Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
"Declare His glory among the nations, His wonders among all peoples." Psalm 96:3
Answers to Prayer
It is always encouraging to receive testimonies of God's grace and see abiding fruit of previous Missions. During our recent month-long Mission throughout South Africa, we were tremendously blessed and challenged by numerous testimonies of God's gracious answers to prayer.
One of our hosts told us how she was challenged at the Biblical Worldview Seminar we ran in the Transvaal in 1996, to start a Christian school. Next year they will celebrate 20 years of Ichthus Christian School. Our team members remarked that that they had not experienced such incisive questions from school students on field reports and insightful interaction with students over the Ten Commandments and Gospel presentations before.
Making History Come Alive
One Bible college student came to me during the week of Church History lectures I was presenting at Back to the Bible Institute, and told me that she had never liked history and had been dreading the subject, but that the stories and portraits of individual Missionaries were challenging and inspiring. "You have changed my mind about History. Now I see that it is important and interesting!" she declared.
God's Word Never Returns Void
A young man came to me after a Sunday morning service and asked if I remembered a camp I had spoken at, at Skogheim, about 20 years before. As it so happened, I remembered it well, remarking at the time the lack of responsiveness from most of the people at the camp. Yes, he confirmed to me that there was quite a lot of opposition to what I was saying and although he was just a teenager at the time, he remembered the intense discussions provoked as a result of my presentations. Now, two decades later, I was receiving the first positive feedback from that difficult time of ministry. "God really spoke to us through you," he said.
At an evening service where I was invited to minister, the pastor asked me if I remembered him. I had to rapidly scan through my memory files to identify where we had last met. Over 28 years ago, he reminded me, I spoke regularly at the South West African Military Academy (SWAMIL) at Okahandja. SWAMIL Okahandja was the Infantry officers training school for South West Africa. He had been a chaplain there when I was a regular guest speaker and lecturer.
Soldiers for Christ
Numerous men came to me after different services and seminars, saying that they had last heard me on chaplains' parades in the Army, or at outreaches we conducted back in the early days of Frontline Fellowship at military bases throughout the country and across the border.
Ministry to the Military
The leader of a Mission who invited us to conduct a seminar, reminded me that he had invited me to conduct chaplain services at 1st Reconnaissance Commando when he was the chaplain at their base on the Bluff, Durban.
Conviction and Conversion
After giving presentations on The Message in the Music, John was approached by a young man who confessed: "My music is wrong and I feel like I am worshipping satan when I listen to it." He said he had been convicted to repent and delete all of his music off his phone after the presentation.
Discernment and Determination
After his presentation on, A Call for Discernment, John had a woman come to him and confess her sinful involvement in these highly questionable practices and her determination to renounce them.
From Canada to Malawi
A person came up to me at one of our meetings and asked if I remembered ministering at their church in Canada. As it so happened, I did. She gave some feedback over the responses to my presentations on Missions in Canada and reported that she and her husband are now Missionaries in Malawi.
At one of our mid-week services, a group of home schoolers identified that they had driven quite some distance in order to hear me. They were grateful for the home schooling textbook resources we are providing.
Grahamstown Evangelistic Mission
A lady identified herself to me as the widow of a church leader in Grahamstown. She remembered when I was soldier in training at 6th South African Infantry in Grahamstown and my ministry at their church youth group and in the local schools. That was over 36 years ago!
A pastor identified himself to me as one of our first graduates from Covenant College, which we established at the Frontline Mission base in Zambia, over 26 years ago. He is still serving his congregation in Eastern Zambia and is grateful for the training and resources he received.
"Those who sow in tears shall reap in joy. He who continually goes forth weeping, bearing seed for sowing, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him." - Psalm 126:5-6
South Africa for Christ
At least once a year, I lead a team of Missionaries and interns on a South Africa overland Mission. During the month of June, we drove over 5,000 km across 6 provinces. In one month we visited and ministered at 42 venues: schools, churches, Mission stations, colleges, youth ministries and old age homes. Our team, which included John, Joseph and Francis, gave over 140 presentations, of which I presented 79. These presentations included: Evangelism Workshops, Creation Evangelism, Way of the Master, Evangelism Explosion, The Bible and Animals, Stewardship of Creation, The Greatness of the Great Commission, Biblical Worldview lectures, Discipleship Training, ministry to the Persecuted Church, Church History, South African History, Missions History and Discipleship presentations.
We distributed, or delivered, over two tonnes of Bibles, books, Gospels and audio visual discipleship materials. Because of the generosity of Dr. R.C. Sproul and St. Andrews, we were able to donate hundreds of Reformation Study Bibles to Missionaries, Bible college libraries and lecturers. We were also able to equip Missionaries with boxes of Bibles, books, Gospel booklets, tracts and audio visual materials.
The Great Commission is Our Supreme Ambition
It was a joy to see so many dynamic, independent Christian schools, Bible colleges, churches and Mission stations. John and I had the opportunity of recording numerous devotions for Radio Khwezi in Kwazulu Natal, to speak at the Cedar College of Education chapels for Teachers in Training and to participate in a Bible College Consultation where 80 representatives of 25 Bible colleges and teaching institutions, from over 10 countries, gathered together. At this Consultation, I conducted workshops on how we should teach to increase Bible knowledge. Adullum Mission hosted A Firm Foundations for your Faith Seminar when John and I ministered with Zulu translation. Joseph and Francis conducted a parallel children's programme covering Creation, the Law of God, Pilgrim's Progress, Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion presentations.
Ministry to Museums
We also visited 10 museums, monuments and battle sites. There was much interest in our new History resources, particularly our new Sketches from South Africa History book and the The South African History Audio and Data MP3 Boxset. Three of the museums immediately requested consignments of these resources. At others, we donated copies for their library. Some good discussions and interesting conversations developed with directors and managers of several of these museums. With so many attacks on monuments and attempts to distort history, it is more important than ever that Christians are engaged in public debates and contribute to Understanding of the Times (1 Chronicles 12:32).
Ministry in Retirement Centres
We also had the opportunity of ministering in some retirement communities and learning from some of the fascinating experiences of older generations who have seen and experienced things that most of us are not even aware of. Young people would do themselves a favour by seeking the insights and testimonies of their grandparents and great grandparents. One should actually take a recorder and capture some of the life stories of many of these fascinating people, both for our education and edification.
Back to the Bible Institute
Among the over 100 students and staff at Back to the Bible Institute (BBI) there are 20 countries and 60 languages represented. I was invited to lecture for a week on Church History, particularly focusing on the history of the 19th century Missionary movement. As we had recently updated and expanded our Greatest Century of Missions book, we were able to give each student and faculty member a copy of The Greatest Century of Missions. The students also thoroughly enjoyed a screening of War Room and P.T. with the Frontline team. While I was conducting lectures and chapel services at BBI, the rest of the Frontline team were speaking at assemblies and classes at local schools. Francis also ministered to the women at the college and John spoke with the student council. As always John's presentation on The Message in the Music and A Call for Discernment engendered much discussion.
Despite serious vehicle breakdowns and long delays caused by mechanical problems, in remote areas, our team only missed one engagement and we made every other appointment on time. The schedule was often gruelling and generally starting very early, seldom ending much before midnight. There were many stop/go roadworks on the roads we needed to travel and these delays had to be factored in, so that we could still reach our appointments on time. Our team drove over 5,000 km and had many opportunities for literature evangelism, one-on-one personal evangelism and counselling en-route. Open-air preaching opportunities were also organised and child evangelism in townships were a challenge, often with incessant noise being boomed from PA systems close by. Doctors for Life invited me to conduct a workshop on Effective Media Interviews. KwaSizabantu Mission invited me to speak at 4 evening services in a row.
