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Healing in the Valley of the Shadow of Death
As we look back over this last year, we need to be grateful for life and liberty. Those of us who have survived aerial bombardments, artillery barrages, rocket attacks, ambushes, capture and imprisonment are very aware of the precious gift of life and freedom. Perhaps we do not really appreciate the blessings of good health until we lose it, or it is threatened. This year I was hospitalised 3 times. That is more times than in the rest of my adult life combined. I have been used to visiting patients in hospitals. It is an entirely different thing to be on the receiving end as a patient in the hospital. On 28 February I suffered a stroke and realised that I was dying. Daniela drove me to Vincent Palloti hospital (which is where I was born in 1960 when it was St Joseph). As I was admitted to ICU, I remembered the day in 2001, when I admitted my mother to the same hospital ICU after she suffered a stroke. My mother had less than a week to live at that point. I was sent for a CT scan which confirmed that I had suffered a stroke. I told the doctor that I had to be in KwaZulu-Natal next week for a conference. He laughed and said: “you are going nowhere! You have suffered a stroke!” The same day that I was admitted, our Chairman of the board, Anthony Stander came during visiting hours in the evening, read James 5, anointed me with oil and prayed the prayer of faith. I knew that I was healed and the next morning this was confirmed by the doctor and the physiotherapist, speech therapist and cognitive therapist who gave me a battery of tests and declared with much surprise that there was no evidence of cognitive decline. Although I still needed to work on my speech to overcome the slurring. Exactly one week after being admitted to the hospital ICU, I travelled through to KwaZulu-Natal to KwaSizabantu Mission to deliver a plenary address to the Ministers Conference with over 2,000 participants from 68 countries.
Determination Despite Disease and Disruption
In June, shortly after returning from conducting a Discipleship course for prisoners and lecturing on African Church History at Back to the Bible Mission in Mpumalanga, I was hosting American author and radio presenter Kevin Swanson at Livingstone House, when severe pain led me to excuse myself and minutes later I was vomiting in the bathroom. Having suffered kidney stone eruptions a number of times in my life, I knew the symptoms, drove home, packed my things away and requested Daniela to drive me through to ICU at the hospital. A scan quickly confirmed that I had some large stones in my kidney. The next morning I went into surgery when they put in a stent, told me I would suffer some discomfort and discharged me telling me to return in 3 weeks time for them to remove the stent and the stone. The very next week I was ministering at the July Youth Conference at KwaSizabantu Mission to about 7,000 young people. Later I asked the doctor if some discomfort was medical code for extreme agony! Why they did not remove the stone at the same time as they put in the stent I do not know, but it was 3 weeks of serious agony before the operation that removed what they described as a lovely large stone! Spiritual warfare can include some serious physical pain as well.
Power Failures, Telephone, Internet and Water cuts, Hacking, Censorship and De-platforming
These medical crises coincided with financial crises, complications with our banks and attempts to hack into and sabotage our computer system at the mission. Quite aside from the scheduled power failures which are part of the failed state of ANC corruption and incompetence, and despite every effort from our side, the national telephone provider, Telkom, has failed to provide any telephone connectivity/service for our home for the whole year. We also went several months without any Internet connectivity at our home. For almost 2 weeks we had no water at our home either. Our main IT computer which controls our 20 websites, Sound Cloud, Sermon Audio, Slide Share, podcasts and video galleries was stolen. Our codes were changed and we battled for over a month to regain access and control to our various online A/V platforms. Censorship and serious restrictions on social media, attempts to de-platform some of our most important online ministry activities and insidious malicious campaigns by pathological antagonists determined to destroy our mission. But greater is He who is in us than him who is in the world. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me. Weare more than conquerors through Christ Jesus who loved us. Submit to God, resist the devil and he will flee from you. They that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength they shall mount up with wings like eagles they shall run not grow weary,they shall walk and not faint.
Bad Times are Good for Spiritual Work
We praise God for our true friends, prayer warriors, co-workers, supporters and allies who stand with us in difficult times. Bad times are good for spiritual work. You do not actually lose friends, you just learn who your real friends are! Through our God we shall do valiantly,it is He who will tread down our enemies. No weapon formed against us shall stand. God has sent His angels to encamp around us. Thanks be to Almighty God, our rock solid foundation, our fortress, our Redeemer and Deliverer. (https://www.frontlinemissionsa.org/articles/undermining-terrorism-with-evangelism)
Biblical Worldview Summit and Great Commission Course 2023, March4Life, Women’s Day outreaches, Ascension Day outreaches, Book launches and Protests
By God’s grace, we completed a most blessed Biblical Worldview Summit and Great Commission Course 2023, organised the March4Life through Cape Town and prayer vigil outside the gates of Parliament, distributed thousands of Gospel booklets and engaged in personal evangelism during Women’s Day outreaches, organised Ascension Day outreaches in Cape Town, hosted book launches for A Journey to the Truth with author Gerda Potgieter and protests against Fake News24/7 outside media24 Centre in Cape Town and coordinated the Life Chain 2023.
