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Testimony of God's faithfulness and His provision. Johan Grobler

Posted on Tuesday March 08 2016

We have had the privilege to sit under many teachings in this church from a team of leaders; Great, Godly leadership. Men who lead us well.

We are encouraged often to come expectant to church, to hear from God, to allow Him to speak into your heart. I want to encourage you to do exactly that!

This is what this has meant to me and my family. I was in a very difficult work situation for just over 2 years, during which time I was facing many challenges - and to be honest, I was struggling through them. I was taking strain.

George bought us a series of messages- “dignify the challenge”. Some of the points I still remember God does not sleep He is not surprised God has a plan, I am part if His plan. I need to be the salt and light to this place where God put me, they need me!

My challenge can be a testimony.

This is where God turned things around for me!

I could now face the challenges with a renewed perspective. So, when we had salary cuts - I could witness to others that this is not problem - I trust in an almighty God who knew this was coming. He’s got this under control. A small side note here. This family, His family, supported us in some awesome ways here. Words of encouragement, genuine concern.. And even filled up our chest freezer with top class meat- “t-bones” and “steaks”! The cream of the best stuff!

Because it was on their hearts to do so- before there was any talk of a retrenchment at my work.

Ok, so- we were praying that God would relieve me from this work. Many of you had been praying for this with us- and we were praying that God would place me in a place of work that would surpass our expectation. In addition to this we were praying that God would give me a work that would:

And God heard our prayers. I was relieved of that work end of 2015.

Not how I expected it.. I was retrenched.

Now, one of the challenges I had faced was the MD’s reluctance to pay his suppliers- and employees that he wanted to let go, which usually happened with less than a weeks notice. God's Hand here - I was given 6 weeks notice. Here is another glimpse of God's goodness. I was copied in on some emails where the MD was asking his labour lawyer what his responsibilities were in retrenching. And this is exactly what he did- he applied the BCEA to the letter. A settlement agreement drawn up and signed accordingly.

Did God have His hand on this- here's more. We had a holiday booked for early December- my notice month. The MD had cancelled other employees leave for lesser reasons- but MD said, no.. Go on holiday. In fact - no need to come back to office to sit and wait. If we need you, we'll call. He did not deduct additional leave!

Then, the company applied for a tax directive so I can receive the settlement payment with no deductions. This can take weeks to approve- submitted in a Friday at 12:00.. And was approved by 16:00 same day. God has His way.

End December, first payment from the company is due.. It was received on time. Roughly equal to a month salary amount. I'm applying for jobs.. Hear nothing. No interview. Nothing. End January comes.

The payment I’m expecting is not received. What should I do.. Should I call MD? No, I leave it I decided. An hour later the MD sends me a message me to say sorry payment was not made but he, will pay within week. God had gone before me here too! He is so good! And I did get the full amount due.

Towards end February - I receive a call from a previous employer. They are looking for someone to fill a training position. Reasons why I left- the main instigating issue- removed to the USA! Not coming back. That’s how far God removed the problems!

Long story shortened here, I get offered the position.

Is God in control of this.. Here are the details. I am welcomed back feeling like a hero. I am not in a management position but they left me on a management leave level regarding the benefits Wait.. there’s more..

They are moving office from Midrand to Centurion- 5km from my house. How good is this? Wait. God has the Trump card still to play..

They want to pay for me to study civil engineering!

Is God in control? Yes.

Did He answer our prayers?

Yes, abundantly.

Does He love us as His children? Can we doubt it?! Does our Father want to bless us beyond our expectation? Amazingly, yes.

I thank my wife for her support in this time. Gayle, you never doubted.

Thank you to this family (our local church) for your support in prayer and encouraging words. To the leaders of this church, thank you for faithfully bringing God's word to us- we never know the impact of that word you bring to us at the time. I want to give God the glory and praise for this testimony. He has protected us as a family, He has more than sustained us. He has blessed us.

Our God is an awesome God.


The Testimony of Cobus and Tania Struwig

Posted on Wednesday February 11 2015

It is hard to argue with someone's own experience- testimonies testify to the presence of the One and Only TRUE God in our lives! Herewith the testimony of a couple who trust God...

From Tania:

My heart is still overflowing with indescribable joy of what God has
done for our family and those who have walked this road with us. We
have had an amazing  3 months! We still stand in awe of His greatness
and can only give glory to Him.

On 2 November 2014, Cobus, my husband, was admitted to Unitas hospital
for what looked like pneumonia. He's been sick for a few months. Went
to the doctor a few times. Every time he was diagnosed with an upper
respiratory infection. Antibiotics worked only for a while before he
got sick again. He had all the symptoms of a heart problem but even
the doctors were blind to it.

That night, the doctor phoned me to tell me that it is not pneumonia
but heart failure. They have scheduled an angio gram for the next
morning. They would probably see what is wrong and then go in and fix
it. Not sounding very stressed at all.

By the next morning things changed drastically. She phoned me and told
me to get to the hospital as soon as I can. Cobus' heart was
functioning at a mere 5%. (due to a virus that attacked his heart
muscle) He will probably not make it through the week. Now people, men
in their 30's has a normal heart function of 60 -70%. 50% means you
are really unfit. 40% you go see the cardiologist and get some meds,
30% you will have some kind of operation. 20% you are in really bad
shape and will probably die in the near future. 5% = no hope. (but
God...)

Cobus and I have known each other since we were 5 years old. We've
been together for 21 years and this year will be married for 15 years.
How can this woman tell me that my life with Cobus is ending?!?! I
completely lost it. When I spoke to Doug, George T and Pam on the
phone I could barely get a word out.

I cried out "God what now?!?!" And then I heard a voice in my head:
"But don't you know who I AM?" In that instant I thought of when Jesus
calmed the storm. He asked the frantic disciples: "Where is your
faith?" After He calmed the storm Peter said: "Who is this Man that
even the wind and waves obey him?"

I was also reminded of a conversation I had with Marius weeks before
at band practice about why we keep on falling in the same trap by
worrying about things when God provides for our every need, every
time. He said: "we do not trust Jesus, because we don't know Jesus."
And that hit me like a ton of bricks. God has prepared me for this
moment even when I was unaware of what was coming. By giving me the
words He spoke that morning He has given me everything I will need not
only for the journey we were about to embark on, but everything I need
for the rest of my life. He has been, is and will ALWAYS be there. His
presence in me became so clear, and that gave me so much peace. That's
when I knew Cobus will be OK. BUT I knew my focus had to be on Jesus
and Him alone.

When I got to the hospital Cobus was in and out of consciousness. When
he saw me he said with a smile on his face that he think things are
really bad, but that it is ok, because he is saved. Those words are
that you want to hear from the man you love in a situation like this.
Even though I already knew the outcome, I did not have the confidence
to say it out loud. I told him all we had to do was focus on Jesus.

By the time the doctor came to speak to us he was unconscious again.
She said his condition was deteriorating so fast that he might not
make it through the day. They must take drastic action, but I must let
his family know right away. They need to come to Pretoria to come and
say good bye. She handed him over to the cardiac team.

I remember thinking to myself, why should I let his family know? This
would only upset them unnecessarily. But fortunately I did, and they
did come.

The new doctors informed me that Cobus' condition was so bad, and that
they are not equipped to give him the care that he needs. He was so
unstable at that time that they were scared to move him from one ward
to another. He needed to be moved to Milpark hospital in Johannesburg
to get an LVAD attached to his heart. This device is also known as an
ABBA heart. It takes control of the function of the left side of the
heart so that the heart can rest and hopefully start to recover by
itself.

But at that stage he was in such a bad state that they could not risk
transporting him. So they decided to do an ECMO implant. This is where
they attach a thick pipe to each femoral artery so that the blood gets
pumped out of the body, filled with oxygen and pumped back in. This
would keep his organs functioning so that his heart doesn't have to
work as hard.

You know that someone is really sick when  doctors are as pale as
ghosts and can't look you in the eye. I saw a whole lot of very pale
doctors over the next month. They told me from the start that this
operation is temporary and will hopefully buy him some time to get to
Milpark. BUT his chances are slim for surviving the operation, and if
he makes it I should be aware of the complications that includes
bleeding.

I heard what the doctors were saying. I saw the condition Cobus was
in, yet I could not help but have peace and joy in my heart for what
God said to me that morning.

That night Highway came to Unitas. 12 of us sitting in the waiting
room, singing, praying laughing.( Especially at David Brink ;O)) Once
again God surrounded me with His people giving me exactly what I
needed at that time. We prayed and started thanking God already. When
the operation was done we were jumping up and down rejoicing!
Celebrating the first of many victories. We made quite a lot of noise
next to a sign that says: "Silence heals" ( NO Unitas, JESUS HEALS!)

The morning of 4 November, as I arrived at Unitas, the doctor phoned
me to inform me that Cobus started to bleed a bit by the right side
implant. They are taking him into theatre to repair the bleeding. 2
Hours later they came out. They repaired the wound and stopped the
bleeding. We rejoiced again!

12 o'clock, while sitting with some more Highway people at the coffee
shop, the ICU nurse phoned telling me to get to the ICU immediately.

When I got there the doctors were standing in a pool of Cobus' blood.
He was lying on the bed convulsing, someone was sitting on his chest
doing CPR. Alarms were going off everywhere. All the lines on the SAT
screen were flat! He started bleeding profusely by the left implant.
He was bleeding out. He died there on that bed right in front of my
eyes. The doctors continued to work on him just to get some kind of a
pulse back. Flat lines stayed on that little screen. I remembered
thinking, this is probably it. Then hearing in my head: "it is OK, be
calm. Don't worry." I wasn't scared at all. I was calm. I had so much
peace in my heart. I knew he will be OK. That is what God said. Then
the doctors got a pulse and an emergency operation took place right
there on the bed.

That is when I knew the whole situation has turned around. From here
on things will only get better. My heart was filled with joy! Still
is! And there God opened my mouth. Who am I to not believe the words
that were given to me by the same God who spoke creation into being?

A couple of hours later, the trauma doctor came to speak to me. (very
pale) "Mrs Struwig, your husband is very sick. His only chance is to
transport him to Milpark tonight. He HAS to get  LVAD as soon as
possible. BUT Mrs Struwig, he is by far the worst patient I have had
to transport. There is probably a 30% chance that he will make the
trip to JHB. There is not much we can do for him on the road." I could
not help myself. I said to him: " Dr, you say 30%, I say with God it
is 130%! You just drive carefully and phone me when you get there."
"But Mrs Struwig, you have to be prepared...."

That night at our prayer meeting God just once again gave me His words
by speaking through the people of Highway. There were so many words
and pictures for my husband. They were all confirmed. Johan prayed
that God would be above, below, in front of, behind and on both sides
of Cobus while he was being transported. And HE was! That night at 9
o'clock doctor Hugo phoned me and said Cobus is in Milpark. The trip
went surprisingly well. I must please keep him informed about Cobus'
progress, because he finds all of this very interesting. I am still
giving him updates. He went from " Mrs Struwig, you must
understand..." to " I can't believe it!" to  "Praise the Lord!" That
is only another part of this journey we can testify about later.

The following day I met some amazing doctors. One in particular said
to me that they will do what they need to but that I must pray. They
did the LVAD operation and Cobus' heart could rest.

The first day in Milpark was quite memorable. My family and Cobus' mom
met me at Milpark. Enter Tumisa!  What a memorable day that was. They
could see that what I was telling them over the phone was true. They
were concerned about the children and myself, but only when they met
my Highway family, they understood that I have God's children standing
rock solid with me. It gave them peace and they knew that we were
being taken care of.

