a tribute to D E E HA R R I S 1957 - 2017
M O L LY C O L TA R T
K I M S O M M E RV I L L E
A N G E L A VA N D E R M E R V E
#10 CONTENTS T R I B U T E T O D E E 1
- Edna Els T R U S T T H R O U G H T H E PA I N
- Molly Coltart F E AT U R E S T O R Y
-Courtney Bell H E I S FA I T H F U L
- Angela van der Merve M Y S T O R Y
- Kim Sommerville B E I N G A S P I R I T U A L AT H L E T E
- Nikki Mocke W E A R & E AT
ÂŠ This publication is produced by Victory Media for me2 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 m e m b e r s o f Victory Church unless otherwise stated. This magazine is not 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 o n a n y o f t h e a r t i c l e s , d o n o t hesitate to email us at firstname.lastname@example.org Issue 10 -December 2017 me2mentoring.com // victorychurch.org.za
TRIBUTE TO DEE
HAVE YOU EVER PROCRASTINATED DOING something, not because you didn’t want to but because it was just too hard? Too soon? Too painful? Too...whatever your obstacle is? Well, this is one of those times for me. You may have noticed on our THIRTY ONE: Magazine cover that we are celebrating the life of our beloved Dee Harris, 1957-2017... too final. Our darling friend, Dee, went to be with Jesus on Saturday, 4th November 2017. Dearest Mark, Paul, Marilet, Rebecca, Waron, beautiful Seri, and little ‘grandees’—words are so inadequate to express how deeply sorry we are for your loss. Family was always top-priority for Dee, and she delighted in each one of you! Our hearts mourn with you, yet we know that Dee is now with the One she “loved with every fiber of her being,” as we heard her say countless times! Our friend, Dee, fought the good fight of faith, continually proclaiming the kindness of her Heavenly Father, and refusing to be a victim. She left this world ‘Much more than a conqueror,’ impacting the lives of everyone she came in contact with. Dee lived life with exuberance, yet she was incredibly sensitive to the needs of people around her. Her creed, “It’s more blessed to give than to receive,” was practically lived out every day,
to the extent that the nursing staff in ICU would sometimes wake her in the middle of the night to pray for a critically ill patient whom they thought wouldn’t make it. There was always someone asking her for counsel for a wayward son or a broken marriage. She loved pouring out the wisdom and counsel of God and watching Holy Spirit bring hope and transformation into broken lives. Always giving more of herself than required, our Diana wouldn’t hold back, especially when it came to giving her opinion. This made for many interesting situations—never a dull moment! “Wisdom waits” became a private joke between her and Louis when he would miss it and she’d admonish him strongly. :) And miss it we all did, but we would repent and ‘keep the issue the issue.’ Our friendship grew strong, and friends became family—caring, sharing, and praying for each other, and whichever of our kids needed a bit of extra help from heaven. As you know, Dee loved to extract principles from Proverbs at every opportunity and in every situation. She always taught us with great zeal and much laughter. LIFE WAS TO BE LIVED, AND FUN WAS TO BE HAD! Coming from Zimbabwe, Afrikaans was a foreign language to Dee, but she had a few choice words which she would use (out of context) to describe a song we were singing that she didn’t like all that much. This would result in
SHE LEFT THIS WORLD ‘MUCH MORE THAN A C O N Q U E R O R ,’ I M PA C T I N G THE LIVES OF E V E RYO N E SHE CAME IN C O N TAC T W I T H .
L I F E WA S
uncontrollable laughter. Thankfully, our laughter didn’t raise any eyebrows as it also coincided with the ‘Toronto Blessing.’ During that season,
TO BE LIVED, AND FUN WA S T O BE HAD!
we experienced an unprecedented move of God during the outpouring of the Spirit in 1994, and we were as excited as little children to see what extraordinary things God was doing in the Church that she loved so much! Dee’s passion for God, His Word, and loving people was the driving force in her life. And as we saw in the many tributes on her Facebook page, that passion impacted the lives of countless people for eternity. Mentoring and imparting wisdom to the next generation were also passions that fueled our Dee. She was instrumental in the foundation of Me2Mentoring back in 1999 as we started this journey together. “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” was not just a favorite verse but an authentic lifestyle that resulted in transformed lives and a rich legacy of Kingdom community. So, it’s time to say goodbye... Dearest Dee, we LOVE you so, and that will never be in the past tense. Thank you for a life well-lived, and no opportunity wasted. Thank you for telling me (and MANY others) countless times how much you LOVED us and what amazing friends we were. Thank you for allowing Him to multiply His love and kindness in and through you, and for spilling that love on all of us! Enjoy heaven till we meet again! Your forever friend,
A friend loves at all times, and a brother is b
born for a time of adversity. â€” Proverbs 17:17
Photography: Sherah Krause
MOLLYCOLTART Photography: Anne Galloway
WE HAD BEEN LIVING IN MAIDSTONE IN THE UK
“And we know that in all things God works for
for ten years, a happy unit of three: myself, my
the good of those who love Him, who have been
husband James, and my daughter Chloe. We had
called according to His purpose.”
