Charl van Wyk

Missionary and Author

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Charl van Wyk was just an ordinary Christian man until July 25, 1993 - the day that would become known for the St. James Massacre. It was on this date that Van Wyk shot back at the terrorists who were attacking an innocent congregation gathered in worship, and saved many lives in the process.


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"Excellent example of how one armed citizen can make the difference between life and death."




Ministering with future leaders of men

“Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14.

During March I enjoyed a ministry trip to New York. A highlight was when I met with my young friends, Jake and Josh (11 year old twins), of the Christian Service Brigade (CSB). They and their CSB friends, amongst other chores, shoveled snow and chopped wood to raise funds for Jean, a former Congolese child soldier who now loves the Lord.

Thanks to the Brigade’s fundraising efforts, Jean will soon receive a bicycle that he will use as a taxi to earn money for his family.

newsletter_2011-04-aIt was a great surprise to have young people contact me and ask how they could make an impact in missions. Such courage, tenacity and discipline by pre-teens to dedicate their time and efforts working outdoors—in mid-winter New York no less—to raise money on Jean’s behalf provided us with incredible encouragement.

In a letter of thanks, Mike Ritchie, the Christian Service Brigade Chairman said:

“Your challenging our young men to help another Christian in need was beneficial in many ways. They personally were able to serve the Lord by working together for a common goal. They could relate to the gift and could put a face to the recipient. Your work for the Lord is inspiring!”

Men’s Praise Movement

I was also a guest speaker at the Men’s Praise Movement and men’s ministry of Mclean Bible Church in Virginia. My topic was “Strength to Face Danger” and a favorite scripture for the topic: “Wait on the LORD; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the LORD!” Psalm 27:14.

Speaking to men is quite inspiring because we don’t have to hold back; when men get together we talk straight about the things of the Lord and challenge one another to a “higher calling,” striving to “disciple the nations” with a burning heart, set on fire for furthering the kingdom of our Lord.

Virginia Citizens Defense League (VCDL)

The month closed with a speaking engagement at the Virginia Citizens Defense League—the group’s monthly membership meeting. VCDL is a grassroots organization dedicated to “advancing the fundamental human right of all Virginians to keep and bear arms.” They also put my whole lecture on YouTube. Stories about my appearance were disseminated - like this one: South African Man’s Story on a Real Life Gun Fight with Terrorists

WorldNetDaily (WND) published a great article on my VCDL meeting titled: Churchgoer who shot back says gun rights need protecting 

The report confirmed: “Now he's warning Americans about the situation that exists for residents in his home of South Africa: Violence so bad families must hide behind burglar bars and a security gate fearing intruders and knowing that there's no right to self-defense.

“He says Americans need to be aware of – and protective of – their rights guarded by the 2nd Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, or they could find themselves in a similar predicament.

“He said South African law does not recognize the common-law ‘castle doctrine’ that allows for justifiable homicide should an attacker break into someone's home with the intent of doing violence to them.”

WND further published my commentary on the revolutions occurring across the Middle East and the Western world’s projection that we’re witnessed births of democracy. The column was titled: An African view of Islamic uprisings

In it I argued: “Like any great debate, it begins with defining the language – which, while familiar to Western ears, is foreign in practice to most Africans (and nearly all Middle-Easterners). Congo calls itself a democratic republic, but don't let the words fool you; they're little more than clever marketing. In fact, words like ‘freedom’ and ‘democracy’ don't have the same meaning in Africa as they do in the United States. ‘Freedom’ usually means access to resources or government jobs. ‘Democracy’ often means supporting one man, with one vote (under severe pressure), once and never again as he retains power as permanently and ruthlessly as possible.”

Over the Airwaves

I appeared on The Covenanter Reporter and John Wallace radio shows to discuss my book, my testimony and the attack at St. James Church.

Bright Family Celebrations

Another cherished memory in the making and more importantly—milestone in his Christian walk— occurred when my son, John-Marc, who’s 8 years old, was baptized. The Rev. Mark Hayes of The Harvester asked John-Marc questions that he had to answer by publically professing his faith in Christ.

Just a few months ago, John-Marc wasn’t comfortable standing and speaking in front of his home-schooling co-op friends. Now he is willing and able to boldly answer questions regarding his faith in front of a congregation.

newsletter_2011-04-bHis sister Anya celebrated her 5th birthday in March. It was quite a party with the whole house being “pink” for a day. Jason, John-Marc and I had to put aside our prejudice for the color and celebrated this wonderful event.

I was blessed in New York with a seat at the "Restore New York" Legislative Day event at which David Barton of the WallBuilders ministry was a guest speaker.

Soon thereafter Sonja and I were able to join David Barton and his team for a Spiritual Heritage Tour of the U.S. Capitol. The following day we joined the Pastor’s Briefing which included guest speakers like Rep. Michelle Bachman, Sen. Jim DeMint, Sen. Marco Rubio and Sen. James Inhofe, amongst others.

Going West

Friends have blessed me with air tickets to minister in Portland, Ore., from 29 April – 2 May and Tulsa, Okla.,  from 14-23 May.

If you have any contacts or friends who’d like to talk about world missions and are keen to disciple the nations, please put me in touch with them. Any opportunities to speak on radio, at home-study groups, churches, public meetings, gun clubs or personal fellowship gatherings over a cup of coffee, will be most welcome.

Charl van Wyk

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