My Revival Experience at Kwasizabantu

My journey with Kwasizabantu started more than 40 years ago when I was a little girl and my dad found long-sought peace during our first visit to this mission. Regular holiday visits to Kwasizabantu followed throughout my primary school years.   

Growing up with this teaching and living example of people at Kwasizabantu, instilled in us awe and reverence for the holiness of God, and gave us a genuine experience of God’s love. I remember my parents apologising to us children even if they just became slightly irritable.  In our home anger  was repented from as if it is the sin the Bible says it is.  We were disciplined and lovingly but sternly punished for obvious transgressions, and we learned a life of accountability and honesty.  Consequently our home was a haven of peace and happiness and trust.  We learnt love and respect for all people regardless of race or status. 

I willingly came to the school at this mission, about 900km from home, when I was 13 years old.  The message was conveyed to me that I would be welcome to come if I wanted to serve the Lord, and I really wanted to. The vast majority of learners were Zulu-speaking while I was Afrikaans. I remember happy relationships with friends and teachers. I remember fun occasions when braais and sport were arranged by Rev Stegen, for us school children.  Outings and picnics were arranged for us.  Teachers and co-workers went to great trouble to care for our needs and wellbeing! 

God worked in my life through the daily messages from God’s word, the wonderful singing, opportunities to open up about anything troubling me and to pray together with my counsellor.  This, many a time, prevented foolish choices.  My faith could not rest on my ability to adhere to rules, or on a form of religion or a taught way of life, however, I had to personally put all my faith in Jesus Christ and His victory for me. I went through a terrific personal struggle when I was in Grade 10 since I was overcome with doubts and fears and despair that I simply could not get it right to live as God expected me to. I cried to God and sought Him, and counsellors of the mission supported me.  I found joy and peace and victory and Jesus became the firm Rock in whom I could stand.  Since then He has led me on in the way of sanctification and protected me through happy times and difficult times.  I qualified as social worker and am a blessed married mother of four children. Our eldest son is completing his matric this year and the youngest daughter is in Grade R.  They are privileged to receive excellent education at Domino Servite School, and they are safe, free and protected here.  They may still enjoy innocence, sunshine and fresh air.  My experience has been that true 1 Corinthians 13 love, mutual respect, and self-respect, including the preciousness of sexual purity and faithfulness, have always been held high at Kwasizabantu. 

Time and again the invitation is made to whosoever will, any stranger, any sinner, any prodigal, any Christian, to come to the Cross of Jesus Christ.  Lives are made completely new through the wonderful Gospel of Jesus Christ preached and lived at Kwasizabantu mission and spread abroad.  The mission’s doors have through the years been open for the vilest offender and worst sinner to come and make peace with God and with the people around them. Suicidal and desperate individuals, have found the way to freedom here.  Release from “baggage”, and burdens, healing from emotional scars and wounds, and finding refuge and hope in God’s cleansing power, love and light happens here.  

At the same time Christian visitors who come and go are encouraged in their walk with God and enjoy fellowship with other believers.  This mission serves the purpose of a place like Pilgrims’ Rest in John Bunyan’s book “Christiana”. Moreover many of God’s servants have been provided for here.  Disadvantaged or vulnerable individuals have been taken care of and supplied for by the mission.

Over all these years, in times when I did not live on the mission, and times when I lived here, the preaching from the Bible, the testimonies, the warnings, the correction, reprimand, and encouragement, and care, and loving invitations and instruction, and prayers of God’s people, have blessed our lives tremendously 

The humility, courage, faith, vision, obedience, self-denying diligence, and steadfastness and unwavering loyalty to God and His high and holy standard of living, as found in the Bible, of the leadership and co-workers of this mission, is an inspiration and an example for all. We are preparing for the great day when we will stand before God our Creator and Saviour, give account of our lives and thank and praise Him for His grace, and enter Eternal Glory.  “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23  (ESV) 

Ethelwyn Hanekom