“See, I am sending an angel ahead of you to guard you along the way and to bring you to the place I have prepared. Pay attention to him and listen to what he says. Do not rebel against him; he will not forgive your rebellion, since my Name is in him. If you listen carefully to what he says and do all that I say, I will be an enemy to your enemies and will oppose those who oppose you. My angel will go ahead of you and bring you into the land of the Amorites, Hittites, Perizzites, Canaanites, Hivites and Jebusites, and I will wipe them out. Do not bow down before their gods or worship them or follow their practices. You must demolish them and break their sacred stones to pieces. Worship the LORD your God, and his blessing will be on your food and water. I will take away sickness from among you, and none will miscarry or be barren in your land. I will give you a full life span.
“I will send my terror ahead of you and throw into confusion every nation you encounter. I will make all your enemies turn their backs and run. I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. But I will not drive them out in a single year, because the land would become desolate and the wild animals too numerous for you. Little by little I will drive them out before you, until you have increased enough to take possession of the land.
“I will establish your borders from the Red Sea to the Mediterranean Sea, and from the desert to the Euphrates River. I will give into your hands the people who live in the land, and you will drive them out before you. Do not make a covenant with them or with their gods. Do not let them live in your land or they will cause you to sin against me, because the worship of their gods will certainly be a snare to you” (Exodus 23: 20-33).
After we arrived in Cape Town on the 3rd of December, three different people sent me this Scripture independently, and I knew I had to listen carefully to what God was trying to tell me. A few days into our holiday I had a strange dream. I saw a tar road transformed into a road covered with snakes, but I didn’t have any fear in my when I saw this change, and just kept on driving over them with my 4x4 vehicle. I was aware of the fact that I was driving in off-road vehicle and that because I had the necessary tools at my disposal that I could drive right over them and that they could do nothing to me. But even with this transcending peace in my heart, I still wondered about the dream when I woke up the next morning.
A few days later yet another person gave me the scripture in Exodus, and I realized that God was speaking to me about the Promised Land that we have to posses. I intently started reading through the piece of Scripture again – especially verse 28: I will send the hornet ahead of you to drive the Hivites, Canaanites and Hittites out of your way. This reminded me of my dream and the snakes that were on my road.
An explanatory note to this scripture in one of my Bibles reads: He will cause us to grow and be fruitful, and will take away our sickness that we would not suffer premature death but would grow in divine life to maturity ,in order to gain the all-exclusive Christ as our position for our enjoyment (phil. 3:8).
God will not cut of our natural life (signified by the pagan tribes – Hivites, Canaanites, Hittites..) all at once, because this would leave us inwardly vacant and in danger of being taken over by demons (signified by the animals of the field (also read matt. 12:43-45)). God cuts of our natural life gradually, little by little, according to the degree of our growth in the divine life. The more Christ increases in us, the more He (our divine life) will replace our natural life. Then we start to have the nature of Christ, Christ in us – being one with Him.
Living our lives in the Promised Land is a step-by-step process, because in the Promised Land you will find giants that cannot be defeated all at the same time. But as we become more mature in Christ, the threat of the giants will no longer evoke fear in us, or cause us to turn back to Egypt. From the Scripture in Exodus 23 I realize once again that we are never alone and that God will always lead us and prepare the way for us to the Promised Land – but it requires one very important thing from us: obedience.
God is busy with restoration in all of our lives. 2 Cor. 13: 9-11 says: We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is that you may be fully restored (“be perfect restored, repairing, adjusting, putting in order, mending, perfectly mending together, through equipping, completing and educating His bride”) . This is why I write these things when I am absent, that when I come I may not have to be harsh in my use of authority—the authority the Lord gave me for building you up, not for tearing you down.
This restoration takes time. It is a step-by-step process. God says that He cannot give it to us all at once, but He will be with us on this journey until we are perfect and His work in us is completed. Every step we take to being fully restored is also a step forward in our maturity in Christ.
