This year will be 30-years that we have been distributing Phonak hearing aids in sub-Saharan Africa. Soon we will celebrate this important milestone with more than 250 international and local guests. In organising such an event one inevitably has to look back, visit the many memories, look at old photos and think about the people met and the friends made throughout the world. I don’t like looking back because apart from the good memories it also reminds you of the many hurts, pain, fears and tears. But I have to, I have to remind my guests of the road we travelled.
As I looked back over the past three decades I saw a golden thread woven through my life. That thread is called G R A C E. Instead of God’s wrath, I met His undeserved and unwarranted abundant favour, goodwill, and His loving kindness. As I look at His promises, given to me in my quiet time, I am humbled. They all came true, some still in the process of being fulfilled. Allow me to share a few with you …
1991 – “Forget the former things, it is nothing compared to what I am going to do! For I’m going to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness and create rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 45:18 + 19 Given to me by a staff member.
10 June 1992 – “For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord. They are plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11 Given to me while sitting in my room, sick as a dog, before God gave me the vision ‘to make a difference in deaf education’ a few weeks later.
9 May 1993 – “Enlarge the place of your tent; build on additions; spread out your home! For you will soon be bursting at the seams! And your descendants will possess the cities …” Isaiah 54:2-3a While praying about the future of our company a year before apartheid was abolished and everybody said ‘the last you want to do now is expand!’
January 1998 – “Do not despise this small beginning, for the eyes of the Lord rejoice to see the work begin.” Zechariah 4:10. And then my eyes fell on v 6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the Lord Almighty – you will succeed because of My Spirit…” These verses were given to me the day we started with the training of the first six professionals on how to teach deaf children to talk. The start of the vision given to me by the Lord nearly 6 years before.
14 June 2006 – “I know you well; you aren’t strong, but you have tried to obey and have not denied my Name. Therefore I have opened a door to you that no one can shut.” Revelation 3:8 was a tremendous encouragement after our donors withdrew their funding while building the primary school.
25 November 2009 – while praying about an important meeting we had that day about the future of the Eduplex, the Holy Spirit spoke to me from the Prayer of Jabez (enlarging your territory); reminded me of Zechariah 4v6 “Not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit…” and that the mountain before me (the lack of funds) will be made like a plain as in Zachariah 4:7. The vision for a second Eduplex campus was given that morning that included a high school, student centre, sports fields and university .
5 April 2010 – This is what the Lord says … to open doors before him…will go before you and level the mountains… I will break down the city gates…I will give you the dark treasures, riches stored in secret places… so that you may know that I am the Lord.” Isaiah 45:1-3. When I prayed about the Second Campus and why the money was not coming in.
18 December 2013 – Isaiah 29 verses 11; 14 and 18 that struck me, a promise for the year 2014 ahead.
2014 – the verses given to me in 1991 reconfirmed in 2014 – “Forget the former things, it is nothing compared to what I am going to do! For I’m going to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? I will make a road through the wilderness and create rivers in the desert.” Isaiah 45:18 + 19 and then Habakkuk 1:5 was added and Ephesians 3:20. See previous Blog(s).
On remembering my journey I am so grateful that over the years I have made notes in my Bible and daily devotional books and that I kept a record of God’s promises to be reminded of them in the future. I tend to forget so easily or doubt what I ‘heard’ as time goes by. It is then that I stand humbled when I look back. Who am I that the Creator of the universe takes time to open up His word for me, to show me the hidden gems and to remind me of the treasures hidden in secret places? Why me Lord? … because you belong to Me my son.
Let us therefore remember our journey… so that we may know the righteous acts of the Lord. (Micah 6:5b). And then? Then the many hurts, pain, fear and tears fade into insignificance as we marvel at what God has done and only the good memories are remembered.
It is then that we also realise, the best is yet to come!