THIRTY ONE: Issue 15

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EDNA ELS

ISSUE FIFTEEN

J E N N A VA N D E R W E S T H U I Z E N

ME2 MAGAZINE

ANTOINETTE SERFONTEIN

LAURA BIRCH

JUDY SCHELLINGERHOUT

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

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- 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

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- Laura Birch F E AT U R E S T O R Y

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- 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

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- Katrina Nel W E A R & E AT

Š 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 me2@victorychurch.org.za Issue 15 - August 2020 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za Cover Photography: Anne Galloway

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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

you in?

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

Edna

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).

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POWERNOTE FROM EDNA

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“ 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

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ANTOINETTE SERFONTEIN

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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

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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

(Proverbs 22:6).

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

diligent learners.

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

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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 DON’T HAVE THE ANSWER OR SOLUTION TO A CERTAIN ISSUE, BUT LET US PRAY TOGETHER AND ASK THE ONE THAT DOES KNOW.

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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.

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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

(Isaiah 63:7).”

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,

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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…

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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

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Photography: Sovrin Photography

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LAURA BIRCH

NAVIGATING LIFE IN SEASONS OF CHANGE

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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

Isaiah 28:16

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

Psalm 63:8

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

without him.

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

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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

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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

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“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.”

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Photography: Impact Studio


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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

John 14:27

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

Hebrews 13:5-6

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.

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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

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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

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Jenna van der Westhuizen

MY STORY OF BECOMING THE NEW ME 24


Kaylee’s 2nd birthday party. Two days before my sudden cardiac arrest.

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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

beating.

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,

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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

August 2017.

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.

to help.

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

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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 couldn’t remember a lot of things – I still remembered His Word.

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...“ 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.

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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.

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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

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J U DY SCHELLINGERHOUT Dancing in the Rain

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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

and paralysis.

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

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Choosing to bury your pain (and fears) is not faith at all. It’s a lack of faith and hope because it means we feel that God can’t heal our broken hearts.

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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

this pandemic?”)

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

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“ 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

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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

“SUNDAYCHILD.”

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

sweetheart.

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,

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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

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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


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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.

that community.

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

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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

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Photography: Sovrin Photography

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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

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EAT

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

Pinch salt

METHOD: 1.

Pour the water in a shallow bowl, sprinkle with the gelatin, and let stand until the gelatin softens, about 2 minutes.

2.

Slick eight 120 ml ramekins with oil.

3.

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.

4.

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.

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Photography: unsplash.com Photography: unsplash.com

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