Mr PE finalist hosting evening to honour fathers and mothers

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Jean-Pierre Malgas (PHOTO: Google).

Mr PE UberMaNn 2017 finalist Jean-Pierre Malgas, 25, is hosting an evening to honour fathers and mothers in Port Elizabeth on Saturday May 27 2017.

The young chartered accountant says his successes in life so far are due to the impact of parent figures and his event was inspired by Malachi 4:6 — to turn the hearts of the fathers back to the children; and the hearts of the children back to the fathers.

As a finalist in the Boardwalk MR PE UberMaNn competition Malgas is required to host a personal charity fundraising event.

The official beneficiaries for the 2017 charity fundraisers are APD, CANSA PE and a third beneficiary that will be determined by the competition winner who will be announced on the gala night on June 3  at the Boardwalk ICC.

Malgas says that in return for what he has gained from parent figures he has given back “by mentoring and walking with youths whose paths crossed with mine”.

He believes  his Evening of Honour will help bridge the gap between the younger generation of sons and daughters and the older generation of fathers and mothers in the city.

The event concept is for sons and daughters of the city to sow a seed of honour by sponsoring a three-course meal for parents of the city.

Guests will have time to mingle with a diverse group of other parents of the city. A band of sons and daughters led by Timothy Hartzenburg will set the tone with live music and Francisco Prins will render a couple of poetry pieces around the theme of honour, says Malgas. A 15-20 minute video production by sons and daughters honouring parents will be screened. Parents will have an opportunity to sow a seed of affirmation into the younger generation.

Event costs are R300 for one sponsorship, R500 for two sponsorships, R700 for three, etc. The Evening of Honour will be at Savages Fine Foods, Park Drive from 6.30pm for 7pm to 9pm on May 27.

Sons and daughters keen to support the Evening of Honour should contact Malgas at jeanpierre.malgas@gmail.com as soon as possible.




Mr PE finalist doing it for God

Andrew Waters

Die Burger, Boardwalk Mr PE 2016 finalist, Andrew Waters, is using his platform to share the love of God. (PHOTO: Craig Anderson Photography).

Unashamedly Christian Mr PE finalist Andrew Waters shares that his dream is to use the platform to bring glory to God and shake the young people of Port Elizabeth.

In an interview with Gateway News, Waters explained how the Die Burger, Boardwalk Mr PE 2016 campaign had begun to show him  a fresh revelation of God’s love as he participated in the various activities and promotions during the run up to the gala event.

The 12 finalists will host a charity golf day on Friday, June 3 at the PE Golf Club in aid of Wings and Wishes, an organisation that arranges medical flights and transportation for critically ill children; and Quest School for Autisim, which focuses on loving, educating and working with autistic children.

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(PHOTO: Craig Anderson Photography)

Water’s said he has always known that God’s plan for him involves being a difference maker and leader to the young people of Port Elizabeth.

“This was a dream that God had placed in my heart as a teenager. I knew that I was to be a role model to the youth; not to inspire them to be like me but to motivate them enough to see their own dreams and believe in themselves to achieve them.

“I want to get more involved in the community, to bring something new and refreshing that would make a difference in this city,” he said.

Waters wowed the audience at the finalists first public appearance event on May 2 when he passionately declared that he was a child of God and desired to help bridge the gap for young people to cross over from where they were to where God wanted to take them.

“Who I am and what I believe in has everything to do with being a child of God!” the 27 year old client services clerk shared with the captivated audience at the Boardwalk. (See video at bottom of page)

Waters said making the decision to share his faith has always been a no-brainer and he gladly took the opportunity to do so at the event.

“It was a big deal,” he explained.

“I thought of a lot of impressive things to say but overall I decided that if I am introducing myself to Port Elizabeth, then I need to stick with being me.”

To support Andrew Waters as a finalist in the Die Burger, Boardwalk Mr PE 2016 campaign, and to help him garner more points, follow him and his journey by liking his Facebook page and sharing posts that he has been tagged in. You can also send him your prayers and encouragements by using the hashtags #mrpe2016 #yomediasa and #portelizabeth.

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The Die Burger, Boardwalk Mr PE 2016 gala event will be held on June 17 at The Boardwalk ICC in Port Elizabeth. Tickets can be purchased directly from Waters and will not be available at the door.

Sponsors who would like to get involved in the charity golf day by sponsoring cash or prizes can do so by contacting Waters via email.




‘He has given me beauty for ashes and called me His’ — A Beautiful Witness

Young Cape Town evangelist and revivalist Lindy-Ann Hopley travels to many parts of the world sharing the BEAUTIFUL WITNESSgood news of Jesus Christ with passion and power. A former student of the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry in Redding, California, she radiates a contagious love for Jesus and a heart for the lost. But it wasn’t always that way. In what she calls ‘a snippet’ of her testimony she shares how Jesus changed her life forever.

I looked up at about 25 ex prostitutes sitting in front of me.

I had been on a mission trip to Kenya, invited to speak in Uganda and on the way back missed my flight to South Africa whilst in transit in Rwanda. So when I arrived in Rwanda I slipped out of transit to meet my friend Hope, who I met during the world cup in Cape Town in 2010, for a quick drink. As we were about to sit down after greeting  I checked the time — my plane had already left.

