J E N N A VA N D E R W E S T H U I Z E N
K AT R I N A N E L
#15 CONTENTS P O W E R N O T E 1
- Edna Els I T TA K E S A V I L L A G E
- Antoinette Serfontein N A V I G AT I N G L I F E I N S E A S O N S O F C H A N G E
- Laura Birch F E AT U R E S T O R Y
- Jenna van der Westhuizen D A N C I N G I N T H E R A I N 3 5
-Judy Schellingerhout MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD A N D T H E M A R K E T P L A C E
- Katrina Nel W E A R & E AT
ÂŠ This publication is produced by Victory Media for m e 2 M e n t o r i n g J e ff re y s B a y. A l l a rt i c l e s a re w r i tt e n b y members of Victory Church unless otherwise stated. Th i s m a g a z i n e i s n o t f o r s a l e . Fo r f u r t h e r i n f o r m a t i o n on any of the articles, do not hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Issue 15 - August 2020 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za Cover Photography: Anne Galloway
COME AND BE A PART OF A SYMPHONY OF WOMEN RISING TO ‘A BEAUTIFUL NEW.’ WITH YOUR HOST EDNA ELS AND SPECIAL GUESTS SIMONE NORTMANN, LYNN SWART AND KATIA ADAMS. TICKETS AVAILABLE ME2MENTORING.COM/THE-RISING
Dear Friend, May I ask you a personal question? I know we’re
If the goal of our relationships is CHRISTLIKENESS,
just coming out of Lockdown, but What SHAPE are
it puts a responsibility on us to live life in a way
that makes us effective instruments in the Master’s hand to SHAPE, FORM, and TRANSFORM culture,
Lately, we’ve been confronted with too many ads
one conversation, one person and one encounter
on Instagram with great promises of changing our
at a time.
shape and transforming us into objects of desire! So, let’s take a moment to consider the acronym I don’t know about you, but it is enough to drive
for our daily workout plan to get into SHAPE:
me into rebellion and into the fridge, letting go of
S- SPEAK LIFE
all restraint and embracing the fact that Round is
H- HAVE A HUMBLE HEART
also a shape...
A- ALIGN WITH HIM, STAY IN YOUR WALL P- PUT THE PAST BEHIND YOU
Seriously though- have you given the shape
E-EXPECTED OUTCOME: EXPAND AND ENLARGE!!!
you’re in any thought? As always the million-dollar question is, ”What got you in the shape you’re in?”
My prayer for us in this season is that we’ll become aware of the SHAPE we’re in, that we shape others,
In the natural I can answer that question without
our world, our thoughts, and relationships as we in
hesitation; ”My love for chocolate and my inborn
turn are shaped by them.
resistance to anything that makes me sweat...” Regardless of what physical shape you’re in,
My friend, let’s take responsibility to be in the
nothing shapes us more in so many different areas
best SHAPE of our lives, knowing that our personal
than our relationships!
trainer, Holy Spirit is standing by to encourage and cheer us on!
Yes, my friend, it’s Back to Basics in mentoring, we get transformed through relationships.
Let’s enjoy the workout! Much love
You’re familiar with the words; ”Your friends are
a prophecy of your future and you become like those you hang out with.”
Galatians 4:19 NASBS “My children, with whom I am again in labor until
Which is wonderful if you’re satisfied with who you
Christ is FORMED in you”
are and who your friends are becoming under your influence (and vice-versa).
Romans 12:2 NASBS “And do not be conFORMED to this world, but be
Remember, you influence others, and they in turn
transFORMED by the renewing of your mind, so that
influence you. Which is quite sobering, if we define
you may prove what the will of God is, that which is
Influence as putting pressure on the character of
good and acceptable and perfect.”
someone in order to bring about change (Good or bad, intentionally or unintentionally).
POWERNOTE FROM EDNA
“ STOP DWELLING ON THE PAST. DON’T EVEN REMEMBER THESE FORMER THINGS. I AM DOING SOMETHING BRAND NEW, SOMETHING UNHEARD OF. EVEN NOW IT SPROUTS 3
AND GROWS AND MATURES. DON’T YOU PERCEIVE IT? I WILL MAKE A WAY IN THE WILDER NESS AND OPEN UP FLOWING STREAMS IN THE DESERT.” ISAIAH 43:9-10 Photography: Sovrin Photography
THIS IS ME…HAPPILY MARRIED FOR FOUR YEARS
and asking me some hard questions challenged
and expecting our firstborn in July 2000. At the
me greatly, and it wasn’t always easy and
age of 29, this mom-to-be didn’t exactly know
comfortable to receive and accept.
who she was. She was constantly comparing herself to others, was confused, unsettled,
Becoming offended and rebellious, was inevitable
discontent, sorry for herself, wise in her own eyes,
and exposed even more flaws in my character.
an expert in knowing every excuse in the book, always justifying herself and blaming others
Monthly gatherings became a highlight. I met
and circumstances for everything! Not a pretty
incredible women and made lovely friends. I
picture of a role model mom, or of one that is
devoured given resource material and equipping
fully prepared and ready for raising a child? The
tools that were relevant, Biblically founded, and
enemy was having a party as he danced over
practically applicable. We read many good
me, a pathetic soul, in his eyes.
books - a huge challenge when one has little ones, but I did it and undoubtedly benefited
My numerous self-talk conversations always
from the commitment. Slowly but surely, change
ended up in even further self-destruction and
became visible and resulted in a different
agreement with the lies of the enemy. In this
perspective and response to the issues of life.
terrible state of emptiness, brokenness, and
I could see myself the way God does, my true
nothingness, I cried out to God.
identity, and in the process, grew in faith and character, and got to know the things He values.
