Tuesday, March 21, 2017

On Eagle’s Wings Part 2 March 2017

On Eagle’s Wings


3.. Home sweet home
4. Supernatural Intervention
5. Back in Germany
14. Africa, here we come!
16. Commencement of Cape Ministry
18. Under Attack


Some less usual Abbreviations

CCM - Christian Concern for Muslims
CCFM - Cape Community FM (radio)
CSV - Christelike Studentevereniging
Ds - Dominee, equivalent of Reverend
DTS  - Discipleship Training School
GCOWE  - Global Consultation for World Evangelization
MBB -  Muslim background believer
MRA- Moral Rearmament
OM - Operation Mobilization
SIM - Serving in Missions
TEAM  -  The Evangelical Alliance Mission.
TEASA  - The Evangelical Alliance of South Africa
UCT - University of Cape Town
UNISA - University of South Africa
UWC  - University of the Western Cape
VCS – Vereniging van Christelike Studente
WCC - World Council of Churches
WEC  -Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ
YfC – Youth for Christ
YWAM  - Youth With a Mission

12. Flexing Missionary Muscles

         Rens Schalkwijk joined the weekly prayer group at the Moravian Widow’s house on Zusterplein. This was the one link to the denomination that I kept intact throughout our period of ministry in Zeist. Rens Schalkwijk’s mother led the prayer group at the Zinzendorf House next to their home when the venue was changed.
Broadly based evangelistic Outreach
I started teaching Religious Instruction on three days a week at College Blauwcapel in Utrecht from September 1982. That was however one big frustration and little joy.
         On another day of the week I was working with drug addicts at ‘Heil des Volks’ in Amsterdam. At the latter institution I did not deliver the goods during the period of probation. It was mutually agreed that I was not suited for that ministry.  To me it was valuable experience and exposure to the drug subculture, rekindling compassion for drug addicts who sometimes landed in the situation through peer pressure or deficient parenting.
         When Rosemarie and I agreed to take over the leadership of the ‘Kinderkaravaan’ work, I immediately put forward my vision for a broadly based evangelistic outreach - also to the youth, the unemployed and to the Huis van Bewaring, the prison in Utrecht where many a Surinamese drug peddler was incarcerated. Therefore I suggested the name change, although children’s outreach would still be the focus of the ministry. The first meeting of the envisaged local evangelistic agency was attended by the aged Sister Kooy, a member of the Moravian Church.[1] She was already over eighty at that point in time and she had also been a member of the prayer group at the Widow’s House on Zusterplein for many years.  
At the meeting I suggested a wide range of evangelistic activities – in many of which I had been personally involved. Already since 1977 I had participated in the prison ministry as a pastor.  At that very moment in 1982, I was unemployed. There were quite a few areas into which I thought we could start to venture. There was general excitement to get involved. People started to come and join us even from outside the town of Zeist. It was surely unique that we soon had workers from three doctrinally divergent Bible Schools of the area. Two were located in Zeist and the other one in nearby Doorn.

Things wrought by Prayer    
After the first exploratory meeting old Sister Kooy came to me, saying wryly: ‘Listen, brother Cloete, I can’t get involved in children’s ministry or one of these things you have mentioned. But I would like to start a weekly prayer meeting in my home’. Her home subsequently became the venue of a weekly meeting of a faithful few until 1996 when she went to be with the Lord – from 1992 praying also for us in Cape Town. The vehicle - an old mobile shop - for which the Lord miraculously supplied funds at the end of 1982, was sold just before our going full-time into missionary work.
         Within a few months the ‘Stichting Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ was a reality with workers from many local fellowships and others in the region. The vision I had received for the operating of the body of Christ in Harmony Park (1964) and Stellenbosch (1981) proved to be perfectly workable. Yet, that people from different church backgrounds could work together harmoniously was completely new to the bulk of the Dutch co-workers. And that we could stay together for many years without anyone clearly leaving the ministry in a disgruntled way until we left for our orientation in England as missionary candidates in 1991 was a surprise to many. The ministry continued in different ways well after the vehicle was sold. The weekly prayer meeting at the home of the aged Sister Kooy became the spiritual backbone of the team.
         We had hoped to get the support of the local churches, but this was not forthcoming. In fact, many of our workers were discouraged in their own churches. The mutual prejudice was in many a case very deep-rooted. Luckily we could also build on the foundation of co-operation of local believers in tent campaigns in previous years.

A Contribution to Church Unity       
Although our initial hope was not realised to be full-time workers in the Lord’s vineyard in the local evangelistic endeavour, we were able to make a significant contribution to church unity in the country at large. Miraculously God sent in finances to buy a vehicle, but for the rest there were just enough funds to buy material for the children’s work. Much of the expenses for the work were taken care of by the workers themselves.  Former workers and others emulated or joined the networking effort, of which they had been part in other parts of the country. Our local effort coincided with the national evangelistic outreach of Campus Crusade called Er is Hoop (There is Hope). Agape (Campus Crusade) had just launched their Er is Hoop campaign throughout the Netherlands.
         Workers that had been working with us could slot in with various local groups that were formed all over the country. Youth for Christ and Jeugd met een Opdracht (Youth with a Mission) had also created a lot of goodwill for interdenominational evangelistic efforts.
         We had proved a point with the work of the ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’. This local evangelistic ministry was going quite well with about 30 workers from different denominations, involved in a wide range of evangelistic ministries. 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 rallying around the uniting person of Jesus.

My Dream to return to Africa dashed
For years Rosemarie and I had been attending the annual mission day of the Evangelical Alliance regularly in Amsterdam, but everything still seemed remote in terms of personal missionary involvement abroad. 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 actually more or less given up the possibility to enter missionary work. My dream to return to Africa looked to be all but buried. Our eldest son Danny was about to enter secondary school and there were four more siblings to follow. When Tabitha would be finished with her education, I would be almost at pension age. On top of it, it was still the question whether any mission agency would be prepared to take on board a family with five children.
         We nevertheless went to the 1988 event, where I took along a leaflet from the Africa Inland Mission (AIM). It struck me that the mission agency was looking for teachers at their boarding school for the children of missionaries in Nairobi. Quite promptly we phoned for an interview with the representatives of AIM. They encouraged us, mentioning other possibilities for us because of our training and background. The only problem was my South African passport. But because I had been in Holland so long already, they proposed that I should apply for a Dutch passport.

Cutting off my own roots?    
The suggestion to apply for Dutch citizenship was much 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. The prospect of having to cut off more of my own roots brought me to despair. It had been traumatic already that not only our home, school and 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. 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 beloved country?
         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? Surely I could not be a Jonah again, running away from the responsibility in disobedience?
                        *                                  *
         A few months later God confirmed 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 entertainment appliance started giving trouble, Rosemarie and I decided not to replace it. We were wary that our children might get too much caught up in watching TV. The pending Olympic Games were however something we thought that could also have some educational value for our children. Our quest for a second-hand model from the newspaper resulted in us agreeing to receive a TV set on loan via a befriended family. In the old age home the mother of the brother was not using her set much. He would ask her. We insisted however, that we would keep the TV set only for the duration of the Olympic Games.

A Fellowship that churned out Missionaries
From the very word go the ‘Panweg’ fellowship was closely involved with missions. The Zoutewelle family had close ties to the European Evangelistic Mission Society and the Postma family had an affinity with both the Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) and the work of the Brinsken family in the Amazon basin of Brazil. The Ramakers had been linked to the Evangelical Radio ministry since its inception and the old brother Albert Ramaker was still teaching at the Bible School in Doorn at the time. It was only natural that many (future) missionaries would move through the work of ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’. Not everybody appreciated this though, accusing me of abusing the fellowship to recruit workers. I took the criticism in my stride, knowing that one can never satisfy everybody, but hereafter I was more cautious, going about the recruiting effort less vigorously.  I was still attending the Saturday evening services at the Moravian Church. When someone in the fellowship had difficulties that we were still members of the Moravian Church, I  resigned from the Broederraad of the Panweg fellowship after some prayer because I was doing too much anyway (I was still studying towards a Dutch teaching qualification in Mathematics because my South African degree was not recognised). This caused some surprise and consternation, because the brother had rather expected that we would resign from the denomination where there was little visible spiritual life and from which we had been ostracized and estranged to all intents and purposes.
          I thus resigned from the leadership of the fellowship that was very dear to us as a family. This period was rather traumatic to us as a married couple when we felt our liberty in Christ restricted. But it ushered in our connection to another fellowship that thereafter became our spiritual home. This church that is still supporting us financially and a few other missionaries all over the world. (This congregation was also a support base of Open Doors from its pristine beginnings in support of persecuted Christians in the communist world and elsewhere.)

Another Visit to South Africa                                   
For many years we were not in the position financially to consider going to South Africa again. Somehow we managed to put some cents together so that I could take one child with me in 1988. My parents had not yet seen our daughter Magdalena.
         The visit to South Africa during the European summer after seven years was very encouraging. One of the obligatory visits was of course to the town of Wellington, where my friend Jakes was now the Sendingkerk pastor. He decided to return to the pastorate, turning down a bursary for finishing his doctorate or a position with Professor David Bosch, who was one of South Africa’s most prominent theologians.[2] There had been peripheral but nevertheless significant political changes in the interim. The government had more or less come to the acknowledgement that apartheid has failed. Pillars of the sad system had been abandoned like the abolishment of the pass laws. That the prohibition of racially mixed marriages was scrapped was especially significant for our situation. 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 have to live, was however still standing erect as a major hurdle. I knew however that Rosemarie was not yet ready for a radical move like returning permanently to my home country. God would still have to perform a miracle in that regard.

Special Green Carpets
There was a black and white chequered lino floor covering on the three meter long corridor when one entered our home. This had been bugging Rosemarie for a long time. But we had no money for things like carpets. We had been learning in the meantime that one can also bring mundane things like these to the Lord in prayer.  I was not aware that Rosemarie was very specific in her prayer in this regard. She asked the Lord for a green carpet to replace the lino for that passage.
         One day one of our faithful stalwart Goed Nieuws Karavaan workers of the first hour, Alie Kreulen, told me that she has replaced her old carpet. I could come and see if we could use the one she had discarded. When I rocked up one day with Alie’s ‘old’ carpet, Rosemarie had no great expectation. Well, her eyes popped. Not only was the excellent quality carpet still in a relatively good condition, but the colour was – you guess it - green!!
         After the Rapparlié couple had gone to the ‘Mirtehof’, a home for the aged, we had new neighbours who found the noise above their bedroom too much. The old Rapparliés had hearing problems so that they were not troubled by the children playing above their bedroom. With the new neighbours it was exactly the opposite. The church obliged by putting in an extra layer of material to block off the noise and we moved the children to the top floor of our home, turning the old girl’s bedroom into a dining room. But still our nervous neighbouring sister below would get uptight when a knife or fork would fall from the table by accident.
         Just at this point in time, Gert Noorlander, a member of our Panweg fellowship, who worked for a furniture company, mentioned to us that they had a surplus piece of green carpet left. It turned out to be exactly the same texture and colour as the old one of Alie Kreulen. We laid this on the dining-room floor.

A Letter from The Hague     
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 actually in the red, although we had been scraping the barrel for the bulk of our time there.
         Rosemarie and I went to the Lord with the letter. I still had the turmoil in my heart, really struggling with the prospect of having to give up my South African citizenship. 
         God intervened in a clear way. One Sunday evening Hans van Wingerden came for advice and counselling about the emotional turmoil he and his wife were experiencing at the Panweg fellowship that we had just left. He had hardly arrived when the husband and father of the befriended family which helped us with the TV set, wrang our door-bell. He came to fetch the TV of his mother, but he also wanted to speak to us confidentially. This was the one and only time that we ever had this sort of situation. On the spur of the moment we decided that Rosemarie would be available for Hans van Wingerden while the other brother would speak to me.
         The brother, who came from the staunch reformed background had decided along with his wife to give us money so that we could buy a new set. The family wanted to donate 800 guilders for that purpose. They were themselves not belonging to the financial top notch of Dutch society. The co-incidence of the two visiors was definitely of God. If Rosemarie and I had been together we would have had great difficulty to accept the sacrificial gift.
         I however immediately discerned the connection to our prayer around the citizenship application, but I was completely overawed that God would actually send in double the amount that we needed to get the nationality process rolling! I was deeply humbled that I valued my national roots so highly. I was reassured at the same time that God was in the move of my having to hand over my S.A. passport. (A few years later I got my S.A. nationality back after both Holland and South Africa had passed lws to allow dual citizenship.)
         It turned out that the reformed brother was actually using it as a test on the evangelical Christians. He expected that we would be too proud to accept the gift. That might indeed have happened if we did not have the other visitor. He could 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 immediately agreed that we could use the money for that purpose and other more urgent needs.[3]

A Dispute turning into a Blessing
As we drove from Lienzingen back to Holland, after having spent a few days with our family at the end of our European summer vacation 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 Mathematics studies. I had resigned from the Broederraad of the Panweg congregation, but Rosemarie and I were still heading the Goed Nieuws Karavaan activities, so that there was still little time left for the family. I now possessed a Mathematics qualification for Dutch schools, but I was considering studying another year to upgrade this teaching diploma. I hoped that such a qualification would give me more options for getting a permanent position as a teacher.
         Rosemarie and I agreed that I would only do that extra year if God would give us a worker who would take over the responsibility for the driving of the vehicle to the various Goed Nieuws Karavaan children’s clubs of Zeist. On the very same evening the Friday evening ‘coffee bar’ outreach was scheduled to take place, our co-worker and friend 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 going full-time into missions.
13. A year of Struggle - and victory

         1988 ended so full of hope. After many temporary teaching posts in Holland, I really yearned to settle down. I now possessed an updated secondary Maths teaching certificate and I was on the verge of getting a higher qualification in that subject. I finally got a teaching position in Huizen, a position that could become permanent. After all the dark years of employment uncertainty and scores of applications - plus the local Moravian congregation breathing down our necks to move out of the former parsonage[4] - light at last seemed to break through. The prospect of having a home of our own in the picturesque little town of Huizen with a permanent teaching post in the offing was very attractive. It all but nullified my vision for missionary involvement. It definitely required another ‘Jonah experience’ to get me back on track in terms of a calling to missions.

Struggle - and victory
The year 1989 started with turmoil. Every Saturday evening Martje van Dam had been coming to us with Gré Boerstra, another believer from the Panweg fellowship for a time of prayer. (We had been doing this regularly with our neighbours, the old brother and sister Rapparlié until they went to an old age home.) Martje had survived the death sentence of breath cancer for almost 11 years. But now her cancer recurred. Within weeks she was terminally ill. She called Rosemarie and me to her home, where she pointed to a beautiful green dining room cupboard. Knowing the story how we got to our green carpets, she wanted us to bequeth the cupboard to us after her imminent death. She knew of course that it would fit perfectly with the carpet in our dining room.
                                    *                                  *                                  *
         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)].[5] When we followed the meaningful ritual for our eldest son Danny on the 4th of February, we had no clue of the double blow that would hit our family that day. First of all the news came through that Martje van Dam passed away. But we knew that this could happen any day.
         We were however not prepared for it when a phone call from Mühlacker informed us that Papa Göbel died in his car after he had a heart attack. Yet, information that came through the next few days comforted us. For years we had been praying that he would become an overt follower of Jesus. At a family camp the whole family committed their lives to Jesus, but thereafter Papa Göbel gradually became spiritually backslidden because he received no biblical nourishment. It was very special when our dear Mama Göbel told us that he carried the letter in his wallet [6] that Rosemarie had written to him just before our wedding. In that letter she specially requested Papa Göbel to attend our wedding, apologising for the trauma she had caused them as parents through her friendship to me. Although he did not attend our wedding, he evidently treasured that letter.

More Calamities        
As if all of that was not enough, we heard that a close friend from our former fellowship, Els van Wingerden, had been diagnosed with breast cancer. To the Van Wingerden family we had quite close ties not only because they had five children of similar age than our sprouts. They had also left the Reformed Church with similar battles as we experienced in the Moravian Church. Hans, the husband, was ill with a serious rheumatic problem. They were also battling financially all the time. Children’s clothing was shared to and fro between the two families. Together with the Van Wingerden family we had been battling with the crisis at the Panweg fellowship. The Van Wingerdens still stayed on for some time longer under much duress.
         But that was not the end of the calamities. As I travelled from school in Huizen with a teacher colleague one afternoon, I heard from him that my teacher predecessor wanted to return to the secondary school. He was not happy at his new school. It was now just the time when the decision was pending about my position after the probationary three months. I knew that I could not compete, because I was still struggling to cope in the Dutch teaching environment. Furthermore, I did not belong to the right church. In addition, being in a foreign country in a situation of big unemployment, one is very vulnerable. The odds were stacked against me getting a permanent teaching post.
         Yet, I now at least I had an up-to-date Dutch Mathematics teaching diploma, hoping to have an upgraded one in a few months. The Lord used this circumstance to throw us back into exploring a possible involvement in missions, which we wanted to do in the first place.
         I completed my upgraded teaching diploma, but that also signalled the end of my teaching career in Holland. When I applied for a post in Gouda, the principal confided telephonically that he wanted to appoint me. However, the two unqualified persons on his staff who were teaching Mathematics, resisted the move. With future retrenchments expected because of a school merger, their own jobs would then have been on the line. None of my other applications came even to the interview stage.

Holidays booked in faith
Ever since an old German couple, the Scheunemanns, were sleeping in our home as guests of the Rapparliés, our downstairs neighbours in Zeist, we had been receiving Weltweit, the German two-monthly newsletter of WEC (Worldwide Evangelisation for Christ) International. After we had read there about a family camp to be held in the little town of Braunfels (Germany), we decided to book in faith. As family we had no money for such luxuries as holidays at that stage, but we definitely needed a break. However, in 1987 we had ventured out in faith with the prayer that the Lord would use the period of holiday in the German village of Tieringen for His purposes. This facility was heavily subsidised by the German government to enable big families to go on holiday once per year.
         The experience of Tieringen that led to compassionate outreach to Romanian Christians was still fairly fresh in mind. The Lord had wonderfully provided the means for us at that occasion. This experience encouraged us to take an even bigger step in faith because there would be no subsidy forthcoming from any side. Miraculously God did it again, enabling us to go to the WEC family camp in Braunfels.
         We had hardly arrived in Braunfels in July 1989 when the news reached us that Rosemarie’s mother had suffered a stroke, and that she had been admitted 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, but it also brought WEC into focus again as a possible mission agency with which we could work, although we still had AIM as a back burner if I would get my passport the next year, i.e. 1990. (At our application for Dutch citizenship the letter stated that I had to reckon with a two-year waiting period.)
         After the family camp in Braunfels, we visited Lienzingen for our annual visit to the family, this time having to visit Mama Göbel in hospital. One Sunday afternoon we went to the annual Landesgartenschau, just prior to our return to Holland. What a pleasant surprise it was to meet there our friends Hermann and Mechthild Frick with a few of their children. A close friendship to that couple existed ever since I originally met Hermann and Mechthild at a camp for couples at the Bernhäuser Forst youth complex in 1969. 
         On the Sunday late afternoon, I rushed back to Lienzingen - also driving through a red traffic light to get there in time for some evening service. The flash was ominous. Would the German traffic police track me down in Holland? Being in our precarious financial situation, I felt very bad about it. A few years prior to this I had to pay a fine of 100 German marks for a similar offence. I now made a little agreement in prayer – a pledge - that I would rather pay that amount to support a missionary cause than to fill the coffers of the rich German government!

Behind the Iron Curtain        
I became involved in the practical support of the East European Christians in their struggle against Communism when I worked as assistant pastor in (West) Berlin in 1974. Time and again we brought Christian literature to the Eastern part of the city when we met the Moravians under the Communist regime. This was not completely without risk, because I was always picked out from the queue either because of my external features or my South African passport. Once, I was very surprised when the officials actually looked into my satchel with the illegal Christian literature openly displayed. Yet, no action followed. For the rest, our support of Christians in the Eastern part of the divided city was low-key. 
         After our marriage in March 1975 and our ordination in September 1975, we returned as a married couple to Berlin where I was now the second pastor.[7] A highlight at this time was a visit to Herrnhut in August 1977 at the 250th year celebration of the revival that kick-started world missions like nothing else ever since. Normally those people who would go into the German ‘Democratic’ Republic proper – as opposed to only going to East Berlin, were very thoroughly checked at the borders. Having our baby Danny with us, we of course also had to take nappies and other baby utensils along. This helped a lot that the scrutiny at Checkpoint Charlie was not as stringent as it otherwise would probably have been.
         It was a special privilege to lead the Bible Study at a family camp that coincided with the celebrations. Just as memorable was an evening meeting where Christians from neighbouring socialist countries like Poland and Czechoslovakia also attended.
         At that occasion I was allowed to give a short ‘Grusswort’, but the believers from Poland were very disappointed that I didn’t speak longer. The Polish Christians were even more starved than the East Germans from meeting people from outside the Soviet block. At a time when I was personally struggling with the materialism of the church in the West, I was really blessed by the convincing walk with the Lord of some of those believers in the Socialist part of Germany.
         Our hosts saw it as their special privilege to have us lodge at the church’s Gästehaus. We had a big fright however when I slipped on the stairs of the Guest House with Danny on my arm. Our six-month old son had an ugly blue scar on his bum. After a thorough examination nothing serious was detected. The answer to a question by the doctor was reassuring: the blue mark was due to my Asian ancestry – the so-called Mongolian birth mark.

Supporting the persecuted Christians
The next chapter of our involvement with the fight against the Communist wall started in Holland. Especially because of the persecution of the Jews by the Nazi’s, that country took a great pride to support the persecuted. A great pioneer was Anne van der Bijl, who had his Bible School training at the WEC missionary training College. (Outside of Holland he is called Brother Andrew). He had a long relationship with the Heijnks, the founders of the Full Gospel ‘Figi’ fellowship of Zeist, preaching there at least once a year. The Sunday just before Christmas became traditional over many decades with the sermon held by Brother Andrew, alias Anne van der Bijl.
         The seven years of prayer for the Soviet Union from 1984 were integrated in our family prayers while we were praying for God to lead us into overseas missions. It was always a thrill to remove the one or other face from the little card box. Each card had the name and photograph of some persecuted Christian for whom we had been praying. The removal of a card from the little box indicated that the believer had been released from prison. We would praise God who had answered the prayers for these people.
          In the children’s clubs of the ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ that we had started in the little town of Zeist with Christians from different church backgrounds in 1983, the children learnt a song about the persecution of Christians in Russia and China.
         Tieringen would become the beginning of the next chapter of our low-key struggle against the atheist Communist regimes. There we met Erwin and Sina Klein and their children, who had just come out of Romania legally because of his German ancestry. Through them we not only received valuable inside information, but we also got addresses from Christians in that socialist country.

Sending Clothing for the needy         
A visit by Shadrach Maloka, a well known Black evangelist from South Africa to our Panweg fellowship, spawned the sending of clothing to needy evangelists who were linked to his work. Rosemarie was sensitive to a divine nudge. Financially we were just making ends meet at this time, but we had a surplus of clothing because we received used clothing from different people. This became the spawn to start distributing clothing to missionaries, evangelists and other needy people. In our spacious home, the former parsonage, we almost always sub-rented at least one room or helped someone with accommodation - and yet we had space to spare. A part of a big upstairs room that was only used as a guest facility, was changed into a little clothing ‘boutique’. Missionaries from overseas could come and make there pick there. Salou and Annelies,[8] a befriended YWAM missionary couple, even filled a vehicle that they had received as a gift. The vehicle was shipped to Cameroun with clothes and all.
         After September 1987 we extended our charity service, now also sending clothing to Romania. The Holy Spirit was evidently orchestrating things. From the little Dutch town of Zeist almost a mini Romania fever broke out in support of the suffering Christians. Of course, this made the regime of the dictator Čeauçescu quite nervous because their nationals were officially not allowed to have contact with foreigners. Parcels with clothing and articles that were scarce in that country were sent to different addresses supplied to us by Sina Klein, Erwin’s wife. Clandestine visits to Romania followed hereafter from different parts of Holland. Various organizations that brought aid to the Communist world intensified their aid to Romania although this was apparently not formally agreed upon. The Dutch town of Zeist would become quite pivotal in this process. This was seemingly part of God’s master plan to break down the Communist stronghold.
                                    *                                  *                                  *
            I received my upgraded Maths teaching diploma in mid-1989, but that also signalled the end of my teaching career in Holland. When I applied for a post in Gouda, the principal confided telephonically that he wanted to employ me but that the two unqualified teacher colleagues on his staff resisted my appointment. With future retrenchments expected because of a merger, their own jobs would then be on the line. No other application was successful. Yet, God was at work.

Prayer that changed Countries         
At the interdenominational prayer meetings of the ‘Regiogebed’ we prayed for local issues, for missionaries who left from our area but also for other countries. In 1989 we prayed especially for Communist countries, notably for the German Democratic Republic, Hungary and Romania. We were really encouraged by the news that came through from Leipzig in East Germany. Christians there seemed to have become the vanguards of the surge towards real democracy.
            God works in mysterious ways his wonders to perform! Unwittingly I was preparing my return to Africa, to my dear Heimat at that. On 4 October 1989 I wrote a letter of confession to President De Klerk, the newly inducted president, after I became inwardly convicted because of my activism and arrogance. (Over the years I had written quite a few letters to the new presidential incumbent’s predecessors and to some of the Cabinet ministers. Rosemarie felt that I was wasting my time She was very sure that my letters would never reach the likes of Mr P.W. Botha. I prodded on nevertheless, but after 1982 the letters became very sparse compared to the years 1978-80.)
            At our ‘regiogebed’meeting of 4 October 1989, I mentioned in passing to someone that I had posted a letter to President De Klerk that day. Spontaneously Mr. van Loon, a teacher from the nearby town of Doorn, who was no regular at our prayer meetings,  who overheard this suggested that we devote more time that evening to pray for South Africa. Nobody objected. That must have been supernatural guidance. The whole prayer meeting was hereafter devoted to praying for my beloved country. That was the only occasion when we prayed so intensely for a single country.                                                             Nobody present at the prayer meeting was aware that President De Klerk would meet Archbishop Tutu and Dr Allan Boesak the next week. That strategic meeting became in a sense a watershed in the politics of the country, the prelude to the release of Nelson Mandela and the end of apartheid. Also in other countries - especially in South Africa itself - people had been praying for a change in the suicidal direction of the political system.[9]
                                                14. Africa, here we come!
         October 1989 would become one of the very special months in our lives. We were challenged when Marry Schotte of WEC shared in Barneveld at the annual Evangelical Alliance about a mission school in Vavoua, Côte I’voire, where they needed teachers. The need of the WEC school in Vavoua seemed geared to what I could offer. In the school for missionary kids, they had departments for Dutch and German children. The common language of the school is English. I could teach Maths - for which they indeed had a vacancy - in all three languages.
         The attitude of our own children to go to Africa changed after Marry Schotte had come along to our home with a video of the mission school in Côte d’Ivoire where she was teaching. Suddenly the children caught the vision to go to Africa with us.
         I hardly had opportunity to digest this challenge when our friend Bart Berkheij phoned with the request whether I could join him on a trip to Mali at the end of January 1990. All expenses would be paid for him and a friend, to go and wind up things where he had stayed with his family. We had a close friendship to Bart even before he got married. A special bond developed between his late wife Ruth and Rosemarie. The two of them were pregnant almost at the same time when we had our three youngest children. We empathised with the Berkheij family as they struggled for many years to go through all sorts of preparations until they could finally go to Mali. And then there was the terrible shock when Bart lost Ruth in a car accident in 1988. They had been in Mali only for a very short time!

I declined Bart’s invitation to join him because I was still unemployed. It was very attractive to get a feeling of West Africa in the light of our own preparations to go to Côte d’Ivoire. However, I found it ethically incorrect to plan this while I was still hoping to get a teaching post. Everything looked cut and dried when I heard that someone else was due to join him on his trip to Mali. That I would possibly not have been allowed to get into the Ivory Coast with my South African passport did not even cross my mind (At that point in time one could find notice boards in some countries stating 'no dogs and South Africans allowed').

Due 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 in January 1991 at Bulstrode, near to London, at the International HQ of the mission.  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 to England - impossible as it seemed to find someone who would prepared to pay his/her own way and still teach, without getting a salary.

A Nudge to tackle the daunting Wall of Islam          
With the ‘iron curtain’ of Communism and the edifice of apartheid all but shattered by February 1990, supernatural intervention occurred in Abidjan to nudge me to tackle the daunting wall of Islam. A deep impression followed at our ‘visit to a mosque’, in which we landed by accident. When all the shops were closing for the lunch time and it being Friday, we had no opportunity to continue our shopping spree. We simply took a seat next to the road, waiting for the shops to reopen. Suddenly prayer mats were rolled out all around us. Bart was sitting obliquely behind me. Somehow I had the impression that he was also doing the obligatory raka’ts, the Islamic cycles of body movements accompanying the prayers. Thus I simply joined in, imitating the people in front of me. Suddenly I heard an angry stifled shout-whisper: ‘Ashley, wat doe je daar!’ (Ashley, what are you doing!) ‘and you want to become a missionary?’ What a bashing he gave me hereafter for going through the Islamic motions. Strangely enough, I didn’t feel remorse from within...
         As I looked at the people in front of me, I experienced some sort of thrill. It was as if the Lord was reassuring me that these bodily movements were no more than meaningless tradition; that some day the Islamic ‘Wall’ would also crash like the communist ‘iron curtain’ had done. The experience of that day helped me to persevere over the next decades of low-key missionary work among Muslims although it seemed as if we were wasting our time. Later that year Saddam Hussain attacked Kuweit, the single event that ushered in ten years of prayer for the Muslim world. The direct result of Iraq’s move - and their failure to withdraw from Kuweit - was the Gulf War of 1991.

            The insight I gained from this experience was quite deep. Back in Holland I challenged our home ministry group: I recognised that having your hands in the air while we sing and similar ritual gestures could be just as empty! Having come from the Moravian Church with its rich tradition of ritual and music, the message of Isaiah hit home to me that outward feasts and celebrations - without a genuine concern also for the poor and the needy - could actually be disgusting in God’s eyes (Isaiah 58). My attitude to mission in Black Africa also changed completely in Côte d’Ivoire. This is what mattered most to us because this is where we eventually wanted to be as a family. The experience during this trip was so encouraging that I was highly motivated to return to West Africa.
         That future mission work in Africa was linked to spiritual warfare, was foreshadowed when I heard on my return that our daughter Magdalena had a close call with meningitis in my three-week absence.  During that time I had no contact with the family.
         Our Magdalena had been terribly ill. Because she had contact with another child that had contracted meningitis, Rosemarie went through excruciating trauma. What Rosemarie shared on my return would become a pattern – some member of the family would be attacked health-wise during my absence from home. We learned later to pray for special protection for them at these times.
                                                *                                  *                                  *
         We deemed it fit to speak to the leaders of the local Full Gospel Church about our mission plans, although we had been church members for less than a year. The dynamic ‘Mama’ Heijnk, the leader, was quite contented when she heard that we intended to use teaching, the vocation in which I had been trained. She stated clearly that as a church fellowship they were financially committed to Brother Andrew's ‘Kruistochten’ (Open Doors), although she felt that more missionaries should go to the Muslim world.
         At the discussion with the new church leadership team a few months later - the old Heijnks had taken a back seat – the leaders were quite surprised that we didn’t mention financial support. Not very long hereafter, the elders progressed even further along a new road: they committed themselves to substantial regular monthly support for us. (That promise became the basis of what we would trust the Lord for rental payments in Cape Town in 1992).

The Yoke of ritual Bondage  
As the years went on, we discerned that many Muslims were wrestling under the yoke of ritual bondage. The question became even more pressing: How will all those millions of people who are still veiled, ever get rid of it? As my wife and I read 2 Corinthians 3 once again, we were reminded that Martin Luther only got into the freedom of Christ when he discovered that he needed a Saviour. This only occurred when he developed a deep sense of urgency about his own sin. We also realised anew that this is something that only God can accomplish in a sovereign way. God doesn’t need us, but we can be instruments in His hands to change the world, especially through prayer.
         The three weeks there in West Africa were sufficient to excite me about immense possibilities to share the gospel. The discussions at the school in Vavoua, Ivory Coast, were promising, although 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).

‘Doors’ start to open’
 The Lord used the orientation journey in yet another way. While I was in West Africa, our long-standing friend Geertje Rehorst visited Rosemarie one evening. After she returned from Austria with her two teenage sons, we helped to make the two boys feel at home in the new environment, as part of the youth group that we ministered to in our home.
         When Geertje heard from Rosemarie that we were praying for a teacher, she asked all sorts of questions during my visit to West Africa. Because she had been ruled unfit for teaching a few years before this, we never even seriously considered Geertje as a possible candidate to help us out.
         When 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 that she should go with us to England. She was only waiting on us to approach her.
         With Campus Crusade I had started to do some voluntary work in Holland with their devout worker Bram Krol. Also from that side we were challenged with regard to full-time work. I had learned to use the four spiritual laws and we started seriously to buy a house in Zeist from where we would operate. (Rosemarie’s parents always wanted to assist us towards this end).
         I also got to know Cees Rentier and David Appelo through this outreach. Cees worked with us in our Goed Nieuws Karavaan outreach and later led a major ministry of loving outreach to Muslim migrants from different countries in the Netherlands, Evangelie en Moslems.  David Appelo would play a big role in helping me to prepare a manuscript for the Golden wedding anniversary of my parents on 5 January, 1991.
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 terse hand-written letter from Pietie Orange, a friend from our Tiervlei/Ravensmead days. (As a young man he invited me to preach at their youth service in 1964.)
         There was not much in Pietie’s letter in terms of content, but very clearly there was the clarion call: COME OVER AND HELP US.  Under normal circumstances I would have jumped at this opportunity to return to my home country, but with many different missionary opportunities that have suddenly opened up, I was quite confused. The experiences in West Africa were still fresh in my mind. For years the ‘doors’ to missionary service seemed to remain closed and now there appeared to be many doors wide open. Which was the right one?
         I was surprised to sense Rosemarie’s excitement about the possibility to go to South Africa. She knew of my fervent desire to return to my home country. In the early years of our marriage it caused a lot of strain when she sensed that I perceived it as a sacrifice to be 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. Like Joseph who was exiled to Egypt, I was in the meantime prepared to serve the Lord anywhere in the world, quite willing – never to return to South Africa if that was the confirmed divine guidance. However, the African continent was still my silent 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’.   This actually happened. Quite lovingly Jean Barnicoat, the directress of the WEC mission school, pointed out in a letter that the age and number of our children militated against the venture of us joining their staff. I was nevertheless shattered to some extent when this reply came. I had been looking forward to serve in Vavoua, having started to learn French to that end.

Journey into the unknown     
In his faithfulness the Lord intervened once again. Out of the blue we received a phone call from Dick and Ann van Stelten, a missionary couple in the little town of Josini in South Africa, near to the Mozambican border. They have been receiving our newsletters. Although we had written only about our plans to go to Côte I’voire and nothing about South Africa, they invited us, challenging us to come and take over their ministry. In a sense this was a ray of light after the disappointment with regard to Vavoua.
            Jacob and Emmy Spronk, the Dutch WEC leaders, were very supportive that we should go and explore the work in Northern Natal, to see if the Lord confirmed that call. Perhaps it could become a new venture of WEC South Africa. (All of us were not aware of it that WEC South Africa had actually decided not to start new ministries in the country.)
         My mother was due to turn eighty at the end of that year and the golden wedding anniversary of my parents was due shortly thereafter in early January 1991. After all the trips of the previous months, we hardly had liberty to share our vision and intention with other Christians to visit South Africa on orientation at the end of 1990.  (Officially I was still unemployed, teaching only a few hours per week and doing some casual work with the East European Mission.)
         Gradually one hurdle after the other was surmounted as we decided to take our eldest and youngest children along on the orientation journey to South Africa. We had no funds for such a trip, so that the publication of my autobiographical material naturally came in for consideration. A major obstacle to the publication of our story had been removed at the death of Papa Göbel. At certain points I had written rather negatively about him.
         We were severely tested about going to work in Northern Natal. In a TV programme on Dutch TV the reporter mentioned that the fighting in Natal was worse than Lebanon and Northern Ireland put together.[10] ‘Was this the sort of situation into which we wanted to take our children?’
         In obedience to the Lord we nevertheless planned to start a visit to South Africa in Pretoria, visiting the Lugthardts, a Dutch missionary couple linked to the Dorothea Mission. From there, we prayed and trusted that we would get to the Van Steltens in Josini somehow.

         Pretoria was still very much an apartheid bastion in the year 1990. In the morning we attended the church of our friend Shadrach Maloka in Garankuwa just outside of Pretoria, to whom we had been sending parcels with used clothes. It was no surprise to me when we heard that Rosemarie could attend the evening service of the Afrikaanse Baptiste Kerk, but that it might be a problem  with me. We got the message. I was not welcome to attend because I was not 'White'.

The Lord turned the tables
The Lord himself turned the tables when Cees Lugthardt came to me the Sunday afternoon with an ‘unanimous request of the church council’. Their pastor had contracted a slip disk at the morning service.  Now they wanted me to preach during the evening occasion. Never before had someone of colour attended the church, and now I would be on their pulpit!
         Rosemarie however gave me thumbs down after my first sermon draft. The old carnal activist in me had resurfaced. The Lord gave me special grace to revamp my draft, to be able to serve without any resentment. And the heavens did not come down! In fact, from the reactions of the congregants afterwards, it seemed to have been an eye-opener for many of them. The one or other could possibly not envisage that a ‘Coloured’ could preach, let alone do it in cultured Afrikaans.

A Sense of Home-coming      
In a wonderful way transport was supplied for us to get to Josini. We were given a ‘bakkie’, a transport vehicle with only one seat for two or three passengers. Our two children that we had taken with us – Danny, our eldest son and Tabitha, our youngest - could sit under a canopy at the back.
We had to return the vehicle to one of the Van Stelten children in Durban. The son was only too happy to have convenient transport in this way to go home for Christmas. Another son would return the vehicle later to the military base Voortrekkerhoogte near Pretoria.
         In Josini it was clearly confirmed that the Lord did not call us to serve in Ubombo, a school for Zulu children. On the other hand, when we joined the national conference of WEC in Durban, we experienced a sense of home-coming. Although we did not know anybody present, we felt that we belonged there, in spite of a hick-up or two.[11] Durban was the ideal preparation for our candidates’ orientation at Bulstrode in England, which would follow soon after our return from South Africa. Also in Cape Town - the next step - things fell in place. It was agreed that we could return there at the beginning of 1992 with a role in representative work and possibly for evangelistic work among students.
         It was great to be present for the 80th birthday of our mom and the Golden Wedding Anniversary of our parents. We hereafter linked up with old friends like Juttie and Florrie Bredekamp. They not only assisted us with contacts which helped us to consider the future schooling of our children, but they also put a car at our disposal that we could use during our week or so at the Cape before our return to Europe. The link to a couple that had a child at the German School looked promising because our children could speak neither English nor Afrikaans. We knew now that this would be the best option at least for the two oldest boys.
                                                15. In the Crucible

         When we worked in Zeist among Moroccan and Turkish children, we were not aware that the Lord had started to prepare us for a future ministry among the Muslims of Cape Town. Even when we invited Herman Takken, who was doing this work in Holland full-time - to come and give us, the volunteers of the Goed Nieuws Karavaan’, some teaching on Islam - I was not remotely thinking of using it one day in the city where I was born and bred.

Lessons in Spiritual Warfare
Come January 1991, we were already in Bulstrode, the international headquarters of WEC for the missionary Candidates’ Orientation. During this time the Lord used started moulding us profoundly for our future ministry in Cape Town. There we were clearly introduced to the concept of spiritual warfare for the first time in such a clear way. Never before had we heard about terms like prayer walks, about strategic and targeted prayer although I had practised targeted prayer before together with other believers - for example in Zeist -without giving it that tag.
         The Gulf War at the beginning of the year made things very practical. In one of the devotionals Jenny Carter, a secretary at the WEC International Office, 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 more clearly visible as a threat to world peace. Using the same idea, C.T. Studd, the founder of WEC, had used terms like ‘chocolate soldier’ and ‘prayer batteries’ many years ago. But that sounded like language of a bygone age. The purpose of Studd’s concept would prepare the fields for the mission workers to move in. (In his terminology Studd was of course very much influenced by William Booth and his Salvation Army.)
         Was part of our missionary orientation, we were required to read certain books. One of them was Don Richardson's book Peace Child. We derived an important lesson from the reading of this book, discovering how the author saw the cultural tradition of the peace child - a token of reconciliation between warring tribes - as a divine preparation to open the indigenous people of Papua New Guinea for the Gospel.

Field study     
As part of our missionary training at Bulstrode, we had to write an assignment called a ‘field study’ about the country where we intended to go to. I had been giving talks about different aspects of South African life, but discerned that I did not know enough about the culture and history of the Indian population of my home country. What also played a role in my thinking was the strategy to be used back home to help recruit South African Indians for missionary work in the subcontinent from where their ancestors originally hailed.[12]
         My suggestion now was that Rosemarie could study the politics, economy and related issues, while I would make a study of the South African Indians. This led me into looking at Hinduism and Islam, their two major religions. My experience in West Africa 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 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, which ultimately culminated in a manuscript I called ‘A Goldmine of another Sort’.  The subtitle was the New South Africa as a base for Missionary Recruitment.’[13]
         On alternate Saturday mornings we evangelised in London, among other things using the EE3 method also called Evangelism Explosion, from the Westminster Chapel. During my field study I discovered that Bo-Kaap, the residential area below Signal Hill, had become even more of an Islamic stronghold because of apartheid. A seed was sown into my heart.
         The schooling of our children at Bulstrode belonged to the highlights of their educational career. Tante Geertje would often take them into the spacious grounds of the castle-like area and a special relationship developed to Joyce Scott and her husband Chris. Howard and Jill Sayers as the Candidate secretaries did their bit to make the experience very memorable to all of us as missionary candidates. 
         After WEC leaders had advised us that we should have contact persons in Holland before we would set out to our mission field, Rosemarie suggested Harmen and Fenny Pos, our faithful ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ co-workers. It would have been difficult to find a more devout couple in our region. The way they – and other former co-workers - rallied around us became an example for other missionary support groups in our own fellowship and also for many churches in the Netherlands.

Missionary Orientation in Emmeloord         
When we returned to Holland from England, we first had to go for two months to Emmeloord, to the Dutch HQ of WEC. In the occasional sermon, such as one in the little town 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 (Serving In Missions) Life Challenge team was already active there with door-to-door outreach. But we had no concrete plans for involvement there.
         In our correspondence with WEC South Africa we did mention that we wanted our hands free to spread the Gospel among the Cape Muslims. However, the South African WEC leadership desperately wanted to use us for representation in the Western Cape. The stated strategy of WEC in SA was to focus on recruitment, and not to start new ministries. We on the other hand were not inclined to get ‘bogged down’ by administration and representation. We could 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. We were definitely no Jonahs, ready to back off in the face of the challenges. However, 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. 
         Also in Emmeloord we got into a verbal skirmish with one of the leaders quite soon. We dared to contradict the leader when he maintained that we had to honour the request of the old brother Henk Meindert who had started WEC in Holland. The revered brother wanted us to come to Rotterdam to speak in a missionary prayer meeting there. That same day we had already arranged for Harmen and Fenny Pos, our contact persons, to come and visit us. We were no rebels, but we could not accept blind submission, deciding to defer our acceptance as WEC missionaries.
         We celebrated Rosemarie’s 40th birthday in Emmeloord. My gift to her was a manuscript ‘Op adelaars vleugelen’ (On Eagle Wings), alluding to the text Henning Schlimm used at the occasion of our wedding in Königsfeld. (The present manuscript is a translation, an updating and an expansion of that treatise.)
         Thankfully, all the differences could be resolved and a few months later we were accepted as WEC missionaries. It was agreed that we would assist our colleague Shirley Charlton with representation in Cape Town for the first year. Thereafter we would see how the Lord would lead.

Hurdles and afflictions          
The next big hurdle was the airfare to South Africa for seven of us.  (Two of our five children needed to pay adult fares.) We furthermore decided that a container would be the most economical way to get our belongings to Cape Town, although the bulk of our furniture was quite old and tattered already and some appliances had been bought second-hand in Holland. The Lord sovereignly helped us in these major steps of faith.
         The circumstance that we considered as a ‘fleece’, a test, became quite an affliction when the couple that stayed in our home in Zeist for six months did not pay the rent promptly. They finally paid the rent in a lump sum after we had spoken to their pastor about the matter. We thus experienced once again how the strong divine wings of the eagle were seeing us through. Not even once did we have to delay the payment of rent and we always had sufficient funds to contribute towards our stay in Bulstrode.
         With the belated lump sum payment of the rent we now suddenly had 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 essential 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 the couple Don and Kryniera Koekkoek after church for a cup of tea. They had occasionally been supporting our ‘Goed Nieuws Karavaan’ evangelistic work. Kryniera shared during their visit how God had challenged her to stimulate prayer for missionaries.
Start of the zendingsbidstond
Another couple in our fellowship 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 to start a zendingsbidstond, but he was rather sceptical. Apparently, other people had already tried something similar, but tradition in the church had smothered every effort in that direction. The Lord blessed the renewed attempt. We soon hereafter had a regularly zendingsbidstond - a monthly prayer meeting for the many missionaries started in the home of Don and Kryniera Koekkoek. That became an important feature in the calendar of the church in due course.
         The Lord used the time in Bulstrode, the International WEC Headquarters near to London, to bring Geertje back into missionary work. Soon hereafter she started to learn Spanish, becoming the member care person for a few workers in Spain. This was still quite a few years before it became the in thing in missions to have a member care person.
         During the last few months in Holland before our departure to South Africa, I helped out on one day in the week as a teacher of Religious Instruction at Barthimeus, the local school for the Blind, where Geertje Rehorst had taught before she was boarded. On another day I assisted in the office of the Eastern Europe Mission. This led to my taking clothing and Bibles for persecuted and needy Christians on behalf of the Eastern Europe Mission to Switzerland over certain weekends. From there other people took the goods to Communist countries. I was given permission to take our family members along on these trips in a small truck with comfortable seating for at least five people. Because we would sleep with our family in Southern Germany, this saved the mission quite a few Dutch guilders for accommodation and meals in Switzerland.
Difficulties and Attacks from different Sides
Towards the end of the year we started giving away various items that we could not take along to Cape Town. It was not so easy to release the green cupboard that the late Martje van Dam had specially bequeathed to us, but we could bless a befriended needy family with that. When Anne van der Bijl (Brother Andrew) mentioned in his annual pre-Christmas sermon a family in need, we got into some trouble after giving away a good bed. An old couple from the former Panweg fellowship was offended because they had specially given that bed to us when they moved to an old-age home. This signalled the beginning of one attack after the other.
         On our last trip on behalf of the Eastern Europe Mission in December 1991 - also intended as our farewell to the family in Germany - we had to face the reality of spiritual warfare as never before. Satan evidently wanted to prevent us from going to South Africa. Rosemarie and I left for Switzerland from the home of the Braun family in Lienzingen, with literature and used clothes for persecuted believers in Eastern Europe. The intention was, to return to Lienzingen the same evening. We had no idea how close we would come to losing our lives. Apart from the literature and used clothes we had brought from Holland, we also picked up quite a number of Russian Children’s Bibles at Licht im Osten in Korntal, near Stuttgart. The load was thus quite heavy hereafter.
         Snow in the mountainous region of Southern Germany about 50 Km before the Swiss border made driving hazardous in the extreme with the heavily loaded van. As we slid across the Autobahn[14] on the heights, we were praying almost all the time.
         And then it happened! We skidded off the road. We discerned God’s protecting hand when the van with the heavy load was thankfully just at a place where there was a parking place. If it had been at almost any other location in that area, we would have gone down into the depths to a certain death.
         Soon we had to face an onslaught of another sort. We were heavily burdened to leave the care of Rosemarie’s ailing mother to Waltraud, her sister. From Holland we could at least assist during the school holidays to take over some of the burden. That would not be possible from South Africa.
Everybody also knew how dearly I wanted to return to my home country. Therefore it was fully comprehensible when it was vocalised that I had been only been abusing the interlude of the Ivory Coast as a smokescreen, to prepare the way to take my family to South Africa.
We returned to the Netherlands with heavy hearts. We cried to the Lord to intervene. Our tickets were booked by now and the container ordered. The Lord would have to send in someone to help Waltraud with the care of our mother. Otherwise we would have no liberty to go!
 (Picture:Mama Göbel in an old age home with
                        Waltraud and her daughter Damaris)          

         Tom Zoutewelle, a friend and Broederraad colleague from our Panweg days, brought us in touch with a retired nurse of Doorn who spoke German and who was prepared to go to Lienzingen to help Waltraud with our mother. This cleared the way for us. We were now free to go to Cape Town a week later! It was however never necessary to call on that help.
Called to minister to Cape Muslims?
The Master clearly used our first days in Cape Town in January 1992 to make it unambiguously clear to all and sundry that we were called to minister to the Cape Muslims. When we were getting ready to leave Holland, we didn’t have any guaranteed accommodation in Cape Town. 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 housed in a Bible School in the Cape suburb of Athlone during the month of January.
         The first morning after our arrival we were awakened by a shock, a deafening roar at half past four.  The cause was the prayer call from the seven mosques within a radius of two kilometres of the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute.[15] This was the first indication that the Lord was perhaps calling us to get involved with the Cape Muslims. But we were not starkly aware of it as yet.

Two Priorities
The number one priority was now to get permanent accommodation. Issue number two would get the schooling of the children sorted out. Already during the occasion of our spying the land in December 1990 we thought that our two eldest children should attend the German school. There they ultimately enrolled all five children. Also Tabitha was accepted for the first grade although she was only five years old.
         That the government had published its intention to scrap the Group Areas Act, made matters a lot easier, giving us more options to find suitable and affordable accommodation. We followed up all sorts of advertisements, hoping to find a four bed-roomed house so that we could also have a guest room. At one of the houses there was a swimming pool. At the next occasion when we prayed as a family for the right accommodation, our seven year-old Magdalena saw no problem to include a house with a swimming pool in her prayer request.
         Finding a suitable house that was more or less affordable was almost like looking for the proverbial needle in a haystack. Four bed-roomed houses were few and far between and usually very expensive. Soon we were prepared to settle for a three bed-roomed one, but also in this regard it was not easy at all. Whenever the home owners heard how many children we have, they were not interested any more. Thus we soon made a point of mentioning our five children right at the outset whenever we enquired. That spared us unnecessary waste of time, petrol and further disappointments.
         We were quite frustrated when all our attempts at getting a house seemed to have brought us nowhere. We were in quite dire straits because we had to get out of the Bible School before the end of the month.

Sleep on the Street?   
This was still the position on the 30th of January. We could not believe our eyes when a house with four bedrooms plus another room was available in the suburb called Gardens at ‘our price’. It was furthermore not very far from the German school, albeit that a busy road had to be crossed. The timing seemed to be perfect, because it was almost the end of the month and we could move in straight away. The wife of the house owner took for granted that her husband would agree to have us because he was a German-speaking Swiss. We were really in the clouds when the phone call confirmed that he indeed agreed initially. We were already praising the Lord at the table at suppertime, when the phone rang once again. This time it was the husband himself. He had just heard from his wife that we have five children; this was a major problem to him. They would not rent their house to us. When I returned to the supper table with the shattering news, all of us were devastated. Little Tabitha vented her fears spontaneously as she cried uncontrollably: ‘Will we now have to sleep on the street?’ How thankful we were when Rafael could console her: ‘No, the Lord will see to it that we need not go and sleep on the street.’ I had a big lump in my throat at the child-like and yet also mature faith into which our children had started to grow.

Strategic contacts
The Bible School period was quite strategic in terms of contacts. Thus Bill Parker was assisting with the administration of the CEBI Bible School where we stayed. (He had been the boss of my father at Mupine and as a teenager I had also been going with him on certain Saturdays when he played baseball for Sea Point at the UCT field.[16]) 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. Through them we got to know interesting contacts. Thus we got to know Alan de Cerff and his American wife Jennifer, who operated at UCT under the flag of Campus Crusade. In turn, we got to know other people and groups through the De Cerff couple like the motor car mechanic cum pastor of the EBC Church, Warren Abels, as well as the Community Bible Fellowship at the Baker House in Crawford. On the last Sunday of January we shared our housing predicament with that fellowship. They promised to pray for us in the all-night event on the coming Friday.
Something happening in the heavenlies
On Friday the 31st of January we packed all our belongings together without knowing where would be going the next day. On Sunday the influx of students was expected to start. We were now clinging to our last hope. Shirley Charlton, our WEC missionary colleague, would ask her landlord whether we could move into her two-bedroom flat in Diep River temporarily. She would then go to a friend. When we phoned Shirley the Saturday morning, this last hope was all but dashed …
         We were not aware how many people were praying for us. Of one group we knew. They were Christians from the Community Bible Fellowship in Crawford that we had attended. They would pray right through the night from Friday to Saturday, also for us!
         In the heavenlies something had obviously been happening, because somewhere in the suburb of Kenilworth – a few kilometres from Crawford - a Greek lady could not sleep. Ireni Stephanis never had problems with sleeplessness – not even when her husband died - but that night she constantly had to think about the family from Holland about which she had heard from Shirley Charlton. Ireni was curious whether the family of seven had found accommodation in the meantime. After hearing of our predicament, Ireni offered to share her big house. Her daughter had just married and left the home. Ireni’s two adult sons were elsewhere. They would not be around for some time.
         When we learnt this story the Saturday afternoon from Shirley Charlton we stood there in awe! We could only marvel at the timely intervention of the Lord. It looked to be the most practical thing to sleep at the Bible School for the last time. Even in this little detail we could see the hand of the Lord. At this time we also met John Cyster, who offered to assist us with the clearance of our container, once it would land in the Cape Town Docks.

Orientation Time
We were very thankful that Shirley put the mission car, a VW Golf, at our disposal for taking the children to school during the week. Our finances were running precariously low while we desperately needed a vehicle of our own. We were thankful that my brother Kenneth and his wife were willing to help us bridge the gap until finances would arrive from abroad.
         Our lack of transportation brought us in touch with Manfred Jung and the late Alroy Davids, both of whom were involved with outreach to Muslims. The 13-year old horrible-looking minibus, previously belonged to the Gschwandtner family before they sold it to Manfred Jung (the Gschwandtner family had left for Kenya). It badly needed some colour. Alroy Davids spray-painted the vehicle in his spare time. Every Friday I would bring the vehicle to him when he would start working until Saturday afternoon. This went on for a few weeks.          
         The time in Kenilworth was fairly blissful for the children but the switch of schools were rather traumatic for Rafael and Samuel. Rafael, who had only learned a little bit of English at Bulstrode before, now had to struggle with an inexperienced teacher in that subject. She put much too high demands on 12 year olds. The introvert Samuel struggled in his class where only German was spoken. For months he would say nothing at all in class.
         Rafael appeared to have made the biggest sacrifice of the children when we came to Cape Town after having had a fairly close friendship to Michiel van der Wolf in Zeist. For months he had no friends in Cape Town.

Further Search for Accommodation 
After moving over to Kenilworth, we resumed our search for a house to rent. Ireni Stephanis said that we could stay at her house as long as we would need the accommodation. But we really wanted to get into our own home and of course, we did not want to abuse Ireni’s hospitality.
         One Sunday afternoon we decided to just go and have a look at a house in Brunswick Road, in the upmarket suburb Tamboerskloof. Normally we would not even have considered living in the relatively expensive residential area. But this would be quite near to the German School. (Not to scare the home owner too much, we left the three young ones nearby in Brownlow Road in our ugly-looking Microbus). We liked the town house but because of the rental tag, we never gave it serious consideration. It would have been suitable, but it was a bit small for a big family. A special bonus was that the town house was within walking distance of the German school. The monthly rental would be about 15% above the monthly pledged gift from our home church in Holland. On the other hand, we would be saving on the costs of commuting them to school.
         We heard that the lady owner, whose children had also been attending the German school, had remarried. Thus the house in Tamboerskloof had become redundant. Nevertheless, more out of courtesy and because we had no other option, we left the home phone number of Ireni Stephanis with the couple.
         We were taken by surprise when the Germans phoned us the next day. Our two eldest boys had made a good impression on the lady owner. We were over-awed when the owner ultimately gave us the option of renting the house at the price we could ‘afford’, although they could have received more from another interested prospective lessee. When Rosemarie was now asked telephonically what we were prepared to pay, it was clinched – well over 10% less than the original sum. We could not do otherwise than seeing this as a special gift from the Lord!
            Just at this point in time we heard that the container with the furniture had arrived. Our new landlady agreed that we could move in, almost a week before the end of the month - without any extra cost! Thus it was not necessary to leave the container in the docks for any length of time. That would have amounted to added costs for the storage. We could just praise the Lord for his wonderful provision.

                                    16. Commencement of Cape Ministry

         The Western Cape Missions Commission, to which Shirley Charlton took me quite soon, proved very valuable in terms of contacts. Here I met other strategic people like Martin Heuvel, Bruce van Eeden and Jan Hanekom. At least for some of these Western-orientated missionaries it might have been surprising to hear me speak about potential missionaries from the 'New' South Africa, suggesting that ‘Blacks’ would theoretically be able to perform so much better than Europeans or Americans because they knew African culture.[17] Yet, the folk listened to me with grace and a few with some enthusiasm. But this was easier said than done. It would take many more years before South African ‘Blacks’ were getting ready to become involved in cross-cultural missionary endeavour of any consequence.
         I represented WEC at a missionary event in the Afrikaner bastion of Wellington. It was already revolutionary that the main speaker was an Indian, Dr Lesley James from Durban. I noticed some very surprised 'White' faces when I suggested that South African churches should be considering supporting missionaries of colour. It proved however very difficult to sell the idea to the 'White' churches, who were still trapped in the apartheid mind-set.

A cross-cultural Choir          
In the course of the next few months Shirley Charlton also took me to various Bible Schools in the Cape Peninsula. Apart from those, I had my own contacts like the Moravian Bible School, which had moved to the township Heideveld while I was overseas.  There my seminary colleague Kallie August was now the director. He hails from the Elim mission station, having attended primary school simultaneously with me. At the Chaldo Bible School in Wittebome, the theological training institution of the Full Gospel Church, David Savage, my buddy from the Harmony Park ‘stranddienste’in 1964, with whom I had subsequently corresponded for a long time, was now the principal. A regular annual slot at the Baptist Seminary ensued where I could challenge students during their chapel hour. Interesting contacts followed such as with Jonathan Clayton, who was ministering over the weekends to Pollsmoor prison, where I would subsequently challenge inmates to pray for drug lords such as Rashied Staggie. (I used the story of Zaccheus to this end who was a chief tax collector.)
         At one of the events to which Shirley took me, I heard Joyce Scott reporting. She was a missionary of AIM using her gift of music in ministry, lecturing at the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute. This was the catalyst for us to start a choir with singers coming from different cultures, a vision I had brought along from Holland. (In Zeist I had attended a performance of a culturally mixed group from New Zealand.) At different occasions to which I was invited as speaker, I took along the cross-cultural choir that we had recruited. Apart from Grace Chan, our colleague from Mauritius, we also had people from different races in the choir - including a Zulu and a few Xhosas. We collated the choir members predominantly from Capetonian Bible Colleges. Rosemarie and I contributed a modern Dutch song, written and composed by Charles Groot, who often spoke in our Figi fellowship. The content of the hymn spoke of the unity in Christ: Samen in de naam van Jesus - United in the name of Jesus we proclaim his praise in different languages. When Joyce left the Cape to take up a post in Pietermaritzburg in Natal, the choir was disbanded.

New Wine in old Wineskins
Once the schools had started Rosemarie could of course also be involved in various activities. When Shirley Charlton organised for her to address a women’s group of a mainline church in Goodwood, one of the cape northern suburbs, we knew that we were treading on the turf of the former racists.  Would we be attempting to pour new wine in old wine-skins? She insisted that I should go along, to drive her there because she was still unsure to drive to the various venues on her own.
         When I carried the books and helped set up the apparatus for the slide presentation, she noticed how the ladies had no problems at all. This was the familiar old South African way of doing things – the person of colour in the subservient role, doing the manual chores.
         But then the 'bomb' exploded when she introduced me as her husband. They were very clearly uncomfortable. She could see it on their faces. But the wineskins luckily didn’t burst. They gracefully listened to her presentation.

Prayer Meeting for the German School                                                                                     One of the first things we initiated was a monthly prayer meeting with other parents for the German School, that all five our children were attending. We had just come in contact with the Pietzsch couple, where our three youngest children would often interact and play and I knew Rolf and Sieglinde Rühle already since my visit with our daughter Magdalena in Elim in 1988. The dynamic Susie van Dyk was a direct link to the school leadership.  One after the other, our three boys got involved with the Bible group at the school, in due course in leadership functions.  Susie van Dyk and Rolf Rühle  were two of this initial group of parents who would pass on into eternity in years to come - prematurely in our human eyes.

Sharing at Bible Schools        
In the course of my representation work of our first year, I attended the meeting of the Western Cape Missions Commission, where I had met Martin Heuvel, a pastor from Ravensmead. He impressed me so much that it was only natural that I would visit him when I assisted to prepare the October 1992 visit of Patrick Johnstone, the author of Operation World.[18] A touch of nostalgia was hardly to be avoided when I visited the premises of the Fountain Family Church complex in Ravensmead. (The church building and the adjacent shopping centre have been built for the great part on the property, from where our family had been evicted in 1970.)  The Fountain Family Church was the former theatre in this building complex. There I was now asked to give lectures at the Cape School of Missions where James Selfridge, an Irish missionary, had become the principal. It was great to see my vision of equipping ‘Blacks’ coming to fruition as a few Zambians started studying here. One of the local students of the Bible school was Jeff Swartz, through whom I got to know a young student from Venda at the Cape Technikon, Tim Makamu.[19] Another student was Peter Barnes. He became a missionary to the Transkei where the vision was shared to prepare missionaries for other African countries.

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 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 from there as missionaries to other countries. This had become our model for the drug addicts of Cape Town.) We were yearning to share the vision with Capetonian Christians. The initial response was however general indifference.
         On the first Sunday in Tamboerskloof we visited the Cape Town Baptist Church from our new home. After we had filled in a slip at the service, we promptly received a visit from Rev Dennis Loots. The predominantly 'White' congregation was however much too formal to our liking. Then we heard of a fellowship at the Cape Town High School. The wife was Dutch and the informal group called themselves the City Branch of the Vineyard Church (as the Jubilee Church was called at that time). (The main building was the former Dutch Reformed Church in Taronga Road, Crawford and on Sunday evenings there was a big combined service in the former Waverley Blanket factory in the suburb of Observatory.) Dave and Herma Adams, the City Branch leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Cape Muslims.
         After a few months in the Vineyard Church we found out that there was a Muslim background believer in the congregation. Achmed Kariem had fled South Africa in the wake of his anti‑apartheid activities with a hatred for Christianity. In his fairly accurate youthful assessment apartheid had been the cause for his family to be moved from the suburb Mowbray to the desolate Bonteheuwel on the Cape Flats[20]. This ultimately resulted in Ahmed fleeing the country as an atheist. In London 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.

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.
         A clear confirmation along these lines came when we were able to rent the house in Tamboerskloof, almost a stone’s throw from Bo-Kaap, the prime stronghold of Islam in the Western Cape. God had evidently started fitting things together in his perfect mosaic.
         I soon joined the SIM (Serving in Missions) Life Challenge team of Manfred Jung in Bo‑Kaap, Walmer Estate and Woodstock.[21] However, I soon felt very uncomfortable with the method of knocking at strange people’s doors to speak to them about my faith. This coincided with the cessation of the SIM outreach effort in Bo‑Kaap. Rosemarie and I decided to do prayer walking on our own there, asking the Lord to lead us to those people where the Holy Spirit had done preparatory work.
         We were challenged at this time to minister to street people and vagrants, a few of whom were attending the fellowship at the Cape Town High School. Working from home we became involved with street children and vagrants, without sensing any clear call that this is where the Lord wanted to fully use us. We connected quite intensely with Peter, one of the vagrants who attended the Vineyard fellowship regularly. How happy we were when we could finally see him ministered to at the Ark, a new institution for the homeless and destitute, which had just started the former Hospital of Westlake. We were blessed to find at a subsequent visit there that he actually grew into a leadership role. In a similar way, we were very happy to see one of the street children with whom we walked a small stretch of road, accommodated and ministered to at Ethel’s Place in Mitchell’s Plain.

Getting to know Cape Converts from Islam
Without making any conscious effort, we very soon after our arrival here at the Cape in 1992 we came to know converts from Islam. We met Adiel Adams and Zane Abrahams through our representation ministry with WEC International, our mission agency. My late Aunt Emmie Snyers spontaneously gave us the phone number of Majiet Pophlonker, another Muslim background believer (MBB) with a special testimony. It seemed as if different people were divinely instructed to challenge us to focus on Cape Muslims.
         We needed to get the backing, moral and prayer support of other Christians. At the same time Rosemarie and I prayed, asking the Lord where we should start with ministry. By June 1992 our ministry was still not focused at all.
         As I was speaking during a phone call to Val Kadalie, the matron of the G.H Starke home for the aged in Hanover Park, I sensed confirmation that this township, where I had been teaching in 1981, was the place to get more intensely involved with ministry. Soon I linked up with Norman Barnes, a former gangster cum drug addict and also a convert from Islam. On Saturday afternoons he was leading the prayer group.

Birth of a strategic Prayer Meeting
After a few weeks of prayer walking through the Muslim stronghold Bo-Kaap as a couple once a week, we sensed that we should not be alone in this venture. During one of our Bo- prayer walks we visited the Bo-Kaap Museum. There we heard about a committed Christian lady, Cecilia Abrahams, the neighbour at 73 Wale Street.  After a few unsuccessful attempts, we finally succeeded to get in touch with her.
         When Cecilia subsequently visited us in our home in Tamboerskloof, we were blessed to find out that we could actually resume prayer meetings, which had been conducted by Walter Gschwandtner, SIM Life Challenge missionary before he left for Kenya with his family. We promptly decided to start with fortnightly prayer meetings in their home in the centre of Bo-Kaap in July 1992.
         Cecilia introduced us to Daphne Davids, another Christian just across the road from the Abrahams home. In those days it was really special to find born again believers in the almost exclusively Muslim residential area.
         In the wake of Group areas legislation, churches and with them many Christians had already moved from Bo-Kaap. Some people fought for the right to stay there. Cecilia Abrahams was one of them. Pressure was exerted on her to leave her home in Wale Street because she was Christian. Her husband had been a Muslim, but she never embraced Islam as many other Christian women did. She was eventually allowed to remain there with her two children when the winds of change under President de Klerk started to take effect. Another Christian who had been born and bred in Bo-Kaap and who was allowed to stay after a stern fight was the mother of Maria Masaking of 92 Chiapinni Street, a plot of ground better known as die kraal. Maria Masaking was appreciated by the community as a midwife, first working at St Monica’s Maternity Clinic and later in private practice. Many Muslim families made use of her services after she had made her mark in th ecommunity as a diligent midwife. In due course she became one of our most committed and faithful prayer partners.
                                    *                                  *                      *
         SIM Life Challenge decided to terminate their activities in Bo-Kaap. Manfred Jung brought me in touch with Hendrina van der Merwe, a prayer warrior from the fellowship commonly called the Orange Street Baptist Church. She was immediately ready and eager to join the new prayer group. Dave and Herma Adams, our local church leaders, had a vision to reach out to the Muslims although the denomination at large had no affinity as yet in this direction. They gave their blessing that I could invite people at the local Vineyard Church as the relatively new denomination called themselves. Soon Elizabeth Robertson and Ahmed Kariem joined us for this purpose.

Representation Work
Via Shirley Charlton we were approached to assist with the training of Xhosa young people for children’s work at Camp Joy, a camp site in Strandfontein, during the June holidays. That week turned out to be quite strategic. There we met the gifted Pastor Melvin Maxegwana, who was translating the teaching into Xhosa. For the rest, our ministry still had no clear direction. We took along two young people from the Hanover Park City Mission congregation, who later showed interest in missions and evangelism. In due course Shane Varney, a former learner of mine from Mount View High School in Hanover Park, went for missionary training to Pretoria with Operation Mobilisation (OM) with a vision for Bangladesh. Carlo Johnson, still a teenager, later attended the Cape Evangelical Bible School. Shane Varney subsequently completed a degree at university, thereafter proceeding to teach English in the Far East. The holiday teaching stint was strategic as a link to a Black congregation. We subsequently linked up with Pastor Melvin Maxegwana, his wife Primrose and their fellowship at Khayelitsha and later in a fellowship they started in the Bloekombos informal settlement near Kraaifontein. I preached at both venues occasionally.
         Trying to excite the churches of the Mother City for missionary work was a daunting challenge. It turned out to be much more difficult than I thought it would be when I started with tentative steps. We would occasionally go to churches where Shirley Charlton had arranged the meetings. Now and then also our children were involved, such as dramatising the story of Jonah at a church in the ‘Coloured’ suburb of Kensington.

In Tamboerskloof we were living quite close to the German Stadtmission. This resulted in a good networking relationship with Lothar and Barbara Buchhorn, the pastoral couple. Simultaneously this laid a sound basis for a link to loving outreach and a link to the German school where we soon started a prayer group with a few other parents. Susi van Dijk and her family were members of this fellowship and she was simultaneously also on the school board for quite a few years until her death. The close relationship with Lothar and Barbara Buchhorn contributed much to make our children feel themselves at home at the Cape.
         When Shirley Charlton organised for me to preach at the Docks Mission Church in Lentegeur, one of the most meaningful contacts ensued. Pastor Walter Ackermann had a heart for missions second to very few in the Western Cape. I was soon preaching there regularly until Pastor Ackermann left the church at retirement age.
         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.

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,[22] the main driving force of the initiative.
         The operation 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 Hanover Park churches were finally getting out of their indifference with regard to community involvement. Our idea of solving the gangsterism problem on the long term, by starting Christian children’s clubs in different parts of the township, made many local believers excited. Furthermore, it looked as if our vision - to get local churches working together in mission and evangelism - was coming to fruition. At least, this is how it seemed! At the same time, this would also give a good example to the rest of the country to combat criminality and violence – through united prayer!
         Our friend Hermann Frick[23] wrote to us in the course of 1992 for advice. His daughter Damaris wanted to come and do volunteering work in a 'Black' location in Soweto, but somehow the correspondence had stalled. I promptly advised them that it did not look such a good idea at all. This was a time when it would have been extremely difficult and dangerous for two 'White' girlts to go Soweto. I arranged for the two young girls to come and assist Val Kadalie at the G.H. Starke age home for the aged in Hanover Park and living with the Kadalie family in nearby Penlyn Park. That would have entailed more than enough of cross-cultural exposure.

The most quiet Christmas of Hanover Park 
A miracle happened: the crime-ridden Hanover Park experienced its ‘most quiet Christmas ever’, according to an older resident. 
         The message of the crime and violence of the townships hit home to us in a personal way at the end of the year. Walking on the beach at the Strand with two guests from Germany, we were mugged in broad daylight by a group of youngsters with big knives. The Lord used the incident to knit us even more closely to the City Mission of Hanover Park. The German guests were lodging with Charles and Val Kadalie, while they were working as volunteers. Spontaneously the local fellowship gave us a gift to make up for the monetary loss. Hereafter I preached there regularly during 1993. It was great to see the vision of the minute fellowship growing to become a sending church for missionaries and full-time church workers. Unfortunately the vision faded away after our home assignment in 1995 when we decided to focus on the City Bowl.
A serious feud
At the end of our first year (1992) a serious feud with our WEC colleagues ensued. We had our WEC conference in Durban. At that time the national conference was held twice a year.
         The mid-year conference had been held in Cape Town for the first time ever in July. 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 the December conference however, 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 the new ministry. Having fought many a verbal skirmish over the years, this was not new to me at all. For Rosemarie it was the Broederraad of Utrecht all over again, including the tears. 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.[24]

Onslaughts from the enemy  
The second year in Cape Town (1993) coincided with one onslaught from the enemy after the other. Right in the beginning of the year a wrangling for title and position saw the Operation Hanover Park all but disintegrating. My decision to decline leadership in this movement proved very costly. I was wary of the impression which I could give of someone coming back from overseas with bright ideas and from outside the area, thus over-ruling the local leaders. The quality of the leadership had already impressed me tremendously. But the unity was completely lacking. I was not experienced enough in spiritual warfare to recognise the danger. Even the monthly prayer meeting that had been the mainstay of Operation Hanover Park dwindled in terms of interest.

Gangsterism and drug abuse
Very soon after our arrival in Cape Town, we had been challenged to do something about the problem of drug addiction. The related problem of gangsterism - which had spawned the establishment of Operation Hanover Park - was as far as ever from a solution.
         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. A tract by our co-worker Dean Ramjoomiah, written in the slang of the gangsters, touched Ivan Walldeck,[25] a gang leader. Dean also succeeded to organize gangs to play soccer games 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.

Children’s work
Our involvement in the adjacent suburbs of Walmer Estate and Salt River started with prayer walking. In the latter instance it became the prelude to a children’s club that we commenced with Marika Pretorius - a SIM Life Challenge missionary colleague - after our return from ‘home assignment’ in Europe in 1995. (Marika had been used by God to introduce us to families in Bo-Kaap, as well as a link to the Alpha Centre in Hanover Park, where we also conducted children’s clubs from 1993 to 1995). In our absence she did further spadework work with a holiday club in Salt River in the Burns Road Community Centre.[26]
At some stage Marika brought along her roommate and co-worker from their Dutch Reformed congregation in Panorama, Jenny van den Berg. When Marika left for Germany to work among Turkish people, Jenny not only became our valued co-worker in Salt River, but in due course she would become one of the regular lecturers at the annual Muslim Evangelism course at the Bible Institute of South Africa that we started in 1996 under the auspices of CCM. After we had handed the children’s work in Salt River to Eric Hofmeyer, Jenny van der Berg pioneered with a similar ministry in Woodstock, based at the renovated Baptist Church, persevering there for a number of years. Via our SIM missionary colleague Marika Pretorius who had a vision for networking and through whom we got to know our first Bo-Kaap families, we got acquainted with the Greek background nurse Cheryl Moskos, who was involved with children’s and youth work once a week at the Alpha Centre.
         The Alpha Centre of Hanover Park became another connection to the township. Vivian West was the directress. (She was one of my friends who attended the outreach at Harmony Park in the mid-1960s, later attending the Bible School in the Strand run by the Moravian and the Lutheran Church.) We had 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 Shahida[27] became the very first Cape Muslim that we were privileged to lead to the Lord, and one of a group of five MBBs to be baptised on 22 March 1995.
         Our vision to train children’s workers however never came off the ground. We had no solution to counter the lack of discipline and perseverance of gifted potential workers. That seemed to be part and parcel of human nature, but even more so with regard to the township sub-culture. So many good ventures petered out after a while.
         Operation Hanover Park was on the verge of achieving an early version of community transformation at the beginning of 1993 when a leadership tussle stifled the promising movement.

Breaking new ground  
My first major attempt at uniting churches of the city area was trying to get them to pray for Muslims. We organised for converts from Islam and various missionaries to speak in different churches on the Sundays during Ramadan 1993. When I noticed that this merely resulted in entertainment - with no subsequent commitment - I aborted the practice. Hereafter I would challenge churches towards loving outreach to Muslims whenever they invited me to come and preach. This did not deliver the goods, only resulting that I hereafter received far less invitations to come and preach.
         In Hanover Park we were also to start the first cell group consisting of male Muslim background believers. There we studied biblical personalities that also figure in the Qur’an. This cell group petered out after September 1993. In this research and studies I was very much fascinated and humbled to see how biblical figures that are mentioned in the Qur’an, foreshadow Jesus in the Hebrew Scriptures and Talmudic sources. I also discovered that so many pointers to the Cross and Jesus’ crucifixion had been omitted in the Qur’an.[28]

Missionary prayer meetings 
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). Further members of this group were Daisy Campbell, who had been doing secretarial work at the WEC HQ in Durban and Mrs Sheila (???) Myburgh of Fairview Road in Woodstock, the mother of two prayer partners of a similar group in Edgemead. 
         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 quite a few missionaries from the Lansdowne/Hanover Park/Manenberg area went abroad with different agencies.

         The Great Commission Conference at the Athlone Civic Centre in July 1992 brought about some direction when we met Pastor Bruce van Eeden of the Newfields Evangelical Bible Church. His right hand man was Dicky Lewis, who had a precious link to gangsters of Athlone. (Lewis later joined SIM as a missionary on the home front.)
         Bruce van Eeden wanted us 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 children’s outreach.

Challenged to reach out to Cape Muslims
Soon after our arrival in Cape Town in 1992 we were challenged as a couple to reach out to Cape Muslims. That I was born at St Monica’s in the Maternity Home in Bo-Kaap gave us easy entry into many Muslim homes of this residential suburb that had become an Islamic stronghold because of apartheid legislation. The well-known Bo-Kaap maternity institution hereafter played a special role  to get acquainted with people from diverse cultural backgrounds. (In fact, we later had to pray for discernment to keep invitations out that were more linked to inquisitiveness. In 1992 the composition of our marriage and my return from a sort of exile made people eager to get to know us.)
         After initial hesitancy because of her complexion and foreign accent, German-born Rosemarie would usually immediately harvest trust from the patients whenever she mentioned that her husband had been born at St Monica’s. That I was bred in District Six – where 'Coloureds' had been living predominantly - also contributed a lot to open doors for us. As we became befriended to some of the Bo-Kaap residents – we were struck however by the resistance to the Gospel. We started praying for a key to their hearts.

A special St Monica’s customer
Farida[29] is a Muslim lady whom we had been advising for many years. She was one of our first ‘clients’ from the St Monica’s Maternity Clinic. Her daughter Rashida, who was born in the Bo-Kaap maternity clinic in December 1992 and the brother who is two years older, regarded us as an uncle and an aunt. When we came there they would be on our laps in a jiff. When we left their little cottage there was usually a big crying party, reminiscent of how it used to be with our own children when one of us as parents left the home for some reason or another.
            She requested us to pray for independent accommodation for them. Soon after our first encounter they moved to Heideveld, which she could see as an answer to prayer. Furthermore we could be instrumental in patching up their marriage that was really in tatters when we met them. Farida and her husband were initially all set for a divorce, but we discouraged her and tried to assist, although it was not easy at all. We hardly had any opportunity to minister into her husband’s life.
         She discovered for herself in the copy of the Gospel of John that we had given to her that ‘Jesus and the Father are one’. The Lord also visited Farida through dreams and visions.
         We saw Farida growing spiritually over the years, but I made one fatal mistake: I didn’t include Abdullah sufficiently in our inter-action when we were together. It wasn’t very easy to do that because he would often come home from his work very late. Only once he accepted the invitation to join Farida on a visit to our home. In the traditional custom I would have been the one to minister to Abdullah.
         And then towards the end of 1995 we received a fateful phone call after a visit there. Abdullah wanted to speak to me. It was clear that he was not happy.  I wanted to make sure that we would not have a quarrel in front of the children. He agreed to this arrangement.
         When Rosemarie and I visited him in the evening, he soon commanded Farida to take the children to bed. He didn’t beat about the bush either. ‘Why do you bring Muslim apostates into my home?’ He especially meant Shahida from Hanover Park, whose testimony had evidently made a very deep impression on Farida. My vague reply led to his pointed question, namely why do we speak to them as Muslims about our religion. I replied that we do not share the gospel only with Muslims. But we do regard it as a situation compared to be in a desert. If one has found water in a desert, it would be selfish to hang on to it while others were dying for thirst.
         “We have our own water!” was his curt reply and soon hereafter we got the marching orders: “There’s the door and I don’t want to allow you here anymore!” With pain in our hearts we left as we sensed that it was a case of so near to living faith and yet so far for Farida.

The death of Ayatollah Khomeini - an example?
A very interesting occurrence happened in the wake of our outreach at St Monica’s. On the same day that Rosemarie spoke to a woman who was making a pre-natal visit, I spoke outside to the waiting husband. After the birth of the baby I visited the family in Woodstock to whom we became befriended. When I pitched up there one evening the whole dining room was full. I was the only Christian among a number of Muslim men. Soon they made every effort to convert me to Islam. I just listened, hoping and praying for an occasion to share something of the Gospel. At about nine o’clock I thought it time to go. One of the group wanted to take one last go at me, when I seemed not to have been very much impressed by what they had said. He wanted to know whether I have heard how Ayatollah Khomeini died. With gesture and all he explained how the revered Islamic leader from Iran went to his prayer mat, calling all his family together for his last salat, his last ritual prayer. The speaker must have rued that question later as he continued to quote the prayer of how Ayatollah Khomeini hoped that he would enter paradise. I could not have received a better opportunity to share the certainty of salvation which the believer has, who dies in Christ. I shared with the group how I had been present as a young boy when my grandfather died and the assurance he radiated. Oupa Joorst did not only hope, he evidently knew where he was going to.

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. Renette Marx, who was also interceding for the Jews, soon joined our group for this prayer meeting. Hereafter we visited the Beth Ariel fellowship of Messianic Jews in Sea Point from time to time. In later years Lillian James, who grew up in Woodstock, started to pray with us. She had a heart for both Muslims and Jews. Still later, two Messianic Jewish believers joined this prayer group, viz. Lally Neveling and Marilyn Kemp.[30]
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.
         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 appeared to be 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. Civil war may have sent us packing our bags to leave the country. The murder of Hani demonstrated the urgency of the situation, resulting in the date of the elections set soon hereafter for April 27, 1994.

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.
         Ahmed Karriem, the lone Muslim background believer in the fellowship, like-wise found no resonance when he spoke to someone from the church leadership in this direction. Liz Robertson, who had almost married a Jew, thought that the church 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 themselves too thinly.
         Rosemarie and I attended the foundation class of the church, 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 Toronga 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.[31]
         We knew that these reasons were definitely not adequate to stop attending the church, but we now really started to pray seriously about the matter. Prior to this we had been changing churches a few times because of relocation. We really wanted our children to get settled into a fellowship where there was warmth and love. One of the last things we wanted was to change congregation yet again.
         Just then the Jubilee Church leadership came up with a suggestion, which made the decision very easy for us. Instead of the separate entities at different venues for the Sunday morning service, the church members decided to congregate centrally again at the former Waverley blanket factory in Observatory. We were not happy to attend church some five kilometres away. We saw this as God’s answer to our prayers. But to find a church fellowship where we would be happy as a family was yet another matter.

Joining the Cape Town Baptist Church
The Lord seemed to lead us to the Cape Town Baptist Church, using the eight-year-old daughter of Brett Viviers, one of the elders of the church. This family belonged to the Tamboerskloof part of the congregation. 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. The result of the child’s prayers was that a whole group from the church pitched up one Monday evening at our Bo-Kaap prayer meeting in Wale Street. From that group nobody continued to attend our prayer meeting regularly, but it was decisive in forging our links to the congregation.
         That Heidi Pasques and her husband Louis showed interested to become missionaries to a Muslim country became the factor that ultimately nudged me to join the church formally. Louis Pasques was a student at the Baptist College and leading one of the three daughter fellowships of the Cape Town Baptist Church, just as the Vineyard Church had been doing. We attended a few meetings in a school in Tamboerskloof where either Louis Pasques or Brent Bartlett, another theological student, was preaching. While the preaching was theologically sound, we still missed the spark that could ignite us towards joining as members of the church. 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 see a church planted.
         Rather hesitantly Rosemarie agreed that we join the church. For many years this would 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.

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 a home for two weeks so that they could get a break.
         My cousin Milly Joorst and her prayer warrior friend Magda Morkel came from Genadendal to cook for us in Tamboerskloof while Rosemarie was away. That was the beginning of a close prayer relationship with the two of them.
         While Rosemarie was in Germany, money became available that her late father had earmarked as an inheritance for his grandchildren. For months we had experienced the need of a guest room. The need was amplified with the visit of Milly and Magda. We did not feel comfortable to approach the Buchhorns again and again when we had visitors.
         Rosemarie’s visit to Germany also contained a temptation. While being there, she heard how nothing was done to reach the many Turkish people of the area with the Gospel. In order to share the good news with the children of the guest workers and other foreigners in the region, it would not even be imperative to learn their language. In due course the enemy would abuse this snippet of information to tempt us to return to Germany.

The Country in Turmoil
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 the Cape Town suburb of Kenilworth. It was a miracle in itself that not many more were killed. 
         The great deceiver evidently planned this to become the start-shot of massive bloodshed. It had been preceded and followed by many attacks on innocent civilians, including Amy Biehl, an American exchange student. Although the date had been set for the first democratic elections, hardly anybody expected the run-up to the elections to be peaceful. Black townships like Khayelitsha were no-go areas for anyone who was not Black. Our friend Melvin Maxegwana of the Khayelitsha City Mission fellowship had to flee from the area. The local civic organization had concocted allegations against him. As a pastor with contact to other races, he was accused of mixing with the Whites. This was for some local ‘Blacks’ tantamount to colluding with the devil in person.
         But satan had overplayed his hand. The St James Church massacre turned out to be the instrument par excellence to impact a country-wide movement towards racial reconciliation. Those family members who lost dear ones received divine grace to forgive the brutal killers. The massacre of innocent people during that church service sparked off an unprecedented urgency for prayer all around the country. The adage of Albert Luthuli after he had been dismissed as chief by the South African government in November 1952, received a new actuality when he said, ‘It is inevitable that in working for freedom some individuals and some families must take the lead and suffer: the road to freedom is via the Cross.’

A Home of our own?
About this time we received a letter from the German owner of our home. She wanted to sell the house, but she gave us the first option to buy it. Our landlady was definitely not the only person who wanted to sell property. In fact, the times were not conducive to the purchase of property in South Africa at all. Apart from bombs detonating in various parts of the country, also in the Cape bombs were found that did not detonate. Bomb scares abounded. Thus our children had to evacuate their school after a bomb scare. Whosoever was in the position to immigrate, did so.  From Holland and Germany we received telephone calls from concerned friends, inquiring when we would be returning to Europe. The country had moved into revolutionary mould People who could afford it, were encouraged to hoard groceries and to buy guns.
         We did consider buying property but the house in Tamboerskloof was much too small. I was rather sceptical when Rosemarie shared that the Lord had given her a vision of a house with a beautiful view in the City Bowl. I was ‘absolutely sure’ that there would be no suitable house in the price range that we could afford. On Rosemarie’s insistence we went to an estate agent to indicate our interest in buying something in the area. With money that would be coming from Germany soon, we were now in the fortunate position to consider buying property. Up to that point in time we did consider this option, 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 that we viewed in the City Bowl vindicated my scepticism. But then one day the estate agency phoned to inform us that a run-down house in Vredehoek, a suburb on the slopes of Table Mountain, was for sale. The bank offered the re-possessed building to the estate agent on condition that a potential buyer had to make an offer within two weeks. The run-down mansion we entered and viewed at 25 Bradwell Road in the City Bowl suburb Vredehoek contained some broken windows plus a stinking carpet in the living room that dogs had infested with fleas. Vagrants were already living at the back.
         But then Rosemarie saw the beautiful view that the Lord had previously given her. I was not yet convinced. We would possibly have to spend a fortune first to get the property habitable! But it had a swimming pool, albeit that it was algae-invested dark green in colour!
         After more prayer, we decided to request Rainer Gülsow, a German friend who had been in the building trade, to give us his view on the matter. His reply was: “A bargain, take it. You will never get this again!” This was the clear cue we needed. But the decision to make an offer within two weeks created some strain. Furthermore, the buying price was still substantially higher than the price range that we had originally envisaged.

A traumatic weekend
While these thoughts milled through our minds, an occurrence shook us tremendously. Whereas the violence and turmoil on the East Rand, in Natal or even Khayelitsha was still on the periphery of our lives, the weekend starting with the second Friday of September 1993 had us reeling.
The theft of our car, followed by a demonic attack via a drug addicted conman brought home to us the spiritual dimensions of the battle of the hearts. After the children had left for school at about 7.40h, Rosemarie and I had a short prayer session because we were to have our WEC prayer meeting in our home later that morning. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of those two days. I wrote down the following notes (slightly edited) shortly after the traumatic days:

9 a.m. Just after nine I leave the home with the little broom to sweep the car before I pick up the old ladies.
         But the car is not there! I can’t believe my eyes. We wanted to get rid of the ancient 1976 combi, but not in this way! We had hoped to get something for it as a trade-in although it was getting less powerful.
         Completely shattered, I could just run back to inform Rosemarie in Dutch, our home language: “De auto is weg!” I phone the police and Margaret Curry, one of the (WEC) prayer ladies, instructing her to phone the other participants. I would phone again when the police would have left. Then we would have to see whether we could still have our prayer meeting. Quite soon the police was there.
         The occurrences of the next 30 hours were traumatic in the extreme. Our emotions swung like a very long pendulum from the heights of elation to the deepest despair. For many years hereafter I tried to complete a report of the events. But I was traumatized so much that I was never able to finish writing down the story within a reasonable time limit, in which the memory of the events was fresh enough. On the same Friday on which we discovered that our vehicle was stolen, a new ‘convert’ came to our one o’clock prayer meeting. Purportedly he was a drug addict who had just been ‘saved’. Thirty hours later we found out that he was a conman. In between, this fake convert had fooled us terribly. His demonic demeanour squashed our vision to work or challenge others towards the establishment of a drug rehabilitation in Cape Town almost completely.
         The events of the weekend highlighted the temptation to return to Europe. The Jonah in me surfaced very strongly. The Lord however did not give us peace to leave the Mother City as yet. In fact, thirteen and a half years later we are still living in the Vredehoek home that we actually bought.
         The Holy Spirit inspired the compassionate sister Eta Kleber, an old member of our Panweg Fellowship in Zeist to bless us with money to buy another vehicle. For R3,500 we could buy a 1981 Mazda that gave five years of wonderful service not only to us, and later also to another couple in missionary service thereafter.
A sequence of special circumstances made the purchase possible. Melvin Maxegwana and Brett Viviers – whose 8-year old daughter the Lord had used to link us to the Cape Town Baptist Church and who was also unemployed at the time – toiled in harmony with Cameron Barnard, a believer from the Jubilee Church and the son of Frans and Vena, an elderly couple that got ready to go to Turkey as WEC missionaries. The threesome renovated the dilapidated house in two months.  The working together of Melvin and Brett especially was invaluable for that time. The example of a 'White' man working happily under a Black was not so common at all in South Africa! 

Taking back what satan has ‘stolen’
The indifference of the Cape churches for evangelistic outreach was a scourge all around the Peninsula. The situation in Woodstock and Salt River belonged to the worst in this regard. The two suburbs had become predominantly Islamic within a few years. By this time we had become more deeply involved in the Cape Town Baptist Church through a missions week with theological students. Pastor Graham Gernetsky organized the week in conjunction with the Baptist Seminary in March 1994. In the preparation for this event Reverend Gernetsky was open to the suggestion that we should do some prayer warfare with the students not only in Bo-Kaap, but also in Woodstock. This would be an attempt to take back what satan has robbed through drug abuse, prostitution and gangsterism. I shared the bulk of the teaching during this week with Bobby Maynard, who later left to minister in Malawi.

Slaughtering of sheep in Bo‑Kaap    
In our loving 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.
         Muslims commemorate the willingness of Abraham to sacrifice his son at their Eid-ul Adha celebration. This made me realise how near the three world religions Christianity, Judaism and Islam actually are to each other via the narrative of Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son is central to all three faiths. The narrative of Abraham and the near-sacrifice of his son is central to all three faiths.
One day our Bo-Kaap Muslim friends in invited us to the festivities around the Korban, the slaughtering of sheep.  Attending initially with some trepidation and prejudice, the occasion became such a special blessing to my wife and me. The ceremony brought to light the biblical prophecy of Isaiah 53 that I had learnt by heart as a child and the Moravian liturgical church practice referring to the Lamb of God that takes away the sins of the world.
Five sheep were slaughtered that Sunday afternoon. Vividly we saw how one sheep after the other went almost voluntarily to be killed. To see how the sheep went to be slaughtered brought back the childhood memories of Isaiah 53. Rosemarie and I looked at each other, immediately knowing that the Lord answered our prayer. He had given us the key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
   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 that takes away the sins of the world. We immediately knew that the Lord answered our prayer. He had given us the key to the hearts of Cape Muslims.
A few minutes later the message was amplified when a little girl came into the kitchen where Rosemarie was with the ladies. (I was in the living room according to prevailing custom). The animal loving girl sought solace from her mother. 'Why do the innocent sheep have to be slaughtered every year?' The answer of the mother was special: “You know, my dear, it is either you or the sheep”  We were amazed how the atonement concept was passed on.
It was wonderful to discover somewhat later that according to rabbinic oral teaching traditions Isaac was purported to have carried the fire‑wood for the altar on his shoulder, just like someone would carry a cross after Abraham saw Moriah on the third day. In many a church I not only hereafter preached how resurrection faith was birth in Abraham's heart, but we shared the message of the death and resurrection of Jesus to many eager-listening Muslims, usually without any objection (Officially Muslims were not supposed to believe that He died on the cross, let alone that He died for our sins!)

Lessons learned in spiritual Warfare
The mission week with the Baptist Seminary students became one big lesson in spiritual warfare to us. One morning early – we had times of prayer with the students starting at 5 a.m. - Rosemarie shared what she had ‘discovered’ in Galatians 1:8,9; viz. that even an angel can bring a false message, if that message would differ from the original Gospel revealed in Scripture. This amplified to us the origins of the Qur’an - which Muslims believe was brought to Muhammad by the angel Gabriel. It is well-known that the crucifixion of Jesus is denied in the Muslim sacred book. We were filled with more compassion towards the Muslims when we discovered that they have been deceived without their being aware of it. This became to me the pristine beginnings of a major study of the Angel Gabriel in the Bible, the Qur’an, the Talmud and the Ahadith. (The latter are Islamic traditions of Muhammad’s words and deeds that are regarded as equal in authority to the Qur’an.) The more I studied, the more I discovered how deceptive the arch enemy was, that he has indeed been masquerading as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:14); that the consistent omission of everything alluding to the cross in the Qur’an cannot be coincidence. The latter discovery came about when I prepared teaching for a group of male Muslim background believers.
         Another lesson of the mission week was quite painful to me. When I taught the Bible College students something about the history of Islam in the Western Cape, I broke down in tears. I had to discover that deep in my heart there was still resentment towards the Dutch Reformed Church. I suppose that it developed when I had to read how the denomination opposed the government when Mr P.W. Botha and his Cabinet were ready to scrap the Mixed Marriages Act.
         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 into my heart to see South(ern) African ‘Blacks’ as future missionaries. Now the increasing number of expatriates in Cape Town came into my vision as future missionaries to their own people, just like the Samaritan woman of John 4. The lessons in cross-cultural outreach that the Master Teacher passed to us through this chapter were to guide me very much during the next few years. 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. We noticed how much more effectively they were reaching out to their own people.[32]
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.

Fruitful encounters with Muslim background believers
There was also some fruit to observe in our ventures with Muslim background believers. We invited Zane Abrahams, Adiel Adams, Salama Temmers[33] and Majiet Poblonker to come to our home to discuss the possibility of starting a monthly meeting in Bo-Kaap as the forerunner to planting a church in the Muslim stronghold. The character of the planned meeting was completely changed when apart from Louis Pasques, one of the local Baptist church leaders, two other ministers from that denomination turned up. Rev. Nelson Abraham belonged to the mission committee of the Western Cape and Rev. Angelo Scheepers was the area coordinator. They had the idea that we should plant a denominational Baptist church in Bo-Kaap. Graham Gernetsky, the senior pastor of the church, had already become excited when I highlighted in the course of my teaching during the mission week at the church how their former daughter churches in Jarvis Street in Bo-Kaap and Sheppard Street in District Six were lost because of the Group Areas Act.
         Perhaps it might have been easier to try and start up a denominationally linked Baptist congregation in the church building in Jarvis Street that now belonged to the Cape Town Photographic Society. However, I resisted the idea fiercely, thinking of all the Muslim background believers in the Cape who came from different denominations. Adiel Adams supported me in my views. He subsequently suggested that we should have an over-arching ministry across the Peninsula. The support of Adiel was important because the dynamic Angelo Scheepers is his brother-in-law. I insisted that a convert from Islam should lead such an initiative. Before long Friendship Ministries was born under the leadership of Adiel Adams.  The decision was however not strategic, because the emphasis was shifted from Bo-Kaap through this move. In due course Friendship Ministries petered out with hardly any impact made
A costly Mistake        
Also in Cape Town we witnessed the miracle that has been documented widely - peaceful elections countrywide. Nobody could deny that this was God’s supernatural intervention: the result of the prayer effort that had been especially ignited by the St James Church massacre.
I delivered the second sermon from a series of three on John 4 (The Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well) in a City Bowl church in May, just after the unique elections of 27 April 1994. I had invited Zane Abrahams, a Muslim background believer to come and give his testimony at that occasion. Due to a miscommunication, he didn’t arrive. (I still had to learn that it is always advisable to confirm such things just before the event).
I erroneously thought that I now had to make up for it myself. In my sermon I shared far too much from our personal experiences. That was unfortunate. I evidently offended some church members when I made a joke out of the fact that Rosemarie was expected to come into the country without her husband on our honeymoon journey. I was not asked anymore to complete my series of three sermons.
An important reason for the indifference to Muslims hereafter was that the leadership of this City Bowl church became embroiled in internal bickering. Interest in any outreach, least of all to the Muslims, waned in the months that followed.
         A week of early morning prayer with a speaker from Zimbabwe hyped up some excitement while it patched up the lack of cohesion in the leadership. But the writing was already on the wall. There was no real unity, which is the basic ingredient for any effective outreach. A few months later a serious rift in the leadership scattered the dynamic fellowship.

An extra-ordinary Weekend Camp
The preparation for a weekend camp with juveniles from Hanover Park developed into a major strain on our nerves. Two days before the camp was scheduled to start, I was the only one of the leaders left with reasonable health. Cheryl Moskos, our Hanover Park co-worker, was down with a heavy flu that more or less ruled her out and Rosemarie was out of contention due to a slipped disk. We approached Nasra Stemmet, a MBB from Woodstock, to assist. She had started attending our Friday prayer meeting after she got in touch with us through an American pastor in the Dutch capital Amsterdam. But Nasra had very limited prior practical driving experience, after she had passed the test for her driver’s licence. (We now possessed two vehicles. We were blessed to come into the position to buy another Microbus at the beginning of 1994, to replace the stolen one.)  God had confirmed to us so clearly that we should proceed with this camp, that we had no hesitation to suspect that this was another onslaught from the arch enemy.
         The Wednesday evening Rosemarie stayed at home because of the slipped disc. It was just as well, because now she was at home to take a crucial phone call from our SIM missionary colleague Horst Pietzsch. He had been approached by Anthony Duncan, a young missionary from Frontline Fellowship who wanted to get involved with local mission work before his next stint to more dangerous operational areas. That phone call swung things around. We decided to go ahead with the camp. At that stage cancellation seemed to be the only logical conclusion. God used a chiro practitioner to whom we went the next day. Rosemarie was back in action even before the weekend. To God be the glory! What a blessing the camp became to those children, the majority of whom had hardly been out of the township where they were born and bred.
         All the more the shock was great when the news came through a few weeks later that Anthony Duncan was killed in a motorbike accident on his way from Angola. We were surprised how little reaction the youths showed when we broke the news to them. We realised that death had become so normal to the young people from a township where gun killings and other forms of unnatural causes of life termination belong to everyday life.  Not so long hereafter a big disappointment followed when one of the teenagers who decided to become a follower of the Lord Jesus at the camp, suffered terrible abuse at home. He later landed in gangsterism and ultimately in prison.
         My presence at a meeting of the Alpha Centre, the venue of our weekly children’s clubs, led to our being approached by Shahida, the mother of a few of our children’s club. Their youngest child had just been declared terminally ill because of an unknown virus. This got the ball rolling for many sessions of counselling and prayer when Rosemarie and I visited her.
Search for Truth       
The idea came up of jotting down their stories to use it for evangelistic purposes in due course. The development of the publication of a booklet with testimonies of Muslim background believers in Afrikaans proceeded quite well during the first half of 1994. Eleven of the stories were finally selected for publication in Afrikaans, Op Soek na Waarheid.  An old school friend, Attie Kotze, an Afrikaans teacher, assisted me. I was very much interested to see the publication as a combined effort of the various mission agencies that worked among Cape Muslims. However, because of its sensitive nature, not a single one of my Christian Concern for Muslims (CCM) missionary colleagues was prepared to stick his neck out.  Johnny Louw, the former principal of the AFM Bible School at Sarepta, who had the backing of Ecclesia printers at his disposal, published a book on sharing the gospel with Muslims.[34] But also he was not prepared to put the name of their denomination forward. All of this was completely comprehensible. Converted Muslims were targets for persecution by Muslim extremists if the testimonies were printed. The publishers could reckon with similar treatment. It was thus the apartheid intimidation all over again in another way. So few people were prepared to take risks!
         In the end we had no other option than to use our mission agency WEC International as the publishers, but the compiler and the names of the converts remained anonymous. This was a weak link of the booklet, but we had to protect the Muslim background believers. Some of them had experienced terrible persecution and thus had reason enough to be quite afraid. I did not mind at all to stay in the background in this way. I did not want to endanger my family or myself unnecessarily.
         The plan was furthermore that the original booklet, Op Soek na Waarheid,[35] the Afrikaans version, would be ready for a Muslim evangelism seminar in Rylands early in 1995. This was too ambitious, because we also wanted to launch our revised audio-visual at the same occasion. Johan van der Wal,[36] whom we had met in 1991 in our home church in Holland a few months before we came to South Africa, made beautiful colour slides of different aspects of our work. This was the second version of the audio-visual. The very first time we used it at the Cape Town Baptist Church during the mission week with the theological students earlier in the year.

17. The Backlash

         A positive result of the effort of the Jesus Marches of the second quarter in 1994 was an intensification of contact with a few churches in the city area. As a result of this, a local congregation started to show interest in outreach to the Muslims. As one of my last initiatives of the year I was able to conduct a short course on Muslim Evangelism in that church. As we headed for Christmas, I looked forward to get the congregation involved in the loving outreach to the stronghold of Bo-Kaap.

Effects of the 'Toronto Blessing'
But it was not to be. When I returned to the same church early in 1995 to introduce the Ramadan prayer booklets, the congregants were not interested any more. The ‘Toronto Blessing’ had completely distracted them. Also the Cape Town Baptist Church and a few other congregations of the Peninsula were negatively affected by this “blessing”.  In a few cases satan abused carnal exhibitionist aberrations to cause serious rifts and internal problems in certain churches.
         As a couple, Rosemarie and I were thrown into a dilemma when a Christian friend seriously meant to impress on us the absolute necessity of personally experiencing the ‘Toronto Blessing’. We would be missing out significantly if we did not have this blessing. We had our doubts.
         We nevertheless went to the Lord in prayer with the question. His lesson in reply to us was unequivocal and almost prompt. Our 8-year old daughter Tabitha had to cry unabatedly just as I was about to go to the Sunday evening service of the fellowship referred to above.  Somehow she had become very much burdened that people might go to hell. Tabitha now wanted to know whether she could volunteer her life and go to hell instead so that others could be saved from a lost eternity. Romans 9, where Paul agonized in a similar way, came alive before our eyes. Rosemarie explained to her that Jesus did just that when he died for our sins on the Cross of Calvary.
         Unknown to me, the excesses of the ‘Toronto blessing’ had become rife at the church I had attended and taught at. I witnessed profuse ‘laughing in the Spirit’ which I could not appreciate. I went there with the hope of getting quite a few of the 30-day Ramadan Prayer focus booklets among the people because before Christmas there had been such interest in Muslim Outreach in that fellowship. Now there was hardly any interest in anything else than an overt ‘laughing in the Spirit’ that appeared to me rather carnal.
         For Rosemarie and me the penny dropped: it is not that sort of ‘laughing in the Spirit’, but our weeping for the lost that honours God more!
         A personal experience at some charismatic meeting made ‘Slaying the spirit’ very suspect to me. At some meeting I responded to an invitation to come forward for prayer. The preacher asked me to close my eyes before he could pray for me.  The next moment I was on the floor. Was I slain in the Spirit? Instead of blessed, I felt manipulated and tricked.

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

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

At about the same time two believers - one of our co-workers and one of our prayer warriors - became involved in moral failure. The brother was a convert from Islam, from whom we had really expected great things. Both he and his wife were sensing some calling to missionary involvement. The effect on him was such that he became suicidal. He was really at the end of his tether.
         In the other instance, one of our prayer partners became pregnant from a Muslim young man. She was firm though that she would not marry him and become a Muslim. She knew enough of the bondage under which other women had come after landing in a similar situation.
         These were not the first disappointments. Right from the start it had been part of our vision to see Muslims from the Cape becoming followers of Jesus and some of them ultimately sent to other parts of Africa and the Middle East. Achmed Kariem, one of the first Muslim background believers with whom we had been in close contact and who had been really a blessing to us during the first year of our ministry, completed a year at Bible School in 1993. He subsequently changed his course of study to political science. For a long time he retained the vision to get to the Middle East as a covert missionary in some capacity. We eventually lost contact with him for many a year. Around the turn of the century we could however assist to link him up with Dr Robbie Cairncross at SACOB, and later with Pastor Errol Naidoo at the Family Policy Institute.

A Lesson from a special Plant
The Lord encouraged us after someone had tried to steal a special plant from our garden. The plant had one beautiful flower on it. Rosemarie had been awakened in the early morning hours by sounds outside the house. When we switched on the light, the damage was already done. The thief ran away, but this turned out to become God’s way to teach us an important lesson. The plant looked completely ragged and ruined after it had been uprooted. Someone from our home ministry group gave us the advice to put the plant back into the soil and tie a stick to it.
         In her quiet time, the Lord ministered to Rosemarie: we had to be such a stick to the spiritual casualties. Unlike other Christians who would only judge and condemn our battered brothers and sisters, we had to support them. The object lesson turned out to be a special blessing to the suicidal Muslim background believer when we told him about the plant. He had really thought that there was no purpose in life left for him. Now he could see how the plant had recovered. It still took a few years until he got back onto the road spiritually.
         At some stage I started to attend a prayer meeting of young Baptist ministers in Woodstock. The visionary Edgar Davids - who still was a final year seminary student, was the initiator. I was excited, asking myself whether pastors would at last start to pray together for revival in the islamised residential area. Was God answering our prayer walking in and for the area with some of Edgar’s student colleagues the previous year?

Turmoil and Stress    
It was a very special blessing for Rosemarie and me to witness how Shahida, the mother of five children, four of which were attending our children’s club - came through to a living faith in Jesus. As we discipled her, we didn’t even dare to mention baptism. In fact, when we shared the Gospel with her we spelt out the possible consequences quite clearly. The responsibility of having to find accommodation for Shahida with her five children, if her husband would evict her - after her conversion, was a fact we had to face squarely. We were not ready for that eventuality. It was nevertheless a joy for us to lead her to the Lord - after she had phoned us - but we did not encourage her to share her new faith with her husband. We suggested that he should see the difference in her life first. Yet, this experience was valuable seed sown for the need of a discipling house where we could disciple new believers.
         The run-up to our home assignment in Germany and Holland, scheduled to start at the end of March 1995, was one big turmoil and stress. Apart from the money issue - which was resolved just in time - there was a major problem to get seats on a flight. One international airline had a special offer for which we provisionally booked.
         Some tense weeks followed when the airline with whom we had booked (but not paid), cancelled our seats without consulting us. Cape Town was fast becoming a favourite destination for tourists. The tension in the family in respect of getting seats became quite bad as the uncertainty took its toll. 
By this time also the other airlines had no cheap seats available for a family of seven. The best that we could manage was to get wait-listed on different flights. Because of the uncertainty of securing seats, everybody in the family - also the children - had forgotten that it was our 20th wedding anniversary on the 22nd of March. I furthermore was involved in a minor car accident the previous day. My nerves were all but wrecked!
A Red-letter Day       
The wedding anniversary - twenty years after the special ceremony in the Moravian Church of the Black Forest village Königsfeld - nevertheless turned into a red-letter day. On that memorable Wednesday morning we baptized five converts who came from Islam, including Shahida, the female convert from Hanover Park and Nasra Stemmet from Woodstock. At that occasion we also heard about Johaar Viljoen, who had won over many Christians to Islam in his Islamic hey-day. (The former imam came to faith in Jesus in the prison of Caledon. His conversion in 1992 - a demonstration of the power of prayer - shook many Islamic inmates who regarded him as their imam.)
On the evening of 22 March the home ministry group of our fellowship sprang a big surprise on us. We had no clue what they were up to when the group came to our home for a special farewell. Everybody in the family had forgotten that it was our wedding anniversary, but Carol Günther did not. She arranged with the participants to bring along some eats to make it a very special celebration. The day became perfect when the gentleman of Club Travel, who had been working overtime, phoned at approximately 21h that he could secure seats for all of us. This was thus only a few days before our intended departure! The three older children could fly on a youth fare of Lufthansa, with the rest of us flying Air France.
         Just before our departure for Europe, I was praying with a few students of the Baptist College in Mountain Road, Woodstock where the Baptist church had a property – actually a residence. There were a few members whom we got to know. What a blessing it was when we heard that Edgar Davids accepted the call to be the pastor there from the following year. This augured well for a close link to the Cape Town Baptist Church only a few kilometres away, where Louis Pasques was now the interim pastor. Edgar Davids proved to be a real visionary and a man of God, along with his devout wife Sandra. Soon I was preaching a series in Woodstock on the Samaritan woman of John 4, which I had expanded in the meantime.
‘Home’ Assignment in Germany and Holland
In Germany and Holland we canvassed my vision of a prayer network across the Western Cape among the Christians. I thought that this should be a focus of our work on our return to South Africa. Some seed had been sown already the previous year when I was involved with the organization of the Jesus Marches.
         My long-time friends of 1970, Hermann and Mechthild Frick, were God’s instruments in linking us up with Doris and Freddy Kammies, who were also in Southern Germany at the time. The couple had been working as missionaries with OM on one of their ships and in Canada. Doris had previously been volunteering at the Elim Home and Freddy hailed from the township of Q’town near Athlone. We paid them a visit, after which they considered joining WEC. A year later they were in Cape Town, praying about joining our Muslim outreach team. A further few years on they pioneered a ministry among sexually broken people.
         Also with Nasra Stemmet, the convert from Woodstock, we discerned a spiritual development. She shared her desire to become a missionary, wanting to return to Holland to share the Gospel among Moroccan women there. While we were in Europe on home assignment, we succeeded in bringing her to Holland, where she soon got into a Bible School in preparation for missionary work. In due course she settled in her vocation in Holland.
Back at the Cape
Within our own family the first few days back at the Cape were quite traumatic. We returned from an extraordinary hot summer in Holland to an icy Cape Town. Our son Samuel promptly developed double pneumonia. Early on the first Sunday morning after our return we had to rush him to Somerset Hospital. It was touch and go or we could have lost him. That our eldest son Danny prayed with me when things looked very critical, was a special blessing indeed!!
         After our return to Cape Town from our ‘home assignment’ in August 1995, there were also other blessings. It seemed as if our vision of a prayer network across the Peninsula was slowly coming off the ground. Gill Knaggs, who had been touched at one of our Friday prayer meetings, now helped with the English translation and editing of my booklet containing the testimonies of Muslim converts with the title ‘Op Soek na Waarheid’. She also began a weekly prayer group for the Muslims in her home. Was this the start of the exciting fulfilment of our vision to get a network of prayer across the Peninsula? This was unfortunately not to be. However, the group of believers would pray at Gill’s home in Muizenberg for quite a few years.

         We regarded a network of prayer groups for the Muslims across the Cape Peninsula as one of the priorities. Towards this goal I thought it imperative to invite pastors primarily for united prayer. We were thrilled when things had actually started to develop while we were overseas.

What a joy it was to find out that the idea had already been kindled in the hearts of pastors. In different parts of the city pastors were coming together for prayer on a weekly basis. This was very encouraging. We heard of a group around Pastors Theo Bowers. Before long I was attending a pastors’ prayer meeting in Rondebosch and another one in Cape Town. There was hardly any vision as yet to pray for the Muslims, but the first goal seemed to be on its way, viz. to see pastors coming together for prayer.
         With Louis Pasques and Edgar Davids we started up another group in the city. I already saw in my dreams a prayer network in the city coming to fruition. But that was not to be as yet.

         Through Magdalene Overberg, a long-time youth friend, we also heard about Fatima H, who was working with Edith le Grange in a factory in Woodstock. (We subsequently met Edith at a Muslim Evangelism course in Kensington). When we visited the factory during a lunch-hour, it turned out that Fatima had already secretly asked the Lord into her life. Hereafter we visited the factory regularly at lunchtime to encourage her. This was the pristine beginning of lunchtime ministry in factories. Magdalene also kept contact with a few MBB’s over many years as well as supporting Linda Beig, a believer from our church who was married to a Pakistani. I barred from the home after I had made a mistake by praying for their son in Jesus’ name in the presence of the husband. He could not appreciate that.)

A satanic Attack
After our return from Europe we saw the need of extra discipling for Shahida from Hanover Park. Predominantly for this specific purpose we had put our car at Josephine and Adiel Adams’ disposal while we were away, but we discerned the necessity to secure more regular fellowship and spiritual nurturing for Shahida. Her husband is a builder by trade, but he was often unemployed. Thus the financial needs of the family were severe. We invited her to come to us once a week to do household chores for which we had no time. This was a small attempt to assist the family practically.
         On one of these occasions she was ironing in the kitchen while I was deliberating with Manfred Jung, our SIM missionary colleague, in the living room. The Holy Spirit ministered to her so strongly that she almost wanted to interrupt our meeting. She knew for certain that she should dedicate her children to God in a church. Just like the baptismal service in March that had been performed on a Wednesday morning, she hoped that the dedication service could be done inconspicuously. We arranged with Charles Kadalie, the pastor of the City Mission Church in Hanover Park, to have the service on a Sunday afternoon. The 5th of November 1995 was earmarked for the special occasion.
         Satan would not sit still of course. A few days before the scheduled dedication service - she came along one morning with her son Muhammed.[37] He was the first of the family to believe in Jesus as Saviour, one of a few at the children’s club who had accepted the Lord. For months he had been reading a pocket 'New Testament' secretively.
         We were surprised to see him with her because Muhammed should have been at school. The reason was that he had a significant visitation by satan himself that morning. As he was standing in front of the mirror, the devil appeared to Muhammed, encouraging him to become his follower. Satan furthermore instructed the boy not to tell his mother about the demonic visitation. (Their neighbour was a satanist and evidently this man was spreading his influence.) We praised the Lord that the boy was disobedient to satan! That is why Shahida brought him along. She wanted us to pray with him.

A memorable Day and its Aftermath
The memorable day when Shahida came along with her son had an interesting sequel. Rosemarie gave the boy a copy of the comic strip Jesus Messiah to read while his mother was working. We had brought the picture books along from Holland. (These books are the brainchild of Wim de Vink, a member of our home church in Zeist. Someone from another fellowship in the Netherlands had donated us some copies to take along to South Africa).
         What a privilege it was to be present at the dedication of the five children of Shahida on the 5th of November, 1995 at the G.H. Starke Centre with Pastor Charles Kadalie. A few weeks later Shahida told us what had transpired after her husband had discovered the comic strip Jesus Messiah in their home. Angrily he enquired from Muhammed: “Where did you get it?” Fearing the worst, the boy replied timidly: “I got it from Aunty Rosemarie!”
         In a harsh commanding tone the dad responded: “Give it here, I want to read it!” This brought Rosemarie to a brilliant idea. She bought a copy of the full picture Bible at the Scripture Union bookshop in Rondebosch. It was not so cheap at all, but we regarded this as an investment in the Kingdom. When we invited the whole family over for Christmas lunch, they also received a family present. This was spot on. Hereafter Shahida’s husband went to bed with the picture Bible and arose the next morning with it before he would go to work. This continued unabatedly until the fasting month of Ramadan 1996.

Networking between various Agencies and Churches
We received a personal link to the new 30 day Prayer Focus booklets. I had been quite disappointed when Bennie Mostert from OM, who conducted the international contacts for the booklet, announced that they had to cancel the printing of the new edition because they couldn’t find up-front funding.
          I was amply consoled when our colleague Manfred Jung encouraged me to continue the negotiations with Bennie Mostert. It ended with us printing a few thousand copies in Cape Town. My hope to see information about Islam in South Africa being spread and prayed for was gradually being realised when we inserted a page to that effect in this edition. In the school holidays our whole family and a few other young people from the Stellenberg chapel, Manfred’s home church, were called in to assist with the collating by hand of the booklets.  The move secured the uninterrupted publication of the 30 day Prayer Focus in South Africa until the age of the internet made the method redundant.

The Jitters once again
When I was about to turn 50, my first choice to conduct the devotions for the occasion was of course Jakes. However, he was not available. So I asked Chris Wessels, whose wife Nabs is a MBB. Apart from family members and missionary colleagues, we also invited a few Muslim friends from the Bo-Kaap. Knowing what persecution the couple had been suffering when Chris wanted to marry Nabs, we were rather surprised – to say the least – when hevery much still quite under cover at that stage. Rosemarie and everybody else had the jitters. The Lord gave me grace however, to thank our Muslim friends from the Bo-Kaap for their friendship and for the opportunity to learn something of my own faith, because they had invited us for the sheep slaughtering occasions in Bo-Kaap. We appreciated it very much that they introduced us to Muslim friends and relatives as their born again Christian friends, thus protecting our status as missionaries to Cape Muslims.

The spiritual Battle heats up once again
After our experiences of the previous year, we knew now that the spiritual battle would increase during the Islamic fasting month. We put ourselves more consciously under the blood of Jesus and also requested prayer covering from many quarters.
         At Shahida’s home in Hanover Park, her husband could get into frenzy over anything. He noticed that she would go to the shop on Sundays wearing her kitchen apparel, but staying away unusually long. She had been a New Apostolic Christian before their marriage. Thus her husband probably suspected that she still harboured sympathies for the Christian religion, apart from a few intimations from her side. He knew that he could hurt her terribly when he threatened to tear up the picture Bible. He got himself into trouble at his work because he had been honest enough to eat openly during the daytime while it was still Ramadan. The Muslim colleagues were highly offended. As punishment he was required to do very dangerous work, high up on unprotected scaffolding. With the well-known fierce south-easterly wind of the Cape, his life was endangered for days on end.
         We were quite excited to hear that he was still reading the Bible with the pictures every morning when he woke up. Finally however, what we all feared, happened: getting into a rage for some flimsy reason, he tore the picture Bible in two.
                                                *                      *                      *
         Alan Kay resigned his well-paid job at Telkom to become the administrator of the Cape Town Baptist congregation. He became the leader of a church home ministry group. As Alan was living just a street away from us, we joined his group on Wednesday evenings after our return from Europe.
         We told the group the story of the torn picture Bible. Gershon Philander, a local believer and a participant of the home ministry group, worked at the printing department of the University of the Western Cape. He suggested that we bring the torn parts of the Bible to him. Wonderfully he hereafter repaired the Bible in such a way that one could still read the Book without too much of a problem. How surprised Shahida's husband was when his wife returned the restored Bible to him after a few weeks.

Joining a Craft Club of Bo-Kaap
In due course Munti Kreysler introduced us to a Bo-Kaap family. One of their daughters took Rosemarie to a local ladies’ handcraft club where she could teach various skills to influential Muslim ladies of the suburb. (This example of friendship evangelism was in due course emulated by a colleague, who later spread the concept to other cities of South Africa and even further afield.)
         Soon Rosemarie went there every Thursday. This was really not much of a sacrifice to her. Handcraft had been one of her hobbies that she had to stop reluctantly because of duties at home and other facets of our increased common ministry. It is wonderful to see how the Lord can use our skills and even our hobbies! In the women’s craft club of the Muslim stronghold Rosemarie got to know a few influential women of the area quite well. Our ministry is still very much based on friendships. We continued to pray that some of these people may become the basis of a Christian fellowship to be started there in God’s time.

Joining a Craft Club of Bo-Kaap     
Through Elisabeth Phala, a committed believer and a devout late member of this fellowship, we heard about Muniba Schreiber, one of her Muslim neighbours of District Six. Muniba is a nurse who had been divorced from a European doctor. In turn, we hereafter met Muniba’s brother, Maulana Sulaiman Petersen.
         Maulana Petersen was quite an influential Cape Islamic clergyman who had studied in Pakistan for many years, a scholar of note. I got to know him fairly well. Muniba introduced us to a Bo-Kaap family. One of their daughters took Rosemarie to a local ladies’ handcraft club where she could teach various skills to influential Muslim ladies of the suburb. (This example of friendship evangelism was in due course emulated by a colleague, who later spread the concept to other cities of South Africa and beyond.)
         Soon Rosemarie went there every Thursday. This was really not much of a sacrifice to her. Handcraft had been one of her hobbies that she had to stop reluctantly because of duties at home and other facets of our increased common ministry. It is wonderful to see how the Lord can use our skills and even our hobbies! In the women’s craft club in the Muslim stronghold Rosemarie got to know a few influential women of the area quite well. Our ministry is very much based on friendships. We continued to pray that some of these people may become the basis of a Christian fellowship to be started there in God’s time.

Ministering to the alien in our gates
Our Friday lunch hour prayer meeting became the start of yet another venture after Daniel, a believer from Eerste River, a distant suburb in the north of our city, who had been a regular participant in the beginning of these prayer meetings in 1992, 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?’
         In the meantime Louis Pasques, who was raised in an Afrikaner environment, had become the senior pastor of the Cape Town Baptist Church. He had not only been a regular participant at the 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 Afrikaners for the hurts to people of colour during the apartheid era, a few 'White' people left the church. More and more however, those from other races started attending.
         We started to pray about the possible outreach to foreigners at our Friday lunch-hour meeting. God surely used these occasions to prepare Louis Pasques’ heart. When the destitute Congolese teenager Surgildas (Gildas) Paka pitched up at the church, Louis and his wife Heidi sensed that God was challenging them to take special care of the youngster. When Louis and Heidi had their parents over for a weekend visit, they asked Alan Kay, an elder in the church, to take over the Congolese teenager. Gildas crept into Alan’s heart. This was the catalyst to an extended and unusual adoption process. He and our son Rafael, who was now 17 years old, became quite close friends.
Our Ministry a Threat?
One of the students at our first BI course for prospective missionaries was a staff member of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) with a link to the His People Church. She asked me to come and teach at the YWAM base in Muizenberg.
         That our ministry could be presenting some threat not only in the spiritual realms, got home to us after Rosemarie and I had been teaching at that Youth with a Mission base in the first quarter of 1996. At this time Mark Gabriel,[38] a former shaykh and academic from Al Azhar University in Egypt, had just come to Muizenberg to do a Discipleship Training School (DTS) there. He had to flee his home country after he had decided to become a follower of Jesus. Also in Johannesburg there had been attempts to assassinate him. The YWAM leaders requested us to host Mark for the practical part of his DTS. We gladly obliged.
The presence of Mark in our home turned out to be a very fruitful two-way experience; I learnt such a lot from him, for example when he referred to the Ebionites. My own discovery that Muhammad, the founder of the religion, had been intensely influenced by the Ebionite Jews, led to more studies in Judaism and subsequently to my personal discovery of the Ebionite Jewish-Christian roots of Islam. I proceeded to examine other roots of that religion in heretical Christianity.

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

Mark Gabriel on the Run again        
Mark’s presence was not without hiccups. He joined me on a preaching engagement at the Moravian Church in Elsies River on the last Sunday of July 1996 where our friend Chris Wessels was the pastor.[39] We offered copies of Against the Tide in the Middle East, Mark’s testimony and Search for Truth for sale. I made a serious blunder, omitting to warn the congregation to pray before they would pass any autobiographical booklet to Muslims. In the evening Mark shared his testimony at a youth service at the same venue, with young Christians from other churches of the area attending. Three days later, on Wednesday 31 July, it was clear that Mark’s life was in danger yet again. Heinrich Grafen, a German missionary colleague, phoned me to warn us that Maulana Abrahams was looking for Mark. A few minutes later Maulana Abrahams phoned me as well, enquiring after the whereabouts of the apostate from Egypt who wrote a booklet with very offensive material. It was possibly not very wise of Mark to include a comparison of Muhammad and Jesus in his booklet. He intimated in the monograph that Muhammad was inspired by the devil. We had another Salman Rushdie[40] case on our hands; in fact, we had him in our home!
            The ‘co-incidence’ of a combined meeting of the home ministry groups at the Cape Town Baptist Church the same evening gave us the opportunity to share the need of a hide-out for Mark. That turned out to become a decisive stepping-stone for Debbie Zaayman.[41] She offered her flat as a hiding place because she was going away for a few weeks.
The public execution of Rashaad Staggie by PAGAD (People Against Gangsterism and Drugs) a few days later on 4 August 1996 was the next major stimulus for prayer. It brought personal relief to us, because in the resulting turmoil the fundamentalist Muslims apparently forgot to hunt further for Mark Gabriel!

Start of new Facets of Ministry        
At one of the first Friday lunch hour prayer meetings of early 1996 Freddie van Dyk, a believer from the Logos Baptiste Gemeente in Brackenfell, joined us. I got to know him when I was organizing Jesus Marches in 1994. At this Friday lunch hour prayer meeting we prayed about our vision to get into the hospitals to visit people outside of the regular visiting hours. Freddie mentioned a training course in pastoral counselling that his wife had attended. When we followed up this information, it resulted in Rosemarie attending such a course, along with other befriended ladies. June Lehmensich and Arina Serdyn had been regulars at our Friday prayer meeting. Dr Henry Dwyer, who headed up the pastoral work at the hospitals in the Cape, was an old friend of mine from our connections in the VCS, the student Christian movement in the 1960s.
         Rosemarie was quite impressed by the commitment and quality of the participants at the course. One of the ladies aired the bright idea of having a teaching course in Muslim Evangelism at the same venue in Lansdowne. Dr Dwyer welcomed the suggestion of giving me a slot at one of his teaching sessions to invite the participants to our proposed course. However, we made a terrible mistake with the name given to the course, calling it ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’.

A Lebanon Scenario?
The PAGAD issue highlighted the fear of and resentment (sometimes even hatred by some Christians) towards Muslims. The veiled threat of a Muslim state was now mentioned more often than was healthy for good relations between the adherents of the two major religions at the Cape. On Friday 16 August 1996, unknown arsonists broke into the Uniting Reformed Church in Lansdowne. The arson attempt on the church building was thankfully downplayed in the press. Satanists were accused of the arson attempt. Thankfully the damage was not too extensive.
         When Pastor Walter Ackermann phoned me after reading the article in the newspaper, we were seriously challenged because a course one evening per week would have started at that church soon hereafter on the 27th of August, 1996. We had unwisely called the course ‘Sharing your faith with your Muslim neighbour’ in the pamphlets that we had printed to advertise the course. It could not be ignored that some intolerant Muslims tried to destroy the venue and thus to intimidate us. This was possibly the reason for the church building, where we were going to have the course, to be targeted for an attack.
         We were unaware that Lansdowne was actually a PAGAD stronghold! With the arson attempt occurring only two weeks after the Salt River execution, the frightful possibility of a Lebanon scenario where the Christians and Muslims would fight each other drew scaringly close. It challenged followers of Jesus to get their act together. A wave of prayer followed, after which we decided to put out another ‘fleece’. It was decided to test the famous but ill-fated St James Church that had been attacked in July 1993 as a possible venue for our course, instead of cancelling it outright.[42] The name of the 10-week course (one night per week) that eventually did take place at the St James Church in Kenilworth, was changed to ‘Love your Muslim neighbour’.

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

A difficult Month
I had to discover anew: If there were to occur a spiritual breakthrough, a revival in the Mother City of South Africa, it would be God’s sovereign work. Our personal experiences highlighted the need for more prayer.
   October 1996 was a month when we were very much involved in spiritual warfare, often at the receiving end. I started writing a diary that went as follows at some stage: “The attack starts not only very early in the month, but also early in the day. Neither Rosemarie nor I was able to sleep properly. For Rosemarie it was the second sleepless night in a row. She shares her concern that we 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 'New Testament'-based  fellowship to be established in Bo-Kaap, the (former) Muslim stronghold, brought us anew to the discovery that demonic forces were at work that are trying to destroy the churches of the city 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 prayer walking alone as a couple in the Muslim stronghold.
The risk of spiritual warfare became very evident when the arch enemy tried to attack us via the children. This seemed for Rosemarie to be the signal for us to stop with our ministry. To her the price was too high to have to sacrifice anyone of our children. Reminding her of the false alternatives, I had to face years ago when someone suggested that I should choose between my love for her and that for my country, I pointed out that we should fight in prayer for our second son, who seemed to be targeted yet again.[43] This definitely paid off. He came through the crisis with flying colours. He later became pivotal for the ministry of Cross Culture, a ministry among young people of a few city churches while he studied at Cornerstone Christian College.[44] There he completed a Bachelor of Arts (cum laude) degree in 2002.[45] Rafael’s friendship with Francois Booysen at the youth of our church was less of a success for us as a family. The young man had experienced serious rejection by his family, dropped out of school and became a street kid, using drugs.
On the other hand, Rafael’s close friendship with Gildas, a refugee Congolese teenager, helped to take the church as a whole to great heights in outreach to the poor and needy, setting an example for many other churches in the Cape Peninsula. The two were also the guinea pigs for a ministry to teenagers at the church ably led by Elsabe Odendal.
Rafael’s prowess in basket ball set the example for Sammy, who went on to be selected for Western Province while being a member of the German School. The two of them became the crux of a powerful basketball ministry under the leadership of Elsabe Odendal at the church into the surrounds. His year with YFC in Germany became a pioneering venture with various South African Germans following suit.
         Soon after our prayer stint of October 1996 we heard of rifts in various churches around the Muslim stronghold. It was a sort of breakthrough to me that we could stage the launching of the new Ramadan booklet at the historic St Stephen’s Church, i.e. on the doorstep of Bo-Kaap only a few months after the great PAGAD scare.

Other Attacks on spiritual Strongholds
That God works in mysterious ways was of course known to us. A special version of it happened when we conducted a ten week teaching course on Muslim Evangelism at the Logos Baptist church in Brackenfell. There appeared to be no immediate success in people joining us as co-workers. Yet, a few of the participants were deeply impacted. Among the participants there were for instance Johan Groenewald and his wife Christine as well as Cheryl Müller, whom we picked up every week in District Six. The Groenewald couple took the message to the rural village of Eendekuil where he found a willing ear in Chris Saayman, the Dutch Reformed minister.
          The Muller family in District Six were challenged to go full-time into the ministry of the Nazarene Church. The family was heavily attacked when Glen, Cheryl's husband, had a mental burnout while they were in Johannesburg at the theological seminary. Glen nevertheless retained a prayerful interest in District Six.

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. (We disregarded the racist person living in the area who obviously had a problem with us or the composition of our marriage. He evidently had joy in letting his dog out in front of our house or allowing the dog to leave its droppings on our premises.
         More serious was it when a stranger put a briefcase in a somewhat hidden place of our house next to my office. Just at this time a car whose passengers would pass our house slowly to and fro and looking at the house. The slow reaction of the bomb squad with a sniffing dog an hour later was a revelation. It turned out to be a fake. When the briefcase was destroyed by a detonating device, it merely contained music notes. If it had been a time bomb or the like and remotely detonated, at least much of our house could have been destroyed.

Ramadan Attacks      
In previous years we were on the receiving end of major spiritual attacks during the Muslim fasting month of Ramadan. In 1994 I twice had the experience that our car had to be towed away but no fault found afterwards. The year thereafter Rosemarie was almost killed in a car accident and during the same period we were together in a car that skidded on the high way and miraculously we came out of the incident unscathed. In 1997 we experienced it almost as a satanic taunt when Rosemarie had symptoms of being pregnant just after Ramadan. That would have ruled her out for much of our ministry.
         Prior to this we were quite happy when a daughter of a befriended Bo-Kaap family brought Rosemarie 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 subsequent 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? It was too strange to be mere chance.

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,[46] 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, organising teaching courses and working behind the computer. This was happening at the expense of person-to-person contact. Communication between us was completely insufficient. The Lord used the crisis to help me regain sight of personal outreach to the lost and the needy as a priority.
         Another 1997 version of the Ramadan backlash appeared not as obvious. The trauma was nevertheless very real when the sale of the CEBI Bible School to a Muslim buyer came up during a prayer conference with our friend Gerda Leithgöb of Herald Ministries. This was the very same building complex at which we had been called into Cape Muslim Outreach in January 1992.

Assisting a pregnant young Woman
The request to help Nadia,[47]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 of 1997 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 cemetery.
         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 she was in Germany, I spoke to Nadia telephonically. She manipulated cleverly, so that I soon felled compelled to arrange with Rosemarie on the phone that we would take Nadia into our home after her return from Germany. Louis and Heidi Pasques, our pastor and his wife, agreed to accommodate Nadia until Rosemarie would be back. As arranged, Nadia moved soon moved in with them. 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 with me his intention to go on pension soon. Thereafter he hoped 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 church for his funeral, there was not a single seat available.
I did not mind at all to sit on the wooden step just next to the coffin, which contained my late friend. 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 (Photo: Rosemarie with Joyce Scott, our missionary colleague from England) Silvertown. When she arrived home from there, Rosemarie collapsed. She had symptoms of having had 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.

Like-minded Partners
In his divine wisdom the Lord had already started to raise more like-minded partners. I attended the monthly city-wide pastors’ and wives’ prayer meeting on the second Thursday of January 1998 after a substantial 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 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, who had written the note, hailed from the Sonnenberg family in Ravensmead that the Lord had used 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 had also enjoyed training as a journalist. Ernest was writing a regular newsletter to about 100 pastors. 

Factory Ministry
Soon Rosemarie was ministering together with Eleanor in a Lansdowne 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. The factory work would be resurrected in a different but more satisfactory form in 2003. Rochelle Malechowski joined us in due course in the lunch time outreach in the Woodstock/ Salt River area. Later the Cape Storm factory near to the Wittebome train station in Wynberg came into the frame, which included close networking with the Assemblies of God fellowship in Grassy Park. The imports of cheap Chinese clothing led to massive retrenchment in the textile industry, Rosemarie and I stopped this facet of oour outreach, but Rochelle and Tricia Pichotta, a new worker from the US, carried on for some time.

The Friday Prayer Meeting a Blessing once again
June Lehmensich had been one of the regular attendees at our Friday 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 participants. Through him our contact to the Lighthouse Christian Centre of Parow received some more substance. This was one of the churches with which I had contact when I co-ordinated the Jesus Marches in 1994. The early promise of this contact in 1994 unfortunately soon faded, but it was revived through the involvement of Eben Swart, who belonged to the same congregation and Billy Marais, a pastor. Billy had been a Baptist minister in Three Anchor Bay before the fellowship there merged with the Sea Point Assemblies of God. He was a pastor of the Lighthouse Christian Centre only for a few months, but just long enough to be a catalyst for that fellowship to open up for City-wide prayer events. I was happy to help facilitate the link to Eddy Edson, who had been the driving force of the meetings of ‘Coloured’ ministers. In October 1999 the Transformation video was shown there. This turned out to become a vital cog in the run-up to the Global Day of Prayer.

Snippets from our Hospital Ministry
The hospital ministry, led by Rosemarie and June Lehmensich, had interesting ramifications. At the Groote Schuur Hospital[48] 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 the ‘Muslim lady’ 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. The name had wrung a bell though. We had heard from other Christians about her being a secret believer.
         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 would share her testimony at one of their church home cell meetings. It turned out that the Lord had touched her body, healing her. She was now ministering to patients on behalf of the Cancer Association. Soon a contact was established.
         At that time we went to Grabouw more or less every second week, after our mother had been admitted to Huis Silwerjare, a home for the aged. In the hospital Rosemarie met an old Muslim lady from Belhar who seemed to be quite open to the Gospel. As Belhar would not be too much of a detour en route to Grabouw, we popped in there. The aged terminally ill patient had been sent home basically to go and 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, 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 had been ‘playing with a pistol’ killed the young girl so-called accidentally. The parental couple went on to rave how other children loved their daughter at Kensington High School, but they stopped short of accusing anybody. When they mentioned that the perpetrator had links to PAGAD, suspicion did come through that it was no accident after all.
Radio Opportunities
As a parental couple we would have loved to attend the GCOWE conference 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 something in a sovereign way. Shortly after the GCOWE conference, we received 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. (One of these contacts was Rochelle van Staden, a policewoman whom we could later lead to faith in Jesus as her Lord.) Avril offered us a regular weekly slot on the station.
         With our full agenda I did not see my way clear to commit myself, but Rosemarie challenged me. How could we let such an opportunity slip to 'enter' many homes? After further thought, 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 felt that the series was not suitable for radio devotionals.[49] Instead, I would prepare 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 biblical figures such as Moses and Abraham, using further private studies of the Qur’an and the Talmud. The proximity of quite a few theological libraries at tertiary institutions, [50] apart from the Cape Town Campus of the South African Library, made it so much easier for me in terms of research facilities.
A regular Radio Programme
The contact to CCFM turned out to be quite strategic. After the initial radio series we felt that we should switch to a regular programme. We were praying about the format when we heard that Salama Temmers, a MBB, had resigned her full-time post at Standard Bank. Along with Ayesha, we would have two possible presenters from Muslim background for our envisaged programme. When we spoke to Avril Thomas about our plans, we heard that Gill Knaggs had volunteered to assist just prior to our meeting with her. (Gill had been our contact in Muizenberg for a few years, but we were not aware of her prior experience in secular radio work).
Time for Confession?
I thought for a long time that it was high time that we as Christians should begin paying off the debt with regard to Islam and Judaism. Remorseful confession would be the right way to start, followed by concrete steps of restitution. (Through my studies and research I discovered that the establishment and spread of Islam in South Africa could really be described as a part of the unpaid debt of the church.) 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 deemed it quite important 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? I had no answer to the vexing questions.
         Normally I would not have regarded attending the CCM leadership consultation in Johannesburg as a high priority. To incur big expense to attend a conference of which the purpose and sense was not so clear to me, seemed to me a luxury we could ill afford. The optimal use of my time was also part and parcel of stewardship to me. A major draw-card for the visit to Gauteng was the possibility of seeing our son Danny, who was with Trans World Radio (TWR) in Pretoria for a missionary year.1
         The ‘final straw’ to go to Gauteng was the contact to the Dutch Reformed Suikerbosrand congregation in Heidelberg (Gauteng). They wanted to undertake a prayer journey to the Mother City, to come and pray for the Cape Muslims as part of the prayer effort of the 10/40 window, although the connection was not so obvious. I decided to attend the October 1997 CCM leadership consultation on the Reef and visit Heidelberg thereafter.        
         Instead of gaining support for the idea of a confession to be done in conjunction with churches throughout the country at the beginning of 1998, I was deflated. I sensed that even if I had succeeded in gaining support, it would not have been from the heart. Very few colleagues had remorse with regard to the guilt of Christians and Christianity. Basically only God could do that, but I would have to disseminate my research in a way that the Holy Spirit could use to good effect. What an awesome task!
         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. I had to take the latest disappointment in my stride.

In AWB Terrritory
I would have left Gauteng a very frustrated and despondent person if I had to come back to the Cape straight from the CCM leadership consultation. Instead, I returned from there overjoyed. The big difference was the visit to Heidelberg in Gauteng, where I met the group of believers that 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 of Heidelberg (Gauteng) followed the nudge of Bennie Mostert of Jericho Walls fame 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 still in Heidelberg, I heard telephonically that one of the Muslim background believers, Fatima H, our factory contact, was about to lose the house that she inherited as only daughter. Just prior to this she resigned her work at the factory where we had ministered to her during lunch times, to care for her ailing mother. When the mother died, her family was pressurizing her to return to Islam if she wanted to keep the house. A Muslim lawyer would see to it that she gets the house under this condition. We were over-awed how she was very determined in her new faith, even if that would mean losing the 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.
         Traumatic experiences around Nadia and another Muslim background believer that we had taken into our home amplified the urgent need of a discipling house, where people like these can be assisted more effectively.

         Both Maulana Abrahams and Achmat Davids died in 1998; the latter only a day after I still had an interview with him at the studio of Radio Voice of the Cape. After all our experiences, I knew that only prayer could make the difference.  I still hoped to get into dialogue with young Muslim academics, who might be more open to listen to the credentials of the Gospel. I started learning Arabic in 1999 - through private lessons by a student from Tunisia. In this way I hoped to get the necessary grounding to start as a student at the University of the Western Cape the following year. Unfortunately my full schedule did not allow me to persevere with the lessons. I saw these lessons however also as a way of building trust with the North African student with whose wife Rosemarie had close contact.

