Most of our prayer supporters know what we do, but not everyone understands why we do it.
When I joined Hospital Christian Fellowship, I was introduced to a world Missionary Vision. During daily prayer meetings, at monthly all-night prayer meetings, and through Days of Prayer, Francis Grim mobilised us to pray through Operation World.
It was while praying through the 1978 edition of Operation World at all-night prayer meetings in the Army that the Lord guided me into my first cross-border mission work to Mozambique. When I read that Mozambique was the least evangelised country in the Southern Hemisphere and that there was less than one Bible for every thousand people in this long-suffering, war-torn, communist state, the Lord galvanised me into launching Frontline Fellowship.
The Cold War
When our Mission was launched, South Africa was involved in a hot part of The Cold War. Along with the UNITA freedom fighters of Jonas Savimbi in Angola and RENAMO in Mozambique, the South African Defence Force was facing a massive build up of Soviet forces and Cuban mechanised divisions threatening the entire sub-continent.
War Against God
The communist dictator of Angola, Agostino Neto, had unleashed a wave of church burning throughout Angola and boasted that he had destroyed Christianity. He claimed that in 20 years time you would have to go to a museum to see what a Bible looked like! In Mozambique, communist dictator, Samora Machel, declared war against the Church, confiscated, or destroyed 8,000 church buildings, executed 75,000 people publicly, incarcerated over 300,000 in concentration camps and cursed God publically.
Communist Persecution of the Church
World wide Christians were facing relentless persecution at the hands of atheistic regimes in Cuba, Ethiopia, the Soviet Union, Red China, North Korea, Vietnam, Cambodia, Romania, Albania and many other communist states.
Serving the Persecuted Church
Our first mandate in Frontline Fellowship was to serve the persecuted Church. This we did by smuggling in many thousands of Bibles, New Testaments and Gospel booklets in their local languages, by preaching, teaching and practical help and encouragement.
Speaking up for the Persecuted
From the very beginning of this Mission, persecuted Christians pleaded with me to present their plight to the outside world. As one bishop put it: "You are our ambassador. You must tell the people outside what we are going through here." However, I noticed that most people found the reports hard to believe. One man handed me a camera and said: "What you say is very hard to believe. Next time take pictures."
This seemed like very good advice and so I began to make use of slides, and when the technology became available, PowerPoints. Along with the written testimonies of the persecuted, we would publish as many of their photographs as possible. We live in a very visual society. If people do not see photographic evidence, they have trouble understanding its reality. We need to put a face to the persecuted Church.
Publicity Provides Protection for the Persecuted
Our Lord Jesus taught in Luke 18:1-5, that even an unjust judge will do what is right in response to persistent prayer and pressure.
Publications for the Persecuted
In addition to articles written, newsletters produced, speaking tours, radio programmes and testifying at International Human Rights conventions, and government agencies, I began to write books to publicise the plight of the persecuted. In the Killing Fields of Mozambique, Holocaust in Rwanda and Faith Under Fire in Sudan went through numerous editions and re-printings and led to many opportunities to speak up for our suffering brethren. We were also able to help filmmakers, such as Jeremiah Films, produce documentaries such as Sudan: The Hidden Holocaust and Terrorism and Persecution to alert millions more as to the reality of what Christians were suffering at the hands of anti-Christian regimes.
A World War of Worldviews
We soon recognised that there is a colossal conflict raging worldwide for hearts, minds and souls. The battlegrounds in this world war of worldviews is being fought in the schools, colleges, on the airwaves, on cinema screens, and in the media. As Karl Marx declared: "The first battlefield is the rewriting of history." By twisting perceptions, Marxists hope to steal our children and hijack our countries.
A Battle for the Mind
In this battle for the mind, classrooms and cinemas are battlefields. Teachers and textbooks often promote evolutionism, situation ethics, values clarification and a secular humanist worldview.
