20 February to December 2012
A brief recap:
On my return from Zambia in July 2011, my landlord informed me that the house they were renting had been sold, and they hoped to find alternative accommodation as soon as possible. They advised me to do the same, as they could not move out and leave me on the property – the area in which we lived being unsafe.
Three days before the couple moved out I rented a room at the YW in Braamfontein, Johannesburg. Four weeks after that, on 15 December 2011, I boarded the Intercape bus (with all my worldly goods safely in the trailer), and headed for Kitwe, Zambia on the way to Mwinilunga, Zambia.
20 February 2012
But now, because the immigration officers had messed up my application for a work permit five times (apologies for the repetition), I was going back the way I had come in December.
We departed Lusaka’s Intercity bus station at just after midday, heading for the Zambian border post at Chirundu – a mere two hours drive away.
After that, we traveled a day and part of the next morning to the shared Beit Bridge border post of Zimbabwe and South Africa.
Twenty-four hours later, having had our passports stamped at the latter border post, the Intercape bus finally crossed into South Africa.
As soon as I was back on South African soil and we were on on way through Musina, Polokwane, Pretoria, and finally Johannesburg, I could not help but wonder how long the R3,000 (USD342) in my travel wallet would last? Accommodation is expensive in Johannesburg. I would be left with no funds for food, transport and airtime pay-as-you go for my cellphone. (All my groceries were packed away at Mrs Sameta’s house in Mwinilunga).
It was while travelling to Johannesburg that I made a decision to stay at the YW for two days to get my bearings (so to speak), and thereafter I would make arrangements for other accommodation. So I texted the YW’s marketing manager, Sharon, who had become a close friend during my previous stay, and asked her to give me the 2012 rates for a visitor’s room.
Her text reply was swift,
“You will stay with me in my flat at the YW for a few days,” she said.
Wow! What a surprise. I quickly text her my acceptance, then sat back in my seat with a smile on my face to enjoy the rest of the journey.
What actually unfolded on my return was more than I could have imagined.
As soon as our bus arrived at Park Station in Johannesburg I found a porter with a trolley and paid him to ferry my luggage out of the station precinct, up the Rissik Street hill to the nearby YW premises.
It was wonderful to renew contact with Sharon. We had shared much during my stay in November/December, and in fact, she felt that, had the Lord not provided accommodation for me at the YW, “I don’t know what would have happened to me,” she said. Her story is far too long to describe in this post, but her personal circumstances at the YW were such that she was near to a nervous breakdown.
Sharon’s daughter very kindly gave up her own room to provide me with a place to stay. I was quite overwhelmed by her generosity, and that night slept soundly and peacefully.
The next day the unimaginable occurred.
I had not been awake long when Sharon knocked, and popped her head around the door.
“You won’t believe this!” she announced.
“But you’ve been offered free accommodation for as long as you need it.”
This news didn’t make sense. It was not as if I was a friend of the manageress, or had some kind of association with the YW as an organisation.
“How can this be?” I asked, utterly nonplussed.
She came into the room.
I don’t know,” she replied, with a smile.
“But clearly it is the Lord’s favour.”
When I told my friends at Cornerstone Church about this amazing blessing a few days later, their response was unanimous:
“It is the Lord’s favour.”
So much happened during February and June 2012. But of the accounts I can relate, four events stand out:
1. There was a poltergeist in the YW residence. This poltergeist’s activity uncovered craven fear for which I needed deliverance, especially in light of my work in Africa where witchcraft is widely practiced, and I could not afford to work in fear;
2. I became sidetracked during this time by someone who well-meaningly urged me to draw up a proposal and budgets for the work in Mwinilunga to forward to funders in America- and I got burned for my efforts;
3. Three times I came under spiritual attack that nearly killed me twice, and the third incident would have required major surgery had the Lord not healed me.
The fourth and fifth accounts make up for the above three points (the latter could possibly make for grim reading).
I pray as I write about these things, that I can do justice to the process I was taken through to come to a place of patience and peace. May it bring glory of God Most High.