Where were you born and where do you live now?
I was born in Bethlehem in the Free State Province of South Africa, on the banks of the Jordan River. Now living in Kleinmond, a small coastal town in the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve – well known for its incredible variety of wild flowers – in the Western Cape Province.
How did you become a Christian and did camp play a role in your spiritual development?
My life was changed by the Lord on my very first Christian camp when I was a young teacher at the age of 22. Ever since, most of my spiritual development took place on camps. Many more camps than I can recall.
Vic, please tell us about your family.
I am blessed to have one wife (Thea who does translating and editing of mostly Christian books), four adult children (Magriet who does illustrations for mostly educational and Christian children’s books and married to Leo; Willie who is a lecturer in Applied Math’s at the University of Stellenbosch and married to Daniek; Nico who is an adventure tour guide and engaged to Brooke, an Australian; Wikus who is an electronic engineer, working as a data scientist), two Boxer dogs (Kibo and Katryn) and one cat (Vlermuis). No grandchildren yet.
What role(s) do you have in Christian camping? How have you been involved in CCI?
I have been teaching for eight years and was involved in the Christian associations at the schools taking the learners on numerous camps, outreaches and adventure activities. After that I joined the fulltime staff of the Uniting Students’ Christian Association (UCSA) where I worked in various rolls for 33 years. UCSA has 13 camp centers and places great emphasis on camping as a tool to evangelize, educate, expose and challenge young people to make solid life and faith decisions. In the process I became closely involved with CCSA (chairperson for several years), helping to organize a number of CCSA conferences. That brought me in contact with ACC as well as CCI (2012 conference in Spain). I was asked (and elected) to serve on the CCI Worldwide board for a four-year term, which started in January 2014.
What do you do on your day off? Tell us about your hobbies or personal interests.
I have a passion for the wilderness – hiking, mountaineering, birding, doing desert treks, river rafting, kloofing (also knowns as cayoneering) – whenever the opportunity comes. At home I do DIY, gardening, local community stuff.
Besides the Bible, what is your favorite book?
I am not a great reader of books, rather a reader of articles – mostly about education (the art of facilitating learning), the great outdoors, and about all the lovely places in God’s creation. When I was much younger Richard Foster’s Celebration of Discipline and Freedom of Simplicity helped me to find my way in many aspects of Christian life.
What kind of music do you like? Any favorite recording artists or song?
I can enjoy different kinds of music, but my preference would be classics such the timeless piano concertos of Beethoven, the masterpieces of Tchaikovsky and others. I can be very nostalgic about the popular music from the 60’s.
What is your favorite Bible verse? Any story that tells us why?
“I appeal to you therefore, brothers by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.”Romans 12: 1 -2.
These were the verses on which the sermon was based when I was called into full time ministry.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given?
Never to think that I have all the answers – “now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror” (1 Cor 13:12). Always to first seek to understand then to be understood.
What else should we know about you?
Oops, you really want to know? OK, my “forgetter” is improving every day! I feel much privileged to be part of CCI and to learn so much in the process.