I hadn’t realised that my previous flight had been so delayed that there was no transit time anymore. That gave me 24 hours until the next flight out. So my friend and I got onto motorbike taxis to go to her house where I was now to stay the night.

As we left the airport I spoke to Pappa God: “God was I disobedient? Sorry if I missed it.”

WELCOME TO RWANDAI looked up, and written on a huge billboard I read :”We have been expecting to see you”. A supernatural peace came over me. I lifted my eyes even further – “Welcome to Rwanda”. I knew in that moment that I was in the right place .

Hope has a ministry to prostitutes and their kids. The prostitution came as a result of the genocide a few years before; having lost their parents, surviving in this manner.

Hope asked if I wanted to go meet some of the ladies — Of course!
The next day, the translator joined us and we went into the villages in the hills. My heart went out to the women there and I started sharing the love of Jesus. I had the honor of leading two prostitutes to the Lord and God spoke to me about sharing about the importance of water baptism. Before I knew it we were baptising four women in Hope’s bath back at the house! Friday also happened to be the day that the ladies came for Bible study.

“Could you share with the women?” Hope asked.

So there I was on my knees in front of about 25 ex prostitutes…

“I used to do what you used to do, but for free.”

One day, as a young Christian in Cape Town I fell on my knees before God.

Entangled
“I’ve come to say goodbye. I just can’t do this.” — I was entangled in a web of reoccurring sexual sin. It felt like the more I tried to fix myself and put boundaries in place to try and prevent me from ending up in another man’s arms the worse it was when once again I messed up. Even though a year or more had gone by without me even holding someone’s hand I felt ashamed. As I uttered these words in absolute desperation  I saw an open vision. Right in front of me heaven opened and I saw the Father on His throne. He pulled me on His lap and tenderly said :”If only you knew how much I love you.” — And it was this love that kept me from running. Instead of running from Him, I ran to Him and still do.

Whilst the motorbike taxi was waiting outside the house to take me to the airport to catch my flight I shared my experience — the love of the Father — and prayed for them and them for me.

Saved by grace.

Perfect love casts out all fear. And this perfect love has sent me on many adventures around the world.

Reinhard Bonnke

Reinhard Bonnke.

In 2007 I was at a Reinhard Bonnke conference in Johannesburg. “If you have been called to evangelism, come to the front”

At this point I didn’t feel called to anything. I was just holding on, hoping I wouldn’t backslide again or that God would not get tired of me and give up on me.

Also this was still a time where people didn’t all rush to the front hungry for any prayer , but rather watched to see if the senior pastor might go, for surely he is the man of God and not I.

But before I knew it I jumped out of my chair and ran to the front. There I stood totally embarrassed next to about 20 other people — leaders — before hundreds perhaps thousands. Reinhard prayed and that was it.

Boldness
To my surprise, however, about a week later, back home, I went to visit a club owner at his club to wish him a happy birthday. We knew each other well — too well. He knew me at my worst. He knew I had given my life to God and that my life had started to dramatically change. As we sat in his office we started talking about God and he started debating His existence. Suddenly a boldness came over me that I had never experienced before and without even thinking, words came streaming from my mouth and I strongly told him to be quiet.

“You know you don’t have joy, you don’t have peace and you don’t know where you’re going when you die. You know God’s knocking on the door of your heart.”

He started to cry as the presence of God flooded the room.

Afterwards I said to God: “God I would never have said that; he has a big club, a 21 year old model girlfriend , he is rich , drives a convertible. How can I tell him he has no joy?”

“It’s only by My Spirit that people will have peace love joy and righteousness”

This was the first of many such experiences where God taught me through my own words. There are so many different encounters I have had with God that has brought me to be as in love with God as I am today.
I will share a few.

organGrowing up I went to church with my mom and brother. It was a very traditional Afrikaans church. Despite the beautiful building I found it absent of God’s manifest presence. If it wasn’t real I didn’t want it. I’m still like this today. This is where I decided religion wasn’t for me. I might as well be part of any religion, anyway. I didn’t want to believe in Christ just because I grew up in a Christian home with a bible next to my bed.

At the beginning of high school I met some girls who invited me with to youth. A fun outing on a Friday night with a short message afterwards. I really liked all the people and the activities and the really hot youth leader was what really motivated me to come regularly. Then one day they invited me to church. I liked the people and it was walking distance from my house so I decided to join them.

But I was not prepared for what was to take place that day.

As I walked into this little church I felt something. Something overwhelming. My explanation won’t do it justice , but in that moment I knew that I knew that I knew that God was real. “Shit, you’re real” I whispered. It was the tangible manifest presence of God.

I found something I was always looking for and didn’t even know it.

Running away
But unfortunately my experience lacked revelation and as soon as the paw paw hit the fan I ran away from God. At the age of 15 I got date raped by my boyfriend. I remember thinking “God will never take me back now.”
And I started to run. I ran into the arms of every man that would take me.

I had barely any relationship with my own dad. He was never home, working ridiculous hours and when I was at a very young age my parents separated and our already barely there relationship started to vanish. I was looking for love and acceptance. Someone who would tell me that I’m wanted, that I am beautiful.

God pursues usAnd all that time as I was running He was running after me. I remember hearing a still small voice on a roof one time I was there taking drugs making out with a guy.

“Why are you doing this? You know it’s hurting you.”

“Leave me alone – I don’t believe you’re real.”

But He was and He didn’t give up on me.

He kept pursuing me despite my hardened, fearful heart. I knew that what I had experienced in my first year of high school was what I longed for and I even tried to fix myself, as previously mentioned. But finally I realised that I simply had to “Come as I am”

One morning, whilst at university, I woke up next to my very successful, handsome boyfriend at the time. “What are we doing?” I asked. He had no idea what I was talking about, but I continued “I’m going to give my life to Jesus.”
Without another word he took me to my hostel.

That Sunday I went to a church I’d heard of to surrender my life to God. I remember saying to God: ” I’m scared I’m the only cool person there,” and as I walked into the DF Malan Auditorium in Stellenbosch, with more than a thousand people present, the first people I saw were the hottest most popular brothers who used to be at school with me. That fear vanished.

Surrender
Most importantly was that as I stepped into the building I felt exactly what I had felt all those years ago in that small church — God. His manifest presence. I don’t remember a word of the sermon, but I remember crying the whole way through. The fur collar on my pink tweed jacket was completely curled from all the tears. Strangers were passing me their tissues. And then the altar call was made. I can still hear it: ” There are some of you here that need to give your lives to God for the first time,” — many people went forward. But in my head I thought, I have previously given my heart to the Lord. But there was a second call which seemed to be made just for me: “And then there are some of you who have turned your backs on God.” Tears streaming down my cheeks, chin and neck I made my way to the front. Absolute surrender.

As a drama student swearing was the norm. Every second word that came from my mouth was poison — words I can not repeat. As I stood in the front that day I remember being concerned about my swearing habit. But He took it in that very moment. I didn’t even have to try to stop. Hallelujah! 2005.

lindy-ann preach

Lindy-Ann preaching in Russia.

Two years later a girl came up to me as I was serving in the kitchen feeding volunteers before an Angus Buchan conference in Newlands, Cape Town. We used to be in the same hostel in Stellenbosch. She told me that her room mate had me on her 5-people-to-pray-for-salvation-list stuck to her wall, but when she saw my name she said she thought that it would never happen. I used to be the girl that came home drunk with my heels in hand when the sun was already coming out, as others were already leaving for class.”The day you got saved I knew anyone could get saved”.

And this I know. All people have a desire for the Kingdom of Heaven. God said so in the bible. And it is true.

He has given me beauty for ashes and called me His. Now I travel the world preaching this Good News.

With much love
a daughter of God
A Beautiful Witness
Lindy-Ann.




Elisabeth Elliot, inspiring missionary, dies at age 88

Originally posted in The Christian Institute

The Christian missionary, author and speaker Elisabeth Elliot has died aged 88 after suffering from dementia. Elisabeth was born to missionary parents in Belgium, and moved with her family to the US at a few months old. She attended Wheaton College, and then went as a missionary to Ecuador where she married Jim Elliot.

Share the gospel

In 1956, when their daughter Valerie was ten months old, Jim and four others were killed by members of a previously unreached tribe. Elisabeth and Valerie later spent two years living with the same tribe who had killed Jim, in order to share the gospel there.

While in Ecuador, she wrote the best-selling book Through Gates of Splendour, which tells the story of Jim Elliot and their work together.

‘Everlasting love’

After returning to the US, she continued writing on topics including suffering, singleness, purity and womanhood. Elisabeth spoke at conferences worldwide and hosted a radio program called Gateway to Joy from 1988 to 2001, opening each episode by saying, “You are loved with an everlasting love”.

In 1969 she married a theology professor Addison Leitch, who died four years later from cancer.

‘No surprise to God’

She later wrote: “God never withholds from His child that which His love and wisdom call good”. 

“While it is perfectly true that some of my worst fears did, in fact, materialize, I see them now as ‘an abyss and mass of mercies’, appointed and assigned by a loving and merciful Father who sees the end from the beginning. He asks us to trust him.”

In 1977 she married Lars Gren, who said in an interview last year that Elisabeth accepted her dementia just as she did the deaths of her husbands, knowing it was “no surprise to God”.

Elisabeth is survived by Lars, as well as her daughter Valerie and eight grandchildren.




Revivalist missionaries ready for fresh God adventures

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Grant and Jean Handley with their children (from top left) Stephen, David, Catherine, Christopher and Joanne.

They are passionate missionaries. They are fiery revivalists. They are the devoted parents of five lively young children.

Meet Grant and Jean Handley who have just arrived in Jeffreys Bay after years of serving the underground church in China and a year as students at the Bethel School of Supernatural Ministry (BSSM) in Redding, California.

Watch this family of seven who are brimming with big “God plans” and are on the lookout for mission-hearted revivalists to join them!

By the time they got married in 1999 the Handleys were committed to embarking on a mission-centered lifestyle. They were just not sure where they would go. Jean, who was raised in a very strong Christian family says she really got “sold out” on mission after they went on a 3 week recce visit to China in 2002 together with their 10 months old daughter, Catherine.

Juggling family
“Mission is the greatest adventure for any Christian,” says Jean. “Just think of all those territories out there that still have to hear the name of the Lord. It seems wrong that there are places on earth where there are so many churches and others where there is nothing. So both Grant and I are very passionate about that and have just had to juggle with family: how do you do both — and deal with the different seasons of life?” says Jean.

“That’s the challenge. But it’s not impossible,” responds Grant who became a Christian in matric after an encounter with a teacher who boldly challenged his then Mormon faith, shortly before he was due to embark on two years of Mormon mission.

Grant says that access to mission focused Christian schools in Jeffreys Bay was a factor in their current move to the Eastern Cape town near Port Elizabeth, with their five young children, because: “We feel God has got us on a Kingdom mission assignment as a family.”

During the Handley’s life-changing China recce trip back in 2002 Grant was deeply moved by a conversation he had with a young woman student who had never heard of Jesus.”I remember the feeling of meeting somebody for the first time who had never heard of Jesus — and I thought, well, I want to give my life to working with people like that.”

Early in their marriage Grant and Jean led a township church plant in their hometown, East London, for several years. The challenging cross cultural experience at a time when Grant was also working as a business consultant prepared them for the season from 2006 to 2012 which was focused on three mission stints in central China. They had two children at the start of this season and five — including toddler twins — by the end.

Grant with some of his university students in China.

Grant (back left) with some of his university students in China.

In their first year-long stretch, Grant taught English at a university (his official job), while they both poured themselves into teaching, discipling and “parenting” eight young, emerging underground church leaders who lived with them. They taught the young leaders English and discipled them. Jean also gave them keyboard and worship instruction. The couple were assisting a  friend of Jean’s in China.

Back in East London after their first full year on mission God made a way for Grant to earn enough money in 3 months through business consulting for them to return to China to learn Chinese while studying at university. With two young children and a baby, no salary and a small rented apartment it was a challenging season. A year and a half later they returned to East London where the twins were born. But when the twins were 4 and a half months old they were back in China where Grant once again taught at the university and they worked with the underground church.

The Handley’s last term of over 2 years in China was a key time in which relationships with underground churches deepened and Grant got to see their former spiritual sons running projects out in the field. They say it was a privilege to relate with the brave and zealous underground church leaders who all experienced a measure of persecution and came out of a revival culture that shared similarities with the culture at Bethel Church, California but yet was quite different.

Chinese revival culture
“The Chinese revival culture doesn’t have a polished, TV look. It just happens because God showed up. People come with many healing testimonies and nobody questions healing or needs to be convinced that it happens today as is the case in the west,” says Grant.

The Chinese underground church exels in evangelism and is reportedly the fastest growing church in the world with about 160 million believers at present.

Grant says church leaders have no status in Chinese society. There is not a culture of tithing and pastors typically have menial jobs to help cover basic expenses. 

Jean says she and Grant believe that their five children are significant in God’s purposes for them in China where a one child policy is enforced.

“We planned our pregnancies and four was the maximum number of children we decided upon before I became pregnant with twins.I felt God say ‘Jean this is what I want for you’ and that thing when Mary said ‘I am the Lord’s servant, may it be to me as you have said’. I had been praying for God to increase our boundaries and He gave me what I felt I couldn’t manage in my own strength because he wanted to glorify Himself through our lives and he wanted us to have to rely on Him,” she says.

Making friends with Bhuddist monks in a village.

Making friends with Buddhist monks in a village.

She says people with twins are envied in China because they are largely exempt from the one child per family regulation. A boy and girl twin combination is the most envied of all and is considered extremely blessed. “I felt it was God’s favour on us and a prophetic sign to the Chinese people,” she says.

Grant says he feels the large family and twins were also a sign of God’s provision because people asked them how they managed to provide for the big family “and we just say we have a rich Dad!”

Modeling marriage and family
He also believes God is calling his family to model God’s intention for marriage and family to Chinese people.

“Sadly family has been lost a lot in China because moms go back to work straight after their babies are born and grandmothers bring up the kids. And fathers are not hands-on with their kids, but are stuck in careers and often live in a different city to their children,” says Jean.

“We would go to the park and people would watch us and I felt God was doing something through that. Just to see a family having fun in park there was amazing because they don’t have any siblings.”

During the Handley’s time in China Grant started listening to a CD teaching called “Supernatural Power of a Renewed Mind” by Bethel Church leader Bill Johnson.

“I began to experience inner revival and felt this fresh wind blowing off the dust of disillusionment I had been feeling about the Holy Sprit and speaking in tongues and healing — with nobody getting healed, prophetic words that never seemed to come through and no evidence of a real difference between people who were filled with the Holy Spirit and those that were not filled. I became inspired with a conviction that the supernatural was not just for the super anointed few but was for everyone and for the marketplace. I sensed God wanted to do stuff around me and that the baptism of the Holy Spirit is foundational to the reason that Jesus came. John the Baptist says that Jesus is the one who takes away the sins of the world, which is one of the central reasons He came, but he also says in all four Gospels that Jesus is the one who baptises in the Holy Spirit and in fire.”

Grant says he read more of Bill Johnson’s writings and during their last term in China he attended a conference in Hong Kong where Johnson was a speaker. He felt more and more revived and hungry to step more fully into his calling. During this time Jean also caught the fire of personal revival. Against all financial and logistical odds God miraculously enabled the family to travel to California and for Grant and Jean to enrol in BSSM in August 2012, just eight weeks after they returned to South Africa after completing their time in China.

