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I greet you in the sacred Name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ,
In Luke’s Gospel, we are told about the aged prophet Simeon, who waited for the Consolation of Israel. When he finally received the Lord Jesus Christ in his arms, he said, “Lord, now lettest Thou Thy servant depart in peace, according to Thy Word: For mine eyes have seen Thy salvation, Which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; A light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of Thy people Israel.”
The Church’s Commission is to lighten the Gentiles with the light of God’s Word. As Christians our calling and glory is to hold this light of Christ on a tall candlestick, that it might enlighten the heathen, dispel the darkness of sin and error, and bring about the conversion of every nation, tribe and tongue to Christ!
The past month Frontline Fellowship has been busy hosting its annual Biblical Worldview Summit (BWS) and Great Commission Course (GCC). These intensive training courses are designed to put feet to our faith, to form Biblical worldviews, to prepare Christians for spiritual warfare, for the toppling of idols and the expansion of Christ’s Empire on Earth.
In short they serve to train participants in mind, body, and spirit for the fulfilment of the Great Commission: And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto Me in Heaven and in earth. Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptising them in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.
This year, Frontline Fellowship welcomed participants from as far afield as Alabama and Zimbabwe, the Orange Free State and Natal, along with numerous participants from the Cape of Good Hope. Ages ranged from 13-63.
It was a privilege to serve as a tutor and leader for the 2023 BWS and GCC. I confidently assert that this year’s Biblical Worldview Summit and Great Commission Course were a great success! Participants grew in Christian maturity, being educated and prepared to fight the good fight of Faith. What was this preparation like?
Participants had their muscles pushed.
Christians need strong bodies to be effective witnesses of Christ’s Gospel. Whether its tract distribution under the hot summer sun, carrying heavy bags of literature through airports, or delivering boxes of literature to conferences and churches, being deprived of sleep after travelling long distances to congregations in the field, or being imprisoned for the Faith, Christians need healthy physical constitutions if they are to carry the weight of the Ministry and recover from inevitable illnesses. But I keep under my body, and bring it into subjection: lest that by any means, when I have preached to others, I myself should be a castaway. - 1 Cor. 9:27.
To this end, participants in the BWS and GCC started each day with vigorous callisthenics: push-ups, planks, team building exercises, 2.4 Km runs around historic Rondebosch Common, formerly used as a military camp by the British and the ill-fated rallying spot for the Dutch Battle of Blaauwberg during the Napoleonic Wars. We kept a very full schedule, from 6:30 AM - 11 PM most days, to simulate the type of tiredness one often experiences in the mission field.
Other physical activities included mountain hikes with 10 Kgs (20 lbs) World Missionary Press Arabic Gospel Literature in our packs, night-time forest operations with designated hunters to avoid, simulating Bible-smuggling, as well as a variety of water-sports and rugby (the first time playing Rugby for myself and four American participants!)
The Mountain Hikes up Lion’s Head and Table Mountain were highlights of the course. At the Summit we sang Hymns and read the Sermon on the Mount. There were some Muslims and Sodomites who heard us. Praying that the words they heard would convict and convert their hearts!
The hike up Table Mountain reminded me of that great Church of England Missionary, Henry Martyn, who hiked Table Mountain 200 years earlier, and wrote on reaching the summit “I felt a solemn awe at the grand prospect, from which there was neither noise nor small objects to draw off my attention. I reflected, especially when looking at the immense expanse of sea on the east, which was to carry me to India, on the certainty that the name of Christ should, at some period, resound from shore to shore. I felt commanded to wait in silence, and see how God would bring His promises to pass.”
Our manual-labour practicals disproved the common misconception that missions are “glamorous”. Missionaries and Christians must not be afraid to work and get their hands dirty. Participants gave their time, talents, and sweat at Kwasizabantu Mission, a network of farm-based mission stations founded by German Lutheran Missionary Erlo Stegen in 1966 for the conversion of the Zulus. Kwasizabantu remains faithful to the Scriptures and Biblical living, and has experienced remarkable revivals in its recent history. Our work-day included church-cleaning, lawn mowing, moving pallets of Kwasizabantu’s aQuellé Spring water into storage, and road repair. We enjoyed the Mission’s hospitality afterwards over a finely prepared luncheon. Both participants and tutors took part in the manual labour. Six days shalt thou labour, and do all thy work. - Exodus 20:9. if any would not work, neither should he eat. - 2 Thess. 3:10.
Minds were also stretched! Each day participants gained valuable knowledge and insights from experienced lecturers on a variety of subjects including Church Doctrine, Church History, Missiology, Spiritual Warfare and Deliverance Ministry, Cross-Cultural Evangelism, as well as lectures exposing and countering the wicked worldviews (e.g. Secular Humanism), false religions (e.g. Hinduism & Islam) and demonic ideologies (e.g. Marxism) of our day.
Some of our notable guest-lecturers included Anthony Stander, retired South African Paratrooper and converted Bank-robber, who is now a Pastor and Chairman of the Board of Frontline Fellowship. He gave devotional lectures on Real Repentance, Prayer; Our Reasonable Service, Spiritual Warfare and Overcoming Temptation.
