"The Lord is my Strength and my shield; in Him my heart trusts , and I am helped; my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to Him."
I walked alone towards the building, touching my side periodically to ensure the knife tucked into my skirt was still there. My skirt whipped at my ankles as the wind rushed passed me as if running away from eminent danger. I wished that I had taken up my brother’s offer for him to walk with me. A wild horse was galloping around the deserted property bucking and neighing. I looked back and wondered if it was going to trample me or buck my car. My brother was sitting in the car with his fiancé, I insisted that he wait with her in the car rather than walk with me. They were on their way to a wedding; she was dressed in a sundress, not appropriate to walk through this area.
My mind flashed back to the faces of the men tucked in the dark under the bridge, in amongst the litter and debris, that we had passed just up the road on our way here. I couldn’t get my mind to ignore the stories I had heard of the gang wars and violence in this area. Was I trusting God for His protection or was I being unwise? We were supposed to be holding an Evangelism Workshop here, and I was supposed to be meeting up with colleagues, but they were nowhere to be found. Was I even in the right place?
I reached the building that had had a small sign outside with the name of a church painted on it. If this was the right place, where were our hosts? There was not a soul. Clutching my knife through my shirt, I entered into the building hoping to find people inside. Still nothing. But feeling slightly safer inside the building, I looked around to make sure no one was watching me, and then quickly whipped out my phone also tucked into my skirt, to try and get hold of my colleagues. Soon I found out, that they had had to leave the venue after finding out that the host had broken down on her way there. My team had gone to fetch her from the side of the road, on the way they had to pull over, as another of the team members had been sick out of the car. According to their description of the surroundings, it looked like I was at the right place. Time would have to tell.
I hastily made my why back to the car, still feeling rather uneasy. As I hopped into the car, I took in a deep breath; it felt like it was the first breath I had taken since leaving the car. My brother protested that we should just leave, that we couldn’t just sit there waiting. He pondered over the road that we had just driven, saying that it was the only road leading into the area, and so was the only way out. He shifted uneasily, suggesting again that we leave. But there was a reason this place felt dark, it needed the light of Jesus. I couldn’t leave.
As soon as we met the hosts and we busied ourselves with setting up for the workshop, and the participants started to filter in, the apprehension had faded away. We were gathered with brothers and sisters in Christ to worship our Saviour together, and helping to equip them with the necessary skills and resources to reach into their community and share their faith and the Good News with others.
The workshop ran really smoothly, and then many presentations and discussions later, it was time to go put the newly learned skills to practice on the streets. Equipped with Gospel tracks and Bibles we went out. The only reason we were able to enter into the community is because we had locals from the community with us, otherwise we would not have been accepted.
I looked about me as we walked down the broken one-lane gravel road, there were toddlers playing in the dust, while chewing on pieces of old electrical wiring. There was a man hammering away at parts of an old toaster. A rusty old beans tin clattered as I kicked it, not watching where I was walking. There were people smoking and taking drugs out on the street, everyone from young boys to mothers.
As I walked past the one dilapidated old building that someone calls home, I saw a grey-haired old lady slumped in a broken plastic chair, peering through her wrinkles out into nothingness. Her eyes were void, her expression blank, the vivacity drained out of her from a hard life. Hopelessness, meaninglessness and despair smeared across her face. I approached her and asked if I could chat to her, she couldn’t get out of her chair, but motioned for me to come in while, simultaneously swatting flies away from her face, in one smooth movement. Now squashed into the tiny room, I started to talk to her. She only grunted about 3 words in return. A young woman, about my age also entered the room. The daughter I presumed.
She shyly stretched her shaking hand out past her pregnant belly as I introduced myself. Since they didn’t seem very chatty, I asked if I could pray with them, and started praying the Gospel. For example, “Thank you Father for sending your Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the Cross and save us from our sins…” The pregnant young woman collapsed onto my shoulder and wept. I embraced her as I kept praying. My eyes were slightly open, and I just saw silver tears spilling down the cheeks of the old lady as she still sat motionless in her chair. Afterwards, they told me a bit more about their lives, and the terrible struggles they were facing. I left the young woman with a Bible, I wrote her a message inside the cover encouraging her to lean on the Lord, to keep going.
The next few hours were filled with similar encounters as many people were desperately overwhelmed by the love of Jesus. There were also more difficult conversations, such as with young teen boys coming out of a drug house, working with gangsters. They could recite Scripture to you, but were clearly uninterested in obeying any of it. Many people heard the Gospel, and many hearts were touched by the Holy Spirit. Praise God for the opportunity He gave us to run this workshop, to spend time with these brothers and sisters in their own community, for keeping us all safe, and for the ongoing work that is still happening there. I have been in touch with some of the women since that day, chatting on the phone about updated ministry they were doing in the community. I look forward to going back to visit again as we have planned to do another workshop there in January.
We do weekly outreaches to malls and universities, and often do door-to-door in Muslim communities. The outreaches in the Muslim areas have been really fruitful, as we often meet young men just leaving the mosque who are from Saudi Arabia or Yemen, or other such closed countries, and have come to Cape Town to learn English. This has been such an incredible opportunity that the Lord has set up! Being a woman I cannot personally evangelise or disciple these men, but it has been such a blessing to partner with Hunter in prayer as he has managed to start friendships with some of these young men who have never heard the Word of Christ before! Thank you Jesus.
Henry Morton Stanley School of Christian Journalism
I am so grateful to be a part of getting the Henry Morton Stanley School of Christian Journalism off the ground. This year we have worked on creating the Christian Journalism Manual. We have uploaded many articles and lectures onto the HMS Web. I created the application form for new students to apply. Recently I finished my 3rd article, titled Education or Indoctrination, based on how education has been hijacked by overtly anti-Christian secular humanists, and how it’s important to be raising our youth with an education that is rooted in the Bible.
