Watsons@Frontline-Newsletter June 2015

Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ.

I hope and trust that you are doing well and that your soul is prospering and thriving in the goodness and mercy of our great God and Father.

“If God is for us, who can be against us?…
Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?…
For I am persuaded that…[
nothing]…shall be able to separate us
from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
Romans 8:31-39

Emotional Roller-Coaster

This year has been a crazy, emotional roller-coaster ride for us. You haven’t heard from us at all this year and for that I do apologize. We have gone through some tense storms, walked through the ‘valley of the shadow of death’, and faced some exasperating trials. God has been with us through the fires, although there were times when we thought we were all alone. Please read this letter with the understanding that though we have trials, “all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.” Romans 8:28

Missionary Training Vision

We came back last year from the Congo Overland Mission 2014 with great vision, calling, and passion to return to Malawi and serve the spiritually vulnerable, beautiful people of various tribes who are falling prey to the invasive, insidious advance of Islam. During our South Sudan Overland Mission 2013, having seen the desperate need for missionaries all over Africa, we saw a need and developed a passion for setting up an intensive Missionary Training Farm in South Africa in order to train up missionaries to fulfill the countless needs in Africa. Included in this vision was the need to have a satellite Mission Base closer to the area of need for further training of missionaries and for facilitating missionary outreach to surrounding areas. So when during the Congo Overland Mission 2014 we saw the great need and potential in Malawi, we believed that it would be ideal to set up a satellite Mission Base here.

Malawi Mission Vision

We leased a piece of land in Malawi (99 year lease) where we hoped to set up a Mission base of operations, a place where we would spend extended time among the people, learn their language and culture, and focus on effective ministry in the surrounding area – a place where missionary trainees could further their training whilst living among the indigenous people. We felt led by God in this, even having set out a ‘fleece’ to test the ‘water’. We had saved up some money that had come in from generous supporters and this was going to be used to build a small house on this land that we had acquired. Everything seemed to be lined up just right for us to pursue this noble vision.

Wrench from Our Clutches

However, upon our return to South Africa, we were in for some nasty surprises. Firstly, my mother got suddenly very ill and had to be admitted into hospital. Mom had been fighting the cancer battle for almost 8 years already and the doctors had run out of medical options for treating mom’s cancer by the end of 2013. Mom then started on this amazing diet known as the Budwig Diet – known for its incredible results in treating cancer patients. This diet made a remarkable improvement in mom’s health, vitality, and energy. We really thought (hoped, trusted, believed) that Mom was improving and that this diet would perform a miracle. But last year in December, we had a nasty surprise as Mom was wrenched away from our clutches by this dreadful disease. My amazing loving mother died too early at age 62 on Christmas Day 2014. We had a funeral two days before the New Year, and entered 2015 trying to keep the pain and sorrow of 2014 back in the past where it belonged. Our efforts were in vain. The pain, sorrow, disbelief, anger, guilt, doubt, and frustration came rushing back at us from out of the past.wpid-20141124_182854.jpgDSC0000420141230_133732

Faith Under Fire!

My faith was under fire! Where was God? What does He exist for? Why do I have faith in Him? What is the use of serving Him so sacrificially? Why did He not allow Mom to leave this world peacefully? These were some of the questions buffeting my faith and I had very little willpower to defend myself against these questions and doubts. I was angry with God.

Funding Frustrated

Whilst facing this battle, I also had to face a new conflict – one of finances. The money that I had saved up for the purpose of building a mission house and setting up a Mission base in Malawi was now to be used for a different purpose. One of our particularly generous supporters had intended the money to be used for a different need and somehow, this intention had not reached our ears. This miscommunication was identified and corrected almost 5 months after receiving the funds. I was happy to redirect the funds for the intended purpose, but this then left us without any funding for the Malawi Mission Base project. Once again, I started to become angry with God (I suppose just like Jonah was when God took away the plant that He had caused to grow to give Jonah some shade). I really had thought that God had laid the vision on our hearts, provided the funding, and given us the encouragement of our mission leaders so that we could labour to fulfill this desperate need in Malawi.

Warning of Corruption

To add to this, after giving it some thought, our leaders did not support the building project in Malawi and warned us of corrupt governments who would try to excessively tax us and ‘milk’ us from all possible finances. Our mission leaders recounted stories of their similar attempts to build mission bases in other countries and expressed concern that the same things would happen to us as happened to them. I seemed to have come to a dead end.

Failing Missionary

I was frustrated, disillusioned, discontent, and downright angry. I started considering all I had sacrificed for God’s Kingdom – having given up my rights to live a ‘normal’ life, to have a home, medical aid, nice income, comforts, friends, and family in order to serve the Lord as a missionary – being away from home for months on end, living in hard conditions, laboring night and day tirelessly for the extension of God’s Kingdom. Why was God frustrating me in this way?! I stood at the brink of resigning from missionary life, thinking that my sacrifices and efforts were in vain. I started considering a ‘normal’ life in secular employment.

Sovereign God of Grace

But thanks be to God Who has chosen us, predestined us to be His, called us to His service, and loves us with an everlasting love; He opened my eyes to see that my attitude was wrong, my motives were selfish, and my perception of missions was flawed. He Who called me to be a missionary broke the spell that the devil had clouded my mind with and He set me free.

I started studying the book of Acts in the Bible and God started to convict me of the error of my ways and my thinking. Similarly God used a book recommended to me by Peter Hammond called On Being a Missionary (by Thomas Hale). God showed me that He has better plans than what I had thought of and that He was keen to use me to help the people in Malawi (and the rest of Africa) in a far more productive way than I had imagined.

Livingstone Farm Project

For several years Frontline Fellowship has been praying over acquiring a farm to establish Livingstone Missionary School. We have now 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, Security and Survival Training programmes and the Livingstone Missionary School. This farm is in a remote and mountainous region with a large number of baboons and some leopards. Dr. Peter Hammond has asked Renee and I to run the Camps & Courses side of this vision. This fits marvelously into place in the vision that the Lord had placed in our hearts in 2013 – a farm to train missionaries in South Africa.

Workers are Desperately Few

“The harvest truly is plentiful but the workers of few”
– Jesus Christ, Son of God (Matthew 9:37)

As non-residential, itinerant missionaries who have travelled overland through much of Southern and East Africa, we have come to see how desperately true and relevant this statement really is in these areas. And of course, our experience of this is in itself also limited. But when we hear the missionary report backs from other missionary pioneers and veterans, we sense the same urgency for workers to be sent to the “harvest field”.

The Needs are Urgent

There are so many needs which urgently need to be filled; there are valiant missionaries who are in dire need of assistance; there are mission stations and mission hospitals that are critically understaffed; there are villagers dying without Christ; the insidious advance of Islam is left un-contested; there are Christians suffering persecution with no support and encouragement; there is a desperate and critical shortage of workers in the “harvest field”. The scope of the needs is so varied that anyone, no matter how skilled or unskilled, with a call to serve and love God and His people, and who have some thorough missionary training, will be a vast and treasured help to those whom they serve.

Livingstone Mission Farm

The news that Frontline Fellowship is looking to purchase a farm that is surrounded by mountains and includes some mountains within its borders excited me vigorously. It is terrain such as this that would be ideal for training missionaries in general, but most specifically for an Intensive Missionary Training Programme.


If this farm is purchased, it would be our desire to conduct thorough, hardcore, and uncompromising, Missionary Training in the mountains and foothills of this farm where we hope to train missionaries who are courageous, confident, prepared, determined, and persevering.Please pray for us that God would provide the necessary funds in order to purchase this farm. We are planning and working diligently in faith that God Who put this vision in our hearts will also provide whatever is necessary to make it a reality.

