YesHeIs – Testimony

Hi there Friends

A film crew from http://www.YesHeIs.com filmed my testimony at George Whitefield College in July. They have just made it available. It’s only 2 minutes (and 30 seconds) long, yet captures the heart of God’s incredible work of GRACE in my life. This is HIS story…

Here it is:

I am eternally grateful for Jesus!

May God thoroughly bless you all!

Michael Watson

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12 Years Ago, I Died

I was dead; I am ALIVE

I am ALIVE !!

Though I died 12 years ago I was born again and since then have new life in Christ!

Jesus turned my dreadful life of slavery and death into a fantastic adventure of faith, freedom, and life!

Today, 15 September, is my birthday commemorating the day I was born again!

Allow me to tell you the exciting story of how God brought life to my dreadful existence of drudgery and death…

Let’s start at the beginning…

What I was like

My Most Important Value

Freedom and rebellion were my primary values. Having grown up in a strictly conservative Christian home, I rebelled against all the Christian rules and regulations which were forced upon me and only wished to live free from any rules. I grew to hate God and despise Christianity which seemed intent on meddling with and conforming the lives of others. I broke free from my parents’ home when I was 18. Liberating myself from this ‘Christian oppression’ I lived life as I pleased and followed my heart, gratifying every desire with great vigour and little restraint. I had no care for what society thought of my behaviour, I just wanted to be ‘me’. My lifestyle could very aptly have been described as one of ‘sex, drugs, and rock & roll’.

My View of God

Having had the Bible ‘crammed down my throat’ as a young teenager, I had a vast knowledge of truth about God. I knew and believed that God existed and that He had made the world and everything in it – including myself. However, I couldn’t see why I should have anything to do with Him, nor He with me. On the contrary, I wanted nothing to do with Him. I didn’t like His manipulating followers nor His Book of rules and regulations. I saw God as an unreasonable taskmaster and bordered on hating Him intensely. However, I must also add that I was often astounded by the beauty of the world that He had created and regularly found myself spontaneously thanking Him for this beautiful world that I had to enjoy – even thanking Him for the drugs which got me high. I knew He was powerful, but He was also distant and transcendent. I went about my life autonomously doing whatever I pleased, as I assumed He did too. I saw no reason to pursue a relationship with Him. I stayed out of His way and expected Him to stay out of mine.

However, the nagging reality of ultimate accountability to God ominously loomed in my distant consciousness. I knew that life after death was to be expected and that God would judge all mankind. I knew that some – the extremely bad ones – would go to hell, and others – those who followed Jesus – would go to heaven. I knew that Jesus’ death on the cross somehow exempted His followers from judgement and gave them a free ticket to heaven, but that came with the ghastly condition that they had to follow His oppressive rules. I despised this idea of manipulative morality – being forced to follow the rules at the threat of hell and reward of heaven. I decided that I would reject God’s rules and enjoy my life whilst I am young, and one day, just before I die, I would ‘accept’ Jesus and thus escape hell and get into heaven (as the thief on the cross next to Jesus did).

My Religious Background and Attitude About Christ

Due to my Christian upbringing, I had a vast intellectual knowledge about Jesus Christ, who He was and what He had done. I knew in theory that somehow He was God, that He had visited earth 2000 years ago – being born as a man, that he lived a blameless and righteous life, and that He was a miracle worker. I knew that He had been crucified for crimes He did not commit, had been miraculously resurrected from the dead, and ascended into heaven. But to me this was all just head knowledge, propaganda that I had been brain-washed with as a kid. It had no effect on my understanding of what this implied, nor did I have any inclination to find out a deeper meaning of this. What I did know was that Jesus Christ called people to follow Him, to forsake the enjoyment of this life, and to obey that dreadful rule Book. I had seen and heard of many who had decided to ‘follow’ Jesus and I thought they were absurd fools to give up their freedom in exchange for a boring pious life of rule-following.

I Lived in a Self-Centered Manner

I only pursued personal gratification seeking to enjoy my life. I had no regard for who got hurt in my pursuit of pleasure and freedom. Today when I look back at the wake of people who got hurt in my insatiable pursuit of happiness and autonomy, I am deeply ashamed and regret my actions dearly.

