The Father of Modern Missions, William Carey, launched the Greatest Century of Missions with his electrifying sermon: Expect Great Things from God! Attempt Great Things for God!
The Desperate Need for Accessible Leadership Training
There is a tremendous need and hunger for literature and leadership training throughout Africa. However, one of the ongoing problems is that most of those who leave rural areas for urban training institutions tend to stay in the urban centres and are lost to the rural communities who sent them for further training.
Urbanisation and Diaspora are Depleting Church Leadership
Similarly, most of those who go to first world nations for further training tend not to return to their third world countries of origin. In this way, the church is haemorrhaging in Africa. Some of our most promising leadership candidates are failing to return to their communities. The rapid urbanisation and mass movement to first world countries is devastating to local congregations. Most of the pastors in the rural areas where we work have no tertiary education at all.
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Report to the Castle
It was pitch dark and three hours before sunrise when I began my National Service in the South African Defence Force (SADF). My call-up papers had instructed me to report to the Castle in Cape Town 5am on 2 July 1979. Although from a very young age, I had been looking forward to my service in the military, now that I was involved in full time Missions at Hospital Christian Fellowship, it seemed like “a waste of time” to be “sidetracked from Missions” for two years military training and service.
Anticipating the Last Days
At the time, I was also so convinced of the imminent return of Christ that I found it hard to believe that I would ever be able to get back to Missions, as the Lord would have surely returned long before my two years in the military were completed!
Bible Study and Prayer Group in the Military
Frontline Fellowship was born in prayer. The vision for our mission, to assist persecuted churches, evangelising in war zones, serving in restricted access areas, grew out of the daily Bible study and prayer meeting which I led during my time of military service. For two years we met, almost every night, around the Word of God, spending extended times in prayer. Sometimes we prayed through the night, in prayer chains. Often our Bible study and prayer meetings lasted for three, four or five hours at a time.
It was while praying through the Operation World Intercessory Handbook, on an all-night prayer chain, that the Lord impressed upon my heart what Patrick Johnstone had written about Mozambique: that Mozambique was the least evangelised country in the Southern Hemisphere and that there was less than one Bible for every thousand people in that Marxist nation.