EX-TRAFFIC cop and keen angler Dave Elms told the Christian Men’s Association breakfast on Saturday how God had saved him both spiritually and physically.
Elms, who moved to Port Alfred in May last year, grew up in Grahamstown and lived in Port Elizabeth for many years.
He joined the provincial traffic department and later moved to the municipal traffic department in Port Elizabeth.
SAVED: Dave Elms, who recently moved to Port Alfred, shared his testimony at the Christian Men’s Association breakfast held at the Port Alfred Ski-boat Club on Saturday Picture: JON HOUZET
“In those years it was quite a pleasure to be a traffic officer,” he said. “We took pride in our work and wearing the uniform, unlike these days.”
By the end of his employment at the traffic department he was managing the roadworthy section. Then, when that function was privatised, he managed a roadworthy station until he retired.
He travelled to the UK and New Zealand before returning to South Africa.
“I was very involved in angling – fishing in EP competitions,” Elms said. “Every weekend I would get in my beach buggy and fish with my mates.”
He also became involved in a business venture with a partner and put a lot of stock into the business. But he was cheated by the person who disappeared with all the stock and cash.
He also was divorced at around that time.
He immersed himself in his fishing till one day he had an epiphany.
“I was fishing in a competition and everything was going well. I was way ahead with the fish I caught, then at about 8pm I suddenly lost all interest. I felt sick,” said Elms.
His said his friends became concerned but he got into his beach buggy and headed home.
“I was driving over the Sundays River and I heard a voice saying, ‘I want to see you in church tomorrow’,” he said.
A friend of his attended Harvest Christian Church in Port Elizabeth so Elms decided to go there.
“He nearly fell over when I came in.”
That Sunday the pastor preached about forgiveness and gave an example of forgiving someone even if they have cheated you out of many thousands of rands.
“He mentioned the amount I had been cheated of,” said Elms.
Believing a confidence had been betrayed, he berated his friend for telling the pastor his story. But his friend said he had not.
“When the pastor asked if anyone needed prayer I went up and he prayed over me. I felt peace,” said Elms.
He said he started attending Harvest and participated in a divorce care course and an Alpha course for new Christians.
“Divorce care is such a good course. It’s needed in Port Alfred because there are so many divorced people,” he said. “I’ve seen people come in who are broken. I’ve seen grown men cry.”
He said he had since been baptised and “God has led me in so many different ways”.
Since coming to Port Alfred Elms has become involved in a sustainable food project called Farming God’s Way and a skills development centre.
“If I hadn’t heard God speaking to me that Saturday night I wouldn’t be here today,” he said. “God has saved me so many times.”
He related an story of when he went fishing alone, “like they warn you not to”, and got into trouble when he threw out the anchor and the rope got caught around his leg.
He was barely able to hold onto the boat and the rope cut through his calf. He lost track for how long he held on until a father and son going fishing noticed his distress and rescued him.
Doctors thought they might have to amputate his foot but a specialist was able to save it.