Episode 6 in a weekly series in which music industry personality and Worship South Africa exco member Julita Kok reports back on a recent SA road trip in which she handed the steering wheel over to Jesus
When you travel with God and on His agenda, you are always expectant. Anything can happen. It simply is the truth. And when it does, it never really surprises you. Although you do not know what it will be, you know that something will happen. Because you know Him. You know what He is capable of. And you believe Him when he says nothing is impossible to God.
Before I left Kleinmond, my hometown, God told me that the rain will follow me. I had no understanding of what He meant. I understood from it that it will rain wherever I go which is very nice. Thank You Lord. Boy, was I in for the ride of my life!!
On this trip, being confronted with drought — true, very real, very intense drought — I realised that I had no understanding of it. Even when Cape Town had that bad drought and we had to save water, that was nothing. Because here is the thing. I opened up my tap and water still came running from it. I could shower every evening for three minutes, but there was a water supply when I opened up my tap. I could not flush my toilet as often, but it always flushed when I did.
But suddenly on my recent trip with God I was confronted with places and people who had NO water.
When I came to my first farm, they told me that they were experiencing drought. But the dam was full of water and the vines were green so I did not understand what they meant. It all looked fine to me. But if they say it, then I believe it. Their criteria for drought were obviously different to mine. So the morning that I left, I prayed that the Lord would send rain (as if they never prayed lol) and then had breakfast, packed, said my goodbyes and got into my car. And as I drove out, the rain started to fall. And I was like — “Aaah, thank You Lord. This is very awesome”. Did not think much about it.
I moved on from that town and very quickly found that wherever I stayed over, it started to rain. Then God sent me to the Karoo — to Steytlerville via Uniondale and Willowmore. He told me to go into each town and pray, which I did. I stayed on a farm in Steytlerville and for the first time, I could see what looked like drought to me. Real drought according to my knowledge. And the farmers spoke about it. For eight years they have had this drought. The worst one in their time. They showed me the animals and the land and I could see the drought with my eyes.
I asked the farmer how it affected him apart from the financial side which I could see for myself. But what did it do to him as a person and as a child of God? He told me that it was the most terrifying and painful thing to go into his animals’ camps — what is left of them.
He said that when his bakkie stops the animals come to him with hope in their eyes, so expectant that he brought food and water, but he has not. He is their provider, but he has nothing to give them. They look to him. He is their only hope, but he cannot help. And then he goes to God in the same way, knowing that He can help but He does not. It the not understanding that gets to him, he said. He said every time he goes to the camps he gets a physical pain in his back that just sits there and he knows it is from the stress of not being able to help his animals. They just die in the veld. Every time he goes out there are more carcasses.
Sjoe, this touched me deeply. I could feel his hopelessness. And I could do nothing but tell him of the goodness of God. And when I left I prayed and it was a prayer from deep in my heart and I told God: “There have been many prayers from many people for many years. I am adding mine to theirs but I am asking You Lord to make haste. Hurry Lord. Please do not wait too long.”
I left there and within an hour it started raining. I wondered if the rain had reached the farm. An hour away on the road is a long distance away. I enjoyed the rain on my way to the next town. It followed me all the way.
The next morning I received messages and photos of the rain that fell in Willowmore and on the farm. I was overwhelmed. I actually expected it, but not in the way it came. It was an outpouring like they had not seen in years. And I knew — God is a promise keeper. He said the rain would follow me.
So I want to cut a long story short. The rain followed me everywhere I went. The day I came to Umtata was the hottest so far. Over 40 degrees. That evening, the rain started and I battled through the mud on the dirt roads the next day. So it was in East London, Madwaleni and all the other places.
And then God told me to go to Noenieput. Kalahari. I have never seen anything like it. I cannot even begin to tell you. Nothing grows. No water. Not little water. NO water. Nothing can even grow in the ground. Carcasses of animals every where in the veld. No water from the taps. Only what is in the tanks. Even the underground water was finished. Nine years they told me. Nine years without rain. It was devastating. But by this time, I knew that the rain is following me. Simply because God said it. I cannot make rain or cause the clouds to give rain. But I know One Who can and said that He will so to me, it was settled. It was going to rain in the Kalahari when I left.