experienced our fair share of difficulties, but none that hit us as hard as the trauma that came in
For years, I’d struggled with Chronic Fatigue
September 2016 when James was diagnosed with
Syndrome alongside digestive and ovary issues,
Acute Myeloid Leukaemia. As you can imagine,
and I relied much on James physically. Life often
this devastating news changed our lives forever.
felt like survival, so I was in a real place of crying out to God to bring change. I knew that we
Leukaemia is a blood disease that attacks the
were both created for so much more than we
white blood cells (the immune system). This
requires the patient to be hospitalised in isolation while they are receiving treatment. Little did we
We were a tight little unit, each playing a
know that the first treatment would keep him
valuable part in our family. With no relatives
there for four months. Thus started the harsh reality
close to us, our reliance and love for each
of the journey we would walk.
other were strong.
That’s where the powerful phrase, ‘But God,’
The Sunday before James’s diagnosis, we were at
comes in. There is no way that I can explain to
church, and I distinctly heard from God that it was
you in one article how much God has done in our
time to fight in prayer. That same day, someone
lives and is still doing through this journey. God
gave me a picture;
can, and is, bringing beauty from pain and life from ashes.
They saw me walking through a very dark valley where I couldn’t see much apart from massive
The process of walking through James’s
mountains overwhelming me on every side.
treatment, and his eventual death, has brought
However, God was with me. Beyond the valley
about a revelation of faith, a depth in my love for
stood Jesus with arms open wide, ready to
Jesus, knowing God is ever-present, and even in
embrace me. In this picture, I looked back and
the silence, seeing His hand. It has transformed
could see that the mountains had not overcome
our lives with a change in perspective. I now have
me because He was with me.
a deeper level of intimacy with God than I ever dreamed possible. There is undeniable truth in
At the time, I thought he was talking about my
Romans 8:28 that says,
health and the promise of freedom. Little did I
know that this vision, and the Scriptures Psalms 18
and He was faithful to speak to me through
and 118 would become our battle cry.
whatever I read or listened to.
As soon as we got the diagnosis, I vividly
At times, the pain and agony inside were so
remember driving to the hospital with a friend and
deep I would wail into my pillow, but then I would
crying out, “WHY, why does God require so much
sense a presence and peace like a soft blanket
sacrifice from me? How will I cope?” I was barely
come over me. If I woke in the night, words of
holding on. A million questions were bombarding
worship would fill my brain, and again I’d sense His
my brain at once... money, the house, the
business, Chloe, my health. It was too much to bear.
“He is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in Spirit.” Psalm 34:18
That night, struggling to sleep and fighting off panic attacks, I felt God say, “You can’t do it in
We went through eighteen months of extremes.
your own strength and alone—not without Me
James was in ICU four times, each time not sure if
by your side. I will be closer than you have ever
he would pull through. He went through a bone
marrow transplant, heart attack, intestinal trauma from the chemo, and procedures that made
I had a choice. I could push Him away and allow
my stomach turn. Combined with that, I carried
anger and resentment to take root, but I knew
the pressure of closing a business, dealing with
that I would sink. I had to be strong enough to
taxes, chasing money-owed, organising meals
support Chloe and be her security. I couldn’t fall
for James, selling vehicles, taking Chloe to school
apart. No, the only way I would survive this was
and after-school clubs, homework, being there for
to trust that He was going to uphold me, provide
her, and dealing with my own health issues.
for me, and see us through. God hadn’t caused this disease. I had to remember His promise that
Through the trials, God continued to show us
if “I trust Him with all my heart and lean not on
pictures of us being in the boat with Jesus. Even
my own understanding that He WOULD make our
when the storm raged, He was still steering. We
paths straight.” If I didn’t trust Him, I knew I would
knew that as long as we kept our eyes on Him,
we would be ok, but as soon as we looked at the storm, we would sink. Time and time again, we
Sleep was difficult, and panic and fear would
would hear bad news which would shake us to
grip me each morning as I checked for phone
the core, but when we’d come back to the truth
messages. It was a challenge to put my feet on
and perspective of His Word, He would pull us
the floor and face the day, to meet Chloe with
a smile, to love and support. But God was there,
THROUGH THE TRIALS, GOD CONTINUED TO SHOW US PICTURES OF US BEING IN THE BOAT WITH JESUS. EVEN WHEN THE STORM RAGED, HE WAS STILL STEERING.
