Through the years, I have often had people talking about what they were going to do, could have done, should have done, but did not do! Early on I determined that I would not want to arrive at the end of my life regretting missed opportunities and wasted potential.
The first time I heard the Gospel, I was 17-years-old, in a cinema in Cape Town. Rev. Rex Matthie spoke of the sufferings and sacrifices of Christ. "This is what Christ has done for you! What have you ever done for Him?" This challenge pierced my heart. I had done absolutely nothing for Christ. I had not even thanked God for His Creation, for my life or health. That day, I realised that I was a self-centred, ungrateful lost soul, truly deserving of the condemnation of Almighty God on the Day of Judgement. At the end of the service I went forward and publically committed my life to Christ.
Conversion and Call
Along with my conversion came a call to Missions. In the 41 years since that decisive night, I have never doubted that call. Jokes and sarcastic comments awaited me at home and at school, but my course was set: I had decided to follow Jesus – no turning back! The church services and Bible studies were exhilarating. I spent hours studying the Bible every day. Within two months of my conversion, I was working in a Scripture Union team for a holiday mission in Somerset West. Within the year, I was a Sunday school teacher, youth leader and ran the book table at our local church. I devoured Christian literature, attended every meeting, training course, seminar and outreach possible. Door-to-door with Evangelism Explosion, tract distribution on the streets and at railway stations, ministry at old age homes and inviting people to evangelistic rallies filled my days. The first time a pastor preached on the need to follow the Lord through the waters of baptism, I went forward, went through the Baptismal classes and was baptised.
The Adventure of Discipleship
When the first Missionary I met, Francis Grim preached at the congregation, I went forward and joined his Mission, Hospital Christian Fellowship. When I was called up for national service in the South African Army, I made my stand at the first Chaplain's service, asking permission to speak and declared to the hundreds of other men in the unit: "I love the Lord Jesus Christ with all my heart! I want to honour Him during my next two years here. If anyone else feels the same, please see me afterwards. Let us start a Bible study and prayer fellowship!" That was the beginning of Frontline Fellowship. We met every night for Bible study and prayer. We had all night prayer meetings. We organised outreaches. Many soldiers came to Christ and by the end of our national service the Lord had laid the vision of launching this Mission upon me.
Following the Lord Jesus Christ is an exhilarating adventure of discipleship. For me it has involved ministry in 38 countries, across 4 continents. Smuggling Bibles behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, in Eastern Europe. Ministry by motorbike in the killing fields of Mozambique and swimming crocodile-infested rivers and negotiating minefields in Angola. Prison ministry in Communist countries and singing in the cells and in chains. Serving persecuted churches in North Africa. Mountain marathons across the Nuba Mountains, an island of Christianity in a sea of Islam. The Will of God will never leave you where the Grace of God cannot keep you.
Living in the Light of Eternity
As cricketer turned pioneer missionary, C.T. Studd, declared: "You only have one life, it will soon be passed. Only what's done for Christ will last!" As missionary William Carey declared: "Expect great things from God! Attempt great things for God!" God is great. Honour Him with great faith and obedience. Trust and obey. There is no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.
"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God." Romans 12:1-2. Worship is not so much what we say as what we do. Worship is more than words and songs, it is your whole life. Worship involves wholehearted sacrifice and service. We are called to be different from the world. Set apart for Christ. Separated from sin and sanctified to Christ's service.
God Gives the Very Best to those Who Leave the Choice to Him
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. Our highest priority is to love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength and to love our neighbour as ourselves. Christ's last command must be our first concern. His Great Commission must be our supreme ambition. Do not waste your life on lessor things. Give up your small ambitions! Follow Christ!
Do You Want to Change your World?
Do you have what it takes to impact your world for Christ? Join other missionary minded Christians for the inspiring and life changing Great Commission Course (4-23 January 2019) near Cape Town. Frontline Fellowship has pioneered missionary work in war-torn Mozambique, in Angola and Sudan. We have smuggled over 650,000 Bibles and books in 24 languages into Muslim North Africa, in the 10-40 Window. Frontline Fellowship has trained many thousands of pastors, teachers, chaplains and medics in restricted access areas. Frontline Fellowship offers Livingstone Missionary School as a one-year, uniquely practical missionary training programme for those who desire to be more innovative and effective in cross-cultural Evangelism and Discipleship. This is hands-on, practical, boots on the ground, in-service training. There is nothing to compare with Frontline Fellowship's Missionary Apprenticeship Programme. It stretches minds and muscles with body, mind and spirit training, applying the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. Contact Frontline Fellowship if you are serious about Missions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
The Great Commission Course in Cape Town
The Greatest of the Great Commission
35 Years Ago – Frontline’s First Mission to Mozambique
Lessons Learned in 35 Years in the Field
40 years Ago – Conversion to Christ and Call to Missions