Monday through Wednesday was the second and final Grace Ministers’ Conference for this year. It was held at the Stellenbosch Lodge in beautiful Stellenbosch, a South African city famous for its vineyards. We were told that in the old days, slaves would work in the vineyards for no pay other than receiving bottles of wine, which helped turn nearly all of them into alcoholics. Happily, today things are somewhat better. With a backdrop of rugged mountains, the lush green vineyards of Stellenbosch glow with stunning beauty.
Dr. McIntosh and I gave the same four addresses each as at the first Grace Ministers’ Conference and again had two Q/A sessions. I learned a great deal in these weeks from my brother about the creation/evolution issue and I felt more freedom in preaching this time around. I had several good talks with dear brothers and sisters in the Lord. On Tuesday, I especially enjoyed my time with Karl Peterson, who I knew for a few years as a missionary from Mozambique, but is now teaching for BISA (Bible Institute for South Africa)—a school quite similar to Mukhanyo Theological College. Pastor Peterson had the highest praise for Mukhanyo and for Dr. Brian DeVries and Dr. Miskin’s efforts there. I also had three lengthy conversations with prospective students, two of which seems very hopeful to me.
One couple, Aime and Micheline Sefu, told me they had two children, the youngest being named Eneilla Emmanuella, which is derived from a French sentence that means “the eternal Lord is alive”! I asked them if there was a special reason they gave this child such a unique name. They told me that this girl was born in special circumstances.
Two weeks after Micheline became pregnant with her, Aime lost his job. Despite crying long and hard to the Lord, no matter what he tried he could find no employment. During the pregnancy, God covered Micheline by applying Isaiah 66:9 powerfully to her soul, “Shall I bring to the birth, and not cause to bring forth? Saith the LORD: shall I cause to bring forth, and shut the womb? saith thy God.” Eneilla was born on the way to the hospital in her aunt’s car and was wonderfully spared. It all happened so fast that the Aime was not aware of it until his wife reached the hospital. At that point, his sister called him and told him that he needed to wash his car because his baby had been born in it!
The following day, Aime, who had been out of work for three months, was applying for a job but failed to pass the challenging test (a score of 1500 was needed) he was given for the position. No second interview was ever allowed, but when he pleaded for another chance, the office manager eventually relented, and he then went into the bathroom to call his wife to pray for him as he took the test. (She was already at home, as she stayed in the hospital only four hours after delivery!) Afterward, the office manager asked him how he managed to get a nearly perfect score of 2500! He was hired on the spot for a very good job. Because of this combination of wonderful events, the Sefu’s were so impressed with God’s intervening grace that they named their little baby, “the eternal Lord is alive”!