A scintillating Week of spiritual Warfare
A few weeks before I left for the Reef, I had to prepare the visit of the group from Heidelberg. Sally Kirkwood phoned me at this time because she was burdened with the barrier of guilt over the City with regard to District Six, the former slum area that had been declared a 'White' residential area. Intercessors had discerned that Cape Town was like a sleeping giant that was tied by its shoulders. I took her to Bo-Kaap where we prayed. There the Lord reminded her of a prophetic word that was originally given for Jerusalem, but which she sensed that she had to apply to the ‘Mother City’ of South Africa. The afflicted city would be spiritually rebuilt with beautiful gem stones.
         The dramatic weekend on the Reef was followed up by a scintillating week of spiritual warfare, including an unforgettable day of repentance and reconciliation.          
         As part of this visit from Gauteng intercessors, a prayer meeting of confession was organized for November 1, 1997 on a gravel patch near to the former Moravian Church in District Six. Sally Kirkwood, who hosted a prayer group for the Cape Muslims at her home in Plumstead in the mid-1990s, played a pivotal role in nudging me to organise this prayer event.
         Our contact with Gill Knaggs increased at this time. She brought along Dave and Trish Whitecross (Dave Whitecross had been helping Mark Gabriel with the editing of manuscripts). Through this event the citywide prayer movement got a significant push because I had asked Eben Swart to lead the occasion in District Six. That turned out to be very strategic. Hereafter Sally Kirkwood came to the fore with a more prominent role among the Cape intercessors. Richard Mitchell, Eben Swart and Mike Winfield linked up more closely at this occasion in a relationship that would have a significant mutual impact on the prayer ministry and transformation at the Cape in the next few years.
         The ceremony on November 1, 1997 saw tears of remorse flowing freely. English-speaking South Africans, Afrikaners and foreigners repented of their respective roles in exploiting the apartheid situation. 
The Need of a Discipling House amplified
We were confronted with the drug scene in a very real way when Ayesha H. approached us with regard to a young woman whose life was threatened. Kevin,[51] the husband of the young woman, was a gangster who had been involved with many atrocities. Kevin had been abusing Shehaam[52] almost in every way possible. She was a new Muslim background believer. Apparently Kevin had also committed his life to the Lord, but he was still abusing her.
         After praying about the matter, we had peace to take Shehaam into our home. Only lagter we fully comprehended the risk involved when Kevin shared that he was so angry that he wanted to kill me. The experience with Nadia had made us wary to jump into something that could bring us into serious trouble again.
         What a joy it was to see how the young woman grew rapidly in her new faith. I was moved intensely to hear Shehaam sharing the burden she had for the residential area where she grew up. In Woodlands, a part of Mitchells Plain, drug addiction and gangsterism was a way of life. But Shehaam knew that she first had to become spiritually strong and mature.
         Soon we were counselling her together with Kevin. Far too soon we allowed them to live together again. The end result was final separation. Thereafter she returned to her earlier life style. It was little consolation that Kevin grew spiritually. I encouraged him to go to the police to confess his criminal deeds. He only wanted to do it in God’s time. Even though I had problems with this view, I would not consider putting pressure on him. He had definitely stopped with his old life-style and that was something for which we were very thankful. Unfortunately that was not to be permanent.
         We were however disappointed in the meantime, having to face the fact that Shehaam was the third failure with a Muslim background believer, into whose life we had invested quite a lot of time. We were thrown back on the grace of God. The need for a discipling house where we could have these new Christians nurtured for a longer period, was amplified once again.
         We had hardly recovered from this disappointment, when we were confronted with a similar case. Nazeema[53] had been a Christian for quite a few years but she was still very immature. For years she had been abused by her husband Keith,[54] more than once she was almost killed. In spite of a few interdicts against him, he refused to leave her alone.
         The police in Woodstock knew him well. He had worked there as a reservist before he was sacked. Nazeema told us about a recent instance when he shot her in her leg. A few policemen came to her aid, but they had to unleash a dog to get Keith under control.
         Soon after the first interview we had with her, she phoned us. Her ex-husband Keith had tried to choke her, when she succeeded to run away to a befriended family from where she phoned us.
         In the court case Keith succeeded in turning things around, because the police dog had bitten him. He walked away free as a bird. We don’t know if our report to friends overseas about our latest guest was the trigger to get things in motion. But both in Holland and Germany believers started raising funds for a discipling house. Especially in Holland our friends were engaging in all sorts of activities to that end.
         It was quite a disappointment to us when Dave and Trish decided to leave for Egypt to assist the Coptic Church there. (With them we had been looking at property for that purpose). That meant that they were not available as house parents for our discipling house.
The actual buying of property for the discipling house was quite traumatic as we experienced one disappointment after the other. But we saw how God still had his hand when he turned the saga around, using a container with furniture for the discipling house that was sent by our friends in Holland.

Convert Care

Already in our first year of ministry at the Cape Rosemarie and I discovered 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 she also showed a personal interest in there whereabouts like very few other Christians.
         When Esmé Orrie was about to celebrate her 50th birthday, Magdalene approached us with the request whether we could celebrate this at our home. (Esme had not only been persecuted out of her home in Mitchells Plain and terribly harassed by the family, but she was also completely ostracized by her mother and children). The other converts and friends in our ministry had become her new family.
         Things started to happen in a big way when Zulpha Morris, a Muslim lady from Mitchell’s Plain, became a Christian through divine intervention 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 – also from the side of the government – 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.
         With a building coming into the frame for use as a discipling house but no house parents available as yet, we approached Dean and Susan Ramjoomia, hoping that they could start it off until such time when they would go to Durban for the candidate orientation.

20. The strong Wings in Operation

         A booklet that I had written with stories of Cape Islam converts, Search for Truth, as well as tracts with testimonies narrating how they came out of Islamic bondage, was eroding a prevalent Cape Muslim notion that if one is born a Muslim, one must die one. Via our colleague Pam Forbes some of these tracts found there way into the prisons.
         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, attempting with the violent overthrow of the government in the Western Cape where the bulk of the Muslims in the country are living.[55] Gangsters and other criminals gladly jumped on board with high-jackings, rape and all sorts of crime, trying 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.

Almost bereaved as a Family
It was touch and go or we as a family were also bereaved at this time. I was having a week-end retreat in the little village of Macgregor with our friends Elma and Freddy van Dyk who went there after Freddy’s retirement. Telephonically Rosemarie reported a traumatic experience. In the era before the use of cell-phones became a common phenomenon, she was taking our daughter Magdalena to one of her friends in Sea Point. After using a telephone booth to find the exact location of Magdalena’s friend, she returned to our VW Minibus, which still is very much of a favourite vehicle for use as township taxis. She was about to drive off, when her head was supernaturally turned to the right, just in time to notice a man with one hand going for the vehicle handle next to her. In the other hand he had a pistol. Reacting instantly, she pressed down the locking knob, driving off without looking into the rear view mirror. This caused some consternation in the traffic situation, allowing the potential high-jacker to flee. Not only Rosemarie and Magdalena were thus spared a very traumatic experience.

Former Gang Leaders shot   
Achmat Cassiem, the leader of the Hisbollah-Hamas related Qibla, was a frequent spokesman for PAGAD. Rashied Staggie, the Cape drug lord and leader of the Hard Livings Gang, had become quite well known with frequent media appearances. Two weeks before Easter, Staggie was shot and hospitalised. He made the news headlines soon hereafter from his bed in the Louis Leipoldt Clinic in Bellville by way of this public confession of faith in Jesus as his Lord and Saviour. He recovered miraculously.
         Shortly after Rashied Staggie also Glen Khan, another Hard Living gang leader and drug lord, committed his life to the Lord at the Shekinah Tabernacle in Mitchells Plain where Eddie Edson was the pastor at the time. Glen Khan had become a Muslim after his marriage to Lameez, who was already a secret believer by now. She had been counselled by Ayesha Hunter, with whom we were linked. Glen Khan secretly heard the Gospel in this way.

A High followed by a few Lows        
We returned from the Easter CCM conference 1999 in Wellington in high spirits. For the first time WEC was represented there with a substantial contingent. My efforts, which started already in 1996, to nudge the umbrella organisation to possibly give guidance to the church at large to start confessing our collective role in the establishment and spread of Islam, looked promising at last.
         We were however thrown into the spiritual battlefield on another level much sooner than we could anticipate. Our spirits were already dampened the same afternoon when the bag of Maria van Maarseveen, our Dutch colleague, was stolen from our minibus in front of our house while we were drinking coffee and before we could take her to her flat nearby. In broad daylight the vehicle was broken into.
         Only a few hours later, we were shattered when Ayesha phoned, telling us that Glen Khan had been shot and killed. The next morning we left for Mitchells Plain to assist with the funeral arrangements because a crisis had arisen. The Muslim family was claiming the corpse for an Islamic funeral that was due to happen within 24 hours! Lameez, the young widow and still a secret follower of Jesus, was very brave to refuse to release the body of her late husband for such a funeral. She knew of course how he had just recently made a public commitment, indicating that he wanted to follow Jesus. Lameez insisted that he should have a funeral from the Shekinah Tabernacle where he made that commitment under the ministry of Pastor Eddie Edson.

A traumatic Incident   
A pattern of traumatic incidents happening during my absence from home continued when Rosemarie and I attended our WEC conference in Natal in October 1999. When we phoned our home, we heard that our 21-year old son Danny had to counsel Nazeema, the Muslim background believer we had taken into our home. She was threatening to commit suicide.[56]      
         Shortly after our return from our conference in Natal, I received an invitation to attend an international conference on Muslim Evangelism in Nairobi as the South African delegate, with all expenses to be paid by TEAR FUND, a British development and charity agency. I was less excited about the invitation when I discovered that my departure would coincide with the return of our second eldest son from Germany. (Rafael had been evangelising with Youth for Christ in a mobile bus for the greater part of the year.)
         I had furthermore heard just prior to this that I would lose my Dutch citizenship and passport unless I interrupt my residence in South Africa before January 2002.We thought that a guest lecturing period at the Cornerstone Christian College, a WEC institution in Holland, could be the solution. We thus considered the possibility of going to discuss the matter in Beugen (Holland) en route to Nairobi.[57] 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.
         Making extensive use of our new communication medium, the e-mail, it was soon finalised that I would be stopping over in Amsterdam en route to Madrid and Nairobi. The first and third venues turned out to be quite strategic for our ministry on the short term.

Our Son Danny rushed to Hospital
The Nairobi conference was linked to another traumatic event at home. While I was still in Spain, our son Danny was rushed to Somerset Hospital after his appendix had burst. He turned out to be allergic to the medication given to him. In no time Danny was in a critical condition.
          Rosemarie sensed that this was an attack from the enemy while I was away. She alerted prayer warriors at home and abroad. I received the news at a strategic moment in Nairobi, when we were not making much headway to get a draft on paper, which we could report back to our respective sending bodies.
         When someone at the conference tried to share something about spiritual warfare, I had the opportunity to chip in. The impact was tangible when I reported how I had just heard how our son escaped death by a narrow margin. In the months hereafter we heard from different people how they had been praying to save Danny's life. 
         This was happening on the eve of the World Parliament of Religion in Cape Town. I discovered that there was some divine element in the invitation to the international conference in Nairobi. It served to keep me in a low profile, out of the limelight at the occasion of the praying around the World Parliament of Religion. Even more important was the fact that the detour via Holland and Spain would be pivotal in getting funds for our discipling house. The Spanish part of the trip did not deliver the goods on the short term, but seed was sown. In 2003 Elliot Tepper, the leader of the Betel Ministries, informed us that Cape Town is high on their agenda for the start of a new drug rehabilitation centre, although we did not have a couple ready to go to Birmingham in England for training. We were nevertheless encouraged when Abass Buffkins, 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 just like we did with that of Zulpha and Abdul Morris in 2002.
         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.

Strategic days in Holland
My two days in Holland were very strategic. An evening was organised there on short notice to speak to some of our friends. As a sequel to the visit in Zeist, where I showed a picture of the house that we intended to buy for use as a discipling house, someone offered a substantial interest-free loan. Martie Dieperink, one of our faithful prayer partners, lost her mother soon after my visit. Martie was one of the people who attended the meeting.
         Shortly after having heard of the need of a discipling house in Cape Town where new believers coming from another faith could be nurtured, she immediately offered to help us with a substantial amount as a gift and another as an interest-free loan, to be paid back over a period of five years. (Later she turned that into a gift as well). This set in motion the run-up to what became a strategic building. (The furniture from the house of her mother was part of the content of a container that was sent in 2001.)
New missionary Colleagues  
Rosemarie and Maria van Maarseveen, our Dutch colleague, were in the meantime frantically looking for accommodation for our new missionary colleagues from Indonesia. The couple were the fruit of about five years of praying for workers from the most important country from where slaves, the ancestors of the Cape Muslims, came. A German missionary friend who was at that time a leader of the sending base of a mission agaency in Indonesia started this prayer project when she visited us in Cape Town in the mid 1990s.
         The new workers who settled in nicely into our evangelistic team, brought valuable additions to our ministry. Our Indonesian colleagues made contact with some Cape Malay families, and also brought us into touch with a Uygur MBB, with whom the wife had come into contact in China. After a special sequence of events the couple came to Cape Town in December 1999. The brother would get involved in ministry to students. His wife would initially have more than enough to do with two year-old twins, Hudson Philip and Stephany Gisela.

Counters to anarchic Conditions
At this time Cees Vork and Pieter Bos[58] started corresponding with our friend Henry Kirby, a medical doctor at the Tygerberg Hospital, about their intentions to come to Cape Town. The evident spiritual warfare around the World Parliament of Religions was fuel to set up an all-night prayer meeting on the Grand Parade on short notice.  It was clear that God was at work orchestrating things when Mike Winfield and others were simultaneously busy with ‘Closing the Gates’ project. In this regard we would pray around the immoral roots of our society.
         A new type of prayer initiative started emerging worldwide during 1999. God started to speak nationally about 24-hour prayer watches. We felt that this is what Cape Town needed more than anything else.

Towards a 24-Hour Prayer Watch        
What better place for the 24-hour prayer watch could be found than the Moravian Hill Chapel in District Six that now belonged to the Cape Technikon? Murray Bridgman, a local advocate, had similar ideas. He thought that I should take on the responsibility to initiate it but I was not very keen.
         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. Susan Hill had a vision for prayer. It was only natural to link them to the prayer watch movement. Susan came into the picture as a contender, 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.

Another Season of spiritual Warfare     
The moving confession of Pieter Bos because of the Dutch colonial guilt at the shrine of Sheikh Yusuf at Macassar, the pioneer of Cape Islam, moved many participants deeply. At Vergelegen, a participant from Indonesia shared how he harboured hatred towards Dutchmen. This gave the occasion a special touch. We had the feeling that we were on the verge of revival.
         At this time Keith,[59] who had assaulted his ex-wife Nazeema, one of the Muslim background believers, was discharged from prison much sooner than everybody expected. As a former policeman he had spurious contacts to the police force.  It seemed as if a new period of spiritual warfare started in the Cape Town City Bowl. In spite of a conditional suspended sentence on a charge of abusing his ex-wife, he continued to harass her. After another assault on her, the police appeared to disregard the charge. The month of May 2000 seemed pre-destined to become the start of another season of spiritual combat, with the police force not only in disarray, but also frustrated by a corrupt judiciary.
         We felt the pinch personally when some mysterious phone call came through in the early hours of the morning. When nobody replied on the other side of the line, we suspected in this behaviour intimidation from Nazeema’s husband Keith. Once when we had this again, I got quite annoyed when my sleep was broken for a second time within a few minutes. When this happened once more, I was ready for the secret caller with a biblical injunction: ‘Whoever you are, I bless you in the name of Jesus!’ Thereafter we never had trouble along those lines.

Assistance in the Ministry
When Valerie Mannikkam, a young Indian Christian lady from Durban joined our team for practical experience in preparation of missionary work, she had a passion for a rather unusual combination, namely for the aged and for youth. Both of these were age groups we had been neglecting in our ministry. In the case of the former, this was only covered through our hospital ministry and occasional visits to the homes of patients. The latter – the youth - we left over to Eric Hofmeyer in Salt River in 1998 when we went overseas for a period of home assignment in Holland and Germany.
         Valerie joined Rosemarie in many a venture, not only at the home craft club in Bo-Kaap.  She turned out to be a valuable assistant and extra daughter in our home. This was especially evident when we celebrated our silver wedding. Together with our children she helped prepare a wonderful and memorable occasion on 22 March 2000.
         During 2002 Valerie assisted Rosemarie to counsel a secret believer. Faldiela[60] had phoned the CCFM radio station as a Muslim in search of the ultimate truth. She wanted to study the Bible. The young lady had been thrown into spiritual turmoil when her boyfriend was willing to sever the relationship after he had become a follower of Jesus. Rosemarie and Valerie did Bible Study with her until she finally came to believe in Jesus as her Lord. In the latter stages of this process, and especially after Faldiela’s conversion, Valerie proved a valuable assistant to strengthen the Muslim background believer in her new faith. Rochelle Malachowski, a new YWAM-linked worker from the USA, took over from Valerie in 2003 when the latter went to Durban, until Faldiela finally married the boyfriend who caused her to start searching for the truth.
         There were however so many other things happening before this happy end, especially in 2001 and 2002. Difficulties around a container sent by our friends in Holland, in the discipling house and in our church kept our nerves on edge for months on end. But again and again we experienced the power of the Eagle’s wings.
         In the case of Kulsum[61]it was quite complicated. She also phoned CCFM radio. In the ensuing follow-up it turned out that she had dreams, which were very compelling. She came to personal faith in Jesus, but the real fear of being evicted from her home kept Kulsum from coming out of hiding in terms of faith. To get baptised remained a major source of fear for her. Yet, her family nevertheless came to know that she had become a Christian in secret. The reality of persecution was highlighted when she woke up one morning with the cup next to her in tatters and a small hole in the roof. She must have slept very deep not to hear the smashing of the cup. She saw however light coming through a hole in the roof and she found a bullet next to the broken cup. Rosemarie and the female missionary colleagues kept up the contact with visits to her place. Occasionally they brought Kulsum to our home.
         Somewhere along the line we borrowed her Mark Gabriel’s testimony, which apparently made a deep impression on her.

Escapades with Mark Gabriel
Mark Gabriel decided to settle in Cape Town. He had received enough money to buy a car and furniture renting a flat in Simon’s Town where he wanted to finalise books he was writing, including his research on ‘jihad’, which he had started at our home in the wake of the PAGAD crisis. (This culminated in a book with the title Terrorism and Islam, which became a best seller in America and subsequently translated into over fifty other languages.)
         When he wanted to get permanent residence, Mark ran into problems because his passport was have expired soon. He feared to go to the Egyptian Embassy or their representatives in South Africa. This proved to be well founded. Mark decided on the spur of the moment to leave for the USA instead, giving away furniture, some of which we are still using in our discipling house. (I put these lines into my computer on the office desk that he donated after his decision to leave.) We were quite relieved that we didn’t hear of an aeroplane crashing because we sensed that Mark was in grave danger yet again.

An unexpected Trip Overseas
Mark Gabriel repeated an invitation to us to come to the USA and assist him in itinerant work. This looked to be just the right thing to get out of the traumatic situation for a while. The thought also came up to try and promote two of my manuscripts in the USA for which there was – and still is - no market in South Africa. The visit and itinerary could however not be finalised.
The trip was planned in such a way that we would stop in Germany and Holland en route. But then we had to cancel the plans. When our friends in Holland heard of the cancellation, they invited Rosemarie and me to come to Europe because they knew that we so desperately needed a break and that we would have the time available.
This visit to Europe turned out to be quite important for our ministry. While in Holland, Fenny Pos taught Rosemarie how to make three-dimensional cards that they were selling in old-age homes as part of fund-raising for missionary work. Back in South Africa, Rosemarie would teach the skill to a few unemployed Muslim background women who had experienced problems because of their faith. Although the income was minimal, it made a big difference to families where there would have been no other income, and it provided regular fellowship for a few women to grow in their new faith.

A new Pattern of Crises
As the years went by Rosemarie and I befriended Louis and Heidi Pasques quite closely. On many a Monday we would go to some place or have a picnic together. Not very long after our return from Europe in 2000, a new pattern of crises had become evident. Louis took me into his confidence that there was a crisis in their marriage. Disunity within the church executive started to enter the mix. I withheld some information from Rosemarie on purpose to spare her unnecessary disappointment. From our side, we did share discreetly some of the frustrations we experienced in our ministry with Louis and Heidi, notably those from the Discipling House. Invariably we would also pray with each other for family matters.
         Louis explained one day that Heidi had to be taken somewhere for spiritual and psychological assistance after she had suffered burn-out. Between Louis Pasques and Alan Kay, the administrator, some differences between them now also got blown up out of all proportion. A rift between the two of them developed, which was of course very unhealthy for the church as a whole. Things went from bad to worse until Louis was given leave of absence and Alan was more or less forced to resign as administrator. Finally Louis also resigned and their marriage fell apart as well.
         Alan Kay had been studying part-time, ultimately graduating at the Baptist Seminary. After he left the Cape Town Baptist Church he linked up with the Salvation Army where he soon accepted a pastoral post. He also attended a newly formed fellowship of the Calvary Chapel in the hall of the St Andrew’s Presbyterian Church. Demitri Nikiforos, the pioneering pastor, had married Karen, the daughter of Graham and Dawn Gernetsky, who had been the pastoral couple at the Cape Town Baptist Church. (There Demitri was significantly impacted through the surfing ministry under the leadership of Roy Harley. A family touch transpired when he later became the Sunday School teacher of our daughter Magdalena).
         Alan had been very much involved with the ministry to foreigners. It was almost natural that some of them left at this time. Anaclet Mbayagu from Burundi, was one of them. He later became one of the stalwarts of the Calvary Chapel fellowship.
A ‘global Church’ in the City Bowl
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 co-ordinators for Southern Africa in 2002. The multi-national character of the Cape Town Baptist Church appealed to them. Despite a leadership crisis there, they decided to join our congregation, rather than another fellowship nearer their home in the suburb of Claremont. (In fact, there was a congregation of the same denomination only a few blocks from their home.) Due to Jeff’s dedicated ministry, our congregation became in due course the catalysts for new missionary work to the Northern Cape and ‘forgotten’ tribes of Namibia. How wonderful it is that the Lord in his mercy allowed me to see some of these Remaining Unreached People Groups now getting evangelised.1
         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 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, (DRC) the former Zaire and Congo-Brazzaville, there were also quite a group of Angolans. We also have had individuals from other nations attending regularly.
         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 Holder couple who had ministered in Botswana in earlier years. Soon a whole bunch of Tswana-speaking youngsters were attending the church, some of them getting special teaching from Jeff and Lynn, who used the Experiencing God material of Henry Blackaby.
         Our son Danny was the leader of the worship team at this time. He intertwined songs from the other cultures and languages. In due course the fellowship became one of the first churches in Cape Town - perhaps even countrywide - with adherents and visitors from many nations on any given Sunday.

A Ministry to Foreigners      
During 2003 it seems as if the Lord was leading us more and more to a ministry to foreigners. While Jeff Holder preached one Sunday, Rosemarie received a vision of our Moriah Discipling House to be used for refugee-type foreigners. In our recruiting for a couple as house parents of the place, the Lord had to correct us because we thought that a Cape ‘Coloured’ couple would be the ideal because we perceived that they understood the culture of the Cape Muslims best. We had to be prepared to take in foreigners as well into our
         Around the turn of the millennium Rosemarie was battling with the discipling of new Muslim background believers (MBB’s) and general convert care. The bulk of them were females who had been Christians before their marriage to a Muslim.
         We were glad that we could hand over the responsibility for the medical/hospital side of our ministry to Maria van Maarseveen, our Dutch colleague. At the end of 2002 we were praying fervently again that the Lord would give us more assistance for the general convert care. Unbeknown to us, Lynn Holder had been praying how she could get involved.
I approached the Atlantic Christian Assembly (ACA) as part of an effort to promote the hand-made 3D cards, which the MBB’s had been making. The Lord had undertaken wonderfully so that we could pay these ladies, giving them some regular income, although we hardly sold cards.
         Pastor Anthony Liebenberg, the local minister, had good memories of the time when he was youth pastor of the ACA. Our son Danny had joined his cell group and he also played in the music group of their church on Sunday evenings. The prophetic word spoken about Danny to be a link to other believers on the day we had our valedictory service in Holland, had obviously already been partially fulfilled because the Lord had already wonderfully used him at the German School to bring new life to the Christian Union there, especially when a youngster, Chris Duwe, came to the Cape in 1996 during their Abitur (A-level) year.
         By 2003 Anthony Liebenberg had become the senior pastor of the Atlantic Christian Assembly. Because of some internal precedent the congregation was rather hesitant to allow people from outside to come and promote their ministry during a slot in their services. Anthony would however advertise our material, especially the 3D cards, 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, to be followed by Rochelle Malachowski soon thereafter.

The travelling Bug in the Family
The travelling and missions bug seems to have bitten all our children. Influenced by Siggi Steger, who studied and operated successively at Cornerstone Christian College and the German Stadtmission, our son Rafael had opted to do his post-Matric year with the Teemobil, the evangelistic vehicle of Youth for Christ in Germany in 1999. After finishing Bible School, he went to the USA for cross-cultural experience, jobbing there. This was followed by a stint in East Germany. This nudged him to return to Chemnitz, where he subsequently went to teach English, while ministering with a very interesting combination of the Salvation Army and the Jesus Freaks.
         Our eldest son Danny had an initial stint with Trans World Radio in Pretoria. After his university studies he worked for a few years as an electrical engineer with a German firm in the Cape suburb of Diep River. He then applied to join Operation Mobilisation (OM) in Germany, to do a year of volunteering there. In the headquarters in the Southern German town of Mosbach he was especially engaged in the preparation of the massive 2003 European operation of Teen Street, leading a team thereafter to Slovenia.
         Our daughter Magdalena went to the USA and Vavoua (Côte d’Ivoire) for her post-matric year. Sammy chose to do a year of studies in sound engineering after Matric, arguing that he did not do the German Abitur (A levels) as his two older brothers had done at the German school. In 2004 we allowed him to do a DTS with the Media village of YWAM in Kalk Bay during the first half of the year.

The ‘empty Nest’ Syndrome
The flip side of the travelling and missions bug in our family was the ogre of the empty nest syndrome which was looming very ominously since 2003. Sammy had been considering seriously to proceed to Holland for tertiary studies and Danny wanted to go to Germany on a missions rendezvouz with OM. Magdalena had her sights on travelling the world after completing her Social Science university degree, but she did not want to use this in South Africa. She followed the studies up with a TEFL (Teaching English as a Foreign Language) diploma, with which she wanted to make a living overseas. Rafael was on the verge of returning to Germany after finishing a Cambridge English Language teaching course (CELTA) and Tabitha’s post-Matric year was due for January 2005.
            On 28 December 2003 it was confirmed that we should remain in Cape Town, not to relocate to some other country. The prospect of not having a single child at home was daunting, hitting us very heavily indeed. It was only a minimal reprieve when Sammy decided to study at UCT and not in Holland.
         In mid-2004 almost the whole family was present at the wedding of Johannes, another nephew of Rosemarie. Sammy stayed on in Europe, doing some casual work in the second half of the year and earning the funds to go and assist missionaries in Kazakhstan in December 2004 for a month. Rosemarie and I were very uptight with this idea, remembering how we had almost lost him due to double pneumonia after our return to South Africa in 1995. We knew that winter temperatures in the part of Central Asia where he would be heading, could easily drop to minus 40 degrees. However, Sammy was adamant, insisting that he saw that as a divine commission. He was vindicated. During the month he was there, the temperatures were quite moderate and it turned out that he was assisting to prepare Gospel material for an unreached people group that the Lord had just started to bring to Cape Town. It was very special when he brought audio-visual resources along, which we could pass on to Uighur, the people group with whom we had come into contact while he was in Kazakhstan.
         Tabitha, the youngest of the siblings, was very unfortunate. The expectation of her post-matric year were not met. For her first choice, a Discipleship Training School (DTS) of Youth with a Mission (YWAM) at Muizenberg, she was turned down because the course was already full when she applied. After a burglary at the new DTS in Durban for which she could still enrol, she was told a few days before the course was due to start that the leaders had decided to postpone the start there. She ultimately landed in a less well-run DTS in Jeffrey’s Bay. There the outreach side of the training, namely the proposed trip to Brazil, could not take place due to bungling by the immature team leaders.  Spiritually her DTS was rather disappointing, whereas her older siblings all gained a lot from their post-matric year.
         Towards the end of 2005 Sammy befriended Frank, a refugee teenager from Tansania, who lived in the Ark, an institution for the destitute and homeless. Frank started attending our church. On many a Sunday we had him over for lunch. We prayed with him that he may be reunited to his sister, which actually happened after some time.  (He had to witness his parents being executed in political turmoil). Sammy felt a deep urge to accompany him during his winter semester holiday. This turned into quite a traumatic experience for Sammy and for us when Frank was arrested because he had failed to get the new passport of his country. Our sadness turned into joy when we finally heard that he had arrived safely with his family in Tanzania.

                                                22. The last lap?

         While I was at Vasco High School as a teenager I was quite small in physique and on top of it I was also younger than my classmates. We were often required to run the British mile[62] on a strange track during the Physical Training (PT) lesson. We were expected to run around the prefabricated school complex four times. The finishing line was in full view of many classrooms. I was not a bad sportsman, but I was definitely not a long distance runner. On top of it, I was a kaalvoetklonkie, I had no footwear - like many others in my class - when the PT lesson would often conclude with the running of the mile in the first months of the year.
         The so-called track included thick sand in one part and thorns in another portion (My hardened feet became quite used to the thorns after our move from District Six to Tiervlei/ Ravensmead). In a bunch – the boys from two classes combined - we would set off and go on our race of four laps around the school complex. One particular day during the PT lesson, I ran the first two rounds with my classmates, but then I became quite tired. I decided to rest a while at the back of the school where no one would be able to see, or so I thought. The other runners would in the mean time be doing the third lap. As the leaders came around for the final lap, I joined them, thus finishing in the leading group … However, the teacher, Mr October, did pick it up. He now required me to run the lap all alone, in full view of many other learners who would now know that I had cheated!! How difficult that last lap was. Not only was there the shame, but there was also the thick sand at the back of the school.  But then I discovered that the running was suddenly easier. I received what we used to call a tweede wind, a second wind and I managed to finish the race in this way.                 

The Going gets tough
Rosemarie and I were blessed to take a holiday break at Carmel Christian Farm in July 2003. At this occasion she had been taking some photographs of beautiful waves at Sedgefield and Knysna. In that vicinity 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 Germany as a teenager, way back in the 1960s. ‘Mightier than the thunders of many waters, mightier than the waves of the sea, the Lord on high is mighty!
         A medical check-up was due a year after my stress-related temporary loss of memory in March 2002 (see chapter 22). This led to a period that seemed to lead to the last lap of my race on earth after prostate cancer had been diagnosed. 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 prostate operation in December 2003. He also blessed Rosemarie and me to discern some of the pieces in the mosaic, the puzzle of our chequered lives that were fitting so perfectly into each other. It encouraged me to prod on, although results were not to be recognised that clearly. Rosemarie challenged me with regard to my chaotic research and writing results. I had so many unfinished manuscripts on my computer. 'What would happen if something happens to you?  All that work would be in vain.'  The testimonies of a few Cape Muslims had been on my computer already for about two years. We had printed some of them as tracts. The result of Rosemarie’s prodding was that Search for Truth 2 could be printed within a matter of weeks as we networked with my late cousin Pat Cloete, a printer. A hick-up resulted there when he gave the work to another firm without my consent. In the end we had hundreds of booklets, many more than we initially intended to print. They were slowly disseminated over the next years, also used at the Love your Muslim Neighbour seminars before the 2010 World Cup.
                                    *                                  *                                  *
         As a result of fruitful ministry among refugees in collaboration with Shahid Waris,[63] a missionary colleague from Pakistan, a lady from Rwanda became a follower of Jesus. We baptised her in our pool and after a few months we took her into the Discipling House. This however triggered off new tension at that place. We had not prepared Denise and Robert Crowe, the new house parents of our Discipling House for the eventuality of taking converted refugees into our house. This caused new strain, culminating in their resignation.

A Wave of Opportunity
At this time Rosemarie and I were seriously praying about relocating. After almost 12 years at the Cape in the same ministry, we thought that we should have a change for the last stretch before eventual retirement. With Tabitha, our youngest daughter, about to finish her schooling at the end of 2004, we even considered relocating internationally. But no ‘doors’ opened with regard to a move overseas. Instead, we felt increasingly challenged to reach out to refugees and foreigners who had come to Cape Town, 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.
            In October of that year Rosemarie had a strange dream in which a newly married couple, clad in Middle Eastern garb, was ready to go as missionaries to the Middle East. Suddenly the scene changed. While the two of us were praying over the city from our dining room facing the Cape Town CBD, a massive tidal wave came from the sea, rolling over Bo-Kaap.  The next moment the water engulfed us, but we were still holding each other by the hand. There was something threatening about the wave but somehow we also experienced a sense of thrill in the dream. Rosemarie woke up, very conscious that God seemed to say something to us through this vision-like dream.[64] What was God saying?
         The day after Rosemarie’s dream-like vision we heard about a conference of Middle Eastern Muslim leaders attending a congress in the newly built Convention Centre of Cape Town. We decided on short notice to have our Friday prayer meeting there instead of in the regular venue, the Koffiekamer of Straatwerk in Bree Street. Lillian James, one of our prayer partners, was on hand to arrange free parking for us near to the Convention Centre. 
            The same (Friday) afternoon Rosemarie and our YWAM colleague Rochelle went to the nearby Waterfront Mall where they now literally walked into a bunch of ladies in Middle Eastern garb. The outgoing Rochelle had no hesitation to start a conversation with one of them. Having resided among Palestinians in Israel, she is fluent in Arabic. Soon they were swarmed by other Arab women, who were of course very surprised to be addressed in their home language by a White woman with an American accent. A cordial exchange of words followed.
On the personal front it seemed as if the Lord was confirming a ministry to refugees and other foreigners.  In November 2003 we baptized a refugee from Rwanda in our pool. The Lord used a co-worker from Pakistan quite prominently at this time. He led a few people from the group of refugees, as well as vagrants, to faith in Him during the last weeks of 2003. Shortly hereafter, the Lord brought to our attention various groups of foreigners who had come to the Mother City, including a few from a Chinese minority group.

The word biopsy used by the urologist should have given me some sort of fright. The casual way the physicians spoke about the PSA count prevented alarm on my side. The next morning, Wednesday 8 October 2003 to be exact, I read the ‘Watchword’ - as the Moravians have been calling the 'Old Testament' Scripture for the day traditionally - with our two youngest children before they went to school and college respectively (Sammy was studying Sound Engineering): ‘I will not die but live and proclaim what the LORD has done’ (Psalm 118:17). I was duly encouraged by the words, casually saying to them something like ‘even if I would die, I am ready. I have had such a full life.’ I spoke along similar lines when I conducted the devotions with my missionary colleagues in the afternoon.
         Yet, when a phone call came from the hospital early the next day, on Thursday 9 October 2003, I was caught off-guard. My request to speak directly to the urologist, Dr Aldera, could however not be honoured. I could only come to see him at 13.30h. Without any ado he shared the result of the biopsy: I had contracted prostrate cancer, the big killer of men over fifty years. But it was still in an early stage. However, through an extra-ordinary set of circumstances, the Lord prepared me for the diagnosis.

A Penny drops
During the time in hospital and the period of recuperation I was challenged anew to tackle the issue of the 24-hour prayer watch for the City Bowl. On Sunday 28 December we heard that our two friends, Beverley Stratis and Heidi Pasques, wanted to speak to us. The same evening they shared that the Lord somehow impressed on them very starkly that the spiritual stronghold Bo-Kaap and the disunity of the churches in the City Bowl were two forces which prevented a spiritual breakthrough. (Rosemarie and I had been praying for divine confirmation by the end of the year whether we should remain in the Mother City or relocate. Our youngest daughter was scheduled to matriculate at the end of 2004. This seemed to us an appropriate time to move on after 13 years in the city where I was born and bred.)

