Marion Ueckermann

A Novel Place to Fall in Love

A Pebble in My Pocket - 5

“Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.”

Matthew 4:19 (NKJ)

September 2010

Kyle had flown up to Pretoria from Cape Town for my fiftieth birthday. My husband, Noel, had planned a surprise party. He and my brother-in-law had pooled their resources and arranged a joint celebration for me and my sister. She was turning sixty four days after my birthday. Family and friends were invited. What a special day.

I was oblivious to the arrangements, and had planned to fly Kyle home purely so that he could be with me on this special day. After all, it’s not every day a mother hits the half-century milestone.

Because the following Friday was a public holiday, Kyle put in for a few days’ leave from the Post Production company he worked for as a Visual Effects Artist. He desperately needed the time off. For months they’d been under intense pressure, at times working twenty-hour days or close to for weeks on end. They had just completed some visual effects work on the Chinese movie, Aftershock (Tangshang Great Earthquake)—the first big commercial film Imax Film created outside the US—and shortly thereafter, they were pitching for a new Warner Brothers animated movie.

Kyle would be home for a total of nine days. We were glad, and so was he. What a blessing.

Whether it was the months of pressure at work, or the calling of God on his life (I strongly believe the latter), Kyle was unsatisfied with what he was doing and where he was at, despite the fact that he loved being creative and loved what he did. Something was missing. He continually felt challenged on two things: How would the work he did change people? And, was the goal of his career to live for God or to live for this earth?

Although Kyle had given his life to Jesus at a tender age, and had grown up in the church, attending Awana as a child and youth as a teen—he could even recite all the books of the Bible at age five—his spiritual walk with Jesus was only ignited when he started attending Commonground Church, Cape Town in September 2009. God was answering my prayer to bring Kyle into an intimate and passionate relationship with Him.

The week after my birthday, our home cell group was on Sunday morning tea, door and collection duty. Noel had scheduled others in our group for the first service, and we were on duty for the second.

Noel’s stepdad, George, had been ill for quite some time, but late that week he took a turn for the worse. He died ten days later.

“Go help your mom,” I told Noel when George landed up in hospital again. “Kyle is here; he can help me with the church duties.”

So, that Sunday morning, Kyle and I found ourselves at the smaller second service. Our Pastor was away that week and Peter Tarantal of Operation Mobilization South Africa was preaching. I don’t remember what the service was about, but what I do remember was randomly leaning over to Kyle and whispering in his ear halfway through the service.

“You should speak to Peter about joining the OM Ship.”

I knew that Kyle, although growing in an amazing way spiritually, still felt that something was missing from the purpose of his life. Perhaps on the Logos Hope he would find that.

“Hmm,” Kyle said, rubbing his chin as if deep in thought. “Maybe I should.”

The seed had been planted, but none of us knew how fast it would grow.

Five days later, Kyle had written to our church, requesting that they be his sending church—one of the requirements for joining OM training.

He had also made online application to OM Ships, hoping that his passion and talent for photography would earn him a spot in their media department. But there was no guarantee of this, or of even being placed on the ship. People from all over the world join the OM Ship and there’s only place for a certain number of people.

Once back home in Cape Town that week, Kyle immediately shared his desire to serve God in missions with his cell group. All were supportive of his decision to go. Through his own quiet time and through friends, God confirmed this calling with scriptures like Joshua 1, Isaiah 43 and Psalm 91.

Casting Crowns’ song, In Me, reflected Kyle’s heart’s desire.