March 13, 2015
Namahadi, South Africa
ccm Cross #0077
Additional pictures after Testimony
3781-2 cdd Strong Tower
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 16 Number 075
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Psalm 61:3
“For You have been a shelter for me, A strong tower from the enemy” NKJV
My name is Pastor Chris Malema from Maranatha Church in Namahadi, South Africa. This is my Cross testimony of how the Lord speaks to me and is my Strong Tower in times of need.
I grew up in the Free State of South Africa near the town of Heilbron. My dad worked on a farm where he did anything and everything necessary. He enjoyed planting on the tractor best. Mom worked in the kitchens and watched over all seven children. I was the 3rd born.
We were a church family. Dad and mom were elders in church and all of us kids never missed a Sunday school. We enjoyed school and growing up was a pleasant experience for me. When I graduated from high school I joined the army.
While in the army at age 19 I heard of a full gospel meeting that was coming to town. The spirit in me was aroused and I desired to see what this could be about. The preacher was strong and presented Isaiah 14:12-14 where Lucifer fell from heaven. I could see as he was preaching that I was a sinful man and I needed help. When the altar call came, I heard a voice say very clearly, “this is for you.” I received Jesus Christ as my Savior at that time. It is proper to say from that moment on everything in my life changed.
A few weeks later I was walking alone along the road. I heard the voice once again. I turned quickly in all directions but there was no one there. The voice said, “I have called you.” The message was repeated three times. Each time I turned and no one was there.
I inquired independently of several strong Christian friends and they all confirmed that it was the direction for my life.
A week later I preached my first sermon. I prayed and asked the Lord what to speak about and he revealed to me that the church was about to split. I spoke on Romans 1:18 “For the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who suppress the truth in unrighteousness.” They did not listen to my report and warnings. The church split several weeks later.
I was transferred in the Army to the Vaal area of South Africa where I joined another church. I started to help as an usher then as a youth leader. Then it followed that I was appointed youth pastor and then became an assistant pastor. I was there four years and the Lord spoke with me again but this time in a dream. In the dream, I was sitting on top of a very large rock while preaching. As I was preaching many people were coming in and going out. Then I woke up. I prayed about the dream and determined that the Rock was Jesus and God will bring the people. Then I began to Pastor this Maranatha church.
Two years later I married my wife Betha. We now have four children — twins 12 years old, a seven and a three-year-old.
Since beginning to minister here the Lord has been faithful. We sensed this area would grow and in 2012 we constructed our new building. Then tragedy struck with no warning.
When the twins were one year old I was called to preach at a crusade in our neighboring country, Swaziland, Africa. While I was away my wife began preparations for a one year birthday party for the twins. The night I preached in Swaziland more than 100 people received the Lord and the ministry was powerful. But I sensed there was something wrong. Then I heard the voice, “Something has happened but I have taken care of it.” I went to bed. In the morning, I was drawn to buy a Johannesburg newspaper. I did and there on the front page was a picture of a very serious car accident. My wife was listed as one of the passengers. I was in shock and then remembered the voice, “Something has happened but I have taken care of it.”
I called home and was told they had been trying to reach me — Betha was in the hospital but she was ok. I hurried home to find she was in the hospital but was paralyzed from the waist down. We began praying and not listening to the doctors who said she would never walk again. We never gave up hope and then one evening, after prayer, Betha went to sleep. In the morning, she awoke remembering a dream where she was walking. On her own she took her first step since the auto accident and then another.
(Today while we were planting the Cross Betha was actively helping and chasing her 3-year-old son throughout the process.) To God be all the glory!
My favorite Bible verse (I have so many!) is Ephesians 2:10. “For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them” NKJV
The Cross to me is about our perfect and complete salvation. My place was taken by Jesus — it was supposed to be me. The Cross is a place of substitution where all my sins were taken for me.
The community needs this Cross. They need to know who we are and what we stand for. The Cross towers over every building in our informal township. It has instantly become a new and dynamic landmark. The Cross can be seen from anywhere drawing people to the saving grace of Jesus Christ. Thank you for this Cross.
Prayer: Father we praise You for Betha’s testimony of Your healing power. Wow! In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!
Everyone was helping out
Attaching the beams
Moving beams into place
Strategically placing Cross facing corner intersection
One final push
FIRE IN THE HOLE
A new landmark is established
Cross planting team
Pastor Chris Malema and his wife Betha Christina
Declaring God’s Glory