Emotional testament tells how God saved family
IT WAS difficult not to become emotional as married couple Nico and Lisa Becker related their story of drug addiction and the problems it caused them and their family when they spoke at the Christian Men’s Association breakfast on Saturday morning.
“We started by taking drugs just on weekends,” Lisa began. “It wasn’t such a big deal – that was until Nico lost his job and we lost the house we were staying in.”
Lisa said she, her husband and four children, one still a babe in arms, had to stay with her mother while they looked around for other work.
“But the drugs had captured us and we found ourselves lying and stealing from my mother in order to buy more drugs,” she said. “Eventually my mother told us we had to find somewhere else to stay.
“I was so angry with my mother, particularly when Child Welfare came and took our kids away,” she told her fellow Christians.
It was then time for Nico to take over the narrative.
“We travelled from Pretoria down to the Eastern Cape where we had relatives,” Nico said with a tear in his eye and a crack in his voice.
The journey was long and laborious and the couple spent many nights out in the open, struggling to find a safe place to sleep and to get food.
“We would pray every night that the Lord would protect us from danger. And, for the most part, that’s exactly what God did,” explained Nico.
After some time, the couple found their way to Port Alfred where they met Tony Bryant who, although by his own admission was a little sceptical, helped them with an element of stability.
He introduced them to the Celebration Centre with pastors Eldin Rudolph and his wife Lyn.
“The drugs had got us to the lowest point in our lives, and it was only through God’s grace that we managed to keep going,” Nico said.
“But we had to get our children [four girls] back.”
To this end, the Beckers, having refrained from any further drug use, looked for work.
Nico, a qualified security guard, was eventually employed by Clinton Millard of MultiSecurity and is now a senior man in the company.
Now, only about a year after their fall, they are back on their feet and the entire family lives together once more. A LITTLE-KNOWN soup kitchen in Bathurst has been quietly feeding vulnerable neighbours for the past two years.
Valley of Hope Soup Kitchen (VHSK), located on 2674 Nolukhanyo Township in Bathurst, is managed by Zoleka Marais, who started it along with Andiswa Sesman, Sukiswa Rach, Nontando Makasi and Vuyolwethu Siyolo.
Marais’ belief is that hunger knows no race, gender or culture. Because of that VHSK is dishing food to whoever is in need, homeless and poor. “We do not discriminate in terms of race, gender or culture,” she said. This statement is supported by the organisation’s motto, “Hunger knows no barrier”.
Marais said at this stage VHSK operates once a week, on Thursdays, serving one meal at 2pm. She said their goal was to operate three days a week, and serve two meals on those days, but this is hindered by lack of funds.
“We want to serve breakfast and dinner because we believe that those are the crucial times for a meal,” she said. She believes that one cannot have a productive day having woken up starving. The same rationale applies when it comes to going to sleep, she said.
A further challenge is relying on wood fire to cook. VHSK members collect wood from the bush in order to ensure that their mission of feeding the vulnerable is fulfilled. Not having electric equipment, they use a three-legged iron pot.
Marais said they have been knocking on many doors for any form of donations but have not been fortunate to get any assistance. “We have been asking for donations from various sponsors but we never got any help so we thought coming to Talk of the Town for publicity might make a difference,” she said.
Marais said they appeal to the public for assistance with any form of donation which could possibly increase the effectiveness of VHSK.
VHSK can be contacted on 073-296-3627 or 073-838-4889. It was registered as a non-profit organisation on April 12 last year and is therefore operating legitimately, Marais said.