It was here, at this specific point in time, when He
These women celebrated my victories, and their
rescued me by giving me, this mom, a village,
shouts of joy framed the enemy as a loser and a
not to raise her child yet, but to raise HER first. This
liar. Glory to the King!
intervention was the start of my Me2 Mentoring journey.
The rich deposit in my spirit, the fruit, could not be retained. It needed to be displayed, handed
A process of discipleship was necessary to bring
out, shared, sown in order for someone else to
about a much-needed transformation. A village of
receive, to be raised up, like myself, to be raised
Godly women came alongside me and directed
to life — a life which is purposeful and effective in
me to God, encouraged me in all areas of my
the Kingdom. I became more involved in Mommy
life, loved me, and prayed for me. My relationship
mentoring groups at the time that I had a toddler
with them became stronger as it grew in trust. I
and another baby. Although we are all equal in
could draw from their experience, wisdom, and
value and worth, but not in life experience and
their own walk with Jesus. Speaking into my life
our spiritual walk, younger moms need older
women to teach them (Titus 2:4). The “exchange”
us, throughout the day, to make a deposit in
between these two age groups is a beautiful
their spirit or to sow a seed, as we interact with
thing and one I value. I want to encourage young
them. “Train up a child in the way he should go,
moms to be teachable and to connect with older
and when he is old, he will not depart from it”
and mature women. Learn from them and draw
from them as they become YOUR village. I can testify of many changed mommy lives and the
On my journey, I had breakthrough days,
impact on their families and communities.
setback days, growth days and backsliding days, mountain-moving faith days, low key faith
Parenting is partnering with God. God gives us
days, proud parent days, and disappointment
everything pertaining to life (2 Peter 1:3), which
parent days, etc. And some days, the load
includes raising children, and He leads those that
was just unbearably heavy. I have fallen many
have young (Isaiah. 40:11). In other words, the
times, but got picked up by the One beside me
“how-to”, wisdom, insight in specific situations,
(Ecclesiastes. 4:9-10), cheering me on to get up
and the discernment we need. God is busy with
and to run this race with endurance, fixing my
me in my being busy with my daughters, showing
eyes on Jesus (Hebrews 12:1-2).
me His perspective, His way, His plan. Raising our two daughters to the ages of 11 and We are all in different seasons in life, facing
9, was truly a delightful experience. They were
different challenges and are surrounded by a
easy and healthy babies and toddlers and later,
dozen different voices and opinions, causing
confusion and preventing us from hearing the voice of our Father. The Word is our standard and
Overall happy girls and as they became more
is above all knowledge and understanding, and
independent, our lives a bit easier and with
its values and principles apply to all.
some added freedom. I always wanted to be a teacher and sometimes regret not following my
The Holy Spirit is our “go-to”. He is our Helper!
heart. I obtained the relevant information and
Often I had to admit to my children that I didn’t
decided to pursue this passion through further
have the answer or solution to a certain issue,
studies. I felt God’s approval and became excited
but we could pray together and ask the One
about my new venture. Until one day, when a
that does know. In doing that, it gave them
simple test confirmed my suspicion… Trying to
space to be participants rather than spectators
convince myself that this is NOT happening! I was
and pursuing God for themselves and for their
devastated and terrified by the thought of having
own faith to be stirred. May we not miss (to be
another baby, not even to mention the fact that
unaware) the opportunities God creates for
I was 40, already. Arrogantly I reminded God
OFTEN I HAD TO ADMIT TO MY CHILDREN THAT I DONâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;T HAVE THE ANSWER OR SOLUTION TO A CERTAIN ISSUE, BUT LET US PRAY TOGETHER AND ASK THE ONE THAT DOES KNOW.
HIS VOICE SETTLED SOMETHING IN MY SPIRIT - THAT URGE TO BE SOMEONE ELSE, SOMEWHERE ELSE, AND IT FINALLY BROUGHT ME TO A PLACE OF REST AND PEACE.
about my teaching plan, to which He agreed,
“I will tell of the kindness of the Lord
remember…and that having a baby now, is
definitely not part of this plan. God’s economy of purpose (nothing wasted) “The plans of a man might be many, but it is the
has brought me full circle as I am, once again,
purposes of God that prevails” (Proverbs 19:21),
facilitating a mommy&me2 mentoring initiative,
and although He says that His plans are good
where I am passing the baton on to the next
ones too (Jeremiah. 29:11), I really found it difficult
generation of mommies. I would like to invite
to believe. After that, I had many conversations in
moms to come and be part of that community
reasoning with God, and I clearly remember how
that will raise their children TOGETHER, because...
He took me in His arms and whispered to me… “You were born for a time as this (Esther 4:14), and
...IT TAKES A VILLAGE TO RAISE A CHILD!
My resurrection power is IN you. (Romans 8:11). Hearing Him saying to me, “You are a teacher,
already, and you are exactly where I want you to
Antoinette and her husband Nico live in Jefferys
be. Raising this baby is your next assignment.” His
Bay and they are party of the Eldership team at
voice settled something in my spirit - that urge to
Victory Church. Antoinette is passionate about
be someone else, somewhere else, and it finally
seeing young moms thrive in their season of life
brought me to a place of rest and peace.
and oversees the Mommy & me2 ministry at Victory Church
Furthermore, God reminded me of the village He gave me years before. Those who planted seed in me, those who watered it so faithfully (1 Corinthians 3:7), those who never judged me, or gave up on me. Those who kept on loving me and believing in me, and still do! Suddenly hope arose as I realized I do have a village to raise this child. Our 3rd girl, Cari (now 9), was born. The light of our lives and bringer of love (the meaning of her name). I am deeply grateful and humbled by the grace, favor, and goodness of a loving and faithful Father. As I continue this journey…
BECAUSE OF THE LORD’S GREAT LOVE, WE ARE NOT CONSUMED, FOR HIS COMPASSIONS NEVER FAIL. THEY ARE NEW EVERY MOR NING; GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS. I SAY TO MYSELF, “THE LORD IS MY PORTION; THEREFORE I WILL WAIT FOR HIM.” LAMENTATIONS 3:22-24
Photography: Sovrin Photography
NAVIGATING LIFE IN SEASONS OF CHANGE
SEASONS CHANGE, AND THEY DON’T ALWAYS
and Caitlin are through school and at university,
announce their arrival, but looking back over
and the “fun” farm is now operating as a hunting
the past years, the change seems obvious, as if
lodge which Rob is running. Margreet, my friend
it is highlighted in luminous yellow, but at the time,
and Healthy Mom & Baby Clinic partner, has
it wasn’t so clear.
taken over the management of the Baby Clinic, and it is blossoming with her passion, and I am
very involved with me2mentoring, tribe time and
I will never leave you alone. I will be closer than a
meetings, and running my home.
friend. When you walk through the waters I will be there, and you will not drown. If you cling to me
Everything appears to be perfect on the surface,
and trust in Me – I will not allow you to give way
but my close friends know that I am battling with
in panic or be shamed in any way. I love you. My
menopause, with its rushes of anxiety, little sleep,
heart is kind.
an inability to concentrate with a fog-tired brain and mood swings added all sorts of moments of
their own. True to say, life is not working out like I
I will uphold you with my right hand. Plant and
thought it should.
dwell in the land and produce. And more lately – I have a plan – this time has been set for you.
This new season saw me living in the heart of the
These have been the words of God that have kept
Karoo, helping my husband to manage a hunting
my heart calm most days in the past few years.
lodge. Nowhere in my life had I planned to live alone and isolated from my friends, my church,
I wish I could say that I have been in deep prayer
and my passion – the Baby Clinic. But Rob needed
daily and reading the Word of God all the time,
a little help, and so I went to help him out for a
but this season has found me rushing around
while, and then one day became weeks, and
and trying to find my feet. Living in a new place.
then months. I had only packed a little bit of
Worrying about my family and working hard to
clothing because I was sure it would just be for a
keep up with a new business. And yet the words
short time. I kept going backward and forwards
spoken to my heart over time have sustained me
to keep both sides of my life balanced. Always
amid this desert season.
moaning and groaning about not wanting to live in the Karoo. But Rob was there, and I hated being
Some 12 years ago, my wonderful husband Rob
bought a small Karoo farm with a friend; this was so exciting for our family-chilly nights in front of
I wish I could say I dived into the culture and the
the fire, hunting, and cold, dry winters. Everyone
town and made it my own. I wish I could say I
was thrilled, except me. I love the sea and
trusted God with this new venture, but I was too
mountains covered in forest, nowhere in my mind
busy with the lodge and the clients to do anything
did the Karoo make me happy. Rob and the kids
so wise. Menopause did not help matters at all.
would visit the farm, and I would stay home and
Keeping everything happening was not easy, and
enjoy “me” time. Fast forward to 2016, Andrew
I can remember crying my hardest the day the
scrambled eggs for 20 people flopped.
like the scriptures were just ‘falling out of my mind.’ The scripture in Mark 4 that talks about the
I was so anxious some days that I couldn’t drive
cares of this world and the pursuit of riches that
my car. Often walking into the kitchen and asking
can choke out the Word, became so relevant, as I
the staff why I was there. They still laugh about
felt unfruitful in this time.
that. I can tell you that I often cried out to God for another way to live, but His answer was always
I had got into the pattern of just doing Christianity
that His heart is kind.
and not merely being a daughter and relaxing in Him, thereby not allowing my cares and worries to
So many days, that was all I had to go on.
be His. In the midst of it all, I would wake up and
For the longest time, I felt that God loved Rob
cry out for Father, and He would pour out His love
more than me, as he was so enjoying the Karoo.
into me. And then I would get up and run again. It
Rob was, of course, facing his own mountains in
truly amazes me that He has never stopped loving
getting a new business up and running, but it was
me through it all.
hard to see that amid my personal struggle. Living about 3 hours away from my church
Now I can see that I was also so disappointed in
community meant that we couldn’t get to the
how everything had turned out that there was stuff
corporate church gathering as often anymore.
I didn’t talk about to anyone. I mourned so many
All legitimate reasons, but it truly began to
things that were no longer available to me.
make a huge difference. The first few Sundays, I didn’t notice, but I became aware that I was
I waited too long to speak to my Father about my
becoming very isolated over time. My close
heart, which was so sad, while He was patiently
friends helped me to realize that it was essential
waiting for me to turn to Him. The support of my
to stay connected and involved if I wanted to not
close family and true friends, encouraging me
just survive this season but to thrive in the midst
and praying for me in my darkest days became
of this desert time. Edna and Diana encouraged
God’s lifeline for me. I realised that mentoring
me to stay in mentoring and lead with them, and
was more than something I did every month. God
this helped me find a place to be real and stay
has given me companions, real friends walking
connected to the spiritual family.
with me along the journey of life through its ups and downs. Deep solid relationships that were not
Over time, slowly worrying about the business
moved by the withdrawal of my heart, but who
and working so hard to make the new venture
kept praying and encouraging me. These friends
work, I began to do it all in my own strength.
were the few that knew about the hardships, and
God Himself got shifted off the throne. My worries
they have been my help and support even over
and concerns became more important than
the distance and the whole time it has taken for
Him. Unfortunately, I didn’t realise how much I
me to find my way in this season.
was struggling and just kept working harder and
harder to fix the problem. I was exhausted, and
During last year, I felt God speaking and warning
the menopause fog brain didn’t help, plus I felt
me to change my words. To start to align again
Photography: Impact Studio
“I waited too long to speak to my Father about my heart, which was so sad, while He was patiently waiting for me to turn to Him. The support of my close family and true friends, encouraging me and praying for me in my darkest days became God’s lifeline for me.”
Photography: Impact Studio
Photography: Impact Studio
with God and my husband and to agree with His
and that the Word and the Spirit are producing
decree. To “dwell in the land and to plant” and
fruit in me.
trust Him that He has my future in His hands. He started to reveal that my view of the future looks
In the midst of this season, my heart is finding
completely different from His. My perspective
peace in knowing that He is faithful and that He
needed to change as His never would. I have
loves us. I am still unsure what the purpose of this
always thought I was full of faith and that I trusted
season is or how it plays into my destiny for the
Him, as He had plans to prosper me and not to
Kingdom, but I am sure He can be trusted with
harm me. But my worrying and being anxious all
it. He is my Father, and He has loved me with an
the time showed how little I did trust Him. I think I
everlasting love. The season has been intense,
trusted Him to understand me and my needs and
and it is not over, but I am no longer working hard
to adjust things to suit me. How foolish is that???
alone to keep it all happening but allowing God to work it out for me and in me.
I packed the rest of my clothes and moved officially to the Karoo. I live here now. I am
planted and dwelling in the land. I am trusting that
Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you;
He has got the best for my family and me. To bless
not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not
and not to harm me.
your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.
I also found more medical help to manage the
severe menopause symptoms, and this has
Let your character or moral disposition be free
helped me be less anxious, sleep better, and has
from love of money [including greed, avarice,
lifted some of the fog brain syndrome. This has
lust, and craving for earthly possessions] and be
made it easier to manage my work. I was doing
satisfied with your present [circumstances and
social distancing long before it was in vogue,
with what you have]; for He [God] Himself has
with no one close by to pop in for tea and just to
said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up
chat and pray with me. Now it’s so wonderful to
nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will]
“Livestream” Sunday mornings and listen to Louis
not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless
preach. Times connecting with friends, as well
nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on
as our online, connect group has become very
you)! [Assuredly not!] So we take comfort and are
special to me.
encouraged and confidently and boldly say, The Lord is my Helper; I will not be seized with alarm
The period of isolation has not been for a few
[I will not fear or dread or be terrified]. What can
weeks only, but some years now and so, not
man do to me?
surprisingly, I found Covid-19 a significant time.
Having no clients and just our children during
Laura and her husband Rob live in the Karoo.
the lockdown time has meant that we have had
They have been a key part of the Eldership Team
precious family time together. My family have
at Victory Church, Jeffreys Bay for many years.
seen that I am more at peace here in the Karoo
THEREFORE, IF ANYONE IS IN CHRIST, THE NEW CREATION HAS COME: THE OLD HAS GONE, THE NEW IS HERE! 2 CORINTHIANS 5:17
Photography: Sovrin Photography
Jenna van der Westhuizen
MY STORY OF BECOMING THE NEW ME 24
Kayleeâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2nd birthday party. Two days before my sudden cardiac arrest.
My testimony is very much still raw, still a delicate work in progress. I’ve cried several times as I’ve re-read doctor’s reports and a precious letter from Marthinus written 15 days after the event, just in such awe and gratitude to God for saving and redeeming me. He restored me. I’m not broken. He has restored and redeemed me fully and improved
IT’S QUITE SURREAL WRITING MY STORY ON THE EVE OF MY BABY GIRL’S 5TH BIRTHDAY, KNOWING THAT IN 2 DAYS IT WILL BE MY 3 YEAR ANNIVERSARY, OR RATHER MY “3RD RE-BIRTHDAY” AS IT’S CALLED.
me in the process. I have felt like I’m waiting to arrive before I could qualify to share anything, only to realise that the journey is the point, there are no arrivals. My life is not an airport. All the things that happened in me happened through me and despite me. I had no active role in my survival that evening, or my miraculous improvements over the weeks that followed. It was 100%, God. It was 100% the prayers of the faithful, the God-given skills of the medical professionals, and the Father’s kindness.
Three whole long, yet quick, beautiful, messy years since my sudden cardiac arrest (SCA) woke up my
On May 29th, 2017, at 10:30 pm, Marthinus awoke
sleeping husband and a world of family and friends
to nightmarish sounds from me, turned the light on,
to pray for a young mum whose heart stopped
and discovered me white-faced with no pulse and
no breath. He performed CPR on me while waiting for the ambulance to arrive. Meanwhile, Laura Birch
Today my story isn’t about the specifics of that
arrived and assisted Marthinus with the CPR. The
evening, nor ICU, hospital, doctors, diagnosis,
ambulance took a long time to arrive. It was 45
rehab, meds, prayer warriors across the world, and
minutes before I was defibrillated the first time, with
servant hearts in my community. Although all those
several defibrillations to follow on the way to the
pieces of the story are beautiful and it magnifies
hospital. I was admitted in an epileptic state, pupils
once again how we are better together, today I
dilated and unresponsive to light. Amongst all this,
feel God wants to amplify not the “we” story of my
prayer was going out across the world. 60 hours
recovery, but rather the “me” side. So that you can
post-admission, I had another cardiac arrest but
comprehend the magnitude of my miracle and new
was resuscitated after 1 round of ACLS.
life now, I’d like to share a few sensitive details. Nonetheless, despite all odds, my heart improved It’s hard to pinpoint, and I have been reluctant to
from 10% function to 18%. Even our atheist doctor
share because “my testimony” is not really “mine”
could not explain it and was expecting my heart
in that it was a multitude of people and events that
and organs to go into failure. What followed
form it all without my presence or even knowledge.
was a succession from ICU to CCU after 1 week,
somewhere in the ICU/CCU process I had a
am not a victim. I sometimes find myself having a
Cardiovascular Implantable defibrillator inserted
good old pity party as I clean the house, or do the
(an ICD/pacemaker box in my chest) and after
dishes, or huff and puff through exercise. Gratefully,
another week or so I was transferred to a general
these days, I pick up on it pretty quickly, and I can
ward. It was in the general ward where I took my
identify the lie and chase it away with the truth. How
first assisted steps after losing ability on the right
grateful I am to have a warm bed to make each
side. My short term memory was quite affected,
day and a cupboard full of clothes to wear. Plates to
and I was unable to remember or recall information
eat my meals off, and a pantry with food. Gratitude
easily, and I needed Occupational Therapy. After
chases away victimization pretty quickly. What does
about a month in Greenacres, I was transferred to
the Word say about being a victor?
Aurora rehab to facilitate my on-going physical, cognitive and psychological rehabilitation before
The Word of God is hidden so deep in my heart that
being able to return home – which happened in
not even an almost death experience could steal
it away from me. Even when I couldn’t remember a lot of things – I still remembered His Word. How
Now that you have a bit of background, the part
powerful and magnificent is that! The life-giving,
of the story I feel to share today is the on-going,
breathing, rhema of God lives in me and literally
outworking of my testimony and growth in His
brings life to my bones and tastes as sweet as
love and my identity in Him over the last 3 years.
honey on my lips. Invest in memorising the Word.
Hopefully, I can encourage you in it also. So, please
Time spent in the Word; memorising, reading,
enjoy as I ramble along and share some insight and
singing, praying, writing it out, meditating on it – the
encouragement from my heart.
investment is worth it. God’s Word never returns void, so you are guaranteed an overflow of investment.
What have I learned these past 3 years? Make your
You might not be able to recognise it right now, but
bed. It clears your head and starts your day right.
when you need it, somewhere deep in your heart, it
I promise. It’s a trick I picked up in rehab, and I’m
will climb out and bring life when you least expect
sure there’s some sort of cognitive behavioural or
it, and when you really need it.
psychological backing to it. It also brings to mind thoughts on Kingdom family life- and to make
Watch what you watch and think about what you
an excellent kingdom family, we’ve started with
think. I am becoming acutely aware of the impact
consistent, achievable, orderly and cleanliness, as
of ‘noise’ on my thought life. As my brain grows and
principles we live by. I mean, God must value all
develops, I get a second chance to decide what
those things otherwise, He wouldn’t have bothered
content I fill my soul with. So I’m choosing the good
recording an entire book on Numbers counting
stuff, uplifting, motivating, educational, Kingdom. I
the people or Deuteronomy with all the health
watch much less tv and read a lot more. I’m trying
and hygiene tips, not to mention a slew of Proverbs
to minimize my socials and practice being present.
I try my best to stop random thoughts and avoid chasing them down rabbit holes preventing the
Another thing weighing heavily on me is this: I
entertaining of entire imaginary conversations in
The Word of God is hidden so deep in my heart that not even an almost death experience could steal it away from me. Even when I couldnâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t remember a lot of things â&#x20AC;&#x201C; I still remembered His Word.
...“ my testimony” is not really “mine” in that it was a multitude of people and events that form it all without my presence or even knowledge.
my head. Do you know how easy it is to get lost in
I couldn’t walk, or perhaps because I was too proud
thoughts? It’s also that easy to change your mind.
to have the nurse lift my limp naked body out one
You literally just stop, take a few breaths, shift your
more time. As I am “growing up,” I do some things
focus and change, there is no rocket science
differently, and Marthinus has actually said that the
behind it. You need to know that you have the
“new me” is a better version of myself. I’ve grown
power over your thought life, and you can rewire
into a better version of myself. I’ve been striving to
your brain to think differently, back to my point
get the old me back; meanwhile, the new me that
about digging into the Word. Wash your mind with
is forming is more beautiful than the old me, straight
it. Let it help you think differently. Let the Word
up faithfulness of Father God. He has always said
transform you into Kingdom mindedness.
how much greater the new creation is than the old man, yet somehow habits or familiarity cause me
Think the best of people. People are made in
to try and be what I’ve known of myself in the past,
the image and likeness of creator God. They are
not necessarily live up to and grow into the things
precious and honored in his sight — people matter.
Father has for my future. Back to Marthinus - he so
You matter but believe in people, love support,
blessed me one day when he explained that I am
and honour them. Build up, don’t tear down. As
now softer, kinder, more gentle, and thoughtful. I
you watch what you’re watching and think about
watch my words closer and use my mouth to build
what you’re thinking, be sincere and kind in your
up, not tear down, and in all these things, according
speaking. Is it true, is it kind and is it necessary? Let
to the love of my life- I am a better version of me. I
your words pass those gates before they pass your
am living the “BEST” version in my new me. Let go of
lips. Take every opportunity to bless and encourage
the old, embrace the new.
people. It costs you nothing whilst holding such value to the person being encouraged.
The best part of this story is that you don’t need a life-altering death-defying experience to live the
Make peace with the new you. We are always
new me life. God invites you now today to start.
growing and changing, and the very nature of our
He has more for you. Even if He has answered all
walk with Christ is that we would grow into mature
your prayers and set you high upon a rock, He still
sons and daughters of the King. Which means
has more. There is still a higher height with a more
there will be movement. As you change old ways
majestic view. There is still a deeper depth with an
and adopt new thinking, you will be renewed. In
all-encompassing love waiting to saturate you. If
that journey, you need to embrace who God has
you’ve read this far and you’re looking for a sign
said you are before you chase who you think you
from God. This is it. This is your sign. God wants to
need to be or what you think you should be doing.
take you places. He wants to do something with
Before you are an occupation, you are a son or
your life, and that something is significant. You are
daughter of God. Embrace that, lean into the loving
significant, and you matter.
embrace of Father and enjoy your kingship. Not
being able to do things for myself for that period
Jenna and her husband Marthinus are part of
definitely humbled me. In hospital I fell out of the
the Eldership team at Victory Church, Jeffreys
bath once, maybe because I temporarily forgot that
Bay. They are part of a thriving young families community in St Francis Bay.
THEREFORE WE DO NOT LOSE HEART. THOUGH OUT WARDLY WE ARE WASTING AWAY, YET INWARDLY WE ARE BEING RENEWED DAY BY DAY. FOR OUR LIGHT AND MOMENTARY TROUBLES ARE ACHIEVING FOR US AN ETER NAL GLORY THAT FAR OUT WEIGHS THEM ALL. - 2 CORINTHIANS 4:16-17 (TPT) Photography: Sovrin Photography
J U DY SCHELLINGERHOUT Dancing in the Rain
HAVE YOU EVER BEEN IN A SEASON WHERE THE ONLY ITEM OF CLOTHING THAT YOU ACTUALLY NEEDED WAS A RAINCOAT TO WEATHER ALL THE STORMS THAT CAME YOUR WAY?
I took for granted. Life as I knew it was stripped
Well, many of you are familiar with this decade in
and was in ICU with septicaemia while my dad
my life where sickness, loss, death, and miracles all
was also in ICU. Due to aggressive tumour growths,
became woven into a tapestry for His glory. Most
my dad endured two broken shoulders, two
days required making peace with unthinkable and
broken arms, 3 shoulder replacements, a forearm
unwanted change, which rattled me to my core
replacement, dislocations, a stroke, heart failure,
because, by nature, I usually first resist change
away, and during this process, I felt God preparing my heart for a season (which lasted 5years) much deeper in adversity for my small family. My dad and uncle both passed away from cancer three weeks apart, my gran died of cancer, and my Oupa and Ouma passed away five weeks apart. During this time, our home flooded, my little boy had two eye surgeries, my mom had two big surgeries
before growing into it, and my family often bore the brunt of this process. Now, after hundreds of fallen
Life within hospital passages became home, and
leaves I can say that, yes, Autumn is proof that
cancer became the trauma that would forever
change is beautiful!
change my perspective in life!
I think we’ve been experiencing something similar
But this storm didn’t end there for me. On my
with this lockdown - an unthinkable change and
dad’s first birthday in heaven, I miscarried, and
loss of way-of-life. Still, also where a space for ‘reset’
four months later, in March 2019, during the most
was birthed, fault lines in our lives have come to
petrifying 10 minutes of my life, what should’ve been
the surface, and we’ve steered back to the very
certain death, God turned around with a life-saving
essence of life, with less unnecessary trimmings. A
miracle in my body and in my soul. I knew He
stripping if you like, much like my journey.
was close (Ps 34 v18). Post-surgery my doctor was grappling for words trying to tell me they had found
I’m a mom of two boys as well as two angels.
stage 4 endometriosis, and I had survived repeated
All four pregnancies ended with trauma and
ruptures of a CEP on my colon. I lost one fallopian
bookended my thirties. My first pregnancy ended
tube and a baby wrapped in endo growth.
with a spinal block only working on one side of my body during my caesarean, and six weeks after my
This event, and especially the memory of my dad’s
second caesarean Rheumatoid Arthritis debuted
death, have marked my heart. There will always be
in my life. Mild chemo and pain treatment helped
moments flooded by my ache for my dad because
me lead a relatively normal new life, but the extent
grief is as chronic as RA and endo. But! Having a
of my pain impacted daily life for us as a family,
scar is not the same as continually needing to tend
my teaching career, my hobbies, and most of what
to an open wound, vulnerable to infection, and I
Choosing to bury your pain (and fears) is not faith at all. Itâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s a lack of faith and hope because it means we feel that God canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t heal our broken hearts.
knew God was beginning the process of closing up
He constantly reminds me to search for the beauty
my wounds (Psalm 147:3).
in my ashes (Isaiah 61:1) because sometimes when life is complicated, and pain is heavy we
There’s a scripture in James we all know well.
put our pain on a pedestal, instead of allowing it to
Consider it all joy whenever you face trials of many
have a purpose. We miss the beauty. This is why I
kinds... This scripture has had me! It’s had me
relentlessly hashtag #beautifultrauma. It’s my way
angered towards God, AND it’s had me holding
of speaking James 1 and Isa 61 over myself, for the
on for dear life. No other scripture has had me so
days when songs and memories trigger my grief
double-minded in my life before, bopping between
and make me lean more towards the heaviness
the Rock and the stormy waves of life. You can’t
of my pain than lean towards the Waymaker and
have growth without change, and change is as
Healer of my heart.
certain as the changing tides. But growth is optional, and if growth came at this cost, then I didn’t care
We’ve each met with loss and grief. Whether the
for it. One storm after the other left me constantly
loss of a job, a friendship, a marriage, a loved one,
fighting for one more breath of air. I was tired.
or loss of life before covid19. These can be tough
Holding onto the broken pieces of a shipwreck
losses and changes to navigate through, and I’m
was easier than swimming to shore. But we know
far from having it all figured out or having it all
He never leaves us nor forsakes us, and this was
together, but I do know that choosing to grieve well
the first time I felt faced with the question, “Do you
catapults us forward with strength and gratitude in
not trust Me with your pain, o ye of little faith?” (I’ve
our hearts towards everything beautiful, ordinary
been faced with it again and again...more recently
and mundane. It causes an availability in our hearts
it sounded like, “Do you not trust me in
toward God to use the chapters of our hurt and
healing for His glory.
Choosing to bury your pain (and fears) is not
I dare say, that however, fine the lining, every
faith at all. It’s a lack of faith and hope because
circumstance has a silver one, and if you choose to
it means we feel that God can’t heal our broken
see it, the treasure is to be found, for those who sow
hearts. I’ve been experiencing that the more I trust
in tears will reap with shouts of joy, Psalm 126:5.
Him as the keeper of my heart, especially now in
lockdown, the more I am able to stand on James
Judy and her family live in the Patensie Valley,
1:2-4. Count it all joy...not the fake-smile or fake-
South Africa. They are part of the Victory Church
happy kind, because God doesn’t do or expect
community in Jeffreys Bay.
fake, but a positive expectation that holds onto faith in the eye of the storm, a joy that strengthens and simultaneously fills us with hope because we are convinced that as surely as the rain never ends without a rainbow, our story doesn’t end without God turning it around for good.
Photography: Martesia Bezuidenhout
“ THE STEADFAST LOVE OF THE LORD NEVER CEASES; HIS MERCIES NEVER COME TO AN END; THEY ARE NEW EVERY MOR NING, GREAT IS YOUR FAITHFULNESS.” LAMENTATIONS 3:22-23
Photography: Sovrin Photography
MARRIAGE, MOTHERHOOD & THE MARKETPLACE KATRINA NEL 41
10 JUNE 2020, ANTON AND I WOULD HAVE BEEN
“vasbyt” as they say in Afrikaans. I was to stay.
married for 20 years. We are the proud parents of
My parents are not religious in any sense of the
two beautiful children. Brigitte our daughter (17),
word. There was no form of religion in our house
and Anton Jnr, our son (14)
- no church, no praying, no God, no Jesus Nothing. I was told the world started with a BIG
I grew up in a loving home, the eldest of three
BANG, and we evolved from Baboons. Somehow I
daughters, in a little town called Alicedale in
never believed that story. As a thirteen-year-old
the Eastern Cape. My father, a proud and very
girl, I cried out to God and asked for a friend. He
talented Afrikaner, married my mom, a fashion
answered my prayer, and to this day, my friend
designer from Munich, Germany, and ran a
and I still share a special bond. She invited me
successful textile mohair factory. I grew up in
to go to Christian gatherings every Wednesday
the business, watching and always helping my
called SCA, and that’s where I committed my
parents wherever I could. As a child, I would go
life to God. At fourteen, I got “Christened” in the
to the factory after school and answer the phone
Dutch reformed church with three other babies,
to take orders or take curious visitors through the
but I stood there alone before God committing
factory on tours to explain the different spinning,
my way to Him understanding and knowing I
weaving, or knitting machines. At sixteen, I would
was saved and born again, a child of God, a
set up and sell carpets, jerseys, and curtains
at different festivals or shows while my parents were working. I loved the business, I had a good
When I was fourteen, I met my husband, Anton.
understanding of how to hustle, and I knew the
We had a beautiful, loving relationship for ten
value of where money came from.
years before we got married. Anton loved God too, and he would often tell me stories from the
Although my parents always loved me, my
Old Testament, which I never knew because I
mom and dad used to fight a lot. Mostly about
didn’t have any background of the Word up until
business decisions that they would disagree on,
then. Reading the Bible was so interesting, a
but they had their fair share of fighting. Their
whole new world opened up for me. I’ve always
diverse backgrounds alone calls for sparks! Their
been creative and productive; I even made my
marriage was very much: you do your thing, and
own matric farewell dress and decided to study
I’ll do mine.
fashion design. I worked and travelled in Europe and Britain and worked in our family business
Going to high school meant I had to go from
before I got married. At twenty-three, I embarked
a small farm school in Alicedale to a big high
on a life on the farm Witmos with my school
school in Somerset East and stay in a hostel. I
didn’t know anyone; I was alone and afraid. I cried myself to sleep every night. I begged my
A few months into marriage, my world started to
mom to fetch me but realized that this was IT
fall apart. My independence was taken away,
and Anton wasn’t doing things MY way. My
to leadership gatherings in Jbay. Now we are
example of how to handle conflict was warped,
blessed to have Jacques and Nicky van Heerden
and Anton hated conflict. To fight with someone
as our pastors. I haven’t had any traumatic or
that doesn’t want to fight is impossible. I prayed,
out of the ordinary experience, but walking with
but my relationship with God was stale.
God, choosing Him, and going against the norm doesn’t make you popular in a small town. You
It all changed at a ladies’ camp where I met Holy
experience rejection. But, it’s been the best thing
Spirit and committed my life to be spirit led. He
for us, we’ve met so many amazing people in
gently convicted me of my wrongdoings, and I
church life that became family. One of the most
came home a changed woman. I’ve never been
valuable lessons that we have learned is to try
the same after that. I surrendered my will, and
and accurately represent and reflect Jesus by
I gave it all to Him. Anton and I were baptized,
being a disciple. In turn, you also make disciples -
and we had a hunger and thirst for Him that was
showing people to Jesus.
unquenchable. I was baptized in the Holy Spirit in my inner room while praying one morning. I
Sending my children to boarding school was
had peace that surpassed all understanding and
probably the hardest thing for me to do. My
the joy of the Lord all at once. When thinking
son wasn’t coping academically in his first year
back on the last twenty years of married life,
at our local school. I sat with a wooden spoon
I’ve asked myself what made it work? Without a
next to him while doing homework and realised
doubt, only by God’s Grace! We have learned to
that this was not God’s way. I was exhausted; I
fight fair. Never to be violent and always forgive
didn’t have the insight on how to help my son
one another, not as an option but as a rule. We
and cried out to God. He was so faithful in giving
would often ask each other spiritual questions
me a word for Anton Jnr. I put my son before
while fighting, “What do you think is the root
God and blindly trusted His word and sent Anton
cause of the way you are feeling right now?”
