Testimonies

I am André Bekker.

I grew up in a home, where my parent were devoted Christians who served the Lord whole heartedly. To the best of their ability they endeavoured to bring myself and my siblings up in the ways of the Lord. While this was the case, at a young age I noticed that I have an extraordinary interest in persons of the same sex. Even in my fantasies the persons I was involved with were younger boys. When I was about 12 years old, I befriend my younger brother’s friends. He is three and a half years younger than I am. It did not take long for these friendships to have sexual undertones. Before long it started to develop into more than just feelings and desires. Although no one ever in any way hinted to me that what I involved myself with, was unnatural and wrong, I did  know deep within me, to feel sexually attracted  to a person of the same sex was wrong and unnatural.

As I got older I observed that other boys my age started feeling attracted to girls, but my attractions got more stronger for boys. Big was my dismay when I started realizing that my orientation is to younger boys. I thought it would change by the time I left school just to find that I experience an aversion to older guys. The older they were the more aversion I felt. The age group I felt oriented too, has stagnated between the ages of 10 to 20. However, the older guys had to appear young and innocent.

It would be many years later that I have learned that to be attracted to a person of the same gender was a homosexual sexual gender orientation. I also learned that the gendered person to whom I was attracted to, had an age and, that it was called an sexual age orientation. This is called a chronophilia, a term coined by Money[1] to refer to variations in sexual age interests. I learned that the male persons I was attracted to, could be divided in age categories with names attached to each of these categories. Because my sexual age orientation could be to guys as young as 10 years old (prepubescent children),  I fitted into the category of a pedophile. But I could also have been classified as a hebephile, because my orientation was also to pubescent boys between the ages of 11 to 14. Further more, I could also been classified as a ephebophile, having been attracted to postpubescent guys who are not yet sexually mature,  between te ages of 15 to 20.

If ever there was a person that could have been referred too as a marginal figure, it was me. It did not take me long to discover that homosexuality places a person on the fringe of society. Even more so if you have a sexual age orientation to young boys and teens. I discovered that most people having a young sexual age orientation, would never publicly admit their sexual age orientation. It was much safer to hide behind their sexual gender orientation.

God however, caused a turning point in my life, and I have all reason to believe it was because of the prayers of my mother. It was 10 September 2001 and I was 34 years of age, working as a skills trainer at a children’s home. I never worked nightshift but because of a staff shortage I was requested to work nightshift that particular night. I finished my shift the next morning and as I got home I received a phone call from the children home’s principal. He informed me that he wishes to pay me a visit and asked if he can come over. I agreed and on his arrival he informed me that one of the children complaint that I have sexually molested him while I was on night duty. I was given notice that I am suspended while the matter is under investigation.

I was suspended for six weeks, when one day I was ordered to the principals office, having been informed that the matter will be handed over too the police. I experienced in that moment my worst nightmare to come true. I always feared that I will one day have to face the law.

Having arrived at the principal’s office I waited for two hours before the detective came from the principal’s office and introduced himself to me. He then continued by telling me that the boy has confessed to them that he has lied and that I have never sexually molested him. I felt relieved and at the same time grateful because I saw this event as a wake up call for me to sort out my life, which at that stage was in shambles without purpose and no joy.

I looked for help in South Africa, but could not find any. Eventually, I contacted organizations in America of which one responded. It started an initial 4 year journey, receiving psychotherapeutic help while I also turned to God, were born again and through my relationship with Him experienced the Holy Spirit’s powerful transforming, mind renewing power working in me, and things started to change.

Progressively shifts started to take place in my mind, emotional pain got healed and guilt and shame were dealt with. Big shifts took place in my identity while I found my identity more and more in Christ. In 2004 I met my wife and this year we are married for 15 years.

What is extraordinary is that my wife was a widow with two teenage boys. In all sincerity I asked God if He knew what He is doing to let me marry a woman with two boys. I asked God if He has forgotten from where I am coming from. It was in this that God showed Himself mighty. God’s work in my life was such that not only did my exclusive gender homosexual orientation changed to where I started experiencing heterosexual attractions towards my wife, but also my exclusive sexual age orientation to young boys/teens changed to an adult woman. It meant so much to me that God have entrusted me with my two sons.

Activists, through science, psychology and psychiatry tries to convince the world that it is impossible to change sexual gender orientation and sexual age orientation, arguing that a person is born that way, but God, above all doubt proofed them wrong.

I am still in the furnace of my Master, to be formed daily more and more in the likeness of His image. Of this I am convinced: “When I look back and wonder how I ever made it this far, you would realize it is not that I have been clever, but God has been wise. Not that I have been strong, but God has been mighty. Not that I have been consistent, but God has been faithful. I call it GOD’S AMAZING GRACE!”

[1]Money, J. (1986). Lovemaps: Clinica concepts of sexual/erotic health and pathology, paraphilia, and gender transposition of childhood, adolescence, and maturity. New York, NY: Ardent Media.

I’m sharing what Christ has done for me in my life in order to bring hope to those that read this. Know that change is possible and no matter what challenge we face in this life, we are more than conquerors in Christ Jesus. Everywhere I seem to set my gaze these days people are forgetting the wonders and might of God and abandoning or compromising the faith. It is for that reason that I share and testify that we serve the same God who parted the Red Sea and who provided water in a dessert for the Israelites from a rock. The God who never changes, but the hearts of man is quick to forget what it has learned and changes his heart with the times instead of holding to what is true.

I first noticed my attraction to other women when I was still very young and as a teenager growing into a young adult, I got extensively involved in the gay community and in different relationships. My Lesbian lifestyle was a promiscuous one filled with drugs, clubs and girls. When I first “came-out” to my Mother and Father, I was thirteen years old. My mother began to pray for me ever since and my Father had shared with me what the bible said about homosexuality. I debated it and had many reasons to justify the cravings of the flesh. As I grew older I got into a relationship with a very attractive girl well known among my friends – the desire of their sexual fantasy because of her beauty – but she was a prostitute. Soon, I got into prostitution as well, not because of her and I don’t blame her either – we all have choices, but because I had done so many things already and trying this was seen as an adventure.

All my life in and among my LGBT friends and circles I have seen many of them do drugs, in and out of different relationships, cheating on their partners, getting into prostitution and some even die in this lifestyle. This is not the kind of life I wanted anymore… I wanted something else. When I was caught up in drug addiction I cried out to God for help and deliverance and He was faithful to help me without any counselor or institution or rehab. Same thing when I wanted to exit prostitution and the abusive relationship with this prostitute partner, I cried out to God for help (a few times) because I was powerless to leave her and to leave prostitution, again God delivered me and took me out in the most mysterious way. I started searching for a deeper meaning to life and explored the different religions out there and I prayed and asked God to take me to the truth because some believed in Allah, Buddha and Hinduism, I even considered paganism at one time. God in his mercy brought me to a mission station in KZN where revival broke out and where lives continue to change. I was introduced to the Gospel of Jesus Christ, not watered down or compromising in anyway, the real truth that makes the one who loves darkness scoff at it. These people take the word of God as it is and live in a way that brings glory to God!

As I began to study scriptures and getting to know God and His will, I read Romans chapter One and was astonished at how accurately it described my life before Jesus changed me! I will mention a few examples using the Amplified Bible:

28God gave them over to a depraved mind, to do things which are improper and repulsive, 29 until they were filled (permeated, saturated) with every kind of unrighteousness, wickedness, greed, evil; full of envy, murder, strife, deceit, malice and mean-spiritedness. They are gossips [spreading rumors], 30 slanderers, haters of God, insolent, arrogant, boastful, inventors [of new forms] of evil, disobedient and disrespectful to parents, 31 without understanding, untrustworthy, unloving, unmerciful [without pity].

This was my life… a gossip, I had a mean spirit, I was disobedient to my parents having no respect for them, I was filled with envy and strife even at work I would always blame others, I truly was without understanding and had no pity on those that I constantly criticised and mocked. I felt no remorse for the hurtful things I use to say to and about my parents and others, or how I hurt my siblings, bullying them and just being so mean and without godly love. I was full of bitterness, but the day my eyes opened to my sin and the pain it has caused I broke down and wept like someone who lost a relative to a horrible death.

This struggle of sin is real, but there is hope when we cry out to God for salvation and deliverance. Christ did such a work in my life that even my family desires a closer walk with God seeing what he continues to do in me; I cling to Him and pray to always cling to Him as long as I live. There is Hope and others should know, this is what the Gospel does, it convicts us of sin and judgement but it sets us free because it provides hope, salvation, and deliverance to the repenting sinner.

I testify to this: that when we call out to the Father through his son Jesus Christ for help, it is only a matter of time before salvation and deliverance comes. His love and mercy keeps us until then, wait on God.

God bless

 

I’m sure most of you have heard of the song titled, “Born This Way,” by Lady Gaga.
The opening lyrics begin with:

It doesn’t matter if you love him, or capital H-I-M.
I.e. it doesn’t matter if you love your partner and it doesn’t matter if you love God.
Just put your paws up ’cause you were born this way.
I.e. we’re all just animals anyway, so follow your instincts.

The song continues with:

There’s nothing wrong with loving who you are.
He made you perfect.
Cause God makes no mistakes.
There ain’t no other way.
I was born this way.

The song has sold over 8.2 million copies worldwide, becoming one of the best-selling singles of all time. It’s also known as one of the gay anthem songs.

The overall message is that it doesn’t matter who you love, what you love, or how you love – simply put: love is love. There’s nothing wrong with you, because you’re perfect, and it’s okay to do what feels right to you. This is certainly the way the world thinks today. We’ll come back to why I mentioned this later.

Brief Introduction: About Me

I grew up in a loving Christian home, and attended St Johns Church in Bothasig during my childhood and youth. It’s been 8 years since I gave my life to Jesus, which happened just before my 27th Birthday. At the time, I lived in Table View, and St Matthews Church became my spiritual home and family for the majority of those years. When I moved to Parow North in May of 2017, I made the difficult decision to leave St Matthews, and find a church closer to home. I’m very happy to have found Christ Church Tygerberg, which has become my new spiritual home and extended family in Christ.

BEFORE CONVERSION

Before coming to know Christ, I was a very different person. Even though I grew up in a Christian home and believed there was a God, there was something that was eating away at my conscience. I knew deep down inside, that what I was feeling wasn’t normal and it wasn’t right. But, I tried to defend the way I was feeling, in order to justify that it was right. I would reason like this: I’d say, “God, you made me this way, and if you made me this way and you love me for who I am, then you must accept me.”

As a young child I played boys’ sports. I also preferred playing with boys’ toys and wearing their clothes. I remember wishing I was a boy. I spent many nights crying myself to sleep because I thought I was a boy trapped in a girl’s body. I would often think that God had made a mistake. I was 14 or 15 years old and in grade 8 when I acted on my feelings which resulted in my first lesbian relationship.

I have a memory of reading Leviticus 18:22, which says: “You shall not lie with a male as with a woman; it is an abomination.”

I was furious after reading it. I felt hurt, unloved and alone. One word that describes how I was feeling — abandoned. Was I an abomination to God? The same God that everyone said loves me?

I began to question God; I’d say:

“God, why did you make me this way? Why can’t I live the way you made me? Why would you make me this way and then tell me it’s wrong, that I’m an abomination in your eyes?”

The love I felt for my girlfriend, however, is what seemed right to me. That was a turning point in my life – God didn’t love me, is how I reasoned. And I decided to fully embrace the lesbian lifestyle. I was ‘out’ and proud of it. I became aggressive towards those who didn’t accept me, almost forcing them to love me for who I was or shut them out of my life completely. The gay community, however, accepted me and loved me for who I was, and for the first time in my life I felt like I belonged.

CONVERSION

Some years went by. I was 26 years old. One day at work I overheard a colleague talking to someone else about Jesus. She was someone I used to ‘party’ with, but now there was something noticeably different about her. The way she spoke about Jesus revealed how much she loved him, and the change in her life intrigued me. That day marked the beginning of my conversion, which was a slow process over a few months.

I decided to go to church again and eventually started attending regularly. Reading my Bible became a daily delight, and all I wanted was to hear from God. I was still living with my girlfriend at this time, but what I read in Mark chapter 10 one evening would change my world. I no longer had a desire for my girlfriend; my desire was to follow Jesus. That moment was the start of another turning point in my life.

Mark 10 is the story of the rich young ruler. He asks Jesus what he must do to inherit eternal life. Jesus responds by telling him to sell everything he had and give all his wealth to the poor, and then follow him. This young man walked away, disappointed, because he realised he could not part with his wealth. There was something in my life that I wasn’t willing to part with for a very long time. My sexuality had become my core identity.

Jesus, however, had now become more important to me. I wanted to follow him. My focus was turned away from my sexuality and turned toward Jesus instead. I love the simple way one writer describes her conversion, she says,” I wanted to say NO to sin and YES to Jesus”.

What I knew at that moment was I couldn’t wake up every morning next to my girlfriend and follow Jesus.

Jacky Hill Perry, also a former lesbian, describes her conversion like this, “just sitting in my bed with the TV on and the sun not yet up – I saw Jesus. He was better than everything I’d ever known and more worthy of having everything that I thought was mine to own, including my affections. They were for him to have and to be glorified with”.

Jesus was offering me something way more satisfying than anything this world could offer. Everything in this world is temporary and only offers a moment of happiness. Yet, Jesus offers us himself. He offers us eternal life and to be right with God – that’s true joy; that’s real happiness.

I then realised that I was the one who refused to part with what I believed was right for me. I turned my back on God. I was the one who rejected him. Jesus was the one who was abandoned and alone on the cross at Calvary. He died in my place, taking the punishment for all my sins (which includes greed, lust, envy, sexual immortality, the list is endless), so that my relationship with God can be restored. That’s true love.

Romans 5:8 comes to mind…

“…but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”

AFTER CONVERSION

Since coming to know Jesus, my life has changed dramatically. One of the first things I did was ask my girlfriend to move out, and I stopped frequenting gay clubs. Most of my friends didn’t understand the change in my life and a lot was being said about me. I was talked about negatively at school for coming out as gay and now the same was happening for coming to know Jesus. Initially I lost most of my friends. I’d be lying if I said it was easy, but Jesus captivated me, and that was all that mattered. My thoughts were consumed with Him, and all I wanted was to know him more. The best way I can think of to describe it is when you love someone so much, and you want to spend time with them and get to know them better — that’s what it was like to know Jesus.

’ve been single since becoming a Christian, and I can with confidence say that I am content. Jesus is enough; He is my joy and all that I need. My singleness also gives me more time to volunteer in ministry. I never thought I’d end up serving in children’s ministry — I used to say that I didn’t enjoy working with children. But, God had other plans, and He placed a passion within me to share the Gospel.

Although my sexual sin may have been the loudest in the past, it has become softer, almost silenced — as a Christian I still struggle at times, but I’m committed to living God’s way, whether that means continuing in my singleness or one day getting married to a Christian man.

I’ve also been fortunate enough to go on three short-term outreaches to George, serving in a cross-cultural context, in some of the poorest communities in South Africa. This is the highlight of my year — serving alongside Gospel focused individuals, all working together to be the hands and feet of Jesus.

Some years after becoming a Christian, I found out that my dad had been praying for me for 11 years. Once a week he would meet with a friend and pray for my salvation. He persevered in prayer and handed over to God what he knew he could do nothing about, except the best thing, which was pray. Although my parents didn’t agree with my choices in life, they loved me regardless. I believe their actions and prayers played an important role in showing me the love of Jesus.

Remember the song I mentioned: Born this Way.

I have bad news for you; the Bible confirms that we are indeed born this way. But, the meaning differs from the message of this song. The Bible confirms that we are born sinful and broken. Here’s the Good News – Jesus died on the cross in our place and was raised to life so that we can be forgiven and have new life. The song, Born This Way, also says, “There ain’t no other way”, but Jesus says, “I am the Way.”

2 Corinthians 5:17 says: Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold the new is come. All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself.

Rather listen to these words:

Here in the love of Christ I stand.

Here in the death of Christ I live.

Bought with the precious blood of Christ.

In Christ alone my hope is found.

He is my light, my strength, my song!

Blessed assurance, Jesus is mine.

This is my story, this is my song!

Praising my Saviour all the day long.

Previously I found my identity in my sexual preference. Now I find my identity in Christ, and I am a new creation. The great apostle Paul said, “I count it all nothing compared to knowing Christ”

The church, the bride of Jesus that He gave his life for, is where I belong. His people have encouraged, corrected and loved me. We as a community of believers are all equal when we put our trust IN CHRIST alone.

The world will say you were born this way. Jesus says you can be born again and have new life. Further on, in Mark 10, the disciples ask Jesus, “then who can be saved?” Jesus looked at them and said, “With man it is impossible, but not with God, for all things are possible with God”.

Praise God that I can say: Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound, that saved a wretch like me. I once was lost, but now I’m found.

 

Hallelujah (which means, thanks be to God), it is well with my soul!

Isn’t that a better song to sing!

I’m telling my story to share with you the redemptive power of God, and that His salvation is for everyone, even same-sex attracted people like me. His arm is not too short to save: today I have been happily married to a wonderful God-fearing woman, and we have just had our first child, a baby boy.

Testimony

Both my parents were married before and both had a daughter in their first marriage. My father’s first wife moved to overseas with his daughter when she was still a toddler and they have been living abroad ever since. My mother’s daughter was still very young when my parents married. My parents had two sons (my brother and me) from their marriage to each other.

