"My friend, my friend, the chariots and its horsemen!
Don't you dare to go ride with them so soon!"
I asked permission of my friend Carin who was in ICU for the last 5 days, if I could share her email to us friends, with you. It is such an example (as always) and very encouraging.
First, I will share our common background.
Although still in danger-zone, I am very grateful God did not take this special voice in my life right now. Not so soon after my brother!
Mom is still very ill too and not recovering as fast as we hoped. Her vocal cords definitely got badly injured with the constant coughing. It has been weeks. She is still very weak and her body constantly aches. Please keep mom in your prayers.
We don't often write a blog about A Friend
We don't often blog about A Saint still living.
I am doing both.
Today I received a letter.
Friends wanted to know her ICU story and she told us... what really happened.
I will see Carin on my Birthday this year... 7 weeks to go. We arranged this months ago. I fly out of the UK from a meeting via Dubai and land on the 1st of July in Abu Dhabi. I am so excited but after this morning I am way more than excited.
For years I told Carin, that one day... one day... I will swing by!
Never in my mind,
did I even THINK or consider
swing by before me!
I got to introduce Penny, to Carin in 2009 when we visited her in Scotland for 3 days. We literally sat for 3 days on Carin's incredible comfortable pink couches and talked Jesus non-stop while drinking coffee. That is all we did.
My family moved to Stilbaai in 1995. During 1996 I joined an odd Bible study group. I was at least 20 years younger than all of them. Carin lead our Bible study group. She would put on Vineyard worship, teaching and modeling to us how to listen to the words and sing it back to Jesus. It is engraved upon my memory.
There she sat.
She pressed "play" and then she would simply sing the words back to Jesus as if we were not in the room. Tears would stream down her face. I was 20. I have never seen someone worship like this. Definitely not in public. No pretense. Not a worry as to what we were thinking of her. It was simply her and Jesus. At the end of the song, she wiped her tears and said "oh wow, I did not expect that to happen today"
Here was Carin,
What I observed was a lady whoactually knew Jesus,
and had the ability to worship
so that we all could sense
Holy Spirit move in her house
Here was Carin,
talking about the YADAH hands of God as if she has really seen it. I still see her holding the big brown pottery hands teaching us about the Father's love. This was in the beginning of 1996. My life was about to change.
Here was Carin too,
5 May 1996. I was reading Jeremiah 1:5 when the words leaped off the page. God took my vow in church serious. I said yes to the call to full time missions but five days later I flew out to the Netherlands. I was there 4 months with a heart burning to get back home to do missions. I was mocked by the other South African girls for being too serious about God. I was mostly alone that time and would daily do what I saw modeled by Carin to me. I would put on Vineyard, and worship my heart out, and journal while leaning my head into that Yadah hand.
I was back in Stilbaai. Carin was an old YWAM'er. Hammanskraal days. She was part of the Intercession-Worship schools. She was the first YWAM'er I ever met.
(She is not with YWAM anymore)
Later that year in 1996, in November, I read the book of Acts one morning and when my eyes fell on Acts 2:38. My world stood still for a moment. “Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit."
I got kicked out of church and went to great trouble to get baptized as an adult in Stellenbosch. I also knew that, even though I could not, I was suppose to be able to speak in tongues. That only happened much later in 1998. I was praying for someone when it literally felt like someone took a hold of my tongue and turned it 180'.
A language burst out of me... quite unexpectedly. Those where the Muizenberg Friday night worship gatherings with Stefan Huge in his house. I knew Stefan Hugo from before.
Why? Carin, of course.
She and Charles would invite Stefan (pic Left) (One of our Southern Africa YWAM leaders) to Stilbaai.
To me it felt like "under-ground" Spirit Filled Bible study meetings. It was glorious!! Needless to say, with strong encouragement from Carin and a YES in my spirit, I joined YWAM in 1997.
In 2012 and 2013 Stefan said yes to teach on the CIDTS I pioneered. Wow... what comes around really goes around :-) And this pic is how we went around! That is Stefan and his sister with me driving them around Chiang Mai.
I got to introduce Penny, to Carin in 2009 when we visited her in Scotland for 3 days. We literally sat for 3 days on Carin's incredible comfortable pink chairs and talked Jesus non-stop while drinking coffee. That is all we did.
