10 Years ago the Lord led me on an 11 nation Mission to Europe. This was my Report on that watershed event, which led to the establishing of The Reformation Society and Livingstone Fellowship.
Mission to Europe - 2005
This Mission to Europe was both heart-breaking and heart-warming. I travelled across a continent in decline and crisis. Secular Humanism with its materialism and unbelief is pervasive, and, in many surprising places, Islam is on the ascendancy. Yet I had the privilege of ministering in some of the brightest outposts of vibrant spiritual life and dynamic faith.
Crisis and Contrasts
While Europe has a dynamic and rich Christian heritage, most of its inhabitants today barely seem to give it a thought. Most Europeans seem to have forgotten or rejected their Christian heritage. Yet, I witnessed strongholds of Protestant Christianity and dynamic evangelistic churches as far afield as Northern Ireland and Romania.
Reclaiming Europe for Christ
It was a tremendous privilege and a very humbling experience for me to be able to visit monuments and churches precious to our Reformation heritage. So this month long Mission, across 11-nations in Europe was both a time of ministry and of research. I had 50 speaking engagements in 6 countries, including being the main speaker at a Missions Conference in England, speaking at Missions rallies in London, Belfast, Berlin, and Geneva. I lectured at a University in Romania, conducted missions seminars in Poland, preached in 14 churches, spoke at 3 Missions bases, and concluded with preaching in Geneva and lecturing at the Geneva Bible Institute.
England for Christ
Arriving in England was quite an experience. In Birmingham, I saw a large gold statue of Buddha outside some shop or restaurant, and a little further on a large gold statue of the Hindu goddess Kali. At a traffic circle they were building a pagoda (the baby towers where unwanted infants were abandoned to die of exposure or from birds of prey). Litter, graffiti, newspaper headlines of murder and crime, alarm systems, security gates and burglar bars informed me that England was no longer the law abiding and crime free country it once was renowned as. Here I was in the land where my father was born. The greatest missionary sending country of the 19th Century, today in the 21st Century, is most certainly now a mission field.
The church which had invited me to conduct their Missions Conference was a dynamic, evangelistic church with a history going back to the 17th Century. Each Sunday afternoon many of the members of this congregation are involved in a Sunday School outreach programme bringing in children from the community. Members of the church also went on outreaches into the marketplace. They had a broad missionary vision.
Civilization in Decline
As I ran around the community I was struck by how many homes had security systems, alarms and even close circuit television cameras, and by the wide variety of nationalities and foreigners living in the community. I also saw an ancient castle and the ruins of a monastery and chapel dating back almost a millennium. I wondered how many of our churches, which today are vibrant, will in the future lie in ruins if we fail to fulfil the Great Commission in each generation. What a warning and rebuke it is to us to be more diligent in discipling the next generation.
Reunion with Precious Friends
After the Missions Conference, I travelled to London by bus. I was met by Robert McCafferty, a teacher in England who was once a valuable member of our mission. His wife, Christine, was my co-author of The Pink Agenda – Sexual Revolution in South Africa and the Ruin of the Family. We have all greatly missed the McCaffertys, and from the welcome I received, it would appear that they also missed us.
First Robert drove me to the All Nations Christians College in Easney, the famous home of the Buxtons. C.T. Studd's daughter, Edith, married Alfred Buxton, who was C.T. Studd's first recruit for his Heart of Africa mission. Alfred went on to distinguish himself in Ethiopia. Alfred died in the bombing of London in 1940. In her brilliant novel, Reluctant Missionary, Edith Buxton wrote of the Buxton estate in Easney, which today is the All Nations Christian College. The library had large oil paintings of the Buxtons, and there was a Chinese outfit which had been worn by C.T. Studd in the principal's office.
