Singing with The Angels

July 12 2009 / ShareHim in South Africa, Oct. 17 - Nov. 1 '08 #363
by Elfriede Volk

Campaign Site Narrative from Bethelsdorp, Port Elizabeth in South Africa. The speaker assigned to this site was Elfriede Volk.

I planned to go to South Africa as a support person for my husband, but as there were far more sites than speakers, I was asked to take one of the sites too. Being in the spotlight is not my thing. In fact, the first time I was asked to teach a children’s Sabbath school class, I prayed that no one would come. God almost answered my prayer. There was one girl; she was thrilled with the Bible story, and I survived the ordeal.

There were two small churches supporting the series in Bethelsdorp, where I was to preach. I thanked God that both of these churches had a lady elder. Women, especially women behind the pulpit, are not always accepted in some cultures.

When I presented the sermon entitled “Move Your Hand,” in which Martin Luther dreamed that the devil confronted him with a list of his sins, I digressed at the end and told of Robert, who had left the church and come back years later. When someone mentioned something he had done during his Godless years, he said, “I refuse to be embarrassed by whatever that Robert did, because he doesn’t exist anymore. He is dead. I am a new person through Christ.

As I was telling the story, I noticed an older man sitting at the back. He took off his glasses and wiped his eyes, then suddenly ran outside. When he came back in, he was still crying, and so was his wife and half a dozen others in the small congregation. When I asked those who wanted to give their lives to Jesus to come forward, about eight or nine came, including this man and his wife. As I was also overcome with emotion, I asked one of the elders to come forward and have a dedicatory prayer with them. After the lady elders had taken the names of those who came forward, I called for the closing song and dismissed them.

To my surprise, no one moved. Thinking they might not have understood me, I explained that I had finished the meeting a few minutes early, and that they could go home. Still no one moved. Finally the man who had run out said, “We don’t want to go yet.”

Not knowing what else to do, I said, “Well, the angels are singing in heaven, so let’s join them.” After four or five songs, people finally started leaving.

I learned afterwards that the man at the back was the cousin to the pastor of that church, as well as to one of the lady elders. He had left the Adventist church as a young man but that evening made his decision to rejoin. His wife, who was baptized with him, had been the youth director of the Catholic church.
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