When Penny and I flew out, we talked about those 3 days for months - and actually stil do.
I don't think I can explain
what it is when one is in that
presence. God is just there in such a real way.
The nearest I got to it was when I had to "entertain" a friend for two days in 2006, who (not coincidentally) is also a YWAM friend of Carin. Completely the opposite in nature, but as deep as... as Mariette Louw. Many of you know her and will know what I mean when I say deep. For those 48 hours, all around the coast of Cape Town we talked Jesus. It was Mariette that introduced me to the Desert Mother and Fathers in that boat restaurant in Houtbaai. It is etched into my memory.
I have no problem,
thinking of Carin
in that same vein.
Like a modern desert mother.
What I read in books of old, is Carin today.
The way she talks about the Cross, Jesus, Holy Spirit & the Father, simply leads one to worship.
She knows what it is to find him in solitude and the valley of Baca making it a spring.
Carin is a woman who can sit for hours at the feet of Jesus, and tell you about deep encounters with Him. Of course she won't tell you, unless you really ask... she is simply to humble for that. Those authentic encounters are the pearls of GREAT sacrificial price that not many have the capacity to appreciate. Perhaps, not even me.
How can I possibly explain Carin to you?
This is why I am sharing this letter she wrote a day ago - while actually still under major threat.
It will be hard to say bye one day. Very hard. She did not leave footprints in my life. More like a crater... or like that current active volcano in Hawaii - Did you see it? AMAZING.
It keeps changing landscape where it goes.
That is Carin, now that I think about it.
Thus today I will deeply appreciate her and commend her to you
like paul did Phoebe.rom16:1
(with her permission)
A group of ladies in church are making quilted prayer blankets and they asked me to write down my journey through the last two weeks.
Wednesday 25 April - Sat. 28 April 2018
During this week of increased struggling with a lack of breath, weakness and tiredness I initially thought I had bronchitis but did not go to the doctor. I was waiting to see if the dry cough would change and if I developed fever. I decided wait a day or two .
In one of my quiet times with God, He gave me Eph. 2:10 TPT
We have become His poetry (workmanship) a recreated people that will fulfill the destiny He has given each of us, for we are joined to Jesus, the Anointed One. Even before we were born, God planned in advance our destiny and the good works we would do to fulfill it”
(While I am writing this testimony I can see how God prepared me and spoke words of comfort to me about what was to come.)
I am secure in God’s promises to us that through trials and tribulations that will befall us, He is Immanuel God with us and He will never leave nor forsake us.
Monday 1st May.
After I showered I was extremely short of breath and tired and I had to lie down on the bed to get my breath back and to regain my strength. I got a fright and went to see the pulmonologist. He miss-diagnosed me with Bronchitis. I was send back home and continued to feel weaker. I struggled to breathe and coughed up a storm.
Sarah: The pic of this dog, is the pic Carin put on FB that same day. A few days later I told her, "You did not know you were that prophetic with the dog picture" LOL
Tuesday 2nd May.
I felt slightly better but got worse towards the evening. I could hardly move without coughing profusely and becoming out of breath.
My husband Charles and I were also discussing our future that time and during my time with God I wrote this encouragement from God in my diary.
“I will not let you lose your way!
I have led you through many difficult seasons
and demonstrated to you My miracle power.
Even if you are blind, I will become new eyes to you.
Even if you are lame, I will be great strength to you.
I will not allow you to wander any longer.
When weakness causes you to stumble,
I will swiftly run to pick you up and place you even farther on your path.
The darkness will become light in front of you,
and I will make your steps firm and secure.
No matter how well you see Me, I am there to uphold you.
No matter how clearly you perceive Me, I will not let you lose your way.
I will lead you to the oasis of My presence,
and you will be refreshed for your journey.
This day I have decreed,
new eyes and great strength into your life.”
I sensed God’s sustaining presence in me.
Wednesday 3rd May
It was a long day and I mostly lie on my bed, too weak to do anything. I moved slowly like a sloth. If I had to go to the bathroom or kitchen and struggled to breathe. I was as out of breath like a marathon runner whenever I moved and gasped for breath.
