My Dream for Mandela

We ALL dream, right?

Well, in 1994, I had a dream… a BIG dream…  I wanted… wait for it… to “Lead our new President, Nelson (Madiba) Mandela, to Jesus as his Lord and saviour… somehow!

Some of you may laugh at the seeming preposterousness of this “dream”… but it wouldn’t go away….

In December 1996, I had the privilege of working at Highway Radio, a Christian Community Radio Station, that Greg and Michelle Haswell began through our church, Highway Christian Community. Every person who entered the doors of the Station, whom I thought, may, just MAY, have an intro into Nelson Mandela’s sphere of influence, I asked, “Do you know Madiba?” and “Do you know if he knows Jesus?” Crazy sounding, I know… but it was the “dream” that just wouldn’t fade!

Every time I’d see him on TV, every time I’d hear his name, or just thought about him, I’d pray…”Lord PLEASE engineer this to happen… this man needs to know You… somehow Jesus, make this happen!” ON and on I went… rant, plead, imagine…NOTHING!!! But Jesus!!!

SO fast forward to 2009!!! 

An Apostolic adventure back to South Africa, had our return flight back home to Toronto via London (Heathrow). We boarded our flight, and were seated on the right side of this monstrous aircraft;  Mark on the aisle, me in the middle seat, and we’d just settled, when we heard the proverbial “Excuse me?” and we looked up to see the MOST gorgeous lady needing to get into the window seat next to me.  

Within minutes, we were chatting like life-long friends, gripping hands for the take-off, (as an ex air hostess I had a couple of fearful take-off’s, so Mark is used to me delving for his hand to steady my nerves until the seatbelt light goes off); we exchanged names, places of birth, current cities, just everything “new” friends share… Aletta was her name, and she was a Xhosa lady, a widow, now a German citizen.  Instant friends!!!

So, naturally, in the course of sharing face cream, hand cream, Scripture, fun South African-ism’s… the question, “Do you know Madiba? He’s Xhosa!” 

But Jesus….

“YES!” she said emphatically… “He’s my 2nd cousin!!!”  If there’d been room for me to fall off my seat, I would have! “WHAAAAT?” On IMMEDIATE alert!!!  

And I told her about my “dream” of “somehow” getting the Gospel to our beloved now ex-President.

She looked at me, her huge brown amazed… incredulous… ‘Of COURSE I can do that!!! Write it all down and I’ll personally see that he gets it… you can trust me to do this!”  Of course I could.. we were now “sisters”!!!

Most importantly, the “fingerprints” of God were all over this connection! Of that I was certain!   Only Jesus could have seated us together, on the same flight, blessing me with a new friend (we are still), and “engineering” supernaturally the very dream I’d shared with Him, our magnificent Lord, Who listens intently to ALL our prayers and petitions!

We exchanged all our details, from FB to phone numbers, and kept in touch, until one marvellous day, later that year, I received a phone call from her, saying “Madiba got your Gospel message! I gave it to one of his bodyguards, my nephew, and he gave it to Madiba, and he read it!”

I was flabbergasted… this seemingly crazy “dream” of Nelson Mandela actually getting to, (in this case) READ the Gospel, was truly incredible. His way, His time, His supernatural divine Kairos moment in an aircraft with a stranger… all orchestrated by our “Audience of One”, Jesus!

Then… on my birthday, 24th May, 2010, I received another call from Aletta… JOY!!!
“Bridget! I have news for you! Happy Birthday!”  (Thank you FB) 

She continued… “I was on the phone to Madiba this morning, and I said ‘Madiba, do you know whose Birthday it is today?” He said, “No Aletta, is it yours?” 

“NO!” I said, “It’s Bridget’s Birthday!” To which he replied, “The lady who sent me the Gospel on paper?” “Yes!” He continued, “Please call her and tell her I say Happy Birthday!”

So Lord Jesus, whatever You did through all that, I trust YOU to have completed it according to Your will.   All I did was dream, and You heard, and You set it all in motion.  This has certainly been a highlight for me, but the most important lesson which I share with you with great humility, is this:~

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding;  in all your ways submit to Him, and He will make your path straight.”

– Proverbs 3:5,6

His timing is His timing, when we submit our thoughts, our prayers, our petitions to Him, He hears, and we simply trust His will to be done. So we submit our dreams to our Heavenly Father, and we wait, learning patience, knowing that His best for us will most certainly come to pass!

Love you all, Bridget hxhxhx

Bridget Ellwood

Pastor, lover of people, to err is human, to hug is divine, wife of a great dude, mother extraordinaire to the most precious daughter of the king. Am more than blessed and so proud of my daughter. Author, blogger and follower of the king. Alongside her husband Mark (Senior Pastor) they lead The Bridge - Church For All Nations, and Bridget oversees the Ladies and Legends (60+) ministries. Follow Bridget’s personal blog

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