A Weekend in Ficksburg (Eastern Free State)

This past weekend was a long one – Friday September 24, 2010 being Heritage Day; gave us a three-day weekend. We went to Ficksburg in the Eastern Free State province which is situated on the border of Lesotho, a landlocked neighbor nation of South Africa. In fact, there is a SA-Lesotho border post in Ficksburg.

We had gone to visit my wife’s sister Jan and her husband Koos and their family and also our eldest son Jason who lives with them, as he works in Ficksburg. In the process my dad-in-law Russell also travelled up with us to visit his daughter. This gave me an opportunity to witness to him as we travelled into the night, undertaking a five hour journey. I had prayed for an opportunity to share my faith with Russell as I had been nervous about how to get the conversation underway, when the opportunity suddenly presented itself when he started speaking about, of all things, aliens and UFOs. Almighty God had opened a door for me, so I stepped through it and put the question to him – Does the Bible speak of UFOs and life on other planets? In the beginning God created … and then Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden … and nowhere in Scripture does God speak of “life on other planets.” It was a pleasant conversation – the Law of God was opened and the Gospel of Grace shared and I pray the Holy Spirit will convict him to repentance to believe and trust in Jesus Christ alone as his Lord and Saviour.

Sunrise in Ficksburg during morning devotion

The weekend was one God blessed for He allowed me also to periodically share the gospel to my wife’s family. Many opportunities presented itself in praying for travel mercies and also by thanking God in prayer for His providence at meal times whilst our family gathered around. On Saturday morning I went out into the Ficksburg market place and witnessed to some passer-bys and open-air preached with sound, unhindered, to both locals and Basotho visitors from Lesotho. This took place outside a Spar shopping centre’s parking lot as I undertook my Project Ezra reading of Ecclesiastes 11 and 12. Being my first time in Ficksburg I couldn’t pass up the opportunity of sharing the Gospel of Grace to a dying world in another town. On my evangelism table I had “How to Know God” and “Help from Above” booklets that can be obtained from World Missionary Press, Inc. And at the end of the preaching session, a Muslim man and his family passed by and even took a booklet I handed to them. Praise God – our blessed Lord Jesus for taking His Word into other communities.

Sunday morning around 2am we were woken up by the news that Charaleen (Koos and Jan’s daughter) was involved in a car accident in Bloemfontein (about 2 hours drive away). While we sat around awaiting news I also mentioned that it is at times like these when people should think about dying as they stand upon the threshold of eternity. Those who were silently praying knew they were answered and the diagnosis is that Charaleen has a cracked collarbone and five stitches in her forehead and doing well. Once the news came through to us we gathered around and thanked God for His kindness and mercy – and yes, I asked the Lord to let people think about their eternal destiny even in the current circumstances.

The trip back on Sunday morning was also a highlight seeing God’s wonderful Creation as we passed through the Maluti Mountains in the Golden Gate Highlands National Park. Thursday evening, travelling up in the night, we saw some wildlife in the headlamps grazing at the roadside, but on our way back we saw no buck possibly because it was an extremely hot day. We did, however, enjoy plenty of breathtaking scenery, evidence of God’s glorious work of His hands – and He was praised and worshiped for He is worthy. You can view the photographs at this Link.

This trip was one of growing – getting to know our family better, sharing the love of Christ in His Gospel and ultimately lifting up the blessed name of Jesus in worshipping God. It truly was one of my more blessed weekends spent with my wife Tammy and our family. And later, back in Pietermaritzburg, my dad-in-law parted company with us after an eventful weekend to travel back home and with him was a gift of “One Heartbeat Away” by Mark Cahill (the link is the Introduction and Chapter 1 at his website Mark Cahill Ministries). Brethren, please keep our family and their friends in prayer, especially our loved ones who have not received salvation.

Soli Deo Gloria (Glory to God alone)

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