Dr. Bassie Basson gave four informative presentations on Creation Science.
Participants were introduced to the principles of one-on-one street evangelism using Evangelism Explosion and Way of the Master, which attempts to reach lost souls by using the Ten Commandments and appealing to the conscience as means of leading sinners to Christ.
Another notable guest speaker was Colonel Schalk Visagie, retired South African Police Officer, member of the Presidential Guard, and son-in-law of South Africa’s last Reformed Christian President, P.W. Botha.
Colonel Visagie gave a brilliant and heartfelt lecture on Combating Crime, where he spoke of his training and service in the old SAP, his time as an investigator in the Security Branch, his work fighting Communists terrorists, and his relationship with P.W. Botha, as well as practical advice on how to avoid becoming a victim of crime. Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: Whom resist stedfast in the Faith. - 1 Peter 5:8-9.
Other presentations included: The Rise of the GayGB and the Pink Inquisition, How Marxists Subvert Society, Evaluating Textbooks, Family Foundations, Christian Worship: Our Bounden Duty and Service, The Apostles Creed, Jonathan Edwards: Postmillennial Missionary, Understanding Hinduism: Vishnu and the Interfaith Movement, C.T. Studd: Cricketer for Christ, Missions in Acts, Muslim and Roman Catholic Evangelism, the Church Fathers of North Africa, John Hooper: Pastor unto Death, Samuel Marsden & Missions to New Zealand, Nicholas Ridley: Witness to the Court of Kings, Stephen Elliott: Protestant Episcopal Missions in Antebellum Georgia, and a History of Bible Translation.
Participants grew not only in body and mind, but also in heart and soul. Participants joined daily morning and evening devotions. We sang classic hymns such as Amazing Grace, Christ Shall Have Dominion, From Greenland’s Icy Mountains[by old Bishop Heber], Dare to be a Daniel, etc. Participants heard daily sermons from experienced preachers on Perseverance, Prayer, the Lordship of Christ, among other topics.
Participants went on daily outreaches where they undertook mass literature distribution and cross-cultural evangelistic ministry. Outreaches were done at the Sea-Point Promenade among Summer beach-goers, at the Cape Town Waterfront among busy shoppers, in the Malay Quarter among Muslims, among other localities.
Using Way of the Master, participants had evangelistic conversations with secular and religious Muslims, Agnostics and Atheists, Jews and Animists, as well as Christians from as far away as the Congo. This helped participants to grow bolder in their public confession of Christ. But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts: and be ready always to give an answer to every man that asketh you a reason of the hope that is in you with meekness and fear. - 1 Peter 3:15.
Participants spiritually benefited from a visit to Genadendal, the oldest mission station in South Africa, founded by Moravian Missionary George Schmidt in 1738 to evangelise the Khoi people. We were privileged to meet the founding curator of the museum and life-long resident of Genadendal, Issac Baile, who gave us the behind-the-scenes history of the mission station and encouraged participants to carefully answer the all-important question: why are you a Christian?
Participants joined local congregations on the Lord’s Day and gave testimonies of how God’s sovereign, irresistible and efficacious grace worked to convict them of sin and convert them to Christ. They further gave testimonies and brief devotional messages on South African radio and international television programs.
Participants also engaged in a preaching practicum with constructive and critical feedback from tutors and fellow participants, akin to what one would experience in seminary. For most this was their first experience with sermon-preparation and preaching.
On 19 January, Frontline Fellowship commemorated the birthday of General Robert Edward Lee CSA. We celebrated his birthday with a special presentation on his life and Christian witness, flew Confederate Flags, had an American themed supper, and sang a rousing chorus of Dixie.
The GCC concluded with a special celebration of the Lord’s Supper. It was a fitting conclusion to the course as we confessed our common Faith in Christ, reaffirmed our dedication to the Great Commission, and received that sacrament which, “quickens, strengthens and confirms our Faith in the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” - 39 Articles of Religion.
Praise God the 2023 Biblical Worldview Summit and the Great Commission Course were a success! Participants were strengthened in mind, body, and spirit for the fulfilment of the Great Commission: they were taught how to destroy the ideological idols of our day with that Sword of the Spirit which is the Word of God, how to bring the healing balm of Gilead to lost souls, they were introduced to real history and were taught the importance of shining the Light of Christ to the heathen.
Prayer Request: That the participants of the 2023 BWS and GCC might remember all that they learned in the lectures, practicals, outreaches, devotionals, etc. That they might be inflamed with a zeal for Christ’s Kingdom, that they might forsake the desire for worldly wealth or popularity and live solely for Christ’s glory.
We also ask your prayers for our new American Branch of Frontline Fellowship, Frontline North America, that God would use it to aid the spreading of the Gospel in Africa, as well as extend Frontline Fellowship’s work of Biblical Reformation and Evangelisation to the Americas.
May God Bless you richly with strength to continue in His service!
Yours for the Extension of Christ’s Kingdom on Earth,
Ryan Louis Underwood
For more information or to support our Mission:
USA Contact info:
Frontline North America
PO Box 347 Interlachen, FL 32148