I was born into a broken and dysfunctional home environment. My parents were both very broken people and very unhappy in their marriage. I think my parents also carried a lot of hurt from their first marriages and struggled to process this inside their current marriage. Looking back at our family history, I could see some of the patterns carried through the family line: my father’s father raised his family in a very abusive and manipulative manner .  My mother’s mother favoured her 3 sons over my mom and my grandfather favoured my mom, although he died from cancer after she she left school.

And so in our family: my dad favoured my brother and my mom favoured me. I later found out that my dad resented my mom and so he rejected me (the child she loved) to get back at her. Because of the severe rejection I experienced from my dad, I remember spending a lot of time with my mom growing up. I remember my dad often being very jealous of my relationship with my mom. I remember him telling me how he despised me and wished he had a different son or tell me how stupid I am and call me names. There was a lot of abuse while growing up. He would often beat us out of anger. I remembering living in so much fear: physical beatings, verbal, emotional and lots of psychological manipulation (just like my grandfather did with my dad).

So I constantly lived in fear. Going to school, it was the same as at home. Teachers and kids would pick on me and beat me up – e.g. geography teacher took my head and banged it on his desk in front of the entire class when I was 10, just because I inserted a page in the wrong place in my file. What made this worse is that my mom would go to school and defend me against the other kids – this does not do well for a boy’s social standing at school!

Because of the hurt I experienced from the relationship with my dad, I ended up rejecting him in order to protect myself – and continued to grow closer to my mother. The mother-son relationship I had with my mom was very unhealthy: my mom used me to make her feel better about her unhappy marriage (like a surrogate husband). I became obsessed with my mom, often having nightmares that she would die or daydreaming of the two of us going away and living on our own without my dad.

I realized years later (with the help of counsellors) that my relationship with my mother was classified as incestuous – e.g. she would have my take baths with her until the age of 12, and it wouldn’t have stopped if my dad did not intervene.

And so growing up, I had a very distorted image of family and what healthy love was from my parents. At times, I think my parents tried to love me, but I didn’t know how to receive it in a healthy way – e.g. my dad would come to me after a beating and say how much he loved me (without apologizing for the abuse).

And then something happened to me as a young boy – a family member sexually abused me. I didn’t know about this until God revealed it to me years later. I had blocked it out of my mind because of how traumatic it was. I think, because of the relationship with my dad, and my desperation to receive love from a male father figure, I was an easy target for a sexual predator. It turned out that my whole family was sexually abused: mom, dad, sister and brother. I’m not sure how many times it happened, but I don’t think I actually want to know that.

I remember being very young and experiencing an attraction to boys, and that I liked them more than I liked girls. This continued and grew stronger as I got older. I had a maths tutor in school (because I kept on failing), who was also a psychologist. My parents ended up sending me to her for therapy. She was the first person I told that I was attracted to boys. She told me that it was fine and that I should accept it. I remember feeling so relieved after that.

I hated school and I hated being at home. And so I decided to rebel instead of throwing myself into school and sport.  I had no sense of self-worth. No love for myself. My dad, who was the one who was supposed to affirm me as a man, only hurt me and rejected me. So I didn’t really care what happened to me. I started drinking and smoking at the age of 14.

I smoked marijuana and kept alcohol in my school locker sometimes to drink between classes. At one point I met two girls outside of school who introduced me to playing with a Ouija board. I played this quite often and had a keen interest in the occult. I would often pray to the devil to kill my father and asked him to place curses on him. I started stealing things. Stealing thousands of rands from my father; stealing their cars over weekends to go out and party (until I got caught, and severely beaten for that). I stole from people’s houses and even from shops. I didn’t care. I just craved destruction. I also started messing around with boys in school. When I left school, the partying got worse . I started using drugs: first it was party drugs like ecstasy, MDMA and LSD. Later it progressed into more serious drugs like Cocaine, Ketamine and a drug called Cat (which is also called Tik).

In my first year after school, I also went into my first relationship with a guy. I had a number of boyfriends, but the relationships didn’t last very long. I was always very unsatisfied with the situation. No matter how hard I tried not to do so, I always ended up doing the same things my father did: verbal, emotional abuse, sometimes it became physical. I would manipulate the other guy and was never satisfied. I also didn’t want to stay faithful to them. This carried on for years: drugs, partying, relationships. I still lived at home during this time and the situation at home got worse.

There were times when I had to phone the police to come help out with my dad because of the violence. I had grown up in JHB but decided to move down to Cape Town to get away from my family. The night I made my decision was the night when my dad again threatened to kill me – I decided that this would be the last time. And so I moved down to Cape Town.

In Cape Town, the partying and gay lifestyle got much worse. I would use cocktails of drugs: Cocaine, Liquid Ecstasy, etc. Some nights I would take so many drugs that I would pass out and end up sleep walking – while I was in the club. Sometimes I would wake up in different locations, finding that I had burned myself with cigarettes (all this while sleepwalking). On one occasion I woke up not knowing where I was and realising I didn’t have any clothes on – guys would take advantage of me while I was passed out. I just didn’t care what happened to me. I didn’t believe that I had any worth. I grew up being told that I wasn’t worth anything, and I believed that lie. 

It was at this stage in my life that I reached a tipping point: I was either going to get worse and end up dead or I could get some help.

I had a friend who partied with me. He would know all the places to go: the clubs, the dealers, even where to get cheap haircuts and free HIV testing. I thought I had to go for an HIV test because of what happened that one night when I was passed out – I was raped by a guy, and I was too high on drugs to know what was happening to me. This friend of mine took me to a church in Cape Town city with a testing facility that provided free HIV testing.

I went for the test and it fortunately came out negative. I then found out there was a ministry related to the church and the testing facility that counselled people who were caught up in sexually broken lives – I then went for counselling for the next year. The counselling helped me and I calmed down from my hectic lifestyle.

During this time my counsellor kept telling me about this church called My church Gen. I had gone into another relationship with a guy during this time and didn’t want to go to the church, but after a year I decided to go. I knew something was missing in my life and I was feeling very lonely (even while I was in this relationship).

I went to the church and I gave my life to Jesus. I found God and I found family – but most of all, I found peace. It was shortly after I joined my church that I broke off my relationship with the guy. And so the process began of God restoring my broken and messed up life. As you can image I was a mess when I joined the church.

The enemy wanted to destroy me and he used a broken self-image to do this. It was a common theme throughout my life: I battled with a major identity crisis of not knowing who I was and that I had any value. This has been the main area where God has been healing me throughout the past 8 years.

Obviously coming to know Jesus doesn’t mean that my humanity is taken away. I still battled with strong same-sex feelings, and I couldn’t be friends with guys because I was so scared of them. I learned through the years that my homosexuality developed as a result of (1) the sexual abuse and (2) the fact that I had rejected any form of maleness or manhood because my father (who was my primary example of manhood) hurt me and rejected me. I also couldn’t relate to people or hold friendships because I was so messed up. But my friends stuck with me. I hurt them many times (even telling them I don’t want to be friends with them!), but still they loved me.

I think many times it was my friends and leaders who, in faith, saw what God was doing in and eventually through my life. There were significant milestones of God’s power and healing throughout the years. Most of the healing and restoring happened in my time alone with the Lord. There would be times that I would end up crying on the floor for hours as God was healing brokenness and sin in my life. Most of the time I didn’t know what it was that He was doing, but I knew that He was doing something.

I also received many prophetic words over the years – words about having a family one day and that God would restore that which was lost. I never thought it possible that I could actually get to the point of marriage and being a husband and father. My whole life (even while I was living in sin), I desired this, but never thought it possible because I was gay.

The first word I received about my wife was from a couple in my home group. I had felt God speak to me in my QT and give me Psalm 128:

Blessed is everyone who fears the LORD, 

who walks in his ways!

You shall eat the fruit of the labor of your hands;

you shall be blessed, and it shall be well with you.

Your wife will be like a fruitful vine

within your house;

your children will be like olive shoots

around your table.

Behold, thus shall the man be blessed

who fears the LORD.

The LORD bless you from Zion!

May you see the prosperity of Jerusalem

all the days of your life!

May you see your children’s children!

Peace be upon Israel!

 

I felt Him say that He had a wife and kids planned for me. I asked Him to confirm this word. That evening I went to this couples house for dinner and they told me they had been praying for me and felt God say He wanted to give me a wife and kids as part of my inheritance.

It turned out that my wife was who He had planned for me all along. My wife also received a number of prophetic words about her husband – one of them being that the person would be incredibly broken, but that He would use the relationship between her and this man (and their eventual marriage) to bring healing and restoration into his life.

