Friends from far and wide gathered at the Pinelands Town Hall, 29 March, to celebrate God’s grace and prayer answering power. More than an hour before the rally was to start the hall was already so full with mission supporters that the programme started half an hour early with the screening of a special new 25 Years in the Frontline DVD with selected highlights of professional films made on Frontline mission fields over the years. This included film clips from the arrest in Zambia, the capture and imprisonment in Mozambique, ministry and bombardments in Sudan, and rare footage of the early years of the mission and its military prayer fellowship.
This DVD has been packaged along with Evangelising in the War Zones, An Anchor in African and Under Fire in Sudan – three professionally made films on aspects of Frontline Fellowship’s work in the 1980’s and 1990’s. These Frontline Fellowship classics are now available on one DVD, along with the special 25 Years In the Frontline selects added to one box set, and will be available to any friends of the Fellowship for a US$10 donation to the mission.
The Pinelands Town Hall resounded with great Christian hymns: Christ Shall Have Dominion, Jesus Shall Reign and To God Be the Glory.
John Leach, of Waymakers Ministry, opened up the celebration in prayer. John had been part of the original military prayer fellowship out of which Frontline Fellowship was born.
Dr. Peter Hammond presented a special PowerPoint slide selection of rare and, in many cases, never before seen photos from Frontline Fellowship’s origins in Bible smuggling operations across the border into war torn communist Mozambique, evangelising amongst the soldiers on the border of South West Africa/Namibia, behind enemy lines operations in communist Angola, evangelising soldiers and terrorists in Zimbabwe, ministry in Rwanda, the Congo and Nigeria, serving the suffering in Sudan, training chaplains, evangelising and discipling soldiers, ministering under fire and far behind enemy lines in the Nuba Mountains, as well as pictures of early Frontline Fellowship training camps, offices and outreaches in South Africa. This presentation demonstrated that: “Where God guides – He provides” and “The will of God will never lead you – where the grace of God cannot keep you.”
Mrs. Dorothea Scarborough, of the Gospel Defence League, Chairman of the Christian Action Network and President of The Reformation Society, who served under the London Missionary Society in the Pacific Islands, led the assembly in a prayer of thanksgiving to the Lord for His protection, provision and blessings over the last 25 years.
Frontline Fellowship missionary, Timothy Keller, who joined Frontline Fellowship from America 9 years ago at the first Great Commission Course, then gave an often hilarious presentation on funny experiences in the field.
Johan Meintjies, a missionary from a naval background, was then commissioned in prayer for his work in the Congo.
Charl van Wyk, the Deputy Director of Frontline Fellowship, reported back on the ministries of Africa Christian Action, which has for the last 16 years worked steadfastly to fight for the right to life of pre-born babies, organising the Life Chains, National Days of Repentance, Sanctity Life Sunday, marches to Parliament, prayer vigils, protests and submissions to parliament, upholding Biblical principles and seeking to apply the Lordship of Christ to all areas of life. This dynamic ministry of Frontline Fellowship has also been blessed with success in Zambia. Now with the audio visual, CD, DVD and MP3 ministry, the (vital) dynamic leadership training materials of the mission are providing resources for Reformation worldwide.
The Chairman of Frontline Fellowship, Rev. Bill Bathman, who himself has served as a missionary to the persecuted church, mostly in Eastern Europe over the last 55 years, concluded the Anniversary Celebrations by emphasising the priorities and focus of Frontline Fellowship, to glorify God by seeking to fulfill the Great Commission of our Lord Jesus Christ. Making disciples, teaching obedience, serving the suffering in restricted access areas. He emphasised that Frontline Fellowship is a faith mission which does not take up offerings, or engage in fund raising campaigns, but which trusts the Lord that “God’s work, done God’s way, will not lack God’s supply.” He also emphasised the importance of the publishing ministry, which blesses, challenges, educates and equips leaders across the world, and the support of which helps literally fuel the field trips through book table sales.
