My relationship with the Lord started at High School when I gave my heart to Him. The Gideon folk gave me a small Pocket Bible and I wrote in front of it, “Lord, make me an instrument, useful in your hands.”
After school a recurring sore on my head turned cancerous. It was treated, but it was a wake-up call. Life is not plain sailing; I would need to be watchful. Soon it was off to do National Service, and after that, a trip overseas with a group of friends.
Back home after my travels, I met up again with my precious wife to be, Elisabeth. I had met her a few years before. We were married and moved to the farm to begin our new life. Shortly afterwards we were invited to a Bible Study where the real questions of life were receiving answers. Soon we became part of a family, the Body of Christ.
We threw ourselves into the Lord’s Work and had the privilege of sharing what we had with many people. Liz was an incredible blessing and testimony, and never seemed to tire from giving to her family, friends and strangers. We were blessed with two lovely children and had the joy of bringing them up in the ways of the Lord, and also getting involved in their lives, friends and Youth Camps.
In 2013 the kids moved to their new school as weekly boarders. This was a jolt to the system of our very close-knit family. We battled with the empty-nest house so quiet during the week, but it was also a privilege to see them growing up.
In February 2014 Liz’s dad passed away. She had looked after him for 6 years at the Old Age Home and was an incredible testimony in her care and love. It hit hard. Then in July, we were hit by the biggest fire in living memory. 133 hectares were burnt in four hours and the damage was huge. Thank the Lord the community were a huge support.
2015 began a new phase in our lives as Genevieve was off to Varsity. Now we faced new changes and challenges as parents letting their daughter enter a part of life that needs to happen. In that same year we lost Liz’s grandfather who had been a very special part of our lives. Then, in April, our maid, gardener and I were attacked, tied up and tortured by three men in a Farm Attack. The Lord’s peace passes all understanding, and He allowed it to happen while Liz was doing the school run. The cameras showed the men at the car a minute before Liz and Richard got in. July saw our old family maid, Dhuka, passed away. She had looked after me when I was young, and also Gen and Rich, and had been a real part of our family for 40 odd years.
August of that year brought us the shock after a small cloudburst triggered a bolt of lightning which struck and killed Gen’s horse only 5 metres away from the gardener who was grooming the other horses. In October 2015 Liz was admitted to hospital with depression, and a lesion was discovered on her brain.
In November 2015, while visiting Liz, a call from the detective of our farm attack case warned me not to stay at home, as a hit was out on us, so we would not testify.
My farm manager, Joseph, retired in February 2016 after 18 years with us and left a big gap as he was more than a manager, but a godly, wise man.
Liz had been battling with depression for some time and spent 2016 in and out of hospitals. From August 2016 till April 2017 life had been a blur with so much going on. In May 2017 she took her life.
Questions we have may never be answered here on Earth, but I know that my Lord has neither left nor forsaken us!
JUST SEE WHAT WE HAVE IN JESUS:
- I know My Darling is rejoicing in Heaven!
- I have the comfort of the Lord and also a passion for Jesus and His work!
- My children love and serve the Lord!
- I believe I can comfort people with the comfort God has given me!
- I desire more than ever to be an instrument useful in His hands and ‘able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort where with we ourselves are comforted of Him’.