Saving Faith

Halo, this is Pieter Z. Jansen van Vuuren.

I was born in 1971, the year my parents received salvation. I grew up in a Christian home and was aware that I was lost in sin. In 1978, the year I went to school, I had a dream. I could hear the trumpet blow. Our family were together and we took hands as we slowly rose up to meet Jesus in Heaven. To my shock I realized that I couldn’t rise with them. My mother asked, “but didn’t you accept Christ as your Saviour?” Then I woke up.

For many years I lived in fear, knowing I am lost. In early April, 1986, I went home for an Easter vacation. After every supper we had family devotions, prayer and many songs. This time our devotion was about Josef’s life. My dear father excited all of us by stopping before the story’s climax to continue the next day. Unfortunately the story was not ended when we had to go back to the hostel.
School started with a lot of tests and I was not well prepared. I promised God to repent if He would help me to pass the tests. Thursday, 10 April, I realized that I was playing tricks with God. That night at the hostel after lights out I took my Bible to the study room. I was much satisfied to read the story of Josef, for he was faithful to remain pure unto God in spite of severe testing. The Word of God in Mark 4:22 came to me, “For there is nothing hid, which shall not be manifested; neither was any thing kept secret, but that it should come abroad.” Convicted of all my secret sin I broke out in tears. I confessed every known sin in brokenness. I asked Jesus to wash my sin and guilt away. Late that night I went to bed knowing that I was right with God. For the first time in my life I was free from the fear to die.
Friday morning I knew my life had changed; God accepted my prayer and gave me the Holy Spirit as proof that I am now a child of God. That same day the Lord convinced me to testify to my family that I was born again. I wavered to call and testify. Saturday morning I knew I was not right with God. I thought of my grandmother who prayed for my repentance, she was also a true believer. She gave me my first Bible and underlined one verse which was John 14:12. I was very close to her. I phoned her, broke out in tears and testified of every step in my salvation. Great happiness filled my soul again.
Since then I longed to be baptized. I grew up in the Dutch Reformed Church and was confused by its doctrine. I was not allowed to be baptized as a believer, for they believe that my baptism as a baby was biblical and sufficient. As a believer of that church I started to doubt the Holy Spirit. My faith became lukewarm and I lived a carnal life. For many years I continued in this state, knowing things was not right.
I can remember the faithful inspiration to come back to faith by the following words, “let it be an honour to receive the reward of My suffering on the cross and the life in full which I prepared for you.”
In 1993, I went to South-Africa and met my wife at the Kwasizabanto mission station. God was faithful to keep me pure all these years from impurity and dating. I was married in 1995 and came back to Namibia and finished my agriculture diploma and start a farming career.

In 2004, a man asked me to read a piece of scripture and explain it to him; Mark 16:16 “He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.” I realized that I cannot twist the Word of God. Scripture became clear to me the moment I accepted the price to pay, persecution was the only way. My family and church was upset about my conviction to be baptized. I went to the church leaders and assisted that if this beloved church of mine is a true church of God, they must baptize me according to the Scripture. I was now determined to make an end of 18 years of struggle and confusion. In fear of losing their position in the church, they all refused to baptize me. The Holy Spirit was calling on the one hand and on the other hand I experienced persecution, I had a choice to make. I wanted to be right with God and had to leave my church. I was finally baptized in a charismatic church.
After 12 years in marriage my family advised me to stop home schooling and to put my children in a private school. I took my wife to a hospital in South-Africa. She was diagnosed with depression. In the hospital she knew that she had to talk to certain family members and bring darkness into light. The first conversation was started and was ended in more darkness, hope was lost and I never knew what happened there. Already I fasted and prayed every week for many years. I prayed to God to give my wife and mother of four children complete deliverance. 13 months after we were at the hospital my wife committed suicide. I never thought God would answer my prayers for complete deliverance of suffering in this way.
God was very good to me to keep me from negative thoughts towards Him for working things as it appeared. I was broken and prayed that God will achieve His plan in my life. It was such an expensive price for me to pay, to be whole heartedly open for His Word and Spirit.
I prayed to God for a wife. The greatest test of my life was on hand. At my parent’s farm I met a single mom of two children, six months after my wife passed away. I got emotionally involved. At first I didn’t know that she was divorced and her husband still lived, who later-on became my farm neighbour for a while. I visited a missionary and his family and told him about this single woman whom he knew. They knew me and were very upset and warned me, but I took it lightly. I found Scripture like 1 Cor. 6:9-10 and Rom. 7:1-3. Verse 3 “So then if, while her husband liveth, she be married to another man, she shall be called an adulteress: but if her husband be dead, she is free from that law; so that she is no adulteress, though she be married to another man.” I was in deep need for a wife and she tried to convince me that she was a serious Christian. God protected me that I never even touched another man’s wife. It was difficult for me to step out of this relationship, but I knew God was not in it. God made a way for me to escape adultery and by God’s grace I repented.

Four and a half years after my wife passed away, I realized again that God planned the best for my children’s education through home schooling. I knew I had made a mistake to put my children in a private school. As a family we nearly lost all our godly values. I nearly lost my children in the world’s destruction of fleshly fulfilment and worldly values.
I started to home schooling my children again after many prayer, struggle, and persecution as a single parent. God gave us the right God fearing curriculum. Brothers and sisters were willing to help, pray, guide, and assist where they could. God in His goodness did wonder upon wonder and my two eldest daughters, Sanri and Andriette, already completed school with high scores in June 2017. God is so faithful to us in our weakness.
May the fullness of Christ’s plan for our lives be fulfilled in the power of the Holy Spirit.
Revelations 3:19-22 “As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent. Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me. To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.” (KJV)

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