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My unbelief turned into Faith    -    by Albert Streep

 

About one month after my wife left me, taking the children with her, a neighbor contacted me and helped me in reading the bible. The pain of a divorce is hard to explain to outsiders. This is a continuing process, also due to the fact that children are involved.

I think that maybe outsiders with children can imagine what it means to be allowed to see your own children scarcely or not. In the Dutch law something was written down about that issue. Yet, nothing is spoken about human dignity and feelings. Totally confused you’re going to think about being a human been. And only then you can see how in-human this (Dutch) society is. Faith in God? Where is He..? How can God allow this iniquity? Don’t talk about faith now! Yet, there was questioning: “God, help me!”

 

I was raised ecclesiastical and also married in a church. During my marriage I did open the bible once, but I couldn’t read further than Genesis 5. Towards my neighbor I was thinking: “you can talk as you want but you can not take my religion”. I didn’t want to be pulled to another church.

 

Conversations

After more conversations wit him I realized that he wasn’t drawing me to a church but talked about Jesus Christ Himself. Nobody else had taken the afford of love and patience that he showed to me. Spiritually we came closer to each other; in Jesus Christ. On one October-eve in 1990 I felt very strong waves of love coming through my entire body. These kind of waves where unfamiliar to me and also inexplicable. Only later I realized that this had to be something supernatural.

I was joining a crusade with students of  “Vorming & Actie” (an Assembly of God bible school out of Ede – Holland) in investigation; waiting to see which way the cat jumped. My feelings concerning Faith in Jesus Christ where going up and down; yes-no, yes-no. During one of the sharing I publicly prayed: “Jesus, if You want me to believe in You, than You have to do it; all the way including details!”. This was beginning November 1990.

 

Change-over

Now, in August 1991, looking backwards to the past nine months, I can say a lot has changed. On Christmas day, December 25th during the church gathering, I felt so much love from the gathered people inside me, that I wanted to express this openly. This was allowed. Next day I was totally convinced that I had to be baptized.

Me?, while I was baptized already as a baby? That was an Anabaptism! And yet, I was totally convinced; I knew for sure! But what about this and that? I still had many questions. Then I was reading in the bible, which was in the closet for many years, that baptism was done by total immersion. The bible also says: “Repend and be Baptist”, not the other way round!

Well, on January 27th 1991 I was Baptist, totally convinced by the Word of God. Meanwhile the problems about the divorce stayed; even became worse. My children  were not let to see me and they saw me less and less. On the contrary, the inner rest was increasing. “Come unto Me, all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest”.  says Jesus (Matthew 11:28). The problematic stayed but I was looking different towards it; with help. And not just a help- no; Jesus!

 

Crusade

Aside this miracle I experienced divers other miracles. When people had asked me in former times to preach the gospel; I would have pointed to them on my forehead. Maybe you guess already: In march 1991 I was joining the aforementioned crusade-group; now in participating. In my neighbor town ‘Uitgeest’ we had a good gospel-talk with a woman who we cold tell about the love of Jesus Christ for her. She accepted the Lord to be her personal Savior and Redeemer and about three months later she was cured from her diabetic (or sugar) disease (for insiders: her sugar level was 20; next day 4,4..!).The family doctor and the specialist where keeping this for impossible, yet medical tests proved it so..!

When you experience these kind of miracles your faith is growing will get stronger. Not:  First see then believe; exactly the other way around: First believe and then see! My personal relationship with Jesus Christ became closer more and more. My unbelief turned over into Faith! Not the faith into a church but directly into Jesus Christ..!

 

Often again

Often again Jesus makes me to believe in Him. After all these events I understand more and more the meaning of Ephesians 2 verse 8 & 9: “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not of works, lest any man should boast.”

Surely, not of works (or deeds), certainly not in my case. But through or by the love of Jesus, Who loved me before I loved Him! Problems will stay, for me also. I shall keep making mistakes also, I'm not perfect. Yet Jesus Christ shall love me forever and always; for there is written: “Faithfull is He that called you, Who also will do it”.