Looking back now, I know that none of that was
beyond belief. Sadly, he wasn’t healed. Once
possible in our own strength—God was, and is,
again, all the questions arose, and the choice to
carrying us. James held onto God with everything
trust God had to kick in.
in Him. He never complained or was angry, and he faced every fear and procedure possible with
It’s been five months since James passed, and
such courage. God was all over him, and I was so
not a day goes by that I don’t miss him and wish
encouraged to see God sustaining him. If James
he was here. I sit here today with tears in my eyes,
had chosen to hate or be bitter, it would have
not just because of the pain of my loss, but also
torn my heart in two.
because God has sustained and strengthened us through that loss. He has been so kind and loving,
Herein lies the crux of my testimony; GOD WAS,
even when I’ve mistrusted His intentions. Even in
AND IS, BECOMING MORE REAL TO US EVERY
the midst of pain, He has shown His goodness and
DAY… even in the midst of fear, pain, agony,
faithfulness to me and has taught me how to see
helplessness, stress, and anxiety.
life from His perspective.
For the first time, I truly see the love He has for me;
Life is fragile—every day an opportunity for us
not a love that punishes or hurts or requires us to
to allow God to mould and shape us to impact
be perfect, but a love greater than a parent has
this earth with His love and power. I have seen
for a child. Just as I was doing everything to be
how He has held Chloe so tightly, and lovingly
what Chloe needed, God was being everything I
caressed her heart. My greatest worry was that
needed. He fights for us, has our back, and what
she would be bitter towards Him. However, last
the enemy sought for destruction, He uses to bring
week she asked me if she could give her heart to
good. My eyes are opening to a LOVE that never
Jesus, and is now reading His Word daily. What an
fails (1 Corinthians 13)!
incredible love God has for us!
Love requires choice—it requires relationship.
This is a new chapter that God has for us, one
He won’t force us to let Him in, but if we do,
where He is becoming our ‘All in All.’ n
He assures us that we will never have to face anything alone! That choice was about to be tested once again. Until James’s last breath, we (and people around the world) believed and interceded for his healing. That in itself brings pain and agony
EVEN IN THE MIDST OF PAIN, HE HAS SHOWN HIS GOODNESS AND FAITHFULNESS TO ME AND HAS TAUGHT ME HOW TO SEE LIFE FROM HIS PERSPECTIVE.
She opens her mouth with wisdom, And on her tongue is the law of kindness.
Photography: Shefa photography
Photography: Sherah Krause
IF I KNOW ANYTHING ABOUT GOD SO FAR, ITâ€™S THAT HE CAN TRULY TRANSFORM ANYONE! Growing up, I had a loving family, but I did not know God. It seemed as though the enemy had set out to destroy me from the time that I was a little girl. Being sexually abused was the beginning of years of shame, fear, loneliness, and a quest for counterfeit expressions of love. A gaping hole in my heart grew, and I began to believe lies that told me I was worthless and unlovable. Soon, alcohol, drugs, and guys became the sweet relief from my secret pain. But at fifteen years old, I got pregnant and felt like a complete failure. I didnâ€™t even think twice about any other option; I just needed this problem to be gone, so I had an abortion. I cried for many nights after all of that, unable to put into words the pain that I felt. It was as if my very being had ripped apart into unsalvageable pieces. I felt empty and needed to drown my agony.
The second time I got pregnant, I was eighteen
My heart began to yearn for more freedom, and I
and announced to everyone I was keeping this
suddenly had an overwhelming desire for something
baby because I refused to go through the same
more than the ‘higher power’ I had created for
heartache I’d experienced with the first. But within
myself through Alcoholics Anonymous. I decided
days, the fear of being a single mom terrified me so
to move to Ireland on a bit of a whim, and I met a
much that I had another abortion. After that, I just
young girl there who loved Jesus wholeheartedly. We
became numb and used even more alcohol, drugs,
would talk for hours about God. I told her all of the
and sex just to survive the torment going on inside
things in Christianity that I didn’t believe in, and she
patiently discipled me toward the truth.
I eventually decided to end my life. I don’t know
I missed home desperately but knew I couldn’t
if I really wanted to die, or if it was the only way to
leave—something compelled me to stay. It was like
be heard—the proverbial scream in a room full of
someone was saying,
people. My second suicide attempt was more violent than the first. I had hit rock bottom and decided I’d
“Come away with Me, away from the noise of your
life, away from who you think you need to be. Give yourself to Me, and I will give you rest.”
With the help of family and friends, I began a long
journey toward recovery. I sobered up, went back
It was the most terrifyingly wonderful feeling I had
to university, and worked out incessantly. After five
ever experienced! It felt like this force was after me
years of this and feeling completely exhausted, I
with a vengeance toward anything that had ever
started to feel that there must be more to life than all
tried to destroy me. It was a love different than all
of this hard work. The pressure to be perfect weighed
the counterfeits I had encountered. It was so foreign
me down on a daily basis. Little did I know that
to me that, at times, I just wanted to hide from it.
people were praying for me to know Jesus, and as I
Eventually, I woke up one day and said the simplest
look back, it’s clear that Jesus had increasingly been
prayer: “God, I don’t understand any of this, but I
surrender to You.”
