On this page we shall post news updates on a regular basis, with regards to the activities of the Elim Ministries group of believers in the Western Cape, including training, feasts, publications, outreach, tours and other important events. Where photos and other media resources are available, we shall add these in order to make the news reports more personal and tangible.
Towards the end of 2001 John and Hannelie became convinced that Yahweh was directing them to undertake a tour of South Africa which included the Western, Northern, Eastern and Southern parts of the country. Having received no more specific directions they consequently left Cape Town on the 31st of December 2001, travelled through places like Saldanha (West), Pretoria (North), Durban (East) and George (South) and offered prayers to Yahweh at each of these locations as a prophetic intercession for the country of South Africa. The one prayer request that they sensed was put in their hearts by the Spirit of Yahweh was for the restoration and renewal of Scriptural truths and a truly Scripture-based lifestyle in a country where there are so many churches and so many sincere believers but also so much deception and so little understanding of Yahweh’s real heartbeat for his people. Would you pray with us that the Spirit of Yahweh will send a wake-up call throughout our country and inspire true believers in Y’shua to become involved in this process of restoration?
One of the consequences of the prophetic tour in 2001/2002, we believe, was the conception and birth of an extension of the ministry in Saldanha, one of the places that John and Hannelie had visited and prayed over during their tour of South Africa. A small group of messianic believers was identified in Saldanha and after being introduced with Scriptural truths like the Sabbath and the true Name of the Almighty, these people expressed a keen desire for regular Scriptural instruction and fellowship. In the meanwhile the group has grown to more than 15 people, the majority of which had visited Fish Hoek (two hours’ drive from Saldanha) more than once during 2002. The believers in the Fish Hoek vicinity, on the other hand, are very excited about these brothers and sisters in Saldanha and have visited Saldanha on a number of occasions during the same year. John and Hannelie have consequently decided to travel to Saldanha at least once every month, in order to establish and encourage the fellowship in Saldanha, strengthening them to serve Yahweh in sincerity and in truth (Josh 24:14) and to bring others to the knowledge of the truth (2 Tim 2:25). Please pray with us for these believers in Saldanha.
During the second half of 2002 we received notice that the factory complex that had temporarily served as our venue for training and fellowship since the beginning of 2001, had been sold and would no longer be available as premises for Elim Ministries. This was a big setback as the factory offered us an outstanding facility for our ministry and we knew that it would not be easy to obtain another venue that would suit our needs and our limited financial capacity. Father Yahweh has provided wonderfully with regards to storage room (mainly for our school equipment), but we had to move to John and Hannelie’s home as a venue for all our meetings. Meeting in a home has wonderful advantages (and is in line with the way the believers came together in the time the apostles) but on certain Sabbaths it is a matter of squeezing and puffing to find a seat for everyone within an area of approximately 5 X 8 meters. Please pray with us that Yahweh will provide a suitable venue in His perfect time.
After a very slow start initially with regards to accepting the Scriptural feast days and honouring the mandate to keep these days, we had a wonderful festive time during the first part of the Feast of Tabernacles (Succot) in 2004. People from different parts of the Peninsula, and from places like Saldanha, Brittania Bay and Velddrift came together for a prolonged weekend at a camping site in Yzerfontein, along the West Coast of South Africa. The majority of attendants stayed in tents and had a meaningful, real-life experience of the true meaning of the feast of tabernacles, while being reminded that here on earth we are sojourners and foreigners, preparing ourselves for that time when we will enter the coming Kingdom and receive our eternal heritage. Our Shabbat meeting on 2 October 2004 at Yzerfontein was attended by some 70 people who were all serious about keeping the feasts of Yahweh!! May this be the beginning of a renewed thrust of believers with a real desire to honour the Father and the days He had set apart for Himself and his set-apart people.
