Once again the Oceans Team witnessed an amazing move of God. It is with incredible joy that I share this blog written by Jim Nydam.
It was a long awaited trip to Lesotho, South Africa to spend a week volunteering at Beautiful Gate. My wife, Chris, planned to spend time assisting the child care workers and care for orphaned babies and I was scheduled to make facility improvements with a team of four. Our project for the week consisted of removing 12 old broken down toilets and replacing them with new ones. This team consisted of Mike and Denise from Kansas City, a Hollander, who had adopted a child from BG a while back, and myself. As introductions began we realized that the man from Holland came from the same place in the Netherlands as my wife’s family. It was the small town of Abcouda-what a crazy and amazing connection was established. As we all continued to converse my thoughts went back to conversations Chris and I have had about her family in Holland and how many people have fallen away from their faith in God.
Our friend from Holland, who we all just met, jumped in with exuberant excitement. The work was moving along and before we knew it was time for a well deserved break. The team left the grunt work behind and went outside where the toilets were being assembled and began sharing about our lives. I asked our friend if he had a home church and he said he said no, however he did state that he believed there was a God. As we shared I felt the Holy Spirit urging me to ask if he had accepted Christ into his life as his Savior. We went back to work on the toilets and finished by the weekend had about half the work completed.
The Oceans Team experienced a great weekend of worshiping and seeing some of the countryside while our friend from Holland went his own way. When we returned to the toilet work on Monday Mike, Denise, and I asked our friend how his weekend went. We were shocked when he said he went to church for the very first time in Lesotho. He continued to share how comfortable he felt when the worship music played and how much he enjoyed dancing with the music. The Holy Spirit had definitely planted a desire in our friend’s heart that was beginning to grow. Now I felt it was time for me to respond.
While the team continued to assemble the toilets, I went to the first of the three houses to finish up with the installation. Our friend from Holland said he would finish up there so I proceeded to the third house to prep the toilet for installation. As I entered this house I sensed a problem as strong sewage smell filled the air. Previously we had removed two of the three old toilets leaving two open drain pipes in the bathroom. My sight came to the reality of the situation, the drain pipes had backed up and spilled sewage over the bathroom floor.
I proceeded to cover the sewage puddles with a cardboard and made a path so I could finish the job. Our new friend from Holland came into the bathroom after finishing the first house and sat on the tub-it was obvious he wanted to talk. As I worked on the sewer/toliet project in safety on the “cardboard island” I felt this was the time to ask if he had ever prayed to accept Jesus Christ.
I told him how I was worried about him and what would occur if he had not confessed his sins and confessed that Jesus Christ died to forgive him of his sins. After sharing a bit more he responded, “of course I want to do that.” He prayed right their in the midst of a stinky bathroom, while sitting on a tub, to receive the forgiveness Jesus offers on the cross and accept new life through Jesus’ glorious resurrection. Standing on the “cardboard island” we hugged each other and were filled with great joy! All heaven rejoiced with us as this new brother came home!
Later our team had a celebration for this newest member of God’s family. Someone gave him a Bible, another gave two spiritual books, and everyone welcomed this brother into the family of God. Oceans Ministries seeks to make the Father known with the prayer that God will change lives in South Africa and around the world. Well God did change lives plus one.
My journey to South Africa also provided the opportunity to continue offering my services by returning with my wife to build a much needed play room to be called Abba’s Play Room for the 68 orphaned children. Oceans Ministries is providing the financial means for this new building. So in June my wife and I will return looking for another encounter with the Living God. We ask for you prayers, thank you!