Tag Archives: dreams

That time we got stuck in Botswana

“At Gibeon the Lord appeared to Solomon during the night in dream, and God said, ‘Ask for whatever you want me to give you’” (1 Kings 3:5 NIV).

Living in South Africa has at times been a paper war nightmare. As it is with a couple from two nationalities there is always more documentation, visas, and passports to constantly keep updated. This year I finally got my permanent residency permit. It took 6 years to get there. The home affairs offices changed procedure so many times, losing our applications when they moved office, sent it to the wrong place. At one occasion we had to type everything ourselves into the home affairs computer because the lady didn’t know how to operate a PC, then photograph the screenshot and email it to the Pretoria office!

In the process we became so knowledgeable in this area that we have been able to help quite a number of binational couples with their paper work.

On one of these visa occasions, we submitted the application for my South African visa and were waiting for it to be issued. After a couple of visits to the local Home Affairs office, it was just a matter of waiting for the visa to arrive. We were told we westerners are just too impatient! Two weeks before the expiry of the current visa the officer assured us that there would be no problem—we should just remain patient, which we were. The week the visa expired, we went back to the department to find that all the staff was on a training course in a different city placing them out of office for at least three weeks! This posed to be quite a problem for us, because the immigration department in our region was very strict and we knew this would mean trouble or even deportation as in the case of many other people in similar situations.

The long and short of the matter was that the immigration department advised us to go through a border and come back, and they would give us an automatic three-month extension. This sounded like a plan. We decided to go through to Botswana, pass through the border, and come back and get the three-month extension. We packed and left the next morning. After traveling for about two and a half hours, we reached the border post. We had entered through it, but to our amazement, the immigration officer refused to allow me back into the country because of my expired visa! We were stuck in Botswana and had to make another plan. We prayed and felt we should go to another border post, which was very far. We had no Botswana currency and little to drink, and it was an extremely hot day. There was no shop at the border post and no town or settlement nearby.

We traveled very far to the other border post only to receive the same bad news when we arrived. This border post was literally in the middle of nowhere; apart from some chickens and a few men with machine guns there was nothing. It was so dry the ground was burned; there were a few dusty bushes and a shack, but nothing else.

Here are some pictures I took that day. They cant possibly capture the heat, the dust, the thirst and the feeling of totally depending on God to get out of that.

As we stood behind the counter and wondered what to do next, the immigration officer did a double take and called us over. He asked me who I was and explained that he had dreamt about me the previous night. In the dream, he continued, I spoke Afrikaans to him. So although I had been in South Africa for just 6 months, thinking on my feet, I quickly switched to speaking Afrikaans with him and it made him obviously very happy. (I had watched some Afrikaans TV shows just to help me learn the language). He was so happy about it that he gave me a one-year extension on the visa, which is quite an extraordinary thing on its own, and he helped us through. We just praised the Lord as we came through!

Overjoyed that we would be able to come home, we also experienced God’s provision in regards to fuel. The BMW we drove at the time gave us on average about 650 km per tank of fuel. Well, that day we drove 1,280km on one tank and unbelievably pulled into the gas station on the last fumes. Hallelujah! God is good!

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A majestic Baobab Tree we passed on our adventurous trip through Botswana.



“Then God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and said to him, “Be careful not to say anything to Jacob, either good or bad” (Gen. 31:24 NIV).



This and many more testimonies of adventures with the Lord you find in our book

wpid-wpid-91im2p9hj5l-_sl720_.jpgThe Powerful Impact of a Spirit Led Life.

You can download it for kindle or order the paperback book.

Both would make us very happy!

The book is also available in German translation.




So proud of hubby!!!

andriesbookIt is just so amazing! The dream becoming finally a printed reality, a few days before my husband’s birthday.

Lots and lots of work and more than 2 decades of full-time ministry experience in the pastoral and prophetic went into this practical handbook on how to learn to pick up the things God wants to communicate to His people. This book covers dreams, vision, angels and so much more. Just so happy it became a reality. How boring is Christianity when there is only a one-way talk happening: the church talks to God and does not know how to listen for an answer … enjoy! Available on amazon as paperback or kindle version. Yippeh!!!!

A must-have handbook on how to tune into the voice of God!