Marvelous Ministry Opportunities

In the meantime, this year we have had some wonderful opportunities to minister here in Cape Town. While Peter Hammond has been away on various Missions I have had the privilege of taking his speaking responsibilities at Livingstone Fellowship, Reformation Society, and Staff Devotions. I have also had the privilege of being involved in presenting the 8 part Way of the Master Evangelism Training Course at a church in Epping and also presenting some lectures at a youth conference of a church in Firgrove. In total I have had 29 opportunities to minister God’s Word this year. For this I am truly grateful.DSC_0665DSC_0800

Store Lady

Renee has been helping in the Literature4Africa stores as the store lady. As we arrived back in Cape Town (from Durban after burying my Mom), we were told that the previous store man had resigned and there was a gaping need for someone to fill in the gap. Renee courageously stepped up to the challenge and has been an immense help for the past 4 months whilst a replacement store man was enlisted. The Literature4Africa stores received 3 shipping containers of literature each loaded with 18 tonnes of Bibles, Gospel books, and Discipleship literature. Renee did a marvelous job of receiving, packing, and sorting these books as they arrived.DSC_0347

Sweat, Tools, and Missions

I have also been keeping myself very busy here at Livingstone House with various maintenance issues, a building project, and helping two mission teams get off to a good start. I have been building a server room in our IT office where a new server will be installed. This has been quite a challenging project to complete as there have been many other demands on my time such as sermon preparation, maintenance on vehicles, off-loading shipping containers, and assisting the mission teams as they prepared for departure.DSC_0733

Upcoming Mission Plans

Malawi still weighs heavily on our hearts especially now as I have received word from my contacts there who report that the Muslims are now aggressively targeting Christians in some areas by invading their homes, confiscating their Bibles, and giving them Qurans. The Muslims have a definite bold agenda to Islamize Malawi by force and bribery. We need to support our brothers and sisters there by providing training, encouragement, and practical support. We also need to warn the unsuspecting ignorant village folk of the dangers of Islam. Most who eventually convert to Islam have no idea of the beliefs of Islam, but only convert either because of financial gain or because of threats of violence.

I am busy planning a 3 month Mission to Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. Please pray for us that God will go before us and prepare the way. Pray that God will guide our plans and our steps. Pray that God will give us boldness to declare His Word uncompromisingly.

We sincerely thank you for your continuous prayers and support. You are a vital part of our missionary endeavours and we thank God for your partnership with us.

May God bless you abundantly, thoroughly, and perpetually.

Faithfully His

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

Michael and Renee Watson

Frontline Fellowship

PO Box 74, Newlands, 7725

Cape Town, South Africa

Cell:     +2774 887 0211

Office +2721 689 4480

Web: www.frontline.org.za

Email: mission@frontline.org.za

Email: mike@frontline.org.za

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WatsonsMissions

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Victory Loves Preparation

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Return from Congmataza 2014 Mission and Mom’s going HOME

Dear Friends

We have successfully returned from our 5 month Congmataza Mission. Since we got back home in Cape Town, South Africa in mid-November, lots has happened and I have found it frustratingly difficult to update my blog till now.


Return and Reunion
As we returned to South Africa from our Mission to Central Africa, it pleased me greatly to visit my parents on their farm in Durban. We stayed with my folks for about four days by which time we needed to head further south to the Frontline Fellowship Mission Headquarters in Cape Town. Just before we left, my Mom asked if she could join us and visit with us in Cape Town. It was such a privilege and a pleasure to have my Mom with us in Cape Town for three weeks. We had a lot of fun together, even though I was hard pressed by the Mission HQ for reports, presentations, and other natural responsibilities that follow every mission outreach expedition.

Fun and Farewell
After three weeks of visiting, galavanting, and thoroughly enjoying herself in Cape Town, my Mom had to fly back to get home in Durban where my Dad was eagerly awaiting her return. The day before Mom boarded the airplane she started complaining of having headaches. We gave her some pain-killers and thought it may just be the flu coming up. On Tuesday 2 December we took mom to the airport, said our teary-eyed goodbyes with a firm, warm, never-ending hug; we waited for Mom to pass through the security check point and then waved goodbye one last time through the glass panes that now cruelly separated us. And then she was gone.

Rapid Race to a Grinding Halt
We continued our rat-race lifestyle, trying to get everything done that needed getting done – preparing various mission reports for the Mission HQ, preparing and presenting various Mission Report Presentations with pictures and video at various gatherings and on radio, cleaning, repairing, and packing away mission gear and equipment that we had used over the past five months, writing and type-setting our Watsons@Frontline Newsletter, and many other duties and responsibilities that demanded our attention. And then the gears came to a rapid grinding halt!

Dad’s Concerned Call
Dad called me about three days after we said our goodbyes to Mom at the airport. He asked:”What did you do to Mom down there in Cape Town? Ever since she arrived back in Durban she has been extremely drowsy and in bed since the moment she stepped back into the house.” I was greatly concerned about this, but I reported to Dad how jovial and full of excitement and energy Mom had been while she was in Cape Town.

Devastating News
On Friday 5 December Dad took Mom to the hospital. As Mom had been a cancer patient at the hospital for the past eight years, she was quickly seen to by the doctors who immediately prescribed some tests and scans. The results were devastating! Mom had developed numerous brain tumors some 4cm in diameter. The pressure of these tumors in her brain was causing immense pain and drowsiness. By this time Mom was non-responsive. Renee and I dropped everything we were doing in Cape Town and took the next possible flight to Durban.

Totally Helpless
The neurosurgeon said he cannot surgically removed these tumors because they were too numerous. There was nothing the doctors could do for my Mom except to treat her for the pain. God worked in mysterious ways to help us to get Mom into the Hospice. Mom was pretty much non-responsive from the time that we arrived in Durban. She went into a coma on the day that she was transferred to the Hospice where she stayed for almost two weeks.

Christmas Tears
My beautiful, jovial, most amazing Mom passed away on Christmas morning at 04h15. I was with her as she breathed her last breath, holding her hand.

So for us, Christmas day was a very sad, raw, and painful day. But at the same time it was a happy day. Mom had been taken to Glory to be with the God whom she loved and served with all her heart and strength; the God Who had sent His Son into this world to redeem us from our sinful state and to make a way for us to be with Him in Heaven. It is on this Christmas day, the day that Mom died, that we remember the birth of Jesus Christ, the Son of God Almighty, the Saviour of all who put their trust in Him. We know that Mom us in Heaven and one day we too will be there. Mom is not gone, she has gone HOME!


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Watsons@Frontline Newsletter December 2014

December Cover Page 2

Dear Friends

Please click here to view our latest Watsons@Frontline-NEWS December 2014 sml

If you would like to download it in high definition, then click this link: Watsons@Frontline Newsletter December 2014 lrg

If you would like to receive a hard copy by surface mail, please email me your postal adress to mike@frontline.org.za

Thanks, hope you enjoy reading our Newsletter

The text of the above Newsletter is here below:

“The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” – John 1:5

Dear Friends and Family

We greet you in the wonderful and powerful Name of Jesus Christ!

This year has come flying past and as we near the close of 2014 we hope to catch you up on our most recent news.

Mission Overview

As you may know, we have just returned safely back to Cape Town after a successful five month Mission to Congo, Malawi, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia. We crossed 11 international borders, travelled more than 20,000 kilometres, and had the opportunity to conduct more than 360 meetings in 6 countries. We screened the Jesus film 36 times, conducted 14 outreach campaigns, and preached 38 open-air Evangelistic messages.

