Relentless Heart Work

I cannot remember much about the time when Jesus was not part of my life.  I gave my heart to Jesus when I was 8 or 9 years old. I remember every detail as if it was yesterday.  I was touched by the minister’s message on a Sunday morning and until the Monday morning I could not get the deep realisation of me being a sinner, out of my mind.   I started to cry by the time I arrived at school on that Monday morning and could not stop.  The only message the teacher could get through my sobs was, that I need to speak to the minister.  After a phone call he arrived at the school and in an empty classroom he explained salvation to me and I accepted Jesus as my Saviour and Lord of my life.    I got this deep realisation that I am a child of God, I belong to Him and my heart was cleansed from all sin.  Oh the joy!  I saw the world brighter and lighter than before.  Every flower’s colour was brighter, the grass was greener and life was just wonderful.  

John 3:16 says: “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life”

If you need to make a change in your life, turn to Jesus – age, time or place does not matter – only that you do it.  His love will change you completely.  He is the only One that can satisfy your soul, give you peace and eternal life.

There is a misconception that becoming a Christian makes everything to be just fine. No, not so, we are still in a fallen world.  Character building, resisting the enemy, work through problem areas in your life eg rejection, hurt and abuse and forgiveness – all play a part in your spiritual growth. I was no exception.  I made some wrong choices and therefor I have found myself sometimes on a bumpy ride.   As I look back on my journey with Jesus, I can honestly say He was always there for me.   In the good times and during the storms of my life.  

Miracle:  My middle child had an illness as a baby.  Doctors could not get to the bottom of it.  One day I read in the newspaper about a healing service in the city town hall.  Arriving there, I fell into a long que of healing needing people.  The pastor got the assurance from me that I believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit before he prayed.  He then put his one hand on my shoulder and his other hand on my baby’s head.  While he prayed a short prayer for healing, I felt a shock go through my body and up until today my son is cured of that illness.  Praise Jesus for His instant healing power and mercy!

I got divorced when I was about 30 years old.  On the day I left the marriage, I found myself without a home, job or money. I had my three precious children who were still small.  My eldest had just started school and my youngest a toddler.   I stayed with my sister for two weeks while I cried and prayed.  One morning, while reading my bible, I got the assurance that God will on that day, give me a job, a place to stay and a crèche for the little ones.   I was so sure of this word from God, that I phoned my mother asking her to come with me getting these three much needed promises.

I went to the bank to draw my last money.  I asked the teller if she knew about a job anywhere, her answer was negative.  I asked her if she knew of any housing to rent, her answer was negative.  I promised her this was my last question as I asked her if she knew of anyone having a crèche for children.  She replied yes she knew someone!   Her address in hand, we set off to her house.  We found this loving, caring Christian lady, named Mara.  Mara’s crèche was full, but she made a few changes and squeezed my children in.

(Mara coming into my life at that point was a divine appointment orchestrated by God)

After I told her my story, she phoned her husband who works at a huge company. We found that they were desperate to fill a position for a secretary for one of the Directors.  That company also offered housing to their personnel.   I was then asked to come straight away for an interview. 

Few obstacles here!

I was not prepared, not dressed for an interview, I have not worked since my first baby, my eyes red from all the crying telling Mara my sad story and the worst – I could not speak English well, coming from an Afrikaans family and community.  

(Everyone in South Africa takes English at school as a subject, but if you do not practice it, it goes out the window.)

 Miracle:  I got the job!  The Director was as English as it comes with a reputation of being a difficult boss. I worked for him for more than 6 years and we had a good working relationship.  The extra treat God gave me was that the boss was also a Christian

Miracle:  God’s promise came into reality.   A job, house and place for my children in a crèche in one day.

Oh! Isn’t God good???

Note to Jesus ambassadors:  Your kindness to someone (lady in the bank and Mara) might be a very significant piece to complete another person’s puzzle that is needed for their wellbeing or salvation.

The road as a single mother was difficult, to say the least:  Physically –  Being mother, father, working all day, school work with the children at night, house work, cooking, washing, shortage of funds, etc.  Emotionally – Rejection, loneliness, mourning the loss of your expectations of a happy marriage for you and your children and feelings of guilt about what your children have to go through.   Faith – I prayed, holding on to Jesus and through all of this I was constantly aware that He was with me, He carried me through this season in many ways.

It was during this time, that my children turned to God.   All three of them became dedicated Christians, following Jesus. They surrounded themselves with other Christians and showed other children towards Jesus.   Jesus embraced them in His love.  Many times (even today) people will say to me that I have raised wonderful children.   I always replay “not my doing, but God’s doing”, and in saying that I mean it.  I am forever grateful to Holy Spirit working in their lives.

The Lord blessed me with a good Christian husband who is also my friend and a father figure to my children.   When we married he committed to the whole bunch and not only me.   We are now married for 31 years and I thank God for good times as a family.                                                    

Through these years we we have experienced miracles from God and still do – small and big.     If you have a close walk with Jesus and listen to the Voice of the Holy Spirit in you, you will recognise these miracles daily.

Right now, we as a family pray for and expect a miracle for healing for one of our members.  I am looking forward to that day and remind Him by asking “will it be today Lord? Will it be tomorrow, next week?”

Paul wrote in 2 Timothy 4: 7 

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.                                                                       Finally, there is laid up for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge, will give to me on that Day, and not to me only but also to all who have loved His appearing”.  

I am enjoying being 70+ as I am still ‘young’, healthy and enjoying my family – but also wiser as my younger years.  I know I am in “borrowed time” and as I getting closer to God, I depend on Him more and more.  I might be called home this year, in 10 years or 20 years – it does not matter when – I am enjoying the ride with Him!

Leonore is a South African.  Raised on a farm near the well known Kruger National Park. She stayed in China with her husband for over 5 years and moved to New Zealand, where they hope to retire.

Most of my bio is in my story today.  I am so, so privileged to be called child of God, the apple of His eye.  If you do not have that relationship with God already, what is keeping you?  You are missing out big time!  He loves you and wait for you to come to Him.

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