America Mission - 2016
Greetings in the precious Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
"My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge…" Hosea 4:6
Fifth Mission in Five Months
By God's Grace I have safely returned from another Mission to America. This was my fifth mission in five months. With a whirlwind of writing deadlines, printing projects and outreaches, it seemed that I had barely unpacked from the Mission to Kenya then I was racing off to the airport again to fly all across to the West coast of America, to Seattle and from there to Idaho. I left Cape Town exhausted and being squeezed into middle seats on the long international legs of this journey, bumped and jostled from all sides ensured that I arrived even more tired and jet lagged.
Old Paths Christian History Conference
Roadworks and repairs at the Spokane airport complicated the curbside pickup by my local hosts but the warm welcome from Pastor Campbell made it all worthwhile and we headed through to set up for the Old Paths Christian History Conference. Pastor John Weaver was already there and we enjoyed a good time of catching up and strategizing how best to respond to the challenges before us. I enjoyed John's presentations on The World and Times of Jesse James, on Secession and the Puritans' Vision of Victory. My subjects were: Propaganda in the World Wars; the Assassination of General George Patton, A History of Body Piercing and Tattoos in Pagan Culture and Hope and Vision for the Future from the Life and Writings of Doctor David Livingstone. Some homeschooling families had travelled from California and Arizona to participate in this History Conference. One large home educated family had driven through from Canada. The question times, fellowship and interest in the new resources on our book table were intense and the days were full. After the conference, at the pastor's house, numerous delegates came through and continued an all evening question and answer discussion time which covered a wide range of important subjects and challenges.
On the Road
The next morning I was grateful that so many books and audio materials had been sold at the conference, because the dull backache that had been growing through the transcontinental air travel was now sharp and acute. Being very careful to bend with my knees and not with my back I negotiated the luggage (which is always mostly literature) for the flight to southern Idaho.
Time Zone Confusion
What I must have missed was that the state of Idaho actually has two time zones. Having travelled from North to South it did not cross my mind that we could have changed time zones. Fortunately something prompted me to check my Skype connection an hour early to ensure that I was ready for the Going Global radio interview, only to be surprised that the interviewer was trying to get hold of me. Thinking that there had been a mix up in the radio appointment times, I launched straight into the hour long programme dealing with Slavery, Terrorism and Islam - Have fundamentalists distorted Islam, or is Islam bent on global conquest? After the radio programme I commented on how strange it was that it came an hour earlier than scheduled and it was then pointed out that we were actually in another time zone from Northern Idaho!
Schools, Services and Seminars
My host in Boise, Idaho had organised a whole series of school, church and radio meetings. These included classes and chapels at three different Christian schools including giving presentations on: Putting Feet to Your Faith, Faith Under Fire in Africa, Will Animals be in Heaven?, Biblical Worldview Issues, God and Government, Discipling the Nations, The Reformation Roots of Western Civilisation; John Wycliffe - The Morningstar of the Reformation, Jan Hus - Truth Conquers, Ulrich Zwingli - The Reformer of Zurich, Biblical Principles which God Blesses in any Country, Evidences that the Bible is the Word of God, Evidences for the Resurrection, and A Vision of Victory.
Whatever Happened to the Prayer Meeting?
At a Church midweek service, there were families who drove up to a 100 miles away for the evening presentation on Whatever Happened to the Prayer Meeting? The open discussion and time of prayer following the presentation was enthusiastic and intense. As a result I arrived back at my host's house late for a scheduled Skype radio interview. Sometimes schedules can be unreasonably packed and it is just not possible to do everything! It would not have been right to cut short the responses and prayers of people who had travelled from so far and wide for the midweek service in order to make a radio programme. Fortunately the interviewer was understanding and is a friend who regularly interviews me. So we could reschedule for another time.
MAF and Radio
Also in Boise I was able to meet up with our good friend, John Boyd, the president of Missionary Aviation Fellowship and some of his key people concerning projects, priorities and plans for the field. The hour radio interview with Matt Slick Live on Faith Under Fire in Africa on Inspirational Family Radio was wide ranging, fast moving and intense as we confronted the intense cultural war raging around us seeking to apply Biblical principles to all areas of life.
