Monday, February 27, 2017

I was like Jonah (February 2017)

   I was like Jonah

1.            Early Gospel Seed.        
2.            The Gospel seed germinates
3.            An African Missionary in Germany?

4.    Home sweet Home
5.    Special Watchwords
6.    Back in Germany
7.     An Exile to all Intents and Purposes
8.     A radical activist
9.     Problems with Infant Christening.
10.  Home or Hearth?
11. Back to Africa?     
12.  Flexing Missionary Muscles        
13. Testing Times
14. Called to serve Cape Muslims?
15. Back to ‘School’
16. The Backlash
17. New Initiatives      
18. Under Attack
19. The Strong Wings at Work
20. A targeted Ministry to Foreigners
21.  Publication Fleeces

More than once I was just like the biblical Jonah, running away in some way or other, also from spiritual challenges.  Thankfully, God got hold of me again and again. All too often I obstructed His obvious purposes. Sometimes I double-crossed His plans through my activism and self-centredness. At other times, I was simply disobedient, doing my own thing, without even trying to find out what God’s will was. It took me very long to learn the biblical truth that it pays to wait on Him before acting.
         I originally intended to publish this booklet before 6 December 2006 when my best friend, the late Ds. Esau Jacobs, commonly known as Jakes, would have turned seventy. That occasion was the concrete inspiration to publish the present booklet. In a revised time frame, I tried to finish it just after my own seventieth birthday.
         My wife thankfully pulled the brakes when I was too impulsive and spontaneous. She however also encouraged and nudged me to try and get the one or other of many manuscripts published after I had been diagnosed with cancer of the prostate gland in 2003. Some of the manuscripts had been on my computer for many years in various stages of completion. She was also the one to correct me when I wanted to rush ahead with this manuscript prematurely. She challenged me to consider whether my passion for writing was not idolatrous. I discerned that HIS(s)tory should come to the front of the queue of unfinished manuscripts to be saved in cyberspace.
The most important lesson that I have probably learned over the years is perhaps that adversity often turns into a blessing when one can accept it with grace and thankfulness. The other big lesson I had to learn again and again was that it is always good to wait on the Lord. I have learned to be patient.  Very much aware that the reading of books is getting increasingly obsolete, I nevertheless dare to pray that many a reader may be blessed to read how God has been teaching and carrying me in spite of my obstinacy and doing my own, when I was like Jonah.
         I dedicate this updated manuscript to Anne, the widow of my late friend Jakes. This is thus intended as a tribute to one of the great unsung heroes of our beloved country.
            Being a follow-up of I will not die but live, some overlap in my life story is inevitable as this booklet should nevertheless be an entity on its own simultaneously. As in all our other autobiographical material and books, I refer to my race as 'Coloured' people. In a country as ours where racial classifications has caused such damage, I am aware that the designation 'coloured' has given offence to the group into which I have been classified.  For this reason, I put ‘Coloured’ consistently between inverted commas and with a capital C when I refer to the racial group. To the other races I refer as 'Black' and 'White' respectively, with a capital B and W, to denote that it is not normal colours that are being described.

Cape Town, February 2017

                                                            1. Early Gospel Seed

         I was on the go – perhaps like Jonah - often running away from problems - already from an early age.  Before I entered primary school in Cape Town's slum-like District Six, I could be found in places where I was not supposed to be, in spite of a sound Christian home background.       
         When ‘Aunty’ Bertha Roman – our next door neighbour of Combrinck Street - wanted to bring me home at one such occasion, I had the audacity to encourage one of the many roaming dogs: ‘sa! Byt haar! (Charge, Bite her!). Long before I could read I was roaming through the area, knowing the name of almost every street. When I turned six I detested the idea of going to school, fearing that my freedom would be curbed... It surely was God’s grace in my life that we moved from there at an age where I was very receptive to wrong influences.
         On the other hand, I was somehow moved at an early age when I listened to an open air service near to our home in District Six at which John 3:16 was sung - For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son.
         (Photo: In front of our house in 30 Combrinck Street, District Six with some relatives, holding the hand of my favourite ‘Aunt’ Patsy Roman, our neighbour.)
         The Moravian tradition, from which both of my parents hailed, served as an effective foil to the slum-like sur­roundings of my early childhood. Thus it was logical to them that we as children would attend the Zinzendorf Primary School and the Sunday school at the same venue.    

Denominational Prejudice diminishing          
People from other countries and cultures enriched my life. This is especially valid in respect of faith. My appreciation of other church traditions started already in the slum-like District Six where I was bred in my early childhood. (I was born in Bo-Kaap's St Monica's Maternity Clinic on the other side of the Central Business District of South Africa's Mother City.) I had a few Muslims in my class or in our neighbourhood, but this did not challenge me at all.  As a little roamer on the streets of District Six for so much of my life there as a kid, listening to open-air services was only natural. But this did not remove completely the prejudice against anything that could be interpreted as ‘sectarian’.

Gospel Seed into my Heart
Nevertheless, I remember a fairly positive appreciation of some German evangelist, merely because this took place in our beloved Moravian Chapel in Ashley Street.
            At the end of 1954, we moved to to the Northern outskirts of the Cape Peninsula. We had a big property of 8 plots in Tiervlei, as the Cape suburb Ravensmead was called in those days. Here we were regarded as ‘affluent’ because we were one of few families that possessed a brick house. That the outside plastered walls did not even have a single layer of colour and that our kitchen looked horrible because of black soot, was not relevant. Almost all the other people, who resided there, lived in shacks of some sort.
         Tiervlei was still quite rural at that time. There were many sandy roads. We initially attended the nearby Moria Sendingkerk, the local Dutch Reformed Church as a family on Sunday mornings. In the afternoon we joined the Moravian services in the garage of Mr Charles Grodes, the owner of a small taxi fleet. The school up the road that my siblings and I attended was linked to the Volkskerk, the first indigenous Cape denomination. There we learned the anthem ‘Protea, protea. ..blom van ons vaderland’ (Flower of our fatherland).
         In Tiervlei my prejudice against Christians from other denominations got further  reduced. I was still nine years old when the next clear invitation followed to accept Jesus as my personal Saviour. This time it happened at an evangelistic service by the well-known evangelist Robert Thom in a big tent next to the local AFM Church in Mornay Street.  I responded to the altar call, but I was neither counselled properly, nor was there any follow-up.
An Errand Boy in Elim                                                                                                                        As a retired Moravian school principal and minister, my grandfather, Oupa Joorst, asked my parents from the Elim Mission Station whether I could come and help them as a ‘stuurding’. As an errand boy I was required to fetch water, go to the shop for them and empty the toilet buckets. Although the idea did not really appeal to me to go to the country-side, I agreed fairly readily to go to Elim at the beginning of 1957 as a ‘stuurding for him and Aunty Maggie (She had come to care for 'Oupa Joorst' after her divorce and the death of Ouma Joorst)..
            There quite an amount of Gospel seed was sown into my heart in various ways. The memorizing of Bible verses would come in good stead in later years. A special Scripture portion was the first verses of Isaiah 53. We had to memorise how the prophet wrote about an unknown suffering person who was compared with a lamb taken to be slaughtered. I understood this as a prophecy about Jesus as the Lamb of God. He, the Lamb, did not open His mouth when He was falsely accused.
            Towards the end of February 1958 ‘Oupa Joorst’ became very ill. The doctor stated that he was not going to live very long. A clear impact transpired when I returned from school for the noon break on 8 March 1958. I went straight to Oupa’s bedroom, where the neighbour, Ta’ Stienie Daniels, tried to push me out of the room, but it was too late! She could not stop me experiencing something very special! I was privileged to see the radiant joy on the face of the aged saint going ‘home’. He evidently saw something which nobody else of us at his bedside saw. He stretched out his arms expectantly, as if he was being fetched, with his face lighting up for a moment. And then it was all over... This left an indelible mark on me as I saw that Oupa obviously rejoiced to be ‘taken’ along.                                                                           I was however terrified because I was nowhere certain where I would go if I would die some day. How I detested the enforced Sunday midday nap which Auntie Maggie foisted on me and my brother Windsor, who later also joined me in Elim. But God used that circumstance to speak to me. The reading of a tract and the practice of the church brass band - while I was waiting for the church bell to toll for 2.30 p.m. so that I could go and play - combined to frighten me. I was not yet ready to meet God if I would die ...

Changes in Tiervlei    
The situation back home in Tiervlei changed when our Dad had lost his job as a blocker at a milliner factory where they produced female hats. After Daddy had become unemployed in 1957, no factory in the clothing industrial union was inclined to employ a middle-aged worker on top wages. Mommy took employment as nanny of the children of Professor Beinart from the UCT Law Faculty.
Even when Daddy eventually did get work as a night porter at Mupine, the hostel for workers of the insurance company Old Mutual, the total earnings were still not sufficient. The financial situation at home continued to deteriorate. My parents saw no other way out than to take our sister Magdalene out of school as the eldest of the four siblings. She co-operated willingly to try and augment the family budget. My younger brother Windsor and me had already been taken care of by our grandparents and Aunty Maggie in Elim.[1]
 Being away from home for two weeks in a row was unsatisfactory for our mother for the family life - with a meagre salary to boot. An attempt of work for a Jewish couple at a shop in Parow was also unfortunate. Our Mom ultimately joined Magdalene at Footmaster, the factory near to in Parow station where they manufactured socks of all shapes and sizes..

Secondary School Challenges                                                                                                          For my secondary school training I had to return to the Cape Peninsula from the Elim Mission Station, attending Vasco High School, one of the only three in the northern suburbs designated for ‘Coloureds’. (In fact, the one in Bishop Lavis only offered schooling up to Standard Eight (Grade Ten) at that time.)
         I felt myself inferior to my English-speaking learner colleagues, but yet challenged. In spite of not really working hard, I managed to do well enough to be among the top four students at Vasco High School in Standard Seven (Grade Nine) after six months. That I was put in a class with Woodwork as a subject – without Mathematics - proved to be something of a handicap. When I went to ask the principal whether I could do Latin, he chased me out of his office. It was not available any more at the school for Grade Nines! I was too scared to push through my request to be put in a class with Maths.
         Nicholas (Klaas) Dirks was my best friend, the only one in my class who stayed fairly near to us. In the morning we would walk the few kilometres down Jopie Fourie Street to Tiervlei station, where we boarded the train to Elsies River. From there we walked another kilometre or two to the ‘Acres’, where our school was situated in Wiener Street.

Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine!     
Our school principal, Mr Braam, was a fervent Methodist lay preacher who challenged us time and again with the song ‘Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.’ He would stress the certainty he had personally experienced when he accepted Jesus as his Saviour. This made me quite jealous because I did not have that assurance.     
            Nicholas (commonly called Klaas) Dirks was a member of the Boys’ Brigade. One day he invited me to an event staged by the Sendingkerk Boys’Brigade at the Goodwood Showgrounds to be held on 17 September 1961. The open air congregation was to be addressed by a certain Dr Oswald Smith from Canada. The name did not say anything to me. The Lord used the Canadian preacher to challenge me to consider seriously that Jesus did not only die for the sins of the world at large, but also for my sins. The first part was not new to me at all. How often we had been repeating in the church on a Sunday in one of the liturgies Lam van God wat die sonde van die wêreld wegneem…[2], I accepted Jesus as my personal Saviour, once again without receiving any spiritual discipling thereafter.
            For Standard Eight (Grade Ten) Richard Arendse had shifted into Nicholas Dirks’ place as the best friend in the class. (I had asked to be put in the class that had Mathematics as a subject). When the Arendse family had to leave the ‘Acres’ of Goodwood in the wake of the Group Areas implementation, Richard’s family bought the house that my uncle, ‘Pappa’ Joorst, had rented in Eendrag Street, Bellville South (This was one of the few residential areas where Whites who lived on the ‘wrong’ side of the railway line, actually moved out as ‘Coloureds’ moved in.)

Interest in Politics
The Sharpeville and Langa events of 1960 made itself felt all over the Western Cape. I had really started hating apartheid but not Whites as such. The subtle education – indoctrination is perhaps the better word - of a racially discriminatory society and the oppressive government combined to create an all-pervasive climate of racial prejudice. Thus I was thoroughly influenced to look down upon Blacks. At the time of the Sharpeville shootings and the march of thousands of Blacks from Langa to the Caledon Square Police Station in March 1960, I was one of the first to leave the school premises of Vasco High School when a rumour went around that the ‘kaffers’ were coming. With fear and trepidation we left the school building.
            I displayed more courage in writing a letter to the Prime Minister, Dr Verwoerd, at this time. 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 at the end of the school term. A serious reprimand followed: “Do you also want to go and languish on Robben Island?” I did not fancy that prospect. It was well-known that this was the fate of some people who got involved in resistance politics. I had no intention to join the league of Robben Islanders.
            A year later, I dared to heed the boycott call on the occasion of the Republican festival. (South Africa became a Republic on 31 May 1961 - but the country also left the British Commonwealth at the same time.) Nevertheless, my move was not completely courageous, because I used a sound excuse for my absence from school: I went to Karl Bremer Hospital for some flimsy reason.  A few years later, doctors there did consider seriously removing my tonsils which had swollen a few times.

Medical Studies at UCT?      
As I was finishing high school, one of our high school teachers, Mr Muhammad, thought that I should apply for studies and a bursary to the University of Cape Town to engage in medical studies. (My father also mentioned the possibility of a bursary. The news of my results at Junior Certificate level (Grade 10) inspired one the residents of Mupine that was linked to the Old Mutual Insurance Company in Pinelands to spon­sor me for medical studies at the University of Cape Town. Daddy was working there as a night porter.)
         But I never even gave it a thought. But this was no Jonah stint. I simply felt myself much too inferior to attend a ‘White’ university. I also had no aptitude for the medical profession at all. I was however also determined not to go and study at the apartheid tainted 'Bush' University College that had just started for 'Coloureds' in Bellville South!

If the Lord does not build the House                                                                                               The final Matric exams were quite strenuous. I wrote my last paper - Geography – three weeks after the first one. On the day before this paper, I was completely exhausted after many late nights and early mornings, trying to put in the last touches. We had a teacher for the subject who was nowhere qualified for it - a situation at the time that was so typical in all secondary schools for learners who were not White. We were ill prepared for the Geography paper. Often I studied together with Attie Louw and Attie Kotze, two class mates who lived nearby. I worked out a strategy for myself to make the best of the situation. But I had no energy left when I turned to the Bible that evening for a special word.  I had a book mark from the Bible Society with scripture verses and portions for various occasions. Under a heading like vermoeidheid (exhaustion) I found Psalm 127. 'If the Lord does not build the house.... in vain you work so hard from early morning until late at night.' That was just the word I needed. I was definitely not copping out by going to bed immediately. 
         The examination paper seems to have been made tailor-made for the strategy I had worked out. I praised the Lord that I passed quite well in that subject, unlike the bulk of my class mates.

A Financial Crisis at Home yet again                                                                                                           By this time our family had progressed materially somewhat. We were now for example the proud owners of two bicycles. Our sister Magdalene received a new one on her 16th birthday with which she cycled to the Elizabeth Arden cosmetics factory in Parow. (She had been sacked at the Footmaster sock factory for talking too much and being too playful.) But she had opened the door for our mother to get employment at Footmaster.) Every day I used the same bicycle which Daddy had been using, after he had returned home from Mupine in the morning.           
            During 1962 our mother was forced to stop working because of arthritis - aggravated by the factory work, where she had to be on her feet all day.[3] In those days when only few people possessed a washing machine, Mom would also do some washing for relatives who took pity on us as a family.
God's higher Ways impacting me
I matriculated at the end of 1962, with the under­stand­ing that I could finish my teacher training after a year of any other employment that I could find. The financial situation at home was not such that all three boys could be kept in educational institutions. Kenneth, the oldest of the sons had started at Hewat Teachers’ Training College.
            After a few unsuccessful attempts at getting clerical work[4] that was as a rule reserved for Whites in those days, I settled for a menial job at Nasionale Boekhandel in nearby Parow, cleaning the machines. Returning to our Tiervlei home from the printing works in Parow in the late afternoon of early January 1963, I learned that I had been accepted for study at Hewat Teachers’ Training College in Crawford.
         I was quite surprised when my parents disclosed that they felt that I should proceed to ‘Hewat’. They had been challenged by the ‘Watchword’ from the Moravian textbook for the day, Isaiah 55:8: “My ways are not your ways ...” They decided to send me to college by faith.

Holy Spirit Conviction          
In the first quarter of 1963 I was deeply challenged by the personal testimony of Dominee Piet Bester, the new minister of the local Sendingkerk congregation, which also used the name Moria.  The testimony of Dominee Bester pierced my heart. He discerned that his love for folk dancing was idolatrous. I was challenged: Was I actually idolizing sport? I recommitted my life to the Lord.
         As part of a new commitment to the Lord, I decided to stop playing cricket for Tigers, the local club. Even before this decision, I had been quite radical. As secretary of our church youth group I deviated in my annual report from the prevalent custom of painting a rosy, but dishonest picture of our activities.
         At this time there was also a lot of movement ecumenically in the circles in which we moved. Thus we had preachers from various denominations on the pulpit of our small church in Tiervlei. All members of our family played a role. Daddy contributed by inviting Mr Braam, our school principal as well as Nic Bougas,[5] who resided in the Old Mutual Hostel Mupine.  Nic was linked to Youth for Christ. In later years Tony Links, a teacher colleague and a Seventh Day Adventist, graced our pulpit. Our sister Magdalene invited Chris Wessels, a young Moravian assistant minister at that time, for some youth service. His sermon on Jeremiah 4:3 was very exceptional, making a deep impression on me, even though the contents became rather vague. Only very seldom we heard a sermon from one of the prophets. 'Braak vir julle 'n braakland. Saai nie onder dorings nie', (Break up your fallow ground, and sow not among thorns . …')  was like seed sown on the fertile soil of my heart. It germinated there , coming up many years later in my exposition of the Parable of the Sower: 'Still others, like seed sown among thorns, hear the word; but the worries of this life, the deceitfulness of wealth and the desires for other things …' I gradually became very sensitive to the all too visible economic disparity of our society. Quietly I started to wage opposition to materialism.
         Chris Wessels utilised the occasion to challenge me to take up theological studies. But I was adamant that the Lord should clearly call me personally to serve Him as a pastor.  Thereafter the conviction grew even stronger within me that I should really experience a divine calling from the Lord before indulging in such studies.

          (My ID card, which one got at the age of 16)
         As I went into my second year of teacher training - in those days that was the final year - I did not feel comfortable and capable at all to go and teach straight away the following year. I was really not acting cowardly like a Jonah. I still looked like a school kid myself. I genuinely feared that the learners would run over me because of my youthful appearance.

Unity in Christ across the racial Divide?
Rather naively I valiantly disregarded – and sometimes even defied with some risk - the unwritten prescripts of our racially discriminatory society. While I was still a student teacher I went to an evangelistic healing event with the evangelist Rassie Erasmus at a PPK (Pentecostal Protestant) church attended by Afrikaners. Normally only Whites attended that church. This attendance was in no way politically motivated. I genuinely hoped to get my arm straightened supernaturally at the service with the famous former well-known Boeremusiek accordion player. (While at secondary school my elbow got fractured during a rugby match. In the subsequent three-week hospitalisation and treatment thereafter, I retained a slight handicap, not able to straighten my left elbow completely.)

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,[6] 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. Thereafter he became travelling secretary of the Christian Students Association. In that capacity he would 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 myself to come and preach. Attie Louw, who was with me in Matric, had contacts via the Christian Students Association (CSV). The Lord used him to bring new life into the CSV of our school. As a very committed believer, Attie was all set to become a Sendingkerk pastor.
Attie came to preach at one of our youth services and he also recommended his theological student colleague Allan Boesak.
Allan came to preach in our fellowship soon after he had started with his theological studies. Coming from what we regarded as far away Somerset West, Allan slept at our home the Saturday evening ahead of the youth service the following day. This gave me a good opportunity for theological discussion. I eagerly grabbed the occasion to sound Allan out about the christening of infants.  (On the issue of believer’s baptism a Pentecostal friend had been influencing me.)
Allan couldn’t really convince me, but I was satisfied that he 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.
If the Pentecostal friend had come on the agreed 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.

A Challenge to Mission Work                                                                                                            Ds. Piet Bester, who came to Tiervlei in 1962 (later called Ravensmead), was divinely used to get me not only interested in sharing the Gospel with others, but also interested in missionary work. Since I was racially classified and raised as a ‘Coloured’ in apartheid South Africa, I never considered in my wildest dreams that I would ever get to another country for missionary purposes. I served as a volunteer at a small open air Wayside Sunday School in someone’s backyard.
         The run-up to my involvement with the Wayside Mission was actually quite interesting. In the Sunday school of our congregation, I had led a few children to a personal faith in Jesus as their Saviour. I also encouraged the children to tell others about their decision to follow Jesus. One of the children from the Sonnenberg family did just this at their home. The staunch Moravian parents promptly complained to the church leadership about the 'un-Moravian' way in which I was conducting the Sunday School classes. To get ‘converted’ to faith in Jesus was regarded to be sectarian by the rank and file Moravian Church member at the Cape, also on the mission stations. (Sadly, our denomination had thus drifted far away from its blessed evangelistic and missionary beginnings.)
         Reverend Rudie Balie, our minister and our Mom’s cousin, came to Tiervlei once a month. At the next opportunity I was called to book. I was however not prepared to budge, deciding to rather stop Sunday school teaching there. This typified the defiant, rebellious and arrogant spirit of that era of my life. I joined the above‑mentioned Wayside Mission instead.

Preferring to be knocked down by a Car

While I was still a rebellious critical young teacher trainee, divine intervention was needed to get me to finish the confirmation class in the Moravian Church. It was apparently God’s way of keeping me in this denomination.
            With the possibility of having to go and teach somewhere on the countryside the following year, my parents insisted that I should attend the confirmation classes of the church. I resisted this vehemently because I could not find any Biblical evidence for the tradition. Yet, I attended the first confirmation class obediently, although in my heart I was still rebelling. Because there was no one else from the Tiervlei congregation that year to be confirmed, it was agreed that I would attend the classes in preparation for confirmation in Maitland, the main church. These classes were held twice a week, on Wednesday and Sunday evenings after the respective service.
         How happy I was when Uncle Rudie Balie stressed at the very first evening that attendance should be voluntary. If anybody had been sent by his parent or family, it was not acceptable! At the next opportunity, on the Wednesday afternoon, I would have waited at the parsonage in Maitland - en route from Hewat in Crawford – until the evening. Immediately I went to Uncle Rudie, informing him that I was not attending the confirmation voluntarily at all. He responded very calmly that I should then just go home and pray to discern whether the Lord wants me at the classes or not. He would do the same.
         My parents were of course very sad when I returned home quite early that day, breaking the news triumphantly why I did not attend the first confirmation class. Our friend Pietie Orange from the local Rhenish Church came along the same evening with the request whether I could preach at their youth service the coming Sunday evening. This was just the sort of affirmation which I needed that the church tradition of confirmation was 'from satan'. I noticed how I was hurting my parents, but I could not care. I arrogantly knew everything so much better!
            My certainty was however soon rocked. On the Saturday afternoon Pietie Orange came over once again with the news that the youth service had been cancelled (in those days only very few ‘Coloureds’ had telephones). Like a beaten dog, I went to the next confirmation class, knowing that God had intervened. But I was still very much unconvinced. I still would have preferred to be knocked down by a car rather than being confirmed on Palm Sunday in the Moravian Church in Maitland. If a ship was available to take me in the other direction like Jonah, I probably would have taken it gladly. No car knocked me down and I was duly confirmed, but very involuntarily.

Ready to be ex-communicated          
Allan Boesak came to preach in our fellowship soon after he started with his theological studies. Allan had to come from Somerset West, 30 kilometres away. Allan slept with us 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. 
            Allan Boesak couldn’t really convince me, but I was satisfied that he 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.

A major turning Point in my Life
Allan Boesak’s dedication to the Lord made a deep impression on me. When he spoke about the ‘stranddienste’, the beach gospel services of the Students Christian Association at Harmony Park, he sowed seed in my heart. This seed germinated when my Moravian soul mate Paul Engel joined me at Hewat Training College. Paul also spoke about the Harmony Park beach outreach. I was soon ready to join the evangelistic outreach after Christmas in 1964.

2. The Gospel Seed germinates

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

Impacted by other Followers of Jesus
For the other beach outreach participants it might not have been so significant, but the unity of the Christians coming from different church backgrounds there at Harmony Park left an indelible mark on my mind. I did not know the divine statement yet that God commands his blessing where unity exists (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). Along with my new friends Jakes and David Savage from the City Mission, I started learning the power of prayer there at Harmony Park. When Jakes came into the tent one night after an intense discussion with a Muslim, he quoted Jesus’ words about prayer and fasting. This was my first introduction to spiritual warfare.
         In Harmony Park I was not only spiritually revived, but there I also received an urge to network with other members of the body of Christ, with people from different denominational backgrounds.

A Teenage Secondary School Teacher          
By chance’ Mr Braam, my high school principal, who had just started a new secondary school in Bellville South the previous year, discovered that I was still available to assist him. The increase in enrolment at the new school required more teachers. In those days ‘Coloured’ university graduates were just not available for the high schools. I had just turned 19, but I still looked like a 14 or 15 year old. Thus I would now have to teach children almost my own age. The prospect of being only a few miles from home was however quite attractive.
            After my encounter with the Lord before my first Harmony Park beach outreach, I started to attend the early prayer meetings every Sunday morning at six o’clock at the Tiervlei Sendingkerk.
The missionary zeal of the Harmony Park outreach was still very much part and parcel of me. I displayed a badge “Jesus Saves” and I challenged people left right and centre to accept Jesus as their Lord. It was only natural that a branch of the Student Christian Associ­ation (SCA) was to be started at the school.
            The SCA was however going through a crisis in 1965. The association had just broken up along racial lines. Much to my surprise, the divisive politics of the country started to play a role. Mr. Braam, our principal, called me in to object to the name to be used of the Christian organisation that had just split. Mr. Braam himself displayed a badge of the SCA. He made it clear however that he didn’t want to have an organisation on his school premises that played the apartheid game. Our principal had strong objections to have a group of the ‘VCS’ - the ‘Coloured’ section of the segregated movement - at the school. I had no problem with this position. I simply changed the name of our lunchtime student Bible group to the ‘Jesuites’. Nobody complained this time, so we just went ahead. I was too naive to consider that this could be confused with a Catholic movement. In the ‘Coloured’ community denominational walls were quite thin anyway.

Unconventional Stuff 
But also in the classroom I expressed my faith quite radically, such as distributing evangelistic tracts of the evangelist Chris Cronje and organising a trip for interested students to evangelistic campaigns, such as those at the Goodwood Showgrounds. Here I bumped against the ever-present apartheid walls. I had booked seats telephonically, without mentioning that I would bring along a group of ‘Coloured’ students. I was not as radical yet to cause a stir, by insisting on the seats that I had booked! We just took the issue in our stride because there were still ample seats in the ‘other’ (the non-White) section of the stand.
         I was nevertheless looking at all sorts of ways to express the unity in Christ across the racial divide. I thus eagerly latched on to the opportunity to pray with the young people of Youth for Christ (YFC) on Friday mornings after I had read about the prayer meetings in their periodical. This would have been a natural supplement of my prayer times early on Sunday mornings at the Sendingkerk Moria.
            However, when I pitched up at the YFC event on my way to school, I was told that the prayer meetings were not open to ‘Coloureds’.  I took that in my stride, knowing that this was South African ‘way of life’. How pervasive racial prejudice and the racist practice was I also experienced inside the Wayside Mission. It was the common practice to let workers of the same gender operate as a pair. There was however no young White male available (or willing?) to work with me. The mission leaders teamed me up with a ‘Coloured’ female. Alas! The right race was evidently of prime importance to this evangelical group, as it would have been for so many others in that era.
         My weekends were hectic, often even more than the weekdays. (I was holding a full-time teaching job and studying extra-murally for a Bachelor of Arts degree.) Yet, I revelled in those four years of frenetic life, during which my family did not see much of me, not even during the school holidays. I was cycling to all sorts of venues seven days a week, sometimes from six o’clock in the morning. (If we had electricity at home, I might also have worked until late at night. The paraffin (kerosene) lamp light we used at home made one quite drowsy so that I was usually already in bed by nine thirty in the evening.)
         Multi-racial work camps at Langgezocht in the mountains of the Moravian Mission station Genadendal from the mid-1960s - to help build a camp site there - gave me the rare opportunity to meet students from other racial groups in a natural setting.

Completely unbalanced                                                                                                                        I was very much a child of my surroundings and spiritually completely unbalanced. I initially frowned upon lengthy degree studies because I expected the Lord to return very soon. However, when I heard that extra-mural courses would be started at the University College of the Western Cape, I jumped at the opportunity to start degree studies, conveniently forgetting my earlier reservations to study at the ideologically apartheid-tainted ‘Bush’ college. Soon I was cycling to the school in the morning, and from there to the afternoon and evening classes. Not knowing that it would come in good stead at a later stage, I had included German Special as one of my degree courses. ( I was however sad that they could not offer Mathematics as a subject extra-murally straight away. Only in my final year of the degree I included Mathematics in my curriculum, doing it through correspondence with UNISA.)
            Being thoroughly materialistic at this time, I only had eyes for the opportunity to get in line for promo­tion as a teacher in later years, so that I would be able to earn more. But there was also the academic field that beckoned. Posts at the new 'Coloured' University were waiting to be filled by people from our racial grouping. As one of the better students and also the youngest of the extra-mural ones, this was quite a tempting option.[7]
            Often I utilised the time on the bicycle with a book on the steering bar, e.g. while I memorised the various forms of the German strong and irregular verbs.

(Picture: Leaving home as a young teacher. The big empty space gives some indication of the size of our property. Our father used much of it for gardening purposes.)

Activism as a Teacher
My interest in politics and the struggle for democracy had received a tremendous boost at Hewat Training College. Many a lecturer supported the struggle against apartheid, although they were in general quite careful. Quite a few teachers were dismissed at this time or posted to rural places for sharing their political views too openly. Great was my disappointment though when two of the best lecturers, Mr Herbert (History) and Mr Hanmer (Geography) left for England and Canada respectively. Were they not running away from the responsibilities like Jonah?
         In 1966 I was subtly nudging my secondary school learners to boycott the celebrations for 'Coloureds' at the Goodwood Showgrounds. We were expected to celebrate that we had five years as an independent Republic. Even subtle influence on the learners was however already regarded as an infringement. A teacher colleague, Armine Jardine, was dis­missed in the wake of the ‘celebration’ for influencing the children politically because his whole class did not attend the celebration. That I was almost posted to the countryside as punishment for refusing to attend, hardly had any effect on me. I was not going to allow this intimidation to deter me from taking a principled stand on such issues. (Decades later – in 2008 - I was to use this tactic again in addressing the corruption at Home Affairs, spreading the word that the refugees should try and get the money back which had been taken from them illegally.)
         I also challenged my teacher colleagues - as a form of protest - that we as ‘Coloureds’ should request to get the lower salaries of the ‘Blacks’. That would be demonstrating our seriousness about racial equality. But nobody was interested in such a proposal. Everybody was only eager to get parity salaries with the Whites.

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

A Bursary for Studies in Germany
The next day we went to Pella for our condensed Sunday School Conference. I was completely surprised when Reverend August Habelgaarn, a member of our church board, approached me with the question whether I would be interested in a bursary for theological studies in Germany.[8]
            I was overawed by the perfect timing of the Lord! If this offer had been put to me a few days previously, I might have turned down the special offer. The temptation to study abroad would have been very attractive. I had however been repeating in prayer to the Lord for some time that I was prepared to serve him as a pastor. But I wanted to be absolutely sure that it was Him calling me. I definitely did not want to merely follow the tradition of our clan or a good idea. I was very happy to tell Reverend August Habelgaarn that I saw this as clear confirmation of the call of the Lord the previous day. After another few months preparations were well advanced towards my leaving for Germany at the beginning of 1969.

(Some of the people who came to see me off at the quayside: From left to right (front row): my friend Jakes, my Brother Kenneth, nephew Clarence on the arm of our dad, Brother-in-law Anthony Esau, Bishop Schaberg, Mommy, my sister Magdalene and sister-in-law Malie, Back Row: V.C.S. student camp friends John Tromp, Martin Dyers, Richard Stevens John was also a local Tiervlei Calvinist church youth friend, Martin a fellow student at Hewat, and Richard a class mate at Vasco High School)

(On my way to Germany)                                                                   


3. An African Missionary in Germany?

         Romances started to play a bigger role in my life. I had just turned 23 when I left South Africa All around me my peers were getting married. Just prior to my departure I almost got romantically befriended to a church worker who both my best friend Jakes and I felt could be ‘a candidate’.
         I was however determined from the outset not to marry a German girl because that would have prevented me from returning to South Africa due to of the laws of the country at the time. Rationally, I considered that I would be of more use inside South Africa than outside of the beloved country.

(On the day of my departure with my close friend Jakes standing between my mother and me. My dad is on the extreme left with John Tromp, a friend from the Calvin Protestant Church in Tiervlei)

Studies at Tübingen University?       
I regarded the stay in Europe from January 1969 in the first place as an opportunity to study, but it was also combined with some missionary zeal. Fairly at the beginning of my stint in Germany, I opposed Marxist theological students, although I still could not yet express myself sufficiently in German, thus needing an interpreter. A German lady exclaimed quite shocked that their ‘Christian’ country now seemed to be in need of mission­aries from Africa!
         From the outset I regarded myself as a ‘short term missionary’. In those days this terminology was still fairly unknown. The possibility of a missionary coming from Africa to ‘Christian’ Europe was unheard of. But I was also determined to return to my home country to serve the Lord there. The almost two years in Germany, during which I learned much about youth work in the first year, were very enriching. The last of the two years was devoted to studies in Greek, Hebrew and Latin.[9] 
         I had to guard myself against falling in love if that were possible at all. I had to learn the hard way (well, really?) that also my emotions had to be brought under God’s rule! His ways were indeed higher, also with regard to my future marriage partner. I still had to learn that it was not right to prescribe to the Lord the race to which my future wife should belong. 

My Defences fell apart
I had not been in Europe for two weeks when ‘it’ hap­pened. I fell in love as never before. A Christian girl in Switzerland not only impressed me, but I also noticed a growing feeling towards her that drove me to my knees. I was really thrown into a spiritual crisis. I asked the Lord to take away my infatuation because she was 'White'. I felt myself committed to a task and a commission that was awaiting me in South Africa. The emotional crisis was saved when the friend wrote to me a few months later that ‘she’ appreciated me like a brother. However, she had a boyfriend of her own. God taught me through this experience not to prescribe to Him to which race my future wife should belong. The end result of this experi­ence was however that all my defences fell apart, not careful anymore at all.  I sadly caused more than one young German female to be hurt in the months hereafter.
            A clear challenge came from a completely different direc­tion when I landed at Selbitz, a protestant institution that had all the hall-marks of a monastery. The life-style of these Christians challenged me to a celibate life, something with which I had not been confronted before. But I knew myself too well. I settled for a compromise: I decided to dedicate my ‘youth’ to the Lord, i.e. I wanted to stay unmarried until the age of thirty. This was however definitely no Jonah stint!
          My vow-like intention to stay a bachelor until the age of thirty was made easy when I fell in love with a teenager. I knew that I would have to wait on my young girlfriend for many years before we could marry. My resolve to return to South Africa at all costs had all but disappeared by that time.
When my teenage girlfriend wrote to me some months later ‘I don’t love you any more’, I was thrown into deep despair. But soon hereafter, a black-haired beauty walked into my life... Rosemarie!

Stay clear of Politics! 
Before I left South Africa, Bishop Schaberg warned me to stay clear of politics, because agents from the apartheid government were also well represented overseas. The Lord had blessed me with insights that turned out to be quite pro­phetic. In my usual talk on South Africa, I spoke about the unique problems of the country. I defined them as the apartheid government policy, the disunity of the churches and alcohol­ism. As a solution to the problems, I suggested much prayer because I believed in the power of prayer, the result of the mentoring of Ds. Bester. As a speaker from Africa, I was something of a celebrity in certain quarters, especially on the German countryside.
I heeded Bishop Schaberg’s warning initially, without however really making a conscious effort. A letter from my parents changed all this. It shocked me out of my wits to hear that our family had been served with a notice of the expropriation of our property in Tiervlei under the guise of slum clearance. Before I left South Africa we had heard a rumour that our property – the house plus 8 big vacant plots on which more houses could be built – was offered to a Bellville South businessman. Considering that our solid brick house nowhere resembled one of those that qualified for slum clearance, we had initially taken that to be an unfounded rumour.
What really enraged me there in Europe was that my mother mentioned in her letter something about ‘the will of the Lord.’ I could not perceive the move of the Parow Municipality as anything else than a new version of the jealousy of Naboth in respect of the vineyard of a poor man (1 King 21:1-15). In my anger I stopped just short of considering joining the armed struggle against the apartheid government. The wanton act of the Parow Municipality was to me just an extension of the racist government policies. From abroad I wrote quite a strong letter of protest to the Parow Municipality, with copies to some people in Tiervlei. But it was all of no avail.  A few months later, while I was still in Germany, my parents were forced to move.

I became almost reckless
Hereafter, I became almost reckless in my opposition to the South African government policies. I was very critical of the regime, now also in public utterances. Much of my initial missionary zeal decreased substantially. I did not feel any resemblance to the biblical Jonah however when resentment towards the apartheid regime took hold of me. I thought that I had every reason to feel that way.  (Of course, this was nothing else than the sulking Jonah after God had spared Nineveh).
The only constraint with regard to the content of my speeches on South Africa was a moral and religious one. I wanted to act responsibly as if to God in everything I did. For the rest I couldn’t care less if the government wanted to withdraw my passport or not. In my letter to the Parow Municipality, I had almost invited the folk there to pass the information on to Pretoria.
My protest letter to the Parow Municipality after the expropriation of our house in Tiervlei, didn’t have any effect one way or the other. My parents hereafter moved to Elim, with my father becoming a ‘migrant labourer’, going there one weekend per month. Health-wise it however became too much for him. It affected his heart. He had to go on early retirement at the age of 58.
   When my parents moved to the countryside - thus without visible reminders and news from me - the prayer support from the Tiervlei warriors diminished. Parallel to this move, also much of my initial missionary zeal vanished.
         I was yet to meet Rosemarie. In fact, for two months I actually resided at the Christian hostel from where I got in touch with the young people of the ‘E.C.’, the Jugendbund für Entschiedenes Christentum. Rosemarie was also a member of the ‘E.C., Christian Encounter, an evangelical group of committed Christians. I soon became a regular at the ‘Brenzhaus’ every Wednesday evening. Her student colleague and close friend Elke Maier, who rented a room in the city, had been attending regularly. Rosemarie however, commuted from Mühlacker every day to their training course, hoping to become an ‘educator’, a teaching qualification for Kindergarten and children’s homes.
(photo of Rosemarie’s friend Elke Maier)       

Run-up to a special Relationship       
When Rosemarie entered the Jugendbund für Entschiedenes Christentum with her student colleague and friend Elke Maier in May 1970, I experienced something as close to a ‘love at first sight’ as ever there was one, especially after I had spoken to Rosemarie afterwards.
         There was some disappointment when she stepped just as suddenly out of my surrounds as she had entered. We had no opportunity to exchange addresses or telephone numbers.
         Almost simultaneously with my examination in Greek - two weeks before my scheduled return to South Africa - Rosemarie re-entered my life.
         However, a minor crisis followed when one of my student colleagues also fell in love with Rosemarie. He touched a sensitive chord when he admonished me not to break another girl’s heart,[10] as I was about to return to my heimat.  I knew that his warning was not primarily inspired by concern for her but I was nevertheless gripped by a sense of guilt. I did not want to cause heartache to anybody before my return to South Africa - I was initially prepared to sacrifice my feelings for Rosemarie, basically ready to leave her over to him. But I nevertheless had to fight was quite an inner wrestle until I could leave everything over to the Lord. And this was only a fraction of the action of two very intriguing weeks.[11] Quite an unusual love story ensued.
         The most important moment for me during this time was probably Rosemarie’s reaction when I invited her telephonically to join me for an evening with the Wycliffe Bible Translators. Her response was: ‘already from childhood I wanted to become a missionary.’ To me this was the firm confirmation that I wanted nobody else as my future wife. But a few days later, a possible marriage seemed completely remote.
            When she told her mother that she had fallen in love with an African student, Mrs Göbel immediately opposed the relationship, fearing an even harsher reaction from her husband, not allowing Rosemarie to meet me again. My darling agreed not to tell her father about me. How many times he had warned her never to marry a teacher or a pastor. (I had been practising as a teacher and had started with studies to become a pastor.) This is not even mentioning the indoctrination of Mr Göbel’s upbringing. That had been an important reason for him to oppose her idea of studying in Tübingen, where she could possibly get involved in a relationship to a foreign student.
            A foretaste of the miracle that was still to happen occurred just prior to my departure. When she went home the next weekend, Rosemarie’s mother allowed her to see me once more and then accompany me to the airport a few days later.
         When I returned to South Africa, I had no doubt that Rosemarie Göbel was the girl I wanted to marry. My intention ‑ not to get involved in a special relationship with someone from the opposite gender in Germany that could lead to marriage ‑ was thus effectively dashed. On the South African side of the ocean there was however the ominous ‘Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act’ that prevented any marital union between a White and someone from another race.

                                                4. Home sweet Home

            My opposition to the government of my home country received a personal touch with my new resolve. A law was prohibiting me from getting married to Rosemarie Göbel. I could not accept that.
            I was terribly in love and was soon telling our wonderful love story to all and sundry. At one of these occasions I blurted out my feelings towards Rosemarie to my cousin, Rev. John Ulster. He was the minister of the Elim Mission Station and a member of the Church Board. He pointed out to me the obvious, that I had to choose between South Africa and Rosemarie.  But I wanted both. This must have looked really stupid and naive because a marriage to a (White) German was just not a runner at that time. But I was too much in love to accept that. I was determined to marry Rosemarie, determined to fight to get her into South Africa. To everybody around me that idea sounded quite crazy.

Swept along by Race Politics
After my return to Cape Town in October 1970, I was soon swept along by the politics of the day. Having read books from Martin Luther King and Albert Luthuli during my stay in Germany - literature that was either unavailable or declared banned literature in South Africa - my interest in politics was more than merely aroused. I was ablaze in opposition to apartheid, regarding this as my Christian duty. One of the first things after my return was to join the Christian Institute (CI), an organisation founded by Dr Beyers Naudé. (He had been disillusioned with his denomination’s response to the proposals of Cottesloe in 1960, where he had been a delegate.)
            At the CI in Mowbray I linked up with Paul Joemat, my old rebel soul mate in the Moravian Church. There we wanted to be involved with other young people like Erica Murray and Tony Saddington, who also had the vision that Christians should be actively engaged in opposing the unchristian apartheid policies.
            Paul and I were quite disappointed when we discovered that the ‘White’ members of the CI were not prepared to fall foul of the immoral apartheid laws. I had suggested that we should board a train together and then walk through the different racially designated train coaches. All of us would then probably have been arrested for the infringement. Paul and I were quite prepared to embarrass the government in that way. However, the White members hid behind the excuse that it was not CI policy to do illegal things. Paul and I stopped attending.  On the other hand, my activism probably estranged them.

A deplorable Effort to ‘assist God’
The secrecy of our friendship took its toll on Mrs Göbel, Rosemarie’s mother, so that she landed in hospital with a serious gall ailment. Rosemarie had to face the fact that the tension because of our friendship was the cause of her mother’s ailment. But she also knew that she could no longer keep the secret away from her dear father. The tension at home had become unbearable with her mother in hospital. She splashed it out to her father, causing excessive pain to him. Subsequently she wrote to me about the quarrel she had with her father about our friendship.
            I deemed it appropriate to write a formal letter of apology to Mr Göbel. But rather than leaving it at an apology, I requested insensitively to correspond again with his daughter, yet not secretly. He replied equally formally, naming the reasons why I should terminate my relationship with his daughter. Ultimately it came down to this: He had nothing against me personally, but he didn’t want Rosemarie to marry someone from any nation other than Germany.
I probably should have left it at that. Instead, I stubbornly requested him to allow me to continue the correspondence with Rosemarie at festive occasions. Ethically, this was deplorable. I more or less attempted to twist Mr Göbel’s arm. In the same letter, I insolently suggested that if I did not get a reply from him, I would assume that he had agreed to my proposal. I still had to learn that one could aggravate a problematic situation by forcing an issue. Mr Göbel was too angry to reply, and instructed Rosemarie to write me one final letter terminating the relationship! As a result, the tension at the Göbel home in Mühlacker increased to breaking point and Rosemarie decided to stop going home over the weekends.
I was not aware of this development, going ahead with the writing of a thick epistle. Via my Easter letter I wanted to make sure that my darling would have enough material to read and to re-read until Pentecost!! Easter 1971 would have been the next occasion of our mutual exchange of letters. Her letter didn’t arrive at the expected time. After some delay, a letter arrived that should have alarmed me.
                                                *                                  *
On the South African side of the ocean there was of course the ominous ‘Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act’ that curbed any marital bond between a White and someone from another race. The circumstances were just not in our favour.
Instead of waiting on God’s intervention to enable our marital bond, I decided to ‘assist Him’. I had read in a local newspaper about someone who had been racially reclassified; something like that
could of course only transpire in the apartheid era! This seemed to be my big chance. I would not accept the ‘realistic’ choice of either Rosemarie or South Africa that my cousin John had put to me. Getting Rosemarie reclassified was a possible way out of the cul de sac. Theoretically, there was also another possibility to beat the legislation, if ‘non-White blood’ could be traced in her ancestry. But research which had already been done for Rosemarie’s family tree showed just the opposite. Rosemarie has European ancestry as far as could be traced!
I wrote to Mr Vorster, the Prime Minister, inquiring about the procedure to get someone reclassified. Reservations of one of my lecturers that I would give recognition to the immoral racial laws of the country by doing so could not deter me. I was too much in love. I wanted to get married to Rosemarie, and I was willing to do whatever it might take.
Despite my active pursuit in trying to figure out a way to bring Rosemarie to South Africa, Rosemarie herself was still far from ready to make such a move. The inevitable objections of her family at the idea of releasing their daughter to go to the African continent were too much of a hindrance. In one of her letters she actually asked me to pray for inner freedom from the inhibitions she felt in this regard.
I had no problem with this request, trusting God to change her views in His time. Had she not told me that she had always dreamed of going to the mission field when I invited her to the evening with the Wycliffe Bible Translators? I just pushed ahead with my ideas in a rather headstrong way.

                                    5. Special Watchwords

            Returning from the protest to the Seminary in Ashley Street, there was a letter from Germany. It had come completely unexpectedly, directly from my darling! I could hardly believe what I saw there in black and white. Her mother had given us permission to resume our correspondence. Rosemarie’s mother had been challenged by the Old Testament Watchword on her own birthday: “…love the stranger in your gates.” She knew that it meant for her that she had to accept me. Ahead of Rosemarie’s 21st birthday, her mother was comforted and encouraged by another word from Scripture “Love your neighbour as yourself.” She interpreted that to mean that she had to accept me as a prospective son-in-law. She reacted positively, giving Rosemarie permission to write to me again! This was very courageous of Mrs Göbel because she knew that this was definitely not the wish of her hus­band.
         We could thus proceed to bring my bonny to South Africa, so that she could be racially reclassified’. That was a condition for a possible marriage. I spent the last part of the June holidays of 1972 with my parents in Elim and there I had a frank discussion with them about my political activism. The direct cause of the discussion had been my request to have my personal copy of ‘Pro Veritate’, the organ of the Christian Institute, sent to Elim (at the Seminary we already had access to the controversial Christian magazine). With some satisfaction I noticed that my father, by reading this material, became more enlightened on some issues. In earlier years all of us had been influenced to some degree by the SABC (South African Broadcasting Corporation) distortion of what was happening in our country, even  though we were aware that much of the current affairs programming was a propaganda perversion of the truth.
I also discussed the issue of my love for Rosemarie at length with my parents for the first time. I spoke of my hope to get her to South Africa via racial reclassification. In response, they stated clearly that they would be prepared to sacrifice me if I went to Europe, rather than seeing me bring Rosemarie into the humiliations and injustices of an apartheid-permeated South Africa. I was too much in love to appreciate how generous their gesture was, though. They knew what they were talking about. My cousin, who had got married to a British naval officer in the early 1950s, had not been allowed to visit her parents, even after about 20 years.
Still, I insisted stubbornly that I would do whatever it might take to have both my Rosemarie and South Africa. I disregarded my parents’ discouragement from bringing her to the country. At the same time, we were oblivious to the fact that, back in Mühlacker, Rosemarie’s mother had not only written her daughter the letter in which she granted us permission to continue our correspondence. Evidently, she also wanted her husband to give his consent and blessing to our union. We were We were not even aware of the fact that she was trying to win Mr Göbel over.
         Encouraged by this development, my mentor, Reverend Henning Schlimm, facilitated a teaching post for Rosemarie at the ‘Kindergarten’ (Pre-school) of St. Martini, the German Lutheran Church in Cape Town. I was unaware of the great courage the local German minister, Pastor Osterwald, had displayed to appoint her. Knowing on the one hand the background of the appointment, but on the other hand also the racist attitude of some of his congregation members, he asked Rosemarie not to mention anything about the appointment in her letters to me. Of course, the iron hand of the law could also have come down on Pastor Osterwald if the authorities had opened any of these letters (That was quite common in apartheid South Africa).

S.A. Spies in Europe?
I had been far from careful when I stated openly in a newsletter to friends in Germany that Rosemarie was to come and work in Cape Town in February the following year. That was looking for trouble. I was so naïve and careless! Had not Bishop Schaberg warned me that the S.A. government had their spies in Europe?
         Rosemarie was quite surprised when a ‘Coloured’ South African pitched up in her vicinity. He was introduced as Mr Ashbury from Gleemoor, a part of Athlone, a suburb of Cape Town. She had no idea whatsoever that he could be a link to the South African security network. (In those days BOSS, the Bureau of Social Security, the South African version of Hitler’s Gestapo, also had the task to keep ‘problems’ like our romantic relationship across the colour bar away from the country.) My darling wanted to send me a tape cassette with this gentleman. On this recording she included Pastor Osterwald’s advice: ‘I want to tell you that your decision to start on this daring venture will lead you into many a conscientious conflict...’
         The link between either the ‘Coloured’ gentleman or his landlady to the South African authorities was quite clear because a certain Kommissar (detective) assured Rosemarie soon hereafter that she would not get a visa or work permit to come to South Africa. It was evident that this ‘detective’ knew the content of the tape cassette. Further enquiry brought to light that the BOSS agent with the name with which he had introduced himself, was not known to the local police in Reutlingen.
          In Cape Town I was completely unaware of what had transpired in Southern Germany. This was a series of events which I might have set in motion through my careless newsletter. Or was Rosemarie’s work permit application the cause? Will this still be unveiled one day?

Spiritually Miles apart                                                                                                                         I was still counting the days to the beginning of March 1973, when she was due to arrive in Cape Town. Great was the disappointment when the first of March came and went without any news of the receipt of her visa. We first thought that this would be a mere formality. I was therefore completely stunned when Rosemarie called me on the recently installed direct telephone line from Germany. She had received a letter from the South African Consulate:
I regret to have to inform you that your application for permanent residence in the Republic of South Africa has been turned down...’

Rosemarie was also refused a work permit without any reason given. It seemed inevitable that I would have to leave the country if I wanted to marry my darling. We deemed it nevertheless important that Rosemarie should at least get to know South Africa and my family. Therefore she applied again, this time for a tourist visa.
          Looking back, we saw that the Lord was very gracious to us. Our brittle love would have been put under extreme pressure by the compulsory sphere of secrecy caused by apartheid laws. But also theologically and spiritually we were miles apart at that moment. I had become rather liberal under the influence of Black Theology and the teaching at the seminary.
         For the second time a visa was refused to Rosemarie. (Neither of us was aware that she had actually been blacklisted in respect of entry into the country.)
            As for me, after Rosemarie’s second visa refusal, I had to face the fact that my resolve to have both Rosemarie and the country I loved and felt so strongly called to serve in, was nothing more than an unrealistic dream. I had to choose. I wavered for some time, incredibly unsure of what to do. However, our Church Board cooperated optimally. They suggested that I could go and work with the Moravian Church in Germany at the end of the year.

Interaction with the Jesus People     
The Lord was evidently also working in my life, chiselling away many a rough edge. My fulltime student colleague Fritz Faro had a lot of interaction with the Jesus People, a group of young men and women
with close links to the hippy movement. We appreciated their radicalism, but we seminarians had problems with their apolitical stance. We could not accept, for example, that people from the different races
were sitting apart in their church services. We could not leave their stance unchallenged and we invited one of them, a young fellow from Zimbabwe, to join us in a public demonstration of our unity in Christ. He immediately agreed to join us in playing choruses on our instruments at Muizenberg beach. This could have led to arrests, as this beach was racially designated ‘for Whites only’ but we were quite prepared to take this risk. To our great dismay, the brother from Zimbabwe later phoned, opting out of the plan with a flimsy excuse. We deduced that other White believers might have advised him not to come with us.

Spiritually, their radicalism of the Jesus People did rub off on us. It reminded me of the days with the SCA people of which I had become estranged, possibly because of the liberal phase through which I was going.  On the other hand, the Lord still had to deal with my activist spirit and my faith in such overt demonstrations of the unity in Christ.

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 - 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 at the next service where they would have come.
Deep Soul Searching
The South African Council of Churches initiated a new tradition. August was dubbed as the month of compassion. Operating predominantly within the confines of the ‘Coloured’ community, we knew that we had to address the superiority complex towards Blacks. To this end we invited one of our CI friends, the Congregational Church minister Bongonjalo Claude Goba, as the speaker for our youth service in District Six.[12] This was possibly one of the first occasions that there was a Black South African on the pulpit of Moravian Hill Chapel.
         It was not surprising that an honest congregant left the sanctuary demonstratively the very moment Claude Goba walked to the pulpit. (Admittedly, we three full-time seminarians had done something similar, leaving another church service quietly but agitatingly when a local pastor persisted with segregated seating for visiting Germans. The three of us did this when the local pastor persisted with segregated seating for visiting ‘Whites’ at special services, after earlier protests from our side had achieved no result.)                
         Claude Goba’s sermon caused me to do some deep soul searching and my inner tussle came to a head. Was I not like Jonah, running away from the problems of our revolution-ripe country? To cop out cowardly was the very last thing that I wanted to do! The result was an intense inner struggle between the love for my country and my love for a foreign girl who could turn me into an exile.         
            My inner voice told me that I should apply for the extension of my passport timely. That would have elapsed on January the 16th the following year. The result was an intense inner struggle between the love for my country and my love for a foreign girl who could make me an exile of my trouble-torn Heimat (home country).
         By applying timely for such an extension of my expiring passport, I considered that I could get peace at heart before my departure. But I couldn’t muster the courage (or faith?) to apply for the extension! I just couldn’t stand the real possibility of a negative response to my application. I knew this could have been the test to discern God’s will for me. But I feared that our semi-political involvement of the recent months could have jeopardized such an extension. 
Inner Tussles  
A real struggle raged in my mind and heart between the love for my country and my love for Rosemarie. So much I wanted to make a contribution towards racial reconcili­ation. I thought, perhaps a bit too arrogantly: “I can be of more use here in my native country than anywhere else.” I would still be brought down brought down from that presumptuous pedestal. Our invitation to Claude Bongojalo Goba to preach in Moravian Hill was part and parcel of this effort.  Rather ambivalently I prayed that God would let me fall in love with a ‘Coloured’ girl who would be ‘the equal’ of Rosemarie. I still hoped that it would not be necessary to go overseas to marry my bonny over the ocean.
            I considered that I could perhaps get peace at heart by applying in time for an extension of my expiring passport. But I couldn’t muster the courage (or faith?) to apply for the extension in South Africa! I just couldn’t bear the real possibility of a negative response to my application. I knew this could have been the test to discern God’s will for me. But I feared that my low-key political involvement of the recent months, such as the overt posturing of my opposition via my self-written T-shirt displaying the words Reg en Geregtigheid at the front and "Civil Rights" on the back, could have jeopardized such an extension.  
            A good example of my rebellious arrogance at this time was a part of the final ‘oral’ exams in November 1973, when I had to write a sermon on a prescribed text. In true revolutionary fashion, I noted in my preface to the sermon that I find this a futile exercise. Instead of writing a theoretical sermon, I wrote a sermon that I also arrange with our friend Matie October to actually go and preach in the township of Hanover Park. However, I refrained from using intellectual Afri­kaans as language medium, opting the dialect of the people. I also wrote my examination sermon like that. (As someone who had been raised in District Six, this was of course no problem to me!)

Farewell South Africa!
Other things that kept us busy at the seminary, such as preparations for a youth rally with the theme ‘Youth Power’ in the Old Drill Hall.[13] Dr Beyers Naudé, the leader of the Christian Institute, was our high-profiled speaker. The theological seminary played a major role in organizing this event. Apart from playing the trumpet in our small band, I was not as fully involved in the run-up to the event because of preparations for my pending departure for Germany.  Dr Naudé lodged with the Schlimm family, where he heard the background of my departure. There were all sorts of other things to see to like bidding farewell to friends and relatives. Following in the footsteps of my cousin who married an Englishman around 1950, all of us expected this to be my final farewell to South Africa.
         There were all sorts of other things to see to like greeting many people prior to my departure. Fol­lowing in the footsteps of my cousin Hester Ulster, who married Tubby Lymphany and my friend Roy Weber from Elim (who became a marine biologist of international repute in Den Helder, (Holland), after marrying a Danish national), we expected this to become my final fare­well to South Africa, most probably never to return. (Roy never saw his Dad alive again and the same thing may have happened with regard to his mother.)
From yet another side, I was squeezed. In the months prior to the scheduled departure, various leaders of the Christian Institute (CI) had their passports confiscated just prior to their respective departures from Jan Smuts Airport, Johannesburg. Although I was only a very inconspicuous member of this organ­ization, one could never know. The presence of Dr Beyers Naudé at our youth rally did not augur well for me. I wrote to Rosemarie that I would phone her from Johannesburg if the government would prevent me from leaving the country.
                                       *                                  *                                  *
Yet, there was also the nagging uncertainty whether my decision was God’s will. Or was it my own way? Wasn’t I just running away like Jonah? I couldn’t muster the courage (or faith?) to apply for the extension of my passport in time! My passport would have expired soon. I bought a round-trip ticket, although I didn’t intend to return to my fatherland. I booked a ticket to leave fairly soon after the completion of my theological examinations in November 1973.
                                       6. Back in Germany

All the anxiety with regard to my getting out of the country proved to be unnecessary.  Rosemarie and I were soon enjoying every minute of being together after the years of involuntary separation. It was however not easy for my darling when I made no secret of the fact that I regarded my return to Germany as a sacrifice.
Parting again?
On the 31st of March I was booked on the night train to far-away West Berlin, to operate as an assistant minister in the Western part of the divided city. In the morning I delivered an unconventional sermon, putting an evangelical challenge to the congregation in the form of an advertisement.

With the Underdogs
With all my luggage packed, I went to the local soccer field in the afternoon where the local team was due to play against a team of ‘Gastarbeiter’, i.e. workers from southern European countries. While the visitors were waiting for more players to arrive, I joined in the fun, kicking the ball around. When the guests noticed that I possessed some ball skill, I was promptly picked to join them for the game. Well, after all, I was also a guest worker in Germany, albeit one with a difference. Just after half time I heard a funny sound as I stepped into a hole on the uneven surface. I immediately stopped playing. I still cycled home, but noticed some pain. When my ankle got swollen, I still did not suspect that I had actually fractured my ankle. The local doctor immediately sent me to the hospital for an x-ray. They kept me there at this time when Germany was quite generous with its medical services. Instead of taking the train the same evening, scheduled to travel through the night, I spent the night – and quite a few more thereafter - in the hospital.
          In far-away Berlin the members of the church brass band were getting ready to welcome the new African assistant pastor the next morning at my arrival. When they received the news early in the morning that I had broken my ankle, everybody thought that it was an ‘April Scherz’. But it wasn’t April fool, it was the truth! A few hours before my scheduled departure, I had indeed fractured my ankle playing football. Neither Rosemarie nor I was really sad, because this meant that we would be much nearer to each other at least a little longer... A few weeks later the West Berlin Moravian congregation enjoyed the privilege of an inaugural sermon of a new pastor with a difference: I walked to the pulpit with my leg still in plaster of Paris!
          Looking back t that experience of over 40 years ago, I see how God aligned me with the foreigners in another country, so to speak support the underdogs.
Learning Xhosa as a Vehicle to return to Africa
In September 1974 I was back in southern Germany. In the tiny village of Bad Boll, at the headquarters of the European continental province of the Moravian Church, I joined the ‘Predigerseminar’ [preachers’ seminary] to be prepared for ordination. With three other ‘Vikare’ [curates] I was now studying there, in preparation for independent pastoral service.
At a German Moravian pastors’ conference in May 1974, I shared the room with Eckhard Buchholz, a missionary from the Transkei in South Africa. Unlike so many other people, he was not sceptical at all about the fact that the South African government intended to grant independence to a ‘homeland’. Transkei was one of the enclaves by means of which the apartheid regime attempted to reduce the numbers of ‘Blacks’ in the so called ‘White South Africa’.
Eckhard challenged me to come and work in the Transkei after the commencement of independence of the ‘homeland’, expected to follow in 1976. He was confident that Transkei would not take over the racist prohibition of mixed marriages. I gladly accepted the challenge, encouraging him to send me audio cassettes so that I could start learning Xhosa. And so I did.

