About Mike Benade our new South African Administrator. Aug 2018
In 1973, aged 16 I answered an altar call by an American missionary preaching in my hometown. I really experienced the Lord Jesus working in my young life. being a Presbyterian at that time I was soon frustrated by the deadness of the church and found myself drawn to a group of Christian "hippies" from the Jesus movement and went about handing out tracts and singing from campers equipped with amplifiers and p.a. systems. I also visited many pentecostal tent meetings but quickly learned that white doves flying around the tents were the acts of men and not holy spirit manifestations. an older couple took a fancy to me and decided to lay hands on me to receive the gift of tongues. they pressed down upon my head so hard that I realised if I did not come up with something fast, I was going to pass through the pearly gates by virtue of a broken neck. I promptly recited my Latin amo,amas… which caused them to release my head and exhorted me to go home and practice my new gift.
By the time I left high school, I was little more than a sceptic and very disillusioned by all things Christian. I joined the South African police force instead of going to the army and after basic training found myself fighting in a bush war which few of us really understood other than it was supposedly preventing communism from taking over Namibia and eventually South Africa. after my second stint in the operational area, I was transferred to the narcotics section where I mostly did under-cover drug gang infiltrations and eventually transferred to the criminal bureau where I did C.S.I for about 26 years. in all of these years, I lived as a sinner yet the consciousness that I was lost never left me.
in 1996 I was reading a book, "the final battle" by Hal Lindsey and clearly experienced a voice saying to me, "this is the last time!". I immediately knew that God was speaking to me but soon afterwards fell back to my former ways yet the experience haunted me. driven by a need to silence this inner voice I started seriously studying the meaning of life and began a quest to disprove the bible and Christianity. I read Stephen Hawking and other scientist but found they had little to nothing to offer. their postulations were absurd and empty. Egyptology and Hinduism was obviously such rubbish that I found it incredulous that people actually believed in those things. then I found the Apocrypha and my curiosity as to why they were excluded from the canon of scripture won me over to study them. these quaint writings intrigued me until I read the book of Nicodemus, about the trial of Jesus and I was deeply moved by the unfairness and lack of jurisprudence throughout this ordeal. as an expert state witness myself, I could appreciate the corruption of the Sanhedrin in framing Jesus and it actually caused me to weep for the first time in many years. I started reading the bible again and on 1 September 1998 my wife and I had a powerful encounter with the Lord Jesus in our home and we were born again.
A few weeks later a friend of mine gave me a VHS cassette and asked me to "see" what I could make of it. it was by one James Jacob Prasch and it turned our lives upside down and challenged us to pursue truth and not follow men. this I have done and later I met Jacob in person and became his friend and co-worker in the kingdom.
I am honoured to serve the Lord Jesus and to be entrusted with the Moriel South Africa administration.