Thursday, July 25, 2013


A couple of weeks ago, I met a couple on the beach at Rocky Bay, South Coast, KZN, SA. We started chatting about the weather, etc & I made a comment to Hester, that she could not be South African with an accent like hers. Her husband, Pieter Jacobs, mentioned to me that Hester was actually biting her tongue, as she had been diagnosed with a growth on the side of her brain and that she now suffers from fits.
I apologised for my harsh comment & we continued our chit chat, Hester telling me about her love for sea shells and her favorite colour being purple, etc. Pieter also briefly, explained where he worked and what the operation on Hester would entail & when she was going in for the operation to remove the "growth". As this particular day was hot and I had mentioned to Hester that there were lots of shells a bit further on from my campsite, I offered them cold water to take with them and for Hester to leave her sandals at my campsite, instead of her carrying them around with her.
I left my business card (Shane Newman Photography) on the sandals and went back to the beach. I said that I would pray for her and that same day Hester sent me a SMS, thanking for being so thoughtful & for the encouragement.
On that Saturday, Pieter & Hester travelled back to their home town, being Secunda and I continued to pray and send messages to Hester, giving her encouragement & comfort, through Jesus Christ and for her to seek the Lord.
The day grew nearer for Hester to go to hospital, being the 16th of July 2013. I had got to know Hester from our brief messaging & her couple of calls, she had made to me, wherein she had mentioned that Pieter & her gone to a wonderful service at their church, that she had found peace, through God, for her operation, which she had previously feared.
Hester messaged me after her tests had been undertaken for her to have the operation on the 18th, being a Thursday & she said she was very calm and at peace. She had continually thanked me for praying for her, providing her with inspiration & the love of God.
I had a telephone call on Saturday morning at about 07:30, with Pieter crying to me that Hester had passed away !!
What shock!. How had the love of God, the God that I had prayed to, had now taken Hester away from all her loved ones - I was devastated. Had I not prayed enough, had God not heard my prayers, why, why!!
My wife, Moira, had reminded me that God has the final decision !
That morning I went looking for sea shells on the beach, something I felt I needed to do for Hester & while searching on the beach, I cried and mourned the loss of a friend, I had briefly got to know.
I kept in contact with Pieter and yesterday he let me know that the funeral service of Hester, was going to be today at 12:00 in Secunda.
The sea shells that I had kept from the day of Hester's passing, I had laid next to a container with the purple flowers, one finds growing on the beach (don't know the name of them), I scooped up and placed in a see-through plastic bag.
Nearing 12:00 today, I took a walk along the beach, to where Pieter, Hester & myself had, had a chat and I walked onto the rocks, the tide being low.
I found a spot, a spot that I still need to take a photography of, if the tide will allow me too< of the most colourful rock pool, I have seen at Rocky Bay - the perfect spot, to release the sea shells I had collected, as a tribute to the live of Hester Jacobs.
The water was clear, I could see the rocks and all the pure green sea weed in the water, deep down - what I saw, was beautiful, tranquil & serene.
I took off my cap, and threw the plastic bag with the shells in it, into the sea where I was standing. I watched the plastic bag, now float on top of the water, as it was air tight, the bag started to go out through a narrow part in the rocks, then it stopped, as a small wave pushed it back closer to where I was standing. The bag found another narrowing where the water was leaving the rock pool and I watched it moving around in that area.
I bowed my head in prayer and prayed to God that He accept these shells back into the sea, as He had accepted Hester into His Kingdom. I thanked God for the brief time that He allowed Hester to be in my life. As it was midday the sun was slightly behind me, my eyes were closed in prayer, but there was a white light, pure in front of me and too my left - what a revelation and feeling that came over me - I was left standing, with tears rolling down my cheeks.
I opened my eyes, placed my cap back on my head and the water in the rock pool, before me was all white, from a wave. I looked for the bag and it was gone.
God had spoken! Hallelujah, I knew where Hester was!
What an almighty God we serve.
I am so grateful, that I serve a God that uses me as His vessel, to help & inspire others. My favourite verse is from Philippians 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me" ( Eph3:16, 6:10 & 2Tim 2:1)
Rest in Peace, Hester Jacobs & thank you!
To Pieter Jacobs - "Hester lost a battle to cancer, but gained a Loving Heavenly Father" - what a "trade off".
This writing has a lot of "I" and "me" written in it, but it is not about me or I, but about our God, of whom we can allow to work through us, revealing the love of Jesus.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Good day Shane.
I am Chantelle van der Heever. Hester's daughter. I just want to thank you so much for all the messages you send my mom. Piet cant stop talking about you. And now I read the beautiful thing you wrote about my mom (Lady with a purple streak in her hair). God sent you to them and I am so glad you came in to my mom's life when you did. Thank you so much.