Hijacking History at St. Albans
Next we were off to Saint Albans, one of the oldest and longest churches in England, built on the site of the martyrdom in the 3rd Century of the first English martyr, Saint Alban. The impressive cathedral evidences its Saxon origins, the Norman developments and the later Gothic additions. As Robert and I were admiring the many facets of this sanctuary, an official guide came up and began to tell us numerous anecdotes about St. Albans. It soon became apparent that the man was more than skeptical, he was downright atheistic. Somewhat surprised that the church would employ a person who obviously had no faith to be its representative to visitors, we began to challenge some of his presuppositions. After some discussion the man asked us: "Are you missionaries? "Well, yes, we are." I answered. "Well then, I better keep my mouth shut!" He responded!
Derailing the Christian Faith
This man was just one symptom of a national crisis of faith which seems to be afflicting the English nation. They have a great Christian heritage, but they don't know what to do with it. Here was this church guide, apologising for the Reformation, slandering Oliver Cromwell, criticising the great Missionary movement which went out from England and brought the Christian Faith to much of the world - yet he had absolutely no convictions about anything! Not even the conviction that God existed! He said that we'd certainly given him food for thought, and we prayed that this reflection will lead to true repentance.
Exploring Historic Sites
That evening I gave a missions presentation to a home fellowship of Rob and Christine's church. The next day I got something of an idea of just how big London was when it took me over two hours and five trains, including three undergrounds - and lots of stairs and passage ways to connect with the different underground or rail links - just to get across London. Once I delivered my luggage (which was mostly books) to the hosts, I went back into London to do some sight-seeing. I walked from Tower Bridge for many miles through London to the Palace of Westminster, saw the statue of Oliver Cromwell, the Bible in his left hand and his sword in his right. A magnificent lion statue lay at the foot of his statue. The only other statue within the grounds of the Houses of Parliament, was a statue of Richard the Lionhearted.
Across the road I entered Westminster Abby and saw the grave of David Livingstone. Westminster Abby has been a place of worship for over 1,000 years. It contains tombs, monuments and statues remembering some of the greatest names in British history, including Queen Elizabeth I, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Dickens, and William Wilberforce. Most of the kings and queens of England have been crowned in Westminster Abby. There is even a monument to "innocent victims of oppression, violence and war", including a memorial to Bishop Janai Luwum, who was murdered by the Muslim dictator Idi Amin, in 1977, in Uganda.
Humbling and Heart Searching
Surrounded by such inspiring architecture and history, I was deeply humbled and spent an extended time in heartfelt repentance and prayer in a side chapel provided for those wanting to be separate from the many tourists and sight-seers passing through the cathedral.
General Charles Gordon
I could have spent many days in London just visiting cathedrals, museums and monuments, but I had a missions rally to speak at that evening, so I had to hurry on. On the way I passed by a statue to the great Christian General Charles Gordon, who was killed in Khartoum fighting against the Islamic slave trade. Appropriately, the evening Missions Rally was close to Gordon's English home. This congregation was also dynamic, evangelistic and with a great missionary vision. Although I had never visited there before, we had many friends in common, particularly in Romania where this church had a very active involvement.
The next morning I was up early to travel to the other side of London for a flight from Heathrow to Belfast, Northern Ireland. Dr. Ian Paisley had invited me to minister at Martyrs Memorial Church. I had first heard Dr. Paisley when he was a speaker at the KwaSizabantu Ministers Conference in Zululand. At the time I was somewhat shocked to see his name on the programme, because I'd only heard the most negative reports about him. However, when I heard Dr. Paisley expound the Scriptures and preach the Gospel, all my reservations were swept away, and I knew that here was a man who loved the Lord with all his heart, who loved the Bible, and in whom the power of the Holy Spirit was mightily working.
When All Men Speak Well of You
In the twelve years since that conference, the Lord had given me numerous opportunities to speak up for Dr. Paisley when he was being slandered. On each occasion I would ask the detractor: "Have you ever heard Dr. Paisley preach?" When these detractors admitted that they hadn't, I was then able to respond: "Well, I have heard Dr. Paisley preach, and he's the finest Gospel preacher it's ever been my privilege to hear." As you can imagine, this kind of response has the effect of pouring a bucket of cold water over the fires of malicious backbiting.
