I was a small child when I wondered why some brides enter the church with the veil covering their face. What did that symbolize? Then someone said to me, "It actually means you are pure, not even a kiss." How I wished that I could marry in such a way. It seemed impossible. I thank God for parents that taught us that a relationship should be taken seriously and be of a lasting nature, not flippant and fleeting. That protected me through my years as a child and a teen and kept me from many a temptation and heartache. I often wondered if there was a way one could marry in absolute purity - not even a kiss.
When I was 16 years of age I was given the opportunity to visit Kwasizabantu for 4 weeks. The first Sunday was a wedding. I was so surprised when it was said in the service, "This is the first time this couple is holding hands!" I couldn't believe what I was hearing...was this possible? Here was a couple that was absolutely pure!! I knew that God had brought me from Australia just to witness this. It was like a light that dawned in the darkness of my own heart. It brought joy and freedom. Despite many temptations and challenges, due to the wickedness of my own heart this high standard of purity was a protection to me and I endeavored to keep it no matter what the cost until God would lead me to the man He had ordained to be my husband. Six years later I received a proposal. I was in Australia and Ian in South Africa. We had no contact. He never tried to flirt with me even during my visits to South Africa. I was able to pray without being emotionally attached, without any pressure or influences from anyone. It was a decision between God and myself. After much prayer and seeking God's will, I had absolute peace within my own heart and I replied with a "Yes."
Five months later, on our wedding, was the first time we held hands. As I took his arm at the altar I experienced a deep love for him and such joy! It has been a strong foundation and remained with me through sunshine and rain. Twenty seven years later when I reflect back, I can only say, "God's way is the best way!" He knew what I needed!!
Ian being a full time co-worker at Kwasizabantu and living in U.Erlo's house at that time gave me the privilege of spending the first 9 years with U.Erlo and A.Kay, their 6 daughters and other families in their home. It was a beehive of activity from morning until evening. People from all walks of life were welcomed, served and listened to. No problem too great or too small. It was a home filled with love, warmth and selfless service. Uncle Erlo and Aunty Kay were role models. It was always a treat to sit around a cup of tea or a hearty meal and hear them share of experiences and amazing things God was doing. Their relationship with the Lord was vibrant and real. Their home was open to anyone night and day. Their children are of the same calibre, always willing to give up their own beds for guests and ready to serve. I have fond memories of A.Kay and her daughters caring for my babies when they were small and suffered from colic. One particular night I was sure they managed to get my baby to sleep, only to find them up hours into the night with a cup of tea and happily spending time together keeping baby quiet. I was greeted with laughs and smiles not a single negative word about their sleepless night and only joy that I could catch some much needed sleep. This happened regularly. Those years left a lasting impression on my life and inspire me to give, as they gave so freely gave to me and others. I could write pages of wonderful lasting memories and present experiences.
Thankyou U.Erlo for your example in living what you preached! Thankyou also to Aunty Lydia, Aunt Eunice for your prayers, steadfastness and faithfulness to God and His work. Thank you to all the co-workers at Kwasizabantu, we love you and appreciate you. May God be with you and may we stay faithful until the end.
Thankyou Lord, for giving me Kwasizabantu!