Missionary George Oesche, of KwaSizabantu Mission, concluded the service in a prayer of thanksgiving to Almighty God for 25 years of blessing, provision and protection, and everyone sung: “To God be the glory, great things He hath done.”
A Message from the Chairman of the Board on 25 Years of Frontline Fellowship:
“Being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” Philippians 1:6
“Tonight we’ve traveled with Peter across a quarter of a century – seeing what the Lord has done in answer to many prayers and in response to one man’s single-hearted devotion to a Divine directive ‘Go!’ To paraphrase Winston Churchill’s commendation of the British Air Force after WWII, ‘Seldom have we seen so much accomplished for so many with so little by so few.’ Peter Hammond is – 1st of all – a Christian missionary with an exemplary 25-year track record of fruitful service. When confronted with controversial choices there is never any question or doubt whether he will serve God or man. True, he is sometimes controversial – not because he is obstinate, but because he is faithful to God. Peter holds up a standard to which we can all aspire, and which lesser men have long since abandoned. In short, Peter is an embarrassment to many of those who have compromised for one reason or another. Tonight we thank God for 25 years of Frontline Fellowship mission and ministry, whose influence has been felt all over Africa, England, Ireland, many parts of Europe (both East and West), the United States, Mexico and Australia. His many books not only line our shelves, but fire our hearts to a deeper commitment to serve Jesus Christ. His published mission periodicals and frequent feature articles in JOY! Magazine inspire all of us to keep on keeping on. It is true what has been said, ‘Peter Hammond is a man of extraordinary vision – able to see the big picture – with the ability to set priorities, and has demonstrated the discipline needed to see them accomplished.’ Frontline Fellowship is a ‘faith mission’. No offering will be taken tonight. But we invite you to see the remarkable variety of publications that will inspire your soul, and fire your heart and inform your mind. Purchase as many of these books as you can, not only for your own benefit, but to share with your friends. All proceeds from book sales help to fund mission trips into various fields across Africa.” Rev. Bill Bathman
MESSAGES FROM AROUND THE WORLD
Numerous friends and supporters and mission leaders wrote messages, which were read out and displayed at the town hall celebration. For your encouragement and edification, here is a selection:
“Congratulations! Your collective wisdom, commitment, dedication, sacrifice and above all, indomitable faith against all odds, continue to motivate, enthuse and inspire those of us who share your concerns and visions for our troubled world. Your organisation’s far reaching professionalism, integrity, energy and candour serve as a guiding strength and beacon of hope for so many in South and southern Africa, and indeed in even remoter global arenas such as Sudan, the Great Lakes region and Northern Nigeria, during these challenging and trying times.
“The sheer inexhaustible resilience, outstanding courage and tremendous stamina of all those associated with Frontline Fellowship leave us in awe. Thank you for all that you and your noble team have accomplished and continue to achieve against all odds. Long may you persevere with the good work as it ripples out from Cape Town across the globe touching so many, many lives bringing optimism where there was despair, aid where there was neglect and faith where there was ignorance. Truly, there could be no higher calling.” DM
“Your service to our Lord Jesus Christ through the ministry of Frontline Fellowship continues to be an outstanding example of Christians who are prepared to ‘stand up and be counted’. As you celebrate your 25th anniversary know this: You are a beacon of light to those who do not know our precious Lord. You are an encouragement and conscience to those believers who are lukewarm in their walk with Jesus. May our Lord continue to grant you courage, strength and wisdom as you strive to serve Him in the unique way He has gifted you. With deep appreciation for being willing to help reach our world for Christ.” JB, Vice President, Mission Aviation Fellowship, USA
Wilderness for sure. My prayer is that our Lord Jesus Christ will protect you and your team always as you Glorify His Name in ALL the earth.” MN
“Greetings from Australia! Congratulations on 25 years!” GV, Operation Mobilisation
