Highway Ministry founder calls on believers to reach out to road users over Easter Weekend

Highway Ministry team in front of their prayer tent at a petrol stop on the N3 highway near Heidelberg

The Easter weekend countdown is upon us and Jan de Bruin executive director of Highway Ministries is calling on South African Christians to reach out to motorists during this annual peak traffic period.

De Bruin has been ministering full-time to road users for 26 years with a clear call from God through Luke 14:23 which says:  ‘Go out to the roads and country lanes and compel them to come in, so that my house will be full.”

Millions of drivers, passengers and pedestrians use South Africa’s roads daily and we are called to reach out to them, to change behaviour in the interest of saving lives and to share the Gospel, he said.

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Outreach action at a weigh bridge on the N1 near Bela-Bela

For most of the year De Bruin and his Highways Ministry team focus on truckers and the taxi industry but over the Easter weekend and during December they pitch tents on busy routes and mobilise teams to pray there and to distribute Gospel tracts and road safety leaflets to motorists at petrol stops.

He told Gateway News that during a number of Easter Weekends they have pitched their tent on the busy N3 highway between Alberton and Heidelberg. During these times traffic officers have requested prayer before going out on patrol and there have been a number of such weekends when no fatal accidents occurred.

“Prayer works!” he said.

De Bruin said that anybody who would like to join them or to set up prayer tents or gazebos in their areas during the Easter Weekend from April 15 to18 should contact him at 083 455 7814 or via the Highway Ministry website at highwayministry.co.za. Highway Ministry is ready to assist people with practical advice to get up and running successfully in their areas. They can also provide tracts.

Bikers who regularly visit the prayer tent

Reflecting on his ministry journey, De Bruin said God saved him in Heidelburg in 1992, during which year he twice “had the wonderful privilege of standing directly in God’s presence”. Late one night in January 1993, while studying God’s Word he came across Luke 14:3 in which Jesus speaks of going out onto the roads. He said at the time he didn’t even know that verse was in the Bible but God started to call him into ministry through those words.

In 1995 he resigned from a managerial job he loved with newspaper publisher Nasionale Pers, for whom he had worked for 22 years to go fulltime into what became Highway Ministry.

“I had printer’s ink in my veins for 22 years and God replaced it with diesoline,” he said, speaking of the passion he has for reaching out to truckers at truck stops, weigh bridges and border posts, as well as to taxi drivers and passengers. Highway Ministry has also produced and distributed CDs with short Gospel messages designed to ensure that taxi passengers receive a complete message during their trips. They have also produced CDs with longer messages for truck drivers.

In addition to calling on Christians to reach out to motorists over the Easter weekend he said he is hoping to find believers who will personally catch and run with the vision of reaching people for Christ on the highways and byways as a lifestyle. The idea is for believers in different areas to build relations with taxi and truck drivers and to visit them once or twice a month to share with them. He urged anybody who senses a call to such a ministry to contact him for advice on how to get started.

He said before the start of lockdown he and his wife met with people in several centres to share the vision. Since then a group in George are actively reaching out to road users.

Angelo Joseph, right, from TruckFuelNet partners with Highway Ministry at the Ladysmith truck stop

When I spoke to Jan he had just got back from visiting a truck stop at Mussina and a new truck stop at Ladysmith. “It’s a wonderful ministry. You see change coming through it — especially with the taxi and truck drivers. They are on the road for 10 or more hours a day and when you start speaking to them at the truck stop at night, they just welcome it. They see that you love them.”

Asked about some of his standout outreach memories, Jan recalled a time when they pitched their tent for two weeks at an informal truck stop in Ventersburg. They would invite truckers in for coffee and would walk around handing out tracts and speaking to people. One man he met looked deeply distressed and when Jan asked him what was wrong he explained that he had buried his only son that morning and that his employer had turned down his request for a few days off to come to his senses. Jan said he had no words for the grieving man, so he simply hugged him.

“He cried and cried for about half an hour. When he finished my shirt was sopping wet.”

Another incident he recalled was during an outreach at Ngodwana near Mbombela (formerly Nelspruit). He said they were giving away Bibles and he recalls giving a Bible to a young man.

“He looked at me with amazement and said: ‘Sir, is this for me?’ I said: ‘Yes’. He asked:’For free sir?’ I said:’Yes.’

“He took that Bible and kissed it and held it up in the air and started dancing and praising the Lord.”

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  1. Constance Sibanda

    I love Highway Ministry. Silver or gold I do not have but as an old widow like Anna the prophetess the daughter of Phanuel of the tribe of Asher who was always in the temple, I will continue to partner with Highway Ministry through interceding for the work of God
    Constance in Chitungwiza Zimbabwe

  2. What a testimony and encouragement. Just sharing what you have done and are doing helps us all to be more creative and think out of the box. Jesus is the answer to life and how wonderful to read how others are obeying the Lords commission .
    What a blessing. Thank you.!!!