Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!
By the grace of God, we have successfully embarked on our Overland Mission to Congo. We had many sleepless nights as we were busy with thorough preparations for the launch of this Mission. We have learned that "Victory loves Preparation", so we worked late into many nights preparing, packing, fixing, building, water-proofing, and upgrading our equipment, gear, cargo, literature, and other items that would prove helpful in the field.
Wild Coast Ministry
We drove through the night to our first ministry appointment which was a Sunday morning worship service where I would be speaking in KwaZulu-Natal. The pastor of the Church had invited us to minister at his congregation on Sunday and then five days ministry in a very rural, dark, yet beautiful area of the Wild Coast. We had a seemingly successful time of ministry here.
We were able to make effective contact with the chiefs to obtain permission for our ministry and movements in their realm. We screened the Jesus film in the Xhosa language on three of the nights that we were here, which was followed by open air preaching of the Gospel. There were many responses to the Gospel preaching. One of the desperate pleas from the principal of one school, and others, was: "We need more Gospel preaching in this area; there are no churches here, we need a church where people can hear good Bible preaching."
We were also able to conduct ministry in two schools where we conducted effective ministry in the school classes and at assembly.
We distributed more than 1,000 Gospel booklets in the rural areas where we conducted outreaches, inviting folk to attend the screening of the Jesus film. We also distributed 250 Broad and Narrow Way posters in the Xhosa language, which we have found to be a very effective way of conveying the Gospel Message.
Livingstone Legendary Life
At the town of Livingstone, we were blessed 'out of our socks' as we visited the world-renowned Victoria Falls. The Falls right now is quite full and absolutely impressive. I am astounded at the way I was lifted up in my spirit as the spray from the mighty Zambezi River pouring over the Victoria Falls rushed past me soaking me through and through. I was not certain from which direction the spray was coming - up, down, or from the side. One thing was sure: were drenched by the spray and the mist that surrounded us. This certainly was an exhilarating experience!
The Victoria Falls are at their best at this time of year. It is not so full that the spray is too intense so that visibility is impaired, and it is not so dry that you don’t see any water at all (like we experienced in November last year during the Livingstone 200 Mission).
Compound for Christ
Our ministry in Lusaka was quite successful and enjoyable. We were ministering on the outskirts of the capital city in a compound. The people at the compound are from the Eastern part of Zambia and they have come to the capital city looking for employment and economic upliftment, but many have not found what they are looking for. They now live in this informal settlement. The Churches in the compound are growing, active and alive. I was astounded to see so many churches next to each other, and each one seeming to be full on Sunday morning. We were privileged to preach in three of these Churches on Sunday as our team split up and ministered in various congregations. For Frank and Ryno it was their first time preaching outside of South Africa, and they both did very well and also learned a lot about cross-cultural communication as well as many other lessons.
Our contact, a vibrant Evangelist and powerful pastor who attended the Great Commission Course in Cape Town in 2004, had arranged a Leaders Conference to which he had invited pastors from many different congregations. There were 18 Churches represented at the Conference and we had a wonderful time of ministry with them for the next two days. The first day we conducted a Reformation FIRE Seminar which was deeply appreciated by the participants who were very eager to sign up to start a FIRE group in their churches. The second day we conducted an Evangelism Training Seminar where we taught Way of the Master and Evangelism Explosion. This was also eagerly enjoyed and appreciated by the participants.
In Sickness and in Health
For the most part, our team has enjoyed good health on this Mission so far. The exception being my most beautiful and adorable wife who recently came down with a harsh fever and was experiencing unique pains. We immediately suspected tick-bite fever as Renee had been bitten by three ticks in the Wild Coast. I took her to the hospital where the doctor conducted various tests and confirmed our suspicions. The tick-bite fever also triggered some other complications which the doctor treated her for also though she advised that she do not travel anymore in this condition. Renee however insisted that she will go wherever God leads. Renee is now feeling much better and we are on the road again.
Gangs and Robbers
Please pray for our safety as the area we are now ministering in has been experiencing terrible acts of violence from armed robbers who are breaking into homes and terrorizing occupants at night. We know that we are in God's hands and that we are immortal until our work on earth is complete (as said by Dr. Martin Luther) and we are safer in battle than in bed when we are in the centre of God's will (as said by Stonewall Jackson). Your prayers will be deeply appreciated.
Thank you for your support and for your prayers and concern. Some of you have donated finances which are certainly helpful and desperately appreciated. Thank you very much! Some have given rusks, cookies, and sandwiches for 'padkos'; this has brought smiles to lips and tummies as we enjoyed these scrumptious morsels. Thank you very much! Some of you are praying for us and therefore surrounding us with God's favour, protection, and angels. Thank you very much! May God bless you thoroughly.
We are pressing on relentlessly in this calling to which God has called us, and we appreciate your participation with us.
May God provide for you all you need to be a specimen of honour to His Name.
In His service - and loving it!
Michael and Renee Watson
Missionary Field Worker
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa