Pikes’ Faith Journey
Revelation 12:11 says: “They overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony; …”. When we tell testimonies of the Lord God’s power and saving grace on our lives, the devil slinks away tail between legs. So, let us share our amazing stories of God’s love in action and shame the evil one.
We look forward to reading your own story of faith in the coming weeks. Your well-written story should be about 800 – 1000 words. Send your story to: firstname.lastname@example.org. Selected stories will be compiled into an anthology of stories of faith.
Here is today’s story of faith told by Pastors Philip and Charlotte Pike. Enjoy! And look out for the next story in a fortnight’s time.
(Charlotte Pike tells the story) Three faith quotations tickle my mind.
“Faith is to believe what you do not see; the reward of this faith is to see what you believe” Saint Augustine.
“Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase” Martin Luther King, Jr.
“Now faith is the confidence in what we hope for and assurance about what we do not see” Hebrews 11:1.
We have lived through many faith journeys. This particular journey of faith started in 1998 when we lived in a small suburb called Masasa Park, in Harare. We went to fellowship at Hear the Word – now Celebration Centre. Celebration Centre was being built along Borrowdale Road, and we were part of that project. So it was that we desired to live in the Borrowdale, or Vainona or Mt. Pleasant areas to be near our place of worship. The snag was that we did not meet the criteria to be in those areas financially. One thing we did not have was a shortage of the substance of faith… And, we prayed!
For starters, we sent our children to Borrowdale Primary School, which was near where we had the church project. That was “by faith”. That entailed driving about 15km one way every day to drop the children at school. We believed that one day we would live in that area.
Every Sunday we attended church at Harry Margolis Hall in Milton Park, where we used to meet while our church building was under construction. One Sunday, as we were leaving church, we bought the Sunday Mail. Philip (my husband) was attracted to an advertisement of a show house at 27 Armadale Road, Vainona. We decided to go and have a look, “by faith”, though we did not have the kind of money required. We were quite young at the time, in our early 30s. All we knew was that we trusted God to enable us to live in that area.
“Look at this Charlotte! Let’s go have a look!” “Hmm! The price Philip!”
“Yes, but let’s just go and see what happens.”
So it was we drove to 27 Armadale Road that particular day, and we were wowed by the many cars parked inside and outside the premises. Then we viewed suave business people as well as polished politicians confidently sauntering from room to room. They registered their interest, as well as what they were willing to put down. I think we were the youngest couple present at that time. We realized that this was a prime area. Some of the offers made our hearts beat uncomfortably fast, but we stayed on, hopeful.
The house belonged to a white man called John Clinton. He must have been in his late 50s or early 60s – rough looking and very abrupt in his conduct. True businessman, and shrewd. So, while various ones made impressive offers, we did not offer anything because we had nothing to offer. And while people were walking about outside the yard my husband managed to get a moment to speak to Mr. Clinton. He basically told him this, “The reason why I would like to move into this house is because we are building a church near here on Borrowdale Road. My children are already at Borrowdale Primary School. Our desire is to live near our church and our children’s school.”
“What can you offer?” Clinton asked brusquely. Silence. We really had no answer to that. We went away knowing that the house was beyond our dreams. My husband and John Clinton exchanges business cards all the same. At the time, my husband worked at Founders Building Society. We were at the bottom of the list for consideration as we had offered nothing. We went away with that dreadful feeling that John Clinton would not call us and yet our hearts yearned to own such a kind of house in that area. All we could do was pray.
Monday went by uneventfully. Tuesday morning came, and out-of-the-blue phone-call came through from John Clinton to my husband at his work-place. “Young man, out of all these people, I want to deal with you. Can you meet me at Kantor and Immerman Legal Practitioners tomorrow!”
Philip called me excited about meeting Clinton the following day. We still had nothing to offer as we had no money.
(Philip Pike takes over the story) We went to meet the seller at the lawyers’ offices and they had drawn papers for the offer. The lawyer said, “What do you have to offer?” We had nothing to offer in front of all those lawyers. We must have looked ridiculous and foolish. Silly dreamers! We watched with trepidation as the countenance of the partner in the law firm changed. He was so upset with us and the seller, John Clinton.
“I asked what you have to offer” he repeated. “I do not have any money, but I have faith I shall find the money.” Harry Kantor, the senior partner then addressed both the seller, John Clinton, Charlotte and me: “John, and your people, get out of my office! You are wasting my time!”That was hard. We had come in full of excitement. Now this! We crept out with tails between our legs.
I even went to speak to our pastor at the time who happened to know John Clinton. He is late now. Pastor Gary Strong said, “You are dealing with John Clinton! He is a very sharp and difficult man. I was at school with him and he is a shrewd businessman – he started business at a tender age of 14 or 15 as he had no parents. He grew up hard and so if you are trying to get a house out of him, well, the Lord help you.”
To our utter surprise, after the unceremonious dismissal from the lawyer’s office, Clinton seemed unruffled and in the usual curt fashion he said, “No problem! You guys, here is the agreement I had drawn. You can go and live in the house without paying. Whenever you get the money, you can pay me.”
Unbelievable! Alone we wondered whether we had heard right! We did have faith, but possibly did not think it could move mountains. We soon got used to running two homes; at Masasa Park and in Vainona near Borrowdale. We were not even paying rent. For the first three months, we lived there for free.
While I worked for Founders Building Society, I was head-hunted by Time Bank, a fairly new bank at that time. I went for an interview and they were happy with me and said, “We would like you to take you.” “I will only come on one condition” I said. “May you please advance me payment for a property I wish to acquire. I have got an offer for it.” Lo and behold, that faith kicked in and manifested itself as they said, “Yes, we will pay for it.” I presented the papers and the payment was made in full. Twenty years down the line, we are still in the house. Faith never fails. Faith works regardless of whatever circumstances and situations one is facing. Don’t give up when your faith is tested. Your dream may seem out of reach, and the staircase might be out of sight, but active faith makes everything possible.
Philip and Charlotte Pike are Pastors of Ebenezer World Outreach Ministries (E.W.O.M.) They have three adult children and one still at school. They also have one lovely grandson.