After I got saved in 1982, I was looking for my identity, especially my identity as a wife. I realized that to be a helper was much more than caring for my husband’s needs and assisting him. I started looking for my identity with a walk through the lives of women in the Bible, not realizing that I was living out of rejection. In that stage I learned that I did not know who I was as a person, let alone as a woman or wife. God corrected all my wrong ideas about myself and my misconceptions about Him. I discovered who a helper is, but God still had to teach me who I really was.
At that point I started to wonder about the verses in Romans 6:6-11. How could I be “dead” and still be walking and talking? No one could answer me. The pastors I spoke to were confused themselves about who was alive and who was dead. I decided that I would learn Romans 6 off by heart and God would reveal truth to me. That is what I did for a whole year. In 1993-1994 I learned Romans 6:1-15. I just memorized the verses. Then the calling of God on my life and this yearning came together.
The training in psychology I received during my time of study left me disillusioned. There was no answer in psychology to really solve people’s struggles in life. I asked God if I could be living my life in a meaningful way for Him the last years of my life as I was not young anymore. He said: “Serve me with what you have.” I thought, “But psychology does not work, Lord.” He kept prompting me. I then looked at what I do have and laid everything before Him. I had five options. One of them was that Father would provide me with a truly biblical model of counselling.
He did just that when I was given a book written by Dr. Charles Solomon, Counselling with the Mind of Christ (now entitled Handbook for Christ-Centered Counseling). After reading that book, my life changed forever.
Firstly, I discovered who I really was. I discovered who the Nehlsie is that died (as my pastor says, “the sucker is stone dead!”). She was the person who thought that she was no longer good enough because her parents had another baby when she was five years old. I discovered that this Nehlsie, who performed for acceptance and who was a people pleaser, was dead! I rejoiced in the fact that I am God’s own daughter, and nothing could change that.
Secondly, my calling as a wife to be a helper made so much more sense. Then, Father moved my husband and I into a ministry of counselling, but more to train and equip the saints in our local church.
After a training seminar with Dr. Solomon and Dr. Woodward in Pigeon Forge, Tennessee, USA, we came back to South Africa so excited to start the internship training of biblical counsellors interdenominationally with the method of Spirituotherapy. It was at this time that God, through His Holy Spirit, told me in a vision one night that He wants us to call the place “Curare.” I asked Him what it means, and He told me “to cure.” Hendrik confirmed that “curare” is the Latin infinitive for “to cure.” I wondered why not Greek or Hebrew. At a later stage, God showed me that the Roman Empire was the first enemy of the church. Therefore, the enemy needs to know that there is a place where God’s people will receive their healing in Christ.
Since we started, we have experienced so many times the working of the Holy Spirit in renewing people’s lives, from depressed people, marriages at the brink of breaking up, to homosexuals set totally free in one or two sessions.
Our Country [South Africa]
With this insight into the identity crisis we also gained a lot of insight into the problems of our country.
As Afrikaners, we realize that the whole problem of apartheid developed as a result of the Afrikaner feeling threatened by the English since the occupation by the English and had developed into the Anglo Boer war. In their effort, driven by the fear of losing identity, they did to others what was done to them, only in a much more cruel, racist way. And now we can see the same pattern developing. Determined to safeguard their identity as Africans, the present government of South Africa is steering the people into another reversed form of racism. The issue of the African Renaissance gives a bigger picture of the identity crisis of the African man. Still looking for a true identity which can only be found in Christ Jesus, the Afrikaners, more than ever, are desperately trying to hold on to the last shreds of their identity, their Afrikaans language.
Our marriage is new because we live out of the Spirit, and it is so easy to stop an argument because we just walk away from the dead and into the life of Christ.
I have taken up my place as helper to Hendrik, and we are rewarded for that by our Father. Now, I also minister to women about the God-given gift of a helper as opposed to the ungodly teaching of the world that women need to be emancipated (rather, they need to be crucified and resurrected! [Rom. 6:6-14])
Our children train up their children to live out of who they really are.
We can never be thankful enough…
Nehlsie and Hendrik De Bruto serve as GFI leaders in South Africa with Curare. She can be contacted through their blog at http://debruto.blogspot.com. An audio recording of Nehlsie’s testimony is online at http://gfiworld.sermon.net/main/main/10549635. This article is from a new book by Dr. Solomon titled, The Changing (or Exchanging) Heart of Africa (free online in the ebooks section). Handbook for Christ-Centered Counseling is available from the GFI bookstore. Toll free order line: 1-888-66GRACE. Contributions can be designated to their work in South Africa via the GFI Giving page / International Fund.
 “Spirituotherapy” is the term coined by Dr. Solomon in his pioneering work of Exchanged life Counseling. The Holy Spirit is the Ultimate Counselor. See the article at http://www.Spirituotherapy.org
For a Christ-centered workbook on the biblical role of wife and mother, visit http://www.Motherwise.org