This is the twelfth post for our Write 31 Days series 31 Days of Miracles: Who is Our God. Today, Aliyah Lauren Jacobs (see below for her bio) shares her story, continuing her husband’s story from yesterday.
We sat on the veranda my best friend D and I, talking about our broken hearts and dreams. He was a seminary student staying on campus and I was visiting him. As we sat talking, I heard a gate close behind us and a handsome guy strolling towards us. D introduced me to this stranger whose name was Yosef, we said hi, and I watched him walk off in to the distance. The following week we all went out for pizza and I did not see this handsome stranger for another 9 months. Eventually though, we connected over Facebook, casual chatting about God and our lives. We arranged coffee three times and we cancelled coffee, three times! We were terrified of one another, we were both scared from previous relationships. God intervened however and we bumped in to one another at a supermarket. We had coffee that day, and scarily discovered just how right we were for one another.
Two weeks later, we started dating and we were happily in love. The following year Yosef started working at a local church as an assistant pastor and I started working as a tutor and trauma counsellor. We both felt that God had brought us together, in fact we knew He had and we started dreaming of the “one day” when we would have a home together and possibly a ministry, where we could help people. I knew this man I loved had a tragic past but the stories he would tell me made no sense in my mind, he was a new man, a new creature in our Beloved Saviour. I did not see the stories as part of our lives, I did not even see them as part of Yosef’s life, I only saw God and that was all I needed to know. But in August 2008, the past caught up with us in a very big way.
We were on holiday up the coast when the phone rang. It was a call from a parole officer with a warrant for Yosef’s arrest. Years before, Yosef had been tried for a charge of house breaking and was sentenced to community service but he had run away from his community service conviction and hiked down to Cape Town. In 2004 he had stood before a magistrate and had all his outstanding charges dropped against him, but what he didn’t know was that the community service charge had not been picked up at the time. He would have to be tried again and this time the law was dead against him. He had run away and was now facing a 6-year jail sentence without the offer of parole. The officers had travelled down to Cape Town from up North and his arrest was to made immediately. Our world spun out of control. Yosef was handcuffed, put in to the back of a police van, held in various police cells while they travelled up North and all the while I stayed behind, crying and praying.
We had no communication while he travelled and I knew he was facing the one thing he feared the most, holding cells with gangsters doing drugs and possibly a prison cell. I faced telling my parents about what had happened and that was scary. Yosef finally arrived up North and appeared before the magistrate, the same magistrate who had sentenced him before. He was furious and wanted to invoke the prison sentence, yet he postponed the case and settled for a trial. We were given seven days to prepare for that. We had no lawyer, no money and no one to help us. It looked hopeless but then the miracles started happening.
Yosef’s father contacted his cousin J, he paid for Yosef’s bail so that he could be released under house arrest conditions. His cousin had also just returned from a missionary trip where he had met a high powered Christian advocate who worked for the government. Through a miracle this advocate agreed to take on Yosef’s case, but he charged $2000 an hour! A miracle happened when this advocate called and said that God had spoken to him and he would not be charging for the case! My parents suggested I go and be with Yosef for the week, they bought me a plane ticket and I just dived in to his arms when I finally arrived at his cousin’s house. That week we fasted and prayed, we spoke with uncertainty about our future, but we held on to hope. It was a long week but God was with us, we had such a deep peace in our spirits.
Wednesday morning came, I sat on my own in the court room and Yosef stood in the witness booth. The magistrate asked questions, shaking his head in anger. At one point he stared straight over at me and I wondered what he was thinking through his fury. He adjourned the trial and disappeared in to his chambers. There was no certainty, everything hung in the balance.
He returned, seated himself and spoke words I cannot remember, he looked at Yosef and told him that he should be receiving a 6-year prison sentence. Then he took off his spectacles, his face changed and he cleared his throat; “young man, all I want for you is for you to make a success of your life. I don’t want to see you in my court room again understood? Finish the rest of your community service by helping at the police station once a week.”
That was it and the words the magistrate had spoken were life – giving to Yosef, who felt like he was listening to a father lovingly disciplining his son. We boarded a plane together, faith strengthened, we were finally set free.
The following year we got engaged, started a ministry and then we were married. Our marriage is a miracle, God knew that He had wanted to give us a clean start, a new life together. It looked dark and confusing but what He was really doing, was clearing a way for us to do His work together, to travel and do outreach. It was dark but how grateful I am that His ways are not ours and neither are His thoughts!
Read more about Aliyah Lauren and Yosef’s testimony here – Breaking Light: A Valley of Healing
Aliyah Lauren Jacobs
Aliyah is a tea drinking, pen holding, book collecting author, minister and equality activist. Who usually does all 6 things at once.
She is a ministry partner with her husband and when they are not teaching or “going,” she is day dreaming about the stories of women long gone. Her new book, Yehudit Chosen by God is one such story. She blogs at www.setapartwarrior.blogspot.co.za