Posts Tagged With: Bernhard

Weekend of Celebrations

Freddie & Ashley

Freddie & Ashley

So this weekend a really good friend of Jean and I and my old roomie – Shikara – is celebrating his birthday. We’ll be going out for drinks to celebrate tomorrow night and then away next weekend to the Vaal dam to celebrate some more. Freddie is one awesome guy with very strong opinions but one great man of God. He has been such a good friend over the year and a half that I have known him and been great in speaking to about grace and so on. He also helped me during a time that I had found out about my ex dating a friend of mine, when I was the last to know after he’d had ample opportunity to tell me. The whole experience wasn’t so great. Shikara and Anneke, my roomies at the time had comforted me with a bottle of red wine between many tears and the next day I had a movie date with Shikara and Freddie. Needless to say, I had the worst hangover the next day and they treated me with so much care and laughter that I can’t even begin to say how much I appreciated that. It really had a big impact on me, and since then Freddie and I had a lot of conversations and our friendship grew really strong. Now he has a girlfriend, Ashley, whom I also get along with so well although we don’t see them often enough. But they really are such special people! So I’m looking forward to celebrating with these awesome people who have had such a great impact on my life and my relationship with God. It has truly been a blessing.

Then, this weekend also marks a year since Uncle Johann has passed. As September has come to a close and we get closer to October the 14th, I’m left in awe at how much has happened and the growth that has come. The way I see grace and God now, started to change in the time I met Uncle Johann and more of Bernhard’s family. A year later, and I would have done so many things differently. But I am still so happy about how close his family and I got and am so thankful for our conversations and for the experience and the precious month I got with him. They were conversations about God and the church and what grace really is. He too had started to see things the way I see them now, and felt that if he pulled through he’d be leaving the NG church and doing things differently, loving differently. A year later and I see the same things and more and too have left the NG church and am in ministry elsewhere. It also bought me closer to many friends and family. Although I have many regrets and things I wished I had done differently, I am really happy. God has radically changed my life in the past year and I am so thankful for the experience and Uncle Johann and his family. This weekend is going to be tough, the whole week has been and has felt very emotional, but my thoughts will also be with his wife and four children and I will find time to celebrate with them somehow as I can’t be with them in Wesselsbron. I think Sunday will be a good day to do something special and will work it into my busy weekend.

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Left: Uncle Johann, Bernhard, Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid, Aunty Valencia

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

From Back left: Heinrich & Bernhard
Front left: Karen, Aunty Valencia & Ingrid

This weekend, if you can, just take time to cherish those still around you and to reflect on your past year and what has come and gone for you too.

Have a lovely and blessed weekend.

xx M

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Cherishing A New Day, Week and People

It is a brand new day and I am super excited for the rest of this week. Today I get to see Liela… we need a little catch up time. Haven’t seen each other in just over a month due to funerals and exams and just both being crazily busy. So the last time we saw each other was our time at Aroma. So to this morning’s coffee and catch up session I am looking forward. It is always a blessing and fun, lots of stories, laughter and giggling as well as gratefulness along with it all. She is such a loving person – so I am just thrilled.

Then the rest of the week will get interesting. Just consisting of some work, going to the zoo in Johannesburg and a few other places, seeing Ani hopefully, intense gym sessions, an engineering end year function on Saturday for Mari and I and then spending a day with Heinrich, Karen, Ingrid and Aunty Valencia as we go watch Bernhard’s show at the Botanical Gardens. So this week is a little busy but also pretty relaxed. The week has been going well so far and God just continues to bless me which I really am thankful for. It really is a good time.

And then, today, it is Mona’s birthday! So, I am super stoked for her and wishing her a beautiful birthday. I hope it will be a very special one filled with many blessings. She really deserves an incredible day as she has been such an amazing support to me in my life and to so many others. I cherish our friendship so much and our incredible moments of sharing our hearts with each other on whatsapp while she’s at work and on the weekends when I get to see her. So to Mona, Happy Birthday, may it be incredible and we love you lots.



Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope, Pursuing Life, Pursuing Love | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Trip to the Free State

Last week I had had coffee with two very close friends, my soul sisters… We had prayed for one another after our coffee session and it amazes me how every time we come together, God just works and everything flows. It is always a time of peace, joy, love and building one another up.

They prayed for many things for me, including my trip to the Free State for the funeral I had to attend, as well as the family of Uncle Johann Faasen. Not only that, but also for my heart and that God would take care of it. I can say, it was quite a long trip in distance but every moment was a blessing. Not only the awesome food my sister, Candice and I enjoyed on our way there. But we got to sleepover on the farm in Kroonstad which was lovely. It was so peaceful and we got to catch up with Uncle Johan and Aunt Marina and Lallies. We helped as much as we possibly could on the farm with the Sables, Nyalas, Zebra, Wildebeest, Eland, Impala, Blesbuck and all the rest.

