When we lost the Supreme Court case in June 1994, I was totally devastated. Two years of work appeared to have gone down the drain. My dream was shattered. The lawyers made it clear that there was no appeal possible, and we packed away all the files.
Although four years earlier, I had survived abduction by what I believed, at the time, to be divine intervention; I never pursued this further from a spiritual perspective. Church for me remained a place of funerals and wedding ceremonies.
When we got married, my wife tried very hard to get me to go to church, but whilst always respectful of her values I never went. On Sundays, I would drop her and our, then young daughter, at her church and go for my weekly squash game with “the boys” and dutifully pick her up, after the service. She was then pregnant with our second daughter.
On the Sunday after our Supreme Court defeat, I was still too gutted to go and play with the boys, but I took my wife to her church, as usual. She begged me to come in with her, but again I refused. I drove round the block and decided to return…… I sat at the back, by myself. My wife did not know I had returned: It was the first time, in my life; I had listened to a church service, without the compulsion of duty for an event held there. It seemed as though everyone in the room, except me was so happy! The young American pastor was preaching about Jesus Christ, whom I thought I had known all my life. And yet now I realised that I did not know Him; I only knew of Him. Disturbed, I left hurriedly and went and sat in the car.
Throughout that week, I continued in my miserable daze, but I was also disturbed by what I had heard, in that service….. I went back the following week. At the end of the service, there was a call for those who wanted to “accept Jesus Christ, as Lord and Saviour”. I stood up, and went to the front. This is, and shall ever remain, the most important decision of my life.
“Now that you are “born-again”, you must read your bible everyday”, the Pastor said, to the small group of us standing in front of him, after he had led us in prayer.
Arriving home that day, I realised that the misery of my court defeat, had completely lifted. It just seemed so unimportant. Sitting down that afternoon, with a borrowed copy of the New International Version Bible, I sat down to read the bible for the very first time, in my life. Since the Pastor had said, “read the bible”, I presumed that you must read the whole thing (cover to cover); and my wife did nothing to disabuse me of that: I just read, and read, and read…Often, I would read the whole day, and the whole night… Finally I finished it after about three weeks.
What I did not tell anyone at the time, (including my wife), was that almost every night I laid my head down to sleep, I would begin to have quite extraordinary dreams…
One evening, I attended a special church event, held at a local hotel. The Pastor preaching had never met me. As he preached, he suddenly stopped:
“There is a man in this room, you have been having these dreams…. in these dreams, and you are building towers, rather like broadcasting towers…everywhere, all over the world. God is asking me to tell you, that He is the one giving you those dreams, and He is going to make it happen. He has also given you a new heart; you are going to have such compassion. Please come forward, if you are that man.”
There could have been 500 people in that room, that Sunday evening. I got up, and made my way to the front of the room.
A few days later, a miracle would occur, which would take us back to court, in a very dramatic way…
To be continued…
Strive Masiyiwa is the founder and Executive Chairman of the Econet Group. He serves on several international boards including Unilever, and the Global Advisory boards of the Council on Foreign Relations and Stanford University. A board member of the Rockefeller Foundation for 15 years, he also serves as Chairman of the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA). He is a co-founder of the Carbon War Room, Pathways for Prosperity, and the Global Business Coalition on Education. He and his wife, Tsitsi, co-founded the Higherlife Foundation and are signators of the Giving Pledge.View all posts by Strive Masiyiwa