The Senekal miracle: nothing could have saved us but God

Members of a community forum that is working for unity and reconciliation in Senekal. Pastor John Mathuhle is on the right.

Be part of special Senekal prayer meeting on December 16 — details below

During October God intervened in Senekal in a way that saved South Africa from civil war, said a local church leader.

Senior Pastor John Mathuhle of Beyond Walls Community Church told Gateway News that what God did in the town deserves to be preserved and he has started writing a book about it.

“I want to encourage the Church with this testimony that darkness can be dispelled and replaced by light. Nothing could have saved us but God.” 

Mathuhle was in the midst of all the turmoil, before and after the events in October.

“When I saw the picture of [murdered farm manager] Brendin Horner on social media, my heart broke. He was so young and innocent.”

Mathuhle decided to change his profile photo on Facebook to display a picture of Brendin to stand in solidarity with the family.  He wanted to stand up for the shedding of innocent blood, no matter the race of the victim.

“This sparked negative and positive debates,” he said.

What stood out for Mathuhle was the depth to which most of the people who responded were desensitised to the shedding of innocent blood.

“No matter the race of the victim, the shedding of young or innocent blood curses our land and it should matter to all of us, no matter our race,” he said.

He decided to show up at the first court hearing in Senekal on October 6, to support Horner’s family — and went there with his wife and children.

“What happened [a farmers’ protest turned violent] was quite unexpected. Because of emotions running high, things soon got out of hand and I saw first-hand the strategic plan of the enemy to lead the country into a battle.” 

Praying on a hill
 According to Mathuhle the same Spirit of death and bloodshed who wanted to destroy the country in 1994, wanted to take over the country again, and lead us into a civil war. He was shocked and felt God urge him to take the battle to a spiritual level.

Accordingly, he and his wife went up a hill just outside of town, to pray to God for answers on how to resolve the situation.  During this time he said he was inspired by God to challenge all local leaders to stand together in finding a solution for the community.

He went home and invited community leaders, police, ANC members, EFF members, farmers and municipal councillors to attend a meeting.

“To my surprise they all agreed!”  

During the meeting emotions ran high.

“It was very tense,” Mathuhle said. “I asked the leaders to put their differences aside and explained to them that if the community leaders do not act now, it could lead to devastating consequences.

“Everybody was angry, arguing about various issues, but in the middle of the meeting something changed and I knew God was at play. Suddenly the various parties saw the light in what I was trying to say.

“Even local EFF decided to call off a planned protest to support the community. 

“Out of the meeting two forums were established — a community-driven forum to promote unity and improve the community and a forum for spiritual/church leaders to address the spiritual needs of the community.

“It is amazing to see what can happen when various parties with different agendas put those aside to focus on a universal goal. When we are forced to work together a bridge is built between these parties and they begin to look beyond all the issues that divide them.” 

The big fight 
Although the meeting ended on a high note, the leaders didn’t anticipate the national EFF getting involved as they did, said Mathuhle. Little did they know something big was about to happen on their doorstep. 

A prayer meeting in Senekal ahead of a court hearing which had the potential to be a point of conflict

“When we heard the war cries of the EFF and their plan for a big national march on the day of the next court hearing, we gathered all the local spiritual leaders, pastors and church leaders to pray with us for peace. 

“When we held the prayer meeting, people from across the country, and even across the globe, got involved and started to pray with us. God raised up the voices of righteousness.” 

Mathuhle said he believed that what the enemy planned for Senekal – to be a platform, launching pad of an evil plan — awakened a giant, the remnant, the Church of God and set the community on a path to reconciliation.

“God was ready to do something amazing!” he said.

On the day of the court hearing on October 16, right-wing parties, left-wing parties, and citizens from across the country gathered in Senekal. It was a tense time and some groups appeared ready to go to war, he said.

“Julius Malema, leader of the EFF, who was eager to address the crowds that gathered was locked in the courthouse until 16:00 that day.  It was so scorching hot that parties of both extreme groups started to get restless.”

Mathuhle believes God provided such hot weather that day that it frustrated people and took the fight out of them.

“The scorching heat we experienced that day was unprecedented for that time of the year.”

He said the EFF protestors waiting outside for their leader especially became frustrated with the heat.  At 2pm many of those gathered in front of the courthouse began to disperse and some even left. 

“When Malema finally came out of court, most protesters only wanted to hear what he had to say, and go home. He tried but could not evoke any real emotions amongst the crowds,” said Mathuhle.

Praying during the protest
During all of this God told Mathuhle to join the EFF crowd.  He walked among them, praying all the time. When Malema spoke, he prayed even harder — that seeds of conflict sown during the rally would not take root among the people or spread beyond the town. 

When the crowd finally dispersed he prayed for their safety, that no single person would come into harm’s way. He only stopped praying when the last bus left town. 