 

There are much more things that Jesus did for me, especially after growing in my Faith more and more. When I have to write them on this place, this newspaper will be too thick. I am sure that Jesus Christ not only loves me, but also loves you. What you have to do? Nothing! If you want to experience His love yourself instead of hearing and reading about it, than I do hope you will give Jesus Christ an opportunity to enter your live and to come in your heart. He is knocking. Will you open your door?

 

Thou shall be my witness

 

My repental-witnessing (“My unbelief turned into Faith”) was published in the evangelical “Good-News Paper” region Beverwijk in August 1991. In the bible (Acts 1:8) there is written that those who has received the power of the Holy Ghost, shall be witnessing about Jesus Christ. And what is a witness? Well, a witness for certain is nót somebody who has something out of hearing and saying; a witness is somebody who has seen / experienced things himself... In witnessing there is always a danger of pride. May the Lord God Almighty safe me from this pride. Yet I do want to give a witnessing story so that everybody can see that Jesus Christ is alive. As being ignorant, perhaps my style of writing has not excellency of speech or wisdom, yet I’ll write down the experienced things mentioning “that the things which I write unto you, behold, before God, I lie not” (Galatians 1:20).

 

In November 1991 I was able to join a Yugoslavian brother (who was living in The Netherlands) out of the Assemblies of God – church at Castricum, on a mission trip to Yugoslavia, where war was going on for about two months at that time. Normally, two citizens does not get permission to enter the military zone, so to pass the frontline is unique. Yet, we had to go to the occupied Dubrõvnic to bring food and clothing to the Christians over there (Matt.6:31) ánd to bring somebody off the small isle in front of Dubrõvnic... Think about it: How are we going to do this..???

After the officer gave us permission to pass the frontline (of course on own risk) he heard that i was a Dutchman (against Serbia). Had he known beforehand he should have shot me as a possible spy, he told us afterwards. But now he has given his word as an officer... Passing the frontline with UN-flag, we waited at the last house where UN-observers also saw that soldiers where fleeding back under enemy-fire, coming closer to us. “Albert, come quick in the car” i heard on my frontposition. When i entered the car, the backdoor was opened and soldiers with ready-rifles urged us to drive backwards, which my brother did. Getting in this car I simply prayed a small prayer: “Lord, it’s getting hot here; help”. It’s really wonderful to write down such a reaction, Hallelujah..! Only when we passed the paved way through the landmines, entering the occupied city of Dubrõvnic, my brother told me he had no idea at all hów to get the people off that island...

In Dubrõvnic we went looking for the (Non-Christian) Dutch war-correspondent Dick Verkijk who we’ve met before on the other side. “How did you appear here?” he asked ashtonished when he saw us, “That is not possible, since the occupation – two months now – you’re the first civilian-car to enter Dubrõvnic..! That’s not possible..!” he kept telling us, being very amased. I answered him that what is not possible for man, was possible for God. The knock on the door was from “Wiep”, a Dutch-man married with a Kroatian woman and so in this army’s uniform as one of it’s resistance-leaders. He was there to give a radio-interview about the bombing of the harbor of Dubrõvnic. After done so, as being Dutch-men we talked about this and that and we where able to pray for him and family also. Later they stayed at Castricum for long time. In our talk he learned about our ‘problem’ taking people off the isle and as “Dutchies” among each other, you do help each other, aren't you? “Coincidently” he was in charge of the sea-defense and so he would help us by a military operation to get those people off the isle, which was done so two nights later. The solution of our problem was handed over to us on a silver plate..! Hallelujah..!!!

Next day we went back; out of the occupied city, as if we had done some shopping... We had to wait for a moment due to fighting and got only permission from the UN-official after we assured him to go on our own risk. We explained to him that God Almighty was with us and after half an hour we drove under white flag (Thou shall not tempt the Lord thy God) to the Serbian side again, with the people in the car to my brothers homeadress VrnjackaBanja. Well... It’s written in Luke 18:27: “The things that are impossible with men, are possible with God”... Hallelujah..!!!

