After 59 years of living in darkness, Theo (Vlooi) Terblanche stepped into the light when he was born again last year at the Karoo Mighty Men Conference (KMMC).
This week Vlooi is embarking on a 500km “Celebration Journey” on foot from his home in Plettenberg Bay to KMMC 2014 to glorify the Lord’s name and praise God’s grace by which he was saved a year ago.
Furthermore, Vlooi is undertaking this walk of faith without seconding support, back-up vehicles or sponsorship. The 500km walk will take him from Plettenberg Bay through Uniondale, Willowmore, Aberdeen, Graaff-Reinet and Middelburg to KMMC 2014.
“Although I was brought up in a Christian family and even became a deacon in a church, as an adult I fell into a life of alcohol abuse, criminal activities and unfaithfulness to my wife,” says Vlooi.
“It got so bad that I became an alcoholic, was using prostitutes; my family life was almost non-existent with one daughter turning her back on the family and the other two losing all respect for me,” he adds.
Then some friends invited Vlooi to join them on a trip to KMMC 2013.
“I wasn’t keen, but eventually conceded to go, in spite of a frivolous attitude and only because they said it would be a camping weekend in the Karoo and I could take alcohol with.
“However, I had no idea, nor could I have imagined in my wildest dreams what God had prepared for me.
“By the time we drove through Uniondale on the way to the KMMC, I was already drunk and stopped the car to buy more alcohol for the rest of the trip. After arriving at Rusoord Farm on the outskirts of Middelburg and setting-up our tents I had a few more drinks to fortify myself before we went to listen to the first speaker.
“At first I found it a bit strange, because so many men were lifting their hands in praise of the Lord as they were singing and some were even speaking in tongues. I was unused to both practices as they were not done in the church in which I had been brought-up.
“Nevertheless, that night of the 28th April 2013 I had the most miraculous experience when I accepted Jesus Christ as my saviour, gave myself to the Lord, and was reborn in a Damascus Road-type incident, which turned my life around,” explains Vlooi.
He says it all happened within seconds and he was immediately freed from being a slave to addictions.
Poured out alcohol
“On returning to the tent I poured out all my alcohol. I felt that I was now resting assured in the arms of my Saviour, Jesus Christ.
“When I returned home I asked my wife to forgive me, admitted to sexual and criminal misconduct and apologised for how it had broken our home and the negative effect it had on our family.
“To my relief she accepted my repentance instead of divorcing me,” says Vlooi.
“I can truly say that night at the KMMC Lord Jesus Christ freed me immediately from the darkness and evil that robbed me of righteous living and the love of my family. My life was healed from depression, dishonesty, lies, profane and vulgar language.
“When I arrived home my youngest daughter immediately sent me an SMS saying how happy she was to have a father again and how much she had missed me.”
Vlooi says that although there is still much work to be done repairing his family’s relationships, he trusts that God will finish the process of reconciliation that He started.
Vlooi pleads with all parents to never stop praying for their children’s relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. He believes it was his mother’s prayers for him before she died that helped bring him back into relationship with his Holy Father.
Now, Vlooi is determined to glorify God and spread the word of His grace on the 500km “Celebration Journey” back to KMMC this year.
“I still cry from joy when I experience God’s will at work and witness His glory. His word is my compass and I am walking to extend His word to others along the road to KMMC 2014.”
Vlooi will be taking up a cross on his back that he will carry in worship of his Saviour Jesus Christ while walking to his own place of sanctification in the Karoo.
He reminds us that God makes use of ordinary people, like you and I, to take His good news of salvation out into the world.
That is why Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who preach the gospel of peace, who bring glad tidings of good things!”