Prayer and Praise Update
We praise God for the safe returns of our Mission teams and a series of successful seminars, services and shipments throughout Southern Africa.
Mission to Zimbabwe
Border crossings into Marxist Zimbabwe always present a challenge! Corruption, confusion and chaos create daunting obstacles that are frustrating, intimidating and time-wasting. Even after overcoming the bureaucratic obstacle course at the border, there are multiple roadblocks within the country. On this recent Mission, our team passed through over 50 police and army roadblocks!
The political oppression and economic break down of the country has also unravelled the social cohesion and has split up many families and communities. More than half of the total population have fled the country, voting with their feet.
Fakes, Frauds and Abuse
Our Mission team conducted Leadership training, Literature distribution and Love in Action. They confronted blatant spiritual abuse by fake healers and self-proclaimed deliverers who physically hit and kicked women as part of their supposed "deliverance services".
Our team conducted Evangelism Workshops and Discipleship Seminars, taught on spiritual warfare and discernment. They delivered Boxes with Love to destitute pensioners, Film Evangelism, Literature Evangelism and personal one-on-one Evangelism led to many productive times of discussion, counselling and prayer. Numerous pastors thanked the team for opening their eyes and explaining the Scriptures so clearly.
Perseverance in Prayer
Please continue to lift up the suffering people of Zimbabwe and those faithful ministers and Evangelists who are struggling against all odds to be salt and light in this decaying environment. "Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the Word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith." 2 Thessalonians 3:1-2
South Africa Mission
As I have spent most of the last two months on the road ministering, first overseas in America, and then on this latest South Africa Mission, there has been much to catch up on. Writing deadlines, printing projects, editing, sermon preparation, services, correspondence and radio programmes, as well as container shipments to sort through and designate.
Snow in Africa
We are in the middle of a very cold and wet Winter here in Cape Town. During this recent South Africa Mission we were frequently in freezing conditions with snow visible on mountain peaks and frost on the ground and all over our vehicle on occasions. While that will not impress any of our friends in the Northern Hemisphere who live within the snow belt and deal with such extremes each winter, in Africa we are ill-equipped for such low temperatures. Central heating is virtually unknown where we live and operate, and our clothes and equipment are more designed for extremes of heat, rather than frost.
Diamonds from Kimberley
Our first destination was Kimberley, the capital of Northern Cape, located between the Orange and Vaal Rivers. Kimberley is famous for the Big Hole from where 50,000 miners, using picks and shovels, dug the largest man-made hole, which yielded 2,722kg of diamonds. It was the wealth generated from the diamonds of Kimberley that Cecil John Rhodes used to develop both Southern and Northern Rhodesia, launched the Rhodes Scholarships, built universities, such as the University of Cape Town and secured Newlands Forest and Kirstenbosch Gardens as protected heritage sites for future generations.
Learning from Livingstone
After 1,000km drive from Cape Town, we arrived in Kimberley late Saturday night. Early the next morning I was preaching at Kimberley Baptist Church on The Challenge of Dr. David Livingstone Today. The afternoon was spent fielding a wide range of interesting questions from a discussion group at the pastor's home. In the evening, Pastor Norman Schaffer had me present An Overview of 2,000 Years of Church History at the evening service, which was surprisingly well attended. Knowing how many people seem to be allergic to history, I was pleasantly surprised that almost nobody walked out of the service early. Indeed many in the congregation expressed a great interest over Missions, History and Reformation.
Understanding the Times
The next morning we began a 2-day Biblical Worldview Seminar at the Africa 4 Jesus Bible School. This included presentations on Worldviews in Conflict, Understanding Humanism, God and Government, Magna Carta 800, Crime and Corruption – The Biblical Solution, The Greatest Man Who Ever Lived, Evangelism Vs. God and Making Disciples of all Nations. In the evenings, rallies were held where members of local churches joined in with the Bible College students as I dealt with Reforming of Families and Whatever Happened to the Prayer Meeting?