         We were surprised on the one hand that the penny dropped with two people who could have heard our challenges in the Cape Town Baptist Church over many years. I could almost laugh at the suggestion of the two intercessors, because the two of them must have heard more than once how I appealed for believers to come and join us for prayer towards the start of a vibrant Church in Bo-Kaap, the residential area that became such a Muslim stronghold because of apartheid after Christians and churches had moved from the area in the wake of Group Areas legislation. Instead of laughing, however, Rosemarie and I were over-awed. We sensed that this was God at work. We were encouraged that the Lord now used them to confirm that we should not relocate as yet and that we should tackle the two issues that had been concerns for us so long with even more urgency, namely church unity, including the 24-hour prayer watch in the City Bowl and a ministry to foreigners.
As the co-ordinator of the City Bowl Minister’s Fraternal, it was fairly easy for me to start emailing many pastors and inviting believers at different churches. The Lord had already given us a fairly ‘neutral’ venue for the start of the effort, the desolate Moravian Hill Church in District Six, which had been earmarked for monthly meetings of Muslim background believers. The result of the invitations to the beginnings of a prayer watch was not encouraging, to say the least. Nevertheless, with a few believers we decided to pray every first Saturday of the month in the Moravian Church.
I felt very much challenged to attempt a 24-hour prayer watch in the City Bowl the first week of February, as Jericho Walls had suggested. The first feelers were not positive enough to nudge me into action. However, a phone call by Trevor Peters, a car guard at the Groote Kerk, a former gangster and drug peddler, did just that. I was not aware that he had been in touch for months with Reverend Angeline Swart, the leader of the Moravian Church at the time. In very short time, I managed to put a programme together and approached various speakers with whom I had been in contact over the years.
That week also became the first intense contact with Gary Coetzee, who started a new church, the Rock Fellowship near to Bo-Kaap.
         We were blessed to hear a few days before the event that Superintendent Fanie Scanlan of the Cape Town Central police station had a room for us for 24-hour prayer. The institution in Buitenkant Street was notorious in the apartheid days as Caledon Square and was thus also a neutral venue.[65] After the week of prayer at the Moravian Hill Church, a few of us went to go and pray there every Wednesday morning. We continued prayer there, changing later to Thursday mornings until the end of 2013.

The Unity of the Body – a Matter of Priority          
When I was in hospital for my operation, I was challenged anew to take 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 a 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 Christians from their Jewish roots - was 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. The unity of the body of Christ was also the issue which held me back from taking a drastic step, which could rock the boat of the Church in the Cape Town City Bowl.
         We visited the Lighthouse Rhema Ministries complex in Parow in the last quarter of 2004 when the well-known Chinese Brother Jun spoke there. (During our visit to Europe earlier in the year someone blessed us with his autobiography The Heavenly Man) I was deeply moved at the Parow event by John 17:23. I somehow never discovered that Jesus had actually prayed ‘…may they be brought to complete unity.’ Aware that the house church movement in China is the closest to 'New Testament' Christianity in our day and age, this now became my model. Yet, I was still wary to start yet another church fellowship. I preferred to procrastinate and resemble Jonah on this issue, to the frustration of Rosemarie. She liked the fellowship at the Calvary Chapel, especially the good exegetical preaching of Dmitri Nikiforos, who once had our daughter Magdalena in his Sunday School class (His wife Karen is the daughter of Graham and Dawn Gernetsky, a previous pastoral couple of the Cape Town Baptist Church.)

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

A Change of Ministry?
In 2003 Rosemarie and I were seriously praying about a change of ministry. After almost 12 years at the Cape in the same ministry, we thought that we should have a change for the last stretch before retirement. With our youngest daughter about to finish her schooling at the end of 2004, we also considered to relocate. But no ‘doors’ opened with regard to a move overseas. Instead, we felt increasingly challenged to reach out to refugees and foreigners, for example by using English language tuition 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.
         The movie The Passion of the Christ was supernaturally used by God to prepare hearts to believe in Jesus as their Saviour. One of the first occasions for outreach occurred when we invited two Muslims from a foreign nation that had come to Cape Town, to watch the video in our home with a missionary colleague. The English of both was quite poor but one of them, Zuniba,[66] was quite fiercely in opposition. We already had contact with a convert from their nation and tribe since AD 2000.
         A special opportunity arose when we were involved in an Eid ul Fitr celebration at the end of Ramadan for about ten tribal compatriots. One of them, Kadar[67], who knew English quite well by that time, showed interest to learn German when he heard that Rosemarie came from that nation. This set off an interesting dynamic after we had followed this up with a Christmas event where we also shared our personal testimonies of faith.
         This sparked in Zuniba an intense questioning of her religion. She sensed some contradiction between Jesus and Muhammad. She prayed to Allah to show her who was the right one. Promptly Zuniba had a dream in which Jesus appeared to her. She sensed her sinfulness, asking him immediately to forgive her. The subsequent peace was all too clear. When we invited her to lunch for Christmas a day or so later, Zuniba gave us the most wonderful gift when she shared that she had decided to follow Jesus.
         We invited Kadar to stay for supper after the first German lesson one Wednesday. We had two German short term workers staying with us at this time. We had not yet finished supper properly when people from different nations started coming for the young adult group linked to our church fellowship that our son Danny was leading. The group also included Hannah and Chrissie, the German short termers that were living with us. Kadar was apparently somehow gripped to see young people coming voluntarily to speak about matters of faith. He had been prepared in his home country by a fellow female student from his Muslim tribe who boldly testified of her faith in the class.
         Of his own accord Kadar soon bought himself a contemporary edition of the Bible hereafter ‘to improve his English’. He shared this with us when he came for his next German lesson. Hereafter I would always enquire what he had been reading from his Bible. Soon this part of the German lesson became longer and longer. As a matter of course he would hereafter stay for supper and the meeting with the young adults.

         At this time we also decided to increase our involvement with Somalians in Mitchells Plain, offering to teach English as many of them came as refugees to the country. We had hoped that local Christians could take over with us. This hope proved futile when we had to discover that resentment towards foreigners was growing dangerously in the townships. An interesting encounter took place when Rosemarie discovered that one of the veiled 'Somali' ladies was actually a local convert from Christianity. Her maiden name had been Joorst with Moravian roots. She was thus a distant relative who also hailed from District Six.
         Our hope to reach our in love to Somalians became a rather traumatic experience when we would drive the almost 40 kilometers to find that not a single one 'wanted' our lessons. When they discovered that we were Christians who tok our faith quite seriously, we were not welcome anymore. The only visible success was the time that Hannah, our German Short termer, had with one of the children. Eternity will tell what these seeds for the Gospel have affected. Years later they greeted us cordially wherever we bumped into them such as at a refugee camp during the xenophobia crisis in 2008 or at the Refugee Centre of Home Affairs in Maitland.
         At about the same time as Zuniba, Kader  had a dream similar to the one she had, without them knowing the fact about another. One evening after our 'German lesson' I put my usual question to him: 'What did you read?' (I knew hat he loved to read the stories in the Bible about Moses) I was not surprised at all that he had been reading the stories about the plagues in Egypt. With some nudging I reminded him of the last plague, the blood on the doorpost. Yes, he knew how the angel of death would pass over those doors where the blood was applied. I could literally see how the penny dropped when I explained John 3 verse 16 from here, how anybody who believes that the blood of God's Lamb, slain on Calvary save us from eternal damnation. But I did not want to force the issue, allowing him to go to the kitchen where he would enjoy the interaction with Rosemarie and the two Germans young girls, Hannah and Chrissie. I retreated to our bed-room where we had our TV set. I enjoyed a few minutes of the one day cricket internationa between England and South Africa before supper when there was a knock on the bed room door (Kadar had difficulty calling me by my name. I just allowed him to call me 'Mr Ashley.'):
          “Mr Ashley, could you please lead me to the Lord.” That was the  first time ever – up to now the only occasion - that someone came to me with such a request. Of course, I gladly obliged.  We baptised both of him and Zuniba one Sunday afternoon in our pool.

No Relocation
In the meantime, Rosemarie and I had been praying regularly with Heidi Pasques, Hendrina van der Merwe and Beverley Stratis. On the last Sunday of 2003 we visited the Calvary Chapel service when we bumped into Heidi. (Demitri Nikiforos, the pioneering pastor there, had married Karen, the daughter of Graham and Dawn Gernetsky, who had been the pastoral couple at the Cape Town Baptist Church. Demitri had also been the Sunday school teacher of our daughter Magdalena). Heidi hinted that she and Bev had special news for us. They could hardly wait to see us in the evening for our prayer time with them and Hendrina in her flat.
    There Bev and Heidi shared how the Lord had made it clear to them that Bo-Kaap was a strategic stronghold. We were ourselves rather surprised, that the penny took so long to drop with them. After all, how often had I not been inviting the congregants directly and indirectly to come and join us in the prayers for Bo-Kaap.  But we were extremely blessed. This was to us the confirmation that we should not relocate, that we had to remain in Cape Town. Hereafter the three of them, along with Trevor Peters, the tour guide of the Groote Kerk, became part of the core group for our monthly Signal Hill early morning prayer till the end of 2004 when Hendrina's earthly life was terminated, to be with her Lord.
Scary moments
Before the special occasion Zuniba still had a battle to break through in victorious living. Rosemarie helped her to discern that there were some objects in her room that kept her in bondage. On her request we asked our son Sammy to burn them. With a missionary colleague we took her through a process of deliverance from her religious bondage. Gloriously we saw how she broke through in joy.
         When we were on furlough in mid-2006 however, an old Muslim acquaintance stepped back into her life. In no time she slid back into Islam. At this time she told one of her tribal friends that we had burnt her Muslim artefacts. The distortion soon went around that we had burnt the Qur’an. This lie could have meant the burning down of our house or the end of our lives. Christians rallied around us in prayer. The Lord protected us because the rumour did not spread very far. It was not the first time that lies were passed around to endanger us and it would also not be the last time. But we were not to be intimidated in this way. We are ready to die anyway and anytime, knowing that it could even bring more glory to His name if the deceiver wants to eliminate us in such a way!

Time to move on?
We felt quite uncomfortable at the Cape Town Baptist Church because of different other issues. This was especially so after the Holder family had returned to the USA. Yet, we hung in there especially because we still had two children in the fellowship by the end of 2006. It did not seem as if the promise of the ‘Experiencing God’ event of February 2006 in that congregation would be fulfilled. (In fact, the insensitive handling of it was a cause for the vibrant group of young adults that our son Samuel and two others had been leading, to disintegrate.) Rosemarie and I failed in our duty to warn the church leadership when we saw this happening.
         Things changed toward the end of 2006 when both children decided to leave the church. For Rosemarie and me prize one changed minimally with regard to ministry. We continue to pray for a breakthrough in Bo-Kaap, but now even more urgently for a fellowship to start there that would consist predominantly from MBBs from the area and believers from the nations. I still have my reservations about monologue-type sermons on biblical grounds. This withheld me from fully committing myself to any fellowship, especially when Rosemarie and Tabitha started to attend the Calvary Chapel fellowship regularly. This was and still is painful to all of us, because we feel that it is compromising the unity of the body if we as a family cannot worship together regularly.
         Half-way through 2006 I heard of a car accident in which my former teacher colleague (Prof. Dr) Tony Links was tragically killed. I attended the funeral and thereafter I made contact with his younger brother Eltie. I was vividly reminded how we had made the unity of the body of Christ practical during our teaching days at Bellville South High School in 1968 when we concentrated on the person of Jesus. This coincided with preparations for my participation in a Missions Congress at the Helderberg Seventh Day Adventist College in Somerset West.

Mountain Top Prayer Revived
We hoped that other Christians would also join the Signal Hill initiative, but initially reaped only disappointments. I emailed many pastors and City Bowl Christians. However, only the faithful few, Heidi Pasques and Bev Stratis, along with a few from Melkbosstrand, spearheaded by Celia Swanepoel and her husband Abrie, responded. Murray Bridgman, our City advocate friend, attended occasionally but he would faithfully at least render an apology at other occasions. I was quite happy to hear after a few months that Pastor Brian Wood of the Cape Town Baptist Church started prayer meetings for his church leadership on Saturday mornings but I was disappointed that he organised this to happen also on the first Saturday of the month. Likewise, I was ambivalently excited to hear that Calvary Chapel was also starting with prayer on Signal Hill every second Saturday of the month. We joined them there in March with the intention of doing it as often as possible. My joy was tempered by the fact that we still seem to fail to get City Bowl believers to act together. It is so sad that we can’t even get believers to pray together for our city!
            Of course, I am also very much aware that denominational disunity is very much of a demonic stronghold against which we have to take up the cudgels. When will the Cape Town pastors see this as a priority? We continue to pray for a breakthrough.
Remain in Cape Town or relocate?  
Rosemarie and I had also been praying for divine confirmation by the end of the year whether we should remain in the Mother City or relocate. Our youngest daughter Tabitha was scheduled to finish her schooling at the end of 2004. By then we would have been 13 years in the city where I was born and bred. This seemed to us an appropriate time to move on. On Sunday 28 December two good friends, Beverley Stratis and Heidi Pasques, wanted to speak to us. The same evening they shared that the Lord somehow impressed on them very starkly that the Bo-Kaap and the disunity of the churches in the City Bowl were two strongholds which prevented a spiritual breakthrough. We were surprised on the one hand that the penny dropped with two people who could have heard our challenges in the church over many years.  I could almost laugh at the suggestion of the two intercessors, because the two of them must have heard more than once how I appealed for believers to come and join us for prayer towards the start of a vibrant Church in the residential area that became a Muslim stronghold because of apartheid. (Christians and churches moved from the area in the wake of Group Areas legislation). In stead of laughing however, Rosemarie and I were over-awed. We sensed that this was the Lord at work.
As the co-ordinator of the City Bowl Minister’s Fraternal, it was fairly easy for me to start organising, emailing many pastors and inviting believers at different churches. The Lord had already given us a fairly ‘neutral’ venue for the start of the effort, the desolate Moravian Church in District Six, which had been earmarked for monthly meetings of Muslim background believers. The result of the invitations to the beginnings of a prayer watch was not encouraging however, to say the least. Nevertheless, with a few believers we decided to pray every first Saturday of the month at the Moravian Hill complex. (Later we changed this to early mornings on Signal Hill.)

Strategic ‘home assignment’
When another family wedding, that of Johannes, a nephew and his Desiré was scheduled for mid 2004 in the Southern German village of Lienzingen, it was decided that I would go ahead to do some ‘home assignment’ on my own. Rosemarie and our two remaining children at home were to join me later. 
         During the four months of May to August 2004 the Lord in his mercy wonderfully enabled us to fill the empty nest gap. After speaking to Susanne Koch in Eppstein at the German WEC Headquarters, the possibility of Trekkers (Short termers) came into our frame once again. Some correspondence started with a young girl Hannah Noelle, who was finishing Abitur, the German school-leavers’ year. She wanted to join a mission team for three months. We had already decided in our team that we could only engage short termers that are prepared to stay for a minimum of six months. She agreed to that.
         Traumatic weeks followed while I was in Eppstein and thereafter lodging with Klaus and Luise Hinkelmann in South West Germany. First of all I had to contend with a phone call from Rosemarie with regard to a notice from the South African Revenue Service (SARS) that we were not exempted from paying tax anymore.[68] We would have to pay a big amount, going back to 2002. Rosemarie also informed me telephonically that the request of Tabitha for a Dutch passport led to a threat from the consulate to the effect that my dual nationality was questioned. This would also affect our children. My blood pressure, that had become quite stable, shot up once again because of the double blow!
         After reading one of our newsletters, in which we expressed our need for someone to disciple the converts and to work with the international students, Allmuth Hinkelmann, the daughter of Klaus and Luise, with whom I had also done some deputation work in prior weeks, responded. (This set in motion a process whereby she joined us in Cape Town in 2005.) We made a visit to Brigitte and Michael Wiedenhoff, our German contact persons in Essen, to coincide with our meeting Hannah Noelle, who started to get ready to join us in October 2004.
         The interview with Gottfried and Susanne Schittek, another German couple that wanted to come to Cape Town, brought us together with Susanne Koch once again. At this occasion we heard about Christiane (Chrissy) Schlue, another short termer. She originally wanted to go to the WEC ministry with children in crisis in Brakpan. On our last Sunday in Lienzingen Chrissy happened to come to nearby Mühlacker for a valedictory service of a friend. She ultimately not only joined our team for a stint of nine months in Cape Town but she also joined our son Danny’s worship team in the church. The end of the story was that Danny followed her in 2005 to Southern Germany to do a year of Bible School there. They ultimately married on 28 July 2007. During this time our daughter Tabitha also started emailing a certain young man with the name of Michael Mee  in Cape Town very intensively.
         What a blessing it was that we had the various short termers from November 2004 with us. They temporarily filled the gap that our own absent children had left.

Reconciliation of Jews and Muslims?
Already in 1993 we started with a monthly prayer meeting for the Middle East, which evolved from a fortnightly meeting in Bo-Kaap. The vision grew to see Jews and Muslims reconciled around the person of Jesus Christ. This vision received fresh nourishment when we prayed on Signal Hill from September 1998 every alternate Saturday morning at 6 a.m. Signal Hill is situated just above three residential areas associated close with the three Abrahamic religions. Tamboerskloof is a predominantly ‘Christian’ suburb, Bo-Kaap still is very much of a Muslim stronghold and in Sea Point the bulk of Cape Jews are living.
          For many years our love for the Jews found very limited expression, viz. occasional visits to Beth Ariel, a fellowship of Messianic Jewish believers in the suburb of Sea Point and friendship to a few of their leaders. This would be stepped up significantly in 2004 when we got to know Leigh Telli, a missionary from Messianic Testimony, who is married to an Arab.
         During 2004 our missionary colleague Edith Sher organised a prayer breakfast in Sea Point during which Adiel Adams, a Cape Muslim background believer, shared his testimony. Lillian James had been a long-standing contact and one of our prayer partners until she relocated to Johannesburg. She grew up bilingually in Woodstock among people of different cultures. After she had become a committed follower of Jesus, she grew to love Jews and Muslims. She had been one of the believers who attended our prayer meetings for the Middle East where we prayed for both Jews and Muslims. She introduced us to Leigh Telli and her husband. Leigh loves the Jews and the husband comes from Muslim background and hails from North Africa. All this served to confirm our calling of ministering to foreigners and linking our work to Messianic Jews. Soon we were invited to join an open-air service in Camps Bay that was dubbed ‘Shalom Salam’, denoting the intention to reach out to both Jews and Muslims. This became the start of a close friendship between Rosemarie and Leigh Telli, who was reaching out lovingly to Cape Jews and a strengthening of the tie to Edith Sher who later started a weekly radio programme on Sunday afternoons via CCFM under the auspices of Messiah's People. Edith Sher became an important additional source of information for my manuscript Pointers to Jesus.

Ministry to Asians
The presence of Nim and Nur Rajagukguk from Indonesia in our team was a result of prayer after Veronika Elbers, a German missionary, visited us in the mid-1990s. She challenged us to pray for a couple from Indonesia to join us when she visited the Bo-Kaap museum, discovering the spiritual connections  to the area where she ministered. Through the Rajagukguks our ministry got a definite expansion to Asians.
The video version of The Passion of the Christ plus English lessons plus English lessons to Chinese students who were coming in numbers of consequence was the run-up to a very fruitful ministry.
The conversion and baptism of two Uyghur Chinese in the first quarter of 2005 was very special, the result of divine intervention, but also a special answer to prayer for Nur Rajagukguk. She had been praying for many years for that tribe and now she found some of them in Cape Town. One of the two converts needed a dream of Muhammad  - after backsliding through a contact to a Cape Muslim man - to convince her that Jesus was indeed the one to follow. The other one had a similar dream of light in the room. I had been teaching German to the young man at our home, when he also wanted to attend the young adults who were meeting at our place on Wednesday evenings.  In due course the German lessons became Bible Study after he had bought himself a Bible. After one of the sessions, I could see how the penny dropped when I explained to him how prophetic the last plague in Egypt was, when the Israelites had to put the blood of the little innocently slaughtered lambs; that this pointed to Jesus died centuries later as the Lamb of God.   He returned later in the evening with a knock on my door with a very special request: 'Mr Ashley, could you please lead me to the Lord?' Of course, I had no qualms to do that.
In 2005 our team received a special boost when Stephanie Lue, a Chinese background US American joined us for a year. She had a heart for Asians. Stephanie's assisting a Korean atheist student, Seula, with English soon enough turned also to Bible Study until Seula also came to know Jesus as her Lord and Saviour.

A new Challenge
The run-up to our annual WEC conference in the Free state town of Senekal was quite turbulent. When Rosemarie and I were approached to be available to become the national leaders, we did not see our way clear. We did give it some prayerful consideration, but we felt that we had to remain in Cape Town after the challenge to reach out to foreigners that had started coming to the Mother City. (Although conference had decided already that the HQ should move to Johannesburg some years ago, this was shelved and finally all but forgotten.) In Senekal I took a fairly firm line, suggesting a leadership team. Jeremy Kammies, who was ultimately chosen as the new leader, believed that there could only be one captain on a ship. I nevertheless did not see any sense of opposing the notion at that point in time. This turned out to become a major mistake in the months to come when we sensed a calling to concentrate on foreigners. 

The Fight against ‘TIK’
An interesting dynamic took place in two Cape townships, Hanover Park and Parkwood, in the run-up to and in the aftermath of the First Global Day of Prayer in May 2005. At the Newlands event on Pentecost Sunday, I was asked to share. I chose to highlight the 1992 Operation Hanover Park, challenging the participants to get serious about the abuse of the drug ‘tik’; to pray and get involved in the fight against ‘tik’.
          Initially there was no response.        At that time we had been corresponding with WEC International with regard to Ewa Hus, a Polish missionary, to come and assist us. She showed interest to come and join our team in the Cape. We decided after some deliberation that she would be given Hanover Park as responsibility, to work there with young people and children. After her experience in the Rainbows of Hope Ministry of WEC in an informal settlement near Brakpan, this was the catalyst for our WEC evangelistic team to start praying seriously about resuming ministry in Hanover Park. (Ewa subsequently married someone from Blomvlei Baptist Church, the fellowship where I had worked closely in the Operation Hanover Park.)
At a meeting of Muslim background believers in August 2005, Shahida,[69] the mother of a young man who was addicted to drugs, pleaded with us to come and minister with children in Hanover Park again. This ‘Macedonian Call’ (‘come over and help us!) was to us confirmation to resume involvement there. To us the cry had a personal touch because her son, the young man Muhammed[70] had been a serious follower of Jesus while attending our children’s club there in the mid-1990s. A pleasant side was that Lance Bowers, who had been a participant of the youth club a decade earlier, joined us in due course as part of the ministry team.

Multi-cultural Missionary Colleagues
A special enquiry from the USA ushered in a new category of missionary colleague, viz. short termers coming from a different culture than German or Dutch. Californian Stephanie Lue was a sixth generation Chinese background Presbyterian who had already done short term outreaches in the Phillipines and Kenya.
         From Almuth Hinkelmann we knew that she was born and bred in Indonesia as a missionary kid from German parents. Kinga Radulski came into our lap as Polish-born and bred, but raised in Germany.
         Stemming from Poland, Ewa Hus did short term candidate orientation in England before joining the WEC Rainbows team in an informal settlement near Brakpan for children in crisis. She came to us from Canada where she had gone to improve her English and to get prepared to return to South Africa as a career missionary.
         In between there was also an enquiry from OM whether we could give Jürgen Seifert (??) from Germany some missionary experience. After doing missionary training in Pretoria, he linked up with the team of the Doulos in Durban before coming to Cape Town in September 2005. We also hosted a Puerto Rican and two Bible School students from New Zealand on orientation at this time. On top of this, there was also Shipley Jacobs (??), a South African missionary from OM, who started to attend our prayer meetings with the request to work more closely with us. We had no objection.
         We had also been assisting in the recruiting of Dorien and Daniel Langstraat, a Dutch couple to come and study at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary.  We profited ourselves when  Dorien subsequently assisted us in the children's ministry in the Cape township Parkwood.  Tina Rasendrasoa from Madagascar, who had also been ministering before in Woodstock, also assisted in the children's club in Parkwood. Dorien continued with the ministry in Parkwood throughout her time of study, only interrupted by the birth of their son Simeon.  Tina, who married Willie de Klerk, a South African in 2010, persevered faithfully for many years thereafter in Parkwood.
         The influx of new workers within a matter of weeks turned however to be even for us as seasoned cross-cultural workers too much. We just could not cope to give sufficient attention to every one of them. This  triggered a tragic saga, which ultimately led to our resignation as WEC team leaders after a few months.

Disappontments at Church Networking
Things followed each other up in quick succession thereafter. I was phoned on Thursday, 23 September after an enquiry to the CCFM radio station, with the request for training people in Muslim Evangelism. At further meetings with other local Parkwood pastors, we expressed our intention to work closely with Pastor Faiez & Jenny Abrahams of Victory Lifestyle Centre in Mitchell’s Plain.  They had been running Victory Drug Camps, where quite a few drug addicts had already been impacted.
After a major disappointment in Parkwood in an attempt to get the churches there to work together, we were forced back to the drawing board and challenged to pray more. Also in Hanover Park there was still little sign that the body of Christ would start operating in unity. I was personally challenged anew that our Lord himself has left us the prayer legacy: ‘May they be brought to complete unity to let the world know that you sent me…’ (John 17:23). Furthermore, Ephesians 3:10 came to the fore again in my quiet time where Paul, the apostle, states clearly that it is God’s intent that His manifold, multi-coloured wisdom should be demonstrated to the rulers and authorities in the heavenlies by the Church, the body of our Lord. I challenged church leaders that it should be a priority to operate together visibly and prayerfully, also locally in Hanover Park. But the response was very poor.

A tense Situation in our Ministry                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           
In September 2005 we had to accommodate and work closely with different people within a matter of weeks. Two Bible School students from New Zealand plus two new short term children workers arrived, and we had to see that Jürgen, a worker short term worker from another mission was kept busy in a good way. This happened at the time when WEC South Africa was celebrating half a century of ministry in the country. All this led to some neglect to Ewa Hus, the new worker who had just joined our team in September 2005 and Allmuth Hinkelmann, who had come to us a few months earlier. What we regarded as unfair criticism made us very frustrated.
The tense situation in our Muslim Evangelism team led to a stage where Rosemarie and I all but resigned formally as leaders of our team. After talks with our national leadership, who came from Durban in January 2006, a new structure of regional leadership was put in place. The idea was that I would still be participating in a triangular set-up until the end of July when our resignation as team leaders could take effect. Or could this lead to an extension of our ministry with WEC? That was still a big question.

A ‘new Thing’ sprouting       
During the first term of 2006 Shipley, a young OM missionary, started to work more closely with us. He also had a vision to minister to foreigners. In the course of us looking for a neutral venue where we could help the sojourners from other countries with English lessons, Shipley suggested that we pop in at the home of Theo Dennis, one of the OM leaders in the Western Cape. When Theo shared from their ministry in Coventry in the UK with the title Friends from Abroad, I once again had a sense of home-coming, especially when he mentioned that the group does not operate in the UK under this name anymore.
The very next day I took Rosemarie along, starting discussions for the establishment of an alliance with other 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 major confrontation the new national WEC leadership followed that could not see us combining our work as leaders of the Evangelism Team at the Cape with the challenge to reach out to foreigners. Months of extreme turmoil were to follow with many a tear shed on our pillows.
A very traumatic period was ushered in but the two of us were personally encouraged by Isaiah 43:18, to forget the past and to expect a ‘new thing’ that has been sprouting. Our colleague Rochelle suggested that we get counselling. What a blessing Dave Peter of YWAM became to us at this time.
We definitely did not close ourselves to the possibility that the ‘new thing’ could still happen within WEC confines. We remained committed to operate in a positive frame of mind until the end of July, while we prayed for clarity about what God had in store for us. We were sure that our ministry in Cape Town had not been completed yet.
When we heard that Floyd and Sally McClung were coming with the vision to ‘establish a training and outreach community in Cape Town that impacts Africa from Cape Town to Cairo’ and the vision ‘for a multi-cultural community that exemplifies the kingdom of God’, we were quite excited. This was more or less what we wanted to see coming to pass, albeit that our vision somewhat wider, also for countries outside of Africa to be impacted from Cape Town. Getting the vision over to local Christians and pastors was the big challenge.

Traumatic Months
We were not really happy when our daughter Maggie indicated that she wanted to travel the world, returning to Europe to earn a few British pounds at first. When she phoned from the north of spain where she was learning spanish while selling fruit and vegetables we were still not really worried but not happy with her roaming life style. Her next port of call would be the UK again, moving over to Scotland. Our son Rafael was mnistering with the Salvation Army in Eastern Germany at this time bi-vocationally, while teaching English (He had completed the good Cambridge University-related CELTA course here in Cape Town.)
In a phone call with Rafael who had been visiting our daughter Maggie in Scotland, he vaguely intimated that something was not in order with her life-style. We had already picked up that she was spiritually back-slidden and not attending church any more. In a phone call she also told us that she would go to Holland soon. She congratulated Tabitha on her birthday, the 25th of April, but Tabitha did not read this, as she had changed her email address.
When we heard nothing from her on Mother's Day, 14 May, we became really concerned, informing our friends in Holland to try and find out what had happened to her. For weeks the uncertainty carried on during which we had no clue of her whereabouts, fearing that she might be dead. After a few more days of terrible inner turmoil and wet pillows, Tabitha one day looked into her old email inbox. There was Maggie's birthday wishes. What a relief this was to us, encouragement that she might still be alive.
This co-incided with our last months in WEC International that were quite traumatic as well. We had already decided to resign at the end of July, but we still kept things open, hoping that matters could be resolved. But this was not to be the case. In fact, on the last minute we decided to stay away from the annual conference that was held at nearby Simonsberg, near to Stellenbosch. But it all was of no avail. We started to make travelling arrangements to go to Holland to have our final talks with our sending base leaders in August. We consulted Dave Peter, a YWAM whose advice, counselling and ministry helped us to remain sane, going through the motions towards the end of July and our final weeks in WEC with two short termers staying with us Stephanie Lue from the USA and Kinga Radulski from Germany.
         And then there was that unforgettable Sunday afternoon in mid-July 2006. A phone call from a very tearful and repentant Maggie, phoning from Holland informing us that she was pregnant. She had been living for many months with Jose, a Spaniard, also in Scotland. This is what Rafael had seen, but which he did not feel free to divulge. Our deep disappointment was strangely enough mingled with relief that our daughter was still alive. We were very thankful that we could still change our travelling arrangements in such a way to be in Spain for the birth of our first grandchild on 22 September, 2006.

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

Equipping and empowering People from the Nations
One of the new ventures of Friends from Abroad with which we started before we left for Europe was the fortnightly missions fellowship of Bible Study and prayer with people from an unreached group. (One of the visions of our new endeavour was to equip and empower people from the nations to serve their own people, similar to the way I had been impacted while in (in)voluntary exile in Holland.)
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. We thought that his ministry could be a valuable complement to our Friends from Abroad concept which would make use of indigenous Christians.
On Thursday 30 November, we had a Friends from Abroad meeting, the first since our return from overseas. Here the Lord clearly over-ruled. I had invited our friend Bruce van Eeden to come and share for about ten minutes at our meeting. What a blessing it was for those present to hear how God had been using this brother from the Cape Flats in China and India! We heard at the meeting how the Lord had 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 seven countries around the lakes of Central Africa to reach the northern parts of the continent. Another visit to Central Africa in April 2006 led to a conference where steering committees were formed for Burundi, DR Congo, Kenya, Rwanda, Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda as a gateway to the northern countries of the continent.
For the rest of the evening we discussed the issues he had raised, and prayed 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.
Through Pastor Theo Dennis we linked up with Ds. Richard Verreyne, pastor of the Soter Christelike Gereformeerde Kerk in Parow. Pastor Deon Malan and his wife Iona, a couple with mission ministry experience in North Africa and our colleague Rochelle Smetherham-Malachowski had become members of our core team of Friends from Abroad (FFA) co-workers. Marie Opperman, a retired missionary of Overseas Missionary Fellowship (OMF) and Pastor Florent Ndomwey, an Operation Mobilization (OM) missionary who leads the work among French-speakers at the Cape Town Baptist Church were the other two core group members. Rochelle Malachowski and Tricha Pichotta, an American short-term volunteer, are other two valued co-workers who assisted in starting up English classes at the Soter Christelike Gereformeerde Kerk in Parow. It was an added blessing that we had Caroline Munz, a short-termer from Germany at hand to keep the little children busy. This was a forerunner towards a weekly children’s club there with refugee children. Our daughter Tabitha not only helped but ran on her own long after the German had returned to her home country. A jewellery workshop for refugee ladies, to help them earn a few cents and teach English to quite a few of them, was part and parcel of the FFA compassionate outreach to foreigners. 
Throwing the Net to the other Side?
Another word from scripture came to the fore. I had to throw the net to the other side. But what did this imply? I attended a few meetings in March 2007 with some scepticism. I had been speaking to and phoning Richard Verreyne, pastor of the Soter Christelike Gereformeerde Kerk in Parow, a few times in the last quarter of 2006. He was a mission-minded pastor of a denomination that was generally not yet known to be evangelical. When he invited me to a meeting of the Consultation of Christian Churches (CCC) in February 2007, to prepare a big event where Floyd McClung would be one of the speakers, I was in two minds. Through their networking with the Western Cape affiliate of the South African Council of Churches (SACC), the impression had been quite wide-spread that the CCC was also propagating inter-faith notions and supporting the law allowing same sex marriages that took effect on 1 December 2006. I was not prepared to be a party to this set-up. On both scores we were re-assured that – at least what the Western Cape part of the CCC was concerned - its leadership structure and membership was clearly evangelical. We agreed to participate in the proposed CCC event on 20/21 March, 2007.
         We wanted to make sure however that the CCC folk would also hear about present efforts to reach the continent with the Gospel. To achieve this purpose, I roped in Bruce van Eeden from Ten Forty Outreach and Raymond Lombard from Wheels for God’s Word.
         At the meeting I felt myself more or less pulled into the steering committee of the missions department of the Western Cape CCC after declining initially. But I also wanted to be available if God wanted to use me there. (At the end of January 2007 it had been clearly confirmed that our days in WEC (South Africa) were over and we duly resigned, to take effect as from 1 May 2007. Our hearts were still aching however, as we still experienced affinity to the ethos of the misson agency.) 

The launch of Friends from Abroad
We attempted to get believers and churches together at the launch of Friends from Abroad (on Saturday 17 February 2007) and in prayer during a week of prayer from 19 to 25 February 2007, which would coincide with the Jericho Walls initiative, to encourage Christians to pray for the continent, I experienced a major feeling of failure.[71] The circumstance of the fishermen disciples, who had to report to the Lord that they have not caught any fish after fishing the whole night milled through my head. How should I apply the Lord’s injunction to throw the net into the water on the other side? We continued to grapple with the issue at hand as we attempted to enjoy occasional fellowship meetings at events with believers from different church backgrounds, at grassroots level in homes and public places.
At the CCC preparatory meeting in Parow Pastor Eddie Apollis of the Seventh Day Adventist Church promoted a missions congress of their denomination, to be held in the first week of 5-9 March. Keeping in mind the good relationship to the Links brothers at Bellville South High School in 1968 - and more recently with Eltie, the younger brother, after the tragic accident of Tony - I decided to volunteer for a workshop in Muslim Evangelism.
What a blessing and challenge that event became to me when on the spur of the moment I linked up with Pastor Patrick Boesak, who happened to be a student of my former Seminary colleague, (Professor) Kallie August. I discovered at the Missions Congress in Somerset West that the Adventist denomination had so much to offer to the rest of Christianity. I was challenged to share this with others. Was this the other side of the net God was challenging us? His interest in Bo-Kaap was also an encouragement that God may want to answer our prayers for the area in due course.

