An invitation out of the blue

Posted by Mark Labuschagne on Friday, August 16, 2013
Chapter 3

After what seemed like ages, a friend of mine, Sidney Mannie who was the leader of the National Ministers Fellowship at the time, called me from Cape Town and asked me what I was doing and I explained that I was currently waiting on the Lord for direction and staying in Margate.  He asked a few other questions and then asked me if I would be able to come to Cape Town and spend some time with him. He also said he knew of someone that he would like to introduce me to, someone that he just felt would possibly be a good meeting.

Immediately, two things came to mind, one, this was an opportunity for me to get out of my environment and secondly, an opportunity to hear what others were doing in ministry. So, I had enough money to purchase a return ticket and made my arrangements to go. Andi and I both felt this was the right thing to do and so within a few days I was off. Sidney picked me up at the airport and took me to his lovely home in Muizenberg and we spent some quality time sharing with one another.

I can remember, it was the start of the winter season and it was still dark at seven in the morning. This was something we did not experience on the east coast. The fog was all over the place and I really enjoyed the experience. I was happy because this time it felt right. I felt as if I belonged and even though I was not sure why, I felt comfortable in my surroundings.

I called Andi to let her know how things were going and to hear her voice always encouraged me to press on and do the best I could, knowing that our lives were all about serving in His presence. Sidney had arranged that I meet a local pastor, which I did that same morning. I was grateful for the opportunity to meet with this pastor and I shared my heart with him and told him my situation and why I was in Cape Town.

He was compassionate and listened to my story, and for the first time, I felt that someone really cared and was extremely grateful for being granted the time. He went on to ask me if I would not want to move to Cape Town and that if so, I could become part of their church. Again, I was amazed by the invitation as no one else even listened to what I had to say, and here the door was been opened, no questions asked. I thanked him for his time and told him I would get back to him.
When I got into the car, I told Sidney what had happened, and we were both excited, here God had opened a door, one that I less had expected and in a few minutes had given us an opportunity that even I could not have put together, no matter how hard I tried. I called Andi all excitedly and explained what had happened and told her that a door had opened and I felt that we were moving to Cape Town.

When I received a prophetic word six months earlier, about us moving to Cape Town as a family, I never really took it in. I mean at the time, I received the word, but never thought in my wildest imagination that this was God’s plan all along. We looked far and wide and listened to everyone else and yet, it was one single word from God that we missed that actually had directed us to this city. It was only after we had moved and going through some boxes that we found the tape with the prophetic word telling us amongst other things that we were moving to Cape Town.

The following day, I was back on the plane to Durban and Andi picked me up at the airport and the one hundred and thirty kilometres back to Margate, we spoke about the invitation and the opportunity the Lord had given us to join with this pastor in Cape Town.

We both felt it was the right thing to do and the expectation level changed as a lot of things began to make sense. I would not have moved if Andi was not happy about it, even if the Lord wanted us to go, I would have waited for her to say yes before we left. But this was not necessary, she felt it was the right thing to do and so we were both in agreement and made our arrangements to go.

I called the pastor and told him that we accepted his invitation and asked that arrangements would be made for me to be picked up at the airport and if accommodation could be arranged for a few days as I obviously did not know the city, and was not sure where to stay until I had found my bearings.

I went ahead a purchased my one way ticket back to Cape Town a few days after all the arrangements were made and the plan was that as soon as I had sorted everything, together with Carey and Ryan, they would head on over. By this time, we only had our clothing and a few things packed in boxes. We had decided that once we were settled in the city, I would have the rest of our belongings shipped over.

I arrived the morning in the city, our new beginning had begun. I was graciously collected at the airport and taken to David Mac Donald's home, a prophet that was out of the country at the time and for three days I was able to stay in their home, the only problem was, I was dropped off and had no vehicle, no telephone and did not know where I was. So the first three days was not what I had expected, but nevertheless, I thought that as we had felt this was the Lord, that He would cause the next move to be very obvious.

While left to my own devises, I began to pray and ask the Lord where he wanted us to live. I reminded him that we had sold everything we had and would need at the very least a two bedroom, fully furnished home. The Lord immediately dropped a name into my spirit, one that I could not have put together, as I never even heard of the place before. I felt the Lord say we need to go to Melkbosstrand. I continued to pray and wait on the Lord for direction. Even though I was excited about what lay ahead, the attitude of the pastor that had initially invited me was different to what I had expected. In fact, when I confronted him about the way things were going down, his reaction was totally opposite to what I had anticipated.

I was picked up the Sunday morning for the morning service and introduced to the rest of the folks. The habit was that time before the service was spent with the leaders and it was here that I was to meet some of the folk from our new church. Of course it was all very new to me, but I enjoyed the service. I can remember that it was quiet cold, as we were in a school hall; I soon realized why everyone was wearing heavy coats. I never had one, and so asked the Lord if he could give me a coat. A while after Andi and the children arrived, a lady walked up to me and asked me if I would mind if she gave me a coat? Wow, I really felt blessed that even in a little thing like this; God heard my prayer and blessed me with a nice warm coat.

In those days, I felt as the pastor had asked me to come to Cape Town to be part of their church, that he meant part of the leadership. I soon learnt that I had misunderstood him and it made me wonder if we had in fact made the right move. I never had enough money to get back to Durban, in fact, the ten thousand Rand we had when we left Sasolburg had all but being depleted and I never had enough to go anywhere. I prayed about what I was experiencing and soon learnt a valuable lesson.