Yippeh, we just published our first book!!!

Click here for your paperback copy!
Click here to get your kindle copy!

Yippeh! I am sooo happy that in between raising two young and very busy sons, pastoring a church, managing a preschool and doing various charity work, my husband and I were finally able to complete our first book together!

This book is born out of the amazing things we have experienced in our daily walk with God in a nation that has many challenges. With so much crime and no real social security, we need to hear God’s voice so much more.

God talks, wants to warn and advise and encourage you! Dreams, visions, the bible, prophetic insight popping up in your spirit when you pray, we talk about how you can fine tune into God’s voice.

This book contains more than 60 exciting stories and events in our lives where God spoke things we couldn’t possibly know through human understanding alone, and how God uses a sensitive believer to impact the lives of others. Your personal faith will be built up, we will make you rush back to your bible to see if God really does all we quote from the book of books, and you will be so motivated to listen to Him with a new expectancy of getting answers. Thanks for buying our book, you are supporting our work in Southern Africa.

You are welcome to check out www.emmanuellife.org for more information.

Since amazon has different platforms for different nations, you are welcome to browse on your respective amazon site for our names or book title and download the book onto your kindle or kindle app from there! Look for “The Powerful Impact of a Spirit Led Life”or Andries van Heerden or Christiane van Heerden.

Ipromon the meantime we have also published a compilation of prophetic words for 2015 available here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00QW3A252 check it out! Especially inspiring for South African entrepreneurs and educators.


Andries and Christiane van Heerden are senior pastors of Emmanuel Church in Louis Trichardt, Limpopo, South Africa. Besides impacting their own community in areas of ministry, education and charity work they travel to nations around the globe to inspire believers to really listen to God’s voice for a more effective impact into their communities. They enjoy raising their two sons, Steven and Samuel. For more information on their church and ministry check http://www.emmanuellife.org/

One week closer to achieving your dreams – Wednesday Night

One week closer to achieving our dreams … wouldn’t mind a bathroom like this … for now saving to have one like this for a short vacation seems hard enough, haha … but dreams are there to be dreamed right!

Wow, this daily devotional blogging is really help me to stay positive of where I need to keep my focus.

My son Steven, 4, really cracked me up yesterday. I was commenting on how long our dog, a Weimeraner-Dachshund cross, is proportionally to his short legs. Steven is wondering for amoment. Then, totally serious and amazed, he asks: “But mommy, how does he manage to reach the ground with those short legs?”…

Steven was a serious thinker from day one! He traveled more in his first 4 years than many adults I know have.

Blonde moment … haha.

Wednesday Night:

Hi, how far have you come for achieving your dreams for this week?

Remember, dreams are the beginning. If we do not dream up where we would want to be in a years time, we will not make rational plans on how to get there. Without plans, actions can not follow. In the end, we might have wasted another great year that God gave us here on this earth.

God Has a Plan.

Elephant Safari. To learn more about my traveling life, check http://christianevheerden.wordpress.com/ if you like!

The universe is not a car without a driver, nor a driver without a map. The Bible often speaks of this great plan of God. It is the “purpose” of that famous and favorite Bible verse, Rom. 8:28. Rom 8:28  And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose. God has planned out this purpose in advance. He thought it out, planned it in every detail, and carries it out “on purpose”.

His purpose for you is this: Joh 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal and to kill and to destroy. I have come so that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

For us to experience this purpose, we need to be in sync with God’s heart beat. God created the world lovely and beautiful. Men came and through disobedience brought death and destruction.

With my in-laws in the African Bush …

Now it takes us hard work and effort to cultivate the earth to make it the beautiful paradise it was meant to be. But God is very pleased if we do give it our best to make things beautiful, to be creative and be a blessing. So did you stay true to your 5 points your wrote down on Monday? Each time you discipline yourself to do what is right, and to walk an extra mile, to learn a skill instead of watching TV, to help a friend instead of being selfish, you help adding love to the planet. Mostly, on Wednesday nights we have run out of steam. That’s why churches have cell groups on Wednesdays, to help you recharge and fuel your resolve.

Can we pray today that Jesus will fill your tank, take away hurt and disappointment and help you reach your dream?

