“It is better to trust the Lord than to put confidence in people” Psalm 118:8 (NLT)
On the 21st of April 2007, I recommitted my life to Jesus at the Mighty Men’s Conference where Angus Buchan was preaching. Four months later on the 11th of August 2008, I found myself at an inter-denominational worship event called Simply Worship. As we were worshipping, I felt like talking to God, so I sat down and prayed. While I was praying something unusual happened. God told me to start a children’s home (It wasn’t an audible voice but in my heart). I felt God say to me that I must put down my inheritance money as a deposit on a house and simply rely on Him for the rest of the money. This meant that there would be no fundraising, no advertising, and no bond. To any normal person that was absolutely crazy! However, soon after this, the speaker (Brett Anderson) said that he wanted to invite people to come up to the front if they felt God was calling them to step out in faith. He encouraged everyone to do something for God where there was no plan B. He then prayed for a minute and after this I went up to the front to tell everyone what I felt God had told me to do. Immediately after the service, Valerie, Sammy, Thuli, and Munashe joined me (many more incredible people have joined since then).
God makes me laugh, basically the whole team, including myself was made up of students (I myself am still studying law). We had no experience, not much skill and pretty bad common sense. I didn’t even know any of these people existed before that night at Simply Worship (except for my friends Sammy and Nico). So, aware that we weren’t wise (I think we too young to be wise) and had very little experience, we decided that we would pray a lot and only do what God tells us to do. Then just over a month after Simply Worship we looked at our bank account and we had R401 555 (much more than we started with). We hadn’t asked for a cent but God had provided all this money.
On the 20th of September 2007 God showed us the house he wanted us to buy. We met on Monday the 24th and after praying decided that we would put in our offer for the house on Thursday the 27th. But then the next day (Tuesday the 25th) God told us through confirmations in scripture that we must put in an offer that day. So we obeyed and Shane Duffield (Valerie’s dad) and myself went to meet the auctioneers with a bank guaranteed cheque for R377 200. Sheralyn (who had just recently joined us) stood outside praying.
Later that day I found out that four other offers came in after ours. Then we were called and told our offer was accepted and we had 30 days to come up with over two million rand. Despite this our faith was high. We had received so much confirmation through scripture that we knew God would provide. We did receive a fair amount of criticism and were regarded as irresponsible but on the other hand so many stood by us in prayer and really trusted God for this miracle. As we didn’t fundraise, ask for money or advertise our needs the chances of us raising so much money was really low. We stood to lose the deposit of R377 200.
Our faith was really tested that month as we waited, but nothing could prepare us for the test to come. On the 25th of October 2007, the day we needed the rest of the money, I woke up expecting a miracle but when I checked the bank account all we had was R43 000, far from the millions still needed. So I had no other choice but to phone the owners of the house. I told Oom Gerrie (one of the owners of the house) the situation and he told me not to worry.
Later that same day I found out that a family was interested in purchasing the house for us. We were absolutely sure that this was the way God had chosen to provide the money. The family went away and prayed to seek God’s will, but then two days later, on Saturday the 27th of October they told us that they were not going to give us the money. Man that was a hard day; I plucked up the courage to phone Oom Gerrie and told him that this family had decided not to support us. He simply told me not to worry and that the owners/sellers had unanimously decided to extend the time period for us to come up with the money. The condition of this new arrangement was that we pay R75 000 more of the purchase price and pay occupational rent. Under this new contract we now had until the end of April 2008 to come up with the remainder of the purchase price (R2, 110 million). What’s incredible is that just a couple of days before this new contract was signed, our bank account increased from R43 000 to R109 000. We therefore had just enough money to pay the occupational rent till January 2008 as well as the R75 000.
Next, we began setting up the house. Without even advertising our needs God totally furnished the place; from bunk beds to a photo copy machine. Then in December (2008), Sheralyn’s dad, John, bumped into a friend of his who happens to be one of the richest women in Africa. She asked him if there were any projects that needed funding. He told her about ours and she invited us to present our project at one of her trustees meetings in February 2008. We chose to rather tell the story than present. We were careful to stick to God’s instructions that we mustn’t ask for donations or fundraise. After telling them about our project we were told that the trustees would get back to us. In the mean time we continued to set up the house to have it ready to receive children. We even had house parents move in. Later that month (February 2008) however we were tested again. On the same weekend I found out that the trustees had decided not to support us and that a church who had previously pledged R200,000 to us had decided to withdraw their pledge.
Despite this we got successfully registered with Social Services and from the 8th of March 2008 we could legally receive children. We had our open day on the 16th of March 2008 and told all the police stations and other children’s homes that we were open to receive children. We were ready to run but had six weeks to come up with the money (R2,110 million) and only enough money left to pay the last months occupational rent. Time was seriously running out! The idea of paying for the house began to look impossible.
However, what we didn’t know, was that God had planned this far more perfectly than we could have ever imagined. Early the next week I was phoned by a friend from my law class. She had found out I was involved in a place of safety for children and wanted to donate some furniture. I tried to tell her we had enough but she insisted and on Friday the 21st of March 2008 (Good Friday) Laura, her fiance, and her dad Darryl met me at the house. While they were unloading the furniture Darryl (Laura’s dad) asked me to show him around. He was asking me some questions and inquiring into the whole project, from what we do to how much money we owe.
I didn’t know where this was all going but decided to just answer everything to the best of my ability. I was struggling to make myself clear but somehow Darryl remained really interested. He then excused himself and took Laura into the office.
A minute or so later he asked me to come and speak to him. He asked me again how much we owe on the house. I said roughly R2,1 million. He then said, with tears in his eyes, “you need R2,1 million, its paid for.” He said he will buy the house for us! God is so amazing! The next day, despite having been open for two weeks already, we received our first two children. Just four days later Darryl transferred the R2,110 million to the sellers account. Then on the 23rd of May 2008 I was told that the uThando leNkosi Trust (the trust we had set up) had become the proud new owner of its first house. No bonds, no debt, no fundraising, only God! The Lord is so faithful!
“…Believe in the Lord your God and you will be able to stand firm…” 2 Chronicles 20:20 (NLT)