By Esté Meyer Jansen — Originally published (in Afrikaans) in Maroelamedia
Junior Ferreira, 30, a farmer from Bethlehem in the Free State says that it is prayer alone that saved his mealie crop and feed bales last Thursday after a controlled pasture burn got out of hand.
“I am sharing the photos tonight to acknowledge my Creator. In case anybody doubts that miracles still occur today, and whether prayer is really effective, look carefully at the photos and decide for yourself,” said Ferreira in a post on his Facebook page. which has already had 262 responses and been shared 61 times.
According to Ferreira on that day he was busy with controlled burns to prevent veld fires on his farm when a wind came up and drove the fire under the road through a stormwater pipe and into his mealie fields.
“By the time I was able to get to my mealie fields there was actually nothing I could do. I could just stand and watch flames as tall as me ripping through my mealies. The wind kept changing direction so the firefighters could not risk getting too close to the flames because they couldn’t tell which direction the fire might turn next,” he said.
Out of a sense of complete powerlessness he began to pray. “I know it was not just me praying but also my family and workers praying just as hard.”
He said in that moment a gust of wind came up which he was certain would deliver the final blow to his crop.
“I thought that would be the end of at least half of my crop. But, in fact, the wind did not increase the flames but instead blew them out like a person blowing out a candle.”
“It could only have been the hand of God.”
Nowhere did the fire burn into more than 50m of his mealie plantation.
He said another inexplicable thing was that fodder bales on the ground needed to feed his cattle in late winter did not catch alight. He only noticed that fact later in the day when he drove around to evaluate the extent of the fire damage to his farm.
“There was just no explanation why those bales escaped the fire; it was not as if they were on bare ground that the fire could not burn up. But inexplicably the fire burned all around the bales and afterwards we extinguished smouldering grass near the bales.”
Ferreira said he has been farming for 10 years and that in 2015 they experienced serious drought in the area. “Since then I have been so blessed that I have been able to deliver fodder to drought-stricken farmers in the Eastern Cape.”
Commenting on his Facebook post he said it was something that he felt he had to do.
“There is so much bad news every day, especially now with the Covid-19 pandemic. I asked myself why the Lord saved my mealies now and concluded it was specifically so that I could share a post like this which gives hope.”
Ferreira said he believes that miracles still happen every day; we just need to be on the lookout for them.
“God cares for us each day and if news like this gives just one person a reason to get up and face the day, then it is worth it.
“We serve an almighty God, the only living God, the Creator of Heaven and Earth, a God of wonders, Amen.”