 

In april 1992 I went with the East-Europian Mission to Albania. During the inauguration of the first democratic president after the communist dictator Hoxa, we where able to see the condition of Albania. We did find a udge humanity among the people; an 100 year old woman was nursed at home by the family of 18 persons. There was always at least one at the house... How much difference with individualistic The Netherlands... As a group we could give a lot of testimonies and the non-Christian busdriver asked me to teach him the song “Emmanuel” in Albanian language; although (Christian) translators where there.

 

In the summer of this same year 1992 I also went 2 times with the evangelical-organization “Agapè” with it’s “Er is hoop” (= There is hope) bus. When the bus was in my neighbourtown Castricum (July) there was showed a movie about Jesus on a big outside screen. Around 23.30 hours i wanted to bike home again but a brother asked me to join the conversation with a girl called Maaike in the bus, which was going on the whole evening. “But there is enough support, isn’t it”?  I asked, yet he wanted me to go there. After the talking stopped, I asked Maaike from Assendelft (who was about 22 years old at that time) if they had prayed with her already, which she denied. So we prayed together and after asking her if she could say the words “Jesus Christ is my Lord” (I Kor.12:3b) again she denied... By own experience I asked her if I could lay my hands on her and prayed that a ghost of anxiousness would disappear. With my naked eyes I saw her whole body become quite; now she could truly say that Jesus Christ was her Lord... The next day her father came to the (moved) group, asking whát they had done with his daughter. He didn’t recognize her anymore... Hallelujah..!

Just before the break of a Christian praise-evening at the Sions-church Haarlem (May 13th 1993) i met a young man outside. It was his first time in a church. As being a Muslim he had to think about my proposed prayers. About ten minutes later I could pray for him. One and half month later I saw Hans V. who was telling me that he went to the train to kill himself. I asked him to wait with this suicide until áfter church and have a cup of coffee at my house that evening. He accepted and that evening he took a flyer about Gods love for the world and also for him personally. This track appealed him so much that he repented a few days later of the wrong way. He was trapped on all occult way’s whereby he sometimes saw the spirits with his naked eyes... Hans V. gave his life to Jesus and was saved..!

Tjerk B. from The Hague was baptized by me on fathers day 1993 by immersion in the sea at Kijkduin; he was brought closer to his Fáther that day. Two months later a man called Jack took the Lord Jesus Christ as his Savior during the mentioned “Er is Hoop” – action at Sittard.

 

A first sermon i could give in Amersfoort in a small house group. About half an year later I traveled to the Kwa  Sizabanta Missionpost at Kwa Zulu (Nathal) South-Africa. An intended forth night to Cape Town ended in a continual stay with several spiritual thing for our Lord Jesus Christ. Over there I could give an halfhour during testimony under having a tea with the Dutch Vice-consul who asked me to do so after our first meeting about a complaint. From Cape Town I also was able to travel to ‘the uttermost part of the earth’; to Cape Agulhas. There I was able to drop my (Dutch) testimony at the most southern house of the continent Africa. Does the bible not write also (in Acts of Apostles 1 : 8) ??? In Johannesborough I walked alongside the queuing voters calling out the same words as Elijah did: “If the Lord be God, follow Him; but if Baal, then follow him” (I Kings18:21). These first free-demo(n)cratic elections where won by Nelson Mandela; the national tricolour (beïng the old Dutch orange-white-blue) was changed. It was set that I would leave Johannesborough on April 29th yet this was changed due to bankruptcy of the travelcompagny “Luxavia Airways”. Now i had to go one day later... On the original day at the time I had to check-in, a bomb exploded in the departure-hall of this International Airport of Jo’borough!

 

Also during my crusade with the banner “Fáther misses child.” I experienced several spiritual things. A few people came to my house out of Zwolle and Nijmegen just because they where touched by this banner. In Rotterdam and Scheveningen prophets came to me who where able to explain to me at once the full multiple meaning of this banner and gave encouragement to continue this crusade.

 

Being tired of the crusade, i was allowed to go to Ghana where I first appeared on January 12th 1998. After a lot of disappointment and diseases, I told the Lord in night prayer, around 23.30 hours, that i was going home and go for this arrangements (changing airplane ticket) next early morning; back home with the first possible flight! That same early morning I went first to the compountpas-tor who was out already but his wife called me and told me she had a dream that same night. She dreamt about a white man with a belly who was running to the airoplane and God told her that he shouldn’t do so... Now you aught to know, that I ám a white man; dó have a belly and wás running to the airplane... This (late) pastor Napoleon Augustine (from Nigeria) anointed me in my call to be an evangelist. A 14 days later I went to a crusade and unexpectedly I was able a ten-minutes testimony witch was in such a way, that the evangelist (Anthony K. Kwarteng) took me in tow to do this more often. The organizing church (Royal Family Church / Living Word Centre / C.P.C.-Kumasi / Pastor Blessing) asked me to give the sermon next sunday. After done so, the junior-pastor (now referend) Edmond Brefo told me that the prophet was right... What..? I didn’t understand this. Well, he explained, about one month ago a traveling pastor from Nigeria was visiting their church and told them that a white man was coming to their church and that they had to listen very well..... Wow, what a confirmation this was to me..., especially when I heard that the same prophecy was given in another church (“Jesus is Real” – Kwadaso/Kumasi)..! I already mentioned the scripture Acts of Apostles 1:8 where also is mentioned that you start in (your own) Jerusalem, then ‘Judea and Samaria’ is following and at last you are going to the ‘uttermost part of the earth’. Over and over again I've seen this principle; also in Ghana itself. At first I started in my own town Heemskerk, then the surroundings and at last the whole of The Netherlands with my banner ‘Fáther misses child.’. Now Ghana: First Kumasi (1998/’99), then the Region Ashanti in the next year and after that the whole of Ghana (2000/’01)... In 2003 I went for the 6th time to Ghana and witnessed in all kind of churches (like Methodist / Presbyterian / Evangelicals / Independents / Roman Catholics and so on) once for about 6 or 7 people; another time for 6 or 7 thousand people... witnessing how much a fáther could miss his children, taking the natural situation to the spiritual one....

 

The seventh time in Ghana felt like a sabbatical to me, something to do for myself. For longer time I had it on my heart to build a missionhouse so that there was a home for me always. On December 24th 2003 I could enter the raised 3-rooms house. The name of this house is (of course) taken from the bible: (2 Chronicles 20 : 26) being BERACHACH. Under the name you’ll find the Star of David above the text “Shalom Prayer Centre. Although the spiritual resistance during the building, I do know that the blessing of our Lord Jesus Christ is upon it. The caretaker of this house is my friend, the local pastor Yaw Opoku Donkor. The big advantage of an ‘own’ house is that you can decide to make it available for others also; for instance for people in similar situation as my own or others who are in need of rest or Christians who want to explore the mission field during a holiday... You can contact me! You’re welcome at this house when you’re able to bear you’re own traveling costs as well as you’re own costs to stay there. The cost over there are very low; for about 35 Euro a week you can live like a king. And the local people likes to know you also and will help you with all things, especially when you also will help them a little.

 

Well, for now until so fat these witnessing. Why wrote this all down? Well, maybe the heavenly Father is missing you... (Like you miss your own children..?)

Do know then that only Jesus Christ can bring you to your heavenly father..! He likes to help you as He did to me. May God Almighty put you to think about all these things so that you also will come to the acknowledgement of the truth that Jesus Christ is alive..! H*A*L*L*E*L*U*J*A*H. Amen!


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