To Zimbabwe With Love
The Frontline Mission HQ was a hive of activity late into the night as over 20 volunteers helped us assemble Boxes with Love and load tons of books, Bibles, food and medicines for Zimbabwe.
Six field workers and couriers with two vehicles were sent out with much prayer. Their priorities were to deliver desperately needed food and lifesaving medicines to pastors, pensioners and prisoners.
Despite numerous difficulties, delays and frustrations at border posts, the teams ultimately succeeded in overcoming all obstacles and delivering the much needed supplies to churches, missions, hospitals and prisons. As John reported: “When you see the appreciation, gratitude and affection shown on delivery, there is no way but to look forward to the next mission trip…` I was hungry and you fed Me, I was naked and you clothed Me …’ this is one of the most important aspects of mission work. The harvest is ripe and the labourers are few …”
Family Mission to Zambia
Charl, Sonja, and their four children, travelled over 8000km by road, dodging potholes and crossing many borders in order to deliver supplies and minister to an orphanage near Lusaka, Zambia. The orphanage cares for little ones who have lost both parents, mostly to HIV/Aids. Some of the children have been HIV positive since birth. The Van Wyks helped with the distribution of food to families who are caring for many of the orphans. Aside from preaching and teaching at church services and Bible studies, Charl had an hour-long television interview to discuss the application of Biblical principles to national issues. He was also able to organise teams to distribute Christian Action literature and to visit media representatives. One of the main purposes of Charl’s trip was to teach and advise pastors involved in re-writing the Constitution of Zambia, especially Zambia United Christian Action members.
Inevitably there were frustrations, delays and complications with customs officials. The battle with bureaucracy was frequently exasperating. Charl reported his children being in tears and traumatised by some of the cruelty to animals that they witnessed. “My children discovered how ruthless, uncaring and inhumane pagans treat their animals. I wondered why the animal anti-cruelty organisations that often operate in Western nations, were not more active in these African countries. ‘ A good man takes care of his animals, but wicked men are cruel to theirs’ Proverbs 12:10”
Charl reported on seeing elephants in the wild, crossing the national road and seeing lion spoor and hearing them at night, while trying to sleep in a hut, with a door that consisted only of a wooden frame and canvass. They crossed a crocodile and hippo infested river by pontoon and enjoyed seeing one of the great natural wonders of God’s creation, Victoria Falls.
Charl also reported back on how UNICEF and government agencies seemed to work to sabotage Christian ministries to Aids orphans, despite the tremendous work being accomplished by groups such as The Samaritan Children’s Home, to desperately needy people. One such family of four children had been rescued out of the Congo by their grandmother after they had witnessed their father being shot and mother gang raped and murdered by communist guerillas. Soon after their arrival in Zambia, their grandmother died. They are now part of the Samaritan Children’s Home. Yet the ministry of this home is being continually undermined and complicated by unreasonable demands by government agencies and gross interference by UNICEF.
Charl noted that their eldest daughter, Roberta, nearly caused a riot when she started to distribute sweets to young children.
It is important to not only teach Scripture, but live it too. Helping to feed widows and orphans and then teaching on national socio-political issues is far more effective than just talking the talk.
Preaching in the churches in Zambia was blessed as many repented of their sins of bitterness that was tearing their lives apart, and keeping them from experiencing the fullness of God’s grace and forgiveness.
“This was a true home schooling experience, in which our children learnt about different cultures, currencies, geography, history, maths, science, etc. – all on one mission trip! Many thanks to our faithful ministry partners who make it possible for us to help the needy and further the Great Commission in Africa.”
Mission to Europe
By God’s grace, Lenora and I had a rare privilege of travelling together for a month of ministry in Europe. One of our hosts in England, very generously, covered Lenora’s travel expenses as well.
The first leg of our Europe mission, to Northern Ireland, coincided with the 150 th anniversary celebrations of the 1859 Ulster Revival. We were the guests of Dr. Ian Paisley, who is the longest serving Member of Parliament in Great Britain. Now in his early 80’s, Dr. Paisley has been a Member of Parliament in the House of Commons for over 40 years. His wife, Baroness Eileen Paisley, is a Member of the House of Lords. Over 50 years ago, Dr. Paisley launched the Free Presbyterian Churches, which now have 100 congregations.
The Paisleys were most gracious hosts and treated us to a feast in their home, for Sunday lunch. I had the privilege, on Sunday, of preaching in the Martyr’s Memorial Presbyterian Church, both morning and evening services. The next day we were hosted at Stormont, the Legislative Assembly of Northern Ireland. Between ministering at other congregations, we had the privilege of being taken on a tour of sites of the Ulster Revival. We also managed to visit Downpatrick, where pioneer missionary St. Patrick began his tremendous mission of winning Ireland for Christ.