I hoped to work in Germany for three years or so at the maximum, and then return to South Africa – more specifically to the Transkei – with my future wife Rosemarie. But with time, it became clear to Rosemarie and myself that living together in Southern Africa was not quite ‘on’ yet for us as a married couple. We desperately wanted Rosemarie to get acquainted with my country and, if at all possible, get to know my family. For the third time, but with increased hope, Rosemarie applied for a visa to enter South Africa. Along with the application she sent an explanatory letter, mentioning the fact that I was now living in Germany. We reasoned that a major obstacle to a visa should have been eliminated because of this.

Towards Ordination                                                                                                                                In September 1974 I was back in Southern Germany. The tiny village Bad Boll housed the headquarters of the European continental province of the Moravian Church., The Predigerseminar was also located there whenever there was someone to be prepared for ordination. I resumed my theological studies through the seminary of the Moravian Church in Bad Boll (Germany) as a ‘Vikar’, the German title of a clergyman who has not yet been fully ordained. The topic that I proposed for my theological acceptance mini thesis before ordination reflected my interest in economic justice: ‘The role of the poor in the NT’. The church authorities added to my proposal ‘...und in der Broederkerk’, suggesting that I should also give my personal analysis of the situation in my home church in South Africa.
            It became clear to Rosemarie and me that living together in Southern Africa was not quite ‘on’ yet for us as a married couple, but we still deemed it important enough that Rosemarie should get acquainted with my country and family, if at all possible. For the third time - but with increased hope - Rosemarie applied for a visa to enter South Africa. Along with the application she sent an explanatory letter, mentioning the fact that I was now residing in Germany. We reasoned that a major obstacle to a visa should have been eliminated because of this. The Moravian Church Board in South Africa cooperated wonderfully so that Rosemarie could come and work as a volunteer at the Elim Home for spastic children for a period of two months. Theoretically, my darling would simultaneously have been able to get to know my parents well in this way. It really took us by surprise - to put it euphemistically - when instead of the requested two months, Rosemarie received a visa for two weeks.
         At this time a young lady from Namibia suddenly pitched up in the village who shared a bit too openly that she had been promoting Outspan oranges in Europe. The close link to the government made her rather suspicious in our views. Did this have anything to do with Rosemarie’s latest visa application? But I just carried on as if there was nothing, refusing to be a Jonah to run away from the situation fearfully.

The End of our Engagement?
I toyed with the idea of ministering in the Transkei.  To this end I started to learn Xhosa. I grappled seriously with the idea. However, I did not discuss my intentions in this regard – to enable us to return to Southern Africa - with Rosemarie fully. Taking for granted that she wanted to be a mission­ary one day, I expected that she would join me to go and work in the Transkei.
During her visit to West Berlin in mid-1974, I casually communicated my intention to return to Southern Africa. I was completely taken by surprise to hear now that she was not ready at all to go to ‘Africa’ with me. The termination of our engagement was on the cards because I was quite determined to return to the African continent as soon as possible, definitely no Jonah to budge on this matter. It is quite strange that we never discussed this matter thoroughly before we got engaged!
         In complete desperation we prayed together, asking God to guide us through His Word. Divine intervention seemed to be the only possibility to save our union. Both of us knew that it would not be the proper way to handle Scripture, but we decided to seek God’s mind by opening the Bible at random, but prayerfully. When the Word of God fell open at the verse where Ruth said to Naomi, ‘I shall go where you go’, we were filled with awe and thank­fulness. We were extremely elated as we sensed that this was God’s special word for us. We could go into the unknown future together, and that’s what both of us really wanted!
         It could have been a problem if we had discussed the issue further, because both of us interpreted the Bible verse from the own perspective. I trusted that Rosemarie would join me, going to Africa. She thought that I would now stay in Europe. Thankfully, we didn’t pursue the matter further. For the moment, parting was not an issue any more. We were overjoyed at this confirmation that we would be serving the Lord together, wherever He would lead us!

A Visa at last!
The Moravian Church Board in South Africa cooperated optimally once again. Rosemarie was invited to come and work as a volunteer at the Elim Home for children with severe disabilities for a period of two months. We were quite encouraged when we were informed that the Special Branch (of the police) had left a message at the mission station Elim: Rosemarie and I could come to South Africa together, on condition that we would not alert the press. At that point in time we had no intention whatsoever of going to South Africa as a couple. Therefore it really took us by surprise when instead of the requested two months, Rosemarie received a visa for only two weeks.
I was in no mood to accept passively the slap in the face. The activism which had taken hold of me ever since my return from Europe in 1970 and which had been substantially fed during my seminary days was fuelled anew. We decided to bring forward our original wedding date, to be in South Africa for the Easter holidays and spend our honeymoon there.
   The result of an adventurous but nerve-recking correspondence plus a visit to the South African consulate in Munich was that Rosemarie actually received a visa for four weeks, albeit under the condition that she would not travel “accompanied by your future husband.”  The lady at the consulate warned us not to circumvent the condition.
Initially I didn’t see any problem with the condition. I was so elated that she received a visa at last to visit my home country! But in the car on our way back from Munich, Rosemarie had a poser for me. She didn’t want to go to my “heimat” (fatherland) alone any more. All the arrangements for our wedding had more or less been finalised already by this time. Rosemarie’s apt rhetorical vexing question was “What sort of honeymoon is this?” I had no reply ready. With a fearful heart I agreed that we would travel separately, in spite of the warning. The prospect that I would now still see my family and friends was so enticing. I did not expect that at all!


                           7. An Exile to all Intents and Purposes

         Three days after our church wedding Rosemarie and I parted for the start of our honeymoon. I left with a Lufthansa flight a few days after our wedding ceremony and Rosemarie was ready to fly the following day with South African Airways. I shared in more detail the run-up to our wedding and also about the honeymoon with a difference.
Having fulfilled the condition of the visa not to enter the country together as a couple, and after our honeymoon with a difference, we returned to Germany with thankful hearts that nothing happened that could have spoilt the memorable trip. However, the honeymoon did bear a stamp of finality regarding my new status: I was an exile to all intents and purposes.
Traumatic End to Pregnancy
Rosemarie’s first pregnancy was not normal at all. The gynaecologist in Boll should have monitored the pregnancy better.  We were not only completely inexperienced, but also very unwise. Soon after the ordination in September 1975, we travelled in an inconvenient truck to Berlin with our meagre possessions. There I was returning to the same congregation where I had been assistant to the pastor the year before.
A really emotional experience followed soon after our move to Berlin. The very first time Rosemarie went to the gynaecologist, he discovered problems. He diagnosed placental insufficiency. She was sent to hospi­tal, but the baby couldn’t be saved. Even though we had not ‘planned’ to get a baby in the first year of our marriage, we had really looked forward to the birth of our first child. Our little David came stillborn into the world.
Even more traumatic for Rosemarie was that she was alone in her grief. I had to preach on the Sunday when the hospital gynaecologist decided to ‘fetch’ the lifeless foetus. The staff of the institution, the ‘Neuköllner Krankenhaus’, was hardly interested in her as a person once it was known that the baby had died. Only the Turkish lady cleaner showed any compassion to a young mother who had lost her first born! Not quite a Jonah stint, I should have asked someone else to preach in my place to rather be with my wife in her distress to help share the pain.
The Stewardship Issue
As a teacher I had already battled with the discriminatory racial income disparity of South Africa. Having been on the receiving end of injustice was in fact some consolation because I knew that we as ‘Coloured’ teachers were earning almost double that of our Black counterparts. And we had much smaller classes to cope with to boot!.  But I also felt uncomfortable that I was earning so much more as a single young man – but being a graduate - than breadwinners who had to make do with so much less and with whole families to feed.
         Before I left the South African shores in 1973, I had been influenced indelibly at the theological institution in Ashley Street in the heart of District Six in yet another way. The Moravian Seminary not only increased my awareness of political justice, but during the three years from 1971-3 I also became very sensitive to structures that perpetuate economic inequality.    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.
         Come January 1974, my guilt syndrome was driving me almost crazy when our salaries were increased by almost 10%. (This also happened the next few years, adding agony to injury). During the first months of our marriage from March 1975, I felt very much alone in this regard. I could not even speak freely about this with my wife. Our very first Christmas in Berlin as a couple highlighted my dilemma. We received a fat bonus – in many parts of the world it is called a 13th monthly salary - in a spiritual climate where the birth of Jesus Christ almost disappeared in the wake of the commercialised atmosphere all around us. Of course, in Cape Town it had not been that much different. Already there I had my problems with the abusive commercialism at Christmas time, but there in Berlin I was really sad. At first, Rosemarie couldn’t understand my emotions, but gradually she became more sensitive to my feelings in this regard.

Towards a non-racial Set-up in South Africa?         
Various anti-apartheid groups started pulling at me when I returned to Berlin after our marriage and ordination. They seemed to enjoy having a 'real' apartheid victim who was fluent in German to boot! I was however determined to retain my independence, definitely not prepared to be put in front of the cart of any group. This was no Jonah stint at all!
         With Pastor Uwe Holm, a leader from the Lutheran State Church, I however got spontaneously involved in organizing a protest meeting in the ‘Kaiser Wilhelm Gedächtnis’ Church in central Berlin. The 16th of June 1976 catastrophe made even more of an activist out of me. I feared an escalation of violence that could lead to the widely expected bloodbath of cataclysmic proportions in my beloved South Africa.

An Attempt to apply my Stewardship Conviction
My fight against apartheid got a new direction. I hereafter challenged various leaders of the apartheid state with letters to set the 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.

Low-key Protest against Church Tradition
My personal protest against senseless church tradition was quite low-key. In the West Berlin congregation – that was 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.
            We encountered opposition in full force when we wanted to dedicate our infant son Danny instead of having him christened the Passover (Easter) week-end. We still had a battle with the local church council. 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. (Theologically this was still problematic becuse the person to be chritened had little choice in the matter.) The issue of the church council was that we as the pastoral couple were now upsetting the apple cart, because child 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 same Passover (Easter) weekend as we had planned, we decided to budge, instead of playing the two modes off against each other.
            This was no Jonah move. I did not deem it important enough to stick to my guns, finding compromise the loving and wise thing to do. Two and a half years after the birth of Danny however, we did rock the boat on the issue of infant christening.

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. We had no hesitation to accept the call with a challenge after we visited there on orientation.

              8. A radical Activist

         In September 1977 we moved to Broederplein in the historical town of Zeist in Holland. From there Rosemarie and I were due to serve the Moravian congregation of Utrecht of which the bulk of the congregants had origins in Surinam (South America).
         Soon after our arrival 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, on 12 September 1977, Steve Biko died while in police custody. We feared that the same thing could happen to Chris Wessels.
Advocacy on Behalf of Friends
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.
         We were still settling down in Zeist when all of us were shocked by more bad news from South Africa soon thereafter. Dr Beyers Naude was banned along with the Christian Institute and a few organisations. He had been our high-profiled speaker in a public rally on ‘Youth Power’ in the Old Drill Hall just before my exile-related departure for Gemany in November 1973 to marry Rosemarie. (Our theological seminary had played a major role in organizing that event).

Hunger after Justice              
As a radical activist I had started collating the documents and correspondence pertaining to our struggle with the authorities in South Africa, giving the manuscript the title Honger na Geregtigheid [14] (Hunger for Justice). As a matter of ethical principle I wanted the work published in Afrikaans first.
         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.
I received special permission to visit my home country in October 1978 with my wife and our one and a half year old son. That this visit was possible after we had written an accompanying letter to the government, I saw as a victory for quiet diplomacy. I hoped that we could bring the Cabinet to change petty apartheid laws gradually so that I could return from exile sooner rather than later. This philosophical approach would change substantially in due course.
         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 however be quite traumatic.
After getting details of a meeting of the Church Board of the Moravian Church, I manipulated to attend it. When I challenged the advocacy of the Church Board on behalf of our friend Chris Wessels when he was detained the previous year, I naturally got the members in opposition. When I furthermore also suggested to come and work in South Africa for three years and thus cause another crack in the apartheid wall, I was put in my place in no uncertain terms. My activism was possibly too much for the Moravian Church Board. My subsequent disappointment and anger thereafter was misplaced, it was actually caused by my provocation.
Apartheid had the Beating of me
With our cash running out towards the end of our stay, we decided to go and inquire at the Central train station when we noticed an advertisement for cheap train fares. Our pride was still very much of a deterrent to approach our family for money to fly back to Johannesburg. Going into the White part of the train station to enquire – and thus trespassing one of the prevalent petty apartheid laws - was much less of a deterrent. We were not really sorry when the young Afrikaner was so embarrassed by our request to travel to Johannesburg by train as a family. “We discriminate here you know!“ was his honest answer. “I have to ask my boss.” After a few minutes the boss himself came to explain that he has to ask the System Manager of the Railways. We should phone back the following day.
         When we phoned later to hear whether we would be allowed to travel together in the same train compartment, we heard that the matter had to be dealt with at Cabinet level.
         A few days later, we drove from Grabouw as fast as possible, where we had celebrated Daddy’s birthday, to be in town before 16.30h, the closing time of the office.  I decided to go to the station without phoning again. If they would have had no news yet from Pretoria, we would then just have travel third class. (For third class travel no booking was required.) That was my firm resolve.  We got caught in the traffic and therefore delayed.

‘Alas, oh dear!’ We arrived just after 16.30h!

But we had been noticed. Excitedly, some official came to us.  ‘Are you Mr Cloete?’ He was so excited to share the good news that our request has been approved. We could travel together in the same compartment! Perhaps the Prime Minister and his colleagues wanted to appease us in this way and at the same time prevent us telling bad tales overseas. It harvested he opposite effect in me. I did not feel honoured to be treated as a VIP at all. I fumed in anger! When we finally heard that the required permission was given at that level, I had already made up my mind never to return to South Africa again!

Apartheid Bureaucracy added Insult to Injury.
Petty apartheid bureaucracy added insult to injury. A Cabinet decision was necessary to give clarity whether we could travel in the same compartment as a family. I had thus become an honorary White for the duration of that train trip. Incidents of blatant racism on the long train trip from Cape Town to Johannesburg rubbed more salt into the wounds.
Terribly angered by the Moravian Church Board meeting a few days earlier and thereafter the government handling of what I regarded as a trivial matter, I was now determined never to put my foot on South African soil again. I was not fair in my judgment, very much in the mould of Jonah who sulked when God ‘changed his mind’ after the repentance of the inhabitants of Nineveh.
         Howard Grace, a British Moral Rearmament (MRA)[15] 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!

Extreme Disappointment and Anger                                                                                                   On that November Saturday the MRA people of Johannesburg were definitely not encountering a happy Christian. I relished whipping an old lady who clearly had her sympathies with the government as I shared forcefully how the various agents of the apartheid government maltreated me and our family. There was little wonder that Howard and others suspected that evening that I was after sensation when I phoned Dr Beyers Naudé to find out where he was worshipping. There was ample reason for them to suspect that I was not sincere in my wish to worship with Dr Naudé as one my last actions in the country I loved so passionately, but that I was about to leave - never to return to again! I was very determined about this. Rosemarie was not discouraging me whatsoever. And I was unaware of the secret vow she had made when she had the tumour that turned out to be benign.
         There was only one thing that I still wanted to do before departing from South Africa! I yearned to worship with Dr Beyers Naudé, the banned leader of the Christian Institute. Someone - or perhaps even more than one person - must have been praying for me.

A Farewell Gesture of Solidarity       
I intended the visit to Dr Naudé’s congregation to be my farewell gesture of solidarity with the politically oppressed of the country. Rosemarie and I, along with a few believers linked to Moral Rearmament, were privileged to visit the congregation that the Naudé couple attended regularly. He entered there as the last person just before the bell would toll so that the minister and his church council could step out of the vestry in procession. Dr Naudé then had to leave 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.
         What a welcome we received at the church! Dr Naudé had phoned his pastor, Dr van Rooyen. The latter asked Ds Cloete uit Duitsland after the formal welcome to introduce the rest of our group. (Dr Naudé obviously merely remembered that I had left for Germany in 1973, surmising that Rosemarie and I came from there.) The courageous sermon of Dr van Rooyen, critical of government policy, was almost unforgettable. Tannie Ilse, the wife of Dr Naudé, came to us after the service, having organised that we could follow Dr Naudé in his car to their home while she was still teaching at the Sunday School.
         The Father hereafter used the well-known Oom Bey Naudé - who was loved by many who were not ‘White’ and hated by those who supported apartheid - in a special way. A miracle happened that Sunday. I was changed supernaturally from within through the visit to the Naudé home.

Changed from within 
The secret meeting with Dr Beyers Naudé, in combination with the visit in the evening to the Dutch-based family of Ds. Lensink, changed my attitude completely. 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 radical 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.
            God used the banned Dr Beyers Naudé and the congregation where he worshipped to bring me to my senses. Without him even knowing it, God used them to cure me of my intense bitterness and anger towards the country that I was loving - paradoxically - so dearly. A miracle happened that day. I was changed from within!
         In fact, after the red-letter Sunday I desperately wanted to make amends for my racist bias. Hereafter, I set out to work quietly for the lifting of the ban of the Dutch Reformed Minister, who had meant so much to me.[16]
            On our return to Holland after the six‑week visit to South Africa, I regarded a ministry of reconciliation even more as my duty to the country of my birth. I had already started collating personal documents and letters, hoping to get it published under the title ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’. In this manuscript I included and commented my correspondence with the rulers of the day.

Greater Determination to fight Apartheid
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. Yet, I wanted to win the government over rather than expose their evil practices abroad. As a means to this end I targeted the Dutch Reformed theologians. I believed that they could play a pivotal role in any change of government policy.
          After reading in Trouw, a Dutch newspaper, that a church delegation from the influential (‘White’) Dutch Reformed Church - including the Professors Johan Heyns and Willie Jonker - would attend some church synod in Lunteren (Holland), I took the initiative to meet them. I saw this as a possibility to make amends for my headstrong refusal to meet Professor Heyns the previous year when Howard Grace wanted to introduce me to him. However, the only possibility that Dr Heyns and his delegation colleagues could offer me was to meet the delegation at Schiphol Airport, just before their return to South Africa. This I did, hoping to send the draft manuscript of Honger na Geregtigheid to Dr Naudé with the delegation,[17] because of the well-known tampering with post by the special branch of the police - which I had experienced myself.
         I urged the clergymen to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted, challenging them also with regard to membership of a secret society. Prof Willie Jonker, whom I still knew from my District Six seminary days, took me aside to explain that he was not a member of the Broederbond.
            I made the DRC church leaders evidently very uncomfortable by referring almost at the outset to Dr Beyers Naudé. I stated quite bluntly that I regarded it to be their duty to attempt to get his ban lifted. I had brought with me the draft manuscript of ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ in an open envelope. Taking for granted that Naudé’s mail was being fiddled with, I naively requested one of them to take the envelope along with them and hand it over personally.  Just as naively I expected that theologians should be open to take the lead in repentance of the apartheid practices. But somehow God blessed my feeble attempts.

The Love for my Home Country cemented
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. This was not completely without danger.  I for example refused to take sides when a group of South African Blacks who visited us in Zeist, 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 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.

An untenable Situation                                                                                                                     When we heard of a vacancy at the headquarters of the Dutch Scripture Union, I promptly applied, seeing this as a possibility to get away from the untenable situation at our church. At the beginning of 1979 I was sick and tired of the bickering in my church council, frustrated at the fighting over what I regarded as peripheral issues. Here I definitely resembled Jonah as never before.
On a Saturday at the end of January 1979, I was about to leave for Noordwijkerhout for the interview for the Bijbelbond  (Scripture Union) post, when a freak slippery condition on the roads set in. Ice started to pour down - a very rare phenomenon. We never experienced something like this before or after that day. I was already in our car when the road became increasingly slippery and hazardous. It would have been suicidal to attempt to drive in these conditions. I decided to leave the car at the train station a few kilometres away and travel by rail instead. When I phoned the Scripture Union people, they suggested that we should postpone the interview because there were similar climatic and road conditions in Noordwijkerhout.
   The interview never took place. I knew that it was a Jonah experi­ence par excellence. I was trying to run away from the difficult church situation!                                

Discouraging News from S.A.                                                                                                                   Other discouraging news coming from South Africa carried politi­cal implications. From the MRA people in Johannes­burg I heard that the South African author­ities had intercepted the Dutch MRA periodical Nieuw Wereld Nieuws in which I had written an article about our previous visit. In the same periodical there was also a radical article under a pseudonym by Kgati Sathekge, one of the youths from Atteridgeville, whom we had met on our previous visit to South Africa. Kgati had been among the leaders of the riots and the school boycott of Black townships like Soweto and Atteridgeville in 1976 as a 16-year old. He was arrested thrice, beaten and put into solitary confinement for a long time.
As an eighteen-year old he made up the balance. He and a few other young leaders concluded that the price was far too high in his own generation. Crime and teenage pregnancies were escalating. Drug abuse increased drastically. Kgati and his friends decided to start a back-to-school campaign. That however led to threats to his life. Howard Grace and other MRA people supported them.
In his article in the 9 December 1978 edition of the Dutch MRA periodical, Kgati sharply attacked apartheid as an un-Christian pol­icy, stating bluntly that ‘we have hunger yes, but we especially hunger after ‘de volle schotel van gerechtigheid (the full measure of justice). In a balanced way he also attacked Black Nationalism that likewise does not produce free people.[18] (In January 1979, Kgati stayed with us in Zeist for some time, although we had warned him that Rosemarie had hepatitis. He never contracted yellow jaundice nor did I, probably due to natural immunity against the decease.
I referred in my article to the unjust incarceration, banning and wanton arrest of innocent people like Beyers Naudé and Chris Wessels. I also stated that ‘I look forward to the day when great people like Nelson and Winnie Mandela, Beyers Naudé and other great South Africans may be seen and heard on South African TV and radio.
It was a sad tes­timony of the slow pace of change that articles like these were viewed with distrust. The same atti­tude pre­vailed when I sounded out some people about pub­lishing my treatise “Honger na Geregtigheid” in South Africa. It became clear that the government was prone to censure the publica­tion, apart from the fact that much still had to be been done to make it readable.
   On another track, I took the initiative to cor­respond with ministers of the Dutch Reformed Church about its race theology, as laid down in their policy papers on “Church and Race”, also with regard to synod resolu­tions and reports. Some stories in the press gave the impres­sion that the government wanted to abol­ish the “Prohibi­tion of Mixed Marriages Act”, but that the Dutch Reformed Church opposed the intention. My cor­respon­dence with people of the influential denomination brought me nowhere. My activism made me only more suspect in the eyes of the South African authori­ties!

Difficulties in Holland
In Holland itself my radicalism also harvested difficulties. Soon after our arrival in 1977, a local Moravian church member, who was responsible for organising lay theological training, heard me mentioning stewardship. Promptly he thought it fit to invite the new young minister of Utrecht to give teaching on the subject to his students. Hardly anybody was possibly fully happy that I also included obsolete church traditions for investigation and possible eradication. Yet, in the beginning of 1978 I was not even remotely contemplating christening of infants as one of these traditions. With only a few lay people attending these Saturday classes, nobody seemed to take offence at the radical[19] statements which I derived from my private biblical studies. Hereafter the water heated up even more. I challenged the church practices on every level, suggesting that we should scrutinize all the traditions of the church with the Bible as measuring stick.
   That was however only the start. In typical activist fashion, I proceeded from here to campaign for ‘signs of the coming Kingdom of the Messiah’ globally. I was impacted by this tenet through my study of the teaching of the old Moravian Bishop Amos Comenius. I furthermore thought quite firmly that the small Moravian Church - as a micro-cosmos of the global economic disparity - could start to do something to rectify the global economic imbalances. I went much too fast, suggesting naively and unrealistically for example a voluntary lowering of salaries in line with the teaching of Jan Amos Comenius. In addition, I proposed a fund to be established that would enable missionaries from the third world Moravian Churches to come and serve in Europe.
   In due course I also got involved in the drafting of synod resolu­tions and reports. Thus I also actively participated in a small lobby to formulate a Moravian synod decision for a boycott of Shell, a Dutch-based multi-national petrol company, because of its perceived role in supporting apartheid structures and practice. I aimed much too high. The church was not ready for such revol­ution­ary stuff. It was no surprise that I was now regarded by many in the church as an infante terrible, although hardly anybody openly showed their dislike. Strange things happened like the disappearance of proposals that we had prepared for the 1979 synod in Driebergen. Gradually I was being side-lined, but surprisingly enough, not ostracised.
9. Problems with Infant Christening
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. However, the pregnancy proceeded with many a tear and quite a lot of anxiety.

Tears and Anxiety
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. With my brother Windsor about to visit us with his wife Ray and their baby Kevin shortly hereafter, an infant christening service was scheduled for a September Sunday. Rosemarie’s sister Waltraud with her family was also visiting us.

Scrutiny of Church Traditions
Two other infants were due to be christened in the church service. 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. The possibility of a scene at the church in the presence of our family from South Africa and Germany was not pleasant - to say the least!
   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 the 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 it 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. The lack of responsibility by men who fathered children outside of wed­lock was a common difficulty.)
   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. This was no mere Jonah stint. It was the result of months of soul searching, another inner tussle of mind and heart.
Schiphol Airport “rendezvous”         
In my resolve to work towards racial reconciliation, I went out of my way to meet Professor Johan Heyns and few Dutch Reformed minis­ters briefly. After reading in Trouw, a Dutch newspaper about a delegation of the (White) Dutch Reformed Church at some church synod in Lunteren, I took the initiative to go and meet them there. I agreed to meet them again at Schiphol Airport.
A few months prior to this I was not interested at all to meet Professor Heyns, the chairman of the Broederbond, the notorious secret society, the think tank of the governmentThe delegation furthermore included Dr O'Brien Geldenhuys and Professor Willie Jonker. Those three church leaders would be quite instrumental to bring about significant changes in the Dutch Reformed Church in the years hereafter. I urged the clergymen to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted, challenging them also with regard to membership of the Broederbond, Prof Willie Jonker, whom I still knew from our District Six seminary days, took me aside to explain to me that he was not a member of the Broederbond.
   I was of course elated to read later that the one or other of the delegation had responded positively to my challenge. However, initially none of them had success initially to get the ban of Dr Beyers Naudé lifted.  (Because of the well-known tampering with post by the special branch of the police - which I had experienced myself - I contrived to send the draft manuscript of Honger na Geregtigheid to Dr Naudé with the delegation.)
My request for one of them to deliver the manuscript to Dr Beyers Naudé, was however not honoured (I had left the envelope open on purpose, suggesting that the bearer could read the manuscript himself first. I learned later however that the envelope and its content were handed to the government. However, that move seemed to have harvested some respect for me in government circles thereafter.) An inter­esting sequel to my meeting the Dutch Reformed minis­ters was that Mr van Tonder, a top official of the South African Embassy in The Hague, who was also at the airport, visited us in Zeist shortly hereafter. (Only a few weeks before, Mr Reg Septem­ber, who was at that time an influential ANC offi­cial in Lusaka, came to our home on the Broederplein of Zeist.)

Attempting to win over the Afrikaners
It was still my conviction that ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ should be published in South Africa in Afrikaans first, as an attempt to try and win over the Afrikaners. Rosemarie had little faith in my letter writing activity, but I just continued, albeit rather subdued. The MRA connection enhanced my activist attitude. I still had to bump m head many a time before I learned to expect more from God than from my own efforts. I had noticed however how influential people got damaged spiritually when they came into the limelight.
            Yet, I wanted to be certain that my autobiographical material would be published in God’s perfect timing. The letter to Dr Schlebusch 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 at all.
Because different Cabinet ministers openly expressed their intention to move away from racial discrimination, I secretly hoped that they would co-operate with the publication. (Many books that even vaguely opposed the government policy were banned.) After our trip in 1978, I had informed the government of my inten­tion to publish the documents that I had collated. I naively hoped that I could help (White) South Africans to repent in that way. I hinted this in one of my letters. The curt reply of Dr Schlebusch, a Cabinet Minister, was to me the sign that the climate was not yet ripe for the venture. I decided to abort the effort towards publication.
Reconciliation Attempts
From the Schiphol Airport “rendezvous” with the DRC delegation stemmed correspondence with Professor Johan Heyns in which I challenged him to include theologians of colour like Dr Allan Boesak in the plans of their denomination for overhauling a booklet on race relations. Indirectly I also tried to reconcile the two of them, who were leading the influential “Broederbond” and “Broederkring” respectively. (I knew from our student days how Allan had been raving about Dr Johan Heyns, his lecturer in Biblical Studies at the University College of the Western Cape). 

Mixed Marriages Act to be scrapped?
I was following the developments in the country closely. One of the most dramatic moves occurred when Mr P.W. Botha, the Prime Minister, stated publicly that he was ready to scrap the (prohibition of racially) Mixed Marriages Act. All the more I was very disappointed to read hereafter that the Dutch Reformed Church effectively pulled the break lever on this government intention at their General synod of 1978. The impression was given that the (White) Dutch Reformed Church was the culprit. Later I had to recognize that this was too simplis­tic a view. Mr Botha later made a backward somersault, mentioning that he was merely looking at reviewing the law in question.  Yet, he challenged the churches to come with a united viewpoint, which he probably knew would be almost impossible.
Towards the end of 1980 it nevertheless seemed as if the government was seriously trying to revive the momen­tum of change. (This was however effectively halted when Dr Andries Treurnicht started to breathe threatening down the neck of the government from the right wing. In 1978, he was chosen as Leader of the National Party in the Transvaal, and in 1979, he became Minister of State for Administration and of Statistics.)

An Overdose of Medicine?    
God had to humble me. I was still a struggle anti-apartheid activist exile who longed to return to my beloved South Africa. Hein Postma pointed out to me that the manuscript ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ was too critical, not loving enough. Hein opined that the manuscript could be compared to an overdose of medication to a sick patient. I had to face the fact that the manuscript was possibly not completely helpful to Afrikaners. Hein furthermore noted that he missed forgiveness, love and compassion in the manuscript.
            Hereafter I attempted to diminish the possible shock effect for Afrikaners, simultaneously hoping that this could facilitate my return to South Africa. I toned the manuscript down, planning three smaller booklets, of which the first one concentrated on issues around a South African law, The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. I gave it the title ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het.’[20] (‘What God joined together’).
         There were also other persons who were not happy with the manuscript – albeit for a completely different reason. Thus there was my close friend Jakes to whom I had sent a copy. He felt that one should not correspond or communicate with any members of the apartheid government. In his view the racists should be isolated and treated like outcasts! Jakes and I 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. I thought to have discerned some influence of Honger na Geregtigheid when I read about an open letter that Allan wrote to Dr Schlebusch, a Cabinet Minister. Later he openly clashed with Bishop Tutu because of the willingness of the Anglican bishop to continue talking to Prime Minister Botha. That was of course the same stance that my friend Jakes had been taking.

