“Intense, practical, mind-stretching and mind-renewing!”
“An amazing experience - the best camp I’ve ever been to.”
“Fantastic! Really pushes you to move outside comfort zones! Learnt and grew a lot! Loved the physical side.”
Those were some of the written responses from participants of our 3-week Great Commission Course in Cape Town. In many ways this was one of the most difficult and complicated courses we’ve ever hosted.
CHALLENGES AND COMPLICATIONS
Over 100 delegates from as far afield as America and Australia, Ghana and Nigeria, Romania and England, Zambia and Zimbabwe, and from all over South Africa, participated in the week-long Reclaiming Africa for Christ Biblical Worldview Summit which formed the first part of the GCC.
The conference centre, which would normally be our venue, was given to another group, forcing us to seek for alternative accommodation. We therefore chose Eagle’s Nest in Franschhoek, which was the site of the first GCC course in January 1998. However, while this venue had been quite adequate for the original GCC, this time we had double the number of delegates!
So, as more registrations flowed in, we had to make contingency plans and look for secondary accommodation to cope with the overflow. As the kitchen and dining room facilities at Eagle’s Nest were nowhere near adequate, we had to hire additional kitchen facilities and a dining room at a boarding school nearby. To cope with the expected day visitors for Sunday services, and the Christian Action Network Conference on Tuesday, we also had to hire a local church hall. And our good friends from KwaSizabantu Mission, who offered to handle the catering, had to dramatically alter their plans as the numbers kept growing.
Along with the increased interest in the Biblical Worldview Summit we realised that we would have more than 50 out-of-town guests who would be flying in and would need transportation to the conference centre in Franschhoek. The very week before the Biblical Worldview Summit, as guests were already arriving, all 3 of our main vehicles broke down and had to be rushed to the workshop for repairs, and unexpected plumbing problems, carpentry repairs and power failures coincided in the days before the course began.
Under the constant stream of visitors being fetched from the airport, catered for and accommodated, workmen were bustling around replacing the broken door, fixing the blocked plumbing, starting our emergency generator, and a myriad of other unexpected challenges. As the course began, numerous participants and mission leaders came down with debilitating illnesses, and a couple of injuries provided further challenges. However, despite juggling several venues, the BWS was a tremendous success.
RECLAIMING AFRICA FOR CHRIST
Under the theme of: Reclaiming Africa for Christ, the week-long Biblical Worldview Summit included 35 lectures, 6 devotions and 3 sermons by 14 lecturers and guest speakers, 8 films, 6 early-morning PT sessions, 2 sports afternoons, outreaches, door-to-door evangelism in the main streets of Franschhoek, as well as mass literature distribution and personal evangelism in the nearby townships, visits to the Huguenot Monument and Museum, Evangelism Workshops, a Science and Scripture Workshop, Public Speaking and Debating Workshop, and a Christian Action Workshop. There was also a parallel children’s program that dealt with the Tabernacle, Walk Through The Bible, Evangelism Explosion, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Heroes of the Faith such as Florence Nightingale, and the Character of God. Along with crafts and games, the children also had Bible exams, and memorised the Ten Commandments, The Gospel presentation and The Apostle’s Creed along with numerous Scripture verses.
RESOURCES FOR REFORMATION
The BWS also included Just-a-Minute debating skills games, Bible drill, a Bible exam, and a very popular Variety Concert at the end. Some of the topics dealt with included: The Battle for Your Mind, a World War of Worldviews, Reclaiming the Nations for Christ, Rediscovering Our Christian Heritage, Reviving Our Churches, Restoring God’s Creation, Reforming Our Society, Mind Poison –The Hollywood Assault on the Christian Worldview, The Worst Disaster, The First Battlefield – The Rewriting of History, Education – Laying Foundations for the Future, The Crisis in Zimbabwe, Combating Crime, Reclaiming Young People for Christ, Idols for Destruction, Revitalising Our Families, Returning to God in Repentance and Restitution, and much, much more. The lecture notes, Biblical Worldview Manual and audio CDs of all of these presentations are available from Christian Liberty Books (P.O. Box 358, Howard Place, 7450 Pinelands, South Africa; tel-fax: 021-689-7478; E-mail email@example.com).
CHANGING LIVES TO TRANSFORM NATIONS
Some of the written responses from participants of the BWS included: “Excellent, by far the best Christian Worldview Training Camp”; “I have been revived!”; “Fantastic”; “Superb”; “Tough”; “Christ-centered”; “A great course”; “Relevant”; “The lectures were the best I’ve ever heard!”; “Lots of fun!”; “Effective”; “My faith in the Christian worldview has been restored”; “It changes lives, it has changed mine!”.
CHRISTIAN ACTION NETWORK CONFERENCE
Tuesday, 3 July, included a conference within a conference, with the Christian Action Network (CAN) Conference convening under the theme of “For Reformation and Revival.”
THE FRANSCHHOEK DECLARATION
With numerous ministry leaders, missionaries and pastors affiliated with the Christian Action Network participating in the BWS, the CAN conference was integrated into the programme. CAN delegates prayerfully considered the Franschhoek Declaration which was discussed and, with adaptations and additions, was unanimously adopted. The Franschhoek Declaration includes statements on the Authority of Scripture, the Sanctity of Life, Marriage, Education, Homosexuality, Economics and Ethics. The Declaration addresses, in a bold and Biblical manner, the attacks on the family of those seeking to legitimise homosexual perversion as “Marriage”, ordain for the ministry those who are involved in unrepentant immoral lifestyles, and the state’s interference in the parental responsibility of disciplining their children. The land invasions and farm confiscations in Zimbabwe and the threats to the farming community in South Africa were also addressed. Christian education and other critical issues confronting the Church today were also dealt with. The 32-page Franschhoek Declaration can be viewed on the www.christianaction.org.za website. Printed copies of the Declaration are also available from firstname.lastname@example.org or by writing to Christian Action Network, P.O. Box 23632, Claremont, 7735, Cape Town, South Africa.
A NETWORK FOR REFORMATION AND REVIVAL
The Christian Action Network now has over 40 ministries, mission organisations and church denominations affiliated. Member organisations of CAN stretch as far afield as Nigeria and Malawi, Kenya and Uganda, Zambia and Zimbabwe, Burundi and South Africa – all committed to working for Biblical Reformation and praying for Revival.
THE THREAT OF HUMANISM
As we are involved in a World War of Worldviews, it was appropriate that The Franschhoek Declaration was prayerfully considered and adopted close to the Huguenot Monument, which celebrates our Reformation Heritage. The Franschhoek Declaration provides a powerful Bible-based response to the onslaught of Humanism which is threatening many aspects of our churches and family life today.
ENCOURAGEMENT AND PRACTICAL HELP
It is the earnest prayer of all the delegates that this Franschhoek Declaration will provide encouragement, inspiration and practical help to those pastors, teachers and leaders who are seeking to inform and involve, educate and enlist, their people in applying the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life.
TEACHING FOR MISSIONS
As the delegates to the Biblical World Summit were returning home, those involved in the Great Commission Course changed gears for the even more intensive Great Commission Course programme ahead. This year’s GCC participants came from America, Australia, England, Romania, Ghana and Zambia. There were another 35 lectures (including: How to Succeed in Missions; Motivations in Mission; In The Lion’s Den; Evangelising Animists; The Greatness of The Great Commission; Missions in the Bible; Sins of The Tongue; Understanding Islam; Evangelising Muslims; Evangelising Terrorists; Christ and Culture; Coping with Crisis; Knowing God’s Will; An Eschatology of Victory; Are We Living In The Last Days?; Fulfilling the Great Commission; Leadership Principles; and case studies on great missionaries of the past including Boniface, Columba, William Carey, Adoniram Judson and David Livingstone).
PUTTING FEET TO OUR FAITH
Participants in the Great Commission Course completed 4 hikes, including night hikes up and over Lions Head and Table Mountain (with backpacks filled with Arabic Scriptures) and other night hikes in the forest including wading downstream in rivers.
BODY, MIND AND SPIRIT
Outreaches included Muslim Evangelism, mass literature distribution and one-on-one personal evangelism at railway stations, bus stops, in shopping centres, in streets and in prison. There was also the annual soccer match between the missionaries and the Khayelitsha Church team. There were day trips to numerous historical sites, mission bases and a wildlife rehabilitation centre with eagles and cheetahs, a work party to a local mission station, workshops on vehicle maintenance, first aid, tools and technology, 6 written exams, 10 written assignments, Bible drills, situational preaching and daily PT. At one point Charl organised an ex-terrorist to come and interact with our participants to understand the worldview and thinking of a Communist insurgent.
The Great Commission Course has been designed as an intensive introduction to cross-cultural missions stretching minds and muscles, with a blend of physical challenges, academic tests, spiritual disciplines, challenging and informative instruction, strenuous hikes, demanding assignments, practical workshops and numerous outreach opportunities.
TRAINING THAT TRANSFORMS
Participants of the Great Commission Course wrote the following responses: “It has seriously made me contemplate how much of the Christian lifestyle I’m actually applying”; “It has been challenging – physically, spiritually, psychologically”; “This is a great course to restart Revival”; “Learning from people so experienced in the extreme mission fields”; “Great camp”; “The best all-round worldview transforming course”; “I learnt a lot about my weaknesses and where I need to improve in my character”; “Opening my mind and spirit”; “Excellent”; “Fantastic! Really pushes you to move outside your comfort zones! Learnt and grew a lot! Loved the physical side.”; “Inspiring, detailed instruction, magnificent and strenuous hikes, good fellowship.”
RESOURCES FOR MISSIONS
Now, while nothing can replace the physical and practical intensity and experience of such a hands-on course, those who want to benefit from the lectures can order the GCC MP3 or audio CDs (with PowerPoints) and the Great Commission Manual, Putting Feet to Your Faith book, the Discipleship Handbook and The Greatest Century of Missions books, which were textbooks for the course, from Christian Liberty Books www.christianlibertybooks.co.za).
SOULS SAVED IN ANSWER TO PRAYER
By God’s Grace, several participants of the BWS and GCC had the privilege of leading people to Christ on the streets, and in the shopping malls, during outreaches. We are very grateful for your prayers, partnership and encouragement. Thank you for praying for these leadership training courses. Please continue to lift us up in prayer as we conduct a number of outreaches and field trips.
May the Lord continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for the fulfillment of The Great Commission.
Dr Peter Hammond
P O Box 74
Prayer & Praise Articles