I met the Lord Jesus personally by reading the Bible from the beginning of the Old Testament till the end of the New Testament. This happened in Switzerland during 1975. I confessed my sins to the Lord in the presence of French missionaries. When I was baptized, I prayed that I would like to give myself unto death for the sake of the gospel, although at that time I did not really know what that would mean.
A few years later I met Erlo Stegen and I heard about the revival at KSB. During 1978 I came to South Africa and joined the Mission. I learned many precious lessons at KSB and the Lord Jesus started to answer my prayers. After about two years the Lord Jesus showed me to go to Claridge. When I arrived the two Missionaries there told me that I had to pay a third of the food costs and half of the petrol costs for the VW bus. The Lord had already provided for me. The day I left KSB I got a letter from my nursing training school telling me that the staff had decided to send me 500 Swiss Francs.
At Claridge, an outpost station of KSB, I learned what it meant to give oneself unto death and to depend only on the Lord Jesus. I had to work very hard; especially tough was cleaning the house together with a Zulu woman. For instance I had to brush the floor on my knees. One evening when I was so tired and felt a pain on my heart, the elder missionary told me that at the Mission only strong people could be useful. I went to my bedroom and knelt down to pray. I spoke to the Lord Jesus that it would be better to take me home to heaven because no one could use a weak person like me at KSB. After I had gone to bed, a man in a long white dress came to my bed. I could not see his face because he held the Bible in front of his face. Then he spoke very friendly in my mother language: “Marianne, have you forgotten what is written in the Bible? My grace is enough for you, for my strength and power are made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:9) A great joy came into my heart.
Together with the younger missionary I held children meetings which were a real blessing. Many children heard the gospel and decided to follow the Lord Jesus. During this time I lived in faith; if I needed something, I prayed in the name of the Lord to my Heavenly Father and He provided for me what I needed. The services on Sundays were also a blessing to me.
One day Zarri arrived at Claridge. (She was an Iranian lady living at KSB but working for uncle Friedel Stegen) She was crying and did not speak much. All I could do for her was to pray together with her. We often prayed that God might bless KSB and uncle Friedel. Three months later Zarri`s children also came to Claridge and they rented a cottage without electricity. Once a big Indian congregation invited Zarri to give her testimony; they asked me to do the introduction. The Indians invited many Moslems and the church was bursting with people. Afterwards we got a heavy rebuke from the leaders of KSB for according to them we always ought to ask them first before we could accept an invitation.
One counselor asked me to tell him everything that was going on at Claridge, even the confessions of people. I was not able to do this. November 1984 I had to renew my labor permit. They would not do it anymore at the emigration office because KSB refused to supply a confirmation letter. A Mr. Barnard told me that if I was sure that it was the will of the Lord Jesus to stay in South Africa, he would see to it that I would get a resident permit. I asked the Lord to show me His will. I told Him that if I got a letter from my father telling me that he was sick then it would be time for me to return to Switzerland. A few days later I received two letters: one from my father telling me that he was sick and that he wanted me to return home, the other one came from my brother who asked me to return to Switzerland because our father was seriously ill. I got a very clear answer, however it was not easy for me to accept it.
I drove to KSB and told uncle Friedel about my decision. He told me that I had to confess that it had been me who had taken Zarri away from KSB and his supermarket where Zarri had worked before. I said to him I couldn’t confess a thing I had not done. He was very cross with me and I was shocked because up to that time I had believed that he was delivered from all anger. He even told me I ought to go to a mental hospital. Another co-worker told me that if I left KSB, I would go back to the world and be lost for ever.
I got the last seat available on the Swissair flight before Christmas 1984. I only had 3 days left to pack and arrange for my departure. I felt like a refugee. Jürg and Helen offered to take me to Durban to get the ticket and afterwards they took me to the airport. Helen gave me an envelope and told me I should open it in the plane. So I did and saw the lovely card with flowers and the written words: “You have beset me and shut me in behind and before and have laid Your hand upon me.” Psalm 139:5. This verse was like an ointment for my soul.
It was winter when I arrived in Switzerland. My friend lent me her warm coat and my brother bought me nice boots. My father was thankful that I returned. The doctor told him he should go up into the mountains. I went with him and he recovered quickly. Sometimes I still remembered the words of the co-worker of KSB and it worried me. In prayer I laid it before the Lord Jesus and He comforted me with the word of the Bible: “We are assured and know that all things work together for good for those who love God.” Romans 8:28. I also received a very precious tract. It is written in German and I still keep it. The tract is called „Golden Seeds” and it tells that God lets bad things happen to us, that we have to go through sufferings and he lets other Christians treat us unjustly to see if we still love them and if we are prepared to forgive them. This was a great help for my spiritual life.
I ask the Lord Jesus to open a door for me to work. A short while later the matron of a private hospital asked me to work in the surgery ward. I started to work and the Lord helped me to get to know everything very quickly. I still work for the same hospital. A few years ago I studied to become a sister in charge of a ward – I now work only part time there. After having returned to Switzerland I read in the Bible: “Fear not, for I have redeemed you, I have called you by your name, you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1.
I still used to attend services of Erlo Stegen and KSB co-workers when I was off-duty. I did not feel free to go to them for counseling anymore, sometimes I felt like a black sheep among the people who believed that the leaders of KSB never sinned. I was very sad when I heard the story about Kobus and Anneli du Preez. I told uncle Erlo that I could not understand the situation and that Anneli probably feared to leave KSB together with her husband, if she was told what I have been told.
The Bible says: “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment. He that feareth is not made perfect in love. We love Him because He first love us.” 1 John 4:18+19.
During 1998 I was seriously ill, then I had a very real dream which I clearly remembered in the morning when I awoke. In this dream Trevor Dahl spoke to me: „Marianne, remember the Lord Jesus is a mighty fortress.” Then I took my Bible and read Psalm 91. The whole Psalm was a great blessing and strength to me. At that time I did not know that Trevor had already left KSB. I got wonderful promises from the Bible, I mention but one: „He sends forth His word and heals them and rescues them from death.” Psalm 107:20.
Since about 3 years I don’t attend services of KSB anymore and since about 10 years I didn’t attend KSB family camps. I have spiritually distanced myself from the KSB Mission, because I love the Lord Jesus and truth.
Lets continue to pray for the Mission.
With the love of our Lord Jesus.
CH – 8606 Greifensee.