The Great Commission Course is Our Supreme Ambition
The next 2 days we presented a Great Commission Seminar to the Bible College students, dealing with William Carey – The Father of Modern Missions, Hudson Taylor – Apostle to China, C.T. Studd – Cricketer and Pioneer, The Greatness of the Great Commission, Reclaiming Surrendered Ground, What Does It Take to Be a Missionary? and Revival in the Bible and Church History. As our Zimbabwe Mission team joined us at that time, John presented an update on the spiritual challenges there and Abrie delivered dynamic devotions. There was a warm response to Feylin's testimony and presentation.
Research and Exploring
Between lectures in the afternoon, we had the opportunity to visit a local Lion Sanctuary, a Nature Reserve, visit the Big Hole and McGregor Museum. It has been a long time since I was last hugged, licked and chewed by a lion cub. It was a delightful experience and I really missed Vivian, a lioness who was my best friend when I was growing up.
Literature 4 Africa
We delivered a trailer full of Bibles, books and audio visual materials to the Africa 4 Jesus Bible School and drove off for Kuruman.
Kuruman is 1,195km from Cape Town and more than two and a half hours drive from Kimberley. Kuruman was the first Mission station, school, church and printing press established north of the Orange River in Sub-Saharan Africa. Rev. Robert Moffat of the London Missionary Society served at this base from 1820 to 1870. Having learnt Setswana, Robert Moffat produced the first complete translation of the Bible in an African language by 1857. It was printed on the hand-operated Printing Press at Kuruman. This was the first time that the Bible had been printed in its entirety anywhere in Africa, and in a previously unwritten language. Robert Moffat also translated Pilgrims Progress into Setswana. After walking 920km from Algoa Bay (present day Port Elizabeth), Dr. David Livingstone arrived at Kuruman in 1841, which became his first Mission base in Africa.
Closed Until Further Notice
Imagine our amazement and frustration when arriving at last at Kuruman we were greeted by a large sign stating that the Moffatt Mission Station was closed until further notice! We had not driven all that way in order to be put off by such a sign and as it was clear that the buildings were still standing, there seemed to be no reason for us not to explore as much as possible. On a number of occasions some rude individuals informed us that "You are not allowed to be here!" and "This is closed!" However, as they, and numerous other workers, were wandering around this historic site there seemed to be no reason why we could not do the same and take such photographs as possible.
Historic Printing Press
Amazingly, the Printing Press, which had been brought to Cape Town in 1825 and transported to Kuruman in 1831 by Rev. Moffatt, who used it until 1870, when he retired, was standing, vulnerably exposed to the elements, in a building without a roof! Many valuable historic documents, pictures and books were being exposed to the elements in the building which was the first school erected North of the Orange River and the site of the first print shop. While the walls still stood, there was no roof, as all the thatch had been removed, presumably for re-thatching in the future. Insects, cobwebs, dust and damp were evident in many of the historic displays and the Mission station was in a sad state of neglect and disrepair.
Strategic Mission Base
Yet, we could see much that testified to the dynamic Missionary work that had been carried out from this base for over 150 years. "The Missionary Road to the Interior" was boldly declared on a sign by the road that ran through Kuruman and signposts informed us that Victoria Falls was 1,445km North, and Luanda was 3,080km to the North West. Graaff Reneit, where David Livingstone stayed with Rev. Andrew Murray's family, was 763km South. David Livingstone described Graaff Reneit as "the prettiest town in Africa". The Moffatt Church was completed in 1838 and designed to seat 800 people. It was fully restored in 1938 to mark its centenary. On the wall a marble slate listed the names of Missionaries who had served at Kuruman under The London Missionary Society and the dates they were based at Kuruman. Dr. David Livingstone is listed as the 8th LMS Missionary in residence at Kuruman. After exploring the LMS Mission Station at Kuruman, we drove to Pretoria and were busy until midnight setting up the literature tables for the Soul Winning Seminar.
Soul Winning Seminar
Early the next morning, people began arriving for the Soul Winning Seminar at the Evangeliese Reformeerde Kerk in Pretoria. It was tremendous to see many old friends and participants who had completed previous Great Commission Courses, pro-life activists, Evangelists, faithful friends, intercessors, and supporters. My first presentation was on Andrew Murray and the 1860 Revival. This was followed withThe Challenge of Islam, Comparing the Bible with the Quran, Comparing Jesus and Muhammed, Evangelising Muslims, The Challenge of David Livingstone, Evolution Vs God and an Evangelism Workshop, which presented The Way of the Master, Ten Commandments based Evangelism, and a Christian Action Workshop. Both Taryn and I had TV interviews recorded afterwards. The question times were packed and productive.
