By God's grace the long awaited 10 tonne container of Bibles and books safely arrived in Cape Town and was delivered to our mission amidst much praise and thanksgiving. Shipments of this size entail an enormous amount of work, organisation and expense. We pray that the Lord may abundantly bless and reward each one involved for their magnificent missionary vision and foresight in providing us with such a generous quantity of God's Word, and with the evangelistic and discipleship materials that we, and those whom we serve, so desperately need and appreciate.
In preparation for receiving this shipment, we extended our storage area and had our garage resealed to ensure the protection of all literature from any dampness. We also purchased more pallets to ensure that all boxes were kept off the ground and dry.
After many assurances that "this was the day" that the shipment would be delivered, starting with 30 January, the agent finally informed us that Wednesday 11 March, 10AM, we would take delivery. After numerous further delays, a massive trailer, more than double the length of the 20-foot container, arrived 5PM Wednesday afternoon. Unfortunately, by then most of our staff had already gone home and those whom we had placed on alert so many times over the previous few weeks were no longer available. However, friends from over 60km away drove through to assist, and the whole Hammond family came over to help us offload which continued long after dark.
As the trailer was not able to fit down our driveway without destroying numerous of the trees and plants, we finally had to park the massive oversized trailer in the street and using two vehicles offload and ferry the boxes down the driveway to the back of the mission to the storage area. We have since then worked vigorously to unpack and sort out the Bibles to all their different categories. Numerous missionary friends and contacts have already come to help with the sorting out and delivering of various boxes of Bibles categorised. We have finished sorting through and allocating most of the 12,000 Bibles, but have barely begun to sort through and categorise the many books and Sunday school materials. However, we are very much looking forward to that.
May God abundantly bless and reward each one who had a part in collecting, organising, shipping and financing this container. We are all most heartily grateful and will ensure that these Scriptures, evangelistic and discipleship materials are carefully, prayerfully and strategically distributed where they will be most appreciated and most effectively put to use for the extension of God's Kingdom.
Mission to KwaZulu
Shortly before the arrival of the container of Bibles and books, my nine-year-old son, Calvin, and I returned from a packed and productive ministry trip to KwaZulu/Natal. By God's grace we conducted over 40 meetings, including 6 church services, 3 chapels, 2 lectures, 4 sermons on radio, 12 devotionals and 10 radio interviews. Most of this ministry trip was conducted at Jivannadi Mission, a dynamic mission to Hindus.
Frontline Fellowship has enjoyed a partnership with this strategic mission for over 20 years. When Good News Community Radio, which is based at their mission, was taken off the air, by ICASA, Frontline Fellowship and the Christian Action Network mobilised worldwide prayer and pressure on behalf of GNCR. By God's grace, after a year of intensive legal battles, spiritual warfare and prayer and persuasion, Good News Community Radio was finally permitted to begin broadcasting again. Many people from an Indian background have come to Christ through this strategic ministry.
Near Jivannadi mission base we had the joy of seeing hundreds of thousands of swallows preparing for their migration back to Europe. The swallow is one of the smallest migratory birds in the world. They weigh only 18gms, yet they fly 12,000km a year! They fly an average of 400km a day on these journeys to and from Europe. The roost (family) at the Mount Moreland Wetlands is estimated to include 3 million barn swallows.
The Word of God draws our attention to the swallows and urges us to learn from their example: "Why has this people slidden back, Jerusalem, in a perpetual backsliding? They hold fast to deceit, they refuse to return. I listened and heard, but they do not speak aright. No man repented of his wickedness, saying 'What have I done?' Everyone turned to his own course, as the horse rushes into the battle. Even the stork in the heavens knows her appointed times; and the turtledove, the swift and the swallow observe the time of their coming. But my people do not know the judgment of the Lord." Jeremiah 5:5-7
Calvin and I conducted chapel services and classroom sessions with the Jivannadi Christian School. Much of the mornings and afternoons were taken up with radio recordings and in the evenings Calvin would present Bible verses by memory and I dealt with Battlefields for Reformation, Christian Music and Hymns for a special youth rally, a presentation on Charles Spurgeon - The Puritan Prince of Preachers and on The Power of Prayer.
Twenty Years Since the Berlin Wall Came Down
Twenty years ago Lenora and I were married and joined my new parents-in-law, Rev. Bill and Harriett Bathman on a mission to Eastern Europe. After being delayed five hours at the Czechoslovakian border we were refused entry. We then went into Yugoslavia and to Hungary and Romania. I had the privilege of preaching the Resurrection Sunday morning sermon in Second Baptist Church Oradea.
It was in that incredible year, 1989, that we saw the fall of the Berlin Wall and the opening up of the Iron Curtain. If you have not yet read Rev. Bill Bathman's book: Going Through - Even If the Door is Closed, and listened to his audio documentary on Communism on audio CD, these are available from Frontline Fellowship.
Rev. Bill Bathman will also be available for selected ministry opportunities in North America to celebrate the great move of God that brought down the Iron Curtain and opened up the Berlin Wall twenty years ago. Rev. Bill Bathman has served as a missionary for over 55 years, most of that time to Communist countries, behind the Iron Curtain in Europe.
This July will mark 30 years since I began the military Bible study and prayer fellowship out of which Frontline Fellowship developed. July 2009 will also be the 500 th Anniversary of the birth of John Calvin, and the 450 th Anniversary of the publication of the final edition of The Institutes of the Christian Religion by John Calvin.
Fire at KwaSizabantu Mission
On Wednesday 18 March, at 12-noon, a fire broke out in the home of Gerhard and Elmanie Le Roux at KwaSizabantu Mission, Moreson. It took over an hour to bring the fire under control. By God's grace, the kitchen, schoolroom, guestroom and study were saved, but the lounge, bedrooms and bathrooms were destroyed.
When Calvin and I drove out on Saturday we saw the charred ruins, and vigorous activity from all in the mission to help remove the rubble, and salvage and sort out what had been saved from the fire, in preparation for re-building.
Last year, 14 June, the massive auditorium at KwaSizabantu Mission in KwaZulu was gutted by fire. The auditorium which took ten years to build, included five kilometers of pews, and could seat 10,000 people, had been in use for over 18 years. The structure was 18 meters high and included 32 steal girders running the full length of the roof. During the recent Ministers Conference at KwaSizabantu we were able to see the new restored auditorium roof which had been erected in an incredible two weeks. Rev. Erlo Stegen is planning to have a dedication service for the new auditorium at KwaSizabantu Mission this Easter. Two other mission bases of KwaSizabantu in South Africa have also suffered fires in the last year, in those cases the result of arson. The fires in KwaZulu and at Moreson in the Cape were caused by an electrical fault.
May the Lord graciously mobilise intercessors worldwide to rally behind these missions at this time of crisis and loss. We trust that the Lord will work all things together for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose, that they may become even more effective and productive in the future.
"Those from among you shall build the old waste places; you shall raise up the foundations of many generations; and you shall be called the repairer of the breach, the restorer of the streets to dwell in." Isaiah 58:12
Dr. Peter Hammond
Prayer & Praise Articles