If you read our updates, you would have met our friends Christo & Petro Becker. Well, you would have at least seen their picture. We met them in June 2007 when we went on a road trip to see Nieu Communities. In a lot of ways, God has used these guys to make our transitions a bit easier… especially with the kids. Petro works part time for Nieu Communities keeping our books for us. When she would be around, she always managed to find our kids (though that wasn’t too difficult considering how much the kids ran around the property!). Every time she’d see them, she would stop what she was doing and make sure they got a hug. For me personally, that has meant a lot.
What I appreciate most about the Beckers though is how committed they are to our community. They give me hope that Nieu Communities can have a deeper impact on the greater Pretoria area. You see, the Beckers are neither apprentices nor staff members. Other than Petro working for us, they really have no “official” connections. But if you come to visit Nieu Communities, you wouldn’t realize that they weren’t “official”. They move into deep relationships with our apprentices. They love the staff well. And they embrace my kids like grandparents would.
They give me hope because they are a snap shot of everything I hope to see become a reality in the lives of people. They work hard and serve God in their workplace. They are spiritual leaders who happen to turn wrenches in a mechanic’s shop for a living. If you met any of their employees, you would know that the Beckers had been more like a pastor to them than an employer. Here’s why I say that…
The car we bought in our first month has had problems (that’s an understatement huh Christo?). So I spent quite a bit of time taking the car back and forth to Christo’s shop. One of their employees would drive me home though so I wouldn’t have to walk. During our time together (which added up to quite a bit of time) I got to know the story of Marceles. His family had been killed in a car accident several years back. He had been through a great deal of health issues. As a result of life circumstances, his work suffered. But the Beckers saw a deeper opportunity. They gave him a job to meet his physical needs, but they give him Jesus every day to meet the rest of his needs. Marceles would tell me often how much their friendship has meant to him and how much more full his life had become since meeting the Beckers.
That’s the kind of legacy I pray for. That’s what impresses me so much about the Beckers. And this is just another reason in so many why we are excited to get back to work in South Africa. God is moving and we get to join His work with people like the Beckers.