“Let everything that has breath praise the Lord” Psalm 150:6
South Africa for Christ
With over 5000km travelled, our South Africa mission team has arrived back safely. God very graciously gave us the opportunities to preach and teach in churches, schools, mission stations, Bible colleges, and even a soccer stadium! Although I spend most of my time either ministering in Cape Town or across the South African border, I was greatly encouraged by the amount of opportunities there are to feed people the Word of God within South Africa.
I spoke at 12 different school meetings, some of them rather rewarding and encouraging. At one school, I spent about 20 minutes talking with the students about salvation. The teachers who were listening in on my conversation with the class approached me afterward, thanking me for helping them understand the Biblical teaching on salvation.
Some of the boys at an ACE school we ministered at were rather naughty. Having grown up with ACE, I knew how to cheat the ACE system. I also knew how to get up to mischief sitting in cubicles, such as dropping your pencil on the ground, so that you can crawl under the cubicles and smack your friend on the leg from under the desk. When I spoke to these boys about this behaviour, they laughed because I knew what they were getting up to. I told them about the importance of hard work and discipline.
Zimbabwe and South Africa
2010 was the first time I entered into Zimbabwe, when I was 20 years old. Since then, I have been travelling around Zimbabwe, ministering in churches, Bible colleges, and rural villages. During our South Africa mission, I reported on the ministry, political situation, and social climate of Zimbabwe. Many people were curious about what is going on there because they are either from Zimbabwe themselves, or they are concerned about whether or not South Africa is headed in the same direction. There are people who are pushing for political power so that they can destroy South Africa, but there is still a strong Christian witness, and there are many who love the country. If those who have been influenced by the Christian worldview would stand strong and fight against social evils and speak up against tyrants, South Africa need not go the way of economic collapse and social degradation.
Messages for Children
Evangelism Explosion, The Ten Commandments, and a Gospel challenge are often the first messages we bring to schools. Most of the children we spoke to paid careful attention to the presentations. People tend to think that children cannot handle too much information, but they can handle more than we give them credit, including many spiritual concepts. After we spoke at one school, a teacher commented that she had never seen the children pay attention for such a long period of time before. At a primary school, I spoke about Zimbabwe. I have never had so much interest and questions after a missions presentation as I did with these children who stayed long after school hours to ask intelligent questions of me about the situation in Zimbabwe.
Fun with the Children
Part of the reason the children pay so much attention to us is that we keep interacting with them. We make them march and follow the Gospel presentation with actions. I usually try to find the most rowdy or disruptive student, and ask him how many lies he has told in his life, and how often he has stolen. I ask the rest of the students what you call someone who lies or steals, and get them all to interact with me. This seems to keep their attention and helps them to learn the Gospel message which we are trying to teach them. Unfortunately, however, they do not always pay close attention because they are interested. One young boy said to me, “We are just asking you questions because we are trying to get out of work”!
Another school asked me to come and speak on Purpose and Hard Work. When I got there, I found that it was a secular school. I asked the life coach if it was ok for me to pray and read from the Bible. He gave me permission. After I finished with the first class, he told me that I still had more time and that I should go to another class to share the same message with them. After that, he said that he wanted me to quickly speak to one more class. He went into the class he desired me to speak in and asked the teacher’s permission. After looking me up and down over her reading glasses, the teacher told him that we may go ahead. Because of these extra two classes, I was able to share Biblical Principles for Hard Work and present the Gospel to about 60 more children and their teachers!
Over 40 years ago, God graciously revived multitudes in Zululand. Rev. Erlo Stegen has continued to be used mightily as men and women came to God in repentance. People from all over the world have been touched by God through the ministry of KwaSizabantu, and the work is thriving to this day. I had the privilege of visiting this Mission during our ministry in South Africa. The people were warm and friendly. I was amazed as we were taken on a tour of the mission farm. They have people coming from all over to receive help and relief from spiritual oppression. The farm has a multitude of projects, from dairy to fruit to greenhouse farming. Not to mention the aQuelle water that is sourced and bottled from the mission! The community of people show love and compassion toward one another. Men and women from all races and backgrounds live together and speak each other’s languages. Two families had lost the men of their homes, and we witnessed the community coming together to encourage and support the grieving families. I had the privilege of presenting 15 messages on their radio station and addressing their Teacher’s Training College for a morning devotion.