Conclusion:

Even though the devil has a plan for my lie, God intervened and saved me from a life of utter destruction. I don’t believe homosexuality is what He planned for man. Just by merely looking at the destructive elements that go along with it, I can make this conclusion – never mind the scriptures. I even knew gay guys who believed they were saved, and had a relationship with the Lord, and who tried really hard to live out their homosexuality in a “godly” manner by having a monogamous relationship and, eventually getting married, but still ending up committing suicide because they were so disillusioned with the gay lifestyle and what it delivered (vs. what it promised).

I believe true restoration is possible, but you need to allow Him to restore your life. This will cost you everything – the word says we must become less so that He can increase in us (John 3:30).

Some key points I learned through these past years of overcoming sin in my life:

  1. You have to be intentional – eternal perspective
  2. You have to be accountable – two are better than one, and walking in the light brings freedom from shame and condemnation (1 John 1)
  3. You have to get up when you fall – we all sin and no sin is unique, but choose to run to God and not from Him when you sin; also open up and confess your sin to your leaders/ accountability partners (James 5:16)
  4. You have to have time with God – the word says that faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God; don’t skip your times with the Father, press in to Him daily and get from Him what you need to keep fighting 
  5. You need a deep revelation of the Cross – “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

My naam is Liezel Theron en ek is tans betrokke by Spore vir Jesus Outreach Ministry.

My lewe as kind was nie baie gelukkig nie. My ouers het baie baklei en soms sou my pa so kwaad word dat hy aan my broer en ma slaan. Alhoewel ons nie finansieel gesukkel het nie, was my ma en pa se verhouding emosioneel en fisies ongesond. Toe ek 11 was het my ma en pa geskei. My pa het verdwyn en a.g.v. al die stres het my ma siek geword met `n psigiese siekte. My ma en pa was afwesig in my lewe en gevolglik het ek op hoërskool verkeerde vriende gemaak waar ek begin rook, drink en eksperimenteer het met verskeie ongesonde dinge.

Ek het op die ouderdom van 17 `n huispartytjie gehou, waar ek al my vriende na toe genooi het. My een vriend het sy vriendin saamgebring. Tydens die partytjie het sy my gevra of sy by my kan kom oorslaap in twee dae se tyd. Ek het ingestem.  Sy het vir my gesê dat sy met meisies uitgaan en aangetrokke is tot persone van die selfde geslag en dat sy by satanisme betrokke was. Daai tyd het ek nie omgegee nie.

Twee dae later het sy toe opgedaag. Ons het DVD`s gekyk, toe sy my vra, “wat sal jy doen as ek jou soen?” Ek het ingestem en ons het die heelaand gevry. Sy het in my kamer oorgeslaap en niks verder het gebeur nie. Die volgende dag is sy huis toe. Ek het haar nooit weer gesien nie, want sy was blykbaar in Weskoppies opgeneem. Ek het gevoel asof iets verander het, nie net in my nie, maar ook in my kamer.

Ek kon hierna vir 9 maande nie slaap nie. Ek het elke aand nagmerries gehad van waar iets my uitmekaar skeur. Ek was in die oggende omstreeks twee uur of soms drie uur deur `n ding in my kamer rond gegooi. Ek het later nie meer in my kamer geslaap nie. Ek het toe in die TV kamer op die bank geslaap of op die bank in die eetkamer. Die ding het my naderhand orals in die huis gevolg.

Ek het besluit om deur die aand wakker te bly want dis veiliger en deur die dag te slaap. Ek het baie skool gebank en net geslaap. Aan die begin van matriek is ek geskors a.g.v. al die afwesigheid en oor dat ek `n slegte invloed vir die ander kinders was. Ek het in `n diep depressie verval wat omtrent 3 jaar geduur het. Ek het op die ouderdom van 20 `n psigiater gaan sien en sy het my gediagnoseer as bipolêr.

Sy het vir my redelik baie medikasie voorgeskryf, wat vir `n ruk gehelp het. Later dieselfde jaar beland ek egter in `n psigiatriese hospitaal, waar hul vir my nog meer medikasie gegee het. Weereens het die medikasie dinge vir ’n ruk beter gemaak, nie dat ek regtig meer iets gevoel het nie. Dit het wel gehelp dat ek ten minste my “personal training” en vliegkursus daardie jaar kon voltooi.

Van daar af was ek in en uit verhoudings met ander vroue. Ek was veral aangetrokke tot mooi meisies met sterk persoonlikhede. Ek sou in verhoudings ingaan, maar sodra die meisie sag raak of daardie sterkheid verloor, dan was ek nie meer aangetrokke tot haar nie. My langste verhouding het 3 jaar geduur. Ons verhouding was ernstig. Ons was verloof, maar voordat ons getroud is, het die verhouding opgebreek.

Ek het steeds elke dag my bipolêre medikasie gebruik, gerook, baie gedrink en toe baie dagga  begin rook.  Ek het ook begin eksperimenteer met ander dwelms en pornografie. Ek het egter `n groot leemte in my gehad in die vorm van alleenheid, en dit het veroorsaak dat ek van een verhouding tot die ander spring.

Ek was soms so dronk in kroeë gewees, dat ek nie geweet het wat rondom my aangaan nie. Soms het ek die volgende oggend langs `n man wakker geword sonder dat ek geweet het hoe dit gebeur het dat ons saam is. Ek was daardie tyd so gebroke en het liefde op alle maniere gesoek.

Daar het in my hart ’n ontwaking begin plaasvind. Een Saterdagaand was ek en my vriend weer in die kroeg. Ek was toe 28 jaar oud. Tussen die dronkenskap deur het ek vir my vriend gesê dat ons moet begin kerk toe gaan. Die volgende oggend het ons so groot babbelas gehad dat ons nie kerk toe gegaan het nie. Ons het wel `n belofte gemaak dat ons die volgende Sondag kerk toe sou gaan.

Die volgende Sondag is ons toe kerk toe. Aan die einde van die diens het die voorganger gevra dat as iemand gebed nodig het, hulle vorentoe kan kom vir gebed. Ek het toe vorentoe gestap. Daar was `n meisie van min of meer my ouderdom wat vir my gebid het. Ek het haar my hele lewensverhaal vertel en sy het voorgestel dat ek en sy eenkeer `n week vir ’n beradingsessie bymekaar kom. Ek het ingestem.

Ek het tydens die eerste beradingsessie die Here aangeneem. Die eerste ding wat gestop het, was my drinkery. Min of meer `n maand later het ek tot `n hartsoortuiging gekom dat ek `n leun lewe met die wat ek nog in ’n verhouding met ’n meisie was en ons ook nog saam bly. Dit was `n swaar besluit wat ek moes neem om met haar op te breek. Ek moes haar ook vra om uit te trek.

Ek het na sy uitgetrek het weer daardie alleen leemte vir ongeveer twee weke beleef, maar toe genees liewe Jesus my.

Dis `n jaar en half later en ek is vry van drank, rook, dwelms, aangetrokkenheid tot die vroulike geslag, geldgierigheid, pornografie en bipolêre medikasie. Vir my om oorwinning te kon kry, moes ek aan God gehoorsaam word en aan hom onderdanig wees. God is goed en Hy gee oorwinning.

Ek voel God druk dit erg op my hart om met julle te deel hoe oneindig groot ons God is en dat Hy waarlik kan red en vrymaak uit satan se kloue en leuens.

Ek was na matriek in verskeie homoseksuele verhoudings en het vreeslik begin drink. Ek het net na matriek my ouerhuis verlaat en partytjies was al wat my geïnteresseer het. Ek was op anti-depressante en die medikasie saam met drank was lewensgevaarlik. Ek het by verskeie geleenthede in die hospitaal wakker geword dat my kop uitgehaak het en toe besluit my ma-hulle dit gaan my goed doen om my Bloemcare toe te stuur. Ek het gegaan maar na dit net weer aangegaan soos tevore, die keer net sonder pille. Ek het soveel keer gebid en gesmeek dat God my lewe moet uitsorteer maar niks het gebeur nie. Op n stadium het ek besluit dat God nie rêrig bestaan nie. Want hoekom baklei teen iets of iemand wat nie eens my lewe kan uitsorteer nie.

Ek ontmoet toe my volgende vriendin. Sy het wel in Jesus geglo maar nie werklik ’n  verhouding met Hom gehad nie. Ons het vir 6 jaar uitgegaan en ek het geglo sy was díe een vir my. Hoe langer ons in die verhouding was hoe erger gif was ons vir mekaar en het mekaar meer afgebreek as opgebou. Ons kon nie ’n normale gesprek hê sonder drank nie.

