A Port Elizabeth man who was depressed, stressed, oppressed and facing a threat of divorce if he did not change his ways, encountered his Heavenly Father for the first time at the recent Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC) and is now feeling more happy and complete than ever.
Gideon Scheepers says he also now believes in miracles after his wife, Vanessa, who suffered a stroke during the birth of their daughter, Lilly, got her first positive report after years of medical tests and a prognosis that she would never be able to have children again. The test results received on Monday, April 29, the day after he returned from the KMMC, were all clear and the doctor told them to go home and have babies, he said.
Scheepers says he only went to the Mighty Men Conference as a last resort and only on condition that his father, Gideon Scheepers and his father-in-law, Johannes Kitching, went with him. All three men were mightily blessed by the experience.
This is Scheepers’ testimony:
“Firstly I would like to say thank you to everyone involved with the Karoo Mighty Men Conference. Our Father spoke hard and straight to us over this weekend.
“I am a normal man with no horrible background and come from a loving family, but like any other man I have my problems and small obstacles in life to overcome. As a child I went to church and did all the required things ( by force from my parents ), but I never really knew our Father the Lord. I knew he was our God, but I never felt a special connection with him. The last couple of years have not been kind to our family and slowly I lost touch with the church and His word. My wife had a stroke after the birth of our first and only child a few years ago and we nearly lost her. We are both employed and she could not work for a very long time. The uncertainty of her health and loss of her income also put a lot of strain on our finances and emotions. My parents got divorced after 33 years of marriage and I could not accept this. My mother now stays with a Pakistani and has since changed her religion to Muslim. Both my father and father-in-law had heart attacks, but they both recovered well – Praise the Lord. There were lots of other issues and I could not cope with all of these problems. I was falling into a dark pit of despair, anger and alcohol with no drive to do anything unless completely forced onto me. My house had become dark and cold.
Threat of divorce, thoughts of suicide
“The last thing was my wife telling me that if I did not change she was going to divorce me. I had no patience and I was losing my family. It was like being in quicksand and everything I did made it worse even if I tried my best. I did not want to hear anything about God. I had lost my faith completely and was lost. At my work and in front of people I would keep up appearances as best as possible, but I was lost and actually started thinking of suicide even though I despised the meaning of it and I knew I would go to hell. I was tired.
“My brother phoned me and asked if I would go to the KMMC with him. I quickly said yes, but later looked for plenty of reasons to get out of it. I would not go unless my father and father-in-law came with and this and that. All my reasons kept falling away and something told me that I really had to go. Deep inside me I knew that I had no other way out and I wanted the same joy in my life as my father-in-law who has been living with our Father in his heart for a long time. Also a man that changed his way and now only lives for God. So it was and we left for the KMMC.
“What happened next I cannot do justice with any words. At the KMMC I slowly but surely started feeling something stirring inside of me. I was not sure what I felt, but it felt good and it got stronger and stronger every minute. Before I knew it, I MET OUR FATHER FOR THE FIRST TIME!! A breeze of calmness and joy blew into my life and ripped all despair away from me. Tears were running down my cheeks, but I was not crying and had no sorrow. I cannot explain this to anybody unless you have felt this yourself. No words would do it justice. The only other time I felt something close to this was on my wedding day and at the birth of my child, and this was different. The whole weekend was a joy and I could not wait to get home and see my family. Hours felt like seconds and the weekend was gone. We left with the blessing from Uncle Angus and we were on our way home.
Fully restored and happy
“When I finally got home I had my family in my arms and I could not be happier. I explained to them what happened the best I could and held them close to me without crushing the life out of them. Everything started changing. Small and big, it made no difference. The cold and darkness in our house went away. My wife could see the change in me and I could feel love from her again. My daughter actually wanted to spend time with me. Even the cat did not run away from me when it saw me. Man, did everything change and our bond is getting stronger by the day! I have never been so happy and complete in my life. After a few days at work my manager pulled me one side and asked me what was wrong with me. He was concerned that I might be ill, because he did not know me to be such a calm and understanding man. I gave him a straight answer that I could see shocked him. I [told him I] have Our Father the Lord in my heart and that this was all I needed. He could only look at me and had no reply. I can tell you now that I have not lost my temper once since I have been back, not even on our roads. The funny side of this is that I was sure to be on the next road rage statistic list to be published if I did not change. I must admit shamefully that when I got home and opened my Bible for the first time in years, I found that it was destroyed. The book was ripped ( probably from our daughter ) and had water damage from something at some time. I did not even know this. That is how long ago I had my Bible open. Looking back now, I do not understand how I could have dropped so low in life, but the answer is simple. I did not see our Father in my life even thou he was there all the time. It is like scales fell off my eyes and I can see properly again or maybe even for the first time. I do not know. I have since bought myself a new Bible and it is strange. It actually makes sense what I read. Before it would be like some article, but now it has meaning and I cannot get enough. My father that went with me is also a changed man. Quite a hard man himself, but you can see it clearly in his ways that he has changed. My father in law confesses that he also has a bigger and stronger connection with our Father the Lord.
“Now, I am not standing here shouting that God came around and took all my troubles away and that no bad will come to my life again. I now understand that our Father will guide me through the hard times and everything I do in life. I say that the Lord is my Shepherd and I shall not fear any more. Guys, I am so happy and I wish everyone could feel like me and have this bond of love!
“By the way, I do believe in miracles, because I saw one. After years of tests and fear about my wife’s health, we got a positive reply from our doctor when we went for another follow up appointment. We were awaiting my wife’s latest results and she was IN THE CLEAR for the first time. From a stroke, never having children again, medication on medication and constant tests to prevent the worst to a clear slate! Can you believe this? Praise Our Father for he is wonderful and almighty. The doctor actually told us to go home and have babies. Can you believe this?
“Once again, I would just like to say thank you to everyone involved with KMMC. Our Father worked through you and actually saved a family in my case and not just one man. I know you say that you have nothing to do with it and it is only God talking to us through you, but a special thanks to you all. If I could put it another way, I am forever grateful for the appointment arranged by you guys. I can actually say that if I had to kick the bucket now, I would be with our Father in heaven the next day.
“Still from a normal man, but a saved man with God in his heart. Thanks and blessings”
- Footnote: In a later email, Scheepers says: “I had a good chat with my father last night and I am happy to say that he has made peace with my mother as well. They actually met up yesterday without my knowledge and talked things out. Very good news indeed!”