Sakkie Parsons Email Ministry

My Testimony

My name is Sakkie Parsons.

I was born in Port Elizabeth on the 30th April 1947.

I do not remember much about my childhood.  I think that our Lord has installed in your brain a sort of mechanism, which allows certain things to be “deleted”, or placed so deeply in the archives that it will not bother His children. One day after we, my brothers and sisters, were still very small, it is now me, my brothers and sisters, were together with our parents, welfare came and took us away from our parents.

There are two incidents which I clearly remember about the preceding court case. The one was, that we were waiting in the passage for our turn to appear before the judge or magistrate, I kept my back the whole time against the wall, because I had a hole in the back of my pants and I was not wearing any underwear. In the end that did not even help me, because when we eventually appeared in court and the ‘uncle(a)’ who spoke a lot, took me by the shoulder and in front of the other ‘uncle(a)’ who was sitting there, made me turn around.

After that we were taken to a foster mother, who treated us very badly. She had other children in her foster care as well as her own children.  In later years when I thought about her, I thought of her as the witch in Hansel and Gretel story. I did not wet my bed but my brothers did and then she would push the wet sheets into their mouths. One day the welfare came and took my brothers and sisters away and left me there alone.  It was truly now one of the greatest traumatic events in my childhood. Firstly I was taken away from my parents and now my brothers and sisters were also taken away from me and I had to stay with this terrible ‘aunty (b)’. I had to stay because they had found a problem with my eyes and I could not go to an ordinary orphanage.

I did my schooling at the School for the Blind, as it was known in those day, which was in Worcester.   When I was out of school, I later found work as a switchboard operator for Rustenburg Platinum Mine, better known as RPM.

I can remember that I was so thankful for the work, after I had been look for work for such a long time that I at that time said to Mr Stander, who took me to the interview, that if I get the work,  I will either retire from there, or they will have to bury me there. I began working there in July 1967 and 39 years and 10 months later I retired.

It is strange how some small things remain with a person. I cannot really remember anything about the first interview, but one thing stayed with me. When we climbed out of the car I lit a cigarette and Mr Stander said to me: “Sakkie, a person never enters a potential new employer’s office with a lit cigarette in your hand.”

In 1969 I got married. At the beginning of 1973, my brother Charlie and his wife came to visit us in Rustenburg. In those days I loved Hanepoot wine and was already sitting down and drinking when they arrived. Surprised I wanted to know why they came to visit me in the middle of the week from Brits and what did my brother say? We have come to talk to you about the Lord. I can clearly remember this. I laughed, I also think that the wine had it’s ‘finger in the pie’ but I just could not stop laughing. I eventually sat on the floor but I could not stop laughing. They then spoke to me and thereafter they came again and again.

About a month later I accepted Jesus as my Redeemer and Saviour and on Wednesday evening the 25th April 1973, one of the most wonderful days of my life, a very, very cold evening I was baptised somewhere in Hartbeespoort in someone’s swimming pool. A month or two later I began working for our Lord and those were wonderful years.

In the beginning I was youth leader for five years and then a further two years or so as a deacon. I  discovered somewhere in 1981, that my wife was having an affair with another man and in December of that same year she left me for that man and we were divorced, early in 1982 I met again a lady which was with her Mother in the early years part of a choir which I coached. She helped me, like one of Jesus’s princesses in 1982 through all the rubbish with which I left my previous marriage and had to handle. In November of that year I realised that I was madly in love with her and I asked her to marry me. On the 4th December 1982 we were married and my princess, Cornelia, became part of my whole being. Until today I think that one of the most wonderful years of my life was 1983.

In 1984 I was elected as youth leader by the ‘VEK’ in Rustenburg. In that year something wonderful happened and I must share it with you. As youth leader, my wife and I contacted many of the Pentecostal congregations in Rustenburg and made the following agreement with some of them who wanted to. We will invite you one time this year to our youth event and arrange something special for them and then you do likewise for us sometime during in the year. The reason behind this “brainwave”, was to bring the Christian youth together and to help, in doing so the younger Christian people could build a greater Christian circle of friends. On occasion the ‘AGS’ Central arranged, that we visit them and they arranged for a special preacher to address us.

Now I want to give you a little look at, from the following, how precise our Lord does things in our lives, yes, even up to today still arranges. Something happened that day, I cannot recall what but it happened that I arrived late that evening for the youth service. On the way to the entrance of the church I walked scolding myself, about what sort of advertisement will the youth leader of the ‘VEK’ make if he walks into the church late. In the end that was really the least of my problems. Because, when we walked in my wife whispered that the church was packed to capacity and that there was only space on the pew at the very front. The youth leader of the ‘VEK’ had to, in shame, in full sight of the packed to capacity church to go and sit right at the front. Now I must just deviate first to share something different with you. As a rule I never go to front when there is alter call.  Not because I do not want to but because at times people out of sympathy, sometimes in haste, will grab me or my head and pray for my blindness.  There was an occasion, where a man commanded that the blind devil in me must depart. That evening the preachers alter call was something like the following: “If there is someone here tonight who wants to ask the Lord for something extraordinary, come now to the front and ask it of Him.” The thought hit me. Here I am sitting right at the front. If I stand up now and answer the altar call, I will not be drawing the people’s attention to my blindness and there I stood up, raised my hands in the air and said to our Lord.

