Reverend Charl was recently asked by a supporter what exactly he does. Knowing Charl, the better question is: what exactly doesn’t he do? Charl is a gifted preacher, teacher, orator, apologist, organizer, administrator and evangelist. He exhaustively applies himself in radio and television appearances, and street missions. Further, he engages in grass-roots discipleship, mercy ministries and men’s discipleship.
Simply put, Charl Van Wyk is the wing nut used of the Lord to hold Bishop of Souls together.
Charl came to prominence in 1993. On July 25 of that year, Charl’s church, St. James, in Cape Town, South Africa was attacked. Terrorists burst into their church with automatic weapons. Their intention was to kill as many of the near-1500 worshippers in the building.
In the words of Charl, “Grenades were exploding in flashes of light. Pews shattered under the blasts, sending splinters flying through the air. An automatic assault rifle was being fired and was fast ripping the pews – and whoever, whatever was in its trajectory – to pieces. We were being attacked.” Charl knelt down in the back, found his .38 snub-nosed revolver, and returned fire. This was more than the terrorists had bargained for, and they beat a retreat.
No one knows how many dozens or even hundreds of lives Charl saved on that day.
Since that day, Charl has done perhaps the most Christ-like thing imaginable. He has visited the former terrorists, bringing them the Gospel, and leading some of them to Christ. He has befriended and helped them. He has purposely chosen to forgive and bless those who attacked him and his loved ones.
This kind of unretreating, uncompromising spirit is exactly what is needed in spiritual war zones. We are blessed by Charl’s keen ability to see the needs of those around him and see them met in the most selfless of ways. Without a hint of selfish ambition, Charl goes about the business of equipping the people of God. He has indeed made himself a servant to all that by any means, he might win the more.