Pesach and Unleavened Bread 2005 have come and gone and once again we all realized the immense significance of the appointed times of Yahweh. Click below to see some of the photographs being taken at our recent Pesach Gathering on Friday 25 March 2005. It was truly a time that will remain implanted in our memories for years to come:
When looking at Scriptures, a period of three and a half years seems to be very significant one. The time between Y’shua’s immersion in the Yarden (Jordan) river and his ascension to heaven, was most probably a period of three and a half years. The time during which the woman of Revelation 12 will be cared for in the wilderness is three and a half years. This same time frame of three and a half years is also applied to the activities of the beast that came out of the sea in John’s vision (Rev 13) and the activities of the fourth beast in Daniel’s dream (Dan 7), who seems to be the same Anti-Messianic figure of Revelation. Whatever the exact meaning of these visions may be, it seems clear that within the Father’s design for this world, periods of three and a half years play a very significant role. At this time (towards the end of May 2005) approximately three and a half years have elapsed since John and Hannelie undertook their tour of South Africa during which they prayed at certain locations, covering the four utmost corners of our country, South Africa (see paragraph 1). One of the things that they had prayed for specifically, was for individuals in the different towns and cities of our country to come to know the forgotten and neglected truths of Yahweh’s Word. Today, three and a half years later, we begin to sense that people from all corners of this land are being challenged and changed as they realize the vast difference between truth and tradition. Over the past few months we have received numerous emails and calls and reports – and all of these serve as a confirmation that Yahweh has heard our prayer – the prayer, we are sure, that many others have also prayed. We can now testify that scores of people over the recent months have come to know and appreciate the Names of the Father and the Son and the meaning of the Shabbat and the feasts of Yahweh, to mention just a few of the forgotten truths of Scriptures. Our Father has heard the petitions of his children and He is still doing a mighty work among those who seek Him with all their hearts! Let us all praise his wonderful Name for what He is doing in these last days!
In the years to come the two months of March and April 2006 will stand out as extremely significant in the minds of a number of believers from Cape Town, Saldanha and even Windhoek in Namibia. These two months represent the period (more specifically 28 March to 11 April) when 25 of us had the unique privilege of visiting the land of Israel, including short passages through Egypt (Sinai desert) and Jordan. Words, and even pictures, cannot fully explain how this tour has impacted our belief and understanding of Scriptures. We have seen some of the realities of the after effects of the Gaza evacuation and the lifestyle of the violence ridden people of this country. We have seen the unimaginable beauty of Israel during the month of April. We have experienced the frenzied preparations for Pesach, beginning more than two weeks in advance. We have come to a clearer understanding of many aspects of Scriptural belief. For all of these, and more, we can only brings thanks and honour to Yahweh, our heavenly Father. Here are some of the hundreds of pictures that were taken …
Feast of Tabernacles, 2006, was an enriching and memorable time of fellowship and festivity. Having used Yzerfontein Caravan Park as venue for the previous two year’s feasts, this year we decided to change our venue to Noordhoek’s lovely Chapman’s Peak Caravan and Camping Farm. There was an overwhelmingly positive reaction to this change of venue. In a time slot that is traditionally regarded as a “quiet time” of the year for most camping sites, the friendly owners of this particular site found themselves hosting an additional 20 to 25 tents and caravans (all related to the Feast of Tabernacles) over the extended weekend of 13 to 16 October. There were some that had already arrived at the camp the previous weekend and stayed there for the whole week of Succot. On the Shabbat of 14 October some 60 to 70 people gathered in and around a large “Succa” erected by members of Beit Jezreel, Muizenberg, for a wonderful time of celebration and sharing from Yahweh’s Word. A number of believers from neighbouring fellowships joined us for this occasion. The Last, Great Day of the Feast was celebrated on Monday morning, 16 October, with an open-air gathering in a very lovely setting of large surrounding trees and a few tame farm animals mingling almost “naturally” with the people who attended. As a conclusion to the proceedings everyone enjoyed a helping of delicious fruit salad and ice cream – with “fruit” being the central theme of this years celebrations. All and all it was a most enjoyable and meaningful (appointed) time spent with fellow believers, and once again everybody realised the continued importance and significance of these Scriptural feasts. Here are a few of the photographs taken during the course of the weekend …
The year 2007 marks the beginning of another milestone for those involved with the activities of Elim Ministries. Some of our members came up with the wonderful idea of a Quarterly magazine to be distributed among believers living in different regions of our country (and even abroad). The launching of this project coincided with Pesach 2007 and it was decided that the name of the magazine would be “Yahweh’s Highway”. Serving as a medium for publishing and reading testimonies and contributions of “ordinary” believers, the first two issues of this magazine were welcomed and praised by people from various parts of the country.
Since we have started in 2004 with the distribution of “Woord en Getuienis”, the Afrikaans translation of the Pre-Messianic and Messianic Scriptures (with restored personal Names, place names, comments and cross references), close to 300 copies of these were ordered by believers from every corner of South Africa and Namibia. In the past we have taken care of the printing of these books ourselves. In the beginning stages we simply printed the pages in A4 format and used the ring-bind method of binding to put the pages together in a book. Later on, as we felt the need for an improved quality, we started to make use of professional bookbinders to bind the books in an A4 hardcover format with maroon and gold finish. Even with this improved format, and an increased demand, we still managed to do the printing of the pages ourselves. However, due to an ever increasing demand for Woord en Getuienis, especially over the last few months of 2007, and our own restrictions with regards to the process of printing each copy on request, we have now reached the stage where we need to look at yet another alternative: Bulk printing and binding Woord en Getuienis professionally in A5 format (similar to the soft cover format of The Scriptures, distributed by The Institute for Scripture Research). As far as quality, continuous availability and practicality for everyday usage are concerned, this last option is by far the best route to go. But in order to bring down the costs of individual copies to an affordable level, we need an initial sum of money of approximately R100000. Knowing that Woord en Getuienis has already been a blessing to many people, and will continue to be so in the future, we are putting our trust in Yahweh to provide this money in His perfect timing. We have decided to start a project that may help us to achieve the goal of collecting the required money, by calling especially on those who have already benefited from Woord en Getuienis. Please help us by sending your financial contributions for this project – no matter how small it may be – so that the Word of Yahweh (and especially the revelation of his wonderful Name) may reach the homes and the hearts of a great number of Afrikaans speaking people, throughout South Africa, and even further abroad. Contributions may be sent to our account (Name of account: Elim Ministries, Absa Bank Fish Hoek, A/C no. 9105186386). Please specify your payment by marking it clearly with the words, “WEG projek” or “WEG project”. We shall try to update our website regularly and also send out e-mail and snail-mail updates, in order to keep everyone informed as to how this fund is growing. May Yahweh bless all those with a keen desire to become involved – even just by praying – for the spreading and the restoration of His Word.
With roughly four months that have gone past since we have announced our special project with regards to the bulk printing and binding of Woord en Getuienis in A5 softcover format we are most excited to report that the desired finances have been raised and the print process is nearly completed (May 2008)! All praise and honour to Yahweh for his faithfulness and abundant provision! Our sincere thanks must also go to all those who have contributed liberally and joyfully towards this project. In the meantime, we have made use of every possible means to improve and streamline the new edition of Woord en Getuienis. The slides below represent the translation and footnotes of different parts of Scriptures in this new version of Woord en Getuienis and are shown here to provide a foretaste of what may be expected. Click here to read the entire Introduction of this translation! Contact and order details are on the “Online Shop” page.
The response from believers all over the country, since the first official print of Woord en Getuienis, has been overwhelming! In less than three months all copies of the first print were sold out and we have already put in a much bigger order for a second print. The slightly revised, streamlined version of the second print of Woord en Getuienis (in which all known printing blunders of the first print have been sorted out) is expected to be completed by the middle of October. The wonderful news is that despite the fact that we had to put in our second order without having the necessary funds available, some astonishing financial contributions have since then been received and we are now in a position to cover our printing account in full! This means that during 2008 Yahweh has provided the more than R120000 needed for two consecutive printing accounts. To those who have contributed willingly and liberally, and especially to Yahweh, our heavenly Father, who ignited the desire in people’s hearts to contribute towards this course, our heartfelt and sincere thanks!
We would like to use this platform to announce that it is our experience and conviction that in South Africa there is a very significant “movement” or “thrust” back to the roots of Scriptural belief and to the lifestyle of the early believers in Messiah. We come into contact with believers from all corners of South Africa, almost on a daily basis, with a newly found and keen desire to restore in their own lives, and in their own framework of belief, some of the ancient Scriptural principles that have been denied and neglected by the main line churches for a very long time. This “movement” is not at all comparable with the impressive “revivals” and well known religious achievements of the past. It hardly catches the attention of the masses. There is no media fuss about it. It does not lead to the formation of mega-churches. Money has nothing to do with it. And those who become involved in it, are most likely to be treated as outcasts in their communities. But it brings about a vitality and an inner strength in the lives of people from all sectors of life, that is unprecedented and (according to numerous testimonies) most rewarding. We would like to reiterate that this “report” is not based on hear-say, but the conclusion drawn from our contact with literally hundreds of people from every corner of South Africa over an extended period of time, in particular over the past ten to twelve months. The majority of these people came into contact with us because they desperately wanted guidance and resource material to assist them in the “new” path of belief that they have chosen. We feel that this country-wide “awakening” is something that should be made known among all those who are serious about returning to the Scriptural roots of belief – for the sake of encouragement, but more importantly, for the sake of bringing all praise and honour to Yahweh, through whom alone something of this nature is possible!
