Church Planter – Blue Downs/Kuilsriver, Cape Town, South Africa
Sandi and his wife, Zimbini, are planting Northside Baptist Church in the eastern area of Cape Town known as Blue Downs and Kuilsriver. This area is multi-ethnic and Sandi desires to establish a biblically faithful church where members find their identity solely in the gospel of Jesus Christ. The actual church was launched in early 2018. There is a large community in the area from a Muslim North Africa nation, and Sandi has seen a few of them come to Christ. When they convert to Christ, these saints at least face exile from their family and often risk death. Sandi's church must become their new family and community.
Testimony of Salvation
From a young age I grew up with my grandparents because my mother was not married and still in school when I was born. My grandparents raised me as their own son. I was always taught from a young age to pray and respect God.
In my teenage years things were not so easy for me. I met my father for the first time when I was 17 years old and I have never met him again. I almost did not finish high school because things were so difficult at home. During this time I was staying with my mother, and we did not have money to go to school. Pressure to stop school and find a job was always there, but praise God that did not happen. At this age I lost all hope in becoming someone in life, and fear of becoming involved in wrong things was always there. I was not able to go on to a higher education because we did not have money. The temptation to fall into the lifestyle of crime was huge.
It was during this time that my grandmother invited me to attend church with her and after few weeks of going to church, God began to speak with me. I was part of a youth group in the church. I could see that my life and their lives where different. When I looked at them, it looked like they were free, like an eagle in the sky spreading its wings. On the other hand my life was so heavy, I had lost all hope, and it felt like heavy weight was on my shoulders. I wanted what they had, and I knew that I needed to give my life to Jesus. But I did not believe God really existed, and if He did, why would He care about me?
So I prayed that if God really exists as the people say, I asked that He would send someone to talk to me about Him and I would give my life to Him. I really did not expect an answer but the answer came so soon. My grandmother shared the gospel with me and my friend one day. As she began to tell us that Jesus died for us and we must be born again, I knew that God is alive since this was an answer to my prayer. I gave my life to the Lord. From that time I experienced change in my life as I started reading the Bible and hanging out with friends from church.
I went back and told my old friends that I had become a Christian and my life was not the same. My friends gave me six months before I changed my mind back to my old ways again. It’s been 18 year now and the Lord has kept me, even though, at the time, I had fears that my friends could be right. God has never left me alone.
I was born into a family that loved and served the Lord. My father, a pastor, and my mother modeled to their three girls everyday how one lives in the service of the Lord. I was very young when I came to know the Lord, during one of our evening family prayer sessions. I thank the Lord for this day because a seed was planted in me. God knew what He was doing in my heart even though not all was very clear. I had the knowledge that this salvation was real and Jesus really lived in me. I had to be aware of how I lived my life even when I was not around my parents.
‘’How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of those who bring good news, who proclaim peace, who bring good tidings, who proclaim salvation, who say to Zion, ‘Your God reigns!’’’ Isaiah 52:7. Though I knew this about my parents, I never wanted this for myself. I saw the struggles it brought to them as a couple, I knew the struggles it brought to us as their kids, and I felt the struggles the family as a whole went through. I wanted none of these, especially for my children. God in his sovereignty knew the plans he had for my life and gave me a pastor for a husband. It was a serious struggle at first but I thank God for he really knew that His plans are to prosper me and not harm me and His plans are to give me hope and a future.
My hope in the Lord is to model salvation to my children just as my mother did. This is where I feel it is real and where it begins before going out there into the world and preaching what one does not even live at home. I am blessed to see faith being lived the way my husband does. His complete trust in the Lord makes it impossible for us as a family not to trust in God’s promises. We live in God’s providence every day and I am always amazed just how far we have come and just how much we have overcome. Everyday, I am growing in the knowledge of the Lord and I am so grateful that He sustains our lives in the palm of His hand.
How great is God Almighty who has done all things well.