In the middle of the night I woke up and felt terrible. I had a bath thinking I might feel better. I fainted in the bath and when I came by I got out of the bath and tried to dress myself but I was so confused I hardly could dress myself. I was also very dizzy and gasping for breath and I felt confused. On my way to the bed I collapsed.
Charles woke up by the sound of a crash and found me unconscious on the floor.
He struggled to revive me and phoned the ambulance. I was taken to the hospital.
A CT Scan was done and I was diagnosed with Pulmonary embolism (PE) - (blockage of an artery in the lungs by a substance that has moved from elsewhere in the body through the bloodstream (embolism))
I had a big clot in each of my lungs and the oxygen and blood were almost cut off totally by the blocked arteries.
I struggled for more than a week with Symptoms of a PE namely shortness of breath, chest pain, particularly upon breathing in, and coughing. At last the condition throughout the last few days made sense to me.
In the critical unit in hospital, a sonar was done and they discovered a DVT (deep vein trombosis) in my right leg too with a big clot high up in my leg.
After all the tests the doctor came back and said: “I have all your results. It looks bad!” (No mincing of words)
Thursday 26 April
During the early hours of the morning with only a window of time available for the doctors to treat me and with my life in grave danger, my heart was flooded with peace and I was very calm. The peaceful sleep Jesus enjoyed on the boat on the stormy sea was suddenly a reality for me and at times I felt as if I was leaning back onto Jesus’ chest like John the disciple.
My daughter send me Is 42. “When you face stormy seas I will be there with you with endurance and calm; you will not be engulfed in raging rivers. If it seems like you’re walking through fire with flames licking at your limbs, keep going; you won’t be burned.”
Sometime during the crisis I saw my spirit rising up from my broken body - strong, whole and complete in Him. My spirit resembled me and the color was a soft grey with a white glow coming from inside my spirit body lighting me up and was the same as the soft light shining on me from above.
I had no fear or anxiety. I felt sheltered in the perfect peace that surpasses all understanding (Phil 4:7). I sensed my heart in my Spirit body opened and I was being drawn up, out if my body into Him. Then the magnetic force I was drawn with up into Him stopped and I gently glided back into my body.
My life was given back to me. I was not out of danger yet.
The PE was life threatening, and the doctor used Thrombolytic to treat the large clots that cause severe symptoms. There was the danger of possible internal bleeds or a bleed on the brain. We were presented with the negative effects of the treatment and My husband and I prayed together.
Based on Ps 16:5 we decided to give our consent for the severe treatment knowing God holds the cup of my life in His hands and He determines my lot.
A friend in UK send me a prayer:
“God is a shield around you and the lifter of your head! May the love force-field of Yeshua be all around you and the creative light of heaven radiate from within you! I bless your spirit with resilience!”
Shortly after this message I received another message from a friend in SA.
“I prayed for you and while I was praying for you I became aware of a light that resembles the light of a photo copy machine, moving up and down over your body. My friend, I am praying that The breath of God will fill you”
God Himself who is light and the Father of lights. He moved over me and restored me like He says in James 1:17 (KJV) "Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning."
The treatment was successful and I stayed for a week in ICU. I was monitored for possible bleeds and put on Apixaban as a blood thinner.
The days and nights merged into one long week in ICU while laying under bright lights and being connected to a monitor with many pipes and tubes.
I knew, although I was fully present and alive
and I felt as if I was floating in a bubble,
in a strange way,
I was detached from my body.
Sometimes I was resting in Him,
being shielded from life happening around me
and other times I had a distinct sense of Immanuel ...
God with me with a felt sense of His presence around and in me.
During the past few months, He urged me to get my personal matters in order which I did. There were not much except for a few practicalities. I had a strong sense something was going to happen to me and that I was going to pass away. I asked God many times to show me when my time is at hand for me to go to Him. I did not want to know the date but only the season.
I did look at long haul flights for July though and with no warning symptoms of my condition it would be fatal for me to board a plane. The course of my life was altered when I collapsed.
I believe God determines the course of my life and He allows what happens to me.
Job 12:10 (ESV) confirms to me my breath is in His hands and I not only received my breath from Him but also that my breath will return to Him in His time.
Job says: “In his hand is the life of every living thing and the breath of all mankind.”
He in His Sovereignty called me to the threshold of eternity but did not take my breath back into His hand but rather gave it back to me and restored me back to life.