Our first Impact Training Unit, held in Fish Hoek from 22 to 25 April 2010, was an unforgettable experience! The need for creating a foundational training facility has already surfaced a long time ago, but this was the first baby step in that direction and hopefully the start of great things to follow. There is a very definite need for increased knowledge and Scriptural training among Messianic and Torah-conscious believers, throughout South Africa, and this is a moderate effort to start doing something that may help fill this gap. The first Impact Unit was attended by 14 people and for the majority of those it was their first exposure to a training course of this nature. The response was extremely positive and the general consensus was that this should certainly become a fixed item on our planning for the future. The next Impact Unit for this year is due to take place from 8 to 11 July 2010 and prospective attendants may contact us for more detail. A series of 4 training DVD’s was made after the first Impact Unit and order details may be found under the subdivision “Books and CD’s”. Please pray with us that Yahweh may encourage and enable as many believers as possible to join us for the Impact Units planned for the future.
We are continuing with our Impact Training Units (“ITU’s”) here in the Western Cape this year, having hosted three during the previous year that were enjoyed thoroughly by those involved. Two ITU’s were held during this year: The first one during the period 26 to 29 May 2011 and the second one from 10 to 13 November 2011. As before, with these ITU’s we are trying to find a balance between sound, Scriptural teaching and enough time for general discussion. Written notes and audio CD’s of all lectures were given to attendees and video’s capturing the essence of each ITU were also made available. Some of the topics that were discussed, are the following: What is the Hebrew Roots Movement? Which Assembly is the right one? Why is the Name so widely disputed? Who came in the Flesh 2000 year ago? Where should we look out for Deception? When will the End of all things come? Whose possession is the Kingdom?
Please contact us for more details. Application Forms for ITU’s may be downloaded here.
This month was characterized by the tragic death of Ed Schuster, one of the humble pioneers in the Messianic and Torah Awareness Movement in South Africa. Ed Schuster was a friend and collaborator of Dr Chris Koster, writer of the monumental book, Come out of her my People, and the main driving force behind “The Scriptures” – the popular and excellent literal translation of both the Tanach and the Messianic Scriptures. Since the early 1990’s Ed Schuster has been calling upon people in South Africa – even highly profiled people in ministerial positions – to take notice of the significance of the Sabbath, the Scriptural feasts, and the set-apart and esteemed Names of the Father and the Son. Ed has been a regular keynote speaker at the quarterly combined meetings for Messianic and Torah conscious believers in the Western Cape. Here is a short extract from the obituary given at Ed’s funeral on 21 March 2012 at Plumstead:
“Ed Schuster is a man who has had an immense impact in many of our lives and will be greatly missed by his family and the Messianic community in the Western Cape. His profound teachings from Scriptures will be missed. His knowledge of the Hebrew Roots of our belief will be missed. His unique understanding of the Jewish mindset and the Jewish History will be missed. His pioneering and relentless work and writings on subjects like the importance of calling on the Name of Yahweh and a proper understanding of the person of Y’shua the Messiah, will be missed … most of us here would think that Ed Schuster still had a major role to play within the South African context. Indeed, his death came as an unexpected shock, and today it is difficult to say goodbye to a man who was never great in his own eyes but who continued to the very end, to do great things for the kingdom of Yahweh … Ed had been a forerunner in belief for many, a pioneer on the road leading to everlasting life. It is only fitting for us today to thank Yahweh for this man and for his life and for the knowledge that despite his tragic death, his life had been preserved for everlasting life, and our lives had been blessed, simply by looking at his …”
The work on the proposed Xhosa translation of both the Tanach (Old Testament) and Messianic Scriptures (New Testament) is now in full swing! The team consists of 5 people from the Western Cape, four of whom speaks Xhosa fluently as their first language. The vision with this project is to work towards a Xhosa translation with the names and titles of the Almighty and his Son rendered as correctly as possible, and also with various mistranslations being corrected and the results of recent textual studies (of all the original source documents and manuscripts) being applied. This bundle promises to be a huge injection of knowledge and encouragement for the fast increasing number of Xhosa-speaking believers in South Africa. Your prayers and financial assistance (if possible) for this extremely worthy cause will be highly appreciated.
The first edition of the Xhosa translation has been launched and we all enjoyed a wonderful Shabbat service on the 26th of July, together with the collaborators in the translating process and a brother from East London, who subsequently took a number of copies as “firstfruits” to members of his fellowship in the Eastern Cape. The new Xhosa Scriptures is fittingly called “Izibhalo”, a word meaning “scriptures” and found in Scriptures itself, for example in John 5:39. In the message from Scriptures on that day, reference was made to these words of Andre Breton: “All my life, my heart has yearned for ‘something’ I cannot name”. Partly as a commentary on this quote, the service was concluded with the following words: “Let us rejoice today for the exceptional privilege of holding in our hands a translation of the Scriptures in the Xhosa, in which the Name above all names has been restored – a translation with the potential of putting an end to the yearning of so many people for that “something” that they have, up till now, never been able to name!”. Here are some of the pictures taken on that day:
The account details are: Xhosa Translation Fund, Standard Bank Fish Hoek, Branch Code 036009, Account number 076714594.
