made it plain which he was ready to scrap the (prohibition of racially) Mixed Marriages Act. All the more I was very disappointed to read that the Dutch Reformed Church effectively pulled the break lever.
            I noticed know how influential people got damaged spiritually when they came into the limelight. I wanted to be certain that my autobiographical material would be published in God’s perfect timing. The letter to the Cabinet Minister was one of many ‘fleeces’ (Compare the story of Gideon in Judges 6:36-40) to ascertain whether I should have my autobiographical manuscripts published. It was still my conviction that ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ should be published in South Africa in Afrikaans first to win over the Afrikaners. The curt reply of a Cabinet minister when I hinted this in one of my letters was to me the sign that the climate was not yet ripe for the venture.

             During our half-year stay in South Africa in 1981 I tried out Tafelberg Publishers with ‘What God joined together’’, yet without success.  Even though I had no proof that my actions contributed in any way, I did sense satisfaction when the law that prohibited people from different races to marry, was finally repealed in 1985.
            On a weekly basis I was receiving the international version of the Johannesburg-based newspaper The Star that included a summary of the most important events in my home country the week preceding its publication. Thus I kept fairly well abreast of what was happening back home. I also discovered that the petrol company Shell was boycotted in Cape Town because they wanted to build a filling station in District Six. (The Friends of District Six had called on the public not to buy property there.) Because Shell is a Dutch-based multi-national company, it was almost natural for the activist that I was at the time, to get involved.
            In the Moravian church I got isolated even more after I had lobbied with two young minister colleagues, trying to nudge the denomination to take a lead in Holland to oppose Shell because of its support of apartheid. It was strange though that our draft resolution at the synod ‘disappeared’ mysteriously. The conclusion was not to be overlooked: the South African government had its contacts within the innermost confines of the church. Fortunately I still had a copy of the proposed resolutions. Our radical suggestions - originally intended to be presented at the synod - e.g. that the church in Western Europe should set an example of real sharing with the poorer countries, contributed to my complete isolation. I was vilified among my colleagues as a fundamentalist and a trouble-shooter at the same time.
            My radicalism on so many issues made my position almost untenable. In my view the South African Moral Re-armament and the Moravian Church were much too compromising in their opposition to apartheid. In Holland I collided with my minis­ter colleagues when one of them aired that Europeans had no right to oppose occult Surinamese traditions. The Europeans themselves are in the web of another ‘-ism’, viz. material­ism. I was not prepared to compromise any sin, ideology or practice.      
            There seemed to be enemies wherever I went. People had problems with me because I didn’t fit into one of the boxes of the time.

Tears and Anxiety
A pleasant ‘aftermath’ of our visit to South Africa was that Rosemarie was pregnant once again. It was so fitting that the addition to the family was conceived just before our return to Holland, after I had been reconciled to my home country.
         A few months after our return to Holland, Rosemarie was diagnosed with Hepatitis. Both she and Danny had contracted it in South Africa and in January 1979 both of them had (yellow) jaundice. We were not overjoyed at all when the doctor felt compelled to suggest an abortion, intimating that this was advisable because of the great risk to the foetus. The possibility was great that we would have to cope with a deformed or handicapped baby. But we would not have anything of that. As a matter of principle we decided that we would accept the baby in whatever state it would come into the world as God’s gift to us.  For the next six months we had to live with the real possibility of a handicapped child to be born in August 1979.
The crowning of my renewed commitment to work towards reconciliation in my home country was to me the birth of our second son, 9 months after our visit to S.A.! On August the 4th our second son was born healthy - against the prognosis of the doctor. Fittingly, we gave him the name Rafael. This means God, the healer.



6. Attacking the Brick Wall of Tradition


         Ever since my return to South Africa from Germany in October 1970, I had set as one of my goals to oppose racial prejudice wherever it would surface. Operating predominantly within the confines of the ‘Coloured’ community, I knew that we also had to address the superiority complex of our people in respect of ‘Blacks’.

The Battle against Church Traditions
In 1966 it was fairly easy to introduce Bible choruses at the Moravian Youth camps into the singing repertoire instead of sticking to the sometimes irrelevant hymns. Paul Joemat and I supported Chris Wessels, who returned to the denomination as a minister after his stint with the Christian Students Movement in the early 1960s.
         In an invitation to preach at one of their youth services in 1973 the young people of Elim had been requesting me to tackle the legalist traditions, for which the village and its church was notorious. Among the young people there was Kathi Schulze, a physiotherapist who had just arrived from the USA. She was a descendant of German missionaries.
         At the start of my sermon on Mark 7 where Jesus pointed out how tradition were abused to nullify God's laws, I started off in much too radical way by narrating a little anecdote from the community before I read the text from the Bible. For one brother this was too much.
         During the youth service the congregant left the church angrily, slamming the door viciously almost at the outset of my sermon. The sermon itself was a head-on clash with the tradition of the old people. After the incident had done the rounds, I was subsequently banned from quite a few Moravian pulpits at the Cape, as was Fritz Faro, one of my seminary colleagues.

General Opposi­tion to racial Discrimination
In the meantime, my close friend Jakes had accepted a call to the Cape. I was elated, especially when he moved into his own parsonage in Penlyn Estate. His parish was the newly started township of Hanover Park, where many of the former residents of District Six were moved to. Our old Jonathan and David relationship flared up.
            Often in our nightly discussions we discussed the best ways of opposition to apartheid. Tirelessly I would point out to him the strategic role of his church, the DRC church. One of his initiatives was to get the enlightened Professor Willie Jonker to address ministers of their church on a regular basis. So many of his ‘White’ church colleagues were still firmly entrenched in apartheid ideology. The idea of the Broederkring, a brain child of Dr Beyers Naudé, evolved from here. The ministers of the various races would come together for discussions and prayer along the lines of the CI, of which Jakes was more or less a founder member. NG (DRC) ministers from the ‘White’ sector of the denomination would never have attended a meeting of the ‘radical’ CI.
            Looking back, the strategy was flawed because the opposi­tion to racial discrimination was central in the Broederkring instead of the unity in Christ. Before this time, the DRC church was spiri­tually leading the way in the mainline churches. The sense of unity in this church got lost however as the Broederkring got an activist tag that it also was to all intents and pur­poses. But it did encourage Black ministers to stand out for justice. They were urged in the meetings not to allow others to blackmail them into subservience. White ‘mother churches’ often abused their monetary support to get ‘Black’ and ‘‘Coloured’’ ministers to tow the apartheid line.
Student Initiatives      
At that time our theologi­cal seminary was perhaps the only institution in the country where the students could influence what was actually taught. Thus we noticed for instance the irrelevance of the curriculum with regard to our surround­ings. I found it strange that the curriculum at our Seminary did not include studies of Islam. After all, we had Muslims all around us there in District Six. In the atmosphere of openness, the lecturers had no problem to add some lectures after the end of the year examinations.  The Seminary lecturers had no qualms when I when I asked whether my friend Jakes could be invited over for a few lectures on Islam. My knowledgeable close friend Jakes, was only too happy to oblige to come and lecture on Islam.
            Through my contact with Jakes – who was now planting a Sendingkerk congregation in the new township of Hanover Park - we also attended lectures on Ethics by Professor Willie Jonker of Stellenbosch at Dominee Bester’s church in Tiervlei. Our part-time lecturer Reverend Martin Wessels gladly took us there for these monthly occasions. Whenever prominent international speakers like Martin Niemöller, Eberhardt Bethge and Hans‑Rudi Weber were around, our lecturers not only kept us posted, but Henning and Wolfgang also provided the transport to get us, the full-time students, to these events.
            Fritz Faro, one of my former Bellville South High School Mathematics learners, was at this time my student colleague. Fritz really got enflamed by the evangelistic zeal of the Jesus People. We - Gustine Joemath and myself, the other two full-time students, tried to accommodate that. At the same time we deemed it necessary to challenge the apparent Jesus People acceptance of the racist South African way of life. Thus we invited a student from Rhodesia - as Zimbabwe was still called in those days - to join us in evangelistic outreach on Muizenberg beach. The idea was just to go and sing choruses, using our instruments. As this beach was denoted ‘for Whites only’, the three of us were liable to be arrested. After obviously influenced by others, our Zimbabwean friend opted out with a flimsy excuse.
            We seminarians also sharpened our axes for White liberals who professed to be against apartheid but who were not prepared to suffer for their convictions. Thus we decided to challenge the St Andrews Presbyterian Church in Green Point. Outside this church a notice board welcomed all races. The renowned St George’s Cathedral and the Jesus People had already failed our test when we noticed how the congregants were still sitting separately along racial lines.
            Reverend Douglas Bax and his St Andrews Presbyterian Church passed the test with flying colours. Thereafter he became a close friend of our seminary.[8]    
            The two years of full-time study at the seminary however also included a good balance with evangelistic activity. Now and then Jakes would come and pick me up on a Friday evening to join evangelistic outreach like that of Ds. Pietie Victor’s Straatwerk, that was however still very much run along racial lines that we did not like. The outreach of a group in Grassy Park was much more to our liking.
            A side effect of my studies at the Moravian seminary was that I lost much of my evangelical zeal. Gradually it was substituted with political involvement in the struggle against apartheid. In a sense Prime Minister Vorster was not completely off target when he accused me of ‘making politics under the guise of religion’. This was his standard reply to religious objection. He possibly had not even read my letter himself after I had challenged him in October 1972 to be used by God like President Lincoln in the USA to get our country out of the impasse it was in, heading for disaster. Yet, prayer had inspired my letter.
            In another initiative Dr Beyers Naudé was invited to address a youth rally on Youth Power in the Old Drill Hall. This was typical of the position of the Seminary in opposition to the regime.
           
Fighting Racism in our Church         
In our own denomination we were also fighting racist traditions simultaneously. A certain racist tradition in the Moravian Hill congregation in District Six, i.e. the church just next to the Seminary, called for a chal­lenge. Twice per year German Moravians attended this church. Then chairs would be specially put on the stage where they would sit.
            The racist tradition was aggravated, when the local minister refused the request for this special privilege in August 1972 to be granted to other White people. They were the employers of a deceased servant who now wanted to attend the funeral in the church. At the seminary we were of course quite happy with this principled stand, but when we saw the chairs specially taken out for the German Moravians only a few days later, this smacked too much of hypocrisy. We just couldn’t leave the double standards unchallenged. When the church council member who was taking out the chairs, was not willing to listen to reason, the word was spread quickly. The youth group wanted to stage a mass walk out at the ‘Love Feast’ of the almost sacred tradi­tional 13th of August commem­oration of the revival in Herrnhut in 1727. This would cer­tainly have rocked the boat. We feared that the church leader­ship would point to Fritz Faro, Gustine Joemath and me, the three full-time students at the seminary, as the instigators of such a walkout. Thus we suggested to the young people that we would rather do it on their behalf and face the inevitable music alone. There was not much discussion about the matter because the decision had to be taken quickly.
            At the beginning of the service with its blessed history the three of us left the church quietly without really upsetting the proceedings. But the impact was nevertheless quite consequen­tial. We were in hot water from more than one quarter. The youth turned against us as well, accusing us of wanting to steal the show. One of the female youth members aired the problem that she had with me - perhaps others also had it but they didn’t articulate it: I was sporting ‘Black is Beautiful’ on my T-shirt at all occasions - and yet I had a White girl friend overseas!
            On another level, a clash with the upper echelons of the church hierarchy loomed. But Henning Schlimm, the seminary director, who had just been elected to the church board, supported us wonderfully after we had explained to him the run-up to the events. The big clash was averted. He arranged a meeting with a two-man delegation of the German Moravians. I was to be the spokesman on behalf of the students.  The discussion was frank but amiable with a compromise reached: the chairs for the Germans would not be put out in future on the two occasions. The Germans could sit separately at the front of the church if they wished to.
            We were not satisfied yet, because we regarded this as a travesty of the unity in Christ that we professed. Thus we fetched our own Whites friends to come and sit among us at the next ‘chair’ occasion. Lies Hoogendoorn and Hester van der Walt were quite willing to be used for this purpose, sitting among the young girls of our youth group. The effect was minimal however, because the Germans hereafter stayed away from the next service where they would have come.

Low-key personal Protest against Church Tradition
My personal protest against senseless church tradition was quite low-key in the years hereafter. In the West Berlin congregation – that was likewise notorious for its ultra conservatism - where I ministered from 1974 as an assistant minister and returned to in September 1975 after our ordination, I was nevertheless much more successful in breaking down barriers of tradition and prejudice such as against foreigners. During my last Easter sermon there in 1977, I challenged the very conservative congregation on the use of female preachers, by pointing out that Mary Magdalene was the first ‘evangelist’, the carrier of the message of the risen Lord according to the gospel of John. I could in this way prepare the way for my successor, Karin Beckmann, to become the first female pastor of the congregation.
            We encountered opposition in full force when we wanted to dedicate our infant son Danny instead of having him christened the same week-end. We still had a battle with the local church council when we wanted to dedicate our son. The Church Order allowed for this mode, so that the child could be baptised at an age when he/she could understand what was done. The problem was of course that we as the ministerial couple were now upsetting the apple cart, because dedication turned out to be only a theoretical possibility. This caused quite a furore. A church council member put it quite bluntly: ‘How can the son of the minister walk around as a heathen?’ Normally I would have fought the issue to the hilt, but at that point in time we didn’t want to blow up the matter out of proportion. When another couple wanted to have their infant christened over the Easter weekend as we had planned, we decided to budge instead of playing the two modes off against each other. Two and a half years after the birth of Danny we did rock the boat on the issue of infant baptism.
            I was soon resuming a fight in Holland that had already been started in South Africa in my youth camp days: against unbiblical church traditions. The congregation that I had served was located in Utrecht, 10 Km’s away from Zeist where we lived on Broederplein. The historical buildings belong to the highly traditional Moravian settlement.           
            Resistance in the local churches against any change to traditions was very strong. This I experienced thoroughly in South Africa, in Berlin and also in Holland. I was not the local minister in Zeist, but the congregation in Utrecht was not yet autonomous. On paper Utrecht was a daughter church to Zeist, where church tradition was spelt with capital letters, e.g. with males and females sitting separately.

Scrutiny of Church Traditions
Two other infants were due to be christened in our church service next to our baby Rafael. A serious problem arose when one of the couples took exception to my asking questions about their relationship to Christ. The dis­cussion on house visitation was not cordial at all. The couple argued that they paid their church dues and they expected me to simply perform my ‘duty’ as a pastor, to christen their baby without asking any questions. I was nowhere willing to oblige. The idea of a quarrelling couple pitching up at the church service, at which our son Rafael was to be christened, literally haunted me. Although I had my church council supporting me on the issue, it gave me a sleepless night.
   I experienced a genuine sigh of relief when the objecting couple with their baby stayed away that Sunday. But the issue of infant christening was to flare up soon hereafter.  I suppose that the occurrence at our church made me very sensi­tive to the issue of infant ‘baptism’. Shortly hereafter I was seriously challenged from Scripture about this church practice. This was happening not so long after I had been suggesting that stewardship should include the scriptural scrutiny of all church traditions. 

A Substitute for Circumcision?
During a Bible Study with Hein Postma, Colossians 2:11,12 was read casually: “In him you were also circumcised... with the circumcision done by Christ, having been buried with him in baptism and raised with him through your faith...” Although baptism was not discussed at all that evening, the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart. It hit me like a bomb!
   I was intensely touched to discover that ‘circumcision of the heart’ - conversion to faith in Jesus Christ - was the actual basis of baptism according to the above-mentioned Bible verse. My own argument for practising the tradition of christening of infants was pulled from under me. Subconsciously I was subtly somehow influenced by the Calvinist argument in defence of the christening of infants. (According to this view, the christening of infants as the sign of the new covenant, a substitute for circumcision as the visible sign of the old covenant of God with Israel.) In the mid-1960s Allan Boesak and Ds Piet Bester had been using these arguments in defence of the practice. But already at that time it didn’t convince me completely. I was now reading there in Colossians about the circumcision of the heart. I was cornered. I had not yet looked critically at the replacement theory, whereby it is believed that the church has substituted Israel. From the biblical context it was clear that conversion through faith in Jesus was meant.

The last Straw           
In the preceding years and following in the footsteps of Count Zinzendorf, I got to love Israel and the Jews. The scriptural tenability of the christening of infants struck home. How could the Church put something else instead of circumcision, a practise so sacred to the Jews? The blow got me reeling. In boxing terms it was to me very much like a knockout blow that floored me.
In the course of my participation in a liturgical commission of the denomination I was deeply troubled by the formulation in the Moravian (infant) baptism liturgy whereby eternal life is apportioned to babies at their ‘baptism’.  This is a Roman Catholic notion known as baptismal regeneration. As I now also investigated the liturgy used at the christening of babies in our denomination, I knew that I couldn’t carry on with this practice. It had indeed become a tradition that nullifies the power of God (Mark 7:13). The seed was sown in my heart for opposition to Replacement Theology.
This was tantamount to the last straw to me. How could I continue christening babies with a good conscience? I promptly put the problem to my church council. They were very sympathetic, especially after our common experience only weeks prior to this. They suggested that I should discuss the issue with my pastoral colleagues.
Also here I initially found a surprising amount of understanding because the colleagues likewise encountered irresponsible fatherhood among the Surinamese church members. It was decided that we would organise a weekend to discuss the issue in depth with the various church councils in the Netherlands. (Also in other congregations there were similar problems.
   Before any such a weekend could take place, my objection to infant ‘baptism’ was maliciously conveyed to the church board in Germany. I was taken to task and eventually referred to the bishop for counselling. This transpired in a very cordial spirit. I was impressed that Bishop Reichel – walking in the footsteps of Zinzendorf on the issue - was convinced of the matter for himself as he highlighted the grace of God operating ahead of us. But it didn’t solve my problem. I was not       convinced at all.                                                                                                                      In the end we found a compro­mise: I could continue as a minister without having to christen infants. This could of course not go on for any length of time. I was offered another post, but as the matter of radical stewardship had become so important to us, we could not accept a post where we were required to compromise on this issue. We agreed that I would terminate my services in the Church at the end of 1980. The result of months of soul searching, another inner tussle of mind and heart was tantamount to a defeat.  The christening of infants with its scant biblical foundation was a church tradition that seemed not to have been impacted at all.

Battle against Denominationalism    
By accident we got involved in the battle against denominationalism in Zeist. Ever since my involvement with the Christian Students Association, church unity was high on my agenda. I soon discerned that unity was a powerful ‘weapon’, long before the terminology of spiritual warfare was common knowledge. In my speeches and talks on South Africa in Europe in 1969 the ecclesiastical divisions was one of three problematic issues that I addressed, along with apartheid and alcoholism.
            I was still in full-time service as a pastor in Holland when we attended Bible studies with a few Christians from other church backgrounds on alternate Thursday evenings. Rosemarie and I really enjoyed the services of a free church in Baarn every time we visited there. The diminutive old brother Braaksma, our friend Hein Postma’s father-in-law, could really grip us. He was speaking authoritatively like a prophet of old.
           
The next major skirmish against Denominationalism would transpire after my resignation as pastor when we started a local evangelistic ministry in Zeist, the Goed Nieuws Karavaan.



                       7. Home or Hearth?

         Initially another visit to South Africa seemed a non-runner towards the end of 1980. Because of my conscientious and scriptural objections against the practice of the christening of infants, I could not remain a minister in the Moravian Church of Utrecht in the Netherlands. I was due to stop ministering there in December, 1980.
         In August 1980 we received the news from South Africa that my only sister Magdalene had contracted leukaemia. She had played such an important part towards the education of us, her three younger brothers. Letters from South Africa with regard to the illness of Magdalene, our sister, encouraged us to quite an extent. We knew that we should not get excited too soon, even though we believed always that “My Lord can do anything”. And didn’t God prove it so often in our lives? The fact that we could envisage going to South Africa was already a miracle to us.

Venturing out in Faith
We experienced a few nerve-wrecking few weeks until we finally received the visa for Rosemarie and our two boys literally on the last minute. We could thus finalize our travelling plans at last. Unfor­tu­nately, all seats on the connecting flights from Johannesburg to Cape Town were already booked by this time – a week before Christmas.
   The knowledge about the granting of the visas was already such a special gift to us. At the same time it was also a confirmation to venture out in faith into the unknown. We were encouraged to trust God for our future and for our everyday needs. We needed this fillip because not everybody was happy with our intention of engaging six-week trip to South Africa. We could understand the reasoning of those who were concerned so well. In such a case one would normally first make sure that one has a job on one’s return. We had no idea what would happen on our return to Holland because we had more or less used our last savings for the air fares and I had resigned as pastor.
        
We had no option than to sleep over in Johannesburg.  My seminary colleague Martin October and his wife obliged without hesitation. The conditions under which the visit to the Cape would took place, were nevertheless awesome. We were basically intending to visit my dying sister. It suited me perfectly that Martin was so willing to take me to Bishop Tutu and Dr Beyers Naudé on our return to Holland. From the Bosmont manse I made a few phone calls. When I heard from Dr Naudé that he had never received the manuscript that I had sent with the delegation of DRC theologians the previous year, I was somewhat disappointed but now all the more keen to discuss my manuscripts with Dr Naudé and Bishop Tutu.

A sad Welcome and Good Bye
After our arrival at D.F. Malan Airport, the name of the international airport of Cape Town at that time, we heard that my sister had passed on the previous evening. We were still in time to attend the funeral. Hoe kan ek u prys, the anthem of our clan, was of course a must at this occasion. Rosemarie and our almost four-year old son Danny had learned the hymn as well.
It was felt that the event of the Joorst clan at the Jolly Carp Recreation Centre in Grassy Park, that our late sister Magdalene had initiated, should go ahead just after Christmas. She had hoped of course that she could still attend it for the last time and meet the 200 odd clan members.
In a series of events prior to our scheduled return to Holland, we discerned God’s hand clearly. This happened especially during the evening devotion of 19 January 1981 in Elim. My late father was reading the scriptural Macedonian injunction: ‘Kom oor en help ons.’ Our mother was furthermore quite ill at that time. Her passing into eternity was actually anticipated. With Daddy’s heart condition, which caused him to go on early retirement, it was a big question whether I would see one or both of them alive again after our return to Holland.

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

Divinely Cornered
On the afternoon that had been scheduled as our final time together, my special friend Jakes was at hand, taking us to the Strandfontein beach. A strong wind was blowing there. In the evening we were due to board the train for Johannesburg. This time we had received government permission to travel in the same compartment as a family without any ado, albeit that it did bug me that one still had to ask for permission. My manuscript had possibly done some intimidating work in government circles.        
When we arrived in Sherwood Park at the home of the Esau family, the train tickets were however nowhere to be found. I had possibly lost them in Strandfontein. With the strong wind there, it would have been futile to go back and try and find the small tickets. God had caught up with me once again.
The Holy Spirit had thankfully softened me up by now. Reticently I agreed to stay in Cape Town for another week. My parents were pleasantly surprised when we pitched up in Elim once again. This time we had interesting news for them. We had decided to extend our stay in South Africa unless I got the Religious Instruction teaching post in Holland for which I had applied.
After the extra week in Cape Town, everything was cut and dried. It was confirmed that we should try and stay for another six months. The church in Holland graciously agreed that we could leave our furniture in the parsonage in Zeist. A new pastor for the Utrecht congregation had not been appointed yet.

Teaching in Hanover Park
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. I felt a little bit uneasy when the relevant authority in Wynberg expressed his satisfaction to have a clergyman to take over at the school where a colleague had been dismissed for ‘unprofessional conduct.’
         The suspicion at the school that I was a government informer was almost tangible. The reason was clear. My predecessor also had the surname Cloete. In addition, I must have dished up a story to them that would have been quite strange, having come from Holland and a sister who had passed away. All this must have sounded very suspect. 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 practice of ‘necklacing’[9] was not yet in vogue.
We tried to support the bereaved Esau family as best as possible. 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 in Sherwood Park. 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 visit my sickly and ageing parents in Elim - 200 Km away - fairly frequently.
It was very special to see our ailing mother recovering slowly. The diminishing strain was evidently also doing our Daddy a lot of good.

Camping semi-permanently
As the nights became colder in March, it became imperative to move out of the caravan. Our one and a half year old Rafael constantly had a cold. However, the politics of the day prevented us from getting accommodation in a ‘White’ residential area for three months. Not even our church was prepared to take a risk by allowing us to stay in a vacant parsonage in Newlands, a 'White' residential area, where I was quite willing to be the ‘caretaker’.  Of course, the danger of repercussions and government reprisals were very real. It is understandable that the Church Board did not see their way clear to take a risk. They possibly also considered my rebellious attitude of the past, for example when I challenged them in 1978 on behalf of Chris Wessels. They had to be cautious. The one or other of them may have noted the possibility of me wanting to stay in South Africa with my family permanently. Then the church leaders would have been in trouble! I could actually understand their stance, but I was nevertheless very disappointed that no one took the trouble to explain the refusal.
Repeatedly Rommel and Celeste Roberts invited us to come and stay with them. The couple had been with us in Holland for a few months after they were more or less forced to flee from the country the previous year. They were not only known as political activists but just like us they were a racially mixed couple. To accept their offer would have meant inviting trouble with the government. After all other efforts to get temporary accommodation had failed we had no other excuse available to turn down their generous offer. Very hesitantly, we moved into the three-bedroom cottage with our two small boys to join Rommel, Celeste, Alan and Wally. (The latter two are brothers of Rommel.)
           
Involvement in ‘political’ Matters     
We had to request the extension of the visas of Rosemarie and the children that could still be turned down. With my track record of opposition to the government, the granting of visas for them could not be taken for granted. A crisis followed when the group of Black women returned to the Cape with a hired bus through secret compassionate assistance of the South African Council of Churches under the leadership of Bishop Tutu. This sort of defiant opposition was happening of course very much against the wishes of the government.          Because of my own involvement in ‘political’ matters at school or our supporting Rommel, Celeste and Alan Roberts in the volatile Crossroads community with harassed ‘illegal’ Black women,[10] there was the real fear that anyone of us could be imprisoned. Of course, we were basically working towards racial reconciliation. It was illegal for a ‘Coloured’ or a White to go into the Black areas without a permit. Expecting that it would have been refused any way, we never even considered asking for one. That would have meant looking for trouble, apart from the principle involved. (It is highly debatable whether one should apply for a permit under such conditions.) On more than one occasion we experienced from close range how the political climate in the country was heating up to near boiling point.
         Our personal experiences and involvement in political turmoil during the first half of 1981 caused resentment in Rosemarie towards South Africa.  Rosemarie had also been helping a Black teacher as a volunteer in a Catholic school in Nyanga with the teaching of retarded children. Every day a red car was following her closely, apparently attempting to intimidate her. In the meantime I had become quite bitter once again.
Spiritually I still had to learn that God was more interested in my relationship with Him than in my activism. Of course, I regarded my political activism as a part of my service for Him, part and parcel of an effort to get the races reconciled to each other.  Towards the end of our stay in South Africa Rosemarie had more than enough of the turmoil and uncertainty.  This was a scar that caused tension in our marriage.
            Rosemarie hereafter had only repeated prayer: ‘Lord, I am prepared to serve you anywhere in the world as long as it is not South Africa’. She had completely suppressed subconsciously or forgotten her vow of 1978 when she had a tumour.
            Our involvement with the Blacks did create in me a resistance of another sort. As I saw how Black families were forced to live in separation. I was not interested any more to go to the government - cap in hand - for the ‘privilege’ to live in my home country with my wife and children.
         The life stories of the women were not the only material that disappeared. A manuscript that I wrote at this time about false political alternatives that I had left at the school in Hanover Park during the boycott crisis around June 16/17 was also nowhere to be found.

A demonic South African Tradition
The separation of Black families developed into a strange tradition in South African society because of government policy. We were privileged to have been involved with the spadework that prepared one of the first victories over the apartheid regime, the battle of Nyanga in the latter part of the winter 1981. Alan Roberts, the brother of Rommel, interviewed the ladies who had been taken out of the homes in the church where they stayed for some time. I was deeply moved as I typed the stories of the luckless Black people whom the government was trying to remove forcibly. It was strategic that I had copies of these stories after they had mysteriously disappeared at the court hearings.
                       
An old Wound opened
As we got ready to return to Holland, Rosemarie and I were quite divided on the issue of where we should be located - an old wound had been opened: I still yearned to return to my fatherland despite the stressful months. I longed to return permanently although I knew that it was well-neigh impossible.  But we knew that God had brought us together and that we had to be called together to whatever country He would choose. Both of us were nevertheless relieved that we could get out of the threatening hearth more or less unscathed.

Unemployment – a new Experience
We saw how confused our four year-old son Danny had become because of the different languages - in one short sentence he managed at some stage to use the four languages we were speaking to different people. We were convinced that we had to return to a country where he could concentrate on one language. A German-speaking environment was the obvious choice. But all efforts to get employment in Germany or Switzerland were unsuccessful. We had completely forgotten the divine injunction to ‘stay in our Jerusalem’ as we shared our experiences with Rosemarie’s family in Southern Germany where we first went to after leaving South Africa.
             There was a wide range of reasons for not getting employment. This was strange because in 1981 unemployment was definitely not a major issue in Europe. On the one hand, the hands of church authorities were bound because I was willing to accept demotion as long as I would not have to baptize infants. On the other hand, my principled stand probably scared off would-be employers. That was at any rate the answer that Swiss church officials gave. The net result: no job was forthcoming as we criss-crossed Southern Germany and Switzerland.
            It was very difficult to accept that Rosemarie was pregnant again. We very much wanted another child - preferably a daughter - but the timing of the pregnancy was very uncomfortable indeed. I was still unemployed with little prospect of anything coming up. On our return to Holland Rosemarie and I were quite divided on the issue of where we should be located - an old wound had been opened: I yearned to return to my home country even though I knew that it was well-neigh impossible.  Rosemarie was relieved that we could get out of the threatening cauldron more or less unscathed. But we knew that God had brought us together and that we had to be called together to whatever country He would choose.
            My interest at fighting apartheid was definitely not completely altruistic. In my heart there was still the deep desire to return to my home country. In order to achieve that, the racist laws had to be dismantled.
Back in our “Jerusalem”      
Back in Holland, a very difficult period in our lives started. It was quite difficult to accept soon hereafter that Rosemarie was pregnant again. We very much wanted another child - preferably a daughter - but the timing of the pregnancy was very uncomfortable indeed. Furthermore, I was still unemployed with little prospect of anything coming up.
         Time was running out because my work permit was due to expire soon. However, we had no motivation to start packing. The church had offered us temporary accommodation in Bad Boll, where we started our marriage in 1975. But we had no peace about this move.
         And then it happened. Virtually on the last minute, I got a temporary teaching post in nearby Utrecht. (Only later we discerned that we were still needed in Holland and that God still had to chisel away some rough edges for more effective service.)
Simultaneously, I applied for a position with a new mission agency EZIN, to function as a pioneering church planter in Almere, a new polder area where land had been regained from the sea and where there were hardly any churches. For some reason or other, I never heard from the EZIN people again after sending them my CV.  The new evangelical group probably found my political activism too much for their taste.
We had no intention of joining another denomination when we left Zeist for South Africa at the end of 1980. When we returned in July 1981, we found that a few believers had decided in our absence to start a new fellowship. Our friends Hein Postma and Wim Zoutewelle had been having talks with other evangelical church leaders in an attempt to start a new non-denominational evangelical fellowship in Zeist. I was not opposed to the idea of another Bijbelgetrouwe (Bible based) fellowship, but I was not very happy that they decided to have the meetings also on Sunday mornings. I did not like the idea at all of competing with other Christian groups.

            We had no intention of joining another fellowship when we left Zeist for South Africa at the end of 1980. When we returned in July 1981, a few believers had decided in our absence to start a new fellowship. I was not happy at all that they had already decided to have their main service on a Sunday morning. I had no problems with the idea of a new fellowship as such, but I detested the concomitant idea of competition. Yet, it was still a long way off before I discovered that church disunity and a competitive spirit among the fellowships were actually demonic strongholds. My preference was to have a fellowship on a Saturday so that everybody could still attend a church of their choice on Sundays. I also had not discerned yet how Constantine had high-jacked the Church, estranging us from our Jewish roots by making Sunday a compulsory day of rest. If we had known it at that time, our decision to join the new group might have been different.
   What I specially liked about the new fellowship was that there would be no formal membership. The idea of dual membership that we brought along from the German Moravian Church - where the members also held membership of the state Church - appealed to me. At any rate, we remained members of the Moravian Church. On both sides people were unhappy, but we were not to be deterred. On virtually every Saturday evening one would find me joining the traditional Moravian ‘Zangdienst’ (Evensong) and on Sunday evening I enjoyed the spiritually enriching liturgies that were constantly updated by our neighbour Hans Rapparlié. We maintained a cordial relationship to the old couple, the Rapparliés - who lived below us - until they had to leave for an old age home. On Sunday afternoons (later on Saturday evenings) we often played together on different musical instruments and/or sing and pray with each other.
            The tragedy of denominational division really hit home to us on Sunday mornings when we set out for the new fellowship where I was soon asked to join the leadership team.



