As a young man Ps Gary Deetlefs was impacted by the story of William Duma in his book “Take your Glory Lord.” William Duma, a Baptist minister in Durban, awoke every night at midnight to pray and held lunch time healing meetings at his small Umgeni Road Church, where many miracles occurred, including the raising of the dead. Every New Year he would go away to a mountain to be alone with God in prayer and fasting in order to seek His face for the year of ministry that lay ahead. The vision of a “Prayer Mountain” was later re-inforced by the testimony of the Korean pastor, Yonggi Cho who has a “prayer mountain” where over 10 000 people are praying 24/7.
Each New Year, for a week, Pastor Gary together with a Zulu pastor would go to the mountains and stay in a cave for prayer and fasting. Later, some friends viz. the Jeanes family, purchased a property in the Burne Valley forest near Richmond in Kwa Zulu Natal and a caravan was placed there for folk who wanted to get alone with the Lord.
One morning, during 1995, Ps Gary set out to buy a goose and ended up buying the old Zig Zag Hotel, situated in the Shongweni Valley, 35km’s outside Durban. It was built in 1922 by an Italian Construction company working on the Durban Johannesburg Railway line. The hotel was used to house their staff. The van Zyl family later bought it and operated it as a Country Hotel. The church then purchased it as a Mission Station, Guesthouse and Prayer Retreat.