Attempts at Mediation
As a part of my perceived ministry of reconciliation I also aimed at trying to heal rifts where I discerned them. A round of correspondence followed with different role players on the South African scene.
            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 and correspondence with the government not only earned me the wrath of Allan, who was by now a well-known church leader. In April 1980 I apologised to Allan 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.[21])
            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.

Another Visit to South Africa?
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.

Nerve-wrecking Weeks
Something else had happened in the meantime. Rommel Roberts, whom we had originally met at Caux, the main centre of Moral Rearmament in Switzerland in 1977, had just fled the country. The S.A. police was hunting him because of his involvement with the bus and school boycotts at the Cape earlier that year (1980). After Rommel’s studies to become a Catholic priest, he sensed a calling to engage himself in social work with the Modderdam ‘squatter camp’ (informal settlement) community. In the course of this involvement he and Celeste Santos, a ‘White’ nun met fell in love with each other. Yet, unlike other couples in the same predicament, they did not go and marry outside the country. (Such couples would thereafter either live in exile or in a double life of secrecy). Rommel and Celeste got married in the Holy Cross Church Roman Catholic Church in District Six, thus flouting all local customs and the law that prohibited marriage between a White and someone from one of the other races. Their marriage was thus of course ‘illegal’.
            Rommel had been released from prison just before their departure. He was never brought before a court of law for his role in the bus and student boycotts, but they feared a new arrest. Detention without trial was a practice used by the regime randomly. Therefore they jumped at the opportunity to get out of the country for a few months.
            Rommel and Celeste were very courageous, defying many prevalent South African mores as they continued their ministry, resisting the apartheid government. When Rommel was imprisoned in the course of the struggle, Celeste would just go and visit her husband at the Victor Verster prison in Paarl as if this was the most usual thing to do (this is the same prison from which Nelson Mandela was released in 1990).
            When the couple came to visit us in Zeist, Celeste was pregnant. While they were with us, she became seriously ill. A complica­tion in the pregnancy not only extended their stay in Zeist, but Celeste also came close to losing her life because of it.
  Because of her illness and hospitalization, Celeste stayed with us much longer than they had originally intended. That was the factual situation in August 1980 when we received sad news from South Africa. My sister Magdalene had contracted leukaemia. She had played such an important part towards the education of us, her three younger brothers.
We started enquiring after the cheapest possibility to go to South Africa as a family.  (We initially thought that I could go to South Africa alone to be at the same time there for my mother’s pending 70th birthday (28th December). But the date was far from convenient. There were so many other complicating factors militating against it. I still had two weeks of holiday due to me. But one could hardly expect any church council to allow their minister to leave just before Christ­mas. 
         We decided finally to go as a family as a step of faith. The special circumstances around my sister’s condition changed matters so much that the Broederraad released me compassionately from duties at Christmas time. We booked in faith with little left in terms of savings. Another problem cropped up. The visa for Rosemarie did not arrive in time.
God used Celeste to sow seed into our hearts so that we started enquiring after the cheapest possibility to go to South Africa as a family.  (We initially thought that I could go to South Africa alone to be at the same time there for my mother’s pending 70th birthday (28th December).

Remain in Jerusalem?           
Through our connection to Moral Rearmament, we got befriended to the work of the ‘Offensive Junger Christen’ in Bensheim, Germany. Their working method sounded very much along the lines of our own thinking. Soon we were seriously considering moving house to Germany. To our disappointment nothing came from our application to join the ‘Offensive’. No clear reason for the refusal was given, although we suspected that our critical attitude towards the christening of infants might have been the problem.
By October 1980 we still had no new position and nowhere to go after the termination of our work in the church. It was understood that we were required to vacate the parsonage at the end of the year.
   At this stage we called to the Lord for a word, for guidance. We were surprised when Luke 24:47 almost spoke to us strongly. The verse mentioned ‘…beginning in Jerusalem’. But this seemed impossible!
From two other groups we had firm promises that we could join them - with accommodation included - if we would have no place to go to. But nothing was forthcoming from either of them when it came to the push.
Our friends who prayed with us stood firmly in support. To us this was very much an encouragement. They knew that my decision to resign as pastor was not done glibly. It was really a step of faith for us.

Another Visa Application       
Rosemarie was much more realistic with her suggestion that we should write another accompanying letter with her visa application. She thought that my sister’s disease in such a letter would surely have been reason enough to expect a positive reply. I naively thought that they would not dare to refuse Rosemarie a visa again, knowing that I could publish the documents abroad to their detriment – i.e. an element of subtle blackmail was involved. I even thought - although I had no concrete proof to this end - that my initiative perhaps played some role in the government’s inten­tion to change or scrap 62 discrimina­tory laws.
         My idea not to write an accompanying letter however helped us to get clarity whether we should go to South Africa as a family or not. Financially it amounted to a major risk. We also considered that the granting or withholding of the visas could be a test whether it was right to start on this risky venture at all.
Before I could book any flight however, there was still the hurdle of my congregation. It was unreal to expect them to release me just before Christmas, although I still had two weeks of leave due to me. In a remarkable sequence of events, we experienced that we were guided by a much stronger hand than ours. My church council agreed that I could deliver my last sermon there on 14 December, 1980. Rather unusually, we thus never had a valedictory service there. But this was honest at least.
Letters from South Africa with regard to the illness of Magdalene, our sister, encouraged us. 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.

Agonizing Days         
Celeste was back with us after visiting some other people. Together we experienced the agonizing days of waiting in vain for news about the visas. We were so thankful that the travelling agency gave us an extension of an extra day to get the visas.
I couldn’t phone my relatives of course, because we didn’t want to cause any more anxiety because of our problem with the visas. But we were happy that it was a Thursday. Now we could share our burden in the evening with our Bible Study and prayer group in Zeist.
Our friend Jakes (Ds Jacobs), whom I had phoned, used a method with which I would not have been happy if I had known it. On the other hand, I had only myself to blame because I was the cause that the accom­panying letter with the visa application was not written. His phone call to Pretoria went along the following lines:
I am a friend of Reverend Ashley Cloete in Holland. I want to contact the press straight away, but I just want to check out whether it is true that you don’t want to allow him and his family to come and visit his sister who has cancer...”
Of course, the government could not allow such an embar­rassment without any ado, especially since we were still abroad. Therefore it was not surprising when the answer came promptly:
No sir, I shall investigate the matter straight away. I’m sure it will come in order.”
                           *                      *                      *                      *
Not aware of this telephonic conversation, we were still anxiously waiting on the call Agonizing Days        
Celeste was back with us after visiting some other people. Together we experienced the agonizing days of waiting in vain on the visas for Rosemarie and the children. We shared our uncertainty with Celeste in respect of our going to South Africa. We would be using just about our last savings for the trip and I still had no employment after our return from South Africa. The day on which we were required to pay the deposit to reserve our seats, I phoned the Embassy once more. The official suggested that I phone someone in South Africa to contact Pretoria. The travel agency gave us an extension of an extra day to procure the visas.
I couldn’t phone my relatives of course, because we didn’t want to cause any more anxiety there. But we were happy that it was a Thursday. Now we could share our burden in the evening with our Bible study and prayer group in Zeist.
Our friend Jakes, whom I phoned, used a method with which I would not have been happy if I had known what he would do. On the other hand, I had only myself to blame because I was the cause that an accom­panying letter with the visa application was not written as we had done the previous time. The phone call of Jakes to Pretoria went along the following lines:
I am a friend of Reverend Ashley Cloete in Holland. I want to contact the press straight away, but I just want to check out whether it is true that you don’t want to allow him and his family to come and visit his sister who has cancer...”
Of course, the government could not allow such an embar­rassment without any ado, especially since we were still abroad. Therefore it was not surprising when the answer came promptly:
“No sir, I shall investigate the matter straight away. I’m sure it will come in order.”
   We received the visas for Rosemarie literally on the last minute. We could finalize our travelling plans. But then it was too late to get an onward booking from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
The Hague on Friday, the 28th of November. Before 4 p.m. we had to phone the travelling agency. We agreed that if we didn’t get positive notification from the South African Embassy by then, we would have to cancel our bookings.  Finally, four o’clock arrived without any call from The Hague. I had given up hope but Rosemarie prodded me to phone the Embassy once more before cancelling our seats. I dialled the now so familiar telephone number, while Rosemarie prayed that God’s will might become evident:
A friendly voice greeted me from the other side of the line:  “I have good news for you. The visas have been granted. However, I must still read the full text of the telex. Please phone me on Monday.

Visas granted                                                                                                                            Although we knew by now that strange conditions could be attached to visas, we were overjoyed. And it was such fun that Celeste was there with whom we could share our joy. The preliminary 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 in a 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. In so many words, the spokesman of the Church Board wrote to me that it was very careless to do this. It has nothing to do with faith...”  I had given the church board member who wrote these lines such a hard time through my activism when he tried very hard a year and a half prior to this to mediate between me and my Broederraad. I knew his viewpoint was well meant out of concern. In the same letter, our brother affirmed that I would remain a minister of the denomination and that he would love me to come back and to take up a church post in the field of representation.
The only conditions attached to the visas turned out to be that we had to pay the telex costs and that we had to obtain and send a letter from the travel­ling agency to certify that we had bought return tickets. The stage was set for our next trip.
In the following three weeks the big priority was to get a job. I hoped to take up teaching again after our return from South Africa. Some posts for Relig­ious Instruction seemed fitted to my previous experiences, but the expanding unemployment was also taking its toll in Hol­land. When we left for South Africa, my hopes were pinned on one single application where I had survived the first round of nineteen applicants. But it was not cut and dried at all. There were still nine other applicants in the running for the vacant post.

         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.
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. We had no idea what would happen on our return to Holland because we had more or less used our last savings for the air fares and I had resigned as pastor.
It suited me perfectly that 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. We left our winter coats with Martin and Fanny October, intending to collect them on our return to Europe.

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. 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. This 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 hard and 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 good 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. This was the classic Jonah situation all over again where I wanted to run away from a certain responsibility.       

Divinely Cornered
On the afternoon that had been scheduled as our final time together, my special friend Jakes was at hand, ready to take us to the Strandfontein beach. A strong wind was blowing there. In the evening we were scheduled to take the train to Johannesburg. This time we had received government permission to travel in the same compartment as a family without any ado, albeit that it bugged 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. Just like Jonah once, I was trying to run away from the responsibility to my parents and the bereaved family.
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’[22] was not yet in vogue.
We tried to support the bereaved Esau family by being on hand. 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 doing our Daddy a lot of good.

Accommodation Challenges
As the nights became colder in March, it became imperative to move out of the caravan. Our one-and a half-year-old Rafael suffered from a constant 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 risk letting us stay in an empty parsonage in Newlands, a ‘White’ residential area. Given my rebel record of defiance of authorities, one could however easily understand the reticence of the Church Board. They could never be sure whether we would later decide to embarrass them by wanting to stay on!
            That we declined the repeated invitation of Rommel and Celeste s to come and stay with them, was no Jonah stint. 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 police. All other efforts to get temporary accommodation had failed. We finally had no other excuse available to turn down their generous offer. Very hesitantly we moved into the three-bedroom cottage in Haywood Road, Crawford 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,[23] there was the real fear that anyone of us could be imprisoned. Of course, we were basically working towards racial reconciliation.
Celeste approached Rosemarie to assist a Black teacher with the teaching of retarded children as a volunteer in a Catholic school in Nyanga. In those days 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.  (It is highly debatable at any rate whether one should apply for a permit under such conditions.) Rosemarie obliged without any ado, but every day she was intimidated by a red car that would following her closely.
         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.

Tense weeks
A bus load of ‘illegal’ Black women had been forced to return to the Transkei. A crisis followed when the group returned to the Cape with a hired bus through secret compassionate assistance of the South African Council of Churches under the leadership of Bishop Tutu. I was blessed to hear of a letter he had written when I visited a meeting of the Quakers on May 20 with Rommel Roberts. In his letter Tutu called on churches to make August the month of compassion,[24] giving special attention to forced removals. The letter called on the government to stop hunting ‘Blacks’ like animals. He also suggested special prayer and fasting during that month. The spiritual dimension of Bishop Tutu’s letter encouraged me greatly.
         In the middle of the crisis I was preaching in the ('White') Congregational Church of Rondebosch where our friend Douglas Bax was the pastor. Through his involvement, other representatives of the Western Province Council of Churches got on board. A series of press statements increased pressure on the government. In the statement of Douglas Bax, he mentioned that the Langa people were lured to come to the ‘Bantu Administration Board’ offices under false pretences before being arrested. He challenged the government either to stop separating families or to cease calling itself a Christian government.
         Rosemarie and the children valiantly joined me in dangerous ventures, such as joining me to Crossroads on Ascension Day as part of a church delegation including Reverend Douglas Bax and a few other ministers. Military ‘Caspirs’ containing soldiers were driving along Lansdowne Road at this occasion. They reminded us that a massacre at our open-air meeting with these women and others in Crossroads, in which we could lose our lives, was not out of the question. The presence of a British TV crew probably saved the day for us. On that occasion I was very much impressed by the performance of a young pastor, Elijah Klaasen.

Evangelical Pastors seemed to shun social Action
Yet, it was sad that I could not get evangelical pastors interested. Generally they seemed to shun social action and community work, which ws regarded as ‘political’ and ‘unspiritual’. For us it was special that we could phone Kathi Schulze, to pray for this situation as well as what was happening in Hanover Park at Mount View High School, where I was now teaching. She would relay our requests to believers at Scripture Union, at the Claremont Methodist Church to which she had connections and to the Anglican Church in Factreton where she was an elder in Clive and Maria McBride’s congregation. In this way we at least got believers to pray for the seemingly hopeless situation.
On the other hand, our friend Howard Eybers was invited quite often to preach in 'White' congregations and he was also due to be the speaker at a prayer event on the Green Point Stadium. This was regarded by many as ‘revolutionary’. (In my seminary days when I was once accorded this ‘privilege’ because I was in possession of an academic degree, I refused to comply.)
         Rosemarie and our two sons also joined me to Hanover Park when I decided to stand with students of Mount View High School. We were defying the government with a programme of alternative teaching on the ‘compulsory holiday’ on June 1. Secondary school learners at many schools had decided that they did not want to ‘participate’ in the celebration of the birthday of the Republic, which was normally celebrated on 31 May. (The director of ‘Coloured’ Education had given a stern warning if anybody was found to be on school premises on June 1.) We decided to have the teaching session at the neighbouring Bruce Duncan Home. A few pupils entered the school premises illegally and defiantly, going through a big hole in the fence. The police promptly stepped in. I was able to mediate somewhat in a situation which easily could have turned ugly.

Almost knocked out and then encouraged
During these tense weeks we had to reckon all the time with the possibility that any one of us residing in Haywood Road, Crawford could be killed or arrested. During the preceding months the going was rather tough as we had to struggle through all sorts of apartheid red tape. Then there had been the attitude of locals and that of the churches; as we tried to find accommodation, everybody we had approached - apart from Rommel and Celeste - seemed to fear breaking through the racist customs.
Yet, we still had high hopes that the Church intervention on behalf of the Crossroads inhabitants the Crossroads inhabitants would lead to some change in government policy. The threats of the ‘Bantu Administration Board’  put all of us who were living under the same roof in Haywood Road in Crawford under severe pressure, but even more so this was the case with the Black women from Crossroads.
It was possibly very strategic that I could get the DRC Sendingkerk minister of Wynberg, Jan de Waal, to be part of a clergy delegation for ongoing negotiations with the ‘Bantu Administration Board’.  On a Friday morning a few weeks before we returned to Holland, a group of pastors met the official of with the ‘Bantu Administration Board’. The bullying official seemed to be taken aback initially, starting off very apologetically saying that he has to see that the laws of the country are being obeyed. This prompted one of the ministers to mention that God’s law should get greater priority. Temporary reprieve for the hapless was achieved and the Anglican archbishop was to get an audience with the relevant Cabinet Minister.
Indeed, after the audience of Archbishop Bill Burnett with Minister Piet Koornhof, our friends Celeste and Nomangezi received ‘confidential concessions’ from the government on June 15, 1981, allowing the Crossroads women to stay. At least this battle seemed to have been won. 
In the meantime I had become quite bitter once again. Celeste mentioned that someone wanted to organise an interview for me with the Prime Minister. But I was not interested any more. Our involvement with the Blacks created in me a resistance of another sort. As I saw how Black families were forced to live separated, 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. Why should I get a special privilege to live in South Africa with my wife and children when thousands of other families were being ripped apart?
         Rosemarie hereafter had only one prayer left: ‘Lord, I am prepared to serve you anywhere in the world as long as it is not South Africa’. She had completely forgotten her vow of 1978.

Spadework for the Battle of Nyanga
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 ‘the battle of Nyanga’. 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 suffering 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. But this did not help after all. One after the other the women were found guilty, due to be ‘deported’ to the Transkei, where some of them had never been before. But by government decree that was regarded as their ‘homeland’. These women had been ‘illegally born’ at the Cape.

         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.
         Yet, 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.

Church Defiance of Apartheid
We returned to Germany and Holland in June 1981, unaware of the effect, which our involvement in Crossroads and Nyanga would continue to have. Only many years later did I read of how the homeless people of Nyanga and Crossroads had scored one moral victory after the other, encouraging many Blacks to resist the oppressive race policies. The compassion and concern of individual Christians like Celeste Santos and her friend Nomangezi, whose shack was subsequently burnt down by hate-filled Blacks who could not palate her friendship to a ‘White’, were major catalysts to this end.
            Thankfully the ‘Battle of Nyanga’ and the subsequent ‘first major defeat of the apartheid government’ on the issue shortly thereafter got into the international headlines anyway. Thus we could continue to remain in the background and more or less unknown politically or even socially. Looking back, I think that my opposition was much more effective that way.[25]
The plight and determination of the women of KTC, Nyanga and Crossroads probably played a role in another sense. Churches now started to take a clearer stand in opposition to apartheid laws. Rev. Rob Robertson and our friend Rev. Douglas Bax played a crucial role in the political stand of the Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa as a denomination (PCSA).[26]  In the end newspaper posters lined the Johannesburg streets with massive black letters: CHURCH TO DEFY MARRIAGE LAW. A few Presbyterian ministers married a number of racially mixed couples. The marriages were registered and kept in the central office of the PCSA. When other Churches also supported the Assembly’s decision on the Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act, this sparked a political debate that even­tually led in 1985 to the abolition of this keystone of apartheid legislation and with it the notorious section 16 of the Immorality Act which prohibited sexual intercourse between Whites and any other race.
         We are very thankful that we could contribute in a small way towards the repeal of these laws, as well as the one against influx control that prohibited Black women to be with their husbands in the cities of South Africa. It gave me great satisfaction to hear that Church involvement increased also in other parts of the country.    

An old Wound opened
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. It was her turn to be like Jonah.
         We also now had to witness how confused our four year-old son Danny had become because of the different languages to which he was exposed. In one short sentence he managed at some stage to use the four related languages – Afrikaans, English, Dutch and German. We were using these languages as we interacted with different groups of people.[27] We were convinced now that we had to return to a European country where Danny could concentrate on one language. A German-speaking environment was the obvious choice. After leaving the political cauldron in South Africa, we first went to Rosemarie’s family in Southern Germany. But all efforts to get employment in Germany or Switzerland were unsuccessful. I was actually just displaying another variation of the Jonah saga once again. As we shared our experiences, we completely forgot the divine injunction to ‘remain in our Jerusalem’, Zeist in Holland.
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.

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. Yet, the word from Scripture to stay in our “Jerusalem” did not enter our minds again. However, we had no motivation to start packing. On the other hand, we did not feel like Jonah at all. 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 we 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.
Yet, it was still a long way off before I learned that church disunity and a competitive spirit among the various 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 especially liked about the new fellowship was that there would be no formal membership. The concept of dual membership that we brought along from the Moravian Church in Germany - where the members also hold membership of the state Church – also 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 beneath 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 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.

11. Back to Africa?

Quite surprisingly, Rosemarie did not protest at the prospect of a return to South Africa after we had heard from Hein Postma that the Dorothea Mission was looking for missionaries to work among the youth of Soweto. I had little hesitation to apply. However, I clearly mentioned that racial reconciliation was dear to us, which was actually unnecessary to mention but it was part and parcel of my activist mind-set. The Dorothea Mission probably regarded my stance quite aptly as too political because we never received any reply. Via friends we heard a few years later that our application was fiercely debated. With us being a racially mixed couple, this was of course quite a hot potato in a mission agency that was very close to Afrikaner thinking.
I was elated when Jakes and Anne joined us in Holland with their little boy Alain, although we had become somewhat estranged from each other in the interim.
The teaching stint at Hanover Park in 1981 healed the temporary rift because of our different views of handling people in government. Jakes still thought that isolating the regime was the best way. I still had my doubts. We agreed to disagree in this matter.
A return to Southern Africa was however still high on my list of priorities.  When we heard of a teaching position in Lesotho, I was immediate quite interested.  But also other ‘doors’ never seemed to open, with my South African passport constituting an important obstacle to get into any African country. Different missionaries who worked in South Africa would visit us when they were on furlough. Thus we got to know Dick and Rie van Stelten, [28] a missionary couple from the small Northern Natal town of Josini as well as Cees en Els Lugthart, who were working with the Dorothea Mission at the headquarters in Rosslyn, north of Pretoria. I also got to know Pastor Shadrach Moloka in Holland, originally likewise linked to the Dorothea Mission. (I already knew Shadrach from my first period in Germany when he spoke in Stuttgart and Liebenzell.)

The Start of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan
On one of our youth evenings in 1982 we heard that the organizers of the ‘Kinderkaravaan’ - a local outreach to children - were looking for a leader. This occurred while I was unemployed after a year of Religious Instruction at the College Blauwkapel in Utrecht. 
         While he was still at high school Rens Schalkwijk, who returned with his parents from Jamaica in 1978, joined the weekly prayer group at the Moravian Widow’s house. This was the one link to the denomination that I kept intact throughout our period of ministry in Zeist. Later Rens’ mother led the prayer group at the Zinzendorf House next to their home when the venue of her prayer meeting was changed.
         With Rens I felt spiritually very much on the same wave length. In 1982 the teenager suggested that the two of us should come together for early morning prayer, just as our spiritual ancestors, the Moravians, had been doing. This we put into practice, soon joined by Peter van Veldhuyzen, a young member of the Ichthus fellowship of Panweg in Zeist, praying in the nearby forest before Peter left for his work.
            The suggestion of Peter Kalmijn and the 1982 prayer effort with Rens and Peter van Veldhuyzen culminated in the setting up an evangelical group, the ‘Stichting Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ that included various facets of evangelical outreach.

Baptismal Consequences
Rens invited me to a meeting in a local church by a certain Reverend Bennett, a British evangelist, who preached a series on the prophet Jonah. Without the speaker mentioning it as such, I was convicted one evening by God’s Spirit that Jonah actually requested to be thrown into the sea. I suddenly saw in this move a pristine form of believer’s baptism. (Earlier I had immersed myself in our bathtub after being challenged by the story of Bilquis Sheikh, a Pakistani believer.) I noted that Jesus also went to be baptised by John. Soon thereafter I requested to be immersed. Hein Postma baptised me at the fellowship led by his father-in-law in Baarn, some kilometers away. I knew that this step could cut me off completely from the Moravian Church, but I wanted to be obedient to the Lord. Later I heard how it was attempted at the Centrale Raad to bar me from all Moravian pulpits in Holland. Reverend Jan Schalkwijk, the father of Rens, protested heavily. I continued to preach in his church in Haarlem from time to time until we left for South Africa in 1992.

A Period of great Uncertainty           
After ceasing to function as a minister of the Moravian Church, a period of great uncertainty followed for us as a couple. This coincided with the practical need to feed the family. It was not easy at all to get employment as a teacher of Religious Instruction and it turned out on top that the Dutch Education department did not recognise my South African Bachelor of Arts degree and teacher’s diploma. I decided to resume studies in Mathematics, not only as a way of getting a post more easily, but also as a vehicle with which I could return to Africa in ‘tent-making’ missionary work. We really wanted to get involved with missions but no door seemed to open. One of the main handicaps was my South African passport.
         In the mid-1980s a speaker from OM (Operation Mobilisation) pitched up at an Ichthus fellowship meeting. I sensed a challenge to venture into one of the Middle East countries as a missionary. A simple comparison of the number of missionaries in Islamic countries brought home to me the dire need to share the gospel there. It was clear that I could not go into one of the closed countries as a Christian minister of religion. I was thus highly motivated to get an updated Mathematics teaching qualification for this purpose. From 1982 I had the one temporary teaching post after the other.
         Through a ‘Joseph experience’ during personal devotions the Lord had by now thoroughly dealt with my craving after a return to South Africa. Like Joseph who was exiled to Egypt, I was in the meantime prepared to serve the Lord anywhere in the world, quite ready never to return to South Africa if that was the confirmed divine guidance. However, the African continent was still my silent preference.
Rosemarie was however not at all enthralled at my idea of going to a country like Egypt. But she initially patiently agreed that I could continue with my studies in Mathematics, in order to use that as an entrance into one of the countries that were closed for Christian missionaries.
                                       *                                  *
Although I had no proof that my activism had contributed in any way, I did sense some satisfaction when the law in my home country that prohibited people from different races to marry, was finally repealed in 1985. This caused me to test the waters back home with regard to take up a teaching post in South Africa. The Group Areas Act, which prescribed where the respective races were to reside, was however still operating as a major hurdle. My participation in the politics of 1981, notably participating in the school boycott while teaching at Mount View High School, surfaced as a hindrance. I was required to commit myself to non-involvement in all political issues. I could not agree to anything of that nature. I wanted to be free to operate with a clear conscience, without apartheid constraints.

Interest in missionary Work  
Our diminutive evangelical Ichthus fellowship at the Panweg in Zeist maintained a great interest in missionary work in general.  From the word go the fellowship supported various missionaries. Liesbeth Walvaart and Bart Berkheij had been linked to the group before they went to England where they studied at All Nations Bible College, soon to be followed by Bep de Bruyn and Peter Zoutewelle as missionaries to West Africa.  With Willie Jonker, a church member and a worker with the Evangelische Omroep as a board member of the Red Sea Mission, the outreach to Muslims was natural. In the loving low-key missionary outreach of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan team that Rosemarie and I were leading, we now started to work with many Moroccan and Turkish children and the youth of Zeist.
         We had a fairly close friendship to Bart Berkheij, praying with him through all many obstacles before he was finally accepted as a missionary. And how happy was he to introduce to us his British fiancée Ruth! A special bond developed between Ruth and Rosemarie after their marriage. The two were pregnant almost at the same time when we expected our three youngest children. How did we empathise with the Berkheij family as they struggled for many years to go through all sorts of preparations until they could finally go to Mali with the Red Sea Mission! They knew how I yearned to return to Africa and how no door seemed to open for us..

Going to a Muslim country? 
My Mathematics studies caused a lot of frustration at home because I had so little time available for Rosemarie and our children. One evening per week every fort-night there was also the Broederraad (church council) meeting. I was also leading the city-wide evangelistic work of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan that we had started at the end of 1982. From 1985 I attended lectures on two evenings per week and often thereafter still studied or worked after coming home because I was also teaching simultaneously. By 1986 Rosemarie could still not appreciate my wish to go to a Muslim country like Egypt. This was not easy at all. I had just turned 40 and our fifth child Tabitha was born on 25 April 1986. The information in one of the OM leaflets however effectively nailed the 'door' to me to proceed with any procedure for that mission agency: ‘Don’t wait until you are 40 or when you have five children.’  This was no Jonah stint. In fact, it was quite a disappointment. I understood that I should not proceed further with my attempt to be accepted by that mission agency.
         A phone call to the WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) International Headquarters in Emmeloord likewise discouraged me. I erroneously got the impression that they would expect me to go to a Bible School again. That put paid to our joining WEC at that point in time. Later we understood that we would probably not have been accepted then, because of their mission policy. New couples with five children would not have been accepted at that time.

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 big upstairs room that was only used as a guest facility, was changed 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 suggested that we should resume our times of prayer, but perhaps in a different way.  In January 1988 we started a Sunday evening prayer meeting at our home. Rens brought along another couple, Ria and her fiancé Lukas Hartong. They were students at the local Pentecostal Bible School. Out of these prayer times Rens was ‘delegated’ to attend a meeting with David Bryant, an international speaker who had come to challenge Dutch Christians with regard to Concerts of Prayer.
         In August 1988 - through the active urge of Rens Schalkwijk and his contacts with Pieter Bos, a YWAM leader, the prayer movement in Holland got underway. Rens and I were soon leading the first unit of the ‘Regiogebed’ of the Netherlands - that of Driebergen-Zeist.
            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.[29] 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.
            A visit to Singapore in 1988 by Gerda Leithgöb, at that stage a virtually unknown prayer warrior from Pretoria, became a spur for worldwide prayer for South Africa. With her prayer team Leithgöb had been involved with spiritual warfare, amongst other things with confession at the Voortrekker Monument in Pretoria. In the country itself she became the pioneer for spiritual mapping, using the results of research for informed prayer. I was not aware of this but via the Regiogebed we got linked to the international prayer movement and influence my home country.
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 - the Full Gospel fellowship. Reconciliation with the folk of the Ichthus fellowship did not come about until much later, when the children were already settled in the new church environment of ‘Figi’. It took some time for me personally to get warm in the much bigger new fellowship, but once we joined a home cell, things improved considerably. We nevertheless yearned to return to the fellowship with which we had so many happy memories over the previous seven years.
         We had proved a point in the meantime with the work of the ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’. This local evangelistic ministry was going well with about 30 workers from different denominations, involved in a wide range of evangelistic activities. We had demonstrated to Dutch Christians that it was possible for people from different church backgrounds to work together if doctrinal tussles were not allowed to cause quarrels, if they would only concentrate on the uniting person of Jesus.
         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. Our eldest son Danny was about to enter secondary school and there were four more to follow. When Tabitha, our youngest, would be finished with her education I would be almost at pension age. On top of it, it seemed as if hardly any mission agency was prepared to accept a family with five children.
            In Amsterdam I nevertheless took along a leaflet from Africa Inland Mission (AIM) that struck me. The mission agency was 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.
            This was however easier said than done. The problem that I would then have to apply for a visa to visit my parents and my home country did not even enter my mind at that stage. My main problem was the feeling of having to cut off my own roots. It had been traumatic already that not only our home and school church in District Six had been razed to the ground, that my high school in Vasco suffered the same fate because of the Group Areas Act and that our home in Tiervlei/Ravensmead had to be vacated under the guise of slum clearance. Would I now also have to lose citizenship of the country I loved so dearly?
            I nevertheless buried my pride and inner turmoil, sensing that this was now a step of obedience. We had been praying all the years for the possibility to return to Africa for missionary work. How could I opt out now?
                                                *                      *                      *                                 
            A few months later God had the opportunity to confirm the move in a sovereign way. It all started when our black and white TV set that we had bought in Berlin in 1975, packed up just prior to the Olympic Games of 1988. When the apparatus starting giving trouble, we decided not to replace it. The pending Olympic Games was something we thought that could also have some educational value for our children. Our quest after a second hand model from the newspaper resulted us agreeing to take one on loan via a befriended family from their aged mother who was not using it much in the old age home. We agreed that we would keep the TV set only for the duration of the Olympic Games.