The funeral was also great, as so much of it is what I think Uncle Johann would have wanted it to be….all that I can remember of what he had shared with me. It was a beautiful sunny day, the school choir sang. Heinrich, the oldest brother delivered a few words, Bernhard let the music video of one of their latest released songs play in honour of his father and many others spoke. At the grave and revealing of the tomb stone, Bernhard read from the Bible and in the background, because of the wind through the trees, it sounded like rain. It was such a beautiful noise… God was definitely there.

Lots more that I had never imagined could, but did come from this weekend and experience. I was able to meet amazing people and see family and also got to start new friendships within the Faasen family which is now such a blessing. So I can’t wait to visit them soon. But with that, I have to say, I have gotten advice and step by step instructions from a friend, Elicia on how to guard my heart and enjoy new relationships and friendships which I might share later. All in 5 steps. I so appreciate my friendship with her. She really cares and I love her so much. Things they prayed for last week, have started happening now, and it has blown me away as I really wasn’t expecting anything from this weekend and trip away. But God works in crazy ways and seems to love surprising me. I am so very thankful for every moment and prayer and friendship or relationship.

Here are some photos that I can share.

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Life is just PEACHES even while longing for MY BIKINI

So this week has been up and down emotionally with Uncle Johan’s death, but being able to see friends and have coffee. And then little old Kelly leaving for the U.S! So it has been a little bittersweet. Luckily I have had wonderful friends pray with me and for me for comfort and healing and many other things, also praying for my academics, my dad to get work, my future, for Bernhard and his family, for Kelly, for love in my life and just my heart. Many have prayed, but Sunday night I had Mari pray with me, as well as Werner who gave me comforting words, answering questions I had only thought about and kept in my head and heart for Jesus. Monday and Tuesday, Tshepi and Elicia were there as well as my sister, Kelly, Mona and Anneke.

Last night at the airport before coming home, my sister and I picked up a few chocolate crossiants to enjoy for breakfast this morning. When I woke up this morning, I had slept a little later as I got into bed quite late and was drained after all the excitement of the week so far, but when I woke, I woke to a gorgeous sunny day after a rainstorm last night. I love rainstorms, it just leaves everything so fresh for the start of the next, new day. But anyway, so on this gorgeous sunny day there is a light breeze in the air, a lot like the type we have back home at the beach. So I got up, my heart longing for the ocean and a lovely little swim, went to the kitchen, made some tea and got a little chocolate crossiant. Boy, was I stoked! I started my morning off pretty relaxed and chilled out, enjoying the fresh air and breeze coming in while I enjoy food and drink, doing things like I would back home at the beach… Am I tempted to wear my bikini under my clothes today, like I would back home, enjoying the beach life and just how relaxed it feels – a lot like life is pretty peachy? Well, Yes I am quite tempted to do exactly that….

As if that wasn’t enough, one of my surfer friends from Hawaii who has been to Aus recently, shared a range of bikinis with me from Rip Curl that she just thought I would love and need to see. Needless to say that I totally loved it and immediately shared the link with another of my beautiful surfer friends – Emma! The range MY BIKINI is from Rip Curl, it is super sweet as it has different types of bikinis ranging from sexy to super cute as surfer girls or girls at the beach wana look cute and be comfortable in the bikinis they’re wearing. But what’s really great about this range is that, Alana, like Alana Blanchard, who is a pro surfer was basically part of the whole designing of it from a technical point of view. This really helps as the bikini’s sit well and she knows what is needed if you’re gona be swimming in it all day or surfing. Many times because of the way our bikini’s are made, we suffer from headaches or our bikini tops or bottoms fly off when duck-diving or when get caught in a wave. So from a technical point of view they really work without forgetting that the look of them and us ladies have different taste. So there really is something for everyone in the range, and if it isn’t there yet, you can expect for it to be coming soon. It has hit North America and the range has just recently hit Aus, so let’s hope it’ll be coming soon to South Africa, but ’til then I’ll be shipping mine in from America where Kelly will now be or from Aus, where a couple of my friends are.

