What I Learned from My Friend, Fanus

I sat down with my friend Fanus this morning for coffee, and we shared our hearts with one another. We both value having men in our lives who open space for us to go deeper than surface level. As we explored our thoughts and opinions, Fanus made a statement that I had to write down: “A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.” 

I’ve always said there’s nothing stronger than the power of one’s testimony—a person’s life that’s been radically changed or impacted by God, a story that’s not debatable. My life is one of them. No one can take that away from me. 

On December 3rd of last year, 14 of us piled into a Toyota Quantum and drove from Cape Town to Swaziland. Our 28-hour drive was split over two days, and we shared the driving responsibilities three ways. I’ll remember this trip for years to come. It was a monumental time in my life that resembles healing, restoration and revelation.

Over the course of our 11-day trip, I saw people’s lives change before my eyes. Breakthrough, brokenness and vulnerability were experienced and shared within our team. People left home as one person and returned as another. I can especially speak for the men on my team—Greg, Chase, Fanus, Chris, Stef and James. Once we were back in Cape Town, relationships went deeper and lives embarked in new directions. Many of the dreams ignited in Swaziland are still being pursued today.

On December 8th I journaled, “For a long time guilt and shame consumed my life. I thought I wasn’t worthy or deserving of being happy or in love. Now I know the truth, and it dwells within my heart. Sometimes my mind runs away momentarily, but now I know. It’s OK.”

God healed the guilt of a past riddled with poor decisions. He restored the wounds caused by the paths I had once wandered, and He spoke revelation-packed truth over my life that no man can overthrow. I am redeemed!

“A man with an experience is never at the mercy of a man with an argument.”

The cool thing about a testimony of Christ moving in someone’s life is that God always gets all the glory. 

Too often I hear Christians say they have nothing to share with people... that their lives are boring and not worth talking about. I burn inside when I hear that. Everyone has a story to tell. God’s grace is worth talking about and sharing with others, regardless of eloquent words or a will to speak out. God used people in the Bible who were disadvantaged to heal and restore nations and to reveal Himself. 

You never know who needs to hear your story of redemption. Perhaps on a train ride to work, at a family function you dread going to, or on the back line as you wait for the bomb-set to pull in like a freight train. Our opportunities are endless.

I encourage all people who have stepped out of their comfort zones to further their journeys into the unknown. For those who are about to jump out of the boat, I promise there’s a life in Christ that fulfills like nothing this world has to offer. Like no drug, no party, no man or woman. The world makes promises that are shallow and empty, leaving us thirsting for something it cannot quench. For years I searched for fulfillment only to find it in the darkest hour, on my knees, crying out to a God that I couldn’t see. It was then that I began to feel.

For anyone who has never shared before, I ask you to share with Julie and me by sending us a message. Your life matters, your story matters, and you never know when someone may need to hear exactly what you have to offer. And yes, you have something to offer.

If doing missions in Africa is on your heart, please reach out to us too. We would love to do whatever we can to help you connect.

What’s your story? We look forward to hearing from you.

Heart to God.
Spread the Stoke.

Tony

My journal entry from the Swaziland trip.