ccm Cross 0055
January 21, 2014
Youth for Christ
ccm Cross #0055
GPS/DMS 24.3995° S, 26.1478° E
Additional pictures follow the testimony:
3453 cdd The Lord Has Prospered
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 15 Number 017
Scripture: James 1:22a
“Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says.
My name is EJ and together with my wife Koekoes we are the directors of Youth for Christ (YFC) in Botswana, Africa. Additionally I was recently appointed Regional Director for Youth for Christ (YFC) in Southern Africa. This is my Cross testimony.
I grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where my family attended the Dutch Reformed Church. When I was born my mom and dad dedicated me to the Lord’s service.
Throughout my childhood we attended services faithfully and I learned about being a Christian. But it wasn’t until I was in high school that the Holy Spirit began to work on my heart. Upon graduation from high school I entered the military for 2 years of compulsory duty. While on active military duty, in conflict areas, I attended church and was challenged in my walk with Lord.
After my army service a pastor was speaking in our church one Sunday and asked the question: If you were to die today where would you go? Heaven or hell? And he pointed directly at me. I could not answer. I didn’t know the answer. For the next few months I wrestled with these questions. But I still had no definite answer.
Out of the military I returned to our church. And I decided to attend Horticultural School. As I studied in school my answers for a future were no clearer — that is until an older man in the congregation spoke at our youth group. He used the Hebrews 12:1 scripture:“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us” NLT
He added a twist that cut to my heart. He said swift runners wear a shirt and shorts and pace themselves to reach the end. And then he added that runners would never wear army boots and have a heavy pack on their back. All that weight would prevent them from winning the race.
I knew it — I could feel it — I understood it — I needed to cast off the weight of my past life and military service. I needed to run the race for Christ. That night at home alone in my room I got down on my knees and prayed — I turned my life over to Christ.
In my second year in Horticulture school, I started to hear the Lord talking to me about full time service. It was during this time that we also had a break in our studies for three days. On counsel from the same old man who gave the youth group message, where I received the Lord, I spent extra time with God. I wrote down all the verses that He was using to talk to me. After the three days I went back to school. During a major lecture I did not hear the lady teaching. I just focused on what God had revealed to me. I knew that God called me and I walked out of the class. From here I went to seminary.
I was seeking all the Lord had for me. I was home from seminary for a short stay and attended an evening youth meeting. I met with the young people’s group. These were friends I knew for a long time. But I did not know if any of them personally knew Jesus Christ. I went around the room asking each one. Do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ? I was surprised by their answers. Some were definite, some were maybe and some did not know. I asked the group for permission to proceed. They agreed. I asked each one to remove their watches and let’s kneel for prayer. We sought the Lord for direction in our lives and that night everyone received Jesus Christ as their personal savior. One of the members of that group was Koekoes — 3 ½ years later we were married.
After seminary, I started working in Cape Town with Sowers International using a sketch board to reveal the Gospel of Jesus Christ on street corners. The Lord prospered what we did.
Koekoes and I were married. Then I had an opportunity to work with Youth for Christ in Angola. This was during a bitter civil war and due to permit issues we moved with YFC to Namibia.
After several years in Namibia the Lord prospered what we did but we had challenges getting our visas renewed. Then the opportunity with YFC came up for Botswana. Botswana was a neglected out post and we arrived with little or no local support. That was 12 years ago.
Our office was in a crime ridden area and it was difficult to get the Gospel rolling with the kids. I prayed, “Lord, we need help to get moved from this office to an area where kids will have freedom to come and go without fear.” Several days later I preached in a church when a business man came up to me and asked if we needed an office. I had told no one about my prayer. He said we would look around and see what he could do for us. It took about a year and we found our current location. Together we walked the grounds and made a wish list to fix it up. The man took the list and we prayed about it. He found a partner who would also help and together they bought, fixed up and renovated the entire property. We moved in. And the Lord prospered us.
The Lord was working for us — overtime!
Currently we are working with a local church assisting orphan and needy pre-school kids. We have a teen director who conducts prayer rallies. A follow up worker for the youth who receive salvation — directing them to a proper church. An activities Bible study coordinator for the kids. A prayer team leader. And volunteers from around the world come and help for 3-6 months at a time.
The Lord has prospered what we are doing here and to Him alone goes all the glory.
The Cross for us is clearly where God provided a way for our sins to be forgiven. The Cross became the bridge between man and God.
My favorite Bible verse is James 1:22
“Don’t just listen to God’s word. You must do what it says. Otherwise, you are only fooling yourselves” NLT
We see this Cross planted as a portal into all of Africa to share the love of Jesus and what he did for each one of us on the Cross.
Prayer: Father thank you for prospering your servants in ways they never considered for Your glory. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
For those of you on the ccm cross Prayer Team, this is Callie,
whom we have been praying for. He was on site and directing
construction of the Cross – Hallelujah!
Cross placed into position
Making sure the Cross beam sets properly
“Fire in the Hole”
As Koekoes and EJ each hold on to a guy
wire stabilizing the cross
This is Marinda. Callie is unable to handle the level
due to the crutches so his wife helps out to insure
the cross is straight.
Pastor Carol and Ember view the process.
Ember is a volunteer from America who
organizes prayer events for YFC.
Gunter a volunteer from Germany helps out with
EJ and Isaac select the spot for the plaque
Callie gives praise to the Lord as the cross is raised
Isaac, Pastor Bill and EJ secure the plaque
EJ and Koekoes stand with Pastor Bill at the foot of the Cross
The YFC Compound with the new addition of the Cross
on the left “Giving God Glory” over Botswana
Volunteers that have passed through YFC Botswana
have left their marks as murals on the fence that
surrounds the compound.
KoeKoes and Pastor Carol review the
pre-school day care that is part of
Per-school teachers are volunteers from
around the world.
Each child is provided a healthy meal which is
probably the only nourishment they receive daily
Callie and Marinda greet you in the name of the Lord.
To God be all the Glory!