God's Word Will Not Return Void
One man introduced himself to me as a Christian who had been converted from an Islamic background. He had been an Imam in Pakistan. It was good to have his insights and confirmation of many of the points made during the Muslim Evangelism presentations. On Sunday, I preached at two different Reformed congregations and Abrie and Taryn gave presentations at an evening service.
Preserving Our History
On Monday we explored the Voortrekker Monument and Fort Schanskop. It was good to see so much of our heritage and history well-preserved and excellently presented. It is a good thing that the Voortrekker Monument is privately run as most of the state run monuments and museums are severely neglected and in many cases, hijacked with Marxist and Evolutionary dis-information.
Bible School Consultation
We were then off to set up for the Bible School Consultation, hosted by Mukhanyo Bible School. 70 Participants, representing 20 Bible colleges from all over South Africa, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi, Kenya, Zambia and Zimbabwe. We were brought together in a lovely Christian lodge with blue crane, springboks, swans and ducks in the tranquil environment. When we saw a bushbaby in one of the trees, it made me miss my bushbaby from Angola who used to sleep in my pocket as I hitchhiked around the country and would come out and play all night!
The Geneva Academy Model
There were tremendous presentations at the Bible School Consultation. Dr. Jack Whytock from Canada presented the Geneva Academy and Scottish models of Theological Education, which were effective partnerships between local sending congregations and the Theological Seminaries. The lecturers were full-time pastors who lectured part-time at the Academy. The local churches supported the students who were assigned congregational responsibilities and fully integrated into the practical and spiritual work needing to be done in local congregations and outreaches. This well-rounded in-service training and practical hands-on Theological education produced experienced and dynamic pastors and missionaries, obviously far more effective than our present emphasis on academics alone. Dr Whytock emphasized that the Geneva Academy mentored students, sent them out and assigned them congregational responsibilities. Local church support and apprenticeships went together with covenantal accountability. Ministry context was the heartbeat of Theological Training with many reading, writing and preaching assignments.
Tombstones of Seminars
Professor Flip Buys from Potchefstroom University presented an horrific expose of the abuse of very young children accused of being witches by so-called church leaders in the Congo. The need for a thoroughly Biblical and practical training for our ministers and missionaries is essential. He laid out the Seven Tombstones of Theological Seminaries:
1. Academic intellectual knowledge is given a higher priority than character transformation skills. 2. The highest priority of lecturers is to impress academic colleagues and not to form, mould and shape students to be men of God and effective pastors.
3. Excellence assessed merely on academic terms and learning through field experience not integrated.
4. Lecturers have no vision of the Church as God's primary instrument for transformation of society.
5. Curriculum is determined by secular accreditation agencies.
6. Forming of character and skills are marginalised in training.
7. Theological education is being priced out of the market and made unaffordable.
The Downward Spiral of Bad Leadership
Dr Flip Buys also expounded 1 Timothy 6:3-11 on the downward spiral of bad leadership where false doctrines produce envy, strife, suspicion, arrogance, pride, ignorance, an unhealthy interest in controversies, and a greed for gain. The consumer minded generation and mad rush for secular accreditation has led to an obsession with accreditation criteria and slavery to government policies.
Professor Buys quoted from a Dean of Theology who proclaimed that "Theology has nothing to do with God. It has everything to do with man!" It is this humanism that most threatens Theological Colleges today. Professor Buys pointed out that while we have phenomenal numerical church growth there has been a superficial impact of Christianity on our context in Africa. 90% of Theological students are not mature believers and most will never be effective pastors. We should not call the trained. We should train the called.
Spiritual Insights from Examples of Excellence
I was invited to present Spiritual Insights from Missionary Pioneers. I delivered presentations on William Carey – The Father of Modern Missions, Dr. David Livingstone – The Best Friend Africa Ever Had, and Charles Spurgeon – The Puritan Prince of Preachers. At the end of the Consultation I was part of a Panel Discussion, which fielded a wide range of questions for almost two hours.
