In the 1970s Hennie Keyter was an angry young man, fresh out of military service for the apartheid government of South Africa, unsure of his path in life and deeply uneasy about his faith. When God revealed to him that He had a purpose for him and a calling on his life, at first Hennie was not ready to hear it. When he finally accepted and understood his mission, a flame was lit in his heart that nothing could have extinguished. But nothing could have prepared him either for the extraordinary spiritual journey he was about to embark on which would take him wherever God wanted him to go: from Malawi, ‘the warm heart of Africa’, to Mozambique at the height of its civil war, where he was sentenced to death and faced a firing squad, from a less than welcoming beginning in Zanzibar, to the United Nations base at Lokichokio on the border between Kenya and Sudan (where on one trip he discovered that he had a price of US$10 000 on his head).
Desiring only to do the will of God and to spread the Gospel, Hennie took up the challenge of taking the Gospel to many of the countries on the African continent and in the Middle East, building up leaders and planting churches in poverty stricken areas, lands devastated by years of conflict and deprivation, and war zones where soldiers seemed to have lost everything, even hope.
In His Call, My All: An African Drumbeat – A Missionary’s Heartbeat Hennie looks back at his life in the service of the Lord and forward to continuing His work for as long as God requires it of him.
‘I am not recovering. I am recovered. You, too, can be a recovered addict.’
Imagine going from schoolboy experimentation with drugs to being so addicted that you begin planning your parents’ murder so that you can get money (for more drugs) from your inheritance! Sadly Marco’s story is not an isolated one.
Marco Broccardo was an ordinary boy from an ordinary family. He had parents who loved him and provided him with a safe and caring home. He had older sisters who doted on their little brother. He had friends and he played sport at school. When he experimented with weed and then with coke and ecstasy, he was no different from the circle he socialised with and partied with at weekends. Drugs made him feel great. What was the harm?
The trouble came when supply and demand were out of balance and a harmless joint and a couple of pills no longer did the trick. Marco needed cash – more and more of it. He became a runner for the dealers who operated in the clubs where Joburg teenagers went to party. He had money and he had drugs. Life seemed good. Then two things happened: he found he was consuming more of the druglords’ stock than he was selling, and he discovered crack cocaine. The moment of choice came in no more than a heartbeat. For him it was a no brainer. Marco chose rocks.
From that moment on he cast everything and everyone aside in his ruthless pursuit of his next high. He took his family to the brink of financial ruin and emotional despair; he lied his way through rehabs and halfway houses; he used every genuine offer of help as opportunities to plan his next spectacular relapse; and he dismissed several close calls with death as signs that he just needed to be more careful next time. He didn’t care. Chasing the high was his only mission in life, no matter who or what he destroyed in the process.
Until the day he made the dramatic and life-altering decision to change. How he did it and what he has done with his life since then are nothing short of miraculous.
This is Marco’s story.