Finishing Strong

FINISHING STRONG IN THE LORD - Testimonies of some of our GraceGen people who have been serving the Lord for 25 years and longer. These testimonies were read at the end of Avril Potgieter’s preach on Sunday 31 May 2010. You can download the audio on our resources page. Click here.

I am 78 years young and have been serving the Lord for 71 years. I made a commitment in 1938 when I was 7 years old, re-committed my life as a teenager in 1947, aged 16.  I got baptised in the Spirit in 1972.

What has kept me going as a believer?

Amazing answers to prayer in terms of finances, healing from sickness, little problems solved in everyday life.  All these not only in my own immediate family, but in others as well.

The constant support and fellowship of other believers.

The knowledge that God loves me, no matter what mistakes I make.

Current age: 76 years. In 1986, at age fifty, I gave my life to the Lord. What has kept me going with the Lord all these years?  I put my trust and faith in the Lord right from the beginning and He has never let me down through many crises. I was and am blessed with a caring church.

I have been a spirit-filled Christian since 1982 (28 years ago). I have, by the grace of God, been removed from a drink-infested marriage, battled under the weight of having no money at the end of the month and raising very sad and confused children

I have made many mistakes and will probably continue to do so, however God led me into successful careers and I wish I had listened more to Him and have been more sensitive to the Spirit in raising my children.

I am in awe of Him and His deep love for me.  I grow and continue to grow in maturity and wisdom daily. I love Him more and am so excited by what He continues to do in my life.

The imperfections in me are constantly being polished, He is truly unbelievable. My life of 28 years with Christ has been an exciting roller coaster of a ride and I pray that it will remain so until I see his beautiful face.  At the moment I am 62 and life is great!

I am almost 82 years old, and gave my heart to the Lord when I was about eight, 74 years ago. This was mainly through fear that the Lord would come and take our parents and our sister because they were all baptised and ready for Christ’s return. I feared that they would go taking my little sister who was only a baby and I would be left behind all alone!  I loved the Lord Jesus but this fear of not being in a state of grace haunted me as it did most of our “Missionary Kids” friends.  Our school, Sakeji School, was run by the “Plymouth Brethren” which was Pre-millennial.  It was very “grace” orientated and Calvinistic, too, but our family was a bit mixed up because Mother was more Armenian!  She believed and taught that if you were not ready like the 5 wise virgins you could be left behind at the Rapture!  In our house there was a calendar, sent yearly to our parents by some of their fellow Faith Mission Pilgrims (Faith Mission Pilgrims started the Africa Evangelistic Band in South Africa) called “Perhaps Today” indicating that the Lord could come today!  That hung over our heads – Were we ready!

Fortunately assurance of salvation seeped into my heart through the teaching at school where we were well soaked in the Scriptures.  Good habits of daily Bible reading (Scripture Union) and weekly church attendance, plus a real love of the Lord kept me and then in the 1970’s when the move of the Holy Spirit reached my friends in Zambia, filtering through to me as they got excited, I was baptised in/by the Holy Spirit and life got very exciting.

My age is 75 years. I remember putting my hand up when our 18 year old black Sunday School teacher asked who wanted to believe.  I was about 5.  I loved the Lord but did not have assurance.  Soon after my 11th birthday I remember being on my knees pleading for my sins to be forgiven!  When I went to Sakeji the teaching there filtered in – I did love the Lord with a passion!   The pre-millennium teaching haunted me till I went to The Bible Institute of SA in 1960 where I learned there were other theories!

On the way to Singapore in 1963, one of my fellow candidates suggested that I would not be much use as a missionary because I had not sinned much and been forgiven.  That shattered me until I read Ephesians 3; 14-20 and the Lord said quite clearly, “Who kept you?” 1 Peter 1: 5 - Kept by the power of God - is very true.

The Charismatic Movement was so exciting for me.  I left South Africa for my second term in Malaysia in 1967 feeling very discouraged about the church in South Africa. It was a relief to get back to the mission field where our young people were so keen.  In 1972 when I returned, it was so different.  Everywhere I went around SA doing deputation work there was a quiver of excitement. 

Looks like another wave is upon us now!

I am almost 39 years old. I was 10 when I gave my life to Jesus; my folks led me to him.  What kept me in the faith has been:

Parents and grandparents praying for me

Having friends who loved the Lord, especially at school and university

Experiencing His faithfulness in answering prayer.

I was saved in 1974, 36 years ago, when I was 12 years old. An older friend of mine invited me to watch a play similar to “Heaven’s gates and hell’s flames”. I made a commitment after watching the play. I cannot remember the exact day, but I remember it was in the evening.

I strongly believe what has kept me is the Holy Spirit’s constant reminder of God’s love, faithfulness and the second coming of Jesus to take me home.