Dutch Citizenship?    
When a letter arrived from The Hague regarding my application for Dutch citizenship, they also mentioned an administration fee of 400 guilders. This was occurring just at a time - the only occasion during our 14 years in Holland - when our banking account was in the red, although we had been scraping the barrel financially for the bulk of our time there.
            Rosemarie and I went to the Lord with the letter. I still had turmoil in my heart, really struggling with the prospect of having to lose my South African citizenship. 
            God intervened in a clear way via a befriended family that was struggling themselves financially from whom we had borrowed the TV set. When Piet Heemsbergen came to collect it, he announced that he and his wife wanted to give us 800 guilders. I was overawed that God sent in double the amount we needed! It turned out that the husband, who brought the money, was actually using it as a test on the evangelical Christians. He came to fetch the TV of his mother, but he and his wife decided to give us money so that we could buy a new set. He did not know that we had been praying for confirmation with regard to the money for my Dutch citizenship. He was just as surprised when I showed him the letter. He agreed that we could use the money for that purpose and other more urgent needs instead of the TV set.[30] I was reassured at the same time that God was in the move when I had to send back my passport to the S.A. Embassy. However, I did this still rather reticently. Our application for Dutch citizenship could start. I however had to reckon with a two-year waiting period.
         The summer of 1988 also brought a terrible shock when we heard that Bart Berkheij had lost Ruth his wife and his children their young mother in a car accident. They had been in Mali only for a very short time! We had been feeling ourselves so close to them.

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.

A Dispute turning into a Blessing
As we drove from Lienzingen back to Holland, after having spent a few days with our family in the European summer of 1988, Rosemarie and I were involved once again in a subdued dispute that had been a cause of anxiety and tension in the family - my studies. I also had some responsibility in our church congregation apart from leading the Goed Nieuws Karavaan, so that there was little time for the family. I now possessed a Mathematics qualification for Dutch schools, but I also considered adding another year of studies to upgrade my teaching diploma that would give me more options for getting permanent employment.
         We agreed that I would only do that extra year of study if God would give us a worker who would take responsibility for the driving of the vehicle to the various Goed Nieuws Karavaan children’s clubs of Zeist. For the very same evening the Friday evening ‘coffee bar’ outreach was scheduled. Harmen Pos came of his own accord to tell me that God had laid on his heart to take over the driving of the vehicle that gave its name to the organisation. He became not only the chauffeur of the vehicle, but also the maintenance man. Harmen cared for the missionary truck like his baby until we sold the blessed evangelistic tool in 1991, just before our entrance into full-time missionary work.

12.  Flexing Missionary Muscles

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

Struggle - and Victory
The year 1989 started with turmoil. We had been praying regularly with our neighbours, the old brother and sister Rapparlié until they went to an old age home once a week. Thereafter our friend Martje van Dam had been coming to us every Saturday evening with Gré Boerstra, another believer from the Ichthus fellowship, for a time of prayer. But Martje, who had survived the death sentence of breath cancer for almost 11 years, was now terminally ill. Her cancer had recurred.
A Day not to forget   
We have a family tradition to wake the birthday boy or girl early in the morning by singing the prayer of Martin Luther “Führe ihn (sie) O Herr und leite...” [Guide o Lord and lead him (her)]. When we performed the meaningful ritual for our eldest son Danny on the 4th of February, we had no clue of the multiple blows that would hit our family that day. First of all the news came through that Martje van Dam passed away. But we knew that this could happen any day.
            We were not prepared for it however when a phone call from Mühlacker informed us that Papa Göbel died in his car after he had suffered a heart attack. As I travelled home on the 4th of February 1989 from the secondary school in Huizen, which had a Reformed denominational link, with a teacher colleague, I heard that my teacher predecessor intended to return to the school. It was exactly the time when the decision on my probationary three months was due. I knew that I could not compete. After all, I did not belong to the right denomination and I was a foreigner to boot. A storm was raging so to speak and ‘Jonah’ was figuratively thrown out of the boat, with the difference that I didn’t ask to be chucked out of my comfort zone.

Running away from my Calling?                                                                                                     The Lord used this circumstance to throw us back into exploring a possible involvement in missions. I had almost forgotten that I had applied for Dutch citizenship in order to get to the African mission field. The possibility of getting some financial stability was oh so tempting.
Information we received during the funeral of our father (-in-law) in Germany comforted us. For years we had prayed that he would come back to the Lord. At a camp the whole family committed their lives to Jesus, but thereafter Papa gradually got back-slidden because he had no spiritual nourishment. It was very special when our dear Mama Göbel told us that he carried in his wallet (that was found in his pocket at his death) the letter that Rosemarie wrote to him just before our wedding. In that letter she apologised for the trauma she had caused them as parents through her friendship to me. She also pleaded Papa Göbel in that letter to attend our wedding. Although he did not oblige on that score, he evidently treasured the letter.
                        *                                  *                                  *
         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. I was definitely not a Jonah trying to evade a difficult task. 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 him 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,[31] 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. However, this was no Jonah stint, it was genuine.
Dutch Citizenship!
When the Dutch leader of the “Underground Church” approached me a second time, my most recent application for a teaching post had been very discouraging.  My hope of getting an appointment as a Maths teacher in Holland was all but dashed.
         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 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 of that trip 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!
         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 even witness the event via a TV set as we were travelling through rural Africa! 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. The question became even more pressing: How will all those millions of people, ever get rid of the thick veil over their eyes? As my wife and I read 2 Corinthians 3 once again, we were reminded that Martin Luther only got into the freedom of Christ when he discovered that he needed a Saviour. This only occurred when he developed a deep sense of urgency about his own sin. We also realised anew that this is something that only God can accomplish in a sovereign way. God doesn’t need us, but we can be instruments in His hands to change the world, especially through prayer.
         The three weeks were sufficient to excite me about possibilities to share the Gospel in West Africa. The discussions at the school in Vavoua, Ivory Coast, were promising. I foresaw that as a chapter, merely as a prelude to get into other missionary work after a few years. But I still had to get fluent in French (Rosemarie had not even started learning this language).
                                    *                                  *
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. Annelies van den Hoeve was one of the group. She later rented one of our rooms as one of many people we assisted in this way over the years. She and Geertje’s son Peter later got married.
         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. She was fluent in both German and English. Thus we could put the option to her for the venue of our missionary the candidate’s orientation course.
         When her son Peter visited us with his wife Annelies soon after my return, we told them of our predicament, our need of a teacher to accompany us to England. He promptly responded with ‘Have you thought of my mother?’ At the school for the blind Geertje had been teaching children of different age groups. 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. We were quite happy when she said that she would prefer us to go to England. That was also our preference.
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 kromy fervent desire to return to my home country. In the early years of our marriage it caused a lot of strain when she sensed that I perceived it as a sacrifice to live in Europe. Through my ‘Joseph experience’ during personal devotions the Lord had by now thoroughly dealt with my craving after a return to South Africa. However, the African continent was still my silent preference.
         With Campus Crusade I had started to do some voluntary work in Holland with their devout diligent worker Bram Krol. Also from that side we were challenged to go and work full-time. I had learned to use the four spiritual laws and we started seriously considering to buy a house in Zeist from where we would operate. (When Rosemarie’s father was still alive her parents wanted to help us with capital towards this end). Personally 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. (We had been unsure whether we should take our second youngest boy Sammy along who was six years old at the time. Finally we decided to put the question to him. He opted to ‘stay with my friend Mark’.) 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. We decided to take the eldest and youngest of our children along on the journey into the unknown. Gradually every hurdle was surmounted. From there we trusted that we would get to the Van Steltens in Josini somehow.
         In a wonderful way transport was supplied for us to get to Durban via Josini and Kwasiza Bantu. In Josini it was clearly confirmed that the Lord did not call us to serve in a school for Zulu children in Ubombo. When I mentioned in passing to the Van Steltens that I was intending publishing our story, she felt implored to warn me that attempting to gain funds in that way was a slippery road. I buried that warning in my heart.
         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.[32] Also in Cape Town things fell in place. It was agreed that we could return to Cape Town at the beginning of 1992.

The WEC International Stint almost still-born
Although we felt so much at home in Durban among the missionaries there, two clashes with older missionaries almost wrecked our intention to join WEC. The one especially led to deep introspection. We were there near to 16 December, a Public Holiday that had deep divisive emotions among the different communities, called Day of the Vow at the time.

I wrote a letter which I intended to send to President de Klerk, Dr Gatsha Buthelezi and Mr Nelson Mandela, as the big three political leaders of the day, suggesting that they should get together as a sign of reconciliation. In the same letter I suggested that the public holiday be renamed as Day of Reconciliation.

When I showed the draft to the acting leader of the mission, he lashed out at me in a way for which I had no comprehension.  He wanted me to understand that WEC was apolitical. He pointed to Eddie Cairn (??), a right-wing activist whom they had to expel because of his political inclinations. They would not be able to accommodate a left-wing activist as he had obviously branded me.

His views led to some deep soul searching. I had a very clear activist position against apartheid, but I also thought that my sentiments were Bible-based. Was this the mission we could join? Soon hereafter we were due to go to Bulstrode, the international headquarters for our Candidates’ Orientation Course, now very much with a cloud hanging over our possible joining the agency.

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 had already started when we suddenly became very uncertain. We asked ourselves what would happen if WEC turned us down or if we decide not to join that 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: 'Would such a step be responsible with our five kids?' We decided to put out a ‘fleece’ to test the waters. If the Lord would give us people who would be willing to come and stay in our home and pay the rent for the six months of our missionary orientation, we would know for sure that God was confirming our call.
         We 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 Lord used the time in Bulstrode, the international WEC Headquarters near London, to bring our friend Geertje Rehorst back into missionary endeavour. When we worked in Zeist among Moroccan and Turkish children, the Lord had started to prepare us for a future ministry among the Muslims of Cape Town.[33] And then there was of course the visit to Mali and the Ivory Coast that had struck a chord in my heart to reach out more to those who were suffering under Islamic bondage.

13. 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. We decided that Rosemarie could study the politics, economy and related issues, while 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. In the months hereafter I started writing my thoughts about these matters, which ultimately led me writing a manuscript that I called A Goldmine of Missionary Recruitment (I changed the title later to A Goldmine of another Sort. The treatise is accessible at www.

Missionary Orientation in Emmeloord         
When we returned to Holland from England, we went two months to Emmeloord, to the Dutch HQ of WEC. In the occasional sermon, such as one in the village Steenwijk, I challenged Christians to send their ‘batteries’ to the Muslim stronghold of Bo-Kaap in the city where I was born and bred, to bombard the area before we as missionaries could go in as the infantry. The Holy Spirit had obviously started to prepare me for ministry in the prime Muslim area of the Mother City of South Africa. I was not aware at that stage that an SIM Life Challenge team was already active there with door-to-door outreach. We had no concrete plans for involvement there as yet.
         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.
         Differences with the new WEC leadership in South Africa with regard to our future role clouded our start at Emmeloord. Also in Holland we got involved in a verbal skirmish with one of the leaders. We decided to defer our acceptance as WEC missionaries. We wanted clarity before we would leave for South Africa whether we would have freedom to evangelise there. We continued however with the negotiations to get the necessary papers for relocating to South Africa. Thankfully, all the differences could be resolved and a few months later we were accepted as WEC missionaries. It was agreed that we would help our colleague Shirley Charlton with representation in Cape Town in the first year and thereafter we would see how the Lord would lead us.
         We celebrated Rosemarie’s 40th birthday in Emmeloord. My gift to her was the manuscript ‘Op adelaars vleugelen ’ (On Eagle’s Wings), alluding to the text Henning Schlimm used at the occasion of our wedding in Königsfeld.

Hurdles and Afflictions          
The next hurdle was the airfare for us as a couple and our five children, of which two had to pay adult fares. We furthermore decided that a container would be the most economical way to get our belongings to Cape Town, even though the bulk of our furniture was quite old and tattered already and some appliances were bought second-hand in Holland. The Lord sovereignly helped us in these major steps of faith.
         The circumstance we had considered as a ‘fleece’ became quite an affliction and challenge when the couple that stayed in our home in Zeist for six months did not pay the rent promptly. After we had approached their pastor, thus going the biblical route of Matthew 18, the couple finally paid the rent in a lump sum. We thus experienced once again how God carried us through. Not even once did we have to delay the payment of rent and we always had sufficient funds to contribute towards our stay in Bulstrode and Emmeloord.
         With the belated lump sum payment of the rent we now suddenly also had sufficient finances not only for the airfares to South Africa for the seven of us, but also for the transport and rental of a container with our possessions!    
         In Emmeloord, at the Dutch HQ of WEC, we heard of the advisability of having a missionary prayer meeting in our home church. Shortly after our return to Zeist, we invited Don and Kryniera Koekkoek, a couple from our church for a cup of tea after the Sunday morning service. They had occasionally been supporting our ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ evangelistic work. Kryniera Koekkoek shared during their visit at our home how God had challenged her to stimulate prayer for missionaries.
         Another couple in our church was about to go to Bhutan as missionaries. When we spoke to Hans Riemersma, one of the elders, he was very sympathetic to our request, but he was rather sceptical. Apparently, other people had already tried something similar, but tradition in the church smothered every effort in that direction.
         Thankfully, soon thereafter regularly monthly prayer meetings for the missionaries of the church started in the home of the Koekkoek couple. That became an important feature in the calendar of the church ever since.        

                                    14. Called to serve Cape Muslims?

         When we came from Holland 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.[34] 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.

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 converts from Islam. We met Adiel Adams and Zane Abrahams through our representation work with WEC. My late Aunt Emmie Snyers spontaneously gave us the phone number of Majiet Pophlonker, a convert from Islam. It seemed as if different people were divinely instructed to challenge us to focus on Cape Muslims.
         A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent 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.
         At the beginning of our stay in Tamboerskloof I joined the SIM (Society of International Ministries) Life Challenge team of Manfred Jung in Bo‑Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.[35] However, aware that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for using the practice, I soon felt rather uncomfortable with their method of knocking at strange people’s doors to speak to them about my faith.
         Rosemarie and I decided to do prayer walking in Bo‑Kaap, asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had already done some preparatory work.
         Soon we were walking through the Bo-Kaap as a couple once a week, praying for the area. But after a few weeks we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. We had to get the backing, moral and prayer support of other Christians. As a family we were now attending. Dave and Herma Adams, the local leaders the City Branch of the Vineyard Church (as the Jubilee Church was called at that time), had a vision to reach out to the Muslims, but the denomination in general gave no support as yet in this direction.

Valuable Contacts
The Western Cape Missions Commission, to which our WEC colleague Shirley Charlton took me soon after our return to the Cape, proved very valuable in terms of contacts. Here I met among other strategic people, Martin Heuvel and Bruce van Eeden. At one of the events to which Shirley took me, I heard a missionary of AIM who used her gift of using music in ministry. This was the catalyst to start a choir consisting of singers from different cultures.
         In 1992 there was still great need for racial reconciliation. I moved quickly to get members for a cross-cultural choir as a possible vehicle for reconciliation in our divided country.
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. This was yet another nudge that we should get involved in compassionate outreach to that part of the Cape population.
            The problem of drug addiction in the Cape Muslim society was highlighted again and again. We were thus confronted with the need of a centre for rehabilitation where people could be set free through a personal faith in Jesus. Our mission agency WEC had significant success in Spain. Many former addicts started out as missionaries to other countries. 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.
            After hearing that Dave and Herma Adams, the pastoral couple at local fellowship that met at the Cape Town High School had some vision for Muslim outreach, we joined them.  After a few weeks there we found out that there was a Muslim background believer in the congregation. Achmed Kariem had fled South Africa in the wake of his anti‑apartheid activities with a hatred for Christianity. In his fairly accurate youthful assessment apartheid had been the cause for his family to be moved out of Mowbray to the township of Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats. It happened due to the Group Areas Act. In rebellion and disappointment at the Islamic leaders he became a Communist, finally leaving the country in frustration. In England he became addicted to drugs. There he was miraculously set free from drug abuse through faith in Jesus.
            The need of a centre for the rehabilitation of drug addicts in Cape Town was invigorated in my heart when I heard his testimony. He would become God's instrument in our ministry in many a way.

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 converts from Islam. We met Adiel Adams and Zane Abrahams through our representation work with WEC. My late Aunt Emmie Snyers spontaneously gave us the phone number of Majiet Pophlonker, a convert from Islam. It seemed as if different people were divinely instructed to challenge us to focus on Cape Muslims.
         A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent 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.
         At the beginning of our stay in Tamboerskloof I joined the SIM (Society of International Ministries) Life Challenge team of Manfred Jung in Bo‑Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.[36] However, aware that the Jehovah’s Witnesses are known for using the practice, I soon felt rather uncomfortable with their method of knocking at strange people’s doors to speak to them about my faith.
         Rosemarie and I decided to do prayer walking in Bo‑Kaap, asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had already done some preparatory work.
         Soon we were walking through the Bo-Kaap as a couple once a week, praying for the area. But after a few weeks we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. We had to get the backing, moral and prayer support of other Christians. As a family we were now attending. Dave and Herma Adams, the local leaders the City Branch of the Vineyard Church (as the Jubilee Church was called at that time), had a vision to reach out to the Muslims, but the denomination in general gave no support as yet in this direction.

Representation Work                                                                                                                          At this time Rosemarie and I asked 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.
         Via our WEC colleague Shirley Charlton we were approached to assist with the training of Xhosa young people in children’s work at Camp Joy, a campsite in Strandfontein during the June holidays. The week turned out to be quite strategic. There we met the gifted Melvin Maxegwana, who was translating the teaching of Ammie Coetzee of the Children's Evangelical Fellowship into Xhosa. For the rest, our ministry still had no clear direction. We took along two young people from the Hanover Park City Mission congregation, who later showed interest in missions and evangelism. In due course Shane, a former learner of Mount View High School in Hanover Park, went for missionary training to Pretoria with Operation Mobilisation (OM) with a vision for Bangladesh. Shane completed a degree course at university. Subsequently he became a township pioneer teaching  English in the Far East.
         Trying to unite the churches of the Mother City in ministry was a daunting challenge. It turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be when I started with tentative steps. During our first year we would often go to churches where Shirley Charlton had arranged the meetings. Occasionally also our children were involved, such as dramatizing the story of Jonah at a church in the ‘Coloured’ suburb of Kensington.
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.[37] A touch of nostalgia was hardly to be prevented when I visited the premises of the Fountain Family Church complex in Ravensmead where our 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 government accepted financial assistance from the oil-rich Arab states. However, I could not quite see how a single meeting with the President could influence matters. That I declined that opportunity was a Jonah stint which I still regret immensely.

Bo-Kaap Prayer Meetings Resume   
During one of our Bo-Kaap prayer walks we visited the Bo-Kaap Museum. There we heard about Cecilia Abrahams, the neighbour at 73 Wale Street, a committed believer. She is the widow of a convert from Islam in 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.
         SIM had decided to stop their activities in Bo-Kaap, but Manfred Jung brought me in touch with Hendrina van der Merwe, a fervent prayer warrior from the fellowship commonly called the Orange Street Baptist Church. She was immediately ready and eager to join the new prayer group. Dave and Herma Adams, our local Vineyard Church leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims. They 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 he became 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.      

Start of Friday 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. This could be implemented very promptly through the mediation of Marge Ballin, a YWAM missionary, who was involved with evangelistic work in the nightclubs. Without much ado we were allowed to make use of the ‘Shepherd’s Watch’, a former funeral parlour in Shortmarket Street where the Ark Mission was now conducting services and caring for a few mental patients. It was an added blessing when we heard that missionaries in other parts of the world were also starting to do this.
         Of the early regulars at the new Friday prayer meeting we had Alain Ravelo from Madagascar and Johan van der Wal, who originally hailed from Holland. We had met Johan van der Wal and his wife Maaike in our home church in Holland a few months before we came to South Africa. Both Alain and Johan had been in the country for some length of time. Alain had been part of a group that met regularly, praying for the country when apartheid was still rife. 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. Simultaneously she was a co-worker of SIM Life Challenge.
         Berenice Petersen was another Muslim background believer who worked at Truworths was also another regular prayer warrior of the first hour at Friday lunch time.
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.
         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. This Saturday afternoon prayer meeting fused into the monthly prayer meeting of Operation Hanover Park towards the end of 1992. 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 many missionaries from the Lansdowne/Hanover Park/Manenberg area went abroad with different mission agencies.
         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.

An Attempt at facilitating Church Unity
My first major attempt at facilitating unity of the body of Christ in the city area was trying to get churches to pray for Muslims. We organised for converts from Islam and various missionaries to speak in different churches 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, only resulting that I hereafter received far less invitations to come and preach.
         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.  (Margaret Curry had been a missionary with the Hospital Christian Fellowship). 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.

Diverse strategic Moves        
Elizabeth Robertson, who was now attending our evening Bo-Kaap prayer meeting, really loves Israel and the Jews. A few years prior to this she had been on the verge of marrying a Jew in Israel. Soon we decided to pray for the Middle East at every alternate Monday prayer meeting, including Muslims and Jews in our intercession. Hereafter we visited the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point from time to time. In later years Lillian James, who grew up in Woodstock, started to pray with us. She had a heart for both Muslims and Jews.  Still later, two Messianic Jewish believers joined this prayer group.[38]
         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.[39]                                                                                                                         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 Bible Study I did with the Hanover ark group was a real ehy opener to the real nature of the Qur’an. For this comparative study of the Abrahamic religions I looked at biblical personalities, comparing how they occurred in the Qur’an and the Talmud. The demonic origins of the Islamic sacred book however only became completely clear to me when I did an in-depth study of the angel Gabriel a few years later.[40]   

Operation Hanover Park      
Going into the last quarter of 1992, we had become involved with children’s ministry at the Newfields clinic through Bruce van Eeden and with the establishment of Operation Hanover Park. 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,[41] the main driving force of the initiative.
         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 going to get out of their indifference. Our idea of solving the gangsterism problem on the long term, by starting Christian children’s clubs in different parts of the township, got many believers excited. Furthermore, it looked as if our vision - getting local churches working together in mission and evangelism, was coming to fruition. At the same time, this would give an example to the rest of the country of how to combat criminality and violence! 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.
         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,[42] 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 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. Later she attended the Bible School in the Strand run by the Moravian and the Lutheran Church. At the Alpha Centre we got involved with children’s and youth work once a week. 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.

A serious Feud           
At the end of our first year (1992) a serious feud with our WEC colleagues ensued. Just before the end of the year we had our WEC conference in Durban. At that time the national conference was held twice a year. The midyear conference had been held in Cape Town for the first time ever in July 1992. At the conference in our Tamboerskloof home – WEC South Africa was indeed still very small - it had been decided ‘to strengthen the stakes’ to consolidate the present work. That meant that our colleague Shirley Charlton would remain at the Cape, instead of going to Johannesburg (She had hoped that Rosemarie and I would take over from her as WEC representatives in the Western Cape). At the same time, the Lord had clearly confirmed that we should be more involved in Muslim outreach. That is how we perceived it and it seemed to us so evident!
         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. WEC South Africa had decided officially to concentrate on recruitment. 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 Lord had called us into this ministry and we were not prepared to budge, even though I did not put it to the conference as clearly as that. The 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.[43]             

         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.
Changing Church Fellowship yet again?
In the meantime we were increasingly unhappy with the fellowship at which we were worshipping. The initial interest for the outreach to the Muslims appeared to be limited to Herma and Dave Adams, the leaders of the local Vineyard Church.
         Achmed Kariem like-wise found no resonance when he spoke to someone from the denominational leadership in this direction. Liz Robertson, who almost got married to a Jew, thought that the denomination had only real interest in church planting in the Black townships. That was of course much easier than attempting to reach out to the resistant Jews or Muslims, apart from the need to focus somewhere and not spread yourself too thinly.
         Rosemarie and I attended the foundation class of the denomination, considering to become full members of the covenant set-up. Although we fancied the idea of commitment, we had no liberty to join a church that had so little vision for the body of Christ in general. Hanover Park is not far from Taronga Road in Crawford where the Vineyard Church and denominational headquarters were situated. It would have made a significant impact if they had also joined Operation Hanover Park. But no interest was forthcoming.[44]

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 daughter had been terribly troubled by the calls from the minarets in the nearby mosques of Bo-Kaap. Her father 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 that we join the church. I really did not expect that it would take so long to achieve this breakthrough. For many years this was to cause some strain in the family. We had apparently not yet learned the lesson well enough that we should not proceed with major decisions like this without complete unity.

                                                            15. 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 colleagues especially found it rightfully unpalatable that I suggested quite 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 the colleagues 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 arrogant 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 in Bo-Kaap.  An interesting facet of this prayer meeting was the high percentage of Afrikaners. Next to Hendrina van der Merwe, an old stalwart, young ones became regulars. Lizette Hugo and Amanda Conradie came from the Cape Town Baptist Church and Susan Potgieter belonged to the Tamboerskloof Dutch Reformed Church.
          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.[45])                    

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.

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. The increasing number of expatriate Africans in Cape Town came sharper into my focus as potential future missionaries to their own people, just like the Samaritan woman of John 4. The lessons in cross-cultural outreach that the Master Teacher passed to us through this Bible chapter impacted me significantly. I not only used the conversation of our Lord Jesus with a woman from another culture as a prime example for the outreach to Cape Muslims, but we were now also concentrating on the local converts from Islam in our ministry. We not only discovered that many of them had not been discipled, but we also noticed how much more effectively they were reaching out to their own people.[46]
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.

Black African Refugees bless the Cape
The influx of Black African refugees into the suburbs Woodstock and Salt River turned around a situation where gangsters and prostitutes had threatened to make these township-like suburbs hotspots of crime. Because of other reasons however, these new residents were not valued. The flood of refugees – many of them came because of economic reasons - caused xenophobia.  South African Blacks saw the newcomers as a threat and competition to the already tight employment market. This unfortunately drove some of the expatriates to the lucrative drug trade - and criminals were soon on hand to take control of mafia-style operations.
         In contrast to that, the Cape Town Baptist Church turned out to become a model for other congregations, not only by taking care of some foreigners from 1996, but also in being blessed by them - indeed a 21st century version of the French Huguenots. I had to learn too that my vision was far too small. How God can transform came e.g. to the fore when a devout Muslim from West Africa who originally had a vision to become a missionary one day to spread Islam. Instead, he was impacted at the Cape, now gettting ready to spread the Gospel in Korea.
          The intensive prayer on many a Friday night into the next morning, plus intercession on some Saturday mornings, especially by those coming from the Congo region, augured well for the future. There are unfortunately however still only few links between fellowships of foreigners and the rest of the Body of the Messiah at the Cape.

Post-graduate Studies
Already in 1992 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.
            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.
            I expanded and updated a paper about Spiritual Dynamics at the Cape at a CCM conference into a booklet that we published at the winter course of the Bible Institute in July 2002. In 2004 Christof Sauer, a missionary colleague who had moved to UNISA, brought me in email contact with Professor Muhammad Haron. This resulted in some further research and work on a manuscript I called Christian-Muslim Spiritual Dynamics at the Cape. Professor Haron suggested that I should attempt to get academic recognition for my work at UWC. I gave a disk with my manuscripts to the head of the department but I never got a reply. This did not trouble me though because I saw it as a ‘fleece’, a test whether I should engage in formal academic studies. When he failed to respond, I had regarded this as the sign that I should not proceed. Thereafter I never tried again to attaint formal recognition for my research. This was nowhere related to a Jonah move. My orginal intention was to have personal interaction with Muslims who could one day influence matters as I had succeeded with the onslaught on apartheid.

18. The Backlash

Over the Easter Weekend of 1993 almost the whole country was thrown into turmoil when the news came through that Chris Hani, a leader of the Communist Party, was assassinated. He had been firmly on course for high office in a new ANC-led government. For a few days the country hovered on the brink of civil war. The brave action of a White woman, who saw the car of the assassin driving away, prevented a major escalation of bloodshed. The murder of Hani demonstrated the urgency of the situation, resulting in the date of the elections set soon hereafter for April 27, 1994.

The arch enemy tried to give us one hammering after the other, but the Lord encouraged us. In the second quarter of the year we felt that Rosemarie should visit her ailing mother again to relieve her sister Waltraud. When we lived in Holland, we would go to Germany in the school holidays to give Waltraud a break. But how could we finance such a trip to South Africa? Just as Rosemarie and I started praying together about the matter one morning, the telephone rang. It was Waltraud from Germany. She and her husband had been thinking about funding a trip for Rosemarie to come and visit them. That would be much cheaper than trying to get the bed-ridden mother into an institution for two weeks so that they could get a break.
         While Rosemarie was in Germany, money became available that her late father had earmarked as an inheritance for his grandchildren. Rosemarie’s visit to Germany also contained a Jonah 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 and other foreigners in the region, it would not even be imperative to learn their language. In due course the enemy would abuse this snippet of information as a temptation to return to Germany.

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

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

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

A positive Result of the Jesus Marches         
A positive result of the effort of the Jesus Marches of the second quarter in 1994 was an intensification of contact with a few churches in the city area. As a result of this a local congregation in Vredehoek started to show interest in outreach to the Muslims. As one of my last initiatives of 1994 I was able to conduct a short course on Muslim Evangelism in that church. As we headed for Christmas, I looked forward to get them involved in outreach to the stronghold of Bo-Kaap. But it was not to be.
            At one of the discussions with Manfred Jung, a SIM missionary colleague, the idea was mooted to publish the testimonies as a networking effort. I enjoyed collating the testimonies from some of the Muslim-background believers, sometimes making notes at meetings and once I took a tape recorder to a house. Eleven of the stories were finally selected. The result was Op soek na waarheid, a booklet that we planned to launch at the prayer seminar in January 1995.

