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“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.
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.
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.
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!
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