He says it felt as if God was “filling us up after the pressure and harshness of China”. He says the family gained a fresh understanding and experience of joy and freedom in God. “The whole family got into soaking times together in which we would just come into God’s presence. We still do that. Another big topic that impacted us was the culture of honour. Bethel also taught us to be ready in God to step into something much bigger that we think we are. We learnt to think big!”

In 2013 during his time at BSSM, Grant went on a mission trip to a different part of China with a Bethel team.

Tangible presence of God
And in June 2014, one of Grant’s former Chinese students who had read a Bill Johnson book that was translated in Chinese asked him to come and “take what God is doing at Bethel and release it in China” During this mission trip in a country area they experienced three non-stop days of God’s tangible presence.

He says there is a hunger in the Chinese church for what God is doing at Bethel and other churches — the “freedom and joy experience and the revelation that everything that is in Heaven — which is all good — has to come to earth”.

“And that [this revelation] is all true, yet in China God has done something that is so beautiful out of the suffering and persecution and martyrs. And I wish they [the Chinese] could come over to the west and teach us on praying and evangelising.”

“It is why we need each other,” comments Jean.

In Jeffreys Bay where they arrived a week ago, Grant and Jean have linked up with a group that is part of Victory for All, that concentrates on community development in townships. Their role will be to help build the spiritual side of the work. They are also teaching at the Global Leadership Academy school which has a strong mission focus.

Grant says they want to partner with other revivalists in the area. They have a vision for establishing a revival culture school that will be South African in style and will be affordable and will raise leaders to be all that God wants them to be. They also plan to launch an All Nations Mission project as a vehicle to get newly trained and equipped revivalists onto the mission field. In July this year they will undertake a revival culture mission trip to China. They still have place for about 1 or 2 revivalists to join them. If you think that is for you, you can contact Grant at 081 860 3222 or grantjeanh@gmail.com.




PE Gospel Jazz concert will raise funds for Project Hope children

The Gospel According to Jazz – Chapter II will be taking place on October 4, to raise funds for non-profit organisation, Project Hope.

The Gospel According to Jazz – Chapter II will take place on Saturday, October 4 at Word of Faith Christian Centre in Port Elizabeth.

Jazz maestros, Ricochet, will be serenading the audience at the annual The Gospel According to Jazz event, in October (PHOTO: provided)

The exciting line up this year includes returning main act, Mano and Ricochet as well as supporting acts such as the Fenlin Pitie Ensemble, the Lawrence Neff Trio, JESS vocal group and the NMMU ensemble, with many more interesting twists and surprises. The Jazz benefit, in aid of raising funds for Project Hope – a Northern Areas outreach initiative, was birthed with Genesis 12:2 in mind, which speaks about being blessed to be a blessing.

“Last year we saw close to 450 people at our first Jazz concert, in support of our children and to enjoy the treat of live Gospel Jazz,” shares event organizer Shaun Draai who managed to raise a considerable amount for Project Hope at the 2013 jazz event. “Our purpose is to be a blessing to the children of Project Hope and in doing so, change the destinies of a generation.”

Future Worship Leader: One of the many children fed and ministered to on a weekly basis by the Project Hope team. (PHOTO: Madge Blignaut)

Project Hope
For the past 14 years the Project Hope team has been equipping and assisting children in the Northern Areas through regular Bible study and life skills training as well as by providing basic necessities that so many take for granted.

“We believe that the key to empowered children is empowered families!” says passionate Madge Blignaut who, along with her team facilitate a weekly Sunday School Programme, annual Life Skills Camps, Family Enrichment Programmes and an Outreach Feeding Programme.

The non-profit organisation identifies and meets social and economic needs of children from 3 to 13 years old in the greater Helenvale, Bethelsdorp and Bloemendal areas.

“To meet these needs, we have built relationships with parents, teachers and social workers,” explains Blignaut. In addition to providing life skills development the team collects and distributes food, clothing, blankets and shoes for all ages, to assist the community at large.

“Project Hope is always ready to assist communities in crises. During 2013 we had mini floods and families were evacuated in the Bethelsdorp and Booysens Park communities. Project Hope was there to help feed, dress and rebuild families that were left destitute.”

Tiny Leroy Swarts, pictured with Project Hope supervisor Michelle de Bruyn, was miraculously healed from Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. (PHOTO: Madge Blignaut)

Miracles and wonders
The organisation has seen many miracles unfold, as children are touched by the love of God through the Project Hope team who minister to them when they collect food. Leroy Swarts, 5 years old, is one of their miracle stories. He was born with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome – a birth defect that is developed in the fetus in association with high levels of alcohol consumption during pregnancy. Volunteers noticed one day that Swarts’ older brother always brought an extra plate with him to the soup kitchen that is run by Bernie and Michelle de Bruyn in the Extension 36 area.

“Michelle asked him why he brings an extra plate, and he said it’s for his little brother who can’t eat or walk properly,” explains Blignaut. After some prompting, Leroy was brought to the soup kitchen the following week and was introduced to de Bruyn and her team. “When Leroy arrived for the first time, the effects of FAS were very evident. He was not even able to keep clothing on his body because he was sweating excessively,” said Blignaut, who explained that Swarts also had a disfigured wrist and a speech impediment. Michelle De Bruyn then started to not only physically feed him, but she prayed over Leroy daily and allowed the healing power of God to do the rest. “His wrist supernaturally healed and he was able to feed himself!” says Blignaut. “The excessive sweating stopped and he is now the biggest chatterbox!”