A new set of 5 booklets in Afrikaans on the Torah Portions for one full year has been launched. The series is called: “Torah – Hartklop van die Skrif”. Each booklet consists of about 40 pages and covers one of the 5 books of the Torah: Bereshit (Genesis), Shemot (Exodus), Wayikkra (Leviticus), Bemidbar (Numbers) and Devarim (Deuteronomy). This series promises to fill a significant gap in the availability of resources in Afrikaans that can assist in the study of the Torah, especially with the annual Torah Portions as guideline. We have attached the Table of Contents for each book here, to give an idea of what these booklets are all about. More details here.
More than 100 people from the Western Cape (including areas like Saldanha, Vredenburg, Franskraal and Oudshoorn) joined together for the Feast of Tabernacles celebration at the Chapman’s Peak Caravan Farm in Noordhoek, during the extended week from 16 to 24 October 2016. There were people who camped for the entire period. Others joined the group for the last weekend and stayed until after the Yom Hashemini (Eighth Day) get-together on Mon 24 October. This was not a week jam-packed with a hectic program and all kinds of organized activities. It was quite simply a time of coming together in temporary dwellings and doing ordinary things together – like eating, chatting, singing, playing, laughing, enjoying the beautiful surroundings and sharing the company of others around a camp fire by night time. The two formal meetings in our marquee tent (on Shabbat and on Yom Hashemini) were characterized by more singing, praying, testimonies, blowing of the shofars and a fresh look into some of the Scriptural perspectives on the feasts. All in all this was a blessed time of refreshment and rediscovery of some of the things that define the essence of our being in this world. At the conclusion of the feast the general agreement was that this was a time well spent and truly a week to be remembered. Our hearts are grateful towards Yahweh our Creator who gave us his feasts as precious, appointed times!
Having not participated in an organized tour to Israel for 12 years, the time was ripe for another “Israel experience” and 25 members of our fellowship had the unique privilege of visiting Israel in the month of March, just a short while before the beginning of the major buzz that usually accompanies the Pesach season in Israel. A few months prior to this tour, we circulated a pamphlet starting off with the question, “Did you know … that Jerusalem’s Mount of Olives is the world’s oldest continuously used cemetery … that the Dead Sea is the lowest place on Earth … that Voicemail technology was developed in Israel … that you can buy “chummus” flavoured ice cream in a shop in Jaffa, near Tel Aviv and that it is possible to run from the east side to the west side of the land of Israel in under two hours? The question was accompanied by the following introductory remarks: There are at least a hundred (more) reasons why a visit to Israel is almost guaranteed to be an unforgettable experience! More so, when you love Scriptures and the accompanying history and have always wondered what it would be like to walk with your own feet where Y’shua had walked, to see with your own eyes the places where momentous events had once taken place, to rub shoulders with the people called the apple of Yahweh’s eye and to experience the heart-beat of a land that is immensely important from a believer’s point of view – both in terms of understanding the past and living with an expectation for the future! The 2018 Tour to Israel turned out to be a memorable experience and a full realization of these and other expectations.
This paragraph was written in retrospect, with full knowledge of the impact of the 2020 Coronavirus pandemic. Looking back and reflecting upon the year 2019, it becomes clear that Yahweh had prepared his people in many ways for the absolutely unforeseen and unprecedented events of the year 2020. In the early part of 2019 some of us have read and discussed the true and devastating book by Paul Kalanithi, “When Breath becomes Air.” It is a moving autobiography written by a neurosurgeon from Stanford University about his own life and illness, battling stage IV metastatic lung cancer, one of the best books available on the preciousness and the core values of life. In a shabbat meeting, shortly afterwards, we had a look at Victor Frankl’s book, Man search for Meaning, in which Frankl used the Latin words “Et lux in tenebris Lucet” (“the light shines in the darkness”) to bring across the idea that even in the darkest periods of life, there is always the possibility of light shining into that situation. Later in 2019 we were reminded of the words of Oliver Wendell Holmes, who said that success is not the position where someone is standing, but the direction where he or she is going and the Persian proverb that serves as an inspiration to all who find themselves in a situation of tragedy and devastation: “As long as you are standing, give a hand to those who have fallen”.