DEREK Puffet from Ellel Ministries in Pretoria gave an interesting talk at Saturday’s Christian Men’s Association breakfast meeting, and spoke about his life and family, and how he became involved in the ministry of deliverance.
“Without purpose, life is empty,” said the 74-year-old Puffet, who then went on to say that everyone has baggage.
Ellel Ministries is a non-denominational Christian ministry that began in England in 1986 and is now established in over 20 countries around the world. Following a trip to the ministry in the UK that lasted far longer than he had imagined, Puffet and his wife returned to South Africa to carry on the Ellel work in this country.
Puffet was born in the Eastern Cape and lived in Port Elizabeth until he was 22, when he moved to Namibia. It was Windhoek where he met his wife of 49 years, Beryl. His two children were also born in Namibia.
He and his wife wanted to give back, and therefore began Life Line in Windhoek.
“Everyone has a purpose,” he said. “I just didn’t know what my purpose was.
He became a full-time pastor for the church in 1989. “I was only saved when I reached 40 years of age. Both my wife and children were saved before me.”
Puffet went to Pretoria to an evangelistic meeting and realised that he wanted to learn the truth about God, not being satisfied with the lies he had heard. At the meeting he realised that this is what he had been waiting for.
“Fasten your seatbelts,” he was told, “God is going to take you on a journey.”
Puffet designed courses, some of which are still used today, in order to assist people to understand God’s purpose for them.
He and his wife travelled to the UK to see the Alpha-site for Ellel Ministries.
Their teaching make him face his own personal demons, and he said the experience was very emotional. In fact, there were several occasions, while talking of his personal experiences, that Puffet cried during his talk.
The couple decided they wanted to start Ellel in South Africa.
“But I needed to fix a few problems I had inside myself before I thought I would be qualified to teach others,” said Puffet.
“I told them I had no talent. I couldn’t sing or dance or play a musical instrument. But then a woman told me that I could love, and that this was my talent,” he said.
“But it took so long for the tree to flower, I thought I would never be ready,” he said. “That is my talent. I can love”
He related that he was told that when the oak tree in the grounds of Ellel began to flower he would be ready. Nevertheless, the time eventually came and Puffet and his family moved to Pretoria in order to begin the South African office for Ellel.
“The church should be a safe place, where you are accepted as who you are. You must be yourself. As Jesus said, ‘If you follow my teachings you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free’,” Puffet said. “And you must forgive those who might have harmed you.”
Puffet spoke of an older rich woman who came to him, her spine bent and in pain. Her husband explained that she had seen all sorts of doctors and specialists, but that they could find nothing wrong with her. Then Puffet asked her if there was a problem in the family. She explained that her daughter-in-law was not a nice person, and she would never forgive her. Puffet told her about the gospel of Matthew, and how the sin of not forgiving could be the problem.
“We prayed, and she forgave her daughter-in-law and, with that, the woman stood straight for the first time. The demons had been cast out.”