For our first week of holiday the kids and I were alone at Yzerfontein while Tinus still finished up some work in Hartebeespoort. Aldo was quiet the whole week. While we were in Israel during November he mentioned to us that he had some pain in his ribcage. Because he falls down so much, we just assumed it was a minor injury due to one of these falls. Before we came on holiday Ma’am Patrys took him to the doctor for a check up but they couldn’t find anything wrong with him. While we were in Cape Town I noticed something was wrong with his breathing and that he was abnormally quiet. Normally when he gets this quiet I know that something is wrong, because he rarely complains and his quietness usually means that he is not feeling well.
One evening he slept in my room and I could hear from his breathing that something was definitely wrong. The next morning he wrote: “Mom, please take me to Dr. Schalk in the Cape. It is my lung.” I made an appointment and sure enough, after they took the scans, he was immediately taken up for a lung operation. The fluid on Aldo’s lungs were so severe that it couldn’t be drained off – they had to operate. The fluid had been there for a few months according to the doctors, and the pressure weighed down his lungs and even shifted the position of his heart. Aldo was extremely, extremely sick. What a shock this was to me! “Lord,” I prayed, “last night I was still walking along the beach and praising Your name for our breakthrough... and even though Aldo is in the hospital now, I won’t stop praising You – because You have already provided for us!”
Our good friend Dr. Schalk was allowed to stand in on the operation and he prayed the whole time through. Wow, God really does provide for every need – because He knows how I feel about operation rooms. Thank you Schalk!
Aldo came out of the operating room with thick pipes all over him and attached to a ventilator. This was a very painful operation. I walked out of the room and dried my tears somewhere away from all the people – because with his heavy sedation it reminded me too much of how he looked when he was in a coma. “Please Lord,” I pled with the King, “please strengthen me now – because I can’t understand why this is happening again. I don’t know if I have the strength to get through it.”
Aldo was drowsy and dazed following the operation, and after two days they took him off the painkillers and then he pulled out the ventilation pipe himself. Supernaturally he spoke a few words before pulling out the pipe (with the pipe still in his throat – speaking is heavily impaired, even impossible), but he said something to the people around him. His charts improved once he was off the ventilator and breathing on his own. Abba just showed us again that He is always in control. Aldo showed me that he wanted to write: “Mom, please don’t be worried. Our breakthrough is waiting for us. We just need to get through this too.” What does he mean with waiting for us? I thought we were already through? ??
“Mom, water spirits were hiding on my lung membranes (words of death gave them the legal right to be there), and the “time-curse” of December is not broken yet. And that is why they are attacking me again.”
For a moment I was caught off guard and confused. I thought breaking the bloodline curse was enough? No, the generational curse was broken, but the unclean spirit (“curse spirit”) was still there. And with it, words of death/word curses that had to be broken. Attached to the “curse spirit” there were “water spirits” that were assigned to keep his lungs in captivity, and working with them was the “time curse”, that was planted to go off every December like a time-bomb.
Tinus and I went to drink some coffee in the cafeteria and I read to him what Aldo had written. He became very quiet and I could see Holy Spirit was working with him. Holy Spirit reminded him of the prognoses that was given 6 years earlier (after the accident), that children with Aldo’s kind of condition usually die because of lung disease because they can’t inhale deeply or cough properly. This was in effect a word curse spoken over Aldo that has never been broken. I stated worrying when I thought about this, because will I ever truly know everything there is to break or pray against? “Retah,” the Lord spoke kindly to my heart, “read Exodus 23 again. The road has to be walked step-by-step; and I’ll be with you all the way. Hold on to My promises and what I have already revealed to you I will do; but in order for me to do it – all the defilement has to come out first.”
