Melissa and Coen with their children

In the grip of my Maker  |  November 2015
The crisis centre after the tsunami

GRACE IN THE FACE OF TRAUMA

MELISSA PRETORIUS

A NOTE FROM LAUREN

Melissa happens to be a cousin to Bernice (who is another one of our storytellers). She is thirty-six, married to Coen and has two children. I first heard their story about the tsunami in 2013, but I didn’t think to include it in the book until later in the process. One Sunday morning in church, while still waiting on God to show me who the last storytellers were, I looked up and saw Melissa singing as part of the worship team.

It was an “Aha”-moment. Funny thing: The same morning I asked her whether she wanted to share her story as part of the book, she had specifically asked God to use her life in some way. I must admit I had a moment of wrestling with God, saying, “We can’t share her testimony, because what about all the people who didn’t survive the tsunami?” He responded by saying, “Do you trust me?” To me, Melissa’s story displays the power of prayer.

 

A NOTE FROM LENKA

Created
At a time when I felt vulnerable and exposed, tossed by uncertainty; I learnt that I am safe because God surrounds me on all sides. I am enclosed in His care, covered by His protection, kept in His provision (Psalm 139). He is the God of the impossible, the One that splits the seas to make a way for His people. With the same might He holds me in His hands.

Chosen
Reading Melissa’s story, I was overwhelmed to see to what extent this statement rings true. He is all-powerful and omnipresent, and at the same time holds us securely, lovingly in His mighty hands. He knows all things, and He is faithful to guide and protect us through them. He truly never leaves, nor forsakes His children. (Deuteronomy 31:6)