Why telling me to get my life in order and then saving my life?
For about the last 36 years of my life I went through many life changing situations. At the most pivotal turning points I always saw an Eagle and the Eagle has become a picture or symbolic representation of what God was doing in my life.
The Bible often uses the symbol of an eagle to portray strength, power, vision, and even destruction.
The Biblical analogies using eagles should actually inspire us to righteous living and strengthen our walk with God!
Once when I was in stormy life circumstances I was reminded about how an eagle using the strength of the storm to rise above the storm. I sensed God encouraged me to ride upon the storms of my life and to gain strength from the storms to conquer it like an eagle
It was time for me to see an eagle again...
One morning somebody send me a beautiful picture of an eagle sitting at dawn with folded wings. Strong, calm, composed and at peace. I sensed God said “Fold your wings and rest for a while.” I also sensed He said if I fold my wings He can give me His wings to soar on His breath.
He spoke others things to me about the eagle and I am growing in understanding why God saved my life.
I am still in hospital to undergo further tests to determine why I had such an exceptional and severe thrombosis in both lungs and in my leg and if the clots in my lungs are related to the DVT in my leg.
A time and season for all things
An eagle doesn't migrate like some other birds. It never goes far from the rock on which it was born. In the eagle's life cycle, when it senses that the time has really come to die, it goes to its home rock, wraps its talons around it securely, and watches the sun set. It looks directly into the sun with a faraway look in its eyes. It is not necessarily sick, but God has put in its heart the desire to be free from the present world. The eagle instinctively knows that its purpose on earth is done. When the sun has set, it lies down and peacefully dies.
Those who wait for the Lord--who expect, look for and hope in Him--shall change and renew their strength and power; they shall lift their wings and mount up [close to God] as eagles [mount up to the sun]; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint or become tired.” Ampl. Isa. 40:28-31
“[The Lord] who satisfies your mouth [your necessity and desire at your personal age] with good; so that your youth, renewed, is like the eagles' [strong, overcoming, soaring]!
Ampl. Psa. 103:5
God spared my life
and there will be a day
that I will peacefully
release my spirit into His hands
while gazing into His eyes.
Carin, 11 June 2018
It got to me. This is PERHAPS why.
Perhaps because I really had my last conversation 18 June with my brother Zarias, blowing him warm with my hairdryer not knowing he was minutes away from the moment. I close my eyes and he is still right here. I dream of him often... like last night.
Perhaps because Carin should medically spoken have gone to Jesus this week.
I simply cannot handle that thought right now.
Perhaps because a pace-maker is keeping my mom's failing heart going. She literally can feel it. She says it is a horrible feeling.
Perhaps because my dad got out of a wreck end of last year and was suppose to be dead. Their story is a miracle. The first photo they sent me, I thought that is what they were telling me.
Perhaps because I myself should have gone to Jesus on so many an occasion, the last time with Penny on a motor bike 3 years ago. We assume the driver was on his phone and did not see us. We both believe we were miraculously saved that day. It is an amazing story. But I could have been gone too, just like that! Dengue fever also reminded me of that when I was a day away from a blood transfusion only two and half years ago.
Perhaps because Penny was also, so very suddenly - with one visa denial "gone" after 12 years... I am still digesting that. At least we can Whats-app! What a blessing. I still miss my house, my dogs, my motor bike, the people...
I do feel I had my fill in Ywam saying good bye to incredible deep friends.
That is the Ywam price tag and to stay soft after years
to say yes to new friends...
that you know will leave... sooner or a few years later.
that is an expensive tag...
As I always say to my students. You stay in YWAM because God called you, else you gotta go. Cause it is hard on many levels. You will feel it after 3-5 years... Raising monthly support is hard enough but to say hi and bye every 3 months, 1 or 2 years... sometimes 10 or 12 years... that is a beast.
It reminds me: we have our last two weeks together as a class after two years this month.
I knew this was going to be the case. We all kinda knew... we've been in Y a long time.
To have stayed "soft and open" to new people I knew would leave - and now we have come to that point (again) Ya... that's hard.
I hope to see Carin 1 July. Now you know why it is such a blessing to me.
I do not know when I will see Penny again.
I can never assume I will either. Nor you, or family or anyone for that matter.
That's it. :-)