After the ventilator was out, we started praying and fighting in the spirit as usual. Little by little we received the victory. One night after a long spiritual fight (in I.C.U. of all places), and after the Lord revealed to us that the spirit of death tried to come in again, Aldo wrote: “When he (the death spirit) tried to come in, he couldn’t do it because the drain had been sealed.” After a long night of casting away water demons that were trying to hide, and praying for God’s glory light to shine on Aldo, the water demons had to flee. The next day he was coughing up slime. The ‘curse spirit’ came out and Aldo became so excited as we moved forward step by step! His letters testified of a young man joyfully shouting of happiness! (Maybe also because his Mom and Dad finally understood too!) “Mom, Mom – everything in my lungs are red!” (With this he is trying to say that his lungs are covered and washed with the blood of Yeshua.)
The gateway for the unclean spirits were closed and after a week Aldo was moved from I.C.U. to a normal hospital room. The infection he contracted was quite severe and he had to receive antibiotics through a drip. The doctor didn’t think it was a good idea to send him home before the new year, and all of us became very quiet as we stood around his hospital bed. I could see the sadness reflect on Aldo’s face immediately at this news.
“Don’t worry Aldo – we have been through much worse than this before. In the end it is only three weeks of our holiday in the hospital.... we can weather this!” Yes, I can feel how I am being set free from the norm of having my way, and my plans. Aldo was moved to a private room with a beautiful view of Table Mountain. We took turns to sleep over in the hospital each night. Late one night as it was my turn to watch over Aldo during the night, I looked out over the lights of Cape Town and the beautiful Table Mountain, and I couldn’t help but feel the Holy Spirit all over me. He was so tangible – and I didn’t want to say anything to spoil the moment. I only wanted to soak in His presence. Actually, I didn’t even want to move a muscle. Aldo was also looking at the beautiful Table Mountain while he was busy writing in His journal. “Mom, there is a golden circle around you. It is Wisdom. He is here with us.” I felt as if my heart was completely exposed and I felt so vulnerable that I couldn’t stop my tears from flowing. My thoughts were a million miles away and I pressed my head against the cold window frame... for a long time I just sat like that. My bed for the night was supposed to be a hospital kick-out chair, but instead I wiggled my way onto Aldo’s bed, through all the pipes and equipment. Somewhere through the night I felt his hand on my head and how he tried to cover me with his blanket. His heart was beating at a fast rate, and through his soft groans I knew that he was in pain. Late that night he shook me awake, “Mom, you need to wake up, it is time to pray.” “No, Aldo,” I tried to protest, “it’s late. We need to get some sleep.”
“Don’t argue, Mom. We must go and get our breakthrough!”
“I thought we already had it?! You said last night that you were excited because everything was finally broken and that we were free from all the curses and the curse spirits?”
“Yes, Mom. But now we have to take another step. Wisdom is saying to me: step-by-step.”
Jesus, is there another step that we have to take now? I silently prayed.
Yes, Retah. There are many steps still laying in wait for you.
“Mom, Wisdom is showing me how the trauma spirit is coming loose as you are blessing me in this way. Come on, Mom. We need to start! I am going to be completely healed – it is only still the trauma spirit that is holding me captive in the nervous system. You will see that I will be completely healed – even my spine is going to come back into alignment again.” (He wrote all these things down in his journal, but because we are on holiday I don’t have a scanner to scan them in for the web-site right now.) I stood amazed at what came out of his letters. In Israel we ministered with Peter Horrobin (by divine connection and no pre-planning of our own), the head of Ellel Ministries, in a Messianic congregation. After the service his words to me were: “Retah, I sense that Aldo still has a trauma spirit in him.” It took me by surprise, but I instinctively knew that I could trust him – after so many successful years in the deliverance ministry, I knew he knew what he was talking about. He also said that he was going to send me a book in the post that would help me on my journey. The name of the book is “Lynda - from accident to trauma to healing to wholeness.” (If you are interested in getting it for yourself you can get it on “follow sovereign world – facebook or twitter.)
A few months ago I wouldn’t have been ready for this specific “step”. Yes, I realized that trauma was the worst of all, and it had to go. God is so faithful. Peter Horrobin posted the book to us in time for Tinus to bring the book with him to Cape Town. With every new page I read in the book my faith was built up that God will be faithful to His word and that He will complete His plans and purpose for Aldo – and He will heal him completely. The fact that God allowed our paths to cross in Israel and allowed the book to be in time just sets me in awe of the King we serve. Like Auntie Helene always says, “God is God – what else did you expect?” He goes ahead of us.
The 12-year old Aldo who was so hurt and traumatized will be healed and set free by the Holy Spirit from all trauma and fear, and he will become one in wholeness with the 19-year old Aldo. He will be whole in spirit, and soul, and body as his entire being comes into line with God’s Word. The big wisdom that comes out of his spirit will come into line with the Aldo we see before us today.
Tonight I am at home in Yzerfontein. Josh is lying with me in my bed and I am scratching his back. “Mom, please tell me again about hope,” he asks. I look up to the wall where it is written on a board above our bed.
“Hope is that excited, never give up, feeling that drives you from deep inside - and the feeling becomes bigger and stronger as you get closer to the finish line.”
“Can we always keep on hoping, Mom?” Josh asked after I finished reciting the words.
“Yes, my darling – because Hope (Yeshua) has never let us down.”
Therefore, since we have been justified through faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access by faith into this grace in which we now stand. And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us (Rom. 5:1-5).
We are just waiting for Aldo’s infection score to be safe and then we will be allowed to take him home. If it will be after Christmas or before New Year I’m not sure, but it doesn’t matter anymore – all that matters is that Jesus is faithful!
My Dad asked that when Aldo gets out of hospital if he would baptize him. My Dad had a heart attack and he and Aldo were both in the I.C.U. this holiday. But even in this difficult situation something beautiful came out of it, because Aldo (in his vulnerable condition) ministered to my Dad even in I.C.U. My Dad is already home in Yzerfontein. Aldo wrote that “there is an attack on Grandpa,” and a half an hour later I got a call to tell me that my Dad had a heart-attack. Well, whatever the enemy means for evil – God can turn around for our good. My Dad laid so many things down again, and he is now ready to get baptized. I am so thankful that my Dad is living with us in freedom!
Thank You, Thank You Yeshua! You are truly alive! And step by step we will take back the Promised Land with You as our King.
Don’t give up until you have reached your complete victory. I thought we had come far enough, but Yeshua had more in mind – He wants to give us a life of abundance!
And then I want to plead with you and ask not to ever speak any words of death over our situation. Rather see with me how the old Retah dies and how we stand up in a new life in Christ. I understand so much better that only by dying to self will we be able to take possession of the Promised Land. Only by dying to self can I take the pain and keep on standing.
As Aldo’s Mommy and Daddy we are enjoying this special time with him and Wisdom. We decided to extend our holiday one week longer so that Aldo can also enjoy his holiday, and maybe even take a trip to Knysna for the first week of January. Josh and the cousins are enjoying their holiday so much, and Tinus and I are safely resting in God’s arms – even if it is in the hospital.
Even though the doctors think that Aldo might have to stay in the hospital for another week or two, we are trusting for a miracle that he can be released sooner. We serve the God of the miraculous!
‘’For what is impossible with man is possible with God’’
While I was sitting by Aldo’s bed in the hospital in Cape Town one day, someone came in and brought me a warm flask of real coffee. I didn’t tell anybody where we were, or what was going on. After the lady left I sat there crying about the delicious coffee and about how my Abba even cared about that small need of mine.
Late that night Holy Spirit and I were still talking to each other while I was drinking the last drops of that special flask of coffee.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for all of your prayers, love and support.
Today I am taking the kids on an open bus tour of the city, and afterwards Tinus will take them home. Tonight is my night next to Aldo’s bed again.
Thank you again for all your love and prayers.
Retah and family.
(Wow, once again God was so faithful – Aldo was released from hospital on the 24th of December.)