Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Illustrate the meaning of "Every Dark Cloud has a Silver Lining" (without using the actual phrase or literal example). (02/28/08)
TITLE: "BROKE!..BACK, MOUNTAINS", HEAVENLY LIGHT!
By Kenneth Heath
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Begging and pleading, she was dragged into the forest clearing, where the mob set about her with sticks, beating her until she was almost unconscious. Throwing paraffin on her, they set her alight and moved on to the next victim who they forced to eat all the groceries he had just purchased, including a bottle of cooking oil and a large packet of washing powder. This continued day after day, the victims’ only crimes, being that they had purchased supplies from our trading store. On account of the volatile political situation in South Africa, no black person was allowed to purchase anything from a white owned business. To do so would incur the wrath of the African National Congress youth and torture, mutilation or even death could follow.
We owned a trading store high up in the Hogsback Mountains in Eastern Cape. The year was 1988 and all hell broke lose as political instability rocked the nation. All white owned businesses were boycotted, with “comrades” sitting outside shop’s intimidating all who came near and punishing those who disobeyed.
Black customers made up 85% of our clientele, with holidaymakers and retired people making up the rest. As Christians we could not believe that this was happening to us. We ran a multiracial church on the mountain and had a good relationship with all our customers. A deathly silence fell upon our mountain resort. The tourist trade dried up and the large forestry camp’s workers were forced to shop at towns far away. I had hoped it would be a short lived boycott, but two years later and with no customers we were broke, having used up our savings and having sold off everything of value we had to survive.
Two months before we moved away, the Lord had spoken to us saying; “that we were to move to the land He had given our forefathers”. That happened to be King Williams Town, a town about two hours away, where our three young children were in boarding school and where my forefathers had settled in the early 1800’s.
We moved in the December of 1989, to the only house that was available to rent. Not knowing anyone and with no family to assist us, the future looked very bleak. All we possessed were some furniture, a few groceries and the first month’s rent. Believing that we would easily find work in the New Year, we spent a quiet Christmas together with our children looking forward to 1990. How wrong we were, there were no jobs in town or further a field, and we were in serious trouble.
I could just imagine the Lord saying, ”O yea of little faith…” but that was not the case, as we had learnt to trust Him many years ago. So, in spite of our circumstances, we offered up our praises to Him, and daily throughout 1990, He saw to our every need in miraculous ways.
We found envelopes of money in our postbox and packets of groceries at the front door. A man arrived with an ocean fish, so large that we had to cut it in half to fit into our chest freezer. Yes, we ate the fish for a month, but never starved, even our pets were taken care of. Our son age seven, tired of fish and asked if he could have a beef burger. Having no money, we told him to go and ask the Lord in his prayer time for a burger. This he did and the next day a butcher arrived with 5 Kilograms of minced beef. We always paid the rent and school fees and such was the Lords amazing provision that we lacked for nothing. Much to our children’s delight, we even received tickets for the traveling circus that was visiting town and early one morning a TV was found at the front door. Opening the front door became an exciting family event, as we never knew what was hiding behind it.
Our home was always full of fun, laughter and praise, as the miracles poured in. Our children experienced God’s miracles first hand, lessons which have cemented their relationship with Him in a very special way. By the December of 1990 our learning curve ended as He provided employment for both of us. Looking back seventeen years later I still marvel at what fun we had as a family, when we were broke and He was our “sole provider.”
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