What God used to Begin to Open my Eyes

After about seven years of careless loose living, I started to find that this life that I thought I was enjoying was now sadistically enjoying me. I found myself bound as a slave to drugs and a party lifestyle which left me broke and helpless to curb my disastrous habits. Though I tried more and more with increasing determination to stop, or at least slow down, I found myself helpless to curb my ever-increasing self-destructing habits. I frantically came to the realization that I was a slave to my own desires and ‘freedom’!

Proverbs 14:12 says, “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way to death.”

I found myself on a way such as this. I was at the threshold of death and distressed beyond description due to my immanent fate as a consequence of the bad decisions I had made.

What I Saw and Understood

On the night of September 15, 2005, I tossed about relentlessly on my bed deprived of sleep due to my overwhelming distress – I knew my life was out of control, my autonomy was gone, I was a slave to a sadistic taskmaster. I was exhausted and hopeless – I saw no way out. It was at this moment that Jesus dramatically reminded me of His own words in Matthew 11:28,

Come to Me, you who are tired and weary of carrying heavy loads, I will give you rest.”

These words were a massive encouragement to me; I was tired, I was weary, I was carrying heavy loads, I needed rest. However, these words also brought me to a state of terror. As I realized that Jesus was offering me rest, I knew very well that it was this Jesus against whom I had rebelled, the One I had rejected, the One I had sinned so heinously against. I was intimately aware that my innumerable sins against God earned me His eternal wrath in the hottest place in hell, forever. I knew that I had not given God the slightest reason to look on me with favour. On the contrary, I knew that my lifestyle of sin and rebellion had given God great reason to be eternally angry with me.

But here I was confounded by the fact that this infinitely holy God against Whom I had so grievously sinned was here in my time of greatest need offering me rest. It seemed too good to be true. How could the One I had so greatly offended be offering me rest and reconciliation?! It was then that I understood that the crimes for which Jesus was crucified 2000 years ago were my crimes, He bore my sins on the cross, He had received the punishment that was due to me, and because of this, was now lovingly offering me rest. He wasn’t presenting rules for me to follow or conditions to be met, He was simply offering me rest, forgiveness of my sins, and reconciliation with God.

How Christ has/is Affecting My Life

That very day, I took Jesus up on His offer. Because He had conquered death, in His resurrection from the grave, I knew that He was alive and able to actualize His offer. I believed Jesus could forgive my sins and turned wholeheartedly to Him for mercy and rest.

My simple prayer to Him was this, “I surrender. I’m not running anymore; no longer my way, but Your way.”  It wasn’t a fancy prayer; it was a simple prayer of surrender.

What Was Changed

The change that God brought about in my life was dramatic. After I had put my faith in Jesus Christ to forgive my sins and give me this rest He was offering, a profound and fascinating thing happened. I experienced a ‘newness of life’ a joy bubbling within me, a passionate desire to behave uprightly, a detest for the sin I had been wallowing in, and a hunger to know God more – though it somehow felt as though I knew Him intimately, as if He permeated my entire being. I was a totally new man! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says,

“If any man be in Christ, He is a new creation.”

I experienced this explicitly! The addictions that had enslaved me were now spontaneously gone – I experienced no withdrawal symptoms at all! My filthy mind and heart was renewed, the things I used to love, I now despised. I returned money and things that I had stolen. I apologized to those whom I had hurt and trodden on. I had an insatiable desire for God’s Word which I had previously despised; I often found myself reading the Bible till past 3AM. I attended church services on every day (including week days).

I felt such intense joy and fulfilment in being reconciled to God that I spontaneously sought to please Him and serve Him – though I knew it was my duty to obey Him as Lord, I welcomed and embraced it enthusiastically. It felt as if I was living my life for the very purpose for which I had been created. To me, the ‘rule Book’ that I had previously despised, now became the welcome means for me to know God and how to please Him who had loved me so much to rescue me from destruction and despair, forgive my sins, and reconcile me to Himself through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

It was the irresistible and reasonable reciprocation of the unconditional love shown to me.

Since that life-defining moment I have been on an exciting adventure with God as my faith has grown from strength to strength. Right from the start I was so grateful to God for what He had done in my life I wanted to serve Him in any way I could. I started serving at a local mission station as a handyman. Four years later, I joined a mission base in Cape Town under which I traveled overland all over Sub-Saharan Africa proclaiming the Good News of Jesus Christ Who offers rest, forgiveness, and reconciliation to those under the power of sin.

Currently, I am studying theology at George Whitefield College in order to learn to know God better and how to teach others God’s magnificent liberating Word more effectively.