I am 39 years old, and have been saved for 35 years. The grace of God alone kept me! When I was a young Christian I thought it was about me and what I did for the Lord, and my own efforts. But bit-by-bit God undid that until I came to the point of revelation that there was nothing I did or could do to earn not only my salvation, but also my enduring in Him. I don’t hold him, He holds me. Not my theology, not my religious tradition, not my spiritual discipline, not anything I do or am can earn me God’s love or keep me in right relation to him.  Only his love, which was lavished upon me even before I ever responded to him or even before I was born, has made me his child and kept me in his love. While I was still a sinner, Christ died for me. I don’t hold him, he holds me!

I got save 32 years ago. Romans 8:1 (There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus) is a verse that has been so important to me, helping me to understand God’s love and grace in my life. Knowing that through all the ups and downs Jesus is always at my side – through thick and thin – using my experiences to minister to others. To God be the glory.

I came to know the Lord when I was a child in the Methodist Sunday School, I am almost 69 years old. The example of a praying father and a godly grandmother, and the Lord kept me.

I am 71 years old. I spent 8 years in an orphan’s village. I got converted at a Billy Graham meeting at the age of 16. Our church was non-denominational and we often had missionary speakers. My father died just before we entered orphanage. My mother was unwell and spent the rest of her life in psychiatric institution. I attended a Baptist church when studying at University.  I was interested in doing mission work in Africa and arrived in 1966 in the then Transkei. My health has not always been 100%, but the Lord has looked after us. Next year will be our 50th wedding anniversary.

I am 60 years old. My spiritual age is 38 years. I accepted Jesus Christ as my Lord and Saviour at the age of 22 and was baptised in water and in the Holy Spirit then too.

What keeps me going is my faith in Jesus Christ, my personal relationship with Him, the Father and the Holy Spirit and fellowshipping with other Christians. I love Him so much!


I am 35 years old, and was saved when i was 3, that would be in 1977. So I've been saved for 32 years now.

My mum and dad accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, because my dad was possessed by an evil spirit, a very violent one I must add.  They went to a number of temples and priests, but nobody could help.

One day a missionary went to my dad's cousin's home, she was unsaved, and she told the missionary about my dad and the problems we were going through as a family, since our family was being torn apart by this spirit.

The missionary visited my parents, and when he approached the house, my dad saw him and immediately said, "I now know the truth, Jesus is the truth." Remember, my parents were both Hindu, and knew nothing about the Lord.  We have been saved since then, and have never, nor will ever turn from the Lord.  

He is my Saviour and is so precious to me.  He has seen me through so much of hurt and pain and trauma in my life, but I am a conqueror in and through Him. I was involved in a major car accident when I was 8 years old, some at the scene thought that I was dead, but the Lord had His hands of protection upon me, and all I had was some cuts, bruises and stitches that have all healed.

I have continued to trust in the Lord, because He is real.  I feel His love, and nothing can compare to it.

I was born in 1959. I came to know the Lord in 1976. I have been walking with the Lord since (for 34 years). It is the grace of God, faith and trust in the Word of God and fellowship with other believers (being accountable to other Christians) that has kept me walking with the Lord.

I am 77 years old, was born in 1933. I gave my heart to the Lord at the age of 15. I was shy and rarely talked to others about my feelings. To this day I rarely express my feelings to others, but when I read my Bible, I see in my mind’s eye:
  • the glory of God
  • His creation of the world
  • His creation of mankind

Then the birth of Jesus in the manger until the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus pleads with his Father God for mercy that his crucifixion does not take place, then darkness, followed by resurrection.

I gave my life to Jesus at a Reinhard Bonnke meeting at MCC in 1981, when I was 28 years old. I attended church for two years or so, but then backslid until 1986, when I came face to face with the risen Lord Jesus and was “physically and emotionally” baptised in the Holy Spirit.

This experience was so vivid and real, and the change to me was so dramatic, that it is the single biggest reason why I have continued in my walk with God. Within 48 hours God had sovereignly removed my fear and my bad language. He enabled me to understand the gospel and filled me with joy. The change was so dramatic that it led to the salvation within weeks of my dad, my brother, my two sisters-in-law and my mother-in-law. I often refer to it as a Damascus experience. I will never forget it.

I am 47 years old, and grew up in a family that loves the Lord very much. Our family activities were influenced by the activities of our Pentecostal church. God’s Word and the gospel of Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit was part of normal day to day life and also directed our lives.

I can’t remember when I first committed my life to the Lord, maybe I was around 9 or 10. I remember that in 1974, I was 11 years old, I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and two years later I got baptised in water.

What kept me: Being baptised in the Holy Spirit, Word-based teaching, and an understanding of the gospel and the freedom it brings. Our parents encouraged us to be involved in a variety of cultural and other activities, to prevent us becoming narrow minded religious people.  I grew up with an understanding that I am in the world but not from the world.

My grandparents got saved in the revival that took place early in the 20th century. Both my parents were saved before getting married, all of their four kids and the seven grand children are serving the Lord.  My children are fourth generation Christians, experiencing the grace and blessing of God.