We were then off for an all too short visit to Belgium. We were hosted by the KwaSizabantu Mission, Belgium, to whom I presented a Missions and Reformation presentation. Our hosts also took us on a tour of WWI battlefield trenches at Ypers, and to the decisive battlefield of Waterloo. As I had relatives involved at that landmark battle, it was most meaningful.
From Belgium, Lenora and I travelled by train, through France, Geneva, Switzerland, for the 500 th anniversary celebrations of the birth of Reformer John Calvin.
Ever since my 11 nation, 5 week mission to Europe in 2005, I have been campaigning worldwide for a major international celebration of the Reformation in Geneva, July 2009. Hundreds of delegates came from as far afield as the USA, Canada, England, Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, Korea, South Africa and Uganda.
It was tremendous to join a thousand other believers in the St. Pierre Cathedral on Sunday morning, singing A Mighty Fortress is our God. Every evening there were three full services and three expositionary sermons in St. Pierre. Every morning there were five academic lectures in Calvin’s Auditore. This was the chapel in which the Geneva Bible was translated. ScottishReformer, John Knox, conducted Sunday services for English refugees in this chapel, and John Calvin presented lectures to his theological students here.
Every afternoon there were practicals and outings such as tours of the Reformation Museum, St. Pierre Cathedral and other Reformation sites.
After Geneva, we travelled by train to Zürich, where we were hosted by KwaSizabantu Mission, Switzerland. We explored Zürich and the Grossmünster cathedral, where Reformer Ulrich Zwingli launched the Swiss Reformation with his innovative expositionary preaching directly from the Bible, beginning in Matthew 1:1.
We were given a tour of the Alps and visited the William Tell Museum. It was William Tell’s incredible accuracy with his crossbow and courageous resistance to the Austrian invaders that inspired his countrymen to fight for independence over 700 years ago.
That Saturday evening I gave a missions report back and early Sunday morning joined the youth at a camp up in the Alps among the cows. It is quite an experience to hear the Alpine orchestra of hundreds of cowbells chiming all day and night. The early morning Sunday service was held in a cow shed, on the Alpine slopes. I noted how the Revival at KwaSizabantu Mission in Zululand began in a cow shed in 1966. We managed to return on time for the 11am, Sunday morning service, to preach a Reformation sermon in honor of the 500 th anniversary of John Calvin.
In England, delegates came from as far afield as New Zealand, Australia, Iceland, Canada and the USA for the ‘From the Ends of the Earth’ conference. Each morning began with a prayer meeting in the chapel at 7:30am and carried on until 10pm each night. In addition to the full conference programme, we managed to visit nearby Lutterworth and the parish church where Professor John Wycliffe translated the Latin Bible into English and sent out the Lollards, as fieldworkers for the Reformation, preaching in the marketplaces throughout England.
We were also able to visit the battlefield of Nasby, where on, 14 June 1645, Oliver Cromwell’s New Model Army won the decisive battle of the English Civil War, routing King Charles I’s Royalists.
En route to the far North, we managed to locate the William Carey House in Kettering, from where the modern missionary movement was launched. Between preaching at church services at Carlisle, we explored the historic Carlisle Castle, which had frequently been besieged and changed hands during its turbulent history. Before leaving England, we had the opportunity of exploring a 7 th century Saxon chapel still in use, the ancient Norman Cathedral of Durham and the missionary base at Lindesfarne, from where England was evengelised.
As I generally try to combine ministry with historical research on my mission trips, I have come back with a vast amount of photographs and documentation, which has kept our eldest daughter, Andrea, frequently busy until after midnight, scanning them in and integrating them into many historical PowerPoint presentations. The Reformation Society and the William Carey Bible Institute will benefit from these many new presentations.
With Lenora and I away for almost a month, it provided a tremendous opportunity for our children to do for themselves what would normally be done for them. Our 18-year-old daughter, Andrea, had to run the home, delivering brothers and sister to extra-murals, along with all the other domestic responsibilities of running a busy home. This served as a final graduating project as she completed her last home schooling exams and assignments in June.
Thank you so very much for your prayers, support and partnership. It is a joy and privilege to represent you as we invest in leadership training, literature production and distribution and love in action in some of the most desperately needy and neglected parts in Africa.
Our vision is Africa for Christ. As we evangelise in conflict areas, serve suffering Christians and work for Reformation, praying for Revival we greatly appreciate your ongoing intercession.
Yours for the fulfillment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
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