I am not perfect, though I strive to please and obey God, I still have my shortcomings. God is not finished with me yet. This is an exciting journey of being in friendship with God!

Conclusion

Christianity is not about following rules and doing the right thing. There may be many religious church-goers that miss the point and try to solely insist on these rule-following demands, but they have missed the most valuable treasure of reconciliation with God and new life in Him which comes as a free gift. Yes, we must honour God and obey His moral standards that He has set for us, but not as a means to an end – not by way of earning God’s favour or getting into heaven. Rather our motivation to obey God, who has loved us with immeasurable unconditional love, who has Himself mended the barrier between us by the death and resurrection of Jesus, comes from a spontaneous desire to please Him which itself is borne from the new life He gives to us as a free gift.

Do you want to experience God’s forgiveness and love? Do you want to partake in this newness of life, which is eternal and never dies? Believe in Jesus, receive the gift of eternal life, and you too can live a life of fulfilment and honour in friendship with God.

Michael Watson

 

 

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Invigorated by God’s Word

Dear Friends and Family

I trust that you are well and growing in your love for Jesus and His people.

Renée and I are doing well. We are grateful and astounded by God’s goodness and grace. We thank God for the family, love, fellowship, teaching, and opportunities to serve which we enjoy at our church, Tokai Community Church. We thank God for what He is doing in our lives through our church family.

I have grown immensely in my faith and knowledge of God and His Word through this first semester at college.

Holiday and Work

During this last school (and college) holiday we were able to visit my Dad, Renée’s Mom, and other friends and family in Kwa-Zulu Natal. We were also catch up with a lot of household tasks that have been patiently waiting for attention whilst we have been productively and frantically busy with the demands of the academic term. I managed to find time to fix the ceiling in our home and do some mechanical maintenance to our car which included: changing the timing-belt, doing a service, and replacing the radiator (which actually burst on our drive to Durban – thus the need for replacement).

Renée and I at Chapmans Peak

Renée and I at Chapmans Peak

Refiner’s Fire

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude to God for the privilege of studying at George Whitefield College. I find the lecturers to not only be passionate about the subjects they are teaching, but also vigilant of our personal spiritual growth and walk with God.

I have found my first semester to be exciting and invigorating whilst also being challenging, tiring, and stretching.

The academic demand on students at GWC is immense and intense. All the students in all years and stages of their studies often vocalize the strain they are under. I, of course, am new to this whole academic environment, so I take comfort in the fact that I am not alone in finding the academic pressure challenging.

Academic Pressure and Deadlines

The required reading assignments are near impossible to complete, particularly when simultaneous deadlines are looming to hand in various assignments, which is closely followed by exams. Having said all this, I must add that it is under such a pressured environment that I thrive. I enjoy deadlines and pressure; it helps me to function. I believe this is one of the motivations behind this intense academic pressure – to help students to present thorough arguments for important and difficult topics quickly whilst under pressure. I understand this skill will be thoroughly useful when in the hilt of ministry situations.

Limping Devotions

In the first term and into the second term I was struggling with my private devotions with God. I was struggling to find time to have my devotions; and when I did find time to sit down and have alone time with God, I found that the Bible seemed to have lost its capacity as ‘God’s Word’ and now seemed only to be an academic book. I presented this challenge to my Discussion group (at College) asking that they pray for me that I may be more disciplined at my private devotions and that God’s Word would come alive to me again. They not only agreed to pray for me but also admitted that they have the same problem and discussed ways they have found helpful to remain in fellowship with God through His Word and prayer during this intense time of studies. They also directed me to Steve Rockwell, one of our lecturers, who has in the past given them good advice in this regard.

Valuable Paradigm Shift

I had a very fruitful discussion with Steve Rockwell who encouraged me by pointing out that the struggle I was facing was not unique and many, if not all, students face a similar struggle. He gave me tips on how to approach the Bible in my quiet time and suggested a good daily devotional by D. A. Carson (For the Love of God). But his most helpful advice changed my way of thinking about my studies at college. “Make every subject you study a devotional time with God,” he said, “forget about trying to get good marks and just pursue your studies as a means to get to know God better”. He told me how this approach helped him when he was a student. This advice has revolutionized my studies and made every lecture, book, assignment, or exam become a tool to help me know God better. The result is that not only are my quiet times revitalized, but every aspect of my studies at college have become all the more exciting and adventurous.

My study desk

My study desk

Delightful Chapel

I really enjoy and benefit immensely from the Chapel services that are held at the college twice a week. The Bible is preached faithfully and I find my faith is strengthened through the communal worship. I have been (as all students are) incorporated into the services with opportunities to read portions of Scripture, pray, and serve as a steward. I am also involved in the music team.

God’s Story

As part of our Public Speaking class, we had an assignment to prepare our testimony in a Christ honouring way and present it in class in under 4 minutes. This was a very helpful assignment. My testimony was selected (among others) to be video recorded for an online app called ‘Yes He Is’. The video crew came around during the holiday and recorded my testimony. As soon as they have done the editing, I will post a link.

First Semester Results

I have finally received my Semester marks for last semester.

79% – REACH-SA History
81% – Christian Doctrine Introduction
96% – Greek 1
73% – Mark’s Gospel
79% – Old Testament Introduction
79% – Biblical Theology
75% – Public Speaking
81% – Study Skills

I am very happy with these results and thank God for all I have learnt through this semester. I am excited and eagerly looking ahead to this 2nd semester.

Thank you very much for your prayers, support, and encouragement. We certainly appreciate you walking this road with us.

May God bless you thoroughly and perpetually!

In His hands,

Michael and Renée Watson
www.mikemissions.wordpress.com

 

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To Know Him

Wow! Where has this semester gone?! Time has flown by so rapidly! I can’t believe it has been 4 months since my last update!?

I have had my head tangled in a ‘cloud’ of books wrestling over some difficult concepts, writing various assignments, exegetical essays, and tests. At the end of last term, I wrote my first Greek exam for which I scored 95%! Starting college at my age, I was uncertain if I would be able to handle the academic pressure and therefore have thrown myself ‘heart and soul’ into my studies. I praise God that, through His grace, I have done well so far. I am thrilled and exhilarated by these studies though it is immensely challenging and stretching me to the limit. I feel absolutely privileged to under the teaching of these passionate lecturers who themselves are astute Biblical scholars.

Brother Bear Grieving

The untimely passing away of my brother’s dear wife on February 26 was a shock to us all as she was suddenly ripped away from her husband, children, family, and friends by an aggressive cancer.

Bear and Kathy in hospital2

Bear and Thistle

Not only did I have to wrestle with my own grief, but I spent countless hours consoling and counseling my brother. I was astounded at the advice and answers I was able to offer to my brother’s hard questions; answers which came directly from the greater understanding of God’s Word I was learning from my lectures just days before. Things I had learned in Greek lectures, Biblical Theology lectures, Doctrine Lectures, and the Gospel of Mark lectures all combined to help me offer useful answers to my grieving brother. I thank God for this learning and input which is helping me understand God better.

Serene Anniversary Rest

Renée and I celebrated our 6th wedding anniversary in April and took a much needed holiday camping in the Wilderness area. It was great to be away from the busyness of life, no cellphones, no electricity, just basking in the beauty of God’s creation. We floated down the river, did some bird-watching, took walks in the forest and on the beach, ate fireside food, and came back well rested.

Renee and I floating down the river in wilderness

Awesome being in God’s world

Paradigm Shift: To Know HIM

One of my greatest challenges being at college is trying to keep my devotional life with God alive. I have struggled to find time to spend in private devotion and prayer with God. I spoke to one of my lecturers about this and he gave me some magnificent advice which has been exceedingly useful. He encouraged me to not view these studies as academic studies, but rather as devotional studies. “Make everything you study here about getting to know God better” he said. This advice has helped me to develop an attitude of perpetual devotions, desiring to know more of God as I study original languages, Church history, Ancient Near East History, etc. I would ask that you pray that God would enable me to maintain and grow this attitude so that my studies would not just be about getting good marks, but rather about getting to know God more and more.

I start writing exams in a week. I’ll appreciate your prayers as I prepare and study for these exams and as I write.

Thanks for your prayers and encouragement.

In His hands,

Michael Watson

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Theological Studies Underway!

Do your best [study (KJV)] to present yourself to God as one approved, a worker who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.”
2 Timothy 2:15

My studies at George Whitefield College have finally gotten to a raging start. I have been eagerly waiting for this since I got my acceptance letter in October 2016.

Classmates from around the world

The first two days of registration and orientation were very exciting and inspiring. As I met and got to know my classmates and the 2nd years, I was astounded and blessed to find that there are many different countries represented by the students here. In my class alone, I have classmates from Malawi, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, South Sudan, and Ecuador. Among the 2nd and 3rd year students there are also some students from Zambia, Ireland, and Zimbabwe. It has been an absolute pleasure to meet and fellowship with these dear brothers and sisters – I look forward to the next three years we will be spending together in our studies.

Meeting new classmates at tea time

Meeting new classmates at tea time

Greek Language School

The first eight days of college lectures were super intense and invigorating as we started what is called “Summer School” at GWC. This was a focused time of concentrated Greek lectures getting us ready for the official start of our normal study program.

Learning an Intricate Language

We learnt the Greek alphabet, close to 240 Greek vocabulary words, a whole bunch of paradigms, and a ton of grammatical rules! We had stacks of homework to do which kept me awake up to 02:00 most nights. I found the academic pressure to be challenging, but exhilarating! I am amazed at how much we were able to learn over this short period of time. We wrote a test on Friday which counts for 20% of our Greek semester mark. I felt pretty good about this test and trust I will receive a good mark.

Summer School

Summer School

 

An Inspirational Teacher

Our Greek lecturer, Stephen Rockwell, is from Australia and is a very talented,  understanding, and enthusiastic teacher. He has patiently, yet persistently, helped us to understand the complexities of this intricate and detailed language; he has made it fun and captivating to learn Greek. It is tremendously inspiring to begin the journey of learning the language in which the Holy Spirit had chosen to reveal the New Testament. I am excited to learn more, so that I can understand the Bible better and in so doing know our great God better and what is required from us.

Suffering Devotions

Throughout these eight days of Summer School, we were blessed to start the day with deeply insightful devotions from Phumezo Musango, Geoff Gertzen, Shane, and Frank Retief. Strangely enough, these very encouraging Devotions were all centred around the topic of suffering and God’s plan through it all. Strange, not because of the suffering we as students were facing due to the difficulties of learning an ancient language under immense pressure, but rather because a very dear friend of ours had just been admitted into hospital with stage 4 melanoma brain cancer. This has been a very difficult time for us as we have had to see our young friend, in the prime of her life, suddenly faced with the reality of immanently passing into eternity and her beloved family falteringly grappling with this nasty surprise.

Morning Devotions

Morning Devotions

Pray for Kathleen

Please pray for Kathleen Joubert (van der Westhuizen) who is currently undergoing radiation to give her a better quality of life for her last days here on this earth. Pray for a miracle, but also pray for her family who are struggling to come to terms with this devastating reality of the fragile mortality of their beloved mother, sister, daughter, wife, and soul-mate. Pray that God will hold them securely in the palm of His hand.

Kathleen and Craig at Feylin's wedding in November 2016

Kathleen and Craig at Feylin’s wedding in November 2016

Grateful Financial Assistance

On a happier note, I have been supremely blessed that our church has offered to pay for my tuition fees this year and also to have been awarded a bursary from the GWC Trust to assist with our living expenses whilst I am at college for this year.

This financial assistance is most valued and appreciated by Renée and I. Without this financial assistance we would struggle to meet our financial demands that are increased by my full-time studies. We celebrated with great joy and praise to God when we were informed of the financial assistance made available to us by the GWC Trust and Tokai Community Church.

May God’s purposes be fulfilled in our lives as we seek to know Him better and to make Him known to others.

Thank you for your love and support.

In His hands,

Michael Watson

Categories: About me, Studies | Leave a comment

2017 Off to a Massive Start

Dear Friends and Family

I greet you in the mighty and merciful Name of the King of God’s Kingdom, Jesus Christ.

“He [the Son of Man] was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshipped Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and His Kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.”
Daniel 7:14

I hope you are well and that you had a restful and blessed Christmas time with friends and family. I hope that you have had a good start to this new year.

mike_renee_ny2016

May 2017 be a blessed and prosperous year for you!

I am excited about this new year and there is much I need to tell you about (it has been a while since my last update and so much has happened).

GWC

I am trilled to announce that I have been accepted at George Whitefield College to study for a Bachelor of Theology degree which is a 3-year program.

George Whitefield College - Morris House

George Whitefield College – Morris House

I started studying GWC’s Explore Course in January 2016 and completed 2 Modules passing both with distinction. These part-time studies gave me such a thrill and excitement as I gained vast increases in my knowledge about God and the Bible – I found that there was so much I didn’t know and yet needed to know in order to be more effective at my missionary work. This inspired me to pursue full-time studies so that I may be a more responsible preacher (and to know God more and know how to please Him better).

