26 September 2023
Today, 26 September 2023, marks the passing of Erlo Hartwig Stegen, the founder and director of KwaSizabantu Mission, fondly known as Baba Mfundisi. He was born on 2 March 1935 to Carl and Irmgard Stegen on the family farm, Paardefontein, in KwaZulu Natal. He was destined to hear the call of God at a very early age, from which he put his hand to the plough and never looked back. He devoted every moment of his life to God's cause ever since and his supreme passion was to win men for Christ.
Erlo's call was to all the people of South Africa, and in doing this work, a powerful and lasting bond was born with the Zulu nation. His belief in the divine authority of the Bible and his choice to believe as the Scriptures say, led to a great outpouring of the Holy Spirit in 1966. This resulted in decades of revival where God showed the world what He can do through one man who puts his life on the altar. Millions of visitors have passed through his ministry at KwaSizabantu Mission and received help and spiritual assistance. His legacy and impact on the lives of all who met him, are immeasurable.
Erlo ministered worldwide. His powerful messages were marked by great boldness - what God laid on his heart he fearlessly passed on. Listeners experienced deep conviction of sin which led to repentance and deliverance.
Erlo was an innovative and influential visionary. Many outstations of the mission were born from his ministry. He founded institutions of education and learning, established businesses and initiated humanitarian projects.
To his coworkers he exemplified 'whoever wants to be great in God's kingdom, learn to be the servant of all.' Who can weigh up what he meant to each one personally?
Few were unmoved by his great love and compassion. No one who crossed his path was too insignificant. Widows, orphans, the poor and hungry, those who mourned, the souls burdened with the guilt of sin, all experienced his warmth, generosity and heartfelt prayers.
Throughout his life Erlo suffered persecution - as is the lot of many who have chosen to devote their life to Christ's service. His love for his persecutors, however, did not wane and even on his deathbed he continued to pray for them.
God has now called his faithful servant home. As he himself said, "If God fetches me don't cry, it will be wonderful in heaven!"
His death is a resounding call to be on fire for the Lord - a call to his children, to his coworkers, ministers of the gospel throughout the world and the church of Jesus Christ to spread the gospel to all.
"Let the Gospel go. May it spread across the whole world!"
Funeral arrangements will be announced.