“Behold, children are a heritage from the Lord,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.” Psalm 127:3
Dear Friends and Family
Thank you for praying for us! Despite a brief bout of winter flu that hit all three of us, we are well.
More Adventures of a Toddler
Emma is now 19 months old (a year and a half plus one month). She is busy as ever, and is still our little adventurer. Her latest adventures include stomping in puddles on the Rondebosch Common (near to Livingstone House), after the extensive rain we have been receiving. She is always eager to find any puddles that she can jump in! She continually teaches us to enjoy life, even if faced with difficulties: when rain makes puddles… splash in them! Her latest words include: juice, shoes, water, app-ah (apple), car and baby. Each day she is adding new words!
Outreaches in Bo-Kaap
The outreaches in Bo-Kaap (Muslim area) have continued each Thursday. We praise God that Abrie’s security work hours are flexible, so that he can participate in the morning outreaches and then leave for his patrols midday. Our missionaries and interns continue to have many good discussions about the Gospel with these Muslims each week. If their house was skipped that week, some of the Muslim women who our team have befriended, Whatsapp us to ask “why didn’t you come visit me this week?” Abrie spoke to a woman who complained that her granddaughter disrespectfully called her an “ape”. Abrie asked her if he could explain why her grandchild does this, then when on to explain that the heart of the problem, is the problem of the heart. We are sinful from birth. We need a new heart, that only Jesus can give because he died a sinless death, in our place. The woman listened carefully. Please pray that God will give them both new hearts!
“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
Women’s Day Outreaches in Malls
Since 1995, Africa Christian Action has been setting up tables and displays in malls on Women’s Day, to raise awareness on issues through which women are abused, particularly human trafficking. I organised these outreaches for the last 13 years, so this was the first year that I did not organise them. This year, I arranged a baby sitter for Emma so that Abrie and I could participate for the morning session at Parow Mall. I thoroughly enjoyed the outreach, as I have not been able to take part in many outreaches since Emma was born. (Emma seems to be happy for to be apart from me for 3 or 4 hours at a time and I would love to participate in more outreaches if I had free babysitters available such as Ouma and Oupa or Grandma and Grandpa in town!)
“Some of the comments people wrote on our Email List sign-up sheet clip board: “good eye-opener”, “great stand and inspiring”, “awesome and informative”, “you opened my eyes and changed my mind.”
Campaigning Against Human Trafficking
Abrie “trafficked” dozens of people by saying “we are offering well-paid jobs, no experience necessary. Would you be interested?” If they said yes, he sent them to the table where I explained to them, “Sorry, the offer was fake. We told you this to show you how easy it is to be tricked into being trafficked!” I then told them how we can evaluate job opportunities by asking the right questions. If it seems too good to be true, then it probably is too good to be true! The 0800 222 777 Anti-Trafficking Resource Line (manned 24/7 by A21 Campaign) can also help check out the company/person if you suspect that a job opportunity may be a scam or a front for trafficking.
Conversation Leads to Conviction and Conversion
I had a good Gospel conversation with one of the young women who came to our table as result of this “trick”. She said she is a “believer”, but when I probed further, she started to cry when I explained how, without Christ setting us free, we are slaves to sin. We often find ourselves going back to the same old sin, even when we know that it is destructive for ourselves and others! I explained further that when Jesus gives us a new heart, with new desires, He also sets our will free from being in bondage to our sinful nature. When we are born again, we can overcome sin through the power of His Holy Spirit dwelling within us. I asked her when she going to truly repent of her sin and surrender her life to Christ? She said “when I get home”! Abrie gave his phone number to a man that he shared the Gospel with. This man later phoned him and said that he is really struggling with alcoholism and he would like to give his life to the Lord!
Testimonies from Traffick Victims
One shopper said to me, “I am so shocked, I did not know trafficking was happening in South Africa.” He later carefully read through the National Freedom Network story board banners that give five different real-life personal stories of trafficking at our display.