I enrolled and have been graciously accepted at George Whitefield College; it is with great excitement that I look forward to learning and studying about our Great God.

I praise God for His hand in my application process to study next year at George Whitefield College and for His provisions of financial assistance from our church which has generously agreed to pay my tuition fees.

I pray that God will quicken my intellect and cause me to have a smooth transition into this academic environment and also that God will help me to give adequate attention to the Vision and Priorities of High Light Africa through these next 3 years of study.

Solar-Powered Jesus Film Kit

I am pleased to announce that High Light Africa is now the proud owner of a Solar-Powered Jesus Film Kit which has been made possible by our generous financial supporters and partners. This is a completely mobile and off-the-grid system particularly designed by myself to present the Jesus Film in remote rural villages. This kit is currently capable of accommodating an audience of 200 people, but can be easily upgraded for more viewers by simply adding more speakers.

Jesus Film Box

Jesus Film Box

Jesus Film Kit

Jesus Film Kit

Jesus Film - Solar Charger

Jesus Film – Solar Charger

Jesus Film - Speaker

Jesus Film – Speaker

Jesus Film - Projector

Jesus Film – Projector

Jesus Film - Tripod

Jesus Film – Tripod

Jesus Film - Screen

Jesus Film – Screen

Jesus Film - Poles for Screen

Jesus Film – Poles for Screen

High Light Africa – Malawi

As I will be focussing on my studies for the next 3 years, I thought it prudent to set up High Light Africa (HLA) in Malawi where we have co-workers and colleagues who can continue with the vision and priorities of HLA whilst I am otherwise occupied.

Rev. Barnet Phiri, who is a long time friend, ex-bishop of the Evangelical Baptist Church of Malawi, passionate about Evangelism, a great leader and preacher, humble and selfless, and a local indigenous pastor in Malawi has graciously agreed to and accepted the role of being the director of High Light Africa – Malawi (HLA-M).

Over the last few months, Barnet and I together with a lawyer from our church have been formulating and constructing the Constitution of HLA-M. This will be the legal document that defines and regulates our organization in Malawi. This hard and diligent work is almost completed.

We are hoping to formally adopt this Constitution at the founding meeting we plan to hold in Malawi in April 2017 on our next Mission to Malawi. We will appreciate your prayers and support in this regard.

High Light Africa expanding to Malawi

High Light Africa expanding to Malawi

TCC Ministry

Renée and I are thoroughly enjoying being part of our new church – Tokai Community Church (TCC). We are blessed to sit under the clear teaching of the Bible and also to be a part of the life of the church. Renée has been leading the Girls Teen Connect group since October and I have been privileged to be included in the music team where I play guitar on some Sundays. I also help with maintenance at our church.

I was privileged to join John Shane with some of the outreaches he is conducting in the Westlake Village in Steenberg. John has been running the Soccer Club where the boys of Westlake are invited every Saturday morning to play soccer at a lovely soccer field that he (John) has arranged for them. There are normally between 20 & 30 boys who pitch up (sometimes even more). At half-time, John usually gives them a short encouragement/exhortation from God’s Word. I was once given the opportunity to speak to the boys from the Bible.

I also joined John on a couple of Sundays at the Westlake Community Fellowship which is a small gathering of believers and their kids who gather to worship God and to listen to the Word being preached.

Camping Trip

Over Christmas Renée and I went camping with some friends at a bush-camp near to Greyton. It was a wonderful time of relaxation and rejuvenation.

Camping at Champagne in Greyton

Leg of boar roasting over the fire

dsc_0743-2

We enjoyed many camp fires

As for our plans in 2017:

Besides for my upcoming studies, we also have plans for some missions this year. During my study break in April I plan to conduct a mission (with Renée) to Malawi. And then during my July study break I plan to conduct a mission (with Renée) to DRC.

May God bless you thoroughly and perpetually!

In His service – and loving it

Michael & Renée Watson
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

michael@highlightafrica.com
renee@highlightafrica.com
www.highlightafrica.com

Categories: Studies, Updates | Leave a comment

Happy New Year!

2016-year-end-greetingWe thank God for all He has enabled us to accomplish in 2016. We are excited for 2017 and the potential that lies ahead.

Thank you for your support during 2016. Without faithful supporters we would not have been able to accomplish much at all.

