I think eventually we began to drive the leadership of our church nuts. Hubby was so full of vision that he even wanted to build a climbing wall up the outside of the beautiful new rock facade at the entrance to the church. “The youth will love it”, he proudly announced. I think that was when they decided we needed our own vision and project to tackle. So next thing we knew we were off on a church planting training course for 4 months. We trailed around the countryside visiting various churches and being equipped for our new adventure. I was 4 months pregnant with E12 and M14 was almost 2. It was a stretching but very exciting time for us. We asked God everywhere we went if this was the place we were to plant a church ( I think we would have gone to Timbuktoo if we had heard God to). Some of our new friends we made on this training course teased us and had us going with the supposed “prophetic words”and “prophetic pictures” they had.
At the end of our training we still had no idea where to go – the places we submitted to our leadership team were not agreeable to them, and so for a season we settled down and decided to wait for our baby to arrive before starting a new church. About 3 weeks before my due date we suddenly felt the urge to check out a section of the country further afield than we initially thought. So we jumped into the car and headed south. We travelled 1400 km south and stopped at every town you can imagine to see if this was it. Finally we arrived at a city called Port Elizabeth where we thought would be our final stop. A young couple we met on our training lived there and they were about to leave and start a church in a town 3 hours south of PE, and we were hoping to catch up with them. As we chatted to their leaders and to them we discovered that they were no longer going for various reasons and it was suggested that we take a look instead. Little did they know that we had used up all the finance we had for that part of the trip and we only had enough cash to get home again. So we prayed and said,”God, we don’t have petrol money, but we ask that if you want us to go that money will come out of the ATM machine when we draw it. ” To our delight money did come out of the ATM. We had no overdraft facility so where it came from I have no idea ( Well actually I believe it came from God supernaturally). So off we went down to this town. The ironic thing is that this was the town near to where Hubby had been in the army and he was familiar with it because he had played many hockey matches there. We drove around the town for about 4 hours and instantly felt God stir our hearts for the place.
When we got back to our local church and submitted this to the leadership everyone felt really good about it and so plans began to be made for our relocation. God found us the perfect home to rent in one day and so we packed up all our belongings, said our goodbyes and headed off to start a new church. We arrived in a town where we knew no one and only had a contact of one small family via another church. We connected with them and decided to start a meeting in our home at the beginning of the new year. In the couple of weeks up to beginning our meeting, God did some amazing miracles. He relocated people who had heard we were planting a church from othr similar churches and they contacted us. When one of our children got sick and we needed medicine, God directed us to a pharmacy where I was served by a lady who was new in town with her husband and looking for a church.
We began our first meeting in our lounge with twelve people on the twelfth of January. Neither Hubby nor I could play a musical instrument so we worshipped with a cd karaoke style. The amazing thing is that people actually came back the next week and the next – I give God all the glory for this because we certainly weren’t the type of church with any happening ministries at that point in time – just a group of people who were passionate for God’s kingdom to invade the earth!!
Soon our lounge was needed for the children’s ministry and we moved into our double garage which we painted and carpeted. We continued to grow and felt the favour of God and the grace of God. When we were about 20 people we decided to look for a venue to meet in. We ended up in the scout hall which was on one of the main roads through town and so we became more visible to the community. At this time God sent us a worship leader and things started to take off.
About a year after we started the church we felt God give us a strategy to begin another meeting in the next town which was 45km away from us. One of our key families lived there and travelled every week to us. So in obedience we had our morning meeting in our town and then packed up all our gear and travelled to the next town for an evening meeting. The congregation in the town next door flourished. God gave us such willing people we can’t believe the grace that flowed and the willingness to serve and give all. For 2 years we continued to do this till God revealed to us who we should hand this congregation over to to lead. They became a separate church with their own leaders and 10 years on they are now building their own facility and powering on. God is good.
Back in our town we felt God prompt us to find a permanent venue instaed of a once a week venue. The rents were too high for us but we believed God. We were offered a complete church in the town to lead and take over as it had closed. This seemed to be the perfect opportunity for us to have a venue and growth. But when Hubby prayed about it, he felt God say no to us. We had to trust God in this. We found a venue to rent at an affordable rent right in the heart of town. We began to paint, build walls, offices and sort out a very messy venue. Again the people with us worked so hard.
The church we turned down got a new leader and we became good friends with them and they joined in with the group of churches we linked with, so God had a plan in mind all along.
After awhile God opened a door for us where a businessman gave us a million rand to buy the venue we were in, and so we finally had our own venue…… God is the God of abundant provision!!!
That church is now 12 years old and is also looking to expand by selling their facility and building a bigger, more functional facility. We are so grateful that God used us to help build and establish these works. We had wonderful people helping us to do this and knowing that these churches have gone from strength to strength so warms my heart. We thank God too that He brought the right leadership to us when it was time to hand over those works – people who would increase the church in ways that we could not.