Some of our volunteers told every shopper walking past that they could receive a free DVD at our table. This was true, but only if they completed our evangelistic survey! This meant that we had people queuing up at our table to do the survey! Thankfully, several of our volunteers were equipped to go through the survey with shoppers. We soon ran out of our Biggest Question DVDs, although we still had New Testaments to offer them.
Fighting the New Drug that Feeds Human Trafficking
I spoke to two different teachers interested in us giving Traffick Proof presentations at their schools. One of the teachers also shared with me how she caught two boys from her class looking at porn on their phones. She shared with me how she felt ill-equipped to explain to these boys the dangers and destructiveness of pornography. The boys were not ashamed of what they were doing and were accessing the porn very easily on the internet via their phones. This teacher took a stack more of our Stop the Traffick and Fight the New Drug leaflets for her Life Orientation class, who will soon be required to write an essay on such issues.
Reaching our Neighbours - Door-to-Door in Rondebosch
For many years now, we have felt burdened to reach our literal neighbours. Rondebosch might be a wealthy neighbourhood, but its residents will spend an eternity in hell, unless they repent and trust in Christ! Pristine houses might also mask broken lives. Using an idea of from an American Evangelist friend, we adapted an evangelistic letter and hand-delivered them in post boxes in nearby streets. Then, as the letter informs the reader, we went door-to-door (more like gate to gate), on two Sunday afternoons, trying to find anyone who was at home and was willing to let us in to discuss the questions in the letter. Of those that answered their intercom bell, most said they were “not interested”, but one couple said they would read through the letter. We knew we were going to face resistance in this neighbourhood, so we will persevere, knowing that God is faithful to open doors! At least once a year, people in our neighbourhood organise street braais and we hope to meet some of our neighbours that way too.
Africa Christian Action was one of the first pro-life groups in South Africa to screen the new pro-life film, Unplanned. Unplanned brilliantly exposes the evil of the abortion industry, especially the biggest abortuary chain in America, Planned Parenthood. I wrote an article for Gateway News about the screening, and the impact the movie has had in America, Canada and locally.
A big negative about the movie for myself, however, was that the 40 Days for Life activists who befriended Abby and encouraged her to leave Planned Parenthood, did not share the Gospel with her. The deep regret about the reality of abortion she was feeling when she walked out of the clinic and into the 40 Days for Life office, would have been the perfect opportunity to share with her about the bad news of how she had grieved God through participation in the murder of over 22 000 babies, but also the real forgiveness found in Christ whose Blood could wash her clean from the innocent blood she had shed. In fact, the film portrays a dangerously deceptive view of God. The film portrays Abby sobbing late one night, agonising over the realisation that when she thought she was helping women facing unplanned pregnancies, she was actually hurting them, and killing their precious unborn child. Her husband tries to comfort her and tells her that God will forgive her, if she just asks. This is an idolatrous (or false) view of God. It does not depict His Holy Law and Justice, as the Bible describes. Either we deserve eternal punishment in hell for our heinous sins against Him, or, if we are now living under Christ’s Lordship, because of His Grace, Jesus was punished on our behalf.
“The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul.” Psalm 18:9. “The Law was our schoolmaster to lead us to Christ, that we may be justified by Faith.” Galatians 3:24
Africa Christian Action now has permission from Pureflix to arrange screenings of Unplanned at independent movie theatres, churches or community groups. Please pray that we can arrange many screenings, especially in Cape Town, and at university campuses and medical schools.
Answer to Prayer – New (Second-Hand) Car
In answer to prayer, and as a direct result of your generous support going back many years, we have been able to purchase a good second hand car. We were able to pay cash (we pooled both of our savings), and therefore have not incurred any debt. It is a Toyota Etios (2013). It has a CD player and has a big boot (trunk), perfect for future family travels. We praise God for His provision.
Other Prayer Requests
Yours for Christ’s glory,
Abrie and Taryn Lourens
PO Box 74, Newlands 7725
Cape Town, South Africa
Tel: 021-689 4481
Acc Name: Abrie Lourens
Acc Number: 62278389757
Branch Code: 270-553
Abrie and Taryn have been married since 16 December 2015.