Views not News
The selective focus of much of the news media seems to generally ignore the pervasive persecution of Christians worldwide. Reality seems to be rearranged as all too often we receive views rather than news.
Indoctrination and Propaganda
Education should teach students how to think. Indoctrination tells them what to think. All too often secular humanist education engages in indoctrination, rather than education. By eliminating the Bible as the basis for all knowledge, humanists remove the very foundation of truth. They prohibit the only objective standard by which reality can be evaluated. Secular humanist education attempts to kill God by eradicating Him from the classroom and from the minds of the next generation.
Wide Gates to Hell
Dr. Martin Luther warned: "I am much afraid that schools will prove to be wide gates to hell, unless they diligently labour in explaining the Holy Scriptures, engraving them in the hearts of the youth. I would advise no one to place his child where the Scriptures do not reign paramount. Every institution in which men are not constantly occupied with the Word of God must become corrupt."
"Since they did not think it worthwhile to acknowledge God, He gave them over to a depraved mind…" Romans 1:28
The Greatness of the Great Commission
As we recognised the reality of this culture war, we came to understand that our Lord's Great Commission is to make disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded. All too often we fail to appreciate the greatness of the Great Commission. Our Lord Jesus Christ has all authority. We are commanded to make disciples of all nations. We are to teach obedience to all things that He has commanded. The Lord promises to be with us for all time.
Our First Priority
The last command of Christ must be our first concern. The Great Commission must be our supreme ambition. We need to give up our small ambitions and follow Christ!
Civilization is Under Attack
Recognising that Christian civilisation is under attack and that eternal destinies are at stake, Frontline Fellowship began to invest more in education, designing Leadership Training programmes, such as the Biblical Worldview Seminar and Teacher Training Workshops.
Textbooks that Transform
We began to produce textbooks that would demolish the false arguments of secular humanism on streets, in classrooms and in parliament. Recognising that we need to minister to principals and presidents, fighting for faith and freedom, we began to provide Christian libraries for schools and Bibles for Africa.
Learn to Discern
Ideas have consequences. What we see influences what we think. What we think influences what we become and what we do. Actions flow from thought patterns. The entertainment industry has been so subverted as to glamourize evil, popularise profanity and celebrate ugliness. Part of our responsibility in fulfilling the Great Commission is to go into the world of entertainment. For this reason we write Film Reviews on those films that have historical relevance. We partner with and promote Movieguide to enable viewers to know before they go and learn to discern. We need to clean the screen and redeem the media.
Through our regular newsletters, e-updates, through social media, on Christian radio, and in Christian magazines, such as JOY! and JUIG! we are trying to redeem the news media, providing positive Christian alternatives to the secular humanist media.
The Five Culture Shaping Institutions
Communism teaches its adherents to infiltrate the five culture carrying institutions of society: Educational institutions, Entertainment industry, the News Media, Religious institutions and Political institutions. Not only do we need to counter the subversion of these vital institutions, but we need to work to fulfil the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ through these five culture carrying institutions. This explains the diversity of ministries, publications and audio visual materials produced, imported and widely distributed by Frontline Fellowship and its affiliates.
A Clash of Civilisations
We are witnessing a clash of civilisations. The enemy tactic is frequently to: corrupt and conquer; and to confuse, divide and conquer. It is absolutely essential that we know the truth of history to recognise the lies of propaganda and indoctrination. We need to study God's Word in the Bible so that we can be freed from the deceptions of the world, the flesh and the devil.
The Main Thing
The main thing is to keep the main thing the main thing. To love God with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. Our primary focus must be the Great Commission of our Lord, Jesus Christ. Through information, intercession and involvement, we need to expose the fruitless deeds of darkness (Ephesians 5:11), stand up against evil (Psalm 94:16), and be brave and bold for Christ.
Africa for Christ!
May God find us Faithful to His Word and effective in His service.
Dr. Peter Hammond
P O Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa