TESTIMONY: God fulfils promise to prosper a broken man so that he can restore others
When Frikkie Hefer was 24-years-old he found himself sitting crying on a Karoo town pavement, homeless, hopeless, and wanted by nobody because of his years of drug abuse. “I promise you that day, if I could have just got a gun, I would’ve taken myself out. I was just tired of being tired,” he said. Then God spoke to him, saying: “I’m going to raise you up in the business world. You are going to help people like yourself.”
In our world where everything seems to be constantly changing, many Christians sometimes feel very uneasy. With the Fact of holding beliefs and adopt living a Christ-Centered life, how does one apply them into today's world?
When Frikkie Hefer was 24-years-old he found himself sitting crying on a Karoo town pavement, homeless, hopeless, and wanted by nobody because of his years of drug abuse.
“I promise you that day, if I could have just got a gun, I would’ve taken myself out. I was just tired of being tired,” he said.
Then God spoke to him, saying: “I’m going to raise you up in the business world. You are going to help people like yourself.”
Today — 18 years after he heard God’s voice — he is a married father of two little girls, and a highly successful businessman and founder of what he believes could be the biggest drug and alcohol rehabilitation centre organisation in South Africa. He has centres in Potchefstroom, Fouriesburg and Bloemfontein, catering for addicts and women rescued from human trafficking.
The slogan of Frikkie’s Hope Again Recovery Centre group — “Jesus at the centre of it all” — captures his approach to life, business and ministry.
Before the pivotal day when he heard God’s voice he had been involved with drugs from the age of 16 to 24. His parents divorced and remarried when he was young. His mother, who was abused by his stepfather, started drinking alcohol heavily when he was 13 and died of drink when he was 16.
From the age of 21 Frikkie was in and out of jobs and recovery centres. At the age of 24 he said he had lost everything and everyone.
The day he sat on a pavement sobbing he had just walked out of a recovery centre after an argument. He said he was shocked when he heard God speak to him in a voice which he can still remember clearly. It seemed unbelievable but it shook him into belief and purpose.
“From that day on that [pursuing God’s Word and His purpose for his life] was what I lived for,” he said.
After completing six months in a recovery centre he began mending his relationship with his father and he started working.
“I started working right at the bottom and I worked my way up. And I always used to help people [with addictions]. In the beginning I couldn’t help with money. I just encouraged them. Then later I could sow [financially] into their recoveries, then I could pay for their recoveries.
“And then 10 years later I started the first [rehabilitation] centre and from then until now it is crazy how the centres grew.” said Frikkie.
His success in business has also been remarkable. A rubber roofing operation he bought as a small business turned over R150 million last year. He expects it will generate R250 million this year and reach R500 million in the next two to three years.
He emphasises that for him, business is a means to introduce people to Jesus according to the pattern that God gave him when He said He would raise him in the business world to help others like himself.
“I believe that God’s called me to, to change the way that people recover. You know, everybody in the world is making addiction out to be this big giant but that is a lie. It’s not a giant; it’s an uncircumcised Philistine. It’s done. It’s dusted at the cross. Jesus defeated it,” he said.
While his rehabilitation centres have excellent facilities, nurses, pastors and programmes he believes the key to their success is that they do everything they can to get people to know and experience God.
“We take these people from off the street. We put them in recovery. And afterwards we train them up to work in these businesses and they flourish.
“They start living life the way that it should be. I believe that’s revival. It’s when you can take a guy off the street, give him recovery. God sets him free, and he comes and he works and he looks after himself and he lives a life of purpose and meaning,” said Frikkie.
“We see amazing things. We take girls out of human traffickicking. They come to us and they’ve got HIV. They leave HIV negative with doctors’ letters confirming it,” he said.
He said that in addition to expanding the rubber roofing business all over SA he wants to start guest houses and coffee outlets all over the country to provide employment for women rescued from human trafficking.
Frikkie said his wife, Benita manages the finances of their rehabilitation centres. “It’s a big balancing act,” he said because while they sponsor as many people’s recovery as they are able to they have to run the operation like a business in order to be sustainable.
He said that reading, studying and preaching God’s Word inspires and renews him. Sometimes, when the pressure of business is intense or when people disappoint him, he goes back to the moment when he heard God’s voice at his lowest point in life.
“I remember that this voice that I heard was the same voice that spoke to Moses, the same voice that spoke to David. And today we as believers — that voice on the inside of you — it’s the same voice.”
He said when he goes back to that time when God spoke to him on the pavement he remembers that God keeps His promises.
“And here I am today because of his Word. It’s truth.”