As i walk with the cross, many people ask me why i do so. You might be one of those who have wondered why a man would walk with this huge cross and wear a red t-shirt with the words HE is RISEN. But before i tell you why i do this, i want to share with you how i got to know Jesus Christ as my Saviour
Hi, my name is Johan Marais, and on the first of May 2019 it will be 28 years since i met Jesus and was born again. i am not proud of what i am about to share, as i know that many think God is mean and will punish us for doing bad things. But He showed His love, grace and mercy with me in spite of what i did.
Everything in my life was going wrong at the time. i was about to lose my three-bedroom flat, and the bank had already repossessed my car. i was at a point in my life that i had to blame somebody for all my mistakes and issues.
At that stage of my life, i had a very foul mouth. i swore badly and also had a very short, violent temper. Not many people spoke to me because of the words that came from my mouth, which weren’t pleasing to many. To me, everything was just about Johan, ME and I
One day, just as i had enough of everything happening in my life, i went up to a mountain in Burman Bush in Durban, where i was staying at the time. i had made up my mind that i was going to give God a piece of my mind. As far as i was concerned, He was responsible for all my problems.
When i got there, i started swearing very badly at God, blaming Him for everything. i won’t repeat the words that i uttered and shouted at God, as they were vulgar and disgusting. Amazingly, one of the words i never used when i was swearing was “Jesus”. To be honest, i didn’t even know who He was. The church that i attended up to the age of 14 never spoke of Him. They mentioned God and “die Here”, but never Jesus. (that was in the 70’s)
After finally putting God in His place for getting me into trouble, i left to return home, but decided to go back one more time. Walking there i pointed my finger towards Heaven, shouting and swearing at God again telling Him if He really cared, He had to prove it. i then went home continue as if nothing happened.
At the time i was still doing some work for a company designing circuit boards. i also did screen printing and printed +- 1000 vulgar sex envelopes that a friend of mine saw in the USA but we did not have the courage to walk into sex shops to sell them. i decided to give them away to friends and customers. i took a handful of the envelopes and wanted to give it to the guy at the company who was working on one of the last projects i was working on at the time.
This is where God started working in my life. When i got to the company the person i was to see was not there and Chris came to assist me. When we were finished i offered the envelopes to him. He took them from me and looked down staring at them. He then looked up at me and said: “Johan I use to watch porn and filthy sex stuff but then I met Jesus and He set me free”. He can do the same for you. i just kept quiet staring at him not responding and knowing what to say. He handed the envelopes back to me and asked if i would like to come to church with him. i just still shocked at his response kind of chuckled and said no thanks.
A few days later Chris phoned me and asked again if i would like to come to church with him. i said no, lying and said that my car was broken and would not be able to get to the Bluff where he attended church. His response was he would fetch me. i said no. He phoned twice again and i finally gave in. He and his wife and little baby picked me up and took me to church with them. We sat at the back of the AGS church in Wentworth on the Bluff. i just looked at these crazy people singing, clapping hands and pastor Niemand walked around praying in some weird language. Chris continued to fetch me to go to church with him.
The pastor called for a prayer meeting on the 30 April 1991 to pray until midnight to pray against Satanism in Durban. Chris offered to take me but i promised that i would come as i had some work to do. i attended the prayer meeting but didn’t feel that i belonged there as i realized the people there had something that was very special. i wanted it as well. i could not build up the courage to go to the front and left at about 11 pm to go home. As i was driving down the road i lit up a cigarette (i was smoking +- 40 Gunston plain cigarettes daily) but stopped to repair my taillight in the boot. As i got out i heard a voice say GO BACK. i put the cigarette out and went back as i got to the church just walked to the front as i was going to ask the pastor to pray for me to give me what they had. i closed my eyes as i walked in and as i got to the front opened my eyes to see everybody lying face down worshipping God. i joined Chris as he was still sitting on the bench with his wife. He just looked at me and smiled. When the service finished i told him to ask the pastor to pray for me They made me sit on a chair and as Ps Niemand prayed for me he stretched out his hand to my head then i just felt this trickling sensation going down from the crown of my head to my feet.
WOW, that was amazing and i was all excited. i greeted them and drove home getting back just before 1 am that morning the 1st May 1991. i wanted more of this i was feeling and felt i need to make right with God but didn’t know how as i could not even pray.
i went to my bedroom fell down on my knees and just cried out JESUS as i didn’t know what else to do. As i did that my room was filled with this powerful all consuming light and i was consumed with this love that i can’t explain but it was something so powerful that i have never experienced before. i was saturated with the presence of God and His love just didn’t stop pouring into me. This carried on until daylight. i then went and slept for most of the day.
As i woke that day i was so overwhelmed with had what happened and had no desire to smoke at all. To my understanding, i thought God only visited us after midnight and patiently waited until 1 am. i went to the bedroom fell on my knees again and said Jesus and the same happened again but in a different way and more intense as the night before. WOW i again could not wait for 1 am the next day and yet again had an awesome super-natural experience with Jesus. That stopped the following night but i still had no desire to smoke as He had set me free. This is how i became born again and met Jesus. Since then to date, i have been sharing the Gospel wherever Jesus sends me
After i got saved God gave me such compassion for the lost that i have been all over South Africa, India, Madagascar and Mozambique telling people about the Love Jesus have for them. God called me in Gansbaai to make and walk with a huge 3.8 meter wooden cross reminding people what Jesus did on the cross for them.
In 2015 God called my wife Winnie and i to visit every town in the Western Cape, South Africa to walk with the cross, pray, intercede, pulling down strongholds and sharing the love of Jesus. We have already visited 152 towns, living full time in a motor home on the road for the last four years. When we are done, we are trusting God to visit Israel and Europe with the cross in 2020.