This is one of many success stories and Blignaut believes that many more families can experience the supernatural power of God through the continued support and financial giving from kind hearted donors. She says that Project Hope has a track record of successfully implementing life skills and Christian values and principles to more than 300 children a week through their programmes.

Leroy, who was supernaturally healed, now attends Sunday School every Sunday morning (PHOTO: Madge Blignaut)

“Leroy’s destiny was changed through the love of God being poured out on a little boy by our faithful and passionate volunteers and your giving that makes it possible for us to go into these impoverished communities.”

If you would like to get involved with one of the Project Hope programmes, or if you would like more information, please contact Madge Blignaut at 084 517 9914 or 041 399 4400. She can be emailed at madge.blignaut@gmail.com

Tickets to The Gospel According to Jazz – Chapter II concert, in aide of Project Hope, can be purchased from Shaun Draai. For more information contact 084 771 8412 or 041 399 4400




MMC Central plans to build on a strong foundation

An aerial view of the MMC Central gathering near Welkom last weekend.(PHOTO: Neels van den Heever)

Mighty Men Conference Central South Africa (MMC Central SA) plans to build on the strong foundation of faith in Jesus, which was laid at its first event at the Bundu Game Lodge between Riebeeckstad and Odendaalsrus near Welkom on the weekend of June 27 to 29, 2014.

“Like a wise master builder we have laid the foundation, and there is no other foundation except Christ,” says Piet Jacobs, who was one of the speakers at the event and is also a member of the organising committee.

He says audiences of between 1 000 and 2 000 men attended the different sessions and travelled from as far afield as Tosca, Nelspruit and Durban, as well as a large group of young men from North-West University in Potchefstroom.

PHOTO: Neels van den Heever

The organising committee, which has become a close-knit and united team, is already planning for next year’s conference and is reviewing the past event to see where improvements can be made. However, Jacobs says the real success is not measured by the organising committee’s unanimous decision to hold the event again or by the number of men who attended the event, but rather by the men who were reconciled to the Lord and by those whose lives were changed in relationship with their families and neighbours.

Changed man
“I have just received a call from a woman thanking us, because her husband is changed man who appreciates her, which relates to an important theme of the conference – ‘being a man for God, a husband for my wife and father for my children’.

“It was an awesome weekend with speakers also touching on sensitive but important issues like overcoming racism in our lives, relationships and country,” says Jacobs. He says the event made a big impact on the town of Welkom with people still talking about the event and giving positive feedback.

Garth Batteson, also a member of the conference organising committee said the event ran smoothly and committee members’ belief in how faithful the Lord is to those who step out in faith with Him was reinforced.

“An example is that we had not found a doctor for the event in case of emergencies, yet after the Karoo Mighty Men Conference a few of us were travelling home together and stopped in Colesburg for fuel when a vehicle pulled up next to us.

“I asked the occupants if they were also coming back from the Karoo Mighty Men Conference. They replied, yes, and as they were from Bloemfontein, I asked the driver, Dr Alfons de Wit, whether he would be able to do some work marketing the MMC Central SA in Bloemfontein.

“However, he said unfortunately he was too busy as he was a medical doctor running two practices.

“I said to him, ‘you know we are still looking for a medical doctor for our event’.

“He looked me in the eyes and said: ‘How can I say no?’.”

“So, in Colesburg in the Karoo, God provided us with a doctor from Bloemfontein for an event in Welkom. God is faithful indeed!”

Worship leader Franna Benade blows the shofar. (PHOTO: Neels van den Heever)

Presence of the Lord
Likewise, Batteson says everyone who undertook to play a part in providing a service for the MMC Central SA lived up to their promise and the event went off smoothly. “A remarkable aspect of the conference was the noticeable Presence of the Lord throughout the weekend; to such an extent that a member of the audience said he saw images of angel figures, who were holding swords, positioned around the crowd and when praise and worship leader Franna Benade blew the shofar they kneeled,” says Batteson.

Chantelle Fritz, whose husband Lafras attended the conference, agrees that the conference has had a strong impact on Welkom. She says the event has been the main topic of conversation in the town, particularly in terms of changes it has brought about in the menfolk.

“I went to the Sunday family day of the conference with my husband and although both my husband and I have been saved for a few years, being at the conference strengthened our personal relationships with Jesus.

“An immense sense of gratitude just flowed out of me with the renewed realisation of the price that Jesus paid on the cross for the cleansing of our sins and of how much more He also did for us by setting us free – the freedom that comes with knowing that Jesus is enough and everything from the past has become irrelevant, because He has redeemed us, and now we must just enjoy each day as a gift from God,” says Fritz.

Marie Baumgarten concurs with Fritz saying her husband, Leon, returned from the conference lightened and excited, because he realised that the Lord is not waiting to punish him, but loves him and wants him to be holy as He is holy. “When Leon came home his faith in his relationship with the Lord was strengthened. He said to me that he felt like he could just relax, serve God and try to walk in His path, which has also impacted on our relationship positively,” says Baumgarten.