One week closer to your dreams – Wednesday

Hi everybody, how was your night?

My little one is teething and apparently needs a mommy hug every 30 min at nights …

My old friend was sure happy over the meal last night. You don’t realize how much it means to a lonely person to feel somebody thought about you. I should make it a habit.

I hope you all used your time well.

Remember the verse from Proverbs I was sharing this yesterday?

Pro 2:10  Wisdom will control your mind, and you will be pleased with knowledge.

Pro 2:11  Sound judgment and good sense will watch over you.

Pro 2:12  Wisdom will protect you from evil schemes and from those liars

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One thing I absolutely MISS big time living in South Africa is a stroll through a pedestrian zone. I lived and worked in Stuttgart before, and it’s parks and Kings street (Koenigsstrasse) always provided for inspiration. I would love walking for hours, watching people, writing down thoughts … in South Africa there is nothing like that.
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Beach on a rooftop in downtown Stuttgart.
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Stuttgart has over 8 km of parks inside the city! Central Park NY go home!

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God really is honoured when his children are smart. There are enough evil schemes out there to get us. Have wisdom and you will be protected. If we do not lock our doors at night and we get robbed, can we blame God the next morning? No, it was our own foolishness and some other person’s evildoing, that teamed up in harming us.

Let me put it this way: there is no club of good people out there. If you receive a phone call informing you that you’ve won the British National Lottery, you put down that phone. I’ve got news for you, you most certainly did not even know of that lottery before, you never bought a ticket, and you did not win. And you do not give out your ID number nor bank account details to anybody, also not on email. That is wisdom, and that is protecting you, according to God’s precious word, from evil schemes and liars.

God is pleased when we make a wise plan, check it with God’s word, and see it through. God is not pleased with people who constantly start something and always lack the drive to see it through to completion. That is why I hope that this week you make a decision to make planning a habit and to stick to the plans you are making.


I have been in South Africa for almost 8 years now. Children that I saw after their birth in hospital are going to school now, kids I taught at church are finished with High School!

I realize what an unkind privilege youth is. To believe you have all the time in the world ahead of you, that resources are endless and life is good… only to realize a decade later that time is running out, mercilessly, that resources are hard to come by and life simply is not fair.

My life in Africa has added to this stark realization of the insignificance of a human life. Recently a friend died after a minor medical procedure that went slightly wrong, and the doctors just didn’t care. He died on the way home from hospital. A short life – over before it amounted to anything that would even just justify an article in the daily paper.

How do we slow down this life? How can we leave footprints that last? Is there something you can create, and leave behind, that will be a positive reminder of you?

Without God, it is impossible to make sense of being a timeless being in a time constricted universe.

The hope of a life that lasts an eternity helps to act unselfish here and now.

I could never understand how someone could deal with weapons, making a fortune of the cruel death of others, and then go home and swim in the pools with their children?

Only when you take God out of the equation can you be that selfish, consumed by the here and now, not touched by the consequences of your own actions.

But how then can you parent to leave a legacy if consequences are removed?

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After sharing in a church in Germany I am presented with some handmade puppets for my work with children in South Africa

This tiny spec of life that I have must be used for something positive. A decade has passed too quickly. Believing that God sees and appreciates the effort is a comfort.

Ask Jesus to help you, today, with His spirit, to make right decisions, to build your house properly, and to leave a blessing behind wherever you go.

Thank you for your time,


One week closer to achieving you dreams: Tuesday Night

Hi, how was your day?

I am talking to you this week about understanding our purpose in life and reaching our goals.

Have you made your list of five things you need to do this week yet?

Remember, to be successful in God’s eyes, we need to walk the righteous path and be a blessing to the land we are in.

And as always – at least in my little life – whenever I decide on driving this or that and follow up some good resolutions, a lot of unexpected things go wrong. Today I have received 3! detrimental news that have the potential to knock me into perpetual depression. If you think I am trying to write a fluffy little one week devotional for spoilt upper class western moms, you are mistaken. I live in Africa, work for an NGO (so definitely no upper class) and I am dealing with more daily trauma than most of my comfortable friends back in Europe. Add to this the daily potential for rejection as “stranger”, the high expectations we face as pastors, the daily violence in Africa and the ever-increasing gap with my overseas friends and family who do hardly understand the daily challenges of life in Africa, and you end up with a cocktail of emotions! Today I was asked by our worship leader at church to play some violin for a DVD recording in May. Geez, I basically haven’t practiced since the children came along as it takes much concentration and small children want to touch everything all the time! When Steven was small I still used to give some lessons, but by now totally gave up for lack of time and babysitter!

