Sardines and springs encourage Cape revivalists

Gathering netfulls of sardines at Hout Bay, Cape Town during an unusual sardine run, which is seen as a confirmation of a prophecy about coming revival. (Photo: Henriette Sparks -

[notice]As a year which has seen significant prayer and worship activity in Cape Town draws to a close, some Christians in the city who have a passion for prayer and worship are encouraged that God is responding with prophetic signs pointing to spiritual revival in the city and the nation. Unusual sardine runs and plans to tap into long-dormant natural springs are being seen as confirmation of prophetic words.[/notice]

Two years ago Jane Smith* heard God say: “I am going to bring in a sardine run of souls in South Africa which will be confirmed in the natural.”

She later found out that the famous annual winter run of millions of sardines off the east coast of South Africa had been so poor over the past 10 years that scientists were speculating that the phenomenon had run its course.

“For this reason I felt really nervous declaring that God was going to restore it (the sardine run) in the natural in 2010 as a sign. Eventually after much procrastination I shared the word briefly in a church prayer meeting and then with others I am accountable to, and eventually publicly on a Sunday morning,” she wrote in a report on what she believed God was saying to her.

Biggest run in 25 years
She says she was discouraged when by the end of June 2010 no sardines had appeared and it was being declared a “non-run” year. But then, at the end of July — a month later than usual — the run began and lasted for four weeks. According to reports it was the biggest sardine run in 25 years and even reached into areas which it hardly ever reached.

“There have been a number of prophetic words regarding revival that have been spoken over Cape Town and South Africa over the last couple of decades,” she wrote in her report. “There has been a long season of waiting and many in the church in Cape Town have become despondent and given up. For many, revival in Cape Town has been declared a ‘non-run’. God is wanting to impart fresh faith to the church in this city and nation. He wants us to wait and press into him with the tenacity of the persistent widow- to wait until revival comes. In the Spirit there is no depletion of fish stocks – the harvest is ready- the tides are turning. Revival is not a ‘non-run’.”

“This revival is going to bring in a huge harvest- a sardine run of souls. God has got a ‘sardine run of Souls for South Africa’. These nets are too large for a single church or movement to bring in and therefore God is building partnerships of unity between churches at this time.

“People come all over the world to witness the sheer magnitude of South Africa’s sardine run….imagine if God does something to rival this in the Spirit?? I feel that He is going to! ”

A seal's eyeview of the Hout Bay sardine run. (Photo: Jean Trefson - Cape Town Travel Blog)

In November this year something happened that once again encouraged Jane that God was still confirming the “sardine run” word in the natural: there was a surprising and unseasonal four-day sardine run in Hout Bay, Cape Town. Locals took advantage and filled their nets with the fish and many sardines washed up on the beach. According to experts it was a fairly rare event and an unusually large run for the area.

In an email to friends following the Cape Town sardine run, Jane draws attention to Luke 5:6 which says:

” ….they caught such a large number of fish that their nets began to break.  So they signalled their partners in the other boat to come and help them, and they came and filled both boats so full that they began to sink…………”

“God is confirming His plans for this City and nation in awesome ways, ” says Jane. “I really feel there is such a sense of fresh expectation for revival throughout Cape Town at the moment- there is a feeling of something brewing…”

Sheldon Kidwell, Cape Town convenor of the Burn 24-7 prayer and worship movement says: “It feels we are on the brink of some very special things through our city and nation!”

Natural springs
In addition to the sardine “sign” he refers to plans to unblock a number of historical natural springs in the Cape Town city centre.

“We also see this as a prophetic sign in the natural of what God is going to do in this city,” he said.

The city was originally established because of the flow of sweet, fresh water from these springs but they were blocked and built-over in the 1960s during the course of city development. But now the city council was looking at unblocking them and utilising the “free” water in public landscaping projects.

Children explore one of Cape Town's covered fresh water springs.(Photo: Reclaim Camissa Project)

Burn 24-7 has been involved in some significant prayer and worship events in the city this year. Some recent events include the Global Day of Worship on 11.11.11 during which events took place on six sites; and a joint burn at Maynardville Open Air Theatre with the Deep River worship group on December 9 (See video clip below).


The Maynardville event was “amazing” said Kidwell. “God really puts His hand on these times when the church comes together as one just to worship and lift His name on high.  There was a gang leader from one of the major gangs on the Cape Flats that arrived at the event.

“We will look to partner in the future again to build unity as well as contend together for revival for our city!,” he said.

He said they also planned a carols by candlelight in Lavender Hill on December 22 (today). “This area has received much publicity of late with all the gang activity. We held a prayer walk in the area on Saturday 26th November and felt to go to all the playgrounds to establish a peaceful place for children to play freely. On the Thursday before the walk someone prayed the army would go-ahead of us – on the Friday the literal army where deployed in the area with the prayer obviously meaning the army of God – confirmed in the natural again.

“There have also been recent articles posted online about the gangs in peace talks and laying down arms.”

Prayer mushrooms
Another city prayer warrior, Helen Phillips, who co-ordinates “Prayer Mushrooms” — small prayer groups that have popped up in businesses in Cape Town and other parts of South Africa, is also encouraged by the reports of prophetic words being confirmed in the natural. She started her prayer mushroom ministry after she had a vision of mushrooms springing up, followed by a vision of a mushroom cloud over Cape Town. She believed God was showing her that business prayer groups were a key to God’s plans for salvation in South Africa and was calling her to find and co-ordinate emerging groups. When she started there were six groups in Cape Town businesses. There are now more than 80 “prayer mushrooms in Cape Town” and 144 such groups throughout the country.

“There are now so many different calls to prayer that it is quite obvious that the Lord is calling us all. It is exciting what God is doing,” she said.

Earlier this month intercessors in Cape Town responded to the 7:14 initiative, a call for Christians in cities around the world to pray “visibly” for their cities at 7.14pm on December 1 .  The Cape Town prayer event took place in front of the main concourse of the Cape Town Railway Station.

In yet another call to public prayer, All Cities International have invited  all Cape Christians to join them in a prayer event “in a visible demonstration of the Unity of the body of Christ” at Rhodes Memorial on Saturday January 21 from 9am to 11am.

* Not her real name. Jane and her husband currently live in Cape Town and she is involved in a church and has a recognised prophetic ministry.


  1. Pingback: Revival everywhere… it’s visible everywhere now | Faith + Hope + Love

  2. Very,very exiting news about the comming Tsunami,Mother of all revivals on its way to the Cape..we have all been waiting for a loooong time now,but if we faint not we will reap..keep expecting..keep believing..God sais that if we keep our hopes up that we will not be put to shame..lotsa luv in Christ,Derek Gohl