I STARTED TO FEEL THAT THERE MUST BE MORE TO LIFE THAN ALL OF THIS HARD WORK. THE PRESSURE TO BE PERFECT WEIGHED ME DOWN ON A DAILY BASIS
“IT WAS A LOVE DIFFERENT THAN ALL THE COUNTERFEITS I HAD ENCOUNTERED.”
Shortly after, I read through the book of Matthew. I
In other ways, God’s healing came through a
read about how people tortured and shamed Jesus.
process of surrendering to His ways—a string of
I read about how He was whipped, mocked, and
moments all adding up to a journey of
hung on a cross to die. Tears streamed down my
• Inviting God’s presence to wash over me, time and
face, and I realized at that moment that this was real. My eyes had opened to the Truth—Jesus was real, and He died for me, not because of anything I had done but simply because He loved me and wanted me.
time again, • Allowing the Word of God and His Truth to renew my mind and set me free, and •Taking steps of obedience to my Heavenly Father’s voice as I trusted Him with my broken heart.
It felt like I had fallen in love for the first time and had
I now know God as my Father who is perfect in all His
encountered fresh new life and rest in my heart. This
ways. He has allowed me to complete my Masters
love ran deep and mysterious, like someone had just
in Counseling so that I can help young girls whose
let me in on the most amazing secret of all time!
hearts hurt as much as mine had. He has invited me to lead the children’s ministry at our church so that I
Since then, God has done an amazing work in
can teach young children about this wonderful Jesus
my life. In some ways, He has healed my heart
I never knew as a child. He has even blessed me with
instantaneously—these were inexplicable and
a husband who loves me and reflects the Father to
sudden moments where God’s healing power
me on a daily basis.
came in contact with years of heartache. He brought instant forgiveness, love, and healing that
My life is definitely not perfect, but HE IS! And that
transformed old memories into a peace I could
has proven to be more than enough for me as I’ve
never have received from years of counseling.
encountered the One who saves, redeems, and makes whole! Courntey is married to Daniel and lives in Calgary, Canada. Part of Life Connection Church, thriving in me2 mentoring and the young adults community.
AS IRON S HARP ENS S O A M AN S HARP E COUNTENANC E OF HIS F P ROV
S I RO N, EN S T H E FRI E N D. E R BS 2 7 : 1 7
Photography: Sherah Krause
ANGELA VA N D E R M E R W E
MY HUSBAND AND I MET THROUGH WORK.
When we started talking about the possibility of
I wasn’t saved at the time, and I knew he was
getting married, there were a few values that
a Christian, but that wasn’t so important to me.
were important to him, one of which was that I be
One day, he invited me to go to church with him.
saved and have a living relationship with Christ.
I eventually agreed to go, on the condition that
It was by no means an ultimatum; it was simply a
we sit right at the back so we could leave if I felt
discussion about what we will value as a married
I remember that Sunday so well. One of the elders
I started asking him more and more questions
was preaching about finances, and the message
about God, their relationship, and how it all works.
was so real for me. I was fascinated to see how he
I always say, “He loved me to salvation.” He
connected a modern-day problem to the Bible.
never Bible-bashed me. He never interfered in my
I’d always regarded the Bible as a storybook of
relationship with God. He let the two of us grow
‘the olden days,’ not as an encyclopaedia of
in our own time, knowing that God knew what I
answers for today. I was sold! I felt at home and
needed and when I needed it.
couldn’t wait to come back the following week. Once I got saved, things around me starting This handsome man who took me to church with
changing. Our relationship changed, friendships
him (and who would eventually become my
changed, and the challenges changed too.
husband) was a successful businessman who had
Once we decided to get married, our plans
everything going for him. A couple of months
just fell into place. We were blessed in ways we
into our relationship, his business partner ‘pulled
could never imagine, from a free photographer
the plug’ on their business. He lost just about
to a free wedding cake. The blessings just kept
everything. I remember asking myself, “But he
is a Christian… how could this happen?” I soon realised that this was not God’s wish for him.
I was trusting God for one thing in particular
People make poor choices and bad decisions
which was to go into my marriage debt-free. A
which impact people’s lives around them. It’s
month before the wedding, I got my tax rebate
how you chose to deal with the effects of those
which enabled me to settle all my debt and pay
decisions that can make or break you.
for my wedding dress. God just kept on giving, and I couldn’t understand why. What did I do to
Watching him survive the financial loss and seeing
deserve all this?
his attitude towards life, people, and business was amazing for me. I soon realised that despite
It was about this time that I started walking a road
what happened, he loved God and God loved
with my spiritual mom and mentor. She taught me
him. How he got back up, dusted himself off, and
so much about accountability,
moved on was remarkable. I realised then it was
• what to leave behind and what to take into my
only because of his relationship with God.
WHEN YOU CHOOSE TO LOOK FOR T H E POSIT I V E I N A TOU G H SITUATI ON, GOD WI LL SHOW YOU. H E IS FAIT HF ULรณ YOU JUST HAVE TO K EEP YOU R EY ES F OC U S E D ON HI M.
• how to get rid of the burdens I was carrying,
God is always there in the waiting.
• and so much more about life, married life, and my new life with God.
We struggled again for three and a half years to fall pregnant with our second child. It was a long,
I cannot begin to describe the value of
hard journey with God. It was challenging for us
accountable relationships and how God sets us
as a couple too. There were some days when he
up for success through them.
was low, and other days when I was low, but the encouragement God gave us along that journey
I also joined Me2 Mentoring during this time,
and it really was life-changing. It has become part of my spiritual DNA, and I can’t imagine life
When you choose to look for the positive in a
without it. I was sceptical at first, but once I got
tough situation, God will show you. He is faithful—
started, I loved it. Every year has been different,
you just have to keep your eyes focused on Him.
new friendships formed. I quickly learned that
We received amazing promises and prophecies
everyone has issues, dreams, and aspirations, and
during the waiting, things we could cling to when
when you make yourself vulnerable to the women
the enemy tried his tricks.
in the group, God can use them to help you grow. Watching ladies grow and supporting them is an
Our baby girl is due in January 2018, and we are
When I look back now on my life, I see God’s
In hindsight, I found my intimacy with God in the
hand in so many places. He was there with me
waiting, and I would do it all again in a heartbeat.
whether I knew it or not. He was there whether I
What I discovered with Him is more precious to me
acknowledged Him or not. He protected me in so
many situations without me even realising it. Has my journey with God always been sunshine Life hasn’t always been easy—marriage isn’t
and roses? No, not at all. But has it been worth
always easy. It takes hard work and constant
it? Oh, for sure! He loves me and blows my mind
care. We tried for a year to fall pregnant with our
every day. He is the best decision I’ve ever
first child. I sometimes asked myself, “What have
we done wrong? Why are we being punished?” But on the day we finally discovered we were
Anglea and her family live in Durbanville, South
pregnant, I realised that time means nothing. Our
African. She is part of the bubbling me2 mentoring
joy was so overwhelming that we almost forgot
ministry at Oakhill Church.
about the pain in the waiting.
A GENEROUS PERSON WILL PROSPER;
W H O E V E R R E F R E S H E S OT H E R S W I L L B E REFRESHED. P R OV E R B S 1 1 : 2 5
Photography: Shefa Photograpy
KIM / sommerville
I WAS BORN AND RAISED IN A CONSERVATIVE
champions; God was no longer needed. I turned
Christian family. I learned about the Bible,
to drinking, drugs, and sex. A year later, I hit rock
memorized Scriptures, and was educated in the
bottom and realized I needed out of this lifestyle.
doctrines of the church. I understood the theory of
So, I packed my things and moved back in with my
God, but not a relationship with Him. Prayer was
parents temporarily, and then moved to a different
only something you did before meals, at bedtime,
or at church. But even with just a head knowledge of God, He placed missions on my heart from a
In my brokenness, I soon began dating my friend,
very young age.
Rob. I had known him since high school. He was safe, and also was a little broken, so it seemed like
Shortly after graduating from High School, I went
a good fit. Two years later, we decided to
on my first mission’s trip with YWAM. It was the first
time that I had really experienced Father, and we formed a relationship that I didn’t know existed.
In the first eleven years of marriage, we
It was a time of growth and development where
accomplished a lot. I got a business degree, Rob
I knew God as a Father that I could fully trust and
changed careers, and we moved between cities
rely on. He was speaking to me and through me,
and into multiple homes. We’d attended many
and it was such an exciting place to be.
different churches, but never had a relationship with God. We had three kiddos and three
Shortly after returning from missions, I was raped.
