Sarah’s Story

I was raised in a Catholic home as a farmers daughter in Southern Rhodesia, which is now known as Zimbabwe. At the age of eleven I was sent to a convent boarding school about an 8 hour drive from our small town as there were no high schools there at the time.

I loved God and wanted to please Him in all I did. At the age of twelve I was told about knowing God through a relationship before a religion. With this new understanding, I gave my heart and life to Him. I was baptised in the Holy Spirit and my daily walk took on a new freshness as I discovered the reality of Romans 8:14 All who are led by the Spirit of God are the sons of God.

I was then fortunate to go to a finishing school in England where I graduated with a diploma in catering and I then went to live and work in Cape Town, South Africa. After three years I sold my car and went to join Youth with a Mission (YWAM) in Lausanne, Switzerland where I did my DTS (Discipleship Training School). It was an incredible experience of teaching, healing and ministry. I further served in YWAM Finland where, unknown to me at the time, they were desperate for staff. I began there in the kitchen and was later asked to lead the upcoming school.

I returned home to Africa after outreaches in Birmingham in the UK and Denmark. I then met my future husband, Steve. This is a story of miracles, which you are welcome to ask me about when you have lots of time on your hands! We married in January 1987 and God blessed us with three incredible children: Carl, Sven and Christina.

In 1995 my dad got cancer, so we moved from South Africa to Zimbabwe and took over a large coffee and tea estate which employed and housed up to 200 workers. After a few years, there was a lot of political unrest as the government was sanctioning a land grab by the indigenous people.

In January 2002, with three small children and the intention to return to the farm after one year, we packed our suitcases and locked the doors of the house. We moved to Australia to volunteer at YWAM, which was based in Norton Summit, SA. We then discovered that four people had claimed our farm back in Zimbabwe, but the Chief of Police was the one who took it as he had more authority. So we lost our farm without any compensation. We went through many visas, health issues and some very hard seasons and lessons of letting go of things, but finally after six years we became citizens of this beautiful country.

I was managing a retirement village when Graham told me that he felt God wanted to use Teen Challenge to offer hope to women with unplanned pregnancies in a program called Perez, which means breaking forth/free. He asked me if I would prayerfully consider taking on the role of establishing it.

In the natural I thought to myself, Oh boy! You’ve picked the wrong guy as I have no experience in this department! However, in the spiritual, God prepared me and confirmed it in beautiful ways. In November 2014 I went to the YWAM National Leaders Meeting in Melbourne where a lady from a visiting Bethel Church team came up to me on the first night and prophesied new beginnings. On returning to Adelaide, Steve and I met up with Graham for a coffee and he began to say the same words that I had just been given at the conference!

Sometime ago I found a saying that summed things up for me, Our life will be measured not by our wealth or gain but by who we put before us, and how we played the game. God is so faithful. We don’t always know what the future holds but we do know who holds the future. I know that its not about having all the right skills. Its about having a surrendered life, as He can use an empty vessel. I look forward to finding out what God wants to do in this new and exciting season, and I thank Him for counting me worthy to serve in such a wonderful capacity.