Being obedient to Christ comes with its own challenges. Since I started my fulltime career on the Platinum Mines in 1987 I prospered by the grace of God. I earned a good salary, got regular promotions, enjoyed job satisfaction and was able to complete an Honours Degree. I always acknowledged and thanked God for these privileges. As I grew in my career I also grew in my relationship with Christ. My adorable wife, Stephne not only supported me but led the way in many aspects of our Christian lives. There came a time when I frequently offered the services of my family and myself to God. I was on fire for Him and just wanted to do more for Him. I heard people saying that one should be careful for what you ask of God because you may just get it, but it didn’t really make sense to me at the time. I had to learn this in a hard way. In 2005 during my 10th year as a senior manager at Lonmin Platinum Mine I was paraded to the newly appointed Managing Director’s (MD) office in Jo’burg. At the time of receiving the phone call to inform me of this meeting I was on leave and busy leading a Christian youth camp. There were 65 young people who attended this camp which ran from the Thursday to the Sunday. Stephne was one of the leaders at the camp and Aimee, our oldest daughter, also attended it. The meeting with the MD was scheduled for 08:00 on the Friday morning. There was no agenda. I left the young people in the capable hands of the other leaders and left for Jo’burg early Friday morning. I greeted him as I walked into his office and he responded by saying: “This is not going to be a pleasant meeting”. He continued by telling me that they no longer had a job for me and that I am being retrenched. This came as a huge surprise because my department was credited for doing outstanding work in uplifting the poor communities around the Mine – we were responsible for Corporate Social Investments. He handed me a letter containing a retrenchment package and informed me that I should vacate my office with immediate effect. I was shocked, not even for a split second have I expected this – there was no run up to this! I took the letter and told the MD that I would study it and respond later. On my way back to the youth camp all sorts of thoughts crossed my mind. Is this true? Why me? The most disturbing thought was “how will I take care of my family?” I cried. Stephne waited for me back at the camp. We sat under a tree and I told her everything. Together we cried. Later on we went back to the hall where the young people had gathered. As I walked into that hall all my questions were answered when I heard the children singing: My Jesus, my Savior Lord there is none like You , All of my days, I want to praise The wonders of Your mighty love, My comfort, my Shelter Tower of refuge and strength, Let every breath, all that I am Never cease to worship You, Shout to the Lord, all the earth let us sing. Power and majesty, praise to the King. Mountains bow down and the seas will roar, At the sound of Your name. I sing for joy at the works of Your hands, Forever I’ll love You, forever I’ll stand, Nothing compares to the promise I have in You… As they were singing I realized that I was a child of the Almighty, all powerful Saviour. His promises to me say that He is my Comforter, my Shelter and my Strength and that nothing compares to the promises that I have in Him. It dawned upon me that I have been asking Him to use me and that through this retrenchment I was now set free to do more of His work. My sadness turned into gladness. I shared this with Stephne and the other leaders. Together we thanked God for His wisdom that goes beyond our understanding. We deliberately decided not to tell the young people because we were worried that it would spoil the weekend for Aimee and some others. Understanding that this retrenchment was part of God’s plan for my life I must have been shining even more brightly for him that weekend. I was retrenched but never rejected! Actually I was rewarded in a very special way for trusting Him completely. On the Saturday evening I made an alter call and invited those young people who chose to commit their lives to Christ to come to the front and to kneel at the foot of the cross so that I could pray with them and help them with this major step in their lives. Immediately after inviting them 62 of the 65 youngsters got up and came to front to publicly receive Jesus as their Lord and Saviour. Sixty two more disciples for Him, amongst them our daughter, Aimee – what a great blessing for me as I was instrumental in leading them to Christ!! This confirmed God’s calling on my life – to be obedient to his Great Command to make disciples of all nations. Facing the reality of being unemployed was tough. Every morning during my training run I would talk to God as if he was running next to me. He provided many answers; even the solid white line on the road and the road signs carried symbolic answers – don’t try to overtake God on this current stretch of road in your life; slow down or even stop for a moment and review your life. During the consultation process with the Managing Director / President of the company about my retrenchment package, two important things happened. Firstly the Lord prepared the way for me to negotiate a very good package and secondly He opened the door for me to minister to the MD of the 3rd biggest platinum mine in the world. There came a time during the consultation that this gentleman became very emotional and literally cried in front of me when I told him that my trust was in the Lord and not in mine management. I ended up giving him a CD of our gospel band named Spirit Sound. I was unemployed for approximately 3 weeks when I got a phone call from an ex-colleague, Johan Rabie. Johan told me that he had met with a gentleman from Business Against Crime (BAC) who told him that they were looking for a Managing Director for the North West Province. To make a long story short, two weeks later I had an interview and was thereafter offered the position. Part of my new job was to raise money that would be used to support the relevant authorities in the fight against crime. God had this one covered. Because of my solid reputation in the mining industry and all my connections, I soon raised more than enough money to cover all the cost for 2 years. Soon God made the BAC NW branch the leaders in the field of leadership development and performance management to such extent that I was invited by the USA Embassy to visit 5 states in the USA to research various aspects of their law enforcement value chain. Another awesome blessing! But it did not end there. Being the worship leader for Spirit Sound Music Ministry in the Rustenburg Methodist Church, I one evening shared my retrenchment story with the congregation and how wonderfully God was handling the matter. All I had to do was to be obedient. In the congregation was a lady by the name of Linda Coetzee. Linda is a committed Christian. After the service she approached me saying that she was a manager at Xtrata Resources and that she had a vacancy for a part time HR consultant. This was perfectly up my alley and again I knew it was God extending my territory. Linda arranged an interview for me with the Financial Director and I got the job. Because of now doing two jobs I was financially better off than I was at Lonmin – another blessing; praise the Lord!! My time to depart to the USA arrived and I remember so well, as I was driving to O.R. Thambo airport I got a phone call from the previous MD of Lonmin. He was now involved at a company called Aquarius Platinum and he was keen on hiring my expertise and experience. I told him that I was actually already employed. But him being like a bulldog that would not let go, he insisted that I consider his offer whilst I was in the States and then to meet with the MD of Aquarius upon my return. I agreed. Long story short, a month later I was employed by Aquarius. Once again God had blessed me abundantly. My retrenchment was a blessing in so many ways. Because I have been there I am able to assist others who are facing similar challenges. I can tell them that they might have been retrenched by the world but they are never rejected by Christ!!
If and when this Testimony has spoken into your heart, please go to the Commitment page.