I was born in the city of Cape Town, South Africa, in 1932. In our home we lived a very religious life, as I was brought up in the Anglican Church. When I was 6 years old, tragedy struck the family. My dear mother, who had been suffering with cancer, passed away. I had a younger sister who was 3 years old, and an older sister of 8. My father decided to move to another town; he took my older sister and left my younger sister and me in the care of my grandmother. Because of this, we only saw our father once a month. We loved going to church on Sundays, and were rarely absent, as granny was very strict religiously.
At times, I missed my mother very much, so at the age of eight I joined a soccer team and spent most of my spare time playing and practicing. At age 12 I joined the church choir hoping that all this would take away my loneliness, as I would sit on my bed and cry because I missed my mother so much. At age 17, I began to rebel. I spent time with friends I had met at soccer. This meant night life and dancing, and somehow this took my mind off the loss of my mother for a while.
When I was 20, I met a Christian young lady and soon realized I was in love with her. I went to meet the family and, to my surprise, I discovered they were a holy family; there were scripture texts on every wall in the house! We were allowed to see each other Sunday afternoons and Wednesday evenings. This meant going to a gospel meeting every Sunday evening and to a Bible reading every Wednesday evening. I went along with this for a few months, until one Sunday evening, while I was listening to the gospel, the speaker spoke about the love of a mother and then showed how much greater God’s love was. Suddenly my old thoughts came back to me. How I missed my mother then! I even cried out from my heart, “Oh mother, can’t you come back just for a little while! How I miss you!” I left the meeting both sad and mad, and made up my mind to spend only one more Sunday with my young lady friend, and then call it quits. So the following Sunday evening I went to the gospel meeting. I listened to the speaker and realized I had never heard LOVE explained like that before. I was stirred as the preacher spoke, while tears ran down his face. For the first time I was thinking about heaven and hell. We were always taught that if you lived a moral life it would stand you in good stead when you had to meet God. Suddenly, I realized I was not good enough and I would land in hell! After the meeting ended I waited to speak to the preacher. He and I talked more about the love of God. That night I trusted the Lord Jesus as my Savior. That was December 31, 1953. I lost all my old friends, gave up my soccer, and started living for my Lord. The speaker, who now serves the Lord in Alaska, was Mr. Tommy Thompson, whom I got to know and with whom I have had wonderful times of fellowship. The young lady became my wife; we were married December 27, 1954.