YWAM South Africa gave birth to a base in the little town of Bethlehem. Suddenly Miguel and Marlien Godoy along with their 3 daughters, Damaris, Genevive and Yanina found themselves in the middle of an extra-ordinary story about God's provision.
"Since the beginning of our being missionaries, we had a strong desire to pioneer. Miguel knew even before we met and got married that God called him to South Africa. We saw many gifted young people with a desire and interest to serve God and get involve in Missions. They have lots of Biblical knowledge but the need to put it into practice is lacking. Also it's interesting to know that there are people in the community with a heart to support Missions and commit as prayer partners. We also noticed that in the Free State, there is no existing YWAM base and all the more we were convinced that God was actually opening doors wide open for us! The first DTS started on April 1 2001. Miraculously, God provided all the needs. First, He gave us the house and 8 hectares of land. Then furniture, curtains, fridges, plates, pots, and finances flowed in. And then the DTS students and leaders arrived! We were also blessed with a Venture minibus and a tent for 250 people. We got food offerings and wonderful teachers. God's provision has been awesome! Miguel says this new base adventure is 'agridulce', meaning 'sour and sweet'. This is with the South African-Argentine mixture."
For Miguel who is coming from Argentina, settling in South Africa was more difficult than for Marlien, who was born and raised in Bethlehem. They got to know each other in Buenos Aires, when Marlien did her DTS in 1994 and Miguel was one of the leaders. Their SOFM outreaches were in the Amazon in Bolivia, up towards the border of Brazil and South Argentina.
In 1995 both of them went separately to Equatorial Guinea (the only Spanish speaking country in Africa) in Central West Africa, where they directed the DTS for several years and helped build the YWAM base in Bata. They got married in June 1996 in Bata, with a typical African wedding. Both daughters, Damaris Ayecaba and Genevive Ynimbing were born in Equatorial Guinea. In 1999 they also started a new DTS and established a new YWAM Base in Malabo, Bioko Island, Equatorial Guinea.
With this background, YWAM Bethlehem as the first Afro-Latin base in Africa brings a special flavor to this YWAM base. It is the desire of the founders, Miguel and Marlien Godoy that those who come and train in this base will go forth into all of Africa, into the Latino-speaking world and to "the ends of the earth."
Related link: YWAM History