This was so sufficient that I was able to buy my first car. It was a 2 year old, one owner Volvo 144s selling for R2500, and my installments were R50 per month after the 10% deposit I paid. Life was treating me extremely well as a 19 year old. Everyone I grew up with, including their parents envied me thoroughly because this was the very first decent car of the roughly ten in our street and most of them had to be pushed before they could start and were owned by my peers' fathers. This was my first taste of success and it tasted real good. Between 1979 and 1989 I had driven 6 more cars including a BMW 520,and a Mercedes 230E amongst others. It was evident that I was getting somewhere with life and I was happy for myself.
I started Pastoring our Church on a part time basis in January 1986 and working at the same time. By this time I already had a family and my son was 3 and that same year in November my daughter was born. We managed well as a small family and had all the essentials that we needed to stay afloat. By 1990 I was already working as a sales rep and my salary was at least R7500 per month, and now this was too much back then and it really made a huge difference in our family. I had educational policies for my kids and our insurance policies were in place, plus we had some savings in the bank. In fact we had too little to worry about. By this time I knew I was on my way to success, and I was only 31. My father had never tasted what I did when he was my age, and this meant something to my family.
Around November 1989 I had a very strong instinct that I needed to resign from work and concentrate full time at Church. I spoke to Joyce about it and we agreed. We were not ignorant of the possible challenges ahead of us but somehow just believed that it was going to work out just fine. I quit my R7500 pm Job at the end of February 1990 and started as a full time pastor on the 1st of March. By that time our Church which started with 5 members back in 1986 had grown to about 50 people and our monthly collections were R1000+ per month. When I still worked I used to carry the financial load of the Church from my salary because I did not only give 10% of my salary but I literally paid for whatever the Church could not afford. Now you can imagine how I was hoping to survive in this situation.
I called the elder men who were helping me to run the Church and related my case to them, and I asked them to pay me whatever they agreed on just so that I can have food on the table as the saying goes. They agreed to pay me R500 per month. To me this was fair enough since the total income was a mere R1000. Things started to fall apart by the end of May the same year, and by the end of June I had to give back the car to Wesbank and all that I bought on credit except the clothes was re-possessed, and we began to suffer. We stayed 7 kilometers away from the school we used for Church services and we had to walk to and fro. This took us 4 hours per return trip, and we had prayer meetings back then every weekday at 7 pm except Saturday and Sunday but we never missed a single one. It was at this time that I began to realize how powerful one's convictions are. I could have gone back to work but a deep assuring inner voice kept urging me on. Somehow I knew that I had to go this route. By December the same year we were now officially poor and had to live on hand outs from those who were able to read between the lines. Some people from our Church gave us food and helped us with money for transport.
Things got so worse that by the beginning of 1991 I stood before our congregation and asked them to give me any job they had at their homes, and this proved to be a very wise idea because by the end of that week I was already working doing odd jobs at the homes of our Church members. Other members who did not have any odd jobs for me asked from their neighbors and I became quite busy doing everything legal for cash, and my family survived. I get quite amazed when I see people who would rather suffer simply because of the wrong estimate they have about themselves. I have proven to myself that being humble is by far better than being proud and hungry. Not very long after this I was employed by a relative to drive his taxi for R240 per week. This plus the R500 I earned from the Church began to make a big difference simply because by this time I was now used to having little or nothing.
So I drove the Taxi for six days and Pastored our Church on Sundays. One might ask: why then did I leave my job in the first place since now I was doing exactly what I quit on but this time with sufferings. I must admit that even today I cannot explain why I had to go that route. It will only be when I finish telling my story that you, the reader might be able to analyze the whole thing and come to your own conclusion.
I truly believe that nothing just happens in this life, especially in the lives of those who choose to follow God's heart. And I think I understand a lot of things better today simply because I had to take that trip at that time. Today I am able to look at people and the situations that they are going through and know without doubt if an individual is serious about making it through or not. and sadly so many Christians don't have what it takes to breakthrough their challenges. It takes more than being a good Christian to leave the devil panting for breath behind you. I learnt a simple principle back then, and that is: if I pray for an hour about an issue I will work two hours on the same issue. This combination is guaranteed to get any job done. It has worked for me. Just follow me closely this week I promise to take you there. And why not click at the small envelope at the bottom right of this article. Send it to someone you think will need this encouragement. I promise you that I will not disappoint you. be blessed.
to be continued...