8. Clearing Hurdles with the Pen


            Our short stint with the Moral Rearmament movement revived in me the desire to use the pen to fight the apartheid government back home. Already at the age of about fourteen, I wrote my first letter of protest to Prime Minister Verwoerd. When my father discovered the draft, his mentioning the possibility of Robben Island was enough to get me scared stiff.
            After I had heard of the expropriation of our property while I was overseas, I resumed my fight with the pen in 1969. My protest letter to the Parow Municipality after the enforced sale of our house in Tiervlei, did not have any effect one way or the other. My parents had to move to Elim with my father becoming a migrant labourer, going to the mission station 200 Km away one weekend per month. Health-wise it all became too much for him.
            Although I still felt committed to the full-time theological ministry, I also sensed a moral guilt towards the Blacks of our country. A letter from abroad to the education authorities with the offer to teach Mathematics in one of the Black schools, was however not even answered by them. That was not completely surprising, because the racial policies prescribed ‘you in your small corner’.
            The next skirmishes with the pen centred around the Mixed Marriages Act as I first tried to get Rosemarie to South Africa so that we could marry here. Later I assisted her to get a visa for work at the Elim Home for retarded children.
            One letter stood out during the early seventies, October 1972 to be exact: I challenged the Prime Minister, Mr. Vorster, to emulate President Lincoln. His reply was a big disappointment: a standard letter - with only my name inserted - in which he rejected every effort to use religion for political ends.
            It took three years before I wrote another letter to the Prime Minister. After we returned from our illegal honeymoon, I confessed in a letter to Mr. Vorster that we had circumvented the condition of Rosemarie’s visa. Simultaneously I mentioned the burocratic bungling with Rosemarie’s visa application, encouraging him however to continue with drastic changes towards democracy. This letter got me in hot water because I had also sent a copy to the Consulate in Munich. In a sense I deserved the veiled threat from there because I had deviated from moral high ground through my snipe at them for the treatment to Rosemarie. I should have written to them directly instead of via the office of the Prime Minister.

Attempting to be moderate…
My intention to be moderate in the best sense of the word and to practice fair play at all times, often brought me into trouble with opposing parties. I harvested enemies by criticising the unjust economic structures, noting that we in the affluent West were exploiting the poor of the third world. To many Christians this was socialist language that befitted the left of the political spectrum. How could I then be against Communism? To some this was puzzling. Some evangelicals derogatorily regarded me as an ecumenical. The latter Christian grouping was usually not favourably inclined to evangelicals. I could not care less if people would label me as ‘sitting on the fence’. I was not ashamed of my stance deriving my views from the Bible and my faith, my ultimate source of inspiration.
         After right-wing German church politicians had been funded to visit S.A. - with the obvious intention of the apartheid government to further their own cause - my former student colleagues who were now assistant ministers in Southern Germany, approached me. They wanted me to reply to the articles on Southern Africa in a book called ‘Rotbuch Kirche’. This book accused the World Council of Churches (WCC) of a Communist slant, slamming especially their support of the armed struggle. This occurred via the groups that opposed the racist rule in Southern African countries in their Programme to Combat Racism (PCR). I responded to the request with an article that was then distributed among young clergymen in Southern Germany.
         I fitted no bill, thus both sides rejected me. Yet, I nevertheless had friends in the evangelical camp who were critical of the rule in South Africa. It is sad that the opposition to apartheid was so divided 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, ambivalently and ironically hardly anything brought as much division as the reaction to it.

…But labelled a Communist
The only South African Christian with whom we felt completely at one was Rachel Balie. Once she told us of a meeting by Christians who were to all intents and purposes supporting the apartheid government. The moderator of the South African ‘Hervormde Kerk’, Dr Bart Oberholzer, visited Berlin around 1977 in the spurious company of right-wing German evangelicals.      The guest painted an idealistic picture of the Blacks and their beautiful music. At question time I asked why the Whites and the Black Christians of their domination were not worshipping together and thus be able to mutually enrich each other. However, the fact that I sported an Afro hairstyle, made me suspect. Someone hereafter referred to Cambodia and the Communists there, while he looked askance at me. Thus, each and every one could deduce that I had to be a Communist. The propa­ganda machine of the South African government worked perfect­ly!
            Yet, I nevertheless had friends in the evangelical camp who were critical of the rule in South Africa. Thus I was approached to write a series of articles for Spektrum, a Swiss evangelical periodical. I believed that I also had a role to play to make an effort towards reconciliation between Bible-believing Christians across the board. Because I suggested in this series that the South African government should engage in negotiations with the (Communist-backed) ANC, I probably became suspect. The series was trimmed down to a single article but the editors eventually turned down even the one article after advice to this effect by some biased professor.
                                   
The Lord humbled me           
At some stage I decided to go public with the two letters that I had written to President Vorster. Nevertheless, I opted for low-key publication in South African periodicals that were critical of the government of the day that would thus enable the government not to lose face too much. We had spoken to Roelf Meyer, the editor of ‘Pro Veritate’ on our 1975 trip, but somehow the letters were not published before the Christian Institute, the mother organisation, was banned in 1977. When Francis Wilson, the editor of ‘The S.A. Outlook’ had lost the copies of the letters, I was frustrated. The Lord had to humble me when I misplaced the articles myself.
            Rosemarie had little faith in my letter writing activity, but I just continued, albeit rather subdued. Because different Cabinet ministers had openly expressed their intention to move away from discrimination, I naively secretly hoped that they would co-operate with the publication of “Honger na Geregtigheid”. After our trip in 1978, I had informed the government of my inten­tion to publish the documents that I had collated. After a response by someone from the government that was not positive enough to me, I decided to refrain from proceeding with the publication effort. 
            On another track, I took the initiative to cor­respond with a few ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church in South Africa about its race theology as laid down in their church policy papers on “Church and Race”. Some reports in the press gave the impres­sion that the government wanted to abolish the “Prohibi­tion of Mixed Marriages Act”, but that the Dutch Reformed Church would not agree to it. However, my corres­pondence with some of their theologians did not seem to make any headway. Instead, my activities made me suspect in the eyes of the authori­ties.
                                               
Activist Letter Writing          
In 1980 I had been especially activist with my letter writing on the issue of racial reconciliation. It all started with a letter in reaction to an editorial of the Star in February in that year after a kidnapping incident in Silverton on the Reef, purportedly perpetrated by ANC ‘terrorists’. Amongst other things I wrote: “I missed in your editorial any discussion of the merit of releasing political prisoners like Mandela.”  Later I also added “Don’t you dare to condemn the attitude of the ANC when its officials are being quoted as saying ‘they will kill all the hostages next time’?” It seemed as if the ANC had decided to go for all-out insurrection including the taking and wanton killing of hostages.
            In March I posted a copy of my letter to the editor of the Star to Reg September of the ANC head office in Lusaka who had visited us in our home, as well as to Prime Minister Botha. In the letter to the ANC office I challenged the leaders:  “I pray that (at a possible release of Nelson Mandela and others?) the ANC can be brought back on to the original course set out by people like Chief Albert Luthuli - a course of racial reconciliation, together with the appreciation of the intrinsic value of every human being... Oh, I do want to pray that South Africa might become a driving force for God’s justice and peace!”
            In early April my next letter went to Mr. Botha, a mild protest against the confiscation of the passports of Bishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak. I almost felt like relinquishing my own passport, but refrained from doing it rather hesitantly.
            In July I was driven into action once again after I read about the arrest of some of my friends like Paul Joemat. After I had read that Mr. Botha was going to have a meeting with church leaders on 9 August, I pointed out to Mr. Botha in a letter dated 22 July that some of those people who had been arrested were friends of my youth days. They were committed Christians who never would have considered violent solutions for the political problems of our country. Also I referred to some of the young people who had fled the country after the 1976 and 1977 clampdown of the government. I suggested the increase of sabotage and insurrection as a result of these government actions. I also included with that post a paper that I had written under the title “Liefde dryf die vrees uit.”[11] A copy of this document was also posted to Bishop Tutu, who was the General Secretary of the South African Churches at that time. In the accompanying letter to Bishop Tutu I wrote: “It is my conviction that the South African churches in general should confess their collective guilt with regard to racism, as an aid to the government to do the same”.

Attempts at Reconcili­ation
A fairly extensive correspondence followed with different role players on the South African scene. As a part of my perceived ministry of reconciliation I also aimed at trying to heal rifts where I discerned them.
            In the international weekly edition of the ‘Star’ I read one day about a major rift between Allan Boesak of the Broederkring and Archbishop Tutu. The camp of Boesak was angry at the likes of Tutu who were still prepared to talk to President Botha. I promptly attempted to reconcile (the later Arch)bishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak.  In letters to both church leaders, I appealed to them to get their act together because it was absolutely counter-productive in the opposition to the abhorrent race policies. I never got an answer from anyone of the two, but I was satisfied to read later that they were on speaking terms again. In fact, in due course they were seen sharing the same platform.
            The issue at stake however also affected me personally when my correspondence with the government estranged me to some extent from my close friend Jakes.
            My effort to bring Boesak and Heyns together was unsuccessful, However, my letter to Allan earned me the wrath of Allan, who was by now a well-known church leader. In April 1980 I apologised to him for bringing the Broederkring and Broederbond in such close proximity, but I did not receive any reply. When Allan attended the doctoral graduation ceremony of our mutual friend Hannes Adonis in Amsterdam, he simply ignored me. He had evidently not forgiven me. I had no remorse about that initially, but I only discovered the hurt I would have caused by my critical remarks of 1979 in March 2007, when I looked again at the content of that letter. I suppose I deserved to be cold-shouldered. (Later I remembered another incident with which I possibly also angered him.[12])
            Dr Heyns went on in the 1980s to become one of the instruments of change in his church to lead the denomination away from apartheid thinking and attitudes. It is generally accepted that a right wing extremist, who could not come to terms with Heyns’ role in the dramatic turn-around of the denomination, was responsible for his assassination in November 1994.

Love drives out Fear
Using 1 John 4:18 as my point of departure, I opined in ‘Liefde dryf die vrees uit’ that the apartheid laws were based on fear and therefore they had no future. Instead, the authorities should give love and trust a chance. This paper was originally intended as a challenge in which I critically discussed a few of the government policies, with the aim to get it printed in one of the Afrikaans daily newspapers. It was possibly too long for anyone of the Afrikaans papers to consider it seriously, unless possibly as a series. Seeing that it opposed government policy diametrically, not a single one of the big four Afrikaans daily morning papers to which I had sent the article, showed any interest. I was possibly also too radical, referring to the (traffic) sign of the cul-de-sac as a deformed cross. I stated that apartheid opposed the message of the cross; that it was basically diabolic because it separated, whereas the nature of God is to join together. But I also suggested confession as a pre-requisite to reconciliation in this document.                                    
            In another letter started on 19 November and concluded on 25 November, I applauded Professor Heyns on the efforts to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted and that the Dutch Reformed Church also called for the repeal of the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. Also in this letter I suggested a clear confession by church leaders, accompanied by a concrete proposal of restitution.  
             Professor Heyns played a major role in the transformation in the Dutch Reformed Church when the synod of 1986 made a major turn around. That unfortunately nudged apartheid die-hards to break away to form their own denomination. Great of course was my joy to hear of the confessions offered at Rustenburg in 1990, even though the government did not show appreciation initially.  The seed of confession apparently still had to germinate in some hearts. Johan Heyns would not experience the start of the uniting process of the sister reformed churches in 2003 that had been divided by the hurtful race policies. An unknown gunman, who possibly saw Heyns as a traitor of the Afrikaners, assassinated him in 1994.

Early Morning Hours                       
In my spare time - i.e. during the early morning hours between 2 and 4 a.m. because of the criticism of my church council - I worked at the rewriting of ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ in three parts. I had to agree that the manuscript was in fact an overdose of medicine to a sick society. I toned it down, planning three smaller booklets, of which the first one would concentrate on issues around the Mixed Marriages Act. The first revised manuscript was originally called ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het’, and thereafter translated and redrafted. When we left Holland in December 1980 I thought that ‘What God joined together’ was ready for print. But was it God’s timing for such a publication? Would I get a publisher for it? During our six-month stay in the country I updated the manuscript. When we left for South Africa in June 1981 the second draft of ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het’ in English translation had already been duplicated. I left a copy of the manuscript with Tafelberg Uitgewers just before we returned to Holland in June, 1981 with the understanding to have the book printed in Afrikaans first if they would accept it for publication. Finally it became just another addition to a growing list of unpublished manuscripts.
            My interest at fighting apartheid was still basically self-centred. In my heart there was still the deep desire to return to my home country. During my quiet time in the early eighties, God liberated me from this passion. I had been reading in the Word how Joseph was taken out of his home country against his will; that was how I felt. I discovered that Joseph never returned to Israel. Hereafter I was now also prepared to spend the rest of my life abroad. 
             
            After I had stopped working as a minister in 1980, we were really struggling to make ends meet. Although I had been offered various employment opportunities, none of them materialised. When we left for South Africa in December in that year to visit my terminally ill sister, we used our last savings. There was hardly any comprehension from our church authorities. Such ‘steps of faith’ were equated with ‘leichtsinn’ and stupidity. Likewise, my parents-in-law had no comprehension for my principled stand. ‘Why don’t you just baptize children and get on with things? Can one be so stupid to risk your livelihood for a principle? You are just head-strong!’ Rosemarie was very supportive of my stand. She really encouraged me in this first major step of faith as a couple. Yet, after our return in July 1981, I was constantly looking forward to the next opportunity to visit S.A. again. That seemed now an absolute luxury. However, we were not yet in the mode of making an issue like this a matter of targeted prayer. Instead, I naively hoped to get some money out of the publication of the one or other of my manuscripts.

Aftermath of Near Lethal Ailments
The run-up to the publication of a second booklet of testimonies, true-life stories of Muslim background believers from the Cape as Search for Truth 2, was quite a trial as one hassle followed the other. The first draft had already been on my computer in the first half of 2002, but the actual printing only took place in January 2004.

My cancer diagnosis of 2008 turned out to have a good effect on my writings. Rosemarie challenged me with regard to my chaotic research and writing activity. I had many unfinished manuscripts on my computer. 'What would happen if something happens to you?  All that work would be in vain', was her wise counsel. The testimonies of a few Cape Muslims had been on my computer already for about two years. Some of them we had printed as tracts. The result of Rosemarie’s prodding was that Search for Truth 2 could be printed within a matter of weeks.[13]

          The result of the heart attack in 2012 was a reappraisal of our activities, which would include much less driving but also taking more time to work on manuscripts which had been waiting on completion.



9. Taking on demonic Strongholds.


It was still a long way off before I learned that church disunity and a competitive spirit among the various fellowships and mission agencies were actually demonic strongholds. That atheistic communism was demonic was clear enough. Not quite unwittingly I got more involved in the battle against that giant as well.
My preference was to have a fellowship on a Saturday so that everybody could still attend a church of their choice on Sundays. I also had not discerned yet how Constantine had high-jacked the Church, estranging us from our Jewish roots, by making Sunday a compulsory day of rest. If we had known it at that time, our decision to join the new group might have been different.
The tragedy of denominational division really hit home to us on Sunday mornings when we set out for the new fellowship where I had been asked to join the leadership team. With some hesitation I agreed to serve on the Broederraad and lead the young people along with Tom, the son of Wim Zoutewelle. The minute evangelical fellowship moved to a new location at Panweg from where it significantly impacted the region in the 1980s. In due course it became the base from which we recruited many a worker for the Goed Nieuws Karavaan ministry that Rosemarie and I would start and led.
We felt the pain of the church separation anew when Anneco Adriaanse, a close friend, visited us. She preferred to attend the Full Gospel Church that worshiped in Figi, one of the local cinemas. Anneco was still a remnant of our connection to Moral Rearmament. We met her at their base in Johannesburg in 1978. Like us, she had become estranged from the movement. We discovered that the atoning death of Jesus was not central in the thinking of the organisation because they also tried to accommodate other religions, compromising that doctrine.


Interim Mission Involvement
When Shadrach Maloka, an evangelist from South Africa, spoke at the Ichthus fellowship, it spawned the sending of clothing to needy evangelists who were linked to his ministry. Rosemarie was sensitive to the nudge by the Holy Spirit. Financially we were just making ends meet at this time, but we had a surplus of clothing because we received used clothes from different people. This was encouragement to start distributing clothing to missionaries, evangelists and other needy people. In our spacious home, the former parsonage, a part of a huge upstairs room that was only used as a guest facility, was converted into a small clothing ‘boutique’ from where believers could come and help themselves, giving a donation in return. From the funds thus received we could send parcels to missionaries and needy believers in different countries. In due course this gave the jitters to people like the Romanian dictator Nicolau Ceauçescu, who tried to prevent his nationals from having contact with the outside world.

Involvement in the International Prayer Movement
Rens Schalkwijk had been entering and leaving our home often - so much so that he was a natural choice to become the godfather of our youngest daughter Tabitha in 1986. One day he came along with the suggestion that we should resume our times of prayer, but perhaps in a different way.  Out of these prayer times Rens was ‘delegated’ to attend a meeting with David Bryant, an international speaker who had come to challenge Dutch Christians with regard to Concerts of Prayer.
         In August 1988 - through the active urge of Rens Schalkwijk and his contacts with Pieter Bos, a YWAM leader, the prayer movement in Holland got underway. Rens and I were soon leading the first unit of the ‘Regiogebed’ of the Netherlands - that of Driebergen-Zeist.
            When Michail Gorbachov took over as the leader in the Kremlin, God had evidently put the right man in place for the season. It was fitting that the avalanche towards the removal of the Berlin wall in November 1989 and the final demise of Communism all started with Anne van der Bijl of Open Doors offering one million Bibles to the Russian Orthodox Church on the occasion of their 1000 year Jubilee commemoration.
            The battle was however far from over with the Orthodox Church’s acceptance of the gift of Bibles to which Gorbachov and his cronies surprisingly agreed. The praying Christians around the world knew of course that this had been painstakingly prepared, bathed in prayer.[14] George Otis (The Last of the Giants, 1991:49) described the cause of the miracle of Eastern Europe in 1989-90 aptly: ‘With so many intercessors having petitioned God faithfully with respect to the burden of Communism, the circumstances were reminiscent of the Israelites’ crying to Jehovah during the Egyptian captivity.’  Another part of my involvement with the Communist world got linked to the prayer movement in Holland. At the prayer meetings of the ‘Regiogebed’, with Christian participants from different church backgrounds we prayed for local issues, for missionaries who left from our area, but also for countries. In 1989 we prayed especially for Communist countries, notably for the German Democratic Republic, Hungary and Romania. We were especially encouraged by the news that came through from East Germany. Christians there seemed to be at the forefront of the surge towards democracy. We were thus fighting Communism in our small way, as we linked up with a world-wide onslaught that started to make the big communist wall shake.

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

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

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

Opening of the Road to Missions
After we had read about a family camp to be held in the little town of Braunfels in the German WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) periodical Weltweit, we decided to book in faith. We had no money for such luxuries as holidays at that stage, but we definitely needed a break. The Lord provided the finances for us as a family miraculously.
         We had hardly arrived there, when the news reached us that Rosemarie’s mother had a stroke, that she had been committed to hospital. This was only a few months after her father had passed on. Rosemarie left by train for Mühlacker, starting a period in our life that would require more visits to her mom. The holiday brought WEC into focus as a possible mission agency with which we could work, although we still had AIM as a back burner when I expected to get my Dutch passport the next year, i.e. 1990. At our application for Dutch citizenship the accompanying letter stated that we had to reckon with a two-year waiting period.
         I completed my upgraded Maths teaching diploma, but strangely enough, that also signalled the end of my Maths teaching career in Holland. When I applied for a post in Gouda, the principal confided telephonically that he wanted to employ me. However, the two Maths teachers on his staff resisted the move because they were not qualified for the subject. With future retrenchments expected because of a merger at that school, their own jobs would then have been on the line if I were appointed. No other application for a teaching post was successful. Yet, God was at work.

Africa, here I come!                                                                                                                   October 1989 would become one of the very special months in our lives. The annual Dutch national mission day of the Evangelical Alliance was held from 1989 in the small town of Barneveld. We were challenged when Marry Schotte of WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) International shared there about a mission school in Vavoua (Ivory Coast) where the agency needed teachers.  We soon arranged for her to come and visit us in Zeist.     
            Marry Schotte brought along a video presentation of the mission school in Côte d’Ivoire. (Videos were still something special in those days.) The attitude of our children in respect of Africa changed drastically. Suddenly the children caught the vision to go with us to the African continent that they had previously regarded as primitive and backward.                                                                    The need of the WEC school in Vavoua seemed geared to what I could offer, viz. teaching Mathematics via the three language media ofd Dutch, English and German. We were required to do the WEC candidates’ orientation course that was not yet offered in Holland, either in England or Germany. At our extended weekly family devotions on Sunday evening even the little ones now started to pray fervently for a teacher to accompany us to England.
         I hardly had opportunity to digest this challenge when along came our friend Wil Heemsbergen with a repeated invitation to me to join a touring bus trip to Romania, to assist on the pastoral side of the touring bus to the Communist stronghold with all expenses paid.
         Very soon thereafter our friend Bart Berkheij, who lost his wife in a car accident in 1988, phoned with the request whether I could join him on a trip to Mali at the end of January 1990. Someone had generously offered to pay all expenses for him and a friend, to go and wind up things in Mali. I declined Bart’s initial invitation to join him because I was still unemployed. In fact, it all sounded very attractive to get a feeling of West Africa in the light of our own preparations to go to Côte d’Ivoire (Ivory Coast). However, I found it ethically incorrect to plan this while I was still hoping to get a teaching post. Everything looked cut and dried when I heard that someone else was due to join Bart on his trip to Mali.
         It was now already well into October. I had just heard that all my most recent applications for teaching posts were unsuccessful. Thus I would theoretically be free to join the group to Romania. But there was still another hurdle - my possession of a South African passport. I was very uneasy about it, after my experiences every time I had to cross a border into East Berlin in the mid-1970s. I explained to Wil Heemsbergen my predicament that I feared that I would cause discomfort or problems for the rest of the group. Wil promptly relayed my reservation to Jan van de Bor, the Dutch leader of the mission agency The Underground Church,[15] and the organiser of the trip. Although the organisers wanted to give it a go with me on their bus - in spite of my South African passport- I was still somewhat uneasy.
        
Dutch Citizenship!
When the Dutch leader of the “Underground Church” approached me a second time, my most recent application for a teaching post had been very discouraging. 
         And then it happened! I unexpectedly received a letter from the office of the Dutch Queen, informing me that I qualified for a Dutch passport. Out of the blue I heard that my application for Dutch citizenship was successful, without any test of language proficiency that I had expected as the next step – and much earlier than what everybody had anticipated. Within a few days I had my passport. I was ready to be off to Hungary and Romania! Many believers in Zeist covered us in prayer for the trip to Romania, one of the prime Communist strongholds of the time.
         The journey to Hungary and Romania was quite exciting. We delivered the bulk of our special load at a Reformed Church in Budapest – Russian Children's Bibles and other literature that was forbidden in almost all the Soviet Block countries. We slept one night with families from the congregation ahead of the main part of our mission - the Communist stronghold where the dictator Nicolae Andruţă Ceauşescu was ruling with an iron hand.
         As we were driving there the next day,  one of the bus passengers - a Hungarian national who married a Dutchman, picked up on the news via the radio that a warning was broadcast against a bus with tourists from the West. As we had dumped our 'dangerous' material already in Budapest, the scrutiny of Romania's Securitate at the border was nerve-wrecking but it transpired without a hitch.
         I was a rookie on a trip of this kind, a tourist – albeit that I did not pay a cent!  All the tourists would stay at night in the hotel while the Dutch leader of the “Underground Church” and a few regulars were involved with clandestine operations of which we were not aware.  The next day we took clothing in suitcases to certain addresses. Romanians were not allowed to have contact with anybody from the West. Nobody at the address where we delivered the gift suit case with content could speak a Western language.  And yet, we had such wonderful supernatural fellowship in the Lord with our Romanian 'siblings'.

A Trip to West Africa.           
I had hardly returned from the trip to Romania, when Bart Berkheij approached me again to accompany him to West Africa. The friend, who would have gone with him to Mali, had pulled out. I still had no teaching appointment. This time I was ready to accept the invitation to join him to go to Mali on condition that he would join me to Côte d’Ivoire. In the latter country I hoped to explore the situation at the WEC mission school where I hoped to go and teach. To that end I started learning French, using audio cassettes. Thus the itinerary could soon be finalised. He agreed that 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.
         The Mali part was very interesting, my first visit to West Africa. In fact, that was the first time that I visited another African country. A highlight there was that I could listen to the BBC news report that President de Klerk announced at the opening of Parliament that Nelson Mandela would be released soon and that the ANC was unbanned! In fact, during a taxi pushing exercise – after the vehicle had run out of fuel and after they had heard that I hailed from Afrique du Sud – my co-passengers shared the excitement of the day, Viva Mandela!
         We were scheduled to fly from Abidjan, the capital city of Côte d’Ivoire on 16 February, 1990. The last day in the West African metropolis was exceptional. I had already enjoyed the bus trip from Vavoua, during which I had a meaningful ‘conversation’ with a student who had studied German. I practiced my recently acquired little bit of French, translating a tract about the lost sheep of Luke 15 into German, for him to check. The openness for the Gospel in the West African metropolis impressed me deeply.
         Bart and I spent the morning doing some sightseeing and shopping – buying small artefacts to take along for the families at home! Nostalgia overtook me as I looked over the Islamic city! When I saw a few mosques, it so much resembled the old District Six, the slum-like area of my childhood. I had thought that South Africa was out of my mind in terms of a return there! But in a fleeting moment I was overwhelmed by nostalgia. It was strange that my trip was supposed to be an orientation for us as missionaries to West Africa. But I was now also ambivalently longing to return to my home country. Nelson Mandela had just been released. I was quite sad that I could not witness the event via a TV set, because we were travelling through rural Africa where this medium was still unknown!
         Yet, was the way opening up for me to return to my home country after all? At that moment however, I was firmly set on returning to Côte d’Ivoire to teach in the WEC mission school in Vavoua.
The Yoke of ritual Bondage   
As the years went on, we discerned that many Muslims were wrestling under the yoke of ritual bondage. Rosemarie and I realised anew that this is something that only God can accomplish in a sovereign way. God doesn’t need us, but we can be instruments in His hands to help change the world, especially through prayer.
         The three weeks were sufficient to excite me about possibilities to share the Gospel in West Africa. The discussions at the school in Vavoua, Ivory Coast, were promising.

Preparation for missionary Training
As a next major step in our planning and praying within the family, we were due for our WEC candidates’ training course. But before that, we needed a Dutch teacher to join us. At our extended weekly family devotions even the little ones now started to pray fervently for a teacher to accompany us - impossible as it seemed to find someone who would prepared to pay his/her own way and still teach, without getting a salary.
         The Lord used the trip in yet another way. While I was in West Africa, our long-standing friend Geertje Rehorst visited Rosemarie one evening. After she had to return from Austria with her two teenage sons, we helped to make them feel at home in the new environment as part of the youth group that took place in our home every Wednesday evening.
         When Geertje heard from Rosemarie that we were praying for a teacher, she asked all sorts of questions. Because she had been ruled unfit for teaching a few years before this, we never even seriously considered Geertje as a possible candidate to help us out.          When we invited her over one evening to put the question to her, Geertje confirmed that she knew all along that the Lord wanted her to go with us. She was only waiting on us to approach her.

Come over and help us! 
On my return from West Africa there were quite a few letters awaiting me, two of which were challenges to new areas of ministry. Most of all I was surprised that Rosemarie appeared quite tense about my response to a letter from South Africa. Out of the blue there was a hand-written letter from Pietie Orange, a friend from my Tiervlei/Ravensmead days.
         There was not much in Pietie’s letter in terms of contents, but very clearly there was the clarion call: COME OVER AND HELP US.  I was quite perplexed and somewhat confused. The experiences in West Africa especially were still fresh in my mind. For years the doors to mission services seemed to remain closed and now there appeared to be many doors opening. Which was the right one?

Doors opening up
I was surprised to sense Rosemarie’s excitement about the possibility to go to South Africa. She knew of my fervent desire to return to my home country. In the early years of our marriage it caused a lot of strain when she sensed that I perceived it as a sacrifice to live in Europe. Through my ‘Joseph experience’ during personal devotions the Lord had by now thoroughly dealt with my craving after a return to South Africa.
         With Campus Crusade I had started to do some voluntary work in Holland with their devout diligent worker Bram Krol. Also from that side we were challenged to go and work full-time. I had learned to use the four spiritual laws and we started seriously considering to buy a house in Zeist from where we would operate. (When Rosemarie’s father was still alive her parents wanted to help us with capital towards this end). Personally however, Africa was still my preference.
         We decided to move further along the road towards the teaching post at the WEC school for missionary kids in Ivory Coast, unless the Lord would close the ‘door’. And just this happened so clearly. Jean Barnicoat, the directress of the WEC mission school, pointed out lovingly in a letter that the age and number of our children militated against our coming to them. I was nevertheless quite shattered to some extent when this reply came.

Journey into the Unknown    
In his faithfulness the Lord intervened once again. Out of the blue we received a phone call from Dick van Stelten, a missionary couple in the little town of Josini in South Africa, near to the Mozambican border. They invited us, challenging us to come and take over their work.
         Through a process of elimination we had been guided to WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ). Jacob and Emmy Spronk, the Dutch WEC leaders, were very supportive. They suggested that we should go and explore the work in Northern Natal, to see if the Lord would confirm it. Perhaps it could become a new venture of the mission agency. My mother would turn 80 at the end of that year and the golden wedding anniversary of my parents was due shortly thereafter.
         After all the trips to other countries in the preceding months, we hardly had liberty to share our vision with other Christians that we wished to visit South Africa on orientation. How could one ‘sell’ that to others, especially from a financial point of view? In official terms I was still unemployed. But gradually every hurdle was surmounted. We decided ultimately to take the eldest and youngest of our children along on the journey into the unknown. Wonderfully the Lord provided the finances to pay for all the tickets and some ‘pocket money’ for a very special orientation trip.
         We were severely tested as we prayed about going to work in Northern Natal. In a programme on Dutch TV the reporter mentioned that conditions regarding violence in Natal was worse than Lebanon and Northern Ireland put together. Was this the sort of situation into which we wanted to take our children?

A Sense of Home-coming       
In obedience to the Lord we nevertheless planned to start our visit to South Africa in Pretoria, visiting the Lugtharts, a Dutch missionary couple linked to the Dorothea Mission. From there we trusted that we would get to the Van Steltens in Josini somehow.
         In a wonderful way transport was supplied for us to get to Durban via Josini and Kwasiza Bantu. In Josini it was clearly confirmed that the Lord did not call us to serve in a school for Zulu children in Ubombo. When we joined the national conference of WEC in Durban, we experienced a sense of home-coming. Although we did not know anybody present there, we felt that we belonged in spite of a hick-up or two.[16] Also in Cape Town things fell in place. It was agreed that we could return to Cape Town at the beginning of 1992.

The Lord at Work in different Ways
After the WEC leaders in Holland had suggested that we should have ‘contact persons’ before we would set out to our mission field, South Africa. Rosemarie mentioned Harmen and Fenny Pos, our faithful ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ co-workers. We could not have asked for more devout persons. The way they rallied around us became the example for other missionary support groups in our own fellowship and even for many other groups in the Netherlands.
         The procedure to become WEC missionaries was already well underway when we suddenly became very uncertain. We asked ourselves what would happen if WEC turned us down or if we decide not to join that mission agency after all? Then we would have been without any accommodation. We knew how difficult it was to get a house even for a couple or a small family. We deliberated: 'Having our five kids, would such a step be responsible?'
         We decided to put out a ‘fleece’ to test the waters. If the Lord would give us people who would be willing to come and stay in our home and pay the rent for the six months of our missionary orientation, we would know for sure that God was confirming our call.
         We actually found a couple that had no children and both of whom were employed. That sounded perfect to us, looking like God’s perfect provision. However, it panned out quite differently.

The Seed of Confession germinates
In Holland I had been following the developments in the country closely via the weekly international edition of The Star of Johannesburg in the late 1970s. I was sad to hear of the ambivalent role that Professor Heyns was still playing as the chairman of the Broederbond. He seemed to have made amends thereafter.
            From Holland I had entered into correspondence with a few White Dutch Reformed ministers in South Africa since 1979, impressing on them the need for confession as a prelude to racial reconciliation. The powerful impact of confession and restitution, which I had experienced within the confines of Moral Rearmanent, was obviously working through. The Reformation Day statement that became known as the ‘Witness of the Eight’ of 31 October 1980 - seemed to have given the confession ‘snowball’ momentum. It was an encouragement to me that two members of the Dutch Reformed Church delegation, whom I had met at Schiphol Airport, were in this group, viz. Professors Heyns and Jonker. That Professor Willie Jonker was among this group was not really surprising to me. At the Dutch airport he had taken me aside to explain that he was not a member of the BroederbondTwo years later, a bigger group of Dutch Reformed theologians published a confession. Indeed, the good seed of confession appeared to be germinating.
         My flurry of letters obviously made some contribution to change.  But the price was very high. It is generally believed in South Africa that a right wing extremist, who could not accept Heyns’ role in the dramatic turn-around of the denomination, was responsible for his assassination in November 1994.
Confession was one of the issues that featured prominently in the Newlands event of 2001 and in the run-up to the first the Global Day of Prayer.




10. Testing Times

         Come January 1991 we were already in Bulstrode, the headquarters of WEC International for the missionary candidates’ orientation course. The Lord used this time to continue moulding us for our future ministry in Cape Town. There we were clearly confronted with the concept of spiritual warfare more intensely than ever before. Never before had we heard about terms like prayer walks, strategic and targeted prayer although I had practised it before. (We did this for example in Zeist, together with other believers without giving it a fancy name.)

The Gulf War Paradigm
The Gulf War at the beginning of the year made things very practical. In one of the devotionals the assistant of Patrick Johnstone at the international office of WEC demonstrated why it was necessary for the allied aeroplanes to prepare the area for the onslaught of the artillery.
         I should have known more about spiritual warfare because 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 of this I had perceived as not valid for our time. At Bulstrode this changed because the Gulf War made the issue so practical. Furthermore, fundamentalist Islam became ever more clearly visible as a threat to world peace.

Field Study     
As part of our missionary training at Bulstrode we had to write an assignment called a ‘field study’ about the country where we intended to go to. I would be looking at the history of and issues pertaining to the South African Indians. This led me into studying Hinduism and Islam, their two major religions. My experience in West Africa also influenced me in yet another way. I now also thought of the Black South Africans as potential missionaries to the Muslim countries of the continent. I furthermore discerned how I was impacted while in exile, hoping that we could one day also inspire foreigners in South Africa in a similar way - to go and bless their home countries.

Missionary Orientation in Emmeloord         
When we returned to Holland from England, we went for two months to Emmeloord, to the Dutch HQ of WEC. In the occasional sermon, such as one in the village Steenwijk, I challenged Christians to send their ‘batteries’ to the Muslim stronghold of Bo-Kaap in the city where I was born and bred, to bombard the area before we as missionaries could go in as the infantry. The Holy Spirit had obviously started to prepare me for ministry in the prime Muslim area of the Mother City of South Africa.
         In our correspondence with WEC South Africa we mentioned that we would like to have our hands free to spread the Gospel among the Cape Muslims. However, the South African WEC leadership wanted to use me for representation in the Western Cape. The stated strategy of WEC in SA was to focus on recruitment, and not to start new ministries. We on the other hand were not inclined to get involved a lot in administration and representation. We did not see that as our gifting.
         Thankfully, all the differences could be resolved and a few months later we were accepted as WEC missionaries. It was agreed that we would help our colleague Shirley Charlton with representation in Cape Town in the first year and thereafter we would see how the Lord would lead us.
        
A serious Feud           
The saga did not end there though. At the end of our first year in Cape Town (1992) a serious feud our WEC conference in Durban ensued. We had perceived clear confirmation that we should be more involved in Muslim outreach.
         At conference our missionary colleagues were initially not prepared to release us to continue with Muslim outreach, because that would have meant starting a new ministry in the country. We had to fight all the way for the right to continue with evangelism. 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. It was touch and go or we would have left WEC to do Muslim outreach outside the confines of the mission agency. The presence of Neil and Jackie Rowe, former British WEC leaders, saved the day for us. We finally received the right of way to get involved with the new ministry as an exception to the rule.

Representation Work                                                                                                                        
The Western Cape Missions Commission, to which Shirley Charlton took me quite soonafter our arrival at the Cape in January 1992, proved very valuable in terms of contacts. For some of the Western-orientated missionaries it might have been rather surprising to hear me speak about potential missionaries from the 'New' South Africa, suggesting that ‘Blacks’ would theoretically be able to perform so much better than Europeans or Americans because they knew African culture.[17] Yet, the folk listened to me with grace and a few of them reacted with some enthusiasm. But this was easier said than done. It would to take many more years before South African ‘Blacks’ were getting ready to become involved in cross-cultural missionary endeavour of any consequence.
         I represented WEC at a missionary event in the Afrikaner bastion of Wellington. It was already revolutionary that the main speaker was an Indian, Dr Lesley James from Durban. I noticed some very surprised 'White' faces when I suggested that South African churches should be considering supporting missionaries of colour. It proved however very difficult to sell the idea to the 'White' churches, who were still trapped in the apartheid mind-set. Well over twenty year years little has changed.

         After a few months Rosemarie and I started asking the Lord where we should start with ministry. By June 1992 our ministry was not focused at all. As I was speaking during a phone call to Val Kadalie, the matron of the G.H Starke old age home in Hanover Park, I sensed confirmation that this township, where I had been teaching in 1981, was the place to get involved with ministry. Soon I linked up with Norman Barnes, a former gangster and drug addict and a convert from Islam. He was leading the prayer group at the G.H Starke home, a City Mission institution, on Saturday afternoons.
         An event organised in 1993 with some link to the Western Cape Missions Commission was a workshop with John Robb of World Vision. I later used the list of participants at this occasion to organize Jesus Marches the following year.

                                    11. Tackling the Islamic Wall

            After our Seminary period in District Six 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 more or less, a diabolical 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.
            A stimulus to get engaged in reaching out lovingly 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.
         When we came to the Cape from Holland in 1992 as a missionary family, we didn’t have any accommodation lined up. We were already considering approaching my faithful friend and teacher colleague Ritchie Arendse for the use of his caravan again when just before our departure to South Africa we heard that we could be accommodated in a Bible School in the suburb Athlone during the month of January.
         The first morning after our arrival we were awakened by a deafening roar at half past four.  The cause was the seven mosques within a radius of two kilometres of the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute.[18] This was the first indication that the Lord was perhaps calling us to get involved with the Cape Muslims. But we were not starkly aware of it as yet.
         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.

Involvement with Drug Rehabilitation?
Almost from the word go we got in touch with a big problem of the Cape communities - drug addiction. On the first Sunday after moving to Kenilworth, we attended the Living Hope Baptist Church with Ireni Stephanis. A couple there told us about their daughter who was addicted to drugs and who subsequently became a Muslim. We were immediately reminded of the successful Betel outreach of our mission agency to drug addicts in Spain, seeing this as a loving avenue of service to the Cape Muslim community. (Our mission agency WEC had significant success in Spain. Many former addicts started out as missionaries to other countries.) This was thus yet another nudge that we should get involved in compassionate outreach to the Muslim sector of the Cape population.
            The problem of drug addiction in the Cape Muslim society was highlighted again and again. We were thus confronted with the need of a centre for rehabilitation where people could be set free through a personal faith in Jesus. This now became our model for the drug addicts of Cape Town. We were yearning to share the vision with Capetonian Christians. The initial response was general indifference.

Focus on Outreach to Cape Muslims?          
To get more information about the German school, we were referred to the Pietzsch family. Horst Pietsch was also involved with the SIM Life Challenge missionary outreach.
         Without making any special effort, we got in touch with various converts from Islam. (This was quite special because there were only a few who openly confessed their new faith. Many other quietly went back to Islam, e.g after the  lack of follow-up after a big tent campaign by Reinhard Bonnke, a German-background evangelist in 1984.) A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent a 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.
         Rosemarie and I decided to do prayer walking in Bo‑Kaap, as a couple once a week, praying for the area and asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had already done some preparatory work.
More supernatural Guidance
At the beginning of our stay in Tamboerskloof I joined Manfred Jung's SIM Life Challenge team in Bo-Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock. 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 Life Challenge outreach effort in Bo-Kaap.  A positive result of the door-to-door ministry with the SIM Life Challenge team was that I discovered my knowledge of Islam was completely inadequate. I received permission from our WEC 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.

Prayer as Part of the evangelistic Outreach at the Cape
Prayer had been used quite substantially in the outreach to Cape Muslims, though not nearly sufficiently to make an impact spiritually. Under the leadership of the German missionary Gerhard Nehls, the founder of Life Challenge, his team had people praying while co-workers visited Muslim homes. In other cases, groups prayed before they would go on outreach. Thus, in the mid-1980s, his German missionary colleague Walter Gschwandtner had his group praying in the home of the Abrahams family in Bo-Kaap, where the Muslim head of the home came to faith in Jesus as his Lord just before he died in 1983. The information about the Bo-Kaap prayer meetings almost went amiss when the Gschwandtner family left for Kenya.

Bo-Kaap Prayer Meetings Resume  
During one of our Bo-Kaap prayer walks after we had moved to Tamboerskloof in February 1992, Rosemarie and I visited the Bo-Kaap Museum. There we heard about Cecilia Abrahams, the neighbour at 73 Wale Street, a committed believer. She is the widow of a convert from Islam in the strategic residential area. When we finally met up with her, we were blessed to find out that we could actually resume the prayer meetings, which had been conducted by Walter Gschwandtner, SIM Life Challenge missionary before he left for Kenya. We started with fortnightly prayer meetings in the Abrahams home in July 1992.
         After a few weeks we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. We needed the backing of other Christians. As a family we were attending the city branch of the Vineyard Church. Dave and Herma Adams, the local leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims, although the denomination in general had no affinity as yet in that direction. Two members from the fellowship, Achmed Kariem, a Muslim background believer and Elizabeth Robertson, who had a special love for the Jews, joined us for prayer meetings in Wale Street, Bo-Kaap. We had as ultimate goal the planting of a church in Bo-Kaap, the most extreme Islamic stronghold of the Cape Peninsula. That was in those days regarded as quite a daunting challenge.
         SIM had decided to stop their activities in Bo-Kaap, but Manfred Jung brought me in touch with Hendrina van der Merwe, a fervent prayer warrior from the fellowship commonly called the Orange Street Baptist Church. She was immediately ready and eager to join the new prayer group, introducing us to Daphne Davids, who also lived in Wale Street. Dave and Herma Adams, our local Vineyard Church leaders, gave their blessing that we could invite people for the regular prayer event. Soon Elizabeth Robertson and Achmed Kariem joined us for this purpose. In England Achmed had become addicted to drugs before he was miraculously freed through faith in Jesus. We learned a lot from him and the other converts from Islam.
            We were less happy when Manfred Jung of the SIM team came to our home to discuss the respective ‘operating areas’ of ministry. We were not interested in rivalry and competition, preferring to network with other missionaries. We nevertheless agreed to concentrate on Bo-Kaap and Hanover Park where no other mission agency was operating at this time.       

Fruitful Networking  
In the course of my representation work of our first year, I met Martin Heuvel, a pastor from Ravensmead. It was only natural that I would visit him when I helped prepare the October 1992 visit of Patrick Johnstone, the author of Operation World.[19] A touch of nostalgia was hardly to be prevented when I visited the premises of the Fountain Family Church complex in Ravensmead where our family property once had been.
         When Shirley Charlton organised for me to preach at the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur, another meaningful contact ensued. Pastor Walter Ackermann had a heart for missions second to very few in the Western Cape. I was soon preaching there regularly until Pastor Ackermann left the church at retirement age. Having ministered to Nelson Mandela on Robben Island, he was keen to introduce me to the prominent politician when he was the State President. Pastor Ackermann was rather concerned with the way the Mandela regime accepted financial assistance from the oil-rich Arab states. However, I could not quite see how a single meeting with the President could influence matters. That I declined an opportunity that could have influenced matters, is something I still regret.

Start of Friday Prayer Meetings
At one of our bo-Kaap prayer meetings, Achmed soon suggested that we should start a prayer meeting on a Friday at lunch time when the Muslims attend their major mosque weekly service.. Such prayer events started in the Shepherd’s Watch, a little church hall at 98 Shortmarket Street near Riebeeck Square in September 1992. It was an added blessing when we heard that missionaries in other parts of the world were also starting to do this.
         The vision, to have prayer groups all over the Peninsula, so that the spiritual eyes of Muslims might be opened to Jesus as the Saviour of the World and as the Son of God, never really sparked. Here and there one started but petered out again. The only prayer meetings that kept functioning many years was the one in Wale Street on every first Monday of the month and the Friday lunch hour prayer meetings which started at the Shepherd’s Watch in September 1992 , and which continued in the Koffiekamer of Straatwerk at 108 Bree Street..
         Among the early regulars at the new Friday prayer meeting we had Alain Ravelo from Madagascar Alain had been in the country for some length of time. He had been part of a group that met regularly, praying for the country when apartheid was still rife. He also had a vision for networking.  Soon hereafter Arina Serdyn, an Afrikaner, joined us after she had retired from teaching. 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 (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). Simultaneously she was a co-worker of SIM Life Challenge.

Breaking new Ground through Prayer
Preparations for the start of a missionary prayer meeting progressed well in the Hanover Park City Mission congregation. They were prepared to have their Saturday weekly prayer meeting per month changed to a missionary prayer event.
         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 a clinic in Newfields, which 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.  With Norman Barnes, a Muslim background believer and former gangster drug addict as the leader of the City Mission prayer group, it was easy to share the burden of praying for these groups. The vision to pray for missionaries called 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. Within a few years various missionaries from the Lansdowne/Hanover Park/Manenberg area went abroad with different mission agencies.
        
Operation Hanover Park      
This Saturday afternoon prayer meeting at the city Mission fused into the monthly prayer meeting of Operation Hanover Park towards the end of 1992. The stimulus for the latter operation was given by Everett Crowe, a police officer, who approached the churches in a last-ditch effort after the law enforcement agents could not handle the criminality of the area any more. Operation Hanover Park was formed with Pastor Jonathan Matthews of the Blomvlei Baptist Church, the main driving force of the initiative.
         Going into the last quarter of 1992, we had already become quite involved with children’s ministry at the Newfields clinic through Pastor Bruce van Eeden and with the establishment of Operation Hanover Park.
         The initiative had prayer by believers of diverse church backgrounds as its main component. Dean Ramjoomia, a Muslim background believer, was eager to operate among the gangsters as the local missionary of the churches. The home congregation of Pastor Jonathan Matthews, offered Dean and his family accommodation on the church premises and a few other churches pledged financial contributions. Things looked quite promising. It seemed as if the churches were finally getting 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, got many believers excited. Furthermore, it looked as if our vision - getting local churches working together in support for missionary work and in 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! A miracle happened: Hanover Park experienced its ‘most quiet Christmas ever’, according to an older resident.  A combined prayer effort by Christians from different churches was the mainstay of the operation.

An Attempt to unite Churches of the City Area       
My first major attempt to unite churches of the city area was trying to get churches to pray for Muslims. In fact, I hoped that a network of prayer groups could be started across the Peninsula to this end. We organised for converts from Islam and various missionaries to speak in different churches of the Central areas of the city on the Sundays during Ramadan. When I noticed that this merely resulted in entertainment - with no commitment in some way following it - I aborted the effort. Hereafter I would challenge churches to loving outreach to Muslims when they invited me to come and preach and bring along a convert. This did not deliver the goods. Hereafter I received far less invitations to come and preach. In retrospect I was wondering whether that move was the best one for that time.
         So much more committed and interested was the WEC prayer group that we started in our home with a few elderly ladies. Margaret Curry, a member of this monthly WEC prayer group in our home, introduced us to the matron of St. Monica’s Maternity Home in Bo-Kaap.  I vaguely remembered that my mother had mentioned that I was born at that institution. St. Monica’s hereafter played a special role in our getting to know people from diverse cultural backgrounds. After initial hesitancy because of her complexion and foreign accent, Rosemarie would usually immediately harvest more trust from the patients when she mentioned that her husband had been born at St. Monica’s.

Gathering Believers from Muslim Background                                                                             One of the most strategic moves of our ministry ensued when we started gathering the believers from Muslim background once a month. When Martin Heuvel suggested that we should try and gather these believers on a regular basis, he found an immediate resonance in my heart. Unknown to me, Alain Ravelo-Höerson and his wife Nicole, who hails from Reunion, had started making plans for such a group at their home in Southfield. Instead of doing my own thing, I decided to join them, functioning as a chauffeur to bring along Muslim background believers who worked in the city and from the Mowbray area with our VW Microbus.[20]                                                                                             Independently I started another group with male Muslim background believers in Hanover Park. It was our vision to start little cells like that all over the Peninsula in conjunction with other missionary colleagues. This did not materialise however due to a spiritual backlash in September 1993.

A Drug Rehabilitation Centre           
We still thought that the establishment of a drug rehabilitation centre ‑ as a service of love and concern to the Muslim community ‑ would be a very effective way to make inroads into the ruling demonic forces. The related problem of gangsterism had spawned the establishment of Operation Hanover Park. A tract by our co-worker Dean Ramjoomiah, written in the slang of the gangsters, touched Ivan Walldeck,[21] 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.
         Operation Hanover Park was on the verge of achieving an early version of community transformation at the beginning of 1993 when a leadership tussle stifled the promising movement. What was left of the unity of the Body of Christ there, soon dissipated when a local pastor took over the leadership of the monthly prayer meetings who had little vision for the spiritual dynamics at work.
         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 student evangelical outreach at Harmony Park in the 1960s. At the Alpha Centre we got involved with children’s and youth work once a week. We got the jitters there though when we discovered that some Muslim mother would peep secretly, to listen what we were doing. It turned out that the Holy Spirit had started touching her. A few months later she became the very first Cape Muslim we were privileged to lead to the Lord.
         Our vision to train children’s workers in Hanover Park never came off the ground. We also never found a solution to counter the lack of discipline and perseverance of gifted potential workers. That seemed to be part and parcel of the township sub‑culture.

Children’s Work
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 - a SIM Life Challenge missionary colleague - after our return from ‘home assignment’ in Europe in 1995. In our absence she did further spadework with a holiday club in Salt River in the Burns Road Community Centre.[22]
         At some stage Marika brought along her roommate and co-worker from their Dutch Reformed congregation in Panorama, Jenny van den Berg. When Marika left for Germany to work among Turkish people, 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 of South Africa that we started in 1996 under the auspices of CCM. After we had handed the children’s work in Salt River to Eric Hofmeyer, Jenny van der Berg pioneered with a similar ministry in Woodstock, based at the renovated Baptist Church, persevering there for a number of years. Via our SIM missionary colleague Marika Pretorius who had a vision for networking and through whom we got to know our first Bo-Kaap families, we got acquainted with the Greek background nurse Cheryl Moskos, who was involved with children’s and youth work once a week at the Alpha Centre.
         The Alpha Centre of Hanover Park became another important connection to that township. 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.
         Operation Hanover Park was on the verge of achieving an early version of community transformation at the beginning of 1993 when a leadership tussle stifled the promising movement.

Joining Cape Town Baptist Church
The Lord himself seemed to confirm our link to Cape Town Baptist Church using the eight-year-old daughter of one of the elders of the church. This family belonged to the Tamboerskloof sector of the church. The girl had been terribly troubled by the calls from the minarets in the nearby mosques of Bo-Kaap. Her father, Brett Viviers, suggested that she should start praying for the Muslims.
         That Heidi Pasques and her husband Louis were interested to become missionaries to a Muslim country became the factor that ultimately nudged me to join the church formally. Furthermore, two members of our Bo-Kaap prayer meeting, Hendrina van der Merwe and Daphne Davids, already belonged to the congregation. Yet, Rosemarie was not quite convinced that this was where we should be church-wise. Its proximity to Bo-Kaap, where we wanted a spiritual breakthrough, clinched the matter for me. There is where we wanted to plant a church. Rather hesitantly she agreed to join the church. For many years this was to cause some strain in our relationship when we were increasingly unhappy there. We had apparently not yet learned the lesson well enough that we should not proceed with major decisions like this without complete unity.

Attempt at Correction           
From our mission agency Rosemarie and I were expected to put a strong emphasis on missionary recruitment. However, we initially sensed an affinity to minister to street children. Soon after our arrival, the Lord furthermore guided us to an involvement with the Cape Muslims.[23]  One of our aims at that time - 1992 - was a correction of the competitive spirit, which we discerned among the local missionaries. This was partly achieved by working together at a children’s club inter alia with Marika Pretorius, and helping TEAM missionaries with convert care by providing transport for the meetings at their home in the Cape Flats suburb of Southfield. The networking became especially practical through the initiative to join forces in the training of prospective missionaries to Muslim countries at the Bible Institute of South Africa. This started as an initiative to bring teaching on Muslim Evangelism at the Bible Colleges at the Cape, a project during which Manfred Jung and I joined forces.

                                                            12. Back to ‘School’

            Apart from the many lessons that I still had to learn in the preceding years, I discerned that the Master was teaching me many more. A student from the Baptist Seminary, the Zambian Kalolo Mulenga, would become God’s instrument to lead me to the small Woodstock Baptist Church to discover more fully the lessons Jesus had been teaching via his conversation with the Samaritan woman of John 4. At that congregation which had no full time pastor in 1992/3, I preached three sermons on that Bible chapter. I expanded on that in a repetition at the Cape Town sister fellowship which we joined in 1993. I collided with some of the missionary practices at the Cape when I went overboard. Some expatriate missionary colleagues especially found it rightfully unpalatable that I suggested much too radically that God could use the immoral lady better among her own people than Jesus. It was theologically flawed to suggest that a sinful woman was so to speak better than our sinless Lord.
            My conviction that Muslim background believers could similarly witness much better to their peers and family than we as missionaries was however perfectly in order but this rubbed them up the wrong way. Being the only ‘Cape Coloured’ among many expatriate colleagues at that time, this was not very charitable and wise. Thankfully hardly any damage resulted from my haughty attitude.

Targeted Prayer
Prayer walks in Bo-Kaap resulted in the resumption of a fortnightly prayer meeting in mid-1992 in the home of Cecilia Abrahams, the widow of a Muslim background believer from Wale Street. The prayer meetings focused on reversing the effect of apartheid on Bo-Kaap.  An interesting facet of this orayer meeting was the high percentage of Afrikaners, Next to Hendrina van der Merwe, an old intercessory stalwart, young ones became regulars.
          Soon thereafter we also started with a monthly prayer meeting for the Middle East in our home in Tamboerskloof. This evolved from the fortnightly prayer event in Bo-Kaap. The vision grew to see Jews and Muslims reconciled around the person of Jesus Christ. This vision received fresh nourishment when we started praying on Signal Hill from September 1998 on every alternate Saturday morning at 6 a.m. (Signal Hill is situated just above three residential areas that are associated closely with the three Abrahamic religions. Tamboerskloof is a predominantly ‘Christian’ suburb, Bo-Kaap is still a vocal Muslim bastion and in Sea Point the bulk of Cape Jews are living.[24])            

Post-graduate Studies
Soon I was driving every Monday evening to Kalk Bay, doing a post-graduate course in Missiology at the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) with a special focus on Islam.
            Things were auguring well for the future. Our friend Jutty Bredenkamp, who had visited us in Zeist a few times, had become professor of History at the University of the Western Cape. 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.
            One of my assignments about Jesus in the Qur’an – in conjunction with Bible Studies with monthly male Muslim background believers - would bring me to another great discovery, viz. how the Cross of Calvary has been consistently, probably demonically, omitted in the Qur’an. After more research in Jewish and Talmudic literature, I wrote the treatise Pointers to Jesus which is accessible on our internet blog www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com
            I 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. The idea was to use this as a spring board to get into dialogue with the next generation of Muslim leaders.

Contacts with individual Muslim Leaders
I had the illusion that one should just be able to sit down with Muslim academics to show them how they have been deceived. Having seen how a few academics like Professors Willie Jonker and Johan Heyns had been used by God to bring Afrikaners to repentance, I hoped that Muslim leaders would then lead their people in a similar way into freedom once they understand the truth of the Gospel.
            The contact with Dr Achmat Davids was quite cordial, but our conversations never went really deep. I learnt a lot from him about the history of Islam, even though I soon challenged him on issues where I detected historical mistakes. He was a true academic, taking my opposition from an academic viewpoint in his stride. On theological topics he was however somewhat at a loss. This was just not his field of study.
            Through the contact with Maulana Sulaiman Petersen I realised not only how naive my assumption was, but also that our work with Muslim converts had become quite perilous. When I suggested bringing Majiet Pophlonker along to discuss matters, Maulana Sulaiman Petersen was suddenly very angry and offended. How could I expect him to entertain murtats (apostates) in his home?

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.

Encouragements
If the arch enemy 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.
            When Rosemarie left for Germany in June 1993, things were not yet back to normal after the assassination of Chris Hani.  Fearing the pending violent revolution, whosoever could leave the country, did so. While my darling 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 of a guest room for 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 would 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.

            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 arch enemy 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.
                                               
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.[25]
            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
While these thoughts milled through our minds, an occurrence shook us tremendously. 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.
The theft of our car, followed by a demonic attack via a drug addicted conman brought home to us the spiritual dimensions of the battle of the hearts. After the children had left for school at about 7.40h, Rosemarie and I had a short prayer session because we were to have our WEC prayer meeting in our home later that morning. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of those two days. I wrote down the following notes (slightly edited) shortly after the traumatic days:

9 a.m. Just after nine I leave the home with the 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 although 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 (WEC) 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.
         The occurrences of the next 30 hours were traumatic in the extreme. Our emotions swung like a very long pendulum from the heights of elation to the deepest despair. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of the events. But I was traumatized so much that I was never able to finish writing down the story within a reasonable time limit, in which the memory of the events was fresh enough. On the same Friday on which we discovered that our vehicle was stolen, a new ‘convert’ came to our one o’clock prayer meeting. Purportedly he was a drug addict who had just been ‘saved’. Thirty hours later we found out that he was a conman. In between, this fake convert had fooled us terribly. His demonic demeanour squashed our vision to work or challenge others towards the establishment of a drug rehabilitation in Cape Town almost completely.
         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, thirteen and a half years later we are still living in the Vredehoek home that we actually bought.
         The Holy Spirit inspired the compassionate sister Eta Kleber, an senior member of our Panweg Fellowship in Zeist to bless us with money to buy another vehicle. For R3,500 we could buy a 1981 Mazda that gave five years of wonderful service not only to us, but also for a few years to another couple in missionary service thereafter.
A sequence of special circumstances made the purchase possible. Melvin Maxegwana and Brett Viviers – whose 8-year old daughter the Lord had used to link us to the Cape Town Baptist Church and who was also unemployed at the time – toiled in harmony with Cameron Barnard, a believer from the Jubilee Church and the son of an elderly couple that wanted to go to Turkey as WEC missionaries. The threesome renovated the dilapidated house in two months.  The working together of Melvin and Brett especially was invaluable for that time. The example of a 'White' man working happily under a Black was not so common at all in South Africa! 

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

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.  In retrospect, my insistence to have a non-denomination fellowship - supported by Adiel Adams was counterproductive. The Baptist leaders were not interested any more. (They were however also disappointed that I was not interested to relocate to Mitchells Plain to start outreach to Muslims there. I sensed a commission to Bo-Kaap.)         
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 Robben Island conversion. 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 had 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.[26]  (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.[27] 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 low-profile outreach to Cape Muslims it seemed as if we could never penetrate to their hearts. We had been reading how Don Richardson had a similar problem in Papua New Guinea until he found the peace child as a key to the hearts of the indigenous people. We started praying along similar lines, to get a key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
That Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at their major Eid celebration, made me aware how near to each other the three world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam actually are. The narrative of Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son is central to all three faiths. As Christians many of us are aware that John the Baptist pointed to Jesus twice as the Lamb of God (1:29 and 1:35) but we tend to overlook that Paul, the prolific epistle-writing apostle, described our Lord as the Passover Lamb (1 Corinthians 5:7).
Witnessing the Islamic slaughtering of sheep in Bo-Kaap was a special blessing to my wife and me. The ceremony really brought to light the biblical prophecy of Isaiah 53 that I had learnt by heart as a child. To see how the sheep went to be slaughtered without any resistance reminded us of Jesus, whom John the Baptist called the Lamb of God, who takes away the sin of the world. We immediately knew that the Lord answered our prayer. He had given us the key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
It was special to discover through my studies that according to a Jewish Midrash – which is very much part and parcel of the rabbinic oral teaching traditions – Isaac was purported to have carried the firewood for the altar on his shoulder, just like someone would carry a cross.

Blacks as future Missionaries
Two of the student participants at the mission week were Kalolo Mulenga and Orlando Suarez, respectively from Zambia and Mozambique. The seed had already been sown in my heart to see South(ern) African Blacks as future missionaries. Now the increasing number of expatriate Africans in Cape Town came sharper into my focus as potential missionaries, just like the Samaritan woman of John 4. The lessons in cross-cultural outreach that the Master Teacher passed to us through this Bible chapter impacted me significantly. I used the conversation of our Lord Jesus with a woman from another culture as a prime example for the outreach to Cape Muslims, and we were now also concentrating on the local converts from Islam in our ministry. We not only discovered that many of them had not been discipled, but we also noticed how much more effectively they were reaching out to their own people.[28]
It was special to see how our prayers for Woodstock were being answered. Soon after the mission week we heard that the local Assemblies of God fellowship under the leadership of their young pastor William Tait had started with early morning prayer meetings. Every weekday at five o’clock a few church members came together to seek the face of the Lord for their crime-ridden residential area.

Befriending an influential Cape Islamic Clergyman
When Edgar Davids became ill – his remaining kidney started giving problems – I began preaching more regularly at the minute Woodstock Baptist Church. The small fellowship took the step in faith to sell their original property, the residence, to buy the ruin of the local former 'White' Dutch Reformed Church.[29] With the help of American believers – some of them retired Southern Baptists – the fellowship soon started renovating the dilapidated building.
         Through Elisabeth Phala, a committed believer and a devout late member of this fellowship, we were introduced to one of her Muslim neighbours of District Six whose brother was Maulana Petersen, a well-known and influential Cape Islamic clergyman who had studied in Pakistan for many years, a scholar of note. I got to know him fairly well.

The unpaid Debt of the Church
Very soon I detected that Christianity had a much greater guilt to pay back in respect of Islam than I was aware. I learned that Muhammad had been misled by a sectarian view of Biblical belief. I discerned that this is only one of many facets of what I dubbed ‘The unpaid debt of the church’. I wrote a treatise with that title, as well as one on the roots of Islam in heretical Christianity. How sad I was when I discovered how Islam adopted one doctrine after the other from heretical Christianity; yes, that even reputable theologians and church fathers like Augustine played a role in this development.
And then there was the role of the emperor Constantine, driving a rift between the Jews and Christians when he gave special favours to the latter group. 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. I was also reminded how paganism was made fashionable via the worship of the sun god, when the emperor made Sunday a compulsory day of rest in 321 CE.  This was to keep me uneasy for many years. When I shared this with Christians, there was surprise, but also opposition and denial. Like the harsh realities around the practices of apartheid in the not too distant past, it seems to be very difficult for followers of Christ to swallow these hard truths. All efforts to publish the treatises failed. However, I was also not trying very hard. I firmly believed – and still do - in divine timing of my publications, to the chagrin of Rosemarie who felt that I was procrastinating unduly.

Our Ministry a Threat?
One of the students at our first BI course for prospective missionaries was a staff member of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) with a link to His People Ministries. She asked me to come and teach at the YWAM base in Muizenberg.
         That our ministry could be presenting some threat not only in the spiritual realms, got home to us after Rosemarie and I had been teaching at that Youth with a Mission base in the first quarter of 1996. At this time Mark Gabriel,[30] a former shaykh and academic from Al Azhar University in Egypt, had just come to Muizenberg to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) there. He had to flee his home country after he had decided to become a follower of Jesus. Also in Johannesburg there had been attempts to assassinate him. The YWAM leaders requested us to host Mark for the practical part of his DTS. We gladly obliged.
                
     Mark Gabriel on the Run again       
Mark’s presence was not without hiccups. He joined me on a preaching engagement at the Moravian Church in Elsies River on the last Sunday of July 1996 where our friend Chris Wessels was the pastor. We offered copies of Against the Tide in the Middle East, Mark’s testimony and Search for Truth for sale. I made a serious blunder, omitting to warn the congregation to pray before they would pass any autobiographical booklet to Muslims. In the evening of that same Sunday Mark shared his testimony at a youth service at the same venue, with young Christians from other churches of the area attending. Three days later, on Wednesday 31 July, it was clear that Mark’s life was in danger yet again. Heinrich Grafen, a German missionary colleague, phoned me to warn us that a Maulana Petersen was looking for Mark. A few minutes later the Maulana phoned me as well, enquiring after the whereabouts of the apostate from Egypt who wrote a booklet with very offensive material. It was possibly not very wise of Mark to include a comparison of Muhammad and Jesus in his booklet. He intimated in the monograph that Muhammad was inspired by the devil.
            The ‘co-incidence’ of a combined meeting of the home ministry groups at the Cape Town Baptist Church the same evening gave us the opportunity to share the need of a hide-out for Mark. That turned out to become a decisive stepping-stone for Debbie Zaayman.[31] She offered her flat as a hiding place because she was going away for a few weeks.
The public execution of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) a few days later on 4 August 1996 was the next major stimulus for prayer. It brought personal relief to us, because in the resulting turmoil the fundamentalist Muslims apparently forgot to hunt further for Mark Gabriel!



13. The Backlash


         A positive result of the effort of the Jesus Marches of the second quarter in 1994 was an intensification of contact with a few churches in the city area. As a result of this, a local congregation started to show interest in outreach to the Muslims. As one of my last initiatives of the year I was able to conduct a short course on Muslim Evangelism in that church. From that church an initiative was also launched to take a cross to ‘Devil’s Peak’, thus planting a seed into my heart to attempt the name change of the mountain peak. As we headed for Christmas, I looked forward to get the Vredehoek congregation involved in the loving outreach to the stronghold of Bo-Kaap.

Effects of the 'Toronto Blessing'
But it was not to be. When I returned to the same church early in 1995 to introduce the Ramadan prayer booklets, the congregants were not interested any more. The ‘Toronto Blessing’ had completely distracted them. Also the Cape Town Baptist Church and a few other congregations of the Peninsula were negatively affected by this “blessing”.  In a few cases satan abused carnal exhibitionist aberrations to cause serious rifts and internal problems in certain churches.
         As a couple, Rosemarie and I were thrown into a dilemma when a Christian friend seriously meant to impress on us the absolute necessity of personally experiencing the ‘Toronto Blessing’. We would be missing out significantly if we did not have this blessing. We had our doubts however.
         Unknown to me, the excesses of the ‘Toronto blessing’ had become rife at the City Bowl church that I had taught at. I witnessed profuse ‘laughing in the Spirit’ which I could not appreciate. I went there with the hope of getting quite a few of the 30-day Ramadan Prayer focus booklets among the people because before Christmas there had been such interest in Muslim Outreach in that fellowship. Now there was hardly any interest in anything else than an overt ‘laughing in the Spirit’ that appeared to me rather carnal.
         The penny dropped for Rosemarie and me due to an experience with Tabitha, our youngest daughter at this time : it is not the‘laughing in the Spirit’, but our weeping for the lost that honours God more!

An evangelistic Seminar in a Muslim Stronghold     
The New Year 1995 started quite well. We received a substantial sum of money from Rosemarie’s godmother, a retired dentist. We saw this as God’s provision to enable us to book air tickets for our four-month home assignment in Holland and Germany. (Our home church is in the former country; Rosemarie’s family and other supporting friends are in the latter one). But we still needed funds for the printing of Op Soek na Waarheid.
         Just after the summer school holidays we staged a Muslim seminar in Rylands Estate, a predominantly Indian residential area. Rainer Gulsow and his wife Runa, friends from the nearby German Stadtmission, introduced us to Gerda Leithgöb from Pretoria, who was still fairly unknown to Cape believers. Their recommendation was quite influential, nudging me to invite Gerda to come and teach at our seminar in Rylands Estate. ‘Spiritual Mapping’ is a term that has been used in recent decades for research into spiritual influences, especially those of a demonic or anti-Christian nature. In respect of Islam, Gerda Leithgöb introduced Spiritual Mapping at the Cape at the prayer seminar.  Her talk changed the outlook of many a co-worker when they discovered the value of strategic prayer.
         That we could stage the evangelistic seminar in a Hindu-Muslim stronghold was quite significant. For the rest however, the seminar was not a resounding success. Our time schedule for the publication of the testimony booklet was much too tight.
         Prior to the prayer seminar I gave to Gerda Leithgöb some of my research results on the establishment and spread of Cape Islam. Among other things I pointed to the apparent effect of the shrines on the heights. 
                        *                      *                      *
         When I mentioned the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 60 as part of a devotional in our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting, the Lord used that to start calling Gill Knaggs into the mission to the Muslim World. She had been attending our prayer meeting on a one-off basis. This brought her into motion to pray about getting involved in full-time missionary work. Soon Gill was used by God to nudge the Muizenberg base of YWAM to get more interested in the Muslims. Concretely, an interest developed in Egypt where they started to network with the Coptic Church in that country via links through Mike Burnard, the Western Cape leader of Open Doors. When we started with a radio programme in 1998, she was on hand for the writing of the scripts, something that she continued to do for many years.

Thrust into the Front Line    
We still had little clue of the spiritual forces unleashed during the Islamic month of Ramadan. We had to learn that because we have been thrust into the front line of the battle at the Cape, we needed a lot of prayer covering.
         The battle heated up during Ramadan. In two cases we escaped serious car accidents on the highway by a whisk. In one of the instances it was very near to a miracle that Rosemarie was not killed. Some strange things also happened to our 1981 model Mazda that we bought after our minibus had been stolen. Twice I had to be towed to Warren Abels, a pastor who worked as a mechanic in Fairways. On both occasions he could not find anything amiss with the vehicle and also thereafter we had no problems with the car. It was evident that there were demonic powers at work.
         Our nerves were tested to the extreme when our two-monthly financial allocation did not arrive. It had left the bank in Holland all right, but inexplicably it never arrived at the bank of our headquarters in Durban. In the meantime, we were forced to start using the money that was scheduled for the air tickets for our home assignment in Holland and Germany.

Disappointments        
At about the same time two believers - one of our co-workers and one of our prayer warriors - became 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 some calling to missionary involvement. The effect on him was such that he became suicidal. He was really at the end of his tether.
         In the other instance, one of our young prayer partners became 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 women had come after landing in a similar situation.
         These were not the first disappointments. Right from the start it had been part of our vision to see Muslims from the Cape become followers of Jesus and some of them sent to other parts of Africa and the Middle East. Achmed Kariem, one of the first Muslim background believers 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 a year at Bible School in 1993. He subsequently changed his course of study to political science. He however retained the vision for some time to get to the Middle East as a covert missionary in some capacity. But then he moved to some unknown address. We eventually lost contact with him for many a year. Around the turn of the century we could however assist to link him up with Dr Robbie Cairncross at SACOB, and later with Pastor Errol Naidoo at the Family Policy Institute.

A Lesson from a special Plant
The Lord encouraged us after someone had tried to steal a special plant from our garden. The plant had one beautiful flower on it. Rosemarie had been awakened in the early morning hours 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 an important lesson. The plant looked completely ragged and ruined after it had been uprooted. Someone from our home ministry group gave us the advice to put the plant back into the soil and tie a stick to it.
         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 special blessing to the suicidal Muslim background believer 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. It still took a few years until he got back onto the road spiritually.
         At some stage I started to attend a prayer meeting of young Baptist ministers in Woodstock. The visionary Edgar Davids - who still was a final year seminary student, was the initiator. I was excited, asking myself whether pastors would at last start to pray together for revival in the islamised residential area. Was God answering our prayer walking in and for the area with some of Edgar’s student colleagues the previous year?

Turmoil and Stress    
It was a very special blessing for Rosemarie and me to witness how Shahida, the mother of five children, four of which were attending our children’s club - came through to a living faith in Jesus. As we discipled her, we didn’t even dare to mention baptism. In fact, when we shared the Gospel with her we spelt out the possible consequences quite clearly. The responsibility of having to find accommodation for Shahida with her five children, if her husband would evict her - after her conversion, was a fact we had to face squarely. We were not ready for that eventuality. 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. Yet, this experience was valuable seed sown for the need of a discipling house where we could disciple new believers.
         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 on a flight. One international airline had a special offer for which we provisionally booked.
         Some tense weeks followed when the airline with whom we had booked (but not paid), cancelled our seats without consulting us. Cape Town was fast becoming a favourite destination for tourists. The tension in the family in respect of getting seats became quite bad as the uncertainty took its toll. 
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 wait-listed on different flights. Because of the uncertainty of securing seats, everybody in the family - also the children - had forgotten that it was our 20th wedding anniversary on the 22nd of March. I furthermore was involved in a minor car accident the previous day. My nerves were all but wrecked!
        
A Red-letter Day       
The wedding anniversary - twenty years after the special 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 who came from Islam, including Shahida, the female convert from Hanover Park and Nasra Stemmet from Woodstock. At that occasion we also heard about Johaar Viljoen, who had won over many Christians to Islam in his Islamic hey-day. (The former imam came to faith in Jesus in the prison of Caledon. His conversion in 1992 - a demonstration of the power of prayer - shook many Islamic inmates who regarded him as their imam.)
On the evening of 22 March the home ministry group of our fellowship sprang a big surprise on us. We had no clue what they were up to when the group came to our home 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 some eats to make it a very special celebration. The day became perfect when the gentleman of Club Travel, who had been working overtime, phoned at approximately 21h that he could secure seats for all of us. This was thus only a few days before our intended departure! The three older children could fly on a youth fare of Lufthansa, with the rest of us flying Air France.
         Just before our departure for Europe, I was praying with a few students of the Baptist College in Mountain Road, Woodstock where the Baptist Church had their fellowship meetings in a home. What a blessing it was when we heard that Edgar Davids accepted the call to be the pastor there. This augured well for a close link to the Cape Town Baptist Church only a few kilometres away, where Louis Pasques was now the interim pastor. Edgar Davids proved to be a real visionary and a man of God, along with his devout wife Sandra.
        
‘Home’ Assignment in Germany and Holland
In Germany and Holland we canvassed my vision of a prayer network across the Western Cape among the Christians. 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 organization of the Jesus Marches.
         My long-time friends of 1970, Hermann and Mechthild Frick, were God’s instruments in linking us up with Doris and Freddy Kammies, who were also in Southern Germany at the time. The couple had been working as missionaries with OM on one of their ships and in Canada. Doris had previously been volunteering at the Elim Home and Freddy hailed from the township of Q’town near Athlone. We paid them a visit, after which they considered joining WEC. A year later they were in Cape Town, praying about joining our Muslim outreach team. They did not sense a call to join our team but a further few years on Freddy and Doris were pioneering a ministry among sexually broken people.
         Also with Nasra Stemmet, the convert from Woodstock, we discerned a spiritual development. She shared her desire to become a missionary, wanting to return to Holland to share the Gospel among Moroccan women there. While we were in Europe on home assignment, we succeeded in bringing her to Holland, where she soon got into a Bible School in preparation for missionary work. In due course she settled in her vocation in Holland.
                                               
Back at the Cape
Within our own family the first few days back at the Cape were quite traumatic. We returned from an extraordinary hot summer in Holland to an icy Cape Town. Our son Samuel promptly developed double pneumonia. Early on the first Sunday morning after our return we had to rush him to Somerset Hospital. It was touch and go or we could have lost him. That our eldest son Danny, 18 years old in the meantime, prayed with me when things looked very critical, was a special blessing indeed!!
         After our return to Cape Town from our ‘home assignment’ in August 1995, 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 been touched at one of our Friday prayer meetings, now helped with the English translation and editing of my booklet containing the testimonies of Muslim converts Search for Truth. She also began a weekly prayer group for the Muslims in her home. Was this the start of the exciting fulfilment of our vision to get a network of prayer across the Peninsula? This was unfortunately not to be. However, the group of believers would pray at Gill’s home in Muizenberg for quite a few years.

         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 invite pastors primarily for united prayer. We were thrilled when things had actually started to develop while we were overseas.

Encouragements        
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. We heard of a group around Pastors Theo Bowers. Before long I was attending a pastors’ 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.
         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.   

         Through Magdalene Overberg, a long-time youth friend, we also heard about Fatima H, who was working with Edith le Grange in a factory in Woodstock. (We subsequently met Edith at a Muslim Evangelism course in Kensington). When we visited the factory 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. This was the pristine beginning of lunchtime ministry in factories. Magdalene also kept contact with a few MBB’s over many years as well as supporting Linda Beig, a believer from our church who was married to a Pakistani. I barred from the home after I had made a mistake by praying for their son in Jesus’ name in the presence of the husband. He could not appreciate that.)
A satanic Attack
After our return from Europe we saw the need of extra discipling for Shahida from Hanover Park. Predominantly for this specific purpose we had put our car at Josephine and Adiel Adams’ disposal while we were away, but we discerned the necessity to secure more regular fellowship and spiritual nurturing for Shahida. Her husband is a builder by trade, but he was often unemployed. Thus the financial needs of the family were severe. We invited her to come to us once a week to do household chores for which we had no time.
         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 Holy Spirit 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 had been performed on a Wednesday morning, she hoped that the dedication service could be done inconspicuously. We arranged with Charles Kadalie, the pastor of the City Mission fellowship in Hanover Park, to have the service on a Sunday afternoon. The 5th of November 1995 was earmarked for the special occasion.
         Satan would not sit still of course. A few days before the scheduled dedication service - she came along one morning with her son Muhammed.[32] 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 a pocket 'New Testament' secretively.
        
A memorable Day and its Aftermath
The memorable day when Shahida came along with her son had an interesting sequel. Rosemarie gave the boy a copy of the comic strip Jesus Messiah to read while his mother was working. We had brought the picture books along from Holland. (These books are the brainchild of Wim de Vink, a member of our home church in Zeist. Someone from another fellowship in the Netherlands 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 children of Shahida on the 5th of November, 1995 at the G.H. Starke Centre with Pastor Charles Kadalie. A few weeks later Shahida told us what had transpired after her husband had discovered the comic strip Jesus Messiah in their home. Angrily he enquired from Muhammed: “Where did you get it?” Fearing the worst, the boy replied timidly: “I got it from Aunty Rosemarie!”
         In a harsh commanding tone the dad responded: “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 in Rondebosch. 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 Christmas lunch, they also received a family present. This was spot on. Hereafter Shahida’s husband went to bed with the picture Bible and arose the next morning with it before he would go to work. This continued unabatedly until the fasting month of Ramadan 1996.

Networking between various Agencies and Churches
We received 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 of the new edition because they couldn’t find up-front funding.
          I was amply consoled when our colleague 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 in to assist with the collating by hand of the booklets.  The move secured the uninterrupted publication of the 30 day Prayer Focus in South Africa until the age of the internet made the method redundant.

The spiritual Battle heats up once again
After our experiences of the previous year, we knew now that the spiritual battle would increase during the Islamic fasting month. We put ourselves more consciously under the blood of Jesus and also requested prayer covering from many quarters.
         At Shahida’s home in Hanover Park, her husband could get into frenzy over anything. He noticed that she would go to the shop on Sundays wearing her kitchen apparel, but staying away unusually long. Her husband knew that he could hurt her terribly when he threatened to tear up the picture Bible.
         We were quite excited to hear that he was still reading the Bible with the pictures every morning when he woke up. Finally however, what we all feared, happened: getting into a rage for some flimsy reason, he tore the picture Bible in two.
                                                *                      *                      *
         Alan Kay resigned his well-paid job at Telkom to become the administrator of the Cape Town Baptist 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 after our return from Europe.
         We told the group the story of the torn picture Bible. Gershon Philander, a local believer and a participant of the home ministry group, worked at the printing department of the University of the Western Cape. He suggested that we bring the torn parts of the Bible to him. Wonderfully he hereafter repaired the Bible in such a way that one could still read the Book without too much of a problem. How surprised Shahida's husband was when his wife returned the restored Bible to him after a few weeks.
Start of new Facets of Ministry        
At one of the first Friday lunch hour prayer meetings of early 1996 Freddie van Dyk, a believer from the Logos Baptiste Gemeente in Brackenfell, joined us. I got to know him when I was organizing 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 up this information, it resulted in Rosemarie attending such a course, along with other befriended ladies. Dr Henry Dwyer, who headed 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.
         Rosemarie was quite impressed by the commitment and quality of the participants at the course. One of the ladies aired the bright idea of having a teaching course in Muslim Evangelism at the same venue in Lansdowne. Dr Dwyer welcomed the suggestion of giving me a slot at one of his teaching sessions to invite the participants to our proposed course. However, we made a terrible mistake with the name given to the course, calling it ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’.

A Lebanon Scenario?
The PAGAD issue highlighted the fear of and resentment (sometimes even hatred by some Christians) towards Muslims. The veiled threat of a Muslim state was now mentioned more often than was healthy for good relations between the adherents of the two major religions at the Cape. On Friday 16 August 1996, unknown arsonists broke into the Uniting Reformed Church in Lansdowne. The arson attempt on the church building was thankfully downplayed in the press. Satanists were accused of the arson attempt. Thankfully the damage was not too extensive.
         When Pastor Walter Ackermann phoned me after reading the article in the newspaper, we were seriously challenged because a course one evening per week was to have started at that church soon hereafter on the 27th of August, 1996. We had unwisely called the course ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’ in the pamphlets that we had printed to advertise the course. It could not be ignored that some intolerant Muslims tried to destroy the venue and thus to intimidate us. This was possibly the reason for the church building, where we were going to have the course, to be targeted for an attack.
         We were unaware 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 where the Christians and Muslims would fight each other drew scaringly close. It challenged followers of Jesus to get their act together. A wave of prayer followed, after which we decided to put out another ‘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 our course, instead of cancelling it outright.[33] 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’.

A difficult Month
I had to discover anew: If there were to occur a spiritual breakthrough, a revival in the Mother City of South Africa, it would be God’s sovereign work.
   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 were getting nowhere with our ministry: ‘For almost five years we have toiled here in Cape Town. And what have we achieved? Almost nothing! We might as well go back to Holland.’ I concede that I also feel completely depressed.”      
The necessity of church unity was more than evident. It had to become one of our priorities! The risk of spiritual warfare became very evident when the arch enemy tried to attack us via the children. This seemed for Rosemarie to be the signal for us to stop with our ministry. To her the price was too high to have to sacrifice anyone of our children. Reminding her of the false alternatives, I had to face years ago when someone suggested that I should choose between my love for her and that for my country, I pointed out that we should fight in prayer for our second son, who seemed to be targeted yet again.[34] This definitely paid off. He came through the crisis with flying colours. He later became pivotal for the ministry of Cross Culture, a ministry among young people of a few city churches while he studied at Cornerstone Christian College.
On the other hand, Rafael’s close friendship with Gildas, a refugee Congolese teenager, helped to take the church as a whole to great heights in outreach to the poor and needy, setting an example for many other churches in the Cape Peninsula. The two were also the guinea pigs for a ministry to teenagers at the church.
         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.

Other Attacks on Strongholds
That God works in mysterious ways was of course known to us. A special version of it happened when we conducted a ten week teaching course on Muslim Evangelism at the Logos Baptist Church in Brackenfell. There appeared to be no immediate success in people joining us as co-workers. Yet, a few of the participants were deeply impacted. Among the participants there were for instance Johan Groenewald and his wife Christine as well as Cheryl Müller, whom we picked up every week in District Six. The Groenewald couple took the message to the rural village of Eendekuil where he found a willing ear in Chris Saayman, the Dutch Reformed minister.

Little Movement in Respect of Guilt towards Islam
On an issue that was close to my heart, confession of the role of Christians with regard to the origins and spread of Islam, there was little movement in South Africa. Yet, apart from the flicker of hope, which I had experienced via Kobus Cilliers and a colleague from Mozambique in November 2003, hardly anything of consequence happened. In the aftermath of the conference we worked on a document that we subsequently called a manifesto because other missionary colleagues had problems to use the term confession. The result of the discussion with a few colleagues on 23 April 2004 at the home of Manfred Jung was to be sent to Professor Greyling and Herb Ward, who had co-ordinated our training course at BI in previous years. When I returned from Europe a few months later, I found that this was not done. In fact, within CCM I was maligned at the CCM leadership conferences of 2004 and 2005 in my absence and the manifesto sent to the scrap heap of unused material.
The CCM leaders’ consultation in Constantia in December 2006 did not deliver any spectacular goods to encourage me to get excited, but there was just enough happening to remain a partner in the movement.



14. New Initiatives


         We had to relocate our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting to the Koffiekamer below the St Stephen’s Dutch Reformed Church when the premises were sold. The prayer meeting soon became the start of yet another venture. A believer from the suburb Eerste River on the northern outskirts of the city, who had been a regular in the beginning of our prayer meetings, popped in again one day. He challenged us, mentioning the many French-speaking Muslim street traders from West Africa, who have been moving into the city: ‘Have you ever considered doing something about bringing the Gospel to them?’
         Louis Pasques, who was raised in an Afrikaner set-up, had become the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church. Alan Kay resigned from his well-paid job at Telkom to become the administrator of the congregation. He became the leader of a church home ministry group. As Alan was living just a street away from us, we joined his weekly cell group on Wednesday evenings after our return from Europe.

Ministry to the Foreigner in our Gates                                                                                           
We started to pray seriously about the issue of foreigners. God surely used these occasions to prepare Louis Pasques’ heart. He had not only been a regular at the Friday lunch-hour prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer, but he also speaks French. Due to this fact and possibly also because of a brave sermon in which Louis confessed on behalf of the Afrikaners for the hurts to people of colour, West and Central Africans started attending the church. When the destitute teenager Surgildas (Gildas) Paka pitched up at the church, Louis and his wife Heidi sensed that God was challenging them to take special care of the youngster. When Louis and Heidi had their parents over for a weekend visit, they asked Alan Kay to accommodate the Congolese teenager. Gildas crept into Alan’s heart, igniting an extended and unusual adoption process.

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

Centre for Missions at BI
Remembering my personal experience in District Six in 1972, when I noted the deficit regarding Islam in our seminary curriculum, I approached various Bible Schools to find out what was taught about this religion at these institutions. I discussed with Manfred Jung of SIM the possibility of teaching Muslim Evangelism at different Bible Schools.
When Patrick Johnstone visited South Africa once again, he also spoke in the Moravian Chapel in District Six, where a student ministry from the Church of England had started on Sunday evenings. At that occasion I chatted afterwards with Dr Roger Palmer of the YMCA. He was also a board member of the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) in Kalk Bay. He aired his vision to have a centre for missions at BI.  I thought that we could perhaps link this with my suggestion to see Islam taught in conjunction with other Cape Bible Schools.                                                                         After Colin Tomlinson, a missionary from MECO (Middle East Christian Outreach), had returned from the field on home assignment, the BI venue was secured.[35] I had personally preferred the centrally situated Bethel Bible School in Crawford, also as a clear message that we appreciated to have students of colour as well. (An interesting partnership developed at the course of January 1999 when local churches started sponsoring believers from other African countries to attend our course.)
Two F’s - Frustration and Fright
The WEC conference of 1996 was memorable in more than one sense. At an international leadership conference in 1994 the various sending bases were challenged to look at the remaining unreached people groups in respect of the gospel in their geographical areas. As I had already thought much along those lines, e.g. through my document about South Africa as a goldmine for missionary recruitment, I took on the challenge to research the topic before the next conference for Southern Africa. I expected to be given the opportunity to share the result of my research with the rest of the conference in May 1996. Here however I experienced one frustration after the other until I had to leave by bus again on the Friday, without being given the opportunity to report back. On the positive side, I was encouraged to hear of so many believers of Indian descent in Durban. This was to me something of a model for Bo-Kaap that was still the prime Muslim stronghold of our country.
          The same conference in early May 1996 had an interesting aside when we heard that Ahmed Deedat, the well-known Muslim apologist, was admitted to hospital. With a missionary colleague from Brazil I went to the hospital where we prayed for Deedat, who was however in a coma.
          Deedat had gone too far with his arrogant approach! He published a large offensive advertisement in a Durban newspaper. Local Christian clergymen including the missionary Dave Foster of Africa Evangelical Fellowship (AEF), requested Deedat to retract the offensive remarks. They warned the well-known Muslim leader that he would have to reckon with God's wrath in the case of his refusal to do it.
          True to his reputation for arrogance, Deedat refused to comply. Promptly he was knocked down by a stroke. An instance of divine wrath would have been a logical conclusion. But even after his partial recovery he gave no indication of repentance. For many years Deedat remained in a condition that resembled a coma, completely out of action.



15. Under personal Attack

            The evident demonic attack via one of our children in October 1996 was not an isolated experience. Others were not so stark, but nevertheless very real. However, every time we experienced how the Lord would bring us through, often supernaturally. We are so thankful for intercessors in different parts of the world who were praying for us. We would otherwise hardly have been able to survive all the onslaughts mentally and spiritually.

Ramadan attacks       
In previous years we had experienced major spiritual attacks during the Muslim fasting month of 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 effectively have ruled her out for much of our ministry.
            Just prior to this we were so 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 new friendships. 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?

Crises in the Ministry
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 the deceiver was actually attacking our marriage relationship once again. A tension developed as Rosemarie could not accept the validity of my office ministry, including research and writing. Indeed, I was far too much on the phone, organising teaching courses and working behind the computer. This was happening at the expense of person-to-person contact. Communication between us was completely insufficient.
         The Lord used the crisis to help me regain sight of the priority of actual outreach to the lost and the needy. The 1997 version of the Ramadan backlash appeared not as obvious. The trauma was nevertheless very real when the possible sale of the CEBI Bible School to a Muslim buyer came up This was the very same building at which we had been called into Muslim Outreach in January 1992.
        
A significant evangelistic Campaign
Pastor Walter Ackerman from the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur was one of few pastors I knew at this time who had a very broad vision for both missions and prayer. I could call on him on short notice for assistance, for example when a friend from Holland wanted to be baptised in the middle of winter (It was Pastor Walter Ackerman who phoned me, after he had been reading in the Week End Argus of the arson attempt of a church in Lansdowne in August 1996).
          It was really significant for the Cape Town metropolis in April 1997 when churches across the Cape Peninsula and from almost every denomination joined hands for a big campaign on the Newlands Cricket Stadium with Franklin Graham. Pastor Walter Ackerman from the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur and Pastor Elijah Klaassen from a Pentecostal fellowship in Gugulethu/ Crossroads, worked tirelessly to enlist people from the Cape Flats and Black churches respectively for this event. Transport from the townships was provided free of charge. This thus became the model for the Transformation stadium events of the new millennium.
          I had met Pastor Elijah Klaassen the first time in 1981 when I was part of a church delegation in Crossroads. The government wanted to send women and children back to the Transkei. I met Pastor Klaassen again in 1992 when he was addressing a group on the Grand Parade, an effort to challenge banks to give loans to Black entrepeneurs. My attempt to use Pastor Elijah Klaassen to rope Black pastors into a prayer network for the Peninsula was however not successful.
          Eben Swart became the Western Cape coordinator for Herald Ministries, working closely with NUPSA (Network of United Prayer in Southern Africa), which had appointed Pastor Willy Oyegun as their coordinator in the Western Cape. Important work was done in research and spiritual mapping, along with Amanda Buys, who founded Kanaan Ministries. Some of her clients had been involved with Satanism.

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 (Christian Concern for Muslims) Forum on the very day that we had one of our meetings. It seemed 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, suggesting that we should then write our own confession. At our Easter Conference 1997 at Wellington I reminded the missionary colleagues of the idea at a meeting of the leadership. They promptly gave me the homework to write a draft and send it to the relevant people in preparation for our leaders meeting in October, 1997. It looked pretty obvious to me that the bulk of the colleagues were just procrastinating, but I did not want to let them off the hook too easily. The matter was much too important to me for leave it at that completely.

More Knocks
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 Rosemarie was in Germany, I spoke to Nadia[36] - a Muslim lady that we had led to the Lord not long before that - telephonically. She manipulated matters cleverly, with the result that I arranged with Rosemarie telephonically to take her into our home after Rosemarie’s return from Germany. Louis and Heidi Pasques, our pastor and his wife, agreed to accommodate Nadia until Rosemarie would be back. This we did at great personal cost. At the same time this highlighted the need for a discipling house.

         I was encouraged when I visited my dear friend Jakes - breaking away for a few minutes from the CCM conference in Wellington. He shared his resolve to go on pension soon. Thereafter he wanted to get involved with Muslim outreach again. That made me quite happy, but it 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 our dear Jakes was with the Lord.
         When Rosemarie and I arrived at the church for his funeral, there was not a single seat available. I did not mind at all to sit on the wooden step just next to the coffin, which contained my late friend.
        
         On the same evening of Jake’s funeral, Rosemarie had symptoms of having had a stroke as well after Nadia had manipulated in such a way that Rosemarie felt compelled to drive her to friends after our return from Wellington, although she was extremely exhausted.

Divine Provision        
Ekkehard Zöllner, a befriended doctor, referred us to a Christian specialist who quickly diagnosed that Rosemarie’s had contracted a nervous breakdown caused by stress. I was very near to burnout 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 extremely valuable that Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England, a trained nurse by vocation, was on the spot. She spoilt our children to the hilt 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.

Many Hopes and Dreams dashed
During the course of the year 1997 I had to see many of our hopes and dreams dashed. All our efforts failed to see the strategic old CEBI Bible School saved for Christianity. 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 as a centre for the initial language teaching of future missionaries to all parts of the world. There was little else to do than to take the latest disappointment in my stride.

            How wonderful the prayer seminar with Gerda Leithgöb at the former Cape Evangelical Bible Institute was, still in April 1997. The news of the proposed sale of the former CEBI Bible Institute to Muslims coincided with the prayer seminar. What a sense of unity we experienced in spite of the sword of Damocles hanging over all of us.  (The late 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.) At some stage Gerda Leithgöb approached me to become the co-ordinator for the Western Cape of Herald Ministries, but I had no peace to accept. This was definitely not the Jonah at work again. I saw the need for strategic prayer, but nowhere did I sense a call for leading intercession events.  Eben Swart turned out to be a much more suitable person for that function.
            The visit by Cindy Jacobs from the USA brought a significant number of ‘Coloured’ and White intercessors together at the Shekinah Tabernacle in Mitchells Plain. She confirmed the need for confession with regard to the blight of District Six. When Sally approached me in October 1997 about the matter, I had already started to prepare a visit of intercessors from Heidelberg (Gauteng) that had been referred to me by Bennie Mostert.

Time for Confession?
I thought for a long time that it was high time that we as Christians should begin paying off the debt with regard to Islam and Judaism. Remorseful confession would be the right way to start, followed by concrete steps of restitution. But how could we convey the need for confession to the church at large? I knew that we had (and still have) to be patient. Remorse is not something, which we can bring about through our efforts. Only God can do that.
         Yet, I thought it to be helpful to disseminate the results of my studies so that clergy and missionaries could discover the need for confession. But ‘doors’ would just 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 (Christian Concern for Muslims) 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 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 with Trans World Radio (TWR) in Pretoria for a missionary year.
            The ‘final straw’ to go to Gauteng was the contact to the Dutch Reformed Suikerbosrand congregation in Heidelberg (Gauteng). They wanted to come and undertake a prayer journey to the Mother City, to come and pray for the Cape Muslims. I thus decided to attend the conference on the Reef and visit Heidelberg thereafter.

A Case of Overkill?   
At the CCM conference itself it was possibly a case of overkill when I suggested in my draft confession - which I had sent quite late to the conference participants - that it should also be read in mosques. Because Ramadan and the start of 1998 coincided, it appeared to me a good opportunity to present the confession. The timing of my suggestion was unwise, because we got side-tracked.
         Thus it was actually not so surprising that the discussion of the confession itself was postponed to the next CCM 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 however ashamed that the participants almost cold-shouldered Bennie Mostert, after he had come especially from Pretoria with the new copies of the 30 day Muslim Prayer Focus.  The interest in taking booklets was minimal. I really could not understand how the colleagues expected a breakthrough in the ministry to Muslims without an increased prayer effort!

An ‘open letter’ to Clergymen
After hearing certain things said at the CCM leadership conference I thought that I should try to disseminate the results of my studies as a matter of urgency. I started writing an ‘open letter’ to clergymen with the title My spiritual Odyssey as a summary of my studies. The title of the initial research was The unpaid debt of the Church. However, the dissemination/publication of neither manuscript was confirmed, disappearing to the pile of unpublished document.
         Yet, the conference also had positives. The main speaker, Dr Wasserman, came from the Carmel Mission in Southern Germany. He confirmed my suspicion of demonic involvement in the compilation of the Qur’an and I received important catalysts for further research. With regard to confirmations of my own independent study - the result of meticulous computer analysis with regard to the names of God - was just astonishing. I was for example not aware that the Arabic equivalent of Yahweh did not feature in the Qur’an at all.
         Instead of gaining support for the idea of confession to be done by churches throughout the country at the beginning of 1998, I was shattered. 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 only God could do that. I would have to find a way to disseminate my research in a way that the Holy Spirit could use to that effect. What an awesome task! For some of the participants, the Muslims had a bigger guilt and that was for them the end of the story.

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 of believers that was 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 congregation from Heidelberg (Gauteng) followed the nudge of Bennie Mostert to come and 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 I was still in Heidelberg, I heard telephonically that Fatima H, our factory contact, was about to lose the house that she had inherited as the only daughter. Just prior to this, she resigned her work at the factory where we had been ministering to her during lunch times, to care for her mother. 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 this condition. 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.

Dropping our low Profile?    
Up to this point in time, our involvement with Muslims and the converts coming from Islam was very low-key. We thought now that the moment had arrived to go public with the unjust way in which Fatima was treated. But this could have entailed losing the low profile that has been so beneficial for our ministry. Also with Fatima it was touch and go or she could have landed up destitute.
         The Lord intervened. It turned out that her mother did not sign the last will and testament, which stated that Fatima H was disinherited because she had left their religion. The document was declared null and void. Being the only heir, the house was now awarded to her.
The Need of a Discipling House amplified
Traumatic experiences around Nadia and another Muslim background believer that we had taken into our home amplified the urgent need of a discipling house, where people like these can be assisted more effectively.
         We were confronted with the drug scene in a very real way when Ayesha Hunter approached us with regard to a young woman whose life was threatened. Kevin,[37] the husband of the young woman, was a gangster who had been involved with many atrocities. Kevin had been abusing Shehaam[38] almost in every way possible. She was a new Muslim background believer. Apparently Kevin had also committed his life to the Lord, but he was still abusing her.
         After praying about the matter, we had peace to take Shehaam into our home. Only lagter we fully comprehended the risk involved when Kevin shared that he was so angry that he wanted to kill me. The experience with Nadia had made us wary to jump into something that could bring us into serious trouble again.
         What a joy it was to see how the young woman grew rapidly in her new faith. I was moved intensely to hear Shehaam 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 Shehaam knew that she first had to become spiritually strong and mature.
         Soon we were counselling her together with Kevin. Far too soon 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 Kevin grew spiritually. I encouraged him to go to the police to confess his criminal deeds. He only wanted to do it in God’s time. Even though I had problems with this view, I would not consider putting pressure on him. He had definitely stopped with his old life-style and that was something for which we were very thankful. Unfortunately that was not to be permanent.
         We were however disappointed in the meantime, having to face the fact that Shehaam was the third failure with a Muslim background believer, into whose life we had invested quite a lot of time. 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. Nazeema[39] had been a Christian for quite a few years but she was still very immature. For years she had been abused by her husband Keith,[40] more than once she was almost killed. In spite of a few interdicts against him, he refused to leave her alone.
         The police in Woodstock knew him well. He had worked there as a reservist before he was sacked. Nazeema 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 Keith under control.
         Soon after the first interview we had with her, she phoned us. Her ex-husband Keith had tried to choke her, when she succeeded to run away to a befriended family from where she phoned us.
         In the court case Keith 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 trigger to get things in motion. But both in 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.

A scintillating Week of spiritual Warfare
Towards the end of 1997 I had to organise and prepare the visit of a group of intercessors from Heidelberg (Gauteng). Sally Kirkwood, who hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, phoned me at this time because she was burdened with guilt of the City in respect of District Six, the former slum area that had been declared a 'White' residential area. I took Sally to Bo-Kaap where we prayed. There the Lord reminded her of a prophetic word that was originally given for Jerusalem. However, she sensed that she had to apply this to the ‘Mother City’ of South Africa. The afflicted city would be spiritually rebuilt with beautiful gem stones. Intercessors felt that Cape Town was like a sleeping giant that was tied by its shoulders.
            A scintillating week of spiritual warfare followed, which included an unforgettable day of repentance and reconciliation. As part of this visit from the Heidelberg (Gauteng) intercessors, a prayer meeting of confession was organized for Saturday November 1, 1997 on a gravel patch adjacent to the Moravian Church in District Six.
            Through this event the citywide prayer movement got a significant push. I had asked Eben Swart to lead that occasion in District Six. This turned out to be very strategic. Hereafter Sally Kirkwood came to the fore with a more prominent role among Cape intercessors. Richard Mitchell, Eben Swart and Mike Winfield linked up more closely at this occasion in a relationship that was to have a significant mutual impact on the prayer ministry and transformation at the Cape in the next few years.
         At the ceremony on November 1, 1997 tears of remorse flowed freely. English-speaking South Africans, Afrikaners and foreigners repented of the respective roles of their population group in exploiting the apartheid situation. 
        
Drugs and Gangsterism once again
When the PAGAD crisis of 1996 in the Mother City subsided, pastors 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.         
         The PAGAD issue had highlighted the need for a drug rehabilitation centre. Anew we started to pray such a centre 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. A few members of that ministry team had been drug addicts themselves. The prospect of Eddie Hofmeyer[41] becoming the new pastor of the City Mission fellowship in Salt River brought a note of excitement for the prospects for the following year.
           
Almost bereaved
It was touch and go or we as a family were also bereaved in the beginning of 1999. I was having a week-end retreat in the little village of Mc Gregor with our friends Elma and Freddy van Dyk when Rosemarie reported a traumatic experience telephonically. In the era before we had the use of cell-phones at our disposal, she was taking our daughter Magdalena to one of her friends in Sea Point. After using a telephone booth to find the exact location of Magdalena’s friend, she returned to our VW Minibus, which still is very much of a favourite vehicle for use as township taxis.[42] She was about to drive off, when her head was supernaturally turned to the right, just in time to notice a man with one hand going for the vehicle handle next to her. In the other hand he had a pistol. Reacting instantly, she pressed down the locking knob, driving off without looking into the mirror. This caused some consternation, which had the potential high-jacker fleeing. Not only Rosemarie and Magdalena were thus spared an even more traumatic experience.

A traumatic Incident   
A pattern of traumatic incidents happening at home during my absence continued when Rosemarie and I attended our WEC conference in Natal in October 1999. When we phoned our home we heard that our 21-year old son Danny had to counsel Nazeema, the Muslim background believer we had taken into our home. She threatened to commit suicide.[43]        
         Shortly after our return from our conference in Natal, I received an invitation to attend an international conference on Muslim Evangelism in Nairobi as the South African delegate, with all expenses to be paid by TEAR FUND, a British development and charity agency. Knowing that travelling in Africa by air is very expensive, I enquired how much a ticket to Europe would cost. I had just heard that I would lose my Dutch passport unless I interrupt my residence in South Africa before January 2002. We thought that a guest lecturing period at the Cornerstone Christian College, a WEC institution in Holland, could be the solution. Without much more ado the itinerary was finalised. I would fly with the Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) to Nairobi via Holland (and Spain).

Rays of Light 
Through my reading I initially perceived the role of the early 19th century missionary Dr Philip in the emancipation of slaves as extremely significant. I meant to discover 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, influenced matters worldwide. It is of course common knowledge that the British evangelical parliamentarian became the main driving force towards the outlawing of slavery.  The appointment of Thomas Pringle, as secretary to Britain’s Anti-Slavery Society in 1826 after a stint at the Cape, where he had been a staunch fighter for press freedom, has hardly been recognised in the emancipation of slaves. Later I discovered in my research that Dr Philip was not much more than an important catalyst. Nevertheless, my crooked understanding of his role inspired me to see history repeat itself. I sensed a challenge to avail myself to spread the information to my fellow Capetonians. Could we be the avant garde yet again, this time to emancipate the world of demonic religious enslavement, to usher in the return of the King of Kings?

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

Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
Ministry-related stress that started on my birthday in 2001 led to temporary loss of memory on 16 March 2002. The Holy Spirit led a believer, Robert Crowe, to pray for me when he got a picture of me saying to him that I was in hospital. Robert, who subsequently became our housefather at Moria Discipling House, thought I was still in Durban. (I had actually returned from there the previous day by bus after a 20-hour journey.) A medical check-up was due a year after my last appointment with the doctor in August 2002
         After going to the doctor for the blood pressure check-up at the end of September 2003 - without having any complaint - he suggested a PSA blood test because of my age. I was so confident that there would be no problem because I had no physical discomfort up to that point in time. The physician hereafter referred me to an urologist who wanted to do a biopsy on 7 October 2003 – just to make sure!. Both doctors pointed out that the PSA count was only minimally above normal. A high count would have meant cancerous activity. Neither of them had initial reason for concern. There could have been other causes for the abnormal count, e.g. infection.  Thus I expected the result of the biopsy to be negative.
          When a phone call came from the hospital on Thursday 9 October 2003, I was caught off-guard.
Without any ado the urologist gave me the result of the biopsy: I had contracted prostate cancer in an early stage. Through an extra-ordinary set of circumstances, the Lord however prepared me for the diagnosis. At that time – on 8 October 2003 to be exact – I was encouraged by the ‘Watchword’, as the Moravians have been traditionally calling the Old Testament Scripture for the day: ‘I will not die but live and proclaim what the LORD has done’ (Psalm 118:17).  I have done this in different ways, e.g. by recording them.                       
         Looking back over my life, it seemed as if my (semi-) academic studies and anti-apartheid activism did not bring me anywhere. But the Lord gave me a ‘second wind’ after the removal of my Prostate Gland during a surgical operation in December 2003.

Demonic Conspiracies           
For years I had been aware that the various forms of separation were demonic. In my studies I became aware of satan’s success at keeping the spiritual descendants of Abraham apart. It is a tragedy of history that the really great men were loners who had insufficient vision for the diabolic spiritual dynamics of separation as a tool of the arch enemy. Paul, the unique apostle, and Martin Luther, the special reformer, both belong to that category. It is sad that all these men were obviously headstrong, but basically misunderstood. I asked myself how Paul, who really was prepared to give his life for his people (see Romans 9-11) could be perceived by the Jews as someone who had cut himself off from them! To me, there was only one explanation: it was a demonic conspiracy! How different things could have been if Muhammad, the great statesman had been explained the Gospel clearly and committed himself in faith to Jesus - not to regard the Master merely as a prophet.           
            I was quite sad to discover that Muhammad and Islam actually had precedents for their doctrines in heretical Christianity. Yet, there was no evidence that the time was ripe for Cape pastors to heed my challenge towards confession, e.g. via an ‘open letter’.



                                      16. Attacks on spiritual Strongholds

          The unofficial renaming attempt of ‘Devil’s Peak’ to ‘Disciples' Peak’ in 1994 - was led by Pastor Johan Klopper of the Vredehoek Apostolic Faith Mission Church.  Regular prayers at Rhodes Memorial fitted into the pattern of spiritual warfare. These venues had been strongholds of Satanists. Next to the battle against the lie and deception of Islam as religion and ideology the attempt to renaming of ‘Devil’s Peak’ to ‘Disciples' Peak’ would be among the biggest hurdles to surmount after Communism and Apartheid.
          A few thousand Christians prayed over the city from Table Mountain. The event inspired a new initiative whereby a few believers from diverse backgrounds would come together again for prayer on Signal Hill on Saturdays every fortnight at 6 a.m.  Quite a close relationship developed to Richard Mitchell and his family after we had started the early morning prayer meetings on Signal Hill. When the opening arose for a regular testimony programme on Friday evening on Radio CCFM, Richard Mitchell was a natural choice. The programme ‘God Changes Lives’ with him as presenter was naturally also used to advertise the citywide prayer events.

More attempts to rename Devil’s Peak
Twenty thousand Cape Christians from different races and denominations marched in unity on 2 September 1998, fighting for religious freedom and that its expression would be retained.  One of the banners proclaimed 'United we stand'. This was a wry reminder of PAGAD’s main slogan. Wisely, the government dropped their plans. (Behind the scenes God had used an ANC Member of Parliament, a believer, to share the relevant information with Rev. John Thomas of CCFM. In this way, amendments could be affected to the Bill that allowed the government not to lose face on the issue.)
          The mass march to Parliament in response to the perceived government attack on community radio stations was followed by a big prayer event on Table Mountain a few weeks later. At the big prayer rally on September 26, 1998 thousands of Christians prayed along the contour road of Table Mountain in an effort to rename the adjacent reviled peak ‘God’s Mountain.’ The event inspired a new initiative, whereby a few believers from diverse backgrounds started to come together at 6.a.m. for prayer on Signal Hill on Saturdays every alternate weeks.[44] Soon early Saturday morning prayer meetings also commenced at Tygerberg, Paarl Rock and on the Constantia Heights.  Christians from different churches thus demonstrated the unity of the body. 
          Murray Bridgman, a Cape Christian advocate, felt God’s leading to perform a prophetic act in District Six. He had previously researched the history of Devil’s Peak. Along with Eben Swart, Bridgman provided some research that encouraged Dr Henry Kirby to lobby Parliament to change the name of Devil’s Peak to Dove’s Peak. (Duivenkop had been an earlier name.) Kirby’s role as the prayer coordinator of the African Christian Democratic Party resulted in a motion tabled in the City Council in June 2002. The motion was unsuccessful, fueling suspicion that satanists may have significant influence in the City Council.
          In 2009 God brought it back to memory. The battle goes on with Murray Bridgman as the main human pivot, with Barry Isaacs and I in supportive roles. The following year Marcel Durler joined us. He started NEMO, an internet network, to foster the unity of the body of Christ

Other Attacks on spiritual Strongholds
That God works in mysterious ways was of course known to us. A special version of this phenomenon happened when we conducted a ten week teaching course on Muslim Evangelism at the Logos Baptist church in Brackenfell. There appeared to be no immediate success, e.g. with people joining us as co-workers or prayer warriors. Yet, a few of the participants were deeply impacted. Among the participants there were Johan Groenewald and his wife as well as Cheryl Müller, whom we picked up every week in District Six. The Groenewald couple took the message to the rural village of Eendekuil where he found a willing ear in Chris Saayman, the Dutch Reformed minister.
          The Müller family in District Six was challenged to go full-time into the ministry of the Nazarene Church. They were however heavily attacked when Glen, her husband, had a mental burn-out while they were in Johannesburg at the theological seminary. Glen nevertheless retained a prayerful interest in District Six. He introduced me to Saki Mispach, his neighbour across the road. My friendship to Saki, an avid reader with wide interests and an unheralded hero of the anti-apartheid struggle would impact me too as we inter-acted from time to time. As someone who was deeply involved with the Muslim drug rehabilitation programme at Schaapkraal, we had more than enough common ground. Without getting into doctrinal discussions, I sensed how the Holy Spirit was gradually breaking down his initial strong Marxist-atheist convictions.

A special Chain Reaction
That God works in mysterious ways was of course known to us. A special version of it happened when we conducted a ten week teaching course on Muslim Evangelism at a church in Brackenfell. There appeared to be no immediate success in people joining us as co-workers. Yet, a few of the participants were deeply impacted. Among the participants there were for instance Johan Groenewald and his wife. The Groenewald couple took the message to the rural village of Eendekuil where he found a willing ear in Chris Saayman, the Dutch Reformed minister.
          Prayer walking one a month was another method used to break down strongholds of the deceiver at the Cape. A few Christians joined from as far afield as Melkbosstrand and Eendekuil. Results might not have been spectacular, but the gradual lifting of a spiritual heaviness over the Muslim stronghold Bo-Kaap could already be discerned after a few months.  A breakthrough there has however still to transpire.
          When we were still wondering whether it was feasible to go ahead with plans to have a week of prayer in the City Bowl at the beginning of February 2005, Trevor Peters, who prayed with us at St Andrew’s at a half-night of prayer, phoned me. This was just the nudge I needed, just as my own faith in the matter started to wane.

Occasional Prayer Walking 
In another move on 25 April 1999, Christians were challenged at the Cape Town Baptist Church and the Eendekuil Dutch Reformed Church to pray for people living in the streets of Bo-Kaap. A few faithful aged prayer warriors of the Dutch Reformed Church in Rondebosch who had been coming to an early morning prayer meeting every Sunday, also became involved in this way.  A group from Melkbosstrand, spearheaded by Celia Swanepoel and her husband Abrie had been coming to pray in Bo-Kaap every year at Ramadan even before this.
          Intermittent prayer at the Tana Baru cemetery with important kramats (shrines) and its view over the harbour, especially during prayer walks in Bo-Kaap, included intercession against drug abuse and prostitution emanating from the Cape Town Docks.  We could not discern whether an informal settlement in Hout Street just below the former Muslim cemetery was an answer to our prayers. The squatter camp brought prostitution, alcoholism and drug peddling to the Bo-Kaap which had been morally quite upright before its entry. Be it as it may, the dark spirit over the area clearly diminished towards the end of the century.
         In October 2000 the prayer walk group was encouraged while walking in Bo-Kaap, when they met a Congolese Bible School student. He was on the verge of returning to his home country as an evangelist after being impacted and trained in Cape Town. This was one of my long-time visions. In 2006 Bertie de Jager, an Afrikaner linked to the Logos Christian Church of Brackenfell became deeply burdened to pray for Bo-Kaap. Ever since he has been coming faithfully every third Saturday of the month. More than once the two of us were the only ones pitching.

Prayer Efforts in the Cape Town City Bowl
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 out to the Cape Muslims with love, spearheaded this endeavour. After trying hard since September 1995 to get a ministers’ prayer group going in the City Bowl, this weekly meeting with a prayer emphasis gained ground slowly after the 40 day prayer effort from April to May 1998.
          A corresponding move in 1999 - this time with a prayer period of 120 days - was concluded in the Western Cape in the traditional service of the Groote Kerk on Ascension Day, 1999. In the communion service pastors from different churches officiated, a signal of a growing church unity. Likewise a combined evening service in September 1999 in the Cape Town Baptist Church was significant. Dignitaries from the provincial government were present and prayed for.
          At the Groote Kerk Ascension Day event, Dr 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. After he had listened to the author speaking at the Groote Kerk, an appointment was set up. I was able to introduce him to the leaders of the Cape Peace Initiative, which was formed in the wake of the PAGAD disruptions in 1999. His prayer for an office for his Christian Coalition/Family Alliance near to Parliament was answered in a special way, and he could move into the premises of the Chamber of Commerce at 4 Church Square, a stone’s throw from the Houses of Parliament. Dr Robbie Cairncross’ plan became quite strategic when Achmed Kariem, a convert from Islam with a vision for taking and distributing prayer information, came onto his staff. Unfortunately the plan faltered somewhat when Robbie Cairncross had to leave the Chamber of Commerce because of financial constraints. Cairncross went on to become an international evangelist with a significant healing ministry.
          In an initiative by Pastor Eddie Edson of Mitchells Plain, occasional all-night citywide prayer events started, one each on 25 June and 15 October 1999. Natural prayer fuel was provided by the possibility of an escalation of tension between Muslims and Jews in the Mother City, because of the situation in the Middle East.

Satanic Deception and a Backlash
The New Age movement - with the formal variant of inter-faith - seemed to have drowned the evangelical roots at the Cape at the time of the World Parliament of Religions in December 1999. The World Parliament of Religions held from 1 to 8 December 1999 in the Mother City, was a spur for churches to get some idea of the spiritual threat to the country.  Ironically, the opening took place at the very spot in District Six where the momentous prayer event of confession took place on November 1, 1997.
          It soon became clear that the uniqueness of Jesus Christ was under attack at the World Parliament of Religions. Dr Henry Kirby, a medical doctor with close links to YWAM, teamed up with Brian Johnson (Johnson had been targeting the New Age movement since 1989. That movement has been putting man in centre stage, as opposed to the Creator God.) A prayer event at the Moravian Church in District Six on 27 November 1999 brought together a broad spectrum of Christian churches. That in itself was a memorable occasion. The participation of Rev Derrick Meyer, a former student colleague of the author, who was now the superintendent of the Moravian Church, at this occasion brought me back into the frame of the church of my childhood and youth. There was however no real interest forthcoming in our ministry from that side as yet. (In fact, this has not materialised yet.)
          The role of drugs has still not been acknowledged sufficiently in spiritual warfare. For centuries the scourge of alcohol obstructed all church and evangelistic work at the Cape. The roots of cannabis (dagga) abuse goes back many centuries, when the Khoisan bartered cattle with Arab traders in Mozambique for the plant that they chewed before they learned to smoke it with a pipe.
          Every year many new converts to Jesus backslide spiritually over the Christmas period when the increased consumption of alcoholic beverages takes its toll. Muslims have taken to drugs in the same manner as they have seen Cape Christians abuse wine.  Mitchell’s Plain Muslims have strikingly been quoted as saying, in an effort to justify their drinking of wine at Lebaran (Eid-al-Fitr): “It is mos our Christmas!” The impact of drugs has had the same devastating result: a tragic addiction that has been wrecking family life. A large part of the population of Cape townships like Tafelsig and Woodlands in Mitchells Plain started regarding all vice related to drug abuse as their way of life. The churches at the Cape became guilty themselves when far too often they hardly made an effort to assist their members who experienced problems related to drug or alcohol abuse.  From the 1980s Satanism received many recruits from the drug scene, making spiritual warfare even more necessary.

Special moves in Woodstock and Salt River
The Woodstock Assemblies of God congregation valiantly held the fort under the leadership of Pastor William Tait, also with outreach efforts.
          In a series of Bible Studies held at their church in June 2000, Christians from other churches were invited to come and have a look at Islam as seen through the eye of the Bible. The pastor had a vision for getting more church members involved in evangelism.
          The spiritual battle is still raging in the area. In spite of aid from a White Afrikaans-speaking church - the Logos Baptiste Kerk in Bellville – the Woodstock sister church struggled to survive after the tragic death of their devout Pastor Edgar Davids in March 1998. Jennie van der Berg, who also worked with us in a children’s club in Salt River, started children's ministry in that area, with the local Baptist Church as her base.
          Early in 2000 a Christian businessman bought the Junction Hotel in Salt River, where so many lives had been wrecked through alcohol and drug abuse. He donated the hotel to the City Mission. A vision had grown with the latter mission to use the renovated building - for which big money is needed - for the rehabilitation of drug addicts. Funds were however lacking to renovate the building for this purpose. In the nearby community centre, Eric Hofmeyer had been using the City Mission facilities to get into many a school with his Adullam Ministries.
          It seemed as though the Church at the Cape started to regain its former missionary zeal. There are however only very few indications that the church is at last also awakening to its responsibility towards the Muslims, who still form the prime unreached group of the Cape in terms of the Gospel. Are Christians getting ready to share the Good News in a culturally acceptable manner?

Church-led Restitution?
The 1996 visit of Pastor Ed Silvoso of Argentina to South Africa had a significant follow-up at the Cape when Dr Robbie Cairncross was very much of a catalyst in getting a group of church leaders to go to Argentina.
           At this occasion Pastor Martin Heuvel of the Fountain Christian Centre in Ravensmead was challenged to apply the principal of restitution to the South African set-up.  His efforts to get other White church leaders to move beyond mere oral confession and especially towards restitution for the evils of apartheid took more than two years. Some of these personalities who were challenged, had been involved with the prayer movement in the country for many years.
           In 2002 Martin Heuvel approached Charles Robertson, a prayer warrior of many years standing and the catalyst of the monthly prayer concerts at the Cape, where he found a prepared heart. This finally led to the founding of the Foundation for Church-led Restitution, where believers from different races and church backgrounds met from time to time. They started to discuss possibilities to nudge the church towards meaningful restitution, especially to address and rectify the wrongs of apartheid.. Some of the church leaders, who had been involved with the Cape Peace Initiative in 1999, got involved in this organization. Robertson jotted down some of the results of their deliberations in a book, which also stressed personal intimacy with God. The disparity between poor and rich, which has been growing to great proportions, is a cancer of our society that developed out of the race policies of the previous regime. An interesting suggestion of Robertson is to challenge the church to see the distribution of material goods in restitution of our past as a volksbesnydenis, a circumcision of the nation. After reading one of the author’s manuscripts, Charles Robertson approached me in November 2004, to discuss an effort to implement church-led confession and restitution for the wrongs perpetrated to Muslims and Jews.   But nothing came from it. Every effort to get churches even half-way interested, floundered.



                                    17. More Shots at Islamic Bastions

         The relative success of evangelistic efforts in the second half of the 1990s could be attributed in part to ‘own goals’ by the Muslims.  The general Christian indifference about the spread of Islam was temporarily checked through the newspaper report of an Islamic World Conference in Tripoli in October 1995.  The intention to make South Africa Islamic, stating that the Muslims have the money to do it, was verbalised and publicized.  It soon became clear that this was no empty threat. The assistance of the Libyan State President Muhammad Khaddafi and other oil states was made practical through the provision of Islamic literature in African languages and mosques built in the Black townships.

Counterproductive Islamic Moves

The widely reported visit in February 1996 of Louis Farrakhan, a high profile Afro-American Muslim, further brought the message home. That it happened during Ramadan was just the tonic for Cape Christians to pray in an unprecedented way.  Since then, conflicting reports were published about the intention of Muslims - e.g. by the radical Qibla faction of PAGAD - to start the islamisation of South Africa in the Western Cape.
            With two competing radio stations of their own, ‘Radio 786’ and ‘Voice of the Cape’, the unity of the Ummah, the Islamic fellowship of which Cape Muslims were so proud, got a serious blow.  More and more it became clear that the PAGAD issue was basically a fight about the import of drugs, which was all too often carried out at the expense of innocent civilians. The Cape Muslim community is definitely not proud that the Mandrax tablets were mainly manufactured in Pakistan, a Muslim country.
              The gradual expansion of Islam into former White suburbs is another move which may turn out to become counterproductive.  In Plattekloof/Panorama, a request to build an Islamic centre was turned down by the local authorities, but they could not prevent the start of a madressah there and at a recreation centre in Melkbosstrand on the West Coast. But also the ‘Coloured’ community became upset by the perceived imperialist tendencies of Islam. The PAGAD scourge was contributing in a big way to the swing of the public mood against the Muslims. The hate-love relationship, which had existed in the apartheid days when the government was seen as the common enemy, developed into a situation where it became common to have a negative attitude to the religion at large. The main reason was that family members got estranged because of marriages to Muslims. 

Exposing the violent Nature of Islam           
     The presence of Mark in our home turned out to be a very fruitful two-way experience; I learned such a lot from him, for example when he referred to the Ebionites. My own discovery that Muhammad, the founder of the religion, had been intensely influenced by the Ebionite Jews, led to more studies in Judaism and subsequently to my personal discovery of the Ebionite Jewish-Christian roots of Islam. I proceeded to examine other roots of that religion in heretical Christianity.  (Accessible as The spiritual Parents of Islam at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com)
While he stayed with us as a religious fugitive in 1996, the Egyptian academic Dr Mark Gabriel researched ‘jihad’in Islam which was subseqe4untly translated as Islam and Terrorism. Published soon after the Twin Tower saga of 11 September 2001, the book became a best seller in America in 2002. Translated into all the main languages plus many other ones, it probably exposed the intrinsic violent nature of Islam like no other book before it.

Like-minded Partners
In his divine wisdom the Lord had already started to raise like-minded partners. I attended the monthly pastors and wives prayer meeting on the second Thursday of January 1998 after a lengthy absence. Pastor Eddie Edson asked me to address the group off the cuff about the latest issues in the Muslim outreach. As a result, an ‘unknown’ brother gave me his address card and a scribbled note in my hand as we lined up for the tea at the end of the meeting. The content of the note had me looking up: ‘You don’t recognise me, but you were my Sunday School teacher!’ The circle was complete. Ernest, the writer of the note, hailed from the Sonnenburg family in Ravensmead. The Lord had used his parents to thrust me into missions while I was still an arrogant rebellious teenage Christian.
         When Rosemarie and I visited Ernest and Eleanor, his wife, we sensed an immediate bond. Exactly those ideas that had been on my mind for years - and that I had struggled to put over to pastors - were aired by them. It turned out that Ernest also had training as a journalist. Ernest had been writing a regular newsletter to about 100 pastors. 
         June Lehmensich has been one of the regulars at our prayer meetings. She introduced various workers and believers at the Cape Metropolitan Council that went through a complete re-organization in 1997. Reggie Clarke became one of the new regulars. Through him our contact to the Lighthouse Christian Centre of Parow got some more substance. This was one of the churches with which I had contact when I co-ordinated the Jesus Marches in 1994. Unfortunately the early promise of this contact soon faded, but it was revived through the involvement of Eben Swart, who belonged to the congregation and Billy Marais, a pastor. The latter had been a Baptist minister in Three Anchor Bay before the fellowship there merged with the Sea Point Assemblies of God. He was a pastor of the Lighthouse Christian Centre only for a few months, but just long enough to be a catalyst for the fellowship to open up for City-wide prayer events. I was happy to help facilitate the link to Eddy Edson, who had been the driving force of the meetings of ‘Coloured’ ministers.

The Hospital Ministry           
The hospital ministry, led by Rosemarie and June Lehmensich, had interesting ramifications. At the Groote Schuur Hospital[45] she and June especially started visiting the cancer ward. A very special case occurred when we heard about a patient, Ayesha Hunter, who had undergone surgery. Rosemarie understood that she had more or less been sent home to die. This sort of situation was of course happening quite regularly from time to time in the cancer ward.
         What a surprise it was when Reggie Clarke, a church member of the Lighthouse Christian Centre, mentioned at one of our Friday prayer meetings that Ayesha Hunter was to share her testimony at one of their church home cell meetings. It turned out that the Lord had touched her body, healing her. She was now ministering to patients on behalf of the Cancer Association. Soon a contact was established.
         At that time we went to Grabouw more or less every second week, after our mother had been admitted to Huis Silwerjare, a home for the aged. In the hospital Rosemarie met an old Muslim lady from Belhar who seemed to be quite open to the gospel. As Belhar would not be too much of a detour en route to Grabouw, we popped in after the old terminally ill patient had been 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 wonderful love of Jesus. The old Muslim lady understood that die liefde van Jesus is wonderbaar (the love of Jesus is wonderful). Her heart was wonderfully prepared, so that Rosemarie could lead the old sick (grand)mother to the Lord. When we went to visit her again a few weeks later en route to Grabouw, we found a devastated couple that was not only in bereavement about their mother – they had been expecting that - but also because of the death of their 17-year old daughter. A man who was ‘playing with a pistol’ killed the young girl so-called accidentally. The parental couple went on to rave how other children loved their daughter at Kensington High School but they stopped short of accusing anybody. When they mentioned that the perpetrator had links to PAGAD, suspicion did come through that it was no accident after all.
                                   
Radio Opportunities
Rosemarie and I would have loved to attend the Global Consultation of World Evangelisation (GCOWE) in Pretoria in July 1997, if only it were to utilise the opportunity to visit our son Danny. He 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. After the experiences of March to May of that year, we understood why.
         However, the Lord did His thing in a sovereign way. Shortly after the GCOWE conference, we got a phone call from the Cape Community FM (CCFM) radio station. Avril Thomas, the directress, 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.
         With a fairly full agenda already I did not see my way clear to commit myself to a regular radio slot. Rosemarie challenged me. How could we let such an opportunity slip to enter many Muslim homes? After serious consideration, I could envisage adapting my series of the lessons of Jesus on cross-cultural communication. I had used this series on the revolutionary conversation of Jesus with the Samaritan woman in John 4 as devotionals at various courses.
         However, after more thought and prayer, Rosemarie and I thought that the series was not suitable for radio devotionals. Instead, I would write a series on common personalities of the Abrahamic religions, which I had been using at the cell meetings with male Muslim background believers in Hanover Park. The result was ten talks about personalities such as Moses and Abraham, after more private study of the Qur’an and the Talmud. The proximity of not only two Western Cape theological faculties but also a Jewish and a Muslim library, apart from the Cape Town Campus of the South African Library[46] made matters so much easier for me in terms of research opportunities.
         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 easy. 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.
        
A regular Radio Programme
The contact to CCFM turned out to be quite strategic. After the initial radio series we felt that we should switch to 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 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 did not know about her experience in secular radio work).
         PAGAD was still breathing down our necks, soon also in the radio work. From the outset I felt compelled 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. But they were brave, ready to lose their lives for the cause of the Gospel if that was what was divinely needed. 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 the Muslim radio station has employed a convert from Christianity who had married a Pakistani cricketer. The precedent created space for us to follow suit with less fear of PAGAD reprisals if the Muslim radio station could use converts coming from Christianity. 
         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 until CCFM restructured their programmes in 2004. In that year the radio station was given permission to transmit for 24 hours per day.

Anarchic Conditions
In the beginning of 1999 PAGAD (People against Gangsterism and Drugs) was still terrorising the Cape Peninsula, part of a sinister plan to Islamise South Africa and attempting the violent overthrow of the government in the Western Cape where the bulk of the Muslims in the country are living.[47] Gangsters and other criminals gladly jumped on board with high-jackings, rape and all sorts of crime to make the Western Cape ungovernable. Some of them enjoyed the anarchic conditions created, started taking protection money not only from shop keepers, but even dared to request this in individual cases from churches.
        
Former Gang Leaders shot   
Achmat Cassiem, the leader of the Hisbollah-Hamas related Qibla, was a frequent spokesman for PAGAD. Rashied Staggie, the Cape drug lord and leader of the Hard Livings Gang, had become quite well known with frequent media appearances. Two weeks before Easter, Staggie was shot and hospitalised, with PAGAD almost sure to be behind the assassination attempt. He made the news headlines soon thereafter from his bed in the Louis Leipoldt Clinic in Bellville through his public confession of faith in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He recovered miraculously.
         Shortly after Rashied Staggie also Glen Khan, another Hard Living gang leader and drug lord, committed his life to the Lord at the Shekinah Tabernacle in Mitchells Plain. He became a Muslim after his marriage to a secret believer. She had been counselled by Ayesha Hunter, with whom we were linked. Glen Khan secretly heard the gospel in this way. He was also clandestinely funding a feeding distribution scheme to poor kids related to the Hard Living gang for which Ayesha took some responsibility.

Thrust into the spiritual Battlefield   
We returned from the Easter CCM conference 1999 in Wellington in high spirits. My efforts, which started already in 1996, to nudge the umbrella organisation to give guidance to the Church at large to confess our sad historic role in the establishment and spread of Islam, looked promising at last.
         We were however thrown into the spiritual battlefield on another level much sooner than we could anticipate. Our spirits were already dampened the same afternoon when the bag of Maria van Maarseveen, our Dutch colleague, was stolen from our minibus in front of our house while we were drinking coffee and before we would take her to her home nearby. In broad daylight the vehicle was broken into.
         We were shattered when Ayesha phoned, telling us that Glen Khan had been shot and killed. The next morning we left for Mitchells Plain to assist with the funeral arrangements because a crisis had arisen. The Muslim family was claiming to have the corpse for an Islamic funeral that was to happen within 24 hours! The young widow who was still a secret follower of Jesus, was very brave to refuse to release the body of her late husband for such a funeral. She knew of course how he had just recently made a public commitment, indicating that he also wanted to follow Jesus. She insisted that he should have a funeral from the Shekinah Tabernacle where he made that commitment under the ministry of Pastor Eddie Edson.
         The widow requested me to speak on behalf of the family in the church at the funeral, even though I never got to know Glen personally. I did not mind at all when instead ‘Brother Rashied’ was called up to give a tribute just as I was about to speak. This caused quite a stir because the media had evidently been tipped off that he would be there as well. Almost overnight he had become a celebrity of a different sort. The new babe in Christ gave a powerful message to the packed church. Many were listening outside to the funeral service that was relayed by microphone. The funeral audience included a significant contingent of gangsters. Staggie, who had been avidly reading the Bible in the preceding weeks, challenged his many followers present, quoting from scripture: ‘My kom die wraak toe’.  “We are not going to retaliate!” Coming from one who had virtually returned from the brink of death because of an assassination attempt, the message could hardly miss the mark. (I did not mind at all when I did not speak. This kept me out of the limelight and PAGAD attention.

Aftermath of the Glen Khan funeral
In the wake of the Glen Khan funeral on 7 April 1999 and the powerful testimony of Staggie at that occasion, a trickle of Muslims started turning to Christ. Suddenly PAGAD was marginalised even more. It was not surprising that they frantically sought to get credibility. This was God at work supernaturally, but Pastor Eddie Edson and his colleagues were not immediately aware of it.
         When Edson phoned me the afternoon of 13 April for prayer support because ‘Muslim leaders’ wanted to speak to him in the evening, we feared a confrontation because rumours were spread that Muslims have been coming to faith in Jesus, for example as a result of preaching in the trains. We called the intercessors to bathe the proposed meeting with ‘Muslim leaders’ in prayer. A crisis was feared once again.
         Pastor Edson was surprised when the ‘Muslim leaders’ turned out to be no less than representatives of PAGAD. This was a major turn-around on their part. It was however quite surprising that the PAGAD leaders now had become willing, almost eager to speak to churches. Only a few weeks prior to this occasion they refused to meet any Christians or other mediators. Whatever the deceiver had planned in terms of havoc, was thus curtailed. A direct result of all this was the birth of the Cape Peace Initiative (CPI).  Pastor Richard Mitchell, who was closely involved with the CPI attempt at negotiating peace between the gangsters and PAGAD, kept us informed. (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 by discussions with gang leaders the same day.
         I linked Eben Swart to the predominantly ‘Coloured’ praying pastors at a strategic prayer occasion on 1 November 1997. He started to work closely with Eddie Edson, who remained the steadfast motor for citywide prayer events. With Swart’s base as the Lighthouse Christian Centre, White churches more readily linked up in the Cape Peace Initiative (CPI). Debby Lamb, a pastor with roots at the well-known His People fellowship, hereafter started working closely with Vivian Rix, a pastor at the Shekina Tabernacle of Mitchell’s Plain, where Edson was the senior pastor.
         ‘Coloured’ pastors verbalized their disquiet to Eddie Edson that the Cape Peace Initiative gave the impression of making PAGAD fashionable. Some clergymen were unhappy that the CPI leaders had been speaking to PAGAD.
          Pastor Eddie Edson organised occasional all-night citywide prayer events, one each on 25 June and 15 October 1999. Natural prayer fuel was provided by the possibility of an escalation of tension between Muslims and Jews in the Mother City, because of the situation in the Middle East.
        
Beginning of Community Transformation
Around this time Father Trevor Pearce from the Anglican Church linked up with Ernst van der Walt in a vision to spread the Transformations video, which was just being distributed worldwide. The Transformation of Communities, led by Reverend Trevor Pearce, saved the Cape Peace Initiative (CPI) after it had come in disrepute. At a half night prayer meeting on the Grand Parade, much of the unity was restored. The same weekend the two Dutchmen, Pieter Bos and Cees Vork,[48] representing the prayer movement of Holland, joined local Christians in confession for the sins of the forefathers and in praying against satanic strongholds in the Peninsula.
         Trevor Pearce had been impacted by the vision during a visit to Washington D.C., starting a procedure to invite George Otis and Allistair Petrie to the Mother City for a conference of his denomination from 29 October to November 2, 2000. Soon it was agreed to add a conference at the Lighthouse Christian Centre, Parow from 3-5 November of the same year. Trevor Pearce likewise had a vision for citywide prayer. The Transformation concept brought the evangelicals from the mainline churches and the Charismatic-Pentecostal traditions together. Even more significant was the fact that the prayer event at the Lighthouse Christian Centre in November 2000 saw the end of the bombing spree that kept the city in suspense for months after PAGAD leaders had been arrested. This effectively simultaneously ended the effort to Islamise the Western Cape.
                                                        
A strategic Detour                                                                                                                                           The overseas trip to Nairobi via Holland and Spain turned out to be quite strategic on the short term. My two days in Holland were special, pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. The need for an extended stint in Holland became redundant when the Dutch law was changed. An evening was organised on short notice to speak to some of our friends. There I showed a picture of the house we intended to buy for use as a discipling house. The mother of Martie Dieperink, one of the believers who attended that event, died soon after my visit. Shortly after hearing about the need of a discipling house in Cape Town, where new believers coming from another faith could be nurtured, Martie offered to help us with a substantial amount as an interest-free loan, to be paid back over a period of five years. This set in motion the acquisition of a building that became an important asset of our ministry. The furniture from the house of her mother was part of the content of a container that was sent in 2001.
         I discovered that the invitation to the international conference in Nairobi was a part of God’s strategy. The Nairobi conference ran parallel to a traumatic event at home. While I was still in Spain, our son Danny was rushed to hospital after his appendix had burst. He turned out to be allergic to the medication given to him. According to reports it was touch and go or we could have lost him.
            Rosemarie sensed that this was an attack from the arch enemy yet again while I was away. She alerted prayer warriors at home and abroad. I got the news that they were fighting for his life at a strategic moment in Nairobi, when we were not making much headway to get a draft on paper which we could report back to our respective missionary sending bodies.

Divine Elements                                                                                                                     When someone at the Nairobi conference tried to share something about spiritual warfare, I had the opportunity to chip in. The impact was tangible when I reported how I had just heard how our son escaped death narrowly. In the months hereafter we heard from different people how they had been praying to save Danny's life. 
            This was happening on the eve of the World Parliament of Religion in Cape Town. I discovered that there was some divine element in the invitation to the international conference in Nairobi. It served to keep me in low profile, out of the limelight while the World Parliament of Religion took place. Even more important was the fact that the detour via Holland and Spain was to be pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. The Spanish part of the trip did not deliver the goods, but seed was sown. We were nevertheless encouraged when a Muslim drug addict was not only supernaturally delivered from drug abuse, but he also became an avid student at an evening Bible school. His prowess was such, also in his church, that we had liberty to use his testimony in a tract in 2002. We also did this with that of Zulpha and Abdul Morris, two converts from the same background whom God used profoundly, especially in the Mitchells Plain area.
            On home soil the news of Danny’s fight for life brought home to some Christians the simultaneous urgency to pra for the World Parliament of Religions. Thus God turned the attack on Danny’s life and on our ministry around for his sovereign purposes.

 

Convert Care

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

Towards a 24-hour Prayer Watch
In September 1999 a new type of initiative emerged worldwide. God also started to speak nationally about 24-hour prayer watches. We felt that this is what Cape Town needed more than anything else.
         We thought: 'What better place for the 24-hour prayer watch could be found than the Moravian Hill complex in District Six that now belonged to the Cape Technikon?' Murray Bridgman, a local advocate had similar ideas. But I evaded responsibility for initiating or leading a 24-hour prayer watch in the City, thinking that someone else should do that.
         In February 2000, Susan and Ned Hill, a couple from Atlanta (USA) linked to the Blood ‘n Fire Ministries, visited the Mother City on an orientation visit after they sensed a call to come and minister to the poor and needy in South Africa. When they visited the District Six Museum – at that time temporarily housed in the Moravian Chapel – they learned of the tragic story of the former cosmopolitan slum area of the Mother City. With Susan Hill’s vision for prayer it was only natural that they should get linked to the prayer watch movement. Susan came into the frame as a possible coordinator for a prayer watch to be started in the City Bowl. During 2002 and 2003 she organized prayer events at the Moravian church every third Saturday of the month. Gossip by a member of a local church estranged us from this couple.
         In 2002 the government gave the Moravian Hill complex back to the original owners. Hendrina van der Merwe, our faithful but sickly prayer warrior, had been praying for years for a 24-hour prayer watch to be started at the Moravian Church. She hoped to be part of the beginning of it before her death. However, when she got accommodated at the historic St. Andrews Presbyterian Church[49] in Green Point towards the end of 2003, we all thought that this building should be the venue for the prayer watch. When this turned out not to be practical, I approached the Moravian Church towards the end of 2003 formally, pointing to the origins of the modern prayer movement going back to Herrnhut in 1727. The request was approved, along with permission to have monthly meetings with Muslim background believers in the District Six church where I received my initial spiritual nourishment in my childhood. My hope flared up that my personal relationship to the denomination of my childhood and first pastorate would be normalized.

Assistance in the Ministry
When Valerie Mannikkam, a young Indian Christian lady from Durban joined our team for practical experience in preparation of missionary work, she had a passion for a rather unusual combination, namely for the aged and for youth. Both of these were age groups we had been neglecting in our ministry. In the case of the former, this was only covered through our hospital ministry and occasional visits to the homes of patients. The latter – the youth - we left over to Eric Hofmeyer in Salt River in 1998 when we went overseas for a period of home assignment in Holland and Germany.
         Valerie joined Rosemarie in many a venture, not only at the home craft club in Bo-Kaap.  She turned out to be a valuable assistant and extra daughter in our home. This was especially evident when we celebrated our silver wedding. Together with our children she helped prepare a wonderful and memorable occasion on 22 March 2000.
         During 2002 Valerie assisted Rosemarie to counsel a secret believer. Faldiela[50] had phoned the CCFM radio station as a Muslim in search of the ultimate truth. She wanted to study the Bible. The young lady had been thrown into spiritual turmoil when her boyfriend was willing to sever the relationship after he had become a follower of Jesus. Rosemarie and Valerie did Bible Study with her until she finally came to believe in Jesus as her Lord. In the latter stages of this process, and especially after Faldiela’s conversion, Valerie proved a valuable assistant to strengthen the Muslim background believer in her new faith. Rochelle Malachowski, a new YWAM-linked worker from the USA, took over from Valerie in 2003 when the latter went to Durban, until Faldiela finally married the boyfriend who caused her to start searching for the truth.
         There were however so many other things happening before this happy end, especially in 2001 and 2002. Difficulties around a container sent by our friends in Holland, in the discipling house and in our church kept our nerves on edge for months on end. But again and again we experienced the power of the Eagle’s wings.
         In the case of Kulsum[51]it was quite complicated. She also phoned CCFM radio. In the ensuing follow-up it turned out that she had dreams, which were very compelling. She came to personal faith in Jesus, but the real fear of being evicted from her home kept Kulsum from coming out of hiding in terms of faith. To get baptised remained a major source of fear for her. Yet, her family nevertheless came to know that she had become a Christian in secret. The reality of persecution was highlighted when she woke up one morning with the cup next to her in tatters and a small hole in the roof. She must have slept very deep not to hear the smashing of the cup. She saw however light coming through a hole in the roof and she found a bullet next to the broken cup. Rosemarie and the female missionary colleagues kept up the contact with visits to her place. Occasionally they brought Kulsum to our home.
         Somewhere along the line we borrowed her Mark Gabriel’s testimony, which apparently made a deep impression on her.

Escapades with Mark Gabriel
Mark Gabriel decided to settle in Cape Town. He had received enough money to buy a car and furniture renting a flat in Simon’s Town where he wanted to finalise books he was writing, including his research on ‘jihad’, which he had started at our home in the wake of the PAGAD crisis.  When he wanted to get permanent residence, Mark ran into problems because his passport was to expire soon. He feared to go to the Egyptian Embassy or their representatives in South Africa. This proved to be well founded. Mark decided on the spur of the moment to leave for the USA instead, giving away furniture, some of which we are still using in our discipling house. (I put these lines into my computer on the office desk that he donated after his decision to leave.) We were quite relieved that we didn’t hear of an aeroplane crashing because we sensed that Mark was in grave danger yet again.
         Soon after his arrival in the USA, just after the Twin Tower saga of 11 September 2001, a publisher approached Mark with the question whether there exists any book about jihad. His positive answer to this question culminated in the publication of book with the title Terrorism and Islam, the next year. The book became a best seller in America. Subsequently it was translated into all the main languages plus many other ones, arguably exposing the intrinsic violent nature of Islam like no other book before it. If the violence perpetrated by Al-Queda in Afghanistan and elsewhere, Al Shabbab and Boko Haram in East and West Africa in recent years could still be doubted by anybody, the brutal ISIS terrorists confirmed this once and for all. This exposure of  the true violent nature of Islam was hitherto our most effective attempt to smash the Islamic wall, albeit
That this happened indirectly via Mark Gabriel.

Another Attempt at United Confession
In a very surprising development – we believe in answer to prayer - my PSA count of cancerous activity in my prostate gland went down in the weeks after the initial diagnosis. This encouraged me to attend the CCM Leaders’ Consultation in Paarl in November 2003. It was to me a special blessing when at the conference itself there was not only much prayer, but there also came an opening for a confession to be drafted. These two issues had been bugging me in earlier years, even to the extent that I almost took WEC out of CCM.
          The extra weeks gained helped me also to affect a few changes to Search for Truth 2 to get it ready for printing. (Our son Rafael was also available to make Part 2 of the booklet more readable for the rank and file reader). We saw a clear spiritual connection when a third PSA test showed an increase. This was for me the indication that I should not tarry with the operation, although I so much wanted to attend the African prayer convocation scheduled exactly for that time. After the actual operation on December 3 the pathology report showed that all cancer was removed, but the growth had been only one millimetre from the wall of the prostrate. After any penetration of the membrane it could have become fatal. We had so much reason to praise the Lord!
          That was not the end of the blessings. 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 start of a 24h prayer watch.
          In an aftermath of the National Leadership Consultation (LC) of CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims) in November 2003 in Paarl which I attended just prior to my operation, a breakthrough appeared imminent on the issue of confession – a proposed attempt to assist the Church to repent publicly for the guilt of Christians to Muslims. A working committee was chosen at which a manifesto was drawn up in which the word confession was substituted by regret. Before the LC of 2004 in Natal the manifesto was diluted into a draft declaration in which the sentence The Declaration is not a paper of confession over past sins committed appears in the preamble.
          That is not what I had initially intended, but I was prepared to settle with the compromise for the sake of unity. Subsequently however, at the Leadership Consultation of CCM in 2004, this was trashed. CCM was not prepared to make public statements on the matter. CCM and the Church in general went silent on the matter.

The Resumption of English Classes           
We sensed that God might be sending a wave of people to Cape Town from Muslim countries. We should get ready to send young missionaries to the Middle East when it opens up to the Gospel. Since the start of the Arab Spring that started on 25 January 2010 in Egypt, this has become more concrete and urgent than ever.
Already since 1996 refugees from various African countries had been coming more and more into our focus. Many refugees have been empowered after having learned English at the Cape Town Baptist Church.
English teaching to foreigners in a small fellowship on the corner of Dorp and Loop Street on Saturday afternoons where Gary Coetzee was the pastor, turned into a double blessing. There we could not only help a few new sojourners in our city, but we also soon got a link to the nearby Boston House on the corner of Bree and Church Streets. We supplied learners from the ranks of refugees and Green Market Square traders for their TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) students.  

A special missionary Tool
At the CCM Partnership consultation in 2008 we received copies of a DVD with five testimonies of believers from Muslim background with subtitles in English. This turned out to be a very special missionary tool. We used the DVD More than Dreams the first time when we had a Cameroonian, one of our English language students over for a meal. When I heard that his home language was Hausa, I remembered that this was the language of one of the testimonies on the DVD. We had on-going contact with him. In due course he became one of our additional sons and daughters.
            He was one of the first with whom we started Discovery Bible Studies. (The term we however learned only later.) We were blessed to have two French speaking short term missionaries of Operation Mobilisation in Cape Town to assist us with the translation. The devout Phillipe Brobecker from France became quite a favourite among the African traders.

Special Answers to Prayer    
When Pastor Gary Adams of the Shiloh congregation of Observatory, an electrician vocationally, came to Moriah Discipling House to look at a problem with the stove to see what had to be done, 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 Nazeema, a member of his congregation. What a blessing it was to hear that Nazeema hailed 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 had been a bouncer with eccentric habits and very suicidal.) Nazeema 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. Sadly, a few years later their marriage fell apart and not much later she went to be with the Lord.

World Cup Outreach
The football World Cup of 2010 afforded us a unique opportunity to impact the nations. During a visit to London we had been inspired by OM missionary colleagues who operated there with a literature table. Ahead of the Global event we procured hundreds of tracts in many languages. We finally received permission to set up a literature table on Green Market Square.   We also had many copies of More than Dreams, a tool that God had been using to speak to many a Muslim around the world. This DVD contains the dramatized testimonies in five different languages with English subtitles. We had been using it a lot already quite profitably.  Just prior to the big event we had also received copies of the More than Dreams DVD that had been dubbed into French and Arabic.
            One of the highlights of our World Cup outreach was the day Algeria played in Cape Town. During the day we distributed many DVDs to the Algerian fans so easily detectible in green and white attire. What made this outreach so special was that Rochelle Smetherham, on a visit on 'home assignment' in Washington D.C. in 2012, bumped into a Syrian national there who reacted so excitedly when she saw a copy of the More than Dreams DVD. She wondered whether this was the same one about which Algerians were raving!
After a Dutch colleague who was linked to YWAM, had shared the Gospel during their workshop lunchtime devotion, Rosemarie promptly invited her to come and teach us FFA team members along with a few others at our home on Saturday 13 August, 2011. In a further teaching session, we heard about ‘Treasure Hunting’, whereby the believers go out to ‘hunt’ for people about whom they had written down names, ailments and or outward appearance.  We incorporated this into our Thursday outreach, especially when teams would come from elsewhere on one-off occasions. These outreaches provided the soil on which we reached many an ongoing contact.







                                                18. Advocacy on behalf of Foreigners

         We had no idea that a special dream would not only usher in the end of our ministry as team leaders of WEC International in the Western Cape  but it would also lead         to a complete shift of the focus. A targeted ministry to foreigners brought a battle against xenophobia and corruption at our regional Home Affairs into play albeit that advocacy on behalf of foreigners was the emphais in skirmish.
         Around October 2003 Rosemarie had a strange dream in which a young married couple, clad in Middle Eastern garb, was ready to go as missionaries to the Middle East. Suddenly the scene changed in the dream. While the two of us were praying over the city from our dining room facing the Cape Town CBD, a massive wave came from the sea, rolling over Bo-Kaap, the prime Islamic stronghold.  The next moment the water engulfed us, but we were still holding each other by the hand. There was something threatening about the wave, but somehow we also experienced a sense of thrill. Then Rosemarie woke up, very conscious that God seemed to say something to us through this dream. But what was God trying to convey?
         The very next day we heard from Robert Crowe, our housefather at the Moria Discipling House, about a conference of Middle Eastern Muslim leaders in the newly built Convention Centre of Cape Town. We decided on short notice to have our Friday prayer meeting there nearby instead of in the regular venue, the Koffiekamer of Straatwerk. Lillian James, one of our prayer partners, was on hand to arrange a venue for us near to the new Convention Centre. 

A Wave of Opportunity
The same Friday afternoon Rosemarie and our colleague Rochelle Malachowski went to the nearby Waterfront where they literally walked into a group of ladies with Middle Eastern garb. The outgoing Rochelle had no qualms to start chatting to one of them. Having resided among Palestinians in Israel, she knows some Arabic. Soon they were swarmed by other women who were of course very surprised to be addressed in their home language by a White lady with an American accent. A cordial exchange of words followed.
         Rosemarie was reminded of her dream, sensing that God might be sending in a wave of people to Cape Town from Muslim countries. We understood that we should also get ready to send young missionaries to that area of the world when it opens itself up to the Gospel.

A Ministry to Foreigners       
During 2003 it seemed as if the Lord was leading us more and more to a focused ministry to foreigners. While Lynn Holder’s husband Jeff preached one Sunday, Rosemarie received a vision of our Moriah Discipling House to be used for refugee-type foreigners. In our search for a couple as house parents of the facility, the Lord had to correct us because we had thought that a Cape ‘Coloured’ couple would be the ideal because they would understand the culture of the Cape Muslims the best.
In the aftermath of this strange dream it seemed as if the Lord was confirming a ministry to refugees and other foreigners. In November 2003 we baptized a Muslim background refugee from Rwanda. Shortly hereafter, the Lord also brought to our attention various groups of foreigners who had come to the Mother City, including a few from a Chinese minority group.
         The couple we finally found had difficulties in the ministry to the Rwandan MBB.

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

Input from the Far East and West Africa
A national from Togo, married an ex-Muslim medical doctor from China who belonged to the Muslim Uyghur tribe. He was studying in the Far East when he got to know her. She is one of the first to come to faith in Jesus Christ from her tribe. Originally challenged by an African Christian fellow student, she converted in 1986. After lecturing in Japan, the Togo national accepted a post as professor in Engineering at the University of Cape Town, coming to the Mother City in the year 2000.
            A national from Indonesia had been working in Hong Kong before her marriage as a missionary. There she met and befriended the Muslim-background Uyghur believer. The Lord used the friendship to birth in her heart a burden for the Uyghur people. For nine years she prayed for the unreached people group without seeing any spiritual movement as a result. But God works in mysterious ways when she came to Cape Town after her marriage to a fellow Indonesian. Here she met her Uyghur friend again and revived their friendship. 
When Bejing was accorded the Olympic Games for 2008, England and the USA were no longer the top countries for learning English. The 11 September 2001 event of New York affected the popularity of those countries for Muslims to learn English adversely. From 2003 individual Uyghurs came to Cape Town to study and especially to learn English. A few of them were impacted with the Gospel. Hardly anyone of them had seen or read a Bible before they came to South Africa. Two students from that tribe were ultimately baptised in Cape Town in 2005.  Jesus had appeared to both of them in a dream.

Impacting Asians
The conversion and baptism of two Uyghur Chinese in the first quarter of 2005 was very special, the result of divine intervention, but also a special answer to prayer for the Indonesian Christian who had been praying for many years for that tribe and now she found some of them in Cape Town.
         In 2005 our team received a special boost when a Chinese background US American, joined us for a year. Here the Lord gave her compassion for two teenage Asians because they had no family. She assisted a Korean female student with English. Soon enough this also included Bible Study until the Korean student also came to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour. Subsequently she joined a Cape Korean church where she later started teaching in the Sunday School.

A new Pattern of Crises
As years went on Rosemarie and I got quite close to Louis and Heidi Pasques. On many a Monday we would go to some place or have a picnic together. Not very long after our return from Europe in 2000, a new pattern of crises had become evident. Louis took me into his confidence that there was a crisis in their marriage. Disunity within the church executive started to come into the mix. I initially withheld such information from Rosemarie. From our side, we did share some of the frustrations we experienced in our ministry with Louis and Heidi, notably those from the Discipling House. Invariably we would also pray with each other for family matters.
         Louis explained one day, that Heidi had to be taken somewhere for spiritual and psychological assistance after she had suffered burnout. Between Louis and Alan Kay, the administrator, some differences between them now also got blown up out of all proportion. A rift between the two of them developed, which was of course very unhealthy for the church as a whole. Things went from bad to worse until Louis was given leave of absence and Alan was more or less forced to resign as administrator. Finally Louis also resigned and their marriage fell apart as well after devastating facts surfaced.

Yet another Crisis
He had hardly started when a new crisis developed around a very trivial matter. Brian Wood, the new pastor, took me and Jeff Holder, an American missionary, into his confidence. It was good that I had declined nomination to the church leadership more than once and Jeff was a new man on the block. Yet, I was also attacked at this time, accused of ‘laundering money’ from overseas. The member of the church council who came with the accusation had been a trustee of the Dorcas Trust on behalf of the church. He should have known better. (When I did not want to keep the money earmarked for our Discipling House in our private account until the Dorcas Trust would be finalised, I had asked Alan Kay as the church administrator, whether we could keep the funds temporarily in the church account. This was now maliciously interpreted as money laundering.) A new crisis developed in the church council over some gay organist who had played there. Suddenly we heard that three influential members resigned. A few other members also left the church in the wake of the saga. We also felt like leaving but we decided to stay on because of our children. Just as there had been the consideration of saving a sinking ship and giving support to Louis, the new interim pastor in 1995, it was again the children which still kept us there.  Not many months down the road also the youth pastor, resigned and soon thereafter his father who had put it many hours of voluntary work to get the church books on par, also decided to leave. It seemed as if the church was going from one crisis to the next.

The Unity of the Body of Christ as a Priority          
When I was in hospital for my prostate gland operation, I was challenged anew to look at the City Bowl 24-hour watch as a matter of priority for the first half of 2004. The unity of the body of Christ, i.e. believers in the crucified and risen Saviour, had been very much on our hearts. We believe that the prayer watch could be a decisive vehicle to make this more visible - to be used as a powerful means to take the city for God. When Rosemarie challenged me about my indecisiveness in certain matters, I was just busy revising an autobiographical manuscript Some Things wrought by Prayer. I discovered how radical I had been in earlier days. The issue of worship on a Sunday – with its pagan background that had estranged us from our Jewish roots - were bogging me once again as I was reading material from Jewish authors. I was ready to be radical to resign from the Cape Town Baptist Church, but not ready to join another church fellowship that also congregates on Sunday morning for their main service. The unity of the body of Christ was also the issue which held me back from taking a step, which could rock the boat of the Church in the Cape Town City Bowl.
         We visited the Lighthouse Rhema Ministries complex in Parow in the last quarter of 2004 when the well-known Chinese Brother Jun spoke there. (During our visit to Europe earlier in the year someone blessed us with his autobiography The Heavenly Man) I was deeply moved at the Parow event by John 17:23. I somehow never discovered that Jesus had actually prayed ‘…may they be brought to complete unity.’ Aware that the house church movement in China is the closest to 'New Testament' Christianity in our day and age, this now became my model. Yet, I was still wary to start yet another church fellowship. I preferred to procrastinate and resemble Jonah on this issue, to the frustration of Rosemarie. She liked the fellowship at the Calvary Chapel, especially the good exegetical preaching of Dmitri Nikiforos, who once had our daughter Magdalena in his Sunday School class (His wife Karen is the daughter of Graham and Dawn Gernetsky, a previous pastoral couple of the Cape Town Baptist Church.)

More Involvement in the Prayer Movement                                                                                                  During my hospitalisation in December 2003 I felt very much challenged to attempt something to facilitate a 24-hour prayer watch in the City Bowl.  When Jericho Walls suggested the first week of February I was challenged anew. A phone call by Trevor Peters,[52] a car guard and tourist guide at the Groote Kerk, was just the nudge I needed. I was not aware that he had been in touch for months with Reverend Angeline Swart, the leader of the Moravian Church.                                                                   We were blessed to hear a few days before the event that the superintendent of the Central Police Station in Buitenkant Street, an institution that was notorious in the apartheid days as Caledon Square  had a room for us for 24-hour prayer - and thus a real neutral venue. After the week of prayer at the Moravian Hill Church, a few of us went to go and pray there every week.
         The step of obedience to get involved locally would have global repercussions. Daniel Brink, the Jericho Walls leader in the Western Cape, phoned me a few weeks later to approach the Moravian Church leaders for permission to use the District Six premises to host the launch of the 7-days prayer initiative on 9 May 2004.[53] I gladly obliged. In the run-up to this event, some of us were reminded of the special prayer occasions of the late 1990s. The 7-days prayer initiative moved subsequently through the whole country, a week apiece of 24 hour prayer at a different city or town, culminating in the first Global Day of Prayer on 15 May, 2005.


                                               



                                    18. Fighting the Gay and New Age Agenda

        
Sexual perversion became a spiritual stronghold, which soon had the country firm in its grip. The new government since 1994 outlawed racism, but it opened the floodgates of sexual perversion with laws to legalize abortion and allowing gay tourism to thrive.

Cape Town emulates Sodom 
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 to compete 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. 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 in former years agricultural shows and evangelistic meetings were held[54] - typified the moral degradation of the metropolis. A 24-hour prayer watch was needed to counter this.  Dear Hendrina van der Merwe, faithful prayer warrior of our Bo-Kaap group, had been praying for years for such a prayer watch.

         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 short notice. Just at this time Cees Vork and Pieter Bos[55] 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 sharing of what had been happening in his home country Indonesia in the preceding years.

More strategic Prayer
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. Trevor Peters, who had contact with Rev. Angeline Swart with regard to the use of the former Moravian Hill manse as a venue for a drug rehabilitation centre, was to find out whether the venue was available for the week of prayer. Our friend Beverley Stratis, who has a prayer burden for the city that stretched over decades, was requested to get in touch with police Superintendent Fanie Scanlen, to see if a room in the Central Police Station in Buitenkant Street was available as an alternative plan.
          One thing led to the next within a week, until it was finalized that the week of prayer would be held at Moravian Hill. This would be followed thereafter with weekly prayer at the Central Police Station. Superintendent Scanlen put at our disposal a room called Die Losie, a former Freemason lodge in the complex. This was a significant step. 
          As we were interceding in the third story board room, I suddenly saw the Tafelberg Dutch Reformed Church (DRC) diagonally opposite me. I was reminded that this was the church from which Dr Koot Vorster, a DRC minister, the brother of a Prime Minister and a high-profile Broederbonder, operated. I had heard that he was the person responsible for certain requests to the government of the day, such as the one to get the prohibition of racially mixed marriages on the statute books.[56] When I vocalised my discovery up there in the ‘blue room’ of the police station, I was asked to pray for that church.  I knew I had to express forgiveness in a prayer once again. In my heart I sensed hereafter release from some secret grudge which I had still been harbouring inadvertently. It was very special to me when Dr Chris Saayman, formerly the DRC minister of Eendekuil, was called to Tafelberg DRC at the end of the following year.

A Pyrrhic Victory?                                                                                                                       The gay lobby showed exceptional efficiency during 2006, although the 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 their joker - 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 with effective use of bribes.[57] 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 2006. The open question was whether the gay victory was Pyrrhic, a rather worthless piece of legislation.

Crime and Violence spiralled once again
In Parliament Rev. Kenneth Meshoe, the leader of the African Christian Democratic Party (ACDP), warned that the country was invoking 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 State President Mbeki 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.
                                   
It was good to hear soon thereafter that God had already raised individuals like Cedric Evertson, a young man, to pray for the removal of the gruwel, the abomination, as this 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 2006, I was initially somewhat disappointed. We were in the clouds, but not in a pleasant way. It was 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 had 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. Two homosexual international leaders - one  lesbian and the other 'gay' - turned their back on the movement in 2007 after becoming followers of Jesus Christ. The gay victory to get same-sex marriages legalized in December 2006, had become Pyrrhic indeed.
A massive blow was inflicted on the gay lobby when Ellen Jordan, a former brothel owner became a follower of Jesus in April 2009. The question was only when the law would go the same road as the old apartheid laws – into the dustbin of history. The road would nevertheless not be easy because everything hinged on the definition of what constitutes a marriage. Nobody would like to be a party to discrimination of any sort – also not discrimination because of sexual orientation. Yet, all major religions agree that marriage should be defined as an union between a female and a male. Both Ellen Jordan and Cedric Evertson in the subsequent years, thus before they could witness significant movement towards the repeal of the law.

Encounter with Corruption
During our outreach at the Foreshore Home Affairs premises, we soon heard from our contacts among the refugee foreigners whom we served with sandwiches and at our workshop at the Discipling House of the intense corruption at the venue. Mr Mvuso Msimang became the new national Director of Home Affairs, a government department that was notorious for corruption.  As the person who engineered wonders in another government department, much was expected of him. 
            When it came to our attention that Mr Msimang humbly invited people on grassroots level via TV to assist, I volunteered on behalf of Friends from Abroad. In a series of emails I repeated our wish as team to meet him or a representative to give some suggestions on how we think matters could be improved.
            Protests by PASSOP (People Against Suppression, Oppression and Poverty) against the undignified treatment of refugees at the Foreshore Home Affairs premises where many refugees were now also sleeping, highlighted their plight.
            We were subsequently invited to meet Ms Martha Mxagashe, the new Acting Home Affairs Provincial Manager of the Western Cape. We gladly endorsed her vision to see the Western Cape take the lead countrywide to oppose xenophobia and fight corruption.
            I linked up with Braam Hanekom and other refugee ‘stakeholders’ in an attempt to address the rampant corruption at the Home Affairs offices.  We were very frustrated by the reaction to our suggestions to bring down the back log of asylum seekers through their inefficiency. We were so thankful when the national head office of Home Affairs sent Mr Dean Pillay to come and assist with this very task. How we rejoiced when corruption at the expense of the refugees seemed to have been rooted out within a matter of months. In due course I took a leading role within the group of stakeholders more or less by default along with Braam Hanekom, the leader of PASSOP. Some of the agents who had set out to assist refugees became corrupt themselves. We continued to monitor corruption at the Refugee Centre until 2011 when we were prohibited to be on the premises in a rather strange way. 

Vibes and Bribes
It was more or less an open secret that the South African Ministry of Home Affairs was one big mess. The government more or less conceded that but a correction to the system looked to be as far away as ever when Rochelle Smetherham-Malachowski[58] asked at our prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer on Friday 30 March 2007 whether we could not go and pray at the Foreshore Home Affairs premises. Perhaps she thought about the memorable precedent of October 2003, the praying at the Convention Centre, that ushered in the start of outreach to foreigners. Operating with Rosemarie at our Tuesday workshop with refugee-type ladies, she could of course hear the vibes of the bribes at that institution all the time. Talking about their experience, refugee women were speaking of how much the highly valued paper ‘costs’ which would take them out of illegality. (For a thousand Rand one could get the document the same day. For half the price one would have to wait for three weeks and without paying a bribe, you might as well forget about getting the highly valued paper.) Also at our English classes we heard the sad stories of people who had to wait for days before even speaking to an official and hearing about many irregularities. Without any discussion, we agreed to go and pray at the Foreshore Home Affairs. There we saw some of the rumours confirmed, but we were also deeply challenged about involvement practically.
         Could this involvement be the other side of the net? After some collaboration with Theo Dennis, we decided to approach a few City Bowl pastors regarding a common effort. Initial responses were positive when I asked them to pray about possible involvement. But we were wary of getting too excited prematurely. Haven’t we been disappointed more than once when we attempted to get churches of the City Bowl to do something together? Perhaps this was just God’s time. Could the plight of the destitute and exploited foreigners possibly be the vehicle to bring about the revival we have been praying for so long?
            After the prayer session there on Friday 13 April 2007, we decided to start feeding the refugees and other foreigners there once a week in conjunction with Straatwerk and local churches. This looked to me to be another wonderful opportunity to get local churches involved in a combined effort, demonstrating the unity of the Body of Christ. With Straatwerk we networked wonderfullly, but from the churches’ side only the German Stadtmission came on board with two volunteers. (It still troubles me that churches seem to stick to their little cocoon, with so little vision for the bigger Body of Christ). We stopped our 'feeding scheme' when the refugees were henceforth served at new Home Affairs premises in Nyanga. But the question was: When should we throw our nets out again? And what was ‘the other side’? We grappled with these questions, praying that clarity would come soon.

A massive Heart Attack
We must have angered the arch enemy at least to some extent at this time when we brought the battle against the satanic strongholds into the open. Some of the main Cape evangelical role players experienced the one or other form of attack at the beginning of 2012. It seemed to me no co-incidence that it was touch and go or I was eliminated personally in the night of 30/31 January 2012. This happened a few days before a Transformation Africa prayer event that was scheduled for Saturday 4 February at Rhodes Memorial where I belonged to the core group that organised it.
          A completely blocked main artery should have taken me out.  But God had fore-stalled this attack on my life. A few days prior to this, He gave to Beverley Stratis, a good friend of us and a faithful intercessor, a picture of me while she was praying, with some darkness and confusion surrounding me. That was her clue to include intercession for us especially the next day.
          About two weeks later Erika Schmeisser, an intercessor who attended our Saturday evening fellowship regularly, came up to me to tell me her experience because she heard that I had a heart attack. At that time she woke up from a massive pain in her chest. She immediately knew that this was from someone else and that she must intercede. This highlighted Isaiah 53 to me in a special because doctors and nurses were so surprised that I had no need for tablets for pain in the chest region. Also the physician who sent me to hospital for an EKG initially was very surprised that I drove to her myself with the low pulse that she had felt.
         
          We continued to hope and pray that the Church at the Cape might grasp new chances to get out of its complacency, indifference and lethargy to reach out lovingly to Muslims, Jews and those foreigners from the nations that are already in our midst.




20. A 'new Thing' sprouting

Rosemarie and I were not aware that we were actually busy with another Jonah stint during 2005. We needed a nudge while we were busy with all sorts of 'good' things. But we were not in the centre of God’s will for us anymore. He had to use a rather traumatic situation in our WEC team to bring us back to the vision he had given us in October 2003, viz. that we should focus on the outreach to foreigners.
At this time Shaheed Waris, a missionary from Pakistan, linked up with Straatwerk, a local evangelistic agency with strong historical links to the DRC Church. The ministry was especially blessed in the outreach to refugees, ultimately resulting in a few people coming to the Lord including a Muslim lady from Rwanda. We took her into our Disiclling House
The internal situation in our team led to a stage where Rosemarie and I decided that it would be in the best interest of our team to resign as leaders. After talks with our national leadership, who specially came from Durban to discuss matters, a new structure of regional leadership was put in place. I was to be part of this umbrella structure until the end of July 2005, the date we had set for terminating our position as leaders. The two of us were encouraged by Isaiah 43:18 to expect a 'new thing' that has been sprouting.

The 'New Thing' sprouting    
During the first term of 2006 an OM missionary started working more closely with us who also had a vision to minister to foreigners. In the course of looking for a neutral venue where we could help the sojourners from other countries with English lessons, the young OM colleague suggested that we pop in at the home of Theo Dennis, one of the OM leaders in the Western Cape. When Theo spoke about their ministry in Coventry in the UK with the name Friends from Abroad, I once again had a sense of home-coming, especially when he mentioned that the group does not operate there under this name any more.
The very next day I took Rosemarie along to him, starting discussions for the establishment of an alliance with other mission agencies and local churches to be called Friends from Abroad. Both of us felt that this was the new thing that has been sprouting, a renewed challenge to get involved with foreigners.
A very traumatic period was ushered in via our mission agency leaders, but the two of us decided to forget the past and to expect a ‘new thing’ that has been sprouting (Isaiah 43:18).
In our hearts we wanted to remain in WEC until the end of our ministry days. This led to a severe crisis, with the result that we had a letter of resignation already on our computer on 29 April, just ahead of the national conference that was due to start the next day in the Cape, in Stellenbosch. The Lord intervened via a SMS from someone who knew nothing of what had transpired. The divine instruction via this channel was to wait on the Lord. This kept us from formally handing in our resignation straight away.
We definitely did not close ourselves to the possibility that the ‘new thing’ could still happen within WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) confines. We remained committed to operate in a positive frame of mind until the end of July, while we prayed for clarity about what God had in store for us. We were sure that our ministry in Cape Town had not been completed yet.
When we heard that Floyd and Sally McClung, the founders of All Nations International were coming to Cape Town with the vision to establish a training and outreach community that impacts Africa from Cape Town to Cairo and the vision ‘for a multi-cultural community that exemplifies the kingdom of God’, we were quite excited. This was more or less what we wanted to see coming to pass, albeit that our vision was somewhat wider, also for countries outside of Africa to be impacted from Cape Town. All Nations International later also sent people long term to different countries. Getting the vision over to local Christians and pastors was a much bigger challenge.

Kindred Spirits
My wife Rosemarie and I were encouraged by the arrival of Floyd and Sally McClung at the end of 2006, especially because we detected kindred spirits when we got to read their reason for coming to the Cape. We now started to endeavour even more to see a church planting movement established among those foreigners who have come to the Mother City of our country. We longed intensely for the metropolis to become the Father's City at last. With the McClungs, leaders of the relatively new mission agency All Nations International, we had a common experience of seeking God’s will for the next step in our lives. 
           
In Need of Counselling
During the months prior to the WEC conference in Stellenbosch in May 2006 and also thereafter, we experienced a very traumatic period in our ministry. In on-going discussion with our WEC national leaders serious problems arose. Our nerves were on end and we had no energy left to continue with our missionary work. Our colleague Rochelle suggested that we should get counselling. What a blessing Dave Peter of YWAM became to us at this time! The advice of Dave helped us to carry on. He challenged us - never to leave a ministry in defeat.
I had made a mistake mentioning the name Friends from Abroad in correspondence to our WEC leaders, although everything was very much still in an orientation stage. This caused a serious problem. We were nevertheless completely surprised when our national WEC leaders would not give us a ‘green light’ to continue working within this context as WEC missionaries, without giving a proper reason. Towards the end of April things followed each other up in quick succession, so that a letter of resignation was already on our computer on the 29th of March.
We now received a warning email out of the blue that simultaneously encouraged us with Psalm 7:14 to wait on the Lord. The next few weeks were not easy though, but the Lord carried us through in a special way as we did the ‘Experiencing God’ course at the Cape Town Baptist Church. As the weeks passed by our situation in the mission became worse.

Start of Friends from Abroad
In October 2006 we were back at the Cape, all set to get going with Friends from Abroad. We were however hardly back when the ‘battle’ resumed. We were very sad to read notions in the minutes from the national committee of WEC, which were distributed widely, that reflected quite negatively on us. From our colleagues we furthermore had to find out that they had attempted in vain to request the leaders to wait for our pending return before taking drastic decisions. This was not heeded. We requested the minutes to be rectified but no action followed. We were especially sad that a situation arose whereby we had no say in the running of the discipling house, which came into being through our endeavours and which had been running through gifts from our family and friends in Germany and Holland. It was now more a matter of time before we would finally resign. Yet, we still wanted to leave WEC in victory, asking God to lead us clearly and unambiguously in the new thing, which we believed was still sprouting.

         We resumed our contact with Bruce van Eeden, the former pastor of the Newfields EBC, with whom we had started children’s work in 1992. In 1995 he initiated a Mitchell’s Plain-based mission agency called Ten Forty Outreach, which concentrated on sending out short-term workers to India. We thought he could be a valuable complement to our Friends from Abroad concept, making use of indigenous Christians.                                                                                                               Through Pastor Theo Dennis we linked up with Ds. Richard Verreyne, a mission-minded pastor of the Soter Christelike Gereformeerde Kerk in Parow. To the core team of Friends from Abroad (FFA) co-workers also belonged a couple with mission ministry experience in North Africa. Two highly valued American co-workers assisted in starting up English classes in Parow.
            On Thursday 30 November 2006 we had a progress meeting towards starting Friends from Abroad formally Here the Lord clearly over-ruled. I had invited our friend Pastor Bruce van Eeden, whom we had been assisting to pioneer an EBC congregation in Newfields, to come and share for about ten minutes at our meeting. What a blessing it was for those present to hear how God has been using this brother from the Cape Flats in China and India.[59] We heard at the meeting how the Lord put Africa on his heart in recent years after an invitation to Uganda in 2003. After his return he received the vision to challenge believers of 7 countries around the lakes of Central Africa to reach the northern part of the continent. 
The rest of the evening was devoted to discuss issues he had raised, as well as praying for the Africa Arise missions consultation on Saturday 9 December. The inspiration for this initiative is a contemporary and adapted paraphrase of Isaiah 60:1 ‘Africa arise, your light has come’ The event in itself was nowhere impressive in terms of numbers, but the participants discerned nevertheless that it was a unique occasion in the spiritual realms.

Is my Writing Activity Idolatry?
In the early morning hours of 1 December 2006 Rosemarie noticed that I was awake. She could not sleep for a while herself. She felt compelled to challenge me with the question whether my writing activity was not an idol just like I had been addicted to sport as a teenager. I knew she was right. I was going overboard - to get I was like Jonah printed in some form before 6 December, when my best friend, the late Ds. Esau Jacobs, commonly known as Jakes, would have turned seventy.
         I was indeed all set to get up, have my quiet time and continue with the manuscript. Instead, now I had to go to the Lord in travailing confession. After an inner battle I was ready to stop with everything, at least for a time.
         God used Rosemarie to correct me to apply the brakes when I wanted to rush ahead with that manuscript. I discovered that HIS(s)tory should come to the front of the queue of unfinished manuscripts, to be pasted on the website, which we wanted to start. (The idea of a website was however not confirmed, and then shelved).

CPx Pioneering in Africa
In 2007 we started attending many a meeting of All Nations International in their rented house in Capri, a suburb near FishHoek. One thing led to the next until Rosemarie and I were ready to join the Church Planting Experience (CPx) course at the beginning of 2008, with the intention of becoming members of the All Nations International family. Along with our Friends from Abroad colleagues we now started partnering with local fellowships, to get believers in home groups from the nations equipped, hoping and praying that they would minister in their countries of origin in a similar way in the future.
         All Nations International teaches a new dimension of church via the Church Planting Experience (CPx) - whereby simple non-denominational independent churches are planted that attempt to come as closely as possible to the practice of the first generation of ‘New Testament’ followers of Jesus. The first CPx of All Nations in Kommetjie broke new ground in many a way. We were very much privileged to be on that course and we enjoyed it more than any other training we had ever attended up to that point in time.
         A special personal highlight was when I discerned where my over-reaction to injustice came from. Childhood experiences in District Six which I always regarded as unimportant had been the cause of hurts about which I had never spoken with anyone.
         I befriended Munyaradzi Hove, a lone participant from Zimbabwe.[60]  He was also a member of the small team that Rosemarie and I led for the outreach phase of the CPx, along with two couples from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. Their outreach at Green Market Square would have major ramifications when a little 'simple church' could be started there.
         Munya personified the vision and philosophy of Friends from Abroad more than anybody else before or after him. After he returned to his home country, initially as a part of teams that he led, he and other All Nations young people led many people in Victoria Falls to faith in Christ. Thereafter, when he returned there permanently in 2010, he gathered the new disciples of our Lord in discipleship groups and simple churches. We were blessed to see also others impacted at the Cape who would return to their home countries or who went to other countries to share the Good News of Christ.

21. A hard Nut to Crack

The unity of the Body of Christ, believers in the crucified and risen Saviour, had always been very much on my heart. We believed that the prayer watch movement could be a decisive vehicle to make this more visible - to be used as a powerful means to take the city for God. Soon we were serving (Uyghur) Chinese and Somalians in loving ways, hoping that this challenge could be utilised to bring other believers alongside us in outreach to the new unreached groups at the Cape in respect of the Gospel.  The group of Somalians in Mitchells Plain stretched our patience. The people group as such proved to be the hardest nut to crack of all our outreach efforts. We stopped teaching English to the Somalians after a few months in mid-2005 when it became apparent that they resented being taught by Christians.

New Involvement with Somalians
The next chapter with Somalians came in October 2007 via our son Sammy who had become involved in the start of a prayer room at the University of Cape Town (UCT). He had become intensely involved with the vision of a children's home along with a group of UCT students. As a result, various UCT students including Sheralyn Thomas, the daughter of John and Avril Thomas, the pastoral couple of King of Kings Baptist Church, started visiting us quite regularly.
         We were not very keen to minister to Somalians as such when Rosemarie had a recurring dream one morning which seemed to indicate that we should resume outreach to Somalians. Our previous experience with some of them in Mitchells Plain in 2004/5 ended on a rather disappointing note. By October 2008 we had been linked to the All Nations International team for a few months already. They had been doing intensive outreach in the informal township Masiphumelele near to Fish Hoek already for months. There a major clash between Somalians and indigenous Blacks had resulted in 50 people killed in 2006.
         We learned that Sheralyn Thomas had been negotiating in the talks between Somalians and Xhosas the previous year. She furthermore told us about a believer from the East African country who had just been baptized in Bellville. I needed no encouragement to phone the pastor of the Baptist Church there. I knew he had a heart for foreigners. It turned out that Ahmed, who subsequently changed his name, had been baptized at that church on October 7. We had started with 'international Bible Study', intended as foundational teaching for new believers from the nations.

A Second Somalian?
Soon hereafter I received a phone call from Rev Mirjam Scarborough in Sea Point with regard to a second Somalian, who has been coming to faith in Christ from Islam. This sounded to me too good to be true. I had serious doubts whether this was genuine. After further checks and balances, we decided to let him sleep in my office. (Marthinus Steyn, a missionary colleague who was on leave of absence from our previous mission agency, was living with us for a few months, teaching English to foreigners from an internet facility.) We saw this co-incidence as a special divine gift because Marthinus speaks - next to a few Western languages - also Xhosa and Arabic.
         The English of our new Somalian brother was still very poor. Thus it was special to have Marthinus available, who could communicate via Arabic. During the next few days we could not only convince ourselves that he was sincere, but we could also witness how his English improved and how he grew spiritually.
            At the beginning of 2008 we had the special situation of discipling two Somalians simultaneously.  Discipling ‘Ahmed’ proved a very difficult task. He was one of very few we had to ultimately release. When we bumped into him after a few years, he told us that he is now an atheist.
The eruption of xenophobia a few months later would lead to a situation whereafter the Cape was not regarded as safe.  Our other Somalian believer decided to leave the Cape. However, we subsequently also ministered on a weekly basis at a refugee camp on the former Wingfield Military Air Base in Wynberg.

Outreach to Somalians
The big ministry challenge to us was always the Somalians of whom the biggest concentration in our country is in Bellville – up to 20,000 of them in 2010 and now probably many more. The African Islamic Propagation Centre is also situated there. Aware that a breakthrough among the Somalians in Bellville, could make an international impact with a snowball effect, we were always careful not to rush things. To get the Christians in Bellville towards some semblance of unity proved to be quite a challenge just at remained a big challenge to see something happening in the City Bowl.
          A request by Professor Pieter Els to join him in teaching at a seminar at the DRC Church of Bellville West in ?? 2009

New Outreach to Somalians?                                                                                                                  In the second quarter of 2011 Tesfaye Nenku, a pastor from Ethiopia, joined us for the practical part of his All Nations CPx training. During our outreaches in the city we had been meeting believers from Ethiopia who belonged to a congregation in Bellville that we wanted to visit for some time.  When Tesfaye shared that he had preached in that church in 2010 and that he had the phone number of the pastor, it was the most natural thing to connect and arrange a visit for Tuesday 17 May, 2011. For the same evening I had a meeting scheduled with local believers linked to Metro Evangelistic Services (MES), a group of local believers of Bellville with whom we had been connected since 2009.
          The events of Tuesday 17 May 2011 brought some excitement. That afternoon a pastor of an Ethiopian congregation in Bellville shared that his congregation had just decided to make June the month for outreach. They wanted to get out of their inward-looking isolation. For the same evening I was scheduled to attend a meeting with the MES folk in Bellville. I was pleasantly surprised to find out that the agenda was completely focused on the outreach to the local Somalians. Pastor Tertius Bezuidenhout reported rather despondently of their efforts to use sports in bridging the cultural gap and how the Al Qaeda-related Al Shabaab had succeeded effectively to counter their endeavour to reach out lovingly to Somalians.
          Our excitement turned however to be premature. Cultural differences regarding the prayer meetings turned out to be a big challenge. We continued our efforts to engage Ethiopian and Eritrean believers, later rather half-heartedly when the response was so poor.
          We still believed that the outreach to Somalians could be strategic for loving outreach to Muslims at large. A new encouragement followed in the first half of 2012 when Africa Inland Mission (AIM) did research among Somalians in Bellville and thereafter creating a team under the leadership of Gloria Cube, a local Xhosa missionary with many years ministry experience in different places. Louise Hindley, who had become a regular in our Thursday outreach team, linked up with her occasionally, ultimately joining AIM as a missionary and sent out in January 2016 for outreach among Somalian refugees elsewhere.

Afrikaners wake up
The need for a male MBB discipling house brought various Afrikaners into the frame in 2014. We were very much blessed when Andre van der Westhuizen, a member of the DRC Bergsig in Durbanville took a keen interest, along with a few members of that congregation to bring a Discipling House for males into being. When Almo Bouwer, a builder, revealed that the Lord had challenged him to build something in District Six, the venture got somehow also linked to the mountain peak name change operation that meandered very low-key. An injection was given when it turned out that a MBB couple is in the queue there, waiting for a massive pay out due to them as well as property given to people – or their descendants - who had to leave District Six because of the Group Areas evictions of the 1960s to 1980s. This couple, Abdul and Zulpha Morris had been linked to our ministry for many years. We saw a clear link to the mountain peak name change that got back into the picture.
            In 2015 a few missionary colleagues of Operation Mobilisation (OM) started to get involved with the Somalians in Bellville with Peter Brent and Bongani Mahlangu prominent. Regular dialogue meetings took place at the Africa Islamic Propagation Centre where however little visible progress was made from a Christian point of view. The team persevered for many months, trusting that the Holy Spirit ministered. They were encouraged to hear of Somalians coming to faith in Jesus in other parts of the world, notably in East Africa. This gave them hope that the Somalian nut will be cracked also in Bellville.



22. Jews First

         Elizabeth Robertson, who attended our evening Bo-Kaap prayer meeting from the beginning, really loves Israel and the Jews. A few years prior to this she had been on the verge of marrying a Jew in Israel. Soon we decided to pray for the Middle East at every alternate Monday prayer meeting, including Muslims and Jews. Hereafter I visited the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point from time to time. In later years Lillian James, who grew up in Woodstock, started to pray with us. She had a heart for both Muslims and Jews.  Still later, two Messianic Jewish believers joined this prayer group.[61]
          Soon thereafter we also started with a monthly prayer meeting for the Middle East in our home in Tamboerskloof. This evolved from the fortnightly event in Bo-Kaap. The vision grew to see Jews and Muslims reconciled around the person of Jesus Christ. This vision received fresh nourishment when we started praying on Signal Hill from September 1998 on every alternate Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Signal Hill is situated just above three residential areas that are associated closely with the three Abrahamic religions. Tamboerskloof is a predominantly ‘Christian’ suburb, Bo-Kaap is still a vocal Muslim bastion and in Sea Point the bulk of Cape Jews are living.[62]                            
          During a lunchtime prayer meeting of City Bowl ministers in October 1996, a Messianic Jewish pastor entered who was known at that time as Bruce Rudnick. Bruce was the leader of the Beth Ariel Fellowship of Messianic believers in Sea Point. That is where I got to know the choice servant of God who later changed his name to Baruch Maayan.

Fulfilment of Messianic Prophecies
For many centuries the fulfilment of Messianic prophecies remained fairly obscure while the Replacement Theology was prominent. In recent years things started to change gradually, notably at the Lausanne Consultation of Jewish Evangelism global event here in Cape Town in 2010.
          Isaiah 19:25 was regarded by a few individuals down the ages as a prophecy of wide-spread conversion to Jesus as the Saviour and Messiah in Egypt, (As)syria and Israel – in that order. The general interpretation of the prophecy was furthermore understood to usher in the reign of our Lord as global ruler for a thousand years.

The African Highway of Holiness
Here at the Cape an 8-year old child with the name of Julia, who married an Indian with the surname Naidoo, had a vision for Israel along these lines already a few decades ago. In due course she had the wish to go to Israel one day while she ministered to the poor and needy in the township of Hanover Park. Julia Naidoo would become like a mother to Mark Wilson, a young man from Pinelands that would die in Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) on 7 January 2015 in the course of a prayer journey.  Mark also thought that the diversely prophesied revival that was to start at the Cape and that would ultimately spread throughout Africa and then to the rest of the world, could only start after this prayer journey. It would thus be seed for revival!
          In 1997 Pastor Bruce Rudnick attended the ‘All Africa Prayer Convocation’ in Ethiopia. Bruce was the leader of the Beth Ariel Fellowship of Messianic believers in Sea Point. A prophetic word that came strongly at that time was 'An African Highway from Cape Town to Jerusalem.' This theme was not new. In due course the Church was regarded as a spiritual body on the continent of Africa with the feet in South Africa, the knees in Kenya, Uganda stands in this symbolism for the womb and thus for birthing and the heart is in Ethiopia. The head is Egypt. One hand reaches over to Morocco and the other hand to Jerusalem. This was, as it were, the Body of Christ in Africa. This body needed to be awakened to come into its calling and function.  The vision would become an integral part of the prophecy of Isaiah 19:25.
          Baruch and his family made aliya, leaving for Israel in 1999. He taught subsequently that Egypt stands in this prophecy for Africa and Assyria for Asia. (The Back to Jerusalem Movement had been around for many years already, starting in China.) In Israel Bruce changed his surname to Maayan.

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

Hope after the Holocaust                                                                                                                   
At the beginning of 2008 Rosemarie was challenged at our CPX course to 'tithe' her ministry time. She responded by wanting to be available to bless Jews. This would mean quite a challenge for her as a German and the Nazi history of her nation. Soon thereafter our friend Leigh Telli challenged her to share the platform with a holocaust survivor. Our being so busy with the CPx was a good reason for procrastinating the issue.
At a meeting in Durbanville on 31 May 2008 Rosemarie shared the story of her upbringing as a post-World War11 child in Germany. A Polish holocaust survivor was the other speaker at this occasion. Quite a few Jews were apparently moved as she highlighted the fact that she learned to appreciate Jesus as the scapegoat for our sins. In a similar way the Jews were given the blame for the calamities in Germany’s Third Reich. (This was highlighted during the recent xenophobic violence during which the foreign Africans were strangely given the blame in a way things like the escalating food and petrol prices.    
           A Jewish lady wanted Rosemarie to come and speak to her group in Sea Point. This took place at a follow up meeting in August 2008. There she, Leigh Telli and Cecilia Burger, a veteran Dutch Reformed church worker among the Jews, were warmly welcomed. Leigh wrote in her October 2008 newsletter: ‘I believe that R’s message touched many hearts that day.’          
            The effect of this meeting was however nullified a few weeks later when Rosemarie and Leigh were identified as missionaries to the Jewish people. It looked however as if we would be back to square one with respect to further breakthroughs in Sea Point when out of the blue Rosemarie was invited out of the blue to share her story at a meeting of Jewish business people on the 20th of April 2009, together with a another holocaust survivor. The organiser of these events was Mirjam Lichtermann, a 85-year old energetic Jewish lady, likewise a holocaust survivor. 
A further invitation followed at a Jewish home in Claremont on 20 May 2009 and another meeting in Sea Point on the same day. At this occasion Rosemarie was attacked with heavy depression in the run-up to these events. Early the morning of 20 May she prayed fervently as she felt so completely inadequate. The Lord encouraged her not only with a word from Matthew 10 that she should not fret about what she should say, but she was blessed when she deemed it a special privilege to encourage the Jews with Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye my people....

Isaac and Ishmael reconciled?
At the beginning of 2010 I was deeply touched when I discerned that Isaac and Ishmael, the two eldest sons of Abraham, had actually buried their father together (Genesis 25:9).  The evident reconciliation was probably preceded by confession and some remorse. Or was there some reconciling agent involved?
         I started to pray more intensely that a representative body of Christians might express regret and offer an apology on behalf of Christians for the side-lining and persecution of Jews by Christians.
         On 11 October 2010 the Lord ministered to me from Romans 1:16 when we received the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Evangelism (LCJE) Quarterly Bulletin. That edition of the LCJE Bulletin highlighted the legacy of Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus. In the paper that Rosen delivered as part of the Jewish Evangelism track at Lausanne II in Manila in 1989, he highlighted 'Jews first' from Romans 1:16. In the printed summary of his paper one could read that he regarded 'God’s formula' for worldwide evangelization as the bringing of the Gospel to the Jew first.  Highlighting the example of Paul: I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek’ (Romans 1:16), Rosen proposed in the same paper thatby not following God’s programme for worldwide evangelisation – that is, beginning with Jerusalem (Israel and the Jews) – we not only develop a bad theology because of weak foundations, but we also develop poor missiological practices.’ I felt personally challenged to get involved with outreach to Jews as well.

Supernatural Moves elsewhere
Daniel Huyser was a military man who came to faith in Jesus in 2003 after his divorce. Soon thereafter he was called into missionary service in Malawi, which turned into involvement in the prayer movement of the Highway from the Cape to Jerusalem. After some supernatural moves God brought him to Beulah, a childhood friend of their family, who had become a widow. After their marriage in 2008, they felt very marriage called into the formation of prayer rooms. After doing this at various locations in Malawi and Mosambique, they sensed a call to go to Israel in August 2010. Daniel was impacted by an audio message of a certain Baruch Maayan. He hoped that he would meet Baruch one day.
On their way to Israel the couple had to change at Addis Ababa. A gentleman who came to sit next to them heard them speaking Afrikaans. He returned to Israel from a Highway prayer event in Ethiopia. He was … Baruch Maayan, who discerned in this meeting a confirmation to return to the Mother City of South Africa to forge the Highway vision there.

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

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

Overawed by a Sense of Guilt
On 19 October 2010, i.e. we received an email from our friend Liz Campbell, with whom we started prayer meetings for the Middle East in the early 1990s. She shared 'that Baruch and Karen Maayan (Rudnick) and their five amazing children are back in Cape Town from Israel.  A quick and sovereign move of God believe me, and worth coming and finding out why! ….'
         The meeting on the Saturday afternoon of 23 October at a private address in Milnerton with the Maayan family was a defining moment. Baruch shared his conviction that he was sent to Cape Town a second time to challenge believers with the highway message.
         I was very much embarrassed when I broke down in tears uncontrollably.  I was completely overawed by a sense of guilt towards Jews, while I felt a deep urge to apologise on behalf of Christians for the fact that our fore-bears had been side-lining the Jews. Christians have haughtily suggested that the Church replaced the nation of Israel and the Jews. My weeping was an answer to my own prayers, but it was nevertheless very embarrassing, especially as many others present followed suit. (The 'sea of tears' however knitted our hearts to the Maayan family. After an absence of 11 years, the Lord had called them back to be part of a movement to take the Gospel via simple churches from Cape Town throughout the continent of Africa, ultimately back to Jerusalem. Ethiopia featured centrally in his experiences.

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 Mitchell 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 also shared our concern in Noordhoek, that a few lines in the draft for Lausanne III were supportive of so-called Replacement Theology. I was not aware that our leader Floyd had opposite convictions. I received a severe email reprimand that almost saw Rosemarie and me parting ways with All Nations. We decided to keep our conviction to ourselves in order to keep the peace. However, I felt quite hypocritical about the matter, hoping that we can talk about the matter in the not too distant future.
         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. 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 shown by various people.

Start of the Highway Fellowship
Soon after the Milnerton meeting of October 2010, Baruch Maayan approached Brett Viviers and me. At a meeting in the Company Gardens, he announced that he would start with weekly prayer on Monday evenings at the home of Gay French in Claremont. After a few months it was decided to start with Highway meetings every last Saturday of the month at the Sea Point High School. Pastor Light Eze, a Nigerian pastor, who had responded obediently to a divine call to rally the Church at the Cape to repentance and prayer, was at this time fairly closely linked to the group. He had also started a fellowship in Parow, where Maditshaba Moloko became a prominent member. She would also become connected to the Maayan family and the Highway fellowship when the family moved to Pinelands....' 
         When a problem arose with Sea Point High School as a venue for the monthly Highway events, the upstairs minor hall at 14 Hope Street, a former Jewish building from where His People Ministries operated, became the new place of monthly worship. After only a few months, weekly meetings started at that venue.
         In a counter to the preparations for the ANC centenary celebrations of January 2012 that included a lot of ancestor worship, Pastor Light Eze initiated '8 Days of prevailing prophetic prayers

Run-up to the Isaiah 19 Prayer Room
After Baruch challenged all of us in mid-2011 to pray about becoming a part of the South African group to the annual Jerusalem prayer convocation, also other Monday evening regulars were blessed in special ways. On June 27 Baruch, Karen and a few other believers in Claremont prayed fervently that the Lord would confirm clearly whether Rosemarie and I should step out in faith to join the Jerusalem convocation.  Knowing that our children wanted to sponsor Rosemarie for her 60th birthday in July 2011 so that we could fulfil this secret wish, I had to pray now for confirmation before the 30th. This was very clearly confirmed.

