They bore each other’s burdens

“I can do all things through Him who strengthens me.” Philippians 4:13

Three Peaks Challenge

The Soldiers for Christ asked if I would support them hiking up and down Cape Town’s three peaks. I chuckled and half-heartedly agreed—especially since I was to be their driver!

They wanted to ascend Devil’s Peak, Table Mountain and Lion’s Head—starting from and returning each time to the vehicle parked on the road that runs alongside the mountains.

I couldn’t believe it when they brought their own funds—$3.75 each—agreeing to buy food. (Although we emphasize generosity and personal responsibility, such values are rarely practiced in much of Africa.) Next, these young men organized borrowing a vehicle—courtesy of a kind Christian farmer— that could seat all 12 of them.

I immediately became the energy-food buyer, driver and braai (barbeque) host to the 12.

We started out at 6 a.m. and drove very slowly, due to extremely thick fog (which thankfully lifted later).

Their anticipation was palpable. Their noisy excitement practically unbearable. So much so, in fact, that I pitied any nature lovers hoping to enjoy the tranquility of the mountains that still morning.

Ten of the 12 young men completed their Three Peaks Challenge by 2 p.m. and two of them completed two peaks.

Their exhaustion was evident. The braai at my home—where we enjoyed boerewors (sausage) rolls—was not nearly as chaotic as usual.

Here is how one of the boys thanked me:

“Uncle I want say thank you for being with us in long process of climbing mountains. It was so NYC 2me bcz It was the first time of climb mountain. And I thank God for give us a parent like you, who treat us as their biological children. Uncle I don’t now what I can cei 2 u, thank you uncle. I hope God can bless you n give mor power 2be with us. We love u as u love us thank you ancle”

Despite growing up in fatherless homes—with no running water or electricity in their metal shacks and deeply rooted backgrounds of brutal violence, gangsterism and ancestral worship—they helped each other along the climb. They bore each other’s burdens and pains to complete their goal. I was so proud of them!

These young men were not just climbing mountains—they were growing in their walk with Christ.

Previously, helping each other through pain and suffering was a foreign concept for these boys. I’ve seen how they used to laugh and mock those who got injured or suffered some calamity. Their former belief of African Traditional Religion taught that pain and suffering came about due to curses from the ancestral spirit world and that large fees and heinous sacrifices had to be paid for a greater spirit to annul those curses.

Of course, the real curse is the original curse of sin and death. Praise God, the greatest of all—Jesus Christ—paid the price to redeem those who confess and believe in Him!

Fellow Christian—these young men now count themselves among the saved. Jesus Christ now reigns in their lives. They are overcomers and it shows in their actions—they are now men of the Christian faith!

And now they live in victory over all curses and even death.

“For everyone who has been born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—our faith.” 1 John 5:4

US Ministry visit

Jason and I are looking forward to our ministry visit and fellowship with partners and friends in the United States. Our public meetings, to which all are welcome, are as follows:

Sunday 25 June
Reedy River Presbyterian Church in America, 46 Main Street, Conestee, S.C., 10 a.m. Sunday School and 11 a.m. Worship Service

Sunday 2 July
Christ the King Church, 1380 N College Rd, Wilmington, N.C., 10:30 a.m. Worship Service

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 July
Future of Christendom Conference –
Crowne Plaza Hotel, 1741 Papermill Rd, Reading, Pennsylvania

Looking forward to seeing you soon.

Charl van Wyk

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