It all started on the evening of 13 April for Sandra Hanekom when an old student, Wium Matfield, contacted her out of the blue. The powerful hand of God works in mysterious ways…
In the message he said that while he was busy with worship, he felt the need to contact her. He asked Sandra about spiritual gifts. He asked if she knows about it and sent her more information regarding the subject.
Not really thinking much about it, Sandra continued as per normal, unbeknownst to her that one message would put the wheels of fate into motion…
In the beginning of lockdown Mariëtte Botha sent out WhatsApp broadcast messages. These messages contained prayers and sermons from Reverend Bennie Marais from Charl Cilliers. He would send messages to his congregation members in the mornings and the evenings.
“My husband and I would listen to Reverend Bennie’s messages in the evenings and also to our own church’s broadcast messages,” said Sandra.
One day Reverend Bennie asked his congregation to each member to record a prayer and he will broadcast these prayers to everyone.
“I found a beautiful version of Psalm 121. I spoke to Mariëtte and told her that I am going to record Psalm 121 and send it to Reverend Bennie. That evening my recording was broadcasted with all the other recordings for people to enjoy.”
A few days later Sandra received a call from the Reverend himself. He said that her recording had touched so many hearts and asked her if she would write a prayer. Obliging, Sandra wrote a prayer based on one of the Psalms the Reverend mentioned in his sermon.
It was not long after that when Reverend Bennie contacted Sandra again. This time congregation members had asked if she would mind recording the poems the members sent to him.
From then, every time Sandra would come across something, she thought special, she would record herself reading the verse and send it to Reverend Bennie.
Time after time Sandra would receive a message from Reverend Bennie saying that when she sends him recordings, he is shocked that the theme of her recording would be the same as his theme for that evening. Neither knew what the other prepared nor recorded.
“I received a version of Habakkuk on a WhatsApp and recorded it. Reverend Bennie broadcasted it one evening. God’s hand was definitely at play here because the message found its way to Ria Krog. When her husband passed on, the late Reverend Du Bruin Krog, the same passage I recorded, was the same passage that she held onto and it is still incredibly special to her,” Sandra explained.
She continued: “When she heard the recording of Habakkuk, she could not believe it. She forwarded the recording to her friend Nicolette Steel. (Nicolette is a motivational speaker.) Nicolette contacted Ria to find out who the face behind the voice on the recording is because she would like to use it in one of her videos.”
The recording was translated into Sign Language by Melinda Botha, a teacher at the Transoranje School for the Deaf. Nicolette contacted Sandra and sent her the video of Melinda signing the Habakkuk passage.
“I was comfortable doing the voice recordings and sending them to Nicolette to be translated into Sign Language by Melinda. The next thing I knew I was recording videos. The purpose behind the videos was so that the deaf community could also read my lips while Melinda is signing.”
“This was a big challenge for me!”
“For every one video there were about four retakes. Just as I would get into the flow, something would make a noise. If it were not a car driving past, it would be a leaf blower,” Sandra said while she laughed.
While she continued to explain how she overcame the challenges of recording herself, Sandra’s infectious laughter filled the room. I could not help but giggle with this Godfearing woman sitting opposite me.
She did not want to upload any of these videos on Facebook at first, but later decided to share one of the videos on her wall.
She later realised something that is so infinitesimal to her, means the world to others. She felt honoured to have had the opportunity to express the word of God in these challenging times.
It is strange how one thing can put the wheels of fate into motion: an old student asking her about spiritual gifts, recording the same message as Reverend Bennie and Ria Krog’s Habakkuk passage.
These are things one cannot explain but yet so hard to comprehend as to why everything fell into place. Why did everything fall into place like a well oiled machine?
It seems like it is exactly like Sandra said: “God had a hand in all of this!”
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