Uganda for Christ
“Then I will sprinkle clean water on you and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My Statutes and you will keep My judgments and do them.” Ezekiel 36:25-27
Dear Friends and Family
Thank you for praying for Abrie’s recent Mission to Uganda (see his report below) and for us as a family. Thank you especially for how you have prayed for and supported us during 2018. We are eternally grateful for your kind and generous support.
2018 was a whirlwind of activity and a difficult year of adjusting to life as parents, yet it was our most blessed year yet! I meant to send a newsletter in December, but an opportunity to house sit and Christmas celebrations occupied my time during the holidays.
Oh What Fun, Emma Turned One!
Time has flown, and we almost could not believe that our baby turned ONE year old on 7 January. Her actual birthday was during Frontline Fellowship’s Biblical Worldview Summit, so we hosted a small party for her (actually more for us to celebrate!) in late December.
On 26 January, Emma took her first steps! She is our adventurer and explorer par excellence! She fearlessly climbs up and down from furniture, loves to push anything that can move and anything that can be tasted, will be tasted (including every blade of grass and every leaf). She is very busy and sometimes wants to toddle (walk) faster than her little body can carry her! She squeals with delight whenever she sees a dog, cat or horse and chases after them if they run away from her attempts to stroke them. She also loves to play with keys and balls.
Biblical Worldview Summit and Great Commission Course
We began our year with the Biblical Worldview Summit (BWS) with over 100 participants, some coming from as far afield as Germany, Nigeria, the Congo, Mozambique, the United States of America and from all over South Africa. The 6-day BWS programme included: 12 speakers, 20 lectures/presentations, 4 devotions, 4 films, 4 outreaches, 13 hours of practicals, (including 15 different activities, bushcraft and survival skills, obstacle crossing, problem solving, and team building), Bible Drill, Just a Minute debating skills game, a night hike, a variety concert, a Bible Exam and 5 hours of discussion and prayer group activities. Each morning (except Sunday) began with energetic physical training (P.T.).
Following the Biblical Worldview Summit, 20 participants continued with the three-week Great Commission Course which included outreaches throughout Cape Town and a Prayer Vigil placard protest with counselling ministry outside the Marie Stores Abortuary in Bree Street.
To mark the 22nd anniversary of the legalisation of abortion on demand in South Africa, I organised Africa Christian Action’s annual March for Life to Parliament in Cape Town (31 January). In February, I helped to arrange meetings for Dr Peter Hammond and a team of interns for their recent round-the-country mission.
At the end of February, I resigned from my duties as International Co-ordinator of Africa Christian Action to be a full-time mother. I intend to attempt to write articles, Abrie’s Mission Reports and these Personal Newsletters in my “spare” time (when Emma is sleeping!). My duties will be delegated out amongst the staff and missionary interns of Frontline Fellowship, until a suitable full-time Co-ordinator of Africa Christian Action can be found. Please pray that more volunteers can be recruited to expand the ministry of Africa Christian Action.
Excellent example of how to do door-to-door evangelism in your community (and to avoid being seen as a Jehovah’s Witness). You can also use the following questions to start an evangelistic conversation with anyone!
Wes Holland, Pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church (PCA) in Brandon, Florida has a very innovative way he has developed to engage people and he is finding the people very receptive to h
is visit. Instead of simply knocking on someone's door, he sends them a letter first. Wes reports that this method has led to some amazing Gospel conversations with people.
Greetings! My name is Wes Holland, pastor of Westminster Presbyterian Church. I am appealing to you for some brief help. I am sure you are aware that we live in a time where our country’s views on religion are changing. As a pastor, what I have assumed people believe or understand about Christianity is changing. In order to communicate the Gospel effectively, I need to know where my assumptions are wrong, and the questions people are asking that I should be addressing. To this end, I have developed five short questions:
I would like to stop by your home this week and seek your feedback on these questions. I will take no more than five minutes of your time. If you have questions you would like to ask, or objections to Christianity, I would love to have an opportunity to hear them. If you do not wish to participate and do not wish me to knock on your door, I understand. You may send me an email with your house address, and I will pass by your home. (I will not retain your email address). My email is: firstname.lastname@example.org. If weather permits, my plan is to be in your neighbourhood between 3-4:30 PM on Saturday and Sunday. If you would like me to stop by, but are not at home during that time, please do not hesitate to send me an email with a time that works, and I will make every effort to accommodate you. Thank you very much for considering my plea for help. To know more about who I am, and the church I pastor, you may visit our website: www.wpcbrandon.org.
In Christ’s Service,
Pastor Wes Holland
Inspiring Pioneer Missionary to Uganda – Alexander Mackay
The life and writings of one of the first Missionaries to Uganda, Alexander Mackay is very inspiring. As they left Britain, Alexander Mackay said: “I want to remind the committee that within 6 months they will probably hear that one of us is dead. Yes, is it at all likely that 8 Englishmen should start for Central Africa and all be alive six months after? One of us at least – it may be I, will surely fall before that … when that news comes, do not be cast down, but send someone else immediately to take the vacant place”.
In 1878, when Scotsman Alexander Mackay arrived in what is now Uganda to serve as a missionary, he first set up a blacksmith forge among a tribe ruled by King Mutesa. Villagers gathered around this stranger who worked with his hands, puzzled because everyone “knew” that work was for women. At that time, men in Uganda never worked with their hands. They raided other villages to capture slaves, selling them to outsiders. Mackay’s work ethic and life resulted in relationships with the villagers and gained him an audience with the king. Mackay challenged King Mutesa to end the slave trade, and he did.
Uganda for Christ
To view the following Uganda Mission Report with pictures, click here.
You can listen to Abrie’s interview on his Uganda Mission with Dr Hammond on the From the Frontline Podcast here.
Gospel Power and Proclamation
By God’s Grace, I have returned safely from a month-long Mission to Uganda. For the first two weeks, I had the privilege of participating in a School of Evangelism, held near Entebbe, arranged by Professor Henry Krabbendam and Rev Al Baker from the Reformed Evangelistic Fellowship in the USA. Dr Krabbendam has been organising and lecturing at these Evangelism Conferences in this area for more than 30 years. A group of 28 trainee Evangelists from all over North and South America also participated in this School. Dr Krabbendam and Rev Al Baker lectured on Biblical Evangelism and Discipleship, particularly hammering home the doctrines of the Depravity of man, the Holiness of God and the three-fold Gospel of Regeneration, Justification and Sanctification. Most Gospel preachers only focus on justification, but neglect to preach the necessity for regeneration (receiving a new heart, or being born again) and the necessity of sanctification (growing in holiness) flowing out of this new heart and new life.
Open-Air Preaching, Street Evangelism and Prison Ministry
We also engaged in intensive one-on-one evangelism in the streets and market places and also house-to-house visits. I preached open-air 15 times, along with some of my American friends, during our 3 half-day outreaches in the surrounding villages and 6 full-day outreaches in different areas. I also had the opportunity to preach at two Sunday Services, and in a prison.
When Breakdowns Become Blessings
Our bus ride to this area was meant to take 6 hours, but it ended up taking 13 hours due to the bus breaking down twice and overheating several times. However, one breakdown turned into a blessing, when I walked over to a Muslim school and began preaching to the Muslim teachers having a meeting in the outside courtyard. Soon more people from the village gathered to hear the Gospel, and our team were emboldened to get off the bus and join me in preaching to the growing crowd. They seemed eager to hear the Gospel message.
“What Must I Do to Be Born Again?”
During one of the street outreaches, a young man came up to Abrie and his teammates and earnestly asked: “What must I do to be born again?” It is very unusual to get such an immediate and enthusiastic response on the streets!
I took as much literature as possible in my bags for the participants of this Conference and also for my hosts in Kasese. Books donated included: Biblical Principles for Africa, Biblical Preaching Handbook, Chaplain’s Handbook and The Ten Commandments – God’s Perfect Law of Liberty.
Packed and Productive Ministry in Kasese
During the next two weeks, I ministered in Kasese, at meetings arranged by a Christian Action Network member who is also a minister of the Anglican Church of Uganda. He had completed a Biblical Worldview Summit eight years ago. My hosts were generous and organised a packed and productive itinerary. Thankfully, it seems that the liberalism that has destroyed the Anglican Church in Europe and America has not yet reached Uganda! However, UNICEF funds much of the supply of textbooks to schools run by the Anglican Church. The worldview of these textbooks should be carefully examined.
Seminars and Services
I conducted six Evangelism Seminars, each in a different area (or diocese), one of which was at the Anglican Church’s Seminary. Most seminars were packed to overflowing, with some participants even needing to sit outside, by the windows. I preached at three packed Sunday Services at the Cathedral and also at three services in another village the following Sunday.
Hospital and School Ministry
Other ministry included three chaplain’s services at a hospital, three school meetings and a live radio broadcast that they claimed reaches over 6 million people. Both the hospital and schools are owned and run by the Anglican Church of Uganda. At all the seminars it seemed that the participants understood my main point: the heart of the problem is problem of the heart!
Pray for Uganda
We can praise God that most Ugandans are open to the Gospel. However, much discipleship is needed to lay a strong foundation for Biblical Reformation and Spiritual Revival. The Anglican Church has much potential to influence the minds, bodies and spirits of many through their schools, hospitals and churches, if they will fully understand and apply a Biblical Worldview – the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life. They must remain Evangelical and reject humanistic influences from Europe and the United Nations. We have received an open invitation to lecture for a week on Evangelism at the Divinity School (Seminary). Please pray for us as we consider future missions to Uganda and how best to supply Biblical literature to pastors, teachers, chaplains and Evangelists.
Upcoming Mission to the Nuba Mountains
The Muslim government of Khartoum has been bombing churches and schools and poisoning wells in the Nuba Mountains for over 60 years. Our beleaguered brothers and sisters in Christ in the Nuba Mountains need much prayer, encouragement and practical help. Abrie, Ben and John plan to return to the Nuba Mountains to follow-up on the ministry and Bible distribution that they conducted last year. We praise God that another shipment of Bibles and books (organised by Ben), is ready for distribution. One of the main goals of this upcoming mission will be to carefully distribute these resources at schools, teacher training colleges and to church leaders. We will also be conducting training with some of these teachers and pastors in how to teach the content of these vital resources. The flights to the Nuba Mountains (and back) are costly. Please pray that God would provide the finances necessary to enable our team to go on this important mission to this remote and neglected region of the 10-40 window of the Muslim Middle East.
Other Prayer Requests:
Yours for Christ’s glory,
Abrie and Taryn Lourens
Africa Christian Action & Frontline Fellowship
PO Box 74
Tel: 021-689 4481
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Abrie and Taryn have been married since 16 December 2015.