Isaiah 43:18-19 (NIV)
18 “Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!
Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
and streams in the wasteland.
The First 8 Years
The church was planted in 2003 by Apostle Carel and Hilana Marais in the St Georges Chapel, Irene Centurion, South Africa. Our first official church meeting was held on the 7th of September 2003. Soon we grew and moved into the Pierre van Ryneveld area having services in the local community library hall. With the expantion of our family we moved into the Kirkness shopping centre where services was held until we moved to our current location at nr 55 Dan Pienaar road, Pierre van Ryneveld. These first years served as a training ground where the Lord prepared us for the work we are currently doing an a part of. Then in 2011 the Lord miraculously joined three different groups into one church community.
A Time of coming Together
It is not often that one reads about different churches becoming one. For many this seems like an impossible task, yet this is the testimony of HRC Pretoria. Jesus said that there are two things that we can learn from Him in Matthew 11:29; and it is meekness and humility. Meekness speaks of power under control. When one thinks of a wild horse that's been broken in, that horse does not lose his strength, speed or abilities. The only difference is that it is now all under control. Think of Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane. He had the ability to destroy those who came to arrest Him yet he submitted to fulfil the will of His father. Humility is about regarding others higher than ourselves. In obeying the words of Jesus there is a mutual submission and no self-promotion or stepping on others to be elevated. This is the testimony of our church.
Prophecies received at the merge of the Churches:
In April of 2011 during a time of fasting the Lord spoke to us from Isaiah 62. Amongst other things the Lord spoke to us about the land that would be married. (v4) This spoke to us about the joining of the churches and later we understood that “land” spoke of the actual property in Pierre van Ryneveld.
As we prepared to move unto the property the Lord again spoke in v.10 “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.” At that same time the Lord also said: We have to break up camp from Kirkness to move to the property; the time is now, you have stayed long enough at this mountain. I have given you this land now go in and take possession. (Scripture Ref Deuteronomy 1:7-8)
The last Sunday service in Kirkness the Lord gave us the following instruction and promise from the book of Amos. Amos 9:11-15 (NIV) 11 “In that day “I will restore David’s fallen shelter — I will repair its broken walls and restore its ruins — and will rebuild it as it used to be, 12 so that they may possess the remnant of Edom and all the nations that bear my name,[a]”declares the Lord, who will do these things.13 “The days are coming,” declares the Lord, “when the reaper will be overtaken by the plowman and the planter by the one treading grapes. New wine will drip from the mountains and flow from all the hills, 14 and I will bring my people Israel back from exile.[b] “They will rebuild the ruined cities and live in them. They will plant vineyards and drink their wine; they will make gardens and eat their fruit. 15 I will plant Israel in their own land, never again to be uprooted from the land I have given them,” says the Lord your God. With this word we moved onto the property on the 6th of November 2011.
These are some of the prophecies shared during the first services together:
HRC Pretoria is a PLANTING of the Lord for the display of His splendour. As an embryo is planted in the walls of a womb, so God is causing the planting of this church. As an embryo grows in the womb and becomes a full term baby without our help and interference, so God is growing this new body in a hidden, safe place (hidden from the eyes of man) into a thing of beauty for His pleasure and to display His splendour.
We will go beyond lands and borders and be an influence in many NATIONS. God is raising a banner for nations. As each leader, called in my name, lay down their individual dreams, ambitions, desires and flow together like drops of water merging and becoming one, without distinction, seamless, so I will bestow on them a DOUBLE PORTION of grace, of favour and of influence. For as they have decided to each become obsolete in their own right, so will I increase them and instead of a single portion each, I will double each portion of their authority. Not for showmanship, but for effectiveness.
I will cast off and demolish (crush) oppressive works of darkness through the power of WORSHIP. They will be renowned for worship, as warrior’s intent on destroying the works of the destroyer, so that each life may break through the bonds of oppression and release the abundant life within them. Each will bring something DIFFERENT to the table, as different as a bride and a bridegroom, but as you submit one to the other this union will not be broken as you become one.
A vision was shared of a river flowing through the property and fishermen were seen standing in the stream fly-fishing from inside the river to the outside. People were seen being caught and pulled into the river. This spoke of the flow of the Spirit drawing people from the outside in.
At this time the Lord gave us a three year plan from Isaiah 37:30-31 (NIV) 30 “This will be the sign for you, Hezekiah: “This year you will eat what grows by itself, and the second year what springs from that. But in the third year sow and reap, plant vineyards and eat their fruit. 31 Once more a remnant of the kingdom of Judah will take root below and bear fruit above.
The History of the Church Building Project in Testimonies
Writen by Apostle Hilana Marais
How God Built our Church:
First off I should stress that none of what happened in the acquisition of the property, or in the erection of the Tent, was something we could have done... It was ALL God, as you will see through the testimonies I am about to share.
Apostle Carel and I (With lots (and lots) of help and grace from God) planted the church in Pierre van Ryneveld in September of 2003 with the word in Isaiah 43:18-19. We were young and had a tremendous zeal to do something for God. I was 23 and Apostle Carel 27, I had just completed my nursing degree and He was the co-pastor of AFM Bapsfontein. He resigned his position in that body and we went for it! We weren’t even engaged then.
We started off in small buildings that we rented we moved to 3 over a 3 yr period of time the 3rd being a nice sized space in a shopping centre in PVR. We soon realized though that we will have to get a permanent place to call our home for the growing body of believers. Apostle Carel started looking around for property to buy so that we can build..... Someone in the local body came to us at the beginning of the planting and said she dreamt about a tent on the c/o Dan Pienaar and Pierre van Ryneveld rd. So that is where we started looking... (But a tent wasn’t really an option; we rather wanted a proper building).
Carel struggled for more than a year to find an available property... There was an open piece of land on that corner, the piece belonged to M&T development, they wanted an astronomical amount of money for their property – we could simply not afford it.... One day in the Hardware store he overheard a developer talking, saying he wants property he can develop but all he could seem to find is church property! Carel immediately approached him to find out where this property was. It was government property on the c/o... wait for it Dan Pienaar and Pierre van Ryneveld road.... we never looked on the other side!!!
He immediately made work of it... it took almost 2yrs from there for us to successfully lease the property from the government... lots of hard work, miracles, prayer and obedience went into it. Our lease was signed on the 1st September 2009... almost exactly 6 yrs to the date of the planting of the church! We had the property, it cost R5000 a month to rent it...... BUT we were not allowed to put up any permanent structures.... The only option was a.... wait for it.... a TENT!
We had a big enough assembly to have 2 services in the morning (we had to as space was limited). We therefore went ahead and ordered the tent; we drew up plans and got the go ahead from the local government. We paid the deposit on the tent which was R60000..... The total cost R220000...All was peachy!
In May 2010 all hell (or heaven hehe) broke loose in our local body. We suffered an apostasy.... In a matter of weeks we almost did not have a congregation left to move to the new property!!! We were devastated... How would we continue to build the church, we had a lease, we had a half paid tent.... it was horrifying! Well.... this is where God took over... before that we did a lot out of self... now self was well... dying and our resources were depleted we needed a miracle to get the tent standing.
The tent was almost finished and the remaining R160000 had to be paid, we prayed, fasted, you name it for the money for the rest of the tent; it would cost a miracle as we were now in financial ruin to say the least. One morning Carel got a call from the manufacturers of the tent, the man was very apologetic stating that he was very embarrassed and did not know how to tell us, but he ordered too little canvas to complete the tent... He asked for an extension.... He did not know it, but God was granting US an extension! He said he now has to order the material, and as it comes from CPT it will take a few weeks to complete the tent.
In the mean time we had to prepare the foundation for the tent... this was ALL by faith.... we knew we did not have the money to pay for the tent, nor did we have the money to erect it (that is additional to the cost of the tent) A foundation is an expensive exercise; we were dependant on miracles... We needed cement to fill the foundations. We asked donations from cement companies -A friend of a friend offered to give us the cement, he would supply 10 trucks, and we were so excited but as the trucks started dumping we soon realised that 10 will not even do half of what we required... But God knew that, that day 24 trucks came through our gates. On enquiring the man said that his one job was cancelled and because the cement was already mixed he has to dump it somewhere, so he dumped it into our foundations!!!!! It was just enough, as if it was perfectly measured... well it was, it was measured by the hand of God!
We now needed filling sand to compress, to form the base for the floor. We asked for donations once again, but no one committed to helping us this time around. We were living in a busy street in PVR, I woke up with a grinding type noise one morning, and on inspection I found that they were busy putting in fibre for our area. They were sucking ground out from under the tar, placed the fibre in and then covered it with tar again... I was actually complaining to Carel saying that it was noisy and that they were making a mess. Later that day we drove past the church property which was 2 blocks from our house, we saw a truck passing through the gate. Not sure who it was we followed it. The man went ahead and dumped a load of filling sand. Carel said he was sure it must be someone, organised by the men on the building committee. We got out of the car and asked the man. He said no, he is from the company doing the fibre and needed somewhere to dump the filling sand they extracted, they saw this was a building site and thought we would appreciate it!!!!!! 120 trucks followed... a 120!!! Enough filling sand at no cost.... and we only asked God!!! After compacting we had one cm3 left!
While this was going on, the owner of the tent company phoned once again.. With more bad news... Or so he thought.... the colour we chose for the tent was discontinued... he was searching worldwide, but could not find a match. He will have to put in a strip of canvas that is slightly darker... because of that he would give us a R60000 reduction on the tent!!!! We now had R100000 left of the initial bill.
While the physical church was being built, the spiritual church was also being built. We became part of Harvester International Ministries in Oct 2010 – This is another story filled with miracles and answers to our prayers. We subsequently joined forces with teacher Stephen-John and Unine Yeo in July 2011 – We thank God daily for God appointed relationships.
The tent still had to be erected though and we didn’t have the funds. We organised with the tent company that the tent be erected without payment, and that payment will follow. He agreed – A miracle in itself. The tent was erected 5 Nov 2011. We found an old man who put up tents all his life for a living that would do it for us for R7000 – That was also a miracle as the initial quote was double. We helped him to erect it. By sunset on the 5th of Nov the tent was standing... well we couldn’t see the sun set, as a heavy thunderstorm broke loose as we were doing the last bit. I remember Andre and others almost being struck by lightning in his efforts to secure the tent pegs. Unfortunately the old man died a few weeks later... I believe that the work he did was afforded to his credit in heaven.
In one of our services between Christmas and New Year that year someone gave R50000 towards the tent. The R50000 that was left was paid off monthly by someone in the church over 10 months. THE TENT WAS PAID!!!!! That darker strip on the roof, as well as the markings on the tar road in Hertzog Street, in PVR, are reminders that, God is a God of miracles!
God has been doing the same ever since. Now many years later, we have a beautiful tent, with baby and toddler rooms as well as a beautiful stage! We also added much needed fans recently... Most importantly the people in our local body have been beautified, built in as living stones! God BUILDS HIS (NOT OUR) CHURCH.
To God be the glory!!!!