Truths That Transform
We praise God for every life touched, every mind renewed, every soul brought under conviction and to conversion as a result of the power of the Word of God - both printed and proclaimed. The Word of God never returns void. It is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God. Some of the titles and presentations we delivered during this Mission, include: The Statue and the Stone, The Greatness of the Great Commission, How Can A Loving God Allow Suffering?, The Challenge of David Livingstone, William Carey - The Father of Modern Missions, Hudson Taylor - Missionary to China, William Wilberforce and the War Against Slavery, Mobilising Missions Through Hymns, Body Piercing - A Return to Paganism, Making Disciples of All Nations, Spiritual Stamina, The Hard Words of Jesus, Christian Vocation, The Holiness of God, Biblical Faith and Modern Counterfeits, Sin and Repentance, Recognising the Voice of God, Reclaiming Surrendered Ground, Lies We Have All Believed, The Gates of Hell Shall Not Prevail! and The Challenge of Missions.
KwaSizabantu Youth Conference
No sooner had we returned to Cape Town, then I needed to repack and fly out back to Kwazulu/Natal, as Rev. Erlo Stegen invited me to minister at the Youth Conference. KwaSizabantu mission has been hosting Youth conferences, every year, since 1974. This year there were over 7,000 young people gathered for the week-long conference. The logistics involved in hosting over so many people at one Mission station is quite overwhelming. Transportation to both collect and return the young people, takes days. Catering for such a large group is also quite overwhelming. Yet, as with all of its events, KwaSizabantu Mission hosts these conferences without any charge. As a Faith Mission, not even offerings are taken up. The theme of the conference was: I Will Return to My Father - Luke 15:18.
Return to the Father
Arno Stegen preached on the Prodigal Son, Doctors for Life dealt with issues affecting young people. Dorothy Newlands spoke on Rebellion and Peer Pressure, Kjell Olsen dealt with the Deception of Evolution to draw people away from the Father. Joe Newlands challenged the young people with the Lord's command to be born again. Alpheus Mdlalosi expounded on the text: "And when he heard it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out and say, Jesus, Son of David, have mercy on me!" Mark 10:47. Rev. Erlo Stegen spoke on the pitfalls and pigsties of sin, which so many fall into. He called on all to return to our Heavenly Father in Repentance and Faith. I was asked to deal with what Africa was like before the Missionaries arrived with the Gospel and what changes were brought about by their endeavours, as well as the rising persecution of Christians at the hands of radical Islam in North Africa.
Testimonies of Transformation
Rev. Erlo Stegen challenged the youth not to abuse their freedom to sin, to do evil and to go to hell. "Theft will prevent you from going to Heaven. What you have hidden must be returned. Sin is very costly - for all eternity! Sin separates family, friends and Heaven from hell. Write your sins down. Confess each sin. Repent. If you backslide then there is no limit to the filth and degradation you can sink to. Beware of a wasted life. Take this opportunity to get right with God." A large choir made up of young people who have come from criminal backgrounds ministered to the Youth Conference. I spoke with a man who confessed to having murdered his father when he was 17 years old. There were people who participated in the Youth Conference who confessed to a life of crime, gangsterism, drug dealing and multiple murders. There were many trophies of grace and testimonies of transformation by the grace of God. As Rev. Erlo Stegan challenged the young people to turn from degradation and disgrace: "Come to your senses and return to your Father in Heaven."
Tugela Valley Mission
Daniela and I had the opportunity to visit the new KwaSizabantu Mission at Magqogo in the Tugela Valley. Where the locals said only thorn bushes could grow, Rev. Stegen has planted 12 different fruit and vegetables and with irrigation and wise farming methods, has cultivated vast areas with life-giving and job-creating flourishing agricultural projects. The church plant is already enjoying an attendance of up to 150 each week. Despite intense heat, a wide variety of snakes, including black mambas, green mambas, pythons, puff adder and others, a team of Missionary volunteers, from as far afield as Germany, Australia and France, are teaching the local people to produce pineapples, cabbages, olives, dates, pomegranates, dragon fruit and a range of other crops. People are coming to Christ even from witchcraft backgrounds.
