Community Sabie


Barbara Steenkamp

Pastor Phil Robson appeared on the platform of the Living Waters Christian Church for the last time on Sunday 16 May 2021.

The Robson couple, then with their two young children, arrived in Sabie 35 years ago. Initially, they served a handful of members in the Moth Hall, sandwiched between the Dutch Reformed Church and the AFM church. When this little hall became too small, they moved their flock to the ‘Geloftefees’ terrain which is situated just through the municipal campsite (Castle Rock).

Finally, after serving the Lord and the community faithfully from here for several years, in 1990 Pastor Phil and his small congregation began clearing the site where the Living Waters Church is currently situated. Since then, Pastor Phil has not only overseen the building of that first phase of the church but also built most of the time with his own hands, the main auditorium with its characteristic timber interior, as well as an addition to the church intended for functions and training opportunities.

This facility was used, apart from regular church services and training, for the training of pastors through the two successful ISOM (International School of Ministry) diploma courses that Pastor Phil facilitated, and which resulted in the training of several pastors and laypeople.

Pastor Phil’s vision had always been to offer the church as a resource centre to equip believers to serve God more effectively. Many musicians, who are currently serving in music ministries throughout South Africa, were trained by him or through his involvement.

Pastor Phil is not only an academic with excellent scientific and theological training but also a humble servant who did not mind getting his hands dirty with the practicalities of everyday life. He was a visionary leader who brought Pastor Hein Vermaak and his wife Ronna on board about six years ago to be trained as his and his wife Desi’s successors.

It can indeed be said about this humble man of God that he laid a sure foundation – the foundation of Jesus Christ. He is leaving in Sabie a building of brick and timber, as well as a human building that will last forever. He was always supported by his wife Desiree (Desi as she was called fondly by the congregation) – a humble, strong servant who touched the lives of many people, not only in the church but also in the larger community. Their legacy will have eternal value.

Although it was with sadness that the congregation bid him and his wife Desiree farewell, he was not sent off to retire. They are indeed looking forward to spending more time with their children and grandchildren in Pretoria, but they were sent off to continue their ministry there. Pastor Phil has already embarked on a new journey by publishing his first book – Going against Goliath. In this book, he gives emotional, spiritual and factual assistance to people suffering from cancer. He was well qualified for this task by his ongoing battle against cancer which he is bearing bravely. We hope to see many more books from his pen. We wish him and Desi a well-deserved time of rest, as well as an exciting new direction in their lives.




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