A Time of Transition
After all the violent reports I had read about Northern Ireland, I was somewhat surprised not to see any soldiers during the visit. I was told that all British troops were confined to barracks as part of the peace process being discussed. I saw very few police either. I was informed that in response to the demands of the IRA and the Irish Republic, the Royal Ulster Constabulary had been disbanded. Northern Ireland had a woefully inadequate police force as a result.
A Land of Conflict
What I did see were heavenly fortified police stations encased in concrete, grenade shields, wrought iron fences and high close meshed fences stretching ten meters or higher to protect the police stations from petrol bombs, rocket launchers and grenade attacks. The barriers between the Protestant and Roman Catholic suburbs seemed to be even higher and even more formidable than I remember the Berlin Wall in the 1980's.
Dr. Paisley arranged for me to travel in the Catholic areas with their evangelist who conducted door-to-door evangelism throughout Falls Road, Shortstrand and other Roman Catholic areas. This brother's goal is to place a Gospel of John in every Catholic home in Belfast. As I travelled past the barriers and the heavily fortified police stations into these IRA strongholds, I was astounded to see vast quantities of Irish Republic tricolours. The orange, white and green flags were accompanied with elaborate pro-IRA wall murals, graffiti and propaganda.
I was shown the Magennis bar where the McCartney brother was murdered, the Northern bank, the site of the recent bank robbery by the IRA, the Europa Hotel - reported the most bombed hotel in the world and the vast amount of anti-British, anti-American, anti-Protestant, anti-Israeli and pro-PLO and IRA terrorist wall murals in Falls Road. These huge wall murals honoured Bobbie Sands and other hunger strikers who had committed suicide. This seemed quite inconsistent as the Catholic Church traditionally denies suicides a service or church burial. Yet, I was informed that not only have each of the hunger strikers received Roman Catholic Church funerals, but not one of the IRA terrorists, (many of whom had committed heinous acts of mass murder), not one have been excommunicated by the Roman Catholic Church. I was also informed that the Irish Republic has not extradited any of the IRA terrorists to stand trial in Northern Ireland either.
Not that the IRA have only been murdering Protestants, policeman and British soldiers. Some of the most heinous atrocities committed by the IRA have been against fellow Catholics. For example the brutal kneecapping, a trademark torture by the IRA whereby their victim is crippled by having their kneecap either shot or drilled, is traditionally reserved for those Roman Catholics who are considered traitors, compromisers or "sell-outs", by the IRA.
It was very obvious when one moved out of the Catholic areas because suddenly, instead of IRA flags and graffiti, one was welcomed by the British Union Jack flag, Scripture verses prominently painted on the sides of churches, and numerous loyalist wall art, memorials to victims of IRA terrorism, and slogans such as: "Ulster will always remain British - no surrender."
A Giant of the Faith
Dr. Ian Paisley, at age 78, has been at the centre of political and religious controversy in Northern Ireland for the last 50 years. Ian Paisley is the pastor of Martyrs Memorial Free Presbyterian Church and started his preaching 58 years ago. Martyrs Memorial is one of the largest churches in Northern Ireland. Dr. Paisley is the moderator of the Free Presbyterian Church of Ulster, a growing denomination with 98 congregations throughout Northern Ireland, the UK and further afield. Incredibly, Dr. Paisley has managed to not only be a dedicated pastor, but a successful politician.
As a Member of Parliament for North Antrim for 34 years, he is recorded in the Guinness Book of Records for overthrowing the largest electoral majority and turning it into a majority for himself. Ian Paisley's DUP party now controls the majority of seats in Northern Ireland. Dr. Paisley has also been a Member of Parliament in Great Britain at the Palace of Westminster for 30 years, and for 25 years he was the longest running Member of the European Parliament. So it is apparent that despite Dr Paisley being so despised and denigrated by the mass media, he is obviously popular in Northern Ireland!