The Gospel is the Power of God for Salvation to All Who Believe
While our team was busy on the South Africa Mission, David, Tessa, Michelle and Berdine were involved in other outreaches and a church plant in Limpopo. We met up at the Adullam Mission, Firm Foundations for Your Faith Seminar and at The Bible College Consultation. Ryno has been ministering at Back to the Bible Institute, serving as their Logistics officer during the last semester. Taryn and Abrie have been ministering at camps, schools and youth groups. Jonathan has been receiving and sending out shipments of Bibles, books, Sunday school materials and Gospel booklets and tracts. Literature4Africa is distributing an average of 180 tonnes of Bibles and books each year, completely free, to churches, Missions, schools and ministries, throughout Southern Africa.
Upcoming Events and Matters for Prayer
Please pray for Francis as she participates in a Child Evangelism Camp, Joseph, who has flown back to America for the wedding of his sister and for Missions report backs to his congregation, Christopher who received his national colours and is representing our country at Karate World Championships in Berlin, Abrie and Ryno who are conducting Children's Holiday Missions in Genadendal, the oldest mission station in South Africa. I will be flying to America for a speaking tour, which includes the Presbyterian Evangelical Fellowship Conference at Covenant College in Georgia. John will soon be conducting ministry in North Africa and America.
Urgent Needs for Prayer and Action
Zimbabwe in Ruins
We continue to receive disturbing reports of violence and repression in Zimbabwe as Mugabe's Communist ZANU-PF regime starves and beats their long-suffering population into submission. We are all finding it increasingly difficult to deliver the aid desperately needed by pensioners, pastors, prisoners and others in Zimbabwe. Please pray for our Mission teams, couriers and contacts as we seek to serve the suffering in Zimbabwe.
Civil War in South Sudan
The enemy tactics of confuse, divide and conquer have created havoc in newly independent South Sudan. 9 July, marked the 5th anniversary of the Independence of South Sudan, yet there was little to celebrate as intertribal violence has continued to break out between the Nuer followers of Riek Machar and the government of South Sudan under president Salva Kiir. During the long war, Riek Machar and his forces served as surrogates for the Arab government of Sudan, who armed and aided them while they waged scorched earth campaigns against the neighbouring Dinka tribe, destroying vast amounts of cattle and looting livestock.
Corruption Leads to Conflict
After the first year of Independence, President Silva Kiir reported that over US $5 Billion was missing from the public treasury - looted through corruption! Suspicion immediately fell upon his vice president, Riek Machar and barely two years after Independence, the vice president and most of the cabinet, were fired. This immediately led to violence between the Dinka and Nuer elements of the presidential guard. The violence soon spilled over into ethnic cleansing and full-scale tribal war between the Nuer and Dinka.
Attempts at Peace Settlements Undermined
The churches of South Sudan have tried to bring about negotiations, reconciliation and numerous cease-fires have been declared. Unfortunately, these have invariably been violated and fighting continues.
Disastrous Consequences of Secularism
During this disastrous descent into civil war, the Arab government of Sudan have seized control of many of the oil fields close to the Northern border of South Sudan. Ministers in South Sudan express their frustration to us. At independence, ex-US president Jimmy Carter persuaded the new South Sudan government to declare themselves a secular state, to not have any prayer at parliament and to adopt the secular textbooks provided by UNICEF for their schools.
"Unless the Lord builds the house, they labor in vain who build it; unless the Lord guards the city, the watchman stays awake in vain." Psalm 127:1
After all the sacrifices of so many Christians to achieve the freedom and Independence of South Sudan, many feel betrayed by the secular humanism of the new nation and the devious and destructive counsel given by Jimmy Carter.
"Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have Faith." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
We are most grateful for your prayers, encouragement and support, without which, none of our ministries would be possible. Thank you for all that you do to enable this Mission in Africa to advance.
May God continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
our support is needed and much appreciated.
Our banking details are:
(For South African supporters)
Acc. Name: Frontline Fellowship
First National Bank – Rondebosch
Branch code: 201509
Acc. No: 5017 0589 260
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(For overseas supporters)
Acc. Name: Frontline Fellowship
First National Bank – Rondebosch
Acc. No: 5017 0589 260
Swift No: FIRNZAJJ
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