An evangelistic Seminar in a Muslim Stronghold     
Apart from the above-mentioned experience the New Year 1995 started quite well. We received a substantial sum of money from Rosemarie’s godmother, a retired dentist. We saw this as God’s provision to enable us to book air tickets for our four-month home assignment in Holland and Germany. (Our home church is in the former country; Rosemarie’s family and other supporting friends are in the latter one). But we still needed funds for the printing of Op Soek na Waarheid.
            Just after the school holidays I initiated a Muslim seminar in Rylands, a predominantly Indian residential area. That we could stage the evangelistic seminar in a Muslim stronghold was already significant. For the rest, the seminar was not a resounding success. Our time schedule for the publication of the testimony booklet was much too tight. But this was only the start of many disappointments and attacks. It was clear that the testimonies were strategic in our spiritual fight against the enemy’s hold on people.
            Rainer Gulsow and his wife Runa, friends from the nearby German Stadtmission, introduced us to Gerda Leithgöb, who was still fairly unknown to Cape believers. Their recommendation was influential in me inviting Gerda to come and teach at our seminar in Rylands Estate in January 1995.  ‘Spiritual mapping’ is a term that has been used in recent decades for research into spiritual influences, especially those of a demonic or anti-Christian nature. In respect of Islam, Gerda Leithgöb introduced the issue at the Cape at the prayer seminar.  Her talk changed the outlook of many a co-worker when they discovered the value of strategic prayer.
            Just prior to the prayer seminar I gave to Gerda Leithgöb some of my research results on the establishment and spread of Islam. Among other things we prayed that a prayer network throughout the Cape Peninsula might be established, which could cause a breakthrough in the hearts of Cape Muslims. I had pointed to the apparent effect of the shrines on the heights that kept Muslims in bondage. 
            As part of a short devotional in one of our Friday lunch hour prayer meetings I highlighted the Messianic prophecy of Isaiah 60 that the descendants of Nebaioth and Kedar, the two eldest sons of Ishmael, would one day also come to faith in Jesus. Gill Knaggs, a one-off visitor, was apparently touched, considering hereafter to get involved in the mission to the Muslim World. Soon thereafter God used Gill to get YWAM in South Africa more interested in Egypt and the Muslim world. The YWAM base of Muizenberg started to network with the Coptic Church in that country via links through Mike Burnard of Open Doors. When we started with a radio programme via (Cape Community FM) CCFM in 1998, Gill was on hand for the writing of the scripts, something she continued to do for many years, also after her marriage.

Other Blessings          
There were also other blessings. It seemed as if our vision of a prayer network across the Cape Peninsula was slowly coming off the ground. Gill Knaggs now helped with the English translation and editing of my booklet ‘Op Soek na Waarheid’. She also began a weekly prayer group for the Muslims in her home. Was this the start of the exciting fulfilment of our vision of a network of prayer across the Peninsula? This was unfortunately not to be, albeit that the prayer group initiated by Gill at George Whitfield Bible College in Muizenberg would continue for quite a few years. Sally Kirkwood and another intercessor also continued to pray in the suburb Plumstead for a number of years until Sally moved from there.
            The diminutive Baptist congregation of Woodstock called a minister. What a blessing it was when we heard that Edgar Davids accepted the call to be their pastor. Just before our departure for Europe on our 1995 ‘home assignment’, I had been praying with a few students of the Baptist College in Mountain Road, Woodstock. (A small fellowship worshipped there in the manse.) This augured well for a close link to the denominational sister City congregation only a few kilometres away where Louis Pasques was now the interim pastor. Edgar Davids proved to be a real visionary and a man of God, along with his devout wife Sandra.
            The minute fellowship took the step in faith to start renovating the run-down former White Dutch Reformed Church. Elisabeth, a committed believer who belonged to this fellowship, brought me in touch with Munti Kreysler, one of her former Muslim neighbours in District Six. In turn, we hereafter met Maulana Sulaiman Petersen, the brother of Munti, who was living in the former Afrikaner city stronghold Tamboerskloof. Maulana Petersen was an influential Cape Islamic clergyman who had studied in Pakistan for many years, a scholar of note. I got to know him fairly well. Subsequently I introduced other missionary colleagues to him.
             I was very happy to hear at this time that pastors from different denominations were coming together for prayer in other residential areas. I decided to link up with Dr Ernst van der Walt of the Rondebosch Dutch Reformed Church and a few colleagues including Fenner Kadalie from the City Mission. This led to closer contact with the Rondebosch congregation and especially with a prayer group of older members at their old age home, where Erika Böhler, the church worker, initially led this group on Sunday mornings at 7 a.m. For many years I visited this prayer group from time to time until it ceased in 2006. At the Cape Town Baptist Church a small pastors’ group started with Louis Pasques and Edgar Davids in 1995. After the serious rift at the City church after which Pastor Gernetsky left, Louis had a torrid time. The two of us would often pray together through this crisis.

No Jonah this time – really?
When I went to the City Bowl Ministers' Fraternal on Thursday 4 October, 2007 I intended to go and say good bye to the colleagues. I had by now finally given up that networking was possible with those colleagues. After 1995 we saw it growing initially into a healthy weekly fellowship of evangelical pastors. But then it dwindled, not only in numbers. Not even the annual Carols by Candlelight could be organised as a joint event. The Groote Kerk had been a major stumbling block in networking over the years. They would not join our monthly combined services and only hesitantly opened their traditional Ascension Day service for the closing of the 120 days of prayer in 1999. (I was allowed to speak on condition that I limit myself to seven minutes and give them the script of my message beforehand. For the sake of the unity of the body of Christ I agreed to these rather distrustful conditions.)
The Lord humbled me on Thursday 4 October, 2007 when the Groote Kerk ministers suggested intensifying networking – they wanted to open up their Robben Island monthly services for ministers of other denominations. This took me really by surprise. In the winter of 2008 Rosemarie and I went there, taking along our son Sammy and his fiancéé Sheralyn. Even though this was not more than a service with one family there, we were blessed.
In the run-up to the 2009 Pentecost Global Day of Prayer and the implementation I was once again very disappointed by the participation of local colleagues, but in the preparation of the event I had started working more closely with John Kadende, a Rwandese pastor and his refugee church. I knew that networking with believers from different backgrounds would make the Father happy and that this should remain a focus of my ministry. I was now turning my attention to those believers among the refugees who were really interested in networking and praying together.  That however also turned into another fata morgana.  I linked them up with Woodstock Baptist Church in 2010, in an effort to network in using the church building for services. When this did not materialise, I still preached there occasionally, but the connection became very loose. A connection with a fellowship of Malawian believers did not grow beyond occasional sermons, albeit a connection that exists to this day.

                                                                        17. 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.
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 complex, 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, sparking an extended and unusual adoption process.
A positive Change towards Refugees
The attitude in the Cape Town Baptist Church towards refugees hereafter gradually began to change positively. 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. The Dorcas Trust was finalised in 1998 with three churches participating.

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

Centre for Missions at BI
Remembering my personal experience in District Six in 1972, when I noted the deficit regarding Islam in our seminary curriculum, I approached various Bible Schools to find out what was taught about this religion at these institutions. I discussed with Manfred Jung of SIM the possibility of teaching Muslim Evangelism at different Bible Schools.
When the WEC International research leader Patrick Johnstone visited South Africa once again, he also spoke in the Moravian Chapel in District Six, where a student ministry of 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.[47] 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.)

Mark Gabriel on the Run again        
Mark’s presence was not without hick-ups. He joined me on a preaching engagement at the Moravian Church in Elsies River on the last Sunday of July 1996 where our friend Chris Wessels was the pastor.[48] We offered copies for sale of Against the Tide in the Middle East, Mark’s testimony and our booklet Op Soek na Waarheid. That evening Mark also shared his testimony at a youth service at the same venue, where Christians from other churches of the area attended. I made a crucial error in the morning, omitting to warn the congregation to pray before they would pass any testimony booklet to Muslims.
            Three days later, on Wednesday 31 July, it was clear that Mark’s life was in danger yet again. Heinrich Grafen, a missionary colleague, phoned to warn me that Maulana Petersen was looking for Mark. A few minutes later Maulana Petersen phoned me as well, enquiring after the whereabouts of the apostate from Egypt who wrote a booklet with very offensive material. (It was indeed not wise of Mark to include a comparison of Muhammad and Jesus in the testimony booklet. He had stated in the booklet that Muhammad was inspired by the devil.) We had another Salman Rushdie[49]case on our hands; in fact, we had him in our home! It was no Jonah move that we prayed desperately for a place to hide Mark.
   The ‘co-incidence’ of a combined meeting of the home ministry groups at our church the same evening gave us the opportunity to share the need for a hide-out for him. That turned out to become a decisive stepping-stone for Debbie Zaayman to missionary endeavour.[50]  She offered her flat because she would be going away for a few weeks.[51] Subsequently she did our course in Muslim Evangelism in Kenilworth a few weeks later.
The televised Staggie 'execution' by PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) as a part of the national newscast on 4 August reminded Mark Gabriel of Muslim radicals of the Middle East. Reminiscent of the situation when Martin Luther was taken to the Wartburg castle for safety,[52] Mark Gabriel was forced into hiding. The killing of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD  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.
He responded by starting with research on ‘jihad’. This culminated in a book with the title Islam and Terrorism, which became a best seller in America in 2002, published soon after the Twin Tower saga of 11 September 2001. Subsequently the book was translated into over many other languages, arguably exposing the intrinsic violent nature of Islam like no other book before it.)
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 at the Cape was mentioned more often than was healthy for good relations between the adherents of the two major religions. On Saturday 17 August 1996, surmised satanists broke into the Uniting Reformed Church in Lansdowne, attempting to arsonise that building. The arson attempt on the church was thankfully downplayed in the press. Satanists were accused of the arson attempt. Thankfully the damage was not too extensive.                                                      When Pastor Walter Ackermann phoned me after reading the article in the newspaper, we were seriously challenged because a training course on one evening per week in Muslim Evangelism was due to start in Lansdowne at that venue soon thereafter on the 27th of August, 1996. We had unwisely called the course ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’ in the flyers that we printed to advertise the course. I did not know that Lansdowne was actually a PAGAD stronghold. With the arson attempt occurring only two weeks after the Salt River execution, the frightful possibility of a Lebanon scenario challenged the Christians to get their act together. We did not want to pull out cowardly. A wave of prayer followed, after which we decided to put out another ‘fleece’. We decided to test the famous but ill-fated St James Church in Kenilworth as a possible venue for our course. (The sanctuary that had been attacked in July 1993 when many died and some were maimed as a result.) The alternative would have been to cancel the training outright.[53]  We changed the name of the 10-week course (one night per week) that eventually took place at the St James Church to ‘Love your Muslim neighbour’.
An Opening in Bo-Kaap
In September 1996 we suddenly received access to St Paul’s Primary School in Bo-Kaap, through one of the teachers, Berenice Lawrence. I had taken Mark Gabriel to their home in Salt River. (Berenice’s husband Elroy had been visiting us in Holland in 1978 as a teenager, while he was part of the delegation to the Moral Rearmament conference in Caux as a learner of Spes Bona High School of which my friend and student colleague at UWC Franklin Sonn [54]was the principal)  Berenice lodged the request to bring people like Mark Gabriel and others from different countries to their school for cross-cultural exposure.  I jumped at this idea to broaden the minds of the Bo-Kaap children, to open them up to the Gospel in a loving and non-threatening way. Subsequently I organised many a speaker for their chapel hour on Thursday mornings more or less once a quarter for many years.
A difficult Month
I had to discover anew that if there were to occur a spiritual breakthrough, a revival in the Mother City of South Africa, it would be God’s sovereign work. Our own experiences highlighted the need for more prayer.
            On Sunday October 6, 1996, I preached at the Cape Town Baptist Church. Towards the end of the sermon my emotions got the better of me.  I broke down in tears when I was overwhelmed by the idea that the Lord might want to use this congregation to minister to Africans from other parts of the continent. When I invited the congregation to join in the venture, there was hardly any visible response. Yet, seed was sown.[55] (Within a few years there were more people of colour attending the church than Whites - many of them were foreigners.)
   October 1996 was a month when we were experiencing the heat of spiritual warfare very much. Often we found ourselves at the receiving end of the battle. I started writing a diary that went as follows at some stage: “The attack starts not only very early in the month, but also early in the day. Neither Rosemarie nor I was able to sleep properly. For Rosemarie it was the second sleepless night in a row. She shares her concern that we were getting nowhere with our ministry: ‘For almost five years we have toiled here in Cape Town. And what have we achieved? Almost nothing! We might as well go back to Holland.’ I concede that I also feel completely depressed.”     
   Prayer walking by me and Rosemarie in October 1996 for a church to be planted in Bo-Kaap, the (former) Muslim stronghold, made us anew aware of demonic forces at work that were attempting to destroy the evangelical churches of the city centre. The necessity of church unity was more than evident. It had to become one of our priorities. Somehow we forgot that we had learned that we should not be doing this sort of thing alone as a couple.
   The risk of spiritual warfare became very evident when one of our children came to us in the middle of the night with all the signs of a demonic attack. This seemed to Rosemarie the signal for us to stop with our ministry. To her the price was too high to have to sacrifice anyone of our children. Reminding her of the false alternatives I had to face years ago when someone suggested that I should choose between my love for her and my love for my country, I pointed out that we should fight in prayer for our child. This definitely paid off. He ultimately came through the crisis with flying colours.

Intercessors from different Areas
June Lehmensich, a regular at the Friday prayer meetings and an office worker for the City Council, had taken the pastoral clinical training course with Dr Dwyer in Lansdowne. She also attended the ‘Love your Muslim neighbour’ course at St James Church (Kenilworth) in 1996. Subsequently she became a pivotal figure as she spread the vision for prayer, taking it right into the Provincial Chambers and the National Parliament. June was simultaneously the personification of faithfulness and perseverance, as well as a link to a prayer group with a long tradition at the Cape Town City Council.
          I organised the launch of the 30-day Muslim Prayer Focus booklets in the historic St Stephen’s Church of Bo-Kaap for November 1996 . Bennie Mostert arranged the annual countrywide distribution, ensuring that the vision of countrywide prayer for Muslims once a year was guaranteed. However, the bulk of agencies linked to Christian Concern for Muslims (CCM), which were in some way involved with Muslim outreach, never fully adopted the vision. Intercessors were coming together from different places once a month at the Sowers of the Word Church in Lansdowne, where the veteran Pastor Andy Lamb was the leader.
          Sally Kirkwood, a Cape intercessor of note, had already been prepared by the Lord. She had started a prayer meeting at their home in Plumstead at her home for Cape Muslims in the mid-1990s with Arina Serdyn, an Afrikaner retired teacher. Along with other intercessors she became God’s instrument for increasing prayer awareness in the Mother City. Pastor Cynthia Richards from Africa Enterprise, and later a pastor of Camp Bay United Church, was another important cog in this regard. She visited the various Ministers’ Fraternals of the Peninsula, organising prayer meetings in preparation for an evangelistic campaign with Franklin Graham, the son of the renowned evangelist Billy Graham (I had given Cynthia Richards the phone numbers which I used for the Jesus Marches of 1994). The Franklin Graham campaign was scheduled for April 1997.
18. Under Attack

            The evident demonic attack via one of our children in October 1996 was not an isolated experience. Other attacks were not so extreme, 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 the mechanic found no fault. 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?

The Penny Drops
The end of Ramadan was special. When I heard that our friend Maulana Petersen had been admitted to the nearby City Park Hospital,[56] I was in the position to visit him there fairly promptly outside the visiting hours. I was thus all alone with him. He was terminally ill with a serious heart ailment. Being alone with him there in the ward, I got a terrible shock when he reacted fiercely when I quoted the words of Jesus in John 14: 6, I am the way the truth and the life, no man come to the Father but by me. 
Fortunately for me the worst did not happen. He allowed me to pray, as he knew I would do: in the name of Jesus. After a week he had recovered sufficiently to be discharged. Soon thereafter - on Labarang/Eid ul Fitr, the day after the new moon had been sighted to signal the end of the fasting month, I ministered with Rosemarie and our British visiting colleague Joyce Scott at a Bible School in Strandfontein. On the way back we popped in at the home of Maulana Petersen. At some point he suggested that there are different ways to get to God. I was given some divine wisdom to reply as follows:  ‘Indeed, we are all unique. No two people are the same, not even identical twins. But our different ways to God must converge because didn't Jesus say 'I am the way the truth and the life. No man come to the Father but by me.' It was striking to see how the penny dropped.  Maulana Petersen understood the uniqueness of Jesus and that he is the one leading the way, He is the door to eternal life. But the price would be very high as a prominent Cape Islamic cleric – complete ostracism at the very least! It turned that this price was too high as he counted the cost. Instead, he hereafter indicated that I was not welcome in his home any more, whereas other missionaries from Germany to whom I had introduced him to still came there until his death a few years later.

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, organizing teaching courses and working from 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 did not appear as obvious. The trauma was nevertheless very real when the sale of the CEBI Bible School came up during a prayer conference with our friend Gerda Leithgöb of Herald Ministries. This was the very same building at which we had been called to Muslim Outreach in January 1992.
         During the year 1997 I had to see many of my hopes and dreams being dashed. All our efforts to see the strategic old CEBI Bible School saved for Christianity, failed. It had been my dream to see this building used for the initial language teaching of future missionaries. There was little else to do than to take the disappointment in my stride.

Confession once again
It came really as a special boon when Christians overseas starting organising a Reconciliation Walk following the path of the Crusades. Bennie Mostert (Jericho Walls) faxed the lengthy confession of the organisers through to our Cape CCM Forum on the very day that we had one of our meetings. It looked to me as if God had his hand in it. But it turned out to be no cakewalk. In our meeting the lengthy confession was turned down out of hand because it was regarded as not relevant for us in South Africa. I managed to salvage the idea, 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 so easily. The matter was much too important to me for completely leaving it at that.
Assisting a pregnant young Woman
The request to help Nadia,[57]a pregnant young woman who was expecting a child from a nominal Christian, seemed to be a pretty straightforward case. We fairly promptly visited the eloquent Muslim young mother of two other children. After hearing that she had already been divorced twice, we could never advise a marriage. The recipe for disaster was there for the taking. Rosemarie and I were almost on our way leaving the house where she was renting a room, when the conversation took another turn. A religious topic was mentioned and we were able to share the Gospel in some way.
         We combined the next visit to her with the collecting of Mark Gabriel, our friend from Egypt, from the airport. The original idea was merely to pop in, but soon Rosemarie and Nadia were deeply involved in a discussion so that we decided that I would go and pick up Mark at the airport in the meantime while they would conclude the conversation. When we returned, Rosemarie and Nadia were still very much in the middle of their conversation. Utilising the story of the adulterous woman of John 8 intelligently, Mark was divinely used to bring Nadia under evident conviction.

More Knocks
Just prior to the Easter Christian Concern for Muslims (CCM) conference we got a phone call from my brother that our Dad had been admitted to the hospital in Bredasdorp. Preparations had been made for him and our Mom to be admitted to an old age home in Grabouw, where my brother Windsor and his family stayed. A second phone call notified us that he had taken a turn for the worse and that his passing on was anticipated. Rosemarie and I drove straight to Bredasdorp. When we arrived there, he had already passed on. A few days later we buried Daddy on the Elim mission station.
         We were still recovering from this shock when Rosemarie had some premonition as she was doing a chore in the kitchen that her mother was passing away. She was not surprised when her sister phoned hours later that this was indeed the case. Rosemarie flew to Germany for the funeral of her mother.               While Rosemarie was in Germany, I spoke to Nadia telephonically. Nadia manipulated matters cleverly, so that I arranged with Rosemarie telephonically that we would 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.
         After Rosemarie's return from Germany, Nadia moved into our home, soon joined by two children. This was accompanied with a lot of turmoil and stress. At the same time this highlighted the need for a discipling house.

Rumblings around my best Friend    
I was encouraged when I visited my dear friend Jakes over the Easter week-end, breaking away for a few minutes from the CCM conference in Wellington about 60 kilometres from Cape Town. He shared his resolve to go on pension soon. Thereafter he wanted to get involved with Muslim outreach again.
         That was not to be. A little more than a month later Jakes suffered a stroke. When I prayed with his wife Ann in hospital, Jakes was in a coma, with little hope given that he would survive. The next day he passed on to eternal glory.
         When Rosemarie and I arrived at the Bergsig Sendingkerk in Wellington 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. At the funeral I met many old friends from the VCS days.
Rosemarie burnt out 
With our nerves already on edge, I almost killed a pedestrian on the return journey from Wellington. The man suddenly crossed the highway while I was driving at approximately 120 kph. Completely exhausted physically and emotionally, we arrived home.
         Back in Vredehoek Nadia manipulated in such a way that Rosemarie still agreed to drive her to friends in Silvertown, 15 Kilometeres away. Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England, who was with us at the time, accompanied her to Silvertown. When she arrived home from there, Rosemarie collapsed. We were shocked when she symptoms of a serious stroke (temporarily she could not see anything. We feared that she had become blind.).

Assistance from Nearby and from Abroad   
We phoned Ekkehard Zöllner, a befriended doctor and the father of children who also attended the German School. (With him, his wife and other parents we had been praying about twice per quarter for the German school while we had children there.)  Ekkehard referred us to a Christian specialist, who diagnosed that it was a nervous breakdown caused by stress. I was very near to burnout myself, battered and bruised by the circumstances of the weeks prior to my best friend’s funeral. The specialist, to whom we were referred, ordered us at least two weeks’ rest. It was so good that Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England, a nurse, was on the spot. She spoilt our children to the hilt as we left for a few days 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 in ministry after completing her Bible School training.

Divine Provision        
Ekkehard Zöllner referred us to a Christian specialist who immediately diagnosed that Rosemarie had a nervous breakdown caused by stress. I was very near to burn-out myself, completely exhausted - battered and bruised by the circumstances of the weeks prior to my best friend’s funeral. The specialist, to whom we were referred, ordered us at least two weeks’ rest. It was so good that Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England, a nurse, 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 for the initial language teaching of future missionaries to all parts of the world.
            How wonderful the prayer seminar with Gerda Leithgöb at the former Cape Evangelical Bible Institute was. This was still in April 1997. The news of the proposed sale of the former CEBI Bible Institute 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 capable 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.

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. 
         Soon Rosemarie was ministering together with Eleanor in a factory every Thursday at lunchtime. Unfortunately, this ministry soon petered out, as did the other one with Edith la Grange after Fatima H. had left that factory to care for her sick mother. The factory ministry would be resurrected in a different but more satisfactory form in 2003.

         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 regular attendees. 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 Lighthouse. I gladly helped to 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[58] 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 Groote Schuur Hospital Rosemarie met an old Muslim lady from the township 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 there after the old terminal 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 gunl’ 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[59] 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 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 attempt 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 Hunter, 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 required. On Wednesday, 7 January 1998 we took the decision to surge 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 were transmitted until CCFM restructured their programmes in 2004. In that year the radio station was given permission to broadcast 24 hours per day.

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 could be the right way to start, followed by concrete steps of restitution. (Through my studies and research I discerned that the establishment and spread of Islam in South Africa could be described as the unpaid debt of the Church. I duly wrote a manuscript with that title.) 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 hoped 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 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 doing a missionary intern gap year with Trans World Radio (TWR) in Pretoria.
            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 the calendar year 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.

An ‘open letter’ to Clergymen
After hearing certain things said at the CCM leadership conference I thought that I should attempt to disseminate the results of my studies. 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. Was Jonah at work again?
         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 affect that. 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 believers who would 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 in Woodstock, 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 was instructed to see to it that she gets the house only 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.

A scintillating Week of spiritual Warfare
A week or two prior to their arrival Sally Kirkwood, who hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, phoned me because she was burdened with the guilt of the City in respect of District Six, the former slum area that had been declared a 'White' residential area in 1966. 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. The prospect of Eddie Hofmeyer[60] becoming the new pastor of the City Mission fellowship in Salt River brought a note of excitement.
         At this time the PAGAD scourge was threatening to cause major disruption in the city. The need for a response in the form of a Rehabilitation centre had become pressing. It was only natural that we challenged Dean and his wife to pray about a leadership role in the envisaged Bet-el related Christian rehab centre.

Demonic Conspiracies           
For years already I had been aware that the various forms of separation of people were actually diabolic. Through my studies I became very much 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 was prepared to give his life for his people (see Romans 9-11) could be perceived by the Jews as someone who had cut himself off from them! To me, there was only one explanation: that it was a demonic conspiracy! How different things could have been if Muhammad, the great statesman had been explained the Gospel clearly and committed himself in faith to Jesus - not to regard the Master merely as a prophet.    
            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’.

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.
         Having Ayesha Hunter as one of our co-workers, we were thrust us into the realm of ministry related to gangsterism and other vice. Quite soon we had MBB women in our home who had been abused violently.  Our MBB meetings became quite a challenge when we had to arrange transport for people who came from all over.

                                                19. The Strong Wings at Work

          Quite a close relationship developed to Richard Mitchell and his family after we had joined them in prayer at Rhodes Memorial and the later resumed early morning prayer meetings on Signal Hill. When the ‘door’ opened for a regular testimony programme on Friday evenings on Radio CCFM, Richard Mitchell was an automatic choice as presenter. The programme ‘God Changes Lives’ with him as presenter was also used to advertise citywide prayer events such as those at the Lighthouse, an important part of the run-up to the big Newlands event of March 2001. In due course I also produced andpresented a programme for the midday devotions every Tuesday with a link to Islam.

Another Attempt to rename Devil’s Peak
Only deep into the new millennium I discovered that believers had already been troubled for decades that Devil’s Peak was towering over our city. The unofficial renaming of ‘Devil’s Peak’ to ‘Disciples' Peak’ was led by Pastor Johan Klopper of the Vredehoek Apostolic Faith Mission Church in the mid-1990s.  The venue had been a stronghold of satanists.
          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. That the matter went dormant was no conscious Jonah stint.
          In 2009 God brought the matter back to my memory. I phoned Murray Bridgman and Barry Isaacs. 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.

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 an attempt to overthrow the government in the Western Cape violently where the bulk of the Muslims in the country are living.[61] 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, taking protection money not only from shop keepers. They even dared to request this in individual cases from churches.

The Need of a Discipling House amplified
We were confronted with the drug scene in a very real way when Ayesha H. approached us with regard to a young woman whose life was threatened. The husband of the young woman, was a gangster. He had been involved with many crimes and had been abusing Shehaam[62] almost in every way possible. She was a new Muslim background believer. After praying about the matter, we had peace to take Shehaam into our home.
         What a joy it was to see how the young woman grew rapidly in her new faith. I was deeply moved to hear Shehaam share the burden she had for the residential area where she grew up. In the part of Mitchells Plain, the combination of 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 her husband. I roped in Eric Hofmeyer to this end. He had been a gang leader himself who later became a pastor.
         Far too soon however, we allowed the couple to live together again. The end result was final separation. Thereafter she returned to her earlier life style. It was little consolation that the young man grew spiritually to some extent.   
         We were however very disappointed in the meantime. We had to face the fact that Shehaam was the third failure with a Muslim background believer, into whose life we had invested quite a lot of time and energy. We were thrown back on the grace of God. The need for a discipling house where we could nurture these new Christians for a longer period was highlighted once again.
         We had hardly recovered from this disappointment, when we were confronted with a similar case. Nazeema[63] had been a Christian for quite a few years but she was still very immature. For years she had been abused by her husband. More than once she was almost killed. In spite of a few interdicts against him, he would not leave her alone. We took her into our home, which ushered in a very stressful time during which he would also harass us in many a way. The necessity of a Discipling House was amplified
all too clearly.
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 of George Otis, 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 two Dutchmen, Pieter Bos and Cees Vork,[64] 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 the same year. 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.
A strategic Detour                                                                                            
In 1999 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 Nairobi via Europe would cost. 
         Rosemarie pointed out to me that a visit to Madrid would be more important to get some movement towards the Jesus-centred Cape drug rehabilitation issue for which we had been praying so long. The international Headquarters of the WEC-related Bet-el ministries is in Madrid. Without much more ado the itinerary was finalised. I would fly with the Royal Dutch Airlines KLM to Nairobi via Holland and Spain.
          The overseas trip turned out to be quite strategic on the short term. My two days in Holland were special, pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. An evening was organised on short notice to speak to some of our friends. There I showed a picture of the house we intended to buy for use as a discipling house. The mother of Martie Dieperink, one of the believers who attended that event, died soon after my visit. Shortly after having heard of the need of a discipling house in Cape Town where new believers coming from another faith could be nurtured, Martie offered to help us with a substantial amount as an interest-free loan, to be paid back over a period of five years. This set in motion the acquisition of a building that became an important asset of our ministry. The furniture from the house of her mother was part of the content of a container that was sent in 2001.

Divine Elements                                                                                                                                                            
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 as well as with Dean Ramjoomiah, who became the first houseparents of our Discipling House with his wife Susan. Over the years we saw many a drug addict impacted and set free through our ministry diectly and indirectly.
            On home soil the news of Danny’s fight for life brought home to some Christians the simultaneous urgency to prayer for the World Parliament of Religions. Thus God turned the attack on Danny’s life and on our ministry around for his sovereign purposes.

Cape Town emulates Sodom  
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 immorality with laws to legalize abortion and allowing gay tourism to thrive.
         Cape Town took the continent-wide lead to emulate Sodom when the Western Cape’s person responsible for tourism seemed to have received 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.

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 belonged to the Cape Technikon[65] at this time 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. A Jonah element was all too evident.
         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.

Rumblings at the Moriah Discipling House      
An inappropriate reaction from my side to a manipulative phone call from one of the former Moriah Discipling House inhabitants on my birthday in 2001 set off a stressful chain reaction. The next two and a half months our stress levels remained extremely high. Carelessness on my part, by just continuing with ministry after travelling for 20 hours by bus from Durban 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!

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

Diagnosed with Prostate Cancer
A medical check-up was due a year after my stress-related temporary loss of memory in March 2002. This led to a period that seemed to lead to the last lap of my 'race' on earth.
         After going to the doctor for the blood pressure check-up at the end of September 2003 - without having any complaint - he suggested a PSA blood test because of my age. The physician hereafter referred me to an urologist, who did a biopsy on 7 October 2003 – just to make sure!
         Perhaps the arch enemy tried to knock me out. I was so confident that the result of the biopsy would be negative because I had no physical discomfort up to that point in time. The two doctors pointed out that the PSA count was only minimally above normal. There could have been other causes for the abnormal count, e.g. infection.  When a phone call came from the hospital on Thursday 9 October 2003, I was caught off-guard.
                             I was told that I had contracted
                                      Prostate Gland cancer
 Without any ado the urologist gave me the result of the biopsy: I had contracted prostate cancer in an early stage. Through an extra-ordinary set of circumstances, the Lord however prepared me for the diagnosis. At that time – on 8 October 2003 to be exact – I was encouraged by the ‘Watchword’, as the Moravians have been traditionally calling the Old Testament Scripture for the day: ‘I will not die but live and proclaim what the LORD has done’ (Psalm 118:17).
            Looking back over my life, it seemed as if my (semi-) academic studies and anti-apartheid activism did not bring me anywhere. But the Lord gave me a ‘second wind’ after the removal of my Prostate Gland during a surgical operation in December 2003.