Library Donations to Colleges
We had driven up a large amount of literature and audio visual materials to entrust to the various colleges. We distributed 20 boxes (each with 40 items) of books to donate to the library of each Bible College, as well as boxes of Chapel Library classic booklets, World Missionary Gospel booklets in Portuguese, Bemba, Chichewa and English, and boxes of Bibles and New Testaments. In addition a wide variety of DVDs, MP3s, CDs and Digital Libraries, were distributed to lecturers and libraries.
Missions and Spiritual Warfare
All in all, this two week Mission included: 46 meetings, 5 church services, 3 seminars, 2 Missions rallies, and a Conference. Each team member was afflicted with some illness for much of the time. Our host in Kimberley, Andre de Vries, was hospitalised and bed-ridden for most of the time we were there. We know that we live in a fallen world and are surrounded by many unhealthy lifestyles, but often it seems that those involved in spiritual work are targets of spiritual warfare. We need to be diligent in praying for good health for God's servants, particularly in the extremes of climate and conditions where we are often on the road, in the air, travelling frequently and being exposed to diseases we are not used to.
"Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints."Ephesians 6:18
God's Perfect Timing
While our teams have been in the field, the Mission has received and offloaded, by hand, 3 container shipments of Bibles and books. Each of these 20 foot containers included 18 tonnes of Bibles and books for us to offload by hand, sort through and designate. In one 24 hour period, we loaded over 25 tonnes for shipping to Zimbabwe and the very next morning received another container from overseas.
Way of the Master Evangelism Training
Over the last two months, Michael, Renee, Taryn, Abrie and John have been involved in conducting a Way of the Master Basic Evangelism Training course at a local church in Cape Town. For many of the people involved, this was the first time that they have gotten on the streets and been involved in personal, one-on-one, Evangelism. Several of the participants had the joy of leading people to Christ for the first time in their life.
Livingstone Mission School
For several years Frontline Fellowship has been praying over acquiring a farm to establish Livingstone Missionary School. We have thoroughly investigated a remarkable farm which appears to meet most of our needs. With the increasing demands for our camps and courses, this farm would be an ideal site for Wilderness Bush Camps, Leadership Training Courses, Youth Camps, School and Church Camps, Biblical Worldview Seminars and Summits, Great Commission Courses, Survival Courses and the Livingstone Missionary School. This farm is in a remote and mountainous region with a wide variety of wildlife, including some leopards. 17 of our Missionaries and staff have explored the well-watered area and are in agreement that this is the most suitable place that we have yet found to establish Livingstone Farm. Our Board has thoroughly discussed and adopted the project and we are now trusting the Lord for the funds needed in order to purchase the farm and develop it.
Mobilise to Evangelise
In order to expand the Missions' capabilities and impact, we are convinced that acquiring and developing this Mission farm will enable us to develop the most effective, hands-on, practical in-service training facilities for the many Missionaries needed to reclaim Africa for Christ. The needs are urgent, the opportunities unprecedented, yet the labourers are far too few. The only way that we will be able to respond to the overwhelming demands and requests to serve suffering Christians throughout Africa, is to recruit and train dedicated and effective Mission workers. Livingstone Farm will be the Missionary Training Centre that we pray will prepare and mobilise the kind of Missionaries that Andrew Murray mobilised through the Africa Institute, following the 1860 Revival.
We are most grateful for your prayers, encouragement, and support, without which none of our ministries would be possible. Thank you for the financial sacrifices you have made to enable this Mission to advance in Africa. Please continue to pray for our many ongoing Book Projects, outreaches and cross-border Missions.
May God 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
Your support is needed and much appreciated. Our banking details are:
(For South African supporters)
Acc. Name: Frontline Fellowship
First National Bank – Rondebosch
Branch code: 201509
Acc. No: 5017 0589 260
(For overseas supporters)
Acc. Name: Frontline Fellowship
First National Bank – Rondebosch
Branch code: ZA201509
Acc. No: 5017 0589 260
Swift No: FIRNZAJJ
Ref: initial and surname and what it is designated for?