We also screened the new pro-life film What is it? And the anti-human trafficking film: Sound of Freedom at the Reformation Society. We hosted a number of overseas guest speakers, including home education radio presenter and author Kevin Swanson. We participated in the Home School Expo and hosted the Home Education Fair and Variety Concert. Other events included the Reformation Day service at Huguenot monument and guided tour of the Huguenot museum in Franschhoek, Remembrance Day services and promoting the International Day of Prayer for the Persecuted (IDOP) http://www.idop-africa.org/
By God’s grace, we received, offloaded, organised,categorised and distributed 8 container shipments(approximately 100 tonnes) of Bibles, books, Sunday school materials and Gospel booklets. We distributed hundreds of Bibles and hundreds of thousands of Gospel booklets in numerous African languages throughout Southern Africa. https://www.frontlinemissionsa.org/news/quartermaster-store-for-missions-throughout-africa.
National Alliance for life conference
To listen to my Fight for LIFE message, as it was presented to the National Alliance for Life conference in Durban:
To view the presentation as a video:
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves.” Proverbs 31:8
Productivity and Progress Despite Opposition
By God’s grace, just in December, I was able to be part of 3 international TV programmes,15 radio programmes, 4 church services, proclaim the Gospel in a Mosque in Cape Town, minister to over 7,000 young people at the December KwaSizabantu Mission Youth Conference in KwaZulu, and conducted a series of services and outreaches in the run-up to Christmas.
Celebrating Christmas in a Mosque
On Saturday 16 December, I was invited to a Christmas celebration at a mosque in Wynberg. Dr Taj Hargey of the Oxford Institute for British Islam organised and hosted this extraordinary event. Christian hymns and carols in Arabic, sung by Christian congregations in Egypt, Lebanon, Syria and Iraq were screened and a delicious Christmas lunch was served.
Proclaiming the Gospel in a Mosque
That was remarkable enough, but once there, I was actually invited to speak to all in attendance. I used the opportunity to relate the inspiring testimony of the Christmas Truce of 1914 during World War I. It remains an extraordinary testimony to the power of the Gospel of Christ that, during such a terrible time of world war, soldiers of so many armies, on opposite sides, could sing Christmas carols together, cease fighting, come out of their trenches and embrace their enemies, in honour of the Prince of Peace. “For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given; and the Government will be upon His shoulder. And His Name will be called Wonderful, Counsellor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Of the increase of His Government and peace there will be no end …” Isaiah 9:6–7. There is no peace without the Prince of Peace. If so many soldiers on all sides of a destructive world war could stop fighting, come out of their trenches and celebrate Christmas with their enemies, perhaps we can do the same with our family members and neighbours. https://www. frontlinemissionsa.org/missions/the-christmas-truce
Jesus is the Prince of Peace
There is much hatred and animosity in the world, but no one can point to anything wrong with Jesus Christ. He was, and is, the only perfect Person who ever lived. Even the Quran teaches that Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a holy life, was without sin, healed the sick, raise the dead, worked miracles, created life, is the Word of God and the Messiah. The Lord Jesus Christ commands us to love our neighbour and even to love our enemies. He also commands us to be Humble and self-critical.
Two Men went up to the Temple to pray
I related the teachings of our Lord Jesus on: Two men went up to the Temple to pray. The one was a Pharisee, a religious leader, who lifted up his hands at the front of the Temple and declared that he thanked God he was not like other men, he fasted twice a week, he gave tithes on all he owned, He was not like that tax collector over there! The tax collector would not even raise his eyes, he beat his chest declaring: God have mercy on me, a sinner! The Lord Jesus declared that the religious leader prayed to himself and his prayer was not accepted by God, but the humble prayer of the tax collector was accepted by God and he went away forgiven by God. Our Lord Jesus Christ taught us to love God with all of your heart, soul, mind and strength and to love your neighbour as yourself. To do to others as we would have them do to us. To forgive and to give. Freely you have received, Freely, freely give. https://www.livingstonefellowship.co.za/discipleship/two-men-went-up-to-the-temple-to-pray
The Message of Nabi Isa
To help Muslims understand the Gospel, we have built a website that lets the Words of our Lord Jesus present the Gospel. It is called ‘The Message of Nabi Isa’ (https:// www.themessageofnabiisa.org/) (It can also be found on YouTube). This unique platform to present the Gospel to Muslims has been designed by veteran missionary Gerhard Nehls. The texts can be viewed in an oriental type of art work, and be heard simultaneously. The message is non-aggressive, and yet true to Scripture. It takes into account the mindset of the Mus’lim viewers, who invariably have been prejudiced against Christian message. Nabi Isa means the Prophet Jesus, which is the term used in the Quran to refer to the Lord. Jesus is referred to by that name in 93 verses/ surahs in the Quran. It is remarkable that while Muhammad is only referred to by name 4 times in the Quran. However, the Messenger Jesus is referred to over 40 times:25 times by the name Isa, third-person 48 times, first-person 35 times. “Everyone who calls on the Name of the Lord will be saved.” “How, then, can they call on the One they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the One of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without someone preaching to them?” Romans 10:13–14
You shall be My Witnesses
The Christmas season offered us unique opportunities to witness for Christ as we reminded people Whose birthday we were celebrating. Wise people still seek Christ. “But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth.” Acts 1:8
New Tracts designed
By God’s grace, we designed these new tracts:
New booklet: the Kingdom of God
A new A6 booklet: the Kingdom of God was produced and is ready for printing.