End of another Exile?
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 in District Six. 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[66] 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. 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. My seminary colleague Gustine Joemath and a few old friends came to visit me at home while I was recuperating. Was the end of the exile in the Moravian Church beckoning? I was allowed to copy keys of the church and thus I would have free access to the premises.

Change of Ministry?
In 2003 Rosemarie and I were already seriously praying about a possible change of ministry. After almost 12 years at the Cape in the same ministry, we thought that we should consider a change for the last stretch before retirement. With our youngest daughter about to finish her schooling at the end of 2004, we even considered relocation. But no ‘doors’ opened with regard to any change. Instead, we felt increasingly challenged to reach out to refugees and foreigners locally, for example by using English language teaching as a compassionate vehicle. We prayed that the Lord would give us more clarity with regard to our future ministry by the end of 2003.

                                                20. A targeted Ministry to Foreigners

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 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 at the regular venue, the Koffiekamer of Straatwerk. Lillian James, one of our prayer partners, was on hand to arrange a venue for us near to the new Convention Centre. 

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

Special Assistance
Louis Pasques, was already the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church for a few years when Jeff and Lynn Holder, who had been missionaries in Botswana on behalf of the Southern Baptists of the USA, came to Cape Town as the denominational co-ordinators for Southern Africa already in 2002. The multi-national character of the Cape Town Baptist Church appealed to them.
         A group of young people from Botswana came to study in the City, staying in a hostel near to the Baptist Church. This was of course up the ally of the Holders who had ministered in Botswana in earlier years. Soon a whole bunch of Tswana-speaking youngsters were attending the church. Some of them received special teaching from Jeff and Lynn as they used the Experiencing God material of Henry Blackaby.
         Our son Danny was the leader of the worship team at this time. He now intertwined songs from the other cultures and languages. In due course the fellowship became one of the first churches in the Cape Town City Bowl with adherents and visitors from many nations on any given Sunday.
         We were glad that we could hand over the responsibility for the hospital ministry to Maria van Maarseveen, our WEC Dutch colleague, who had taken up the duties as houseparent of our discipling house. At the end of 2002 we were praying again that the Lord would give us more assistance. Lynn Holder was praying how she could get involved ministry-wise.

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. 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.
         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.
A focused 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. The call was not clear-cut though so that one cannot speak of a Jonah-like disobedience. In our looking for a couple as house parents of the facility, the Lord had to correct us because we had thought that a Cape ‘Coloured’ couple would be the ideal because they would understand the culture of the Cape Muslims the best.
         Around the turn of the millennium Rosemarie was battling with the discipling of new Muslim background believers (MBBs) and general convert care. The bulk of them were females. Some had hardly any income because of their decision to follow Jesus. As a token of assistance Rosemarie started a workshop at Moriah one day in the week where they could earn some money making 3D cards which we tried to sell in churches.
         At this time I approached Anthony Liebenberg, the pastor of the Atlantic Christian Assembly (ACA), as part of an effort to promote the hand-made 3D cards. The Lord had undertaken wonderfully so that we could pay these ladies, giving them some regular income, although we hardly sold cards.
         By 2003 Anthony Liebenberg had become the senior pastor of the Atlantic Christian Assembly. Because of some internal decision, the congregation would not allow people from outside to come and promote anything. Anthony would do it on our behalf. Because of the good rapport we had with him and the link via our son, he did it much better than I could have done. Anthony also spoke a prophetic word over us, that we would get assistance soon. This was fulfilled when Lynn Holder joined Rosemarie with the making of the 3D cards soon thereafter, followed by an American colleague, Rochelle Malachowski.

Declining Leadership Positions
My radio ministry with CCFM appeared to have made some impact.  However, when Andrew McDonald, the African leader of Trans World Radio (TWR), phoned me with the request to lead the programmes for the outreach to Muslim countries of the continent, I did not have to pray much. No Jonah move was needed. We knew that our Muslim outreach ministry at the Cape was still far from finished.
            Rosemarie and I were also approached by WEC missionary colleagues to be nominated for the position of national leaders prior to the annual conference in the Free State in 2004. But we had no liberty to accept nomination. Also at the conference we were nominated again in a plenary session to join the leadership team in Durban. We explained that the Lord had confirmed through the tidal wave of opportunity that we felt that we needed to remain in Cape Town. It was also no Jonah stint when I resigned from the national committee, enabling Freddie Kammies and Lazarus Chetty to be elected as representatives for the Western Cape.

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 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. Aware that the house church movement in China is the closest to New Testament Christianity in our day and age, this was now my model. But I was also oh so wary to start yet another church fellowship. I preferred to procrastinate on this issue, to the frustration of Rosemarie. She liked the fellowship at the Calvary Chapel, especially the exegetical preaching of Dmitri Nikiforos who actually once had our daughter Magdalena in his Sunday School class. However, on biblical grounds we had some reservations about monologue-type sermons.

A new Crisis
Brian Wood, the new pastor, had hardly started when a new crisis developed around a very trivial matter. He took me and Jeff Holder, the American missionary colleague, into his confidence. It was good that I had refused 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 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 Pasques, when he was the new interim pastor in 1995, it was again the children which still kept us there.  It seemed as if the church was going from one crisis to the next.

A ‘global Church’ in the City Bowl
When I preached at the Cape Town Baptist Church one Sunday at the beginning of the new millennium, I asked those in the congregation to raise the hand who was not born in South Africa. I was quite surprised how many hands were raised. By this time there were quite a few Blacks attending the church. Apart from a substantial group from the Democratic Republic of the Congo, the former Zaire and Congo-Brazzaville, there were hereafter also a contingent of Angolans. We also had some individuals from other nations attending regularly.

The 7-DAYS Initiative
As a follow-up strategy of Transformation Africa prayer in stadiums all over Africa in 2004, a ‘7-Days initiative’ was launched. Daniel Brink of the Jericho Walls Cape Office distributed the following communiqué: ‘...From Sunday May 9th thousands of Christians all over South Africa will take part in a national night and day prayer initiative called „7 Days”.  The goal was to see the whole country covered in continuous prayer for one year from 9 May 2004 to 15 May 2005. On relatively short notice, communities, towns and cities in South Africa were challenged to pray 24 hours a day for 7 days. The prayer initiative started with the Western Cape taking the first seven weeks. Daniel Brink invited believers of the Cape Peninsula to ‘proclaim your trust that, when we pray, God will respond. Declare your trust that if we put an end to oppression and give food to the hungry, the darkness will turn to brightness. Pray that houses of prayer will rise up all over Africa as places where God’s goodness and mercy is celebrated in worship and prayer, even before the answer comes.
Global Prayer Watch, the Western Cape arm of Jericho Walls, filled the first 7 days with day and night prayer at the Moravian Church premises in District Six, starting at 9 o’clock in the evening on May 9.  Every two hours around the clock a group of musicians would lead the ‘Harp and Bowl’ intercessory worship, whereby the group would pray over Scripture. In another part of the compound,[67] intercessors could pray or paste prayer requests in the adjacent ‘boiler room’.
What a joy it was for Hendrina van der Merwe, the fervent intercessor, to be present on the 9th May 2004 in the Moravian Church. However, she was neither to experience a spiritual breakthrough towards new church planting in Bo-Kaap nor the start of a 24-hour Prayer Watch in the City Bowl. She went to be with the Lord on 31 December 2004 with the Bible in her hand.
Jericho Walls challenged believers all over the world ‘to seek the face of the Lord and ask him to fill the earth with his glory as the waters cover the seas’ (Habakkuk 2:14) from the 6th to the 15th May 2005. Young people were encouraged to do a ‘30-second Kneel Down’ on Friday 13 May, and to have prayer, a ‘Whole night for the Whole World on Saturday 14 May, just before the Global Day of Prayer.
         During 2004 we had many a MBB meeting in the Moravian Chapel of District Six and I also married Zulpha and Abdul in the church. My hope to get my relationship to the Moravian Church restored, flared up.

                                                20. Publication Fleeces

          Rosemarie was never quite supportive of my writing activities. In fact, it caused tension in our marriage because my mind would often stray because of my love for research and writing. I contributed a great deal to the tension by not finishing manuscripts. I would start with something, but when I would find something interesting in the course of my research, I would just wander off on a tangent. Another factor was that I received few clear encouragements to proceed with publication. Added to that was the fact that I was rather hesitant to see books printed that would just gather dust on bookshelves or remain unread.
First Attempts at Publication
The two weeks before my departure from Germany in 1970 ushered in my first serious attempt at pubication. Quite an unusual romance had transpired. The miraculous divine intervention so gripped me that I really wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I immediately started writing down the story. It would take a few years before the run-up to our wedding was actually cyclostyled and sent to Tafelberg Publishers as a draft for publication. 
            This happened however only via a detour. As a radical activist I had 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. I sounded out some people about pub­lishing my treatise in South Africa in 1979. It became clear that the government was prone to censure the publica­tion,
            A Dutch friend, Hein Postma pointed out to me that the manuscript ‘Honger na Geregtigheid’ was too critical, not loving enough. I thereafter attempted to diminish the possible shock effect for Afrikaners, simultaneously hoping that this could facilitate the return to my beloved South Africa. I toned the manuscript down, planning three smaller booklets, of which the first one concentrated on issues around a South African law, The Prohibition of Mixed Marriages Act. I gave it the title ‘Wat God saamgevoeg het’[68] (What God joined together). This was edited by our daughter for our 40th wedding anniversary and published in 2015.
         During our stay in Cape Town in 1981 I suddenly had lots of time when our learners of Mount View High School decided to strike. I wrote a manuscript at this time about a third way, non-violent protest against apartheid, highlighting false political alternatives. I had left the manuscript at the school in Hanover Park during the boycott crisis around June 16/17. There it disappeared mysteriously. I also finalised a draft of What God joined together in English, giving it to Tafelberg Publishers. They returned the manuscript after a few months with little comment. I had been too naïve to expect the government-supporting publishers to deviate so much from the official policies.
         During a trip to South Africa, possibly in 1988, I learned that a friend had started Kampen Publishers, as a subsidiary of a renowned Dutch company. Another few years on, in 1990, I actually started considering publishing our autobiographical material in Holland. This time I used the manuscript as a ‘fleece’ - albeit with some inner uneasiness - to discern whether we could visit my home country again, naively hoping to earn something with the book.
Collating written Material    
I started collating the written material about our three visits to South Africa. As my parents were due to celebrate their golden wedding anniversary, some sort of treatise was the intended present. David Appelo, a friend that I got to know during my stint in Holland with Campus Crusade, helped me a lot to get a manuscript in a presentable form.
            After our return to Zeist after our period in England and Emmeloord in mid-1991, David Appelo felt that we should try and publish the material in a form that would not be only a family record. I allowed him to revamp the manuscript for wider publication. During my quiet time I had been challenged through a Bible story: God touched the heart of King Ahasveros to have the records fetched when he could not sleep. There the king could read how someone had saved his life. Mordechai, his benefactor, was honoured in the perfect divine timing. I understood clearly that I should not manipulate, trying to get honoured by men. I should leave that over to God.
            Family history was definitely the tone of a manuscript, which I presented to my darling on her 40th birthday on 7 July 1991. Alluding of course to our wedding sermon, I gave it the title Op adelaars’ vleugelen (On Eagle’s Wings) when Dutch had become our family language.

A Goldmine of another Sort
Another treatise followed soon thereafter as the result of further studies. It was a missiological work describing the new South Africa as a ‘goldmine’ for the recruitment of missionaries, intended to coincide with the quad centenary of the birth of Bishop Jan Amos Comenius. My experience in West Africa had been influencing me to think of 'Black' South Africans as potential missionaries to the Muslim countries of the continent. I was also reminded 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 minister in their home countries. In the months hereafter I started writing my thoughts about these matters. I was also encouraged to read how indigenous missionaries of India were being used in a national mission agency. I called the treatise A Goldmine of Missionary Recruitment (I changed the title later to A Goldmine of another Sort.).
         When I presented the manuscript to Patrick Johnstone and the international leaders of WEC International the response was however not encouraging enough to me to proceed with a publication attempt. I decided to leave it at that. The response of a Moravian minister to whom I gave an earlier version in the 1990s was also rather discouraging.

A Jonah Variation
I allowed David Appelo, my Dutch friend to revamp the manuscript about our three visits to South Africa for wider publication. I was not quite happy that he changed the title to Involuntary Exile, aware that my exile was not fully involuntary. (My original title had been Home or Hearth). David Appelo went to considerable expense to prepare a few hard-bound copies - a complete autobiographical book edited a few months into 1992.
            I could however not give my co-operation to the publication of that book on my behalf. David Appelo had not complied to our original agreement that he would sent me the manuscript on a ‘floppy disk’ first. (I had become the proud owner of an old 286 computer.) But I was nevertheless sad to disappoint David, who had gone to such length to prepare the manuscript for publication.
            I was especially dissatisfied that my intention - for the publication to be a testimony to God’s goodness and grace - was coming through insufficiently after David Appelo’s editing. Thus this boiled down to another Jonah variation. I should have made a serious attempt to negotiate with him.
I dearly hoped to put the results of my studies and research in the service of the Lord, but I definitely did not want to waste money to get books printed that would hardly be read. The Lord should confirm any possible publication. Also I recognized that it is not so bad at all to remain an unknown entity. Our family life remained fairly stable that way. I was wary of the possibility of our family life to be disrupted through too much media interference.
         Using the written word as a part of our ministry still had to take off. I did start though to collate testimonies of Muslim background believers not long after our arrival at the Cape Eleven of the stories were finally selected. The result was Op soek na waarheid, published in 1995.
An open letter?
The idea of a lengthy and substantial ‘open letter’ to all Capetonian clergy arose in 1998 when I was very strongly impressed by the guilt of the church in general. I was moved not only by the debt accrued in the establishment and spread of Islam by our spiritual ancestors, but also through the pervasive replacement theology that is still keeping Judaism and the Jews side-lined. (According to the replacement theory the Church is the ‘new Israel’, substituting the old nation that was elected by God to be a blessing to the nations.) The Bible is very clear on the role of Jews and the nation of Israel as the apple of God’s eye. I was saddened to discover in my research how the Church at the Cape treated Muslim slaves and how Christians expediently kept the Gospel away from Cape Muslims because of material gain, notably when the slave owners at the Cape interpreted the ‘placaat’ (decree) as a threat, believing that their slaves would become free if they were baptized. The hope has not died completely that the one or other of my manuscripts might lead to a meaningful expression of regret by church leaders. Two public confessions that played powerful roles were my role models. The Stuttgart Confession of Guilt of October 19, 1945 confessed guilt for its inadequacies in opposition to the Nazis. At the post-Apartheid conference in 1990 in Rustenburg Professor Willie Jonker of the University of Stellenbosch made a confession on behalf of the entire DRC. The conference finally resulted in the signing of the Rustenburg Declaration, which moved strongly toward complete confession, forgiveness, and restitution, pracically ushering in the end of apartheid and the new democratic South Africa.

Frustration at the Lack of Networking        
Before the 1999 CCM conference in Wellington I was on the verge of withdrawing our mission from CCM because of frustration at the lack of a vision for networking and the indifference of missionary colleagues with regard to corporate prayer. When it was suggested that every leader should contribute something at the conference, I volunteered to speak on the role of prayer in Muslim Evangelism.
            At the conference I delivered a paper on Christian-Muslim Spiritual Dynamics at the Cape that was well received. We returned from Wellington quite excited, after having had a lot of scepticism with the way the networking was operating. Various participants asked if they could have my paper. This resulted in the expansion of the studies into two manuscripts that I called Some Things wrought by Prayer and Christian-Muslim Spiritual Dynamics at the Cape.
            The new excitement with the networking unfortunately faded away as I tried in vain to get the colleagues on board with a major effort to distribute the Ramadan prayer booklets, to be prepared by a letter to all pastors as well as a common endeavour to disseminate four testimony tracts that I had written. With both issues the colleagues dragged their heels to such an extent that I was quite frustrated.
I was challenged to see Cape Town used once again in the worldwide liberation of Muslims from Islamic bondage as it happened to slavery in the 19th century. This challenge I also included in the insert to the South African version of the Muslim Prayer Focus. But somehow I just could not excite my missionary colleagues. I was not unhappy at all to hand over the chairmanship of the Forum, even though nobody was willing to take up the baton. I was however disappointed when by September 2000 no new meeting of the Forum had been called. Our hand was however forced somewhat because we in the Cape had to stage the next national CCM annual leadership consultation, scheduled for October 2000. Neither this consultation at Wortelgat near Stanford, nor the one at Betty’s Bay in 2001 delivered the goods I was hoping for. (In fact, I thought our resignation from CCM merely as a matter of time.) God somehow kept me from taking this drastic step and hurting other believers in this way.
When a phone call came from the hospital on Thursday 9 October 2003, I was caught off-guard. Without any ado the urologist, Dr Aldera shared the result of the biopsy: I was having 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).  This became the cue for me not only to update the ‘open letter’ that I had given the title My spiritual Odyssey, but also to change the title to I will not die but live. God’s Word obviously had to get pre-eminence in respect of Greek mythology.

Much Time to pray                                                                                                                      
Many people prayed for me, including public anointing at our church. This encouraged me to be more open to divine healing, especially when two PSA tests pointed to a decrease of the cancer! When a further PSA test on 23 November showed a new increase of the cancer, I sensed that I should not play around. Although I dearly wanted to participate in the continental prayer convocation that took place in Cape Town from 1-5 December, I immediately booked myself in for the operation, undergoing surgery on 3 December.
         God could speak to me clearer because I had so much time to pray in hospital. I felt that I should stop attempting to find someone else to co-ordinate an effort to start a 24/7 prayer watch in the Cape Town City Bowl. I had been trying for years to work towards a more visible expression of the Unity of the Body of Christ, with very little success. The end of the story was that I knew that I should take responsibility myself.
         I worked not only on the above manuscript, but I also updated material that I had written on the occasion of my wife’s 40th birthday under the title ‘On Eagles wings’. I proceeded to try and finalize SOME THINGS WROUGHT BY PRAYER. We prayed for someone to edit this manuscript and get it ready for a possible publication. Heidi Pasques, a friend, was on hand to help with that. However, I had no inner liberty to attempt to get it published at that stage.

Seed for Confession seems to germinate
The seed for confession and prayer in respect of Islam appeared to have started germinating by November 2003 in Paarl at the National Leadership Consultation of CCM which I initially would not have attended because of the pending surgery. I was not so keen anymore to be involved with the organisation which was supposed to be a networking body. It appeared to me completely unsatisfactory. Coming together only twice a year and to have hardly any contact in between with other missionary colleagues was to me too meagre. (I had tried to gather co-workers for prayer, but it reaped very little response.)
Because I had not been admitted to hospital, I thought that I should attend the consultation at Paarl. There I was really encouraged!! It seemed as if the seed of prayer and confession had at last started to germinate. When Kobus Cilliers, a missionary linked to Overseas Missionary Services (OMS) and a missionary from Mozambique suggested the issues, it was duly accepted by the consultation! After this conference Western Cape delegates were given the task to work on a joint statement.

More Seed Germination
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. On the other issue that was close to my heart, confession of the role of Christians with regard to the origins and spread of Islam, there was no movement in South Africa. 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.

More Involvement in the Prayer Movement                                                                                                 
During the time in hospital with my operation and the period of recuperation I was challenged anew to tackle the issue of the 24-hour prayer watch for the City Bowl. I felt very much challenged to attempt to get one going in the City Bowl the first week of February 2004 as Jericho Walls had suggested. A phone call by Trevor Peters,[69] 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.
We were still wondering whether it was feasible to go ahead with plans to have a 24/7 week of prayer in the City Bowl at the beginning of February 2005, when Trevor Peters phoned me. This happened just as my own faith had started to wilt on the matter.
In 2005 I recorded a radio series on the run-up to the first Global Day of Prayer.  When we were almost ready to get the manuscript printed locally, our well-known missionary colleague Patrick Johnstone proposed that I should attempt to prepare the manuscript for international publication. That turned out to be easier said than done. Attempts to get two other manuscripts on Cape mission history published nationally were also unsuccessful. I was not like Jonah in all these cases, but I sensed no urgency to rush anything into print that would not have a clear impact.

The Road to the Global Day of Prayer
In the run-up to the Pentecost Global Day of Prayer of 2005 I used much of the material of ‘Some Things wrought by Prayer’ for a radio series via CCFM which I called The Road to the Global Day of Prayer.
            In the aftermath of our seminar in Durbanville in February 2005 a two-weekly gathering with Bible Study ensued. This led to closer contact with Kobus Smith and Neville Truter, a missionary colleague who also attended these occasions. The idea came up to make an attempt at rewriting the radio series for publication. Leigh Telli was willing to make a painting for the cover. Bennie Mostert wrote a forward, a part of which we wanted to use for the back cover.
            Because of the content, I deemed it fit to send the manuscript to Patrick Johnstone, the author of the well-known book Operation World, in the UK. He encouraged me suggesting that we should also think of attempting to prepare the manuscript for international consumption. He gave excellent pointed constructive criticism. Attempts to get a local editor for this work were however unsuccessful.
            In the meantime, I had been praying regularly with Heidi Pasques, Trevor Peters and Beverley Stratis at the local police station every Wednesday morning. Heidi took up the challenge to edit and rewrite the manuscript. After a few months she had to give up the attempt though, because of too many other commitments. I accepted that the time for publishing this manuscript was not ripe.
            In the interim, I had the idea to revamp my research on the Spiritual dynamics at the Cape into smaller units, which I called The Mother of the Nation and Missionary Snippets at the Cape.[70] When I visited Saki Mispach, a Muslim friend of District Six and an avid reader, he told me about a Book Fair that was about to be held in the International Convention Centre, suggesting that I should try and get the one or other of my manuscripts published. This I did, sending my manuscript Mission Snippets from the Cape thereafter to at least six different publishers. However, not a single publisher replied outright positively. One of them suggested that I try Kwela Books, which I did in December 2006.
            At one of the preparatory meetings for the 2006 Global Day of Prayer event I had a short chat with Graham Power, the main human initiator of the Newlands event in 2001 and the subsequent stadiums events throughout the continent. He told me that he had someone, Anne Warmenhoven, who was also working on a publication from their side. While he was still on a sabbatical in August 2006, I linked up with him. He brought me into contact with Anne Warmenhoven, who wanted to see if anything could be done in terms of integrating the material. After a further week or so she concluded that the material could not be married. Thus yet another manuscript went to the pile of unpublished material. The book in your hand highlights how the Cape has impacted world events because of revival, especially the special one in the rural Boland in 1860, which included a major contribution of Dr Andrew Murray. It takes the reader up to the spiritual renewal of 2012 and the impact of Angus Buchan, a Natal farmer who became world famous through the film Faith like Potatoes.
Manuscript on the a Cape Revival
While we yearned for a revival that has been prophesied for one hundred vears, I tried to highlight the Cape revival of 1860 in a publication to co-incide witht the 150 years anniversary of that event. I had much of the research and study towards this end actually printed small runs of Seeds sown for Revival in 2009 and 2010. Contending that revival is much more than “happy clappy” church services where people just carry on unchanged after the event, I hoped to address injustice towards the poor and needy - along with compassionate sensitivity to those who are persecuted for the sake of the Gospel.  The book concentrated on events at the Cape since 1980, but it also briefly covered fore-runners over a few centuries prior to that.
A radio series on Cape Revival Pioneers was envisaged to co-incide witht the 150 years anniversary, but it finally only landed on my blog. This was also the fate of THE CAPE 1860/61 REVIVAL - its Fore-runners, its Run-up and Aftermath into the 20th Century.

Another Booklet printed
Another booklet was printed in 2010 which had an intersting run-up. Dr Mark Gabriel invited me and my wife Rosemarie to be part of a 10-week teaching course that started in Orlando, Florida (USA) on 11 September 2007. Unfortunately Rosemarie could not join me during the two weeks that I was able to be the guest of a non-denominational congregation, Northland - A Church Distributed. The idea of co-authoring and revamping THE ROOTS OF ISLAM was given by Debby Poulalion, the editor of five other books of Dr Gabriel, during this my first visit to the USA. 100 copies of a booklet that manuscript revamped and published as Part 1 of THE SPIRITUAL PARENTS OF ISLAM - the influence of heretical Christianity and sectarian Judaism on the religion, was a part result of that attempt.
In the introduction I wrote ‘the debt which has been incurred and which is still being accumulated through lack of understanding and a general dearth of love for Muslims. (During Love your Muslim Neighbour courses and at other occasions we endeavoured to teach I Sincerely Love All Muslims as an acronym for ISLAM.
            I sincerely believe that the repaying of our debt must go via the cross of Calvary! A spontaneous reaction out of guilt - without any remorse - is not good enough. Genuine restitution can only take place when we recognize how the Church has been taken on tow by unbiblical reforms and well-meant but arrogant notions like ‘civilizing heathen nations’. (Quite often the latter concept was tantamount to cultural imperialism, exporting a lot of cultural baggage which obstructed the free flow of the Gospel).
            That the material offered here has a leaning towards highlighting our Christian guilt towards Islam, has its reason in the fact that this is where I started my serious study of the three Abrahamic religions over eighteen years ago...‘    

High Hopes
The death of our revered President Nelson Mandela in December 2013 inspired me to resume printing more of our story, so that also our grandchildren could read it easily one day. (Snippets of it could already be found in Seeds sown for Revival).
When our children approached us to publish What God joined together, towards which they would participate in the printing costs, I had high hopes that this might help to get out of the shadows as an author, that my material would now finally get read and even that the romantic appeal would even help to stimulate reading in our country again. Although we printed only 100 copies, there were hardly any sales. The bulk of those that I had disposed of were given away as a gift.
I had always seen a ministry of reconciliation as my special duty to the country of my birth. The seeds sown…

21. 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 foreigners who had been coming to Cape Town.
The internal situation in WEC 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 another 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 missionary colleague suggested that we pop in at the home of Theo Dennis, one of the OM (Operation Mobilisation) 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 the ‘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. However, a severe crisis evolved with many tears shed, 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 were not like Jonah!
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.

Kindred Spirits
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 initial vision ‘for a multi-cultural community that exemplifies the kingdom of God’, we were quite excited. 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. This was more or less what we wanted to see coming to pass. As we got to know them better we discerned it was also their vision to see countries outside of Africa impacted from Cape Town. In fact, All Nations International later also sent people long term to different countries in Asia here from the Cape. Getting the vision over to local Christians and pastors was a much bigger challenge.
            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 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.
We had not yet fully recovered from these shocks when the lack of news from our daughter in the Netherlands strained our nerves further. She had sent an SMS from Scotland in mid-April that she was heading for Holland from where should would send us her new telephone number. We were not unduly worried initially. When there was no news, we still took it in our stride. But when she also did not phone for Mother’s Day nor congratulate her sister Tabitha on her birthday on the 25th April – as we erroneously thought - we were terribly worried. A few days later the fear that she might not be alive was allayed after we had also alarmed our friends in Holland. The circumstance prepared us in some way for the rather disappointing news a few months later that she was expecting our first grandchild.

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 resolved that we did not want to be like Jonah on this score. 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.[71] 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.  Another visit to Central Africa in April 2006 led to a conference where steering committees were formed for Burundi, DRCongo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as a gateway to the northern countries 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.
         I was indeed all set to get up, have my quiet time and continue with the book. 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. I discovered that HIS(s)tory at the Cape should come to the front of the queue of unfinished manuscripts, to be pasted on the website for which we had just started to do some preparatory work.
         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
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 to partner 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 never spoke with anyone.
         I befriended Munyaradzi Hove, a lone participant from Zimbabwe.[72]  He was not only a member of our home church but also a member of the small team that Rosemarie and I led for the outreach phase of the CPx. Munya was a member of this team along with two couples from Cameroon and Nigeria respectively. Their outreach at Green Market Square would have major ramifications when a little 'simple church' could be started there. One of the participants, Valentine Chrume, also hailed from Zimbabwe.           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.

A special Visit 
On Sunday evening 24 October 2010 I received an SMS from our friend Richard Mitchell whether he could come and stay with us for a few days. (We had been working together so closely in the mid and late 1990s in the prayer movement at the Cape and especially in the fight against the PAGAD onslaught and in the battle against the effort to islamise the Western Cape, until his departure for the UK in 1999. Richard had also been my presenter on the CCFM radio programme 'God changes Lives.') I knew that Richard was attending Lausanne III, but somehow we could not find a moment to meet each other.
            Tuesday 26 October 2010 was quite eventful as I took Richard along to Noordhoek where we had a wonderful post-Lausanne report back by Floyd McClung, our leader. He requested me to share as well, knowing that Rosemarie and I attended Connected 2010, the conference specially organised for all those who were not invited to the main event at the International Convention Centre. Rather spontaneously I went overboard in Noordhoek, by also sharing our concern that a few lines in the draft for Lausanne III were supportive of so-called Replacement Theology. I was not aware that Floyd had opposite convictions. I received a severe reprimand that almost saw us parted ways with All Nations. We decided to keep our conviction to ourselves in order to keep the peace, feeling very hypocritical about the matter. I was like Jonah once again!
         A negative of our link to All Nations was that an interest in the strongholds of Bo-Kaap and Sea Point never took off. In fact, interest in loving outreach to Jews remained almost non-existent. We chose to hang in there, not wanting to be like Jonah to run away. Towards the end of 2015 we felt though that we had come to the end of the road with All Nations International because we had also been hoping for new leaders to lead our ministry at least in Bo-Kaap. Nothing was forthcoming, only tentative interest by various people.

Fighting for the Unity of the Body of Christ
A negative of Floyd McClung’s email to me of October 2010 was that my manuscript The Unity of the Body of Christ - a top Priority? became untenable. Floyd had been writing a foreword to the book. I pasted the text on our blog without that foreword in December 2011. I knew that I could only move forward with the manuscript in one of two ways. I would have to get the matter resolved in frank discussion with him, perhaps agreeing to disagree, or get someone else like Barry Isaacs to write the forward. Five years later I still had not made up my mind. On this issue I was definitely just like Jonah once again.
On 11 September 2011, I wrote an email to confirm a telephonic conversation regarding the availability of the Moravian Hill church in District Six 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. I had so much hoped that this could be a clear sign displaying the unity of the Body of Christ and simultaneously oppose the Islamisation of District Six that was progressing at an alarming pace.

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 sent another email. Thereafter I heard that my request was declined. No reason was given. I was like Jonah when I took no trouble for finding the reason for the refusal.  Four years later, on 19 August, 2015, there was too much human effort. I wanted to make sure that the same thing would not happen again.
It served me right. I was fighting and not waiting on the Lord to do it for us. 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.