This has also been linked to the most recent From the Frontline podcasts we recorded, as we discussed the need for a Biblical Worldview, especially in this day and age where there is a world war of worldviews raging.
Altogether I recorded 24 From the Frontline Podcasts this year. And other radio work consists of multiple interviews on Radio Tygerberg for the Salt and Light Programme.
It has been such fun, and I have learned so much through all the research and writing I have done this year. I thoroughly recommend everyone interested in uncovering the truth and exposing fake news to listen to the lectures uploaded onto the HMS Web and if possible delving in deeper and doing the course.
Campus for Christ
An Atheist, an Agnostic, an Animist, a Muslim, a Christian, a Catholic, a Jew and a Hindu were sitting around a table… This is not the start of a bad joke. This was a group of friends at UCT sitting together around a lunch table between lectures. I wondered what united them as we sat down with them. Perhaps it was the cigarette they were passing around the table. Or the excited chatter of the debaucheries they proudly planned on committing that weekend.
Alpha and I were at the food court, and she suggested that we go and sit with this table and go chat to them. Little did we know we were going to step into the middle of such an incredible opportunity. While we were chatting to them, we mentioned that we were Christians and asked what they all believed. As they went around the table telling us, I couldn’t help but wondering if we had been punked – each of these students belonging to different religions! Yet it was the perfect platform to have an open discussion. We chatted about what we each believe will happen after death, and as they all had differing views, I pointed out that this in itself shows that they can’t all be right. Their views are opposing. Someone has to be wrong. And what is the price of being wrong?
At the end of the day, it’s not about ‘will you bow your knee to Jesus’, but rather ‘when will you bow your knee to Jesus’! Philippians 2:10-11 says, “so that at the Name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.” Every single person will one day bow before the King. That is a fact. The only question is will it be now while He is the sacrificial Lamb offering the gift of Salvation? Or will it be when He comes back as the roaring Lion?
As believers, we are called to go out into the world and share the Good News, and we cannot compromise the Gospel. “Jesus said to him, “I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through Me.” John 14:6. He is not a way, He is the only way. Sadly a majority of the students we chat to believe that we are all going to Heaven, not matter what or who we believe in. They think we are good enough in our own strength. But we cannot put our trust in anything else, or anyone else. No worldly idols, no good works, no other spirits or powers, no saints or forefathers, not Jesus’ family or disciples, not even going to church, will get you to Heaven. It is surrendering your all and trusting in the life giving blood of Jesus Christ. He is the One that died on the Cross for your and my sin.
It’s such a blessing to be able to share these truths with them. It says in Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death,” we have all fallen short of the Glory of God, every single one of us. No matter how ‘good’ we may seem according to the world’s standards, according to the perfect standard and example of Jesus Christ we are filthy, broken, dead. So what we actually deserve is death. Eternal separation from God. But the verse is not over there. There is hope. It continues, “but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Jesus Christ was the only sinless being to ever walk this earth. He is the only One that this verse doesn’t apply to; He never sinned, and didn’t deserve death. But He died in our place. And then “If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.” (1 John 1:9). We can be washed clean, when we confess our sins to Him. We can have a clean slate, a new start. Not just try outweigh the bad with more good, and hope that one day the ‘good’ bank is fuller than the ‘bad’. They realized that we would never know true peace if this is what we were just hoping for one day. But there is peace and comfort in knowing that all that bad can be completely removed and forgotten through Jesus. He is our propitiation (Romans 3:21-30), He has paid that price in full.
So we even then discussed the qualities of God. We spoke about the fact that He is just, which means if He is a fair Judge, which He is, He has to punish those that have broken the Law. That is everyone of us. But when we trust in Him and admit that we are sinners and need His saving grace, then He is also faithful and He is just to forgive, because that penalty has already been paid. He can fairly set us free because Jesus took our place. And then we have the right to be called sons and daughters of the Most High. How exciting!
The students were fascinated by our chat and some wanted to know more. What’s sad though is that as soon as one of the students would show interest, they would be ridiculed by some of the others, or as soon as one of them had a good question, they would be derailed by the snarky comments and fallacies of their friends. The topic of God and life and death is mostly ignored on campus. The idea of being ridiculed for “hate speech” silences them. And sadly, in the rare case of when such topics are brought up, they just bounce about all their bad ideas that they have been taught in the lecture halls.
We need to pray for our youth, pray for those who are lost, who are desperately wanting to find Truth and identity, but are looking in all the wrong places. We need to pray for the believers on campus, that they would remain firm in their faith, that they would be filled with strength and courage and that they would be unaffected by the thoughts, opinions and ridicules of others, but that they would be so in love with our Lord that they cannot help but share His love and light on campus.
We have also been able to join arms with REACH (Reformed Evangelical Anglican Church) Students who have a student society on campus aimed at evangelizing, discipling, and helping students grow in their relationship with Christ. They also put on a Skeptics talk every other Tuesday that addresses the most controversial issues within Christianity today (Is God anti-LBGTQ?, Is Jesus the only way to God?, etc). It has been a blessing to work alongside other likeminded believers who are passionate about reaching students for Christ.
The weekly Discovery Bible Study, continued strongly till the end of the semester. It was wonderful to see these students’ relationship with the Lord grow, friendships blossom, and a passion for sharing the Gospel on campus flourish. Praise God!
Please join me in praying for:
Thank you to everyone, who helped make 2018, not only possible, but also exciting and memorable!
Please let me know how I can be praying for all of you.
Thank you for your on going prayers and support. I am eternally grateful.
By His Grace
Henry Morton Stanley School of Christian Journalism Researcher
Cell: 079 6130399