Ek maak toe die fout om haar te verneuk, en soos julle weet, kom die waarheid altyd uit. Ek het myself so in n hoek begin in lieg, in ’n poging om als toe te smeer, dat ek meer skade as goed veroorsaak het. My vriendin het net ’n week daarvoor, na n groot uitval tussen my en haar, in haar kamer gesit en met God gepraat. Sy het gevloek en geskel en kon niemand meer blameer nie. Sy het begin selfondersoek instel en besef dat sy nie in haar eie krag haarself of dinge kan uitsorteer nie. As jy nie jou bagasie vir God gee nie, sal jy altyd n las dra. So dis presies wat sy gedoen het. Op haar knieë het sy daardie aand haar lewe aan God oorgegee. Haar oorgawe aan God was nie om haar homoseksuele leefstyl te verander, of om op te hou drink en vloek nie. Dit was ‘n oorgawe van haarself aan God, omdat sy haarself nie meer kon help nie. Min wetend dat net soos God in Sy Woord sê, “kom soos jy is en Ek sal jou verander.”

Met my geliegery het sy vir my gesê dat God vir haar sê dat sy my nie in haar lewe kan toelaat nie, want ek trek haar af terug in die donker gat in, van waar uit God haar uithaal. Daardie oggend het ek ook tot die besef gekom dat ek nie meer ’n doel het om voor te lewe nie. Alles was net ’n groot gemors en ek nog ’n groter gemors. Ek het vir my vriendin  ’n boodskap gestuur en  haar die volle waarheid vertel hoe ek haar verneuk het.

Daardie selfde oggend van 18 Augustus 2016 het my vriendin nog n boodskap van Jesus ontvang: “As ek die man op die kruis langs my kon vergewe, wie is jy om nie vir Monique te vergewe nie, so klim in jou kar en gaan wys haar My liefde en leer haar van vergifnis”.

Net na 11 uur daardie oggend het sy my by my werk kom opsoek, dit nadat sy net vroeër vir my weggewys het. Sy het na my toe gestap en my ’n drukkie gegee en gesê, “Ek en Jesus het jou back vir altyd”. En ek was verstom met my mond wat op die grond hang…. Indirek het Jesus vir my kom wys hoe spesiaal ek eintlik vir Hom is. Hierin het ek gesien dat die gedagte dat my lewe niks werd is nie, net n klomp leuens van satan is, want ek is vir n baie duur prys gekoop aan die kruis deur Jesus se bloed. Ek het net daar omgedraai en na die badkamer toe gegaan en op my knieë gaan neerval en vir die eerste keer in my lewe voor God gebreek. Ek het met n kaal oop gebroke hart na God gesmag en net daar my hart vir Hom gegee en my sondes bely.

Ek en my vriendin was hierna steeds saam. Vir die eerste keer het dit so goed gegaan tussen ons. Ons sou sou selfs trou. Ons is saam groot gedoop al het ek nog nie die betekenis van dop verstaan nie. My vriendin wou net uitgaan en die wêreld begin vertel van Jesus en dat Hy leef. Toe stop Hy haar in haar spore en sê die volgende vir haar…. “My kind jy gaan confusion uitsaai want geen mens kan n lou christen wees nie, of jy is voluit vir God of jy is vir die wêreld en jou eie self begeertes. Jy kan nie n “gay” christen of n moordenaar christen ens. wees nie, maar jy kan wel n “work in progress” christen wees. God is so ’n “gentleman.” Hy forseer Homself glad nie op ’n mens af nie en Hy wag dat jy Hom met alles wil leer ken. En sy “timing” is so perfek, dit verbaas my tot vandag nog.

My vriendin wou my nie afskrik of wegdryf deur vir my te vertel wat God aan haar geopenbaar het nie. So toe vra sy vir Jesus om n “personal encounter” met my te hê en aan myself te openbaar wat Jesus vir haar gesê het. So ’n week na dit was ons in die kerk en uit die bloute uit sê ons pastoor, “raak net bietjie stil en wees in God se teenwoordigheid en praat net bietjie met Hom.” En net daar, terwyl my oë toe is, kry ek ’n visioen van n groot man met wit hare en ’n baard, met sandale aan, en hy sit op n groot wit stoel.  Voor hom, op haar knieë is ’n klein dogtertjie met swart lang hare wat vreeslik huil. Ek besef dis ek wat voor God gekniel sit. Hy sê in n harde maar steeds sagte stem “kyk vir my” en ek kon nie vir Hom kyk nie. Weer sê hy “kyk vir my,” en weereens kon ek nie. Hy het sy groot vinger onder my ken ingedruk, om my kop op te lig, en net voor ek Sy gesig kon sien vind, ek my op sy skoot, in Sy warm arms toegevou, en ek voel so veilig. Net daar, met trane wat oor my wange rol, het ek besef dat ek nie kan aangaan met my leefstyl soos wat ek tans doen, as ek regtig ten volle vir God wil lewe nie.

By die huis gekom het ons in die kombuis gestaan en ek het nie geweet hoe om dit aan my vriendin oor te dra nie. Ek het besef daar is maar net een manier om dit te doen en dit is om dit te sê soos God dit aan my geopenbaar het.. Ek het, moet bymekaargeskraap en toe vir haar gesê dat God my gewys het dat ek nie by Hom sal wees as ek aangaan met my leefstyl soos ek nou doen dit nie. My vriendin het geglimlag, opgekyk en gesê “dankie Jesus!” So het ons toe daar en dan ons verhouding prysgegee.

Dit was ook dieselfde met die drank storie… Ek het nie geweet hoe ek ooit sou ophou drink nie. Maar weereens het God vir my deurgekom en dit net so laat wegval, stadig maar seker… dis nou al ’n volle twee jaar wat ons glad nie drink nie of uitgaan om te drink soos in die verlede nie.

Ek en my vriendin is beste vriendinne vandag en ons kan alles deel en ondersteun mekaar deur alles. Om jou kruis op te neem en die nou paadjie te loop is nie maklik nie, maar dit raak net meer draaglik. God belowe ons dat enige een wat sy lewe op aarde prys gee sal lewe in oorvloed hê na die dood, en enige een wat sy lewe behou sal dit verloor.

Ek wou nog altyd ’n gesin en kinders hê, maar ek het dit in die wêreld gaan soek en myself so bly regverdig. Ek was so verlore en in satan se kloue. Ek het begin bid vir God vir ’n Godsman wat Hom in alles eerste stel. As hy vir God eerste stel sal hy my met opregte liefde en respek hanteer en sal ons verhouding op n soliede Godsfondasie gebou wees. Ek het altyd gespot en gesê ek gaan nog n boerseun losslaan…

Op 10 Julie 2017, kry ek ’n “inbox message” van ’n outjie wat ek omtrent ’n jaar vantevore by ’n waterwinkel gesien het, en ek vir hom gesê het dat hy oulik is. Hy het in sy boodskap gesê dat geen meisie al ooit vir hom gesê het dat hy oulik is nie, en wou my al lankal ge-sms het.  Hy het egter nie die “guts” gehad nie, en toe besluit hy daardie oggend om my te sms. Ek was op daardie stadium in n baie moeilike situasie waar ek voor n keuse gekom het om my werk te los vir n beter salaris by die see. Toe kom die jongman in die prentjie in, nadat ek vir God gesmeek het vir ’n teken dat ek net die regte keuse kan neem. Ons hou baie van mekaar en ek sien n toekoms saam hom en hy dra my op sy hande en bederf my.

Ek het “faith” in God dat die paadjie wat Hy my op gestuur het net vir my bedoel is om my volle waare self te wees. Vandag ken ek my “pursose” asook my ware identiteit in God. En tot die dag van my dood sal ek vir God bly prys en loof dat Hy die sleg in my lewe kom omswaai het in iets mooies vir Sy glorie.

Ek en my vriendin het al ons ou pelle verloor. Maar God het ons belowe hy haal mense uit ons lewe uit vir ons eie beswil en dan seë Hy ons weer met nuwe vriende wat dieselfde passie deel.

So dis my storie hoe God my kom vrymaak het na 11jaar wat ek vas gevang was in leuen.

My reason for writing is because I feel that I need to share my testimony, and in the process give people hope, that they do not have to be stuck in homosexuality for ever.

I am a recovered homosexual and I feel that too many people are told that they cannot overcome the lifestyle. The stance of the church should be that everything is possible for God, that He can heal everyone, but instead it tells people that God makes mistakes and goes against His Word. That people are born gay and that change is not possible and that they just have to accept and embrace their lifestyle.  

I would like to give you a little bit of background on my life, the causes and my road to recovery.

I was born in 1975, to two wonderful loving parents. These were in the days before sonar scans. My dad really wanted me to be a boy but was very happy to have a little girl once I was born. 2 years later my sister was born. At age 4 I was molested by a friend’s grandfather at the friend’s birthday party. He told me not to bother to tell my mom because I am just a kid and my mom would not believe me. Unfortunately, I believed him, kept the secret and that was the start of the breakdown in the trust relationship with my mom.