Jnr to boarding school the following year at the
or, “You are believing a lie, what does the Word
age of seven. It all went very well, and with his
say concerning this?” We have always been
positive demeanour, he has excelled. At the end
transparent and open, and if we couldn’t resolve
of his junior school, year he walked away with
a problem, we would phone our pastors and bring
two trophy awards. One Boarder of the year and
out the dirty washing!
the other the Public speaking award. He loves people, and he has grown into a fine young man
We joined Victory Family Church in Somerset East
with a heart after God.
under Hennie and Suzette Liebenberg, nineteen
years ago - they were parents to us in the spirit,
I always have a business project going. From
and we had great times together. We sat under
growing lavender plants to making biltong, I’ve
Louis and Edna Els’ amazing teachings whenever
even had a pie-making business. I started
we could and were privileged to be invited
my formal business ten years ago and named
it “SUNDAYCHILD.” The name “Sundaychild”
understatement. Until the lockdown, I was running
symbolises the Grace of God over my life, the
a lifelong marathon of juggling fifty balls wishing
blessing that comes my way not because of
for more hours in a day and more days in a
who I am but WHOSE I am. I know Father God
month. I needed the lockdown. It has brought me
only wants what’s best for me and has carried
to a BIG HALT. We are getting back to the things
me through all these years. Romans 8:26 best
that REALLY MATTER. God is using this situation
describes my life right now. “And we know [with
that the enemy has deemed for destruction to
great confidence] that God [who is deeply
work for the good of those that love Him – for His
concerned about us] causes all things to work
good. We have had the best family time during
together [as a plan] for good for those who love
lockdown. We have had the freedom of the farm,
God, to those who are called according to His
and I feel so blessed to have the kids home with
plan and purpose.” I started by making mohair
us. The house is busy and alive. We have had time
scarves, jackets, and throws. The business
to play games and go on picnics, go for walks
evolved into a clothing boutique in Port Alfred,
and pony rides just for fun. All because we have
where I design and make clothing on occasion
time. We take turns on a daily basis to share the
but also buy clothing, shoes, accessories, and
Word and break bread together, and until August,
swimwear from other designers. My Mom and I
I’m going to appreciate this precious commodity.
also have a business selling fashion and home
Redemption Time – bought with the precious
textile products made with natural fibres. We are
blood of Jesus.
launching our E-commerce business later this month as a mother daughter collaboration.
What is God saying to me in this time?
One of the most time consuming things in my
Psalm 25:14 [TPT], There’s a private place reserved
life has been driving to fetch kids, rushing
for the lovers of God, where they sit near him and
between sport commitments, or for Brigitte’s
receive the revelation-secrets of his promises.
weekly practices to support her love for horses and her dream to become part of our national
My advice to you is to make time to sit with Him
horse riding team. After many disappointments,
and let him whisper His secrets to you!
hours of practice, and a lot of perseverance,
Brigitte received her Protea colours last year and
Katrina and her family are part of the Victory
travelled to the US to represent her country. All
Church in Somerset East. She is an intergral part of
the Glory goes to Him.
We were so busy! Sundays, we would spend two hours to and from church. Monday mornings would start at 3:30 am to take kids back to School in the city. I put 50 000km on our vehicle every year! To say that I was overcommitted was an
HE HAS MADE EVERY THING BEAUTIFUL IN ITS TIME. HE HAS ALSO SET ETER NIT Y IN THE HUMAN HEART; YET NO ONE CAN FATHOM WHAT GOD HAS DONE FROM BEGINNING TO END.- ECCLESIASTES 3:11
Photography: Sovrin Photography
WEAR B Y A M A D E A YA C U M A K I S
LO U N G E W E A R Only a few ladies would admit it, but there is a certain trend that we’ve all secretly been hoping would make its debut in the fashion world. We put it on after a long day of work, when we have movie nights or on cold winter evenings with a cup of hot chocolate in our hands. You guessed it, trending at the moment is our good old sweat pants, tank tops and hoodies. It seems quite fitting that 2020 and all of its surprises would make this distant fashion dream come true. With 100+ days of living life in lock down, we have mastered the Loungewear look. Indoors? Favourite sweats and knitwear. Outdoors? Favourite sweats and knitwear dressed up with denim jackets, a pair of sneakers and ear rings. It’s not just comfortable, warm and practical but the fashion industry has turned these clothing items classy and chic. Today, Loungewear has a feminine touch with its flattering cuts, soft materials and neutral and pastel colours. So go for it girl, treat yourself and invest in a pair of sweats! We all know you won’t regret it. Photography: Pinterest
COCONUT PA N N A C OT TA
B Y A N N E G A L LO WAY
Panna Cotta is a delicious light and creamy dessert that is easy to make. There are so many different flavours, but one of our favourites is coconut, for that touch of summer. Top it with any toasted nuts or fresh fruit for added colour and texture. INGREDIENTS: •
62.5 ml water
300 ml heavy cream
8 ml unflavored gelatin
90 g granulated sugar
Mild vegetable oil, for the ramekins
400 ml coconut milk
Pour the water in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with the gelatin, and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 2 minutes.
Slick eight 120 ml ramekins with oil.
In a small saucepan over medium heat, heat the coconut milk, cream, sugar, and a pinch of salt until hot but not simmering. Add the softened gelatin mixture and stir until completely dissolved.
Divide the panna cotta among the prepared ramekins, straining it if desired. Place in a roasting pan, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours and preferably 12 hours.
Photography: unsplash.com Photography: unsplash.com