Ireland for Christ
I was also given a guided tour of the Parliamentary buildings at Stormont, as well as their George Whitfield College of the Bible. On the Saturday night I presented my testimony to the Martyrs Memorial congregation at their International Missions Rally. Dr. Paisley concluded with an impassioned plea for church planting and Evangelists to win all of Ireland for Christ.
On Sunday they had me preaching at four congregations. First, at Sandown Free Presbyterian Church, which had been destroyed by a bomb, and recently rebuilt. Then I was off to a church planting project to preach in the afternoon. After the evening service, I was rushed over to a Youth Rally at Randallstown where over 750 young people from all over Belfast had gathered for a late night Youth Rally. I don't know how long they had been singing when I arrived just before 9PM, but I don't think anyone left there before midnight.
As at all the other services in Northern Ireland, I was impressed by the high standard of dress of the young people, and their earnestness. There were no gimmicks, bands or plays. There was just the singing of hymns with gusto, earnest prayer and the preaching of the Word. After giving the message, I stood in front of the pulpit and spoke for about an hour to eager young people, answering their questions. It was a great way to end a tremendous visit to Northern Ireland. I was sorry that I had to leave the next day.
The Power of Prayer
Plainly Northern Ireland is a stronghold of Protestantism. It is one of the brightest spots spiritually in Europe. The churches in Belfast are dynamic, evangelistic, with a strong missionary vision. They are engaged in door-to-door evangelism, street preaching and earnest wholehearted prayer. After one evening meeting, Dr. Paisley asked the men to stay behind for a further time of prayer. The hours of prayer at Martyrs Memorial with Dr. Paisley into the early hours of the morning, were a highlight. Seldom have I experienced such a unity and intensity in prayer since Frontline Fellowship began in those late night prayer meetings in the South African Army so many years ago.
Romania for Christ
Somewhere in England I had picked up some virus and in Northern Ireland I'd begun to invest in large quantities of decongestants and throat lozenges. By the time I headed off to Romania, I was seriously ill. First I flew to London and then to Budapest, capital of Hungary. At Budapest I was picked up by a friend who drove me through to Emanuel University in Romania. Emanuel Baptist Church is the largest Baptist church in Europe, East, or West.
Behind the Iron Curtain
I first preached at Emanuel on Easter Sunday 1989. I had just married Lenora, and we were joining her parents on a mission to Eastern Europe. At that time, their pastoral training programme was called The School of the Prophets. Dr. Paul Negrut invited me to present lectures to their students. After the fall of the Berlin Wall, and the overthrow of Communism in Romania, the execution of the dictator Nicoli Ceausescu, I continued to return to Romania and to minister to their Theological students.
Dr. Paul Negrut was the Principal of Emanuel University and they had 18 hours of lecture periods and 2 chapel services scheduled for me to speak at. There was great excitement at the college over the opportunity they had to send the choir to Saint Petersburg, Russia, for a special concert recital and outreach. I was encouraged to see the growth of the work in Romania and that their evangelistic zeal was still vibrant. In 1990, shortly after the collapse of Communism in Romania, I warned our Romanian friends: "You have survived persecution, but now you will need to resist temptation. Secularism, materialism and immorality are even more insidious enemies than Communism." Now, on this trip, several pastors, who had then been students, told me how they remembered those words and how true they had found them in their experience over the last 15 years.
There are many evidences of the new freedoms and prosperity. Whereas before the border crossing into Romania had taken an average of three hours, I think we made this one in under three minutes! Whereas before in a congregation of 3000 people there were about 20 cars, now almost every family had a vehicle. There were also cellphone shops, money changers, satellite dishes and shops overflowing with every kind of consumable product imaginable. Although the girls now wore slacks, which would have been completely unacceptable back in the past, and scarves were seldom worn, the girls still maintained the Eastern Europe church tradition of not wearing make-up, jewellery or earrings. The dress codes for both men and women in churches were definitely more relaxed than before, but the singing was enthusiastic and the prayer meetings well attended.
