B. CALLING AND BIBLE SCHOOL
GOD’S FINAL MOVE TO GET US WHERE HE WANTED US
Still I did not respond immediately because it was a tremendous step to take to resign from my work and trust God for an income, go to a Bible School for two years and then go out at His behest. So some time went by. Then the African Evangelistic Band invited us to another camp conference that they would be holding in the Komatipoort area and Martie and I decided to go there.
By that time I was fully convinced that I had to resign and go into this Mission, but I said: “Lord, I will go, but on one condition: you will have to speak to Martie and she has to make her own decision. I cannot just tell her to go with me into this. She will have to be in it with all her heart for we will definitely encounter many obstacles along the way and I don’t want her to blame me when things get tough, to blame me for taking her into something which she didn’t want to do.”
That was how things were when we attended that meeting. I had told Martie in detail all about God’s call to me and was waiting for her to hear from God and come back to me. At the camp she met up with some Christian ladies who were also attending and shared our vision with them. They prayed with her and in the end she was quite certain that this call was of God and that she was willing to give her life to the Lord for this purpose and accompany me on this new journey.
MARTIE’S ACCOUNT OF OUR CALLING TO FULL-TIME SERVICE
A while after the Africa Evangelistic Band camp we attended at Carolina, Ben told me that the Lord had spoken to him and was calling him into full-time service, but some time then went by during which he did not press the matter. Then, during a certain weekend later that year, we attended another conference held by the same organisation at Komatipoort in the eastern Transvaal (Mpumalanga). After the early morning service, Ben spoke to me, telling me that the Lord had confirmed His earlier call to him and that I was to pray about the matter and hear from God.
I decided to go to the second meeting and prayed beforehand, asking the Lord God to confirm His calling to me too. The message that morning, was from Luke 9-37-38, which reads as follows: “The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few. Ask the Lord of the harvest, therefore, to send out workers into His harvest field”. For me it was as if I was the only person in that tent service that morning. The Lord spoke so clearly to me, that I had no doubt that He had answered my prayer. After the meeting I shared this with a number of other ladies. We prayed together and they confirmed the Lord’s calling of us. I told Ben and his heart overflowed with joy because we knew that the Lord’s calling for us was now sealed.
STEPPING OUT IN FAITH INTO FULL-TIME SERVICE
I recall that I had a very bad attack of flu at that stage, but on returning to Pretoria, which was quite a long drive, I phoned the Director of the Mission asking if I could have an immediate appointment with him, to which he agreed. Martie and I went to his home where we sat down and I shared this calling with him. What he said to me was this: “Ben, you must pray much about this for by prayer we burn out that which is not of God and we burn in that which is of God.” I accepted his words, but within my heart I knew for certain that God had called me and that nothing would now divert me. We took along the application forms and within the next day or two I completed them and handed them in to the Mission. Within a short while I was advised that we had been accepted by the Mission and that we were to report on a certain day.
Now there was no turning back anymore and so I went to the staff office, obtained the appropriate forms, filled them out and handed in my resignation.
The day when I left the Department of Justice where I had been employed for ten years was of course a red letter day. On going to the Deputy-Director (the one to whom I had spoken in regard to his using of God’s name in vain) he said to me: “Ben, I do not feel that it would be right for me to interfere with you in this matter. You are not taking up employment elsewhere in which case I would have discussed it with you, but in this situation where you feel that God is calling you, I do not feel that I have the liberty to say anything about it. I am just releasing you. But I want you to know this: if you ever feel that you have perhaps made a mistake, your place in this Department will always be open. We will always accept you, should you wish to return.”
My next stop was with the Secretary, the head of the Department of Justice who reported directly to the Minister of Justice. That too was a very memorable meeting. He said to me: “Ben, I have been running this Department for a long time. During this time, on Sunday afternoons, I often took my Bible and some tracts, went into the African suburbs, giving out tracts and praying for the people with whom I met. During these years I have often asked myself the question whether I should not resign from my post and also go out, preaching the Word of God.” So he too blessed me and sent me forth into the harvest field of God. Over and over the Lord was confirming that I was doing the right thing. And so it was that on 1 October 1971, I turned up at the Bible School to begin my training.
GOD WILL NOT CALL YOU TO A PLACE IF HE HAS NOT ALREADY PREPARED THE WAY!
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