As a farm boy, mainly raised by his loving grandparents, It has never crossed his mind that Johny Robert Elyon would live in a foreign country so far from his people. Yet, God had a plan for his life before the foundation of the world.
My faith journey has started after I gave my life to Jesus in standard 7 (currently known as gr 9). My life was turned upside down on 4th September 1989 by the man Jesus Christ. The moment I surrendered my life to Him, a total transformation took place in me and nothing was the same ever again. After my regeneration, I immediately knew that I have a higher calling on my life. I knew I cannot keep quiet about the fountain of joy that was bubbling in me. The burning desire in me to live for Christ and Him alone grew bigger and bigger every day as I pursued Him, but I knew that I had to complete my school career.
While I was in Standard 9 (Gr.11), I started to inquire about a training centre where I could prepare myself for ministry. Although I knew about missionary organisations that offered discipleship training programs, I kept on looking for more options. Eventually, I was introduced to the Agapé training centre in Bloemfontein by a local evangelist in the church I attended at that stage. I called them to find out about the enrollment process. The moment I concluded my conversation on the phone, I knew that I am destined to study there. End of 1991 I have finished my High school career, applied to the Agapé training centre, and was accepted and so my adventurous faith journey started in January 1992.
As I continue to take you on my personal journey, it is important that you must understand that my journey was absolutely in faith. My grandparents whom I grew up with and my single-parent mother who I lived with at that stage, unfortunately, did not have the financial means to pay for my biblical studies. On the other hand, my father who was in the financial position to pay for my studies said, he will not pay for any biblical training. He will only pay if I go to university and study something else. Even the pastor of the church that I was attending at that stage advised me to go to university and study because I would want to give my family a “good” life one day. Still, I knew deep inside me that God has called me for the faith journey.
How did I know?
The following Scriptures were my calling confirmations:
- But as for me, I am filled with power, with the Spirit of the Lord, and with justice and might, to declare to Jacob his transgression and to Israel his sin Mic. 3:8 ESV;
- But you, Israel, my servant, Jacob, whom I have chosen, the offspring of Abraham, my friend; you whom I took from the ends of the earth, and called from its farthest corners, saying to you, “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. And you shall rejoice in the Lord; in the Holy One of Israel you shall glory”. Isa. 41:8-16 ESV;
- “…, but the righteous shall live by his faith. Hab. 2:4; Heb 10:39 ESV).
Wow! Who can doubt after receiving such clear instructions?
When the time came for my departure to Bloemfontein, I still did not have the funds. Eventually, my grandfather, who was a farmer had to sell a cow so that I could pay for my bus ticket. So with very little money, I left home to pursue my calling. Actually, I had a plan B in my head to take up a part-time job in Bloemfontein to pay for my studies if all else fails (absolutely human thinking), but God is still gracious and faithful and had other plans.
To make a long story short, I completed my 4-year studies at Agapé training centre fully paid for. Till today, I do not know who paid for half of my studies. All the glory to our faithful and reliable heavenly father whom I looked to for every single need I had and who never disappointed me.
Besides the provision for the study- and tuition fees. God had supernaturally blessed me with many, many more other things. Just to mention one, I was blessed with a car during my study years. Where in this world do you hear about people giving away a car to other people. Only possible when God is part of the deal!!… To be continued.
Dr. Johny R. Elyon
14 March 2022