Any other time I would have said, sorry bro, but I can’t see how I am gonna do this. But this is challenge yourself-week, so whoppa, I am trying … gonna try … still trying to catch my breath from the horrible event this afternoon which for privacy sake I wont be able to discuss.

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Steven dancing away at a live concert at the sea promenade in Binz.

And a journey of a thousand miles begins with one single step – and it takes about 3000 little steps to walk 1 kilometer! The little steps we are taking this week serve us to come closer to where we want to be in the end.

Psa 37:5  Commit thy way unto the LORD; trust also in him; and he shall bring it to pass.

Psa 37:6  And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgment as the noonday.

Psa 37:7  Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for him: fret not thyself because of him who prospereth in his way, because of the man who bringeth wicked devices to pass.

Have you seen people prosper because they use evil ways to get where they want to be? God encourages you not to loose hope although it might seem you

Psa 37:8  Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: fret not thyself in any wise to do evil.

Psa 37:9  For evildoers shall be cut off: but those that wait upon the LORD, they shall inherit the earth.

We believe that God knows where you come from and how you got here. We should not think that because the wicket thrive for a day, (some decades, more realistically) it will be good with them forever, or that because the righteous seem to suffer more, their end wont be better.

Go your way steady and upright and you will arrive at a wonderful place.

Was it tough getting that first thing done today? For me, staying away from sugar is big. Sugar makes me big, right? So for a happier self one needs to cut out stuff that makes happy? Seems tough enough. So I decided not to go to Woolies because they have that delicious chocolate mousse which I love so much. Guess what, now Pick n pay has it too. So how do you avoid temptation. Buy a banana instead. Something has top click in place in our minds to create those enzymes that give us so much drive that we do not need civilized drugs such as sugar and chocolate. I am not against them – but healthy eating is a big stepping stone towards success.

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At the Stortebeker festival, a huge open air musical on the island of Rugen.
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My son will never forget the live show of the life of Klaus Stortebeker, a righteous sea adventurer who revenged the poor and oppressed.
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To offer such experiences to our kids, it takes a lot of planing!

Stortebecker (35) Stortebecker (125)Today was all about planning. We have to plan our lives or time will just happen to us and we will be surprised by how fast all of this is over.

Earlier this year we celebrated my son’s birthday. We have had 364 days since his last one to prepare for today. Let’s just say things are not as easy as they should be. As parents we want to do what is best for our child. We want them to grow up happy and be confident, productive members of society.

First Birthday Party’s Choo Choo cake

I can say confidently that it is easier said than done. If it takes this much work just to get a birthday party right, I can’t imagine how I am going to help him succeed at school and find the job of his dreams?

Even for a 4 year old, a birthday party needs to be perfect. The weather must be right; food must be prepared at perfect specifications – Steven knew that he wanted a cake in the shape of acastle, so mama searched on the internet how to best get that right.

You even have to make sure you have gifts and activities for the people who will be attending. Who knew? I always assumed the only person getting gifts was the birthday person. But all the friends at school gate cake and favour packs and the kids visiting us at home as well. Plus Steven wanted a piñata, you know those things that you hit and then sweets come out.

Even a cheap birthday party is expensive. This year we couldn’t afford to invite all church families like we did before. What I am trying to say is, it is really important to discuss your kid’s birthday parties when you are doing your financial planning.

My husband and I have done everything we can to try to make my son’s birthday party one he will never forget. We made all the arrangements, set appointments, made invitations, and bought gifts. A lot of  energy for a few hours out of one day. There is urgency, excitement, and nervousness all happening within me at the same time.


If we can do this for our kids, why cant we do this for other areas of our own life as well? I can personally attest that I didn’t have a problem investing in my son’s dream. I have tried to make the planets align and let me tell you that is not easy. But when am I going to start investing in my dreams, my future?

