Monday morning, March 8th, 2010, was a dream come true for us. At 09:00 am God’s Army opened its doors for business in Cape Town for the very first time. We don’t remember too much of that first day, except that every now and then pedestrians on Bree Street would stop dead in their tracks as they noticed our bold black and yellow “Christian Books, Bibles and Bottomless Coffee” sign above our shop door. A few ventured in to survey our military décor and World War II memorabilia, and some folk lingered long enough to chat and sample our coffee and cheese and strawberry jam muffins. Slowly the news of a cool new Christian bookshop in town began to filter out into the Cape Town Christian community. Over the months we began to form a number of very special relationships with our customers, including Marius Coetzee and Cindy Jacobs who still frequent God’s Army today!
Looking back on that first day, it was a long and challenging run up for our team and shop staff. At times our faith was stretched beyond breakpoint - or so it felt! There was much prayer involved - dating back to 2008 when we took our first step of faith and shipped a container load of Christian books and Bibles from a Christian book distributer in the US. Then there were those long weeks and months of scanning property websites and Gumtree for a suitable business premises in the city centre to rent. When we finally found our home (in the basement of the 200 year old St. Stephens church building) it was in such a poor state of repair that it required weeks of renovation. The sandstone walls were falling apart and the floor was filled with deep cracks and had to be excavated to its very foundation! At that time the Lord provided us with an excellent workforce headed up by Charles Bauker, a local boat builder. Charles didn’t charge us a dime for his many long days and nights of sweat and hard work, and in gratitude we elected him as our first and only God’s Army lifetime member! With his help, and the faith and hard work of our team, the shop opened in record time, and on Sunday, March 7th, we met for an afternoon of praise and thanksgiving, and consecrated God’s Army to the Lord.
Well, like they say in the classics: the rest is history – His story! The Lord has been our help from day one, and He continues to be our help and strength. The next time you visit God’s Army, chat with our staff and you will be amazed and blessed by the many miracle stories and even salvation testimonies of those who have come to know Christ right in our shop!
What does the future hold for God’s Army? Looking forwards, our hope and prayer is that every week God would continue to use us, and that we would reach more and more men, women and children in Cape Town with the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“And let the beauty of the LORD our God be upon us, and establish the work of our hands for us; Yes, establish the work of our hands.” (Psalm 91:17)