In this episode God speaks in surprising ways to direct Lydia and Wilco Venter in the early days of their ministry in Kenya
We did not yet have a name for our ministry. Although we were still lecturing at the Njoro Bible College, our work in Teret and neighbouring villages at the foot of the Mau Forest, was expanding. We saw people turn to the Lord, growing in wisdom and stature.
One night God woke me up in the wee hours of the morning, directing me to the Book of Hosea, Chapter 6. However, when I wanted to take my “ordinary” Bible, God clearly advised me to take the Spirit Filled Version. While paging to Hosea 6, using the soft light of the bedside lamp, I started reading, and as I turned the page, my eyes fell on the commentary in the top left-hand corner. “Yasha”, I read … “A Hebrew root word indicating that help and deliverance are freely available to provide a haven of safety for every child of God.”
Oh, I got so excited! I knew – without a shadow of a doubt – that this was the name the Lord had assigned to our ministry locally in Kenya, and whatever areas He might assign to us in the future.
I love the scripture in Ephesians 2:8-10 that says: “For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.”
Literally everything has been pre-ordained by the Author of Life. We should never think it’s because we’re so creative or spiritual or wise or clever … No, it’s Christ Who IS the wisdom of God in us. According to 1 Cor 1:30 He is our righteousness, our holiness and our redemption.
Of course, I immediately woke my husband and shared with him, although I think he only grasped the full extent of it the next morning after a strong cup of coffee
One day in December 2002 I was organizing my son’s cupboard, removing some of his old clothes that were too small for him. As I was putting the garments aside, 5-year-old Stéfanus came into the room, asking me what we planned to do with the clothes. I explained to him that we would be giving them to other boys slightly smaller than him.
He immediately refused, telling me that he’d rather keep it for his “new baby brother”. I was stunned! I’d learned not to ignore the utterances of children as God uses the praises of children and infants to establish strongholds against the enemies (Ps 8:2).
On January 19 2003, as we were coming from church, our house help informed us about a lady who had come to our home while we were away. She told the woman to return that afternoon, so at around 4pm Pauline arrived. She was clearly pregnant, although she couldn’t tell us how far she was.
Her story echoed those of so many orphaned girls in her shoes who were depending on their extended family to care for them. In Pauline’s case nobody wanted her. She had gone from family member to family member after her aunty kicked her out of her house after she became pregnant.
The desperate girl then tried twice to abort her baby, but in both cases the God of Heaven and Earth prevented the tragedy, finally bringing her to our doorstep.
God spoke to us years ago about the Isaac principle. The enemy will always try to make us settle for Ishmael, so we were very much aware that we needed the Lord to clearly speak to us. We’d already been approached several times by mothers who wanted to sell their babies.
But Pauline made it clear that she was not interested in money. She only wanted to provide her baby with a better future. We committed ourselves to pray about the matter and to let her know once the Lord confirmed His will to us..
After Pauline had left, Wilco went outside to wash the vehicle. I couldn’t get rid of the excitement in my spirit as I remembered Stéfanus’ words just a month prior, talking of his new baby brother. My husband usually takes time to digest things like this, so I was already preparing myself for the fact that he might take time before making a decision.
“What do you think, Darling?” I asked him. He knocked me out with the following words: “God just spoke to me. It’s a boy. His name is Timothy and he is our son.”
Although I immediately wrote down his words, I secretly doubted their validity as it was so different from the way my husband usually operates.
On the evening of February 13 we were having our devotions, when the Spirit of God came upon our daughter, Clemencia. She started making prophetic utterances about Timothy, declaring that he would be a man of God and that the Lord’s grace would abide in his life. We had not heard her praying with such anointing and conviction before or after that day, and at that moment the word spoken by God through Wilco, fell in my heart. Timothy was indeed our son!
On the evening of March 3, Pauline phoned us, telling us that her water had broken. We picked her up and proceeded to the Provincial Government Hospital in Nakuru. We sat through the night on cold, hard benches, and at 4:10am Timothy was born. What a miracle! What a joy!
Today our son is 18 years old. He’s artistic and has a gift of singing and writing music to the glory and honour of Jesus, our Lord and King. We look back and see how the Lord’s speaking guided our lives over the years. It’s amazing that not all Christians believe in the prophetic word. The fact is, if it wasn’t for this gift we would not have been where we are or done the things we’ve done.
In the next episode I’ll narrate how the start of a small playgroup developed into one of the largest ACE schools in Kenya, simply because God told me that whatever good we wanted for our children, we’d have to create ourselves.
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