There comes a time in the lives of most people when they start thinking about the value that they have added to the world.
Although the word legacy is frequently used to describe the assets or property people leave to their heirs when they die, it can also refer to the non-material legacy which a person leaves behind. This legacy is harder to define, but is far more important. It comprises a lifetime of accomplishments, relationships, values and truths. However, the most profound legacies are the ones inspired beyond human reason, those born from dreams which only God can place in one’s heart. These are the only legacies which possess eternal value.
In October 2010, such a dream was entrusted to the hearts of Willem and Carin Lategan. They attended a conference of Table 71 in Franschoek on behalf of Walk Thru the Bible South Africa, prior to the Lausanne congress in Cape Town. Sitting around the table with prominent Christian leaders from different mission-oriented organizations, Willem and Carin were touched by their passion. Little did they know that the question soon to be posed to them would change the course of their lives forever. When asked if they would be willing to adopt a group of people from the list of unreached populations and prosecuted Christians, a silent conversation between them confirmed the commitment. Flooded with emotion, Willem drew close to the Lord to make sense of the events that had occurred during the 2-day conference. The very next day, God gave him comfort, purpose and encouragement for the commitment that would become his life mission through Luke 12:21, which states, “Do not store up earthly wealth, but be rich in God.” These words lie at the heart of #leavealastinglegacy – to inspire others to live a life truly rich in God. After all, one’s legacy is made up of a lifetime of choices…
“In everything I did, I showed you that by this kind of hard work we must help the weak, remembering the words the Lord Jesus himself said: ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive.’ – Acts 20:35″
The ethnic group
Two years later, during October 2012, Willem and Carin joined a group travelling to Northern Africa as part of a mission trip to support the persecuted church.The group went through customs without much difficulty – except for Willem and another man. When their luggage finally appeared, a member of the security staff insisted on searching their possessions. Stepping aside, they did the only thing they could – they prayed.To their dismay, the man grabbed a children’s Bible from one of the suitcases. Its wrapping paper had been torn, thus exposing an illustrated picture of Jesus on the cover. After barking orders in his native tongue to the other security staff, he tossed the Bible back into the suitcase and told them to leave.
Suspecting that the group would be followed, they took the necessary safety precautions and decided to diverge from their original travel plans and keep a low profile for a couple of days. Thereafter, they would travel 400km by train to a newly selected destination where the Bibles would be delivered to an underground church. On the return train ride following the successful delivery, Willem was trying to make sense of the events that had led to the change in their original plans, when the Lord suddenly reminded him of the commitment they had made in 2010. At that exact moment, his attention was drawn to the conversation Carin was having with a native Muslim woman sitting across from her. She mentioned the name of a place close to her hometown. In that instant, the Lord made it clear to him that his being caught, and the resulting detour, all occurred so that they could meet this woman – all so that they could hear the name of this specific place. He just knew. This was the people group they had unknowingly committed to two years earlier!
Research showed that a mere half percent this tribe were believers. Portions of the Bible in their native tongue? None. The Jesus film? Not available to them. Without a doubt, this was the group.
His heart filled with God-given conviction, Willem resigned his job at a leading wealth management firm and started a new business – RiG advisory services (www.rig.ac). Neels Grobbelaar, a fellow director and shareholder, immediately agreed that the business be would called RiG (Rich in God), just as Jesus commands in Luke 12:21. With the business operating successfully today, they believe that it is now time to make good on the rest of their promise – to close the circle.
This is by no means the story of Willem and Carin, or even the group of people that the Lord has led them to commit to. This is the story of a God who so loved the world that He gave His only Son to pay the penalty of the death we deserve, and to grant us instead eternal life. This same God is calling upon men and women to spread this news – this life-changing news of Jesus Christ!
We would like to invite you to become a part of this mission as we strive to make Jesus’ last words, His Great Commission, our first priority. Jesus gave His life for everyone – even for those still unaware of His existence.
Join the calling
With our hearts set on reaching the unreached, we embarked on a project called Ride for the reason. Supporters get the opportunity to sponsor cyclists, who will “go full circle” as they participate in the 36ONE MTB race from 24 – 26 April, 2020. The proceeds of this project are used to fund the translation of the gospel of Mark and related work with the Jesus film for an unreached people group in Northern Africa. By figuratively closing the circle of their commitment in the 36ONE, they commit to the number ZERO. In doing this we will be ONE closer to ZERO unreached and unengaged people groups.
In fulfilling this mission we will have to answer the following three questions by David Platt:
- Will you choose comfort or the cross?
- Will we settle for maintenance or sacrifice for the mission?
- Will our lives be marked by indecisive minds or undivided hearts?