The Dangers of Joining the EU
Some pastors shared their concern that when Romania joined the European Union next year they may be forced to end their practice of Bible reading, hymn singing, prayer and Religious Instruction at state schools. The EU has just declared itself a secular state. By the time I had to leave Romania and drive back to Budapest, to catch the overnight train to Berlin, I was at my sickest, and was losing my voice. No amount of medications seemed to work. I croaked and rasped my way through my last lectures at the college. I must have consumed hundreds of throat lozenges by then.
With all the interruptions for customs and all the checks from Hungary into Austria, from Austria into Germany, and the shunting around of our railway carriage, to connect with the next train, as well as the coming and going of other passengers, precious little sleep was had that night. So I was not only very sick but quite tired when I reached Berlin early the next morning. There I met up with my father-in-law, Rev. Bill Bathman. He had already arrived in Germany for other ministry early in the week. Together we now drove to Poland. As we negotiated through Berlin, my mind raced through so many memories of my Mom. My mother had been born in Berlin. She was a young girl of six years old when she experienced her first aerial bombardment in 1940. She was at the Berlin circus and was trampled underfoot in the rush of people and animals to escape the explosions.
Through the Remains of the Berlin Wall
In 1988, I had gone behind the Berlin Wall, smuggling through Checkpoint Charlie. How different everything was now. I wondered how many other countries in the world could have successfully assimilated a socialist basket case like East Germany and modernised it in one generation. The advances in the last 15 years since the re-unification of Germany were absolutely astounding. That West Germany could have offered the East Germans a one-to-one exchange rate for the Deutschmark with the Oostmark without the entire country going into bankruptcy was incredible.
The Divided City
What other city in history had gone through the trauma of near total destruction through aerial bombardment, the wholesale looting, massacres and hideous destruction of the Red Army, and 45 years division where West Berlin was a little island of freedom in a sea of Communist oppression. I remembered from a previous visit to the Checkpoint Charlie Museum the ingenuity of the many thousands of successful escapes from East Berlin recorded there. Four million East Germans voted with their feet by fleeing from the "workers paradise" of East Germany.
Poland for Christ
Poland had also changed dramatically since my previous visits. Plainly Poland was enjoying the advantages of being a member of the European Union. They are also very proud of being a member of NATO and an ally of the United States of America. It was quite interesting noticing how anti-American much of Western Europe is, and how very pro-American Eastern Europe is.
Church Planting and Bible Transformation
My father-in-law's Mission, had an impressive work in Poland. The Director of their work in Poland, leads a growing and dynamic group of American and Polish missionaries and evangelists who are involved in a wide range of evangelistic and discipleship ministries. Piotr Zaremba has planted five churches in Posnan and he is involved in the first translation of the Bible from the original languages of Greek and Hebrew into the Polish language. Piotr's wife, Kristine, is a doctor, and she quickly diagnosed me as having a high temperature and fever. I was promptly placed on antibiotics. Within a couple of days I was healthy enough to begin running again in the mornings.
The next day, I conducted Missions Seminars in Posnan and Gniezno. On Sunday we split up to take services in Gniezno and Posnan. Rev. Bill Bathman preached at the International Church service in Posnan which was held in a large cinema. In the afternoon we met with the 30 missionaries and Polish pastors and evangelists involved with Bill's ministry in Poland. The churches that I saw in Poland were very modern, Western style churches. We were most impressed with the missionary vision and generosity of the Polish churches who even took up offerings to sponsor Gospel Recordings Messengers for evangelists among whom we work in Africa.
Spiritual Birthday and the Death of Pope John Paul
Sunday 3 April was my spiritual birthday. It was Sunday, 3 April 1977, 38 years ago, that I first heard the Gospel and walked the isle at a cinema which was being used for a church outreach to commit my life to Christ. It was that same night that I received my call to missions. I praised God for His grace, mercy, provision and protection over the last 28 years. And I praised God that I could be found proclaiming His Word in a church in Poland on that day. 3 April was also the day the Pope's death was announced. You can imagine being in Poland on the day that the Polish Pope died. All across the country flags were at half-mast with a black sash across them. Polish Catholics attributed to John Paul II, along with Ronald Reagan, as having been instrumental in liberating them from Communism.