I am not highly educated.

I do not have many talents but I ask.

Lord give to me a little work to do for You.

Nothing extraordinary happened.

I did not have any strange feelings but I felt good, that I could do this nicely in public and that no-one came to pray for my eyes, while I had asked for something totally different. That evening after the service while we were driving home I received the words of a song together with a tune in my heart. When we were at home I quickly took a tape recorder and quickly sang the song recording it on a cassette, so that I would not forget the tune and words.

I really wanted to be a witness for our Lord. That was also the title of my first production, namely:

“You will be my witnesses.” I share the words of that song.

You will be my witnesses

Verse 1

You have repented you have been through baptism bath.
And you say my friend I am on the narrow road.
And Sundays you want to sit in the church.
You know it is correct to pray for others.

Chorus

But to summarise Acts 1 verse 8.
You will receive strength when My Spirit covers you.
And you will be My witnesses.
Understand my brother what you read there.

Verse 2

It is good if you want to testify in church.
And if you together with the brothers and sisters rejoice.
And if you from the depths of your heart want to sing.
And if you bring your children to Sunday school.

Chorus

But to summarise Acts 1 verse 8.
You will receive strength when My Spirit covers you.
And you will be My witnesses.
Understand my brother what you read there.

Verse 3

It is good if you get everything right.
Please listen to Me my brother.
Are you full of the Power you must expand.
And pour a little in a world which is completely empty.

Chorus

But to summarise Acts 1 verse 8.
You will receive strength when My Spirit covers you.
And you will be My witnesses.
Understand my brother what you read there.

Acts 1:8  "But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.”

Later in the year, it was our turn to arrange something special for the youth of the AGS Central. Someone told me about the blind singing pastor Willie Botha and suggested that I should approach him. Willie Botha and I were at school together and I then contacted him. After the service Willie and I were talking and he listened to my song and he told me that I must do something about the situation. Initially I truly did not think, that this sort of thing was something that I could do, because I am a bit of an introvert but Willie phoned me a couple of times and asked me what I have done so far, until I grabbed the bull by its horns and tackled the matter. To begin with, I did not have the money to do something like this.

My wife and I prayed about the matter and we decided to approach the bank manager for the funds to bring the production into being when the bank manager and when we were sitting in front of him and he asked us, what can he do for us, I said to him, that certainly someone has never asked him for money to do such a thing but I want to make a record. He then asked me, how much do I want and I told him. I then heard him doing calculations on his “calculator”. He then said, this is the monthly payments that I must pay and if it is alright with me. I then said thank you, we shook hands and I stood up and walked out with the knowledge that I had the money. I always say when I think about this visit to the bank manager, that I wonder if I was in that office for more than 10 minutes.

Willie continually phoned me and continually motivated me. During the elections for different posts by the congregation of 1985 I did not make myself available and with the love and mercy of our Lord I began with a singing ministry in 1985. From about 1987 I was in a privileged position, that from about February/March of every year I had basically booked all my weekends. I said it then and I still say it today. I am no Mario Lanza or Elvis Presley, or someone like that but through all the years I had this wonderful mercy from our Lord, that I was always willing to go wherever He took me or where we were invited  I went and never asked for payment but our Lord always provided.

In 1997, my wife saw something on my body which she did not like the look of and said that I must go to the doctor.

I did go and it was Melanoma cancer. The worst thing about that time, funny enough was not the treatment and throughout the treatment I still travelled hundreds of kilo’s every weekend to proclaim the Gospel through song. The worst for me was, when my wife and I sat in front of the doctor and he answered my question, what are my chances, for us saying, that if they are not able to prevent it, I have 3 or if I am lucky 6 months to live. After my treatment where I was given my last injection on Wednesday, 10 February 1999, suddenly, for some or other reason, I was no longer able to get myself motivated. I caught myself, that I was even thankful if I did not have to perform aver a weekend. I also started turning down performances and later told everyone, that I am no longer going to perform. I wanted so eagerly to work for our Lord but I did not Have the strength to be on the road for the whole weekend and living out of a suitcase and then my wife and I together to get ready on Monday morning to go to work. Also the late night driving was beginning to catch up on my wife. But I so eagerly wanted to work for our Lord.

Then, somewhere in 2003, if I have it right, my employer said to us, that as a result of technology advances, with switchboards that they work now with a computer. I knew nothing about computers and as far as my knowledge went, a blind person could not anyway work on a computer. We found out about this wonderful technology, which allows a computer to talk to you and a whole new world opened for me. I immediately started looking to see how I could use this new technology could work for our Lord and our Lord helped and through His mercy, everyday my ministry goes from strength to wonderful strength.

Thank you that I could share this testimony with you.

Sakkie Parsons.

Footnote:

a. Uncle – a South African term of respect for any adult man older than oneself.
b.  Aunty – a South African term of respect for any adult female older than oneself.

“To him who is able to keep you from stumbling and to present you before his glorious presence without fault and with great joy – 25 to the only God our Saviour be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen." Jude 1:24-25