When I was 5, we moved from Bloemfontein to Hartbeespoortdam. Soon after arriving there my parents adopted a 3-year-old girl (same age as my real sister). Her dad shot her mom and then himself. She also suffered all kinds of abuse before she arrived.  Because of her traumatic background she was extremely demanding emotionally and she caused a lot of disruption in the household. My mom suffered from terrible back ache (we later figured out it was due to the stress caused by the adoption) and spent a lot of time in bed. My dad hid in his study – also to get away from the disruption, so I grew up pretty much emotionally abandoned.

I was the best little boy I could be, helping my dad in the garage, climbing trees, etc, a real tomboy. I was also molested a number of times over the next 14 years.

First year of university I became involved in a lesbian relationship with a women 17 years older than me. We were together for 10 years. The last 3 years were emotionally abusive. I knew the Lord, knew the truth, but I was too scared to leave. I was also not allowed to tell anybody that we were in a relationship. I was depressed and wanted to commit suicide. I met a friend who I could tell I was gay. For the first time in 10 year I could tell the truth and the Truth will set you free!

In January 2005 I told my parents and sisters that I was gay. I ended the 1st relationship in March 2005 and went to live with my parents. I went straight into a relationship with new girl. I was still very depressed. My new girlfriend insisted I go to a psychologist.

I was extremely fortunate in that she had a lot of experience and a deep passion for helping people who struggle with homosexuality and same-sex attraction. She first helped me to become “human” again, to sort the depression and to learn to value myself.  After six months she said: “You are OK now, do you want to go on and sort out this gay thing?” And my answer was YES!

I started going to H2O ministries while still in relationship. Being part of the H2O group, surrounded by people who had been there done that, who tells you that it is possible, makes you feel that it is worth the fight. I read a lot, watched The Truth About The Pink Agenda by Frans Cronje and that brought radical change to my life.

In November 2006 I went to a Woord In Aksie Camp and committed my life the Lord on the first night. The speaker on the second day told us about 5 sparrows sitting on a telephone wire, 3 decided to fly away, how many were left? 5, because they only decided to fly, they did not actually fly away. He said we need to go over into action. So, I realised 3 things  

  • Have to break up with girl, 2) I had to forgive my adopted sister 3) I had to talk to parents, which I did and on Monday morning I found an old 1 cent piece in driveway – with 2 sparrows on.

So I broke up relationship with girlfriend. In 2008 I tried to help a friend out of the gay life and was pulled back in for 6 months. All the while I knew it was the wrong thing and after six months, on 08-08-2008 I started living my new straight life. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit, completed the Vrymakende Waarhede course at LW, attended the LW Singles Camp where I first met Frans Cronje and heard his testimony.

In 2010 I started the 1st year Christian Counselling course at LW, one assignment was telling and working through the stuff that happened in my life. This was so freeing, and healing! I finished the second year too and started speaking to the parents of gay kids, to help them understand what goes on in the minds of their children and how to love them through it.

I worked through some more stuff for the next couple of years, and in 2012 I started asking God for a husband, in November 2012 an acquaintance whom I met at church contacted me, he had just gotten divorced and was hoping to go out for coffee, and the rest is history! We got engaged on the 1st of March 2013 and got married on 16 June 2013.  It is the best thing that ever happened to me!

We are happily married, I have absolutely no urge to go back to my old life, there is no longing for my old life, in fact I am just so grateful, so thankful that God freed me from my old life. I still have contact with two of my ex-girlfriends, and I know for sure that I never ever want to go back to live that life.

God is good, He is gracious, slow to anger, quick to forgive and with an abundance of love for us sinners, and He want to heal people. I would never tell anyone who does not want to change that they have to change, but I feel so strongly that there should be support for people who want to change. That the church should be allowed to council people, to send them in the right direction, to help them reach their life in freedom. Change is possible!!

Kind regards

Renatha Lubbe

My name is Sibusiso Mahlangu and I am a living testimony that change from unwanted same-sex attraction (SSA) CAN happen. One thing that needs to be made clear is that if you want a quick fix or an overnight solution – then this is not for you.

For many years I thought that if I pray hard enough or fasted long enough or cast out demons enough I could finally be rid of my unwanted SSA affliction. The only thing that those beliefs did was leave me hopeless and convinced that I was forced to live a life that I did not want.

Like many of my fellow afflicted men, my life had many of the ingredients that caused SSA: an absent father, a sensitive nature, a very close relationship with my mother and sexual abuse at a young age. Reading through the testimonies and stories, I saw my own life being lived by other men who were sometimes on a different continent to me which helped me to realise that SSA does not discriminate based on race, nationality or even gender.

My story starts pretty much the day I was born. My parents got divorced when I was two months old, at which point my mom moved back to her mother’s house where she raised me along with my grandmother. My first interaction with my father happened when I was six years old: after discovering pictures of my mother on her wedding day, I inquisitively asked who the strange man was, standing next to her was and where he was. After explaining to me that the strange man was my father, I excitedly asked if I could meet him. My mom called him and arranged a ‘date’ for us on a Saturday. He agreed to pick me up and took me to a stadium to watch a soccer match followed by a day of watching as he drank and enjoyed his time with his friends.

Needless to say, my biological father was never a part of my life (I could probably count on my fingers the number of times I have seen him in my life). This obviously meant that my single-parent-mother was forced to raise me by herself. She did remarry when I was eight years old but my formative years had passed and the destructive seeds off SSA had already been planted.

As a young boy, I didn’t get along with other boys because of a distorted masculine identity. It didn’t help that I was surrounded by females (mother, gran, aunts, sister, cousins, teachers and friends) which reinforced a strong sense of feminine energy.

Although my sexual abuse did not happen at the hands of an adult, it still did cause some if not more damage. When we stayed with my gran, a female neighbour that was four or five years older than me would lock me up in her house and fondle me and force me to touch her naked body. When we moved to a different neighbourhood, I had my first sexual encounter with a boy that was also older than me.

We lived in a flat and he was my upstairs neighbour. He introduced me to pornography (a pornographic VHS tape he had stolen from his older brother). Things escalated from the porn to touching each others penises and progressed to me performing oral on him and eventually to us taking turns in penetrating each other anally – ‘bumshots’ he called it. I was 10 years old.

When we moved out of that neighbourhood, all my physical sexual activity pretty much stopped until I was 19. In that time however, I would fantasize about sex acts with other boys and men whilst simultaneously experiencing a string of rejections from females that I liked and wanted to pursue romantic relationships with.

When I graduated from high school, my SSA took on a life of its own. I used my very first colour-screen, internet-enabled cellphone to watch innumerable hours of gay pornography and meet a vast number of men and boys on chat sites. In six years, I had slept with a scary amount of men with a wide range of ages and races (between 18 – 60 years old).

From the age of 19, I was also introduced to alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. It was in this time that I contracted HIV. My life became a wild party. I became addicted to alcohol, cigarettes, cocaine and kat (a local drug that was similar to cocaine but cheaper. I lived a debaucherous lifestyle – all the while keeping my SSA encounters a well guarded secret from my family and friends.

In 2012 I met a lady that would later became my wife and we started dating in early 2013 and I wish I could say my SSA ended there but it didn’t. I continued to live a life filled with pornography (mostly gay) and masturbation – which I hid from her whilst all the while having sex with her.

All my life I tried to “pray away” and “wish away” my SSA to no avail. I wrongly believed for a very long time that SSA was a spiritual affliction and when I realised that casting demons out was not working, I figured it must be a physical affliction so I tried my best to not think about it – that didn’t work either. After researching my affliction on the net, I was convinced that it was an emotional affliction so I dealt with my feelings of rejection, abandonment and my broken masculine identity which worked for a while…until it didn’t.

The truth of the matter is that it is not a single-aspect affliction but a network of different elements that conspire to keep you entangled in bondage. With the help of a counselor, I was finally able to gain control of my sexuality and begin the path to change.

For me, deliverance was an important element in overcoming my SSA. Through deliverance I was able to overcome the destructive habits of drinking, smoking and taking drugs which were tools that I used to express my self-loathing. I also overcame masturbating and watching pornography which kept me in a state of perpetual spiritual defilement. All these destructive habits left me emotionally damaged because of the shame and disgrace that I constantly felt.

However, lasting change only happened with the most important element at the center – Jesus Christ! I needed him to affirm his love for me and affirm the freedom that He won for me on Calvary. I had to learn to surrender myself in every aspect of my life to Him and walk in obedience of His known will for me.

God also placed people in my life that loved me unconditionally and accept me with all my flaws and sordid history – I found this in my wife to be. Her constant love, forgiveness and acceptance gave me the courage to continue fighting for my true masculine self.

Change is definitely possible but it does not happen instantly. One needs to be prepared to

take the journey that will have ups and downs but victory is guaranteed if you stick around to let it happen. Although some of the elements of my victory were instantaneous (addiction to masturbation, pornography, alcohol and drugs). The emotional healing and unwanted attraction is something that takes constant work and dedication.