She attended the family session of the conference, which she says was an eye-opener; seeing the hunger for Jesus in the men and how so many men were overcome by tears.

Johnny Louw, one of the speakers for the weekend. (PHOTO: Neels van den Heever)

Tears
Tinus Barnard, who attended the MMC Central SA with a group of men from Bothaville, says it was a wonderful experience that touched his heart and humbled him to tears. “I joked with my companions that I would need to drink water for two weeks to re-hydrate and replace the tears that I shed.” Barnard says the Friday night set the tone with the presence of the Holy Spirit, which lasted the entire weekend. “I think every man there was impacted by their experience of the conference.

“Our group spoke about it afterwards and we all agreed the event will grow and become an annual fixture.

“In fact, after experiencing how many men stood up and gave their hearts to the Lord and how much of God’s Word was opened up to us, we all want to help MMC Central SA by offering our services to market the event in our own areas so that it grows next year,” says Barnard.




Victory Ministries’ High Tea with a difference

This year’s High Tea theme was ‘No Stress, No Fuss’ and required table décor to be 98% disposable and 2% recyclable. (PHOTO: Face Book).

On Saturday, June 28, 2014, Victory Ministries International held its 5th annual High Tea event at King’s Court in Port Elizabeth.

The elegant event, which has a different theme each year, was themed “No stress, No fuss.” Excitement was high as ladies began to prepare for the challenging theme, significantly different from last year’s “On the beach” theme.

Creativity on display at the 2014 Victory Ministries International ladies high tea event (PHOTO: Face Book)

The “No stress, No fuss” theme meant that hostess table décor had to be 98% disposable and 2% recyclable. This brought about an array of amazing table centre-pieces and showcased jaw-dropping creativity as the delegates thought up ways to make use of household items that they would normally throw away. With 650 ladies in attendance, the table hosts’ hard work and effort certainly did not go unoticed and most of the guests described the event as exciting and inspiring. Prizes were awarded to the best food, best décor, most creative table and the best table and judging was done according to a table number to ensure fairness and impartiality. Hostess Lizette Ingram won the prize for the best table.

Pastor Eunice Liberty shared about how God had spoken to her to bring women together in a special way. Her goal each year is to take the ordinary woman to a place where she begins to experience the extra-ordinary as being ordinary. After witnessing the high level of excellence this year, it is clear that Pastor Eunice has succeeded since many are already looking forward to putting their creativity on display at next years event. It can be said that some women do not believe that they have ability to be creative – a concept that changes once they are involved in an event such as this.




Court grants request of FOR SA and Christian guest house owners, to conciliate

stephmarina

Steph and Marina Neethling, the Christian owners of The House of Bread Guesthouse in Wolseley, Western Cape. They Equality Court in Bellville this week ruled that the guesthouse owners and the homosexual couple should seek to resolve their dispute through meaningful engagement with one another.

By  FOR SA Correspondent

On Tuesday, June 24, the Equality Court in Bellville ruled that it was in the interest of the parties, and indeed in the interest of justice, that the dispute between the homosexual couple (as Complainant) and the Christian owners of “House of Bread” guest house in Wolseley (as Respondents), at this point be referred to an agreed institution for conciliation, mediation or negotiation.

The ruling of the Court follows a request by Freedom of Religion South Africa (FOR SA), acting as First Amicus Curiae in the matter, and the Christian guest house owners in Court last week Tuesday, for an opportunity to “meaningfully engage” with the homosexual couple in a less adversarial environment in an attempt to amicably resolve the matter. This request was not supported by the homosexual couple (who is legally represented by the South African Human Rights Commission) or the Commission for Gender Equality (acting as Second Amicus Curiae), who were not interested in an amicable resolve and demanded that the Court decide the matter.

In Court this week, the Magistrate pointed out that on the facts as agreed between the parties, it is clear that the Christian owners already on a previous occasion when the issue first arose and before legal proceedings were instituted against them, were desirous to amicably resolve the matter but that the homosexual couple was not interested.

The Magistrate referred to the power and discretion given to the Equality Court in terms of section 21(4) of the Promotion of Equality and Protection of Unfair Discrimination Act, to at any stage refer the matter to an appropriate body for conciliation, mediation and negotiation. The Court then agreed with FOR SA and the Christian guest house owners that, having regard to the purpose of the Constitution of South Africa and the guiding principles of the Equality Act, it was appropriate that the matter be mediated at this point.

Building bridge of mutual respect and acceptance
In its judgment, the Court referred to and agreed with the legal submissions of FOR SA that mediation “is in the interest of not only of the parties involved in the dispute, but in the interest of building a bridge of mutual respect and acceptance between the broader gay and lesbian community on the one hand and the Christian faith community on the other, rather than drive a wedge between these communities as this case unfortunately has the potential to do …”

The Court accordingly postponed the matter sine die (i.e. without setting a specific date on which the parties must return to Court) for this purpose. The next step is for the parties to agree on a suitable mediator, to mediate the dispute. They may return to Court only when the dispute has been successfully mediated and resolved, or when it is clear that attempts at mediation have failed and that there is no alternative but for the Court to adjudicate the matter.

Needless to say, mediation will only be successful if both parties are committed to the process and make a sincere effort to meaningfully engage with each other, with a view to resolving the matter in a friendly manner outside of court.