Bible College Students
It is very easy to backslide in Bible College. Having gone through full-time studies myself, I was able to encourage the student council of a Bible college. Many people in Bible colleges and Christian institutions slowly find themselves slipping into spiritual depression. Personal devotions and an attitude of prayer get lost in midst of daily studies and assignments. It is very easy to believe that because one is serving God, or because one is surrounded by Christian people and literature, building one’s relationship with God is unnecessary. This is a dangerous thought pattern that needs to be actively unrooted.
Travelling long distances, one is reminded that life is precious, and every breath we take is a gift from God’s gracious hand. We experienced two major vehicle breakdowns. One of the breakdowns involved the pinion gear disintegrating. A number of mechanics looked at it and said that they had never seen anything like it before. Thankfully, our team was completely unharmed and we only missed one appointment.
Powerful Christian Media
Jesus said, “But you, when you pray, go into your room, and when you have shut your door, pray to your Father who is in the secret place; and your Father who sees in secret will reward you openly” Matthew 6:6. The Kendrick brothers have come out with a film on prayer called War Room. We had the pleasure to screen the film 3 times. Each time, it was a great success. At one Bible College, the students were laughing, cheering, and applauding throughout the film. This movie powerfully presents the Gospel, and the need to take our trouble to God in biblical prayer. What is most fascinating about this film is not that the central character asks God to take all of her problems away, but that she seeks God for help to overcome the situation she was in. This film emphasises the prayerful reliance on God necessary to overcome life’s obstacles.
Many people call themselves “prophets” or “apostles” today. Far from the Biblical definition of these ministries, the false teachers offer all kinds of get-well, get-rich quick schemes to poor people. While at a mission station, one of the leaders showed me newspaper clippings of some of these deceivers whose adverts appear right next to traditional healers’. After addressing the Biblical response to false prophets, a woman came up to me and confessed that she had allowed one of these “pastors” who are more like witchdoctors into her house to have a day of anointing oil prayer. She renounced and repented of this action.
Going door-to-door in a poor community, I was struck with the rampant abuse of alcohol. Two drunken women, with tears in their eyes, told me that they wanted to give up their alcohol. They lamented that their lives were in a downward spiral of destruction because of their addiction to liquor. When I told them that they needed to repent and throw their alcohol away, only one was willing to do it while the other became very angry and even snatched the alcohol away from the one who wanted to pour hers out. Unfortunately this community is plagued with alcoholism, and we trust God to work through the evangelistic efforts of the churches in that area.
Lessons from South Africa
I have heard of, met, and ministered in some strange and apostate churches in South Africa. There is a large movement of false teachers, new and old apostolic churches, and rampant apostasy within traditional churches. However, I was greatly encouraged by the firm witness of Christians across the country. Many believers, pastors, and congregant members are tired of false teachers, political guilt manipulation, and the estrangement from the Word of God in today’s theological institutions. But, we praise God for the honourable leaders and pastors all over South Africa. There are Christian schools, missions and radio stations making an impact on their communities. These beacons of light encourage and give hope to those who may think we are in an irreparable, dismal situation. More churches should be enthusiastic and take action. We need more Christian schools, more Christian media, more discernment ministries, and more pastors and preachers who will speak up against social evils. Many have made a success in these areas; therefore, many more can take courage and do the same!
Even though I was on a 4 week mission, my correspondence Bible college work did not stop. I had three deadlines for assignments during this time. Thankfully, I could work in the back of the vehicle when someone else drove or late at night. By God’s grace, I was able to hand everything in on time. I conducted a total of 48 meetings which included 12 School meetings, 4 Mission report backs, 16 sermons and lecture presentations, 15 Radio broadcasts, and Door-to-door evangelism outreach.
Items for Prayer
We can thank God for a successful mission. He guided us to the right people and kept us safe along the road. Many schools, churches and mission stations are dedicated to the Kingdom of God, and we praise God for these faithful witnesses. Please keep these places in your prayers. Those who are making a stand for righteousness and holiness are not without opposition. They need constant prayer and support. South Africa also faces a lot of political tension. Unfortunately, many do not teach and preach on God and government. We need wisdom and biblical guidance to face the challenges ahead of us.
“Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me” Matthew 16:24
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