May God bless you and cause you to be a blessing to others in this New Yew that lies ahead.

In His service – and loving it!

Michael and Renée Watson

“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

Categories: Updates | Leave a comment

A Fruitful Studious Frenzy

Imminent Exam

I am so enjoying learning about Jesus and His mission here on Earth, I excitedly find myself so wrapped up in my studies that time seems to stand still and speed up at the same time. I am thoroughly enjoying this rush of knowledge about God. My brain feels numb and jelly-like as I press on diligently in my studies because I desire to do well in my Explore the Life of Jesus exam coming up on Monday. I not only want to do well in my exam, but I want to remember this and apply this for the rest of my life!

IMG_20160825_085109

My study station

Application to George Whitefield College

I am busy filling in my application forms for George Whitefield College as I plan to pursue a Bachelor of Theology degree starting next year.

When I started the Explore Course earlier this year, I was ‘blown away’ by the amount of knowledge that came rushing to my attention from the pages of the study book and I realized that I am lacking the critical theological training that would cause me to be effective in my missionary work. This whet my appetite to know more about our Great God and to know more intimately the Scriptures which are the revelation of Himself which He has given to mankind.

Though I am benefiting greatly from the Explore Course, I believe that I would benefit more intensely from full time studies at GWC.

Please pray for me as I prepare my applcation and that I will receive a favourable response from the College.

Mission to Malawi

In 3 weeks, I will be heading out to Malawi for a 18-day mission trip. I am so encouraged by the way that God has provided for the needs of this mission up to this point. My heart is overwhelmed by God’s faithfulness. I still don’t have all that is needed, but I trust that God will continue to provide until all resources will be available.

I will be ministering in various locations in Machinga District, specifically among churches that are in dominant Muslim areas. I have been working with these churches for a number of years and I praise God for the faith of these believers who worship God giving thanks to Him for the immeasurably valuable gift of eternal life they have received through Christ.

I praise God for His provision of funds to purchase Bibles for these believers, many of whom are from a Muslim background and can’t afford a Bible of their own.

Please pray that God will have His hands on the preparation of this mission, for the schedule as it is being arranged, for the people I will be ministering to, for the preparation of my teachings, and that God will continue to provide what is lacking to make this mission effective and a success for His glory.

Mission Icon

Malawi Mission – September 2016

May God bless you and fill you with the knowlege of His will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding.

In pursuit of the knowledge of Christ

Michael Watson
http://www.highlightafrica.com
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b
Unleash the Light!

Categories: About me, Studies, Updates | Leave a comment

Kids, Bible College, and a Mission

Dear Friends and Family

I hope that all is well with you and all those who are dear to you.

Renee and I are both doing well, though we have also both just recovered from the flu (Renee is busy kicking out the last of it now).

Kids Holiday Bible Club

During the school holidays, Renee helped out at the Holiday Bible Club for the week of Epic Explorers – an exciting kids’ program run from our church (www.tokaicommunitychurch.org). These young kids were so full of energy, by the time Renee came home in the afternoons she was pretty exhausted! Renee had a lot of fun helping out with this program.

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Warning: This will make you tired

Islamic Studies Completed

I have just completed a 2-week course at the Bible Institute on Islamic Studies to better understand the many Muslims both here in SA and in Malawi so as to have a more effective approach to present the Gospel.

The Bible Institute is situated on the rugged yet beautiful slopes of the Kalk Bay mountains. BI has been training pastors and Gospel workers for almost 100 years.

I was blessed to study in this beautiful part of the world.

I have learned a great deal and feel dynamically better equipped to continue the work of preaching the Gospel to Muslims.

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Beautiful view from the BI campus

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I took this picture on the way to BI one morning – Stunning!

 

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One of 3 mosques we visited during our studies, this one in Kalk Bay

 

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The Oldest Mosque in South Africa, in Bokaap

 

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Bokaap is very colourful!

 

 

Bible Institute Certificate

Certificate from Bible Institute

 

 

Exams Coming Up

I am now frantically working at completing my studies in the Explore Course (from GWC); I’m busy with the second module: Explore the Life of Jesus. My exam date is at the end of August.

I am happy to announce that I have received good results for my last exam, Explore the Bible. I received a High Distinction with a mark of 94%. I praise God that I have been able to succeed and do well.

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Praise God for good marks!

 

Upcoming Mission to Malawi

I am planning to go on another mission to Malawi as soon as I have finished writing my exam in end of August. I am looking forward to it as are our friends in Malawi who are eagerly awaiting our arrival. I plan to continue the program of evangelism training in the rural churches with a specific focus on Muslim Evangelism. You can read more about it here: www.highlightafrica.com

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Upcoming Malawi Mission

If you would like to partner with us financially to help with the costs of this Mission, please follow this link to find our banking details: www.highlightafrica.com/support/

Thank You

I appreciate your prayers and support. May God richly bless you!

In His service – and loving it!

Michael Watson
www.highlightafrica.com
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” – Psalm 85:9b

Categories: About me, Updates | Leave a comment

A ‘Spy’ on the Wall!

Dear Friends and Family

I hope and trust that you are doing well. Renee and I are doing well as we excitedly follow the path the Lord has set before us.

“Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervour, serving the Lord.”
Romans 12:11

SIMstart

I have just completed a week-and-a-half enlightening and uplifting training with SIM at the regional office here in South Africa. This was a great privilege for me as I have been seeking God’s guidance for the way forward for me as a missionary.

SIM is a mission agency that has been sending missionaries into the field since 1889. Initially called Sudan Inland Mission, but now Serving in Mission. I really got a sense of their professional, devoted experience and I have come to admire their passion, vigour, love, and effectiveness.

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SIM website

Cart before the horse

The SIMstart program is really designed for new members of SIM who have already passed through the 4-month application process. SIMstart provides these new members with the initial training of the core values of SIM and equips them with vital skills and tools that every missionary needs in the field. I, however, was not a new member. So I kind of ‘jumped the que’ – I was referred to as the ‘cart before the horse’.

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SIM website

Spy on the Wall

Once I was actually called (in jest) a ‘spy on the wall’! I suppose this was because I was there as an outside observer and they knew very little about me. This underlined the absolute privilege I was in the midst of – not supposed to be there, and yet I am the proud beneficiary of delightful exposure to the training of this esteemed mission organization.

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Spy on the wall

Lessons Learned

I learned a tonne of lessons from my short time at SIM during the SIMstart program. I met a few passionate missionaries who are just joining up as memebers and I was inspired by their bravery and commitment to God’s call to forsake all and follow Him.

Though I have been serving God as a faith missionary for more than 10 years and been through the vigorous missionary training at Frontline Fellowship, I still learned so much during my short time at SIM that I feel somewhat like an amateur.

Love and Family

One of the biggest things that stood out to me is the love and warmth I felt from the staff – it felt as if I were welcomed into a huge loving family. This came out as one of the things they hold dear to themselves, they are a family and love and care for one another dearly.

“Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
1 Thessalonians 5:11

In a Nutshell

God really used my short time at SIM to challenge me to more devoted service to His Kingdom. My resolve to study Theology next year has been bolstered and encouraged by all whom I met and spoke to at SIM. SIM is a great mission agency, they conduct their responsibilities with professional zeal, with love and focus. I would certainly consider joining this family when I am done with my studies.

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SIM website

Coming Up

I would appreciate your fervent prayers for me during the next month or two I have much on my ‘plate’ and I’m going to need God’s help to be successful at these tasks.

Muslim Evangelism Training

In July, for 2 weeks, I will be attending a Muslim Evangelism Training Course at the Bible Institute of South Africa. I am really looking forward to this because this is one of the areas I want to focus on in Malawi.

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Muslim Evangelism Course

Exam and Persistent Studies

As you know by now, I am fervently studying the second module of the Explore Course: Explore the Life of Jesus. My exam date for this is end of August which means that I only have 2 months to get through this study material. I am thoroughly enjoying the wealth of new knowledge I am getting and how this draws me to deeper worship of God Who has revealed Himself through the Scriptures.

Malawi Mission

I am planning on visiting my beloved friends, brothers, and sisters in Malawi in August (or September) after I have finished writing my exam in August. Please pray that God will grant me wisdom in planning for this mission trip and specifically for a team member as I feel that it is unwise to travel alone. Pray also that God will provide the necessary funds to make this possible. I will soon provide more specific details.

Thank you for your love and support. I appreciate you keeping in touch with me, for encouraging me and for praying for me.

God bless you all!

Michael Watson
michael@highlightafrica.com
“That His glory may dwell in the land.” Psalm 85:9b
http://www.highlightafrica.com

 

 

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