Mobilising Churches to Rescue Those Being Led Away to Death
On Thursday my host arranged for us to attend a premiere film screening of Voiceless - an inspiring drama about a church worker in Philadelphia who tackles the issue of abortion and the devastating consequences it has, not only for the people involved, but for the community as a whole. This film courageously confronts crime, destruction of families, broken homes, the abortion industry, the silence and complicity of Christians in the abortion holocaust and our Christian responsibility to love our neighbour, as we seek to apply the Lordship of Christ in all areas of life.
Seminar in Omaha
Next I was jetting off to Omaha, Nebraska and was welcomed by our good friend Dr. Phil Kayser of Dominion Covenant Church. Phil Kayser spent the first eighteen years of his life being raised on the mission field in Ethiopia. When people say: You do not know what it is to be a minority, he can respond: Actually I do! Dominion Covenant Church has a wide ranging Ministry, including into Asia and Restricted Access Areas. They had arranged a seminar for the Saturday where I was invited to speak on The Church Fathers of North Africa, The Christian Civilisations of Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan, The Eschatology of Victory in The Greatest Century of Missions and Reformation 500.
The Dominion Covenant people and guests at the seminar cleaned out most of the rest of my literature which was a great relief as my back was still throbbing. However, I could not help but pick up lots more literature for our Mission Library from Phil Kayser and Robert Fugate - both of whom are excellent authors with a refreshing Biblical approach to a tremendous range of vital subjects.
Aim and Impact
After the seminar I was whisked off to a nearby farm where we were able to get in some shooting practice with clay pigeons. Something I have never done before. With a wide range of weaponry we took out the waves of orange disks launched into the air and had the satisfaction of seeing them shattered into small pieces with rapid snap shooting.
In Unity is Strength
Sunday was a long day. Dominion Covenant has a gifted worship team with a wide range of musical instruments. They play with skill, leading from the rear of the congregation. The responsive Scriptural readings and prayers, including imprecatory prayers and singing Psalms wonderfully prepares one for worship in Spirit and in Truth. I presented the sermon: In Unity is Strength from Philippians 1:27-30. After Fellowship lunch the congregation came back for an open time of discussion with questions and answers based on the sermon. After that those who were interested gathered at an elder's house where we engaged another five hours of open discussion/question and answers where I sought to respond to Doctrinal, Historical and Socio-Political questions. The Great Commission is about making disciples of all nations, teaching obedience to all things the Lord has commanded, therefore it is essential that as Christians we know how to apply Biblical principles to every sphere of life.
Home Education Leads to More Vigorous Discussions and Debates
It is clear that Dominion Covenant Church is a congregation of home educators. Children who have been home educated are well read and tend to have enquiring minds. Parents who take responsibility for educating their children also tend to be very well read and interested in a wide range of questions and controversies.
The next morning I was flying off to Phoenix, Arizona, to be reunited with my beloved first born daughter, Andrea, and first grandchild, Jeremy! Andrea drove me from the airport straight through to my parents-in-law's home. Next year Bill Bathman will be 90. Despite battling two terminal diseases: cancer and a serious heart complaint, both Bill and Harriet Bathman are in good spirits and still enthusiastically involved in the Lord's work. They had arranged for me to speak the next morning to missions minded members of the Village Chapel. A hall had been hired and people from the community invited for me to give an update on Persecution of Christians in North Africa and our missionary endeavours.
To Live is Christ - To Die is Gain
Bill Bathman showed me the book on Heaven by Randy Alcorn that he has been studying. "I'm reading up on my next move! This is the best book on Heaven I have ever read." He commented that this author agrees with my position that there will be animals in Heaven and how impressed he is with how Biblical the book is. "There is far more about Heaven in the Bible than I was aware of!" There were many practical, missions related plans and discussions. Despite having two life threatening diseases competing with one another as to who will get him first, Bill said that he is trying to complete writing another book! "Retirement is not in my vocabulary", he said. "Whether the Lord comes or calls, I want to be ready and die with my boots on." Harriet mentioned that his heart surgeon was quite surprised to see that he was still alive three months after he made his initial diagnosis. "Giving does not empty your purse, nor does loving empty your heart." Bill added: "The thing that blesses people is not overwork, but overflow."
