I was born on the 19th of November, 1952 to Oma Olive Walters. She had left her first husband and eloped with my biological dad but had not changed her name yet. So I was registered as Phillip Gregory Walters, her first husband’s surname, which was Walters. She was still pregnant with me when she eloped. I had gathered information years later that he had not wanted a child at that time. I must mention that when I was still in her womb, I clearly remember a time when he kicked my mother’s womb to try and kill me. I now know that it was only by God’s will that I survived.
When I was four months old, during a long weekend, my biological parents decided to go out for a few drinks. They also decided that they did not want to take me along, so they placed me in a suitcase (I presume I was asleep at the time), closed it and slid the case under the bed in their flat. They only left for their watering hole and started on their first few drinks. Unfortunately, it turned into a drinking spree of four days.
Meanwhile back at the flat, I had started crying, loud enough that a lady in the flat next door could hear me. She also reported that she heard me crying over the next four days. But that the crying became softer and softer. On the fourth day, not knowing that my biological parents had gone on a drinking spree, she decided to come to our flat and offer my mother some advice. She knocked for some time with no answer. She then realized that there was no-one home and she could no longer hear me crying. She must have known about my parents drinking habits and figured what was going on. She called a child welfare lady who came to the flat, assessed the situation. The child welfare department in those days had extreme powers, so she called the police, explained the situation and instructed them to break down the door.
After searching the flat, they couldn’t find me. A young black police constable, searching the room I was in tripped slightly, knocked against the bed, which moved against the suitcase, jerked it and I gave a soft squeak. And that is how they found me. I was laying in about two inches of urine. The welfare lady lifted me out, searched for something to put me in. Someone found an empty size six shoe box and lay me in it. That’s how small I was! They gave me the nickname, “Size Six.”
I was then taken away from my parents and put up for adoption. A sad consequence of what had happened to me was that when a year later my mother got pregnant again with my brother, he was taken away by the welfare as he was born. My mother did not even see him. He was also put up for adoption, and I have never met him. So, that was how I ended up with my adoptive parents.
I was two years old when I found out that I was adopted. The year was 1954, and we were living in a country called “Southern Rhodesia” which became “Rhodesia” which eventually became “Zimbabwe.” My dad was the boss of a maintenance game company, being in the middle of nowhere we always lived in temporary camps. Almost always we children slept separately in a small rondavel (hut) attached to the camp itself.
One night, when I was already sleeping, my biological parents arrived at the camp, supposedly to check up on me. They brought with them cases of booze. The party was going full steam, and everybody was already drunk when I was woken up, brought before both sets of parents. Before I continue, I want to make clear that to me, my adoptive parents were my real parents, and when I refer to my mom and dad in this story, I refer to them. Anyway, half asleep and very confused, I was brought before them. There I was tearfully told by my mom and dad that they were not my real parents and that this other couple were my actual parents. They also tearfully told me that if I loved this other couple more than them, they would not stand in my way if I wanted to leave with this strange couple. Not knowing this couple from a bar of soap, I was now really confused. This went on for a while and eventually, mercifully, I was sent back to bed.
Back in the little rondavel and sitting on my bed, things slowly started to sink into the perception of a two-year-old mind, all of this was catastrophic and shocking! I was also very, very frightened, unsure of myself or who I was; then I became very angry. What is all this, what are they trying to do to me? I decided then it was time to leave. (Two-year-old logic.) I had a small toy suitcase. I found it and opened it. It was empty. I looked for my small toothbrush, found it, put it in my toy suitcase and closed it. I sneaked out of the rondavel and hit the road. It was a small access dirt road from our camp to the main road. About halfway down the access road, I noticed that it was a bright moonlit night with small puffy clouds floating slowly overhead. I remember looking up and hearing music, and that’s it. I don’t remember being found or rescued only what I wrote above.
As an aside, I unknowingly had my first near death experience at this very same camp! I don’t remember if it was before or after I found out I was an orphan. My one sister and her husband who was working for my dad were staying a little further up the access road from us, about a hundred meters. One morning, she came to fetch me to spend some time with her. On the way there, I noticed what I thought was a cat standing on a large granite outcropping about two hundred meters to our left. I said to my sister, “Look at that kitty” and pointed to the granite outcrop. She looked and suddenly told me to walk faster, and we got to the camp a lot sooner than normal. Only years later, she told me that it was actually a leopard!
Fast Forward to 1989, I ended up in East London, South Africa where I gave my life to Jesus. I start going to church and start attending a cell group run by my very good friend Bryan Megaw and his late wife, Lorraine. It was about the third or fourth time I went to the cell group that I was the only one to arrive. Lorraine immediately discerns that there was a reason for this. At that time, the inner healing phenomenon was sweeping through the charismatic movement. Brian and Lorraine both heard the Holy Spirit saying that this was to happen to me that night. They took me to their bedroom, sat me on the edge of the bed, laid hands on me and prayed for a while. Then Lorraine explained about inner healing to me and asked me if anything came to mind.
I told them that God was reminding me of the night that I found out I was adopted. Bryan then told me to ask Jesus where he was that night. I closed my eyes and asked Jesus the question. Immediately, I saw a vision of a small boy walking down a dirt road with a small suitcase in hand! He suddenly stopped and stood still. He then slowly looked up. I again asked Jesus where he was that night. In the vision, I saw a beautiful white mist rise up around me, and when I looked up, I saw many angels flying in a circle above me in the moonlight. The music I had heard as a small boy was actually angels singing! The vision then stopped. I opened my eyes and told Bryan and Lorraine what had happened. They prayed a little more for me and gave thanks to God. I went home after that cell group realizing that a tremendous amount of inner healing about my adoption had taken place.
Fast forward again to 2018. Although many years had passed since I had the vision that Jesus had shown me, I know that there were a few small vestiges of an orphan spirit left in me. I also knew that I needed to be dealt with finally and then along came Heather. Heather Nichols is currently interning at our small God Adventure church. She is young and full of life and has an incredible gift of prophecy. Heather also had an incredible gift of teaching prophecy. On Saturday, the 6th of October, Heather presented a day-long prophecy teaching conference at our church. I learned many things about prophecy, and towards the end of the day, a lady sitting just in front of me was receiving a lot of prophecies including some for me. She was dressed in gold-colored clothing, so I will refer to her as the “Mama Gold” because one could see that she was all “mother.” I had decided that because she was so full of the spirit at that time that I was going to ask her to pray for me to rid me of what was left of the orphan spirit in me.
But just before that, Heather gave us all a final task. At the back of the church was a table on which Heather had placed a lot of pictures. She told us to go to the table and randomly select one and keep it. She would soon tell us what to do with the picture. I went to the table and selected one and walked back to my chair to ask “Mama Gold” to pray for me. However, it was while I was walking back to my chair that I glanced down at the picture in my hand. Shocked, I stood still and looked at the picture. It was a picture of a beautiful painting. A painting of two very big hands, touching, palms up. Cradled in those very big palms with a tiny baby, blissfully and peacefully asleep. Then it really hit me. God was showing me that since I was born, I was his son. I had never even been an orphan. Tremendous relief ran through my body. Finally, all of the orphan spirit was gone. I thanked God and sat down. I then sprang up and started showing the picture and explaining to anyone who would listen, especially to one of my mentors, a man named Simon. When he saw the picture, he understood what had happened. Both of us heartily burst into tears.
It was then that Heather told us what the pictures meant. She’d asked us to write a prophetic word to a leader on the back. So I wrote the word but surprise! She told us to give the picture to ourselves! That’s when I was absolutely certain that the picture was meant for me. When I got home later that day, I told my beautiful wife, Fee, what had happened and showed her the picture. She also cried a little.
Once again, thank you, Father God, Lord Jesus, and Holy Spirit. And thank you, Heather.
One day in the early nineties I had a vision of a lady standing on a stage holding the hand of a boy of about eight years old. I asked my friend Bryan to pray for an interpretation. The answer was that although my biological mother had died in 1975, she was in Heaven! She must have received Jesus before she died. My biological father lives somewhere in Johannesburg currently. Pray for his salvation. God has also given me the grace to forgive them both completely! With absolutely no anger or hate. I also want to mention that my late adoptive Father was born again at the age of seventy-seven!
There was another consequence, this time quite hilarious, of what had happened to me. As I had mentioned, when my birth was registered, I was registered as “Phillip Gregory Walters.” This was the name on my first birth certificate. When I was adopted, my adoptive parents re-registered me as “Phillip Gregory Van Rensburg” which became my second birth certificate. My adoptive mother later decided she didn’t like the first names “Phillip and Gregory” and decided to name me after an archangel and disciple and re-re-registered me as “Michael Peter Van Rensburg” my third birth certificate. When I immigrated from Zimbabwe to South Africa, I had to have an interview with an immigration officer. Upon receiving all my documents including the three birth certificates, he wanted to have me arrested as a spy!! M. V. R.
Copyright (c) 2018 by Michael Van Rensburg