It is always a joy and privilege to minister at Back to the Bible Mission. With over 120 students and staff from 20 countries including Somalia, Sierra Leone, Ghana, Kenya, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Malawi, there are something like 50 denominations and up to 60 languages represented at the Mission on any given year. Back to the Bible Mission seeks to fulfil the Great Commission by training pastors, evangelists and missionaries in a balanced, Biblical, body, mind and spirit programme of discipleship.
As one approaches the college, the large white cross dominates the valley and lit up at night, can be seen from a great distance. This is symbolic of the Christian witness and missionary vision which radiates out from this strategic leadership training Mission.
The artwork of the chapel and the layout of the mission also emphasises Christ-centered, Bible-based and mission-focussed vision.
To attend the morning devotions and witness how the students and staff share prayer requests and praise items with Scripture memory verses, enthusiastically worshipping the Lord and interceding for missionaries and persecuted Christians throughout Africa, is impressive.
Exceptional Example of Excellence
In my travel and ministry over the last 35 years, ministering in 36 countries, on 4 continents, I can say with confidence that I have never come across another college which maintains such a high priority on prayer, personal and group devotions and systematic Bible study with such evangelistic zeal and missionary vision. Back to the Bible Mission is an example of balanced focus on ministry to body, mind and spirit, integrating physical work, farm work, sports, daily devotions, intensive study and regular evangelistic outreaches. Other colleges can learn from their balanced, Biblical, practical, missionary vision and effective strategy for mobilising pastors, evangelists and missionaries to win Africa for Christ.
Strategic Leadership Training
Back to the Bible Mission began February 1992 with just 5 students. Frontline Fellowship had the privilege of providing one of their first staff members in our missionary, George Bezuidenhout who we had recruited from Infantry School in Oudtshoorn and put through Baptist Theological College. George had also been arrested and imprisoned with me in Mozambique in 1989. It has been my privilege to regularly visit and lecture at Back to the Bible Mission on Missiology, Biblical Worldview, Church History, Muslim Evangelism, Evangelism and African Church History.
The Principal of Back to the Bible Mission, Professor Shai Mulder, was one of the youngest Generals in the South African Defence Force. He was the Commander of the Military Academy in Saldanha, he commanded the Engineers and upon retirement launched into Missions. In the South African Defence Force, General Mulder was known as an Evangelical Christian, accessible to soldiers of all ranks and a man of great integrity. Since their “retirement”, Shai and Elreza Mulder have earned Doctorates in Theology and for 17 years have been running Back to the Bible Mission. They recently returned from a Mission to Ethiopia.
Mission to Mpumalanga
As always, they laid on a very full programme. After ministering at a Sunday morning service in Nelspruit, I was collected and brought to the Mission in time to conduct their evening service on Conviction and Courage for Reformation. Monday morning began with a new series of A Christian History of Africa for second and third year students. Each student was provided with a new 80-page Manual that I had completed in time, A Christian History of Africa. There was much discussion after each of the presentations on: Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan and The Church Fathers of North Africa: Clement, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, Athanasius and Augustine. There were also presentations on John Mark and Perpetua.
Exploring African Church History
Other lectures included: Samual Ajayi Crowther and the Church in Nigeria, Missionary and Bible Translator Robert Moffatt, the Mission base of Kuruman and ministry to the Tswana people. The Family, Faith and Upbringing of David Livingstone, Mary Slessor and the Mission to Nigeria, C.T. Studd – Cricketer for Christ, General Charles Gordon and the Mahdi, The Battle for Sudan, Henry Morton Stanley and David Livingstone, A Tale of Two Islands – Goree and Zanzibar and Revival Amongst the Zulus. Several students said that they had never liked history before, but now they loved it! Discussion times lasted for hours.
During the Devotions in the morning, I gave presentations on Lies We Must Refuse to Accept, God Resists the Proud But He Gives Grace to the Humble and Reclaiming Surrendered Ground.
In the evening, I also screened the classic black and white, 1953 film on Martin Luther and dealing with persecution in Sudan, Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust and Terrorism and Persecution – Understanding Islamic Jihad.
Reformation 500 Celebration
On Wednesday evening, friends and intercessors from farms and communities nearby came to join our Reformation 500 Celebration service, which included all the flags of countries represented, bowing as the Christian flag came in and was raised to the highest status. Dressed in their choir robes, the student body sang inspiring hymns. After my presentation on Martin Luther – Captive to the World of God, we all sang “A Mighty Fortress is our God.”
A Healthy Body and a Renewed Mind
There was also P.T. and Security and Survival Training in the afternoon. There were also opportunities to speak with the Student Council and to the Mission staff. All told, including lectures, services, presentation and devotions, that involved 30 presentations or messages delivered in a very busy and productive week.
Africa Overland Missions
Frequently our Mission teams are able to follow up on students who graduate, as they often organise outreaches, pastors fraternals, seminars, conferences and services in their countries and our teams are able to deliver much needed Bibles, doctrinal devotion books, Sunday school materials, evangelistic tracts and film evangelism materials to empower their ministries across Southern, Central, East and North Africa.
“After these things I looked, and behold, a great multitude which no one could number, of all nations, tribes, peoples and tongues, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, with palm branches in their hands.” Revelation 7:9
To contact Back to the Bible Mission:
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa