PS Harold and Maud Weitsz
It is not often that you meet a couple who dwell in the presence of God and speak the truth with razor sharp accuracy and anointing. Pastor Harold Weitsz is truly a prophet for our times who spends hours in prayer and fellowship with the Lord each day. Anyone who has spent even a few moments with him will attest to his God-given gift of discernment and prophecy to speak a word in season!
His wife Maud, is one of the most approachable, wise and strong, yet gentle women I have ever met. They have over 25 years in ministry and are not just the pastors of Little Falls Christian Centre (in Roodepoort) but also apostolic leaders to the nations. JOY! was privileged to host this couple at our offices...
Harold, you had a 17 year career in broadcasting before becoming a pastor, tell us about this change in direction?
I have a degree in Psychology, but spent many years working in radio (in Gauteng) under the pseudo name of Harold West. One Saturday morning after finishing in the studio, I walked into a Reinhard Bonnke crusade and witnessed hundreds of people being delivered from all sorts of addictions. I knew that the Lord was calling me into full-time ministry.
Right there and then my broadcasting career died and a passion to minister the Word of God was birthed in my spirit. I was raised in a traditional church and knew of God, but at the age of 33 I was invited to a Pentecostal church and my life was radically changed. I discovered my Lord and Saviour and a brand new way of living. Within weeks I knew that I had to prepare for full-time ministry and together with my wife, we set out to equip ourselves for the work of the Lord. I realised later that all my years of broadcasting and learning English as an ‘Afrikaner Boy’ was in preparation for the ministry that I stand in today.
As a pastor, you have endured hardship, enjoyed victory, and experienced the reality of God. What key events stand out for you?
Because of the prophetic call of God in my life, I was led by dreams and visions right from the beginning of my ministry. I can only praise the Lord for His amazing guidance because it caused me to avoid so many pitfalls and mistakes. I do not recall real hardships, but I do remember many victories through the years. I ascribe the success of our ministry to the hours of prayer that I put in, as an individual, with my wife and with the church.
I knew from the beginning that I would never succeed without a solid prayer foundation. Most of the visions that the Lord has given me, have been centred around leadership. Through dreams I have received warnings about people who are heading for danger, guidance in the appointments of leaders and prophetic dreams for my children. It is often difficult when I have to impart these dream-visions, for I know that the recipients will not always receive the word joyfully. Pride is very destructive and every person has to guard against it.
How do you cope with disappointment when you see leaders fail, or false teachers lead people astray?
As a young Christian it was very disheartening to see leaders fall morally. I really encourage young Christians to get into the Word of God and intensely study the Bible. The reason many people stumble is because of a lack of knowledge [Hosea 4:6]. I learned early on to trust in the Lord and keep my eyes on Him; by His grace we are still running strong. I encourage people to follow after the Lord and not a man, as we are all imperfect and make mistakes.
You have a particular anointing as a Prophet. Can you explain this?
Coming out of a traditional church, I had never heard of the prophetic ministry functioning in our present day and age. I had just read of it in the Bible. When I surrendered my life to the Lord in a Pentecostal Church, I found myself having prophetic dreams and visions. The Word of God confirmed it when I sought guidance from the Lord as to these strange experiences and I realised it was still happening today. In 1 Corinthians 12-14, the Apostle Paul deals with the nine Gifts of the Holy Spirit. These gifts are there to build up and edify the Church, but in Ephesians 4:11 he speaks of the ministry roles of Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers.
We cannot exclude any of these ministry roles or we deprive the Body of Christ of the various offices that are needed to equip and bless the Church of Jesus Christ. God is restoring both the gifts of the Spirit and the ministry offices in these last days.
Each year you fast for 21 days and pray about the year ahead. What word did God give you for 2011?
For about 16 years the Lord has led our ministry to do a 21-day Daniel fast. Addictions and bondages are broken, vision for the New Year is received, marriages and relationships are healed etc. The spiritual impact has transformed many lives. Before the fast, in our New Years’ service each year I trust the Lord for a prophetic word for our church and nation. This year the Lord revealed to me that there was going to be worldwide shakings. I told the people to watch the news as the Lord would be stirring up the nations and there would be an increase of catastrophic events. All these happenings would draw people closer to Him. Well, thus far we have seen the devastating tsunamis in Japan, earthquakes in New Zealand and other nations, desperate financial dilemmas as nations suffer economic collapse. About five years ago, in a New Year’s Eve service, I told the church to prepare and get out of debt as there was going to be a worldwide financial collapse of banks, markets, insurance companies etc. It was a very tough word and one that I did not enjoy bringing, but at the same time we rejoiced that the Lord had forewarned us. Together with our team we immediately prepared our congregation with special seminars to help them become debt free. Two years later the catastrophic recession broke out in the USA and the domino affect was felt all over Europe and into the East. For those interested in our annual fast, the church and our teachings/New year messages, see www.littlefalls.co.za.
What are your thoughts about Christianity in South Africa today?
I believe that South Africa is ‘ripe for harvest’ but it is only going to be birthed through prayer. There is too little emphasis on prayer in the churches nationwide and we need to see more leaders on their knees, leading their congregations in prayer, holiness and the fear of the Lord. It is wrong to see a handful of intercessors trying to lead prayer meetings and not the head pastors. I cannot expect my church to pray if I do not set the example. We as pastors must lead our flock and they will follow. In Israel the shepherd walks ahead and the sheep follow because they know they are being led to green pastures and life-giving waters. Jesus taught us this principle in His Word.
What advice can you give to Christians who desire to experience the Lord in a real, living way, and to hear His voice?
In one of my books, ‘Prophetic Prayer Journey’ I write on how to be led by the Spirit of God and pray prophetic prayers. All prayers must be God-directed, Word based and Holy Spirit inspired. When our prayers become laser-focused, we discover that our circumstances change, we change and our quality of life changes. God is waiting for us in the ‘secret place of the Most High’ so that He can impart His treasures to us, but we have got to make the first move.
Maud, did you ever see yourself in ministry?
At the age of six while attending a convent, I was so impressed by the commitment of the nuns, that I told my parents I wanted to be a nun and work in China. I always felt the Lord tugging at my heart for ministry. My husband often commented in our early years that I should have been a pastor’s wife (when I would address issues and counsel people) and guess what - God fulfilled his confession because he became a pastor! We often joke about it. Although I never had much knowledge of the Word, there was a deep hunger and together Harold and I found our calling.
Little Falls Christian Centre has a unique set up, in that your elders and their wives work alongside...
Whenever Harold and I look for a leader, we always consider his wife as well. I believe that both are called and therefore compliment each other. Through the years we have employed both husbands and wives into full-time positions. In our 25 years of ministry with couples working together, we have not experienced any serious problems or seen a divorce among the leadership in the church. I totally ascribe this to the emphasis we put on prayer and the strong bond of unity between us.
Your children are also in ministry. Why do you think they have stayed close to the Lord, when so many other kids who grow up in church under their pastor-parents leave when they are adults?
All of our children have been involved in the music ministry through the years and two are in full-time ministry. I really encourage parents in the ministry to never give up on their children no matter how hard. In Proverbs 22:6 the Father promises us that we are to direct our children onto the right path and when they are older, they will not leave it. We live and lead by example and as parents have always tried to protect our children in the ministry.
As a prominent couple, you are in the public eye. How do you cope with the pressure and responsibility of living blameless lives?
Although we are so often in the public eye, we have managed to live very private lives. Harold is an introvert and spends most of his time in his study. Whenever we have free time, we visit with our four children and their spouses and eight grand-children who are our greatest treasure. Whenever possible, Harold and I get away to the ‘bushveld’ and his hobby is wildlife photography. We have learned to use these special times to relax.
You are a lecturer in the Bible School. What advice can you share with readers who battle to follow/embrace the Old Testament and find it at odds with the message of the New Testament?
I have been teaching the Old Testament for over 20 years and never fail to draw great inspiration from it. God in the Old Testament is often misunderstood because of a lack of (people’s) knowledge. He loves us so much that from the beginning of time and the fall of man, He planned to send Jesus to die for our sins. Jesus of the New Testament was present as Saviour throughout the Old and only when one studies it, do we see Him revealed in every chapter.
What advice can you offer to other pastors and ministry leaders?
If I were to give any advice to lead pastors and their wives I would tell them to be humble, stay open and objective and always maintain the heart of a servant. I see too many pastor couples being lifted up with pride. We cannot lead by example if we cannot serve by example.
You and Harold celebrate your 40th wedding anniversary this year. In a world of broken families, this is a wonderful achievement!
By all standards this is a rarity in the days we are living in with its high divorce rate even among church leaders. Our marriage truly came together after we received the Lord - we knew it was for life and we made it work. There is no such thing as incompatibility, in fact that is the very reason people are drawn to each other, because they find in the other what they are lacking in themselves. Harold and I are complete opposites yet we have made room for our differences. What he lacks I have, and what I lack he has. We recognise the different giftings in each other and through the years, this has really enriched our relationship.
interview by Jackie Georgiou