Lex and Annie de Wit’s story

    Dear B.I. Friends:Lex De Wit

    Some of you will remember my husband, Lex. de Wit, who went home to be with the Lord .on 9 February 2015 as the result of colon cancer. Hedley has asked me to write something about Lex’s years after B.I., so I will do my best ….

    Lex was a student at BI from 1966 through part of 1969. It must have been at the latter part of that period that he met an American missionary named Marlin Olsen. Marlin was a church planter among the coloured people in Cape Town. For about a year Lex was Marlin’s shadow, learning firsthand how to lead people to Christ and disciple them. He later said that he got his theological training at B.I., but learned how to do personal work from Mr. Olsen. When the Olsen’s left for furlough in the U.S.A. Lex went with them, having felt God’s call to work among the coloureds under TEAM (The Evangelical Alliance Mission). TEAM required him to attend their three-week candidate school in Wheaton, Illinois. Lex was also hoping to get pastoral experience working under a senior pastor. This was never realised, but a small church in Humboldt, Nebraska had just been planted and they called Lex to be their first pastor. That was the beginning of his pastoral experience and where he was when we met. I was in my fifth year of working at a Christian radio station operated by Grace College of the Bible (now Grace University) in Omaha, Nebraska, 85 miles from Humboldt. A mutual friend introduced us at an informational meeting for the radio station. That was in May 1971; we were married five months later. It was Lex’s intimate relationship with God that attracted me to him.

    We continued in the Humboldt pastorate far a time, but realised that we needed to be true to Lex’s prior calling. This was not a problem to me; I had felt God’s calling to be a missionary as a young girl. I attended TEAM candidate school, and the Lard enabled us to raise our support in only seven months. On our second wedding anniversary we left for South Africa, arriving towards the end of 1973. Our assignment was to start a new church in Kimberley. The intention was to do this for two years and then move on to another place. Little did we know how hard the work would be and that the lord was going to keep us here. There were those who made “decisions,” but not many followers who were committed to establishing a local church. The ones who were committed, however, were treated to a solid diet of expositional teaching Sunday after Sunday. In 1995 Lex felt that he had poured all he could into this small congregation and we left that work. By the grace of God, the church is continuing to this day.

    During these years the Lord granted us five children – three sons and two daughters. They are all grown up now and miss their dad, who had a passionate interest in their spiritual and physical well-being. I well remember when they were school-going age, sitting around the table at mealtime, having family devotions, Lex would go around the circle, asking each one whether he was saved. Yes, was the reply from each one. One of his greatest motivations was to see his faith passed on to the next generation.

    Lex and Anne De WitFor a brief time Lex was area co-ordinator of the churches in the Central Baptist Association of the Baptist Union. Following the church planting experience we remained In Kimberley and took up membership first at the Kimberley Baptiste Kerk and then at the Kimberley Baptist Church. To provide an income Lex went into property development and also turned his beekeeping hobby into a business. Even though he was no longer in “fulltime Christian service”, he was a shepherd at heart and a witness wherever he went.

    Lex’s journey with cancer was roughly eighteen months. We had prayed for his healing – he had such a zest for living – but the Lord saw otherwise.
    When it became apparent that Lex would not be getting better, the Lord enabled him to accept this with grace, and
    even joy and excitement at the prospect of going home to his Heavenly Father. That took place in the early hours of Monday, 9 February 2015. His was a life well lived, always seeking to honour the Lord he loved. We miss him, but we will see him again.



    Annie de Wit