“Congratulations on a service well done to the Glory of God!! Thank you for standing up for Truth when no one else has, and being faithful to what God has called you. We pray that in the coming years you will begin to see much fruit from the many, many seeds of righteousness you have sown and that The Most High God will receive the glory and many souls will see Him, soon! The Church needs to come back to its roots and walk again in God’s Law! Thanks again for your part in calling it to it's destiny!!” SC
“Who would've thought that you and ‘The Motorbike Mission’ would evolve to this? God is obviously using you and your team in an area where others fear, neglect or plainly just do not want to go. You are the voice in the
“Thank you for your courage in facing and fighting the ‘giants’ we lesser mortals have not faced and fought. Thank you for bring to our attention the plight of our brothers and sisters in Africa. May you and the team go from strength to strength as you bring freedom to people through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour.” H&JS
“I would like to congratulate Frontline Fellowship on 25 years of faithfulness to our Lord and God, Jesus Christ. We are living in Canada at the moment, and every time we hear about God's miracles in Africa, we rejoice. Therefore, thank you for your willingness to serve Jesus and may He continue to bless and keep you for the next 25 years.” PG
“Congratulations to all who have served faithfully with you in the ministry of Frontline Fellowship these 25 years. You personally have always been an inspiration to me and to our son and as we have followed the work and progress of Frontline Fellowship with all its persecutions for the Gospel's sake and of course all its victories for the kingdom we see that the Lord has greatly blessed your dedication to His work and as you remain at His command we are confident that He will continue to do so. My prayer is that He may give you continuing strength, health and all the resources you need and that you will always have a sense of His nearness and power. The Lord's arm is strong in the defense of those who fear Him.” LH
“We are very glad to rejoice with you for what the Lord has done through the Fellowship in making Jesus known around the world and developing leadership for the body of Christ. The Frontline Fellowship is a pacesetter in the business of the Kingdom, in fulfilling the Great Commission. I pray that God Almighty will continue to abide with you as you continue to advance the Kingdom of God in the years ahead in the Name of Jesus Christ our Lord.” SO, President, World Harvest College of Ministry, Lagos, Nigeria
“The Lord has been so good to you over these 25 years and you have been obedient. He will go on blessing in the days to come.” BP
“Praise the Lord for your first 25 years of ministry. I am grateful that your ministry has been faithful to take the Word of God to the afflicted and encourage them with relief for their physical suffering. Your commitment to discipleship means that Africa has Christian leaders prepared to continue discipling the nations. May God continue to bless your work.” LP, USA
“Congratulations on a wonderful accomplishment for God’s Kingdom. It is a remarkable record of what the Lord has enabled you to do. We praise and thank God for men like you who had the courage, boldness and faith to take God at His Word, and go forth in His Name to do great things. We pray for God’s continued blessing upon you and the work that you are doing.” T&EH
“Frontline is for me a source of inspiration and encouragement. I am most blessed because I have been one of the GCC students in the 25th year of Frontline. Long live Frontline! I think it is now that an even bigger work should start.” JK, Congo
“I want to thank God for your organisation whom have been obedient to venture where nobody else would dare to go. God will even bless you more should you just be persistent and faithful up and until the end.” AL
“Congratulations on your consistent witness for our Lord Jesus Christ. You have faced many difficulties and the scars are proof of the fact that you are really on the front line of battle. May God encourage and strengthen you to serve Him bravely in the years to come.” KO, Christians For Truth
“What an inspiring experience! I’m so pleased that I was able to support and see how God has raised you up in the last 25 years. Your unwavering warrior ability, calling and commitment to honor the Gospel is incredible. May God richly bless your next season. Please count on our prayers and support.” ML
“Congratulations on reaching a milestone. Our prayers are with you all. Keep the Faith. Keep up the work..” LN&CBC
“Congratulations on your 25-year celebrations of Frontline Fellowship! May the Lord Jesus bless you and your co-workers with good health, energy, resources and the will to continue for many, many more years to come.” F&MVW
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