When Port Elizabeth policeman Mornay Rossouw lay battered in hospital after a serious crime scene accident he was sceptical when a friend told him God had a plan for his life.
Seven years later, during a service at the Biker’s Church in PE, he was struck by the truth of his friend’s words, as he realised how much his life had changed and how he was living for God in a calling that he loved.
Mornay’s life took its first big, unexpected turn when he was hit by a car driven by a fleeing drunken driving suspect in December 1999. He was carried on the bonnet of the car for 30 metres as police fired at the vehicle, killing the driver. Mornay ended up being run over by the car and his head and the right side of his body were badly injured.
Mornay had grown up in a Christian home. He was married, and clean living but he did not have a personal relationship with God. The night before the accident he had received a trophy at a year-end function in recognition for work achievements in the police dog unit. He excelled at his work. He lived for his work! But as a result of the accident his active police career was over. And during the years of physical and emotional suffering that followed he asked God how He could allow such things to happen to him.
In 2005 he was medically boarded. He began shopping around for a car for his wife Zelma, unwittingly stepping into the second, big, unexpected turn in his life. After rejecting many cars he told Zelma that he was not prepared to pay so much to drive a car to her work and back. He asked her if she would be willing to ride with him on the back of a motorbike. Without any hesitation she said “yes” and soon they were owners of a brand new Suzuki SV 1000, which was parked in their garage before he even had his learner’s licence.
Later friends invited them on outings with their motorcycle club but Mornay declined as he did not like the drinking and partying that went on in that circle. But he accepted an invitation to join the club one Sunday for a breakfast run with the Christian Motorcyclists Association (CMA). This led to a second ride with the CMA and an invitation to attend an evening service at the Bikers Church in Newton Park.
Mornay and Zelna immediately felt at home in this church where leather-clad members arrive on bikes and the pulpit has handle bars and shock absorbers. They got involved in the life of the church and accepted an invitation to link up with the local chapter of the CMA which is part of a movement that is active in many countries. They went on rides with the CMA and learned about the association’s heart for reaching out to bikers.
“The result was that in May 2006 we both gave our lives to the Lord and decided to put Him first. We wanted to do more for Him. I was now able to look back and thank God for protecting me in my accident and for calling me into His service.”
Mornay and Zelna both earned their full CMA colours, a process that takes nine months and includes completion of the Growing In Grace course and the Safe Driving Course. Mornay and Zelna established a youth ministry at the Bikers Church and he grabs every opportunity to visit churches and schools to speak to young people. He says young people love it when they roar into their churches on their bikes.
“My main message to young people is to make sure that your life is right with God now. Stuff happens so quickly and unexpectedly. If I had died on that night of my accident, I don’t know where I would have gone. I wish I had given my life to the Lord when I was younger. I always tell young people to do it right away and start living an awesome life.”
Mornay and Zelna, who is secretary of the PE chapter of the CMA, also love going to motor cycle rallies as part of the CMA ministry team. “We go to many different rallies and we always try to pitch our coffee tent as close as possible to the beer tent.”
Mornay said the ministry at rallies was challenging because many of the people they met were under the influence of alcohol which made it difficult to engage meaningfully with them. But during his training he was told that his job was not to try and convince people but simply to be there for them and to trust the Holy Spirit to give him the right words at the right time.
“A few years ago on the first night of a rally in Cradock a young man came into the coffee tent with a beer in his hands. We chatted and after about 20 minutes he opened up and asked me my opinion about alcohol.”
Mornay said at the end of the rally the young man came to him and said he was glad they had spoken. He had not touched any alcohol since their conversation. About a year later he met the same young man in the coffee tent at a rally in Graaff-Reinet. He was drinking a beer and he asked Mornay whether Jesus would accept him if he were to come down then. Mornay replied that Jesus had accepted him long ago –before he was born — but it was now time for him to accept Jesus.
“I am sure those words came from the Holy Spirit. I have not seen that man again. But the point is not so much about leading people to the Lord as it is about being there for them and trusting that we can play a part in preparing them to meet Jesus.”
Mornay says that any church or school groups that would like to invite him to speak to their young people are welcome to contact him at 083 554 4684.