Today, I have been freed from addictions for 4 years and am firmly in control of my unwanted SSA and my masculine identity. I got married to my wife on the 20th August 2018, and I am a living testimony that change can happen, and since there’s nothing particularly special about me…if I could do it, anyone can! What is impossible with man is possible with God.

Ek kyk terug op my lewe van veertig jaar en sien hoe Jesus Christus my op diep putte van sonde uit gehaal het. Ek was tot en met 7 September 2017 vasgevang in ‘n lewe van homoseksualiteit. Ek was vasgevang in die kloue van duisternis. Ek was ‘n goeie ou. Ek het goeie maniere gehad. Ek het nie vuil taal gebruik nie. Ek het altyd met ‘’asseblief” gevra en met ‘’dankie’’ ontvang. Ek was altyd netjies en ek het nie daarvan gehou om onnodig vuil te wees of te word nie. Ek is die tweede kind van vyf. Ek het ‘n ouer broer en ‘n jonger broer en ‘n sussie wat die jongste was totdat my ma ‘n jonger swart broer aangeneem het. Hy het deel geword van ons gesin toe hy drie jaar oud was.

Ons het streng groot geword. My pa was predikant van die NG-Kerk, maar hy het sy opleiding by die Doppers gekry op Potchefstroom. My ma het haar lewe gewy aan Sendingwerk onder bruin en swart mense. Ek was die meer gehoorsame broer van ons vier broers. My suster was die engel. Van kleins af was ons as kinders maar elkeen in sy eie rigting op pad. Ek was lief daarvoor om tuin te maak.  My ma, en selfs my pa, het my baie aangemoedig om die tuin mooi te hou. My oudste broer het met nie-giftige slange geboer. My broer net jonger as ek het graag saam met my pa in die motorhuis aan motorenjins  gewerk.  My suster was lief vir kuns en het saam met ons twee ouer broers klavierles gehad. My ouer broer het later opgehou met klavierles en het saam met my kitaarlesse geneem. Later sou net ek en my suster alleen aangaan met klavierlesse. Ek sou sê ek en my suster het meer in gemeen gehad, en my twee bloedbroers het weer dieselfde belangstellings gedeel.

Nie een van ons broers het rugby gespeel nie. My pa het ons aangemoedig om atletiek te doen. Ek het graag landloop gedoen. My ander buitemuurse aktiwiteite was koor.  Ek het later in my Hoërskooljare die skool begelei met my kitaar.

Na my hoërskoolloopbaan het ek my ouerhuis op Secunda verlaat en Stellenbosch Universiteit toe gegaan om Teologie te studeer. Ek wou graag by US studeer want ek wou bietjie wegkom van my ouerhuis af.

In my derde jaar van studies (1997) het ek Ds. W B (oom B) ontmoet. Hy was so om en  by 60 en het as toer-pa ingestaan vir Atlete vir Christus by die Studente Kerk Stellenbosch. Ek onthou die eerste dag toe ek hom ontmoet het. Hy was vol grappe en skerpsinnige opmerkings. Ek onthou nog hoe ek by myself gedink het dat ek graag soos die oom wil wees wanneer ek eendag oud is. Hy was meeste van die tyd besig om iemand te vermaak. Hy het gespeel met woorde en dubbelsinnighede sodat mens nie anders kon as om altyd al jou aandag aan hom te gee nie. Studente wat reeds oom B vroeër in hulle lewens ontmoet het, het aan my gesê hy word oom B genoem omdat hy net “een B liefde” was. Ek het in my agterkop gedink dat wanneer iemand liefde vir mense uitleef, dit die beste bewys is dat hy opreg is en in ‘n lewende verhouding met God lewe.

Op die Atlete vir Christus toer het oom B saam met al die ander toerlede op dieselfde bus gery. Ek onthou ons het beurte gehad om langs hom op die bus te sit. Dubbelsinnige grappe en gesprekke was sy handelsmerk. Een van die meisies op die span het vir my gesê hy is baie beter met ouens as met meisies. Dit het vir my na die regte ding geklink want ouens assosieer beter met mekaar, en waarom sal ‘n dominee met meisies verbintenisse wil maak? Ek onthou hy het daarvan gehou om diepsinnige gesprekke aan te knoop wanneer jy langs hom op die bus sit. Hy het probeer om mens te laat ontspan deur sy hand op jou been te sit. Ek het nog by geen predikant in my lewe sulke liefdevolheid gesien nie.

Ek het begin om my lewensverhaal aan oom B te vertel. Hy het met groot belangstelling na my geluister. Met sy styl het hy my al meer oortuig dat hy die enigste persoon in hierdie lewe was wat vir my ‘n klankbord sal kan wees. Ek het gevoel, en was later oortuig, dat ek enige  iets aan hom kon vertel. Ons het begin praat oor maskers. Soos die gesprekke gevorder het, het hy my oortuig dat ek maskers voor mense dra. Maar die grootste masker wat ek gedra het was die masker wat ek voor God gedra het. Dit het my tot ander insigte gebring. Ek het voor God bely dat ek baie dinge vir Hom weggesteek het en dat ek sonder ‘n masker voor mense en voor God wil lewe.

Oom B was altyd vol drukkies. Drukkies vir almal op die span. Ek kan nie stry nie, ek het baie van die aandag gehou. Iemand het omgegee. Hy was altyd goed met woorde, almal het van sy preke gehou. Dit is ook maklik verstaanbaar dat daar uit sy pen meer as 70 geestelike boeke die lig gesien het.

Terug by Stellenbosch, na die toer, het ek van elke geleentheid gebruik gemaak om oom B te gaan sien by sy kantoor op Wellington. Ek onthou hoe ek baie Vrydae by Stellenbosch op die trein geklim het en afgeklim het by Wellington. Ek het dan gestap tot by sy kantoor. Agter die kantoor se toe deur sou hy my ‘n drukkie gee en vra vir ‘n soentjie (want die Bybel praat mos van die broederlike kus). Ek en my pa soengroet mekaar vandag nog. En so het ek dan op 20 jarige ouderdom oom B ook deel gemaak van my familie.

Een dag het ek sommer by sy kantoor opgedaag. Hy het  gesê hy het besigheid in die Kaap waarna hy moes  omsien. Hy het my saamgenooi sodat ons sommer in die motor op pad Kaap toe en terug kon gesels. Ons was skaars ‘n paar kilometer weg toe hy sê dat ons oor masturbasie gaan praat. Ek het aan hom gesê dat dit vir my privaat was en dat ek verkies om nie daaroor te gesels nie. Hy was baie goed met woorde en hy het my oortuig om tog daaroor te praat. Hy het my gerus gestel en my oortuig dat ek die regte ding gedoen het om met hom daaroor te praat. Want dit is tog nie so privaat as wat ek wou voorgee nie. (Eers baie later in my lewe sou die Here my oortuig dat dit wel verkeerd was om te masturbeer.)

Met ons gespreksessies in sy kantoor, het ons al meer en meer begin praat oor seksualiteit. Die gesprek oor masturbasie en sy versekering dat dit nie so privaat was nie, het net meer deure oopgemaak om te praat oor seksuele dinge. Soveel so dat ek in my M.Div jaar op kweekskool my proefskrif geskryf het oor: Die integrasie van spiritualiteit en seksualiteit in pastoraat. Gegewe die tema van my proefskrif, moes ek baie artikels en boeke lees hieroor. In daardie stadium was daar al reeds ‘n groot debat in die NG Kerk oor homoseksualiteit.  Ek was oortuig dat my onderwerp meer lig sou werp op hierdie saak.

Ek het saam met my klasmaats een van die Wes-Kaapse sinodesittings bygewoon, waar ons gehoor het dat selfs professore homoseksualiteit verdedig.  Ek het begin om bewustelik of onbewustelik myself te oortuig dat mens gay kan wees en steeds ook ‘n christen kon wees.

Later in die jaar het al die boeke wat ek gelees het oor die integrasie van seksualiteit en spiritualiteit my gemaklik gemaak om te begin dink oor homoseksualiteit. Homoseksualiteit is soos alle ander sondes iets wat groter word soos wat jy aandag daaraan gee. In daardie selfde jaar begewe ek myself toe in ‘n homoseksuele verhouding met ‘n ander pastoor se seun B. Hy het ook aan die Universiteit studeer. In die verhouding met B het ons baie gepraat oor of gaywees reg of verkeerd was. Beide van ons was in ons eerste gay verhouding. Hy het egter met my uitgemaak omdat hy oortuig was dat dit verkeerd was. Ek onthou hoe ek alleen deur die strate van Stellenbosch gestap het en deur my tande gehuil het daaroor. Ons het egter ‘n paar keer uitgemaak en telkens het ons maar net weer opgemaak. Ek was in die kloue van duisternis. Teen die einde van daardie selfde jaar besluit ek om Engeland toe te gaan vir ‘n werksvakansie. Dit het die einde van ons verhouding beteken al het hy my aangemoedig om te gaan.