We also distributed more than two tonnes of Bibles, New Testaments, Discipleship books, Gospel literature, Evangelistic tracts, DVDs, audio CDs, and MP3 discs to pastors, church leaders, and Evangelists.

God’s Grace

We can report with joy that God granted us favour at all police roadblocks, as we were not harassed by even one corrupt official throughout these months of ministry and travel! This is truly God’s grace, as Africa is riddled with corrupt officials looking for a bribe. Although we travelled over a vast variety of rough, potholed, and corrugated road surfaces, we only suffered one puncture.

We also praise God that our team was kept safe whilst we travelled through dangerous areas where rebels and bandits vigorously terrorise travellers and locals alike!

 Congo for Christ

The main goal of this Mission was to serve the suffering church in Congo, in an area that has been terrorised by a number of violent groups. This region of Congo is very remote and disconnected from the rest of the country, with little infrastructure and support from the government.

With the generous help of our faithful supporters we were able to purchase and distribute a hundred French Bibles, three thousand Gospels of John and Romans in French, 11,000 WMP Gospel booklets in French, 660 Biblical Principles for Africa in French, and 300 Broad and Narrow Way posters, and almost a tonne of Gospel literature, Discipleship books and Evangelistic material, to these needy believers who are on fire for God. This is a church that is thriving under difficult conditions and is making a positive difference in their community.

Evangelism and Revival

We conducted a Revival and Evangelism Camp about 2 hours’ drive outside the town, where about 70 members of various churches attended the week-long program.

After the camp we conducted an Evangelism Explosion week within the town where we held Evangelism Training sessions in the mornings. Afternoons we went out into the streets for door-to-door Evangelism. Many members of the church were energetically and joyfully involved. In total we conducted 41 meetings in Congo, including 19 lectures and training sessions, 6 outreaches, 3 open-air crusades, 5 screenings of the Jesus film and 6 Sunday sermons.

Burundi for Christ

In Burundi we had over a week of ministry in the capital city. Burundi is a country of great need with a long history of political and tribal violence, as well as many religious distractions from the Truth. Ancestor worship is very big and the Catholic church is also a very strong presence as a consequence of Belgium rule. Witchcraft is a powerful force used by many and feared by most. There are many Evangelical and Pentecostal churches that gather in homes and small buildings, but the sad truth is most of these churches are ignoring the Gospel and are instead preaching and spreading a prosperity ‘gospel’ that is contradictory to the Scriptures.

We conducted two Reformation FIRE Seminars in Bujumbura and the stark simplicity and power of basic Biblical teaching confounded and astonished many of the participants who expressed This is what our churches and our country needs!

Tanzania for Christ

As we travelled deeper into Tanzania we saw more and more signs of Islam’s insidious advance. Tanzania is about 35% Muslim, and their numbers are growing. We visited two churches and conducted a Reformation FIRE Seminar in each one. We screened the Jesus film almost each night we were there.

On one particular night the neighbouring mosque tried in vain to drown out the sound of our powerful speakers by singing and chanting on their own PA system at full blast – in fact after 2 hours their sound system burned out.

Spiritual Growth

We were blessed to see the spiritual growth in the church since our previous ministry in this area, as well as the hunger for sound Biblical teaching. Our host kept us busy each day with opportunities to speak at schools, a college, and at mid-week church meetings. We conducted 30 meetings in Tanzania.

Malawi for Christ

There is a desperate crisis unfolding in Malawi that will soon destroy this beautiful country, unless the Church takes its responsibility to fulfil the Great Commission seriously. Malawians are being gullibly enslaved to the religion of Islam and they don’t even know it. In fact, as did Esau, they are selling their souls for a morsel of food. During the hunger season; due to economic mismanagement, the subsistence farmers are not able to bring in sufficient grain to feed their families. People literally go without food for days, sometimes weeks.

The Terrible Trap

Years ago, Gadhafi sponsored numerous mosques to be built all over Malawi in his attempt to Islamise Africa. At that time, there were few converts in those mosques, but due to the ‘hunger season’ and the ignorance of the dangers of Islam, that is now changing. During the hunger season mosques are stocked with grain and supplied with ample meat. The Muslims offer this food to anyone who declares themselves a Muslim. In desperation, many people flock to the mosques, declaring themselves to be Muslim in order to obtain free food.

“God isn’t looking for people of great faith, but for individuals ready to follow Him” – Hudson Taylor

Ministry in Malawi

We conducted Great Commission Seminars with a focus on Muslim Evangelism in 7 regions where this is a problem. Often you would find that even church-goers would convert to Islam for the sake of hunger relief. We conducted door-to-door outreaches in strong Muslim areas, challenging those who would hear us to answer this question: How can you wash away your sin and your guilt? We found that even leaders in the church could not answer this simple question!

“And you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”  – John 8:32

Enlightened by the Gospel

We spent painstaking hours, often in the vicious heat, teaching the basic foundational truths of the Good News. This, you may find hard to believe, was a profound enlightenment to the whole church in most cases. We conducted 186 meetings in total in the 8 weeks that we ministered in Malawi.

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” – John 8:36

“Only one life and it will soon be past, only what’s done for Christ will last”  – CT Studd

Zambia for Christ

We found Zambia to be a very Christian country – in the sense that there are many churches and many shop names that display Christian influence. But the presence of casinos, night clubs, drunks and litter made us realise that the need is still great. The Church needs a lot of Leadership training and Discipleship training. We conducted three Reformation FIRE Seminars in different regions and also had ministry opportunity to speak in school classes and at one school assembly. We found many who expect to get into Heaven by good works.

South Africa for Christ

Of course we could not focus all our efforts on countries outside our own, so we were privileged to have had the opportunity to also conduct some rural ministry in the Wild Coast. This is an area that is under developed and un-churched. There are no churches in this particular area and we spoke to a fair number of individuals who expressed a keen desire to have a church in their village where they could fellowship. We screened the Jesus film, preached the Gospel in school classrooms and at a school assembly. We distributed thousands of Gospel booklets and Broad & Narrow Way posters, and conducted door-to-door Evangelism in the rural area.

 Malawi Stole our Hearts

Our time in Malawi revealed to us the desperate situation that the people are in. The insidious advance of Islam, the desperate economic crisis, the ignorance of most of the people regarding the dangers of Islam, and the unbelievable oblivion of even the ‘Christians’ of the Good News that gives Eternal Life has created a desperate crisis in this beautiful country. Our hearts are drawn to Malawi and we believe that God would have us focus our attention on alleviating this situation. We plan to set up a Mission base in Malawi and have acquired some land to do so. God-willing we will start this project next year.

The Harvest is Plentiful

There are so many places and areas of desperate need; so much harvest ready for the reaping; so many gullible souls lost… and not enough workers to fulfil the need… There are thousands, no millions, of young people in South African Churches who could be harvesters in this great field, but they choose rather to chase after illusive material gain that has no lasting value. The harvest truly is plentiful and the workers are desperately few!

We challenge all young Christian people to seriously consider participating in the Great Commission Course this January 2015. You can make a difference in this world. Are you going to watch it happen? Or are you going to make it happen? Join us in striving to make a difference!

“Christ wants not ‘nibblers’ of the possible, but ‘grabbers’ of the impossible” – CT Studd

Mother after the Mission

It was sure great for us to have Mom visit us in Cape Town for 3 weeks. She is such a joy to have around – she is like a flower that brightens up the world around her. We have been concerned for her health recently; you may recall us writing about that in our earlier newsletter this year. It was for this reason that we moved from Cape Town to Durban to be with Mom and help her during her illness. We praise God that Mom’s health seemed to improve in the first few months of 2014, so much so that we decided that we could leave and conduct this Congmataza Mission which we have just completed. Mom came to visit us in Cape Town from the day we were back and she really seemed happy and healthy until the day before she flew back to Durban. She started to mention that she was not feeling well. She seemed fine when we said a sad ‘Goodbye’ to her at the airport, but from the time she arrived in Durban she has been in bed with head-aches and dizziness. Subsequently she has been admitted into hospital as the tests revealed large lumps in her brain. Please pray for Mom. We are hoping and praying for a speedy recovery.

