My name is Hans Eksteen born in South Africa. I am living in Norway close to Kristiansand for the last 14 years and a Norwegian citizen since 2016. I am on a discipleship journey which has led me to Christian Leaders Institute. I co-pastor a local international church called Brave Heart Mission Church. Many of our members are non-Norwegians, but we also engage with many Norwegians who feel left out of society and feel they do not fit in. We also have a church with more than 250 members in Zambia and will soon start training church planters and pastors to be able to reach the lost.
I grew up in a single parent home with three other siblings. We did not always have what others had, but God used people around us, and we never lacked anything. As a child, I could never identify with a father. But, through accepting Jesus as a friend and reading a book called “The Father Heart of God,” I came to understand what a father should be.
I came to know God when I was 14 years old. I responded to an altar call from our pastor (Ed Roebert, Hatfield Christian Church), and baptized soon afterward. I remember one day while walking down the road a few years after I finished school; I was singing by myself. I found that I was uttering words I did not understand, then I realized that I the Holy Spirit was in me.
I would say that understanding my spiritual dream came later in life. It is to teach the word of God and move in the prophetic by the leading of the Holy Spirit. Early on, I could discern and know things about people but did not have the right knowledge or relationship with God at the time to have the understanding. This was all part of my discipleship journey.
The obstacle I faced growing in maturity was receiving outstanding teaching in the church, but not discipleship. This obstacle led me to backslide for a time to search for happiness outside the church. I learned through many trials, errors, following my mind and ways, that one cannot get away from God at all. God will keep on searching for us. I could never escape because I always knew He is the only way.
I later studied at Rhema Bible Training Centre and completed a two-year diploma. Afterward, I got involved with the ministry. I remember being in Sweden ministering and experiencing God’s power in a mighty way. I decided to stop ministering when I realized my character was not able to handle the power of God. I believed that was a dangerous combination. It was humbling to come to the understanding that God values character over anointing. But I am also very grateful that He allowed me to see it.
I got back into the ministry in the last five years. At this time, I went through a tough time in my life. I hit rock bottom with everything. I prayed to hear God’s voice not to air my shopping list of wants. This time is when God became very real in my life. It was tough in the beginning because God told me things I did not want to hear. But, I embraced it and received joy beyond words.
For some time, I looked for a place where I could further my studies to receive a degree. Then, I found the Christian Leaders Institute on my discipleship journey. I was surprised and happy that an organization like this is doing what it is doing. The reason I want to study more is first to build myself up in the Word again with the help of others. Second, to be prepared and available so God can use me to spread the Gospel in places that are off limits now because I do not carry a degree.
I am happy that I can receive free training at CLI. Financially, it would have been impossible for me to study without incurring debt. I believe training is essential. As Paul said to Timothy “to study to show one approved of God, not by men.” That said, I also know that men look at formal training as a criterion especially when one wants to teach in educational institutions and be taken seriously by churches.
To learn more about ordination check out Christian Leaders Alliance.