Vibes and Bribes
It was more or less an open secret that the South African Ministry of Home Affairs was one big mess. The government more or less conceded that but a correction to the system looked to be as far away as ever when Rochelle Smetherham-Malachowski[72] asked at our prayer meeting in the Koffiekamer on Friday 30 March 2007whether we could not go and pray at the Home Affairs premises at the Foreshore. Perhaps she thought about the memorable precedent of October 2003 that ushered in the start of Friends from Abroad. Operating with Rosemarie at our Thursday workshop with refugee-type ladies, she could of course hear the vibes of the bribes at that institution all the time. Talking about their experience refugee women they were speaking of how much the highly valued paper ‘costs’ which would take them out of illegality. (For a thousand Rand one could get the document the same day. For half the price one would have to wait for three weeks and without money you might as well forget about it.) Also at our English classes we heard the sad stories of people who had to wait for days before even getting a hearing and about many irregularities. Without any discussion we agreed to go and pray at the Foreshore Home Affairs on Friday 13 April. There we saw some of the vibes confirmed, but we were also deeply challenged about practical involvement.
         Could this avenue be the other side of the net? After some collaboration with Theo Dennis, we decided to approach a few City Bowl pastors with regard to a common effort. Initial responses were positive when I asked them to pray about a possible involvement. But we were wary of getting too excited prematurely. Haven’t we been disappointed more than once when we attempted to get churches of the City Bowl to do something together? But perhaps this was just God’s time and the plight of the destitute and exploited foreigners the vehicle to bring about the revival we have been praying for so long!

A New Testamentical Fellowship with a Difference?           
When we got in touch with a group of believers in Kuils River at the beginning of 2007, due to a visit by Mike Peters from the USA, we became excited once again. The group purported to be sick and tired of the traditional ways of ‘playing church’. The written material verbalised so wonderfully what we felt. A closer examination however brought disappointment when we saw yet another group dominated by a leader, although they seriously endeavoured to emulate the 'New Testament' church. We dearly wanted to see something similar started in the City Bowl with believers without however competing with local fellowships.
         The proximity of Bo-Kaap to Sea Point kept our dream intact to see reconciliation between Jews and Muslims under the banner of the Lamb that has conquered. We continued to pray for a miracle towards this end. In the interim we had also been in contact with Arab-speaking believers from Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Sudan. We attempted to stimulate regular meetings of these friends from abroad in their mother tongue with other Christians that have also learnt Arabic.

New involvement with Somalians
The next chapter with Somalians came indirectly via our son Sammy who became involved in the start of a prayer room at UCT after he had a very emotionally meaningful spiritual encounter with the Lord. He had become intensely involved with the start of a children's home for AIDS orphans and the UCT 24/7 group. As a result, various UCT students including Sheralyn Thomas, the daughter of John and Avril Thomas, the pastoral couple of King of Kings Baptist Church, started visiting us quite regularly.
         We were not very keen to minister to Somalians as such when Rosemarie had a recurring dream one morning which seemed to indicate that we should resume outreach to Somalians. Our previous experience with some of them in Mitchells Plain in 2004/5 ended on a rather disappointing note. By October we had been linked to the All Nations International team for a few months already. They had been doing intensive outreach in Masipumelele near to Fish Hoek already for months. The very next day after the dream of Rosemarie a discussion with the MOB Team (MOB is our abbreviation for Masipumelele, Ocean View and Beyond) seemed to confirm our intensified involvement in the Black township where a major clash between Somalians and indigenous Blacks had resulted in 50 people killed in 2006.
         When K., a student from abroad with whom I did Bible Study every week, phoned to cancel because of a test, I thought I had a free evening. But then the bell rang. It was Sheralyn Thomas. It turned out that she had been negotiating in the talks between Somalians and Xhosas the previous year. She furthermore told us about a believer from the East African country who had just been baptized in Bellville. I needed no encouragement to phone the pastor of the Baptist Church there. I knew he had a heart for foreigners. It turned out that Ahmed, who subsequently changed his name, had been baptized at that church on October 7. We had started with 'international Bible Study', intended as foundational teaching for new believers from the nations.

A Second Somalian?
Soon hereafter I received a phone call from a pastor in Sea Point with regard to a second Somalian, who has been coming to faith in Christ from Islam. This sounded to me too good to be true. I had serious doubts whether this was genuine. (Over the years we had a few cases of people who only wanted money, coming with impressive 'conversion' stories.) Initially we were thus rather sceptical about the story of the young man who had purportedly fled his country after his father probably killed his mother because she came up for him after he had become a Christian. In South Africa he was fleeing from other Somalians because he had heard that his father put big bucks on his head if anybody would remove the shame of the renegade who had left their religion, by eliminating him.
         On the other hand, our 'Christian' conscience could not be callous and indifferent to the plight of someone so clearly destitute. He was suicidal. After further checks and balances, we decided to let him sleep in my office. (Marthinus, a missionary colleague who was on leave of absence from our previous mission agency, was lliving with us for a few months, teaching English to foreigners from an internet facility.) We saw this co-incidence as a special divine gift because Marthinus speaks - next to a few Western languages - also Xhosa and Arabic.
         The English of our new Somalian brother was still very poor. Thus it was special to have Marthinus available, who could communicate via Arabic. During the next few days we could not only convince ourselves that he was sincere, but we could also witness how his English improved and how he grew spiritually.

Waiting on God’s perfect timing
When no success ensued at the beginning of 2007 in respect of publication, I irritated Rosemarie once again with my constant defence that I wished to continue waiting on the Lord to open the door. I did not want to fall back into activism, but she thought that satan was robbing me of my health, because I was constantly yawning, giving the impression that I was always tired. The Father seemed to vindicate my view when our friend Dr Mark Gabriel phoned from the USA. He wanted to start a publishing company, requesting the first option on our story. I took for granted that Mark meant On the Eagle’s Wings.
         Mark’s plans to start a publishing company was however aborted when he was advised against it. At the beginning of 2008 the present work became the next ‘fleece’, to check out whether it is God’s perfect timing for the start of my publications.[73] (I am still wary of drawing more attention to me and my family than we would be able to handle.  I also detest seeing books published which would only gather dusk on library shelves.) I continue praying for a new miracle, that (South) Africa may be transformed into a culture that is blessed by the reading of good books.
            A nudge to attempt to get some academic recognition and using research for my manuscripts led to my giving a CD with manuscripts to Professor Ernst Conradie of the University of the Western Cape (UWC) with some of the titles towards the end of  2006. When no reply came, I took this in my stride as a cue that academic pursuit was not the route to go for that moment.
         After I  had heard that my former seminary colleague Karel (Kallie) August[74] was involved with preparations for the 550 year celebration of the Moravian Church in 2007, I set about to update and edit A Goldmine of another Sort with the subtitle the New South Africa as a base for Missionary Recruitment.’  This coincided with a greater involvement with refugees. It was very special to rediscover how God used refugees in the Bible and to discern their significant contribution in the mission movement of the early Herrnhut era.

The last Lap to (autobiographical) publications?     
When the result of my operation in December 2003 came through, we were overawed. The cancerous growth in my prostrate had been only 1 millimetre away from the membrane around the organ. (Once the cancer breaks through the membrane, it invariably spreads quite quickly to other internal organs). The timing of things gave me so much reason to thank the Lord. The compulsory rest in the wake of the operation was just the opportunity to follow through on the injunction of Psalm 118:17, viz. to ‘proclaim what the LORD has done.’
         An autobiographical title highlights my personal battle with different ideologies and traditions, notably Apartheid, Materialism, Communism and Islam: JUMPING OVER WALLS. Any achievements in terms of surmounting hurdles and walls I percieved as having been done ‘with our God’.       
         I also started to update material that I had written on the occasion of my wife’s 40th birthday under the title ‘On Eagles wings’. This became the basis for the present book. Before I could get anywhere near to complete it, the idea came up to bless Ann Jacobs, the widow of my best friend, the late Ds. Esau Jacobs, commonly known as Jakes. He would have turned seventy on the 6th of December, 2006. I was soon working full-steam to finish I was like Jonah in time.

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, the (posthumous) 70th birthday of my late friend Jakes.
         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 to the website for which we had just started to do some preparatory work. This ultimately became Seeds sown for Revival, which was completed in May 2009, with a few copies available for perusal and ordering at the Global day of Prayer. But as yet there was no confirmation of any publication.
         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. On Eagles wings’ is His story with us, how the Lord carried us through well over 35 years. (The idea of a website was however not confirmed, and subsequently shelved).
         Rosemarie however nudged me once again in the beginning of 2007 to get my manuscripts to other people, the idea of a private website started to surface. Parallel to this effort I also sent my manuscript of A Goldmine of another Sort with the subtitle 'the New South Africa as a base for Missionary Recruitment’ to my former seminary colleague Karel (Kallie) August. After I had heard that he was involved with preparations for the 550-year celebration of the Moravian Church in 2007.
         When I returned books of the Moravian Seminary in February 2007 I met (Bishop) Billy Temmers there.[75] After a short chat with him and Brian Abrahams, the director of the institution, it surfaced that they were open to read my manuscript A Goldmine of another Sort, about how Zinzendorf and his 18th century Moravians had implemented the evangelistic principles that Jesus taught in his conversation with the Samaritan woman. A radio series that I had recorded before Christmas around the Samaritan Woman was running at this time every Tuesday on CCFM, a local radio station that broadcasts peninsula-wide. (The series refers next to John 4 also to Muslims, Jews and the missionary work of the Moravians.)

Another Disappointment
On 22 January 2008 I received an email from Struik Christian Books, publishers who also aim to change lives, for example via their audio programmes:
          The negative reply was typical of other ones I had been receiving from different publishers. The Lord prepared me for the disappointment. When it had been taking weeks – and a second email from my side to get any reply at all – I was already uneasy whether this would be the Lord's timing and the location of my first major publication. This experience confirmed for me that I should cease 'trying out' publishers. I herafter rather wanted to wait on the Lord for the right publisher(s) to approach me.
         Just prior to this – the day before – Rosemarie spoke to Sarah Bultman, an All Nations International colleague, who had just arrived from Canada to especially assist with the administration of the house church planting facilitators. She suggested that I put my manuscripts on a blog, offering to assist me with it. This is now where the manuscripts which are more or less ready, were dumped and thus became easily accessible to anybody around the world.

A Publication silver Lining   
God put it on the heart of NUPSA leader Dr Bennie Mostert to invite Christian leaders for a 'Solemn Assembly' in Pretoria.  Pastors, youth leaders and also other community leaders in all sectors of society were challenged to come together for a day of prayer on 15 October 2008. 'We are inviting Christian leaders from all 650 towns and cities in and from all denominations and ethnic groups in the country...'
The preparation to the Pretoria event would also touch me personally when I started praying about attending the annual Leadership Consultation of CCM (Christian Concern for Muslims) now changed to Partners' Consultation (PC). The 'door' opened for me to attend both events.  At the PC of 2008 in Port Elizabeth there was an item on the programme on Sunday 21 September called Frustrations and Encouragements.  There I started to chat with Manfred about publishing Seed sown for Revival, a manuscript that I had been working on.
          I perceived the contribution of one of the PC participants as the God-given sign to share my own frustrations with CCM, notably the handling of our proposed declaration of 2004 regarding Jews and Muslims, into which I had put so much effort together with other missionary colleagues. In the ensuing discussion of 21 September 2008 someone suggested that TEASA should be speaking to the churches in the country with regard to such a declaration.
I took up this cue to challenge the CCM executive to send an updated version of our proposed declaration of 2004 either to TEASA or Jericho Walls. I also expressed my preference for Jericho Walls, because this group does not only represent Evangelical churches.
          In the contact with Manfred Jung with regard to the publishing of Seed sown for Revival I wrote the following lines to him, with a copy to Bennie Mostert. Would the Pretoria occasion not be a good place to read an adapted version of the declaration that should ideally include Jews? I paste the 2004 version below once again for Bennie's sake, but I would like to see something added along the following lines in the light of the thousands (perhaps even millions?) of Muslims (and Jews) that have been coming to the Lord in recent months:
... Coming from a situation in our country where an oppressive, demonic race policy was defended from the Bible, we empathise however with those Muslims (and Jews) who are hurting because they feel themselves deceived by religious leaders. We call on South African Christians and followers of Jesus everywhere, to refrain at this time from any trace of triumphalism. In stead, we call on them to embrace Muslims (and Jews) lovingly who are still searching after the truth.
Let us thrust away our petty doctrinal differences which have been hindering millions down the centuries to believe in Jesus Christ and pray unitedly that many will come to faith in Him who is the way, the truth and the Life - also those from other religions.
                                                                                                               Bennie responded that I reduce the declaration to two paragraphs on Muslims and Jews and then come and read it at the event in Pretoria. This I was still attempting to do when a letter was published on

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

A special spiritual Victory
The sheer satisfaction to see corruption all but stamped out at the Cape Town Home Affairs offices, was short-lived, replaced by sadness and anger. Dean Pillay had hardly turned his back, leaving Home Affairs to take up a vocational position outside of government, when corruption flared up once again. Within weeks it was worse than ever before.
            We battled in vain a few weeks later to try and get refugee status for someone.  This was the result of corruption at the Nyanga Home Affairs (Refugee Centre) and I was unable to do much about it.
I was so sad that things had deteriorated such a lot since March 2008 when we thought that the corruption and the duping of the destitute and hapless refugees at the Home Affairs offices had been stamped out. Now it was much worse.
         But there were also spiritual victories. One of them happened when I was called in because a refugee lady from Burundi had collapsed at our jewellery workshop. (A year prior to this occurrence she had been one of my English learners who showed significant interest in the gospel.)  I took her to Somerset Hospital where she was admitted and treated for about a week. After her improvement and discharge she was taken to relatives to recuperate. When however some medical backlash occurred, the relative deemed it fit to involve a sangoma, a witchdoctor. Hereafter she became completely crazy and had to be taken to a mental clinic in Stikland in the extreme northern suburbs of the city. From the mental clinic she was transferred to the psychiatric ward at Tygerberg Hospital where she was soon regarded as terminal. Family members started with preparations to take her body to Burundi for the funeral there).We discerned that we now had an extreme case of spiritual warfare.  After a day of prayer and fasting we took along with us Arsene Kamptoe, our All Nations colleague, who prayed there in the name of Jesus in Tygerberg Hospital. She not only recovered dramatically as a trophy of God's grace, but she also returned to the jewellery workshop a few weeks later. 

A challenging Radio Programme                                                                                               When I left our evangelistic outreach at the Youngsfield Military Camp on Sunday afternoon 5 October 2008, I was accompanied by two young Zimbabweans who had become members of our home churches that were started as a result of the xenophobic violence. It was just after 17h00. I immediately tuned the car radio to Edith Sher’s CCFM programme, to which I would always listen whenever I had the opportunity. I was immensely blessed as she explained the story of Jonah, briefly also referring to the prophet Nahum. To my utter embarrassment I discerned that I did not know that little Bible book that well at all.  I was deeply challenged to pass through a warning when I discovered how the wicked city of Nineveh, the capital of the mighty Assyrian nation, had actually backslid after their well-known repentance as a result of the preaching of Jonah.[76] The warning to South Africa as a nation was appropriate following God’s graciousness to us in 1994. The repentance and conversion of the Church – so powerfully vocalised by the Kairos Document of 1985 with respect to the oppression of Blacks – received a new relevance. This is true not only in respect of peripheral groups of our society like Jews and Muslims, but also with regard to the oppression of the masses, the poor and needy.
                                    Politicians across the board are travelling
                                           comfortably on ‘the gravy train’
Politicians across the board are travelling comfortably on what President Mandela called ‘the gravy train’ – appearing to be rather indifferent to the suffering of the poor masses. This is not much different to the apartheid days, when the authorities appeared to safeguard White privileges.
            On the other hand, young people – sometimes rather confusingly referred to as the Joshua generation – were coming more and more into their own. Like their biblical model they seemed to want to take the continent, one person at a time. More open to radical change, they are eager to work alongside God to see our land and our continent saved and revolutionary changed.

Revival-preparing Action in the City Bowl?
By mid-October 2008 there was still no concrete sign that City Bowl churches were prepared to work together. As the wedding of our daughter approached, Rosemarie thought of Maeva Verblun as someone to arrange the flowers at the occasion.  For many years Maeva was responsible for flower arrangements at the Cape Town Baptist Church. When she visited us in the middle of October 2008, I mentioned our monthly early morning prayer on Signal Hill, and that we prayed there for Bo-Kaap and Sea Point. She immediately showed interest to join.
         The prayer event on the 4th Saturday of October on Signal Hill[77] was destined to have interesting ramifications when Maeva invited me to attend the prayer meeting at the Holy Trinity Anglican Church in Vredehoek, which takes place every last Saturday morning of the month. When I attended their event on 29 November I was deeply blessed to hear what God had already started doing in Sea Point.  The fellowship started with a church planting initiative through Jacques Erasmus. (As a Straatwerk colleague he had already been praying with us at the Ministers' Fraternal in 2007. I was also overjoyed to hear their vision to reach out with the Gospel, ideally together with other churches.)
We started to get ready for two weddings in January, respectively on the 10th and the 24th. These two events would be highlights when we had all our children from overseas in attendance along with our only grandchild.
         On the personal level, we were tentatively excited when we met Charles and Joan America at the service of Calvary Chapel on Sunday, 28 September, hearing that they live in Bo-Kaap. We had actually intended that day to be our quiet valedictory occasion to the fellowship. (We had secretly written off because of the constant denominational undercurrent. Other churches were frequently criticized and no mention of what was happening in the Christian world outside the confines of Calvary Chapel.) We requested an appointment to speak to Pastor Demitri Nikiforos. At this occasion on Saturday 4 October, 2008 we shared our reservations, agreeing to disagree, without however leaving Calvary Chapel completely. We did not want to jeopardise our own efforts towards unity of the Body of Christ in the City Bowl. In due course Charles America became a regular at the Thursday morning prayer meetings at the police station.            

A Couple for Moriah Discipling House
On Wednesday 10 December 2008 our son Sammy and his fiancéé informed us that they have a sense of calling to work alongside our colleague Munyaradzi Hove from Zimbabwe to disciple those friends from abroad that we felt specially challenged to minister to. Our small FFA team continued with weekly prayer walks in Bo-Kaap next to the monthly ones at which Bertie de Jager was a regular participant.
Our son Sammy and Sheralyn responded to the call for a couple, which we needed to minister as house parents at the Moriah Discipling House. We knew that they would be stretched, but we had liberty to challenge them in this way. They received some special wedding gifts, including a stove. The problem was however, that the flat at Moriah Discipling House where they would reside, had no special stove plug facility. This brought us in contact with Pastor Gary Adams of the Shiloh Sanctuary of Observatory, who is also an electrician by trade.

Special Answers to Prayer
On 31 March 2009 Rosemarie and her jewellery workshop colleagues were very elated when Adijah, one of the Muslim refugee women from Burundi and Rwanda declared rather formally on behalf of the group that they all believe that Jesus died for their sins and that He is the Son of God. We continue to pray that this discovery that has grown in them through the weekly spiritual nourishment during the workshop, may filter through to their families.
When we heard about Christine, a Rwandese lady in a Shelter in Wynberg as a possible resident for our Discipling House, we were quite tense. Media had previously been very paranoid about meeting any Rwandese. How would she react when she hear that Christine is a Hutu? It was therefore to us tantamount to another miracle that she agreed. Both of them had lost family members in the genocidal civil war of their home country.
And then we heard soon thereafter that a Zimbabwean believer, a female teacher, who had been impacted at one of our home churches, was getting ready to return to her home country. She has the vision to start a simple church if the Lord opens a door for her. This is exactly the philosophy of Friends from Abroad - to see people spiritually moved and equipped here at the Cape to go and bless their countries of origin. 

Confrontation with the Holocaust                                                                                                                  
At the beginning of 2008 my wife Rosemarie was challenged at our CPX course to 'tithe' her ministry time. She responded by wanting to be available to bless Jews. This would mean quite a challenge for her as a German and the Nazi history of her nation. Soon thereafter our friend Leigh Telli challenged her to share the platform with a holocaust survivor. Our being so busy with the CPx was a good reason for procrastinating the issue.
At a meeting in Durbanville on 31 May 2008 Rosemarie shared the story of her upbringing as a post-World War 11 child in Germany. David, a Polish holocaust survivor was the other speaker at this occasion. Quite a few Jews were apparently moved as she highlighted the fact that she learned to appreciate Jesus as the scapegoat for our sins. In a similar way the Jews were given the blame for the calamities in Germany’s Third Reich. (This was highlighted during the xenophobic violence of 2008 during which the foreign Africans were strangely given the blame for things like the escalating food and petrol prices. 
A Jewish lady wanted Rosemarie to come and speak to her group in Sea Point. This took place at a follow up meeting in August 2008. There she, Leigh Telli and Cecilia Burger, a veteran Dutch Reformed church worker among the Jews, were warmly welcomed. Leigh wrote in her October 2008 newsletter: ‘I believe that R’s message touched many hearts that day.’           
The effect of this meeting was however nullified a few weeks later when Rosemarie and Leigh were identified as missionaries to the Jewish people. It looked however as if we would be back to square one with respect to further breakthroughs in Sea Point when out of the blue Rosemarie was invited out of the blue to share her story at a meeting of Jewish business people on the 20th of April 2009, together with a another holocaust survivor. The organiser of these events was Mirjam Lichtermann, a 85-year old energetic Jewish lady, likewise a holocaust survivor. 
A further invitation followed at a Jewish home in Claremont on 20 May 2009 and another meeting in Sea Point on the same day. At this occasion Rosemarie was attacked with heavy depression in the run-up to these events. Early the morning of 20 May she prayed fervently as she felt so completely inadequate. The Lord encouraged her not only with a word from Matthew 10 that she should not fret about what she should say, but she was blessed when she deemed it a special privilege to encourage the Jews with Isaiah 40:1 Comfort ye my people....

Special Answers to Prayer    
When Pastor Gary Adams of the Shiloh congregation of Observatory, an electrician vocationally, came to Moriah Discipling House to look at a problem with the stove to see what had to be done, we soon started chatting. It turned out that they had planned to use the Battle for the Hearts DVD series for a teaching course in evangelism in their church. He promptly requested me to come and assist them. He had a convert from Islam Nazeema, a member of his congregation. What a blessing it was to hear that Nazeema hailed from Bo-Kaap. Rosemarie and I were so blessed when we visited her and her husband a few weeks later, to discover that the Lord has been answering our prayers in a special way. In human terms she would have been a very unlikely candidate for conversion. (She had been a bouncer with eccentric habits and very suicidal.) Nazeema narrated how the Holy Spirit nudged her over many months, when she sensed a special presence whenever she was hearing the name of Jesus. In those days she was looking forward to sit under the preaching of the Gospel in commuter trains. Sadly, a few years later their marriage fell apart and not much later she went to be with the Lord.
         On 20 March I concluded what I regarded as the penultimate changes to Seeds sown for Revival. The week starting on 29 March was special in many a way. This was the last day of our All Nations International Conference at Africa House, that we had just acquired. In the afternoon we dedicated the building to the Lord in a ceremony that included 'sowing' Gospel seed rather literally when Bible verses were buried on the premises. The prayer included that Southern Africa would become the bread basket of the continent. At this occasion the conviction was confirmed in my heart that the publication of the present book which had been in a very advance state, needed an epilogue. What happened thereafter seemed to confirm it. Two days later, we were blessed by a declaration by one of the Muslim refugee women of our jewellery workshop from Burundi and Rwanda. She declared rather formally that they all believe that Jesus died for their sins and that He is the Son of God. We continue to pray with us that this discovery that has grown in them through the weekly spiritual nourishment during the workshop, may filter through to their families. To us it was tantamount to another miracle that we could accommodate two Rwandese women – the one Hutu and the other one Tutsi in our discipling house. Both of them had lost family members in the genocidal civil war of their home country. And then we heard soon thereafter that a Zimbabwean believer, a female teacher, who had been impacted at one of our home churches, was getting ready to return to her home country. She had the vision to start a simple church if the Lord opens a door for her. This is exactly the philosophy of Friends from Abroad - to see people spiritually moved and equipped to go and bless their countries of origin. 

Near to Burn-out once again
On Monday 25 May, 2009 we had Abdul Morris coming to assist with some building chores at our home. In the evening he left the door open while a 'regular' at our door was sitting a few meters away. The next moment our car's alarm went off. I looked all over for the car keys to press the button but I could not find it. While I was looking all over for the keys – I have a habit of not knowing where I had placed the keys – our 'regular' quietly disappeared. We did not have the presence of mind to apprehend and confront him. (When I took him to hospital once he told me of his visit to Pollsmoor, our notorious prison.) He was the only one around that could have removed the keys. This co-incided with our week of prayer at the police station in the former lodge there.  Two days later another set of keys disappeared mysteriously. The front door was ajar. Was this merely negligence on my part or was there also an element of spiritual warfare involved? Be it as it may, it brought me very near to burn-out. The lack of response of church leaders - as I battled for hours with the preparation of the Global day of Prayer with little help forthcoming from those I approached – had already brought me to a point of physical exhaustion, not being able to sleep well.

Muslim Evangelism Training
I had eagerly spread the word about the 6-week Muslim Evangelism training course we would conduct from 14 March 2009 at the Shiloh Sanctuary in Observatory, also to other churches of the area. With regard to participation at the training itself, it turned out to be yet another big disappointment. We were however thankful that John Kadende, a local Rwandese pastor of Paran Christian Ministries in Salt River, a fellowship of predominantly central African refugees, joined the course. (He is the husband of Rose, who has been such a blessing to us when she translated the devotions at the jewellery workshop so meaningfully. This was at least a small beginning. The contact with Pastor John Kadende intensified when we were confronted with all sorts of problems that refugees had to encounter. We started planning an outreach and a training session together with him.

A breakthrough in Bo-Kaap at last?
On Sunday 7 June, 2009  I went to Noordhoek to celebrate with Gerald Schwartz, our CPX colleague! Miraculously the Lord had 'given' to him and his colleague Julian ?? a property in excellent state on the Ou Kaapse weg that had been on auction. The property is adjacent to Africa House, the property of All Nations that we had just acquired a few months ago. What a special privilege it was to help dedicate the building to the service of the Lord where Julian, Gerald and their team want to empower Blacks with different skills. And what an encouragement it was to me to hear that Julian had been praying for 18 years for the fulfilment of his dream. (It is the 18th year of our praying for a breakthrough in Bo-Kaap.
            Rosemarie stayed at home because our son Danny had phoned from Germany late Saturday night that he was taking his wife to hospital for the birth of their baby. It became quite quite tense when her reported in another call later that the mother mouth had closed again. Rosemarie and I were quite tense when hours later still nothing had apparently happened. She wanted to be at home for the phone call so she did not go to Noordhoek with me. Early on Monday 8 June we received a phone call. We had our first grandson – Josiah. I vaguely remembered him to be the king of Israel who came to the throne when he was still a child.
         Rosemarie was scheduled to share at our home church in the Discipling House on Saturday 14 June and I was due to start a three-part series from the next day at the church in Ottery. (Months ago Pastor Danny du Plessis had requested this as he would be on a Sabbatical.) We were deeply blessed to used the child-king Josiah as theme. I was also challenged to break down any vestige of idolatry in my own life as I prepared a series during which I was humbled one more to discover how the neglect of the visible unity of the body of Christ could be regarded as some sort of idol. I should be prepared to devote the rest of my life towards the fulfilment of our Lord's prayer that they may be brought to complete unity, starting with the foreigners in the City Bowl.

To get a phone call early Sunday morning is not a normal occurrence. This happened on July 12 July 2009. Our son Sammy narrated what had just happened in the early hours of the morning. A few hours later he sent the following lines into cyber space:

Dear Family and Friends,
Before you hear any rumours, we wanted to let you know how awesome God is. Of course you know this, but we experienced it in a special way yesterday (technically early this morning).
We went to a wedding in Wellington, which was lovely and ended quite late. Leaving just after midnight we drove home, keen to go sleep. On the N1 just after N1 city we came around a bend, and saw an accident, that had just taken place. So we stopped to see if we could help and phoned emergency services.
After establishing that no-one was hurt, Sam ran down the highway towards where the cars were coming from to slow them down, as it was around a blind corner and very dangerous. He got to about 100m when he saw a tow truck speeding down the highway. He tried to slow it down, but it was too late. The driver came around the bend, slammed on his brakes and lost control of his vehicle, swerving off the road, straight in the direction of Sheralyn, who was off the road on the phone to emergency services. All she saw was bright lights coming towards her at a very high speed. She managed to run and dive out of the way - well almost. All Sam saw was the car heading straight towards her and his sexy wife in high heels running and diving. He kind of felt like he was in a James Bond movie, but had an amazing peace – so did Shell.
Turns out the car hit her left leg as she was diving out of its course. Somehow Shell managed to hold onto her phone, but the handbag and shoes went flying. Telling the operator she had been hit by a car, she put down the phone, as the operator wasn't being very helpful. Sam sprinted as fast as his legs could carry him, and was relieved to find his wife in one piece. The paramedics arrived soon, and Sheralyn was strapped to a board and loaded into an ambulance – her first ever ambulance ride! How fun, she said. However, she couldn't see around the inside of the ambulance as she was strapped in tight – neck brace and all.
Luckily other people from the wedding were soon on the scene and they drove our car to the hospital, so Sam also got to experience his first ambulance ride, AND could look around inside – but of course chose to keep his eyes fixed on his beautiful wife.
At the hospital they took X-rays and discovered that all was in tact. Praise the Lord!! Shell was quite bruised and stiff though.
We are so grateful to the Lord because it could have ended up so differently. It was really a matter of split seconds and centimetres. The car was must have been going at about 80-100Km/h as it hit Shell, and she's come away with just a few bruises and some stiffness. Thank you Jesus for having your angels around us!
At the hospital we got to meet and pray with the people involved in the accident. Also such a miracle that nothing happened to them! They were also coming from the wedding. As they came around the bend in the fast lane, they crashed into the driver side of a vehicle that had been involved in an accident moments before. Amazingly the driver of that car had just managed to get out of his car. Damage to the car showed that he wouldn't have survived that crash.
Anyway, we have just been reminded how fragile our lives really are, but so glad to know that our time is in His hands. It was almost two years ago now, when a good friend of Sammy died, and he was challenged by the Lord to make life count. What a fresh reminder of that fact.
We have been planning to send you a proper newsletter. So you can expect that in your inbox soon.
Love u guys lots!
Samuel and Sheralyn

Not only we but also Sheralyn was clearly carried on On Eagles wings. Rarely does one hear of someone diving out of the way of an oncoming vehicle with glaring lights.

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

Eternal Goal or Kick-start?
I had been praying about attending the Pretoria Partners' Consultation (PC) of CCM that would be held in mid October, but there was no confirmation to that end. I was sad to hear thereafter though that a major dispute had arisen in Pretoria about the Methodology to be used in the run-up to the Football World Cup. Worse would come when it appears that two camps developed. I had been involved with Eternal Goal but felt quite a lot of affinity with the approach of Kick-start.  In fact, I thought that they could easily augment each other. After a first attempt in reaching out to Somalians we did not feel very comfortable with the approach of using the five pillars of Islam as a kick-start  In stead, we started using three questions around the fear of death.
Just ahead of our seminar in Woodstock on Saturday 21 November we heard of a clash by two prominent leaders at the Pretoria and that two camps had virtually formed even here at the Cape. Without doing anything, we had landed in the Eternal Goal 'camp'. I could not accept this, starting with a mediating effort, which included long telephonic conversations with both personalities. It seemed to me imperative that the unity within CCM would be restored to get a breakthrough in our efforts to see Muslims come to Christ in numbers of significance. The need for reconciliation was stark because the rift was having national ramifications.

The Income Tax Dilemma

Thank you Jeremy for your prompt response and mentioning your reservation which we will address straight away.

We understand that you were not aware of the networking with Zulpha and Abdul Morris and the Heaven Shelter House since its inception in 1998 because you were in Liberia for the bulk of that period. Perhaps we did not stress in our annual reports how the two were actually faithful stalwarts of our work among the MBBs. When we started Friends from Abroad, we handed the leadership of the work among MBB'S over to Abdul and Zulpha. They persevered with the ministry that they have been doing in Mitchells Plain very faithfully next to the ministry of Heaven's Shelter House, first in Beacon Valley and now also in Woodlands. We are still in close contact with them.

The Rajagukguks, Maria van Maarseveen and Allmuth Hinkelmann were not very much involved with the work in Mitchells Plain, but various short termers had been assisting, especially over the Christmas period when our normal children's clubs were dormant.  The Raja's as the only Weccers left of that era, would be able to tell you about the ministry of the Heaven Shelter House and the close links to our team.

Unfortunately the Rajagukguks are now in Indonesia to bear out what I have written. The phone numbers of Abdul and Zulpha are 021-3722224 or 0824294447 if you have any queries.

Trusting that this information will help you to clear your reservations and that you will pass on your endorsement of the sentence with which you had a problem just as promptly as you did it this time.

Yours in His service,
Ashley and Rosemarie


South African Revenue Service,

We gladly give you information about Mr and Mrs Ashley and Rosemarie Cloete (25 Bradwell Road in Cape Town) and the relationship between them and WEC International.

In 1991 Mr and Mrs Ashley and Rosemarie Cloete have gone through WEC’s required Candidate Orientation in the WEC Netherlands Sending Base. Having accepted WEC’s principles and practice, they were subsequently released from our sending base and left for Cape Town in January 1992 with their five children aged five to twelve years old.
They served in Cape Town faithfully until April 2007 as WEC missionaries when they resigned, of their own accord, starting a ministry with a focus on foreigners called “Friends from Abroad”.

WEC International is a faith based missionary organisation that does not pay salaries to its missionaries.
Every missionary is sent out through his/her national sending base and is expected to trust God for financial provision for all their needs. This could include travel expenses to and from the country they serve, for accommodation, education of their children, medical services, local transportation needs, telephone costs, food et cetera.
As a Dutch Sending Base we have forward 100 % of the financial support that came in for the Cloete family in the period (1991 – 2007) that they were working in South Africa, expecting it to be used for personal support and those costs that come along with running a ministry or to spend it as they saw fit.

For all WEC missionaries ministry costs account for a large part of the expenditure as this is understood to be part of our so called “ faith principle”. On most fields however there is the system called “Fellowship fund” that, if so desired, augments those under supported workers to an agreed minimum income subject to availability of general funds of the team at that time.

The Cloete family was blessed to receive funds to cover their needs (this could include vehicles et cetera) via family, friends and a congregation in Holland.
It is not unusually that workers with WEC International, like Ashley and Rosemarie Cloete, beyond the basic needs for their family, assist poor and needy local people as they see this as being part of their God given calling to a particular ministry and the faith that God will supply if He calls.

Over the years Ashley and Rosemarie Cloete, as part of their ministry, took physically abused or destitute women into their home and later on in a property called ‘Moriah Discipling House’.
The Cape sector of WEC International started a hand craft workshop ministry under the leadership of Rosemarie Cloete with needy women. This ministry assisted to generate a small income for the women and their children. Individuals were also accommodated at the same venue while they were taught and trained - until such time when they could move on independently.

Since 2003 the ministry of the Cloetes increasingly included needy foreigners at that venue.
In 2008 - the Cloete’s were no longer with WEC and when xenophobic attacks ravaged South Africa - various refugees were housed and cared for.
But already before this the focus of the non-profit workshop changed, helping refugee women who had no other income. Bead work is now being done there two days per week. Rosemarie and missionary colleagues have been involved in this workshop completely voluntarily, often using private resources.

The team has also been assisting the ministry of the ‘Heaven's Shelter’ in Mitchell’s Plain since its inception in 1998, where abused women and abandoned children were taken care of.
The team – led by Ashley and Rosemarie – have also been involved with the giving of free English lessons and children's work over the years. In recent years Ashley has also been practicing advocacy on behalf of duped refugees and other needy people.

We hope that this information can assist you to assess properly how to treat the Cloete couple for tax purposes.

Yours sincerely


The above letter was sent to our WEC HQ in Durban. Jeremy Kammies, the leader replied 'The letter is alright except to omit what I have highlighted in blue. This is a ministry I have not seen operating so cannot say yes to its inclusion in this official letter:  It was these words.
Over the years Ashley and Rosemarie Cloete, as part of their ministry, took physically abused or destitute women into their home and later on in a property called ‘Moriah Discipling House’. 

I wondered why he didn't phone us to get more information. I had already written a reply when I got an email from Holland indicating that a letter to SARS had already been sent without this sentence. I sent to Jeremy Kammies my reply nevertheless, still hoping that we could normalise relations with our former mission agency.  

Hi Jeremy,

Trusting that things are also quieting down now on your side as the holiday season approaches. but now to the reason for this email:

After extensive correspondence with the Bellville SARS Office stretching over a few years, they recently requested a letter from our WEC Sending Base in the Netherlands. Chris Hund has has sent me the following as a draft - upon suggestions from our side. ( I coloured South Africa to make clear that the xenophobic attacks pertain to our country and not theirs as he had it in his draft).

Could you please send your response back to Holland as soon as possible, i.e. if you are happy with it as it is, alternately with any amendment you would like to suggest. We would like to get this matter settled soon.

Thanking you cordially in advance, yours in His service,
More Mysterious Ways
When we prayed on Signal Hill on 24 October 2009 Celia Swanepoel enquired after my book Seeds sown for Revival, I was quite disappointed to have to tell her that it still had not been printed. The book cover had been causing a major delay. (During our visit in Germany in July our nephew had an idea to make the cover more appealing. This was however the beginning of another saga that would take us deep into December.) To me this was no great tragedy because I had already started writing an epilogue to the original manuscript. I was definitely not going to rush anything. I was given a lot of grace to discern that I could improve the manuscript all the time.
When I drove to Stikland to fetch the 'proof copy' of Seeds sown for Revival , my Moravian Sunday School and youth friend Hindi Sonnenberg, the owner of The Printman, conceded that he was not happy at all with the product. Even greater was the disappointment for Rosemarie. With her eye for the aestetic she immediately noted that the cracks in the arid earth which our nephew had incorporated into the book cover, was nowhere to be seen. A visit a week later to the printing company with Mike our son-in-law, who had been quite involved with the cover design, only brought us to the discovery that the family factory was not equipped for the task. Yet, after the saga I felt very much a moral obligation to stick to them and see how we could resolve it amicably, at least for the 150 copies that I had money for. On the other hand we would not be good stewards to accept an inferior product.
On Wednesday 25 November Eben Welby-Solomon, one of the His People elders, to whom I had given my manuscript a year and a half ago, had phoned. He wanted to come and see me about the book.  On Monday 30 November he visited us, offering to see if they could assist with the publication, e.g. with the cover via one of the printing companies where their printing is done. But he also mentioned that the City Bowl congregation of His People ministries had moved to Hope Street, more or less equidistant to Bo-Kaap, our target area.

With some trepidation I went there on Sunday 6 December, wary of incurring another disappointment in terms of a fellowship with no heart for the Muslim stronghold. How great was our surprise not only to meet Andy and Lizelle Draai there but to see that the Lord has blessed them with a bonny boy after 14 years of marriage. On top of that, Andy introduced me to a convert from Islamic background that He had been ministering to and also of his own ministry in the residential area where are still to see home churches planted in due course.

In a Quandary
For the evening  of Saturday 28 November we were in a quandary for. We had been invited to a wedding of Tim Dokyong, one of our All Nations missionary colleagues with Tini, a German YWAM missionary. We had already responded with our  intention to attend the reception when we received an invitation to the graduation of Dorien and Daniel Langstraat, a Dutch couple that we had assisted to recruit to come and study at the Cape Town Baptist Seminary. (Dorien had been working - initially with Ashley and other WEC International short-termers from 2005 - in a children's club in the Parkwood township throughout her time of study, only interrupted by the birth of their son Simeon.)
We attended the wedding ceremony the afternoon at Africa House in Noordhoek, but never really considered skipping the evening part and rather go to Kenilworth for the graduation.

Involved in spiritual Battle once again
Due to a mistake, our names were not on the list for the supper at the wedding. Luckily we were there fairly early so that we could leave quietly, happy to be able to attend the graduation event of our Dutch friends. At the massive St James Church in Kenilworth where it was held –  the venue of the massacre of July 1993, but also the spark of a special season of prayer in our country - Rosemarie saw a poster announcing a Muslim-Christian debate in Sea Point on Friday 11 December, 2009. It was to us already quite providential that we could attend the graduation ceremony. 
I discovered in the next few days that hardly anybody knew of the debate, that was due to take place in Sea Point. In stead, the most extremes reports of evil at the Cape seemed to pour in. Thus one could have read as a caption in our newspapers “DECRIMINALISE OUR TRADE BEFORE 2010 – SEX WORKERS!” In plain language, that can be translated as a plea to allow our women and young girls to operate feely as prostitutes during the World Cup, without the fear of arrest. Pimps would then be able to operate with impunity and crime syndicates would get away more easily with luring teenagers to 'sex work', as prostitution was now dubbed.
At this time I was encouraged by words of Dr Billy Graham from his last message at the first Lausanne Conference in 1974: 'Evil will grow worse but God will be mightily at work at the same time. I am praying... that we will see in the next months and years... showers of blessing... falling on all continents before the coming of the Lord.'  Through a few other phone calls and emails I knew that we were in the throes of spiritual battle once again. I decided to flee forward, writing emails to invite pastors and prayer warriors to a special prayer meeting, stating that Muslims usually rock up in big numbers at such occasions, especially keeping in mind the proximity of Sea Point to Bo-Kaap. In my email to local pastors I proposed that we should not engage in competition or rivalry in terms of numbers attending.  I also wrote: In stead, we would like you to encourage your church numbers who would want to attend, to come with a loving and prayerful attitude and definitely not seeing Muslims as enemies of Christians or Jews.'
An Email to Friends far and near
On Sunday evening 6 December 2009 I wrote another email to friends far and near to solicit prayer and support for Dr David Seccombe, principal of George Whitfield College in Muizenberg, who was due to present the Christian viewpoint in the upcoming Muslim-Christian Debate on 11 December. (I had also invited him to be present at the  special prayer meeting in Mowbray to give us some pointers, as well as Errol Naidoo from the Family Policy Institute to introduce prayer against human trafficking. 
I also appended a draft declaration that I had been updating with Achmed Kariem and Dr Ali Behardien, two local Muslim background believers who work in the city. I hoped on some feedback as a 'fleece' if we should use the declaration on the short term.

An eventful Christmas
On Sunday 27 December 2009 I reported to our children in the weekly notes as follows:
... Just before lunch:
Whosoever gave us the book My utmost for the Highest of Oswald Chambers for Christmas has blessed us in a special way this morning. I was very much challenged to pray into this this morning.

After lunch:
During lunch I heard that it was Tabitha and Mike who donated the book!! So the two have you have hit it. Thanks a lot, once more!
Well, let me continue the story. We prayed as usual for you our children and for Bo-Kaap, but the book of Chambers was lying on the bed next to me. I suggested to Ma to read the portion for today. That was spot-on for me, exactly on the theme!
We continued to pray as I had said that I wanted to give my utmost for the highest, also in respect of Bo-Kaap, but praying that the Lord would give us strategy, for Bo-Kaap and for Unity of the Body of Christ, which I still thought to be the things we should be concentrating on. We must do more outreach, yes, but not random, activist stuff. (So much of what I have been doing the last months were carnal things or going through the motions.) I was willing to even release Bo-Kaap if the Lord wants us to do something else in stead, although to do this after we have been praying for a breakthrough there for almost 18 years, would be rather tough!

Well, the Lord confirmed today for us in a special way, meeting a White believer at church who has been living in Bo-Kaap now for a year! What an encouragement it was, not only to hear her heart for the area, but also when we were joined by the wife of the pastor, who was very encouraging in this regard as well. How different than last time round when we shared our vision with the (St Stephen's ) Common Ground fellowship leaders. I had such high expectations at that time.  I don't want to expect too much prematurely this time, but I was blessed nevertheless to sense some movement now, on the last Sunday of the year!)

I discover that we have not yet shared with you quite eventful stuff of Christmas day, but I will either do that later or Mama must tell this story of our Christmas day outreach to the police cells and a rather dramatic emergency phone call just before our last police station, Claremont. Now off to my Sunday midday nap, if successful!

I had a good nap and watched some cricket too before the guests came.
Avril and John Thomas, Ouma and Auntie Heather from Zimbabwe have just left and I notice that Ma didn't finish the notes when she was at the computer. I suppose she was catching up on Facebook.

So back to the Christmas day saga. Just as we were trying to find our last police station to be served on the map, there was this emergency call of the daughter of a Congolese family – a mother with ten children that have to leave the house immediately. We have a working relationship with the compassionate owner, who had snapped. A call to her cell phone confirmed that there was a huge problem with the question whether we would come with cars. We would meet her at the house of the family in Bellville. 
The visit to the last police cell was no joy at all!!  In fact, it was so moving – especially seeing a Congolese mother with two small children in a dark cell. What a place to spend your Christmas – possibly picked up because of papers?

But then of course we had to speed off to Bellville! What had happened was that the racist neighbours basically wanted the big African family out of the way. The owner waited outside on us. There was also a reason from her point of view which brought her to the drastic step – a delinquent teenager son that she had asked the family to send away had returned to the family without her consent. She was now at the end of her tether, hoping that we could take the family with the six children of the mother to the Discipling House. She would try and find a solution for the other four children she had put under the custody of the widow she had been supporting for a number of years.  On arrival inside the house, we found everybody crying... and their belongings in black bags, ready to be taken where to?  They did not know where to go to. That was the reason they had phoned us.  A terribly sad atmosphere to walk into.
         After we had tried to give an ear to as many of them as possible, the owner stood up – very annoyed leaving in a rage, but saying that the family could stay. In a telephonic call later the same afternoon, she confirmed this. We must now try and find counselling for the teenage boy – the cause of the problems. He is obviously damaged, having grown up without the father who has been killed in a xenophobic attack a few years ago. His devout mother had no time for her own six children when problematic and other destitute children were placed into her care and custody...

         With regard to the publication of sensitive material I was quite fearful to draw premature and undue attention, very wary that God might not get the honour due to Him. We were so aware that the Master gardener is still busy pruning us. And so much was still in the melting pot. To Him be the glory, honour and praise!!! Nevertheless, we still had only one big desire: to proclaim what the Lord has done; to tell far and wide how we have been carried On Eagles wings.

When I took a young Muslim lady whom we had taken into our home for a few months after rescueing her from a shelter on Monday 1 February, we hoped that we would have a more restful period would start. We should have known that the beginning of February is never restful. We had not envisaged that two torrid weeks would follow.
         A convert from Nigeria phoned if he could come and speak to me. He and his wife were doing the YWAM school of Biblical Studies in Muizenberg. The next day he phoned again, wanting to come and speak to me urgently. This resulted in us hosting him and his wife for about six weeks after there had come a threat from his home country.  This was not the first time that we now had to hide a Muslim background believer for fear of him being hunted down for fear of his life. But there was a heavy atmosphere hanging for almost two weeks as we looked for alternative accommodation for them. That was one of very few times when we were happy when people left our home.

            On Wednesday 19 May 2010 Rosemarie came back from their bead jewellery workshop, she shared that her African ladies said almost in unison that xenophobia is increasing once again. They have even been harassed in trains and threatened. They would be attacked and killed after the World Cup. This was scary stuff. I was reminded how the bishop of Johannesburg, Desmond Tutu warned the government of the day in vain of the anger amongst the youth in 1976. The warning was not needed, leading subsequently to the tragic Soweto massacre of learners. I immediately took the message to the opening of the Global Day of Prayer Conference in the Cape Town Convention Centre on 19 May 2010, sharing it with Barry Isaacs.  I was thankful to hear that a TV report mentioned that these threats were also uttered in other parts of the country.
            In answer to prayer and due to the alert and persistent actions of Anglican Catholic Bishop Alan Kenyon, this threat could be defused. He got the task force of President Zuma involved. Foreigners could supply the number plates of three cars that disseminated inciting pamphlets in the Black townships.

Seed sown starts to germinate
An initiative of 1996  - the start of annual intensive two-week courses in Muslim Evangelism at the Bible Institute of South Africa (BI) in Kalk Bay - had interesting repercussions in the new millennium. Sheldon Allies, a first year student, was gripped by my lectures on the History of Islam in South Africa and Muslim Evangelism at the Cape. He wanted to speak to me afterwards but being the humble person he is, he thought that foreign students should get that opportunity first. He remembered me ministering at the shelter of Zulpha and Abdul Morris in Beacon Valley during some advent occasion thereafter, but still it seems not to have been God's perfect timing. When I had some dealing at the Standard bank of Mowbray towards the end of 2009 where he was working, he said that he knew me. He wanted to buy a few Search for Truth booklets. A few months later he also bought my book Seeds sown for Revival.

Ramifications of a Book
When we left for Germany for the marriage of our son Rafael in July 2010, I had my cell phone diverted to that of Gershin Philander, who house sitted for us. At our return he mentioned two calls regarding my book Seeds sown for Revival.
            A certain lady from Bellville ordered 25 copies and a gentleman who would phone again wanted ten.  In the first case we learnt later that Noeline and Ben Walker had started a book ministry through which they wanted to promote the work of Christian authors. They had started going to churches and they intended to start a little Christian book shop from their home. They also discovered that no Christians books were sold at the annual book fair in Richmond at the end of September.
            Earl Erasmus, is a Christian who holds a responsible post at UCT. Sheldon Allies had  shown him my book Seeds sown for Revival.  Earl was so much gripped by it that he wanted to come and see me because he believed that we could network by using the book. He brought along two others, Sheldon and Jason ​Pretorius. They shared about how God brought them together as young men from different denominations with one common denominator – a hunger for God. They made me eager to meet Wasim Allie, whom Sheldon had perseveringly evangelized. After three sessions with the young men, they participated at a camp with young people from a certain church. Hereafter Earl wrote me the following lines.

The camp went extremely well. Additionally we have another group meeting fortnightly or monthly depending on how the lot falls. Jason runs this group. The focus is on single persons. I must say God is really planting an incredible seed for revival in this group. These people are passionate about God and their hunger for fulfilment is incredible.

On top of this we pray regularly but randomly throughout the entire week. Most of these prayer journeys are late nights. We sometimes have specific venues and other times we just drive until we find a place where God wants us to stop. This is really reminding me about the days of old when people were willing to do anything anytime for Christ.

The team is excited. It’s incredible. I see and hear daily how God is miraculously intervening in our lives.

As I worked towards the finalising of a book on the run-up and aftermath of the Cape 1860 revivals, God birthed in my heart an increasing longing for revival as I noticed in my own heart a lack of genuine remorse for what went wrong in the Church. I also discerned how individuals that were sold out to God and who had a close walk with him could be used as conduits of revival, in spite of fierce opposition.

MBB Movement at last?
Over the years Achmed Kariem would refer to the need of South African MBB's to meet from time to time. Again and again I encouraged him to take the initiative and not wait on others. In August 2010 the seed seemed to have dropped. In the beginning of September he got the blessing of his home church to engage in this venture. I encouraged him all the way, also passing on the email addresses of new converts of the last few years.

I need to add that the last one was also one of the most blessed. What a privilege it was to listen to some of the Lausanne folk. Now we must try and digest what we have taken in. Next to that we yesterday attended the 'welcome back' from Baruch and Karen Rudnick and their children from Israel.  Before he left in 1999, he pastored at the Beth Ariel Messianic fellowship in Sea Point. That meeting was sooooooo wonderful.  I should start now however in my journey with the Lord as he ministered to me three weeks ago from Romans 1:16. I wrote the following in my latest booklet: Moishe Rosen, the founder of Jews for Jesus, highlighted this aspect in his paper delivered as part of the Jewish Evangelism track at Lausanne II in Manila, 1989. He suggested in that paper that 'God’s formula' for worldwide evangelization is to bring the gospel to the Jew first. Highlighting the example of Paul: “I am not ashamed of the gospel for it is the power of God unto salvation to all who believe, to the Jew first and also to the Greek” (Romans 1:16), Rosen suggested in the same paper that 'by not following God’s programme for worldwide evangelisation – that is, beginning with Jerusalem (Israel, and the Jews).

I felt personally challenged to get involved with Jews as well. The very next day Brett Viviers, a Messianic Jewish believer, a former elder at CT Baptist Church, whose daughter's prayers were instrumental in linking us up with that fellowship in 1993. (You may remember that he also renovated our house together with Melvin Maxegwana).
As a result of meeting him the next day my resolve was strengthened to meet other Jewish believers and intensify contacts with the few we know. After reading some of my stuff, Brett decided to start Isaac/Ishmael ministries.
You should also know that Achmed Kariem had been asking me for years to start an equivalent of Jews for Jesus for MBBs. I have been encouraging him to take the initiative. We hope that the ball in that regard will start rolling at Anathoth Conference Centre near to Brackenfell next week-end at our CCM conference.

We will have to see what the Lord has in store for us.  After the arrival of Leigh and Rabbah (Paul) Telli in 2003/4, we were very much challenged to get Muslim/ Jewish dialogue and reconciliation going here at the Cape, but it never seem to get off the ground. I feel really addressed and challenged to give this a greater priority. 

The wintry conditions also brought us to relocate our Signal Hill early morning prayer yesterday (Saturday). This turned out to be an inspired move. Selby, one of our prayer warriors who lead a fellowship on Friday evenings in Zeekoevlei, phoned Nazlie, a former Muslim who lives here nearby in St James, to come over. It was moving in the extreme to have her here, another special moving story that we should actually narrate in more detail. But I want to go back to bed now to pray with Ma!

Autobiographical Summary

Ashley Cloete

1945- 1954 Born at St Monica’s Bo-Kaap and raised in
District Six, Cape Town.
1952 -1958 Primary schooling in District Six, Tiervlei/Ravensmead and Elim
1959- 1962 Secondary Education, Vasco High School
1963-1964 Teacher Training, Hewat Training College
1965- 1968 Teaching at Bellvile South High School,
1965- 1968 Studying Part-time at UWC for BA,
1967 -1968 On the national executive from the Moravian Youth Union        
1969 – 1970 Youth Work Practicum and studies in Southern Germany
October 1970 – December 1971 Teaching at Alexander Sinton and Elswood High Schools
1971- Studying Part-Time at Moravian Seminary in District Six.
1972 – 1973 - Studying full-time at Moravian Seminary in District Six.
November 1973 return to Germany
Dec 1973 - September 1974 Vikar in Königsfeld (Black Forest) and West Berlin
October 1974 - September 1975, Predigerseminar Bad Boll,
March 1974 – engagement to Rosemarie Göbel                
Marriage on 22 March 1975, followed by honeymoon in South Africa..
September 1975, second examination and ordination as Moravian minister

Rosemarie Cloete, néé Göbel
7 July 1951 - Born in Maulbronn, Southern Germany
??      November 1973  - Residence in Mühlacker
August 1957 – July 1966, Schooling in Mühlacker
September 1968– August 1970 - Studies to become an ‘Erzieherin’ (Educator)                                 
September 1970 – August 1971 – ‘Anerkennungsjahr’ (Occupational practicum) at the School for the
                                                                                     Blind, Stuttgart
September, 1971 - August 1973 Work as Therapeutical assistant for children of Tübingen Hospital and
At school for retarded in Ludwigsburg
September 1973 – August1974 Extra Studies for retarded children in Reutlingen, and thereafter until marriage (March 1975) back in Ludwigsburg.
From December 1973 - Residence in Gündelbach
From April 1975 – September 1975 residence in Bad Boll, working in children’s home in Oberböhringen   

Honeymoon March to mid April
April 1975 - September 1975 residence in Bad Boll and first pregnancy
From September 1975 - September 1977, Pastorate in West Berlin, birth of Daniel (4-2-1977)
From September 1975 - December 1980, Pastorate in Utrecht, residence in Zeist, birth of Rafael (4-8-1979)
December 1980 – June 1981, residence in Sherwood Park and Crawford
January 1980 – June 1981, Ashley teaching at Mount View High School, Hanover Park
September 1981 – June 1982, Ashley teaching in Utrecht, Residence in Zeist birth of Magdalena (17-3-1982)
- thereafter residence in Zeist, while Ashley had various temporary teaching posts, interspersed with short periods of being unemployed.
October 1982 – December 1990, leading Stichting Goed Nieuws Karavaan in a part-time capacity
birth of Samuel (24-7-1984), Tabitha (25-4-1986)
Family camps in Tieringen (1987), Braunfels (1989)
Evangelical Missionary Alliance event in Amsterdam 1988
February 1989, Death of Papa Göbel (4-2-1989)
WEC Family camp in Braunfels (1989)
November 1989 Ashley visit to Hungary and Rumania
February 1990 Ashley visit to Mali and Côte I’voire
December 1990 Orientation visit to South Africa
January 1991 –June 1990 WEC Candidate Orientation Programme in Bulstrode (England) and Emmeloord.
January 1992 – To Cape Town, residence at CEBI, Kenilworth and Tamboerskloof
September 1992 – Start of Friday lunch hour prayer meeting at Shepherd’s Watch
February 1992 – December 1993 Post graduate missionary diploma at BI (Kalk Bay)
February 1992 - attending Vineyard congregation (later Jubilee church) at Cape Town High School
From March 1992 – Prayer walks in Bo-Kaap,
Mid-1993 – Joining Cape Town Baptist Church
December 1993 – present residence in Vredehoek
December 1993 – July 2006, pioneering and leading evangelistic team of WEC Internatonal in the Western Cape, continuing with informal private studies in church and mission history and various aspects of Islamics, Ashley writing diverse manuscripts and tracts.
Teaching to Baptist theological students linked to CTBC, prayer walk in Woodstock. Links to Pastors William Tait and Edgar Davids
From March 1994, co-ordinating Jesus Marches in Cape Town, thereafter involved in various aspects of prayer mobilisation.  
From October 1994 - Links with Bennie Mostert and the NUPSA School of Prayer (later renamed Jericho Walls) and Gerda Leithgȍb of Herald Ministries.
January 1996 – Start of intensive Muslim Evangelism Course at BI in Kalk Bay
July 1996 – Mark Gabriel with us via YWAM connection.
April 1997 – Taking in first convert into our home
1999-2000              – Various crises around Islamic converts living with us.
Sept - December 1999 - Teaching in Mozambique and Conference in Nairobi
Mid-2001   - Purchase of Discipling House in Mowbray.
October 2003 – More intensive Calling to minister to Foreigners.
9 May 2004 - Jericho Walls 7-DAYS Initiative in the Moravian Hill Chapel, District Six leading to the first the Global Day of Prayer.
January 2005 – Start of prayer in Die Losie of Central Police station.
May 2006 – Prayer in Die Losie of Central Police station after prayer drive ahead
of the Global Day of Prayer.
June 2006 – Prayer at ACDP Board room with Wim Ferreira and Barry Isaacs
September 2006 – Prayer in debating Chamber of the Civic Centre
September 2006 – birth of our first granddaughter, Lolita, to Maggie and Jose
October 2006 - more intense involvement with Friends from Abroad, launch in Feb. 2007.
April 2007 – Joining All Nations International
From May 2007 – Advocacy on behalf of Refugee Foreigners
October 2007 – New involvement with Somalians
July 2007 – Wedding of Danny and Chrissy
November 2007 – Visit to Orlando and Tampa (Florida, USA)
From April 2007 – Ashley becomes a stakeholder on behalf of Refugees with Home Affairs
From January 2008 to July 2008 – Rosemarie and I do the All Nations Church Planting Experience (Cpx), Team in Discipling House
May 2008 – Xenophobic attacks, Discipling House filled with foreigners
June to October 2008 – Involvement at Refugee Camp in Wynberg.
January 2009 - Wedding of Sammy and Sheralyn, Mike and Tabitha
Early 2009 – Start of Doves’ Peak small committee with Barry Isaacs and Murray Bridgman
February to April – CPx team in our home, including Munyaradzi Hove (Zimbabwe)
June 2009 - birth of our first grandson, Josiah, to Danny and Chrissy
January 2010 – New challenge for involvement in Jewish-Muslim Reconciliation
February 2010 – First major Publication, Seeds sown for Revival
July 2010 - Wedding of Rafael and Damaris
October 2011 – Visit to Prayer Convocation in Jerusalem
30 January 2012 – Heart Attack
October 2012 - Wedding of Mggie and Tyron
December 2013 – Nudge to print What God joint together.
March 2015 – 40th wedding Anniversary

[1]               Sister Kooy had also been involved in the evangelical movement of Holland since the Second World War when they were caring for the persecuted Jews and the destitute, along with famous Dutch people like Corrie ten Boom and Broeder Jan Kits (sn).
[2]This paved the way for Nico Botha, who studied in nearby Utrecht, to become a professor at UNISA. Other South African theologians with whom we interacted while we were in Holland were David Olivier in Utrecht, Hannes Adonis in Amsterdam, Daan Cloete and Simon (???) Masamisa in Kampen, Sam Abrahams and Steve Deventer in Groningen. Ds. Steve Deventer remained in Holland where he became a well-known figure in the evangelical world. All of the others obtained doctorates there and later became professors at South African theological faculties in subsequent years.
[3]               Soon hereafter we bought a second hand TV for 50 guilders that we left in Holland when we came to South Africa in 1992.
[4] Although Ds. Peet Jansen, my successor as Utrecht Moravian pastor, had a house of his own, the person responsible for administering the properties of the local congregation, dutifully reminded us repeatedly that they wanted us to leave the premises sooner rather than later.
[5] The full original text: Führe mich O Herr und leite... Meinen Gang nach Deinem Wort. Sei und bleibe du auch heute mein Begleiter und mein Hort. Nirgends als bei Dir allein kann ich recht bewahret sein. 
  Translation: Guide me o Lord and lead my walk according to your Word. Be and stay my companion as well as my solace. Nowhere can I be protected as thoroughly as with you.
[6] The wallet was found in his pocket at his death.
[7]               By this time our pastoral colleague, Albert Schönleber, had contact with an East European who could go in and out to take written and other material that was not easily available in the East, on our behalf.
[8]Annelies, Surinam-background believer was the sister of Lesley Reiziger, to whom we had contact even before he and his wife Wil, a medical doctor, left for Ghana as missionaries on behalf of Wycliffe Bible Translators with their son Samuel.
[9] I do not want to minimize the political efforts, e.g. by the moves behind the scenes sponsored by the Swiss government or by Dr van Zyl Slabbert’s IDASA, but I maintain that it was ultimately the concerted prayer that made the difference.
[10]Those were the worst hearths of the day worldwide.
[11]             My idea of writing a letter to encourage the politicians  Mandela, Buthelezi and De Klerk at the occasion of the Day of the Covenant, to demonstrate a common gesture of reconciliation, did not go down well with one of the delegates. He thought that I was engaging in politics inappropriately. A few years later the public holiday on 16 December was indeed called Reconciliation Day.
[12]             The Indian government was making it increasingly difficult for expatriates to enter the country as missionaries.
[13]       I gave the final draft manuscript to South African Moravian leaders in April  2007.
[14] A German highway is called an Autobahn
[15]The institution, later called Cornerstone Christian College, originally started as an evening Bible School in a home in  the slum-like suburb of Elsies River in 1970, was regarded as a parallel institution for ‘Coloureds’ to the renowned Bible Institute of South Africa in the 'White' suburb of Kalk Bay, where only 'Whites' had been allowed to study,.
[16]       I was required to throw back the ball whenever it went over a high wall and earning some pocket money in the process.  Twenty five cents was not bad money for a Saturday afternoon’s ‘work’ in those days. During the school holidays I had also been earning the princely sum of three Rand for a full five-day week as a cleaner at Mupine.

[17] WEC had actually already pioneered in this regard at this time with Newman Muzwondiwa from Zimbabwe and a South African 'Black', Abraham Thulare. But both of them were ministering in Japan.
[18] That special book had already influenced the praying for missions like possibly no other.
[19] He was linked to the growing church that started on the UCT campus called His People. In the new millennium Tim Makamu belonged to their leadership team.
[20] One wonders what brought the City fathers to choose that name – possibly a translation of Beverley Hill(s) – because there was no colour, there is no hill and it was very dreary and drab in the beginning.
[21] The emphasis of SIM Life Challenge was at that stage very much governed by the philosophy of their founder, Gerhard Nehls, which he typified as ‘broad casting’, trusting that the mere dissemination of the Gospel amongst Muslims would finally provide a breakthrough.
[22]This church came into being as the continuation of the Sheppard Street Baptist Church of District Six.
[23]       We had been closely befriended to Hermann and Mechthild Frick for many years. 
[24] 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 themselves compelled to resign from WEC because they had been called to pioneer a ministry amongst people affected or infected by HIV/AIDS.
[25] 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. Staggie did not follow through. In fact, it seemed as if he pulled Walldeck down in 2016.
[26] A personal connection was that the funding of the intensive renovation of the property was enabled by the mission agency in Stuttgart (Germany) where our friend Hermann Frick was working.
[27] Shahida is not her real name.
[28]             I continued with my research long after the Hanover group had been disbanded, using it later for a series on CCFM radio. I also tried unsuccessfully to publish it under the title Pointers to Jesus.
[29]             Farida, Rashida and Abdullah are not their real names.
[30] 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.
[31] 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. 
[32]             I completed a treatise that I called A Revolutionary Conversation,-  lessons in cross-cultural outreach.
[33]             Colin Temmers, her husband, became one of the regulars at our Friday prayer meetings when he worked for the Cape Town City Council.  Subsequently Salama and Colin Temmers were regulars at our convert meetings when we held them in our home on Sunday afternoons from 1994. They later joined the Good Hope Christian Centre, becoming pastors of a new fellowship planted by the mega church in Mitchells Plain. Colin suddenly passed to higher glory at Easter 2003 after being ill only very briefly. A church building was built in honour of him in Strandfontein where Salama became the senior pastor.
[34]             Various missionaries and academics who wrote Afrikaans assisted him writing the various chapters for a booklet on basic Muslim Evangelism and we linked him up with Elizabeth Robertson to supply a painting for the cover.
[35]             Attie Kotze, a Matric class mate and later teacher at Elsies River High School, assisted with the editing in Afrikaans. A few years later he passed away.
[36]             Johan van der Wal was a regular of our Friday prayer meeting long after his retirement from service with the Standard Bank. He assisted at John Higson’s insurance firm for some time thereafter. Higson was an evangelistic co-worker linked to SIM and the St James Church of Kenilworth, doing outreach first in Lansdowne and later in Salt River.
[37]             Not his real name.
[38] This is his adopted pseudonym, with which he became widely known around the world in later years.
[39] Chris had been imprisoned in the apartheid era. His main ‘offence’ was that he had been caring for the families of political prisoners. As far as I know, he was never brought before a court of law.
[40] The author of the novel Satanic Verses had to go in hiding for intimating that Satan revealed certain verses to Muhammad. 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 of the early 7th century.
[41] Although already almost at retirement age, the 57-year old nurse decided to venture into missions, entering the Africa School of Missions the following year. The year thereafter she was already on her way to the mission field, to the Indian subcontinent as a ‘tent-making’ missionary, using her nursing skills in a loving way to the down and outs. It became simultaneously the opportunity for us to upgrade our ‘fleet’, taking over her 1989 Mazda for a song. That car was to give us many years of faithful service until it was stolen in 2001.
[42]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.
[43]It was he who appeared to have made the biggest sacrifice of the children when we came to Cape Town after having had a fairly close friendship to Michael van der Wolf in Zeist and being without any friends in Cape Town for many months.
[44]This was the new name of the Cape Evangelical Bible Institute (CEBI) after it relocated. CEBI had been the venue where we started off in Cape Town in January 1992.
[45] In 2004 he went to work among young people in the Eastern part of Germany that was ruled by the Communists until 1990 under the auspices of the Salvation Army and the Jesus Freaks.
[46]The name was later changed to Chris Barnard Hospital.
[47]I have used a pseudonym.
[48] The hospital became renowned worldwide in 1967 through the first heart transplant operation by Professor Chris Barnard and his team.
[49] Many years later, at the end of 2006, I recorded a series on John 4.
[50] This included Bible School libraries next to three university libraries, a Jewish and a Muslim library.
[51] Not his real name.
[52] Not her real name
[53] Not her real name.
[54] Not his real name
[55] The model was the ANC, which was given encouragement from exile to that end. In January 1985 it had been suggested that the oppressed should make the country ungovernable. This was to become its strategy to get ‘people’s power’ in place.
[56] We took care of Nazeema after her ex-husband had tried to choke her, whereafter she fled to friends in the neighbourhood.
[57] Thankfully the law was changed in the Netherlands soon hereafter, so that the drastic move was not needed.
[58] I knew him from the start of the Regiogebed in Holland in 1988 and I had also met Cees Vork in Holland.
[59] Not his real name
[60] Not her real name.
[61] Not her real name.
1At the South African WEC conference of 1996 I was very disappointed that I was not been given the opportunity to report back on many hours of research that I had engaged into on the RUPA’s, the Remaining Unreached People Groups of Southern Africa.
[62]Approximately 1,5 Km.
[63] He later became a South African resident, changing his name to Daniel.
[64] Later we discovered that other people had experienced similar dreams.
[65] We were less excited when the room turned out to be a small office, where Michael Share, the national Cops for Christ coordinator, slept when he was in Cape Town.
[66]             Not her real name.
[67]             Not his real name.
[68]             Through the currency crisis of 2001 in the Southern Hemisphere our income – coming from Europe – had suddenly increased substantially.
[69]             Not her real name.
[70]             Not his real name.
[71]The launch of Friends from Abroad on Saturday, 17th February was rather disappointing. There was a complete lack of support and involvement from City Churches at this occasion.
[72]She had married Doug Smetherham, a South African.
[73]I had been driving past the offices of Struik Christian Books many times (the offices are situated about a kilometer from our home), wondering whether I should present them with the one of other of my manuscripts. Just before Christmas 2007 I took the plunge to start a procedure with them.
[74]In the meantime he had become a professor at the University of Stellenbosch.
[75]We had attended many a youth camp together and Rosemarie and I visited him and his family in Enon on our honeymoon trip and on subsequesnt visits to South Africa. Conversely, he and Louise, his wife, visited us in Zeist.
[76]The radio talk can be read as an appendix in Pointers to Jesus
[77]Because of the prayer meeting in the Civic Centre and Provincial Parliament on other Saturday mornings, we moved our own event on Signal Hill to the 4th Saturday morning of the month. We interfaced this later with a quarterly Transformation prayer event at the building site of the new Green Point Stadium.


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