Additional photos after Testimony
4360 cdd Damascus Experience
Cyber Daily Devotion
Volume 18 Number 130
Today’s Author: Pastor Bill
Scripture: Acts 9:8b
“And when his eyes were opened he saw no one” NKJV
Hello, my name is Pastor Manfred Jumat with Strand Renewal Ministries. This is my Cross testimony of how Jesus Christ called me with my own Damascus Experience.
I grew up near Stellenbosch, South Africa. My dad was a farmer and mom helped him. Dad and mom also raised five children. I was the 2nd born. When we grew up church was a duty.
Everyone went to church but wondered why. We were told if we did everything the church asked we would go to heaven. I was not buying what they were selling. It caused me to rebel and I joined a group of kids that were into mischief. At age 12 things were beginning to turn worse. My friends were becoming gangsters and the requirements for association were built around evil acts. I was all in and my life was beginning to spiral out of control.
Our group had a plan to start destructive wild fires. When we were done, everyone would know who we were. The plan was set. I left school and went home to drop off my books and then it was time to meet the guys. I stepped into my bedroom throwing my books on the bed and immediately my eyes began to burn. I rubbed them, then I rubbed them again. Each time they burned more. Then everything went black. I could not see. Massive fear overtook me. Like a movie running in my head I saw colors, people, trees, rivers and the ocean — then everything went black again. My first thoughts were, “Why me, I’ll never see again, how can this happen to me.” I started feeling around my room. When I touched something, I could sense what it was and in rage threw it across the room.
Books, glasses, bottles — in frustration everything hit the wall with a thud or a smash. I started crying uncontrollably. I was a tough guy and hadn’t cried for years! I cried for the longest time and as I slowly began to stop I started praying the “Our Father.” It was the only prayer I knew. I repeated it and then my heart took over. The words were no longer what I had memorized but from the depth of my heart. I spoke to God for the very first time. As I ended my prayer I was compelled to challenge Jesus. “Jesus if you are real heal my sight and I will serve you the rest of my life.” I had no idea where that came from but as I spoke it out of my mouth a peace like I never experienced overcame me.
It was only a few moments but it was like this peace had been with me all my life. Then a bit of small light appeared. The burning in my eyes stopped. It was like cold refreshing water was being poured on them. Slowly the light became bigger. Then Jesus spoke to me. “I had to stop you.” My sight returned but I feared closing my eyes. I had to test it. I did. When I opened them, my eye site was back to normal. I immediately remembered my promise to follow Jesus.
The next day my group of friends were very angry at me. I did not show up and they did not proceed with the fires without me. It was time to find new friends. Friends that would encourage me, Love Jesus with me and want to serve Him too.
One week later I was attending a film that a traveling evangelist was showing about a wayward motorcycle gang member — in the middle of the film he crashed his motorcycle and the evangelist stopped the movie — we were all upset — we wanted to see the end.
Then he said this man had to make an “H” decision, asking the question, “if this motorcycle driver were to die right now, where would he go — Heaven or Hell? It was so obvious that his decision was Hell.
I was the first person forward in the altar call, giving my entire life, eyes, heart, soul and body to Jesus. My life has never been the same.
Since that day, the Lord has kept His eyes on me. He gave me new friends who taught me how to walk with Him.
Jesus placed me is churches with mentors who taught me how to love Him, pray to him and commune with Him.
Jesus opened a door for me (without the worlds theological training) to become a leader of Youth Evangelistic Teams all over South Africa.
But through all this it created a division with my dad and mom. They wanted to continue in their church world while I wanted to soar with Jesus. They didn’t understand. They kicked me out of the house.
I went on with Jesus but they stayed stuck in their traditions. Incredible signs and wonders followed with me. It was years later that the Lord spoke to me, “He said go home and honor your father and your mother. I couldn’t believe it — “why me?”
I went home. When I came to the door my youngest sister met me with the biggest hug. Mom greeted me with a bigger hug. I quickly learned that my dad had been ill for the past month. The doctors did not expect him to live much longer. He too was glad to see me.
That night I prayed to Jesus — he healed my dad. The scales fell off everyone’s eyes and now they see as I see who Jesus is.
Shortly after, I started traveling for Jesus again. Mary and I had met a few years before but this time the Lord confirmed to us that we were to be together in ministry. We married.Today we have one daughter who is married with children and is part of our ministry team.
Then we received a call to this church in Strand, near Cape Town, South Africa. This is Gangster land. The toughest of the toughest Gangsters live here. The Lord called us to be His light. We started in the smallest of venues and the Lord has added. My assistant Pastor was once the Lord of Gangsters. Today he preaches Jesus and his wife and family serve the Lord. His son is our worship leader.
God has opened many miraculous doors in providing this location for us and in healing me from a near death experience. We are currently building a new church where no one else would dare. Jesus remains on the thrown and He is active every day in our lives.
This Cross planted today is strategically placed where all roads in the community lead to the Cross. The Cross where they can be set free and learn to love Jesus just as I have.
My greatest joy as a Pastor is to see lives come to the Lord and watching them grow. Applying the Word in their lives.
My favorite verse is Psalm 91:1-2. “He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress; My God, in Him I will trust.” NKJV
Susan’s video of the Cross planting Click Here
Prayer: Father thank you for opportunities to meet Jesus personally one on one. In the name of the Lord Jesus Christ. Amen!