Am I making the right arrangements to reach the heights and the depths I want to go? Am I setting the right appointments with people who will help me grow? Am I inviting the right people into my life?

No, I am not? So, it is time I started to plan my own party of success.

How about you?

Have a blessed night, Christiane

Good night song

One week closer to achieving your Dreams: Monday Morning

Without having a plan, we’re not going anywhere, right? I am originally from Germany and came to South Africa 8 years ago. Contrary to what BBC documentaries want to make you believe, Germany is a wonderful, beautiful and creative nation. These days it takes careful acts of planning to go there – from saving up money for airplane tickets for a family of four, to drafting an itinerary, booking accommodation, planning as to not miss highlights like festival I want to attend …

Beach Baskets at the Baltic Sea in Germany offer shelter from wind and some privacy when tanning …
Fishing Boats in Sassnitz, isle of Rugen, Germany
Sassnitz, Baltic Sea, Germany

This week I want us to try and take a closer look at our own life’s story.

My blogger friends are people who already work hard to get closer to where they want to be – whether it is by developing a writing routine to hopefully become a published author, or blogging about their travels, craft projects or history. Well done you guys!

The dreams God put inside of your heart sometimes need a bit of encouragement.  This week I want to try and encourage you to notgive up and achieve the best you can, to reach new levels and make dreams come true. Maybe I can even help you to assess if you are still on the right track getting to where you want be.

Monday Morning. Wow. Yawn. Early in the morning at gym they put on the Black Eyed Peas song “if we could party all night and sleep all day, life would be eeeeeeasy”…

Hello, we can’t. Somebody ‘s gotta earn the bacon.  My husband Andries and I have got two small boys, 1 and 4, they do not allow us to sleep in, ever! Whatever makes you get up early everyday, work, kids, love to hear the birds, thanks for tuning in and I hope this will be an inspiring week of daily devotions for you.

Without a destination, we will not go anywhere. Benjamin Franklin said “By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.”
Without hard work, the best destination will always stay far. You love looking at celebrities, we all admire what they achieved. Oftentimes the story behind success is that of hard work and personal discipline.

If you don’t know where you are going, you’ll end up someplace else. Monday morning is the perfect time to ask God to help us go the right way.

Let us listen to our heavenly father’s loving recipe for success and well being.

The bible text I am going to share from will be from

Psalm 37:1  A Psalm of David. Fret not thyself because of evildoers, neither be thou envious against the workers of iniquity.

Psa 37:2  For they shall soon be cut down like the grass, and wither as the green herb.

Psa 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; so shalt thou dwell in the land, and verily thou shalt be fed. (go after righteousness)

Psa 37:4  Delight thyself also in the LORD; and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart.

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Binz, Baltic Sea … a place I love taking my family to!

That is my portion for today.

First of all, it does not help our personal development to be envious, jealous, of anyone who came by their success by means of dishonesty. Their glory will be temporary only. So don’t even think about bribing somebody to get a shortcut. Jealousy is not a good thing.

On Monday, we are planning our week. What do you need to achieve until Friday? Are there deadlines at work, assignments to complete? Personally? A friend you haven’t called in a while? A healthy eating plan you want to follow? Quality time with your child?

Remember the Psalmist talks about trusting God. and do good; and dwell righteously in the land.

In the Light of this, I am challenging us to write down 5 realistic things you need to complete this week and ask the Lord to help us find the strength.

My goals for this week will be: 1.cut out sugar from my diet, 2.make a meal for a lonely person, 3.do a special outing with the children at our preschool, 4. find time in the evenings to repair things and 5. practice violin (edited)

The way we react on challenges in our life shapes us – I’ve reacted lately by chocolate .. if you know what I mean… I need to put a stop to this.

What are your immediate challenges you know you need to tackle better now than later?

Take a moment to write down your challenge for the week.

BINZ SPAß (23)Come back tonight to stay inspired for your week of purpose!

Thank you, heavenly father, that your plans for our life are amazing. Help us to really make a difference this week, and not let precious time be wasted. Help us make this life count for something!




When we were young, we wanted to save the world. Later, we saw we needed to save some money. In the end we hope that we can save some of our dreams. … C.v.H.