It must be God

The South African marathon and ultramarathon athlete Gerda Steyn smashed everything about the Comrades Marathon and set the up-run record in 2019 with a mark of 5:58:53, becoming the first woman to win under 6 hours. She grew up on a farm in the Bothaville area and only started running professionally in 2014 and say’s “…it must be God because I do not know where the strength came from

Kea: When and how did you discover your passion for running?

Gerda: I discovered my passion when I joined a running club for the first time in 2014. I loved pushing myself and seeing improvement in my running ability and speed as I followed a more structured training plan.

What do you think is the reason for you winning the Comrade’s Marathon within a short period into your running career?

It is a combination of many aspects… I love running and feel very privileged to have the talent to support my passion. I think passion, hard work and talent is the main reasons for this success.

You are an international star and role model, how do you feed these roles?

Haha! Most days I just feel like a girl from the Free State who loves to run and gets to call it her career 😊. I don’t focus on fame or popularity but really appreciate the fact that I have a large amount of support locally and internationally and I try to share my journey as much as I can.

How much of your time is spent here in SA?

I spend about half of my time in SA, but my fiancé works abroad so the rest of the time I spend time with him in Dubai and France.

To date, what has been the most challenging marathon you’ve run and why?

Comrades 2018 was by far the most challenging race for me thus far. I won Two Oceans Marathon earlier that year for the first time and I think it was all just a bit much for me trying to win the Comrades as well. I didn’t feel great on the day and knew I wasn’t going to win but I couldn’t give up and had to hang on as hard as I could for second place. It was a very tough day but I learnt a lot and it made me even more determined to win.

Soon after resigning I got injured and couldn’t even run. It felt like I made a huge mistake but I learnt from that injury and it has since been one big uphill improvement curve and I haven’t looked back again!

When you are not running or preparing for a run…what are you most likely doing?

Probably in the gym, on my bike or simply resting.

Are you involved in any other business separate from your running career?

I studied and worked as a Quantity Surveyor but in 2017 I gave up my office job and I 100% focused on my running career.

What does winning many titles mean to you personally that we don’t know?

Winning can cause one of two reactions. It changes you in many ways but the reaction is up to the individual. It can either make you big-headed or you could have a very humbling experience because there is a very fine line between winning and failing. Therefore it is very important to always keep your feet on the ground and not let it get to your head because it can all change tomorrow!!

Your IG posts are continuously encouraging and inspiring…where does the motivation come from?

I try to share most of what I do with my supporters. I know what I like to see and read from my idols so I try to keep my IG content relevant and authentic. I find that running can be a lonely sport but the community is very social and energetic. Runners are always looking for ways to improve and if I can help people to stay motivated to experience the joy of running, I do it with pleasure!!

What has been your most challenging experience in life and how did you move on from it?

There has been many challenges in my life but in running terms it has to be the time when I had to make the decision to leave my office job. My running was starting to improve but it was nowhere near the level of a professional athlete. It was a tough decision as my job provided me with financial stability and opportunities. Soon after resigning I got injured and couldn’t even run. It felt like I made a huge mistake but I learnt from that injury and it has since been one big uphill improvement curve and I haven’t looked back again!

One of the things you said after winning the Comrade’s was ‘…I don’t know where the strength came from, it must be God!’ have you always been a believer?

Yes I have always been a believer. My family are religious and it was part of my upbringing. I know that I have strength when I run and I thank God for everything that He brought on my path!

Is there one specific experience that brought you closer to God or solidified your relationship with God?

Running itself brings me closer to God. It is metaphorical – because you have to put your Faith into something without concrete proof. I know that the success I have experienced in my running can’t come simply from within- it comes from a much Higher Source and I am forever thankful that God chose me for this!

What is the best thing about running?

It makes my whole world brighter and teaches me to focus on what is important to move forward! You learn to leave behind whatever brings you down in life and to respect and appreciate nature, your body as well as your fellow runners.

What’s on your mind as you approach the finish line?

“Thank goodness, finally the finish line”!!! Hehe!!

No… I can’t explain the feelings of crossing that finish line in words. There are finish lines and then there are FINISH LINES and the Comrades Marathon finish line is a place like no other on this planet!

As a woman, did you ever think you couldn’t do this because you are just a woman?

The fact that I am a woman has never ever held me back. We are fortunate to live in a country where women aren’t being suppressed. I grew up with my brother and I played rugby, soccer and wrestling and even though I was never as strong, I wasn’t told that I had to stand back for anything. I currently train with men which is a lot of fun because they push me and there is no jealousy.

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Good life, fame, money, world travels, family, friends, own space and you – the independent individual – how does it fall into satisfying balance for you? How do you manage?

I just focus on running improvement and making sure that my choices complement my running career. Fame, money or glory are the very last items on the list. Focusing on such only leads to disaster. People in general are interested in me as an athlete and I understand that I am a person that young girls look up to. This makes it definitely important to know the difference between being an idol and chasing fame and glory. I find that it becomes easy to manage when you know what to focus on.

How do you see God active in your life on a daily basis?

I see God every day in my life and I really feel that running brings me closer to Him. I deserve nothing and yet receive a lot and I try to live my life in gratitude to Him. I felt so blessed standing at the 2019 Finish Line…I could not believe it!! It must be God.

We thank Gerda for the inspiration that she is, especially to us South Africans and Lover’s of God. In her success our aspirations are ignited and with hard work and God by her side she validates our potential. Thank you Gerda Steyn

Choosing God gave me an Unimaginable Life

15 September 2020

When I fell in love, I wanted to know more about Him. Who is He? Is He the same as He was in Bible times? Can this God perform miracles? Does He know me? I chose God over my Husband and my life is unimaginable.

Njeri Kamere says that she never imagined the life she is living today. Born in Kenya, she is now a partner in a global business and living in South Africa. She earlier, after losing her marriage – dreamt of establishing a bank specially to empower women victims of abuse but is now able to do so through her global business partnership that changes lives and enables financial independence. Not too far from her bank dream.

Njeri grew up in a Presbyterian church but experienced a deep hunger for God in her youth. ‘Like a young girl falling in love, I needed to know more about God. Could I still experience Him as they did in the Bible? Was He near or far? Is there anything special needed to connect me deeply with God? Is it possible for me to know His Will in anything and everything? This hunger led me to a Pentecostal church where my growth as a believer is continuous. I no longer have to guess or fumble through my thoughts, He openly reveals the truth and His existence to me.

It was after I had followed my husband to South Africa that I saw God with my own eyes. My husband was the kind that controlled everything in our lives – finances, who I spent time with and even disconnected me from my family. He wanted to control and be the source of everything I needed and did not like that God was my Faith, strength and joy. The marriage did not seem like the kind I had imagined. I asked God what He wanted and got the answer when my husband insisted that I choose between him and God. I told my husband that the choice was made by his question; because my God is eternal, the source of everything and is not an option.

Choosing God ended my marriage. My husband stopped supporting us and I was alone with my children. My family ignored us – I think fearing the responsibility of my four kids and I. But God attended to every detail of my needs. This is when I knew without a doubt that my God still speaks and performs miracles just as He did in the Bible times. I saw God literally feed us by sending friends to buy all our groceries, a friend lent me her car for 15 months and to date, I cannot say why the bank did not chase us out of a house that was in arrears for over a year. God simply took over, kept us safe and provided for. All I knew was to pray. I did not lack any good thing.

This is the Lord who always reveals His perfect Will over my life and before I knew it I was a partner in a global business which did not require heavy capital to start which was perfect for me because my husband had stopped all financial support. The business specialises in antiaging and allows me financial independence and an opportunity to feed my children. The business and our products with the most natural ingredients address aging by supporting the body on the inside and outside. We offer supplements geared towards boosting the body to fight unhealthy aging and a compromised immune system.

