In December 1988, our family went on vacation to one of the most beautiful spots in the world, a fishing village called Hermanus, located between mountains and the sea, approximately one and a half hours’ drive from Cape Town. Though 1,000 miles away from Pretoria, we managed to get there in one day.
Along with some friends, we rented a holiday home in Vermont, approximately four miles to the west of Hermanus. Anita and I thought it would be a privilege to have a holiday home in the Cape in order to enjoy the warm summer days and cool Atlantic sea breeze at night. During the winter, Hermanus is also a wonderful spot for watching southern right whales frolicking in the bay.
I suggested we seek the Lord’s guidance for acquiring a holiday home. Despite having separate quiet times, that morning both Anita and I received the same Scripture: “If I ride the morning winds to the farthest oceans, even there your hand will guide me, your strength will support me” (Psalm 139:9-10).
To us, this was a clear sign of God’s blessing to continue. We called on an estate agent to enquire about available properties. I mentioned that we were from Pretoria, far from the ocean, and that we would prefer a house as close as possible to the sea. He had only one stand to show us, available at approximately US$60,000. The property was surrounded by a sand dune to the rear, a nature conservancy on three sides and a magnificent sea view. Although this was very expensive for a plot of land at the time, we decided to buy.
Despite our initial certainty, I experienced an inexplicable unease about this decision. We were very happy with the property, but for some reason I couldn’t shake the prevailing discomfort. I returned to the estate agent and mentioned this to him. He looked at me for a moment, jumped up and walked to the map on the wall where the various stands for sale were displayed. He could barely suppress his excitement when he turned to me and said, “Nico, I forgot to mention that the stand you bought is one of only two stands in this whole area which can be subdivided.”
We followed his advice and subdivided the stand. The back section, literally a sand dune, was sold for exactly the same amount we had paid for the entire property. Some would call it “a good business deal” or a “stroke of luck”, but we knew that this was a gift from God—a miracle.
Had anyone told me at the time, “If you pray and ask the Lord, He will give you the best property in the region for free,” I would not have believed it possible. Yet, God provided once again. We built a comfortable home and called it “Back to Basics”. This is where our family gathers every December to relax and recharge our batteries for the year ahead. Visitors from around the world can testify to the peace and serenity they have experienced when sharing in this gift from God.