Day 19: Do you know the Helper? - 27 February 2019

By Benescke Janse van Rensburg

On January 27 this year, thousands of athletes partook in the annual 70.3 Ironman competition in Port Elizabeth. Among them were Cornel Botha and David Jones. What makes these two athletes' story unique is that David had to trust Cornel completely, being his guide for the 1.9km sea swim, 90km bike ride and 21.1km race. David is blind due to an eye condition he was born with and Cornel was his guide for the competition.

The two men, both computer programmers from Cape Town, met each other in 2018. For nine months they trained together for the competition. Cornel’s experience, having completed the competition four times in the past definitely helped.For the swimming part, the two men were connected by the ankle with a stretchable rope - which vibrates as soon as David swims too far away from Cornel. With the cycling part, they shared a tandem bike. And for the running part, the two men were connected with a non-stretchable rope at their wrists. Cornel talked a lot during the competition, explaining what lay ahead, while also checking the clock to ensure their pace was not too fast, nor too slow.

During my interview with the men, I wanted to know why Cornel decided on this unselfish act. He replied: "I like helping people reach their life goals. This is one such opportunity.” And it is not the first time Cornel did it. In the past, he and his disabled son, Neil completed the Cape Town Cycle Tour on a tandem bike. He wanted to prove to his son that nothing was impossible.

As believers, we also have a Guide. We call Him the Holy Spirit. He wants to prepare us for what lays ahead of us, as well as pull us closer to Him, when we lose our way. In John 14: 16-17,26, Jesus prepared His disciples for the coming of the Holy Spirit: “And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. . . But the Advocate, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” In Titus 3: 6 we read: He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior.”  And in Romans 8:26 we read: “And the Holy Spirit helps us in our weakness. For example, we don’t know what God wants us to pray for. But the Holy Spirit prays for us with groanings that cannot be expressed in words.

Just as Cornel guided David through the competition, we have the Holy Spirit guiding us daily through our lives. He is our Comforter and Guide. Do you know His voice? If not, let us ask God to once again fill us with His Holy Spirit. It is the biggest gift Jesus gave us after ascending to heaven. And knowing Him will definitely change our lives completely! God bless.

Father God, thank you for guiding me through your Holy Spirit. Please help me to know when it is You speaking to me through Your Holy Spirit - and help me to respond quicker. I ask this in the Name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

See photo of David Jones and Cornel Botha: or at

See video of David Jones and Cornel Botha:

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