Three 10m-high crosses on a hill overlooking the “It’s Time” national prayer day venue provided a fitting visual reminder of who the day was about, as well as a meaningful devotional retreat for many who attended the prayer event on Saturday April 22.
But the powerful and poignant connection between the crosses and the prayer day was never planned by any man or woman. The timing and placing of the crosses were ordained by God.
The outworking of the Lord’s plan can be traced back to a time eight or nine years ago when a Bloemfontein pastor caught a vision to purchase the farm for a church, training centre and Christian school.
In a video interview with Lindy-Ann Hopley Pastor Cornelis van Heyningen, leader of Our Father’s Home church and Creare Training Centre says that as the asking price for the farm, Mountain View, was above their budget he asked the farmer in 2010 whether he could not sell the church a 10ha portion of the land. To his surprise the farmer said he and his wife had heard from God that they should give the 215ha farm the church.
Reconciliation and forgiveness
Pastor Cornelis said he realised at once that the gift of land was not meant to be for his church alone but for the kingdom of God and the community. From that time he also had it in his heart to put the crosses — a symbol of reconciliation and forgiveness — up on the hill where people travelling from all directions would be able to see it. The site of the crosses, known as Our Father’s Signature (See Google Map) is adjacent to the busy N1 and R700 highways.
About six months ago — several months before God gave Angus Buchan the vision for a prayer day and to search for a suitable prayer venue on a farm near Bloemfontein — Pastor Cornelis and his team decided to aim to have the crosses erected in time for the Easter weekend, which happened to be a week before the It’s Time event.
Then things started to fall into place supernaturally. A man came on board saying he had a vision for crosses on the hill — the very same vision they were pursuing. Work began on the project and then at a point when it became clear they would not be able to meet their project deadline, a family friend from Pretoria phoned and said God said to him he needed to help Cornelis with something. The man, who is involved in a major way in construction, took over the cross construction project. Other people phoned and offered to help with erecting lights, and people just came and helped with the project.
Cornelis said they did not promote the crosses in any way prior to the prayer event, but before and during the event many people came to the crosses and they served communion to some visitors.
“People were gripped in their hearts by God’s love for them. Many experienced intimate moments of worship at the crosses. I saw people sitting there and crying,” he said.
He said his vision was to erect 200 to 300 railway sleeper benches in different places for people to use during devotional visits to the site. They planned to keep the site accessible to visitors but needed to put some security in place to safeguard the batteries and solar panels which were there to power the illumination of the crosses at night.
The bible says the message of the cross is the power of God, and that there is nothing we can boast about other than the cross — what Christ did for us when He shed His precious blood there for our salvation, Cornelis pointed out. This is the message of the three crosses to visitors and to passing traffic on the highways.
It was also the inspiration for naming the site “Our Father’s Signature”. When we sign our names we sign our lives away. So did God when he pledged, in Jesus, to die for our sins.
Anybody who would like to be involved in the ongoing crosses project in any way can call 073 260 5995