Monty left yesterday morning to be with the One he loved the most.
Not only was Monty a gifted teacher, but he was also my best friend. He was selfless in giving and never asked for anything in return. He always had an ear to listen, a shoulder to cry on, and a hand that helped out.
I have known him for about 15 years and spent many, many hours with him. He taught me so much, but above all, he taught me God’s grace. He lived it you see. Through Monty I was able to be free in the Lord and to discard guilt. I came to understand that grace means that God accepts me just as I am - “So there is now no condemnation awaiting those who belong to Christ Jesus” (Rom 8:1).
Monty was a butcher by trade but had started a little business making and selling biltong (dried meat). But God challenged him to rely only on Him for all his needs – “And it is He who will supply all your needs from His riches in glory, because of what Christ Jesus has done for us” (Phil 4:19). It was very difficult for him to stop working and to totally trust God to look after him. But he did. And God did.
Monty believed in tithing and started off with the usual 10%. But God challenged him some more, so he pushed it to 15%, then 20%, and the last time we spoke of it, he was tithing 30% of every cent he had. He was living proof of Mat 6:25 – “So my counsel is: don’t worry about things – food, drink, money and clothes. For you already have life and a body – and they are far more important than what to eat and wear. Look at the birds! They don’t worry about what to eat – they don’t need to sow or reap or store up food – for your Heavenly Father feeds them. And you are far more valuable to Him than they are”. He had no income, yet he lived in a house, owned a car, had plenty to eat and had clothes to wear. Although he lived simply, if he wanted something, he bought it. And on top of all that, he had no debt. He never borrowed from anyone, in fact, people borrowed from him.
Monty had such a strong, logical and clear understanding of the Word that he could teach anything with ease. I am so grateful that my two boys had the opportunity to spend years doing Bible-studies with him. It gave them a foundation in the Word that very few young men can start adulthood with.
Monty spent his days studying the Word of God, playing his guitar, and he spent his evenings teaching. His two blogs (Abound in Grace and The Invisible Church) took up hours and hours. When those two blogs did not appear faithfully every day, and I saw less of him, I realized that he was sicker than he led on because he was not one to shirk his duties or leave his post.
Monty had a whole list of people that he prayed for. And his prayers were specific, according to their needs. I always felt safe knowing that my family were in Monty’s prayers.
When he lost a son, God showed him a vision of Heaven to comfourt him. He never shared that with me or anyone else that I know of, but I do know that although he missed his boy, he never grieved again. He saw that Shane was Home, and he knew what Home meant.
Which is where he is now. No more suffering, no more tears. As I sat here after hearing about his passing on, I imagined him arriving in Heaven, and being greeted by those who went before him. And the JOY and GLORY that he must be experiencing. I also imagine him running around in Heaven, meeting and greeting all those great men and woman from the Bible, knowing that he has eternity to talk to them and learn from them. But what he is busy with more than anything, is worshipping his Maker, beholding the Face he had yearned to see for so long.
He leaves behind his children Marco and Kim, his grandchildren, as well as a brother, a sister and other family members who all keenly feel the loss of someone who lived what he preached.
Monty, I am happy for you, but I will miss you my friend. Have a blast and when you get a second, please remember all of us to our Father.