Another range I’m loving right now, not just because it is soooo pretty and they come in the coolest sherbet or candy floss type colours and are locally made, and have been launched in Johannesburg recently but also because it is incredibly cool….is the PEACHES SWIMWEAR range…. So they are just as cute and locally produced which I’m always up for supporting 🙂 Not only do they come in the coolest colours and are locally produced but these bikini’s are pretty damn cute and really bring out the girly side of each lady who gets into one and feels like heading to the pool or beach. They really look comfy and cute, so I can’t wait to get my hands on one of them and splash around in the water with it. There has been amazing feedback from friends and people in general about the PEACHES bikini range. My friend Emma, shared the link on facebook and I’m glad she did. The range has me extremely excited about this coming summer and the celebrations that await as soon as we all go on holiday and I’m able to go home to the beach! I can’t wait to get my tan on now!!!

So to all of you – as I long for a day at the beach in my bikini & life feels a little more peachy today… go check out the different links and bikini collections girls and have one fabulously PEACHY day 🙂 xx

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CANSA TLC training

I never liked blood or in any sense wanted to become a doctor. Maybe nursing but my fear of blood and needles has just been to intense. In that sense, I think I can often relate to kids because of those fears. At a very young age I experienced having a lumber punch, and have had quite a few since then. For kids, this can be an extremely traumatic experience, especially being held down so that they can do this.

Recently, as many would know, I have had to experience and come into contact with many people having cancer. Riamien, who has finished Chemo, Ben and Wihann, as well as Bernhard’s dad. I’ve seen some come through it but also lost quite a few to cancer. But of late, after visiting Bernhard’s dad, I have experienced a great sense of compassion for people with cancer. I’ve experienced God’s feelings towards these people, or at least a sense of it, and especially that I really want to work with the kids living with cancer. God has always put it on my heart to work with kids and their families but never did I know when and where. These past two days, I was given the opportunity to visit CANSA TLC – Nicus Lodge near Steve Biko, where I got to go inside and see what some of it looks like and then go for training on how to work with Cancer patients and their families. During as well as after hearing all the stories and how you work with them and what they go through I have really felt this is what I would like to do part time and potentially full time.

After hearing what they go through, especially the kids, I could relate in the sense of needles, lumbar punches, being sick and scared and facing possible death. But also this week we have been doing Dollar a Day, and being so low on energy, not being able to concentrate and process things, not being able to remember things and being extremely emotional and tired physically and emotionally has made me so much more aware of what Cancer patients go through. They obviously experience it a lot more and more intensely, but with Chemo and treatments this is how they end up feeling. It really has given me a new understanding for those who live in Africa, on the street but also for these Cancer patients and what their families also have to deal with and is not easy. Going through these things and being up and down is really hard. I have become a lot more sensitive to these things the last couple of weeks, as well as our words and actions towards people.

So, I am extremely excited to work with the kids at CANSA TLC soon if possible. The training was so helpful and I would recommend it for everyone, pastors and their congregations, schools, faculties at University, as well as people who have or come into contact with Cancer or any other terminal illness. It gives you great understanding and can be extremely useful.

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Testimony of Prayer

Hi my dear friends

You all know my heart and my love for God and people, and I always want to help people, especially those close to me. This is another one of those stories but one God has been writing for longer than I ever thought. Not only is it a story but also a testimony of God’s love for us & how powerful prayer is as well as the importance of following where God leads.

