Author Spotlight: Wilna van Beek
By Wilna van Beek
Wilna van Beek is an experienced and practical teacher and author who has developed numerous resources. Her core message surrounds human sexuality, which is critical in this day and age. She journeyed with same-sex attractions and there was a time in her life when she actively lived as a homosexual. She knows what it feels like to be ridiculed, judged, and misunderstood. Her journey of healing and restoration through the power of Jesus is the driving force behind her message.
Her dream is to see that all people, especially Christians, be equipped and educated on the challenging topic of homosexuality. When we better understand persons who journey with same-sex attractions, we will not only realize that they have a heart, but we will desire to build bridges and not walls. It will help that we extend arms of love and point fewer fingers.
Wilna has been speaking with large audiences since 2009, teaching and training hundreds of pastors and leaders. She carries dual citizenship (Canadian/South African) and currently resides in Saskatchewan. She owns a very busy pet-grooming business and considers her three wonderful dogs to be part of her family.
Book Launch: November 18, 2017 at 5:00 p.m., Rock Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Seminar (“When Gay Come Homes and Biblical Sexuality in a Sexualized World”): November 17–18, 2017. Friday, 4:00–7:30 p.m., Saturday: 9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. Seminar is put together by Spoken Word Ministries at the Rock Church in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Q: What inspired you to write When Gay Comes Home?
A: I used to be terrified to tell others about my journey with same-sex attractions. I was so ashamed, and it kept me silent. I thought that if I could write a book, it would bring to light what was on my heart. I wanted to share with others how difficult it is to journey with same-sex attractions, and I hope that many people will understand persons like me better and show more compassion and love towards us.
Q: In what way are you hoping the book will help others?
A: Many people are afraid to talk about this topic. This book will not only bring light to a challenging topic, but I wrote it in very simple language; I don’t use high English. It will help people to understand those who journey, or have journeyed, with same-sex attractions. It will help parents understand their gay sons or daughters better. It provides the tools to be able to look at persons within the LGBTQ community through the lens of Jesus.
The book can also be a tool for pastors and leaders to educate their congregations. It includes a study guide that parents can use to help their young children understand their true identity and practice holy sexuality in our overly sexualized world.
The book provides the evidence that transformation and healing is possible through the power of Jesus. Therefore, it will bring hope to readers.
Q: Why do you think your book is different than other books about the same topic?
A: In my book, I specifically deal with the root causes of same-sex attractions and that healing and restoration are possible when we bring it under the lordship of Christ. In my opinion, not many authors have written about root issues and most dismiss the statement “born this way.” My book not only dissects this statement, but explains how things can start in the womb.
Q: Your title, When Gay Comes Home, can have a lot of meaning. Why did you choose it?
A: It can refer to a son or daughter coming home to tell their parents they are gay. This can wreak great havoc in families. I hope my book will help these families navigate through that difficult process.
It also can reference a person returning home to Jesus. In my case, He relentlessly pursued me when I lived the gay lifestyle. I felt separated from Him and couldn’t follow Him wholeheartedly and live a homosexual lifestyle at the same time. Coming home to Him was key in becoming victorious and walking away from living a gay lifestyle.
Many members of the LGBTQ community won’t attend church or dismiss Christianity. They have felt pushed away. When we learn to love and embrace them and build bridges of love, they can come home to a church family and in the process come home to Jesus, who is waiting with His open and loving arms.
Q: Why did you subtitle it “Learning to Build Bridges”?
A: When a child comes home announcing they’re gay, it can often break relational bridges between them and their parents and siblings. This book will help to navigate this process. Not only should a parent learn how to love their gay child better, but the gay child also must learn to not pressure his or her parent to affirm a certain lifestyle. Sitting around a table to discuss this in a respectful way will help to build bridges.
Another important aspect of this is the fact that many persons who journey with same-sex attractions feel that Christians are hostile towards them. This has created a lot of broken bridges. We must repair these.
By dying on the cross, Jesus built a bridge between us and the Father. We are therefore reconciled to the Father. The Bible instructs us to do the same: we must be the reason people want to get to know Jesus better. If we live and love well, they too may desire to know Jesus. Unconditional love is a key component to building bridges.
Q: Who should read this book? Is it only about homosexuality?
A: I believe my book is for every person who desires to understand and be better equipped on the topic of homosexuality. We all need to love our gay neighbours and co-workers better, and not ridicule them. My book describes my struggles. I not only deeply struggled with same-sex attractions but many other things. By reading the book, you can just replace “same-sex attractions” with any other struggle or addiction that you face. When you put these struggles under the redemptive power of Christ, you will become victorious.
Q: Was it easy to write and how long did it take you?
A: It was not an easy task for sure. I wrote my first chapter in January 2009 and it took eight and a half years to complete the book. Because of the language barrier (my first language is Afrikaans), I needed another person to come alongside me to help with grammar and putting it all together. We both were very challenged as she had a full-time job and I own a busy pet-grooming salon.
Close to the end, I went through a severe burnout and quit writing completely. It took a word from the Lord, through a person who knew nothing about the book, to tell me that the Lord was going to take my hand and write together with me. The Holy Spirit inspired me to finish it.
Q: How was your writing process?
A: It was quite a mixed-up document to start with. It began with my testimony and then I added all my teaching notes. The way the book ended up, I tell my story and then teach the lesson in my story.
Q: How has your publishing experience been?
A: Very challenging indeed, as I had no clue about this process at all. I certainly have lots of respect for all authors today. I am grateful for my prayer partners and the many people who came alongside me to hold up my arms when I was ready to quit.
Q: Do you have any advice for new authors?
A: We all have a story to tell. Not only do we overcome (Revelation 12:11) by sharing our stories, but knowing that our stories will bring hope to others makes it worthwhile to go through the pain and hard labour. Don’t let the pain keep you from doing it. Go for it!
Q: How do you spend your spare time?
A: Spare time? What’s that? I haven’t had much for a long time, but now that the book is done I will certainly embrace it. I love to be in nature or sit around a campfire. I take my dogs for long runs or bike on off-road trails. I have a trailer at a lake and spend a lot of weekends there in the summer. I love all kinds of sports and play competitive squash. I cherish deep, meaningful relationships with friends and love to spend time with them laughing, cooking, or just being in their company.
Q: Did you always have strong faith?
A: My mom gave me a Bible when I was eight years old. I started reading it as a young child, but I only surrendered my life to Christ’s lordship when I was twenty-six. My life was never the same again.
About this Contributor:
Wilna van Beek is a speaker and author who has developed numerous resources which are available on her website. She has been sharing her amazing story of redemption and transformation, after living a homosexual life for years. Wilna has been speaking with large audiences since 2009, equipping hundreds of pastors and leaders on the topic of homosexuality. She carries dual citizenship (Canadian/South African) and currently resides in Saskatchewan. She owns a very busy pet grooming salon and considers her three wonderful dogs to be part of her family.