Last Sunday eight people were baptised in a water tank on the back of a bakkie parked in a street in Kwanokuthula, Plettenberg Bay.
The Sunday before, 24 people surrendered their hearts to Jesus during a prayer, praise and preaching walk in the township. And on Tuesday this week another 18 souls joyfully received Jesus on the streets of Kwanokuthula.
This is “Street Church” a name used to describe what House of Glory leader David Verhulst refers to as a growing revival movement that began during the current coronavirus lockdown and of which God Himself is the architect. It is a non-denominational move that is uniting local pastors who are hungry for more of God and which is actively backed by Kwanokuthula SAPS station commander Lieutenant Colonel Mlami Kunge who is passionate about fighting crime God’s way.
Verhulst, who is originally from The Netherlands, recalls how during a group outreach in Kwanokuthula in 2018 a Xhosa man who he had never seen before stopped his car and told him God wanted them to start a church in the township. Deciding to follow God’s will they asked some churches to help them but were turned down. But they persisted in “sowing seeds in the township”.
In January they launched God’s Marines, a free ministry school in the township for pastors and leaders. And in February they preached the Gospel to 800 children at a township school. A month later lockdown was implemented but after Passover God began to speak to him again about KwaNokuthula.
Explaining what happened thereafter, he said: “It all then started on May 17. I made a declaration and call: ‘Let us mock the prophets of Baal and let us go out on the streets!’ So it happened on May 24. We did our first prayer and praise walk in the township starting at 7am as we were only allowed to be outside between 6 and 9am.
“During our walk other Christians joined. As we started with eight people we ended with 30 people. We distributed food and Bibles. On May 31 we continued and we ended with more than 50.
“We walk in a row, respecting social distance and wearing face masks. Praising the Lord out loud including using a music system, flags and tambourines. Interceding for the township and South Africa. Declaring destruction on racism, corruption, abortion and sexual immorality. Declaring righteousness and justice in South Africa.
“On June 21 we were able to use a music system that connects two wireless microphones. During our prayer and praise walk we stopped in several streets and made a circle and preached the Gospel. People came out of their houses to see what is happening. They were invited, after sharing the Gospel in Xhosa and English, to receive the Lord Jesus in their hearts. That morning 24 people surrendered their hearts to Jesus.
“On that Sunday I saw an article about baptism on the streets in Minneapolis, USA [See report in Gateway News]. I prayed to the Lord and said: ‘Lord, this is my heart’s desire.’ Not knowing that my wife was praying: ‘Lord help us to baptise the people as it is your command!’
“Guess what happened? On Monday, the next day, I was doing my prayer walk and a car stopped in front of me. A dear brother, we did not see for some time, asked how are you doing. I told him what happened the day before. He said: ‘I have a “bakkie with a tank on it and we use it for baptism.’
“I said: ‘Wow that is awesome!’ And on Thursday our brother helped a man with a broken car in Plett. The man he helped lived in the street where 14 people gave their heart to the Lord……! Our brother did not know that. Interestingly, he did not ask the man of the broken car yet to invite the Lord Jesus in his heart.
“Then on Thursday afternoon, our brother told us he will join us on Sunday with his baptism tank. Glory to God. Now, though it is a very detailed story, our brother asked the Lord: ‘Lord if you want that man to surrender his life to You, You will lead us on Sunday to that street.’
“Again, we did not know this. But the first thing what happened on Sunday June 28, we walked to our street where 14 people surrendered their hearts to the Lord a week ago. Can you imagine the joy of our brother? God is the architect of this whole new move. Isaiah 43:19 comes in and to pass! Church on the streets.
“As a consequence, last Sunday, June 28, eight people got baptised. As they are very poor we provided after their baptism Bibles,food and blankets.
“All names of the previous Sunday were noted including telephone numbers. We know exactly who is baptised and made baptism certificates. We are going to hand them over this week.”
Verhulst said that since they have been declaring righteousness and justice persistently and loudly on the streets of Kwanokuthula they have noticed a change in the spiritual atmosphere.
“People testified after they received the Lord Jesus an overwhelming peace filling their hearts. Three people got delivered from demonic possession on the streets.
“We made a huge red banner, declaring victory in the spiritual realm.”
Another trend was how people were coming out of their houses when they heard the Street Church team praying and praising the Lord. out loud with our voices, said Verhulst.
Commenting on the movement’s partnership with the local police, he said that after the police noticed that their team was on the streets every Sunday morning, Lt Col Kunge invited them and several other pastors to a meeting in his office.
“He explained that he is very happy with this initiative and asked all township pastors to unite and work with us. He, as he is a man of God himself, underlined Psalm 133 about unity. He also asked us to extend the Street Church with doing prayer and praise walks every Tuesday and Thursday on the streets at 5pm. The pastors present all agreed.
“The colonel also expressed that guns are not effective anymore and that prayer and praise walks are. Letters are now sent out to every pastor to work together. This is a huge initiative straight from the throne of God. Every Thursday morning we have a meeting on our ministry on the streets with the colonel.”
In a statement sent to Gateway News, confirming his support for the street ministry, Kunge said: “When I arrived in Kwanokuthula SAPS precinct crime levels were too high. The police were doing their utmost best to deal with those high levels of crime. Domestic violence, murders of which some were also related to family misunderstanding were among crimes whose levels were high for this police station.
“I, as a station commander, thought as we did everything to fight crime with a low success rate, it would be wise to invite the intervention of God. I gathered pastors from different churches in Kwanokuthula SAPS precinct. I brought the problem to their attention. I also brought the idea of establishing the ‘Divine Warfare Movement’ to deal with crime.
“I fully understand that many times we fail to understand that behind every evil action there is an evil force or spirit. The intervention of God is needed.
“We then started the prayer meeting in every street that was problematic. The success rate was very high and high levels of crime decreased rapidly. People accepted the Lord in large numbers and turned away from their evil doings.”
See video from outreach on Tuesday: