Shipments, Missions, Seminars and Summits
The last three months seem to have been a marathon race of Missions and meetings. Receiving, off-loading, sorting and sending out shipments of Bibles and books. Sending off Mission teams to Zimbabwe and Zambia, and travelling throughout South Africa to conduct a Great Commission Seminar, Biblical Worldview Summit, church services, film ministry, lectures at Bible Colleges, tent evangelism, outreaches, speaking at Missions Conferences and on radio programmes. After a series of Missions to Mpumalanga, Gauteng, North West Province, travelling by road and later by air, I headed off for the series of flights needed to begin my speaking tour in the United States.
The first thing I noticed was the extraordinarily heightened security measures. After going through the normal airline security screening in Cape Town and again in Johannesburg, all passengers were subjected to a further security screening before actually boarding the aircraft destined for the US. This included physical pat downs of every passenger and hand search of all carry-on luggage. As this aircraft had to stop in Dakar, Senegal, enroute, and some passengers left at that point, the aircraft was again then subjected to extraordinary searches which required all passengers to take all of their luggage out of the overhead compartments and stay out of the aisles while security personnel ensured that nothing had been left on board by those who had deplaned.
Welcome to America
On entering the States we went through the most extraordinary searches before being able to continue with connections within the States. Not only did all laptops need to be out of briefcases, and all shoes taken off to be x-rayed, but so did all belts and everything else that was in one's pocket, even down to tissues. When I asked what the reason was for all these extraordinary measures, I was informed that as we were travelling close to the anniversary of the assassination of Osama Bin Laden, it was expected that Al Qaeda would be attempting a retaliatory terrorist strike.
All this made me think back to my childhood in Rhodesia when our family would see me right to the stairs leading up to the aircraft (normally a Viscount). On board, the stewardesses would remind passengers that their pistols needed to be on safe and securely holstered and rifles and machine guns should be placed in overhead compartments. No Air Rhodesia flight was ever hijacked.
Not All Changes are Progress
I also remembered how, not that long ago, we had direct SAA flights from Cape Town to Fort Lauderdale. 14-hour direct flights were very convenient for the passengers, but apparently the Unions complained to SAA that they couldn't expect their flight attendants to work such long shifts and insisted on a different route, which enabled crews to be exchanged mid-way. Hence our now disruptive flights from Johannesburg via Dakar to New York, or Washington. Instead of one flight to Fort Lauderdale, I now required four flights, five take-offs and landings and four security screenings.
International air travel has always been somewhat exhausting, but the new security measures do make it more of an obstacle course as well.
In Florida I spoke at the oldest Tea Party in America. The Tea Parties were mobilised to respond to the political and spiritual crises in America by calling citizens back to Historic, Biblical and Constitutional Foundations for Faith and freedom. My message was responded to with enthusiasm and I was mobbed with questions for hours afterwards.
Truth In Action
It was a joy to see how Dr. James Kennedy's television ministry has been faithfully continued through Truth in Action Ministries. For almost two decades I enjoyed being interviewed by Dr. Kennedy for his Truths that Transform radio programme and on his Coral Ridge Hour TV programme. Since Dr. Kennedy went to be with the Lord, Dr. Jerry Newcombe, his daughter, Jennifer and other faithful co-workers have continued to remain steadfast and true to the vision of fulfilling the Great Commission and the Cultural Mandate.
The New Presbyterian Church
In addition to the recordings, I spoke at the New Presbyterian Church Saturday breakfast and Adult Sunday school. The New Presbyterian church consists of many of the key members and leaders of the old Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church, which Dr. Kennedy founded. They are maintaining a traditional service in a non-traditional setting. Setting out chairs in a school gymnasium every Sunday may seem frustrating when the magnificent facilities built by Dr. Kennedy over so many years is barely used down the road. However as Jennifer said: "The message is more important than the buildings."
When Churches are Hijacked
When I walked around Coral Ridge Presbyterian church, I was shocked to see how much had changed. The big and bold words of the Great Commission and Cultural Mandate sign opposite Reception were missing. The display cabinet with examples of each of James Kennedy's 70 published books, which had been next to Reception, were gone. The huge world map with pictures of foreign missionaries supported, was missing. The many tract stands which once were filled with hundreds of Dr. Kennedy's sermons and Bible studies were now empty. Where once God honouring posters, Scripture displays and Missions boards had stood, were blank walls. I saw a Ten Commandments display on the floor beside the trash can. Behind Dr. Kennedy's pulpit were now drums. In front of the 2,800 pipe organ, one of the largest organs in North America, was a keyboard! The once dynamic and packed bookstore was now completely empty.
Faith of Our Fathers
On one of my visits to Dr. Kennedy, he had commented that he doubted that many of these ministries around him would survive long after his passing. He also questioned the salvation of some of his staff and even of his elders and pastors. Throughout Europe, I've seen many of the Cathedrals which have been built up by dedicated Christians, hijacked by deadening liberalism. The Cathedrals of Europe are more often than not in the hands of people who are not faithful to the Faith of the builders and founders. Many of the mainline denominations have, in all too many cases, betrayed their Founders and dropped the torch.
Voting with Their Feet
Where, under Dr. Kennedy, four services had been held at CRPC every Sunday, the present administration now holds only one service each Sunday. CRPC is barely a shadow of its former self. No wonder so many of the congregation have moved down the road and would rather meet in a school gym.
A Reminder of Romania
It was tremendous to enjoy worship and ministry at a Romanian Baptist Church in Florida. As I showed some pictures of Rev. Bill Bathman ministering in Romania on the screen, the church erupted with sounds of excitement and joy. Everyone seemed to remember Frateli Bill! Some even remembered me during my ministry in Romania before the Iron Curtain came down. The enthusiasm of these Romanian Christians was extraordinary!
Andrea in Arizona
I was met by my eldest daughter, Andrea and her new husband, Hunter. Andrea is in her third year of her Journalism Degree at the Arizona Christian University, for which she has received a full scholarship. Andrea introduced me to their new adopted family member, a magnificent long-haired tabby cat, whom they named: Sherlock Combs. There was much to catch up on as we gathered with my parents-in-law, Rev. Bill and Harriett Bathman, and much plans for upcoming Missions in Africa.
The next day Bill had arranged a Missions Report back for me to update members of the local congregation and friends from around the valley on recent Missionary outreaches and upcoming projects of Frontline in Africa. Along with many old friends, it was a joy to meet Kristi, who used to be our Administrator in the US. Ten years ago Kristi attended our Great Commission Course in Cape Town and her health and fitness was transformed as a result! She said that she had never run before, but after all the P.T. and mountain hikes, she began running regularly and went on to long distance running and completing half marathons. Now Kristi and her husband are preparing to move as missionaries to India.
Great Commission Conference
I had been invited to be the main speaker at a Missions Conference in Northern Arizona. Bill Bathman drove me past the forest fires raging up to the mountainous North of Arizona. The main theme of the Conference was: Changed Hearts Change the Culture. My presentations included: What Does it Take to be a Missionary?; But Aren’t All Religions the Same?; The Need for Discernment and Discipleship in Hollywood; The Greatness of the Great Commission and You Can Change Your World!
Evangelism, Crusades and Creation
The Missions Conference also included a series of lectures on The Crusades to home schoolers in the community, an Evangelism Explosion presentation and Animals in the Bible at the assembly of a local Christian school.
Along with other missionaries at the conference, Rev. Bill Bathman and I gave testimonies at the Men's Breakfast on Saturday morning. Bill's testimony was the most riveting of all. After this we led a group of young people on outreaches in the local community using Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion questions to engage in evangelistic conversations. We distributed much Gospel literature and had the privilege of praying with some precious people.
Confronting New Age Deceptions
What was most surprising and disturbing was the number of people who expressed New Age, Buddhist and Hindu religious beliefs. This even included people who identified themselves as Christians! Many have apparently been influenced by the pop spirituality of Oprah Winfrey and Rhonda Bryne's The Secret. I heard people coming out with new age concepts such as these: "God is like an ocean and I am a cup of water from that ocean."; "All religions are equally true!"; "God is all loving, all forgiving. Everyone will go to Heaven!"; "God will use re-incarnation to make us better and better until we are ready for Heaven!"
When I asked what was the point of re-incarnation, if we cannot remember our past life, they weren’t too sure. When I asked, how it is that the world seems to be getting worse and worse in so many ways, when this re-incarnation belief would suggest that the world should be getting better and better, they were also stumped.
Only One Way
The Scripture is very clear that it is appointed unto man, once to die and after that the Judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except by Him (John 14:6). Yet most of the people we spoke to, even those who claim to be Christians, were convinced that they were good people and had no idea of human depravity, the holiness of God, or their need for Blood Atonement through the Cross of Christ.
The Mission Fields of America
It was surprising that in a country which has sent out so many missionaries, that there is still such a huge mission field of unreached people who do not understand the essentials of the Gospel in America, even close to fine Evangelical churches.
A Vision for Evangelism
The Youth were so excited by their experience ministering in the park, that they wanted to go on further outreaches to the local shopping centre. There I got into a conversation with a young girl who was deeply concerned about whether she would ever see her dog again. It became quite clear that she had no relationship with God and so I explained to her from our Will Animals Be in Heaven study, that the good news is that her dog is going to Heaven, but the bad news is that she isn’t! She was quite shocked and we were able to have a productive time in sharing the Gospel with her and giving her Gospel literature.
Mustangs in the Mountains
When we finished the final evening service and had prayed with people who came to the front to commit themselves to missions, in order to make my next appointment in Colorado, Bill and I headed South to drive through the mountains and forests back to Phoenix in time for my flight the next morning. On the way we had to watch out for Elk and dodge a large number of wild horses - Mustangs - who came galloping out of the darkness and ran right across the road in front of us. In all of my years travelling across Africa and dodging various wild animals, that must be the first time that I have seen Mustangs run across my path.
Summit Ministries is one of our longest standing supporters and partners in the United States. Every year I have been a guest lecturer at the Summit in Colorado for 23 years. The Founder of Summit Ministries, Dr. David Noebel, after leading Summit for 50 years, retired at the end of last year. He handed it over to Dr. Jeff Myers, who has continued to be faithful to his vision and foundational principles. David Noebel was warmly received by a thunderous standing ovation at the Summit when he came to give a guest presentation on The Dangers of Communism.
A World War of Worldviews
This year a record number of 180 students participated in the first session of the Summit. The students responded enthusiastically to my presentations on Worldviews of Destruction and The Battle for the Soul of the Continent. This was followed with hours of questions from enthusiastic students over meal times and during the Open Forum.
Summit in Africa
Although David Noebel has retired from running Summit, he continues to direct the Christian Anti-Communism Crusade which brings out The Schwartz Report. Dr. Noebel's books: Understanding the Times, The Battle for Truth, Mind Siege and You Can Still Trust the Communists to be Communists, continue to be vital handbooks for our Mission in Africa. Frontline Fellowship has continued to conduct Biblical Worldview Seminars and Summits throughout Africa for over 21 years.
Back to South Africa
Following the evening meeting, I had a conference call Board meeting with FF-USA, packed my bags and barely got two hours of sleep before having to head off to catch the first of a series of flights taking me across the continent of America, then across the Atlantic and back to South Africa. It was a long and exhausting flight and I had much proof reading and administrative work to keep me busy enroute.
Mission Team Sent Off
In Cape Town, I had to hit the ground running as a Frontline mission team was waiting to be sent out the day after I returned. By God's grace, the book table money I was able to bring back from the US was just sufficient to be able to send them off to deliver Boxes with Love, literature and discipleship materials to Christians in Zimbabwe and Zambia. Please pray for our Frontline Fellowship missionaries who are conducting Evangelistic, Discipleship and Leadership training courses across the border. One of our missionaries also has an invitation to minister in Nigeria.
We have requests from churches in Sudan to print new Hymn books, Prayer books and Catechisms for them. The only Hymn books they have are the tattered remains of the Hymn books we printed in 1997. The churches in South Sudan have grown so fast that there are insufficient Bibles, Hymn books or Discipleship materials for their congregations. We trust the Lord for the resources to be able to respond to the desperate needs and urgent requests for ministry in the Congo, South Sudan, Zambia and Zimbabwe. There are vital missions and projects which are just waiting for funds.
We are most grateful for your prayers and support, without which our ministries would be possible. We greatly appreciate the sacrifices you make to enable this work to advance throughout Africa.
Our Mission has been busy completely re-designing our www.frontline.org.za website into a more user-friendly site. Please visit our new and improved website, your comments and suggestions would be appreciated. You will also find more of our PowerPoint presentations on slideshare. Our www.thebibleandanimals.org website has also been completely revamped. You will also find more Mission Report Back clips and interviews with Sudanese church leaders on our website link to YouTube. Some of our books are being made available as e-books.
Opportunities for Service
Please pray for increased support as all levels of our Mission are under great strain and some projects are in jeopardy without a major increase in financial support. The needs are great and the opportunities are unprecedented as we continue to serve the suffering, make disciples, teaching obedience to all things that the Lord has commanded.
May the Lord continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
Dr. Peter Hammond
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Prayer & Praise Articles