“Show me a farmer who does not have a deep love for Creation and I will call you a liar.” To talk about farmers is impossible without acknowledging the Hand of the Father in their daily lives.
As farmers, Kobie and Regina Klerck from Arnoldistad, on the way between Kroondal and Rustenburg, Northwest, needs no introduction to the local community. This specific part of their story starts in the late 1940s when Kobie started farming after leaving school. These were golden years and farming was booming. Many farmers purchased land in the border areas between South Africa and Botswana, to use both for hunting during the winter months as well as to establish cattle farming. From Koedoeskop, along the banks of the Crocodile River, Kobie’s family bought farmland on the Botswana side to start producing peanuts. Bulldozers were used to clear large areas for planting. In the process Kobie one day had to bulldoze a massive Baobab tree which really upset the farmer’s wife. He then took an oath to compensate for the loss of this and many other trees.
Back home in Northwest Kobie has been honouring this oath for many decades by producing and distributing many hundreds of small Baobab trees. Many of these little trees are given away or sold to nurseries. During 2017 alone Kobie sold more than 700 trees, using all the income generated to buy and distribute Bibles. Masses of Bibles are bought whenever it is available at good prices and then distributed all over South Africa as well as in the rest of Africa, as the Spirit leads Kobie and Regina and as opportunities arise. These distribution processes can sometimes be difficult and challenging but many communities have been blessed in the process.
This endeavour has blessed many people in different ways. Once someone came along asking to buy all of Kobie’s small trees, paying much more than what Kobie had in mind. Kobie knew this was from God and that the money had to be used to spread the Word in Africa. A week later a stranger came along telling Kobie of his tragic circumstances, having lost everything he had in a veld fire and being recently widowed, really feeling down and out. At that time Kobie was involved in building a church in Zambia, they have just sent word that they were in need of some Bibles. God’s perfect plan was taking shape – Kobie could ask the man in need of help to assist, using the money earned from selling the trees, sending him to take Bibles to many institutions and communities in Zambia, blessing so many people who have never had a Bible in their own language!
“I am amazed at how God uses Regina and I and so many others who have joined us, to spread the Word throughout Africa” says Kobie. At the same time God used a promise made many years ago to grow a massive forest of Baobab trees in Southern Africa. The seed used to grow the trees in Kobie’s “Bible Nursery” is harvested from the seven massive Baobab trees in Botswana where pioneers and explorers, Thomas Baines and David Livingstone, found rest on their way into the interior of Africa. Other seeds are harvested from Kubu Island in the Makgadigadi Pans, on the way from Nata to Maun in Botswana. These ancient trees can be found exactly where they have been standing for hundreds of years, showing people the way, as The Bible should be showing us the way through life.
Kobie & Regina Klerck