I was only nineteen years old and my world shattered. Truthfully, at that moment, I no longer
We appeared to be a happy couple, but we
wanted God to be part of my life. I was angry
weren’t happy at all. Our marriage was marked
and so very hurt. I’d been a good girl, served
with emotional and verbal abuse, and I walked on
on a mission team, was a virgin saving myself
pins and needles, worried about the next blow-up.
for marriage, and it was all taken from me. God
I felt belittled and worthless, and a protector of
wouldn’t hold a true place in my life for a very
my kids. In fact, I felt safer and more secure when
Rob was gone than when he was home. I couldn’t continue living this way, but Rob told me he would
My initial thought was, “God was supposed to
never go to counseling. That was the moment I
protect me. How could He allow harm to come
emotionally exited our marriage, although it would
to me?” I lost the revelation of who God was, and
take another two years before I had the courage
I turned to counterfeit measures to fill the void
to leave physically.
and the hurt. I found friends who knew what had happened and they became my protectors and
I could no longer be the shell of a person I had
Photography: Marissa McCann
become and was desperate for change. So, the
Then she asked, “Have you ever asked God what
kids and I moved in with my parents, and I pursued
He wants for your marriage?” My response was,
my dream of getting my nursing degree. For the
“No, I can’t ask God because I can’t go back to
first time in a long time, I started to take care of
the way things were.” She said God would NEVER
myself. I worked out, went to school, made new
ask me to go back to way things were—I just
friends. I felt smart, valuable, attractive, loved, and
needed to trust Him.
on my way to being self-sufficient. I had become a strong woman who walked away from a horrible
Later, while I was alone in my car, God showed me
situation and was doing really well.
how much pride and doubt I had in my heart. I asked questions like, “How can I go back? I’m the
And yet, through our three-year separation, Rob
one who left. Everyone will think I’m crazy. Can
never gave up on our marriage. He found a
You really change someone that drastically?” God
church family in the Life Connection Church in
showed me all the anger and hurt I had towards
Calgary, and they believed with him and prayed
Rob. He showed me that I needed to forgive and
for our marriage the entire time. I desperately tried
to get legal agreements in place for our separation and divorce, but God had other things in mind.
I will never forget the first time I saw Rob after that encounter with God. God had changed my heart,
We were days away from finalizing the paperwork
and I saw Rob through His eyes, not my human
when I attended a friend’s wedding. God used
eyes filled with hurt and anger. I saw a changed
some sweet moments within that wedding to make
man. I asked Rob many of the same questions I’d
me long for a Godly relationship like theirs, and to
been asking him for the past three years, about
want the happy ending of “until death do us part.”
who he was and who he had become.
But I was fighting hard… after all, I was happy and successful now.
The question that changed everything for me was, “Why did you hold on for so long?” He simply
At the wedding, I had a conversation with a friend
replied, “A true love for you.” I looked at Rob and
that changed the course of my life. We were
no longer saw things through the lens of hurt—I
talking about the impending divorce, and I was
had truly forgiven him.
trying to convince her that I was doing great.
She then asked, “Have you ever truly forgiven
We began to date again, went to counseling, and
Rob?” I replied, “Of course… I am happy and
figured out life together. But truthfully, from the
content with my life. Yes, there are moments that
moment I saw him through new eyes, God had
he aggravates me, but I’m not angry with him
healed our marriage. Within four months, we were
living together as a family again.
I had become a strong woman who walked away from a horrible situation and was doing really well. And yet, through our three-year separation, Rob never gave up on our marriage.
We’ve been back together for four years now
can see God’s faithfulness throughout our story,
and will celebrate our 18th wedding anniversary
but it isn’t the circumstances that bring hope.
in August. We have seen so many incredible shifts within our marriage and family because God is
Hope comes from God and God alone.
the center. Our kids understand to the core of their beings that miracles are possible and God can
Romans 15:3 says, “May the God of hope fill you
change lives. We have seen our kids go from angry
with all joy and peace as you trust in Him. So that
and hurt, struggling with issues of abandonment
you may overflow with hope by the power of the
and separation, to kids who are filled with joy
and love. God has shifted so much. Where we used to lack, we are excelling whether it be in
Throughout my story, even when I didn’t know
communication, respect, friendship, being better
what tomorrow held, I gained strength through the
people, cleaving to each other, and above all,
tears because I understood that
loving each other for the people we are, not the
• Jesus bore the biggest heartache on the cross
people we think should be.
and grieves right along with us. • God held our fragile baby before she entered
But even with all the great moments over the past four years, we’ve also been through some of the hardest moments we’ve ever faced. We had an early miscarriage, an ectopic pregnancy which required emergency surgery, and we lost a baby at 15 weeks. That’s enough heartache to tear anyone apart, and let me tell you, that was a huge fear of mine.
this world, and I know He holds and comforts us in our most fragile moments. • Our timeline doesn’t always fit with God’s season, and we just need to trust Him. • I have gained compassion for those going through loss, along with a desire to make sure people don’t feel alone through their journey. • And I love a little deeper from all the times we needed others to pray for us because we didn’t
And yet, we have come through it stronger. We
have the words to pray for ourselves.
have a deep understanding that we can’t live our life in fear, but rather through God’s grace and
I have no doubt that God is good, He does good,
hope. While we were still pregnant with the baby
and He is faithful! n
that we lost at 15 weeks, we gave a testimony that our story is one of HOPE. After the loss, we
Kim and her family is part of Life Connection
realized that we had it wrong. I was looking at the
Church in Calgary, Canada.
pregnancy as the source of hope, especially after the separation and all the losses. It’s true that you
And yet, we have come through it stronger. We have a deep understanding that we canâ€™t live our life in fear, but rather through Godâ€™s grace and hope.