Germany for Christ
On the Monday morning Bill Bathman and I drove out of Poland back to Germany. We were en route to Lutherstadt - Wittenberg. Despite some deviations caused by road works on the back country roads we were traveling, we managed to reach this historic Reformation town before noon. My father-in-law was determined that I should visit Luther's town, and so he had arranged the schedule that we could spend two days in Wittenberg. For a Protestant historian this was a great privilege and an indescribable blessing. We spent most of the rest of the day in the Schlosskirche, the castle church where Luther nailed his 95 Theses. It was perhaps appropriate that the day after the Pope's death, we were in Wittenberg, the cradle of the Protestant Reformation.
Wittenberg through the Wars
Considering the amount of wars and invasions of occupying armies which Wittenberg had seen over the last five centuries, it is somewhat miraculous that so much of our Protestant heritage remains intact. From the invasion of Charles V, through The Thirty Years' War, The Seven Years' War, the Napoleonic Wars, (Napoleon himself even stayed in the town), the bombing of the Second World War, and the Russian occupation, much damage and destruction was endured, and yet, so much remains to instruct and inspire us.
It was an inspiring and humbling experience to be reminded of some of what the Protestant Reformers went through to win the freedoms which we benefit from today. We visited Melanchthon's House, Luther's House, the Stadtkirche - where Luther conducted most of his preaching, the university, and the memorials in the market square.
Examples of Excellence
As when I visited Zwingli's Zürich and Calvin's Geneva, I was struck by how each one of these Reformers were such humble men, men of prayer, earnest students of the Bible, enthusiastic Reformers, energetic soul winners, hard workers, courageous, and persevering. I accumulated many books and documents, and we must have taken over 1,000 pictures in Wittenberg! All this will be invaluable for future Reformation celebrations, lectures, PowerPoints, articles and for my upcoming book The Greatest Century of Reformation.
Ministry in Berlin
On Tuesday afternoon Rev. Bill Bathman needed to leave for commitments in Austria and the USA. I took the speed train back to Berlin where I had an evening meeting at the KwaSizabantu Mission. When I commented on the number of mosques in Berlin I was informed that Berlin was now the fourth largest Turkish city in the world. The Berlin police are now dealing with a number of "honour murders" where brothers, or cousins murder a female relative because she is perceived to be "too Western" or "not Muslim enough". One mosque built in Berlin had blatantly ignored the building restrictions. They were ordered to lower their minarets (towers) in accordance with municipal regulations. When they refused, the municipality let them get away with a nominal fine, which they were quite happy to pay. They had successfully defied the municipality and now architecturally dominated the area for the mere price of a fine. The Saudi Arabian government is using its immense oil wealth to finance the construction of thousands of mosques worldwide, including in Germany.
The Threat of Islamisation
Both Germany and France have such low birth rates, that effectively coffins are outselling cradles. More people are dying in these countries than are actually being born. The shortfall has been made up by "gastarbeiters"guest workers, foreigners, mostly Muslims. Muslim groups are openly declaring that France will be a majority Muslim country under Sharia law by 2050. They trust that they will have Germany shortly thereafter. With the high abortion rates and low birth rates amongst Western Europeans, along with the massive influx of Muslim immigrants, the possibility of Western Europe falling under Islamic control within two generations is now a distinct possibility.
Reformation or Islamisation
I wondered how it was possible that these lands of the Reformation, once known as Christendom, could have forgotten the tremendous struggles raged by previous generations to keep Europe free from Islam. Have they forgotten The Siege of Vienna, The Battle of Tours, The Battle of Lepanto? Have they forgotten the 1.25 million Christian Europeans kidnapped by Muslim slave raiders between 1500 and 1800? Or the 200,000 Hungarian Christians carried off to Muslim slavery in 1526. Or the nearly half million Christians slaughtered by Muslim Turks in 1915, or the last Christian city in Turkey, Smyrna, destroyed with its 300,000 inhabitants in 1922. All over Europe my new book Slavery, Terrorism & Islam was received with comments such as: "This book must be translated into German"; "This book needs to be in French"; "This is just the right book for this hour!"
