MY CALLING

So often we forget that we live in Africa – living in a city, howbeit a very small city with its tarred roads
and nearby Farms, if it weren’t for the politics one could believe that we were living in any developed country.
Recently I was reminded afresh of my calling and the reason why I am a Pastor.
My ordination as Pastor took place on the same day as my Marriage – 21 July 1973.
A number of years later, I was appointed as by the Government of our Country as a Marriage Officer.
My appointment has enabled me to not only to perform but also to legally solemnize Marriages
and to complete the necessary documentation to have the marriages registered.
 
I have always tried to be true to the Scripture which says:
Matthew 10:8 KJV 
Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead,
cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give.
 
This has not been easy – living by Faith and trusting the Lord in all things –
Regardless of what some may say has many challenges
But this one thing I can confirm – the Scripture is true:
 
Psalms 37:25 KJV 
I have been young, and now am old;
yet have I not seen the righteous forsaken,
nor his seed begging bread.
 
The Bills may have piled up high – extremely high BUT
Our Family has never gone to bed hungry –
God has always provided us with enough food –
More than enough, enough to share with others!
 
But back to that Friday, I had be requested to solemnize a Marriage some 200Km north of Welkom.
It was to prove a challenge – concerned does not describe how I felt.
It would seem that finances are always a problem – before I could leave Welkom
Some things needed to be done and taken care of.
An hour before I was to leave, an Assembly Member suddenly telephoned to let
me know that she was bringing me her Tithes – just sufficient for what I needed!
 
The Word is True:
Psalms 68:19 KJV 
Blessed be the Lord,
who daily loadeth us with benefits,
even the God of our salvation. Selah.
 
As I travelled, I took a moment to bow my head in prayer to thank the LORD
For all those persons over the years of my Ministry who by their Offerings and Tithes
Have made it possible for me to labour in HIS vineyard.
 
The Journey – all was well until I left the tarred Road –
How do I describe the road that I now had to travel on -?
 A Country RoadFarm Road. It was a combination – first I was travelling on
A gravel road followed by a section covered by sharp rocks, followed by a
Section covered with a deep layer of fine sand with caused my small 1100 Datsun to swerve.
It seemed endless cycle gravel, sharp stones and sand!
While travelling, I send a rifle shot prayer to Heaven –
Thanking the Lord that it had not rained for if it had I would never have completed the journey.
It was the worst road that Africa could offer!
It was a lonely road – I thought that I was lost and perhaps had taken a wrong turn.
A Car approached from the opposite direction, and I indicated with my hand waving
Out the window for him to stop. Asking if I was on the right road he said, yes but that
I still had a long way to go.
The road seemed never ending and consulting the directions that I had written down
I realized that I had travelled more than double the mileage I had been told for this section of
the journey I decide to turn back!
Fortunately, after travelling less than a mile, another car come travelling the direction that
I previously travelled – once again with my hand out the hand I showed them to stop,
They did – before I could say anything they started to laugh –
Picture the scene – me in my Black Suite and White Tie – they must have immediately
Recognised me because they said: Dominee (Afrikaans for a Minister)  turn around and Follow us
– We are on the way to the Wedding!
Eventually, we arrived at the entrance to the Estate on which the Wedding was to take place.
But what no one told me was that I still had to travel some 3 miles into the Estate –
Untamed Bush – Africa in the Wild – this time on mere tracks in the veld.
In a Worst condition then the road just travelled.
A hand painted board said – Rhino crossing – at one point.
While I did not see any Rhino, I did see some Magnificent Eland, some elegant Springbok
and another type of Buck which I could not identify.
For the first time I saw a small troop of Blou-ape (Blue Velvet Monkeys) and a flock of
Guinea Fowl.
Finally we arrive at the enclosure with 5 minutes to spare, where the Wedding Ceremony was to be held.
An enclosure, on the River Bank, the river was about 50 feet or more below.
Huge High Steel Gates were at the entrance to the tree/ bush surrounded enclosure.
 
The Ceremony was marked by an Eagle that screeched as it flew over the River
And the sound of Water birds as they danced on the River!
The Bride arrived but instead of entering the enclosure,
Suddenly and unexpectedly the Huge High Gates were closed.
A recording was played – effort had been made –
I presumed that the sound system was battery operated.
The Bride’s prayer for her Wedding was heard.
When the Amen had been said, The Bride spoke directly to
Her Bridegroom telling him that shortly she would arrive to fulfil her
Promise to marry him!
It was the first marriage that I have officiated at that the Bridegroom burst out in tears!
If only all marriages could begin with the Bridal couple praying beforehand!
The Huge High Steel gates then opened and the Bride entered!
The Bride and Groom were given keys during the Ceremony

to remind them of the Keys to a successful Marriage.
 
At the conclusion of the Ceremony, the Family gave me a Bible –
THE MIRROR BIBLE – as thanks for me conducting the Marriage.
 
Immediately, after the Ceremony, I left, not staying for the Celebration Feast.

I had travelled alone and wanted to be home before it became too dark.
It was an 8 hour round trip – to conduct a Wedding for a young couple!
As I travelled home, I realised that this was the reason that God called me into the Ministry as a Servant.
John 12:26 KJV 
If any man serves me, let him follow me; and where I am,
there shall also my servant be: if any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
 
1 Corinthians 7:22 KJV 
For he that is called in the Lord, being a servant,
 is the Lord's freeman: likewise also he
that is called, being free, is Christ's servant.
 
Galatians 1:10 KJV 
For do I now persuade men, or God?
or do I seek to please men?
or if I yet pleased men,
I should not be the servant of Christ.
 
Preaching and teaching the Word of God in the Local Church,
Standing at an open Grave to comfort those who are mourning,
and solemnizing the Union of Couples in Marriage.
I am humbled and stand in awe of the great privilege and  honour
that the Lord has bestowed on me to be HIS servant.



This is what make the Ministry worthwhile and I

want to thank you for your friendship and encouragement

that has made it all possible!



Christian love

Cornelius



Pastor CSJ Claassen


PO Box 99
Welkom

9460
SOUTH AFRICA