Run-up to a new Season of Spiritual Warfare

As the month of November 2011 was about half-way, Psalm 127:1 came to me strongly again: 'If the Lord does not build the house... the work of the builders is useless.' There was little prospect that even a single home church would be formed in Bo-Kaap... after almost 20 years. Especially in respect of getting believers in the City Bowl to network and/or pray together – to give visibility to the unity of the Body of Christ - I was very despondent. I more or less threw in the towel in resignation. 'OK, Lord you will just have to do it!'  That is where the Master wanted me. There was too much effort on my part and too little dependence upon Him to bring about what we had been praying for.
          On 5 December 2011 we went as usual to our evening Monday prayer meeting to Claremont. We excitedly recalled the Bar Mitzvah of the son of Baruch and Karen Maayan two days before. The highlight for all of us was when the teenager so profoundly applied 1 Kings 1 – the story where Solomon was installed as the aged David's successor, after Adoniah had unjustly usurped the position. It had struck the youngster that Bathsheba and Nathan merely reminded King David of his promise and 'uplifted' Solomon, without fighting the injustice. He learned from this story that we don't have to fight Satan, we must just uplift Jesus!
          Gay French, at whose home we had our weekly meetings, shared a concern which came to her attention via an intercessor from Johannesburg, viz. it has become known about the ANC centenary celebrations that every town and city would be committed to the spirits of ancestors.

Another Chapter of Mountain Peak Name Change
Rather spontaneously Richard Mitchell, who was on his way to the UK, called a few intercessors to join him in prayer at Rhodes Memorial for early morning on Saturday, 24 December 2011. After a number of prophetic utterances by him over the city which included the slumbering of the body of Christ, there was also encouragement regarding the unity of the Church.
          I informed Richard and the other two brothers who attended about the plans for '8 Days of prevailing prophetic prayers ...' initiated by Pastor Light Eze, a Nigerian pastor who responded obediently to a divine call to rally the Church at the Cape to repentance and prayer. I shared with them how the believers were challenged to uplift Jesus at the Bar Mitzwah occasion of 3 December. This was followed by our singing Jesus, we enthrone you.
          The intention of the ANC to commit the country to the ancestors of ANC founders and past leaders at its centenary celebrations from 6-8 January 2012 spawned a season of intensive spiritual warfare. In an email it was suggested that we cherish and celebrate the Christ-like legacy of ANC founders like John Dube and Albert Luthuli, but oppose the abomination of ancestor worship. Repeating a further suggestion to uplift Jesus and inspired by that very special time at Rhodes Memorial, it was suggested that we use the anthem Jesus, we enthrone you as the theme song of 8 Days of prevailing prophetic prayers in birthing a new move of God in 2012. The programme was prepared by Pastor Light Eze and a few prayer leaders, liaising with Daniel Brink of Jericho Walls and Pastor Barry Isaacs of Transformation Africa.

Hosting Speakers from Abroad
From the middle of 2012 we were challenged with the hosting speakers from abroad. I did not even consider Jonah activity, trying to duck or dive from any responsibility. In fact, I loved the challenge. Linked to the Lausanne Consultation for Jewish Consultation, we had little hesitation to host Pastor Umar Mulinde and a niece, who was a nurse. He had been 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.

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 2016 I baptised five of them – all had been Muslims before.
          When we got the phone number of a MBB Pastor Shaheed Johnson of Hanover Park, we thought an exciting period of ministry to be ushered in. As a new-born believer He had been miraculously and divinely used by God in February 2013 to bring his mother back to life in Groote Schuur Hospital.  A death certificate was purported to have already been issued for her already. He told the story that he had become a follower of Jesus only a few hours before that.
          Just over a year later he was ordained as pastor in the church that his father had started. Displaying exceptional maturity, he initiated a one day Jesus Saves campaign in the Hanover Park Civic Centre on 7 June 2014.

          Pastor Bruce van Eeden approached me on short notice to come and preach at his church after a Muslim background preacher had cancelled. Because of the expectancy raised in the church, I took along Pastor Shaheed Johnson to give his testimony. I was myself quite surprised when about 20 people stood up when I asked for Muslim background followers of Jesus to rise. Has the tide finally turned in Cape Town or was this just a local upsurge among Muslims? At the end of May 2014 we set off on a sabbatical, just over four months during which I worked on autobiographical manuscripts of which this is the third one.

More Encouragements
The regiogebed that started in Holland in 1988 had different shoots. One of these was that parents of children started praying for the schools. Believers of Zeist-West, including our friends Hans and Els van Wingerden started praying for the primary school that their children attended and when our son Danny started off at the Christelijk Lyceum, the local High School, we were involved in a similar prayer group just prior to our departure for South Africa in January 1992.
Yet, when another off-shoot, the corporate prayer movement started in 1996, still very few people in Holland took any notice. Holland was heading to become a fully secularized country, in which prayer was considered at best an irrational but harmless pastime.
Ten years later however, prayer in the workplace was becoming an accepted phenomenon in the Netherlands. More than 100 companies were participating. Government ministries, universities, multinational companies like Philips, KLM, and ABN AMRO - all allow groups of employees to organize regular prayer meetings on their premises. Trade unions even started lobbying the government for the recognition of the workers' right to prayer in the workplace.       
At the end of February 2007 we were greatly encouraged to hear facts which we perceived as answers to prayer. The annual comparative statistics of the Cape Town Central Police Station - where we prayed every Wednesday morning - showed a marked decrease of crime almost across the board. The few exceptions show only a marginal increase. The station commander, Ms Gerda van Niekerk, received various accolades. This was also a great encouragement for us, for which we gave God the glory and honour.

July 2015
Robben Island??

In my email to Bennie Mostert I wrote:
I pray and trust that Jericho Walls may consider inviting political parties to add to the above the biblical injunction 'to love the stranger in your gates', which came so strongly to the Church the past year. It would be great, I think, if all parties could be challenged to dare to put - as a matter of priority - the repeal of the Acts permitting abortion and same-sex marriages. Keeping in mind that righteousness and justice exalt a nation, I thought that we should add - as another matter of priority - a law on the Statute books that would make discrimination against foreigners an offense. I was very much blessed at the end of the year pastors' breakfast at the Groote Kerk Deli at 55 Kloof Street. I happened to sit next to Alan Noble, the pastor of Holy Trinity Church, who had come with Jacques Erasmus.  As Rosemarie and I left, we noticed that Chris Saayman, the minister of Tafelberg DRC, who had Bo-Kaap and the Muslims at heart, was parked next to us. A little chat prepared a short meeting which I subsequently had with him on Wednesday 10 December 2008. It looked promising that we at last might get at least two of the local churches interested to see home churches planted in the former Muslim stronghold. Getting them interested in outreach to the foreigners incarnationally seemed however still on another page.

I was approached by the INCONTEXT team of Mike Burnard after recommendation by Floyd, to lead a workshop on Islam at a conference here in Bellville. The same conference with three international speakers was also to be held at the end of September and the beginning of October in Durban and Windhoek. During the preliminary discussions, I suggested our colleague Dave Foster to lead the workshop in the Durban sector and mentioned that I could lead one together with Baruch on Reconciliation between Jews and Muslims. I didn't check the dates immediately. When I approached Baruch subsequently, he was unavailable - hoping to go to Israel to a prayer convocation in Jerusalem. This is the one to which Rosemarie and I actually also wanted to go at exactly that time.
On June 14 Mike Burnard emailed me for confirmation to lead the workshops in Cape Town and Windhoek. After a subsequent phone call from Tess, his personal assistant, I said I would pray for clarity, to give them a reply by June, the 30th. I mentioned to her that we also considered going to Israel at that time. Rosemarie and I now started praying for a confirmation either way where I should be before the 30th of June. We were open for both possibilities. I would have loved to conduct the workshops in Cape Town and Windhoek but this opportunity to go to Israel could be a last opportunity.

On Monday evening June 27 we were praying concretely with Baruch, Karen and a few other believers that the Lord would confirm clearly whether Rosemarie and I should step out in faith to join the Jerusalem convocation or do the workshops.  A letter which I received from Germany, informed me that I am eligible to receive a monthly pension of 129 Euro, retrospective since 1 January 2011. I don't know how they got to my address. Possibly they enquired via the Moravian Head Office where I had been paying into the pension fund in the few years while I was pastoring in Germany and Holland 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 for the Jerusalem convocation, even though the situation in Israel was very unsettled and there might be war at that time because of the threats of the Palestinians.
I informed Mike of my sadness to have to renege on my earlier commitment.  This was no Jonah stint because I really would have loved to conduct the workshops in Cape Town and Windhoek.

I would have loved to respond more fully, but I prefer to hereby suggest some guidelines.  I don't want to create more disunity by entering the debate. It is of the essence that we achieve unity, as I said in my earlier email. May I request all of you - as leader of both small the organizations Friends from Abroad and Ishmael Isaac Ministries - to stop these debating emails. This is not saying that they are not interesting, but I believe that they are unnecessarily time consuming both for writer and reader.

In state of writing a lengthy response, I suggest that you briefly respond if you could agree to the following:
1.                   We will not do anything unless we have unity and that we have to bathe the process forward in prayer.
2.                   We want to contribute towards reconciliation between Jews and Muslims.
3.                   Let us address Cape Muslims and Jews at first, not necessarily via a written public confession at this stage.
4.                   Our intention is to get Cape Christians to see more clearly the need for confession of wrongs to Jews and Muslims.

In a second round I could give you some motivational input to these points if required. As a next stage I could sketch possible ways forward for us as team.


P.S. I have consciously limited the scope of our apology/confession to the Cape, even though the original effort was stimulated by the Lausanne III conference last year.  (Both Jews and Muslims were first wronged here at the Cape before they moved to (or came to) other parts of the country.)

Almost a Jonah again

The present debate around the effects of slavery is not helpful. God has used confessions in the past – both personal and collective ones - especially when they have been prepared by prayer. But not all confessions are edifying. That is also true.  The content and timing are crucial.

w.r.t. point 1 above, I don't think there is any need to clarify any parameters.

Regarding points 2 and 3, may I take that we all understand for ourselves that we believe that faith in Jesus/Yeshua is an important ingredient and could be a valuable instrument towards achieving reconciliation?  Yet, while we believe that this could open people of other faiths to the truth of the gospel, we would not like to abuse such a confession/apology as a proselytizing method.

Regarding point 3, we all would agree I trust, that it is ultimately the work of the Holy Spirit to prepare hearts to accept our collective apology or confession. 

Regarding point 4, we would love to operate as swiftly as possible to get as many South African Christians as possible to be willing to agree, but we must be careful not to rush anything or even vaguely attempt to press something ripe.  I am very happy though that there seems to be agreement now already that prayer is going to make the difference.  If something is to ripen, then it is the readiness of Muslims and Jews to accept our expression of regret with grace and forgiveness. Otherwise it may indeed be a case of throwing pearls before swine.
On the other hand, confession may never be cheap. Genuine remorse should also ripen. God knows our hearts.  I believe that the prayers of South African followers of our Lord – more than anything else - ripened the hearts of deceived and deluded Christians in the 1980s to discern that apartheid is sinful and a heresy. I dare say that next to these prayers, the Rustenburg confession of November 1990 by Church leaders was a divine vehicle which spared our country a massive civil war and ushered in our democracy. (I am also aware that there are still individual Christians around who still yearn for the meat pots of apartheid - as if their products tasted so great.)

At this stage South African Christians at large are probably not ready yet for some major confession that need to be done for all the wrongs perpetrated to Jews and Muslims. (I am not referring here to expressions of regret that could offend Muslims or Jews.) It would be wonderful though if in our confession to Jews we could also include a) the high-jacking of the Jewishness of Jesus or doing as if the 'my people' is referring to the Church where Israel was meant in the context
In the confession to both Jews and Muslims the example of doctrinal bickering and biblical distortion, e.g. justifying violence with Luke 14:23 ('Force them to come in') should be readily agreed to now already.

If we are in full agreement on the above 4 points, I want to suggest a way forward for us over the next few months.

If you disagree on any of the above point, I want to request you to phone me promptly so that we can thrash it out personally rather than via email debate.

Trusting to hear promptly from all of you in some way. I really hope that we can give Theo and Marcus something concrete to take along to the Lausanne follow-up event in JHB later this month. South African Church leaders should be leading the confession.


         There in Elim I picked up in conversation with my mom the incident as a boy in District Six with the spinning top where I felt that she had left me in the lurch at what I perceived as gross injustice. She explained that she deemed it important that we learn early in life that – especially in our apartheid society –injustice is part and parcel of life and that we had to take this in our stride and not allow this to upset us unduly.  I discerned how this worked in practice in the lives of my parents when they could even see a positive in the expropriation of our property in Tiervlei (Ravensmead). (From the meager and unfair compensation that they received for the property they helped my sister Magdalene and her husband Anthony to buy property in Sherwood Park and to acquire the little house in Elim on the mission station.)

On another issue, I had been man alone at that youth camp, fighting for my democratic right to enjoy classical music. Although very few people of colour made use of the opportunity to attend the City Hall concerts before the rope was introduced, the other young people lambasted me, accusing me of being an opportunist – willing to take the crumbs from the table of the Whites!  I took the beatings in my stride, knowing that my attackers were hypocritical. How many of them – if any - made use of the ‘free’ seats before the rope was introduced? I could not agree with their conclusion that all ‘Coloureds’ should stay away from such racially segregated performances. In my opinion it could be construed too easily that so-called ‘Coloureds’ were not interested in classical music. Nevertheless,

A number of events occurred last week which is indicative of the unfolding of His Plan for our city and the rest of the continent (of which the Mother City is the corner stone), e.g. the meeting of a committee who applied for the re-instatement of the original name of the Peak above Groote Schuur Hospital; the gathering of 58 intercessors - one for each country in Africa - from all over South Africa on Table Mountain on the day of Shavuot/Pentecost (rabbinical calendar date), flying kites in the shape of a dove  (being symbolic of the Holy Spirit), etc. and in terms of His Guidance, purports to demonstrate the Lord's intention regarding expected events which will occur in the near future and which will have global impact. The Lord also started preparing me to take false accusations as the normal fare of a follower of Jesus.

Needed Additions
Beginning of mark gabriel

I take liberty to append an email that I received a few years ago. In many ways it reflects my heart-beat, summarising much of what has grown in me over many years.

                                                A fresh breeze is blowing
                                                                                                                        By  Godfrey Tinka

A fresh breeze is blowing. In this hour, God is calling and leading His Church back to the humility, simplicity, and mutuality of the Early Church as seen in the New Testament. He is saying, "For 1,700 years you have done it your way. Now you are going to do it My way." We are now in the midst of the early days of a sovereign, very radical, new move of God that will result in true, New Testament Christianity and the final fulfillment of the Great Commission. This new move of God is characterized by the following:

1. From serving God to knowing God.

Most of us have known about and served God for years. Now He is calling us to truly and deeply know Him, and supremely love Him and Him alone. True fruit will be produced naturally as we intimately know and love Him.

2. From a Gospel of "easy-believism" to the Gospel of the Kingdom.

In the 1960's people were encouraged to "accept Christ." This often resulted in shallow conversions, people who were not truly converted. Today, God is calling His servants to preach "the Gospel of the Kingdom" which requires us to call men to repent (turn from sin) and to make Jesus their Lord or King, the Sovereign ruler of their lives.

3. From the efforts of man to the works of God.

The days of putting out a sign, starting some programs, and conducting services to do God's work are over! We must learn to "do God's work in God's way." We need to wait upon Him; learn to know His voice; get our direction from Him alone; and obey promptly and totally. We must pay the price for revival. We must give ourselves to united, intensive, extraordinary prayer and warfare. We need to believe God to confirm His Word with signs and wonders. We need to implore God to teach us to do His work His way – and be ready to make drastic changes as He does just that. Then the fruit will be produced by Him – and He will get all of the glory.

4. From insecure, wounded people to people made whole by Jesus Christ.

Most of us have had traumatic experiences and have received deep wounds from other people. The word "salvation" means soundness, deliverance, wholeness. Jesus wants to heal us and set us free – body, soul, and spirit – to live a life of total victory. He is today raising up an army of such people – made whole by Him in every way – to live an abundant life that brings glory to God.

5. From being told by man what to do to learning to hear God's voice and doing what He tells you to do.

For too long we have gotten our revelation and guidance from others. God wants us to grow up, learn how to hear His voice (John10:3-5), and get our understanding of truth and direction from Him. And yet, of course, we need to do that in an attitude of submission towards all.

6. From clergy-dominated services and programs to mutually-participating communities of believers.

We are used to attending "a church" and participating in "a service" led by "the minister, clergy, or pastor." But such is not the case in Scripture. The Early Christians, for three hundred years, gathered in their homes to experience "koinonia," to share their lives with each other (Acts 2:42-47). They gathered together to build up one another by that which each one shared with the group (1 Corinthians14:26, Ephesians 4:15-16, Hebrews 10:23-25). The moving of God's Spirit in supernatural expression and power was an important aspect of these gatherings (1 Corinthians, chapters 12-14).

Today we have developed a spectator Christianity where a few (the "clergy") perform and the many (the "laymen") observe. Many of our Sunday morning services are nothing but a religious "production." We have made idols out of the Sunday morning service, the pastor, the building, pulpit, choir, platform, etc. We need to repent and return to the humility, simplicity, and mutual participation of the Early Church.

The indication that the time is ripe for this transition can be seen in many churches today where godly people ("laymen") who have been deep in the Word for twenty years, and have gifts and ministries that God has given them, are getting "bored" with being spoon-fed. They are eager to do some sharing themselves. God has been teaching them much, taking them deeper in understanding the Word, intercession, etc. Yet, when the Body of Christ gathers together, there often is little or no opportunity to share.

7. From one-man leadership to team, servant leadership.

The early Christians worked in teams: Jesus sent the twelve and seventy out in pairs; Paul always had associates (Barnabas, Silas, Timothy, Titus, Priscilla and Aquila, etc.) working with him; the churches were led by a group called elders (Acts 14:23, 20:17-32, 1Timothy 3:1-7, Titus 1:5-9, 1 Peter 5:1-5).

Today we have borrowed our organizational patterns from Roman Catholicism, the military, and the corporate world, and have developed religious hierarchies, where men rule over men, in contradiction to Matthew 20:25-28, 23:8-12, and 1 Peter 5:3. And most of these religious systems have perpetuated one-man leadership, i.e., "the pastor of the local church" or the president or director of the para-church organization. This generally leads to domination, manipulation, autocratic rule, and personal failure. We have developed charismatic leaders who entertain and who use God's people and finances to fulfill the leader's dreams.

Today God is loudly calling His Church back to the simple patterns of the Early Church where those in leadership walk in humility (1 Peter 5:5-6), work in teams, are submitted to one another (Ephesians 5:21), are servants (Matthew 20:25-28), and are coaches, releasing all others into ministry (Ephesians 4:11-12).

8. From being "meeting" oriented to being "relationship" oriented.

The standard often used for evaluating how committed one is as a Christian has been how regularly he attends the standard meetings of the church, i.e., Sunday School, Sunday a.m. service, Sunday p.m., and Wednesday p.m. God doesn't care how many meetings we attend – or don't attend! He is concerned about relationships. He is concerned that you have a committed, growing relationship with Him; He is concerned that your relationship with all others is without sin; He is concerned that you have a deep, committed, growing, wholesome relationship with a small group of fellow Christians; and He is concerned that you develop natural, loving relationships with several unsaved friends in hopes of seeing them come to Christ.

Let's get off of this "meeting kick" and start developing relationships. Let's make sure that we are "without offense toward God and men" (Acts24:16). Let's put a priority on one-to-one and small group time together. Let's restructure our church services to be times of building relationships with God and with one another. There should be time during the service to share with one another and pray for one another as stated in James 5:16. Meetings and programs come and go – only God-ordained, committed relationships last. We must give priority to relationships.

9. From gathering in church buildings to gathering in homes.

Jesus never erected any buildings and He never said anything to His disciples about erecting buildings. He taught that true worship has nothing to do with a place (John 4:20-24); and that His Kingdom is within us (Luke 17:21).

The Early Christians gathered in their homes (Acts 2:46, 5:42,11:12-14, 12:12, 16: 40, Romans 16:5,16:2; 1 Corinthians 16:19,Colossians 4:14, Philemon 2). The Jewish Christians in Jerusalem went to the Temple, but after it was destroyed there is no record of Christians in Jerusalem, or anywhere else, having any desire to erect "church" buildings.

For three hundred years the Christian Church was home-centered: just believers coming together in their homes to worship (Acts 13:2) and praise God (Acts 2:47), pray (Acts 12:5), read the Scriptures (1 Timothy 4:13), encourage one another (Hebrews 10:24-25), sing (Ephesians 5:19,Colossians 3:16), listen to the apostles' teaching (Acts 2:42), have a meal together (Acts 2:46), have the Lord's Supper (1 Corinthians 11:22), etc. When the group grew too large for one home, one could assume they simply began to meet in two. What a simple way to expand: no expensive building programs, fund-raising, or facilities to maintain. Think of the money saved that was used to fulfill the Great Commission and to minister to the poor.

Today God is restoring these simple home-centered meetings to His Church. In China, and other "closed" nations, secret house-churches are the way of life for most of the Christians. In many pioneer mission situations, the converts are won in their homes through door-to-door evangelism or home Bible study groups. The young believers are then discipled in home-centered meetings. In some places a "church" building is eventually erected, but in other places the times of coming together are kept in the homes. In large, crowded cities, like Hong Kong and Singapore, many of the churches are house-churches. There is, in fact, a growing house-church movement world-wide. Even in suburban North America, one of the most popular Christian activities is home-meetings, during the week or on Sunday evening. God is leading His Church more and more back to the home. We will see this trend continue to accelerate world-wide. In fact, we could see the church buildings closing quite quickly in many nations through a change in non-profit tax laws, an energy crisis, a political upheaval, an economic collapse, war, or end-time persecution. This writer believes that Jesus will find His Church primarily meeting in homes when He returns.

10. From looking inward to looking outward

It is easy for all of us to become involved in our own lives and forget others. But Jesus said we were to love our neighbor as ourselves (Matthew 22:37-39) and that we will be judged in respect to our ministering to others (Matthew 25:31-46). The Bible further exhorts us to not look out just for our own interests, but also for the interests of others (Philippians 2:4). Too often we have been too concerned about our own needs, and have become a "bless me" club. Too often the Church has been too concerned about its own continued existence rather than about the great needs in the world and the fulfilling of Christ's Great Commission. The Church has taken a defensive posture, functioned as a hospital, and attempted to care for all of the believer's needs and wants. It is time to take the offensive, begin to function as an army, and go out to evangelize the world, trample on the devil, and take this world back from him and deliver it to Jesus. God is looking for soldiers! God is calling His Church – a fresh breeze is blowing.

God’s revival rain is soon coming. Oh, I know there are many claiming it’s already here, but they are experiencing a brief shower. God is sending a drenching rain that will last and last. We need to be prepared for it. I believe it’s on the way, and like Elijah said, "I hear the sound of the abundance of rain." It’s time to get off the mountain and run the course that God has set before you.

[1] Daddy’s parents were also living in Elim.
[2] Translation: Lamb of God, that takes away the sins of the world …
[3]Magdalene now worked at the cosmetic firm Elisabeth Arden until she married Anthony Esau. She assisted to see our family home financially, because by then Kenneth and I had already started working as trained teachers and Windsor was at university.
[4] I lost one such opportunity to be appointed as store clerk after telling the manager that I intended to go to Hewat Training College the following year.
[5]Nic Bougas later became the editor of the periodical Christian Living Today.
[6] Originally Engel (meaning angel) was a German name and Joemat was a slave name.
[7]In the educational field quite a few of my student colleagues became school inspectors and others become professors in their respective fields of studies. One of them became the rector of the university and still later the choice of President Mandela to be his advisor.
[8]Later the programme was changed to a practical year with the Evangelische Jungmännerwerk in Stuttgart.
[9]The latter subject I did by correspondence with the University of South Africa in Pretoria.
[10] My room-mate knew that not long before this I had agreed to part with another girlfriend when we discerned that we are not meant for each other.
[11] I wrote down a fairly full account of these two weeks soon after my return to South Africa.
[12] Rev. Goba later became a theological professor at UNISA next to high office in his denomination.
[13] In recent years the building complex was renovated and changed to house the City’s Library.
[14] The title alludes to one of the biblical Beatitudes, Matthew 5:6. Geregtigheid in Afrikaans has the double meaning of righteousness and justice.
[15] In 2001, the MRA movement changed its name yet again, to Initiatives of Change (IofC).

[16] A fuller report of the visit to South Africa can be found in Home or Hearth/ Involuntary Exile.
[17] Dr O'Brien Geldenhuys and Professor Willie Jonker completed the delegation. These three clergymen would be quite influential to bring about significant changes in the Dutch Reformed Church in the years hereafter.
[18]Kgati moved to the USA where he studied at the Michigan State University where he was deeply involved with anti-apartheid activities, so much so that he ceased his studies in 1984. He resumed studies in 1987, graduating in 1990. In the democratic era he became a director in the Ministry of Social Development.
[19] I loved to use the Latin word for root – radix – as my motivation to be radical. Certain trees with bad fruit had to be uprooted, I would explain.
[20]The other two manuscripts, Sonder my kan julle niks doen nie and As God die Huis nie bou nie did not get much further than the collating and commenting stage of documents.
[21] 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 perhaps preferred to keep that part of his past out of the limelight.
[22] 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.
[23] Blacks were only allowed to be in the ‘White’ cities and towns under restricted conditions if allowed at all 
[24] St Francis of Assisi is said to have inaugurated this tradition.
[25] The actions in Crossroads, KTC and Nyanga played a significant role as part of the run-up to the repeal of influx legislation.  In 1985 the relevant act was repealed.

[26]Presbyterian Church of Southern Africa. Proceedings and Decisions of General Assembly 1981, p.180ff. The Assembly also rec­ognized ‘the bona fides of those Christians who in good conscience before God took up arms to fight either for “liberation” or for “law and order” in South Africa’—and paid tribute to conscientious objectors.
[27] One and a half year old Rafael apparently had no problems, clicking away at the sounds of the unrelated Xhosa when he joined Rosemarie every day.
[28] We had met Dick and Riet van Stelten in the early 1980s in Soest, when they were on home assignment in the Netherlands. We immediately struck a good rapport with them.
[29]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.
[30]             Soon hereafter we bought a second hand TV for 50 guilders that we left in Holland when we came to South Africa in 1992.
[31] Richard Wurmbrand called his organization to support Christians in communist countries The Underground Church
[32]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.
[33]We invited Herman Takken, who was doing this work in Holland full-time - to come and give us, the volunteers of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan’, some teaching on Islam. I was however not remotely thinking of using it one day in the city where I was born and bred.
[34] 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.
[35] The emphasis of SIM Life Challenge was at that stage very much governed by the philosophy of Gerhard Nehls, that he called ‘broad casting’, trusting that the mere dissemination of the Gospel amongst Muslims would finally provide a breakthrough.
[36] The emphasis of SIM Life Challenge was at that stage very much governed by the philosophy of Gerhard Nehls, that he called ‘broad casting’, trusting that the mere dissemination of the Gospel amongst Muslims would finally provide a breakthrough.
[37] That special book had already influenced the praying for missions like possibly no other.
[38]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.
[39]In earlier years SIM Life Challenge had a similar initiative with its New Life group but that petered out. In 1993 they also started with centralized convert meetings.
[40] The result of these studies can be accessed as Biblical Pointers to Jesus, The Spiritual Parents of Islam and Gabriel and Jibril
[41] This church came into being as the continuation of the Sheppard Street Baptist Church of District Six.
[42] 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.
[43] The battle might have prejudiced the position of Glen and Carol Slabber, who were the co-leaders with Fernando and Kathy Moura.  A year or two later they felt compelled to resign from WEC because they had been called to pioneer a ministry amongst people affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.
[44] That was fortunately to change a few years later after PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) had terrorised the Western Cape. Pastor Alistair Buchanan from the Jubilee Church, the name they later adopted, got very much involved with the Cape Peace Initiative in 1999. 
[45]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 geogrpahically is so much bigger than Bo-Kaap.
[46] I subsequently completed a treatise that I called A Revolutionary Conversation - lessons in cross-cultural outreach.
[47]Personally I would have preferred a more central venue but I compromised, not wanting to wreck the initiative because of a peripheral matter.
[48]That was to be my last invitation to a Moravian pulpit up to the point of writing.
[49] The author of the novel Satanic Verses had to go in hiding for intimating that Satan revealed certain verses to Muhammad was at some stage. This is in spite of biographies of Muhammad which also refer to demonic inspiration of these verses which amounted to a concession to Meccan idolators.
[50] It became simultaneously the opportunity for us to upgrade our ‘fleet’, taking over her 1989 Mazda for a song. That was to give us many years of faithful service until it was stolen in 2001.
[51]Debbie subsequently did a course with us in Muslim Evangelism and a precious friendship to her developed that would stretch over decades.
[52] From May 1521 until March 1522, Martin Luther stayed at the Wartburg castle, after he had been taken there for his safety at the request of Frederick, the Wise, following his  ex-communication by Pope Leo X and his refusal to recant at the Diet of Worms. It was during this period that Luther, under the pseudonym Junker Jörg (the Knight Jörg), translated the ‘New Testament’ into German.
[53]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.
[54] He was leading the Harmony Park  ‘stranddienste‘ at the time albeit that my friends Jakes and David Savate were God’s special instruments to impact and bless me there. Franklin Sonn has also been a major role player as a Teachers’ Union leader in opposition to the apartheid government. In the posst-apartheid era he was appointed as a South African Ambassador in the USA.
[55]At another occasion, Louis Pasques broke down and I took over.

[56]The name was later changed to Chris Barnard Hospital.
[57]I have used a pseudonym.
[58] The hospital became renowned worldwide in 1967 through the first heart transplant operation by Professor Chris Barnard and his team.
[59] I also had quite a few Bible School libraries at my disposal.
[60] 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.
[61] 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 had been the strategy to get ‘people’s power’ in place.
[62]Not her real name
[63]Not her real name
[64] 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.
[65] It later became a part of the Cape University of Technology.
[66] A mini-revival started there after the emancipation of slaves on 1 December 1838.
[67] This had been a parsonage in the hey day of District Six and the venue of the temporarily displaced theological seminary where I studied from 1971 to 1973.
[68]The other two manuscripts, Sonder my kan julle niks doen nie and As God die Huis nie bou nie did not get much further than the collating and commenting stage of documents.
[69]He had been a gangster and drug Lord before God supernaturally intervened in his life.
[70]I renamed the latter manuscript to Mysterious ways of God
[71] A fuller version of his involvement can be found in other manuscripts.
[72] This relationship would affect the whole All Nations family in due course very positively.


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