In this regard and following the Court’s ruling, the Complainant is already reported to have stated that he was “disappointed and was hoping the case would proceed”, but was “determined to see it through to what will hopefully be a fair ruling in terms of our constitutional democracy because this is what it is all about, not religious freedom”.

FOR SA and the Christian guest house owners remain hopeful however that the parties, in talking to and hearing each other, will arrive at a place of mutual respect and tolerance of each other’s viewpoints and ultimately an amicable resolve to their dispute, as it is not preferable for the Court to “sit as judge on difficult and controversial questions of moral judgment [where] in the end, the nature of the proceedings being litigious, there will be a winner and a loser and ultimately, a ‘correct’ and a ‘wrong’ world view or moral framework as decided by the Court. This, when our Constitution is founded upon the very concepts of pluralism, diversity and tolerance which allow for and indeed embrace different world views existing alongside and making space for each other.”

In this regard, it is noteworthy to point out the following statement by the Constitutional Court in Minister of Home Affairs v Fourie: Lesbian and Gay Equality Project v Minister of Home Affairs (2006), which was also referred to by the Magistrate in his ruling on Tuesday: “The hallmark of an open and democratic society is its capacity to accommodate and manage difference of intensely-held world views and lifestyles in a reasonable and fair manner.”

Significantly, the Court as part of its judgment pointed out that, without pre-judging the matter but having regard to the agreed facts between the parties, “what concerns the Court, is that the Complainant [who instituted the legal proceedings against the guest house owners] is not the party against whom the act of discrimination was directed. The Court does not have the position of Mr Sedgwick [the party who made the initial contact with the guest house to book a room for the Complainant and himself] before it. In fact, it is common cause that Mr Sedgwick at that point, had no issue with what the Second Respondent [the guest house owners] conveyed. In terms of the Stated Case, they parted in a friendly manner. There is no indication that at that point, Mr Sedgwick was aggrieved, humiliated or offended.”

Commenting on the Court’s ruling to refer the dispute for mediation, Andrew Selley (Founder and CEO of FOR SA) stated that “we are pleased with the ruling. It is legally sound, in that the Equality legislation as well as the Human Rights Commission Act and the Commission on Gender Equality Act express a clear preference for conciliation and mediation (rather than litigation) – which is why it is surprising that the Human Rights Commission and the Gender Equality Commission did not support FOR SA’s request for conciliation. FOR SA and the guest house owners remain hopeful however that the matter can be resolved. While the guest house owners cannot compromise on their moral conscience and Biblical belief, they do respect those who make different moral choices to their own. Their hope is that the homosexual couple likewise will respect their moral choices and convictions, for this is what tolerance truly means.”




Miracle money multiplied before her eyes

Would you believe me if I say that miracles do happen?

Corporate facilitator, Melissa Simon, saw money multiply before her eyes as she surrendered to God during her time of need. A few days before her rent was due she noticed that a substantially large amount of money was missing from her bank account, even after she had budgeted her monthly expenses attentively to ensure she had enough. This was an unwelcomed surprise and there were no possible explanations.

“I began to rely on my flesh,” she said. “Out of fear I immediately started thinking of ways to make up the outstanding R1 700,” which was the balance needed to pay her rent of R3 700. “I began making enquiries about pawning a few sentimental gifts I had received over the years.”

But every avenue Simon turned to, to make up for the loss, was closed.

Melissa Simon saw her money increase before her very eyes.
(PHOTO: Face Book)

Too embarrassed to ask a relative or friend, she turned her eyes to God, remembering the words: “Depend on me”. Suddenly a wave of peace came over her and she decided to surrender the fear and trust the Lord whole heartedly.

The following night at a family group (Bible study) meeting, Simons’ family group leader asked the group if there were any prayer requests. Humbling herself, she stepped forward for prayer. After hearing her request her family group came together to make up the outstanding amount that she had trusted the Lord for. Collectively her family group dug into their pockets and blessed her. Anika Millhouse, her spiritual mother, insisted that she count the money to ensure she had the outstanding R1 700 to pay rent. She double checked and confirmed that she had the exact amount needed.

God of more than enough
At home that night, Simon sat down to count the money once more with the intention of placing it into an envelope for payment. She created three piles of R1 000 and one pile of R700 to make R3 700. She recounted the money…only to realise that there was an extra R200 note. Baffled by this she counted the money again and was still left with an extra R200. She laughed and thought that it must be fake money.’ Taking it into her hands she rubbed the brown R200 note together and, miraculously, the R200 note split into two R200 notes! At this stage Simon had an additional R400.

Overwhelmed by what she had just witnessed she checked the pile of money once again. She verified the piles of money by recounting each pile carefully. This time around, after each pile of R1 000 had been tallied, she was left with an additional three R100 notes. “It was as if the money multiplied just like Jesus multiplied two fish and five loaves to feed the thousands!” shared Simon.

In total Simon had now been blessed by the Lord with an additional R700. “I sat there in a daze holding the extra R700 in my hand and the rent of the money in my other hand and the Lord spoke to me saying: “depend not on your flesh but depend on Me”.

“The Lord had superseded my expectations of what He can do for me. Through this He showed me that He is capable of doing even greater things!”