During 1994 we became involved in producing a video series while we were still in a full time ministry in Bloemfontein. That was when we realised how effective it is to proclaim the Word by means of an audio-visual medium. The Lord made it very clear to both Marina and myself that we had to continue producing videos on a full time basis. Our calling was specifically that we had to demonstrate the background of the Bible. To do that we had to trust the Lord for our salary as well as the equipment that we would need for the ministry. Because Cape Town was known as the “video centre” of the world, we moved there with our three children, all of school going age, and wonder above wonders, the bank approved a home loan for us. We had no way to pay for it, except if the Lord would provide by means of donations from the people on the Kerugma mailing list.
In reaction to our video series which we produced while in full-time church ministry, we received questions from all over the country. And from there the Kerugma Bulletin developed as a means of communication. At that stage we had about 400 addresses on the mailing list. Email was still in its developmental stage and we had to send everything by normal mail.
Shortly after our arrival in Cape Town we sent out a Kerugma Bulletin, explaining how the Lord had called us to start this ministry by faith. Included was a list of things that we needed finances for, like salaries, the home loan, a broadcast quality camera, edit system, etc. We asked the people to pray and ask the Lord regarding financial support for the ministry. We asked the people who were willing to support us to give us an indication of how much they wanted to give by marking it off on the list.
The first reaction that we received was from a person who wrote: “Please remove my name from your list. You are typically a church organisation that always asks for money”. The second reaction was from someone who said: “Yes, I read your begging letter”. This person added that if you live by faith, it has got nothing to do with other people. It is just between you and the Lord and you have to trust Him and Him alone. You have to ask Him for anything you need and not people.
We were shocked by these reactions, because we had very clearly written that each person should pray and seek the Lord’s will, as to if He wanted them to contribute anything to our ministry. We had not asked for money, but indeed for everyone to pray and hear from the Lord Himself.
We quickly discovered that there are many different opinions on what it means to “live by faith”, but also that there are many people who had never heard of anyone doing that. We found it strange that there are children of the Lord who had never heard about people who lived by faith, like Hudson Taylor and George Muller, nor have they read their biographies. Both of them informed people by mail about their ministries and their specific needs and trusted the Lord to work in people’s hearts to contribute towards these. The fact is that at that stage we hadn’t received any finances except for two of our friends who, out of their own free will, started to contribute respectively R500.00 and R1000.00 on a monthly basis. The photo copies and postage for the first Kerugma Bulletin we sent out consumed the bulk of this income.
A few days later we received a reaction from someone who undertook to give R150.00 per month. She continued with that over the years and is still faithfully giving today! A fourth reaction was from someone who undertook to give R1000.00 per month. She did that regularly for some time until she phoned us one day with the news that she was finding herself in the midst of a personal crisis, with the result that she could not continue giving.
There were also those people who informed us that unfortunately they could not contribute, but that they were praying with us for the provision of the Lord.
At the end of that first month we were in trouble because we could not pay that first instalment on our home loan. But our home loan had a facility that enabled us to withdraw from the home loan account after the monthly instalment was paid. With the registration of the house in our name, we also secured an overdraft on our own account from whence we paid the instalment for that first month. But shortly after that, we withdrew it again to cover the overdraft. We did that month after month, because there had never been enough each month to pay the home loan. Of course that led to a lot of extra costs and accumulated interest, which in turn led to bigger instalments. We petitioned the Lord on many occasions, pleading with Him to help us, but after 17 years the instalment was just too big. We could no longer afford it.
One day during November 2013, while I was in hospital after the heart attack, Marina mentioned that the instalment could not be paid that month. It came as a shock for we could not understand the working of the Lord in this matter despite our prayer of faith and trust for provision. But we were expecting it. We therefore tried to sell the house before the bank would repossess it. The Lord provided a buyer in time and after the original price of the house and the accumulated interest was subtracted, we realised a small profit as the value of the house had fortuitously increased over the years.
We searched Cape Town for a small house to purchase with the money we had received and one that was suitable for the ministry, but to no avail. We even applied for a small loan from different banks, but because we had not received a salary through the years, we were unsuccessful.
But in the meantime the Lord had a wonderful plan. His way of providing is always the best! A friend of ours kindly offered his holiday home for a few days that we could rest and recover after my heart attack. On one of the days we travelled a short distance to Pearly Beach where we found the house in which we now live. It was an urgent sale, even to the extent that the price was indicated on the agent’s FOR SALE sign in front of the house! It was the exact amount that we had from the sale of our house in Kuils River! And here we have a house, although small, where we have room for two edit systems. In time we realised that the Lord had indeed heard our prayers, that His way and timing is perfect, wonderful provision far above what we could ever have hoped for or imagined.
We continue to live by faith (with no fixed salary, pension or any other income and with a deficit each month), but acknowledge with thanks that our Lord, Who is faithful and true, has brought us this far, so giving us the assurance that He will surely “supply our every need.