Christmas is the Time

It is at this time of year that we remember that our Lord Jesus Christ was born into this world long time ago. We know that Jesus is the Light of the world and His birth was announced by the bright star which shone in the dark night sky leading the wise men to Christ by the light which it shed. I would like to bring to your attention the following verse:

“The Light shines in the darkness, and the darkness [has not overcome it (NIV)][can never extinguish it (NLT)][comprehended it not (KJV)][has never overpowered it (AMP)]” – John 1:5

During this time of Christmas, let us remember to be as the star which shone in the dark night sky leading others to Christ. The power is in the Light – let us let it shine!

Thank You

I would like to express our deep gratitude to those of you who ‘go’ by giving generously of your finances to extend our reach and multiply our effectiveness; others who ‘go’ by praying, encouraging, communicating, or sharing your resources with us, which enables us to persist in the missionary call which God has called us to. May God richly reward you and perpetuate your prosperity. Your partnership in the Gospel is greatly appreciated.

In His Service and loving it!

Michael and Renee Watson

Missionary Field Worker

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Office: +27-21-689-4480
Email: mike@frontline.org.za
Email: mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

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Watsons@Frontline NEWSLETTER March 2014

Picture Edition

Dear Friends

I hope and trust that you are well.

Pleaseclick on the link below to read our latest Newsletter.

Hope you enfoy it!

March 2014 NewsletterFront page img


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Watsons@Frontline – NEWSLETTER March 2014

Budding Opportunities and Conquering Challenges

(please visit our Facebook Page to see some videos and more pictures)

Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I hope and trust that you are well.

God’s Magnificent Blessings
When we consider all the wonderful blessings that we enjoy each day and how little we actually deserve even the smallest blessing (due to our sinful nature and history), we can only but marvel at the Grace of God, and our troubles and challenges then seem quite insignificant.

“But because of His great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy, made us alive with Christ
even when we were dead in transgression—it is by grace you have been saved.
And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him
in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus.”
Ephesians 2:4-6

Missionary Travels
As I began writing this newsletter, I was sitting in a Greyhound bus on the top floor, right up in front – which means that I had a great view of the rapidly approaching N3 freeway. I am most privileged of all men, because seated next to me was the most beautiful of all God’s magnificent creation – my extraordinarily pretty wife. We were on our way to Secunda; and this journey was just the first of a few more that we were to take on the Mpumalanga Mission which we had just embarked on.

Automobile Gift Delivery
We were headed to Secunda in order to pick up a sedan from my brother who donated this vehicle to our mother who is in need of mobility. After spending a few days with my brother, we drove our mother’s new car to Barberton, where our ministry would begin. This gave us mobility for our ministry purposes and after completing the Mpumalanga Mission, we would return to our new home in KZN and deliver this vehicle to its required destination.

Reluctant Move
Renee and I have now moved our base of operations up to Durban in KwaZulu-Natal where we are staying with my parents in their large but very old farmhouse. There is a lot of maintenance that needs to be done on the house (due to the fact that the owner [not my Dad] will demolish it soon), but at least it is livable – and home for now. So it was from there that we departed for the Mpumalanga Mission.

Ailing Beauty
We decided to make the reluctant move from Cape Town to Durban so that we can spend some quality time with my Mom. Mom has been nobly and valiantly fighting an ugly battle against cancer for about 7 years. At her last visit to the doctor last year she was given the difficult news that the doctors have run out of medical options to throw at the cancer which has unfortunately advanced significantly.

Eating Healthy
Renee (the most beautiful) has discovered an apparently very successful cancer-fighting diet (the Budwig Diet) which she has put Mom (and the whole family) on. Mom is already feeling much better and we have also noticed a significant reduction in the size of the cancer lumps. We are praying that God will do a miracle for Mom.

Successful GCC
This year, as most others, we ‘hit the ground with our feet running’. The Great Commission Course started on 3 January and was jam-packed with action, outreaches, lectures, workshops, and a full house of fervent missionary-minded participants. We had folk joining us from Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Zambia, USA, and New Zealand. The program was tough and intense starting from 06h30 and continued relentlessly often until past midnight.

Mpumalanga Mission
Dr. Peter Hammond, Taryn Hodgson, and a missionary intern, Ryno, drove from Frontline Fellowship HQ in Cape Town whilst Renee and I drove up from KwaZulu-Natal. We met in Barberton where we combined our efforts for a successful and exciting Mission to Mpumalanga – which included ministry at Back to the Bible Training College, KwaSizabantu Schulzendal Mission, and Africa School of Missions.

Exciting Detaining Challenges
This Mpumalanga Mission was soon complicated by intense heavy rains, which flooded large areas and swelled the rivers to bursting their banks. Many roads and bridges were destroyed and dangerously submerged by the swollen and fast-flowing rivers, causing many folk to become stranded as these roads and bridges became impassable. One of these bridges was the one which we had crossed (before the rain) to minister at BBTC (Back to the Bible Training College) and it was the only way back to the main road.

The access road to BBTC has a low-water, single lane, bridge across the Crocodile River which was covered with raging rapidly-flowing water as the river burst its banks. This left our mission team stranded on the wrong side of the Crocodile River with a mountain range hemming us in on the other side.

Africa Under One Roof
Back to the Bible Training College (BBTC) is a Bible college that attracts students from more than 20 different African countries – this year they even have a student from Korea! It is always a great privilege for us to come and minister here. Dr. Peter Hammond was invited to do a week long Church History course and we were there to support him and the program.

Persisting in Spite of Obstacles
While Dr. Peter Hammond was presenting a week of lectures at BBTC, Renee, Taryn, Ryno, and I were daily walking out along the train tracks and over the high railway bridge to cross the raging Crocodile River, which had rendered the road bridge completely impassable. By walking across the railway bridge, the rest of our team was able to make the various church and school meetings in nearby town of Barberton, 30km from BBTC.

4wd Exhilarating Escape Route
As our time in Barberton and BBTC was drawing to an end, we were still stuck and started to get anxious to get our vehicles across the river so that we could make our next ministry appointments. Fortunately we were able to find a viable, but challenging 4×4, route over the mountains to Nelspruit through which we drove the 4-wheel drive vehicle (fondly known to us as “Beast”). But our other vehicle, a sedan, and the trailer were still stuck on BBTC premises unable to cross the raging river and damaged roads or negotiate the muddy steep mountain track.

River Road
After fulfilling all our other ministry appointments, it was almost a week later that we came back to the river with the 4wd vehicle to see if it were passable. We needed to cross the river to collect the trailer. We used the winch cable to pull out three trees from the road that had been washed down by the raging waters and now stood in our way. The river was still flowing very fast, but at least the level had gone down enough for us to pass safely with the higher suspension of the 4wd vehicle. This enabled us to successfully collect the trailer, but the sedan would have to wait a few more days before the water level would be low enough for us to cross.

Many Ministry Opportunities
Renee and I both had opportunities to take the morning devotions at BBTC as well as many other ministry opportunities around Barberton in schools and churches. Altogether Renee and I conducted 21 meetings including 1 lecture, 2 devotions, 5 church meetings, and 13 school meetings. We thank God for every opportunity to minister His Word – we are unworthy servants.

Mission Vision
Renee and I have a long term vision to start a Missionary Training Center where young people (and older ones) can come for a year programme and learn how to minister the Gospel in wild, tough, and rough areas and situations. This is a project that will obviously require large sums of finances which we don’t have right now, but we trust that God will provide what is needed. So in order to raise the necessary funds, I have started a small lettuce farming project which I hope will grow into a large scale commercial income generating facility. Renee is also looking for work as a teacher so that we can raise funds for the Missionary Training Center.

Crossing Borders for Christ
I am unable to ignore the desperate pleas and calls from across our borders for help in spreading and defending the Gospel, for leadership and discipleship training, and for ministering to and encouraging the persecuted and suffering limbs of the Body of Christ. I am planning to soon depart on an Overland Mission again to fulfill my calling as a missionary. Please pray for us as we plan and prepare to depart on this vital Mission Expedition.

Grateful Hands
It is with grateful hearts and hands that we receive timeous support from those of you who give of your finances to support our missionary endeavors. Thank you very much to those of you who give, pray, and encourage us.

May God richly bless and reward each of you above and beyond your wildest expectations.

Yours in His Service – and loving it!

Michael and Renee Watson
Missionary Field Worker
Frontline Fellowship
Frontline Fellowship Facebook Page

P.O. Box 3069
Umhlanga Rocks
South Africa

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Watsons@Frontline – NEWSLETTER November 2013

Newsletter with Pictures

Dear Friends

Please click on the link below to read our latest picture-rich Newsletter.

Renee has done such a superb job of putting this together, I think she’s going to win an Academy Award!

Enjoy it!

201312 Newsletter High Definition PDF

201312 Newsletter Low Definition PDF

2013 Newsletter cover

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Africa Overland Mission Update – October 2013

Congo for Christ

Dear Friends and Family

 Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

“I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well.” 3 John 1:2

Mission Overview

This Africa Overland Mission has successfully been completed after 7 months. We have travelled 29,000km, crossed 14 international borders, travelled through and ministered in 12 countries, conducted more than 390 meetings, and distributed almost 3 tonnes of Gospel literature and Discipleship training material including Bibles, tracts, books, audio CDs, DVDs, posters, and MegaVoice solar-charged audio Bibles.

Last time you may have heard from us, we were just about to head into the Democratic Republic of Congo for an incredible ministry opportunity.

Democratic Republic of Congo

The Democratic Republic of Congo is located in Central Africa. It is the largest country in Sub-Saharan Africa and with a population of over 75 million, the DRC is the fourth most populous nation in Africa.

It also has the second-highest population of Christians in Africa, making up about 95% of the population, although 50% are Catholics. Evangelicals make up about 20% of the population.

Security Risks

Corruption has devastated this rich and fertile land and has frightened away potential tourists and investors. Whilst doing ministry in Western Uganda and in Rwanda, I continually heard reports about rebel groups in neighbouring DRC, seeking to take over the town of Goma in North Kivu, Eastern DRC. Some of our missionary colleagues and friends consistently and persistently warned us not to enter the DRC with our own vehicle for fear that it would be lost to corruption, or commandeered by rebels.

Abandoning our Rig

So accepting the advice and warnings given, we found a safe place to store our rig (truck and trailer) in Burundi, packed our survival bags, and headed for the ominous DRC. It would be the first time that we were to be away from our rig for an extended period of time, and I was anxious that we pack our gear-bags in such a way that we would be prepared for any unforeseen, sinister circumstances.

DRC Ministry

What a blessed time of ministry we had with the El-Shaddai church in DRC! This is a vibrant and growing church with a vision and passion for Evangelism, and for extending the Kingdom of God. This church has a regular outreach programme where they go out into the community and share the love of Jesus to their neighbours. They run a discipleship programme every morning in the church between 06h00 and 07h00, to teach new believers foundational doctrines of the Faith. We were privileged to conduct a Great Commission Seminar at this church, teaching these eager Christians the effective techniques of The Way of the Master, as they attentively took in all we had to share with them.

Workers for the Harvest

As you can probably imagine, in a church like this, it would not be all its members that are consistently getting involved in Evangelism and reaching out to their neighbours, but only a core group of individuals. It was the desire of the pastor of this church, to get his whole church involved in the outreaches and this was one of the goals of our visit to his church.

Outrageous Courage

Many of those who were not getting involved in the outreach team admitted that this was due to the fact that they were afraid, nervous, anxious, and apprehensive. After each day of lectures, presentations and teachings, we all went on outreaches in the afternoons to give these timid evangelists an opportunity to exercise their faith. After each outreach, we had a feedback session where folk could share how the outreach went. It was incredibly encouraging to us, to hear the testimonies of some of these reluctant Christians, who had once been crippled by fear but now have been emboldened by faith and courage through the Power of the Gospel, joyfully sharing how God had helped them to boldly approach strangers and speak to them about the Love of God through Jesus Christ!

Pray for DRC

Pray that the illegal forces would be disarmed and disbanded. These are personal armies of dangerous warlords, which inflict terror on innocent and helpless citizens who live far from the limited safety of government, or international forces. Some of these rebel armies include Lord’s Resistance Army, Simba, Mai-Mai, and many others. Pray for these men to be convicted and disheartened with this life of violence and for those continuing to commit such violence to be stopped. Pray also for the Church to stand strong and be a positive influence in this land of corruption and confusion.

“The Christian Church is an essential entity for rebuilding the DRC. It remains the only viable national social structure to survive and retain some credibility. Its role in rebuilding the country is crucial. Most hospitals, clinics and schools now operate with Christian initiative. Pray for Christian leaders of spiritual maturity and moral integrity to be raised up for ministry, both in the Church and in society.” – Operation World


We travelled through Burundi on the western side down from Rwanda. Burundi is a mountainous, fertile country on the northeast shore of Lake Tanganyika, south of Rwanda, and wedged between Tanzania on the east and DRC on the west. Burundi, like Rwanda, has a sad and violent history between the Tutsi and Hutu tribes which resulted in a nasty war in 1994. The situation is much better now between the two tribes.

About 90% of the population call themselves Christians of which 60% are Catholic and 30% are Evangelicals.

The Cries of a Child

After our ministry in DRC, we were very happy to get back to our rig, which is our home away from home. We then drove up into the hills which surround Bujumbura, the Capital of Burundi, where we visited some missionaries from America who are running an orphanage called The Cries of a Child. This is a very well run Faith project and is making a great impact in the community. They started six years ago with very little, but God has provided amazingly for their needs and today they have 2 homes caring for more than 16 children. They are currently building a clinic to provide for the health needs of the community.

“Dr. Livingstone, I presume?”

From Burundi we travelled down to Kigoma, Tanzania the famous site of Ujiji where Stanley uttered the legendary words: “Dr. Livingstone, I presume?” when he met David Livingstone for the first time in October 1871.

Zambia Border

Crossing into Zambia from Tanzania was the most difficult border crossing that I have yet encountered. Besides the fact that it is a very busy commercial border, the Zambia border control requires more payments (at different offices, with long queues) than any other border I have yet crossed, as well as having the most expensive fees!

David Livingstone Memorial

Safely into Zambia after a four-hour border crossing, we headed for Chitambo’s Village where Dr. David Livingstone died. It was a humbling and awe-inspiring moment for me to be standing in the place where this great Missionary came to his final earthly rest. There are two monuments, one where he was found breathless and without life, kneeling over his Bible in a posture of prayer, and the other, under a tree, where his heart is buried.

“People talk of the sacrifice I have made in spending so much of my life in Africa. Can that be called a sacrifice which is simply paid back as a small part of a great debt owing to our God, which we can never repay? It is emphatically no sacrifice. Say rather it is a privilege.” – Dr. David Livingstone


In the town of Livingstone we met up with our fellow Missionary colleagues and together we made further preparations for the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference that will be held on 13 – 18 November 2013. We also went to view the awe-inspiring Victoria Falls, which at this time of year is in low season, so we did not get to see its majestic rushing of water, nor hear the roar of this thunderous spectacle. With the rainy season about to start, hopefully by mid-November, when we return for the Livingstone 200 Missions Conference, there will be more excitement in this impressive waterfall.

Namibia Wildlife

We had a few days to spare whilst waiting for a ministry opportunity to materialize, so we took the occasion to visit a game reserve in the Caprivi. There is a magnificent wealth of wildlife in this area and we got to see many elephants, impala, kudu, zebra, wildebeest, giraffe, hippos, and crocodiles, among many other animals. It was a privilege for me to spend this time together with my wife – it was like another honeymoon. We spent three nights in this game reserve in a tent as Dr. David Livingstone may have experienced it, with the sounds of wild animals of the night surrounding our flimsy tent – lion’s roaring, elephants trumpeting, rumbling and breaking through nearby bushes, hippos grunting, and hyenas laughing… this all made for tense, prayerful dreams.

Radio Interview

In Windhoek on Kanaal 7 Radio, we had the privilege of being invited for an interview about our almost completed Africa Overland Mission. This was a good opportunity to encourage the listeners to be more mission-minded and encourage them to consider participating in the Great Commission Course in January next year.

Surprise Return

Due to the fact that one of our ministry opportunities in Namibia had not worked out, we were a few days ahead of schedule and would arrive at the Mission headquarters in Cape Town, earlier than expected. I decided not to inform the office of this change, but to surprise them. It gave me immense pleasure to see the confused smiles on their faces as we arrived back home, three days ahead of schedule. It is good to be back with our family and friends.

Thank You

This Africa Overland Mission would not have been a success if it were not for you. Thank you to each one of you who supported us through prayer and financial support. Thank you for keeping in touch with us and encouraging us as we travelled through, sometimes, difficult situations.

“Happy are you, (put your name here)! Who is like you, a people saved by the Lord, the shield of your help and the sword of your majesty! Your enemies shall submit to you, and you shall tread down their high places.” Deuteronomy 33:29

Pictures and Videos

Although I will compile an Africa Overland Mission Report with pictures, I do encourage you to visit our Watson’s Missions Facebook Page where we are still adding photos regularly and will soon add some videos. Hint: If you like our page, you will be notified each time we post a picture, or video.

May God richly bless you and keep you safe in His strong hands.

In His service – and loving it!

Michael and Renee Watson

Missionary Field Worker

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Office: +27-21-689-4480
Email: mike@frontline.org.za
Email:  mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

Categories: Africa Overland Mission | 1 Comment

Africa Overland Mission Update – August 2013

Uganda and Rwanda

Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. 

“For ‘whoever calls on the Name of the Lord shall be saved.’ How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher?” Romans 10:13-14

We are so excited to be out here on this Africa Overland Mission in the field energised and empowered by your prayers and support. The countryside offers the most spectacular views and sights that I have ever seen; the people are beautiful, interesting, and hospitable; the ministry has been effective, appreciated, and rewarding. Yet we are also looking forward to getting back home to see our friends and family, to enjoy a home-cooked meal, our own bed, and a washing machine.

We have been on the road for more than 6 months and there is one more month to go. We are currently doing ministry in Burundi, which is the 9th country out of the 11, which we have planned to serve in. We have travelled more than 22,000km and have conducted more than 370 meetings.

We appreciate your constant prayers for us as we continue to minister.

“Send me anywhere, only go with me. Lay any burden on me, only sustain me. Sever any tie, but the ties that bind me to Your service and to Your heart.” David Livingstone

Unshakeable Generation

We have had a very successful and effective time of ministry in Uganda, at the Bridge of Hope Ministries, where we had the privilege of being guest speakers at their annual ‘Unshakeable Generation’ church conference, where we preached at 8 meetings. This was a wonderful opportunity to speak about Enduring Faith and True and False Conversions; ‘The Way of the Master’ proved to be a very effective.

Much-Needed Rest

We have had an amazing opportunity to get some much-needed rest and recuperation at a lovely campsite next to the Nile River. We were blown away by the breath-taking views, tranquil atmosphere, and colourful sunsets. After 5 months in the field and 2 gruelling months in the harsh conditions of South Sudan, this was a most welcome break!

Exhilarating Adrenaline Excitement

While enjoying the blissful serenity of the peaceful and tranquil Nile River Explorers campsite, our attention was captured by the loud and bold advertising board which read: “White water rafting down the Mighty Nile River”. This was an opportunity not to be missed! What an exhilarating experience it was! Being tossed about in a small inflatable raft we plummeted down steep rapids; being flipped upside-down by surging waves, which hurled us into the raging waters – causing us to gasp for breath as we were churned under the water as if in a vicious washing machine. This was immense fun!

Mountains of the Moon

We then headed west towards Kasese, near the Congo border, where we conducted a week of intensely appreciated seminars. This is where Mount Rwenzori is located, which the locals call ”the Mountain of the Moon”, because of the snow-capped peak. Kasese is right at the foothills of this mountain. Our contact person here had completed the Great Commission Course in 2011, which was where I first met him. He arranged a very busy schedule which kept us on our toes from morning, till late at night.

Grateful Repentance

We were blown away by the immense appreciation that was expressed for our ministry in Kasese. Pastors and community leaders were so eager for us to remain as their “personal missionaries” and offered us rooms, houses, and land. Some pastors confessed that they had been out of God’s will and declared their immediate repentance. “Kasese needs this message to be heard” they told us. “Please come back” they urged, “please, do not forget about us”.

Rolling Hills of Rwanda

Next we headed south for Rwanda, which is a very hilly country with beautiful green trees covering the hills in some places, and in most other areas, rich agricultural lands cover the hills like a dense patchwork quilt. The roads wind through these hills, zigzagging around tight curves, up over the hills, and down into the valleys. Most of the roads are either in a very good condition, or somebody is busy fixing them.


Kigali is one of the most organised and cleanest cities that I have ever seen in all my travels in Africa. The traffic lights work and people obey them, both pedestrians and drivers! There are policemen, on what seems like every street corner, and they are helpful and effective. There was no litter anywhere – even in the poorer areas and taxi ranks.

Encourage and Equip

We met with one of the members of Christian Action Network from neighbouring Congo. We spent some time with him and some of his church leaders, fellowshipping and encouraging them in their ministry. We were also able to equip them with boxes of Gospel literature, Leadership and Discipleship training books, and valuable DVDs and audio CDs. I spoke to them about Christian Action Network’s bold new initiative called Reformation FIRE. They were thrilled to hear about this and excited to become a part of this noble effort.

The Work Goes On

Please continue to pray for us as we continue to minister in Burundi. Please pray that God will give us many effective opportunities and that He may continue to grant us the Grace and strength needed to fulfil our missionary calling – we will not be able to do anything good, or worthwhile, unless He enables us.

“… for without Me you can do nothing” John 15:5

Thank you

We are intensely grateful for every one of you who support us in prayer, finances, and encouragement. Thank you for posting encouraging comments on our Facebook page. We appreciate your partnership in the Gospel.

If you would like to see some pictures of our ministry and follow us as we travel, please visit and ‘like’ and ‘share’ our Facebook page: Watson’s Missions

“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

In His service – and loving it!

Michael and Renee Watson
Missionary Field Worker

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Office: +27-21-689-4480
Email: mike@frontline.org.za
Email:  mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

Categories: Africa Overland Mission | Leave a comment

Africa Overland Mission Update – August 2013

Mission to South Sudan

Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and powerful Name of our Lord and Master, Jesus Christ!

I trust that God has been taking care of you back home in the same way as He has been taking care of us out here in the field.

“Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. Do not withhold good from those to whom it is due, when it is in your power to do it.” Proverbs 3:5-6, 27

Mission Overview

We have been in the field for 5 months and are now in our 6th month of ministry on this Africa Overland Mission. We have wrapped up our ministry in South Sudan and are now ministering in Uganda which is the 6th country out of the 11, which we plan to visit. We have travelled more than 20,000km and have had many great opportunities to minister to soldiers who protect South Sudan’s northern borders, train and equip army chaplains, and conduct seminars with pastors, Evangelists, and lay leaders. We have conducted a total of 335 services, outreaches and other meetings of which 150 were in South Sudan.

Bumpy Start in South Sudan

As we entered into South Sudan two months ago, we encountered excessive mechanical complications which slowed us down considerably. Nevertheless, we have been able to make up for lost time and had an effective and busy time of ministry accomplishing all but one of our planned objectives.

Newest Country in Africa

South Sudan is the newest country in the world and we were privileged to be able to celebrate Independence Day here with the South Sudanese people as they celebrated their second year of freedom from the Arab North.

State of Insecurity

South Sudan has 10 states of which 9 have insecurity issues; Only Western Equatoria is considered to be without security problems. We have conducted ministry in states of Eastern Equatoria, Central Equatoria, Lakes, Western Bahr el Ghazal, and Western Equatoria. We praise God for protecting us as we travelled through this country in turmoil.

Military Ministry

One of the many highlights of this Mission has been the great opportunity that we have had to minister to the soldiers, officers, and chaplains of the South Sudan Military. This was obviously one of the main focuses and goals of this Africa Overland Mission. We have been delighted to distribute Bibles, Leadership books, Discipleship books, Gospel literature, screen the Jesus film, and conduct Great Commission Seminars among the soldiers and chaplains at 5 military bases.

Seeds Bearing Fruit

One of the chaplains that had arranged our ministry among the soldiers at the brigade headquarters at the frontline, was one of the first four chaplains that had been trained by Frontline Fellowship during the war, in 1996. He is most certainly a dynamic and productive man who has made a great impact for the Kingdom of God in the area where he is responsible. He has planted 6 churches and has trained many others to preach the Gospel and has sent them out as evangelists in the frontline. It was good to see the fruit of the work that had begun 17 years ago.

Fertile Western Equatoria

Driving through the lush rainforests of Western Equatoria was indeed a magnificently exhilarating experience. Even though South Sudan has not received much rainfall this rainy season, the extravagant green growth is brilliantly obvious which makes this former fact hard to believe. This state is certainly a fertile land, but in more ways than just one. The rich vegetation which envelops the churches and parishes seems to be a relative indication as to the spiritual hunger and fervour which the Christians of Western Equatoria have.

Productive Ministry Opportunities

We have been privileged to have conducted effective ministry in schools, churches, military barracks, on radio, and productive Great Commission Seminars, in Yambio, Maridi, Farakasika, Bahr Olo, Mundri, and Lui. The seminars were lavishly well attended, the church services were abundantly packed, and the schools were eagerly excited and desperately attentive, as we shared with them. These folk of Western Equatoria certainly have an appetite for the things of God.


We have been privileged to have had Daniel, who served with Frontline Fellowship in 2011 on a previous Africa Overland Mission, join us for these past two-and-a-half months. We were also somewhat sad to see him go back to the USA to continue with his studies. Daniel is an energetic young man with a passion for Missions and a fire burning in him for the Kingdom of God. He has been a great help to us and has been effective in the ministry and in assisting with many of the practical chores that life on the road demands. We will definitely miss him and we pray that God will bless his studies at college, use him wherever he goes, and bring him back to Africa in the near future.

Grateful Appreciation

Thank you very much to all of our supporters who have contributed financially to make this Mission a success. We desperately appreciate your generous support and continually covet your persistent prayers for us.

Please visit our Facebook page to see pictures of the Africa Overland Mission: Watson’s Missions

In His service – and loving it!

An unworthy servant,

Michael Watson

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Office: +27-21-689-4480
Email: mike@frontline.org.za
Email:  mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

Categories: Africa Overland Mission | Leave a comment

Africa Overland Mission Update – July 2013

Bandits and Bullets – South Sudan

 Dear Friends and Family

Greetings in the precious and wonderful Name of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ!

We hope and pray that all is well with you at home.

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the Day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ – to the glory and praise of God.” Philippians 1:9-11 

Mission Overview

We are now into our 5th month of ministry on this Africa Overland Mission and we are currently ministering in South Sudan which is the 5th country out of the eleven which we plan to minister in. We have already travelled more than 17,500km and have had to wade through an obstacle course of challenges. We have conducted a total of 210 meetings in Mozambique, Malawi, Tanzania, Kenya and South Sudan.

Border Crossing

We had a very interesting border crossing as we crossed into South Sudan. The first thing which becomes very obvious is the fact that everybody drives on the wrong side of the road – they drive on the right-hand side of the road in South Sudan! Secondly, the customs officials were the most thorough that I have ever witnessed in all my travels in Africa. They off-loaded and opened almost every single box, trunk, and bag that we had in our rig. They wanted to see every book, CD, and DVD – even going to the extent of inserting the discs into their computers to investigate the content. After the Customs officials were satisfied that we were not carrying any contraband, the officer in charge of the border post came out and insisted that we be allowed to proceed without any further delays or inconveniences, because “you can see that they are Christian missionaries.” He pointed to the Christian flag that we had mounted on the front of our vehicle. We were congratulated for the work that we were doing as missionaries. All taxes were waivered and we were sent on our way with their blessing.

Praise God

God has been very good to us so far. Thank you for your fervent prayers for us. God has taken us through some very scary situations, tough challenges, severe breakdowns, and He has given us multiplied effective ministry opportunities.

Desperate Prayer Request

Our last update to you ended with us urging you to pray for our protection, as we were about to travel through some pretty dangerous areas. Now that we have travelled through these treacherous gauntlets I can, with gratitude, report on how God has answered your fervent prayers.

Wrapping up in Kenya

In Turkana we were able to screen the Jesus film four times and we conducted eleven meetings including a Great Commission Seminar and four outreaches.

The Treacherous Gauntlet

Our research had informed us that we were on the verge of entering a very dangerous leg of our journey and that is why we had requested your urgent prayers. Whilst in Lokichogio our fears were confirmed as local missionaries told us of the terror that lay ahead of us.

Dangerous Area ONE

There were three particularly dangerous areas through which we would need to drive. The first was a 45km section of very rough road still inside Kenya between Lokichogio and the border town of Nadapal. This is an area where bandits take advantage of slow-moving vehicles, shooting at and robbing the occupants.

Armed Escorts

We were strongly advised to take armed escorts with us in the vehicle as we travelled from Lokichogio to Nadapal, which we did. As we drove slowly over the bumpy road our armed escorts with their automatic rifles loaded and ready, their alert eyes searching the shrubbery told us how bad the problem actually was. “Yesterday someone was killed over there” one of them said. “Do you see those ditches there? That’s where they normally lie in ambush” said the other “I have seen many dead people here”. Broken windshield glass and debris lay on the ground as testimony to the terror of which we were told. We were glad to have the armed guards with us and were somewhat relieved when we arrived without incident at the border post of Nadapal.

Dangerous Area TWO

The second area we were warned about was an area in South Sudan between Kapoeta and Torit called ‘Camp 15’. This is an area where armed rebels led by a man called Yau Yau, from the Murle tribe, have recently been causing havoc. The SPLA soldiers have been trying to drive them northwards towards Ethiopia. We were warned emphatically of the dangers of this area.

Breakdown in the ‘Red’ Zone

After entering into South Sudan we had two punctures before we reached Kapoeta. After having our tyres repaired in Kapoeta we cautiously proceeded towards the notorious ‘Camp 15’. After sunset while it was still dusk, as we approached ‘Camp 15’ I started hearing a scratching noise coming from one of the rear wheels. Surrounded by drunks and suspicious-looking locals, armed with AK-47s, I stopped to inspect the noise at a nearby village (which turned out to be ‘Camp 15’). We soon attracted a crowd of inquisitive on-lookers who were giving us the ‘stare’, so I decided to proceed to a safer area even though my inspection had informed me that the trailer’s wheel-bearing had disintegrated. We drove on slowly, nursing the increasingly noisy bearing, for another 30km until we found a safer place to stop for the night and erect our tents.

Searching for Spares

It took us more than four days to repair the damage caused by the inferior bearing. A replacement axle had to be purchased – and there was none to be found in the ‘red’ zone. I searched through Torit and Juba for three days before I found a suitable (but ruthlessly over-priced) axle. Then I still had to modify the wheel-nuts and acquire all the necessary fittings. All this time, Daniel was left alone looking after our trailer in the ‘red’ zone and I was anxious to get him out of there.

Dodging Bullets

When we finally got back to the trailer after sunset, I was relieved to find that all was still OK. We started immediately to change the axles. There were some drunken men arguing with each other nearby as we worked. Most men in this area carry an automatic rifle and these men were no exception. Whilst we were hurriedly trying to complete the repair work, these drunkards started shooting at each other! Some of the bullets came real close to us as we heard them striking tin cans nearby. We quickly took cover behind the vehicle until things quieted down and then cautiously came out from our cover and completed the repairs as fast as we could. We breathed a sigh of relief and gave thanks to God as we drove out from there, heading towards Torit just before 22h00.

Dangerous Area THREE

The third area we were warned about was on the last stretch between Juba and Torit. This is an area where bandits and robbers stop vehicles by shooting at them and then rob the occupants. There were reports that within the previous three weeks 19 people had been killed by bandits on this road alone.

Incidentally, in order to obtain spares from Juba, we had to drive through this area two times before finally crossing in again the third time towing our trailer.

Almost Targeted

As we cautiously drove through this ‘ambush alley’, we saw evidences of other vehicles that had been recently shot-up and still lay derelict in the middle of the road. Soon after a mini-bus (which was approaching from the opposite direction) had passed us, we heard gunfire and as I looked in my rear-view mirror, I could see that the mini-bus had been stopped and the passengers were franticly disembarking from the vehicle. We gave thanks to God as we realised that we had passed through that ambush unharmed!

Juba at Last!

We were very happy to have arrived in Juba and our anxious host was just as happy to receive us. We had the privilege of conducting a two-day Great Commission Seminar where almost 200 people attended.

Moru Printing Project

We headed for Yei where we met with the diligent staff of Sudan Literature Centre and discussed the progress of new Moru Hymn Book which Frontline Fellowship is in the process of printing as a gift to Moruland. We were very happy to see some progress, but much more needs to be done before it is ready to print. The only Moru Hymn Book in the area are the very well worn copies from the edition Dr. Peter Hammond delivered to the Churches in Equatoria in 1996.

Rough Roads

The roads in South Sudan are mostly very rough with potholes often so large that huge trucks and lorries get stuck in them. On our way to Rumbek, we encountered some severe mechanical failures that forced us to turn back to Mundri in order to take dominion over these problems and start the repair process.

Repairs and Opportunities

The trailer’s chassis was cracked right through in two places and the vehicle’s prop-shaft centre-bearing (carrier-bearing) was on its way out and was starting to make a terrible noise. This forced us to return to Juba to have the necessary repairs done. Once again, Daniel stayed with the trailer and had a very effective time of ministry at various schools and a Bible college in Mundri while Renee and I were away in Juba forcing our way to the top of these mechanical challenges that were trying to bog us down.

Financial Aid

As you can imagine, these numerous, unexpected mechanical challenges cost us a lot more than we had initially budgeted for and were threatening to cut our Mission short in South Sudan, because our limited financial resources were almost depleted. God graciously supplied our need through the hands of generous sponsors who deposited funds into our bank account and we were able to do the necessary repairs and continue on our Mission as planned.

Military Mission

We were very blessed to have been able to conduct Chaplains Training for more than 40 SPLA Chaplains in the Division HQ. Some of the Chaplains who participated were those who had been trained by Dr. Peter Hammond in 1996, and they still had their Chaplains Handbooks and Chaplains Prayerbooks! We also had the privilege of preaching to the entire Division at the general parade. This was certainly the highlight of our time in South Sudan so far.

Seeds Bearing Fruit

One of the chaplains that had arranged our ministry among the soldiers at the brigade headquarters at the frontline, was one of the first four chaplains that had been trained by Frontline Fellowship during the war, in 1996. He is most certainly a dynamic and productive man who has made a great impact for the Kingdom of God in the area where he is responsible. He has planted 6 churches and has trained many others to preach the Gospel and has sent them out as evangelists in the frontline. It was good to see the fruit of the work that had begun 17 years ago.

Fertile Western Equatoria

Driving through the lush rainforests of Western Equatoria was indeed a magnificently exhilarating experience. Even though South Sudan has not received much rainfall this rainy season, the extravagant green growth is brilliantly obvious which makes this former fact hard to believe. This state is certainly a fertile land, but in more ways than just one. The rich vegetation which envelops the churches and parishes seems to be a relative indication as to the spiritual hunger and fervour which the Christians of Western Equatoria have.

Productive Ministry Opportunities

We have been privileged to have conducted effective ministry in schools, churches, military barracks, on radio, and productive Great Commission Seminars, in Yambio, Maridi, Farakasika, Bahr Olo, Mundri, and Lui. The seminars were lavishly well attended, the church services were abundantly packed, and the schools were eagerly excited and desperately attentive, as we shared with them. These folk of Western Equatoria certainly have an appetite for the things of God.

Thank You

Thank you to each and every one of you who remember to pray for us and who contribute of your limited and valuable financial resources to make our Mission possible. We would not be able to do this without generous supporters like you who give of your time and money.

The Top Team

I am also particularly grateful for my amazing Team that I have with me out here in these harsh conditions. Renee and Daniel are doing a great work and our team is functioning very effectively with each member fulfilling their role with great efficiency. Renee is, no doubt, the best team-mate that I have ever had out in the mission field, and the most beautiful! Daniel and I enjoy amazingly tasty meals that Renee is able to make from, sometimes limited, resources. Daniel is a great help in the ministry as he has such a fiery passion for the Gospel and is immensely effective in assisting us to convey the message of the Great Commission during our seminars. Please pray for us that we will continue to enjoy good health and that we may continue to work well together.

Please continue to pray for us as we go out to the frontline to minister to soldiers. We are still traveling in areas where there are many insecurity issues.

May God continue to be your joy and strength.

In His service – and loving it!

Michael and Renee Watson

Frontline Fellowship
P.O. Box 74 Newlands 7725
Cape Town South Africa
Office: +27-21-689-4480
Email: mike@frontline.org.za
Email:  mission@frontline.org.za
Website: www.frontline.org.za

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