Flying in from Germany to Switzerland was a pleasure. Teugel Airport was the most efficient I have ever experienced. From the Air Berlin staff to the customs officials, security and police personnel, all were polite, efficient and quick. The airport's design was the most efficient and practical I have ever seen. Like Germany, Switzerland was clean, efficient, but also beautifully green. While the rest of Europe was still an autumn grey and brown, Switzerland was sparkling green and colourful.
If You Want Peace Prepare for War
The military preparedness of the country was also quite apparent with numerous armoured cars, and other military vehicles on manoeuvres. At one missionary home where I'd been invited for supper, I questioned the young man across the table how long it would take him to get ready for war. I timed him. It took him 5 minutes and 20 seconds and he was back in military uniform, boots laced up, weapons ready. The family then pulled out an assortment of WW1 and WW2 rifles and bayonets, another machine gun, an assortment of swords, daggers and other wonders of Swiss technology. It was very apparent why Switzerland has continued to remain free from invasion for almost two centuries. If you want peace, prepare for war. Switzerland doesn't have an army, Switzerland is an army.
I was invited to the KwaSizabantu Mission station at Kaltbrunn for the mid-week service. The mission base at Kaltbrunn includes a Christian school and a variety of ministries which reach out across Europe.
The next day I was taken on a tour of Zürich, including Grossmünster, the church where Ulrich Zwingli launched the Swiss Reformation on 1 January 1519. It has been a place of worship since the 8th Century. We also managed to see Zwingli's monument, the Manse where Zwingli lived and at Wildhaus, up in the Alps, Zwingli's home where he was born.
The next day I travelled by train to Geneva where I was able to visit and pray in Saint Peter's Cathedral where John Calvin ministered. I'd been invited by the Geneva Bible Institute, and on Sunday I had the privilege of preaching in Geneva, and then visiting the Reformation Wall. This imposing monument to the Reformation faces the Geneva Academy, the university which was established by John Calvin.
Geneva Bible Institute
On Monday and Tuesday I lectured at the Institute. In the evening the hall was filled up with visitors from numerous churches around Geneva for a presentation on Missions in Africa. When I concluded the presentation, the congregation broke up into small groups to pray for the people that they'd heard about and seen in the slide presentation.
The French Mission Field
Much of the French speaking world is under-evangelised. There is a desperate need for more pastors, missionaries and evangelists who can minister in French. There is a tremendous need for more discipleship books in French. Islam is also a tremendous threat to the churches in the French speaking world. We praise God that the IBG is involved in leadership training, missionary outreaches and library programmes for the French speaking world. Geneva itself is a tremendous mission field. A full third of the inhabitants of Geneva are foreigners. There are 200 non-governmental organisations, and the European headquarters for the UN is in Geneva.
Europe for Christ
My last engagement in Geneva, and of this Europe trip, was a series of radio interviews which started with the crisis in Africa and the aggravating role of the UN. Europe is a mission field. There is a battle for the soul of Europe. As I prayed and wrote in the various guest books in Wittenberg, Zürich and Geneva, it is my earnest prayer that the Lord would have mercy on Europe and grant it a new Biblical Reformation and a fresh spiritual revival. We, in Africa, who had benefited so much from previous generations of Europeans who brought us the Gospel, may we be faithful in prayer and action to take the Gospel back to Europe.
Reformation 500 FIRE
I have put together a number of presentations on the countries of Europe, and particularly of our Reformation heritage, Luther's Wittenberg, Zwingli's Zürich and Calvin's Geneva. If you are interested in radio interviews on any of these, or presentations in your church, on Northern Ireland, Eastern Europe, the Islamic threat to Europe, or the Reformation Heritage of Germany, England and Switzerland, please contact us and arrange for a visit and presentation to your church or school.
"Will You not revive us again that Your people may rejoice in You?"
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
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