A Cape Delegation to Jerusalem
The very next day a letter which I received from Germany informed me that I would receive a small monthly pension, retrospective from 1 January 2011. I don't know how the German Social Services got my address. (Possibly the folk retrieved our address via the Moravian Head Office in Germany. There I had been paying into the pension fund in the few years from 1973 to December 1980.) On Thursday morning, the 30th June, during my quiet time I felt that this was the confirmation to trust the Lord for all the funding necessary for the Jerusalem convocation, even though the situation in Israel was very unsettled because of the threats of the Palestinians.
         For Rosemarie it was very special that she could now be a part of the South African delegation. (She went to Israel in 1973 to assist in a children's home after the work permit and tourist visa for South Africa had been refused.) Their leader had expounded from a Bible study during her visit to the Holy Land that nations would in future be going up to Jerusalem.

Semi-political Involvement
At this time things started hotting up as the Palestinian Authority stepped forward to declare themselves independent unilaterally.  Archbishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak had been making statements which give the impression that South African Christians in general supported this. I felt constrained to attempt getting involved to set the record straight. I doubted sincerely that the two church leaders had the backing of the bulk of believers in this country.
            Thinking that the Consultation of Christian Churches was the best institution to make an attempt towards an inclusive statement that stays clear from divisive issues like Replacement Theology, I wrote an email to Rev Peter Langerman to this effect. I was misled to perceive that the Security Council of the UN was set to vote very soon.
            I suggested that the CCC executive send an email to its members with a request for a quick response to a press statement which could run along the following lines:
… Very much aware that the founder of our faith was a Jew, Christians have a natural affinity to Israel and Jews in general. Whilst aware that the Israeli state and military apparatus have not been innocent in past decades in an attempt to enforce their authority, we are also aware that Christian Arabs in general are very contented to live in the country, rather than in any of the neighbouring states. We are satisfied that the country adheres to democratic principles and that no group is being officially discriminated against as we had it in our country in the sad apartheid era. Arabs are even represented in the Knesset, the Israeli parliament...
I hoped that our government would encourage the counterparts on both sides of the main Middle East tussle to continue vigorously to achieve a negotiated settlement and to refrain from unilateral decisions.  At a meeting with three members of the CCC executive we decided however not to proceed with any further action at that point in time. In retrospect, that was not the best decision. The situation deteriorated gradually.
A Movement with MBBs and Messianic Jewish Believers?
At an LCJE conference event with Pastor Umar Mulinde, an MBB from Uganda in August 2012 in Kenilworth, we had the biggest number of both MBBs and Messianic Jews present in one meeting.    
    We used the visit of the couple from Algeria in March 2013 to challenge a few Muslim background followers of our Lord to organise an evening in Mitchells Plain. We were encouraged when the overwhelming feeling was that the occasion should be repeated with regularity. To implement the intention was a great challenge however.

             Jack Carstens and Cecilia Burger organised a meeting for Messianic Jewish Believers on 20 April 2013 in Brackenfell. This was the first time that such an event took place in Cape Town, with 40 of them attending. We invited a few MBB individuals. Our vision of a movement of reconciliation of the descendants of Isaac and Ishmael was thus fed in this way.


Peace of Jerusalem as a rallying Point
At the end of 2010 we made another attempt at Muslim/Jewish dialogue and reconciliation, an effort to link Messianic Jewish believers and Muslim background believers at the Cape. Initially it did not reap much success however. On Fridays Brett Vivier and I started doing prayer drives and prayer walks in Sea Point. This petered out in due course. In mid- 2015 Amanda Hattingh initiated prayer walks on the first Saturday of the month in Sea Point and in Muizenberg on the third Saturday.
Maditshaba Moloko became the South African co-ordinator for the annual International prayer convocation in Jerusalem in 2014.
By October 2015 the government even made an agreement with the extremist HAMAS leaders, who had come to the country on the invitation of the ruling ANC. 
I have still not given up hope that the present situation might change, that our government will be a conduit for reconciliation in the Middle East.
Naive Hope
I hoped naively to get church leaders on board against the government's anti-Israel stance in 2012. I e.g. wrote the following email:

Dear Pastoral Colleagues,
At the City Bowl ministers' fraternal this week, one of the colleagues brought up the concern that a cabinet minister has recently presented a government view that is in all likelihood only supported by a small majority of the population.

The tragedy is that the anti-Israel position our country has taken, may take us towards an economic precipice. It is probably no co-incidence that the view expressed on 14 August was followed by the Lonmin mine disaster two days later which brought the currency decline and the unprecedented rise in the price of petrol and a string of mine strikes in its train. (This is definitely not the first time that some form of divine wrath followed the 'cursing' of the apple of God's eye (Compare Genesis 12:3).

The brother colleague expressed his concern at the ministers' fraternal that the Church is so quiet. In recent weeks Pastor Umar Mulinde of Uganda encouraged us with the example in the country when a minority succeeded to get a proposal for Shariah Law onto their statute books. The Church stood up in united opposition to that move.

The question is: Must we wait until similar moves also happen here? The point is that there are many a precedent in Africa where countries went into serious economic decline after turning against Israel in recent decades (DR Congo (Zaire), Malawi).

In a recent radio broadcast Pastor Barry Isaacs gave seven reasons why Christians should support Israel. I asked him to email this to me. Please consider them in the attached document and please comment. Do you agree that it is time that the Church should speak out; that it is time for the silent majority – which we believe is present in South Africa, notably in the Church – should we take a stand in opposition to those in government who express views which will harm all of us in due course?

There was hardly any response.  Also other efforts to get the local churches of the Cape Town City Bowl joining in concerted action, floundered.  Although the Lord had already comforted me at the end of 2011 on this score that unless he builds the house, I would toil in vain, I was nevertheless disappointed when there never seemed to come a change in this regard.

Another breakthrough?        
On another score the initiative of Pastor Maditshaba Moloko, to invite believers to come and prayer for Israel and the Jews once a month on a Saturday evening at her 20th floor Thibault Square premises from June 2015, drew an increasing number of folk, for the first time also includiing a significant segment from the Xhosa community. On the other hand, our monthly prayer on Signal Hill, aided by bad weather on a few occasions, petered out completely. We decided to relocate this monthly prayer especially for Jews and Muslims to our prayer room.
A very special Occasion
A very special occasion happened at the end of November, 2015. When Dr Emil van der Merwe and his wife Susan from Jerusalem were here with an American couple linked to the Sukkot Hallel prayer house there, a meeting was called on short notice. At this meeting at the Thibault Square premises of Maditshaba, Lyndy Haslam and Gay French were in attendance - two believers who had been in the fellowship that met on Saturday evenings when Baruch Maayan was here with his family and for a few months thereafter. When the couple from America brought a message from Rick Ridings regarding a prophetic act with a staff outside the waters of Cape Town, Gay was immediately reminded of an almond stick that Baruch had taken to Uganda in 2012. ‘If Baruch would have been around, he should do that act’, was the common thought. Lyndy knew that Baruch had actually left that staff in her custody. Was it mere chance that two other sticks with a special history would be available on Friday 4 December?

Just at that point in time Karen Maayan was sending a message from Israel via her mobile phone to Maditshaba that Baruch had been asked to come and speak at an event in Johannesburg. When Maditshaba saw this after the meeting, it was arranged for his itinerary to be changed to include Cape Town where his mother is in a retirement centre.
On short notice a meeting was arranged to take place at Cape Point and a few other places. Also at other venues across the continent intercessors joined. When all this was organised, nobody suspected that President Zuma would sack his Finance Minister and replace him with an inexperienced backbench politician. This had the immediate effect that our currency, the Rand, took a nose dive. This caused deep concern country-wide that our country would go down the drain economically. The result was that the State President’s advisors brought him to make a rare summersault, appointing a former Finance Minister who had a good track record within in a matter of days. The economic situation of our country was a prayer point not only around the country on Friday 4 December, but also at our Signal Hill prayer time the next morning. All of us knew that this situation was a direct result of the nation praying unitedly once again. We hoped that the breakthrough would also transpire in a few other areas, to signify that the revival trigger had been pulled.



22. Fighting Ecclesiastic Division
So much aware that our Lord included the prayer that his followers may be one, the wall I will have to live with till the end of my life will be the divisions and fragmentation in the body of Christ. Having seen already as a teenager how powerful this is as a tool to promote genuine revival and  spiritual renewal, this has been one of my passion to foster it and battle to see some semblance of it locally. In this regard the ministry of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan in Holland remains to me the best memory, but to participate in the ongoing prayer in Parliament and the Civic Centre on two Saturday mornings is a good second best.
A negative of an email to me in October 2010 was that my manuscript The Unity of the Body of Christ - a top Priority? became untenable. The author of that email had been writing a foreword to the book. Therefore 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 the, perhaps agreeing to disagree, or get someone else to write the forward. Five years later I still have not made a final decision.
I was rather frustrated that it was so difficult to get Christians to work together. Every pastor continued to build his own kingdom, although everyone you spoke to, agreed that the need of the hour is a visible expression of the unity of the body in prayer and action.
The Lord building the House
On 11 September 2011, I wrote an email confirming a telephonic conversation regarding the availability of Moravian Hill for a combined service of believers from the City Bowl on Saturday afternoon 24 September (Heritage Day), including Jewish Messianic and followers of Jesus from Muslim backgrounds, along with Christians coming from other countries.

Could you please include in your reply all relevant information in the light of the possibility of using the building thereafter on a regular basis. We would be very grateful if you could supply this information ASAP so that we could inform the people who attend our service tomorrow evening in the Sea Point High School. 

When I didn’t get any response I had to send another email. Thereafter I heard that my request was declined. No reason was given. I took no trouble for finding the reason for the refusal.  Four years later, on 19 August, 2015 I made sure that the same thing would not happen again.
This time the result was even more devasting when we requested the use of the church as venue for a prayer walk to counter the Islamisation of District Six. The reason for declining our request amounted to fear of a possible Muslim backlash. I was asked whether I was not afraid of an attack on my life of ISIS. The hurt was very deep as a realised that I was almost completely ostrasized from my Moravian roots.
A modern Version of Gideon's Fleece
Christmas 2011 came without any movement on the front towards a prayer room. On the first Sunday of 2012 we were challenged to put forward our faith visions for the new year. A young man shared his hope for a prayer room in Long Street to counter the week-end vice of our city, to which we eagerly added the prayer room to be built at our home. We had been receiving a few gifts ear-marked for the project, but nothing substantial.
Rosemarie and I started praying for confirmation of the vision. One morning Rosemarie stepped out on to the balcony outside our dining room. She was completely flabbergasted to see drop on the table and on the awning next to the place where the prayer room was to be built, but everywhere else it was dry. This was to us no less than a modern version of Gideon's fleece (Judges 6:36-40), confirmation that the vision of the prayer room was a divine issue and not our own wish.
Provision with the Vision
Another few months elapsed with no significant movement regarding our prayer room. We consulted various people related to the building trade including the husband of Rochelle Smetherham, a civil engineer who offered his services to assist with the drawing of the plan for us.
At this time a German medical student had been joining us every week during our outreach. He came along with us on Thursday, 23 February 2012. We told him about the prayer room we hoped to see erected. His natural question was how it would be funded. We believe – and that we had seen over the decades - that with the vision he would give the provision.
I was never overwhelmed and overawed when I saw the next day that an email came in from Holland with the following text in translation: Two years ago we were informed that we as WEC Netherlands were co-heirs of the bequest of Mrs Ans Antoni. In her will one could read that the bequest should be spent on the mission work of the Cloetes. The question to you is whether you accept this gift...[63]
We had no hesitation to accept, knowing that this was the Lord's financial confirmation for the prayer room we hoped to see built.

Hosting Speakers from Abroad
From the middle of 2012 we were challenged with the hosting speakers from abroad.  I loved the challenge. Linked to the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Consultation, we had little hesitation to host Pastor Umar Mulinde and a niece, a nurse. He was attacked by a Muslim fanatic at the end of 2011 who threw acid on him. He had survived miraculously and was subsequently treated in Israel. Using him as our keynote speaker was quite a risk. It was finalized when he was still in hospital. God used Pastor Umar Mulinde powerfully in South Africa to wake up some Christians to the danger of militant Islam. He stressed that we must love Muslims but we must oppose, even hate the demonic spirit at the base of the religion.
          Just prior to his arrival in this country a Deputy Minister discouraged South Africans publicly to visit Israel. Umar Mulinde highlighted the link to the Marikana Platinum Mine tragedy two days later on 16 August, which resulted in the deaths of 44 people, the majority of whom were striking mineworkers, Pastor Mulinde had no doubt that it was ideologically and spiritually linked to the hate-filled speech of the Muslim Deputy Minister. We became very much aware of the fact that South Africa was cursed as a nation because of the anti-Israel stand of the government. The rand plummeted as a currency, a sign of a general economic decline.
          Other speakers we were requested to host and to organize itineraries for, got us quite excited. Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, a Muslim-raised Algerian and his Malaysian wife Hie Tee, whom God had used in the run-up to the revival among the Berbers of that country, challenged us to get a prayer and fasting chain going in order to achieve a breakthrough, notably in Bo-Kaap, the Islamic stronghold for which we had been praying for more than 20 years. Alon Grimberg, a German who has been living in Israel for many years and who married an Arab believer, encouraged us in our vision to see reconciliation between Jews and Muslims at the Cape through faith in Jesus. We felt ourselves so much on the same page with these speakers.

Visit of Pastor Youssef Ourahmane

In December 2012 Dr Ernst van der Walt invited folk via an OM connection to hear what God was doing in Algeria. At various occasions Pastor Youssef Ourahmane, a former Muslim, narrated how over the last 30 years there has been a revival in that country. Before 1980 the number of born-again followers in Algeria could be counted. There are now over 100, 000 believers in the country. He has personally seen Imams, Islamic scholars and terrorists come to Christ. In 2006 the Algerian government brought in a law that stated no evangelism of any kind would be allowed and ordered several churches to close down. The churches refused to obey the government and said “You had better build more prisons because we are not going to do what you are ordering.” Since 2006, because of the persecution of Christians, the church has grown faster than before and the Algerian government has come to understand that they will never be able to stamp out the church. Recently the Algerian government said to the church “You must train your pastors!!!” and the government has given permission for a Bible Institute to be set up.
            At the various events during the first days of March 2013 that they addressed, Pastor Youssef and his wife did not only share these facts but they also told us their secret. Through a fasting and prayer chain the change came about. We took up the challenge to get a fasting and prayer chain going that would impact our ministry significantly. Within months we had two committed believers from Bo-Kaap. These were however expatriates, respectively from Sudan and Zimbabwe. At a meeting with Pastor Youssef Ourahmane a believer form that country came into the ambits of our ministry. The conversion stories of these three plus those of a few others with whom we got into contact since 2012, are being published in a booklet called Into the Light.
An eventful Human Rights Day
The 2013 Human Rights Day was quite eventful from a spiritual perspective. On fairly short notice Helen Philips, the coordinator of the prayer groups that had been mushrooming all over the city, linked up with Mmathapelo Mbatho. The latter is an energetic young intercessor who had come from Johannesburg, and who had been trained by Pastor Light. Her husband has a government position and they got involved with a prayer group that was started in the national parliament. 
            Mmathapelo invited prayer warriors to come to the 24/7 prayer room at the Civic Centre on Human Rights Day, 212 March 2013. The prayer room experienced a very special presence of the Lord that day.
A Fasting and Prayer Chain takes Shape
An email from Pretoria announcing a National Day of Prayer for 19 May sparked a country-wide reaction. That was the background of my question to other prayer warriors. Reaction was quite swift. Within a few days the Drommedaris Hall of the Good Hope Centre in the City was booked and plans made for a meeting from 2-5 p.m on the 19th.
Furthermore, response for the prayer and fasting chain was positive. On Friday afternoon 19th April a few people came to our home in this regard and a few more showed interest to participate. The same evening believers gathered for a half night of prayer.  That this was noticed in the spiritual realms became evident when my car battery was removed, although I had specially parked the vehicle under a lamp post. When Jack Bruce announced what happened two days later in their Sunday service, some believer had been moved to drop an envelope into the collection. The content was intended 'for a new battery for Pastor Ashley'.  I was deeply touched by the gesture.
The Trickle of Converts becomes a Streamlet
It is clear that no single human agency can claim to be specially used in the recent movement to Christ from Islam at the Cape, although the support given to converts from Islam when they were ostrasized and persecuted was surely valuable. Missionaries from SIM Life Challenge, TEAM and WEC could be mentioned in this regard. This prevented many a Muslim from returning to the Islamic fold. The recent increasing trickle of converts is however the sovereign work of the Holy Spirit. Usually it has been a divine combination of factors: supernatural intervention through dreams and visions, the testimony of national believers and the ministry of churches and missionaries. The convincing testimony of former Muslims was the decisive one. If any single human contribution could be singled out, it should be the courageous, committed and sacrificial stand of believers who came out of Islam. They not only braved many a storm, but they taught the missionaries from abroad many a lesson. 
Pursuing the Unity of the Body of Christ
I was actively pursuing the visible expression of the unity of the Body of Christ. The monthly prayer meetings with Pastor Barry Isaacs at the Provincial Parliament and the Civic centre had become important tools to spread the word about any events to this end. The monthly Highway meetings with Pastor Baruch Maayan petered out when the fellowship around him also had weekly events.
Occasional events like one on the Grand Parade in October 2012, where Pastor Light Eze was the pivot caused the fire to flare-up briefly. Notably, one of his congregants, Maditshaba Moloko, a lay Christian and a City businesswoman, came through as a Christian leader as the Mistrress of Ceremonies at that occasion. She subsequently felt led to invite believers to a two-day conference at the Good Hope Centre on 10/11 December 2012 around the five-fold ministry. Known as someone who had a heart for Israel and for missionary work, God blessed her business so much that she was soon renting strategic premises in the City Centre. The Prowess premises on the 20th Floor of the Thibault Square sky scraper, which she moved into in 2015, also included a prayer room.
Divine Timing
Regarding the prayer room, we still had to learn that confirmation is one thing, but that divine timing was still needed. Our patience was severely tested over many months as delay upon delay followed because of different reasons. We had learned however over the years that it is best to wait on the Lord and not to rush things.
Towards the end of 2012, we felt quite ambivalent. There had been so many encouragements As a result of the event at the Good Hope Christian Centre around the five-fold ministry, a few believers followed this up with discussion around the issue of restitution at the home of Hilary Solomon. The spur was the message delivered by Pastor Martin Heuvel at that occasion. There Hilary Solomon came to the fore as a leader on behalf of the First Nation. In due course this terminology came to replace Khoisan. At a meeting at her home on 7 January 2013, a programme of five R's were tabled -Repentance, Reconciliation, Restoration, Restitution and Revival. A 'road map' was suggested where the united body of Christ could work towards achievable goals. Hereafter Hilary Solomon got critically ill, which almost brought an end to her life.

A Role for the Church in corporate Restitution?
Participating in a group of believers which looked at the follow-up of the conference at the Drill Hall in December as the 5 R's with restitution at its core, the quest was of course also to get some unified action by the Body of Christ. In a response to notes by Hilary-Jane Solomons, I wrote the following lines after attending one of the meetings where I was so excited to hear of biblical research around Sabah and Ramah as the possible ancestors of the first nation of South Africa:
Confession by the Body of Christ for the gradual increase in the first A.D. Centuries of anti-Semitism of non-Jewish background Christian believers and for the Replacement Theology of theologians, including the Church Fathers – that the Church replaced Israel. General global confession is also needed for the subsequent side-lining of Israel and Jews (notably by the decrees of Emperor Constantine in the early 4th century) and for the general neglect of the Tenach ('OT') as second-rate in respect of the 'New Testament' by the Body of Christ at large.
I believe that a possible subsequent return of the Body of Christ to the Torah in a non-legalist and loving way and/or giving prominence to it could be the result which the Father will honour in a big way. (I learned on Monday from Edgar Phillips and JP (??) from their exciting biblical research around Sabah and Ramah. Surmising that the neglect of the Torah could have been the reason for the punishment (exile into becoming hidden for centuries) is still perhaps a bit much, but it does make a lot of sense. It surely does provide a promising basis for more research.)

A Breakthrough at last?
In the space of a few weeks we saw seven people baptised with some link to our Discipling House at the end of 2013 and in January 2014 I baptised five of them – all had been Muslims before. When I heard soon thereafter of a MBB pastor it all become rather exciting and when his testimony seemed to part of a divine plan to bring other Muslims to the Cross. It had surfaced that the testimony and life-style of this township-ordained pastor, who knows the Bible very well and who has astounding biblical insight, was riddled with lies and deception. Although we knew that the lying spirit which is so typical of folk coming from Islamic background, he managed to keep up the lie for almost two years.
Another Discipling House?
During the first half of 2014 the unprecedented additions to the male complement of MBBs brought us immense excitement. In the third quarter of the year we enjoyed a four-month sabbatical overseas. A crisis at our Discipling House (intended for females) during our absence brought the need of another Discipling House, one for males, into discussion. Folk in Holland started taking action to get plans in place for a container in which they wanted to send contributions as they did at the beginning of the millennium.
Our joy and excitement turned out to be very premature. We should have known that. With the bulk of the new MBBs coming from the drug culture, we knew that this would not be easy. It was nevertheless gratifying that a vision we had years ago to see folk from that background disciple – albeit that it was indirectly. Much of this ministry transpired via the folk at our Discipling House and their very able house parents, Denise and Denise Atkins.
Disappointments
The attitude of the Moravian Church when we wanted to use Crises around the threat of islamisation of District Six brought massive disappointment. We hoped  to use the Moravian Hill premises during a prayer walk on 21 August in an attempt to pray that a Christian presence might be restored as it has been before Group Areas involvement and that the Cape might impact our country again as it did in the past.
Dear Rev. Cloete,

In view of relationship that the Moravian Church in South Africa has with other religious groups in South Africa, and in view of the public nature of your prayer walk in District Six for the purposes as contained in your e-mail below, your request for use of the Moravian Hill Chapel was declined.

Regards.


Sidney

Evidence of Eccleciastical Unity
We were blessed by an initiative of Elizabeth Jordaan of Jericho Walls which linked the Cape with Malaysia and Holland in April and another one in May – both in Durbanville        - which displayed some evidence of Eccleciastical Unity During the first half of 2015 there was very little evidence of the Along with other spiritual Fathers of our city we had liberty to invite Michelle and Arthur Coetzee from Krugersdorp to bring a message from God they were led to share with the Church in Cape Town. For coming Sunday, 7 July the Body of Christ is called to come in unity for worship and prayer. The meeting takes place at the Lighthouse Christian Centre in Parow that starts at 16h. We believe that our corporate response in obedience to what God is saying could be pivotal in a mighty forward move towards the spiritual renewal and transformation that we all long for. The 'Uniting in Prayer and Worship' meeting on the 7th July was a most inspiring and exciting event. Initially the committee had booked the Fellowship Hall which holds about 400 people. After carrying in the maximum number of chairs and there were still people standing, the Pastor offered to move us into the main auditorium with an estimated 800 people.

Michelle and Arthur Coetzee spoke of the prophetic words and visions God had given them and the urgent call for unity in the Body of Christ. As a symbol of unity and dying to self the leaders knelt and cast their crowns, symbolic of their ministries, at the foot of the cross.

Different people prayed for seven 'gates of influence' in society, viz. Family, Belief systems (church), Government, governance and leadership, Economy Education,  Science and Technology, Media, Arts and Culture.  The response from the congregation was deep and heartfelt. We repented of the evil in all these areas and claimed each one for the promotion of the Kingdom of God.

Another big prayer event was called on the 13th of September that was labelled as a National Day of Repentance for South Africa. The main event was in Bloemfontein where the ANC dedicated the country to the ancestral spirits. In the Mother City an event was arranged on short notice to co-incied with that one in St Mary's Catholic Cathedral just outside Parliament, uniting for prayer with Catholic brothers and sisters who have not joined us before. 

Joy turning Sour
Towards the end of 2015 the joy of new MBB converts of 2014 turned out to be premature. The pervasive lying spirit brought about tremendous strain. Just under two years later we had to attempt to control damages.

Really shattered by this response, I still hoped that my track record, copying in influential persons to whom Mr Stadler had sent his reply, two of whom had been student colleagues and one I had taught during a brief stint of quest lecturing there in the 1990s, I wrote in desperation: 
Thanks for your response. In the light of our fight against the apartheid government I am very grieved by this.  

Do I have to understand that the Moravian Church thus agrees with the Islamic agenda to make District Six into a second Bo-Kaap as the apartheid government did, i.e. to make a predominant Christian area into a Muslim stronghold?

I copy in those mentioned in your email and add to this Bishop Augustine Joemath.

Blessings,
Ashley D.I Cloete

P.S. I pray that the church Board of the Moravian Church will rectify this response.

That nobody responded to this day grieved me even more.




[1] The annual celebration of the revival among the children of Herrnhut on the 17 August, 1727.
[2] Originally Engel (meaning angel) was a German name and Joemat was a slave name.
[3]As principal of Spes Bona High School, Franklin Sonn became prominent in education matters. In subsequent years he headed a national teachers union. In the democratic South Africa he became the first ambassador of the country in the USA. Eybers was prominent in both the theological and educational fields, later doing a doctorate in the USA and becoming a professor there.
[4]The global movement is today known as Initiatives for Change.  In this work I however stick to the term at the time when it impacted me.
[5]The title alludes to one of the biblical Beatitudes of Matthew 5. Geregtigheid in Afrikaans has the double meaning of righteousness and justice.
[6] A fuller report of the visit to South Africa can be found in Involuntary Exile
[7] Dr Boesak later he openly clashed with Bishop Tutu because of the willingness of the Anglican bishop to continue talking to Prime Minister Botha.
[8] 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.
[9] In the mid-1980s a motor car tyre was put around the neck of any person suspected of conniving with the government, petrol would be poured over such a person and set alight. It was a sort of people’s court where the suspect had little or no opportunity to defend himself.
[10] Blacks were only allowed to be in the ‘White’ cities and towns under restricted conditions if allowed at all 
[11] Translation: Love drive out fear
[12]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 TV channel 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.

[13] In the new millennium I dropped all my research and other writings – in varying stages of completion - in my blog www.isaacandishmael.blogspot.com to deal with that.
[14]God had evidently already heard the agonizing 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. Between 1980 and 1984 many Kremlin old guard stalwart leaders died.
[15] Richard Wurmbrand called his organization to support Christians in communist countries The Underground Church
[16]Thus my idea of writing a letter to encourage the politicians  Nelson Mandela, Mangusuthu Buthelezi and F.W. de Klerk to put forward a common gesture of reconciliation did not go down well with one of the leaders, who thought that I was engaging in politics inappropriately. He feared a repetition of problems the mission agency had with a right-ẃing colleague not too long prior to this.
[17] WEC had actually already pioneered in this regard at this time with Newman Muzwondiwa from Zimbabwe and a South African 'Black', Abraham Thulare. But both of them were ministering in Japan.
[18] The institution, later called Cornerstone Christian College, was started as a parallel Bible school for ‘Coloureds’ to the renowned Bible Institute of South Africa in the White suburb of Kalk Bay.
[19] That special book had already influenced the praying for missions like possibly no other.
[20]In earlier years SIM Life Challenge had a similar initiative with its New Life group but that petered out. In 1993 SIM also started with centralized convert meetings.
[21] A few years later the Lord would use Ivan Walldeck to disciple Rashied Staggie, a well-known drug lord who became a follower of Jesus, albeit that his testimony became very blurred in due course.
[22] A personal connection was that the funding of the intensive renovation of the property was enabled by the mission agency in Stuttgart (Germany) where our friend Hermann Frick was working.
[23]We had been prepared though to reach out to Muslims when we were getting ready to work in the Ivory Coast in 1990. This was confirmed during our preparation as missionary candidates in Bulstrode, the international headquarters of WEC in 1991. 
[24]In preparation of a church service in September 2011, in which we celebrated the various cultures in our city, we were quite surprised to discover that there are so many more Jews in Sea Point (15000) than Muslims in Bo-Kaap (7,100). We know of course that Sea Point is space-wise much bigger than Bo-Kaap.
[25]              
[26]Accessible as Gabriel and Jibril at www. isaacandishmael.blogspot.com
[27] He helped out at the Sendingkerk down the road in Aberdeen Street while he was a theological student in Stellenbosch.
[28] I subsequently completed a treatise that I called A Revolutionary Conversation - lessons in cross-cultural outreach.
[29] The fellowship that worshipped there in the apartheid days signalled the tragic image of the political system like very few others. Just down the road ‘Coloureds’ of the same denomination were coming together every Sunday almost at the same time in a shack-like building.
[30] This is his adopted pseudonym, with which he became widely known around the world in later years.
[31] Although already almost at retirement age, the 57-year old nurse decided to venture into missions, entering the Africa School of Missions the following year. The year thereafter she was already on her way to the mission field, to the Indian subcontinent as a ‘tent-making’ missionary, using her nursing skills in a loving way to the down and outs. It became simultaneously the opportunity for us to upgrade our ‘fleet’, taking over her 1989 Mazda for a song. That car was to give us many years of faithful service until it was stolen in 2001.
[32] Not his real name.
[33]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.
[34]It was he who appeared to have made the biggest sacrifice of the children when we came to Cape Town after having had a fairly close friendship to Michael van der Wolf in Zeist and being without any friends in Cape Town for many months.
[35]Personally I would have preferred a more central venue but I compromised, not wanting to wreck the initiative because of a peripheral matter.
[36] Not her real name
[37] Not his real name.
[38] Not her real name
[39] Not her real name.
[40] Not his real name
[41] I knew that Hofmeyer had been a gang leader himself and that he still had close links to gangsters and that he was engaged in fruitful ministry in Pollsmoor prison.
[42]In 1993 our previous model had been stolen
[43]We took care of Nazeema after her ex-husband had shot her in her leg. Thereafter she fled to friends in the neighbourhood.
[44]This was later changed to a monthly event.
[45] The hospital became renowned worldwide in 1967 through the first heart transplant operation by Professor Chris Barnard and his team.
[46] I also had quite a few Bible School libraries at my disposal.
[47] The model was the ANC, which had given encouragement from exile. In January 1985 it had been suggested that the oppressed should make the country ungovernable. This should become its strategy to get ‘people’s power’ in place.
[48] I had prior contact with them in Holland, with Pieter Bos in the formation of the first Dutch Regiogebed in 1988 and with Cees Vork during one the Opwekking conferences at Vierhouten about ten years later.
[49] A mini-revival started there after the emancipation of slaves on 1 December 1838.
[50] Not her real name.
[51] Not her real name.
[52]He had been a gangster and drug Lord before God supernaturally intervened in his life.
[53]At that complex I had received my theological training from 1971 to 1973.
[54] This was in fact the venue of my own conversion experience on 17 September 1961.
[55] I knew him from the start of the Regiogebed in Holland in 1988 and I had also met Cees Vork in Holland.
[56]At some stage the Lord had to deliver me personally from resentment towards the Dutch Reformed Church. I had also been reading that the denomination was resisting change when the government under Prime Minister P.W. Botha was ready to repeal the law in the late 1970s. (This law had effectively blocked our possible return to South Africa.)
[57] In the years hereafter it became increasingly clear that interest groups would buy influence via bribes and support, e.g. through substantial gifts to help the ruling party at election time. This became quite a hot potato in the run-up to the 2009 elections when the Dalai Lama had been refused a visa as a result of the prior financial support of the Chinese government.
[58] She had married Doug Smetherham, a South African.
[59] A fuller version of his involvement can be found in other manuscripts.
[60] This relationship would affect the whole All Nations family in due course very positively.
[61]Lillian James was God’s strategic instrument to link us up with Leigh and Rabbah (Paul) Telli, when they came from the UK early in the new millennium.
[62]In preparation of a church service in September 2011, in which we celebrated the various cultures in our city, we were quite surprised that there are so many more Jews in Sea Point (15000 than Muslims in Bo-Kaap (7,100)
[63] Literally: Twee jaar geleden werd ons medegedeeld dat we als WEC-Nederland mede erfgenaam waren van de nalatenschap van mevr. J.F.Antoni. In het testament was te lezen dat de overleden mevrouw Antoni de wens had dat de erfenis aan het zendingswerk van de Cloetes zou besteed worden... De vraag aan jullie is nu: willen jullie deze gift aanvaarden...?

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