DAU G HT E R S
H AV E
EXC E L
T H E M A L L .î C H A R M I S D E C E IT F U L A N D B E AUT Y I S PAS S I N G, B UT A WO M A N W HO F E A R S T H E LO R D, S H E S H A L L B E P RA I S E D.î
P R OV E R B S 3 1 : 2 9 - 3 0
Photography: Nicole Honeywill
MY NAME IS NIKKI MOCKE.
Don’t be scared to dream BIG! God gives you
I live in the beautiful coastal town of Fish Hoek,
those big ideas, and then He gives you the desires
Cape Town, with my hunky husband, two children
of your heart. In the beginning, I was too shy even
(8 and 5 years old), three dogs and a cat. I have
to say “Olympics” without blushing. The goal
the privilege of calling Victory Cape Town my
seemed enormous, but I needed to live like it’s
church for nineteen years.
going to happen.
I went to the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and came
Never put yourself or God in a box. He is bigger and
7th in the K4 500m (K = Kayak, 4 = 4 girls in one
better and has the wildest, coolest ideas for you.
Kayak, 500m = the distance of the race). But my journey started some time before that and has
2. When you get there, it’s tough!
been about so much more than just kayaking or the Olympics.
We trained hard and sacrificed a lot. Words can’t adequately describe what an athlete goes
Here are my top 5 Most Valuable Lessons that I
through to get to the Olympics. It was much
have learnt along the way.
harder than it looked like physically, emotionally, financially, relationally, and in every area of life.
1. L ive like it’s happening – don’t be shy! Don’t get a fright if you thought it was going to Eight years before the Olympics, God gave
be easy just because you were doing it for God.
Dawid (my husband) and I an Olympic dream. He
Even though God is on your side, it’s TOUGH and
planted this idea and seed in our heart. I was a
that’s ok. When you get the promotion, become
very keen paddler—Lifesaver, Surfski paddler, and
the CEO, qualify as a pilot, or land your dream
Marathon canoe paddler—but Olympic sprint
job, the reality is you still have to work hard. You
kayaking was something I hadn’t done before.
now have a whole new set of challenges to face. You have to stop looking around and wishing you
We took a giant step of faith and decided to live
were someone or somewhere else.
like it was happening! It wasn’t an easy or obvious decision, and there were many obstacles, doubts,
We worked hard, ridiculously hard. We trained
and sacrifices along the way.
at least five hours a day and spent more time at training camps in strange countries than at
We bravely ordered and bought a sprint kayak,
home. We were all-consumed by qualifying for
found out when South Africa Champs was
the Olympics at the World Championships. We
scheduled, and moved to a house on the Marina
eventually qualified by 0.02 of a second (not
to make training as convenient as possible.
1.00 second but 0.02 of a second). That’s what separated us from going or staying!
This was my theme song for almost ten years on
comes when you don’t win, or you get injured,
my Olympic journey:
or you stop competing. Who are you then?
Give me one pure and holy passion, Give me
You have to remember that your existence is not
one magnificent obsession, Give me one glorious
based on your performance. It’s not about who
ambition for my life, To know and follow hard
you are but whose you are.
after You. 4. A gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you To grow as your disciple in your truth, This world
can’t be enough WITHOUT it, you will never be
is empty, pale, and poor, Compared to knowing
enough WITH it.
you, my Lord, Lead me on, and I will run after you! The Olympic village is an experience like none If you KNOW that God is leading you, nothing is
other—free goods, famous athletes, masses
of nervous energy, a phenomenal amount of emotion, and of course, the constant state of
3. Your existence isn’t based on your performance.
adrenalin your body is in knowing your time is coming. Everything you have sacrificed and
There has to be (and there is) more to you than
trained for meets at this very point.
just performance. Your value isn’t found in what you do, and the world is not better off without you
This quote from the movie “Cool Runnings”
if you don’t win.
changed my life and became my Olympic motto: “A Gold medal is a wonderful thing, but if you
When you are an athlete, your body is your tool,
can’t be enough without it, you will never be
your weapon, and you start to think of yourself in
enough with it.”
the 3rd person. For example, “My body feels tired. My body needs some food,” and so on. It’s very
Isn’t that so true? So simple? So like Jesus?
easy to become obsessed with how your body
Friendships and meaningful conversations all
is feeling, and in turn, believe that you ARE your
matter. You can change someone’s life on the
body and only exist because of what you can DO.
bus, at your office, or just by continually showing love. Whatever sphere you find yourself in, use
When an athlete is getting their body to certain
every small opportunity to be meaningful and
targets, goals, or events, it is only natural for their
intentional with your time. This will have a lasting
expectations, conversations, social life, calendar,
and priorities to be singularly focused. In fact, they
can become so focused that they start to believe
People are seldom satisfied. Human nature
that they are only good enough to do that one
wants more—more money, a better car, bigger
thing. For me, it was to paddle. The problem
house, to be thinner, faster, fitter. At the Olympics,
“A GOLD MEDAL IS A WONDERFUL THING, BUT IF YOU CAN’T BE ENOUGH WITHOUT IT, YOU WILL NEVER BE ENOUGH WITH IT.”
I realized that I was ‘thin,’ fast, fit, with all the
Paul likens our life here on earth to that of an
outward glory a person could want, but I still felt
the same inside… inadequate, unfit, struggling to achieve one more goal. I’d made it to the
“Don’t you realize that in a race everyone runs,
Olympics but had more insecurities than ever
but only one person gets the prize? So, run to win!
before. If I wasn’t satisfied with my body, abilities,
All athletes are disciplined in their training. They
and achievements at the OLYMPICS, I realized I
do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we
never would be.
do it for an eternal prize. So, I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I
Don’t chase the wind; you’ll never catch it.
discipline my body like an athlete, training it to
You can’t even see it. You just feel it. Don’t
do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after
box aimlessly into the air. That’s how the Bible
preaching to others I myself might be disqualified”
describes never been satisfied.
(1 Corinthians 9:24-27 NLT).
5. For me, a win is a changed life.
“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith,
When I look back at my Olympic journey, I don’t
let us strip off every weight that slows us down,
see value in results, dusty trophies, and the
especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And
achievement of being a paddler. I see true value
let us run with endurance the race God has set
in friendships filled with love and integrity that last
before us. We do this by keeping our eyes on
Jesus, the champion who initiates and perfects our faith” (Hebrews 12:1-2b NLT).
Practically, all I have to show for my Olympic journey is an old box of dusty medals and trophies
I challenge you to live as a spiritual athlete—on
that are stuck in the attic. What you can’t see are
purpose, totally satisfied with who you are, being
the friendships, experiences, character building,
led 100% by our God! n
crucial conversations, and changed lives I gathered along the way.
Nikki, along with her husband and children are based in Cape Town, South Africa, part
You need to be able to define a ‘win’ in your
of Fishhoek Victory Church.
everyday life. What does a win look like to you? Sometimes you have a good race/bad result, OR a bad race/good result. You don’t always get what you deserve because God has got you on a unique journey.
THE FEAR OF T H E LO R D I S T H E B EG I N N I N G O F WISDOM, AND THE K N OW L E D G E O F T H E H O LY O N E I S U N D E R STA N D I N G. P R OV E R B S 9 : 1 0
Photography: Nicole Honeywill
WEAR BY NICOLE HONEYWILL
EMBROIDERY How stunning is this trend? Rather than reminding you of your grandmothers’ ratty sofa cushions they draw their roots from bright and bold bohemian culture! It’s taken folk culture and made it so effortless. It is literally perfect for any occasion! Want to wear it to work? A button up with embroidered flowers on the lapel sounds perfect right? Running out to the store in the freezing weather? How about embroidery on your jeans? Heading to the beach on that perfect day? How about a embroidered dress? You’ll be the talk of the town. Whether you’re 16 or 61 this trend is absolutely perfect for you. Be brave and be embroidered.
HUSBAND’S CHEWEY GOOEY BROWNIES
B Y A N N E G A L LO WAY
The baker in our family is my husband Craig. He loves to bake and his go to crowd favourite is his chocolate brownies. Now these brownies have a reputation of being the perfect combination of chewey edges, soft gooey centers and melted dark chocolate bits for that extra decadance. Serve it warm or cold with icecram. it will not disappoint.
INGREDIENTS: (8-12 (IT’S DECADENT!) •
2.5 cups of sugar
1.75 cups of flour
1 cup of butter
4 heaped tablespoons of cocoa powder
1 teaspoon of vanilla essence`
Pinch of salt
4 large eggs
Slab of dark choclate
Mix sugar, butter and Vanilla essence together. Then beat in 4 large eggs, one egg at a time. That is the wet mixture, set aside.
Sift flour, cocoa powder and salt together together. That is the dry mixture.
Fold the dry mixture into the wet mixture.
Add a large slab of dark chocolate, roughly chopped.
Pour into a greased oven dish. Bake at 180 degrees Celsius for 30-40 minutes
Take out of oven and set aside to cool.
Serve warm with cream or icecream
Photography: Unsplash Photography: unsplash.com
Victory Church, Jeffreys Bay