“Gateway City” prophetic word confirms calling to bring lasting hope to families and renews assurance that God has great plans for PE
Six years ago a young Cape Town Christian youth worker had a vision in which God told him to move to a place in the Eastern Cape called Bethel which was the spiritual and political birthplace of South Africa and was a gateway to Heaven.
In the vision God also showed the young man a church building and a pastor in Port Elizabeth — a city that he had never visited before and where he had no family. God said the people of that church would become his spiritual family.
Days later a young Cape Town social work graduate who was preparing to do in-service practical training in Cape Town, was informed that there had been a change of plan and she was being sent to a place called Bethelsdorp in Port Elizabeth.
The young man was Andrew Petersen. The young woman was his girlfriend and intended wife, Eluazia. Andrew and Eluazia believed, on the strength of their experiences, that God was calling them to go to Bethelsdorp, the gateway to Heaven.
Into the unknown
” On the 21 Dec 2005 God woke me up in the morning and told me to pack one bag of clothes, give away everything I owned, buy a bus ticket to PE and leave my parent’s home,” said Andrew.
He said his friends and parents strongly opposed the proposed move and there was even satanic resistance to the move. But he was determined to go.
“I arrived in PE with a bag of clothes and R50 in my pocket, not knowing where I would be eating, sleeping or working. Eluazia joined me shortly afterwards too.”
Six years later Andrew and Eluazia are still in Port Elizabeth. They are married with one son. They are worshiping at Word of Faith (WOF), which meets in the church building that Andrew saw in his vision. Pastor Frederick Blignaut, the man he saw in the vision, has become his spiritual father. And ever since arriving in PE they have been involved in Christian youth and community work in Bethelsdorp and other poor northern areas of the city. Andrew is now project manager of Project Hope, a substantial WOF children’s outreach and development programme that ministers to 600 young people living in communities ravaged by poverty, alchohol and drug abuse, crime and sexual abuse. Eluazia is a social worker who works with rape victims and women rescued from human trafficking: her counselling expertise is a valuable resource to Project Hope.
Andrew and Eluazia are fulfilled in what they are doing but he said it had not been easy to stick to the path that they believed God had called them to walk. Both his parents and Eluazia’s parents had constantly urged them to return to Cape Town where there was family support and better job prospects.
“There were many times we would cry because we felt lonely in PE and even doubted sometimes whether we had done the right thing. This only became worse when our son Seth was born in August 2009. The enemy always tries to exploit the fact that our family is in Cape Town, but God has made us part of an awesome family in the form of Word of Faith.
“My dad and mom actually only accepted this reality of us being here in Port Elizabeth last year. And since then God has come through amazingly for us.”
Gateway purpose for PE
A significant recent event has given Andrew a new sense of purpose and expectancy in his calling. Earlier this year, the Senior Pastor of WOF, Pastor Jimmy Crompton believed God had revealed that the redemptive purpose of PE was to be a Gateway into and out of Africa for God’s authority and power and for the prosperity and upliftment of its people. He shared this word with other Christian leaders in the city and together the church leaders took it to the Mayor of PE. Part of the prophetic insight entailed recognition of significant “firsts” that had occurred in PE over the decades and that the first significant human settlement within the city area was Bethelsdorp, which was established as a mission to the indigenous people, especially the Khoi, and that in Genesis, Jacob called Bethel the ‘Gateway to Heaven’.
Andrew said the recent Gateway City revelation had encouraged him greatly and had revived in his heart the Gateway City vision he first had six years ago when he decided to answer God’s calling to move to PE.
“I believe PE is a place where God is going to do great things for our country. I believe many leaders will come here to find out how we turned this city around to become a city of prosperity.
“My sense of calling is to raise up youth leaders and develop programmes to bring change in general in our country. Being here in PE now makes me realise it can happen.”