B. CALLING AND BIBLE SCHOOL
AN EXERCISE IN FAITH; THE PARK HOME
During my second year at Bible School, we began to realise that the house with its large garden was becoming a burden and both Martie and I felt that it would be better to sell it so as to be completely free in serving the Lord. The monthly instalments were also a heavy burden to carry.
We decided to buy a Park Home and to place it on the smallholding of my uncle and aunt where we had previously lived in the caravan, the smallholding where I was saved. We had a look at a Park Home that was advertised in Johannesburg and were quite delighted with it. It was about 8 metres long and possibly about 2.5 to 3 metres wide. It was not a caravan; it was very similar to an ordinary home. It had two bedrooms, bathroom and toilet, a kitchen and living room. Then of course you could connect it to a water and electricity supply. It also had an air conditioner at each end.
We agreed on the price with the owner, but told him that we could not buy it before selling our house, for we needed that money to pay for the Park Home. To this he also agreed but after a couple of days his wife phoned and informed us that somebody had in the meantime bought it for cash, so it was no longer available. We were floored because we had been so certain that God had led us to buy it and could not understand why He allowed this to happen. All we could to do was to take the matter back to Him in prayer. Having prayed, I opened the Word and read from the book of Proverbs; chapter 16 verse 3 reads as follows: “Trust in the Lord in all that you do and He will see that your plans are carried out”. I told Martie what I felt the Lord had said to me so we just accepted that.
After a few days, the lady phoned us again. She was very embarrassed and said that the cheque for the Park Home had been dishonoured by the Bank and so the transaction had fallen through. I thought for a moment, then replied: “Well, I don’t know whether we still want the Park Home but let us think it over and let you know.” The next day I returned her call, making a lower offer than what we had previously agreed to pay and was delighted when both she and her husband accepted it. Since they were for some or other reason in a hurry to have it removed from their premises, they also asked whether we would be willing to have it transported to our premises straight away saying they would trust us to make payment once our house was sold. We agreed to this and our new home was transported and sited on my uncle’s smallholding.
Then came a period of stress as weeks went by, without us finding a buyer for our house. We did not enlist agents to sell it, because we wanted to save the commission to invest in the work of God. (Commission was then paid by the seller.). What we did was to type out advertisements and put them on the windows of shops and on notice boards. Time dragged by slowly and we just did not find a buyer. At that stage there was a dip in the economy and it was very difficult for prospective buyers to obtain a loan. I mentioned our need at the Bible School and everybody prayed for that for quite some time.
During that period I had a very bad attack of flu and on a particular night, slept in a separate room so as not to infect Martie and Frans. During that night, I slept very little and spent much time in prayer about this problem we were facing. I often went on my knees in bed and called out to God to provide for us. The next morning I went to the smallholding to see that the Park Home was set up level and to attach its veranda, connect the water pipes, lay on the electricity and do everything else that needed to be done. While working, I was praying all the time, lifting up my heart towards the Lord saying: “Lord, please provide, we cannot go on like this; the owner wants to be paid and we hate to be in debt”. At 9 o’clock that morning, as I was working outside, suddenly it was as if the heavens opened up above me. I had a tremendous experience of the presence of God. Almost audibly the Lord said within my heart that the battle had been won and that the buyer was on his way. I went back to Martie that evening, rejoicing, telling her of what had happened.
The next day I went to the Bible School and shared this experience with my fellow students, telling them that I was certain that the Lord had provided a buyer. Another two days passed and then, on the Thursday of that week, when I got home that afternoon, Martie told me that there had been a couple that had looked through the house and were very keen on buying it. The husband, however, had said that he was going on a hunting trip during the weekend and would return on Monday. We left it at that but on returning home from the Bible School on Friday, I was delighted to find him there waiting for me. He was so anxious to have the house that he had cancelled his hunting trip and was ready to proceed with the transaction. We signed the papers and on the following Monday, handed them in at the Bank.
Suddenly things were moving at a tremendous pace and in an incredibly short time he got the loan, the house was sold, we moved into the Park Home, got the money and paid for our new home. Once matters are settled in the spiritual realm, what happens down here below follows without any hitches.
Nobody wishes for or desires trials like these, but the Lord knows how important they are in order that we may get to know Him in a more intimate way. This is how He teaches us Who He really is and this is how He causes our faith to grow.
GOD SOMETIMES STRETCHES OUR FAITH LIKE A SPRING, BUT NEVER TO BREAKING POINT!
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