Jeremy and Juliet
We were all delighted to see the energetic growth of baby Jeremy, who had just celebrated his first birthday. Now that he is crawling and pulling himself up, taking first aided steps, nothing is particularly safe anymore. I was also introduced to Juliet, a lovely, fluffy Norwegian Forest kitten (related to the original Viking cats). Jeremy and Juliet are the best of friends and Juliet follows him around everywhere in the home.
Andrea took me through to Arizona Christian University, where she graduated two years ago. I had been invited to speak on God and Government - the US Presidential Elections and What is at Stake for Christians in Africa. We also met with our good friend Dr. Mark Kritser, who after years as a missionary professor in South Korea is now lecturing on Missiology at Grand Canyon University. He had lined up a whole series of lectures for me at GCU, but these were cancelled by the administration. Mark was a missionary at Frontline Fellowship back in the 1980's, then served with Gospel Defence League, before becoming a Missionary to Korea where he has had the opportunity of training believers from all over Africa and Asia in Missions.
After all too short a time in Phoenix I was jetting off to Charlotte, North Carolina and then on to Ashville where I had been invited to speak at the Awake Conference in the Western North Carolina Agricultural Centre. Other guest speakers included Brother Yun from China (author of the Heavenly Man), Isik Abla a Turkish woman who survived terrible abuse and is a shining testimony of God's Grace since her conversion from Islam and Dr. Mark Beliles of America Transformation. There I was invited to minister on Frontline Faith and Revival. The Awake Conference went on for twelve hours straight without a break: 9am to 9pm with a continuous flow of ministry, prayer and worship. There were many discussions, much prayer and by the end of the day my head was throbbing and my heart full.
Heart Cry for Revival
At the Sunday morning service I preached on Lord Revive Us (Psalm 85:6) and in Sunday School fielded a wide range of questions and answers seeking to deal with the desperate needs confronting us and presenting a Biblical Vision of Victory to inspire us to press on against all opposition.
A number of flights were delayed by an hour or more and I was bumped from one flight because it had been overbooked. However by God's Grace, I did not miss a single meeting. Although I was late for one radio interview by Skype and another radio programme had to be postponed because of prior commitments.
Mission in a Nutshell
All in all I ministered in 4 states, 35 meetings, including 2 radio stations, 3 schools, 2 Universities, 2 conferences, a seminar, 6 Churches, stayed in 7 homes and had 12 flights, in under 3 weeks.
Zimbabwe Mission, Life Chain, Shipment and Celebration
While I was ministering in America we had a mission team serving in Zimbabwe, a Life Chain in Cape Town and offloaded another 20ft, 18 tonne literature shipment container at Livingstone House. Just before I headed out to America we received our Missionary, John and his new wife, Rachel, back from his Missions to Egypt and America. The Mission celebrated John and Rachel's wedding with a reception in Cape Town and Lenora organised a Cape Town Kitchen Tea for Rachel.
I arrived back on Tuesday, midday and John interviewed me that evening on Radio Tygerberg on our upcoming Reformation events. Next week we will welcome the 150 voice Eurochor to Cape Town. As we head into the 500th year of the Reformation we have a series of outreaches and events planned including the Eurochor singing at the Victoria and Alfred Waterfront Amphitheatre 3pm Saturday, 29 October, Reformation Sunday Service, 30 October, at the oldest Lutheran Church in the Southern Hemisphere, Strand Street Lutheran 10am. On Reformation Day, Monday 31 October, we will be conducting guided tours of the Huguenot Monument and Museum in Franschhoek 10am and 2pm, and the Reformation Celebration Service, 12 noon at the Huguenot Monument. The Eurochor will then present a full concert at 3:30pm in the Dutch Reformed Church in Franschhoek. On Reformation Day we will be launching our Africa Reformation Overland Mission for 2017 which will culminate in the Global Church Council in Wittenberg October 2017 and national celebrations of Reformation 500 by 31 October 2017. Next week Saturday, 29 October we will also be participating in the Evangelism Expo in Cape Town. I have been invited to conduct the Remembrance Sunday Service for the Rhodesia Association in Fish Hoek on 6 November.
"But thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labour is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
Thank you for all your prayers and support.
May God continue to be your joy and strength.
Yours for the fulfilment of the Great Commission
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