I visited different farms in the area and I told the last farmer that he should get ready. The rain was coming. He just laughed and he said: “Julita, I was born on this farm 71 years ago. My grandfather bought this farm. I know what the weather looks like when it is about to rain. The clouds are not right, the wind is not coming from the right direction, the swallows are flying too high and the ants have no wings”. This is what he said. “It is not going to rain”.
“Well”, I said, “God said the rain will follow me and I am here now. The rain is coming”. I was on his farm for four days. Four days in which they took me around this huge, huge, huge farm to show me the effect of the drought. It simply was heart breaking. I met children that had never seen rain. Can you imagine?
Something that truly touched my heart was when the farmer took me to an empty dam. A huge dam, but empty. No water. He said that this was the heritage for his children and the generations to come. I did not understand and asked him what he meant. Sjoe, my heart!!!! He told me that for two years, he built this dam with his own hands. Just he alone. It helped to forget about the drought. It kept him busy. It was something that he could do during the drought so that in future droughts there would be a dam for the next generations. It would help them. I knew at that moment that I was on holy ground. I was standing in front of an altar and I was sure that it could be seen from space in the spirit realm.
What a moment!!! I stood there and I asked God to fill this dam and as He filled it, to fill the hearts of these people who were so dependent on what nature (God) does. This was the biggest moment on my journey. I saw something in the heart of this man and I knew God was showing me HIS heart. Oh my!! I will never forget it.
So on the morning that I was leaving, I heard a tractor outside. 05h00 in the morning. I knew that they were not able to plant anything so I was wondering what was happening. I went outside and saw the farmer bringing sand and gravel to his hay bales. I asked him what he was doing and he laughed. He said that since I kept on saying the rain was coming he was preparing for it. He did not want the little hay that he had left to get wet so he was building a little wall around it.
And at that moment I knew!!! It was going to rain, because faith had been stirred!! I suddenly realised what God was doing and why He sent me on this journey. With just sharing on the goodness of God, telling people that God sent me and that He has not forgotten them although they think that He had, it stirred their faith muscles.
We had lunch and in the afternoon I left. It was just soooo dry. I was an hour and a half away, close to Upington when I received a voicenote. “It is raining, it is pouring!! God has opened up the heavens!!!”. The sound of joy was difficult to hear above the sound of the rain on the voicenote!!! I started to cry for all I could think was: WHO IS THIS GOD???
I can never in words or in pictures describe to you what happened there and what God did. It has since not stopped raining and I am sure all of you have seen the pictures of rain in the Kalahari both on the South African and Namibian side. What God did for those farmers is still a mystery to me. There was nothing in that air. Where did all the water come from? I know all the scientific answers but that measure of water???? BUT GOD!!!!
I could just praise this miracle-working God. My last night I spent just outside the town of Keimoes and they were also telling me about the drought. It started raining that night and I left Keimoes in the rain. Do you know what is not very far outside of Keimoes? The Augrabies Falls!! I am sure that most of you saw the pictures of what is happening there.
He is a Waymaker and He is true to His Word. When He said the rain would follow me, He meant it. It was truth. Not a promise even. It was settled in the heavens. I just did not grasp the fullness of it and I still have not. It is just too big for me. Who is this God that can do miracles like that?? The heavens open up in a moment and there is OVERFLOW!! And I know in my heart, it is still the same God of the Bible. Very much alive and sovereign and holy beyond my understanding.
One cannot witness something like this and not be changed. And even though I expected His miracles, what happened both in nature and in people’s hearts, changed me forever. The love He has for us — it is not like a man.
I remember a song I used to sing — well, have been singing it a lot lately. It simply says:
“How big is God, how big and wide His vast domain
To begin to tell, these lips can only try
He’s big enough to rule this mighty universe
Yet small enough to dwell within my heart”
And that is the mystery of it all.