When a train carrying 260 Christians from Pretoria to the Western Cape broke down in the middle of the Karoo on Sunday morning the passengers decided to put their faith to the test.
The passengers who had attended the It’s Time Pretoria prayer event had been on the train since 7pm on Saturday and were eager to get home, said Niël Botma of Cape Town.
So when the train manager informed them that they were stranded there for a long time because one of the two locomotives had broken down, all 260 passengers had no hesitation in stepping out into the sweltering heat and doing what they knew best to do in an emergency.
“We began to pray — to pray in tongues, to sing choruses, to praise and worship the Lord, trusting Him for a breakthrough,” said Botma.
They had come to a standstill 50km beyond Beaufort West, from which the train manager told them they might be able to secure replacement locomotives. Alternatively, they would have to wait for the technical team in Pretoria to come up with a plan of action.
No stranger to trains, because he regularly ministers on suburban trains, Botma said the Lord instructed him to climb up into the front locomotive where he found four men frantically trying to make repairs.
“They looked puzzled as to why I was in the locomotive in the first place. I asked them to show me the part of the engine that was causing the problems so that I could lay my hands on it and with the faith of the 260 people outside interceding, pray that God would restore the engine.
“They told me that I was not allowed to enter the engine room so I started to kick the door as a prophetic act in order to drive out the demon that took hold of the engine.
“I then took my saliva and anointed the door and started to pray in tongues once again.
“After a minute or so God showed me that he had given the driver of the train the wisdom to act out a certain plan. I approached the train driver and asked him what was God telling him to do. He said, Sir, as far as I understand, I must put the rear locomotive in front of the front one, and use it to tow the broken locomotive and the 12 or 13 carriages.”
Botma left him and rejoined the passengers.
“About two minutes later the train whistle blew and we were told to climb aboard again immediately as something had happened in the front.
“Beloveds, all of a sudden that dead Lazarus train had come alive and to this day the train management don’t understand what happened. The train manager said he has never before seen such a thing.”
He said that after the passengers got back on the train they all took part in spontaneous worship. See video clip below.
“By God’s grace we were back on track and the train’s maximum speed all of a sudden increased from 70km/h to 110km/h ensuring our safe arrival at Worcester train station. We truly serve a God of miracles!”, he said.
Botma said the approximately 3 000km train roundtrip was a great blessing. People from different cultures and church communities prayed together, worshipped together and people who had never been able to speak in tongues received the gift. Some people had words of knowledge for others.
“It was wonderful.”