“I need you!”
That was the heart cry of Erna “Nobuntu” Goedhart at the national launch of the Unity Corporation Project in East London on Thursday last week.
The glittering function at the Two Swans wedding venue was attended by over 200 guests from local and provincial government, traditional leaders, pastors and church leaders and members from the wider community. The guest list included Nolusapho Mandela, mother of Mandla Mandela, and a personal friend of Goedhart.
The launch was another step for Goedhart, of Dutch birth, in a 17 year journey of working on what she calls the “ultimate strategy for national restoration and reconciliation”. The event was opened by her pastor, Jonathan King of Crossways Fellowship, who referred to her good heart (Goedhart).
Goedhart is the public face of the Unity Corporation, a section 21 Company that is supported by a training programme and a number of businesses in the company structure that will give substance to the big dream she holds in her heart.
The venue was no accident. In calling her to hold the dinner, she said God had told her this was His Luke 14 wedding feast and “an invitation to My people”.
“He showed me a wedding ring as we are His bride and He wanted to honour His people at the function for their prayers.”
He had also given her the date 9/11.
“We are called the Unity Corporation for good reason. We are only five people and we need you. Each of you has a specific calling on your life so I want you to think about how you can get involved,” she told guests.
“We have a big God driving this. We have to change our world view as Africa has all it needs within her and with God’s help, we can only go forward”.
She said God had tested her heart over the years and it had been a hard road. It had taken her four years to get a meeting with President Jacob Zuma. She had finally met him at Nkandla and they discussed the way forward.
“East London is going to be used as the heartbeat of the nation and for nations.”
Healing and restoration
Goedhart said it had all started with her pain. Her mother lost a full term baby before she was born and she was conceived in this atmosphere of death. When seven months pregnant with her, her mother was involved in a car accident causing trauma in the womb. She had received much healing and restoration in her own life and now works to spread this healing to others.
She said people suffered many hurts and rejection was the root of all anti-social behavior. Rejection came through many things such as colonialism and apartheid.
“There is a need for repentance because if we look around us we still see the consequences of these hurts throughout our society.”
Her dream was to see this kind of corporate repentance taking place in the soccer stadiums used for the 2010 World Cup because “God wants to call all His people together and ask them to welcome His judgment as mercy triumphs over judgment.”
She has worked for many years with hardened criminals who have embraced her vision and want to participate in it.
Outlining the project using a powerpoint presentation, Goedhart said the pilot project would start at the East London prison with the goal being multiplication to the rest of South Africa “as God shows us”.
She outlined the reasons for criminal behavior and the rate of recidivism and how they plan to address this.
“The basic strategy is in place starting in East London. We are just waiting for the farm where ex-prisoners will be trained for their calling.”
In an interview this week, Goedhart said her Xhosa name was given to her by the now retired area police commissioner, Major General Sandile Hloba, who told her that she could not have “a white name when you are working with black Africans”.
“He said it must be Nobuntu because it means, for the nation, for the people.”
Goedhart arrived in South Africa at the age of six with her parents and brother Henk, 5 and sister, Lynda, 4, on the 26th October 1969. Her dad was never one who could settle and had various jobs before returning to the Netherlands in 1983. The young Erna went to 10 different schools as all this transition and stretching was part of God’s plan to equip her. Her mom, who now lives in White River, and siblings remain. Lynda lives and works in Pretoria while her brother is a pilot in the police and lives in Nelspruit.
Goedhart said she is now waiting on the Lord to show her when to continue with the awareness raising road trip to highlight the project. She is seeking to establish networks around the country. She will be going in faith without financial support as the Lord has told her those who will give her a place to sleep will in this way sow a seed into the work.
“I am waiting for the doors to open and for the networks to click in and fall into place.”
It is the way she has lived for the past 17 years.
For further information Goedhart can be contacted on firstname.lastname@example.org or 0832494300.