The year-end of 1988/1989, 30 years ago, was a very strategic turning point in my life, just like today, 2018/2019! I turned 30 then, and Christa and I had just entered the privileged age of having children, with Pieter born in 1987. Today, 30 years later, I am turning 60, and we have the privilege to move into the era of being grandparents, with number 3 on the way!
It happened so that I can think of my life being defined by eras of the ’30s! 1988/9 was the beginning of what we have in business in Touching Africa today – the humble beginning of the “Noord Transvaalse Geologiese Konsultante”! Today, we are experiencing the growth into a bigger Touching Africa vision, with our humble first steps. We are busy developing the integrated Touching Africa Co-operative structures with the aim of establishing the Touching Africa Co-operative Bank in 2019. After 30 years in business, we have grown from the first business to a bigger corporate reality.
At the same time, the physical reality is a reflection of what happened in the Spirit! After an inner struggle and being involved in a small fellowship seeking God’s will, I wrote on 7 October 1987; “Father – We acknowledge you as King ruling in our lives! We acknowledge that everything we do and have is subjected to Your Kingdom. I submit all my dreams and plans for the future to be in service to Your Kingdom”. A year later I resigned as a governmental geologist and started with the business.
In February 1989, I published a small booklet called, “Die Kerk in die Koninkryk” and wrote: “Die Koninkryk van God is `n manier van lewe, en nie godsdiens as een van die fasette van die lewe nie. `n Ander manier van dink het `n ander manier van lewe tot gevolg. Om op `n ander manier as die wêreld te dink, beteken om op `n ander manier as die wêreld te lewe. Dit hou `n lewenswyse in wat nie inpas by die wêreld nie”.
This radical understanding of the Kingdom of God as a total inclusive reality led us to the understanding that the borders between “church”, “workplace” and “house/family” starts fading away. Then, all aspects of life reflect the same character – it reflects the truth of the Kingdom of God as the highest reality!
By the end of 1988 I resigned from the then “Geological Survey” as a governmental official, registered the “Noord Transvaal Geological Consultants” as a closed corporation with nr 89/142238/23, and started with the business at the end of 1988 (30 years ago)!
The documents and notes available from that time are not a lot, and my memory regarding the detail has faded away. Therefore, I have to rely on what was important for me during that time in order to make sense of what has happened over a life-span of 30 years of my time in the workplace….
I remember that the LORD showed me a vision right in the beginning. This vision was a picture of a tree with many branches. I saw a network of businesses being interconnected, but also individually separated, as part of a bigger reality. These businesses reflect the truths and values of the Kingdom of God – a place where His Kingship is accepted and lived out. This picture formed my way of thinking and is still today’s picture and vision within the unfolding of Touching Africa as a bigger organisation.
I recall the name “mastertech” reflecting who we are as Sons of God. We are equipped to be masters in the specific and different technical skills and directions we work. This is still playing a huge role in business. We are also spiritual beings and we must be professional in what we do in order to reflect God’s Kingdom in the workplace!
I remember the desire to grow and to duplicate the truths of the Kingdom in others. I believe (thirty years ago and still today) that the basic and most important aspects in business are:
1. Seek first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness (Matt 6:33) – see God’s plan first
2. Take up the mandate to love the world as a reflection of God’s Kingdom,
as SONS of God.
3. Our dream to contribute to the development of Africa!
The photos below were taken many years ago, and show how church, family and the workplace were intertwined in those days.