His Call, My All – Hennie Keyter

Hennie Keyter's book - His Call, My All‘The way I saw it, church was for strait-laced people who did the right thing, not for misfits like me. I was busy living life by my rules now, after years of striving and rejection. Even with all of my success and outward strength, still I walked around feeling unacceptable and undervalued. It was as if I was always the eight year old packing up his bags to be moved somewhere else. I had spent years hardening myself and I was determined to live without the approval of people – especially Christians.’ 

In the 1970s Hennie Keyter was an angry young man, fresh out of military service for the apartheid government of South Africa, unsure of his path in life and deeply uneasy about his faith. When God revealed to him that He had a purpose for him and a calling on his life, at first Hennie was not ready to hear it. When he finally accepted and understood his mission, a flame was lit in his heart that nothing could have extinguished. But nothing could have prepared him either for the extraordinary spiritual journey he was about to embark on which would take him wherever God wanted him to go: from Malawi, ‘the warm heart of Africa’, to Mozambique at the height of its civil war, where he was sentenced to death and faced a firing squad, from a less than welcoming beginning in Zanzibar, to the United Nations base at Lokichokio on the border between Kenya and Sudan (where on one trip he discovered that he had a price of US$10 000 on his head).

Desiring only to do the will of God and to spread the Gospel, Hennie took up the challenge of taking the Gospel to many of the countries on the African continent and in the Middle East, building up leaders and planting churches in poverty stricken areas, lands devastated by years of conflict and deprivation, and war zones where soldiers seemed to have lost everything, even hope. Through the bushfire of mass evangelism and his dedicated teams of volunteers, supported by the love and faith of his wife Rita and his children Anton and Mari, in His Call, My All: An African Drumbeat – A Missionary’s Heartbeat  Hennie Keyter looks back at his life in the service of the Lord and forward to continuing His work for as long as God requires it of him.



  • TITLE: His Call, My All
  • SUB TITLE: An African Drumbeat – A Missionary’s Heartbeat
  • AUTHOR: Hennie Keyter
  • CO-WRITER: Janet Rodriguez
  • PHYSICAL BOOK ISBN / EAN: 978-0-620-58553-8
  • eBOOK ISBN (ePUB): 978-0-620-58560-6
  • eBOOK ISBN (ePDF): 978-0-620-58561-3
  • PAGES: 230 pages
  • FORMAT: Paperback
  • PHOTOGRAPHS – 2 x 4 page colour photograph sections
  • PUBLISHED DATE: February 2014

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Book Extract from His Call, My All - written by Hennie Keyter

Firing Squad – Mozambique, 1985

What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  Romans 8:31

I was standing trial for collaborating with the enemy, the military court a crude boma made of mud and grass in a remote area of Mozambique on the east coast of Africa. The principles of law and justice were not a priority for the commanding officer who was standing in front of me, now holding my fate in his hands. He was already furious with me. It was the second time in one day that we had met and his temper had not improved. We were both well aware that I had disobeyed his orders earlier the same day. Mozambique was a country ravaged by the civil war that had raged for years, and I understood that the chances of me getting a fair trial here were very slim.

Next to me, trembling with fear, was a poor black man who was standing trial on the same charge. Like me, he had simply driven his vehicle on a road without a military escort, but this had put the two of us in deep trouble.

The several soldiers around us observing events unfold were obviously amused by our predicament and they didn’t hold back their laughter. They laughed at the unusual juxtaposition of a white South African man next to a black one, about to meet the same end for the same crime. It was funny to them, something that lightened their monotonous day spent supervising weary soldiers.

Across from me, the commanding officer was screaming into his radio, talking to his superior officer in Zimbabwe. Even though he had turned away from me, I could hear him clearly and he was speaking English.

‘We have caught two drivers who are certainly collaborating with RENAMO,’ he said. ‘What shall we do with them?’

The only sound I heard after the crackle of the radio transmission was the soldiers laughing and jesting. I stood still.

‘You have done this before,’ the answer came, also in English. ‘It is your decision. You may execute them. It’s up to you.’

Having received confirmation of his autonomy, the commanding officer ended the radio transmission and gave a command for the soldiers to form a firing squad. Soldiers suddenly came to attention and did as they were ordered. They formed a line, uniforms straightened and guns ready.

I looked at the big red African sun setting on the horizon. I thought that it would be the last sun I would ever see in this life and it was beautiful.

My co-accused, the driver of the other vehicle, was a man probably in his thirties. He began to cry and tried to reason with the angry officer. ‘Please, sir,’ he said, ‘I have a wife and children . . .’ Tears were running down his face and I felt terrible for him. He was an innocent man. But I, too, had a wife and children at home. I, too, was innocent.

‘No talking!’ the commanding officer shouted. The soldiers had stopped laughing, sobered now by what they were about to see or do.

There would be no blindfolds and their version would be quick.

I suddenly thought of a saying I liked and often lived by – ‘Cowboys don’t cry’ – and for some reason I started to laugh uncontrollably.

The commanding officer turned to me, enraged that I had made any sound, let alone the laughter that I couldn’t stop. He spun around and faced me, placing his hand on the handgun at his side. For a second I thought he would take a shortcut and kill me himself, right there and then.

And then suddenly, at that moment, the presence of God descended and there was total and wonderful peace.


The LowVelder, Retha Nel – “Once you pick it up, it will be very hard to put down until you’ve read every last word. Hennie Keyter’s His Call, My All is one of those rare books that sucks you in from the first word. For any Christian, South African or person interested in the life of a missionary, this book is truly exceptional.” Click HERE to read the full review.


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