While many parts of South Africa have experienced abundant rain recently, some areas — mainly in the Eastern and Northern Cape — are still in the grip of a prolonged drought.
And so, when Eastern Cape farming couple Tommie and Carine van Kerken both independently sensed God tell them to host a prayer day for rain on their farm Dikkop Vlakte between Grahamstown and Beford on Saturday March 13 they decided to obey Him even though they wondered why He had chosen them.
Later they learned, through a friend in Port Elizabeth, Lee-Anne Viljoen, that other farmer friends of hers, Danie and Karin Bellingan, are hosting a prayer day for rain on their farm, Kranskop, near Steytlerville, on the same day.
The Van Kerkens and Bellingans, whose farms are about 300km apart — both in drought struck regions — do not know each other. But both families are encouraged at being part of something that appears to be in God’s timing.
The Dikkop Vlakte prayer day is advertised as a “morning of praise, prayer and miracles as we trust God to break this drought and to bring healing and restoration”. And the Kranskop day of prayer for rain is scheduled for 2.30pm on Saturday.
Carine van Kerken said she had also learned of a Christian intercessory group in PE whose prayer theme this week is “spiritual awakening and rain in drought stricken areas”. And she had just heard from an intercessor friend of a friend in PE who had been sensing an urgent call to pray for rain but did not feel led to arrange an event. Then, yesterday, after telling prayer friends about her calling to pray for rain the intercessor received a banner on her phone promoting the Dikkop Vlakte prayer day.
“When you connect all the dots you can see that God is busy with something — with things on people’s hearts. I am without words at this time!” Carine said.
“Everybody has been obedient with their little bit but I believe God planned this day before creation,” she said.
She said that her first response to God’s call for her and Tommie to host a prayer day was: “But how? We are just farmers who can’t even speak proper English.” But the Lord reminded her of Moses who needed an Aaron to speak for him and told them to just do what He said and trust Him for the rest.
She said today’s daily “Thought for the Day” from Uncle Angus Buchan had encouraged her. It was about how God will use anyone who has faith the size of a grain of mustard seed.
Tommie van Kerken said that on Saturday they will pray for all of the areas of South Africa still experiencing drought.
“We will not pray just for now but for enough rain to restore the underground water. We are going to ask God for a big blessing and we believe it will come,” he sad.
He said they were expecting people from different drought-affected areas to join them on Saturday. They knew of people coming from Port Elizabeth and Somerset East. He didn’t know how many people would come but was beginning to think he might need a loudspeaker.
Danie Bellingan told Gateway News he and Karin have been wanting to hold a prayer day for rain in their church for a long time but with Covid regulations it was complicated. They then decided to host a day on the farm, and the way that God led them it ended up on Saturday — the same day as the Van Kerken’s event.
Originally they thought they would just invite neighbours but the project has grown and they have no idea how many people will come. But they trust the Lord will send who He wants to be there.
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