In Engeland het ek alle kontak met B verbreek. Ek sou vir twee jaar gaan werk in Engeland, maar het weens my onvermoë om met hulle winterweer saam te lewe, na nege maande teruggekom na Suid-Afrika. In die tyd wat ek begin sukkel het om met die Engelse weer saam te lewe, het ek oom B gebel. Hy het my moed ingepraat en gesê hy sal vir my bid.

Terug in Suid-Afrika het oom B kontak gehou met my. Ons het later soos beste vriende geword. Weens ons ouderdomsverskil het hy my vinnig laat voel ek is in ‘n soort van spesiale terapie by hom. Spesiale terapie, omdat hy my nooit iets van homself vertel het nie. Hy het by geleentheid gehoor ek het ‘n verhouding gehad met B en hy het my aangemoedig om nie vir B af te skryf nie want B was maar net nog iemand wat ‘n maatjie gesoek het.

Oom B moes soms  Gauteng toe kom om vergaderings vir Bybelkor by te woon. Hy het dan oorgebly in ‘n “Town Lodge”. Hy het my dan genooi om ook oor te bly by die Lodge sodat ons meer tyd kon hê om te gesels. Daar het nooit iets seksueel tussen ons gebeur nie. Hy sou my wel baie drukkies gee en het my al die liefde gegee wat ek tot op daardie stadium in my lewe gemis het. Ek was die heeltyd onder die indruk dat hy my nie wou afskrik nie, en dat sy hoofdoel was om my te help om myself te aanvaar. Een van die aande by die “Town Lodge’’ het hy sy skootrekenaar uitgehaal en dit op die spieëlkas neergesit. Hy het gesê ek moet op sy skoot kom sit. Hy het eers gesê ek moet my oë toe hou totdat hy reg was om vir my iets te wys. Alles nog steeds in sy terapiestemtoon. Toe hy sê ek kan my oë oopmaak, het ek in ‘n kaal man vasgekyk op die rekenaar se skerm. Ek het saam met hom die volgende tree van sy ‘’terapie’’ gestap, en in my agterkop het ek my antwoord reg gehou. Ek is nie gay nie……

Nadat hy hierdie vreeslikste pornografie vir my gewys het, het ek vir hom gesê dat ek nie gay is nie. Hy het net geantwoord: “Ek het nie gedink jy is gay nie”, en toe oor ander dinge begin gesels. Ek het dit maar net as ‘n toets gesien, maar in my agterkop was ek oortuig dat hy my al lankal soos ‘n boek gelees het. Ek het die beste van hom geglo. Hy het immers alles van my geweet.

Voor ons gaan slaap het, het hy vir ons saam uit die Bybel gelees en ons het saam gebid. Hy het in ‘n stadium in Wellington vir my Braam Hanekom se dagboek Man met balans gegee. Ek was oortuig dat hy die voorbeeld was van iemand met balans. Iemand wat met balans op die sielkundige en geestelike aspekte van die lewe kon konsentreer.

Vroeg reeds na ek terug was van Engeland, het hy speels per sms ‘n voorstel gemaak wat op terapie ingestel was: “Kry vir jou ‘n naam vir jou eie privaatdele.” Ek was in daardie stadium bewus daarvan dat ek nog nie my eie liggaam ten volle aanvaar het nie.  Soveel so dat ek oortuig was dat hy daardeur my wou help om my eie liggaam te aanvaar. So het hy ook sy naam vir sy privaatdele vir my gegee en ons sou voortaan daardie name gebruik om na ons privaatdele te verwys. Weens die intensiteit van ons gesprekke het hy al verder en verder ‘n houvas op my gekry. Hy het gereeld gevra hoe dit gaan met my privaatdele deur te verwys daarna met die bynaam wat ek daarvoor gegee het.

Al my grense was afgebreek.

Hy het gesê wat en waar hy wou met suggesties wat geen perke geken het nie. Hy sou altyd sy telefoon gesprekke afsluit met die woorde: Gee aan hom (my privaatdeel se bynaam) ‘n drukkie van ons (hy en sy privaatdeel) af. Hy het masturbasie aangemoedig en gesê dit is die bewys van self-liefde. Hy het vir my foto’s van sy privaatdele op my foon gestuur en my aangemoedig om dieselfde te doen. Hy het geen skaamte teenoor my gevoel nie. Hy het vir my gesê hy het baie “lovers” wat almal op ‘n skaal van 1 tot 10 presteer het. Ek wou graag my beste vir hom wees, omdat ek geglo het dat hy sy beste vir my gee.

Later van tyd het hy al die mense in my lewe se name geken. Hy het van al hulle doen en late geweet. Hy het my aangemoedig om nuwe vriende te maak. Hy het selfs vir my gesê hoe ek die verskillende ouens moes benader. Hy het my aangemoedig om die ouens wat “in die kas” is met takt uit te lok… asof hy my daarvoor opgelei het.

In 2014 het ek vir die eerste keer die moed gehad om reguit vir oom B (die terapeut) te vra of hy gay is. Wanneer ek nou terugdink aan my lewe, kan ek nie glo dat ek vir so lank in duisternis vasgevang was met iemand soos oom B nie. Hy was/is getroud, en was altyd gelukkig in sy huwelik. Of so het dit voorgekom. Dit was een van die groot redes waarom ek hom nie vroeër gevra het of hy homoseksueel was nie. Op my vraag of hy gay was het hy my geantwoord dat hy is, en dat hy vir 19 jaar van sy lewe daarmee geworstel het. Alles het stadig vir my begin sin maak. Sy terapie was daarop gemik om my te oortuig en te laat berus daarin dat ek homoseksueel is.  Hy wou hê ek moes vrede maak daarmee dat ek so gebore is.

Ek het besef dat ek eintlik al lankal ervaar het dat die terapie nêrens heen op pad was in terme van verbetering van my selfbeeld nie. Ek het my selfoon- nommer verander en alle kontak met oom B verbreek.

Die skade wat hy my en ander berokken het, was enorm. Soos wat ek hierdie stuk lewensgeskiedenis tik, voel ek nog steeds ‘n stuk vrees teenoor hom. Iemand teenoor wie ek altyd my lewe moes verantwoord het. Iemand wat honderde rande, dalk duisende rande se lugtyd vir my selfoon gekoop het sodat ek my kommunikasie met hom kon behou.

Voordat ek kontak verbreek het met oom B, was ek deurmekaar met ‘n ander man wat baie ouer as ek was. Die begin van my pad terug was ‘n vriendin van my wat vermoed het dat daar iets fout is. Sy het haar vermoede aan ds. Jan Louw (eks-kollega van my pa by die NG Moeder gemeente op Secunda) se vrou, vertel. My vriendin het my gekonfronteer oor my verhouding. Sy het dit duidelik gemaak dat sy baie bekommerd was oor my. Juis omdat ons goeie vriende is. Ek was ongelukkig daaroor en selfs kwaad vir hulle almal, omdat die storie versprei het. Ek het toe die verhouding verbreek en verder ‘n selibate lewe gelei, al was ek soms steeds verward. Daar was niemand met wie ek oor my probleem kon praat nie.  Soos iemand dit gestel het: Dit is soos om nog met al die gif van homoseksualiteit van die afgelope jare in my siel rond te loop. Omdat ek ‘n verborge lewe gelei het, het ek alles weggesteek en wou, en kon ek met niemand praat nie. TOTDAT God iemand deur tannie Amor (ds. Jan Louw se vrou) aan my voorgestel het. Iemand wat met my kon gesels oor my geskiedenis met homoseksualiteit. Hierdie persoon was/is André Bekker. Ek het reeds een keer met hom kon gesels, en ek het baie aanklank by hom gevind. Wat ek by hom kon leer was dat God met ons op ‘n pad van genesing is. En dit vat tyd. Homoseksualiteit is soos enige ander sonde, hoe meer aandag jy daaraan gee hoe meer raak die sonde jou baas.

Vandag weet ek dat God ‘n man en ‘n vrou geskape het. Ek kan berus in die wete dat ek volkome man is. Ek is gebore om ‘n man te wees.  Ek hoef nie te twyfel of verward te wees oor my identiteit nie. God maak nie ‘n fout nie. Sy Woord is die waarheid. Ons hoef geen spesiale eksegese te hê om Sy woord so te interpreteer dat dit ons eie teologiese verwardheid pas nie. Sy ja is ja en Sy nee is nee.

Al besef ek daar is ‘n pad van genesing wat God met elke eks-homoseksuele persoon moet stap, is ek van een ding seker, en dit is dat daar begin moet word met God se Woord as basis en met Jesus Christus as stuurman van jou lewe. Daarsonder sal die mag van duisternis jou net telkens weer oorval en oorweldig. Dat God my uit die duisternis na Sy wonderbare lig gebring het is alles loutere GENADE.