Book Projects Ready for Printing
Three important book projects have been completed this year, including:
1. The Great Commission Handbook
This book has been dedicated to our good friend George Verwer of Operation Mobilisation. Operation World informs us that there are now over 600 million people in Africa who claim to be Christians. The number of Christians in Africa is set to double by 2050 when, if present trends continue, our continent is expected to be home to 1.2 Billion Christians! There is phenomenal church growth in Africa, but the challenge is that over 100 million churchgoers in Africa do not yet have a copy of the Bible, or even a New Testament! Most of the pastors and Africa have no formal Bible college training. Most pastors have no access to a library. Study Bibles are rare and some pastors do not even have a full Bible. Africa’s greatest and most urgent need is Bibles and Bible teaching (https://www.givesendgo.com/GreatCommissionHandbook)
2. A Case for Secession
Amongst the priorities identified at a Cape Independence Strategy session is the battle for the mind/marketing of the importance of self-determination, the benefits of decentralisation, historic examples of successful secessions, the constitutional and legal means to bring about a free and independent Cape of Good Hope and the advantages of independence. A Case for Secession is a well illustrated book, with first hand eye witness insights from recent secession movements. It has been produced to give a compelling case for secession. Books have always played an important role in informing, inspiring and involving people in historic movements such as Prof Martin Luther’s writings in the Reformation and Lex Rex in the birth of the United States of America, A Case for Secession is a Handbook for freedom, peace, progress and prosperity.
With the vital 2024 elections in South Africa coming up soon, it is important that this book be widely circulated in the coming months. It is a book that we can put into the hands of voters and opinion formers, journalists, teachers, lecturers, and elected officials such as town councillors, members of Parliament, and businessmen who want to invest in a better future.
To inform, inspire and involve, educate, encourage and enlist, motivate and mobilise Capetonians to work for a free and independent Cape of Good Hope, please pray for the sponsorship needed to print our book A Case for Secession which presents the inspiring examples of successful secessions and the historic, Biblical, legal, political and practical steps for self-determination, independence and freedom (https://www.givesendgo.com/ CaseforSecession)
3. Resistance and Reformation in Romania: Joseph and Elisabeth Tson under Communism
Rev. Bill Bathman dedicated 67 years of his life to Missions, mostly in Eastern Europe, serving persecuted Christians in communist countries. His youngest daughter, Lenora Hammond, discovered this unpublished manuscript amongst her father’s files and determined to type it up and prepare it for publication. This was Lenora’s last project which her untimely death due to cancer, two years ago, cut short. Now, by God’s grace, we can make available this most important and inspiring book which is not only very historically important, giving us extraordinary insights into the courage and tenacity of Christians suffering fearful persecution at the hands of Communist tyrants, but it is also most timely and relevant at this time of increasing government overreach and state intrusion into matters of religious freedom and conscience. Confronted as we are by the radical revolutionary cancel culture, transgenderism cult and transhumanism movement, hostility to Christian convictions and civilised standards, we need to learn how to resist with the same tenacity and courage as the Romanian Christians in this book. If you want to understand what was like to live under Communist persecution behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, this book will take you on an unforgettable journey. You will meet extraordinary Christian leaders such as Josef Tson who was targeted by the brutal Ceausescu regime. Yet not only did he survive, but he thrived, against all odds. If you want inspiration and insights as to how you can stand firm for your Faith against overwhelming opposition, here you will find examples of excellence which stood the test, under fire, and came through the flames victoriously. (https://www.givesendgo.com/ResistanceinRomania)
Upcoming Leadership Training Events
Now we are preparing for hosting another Biblical Worldview Summit and Great Commission Course in January, in Cape Town.(https://www.frontlinemissionsa.org/events.html)
Thank you for helping to make all this possible.
“Jesus said: ‘The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, because He has anointed Me to preach the Gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives and recovery of sight to the blind, to set at liberty those who are oppressed; To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.’ ” Luke 4:18–19
May God continue to be your joy, strength and shield.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission,
In His service
Dr. Peter Hammond
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