I was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of three children with a father Professor and mother a music teacher.
Growing up I had lots of fun but also struggles from a young age that came in various shapes and forms. I was not academically inclined, sport orientated or culturally motivated for that matter but enjoyed a bit of everything. What I did enjoy was the privilege of being exposed to different cultures and classes as well as overseas travel from a young age.
My teenage years were tough with limited success and I was experimenting and stretching the boundaries of life experience in every area. At times it was only God who saved and protected me from bizarre situations and circumstances.
After failing to find direction for many years at University, I tried to numb my pain by looking in all the wrong places for love, acceptance and fulfillment. It came to a head when I was finally expelled from University – ‘abusing the system and wasting everyone’s time and money’ I was told which I suppose was true. Following this incident I moved out of the city to the opposite side of the country to start a new life studying and living away from family and friends. I was alone for once and was seeking to fill this massive vacuum in my heart.
One thing lead to another and I felt like I was running out of oxygen. I was desperate for something as I felt darkness descending that even ending my life became an option. I could hardly sleep for days. My thoughts turned towards my time in church, my parents and people who told me about Jesus. My brother gave me a cassette once with a sermon that I listened to that night. After much turmoil in a small room, I finally broke down before the Lord. I gave up fighting and pretending and finally just let go. I prayed….the darkness lifted and peace finally came.
After many miraculous events, I found myself back in the city of my birth. I also knew that I would have to face all the things I that I had run away from, but this time it was different. I did not feel alone anymore. My passion immediately turned to joining a Church and I became totally involved with all facets of Church life – whatever needed to be done, I was there. My time was consumed with ministry in the worship team, home groups, and Youth Ministry etc. and I loved every minute. The Lord was so gracious and sent amazing people to disciple and walk with me. In the meantime I also enrolled and started to study again at the same University had been at previously and four years later, I finally received my degree, passing with marks I never even achieved in school!
I made many mistakes with relationships. This area of my life was very hard to totally give over to Him. After a while I realized that I was cutting myself off from hearing clearly from Him. It was then that I was challenged to totally abstain from having a romantic relationship for many years. I knew that this ‘fast’ was the only way I was going to have victory.
A few years later the Lord was clearly moving me out of South Africa to live in England. This was confirmed as I received my Visa on the day of my departure and my life began in London. My idea was that this was my final step towards attaining financial prosperity and success and perhaps serving in a Church situation as well. However, after many different jobs, hard times, lonely times and struggles I was doing very well spiritually but emotionally I was tired and was holding on to the little faith I had left that something drastically had to happen soon. In my struggle I kept repeating the words, ‘Lord when is my ship coming in’. It was during an exhibition at work that I walked past a sign that read, ‘When my ship came in I was at the Airport’. The Lord definitely has a great sense of humor.
I finally met this visiting team of missionaries, called 'Vinesong’ who were visiting a church in Esher. I went forward at the end of the service and found myself at a massive crossroads in my life and said to the Lord that I was not holding onto anything and totally gave Him my future, whatever it would hold. A similar challenge I had when finding the Lord, now came to me in a different form.
It was in this deep time of ministry that I experienced a visitation of the Holy Spirit and a real touch of God. Pastor John prayed with me and was so sensitive to what I was going through, he just held me as I cried….
Immediately after I met some members of the team and they invited me to their base and everyone soon realized that I was being called to serve in the ministry of Vinesong. The thought of full time ministry had never crossed my mind. With all my hopes and dreams on the line, I felt a calling that was very strong. At first I found it a little difficult to accept as it meant I had to give up on my own ideas which I had for my future. But, Praise God, in a short while, He very clearly showed me that it was His perfect will for my life and I joined the wonderful ministry of Vinesong as their ‘Road Manager’, at the end of 2002.
My world was immediately turned upside down and I was propelled into the most interesting and significant situations meeting people I would never have dreamed of meeting from all walks of life. Under the hand of great leadership I was being discipled and taught all facets of ministry.
It was then mind blowing that the Lord sent my wonderful wife Charlene to the same ministry a year later. Her parents had happened to be the founding members with Pastor John many years before. After a long courtship and much counsel we were gloriously married. It was our desire to be pure until that time and with the Lord’s help, our first kiss was on our wedding day! After four years of marriage, we were blessed with a beautiful son named Reuben Samuel.
God has not only made my dreams come true but He has exceeded and done more for me than any dream I had. I give Him the Glory for my life and for any and every good thing that has come my way. When I look back, the only way things worked out was to be in the perfect will of God.
Fulfilling my destiny also meant a great deal of investment and input from leaders and brothers, family and friends with understanding, encouragement and support for which I am very grateful.
In a world so full of pretense and manipulation, there is so much pleasure in seeing people come to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Saviour. We witness people coming to the end of sometimes a long and hard road, seeking the truth and the full meaning of life and being able to find their role in creation. Many people receive miracles, deliverance, healing and growth under the powerful, wonderful anointing of the Holy Spirit.
It must be the greatest challenge and adventure of every born again Christian to live in the sublime will of the Lord Jesus Christ. It is not always an easy road to follow, but it is the true meaning of life. I am blessed with the opportunity of serving the Body of Christ in fulfilling the last wishes of Jesus in Matthew 28.
To God be the Glory.