Greetings in the wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.
"All the ends of the world shall remember and turn to the Lord, and all the families of the nations shall worship before You. For the Kingdom is the Lord's, and He rules over the nations." Psalm 22:27-28
Deliveries and ministry in Zimbabwe
En route to Zambia our team delivered Bibles, books and literature to pastors and church leaders in Zimbabwe. These ministry materials are still not readily available in the country. Daniel preached on From Creation to Repentance at a rural church on a Sunday morning and John preached on When God is Enough at a mid-week service.
Ministering to Pensioners
A highlight of our trip is always delivering the much appreciated Boxes With Love to pensioners in need. They invited us to lead their Sunday afternoon service where I preached on Prayer and the Sovereignty of God. It is heart-warming to interact with people who realise their dependency on God. Many of them have lost everything they possessed and established in this life - farms, businesses, homes, health, incomes, savings, pension funds, family members, etc. Some 80 year old pensioners still need to work to provide for their frail spouses. They expressed their sincere thanks to all who are involved in donating money, and packing and delivering the Boxes With Love. Since our previous visit a few people from this community have passed on from this life to the next.
"The grass withers, the flower fades, but the word of our God stands forever." Isaiah 40:8
Police Check Points
Although we did not do a lot of travelling in Zimbabwe, we encountered 45 random "police check points", more than ever before. At some places these check points were spaced within a few kilometres from one another and each manned by 3 to 10 officers who had their "ticket books" ready to speedily issue tickets for any mishaps. It seemed that it could be a very effective fundraiser for the upcoming elections. Our vehicle was packed with many boxes of books and literature and at one of these check points we were accused of "mixing goods and passengers" because a team member was sitting with his laptop computer and a small mattress on his lap next to a pile of boxes. After I got slightly more excited than usual at this folly and pointed out to the officer that the ‘offending passenger' was sitting on his own seat, buckled with his own seatbelt and also had the ability to roll down his own window, the police officer was satisfied that we in fact did not have conflicting cargo in close proximity on board.
We visited pastors and leaders in different towns and made arrangements for teaching and training ministry in their areas during upcoming mission trips. A great need for Discipleship training exists in Zimbabwe and all the leaders we visited eagerly requested this ministry.
Arriving in Zambia, we did our first Leadership Training seminar in a beautiful mountainous part of the country. We again realised the desperate need for Discipleship in neglected rural areas like this one where teaching and resources are very scarce. We left a team member there to continue with ministry while the rest of the team moved to our next destination.
A large group of pastors and church leaders attended a Discipleship conference. We gave teaching on Salvation; Repentance; What is a Christian?; Suffering; The world vs. the Word; Revival and Evangelism. After one of the sessions, a respected pastor asked for an opportunity to speak. He confessed sin that he had committed against his wife and publically asked for her forgiveness. Other leaders also made a public confession of a willingness to repent, to die to themselves and trust Jesus Christ to be their Lord and Saviour. Reformation can and should be taking place continuously in our lives, this starts with repentance, confession of sin and restitution. We must also continuously pray for Revival, which is a sovereign work of God. The leaders recognized their urgent need for more discipleship training and urged us to return to them with follow-up teaching.
Schools, Churches and Chaplains
We presented Discipleship Seminars at several rural churches, ministered at a Christian school, a nursing college, at a Bible study for the deaf, and met the area police commissioner. One of the many challenges for the people in this area, is the high level of lead in the drinking water, causing many townsfolk to suffer from the symptoms of lead poisoning. Everywhere we ministered we were warmly received by brothers and sisters in the Lord Jesus. The police commissioner, who is a believer, invited us to conduct training for the chaplains in the area. A highlight of our visit to this town was the encouraging fellowship we were privileged to have with missionary families in the area.
Christian Action Network
In Lusaka we conducted a Discipleship Training Seminar for members of the Christian Action Network. Zambia is at a crossroad in its history as a new constitution is being formulated. While many Christians stand for a Christian constitution, other groups want to see the country become a secular state. It will be catastrophic for this country, which has been resurrected from socialist chaos to a stable Christian country, to return to paganism.
Hope for Africa
"I make a decree that in every dominion of my kingdom men must tremble and fear before the God of Daniel. For He is the living God, and steadfast forever; His Kingdom is the one which shall not be destroyed, and His dominion shall endure to the end. He delivers and rescues, and He works signs and wonders in heaven and on earth, Who has delivered Daniel from the power of the lions." Daniel 6:26-27
I had a conversation with a Zimbabwean man who does not have much hope for his fellow countrymen. He said that, in his short lifetime he has seen many Christians making brave efforts to convert people from heathenism, but while there were some external changes, he was not convinced that any true change of heart was possible. This is common view amongst Africans. While this man does not display any fruit of Christianity in his own life, he obviously also does not know the all-powerful God Who "…performs signs and wonders in heaven and on earth". Salvation that results in a changed life is not dependent on a person, or even a missionary, but on the Sovereign God Who saves sinners. Our hope for the people of Africa is not in their ability to 'change their ways' but in God Who "...shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the River to the ends of the earth". Psalm 72:8. God can save a soul in a moment, and in the same way He can also transform a continent.
In the preface to Jonathan Edwards' book: Jonathan Edwards on Revival, Isaac Watts and John Guyse wrote about the Revival in Southampton and also about their expectation from God to accomplish much more than what they had witnessed:
"We are taught also by this happy event, how easy it will be for our blessed Lord to make a full accomplishment of all His predictions concerning His Kingdom, and to spread His dominion from sea to sea, through all the nations of the earth. We see how easy it is for Him with one turn of His hand, with one word of His mouth, to awaken whole countries of stupid and sleeping sinners, and kindle Divine life in their souls. The Heavenly influence shall run from door to door, filling the hearts and lips of every inhabitant with importunate inquiries, 'What shall we do to be saved?' and 'How shall we escape the wrath to come?' And the Name of Christ the Saviour shall diffuse itself like a rich and vital perfume to multitudes that were ready to sink and perish under the painful sense of their own guilt and danger. Salvation shall spread through all the tribes and ranks of mankind, as the lightning from heaven in a few moments would communicate a living flame through ten thousand lamps and torches placed in a proper situation and neighbourhood. Thus a nation shall be born in a day when our Redeemer please, and His faithful and obedient subjects shall become as numerous as the spires of grass in a meadow newly mown, and refreshed with the showers of Heaven."
The Great Commission is Our Ambition
When man is the master of his own destiny, there is no hope, but when God is his Saviour and Lord, he truly has hope - for this life and for the life to come. The Lord Jesus Christ gave us the Great Commission and we are called and committed to obediently proclaim the Glory of God and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, making disciples and teaching obedience. Christians are engaged in a world war of ideas and beliefs. There are many casualties and defeats, but we will not retreat or get discouraged. Every soul saved by God causes all the angels in Heaven to rejoice and give glory to God. (Luke 15:10)
The Power of Prayer
Therefore please continue to pray with us for the salvation of many souls, and that rulers will see the Light, so that the Name of our Father in heaven be glorified. May His Kingdom come and His will be done in these countries, as in Heaven.
"I will declare the decree: The Lord has said to Me, 'You are My Son, today I have begotten You. Ask of Me, and I will give You the nations for Your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for Your possession. You shall break them with a rod of iron; You shall dash them to pieces like a potter's vessel.' Now therefore, be wise, O kings; be instructed, you judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and you perish in the way, when His wrath is kindled but a little. Blessed are all those who put their trust in Him." Psalm 2:7-12
Thank you for your faithful prayers and gifts. May God be with you.
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa