The SOWETO-BRITS prayer-belt walk

11 days that will transform you life
A pilgrimage on dusty roads  through spectacular landscapes. The sun paints artistic shades on sandstone mountainsides. The wind carries a strange freshness in the air. The Maluti mountains boast their splendour. The African soil under your feet reminds of a journey deep within.
Let your heart and mind find its resting place in God. Read more

While training for the SOWETO to BRITS prayer-walk, I walked over a high hill and felt the Lord say: Don’t go down yet. Climb on the rocky area beside the road to the very top of the hill.”

landscape

As I looked out over the landscape and felt God remind me of the scripture where He said to Abram in Gen 13:17 “Arise, walk through the land in its length and in its breadth; for I will give it to you.” In Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, he states that taking land in possession, by civil law was done by walking on it. I knew in my heart that would be true for this walk too, in a spiritual sense.

I got the flags ready which I felt God told me to take with. So many people stopped me along the road to ask about the flags. This gave me a great opportunity to bring to them the gospel according to the colours of the flags. (Red = the blood of Jesus / White = washed as white as snow / Yellow = Kingship of Jesus / Blue = Colour of the sky reminds us God of heaven is with us). Sometimes children would ask about the flags and without much explanation about symbolism I could answer them that the flags means Jesus loves them.

On that cold first Friday morning, I started off from the busy intersection at Leratong Hospital wondering if I heard God correctly. I just asked Him if I started on the right road and if I would be able to minister to anyone in the early morning traffic rush.

That prayer was answered within 10 minutes!

A young woman came running to me and with tears in her eyes told me how she was driving to work – already half an hour late. Just as she passed me, the Holy Spirit spoke to her to “Stop and go pray with that man walking with the flags”. Just there on the side of that busy road I had a chance to minister to her and I knew in my heart God ordained that meeting AND the both of us just had to turn up…

God is so caring and awesome.

So many instances of people that just met me or asked about the flags seemed to have been pure co-incidence … No, I believe every person I met was a meeting ordained by God.

“The steps of a [good] man are directed and established by the Lord when He delights in his way [and He busies Himself with his every step].” Psalm 37:23-24

This is also why it is part of my declaration as I step out; to put on the full armor according to Eph 6 and I also declare that I put on the shoes of WILLINGNESS to spread His gospel.

I came to the home of my friend pastor William, who has a church who meets at his house every week. We had some breakfast together and prayed for that which the Lord had on His heart for the next 4 days. William sent me off with the assurance that wherever I visit I would be received people would with divine hospitality.

I greeted all who came to see me off and almost immediately got opportunities to speak with people from all walks of life. I had an appointment in the afternoon at 5 but did not nearly make it. When we are available for God to use us, I realised I should not plan too far ahead, because there is such a need – even just for encouragement or for spreading the gospel.

At 5 in the afternoon, I was still 15km from where I should have been. This meant I missed the service in Cosmo City where a visiting preacher from Nigeria was holding a service. mmm … I would liked to have met him though.

I was around the corner from where I stay. What a blessing to spend the night at home with Marelise.

The next morning, as I got ready to unlock the door to leave, I stopped and asked God to confirm for me which route I should take. I must add that I had the route all worked out BUT God answered me with somewhat shocking news. The previous day someone spoke about a drug/alcohol rehabilitation centre along another route towards Brits, and He would want me to simply walk to that place …

I had a wonderful time early Saturday morning just praying, praising, worshiping, and singing. After 10 km I saw a guy about my age walking towards me, also wearing a hat, a backpack and a blanket neatly rolled on top of his pack. We caught each others eye and stopped to talked. Two men journeying, stopping to discus the weather, the road, the dangers and then to talk about each others’ journey. Perfect opportunity for a prayer-walker…

This man was on the wrong road. He was supposed to get a lift to Welkom (a town 200km from here), but his previous lift got a bit lost, and dropped him some distance from the place where we met. He, walked and hitched rides between Bloemfontein and Pretoria, to finalise paperwork for his pension.

He was so encouraged when he heard about my journey. We both realised this was a divine appointment, since we were both on other than our planned routes.

Oh the appreciation when I asked if I could pray for him…

Then, it turned into a prayer meeting. He told me that he was drifting away in his walk with God, but now he realised that God loved him so much that He had an appointment with him that day. He said that this meeting convinced him to make his life right with God again. So much so that he immediately wanted to pray for me too. Wonderful rekindled spirit-filled man back on track in his walk with the Lord.

A prayer partner sent a message that it was definitively not the wrong road – it reminded them of Saul before his conversion. I think it was as great as that for this man.

Father God, we pray for this man right now.

For a deeper awareness of You and Your will and Your presence in his life.

Lord, please help him to share his re-awakening with the people around him and help him to get surrounded by other people who love You. Help him Lord to serve You and get very close to You.

In Jesus name we ask

amen

I started to notice a very interesting thing. Next to the road laid a belt. Not long after, another belt. It was close to Diepsloot and the road has a lot of people walking on it. Many of them too poor to pay for a taxi-ride. So many of them were just so excited about meeting with me and hearing how God is using me. Many of them were just so hungry to hear about God, and be included in this long prayer from SOWETO to Brits.

Then another belt and another. Seems that when it breaks, the belt is just a burden to keep and it unceremoniously gets trashed along the road.

15 belts later and I wondered what God is saying … I sent a message to the prayer partners and asked God to lead us to the answer of this riddle.

This prayer-walk SOWETO and BRITS resembles the extremes in the history of our country. Especially racially. We have tried to put things together but even along the road someone said there wasn’t a total blending yet. We can only trust God to bind us together.

Every time I saw a belt, the song that went through my mind was:

Bind us together, Lord

Bind us together

With cords that cannot be broken

Bind us together, Lord

Bind us together

Bind us together in Love

Prayer partners responded and the meanings of belt expanded and brought better understanding. Belt also refers to a region / locality / zone.

Added to that:

Readiness for any service that might be required:

Ephesians 6:14: Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth,

Luke 12:35-36: Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning; And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.

I Peter 1:13: Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ;

Symbol of strength, activity and power:

Job 12:18: He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.

and suddenly we see Jesus in the belt scripture:

Isaiah 11 AND THERE shall come forth a Shoot out of the stock of Jesse [David’s father], and a Branch out of his roots shall grow and bear fruit.(A)

And the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him–the Spirit of wisdom and understanding, the Spirit of counsel and might, the Spirit of knowledge and of the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord–

And shall make Him of quick understanding, and His delight shall be in the reverential and obedient fear of the Lord. And He shall not judge by the sight of His eyes, neither decide by the hearing of His ears;

But with righteousness and justice shall He judge the poor and decide with fairness for the meek, the poor, and the downtrodden of the earth; and He shall smite the earth and the oppressor with the rod of His mouth, and with the breath of His lips He shall slay the wicked.

And righteousness shall be the girdle of His waist and faithfulness the girdle of His loins.

After many more opportunities to minister to people along the road I felt something dear and precious on the Lord’s heart. Many people have nothing. Extreme poverty … but something everybody has, no matter how poor; is a name.

Isaiah 43:1 “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have summoned you by name; you are mine.”

I started making a point to pray for each person the Lord brought across my path, by there own name …

I felt the Lord lay on my heart to share a specific testimony with the men at the drug/alcohol rehabilitation centre where I was heading to. At 5 in the afternoon I arrived and I asked the way to reception, and as I waited for the person to arrive, an outside bell rang. I was welcomed and after telling them about the prayer-walk and my desire to share with the men, I was offered to sleep over and speak at the church meeting the next morning. The bell that rang was the dinner bell and they said there was more than enough, I could eat with them.

That evening I spent a long time speaking to a man who just a week ago lost his cars, house, marriage … everything – and now has nothing as he stays in the detox zone. What a divine appointment!

The Holy Spirit reminded him of something spoken a long time ago over his life prophetically. God has not forgotten him. Even though he lost everything, God still had His eye on him and his life in His hand. We prayed together … I wonder if he would in any other situation be willing to let his guard off and talk like that about God. Thank You Jesus for an opportunity for deep ministry.

The next day at church, my testimony touched so many guys.

The owner of the centre knows someone where I was heading to and arranged that I could sleep there the Sunday evening. When I left the farm, as I walked on a dusty gravel road, back to the main road, I for some reason thought about a friend called Nicholas.

Around the next bend, an old man in a wheelchair was being pushed along the dirt road. We stopped prayed and talked. The old man’s name was Nicholas!

Just on the main road, a guy stops and asks for directions. Then he asked about the flags. Half way through my talking, he stopped me and said that his life is in a mess. He is on a road to no-where. So deep in troubleand so far from God. There next to the road I had an opportunity to minister to him and he

was commited to making right. A few days later we made contact and he told me things are better and he just so profusely thanked me for praying with him.

Sunday evening I visited a pastor who had a long history of evangelising and preaching. We even discovered he knew my wife when she was young. Awesome time to just sit, in the sunset, overlooking Hartebeespoort dam and talking about the wonderful God we serve until it is dark at night.

That evening a young man who heard the prayer-walk, came to me and gave me 4 brand new bibles. This was awesome because at the last day, there were four people receiving me at  Pitso’s church. I could hand them each their own bible.

As I neared Brits on the last day, God did something in a very practical way.

The verse that I felt was the base for the prayer-walk was Isaiah 62:10:

… build up, build up the highway; clear it of stones …

With about 5 km to go, I heard a rumbling behind me. It was a big yellow road grader. I got out of the way and it passed  grading the side of the road where I was walking. The blade on the grader was clearing the road of stones and clearing the highway of stones and there was I walking on the smooth road. Just as I was praying for 4 days up to then. As God laid on my heart specific things to pray against, which were stumbling blocks in the area I walked, He showed me as I prayed it out of the way, it was like clearing the road .., and here I physically see what has been happening in the spiritual realm.

The walk ended with a prayer meeting at pastor Pitso’s church. New friendships has been formed in the Lord. I have been drawn closer to God in this walk.

Thank You Jesus

A young girl stopped that morning when I started walking in SOWETO to BRITS … linking the two historically political extremes of our country …

She became the “connection” from Soweto. When I came to Brits, I looked out for someone to kind of symbolically be the “connection” there for God to tie it together. There was no one. I felt so sad. But I also felt it reflected the state of our nation. My theme, as I walked, was the song:

Bind us together Lord

Bind us together with chords that cannot be broken

Bind us together with love.

And you know, this month, after all these years, God let me meet a person from Brits. And I realised: she is the “connection” from Brits. And there is now a readiness.

At last, after all these years, I can now say thank you Jesus.

And we can pray

Bind us together Lord

Bind us together with chords that cannot be broken

Bind us together with love.

Because, Lord, we are at last ready. We pray that in Jesus’ name. Amen

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