To make a very long story a little shorter... Over the next couple of
days Cobus' condition did improve. He did have kidney failure but like
one doctor said, kidneys are such robust organs. One day it is in
total failure, the next day it is back to normal. Had to get dialysis
for a couple of weeks. Still, heart wise, things were looking better.
(celebrating victories everyday, even if machines were keeping him
alive)

The first attempt to remove the LVAD failed. Cobus' heart stopped
again. They had to reattach the LVAD and said that they would try
again in a couple of days. This got some people a bit worried, but I
had my word that God gave me. I could stand on that. Cobus woke up. I
could speak to my husband for the first time in 2 weeks!
Celebrating!!!

On 17 November 2014 they successfully removed the LVAD. Cobus' heart
was beating on it's own. 25%!!! Celebrating!!!

After that, we still had some battles in hospital, like the ICU
syndrome which was really bad, his kidneys that were still failing.
The ECMO wounds that became septic to such a degree that if the
infection spread even a little further that it would go into the
femoral arteries and he would bleed out again. But we had Jesus to
focus on.

Even though the wounds kept Cobus in hospital for 4 extra weeks, his
heart was still improving. Kidneys improved to a point that they could
stop with dialysis. He was blessed with the opportunity to witness not
only to Christians but to non believers as well. (but it is not my
place to give his testimony)

During this time God blessed me in abundance. Not only did he save my
husband' life for the second time, (salvation being the first), he
restored things in our marriage that we both thought was gone for
ever. He placed us in a part of His body, called Highway Church.(
People that will go to battle with you!) I want to go beyond calling
you guys family, I feel that God has given you to us as gifts. Such a
blessing each and everyone of you. Never think that if God places
something in your heart to do or to say to a person that it is not
worth doing or saying. This is part of the works that he has prepared
for us. You might never know what it means to that person, but know
this, by obeying you not only bless but will be blessed, and who
wouldn't want that.

He has also given me time. Me, a person that never sleeps longer than
5 hours a night, has had so much sleep during the last 3 months. 8
hours every night. He blessed me, by being on my mind when I woke up
in the morning, through out the day  and I could fall asleep while
talking to Him at night. He blessed me with quality time with my
children, quality time with Cobus. Doctors and nurses who basically
let us come and go as we pleased in the hospital. He blessed me with
patience. (if you know me at all, it does not come naturally) He
blessed me with peace. I could calmly think about decisions I needed
to make.

He blessed our children. He covered them with His grace. I decided
from the first day that I am not going to keep the truth from them.
(not the scary details obviously) They were blessed with the same
peace that I was given. We could carry on as normal as possible. After
going to 5 schools, we were even blessed to find the perfect school
for Evan on Dec 4. He blessed me with people where I could let my
children stay for any amount of time, day or night. Lasting
friendships were formed between parents and children. We celebrated
Christmas both in and out of the hospital. We celebrated New years and
Leigh's birthday both in and out of hospital. So much joy!
He blessed us with a boss like Riaan ven der Berg. Not only did he
stay in contact with me constantly, but paid Cobus' salary every
month. Even visited him on Christmas day.

He blessed me with His truth, His Word. Every sermon, every prayer
meeting, every song we sang was as if it was designed for me. I was
fed until I was overflowing, and still I want more. He has blessed me
with this indescribable joy that it feels as if my heart will explode
any second. He has blessed me by opening my mouth and giving me the
words and the boldness to witness to our families, saved and unsaved,
to friends, saved and unsaved. His presence in me gave me the strength
to stand in what I believe and not to doubt even for a second.

There can be NO denying that this is a miracle!  Against every medical
probability God saved Cobus' life!  Gave him a second chance! He has
blessed me by taking something, that by worldly standards should have
broken me down, and carried it for me.  He blessed me by enabling me
to drive almost 6400km in 64 days. He even dropped the petrol price
twice!

He has blessed me by showing me that He is ever faithful, true to His
Word, in control of EVERYTHING! And that is why all I can say in
response to this is, to God ALL THE GLORY!

Our journey is not over yet. Cobus is still recovering but doing very
well. Once again exceeding expectations (also another part that has a
testimony). Please continue to pray for us and thank God with us
everyday for His love, grace and mercy.

Love you all!

 

 

 


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