Reaching Out in Bellville South
Bellville South Outreach
We walked around a corrugated iron fence in order to reach the front door of the home. As we rounded the corner into the courtyard, the stench of dagga (marijuana) wafted through the air. A friendly tannie (Auntie) was standing with the front door open, looking across the courtyard to a group of eight guys and girls in their twenties. We instantly could identify where the strong aroma was coming from.
The soft-spoken tannie smiled and speaking Afrikaans welcomed Erik, Alieske, Marco, and me in to talk to the wayward youth sitting across her front yard. As we walked toward them, two guys were huddled over a hookah pipe, another guy was smoking a joint, and four girls were huddled around as if they had just been smoking some unknown substance. With every step we took, I could feel their carefree enjoyment crashing to a halt. They laughed sheepishly as we approached. A few of them tried to hide the blatant drug paraphernalia, but they could not hide the overwhelming smell of marijuana permeating the atmosphere of the outdoor sitting area.
Are You Truly Saved?
We stayed talking with this group of attentive listeners and drug users for about thirty minutes sharing the Gospel with them. What surprised me was their respectful attitudes and willingness to listen to the Word of God. They knew they were in danger of hell without Christ, because of their sin, yet they all were content living in their sins. Many of them told us how they had “called upon the Name of the Lord” to save them, but their lives were a wreck and their lives had clearly not been transformed by the grace of God. It seemed apparent that they were still dead in their sins and loved their partying more than they loved God. They were open but apathetic to the call of the Gospel. They were unwilling to turn to Christ to save them from the wrath of God.
This is what door-to-door evangelism looks like on a typical day in the streets of Belleville South, a derelict suburb of Cape Town, overrun by drug abuse, prostitution, gang violence, and utter hopelessness. Others in our group spoke to families whose children were addicted to drugs and violent towards their families. Others spoke to nine or ten-year-olds who had already been introduced to drugs by their parents. Some spoke to a thirteen-year-old girl who was about to enter a life of prostitution following in her mother and grandmother’s footsteps, and I spoke to a precious, little five-year-old boy whose breath reeked of weed. The hopelessness and heaviness of sin was felt on every street in this suburb.
As we debriefed with Pastor Mario of Reformed Faith Mission at lunch time, he told us, “Realize that these people here with all their problems are going to the same hell that your friends and neighbors in your nice, clean and tidy suburbs are.” He reminded us that the issue these people had was rebellion against God and that they are “dead in their trespasses and sins…and are by nature children of wrath, like the rest of mankind” (Eph. 2:1, 3).
The Wages of Sin Is Death
The weightiness of the problem of sin and its deadly effects hit me like a ton of bricks. I recalled earlier that day standing and talking to a group of ten children, and I was overcome with this horrible realization that these children were heading to hell. Being in Belleville South opened my eyes to the spiritual reality of life: people are heading to hell and I am often apathetic to it. In Belleville people’s sin cannot be hidden, but our neighbors who are financially prosperous are also sinners in need of Christ. The clerks at the shops who smile and greet you, as well as the old ladies with their shopping carts, are also in danger of spending eternity in hell. Yet I so often am cold and uncaring towards people’s serious, eternal need of salvation from sin and hell, that is only found in Jesus’ death on the cross.
The Gospel is far more beautiful and far more serious than we realize. At the final judgment, there are people whom we love, whom will be “thrown into the lake of fire and sulfur… and they will be tormented day and night forever and ever” (Rev. 20:10). The only hope they have of escape is that Jesus bore the full wrath of God’s holy judgment upon Himself on the cross. “In this is love, not that we have loved God but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins” (1 John 4:10).
This two-day outreach was just a short part of our Great Commission Course and we ended it with a powerful open-air preaching service where many people were called to repentance and faith in Christ.
The Great Commission Course was an action packed, practical, boots-on-the-ground, learning experience with each day beginning at 6:30 with PT, followed by a day of devotions, lectures, practicals, outreaches, hikes, another lecture in the evening and a late-night film (some evenings included a night hike). This course is an intense endurance and character building course that is truly transformative. Participants are stretched spiritually, emotionally, and physically and they come out stronger and better equipped for the Kingdom of God.
I was given the joy of being able to teach the young and enthusiastic participants seven lectures (Justification, Biblical Interpretation, Muslim Evangelism, Nuba Mountain Report Back, Biblical Preaching Workshop, The Gospel of Honour and Shame, and The Trinity) and give three morning devotions (The Rescue Mission of God, John 6:44; My Soul Thirsts for You, Psalm 63; and How Will You Respond to Jesus? John 7:40-51; 20:11-18). They engaged with insightful questions and group interactions. It was a blessing to get to know these young people and I look forward to seeing what God has in store for each and every one of them.
After our intensive three-week-long missionary training, three brave souls made a commitment to stay on with us at Frontline for further ministry training.
We desire to raise up a generation of men and women, who will walk in obedience to the last command of Jesus:
“Go therefore and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe all that I have commanded you.” Matthew 28:19-20
With love in Christ,
Hunter, Andrea, Jeremy, and Joshua
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