Today this business is in 54 regions across the world and fulfils my desire to help people feel, look and perform (at) their best while creating their own income. Anyone that has ever imagined being a global entrepreneur has an opportunity with us.

Our company, which I joined over two years ago, is the only one on the planet that has a Biophotonic scanner that accurately diagnoses client’s body needs and informs us of the correct products to offer the client. I love what we do because we are result oriented and assess each client’s progress after 90days of using our supplements. The business is good for me as a Christian woman because clients are fully reimbursed if the scanner reports no improvement. Another plus is that I am completely mobile and able to serve clients from different areas with assessments and providing products that are scientifically measurable. With the support of our products on the outside, we achieve visible results such as skin lifting and tightening – removing years off our appearance in a non-intrusive manner with the use of our in-home spa devices.

As of now I have impacted hundreds of lives, but I intend to touch and change a million lives around the world.’

Arise: It is evident that God has done much for you, how do you feel God has blessed you through this business?

Njeri: Every day I wake up and ask the Lord to bring me people He wants to bless through me. Every day He answers my prayers. To see people finding their own vision from my vision is a big blessing. The business has also positioned me in a place of simplicity, peace and quiet. No more violence towards me, no more fear, no more ridicule.

Arise: And the best and most challenging about this business?

Njeri: The best moments are when I see someone achieve their dream or I hear testimonies of rent and mortgages paid because of this business.

The challenge is helping people to believe that they can also achieve. People don’t see the greatness within themselves as I see it, and this is the best part and also the hardest part but to switch this paradigm is more than rewarding.

Arise: What is the most important lesson you have leant in this journey?

Njeri: To be focused and persistent in what I set out to do. To partner with God. Having a goal is the beginning of everything good and progressive.

I have learnt to take responsibility of my wrong decisions, like marrying my ex-husband when I knew he did not love God. Ending my marriage without a back-up plan but only God was a good decision – 8 years later I am going strong, successful, at peace and have my sanity. This lesson that God is truly the only provider is a major blessing to me.

arise: What do you wish women to know about allowing God in their businesses?

Njeri: That God is strong and on their side to fight their battles. He is waiting for us to be fully surrendered to Him and then He takes care of every detail. In my wildest imaginations I would not have designed my life to be what it is right now. When we allow God, great things happen.

arise: What would you say sets your business apart from others?

Njeri: I involve God every day. I am extremely diligent, disciplined, coachable hard worker that does not leave anything to chance.

arise: Future business plans?

Njeri: To touch and change a million lives around the world. I desire growth, prosperity and abundance for everyone I work with.

arisemag: Thank you so much Sis Njeri. I am excited by God’s visible existence in your journey and have no doubt that more of our readers will be inspired and encouraged. Thank you. Your last words?

Njeri: I do not have any other treasure bigger than the Lord himself. My whole desire is to serve Him with everything I have and with all that I am. To make Him known and to bring absolute honor and glory to His name. I count myself blessed to have my name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. Redeemed and forgiven. I have existed on this earth with Him being my sole provider and help.

Connect with Njeri Kamere:

+27 (0) 81 511 5822

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Destined to Heal

27 October 2020

Anita Hamilton-Williams ended a career in IT at the age of 40 to unknowingly journey to a business of healing others…in more ways than one. Such happens when God’s plans are different from ours and God choses to gracefully get us back on His path so that His purpose with our lives is fulfilled. And Anita’s journey reminds us that God’s plans always bring us bliss.

Anita’s story is about God’s plan coming to pass no matter our plans.

She became a second-time mom at age 40 and immediately stopped working to be a stay-at-home mom. Like many other women who are used to busy career lives, Anita felt restless and mentally unstimulated when her first born son started school. This is when she enrolled for Life and Business Coaching Certification with plans to help the business community.

But…God had other plans.

“A chance conversation with an acquaintance introduced me to Paradigm Shift – a Christian business organization that teaches churches to create and train individuals to develop their God-given talents as a way out of poverty. I was so excited with their model and wanted to be involved. I was even more excited by God’s timing when I inquired at my church and learnt they had recently ordered the Paradigm Shift business kit that no one had had the chance to read and so I volunteered to read and share feedback.

Needless to say, I couldn’t wait to share what I had learnt and just how incredible the program is. Together with my church we set to work, not knowing exactly what we were doing, but trusting that it would come together successfully. A few weeks later we ran our first full day business workshop and then took the extended 9-week program into a community centre near Durban where 30 lives were changed to lives of entrepreneurship. I think it’s fair to say that as volunteers, our lives were changed too. It was an incredibly special time to be involved with the start-up of this ministry. It has since gone from strength to strength as our volunteers continue to put their love, energy and own talents into growing this ministry.

I felt yet another tug to study further after my son’s nursery school years ended. But this time in health.

felt yet another tug to study further after my son’s nursery school years ended. But this time in health.

I recall thinking that if my son had children one day, I’d likely be around 65 or 70 when they were born. I want to meet all my grandchildren, watch them grow and create special memories with them, and I’d need to be healthy to do so.

At the time, I was asthmatic, had hormonal imbalances and caught every cold that was going around. The colds usually developed into bronchitis, pneumonia or a particularly nasty one into pleurisy. I was on an asthma pump daily and had to use it before and after a run.

My aim when I started studying was to heal my asthma and rebalance my hormones. I had spent most of my 40’s trying to do this through books, courses, Google, experts and medical professionals. I ended up overwhelmed and confused with all of the conflicting pieces of information. I was no closer to being healthy or understanding what I needed to do to be healthy than when I first started.

It was during this time, that I had not one but two Aha-moments:

The first was coming to the realisation that our healthcare system is designed to treat disease and not 𝘁𝗲𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝘂𝘀 𝗵𝗼𝘄 𝘁𝗼 𝗯𝗲𝗰𝗼𝗺𝗲 𝗮𝗻𝗱 𝘀𝘁𝗮𝘆 𝗵𝗲𝗮𝗹𝘁𝗵𝘆.

The second was at the age of 50 when I decided that it was not too late to study.

The past 7 years have been about learning about nutrition, habit change, genetics, biochemistry, blood chemistry, anatomy and physiology, functional medicine and I LOVE IT ALL.

I can now confidently answer the question I was asking in my 40’s: ‘How do we find out how to get and stay healthy?’ Not just information but how to action it, what works for us individually, how to live it and if we slip up, how do we get back on track trusting ourselves??

Today, in my practice I help women who are 40+ in their peri-menopause and menopause years. Their major health challenges aside from hormonal shifts are stubborn weight loss (often because of impaired metabolism from going on many diets during their 20’s and 30’s) fatigue and low mood. My aim is to educate, empower and inspire others to live and be well as I have now finally been able to.

My lessons looking back:

You’re never too old to make a change.

God has a plan for each life.

If God has placed something on your heart, act, even if it is a small step, then take the next one and the next one- He will show you the way.

The truth to ‘trust in the Lord with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him and he will make straight your paths’ Proverbs 3:5-6 is testament in my life.

I feel blessed to be able to do this work that I feel called to do.

I do not feel restless or mentally unstimulated anymore because daily, there are no two patients that are the same. Each requires unique remedy which requires time and research. God brought me to this blissful life and career.

When opportunities appear, use prayer to confirm if that is your path to follow.

I am not sure what plans God has for my future but my trust is in Him. He led me to Paradigm Shift at the age of 40 and this gave me the confidence to start studying something new at the age of 50.”

We love hearing from you😊 Please share your feedback about this feature and Anita’s journey…you might just a receive an #arisemag November gift.