Most problems occur in any relationship in two main areas, these are: 1.Perception and 2. Expectation. Before I get myself into anything, I clearly lay these two things down. I have learnt to share what my expectations are and also to ask the other party the same thing and secondly, I have felt, if perceptions are not properly dealt with, things start heading south very quickly. From our original meeting, I had perceived that the pastor invited me to be part of the church leadership and that I was to be paid by the church. This was my understanding at the time and although I did not go into detail when we first met, I really believed this to be the case and so you can imagine when the pastor ignored me, and never took the time to sit down and discuss these things with me, I began to wonder what was actually going on.

At the time, when we got to sit and discuss these things, I told him that I had spent a lot of money to come to Cape Town based on our first meeting, believing that this was the Lord’s plan and questioned him about the position I thought I was to have in the church. The response I got, hit me by surprise as I never expected this from this pastor, and this because at our first encounter he seemed so different to what I just saw. His words rang out quiet clearly at the time and I soon realized although the initial meeting was something the Lord used to get me to move to the city, our relationship was not going to be very fruitful.

Monday afternoon, I asked the lady who picked me up at the airport to please take me to Melkbosstrand, and told her that I believed this is what the Lord wanted. As I never had a car, she immediately said, that Melkbosstrand was too far from the church and that I should look for something closer. Funny how, when God speaks, man will always have something to add or say about it. So, the result was we looked around the Milnerton area, to be “closer” to the church, but I just could not find suitable accommodation. That evening after being dropped off again, I asked the Lord what I should do as things in the first few days had gone completely wrong and I hoped that I had not messed up.

Andi was praying back home for me and together we were asking the Lord again to speak to our hearts. In the past, I had reacted impulsively, but learnt to share things with my wife first and if the two of us were in agreement, then we would act. This was the balance I needed in our relationship and it worked for us. Every time we were in agreement, we saw godly results.

Again, the Lord clearly told me to go to Melkbosstrand and when i told Andi this, she said, just do it and see what the lord does. The following morning, the lady came to pick me up as we had agreed the previous day and I asked her to please take me to Melkbosstrand. Reluctantly, she agreed. At the time, I think she was really thinking about us as we never had a car and she was concerned that we would be stuck out there. Nevertheless, I was adamant that we go as I heard God clearly on this matter.

I can remember as we came around the corner on the ocean drive, I saw these little roof tops above the tree line and just knew this was where we had to be. Remember, up and till this point, I had never been to this area and never even knew it existed. As we drove into the quaint little town, I saw an estate agency called Viljoen estates. We stopped outside and I walked into the office and told the lady that I was here to rent the two bedroom house that God had for us and I was wondering if she knew about the house that I was talking about for rent? I will never forget the look on her face. Her response was first one of bewilderment and then laughter. I had a smile on my face and with a slight nod, and asked her again. She turned towards the lady that was with me as if to get some sort of response from her side. “Is this a joke”, she asked. No I replied, and asked her why she thought it was. I told her the Lord has kept telling to me to come to Melkbosstrand and if she never had the house, then someone else did.
 
She looked at me at what felt like an eternity and then said, “Two minutes before you walked into my office, an Air force pilot came in and asked if I could rent out his two bedroom, fully furnished home and I thought you might have known each other, because there was no way that this could be possible. I turned to her and testified what we had gone through and how the Lord had lead me to this point in our lives and that he had been very specific about where we were to live.
Well, she proceeded to give me the keys and I went and had a look at the house. I was a quaint little place. It had everything we needed. The property was completely walled in and furnished, with all the appliances and bedding we needed. I called Andi and told her that I had found the place and she was excited to hear how God had put this together.
I went back to Tersia, who has subsequently become a good friend, and told her that we would take the place. She asked me to sit down for a moment while she prepared the paper work. She told me that she would draw up the documents and then submits it to the owner of the house and that she would have an answer for us by four that afternoon. I can remember going outside for a moment and asked the Lord in whose name should this contract be, because we never had the money. Even though it was only R1950 pm month, we never even had the deposit or the rental fees. Nevertheless, I heard the Holy Spirit clearly say, you sign the lease and I will take care of the rest.

I then and there knew that God had a greater plan for us and that meeting the pastor, coming to Cape Town and finding this home was all part of the Lord’s way of taking care of everything.  I called Andi after signing the lease and told her that she needed to pray because we needed to hear from the Lord and see God move on our behalf. The occupation date was set for the next morning as the house was not occupied by the owner.

At five minutes to four, Andi called me and said, “You will never guess what has happened”. I asked her, what? “The SARS (South African Receiver of Revenue) has just placed four thousand Rand into our account”.  What! I laughed, are you serious? “Yes”, she replied. We now had the deposit and were able to pay half a month’s rent, which we needed for the rest of the month. We both cried as the joy of the Lord came upon us. At exactly four the afternoon, five minutes later, the estate agent called to tell us the owner had agreed to the terms of the agreement and the house was ours.

The four thousand Rand was enough to pay the deposit, the balance of the month’s rental and three one way air line tickets for the three of them to get to Cape Town. Actually, this was another miracle, Andi purchased three one way tickets for three hundred rand each from Phoenix airways and the day after they landed, the airline declared bankruptcy, what an amazing God we serve. He is the God of the more than enough and we can truly testify that with God ALL things ARE possible.



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