“I believe God in His infinite wisdom stopped the enemy from building an altar of death, but rather built a monument of reconciliation and revival.”

Mathuhle believes the Senekal and surrounding communities are better off now that they were before those October events took place.

“Our community forum really took flight; we are beautifying our town, painting and restoring buildings, planting trees and supporting each other.”

He says all the parties to the first meeting took hands.

“We even restored dilapidated soccer grounds and held our first soccer game there recently.” 

The forum for spiritual leaders has also been going from strength to strength

Prayer meeting on Day of Reconciliation
“We will hold a powerful prayer meeting on 16 December [the Day of Reconciliation] to which everyone who is interested is invited.

“We will climb the hill and pray. The hill is now known as the hill of prayer. During this prayer meeting we will pray for reconciliation for our country, and we will repent for our sins and the part we all played in the past.” 

Mathuhle believes Senekal is a blueprint for what God plans for the country and hopes that the people of South Africa can rise up with them, and work towards a better future.

“The revival of our nation is upon us!” he said.

NOTE: Gateway News will be hosting a livestream of the Senekal Prayer Hill meeting on Wednesday December 16. We will post more details later.

There will be pointers on the N5 to the east and the west of Senekal to direct people to the Prayer Hill.

N5 from Bethlehem
Take second entrance LEFT onto Ryk Bekker Street
Follow arrows to Prayer Hill

N5 from Winburg/Kroonstad
Pass through town
Shortly after Padstal turn right onto Ryk Bekker Street
Follow arrows to Prayer Hill

Covid-19 protoco;
Keep a distance of 1,5m between yourself and others at all times
Wearing of face masks is expected
Hand sanitizing stations will be available

The prayer programme is:

  1. Opening and welcoming prayer
  2. Thanksgiving word & worship
  3. Repentance, reconciliation word and
    communion interaction.
  4. Building of an altar — Word & prophetic
  5. Sounding of shofars & declaration song.
  6. Prayer walk to the planting of the cross

” 2Chronicles 7:14″

Click on banner for more info


  1. AMEN!

    • We want to thank God in this days we are living am an eye witness of what happened in Senekal but we saw that God is in control and it is true that His hand is not short and His ears are not dull

  2. Martiens van der Merwe

    Only God can turn the enemy’s plans around – there is a shift busy taking place – and yes God does work through people as with this testimony – this is Father calling us to make this world Jesus’s footstool – Amen

  3. This is so long overdue. May the Spirit of Revival, reconciliation, repentance and peace permeate the atmosphere in South Africa. God has raised up a Standard against the evil, lawlessness and unrighteousness in our Beloved South Africa. Do it Lord Jesus Do it again and again

  4. Awesome, absolutely awesome what only God could have done, we will keep on praying for our Nation South Africa, for a spirit of reconciliation and unity to spread amongst the people of this Nation as we take hands and rebuilt the walls of our Nation in making it a better place for all people to live and thrive in. We are going to build a prosperous Nation engulfed by the Spirit of God, leading and guiding His people for a better future.

  5. Unfortunately,the farmers lands still burned down…but through that God also assisted tem miraculously.

  6. What a phenomenal happening. With prayer, South Africa’s diverse peoples can live in harmony and respect for one another. I pray daily that God calms our Country’s emotions and that a new spirit of love for Him and fellow beings be born. Also that the voices of inciters be silenced and be powerless. We can live in peace together as children of God.

  7. All praise to our dear Lord Jesus for his merciful intervention. May our hearts be humbled before Him. May 16 /12 see another miracle, and may our Lord Jesus be glorified

  8. I like the prayer meeting on 16 December on prayer hill.

  9. We have been praying for this since the early 2000”s when we held the Prayer Event Ellis Park. “It is Time”

  10. Round about 22 Years ago a group of Senekal believers start praying every week at 06h00 every week for a few years (I think) on this Koppie. I can’t believe what is happening now. 🙏

  11. I thank GOD for the SHIFT, and a NEW SEASON of HAVEST in SENEKAL.
    LORD we have FAITH in YOU. Thank you for that powerful company of people, Intercessors, that continues to focus on JESUS
    Blessings to all.

  12. Thanks for arranging this, brother Mathuhle. Today 16.1.2020 is the Day of Reconciliation. My wife and I join you in prayer. Humble, repentant intercession is the way to go (in the God-dependent attitude of 2 Chronicles 7:14), rather than arrogant, assertive declarations.

  13. Praise and Glory be to our GOD ! What happen in Senekal is just an example what GOD is ready to do, not just in the whole of South Africa but the world . We as Believers need to continue to take the fight to the spiritual level and not focus on the physical. If those who is called by GOD will arise to the occasion then we wil see the same and bigger miracles as GOD will Show up and make the impossible happen … all it takes is a group of believers to stand up against the enemy .. let all believers be encouraging to continue pray for our country and world without cease