I had watched Top Billing with my sister while I was home for the holidays in 2010 and there had been a guy on their presenter search with the name Bernhard. I didn’t pay much attention to the name or what his surname had been, I just remembered his face. December 14, 2010 I sent Bernhard Faasen a message on facebook for the first time after God brought his name up in my prayer time. I’ve never been someone to pray much because I never thought God heard my prayers. God put it on my heart to be someone whom he can talk to and someone who could pray for him. I never thought much of it until I need to give a testimony of what God was doing in my life at Church yesterday. The whole week I’d been stressing about what I would share but that is when God brought the whole story together. Our chats on facebook have never been very long, always to the point – I asked the same questions and he answered. There’s very few times that he ever had prayer requests for me but I prayed for him anyway, whether he and I communicated on facebook or not. The last year has been my toughest. God was so faithful to me but I have been through deep waters. On Friday, it will be precisely a year, one in which I have been through many ups and downs. In it I lost 18 people that part of my life or very close to me, 1 being in a tragic drowning at a camp with my house mates earlier this year, there were 5 people close to me that got cancer, 4 people I know were raped and not only that I struggled with my studies because of everything that had happened and nightmares that caused many sleepless nights. But like I said, God has been extremely faithful and I have grown and learnt so much! In the last few months as most of my house mates know, I have been struggling with extreme and very intense nightmares, to the point that the devil seems to use it as a form of attacking me spiritually, emotionally & physically. In the last month or so, I switched on the TV one afternoon and accidentally stumbled onto a singing competition on KYKNET. As I watched Bernhard’s name flashed past. I thought I was seeing things and quickly went onto facebook to see if there is any sign that he really is part of the competition. I doubted it could be him but he was part of the program. During this time I never once saw or heard him sing, every week that I was able to watch the repetition he was not part of the group that sang. God put it heavily on my heart to pray for him and just ask how it is going and whether he has any prayer requests. Our conversations on facebook became longer but there was still nothing for which he needed prayer. Again, I just prayed. Whenever I prayed for God would teach me new things about Bernhard’s character. The second to last time he appeared on the program I heard him sing for the first time, so now I know too. A day or so before my 21st God had put it on my heart to invite Bernhard to it – but I felt it’s a bit weird and ridiculous and too far to drive and found 100 excuses to not invite him. It was stupid but God found a way of working around it. On Thursday after I had turned 21 God had put it on my heart again to send him a message to see if there were any prayer requests from his side and to see how he was doing. Thursday was a chaotic day and I had to deal with a crisis and forgot all about sending Bernhard the message. Then I left for the weekend to a game farm & was without signal but God pressing on my heart about Bernhard. When I got back on Monday morning sent Bernhard a message and forgot about it when I had finished. Tuesday I decided to take a nap because I had been feeling sick after the weekend. I got stuck in an intense nightmare and couldn’t get myself to wake up from it and there was no one around to wake me up. God whispered Bernhard’s name into the nightmare & I suddenly woke up from the nightmare. I got the feeling I should go onto facebook and I did, where I received a reply from Bernhard on the previous day’s message. This is the message he had replied with:

Hello Michelle .. It was a very good weekend, thank you! Hope you had a great weekend.
You can definitely pray for my father who is in hospital in PTA. He received a bone marrow transplant and the cells are being rejected in his body therefore he has become very sick.
Thank you!

I was so happy to have woken from the nightmare and felt very blessed. I tried to get hold of Bernhard on facebook to hear what hospital his father was in because I felt I should visit Bernhard’s father, but I forgot to ask his father’s name. Jaco said he would visit his mother in the hospital because she would be there Wednesday evening, and if they were at the same hospital we could gp together. As things had to happen, I could not get hold of Bernhard and I didn’t have a number for him. I sent him a message on facebook, I tweeted him and sent an email. During the week the name Johann kept coming up in my prayers or while I was doing other stuff but I didn’t know why. On Wednesday, Jaco said his mom’s procedure had been postponed by a week and he didn’t have to go to the hospital anymore and as I still hadn’t heard from Bernhard I just left it. I just thought, ‘That’s okay, all in God’s time. He knows what he’s doing.’ Thursday evening while Mari went to bath, I cried and prayed about something that happened as I felt discouraged and doubted in myself a little. I also prayed for Bernhard and a few other people I know. At that moment, lights flashed on my blackberry and when I quickly checked my phone. Bernhard’s name came up on BBM (he had added me at that moment for the first time) and he had contacted me about his father. It was not long after when an indescribable peace and joy of God came over me and I no longer felt this heaviness on my heart. Thursday night I went to bed before I had received Bernhard’s last message. I began to dream and the nightmares began all over again, I could not wake up but again God whispered Bernhard’s name and I was immediately pulled out of the nightmare and woken up. I felt scared and was filled with panic but there was a sudden calmness that came over me as I read Bernhard’s last message, in which he mentioned his father’s name was Johann. I just talked to God while I waited to fall asleep again. In that time, God spoke to me about Bernhard’s character and fears and about his father, Johann. I felt God press on my heart to pray for him, to visit him and also to be tested to see if I could be a donor of bone marrow or cells to help his dad. I then sent a message to Chris, a pastor I know, to pray for Bernhard, his father & family as well as for favour, because I know he wakes up at 6am every morning to pray. Friday mornings at 6am, everyone in our commune (or diggs) gets up to pray as well so I requested they pray for what is to happen next too. I also sent an email to the hospital to find out about a few things and asked Elicia whether she would be able to go with me on Friday or Saturday. Friday Elicia seemed to get sick so we didn’t go to hospital as we didn’t want to make anyone there even more sick. I prayed with her over the phone and on Saturday she was better. Saturday while everyone went to Ivory Park, I stayed at home and waited for Elicia and her boyfriend Yvotte and drove to the hospital together. We then talked to the nurse about what could be done but when they said they had nothing to do with the donations made and I had to make contact with THE SUNFLOWER FUND. She also said, patients may receive only two visitors per day between 13.00 and 20.00. Everyone is pretty much isolated in their own rooms, and there is little they get to do. You could only visit in short intervals because patients become tired from the medicine and so on. We had about 30 to 45 minutes time and I was so nice talking with Uncle Johann. Elicia and I were so blessed by the conversation and the whole visit. Uncle Johann had been so excited to call Bernhard and handed me the phone to talk to his son (the first time Bernhard and I had ever talked over a phone) but I just think he wanted to hear from Bernhard about the rugby scores. I was just as happy, because I also missed the game and wanted an update. Elicia, Yvotte and I then had coffee and caught up before they dropped me off at home. When I came home I went on SUNFLOWER FUND’s website and I found out more about the next steps and how I could become a donor to help Bernhard’s father as I believe God has asked.

The chance that I will be a match is 1 in 100 000 but I believe nothing is impossible with God and He has a plan. We serve an Almighty God so the statistics don’t really bother me. Tests must obviously be done before I could donate to see if I could be a possible match. Unfortunately you have to pay R2000 before this can happen. If you don’t have the money they put you on a waiting list and until there is money available for it. It is an amount which I don’t have so I decided to pray for it and share this story with others. Even if I could not be a match for Uncle Johann, which I believe I can be, I might be a match for someone else.

Uncle Johann was diagnosed with Bone Marrow Cancer in 2008, but Wesselsbron where they live there are no facilities available to deal with this like we are privileged to have here in Pretoria. In March 2011 he had a bone marrow transplant and one of his sisters was the donor. His other sister was not a match. Her cells had to grow & take over 100% in his body. If at any time his own cells would grow back he is likely to get very ill and his body could possibly reject the bone marrow. He has been in hospital for 3 weeks now for treatment because he has been severely ill as 3% of his own cells have grown back. So it doesn’t take much for people with this disease to become ill again and the cells become to be rejected. He should go home today or tomorrow but it doesn’t mean he doesn’t need a donation.

I have felt the need to help as God has really put it on my heart. God has been working on the story for a while now and I learn something new every day as God brings it all together and reveals more of the story to me. This Friday it will be exactly a year and 9 months that I have been praying for Bernhard without knowing him. All I know about him is what God has shown me and said through prayer. For the last year and 9 months I could never figure out how God would use someone like me in Bernhard’s life when I had never met him and he never shared any prayer requests or his heart. Now, he has something that really troubles him and is important to him. And finally, I have been given the chance to help. I shared my testimony at church last night. I thought I had spoken in circles and that nobody had heard what I had said as I thought most of them had fallen asleep while I had spoken. I was in tears and very troubled afterwards, doubting in myself but hoping God had done the rest because I felt like a flop. And I am happy to say, I have gotten so many messages from people who want to help financially or any way possible, even if there are any additional costs. This morning I woke up with a message, that someone had deposited that full amount into my account. I also phoned THE SUNFLOWER FUND today, got registered, filled in forms & paid the money for the tests. On Tuesday Anneke & my sister went with me to get the first blood tests done. During the week I have had so many phone calls, messages and visits from people whom wanted to hear how I was doing and how Bernhard’s father as well as Bernhard are doing. There has been so much support and help from people who have wanted to show them love and help out wherever they can. It is a difficult process as getting information takes time and communication is sometimes limited.

This past week, on Wednesday, my house mates and I met Bernhard for the first time as well as his friend Frank. We had tea and showed them our two houses and really got to chat well and overall had a great time getting to know them. Most of the people in our house asked that I invite them to a concert that evening but unfortunately they couldn’t make it as they really would have enjoyed the people and networking a little as well. This morning I also heard back from the hospital and that they are waiting to confirm with Bernhard’s doctor/s what needs to be done next and what he needs and then we can work from there. Erna will keep me updated. So the journey so far has been so blessed, and every moment I can, I go to God in constant prayer, just trying to lift them up. Many friends and family members are also doing the same daily which is so important and I am so grateful for. God is working and doing such amazing things and I truly believe He hears every prayer.

God is so faithful, we just need to rely on Him and act in obedience. I have learnt that, but also that God seems to love a good story and He is busy with each of ours’ daily. We just have to decide whether we a willing to take part in it. He loves a good story and He loves us so much. I can only say I am extremely thankful. Not only that, but that prayer is so extremely powerful, more than words can describe and we can imagine. May God get the glory for it all.

So please remember to lift them up in prayer and that God will have His hand over this bringing healing, restoration and unity. As well as for favour and that things further on will go well.

Categories: Pursuing Faith, Pursuing Hope | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

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